- Publisher's Notice
- Hero and Leander.
- To the Right-worshipful Sir Thomas Walsingham, Knight
- Hero and Leander.
- The First Sestiad.
- The Second Sestiad.
- The Epistle Dedicatory
- The Third Sestiad.
- The Fourth Sestiad.
- The Fifth Sestiad.
- The Sixth Sestiad.
- Ovid's Elegies.
- P. Ovidii Nasonis 'amorum Liber Primus
- Elegia I. Quemadmodum a Cupidine, Pro Bellis Amores Scribere Coactus Sit.
- Elegia II. Quod Primo Amore Correptus, In Triumphum Duci Se a Cupidine Patiatur.
- Elegia III. Ad Amicam.
- Elegia IV. Amicam, Qua Arte Quibusque Nutibus In Cæna, Presente Viro, Uti Debeat, Admonet.
- Elegia V. Corinnæ Concubitus.
- Elegia VI. Ad Janitorem, Ut Fores Sibi Aperiat.
- Elegia VII. Ad Pacandam Amicam, Quam Verberaverat.
- Elegia VIII. Execratur Lenam Quæ Puellam Suam Meretricis Arte Instituebat.
- Elegia Ix Ad Atticum, Amantem Non Oportere Desidiosum Esse, Sicuti Nec Militem.
- Elegia X Ad Puellam, Ne Pro Amore Præmia Poscat.
- Elegia XI. Napen Alloqutur, Ut Paratas Tabellas Ad Cornnam Perferat.
- Elegia XII. Tabellas Quas Miserat Execratur Quod Amica Noctem Negabat.
- Elegia XIII. Ad Auroram Ne Properet.
- Elegia XIV. Puellam Consolatur Cui Præ Nimia Cura Comæ Deciderant.
- Elegia XV. Ad Invidos, Quod Fama Poetarum Sit Perennis.
- P. Ovidii Nasonis Amorum. Liber Secundus .
- Elegia I. Quod Pro Gigantomachia Amores Scribere Sit Coactus.
- Elegia II. Ad Bagoum, Ut Custodiam Puellæ Sibi Commissæ Laxiorem Habeat
- Elegia III. Ad Eunuchum Servantem Dominam.
- Elegia IV. Quod Amet Mulieres, Cujuscunque Formæ Sint.
- Elegia V. Ad Amicam Corruptam.
- Elegia VI. In Mortem Psittaci.
- Elegia VII. Amicæ Se Purgat, Quod Ancillam Non Amet.
- Elegia VIII. Ad Cypassim Ancillam Corinnæ.
- Elegia IX. Ad Cupidinem.
- Elegia X. Ad Græcinum Quod Eodem Tempore Duas Amet.
- Elegia XI. Ad Amicam Navigantem.
- Elegia XII. Exultat, Quod Amica Potitus Sit.
- Elegia XIII. Ad Isidem, Ut Parientem Corinnam Servet
- Elegia XIV. In Amicam, Quod Abortivum Ipsa Fecerit.
- Elegia XV. Ad Annulum, Quem Dono Amicæ Dedit.
- Elegia XVI. Ad Amicam, Ut Ad Rura Sua Veniat.
- Elegia XVII. Quod Corinnæ Soli Sit Serviturus.
- Elegia XVIII. Ad Macrum, Quod De Amoribus Scribat,
- Elegia XIX. Ad Rivalem Cut Nxor Curæ Non Erat.
- P. Ovidii Masonis Amorum. Liber Tertius .
- Elegia I. Deliberatio Poetæ, Utrum Elegos Pergat Scribere an Potius Tragoedias.
- Elegia II. Ad Amicam Cursum Equorum Spectantem.
- Elegia III. De Amica Quæ Perjuraverat.
- Elegia IV. Ad Virum Servantem Conjugem.
- Elegia VI. Ad Amnem Dum Iter Faceret Ad Amicam.
- Elegia VII. Quod Ab Amica Receptus, Cum Ea Coire Non Potuit Conqueritur.
- Elegia VIII. Quod Ab Amica Non Recipiatur, Dolet.
- Elegia IX. Tibulli Mortem Deflet.
- Elegia X. Ad Cererem, Conquerens Quod Ejus Sacris Cum Amica Concumbere Non Permittatur.
- Elegia XI. Ad Amicam a Cujus Amore Discedere Non Potest.
- Elegia XII. Dolet Amicam Suam Ita Suis Carminibus Innotuisse Ut Rivales Multos Sibi Pararit.
- Elegia XIII. De Junonis Festo.
- Elegia XIV. Ad Amicam, Si Peccatura Est, Ut Occulte Peccet.
- Elegia XV. Ad Venerem, Quod Elegis Finem Imponat.
- Epigrams By J[ohn] D[avies].
- Ad Musam. I.
- Of a Gull. II.
- In Refum. III.
- In Quintum. IV.
- In Plurimos. V.
- In Titum. VI.
- In Faustum. VII.
- In Katam. VIII.
- In Librum. IX.
- In Medontem. X
- In Gellam. XI.
- In Quintum. XII.
- In Severum. XIII.
- In Leucam. XIV.
- In Macrum. XV.
- In Faustum. XVI.
- In Cosmum. XVII.
- In Flaccum. XVIII.
- In Cineam. XIX.
- In Gerontem. XX.
- In Marcum. XXI.
- In Cyprium. XXII.
