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never less the artist, through all the changes of the time. Fully influenced, as we see in Hamlet he was, by the graver and more philosophic cast of thought of the later time of Elizabeth; passing on into the reign of James I., when pedantry took the place of gayety, and sensual the place of imaginative love in the drama, and artificial art the place of that art which itself is nature; he preserves to the last the natural passion, the simple tenderness, the sweetness, grace, and fire of the youthful Elizabethan poetry. The Winter's Tale is as lovely a love story as Romeo and Juliet, the Tempest is more instinct with imagination than the Midsummer Night's Dream, and as great in fancy, and yet there are fully twenty years between them. The only change is in the increase of power and in a closer and graver grasp of human nature. Around him the whole tone and manner of the drama altered for the worse as his life went on, but his work grew to the close in strength and beauty.'

NOTE.—"The dates and arrangement of Shakespeare's plays given above are only tentative. They are so placed by the conjectures of the latest criticism, and the conjectures wait for proof. Julius Cæsar, e.g., is now dated 1601.”

BIBLIOGRAPHY. SHAKESPEARE'S WORKS.-Clarendon Press Ed.; Mieklejohn's Ed.; J. P. Collier's Ed.; Leopold Shakespeare Ed., with an Int. by F. J. Furnivall; Knight's Ed.; H. H. Furness's New Variorum Ed.; H. N. Hudson's Ed.; Rolfe's Ed.; R. G. White's Ed.; G. C. Verplanck's Ed ; Dyce's Ed.; and others.

BIOGRAPHIES AND CRITICAL STUDIES IN.-H. N. Hudson's Lectures on Shak. and his Life, Art, and Characters of; S. T. Coleridge's Notes and Lectures upon Shak.; Dowden's Critical Study of Mind and Art of Shak.; T. Carlyle's Hero as Poet ; R. W. Emerson's Shakespeare, or the Poet, in Rep. Men; Gervinus' Shak. Commentaries ; H. Giles' Human Life in Shak. ; R. G. White's Memoirs of, with an Essay toward the Expression of the Genius of ; J. Weiss' Wit, Humor, and Shak.; J. R. Lowell's Among my Books ; Whipple's Lit. of Age of Eliz.; C. & M. C. Clarke's The Shak. Key; E. A. Abbott's Shak. Grammar ; H. Reed's Lectures on Eng. Hist. and Tragic Po. as illustrated by Shak.; Minto's Characteristics of Eng. Poets.

READING. - It is impossible to quote from Shakespeare as much as is needed, and so we quote nothing. His plays, admirably annotated, are published separately, and can easily be procured. We suggest that a Comedy, As You Like It, or Much Ado About Nothing, for instance; a Tragedy, Macbeth. King Lear, Othello, or Hamlet ; and a Historical play, Hen. IV., Part II., or Hen. V., be read. If possible, these should be read (1) till the pupils can give the plot of the play, (2) till they fairly understand the characters, and can point out the influence of each upon

the others and his agency in the development of the play, (3) till they can quote the notable passages and tell who uttered them, and (4) till they have acquired some mastery of Shakespeare's language, imagery, and thought.

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LESSON 26. BEN JONSON.—“The Decay of the Drama begins while Shakespeare is alive. At first one can scarcely call it decay, it was so magnificent. For it began with rare BEN JONSON,' who was born in 1573. His first play, in its very title, Every Man in his Humor, 1596–98, enables us to say in what the first step of this decay consisted.

The drama in Shakespeare's hands had been the painting of the whole of human nature, the painting of characters as they were built up by their natural bent, and by the play of circumstance upon them. The drama in Ben Jonson's hands was the painting of that particular human nature which he saw in his own age; and his characters are not men and women as they are, but as they may become when they are mastered by a special bias of the mind, or HUMOR. • The Manners, now called Humors, feed the Stage,' says Jonson himself. Every Man in his Humor was followed by Every Man out of his Humor, and by Cynthia's Revels, written to satirize the courtiers. The fierce satire of these plays brought the town down upon him, and he replied to their ‘noise in the Poetaster, in which Dekker and Marston were satirized. Dekker answered with the Satiro-Mastix, a bitter parody on the Poetaster, in which he did not spare Jonson's bodily defects. The staring Leviathan, as he calls Jonson, is not a very untrue description. Silent then for two years, he reappeared with the tragedy of Sejanus, and shortly after produced three splendid comedies in James I.'s reign, Volpone the Fox, The Silent Woman, and The Alchemist, 1605–9–10.

The first is the finest thing he ever did, as great in power as it is in the interest and skill of its plot; the second is chiefly valuable as a picture of English life in high society; the third is full to weariness of Jonson's obscure learning, but its character of Sir Epicure Mammon redeems it. In 1611 his Catiline appeared, and eight years after he was made Poet Laureate. Soon he became poor and palsy stricken, but his genius did not decay. The most graceful and tender thing he ever wrote was written in his old age. His pastoral drama, The Sad Shepherd, proves that, like Shakespeare, Jonson grew kinder and gentler as he grew near to death, and death took him in 1637. He was a great man. The power of the young Elizabethan age belonged to him; and he stands far below, but still worthily by, Shakespeare, a robust, surly, and observing dramatist.

