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Title: Philip Massinger
Author: Cruickshank, A. H.
Language: English
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                             Philip Massinger


                            A. H. Cruickshank

            Sometime Scholar and Fellow of New College, Oxford

 Canon of Durham, and Professor of Greek and Classical Literature, in the
                           University of Durham


                      Basil Blackwell, Broad Street



Philip Massinger
Appendix I. The Small Actor In Massinger’s Plays
Appendix II
Appendix III. The Collaborated Plays
Appendix IV. On The Influence Of Shakspere
Appendix V. Warburton’s List
Appendix VI. A Metrical Peculiarity In Massinger
Appendix VII. “Believe As You List”
Appendix VIII. Collation Of Ms. Of “Believe As You List”
Appendix IX. “The Parliament Of Love”
Appendix X. The Authorship Of “The Virgin Martyr”
Appendix XI. The Authorship Of “The Fatal Dowry”
Appendix XII. The Tragedy Of “Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt”
Appendix XIII. “The Second Maiden’s Tragedy”
Appendix XIV. “The Powerful Favorite”
Appendix XV. “Double Falsehood”
Appendix XVI. Middleton’s “A Trick To Catch The Old One”
Appendix XVII
Appendix XVIII. Alliteration In Massinger
Appendix XIX
Appendix XX. Bibliography


Inscribed To
Frederic G. Kenyon
In Memory Of A Friendship
Of Forty-Four Years

                     [Frontispiece: Philip Massinger]


In confessing that the war made me write a book I do not stand alone.
Sensible as I am of its defects, I trust it will help to spread the
knowledge of Massinger’s works, and will invite others to deal on similar
lines with the other dramatists of the great age. The design widened as it
went on, and was then contracted. In the end I thought it wiser to confine
myself to digesting the knowledge which I had of Massinger’s text.

The Clarendon Press undertook to publish this book, but as, owing to
war-work, they could fix no date, I asked them to release me. There would
be no occasion to mention this fact were it not that it was owing to the
original arrangement that I received much valuable help and advice from
Mr. Percy Simpson. Many other scholars and friends have kindly aided me in
various matters, among whom I should like to mention: Mr. J. C. Bailey,
Mr. P. James Bayfield (photographer to Dulwich College), Dr. A. C.
Bradley, Mr. Robert Bridges, Mr. A. H. Bullen, Mr. A. K. Cook, Professor
W. Macneile Dixon, Mr. H. H. E. Gaster, the Dean of Gloucester, Mr. E.
Gosse, Sir W. H. Hadow, Archdeacon Hobhouse, Sir Sidney Lee, Mr. C.
Leudesdorf, Dr. Falconer Madan, Mr. A. W. Pollard, Dr. P. G. Smyly, the
Master of University College, Durham, Sir A. Ward, and Sir George F.
Warner. Last, but not least, I thank my wife for her skilful and ready
help with the proofs.

A. H. Cruickshank.


It is interesting to revise the literary judgments of youth; it is
pleasant to find them confirmed by a more mature judgment. This train of
thought has led me to read Massinger once more; and as I read, the desire
arose to treat his works, to the best of my ability, with the attention to
detail which modern scholarship requires. A great amount of valuable work
has been done in the last fifty years on the writers of the Elizabethan
and Jacobean ages; but no one, perhaps with the exception of Boyle, has
applied to Massinger the care which Shakspere, Marlowe, and Ben Jonson, to
name no others, have secured. There is no reason why any of our great
dramatists should be treated with less respect than those of Greece and
Rome, of France and Germany.

The first thing to be done was to facilitate references by numbering the
lines of Massinger’s plays;(1) the next was to investigate once more the
facts of his life, and to correlate them with the period in which he
lived; the third was to read typical plays of the period, so as to arrive
at a just estimate of our author.

His life will not detain us long. We know far less of him than we do of
Shakspere. None of his sayings have been preserved to us; hardly any
incidents of his career. His father was house-steward to two of the Earls
of Pembroke, first to Henry Herbert, then to William Herbert,(2)
Shakspere’s friend. The elder Massinger was a Fellow of Merton College,
Oxford, and for several years a Member of Parliament. Philip Massinger,
the dramatist, was born at Salisbury in 1584. In 1602 he went up to St.
Alban’s Hall, Oxford, where his father had been an undergraduate. We are
told by A. à Wood that he went at Lord Pembroke’s expense, but that he did
not work hard at the University, and took no degree.(3) In or after the
year 1606 he seems to have gone to London, and to have speedily engaged in
the work of writing plays.(4) The wide reading which his plays presuppose
probably began at Oxford.

It was the custom in those days, as in the time of Plautus at Rome,(5) for
playwrights to revise old plays; and still more was it usual for them to
collaborate.(6) We find Massinger at work in this way with Field,(7)
Daborne,(8) Dekker, Tourneur, and above all, with Fletcher. With the
latter he worked from 1613 to 1623. In that year, for some unknown reason,
he seceded from the service of the leading company of actors of the day,
who went by the name of the King’s men, and wrote unaided three plays for
the Queen’s men, _The Parliament of Love_, _The Bondman_, and _The
Renegado_. After Fletcher’s death, in 1625, Massinger rejoined the King’s
men, and wrote for them until his death in 1640.

It has been surmised from the vivid colouring of _The Virgin Martyr_(9)
and the plot of _The Renegado_,(10) where a Jesuit plays a leading part
and is portrayed in a pleasing light, that Massinger turned Roman
Catholic. The evidence for this theory is quite inadequate. Indeed, we
might as well argue from Gazet’s language that the author followed the
Anglican _via media_.(11) Plots derived from French, Spanish, and Italian
sources would naturally contain Roman Catholic machinery. We might as well
infer that Shakspere was a Roman Catholic because Silvia goes to Friar
Patrick’s cell,(12) or because Friar Laurence is prominent in _Romeo and

We know that Massinger lived a life of comparative poverty; on one
occasion we find him, with two other dramatic authors, asking for a loan
of £5.(14)

The person who thus obliged the three writers was Philip Henslowe, a dyer,
theatrical lessee, and speculator, who acted as a kind of broker between
actors and authors, buying from the one and selling to the other; we still
possess his diary, containing information as to the prices which he gave
for plays.(15) The prologue of _The Guardian_ shows us that for two years
before 1633 Massinger had been under a cloud, and had abstained from
writing. Two of his plays had failed in 1631—_The Emperor of the East_(16)
and _Believe as You List_(17)—so he appears to have put forth his full
strength in _The Guardian_.

                      [Henslow document at Dulwich.]

The dedications of Massinger’s plays which have been preserved show that
he was often dependent for support on the leaders of what he once or twice
calls “the nobility.”(18)

The connexion of the poet with the family of which his father was the
loyal and trusted servant has been exaggerated by some;(19) in the
dedication of _The Bondman_, written in 1623, to Philip, Earl of
Montgomery,(20) the poet distinctly states that though the Earl had helped
the play at its first performance by his “liberal suffrages” yet he was
personally unknown to him.(21) Amongst others to whom we find dedications
is George Harding, Baron Berkeley, to whom Webster inscribed _The Duchess
of Malfi_. It is pleasant to read in the dedication of _The Picture_ “to
my honoured and selected friends of the Noble Society of the Inner Temple”
that Massinger received “frequent bounties” from them.

The plays give us no clear evidence that Massinger ever travelled
abroad,(22) though such a passage as _The Great __ Duke of Florence_, II.,
2, 5-21, rather suggests a visit to Italy. Nor have we any ground for
supposing that he was, like Shakspere, an actor, unless indeed an obscure
reference in the Dublin poem to the Earl of Pembroke be so
interpreted.(23) In London he lived on the Bankside, Southwark. The story
of his death is told us by our gossiping old friend Anthony à Wood, in his
_Athenae Oxonienses_.(24) Massinger went to bed one night well, and was
found dead the next morning. He was buried at St. Saviour’s on March 18th,
1639/40.(25) The funeral was “accompanied by comedians,” a phrase which
seems to show that his professional friends did him honour at the last; he
is described in the monthly accounts of St. Saviour’s as “a stranger”—that
is to say, a non-parishioner. His intimate friend Sir Aston Cokaine tells
us that he shared the grave of his friend John Fletcher;(26) and in 1896 a
window in the south aisle of the nave of Southwark Cathedral was unveiled
in his honour by Sir Walter Besant.(27)

What was the atmosphere in which Massinger lived? The days of James I. and
Charles I. were less heroic than those of Elizabeth. In foreign politics
England intervened once or twice in an ineffective way, and a good deal of
sympathy was shown, much of it in a practical fashion, for the cause of
the Protestant King of Bohemia. Gardiner(28) has pointed out that Charles
I. gave permission to the Marquis of Hamilton to carry over volunteers in
aid of Gustavus Adolphus just as James I. had allowed Vere to carry over
volunteers to the Palatinate. Hamilton sailed in July, 1631, and _The Maid
of Honour_ was printed in 1632. The whole plot of this play recalls the
relations of England to the Protestant cause on the Continent. Thus,
William. Lord Craven, to whom Ford’s _Broken Heart_ is dedicated, and who
was knighted at the age of seventeen, after his “valiant adventures” in
the Netherlands under Henry, Prince of Orange, went to the assistance of
Gustavus Adolphus in 1631, when only twenty-two years old.

Wars in the Low Countries are vaguely referred to in various passages, as,
_e.g._, in _The Fatal Dowry_:(29)

    NOVALL JUN. Oh, fie upon him, how he wears his clothes!
    As if he had come this Xmas. from S. Omer’s
    To see his friends, and return’d after Twelfth-tide.

The date of the play is uncertain, but it must have been written some
considerable time before being printed in 1632.(30) In _The New Way to pay
Old Debts_ Lord Lovell “has purchas’d a fair name in the wars.”(31) In
_The Fatal Dowry_, _The Picture_, and _The Unnatural Combat_, we have the
familiar type of the brave soldier who is disregarded in time of peace,
and has come down to poverty and old clothes.

In the wider world of Europe the Turk and the Algerine pirate are still
grim realities enough to form an effective scenic background.(32) Indeed,
it was not so very long since the Battle of Lepanto. We find constant
references to galley-slaves,(33) to the slave market,(34) and to apostates
to Islam.(35) In the opening scene of _The Picture_ the soldier husband
parts from his wife on the frontier of Bohemia “not distant from the
Turkish camp above five leagues.” One of the objections urged against the
new custom of fighting duels is that thereby lives are lost which might
have done service against the Turk.(36) The age of chivalry has its faint
reflection in schemes to “redeem Christian slaves chain’d in the Turkish
servitude” by force of arms, and in the prowess of the Knights of
Malta.(37) The wealth and power of Turkey are taken for granted. When
Malefort senior vows vengeance on Montreville, he cries out:

    The Turkish Empire offer’d for his ransom
    Should not redeem his life.(38)

At home we find the vices of a prolonged peace lending opportunity for
some easy satire. On the whole, we may say that we do not learn very much
about our country from the poet which we could not find in the other
playwrights of the day. Let us rapidly put together some of his
references. There were two Englands at this time, drifting inevitably
apart, only to clash in fratricidal war under Charles I. The drama was
becoming less and less national, more and more an affair of aristocratic
patronage. Massinger does not often refer to the Puritans;(39) there is
nothing so amusing in his plays as the passage in Fletcher’s _Fair Maid of
the Inn_, where the Pedant solicits the advice of Forobosco the quack
about “erecting four new sects of religion at Amsterdam.”(40) The
fashionable love of astrology is satirized in _The City Madam_. The
England of Massinger’s plays is an England which loves expense,(41)
amusements, Greek wines,(42) masques,(43) new clothes,(44) and foreign
fashions.(45) London is a great port, with trade to the Indies and
aspirations after the “North passage.” The jealousy of the City and the
Court, the ostentations of the one and the refinement of the other, point
the moral of _The City Madam_.(46) The high-spirited ’prentices of the
City of London take the law into their own hands in days when there are no
police,(47) and their vices are satirized after the manner of Ben Jonson
in the same play. Horse-play, such as tossing in a blanket, is considered
a great joke.(48) The balladmonger so often referred to in Shakspere is
much in evidence,(49) though indeed it was an age in which everyone wrote
poetry.(50) In rural England we find the possibility of an unscrupulous
local tyrant, such as is depicted to us in Massinger’s masterpiece, Sir
Giles Overreach, aided by his jackal, Mr. Justice Greedy.(51) That our
poet had a keen eye for social evils, for the man who sells food at famine
prices, the encloser of commons, the usurer, the worker of iron, the
cheating tradesman, is clear from a passage in _The Guardian_.(52) The
beautiful description in the same play of the amusements of country life,
the hunting and the hawking, with which Durazzo seeks to console his
love-sick ward Caldoro,(53) probably takes one back to Massinger’s own
boyhood in Wiltshire. As we should expect, there is a good deal of riding
in the country scenes.(54) The characters of Sir John Frugal, the
successful merchant, and Mr. Plenty, the country gentleman,(55) show us
that the “John Bull” type of Englishman existed in those days.

The temptation to give a back-hand blow to one’s own country in the course
of a plot laid abroad is obvious and irresistible; where Shakspere had set
the example others were sure to follow,(56) and Massinger does not spare
the female sex of England. To judge by the passage in _The Renegado_,(57)
the women of his day loved expense and luxury, and were very independent
in their attitude to their husbands.(58) The humiliation of Lady Frugal
and her two daughters after their extravagant ambitions is the point of
_The City Madam_. The contrast between a uxorious husband and an imperious
wife is one of Massinger’s favourite effects.(59) Donusa’s speech in her
own defence in _The Renegado_ might have been written by a suffragette of
our own day.(60)

We do not get much direct evidence as to the characteristics of the
playwright’s audiences; Dr. Bradley has some good remarks on this
subject.(61) “Nor is it credible that an appreciation of the best things
was denied to the mob, which doubtless loved what we should despise; but
appears also to have admired what we admire, and to have tolerated more
poetry than most of us can stomach;” “the mass of the audience must have
liked excitement, the open exhibition of violent and bloody deeds, and the
intermixture of seriousness and mirth.” Dr. Bradley points out
elsewhere(62) that the Elizabethan actor probably spoke more rapidly than
our modern actors. This would make soliloquies less tedious.

To turn to the politics of the age; the rift between the dynasty and the
nation grew wider as the century advanced. Though Massinger died before
the days of the Long Parliament, we can imagine that he would have been
one of those who eventually fought under protest for the King. We find
evidence in his plays for supposing that he belonged to the Conservative
Opposition, like his patron Philip, the fourth Earl of Pembroke and
Montgomery. He was a lover of liberty, and there are one or two
indications that his plays offended the strict ideas of Charles I.’s

Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels, refused on January 11th,
1630/31, to license one of his plays(63) because “it did contain dangerous
matter, as the deposing of Sebastian King of Portugal by Philip II., and
there being a peace sworn ’twixt the Kings of England and Spain.”(64) The
same worthy records that King Charles I. himself read another of his
plays,(65) while staying at Newmarket, and wrote against one passage,
“This is too insolent, and to be changed.” The passage, which is put into
the mouth of a King of Spain, runs as follows:

    Monies! we’ll raise supplies what way we please
    And force you to subscribe to blanks, in which
    We’ll mulct you, as we think fit. The Caesars
    In Rome were wise, acknowledging no laws
    But what their swords did ratify; the wives
    And daughters of the senators bowing to
    Their will as deities.(66)

These lines clearly reflect on the autocratic methods which prevailed in
England from 1629 to 1640.

There is much in Timoleon’s speeches in the senate(67) which seems to
contain covert references to the England of the day, and notably in lines
203-213, where the unprepared state of the army and navy is referred to.

It has been thought with much probability that the Duke of Buckingham is
satirized in the slight sketch of Gisco in _The Bondman_,(68) and in the
more fully drawn character of Fulgentio in _The Maid of Honour_:(69)

    ADORNI. Pray you, sir, what is he?

    ASTUTIO. A gentleman, yet no lord. He hath some drops
    Of the king’s blood running in his reins, derived
    Some ten degrees off. His revenue lies
    In a narrow compass, the king’s ear; and yields him
    Every hour a fruitful harvest. Men may talk
    Of three crops in a year in the Fortunate Islands,
    Or profit made by wool; but, while there are suitors,
    His sheepshearing, nay, shaving to the quick
    Is in every quarter of the moon, and constant.
    In the time of trussing a point, he can undo
    Or make a man; his play or recreation
    Is to raise this up, or pull down that, and though
    He never yet took orders, makes more bishops
    In Sicily than the Pope himself.

The grumbling of the professional soldier against the royal favourite
inspires a passage in _The Duke of Milan_.(70) A similar freedom of speech
is found in _The Maid of Honour_; for instance, in the following passages:

    GASPARO.      When you know what ’tis,
    You will think otherwise; no less will do it
    Than fifty thousand crowns.

    CAMIOLA.             A pretty sum,
    The price weighed with the purchase; fifty thousand!
    To the king ’tis nothing. He that can spare more
    To his minion for a masque, cannot but ransom
    Such a brother at a million.(71)

    CAMIOLA.    With your leave, I must not kneel, sir,
    While I reply to this, but thus rise up
    In my defence, and tell you, as a man
    (Since, when you are unjust, the deity,
    Which you may challenge as a king, parts from you,)
    ’Twas never read in holy writ, or moral,
    That subjects on their loyalty, were obliged
    To love their sovereign’s vices; your grace, sir,
    To such an undeserver is no virtue.(72)

There are also passages in _The Emperor of the East_ which seem to attack
the Government of the day and its agents.(73) I will quote the chief of
these as a specimen of honest indignation:

    PULCHERIA.               How I abuse
    This precious time! Projector, I treat first
    Of you and your disciples; you roar out,
    All is the king’s, his will above his laws;
    And that fit tributes are too gentle yokes
    For his poor subjects; whispering in his ear,
    If he would have their fear, no man should dare
    To bring a salad from his country garden,
    Without the paying gabel; kill a hen,
    Without excise; and that if he desire
    To have his children or his servants wear
    Their heads upon their shoulders, you affirm
    In policy ’tis fit the owner should
    Pay for them by the poll(74); or, if the prince wants
    A present sum he may command a city
    Impossibilities, and for non-performance
    Compel it to submit to any fine
    His officers shall impose. Is this the way
    To make our emperor happy? Can the groans
    Of his subjects yield him music? Must his thoughts
    Be wash’d with widows’ and wrong’d orphans’ tears,
    Or his power grow contemptible?(75)

The Englishman’s love of liberty inspires a vigorous speech delivered by
the British slave in _The Virgin Martyr_.(76)

Further, the impatience which Englishmen felt from time to time at the
poor part played by their country in the Thirty Years’ War is reflected in
_The Maid of Honour_. Bertoldo there gets leave from the King of Sicily to
go to help the beleaguered Duke of Urbin. He is, however, disavowed by the
crafty, peace-loving king. In the debate Bertoldo describes Sicily in
language which might easily be applied to England, and then proceeds in an
eloquent passage to refer to England’s glorious naval tradition in the

    BERTOLDO.                   If examples
    May move you more than arguments, look on England,
    The empress of the European isles,
    And unto whom alone ours yields precedence:
    When did she flourish so, as when she was
    The mistress of the ocean, her navies
    Putting a girdle round about the world?
    When the Iberian quaked, her worthies named;
    And the fair flower-de-luce grew pale, set by
    The red rose and the white! Let not our armour
    Hung up, or our unrigg’d Armada make us
    Ridiculous to the late poor snakes, our neighbours,
    Warm’d in our bosoms, and to whom again
    We may be terrible.(77)

Here, at any rate, Massinger differs from Shakspere, who makes no
reference to the exploits of our sailors; indeed, it would seem that, like
Trafalgar, the defeat of the Armada had no significance for its own
generation.(78) But we must not forget that Massinger was the bosom friend
of Fletcher, in whose plays sailors occur again and again.(79)

The fact that Massinger was a Cavalier “Radical,” a free lance and
grumbler of the Opposition, may in part explain his struggles and his
poverty. His natural patrons may have looked askance at his independent
attitude, so alien to the passive obedience preached by Fletcher. But,
whatever were his politics, it is clear that he was no Puritan. Brought up
in close contact with a noble house, educated at Oxford, and well versed
in the classics,(80) as many allusions in his works testify, he shows
alike in his merits and his faults the Cavalier mind. To this extent he
may be judged “_felix opportunitate mortis_,” for of all sections of the
nation those whose hearts were with the King, and their reason with the
Opposition, had the hardest part to play after 1640.

In the department of literature the talent of the country had concentrated
itself more and more on play-writing. Among Massinger’s contemporaries we
note Jonson, Chapman, Fletcher, Beaumont, Webster, Middleton, Dekker,
Heywood, Rowley, Tourneur, Shirley—all keen and able dramatists.
Massinger, in his grasp of stagecraft, his flexible metre, his desire in
the sphere of ethics to exploit both vice and virtue, is typical of an age
which had much culture, but which, without being exactly corrupt, lacked
moral fibre.

His plays may be divided into three classes: first, those which have come
down to us under his name; secondly, those which he wrote with Fletcher or
other authors; and, thirdly, those which have disappeared. It is not easy
to draw the border-line between the first and second classes. In the last
forty years the students of English literature have devoted much attention
to verse and other tests, and there are those who profess themselves
competent to decide which parts of a composite play were written by the
various collaborators. It is clear that the use of these tests requires
caution. An author may sometimes experiment in the style of somebody else;
it has been held that Shakspere wrote _Henry VIII_ in the manner of
Fletcher, his younger rival; and Delius was of opinion that _The Two Noble
Kinsmen_ is due to two imitators, one of Shakspere and one of Fletcher.
Boyle speaks confidently as follows:(81) “Mr. Fleay used almost
exclusively versification to distinguish author from author. Nor is this
by any means so bold an undertaking as it seems. I have used other tests
apart from the versification, and have almost uniformly found the
impressions derived from the latter correct.” Our confidence in Boyle is
shaken when he attributes(82) the first two acts of _A New Way to pay Old
Debts_ to Fletcher on the evidence of the double endings. He points out
that the allusion to the taking of Breda on July 1st, 1625,(83) is just
possible, as Fletcher was buried on August 29th, 1625. This is clearly a
case where we must take other than metrical considerations into account.
Has the comedy the sparkle, the bustle, and the improbability of Fletcher?

Again, it is not too much to say that it is a waste of time to apply verse
tests to Tourneur; a great part of the _Atheist’s Tragedy_ is not poetry
at all, but prose measured off in lengths.

_The Virgin Martyr_ states on its title-page that Dekker was part author.
Similarly, _The Fatal Dowry_ was partly due to Field. Part of _A Very
Woman_(84) is held by many critics to be written by Fletcher; certainly
the style of the play is in places more tender and more racy than we
should expect from Massinger. _The Old Law_ is said to have been written
by Massinger, Middleton, and Rowley. It was a popular play, and often
revived; its first appearance was in 1599,(85) when our poet was but
fifteen years old. His share in it must therefore consist of additions or
modifications at a later date. Certainly there is little in the play which
reminds one of him; original as is its plot, and tender its pathos, both
its tragedy and comedy are in a simpler manner than his.(86)

On the other hand, Boyle arrives at some startling results when he
investigates the works of Fletcher.(87) He attributes to Massinger parts
of _Thierry and Theodoret_, _The Queen of Corinth_, _The Knight of Malta_,
_The Custom of the Country_, _The Little French Lawyer_, _The Fair Maid of
the Inn_, and of several other plays.(88)

It may appear strange that in order to estimate Massinger we should have
to read Fletcher as well; but to this the scientific study of English
brings us.(89) Boyle declares that “we ought in future to have no more
editions of Beaumont and Fletcher, but the plays of Beaumont, Fletcher,
and Massinger arranged in nine groups.”(90) The verdict of experts cannot
be disregarded in this matter; there is a real danger that Massinger’s
merits will be underrated if we do not attempt to estimate the share which
he took in writing the plays attributed to Fletcher. His friend Sir Aston
Cokaine might have done us a great service here, but, unfortunately, he
missed his opportunity. In a poem(91) relating to Shirley’s edition of
Beaumont and Fletcher’s works published in 1647,(92) he points out that
the title is inaccurate for two reasons: first, because many of the plays
were written after Beaumont’s death; secondly, because Massinger wrote
parts of some of them; it is a great pity that he did not tell us which
these plays were.

But worse still remains behind; if we are to believe Boyle, it is
practically certain that Massinger and Fletcher wrote _Henry VIII_(93) and
_The Two Noble __ Kinsmen_.(94) It must be pointed out that there are
still good critics who attribute a large part of _Henry VIII_ to
Shakspere, and a small part of _The Two Noble Kinsmen_. It would take us
too far from our subject to enter in detail on these two difficult

Then, in the third place, there are the plays that are lost. In the
eighteenth century there was a certain John Warburton, F.R.S. and F.S.A.,
Somerset herald, who collected no fewer than fifty-five genuine
unpublished dramas of the golden period, which he handed over to the care
of his cook until he could find someone to publish them. The cook
appropriated these plays leaf by leaf for coverings for her pastry, and a
certain number of Massinger’s—possibly as many as ten—perished among them.
Here are the names of some of them: _The Forced __ Lady_, a tragedy; _The
Noble Choice_, a comedy; _The Wandering Lovers_, a comedy; _Philenzo and
Hippolita_, a tragi-comedy.(95)

It may be a consolation when we grieve over this disaster(96) to reflect
that many of the fifty-five plays may not have been worth reading; eight
of them were early works of Massinger’s, and may have been immature or
even unsuccessful. There is a presumption in favour of this supposition,
for his more famous plays appeared separately in quarto, and most of them
can still be procured from dealers in that form; we must suppose that Mr.
Warburton had only what are called actors’—_i.e._, manuscript—copies. If a
play never attained the distinction of being printed there may have been
some defect which militated against its success.

Colonel Cunningham in his edition gives us the names of thirty-seven plays
in all from Massinger’s pen; if the many be added to this total in which
he joined with other writers, we have a considerable literary output for a
life of fifty-five years.

Massinger, like Shakspere, fell into disfavour after the Restoration, when
Beaumont and Fletcher carried everything before them. We learn from
Malone’s Preface(97) that _The Bondman_ was acted in 1661 and _The Virgin
Martyr_ on January 10th, 1662; _The Renegado_ on June 6th in the same
year. Pepys saw _The Virgin Martyr_, and liked it,(98) more, however, for
the music than the words. Dryden and Jeremy Collier never mention
Massinger. Selections from _The Guardian_ appeared in prose form, with
insertions from _A Very Woman_, in 1680, under the title _Love Lost in the
Dark, or the Drunken Couple_. Adorio and the other names are the same, but
the Guardian’s part disappears, and his remarks are put in Adorio’s mouth.
A servant, Calandrino, is brought in, whose name is borrowed from _The
Great Duke of Florence_, and Muggulla, a nurse, is added to be
Calandrino’s bride. The contents are worthy of the title. Monck Mason
deplores the fact that Johnson’s dictionary does not once quote Massinger
or Beaumont and Fletcher. “They are more correct,” he says, “and
grammatical than Shakspere, and appear to have had a more competent
knowledge of other languages, which gave them a more accurate idea of
their own.” There was a great reaction in the eighteenth century in favour
of Massinger. Brander Matthews points out that _The New Way_ is the only
Elizabethan or Jacobean play, except Shakspere’s, which held the stage
until the first quarter of the nineteenth century,(99) and gives a good
history of its illustrious career on the English and American stages.

The critics have differed much about Massinger. Gifford(100) and Hallam
were enthusiastic in their support; Charles Lamb and Hazlitt(101) were
against him, perhaps because they disliked his able Tory editor. The
eighteenth-century writers regarded him as the champion of female virtue;
and in our own time Sir A. Ward has defended his manly and sane morality
in unhesitating language.(102) On the other hand, Boyle deems his heroines
to be corrupt and his heroes “the victims of one devouring passion, often
in a state of incipient madness, alternately raging and melancholy.”(103)

Like Euripides, Ovid, and Juvenal, Massinger is a writer whose faults are
patent; all the more important, therefore, is it to make his merits quite
clear. We cannot convince the world if we adopt the famous line of
Goethe’s heroine:

    I cannot reason, I can only feel.(104)

I do not indeed claim to discover much that is new about Massinger, nor to
reverse the judgment of time. He is, and he remains, in the second rank of
English writers. But it would be a misfortune if undue obscurity were to
befall an author who was at once so manly and so skilful. I take up the
cudgels for him, partly because the balance of critical judgment has of
late gone too far against him; and yet in a sense he has only come into
his own in the last thirty years, by reason of the unanimity with which so
much good strong work in Fletcher’s plays is now deemed to be due to him.
He has received much praise and much blame; I should like by careful
analysis of the problem to arrive at a juster judgment. But in the main, I
must confess, I plead for Massinger because I love him.

What, then, are the chief merits of our author? They are three: his
stagecraft, his style, and his metre. And, first, his command of
stagecraft has been universally conceded.(105) This is an important point;
it is as much as to say that the plays are readable and would act
well;(106) when you begin one of them you wish to know what is going to
happen. The first act has usually a great breadth and swing; it is
admirably proportioned and dignified. The chief characters are introduced,
and the train is well laid, without stiffness or delay. Good examples of
this fact are to be found in _The Bondman_ and _The Emperor of the East_.
In _The Renegado_ the first scene at once reveals the object of the plot,
the rescue of Paulina. In _The Bondman_ Marullo enters at line 38, and our
attention is called to him by Leosthenes. As the play progresses you feel
that it is what the French call _bien charpenté_—well constructed. If, as
is often the case, there is a mystery or a secret, it is sufficiently well
kept to excite the curiosity. The author does not depend very much on
soliloquies or disguises; he does not, as a rule, complicate matters by
underplots and cross-interests. The stage is not overcrowded; you do not
feel the need of constantly referring to the list of _dramatis personae_.
A curious instance of this economy is _The Maid of Honour_, where there is
no Queen of Sicily. Minor characters when they reappear are recognized and
provided for, as, for example, Calypso in _The Guardian_ (IV., 3). The
conscientious author forgets no detail in order to round off his plot;
thus in the same play the blow struck at the beginning is apologized for
in V., 3, 250. Nor is there a reckless change of scene. Moreover, a
lifelike effect is given by the fact that speeches generally end in the
middle of a line. As so often in Euripides, the people say the sort of
things that under the circumstances you would expect them to say in real
life.(107) A comparison of Massinger with Ben Jonson will make this ease
of construction clear at once. Köppel has noted the skill with which the
narratives of Suetonius and Dion Cassius are combined in _The Roman
Actor_. It may sound obvious to add that the titles of the plays
correspond to the chief subject-matter, were it not that in so many of the
Elizabethan plays this is not the case. Take as examples Middleton’s
_Changeling_ and _Mayor of Queenborough_.

Yet it would be too much to say that all Massinger’s plays are equally
successful in this respect. The plot of _The Guardian_, for example, is
unusually intricate. Like Shakspere, he occasionally crowds too much into
the fifth act—for instance, in _The Unnatural Combat_. The device of the
apple which produces so much jealousy and trouble in _The Emperor of the
East_ is rather trivial for a tragi-comedy.(108) The promise of Cleora to
wear a scarf over her eyes until her jealous lover returns from the war is
exasperating.(109) Again, Camiola in _The Maid of Honour_ (III., 3, 200)
forgets that Bertoldo is “bound to a single life,” as she had herself
pointed out to him (I., 2, 148). Nor does Bertoldo (IV., 3, 100) in his
acceptance of her offer say anything about the necessary dispensation. On
the other hand, Massinger avoids those scenes on board ship of which
Fletcher is so fond, and which on the Jacobean stage must have been
ineffective to the spectators, and indeed, are so on any stage.(110)

Similarly, it is clear that torture on the stage can hardly be made

One of Massinger’s favourite devices is to combine subordinates. He has
learnt from _Hamlet_ the lesson of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. He has
studied the method of such scenes as _Henry V._, I., 2, 97-135; II., 2;
III., 5; III., 7. If something has to be done, two or three people express
their eagerness to do it. If someone has to be persuaded, two or three of
the characters press home the various arguments. This all works for
lucidity and ease, and presents a lifelike combination on the stage.(112)
Instances of the device abound; let us take one from _The Picture_.(113)
The great soldier Ferdinand, on his return from the wars, is received
courteously by the old Counsellor Eubulus, but the fashionable young men,
Ubaldo and Ricardo, think they can do the thing better; the passage runs

    RICARDO.                   This was pretty;
    But second me now; I cannot stoop too low
    To do your excellence that due observance
    Your fortune claims.

    EUBULUS.       He ne’er thinks on his virtues!

    RICARDO. For, being as you are, the soul of soldiers,
    And bulwark of Bellona——

    UBALDO.                    The protection
    Both of the court and king——

    RICARDO.                       And the sole minion
    Of mighty Mars——

    UBALDO.      One that with justice may
    Increase the number of the worthies——

    EUBULUS.                           Heyday!

    RICARDO. It being impossible in my arms to circle
    Such giant worth——

    UBALDO.        At distance we presume
    To kiss your honour’d gauntlet.

    EUBULUS.                   What reply now
    Can he make to this foppery?

    FERDINAND.             You have said,
    Gallants, so much and hitherto done so little,
    That till I learn to speak and you to do,
    I must take time to thank you.

    EUBULUS.                 As I live,
    Answer’d as I could wish, how the fops gape now!

    RICARDO. This was harsh and scurvy.

    UBALDO.        We will be revenged,
    When he comes to court the ladies, and laugh at him.

Another of Massinger’s effective devices is to sustain the interest of the
spectators by concealing characters and facts; thus, in _The Duke of
Milan_ we do not fathom for some time the villainy of Francisco; in _The
City Madam_ we ponder from the beginning over the obscure character of
Luke. The best instances of this expedient are to be found in _The
Unnatural Combat_ and _The Bondman_. The air of gloom which overhangs the
former tragedy is as great in its way as anything which our author has
attained; and though the play is what we may call Elizabethan rather than
for all time, yet it is in some sense the best specimen of his serious
work. The desire of Malefort is that of the father in Shelley’s _Cenci_;
and perhaps the only way to prevent the theme from being intolerable was
to veil it as long as possible, and to raise the spectators’ sympathy at
first for a man who had fought well for the State, and who to all
appearance was badly treated by his pirate son.(114) In _The Bondman_,
Marullo and Timandra, the brother and sister, are concealed till the very
end, when they reveal themselves to be Pisander and Statilia—thereby
bringing to an unexpected conclusion a plot which seemed to offer no

In _The City Madam_ the method is varied a little: here we have one of
Massinger’s greatest creations, the fawning hypocrite, Luke. Indications
of his future development are skilfully given from time to time, so that
when this alarming person at length shows himself in his true colours we
shiver without being surprised. The same idea shows itself in _The
Renegado_,(116) in the skill with which Donusa leads up to her proposal
that Vitelli should turn Mahometan; and in _The Virgin Martyr_,(117) where
Artemia prepares the way for the offer of her hand to Antoninus.

Massinger is never so happy as when he has an opportunity in his
well-proportioned scenes for displays of rhetoric, such as we find in
Euripides, where character argues against character.(118) These scenes are
often thrown into the form of a trial at law or a debate in the

The plays end well and effectively; our author excels in the tragi-comedy,
a type much affected by Fletcher. Like all his contemporaries, he felt
that the intermixture of a lighter element in a play which ended happily
was justifiable.(120) The haste which Shakspere sometimes shows in his
fifth act is, as a rule, not apparent in Massinger. For example, in _The
Virgin Martyr_, the death of the heroine occurs at the end of the fourth
act. To all appearance there is bound to be an anticlimax in the fifth
act. But there is not; on the contrary, the appearance of the heavenly
messenger, bearing the fruits of Paradise to the cruel persecutor
Theophilus, elevates the mind into a state of surprise and admiration. It
has often been pointed out that the appearance of a deity to cut the knot
at the end of a play of Euripides, which sometimes irritates the thinker
in his study, and provokes him to write essays on the bad art and theology
of the poet, is dazzlingly beautiful on the stage, and raises associations
of sublimity and awe; it may in the same way be imagined how effective
must have been the procession at the end of _The Virgin Martyr_. The stage
directions run as follows: “Enter Dorothea in a white robe, crownes upon
her head, led in by Angels, Antoninus, Caliste, and Christeta following,
all in white, but lesse glorious, the Angell with a Crowne for him”
(_i.e._, Theophilus). At the sight of the glorious vision the persecutor
dies, converted to the Christian faith, and the evil spirit, which has
prompted his cruel acts, sinks to his own place with thunder and
lightning, while Diocletian and his court look on in amazement. Similarly,
in _The Roman Actor_ there is no anticlimax; though Paris dies in the
fourth act,(121) we feel that the tragedy is incomplete until it is
rounded off by the punishment of the Emperor Domitian, which we
breathlessly await.

Secondly, Massinger has a beautiful style. This point again is conceded by
all the critics. The elegance of his dedications shows that had he wished
he could have written excellent prose.(122) One who depreciates him allows
that his style is “pure and free from violent metaphors and harsh
constructions.”(123) It has the grace and balance which one would expect
from a well-bred and educated man, owing little to ornament or epithets or
images. It serves its purpose, which is to tell a story rapidly, and to
unfold character rather than to display the author’s command of language
or subtlety of thought and expression. Seldom trivial, it is never
prosaic, and yet it is constantly on the border-line of prose. Massinger
thought in blank verse because he was a dramatist rather than because he
was a poet. Hence his enemies might say that his lines are prose in
lengths; yet that would be an unjust accusation. The poetical “colour” is
here, the ideal dignity, the atmosphere, although they obtrude themselves
less on the reader than in most poets. Like Ovid, Massinger is one whose
amazing facility carries us along like a flood—a writer who should be read
in large quantities at a time,

    “Whose easy Pegasus will amble o’er
    Some three-score miles of fancy in an hour.”(124)

It needs little argument to show that a poet of this order can easily
secure the effect of verisimilitude to life, and will owe much of his
success to that fact. Style naturally appeals differently to different
people; there are those who are captivated by the glamour of Shelley and
Swinburne, or the pomp of Jeremy Taylor; there are also those who enjoy
the severity of _Paradise Regained_, and the simplicity of Newman’s
_Sermons_. In an age like the present, when many of our poets, like our
musicians, whatever else they are, either will not or cannot be simple, it
is refreshing to turn to an author who is always lucid, and who is content
to tell a story to the best of his ability.

There are times when the style of Massinger rises into solemn eloquence,
especially when he indulges in the moralizing vein. Unlike some of his
literary contemporaries, Massinger wishes to show Virtue triumphant and
Vice beaten. Vice is never glorified in his pages, or condoned. Honest
indignation is perhaps the emotion which he handles best. The
uncontrollable anger which meanness and unworthiness provoke expresses
itself in lofty language. Forcible and plain-spoken rebukes are found,
which show that Massinger could be curt when he pleased. The plays are
full of high-spirited passages, affording admirable opportunities for a
master of elocution.

Let me give a specimen of just anger in the speech of Marullo. Marullo is
the leader of the revolt of the slaves at Syracuse, and he is addressing
their former lords and masters:

                                      Briefly thus then,
    Since I must speak for all,—your tyranny
    Drew us from our obedience. Happy those times
    When lords were styled fathers of families,
    And not imperious masters! when they number’d
    Their servants almost equal with their sons,
    Or one degree beneath them! when their labours
    Were cherish’d and rewarded, and a period
    Set to their sufferings; when they did not press
    Their duties or their wills, beyond the power
    And strength of their performance! all things order’d
    With such decorum, as wise lawmakers
    From each well-govern’d private house deriv’d
    The perfect model of a Commonwealth.
    Humanity then lodged in the hearts of men,
    And thankful masters carefully provided
    For creatures wanting reason. The noble horse
    That, in his fiery youth, from his wide nostrils
    Neigh’d courage to his rider, and brake through
    Groves of opposed pikes, bearing his lord
    Safe to triumphant victory, old or wounded,
    Was set at liberty and freed from service.
    The Athenian mules that from the quarry drew
    Marble, hew’d for the temples of the gods,
    The great work ended, were dismiss’d and fed
    At the public cost; nay, faithful dogs have found
    Their sepulchres; but man to man more cruel,
    Appoints no end to the sufferings of his slave;
    Since pride stepp’d in and riot, and o’erturned
    This goodly frame of concord, teaching masters
    To glory in the abuse of such as are
    Brought under their command; who grown unuseful,
    Are less esteem’d than beasts. This you have practis’d,
    Practis’d on us with rigour; this hath forced us
    To shake our heavy yokes off; and, if redress
    Of these just grievances be not granted us,
    We’ll right ourselves, and by strong hand defend
    What we are now possess’d of.(125)

In a lower key of manly dignity is the speech of Charalois before the
Judges in _The Fatal Dowry_. It begins thus:

                                  Thus low my duty
    Answers your lordships’ counsel. I will use,
    In the few words with which I am to trouble
    Your lordships’ ears the temper that you wish me;
    Not that I fear to speak my thoughts as loud,
    And with a liberty beyond Romont;
    But that I know, for me that am made up
    Of all that’s wretched, so to haste my end,
    Would seem to most rather a willingness
    To quit the burden of a hopeless life
    Than scorn of death or duty to the dead.(126)

As an example of a high-spirited passage, a speech may be given from _The
Bondman_. Cleora, the heroine, comes forward in a meeting of the Senate to
urge patriotic effort on her fellow-countrymen. Timoleon, the general, is
in the chair, and she addresses him first:

    CLEORA.                  If a virgin,
    Whose speech was ever yet ushered with fear;
    One knowing modesty and humble silence
    To be the choicest ornaments of our sex
    In the presence of so many reverend men,
    Struck dumb with terror and astonishment,
    Presume to clothe her thought in vocal sounds,
    Let her find pardon. First to you, great sir,
    A bashful maid’s thanks, and her zealous prayers,
    Wing’d with pure innocence, bearing them to heaven,
    For all prosperity that the gods can give
    To one whose piety must exact their care,
    Thus low I offer.

    TIMOLEON.    ’Tis a happy omen.
    Rise, blest one, and speak boldly. On my virtue
    I am thy warrant, from so clear a spring
    Sweet rivers ever flow.

    CLEORA.          Then thus to you,
    My noble father, and these lords, to whom
    I next owe duty; no respect forgotten
    To you my brother, and these bold young men
    (Such I would have them) that are, or should be,
    The city’s sword and target of defence,
    To all of you I speak; and if a blush
    Steal on my cheeks, it is shown to reprove
    Your paleness, willingly I would not say,
    Your cowardice or fear; think you all treasure
    Hid in the bowels of the earth, or shipwreck’d
    In Neptune’s wat’ry kingdom, can hold weight,
    When liberty and honour fill one scale,
    Triumphant Justice sitting on the beam?
    Or dare you but imagine that your gold is
    Too dear a salary for such as hazard
    Their blood and lives in your defence? For me,
    An ignorant girl, bear witness! heaven, so far
    I prize a soldier, that to give him pay,
    With such devotion as our flamens offer
    Their sacrifices at the holy altar,
    I do lay down these jewels, will make sale
    Of my superfluous wardrobe, to supply
    The meanest of their wants.(127)

This passage is printed in a broadside (headed “Countrymen”) relating to
the expected invasion of England by Bonaparte, to be found at the British
Museum. A short statement of the plot of _The Bondman_ is followed by a
quotation of Act I., 3, 213-368, with one or two slight omissions.
Possibly Gifford inspired its publication.

Perhaps the most eloquent passage in Massinger is the speech of Paris, the
Roman actor, before the Senate, in defence of his profession:

    ARETINUS.          Are you on the stage,
    You talk so boldly?

    PARIS.         The whole world being one,
    This place is not exempted; and I am
    So confident in the justice of our cause,
    That I would wish Cæsar, in whose great name
    All kings are comprehended, sate as judge
    To hear our plea, and then determine of us.
    If to express a man sold to his lusts,
    Wasting the treasure of his time and fortunes
    In wanton dalliance, and to what sad end
    A wretch that’s so given over does arrive at;
    Deterring careless youth by his example,
    From such licentious courses; laying open
    The snares of bawds, and the consuming arts
    Of prodigal strumpets, can deserve reproof;
    Why are not all your golden principles
    Writ down by grave philosophers to instruct us,
    To choose fair virtue for our guide, not pleasure,
    Condemn’d unto the fire?

    SURA.            There’s spirit in this.

    PARIS. Or if desire of honour was the base
    On which the building of the Roman empire
    Was raised up to this height; if, to inflame
    The noble youth with an ambitious heat
    T’endure the frosts of danger, nay, of death,
    To be thought worthy the triumphal wreath,
    By glorious undertakings, may deserve
    Reward, or favour from the commonwealth;
    Actors may put in for as large a share
    As all the sects of the philosophers;
    They with cold precepts (perhaps seldom read)
    Deliver, what an honourable thing
    The active virtue is; but does that fire
    The blood, or swell the veins with emulation,
    To be both good and great, equal to that
    Which is presented in our theatres?
    Let a good actor, in a lofty scene,
    Show great Alcides honour’d in the sweat
    Of his twelve labours; or a bold Camillus
    Forbidding Rome to be redeem’d with gold
    From the insulting Gauls; or Scipio,
    After his victories, imposing tribute
    On conquer’d Carthage; if done to the life,
    As if they saw their dangers, and their glories,
    And did partake with them in their rewards,
    All that have any spark of Roman in them,
    The slothful arts laid by, contend to be
    Like those they see presented.

    RUSTICUS.                     He has put
    The consuls to their whisper.

    PARIS.                        But, ’tis urged
    That we corrupt youth and traduce superiors.
    When do we bring a vice upon the stage,
    That does go off unpunish’d? Do we teach,
    By the success of wicked undertakings,
    Others to tread in their forbidden steps?
    We shew no arts of Lydian panderism,
    Corinthian poisons, Persian flatteries,
    But mulcted so in the conclusion, that
    Even those spectators that were so inclined,
    Go home changed men. And for traducing such
    That are above us, publishing to the world
    Their secret crimes, we are as innocent
    As such as are born dumb. When we present
    An heir, that does conspire against the life
    Of his dear parent, numbering every hour
    He lives, as tedious to him; if there be,
    Among the auditors, one whose conscience tells him
    He is of the same mould, we cannot help it.
    Or, bringing on the stage a loose adulteress,
    That does maintain the riotous expense
    Of him that feeds her greedy lust, yet suffers
    The lawful pledges of a former bed
    To starve the while for hunger; if a matron
    However great in fortune, birth, or titles,
    Guilty of such a foul, unnatural sin,
    Cry out ’tis writ for me, we cannot help it.
    Or when a covetous man’s express’d, whose wealth
    Arithmetic cannot number, and whose lordships
    A falcon in one day cannot fly over;
    Yet he so sordid in his mind, so griping,
    As not to afford himself the necessaries
    To maintain life; if a patrician
    (Though honour’d with a consulship) find himself
    Touch’d to the quick in this, we cannot help it.
    Or, when we shew a judge that is corrupt,
    And will give up his sentence, as he favours
    The person, not the cause; saving the guilty,
    If of his faction, and as oft condemning
    The innocent, out of particular spleen;
    If any in this reverend assembly,
    Nay, even yourself, my lord, that are the image
    Of absent Cæsar, feel something in your bosom
    That puts you in remembrance of things past,
    Or things intended, ’tis not in us to help it.
    I have said, my lord; and now as you find cause,
    Or censure us, or free us with applause.(128)

I will quote three more passages: one to show how lifelike in description
Massinger can be; the second, to show how he can ennoble the expression of
love; the third, to show how tender he is at his best.

The first is from _The Maid of Honour_. A soldier comes in with news for
the besieged general, who is standing on the walls of Siena, looking for
aid from his friends:

    _Enter_ a Soldier.

    FERDINAND. What news with thee?

    SOLDIER. From the turret of the fort,
    By the rising clouds of dust, through which, like lightning
    The splendour of bright arms sometimes brake through,
    I did descry some forces making towards us;
    And from the camp, as emulous of their glory,
    The general, for I know him by his horse,
    And bravely seconded, encounter’d them.
    Their greetings were too rough for friends; their swords,
    And not their tongues, exchanging courtesies.
    By this the main battalias are join’d;
    And if you please to be spectators of
    The horrid issue, I will bring you where,
    As in a theatre, you may see their fates
    In purple gore presented.(129)

The second is from _The Duke of Milan_, where Marcelia expresses her love
for her lord, Sforza, the Duke of Milan.

    MARCELIA.      My worthiest lord!
    The only object I behold with pleasure,
    My pride, my glory, in a word, my all!
    Bear witness, heaven, that I esteem myself
    In nothing worthy of the meanest praise
    You can bestow, unless it be in this,
    That in my heart, I love and honour you.
    And, but that it would smell of arrogance
    To speak my strong desire and zeal to serve you,
    I then could say, these eyes yet never saw
    The rising sun, but that my vows and prayers
    Were sent to heaven for the prosperity
    And safety of my lord, nor have I ever
    Had other study, but how to appear
    Worthy your favour; and that my embraces
    Might yield a fruitful harvest of content
    For all your noble travail, in the purchase
    Of her that’s still your servant; by these lips,
    Which pardon me that I presume to kiss——

    SFORZA. O swear, for ever swear!

    MARCELIA.          I ne’er will seek
    Delight but in your pleasure; and desire,
    When you are sated(130) with all earthly glories,
    And age and honours make you fit for heaven,
    That one grave may receive us.

The third is from _A Very Woman_; the disguised John Antonio is telling
his story at Almira’s request:

    Not far from where my father lives, a lady,
    A neighbour by, blest with as great a beauty
    As nature durst bestow without undoing,
    Dwelt, and most happily, as I thought then,
    And bless’d the house a thousand times she dwelt in.
    This beauty, in the blossom of my youth,
    When my first fire felt no adulterate incense,
    Nor I no way to flatter, but my fondness;
    In all the bravery my friends could show me,
    In all the faith my innocence could give me,
    In the best language my true tongue could tell me,
    And all the broken sighs my sick heart lend me,
    I sued and serv’d; long did I love this lady,
    Long was my travail, long my trade to win her;
    With all the duty of my soul I serv’d her.(131)

At times the poet rises to what is not far removed from inspiration; and
such lines as the following from _The Parliament of Love_ make good the
claim of English to be the imperial language of the world. King Charles
seeks to justify the honours which he, the “most Christian king,” gives to
the statue of Cupid; he then continues thus:

    CHARLES. ’Tis rather to instruct deceived mankind,
    How much pure love that has his birth in heaven,
    And scorns to be received a guest, but in
    A noble heart prepared to entertain him,
    Is by the gross misprision of weak men,
    Abused and injured. That celestial fire,
    Which hieroglyphically is described
    In this his bow, his quiver, and his torch,
    First warm’d their bloods, and after gave a name
    To the old heroic spirits; such as Orpheus,
    That drew men, differing little then from beasts,
    To civil government; or famed Alcides
    The tyrant-queller, that refused the plain
    And easy path leading to vicious pleasures,
    And ending in a precipice deep as hell,
    To scale the rugged cliffs on whose firm top
    Virtue and Honour, crown’d with wreaths of stars,
    Did sit triumphant.(132)

But there is another characteristic of Massinger’s style and that perhaps
more obvious still; it is full of courtliness and grace. A perusal of _The
City Madam_, where the subject is the absurdity of the ladies of the
Mansion House who ape the manners of the West End, suggests the question
whether Massinger was ever attached to the Court. We do not know. He must,
at any rate, have moved amongst refined and educated people. Napoléon said
that Corneille’s plays ought to be performed to an audience of ambassadors
and ministers of state;(133) in the same way, in reading Massinger, we
feel that we are moving freely in the palaces of the great. There is
comparatively little here of dialect(134) or low life; we are at once
taken up into high life with all its virtues and its faults. The kings and
courtiers behave and express themselves as we should expect them to do;
the politeness and the compliments which we hear on every side have the
merit of being entirely natural. And if there is little to remind us of
Dickens, there is still less to recall Thackeray. There is no air of
snobbishness; such is the dexterity of our author that we do not feel like
Jeames Yellowplush, that we are awkward menials watching the doings of the
titled and the great. Not only do the characters move with an inborn grace
which is free from self-analysis and self-contempt, but they take the
audience up into their company; and as the gallants of that era used
sometimes to sit upon the stage, close among the actors,(135) so in
reading Massinger we feel that we are unconsciously present at the scenes
he portrays.