- In Cineam. XXIII.
- In Gallum. XXIV.
- In Decium. XXV.
- In Gellam. XXVI.
- In Syllam. XXVII.
- In Syllam. XXVIII.
- In Heywodum. XXIX.
- In Dacum. XXX.
- In Priscum. XXXI.
- In Brunum. XXXII.
- In Francum. XXXIII.
- In Castorem. XXXIV.
- In Septimium. XXXV.
- Of Tobacco. XXXVI.
- In Crassum. Xxxvii
- In Philonem. XXXVIII.
- In Fuscum. XXXIX.
- In Afrum. Xl.
- In Paulum. Xli.
- In Lycum. Xlii.
- In Publium. Xliii.
- In Syllam. Xliv.
- In Dacum. Xlv.
- In Marcum. Xlvi.
- Meditations of a Gull. Xlvii.
- Ad Musam. Xlviii.
- The First Book of Lucan.
- To His Kind and True Friend, Edward Blunt.
- The First Book of Lucan.
- The Passionate Shepherd to His Love.
- Dialogue In Verse.
- No. 1. the Atheist’s Tragedie.
- No. II.
- No. III. a Note
- No. IV.: The Death of Marlowe.
- Scene I.
- Scene II.
- Scene III.
THE ATHEIST'S TRAGEDIE .
- All you that have got eares to heare, Now listen unto mee;
- Whilst I do tell a tale of feare; A true one it shall bee:
- A truer storie nere was told, As some alive can showe;
- 'Tis of a man in crime grown olde, Though age he did not know.
- This man did his owne God denie And Christ his onelie son,
- And did all punishment defie, So he his course might run.
- Both day and night would he blaspheme, And day and night would sweare,
- As if his life was but a dreame, Not ending in dispaire.
- A poet was he of repute, And wrote full many a playe,
- Now strutting in a silken sute, Then begging by the way.
- He had alsoe a player beene Upon the Curtaine-stage,
- But brake his leg in one lewd scene, When in his early age.
- He was a fellow to all those That did God's laws reject,
- Consorting with the Christians' foes And men of ill aspect.
- Ruffians and cutpurses hee Had ever at his backe,
- And led a life most foule and free, To his eternall wracke.
- He now is gone to his account, And gone before his time,
- Did not his wicked deedes surmount All precedent of crime.
- But he no warning ever tooke From others' wofull fate,
- And never gave his life a looke Untill it was to late.
- He had a friend, once gay and greene, Who died not long before,
- The wofull'st wretch was ever seen, The worst ere woman bore,
- Unlesse this Wormall did exceede Even him in wickednesse,
- Who died in the extreemest neede And terror's bitternesse.
- Yet Wormall ever kept his course, Since nought could him dismay;
- He knew not what thing was remorse Unto his dying day.
- Then had he no time to repent The crimes he did commit,
- And no man ever did lament For him, to dye unfitt.
- Ah, how is knowledge wasted quite On such want wisedome true,
- And that which should be guiding light But leades to errors newe!
- Well might learnd Cambridge oft regret He ever there was bred:
- The tree she in his mind had set Brought poison forth instead.
- His lust was lawlesse as his life, And brought about his death;
- For, in a deadlie mortall strife, Striving to stop the breath
- Of one who was his rivall foe, With his owne dagger slaine,
- He groand, and word spoke never moe, Pierc'd through the eye and braine.
- Thus did he come to suddaine ende That was a foe to all,
- And least unto himselfe a friend, And raging passion's thrall.
- Had he been brought up to the trade His father follow'd still,
- This exit he had never made, Nor playde a part soe ill.
- Take warning ye that playes doe make, And ye that doe them act;
- Desist in time for Wormall's sake, And thinke upon his fact.
- Blaspheming Tambolin must die, And Faustus meete his ende;
- Repent, repent, or presentlie To hell ye must discend.
- What is there, in this world, of worth, That we should prize it soe?
- Life is but trouble from our birth, The wise do say and know.
- Our lives, then, let us mend with speed, Or we shall suerly rue
- The end of everie hainous deede, In life that shall insue.
In a copy of Hero and Leander Collier found, together with other questionable matter, the following MS. notes:— “Feb. 10, 1640. Mr. [two words follow in cipher], that Marloe was an atheist, and wrot a booke against [two words in cipher,] how that it was all one man's making, and would have printed it, but it would not be suffred to be printed. Hee was a rare scholar, and made excellent verses in Latine. He died aged about 30.”—“Marloe was an acquaintance of Mr. [a name follows in cipher] of Douer, whom hee made become an atheist; so that he was faine to make a recantation vppon this text, The foole hath said in his heart there is no God.'”—“This [the name in cipher] learned all Marloe by heart.”—“Marloe was stabd with a dagger and dyed swearing.”
CONTAYNINGE THE OPINION OF ONE CHRISTOFER MARLYE, CONCERNYNGE HIS DAMNABLE OPINIONS AND JUDGMENT OF RELYGION AND SCORNE OF GODS WORDE.
From MS. Harl. 6853, Fol. 320.
That the Indians and many Authors of Antiquitei have assuredly written of aboue 16 thowsande yeers agone, wher Adam is proved to have leyved within 6 thowsande yeers.
He affirmeth That Moyses was but a Juggler, and that one Heriots can do more then hee.
