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he refers to the words of Sir John Harington regarding this University-play. Meres next gives a general summary of the writers of comedy.
« The best poets for comedy among the Greeks are these, Menander, Aristophanes, Eupolis Atheniensis, Alexis Terius, Nicostratus, Ainipsias Atheniensis, Anaxandrides Rhodius, Aristonymus, Archippus Atheniensis, and Callias Atheniensis; and among the Latines Plautus, Terence, Næuius, Sext. Turpilius, Licinius Imbrex, and Virgilius Romanus; so the best for comedy amongst vs bee, Ed. ward Earle of Oxforde, Doctor Gager of Oxforde, Maister Rowley, once a rare scholler of learned Pembrooke Hall in Cambridge, Maister Edwardes one of her Maiesties Chappell, eloquent and wittie Iohn Lilly, Lodge, Gascoyne, Greene, Shakespeare, Thomas Nash, Thomas Heywood, Anthony Mundye our best plotter, Chapman, Porter, Wilson, Hathway, and Henry Chettle.
“As Horace, Lucilius, luuenall, Persius and Lucullus are the best for satyre among the Latines: so with vs in the same faculty these are chiefe, Piers Plowman, Lodge, Hall of Imanuel Colledge in Cambridge; the authour of Pigmalions Image, and certaine Satyrs; the author of Skialetheia.
“ Among the Greekes I wil name but two for Iambicks, Archilochus Parius, and Hipponax Ephesius : so amongst vs I name but two iambical poets, Gabriel Haruey, and Richard Stanyhurst, bicause I haue seene no mo in this kind.
“ As these are famous among the Greeks for elegie, Melanthus, Mymnerus Colophonius, Olympius Mysius, Parthenius Nicæus, Philetas Cous, Theogenes Megarensis, and Pigres Halicarnessæus; and these among the Latines, Mecænas, Ouid, Tibullus, Propertius, T. Valgius, Cassius Seuerus, and Clodius Sabinus: so these are the most passionate among vs to bewaile and bemoane the perplexities of Loue, Henrie Howard Earle of Surrey, Sir Thomas Wyat the elder , Sir Francis Brian, Sir Philip Sidney, Sir Walter Rawley, Sir Edward Dyer, Spencer, Daniel, Drayton, Shakespeare, Whetstone, Gascoyne, Samuell Page sometimes fellowe of Corpus Christi Colledge in Oxford, Churchyard, Bretton.
“ As Theocritus in Greeke, Virgil and Mantuă in Latine, Sanazar in Italian, and the authour of Amyntæ Gaudia and Walsinghams Melibæus are the best for pastorall: so amongst vs the best in this kind are Sir Philip Sidney, master Challéner, Spencer, Stephen Gosson, Abraham Fraunce and Barnefield.
“ These and many other Epigrammatists the Latin tongue hath, Q. Catulus, Portius Licinius, Quintus Cornificius, Martial, Cn. Getulicus, and wittie Sir Thomas Moore: so in English we haue these, Heywood, Drăte, Kendal, Bastard, Dauis.
“As noble Mecænas that sprung from the Hetruscan Kinges not onely graced poets by his bounty, but also by beeing a poet himselfe; and as lames the 6. nowe King of Scotland, is not only a fa
uorer of poets, but a poet, as my friend master Richard Barnefielde hath in his disticke passing well recorded :
The King of Scots now living is a poet,
As his Lepanto, and his furies shew it: so Elizabeth our dread soueraign and gracious Queene is not only a liberal patrone vuto poets, but an excellent poet herselfe, whose learned, delicate and noble muse surmounteth, be it in ode, elegy, epigram, or in any other kind of poem heroicke, or lyricke.”
In thus speaking of Queen Elizabeth's poetical powers, Meres almost verbatim follows the opinion which Puttenham had before expressed, and which seems very little deserved, excepting as far as she was “a liberal patrone ynto poets.” Ritson (Bibl: Poet: p. 363) is in a perfect rage at this fattery, and the impotence of his anger makes it very amusing : he asserts that she had been favoured by the Muses just as much as by Venus or Diana; and, after a furious attack upon her cruelty to Mary of Scotland, he exclaims, “ 0, tigress' heart, wrapt in a woman's hide.” The truth however is, unless some better productions than those which have descended to us were penned by her, that Elizabeth was as contemptible as a poetess as she was glorious as a queen.
Meres next proceeds to the translators then living, bestowing high praise upon Phaer, Golding, Harington, Chapman, &c. What he says of Thomas Nash, whom he admired as much as he despised his antagonists, shall conclude our extracts.
“ As Eupolis of Athens vsed great libertie in taxing the vices of men: so dooth Thomas Nash, witnesse the broode of the Harueys.
“ As Acteon was wooried of his owne hounds: so is Tom Nash of his Ile of Dogs. Dogges were the death of Euripedes, but be not disconsolate gallant young luuenall, Linus, the sonne of Apollo died the same death. Yet God forbid that so braue a witte should so basely perish, thine are but paper dogges, neither is thy banishment like Ouids, eternally to conuerse with the barbarous Getes. Therefore comfort thy selfe sweete Tom. with Ciceros glorious return to Rome, and with the counsel Aeneas giues to his seabeaten soldiers, lib. 1. Aeneid. Pluck vp thine heart, and driue from thence both feare and care
away: To thinke on this may pleasure be perhaps another day.”