This is as much as to say that the stage of those days responded to a real
and living need in the minds of the audience; there was nothing exotic or
artificial about it, as there seems to have been about our plays ever
since the Puritans turned things upside down. It will be said that this
enchanted atmosphere belongs to all the greater playwrights of the age
alike. And this is true; it is one of the secrets of their abiding charm.
Brander Matthews, in dealing with the unreality of Massinger’s atmosphere,
says that “some of Shakspere’s most delightful plays, _The Merchant of
Venice_ for one, and _Much Ado_ for another, are charming to us now only
because we are quite willing to make believe with the poet” (_op. cit._,
p. 311). And so, when Leslie Stephen asks if we are “invigorated” by the
perusal of Massinger’s plays,(136) I reply to that apostle of common sense
that I am not only charmed and delighted, but invigorated. And why?
Because I am admitted to a world of heroism and romance.

But may we not put the matter more broadly still? When we read the
Cavalier lyrics of Suckling, Herrick, and Lovelace, when we think of
Falkland, when we stand before the portraits of Vandyck, do we not feel
that modern England was in danger until lately of losing something? There
is an aroma there of chivalry which had almost faded from our ken. And yet
there is an element in our shy and dumb English nature to which this
atmosphere is congenial, however overgrown with money-making our minds had
seemed to be. Nor, as the student of history knows well, had the Puritans
in the Civil War the monopoly of religion and duty. Indeed, the Civil War
was a true tragedy, because both sides had right, both fought and bled for
what they believed to be the truth. To-day, in spite of our many domestic
discords, no party spirit discounts the gallant deeds of which we have
read daily, and of which of necessity only a fraction has been publicly
rewarded. Perhaps the flame of romance will breathe once more in our
midst, now the War is over, purified by suffering, and quickened by the
memory of those serene yet manly spirits whom we have lost on the
battlefield, whose departure in the dayspring of life seems, as it were,
to have extinguished so many stars in the vault of heaven. They put aside
the calls of culture and pleasure, and the natural ambition to do
something in the world before they were abolished by death. They have
willingly given for their country all that they had; they have given
themselves. If we remember their devotion with gratitude it may purify us
from the commonplace, the vulgar, and the selfish. They, at any rate, can
address the power of evil, which for the moment seemed to triumph, in the
words of Dorothea:

    What is this life to me? Not worth, a thought:
    Or, if it be esteem’d, ’tis that I lose it
    To win a better; even thy malice serves
    To me but as a ladder to mount up
    To such a height of happiness, where I shall
    Look down with scorn on thee and on the world;
    Where, circled with true pleasures, placed above
    The reach of death or time, ’twill be my glory
    To think at what an easy price I bought it.
    There’s a perpetual spring, perpetual youth;
    No joint-benumbing cold, or scorching heat,
    Famine, nor age, have any being there.
    Forget for shame your Tempe; bury in
    Oblivion your feign’d Hesperian orchards;
    The golden fruit, kept by the watchful dragon,
    Which did require a Hercules to get it,
    Compared with what grows in all plenty there,
    Deserves not to be named. The Power I serve
    Laughs at your happy Araby, or the
    Elysian shades; for He hath made His bowers
    Better in deed than you can fancy yours.(137)

As an instance of Massinger’s courtliness I will quote a short passage
from _The Great Duke of Florence_: Contarino has come from the court of
the Duke to fetch his nephew Giovanni, who has been brought up by a tutor,
Charomonte by name, in the country. As the prince comes in, Charomonte
addresses Contarino:

    CHAROMONTE. Make your approaches boldly; you will find
    A courteous entertainment. (CONTARINO _kneels_.)

    GIOVANNI.      Pray you, forbear
    My hand, good signior; ’tis a ceremony
    Not due to me. ’Tis fit we should embrace
    With mutual arms.

    CONTARINO.   It is a favour, sir,
    I grieve to be denied.

    GIOVANNI.        You shall o’ercome;
    But ’tis your pleasure, not my pride, that grants it.
    Nay, pray you, guardian and good sir, put on;
    How ill it shews to have that reverend head
    Uncover’d to a boy!

    CHAROMONTE.        Your excellence
    Must give me liberty, to observe the distance
    And duty that I owe you.(138)

Take another instance, from _The Duke of Milan_:

    SFORZA.          Excuse me, good Pescara.
    Ere long I will wait on you.

    PESCARA.           You speak, sir,
    The language I should use.(139)

And this, from The Bashful Lover:

    FARNESE.                Madam, I am bold
    To trench so far upon your privacy
    As to desire my friend (let not that wrong him,
    For he’s a worthy one) may have the honour
    To kiss your hand.

    MATILDA.           His own worth challenges
    A greater favour.

    FARN.             Your acknowledgment
    Confirms it, madam.(140)

I have used the word “lucid” of Massinger’s style; perhaps a more
appropriate word would be dexterous; not that he is obscure like Chapman,
or like Shakspere in his later manner, far less turgid, but he is not
afraid of somewhat long sentences. What he is really afraid of, unlike
Fletcher, is a full-stop at the end of the verse. There are two devices
which the reader will notice, often in combination; in the first place,
Massinger is very fond of the “absolute” construction, and loves to
multiply parentheses. The following passages from _A New Way_ will serve
as illustrations:

    FURNACE. She keeps her chamber, dines with a panada,
    Or water gruel, my sweat never thought on.(141)

    WOMAN. And the first command she gave, after she rose,
    Was, her devotions done, to give her notice
    When you approach’d here.(142)

Or again, from _The Emperor of the East_:

    Astraea once more lives upon the earth,
    Pulcheria’s breast her temple.(143)

Or from _The Bondman_:

                      And, to those that stay,
    A competence of land freely allotted
    To each man’s proper use, no lord acknowledged.(144)

We find the “absolute” construction occasionally in Shakspere, as in _The
Merchant of Venice_:

    So are those crisped snaky golden locks
    Which make such wanton gambols with the wind,
    Upon supposed fairness, often known
    To be the dowry of a second head,
    The skull that bred them in the sepulchre.(145)

Or in _Hamlet_:

    Folded the writ up in form of the other,
    Subscribed it, gav’t th’ impression, placed it safely,
    The changeling never known.(146)

A passage from _The Fatal Dowry_ will show an elaborate use of

                  What though my father
    Writ man before he was so, and confirm’d it,
    By numbering that day no part of his life
    In which he did not service to his country;
    Was he to be free therefore from the laws
    And ceremonious form in your decrees?
    Or else because he did as much as man,
    In those three memorable overthrows,
    At Granson, Morat, Nancy, where his master,
    The warlike Charalois, with whose misfortunes
    I bear his name, lost treasure, men, and life,
    To be excused from payment of those sums
    Which (his own patrimony spent) his zeal
    To serve his country forced him to take up!(147)

Compare also these lines from _The Guardian_:

                    And if you shew not
    An appetite, and a strong one, I’ll not say
    To eat it, but devour it, without grace too,
    For it will not stay a preface, I am shamed,
    And all my past provocatives will be jeer’d at.(148)

From _The Picture_:

    HONORIA. That you please, sir,
    With such assurances of love and favour,
    To grace your handmaid, but in being yours, sir,
    A matchless queen, and one that knows herself so,
    Binds me in retribution to deserve
    The grace conferr’d upon me.(149)

From _A Very Woman_:

    PAULO. This friend was plighted to a beauteous woman,
    (Nature proud of her workmanship) mutual love
    Possessed them both, her heart in his heart lodged
    And his in hers.(150)

From _The Bashful Lover_:

    ALONZO.   By me, his nephew,
    He does salute you fairly, and entreats
    (A word not suitable to his power and greatness)
    You would consent to tender that, which he
    Unwillingly must force, if contradicted.(151)

From _The Parliament of Love_:

                  What coy she, then,
    Though great in birth, not to be parallel’d
    For nature’s liberal bounties, (both set off
    With fortune’s trappings, wealth); but, with delight,
    Gladly acknowledged such a man her servant?(152)

It has been pointed out by Zielinski that “the perfection of language in
regard to the formation of periods depends upon the presence and
prevalence of abbreviated by-sentences,”(153) by which expression he
describes “absolute” constructions.

Secondly, he delights in an expedient which the poems of Robert Browning
have made familiar to this generation, the frequent omission of the
relative pronoun.(154) And so his sentences meander with a seemingly
negligent grace to an unexpected conclusion. It is clear that such a style
both requires and repays a careful study of the rhetorical art.

I give as an instance of this combination the words of Paulinus in _The
Emperor of the East_. He is talking of the Emperor’s sister and Prime
Minister Pulcheria:

                                  She indeed is
    A perfect phœnix, and disdains a rival.
    Her infant years, as you know, promised much,
    But grown to ripeness she transcends, and makes
    Credulity her debtor. I will tell you
    In my blunt way, to entertain the time
    Until you have the happiness to see her,
    How in your absence she hath borne herself,
    And with all possible brevity; though the subject
    Is such a spacious field, as would require
    An abstract of the purest eloquence
    (Deriv’d from the most famous orators
    The nurse of learning, Athens, shew’d the world)
    In that man that should undertake to be
    Her true historian.(155)

The style of Massinger is not only lucid and dexterous; it is strong,
partly because of its ease, and more mature and modern than that of many
of his contemporaries. Milton’s prose would have gained much in directness
if he had studied Massinger. This strength does not show itself so much in
isolated fine lines, for, as we have already seen, epigram was foreign to
his nature, though from time to time we get such lines, as, for example,
in _The Duke of Milan_:

        One smile of hers would make a savage tame;
    One accent of that tongue would calm the seas,
    _Though all the winds at once strove there for empire_.(156)

Or, again, in the same play:

        How coldly you receive it! I expected
    The mere relation of so great a blessing,
    _Borne proudly on the wings of sweet revenge_,
    Would have call’d on a sacrifice of thanks.(157)

Or, again, in _A New Way_:

    OVERREACH. The garments of her widowhood laid by,
    _She now appears as glorious as the spring_.(158)

Or in _The Roman Actor_:

      Could I imp feathers to the wings of time,
    Or with as little ease command the sun
    _To scourge his coursers up heaven’s eastern hill_.(159)

We may remark in passing that Massinger’s best single lines are usually

It has been remarked by Mr. Swinburne, whose discerning judgment of the
Jacobean dramatists has lavished just praise on Massinger’s art and style,
that in the second act of _Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt_, “the student
will say, ‘This tune goes manly,’ ” and it is remarkable that our poet had
formed in 1619 the style which marked him to the end of his life.(160)

An instance of this simple strength may be given from _The City Madam_,
where Luke debates whether he shall agree to the proposition of the
pretended Indians:

    LUKE. Give me leave—(_walks aside_)
    I would not lose this purchase. A grave matron!
    And two pure virgins! Umph, I think my sister,
    Though proud, was ever honest, and my nieces
    Untainted yet. Why should not they be shipp’d
    For this employment? They are burthensome to me,
    _And eat too much_.(161)

When rudeness is necessary it is uttered with some vigour, as in _The
Fatal Dowry_, where this is what Romont gets for his well-meant pains:

    ROCHFORT.      Sir, if you please
    To bear yourself as fits a gentleman,
    The house is at your service; but if not,
    Though you seek company elsewhere, your absence
    Will not be much lamented.(162)

The rejected lover in such a scene as the following has no illusions left

    MUSTAPHA.       All happiness—

    DONUSA.            Be sudden.
    ’Twas saucy rudeness in you, sir, to press
    On my retirements; but ridiculous folly
    To waste the time that might be better spent,
    In complimental wishes.

    CORISCA.   There’s a cooling
    For his hot encounter! (_aside_)

    DONUSA.    Come you here to stare?
    If you have lost your tongue and use of speech,
    Resign your government; there’s a mute’s place void
    In my uncle’s court, I hear; and you may want me
    To write for your preferment.(163)

Two minor features of Massinger’s style may be mentioned here:

1. The catalogue line, so familiar to the student of Lucretius—_e.g._:

    _Believe as You List_, I., 2, 85. The sapphire, ruby, jacinth,
    amber, coral.

          _Believe as You List_     II, 2, 312. All circumstances,
    Answers, despatches, doubts, and difficulties.

    _Picture_, V., I, 59. The comfortable names of breakfasts,
    Collations, supper, beverage.

    _Emperor of East_, 2 Prol., 8. With his best of fancy, judgment,
    language, art.

    I., 2, 194. To his merchant, mercer, draper,
    His linen-man, and tailor.

    V., 2, 88. As sacred, glorious, high, invincible.

    _City Madam_, II., 1, 72. Tissue, gold, silver, velvets, satins,

    IV., 3, 69. Entreaties, curses, prayers, or imprecations.

    _Unnatural Combat_, II., 1, 128. All respect,
    Love, fear, and reverence cast

    _Great Duke of Florence_, II., 1, 7. We of necessity must be
    chaste, wise, fair.

2. A more marked feature is the repetition of words or short phrases in
various parts of the line.(164) The following instances may be given from
(_a_) _The Great Duke of Florence_:

    I., 1, 154. It is the duke!
    The duke.

    I., 2, 41. Our duchess; such a duchess.

    I., 2, 95. See, signiors, see our care.

    I., 2, 131. Take up, take up.

    II., 1, 71. Fie! fie! the princess.

    III., 1, 102. Tells
    His son, this is the prince, the hopeful prince.

    (_b_) _The City Madam_:

    II., 1, 58.  I blush for you,
                 Blush at your poverty of spirit.

    III., 1, 11. I am starv’d,
                 Starv’d in my pleasures.

    V., 1, 12.   Far, far above your hopes.

    V., 1, 81.   The height
                 Of honour, principal honour.

    V., 2, 67.   A manor pawn’d,
                 Pawn’d, my good lord.

And, thirdly, the versification of Massinger is musical and melodious.
Boyle says that Milton’s blank verse owes much to the study of it. “In the
indefinable touches which make up the music of a verse, in the artistic
distribution of pauses, and in the unerring choice and grouping of just
those words which strike the ear as the perfection of harmony, there are,
if we leave Cyril Tourneur’s _Atheist’s Tragedy_ out of the question, only
two masters in the drama, Shakspere in his latest period and
Massinger.”(165) Coleridge says that it is “an excellent metre, a better
model for dramatists in general to imitate than Shakspere’s. Read
Massinger aright, and measure by time, not syllables, and no lines can be
more legitimate, none in which the substitution of equipollent feet, and
the modifications by emphasis, are managed with such exquisite
judgment.”(166) Be it noted that this praise comes from a master of his
art, for no one who has once appreciated Coleridge’s command of
vowel-syzygy and the velvet-like texture of his blank verse can refuse him
that title.

Massinger’s blank verse is equal to all the emotions which the author can
express and kindle. It never fails him, nor, on the other hand, does it
obtrude itself unduly on the sense conveyed. Only after reading a
considerable passage of our poet do we understand how much the
versification contributes to his lifelike and dignified atmosphere.

Moreover, the metre of Massinger is admirably suited to his style. There
seems a hidden but real harmony between them. Some might call his metre at
times slipshod and undignified, from the fact that, except in elevated
passages, the characters speak in rhythmical sentences which approximate
to prose. Boyle, who declares that “Marlowe and Massinger are the two
extremes of the metrical movement in the dramatists,”(167) has pointed out
that “Massinger’s blank verse shows a larger proportion of run-on lines
and double endings in harmonious union than any of his
contemporaries.(168) Cartwright and Tourneur have more run-on lines, but
not so many double endings. Fletcher has more double endings, but very few
run-on lines. Shakspere and Beaumont alone exhibit a somewhat similar
metrical style.”(169) This is interesting, because we shall see later on
that Massinger was a devoted admirer and imitator of Shakspere in thought,
device, and expression. It is not strange, therefore, that he should also
copy his metre, or rather, develop his own on the same lines. To show how
flexible and dexterous the metre of Massinger is, I will give two
instances from _The Bashful Lover_. In the first Uberti encourages Gonzaga
to persevere with the contest:

    UBERTI. Sir, these tears
    Do well become a father, and my eyes
    Would keep you company as a forlorn lover,
    But that the burning fire of my revenge
    Dries up those drops of sorrow. We, once more,
    Our broken forces rallied up, and with
    Full numbers strengthen’d, stand prepared t’ endure
    A second trial; nor let it dismay us
    That we are once again t’ affront the fury
    Of a victorious army; their abuse
    Of conquest hath disarm’d them, and call’d down
    The Powers above to aid us. I have read
    Some piece of story, yet ne’er found but that
    The general, that gave way to cruelty,
    The profanation of things sacred, rapes
    Of virgins, butchery of infants, and
    The massacre in cold blood of reverend age,
    Against the discipline and law of arms,
    Did feel the hand of heaven lie heavy on him
    When most secure.(170)

In the second Gonzaga refuses the hand of his daughter Matilda to Lorenzo:

    GONZAGA. Two main reasons
    (Seconding those you have already heard)
    Give us encouragement; the duty that
    I owe my mother country, and the love
    Descending to my daughter. For the first,
    Should I betray her liberty, I deserv’d
    To have my name with infamy razed from
    The catalogue of good princes; and I should
    Unnaturally forget I am a father,
    If, like a Tartar, or for fear or profit,
    I should consign her, as a bondwoman,
    To be disposed of at another’s pleasure;
    Her own consent or favour never sued for,
    And mine by force exacted. No, Alonzo,
    She is my only child, my heir; and if
    A father’s eyes deceive me not, the hand
    Of prodigal nature hath given so much to her,
    As, in the former ages, kings would rise up
    In her defence and make her cause their quarrel;
    Nor can she, if that any spark remain
    To kindle a desire to be possess’d
    Of such a beauty, in our time, want swords
    To guard it safe from violence.(171)

Anyone who compares the metre of Massinger with that of Fletcher will find
that our author observes far stricter laws than his friend. The plays of
Massinger abound in lines divided between two speakers, or even three,
which, nevertheless, observe the strict rule of the metre.(172)

The way in which Massinger’s style and metre suit one another can best be
illustrated by a passage or two from _The Parliament of Love_; the first
is where Bellisant speaks about the decay of chivalry.

    BELLISANT.                    Ere they durst
    Presume to offer service to a lady,
    In person they perform’d some gallant acts
    The fame of which prepar’d them gracious hearing,
    Ere they made their approaches; what coy she, then,(173)
    Though great in birth, not to be parallel’d
    For nature’s liberal beauties (both set off
    With fortune’s trappings, wealth); but with delight,
    Gladly acknowledg’d such a man her servant,
    To whose heroic courage and deep wisdom,
    The flourishing commonwealth, and thankful king,
    Confess’d themselves for debtors? Whereas, now,
    If you have travelled Italy, and brought home
    Some remnants of the language, and can set
    Your faces in some strange and ne’er-seen posture,
    Dance a la volta, and be rude and saucy,
    Protest and swear and damn (for these are acts
    That most think grace them), and then view yourselves
    In the deceiving mirror of self-love,
    You do conclude there hardly is a woman
    That can be worthy of you.(174)

The second is a speech of Leonora exposing Cleremond’s baseness:

          I, burning then with a most virtuous anger,
    Razed from my heart the memory of his name,
    Railed and spit at him; and knew ’twas justice
    That I should take those deities he scorn’d,
    Hymen and Cupid, into my protection,
    And be the instrument of their revenge;
    And so I cast him off, scorn’d his submission,
    His poor and childish winnings, will’d my servants
    To shut my gates against him; but, when neither
    Disdain, hate, or contempt could free me from
    His loathsome importunities, and fired too
    To wreak mine injur’d honour, I took gladly
    Advantage of his execrable oaths,
    To undergo what penance I enjoin’d him;
    Then, to the terror of all future ribalds,
    That make no difference between love and lust,
    Imposed this task upon him. I have said, too;
    Now, when you please, a censure.(175)

The critics may differ in their estimate of Massinger’s style and metre;
but it is simple truth to say that they are unique in our literature, in
their correctness, dignity, ease, and classical frugality.

Let us now turn to the poet’s faults. It is said that his range of thought
is limited, and this may be at once conceded. It might also be said that
Greek tragedy is limited, and the statement is true of all our Elizabethan
playwrights; yet we return to them again and again, for they have
something to give us which we cannot do without. It is idle to depreciate
one period of our literature at the expense of another. Are not the old
madrigal writers limited, and Farrant and Byrd, Orlando Gibbons and Blow?
and yet we enjoy them; nay, to take even Purcell himself, when we confess
that the pleasure he gives us is due to the fact that he is more daring,
less shackled than his generation, “so modern” as we say, are we not in
the end forced to confess that he too is unmistakably limited, “bewrayed”
by his quaint and stately rhythms to be one of the seventeenth century?

Our age has a wider and subtler range of psychology; to revert from “The
Georgian Poets” of 1911 to Massinger is like going back from the films of
a cinema palace to a tondo of Luca Signorelli. Both films and tondo have
their uses. We may take a single illustration of this point from _The
Brothers Karamazov_. The great Russian novelist, among other problems,
deals in that book with the case of the young man who is in love with two
women at once. That is the sort of complicated interest which we do not
expect our Elizabethan writers to cope with, in as great detail as a
modern writer uses. The problem occurs in _The Bondman_, where the
heroine, Cleora, is distracted between her plighted love to Leosthenes and
her warm sense of obligation to Marullo;(176) it is interesting and
instructive to see how simply the whole thing is touched upon, and how
soon the doubt is solved by the discovery of Leosthenes’ former intrigue
with Statilia. May we not say, with Aristophanes, in comparing Massinger
and Dostoevsky:

    Τὸν μὲν γὰρ ἡγοῦμαι σοφόν, τῷ δ ἥδομαι.(177)

Then it is said that Massinger’s work is not free from coarseness. The
answer to this accusation may be made in more ways than one. I might with
confidence reply to such critics: If you wish for real vulgarity of
diction, read Marston; if you wish for real vulgarity of mind, read
Middleton; if you wish for poisoned morals, read Ford and Tourneur; and
then revise your judgment of Massinger. It is notorious that all the stage
writers of the Elizabethan age are tarred with the same brush; there is
much in Shakspere himself that we wish he had not written; still more is
this true of Ben Jonson. In _The Virgin Martyr_, where we have the odious
servants, Hircius and Spungius, it is generally believed that the parts of
the play in which they appear are due to Dekker, not to Massinger, whose
other works present nothing so disgusting. There are, at any rate, no
lapses of taste in Massinger like those which we find in Fletcher; nothing
like the fate of Rutilio in _The Custom of the Country_, or of Merione in
_The Queen of Corinth_, or of the Father in _The Captain_. It must be
confessed that Massinger’s conception of love is apt to be earthly,
physical, sensuous; there is but little in his plays about the marriage of
true minds,(178) too much about “Hymen’s taper” and “virgin forts.”
Captivated by the charms of female beauty, his intellect is too concrete
in its ideals to rise above mere morality to the mysteries of the diviner
love. So far it must be allowed that his art interests and stimulates the
passions of his audience without elevating them. But if at times we feel a
monotonous limitation in his outlook in these matters, if we miss the
healthy breezes of bracing commonsense and cheerful self-restraint, we are
never pained by the triumph of what is low, corrupt, or morbid.

When it is said that his women are impure it is necessary to enter a clear
protest.(179) There are offensive and heartless women in Massinger, such
as Domitia in _The Roman Actor_, and Beaumelle in _The Fatal Dowry_;(180)
there are odious old women, like Borachia and Corisca. There are pert and
vulgar ladies’ maids; but you have only to read _The Bondman_, _The
Bashful Lover_, _A Very Woman_, _The Maid of Honour_, _The Great Duke of
Florence_, _The Emperor of the East_, _The Picture_, to see that his world
includes some charming female characters—not, indeed, so lovely as those
of Shakspere, but still, types which show that he had not lost his faith
in human nature, as, when we read Fielding, we feel regretfully almost
obliged to allow, in spite of Sophia Western and Amelia, is the case with
our great novelist.

It is true that there are ladies in Massinger’s plays who offer their
hands in marriage to the men they love, and very charmingly the thing is
done, though there is nothing equal to the scene between the Duchess and
Antonio in Webster’s masterpiece; as, for example, Artemia in _The Virgin
Martyr_, the Duchess of Urbin in _The Great Duke_, Calista in _The
Guardian_.(181) This feature is not confined to Massinger among the
writers of his age; to mention no other instances, what about Arethusa in
_Philaster_, Bianca in _The Fair Maid of the Inn_, Beliza and the Queen in
_The Queen of Corinth_,(182) Frank in _The Captain_, Clara in _Love’s
Cure_ (IV., 2), Martia in _The Double Marriage_ (II., 3), Lamira in _The
Honest Man’s Fortune_ (V., 3), Erota in _The Laws of Candy_? Or, what
about Desdemona in _Othello_,(183) or Olivia in _Twelfth Night_?(184) What
about the plot of _All’s Well that Ends Well_? To the vulgar mind all
things are vulgar. _Honi soit qui mal y pense._(185) It may certainly be
conceded that in some of Massinger’s plays, as, for instance, _The
Unnatural Combat_ and _Believe as You List_, the feminine interest is
comparatively slight. Brander Matthews tells us that Massinger’s women
“are all painted from the outside only”;(186) “they are not convincing;
they lack essential womanliness.” This may be due to the fault which the
same critic points out in our author, that “he is heavy-handed and
coarse-fibred ethically as well as æsthetically.” One may reply that if
the theatre be the mirror of life Massinger had an undoubted right to
bring bad women on the stage; there are good and noble women also among
his characters, and if they are not “convincing,” perhaps we may quote
Coleridge’s remark about Shakspere, that “he saw it was the perfection of
women to be characterless.” However far our author may fall short of his
great model in grace, charm, and delicacy, he at any rate deserves credit
for having imagined female characters who are full of passions and made of
“flesh and blood.”(187)

Massinger resembles other dramatists of his age; at times we feel that
they talk like the little boys on the links in Stevenson’s
_Lantern-Bearers_. But Massinger is a robuster mind than Fletcher, for
example; if he brings vice upon the stage, and if he speaks too freely
about things which we prefer not to have mentioned, if “like Hogarth, he
enjoys his own portrayal of degrading vice and its appalling
consequences,”(188) we must, to do him justice, take his work as a whole.
Indeed, most of the critics have singled out as one of his special claims
to praise his sturdy morality,(189) and the general effect on any fair
mind of a perusal of his plays is a conviction that he loved virtue.
Vitelli(190) may make the best of both worlds, but he converts Donusa, and
faces death and torture with fortitude. Goodness emerges from Massinger’s
plays, sometimes compromised for the moment, but always triumphant in the
end. There is considerable outspokenness, but not much lubricity, and no
perverted morality. Passages which offend can nearly always, as in
Shakspere, be omitted without damaging the course of the plot. Moreover,
as has often been pointed out, the works of Massinger are almost wholly
free from blasphemy and profanity, and attacks on the clergy, such as
moved the wrath of Jeremy Collier in later times.

It may be a fanciful suggestion, but it is possible that the drama of that
day suffered from the fact that boys took the female parts.(191) No one
would deny the artistic loss thereby involved, but there was a moral loss
as well. It made it possible for things to be said that would not have
been said by men to women, still less by women to men. It unconsciously
invested the love-scenes with an air of unreality and grossness. It
prevented the relation of the sexes from being depicted with that union of
passion and purity which, though difficult, is possible.

It has been said that Massinger is hard and metallic, and devoid of
pathos. This charge, again, is largely true. You will not find in him
scenes which clutch the heart like those of _Dr. Faustus_, or _The Duchess
of Malfi_, or _The Broken Heart_, or _The Maid’s Tragedy_, or _The Wife
for a Month_; you will not find the sublimity of Ordella’s self-sacrifice
in _Thierry and Theodoret_, or the chivalry of _A Fair Quarrel_; still
less will you find anything so appalling as the end of _King Lear_, or
_Othello_, or _Romeo and Juliet_. There is plenty of passion in Massinger;
like the legendary lion, he lashes with his tail, and you can almost see
him in the act; but his rhetoric does not entirely carry you away. Let me
recall the fine passage which was quoted just now from _The Roman
Actor_.(192) I hope everyone will allow its eloquence; but the repetition
of the commonplace phrase, “we cannot help it,”(193) natural and forcible
as it is, falls short of the ideal grandeur at which the passage aims. We
feel that Fletcher could have made a finer thing of the prison-scene in
The _Emperor of the East_.

It is significant that the most tender passage in Massinger,(194) where
Leonora bids Almira take consolation, has been assigned by some to
Fletcher. In other words, Massinger is not in the front rank of genius,
but no one would claim for him such a place.

Again, one might urge that his plays are not stores of worldly wisdom,
like Shakspere’s; his aphorisms are not deep; they do not bite.(195)
Consequently he does not lend himself to quotation. Yet this does not of
necessity detract from his greatness. No one would question the excellence
of the _Waverley Novels_, but Leslie Stephen has pointed out that we only
make one quotation from Scott’s novels.(196) Aristotle has told us that
“excessive brilliance of diction obscures characters and sentiments.”(197)
There are few passages of high poetical emotion in Massinger; there is
little magic in the rhythm of individual lines. Like most of his
contemporaries he shows at times a strange insensibility to smooth rhythm
in the heroic couplet. He has an anapæstic lilt in various parts of the
line, inherited from Shakspere, and found in Milton’s early poems, which
is not ineffective in its way, and which seems to have aimed at varying
the monotony of the ten-syllable line.(198) He has not much power of
rhyme,(199) nor are his plays studded with such lyrics as Shakspere and
Fletcher could write upon occasion.(200)

Again, the comic element in Massinger is at times dull, forced, and
ordinary; it does not take us very far to label a foolish Florentine
gentleman with the name of “Sylli”;(201) the hungry soldier is rather a
time-worn type,(202) nor can Greedy compare with Lazarillo. Though the
situations are humorous, we do not split with laughter over Massinger, as
we do in reading Aristophanes, or Shakspere, or Molière.(203) We do not
find in him the mercurial lightness of _A Trick to Catch the Old One_, or
the invincible absurdity of “The Roarers” in _The Fair Quarrel_. But it is
necessary to remember that the comic business is of the kind which gains
by acting, or indeed requires it, and to allow that towards the end of his
life Massinger came forward as a grave and powerful satirist of
contemporary men, reminding us of Ben Jonson, but, to my mind, excelling
him; for he shows less asperity with greater lucidity and ease.(204) He is
not unduly morose or bitter, yet he wins conviction with an admirable
sanity and sobriety. The plays will repay good acting, and, after all,
plays are meant to be acted; it is significant that the last of
Massinger’s plays to hold the stage was his comedy, _The New Way to pay
Old Debts_, and it is very much to be wished that it should be revived in

Some critics have accused Massinger of redundancy in style, a
characteristic which clearly will strike different people in different
ways. Thus, Hallam regards this feature as on the whole meritorious,
giving “fulness, or what the painters would call impasto, to his style,
and if it might not always conduce to effect on the stage, suitable on the
whole to the character of his composition.” Mr. Bullen,(206) after an
eloquent tribute to “Massinger’s admirable ease and dignity,” and to “his
rare command of an excellent work-a-day dramatic style, clear, vigorous,
and free from conceit and affectation,” proceeds to allow that “he is apt
to grow didactic and tax the reader’s patience; and there is often a want
of coherence in his sentences, which amble down the page in a series of
loosely linked clauses.” I do not myself feel that this charge comes to
very much.

The real fault of Massinger lies in an imperfect presentation of
character. This point has been felt by many writers, and put in various
ways. Coleridge bluntly says: “Massinger’s characters have no
character.”(207) Brander Matthews puts it in another way when he observes
that “the plots are not the result of the characters, but the work of the
playwright,”(208) a criticism we may remark in passing eminently
applicable to Fletcher. It has been said that the characters are
conventional, like those in the Italian or Spanish sources from which they
are derived; the violent tyrant and the arrogant queen are the most
familiar of these types. I do not think this statement arrives at the root
of the matter. Characters may be conventional and yet interesting and
lifelike. A great many of the personages in Massinger’s plays, important
and unimportant alike, act reasonably; he takes great pains to
discriminate them, and the effect is successful and consistent. Let us
recall the great characters in Massinger; they are Paris, Luke, Sir Giles
Overreach, Durazzo, Marullo, Malefort, Charalois, Antiochus, Camiola,
Dorothea, Donusa, Almira. In the second rank we may put Timoleon, Romont,
Bertoldo, John Antonio, Mathias, Wellborn, Athenais, Marcelia, Sophia,
Cleora. Of these persons, the two that I think most men would like to have
known best are Paris and Camiola. Notice, by the way, that there is seldom
more than one great character in a play. Now, in _Henry VIII_ there are
three, the King, Catherine, and Wolsey. The question arises whether
Massinger, even with Fletcher’s help, could have worked on this scale. If
Massinger wrote _Henry VIII_ it is certainly, with all its faults, his
most remarkable achievement.

The point which I wish to emphasize is that there are many characters in
Massinger drawn with care and ability. Think, for example, of the skilful
contrast between Pulcheria and Athenais in _The Emperor of the East_,
showing how easy it is for two good women to quarrel. Further, it is clear
that the attempt to produce composite and developing characters is
praiseworthy, even if it be not always successful, because it is more true
to life than Ben Jonson’s brilliant but illusory delineation of “humours.”
Human beings are too complex to be labelled in this slapdash way, however
amusing it may be on the stage.

And yet we must allow that a certain number of the more important
characters act outrageously; the explanation being that the faults which
Massinger loves to portray and censure are such as show themselves in
outrageous ways—such as anger, pride, impotence in the Latin sense,
uxoriousness, and above all jealousy.(209) Take the case of Theophilus in
_The Virgin Martyr_, who kills his daughters because they have been
reconverted to Christianity; or of Domitian in _The Roman Actor_, who goes
through life killing people as he would kill flies. It is not enough to
say that there are such people in the world; the point is, that in
Massinger they shock us without appalling us. Sforza behaves to Marcelia
much as Othello behaves to Desdemona; we feel at once a difference of
power in the two plays.(210) Massinger has many villains, but Shakspere
manages better with Richard III and Iago. Think again of the uxoriousness
of Ladislas, Theodosius, Domitian, which some have held to be a covert
satire on Charles I. We despise these weak and servile husbands.

Now, is there anything we can urge in Massinger’s justification? I think
there is. We read his plays nowadays, we do not see them acted. We are
therefore apt to forget how impressive and vigorous good acting is. The
display of passion on the stage with gesture, attitude, frown, and scorn,
would render more tolerable some of these scenes which offend us in the
study by their crudeness. Such a part, for instance, as Leosthenes in _The
Bondman_, the jealous and yet guilty lover, has great opportunities for
the actor. It might even be urged that Massinger wrote thus because he
knew the capabilities of the actors who were going to perform his plays.

The same consideration applies to a feature in Massinger which will strike
every reader. He sets himself at times to represent growth, or, at any
rate, change, of character. Even Shakspere seldom tries to do this,(211)
and it was too hard a task for his pupil. His most ambitious venture in
this direction is in _The Picture_. In that play Mathias has a magic
portrait, which shows him whether his wife is faithful to him or not in
his absence; and the alternations of the mind in husband and wife alike
are drawn with considerable power. Luke in _The City Madam_ is perhaps the
most skilfully drawn example of a development of character. The hypocrite
is quite carried away by the riches to which he unexpectedly
succeeds.(212) Another successful conversion is that of Theophilus at the
end of _The Virgin Martyr_. It is due partly to his eating the heavenly
fruit, for which he had asked Dorothea at her death, partly to the effect
which the grace and beauty of Angelo produce on his mind. The gradual
growth of his new belief, in spite of all that Harpax can do, is managed
with much skill, and it is in itself true to nature that the man who had
been violent in one direction should ultimately be violent in another.
Moreover, we are bound to remember that when people are soon persuaded,
the play gets on. Indeed, I think we have in this consideration the clue
to the whole matter; “the Stage Poet” had a practical mind.

Change of mood and vacillation of purpose, under the stress of temptation,
or due to the conflict of contrary impulses, are features of some of
Massinger’s best scenes. The wavering of the love-sick Caldoro while
Durazzo is abusing him is very true to life.(213) The skill with which the
“melancholy” Vitelli’s changes of mood are depicted in _The Renegado_(214)
suggests the theory that Massinger is drawing his own portrait. The
alternation of pride and humility in Honoria in _The Picture_(215) is
forcibly shown. The just anger of Sophia at the end of the same play
yields skilfully to a combined intercession.

As a rule, however, the changes are too rapid. Thus, in _The Maid of
Honour_, Aurelia, when she hears that Camiola has ransomed Bertoldo and
bound him with a promise to marry her, suddenly changes her mind; she has
been on the point of marrying the faithless soldier, but, as she says:

                                    On the sudden
    I feel all fires of love quench’d in the water
    Of my compassion.(216)

Though the change is natural, it is inartistically effected; it comes too
suddenly. Think, however, what an opportunity this would be for a great
actress. If we were in the audience, we should see the gradual development
reflected in her expression and bearing long before she utters the words
which embody her thought.

Other instances of the same thing are to be found in Donusa’s conversion
to Christianity in _The Renegado_,(217) in the change of faith effected in
Calista and Christeta by Dorothea’s story of the King of Egypt and Osiris’
image,(218) and in the indecision of Lorenzo about matrimony in _The
Bashful Lover_.(219)

Change of mind is an ungrateful and inartistic experience. It has landed
many honest politicians in bitter and undeserved reproaches. From
Aristotle’s time onwards Euripides has been blamed for his Iphigenia at
Aulis, who first feared to die, and then offered herself for her
country.(220) We certainly feel that in Massinger there are occasionally
instances of cheap repentance which do not seem real. Take the case of
Corisca in _The Bondman_; a bad woman repents, but though convinced we are
not pleased at the spectacle.(221) If Massinger had ever read the
_Poetics_ of Aristotle, he forgot or ignored the precept that a character
should be ὁμαλόν, or “consistent.”(222) If this is not the case there is a
danger that the effect will be μιαρόν, or “odious,” to use a word of which
Aristotle is fond. I think, then, that this charge is proven. Massinger
saw how effective on the stage a sudden change of character might be, but
lacked the necessary art to make it convincing. Hence some of his
characters are not even ὁμαλῶς ἀνώμαλοι.(223) Perhaps the explanation is
this, that, being a master of language, he overvalued the persuasiveness
of rhetoric.(224) It is not enough to portray the varying emotions which
sway the mind at a particular moment; to produce a satisfactory whole they
have to be fused together. The reader should not feel that the characters
are at the mercy of the situations in which they are placed, or they will
appear to be lay-figures or puppets, rather than live flesh and blood.

Yet even here a defence of some sort can be set up for our poet. I will
endeavour to make my meaning clear by an analogy from music. It may have
occurred to someone to ask what the music of Mozart would have been like
if he had lived after Beethoven. Would it have been more serious and
sublime than it is? The question is worth asking, even if the only answer
to it be this, that without Mozart Beethoven would never have existed. I
think it is fair to argue that Massinger, in his constant effort after the
representation of change of character, was before his time; he was seeking
after a complex but possible effect, which the novelist can undertake but
which the limitations of the stage render almost impossible.(225)

Is it fanciful to say that if he had lived in the eighteenth century, if
he had had before his eyes the work of Fielding, Richardson, and Smollett,
he would have been a good novelist, less cynical than Fielding, more
concise than Richardson, more ideal than Smollett? There are authors like
Euripides and Virgil whose very failures by a strange paradox seem part of
their greatness; and we may perhaps say that Massinger, by pointing the
way somewhat tentatively and blindly to subtle psychological studies, has
helped to build up the noble fabric of the English novel.

Let us now turn to some miscellaneous points of interest in Massinger; and
first, let us note his imitation of Shakspere. It is tempting to suppose
that as he was at one time a dependent of a family which was intimate with
Shakspere he may have come across the man himself;(226) it is, at any
rate, simpler to remember that as he was thirty-two years of age when
Shakspere died, he can hardly have failed to meet him in his professional
relations. But we have no evidence of the fact. All we can say is that his
plays, like those of Fletcher, Webster, Tourneur, and others,(227) show a
constant study of Shakspere.(228)

First let me give a few examples of the imitation of incidents. In _The
Roman Actor_,(229) Paris refers to a tragedy “in which a murder was acted
to the life,” which forced a guilty hearer to make discovery of his
secret; this recalls the play scene in Hamlet.(230) In _A Very Woman_(231)
Almira makes Antonio tell her his history. The hint of this is taken from
_Othello_.(232) In _The Fatal Dowry_(233) Beaumelle and her maid arrange
to be overheard, like Hero and Ursula in _Much Ado about Nothing_.(234)
The device by which Beaupré recovers her husband in _The Parliament of
Love_ is imitated from _All’s Well that Ends Well_ and _Measure for
Measure_. The banditti in _The Guardian_(235) respect the poor like the
outlaws in _The Two Gentlemen of Verona_.(236) The forest scenes in the
same play recall _As You Like It_ and _Midsummer-Night’s Dream_.(237) In
_The Bashful Lover_(238) the pretty tale of a sister which Ascanio tells
is a reminiscence of _Twelfth Night_.(239) The incident in the same play
of Hortensio with Ascanio in his arms(240) is modelled on _As You Like
It_.(241) Malefort’s behaviour to the tailor(242) is imitated from
Petruchio’s in _The Taming of the Shrew_.(243) The gibberish of the
pretended Indians in _The City Madam_(244) reminds us of Parolles’
adventure in _All’s Well_.(245) The scene in _The Emperor of the
East_(246) where Eudocia professes to have eaten the apple is modelled on
_Othello_(247), where Desdemona asserts that the handkerchief is not lost.
In _The Bondman_(248) Zanthia overhears Corisca’s confession of love in
her sleep, as Iago does Cassio’s.(249) In _A New Way to pay Old
Debts_(250) Sir Giles Overreach, is carried off for treatment to a dark
room like Malvolio in _Twelfth Night_.(251) Almira in _A Very Woman_(252)
reminds us of the sleep-walking scene in _Macbeth_. The ghosts in _The
Unnatural Combat_(253) and _The Roman Actor_(254) are used like those in
the finale of _Richard III_.

Parallels in thought and diction are also numerous. Take _The Roman

    ARETINUS. Are you on the stage,
    You talk so boldly?

    PARIS. The whole world being one,
    This place is not exempted.

This goes back to Jaques in _As You Like It_.(256) In _The Maid of
Honour_(257) Jacomo talks of “trailing the puissant pike;” the phrase of
Pistol in _Henry V_.(258) In _The Emperor of the East_(259) Athenais makes
use of the phrase “prophetic soul,” which we remember in _Hamlet_.(260)
Leosthenes uses the same phrase in _The Bondman_(261) when the mutinous
slave Cimbrio boasts of the excesses of his friends. The pun which Hircius
makes on the cobbler’s awl(262) occurs in the first scene of _Julius
Cæsar_. The madness of the English slave in _A Very Woman_(263) comes from
the grave-diggers’ scene in _Hamlet_.(264) The “many-headed monster,
multitude” of Theodosius in _The Emperor of the East_(265) takes us back
to Coriolanus’ “beast with many heads”;(266) while the reference in the
same play(267) to the “stomach” reminds us of the fable of Menenius.(268)
In _The Bashful Lover_(269) Uberti discourses thus:

    I look on your dimensions, and find not
    Mine own of lesser size; the blood that fills
    My veins, as hot as yours, my sword as sharp,
    My nerves of equal strength, my heart as good.

This reminds us of Shylock in _The Merchant of Venice_(270) and the King
in _Henry V_.(271) Clarindore’s language in _The Parliament of Love_(272)
is modelled on Malvolio in _Twelfth Night_.(273) The same is true of Sir
Giles Overreach in _A New Way_.(274) Shakspere’s dislike of spaniels
reappears in the same play.(275)

No doubt we must make deductions for the common idioms of the day,(276)
but the cumulative evidence of these parallels with the elder dramatist is

Massinger is very fond of introducing doctors in his plays; so no doubt
are the other dramatists of this period. It is interesting to compare
Paulo in _A Very Woman_ with Corax in _The Lover’s Melancholy_ of Ford,
who deals successfully with two cases of mental derangement. Ford is more
subtle, Massinger more dignified. Thus we find in _The Virgin Martyr_(278)
a consultation about Antoninus’ health. Sapritius, the afflicted father,
hails the doctors thus:

    O you that are half gods, lengthen that life
    Their deities lend us; turn o’er all the volumes
    Of your mysterious Æsculapian science
    T’ increase the number of this young man’s days.(279)

Compare with this another passage in _The Duke of Milan_:

    SFORZA.        O you earthly gods,
    You second natures, that from your great master,
    Who join’d the limbs of torn Hippolytus,
    And drew upon himself the Thunderer’s envy,
    Are taught those hidden secrets that restore
    To life death-wounded men!(280)

In _A Very Woman_(281) Paulo, on entering with two surgeons, is thus

    DUKE. My hand! You rather
    Deserve my knee, and it shall bend as to
    A second father, if your saving aids
    Restore my son.

    VICEROY. Rise, thou bright star of knowledge,
    Thou honour of thy art, thou help of nature.
    Thou glory of our academies!

The old saying, “Ubi tres medici ibi duo athei,” referred to by Sir T.
Browne in _Religio Medici_ is recalled to us by these lines:

    VICEROY. Observe his piety; I have heard, how true
    I know not, most physicians, as they grow
    Greater in skill, grow less in their religion;
    Attributing so much to natural causes,
    That they have little faith in that they cannot
    Deliver reason for; this doctor steers
    Another course.(282)

We find them again in _The Emperor of the East_,(283) where a surgeon is
contrasted with an empiric who vends his wares and talks much Latin, like
the quack in Ben Jonson’s _Alchemist_, while Paulinus complains of the
many medical impostors who prey upon the rich. The crisis of _The Duke of
Milan_(284) owes much to the action of doctors. The plot of _A Very Woman_
hinges largely on the skill of the doctor Paulo, to whom we have referred
above. In this play we have two victims of melancholy, Almira and
Cardenes; the former is cured by falling in love with the disguised John
Antonio; the latter is Paulo’s patient. The recovery of the avaricious
father in _The Roman Actor_(285) is due to Paris acting in the part of a
doctor. The physician Dinant in _The Parliament of Love_ gives the
gallants a good lesson (IV., 5). And in _The Picture_(286) we find an
elaborate simile, in which soldiers are said to be the surgeons of the
State. In the same play Hilario,(287) when on starvation fare, is accosted
by a surgeon, who invites him to sell himself for “a living anatomy to be
set up in the surgeons’ hall.” Such passages,(288) and the zest with which
Massinger refers to potatoes, eringos, and the like,(289) together with
the rather wearisome allusions which he makes to “caudles” and
“cullises,”(290) lead us to wonder whether at one time of his life he may
have seriously studied medicine. There is a significant passage in _The
Parliament of Love_,(291) where Chamont says to the doctor Dinant,

    Good master doctor, when your leisure serves,
    Visit my house; when we least need their art,
    Physicians look most lovely.

And close intercourse with doctors may have suggested the lines
immediately below:

    NOVALL. The knave is jealous.

    PERIGOT. ’Tis a disease few doctors cure themselves of.

At the same time, let us not forget the passages where he shows a
knowledge of the law;(292) nor the fact that books have been written to
prove that Shakspere must have had a training in this or that
profession.(293) The really interesting point about the doctors in
Massinger is that they are so often praised as the healers of the mind;
the dramatist who delights in drawing gloomy, passionate characters seems
to have a high opinion for the profession which undertook to cure
“melancholy.”(294) In _A Very Woman_ he takes care to praise and reward
the doctor more highly than the surgeons. On the other hand, like most of
his contemporaries, he naturally makes the physician a part of the
machinery rather than an individual character. Even the doctor in _A Fair
Quarrel_, who takes an unusually large part in the plot, can hardly be
said to be more than a carefully drawn lay figure. The same remark applies
to the friars of Shakspere.

The chief question about Massinger which interests the student of English
is the authorship of _Henry VIII_. Did he take part in writing that play
with Fletcher? There is a great mass of literature on this subject. As one
who has read the undoubted plays of Massinger many times, I am bound to
say that while there is much in the play which reminds one of Shakspere
and Fletcher, I find little trace of Massinger’s style. I do not deny that
there are one or two slight reminiscences; thus the word “file”(295) is a
favourite one with Massinger. We find blushing in the play once or
twice,(296) but then we find it elsewhere in Shakspere. Anne’s remark to
the old lady, “Come, you are pleasant,”(297) is in Massinger’s manner, but
he may have taken the turn from Shakspere. The strict metre of such a line
as this is like Massinger;(298) the same remark applies again:

    SURREY. Has the King this?

    SUFFOLK.            Believe it.

    SURREY.                    Will this work?

The fourth scene of the second act is a great law-court Scene, and
Massinger has several such, in which he may be copying Shakspere. The
combination of courtiers in dialogue which we get in various parts of
_Henry VIII_ is like Massinger;(299) but, to my mind, the scenes are more
clumsy than their parallels in Massinger. Sudden changes of mind are found
in _Henry VIII_;(300) and this is probably the strongest bit of evidence
in favour of Massinger’s authorship. The characters are not harmoniously
rounded off: Buckingham’s prayers for the King(301) do not please us; the
King’s scruples of conscience are not convincing;(302) Wolsey’s
meekness(303) and piety(304) do not ring true, though they anticipate the
picture of his last year which we get in Cavendish’s Life—but all these
blemishes may be due to hasty work or dual authorship. Failure in
representing vacillation and complexity of character is, as we have seen
above, a note of Massinger, but the failures of this kind in _Henry VIII_
are marked by a sentimentality which reminds us of Fletcher.

Let us see now what there is in the play unlike Massinger. To begin with,
there are many passages in Shakspere’s difficult later style,(305) and
there is a complete absence of Massinger’s sinuous sentences and frequent
parentheses, as also of his peculiar vocabulary; there are many flights of
high and tender poetry which are beyond his compass; there are brilliant
γνῶμαι, such as—

    GRIFFITH. Noble madam,
    Men’s evil manners live in brass, their virtues
    We write in water,(306)


    CHANCELLOR. But we are all men,
    In our own natures frail, and capable
    Of our flesh; few are angels,(307)

which are quite out of his range of power.

Again, there is a curious series of links in the play, by which characters
who are to come on later are introduced; it seems to be an attempt to give
unity to a disconnected work. Thus, the King’s belief in Cranmer is early
indicated;(308) Cromwell’s future success is foreshadowed by Wolsey;(309)
Gardiner’s dislike of Cranmer is brought before us.(310) This is a method
of which I can recall no instance in Massinger’s undoubted plays.

In spite of his roughness and ferocity, Henry is more of a man than any of
Massinger’s tyrants; there is no parallel in Massinger to Anne Boleyn,
slight as her portrait is; while Katherine and Wolsey are alike far
superior to anything of his. Lastly, the pageantry and processions of the
play do not appear in Massinger’s simple designs.

The authors of _Henry VIII_ were essaying an impossible task. They were
trying to construct an historical play out of materials which were too
various to make artistic unity feasible, and they had to make an
unattractive character the centre of the piece. Consequently, they decided
to end the play at the christening of Elizabeth, and to cover their
retreat with gorgeous rhetoric about the Virgin Queen(311) and her Stuart
successor. It would have been quite impossible to introduce the death of
Anne Boleyn, or any further incident of the reign, without harrowing the
feelings of the spectator and losing all sense of proportion. But they do
make a desperate effort to centre our attention on the King as a
commanding figure; he comes before us as “the first gentleman in Europe,”
and as the anxious lover of his people; he is represented as torn by
conflicting emotions about the divorce, and as badly treated by Rome; all
we can say is, these facts are true, however unskilfully the play brings
them before us. Whatever the King does, we are meant to like him. His
victims all conspire to invoke the blessings of Heaven on his head;
Buckingham,(312) Wolsey,(313) Katherine,(314) all agree in this, reminding
us of John Stubbs the Puritan, who, when his right hand was cut off for
writing a book against Elizabeth’s proposed marriage, put off his hat with
his left, and said with a loud voice, “God save the Queen.” The
christening scene in Act V. is skilfully constructed so as to concentrate
our interest on Henry; we feel that he is a royal and heroic figure, whose
faults may in the last resort be palliated by the consideration that he is
the father of Elizabeth.

I agree with the critics who regard the play as a failure from the
artistic point of view; it lacks unity, and it moves awkwardly. It might
even be called a spectacular experiment. But I rate it higher than they
seem to do; its faults are largely due to the subject; it has much of
Shakspere in it, as for example, the conscientious way in which the
historical details are introduced.(315) It is full of superb and moving
passages, and it uses the eleven-syllable line with skill and tenderness.
If some of its defects remind us faintly of Massinger, its excellences are
altogether beyond his abilities. Doubtless, it is natural to wish that
each play of Shakspere should excel its predecessor, and to be unwilling
to confess that he ended his career with something that was not supremely
excellent. In the same way we may be sorry that one of Mozart’s last
works, _Titus_, was a failure. But it is better to take things as we find
them than to seek to twist them into something else on inadequate grounds.