That Moyses made the Jewes to travell fortie yeers in the wildernes (which iorny might have ben don in lesse then one yeer) er they came to the promised lande, to the intente that those whoe wer privei to most of his subtileteis might perish, and so an everlastinge super-sticion remayne in the hartes of the people.
That the firste beginnynge of Religion was only to keep men in awe.
That it was an easye matter for Moyses, beinge brought up in all the artes of the Egiptians, to abvse the Jewes, being a rvde and grosse people.
*** * * * * * * * * * * * *
That he [Christ] was the sonne of a carpenter, and that, yf the Jewes amonge whome he was born did crvcifye him, thei best knew him and whence he came.
That Christ deserved better to dye than Barrabas, and that the Jewes made a good choyce, though Barrabas were both a theife and a murtherer.
That yf ther be any God or good Religion, then it is in the Papistes, becavse the service of God is performed with more ceremonyes, as elevacion of the masse, organs, singinge men, shaven crownes, &c. That all protestantes ar hipocriticall Asses.
That, yf he wer put to write a new religion, he wolde vndertake both a more excellent and more admirable methode, and that all the new testament is filthely written.
*** * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * *
That all the Appostels wer fishermen and base fellowes, nether of witt nor worth, that Pawle only had witt, that he was a timerous fellow in biddinge men to be subiect to magistrates against his conscience.
That he had as good right to coyne as the Queen of Englande, and that he was acquainted with one Poole, a prisoner in newgate, whoe hath great skill in mixture of mettalls, and havinge learned such thinges of him, he ment. thorough help of a cvnnynge stampe-maker, to coyne fiench crownes, pistolettes, and englishe shillinges.
That, yf Christ had instituted the Sacramentes with more cerymonyall reverence, it would have ben had in more admiracion, that it wolde have ben much better beinge administred in a Tobacco pype.
That one Richard Cholmelei hath confessed that he was perswaded by Marloes reason to become an Athieste.
Theis thinges, with many other, shall by good and honest men be proved to be his opinions and common speeches, and that this Marloe doth not only holde them himself, but almost in every company he commeth, perswadeth men to Athiesme, willinge them not to be afrayed of bugbeares and hobgoblins, and vtterly scornynge both God and his ministers, as I Richard Bome [sic] will justify bothe by my othe and the testimony of many honest men, and almost all men with whome he hath conversed any tyme will testefy the same: and, as I thincke, all men in christianitei ought to endevor that the mouth of so dangerous a member may be stopped.
He sayeth moreover that he hath coated a number of contrarieties out of the scriptures, which he hath geeven to some great men, who in convenient tyme shalbe named When theis thinges shalbe called in question, the witnesses shalbe produced.
Copye of Marloes blasphemyes
as sent to her H[ighness]
[Now-a-days inquiries as to the age of the earth are of interest only to Geologists; and all may criticise with impunity the career of Moses—provided that they do not employ the shafts of ridicule too freely. Marlowe's strictures on the New Testament—grossly exaggerated by the creature who penned the charges—were ma***e from the literary point of view. We should blame nobody to-day for saying that the language of Revelations is poor and thin when compared with the language of Isaiah. Again, as to the statement that Romanism alone is logical, and that Protestantism has no locus standi,—has not the doctrine been proclaimed again and again in our own day by writers whom we all respect? The charge that Marlowe had announced his intention of coining French crowns is so utterly absurd as to throw discredit upon all the other statements It must be remembered that the testimony was not upon oath, and that the deponent was a ruffian.]
An edition of Marlowe cannot be more fitly concluded than by a reprint of Mr. R. H. Horne's noble and pathetic tragedy, The Death of Marlowe (originally published in 1837), one of the few dramatic pieces of the present century that will have any interest for posterity. For permission to reprint this tragedy I am indebted to Mr. Horne's literary executor, Mr. H. Buxton Forman.
THE DEATH OF MARLOWE.
- Christopher Marlowe, Dramatists and Actors.
- Thomas Heywood, Dramatists and Actors.
- Thomas Middleton, Dramatist.
- Cecilia, Runaway Wife of the drunkard, Bengough.
- Jacconot, aliasJack-O'-NightA Tavern Pander and Swash-buckler.
Gentlemen, Officers, Servants, &c.
Public Gardens—Liberty of the Clink, Southwark.
Be sure of it.
I am; but not by your light.
- I speak it not in malice, nor in envy
- Of your good fortune with so bright a beauty:
- But I have heard such things!
Good Master Heywood,
- I prithee plague me not with what thou'st heard;
- I've seen, and I do love her—and, for hearing,
- The music of her voice is in my soul,
- And holds a rapturous jubilee 'midst dreams
- That melt the day and night into one bliss.
Beware the waking hour!
In lovely radiance,
- Like all that's fabled of Olympus' queen,
- She moves—as if the earth were undulant clouds,
- And all its flowers her subject stars.
- Smile not; for 'tis most true: the very air
- With her sweet presence is impregnate richly.
- As in a mead, that's fresh with youngest green,
- Some fragrant shrub, some secret herb, exhales
- Ambrosial odours; or in lonely bower,
- Where one may find the musk plant, heliotrope,
- Geranium, or grape hyacinth, confers
- A ruling influence, charming present sense
- And sure of memory; so, her person bears
- A natural balm, obedient to the rays
- Of heaven—or to her own, which glow within,
- Distilling incense by their own sweet power.
