Imágenes de páginas

Pet. I pray thee doe.

Li. But for this time I will only handle the head and purtenance.
Pet. Nothing else?

Li. Why, will not that bee a long houre's worke to describe, that is almost a whole daye's worke to dresse. Pet. Proceed.

Li. First, she hath a head as round as a tennis ball.
Pet. I would my bed were a hazard.

Li. . Why?

Pet. Nothing, but that I would have her head there among other balls.

Li. Video, pro intelligo. Then hath she an hawke's eye.
Pet. O that I were a partridge head.
Li. To what end?

Pet. That shee might tire with her eyes on my countenance.
Li. Wouldst thou be hanged?
Pet. Scilicet.

Li. Well, shee hath the tongue of a parrot.

Pet. That's a leaden dagger in a velvet sheath, to have a blacke tongue in a faire mouth.

Li. Tush, it is not for the blacknesse, but for the babling, for every houre she will cry, walke, knave, walke.

Pet. Then will I mutter, a rope for parrot, a rope.

Li. So maist thou be hanged, not by thy lippes, but by thy neck. Then sir, hath she a calve's tooth.

Pet. O monstrous mouth! I would then it had beene a sheepe's eye and a neate's tongue.

Li. It is not for the bignes, but the sweetnesse: all her teeth are as sweet as the sweet tooth of a calfe.

Pet. Sweetly meant.

Li.. She hath the eares of a want.

Pet. Doth she want eares?

Li. I say the eares of a want, a mole; thou dost want wit to understand mee. Shee will heare though shee bee never so low on the ground.

Pet. Why then if one aske her a question, it is likely that she will hearken to it.

Li. Hearken thou after that, she hath the nose of a sow.

Pet. Then belike there she weares her wedding ring. ,

Li. No, shee can smel a knave a mile off.

Pet. Let us go farther, Licio, she hath both us in the wind.

Li. She hath a beetle brow.

Pet. What, is she beetle browed?

Li. Thou hast a beetle head. I say, the brow of a beetle, a little flie, whose brow is as blacke as velvet. Pet. What lips hath she?

Li. Tush, the lips are no part of the head, only made for a double leafe-dore for the mouth.

Pet. What is then the chin?

Li. That is onely the threshold to the dore.

Pet. I perceive you are driven to the wall that stands behind the


dore, for this is ridiculous; but now you can say no more of the head, begin with the purtenances, for that was your promise.

Li. The purtenances, it is impossible to reckon them up, much lesse to tell the nature of them. Hoods, frontlets, wires, caules, curling-irons, perriwigs, bodkins, fillets, hairlaces, ribbons, roles, knotstrings, glasses, combs, caps, hats, coifes, kerchers, clothes, earerings, borders, crippins, shadowes, spots, and so many other trifles, as both I want the words of arte to name them, time to utter them, and wit to remember them: these be but a few notes.

Pet. Notes quoth you, I note one thing.

Li. What is that?

Pet. That if every part require so much as the head, it will make the richest husband in the world ake at the heart."

The next is from Mother Bombie, and is in a pleasant vein enough.

Sergeant. I arrest you.

Dromio. Mee, sir; why then didst not bring a stoole with thee, that I might sit downe?

Hackneyman. Hee arrests you at my suite for a horse.

Risio. The more asse hee, if he had arrested a mare instead of an horse, it had beene a slight over-sight, but to arrest a man that hath no likenesse of a horse, is flat lunasie or alecie.

Hack. Tush, I hired him a horse.

Dromio. I sweare then he was well ridden.

Back. I thinke in two days hee was never baited.

Halfpenny. Why was it a beare thou ridest on?

Hack. I meane hee never gave him baite.

Licio. Why he tooke him for no fish.

Hack. I mistake none of you when I take you for fooles; I say thou never gavest my horse meate.

Dro. Yes, in foure and fortie houres I am sure hee had a bottle of hay as big as his belly.

Serg. Nothing else; thou shouldst have given him provender.

Ris. Why he never askt any.

Hack. Why, doest thou thinke an horse can speake?

Dro. No, for I spurr'd him till my heeles ak't and he said never a word. .

Hack. Well, thou shalt pay sweetly for spoyling him, it was as lustie a nag as any in Rochester, and one that would stand upon no ground.

Dro. Then hee is as good as ever he was, I'le warrant hee'le doe nothing but lie downe.

Hack. I lent him thee gently.

Dro. And I restored him so gently, that he neither would cry wyhie, nor wag the taile.

Hack. But why didst thou boare him through the eares?

Lie. It may be he was set on the pillorie, because he had not a true pace.

Half. No, it was for tiring.

Hack. He would never tire, it may be he would be so weary, hee would goe no further, or so.

Dro. Yes, he was a notable horse for service, he would tire, and retire.

Hack. Do you think I'le be jested out of my horse? Sergeant, wreake thine office on him.

Ris. Nay, let him be bailde.

Hack. So he shall when I make him a bargaine.

Dro. It was a very good horse, I must confesse, and now hearken of his qualities, and have patience to heare them, since I must pay for him: he would stumble three houres in one mile; I had thought I had rode upon addices between this and Canterbury: if one gave him water, why he would lie downe and bathe himselfe like a hawke: if one ranne him, hee would simper and mumpe, as though hee had gone a wooing to a malt-mare at Rochester: hee trotted before and ambled behind, and was so obedient, that he would doe dutie every minute on his knees, as though every stone had beene his father.

Hack. I am sure he had no diseases.

Dro. A little rheume or pose, he lackt nothing but an handkercher.

Serg. Come, what a tale of a horse have wee here, I cannot stay, thou must with me to prison.