Boyle’s attribution of _Henry VIII_ to Fletcher and Massinger(316) was
coldly received by the New Shakspere Society.(317) Let us look at his
arguments. I trust that condensation will do them no injustice.

1. There is a change in the conception of the character of Buckingham.
Such changes constantly occur in the plays which Fletcher and Massinger
wrote together, notably in the character of Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt.
Therefore Massinger wrote part of _Henry VIII_. This line of argument,
even if valid, would only prove collaboration by Fletcher with someone

2. The Shakspere play _All is True_ may have perished in the “Globe” fire
of 1613. _Henry VIII_ was written to take its place, but not produced
before 1616. The evidence quoted for the date 1616-17 is very weak, and
does nothing to prove Massinger’s co-operation.

3. If it be urged that the reputed authors of the play were alive in 1623,
when it was published as Shakspere’s work in the Folio, Boyle
replies,(318) “that, with the exception perhaps of Ben Jonson, it would
never have occurred to a dramatist of that age to claim as his property
what was published under another’s name.” This is a bold statement. Can an
instance of such indifference be quoted? Or are we merely bidden to
remember that Massinger was poor?

4. Boyle then works through the scenes which he ascribes to Massinger.

I., 1.—The opening is like _The Emperor of the East_, III., 1. “An
untimely ague” corresponds to “a sudden fever.” The resemblance of the
scenes is undoubted, and the parallel phrases are remarkable. Note,
however, that the writer says the same thing twice (lines 4 and 13), while
lines 9-12 are not like Massinger.

I., 4.—Lines 1-18, and 60 to the end. I find no trace of Massinger’s style
in these passages. He never wrote lines 75-6:

    The fairest hand I ever touch’d! O beauty,
    Till now I never knew thee!

or such a phrase as “let the music knock it” _ad finem_.

II., 1.—Lines 1-54, and 136 to the end. I find no trace of Massinger’s
style in these passages. Boyle has to allow that Fletcher altered several
lines in 1-54; this is precarious and subjective reasoning.

II., 3.—Lines 1-11 are in the parenthetic manner, but quite unlike
Massinger’s. “Soft cheveril conscience” in line 31, and “you’d venture an
emballing” in line 47, are instances of the strong vocabulary which marks
the play.(319) Picturesque phrases of this kind are not characteristic of
Massinger’s style.

Nor did Massinger ever sink so low as line 64:

    A thousand pound a year, annual support.(320)

II., 4.—No doubt Massinger loves a forensic scene, but this one leads to
nothing and leaves the mind in confusion. Now, Massinger was too good an
artist to do that. The things the people say in this scene must have
passed through their minds in real life, but they are combined in such a
way as to be true to history rather than to dramatic propriety. The author
aims at telling what happened, and what happened does not always make a
good play. It might even be urged from what we know of Massinger that he
was too good a “stage-poet” to undertake an English historical play with
its necessary limitations.

III., 2, 1-203.—The scene, like so much else in the play, lacks the
refinement and courtliness which Massinger always has at his command. It
may be noted that the bluff, coarse atmosphere of the “Shaksperian” scenes
is very suitable to the central figure of the play.(321) Henry VIII
infects his surroundings with himself, and this might be quoted as an
indication of Shaksperian skill.

IV., 1.—The prosaic details of this scene are unlike anything in

V., 1.—The point of this scene is to concentrate our attention on
Elizabeth’s birth. The scene “sprawls” sadly, to use Boyle’s description
of Fletcher’s method. First we have Gardiner and Lovell, then Henry and
Suffolk, then Henry and Cranmer, then Henry and the old lady. Massinger
constructed better than this.

V., 3, 1-113.—Such a speech as Cranmer makes (lines 58-69) is too short
for Massinger’s ample method, and its terse, broken style is singularly
unlike his.

5. The few parallels of diction which Boyle brings forward are either from
plays which are not certainly by Massinger, or may be explained as due to
reminiscence or common phraseology.

6. Boyle has much of value to say in his criticisms of the characters. But
again and again he seems to forget that the author is hampered by the
story. He could not treat Henry VIII as Schiller treated Mary Stuart; to
idealize the events would have been an act of _lèse-majesté_.

It is true that Anne Boleyn is not a creation of the same order as
Shakspere’s later heroines—Imogen, Miranda, Marina, Perdita. Though
beautiful and charming, she is shallow and commonplace. Is not this,
however, the Anne Boleyn of real life?

“Katherine is inferior to Hermione in _The Winter’s Tale_.” But why should
not her portrait be drawn on different lines? Is she not a proud Spanish
princess? She is certainly one of the great figures of English Tragedy.

Wolsey is meant to be great but is really vulgar, while “his utter
collapse after disgrace is unnatural.” The reply is that Wolsey is a mixed
character, and none the worse dramatically for that; very able, very
unscrupulous in his use of the courtier’s tricks, very fond of power; but
not wholly bad. His repentance is true at once to human nature and to

“The king is unintelligible.” The fact is, it was impossible to make a
hero of Henry VIII; it does not, therefore, follow that Massinger helped
to write the play! Boyle is correct when he says that it is with Henry as
it is with Wolsey: “we receive our impressions of the characters from the
opinions formed of them by others.” In other words, the characterization
of the play is faulty. Some critics have supposed that this fact is due to
loss of mental power by Shakspere; it is simpler to hold the collaboration
with Fletcher as responsible for the jolts and jars which the play gives
the reader. If anyone still holds that Shakspere wrote the whole play, he
might plausibly take the line that Shakspere was experimenting in the new
style and metre of his popular young rival Fletcher. If, however,
Shakspere in his retreat at Stratford, in days when posts were infrequent
and locomotion slow, forwarded scenes and suggestions for Fletcher to work
up at his own sweet will, something like what we have would be the result.
Fletcher was evidently on his mettle on this occasion. I cannot prove that
Fletcher did not invite Massinger to help him in such an enterprise, and I
know how fond Massinger was of studying Shakspere. The latter argument,
however, cuts both ways. Again, Massinger may have had an earlier
Shaksperian style, very unlike his mature style; but this is pure
hypothesis. The evidence which we have does not justify us in saying more
than this, that he knew the play of _Henry VIII_ well.(323)

It would take me too far from my purpose to discuss the authorship of _The
Two Noble Kinsmen_ in detail, interesting as the problem is, but as many
critics have assigned the “un-Fletcherian” parts of the play to Massinger,
I have, as in duty bound, read the play carefully several times. There is
very little trace of his style, or method, or metre. The only passage
which reads to me like Massinger is assigned by Boyle to Fletcher.(324)
Mr. Dugdale Sykes, in an acute article,(325) has produced some parallels
between Massinger and _The Two Noble Kinsmen_; but though one or two of
them are striking, they do not prove his case when they are looked at in
connexion with the context.

Take, for example:

    3RD QUEEN. He that will all the treasure know o’ th’ earth
    Must know the centre too.(326)

Mr. Sykes compares these lines in _The Parliament of Love_:

    CLEREMOND. And I should gild my misery with false comforts,
    If I compared it with an Indian slave’s,
    That with incessant labour to search out
    Some unknown mine, dives almost to the centre.(327)

On this passage I make two remarks: first, such similarity of thought as
is found here may be due to imitation or unconscious reminiscence of _The
Two Noble Kinsmen_. A man who constantly repeats himself is surely the
sort of person who would delight to borrow thoughts and phrases from other
writers, and to imitate whole scenes and incidents. Are we to suppose that
Massinger confined his studies to Shakspere?

Secondly, let us judge the passage as a whole; it runs thus:

    He that will all the treasure know o’ th’ earth
    Must know the centre too; he that will fish
    For my least minnow, let him lead his line
    To catch one at my heart.

Anything more unlike Massinger than this fishing for minnows cannot be

Take again the parallel,(328) “which alone should be conclusive of
Massinger’s authorship”:

    PIRITHOUS. Though I know
    His ocean needs not my poor drops, yet they
    Must yield their tribute there. My precious maid,
    Those best affections, that the heavens infuse
    In their best temper’d pieces, keep enthroned
    In your dear heart.(329)

In _Believe as You List_ we have:

                                  Though I know
    The ocean of your apprehensions needs not
    The rivulet of my poor cautions, yet,
    Bold from my long experience, I presume, etc.(330)

Though the similarity of thought and expression in the first three lines
is manifest, the archaic simplicity of the first passage differs greatly
from the mature flow of the second.

What is Mr. Sykes’ theory? “If we admit Massinger’s collaboration in this
play, at the very outset of his literary career, before his style was
definitely formed, and when the influence of the foremost dramatist of the
age was strongest upon him, the apparently ‘Shaksperian’ quality of its
verse can readily be explained.” On this proposition I make two remarks;
first, that as we have none of Massinger’s early works, I cannot prove
that he never wrote in the style of _The Two Noble Kinsmen_; I can only
assert with absolute certainty that none of his extant works has the least
resemblance to it. Secondly, as to the supposed “Shaksperian” colour of
the play, this is a point on which one’s judgment varies each time one
reads it. There is a great deal in the “un-Fletcherian” parts which
reminds one of Shakspere; some of it is so like his later style that it is
not surprising to find that many great critics have assigned it to him;
many other passages, however, seem just not to ring true; they are obscure
because they have little meaning. For let not the fact be disguised, in
spite of one great lyric, several splendid scenes, and some fine speeches,
there is much poor stuff in _The Two Noble Kinsmen_.

The simplest explanation of the double ascription in the quarto of 1634 is
to suppose that Shakspere helped Fletcher in some way. He may even have
written the un-Fletcherian parts,(331) though, personally, I find traces
of Fletcher in them also; he may have left material which Fletcher worked
up; he may have merely suggested the construction of the plot, a
department in which Fletcher is weak.

If, however, the “Shaksperian” parts be deemed unworthy of Shakspere, why
assign them to Massinger, whose work they do not resemble? Could no one
else have imitated Shakspere except Massinger? Why should not Fletcher
himself for once have caught the Shaksperian manner? Why should he not
have confided the execution of a part to someone else who was soaked in
Shakspere’s style? Why should not Beaumont have helped him here as
elsewhere,(332) or possibly Heywood?

The archaic flavour of the play is to me the outstanding fact about it; we
know that plays on this subject were acted in 1566 and 1594. The archaic
flavour may be due to the influence of Chaucer on the writers; it is more
likely to be due to an earlier play having been taken and altered. It
might also be due to the collaboration of someone like Heywood, who,
though late in time, is surprisingly simple and early in style. The rustic
scenes are an instance of this very early manner.(333) If Shakspere and
Fletcher took an old play, and the former contributed a few turns to the
revised edition, then everything would be accounted for.(334) It will be
said that there are scenes which remind us of Lady Macbeth and Ophelia;
why should not an already existing play have suggested to Shakspere
something which he worked up in those two characters into a far finer
result? We know for a fact that much of his best work is based on older
plays. This random hypothesis is quite as probable as the supposition that
Massinger had anything to do with _The Two Noble Kinsmen_.

Let us next consider Mr. Tucker Brooke’s position.(335) After a searching
and masterly analysis of the merits and defects of the play, he ends with
a guarded tendency towards assigning the “un-Fletcherian” parts to
Massinger on the following grounds: “The metrical tests give him an even
better title than his master [_i.e._, Shakspere] to the doubtful parts of
our play.” To this I reply that style is a more important test than metre.
There are, secondly, “the structural and psychological imperfections of
the work”; thirdly, “the tendency to unnecessary coarseness of language”;
fourthly, “the feeble imitation of Shakspere”; fifthly, “the frequent
similarity to Massinger’s acknowledged writings.” The only serious
argument against the assumption is that there is nothing in Massinger to
compare with “the magnificent poetry of the un-Fletcherian part.”

Let us briefly look at these arguments. The work is “structurally and
psychologically imperfect.” True, and this point might be quoted to
support the theory that the play is based on an old and immature tragedy.
As far as concerns structure, Massinger’s plays are always strong; so that
part of the argument falls to the ground. No doubt his psychology is his
weak point, but its weakness is of a different kind from that which we
find in _The Two Noble Kinsmen_. There are no violent emotions of the sort
in which he rejoices in it. There are no characters in Massinger
resembling Palamon and Arcite. Mr. Brooke refers to their “spinelessness,”
and it is true that they are not much differentiated. I suppose, however,
that he would allow that they start by being a romantic pair of friends,
that their quarrel when they first see Emilia is lifelike, and that their
subsequent behaviour is chivalrous. When he refers to “the really
revolting wishy-washiness and ingrained sensuality of Emilia” he uses
exaggerated language. The fact is, that Emilia is in a very difficult
position, and if her character is ambiguous it is the fault of the story
rather than of the author.

“The tendency to unnecessary coarseness of language.” This is based in the
main on Hippolyta’s language,(336) with which Mr. Sykes compares a passage
in _The Unnatural Combat_.(337) I have discussed the supposed coarseness
of Massinger’s heroines elsewhere. In spite of everything that Boyle can
say, with his catalogue of twenty-two passages, I wonder who is right
about Massinger’s women, Boyle or Courthope, who says that “his portraits
of women show more delicacy of feeling and imagination than those of any
English dramatist with the exception of Shakspere.”(338) I, at any rate,
feel that Courthope is nearer the truth than Boyle and his followers.

“Feeble imitation of Shakspere.” That there is imitation of Shakspere in
Massinger we all know; but I deny that it is feeble, and we know that
others of the same age, like Fletcher, Webster, and Tourneur, have
delighted to imitate him.

“The frequent similarity to Massinger’s writings.” In the first place, I
do not feel that the similarity is frequent; and secondly, as has already
been pointed out, what similarity there is may be due to imitation of _The
Two Noble Kinsmen_ by Massinger. Are we to suppose that the only author he
imitated or borrowed from was Shakspere?

The final reservation raises mixed feelings. I am tired of those writers
who grudgingly attribute to Massinger the leavings of other playwrights,
making him the whipping boy of his age, and who proceed to qualify their
theories by doubts as to his ability to attain to the excellences which
they perforce discover in them. I will be so far generous to Mr. Brooke as
to allow that “the magnificent poetry of the un-Fletcherian parts” is
unlike Massinger, because there is no reason for supposing that he wrote
any of these parts. Massinger’s fame can stand on its own merits without
these churlishly conceded ascriptions of doubtful work.

And now let us pass to Boyle’s notable article on this subject.(339) Much
as I admire his learning and zeal, I am amazed at the perversity of his
judgment and the thinness of his arguments. Let us take them in order.
“There is a want of development in the dramatic character”(340) of _The
Two Noble Kinsmen_. This Boyle ascribes to the fact that, as elsewhere,
Massinger’s conceptions were blurred by Fletcher’s co-operation in other
parts of the play. As this argument begs the question it has no weight.
“Allusions to Shakspere are characteristic both of Massinger and _The Two
Noble Kinsmen_.”(341) Are we to suppose that no one imitated Shakspere
except Massinger? “The metrical structure of the play corresponds closely
with Massinger’s general style.”(342) Here, however, Boyle has to allow
that the percentages for double endings are not what you would expect. And
I look with suspicion on a writer who professes to be so certain of these
tests that he can assign I., 1-40, and V., 1-19, to Fletcher. “Massinger
is fond of classical allusions, as is the author of _The Two Noble
Kinsmen_.”(343) This argument deserves no consideration when we remember
that the fact is true of other Elizabethan writers. For example, we find
“the helmeted Bellona,”(344) and Massinger is fond of the sonorous
word.(345) Yes, but Bellona is not unknown in Shakspere. M. Arnold has
pointed out that she occurs in a weak passage of Macbeth.(346) “Medical
and surgical similes occur in both.”(347) When we come to investigate
these we find that the remarks in question are of a commonplace kind. “The
characters of _The Two Noble Kinsmen_ resemble those of Massinger.”(348)
Theseus, for example, resembles Lorenzo in _The Bashful Lover_. I see no
resemblance. “Palamon and Arcite may be met with in many of Massinger’s
plays.”(349) I fail to find them anywhere. “The three ladies are grossly
sensual in their remarks.”(350) I have dealt with this point before, and
it really amounts to a mischievous obsession in Boyle’s mind. Let us take
the passages seriatim; Emilia is talking privately to Hippolyta(351) about
a dead girl friend to whom she was devoted when young. In the course of
this beautiful passage she says:

                    The flower that I would pluck
    And put between my breasts, then but beginning
    To swell about the blossom, oh! she would long
    Till she had such another, and commit it
    To the like innocent cradle, where phœnix-like
    They died in perfume.

I am ashamed to waste words in vindicating this passage, which Boyle sets
by the language of Iachimo in Cymbeline in describing the mole on Imogen’s
breast(352) to a company of gentlemen.

The next one is “decisive of the question of the authorship of our play.”

    1ST QUEEN. When her arms,
    Able to lock Jove from a synod, shall
    By warranting moonlight corslet thee, O when
    Her twinning cherries shall their sweetness fall(353)
    Upon thy tasteful lips, what wilt thou think
    Of rotten kings and blubbered queens? What care
    For what thou feel’st not, what thou feel’st being able
    To make Mars spurn his drum? O, if thou covet
    But one night with her, every hour in’t will
    Take hostage of thee for a hundred, and
    Thou shalt remember nothing more than what
    That banquet bids thee to.(354)

Though there are passages in Massinger of which the thought is similar to
that presented here, I do not judge it or them as severely as Boyle. The
point, however, which I wish to make is this: these lines are typical of
what I have called the archaic flavour of the play. Where in Massinger’s
works will you find “warranting moonlight,” “tasteful lips,” “twinning
cherries,” “rotten kings and blubbered queens,” or “Mars’ drum”? The idea
that Massinger wrote this passage is quite preposterous; the only thing in
it which reminds one of him is the “and” at the end of line 204.

Lastly, we have Hippolyta’s words in the same scene:

                                      Yet I think
    Did I not by the abstaining of my joy,
    Which breeds a deeper longing, cure their surfeit
    That craves a present medicine, I should pluck
    All ladies’ scandal on me.(355)

Hippolyta agrees in these lines to postpone her wedding in order that the
Queens should be avenged on Creon. No doubt the lines are crude, but Boyle
goes too far with his “cloven hoof,” his “effluvia of social corruption,”
his “thick miasma.”

“There is a close parallel between _The Two Noble Kinsmen_ and _A Very
Woman_ in the treatment of madness.”(356) I do not see much similarity
between the prose of the one play and the poetry of the other, but so far
as any exists it is due to the common ideas of the age as to the way in
which to treat the mad. “The reflections in the dialogue of Palamon and
Arcite,(357) on the corruptions of Thebes, the neglect of soldiers, the
extravagance of fashion, are allusions such as Massinger makes to
contemporary English life.”(358) The allusions are such as any moralist
might make, and if the rough and immature style in which they are
expressed is not like Massinger’s the argument falls to the ground.

“There are a good many expressions in common between _The Two Noble
Kinsmen_ and Massinger.”(359) This is the really serious argument; but let
me repeat that similarity of thought and expression in isolated phrases
does not prove unity of authorship. Let us, however, look at some of these

Reference is twice made in _The Two Noble Kinsmen_ to “the wheaten
garland” of brides.(360) Massinger refers to “the garland” of a bridegroom
in three passages.(361) I fail to see the connexion. Notice also that
Massinger does not use the epithet “wheaten” in these passages.

Theseus says, “Troubled I am,” and turns away.(362) It was quite natural
that he should think twice before postponing his wedding. Boyle compares a
passage where Ladislas is in uncertainty(363):

    I am much troubled,
    And do begin to stagger.

People in Massinger’s plays are often perplexed, and so they are in real
life. Note that Theseus ends his remark with these words at the beginning
of a line. When Massinger’s characters are in perplexity their way of
expressing themselves is quite different; it is more full and rounded off.

Theseus says: “Forward to the temple,”(364) being anxious to be married.
“Similar words in similar situations occur in Massinger.”(365) In neither
case, however, is it a bridegroom who speaks.

    _The Two Noble Kinsmen_, I., 165, 166:

    1ST QUEEN. And that work presents itself to th’ doing;
    Now ’twill take form, the heats are gone to-morrow.

Boyle says this is obscure, but can be explained by _Empress of the East_:

    That resolution which grows cold to-day
    Will freeze to-morrow.(366)

The thought is a familiar one; and can anyone suppose that Massinger wrote
line 165?

The expression “our undertaker”(367) recalls a word used by
Shakspere.(368) Massinger also has it twice;(369) the parallel is
interesting, but the word was a cant political term of Jacobean times.

The fact that apes imitate is referred to in these lines:(370)

                    ’Tis in our own power—
    Unless we fear that apes can tutor’s—to
    Be masters of our manners.

In _The Emperor of the East_ we find:

    You are master of the manners and the habit,
    Rather the scorn of such as would live men,
    And not, like apes, with servile imitation
    Study prodigious fashions.(371)

Surely there is no need to assume common authorship here. The imitative
ape has been common property for a long time.

A peculiarity of a sick man is referred to, thus:

    I must no more believe thee in this point
    Than I will trust a sickly appetite,
    That loathes even as it longs.(372)

Massinger in _A Very Woman_ has:

    No more of Love, good father,
    It was my surfeit, and I loathe it now,
    As men in fevers meat they fall sick on.(373)

The simile is a part of ordinary experience and literary convention. You
might as well argue that Massinger wrote _Euphues_.

The jailer’s daughter leaves the scene with this remark:

    It is a holiday to look on them; Lord, the difference of men.(374)

Lidia, in _The Great Duke of Florence_, when Sanazarro seems to be
treating her rudely, exclaims:

    Oh, the difference of natures!(375)

But she does not leave the stage.

We might say: Oh, the difference of styles! In the one case we have a
rustic maiden of low birth; in the other, a lady justly offended.

I do not deny that some of the parallels are remarkable, but they may be
due to imitation or reminiscence. Take the words:

                                      Thou, O jewel,
    O’ th’ wood, o’ th’ world, hast likewise blest a place
    With thy sole presence.(376)

In _The Great Duke of Florence_ we find:

                            And what place
    Does he now bless with his presence?(377)

The phrase is one which Massinger’s courtly mind would treasure and
delight to use.

Theseus, addressing Artesius, says:

                                  Forth and levy
    Our worthiest instruments, whilst we despatch
    This grand act of our life, this daring deed
    Of fate in wedlock.(378)

Phrases like this are found in Massinger; thus in _The Maid of Honour_,
Roberto says of the wedding of Bertoldo and Aurelia:

    And rest assur’d that, this great work despatch’d,
    You shall have audience.(379)

They may be due to reminiscence, though it is simpler to regard them as
the current English of the day.

The strongest evidence for Boyle’s theory is contained in Palamon’s
invocation to Venus:(380)

                              I never practised
    Upon man’s wife, nor would the libels read
    Of liberal wits; I never at great feasts
    Sought to betray a beauty.

These words certainly remind us of Leosthenes in _The Bondman_, both in
thought and style:

                              Nor endeavour’d
    To make your blood run high at solemn feasts,
    With viands that provoke; the speeding philtres;
    I worked no bawds to tempt you; never practised
    The cunning and corrupting arts they study
    That wander in the wild maze of desire.(381)

I think, however, that reminiscence will suffice to account for the
parallel. The man who could write the last line of this passage has no
need to buttress up his fame with _The Two Noble Kinsmen_, though it is of
course conceivable that he edited it for publication in 1634.

Lastly, the method of Massinger calls for a few words. It has been noticed
by all the critics that he often repeats himself. As is the case with
Plautus the same metaphors, thoughts, and words recur from time to time in
similar situations. It is clear that this characteristic might help us to
trace those parts of Fletcher’s plays in which Massinger collaborated.

One or two simple instances of this fact may be quoted: the characters in
Massinger are very fond of blushing;(382) references to the talkativeness
of women are frequent;(383) metaphors from the sea and sailing are very
common;(384) people are fond of saying that they mean to do something but
they do not know what;(385) the exact courtier kneels and kisses the robe
of a lady or her foot, and is sometimes rebuked for doing so.(386)

As a good moralist, Massinger dislikes suicide(387) and duelling.(388) The
latter practice is referred to in his plays as a new-fangled importation
from abroad.

Let us now quote some of his favourite words: references need not be given
for “honour”; wherever we find “atheist” for a bad man,(389) or
“magnificent” for munificent,(390) or the Latin phrase “nil ultra,”(391)
or the Greek words “apostata”(392) and “embryon”;(393) wherever we find
“frontless”(394) impudence and “sail-stretched” wings(395) and
“libidinous”(396) Caesars; wherever the moisture of the lips is compared
to nectar,(397) wherever we read of “the centre”(398) or of “horror,”(399)
or of washing an Ethiop,(400) there we are on familiar ground. Again, it
is a characteristic of Massinger, which offends some of his readers more
than others, that he is always ready with the obvious remark. Thus, when
Marrall, after a career of tergiversation is finally kicked off the stage,
he says:

                This is the haven
    False servants still arrive at.(401)

In _The Emperor of the East_, when the complications about Paulinus’ apple
are getting rather serious, the Princess Flaccilla makes the remark, which
is certainly in the mind of the reader:

    All this pother for an apple!(402)

When Leosthenes allows himself to be intolerably coarse in his language to
Cleora, we read these words:

    CLEORA. You are foul-mouth’d.

    ARCHEDAMUS. Ill-manner’d, too.(403)

When Hilario seeks to amuse his mistress with an absurd message from the
front, and she observes, “This is ridiculous,”(404) we feel inclined to
say, “Not only ridiculous, but not worth writing.” When Cardenes, after
lying as dead for some time, gives signs of life, the Viceroy very justly

    This care of his recovery, timely practis’d,
    Would have expressed more of a father in you,
    Than your impetuous clamours for revenge.(405)

It will be remembered that Shakspere had used this device in his day.
Compare _Richard II_: “Can sick men play so nicely with their names?”(406)
_Midsummer-Night’s Dream_: “Lord, what fools these mortals be!”(407) _1
Henry VI_: “Here is a silly stately style indeed!”(408)

What impression do we get of Massinger from his writings? He was the
intimate friend and associate of Fletcher; how far was he a man of the
same stamp? Both as a poet and a stylist Fletcher is his superior; he is
more tender and more varied; in isolated scenes he attains a high degree
of pathos. From time to time the bursts of lovely poetry which illustrate
his plays make us bow the head as though in the presence of an enchanter.
The fifty plays which are currently associated with his name, with all
their faults, are a veritable fairyland. Again, there is a terse piquancy
about him, which expresses itself in clear-cut, vigorous lines, such as we
find rarely in our poet. And he has a real vein of humour, which makes one
laugh heartily.(409) Nor is his direct and lucid prose style to be
despised. On the other hand, he was not a great artist; his plots, though
usually bustling, are often improbable; his character-drawing is
constantly fickle and inconsequent. Thus, according to Boyle,(410) in _The
Honest Man’s Fortune_, Tourneur and Massinger make Montague a gentleman;
in Act V. Fletcher destroys all that was good in Massinger, but makes good
sport for the groundlings. He maintains that the same thing happens to
Buckingham in _Henry VIII_ and to Barnavelt. Though there are many
life-like characters in his works, to whom we feel attracted, such as Leon
in _Rule a Wife and have a Wife_ and Valerio in _The Wife for a Month_,
they are too often made to do improbable things. Again, as a moralist
Fletcher falls far behind Massinger. He shows from time to time a
high-flown and tainted sentimentality which is far removed from real life.
Indeed, the bad use to which he puts his great talent is often enough to
make angels weep. He more than anyone is responsible for the Puritan
reaction; he more than anyone is responsible for most of what was bad in
the Restoration drama, and he has had his reward. Except by the student,
his work is forgotten. It can hardly be doubted that the death of Fletcher
was a gain to Massinger in emancipating him from the co-operation of a
fascinating but unsafe guide.(411) In standing alone he learnt to perfect
all that was best in his own gifts.

It is difficult to form a clear judgment of Beaumont. The more I read what
scholars attribute to him, the more I feel disposed to agree with Sir A.
Ward that Beaumont and Fletcher were men of the same mind and tastes. It
is plain that the author of _Philaster_, _The Maid’s Tragedy_, and _A King
and No King_ had a range of passion and pathos beyond Massinger.
_Philaster_ is incomparable, and as we read the other two plays we hurry
on from scene to scene; when we put the book down we are perturbed. They
have carried us away in spite of their grave faults. The glorious nonsense
of _The Knight of the Burning Pestle_ is equally beyond Massinger. On the
other hand, such disagreeable plays as _The Coxcomb_ and _Cupid’s Revenge_
do not invite a second perusal. I do not feel that Beaumont was cleaner in
mind than Fletcher, or more balanced in judgment. When we come to the
department of metre we seem to be on surer ground; the metre of Beaumont
has high qualities, and his decasyllabic verse reminds me of the cold
purity of a waterfall. In style his lines constantly have a marked
simplicity and directness which anticipate Wordsworth. He can write a line
in which the words run in the order which they would have in prose, and
hence his great strength. On the other hand, he is often careless about
the length of his lines, possibly from a love of variety. He is fond of
rhyme, and introduces prose freely into his scenes. His models appear to
have been Marlowe for metre and Ben Jonson for treatment. He has a liking
for burlesque, as witness _The Knight of the Burning Pestle_, _The
Woman-Hater_, and Arbaces in _A King and No King_.(412) All this is very
unlike Massinger.

It may be asked, how does Massinger compare with Webster? This question
naturally rises in the mind at a moment when a gifted writer, snatched
from us before his time, has left us an interesting and scholarly study of
Webster. Mr. Rupert Brooke makes no secret of his contempt for Fletcher,
and “the second-rate magic” of Massinger; he regards Webster as the last
of the strong school of Elizabethan dramatists.

Are we to compare _Westward Ho!_, _Northward Ho!_, and _The Cure for a
Cuckold_ with _A New Way to pay Old Debts_ and _The City Madam_? They are
less refined, less skilfully constructed. The stage is more crowded, and
the characters are worse drawn. The same considerations apply to the
_Malcontent_(413) and _The Devil’s Law-case_. Mr. Brooke practically
allows that he means by Webster, _The White Devil_ and _The Duchess of
Malfi_, and these plays alone. Let it be said at once that it is an
ungrateful task to magnify one poet at the expense of another. We allow
that in these two plays Webster comes nearer to Shakspere than any of his
compeers. He has a great, a subtle, a well-stored mind; he produces
isolated tragic effects of the most poignant kind; he is a master of
atmosphere; he plays with the feelings of his auditors; he can dazzle them
by “his miraculous touches of poetic beauty.”

On the other hand, he is not a clear thinker, nor are his plays skilfully
planned. I should imagine that they read better than they act. For
instance, the scene in _The Duchess of Malfi_, where Ferdinand gives the
heroine the dead hand, fills us with horror. I doubt if it would be
effective on the stage. Webster’s rhymes are poor, and his prose worse
than Massinger’s. Sir Sidney Lee(414) says his blank verse is “vigorous
and musical”; to me it seems too often ragged and halting. But the chief
objection to Webster is that he lives in “a world of repulsive themes and
fantastic crimes.” He revels in the sinister suggestions aroused by
skulls, dead hands, ghosts, echoes, and madmen. His mind was morbid, and
his successes are like lightning flashes of splendid power piercing a
gloomy and sullen background.

The fact that he was not a productive writer may weigh less with some
critics than with others; more important is it to remember that
Massinger’s plays held the stage much longer than Webster’s. This fact may
fairly be taken to prove the appeal which the former has successfully made
to the human heart. Webster, in short, compared with Shakspere, reminds us
somewhat of the contrast between Mantegna and Raphael.

In one or two respects Webster has affinities with Massinger. Both
frequently imitate Shakspere; and both repeat themselves continually,
though in different ways. Whereas Massinger used the same vocabulary and
terms of thought again and again, Webster quotes whole sentences from one
of his plays in another, as if he felt, like some of the Greek writers of
antiquity, that when he had said a thing as it should be said, he had the
right to use it again.(415)

It is difficult to compare Massinger with Ben Jonson: both wrote Roman
plays and domestic comedies; but Ben Jonson has at once a greater mind and
a wider range of experiment. He was a learned man, a great figure in
society, the dictator of a circle of wits, the centre of many friendships
and enmities. He would probably regard Massinger as a pale-featured,
gentle hack. We know more about his full-blooded personality than about
any other writer of the period, and while there is much in him to offend,
there is more to inspire our respect.

Our immediate object is to compare the two writers as dramatists. It is at
once clear that they work on different lines. Massinger is a follower of
Shakspere and Fletcher, though we can trace in some of his tragedies the
influence of Webster and Tourneur. In his comedies, we see some
approximation to Ben Jonson; it is instructive to compare _Eastward Ho!_
with _The City Madam_. A fundamental difference of method is at once seen;
Massinger deliberately eschews the use of prose. It must at once be
conceded that he has left nothing on so colossal a scale as _Every Man in
his Humour_, _Volpone_, _Epicoene_, _The Alchemist_, and _Bartholomew
Fair_. Here we find skilful plot, masterly characterization, and ludicrous
combinations. How heartily we laugh over the Plautine scene before Cob’s
house in _Every Man in his Humour_,(416) or at the intrusion of unbidden
guests at Morose’s wedding, or at the deception practised on the two
knights in the gallery.(417) How dazzled we are with the kaleidoscopic
“vapours” of the great Fair. On the other hand, in what Dryden calls the
“dotages,” we find a great falling off. Ben Jonson can be very dull. Still
even in _The Devil is an Ass_ and _The Staple of News_ there is a vein of
original fancy, which reminds us that we are dealing with no imitator, but
with an original and poetical mind. Nor must we forget the splendid series
of Masques, into which Ben Jonson put some of his best work; to this
Massinger has but little to oppose. And then, as we all know, Ben Jonson
bursts out from time to time with a great lyric, whereas Massinger’s songs
are commonplace. Lastly, in _The Case is Altered_, we have a plot in the
manner of Fletcher which is so successful as to make us regret that Jonson
did not try this type of play again. Though it has not the atmosphere of
Massinger, it has something of the mellow graciousness at which he, like
Fletcher, aimed.

It would be silly to deny Jonson’s superiority of intellect, and of
attainment when at his best. His faults are, however, very serious. Though
he can draw a man of good breeding, his women are very ordinary. He is too
fond of incorporating long passages from the classical authors whom he
knew so well; he would have been more attractive if he had used
Aristophanes and Plautus, Ovid and Libanius, as inspirations rather than
as materials. The notes on Sejanus are a liberal education, but after all,
“the play’s the thing.” The use of “humour” and “vapours,” though at first
brilliant and captivating, even becomes artificial and tedious; no one is
the embodiment of one passion or weakness. Let us be thankful that human
nature is not so simple or consistent, for in that case it would cease to
interest. More serious still, Jonson has no sense of proportion; we read
Knowell’s soliloquy in _Every Man in his Humour_,(418) and we say, “Fine!
but too long”; and we say this again and again as we read his works. The
great length of the fifth act of Sejanus is a good instance of this fault.
Indeed, it is impossible that the play was acted in the form which we now
have—it would have emptied the house, like Burke’s speeches. When Jonson
gets on to some subject of which he knows the technical terms, such as
“fucuses”(419) or “alchemy,” he is almost as tedious as Kipling’s
Macandrew. His plots are at times too skilful; thus, even Brainworm in
time gets on our nerves. His coarseness is that of a common soldier, and
his puns are bad.

Are there any points of contact between the two authors? I do not wish to
suggest that Massinger owed nothing to the older writer, though parallels
of diction may mean little but the simultaneous use of the idioms of the
day. Thus in _The Staple of News_ we find, “I do write man,”(420)
“blacks,”(421) “kiss close,”(422) “nectar,”(423) “magnificent”(424);
tossing in a blanket is referred to,(425) and the saints(426) at
Amsterdam, while the cook’s fortifications(427) remind us of a passage in
_A New Way to pay Old Debts_. In Sejanus we find “passive fortitude”
commended.(428) “He puts them to their whisper,”(429) reminds us of _The
Roman Actor_. Sejanus’ change of temper to his satellites(430) when he
fancies danger is past resembles that of Domitian in the same play. _The
City Madam_ has touches of plot and style which recall Volpone.

There is, however, little contact between Ben Jonson and Massinger. Their
births were separated by only ten years, but a much longer period than
that seems to divide them. Friend of the great as he was, Ben Jonson was
yet an Aristophanic, nay, a Rabelaisian democrat; Massinger is a gentleman
and a courtier. The one has the vigour and immaturity of the Elizabethan
age, and in him we feel in contact with the obsolete Mystery and Morality
plays;(431) the other has the refinement and romance of the Caroline era.
The one is a powerful satirist and a pugnacious fighter; the other lives
in an ideal world. On the one side is _vis consili expers_; on the other,
a more limited intellect with a surer artistic sense. If I may venture to
say so, they differ from one another as an apple from a pear. I do not
deny that Ben Jonson was the greater man, but I find him more archaic and
more difficult to read than Massinger. Much of the interest of his plays
is dead for us, his local colour and topical allusions, which require so
many notes, are more tedious; his personal likes and dislikes, his
egotism, his vanity, are wearisome; and though his blank verse is strong
and manly, it is not so melodious as Massinger’s. The older man stands
foursquare and solitary; the younger man reaches forward to posterity, and
we feel him to be linked by his art and grace to ourselves. Though Dryden
never mentions Massinger, there is a dignified capacity which is common to
the two authors.

Massinger’s chief rival in the latter part of his life was Shirley.
Shirley’s plays are full of interest; his graceful style rises
occasionally into poetry, at which the author himself seems to smile; his
plots are full of ingenious turns; his female characters are more
confidently developed than Massinger’s, nor is he unable to draw a
lifelike man, as we see from Lorenzo in _The Traitor_ and Columbo in _The
Cardinal_. He excels in the battledore and shuttlecock of love-making; he
tells us far more of the manner of well-bred contemporary society than
Massinger. Indeed, it is probable that he had a greater success in his day
than his rival, and was more in touch with Court circles, though even the
loyal Shirley discreetly satirizes from time to time the government of
Charles I. He is not devoid of humour and epigram; his dialogue is light
and sprightly. He reaches back to Fletcher and forward to Dryden; we seem,
as we read his plays, to be a long way removed from the labour of Jonson,
the pomp of Chapman, the vernal simplicity of Heywood. On the other hand,
we miss in him the breadth and strength, the dignity, the nobility, and
the fire of Massinger. He is more of a photographer than a painter. Though
his style has eloquence, the thought is often far from clear, and the long
sentences are clumsy. There is something slight and unsubstantial about
the whole thing, while the metre is continually careless and lame.

In assigning Massinger’s place in the drama of his age, we have to
remember that the period falls into two well-defined parts. He has very
little in common with Marlowe, Greene, and Peele, and still less with the
charming Dresden china of Lyly. Marlowe’s generation breathes the
freshness and vehemence of the spring, while Massinger reflects the silver
lights of September. So rapid was the development of fifty years, that to
pass from the one to the other is like going from the lancet windows of
Salisbury Cathedral to the tracery of William of Wykeham. While we miss
the purity and simplicity of Early English, it would be foolish to ignore
the strength of design and proportion that maturity and experience
brought. The towers and battlements, the lierne vaulting, the large
windows, and generous clerestories of Perpendicular do much to atone for
the spiritless detail and mechanical wall-panelling. A similar
consideration applies to the Jacobean dramatists when compared with their
Elizabethan predecessors.

Shall I be thought presumptuous in setting Massinger against Shakspere?
The attempt may, at any rate, help to elicit a true estimate; the
suggestion has often been made before. Shakspere seems to have been from
his writings a man of great receptivity, unerring knowledge of human
nature, profound wisdom, and infinite sweetness, the master of all the
arts which we associate with a good poet. Massinger reminds us of Ben
Jonson, though he is less consciously clever, less cumbered with learning,
less combative.(432) He is modest,(433) manly, lucid, sane, and sensible,
capable of just indignation, one who respects himself, a faithful
friend,(434) and a wide reader; he knows a gentleman when he sees him; he
can pay compliments with good breeding; he has had his ups and downs in
life;(435) he is one who understood men better than women, and who, like
Sir Thomas Browne, “loved a soldier”;(436) a vigorous and business-like
artist, he is never worsted by his theme, but makes it lifelike and
interesting, with an unerring instinct for what is effective on the stage,
his very faults being largely due to this useful knowledge. That there was
a strain of noble melancholy in his mind can hardly be denied.(437) The
character which seems to me to embody Massinger himself is Charalois in
_The Fatal __ Dowry_. Whether he was musical I should doubt after the
perfunctory reference to the art in _The Fatal Dowry_.(438) We find
nothing in his plays like the famous idyllic description in Ford’s
_Lover’s Melancholy_.(439) On the other hand, he knew that vocal and
instrumental music were effective in a play; we need go no farther than
the end of Act IV. in _The Virgin Martyr_ for proof of this.(440) And
Cario uses the terms of music with great precision in _The Guardian_.(441)
On the whole we get the impression that he was an example of a rare
combination, modesty with independence of mind, a fact which, considering
what the circumstances of the literary life then were, is quite enough to
explain the hard struggle he seems to have undergone.

It may be said that I am comparing a mighty genius with a second-rate
intellect. Are there any points in which Massinger can hold his own
against Shakspere? Granted that he falls short in passion,
imagination,(442) wit, diction, rhythm, lyric rapture, where does he

It may at first hearing sound snobbish to point out that he was a
University man, but a good deal of truth lies hidden in that simple
phrase. Shakspere’s plays are marked by many faults of construction,
taste, and detail; he who never blotted a line should certainly, as Ben
Jonson remarked, have blotted a good many. It always seems to me that this
is a line of thought which is too much ignored by those who believe that
Shakspere wrote his own plays, and that Bacon had nothing to do with them.
The Baco-Shaksperians point, and very justly, to the surprising knowledge
and culture shown in the plays; they refuse to believe that all this can
have come from the brain of a Warwickshire rustic, forgetting the faults
which are so glaring, faults which are precisely those which a learned and
accurate scholar like Bacon would have avoided.

Now Massinger is a correct and artistic writer. The little tricks of style
which were so dear to his mighty predecessor, the pun, the
alliteration,(443) the conceit, the verbal quibble,(444) are far less
obtrusive; he is free from that affectation and precious obscurity which
are so marked in Shakspere’s later style. And one small point may be
noticed in passing here, as an indication of good breeding: the characters
in Massinger very seldom address one another by name. It is significant
that Greedy and Overreach both offend in this way.(445)

Though it is true that these faults were common to the age, they are so
marked in Shakspere that it is impossible to ignore them in any estimate
of the man. In the details of style, then, Massinger can claim credit for
being more correct. In a word, what he lacks in genius and poetry he
supplies to a certain extent by good taste and education. He shares this
advantage with his age, which was learning to correct the errors of the
past; the English language was advancing rapidly to more maturity and
balance than it had in the previous generation.

I have already pointed out the careful study of Shakspere which we find in
Massinger, and the copious use of his imperial vocabulary. When we take
into account all the elements of the problem, when we make allowance for
quantity of work done, as well as for quality, would it be too much to say
that Massinger is as the pupil to the master, and that, though separated
by “a long interval,” he comes second?(446) This may seem a hard saying,
unless it is explained. I allow that Ben Jonson had a greater intellect;
that Beaumont and Fletcher had more genius, more pathos, more humour; that
Marlowe, Webster, and Ford, each in his own way, were greater poets. I put
Massinger next to Shakspere as a dramatist pure and simple, because his
best work is well-constructed and interesting, his style and metre
entrancing, his atmosphere charming and easy, yet ideal, his morality
mature and sane. And in praising his morality, I do not lay stress on the
benefits to be derived from the use of his plays as a school-book, though
that consideration is not to be despised but rather maintain that in
avoiding abnormal, tainted, and morbid themes he is in advance of his age;
consequently he is easier for us to read and understand than other writers
whose gifts were greater than his; he makes a successful and enduring
appeal to the _communis sensus_ of mankind.

I now proceed to a short critical estimate of Massinger’s plays. The most
famous are _The Virgin Martyr_ in tragedy, and _A New Way to pay Old
Debts_ in comedy. Opinions have differed strangely about _The Virgin
Martyr_. It went through four editions in quarto in the seventeenth
century, a fact which testifies to its immediate popularity. Davies(447)
considered it far inferior to any of his other productions, and Mason was
equally severe. Even Hallam confessed that parts of it were far from
pleasing. There can be no doubt that these parts of the play, which the
critics now unanimously ascribe to Dekker, are responsible for giving
Massinger a bad name for coarseness. It is hard to carry supernatural
machinery through, as Fletcher’s _Prophetess_ shows, and we have here an
Angel, and a Devil, but they are on the whole managed successfully. The
first act is admirably proportioned; the fourth and fifth also are
masterly. There are a thrill and a glamour in the style of this play
unlike anything else in Massinger, due perhaps to the religious problem
dealt with.(448) The only fault of Dorothea is that, like other good
people, she is a bad judge of character. It gives us a shock to find
Spungius and Hircius members of her household, and at least we feel she
should not have put her charities in their hands, but should have attended
to the poor herself.(449) The Princess Artemia is a type common in

In _A New Way to pay Old Debts_ we have an ingenious plot which never
flags, adequate comedy, and characters which are appropriately, if not
very carefully, drawn. The style is strong and natural; it is not far from
this play to Goldsmith, and indeed the eighteenth century must have owed
much to it. In its atmosphere of ease and propriety there are no harsh
lights or discordant tints.

The central idea of the plot was probably borrowed from a play of
admirable vivacity and dexterity, Middleton’s _Trick to catch the Old
One_, which appeared in 1607. What has Massinger added to Middleton? He
has made the plot more probable, refining the characters, and raising the
whole thing from prose to poetry. We laugh less, but we admire more, for
we feel that we are seeing something transacted which might have happened.

Sir Giles Overreach is Massinger’s masterpiece, a superman of colossal
wickedness, with no belief in the honour or virtue of men or women.(451)
Though fond of money, he is not a miser, but loves to lavish his gains;
power is rather his foible; repeated success has made him reckless; his
aim is to increase his estates by bullying his poorer neighbours, and by
employing the sharp practices of the law. But he has yet one other
ambition, to see his only daughter married to a lord and to hear her
styled “Right Honourable.” His unscrupulousness is expressed in
often-quoted passages of great power; his frantic anger in the fifth act
is depicted with a skill which leaves no sympathy in our minds for a
father whose only daughter has treated him badly. Here Massinger is more
successful than his great model in the case of Shylock and Jessica. I
cannot agree that it is inconsistent with the character of Sir Giles that
he should be anxious for his daughter to marry a lord—there are several
passages in the earlier part of the play which show that he is not only a
bully but a base-born snob.(452)

Where so much is admirable it is difficult to make selection, but we may
point out that Wellborn’s character is a fine piece of work; we pity his
disgrace, we rejoice in his success, we believe in his desire to do better
in the future. The grief of Lady Allworth for her husband and the jealous
fears of young Allworth when Lord Lovell is to meet Margaret are
excellently drawn. There are, moreover, touches of poetry in the play of a
high order, as, for instance:

    ALLWORTH.                              If ever
    The queen of flowers, the glory of the spring,
    The sweetest comfort to our smell, the rose,
    Sprang from an envious briar, I may infer,
    There’s such disparity in their conditions,
    Between the goodness of my soul, the daughter,
    And the base churl, her father.(453)

Or in Allworth’s speech about his love:

    Add this too; when you feel her touch, and breath
    Like a soft western wind, when it glides o’er
    Arabia, creating gums and spices;
    And in the van, the nectar of her lips,
    Which you must taste, bring the battalia on,
    Well-arm’d, and strongly lined with her discourse,
    And knowing manners, to give entertainment;
    Hippolytus himself would leave Diana,
    To follow such a Venus.(454)

The play which Massinger himself at one time esteemed the most highly was
_The Roman Actor_,(455) but we have to remember that much of his best work
was done after 1626, the date of the play. _The Roman Actor_, though most
admirable, is strong and hard rather than inspired. More than any other of
his works it shows us an element of greatness in the author’s mind, which
reveals itself in many ways; in the attractive and noble character of
Paris, in the mastery shown in dealing with a Roman theme, the local
colour of which is put on with a light and yet sure hand, in the skill
with which the story is invested with the atmosphere of tyranny, in the
breathless interest with which we follow the last moments of Domitian in
Act V., in the dexterity with which three smaller plays are introduced
into the action without in the least confusing the construction. In making
an actor the hero of the play, and in giving him so many opportunities of
showing his art, Massinger no doubt felt every confidence in the genius of
J. Taylor, but perhaps the chief charm of the play is due to the
reflection which it inspires in the mind of the reader, that it expresses
with fire and conviction the struggling author’s high ideal for the
theatre as a social institution, and his esteem for actors. On the other
hand, there is little comic relief, and little female interest beyond the
infatuation of the Empress. Indeed, the women who take part in the play
are one and all unattractive, and though it might be fairly urged that
they are probably adequate portraits of the originals, we cannot help
feeling that the author ought to have seen that they were timid sketches.
In other words, we are face to face here with an acknowledged limitation
of Massinger’s art. Nor should it be forgotten that while the play is full
of noble and even impassioned rhetoric,(456) there are one or two prosy
passages(457) and several small improbabilities.(458) In the third of the
inserted plays Domitian, taking the part of an actor, avenges himself on
Paris. This device by which characters in a play avenge themselves by
taking parts in a subordinate play, occurs in the famous _Spanish Tragedy_
of Kyd, and in Middleton’s _Women, beware Women_. Most successful of all
is the splendid climax of Act IV., where we have the clash of interest
required by the highest form of tragedy; we sympathize with Paris, and yet
we feel that the Emperor, who has been wronged, must avenge himself
signally and at once.

It is the tragi-comedies which give me the most pleasure, the romantic
plays with a happy ending, such as _The Great Duke of Florence_, _The
Emperor of the East_, _The Bashful Lover_ (the last of Massinger’s plays
which we possess), _A Very Woman_; closely allied with these is _The Maid
of Honour_. _The Great Duke of Florence_ is full of courtesy and grace;
there are some charming passages of poetry, and the metre is liquid and
easy. The whole play is bathed in the sunshine of youth, and while there
is some good comedy in it, there is little for the expurgator to do. The
characters are all drawn with skill and propriety, especially the Duke,
the Duchess of Urbin, and Lidia. Petronella in disguise is Massinger’s
best comic creation.

In _The Emperor of the East_, with a trivial plot and some improbability
in details, there is much admirable work, especially at the beginning. The
two courtiers get to the point at once, mentioning Pulcheria in I., 1, 10.
It was a play at which the author worked hard, and of which he thought
highly.(459) The two good women, the sister and the wife, are well drawn,
and we understand how natural it is that they should be antipathetic; we
welcome the allowance they make for one another,(460) we sympathize with
the humiliation of each in her turn, and we rejoice in their
reconciliation. Especially pleasing are the gentle dignity of Eudocia in
III., 4, and her slowness to take up Chrysapius’ suggestion in IV., 1. The
Emperor is not an attractive character, as he is at once weak and violent;
but we have to remember that he is very young, and also that he has been
kept in leading-strings all the earlier part of his life. I should like to
believe, with many critics, that the prose scene, in which the Empiric
figures, is not due to Massinger. It is a study in the manner of Ben
Jonson. Another touch of the older master is “The Projector,”(461) who is,
however, on very much fainter lines than Meercroft in _The Devil is an
Ass_. Imitation of Shakspere is prominent in _The Emperor of the East_.
Scenes I., 1, and III., 1, remind us of Henry VIII’s courtiers. The
pictures in Act II. seem to be suggested by a similar scene in _The
Merchant of Venice_. Act IV., 5 recalls _Othello_, III., 4; Act V., 2,
105-8 is modelled on _Othello_ III., 3, 330-3.(462)

_A Very Woman_ or _The Prince of Tarent_ is based, as the Prologue tells
us, on an old play; the author’s modesty cannot forbear saying that, good
as it was before, it is “much better’d now.” By this he probably means
that substantial additions have been made, that the plot has been put into
better shape,(463) and that perhaps the comic element is cut down. Boyle
assigns about two-fifths of the play to Massinger, including the quarrel
between Cardenes and Antonio, and the great love scene between Antonio and
Almira, but excluding the careful treatment of Cardenes’ melancholy by
Paulo the doctor.(464) I should myself unhesitatingly assign the latter
scene to Massinger. The only scenes which can be safely attributed to
Fletcher are those of the slave-market,(465) and that where Leonora seeks
to console Almira.(466) The sprightly vivacity of the former and the
tenderness of the latter are good evidence for this assignation. A perusal
of this admirable masterpiece leads us to the conclusion that if
Massinger, instead of collaborating with Fletcher, had rewritten the plays
of the latter, our literature would have been greatly enriched.