- The dew at sunrise on a ripened peach
- Was never more delicious than her neck.
- Such forms are Nature's favourites.
- Pygmalion and Prometheus dwell within you!
- You poetise her rarely, and exalt
- With goddess-attributes, and chastity
- Beyond most goddesses: be not thus serious'
- If for a passing paramour thou'dst love her,
- Why, so, so it may be well; but never place
- Thy full heart in her hand.
I have—I do—
- And I will lay it bleeding at her feet.
- Reason no more, for I do love this woman:
- To me she's chaste, whatever thou hast heard.
- Whatever I may know, hear, find, or fancy,
- I must possess her constantly, or die.
- Nay, if't be thus, I'll fret thine ear no more
- With raven voice; but aid thee all I can.
- Cecilia!-Go, dear friend-good Master Heywood,
- Leave me alone-I see her coming thither!
- Bliss wait thy wooing; peace of mind its end!
- (aside) His knees shake, and his face and hands are wet,
- As with a sudden fall of dew—God speed him!
- This is a desperate fancy!
- Thoughtful sir,
- How fare you? Thou'st been reading much of late,
- By the moon's light, I fear me?
Why so, lady?
The reflex of the page is on thy face.
- But in my heart the spirit of a shrine
- Burns, with immortal radiation crown'd.
Nay, primrose gentleman, think'st me a saint?
I feel thy power.
- I exercise no arts—
- Whence is my influence?
- From heaven, I think.
- Madam, I love you—ere to-day you've seen it,
- Although my lips ne'er breathed the word before;
- And seldom as we've met and briefly spoken,
- There are such spiritual passings to and fro
- 'Twixt thee and me-though I alone may suffer-
- As make me know this love blends with my life;
- Must branch with it, bud, blossom, put forth fruit,
- Nor end e'en when its last husks strew the grave,
- Whence we together shall ascend to bliss.
Continued from this world?
- Thy hand, both hands;
- I kiss them from my soul!
- Nay, sir, you burn me-
- Let loose my hands!
- I loose them—half my life has thus gone from me!—
- That which is left can scarce contain my heart,
- Now grown too full with the high tide of joy,
- Whose ebb, retiring, fills the caves of sorrow,
- Where Syrens sing beneath their dripping hair,
- And raise the mirror'd fate.
- Then, gaze not in it,
- Lest thou should'st see thy passing funeral
- I would not—I might chance to see far worse.
- Thou art too beautiful ever to die!
- I look upon thee, and can ne'er believe it
- O, sir—but passion, circumstance, and fate,
- Can do far worse than kill: they can dig graves,
- And make the future owners dance above them,
- Well knowing how 'twill end. Why look you sad?
- 'Tis not your case; you are a man in love—
- At least, you say so—and should therefore feel
- A constant sunshine, wheresoe'er you tread,
- Nor think of what's beneath. But speak no more:
- I see a volume gathering in your eye
- Which you would fain have printed in my heart;
- But you were better cast it in the fire.
- Enough you've said, and I enough have listened.
I have said naught
- You have spoken very plain—
- So, Master Marlowe, please you, break we off;
- And, since your mind is now relieved—good day!
Leave me not thus!—forgive me!
For what offence?
The expression of my love.
- Tut! that's a trifle.
- Think'st thou I ne'er saw men in love before?
- Unto the summer of beauty they are common
- As grasshoppers,
And to its winter, lady?
- There is no winter in my thoughts—adieu!
- She's gone!—How leafless is my life!—My strength
- Seems melted—my breast vacant—and in my brain
- I hear the sound of a retiring sea.
Gravel Lane; Bankside.
Enter Heywood and Middleton.
And yet it may end well, after his fit is over.
But he is earnest in it.
'Tis his habit; a little thunder clears the atmosphere. At present he is spell-bound, and smouldereth in a hot cloud of passion; but when he once makes his way, he will soon disperse his free spirit abroad over the inspired heavens.
I fear me she will sow quick seed of feverish fancies in his mind that may go near to drive him mad.
How so? He knoweth her for what she is, as well as for what she was;—the high-spirited and once virtuous wife of the drunkard Bengough. You remember him?
I have seen him i‘the mire. Twas his accustomed bed o’ nights—and morning, too—many a time. He preferred that to the angel he left at home. Some men do 'Tis a sorrow to think upon.
And one that tears cannot wash! Master Marlowe hath too deep a reading i' the books of nature to nail his heart upon a gilded weathercock. He is only desperate after the fashion of a pearl diver. When he hath enough he will desist—breathe freely, polish the shells, and build grottoes.
Nay, he persisteth in not knowing her for a courtesan —talks of her purity in burning words, that seem to glow and enhance his love from his convictions of her virtue; then suddenly falls into silent abstraction, looking like a man whose eyes are filled with visions of Paradise. No pains takes she to deceive him; for he supersedes the chance by deceiving himself beyond measure. He either listens not at all to intimation, or insists the contrary.
This is his passionate aggravation or self-will: he must know it.
Tis my belief; but her beauty blinds him with its beams, and drives his exiled reason into darkness.
Here comes one that could enlighten his perception, methinks.
Who's he? Jack-o'-night, the tavern pander and swashbuckler.
Save ye, my masters; lusty thoughts go with ye, and a jovial full cup wait on your steps: so shall your blood rise, and honest women pledge ye in their dreams!
