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which though at present scarcely ever real, This prolific dramalist was of a very ancient abounds with animated description and elegant
illustration. Drayton was a favourite court family, and was born in London, 1594. He was a pupil at Merchant Tailors' School, and poet; be assisted at the coronation of James I. afterwards studied at Oxford, where Dr. Laud and was never in circumstances to make the conceived a warm affection for him, in regard is said to bave written The Merry Devil of Ed.
praises of the million important to him. He to his great talents; yet, Shirley purposing to take orders, he would often tell him, "" that he monton; but this is doubtful, and were the fact was an unfit person to take the sacred function established, it would contribute but litle to his
fapie. upon him, and should never have his consent." Why, does the reader suppose ? On account of
PHINEAS FLETCHER. some moral defect? No; but because Shirley had a large mole on his left cheek, which Laud
This poet, whose great genius is obscured by thought a deformity. He took orders, notwith the robe of allegory which it assumed, is the standing, and obtained a living at St. Albans ; author of a singalar production called the Purple but he shortly became a Romanist, and resign- Island, in which all the various parts of the ing his preserment, commenced schoolmaster; human body are described with wonderful inthis new profession growing odious to him, he genuity and truth. The subject was an unwent to London and began to compose plays. happy one; and the poem, in spite of its great In this way he gained, not merely an existence, merit, is seldom or ever perused. Fleleber but was much encouraged by many of the nobi- also wrote Piscatory Eclogues, short pieces poslity; and ultimately, queen Henrietta being sessing considerable excellence, and one or lwo much pleased with his writings, altached bim dramatic performances which have no striking to her household. During the rebellion, he
recommendation attended the earl of Newcastle, and was in several battles. The king's cause being ruined,
DANIEL. he returned to London, and was supported for some time by Mr. Stanley, the author of the
This author, who was considerable in his Lives of the Philosophers. Plays were now de- own time, both as a poet and historian, was nounced as an abomination, and he recom-born 1562. His style is remarkably correct, menced pedagogue in the White Friars, and and at once free from bombastical extravagance continued to brandish bis birchen sceptre till and meagre unmeaning simplicity. In Spenser's the Restoration. The theatre was again open Colin Clout's Come Home Again, he is highly to him, and many of his dramas were performed
praised, and indeed most of the writers of that with great applause. In 1666, occurred the age agree in eulogizing his productions. He terrible fire of London; he was burnt out of his
succeeded Spenser in the laurealeship. His house near Fleet-street, and removed into the Philotas, 1603, when first acted, gave offence, parish of St. Giles's, but being overcome with
as it was thought the hero was drawn from horror at the frightful conflagration, he and his
Elizabeth's unfortunate favourite, the earl of wife both expired within a few hours, and were
Essex. In this play he treads closely in tbe buried in the same grave. Shirley succeeded steps of the ancients, and has introduced ehobest in comedy; there is a light airy playfulness
ruses between the acts. In his Cleopatra, 1994, in bis humour which is peculiarly delightful, be follows Plutarch's account of that remarkable and must have been quite refreshing to the
woman, and has produced a very excellent royalists after the sour fanaticism of the puri- drama. The dialogue in both instances is eswas, The Ball, 1639, is a favourable specimen; tremely poetical. but all his dramas, nearly forty in number, are tiguly wousing. A contemporary poet has this
CHETTLE. couplet io bis bonour :
* Shirley (the morning child) the Muses bred, And went bom boru with bays upon his head."
A dramatist of whom no record remains. lo
deed, the period to which these brief memoirs DRAYTON
refer, abounds with instances of writers wbo Few writers have been more famous in their are only known to have existed by their works. day then the author of the Poly-Olbion; a poem, He wrote Hot Anger soon Cold, 1598; All is
Bot Gold that Glitters, 1600; Cardinal Wolsey,
PEELE. 1601; and various other plays, all distinguished by an originality of tone, which we should vainly A writer of pastorals, considered very excellook for in productions of loftier prelension. lent in his day, but now forgotten amidst the
lumber of antiquity. He was likewise a draBROWNE
malist of some eminence; and for many years,
as city poet, bad the ordering of the pageants The praise which Milton bas bestowed on on Lord Mayor's Day. His life appears to have this poet, the author of Britannia's Pastorals, been spent in a course of folies and debauchentitles bim lo our favourable notice; and there eries of the lowest description, which is the are such unequivocal evidences of genius in his more singular, as he was educated at Oxford, works, that we cannot sufficiently regret, that then the school of every virtue. He wrote, he should bave been ejected from his niche in among other dramas, Edward the First, 1593; the Temple of Fame by any newer candidale and The Loves of King David and Faire Bethfor immortalily.