I would not deny that a man may have several styles, and may write in the
manner of another; especially is this possible when the other has been his
bosom friend. Still there are a grace and delicacy about _A Very Woman_
which seem to suggest the hand of Fletcher. The characters are drawn with
great refinement and vividness. There is a pair of devoted friends,
Antonio and Pedro, and over against them two charming ladies, Leonora and
Almira, the former at once sensible and kind, the latter almost worthy of
a place beside Shakspere’s heroines. The great love scene, though
suggested by Desdemona and Othello, is not unworthy of Shakspere
himself.(467) Cuculo is an amusing study of the old courtier, such as we
get elsewhere in Massinger. Borachia, the lady who loves wine, is drawn
with a lighter hand than Massinger’s; yet I feel that Fletcher, unassisted
or unpruned, would have made the scenes in which she appears grosser than
they are. Antonio, the Prince of Tarent, reminds us of a clean-limbed,
honest English public-school boy; he is slow to take offence, but brave
when provoked, sorry for the mischance of which he is the innocent cause,
courteous, and ready on all occasions.

The plot has been shaped with great attention to detail. Thus, when
Antonio, disguised as a slave, first meets his friend Pedro, his master
Cuculo does not allow him to speak,(468) so that Pedro has no chance of
identifying him by his voice. Later on, however, Pedro has an intuition
that the slave is other than he seems to be:

    “I do see something in this fellow’s face still
    That ties my heart fast to him.”(469)

He treats him as a friend, as though his intuition pierced through the
external disguise,(470) and when the recognition takes place he naturally

    “Have I not just cause,
    When I consider how I could be so stupid,
    As not to see a friend through all disguises.”(471)

Again, we have an indication at the end of the slave-market scene that the
slave who followed Paulo will be an important link in the plot:

    PAULO.   Follow me, then;
    The knave may teach me something.

    SLAVE.               Something that
    You dearly may repent; howe’er you scorn me,
    The slave may prove your master.(472)

It is this slave who leads the pirates in their attempt to carry off
Leonora and Almira.

When Antonio appears in his former dress(473) we ask, how did he get it?
The answer is, from the Captain, his fellow-slave, whose life he had saved
in the past by interceding with the Viceroy.(474) Lastly, the Duke’s
reference (V., 2, 130) to the advice which the Viceroy had given him in
II., 2, is one of those careful touches making for unity of design in
which Massinger delights.(475)

No doubt the plot is not free from improbabilities; in real life Antonio
would have revealed himself to Pedro, and Pedro and Almira would both have
recognized him. We have already seen that Massinger is so fond of a story
that he sometimes forgets to let his characters guide it. To round off the
play harmoniously, Antonio should have had a soliloquy, to explain to the
audience who he was, to lament over the change of his fortunes, to express
a hope that all would come right in the end, to reassert his devotion to
Pedro, and to protest his loyalty in spite of everything to Almira.
Perhaps something of the sort was cut out.

_The Bashful Lover_ is the last play of “the strange old fellow”(476) that
we possess; it reminds us in several respects of Fletcher; in the romantic
atmosphere,(477) the overwrought devotion of the hero, the bustling action
and the complexity of the plot, and in a metrical detail.(478) On the
other hand, the smooth and careful construction, the subordination of the
comedy, the constant use of parentheses, and, above all, the vacillations
of the violent Lorenzo, are characteristics of Massinger. There are many
noble personages in the play, and considerable tenderness. Matilda’s
character is drawn well at the start; in the latter part she rather tends
to become a lay figure. A princess with three aspirants to her hand, of
whom two are princes, while the one she loves is to all appearance of
lowly birth, is awkwardly placed. The same fault, as Boyle points
out,(479) might be found with the hero, Hortensio; the fact is that the
story rather carries the characters along in its sweep than is developed
by them; moreover, Massinger seems in the last two acts to be more
interested in the psychological study of Lorenzo’s emotions than in his
hero’s fortunes. With all its beauties, the play betrays the advancing
years of the author by a certain heaviness of touch, although the episode
of Ascanio, the disguised page, is carried through with great delicacy and
skill, and the varied incidents of Act II. make the battle one of the most
lifelike in literature.

_The Maid of Honour_ is well planned, and the characters well contrasted.
Indeed, anyone who doubts Massinger’s skill in this respect will be
convinced by this play. Though the end is sombre, it is, as Leslie Stephen
has pointed out, dignified and inevitable. As Bertoldo was sworn to
celibacy, Camiola could not have married him, even if her self-respect had
allowed it.(480) Here again we get an imperious lady, the Duchess Aurelia,
who changes her mind too rapidly, but cannot be charged with viciousness.
The comic touches, a foolish lover and a pair of effeminate courtiers, are
quite good. The various moods of Adorni—his deepening devotion to Camiola,
his humility at her rebuke, his fidelity in doing her commands, his
temptation to commit suicide—are admirably portrayed. The King, too, is
well drawn; he is a complex character, who is not wholly bad. The rough
old soldier Gonzaga is a lifelike study, but the figure who dominates the
play is the high-spirited and beautiful heroine. The careful skill of the
author is shown in many details, among others, in the way in which
Camiola, before taking the veil, persuades the King to forgive Fulgentio.
For this to be possible the way is paved by the King’s change of mind as
to Camiola’s character in IV., 5. The end of the play shows in what way
Massinger is a greater artist than Fletcher. The latter would certainly
have married off the Duchess Aurelia to the King or the Duke of Urbin, and
provided Gonzaga with a wife.

No student of our comic drama can ignore the brilliant vigour of _The City
Madam_.(481) The characters one and all contribute to an harmonious unity,
the most lifelike perhaps being Sir John Frugal, the bluff, successful
British merchant, tender-hearted, yet ashamed of being unbusinesslike, and
a good judge of men. The plot moves easily, not overloaded with satire.
The women remind us of Ben Jonson’s women, but with less strength there is
a greater art shown here than Ben Jonson had at his command. The great
triumph of the play is the hypocrite Luke, to whom some splendid rhetoric
is assigned. He arrests our attention from the first; though not on the
grand scale like Sir Giles Overreach, he is an innate villain, who only
lacks opportunity to be capable of anything, a sordid soul, who does not
know what goodness is. The two ’prentices are of the same kidney as
Quicksilver in _Eastward Ho_.

For sheer vitality and strength three of the plays stand out
conspicuously: _The Bondman_, _The Renegado_, and _The Guardian_. Though
they are disfigured by one or two coarse scenes, one is carried along in
reading them as if one were in a sailing-boat, dancing along a fresh sea.
Of _The Bondman_ Monck Mason says: “I don’t recollect any play whatsoever
that begins or ends in a manner so pleasing, uncommon, and striking.” It
contains four well-drawn characters—Timoleon, Marullo, Leosthenes, and
Cleora. The plot is lively, though some critics, I think unjustly, have
accused the author of cutting the knot in the fifth act. The disguised
brother and sister who meet in Act III., I should perhaps indicate their
relationship. Timandra does not explicitly mention her brother till V., 1,
64. A reference earlier in the play to the wrong which Leosthenes had done
her would certainly make for clearness. There is much fine eloquence in
the play. The one or two offensive comic scenes are not essential to the

_The Renegado_ has an Oriental setting, which alone would make it
attractive on the stage. The character of Donusa is on the grand scale,
one of Massinger’s successes; the Merchant, the Jesuit, and Grimaldi are
all well drawn. There is some fine oratory and a good plot, which works up
to an exciting end. There is not much in the comic line of value here.

The plot of _The Guardian_ is more complicated than is usual with
Massinger. It contains some charming banditti scenes, while Alphonso’s
fictitious narrative in the last act is one of the strongest pieces of
writing in our author. The guardian, Durazzo, the kind-hearted but cynical
and quick-tempered old man of the world, is one of Massinger’s most
successful creations. On the other hand, it will be allowed that there is
too much concession in _The Guardian_ to a corrupt taste, due perhaps to
poverty and the depression of failure. The character of Iolante is
unattractive; her intrigue with a man who turns out to be her brother is
odious; her repentance is cheap and unconvincing. The earlier part of the
play in its movement and morals alike reminds us of Fletcher.

_The Picture_ is full of power, and enriched with some good strokes of
satire; the alternations of mood in the chief characters are represented
with skill, while the magic portrait on which the plot hinges seems to
take a natural place in the story. There is, however, a crudeness and
hardness of texture about the play, though Mathias and Sophia are well
drawn, especially the latter. Everything comes right at the last, and true
love is vindicated after the display of some proper pride; but one feels
that the three venture their honour too far. “He comes too near who comes
to be denied.” The King’s faults are overdrawn; the Queen very nearly
spoils the play; the young courtiers, though realistic, are unpleasant;
the comic element is poor and farcical.(482) In dealing with a
psychological theme, Massinger was trying to adjust to the hard-and-fast
concrete outlines of the drama a story which would have been easier to
manage and more attractive to read if it had been cast in the form of a
novel. There would then have been possible gradations of light and shade,
which would have made the treatment less bald. It would have supplied
Richardson with a problem worthy of his heart-breaking and long-drawn

_The Duke of Milan_ is a gloomy play, with a somewhat intricate plot,
presenting to us that strange “Italianate”(483) world of treachery and
poison with which Webster, Ford, and Tourneur make us familiar. We must
remember, on the other hand, that Italy gives an atmosphere which domestic
plays like _The Yorkshire Tragedy_ and _Arden of Feversham_ lack. As in
_The Bondman_ and _The Unnatural Combat_, the plot is developed late,
though hints are given before. Thus, the ill-treated sister is early
referred to,(484) while the last words of the same act prepare us for
Francisco’s villainy. The finest scene in the play is Act III., 1, which
is bathed in the romantic atmosphere so congenial to our author. Sforza
submits to his enemy, the Emperor Charles, without forfeiting our esteem,
while the Emperor shows a noble magnanimity. There is a subdued comic
element in the person of Graccho, the musician.

_The Duke of Milan_ is carefully written(485) and skilfully constructed;
the author has taken great pains to draw the characters of Sforza and
Marcelia, though Francisco is perhaps more successful than either.(486)
The Duke’s last words are the clue to his character:

          I come: Death, I obey thee!
    Yet I will not die raging; for alas!
    My whole life was a frenzy: good Eugenia,
    In death forgive me.(487)

The chief “frenzy” of his life was his devotion to his wife Marcelia. This
peerless beauty combines pride(488) with a kindly simplicity which is no
match for Francisco; while she dearly loves her husband and forgives him
in her last words, she is not altogether attractive. On the other hand,
her anger with Sforza for leaving orders that she should be killed if he
did not return safe from his hazardous enterprise is natural, and the
scene in which she receives him coldly and provokes his violent anger
would be effective when acted.(489) We are inevitably reminded of
_Othello_, and the comparison is most instructive as revealing the great
gap which separates the pupil from the master. Marcelia is not so gracious
as Desdemona, nor Sforza so strong as Othello, nor Francisco so devilish
as Iago. As is usually the case with Massinger, the fifth act carries
along our interest to the end. We do not weep, but we are certainly moved
by the horror of the Duke’s death. The princesses of the Ducal House are
responsible for an improbable scene(490) when they flout Marcelia in the
absence of her lord. Their behaviour reminds us of the ladies in _The
Roman Actor_. In style _The Duke of Milan_ is marked by several passages
of fine poetry and a comparative absence of the parenthetic construction.

_The Fatal Dowry_ is a famous and much-admired play, adapted by Nicholas
Rowe in the eighteenth century to form the basis of his _Fair
Penitent_.(491) There are some fine scenes here, notably the funeral,
which is as effective as anything our poet has written. On the other hand,
the scene in which Rochfort is robed and blindfolded, and assents to his
daughter’s death, recalls Fletcher in its improbability; nor is it likely
that Beaumelle would marry Charalois at such short notice. All we can say
about this is that hurried weddings are one of the presuppositions of the
Jacobean drama.(492) There are an heroic atmosphere, a fine friendship,
and much rhetoric of a high order in _The Fatal Dowry_. Moreover, as the
moral lines at the end point out, there is the clash of law and natural
vengeance in this play, which is a legitimate source of dramatic power.
Charalois, Romont, Malotin, and Pontalier are all well drawn: the “sweet
and gentle nature” of Charalois is particularly attractive, though he is
not incapable of passionate anger,(493) which makes the punishment he
inflicts on his guilty wife in IV., 4 more credible. On the other hand, a
story is at a disadvantage in which the father, though generous and
dignified, is impulsive and quixotic, the heroine is worthless, and her
lover contemptible.(494) The style in places is less lucid than usual,
which may be due to the co-operation of Field; moreover, the metre is more
halting than Massinger’s is wont to be, and I think it probable that the
play has been carelessly printed. There is much spirited sarcasm in Act
III., and some fun in Act IV.(495)

_The Unnatural Combat_ is full of splendid rhetoric; indeed, there are
perhaps too many soliloquies. This early work is grim as an iron-bound
coast; yet the affairs of the honest, brave, and poverty-stricken captain,
Belgarde, provide a lighter element, and the moralizing of the pert page
in III., 2 is both sensible and light-handed in execution. The reason for
the son’s antipathy to his father is hinted at from time to time in the
first act; its disclosure is postponed too late. We should also have been
prepared for the wrongs and treachery of Montreville, which burst upon us
too suddenly in the last act. The evil passion of Malefort is powerfully
depicted; here, again, we have a careful study of conflicting emotions.
Though he struggles against his evil desires, we feel that a bad man must
come to a bad end.(496) The play would have been better rounded off if in
the initial part some indication had been given that he seemed to everyone
a man whose mind, for some mysterious reason, was unbalanced and
unhinged.(497) Once allow that such a theme can be tolerable as that which
we have here, and the hints which Montreville drops from time to time are
adequate to stir the suspicion of the spectator.

The style is more like rhythmical prose than that of any other of
Massinger’s plays. Here alone in our author do children occur, and that in
an unpleasing context.(498) The ghosts of Malefort’s victims, which appear
in the last scene, seem to me a legitimate and powerful episode. It was
natural to compare this violent play with Chapman’s tragedies; Malefort
reminding us of _Bussy d’Ambois_ and Byron; but there is little in common
between the two authors. In the first place, Massinger knows how to
construct a play; in the second place, there is hardly a line in _The
Unnatural Combat_ which is obscure, whereas in the last act of _Bussy
d’Ambois_, Chapman’s masterpiece, there is hardly a line which is

The _Parliament of Love_ contains much fine poetry(499) and one great
forensic scene, such as our author loves.(500) It is, however, in too
fragmentary a state for us to judge it fairly.(501) The atmosphere is
unreal, the interest flags, the boisterous comedy is unattractive. There
are more women than is usual in Massinger, and duelling and friendship
inspire two noble scenes (III., 2; IV., 2). Though vice is humbled, we ask
here, as in _The Picture_, does virtue gain by the way in which its
opposite is portrayed? And are not the characters, male and female alike,
undiscriminated? The interest, in other words, is concentrated in the
triple story, and doubtless we feel some satisfaction in the punishment of
Clarindore, the betrayer of secrets.(502) There are a good many half-lines
in the manner of Fletcher.

Though _Believe as You List_(503) is full of dignity and poetry, it has a
plot without much nexus, of the sort which Aristotle would blame as
ἐπεισοδιώδης.(504) We are wafted from Carthage to Bithynia, from Bithynia
to Lusitania, from Lusitania to Sicily. Though Antiochus is truly a king
even in his misfortunes, and excites our respect and compassion, the play
can hardly have been a success. The melancholy tinge is too uniform; the
improbabilities of the recognitions are too glaring. The Courtesan and
Berecinthius cannot be said to have added to the gaiety of nations; of the
other characters Flaminius alone has individuality. The peculiar
circumstances under which the play was written may help to explain the

_The Old Law_ does not owe much to Massinger. As it was a favourite play,
it may have owed its association with his name to revision on his
part.(505) There is a charming tenderness in places and a rollicking
improbability about the whole scheme, both alien to the staid Massinger.
The humour is not his, but better; his phraseology is markedly
absent;(506) the prose scenes show another conception of art; the careless
metre suggests Rowley. It is clear that whoever wrote the comic parts of
_The Old Law_ was responsible for Chough, Trimtram, and the Roarers in _A
Fair Quarrel_. The scene is laid in “Epire,” a region which seems to have
been regarded by our ancestors as a place for strange things to happen,
and a vague background like the city of Callipolis;(507) it seems to have
the same character in the present day. A King of “Epire” figures among
Diocletian’s court in _The Virgin Martyr_, and in _The Dumb Knight_(508)
we find a Duke of Epire. The classical allusions and Latin phrases suggest
that the author of _The Old Law_ was a man of some culture.

My task is now ended. I shall consider myself happy if I persuade some of
my readers to make the acquaintance of Massinger’s plays.(509) We have
lately been celebrating the tercentenary of Shakspere’s death. The best
way of honouring a great author is to read his writings; but to appreciate
aright the greatness of Shakspere we should be wise to combine with our
study a just estimate of his contemporaries and satellites; and, of the
many dramatists of that century, none seem to me more worthy of
affectionate consideration than Philip Massinger. It is especially
instructive to return to his writings from the perusal of the masterpieces
of his contemporaries; though from time to time they display rich gifts of
pathos, poetry, and humour, they are too often marred by waywardness,
unnaturalness, want of proportion, and grossness; it is a relief to resume
the study of an author whose work is sober, well balanced, dignified, and
lucid. While he shares with them the modern atmosphere of romance and
adventure, he is the most Greek of his generation; and this is the real
secret of his abiding charm. The passionate, the abnormal, the lurid, the
farcical elements, in which his contemporaries revel, are not, indeed,
entirely absent, but they are less conspicuous; the luxuriance of the
thicket does not hinder the wayfarer from following the path; we pluck the
roses without tearing our flesh on the thorns; and as we contemplate the
marble splendour of his verse we almost forget that sculpture has its


There are several passages in our author in which reference is made to the
low stature of the actor of a female part.

    _Duke of Milan_, II., 1, 108: Graccho, speaking of Mariana:

    Of a little thing,
    It is so full of gall!

    II., 1, 156:

    MARCELIA. For you, puppet—

    MARIANA. What of me, pine-tree?


    MARIANA. O that I could reach you,
    The little one you scorn so.


    GRACCHO.       Forty ducats
    Upon the little hen.


    MARCELIA. Where are you,
    You modicum, you dwarf?

    MARIANA. Here, giantess, here.


    MARIANA. Or right me on this monster (she’s three foot
    Too high for a woman).

    _Bondman_, I., 2, 3: Cleon, speaking to Corisca:

    Beauty invites temptations, and short heels
    Are soon tripp’d up.

    (This passage may have another interpretation.)

    _Renegado_, I., 2, 9: Manto, speaking of Paulina:

    And though low of stature,
    Her well-proportion’d limbs invite affection.

    II., 5, 159: Asambeg, of Paulina:

    Such a spirit,
    In such a small proportion, I ne’er read of.

    V., 2, 62: Carazie, of Paulina:

    I would he had sent me
    To the gallies or the gallows, when he gave me
    To this proud little devil.

    V., 3, 174: Mustapha, of Paulina:

    A terrible little tyranness!

    _Parliament of Love_, V., 1, 86: Perigot, of Leonora:

    A confident little pleader.

    _Roman Actor_, IV., 1, 15: Domitilla, referring to Domitia:

                                Who no sooner absent.
    But she calls Dwarf! (so in her scorn she styles me)
    Put on my pantofles, fetch pen and paper.

    V., 2, 5: Domitilla speaks:

    Could I make my approaches, though my stature
    Does promise little, I have a spirit as daring
    As hers that can reach higher.

    _Picture_, I., 1, 96: Corisca speaks:

    Your hand, or if you please
    To have me fight so high, I’ll not be coy,
    But stand a-tiptoe for’t.

    III., 2, 27: Ricardo to Corisca:

    Pretty one, I descend
    To take the height of your lip.

    II., 2, 197: And Pallas, bound up in a little volume.

    _Emperor of the East_, II., 1, 388: Theodosius to Athenais:

                                              By thyself,
    The magazine of felicity, in thy lowness
    Our eastern queens, at their full height, bow to thee.

    _Maid of Honour_, I., 2, 46: Sylli to Camiola:

    Nor I, your little ladyship, till you have
    Perform’d the covenants.

    II., 2, 117: Fulgentio to Camiola:

    Of a little thing
    You are a pretty peat, indifferent fair too.

    _Maid of Honour_, IV., 3, 83:

    BERTOLDO. Since she alone, in the abstract of herself,
    That small but ravishing substance, comprehends
    Whatever is, or can be wish’d, in the
    Idea of a woman!

    _The Bashful Lover_, I., 1, 116:

    HORTENSIO. My little friend, good morrow.

    (_Cf._ III., 1, 28, where “Ascanio” has to be carried.)

The part of Domitilla was taken by I. Hunniman; that of Paulina by Theo.
Bourne; that of Corisca (in _The Picture_) by W. Trigge. It would appear,
therefore, that these references are not all due to the stature of any one
individual actor, but that Massinger took care to have actors of different
height brought into juxtaposition in his plays. He may here be copying the
well-known passages in _Midsummer Night’s Dream_ (III., 2, 288-298, 324,
329). _Cf._ also _Antony and Cleopatra_, II., 5, 118; III., 3, 13; _Much
Ado_, I., 1, 172 and 216; _As You Like It_, I., 2, 284; _Twelfth Night_,
I., 5, 219; II., 5, 16; _King Lear_, I., 1, 201. _Cf._ Bradley’s
_Shakspearean Tragedy_, p. 317, n. 1.

In Dekker’s _Honest Whore_, Pt. 2. III., 1, the heroine, Bellafront, is “a
little tiny woman.” So are Pretiosa in Middleton’s _Spanish Gipsy_ (I.,
5), and Isabella in _Women, beware Women_ (III., 2). _Cf._ also _The Case
is Altered_ (III., 3), “’Fore God, the taller is a gallant lady.” We find
the same idea in _The Fair Maid of the West_, II., 3; III., 1, 2.
Celestina, in Shirley’s _Lady of Pleasure_ (III., 2), is “a puppet.”
Spaconia in _A King and no King_ (III., 1) is “that little one”; Viola in
_The Coxcomb_ (V., 3) is “not high.” _Cf._ also _The Prophetess_ (I., 3,
59), a play which bears many marks of Massinger’s work:

    DIOCLESIAN. Thou know’st she is a prophetess.

    MAXIMINIAN. A small one,
    And as small profit to be hoped for by her.

    _The Spanish Curate_ (V., 1, 37), Jamie to Violante:

    In stature you’re a giantess: and your tailor
    Takes measures of you with a Jacob’s staff
    Or he can never reach you: this by the way
    For your large size.

    _Love’s Cure_ (V., 3), Bobadillo to Lucio, speaking about Clara:

    I put the longest weapon in your sister’s hand, my lord, because
                she was the shortest lady.

_The Sea Voyage_ (IV., 3): MORILLAT: “This little gentlewoman that was
taken with us,” referring to Aminta. As Cleopatra in _The False One_ (II.,
3) arrives in a parcel, she must have been small. Margarita in _Rule a
Wife_ (III., 4) is “of a low stature.” Ismenia in _The Maid of the Mill_
“was of the lowest stature” (I., 2); _cf._ also V., 2, 7. Evanthe in _A
Wife for a Month_, IV., 3 is “this little fort.” _Cf._ also _The Noble
Gentleman_, IV., 3.


Did Massinger know Greek? It is perhaps worth while collecting the scanty
evidence on the subject. We find a pun on the name Philanax in _The
Emperor of the East_,(510) and Mathias plays on the name of his wife
Sophia.(511) The phrase κατ᾽ ἐξοήν is used in _The Guardian_.(512) We find
a Greek construction in _The Emperor of the East_:(513)

    And that before he gives he would consider
    The what, to whom, and wherefore.

On the other hand, we notice Theseus scanned as a trisyllable.(514)

There are one or two passages where the unexpected turn of the thought
rather suggests a Greek original. Thus, in _The Renegado_(515) we are
reminded of _The Acharnians_:(516)

    GAZET. What places of credit are there?

    CARAZIE. Chief gardener.

    GAZET. Out upon’t! ’Twill put me in mind my mother was an herb

Another passage of THE RENEGADO(517) reminds us of a famous fragment of
Euripides,(518) often mistranslated:

    ASAMBEG.                          At Aleppo
    I durst not press you so far: give me leave
    To use my own will and command in Tunis.

In _The Virgin Martyr_(519) we find a parallel to _The Hecuba_:(520)

    THEOPHILUS.            As a curious painter,
    When he has made some honourable piece,
    Stands off, and with a searching eye examines
    Each colour, how ’tis sweeten’d; and then hugs
    Himself for his rare workmanship.

In _The Emperor of the East_(521) occurs a parallel quoted by Dr. Walter
Headlam in his notes to _Agamemnon_:(522)

    THEODOSIUS.       What an earthquake I feel in me!
    And on the sudden my whole fabric totters!
    My blood within me turns, and through my veins,
    Parting with natural redness, I discern it
    Chang’d to a fatal yellow.

It is the general opinion of scholars that our Elizabethan dramatists owed
very little to the Greek drama directly, but we cannot forget that
Massinger had had a good education at Oxford, and was a widely read
man.(523) His forensic skill often reminds us of Euripides; and if he did
not know the works of his illustrious predecessor, he would have found in
them a congenial spirit.(524)

The speech of Sanazarro to Giovanni in _The Great Duke of Florence_(525)
reminds us of Creon’s arguments in Sophocles’ _Œdipus Tyrannus_, line 596

The scene in _The Bondman_,(526) when the senators frighten the mutinous
slaves by shaking their whips, reminds us of the Scythians in
_Herodotus_,(527) but it is also found in _Justin_,(528) and Gifford
points out that it may really have been borrowed from a contemporary book
of travels, Purchas’s _Pilgrims_.(529)

Massinger had a good working knowledge of mythology; thus, references in
his plays to Hercules and Alcides abound, as they do in Shakspere. We find
several false quantities in proper names: Caesarĕa, in _The Virgin
Martyr_; Archidămus, in _The Bondman_; Eubŭlus, in _The Picture_;
Nomothētae, in _The Old Law_(530); Cybēle, in _Believe as You List_.(531)
We may compare Shakspere’s _Andronĭcus_; Anthrŏpos in _Four Plays in One_,
_The Triumph of Time_; and Euphānes in _The Queen of Corinth_.(532)

It seems scarcely worth while to collect the passages which show
Massinger’s knowledge of Latin; the authors he seems to have known best
are Ovid, Juvenal, and Horace. Swinburne and others have commented on his
indulgence in “the commonplace tropes and flourishes of the schoolroom or
the schools.”(533)


The plays in which Massinger is supposed to have collaborated with other
authors are here set down, with the analyses made by Boyle (_D. N. B._,
xxxvii., pp. 10-16) and the views of Mr. A. H. Bullen in his article on
Fletcher (_D. N. B._, xix., pp. 303-311).(534)

1. _The Honest Man’s Fortune._ (Field, Daborne, Massinger, Fletcher.)

M.: Act III. or part of it.

A. H. B. agrees.

A. H. C.: I doubt whether Massinger had any share in this play. There are
passages of ten-syllable lines in Act III., 1 which are quite unlike him,
while 2 and 3 are interspersed with prose passages, a feature which
Massinger as a rule avoids.

2. _Thierry and Theodoret._ (Massinger, Field, Fletcher, and possibly a
fourth writer.)

M: Act I., 2; Act II., 1, 3; Act IV., 2.

A. H. B. attributes largely to Massinger, assigning Act III. to an unknown

A. H. C. assigns to Massinger Act II., 1 and 3, and with some hesitation
Act I., 2; Act IV., 2.

3. _The Bloody Brother._ (Massinger, Field, Fletcher, and possibly a
fourth writer.)

M.: Act I., Act V., 1.

A. H. B. thinks that Fletcher and Jonson wrote the play, and that
Massinger revised it for a performance at Hampton Court in January,

A. H. C.: There are clearly three hands at work here, one of whom writes
obscurely and uses a good deal of rhyme. Act I., 1 reminds us of Massinger
in several touches, especially lines 269-70. The broken lines in this
scene are complete, as is Massinger’s unfailing practice, but the
ten-syllable line is more common than is usually the case with him. While
Act V., 1 has some sentences cast in the parenthetic form, the expressions
used are less lucid than we expect from Massinger.

4. _The Knight of Malta._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Act III., 2, 3; Act IV., 1; possibly part of Act V., 2.

A. H. B. agrees, assigning Act II. and Act III., 1 to Fletcher.

“Some third person wrote Act I. and part of Act V.”

A. H. C.: I trace Massinger only in Act III., 2.

5. _The Queen of Corinth._ (Massinger, Fletcher (?), Field.)

M.: Act I., Act V.

A. H. B. assigns Act II. to Fletcher, the rest to Middleton and Rowley.

A. H. C.: Massinger wrote Act I., 1, 2, 3 from “Enter Agenor,” V., 2.
Fletcher wrote Act I., 3; Act II., 1, 2, 3, 4; Act III., 1, 2; Act V., 3.
As usual, he is responsible for the comic parts. Act V., 4 is a vigorous
trial scene, not due, I think, to Massinger. The impression that I get
from Act III. is that Massinger drafted it, and Fletcher worked over it.

6. _Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt._ (Massinger, Fletcher.)

M.: Act I., 1, 2; Act II., 1; Act III., 2, 3, 5; Act IV., 4, 5; Act V., 1
to “Enter Provost.”

A. H. B. agrees on the whole.

A. H. C.: Act III., 5, and Act IV., 5 seem to me unworthy of Massinger.
Perhaps a third hand wrote Act I., 3; Act II., 2-7; Act III., 1, as far as
“will ripen the imposture”; Act III., 3; Act V., 1, as far as “Exeunt wife
and daughter.”

7. _Henry the Eighth._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

A. H. B. agrees, attributing a few passages to Shakspere, notably the
trial scene of Catherine.

Sir A. Ward thinks that Massinger and Fletcher wrote most of the play,
Shakspere only a little (_H. E. D._, ii., 246).

Macaulay ascribes it to Shakspere and Fletcher, “perhaps revised by

For a fuller discussion of this problem, _cf._ pp. 84-91.

8. _The Two Noble Kinsmen._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Act I.; Act II., 1; Act III., 1, 2; Act IV., 3; Act V., 1 from line
19, 3, 4.

A. H. B. thinks that Shakspere wrote additions for the revival of an old
play, _Palamon and Arsett_, which came into the hands of Fletcher and
Massinger after the death of Shakspere. Massinger has interpolated his own
work in some of the Shakspere passages.

For a fuller discussion of this problem, _cf._ pp. 92-104.

9. _The Custom of the Country._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Act II., 1, 2, 3, 4; Act III., 4, 5; Act IV., 1, 2; Act V., 1, 2, 3,

A. H. B. agrees.

Macaulay adds part of Act V., 5 to Massinger.

A. H. C.: This play owes very little to Massinger. Boyle, in attributing
Act II. to him, must have been guided solely by metrical considerations.
There is not a trace of his style in the Act. No doubt it is true that
Hippolyta is a type familiar in Massinger’s plays; and her sudden change
of mind in the last act reminds us of him. Again, the mental treatment to
which Duarte owes his cure (Act IV., 1), and the praises of the medical
profession (Act V., 4), recall _A Very Woman_ (II., 2, 26).

But we have to set a good deal against these facts. The plot is more
elaborate, bustling, and improbable than we expect from Massinger. It is
improbable that the young men (Act II., 2) should leap into the sea and
leave Zenocia in the lurch. It is improbable that they should swim a
league to shore with their swords erect in the air, though swords no doubt
they must have if they are to behave as Fletcher’s gentlemen behave. It is
improbable that Rutilio in his flight (Act II., 4) should take refuge in a
palace and find himself in the bedroom of the lady of the house.
Difficulties of this kind are familiar enough in Fletcher. It need
scarcely be said that Sulpicia and her establishment are due to Fletcher

To sum up, if Massinger had any share in this play, he may have given
hints or added touches in connexion with Hippolyta and Duarte. The
simplest supposition is that he edited the play for a revival. The
Prologue and Epilogue “at a revival” contain expressions which remind us
of him. The Prologue ends thus (lines 18-20):

                                          You may allow
    (Your candour safe) what’s taught in the old schools,
    “All such as lived before you were not fools.”

The parenthesis is in Massinger’s manner.

Again, in the second Epilogue, line 7, we find “qualification,” with which
compare “fortification” in _A New Way_, I., 2, 25.

10. _The Elder Brother._ (Fletcher (?), Beaumont; probably revised
generally by Massinger.)

M.: Act I., 1, 2; Act V., 1, 2.

A. H. B. thinks that Massinger revised and completed it after Fletcher’s
death, but says nothing about Beaumont.

A. H. C.: There are traces of Massinger in Act I., 1 and Act V., 1, in
which scenes we find careful metre and a good many parentheses. While Act
I., 2 resembles Massinger, it seems to me to have a lighter touch than
his. In Act V., 1 we find a speech or two very much in his manner, and
characteristic also is the skill with which an ambiguity is prolonged for
some time in this scene, and then dissipated. I doubt if he wrote Act V.,

11. _The Sea Voyage._ (Massinger, Fletcher.)

M.: Act II., 1, 2; Act III., 1, from “Enter Rosellia”; Act V., 1, 2, 3, 4.

A. H. B. says nothing about Massinger here. Macaulay doubts if he had any
share in the play.

A. H. C.: The metre is throughout too rough for Massinger. The plot does
not recall his work in any way.

12. _The Double Marriage._ (Massinger, Fletcher.)

M.: Act I., 1; Act III., 1; Act IV., 1, 2; Act V., 2, to “Enter Pandulfo.”

A. H. B. agrees.

Macaulay assigns all Act I. to Massinger.

A. H. C: I find no trace of Massinger in this improbable play.

13. _The Beggars’ Bush._ (Massinger, Fletcher.)

M.: Act I., 1, 2, 3; Act V., 1, latter part; V., 2, lines 1-110.

A. H. B. does not think Massinger’s part is clearly marked.

Macaulay assigns to Massinger Acts I., II., III., and V.

A. H. C.: I find no trace of Massinger. Neither the plot is lucid nor the
expression. The commercial scenes and the beggars’ slang are both unlike
anything in Massinger, and alien to his courtly mind.

14. _The False One._ (Massinger, Fletcher.)

M.: Act I.; Act V.

A. H. B. agrees.

A. H. C.: Massinger wrote Act I., a good deal of Act IV., and Act V. There
is hardly a scene except the Masque in Act III., 4 which reads like
Fletcher’s unaided work. The dignified rhetoric throughout the play has
the stamp of Massinger; more than that, the character-drawing is like his.
The outspoken Sceva reminds us of the old courtier Eubulus in _The
Picture_. The rudeness of Eros to Septimius in Act III., 2, reminds us of
Donusa in _The Renegado_. The continual changes of mind on the part of
Septimius are an effect which Massinger loves. (_Cf._ also Arsinoe and
Photinus in Act V., 4.)

15. _The Prophetess._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Acts II., IV., V., 1, 2.

A. H. B. thinks Massinger’s share “very considerable.”

A. H. C.: Fletcher wrote Act I., 1, 2, and the Geta scenes (Act I., 3; Act
III., 2; Act IV., 3, 5; Act V., 3). Perhaps some hack wrote the choruses
(Act IV., 1; Act V., 1) or are they inherited from an old play? The main
part of the play is due to Massinger. He certainly had a hand in Act III.,
1. Maximinian is a skilfully drawn character on his lines.

16. _The Little French Lawyer._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Act I.; Act III., 1; Act V., 1, from “Enter Cleremont,” with traces of
his hand in other scenes.

A. H. B. agrees.

A. H. C.: Massinger can be traced at the beginning of Act I., 1 and in Act
III., 1 and Act IV., 5. The resemblances are rather slight, and it is
possible that they are due to the fact that Fletcher occasionally imitated

17. _The Lover’s Progress._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Act I., 1, 2 (to “Enter Malefort”); Act II., 2; Act III., 4, 6 (last
two speeches); Act IV.; Act V.

A. H. B. thinks it is “by Fletcher, with large alterations by Massinger.”
He refers to the explicit statement in the Prologue where the reviser
declares himself to be—

                ambitious that it should be known
    What’s good was Fletcher’s, and what ill his own,

a statement in harmony with Massinger’s well-known modesty.

A. H. C.: Massinger wrote Act I., 1, Act II., 2. There are traces of his
work in Act III., 4, 6; Act IV., 2, 4; Act V., 1, 3. The improbabilities
of the plot—_e.g._, the action of Clarangé—are due to Fletcher. It is
clear from the Prologue that the original play was too long. Massinger
probably cut it down, by leaving out, among other things, scenes in which
Lisander killed his two foes. The play is probably to be identified with
_The __ Wandering Lovers_ or _The Picture_, entered as by Massinger in the
Stationers’ Register, September 9th, 1653.

18. _The Spanish Curate._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Act I.; Act III., 3; Act IV., 1, 4; Act V., 1, 3.

A. H. B. agrees.

Macaulay adds Act IV., 2 to Massinger.

A. H. C.: Massinger can be clearly traced in Act I., 1, Act V., 1; not in
Act V., 3. The trial scene (Act III, 3), though on slighter lines than he
uses as a rule, may be due to him.

19. _The Fair Maid of the Inn._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Act I.; Act III., 2; Act V., 3.

A. H. B. attributes to Rowley and Massinger, and thinks Fletcher’s share
very small.

Macaulay assigns to “Massinger and another (not Fletcher).”

A. H. C.: Massinger wrote Act I., Act V., 3 as far as Clarissa’s speech.
Fletcher wrote Act II., Act III., Act IV., Act V., 1, 2. The mother’s
device to save her son is the sort of improbability from which Fletcher
does not shrink.

20. _A Very Woman._ (Massinger and Fletcher.)

M.: Act I.; Act II., 1, 2, 3 down to “Enter Pedro”; Act IV., 1, 3.

A. H. B. identifies this play with _The Woman’s Plot_, acted at Court in
1621. In its present state it is a version of a play by Fletcher, revised
for a revival by Massinger in 1634.

Macaulay assigns Act III. and Act IV., 1, 2, 3 to Fletcher. For a
discussion of this play _cf._ pp. 129-131.

21. _The Second Maiden’s Tragedy._ (Massinger, Tourneur.)

M.: Act I., Act II.

In _Eng. Stud._, ix. 234, Boyle, with some hesitation, regards this play
as “an early, anonymous, and unsuccessful attempt of Massinger’s.” Whoever
wrote it, the work is immature.

A. H. C. I find no trace of Massinger in this play, but a great deal of
Tourneur’s manner. _Cf._ Appendix XIII.

22. _Love’s Cure._ (Massinger and (?) Middleton.)

M.: Act I.; Act IV.; Act V., 1, 2.

A. H. B. agrees that the play is due to Massinger and Middleton.

Fleay thinks that Massinger altered a play by Beaumont and Fletcher.

A. H. C.: It is to be noted that the Prologue expressly attributes the
play to Beaumont and Fletcher. I find nothing like Massinger except a few
touches in Act I., 1 and 3. The lightheartedness of the play reminds us
alike of Fletcher and Middleton; the romantic atmosphere reminds us of the
former, the inferiority of the metre of the latter.

23. _The Fatal Dowry._ (Massinger and Field.)

M.: Act I.; Act III. (to “Enter Novall junior”); Act IV., 2, 3, 4; Act V.,
1, 2.

For further discussion _cf._ Appendix XI.

24. _The Virgin Martyr._ (Massinger and Dekker.)

M.: Act I.; Act III., 1, 2; Act IV., 3; Act V., 2.

For a discussion of this verdict _cf._ Appendix X.

25. _The Old Law._ (Massinger, Middleton, Rowley.)

Massinger’s share was slight, and can only have consisted in revision for
a later performance. _Cf._ supra, pp. 141-2.


26. _The Laws of Candy._

A. H. B. thinks a large part was written by Massinger, and that Fletcher
cannot be traced.

Boyle (_Eng. Stud._, vii. 75) thinks that though the metrical treatment is
like Beaumont’s, the play is evidently later in date, perhaps due to
Shirley. Fleay (_Eng. Stud._, ix. 23) assigns it to Massinger and Field.

Macaulay says “probably by Massinger and another author (not Fletcher).”

A. H. C.: I find no trace here of the Massinger that we know.

27. _The Captain._

Macaulay: “By Fletcher and another, perhaps Massinger.”

A. H. C.: This is one of the many plays in the Fletcher corpus which
begins admirably and falls away into improbability. I find no trace of
Massinger here, though the incident in Act IV., 5 reminds one of the
banquet in _The Guardian_, Act III., 6.

28. _The Cure for a Cuckold_, “a pleasant comedy written by John Webster
and William Rowley; London, 1661.”

It has been supposed by Fleay that the first act is due to Massinger. It
must be pointed out that a large part of the play is written in prose, and
that the verse parts are not like Massinger. If one or two phrases remind
us of his style the stage is too crowded to make it likely that it is his
design. The real reason, no doubt, for the assumption is that the incident
of Clare and Lessingham is similar to one in _The Parliament of Love_.
Clare sends a letter to Lessingham in which she tells him she will marry
him if he will kill his dearest friend.

    Prove all thy friends, find out the best and nearest,
    Kill for my sake that friend that loves thee dearest.

But even so the incident is worked out with much variety in detail.

Mr. Rupert Brooke in his _Study on Webster_ (Appendix J) arrives at the
conclusion that Webster’s play is subsequent to Massinger’s, both of them
bearing a general resemblance to Marston’s _Dutch Courtesan_. The stinging
and incisive vigour of Marston’s play is a great contrast to the romantic
treatment of the subject in _The Parliament of Love_.

29. _The Island Princess._

This is rather a dull play, though it contains some fine passages and
isolated lines. It is well constructed, and contains one or two touches,
such as “I love a soldier” (I., 2) and “something shall be thought on”
(II., 7), which recall Massinger. And compare “When the streams flow clear
and fair, what are the fountains?” (V., 2) with _The Bondman_, I., 3, 282.
The King in gaol reminds us of _Believe as You List_; the attempt of the
Queen Quisara to convert Armusia to her faith reminds us of _The
Renegado_. On the other hand, the metre is singularly like Fletcher’s
throughout; the diction in many details is unlike Massinger, and there are
no parentheses. Perhaps Fletcher was helped in this play by some young man
such as Brome who was acquainted with Massinger’s style.

30. _The Double Falsehood, or The Distressed Lovers._

This play scarcely deserves serious consideration. _Cf._ Appendix XV.

It will at once be seen how precarious and subjective is much of this
attribution. For example, to trace four styles in a play is a difficult
feat, yet Boyle does this in (2) and (3). Brander Matthews, in discussing
the relation of Massinger and Fletcher, has some interesting remarks,
illustrated by modern parallels. He points out that collaboration may be
either a chemical union or a mechanical mixture of the authors’ qualities,
so that it is hard to decide which process has taken place in a particular
play. These considerations lead him to doubt the finality of Boyle’s
distribution of scenes.

Boyle’s strong points are his argument from metrical details and his
intimate knowledge of the texts. I feel, however, that the metrical test
is open to the charge of being mechanical when weighed against the
impressions which we gain from the evidence of construction, style, and
expressions. Massinger constructed his plays well, and modelled his
characters carefully, whereas Fletcher, while excelling in isolated
scenes, shrank from no improbability which might be necessary to carry the
plot through. I am more conservative, therefore, than Professor Gayley,
who says that “in _The Spanish Curate_, _The Little French Lawyer_, _The
Prophetess_, and _The Beggars’ Bush_ Massinger’s contribution was fully as
important as Fletcher’s. The general design appears to be the work of the
former. Fletcher fills in the details of comic business”;(535) and that
“he has no doubt about Massinger’s part in _The Knight of Malta_, _The
Lover’s Progress_, and _The Elder Brother_.”(536)

Next, with regard to style and expression, when we remember the intimacy
of the two men, it is quite possible that Massinger imitated Fletcher
consciously or unconsciously at some time of his life, and _vice versa_.
Or we may put it in this way: there was a certain amount of conventional
stock-in-trade common to the two writers, such a phrase, for instance, as,
“To the temple” when the inevitable marriage ceremony is to take place. It
would be absurd to suppose that Fletcher never used such a phrase as
“write nil ultra,” which is no doubt a distinguishing mark of Massinger’s
style. Again, Fletcher may have worked over drafts of scenes in the first
instance written by Massinger, and there is evidence for supposing that in
many cases revision for a revival rather than co-operation is the clue.
Massinger’s good judgment would make him an excellent reviser.

It must, however, be allowed that the large amount of agreement between
two experts such as Boyle and Bullen is remarkable. We cannot acquit those
who produced the Folio of Beaumont and Fletcher in 1647 of negligence in
omitting to give their due to Massinger and other collaborators. On the
other hand, it might be argued that if Massinger’s share in Fletcher’s
plays were as large as Boyle believes it to have been, the Folio would for
very shame have acknowledged it; and it must be pointed out that the large
mass of commendatory verses prefixed to the Folio entertains no doubt of
the traditional authorship.(537)

Believing that the matter of first importance is to estimate Massinger
from the plays which he undoubtedly wrote, I have not given above my
evidence in full for the impressions which I have formed of the
“collaborated” plays. The results of my study of these plays may be
summarised as follows: Massinger wrote considerable portions of _The
Prophetess_, _The False One_, and _Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt_. His work
can be traced in _Thierry and Theodoret_ and _The Bloody Brother_. He
wrote the greater part of Acts I. and V. of _The Queen of Corinth_, and of
Acts I. and V. of _The Elder Brother_. He wrote much of the same acts in
_The Little French Lawyer_, _The Spanish Curate_, _The Fair Maid of the
Inn_. He may have assisted in _The Knight of Malta_. He revised for
subsequent performance _The Custom of the Country_ and _The Lover’s
Progress_. He had nothing to do with _The Honest Man’s Fortune_, _The Sea
Voyage_, _The Double Marriage_, _The Beggars’ Bush_, _Love’s Cure_, _The
Laws of Candy_, _The Captain_, _The Cure for a Cuckold_, _The Island
Princess_. In my opinion, Massinger’s hand can be most clearly discerned
in (1) serious plays; (2) the serious parts of plays; (3) the first and
last acts of a joint composition.(538)


The instances quoted in the text can be supplemented by many others.
Compare the diction and thought of the following passages:

    _Maid of Honour_, IV., 3, 61:

    Ministers of mercy,
    Mock not calamity.

    _Hamlet_, I., 4, 39:

    Angels and ministers of grace defend us!

    _Maid of Honour_, V., 1, 133:

    And I to make all know I am not shallow,
    Will have my points of cochineal and yellow.

    _Twelfth Night_, II., 5, 169:

    Remember who commended thy yellow stockings.

    _Virgin Martyr_, I., 1, 177:

    All kind of tortures; part of which they suffer’d
    With Roman constancy.

    _Julius Cæsar_, II., 1, 226:

    Let not our looks put on our purposes,
    But bear it as our Roman actors do,
    With untired spirits and formal constancy.

    (_Cf._ _Duke of Milan_, V., 1, 128.)

    _Parliament of Love_, II., 2, 37:

                      Yet since thou art
    So spaniel-like affected.

    _Midsummer-Night’s Dream_, II., 1, 205:

    Use me but as your spaniel, spurn me, strike me.

    _Two Gentlemen of Verona_, IV., 2, 14:

    Yet, spaniel-like, the more she spurns my love,
    The more it grows and fawneth on her still.

    _Emperor of the East_, IV., 5, 105:

    Methinks I find Paulinus on her lips.

    _Othello_, III., 3, 341:

    I found not Cassio’s kisses on her lips.

    _Emperor of the East_, V., 2, 103:

    Can I call back yesterday, with all their aids
    That bow unto my sceptre? or restore
    My mind to that tranquillity and peace
    It then enjoyed?

    _Othello_, III., 3, 330:

                  Not poppy, nor mandragora,
    Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
    Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
    Which thou owedst yesterday.

    _Othello_, III., 3, 347:

                                  O, now for ever
    Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content!

    _Virgin Martyr_, I., 1, 342:

    An humble modesty, that would not match
    A molehill with Olympus.

    _Great Duke of Florence_, IV., 2, 305:

    As the lowly shrub is to the lofty cedar,
    Or a molehill to Olympus, if compar’d,
    I am to you, Sir.

    _Roman Actor_, III., 1, 3:

                        If you but compare
    What I have suffered with your injuries
    (Though great ones, I confess), they will appear
    Like molehills to Olympus.

    (_Cf._ also _Duke of Milan_, I., 3, 193.)(539)

    _Coriolanus_, V., 3, 29:

                      My mother bows;
    As if Olympus to a molehill should
    In supplication nod.

    _Duke of Milan_, III., 1, 204:

    Thou didst not borrow of Vice her indirect,
    Crooked, and abject means.

    _2 Henry IV_, IV., 5, 184:

    God knows, my son,
    By what by-paths and indirect crook’d ways
    I met this crown.(540)

    _Great Duke of Florence_, II., 2, 12:

    Yes, and drink more in two hours
    Than the Dutchman or the Dane in four and twenty.

    _Hamlet_, I., 4, 18:

    This heavy-headed revel east and west
    Makes us traduced and tax’d of other nations.
    They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
    Soil our addition.

    (_Cf._ also _Othello_, II., 3, 78-87.)

    _Parliament of Love_, IV., 5, 137:

                              Now, as a schoolboy,
    Does kiss the rod that gave him chastisement.

    _Richard II_, V., 1, 31:

    And wilt thou, pupil-like,
    Take thy correction mildly, kiss the rod?

    _Two Gentlemen of Verona_, I., 2, 58:

    That, like a testy babe, will scratch the nurse,
    And presently, all humbled, kiss the rod.

    _Unnatural Combat_, IV., 2, 6:

    Let his passion work, and like a hot-reined horse
    ’Twill quickly tire itself.

    _Henry VIII_, I., 1, 132-4:

                                    Anger is like
    A full-hot horse, who being allow’d his way
    Self-mettle tires him.

    _Emperor of the East_, III., 1, 2:

                        A sudden fever
    Kept me at home.

    _Henry VIII_, I., 1, 5:

                        An untimely ague
    Stay’d me a prisoner in my chamber.

    _A Very Woman_, II., 1, 20:

    The furnace of your father’s anger.

    _Bondman_, III., 3, 170:

                              Or yield up
    Our bodies to the furnace of their fury,
    Thrice heated with revenge.

    _Henry VIII_, I., 1, 140:

    Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
    That it do singe yourself.

    _Virgin Martyr_, V., 2, 158:

                              And now, in the evening,
    When thou should’st pass with honour to thy rest,
    Wilt thou fall like a meteor?

    _Henry VIII_, III., 2, 226:

                                  I shall fall
    Like a bright exhalation in the evening,
    And no man see me more.

    _Guardian_, V., 4, 115:

                      In this casket are
    Inestimable jewels.

    _Richard III_, I., 4, 27:

    Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels.

    _Picture_, I., 2, 17:

                        Since this bubble honour
    (Which is indeed the nothing soldiers fight for)
    With the loss of limbs or life, is in my judgment
    Too dear a purchase.

    _As You Like It_, II., 7, 152:

    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the cannon’s mouth.

    _Picture_, II., 2, 136:

                      It continuing doubtful
    Upon whose tents plum’d victory would take
    Her glorious stand.

    _Othello_, III., 3, 349:

    Farewell the plumèd troops, and the big wars,
    That make ambition virtue!

    _Virgin Martyr_, V., 2, 82:

    There is a scene that I must act alone.

    _Romeo and Juliet_, IV., 3, 19:

    My dismal scene I needs must act alone.

    _Great Duke of Florence_, III., 1, 57:

    What you deliver to me shall be lock’d up
    In a strong cabinet, of which you yourself
    Shall keep the key.

    _Hamlet_, I., 3, 85.

    ’Tis in my memory locked,
    And you yourself shall keep the key of it.

    _Believe as You List_, I., 2, 18:

                    When he smiles, let such
    Beware as have to do with him, for then,
    Sans doubt, he’s bent on mischief.

    _Hamlet_, I., 5, 107:

                            Meet it is I set it down,
    That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain.