Your weighty-pursed knowledge of women, balanced against your squinting knowledge of honesty, Master Jack-o'-night, would come down to earth, methinks, as rapid as a fall from a gallows-tree.
Well said, Master Middleton—a merry devil and a long-lived one run monkey-wise up your back-bone! May your days be as happy as they're sober, and your nights full of applause! May no brawling mob pelt you, or your friends, when throned, nor hoot down your plays when your soul's pinned like a cockchafer on public opinion! May no learned or unlearned calf write against your knowledge and wit, and no brother paper-stainer pilfer your pages, and then call you a general thief! Am I the only rogue and vagabond in the world?
I‘faith, not: nay, an’ thou wert, there would be no lack of them i’ the next generation. Thou might'st be the father of the race, being now the bodily type of it The phases of thy villany are so numerous that, were they embodied they would break down the fatal tree which is thine inheritance, and cause a lack of cords for the Thames shipping!
Don't choke me with compliments!
Heywood (to Middleton).
He seems right proud of this multiplied idea of his latter end.
Ay; hanging's of high antiquity, and, thereto, of broad modern repute. The flag, the sign, the fruit, the felon, and other high and mighty game, all hang; though the sons of ink and sawdust try to stand apart, smelling civet, as one should say,—faugh! Jewelled caps, ermined cloaks, powdered wigs, church bells, bona-roba bedgowns, gilded bridles, spurs, shields, swords, harness, holy relics, and salted hogs, all hang in glory! Pictures, too, of rare value! Also music's ministrants,—the lute, the horn, the fiddle, the pipe, the gong, the viol, the salt-box, the tambourine and the triangle, make a dead-wall dream of festive harmonies!
Infernal discords, thou would'st say!
These are but few things among many! for ‘scutcheons, scarecrows, proclamations, the bird in a cage, the target for fools’ wit, hie jacet tablets (that is, lying ones), the King's Head and the Queen's Arms, ropes of onions, dried herbs, smoked fish, holly boughs, hall lantborns, framed piety texts, and adored frights of family portraits, all hang! Likewise corkscrews, cat-skins, glittering trophies, sausage links, shining icicles, the crucifix, and the skeleton in chains. There, we all swing, my masters! Tut! hanging's a high Act of Parliament privilege!-a Star-Chamber Garter-right!
The devil's seed germinates with reptile rapidity, and blossoms and fructifies in the vinous fallows of this bully's brain!
I tell thee what—(looking off) another time!
I breathe fresh air!
- Look!—said I not so? See whom 'tis he meets;
- And with a lounging, loose, familiar air,
- Cocking his cap and setting his hand on's hip,
- Salutes with such free language as his action
- And attitude explain!
- I grieve for Marlowe:
- The more, since 'tis as certain he must have
- Full course of passion, as that its object's full
- Of most unworthy elements.
- Indeed, of such a form, if all be base.
- But Nature, methinks, doth seldom so belie
- The inward by the outward; seldom frame
- A cheat so finish'd to ensnare the senses,
- And break our faith in all substantial truth
EnterCecilia, followed byJacconot.
Well, well, Mistress St. Cecil; the money is all well enough—I object nothing to the money.
Then, go your ways.
My ways are your ways—a murrain on your beauties' —has your brain shot forth skylarks as your eyes do sparks?
Go!—here is my purse.
I'll no more oft!—I have a mind to fling back what thou'st already given me for my services.
Master Jacconot, I would have no further services from thee. If thou art not yet satisfied, fetch the weight and scales, and I will cast my gold into it, and my dross besides—so shall I be doubly relieved.
I say again—and the devil bear me fierce witness!— it is not gold I want, but rightful favour; not silver, but sweet civility; not dross, but the due respect to my nonpareil value! Bethink thee, Cecil—bethink thee of many things! Ay! am not I the true gallant of my time? the great Glow-worm and Will-o'-the-wisp—the life, the fortune, and the favourite of the brightest among ye!
Anywhere, so it be distant
What mean'st by discarding me, and why is it? 'Slud! is this the right sort of return for all my skilful activities, my adroit fascinations of young lords in drink, my tricks at dice, cards, and dagger-play, not to speak too loudly of bets on bear-baits, soap-bubbles, and Shrovetide cocks; or my lies about your beauty and temper? Have I not brought dukes and earls and reverend seniors, on tip-toe, and softly whispering for fear of “the world,” right under the balcony of your window?-O, don't beat the dust with your fine foot! These be good services, I think!
Cecilia (half aside).
Alas! alas! the world sees us only as bright, though baleful stars, little knowing our painful punishments in the dark-our anguish in secret
Are you thinking of me?
Go!—a death's-head crown your pillow! May you dream of love, and wake and see that!
I had rather see't than you.
What's i' the wind,—nobleman, or gentleman, or a brain fancy—am not I at hand? Are you mad?
I'd gladly believe I have been so.
Good. I'm content you see me aright once more, and acknowledge yourself wrong.
Cecilia (half aside, and tearfully).
O, wrong indeed—very wrong—to my better nature— my better nature.
And to me, too! Bethink thee, I say, when last year, after the dance at Hampton, thou wert enraged against the noble that slighted thee; and, flushed with wine, thou took'st me by the ear, and mad'st me hand thee into thy coach, and get in beside thee, with a drawn sword in my hand and a dripping trencher on my head, singing such songs, until—
Earthworms and stone walls!