A very powerful writer, bold and original in The celebrated author of The Emblems, and conception, but rude and uncoulh in expression. equally remarkable for his genius and misforHis principal works are, The Bristol Tragedy, lunes. He was educated at Cambridge, where 1602 ; and The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green, he distinguished himself by unaffected piety and with the Merry Humour of Tom Strowd, the unassuming talent. For a considerable time he Norfolk Yeoman, divers limes publicly acted was cupbearer to the queen of Bohemia, and by the Prince bis Servants, 1600.
chronologer to the city of London. Afterwards,
he went over to Ireland, and became secretary DAVENPORT.
to the truly good and amiable prelate, Usher,
archbishop of Armagh; but the unsettled state He is reported to have written something of that country soon forced bim to resign bis jointy with Shakspeare, and his intellectual post, and returning to England, he closed bis character would justly have entitled him to the eartbly career 1644, aged 52.
He was buried benour of such an associale. His comedy of in the church of St. Vedast, Foster-lane. A New Trick lo Cheat the Devil, abounds with Quarles is best known by his Divine Emblems, grotesque and humorous siluations, and his a work once universally popular, but now, on King John and Matilda abundantly prove his account of its obsolete quaintness of style, little tragic powers.
read, except by a particular class of religionists.
He wrote The Virgin Widow, 1649, a play FIELD
which has no faults and few merits. Lang
baine sums up his character of Quarles in these This poet is supposed to be the same person words: “He was a poet that mixed religion and whose name appears with those of Burbage, fancy together, and was very careful in all his Hemmings and Condell, in the prefalory sheet writings not to intrench upon good manners of the first folio edition of Shakspeare. He is by any scurrility in his works, or any ways also mentioned in the dramatis personæ pre- offending against his duty to God, his neighfied to the Cyothia's Revels of Ben Jonson, bour, or himself.” and seems to have been a favourite actor. But Field's claim to notice rests on belter grounds ;
NASH. for Massinger did not think himself disgraced by receiving his assistance in the composition An eccentric and unfortunate man of genius, of The Fatal Dowry, and his ability for the whose vices were his worst enemies.
After a the task is evident from what he bas done in restless life, passed in continual alterations from bis own dramas. His best plays are, a Woman's want to abundance, he died about 1601, as little a i#eathercock, 1612; and Amends for Ladies, lamented in dying, as respected when living. 1618; both of which are highly praised by His Pierce Pepnilesse is written with infinite Chapman, a very competent judge.
fire and spirit, but seems to breathe the senli
ments of a man in a paroxysm of rage against | Seneca his style, and as full of notable morathe whole world. Towards the close of his litie, which it dolh most delightfully teach, and days, he seems to have repented of his so obtain the very end of poesie : yet, in truth, excesses; for in a pamphlet called Christ's it is very defectious in the circumstances ; Tears over Jerusalem, he writes thus: “A which grieves me, because it might not remain hundred unfortunate farewells to fantasticall an exact model of all tragedies. For it is faultie satirisme. In those vaines, heretoforel mispent both in place and time, the two necessary comemy spirit, and prodigally conspired against panions of all compositions.” good hours. Nothing is there now so much in my vowes as to be at peace with all men, and
LODGE. make submissive amends where I have most displeased. To a little more wit have my A Doctor of medicine in great practice toincreasing yeeres reclaimed mee than I had wards the end of Elizabeth's reigo. He acbefore; those that have been perverted by any quired considerable extra-professional reputaof my workes, let them reade this, and it shall lion, both as a poet and a wit. His dramatic thrice more benefit them. The autumne 1 works are, Wounds of Civil War, 1594, and imitate, in shedding my leaves with the trees, A Looking Glass for London and England, and so doth the peacocke shead his taile.” Nash ( 1594. Judging from these compositions, the was peculiarly successful in salire; in an old writer seems to have been most happy in salire; copy of verses he is thus spoken of;
There is a playful smarlness about his jokes,
which is highly agreeable and amusing.