From Jonson's Sejanus.*

Enter Arruntius.
Arr. Still dost thou suffer, heaven! will no flame,
No heat of sin make thy just wrath to boil
In thy distemper’d bosom, and o'erflow
The pitchy blazes of impiety
Kindled beneath thy throne? Still canst thou sleep
Patient, while vice doth make an antic face
At thy dread power, and blow dust and smoke
Into thy nostrils? Jove! will nothing wake thee?
Must vile Sejanus pull thee by the beard
Ere thou wilt open thy black-lidded eye,
And look him dead? Well, snore on, dreaming gods,
And let this last of that proud giant-race
Heave mountain upon mountain, 'gainst your state-
Be good unto me, Fortune and you Powers,
Whom I, expostulating, have profaned.
I see what's equal with a prodigy,
A great, a noble Roman, and an honest,
Live an old man !-

* Sejanus was the prime minister of Tiberius Claudius Nero Cæsar, Emperor of Rome, 14-37 A.D. For eight years Sejanus possessed an undivided influence over his wicked master, and procured the death or banishment of almost every one opposed to his own ambition-the attainment of imperial power. The Senate were servile to him, and the people gave him honors second only to those accorded to the Emperor. Tiberius at length became aware of the plans of Sejanus, and had him arrested, condemned, and put to an ignominious death.

This extract describes his eminence and the feelings of patriotic Romans toward him just before his fall,

1

Enter Lepidus.

O Marcus Lepidus,
When is our turn to bleed? Thyself and I,
Without our boast, are almost all the few
Left to be honest in these impious times.

Lep. What we are left to be we will be, Lucius,
Though tyranny did stare as wide as death
To fright us from it.

Arr. T hath so on Sabinus.

Lep. I saw him now drawn from the Gemonies,
And, what increased the direness of the fact,
His faithful dog, upbraiding all us Romans,
Never forsook the corps, but seeing it thrown
Into the stream, leap'd in, and drown'd with it.

Arr. O act to be envied him of us men!
We are the next the hook lays hold on, Marcus.
What are thy arts, good patriot, teach them me,
That have preserved thy hairs to this white dye,
And kept so reverend and so dear a head
Safe on his 3 comely shoulders?

Lep. Arts, Arruntius!
None but the plain and passive fortitude
To suffer and be silent; never stretch
These arms against the torrent; live at home
With my own thoughts, and innocence about me,
Not tempting the wolves' jaws: these are my arts.

Arr. I would begin to study 'em if I thought
They would secure me. May I pray to Jove
In secret and be safe? Ay, or aloud,
With open wishes, so I do not mention
Tiberius or Sejanus? Yes, I must
If I speak out. 'Tis hard that. May I think
And not be rack’d? What danger is't to dream,
Talk in one's sleep, or cough? Who knows the law?
May I shake my head without a comment? say
It rains or it holds up, and not be thrown
Upon the Gemonies? These now are things
Whereon men's fortune, yea, their faith depends.

1 Steps near the Roman prison, down which bodies were thrown. ? Corpse.

3 Its.

Nothing hath privilege 'gainst the violent ear.
No place, no day, no hour, we see, is free,
Not our religious and most sacred times,
From some one kind of cruelty; all matter,
Nay, all occasion pleaseth. Madmen's rage,
The idleness of drunkards, women's othing
Jester's simplicity-all, all is good
That can be catcht at. Nor is now the event
Of any person, or for any crime,
To be expected; for 'tis always one.

I dare tell you, whom I dare better trust,
That our night-eyed Tiberius doth not see
His minion’s drifts; or, if he do, he's not
So arrant subtile as we fools do take him;
To breed a mongrel up, in his own house,
With his own od, if the good gods please,
At his own throat, flesh him, to take a leap.
I do not beg it heaven; but, if the fates
Grant it these eyes, they must not wink.

Lep. They must not see it, Lucius.
Arr. Who should let them?

Lep. Zeal
And duty, with the thought he is our prince.

Arr. He is our monster: forfeited to vice
So far as do rack'd virtue can redeem him.
His loathèd person fouler than all crimes:
An emperor only in his lusts. Retired
From all regard of his own fame or Rome's
Into an obscure island, 3 where he lives
Acting his tragedies with a comic face
Amidst his rout of Chaldees;4 spending hours,
Days, weeks, and months, in the unkind abuse
Of grave astrology, to the bane of men,
Casting the scope of men’s nativities,
And having found aught worthy in their fortune,
Kill, or precipitate them in the sea,
And boast he can mock fate. Nay, muse not; these

1 Sejanus.

2 Hinder. * Sejanus had persuaded Tiberius to retire to the island of Capreæ, now Capri, near Naples.

4 A Semitic people from Mesopotamia, given to astronomy and astrology.

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