Hey! what of them?
- I would that as the corporal Past they cover,
- They would, at earnest bidding of the will,
- Entomb in walls of darkness and devour
- The hated retrospections of the mind.
- Oho!—the lamps and saw-dust!-Here's foul play
- And mischief in the market. Preaching varlet!
- I'll find him out—I'll dog him!
- Gnaws at the root of being, and doth hang
- A heavy sickness on the beams of day,
- Making the atmosphere, which should exalt
- Our contemplations, press us down to earth,
- As though our breath had made it thick with plague.
- Cursed! accursed be the freaks of Nature,
- That mar us from ourselves, and make our acts
- The scorn and loathing of our afterthoughts—
- The finger mark of Conscience, who, most treacherous,
- Wakes to accuse, but slumber'd o'er the sin.
A room in the Triple Tun, Blackfriars.
Marlowe, Middleton, Heywood, and Gentlemen.
- I do rejoice to find myself among
- The choicest spirits of the age: health, sirs!
- I would commend your fame to future years,
- But that I know ere this ye must be old
- In the conviction, and that ye full oft
- With sure posterity have shaken hands
- Over the unstable bridge of present time.
- Not so: we write from the full heart within,
- And leave posterity to find her own.
- Health, sir!—your good deeds laurel you in heaven.
- Twere best men left their fame to chance and fashion,
- As birds bequeath their eggs to the sun's hatching,
- Since Genius can make no will
- Troth, can it!
- But for the conseqnences of the deed,
- What fires of blind fatality may catch them!
- Say, you do love a woman—do adore her—
- You may embalm the memory of her worth
- And chronicle her beauty to all time,
- In words whereat great Jove himself might flush,
- And feel Olympus tremble at his thoughts;
- Yet where is your security? Some clerk
- Wanting a foolscap, or some boy a kite,
- Some housewife fuel, or some sportsman wadding
- To wrap a ball (which hits the poet's bran
- By merest accident) seizes your record,
- And to the wind thus scatters all your will,
- Or, rather, your will's object. Thus, our pride
- Swings like a planet by a single hair,
- Obedient to God's breath. More wine! more wine!
- I preach—and I grow melancholy—wine!
Enter Drawer with a tankard.
A Gentleman (rising).
We're wending homeward—gentlemen, good night!
- Not yet—not yet—the night has scarce begun—
- Nay, Master Heywood—Middleton, you'll stay!
- Bright skies to those who go—high thoughts go with ye,
- And constant youth!
We thank you, sir—good night!
Let's follow—'tis near morning.
- Do not go.
- I'm ill at ease, touching a certain matter
- I've taken to heart—don't speak of't—and besides
- I have a sort of horror of my bed.
- Last night a squadron charged me in a dream,
- With Isis and Osiris at the flanks,
- Towering and waving their colossal arms,
- While in a van a fiery chariot roll'd,
- Wherein a woman stood—I knew her well—
- Who seem'd but newly risen from the grave!
- She whirl'd a javelin at me, and methought
- I woke; when, slowly at the foot o' the bed
- The mist-like curtains parted, and upon me
- Did learned Faustus look! He shook his head
- With grave reproof, but more of sympathy,
- As though his past humanity came o'er him—
- Then went away with a low, gushing sigh,
- That startled his own death-cold breast, and seem'd
- As from a marble urn where passion's ashes
- Their sleepless vigil keep. Well—perhaps they do.
(after a pause)
- Lived he not greatly? Think what was his power!
- All knowledge at his beck—the very Devil
- His common slave. And, O, brought he not back,
- Through the thick-million'd catacombs of ages,
- Helen's unsullied loveliness to his arms?
So—let us have more wine, then!
- Spirit enough
- Springs from thee, Master Marlowe—what need more.
- Drawer! lift up thy leaden poppy-head!
- Up man!—where art? The night seems wondrous hot!
(Marlowethrows open a side window that reaches down to the floor, and stands there, looking out.)
- The air flows in upon his heated face,
- And he grows pale with looking at the stars;
- Thinking the while of many things in heaven.
- And some one on the earth—as fair to him—
- For, lo you!—is't not she?
(Pointing towards the open window.)
- The lady, folded
- In the long mantle, coming down the street?
- Let be; we cannot help him.
(HeywoodandMiddletonretire apart—Ceciliais passing by the open window.)
- Stay awhile!—
- One moment stay!
That is not much to ask.
(She steps in through the window.)
- Nor much for you to grant; but O, to me
- That moment is a circle without bounds,—
- Because I see no end to my delight!
- O, sir, you make me very sad at heart;
- Let's speak no more of this. I am on my way
- To walk beside the river.
May I come?
Ah, no; I'll go alone.
- 'Tis dark and dismal;
- Nor do I deem it safe!
- What can harm me?
- If not above, at least I am beyond
- All common dangers. No, you shall not come.
- I have some questions I would ask myself;
- And in the sullen, melancholy flow
- O' the unromantic Thames, that has been witness
- Of many tragical realities,
- Bare of adornment as its cold stone stairs,
- I may find sympathy, if not response.
- You find both here. I know thy real life;
- We do not see the truth—or, O, how little!
- Pure light sometimes through painted windows streams;
- And, when all's dark around thee, thou art fair!