    _Old Law_, IV., 1, 36:

    Besides, there will be charges saved too; the same rosemary that
    serves for the funeral will serve for the wedding.(541)

    _Hamlet_, I., 2, 180:

    Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

    _Parliament of Love_, III., 3, 133:

                                  A hurtful vow
    Is in the breach of it better commended,
    Than in the keeping.

    _Hamlet_, I., 4, 15:

                                          It is a custom
    More honour’d in the breach than the observance.

    _Guardian_, V., 1, 44:

                        These woods, Severino,
    Shall more than seem to me a populous city.

    _Othello_, I., 1, 77:

                      The fire is spied
    In populous cities.

    (_Cf._ also IV., 1, 64.)

We may infer that Massinger studied the Folio of 1623 carefully.


(_Lansdowne MSS., B. M., 807._)

This volume contains three plays, the only survivors of Warburton’s
collection: _The Queen of Corsica_, by Fran. Jaques, _The Second Maiden’s
Tragedy_, and _The Bugbears_, together with a fragment of a fourth, R.
Wild’s _Benefice_.

On the back of the first leaf of this volume is attached the list of
Warburton’s collection, in his own hand. The entries referring to
Massinger are as follows: I preserve the spelling.

_Minerva’s Sacrifice._ Phill. Masenger.
_The Forc’d Lady a T._ Phill. Massinger.
_Antonio & Vallia_, by Phill. Massinger.
_The Woman’s Plott._ Phill. Massinger.
_The Tyrant_, a tragedy, by Phill. Massenger.
_Philenzo and Hipolito_, a C. by Phill. Massenger.
_The Judge_, a C. by Phill. Massenger.
_Fast and Welcome_, by Phill. Massinger.
_Believe as You List_, C. by Phill. Massinger.
_The Honour of Women_, a C. by P. Massinger.
_Alexius or the Chaste Gallant_, T. P. Massinger.
_The Noble Choise_, T.C. P. Massinger.

_The Parliament of Love_ is attributed to Wm. Rowley. The versification of
the play which we have under that name is far above Rowley’s powers, nor
are there signs of collaboration in the play, as far as we can tell.

The list has been carefully discussed by Mr. W. W. Greg in his article,
“The Bakings of Betsy,” in _The Library_ (July, 1911).

He puts the matter thus: Warburton enters _Minerva’s Sacrifice_ and _The
Forc’d Lady_ as above. In the _Stationers’ Register_, Sept. 9, 1653, these
titles are given as alternatives for the same play. This might mean that
Moseley was trying to smuggle through two plays for a single fee. Mr. Greg
is inclined to give Moseley the benefit of the doubt, and to suppose that
there were plays existing in divergent versions, which would justify the
double titles. If, however, Moseley was honest, Warburton cannot be
correct. Mr. Greg suggests that Warburton, being interested in old plays,
and having access to the _Stationers’ Register_, drew up for his own use a
list, mainly based on Moseley’s entries, containing the titles of such
pieces as he thought it might be possible to recover, and added the names
of those in his possession. The cook destroyed some of the plays, and
Warburton, discovering his loss, added the famous memorandum to the text
without remembering that it contained the names of plays which he did not
possess. In this case the damage done by “Betsy” would not be so extensive
as has been believed.


Our dramatic writers must have often felt that their metre required
variety to relieve it from the dangers of facility and monotony. No doubt
the same problem suggested itself to Homer and the Greek dramatists. In
the former, the frequent pauses after the first foot or in the middle of
the second foot, in the latter, the much-discussed pauses after the first
foot, are as likely to be due to a desire for variety as to any special
emphasis on the particular words thus singled out.(542)

In what ways did the Elizabethans secure variety?(543)

1. By the use of rhyme. This was the early solution. Massinger does not
often resort to rhyme, though in some of his plays, notably in _The Roman
Actor_, he several times employs the well-known couplet at the end of a

2. By the free use of the eleven-syllable line. This was Fletcher’s
solution. It is astonishing how the pleasure which the occasional use of
this licence gives us turns to a feeling of satiety and weakness when it
is too freely employed, so that many passages in Fletcher sound like a
horse with a fit of roaring.

3. In the free use of trisyllabic feet. This fact has been recently
brought before the public by Mr. Bayfield in connexion with Shakspere.
There is no need to quote instances of this common and easy expedient.

4. By the occasional use of short lines. As has been pointed out
above,(544) Massinger is a strict metrist, and does not often resort to
this liberty, even in rapid conversation.

5. By skilful variation of pauses, such as we find in Milton, Tennyson,
and most of our modern writers of blank verse. Massinger’s flexible and
meandering sentences contain many examples of such variation.

I believe that he had another shaft in his quiver. He occasionally
suppressed a short syllable at the close of the line, and more rarely in
the early part, with the result that an anapaestic lilt of some
effectiveness makes its appearance. An example from _The Emperor of the
East_ will make this clear.

    PULCHERIA. What ís thy náme?

    ATHENAIS. The forlorn Áthenáis (I., 1, 342).

If the stresses are placed as above, it is clear that there is a syllable
suppressed after the word “forlorn,” a three-syllable foot in the third
place, and an anapaestic lilt, “the forlorn.”

Nor is Massinger alone in this device; instances from other poets are
quoted below. This theory conflicts with the dictum of Schmidt in his
Shaksperian lexicon, that words like “forlorn,” “complete,” “supreme,”
“conceal’d,” can be stressed either on the first or second syllable, the
stress being on the first syllable when the stress in the following word
falls on the first syllable. Presumably Schmidt would have scanned the
line in question thus:

    What ís thy náme? The fórlorn Áthenáis.

Schmidt’s dictum, however, will not explain all the cases quoted below,
and it is worth considering whether it is not a simpler solution of the
problem to suppose that our Elizabethan poets combined uniformity of
accent with variety in the metre, sometimes applied more than once in the
same line. It is clear that lines which contain a past participle like
“condemned” cannot be used for the purposes of this argument, as such
words may have been scanned as two syllables or three.

The following cases will support my suggestion. The list does not profess
to be a complete summary of the evidence.

1. _The Emperor of the East_, III., 4, 139:

    To búild me úp a compléte^prínce, ’tis gránted.

2. _The Duke of Milan_, III., 1, 32:

    Mónkeys and páraquíttos consúme^thóusands.

(Here the first foot is a trochee. _Cf._ _infra_, Nos. 6, 8, 20, 21, 36,
43, 48.)

3. _The Bondman_, I., 1, 65:

    Of stránge and resérved párts; but a gréat^sóldier.

4. _The Bondman_, II., 1, 143:

    Which súllied wíth the tóuch of impúre^hánds.

5. _The Bondman_, III., 3, 89:

    Were thís sad spéctaclé for secúre^gréatness.

6. _The Bondman_, IV., 3, 192:

    Máde for your sátisfáction, the póor^wrétch.

7. _The Bondman_, V., 2, 20:

    All éngines tó assáult him. Indéed^vírtue.

8. _The Renegado_, I., 1, 81:

    Ín a relígious schóol, where divíne^máxims.

9. _The Renegado_, I., 3, 152:

    Have cálled your ánger ón, in a frówn^shów it.

10. _The Renegado_, II., 4, 58:

    Displéasures agaínst^thóse, withóut whose mércy.

11. _The Renegado_, III., 2, 36:

    I é’er had íreful fiérceness, a stéel’d^héart.

12. _The Renegado_, IV., 3, 79:

    Forsáke a sevére,^náy, impérious místress.

13. _The Renegado_, V., 1, 7:

    That wíll for éver árm me agaínst^féars.

14. _The Great Duke of Florence_, I., 1, 127:

    And íf my grácious úncle, the gréat^dúke.

15. _The Great Duke of Florence_, I., 2, 29:

    To thínk her wórthy of yóu, besídes^chíldren.

16. _The Great Duke of Florence_, II., 1, 133:

    And máke a pláin discóvery. The dúke’s^cáre.

17. _The Great Duke of Florence_, II., 3, 66:

    The swéetness óf her bréath. Such a bráve^státure.

18. _The Great Duke of Florence_, III., 1, 66:

    On whát desígn, or whíther, the dúke’s^wíll.

19. _The Great Duke of Florence_, IV., 1, 102:

    And píety bé forgótten. The dúke’s^lúst.

20. _The Great Duke of Florence_, V., 2, 3:

    Ín the great státes it cóvers. The dúke’s^pléasure.

21. _The Great Duke of Florence_, V., 3, 127:

    Équal offénders, whát we shall spéak^poínts.

22. _The City Madam_, III., 3, 78:

    Relígious chárity; to sénd^ínfidéls.

23. _The Bashful Lover_, III., 3, 90:

    And sénsual báseness; íf thy profáne^hánd.

24. _The Bashful Lover_, IV., 2, 60:

    ’Tis ímpióus in mán to prescríbe^límits.

25. _The Bashful Lover_, V., 3, 179:

    There’s nó conténding agáinst^déstiný.

26. _A Very Woman_, II., 3, 42:

    Not fár off dístant, appéars^dím with énvy.

27. _The Unnatural Combat_, IV., 1, 35:

    Yet wáking, I’ ne’er chérished obscéne^hópes.

28. _Believe as You List_, I., 1, 144:

    And secúre^gréatness wíth the trúe relátion.

29. _Believe as You List_, I., 2, 10:

    A póint of jústice, his wórds^fúll in méasure.

30. _Believe as You List_, II., 2, 265:

    Undergó the sáme^púnishmént which óthers.

31. _The Guardian_, I., 1, 285:

    This profáne^lánguage. Práy you, bé a mán.

32. _The Guardian_, I., 2, 21:

    Your hónour detésts^fláttery, Í might sáy.

33. Epilogue 2:

    Tó the still dóubtful áuthor, at whát^ráte.

34. _The Parliament of Love_, II., 3, 26:

    You nów expréss yoursélf a compléte^lóver.

35. _The Parliament of Love_, III., 2, 149:

    To háve the gréatest bléssing, a trúe^fríend.

36. _The Parliament of Love_, IV., 1, 95:

    Cást yourself ón her cóuch. Oh, divíne^dóctor!

37. _The Parliament of Love_, V., 1, 69:

    The módern víces. Begín;^réad the bílls.

38. _The Parliament of Love_, V., 1, 184:

    The ápplicátion, ánd in a pláin^stýle.

39. _The Parliament of Love_, V., 1, 520:

    Led thríce through Páris; thén at the cóurt,^gáte.

40. _The Picture_, I., 1, 48:

    Of the sóuls^rávishing músic; the sáme^áge.

(A highly irregular line.)

41. _The Picture_, I., 2, 73:

    Are búried in hér; the lóud^nóise of|wár.

42. _The Picture_, I., 2, 106:

    Her kíngly cáptive abóve^áll the wórld.

43. _The Picture_, I., 2, 184:

    Dóted on thís Semiramís, a kíng’s^wífe.

(The third foot here is u u u u.)

44. _The Picture_, I., 2, 248:

    Beyónd my júst propórtion. Abóve^wónder!

45. _The Picture_, II., 1, 35:

    Appéar, and, what’s móre, appéar^pérfect, híss me.

46. _The Picture_, II., 1, 66:

    Their fáirest íssue to méet^sénsuálly.

47. _The Picture_, II., 1, 165:

    My énd must bé to stánd in a córn^fíeld.

48. _The Picture_, II., 2, 286:

    Í should fix hére, where bléssings beyónd^hópe.

49. _The Picture_, III., 2, 40:

    They thánk’d the bríngers óf it. The póor^lády.

50. _The Picture_, III., 5, 161:

    What cán you stáke against it. A quéen’s^fáme.

51. _The Picture_, IV., 4, 64:

    If thís take nót, I am chéated. To slíp^ónce.

52. _The Picture_, V., 3, 11:

    Befóre he góes to súpper. Ha! Is my hóuse^túrn’d.

(The fourth foot is u u u —.)

53. _The Picture_, V., 3, 40:

    And néed no tútor. Thís is the gréat^kíng.

It will be noted that the rhythm often occurs in a broken line—_i.e._, a
line divided between two speakers. _Cf._ Nos. 7, 20, 36, 44, 50, 51, 52,
53. (_Cf._ also _The Emperor of the East_, I., 1, 342.)

_Cf._ _The False One_, I., 1:

    What néarer plédges chállenge: résign^ráther.

_The False One_, V., 4:

    The stóry óf a supréme^mónarchý.

_The Prophetess_, I., 3:

    Chéerful and gráteful tákers the góds^lóve.

_The Prophetess_, I., 3:

    Nor múst I revéal^fúrther, till you cléar it.

_The Prophetess_, III., 1:

    For ládies of high^márk, for divíne^beáuties.

_The Lover’s Progress_, I., 1:

    To Cúpid agáinst^Hýmen! Óh, mine hónour.

_The Fair Maid of the Inn_, I., 1:

    A compléte^cóurtier! máy I livé to sée him.

_Thierry and Theodoret_, IV., 2:

    Thou dóst throw chárms upón me, agáinst^whích.

_Thierry and Theodoret_, IV., 2:

    Aṅd the place whére, the pálace, agáinst,^áll.

_Jew of Malta_, I., 2:

    And extréme^tórtures óf the fíery déep.

_Dr. Faustus_, I., 1:

    And Í that háve with concíse^sýllogísms.

_Nero_, I., 4:

    O sevére^ánger óf the highest góds.

_Rule a Wife_, I., 1:

    For thére I dáre be bóld to appéar^óften.

_The Maid in the Mill_, I., 3:

    Now by’ the sóul of lóve, a divíne^créature.

_Henry VIII_, II., 1, 11:

    I’ll téll you ín a líttle. The gréat^dúke.

I believe that many of the rhythms from Shakespeare quoted by Schmidt and
by Mr. R. Bridges in his “Milton’s Prosody,” can be explained in this way.


This play was edited by Mr. T. Crofton Croker, with a short Preface, in
the Percy Society’s Publications, Vol. XXVII., 1849. The Tudor Society has
published a photographic facsimile of the MS., now in the British Museum
(Egerton MSS., 2828). _Cf._ B.M. Catalogue of Additions, 1907, p. 384. The
MS. was purchased for the Museum at a sale on November 27, 1900, for £69.
It is of paper. The original document, measuring 12-1/2 inches by 7-1/2
inches, comprises folios 5 to 29; folios 2 and 3 are the old vellum cover.

Mr. Croker’s account of the MS. (Pref., p. ix) runs as follows:

“The MS., from its commencement to the termination of the licence, was
written on forty-eight pages of foolscap paper, in a small hand, sometimes
not easy to be read. Of the second leaf only an inconsiderable portion
remains, and the top and bottom of the paper have been injured in some
places by damp. In four additional pages after the licence, the Prologue,
Epilogue, and property directions are preserved. The MS. is stitched up in
a parchment cover, which appears to have been a cancelled ‘Indenture’ of
Elizabeth’s reign. On the outside page of this parchment, or back of the
cancelled indenture, is written the title, in what I agree with Mr. Beltz
in regarding as Massinger’s autograph.”(545)

From the letter of Mr. S. Beltz, given by Mr. Crofton Croker, we learn
that Gifford had more than once lamented to Mr. Croker the disappearance
of this MS., which Colley Cibber had seen;(546) and that the MS. had
formerly been in David Garrick’s hands. Mr. S. Beltz also says: “It is
well known from other sources that the play was acted on May 7, 1631.”

The MS. had belonged to George Beltz, Lancaster Herald, and executor of
Garrick’s widow. His brother Samuel found it among “a mass of rubbish.” It
was in the possession of J. O. Halliwell Phillips at one time. This
well-known Shaksperian scholar inserted a note about it on p. 1, in which
he says, _inter alia_: “This is one of the few play-house copies of any
English plays before the suppression of theatres known to exist. I
strongly suspect it has some corrections in Massinger’s own autograph.”

Sir George F. Warner, in the _Athenæum_ (January 19, 1901) discusses the
MS. He believes it is in Massinger’s own hand, as the alterations are made
_currente calamo_. This fact can easily be verified from a perusal of the
MS. Sir G. Warner, after comparing the MS. with the Henslowe document at
Dulwich, arrived at the conviction that the writing was Massinger’s. He
considers that the title and marginal stage-directions are due to the
manager, and that the Prologue and Epilogue are in a third hand. He points
out that “Carthage” is written over “Venice” (Crofton Croker, p. 41),
“Affricque” over “Europe” (p. 44), and “Berecinthius” over “Sampayo” (p.
79).(547) He proceeds to explain the reason for these alterations, and
then emends some of Mr. Croker’s mistakes.

With all due deference to the great authority of Sir G. Warner, I do not
feel certain that this hand is that of the appeal to Henslow. On the other
hand, we must remember that seventeen years had elapsed, and that it is
unlikely that a poor man like Massinger would have employed an amanuensis.
Capital “I,” “s,” “f,” and “e” are alike in the two documents; but “ve” in
“have ever” did not seem to me to be the same, nor did any of the “r’s” at
Dulwich resemble the hand in the play.(548)

There are few mistakes in the MS. beyond those which the writer has
corrected himself. The corrections and additions all appear to be in the
same hand. The simplest explanation of the MS. is to suppose that
Massinger had before him the MS. of the play which had been condemned by
the Censor, and that he copied it out again, making the necessary changes
of name, etc. This would account for one or two mistakes which the writer
has corrected.(549) In other passages we can see his judgment at work,
altering the phraseology,(550) or expanding one line into two.(551)
Sometimes a word is repeated from a previous line and then cancelled,(552)
as if the writer had been tired, as he might well be. The writing combines
German and Italian forms.

The play was remodelled from its original form by order of the
Censor.(553) Sir G. Warner has pointed out that it is derived from “the
strangest adventure that ever happened, either in the ages passed or
present: containing a discourse concerning the successe of the King of
Portugal, Dom Sebastian. London: printed for Frances Henson, dwelling in
the Blackfriers, 1601.”(554)

This book is the story of a claimant to the throne of Portugal. On p. 78
we have “the markes and signes which the King of Portugall Dom Sebastian
beares naturally on his body.” Twenty-two in all are given. Among them

    (1) He hath the right hand greater than the left.

    (2) The right arme longer than the left.

    (5) The right legge is longer than the left.

    (6) The right foote greater than the other.

Compare these statements with the words erased in the MS., folio 8.(555)


    His verie hand legge and foote, and the lefte side
    Shorter than on the right.

    (12)  He hath little pimples on his face and hands.

    _Cf._ 2 MARCHANT:

    The moles upon
    His face and hands(556)

    (21)  Another marke or wound upon the head.

    (22)  Another upon the right eye-brow.

    _Cf._ 3 MARCHANT:

    The scarres, caused by his hurts,
    On his right browe and head.(557)

    (14) He lackes one tooth on the right side in the neather jaw.


                        The hollownesse
    Of his under jawe, occasion’d by the losse
    Of a tooth pull’d out by his chirurgion.(558)

    (18)  The lip of Austriche,(559) like his
    Grandfather Charles the Fift, Emperor,
    Father to his mother, and of his
    Grandmother, Catherine, Queen of
    Portugall, mother to his father, sister
    To the said Charles the Fift.

Compare the original reading in the play,(560) “His nose! his German
lippe!” Over German “very” has been written, and underneath is traceable
the “A” of Austrian.

These passages leave no doubt as to the derivation of the earlier part of
the story which Massinger dramatised.

On p. 45 of _The Strangest Adventure_ we read that Dom Sebastian comes to
Venice “very poorely, and robbed by five of his own servants, which he
entertained in Cicilie.” This incident occurs in _Believe as You List_,
Act I. At Venice he was persecuted by the “embassadour of Castile,” whose
name is not given, but whose place in the play is taken by Flaminius. On
p. 49 he is said to have been beaten by the Moors in Africa in 1578, and
to be now (1600) a prisoner at Venice. In _Believe as You List_ the period
of twenty-two years is referred to as the interval during which Antiochus
has been travelling about the world.(561) On p. 50 Dom Sebastian arrives
at Venice with “but one poor gazete.” In the play Antiochus, after being
robbed by his servants, finds “a waste paper” lying near him, and speaks
as follows:

                        There is something writ more.
    Why this small piece of silver? What I read may
    Reveal the mystery: “Forget thou wert ever
    Called King Antiochus. With this charity
    I enter thee a beggar.”(562)

On p. 67 Sebastian is set free, and on p. 86 he goes to Florence, on his
way to Marseilles, with some talk of trying to establish his identity in
Holland. But the narrative closes abruptly, and we know no more of the
claimant to the Portuguese throne from _The Strangest Adventure_.

The ineffectiveness of the play may be partly due to the necessity of
altering the original modern setting to an ancient one. It is hard, for
example, to see how the monk Sampayo was metamorphosed into Berecinthius,
the fat priest of Cybele.

Mr. Croker’s reprint was the cause of a very pretty literary quarrel
between the Shakespeare Society and the Percy Society. A writer who signed
himself “A Member of both Societies” published a pamphlet animadverting on
Mr. Croker’s abilities as an editor,(563) and Mr. Croker replied in no
measured terms. The documents may be seen at the British Museum.

The anonymous writer, working on the many indications given in the
marginal notes, reconstructed the cast of _Believe as You List_.(564) “My
cast,” he says, “has been a work of difficulty, and, in the case of some
of the minor performers, a matter of considerable doubt, more especially
as a few of them doubled or even trebled their parts; and as we here see
(the only instance of the kind I am acquainted with), perhaps exchanged
characters during the progress of the play.

Antiochus               J. Taylor.(565)
Flaminius               J. Lowin.
Lentulus                R. Robinson.
Marcellus               R. Benfield.
Berecinthius            T. Pollard.
Chrysalus               E. Swanston.
Demetrius               W. Patrick.
Amilcar                 — Rowland.
1 Merchant              J. Honeyman.
2 Merchant              W. Penn.
3 Merchant              — Curt.
Calistus                T. Hobbes.
Titus                   R. Baxter.
Queen to Prusias        — Ball.
Cornelia                — Nick.
Courtesan               — Boy.

“With regard to the three female parts, and another of a Moorish
woman,(566) we are left much in the dark, and I have placed names against
them with considerable hesitation.

“The actors who doubled their parts were W. Penn, who was also a Jailor;
Rowland, who was also King Prusias; Patrick, who was also a Captain; and
Baxter, who was also an officer and a servant, besides, as well as we can
judge, delivering a speech or two as Demetrius. Rowland must also have
trebled his small parts. Besides these, we hear in the course of the play
of W. Mago, Gascoine, Herbert, and Harry Wilson; the last was a singer....
It need hardly be added that the ’tragedy’ was got up and acted by the
Company called the King’s Players, all the names being those of performers
in that association in 1631.”


This play is accessible to the general public at present in Colonel
Cunningham’s edition of Massinger, and in Mr. Arthur Symons’s edition in
“The Mermaid Series.” An examination of the original MS., now in the
British Museum, shows that Cunningham’s text is not always correct. Though
an exhaustive collation of the MS. is not necessary, several points of
interest emerge from a study of the original document, which I have
digested here. (C. = Cunningham’s edition; MS. = Manuscript reading.
Brackets signify Cunningham’s conjectural additions, which he has not
always taken the trouble to indicate.)

Page 595. There is no list of dramatis personae in MS.

I., 1.—C.: Enter Antiochus and a Stoic. The three servants enter after
line 118.

MS.: Antiochus Stoic in philosopher’s habits; Chrysalus with a writing,
Syrus, Geta, bondmen.

I., 1, 26.—C.: Stoic.

MS.: Stoic: Hermit (cancelled).

I., 1, 56.—C.:

    Old (He) sper with his fierce beams (scorch)ing in vain
    Their (wives, their sisters and their tender daughters).

MS.: The line is much damaged, being the last on the page. A mention of
the old after the young (lines 52 to 55) seems to be required.

I read it thus: Olde men with sil ... in vain. There is no trace of 57,
but it is required by the sense.

I., 1, 60.—MS.: The soldiers’ greedy lusts. “Greedy” deleted.

I., 1, 85.—C.: A prey so precious and so dearly purchased.

MS.: A prey so precious and dearly purchased.

“Precious” is scanned as a trisyllable.

I., 1, 117.—C.:

                    The imperious waves
    (Of my) calamities have already fallen.

MS.: “Of my” is not in MS. The last word of 118 is “Swollen.” The word
“Marvell” can be seen at the end of a line after 118.

Here comes a hiatus of two pages. No doubt Antiochus had a fairly long
soliloquy. It is impossible to tell how many lines are lost here, as the
characters seem to be conducting a rapid dialogue, in which it is not
necessary to suppose that a whole line was assigned to each speaker at a

I., 1, 119.—C.:

    Despair with sable wings
    (Sail-stretch’d ab)ove my head.

MS.: Ore my head. A verb is wanted. (?) Sail-stretch’d flies o’er my head.

I., 1, 121.—MS.: ... ius furnished me. The line begins with a name to
which there is no clue, probably introduced in the part now lost.

I., 1, 122.—C.: (And) make my first appearance like myself.

    MS.: Made       ? Which made, etc.

I., 1, 123.—C.: (Have these) disloyal villains ravished from me. Addition
required by sense.

I., 1, 124.—C.: (Wret)ch that I was.

MS.: “ch” at end of a word which has disappeared. “Wretch” gives the

I., 1, 125.—C.: (With) such a purchase.

MS.: Such a purchase. The first word in the line has disappeared.

I., 1, 126.—C.: Without (the) gold to fee an advocate.

MS.: Without gold to fee an advocate. The first word in the line has
disappeared. (?) And.

I., 1, 127.—C.: (To) plead my royal title, nourish hope.

MS.: Plead my royal title, nourish hope. The first word in the line has
disappeared. “To” is required.

I., 1, 129.—C.: Wanting the outer gloss.

MS.: Wanting the outward gloss.

I., 1, 153.—C.:

    Bids me become a beggar. But complaints are weak
    And womanish. I will like a palm-tree grow
    Under my (own) huge weight.

    MS.: Bids me become a beggar. But complaints
    Are weak and womanish. I will, like a palm-tree,
    Grow under my huge weight.

I., 1, 155.—C.:

                          Nor shall the fear
    Of death or torture that dejection bring
    Make me (or) live or die less than a king!

MS. has: To make me live or die less than a king!—_i.e._, “that” in 156 is
the demonstrative, not the relative.

I., 2, 2.—C.: Keeps us at such (a) distance.

MS.: Keeps us off at such distance.

I., 2, 20.—C.: Sans doubt, he’s bent on mischief.

MS.: Sans doubt he’s bent to mischief.

I., 2, 24.—C.:

    He shall find I can
    Think, and aloud too.

MS.: Chant, and aloud too.

I., 2, 53.—C.: ’T had perfected thy life.

MS.: It had.

I., 2, 66.—C.: (to task). Not in MS. Traces of a word in the beginning of
a line now lost at the foot of 66.

I., 2, 67.—C.:

          If arrogantly you presume to take
    The Roman government, your goddess cannot
    Give privilege to it, and you’ll find and feel
    ’Tis little less than treason, Flamen.

    MS.: If arrogantly you presume to tax
    The Roman government, you’ll find and feel your goddess cannot
    Give privilege to it, and you’ll find and feel
    ’Tis little less than treason, Flamen.

“You’ll find and feel” cancelled in line 68—_i.e._, the author changed his
mind as he wrote.

I., 2, 72.—C.: These Asiatic merchants whom you look on.

MS.: These Asiatic merchants whom you look upon.

“Merchants” added afterwards above the line, and the first syllable of
“upon” deleted.

I., 2, 90.—C.: To it again.

MS.: To it again now.

I., 2, 139.—C.: Yet you repine and rather choose to pay.

MS.: Yet you repined and rather chose to pay.

I., 2, 151.—C.: And this is my last caution.

MS.: Since this is my last caution.

I., 2, 161.—C.: (On) which.

MS.: Mutilated at beginning. “On” makes sense.

I., 2, 186.—C.: His nose, his very lip.

MS.: His nose, his German lip. “German” scratched out, and underneath
appears a word beginning with “A,” Asian or Austrian?(567) “Very” is
written above “German.”

I., 2, 187.—C.:

    His very hand, leg and foot!
                                  The moles upon
    His face and hands.

    MS.: His own (?) hand, leg and foot, and the left side
    Shorter than on the right.
                                The moles upon
    His face and hands.

“His own” down to “the right” is cancelled in MS.

I., 2, 191.—C:

    1 M. To confirm us, tell us your chirurgeon’s name
    When he served you.

    A.        You all knew him as I
    Do you, Demetrius Castor.

    2 M.                      Strange.

    3 M.                               But
    Most infallibly true.


    1 M.             To confirm us,
    Tell us his name when he served you.

    A.                You all know him,
    As I do you: Demetrius Castor.

    2 M.                           Strange.

    3 M. But most infallibly true.

In line 192 “his” has been altered to “the chirurgeon’s” to the detriment
of the metre.

I., 2, 196.—C.: We’ll pay for our distrust.

MS.: We sin in our distrust.

II., _ad initium._—Stage-manager’s note in left-hand margin, “Long.”

II., 1, 6.—C: I will exact

MS.: ’Twill exact.

II., 1, 47.—MS.:

    We hold it fit you should have the first honour notice,
    That you may have the honour to prevent it.

“Honour” in 47 deleted.

II., 1, 51.—MS.: In the shape of King Antiochus. Under King can be seen
“Don Sebastian.”

II., 2, 45.—C: With due invitation, and remember.

MS.: With a due invitation and remember.

II., 2, 49.—C.:

    And though the Punic faith is branded by
    Our enemies, our confederates and friends
    And seventeen kings, our feodaries found it
    As firm as fate.

    MS.: And though the Punic faith is branded by
    Our enemies, our confederates and friends
    Found it as firm as fate, and seventeen kings
    Our feodaries.

II., 2, 52.—MS.:

    Our strength at sea superior upon the sea
    Exceeding theirs.

“At sea superior” deleted. A clear case of the author’s alteration as he

II., 2, 56.—C.:

    And then for our cavallery, in the champaign
    How often have they brake their piles.

    MS.: And then for our cavallery, how often, in the champaign
    How they brake often have they brake their piles.

“How often” in line 56. and the first “they brake” deleted. Author’s
alterations again.

II., 2, 59.—C.: If so we find it.

MS. If so, as we find it.

II., 2, 67.—MS.: By yielding up a man.

Written over something of which the first words are “in a,” the last word

II., 2, 98.—MS.: By the conquered Asiatics this impost in their hopes.

“This impost” deleted. “This impostor” occurs just above in line 97.

II., 2, 108.—C.: By her.

MS.: By his.

II., 2, 138.—C.: He bears him like a king.

MS.: He bears himself like a king.

II., 2, 142.—MS.: Ceutha deleted before Afric.

II., 2, 165.—C.: Cannot near you.

MS.: Cannot hear you.

II., 2, 205.—C.: Filled.

MS.: Filed.

II., 2, 209.—MS.: And hath keeps a whore in Corinth.

“Hath” deleted.

II., 2, 217.—MS.: In the royal monument of Hib the Asian kings.

(?) The author started to write “Hiberian kings.”

II., 2, 240.—MS.: Rebellion delivery or restoring.

“Rebellion” deleted; it occurred in the previous line.

II., 2, 253.—C.:

    With reverence to
    This place, thou liest.

    MS.: Setting aside, with reverence to
    Thy place, the state, thou liest.

“Setting aside” and “thy place” deleted.

II., 2, 255.—C.: By being ...

    MS.: By being libb’d, and my disability
    To deflower thy sisters.

II., 2, 256.—C.: I (bow to) your goddess.

MS.: Thank your goddess.

“Thy” deleted under “your.”

II., 2, 285.—MS.:

    Of brave and able men that might have stood
    In opposition for the defence.

“That might” down to “opposition” inserted in same hand above the line.

II., 2, 289.—C.: For my confed’rates.

MS.: For my confederates.

Required by metre.

II., 2, 328.—MS.: Word deleted before Antiochus. Sebastian would scan.

II., 2, 335.—MS.: With your accustomed clemency wisdom you’ll perceive.

“Clemency” deleted.

II., 2, 346.—MS.: Such depositions as they pleased knew would make.

“Pleased” deleted.

II., 2, 368.—MS.: Word deleted under “Carthage.” (?) Venice.

III., 1, 20.—MS.: “Europe” deleted under “Afric.”

III., 1, 22.—MS.: “To the good king Hiero” deleted under “To the
pro-consul Marcellus.”

III., 1, 47.—C.: You’ll find there that they.

MS.: You shall find there that.

(A nominative is wanted; unless for “there” we read “them”)

III., 1, 62.—C.: To my (aid).

MS.: To my wish.

III., 1, 91.—MS.: There’s thy reward.

Underneath “there’s,” “take” deleted.

III., 1, 103.—C.:

    Your travail’s ended, mine begins; I take my leave.
    Formality of manner now is useless.

    MS.: Your travail’s ended, mine begins, and therefore
    Sans ceremonie I will take my leave.

“Sans ceremonie” deleted, and “formality ... useless” added at the end of
the line. The author omitted to cancel “I take my leave.”

III., 2, 31.—C.: Thou thin gut!

MS.: You thin gut!

III., 2, 35.—MS.: Cancels from “Jove! if thou art” to 38, “They come.”

III., 2, 36.—C.: Change not Jove’s purpose.

MS.: Change not you Jove’s purpose.

III., 2, 106.—MS.:

    I will conjure him
    If revenge hath any spells.

Cancelled in MS.

III., 3, 132.—C.: Will but—I spare comparisons.

(?) Punctuate: Will—but I spare comparisons.

III., 3, 150.—MS.: Of such such as are.

Second “such” deleted.

III., 3, 151.—MS.: Bithynia covered with our knights armies.

“Knights” deleted.

III., 3, 166.—MS.: And more than my his caution to you; but now peace or

“And more than my” deleted. The previous line had begun with these words.
Was the author copying a former draft of the scene?

III., 3, 229.—C.: To cross your purpose.

MS.: To cross your purposes.

III., 3, 234.—MS.: The warrant and authority of a wife your queen.

“A wife” deleted.

III., 3, 244.—C.: These (eyes) pull’d out.

MS.: These pulled out.

“Eyes” is required by the sense, and “these” and “eyes” are much alike in
this hand.

_Ibid._—C.: Do then.

MS.: Do you then.

III., 3, 248.—C.: Born deaf.

MS.: Born dumb.

Act IV.—Stage-manager’s note in left-hand margin of 186, “Long.” _Cf._ Act

IV., 1.—C.: A street in Callipolis.

Not in MS.

MS.: Sempronius a Capturion—_i.e._, “captain” altered to “centurion.”

IV., 1, 2.—MS.: I heard such.

“Such” deleted. It begins the next line.

IV., 1, 5.—MS.: He promised me a visit, if his designs as I desire they

“He” deleted and “who by his letters” written above it.

For similar expansion of one line into two, _cf._ II., 2, 285.

IV., 1, 7.—MS.: Till he arrive you behold him.

“He arrive” deleted.

IV., 1, 23.—MS.: “My” deleted before “yourself.”

IV., 1, 29.—C.: Lips.

MS.: Lip.

IV., 1, 34.—C.: Tacks on “he” to this line.

MS.: “He” begins line 35.

IV., 1, 45.—Enter Flaminius.

(?) “Ferdinand” deleted below.

IV., 1, 90.—C.: And may prove fortunate.

MS.: And it may prove fortunate.

IV., 2, 5.—C.: (Why), the sufferings of this miserable man.

MS.: No trace of “why.”

IV., 2, 11.—C.: Tacks on “to” at the end.

MS.: It begins line 12.

IV., 2, 29.—C.: And know that not the reverence that waits.

MS.: And though I know the reverence that waits.

IV., 2, 33.—C.: Or iron.

MS.: Or fire.

IV., 2, 58.—C.: They aim at.

MS.: They aimed at.

IV., 2, 60.—C.: A few more hours.

MS.: A few hours more.

IV., 2, 66.—MS.: For the pretty tempting friend I brought; my life on’t.

Under “tempting,” “beauty” (?) deleted.

IV., 2, 87.—MS.: Crack not with the weight of deer, and far-fetched

“Not” spoils the metre and the sense; it occurs in line 88. “Dispute not
with heaven’s bounties.”

IV., 2, 90.—C.: Homely cakes.

MS.: Homely cates.

    IV., 2, 96.—MS.: I have already
    Acquainted her with her cue. The music ushers
    Her personal appearance.

Scratched out at top of 20_b_, and inserted at foot of 20_a_.

IV., 2, 127.—C.: Pray, what are you?

MS.: Pray you, what are you?

IV., 2, 147.—C.: That, (sir), is.

MS.: “Sir” not visible owing to mutilation. (?) Sir, that is.

IV., 2, 158.—MS.: And met your wishes.

“And met” deleted before “and met.”

IV., 2, 226.—MS.: To pluck your eyes out.

Last half of line deleted.  Last word (?) “thoughtes.”

IV., 2, 228.—MS.: Add a deleted line:

Dieted with gourd water.(568) Oh! the furies!

C.: leaves out.

IV., 3, 1.—MS.: Officers leading in Berecinthius.

“Sampayo” deleted under “Berecinthius.”

C.: Place of execution at Callipolis.

MS.: Does not mention Callipolis.

IV., 3, 28.—MS.: My bark you see wants stowage.

“Balance” deleted before “stowage.”

IV., 3, 29.—C.: But give me half a dozen hens.

MS.: But give me half a dozen of hens.

IV., 3, 39.—MS.: “Helped me” _bis._ The first one deleted.

IV., 3, 44.—MS.: To make three sops for his three heads; may serve for a

“that” inserted after “heads,” and “something more than an ordinary” after
“serve for.” One line converted into two, as above, IV., 1, 5.

IV., 3, 46.—MS.: The cur is vengeance devilish hungry.

“Vengeance” deleted.

IV., 3, 48.—C.: Provided for my frame.

MS.: Provided for my fame.

IV., 3, 53.—MS.: That no covetous Roman, after I am dead.

“Needie” deleted under “covetous.”

IV., 4, 13.—C: His faults are inscribed.

MS.: His fault’s inscribed.

IV., 4, 22.—C.: But in one thing most remarkable.

MS.: But one thing most remarkable.

IV., 4, 45.—MS.: Of kings deposed, and some in triumph led.

“Read” deleted before “led.”  It is the last word of line 44.

IV., 4, 48.—C: Is of worse condition, and Rome.

MS.: Is of a worse condition, and Rome.

V., 1, 28.—MS.: “rows” deleted before “is chained.”

V., 1, 98.—C: In the world.

MS.: Of the world.

V., 1, 102.—C: Since I am term’d a soldier.

MS.: Since I am turn’d soldier.

V., 1, 116.—C: Grant you like (opportunity, but why),

MS.: Grant you like;

C.’s addition required by the sense.

V., 1, 137.—C.: In which, my lord being a suitor with (me).

MS.: In which, my lord being a suitor with. Addition required.

V., 1, 143.—C.: And though it needs not, for further proof.

MS.: And though it needs it not, for further proof.

V., 1, 157.—C.: They find.

MS.: May find.

“May” required by the sense.

V., 1, 172.—MS.: Swim down the torrent stream but to oppose the torrent.

“Torrent” before “stream” deleted.

V., 2, 14.—C.: I will make this good.

MS.: I will mock this good.

V., 2, 30.—C.: That noble Roman. By h(im you are sent for).

MS.: That noble Roman. By h.... Addition required.

V., 2, 33.—C.: Though I grand him.

MS.: Though I grac’d him.

V., 2, 46.—C.: ANTONIUS. Forbear.

MS.: MARCELLUS. Forbear.

V.,2, 59.—MS.: “Marcell” deleted before “King Antiochus.”

V., 2, 124.—C.: (The armlet).

Koeppel points out that in Cayet it is a ring.(569)

V., 2, 125.—C.: Which you wear on your sl(eeve).

MS.: Which you wear on your——slight traces of “sl.”

V., 2, 125.—C.: I ack(nowledge).

MS.: I ack ...

V., 2, 155.—C.:

    My power to justify the ill, and pressed
    You with mountainous promises of love and service.

    MS.: My power to justify the ill, and pressed you
    With mountainous promises of love and service.

V., 2, 166-7.—MS.: As far as “faithfully” in one line, but all written at
the same time.

V., 2, 173.—C.: The violence of your passion.

MS.: .... l .. ce of your passion.

V., 2, 174.—C.: Cornelia. (Do) but (expre)ss.

MS.: Cornelia has a line which has disappeared; towards the end are traces
of “but” and “ss.”

V., 2, 175.—C.: Your thankfulness for his so m(any favours).

MS.: Your thankfulness for his so m ...

V., 2, 176.—C.: And labour that the senate may restore h(im).

MS.: And labour that the senate may restore h ... Addition required.

V., 2, 212.—C.: Yield an account without appeal for wha(t).

MS.: Yield an account without appeal for wha ...

V., 2, 213.—C.: You have already done. You may p(eru)se. (Does it.)

MS.: You have already done. You may p ... se.

No need for “Does it.”

V., 2, 214.—C.: Do you f(i)nd I ha(ve).

MS.: Do you f ... nd e I ha ... Addition required.

V., 2, 215.—C.: (The warran)t. (C)all in the Asian merchants.

MS.: ... all in the Asian marchants.

(?) “The document” would scan better.

V., 2, 216.—C.: 2 MERCHANT. Now to be hanged.

MS. has space above 216 for half a line to be said by someone else.

V., 2, 217.—C.: 3 MERCHANT. Him that pities thee.

MS. gives no clue to the speaker.

_Ibid._—C.: Flaminius. Accusers.

MS.: ... sers. It is the last word of line 217?

V., 2, 218.—C.: ... die, and will prove that you took bribes.

I suggest as restoration of lines 215-218:

                    Call in the Asian merchants;
    Let’s hear them speak.


          ’Tis thy turn now to be hanged.
    And shame to him that pities thee.


                                Th’ accusers
    Are ready, and will prove, etc.

V., 2, 232.—C.: (’Tis) a Roman.

MS.: A Roman.

(C.’s addition required by the sense.)

PROLOGUE—1.—C.: (So far our) author.

MS.: ... author.


The MS. (No. 39 in the Dyce Collection, Victoria and Albert Museum)
comprises nineteen leaves of the same size as those of _Believe as You
List_. It has suffered much from damp, and is in a brittle, dilapidated
state. In several passages the MS. has suffered since Gifford’s collation
(_e.g._, II., 2, 15). The lacunae in the text—_e.g._, at I., 4, 55; I., 5,
7; and I., 5, 74—are all caused by the mutilation of the lower edge of the
MS. The hand seems to be the same throughout, but bears no resemblance to
that in which _Believe as You List_ is written, nor is it so easy to
decipher. There are very few corrections in the text, and no marginal
notes of any kind except the customary entrances and departures of the
characters, which are duplicated as in _Believe as You List_, but in the
same hand. The licence on folio 19_a_ has been cut off. On folio 19_b_ is
written in a largish hand, _The Parliament of Love_, without any author’s
name. Gifford believed that this MS. was in Massinger’s hand, and says
“this has since been confirmed.” He does not say how. One thing is
certain; the same hand did not write _The Parliament of Love_ and _Believe
as You List_. One instance out of many can be give in proof of this: the
letter C, small and capital, in _The Parliament of Love_ is constantly
written thus, ⊕. A marked feature of the MS. is the doubling of
consonants—_e.g._, tollerable, vallor, quallities, cullors. It looks as
if, while it was in Gifford’s hands, ink had been used to restore letters
here and there, and towards the end of the play there are several
substitutions of words in a later ink. Gifford’s collation where I have
tested it is correct in the main but I noted one or two mistakes—_e.g._:

I., 5, 87.—MS.: Sudainely.

G.: Speedily.

II., 3, 58.—MS.: The graces from the Idalian greene [_sic_].

G.: The Loves and Graces. This would make the line scan.

III., 2, 15.—MS.: If I compared it to an Indian slave’s.

G.: with.

V., 1, 158.—MS.: Have.

G.: Had.

V., 1, 292.—“To” in MS. begins line 293.

The sort of mistake which we find in this MS. lends support to two
hypotheses, between which, as far as I can see, there is nothing to
decide; either, as we saw there was ground for supposing in _Believe as
You List_, the author altered his diction as he composed, or he was
dictating to an amanuensis. The earlier corrections are all made in the
same ink. In favour of the former hypothesis are such passages as the

I., 4, 84: “May you suc prosper.” “Succeed” was the original word, but
cancelled for one which scans better.

I., 5, 23: “Clarindore” cancelled at end of line, “Cleremond” substituted.
Clarindore is mentioned in the next line.

I., 5, 66: “Summer’s sunne”: “heate” substituted for “sunne.”

II., 1. 81: “That” deleted after “assurance”; the line thereby runs more

II., 3, 5: “Thy selfe”: “selfe” deleted before “strengthe.”

III., 2, 16: “That with incessant labour to searche out.” After “labour”
“searche” is deleted. In other words, the construction is changed: the
main verb being “dives” in the next line, instead of the original
intention, “searches.”

III., 3, 124: “Perform’d” deleted before “expir’d.”

V., 1, 111: “In hell’s most uglie cullors.” “Horrid coullors” is deleted
before the last two words.

V., 1, 189: “Nor did I scorn”: “him” after “scorn” is deleted, as if the
syntax had been changed.

V., 1, 206: “Acknowledged” deleted before “appointed.”

The sort of mistake that an amanuensis might make, either in copying or by
dictation, occurs in:

II., 2, 12: “The scorne darts of scorne”; first “scorne” deleted.

II., 2, 111: After “Absolve me” “only can” deleted; it makes no sense, but
had occurred in the previous line.

II., 3, 16: “But never thought: come, I must have thee mine.”

First three words deleted: they had occurred in the previous line.

III., 1, 120: “Blanque” deleted before “blanket.”

III., 3, 37: “A seeming courts”: “courts” deleted before “anger.”
“Courtship” occurs at the end of the line.

V., 1, 46: “Weake weake men”; first “weake” underlined in later ink.(570)

V., 1, 190: “For truth is truth is truth.” All deleted. The sense
requires: “for truth is truth.”

V., 1, 505: “Neglegt” deleted before “neglect.”

I add one or two notes of interest in correction of Cunningham’s edition.

II., 2, 156 should read thus, as in MS.:

                                  “then to practise
    To find some means that he deserves thee best.”(571)

C. reads in I., 157: “he that,” which makes no sense.

At III., 3, 8 (folio 8_b_) there is a considerable blank in the MS.
scrabbled over, but line 8 is completed at the top of folio 9_a_.

V., 1, 116 should read thus, as in MS.: “And not to be replied to.” C.
misprints: “replied be.”

V., 1, 129: The MS. reads thus:

                                  For that deitie
    (Such our affection makes him) whose dread power
    Tooke forthe choicest arrows, headed with
    Not loose but loyall flames, who aymed at mee
    Ame with greedie haste to meete the shaft.

C. reads line 131: ... the choicest arrow, headed with.

line 133: Who came with greedy haste to meet the shaft.

In 131 “the” is obviously left out by homoeoteleuton. The grammar of the
passage is defective. It is all cancelled in the old ink.

Similarly, 138 is cancelled: “Of gold, nor of pale lead that breeds

178-185 down to the word “matter” are cancelled.

294-296 are cancelled in the old ink.

V., 1, 371: MS. “to whore me.” A modern hand has written above “abuse.”

V., 1, 531: There is an addition in the original hand which will not scan.

“And gratious spectators.”

Gifford in his note (II., 312) on _Parliament of Love_, V., 1, 129, refers
to a corrected copy of _The Duke of Milan_, which proves the writing of
the _Parliament of Love_ to be Massinger’s. _Cf._ also Advertisement to
his second edition, Vol. I., and the facsimile of the dedication of _The
Duke of Milan_ to Sir Francis Foljambe (IV., 593). Where is this copy now?
It was at one time in Gifford’s possession.


Boyle assigns to Massinger, Act I., Act III., 1, 2, Act IV., 3, Act V., 2,
a total of slightly less than half the play. As far as it goes, I agree
with this assignation, but it does not seem to me quite satisfactory. It
is true that there are serious passages in _The Virgin Martyr_ which do
not resemble the rest of Massinger’s work; it does not therefore follow
that they are due, like the comic parts, to Dekker. In the first place,
the exaltation which breathes from these passages may be due to the
rapture of youth. Why should Massinger not have shown in what must have
been a youthful work an emotional brilliancy which he lost later? And
secondly, it is a mistake to say that Massinger’s style is absolutely
uniform; we could only lay this proposition down positively if we had all
his works in our hands, and among those we possess I am much mistaken if
differences, slight though real, cannot be detected. _A Very Woman_ and
_The Bashful Lover_ stand apart from the rest of his plays by virtue of
their greater degree of romantic nobility. In the third place, the serious
scenes assigned by Boyle and others to Dekker do not seem to me to
resemble the serious style of that author, except that there are certain
passages where rhymed couplets are employed. Here again we might argue
that Massinger was making an experiment which he dropped in his later
work. The fact is that, as is usually the case in these matters, we have
not enough evidence to prove one thing or the other.

The ascription of the play to Massinger and Dekker on the title-page of
the 1622 edition might be held to prove that the lion’s share in it is due
to the former, especially when we remember that he was the younger and
presumably the less-known author of the two. I should not, however, wish
to deny the possibility that Dekker contributed some of the serious parts.
I feel rather disposed to suggest that in one or two of the scenes in
question both authors were at work. There is nothing impossible or
improbable in this hypothesis.

Charles Lamb says about the scene between Dorothea and Angelo, beginning
Act II., 1, line 224, that “it has beauties of so very high an order, that
with all my respect for Massinger, I do not think he had poetical
enthusiasm capable of furnishing them. His associate Dekker, who wrote
_Old Fortunatus_, had poetry enough for anything.” This is one of Lamb’s
many unfair remarks about our author; he had discovered so many treasures
in the Elizabethan goldfield that he was disposed to underrate the
favourite of the eighteenth century. One rises from a perusal of the works
of Dekker with a feeling that he was in many respects an engaging,
child-like mind, with a gift for drawing character, but with an imperfect
sense of technique and structure. If he had written anything in his
undoubted works as good as this scene, it would be natural to adjudge it
to him.

I should be inclined to assign II., 2, to Massinger; great stress is laid
in it on the lack of courtesy shown in scanty greetings, which is a
familiar line of thought in our author. Theophilus’ speech, “Have I
invented tortures,” sounds to me like Massinger. The structure of II., 3,
reminds one of several similar incidents in Massinger, though it is clear
that no poet can claim the monopoly of introducing auditors of love-scenes
in the gallery above the stage. On the other hand, the ravings of
Theophilus (_ibid._, 116-123) read like Dekker; as does the rhymed passage
(_ibid._, 131-136). Perhaps the scene is composite.

The same remark applies to IV., 1. The first sixty lines are certainly
Massinger’s, and much of the rest; notice especially Antoninus’ sudden
change of mind at line 102. On the other hand, the speech of the British
slave (_ibid._, 136-147) might be Dekker’s work.

If Massinger can be accredited with Dorothea’s farewell speech in IV., 3,
69-92, I do not see why he should not have written the famous passage in
II., 1. They seem to me to have the same thrill of emotion.

Lastly, V., 1, seems to be constructed on the lines of a Massinger scene,
and to contain traces of his vocabulary; _cf._ the use of “horror” in line
41, and of “to thy centre” in line 146. The conversion of Theophilus, like
that of Antoninus in a previous scene, is effected rapidly, in Massinger’s

To sum up, I should be inclined to say that Massinger had, at any rate, a
considerable share in the following scenes: II., 1, II., 2, II., 3, IV.,
1, V., 1.


Boyle assigns to Massinger, Act I.; Act III. as far as line 315 (enter
Novall, junr.); Act IV., 2, 3, 4; Act V. This amounts to about
three-fifths of the play. On metrical grounds I reluctantly concede that
Field wrote the famous funeral scene, Act II., 1. But there are clear
traces of Massinger’s style in the part of Act II., 2, which follows the
prose passage. Thus, Romont’s speech, beginning at line 201, seems to show
traces of Massinger; likewise Pontalier’s, beginning at line 370. It is
probable that Field wrote the prose scenes in the play, and possibly the
songs; nor would I deny that the regular ten-syllable blank verse of such
passages as Act II., 2, 178-187 (ROCHFORT. Why, how now, Beaumelle? ...
nothing but good and fit), and Act II., 2, 318-328 (This is my only child
... were multiplied tenfold), is Field’s work. In the two plays which have
come down to us from Field there is much passable blank verse. It is
important to remember, however, that we have so little of Field left that
it is hazardous to base material tests on it; and secondly, the authors
may have collaborated in individual scenes in such a way as to escape
analysis. This is what probably has taken place in Act II., 2. Nor do I
feel certain that the latter part of Act III. is wholly due to Field;
lines 438-478 contain much that is like Massinger, though the ugly line
464 is not in his style.