This author, the most popular writer of his Nash composed three p.ays; among tnem times, was born about 1553. He studied first was Dido, Queen of Carthage. Copies of this at Oxford, but latterly at Cambridge ; being of drama are uncommonly scarce. Malone gave good family, he followed the court, expecting 161. 168. for one at Dr. Wright's sale.
to be appointed master of the revels, but he
reaped nothing from attendance on Elizabeth THOMAS SACKVILLE, LORD but disappointinent, the usual wages of cour BUCKHURST.
tiers. He died in the prime of life, 1597,
universally regretted and respected. His One of the most illustrious noblemen of an dramas are nine in number: Alexander and age when titular honours were bestowed, not Campaspe, 1584, and Mother Bombie, 1594, merely as nominal distinctions, but as the best are the best ; but his claims on the police ol rewards for great and virtuous actions. He is posterity are reserable to the two following mentioned here on account of his having been works, of which we shall give the titles at length, concerned in the composition of Ferrex and as he therein made the praiseworlby attempt Porrex, the first regular tragedy ever performed to reform and purify our language from the upon the English stage. Of this drama, surrep- coulh, barbarous, and obsolete expressions by tiliously printed under the lille of Gorboduc, which it was then overrun :-The Anatomie 1565, and with ils present designation 1571, of Wit, verie pleasant for all Gentlemen to Norton wrote the first three acls, and Lord read, and most necessary to remember: where Buckhurst, then Mr. Sackville, the last two. in are contayned the Delyghts that Wit followeth It was acted by the gentlemen of the Inner in his Youth by the pleasantnesse of Love, and Temple, at Whitehall, before queen Elizabeth, the Happiness he reapeth in Age by the Per on the 18th of January, 1561, many years sectnesse of Wisdome, quarto, bl. lett. 1581. prior to the appearance of Shakspeare. Sir -Euphues and his England, containing bis Philip Sidney, in his Defence of Pocsie, says, Voyage and Adventures, mixt with sundrie
Our tragedies and comedies, not without prellie Discourses of honest Love, the Decause cried out against, observing rules neither scription of the Countrie, the Court, and the of honest civilitie, nor skilful poetrie, excepting Manners of that Isle, delightful to be read, and Gorboduc, which, notwithstanding as it is full nothing hurtfull to be regarded : wherein there of stately speeches, climbing to the height of is small Offence by Lightnesse given to the
Wise, and less Occasion of Loosenesse proffered | Tho. Nah, or John Heywood.” lo 1608, to the Wanlon, quarto, bl. lett. 1582. this same ager maintained at Oxford, a thesis,
Lyly has committed many extravagancies in that it was lawful for husbands to beat their these productions, and they were, no doubt, wives; so that his elaborate Latin dramas have much overrated; but the excellencies which small chance of finding favour with the blues of they unquestionably contained are now as un- the nineteenth century. jusily overlooked; for is, on the whole, Lyly's attempt must be considered a failure, on such
PRESTON. mn occasion even failure was glorious, and enbilies him to be remembered with respect.
This persc. wrote about 1561, A lament
able Tragedie, mixed full of pleasant Mirth ; GREEN.
contayning the Life of Cambises, King of
Persia, from the beginning of his Kingdome This highly talented, but most immoral unto his Death; his one good Deede of Execuattbor, was celebrated, in his day, for a broad tion after the many wicked Deeds and tirranous and coarse, but spirited and characteristic vein | Murders commilled by and through him; and of humour, which runs through all his produc- last of all, his odious Death by God's Justice bons. His dramas are very numerous, and appointed; doon on such Order as followelb. many plays are ascribed to bim on mere sup- Which Shakspeare is supposed to ridicule, psilion ; but he undoubtedly wrote The His- when he makes Falstaff talk of speaking in king lary of Friar Bacon and Friar Bongay, 1594; Cambyses’ vein. The Comical History of Alphonsus, King of Arragon, 1594; and The Scottishe Story of
WHETSTONE. James the fourthe, slaine at Flodden, interm'ied with a pleasant Comedie presented by Oberon, King of the Fairies, 1599. Or this Cassandra, a play of wbich Shakspeare has
This writer is only known by his Promos and last play, Shakspeare seems to have made some
undoubtedly availed bimself in his Measure for use in bis Midsummer Night's Dream.
Measure. It appears that Whetstone first lried
his fortune at court, and dissipated his patriGASCOIGNE.
mony in vain expectation of preserment. Des
titule of subsistence, he became a soldier, and This author translated The Supposes, from served with so much credit that he was rewarded Anuslo, and Jocasta, from Euripides; besides with additional pay. Honour, however, is a shich, be wrote the Glass of Government, bad pay-master, and he was compelled to con1366, and, The Princely Pleasures of Kenil-vert his sword into a ploughshare. His farming Birth Castle, 1587. The Supposes is among concerns proved unfortunate, and in his nethe earliest regular dramas produced on our cessity he tried the generosity of his friends. staze; and Gascoigne, both in this translation This he found was “a broken reed, and worse and his original compositions, has displayed than common beggary of charity from strangers. very superior endowments.
Now Craft accosted him in bis sleepe, and
tempted him with the proposals of several proGAGER.
posals of several professions; but for the knavery
or slavery of them, he rejected all; bis muniA profoundly learned man. His composi- ficence constrained him to love money, and his tos are in the Latin longue, and we should magnanimity to hate all the ways of getting it.” fint have noticed him but on account of Anth.