- Thou bear'st within an ever-burning lamp,
- To me more sacred than a vestal's shrine;
- For she may be of heartless chastity,
- False in all else, and proud of her poor ice,
- As though 'twere fire suppress'd; but thou art good
- For goodness' sake;—true-hearted, lovable,
- For truth and honour's sake; and such a woman,
- That man who wins, the gods themselves may envy.
- Considering all things, this is bitter sweet.
And I may come? (following her).
You shall not.
I obey you.
- Ah! Kit Marlowe,—
- You think too much of me—and of yourself
- Too little!
Then I may——(advancing).
- Wilt promise
- To see me for one “good night” ere you sleep?
(She turns to look at him—then steps through the window—Exit.)
Be sure—be sure!
Now, Marlowe!—you desert us!
- Say not so;—
- Or, saying so, add—that I have lost myself!
- Nay, but I have; yonder I go in the dark!
Street Music.—Jacconot, singing outside.
- Ram out the link, boys; ho, boys!
- There's daylight in the sky!
- While the trenchers strew the floor,
- And the worn-out grey beards snore,
- Jolly throats continue dry!
- Ram out the link, boys, &c.
What voice is that?
Marlowe (through his teeth).
From one of the hells.
- The roystering singer approaches.
EnterJacconot, with a full tankard.
Ever awake and shining, my masters! and here am I, your twin lustre, always ready to herald and anoint your pleasures, like a true Master of the Revels. I ha' just stepped over the drawer's body, laid nose and heels together on the door-mat, asleep, and here's wherewith to continue the glory!
We need not your help.
We thank you, Jack-o'-night: we would be alone.
What say you, Master Marlowe? you look as grim as a sign-painter's first sketch on a tavern bill, after his ninth tankard.
Cease your death-rattle, night-hawk!
That's well said.
Is it? So 'tis my gallants—a night-bird like yourselves, am I.
Beast!—we know you.
Your merry health, Master Kit Marlowe! I'll bring a loud pair of palms to cheer your soul the next time you strut in red paint with a wooden weapon at your thigh.
Who sent for you, dorr-hawk?—go!
Go! Aha!—I remember the word—same tone, same gesture—or as like as the two profiles of a monkey, or as two squeaks for one pinch. Go!—not I—here's to all your healths! One pull more! There, I've done—take it, Master Marlowe; and pledge me as the true knight of London's rarest beauties!
(Dashes the tankard at his head.)
Jacconot (stooping quickly).
A miss, 'fore-gad!—the wall has got it! See where it trickles down like the long robe of some dainty fair one! And look you here—and there again, look you!—what make you of the picture he hath presented?
Marlowe (staggers as he stares at the wall).
- O subtle Nature! who hath so compounded
- Our senses, playing into each other's wheels,
- That feeling oft acts substitute for sight,
- As sight becomes obedient to the thought—
- How canst thou place such wonders at the mercy
- Of every wretch that crawls? I feel—I see!
- (Street Music as before, but farther off.)
- Ram out the link, boys; ho, boys!
- The blear-eyed morning's here;
- Let us wander through the streets,
- And kiss whoe'er one meets;
- St. Cecil is my dear!
- Ram out the link, boys, &c.
Lightning come up from hell and strangle thee!
- Nay, Marlowe! Marlowe!
- (they hold him back).
Away, thou bestial villain!
Jacconot (singing atMarlowe).
St. Cecil is my dear!
- Blast! blast and scatter
- Thy body to ashes! Off! I'll have his ghost!
(rushes atJacconot—they fight—Marlowedisarms him; butJacconotwrestsMarlowe'sown sword from his hand, and stabs him—Marlowefalls).
Marlowe (clasping his forehead).
- Who's down?—answer me, friends—is't I?—
- Or in the maze of some delirious trance,
- Some realm unknown, or passion newly born—
- Ne'er felt before—am I transported thus?
- My fingers paddle, too, in blood—is't mine?
O, content you, Master Marplot—it's you that's down, drunk or sober; and that's your own blood on your fingers, running from a three-inch groove in your ribs for the devil's imps to slide into you. Ugh! cry gramercy! for it's all over with your rhyming!
O, heartless mischief!
Hence, thou rabid cur!
- What demon in the air with unseen arm
- Hath turn'd my unchain'd fury against myself?
- Recoiling dragon! thy resistless force
- Scatters thy mortal master in his pride,
- To teach him, with self-knowledge, to fear thee.
- Forgetful of all corporal conditions,
- My passion hath destroy'd me!
No such matter; it was my doing. You shouldn't ha‘ran at me in that fashion with a real sword—I thought it had been one o’ your sham ones.
- See! his face changes—lift him up!
- (they raise and support him)
- Here—place your hand upon his side—here, here—
- Close over mine, and staunch the flowing wound!
- Bright is the day—the air with glory teems—
- And eagles wanton in the smile of Jove:
- Can these things be, and Marlowe live no more!
- O Heywood! Heywood! I had a world of hopes
- About that woman—now in my heart they rise
- Confused, as flames from my life's coloured map,
- That burns until with wrinkling agony
- Its ashes flatten, separate, and drift
- Through gusty darkness. Hold me fast by the arm!
- A little aid will save me:—See! she's here!
- I clasp thy form—I feel thy breath, my love—
- And know thee for a sweet saint come to save me!
- Save!—is it death I feel—it cannot be death?
Jacconot (half aside).
Marry, but it can!—or else your sword's a foolish dog that dar'n't bite his owner.