Lie. If thou be a good Hackneyman, take all our foure bonds for the payment, thou knowest we are towne-borne children, and will not shrink the citie for a pelting jade.

Half. I'le enter into a statute marchant to see it answered. But if thou wilt have bonds, thou shalt have a bushell full. , .

Hack. Alas, poore Ant, thou bound in a statute marchant: a browne threed will binde thee fast enough: but if you will be content all foure joyntly to enter into a bond, I will withdraw the action.

Dro. Yes, I'le warrant they will. How say you?

Half. I yield.

Ris. And I.

Lie. And I.

Hack. Well, call the Sorivener.

Serg. Here's one hard by, I'le call him.

Ris. A Scrivener's shop hangs to a Serjeant's mace, like a burre to a freeze coat.

Scri. What's the matter?

Hack. You must take a note of a bond.

Dro. Nay, a pint of courtesie pu1s on a pot of wine; in this taverne wee'le dispatch. Hack. Agreed.

Ris. Now if our wits bee not in the waine, our knaverie shall bee at the full, we will ride them worse than Dromio rid his horse, for if the wine master their wits, you shall see them bleed their follies."

The piece from which the last extract is taken is a regular comedy, and does not derive its subject from a classical origin like his other comedies, from which it also differs, in being much more dramatic and less pedantic, although it does not possess any high degree of excellence. This, as well as the other comedies of Lilly, is divided into acts and scenes.

We must now leave our facetious Euphuist, only observing, in conclusion, that he was a man of assiduous application and great knowledge, and that because he has not, in his comedies, exhibited much creative power, we are not, therefore, to infer that he was destitute of this, the omnipotent faculty of the poet. He was a courtier in a pedantic court—poor and an anxious expectant of preferment, and it was necessary, in order to please the taste of his mistress, that he should confine his genius within the narrow bounds of classical subjects. Notwithstanding all this, notwithstanding his nicely folded compliments and ingenious flattery, of which he gives abundant and skilful proof in his plays, he died, like most, if not all, of his contemporary poets, in poverty and obscurity; at what time, however, is not known, although it appears, from Wood, that he was alive in 1597; but a hard matter it is, as the same author says of Peele, to trace a poor poet to his grave. Neither the gross and undisguised flattery of Peele,* nor the classical pedantry —the myriads of sparkling conceits, and the highly polished diction and insinuating compliments of Lilly, nor the fecundity of invention and glowing imaginations of other poets, seem to have soothed the dull cold ear of the Maiden Queen to gratitude or liberality.

We shall, in our next article, consider the dramatic works of Marlowe, and having gleaned up a few stray pieces which have dropped in our progress, we shall have arrived at the age of Shakspeare.

Art. VIII. The Anatomie of Abuses: containi?ig a Discoverie, or briefe Summarie of such notable vices and corruptions, as nowe raigne in many Christian countreyes of the wortde: but [especially'] in the countrey of Ailgna: together, with most fearfull examples of God's judgements, executed upon the wicked for the same, as well in Ailgna of late, as in other places elsetohere. Very godly, to be read of all true Christians every where: but most chiefly to be regarded in England. Made dialogue-wise by Phillip Stubbes. And now newly revised, recognised, and augmented the third time by the same author. London, 1585, black letter, 264 pp.

* At the conclusion of his Araynment of Paris.

The Second Part of the Anatomie of Abuses: containing the Display of Corruption, with a perfect description of such imperfections, blemishes, and abuses, as now reigning in everie degree, require reformation for feare of God's .vengeance to be poured upon the people and countrie, without speedie repentance and conversion unto God. Made dialogue-wise by Phillip Stubbes. London, 1583, black letter.

This is the most amusing and diversified of the many splenetic works which have been levelled, by the sour spirit of puritanism, against the gaieties and the elegancies, as well as the vices and follies of life. It shows us "the very age and body of the time, its form and pressure," seen, it is true, with a jaundiced eye, but delineated with spirit and effect. Alas, poor Stubbes! How would it have tortured thy querulous spirit, couldst thou have anticipated that thy writings would, one day, be valued as a record of the pomps and vanities which thou didst so boldly and perseveringly denounce; that thy book should be laid under contribution by the remorseless antiquary; thy anathemas be pressed into the service of the vain historian of church-ales and may-games, of ruffs and fardingales; and thy pious effusions be dismembered to grace the margins of "profane stage-plaies and enterludes." To such base uses have thy labours been applied, and so powerful is the contagion of bad example, that even we (with shame and sorrow we speak it) recur with equal, if not greater relish, to thy descriptions of the frivolities of the day, than to thy moral precepts, thy fearful examples, or thy climaxes of execration.

The object and scope of the Anatomie of Abuses is pretty clearly expressed in its wordy title-page: it is little more than a catalogue raisonne of the vices of the age, or of the gaieties which were deemed such by the dark sect which was now extending its ramifications throughout the country, and which, in the succeeding century, overturned the altar and the throne,

i>roscribed cheerfulness and refinement, and perverted the very anguage into a jargon of enthusiasm. Stubbes, however, does not go the same lengths as the redoubted Mar-prelate, and some of his turbulent brethren. He seldom attacks existing institutions, but confines himself to the abuses which have crept into them. His style is well adapted to his subject and his sect; it is coarse, familiar, and forcible, and generally seasoned with .scurrility: it exhibits that incongruous mixture of solemnity and buffoonery, which, even in the present day, characterizes the declamations of some of the more enthusiastic sectarians, and which has alwavs been found effective "to warp and wield the vulgar will." He is not unfrequently betrayed by his zeal and his subject into a grossness of expression which could hardly

« AnteriorContinuar »