    “I not accuse thy wife of act, but would
    Prevent her precipice to thy dishonour.”

On the other hand, the rhymed couplet (lines 375-6) is probably Field’s.

The pert page in Act IV., 1, reminds us of a similar character in _Woman’s
a Weathercock_, and is probably Field’s handiwork. On the other hand,
Pontalier’s speech in the same scene (lines 119-140) reads to me like

These instances may serve to show how hard it is to dissect the play


This play is to be found in Bullen’s _Old Plays_, vol. ii. It was printed
from B.M. Add. MSS. 18653, a folio of thirty-one leaves in a small clear

Mr. Bullen thinks that Massinger wrote III., 2; III., 6; IV. (the trial
scene); V., 1. He ascribes the concluding scene to Fletcher. These
ascriptions seem to me correct. There is much fine poetry in the play,
notably in the Leidenberg scene. But Fleay goes too far when he calls the
play “magnificent.” It is a “piece of occasion,”(572) written shortly
after the tragic death of Barnavelt, in such a way, however, that it would
not interest a later generation, who had forgotten the sensation of the
time. In the second place, it has no unity, a fact no doubt partly due to
the dual authorship. We do not know if we are intended to sympathise with
Orange or Barnavelt. Such a specimen of the historical drama pure and
simple makes us feel that more than a mere narrative of events is needed
in a play; we look to the author to guide our sympathies, and have a view
of his own about his theme.(573)


This play was reprinted by the Malone Society in 1909.(574) The writing of
the original MS. in the British Museum is remarkably good. It is No. 807
in the Lansdowne Collection, and comes to us from the famous Warburton
MSS. The play was licensed by Sir George Buck, October 31st, 1611, and
acted by the King’s men. At the end is inscribed: “by Thomas Goffe,(575)
George Chapman, by Will Shakspear. A tragedy indeed!”

The last phrase is true. The first two names are erased; the third name
has been added by a late seventeenth or eighteenth century hand.

The underplot, according to Boyle, is derived from Cervantes’ _Curious
Impertinent_, and in Acts I. and II. passages “are literally taken from
that novel.” There is an incident at the end of the play which reminds us
of _The Duke of Milan_. The “Tyrant” removes the body of the heroine from
her tomb, and sends for a painter to give colour to her face and lips.
Govianus, her husband, comes in disguise to do the deed, and the Tyrant is
killed by the poison which Govianus has put on the lips of the corpse.

Massinger may therefore have known the play, but I differ entirely from
Boyle’s estimate. He thinks Massinger wrote Acts I. and II., Tourneur Acts
III., IV., V. I see no trace of Massinger in Act I., except the reference
in line 541 to a “cup of nectar.” The sudden repentance of the heroine’s
father Helvetius, in Act II., 1, 253, reminds us of a trait of Massinger
referred to above;(576) but the style of the first two acts is too feeble
and vague, and the metre too halting for him.(577) I cannot suppose that
at the age of twenty-seven Massinger could have taken part in writing a
play where “A voice from within” the tomb says to the mourning husband, “I
am not here!”(578)


“_The Powerful Favorite_, or the life of Aelius Sejanus, by P. M., printed
at Paris, 1628.” So runs the title in the English translation.

Two translations of Pierre Matthieu’s book, “Histoire d’Aelius Sejanus,”
appeared in the same year. One is padded out with additions; in the
shorter and more exact translation, the initials on the title-page of the
Bodleian copy have been filled out thus: P. Massinger.

We know that Massinger’s political sympathies were against the Duke of
Buckingham, and it is probable that a Life of Sejanus may have attracted
attention at a time when the parallel was drawn and the unpopularity
great; but it is simpler to suppose that P. M. stands for the French
author. It would require some courage to publish under one’s own name or
initials a translation of the book.

It is noteworthy that in 1632, after Buckingham’s death, a translation
appeared by Sir T. Hawkins. The title which he gave his book was “Unhappy
prosperitie expressed in the histories of Aelius Sejanus and Philippa, the
Catanian.” Underneath he adds the words: “Written in French by P.


In 1728 there appeared at London a play with the following title: “Double
Falsehood, or The Distressed Lovers; written originally by W. Shakespeare,
and now revised and adapted to the stage by Mr. Theobald, the author of
_Shakespeare Restor’d_.”

It was dedicated to the Rt. Hon. George Dodington, Esq. In the Preface
Theobald states that one of the copies in MS. is of above sixty years’
standing. He goes on to say that there is a tradition that Shakspere wrote
it—“in the time of his retirement from the stage.” The story is taken from
a novel in _Don Quixote_, which appeared in 1611, five years before
Shakspere’s death. Theobald professes to allow that the colouring,
diction, and characters come nearer to the style and manner of Fletcher.

Some writers(580) have supposed that Theobald in compiling this play used
materials from a lost play by Massinger. The first thing we notice in it
is that there are a good many prose scenes. This is unlike Massinger. In
the second place, the metre is unlike Massinger’s; it is simple and
regular, and contains very few double endings or run-on lines. In Act II.,
4, Leonora gives an important letter to her lover Julio, out of a window,
to a “citizen” whom she does not know, by night. Is this improbable
incident the sort of thing that Massinger would write?(581)

The whole play is an eighteenth-century effusion in the manner of Rowe.
There is no trace of Fletcher or Massinger here.


_A Trick to catch the Old One_ is a lively play, mainly written in prose,
in which an air of plausibility is skilfully cast around a farcical plot.
There can be no doubt that Massinger borrowed the idea of _A New Way_ from
Middleton, as well as a few expressions.(582) In both plays there are an
uncle who has strained the law to deprive his nephew of his lands, a rich
widow whose supposed affection for the nephew converts the uncle to make
reparation, and creditors who have to be satisfied. The servants (_A
Trick_, IV., 4) who are to discharge their duties in Hoard’s new household
may have suggested the group in Lady Allworth’s house who supply a comic
element. On the other hand, the two plays are constructed on very
different lines. The central point of _A Trick_ is the hatred of the two
usurers, Lucre and Hoard, for one another, both being in the end cheated
by the hero Witgood. In _A New Way_ there is only one usurer, Sir Giles.
_A Trick_, though well constructed, has a lame and hurried conclusion; and
it is overloaded with minor characters, who help the action but little—in
particular, the usurer Dampit seems to be introduced for no particular
reason except to fill up the time with mediocre fun. The part played by
the heroine, Joyce, is small and obscure. Then again, there can be no
comparison between the slight figure of Hoard and the powerful creation of
Sir Giles Overreach. Wellborn does nothing in the play that misbecomes a
gentleman; the ingenuity with which he frames a plan to deceive his uncle
leads us to believe that when he has repented his wild life he has the
capacity to make good. His prototype, Witgood, on the other hand, is
merely an amusing adventurer. Indeed, Middleton seems throughout to be
pursuing with his vengeance the sharp practices of those who lend money to
fast young men, and we certainly sympathize with his castigation of Lucre,
Hoard, and Dampit. Massinger’s widow is a lady of birth and title;
Middleton’s is a courtesan in disguise. When she marries Hoard, though we
feel some satisfaction at the deception which has been practised on him,
we cannot help asking ourselves as the characters retire to the
conventional “wedding dinner” of an Elizabethan comedy, whether the
solution would have worked in real life. The answer is, that while we have
been much amused, we have been cheated by the author’s great skill and
vivacity into accepting an improbable plot. Massinger’s play, on the other
hand, contains little that might not have happened, and the conclusion is
so arranged that there is every prospect of the characters living happily
hereafter. While Middleton’s play is a charming extravaganza, Massinger’s
has held the stage ever since. The one play can be acted now, the other
cannot. This is not merely due to the fact that _A New Way_ has more
dignity and refinement than its predecessor, but it is because Massinger’s
characters behave like real beings.(583)


These two poems are copied from a folio MS. in the library of Trinity
College, Dublin (G, 2, 21), containing compositions of Donne and other
poets of the seventeenth century. They are to be found on pages 554-559.
The handwriting is that of the seventeenth century. I have reproduced the
original punctuation and spelling. Mr. Grosart published the poems in
_Englische Studien_, No. xxvi. He says that the librarian of Trinity, Dr.
T. K. Abbot, had grounds for supposing that the MS. had been in the
possession of Trinity College for a century; he does not, however, state
what the grounds are. As far as the dates go which are indicated in the
volume, it might have passed into the library with other books from
Archbishop Ussher’s collection.

From the tone of line 16 of the first poem we may assume that it was
addressed by Massinger when quite young to William, the third Earl of


    The Copie of a Letter written upon occasion to the Earle of
    Pembrooke Lo: Chamberlaine

    My Lord

    p. 554

    Soe subiect to the worser fame
    Are even the best that clayme a Poets name:
    Especially poore they that serve the stage
    Though worthily in this Verse-halting Age.
    And that dread curse soe heavie yet doth lie
    Wch the wrong’d Fates falne out wth Mercurie
    Pronounc’d for ever to attend upon
    All such as onely dreame of Helicon.
    That durst I sweare cheated by selfe opinion
    I were Apolloes or the Muses Mynion       10
    Reason would yet assure me, ’tis decreed
    Such as are Poets borne, are borne to need.
    If the most worthy then, whose pay’s but praise
    Or a few spriggs from the now withering bayes
    Grone underneath their wants what hope have I
    Scarce yet allowed one of the Company—        16

    p. 555

    When(584) thou sighst, thou sigh’st not wind, but sigh’st my soule
    When thou weep’st unkindly kind, my lifes blud doth decay
    It cannot bee
    That thou lov’est mee as thou sai’est, if in thine my life thou
    Thou art the best of mee.(585)
    In some high mynded Ladies grace to stand
    Ever provided that her liberall hand       30
    Pay for the Vertues they bestow upon her
    And soe long shees the miracle and the honor
    Of her whole Sex, and has forsooth more worth
    Then was in any Sparta e’re brought forth
    But when the Bounty failes a change is neare
    And shee’s not then what once shee did appeare
    For the new Giver shee dead must inherit
    What was by purchase gott and not by merit
    Lett them write well that doo this and in grace
    I would not for a pension or A place       40

    Part soe wth myne owne Candor, lett me rather        p. 556
    Live poorely on those toyes I would not father
    Not knowne beyond A Player or A Man
    That does pursue the course that I have ran
    Ere soe grow famous: yet wth any paine
    Or honest industry could I obteyne
    A noble Favorer, I might write and doo
    Like others of more name and gett one too
    Or els my Genius is false. I know
    That Johnson much of what he has does owe         50
    To you and to your familie, and is never
    Slow to professe it, nor had Fletcher ever
    Such Reputation, and credit nonne
    But by his honord Patron, Huntington
    Unimitable Spencer ne’re had been
    Soe famous for his matchlesse Fairie Queene
    Had he not found a Spencer Sydney to preferr [_sic_]
    His plaine way in his Shepheards Calender
    Nay Virgills selfe (or Martiall does lye)
    Could hardly frame a poore Gnatts Elegie        60
    Before Mecænas cherisht him; and then
    He streight conceiv’d Æneas and the men
    That found out Italic Those are Presidents(586)
    I cite wth reverence: my lowe intents
    Looke not soe high, yet some worke I might frame
    That should nor wrong my duty nor your Name.      p. 557
    Were but your Lopp pleas’d to cast an eye
    Of favour on my trodd downe povertie
    How ever I confesse myselfe to be
    Ever most bound for your best charitie      70
    To others that feed on it, and will pay
    My prayers wth theirs that as yu doe yu may
    Live long, belov’d and honor’d doubtles then
    Soe cleere a life will find a worthier Penn.
    For me I rest assur’d besides the glory
    T’wold make a Poet but to write your story.    76

    Phill: Messinger.

    p. 557


    A New yeares Guift presented to my
    Lady and M:rs the then Lady
    Katherine Stanhop now Countesse
    of Chesterfield.

    By Phill: Messinger.


    Before I ow’d to you the name
    Of Servant, to your birth, your worth your fame
    I was soe, and t’was fitt since all stand bound
    To honour Vertue in meane persons found
    Much more in you, that as borne great, are good
    Wch is more then to come of noble blood
    Or be A Hastings; it being too well knowne

    p. 558

    An Empresse cannot challenge as her oune
    Her Grandsires glories; And too many staine
    Wth their bad Actions the noble straine        10
    From whence they come. But as in you to be
    A branch to add fresh honor to the tree
    By vertue planted, and adorne it new
    Is graunted unto none or very few
    To speake you further would appeare in me
    Presumption or a servants flattery
    But there may be a tyme when I shall dare
    To tell the world and boldly what yu are
    Nor sleight it Madame, since what some in me
    Esteeme a blemish, is a guift as free                20
    As their best fortunes, this tooke from the grave
    Penelopies chastitie, and to it gave
    Still living Honors; this made Aiax strong
    Ulisses wise: such power lies in a Song
    Wch Phaebus smiles on, wch can find noe Urne
    While the Sea his course, or starrs observe their turne
    Yet ’tis not in the power of tinckling Rime
    That(587) takes rash iudgments and deceive the tyme
    Wth Mountebanke showes a worke that shold indure
    Must have a genius in it, strong, as pure          30
    But you beginne to smile, as wondring why
    I should write thus much to yu now since I
    Have heretofore been silent may yu please
                                              To know

    To know the course it is noe new disease      p. 559
    Groune in my iudgment, nor am I of those
    That thinke good wishes cannot thrive in prose
    As well as Verse: but that this New yeares day
    All in their loves and duties, what they may
    Present unto you; though perhaps some burne
    Wth expectation of a glad returne            40
    Of what they venture for. But such I leave
    To their deceiptfull guifts given to deceive
    What I give I am rich in, and can spare
    Nor part for hope wth ought deserves my care
    He that hath little and gives nought at all
    To them that have is truly liberall.        46


The art with which Massinger employs alliteration escapes all but the most
careful perusal; but once noticed, it attracts attention as one of his
favourite expedients. Perhaps the best way to exemplify its use is to give
a complete collection of instances from one of the plays: I take for this
purpose _The Unnatural Combat_.

      I., 1, 150: Impartial judges, and not sway’d with spleen.

          "  158: Not lustful fires, but fair and lawful flames.

          "  189: Our goods made prize, our sailors sold for slaves.

          "  217:                          He that leaves
                  To follow as you lead, will lose himself.

          "  286: Their lives, their liberties.

          "  308: Both what and when to do, but makes against you.

          "  309: For had your care and courage been the same.

          "  342: He may have leave and liberty to decide it.

     II., 1,  14: With my best curiousness and care observed him.

          "   23: A sudden flash of fury did dry up.

          "   94: But dare and do, as they derive their courage.

          "  143: In a moment raz’d and ruin’d.

          "  157: In one short syllable yield satisfaction.

          "  170: With scorn on death and danger.

          "  177: But what is weak and womanish, thine own.

          "  183: As a serpent swoll’n with poison.

          "  226: Marseilles owes the freedom of her fears.

          "  241: That will vouchsafe not one sad sigh or tear.

          "  267: And with all circumstance and ceremony.

     II., 3,  67: Nor should you with more curiousness and care.

    III., 1,  10: It being a serious and solemn meeting.

          "   17: I’ll undertake to stand at push of pike.

          "   21: When the dresser, the cook’s drum, thunders,
                   Come on!

    III., 1, 23: As tall a trencher-man.

         "   32: The only drilling is to eat devoutly
                 And to be ever drinking.

         "   57: Delay is dangerous.

         "   88: Continue constant
                 To this one suit.

         "   90: Every cast commander.

         "  100: And so by consequence grow contemptible.

         "  117: For his own sake, shift a shirt!

    III., 2, 46: The colonels, commissioners, and captains.

         "   78: That losing her own servile shape and name.

         "   85: Believe my black brood swans.

         "   95: As I have heard, loved the lobby.

         "  150: Of her fair features, that, should we defer it.

         "  160: And serves as a perpetual preface to.

    III., 3, 43: The curiousness and cost on Trajan’s birthday.

         "   78: I’ve charged through fire that would have singed your

         "   82: Such only are admired that come adorn’d.

         "   93: Does make your cupboards crack.

         "  114: For want of means shall, in their present payment.

         "  149: With my son, her servant.

    III., 4, 89: And he shall find and feel, if he excuse not.

    IV., 1, 53: And liked and loath’d with your eyes, I beseech you.

         "  91: A loathsome leprosy had spread itself.

         " 101: Sir, you have liked and loved them, and oft forc’d.

         " 119: My ranks of reason.

         " 132: Thy virtues vices.

         " 133: Far worse than stubborn sullenness and pride.

         " 206: In your fame and fortunes.

    IV., 2, 47: Against my oath, being a cashier’d captain.

        "  68: Your lords
               Of dirt and dunghills.

        " 118: My corslet to a cradle.

        " 120: Or to sell my sword and spurs, for soap and candles?

    IV., 2. 135: Fair France is proud of.

    "   148: Such as have power to punish.

    V., 2, 35: Or our later laws forbid.

    "  38: And solemn superstitious fools prescribe.

    "  57: Into some close cave or desert.

    "  58: Our lusts and lives together.

        " 165: But to have power to punish, and yet pardon,
               Peculiar to princes.

    " 248: Accuse or argue with me.

    " 307: To season my silks.


By the kindness of Mr. Edmund Gosse I have been enabled to examine and
collate the manuscript notes in copies of the first quartos of the
following plays in his possession: _The Duke of Milan_, _The Bondman_,
_The Roman Actor_, _The Renegado_, _The Picture_, _The Fatal Dowry_, _The
Emperor of the East_, _The Maid of Honour_. The dates of these quartos
range from 1623 to 1632. The poet Swinburne had no doubt that the
manuscript notes were due to Massinger himself; the resemblance of the
handwriting is certainly indubitable, but as we have no other evidence
than that of the corrections themselves, we are forced to be content with
the conclusion that the insertions are of a contemporary date. I take the
plays in the above order.

_The Duke of Milan_

I., 1, 23.—This, the last line on the page, has suffered from the binding,
and is written in the margin.(588)

I., 1, 56.—The same thing has happened here.

In both cases the writing resembles that of the poet. It may be argued, on
the other hand, that it is unlikely that the play should have suffered so
soon from binding; it is, however, of course not impossible that the eight
plays were bound up together shortly after the year 1632.

V., 2, 203.—Forza. S. inserted before F. (So _infra_, 218, 234, 256.)

At the end of the play occurs a symbol M which might represent the poet’s

    _The Bondman_

    I., 1: Timagorus bis in stage-directions,      us corrected to as
           and also in
           I., 1,5

    I., 1,   37: I love                            live

    I., 2,   2:  I cannot brooke with              this

    I., 3,   83: As to the supreame Magistrates    Sicilie
                 surely tenders

       "    161: And yet the chu                   rl added

       "    181: made glorious by Achon            Action

       "    182: gave warrant to her               ailes added

       "    183: hand                              heard

       "    206: nor defence                       noe

       "    295: ? at end                          ? deleted

       "    319: of slaves                         our

     II., 1,   71:     fam’d                       fann’d

          "    87:     vayle                       y deleted

          "   144:     loose both sent and         th  inserted  after
                       beauty                      “loose,” and c in

          "   153:     owe                         awe

     II., 2,   16:     manners; yet this morning   for

          "    57:     cunning                     coḿinge

          "    62:                                 ? added

     III., 3,  99:    too too large                second “too”

          "   135:    leave her off                stand her of

          "   165:    during                       daring

     III., 4,  29:    Timandra                     Timag

          "    51:    cares                        feares

    IV., 1,   21: still                            you

     IV., 2, 128: when                             where

          "  140:                                  “Pray you, leave
                                                    added at end to
                                                    the line

    IV., 3, 145: tempter                           second t deleted

      V., 3,   9: not be deni’de                   to inserted before

          "   38: howsoere the fortune             thy

          "  103: gods and fautors                 his

          "  193:                                  ) inserted after

          "  245:                                  Gra. inserted at
                                                     of line, (_i.e._,

All these corrections are manifestly right, except possibly III., 3, 135
and IV., 1, 21. The addition in IV., 2, 140, though not especially
appropriate to the situation, presents us with a type of line much
favoured by Massinger.

    _The Roman Actor_

      I., 1,   6: stocke                           socc (_i.e._, sock)

          "   25:                                  parenthesis
                                                   after “vice”

          "   37: gald                             l

          "   44: The Catta and the Dacie          Catti ... Daci

          "   46: Jove hasten it                   ? added

          "   49: we obey you                      full stop added

          "   51: the sceane                       Scaene

          "   79: is to eb(589) guilty               bee

          "  115: grieve                           greive (“give” is
                                                     by the sense)

      I., 2:      Enter Domitia and Parthenius     “with a letter”

      I., 2,  33: for to be thankfull              I woulde

          "   44: his plea                         its

          "   86: new workes that dare not         Monarches. Pa:
                    do                               (_i.e._,

          "   88: Parth. Will you dispute          Parth. deleted and

      I., 3,  44:                                  (  ) added

    I., 3, 53-4:                       ( ) added

        " 67: condemne                 condemnd

        " 78: which                    with

        " 78: redde (_i.e._, read)       ) added

        " 86: Cancillus                Camillus

    I., 4, 13: Fulcinius and prisoners  “and” deleted
               led by him

    II., 1, 4: yours                   ; added

         " 16: though                  ( added

         " 21: purple                  ! added

         " 22: my heyre                ? added

         " 182-3:                      (  ) added

         " 217: promped                prompted

         " 372:                        (  ) added

         " 386:                        (  ) added

    III., 1, 30: words                 swordes

          " 52: retch                 reach

          " 58: the mortall powers    iḿortall

          " 78: tyrannie              tyrant

          " 163: steepie              steep

          " 205:                      ! added

    IV., 1, 8: I thinke not           “not” deleted, and
                                      added after “respects”
                                      in 9

         " 95: compliant              complaint

         " 149:                       ? added

    IV., 2, 12: lesse;                  ; deleted

         " 27: pe                      bee

         " 28: you command to me       ever you coḿand me

         " 39: tremele                 tremble

         " 44: geeat                   great

         " 70: Hypollitus              one l substituted

         " 123: express thee           stop added

         " 127: To render me that was  ( ) added before
                before I hugg’d thee   “that” and
                An adder in my bosome  “before,” and after
                                       “thee” and

    IV., 2, 130: Thy pomp and pride—      163 Perpetual vexation
                  shall not fall.

                 Note at top of p. 31_b_:   “This page follows the

                 Note at top of p. 32_a_:    “This page misplac’d.”

        " 182: would                       coulde

        " 190: the iu ice                  st inverted inserted
                                             here between “iu”
                                             and “ice”

        " 191: had with h inverted         had

        " 196: if                          yf

        " 229: act                         are

        " 242: grim death                  “grim” deleted

        " 295:                             ( ) added

     V., 1, 115: assure                    as sure

        " 142: still’d                     stil’d

        " 228: pinn’d                      pinion’d

     V., 2, 22: iumpe                      impe

       " 78: this murther                  ’tis

       " 85: to sentence                   her inserted after “to”

I have compared the Malone quarto in the Bodleian Library and find that
the mistakes are identical. In other words, _The Roman Actor_ was
carelessly printed. Nearly all the corrections made, alike of sense and
punctuation, are improvements. The emendation at IV., 2, 28 reads like one
made by the author. On the other hand, a careful study of IV., 2, 127 will
reveal the fact that the writer’s sense has been mistaken, and the
omission of “grim” in IV., 2, 242 spoils the rhythm. The curious thing is
that the play is full of misprints, which have not been corrected—_e.g._,
III., 2, 143, Anaxerete (and in several other lines); line 154,
“Epethite,” for “epithet”; 258, Heccuba. Take again IV., 2, 181: An e is
inverted and not corrected; 188, “bttchered” stands for “butchered”; and
189, “lacriledge” for “sacrilege.”

    _The Renegado_

     I., 3, 159: receive least losse       “the” inserted after
                                             “least.” It spoils the

     II., 5,  46: up to the bre a c          breache
          "                                  ? added

    III., 3,   1: I will                      ’Twill
          "   89: like a neighing gennet to   mare to her proud
                  her stallion                stallion

    III., 5, 114: well made galley          mann’d

     IV., 1, 114: witnesse of my change     “of” deleted: “good”
                                            inserted after “my”

      V., 2,  79:                           Franci. inserted (=

      V., 3, 111:                           Vitelli inserted

III., 3, 89 reads like an author’s emendation. On the other hand, the
alteration in IV., 1, 114 is not in Massinger’s style.

    _The Picture_

    Line 37, Poem by T. Jay:
                 of to heare                or
          "  38: write neere                writ
          "  40: admir’d                    admire
      I., 1, 31: satisfie                   satietie
          "  40:                            ( ) added
          "  53: If I am so rich or         Sir
          " 120: wone him                   o inserted after “o”
          " 154: wracke                     w deleted
          " 190: ere the fight begun        s added after “fight”

      I., 2, 13: bravel                     ye added
          "  71: but                        deleted and added
                                              again in margin

          " 170: examp                      le added

     II., 1, 82: A post.                    deleted
          "  83:                            “Aside.  A Post.”
                                             added in margin

     II., 2, 98: “In one here” printed      “In one here” deleted
                in a separate line after     (_vide_ Gifford)
                this line

          " 103: resolve                    s added

    II., 2, 103: lords of her, like            acres
         "  174: fierce dame                   n inserted before “m.”
         "  255: solder                        soldier
         "  260: tosses                        trifles

Here it will be noted that two good emendations are made—I., 1, 53 and
II., 2, 103. On the other hand, no notes are made on the last three acts:
such a misprint as “ijgobobs” in V., 3, 161 escaping comment.

    _The Fatal Dowry_


    _The Emperor of the East_

      I., 1,  83: musicke?                     ? deleted, and “Sir?”

      I., 2, 169: too                          to
          "  178: Constantinople               courte
          "  242: them feare                   their
          "  291: care                         feare
          "  323: Nimph                        Umph
          "  347: wooned                       d deleted

     II., 1, 114: in knowledge                 “the” inserted after

    III., 2,  62:                              ( ) added
          "   93: heaven is most gratious      “to you” deleted
                    to you, madam
          " 111: with a kinde impotence        “of” inserted after
          " 138: I speak it                    ) added
          " 139: I                             I (so III., 4, 145,
                                                 IV., 1, 13)
          " 199: ransone                       m

    III., 4, 19: how .sister:                  !! added
          "  29: str                           stirre
          "  44: beg pardon                    a inserted after “beg”
          "  60: my pity                       t added above “t”
          "  80:                               ? added

    III., 4, 132: observe                  handle
          "  146: royall sir              comma added

     IV., 1,  14: Princesse               Empresse

     IV., 3,  36: they                    hee
          "   43: fraide                  defray’d
          "   62: camer                   cancer
          "  132: this admiration         thie

      V., 3,  47: flights                 s deleted
          "   85: niggle                  iuggle
          "  111: I fever                 if ever
          "  190: my grace on all         cancelled

The corrections in this play are nearly all good: thus the metre is
restored at I., 2, 178, and III., 2, 93, and improved in III., 4, 132. V.,
3, 85 is an excellent emendation. On the other hand, I do not think the
author would have made such a stupid mistake as the one found at IV., 1,
14, for Chrysapius is there addressing the Empress, about Pulcheria.

_The Maid of Honour_



In 1877, when he was breaking up his home at Clifton, and disposing of his
books, John Addington Symonds gave Mr. Edmund Gosse a thick volume
containing eight first editions of plays by Massinger. The book was bound
in worn old calf of the period, and had stamped on the back the author’s
name. Symonds, in giving the book to Mr. Gosse, called his attention to
the contemporary corrections in ink, and said there was “a tradition” that
they were in the handwriting of Massinger himself. Mr. Gosse,
unfortunately, broke up the volume and had the eight plays separately
bound, but the old binding had contained no further indication. In 1882
Swinburne made a careful examination of the corrections, and again in
1883, when he urged that they should be published. He became persuaded
that they were made by Massinger himself. Nothing, however, has until now
been done with them. The volume came from the Harbord library at Gunton in
Norfolk, and was sold, with other old books, at the death of the fourth
Lord Suffield in 1853. Symonds bought it of an Oxford bookseller when he
was an undergraduate.


W. ARCHER: “The Elizabethan Stage” (Quarterly Review, No. 415, April,

R. BOYLE: Dictionary of National Biography: “Massinger.”

" Englische Studien (Heilbronn): “On Beaumont, Fletcher, and Massinger,”
v. 74, vii, 66, viii. 39, ix. 209, x. 383.

"    New Shakespeare Society Transactions, part ii., 1880-85, xviii., pp.
371-399: “Massinger and The Two Noble Kinsmen.” (_Cf._ Discussion on March
9, 1883, p. 66.)

"    New Shakespeare Society Transactions, 1880-86, xxi., pp. 443-488:
“Henry the Eighth.”

"    New Shakespeare Society Transactions, 1886, xxvi., pp. 579-628.

A. C. BRADLEY: Oxford Lectures on Poetry: “Shakespeare the Man, and
Shakespeare’s Theatre and Audience.”

A. H. BULLEN: Dictionary of National Biography: “Fletcher.”

H. COLERIDGE: Preface to Massinger and Ford. 1840.

S. T. COLERIDGE: Lectures on Shakespeare and the Poets (T. Ashe, 1883),
pp. 403-407, 427, 432, 437, 534, 540.

W. T. COURTHOPE: History of English Poetry, vol. iv., pp. 348-369.

T. COXETER: The dramatic works of P. Massinger: 1761.

LIEUT.-COL. F. CUNNINGHAM: The plays of P. Massinger: Chatto and Windus:

DOWNES: Roscius Anglicanus.

EDINBURGH REVIEW, No. 23, 1808. (Review of Gifford’s edition.)

F. G. FLEAY: Biographical Chronicle of the English Drama.

"    Chronicle History of the London Stage, 1559-1642.

F. G. FLEAY: Chronicle History of W. Shakespeare.

"   New Shakespeare Society Transactions, 1874, vol. i., No. 2: “On
Metrical Tests as applied to Dramatic Poetry” (Fletcher, Beaumont,

"   Shakespeare Manual.

GARDINER: “The Political Element in Massinger.” (Contemporary Review,
August, 1876): reprinted in New Shakespeare Society Transactions, 1875,
No. xi., pp. 314-332. (_Cf._ also History of England, 1884, vol. vii., pp.
327 and 337)

GARNETT AND GOSSE: English Literature: an Illustrated Record. Heinemann.

GAYLEY AND BRANDER MATTHEWS: Representative English Comedies, vol. iii.
New York, 1914.

W. GIFFORD: 1805. Second edition, 1813.

W. W. GREG: Henslowe’s Diary, vol. ii., pp. 165, 171, 224. 1904-08.

"   Henslowe Papers, pp. 66, 70, 74, 85. 1907.

"   List of English Plays written before 1643 and printed before 1700.
Bibliographical Society, 1900.

HALLAM: Literature of Europe, part iii., chap. vi.

HAZLITT: Lectures on Elizabethan Literature, pp. 131-136.

E. KOEPPEL: Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. vi., chap, vi.:

"   Quellen Studien zu den Dramen George Chapman’s, Philip Massinger’s,
und John Ford’s.

C. LAMB: Specimens of English Dramatic Poets.(590)

G. C. MACAULAY: Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. vi., chap.
v.: “Beaumont and Fletcher.”

J. MONCK MASON: Dramatic Works, 1779.

E. H. C. OLIPHANT: Englische Studien, xiv., xv., xvi.

"   Modern Language Review, iii., 337-355; iv., 190-199, 342-351.

"   Problems of Authorship in the Elizabethan Drama. Chicago, 1911.

J. PHELAN: Dissertation (Halle), 1878. This careful performance contains
information about Massinger’s family. (_Cf._, however, Furnivall’s Protest
in Anglia, ii., p. 504.)

J. M. ROBERTSON: The Baconian Heresy, chap. iii.

G. SAINTSBURY: Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. v., chap,
viii.: “Shakespeare.”

SCHELLING: Elizabethan Drama, 1908.

SHAKESPEARE’S ENGLAND: Oxford University Press, 1916.

L. STEPHEN: Hours in a Library, vol. ii.

A. C. SWINBURNE: Contemporaries of Shakespeare (Gosse and Wise).

"   Fortnightly Review, July, 1889.

"   Letters (Gosse and Wise), Nos. lxii. and lxxiii.

A. SYMONS: Mermaid Series, two volumes.

ASHLEY H. THORNDIKE: Tragedy. Constable, 1908.

L. WANN: Shakespeare Studies (University of Wisconsin), vii.: “The
Collaboration of Beaumont, Fletcher, and Massinger.”

SIR A. W. WARD: Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. v., chap.

"  History of English Dramatic Literature, especially vol. iii., pp. 1-47.



AESCHYLUS, 149, 169

Alliteration in M., 121 _n._ 1, App. XVIII.

Aristophanes, 61, 70, 149

Aristotle, 27 _n._ 1, 28 _n._ 2, 75, 76, 110 _n._ 1, 140

Armada, 18

Aubrey, 5 _n._ 2

À Wood, A., 2, 6


_Bashful Lover, The_, 48, 50, 57, 58, 75, 98, 131, 147, 199

Beaumont, 21 _n._ 5, 25, 57, 59 _n._ 1, 70, 94, 99 _n._ 2, 110, 129 _n._ 1

Beethoven, 76

_Believe as You List_, 15, 54, 93, 140, App. VII., App. VIII.

Besant, Sir W., 7

Boccaccio, 9 _n._ 1, 11 _n._ 1, 76 _n._ 3

_Bondman, The_, 15, 24, 27, 31, 32 _n._ 1, 35, 36, 48, 61, 73, 75, 104,
            108, 134, 145, 150

Boyle, 2 _n._ 3, 20, 21, 25, 55, 56, 62 _n._ 1, 70 _n._ 1, 88, 96, 97-104,
            109, 122 _n._ 3, 129, 131, App. III., 198, 200

Bradley, A. C., 14, 26 _n._ 3, 28 _n._ 4, 65 _n._ 3, 80 _n._ 16

Bridges, R., 69 _n._ 1, 175

Brooke, R., 111, 159

Brooke, Tucker, 95-97

Browne, Sir T., 82, 119

Buckingham, Duke of, 16, 204

Bullen, A. H., 70, 95 _n._ 2, App. III., 178 _n._ 6, 201

Bunyan, 108 _n._ 1


Catalogue lines, 54, 91 _n._ 1

Cayet, 178 _n._ 6, 193

Cervantes, 5 _n._ 5, 203

Chapman, 15 _n._ 2, 66 _n._ 2, 117, 139, 202

Charles I., 7, 15

Cibber, Colley, 176, 181 _n._ 3

_City Madam, The_, 10, 11, 13, 31, 32 _n._ 1, 43, 53, 54, 55, 73, 113,
            116, 133

Cokaine, Sir A., 22

Coleridge, S. T., 55, 64, 71, 76 _n._ 3

Collier, J., 24

Corneille, 43

Courthope, 96

Croker, T. Crofton, 175

Cunningham, F., 7 _n._ 1, 24, 133 _n._ 1, 182


Daborne, 2

Davies, 123

Dekker, 20, 44 _n._ 1, 123, 135 _n._ 2, 147, App. X., 199, 200

Diderot, 110 _n._ 1

Dostoevsky, 61

_Double Falsehood, The_, App. XV.

Downes, 24 _n._ 3

Dryden, 24, 116

Dublin MS., App. XVII.

_Duke of Milan, The_, 16, 31, 32 _n._ 1, 41, 52, 81, 82, 135, 145, 203


_Emperor of the East, The_, 17, 27, 28, 32 _n._ 1, 43 _n._ 2, 48, 51, 54,
            72, 82, 101, 102, 108, 128, 146, 148, 149, 170

Euripides, 27, 32, 33, 75, 77, 110 _n._ 1, 169 _n._ 1


_Fair Penitent, The_, 137

_Fatal Dowry, The_, 8, 20, 28 _n._ 4, 36, 49, 53, 56 _n._ 2, 119, App:.

Field, 21, 138, App. XI.

Fielding, 63, 77

Fleay, F. G., 5 _n._ 5, 20, 33 _n._ 2, 56 _n._ 2, 57 _n._ 1, 159, 202

Fletcher, 3, 10, 19, 21 _n._ 1, 28, 59 _n._ 2, 66, 71, 84 _n._ 1, 91, 97,
            98, 109, 123, 129, 130, 133, 135, 147, App. III., 170

Ford, 8, 13 _n._ 5, 13 _n._ 6, 33 _n._ 2, 59 _n._ 1, 62, 63 _n._ 3, 65
            _n._ 3, 81, 120, 205 _n._ 2


Gardiner, 7

Garrick, 124 _n._ 4, 176

Gayley, 26 _n._ 4, 141 _n._ 1, 160

Georgian Poets, The, 61

Gibbon, 28

Gifford, 7 _n._ 1, 25, 176, App. IX., 198, 220

Goffe, 77 _n._ 3, 202

Gosse, E., App. XIX.

Gounod, 109 _n._ 1, 137 _n._ 3

_Great Duke of Florence, The_, 16 _n._ 1, 25, 47, 54, 102, 103, 150

Greene, 102 _n._ 5

Greg, W. W., 24 _n._ 2, 67 _n._ 2, 168

Grosart, 6 _n._ 1, 208

_Guardian, The_, 4, 12, 24, 27, 28, 49, 74, 120, 134, 148


Hallam, 70

Hazlitt, 25, 124 _n._ 4, 137 _n._ 3

_Henry VIII._, 11 _n._ 5, 20, 22, 71, 73 _n._ 1, 84-91, 128, 141 _n._ 1

Henslowe, 4, 177

Herbert, Sir H., 15

Heywood, 117

Homer, 169

Hroswitha, 124 _n._ 3


James I., 7

Johnson, S., 121 n. 2

Jonson, Ben, 6 _n._ 2, 12, 43 _n._ 2, 69 _n._ 4, 70, 72, 77 _n._ 3,
            113-116, 118, 128, 133, 185 _n._ 1


Kean, 124 _n._ 4

Kemble, 124 _n._ 4

_Knacke to Know a Knave, A_, 208 _n._ 1

Koeppel, 28, 178 _n._ 6, 193

Kyd, 127


Lamb, C., 25, 33, 122 _n._ 3, 199

Langbaine, 2 _n._ 2, 34

Lee, Sir Sidney, 77 _n._ 2, 112

_Love Lost in the Dark_, 24

Lyly, 117


Macaulay, G. C., 21 _n._ 5, 65 _n._ 1, App. III.

_Maid of Honour, The_, 16, 18, 27, 28, 40, 74, 103, 132, 146

Malone, 15 _n._ 1, 15 _n._ 3, 24, 176

Marlowe, 29 _n._ 1, 110, 117, 150 _n._ 10

Marston, 62, 112 _n._ 1, 159

Massinger, Arthur, 1

Massinger, Philip: life, 2;
  religion, 3;
  knowledge of Spanish, 5 _n._ 5;
  death, 7;
  politics, 14;
  stagecraft, 26;
  style, 33;
  versification, 55;
  faults, 60;
  imitation of Shakspere, 77;
  introduction of doctors, 81;
  method, 104;
  favourite words, 106;
  character, 118;
  use of epithets, 120 _n._ 5;
  use of assonances, 121 _n._ 1;
  knowledge of Greek, App. II.;
  a metrical peculiarity, App. VI.;
  use of alliteration, App. XVIII.

Matthews, Brander, 25, 45, 64, 71, 123 _n._ 4, 142 _n._ 3, 160

Matthieu, P., 6 _n._ 2, App. XIV.

Middleton, 21, 28, 62, 65 _n._ 3, 124, 127, 141 _n._ 1, 147, 158, App.

Milton, 32 _n._ 3, 51, 55, 69

Monck Mason, 25, 123, 134

Montgomery, Philip, Earl of Pembroke and, 5, 14

Mozart, 76, 88


_New Way to Pay Old Debts, A_, 12, 20, 25, 47 _n._ 3, 48, 52, 70, 108,
            115, 122, 124, 142 _n._ 3

Nichol Smith, 77 _n._ 1


_Old Law, The_, 21, 141, 158

Oliphant, E. H. C., 59 _n._ 2, 162 _n._ 2

Ovid, 34, 105 _n._ 3, 151


_Parliament of Love, The_, 42, 50, 59, 60, 82, 83, 92, 139, 146, App. IX.

Peele, 142 _n._

Pembroke, second Earl of, 2

Pembroke, third Earl of, 6

Pepys, 24

Phelan, 137 _n._ 3, 203 _n._ 2

Philipps, Halliwell, 24 _n._ 2, 176

_Picture, The_, 8, 9, 29, 50, 54, 73, 74, 82, 111 _n._ 1, 140, 146

Plautus, 2, 67 _n._ 2, 104

_Powerful Favourite, The_, 6 _n._ 2, App. XIV.

_Prince of Tarent, The_, vide _A Very Woman_

Prynne, 65 _n._ 3

Puritans, 10, 45


_Renegado, The_, 3, 13, 24, 27, 31, 53, 65, 74, 75, 134, 145, 149

Repetition of words and phrases, 54, 197 _n._ 1

Richardson, 135

_Roman Actor, The_, 28, 33, 38, 52, 66, 72, 82, 116, 126, 137, 146

Rosenbach, 5 _n._ 5

Rowe, 56 _n._ 2, 137

Rowley, W., 21, 141 _n._ 1, 142, 168


Schelling, 5 _n._ 5, 65 _n._ 1

Schmidt, 43 _n._ 2, 171, 175

Scott, Sir W., 68

Sea scenes, 28

_Second Maiden’s Tragedy, The_, App. XIII.

_Sero sed Serio_, 5 _n._ 1

Shakspere, 3, 12 _n._ 3, 18, 20, 29, 32, 33 _n._ 1, 43 _n._ 1, 43 _n._ 2,
  49, 56 _n._ 2, 63, 69, 70, 72, 73, 77-80, 83, 85, 87, 90, 91, 98, 99,
  101, 109, 113, 118, 121-123, 125, 128, 130, 135 _n._ 1, 137, 147, 153,
  App. IV.

Shelley, 31

Shirley, 116, 126 _n._ 2, 147, 180 _n._ 1

Signorelli, Luca, 61

Simpson, P., 65 _n._ 3, 133 _n._ 1, 203 _n._ 2

_Sir J. V. O. Barnavelt_, 8, 9, 52, 139 _n._ 3, 177 _n._ 2, App. XII.

Sophocles, 150

Stephen, Sir Leslie, 45, 68, 76 _n._ 2, 76 _n._ 3, 132

Stevenson, 64

_Strangest Adventure, The_, 178

Subordinates combined, 29

Swinburne, 52, 151, 215

Sykes, Dugdale, 93, 94, 96

Symonds, J. A., 222


Taylor, J., 124 _n._ 2

Theobald, 204

Torture on stage, 28

Tourneur, 20, 55, 62, 157, 203

Turks, 9

_Two Noble Kinsmen, The_, 20, 22, 23 _n._ 1, 92-104


_Unnatural Combat, The_, 8, 28, 31, 54, 69, 138, App. XVIII.


_Very Woman, A_, 21, 42, 50, 81, 82, 84, 100, 102, 108, 129

Virgil, 127 _n._ 3

_Virgin Martyr_, _The_, 3, 18, 20, 24, 31, 32, 33, 46, 47 _n._ 3, 62, 72,
  73, 81, 120, 123, 142, 149, App. X.

Vocabulary of M., 106


Warburton, 23, App. V.

Ward, Sir A., 25, 65 _n._ 1, 110

Warner, Sir G. F., 177

Weber, 21 _n._ 6

Webster, 5, 29 _n._ 2, 111-113, 159

_Wit and Fancy in a Maze_, 77 _n._ 3


Zielinski, 50


    1 It is much to be wished that someone would essay the same task for
      Beaumont and Fletcher, though there the work would be less easy,
      partly from the looseness of the metres, partly from the corruption
      of the text, but chiefly from the presence of prose-passages
      bordering on verse.

    2 A. à Wood’s _Fasti Oxonienses_, p. 313.

    3 Herein he resembled F. Beaumont. G. Langbaine, on the other hand,
      says that the Earl sent Massinger to Oxford, where he “closely
      pursued his studies.” But we must be careful how we believe
      Langbaine; his account of our poet begins thus: “This author was
      born at Salisbury, in the reign of King Charles the First, being son
      to Philip Massinger, a gentleman belonging to the Earl of
      Montgomery.” Here are three gross blunders at once.

    4 Boyle (_N. S. S._, xxi., p. 472) says that “Massinger’s inveterate
      habit of repeating himself arose probably from his profession as an
      actor.” I know of no evidence for this hypothesis. _Cf._, however,
      p. 6, note 1.

_    5 Cf._ Mommsen’s _History of Rome_, English translation, vol. ii., p.

    6 Thus in the play of _Lady Jane_, of which _The Famous History of Sir
      T. Wyatt_ is a fragment, we find five authors concerned. It will be
      remembered that Eupolis contributed to the _Knights_ of

    7 For some account of Field see Appendix XI.

    8 Daborne’s letters bulk large in the Henslowe Correspondence. We have
      two plays of his: _A Christian turn’d Turke_, based on the story of
      the pirate Ward; and _The Poor Man’s Comfort_, a tragi-comedy. Like
      Marston, he abandoned the stage in middle life and took orders,
      before 1618. It is therefore unlikely that he collaborated with
      Massinger in any of the plays which we possess.

    9 Such a reference to _Acta Sanctorum_ as is contained in these lines
      might be made by an Anglican:

      ANTONINUS.      It may be, the duty
      And loyal service, with which I pursued her,
      And sealed it with my death, will be remember’d
      Among her blessed _actions_.—_V. M._, IV., 3, 28.

      More stress might be laid on the metaphor contained in these lines:

      THEOPHILUS. O! mark it, therefore, and with that attention, As you
      would hear an embassy from heaven, _By a wing’d legate_.—_V. M._,
      V., 2, 103.

   10 No doubt it required courage to present a Jesuit in this way so soon
      after Gunpowder Plot; and the curious argument in _The Renegado_,
      V., 1, 28-41, in favour of lay-baptism certainly shows a mind
      interested in ecclesiastical problems.

_   11 The Renegado_, I., 1, 24-32.

_   12 Two Gentlemen of Verona_, V., 1.

   13 Friar Paulo takes an important part in _The Maid of Honour_, ad
      finem. Octavio, disguised as a priest, elicits Alonzo’s repentance
      in _The Bashful Lover_, IV., 2. The same expedient occurs in _The
      Emperor of the East_, V., 3, where Theodosius, disguised as a friar,
      convinces himself of his wife’s innocence. Shakspere disguises the
      Duke as a friar in _Measure for Measure_, II., 3, III., 1, 2, IV.,
      1, 2, 3.

   14 See the photograph at the beginning of the book. _Cf._ also Greg’s
      Henslowe Papers, article 68. Fleay identifies the play referred to
      in the document as _The Honest Man of Fortune_, acted in 1613. In
      the first Dublin poem, after referring to the patronage which had
      befriended Jonson and Fletcher, Massinger goes on thus:

      “These are precedents
      I cite with reverence; my low intents
      Look not so high; yet some work I might frame
      That should not wrong my duty, nor your name;
      Were but your lordship pleased to cast an eye
      Of favour on my trod-down poverty.”

_   15 Cf._ W. W. Greg’s _Henslowe’s Diary_, vol. ii., pp. 110-147. Mr.
      Greg points out (p. 113) that “there is no record of any
      speculations of Henslowe’s own as far as the evidence of the Diary
      is concerned. The accounts are company accounts”—_i.e._, of The Rose
      and Fortune Theatres.

      We have also at Dulwich a bond from R. Daborne and P. Massinger to
      Philip Henslowe for payment of £3, dated July 4th, 1615. _Cf._
      Greg’s Henslowe Papers, article 102.

   16 Licensed March 4th, 1631.

   17 Licensed May 6th, 1631.

   18 See poem “Sero sed serio” (Cunningham, p. 628); _Picture_, II., 2,
      37; _City Madam_, I., 2, 116; _Emperor of the East_, II., 1, 45.
      _Cf._ _Catiline_; II, 1.

   19 Aubrey, in his _Natural History of Wiltshire_ (ed. J. Britton, 1847,
      p. 31), distinctly says that the poet had a pension of twenty or
      thirty pounds per annum, which was “payed to his wife after his

   20 Younger brother of William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.

   21 The dedication begins thus: “However I could never arrive at the
      happiness to be made known to your lordship,” etc.

   22 No doubt he knew some foreign languages. His plays come from various
      sources, French, Italian, and Spanish, some of which, however, had
      been translated into English. _The Renegado_ is traceable to a
      comedy of Cervantes, _Los Baños de Argel_, printed in 1615. _The
      Emperor of the East_ is derived from a French translation of
      Zonaras. If, which is doubtful, _The Duke of Milan_ owes anything to
      Guicciardini, his history had appeared in an English translation by
      Sir Geoffrey Fenton in 1579. Fleay has a curious theory that where
      French scenes are found in Fletcher they are due to Massinger.

      Much interesting information on the great debt which Fletcher and
      other dramatists owed to Spanish literature will be found in F. E.
      Schelling’s _Elizabethan Drama_, vol. ii., pp. 205-218 and 530.
      Schelling comes to the conclusion that Fletcher did not know
      Spanish; but he quotes an unpublished dictum of his friend Dr.
      Rosenbach, who holds it as certain that Massinger knew Spanish. _The
      Island Princess_ is based on a Spanish play, of which no translation
      is known, _Conquista de las islas Malucas_, by De Argensola, 1609.
      Rosenbach attributes the play to Massinger! It is clear, however,
      that a translation may have been in circulation from which Fletcher
      took his materials, or somebody may have seen the play acted in
      Spain, and reported it to him. Further, _Love’s Cure_ is based on
      the _Comedia de la Fuerza de la Costumbre_, by Guillen De Castro,
      licensed at Valencia, February 7th, 1625, and published three months
      later. Fletcher died in August, 1625, and Stiefel thinks that he
      read Spanish, and that this is his last work. Rosenbach and Bullen
      assign the play to Massinger (_cf._ Appendix III., No. 29). It is
      highly desirable that the grounds which led Rosenbach to believe
      that Massinger knew Spanish should be made public.

   23 Lines 39-45 run thus:

      Let them write well that do this, and in grace.
      I would not for a pension or a place
      Part so with over candour: let me rather
      Live poorly on those toys I would not father;
      Not known beyond a player or a man,
      That does pursue the course that I have ran.
      Ere so grow famous.

      Lines 41-42 are interesting as seeming to hint that Massinger
      preferred to waive publicity as to his collaboration with Fletcher
      and others. The poem was published by A. B. Grosart in _Englische
      Studien_, xxvi., pp. 1-7, and will be found with the original
      spelling and punctuation in Appendix XVII.

_   24 A. O._, ii., 654-656. A. à Wood includes in the list of Massinger’s
      plays _Powerful Favourite, or the Life of Sejanus_. As Massinger was
      but nineteen in 1603 he cannot have been the “happy genius” referred
      to in the address “to the readers” of Ben Jonson’s play. For the
      explanation of the mistaken attribution of _The Powerful Favourite_,
      _cf._ Appendix XIV.

   25 Gifford was right as to the date and Cunningham wrong. The entry in
      question is as follows: “March 18th, 1639 [_i.e._, old style],
      Philip Massenger, a stranger.” The entry about Fletcher runs thus:
      “Aug. 29, 1625, John Ffletcher [sic], a man, in the church.” Entries
      such as “a man,” “a boy,” “a girl” are not unusual in the book, and
      the practice of burial “in the church” was comparatively common at
      the time.

   26 The stone inscribed with his name in the chancel of St. Saviour’s
      does not mark the place of his burial, which is unknown.

   27 By a charming if undesigned coincidence the Massinger window stands
      next to that of Shakspere. It represents two scenes from _The Virgin
      Martyr_, and, unfortunately, repeats the erroneous date (1639) of
      the poet’s death, and gives 1583 as the year of his birth.

_   28 Contemporary Review_, August, 1876.

   29 II., 2, 140.

   30 Intercourse with the Low Countries is referred to in the _New Way_
      (I., 2, 75). The monastery to which Sir John Frugal retires is at
      “Lovain” (_City Madam_, III., 2, 58). _Cf._ also for the University
      of “Lovain” _The Elder Brother_, II., 1.