- O friends—dear friends—this is a sorry end—
- A most unworthy end! To think—O God!—
- To think that I should fall by the hand of one
- Whose office, like his nature, is all baseness,
- Gives Death ten thousand stings, and to the Grave
- A damning victory! Fame sinks with life!
- A galling—shameful—ignominious end! (sinks down).
- O mighty heart! O full and orbed heart,
- Flee to thy kindred sun, rolling on high!
- Or let the hoary and eternal sea
- Sweep me away, and swallow body and soul!
There'll be no “encore” to either, I wot; for thou'st led an ill life, Master Marlowe; and so the sweet Saint thou spok'st of will remain my fair game—behind the scenes.
- Liar! slave! sla—Kind Master Heywood,
- You will not see me die thus!—thus by the hand
- And maddening tongue of such a beast as that!
- Haste, if you love me—fetch a leech to help me—
- Here—Middleton—sweet friend—a bandage here—
- I cannot die by such a hand—I will not—
- I say I will not die by that vile hand!
- Go bring Cecilia to me—bring the leech—
- Close—close this wound—you know I did it myself—
- Bring sweet Cecilia—haste—haste—instantly—
- Bring life and time—bring heaven!—Oh, I am dying!—
- Some water—stay beside me—maddening death,
- By such a hand! O villain! from the grave
- I constantly will rise—to curse! curse! curse thee!
(Rises—and falls dead.)
O God!—he is quite gone!
‘Twas dreadful—’twas! Christ help us! and lull him to sleep in's grave. I stand up for mine own nature none the less. (Voices without.) What noise is that?
This is our man—ha! murder has been here! You are our prisoner—the gallows waits you!
What have I done to be hung up like a miracle? The hemp's not sown nor the ladder-wood grown, that shall help fools to finish me! He did it himself! He said so with his last words!—there stands his friends and brother players—put them to their Testament if he said not he did it himself?
Who is it lies here?—methinks that I should know him, But for the fierce distortion of his face!
- He who erewhile wrote with a brand of fire,
- Now, in his passionate blood, floats tow'rds the grave!
- The present time is ever ignorant—
- We lack clear vision in our self-love's maze;
- But Marlowe in the future will stand great,
- Whom this—the lowest caitiff in the world—
- A nothing, save in grossness, hath destroy'd.
“Caitiff” back again in your throat! and “gross nothing” to boot—may you have it to live upon for a month, and die mad and starving! Would'st swear my life away so lightly? Tut! who was he? I could always find the soundings of a quart tankard, or empty a pasty in half his time, and swear as rare oaths between whiles—who was he? I too ha‘writ my odes and Pindar jigs with the twinkling of a bedpost, to the sound of the harp and hurdygurdy, while Capricornus wagged his fiery beard; I ha’ sung songs to the faint moon's echoes at daybreak and danced here away and there away, like the lightning through a forest! As to your sword and dagger play, I've got the trick o' the eye and wrist—who was he? What's all his gods—his goddesses and lies?—the first a'nt worth a word; and for the two last, I was always a prince of both! “Caitiff!” and “beast!” and “nothing!”—who was he?
- You're ours, for sundry villanies committed,
- Sufficient each to bring your vice to an end;
- The law hath got you safely in its grasp!
Jacconot (after a pause).
Then may Vice and I sit crown'd in heaven, while Law and Honesty stalk damned through hell! Now do I see the thing very plain!—treachery—treachery, my masters! I know the jade that hath betrayed me—I know her. 'Slud! who cares? She was a fine woman, too—a rare person—and a good spirit; but there's an end of all now—she's turned foolish and virtuous, and a tell-tale, and I am to be turned to dust through it—long, long before my time: and these princely limbs must go make a dirt-pie—build up a mud hut—or fatten an alderman's garden! There! calf-heads—there's a lemon for your mouths! Heard'st ever such a last dying speech and confession! Write it in red ochre on a sheet of Irish, and send it to Mistress Cecily for a death-winder. I know what you've got against me—and I know you all deserve just the same yourselves—but lead on, my masters!
- O Marlowe! canst thou rise with power no more?
- Can greatness die thus?
Heywood (bending over the body).
(A shriek outside the house.)
That cry!—what may that mean?
Heywood (as if awaking).
I hear no cry.
What is't comes hither, like a gust of wind?
- Where—where? O, then, 'tis true—and he is dead!
- All's over now—there's nothing in the world—
- For he who raised my heart up from the dust,
- And show'd me noble lights in mine own soul,
- Has fled my gratitude and growing love—
- I never knew how deep it was till now!
- Through me, too!—do not curse me!—I was the cause—
- Yet do not curse me—No! no! not the cause,
- But that it happen'd so. This is the reward
- Of Marlowe's love!—why, why did I delay?
- O, gentlemen, pray for me! I have been
- Lifted in heavenly air—and suddenly
- The arm that placed me, and with strength sustain'd me,
- Is snatch'd up, starward: I can neither follow,
- Nor can I touch the gross earth any more!
- Pray for me, gentlemen!—but breathe no blessings—
- Let not a blessing sweeten your dread prayers—
- I wish no blessings—nor could bear their weight;
- For I am left, I know not where or how:
- But, pray for me—my soul is buried here.
(Sinks down upon the body.
“Cut is the branch that might have grown full straight, And burned is Apollo's laurel bough!”