He now sought fortune at sea ; but sir Humphrey a Wood's singular panegyric of his genius: Gilbert's fleet, in which he had embarked, was
He was an excellent poet, especially in the ruined by an engagement with the Spaniards. Latin language, and reported the best comedian Poor Whetstone was thus reduced to write for bis time, whether it was Edward, ear! of bread. Ascham tells us, that “rits live obOxford, Will. Rowley, the once ornament for scurely, men care not how, and die neglected, vil and ingenuity, of Pembroke Hall in Cam
men mark not where." And where or in what bridge, Richard Edwards, John Lylie, Tho.
manner this amiable man breathed this last, we Landge, Geo. Gascoigne, Will. Shakspeare,
are lolally ignorant.
from Charles I. After the judicial murder of
that mearch, be refired to the Continent with A mure of Warwickshire, mach celebrated greea Henrietta and the prince of Wales. Sie a metrical chruaicle of British history, called Being employed in their service, he was taken Abúna's England, which is written throughout prisoner, cuafined at Cowes castle, and his life vih great ability, and scrasizcally evinces a threatened. Cader these trying circumstances
, höghly pretical spirit. Perey says of Warner: Devenant's coerage was singularly conspicuous
; --- Te his merit nothing can be adjected, eebe was then writing bis poem of Gondibert, leses, perhaps, an afected quaintaess in some of and botwithstanding the almost certain prospect has expressions, and an indelicacy is some of of immediate death, such was his fortitude and kas pastatal images." The following actuant self possession, that he was able to proceed s his death is extracted from the parish register with the work. A fact like this, is more boof Anvell :* 168-9. Master William necrable to Daresant than volumes of panegyrie. Warner, a man of good years, and of bonest At the intercession of Milton be was spared, Deputativa ; by his profession, attarney at come and received permission to open a theatre in mio plase ; author of Albisa's England; dyinge
Charterbouse Yard. When Charles II. ascended suddenly in the night in his bedde, without any the throse, Sir William received a patent to former complaint or sicknesse, on Thursday act plays at the Duke's theatre, in Lincoln's Inn brakt, being the 9th daye of March, and was Fields; and bere it was that he first introdaced buried the Saturday following, and lieth in the the present mode of illustrating the drama by church at the upper end, under the stone or means of appropriate scenery and decorations. Gwalter Studes.* Warner also wrote Syriss, Davenant died at an advanced age, admired oc, a Seaven told Historie, handled with va- and beloved by all parties. Dryden, and we sietie of pleasant and profitable, both comicall, cannot give nobler praise, estimated his talents and tragicall Argument, 1597.
SIR PHILIP SYDNEY. TAYLOR, The water poet, he having been a scaller on A bero, in whom the chivalrous virtues which the Thames. He was once mad enough to we read of in romance, and which we are aaventure himself, with a companion, in a paper customed to treat as fabulous, were realized. boat to Rochester, when they were both nearly His person was the perfection of the human drowned. He seems to have been very illiterate; form; he was brave to a fault ; his munificence but in spite of the most disheartening obstacles, was princely; and his courteous manners won he applied himself to composition, and his pro- the hearts of all that approached him. In the ductions are far from contemptible. Taylor presence of monarchs his humility was that of was a violent royalist. At the commencement an equal ; but when the poor and miserable of the rebellion he retired to Oxford, but that surrounded bim, bis countenance beamed with city being surrendered to the parliament, he welcome and kindliness. To all these amiable returned to London and kept a public-house in qualities, were united a depth of learning and Long Acre. At the king's death, he set up the a felicity of genius, which entitled him to rank sign of the Mourning Crown, which, giving with the best writers of his age. He was the offence, he substituted his own effigy, inscribed darling of England and the admiration of Euwith this distich :
rope. He was born at Penshurst in Kent, *There's many a king's head hang d up for a sign,
1554; he reinained at Oxford till his 17th year, And many a saint's head too. Then why not inine ?*
and then set out on the grand tour. At his
return, in the pride of his youth and the full SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT.
vigour of his intellect, queen Elizabeth ap
pointed him her ambassador to the friendly Born at Oxford, 1605, and supposed by some, German powers; but when the fame of his though on very slight grounds, to bave been valour and genius became so general, that he was a natural son of Shakspeare's. At Ben Jonson's put in nomination for the kingdom of Poland, death he was chosen laureate ; and in 1643, she refused to sanction bis advancement lest she having distinguished himself on a variety of should lose the brightest jewel in her crown. occasions, he received the bonour of knighthood His life was one continued course of glorios