We may illustrate what is here obscurely said regarding Nash's comedy of The Isle of Dogs, by a short quotation Crit. Rev. VOL. IV. August, 1816.
from his “ Lenten Stuffe, 1599.”—“ The strange turning of the Isle of Dogs from a comedy to a tragedy two summers past, with the troublesome stirre which happened about it, is a generall rumour that hath filled all England, and such a heavy crosse laid upon me as had well near confounded me. *** That unfortunate imperfect embryo of my idle houres, the Isle of Dogs before mentioned, breeding unto me such bitter throws in the teaming as it did, and the tempests that arose at its birth so astonishing, outrageous, and violent, as if my brain had been conceived of another Hercules.”—In truth, Tom Nash was a grievous sufferer by imprisonment, and in other ways, in consequence of this piece, of which we shall perhaps say more on some future occasion.
It is to be remarked, that of the works mentioned by Meres, some we believe have never reached us, such as Challoner's and Gosson's Pastorals, Dr. Gager's Comedies, &c. T. Heywood, in his Apology for Actors before noticed, speaks thus of the book of which we have just given an account:-" Here I might take fit opportunity to reckon up all our English writers, and compare them with the Greeke, French, Italian, and Latine poets, not only in their pastoral, historical, elegiacal, and heroical poems, but in their tragical and comical subjects; but it was my chance to happen on the like, learnedly done by an approved good schol. lar in a book called Wits Commonwealth, to which treatise I wholly refer you."
ANTIQUITIES. Art. 12.- The History of Crowland Abbey, digested from
the Materials collected by Mr. Gough, 8c. To which is added, an Appendix concerning the Rise and Progress of the Pointed Architecture from the Essays collected by Mr. Taylor. Stamford, for J. Drakard; London, for Baldwin
and Co. 1816. 8vo. Pp. 82. 16. The principal object of the following work (says the Editor, Mr. Benj. Holdich) is to illustrate the progress of the building, and to endeavour to fix the dates at which the several parts of it were put together;" and in an Introduction not remarkable for its conciseness, he makes an attack upon the learned Mr. Gough for the prolixity and unimportance of the details he collected upon this subject. The complaint we are inclined to think well founded to a certain extent'; but Mr. Gough was an antiquary, a class of men who are sure to overvalue the minutest particularssuch indeed is the very foundation of their pursuits. There is a little too much Aippancy, however, in the mode in which the mis-spent labours of former writers upon this Abbey are censured; and Mr. Holdich in some parts of his production, falls into the very errors against which he ex. claims : we would instance the dissertation regarding the nature of the soil of the fens on which Crowland Abbey stands, and the expedients resorted to by the Monks for Jaying the foundation. We should, however, do the Editor injustice if we did not admit, that though he principally resorts to conjecture, it is usually plausible, and he has with skill and industry collected all that has been said upon this curious object. What Mr. Holdich states regarding the bridge, which Gough incautiously terms “ the famous bridge at Croyland, the greatest curiosity in Britain,” deserves much attention ; but we lament always that he has ventured to treat his most pains-taking precursor so cavalierly. The Appendix contains nothing original, and the Editor does not seem to be aware, when speaking of Gothic architecture, of the publication of the late young but ingenious and learned Mr. Whittington to prove, that England can claim no originality in its invention or introduction. The design of Mr. Holdich is, that his book should be a guide to the visitors of Crowland Abbey; but he has defeated his object a little, by a strong spirit of disputation that pervades it; the reader requires to be made acquainted with facts, and not to enter into discussions that are of little interest, and convey no useful information.
GEOGRAPHY Art. 13.-An Atlas for the use of Schools, containing Maps
of the Eastern and Western Hemispheres, of the four Continents, of the British Islands, and of France, Spain, Por. tugal, Italy, and Germany. By Miss WILKINSON. Parts
I. and Il. Law and Whittaker, 1816. 2 vols. 8vo. The first part is with the maps, having the names of places as usual supplied; the second is with blank duplicates without the dames, but retaining the outlines and interior divisions of the respective countries. Nothing is much more tedious or disgusting to children than the method in which geography is usually taught. According to the plan contrived by this lady, a picture of the visible world is presented, to which belong equally proportion and tangibility, and the pupil is both instructed and amused by it. The plan proposed is, to teach the scholar the first part, and when that is sufficiently understood, the mind will be advantageously exercised on the second, and a powerful impression will be made on the memory by the proper use of it.
NOVELS. Art. 14.- Lavinia Fits-Aubyn, with other Tales ; sketched
from Life. Martin. 4 vols. 12mo. The author of these pleasing tales has opened them with so modest a supplication, that were there any thing which e ought to call forth our severity, we should almost feel disarmed. Their introduction into the world is thus announced:
“ The following tales were written with no other object than that which it is hoped the reader will attain—the filling up and amusing many leisure hours, disengaged from more important avocations.
" In committing her little bantling to the public nursery, the authoress is not without her hopes and fears, as to its destiny; but as it is the first offspring of a timid parent, she ventures to presume, if it does not become a darling favourite, it will at least be treated with tenderness.”
As this performance is published in detached tales, it would exceed the limits assigned to this department of our Review to follow them through their various shapes and bearings : but thus much we may say in their favour, that they are not deficient in incident, that the characters are well supported, and that the reader will receive from them both instruction and entertainment; yet it must be admitted, that they, in many parts, require the candour due to a first performance.