   31 III., 1, 38. _Cf._ also Frank Wellborn’s petition, V., 1, _ad
      finem_. Compare the part played in _Sir John Barnavelt_ by the
      English mercenaries in Holland; and especially IV., 2.

      ORANGE. I have sent patents out for the choicest companies
      Hither to be remov’d, first Colonel Vere’s
      From Dort, next Sir Charles Morgan’s, a stout Company.

      IV., 3. BARNAVELT (_to his daughter_):

      What! wouldst thou have a husband?
      Go marry an English Captain, and he’ll teach thee
      How to defy thy father and his fortune.

      II., 1. BARNAVELT:

      But have you tried by any means (it skills not
      How much you promise) to win th’ old soldier
      (The English Companies in chief I aim at)
      To stand firm for us?

_   32 Unnatural Combat_, I., 1, 243, 278; _Great Duke of Florence_, I.,
      2, 62; II., 1, 145; _Picture_, I., 1, 3-5; _Guardian_, II., 1, 84;
      V., 4, 160; _Very Woman_, V., 5, 28. _Cf._ in Marlowe,
      _Tamburlaine_, Pt. I., III., 3; Pt. II., I., 2; _Jew of Malta_, I.,
      1; II. 2. For a Christian pirate _cf._ _Decameron_, II. 4.

_   33 Bondman_, IV., 3, 77; _Renegado_, IV., 1, 99-102; II., 6, 32.

_   34 A Very Woman_, III., 1.

_   35 Cf._ _The Unnatural Combat_ and _The Renegado_.

_   36 Guardian_, II., 1, 84. Similarly in _The Bashful Lover_, V., 3,
      110, Matilda warns Lorenzo that “Heaven’s liberal hand” has designed
      him to fight rather against the Turk than a Christian
      neighbour-king. Compare _The Devil’s Law-case_ (p. 138_b_).

      ERCOLE.      When our bloods
      Embrac’d each other, then I pitied
      That so much valour should be hazarded
      On the fortune of a single rapier
      And not spent against the Turk.

_   37 Renegado_, II., 5, 24 and 64-73. Bertoldo, the Knight of Malta, is
      the hero of _The Maid of Honour_. _Cf._ also Fletcher’s play of that
      name; and _Guardian_, V., 4, 143-145.

_   38 Unnatural Combat_, V., 2, 230. We find a similar emphasis on the
      Turk and pirates in Webster’s _White Devil_ and_ Devil’s Law-case_.

   39 The “zealous coblers” and “learned botchers” who preach at Amsterdam
      are mentioned in _Renegado_, I., 1, 30-32. In _The Unnatural
      Combat_, III., 1, 75, the “Hugonots” are referred to as using the
      word “mortified.” “Geneva print” is mentioned in _Duke of Milan_,
      I., 1, 11; “precisians” in _New Way_, I., 1, 6, use the word

_   40 Fair Maid_, IV., 2.

_   41 Very Woman_, III., 1, 124:

      MERCHANT. They have a city, Sir—I have been in it.
      And therefore dare affirm it—where if you saw
      With what a load of vanity ’tis fraughted,
      How like an everlasting morris-dance it looks,
      Nothing but hobby-horse and Maid Marian,
      You would start indeed.

_   42 Old Law_, IV., 1, 20; _New Way_, III., 2, 169; _Very Woman_, III.,
      5, 29 and 70; _Renegado_, I., 3, 74. _Cf._ _Decameron_, II. 5.

   43 For the influence of the masque on Massinger, _cf._ _Picture_, II.,
      2; _City Madam_, V., 3; _Guardian_, IV., 2.

_   44 Cf._ the characters of Simonides in _The Old Law_ and young Novall
      in _The Fatal Dowry_, II., 2; _Emperor of the East_, I., 2, 21;
      _Picture_, II., 2, 29-36; _Very Woman_, III., 1, 131-2. Compare also
      _Henry VIII._, I., 3.

_   45 Renegado_, III., 1, 57; _Guardian_, II., 1, 81. _Cf._ _Merchant of
      Venice_, I., 2, 78-81; _As You Like It_, IV., 1, 34-40.

   46 The play ends thus:

      Make you good
      Your promised reformation, and instruct
      Our city dames, whom wealth makes proud, to move
      In their own spheres, and willingly to confess,
      In their habits, manners, and their highest port,
      A distance ’twixt the city and the court.

      _Cf._ also _Maid of Honour_, III., 1, 84; _City Madam_, III., 2,
      153; IV., 4, 43; _New Way_, II., 1, 81 and 88. In _The Renegado_,
      I., 2, distinctions are drawn between the county ladies, the city
      dames, and the court ladies of England. Compare also the epilogue to
      _Henry VIII_:

      Others, to hear the city
      Abused extremely, and to cry “that’s witty.”

      _Rape of Lucrece_, II., 1; II., 3; _The Devil is an Ass_, III., 1;
      _Westward Ho!_ I., 1; “I tell thee, there is equality enough between
      a lady and a city dame if their hair be but of a colour.” Ford
      contrasts the ladies of the city and the court in _The Broken
      Heart_, II., 1. In Dekker’s _Shoemaker’s Holiday_, I., 1, the Lord
      Mayor says:

      Too mean is my poor girl for his high birth,
      Poor citizens must not with courtiers wed.

      _Cf._ also _A Chaste Maid in Cheapside_, I., 1:

      MAUDLIN. Besides, you have a presence, sweet Sir Walter,
      Able to dance a maid brought up in the city;
      A brave court-spirit makes our virgins quiver.

      _Eastward Ho!_ deals with the same contrast. _Cf._ also the
      Induction to _The Knight of the Burning Pestle_, and _ib._, IV., 5;
      Induction to _Four Plays in One_.

_   47 Renegado_, I., 3, 92-94; _City Madam_, I., 2, 34. _Cf._ _Henry
      VIII._, V., 4; _Shoemaker’s Holiday_, V., 2; _The Honest Whore_, Pt.
      I., III., 1; _Sir Thomas More_, II., 1.

_   48 Parliament of Love_, IV., 5, 12; _New Way_, II., 1, 142. _Cf._
      _Epicoene_, V., 1 _bis_; _Elder Brother_, IV., 3; _Honest Man’s
      Fortune_, V., 3; _Thierry and Theodoret_, II., 3.

_   49 Unnatural Combat_, III., 3, 35; IV., 2, 35; _Parliament of Love_,
      IV., 5, 125, 126; _Bondman_, V., 3, 245-252; _Guardian_, III., 3, 8;
      _City Madam_, IV., 1, 74; _Duke of Milan_, III., 2, 18. _Cf._ _1
      Henry IV._, II., 2, 49; III., 1, 130; _2 Henry IV._, IV., 3, 52-54;
      _Winter’s Tale_, IV., 3, 181-263; V., 2, 25-27; _Antony and
      Cleopatra_, V., 2, 215; _Queen of Corinth_, III., 1; _Spanish
      Curate_, IV., 7; _False One_, I., 1; _Elder Brother_, IV., 4; _The
      White Devil_, p. 23b; _The Devil’s Law-case_, pp. 131_b_ and 143_b_;
      _Love’s Sacrifice_, III., 1; IV., 1; _The Honest Whore_, Pt. I, I.,
      1; _Bartholomew Fair_, Induction; II., 1; and III., 1; _Rape of
      Lucrece_, II., 1; _Edward II._, II., 2; _Orlando Furioso_, IV., 1;
      _George a Greene_, IV., 2; _Parliament of Bees_, ch. v.

_   50 Renegado_, II., 4, 1. _Cf._ _Much Ado about Nothing_, V.,1,
      295-297; _A King and No King_, I., 2; IV., 2; _Four Plays in One_;
      _Triumph of Love_, 4; _Little French Lawyer_, III., 2; _The False
      One_, III., 2; IV., 3; _Lover’s Progress_, I., 1; III., 4; V., 3;
      _Cupid’s Revenge_, II., 4; _James IV._, 1, 2.

_   51 New Way_, especially II., 1; for the difficulty of getting justice
      done for the poor, _cf._ _Unnatural Combat_, I., 1; _Fatal Dowry_,
      I., 1, especially lines 67-80.

   52 II.; 4, 79-106. The reference to the mills is as follows:

      Builders of iron mills, that grub up forests
      With timber trees for shipping.

      _Cf._ _Volpone_, I., 1, 33-36.

   53 I., 1, 290-340.

_   54 E.g._, in _The New Way_ and _The Guardian_.

_   55 City Madam._

   56 Thus Ford, in an interesting passage in _Love’s Sacrifice_, I., 1,
      refers to the national love of self-depreciation among the English.
      _Cf._ also _Rape of Lucrece_, III., 5.

   57 I., 2, 22-49. _Cf._ also _Very Woman_, III., 1, 133-135; and
      Webster’s _Westward Ho!_ I., 1, and III., 3.

_   58 Cf._ _The Honest Whore_, Pt. II., IV., 1:

      MATHEO. England is the only hell for horses, and only paradise for
      women. Also Lamira’s words in _The Honest Man’s Fortune_, III., 3.

_   59 Cf._ _Duke of Milan_, _Picture_, and _Roman Actor_. The Duke of
      “Pavy” in Ford’s _Love’s Sacrifice_ is a slighter sketch of the same
      type. The worthlessness of Bianca in the same play is a measure of
      the moral gap between Massinger and Ford.

_   60 Renegado_, IV., 2, 116-143.

   61 Oxford Lectures on Poetry, pp. 363-365. _Cf._ also pp. 392-3.

_   62 Cf._ op. cit., p. 381. _Cf._ Prologue to _Henry VIII._, line 13;
      Prologue to _Romeo and Juliet_, line 12, and Chorus to Act I. in
      _The Mayor of Queensborough_.

      If all my powers
      Can win the grace of two poor hours,
      Well apaid I go to rest.

      Also Prologues to _Two Noble Kinsmen_, lines 28, 29; _Alchemist_,
      line 1; _Love’s Pilgrimage_, line 8; _Lover’s Progress_, line 18
      (“_three_ short hours”); and Shirley’s Preface to the Folio of
      Beaumont and Fletcher.

_   63 Cf._ Malone’s _Shakspere_ (edition 1790), vol. i., pt. 2, p. 226.
      _Believe as You List_ probably represents an adaptation of this
      play, with classical names and setting substituted for the original
      plot. _Cf._ Appendix VII.

   64 Chapman had to suppress a considerable part of _The Tragedy of
      Byron_, which referred to quite recent events in France. But the
      censorship seems to have become much more stringent in Massinger’s

_   65 The King and the Subject_; now lost. The play was performed, after
      alterations had been made, under another title. Sir H. Herbert
      wrote, “Received of Mr. Lowen’s for my paines about Massinger’s play
      called _The King and the Subject_, 2nd June, 1638, £1.”

   66 Malone’s _Shakspere_ (ed. 1790), vol. i., pt. 2, p. 235.

_   67 Bondman_, I., 3.

   68 I., 1, 49-56. _Cf._ also _Great Duke of Florence_, I., 1, 75-84.
      Sanazarro is one of the better type of favourites.

   69 I., 1, 23-36.

   70 III., 1, 10-17.

   71 III., 3, 135.

   72 IV., 5, 52. _Cf._ also _Great Duke of Florence_, I., 1, 73-84.

_   73 Cf._ especially the offer made by the Informer to Paulinus, I., 2,

   74 1st quarto, “pole.”

   75 I., 2, 236-257.

   76 IV., 1, 136-147.

   77 I., 1, 220-233.

   78 Middleton refers to “the great Armada” in _A Trick to Catch the Old
      One_, III., 4; Dampit: “In Anno ’88, when the great Armada was
      coming.” _Cf._ _The Alchemist_, IV., 2.

_   79 Cf._ Champernal in _The Little French Lawyer_, and Alberto in _The
      Fair Maid of the Inn_. Notice too the zest with which Valerio (_A
      Wife for a Month_, V., 3) describes the sea-action with the Turks.

   80 The question whether Massinger knew Greek is discussed in Appendix
      II. To take one play only, _The Maid of Honour_, we find classical
      allusions in I., 1, 240; I., 2, 36, 107-128; II., 1, 48; II., 2, 23;
      II., 3, 26; II., 4, 17; II., 5, 13, 28; III., I, 29; III., I, 194;
      IV., 4, 13; IV., 4, 97, 108, 109; IV., 4, 140-145.

_   81 N. S. S._, xxvi., p. 581.

_   82 Englische Studien_, V., 93.

   83 I., 2, 27.

   84 Also called _The Prince of Tarent_. It would have been easier for
      Fletcher to imitate Massinger than for Massinger to imitate
      Fletcher. The pathos and comedy of the latter were alike out of our
      author’s range.

   85 III., 1, 39.

   86 See discussion on p. 141.

_   87 Cf._ Appendix III.

   88 The question suggests itself at once: Did Massinger ever collaborate
      with Beaumont? Mr. Macaulay does not face this problem in his
      interesting monograph on Beaumont; indeed, he ignores Massinger’s
      undoubted claims to have collaborated with Fletcher, though he makes
      full amends for this omission in his article in the _Cambridge
      History of English Literature_. Boyle at one time thought that
      Massinger worked with Beaumont and Fletcher in _The Honest Man’s
      Fortune_ and _The Knight of Malta_ (_N. S. S._, pp. 589-590).

   89 From the nature of the case the idea is not new; thus Weber, in the
      Preface to the 1812 Edinburgh edition of Beaumont and Fletcher,
      attributes the completion of _The Lover’s Progress_, _Love’s
      Pilgrimage_, and the character of Septimius in _The False One_ to
      Massinger. Fleay (_Shakespeare Manual_, p. 152) makes out a list of
      ten of Fletcher’s plays in which he traces Massinger’s hand. _Cf._
      Appendix III.

_   90 Eng. St._, VII., 75.

   91 Reprinted 1877. Congleton. A copy of the original book is to be seen
      at Shakspere’s birthhouse, Stratford-on-Avon.

   92 An inauspicious date for such a publication!

   93 There are many touches in _Henry VIII_ which remind one of
      Massinger; and not a few passages in Massinger remind one of _Henry
      VIII_. Take as an example _City Madam_, III., 2, 111.

      LUKE.                        O my lord!
      This heap of wealth, which you possess me of,
      Which to a worldly man had been a blessing,
      And to the messenger might with justice challenge
      A kind of adoration, is to me
      A curse I cannot thank you for; and, much less
      Rejoice in that tranquillity of mind
      My brother’s vows must purchase. I have made
      A dear exchange with him: he now enjoys
      My peace and poverty, the trouble of
      His wealth conferr’d on me; and that a burthen
      Too heavy for my weak shoulders.

      LORD LACY.               Honest Soul,
      With what feeling he receives it!

      Or this from _The Bashful Lover_, IV., 2, 87.

      ALONSO.                    She cause, alas!
      Her innocence knew no guilt, but too much favour.
      To me unworthy of it; ’twas my baseness,
      My foul ingratitude—what shall I say more?
      The good Octavio no sooner fell
      In the displeasure of his prince, his state
      Confiscated, and he forced to leave the Court,
      And she exposed to want; but all my oaths
      And protestation of service to her,
      Like seeming flames, raised by enchantment, vanish’d;
      This, this sits heavy here.

      _Cf._ also _City Madam_, I., 2,126-134. I feel inclined to say that
      Massinger knew _Henry VIII_ by heart. _Cf. infra_, pp. 84, 85.

_   94 The Two Noble Kinsmen_ is a remarkable play, full of fine poetry
      and lofty thought. On the other hand, its technique is very
      immature. The Gaoler’s daughter’s soliloquies are inartistic, and at
      times ludicrous. The play has at once the dignity of an early period
      and the complexity of style with which we are familiar in
      Shakspere’s later manner. One thing is clear: Act I. is by a
      different hand from the rest. Perhaps Shakspere and Fletcher touched
      up an old anonymous play.

      See, however, discussion _infra_, pp. 84-104.

_   95 Cf._ Appendix V.

   96 Mr. Halliwell Philipps, in his MS. note to _Believe as You List_,
      now in the British Museum, expresses himself as sceptical of the
      Warburton legend. _Cf._ Greg’s _Bakings of Betsy_ (_Library_, July,

   97 Shakspere, III., p. 275. _Cf._ Downes’ _Roscius Anglicanus_, pp. 18,

   98 Diary, 1848 edition, I., p. 192; IV., p. 373.

   99 Gayley’s _Representative English Comedies_, p. 319.

  100 Gifford’s edition of Massinger, in four volumes, is one of the
      classics of our literature, though careless in details.

  101 To Hazlitt, however, we owe, in his estimate of Sir Giles Overreach,
      one of the most brilliant pieces of English prose that we possess.

  102 (_E. D. L._, iii., p. 42) “In Massinger we seem to recognize a man
      who firmly believes in the eternal difference between right and
      wrong, and never consciously swerves aside from the canon he

_  103 N. S. S._, xxvi., p. 586.

_  104 Iphigenia auf Tauris_, IV., 4: “Ich untersuche nicht, ich fühle

  105 Dr. Bradley (_Oxford Lectures_, p. 383) points out that “the average
      play of Shakspere’s day has great merits of a strictly dramatic
      kind, but it is not ‘well-built,’ it is not what we mean by ‘a good
      play.’ ” He traces this fault to the multiplication of scenes, which
      the absence of scenery in those days made easy.

  106 Gayley points out (_R. E. C._, p. xci.) that, “Shakspere and
      Fletcher excepted, Massinger has been adjudged by posterity the most
      successful of the practical dramatists of the early seventeenth
      century.” He suggests (_R. E. C._, p. xcv.) that with slight and
      judicious modification an enterprising actor-manager might
      successfully produce _A New Way_, _The Maid of Honour_, _The City
      Madam_, and perhaps _The Bondman_.

  107 Aristotle, _Rhetoric_, III., p. 1404_b_.

  108 IV., 2. On the other hand, we should remember that our author did
      not invent this incident, but took it from Byzantine history. _Cf._
      Gibbon’s _Decline and Fall_, chapter xxxii.

_  109 Bondman_, II., 1, 187. _Cf._ ὁ ἄφωνος in Ar. _Poetics_, 1460 a. 32.

_  110 Cf._ _The Sea Voyage_ and _The Double Marriage_.

_  111 Roman Actor_, III., 2, 71; _Virgin Martyr_, V., 2, 206. _Cf._ Dr.
      Bradley’s remarks (_Oxford Lectures_, p. 366, note) on the blinding
      of Gloucester in _King Lear_. When the Duke in Ford’s _Love’s
      Sacrifice_ (V., 3) stabs himself and cries aloud:

      Sprightful flood,
      Run out in rivers! O, that these thick streams
      Could gather head, and make a standing pool,
      That jealous husbands here might bathe in blood;

      the words can only produce an anticlimax in the spectator’s mind,
      however effective they may be to the reader. Massinger is more
      dexterous in _The Fatal Dowry_, IV., 4, 154: “Yes, sir; this is her
      heart’s blood, is it not? I think it be.” There is a similar
      difficulty about D’Amville in _The Atheist’s Tragedy_ (V., 2)
      knocking out his brains with the executioner’s axe; and about
      Scaevola in _The Rape of Lucrece_ (V. 4) burning off his hand. _Cf._
      also Bajazet and Zabina in _Tamburlaine_, Pt. I., V., 1, and
      Tamburlaine himself in Pt. II., III., 2.

  112 Needless to say, the idea is not original; it is already a marked
      feature of Marlowe’s _Tamburlaine_ and _Faustus_; but the device
      does not often work so smoothly as in Massinger.

  113 II., 2, 59-77. _Cf._ _The Virgin Martyr_, I., 1 (the three kings);
      _Emperor of the East_, II., 1 (Theodosius and his courtiers); _A New
      Way_, I., 3, 43 (the servants); _City Madam_, IV., 1 (Luke and the
      three creditors); IV., 2 (Luke and the two apprentices); _Bashful
      Lover_, I., 1 (Matilda and the waiting-women); V., 1 (Octavio and
      three friends); _Bondman_, I., 3 (Timoleon and four senators);
      _Unnatural Combat_, II., 2 (Theocrine and three attendants); _Great
      Duke of Florence_, I., 2 (three councillors); II., 2; V., 2 and 3
      (Cozimo and courtiers); _Guardian_, IV., 4 (Severino and four
      banditti); _Maid of Honour_, I., 1 (Bertoldo and the two heirs “city
      bred”); _Roman Actor_, IV., 1, 98; V., 1, 213 (the three tribunes);
      V. 2, 1-19 (the conspirators); _Duke of Milan_ I., 3, _ad init._
      (three gentlemen). We find this method again and again in Webster;
      _cf._ _The Duchess of Malfi_, p. 63_a_; p. 78_b_; p. 80_b_; _The
      White Devil_, p. 56; p. 42_a_; _The Devil’s Law-case_, p. 111_b_; p.
      116_a_. _Cf._ also Cymbal and Fitton in _The Staple of News_, I., 2;
      and the three courtiers in _Cupid’s Revenge_.

  114 The exact cause of the son’s anger is the murder of his mother by
      his father. The secret is not revealed until Act V., 2, 122, though
      it is hinted at in II., 1, 118-120. The son knows nothing of the
      other terrible charge.

  115 In _The Renegado_ the brother and sister are not revealed until V.,

  116 IV., 3.

  117 I., 1.

  118 The best instance of Euripidean art is the scene in _The Emperor of
      the East_ (II., 1), where all the arguments for the Emperor’s speedy
      marriage are cleverly amassed. _Cf._ also Luke’s appeal for mercy to
      the creditors in _The City Madam_, I., 3; the long preparation which
      Sforza makes in _The Duke of Milan_, I., 3, 268; the skill which
      leads up to the disclosure of Marullo’s name in _The Bondman_ (IV.,
      3, 124), and the way in which he persuades the slaves to revolt
      (II., 3). For other instances of what we may call the gradual
      method, compare _The Virgin Martyr_, I., 1, 294, and _A Very Woman_,
      V., 4, 91.

_  119 Cf._ _Fatal Dowry_, I., 2; IV., 4; V., 2; _Roman Actor_, I., 3;
      _Bondman_, I., 3; _Parliament of Love_, V., 1; _Great Duke of
      Florence_, V., 3.

  120 Here he incurs the censure of Milton on such plays (Preface to
      _Samson Agonistes_): “This is mentioned to vindicate tragedy from
      the small esteem, or rather infamy, which in the account of many it
      undergoes at this day with other common interludes; happening
      through the poet’s error of intertwining comic stuff with tragic
      sadness and gravity; or introducing trivial and vulgar persons,
      which by all judicious hath been counted absurd, and brought in
      without discretion, corruptly to gratify the people!”

_  121 Cf._ Shakspere’s _Julius Caesar_, where the hero dies in the third
      act; but the plot is not felt to have exhausted itself until Brutus
      and Cassius are disposed of.

  122 Massinger is very sparing in his use of prose in his plays, though
      Fleay goes too far when he says: “Neither Fletcher nor Massinger
      admits prose” (_Shakespeare Manual_, p. 71). The grace of
      Massinger’s dedications is very marked when compared with the
      stilted and obscure style of Ford’s.

  123 C. Lamb.

  124 Lines referring to Massinger quoted by Langbaine.

_  125 Bondman_, IV., 2, 51-88.

  126 I., 2, 147.

  127 I., 3, 268-30 6.

  128 I., 3, 49-142.

  129 II., 4, 22-35.

  130 I., 3, 51-74.

  131 IV., 3, 124-138.

  132 V., 1, 42-60.

_  133 Cf._ Prologue to _Henry V_, line 4, a passage imitated and expanded
      in _The Virgin Martyr_, V., 2, 98-102.

  134 We have a Somersetshire rustic in _The Emperor of the East_, IV., 2.
      _Cf._ Schmidt’s _Shakespeare Lexicon_, Appendix II., p. 1424. “In
      general it can be said that Shakspere abstains from the use of
      provincial dialects, as characteristic of his dramatical persons....
      It is only on one occasion that he seems to imitate the peculiar
      speech of a certain dialect: _King Lear_, IV., 6, 239-251.
      Concerning the particular county there referred to English scholars
      have been of different opinions. Steevens pleads for Somersetshire,
      in the dialect of which rustics were commonly introduced by ancient
      writers; Collier inclines to decide in favour of the North.” _Cf._
      Mr. H. Bradley’s remarks in _Shakspere’s England_, II., p. 570. In
      _Bartholomew Fair_, IV., 3, a contrast is drawn between the dialect
      of a rustic from the West and one from the North. Urania’s dialect
      in _Cupid’s Revenge_ cannot be pronounced a success, or Antonio’s
      Irish in _The Coxcomb_.

_  135 City Madam_, II., 2, 128. Among the things which Anne demands from
      her suitor, is:

      A fresh habit,
      Of a fashion never seen before, to draw
      The gallants’ eyes, that sit on the stage, upon me.

      _Cf._ also Induction to _The Malcontent_; Induction to _The Staple
      of News_; Induction to _Cynthia’s Revels_; Fitzdottrel in _The Devil
      is an Ass_, I., 3; Induction to _Knight of the Burning Pestle_;
      _Woman-Hater_, I., 3; Prologue to _All Fools_; and Dekker’s _The
      Guls Horne-booke_, Chapter VI.

_  136 Hours in a Library_, ii., p. 171. Leslie Stephen elsewhere (pp.
      167-171) does justice to Massinger’s “romantic tendency.” “The
      chivalrous ideal of morality involves a reverence for women which
      may be exaggerated or affected, but which has at least a genuine
      element in it. The same vein of chivalrous sentiment gives a fine
      tone to some of Massinger’s other plays; to _The Bondman_, for
      example, and _The Great Duke of Florence_, in both of which the
      treatment of lovers’ devotion shows a higher sense of the virtue of
      feminine dignity and purity than is common in the contemporary

_  137 The Virgin Martyr_, IV., 3, 72-92. _Cf. Believe As You List_, IV.,
      2, 183-204.

  138 I., 1, 103-114. The whole play exhibits this element of grace more
      than any other of our author. It should be acted by Lysis and
      Charicles, Glaucon and Adeimantus.

  139 IV., 3, 175. It is to be noted that great courtesy is observed and
      expected in greetings and leave-takings in Massinger’s plays. Thus
      in _The Virgin Martyr_, II., 2, Macrinus gets into trouble for the
      curtness of his salutation; similarly, Wellborn in _A New Way_, V.,
      1, 114. Compare also _Roman Actor_, IV., 1, 67; _A Very Woman_, I.,
      l, 147.

  140 I., 1, 246.

  141 I., 2, 36.

  142 II., 2, 71.

  143 I., 1, 77.

  144 IV., 2, 96.

  145 III., 2, 92.

  146 V., 2, 51.

  147 I., 2, 162-175.

  148 II., 3, 28-32.

  149 I., 2, 136-141.

  150 IV., 2, 46.

  151 I., 2, 17.

  152 I., 5, 44. The longest series of parentheses in Massinger is to be
      found in Cardenes’ speech in _A Very Woman_ (I., 1, 240-256). For
      clumsy periods see _Fatal Dowry_, IV., 2, 99-104; V., 2, 23-34;
      _Roman Actor_, IV., 2, 123-128.

_  153 Our Debt to Antiquity_, Eng. trans, by Strong and Stewart, p. 75.

  154 It is needless to say how common this idiom is in Shakspere,
      Webster, Shirley, and other authors of the period. I only mention it
      because it lends itself in a peculiar way to the suppleness of
      Massinger’s style.

  155 I., 1, 18-32.

  156 I., 3, 339.

  157 V., 1, 25.

  158 III., 3, 4.

  159 V., 2, 22.

_  160 Contemporaries of Shakespeare_, p. 183. Though I do not accept all
      Mr. Swinburne’s estimates, I am at once pleased and humiliated at
      the thought that he has expressed so much better than myself many of
      my conclusions about Massinger.

  161 V., 1, 51.

  162 III., 1, 302.

_  163 The Renegado_, III., 1, 30-39.

  164 Oliphant (_Englische Studien_, xiv., 60) notes this feature as

  165 Boyle, _N. S. S._, Trans., p. 378.

_  166 Op. cit._, p. 403.

_  167 E. S._, vii. 70.

_  168 N. S. S._, xxvi. 584. The “run-on” line ends with a preposition or
      other word which syntactically requires the next line. Take as an
      example _Fatal Dowry_, V., 2, 255:

      For the fact, as of
      The former, I confess it; but with what
      Base wrongs I was unwillingly drawn to it,
      To my few words there are some other proofs
      To witness this for truth.

      The “double” or “feminine” ending is the outstanding feature of
      Fletcher’s verse. _Cf._ _Fatal Dowry_, V., 2, 137:

      ROCHFORT. You say you are sorry for him;
      A grief in which I must not have a partner.
      ’Tis I alone am sorry, that when I raised
      The building of my life, for seventy years,
      Upon so sure a ground, that all the vices
      Practised to ruin man, though brought against me,
      Could never undermine, and no way left
      To send these grey hairs to the grave with sorrow,
      Virtue, that was my patroness, betrayed me.

      (Gifford inserts “when” in that third line.)

      Five instances in nine lines. Fleay (_Shakespeare Manual_, p. 171)
      points out that in Shakspere’s part of _Henry VIII_ the proportion
      of double endings to blank verse is 1 to 3; in Fletcher’s, 1 to 1·7.
      The weak and sugary effect of double endings is very apparent in
      Rowe’s _Fair Penitent_, the eighteenth-century play, based on _The
      Fatal Dowry_.

      Boyle (_E. S._, v. 74) takes six of Massinger’s plays: _The
      Unnatural Combat_, _The Duke of Milan_, _The Bondman_, _The City
      Madam_, _The Bashful Lover_, and _The Guardian_. These are his
      conclusions: “The plays show in general a high percentage of double
      endings, generally 40 per cent, or more. The percentage of run-on
      lines is a little lower, but seldom sinks for more than a scene
      below 30 per cent. The light and weak endings together make 5 to 7
      per cent. The versification is exquisitely musical. There are very
      few rhymes.” The corresponding figures for Fletcher are: double
      endings, over 50 per cent.; run-on lines, under 20 per cent.; and
      light and weak endings almost negligible; rhyme, rare. Shakspere in
      his later manner (e.g., _The Tempest_) has 33 per cent. double
      endings. (_E. S._, vi. 71.)

  169 Fleay (_Shakespeare Manual_, p. 123) takes a piece of Dryden’s _All
      for Love_, and rewrites it, as far as metre (and metre only) is
      concerned, in the styles of Fletcher, Beaumont, Massinger, Greene,
      and Rowley.

  170 IV., 3, 5-24.

  171 I., 2, 49-71.

  172 In this respect Massinger resembles Beaumont and Ford, whose metre
      in divided lines, unlike Webster’s and Fletcher’s, is very regular.
      Shirley’s plays are full of lame lines. For strict division _cf._
      _City Madam_, I., 3, 44; II., 1, 109; V., 1, 4 and 70; V., 2, 66;
      V., 3, 126; _Guardian_, I., 1, 80, 221, 308; II., 3, 116; III., 2,
      61; IV., 3, 16; _New Way_, I., 2, 48 and 63; II., 2, 151; III., 2,
      241; V., 1, 233; _Very Woman_, I., 1, 26 and 147; V., 6, 31;
      _Bashful Lover_, I., 1, 114, 163, and 207; II., 2, 36, 37; II., 3,
      9; II., 4, 42; III., 1, 99; III., 3, 71 and 80; V., 1, 39, 40, 48,
      50, 176; _Roman Actor_, I., 3, 32. Instances can be given of lines
      divided between four speakers—e.g., _Very Woman_, V., 3, 23; V., 4,
      167; _Bashful Lover_, II., 7, 20; _Roman Actor_, I., 4, 50; IV., 1,
      83; _Guardian_, V., 4, 209. The carelessness of the metre in _The
      Old Law_ is in itself proof that Massinger had little to do with it.

  173 An instance of “emphatic” double-ending (_Oliphant_, _E. S._, xiv.,
      71), common in Fletcher, rare in Massinger.

  174 I., 5, 38.

  175 V., 1, 226.

_  176 Cf._ also Matilda in _The Bashful Lover_ (IV., 3, 170), and Olinda
      in _The Lovers’ Progress_.

_  177 Frogs_, l. 1413.

_  178 Cf._ the dialogue in _A Very Woman_, I., 1, 1-24. “Heaven’s
      greatest blessings” (line 21) is a very characteristic phrase. _Cf._
      also _Emperor of the East_, II., 1, 216.

  179 Boyle (_N. S. S._, 385-88) is severe but not, to my mind,
      convincing. Reading between the lines, one arrives at the conclusion
      that Boyle admired Massinger enormously, and would have allowed none
      else to abuse him except himself. _Cf._ his spirited attack on
      Charles Lamb’s “unfair judgment” (pp. 371-2).

  180 Rubens took his wives as models for his art; let us hope that
      Massinger’s portrait of the imperious woman was not drawn from his
      wife. We happen to know that he was married.

  181 I., 1. _Cf._ also Matilda in _The Bashful Lover_ (III., 3, 147), and
      Donusa in _The Renegado_ (II., 4).

  182 IV., 1; V., 4. _Cf._ also Thamasta in Ford’s _Lover’s Melancholy_
      (III., 2), Calantha’s request to her father in _The Broken Heart_
      (IV., 3), Fiormonda in _Love’s Sacrifice_ (I., 2), Hidaspes in
      _Cupid’s Revenge_ (I., 3).

  183 Act I., 3.

  184 III., 1, 161. _Cf._ also _Romeo and Juliet_, I., 5, 95.

  185 The situation is not unknown in modern fiction; take, for example,
      _Dr. Breen’s Practice_ and _The House of Lynch_. _Cf._ Jebb’s
      _Bentley_, p. 197.

_  186 Op. cit._, p. 317.

  187 A favourite phrase of Massinger’s—e.g., _Emperor of the East_, II.,
      1, 345; V., 2, 83; _Great Duke of Florence_, II., 3, 112; _Unnatural
      Combat_, I., 1, 312; IV., 1, 110; _Parliament of Love_, II., 3, 77.

  188 B. Matthews, p. 318.

  189 Especially Sir A. W. Ward (_English Dramatic Literature_, iii., pp.
      41-42). _Cf._ also G. C. Macaulay in _Cambridge History of English
      Literature_, vol. vi., p. 121, and Schelling’s verdict.

  190 The Venetian in _The Renegado_.

  191 Dr. Bradley (_Oxford Lectures_, pp. 373-4) minimizes the objections
      to this custom, without, however, dwelling on the moral problem.
      _Cf._ also Mr. Percy Simpson’s remarks in _Shakspere’s England_,
      ii., p. 246.  Prynne deals with it (_Histriomastix_, ed. 1633, pp.
      214-216). He allows, reluctantly, that “men actors in women’s attire
      are not altogether so bad, so discommendable as women
      stage-players,” but goes on to say: “since both of them are evill,
      yea extremely vitious, neither of them necessary, both superfluous
      as all playes and players are; the superabundant sinfulnesse of the
      one, can neither justifie the lawfulnesse, nor extenuate the
      wickednesse of the other.... This should rather bee the conclusion,
      both of them are abominable, both intolerable, neither of them
      laudable or necessary; therefore both of them to bee abandoned,
      neither of them henceforth to be tollerated among Christians.”

      Ford, in _Love’s Sacrifice_ (III., 2), refers to the novelty of
      women-antics—_i.e._, of women acting in masques. It is clear that
      Queen Henrietta Maria, with her passion for appearing on the stage
      in masques, however much she may have been before the times, must
      have caused great scandal to the Puritan party. The complications
      which sometimes arise from the use of men for female parts may be
      illustrated from Middleton’s amusing play, _The Widow_, where Martia
      is disguised as a man, Ansaldo, and, to escape further
      complications, is subsequently disguised as a woman, _being a boy
      all the time_. We find the same thing in the second Luce in _The
      Wise Woman of Hogsdon_.

_  192 Supra_, p. 38.

  193 Though Massinger does not owe much to Chapman, it is to be noted
      that this trick of repeating a phrase occurs several times in
      Chapman’s popular play, _Bussy d’Ambois_. _Cf._ III., 1., “He shall
      confess all, and you then may hang him,” and towards the end of the
      same Act, “Ay, anything but killing of the King;” and in _The
      Conspiracy of Byron_, Act II., in La Fin’s speech, “I can make good”
      four times at the end of the line. _Cf._ “Behold the Turk and his
      great Empress” in _Tamburlaine_, pt. I., V., 1; “I love my lord; let
      that suffice for me” in Greene’s _Orlando Furioso_, I., 1.

_  194 A Very Woman_, III., 4.

  195 A few instances of γνῶμαι may be given from Massinger; his debt to
      Shakspere will be clear:

      _Fatal Dowry_, I., 1, 20:

      There is a minute
      When a man’s presence speaks in his own cause
      More than the tongues of twenty advocates.

      _Guardian_, I., 1, 241:

      For a flying foe
      Discreet and provident conquerors build up
      A bridge of gold.

      _Guardian_, IV., 1, 99:

      O dear madam,
      We are all the balls of time, toss’d to and fro,
      From the plough unto the throne, and back again;
      Under the swing of destiny mankind suffers.

      (_Cf._ _Plautus’ Captivi_, Prologue, 22, “Enimvero di nos quasi
      pilas homines habent;” _Pericles_, II., 1, 63; and _The Duchess of
      Malfi_, p. 99_a_; _Parliament of Bees_, char, vii.)

      _Bashful Lover_, IV., 1, 69:

      Fortune rules all;
      We are her tennis-balls.

      (_Cf._ also Greg’s _Henslowe Papers_, p. 143.)

      _Bashful Lover_, III., 2, 3:

      A diamond,
      Though set in horn, is still a diamond
      And sparkles, as in purest gold.

      _Very Woman_, IV., 1, 90:

      Revenge, that thirsty dropsy of our souls,
      Which makes us covet that which hurts us most,
      Is not alone sweet, but partakes of tartness.

      _Duke of Milan_, I., 1, 60:

      Dangers that we see
      To threaten ruin, are with ease prevented;
      But those strike deadly that come unexpected.

      _Great Duke of Florence_, III., 1, 138:

      Steals sometimes through the ear into the heart,
      As well as by the eye.

      _Picture_, II., 1, 79:

      Ill news, madam,
      Are swallow-wing’d, but what’s good walks on crutches.

      _Virgin Martyr_, IV., 1, 103:

      Pleasures forc’d
      Are unripe apples; sour, not worth the plucking.

      _A New Way_, IV., 1, 187:

      Though I must grant
      Riches, well-got, to be a useful servant,
      But a bad master.

      _Bondman_, I., 3, 100:

      He that would govern others, first should be
      The master of himself, richly endu’d
      With depth of understanding, height of courage,
      And those remarkable graces which I dare not
      Ascribe unto myself.

      _Bondman_, III., 1, 6:

      But turbulent spirits, raised beyond themselves
      With ease, are not so soon laid; they oft prove
      Dangerous to him that call’d them up.

_  196 Hours in a Library_, i., p. 167.

_  197 Poetics_, 1460_b_, 4.

_  198 Cf._ Appendix VI. and the discussion in Robert Bridges’ _Milton_,
      Appendix D, pp. 56-57. The same thing is found again and again in
      Shirley’s _Lady of Pleasure_.

  199 For a rhymed passage _cf._ _A Very Woman_, IV., 1, 141-152.

  200 We have a few unimportant poems in rhyme from his pen, which show
      the same characteristics of style as his blank verse, though
      fettered by the restraints of the couplet. Some of his songs are not
      at all bad; _cf._; for example, _Emperor of the East_, V., 3: “Why
      art thou slow, thou rest of trouble, Death?” _Guardian_, IV., 2, The
      songs of Juno and Hymen; V., 1, the “entertainment of the Forest’s
      Queen.” _Picture_, II., 2, the song of Pallas; III., 5, song
      beginning, “The blushing rose and purple flower.” It must, however,
      be conceded that these songs are commonplace.

_  201 Maid of Honour._ The same name is found in Ben Jonson’s unfortunate
      _New Inn_, produced in 1629. _Cf._ also _City Madam_, II., 2, 182:

      MARY. Whose sheep are these, whose oxen? The Lady Plenty’s.

      PLENTY. A plentiful pox upon you.

      _New Way_, IV., 2, 2:

      Did not Master Marrall
      (He has marr’d all I am sure) strictly command us?

      _New Way_, IV., 2, 68:

      No, though the great Turk came, instead of turkies
      To beg any favour, I am inexorable.

  202 Belgrade in _The Unnatural Combat_.

  203 Boyle (_N. S. S._, pp. 588-9) points out that Massinger “succeeds
      admirably in depicting the witty pertness of a saucy page.” It does
      not, therefore, follow that he had been one himself, as has been
      supposed by some.

  204 In _The New Way_ and _City Madam_.

  205 Mr. Ben Greet’s Company has from time to time given a charming
      alfresco performance of _The Great Duke of Florence_.

  206 Preface to Sir John V. O. Barnavelt (_Old Plays_, vol. ii., p. 204).

_  207 Op. cit._, p. 405.

_  208 Op. cit._, p. 312.

_  209 Cf._ Sforza in _The Duke of Milan_; Theodosius in _The Emperor of
      the East_; and especially, Leosthenes in _The Bondman_.

  210 The first quarto of _Othello_ appeared in 1622, _The Duke_ in 1623.

  211 Perhaps Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are the only instances. Notice in
      _Henry VIII_ various rapid changes of mind—_e.g._, III., 2, 336:
      SURREY. “I forgive him”; V., 2, 172: GARDINER. “With a true heart
      and brother love I do it.” Henry V and Antony are other instances
      which will occur to everyone. In the case of the former, at any
      rate, I for one feel that Shakspere cuts the Gordian knot.

  212 The soliloquy of Luke over his brother’s wealth is one of the most
      splendid efforts of eloquence in English. (_City Madam_, III., 3.)

_  213 Guardian_, I.

  214 I., 1.

  215 I., 2.

  216 V., 2, 129.

  217 IV., 3, 133:

      VITELLI. Your intent to win me
      To be of your belief, proceeded from
      Your fear to die. Can there be strength in that
      Religion, that suffers us to tremble
      At that which every day, nay hour, we haste to?

      DONUSA. This is unanswerable, and there’s something tells me
      I err in my opinion.

_  218 Virgin Martyr_, III., 1, 186.

  219 IV., V. _Cf._ especially IV., 1, 138:

      LORENZO. Stay, I feel
      A sudden alteration.

      MARTINO. Here are fine whimsies.

_  220 Poetics_, 1454_a_, 33.

  221 III., 3; V., 3, 33. After all, Corisca does not repent of her worst
      faults, only of her luxury and cruelty to her slaves. _Cf._ also The
      Projector in _The Emperor of the East_, I., 2, 257. On the other
      hand, the conversion of the courtiers in the same play (II., 1, 154)
      is according to character.

_  222 Poetics_, 1454_a_, 26.

_  223 Poetics_, 1454_a_, 28.

  224 Leslie Stephen has anticipated me here. “The truth seems to be that
      Massinger is subject to an illusion natural enough to a man who is
      more of the rhetorician than the seer. He fancies that eloquence
      must be irresistible. He takes the change of mood produced by an
      elevated appeal to the feelings for a change of character” (_Hours
      in a Library_, ii., p. 164).

  225 Here again I find myself in agreement with Leslie Stephen.
      “Massinger’s plays are a gradual unravelling of a series of
      incidents, each following intelligibly from the preceding situation,
      and suggestive of many eloquent observations, though not
      developments of one master thought. We often feel, that if external
      circumstances had been propitious, he would have expressed himself
      more naturally, in the form of a prose romance than in a drama”
      (_Op. cit._, ii., p. 157). _Cf._ also Coleridge’s remark that
      Massinger’s plays are “as interesting as novels.” How much
      character-drawing is there in Boccaccio or Paynter?

  226 Mr. Nichol Smith (_Shakspere’s England_, ii., p. 202) doubts the
      “association of Pembroke with Shakspere.”

  227 Sir Sidney Lee (_Life of W. Shakespeare_, 1915, p. 441) notes “the
      almost magical success” with which Massinger echoes Shakspere’s

  228 In a “mock” romance published at London in 1656, _Wit and Fancy in a
      Maze_ (Book 2, chapter iv.), the Enchantress Lamia and the hero Don
      Zara del Fogo go to Elysium and find everything in an uproar. Ajax
      and Ulysses are quarrelling; Homer and Hesiod; Statius and Virgil.
      Last of all Ben Jonson “had openly vaunted himself the first and
      best of English poets.” This is much resented by Chaucer, Chapman,
      and Spenser; last of all Shakspere and Fletcher appear “with a
      strong party” to claim the first place. Among “their life guard” are
      mentioned Goffe, Massinger, Dekker, Webster, Suckling, Cartwright,
      Carew. Did Ben Jonson dislike Massinger as Mr. Phelan conjectures?

  229 II., 1, 100.

  230 IV., 2.

  231 IV., 3.

  232 I., 3.

  233 III., 1, 261.

  234 III., 1.

  235 II., 4. The good brigand goes back beyond Robin Hood to Herodotus,
      VI. 16.

  236 IV., 1.

  237 Compare especially V., 2, 104 with _Midsummer Night’s Dream_, II.,
      2, 145.

  238 II., 1, 22.

  239 II., 4.

  240 III., 1, 24.

  241 II., 7.

_  242 Unnatural Combat_, III., 2, 13.

  243 IV., 3.

  244 III., 3, 91-2.

  245 IV., 1.

  246 IV., 5.

  247 III., 4.

  248 II., 2, 93.

_  249 Othello_, III., 3.

  250 V., 1, 376. _Cf._ also Security in prison in _Eastward Ho_ (Act V.);
      Grimaldi in _The Renegado_ (IV., 1, 4).

  251 III., 4, 148. On the other hand, Paulo in _A Very Woman_ (III., 3,
      5) observes:

      To choke up his spirits in a dark room,
      Is far more dangerous.

  252 II., 3.

  253 V., 2.

  254 V., 1.

  255 I., 3, 49. Rowley uses the metaphor in the dedication of _A Fair

  256 II., 7.

  257 III., 1, 49.

  258 IV., 1. The language of Ding’em in _The City Madam_ (IV.; 1, 15)
      takes us back to Pistol:

      Thy word’s a law,
      And I obey. Live, scrape-shoe, and be thankful,
      Thou man of muck and money, for as such
      I now salute thee; the suburbian gamesters
      Have heard thy fortunes, and I am, in person,
      Sent to congratulate.

      _Cf._ also _A New Way_, I., 2, 59:

      FURNACE. “I am appeased, and Furnace now grows cool.”

  259 I., 2, 318. _Cf._ _Prophetess_, I., 2, 31:

      I presently, inspired with holy fire,
      And my prophetic spirit burning in me,
      Gave answer from the gods.

      _Double Marriage_, II., 4, 30:

      Who stole her? Oh! my prophetic soul!

  260 I., 5, 40.

  261 IV., 2, 39.

_  262 Virgin Martyr_, III., 3, 46.

  263 III., 1, 118.

  264 V., 1, 170.

  265 II., 1, 99. _Cf._ also _Roman Actor_, III., 2, 35.

  266 IV., 1, 1.

  267 III., 2, 18.

_  268 Coriolanus_, I., 1, 99.

  269 I., 2, 40.  _Cf._ also _A New Way_, I., 3, 88, and _Emperor of the
      East_, V., 2, 83:

      I am flesh and blood, as you are, sensible
      Of heat and cold, as much a slave unto
      The tyranny of my passions as the meanest
      Of my poor subjects.

  270 III., 1.

  271 IV., 1, 103.

  272 II., 1, 54.

  273 II., 5.

  274 IV., 3, 131-137.

  275 II., 1, 38. _Cf._ Bradley, _Shakspearean Tragedy_, p. 268.

  276 Thus, to take an instance at random, the madness of the Englishman
      is referred to in Webster’s _Malcontent_ (III. 1).

_  277 Cf._ also Appendix IV.

  278 IV., 1.

  279 IV., 1, 1. The last line shows how prosaic Massinger could on
      occasion be. In judging our older writers, however, it is important
      to remember that words change their poetical value with time; it is
      clear, for example, that in James I.’s age, “undertaker,”
      “proceedings,” “punctually,” “aunt,” were regarded as legitimate in

  280 V., 2, 49-54.

  281 II., 2, 23.

_  282 A Very Woman_, II., 2, 96.

  283 IV., 4.

  284 V., 2.

  285 II., 1.

  286 II., 2, 84-98; _cf._ also _A Very Woman_, II., 2, 2; _Bondman_, I.,
      3, 216; _Emperor of the East_, III., 2, 54; _Guardian_, III., 1, 23;
      _Parliament of Love_, I., 4, 23; _Believe as You List_, V., 1, 69;
      _Unnatural Combat_, IV., 1, 131 and 231.

  287 III., 1, 12-16.

_  288 Cf._ also _Bondman_, II., 2, 36; IV., 4, 22; _Bashful Lover_, V.,
      1, 72-156; _Emperor of the East_, IV., 3, 39; _Duke of Milan_, IV.,
      3, 97; _Unnatural Combat_, IV., 1, 199; _Parliament of Love_, V., 1,
      526-7; _Guardian_, I., 1, 13; II., 5, 56; _Picture_, III., 4, 21.

_  289 New Way_, II., 2, 17-22; _Picture_, IV., 2, 26-33.

_  290 Picture_, I., 2, 30; IV., 2, 79; _Bondman_, I., 2, 36; IV., 2, 44;
      IV., 4, 21; _A New Way_, II., 2, 20; IV., 2, 99; _Emperor of the
      East_, I., 2, 223; _Parliament of Love_, IV., 1, 49; _Guardian_, I.,
      1, 297.

  291 III., 1, 26; III., 1, 32.

_  292 Cf._ _New Way_ and _City Madam_, _passim_.

_  293 Cf._ Churton Collins’ _Studies in Shakspere: No. V._, “Was
      Shakspere a lawyer?” Mr. Arthur Underhill, in _Shakspere’s England_,
      Vol. i, No. xiii., decides that Shakspere’s “knowledge of law was
      neither profound nor accurate.”

_  294 A Very Woman_, II., 2, 60-64. It is to be noted that doctors are
      common also in Fletcher, the reason being that there are so many
      duels, and unexpected recoveries, in that author. Thus, the surgeon
      diets the Duke of Sesse in _The Double Marriage_ (II., 4); and in
      the same play the doctor plays tricks on Castruccio’s food (V., 1).
      In _The Sea Voyage_ (III., 1) the surgeon is introduced merely to
      make fun of his apparatus. Doctors, chirurgeons, and apothecaries
      appear in fifteen of the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher. The same
      remark applies to Webster; _cf._ _The Duchess of Malfi_, _The White
      Devil_, and especially _The Devil’s Law-case_.

_  295 Henry VIII_, I., 1, 75; I., 2, 42; III., 2, 171.

  296 II., 3, 42 and 72; III., 2, 305, 307, 353.

  297 II., 3, 93.

  298 III., 2, 37; _cf._ III., 4, 69.  Beaumont observes a similar

_  299 E.g._, I., 1; III., 2.

_  300 E.g._, III., 2, 336; IV., 2, 73; V., 4, 172.

  301 II., 1, 88-94.

  302 II., 2, 143.

  303 III., 2, 297-8.

  304 III., 2, 365.

_  305 E.g._, I., 1, 39-44; II., 3, 13-16, 18-22, 32; II., 4, 70-73, 78,
      79, 129, 130; IV., 1, 56-59; V., 1, 2-5, 11-16, 36; V., 3, 1012,
      20-31, 43-45.

  306 IV., 2, 45.

  307 V., 3, 10.

  308 II., 4, 238.

  309 III., 2, 447.

  310 IV., 1, 103.

_  311 Cf._ II., 3, 77; III., 2, 50—both instances of the method of
      anticipation referred to above.

  312 II., 1, 88.

  313 III., 2, 393.

  314 IV., 2, 125.

  315 Thus Gardiner’s dislike of Anne Boleyn (V., 1, 22) is true to
      history, though artistically a blemish on the play, because

      The way in which in IV., 1, and elsewhere, historical details are
      dragged in is quite unlike Massinger, and very like Shakspere. _Cf._
      lines 17-19, 24-29, 38-42, 47-49, 51, 52, 101-103.

_  316 New Shakspere Society’s Transactions_, 1880-86, xxi.

  317 See Discussion on January 16th, 1885.

_  318 Ibid._, p. 447.

