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by Warburton's servant.
Of his other works, the
poem of Hero and Leander is the most celebrated. Shakspeare quotes it in "As You Like It:"
"Dead shepherd now I find thy saw of might
And alludes to it twice in the "Two Gentlemen of Verona." Ben Jonson said of it that the lines were fitter for admiration than parallel: indeed it seems to have been a general favourite, and for the richness of the imagery and the polish of the versification well deserved to be so. Chapman's part falls far short of Marlowe's in elegance and facility, but it frequently surpasses the other in vigour. Marlowe also translated the first book of Lucan, and part of the elegies of Ovid, whose indelicacies he rendered with so much fidelity that they were ordered to be burnt at Stationers' Hall, in 1599, by command of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Bishop of London. These translations will be found at the end of the third volume, together with a collection of epigrams by I. D. and C. M. ascribed by Malone and Steevens to Davies and Marlowe. The translation, from Lucan, is curious, as exhibiting one of the earliest specimens of the use (except in dramatic compositions) of English blank verse; but the versification is by no means distinguished by the same polish and facility as that of his plays. Ac
cording to Warton, who quotes Coxeter's MSS. Marlowe also translated Coluthus's Rape of Helen, and from the fragments contained in the second volume it seems probable that he was the author of other pieces which are now lost.
The only plays then, according to our opinion, written exclusively by Marlowe, are "The Massacre of Paris," "The Jew of Malta," "Edward the Second," and "Faustus." The first is a mere abortion: by the three remaining plays must his genius be estimated and on them must his reputation rest. The Jew of Malta possesses little to raise our interest, or awaken our sympathy; but yet amidst all its tumour and extravagance we cannot help perceiving the fire of genius, that "fine madness," for which Drayton commends the author. Although not embellished by much poetical imagery, this production occasionally displays the rich enchasing of Marlowe's hand. The play of Edward the Second is much superior in truth and consistency of character as well as in chasteness of composition. It contains an excellent portraiture of the turbulent nobility of a semi-barbarous age, and the catastrophe is distinguished by a truth and pathos of the most affecting kind. Faustus is a drama of an entirely different class, and in it Marlowe displays more vigour of imagination and originality of conception than in any
other of his productions. It appears to have been written after Greene's "Honorable History of Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay," which was printed in 1594. The magic of this play is entirely of a comic description, and bears no sort of resemblance to the tremendous interest of Faustus. Those parts of the latter in which the clowns are introduced are so unsuitable to the tone of the rest of the drama that we are inclined to consider them as interpolations; probably the additions which were made by W. Bride and Samuel Rowley, after the death of the author, and before the first edition was printed. The introduction of such a subordinate conjuror as the clown, considerably weakens the impression of the play, and gives a ludicrous turn to it, which is at complete variance with the solemn effect intended to be produced by the concluding scene, a scene which, notwithstanding this strange intermixture, is still eminently terrible and sublime.
Tamburlaine the Great who from a Scythian Shepheard, by his rare and wonderful conquestes became a most puissant and mightie monarch: And (for his tyrannie and terror in warre) was tearmed, The scourge of God. The first part of the two Tragicall discourses, as they were sundrie times most stately shewed upon stages in the citie of London. By the right honourable the Lord Admirall his servantes now first and newlie published, Printed by Richard Jhones', dwelling at the signe of the Rose and Crowne neere Holborne Bridge, 1590. 8vo.