  319 For other instances see II., 4, 208; III., 2, 39-42, 55-56, 96, 159;
      V., 1, 22-3, 36, 109-11; V., 3, 43-45.

  320 The same remark applies to V., 3, 8.

  321 Compare such a line as V., 3, 94.

  322 See p. 87, n. 4.

  323 For “catalogue lines,” _cf._ I., 2, 33; II., 1. 116; II., 3, 29;
      III., 2, 342; V., 5, 48. For assonances, _cf._ I., 3, 25, 27, 31,
      35, 41; II., 1, 126; II., 2, 28, 48; II., 3, 86; II., 4, 92; III.,
      2, 125, 129, 213, 214, 236, 255, 259; V., 2, 32; V., 3, 23, 60, 72,
      103; V., 4, 94; V., 5, 30. For repetitions of words, _cf._ III., 1,
      110; III., 2, 29; V., 1, 98, 138. Passages which remind us of
      Massinger are I., 4, 101; II., 3, 93; V., 1, 62, 70, and 71;
      Epilogue, 5.

  324 V., 1, 1-7.

_  325 Modern Language Review_, April, 1916.

  326 I., 1, 124. My numeration in _The Two Noble Kinsmen_ is Mr. Tucker

  327 III., 2, 14.

_  328 Op. cit._, p. 143.

_  329 The Two Noble Kinsmen_, I., 3, 8.

  330 V., 1, 161.

  331 II., 1 reads to me like Shakspere.

  332 A Danish scholar, Dr. Bierfreund, maintains this thesis (Tucker
      Brooke, Introd., p. xlv).

  333 II., 3; III., 5.

  334 This is perhaps what Mr. Bullen believes about the play.

_  335 The Shakespeare Apocrypha._

  336 I., 1, 209.

  337 III., 1, 74.

_  338 H. E. L._, iv., p. 361.

_  339 New Shakspere Society’s Transactions_, 1880-5, pt. 2, xviii.

  340 Page 372.

  341 Page 373.

  342 Pages 375-6.

  343 Page 381.

  344 I., 1, 76.

_  345 E.g._, _Roman Actor_, I., 4, 41; _Picture_, II., 2, 112; _Bondman_,
      I., 1, 13. _Cf._ _Tamburlaine_, pt. II., III., 2; _Orlando Furioso_,
      V., 2.

_  346 Macbeth_, I., 1, 54.

  347 Page 387.

  348 Page 393.

  349 Page 393.

  350 Page 394.

  351 I., 3, 76.

  352 II., 4, 134.

  353 Notice in passing that Beaumont is fond of using intransitive verbs
      transitively. He also has the phrase “twinning cherries.”

  354 I., 1, 195-206.

  355 I., 1, 209-213.

  356 Page 395.

  357 I., 2.

  358 Page 397.

  359 Pages 380-391.

  360 I., 1, 165; V., 1, 160.  Shakspere has “the wheaten garland” of
      peace in _Hamlet_, V., 2, 41.

_  361 Bashful Lover_, I., 1, 279; IV., 3, 164; _Maid of Honour_, I., 2,

  362 I., 1, 82.

_  363 Picture_, III., 4, 61.

  364 I., 1, 141. The exact phrase occurs in _Merchant of Venice_, II., 1,
      44. “The temple” is part of Fletcher’s stock-in-trade.

_  365 Maid of Honour_, V., 2, 45; _Picture_, I., 2, 306.

  366 II., 1, 13.

  367 I., 1, 77.

_  368 Twelfth Night_, III., 4, 349.

_  369 Renegado_, III., 3, 78; _New Way_, V., 1, 27.

  370 1., 2, 47, 48.

  371 I., 2, 275-278.

  372 I., 3, 91.

  373 IV., 2, 50.

  374 II., 1,66. _Cf._ Margaret in _Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay_, I., 3,
      _ad finem_.

  375 II., 3, 151.

  376 III., 1, 10.

  377 I., 1, 49. _Cf. Bashful Lover_, I., 1, 54; III., 3, 132.

  378 I., 1, 178-181.

  379 V., 2, 51. _Cf._ also _Unnatural Combat_, III., 2, 157; _Duke of
      Milan_, V., 2, 82; _Bondman_, IV., 2, 75; _City Madam_, V., 3, 108;
      _Guardian_, I., 1, 191. In these last instances marriage is not
      referred to, nor is the word “despatched” used.

  380 V., 1, 106.

  381 II., 1, 128.

_  382 Picture_, II., 2, 159, 163; _Unnatural Combat_, I., 1, 4; III., 2,
      70; IV., 1, 103; _Great Duke of Florence_, I., 2, 75 and 155; II.,
      1, 186; IV., 2, 88; V., 3, 40; _Guardian_, I., 2, 142; II., 3, 47;
      III., 5, 34: IV., 1, 86; _Maid of Honour_, I., 1, 175; III., 3, 214,
      221 and 234; _Duke of Milan_, I., 3, 30; _Parliament of Love_, II.,
      2, 23; III., 3, 150; _A Very Woman_, II., 2, 28; IV., 3, 99;
      _Bashful Lover_, III., 3, 68; _New Way_, I., 1, 31; III., 1, 17;
      III., 2, 49; _Virgin Martyr_, I., 1, 321; _Fatal Dowry_, I., 1, 85;
      II., 2, 107 and 313; _Emperor of the East_, Prol., 2, 14; II., 1,
      324; _Bondman_, I., 3, 290; _Renegado_, II., 1, 66. It is true that
      blushing plays a great part in all our old dramatists. Compare in
      Fletcher, _False One_, II., 3, _ad finem_; II., 6, 22; Leandro, in
      _The Spanish Curate_, I., 1; and in Shakspere, _Henry V_, V., 2,
      253; _Much Ado_, IV., 1, 35, 160-163; _Antony and Cleopatra_, I., 1,
      29; V., 2,149. _Cf._ also _Eastward Ho_, I., 1. “Give me a little
      box on the ear, that I may seem to blush”; II., 1. “As I am a lady,
      if he did not make me blush so that mine eyes stood awater.” _Every
      Man in his Humour_, V., 1. “Nay, Mistress Bridget, blush not.” _The
      Devil is an Ass_, I., 3; _Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay_, I., 2;
      _James IV._, III., 3.

_  383 Guardian_, III., 6, 55; IV., 2, 52; _Old Law_, III., 1, 272;
      _Emperor of the East_, IV., 5, 202.

_  384 Picture_, I., 1, 43; II., 1, 71-75; _Maid of Honour_, I., 1, 157;
      II., 2, 119; V., 2, 267-270: _Unnatural Combat_, II., 1, 135 and
      220: II., 3. 29; _Bondman_, III., 3, 98-102; III., 4, 65;
      _Renegado_, II., 1, 31-34; IV., 1, 147; V., 3, 76-81; _Guardian_,
      III., 1, 8-10 and 42: III., 6, 6; IV., 1, 13 and 21; _Emperor of the
      East_, IV., 1, 59; IV., 3, 22; V., 3, 137; _New Way_, III., 2, 220;
      IV., 3, 4; _A Very Woman_, V., 3, 21; _Bashful Lover_, V., 2, 12;
      V., 3, 146; _Duke of Milan_, II., 1, 420: _Believe as You List_, I.,
      1, 117; IV., 3, 27.

_  385 Picture_, II., 2, 336:

      HONORIA. I am full of thoughts,
      And something there is here I must give form to,
      Though yet an embryon.

      _Bondman_, I., 3, 315; II., 1, 74-77; V., 2, 103; _Renegado_, III.,
      3, 97; _The Virgin Martyr_, III., 2, 98; _Guardian_, II., 3, 140;
      _Emperor of the East_, V., 1, 129; _Bashful Lover_, IV., 1, 200;
      _Roman Actor_, IV., 2, 105. _Cf._ also _Emperor of the East_, III.,
      3, 13; _Thierry and Theodoret_, I., 2.

      It is a touch which goes back to Ovid’s _Metamorphoses_, vi. 619:
      “Magnum quodcumque paravi: quid sit, adhuc dubito.”

_  386 Believe as You List_, V., 1, 129; V., 2, 143; _Picture_, I., 2,
      127-129 and 152-153; III., 6, 34; IV., 1, 104; IV., 4, 16; V., 3,
      48; _Maid of Honour_, V., 1, 20; _Roman Actor_, I., 2, 14; _Great
      Duke of Florence_, II., 1, 44; IV., 1, 38; _Bondman_, III., 2, 59;
      III., 3, 26; _Parliament of Love_, II., 3, 82; _Emperor of the
      East_, I., 1, 95; I., 2, 148; II., 1, 158 and 334; _New Way_, II.,
      2, 84; _Bashful Lover_, V., 1, 39; _City Madam_, III., 1, 67. _Cf._
      also _Duke of Milan_, IV., 1, 46; _Renegado_, III., 3, 79; IV., 2,
      104. Hortensio “kisses the ground” in _Bashful Lover_, III., 3, 124.
      This may merely mean to kneel (_cf. ibid._, IV., 1, 168, and
      _Thierry and Theodoret_, II., 3); but _cf. Roman Actor_, III., 2,

_  387 Old Law_, I., 1, 565;_ Believe as You List_, IV., 2, 58-60, 90-92;
      _Guardian_, II., 4, 11-13; _Bashful Lover_, II., 6, 13; _Maid of
      Honour_, II., 4, 18; IV., 3, 127; _A Very Woman_, II., 1, 71; IV.,
      2, 151. Donusa, the Turkish princess, recommends it in _The
      Renegado_, III., 2, 83. _Cf._ also _Duke of Milan_, I., 3, 210-212.

_  388 Guardian_, II., 1, 79-85; _A Very Woman_, V., 6, 40-54. Fletcher is
      full of duels; thus the plot of _The Little French Lawyer_ in
      largely concerned with a duel. In _Love’s Progress_ we have a duel
      in which the seconds fight; they want to do so in _The Honest Man’s
      Fortune_. In _Love’s Cure_, V., 3, a duel with seconds is commanded
      by the State. The illegality of duels is referred to in _The Maid’s
      Tragedy_, V., 4.

  389 It is true that this use is not confined to Massinger, being a
      common idiom of the day. I quote the passages where the word is not
      used in a religious sense: _Maid of Honour_, IV., 3, 81; _Unnatural
      Combat_, I., 1, 356; _City Madam_, I., 3, 126; V., 3, 135;
      _Guardian_, I., 1, 176; _New Way_, IV., 1, 154. For Webster’s
      similar use of the word _cf. The Duchess of Malfi_, p. 61_a_; _The
      White Devil_, pp. 29_b_ and 47_a_.

_  390 Maid of Honour_, III., 3, 142; _Roman Actor_, I., 1. 87; II., 1,
      186; IV., 2, 85; _Great Duke of Florence_, I., 1, 135; III., 1, 14;
      V., 3, 10; _Fatal Dowry_, V., 2, 187; _Parliament of Love_, IV., 1,
      8; IV., 4, 18; _Guardian_, II., 1, 53; III., 4, 6; _A Very Woman_,
      II., 2, 60; _Picture_, I., 3, 176; II., 2, 158, 307; V., 3, 47;
      _Duke of Milan_, I., 1, 74; III., 1, 221; V., 4, 18; _Emperor of the
      East_, II., 1, 73, 147; III., 1, 28; III., 2, 82; V., 3, 189;
      _Renegado_, I., 2, 78; II., 4, 95. _Cf._ also _Beggar’s Bush_, V.,
      2. Ford uses “royal magnificence” in the same way in _Perkin
      Warbeck_ (II., 1). In Ben Jonson’s _Staple of News_ (IV., 1) we find
      “very communicative and liberal, and began to be magnificent.” In
      Greene’s _James IV_, I., 1:

      Your mightiness is so magnificent,
      You cannot choose but cast some gift apart.

      The word “munificent” occurs in _New Way_, IV., 2, 109.

_  391 Maid of Honour_, IV., 3, 100; _Unnatural Combat_, II., 3, 49;
      _Renegado_, IV., 3, 42; _Parliament of Love_, II., 3, 70;
      _Guardian_, V., 4, 231; _New Way_, IV., 1, 103; _Bashful Lover_, I.,
      1, 217; _cf. Prophetess_, IV., 6, 57.

_  392 Unnatural Combat_, I., 1, 251, 393; _Virgin Martyr_, III., 1, 28;
      IV., 3, 62; V., 2, 52; _Renegado_, I., 1, 138; IV., 3, 159; _Believe
      as You List_, II., 2, 107 and 325; V., 1, 8.

_  393 Great Duke of Florence_, III., 1, 358; _Guardian_, II., 3, 141;
      _Bashful Lover_, IV., 1, 200; _Picture_, II., 2, 337; _Believe as
      You List_, I., 2, 44. _Cf. Thierry and Theodoret_, II., 3.

_  394 Unnatural Combat_, V., 1, 37; _Parliament of Love_, V., 1, 115;
      _Guardian_, IV., 1, 77; _Duke of Milan_, II., 1, 138; _Believe as
      You List_, IV., 4, 30. _Cf. Cupid’s Revenge_, II., 2, _ad finem_.

_  395 Unnatural Combat_, I., 1, 283; _Bondman_, I., 3, 23. _Cf.
      Prophetess_, II., 3, 1.

_  396 Unnatural Combat_, V., 2, 234; _Bondman_, III., 2, 17; IV., 3, 34;
      _Parliament of Love_, V., 1, 221; _Guardian_, I., 1, 192; III., 6,
      17; V., 2, 132; _Bashful Lover_, III., 3, 88; _Picture_, III., 4,
      46; _Duke of Milan_, II., 1, 288.

_  397 Maid of Honour_, IV., 4, 93-95; V., 1, 14; _Roman Actor_, I., 2,
      64; II., 1, 198; _Duke of Milan_, I., 3, 206; V., 2, 212;
      _Parliament of Love_, II., 3, 94; _Guardian_, II., 5, 59; V., 2, 52;
      _Emperor of the East_, II., 1, 355; IV., 5, 106; _New Way_, III., 1,
      75; _Bashful Lover_, III., 3, 33; _Picture_, I., 3, 128; III., 5,
      71. _Cf. Love’s Cure_, I., 3.

_  398 Maid of Honour_, IV., 4, 107; _Roman Actor_, IV., 1, 121;
      _Parliament of Love_, III., 2, 17; _Guardian_, III., 6, 29; _Virgin
      Martyr_, V., 2, 238; _Emperor of the East_, V., 3, 109; _Renegado_,
      II., 5, 159; _Unnatural Combat_, V., 2, 266. _Cf. Hamlet_, II., 2,
      159; _Troilus and Cressida_, I., 3, 85. _Cf._ also _Prophetess_,
      II., 1; V., 2; _Spanish Curate_, I., 2; _Atheist’s Tragedy_, IV., 4;
      _Honest Whore_, IV., 1; _Parliament of Bees_, char. vii.

_  399 City Madam_, I., 2, 75; _Unnatural Combat_, I., 1, 223; II., 1,
      145; V., 2, 293; _Great Duke of Florence_, II., 1, 142; III., 1, 13;
      V., 3, 113; _Parliament of Love_, V., 1, 102; _Believe as You List_,
      I., 1, 73; I., 2, 147; II., 1, 65; III., 3, 143; _Bondman_, III., 2,
      1; III., 3, 162; IV., 3, 6; V., 3, 156; _Renegado_, III., 5, 44;
      _Picture_, I., 1, 79; II., 2, 130 and 155; IV., 1, 65; _Guardian_,
      III., 6, 31; _Emperor of the East_, III., 4, 55; V., 3, 105; _A Very
      Woman_, IV., 3, 210; _Bashful Lover_, II., 6, 19, and 50; IV., 2,
      58; _Roman Actor_, II., 1, 178; III., 2, 116; V., 2, 67; _Duke of
      Milan_, I., 1, 49; I., 3, 374; II., 1, 411; V., 2, 117.

_  400 Roman Actor_, III., 2, 94; _Bondman_, V., 3, 144; _Parliament of
      Love_, II., 2, 70. Bunyan has the phrase in _The Pilgrim’s
      Progress_, pt. ii.: “They saw one Fool and one Want-Wit washing of
      an Ethiopian with intention to make him white, but the more they
      washed him, the blacker he was.” Warner, in his translation of _The
      Menaechmi_ (1595), line 247, has “This is the washing of a
      Blackamore.” The expression goes back to Lucian _adv. Indoct._, 28,
      Αἰθίοπα σμήχειν. It occurs in _Love’s Cure_, II., 2.

_  401 New Way_, V., I, 349.

_  402 Emperor of the East_, IV., 5, 213.

_  403 Bondman_, V., 3, 95. _Cf. Maid of Honour_, II., 2, 180; _The
      Bashful Lover_, IV., 1, 138; V., 1, 56; _A New Way_, I., 1, 52;
      III., 1, 81; _Emperor of the East_, III., 3, 25.

_  404 The Picture_, II., 1, 123.

_  405 A Very Woman_, I., 1, 404. _Cf._ also _Parliament of Love_, V., 1,
      149.  We cannot but remember poor Valentine’s prolonged but vocal
      agony in Gounod’s opera.

  406 II., 1, 84.

  407 III., 2, 115.

  408 IV., 7, 72.

  409 Take as an example the death-bed scene in _The Spanish Curate_, IV.,

_  410 E. S._, VIII., 2.

  411 Some idea of the way in which the two poets collaborated may be
      obtained from the facts collected in Appendix III. Diderot, in a
      passage quoted by Twining, in his edition of Aristotle’s _Poetics_
      (p. 253), recommends collaboration: “On seroit tenté de croire qu’un
      drame devrait être l’ouvrage de deux hommes de génie, l’un qui
      arrangeât, et l’autre qui fit parler” (_De la Poés. Dram._, p. 288).
      What Euripides thought of the arrangement will be seen in The
      Andromache, lines 476-77:

      τόνων θ᾽ ὕμνου συνεργάταιν δυοῖν
      ἔριν Μοῦσαι φιλοῦσι κραίειν.

      It is clear that the early death of Beaumont was a disaster to

  412 Massinger’s only attempt at burlesque—Hilario in _The
      Picture_—though ludicrous, is dramatically impossible.

  413 It is generally believed now that Marston wrote this play. He was an
      author of surprising vigour, and a master of strong English, but his
      taste is bad, and all his work lacks finish.

_  414 D. N. B._, _s.v._

  415 Dorothea’s story of the King of Egypt (_Virgin Martyr_, III., 1,
      163-182) reminds us of an expedient familiar in Webster.

  416 IV., 8.

_  417 Epicoene_, IV., 2.

  418 II., 3.

_  419 The Devil is an Ass_, IV., 1. _Cf._ the light touch of Massinger
      when dealing with the toilet of a lady in _A Very Woman_, I., 1,

_  420 Staple of News_, I., 1; III., 1—_Emperor of the East_, I., 1, 118;
      III., 2, 58.

_  421 Ibid._, I., 2—_Fatal Dowry_, II., 1, 51.

_  422 Ibid._, II., 1—_Roman Actor_, IV., 2, 103. _Cf._ _The Alchemist_,
      IV., 2.

_  423 Ibid._, IV., 1—_passim_ in Massinger.

_  424 Ibid._, IV., 1—_passim_ in Massinger.

_  425 Ibid._, IV., 1—_Parliament of Love_, IV., 5, 12.

_  426 Ibid._, IV., 1—_Renegado_, I., 1, 31.

_  427 Ibid._, IV., 1—_New Way_, I., 2, 25. (_Cf._ also Prologue to _A
      Wife for a Month_.)

  428 IV., 5—_A Very Woman_, IV., 1, 155; _Believe as You List_, V., 2,

  429 III., 2—_Roman Actor_, I., 3, 95.

_  430 Sejanus_, V., 7—_Roman Actor_, V., 2, 61.

  431 Courthope lays far too much stress on Massinger’s imitation of the
      Morality (_History of English Poetry_, vol. iv., p. 352). It only
      appears in _The Virgin Martyr_.

  432 There are no signs in Massinger of literary or other private
      quarrels. One or two passages seem to be inspired by sarcasm
      directed on the gossip of the day—_e.g._, _Duke of Milan_, III., 2,

  433 Stress is laid more than once on Massinger’s modesty in the
      commendatory verses from his friends. _Cf._ Sir Thomas Jay’s verses
      prefixed to _A New Way_, and Prologue to _A Very Woman_, lines 5, 6;
      Prologue to _The Bashful Lover_, line 4. This feature may account
      for a lack of worldly wisdom and self-assertion, which prevented him
      from reaping the full fruits of the fame which he deserved as
      Fletcher’s collaborator in so many plays. Gerard Langbaine, in his
      _Account of the English Dramatic Poets_ (Oxford, 1691), pp. 353-60,
      deals thus with Massinger: “He was extremely beloved by the poets of
      that age, and there were few but what took it as an honour to club
      with him in a play—witness Middleton, Rowley, Field, and Dekker, all
      which join’d with him in several labours.  Nay further, to shew his
      excellency, the ingenious Fletcher took him in as a partner in
      several plays. He was a man of much modesty and extraordinary
      parts.” In _The New Year’s Gift_ to his patroness, to be found in
      MS. in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, we have an indication
      that Massinger was ashamed of the profession of author; we read
      (lines 19-21):

      Nor slight it, Madam, since what some in me
      Esteem a blemish, is a gift as free
      As their best fortunes.

      The last lines of the poem (43-46) show the familiar combination of
      modesty and independence:

      What I give I am rich in, and can spare;
      Nor part for hope with aught deserves my care;
      He that hath little and gives nought at all
      To them that have, is truly liberal.

  434 There are some fine friendships in Massinger—_e.g._, Charalois and
      Romont in _The Fatal Dowry_; Farnese and Uberti in _The Bashful
      Lover_; Cleremond and Montrose in _The Parliament of Love_;
      Antoninus and Macrinus in _The Virgin Martyr_; Pedro and Antonio in
      _A Very Woman_.

_  435 Cf._ the Prologues to _The Guardian_ and _The Emperor of the East_.
      He speaks with feeling of the ungratefulness of courtiers. (_Bashful
      Lover_, V., 1, 52; _Maid of Honour_, II., 2, 110.)

_  436 Cf._ _Picture_, II., 2, 255; _Bondman_, I., 3, 300; _Unnatural
      Combat_, I., 1, 404; _Bashful Lover_, I., 1, 34; _Great Duke of
      Florence_, II., 1, 138; _Sir J. V. O. Barnavelt_, I., 1 (p. 215,
      Bullen’s Old Plays); also the character of the Captain in _A Very
      Woman_. _Cf._ _Knight of Malta_, III., 2.

  437 Very significant are the words of Paulo in _A Very Woman_ (IV., 1,

      Who fights
      With passions, and o’ercomes them is endued
      With the best virtue, passive fortitude.

      _Cf._ _Roman Actor_, I., 1, 118; III., 1, 113; _Duke of Milan_,
      III., 1, 73; and _Renegado_, I., 1, 79:

      All that I challenge
      Is manly patience.

      _Cf._ _Sejanus_, quoted above, p. 115, n. 11. _Queen of Corinth_,
      III, 2:

      EUPHANES. To shew the passive fortitude the best.

      And _Lover’s Progress_, IV., 4:

      ALCIDON. With all care put on
      The surest armour, anvil’d in the shop
      Of passive fortitude.

      This point is emphasized in Swinburne’s excellent sonnet on

  438 IV., 2, 17-31, where Charalois declares, “I never was an enemy to ’t
      [_i.e._, music], Beaumont,” and ends by saying: “I love it to the
      worth of ’t and no further.”

  439 I., 1.

_  440 Cf._ also V., 2, 130-37.

  441 IV., 2, 1-14.

  442 Massinger has some notable compound epithets from time to time; take
      as examples, “pale-cheek’d stars” in _Parliament of Love_, IV., 2,
      61; “on black-sail’d wings of loose and base desires,” _Parliament
      of Love_, V., 1, 215; “Such is my full-sail’d confidence in her
      virtue,” _Picture_, II., 2, 318; “the brass-leaved book of fate,”
      _Believe as You List_, I., 2, 136.

      “Your must and will
      Shall in your full-sailed confidence deceive you,”

      _A Very Woman_, II., 2, 21.

  443 We find not a few assonances and alliterations in Massinger,
      generally contained in two words: _Emperor of the East_, I., 2, 16,
      “gallows and galleys”; (_Cf. Renegado_, V., 2, 162, “the gallies or
      the gallows,” and Webster’s _White Devil_, p. 11a); _Believe as You
      List_, Prologue 14, “toss’d and turned”; _A New Way_, I., 1, 109,
      “sue and send”; _Emperor of the East_, IV., 1, 37, “sway and swing”
      (so in _Great Duke of Florence_, II., 2, 46); _Fatal Dowry_, IV., 1,
      193, “confessor and confounder”; _Old Law_, III., 2, 45, “die and
      dye”; _ibid._, 157, “venues in Venice glasses”; IV., 1, 61, “Siren
      and Hiren”; _City Madam_, I., 1, 36, “hole and hell”; V., 2, 77,
      “lords or lowns”; _Guardian_, I., 1, 60, “house and home”; II., 2,
      23, “board and bed”; II., 5, 46, “fair and free”; III., 5, 76, “page
      or porter”; _Picture_, IV., 1, 65, “horns and horror”; _Bondman_,
      II., 1, 119, “hell and horror”; _Roman Actor_, I., 4, 63, “graced
      and greased”; II., 1, 376, “carke and caring”; _Renegado_, III., 4,
      54, “toss and touse”; _Parliament of Love_, II., 1, 8, “tractable
      and tactable”; _Duke of Milan_, III., 1, 199, “palm or privilege”;
      III., 2, 46, “curvet or caper.”

_  444 Cf._ Johnson’s Preface to Shakspere (p. 19), “A quibble is to
      Shakspere what luminous vapours are to the traveller; he follows it
      at all adventures; it is sure to lead him out of his way, and sure
      to engulf him in the mire.” The whole paragraph is worth reading.

_  445 A New Way_, I., 3, 22; II., 1, 31, etc. The repetition of Graccho’s
      name in _Duke of Milan_, V., 1, is intentional and effective. _Cf._
      Kitely’s repetition of “Thomas” in _Every Man in His Humour_, III.,
      2; “Sir Michael” in _1 Henry IV_, IV., 4, and “Sir Thomas” in _Henry
      VIII_, V., 1.

  446 Boyle (_N. S. S._, 371-372), severe as he is on Massinger’s
      characters, both male and female, agrees with this verdict. He
      traces the unjust depreciation of Massinger in part to Charles
      Lamb’s “unfair judgment.” “The hard fate that accompanied the ’stage
      poet’ through life has clung to him up to the present time, and in
      spite of warm advocates, like Gifford and Cunningham, prevented him
      from occupying his legitimate position as a dramatist immediately
      after Shakspere.”

  447 Preface, p. lvii. of Monck Mason’s edition.

  448 For another explanation, see Appendix X.

  449 Alinda, the heroine of Fletcher’s _Pilgrim_, is equally
      indiscriminate in her bounty (Act I., 1, 2). We may compare J.
      Taylor’s _Holy Living_, Sec. VIII., Alms: “Trust not your alms to
      intermedial uncertain and under-dispensers.”

  450 Where did he get her name from? A lady of the name is a subordinate
      character in Hroswitha’s _Gallicanus_. The plays of Hroswitha have
      obvious affinities with _The Virgin Martyr_, but I cannot trace any
      other indications of borrowing.

  451 Brander Matthews, as a fellow-countryman of Jay Gould and
      Rockefeller, is well qualified to estimate Sir Giles Overreach; he
      points out that he is an instance of what the French call, “l’homme
      fort.” The part has been taken by many of our great actors, notably
      Garrick, who revived it in 1745. _Cf._ W. Hazlitt’s _Dramatic
      Essays_ for the performances of Kean and Kemble in 1816 (pp. 78-80,
      91-92, 97-100). The two great actors had a different conception of
      Sir Giles; and Hazlitt is very severe upon Kemble. Kean was at Drury
      Lane, Kemble at Covent Garden.

_  452 Cf._ II., 1, 81 and 88.

  453 I., 1, 146.

  454 III., 1, 72.

  455 See the Dedication: “I ever held this the most perfect birth of my
      Minerva.” It was printed in 1629. It is interesting to compare it
      with _The Cardinal_, for which Shirley had a similar affection.

_  456 Cf._ Domitian’s speech in II., 1, 160-168; and that of Rusticus in
      III., 2, 59-68.

  457 As, for instance, Paris’ speech in I., 1, 21-26, and Stephanos’
      words in V., 1, 99-101.

  458 I., 4, where the Imperial princesses push one another about in
      seeking for a front place in the street as Domitian passes, is an
      example of this fault. We have already referred to the difficulties
      which are involved in the infliction of torture on the stage, as in
      III., 2. Again, it is improbable that the actors should have been
      waiting, as in IV., 1, outside the private gardens, ready to perform
      the very play which suited Domitian’s purpose. We are also
      disconcerted to find the ghosts in Act V., 1, stealing the bust of
      Minerva. (_Cf._, however, Virgil _Æneid_, II., 294.)

  459 Prologue 2, 7:

      In each part,
      With his best of fancy, judgment, language, art,
      Fashion’d and form’d so, as might well, and may
      Deserve a welcome, and no vulgar way.

_  460 Cf._ IV., 1, 28, and IV., 5, 216.

  461 I., 2.

  462 The way in which the apple circulates reminds us of the Umbrana in
      Beaumont’s amusing _Woman-Hater_.

  463 The reference to an architect in IV., 2, 178, suggests that in the
      first draft of the play Paulo had appeared in that character.

  464 IV., 2.

  465 III., 1.

  466 III., 4.

  467 IV., 3.

  468 III., 2, 69.

  469 IV., 1, 17.

  470 IV., 3, 196; V., 3, 53.

  471 V., 5, 42.

  472 III., 1, 162.

  473 V., 5.

  474 II., 1, 35.

_  475 Cf._ _The Virgin Martyr_, I., 1, 405 and V., 2, 4.

  476 Epilogue, line 9.

  477 There is too much kneeling in this play; Hortensio kneels, I., 1,
      200; Matilda, III., 3, 60 and 123; Lorenzo, IV., 1, 167; Matilda
      again, IV., 1, 184; Alonzo and Pisano, V., 1, 180; Matilda again,
      V., 3, 101; the Ambassador, V., 3, 169.

_  478 I.e._, the “emphatic” double ending. _Cf._ II., 4, 21; II., 6, 51;
      II., 7, 69: III., 1, 114; IV., 3, 81; IV, 3, 155.

_  479 N. S. S._, p. 393.

  480 The disappointment which we feel at Camiola’s lot may be paralleled
      by Bellario in _Philaster_.

_  481 The City Madam_ was printed in 1658. Perhaps this accounts for
      Colley Gibber’s statement that Massinger died in 1659. The editor of
      the play, Andrew Pennycuicke, “one of the actors,” being, as the
      name would seem to imply, a canny Scot, dedicated the first edition
      “to the truly noble John North Esquire,” and the second, _totidem
      verbis_, “to the truly noble and virtuous Lady Anne, Countess of
      Oxford.” I owe this fact to the kindness of Mr. P. Simpson. It is to
      be noted that both editions read “out-conquered,” whereas Cunningham
      has printed “not-conquered.”

  482 Hilario is Massinger’s one attempt at the Shaksperian “fool”; but
      what a contrast there is between Hilario and Touchstone or Feste!

  483 Dekker’s word.

  484 II., 1, 20.

  485 Notice the skill with which Sforza, in I., 3, works up to his
      unexpected and terrible request.

  486 A clever passage is that where Francisco points out that nothing
      succeeds like success (IV., 1, 16-36).

  487 V., 2, 256. _Cf._ IV., 2, 75:

      Hold but thy nature, Duke, and be but rash,
      And violent enough.

      _Cf._ also I., 2, 30; I., 3, 369; III., 3, 252.

  488 I., 1, 111-125.

  489 III., 3.

  490 II., 1, 121.

  491 Though Rowe behaved badly in concealing his theft from Massinger,
      the critics have been unfair to his play. It is very instructive to
      compare the simple structure of _The Fair Penitent_, written on
      French lines, with the larger scheme and wealth of incident in _The
      Fatal Dowry_. We are reminded of the contrast between an English and
      a Dutch garden. After all, some people prefer their yew-trees cut
      into cocks and hens, while others do not. I can imagine a being who
      would prefer Gounod’s _Romeo and Juliet_ to Shakspere’s. In _The
      Fair Penitent_, the law-court scene, the father’s funeral, and the
      music-master disappear. We get the “gay Lothario” from this once
      popular play. Mr. Phelan (p. 60) has properly pointed out that “for
      Lothario we entertain a latent regard, for his elegant and gallant
      bearing,” whereas Novall, junr., “is not calculated to gain love.”
      In other words, while Massinger’s moral is superior, Rowe is more
      true to life. _Cf._ some interesting remarks by Hazlitt (_Dramatic
      Essays_, pp. 93-95) on Rowe’s play and Miss O’Neill as Calista.

_  492 Cf._ _Unnatural Combat_, III., 2, 144, and Fletcher, _passim_.

_  493 Cf._ I., 1, 203.

  494 Novall never meant to marry Beaumelle. _Cf._ IV., 1, 100; V., 2,

  495 For a discussion of the authorship of the play, see Appendix XI.

  496 There is much in Act III. of _A King and No King_ which reminds us
      of Malefort’s passion; but Massinger is a better moralist than the
      authors of that brilliant play.

  497 Beaufort senior’s words in III., 2, 32-41, should, however, be
      carefully observed.

  498 IV., 2, 87. _Cf._, however, Sir John Van Olden Barnavelt, III., 2.

_  499 E.g._, Charles’s speech about Cupid, V., 1, 33-60.

  500 Act V. We must allow that Cleremond and Leonora are too long-winded.

  501 We may conjecture that the missing part of Act I. contained (_a_) a
      scene in which “three citizens” described the situation, and the
      absence of the King; (_b_) a scene of love-making between Cleremond
      and Leonora, containing the incident referred to in II., 2, 93-100;
      (_c_) a scene in which Beaupré obtained Chamont’s protection, and
      asked for an introduction to Bellisant (_cf._ V., 1, 470). Bellisant
      may also have appeared before I., 4, as her denunciations of the
      gallants are referred to in II., 1, 23. And Bellisant knows in III.,
      3, 145, that Clarindore had “cast off” Beaupré. Clarindore is the
      sort of man who might have boasted of this.

  502 V., 1, 520. Massinger did not like people who cannot keep a secret.
      _Cf._ _A Very Woman_, IV., 2, 142.

  503 For a fuller discussion of this play and the MS., see Appendixes
      VII. and VIII.

_  504 Poetics_, 1451_a_, 16, 1451_b_, 34.

  505 Touches which remind one of Massinger occur, but they are few and
      far between—_e.g._:

      I., 1, 30-70, reminds us of him here and there. (The same applies to
      Cleanthes’ speech, I., 1, 323-345.)

      I., 1, 248: “personal opposition.” (_Cf._ _Believe as You List_,
      IV., 2, 98.)

      I., 1,362:

      CLEANTHES. How do you fare, sir?

      LEONIDES. Cleanthes, never better.

      (In the _Henry VIII_ manner.)

      II., 1, 41-61: The first courtier’s speech.

      II., 2, 73-94: Lysander’s speech.

      IV., 2, 1-130: see especially lines 3, 41, 72, 109.

      V., 1, 54-82.

      V., 1, 119-132: Lysander’s speech.

      V., 1, 156-175.

      V., 1, 232-250: Cleanthes’ speech. (Notice the parenthesis in lines

      The play is usually assigned to 1599, on the strength of the passage
      where Gnotho gets the clerk to alter the Parish Chronicle (III., 1).
      Gayley thinks the mention of 1599 “purely dramatic” (_R. E. C._,
      III., p. lv). He says the style is not like that of Middleton in
      1599, and points out that Rowley was only fourteen years of age in
      that year. “If Massinger had any share in the play, it was in
      revision, after Middleton’s death in 1627.” Gayley dates the play
      1614-16. It must be pointed out, however, that it is not easy to
      alter 40 to 39. The author could have chosen a date whose figures
      were more easy to deal with. I therefore think the usually accepted
      date is right, though it does not, of course, settle the question of

      Massinger was fond of scenes in courts of justice, and it is highly
      probable that he elaborated the details of Act V.

  506 We find “horror” in IV., 2, 72 and 160; a certain number of the
      alliterations referred to above (p. 121), I., 1, 66; II., 1, 210,
      265; II., 2, 119; V., 1, 546, 550, 605, 650; and words doubled (I.,
      1, 67, 88, 206, 220, 268, 354, 389; II., 1, 154, 275; II., 2, 91;
      III., 1, 304, 363).

_  507 Believe as You List_, IV., 1; _Love’s Triumph through Callipolis_;
      Peele’s _Battle of Alcazar_.

  508 Dodsley’s _Old Plays_, vol. x. (Hazlitt).

  509 There is a good edition of _A New Way to pay Old Debts_ by K.
      Deighton (G. Bell, 1893). Brander Matthews has also edited the play,
      prefixing a valuable estimate of the poet.

  510 V., 3, 148:

      O Philanax, as thy name
      Interpreted speaks thee, thou hast ever been
      A lover of the King.

_  511 Picture_, I., 1, 6.

  512 III., 1, 7. _Cf._ Ben Jonson’s _Staple of News_, IV., 4 Pennyboy

      Thou appears’t
      κατ᾽ ἐξοχήν, a canter.

  513 III., 1, 102-3.

_  514 Emperor of the East_, II., 1, 278 and 294.

  515 III., 4, 40.

  516 σκάνδικά μοι δός, μητρόθεν δεδεγμένος. (l. 478).

  517 II., 5, 96.

  518 Telephus frag., 722:

      Σπάρταν ἔλαχες, κείνην κόσμει;
      τὰς δὲ Μυκήνας ἡμεῖς ἰδίᾳ.

  519 V., 1, 5.

  520 ὡς γραφεύς τ᾽ ἀποσταθείς.

  521 IV., 5, 61.

  522 ἐπὶ δὲ καρδίαν ἔδραμε κροκοβαφὴς σταγών (l. 1121).

_  523 Cf._ _Shakspere’s England_, Vol. I., ix., “Scholarship,” by Sir J.
      E. Sandys.

  524 It may be noted that the end of _The Knight of Malta_ is modelled on
      the last scene of the _Alcestis_. The play has been attributed in
      part to Massinger, but the fact cited, though interesting, does not
      prove acquaintance either on the part of Fletcher or Massinger with
      Greek at first hand.

  525 III., 1., 92-106.

  526 IV., 2.

  527 IV., 3.

  528 II., 5.

  529 I have not succeeded in finding the passage referred to.

  530 I., 1, 47. (Chreocopia, in I., 1, 54, may be scanned with the accent
      on the penultimate.)

  531 I., 2, 21 and 29; III., 2, 110. Eudocia in _The Emperor of the East_
      is more doubtful. _Cf._ IV., 5, 83; V., 1, 122; V., 2, 105; V., 3,

  532 Notice that in all these false quantities the stress is laid on the
      syllable which bears the Greek accent; that is to say, the words are
      scanned as a Byzantine Greek of the time would have pronounced them.
      _Cf._ in Marlowe’s _Tamburlaine_, Pt. II., IV., 4: “As in the
      theoria of the world.” A similar suggestion is anonymously made in
      _The Times Literary Supplement_, March 20th, 1919, for another line
      of Marlowe: “Our Pythagôras’ Metempsýchosis.”

      “Academy,” in _The Emperor of the East_, I., 1, 45, seems accented
      on the last syllable.

_  533 Cf._ p. 19, n. 2.

  534 Boyle’s ascription is in each case printed first; M. signifies the
      portions of each play which he allots to Massinger. A. H. B. = Mr.
      Bullen, A. H. C. = the writer. Macaulay’s views will be found in
      _The Cambridge History of English Literature_, vol. vi., Appendix to
      Chapter V.

_  535 R. E. C._, p. lxxxii.

_  536 R. E. C._, pp. lxxxiii-lxxxiv.

  537 In particular G. Hill’s poem deserves attention.

  538 I have read with interest and care E. H. C. Oliphant’s articles in
      _Englische Studien_ (xiv., xv., xvi.). He finds more work of
      Beaumont in the plays than other scholars. Though his knowledge of
      the whole subject is great, his analysis seems to me too subtle;
      thus in _The Fair Maid of the Inn_ we find, according to Mr.
      Oliphant, scenes written by (1) Massinger, (2) Massinger and Rowley,
      (3) Beaumont and Massinger, (4) Beaumont, Fletcher, and Massinger.
      Fletcher’s part in the play is ultimately reduced to a few lines in
      IV., 1! I cannot agree with him that Massinger wrote any of _The
      Coxcomb_, _The Faithful Friends_, or _Love’s Pilgrimage_. In _The
      Faithful Friends_ the metre is very careless, and the occasional
      bursts of bombast are not like Massinger. There are touches of his
      style in the play, which suggest that a pupil may have helped
      Fletcher. _The Coxcomb_ and _Love’s Pilgrimage_ seem to me very
      characteristic works of Beaumont and Fletcher. Mr. Oliphant has also
      discovered (_Modern Language Review_, III., pp. 337-355) that
      Massinger wrote a considerable portion of _The Tempest_ and
      _Cymbeline_. It is not long since that we were reminded, in other
      departments of art, of Lucas and Leonardo, of Ozias Humfrey and
      Romney. The critical scent which Mr. Oliphant requires of his
      readers postulates a super-dog careering through the literary
      thickets of the English language. Let us rather read and enjoy our
      composite plays, without meticulous analysis.

_  539 Cf._ _A Woman killed with Kindness_, III., 1:

      And in this ground, increased this molehill
      Unto that mountain which my father left me.

      _The Maid in the Mill_, V., 2, Bustopha:

      Oh mountain, shalt thou call a molehill a scab upon the face of the

_  540 Cf._ _False One_, III., 1, 28:

      Let indirect and crooked counsels vanish.

  541 Compare also _Eastward Ho!_ Act II.: GOLDING. Let me beseech you,
      no, sir: the superfluity and cold meat left at their nuptials will
      with bounty furnish ours.—Act III., 2: QUICKSILVER. Your father, and
      some one more, stole to church with them in all the haste, that the
      cold meat left at your wedding might serve to furnish their nuptial

  542 For this frequent effect in Homer _cf._ _Iliad_, I., lines 100, 103,
      132, 139, 144, 160, 184, 195, etc. In the _Agamemnon_ and
      _Alcestis_, to take no other plays, note the following: _Agamemnon_
      15, 1047, 1079, 1123; _Alcestis_, 154, 181, 203, 339, 347, 619.

  543 The quadrisyllabic scansion of such a word as “remission”
      (_Parliament of Love_, II., 2, 107) has not, in my opinion, any
      metrical significance in Massinger. It is, indeed, very frequently
      found, so frequently as to be no criterion of his style. I fancy
      that it may be more often found in passages which he wrote against
      time, or when his head was tired.

  544 Page 59, n. 1.

  545 The autograph and Herbert’s Imprimatur are reproduced in facsimile
      in the Percy Society volume. But would Massinger have referred to
      himself as _Mr._ Massenger [_sic_]?

_  546 Apology_, ii. 203. C. Cibber, in a list of dramatic authors, makes
      reference to Massinger’s plays. He says: “Mr. Massinger, I believe,
      was author of several other dramatic pieces: one I have seen in MS.,
      which I am assured was acted, by the proper quotations, etc. The
      title runs thus: ‘Believe as you list, written by Mr. Massinger,
      with the following licence: “This play, called ‘Believe as you
      list,’ may be acted this 6th of May, 1631. Henry Herbert.” ’ ”
      Malone (_Shakspere_, vol. iii., p. 230) gives the date (_i.e._, of
      the actual performance as May 7th, 1631.

  547 The references are as follows: II., 2, 368; III., 1, 20; IV., 3,
      initial stage direction.

  548 Beside the Henslow document there are to be seen at Dulwich College
      four signatures of Massinger, in a beautiful clear hand; three of
      these are attached to leases of Alleyn’s, and the fourth is added to
      Daborne’s signature to the document mentioned by Cunningham in his
      Preface (p. xii.). The poem “_Sero sed serio_” is to be found in
      B.M. Royal MSS. XVIII., A. 20. The signature is identical with the
      Dulwich signatures. The poem itself is in another hand, with many

      The only reason for supposing it to be the poet’s, besides his
      poverty, is an erasure in line 14, which runs thus:

      Being,^silent then,

      which looks like a correction made by the author himself, _currente
      calamo_. The hand of _The Second Maiden’s Tragedy_ does not resemble
      that of _Believe as You List_. The hand of _Sir John Van Olden
      Barnavelt_ is uniform throughout. It is neat and full of flourishes,
      especially in the letter L. It is, of course, possible that
      Massinger wrote this in 1619. The stage directions are in a bolder
      hand and deep black ink. They are plainly part of the MS., and not
      later insertions like those in _Believe as You List_. I incline to
      think the writing is all due to an amanuensis. There is very little
      correction in the play, except that several long passages are very
      thoroughly scrawled out.

_  549 Cf._ Appendix VIII.: I., 1, 26; I., 2, 186; II., 1, 51; II., 2,
      217; II., 2, 368; III., 1, 20; IV., 3, stage direction.

_  550 Cf._ Appendix VIII.: I., 1, 60; I., 2, 67; I., 2, 72; II., 2, 52;
      II., 2, 56; III., 3, 151; III., 3, 234; IV., 1, 7.

_  551 Cf._ Appendix VIII.: II., 2, 285; IV., 1, 5; IV., 3, 44.

_  552 Cf._ Appendix VIII.: II., 2, 98; II., 2, 240; III., 3, 166; IV., 4,

_  553 Cf._ p. 15, n. 1.

  554 Koeppel (_Quellen-Studien_) traces the story to P. V. P. Cayet’s
      _Chronologie Septenaire_, Paris, 1605. He does not seem to have
      consulted _The Strangest Adventure_, a copy of which may be seen in
      the British Museum. _The True History of the Late and Lamentable
      Adventures of D. S._ (London, 1602) begins with the imprisonment at
      Naples, and agrees with Cayet almost verbally until the latter part.
      _The Continuation of the Lamentable Adventures_ (London, 1603) is
      very dull, and contributes nothing except the advice of an old man
      to Sebastian, which may have suggested the first scene of the play.
      The two tracts are to be found in Harleian Miscellany (iv., 403; v.,
      443). _Cf._ also Scott-Saintsbury’s _Dryden_, vii., p. 309, _n._ The
      English pamphlets are based on the _Aventure Amirable_, published in
      1601. (_Cf._ Bullen’s _Peele_, i, 227.) Massinger must have used
      Cayet for the incidents in the latter part of the play.

  555 After Berecinthius says “His stature! speech!” in I., 2, 186.

  556 I., 2, 187.

  557 I., 2, 188.

  558 I., 2, 189.

  559 The “Austrian lip” is one of the features Mistress Carol ascribes to
      Fairfield in Shirley’s _Hyde Park_ (III., 2).

  560 I., 2, 186.

  561 I., 1, 64.

  562 I., 1, 135.

_  563 Shakespeare Society’s Papers_, vol. iv., art. xiv.

_  564 Shakespeare Society’s Papers_, p. 138.

  565 Famous names. “Taylor acted Hamlet incomparably well.” Colley
      Cibber’s _Apology_, 2, 142

  566 V., 2, 139.

  567 See p. 180, n. 1, and _cf._ _The Alchemist_, IV., 1.

_  568 Cf._ _The Sea Voyage_, III. 1.

_  569 Cf._ 178, n. 6.

  570 For repetition of a word _cf._ II., 3, 51; III., 2, 31; III., 3,
      105; IV., 5, 27, 45, 85, 98, 142.

  571 The line would make better sense if it were emended thus:

      I’ll have no other penance _than_ to practise,
      To find some means that he deserves thee best.

  572 Mr. Bullen (vol. iv., App., p. 381) shows that the play was produced
      in August, 1619, after some objections had been raised to it by the
      Bishop of London.

_  573 Old Plays_, vol. ii., App. 2, contains much information from Boyle
      about Massinger’s style. _Inter alia_, he says, “Fletcher as usual
      spoiled Massinger’s fine conception of Barnavelt, and made him whine
      like Buckingham in _Henry VIII_.”

  574 It is also to be found in Dodsley’s _Old English Plays_, ed. W. C.
      Hazlitt, 1875, vol. x.

  575 The name Goffe is so carefully obliterated that it is uncertain; but
      it is curious to note that Goffe and Massinger are in juxtaposition
      in the passage of _Don Zara del Fogo_ referred to _supra_, p. 77 n.

_  576 Supra_, p. 74.

  577 Mr. Phelan (pp. 48-49) argues that this play is really the lost play
      by Massinger, entitled _The Tyrant_. Tieck translated the play as
      being by Massinger. Mr. P. Simpson has pointed out to me that _The
      Second Maiden’s Tragedy_ is entered on the Stationers’ Register for
      September 9th, 1653, immediately after several of Massinger’s plays.
      He justly observes that the juxtaposition is fortuitous.

  578 Act IV., 4.

_  579 Cf._ Phelan, _op. cit._, p. 3.

  580 Sir A. W. Ward (II., 5282) seems disposed to assign it to Shirley.

  581 Compare this with the scene in Ford’s _’Tis Pity She’s a Whore_
      where Annabella gives the Friar a letter from an upper window.

  582 Compare _A Trick_, I., 1:

      What trick is not an embryon at first?

      “Embryon” is a favourite word of Massinger’s.

      I., 1: WITGOOD. I shall go nigh to catch that old fox, mine Uncle;
      though he make but some amends for my undoing, yet there’s some
      comfort in’t, he cannot otherwise choose, though it be but in hope
      to cozen me again, but supply any hasty want that I bring to town
      with me.

      II., 1: LUCRE. There may be hope some of the widow’s lands too may
      one day fall upon me if things be carried wisely.

      _A New Way_, IV., 1, 77:

      OVERREACH.                 ’Tis not alone
      The Lady Allworth’s land, for these once Wellborn’s,
      As by her dotage on him I know they will be,
      Shall soon be mine.

      _A Trick_, I., 2: WITGOOD. Thou knowest I have a wealthy uncle, i’
      th’ city, somewhat the wealthier for my follies.

      _A Trick_, I., 3: HOARD. Thou that canst defeat thy own nephew,
      Lucre, lay his lands into bonds, and take the extremity of thy
      kindred’s forfeitures.

      _A New Way_, I., 1, 48:

      TAPWELL. Which your uncle, Sir Giles Overreach, observing
      (Resolving not to lose a drop of them)
      On foolish mortgages, statutes, and bonds,
      For a while supplied your looseness, and then left you.

      II., 1, 81:

      OVERREACH. And ’tis my glory, though I come from the city,
      To have their issue whom I have undone,
      To kneel to mine as bondslaves.

      _A Trick_, II., 1: Lucre. You’ve a fault, nephew; you’re a stranger
      here; well, heaven give you joy.

      _A New Way_, III., 2, 276:

      OVERREACH. My nephew!
      He has been too long a stranger; faith you have!
      Pray, let it be mended.

      _A Trick_, III., 1: I would forswear ... muscadine and eggs at

      _A New Way_, IV., 2, 84:

      CREDITOR. Your worship broke me
      With trusting you with muscadine and eggs.

      _A Trick_, IV., 4: Hoard’s anticipations of his future pomp may have
      suggested the thoughts which Sir Giles entertains about his
      daughter’s future estate when married to Lord Lovel.

      _Cf._ _A New Way_, IV., 3, 130-141.

      _A Trick_, IV., 5:

      SIR LAUNCELOT. I would entreat your worship’s device in a just and
      honest cause, sir.

      DAMPIT. I meddle with no such matters.

      _A New Way_, II., 1, 23:

      OVERREACH. The other wisdom,
      That does prescribe us a well-governed life,
      And to do right to others, as ourselves,
      I value not an atom.

  583 Compare the way in which Massinger, in _The Great Duke of Florence_,
      transfers to Italy _A Knacke to Know a Knave_. (Hazlitt’s _Dodsley_,

  584 Lines in another hand inserted in a space left blank at the top of
      p. 555.

  585 Marginal note in a third hand.

_  586 I.e._, precedents.

  587 To take.

  588 In the Malone copy in the Bodleian line 23 has disappeared, and at
      the end of line 22 rather less of the letters is preserved than at
      the beginning.

  589 The misprint is in the original.

  590 Add references in Letters, edited by C. Ainger, vol. i., pp. 23, 24,
      136, 154.

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