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ingly aggravated, for that I cannot as I ought to thy ownself reconcile myself, that thou might'st witness my inward woe at this instant, that hath made thee a woful wife for so long a time. But equal heaven has denied that comfort, giving at my last need, like succour as I have sought all my life, being in this extremity as void of help, as thou hast been of hope. Reason would, that after so long waste, I should not send thee a child to bring thee charge; but consider he is the fruit of thy womb, in whose face regard not the father, so much as thy own perfections: he is yet green, and may grow strait, if he be carefully tended, otherwise apt enough to follow his father's folly. That I have offended thee highly, I know; that thou canst forgive my injuries, I hardly believe; yet I perswade myself, that if thou sawest my wretched estate, thou couldst not but lament it, nay certainly I know, thou wouldst. All thy wrongs muster themselves about me, and every evil at once plagues me; for my contempt of God, I am contemned of men; for my swearing and forswearing, no man will believe me for my gluttony I suffer hunger; for my drunkenness, thirst; for my adultery, ulcerous sores. Thus God hath cast me down that I might be humbled, and punished for example of others; and though he suffers me in this world to perish without succour, yet I trust in the world to come, to find mercy by the merits of my Saviour, to whom I commend thee, and commit my soul.
Thy repentant husband,
For his disloyalty,
He is said to have died of a surfeit in 1592, a death conformable with the riotous indulgence of his life. Harvey, whose enmity ceased not with the death of our author, wrote the following epitaph on him.
"Ille ego, cui risus, rumores, festa, puellæ,
Vana libellorum scriptio, vita fuit:
Prodigus ut vidi vir, æstatemque furoris,
Autumno, atque hyemi, cum cane dico vale.
Poor Greene! whilst we lament his errors, we may be allowed to sympathise with his sufferings and penitence, and drop a tear over the aberration of genius, which, like "certain stars, shoots madly from its sphere." We confess we have always felt a deep interest in his unfortunate story-we have sighed to see the glory of intellect thus dimmed and obscured. But to return to the more immediate object of this article.
* This is said, by Nash, to be a forgery.
Although our author wrote several plays, we are not aware that an account has been given of any of them, whilst his prose works have been sought for with great care. The first play we shall notice is The honourable history of frier Bacon and frier Bongay. It is founded on the popular subject of the magic skill of frier Bacon. The incidents are as follow:-Prince Edward (afterwards Edward the first) having, whilst hunting in Suffolk, become enamoured of Margaret, the daughter of one of his father's keepers, celebrated through the country for her beauty, sends Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, in the disguise of a farmer, to court her for him.-Lacy himself falls in love with the maid, and she, at the same time, regards him with a favourable eye. Meanwhile, the prince, doubtful of the success of Lacy's mission, resorts to the famous friar Bacon, at Oxford, for advice and assistance. The friar, by the power of his art, makes the Earle and Margaret palpable to the vision of the prince, who beholds them at the moment they are about to be united by friar Bongay; who, spell-bound by Bacon, suddenly becomes speechless, and is whisked off to Oxford by one of Bacon's spirits. The prince hastens to Fresingfield, to revenge himself on his faithless courtier, to whom, however, he becomes reconciled, and consents to his marriage with Margaret. The king having, also, arrived at Oxford, with the King of Castile, and Elinor his daughter, Lacy writes to the maid of Fresingfield, feigning a forced marriage with a Spanish lady, to try her affection; a circumstance which Margaret takes so much to heart, that she has determined to retire to a convent and take the veil, when Lacy arrives and persuades her not to relinquish the love of man entirely for that of heaven. The royal visitors are entertained with an exhibition of the surprising influence of friar Bacon over the world of spirits, and depart for Windsor, where the prince is united to the Spanish princess, and the Lincoln Earl to Margaret on the same day.
The supernatural parts of this play are vastly inferior in power to the Doctor Faustus of his friend Marlowe. It excites no terror, but has rather the appearance of the hocus pocus of a common conjuror. With some extravagance, it possesses a few touches of feeling and occasional beauty of imagery. pears from the preface to Perimedes, the Blacksmith, that his blank verse had been censured, because he could not make it "jet upon the stage in tragicall buskins, every word filling the mouth like the faburden of Bo-Bell." But, though generally inferior to both Peele and Marlowe, it is not deficient in harmony.
Prince Edward describes Margaret in the following terms :
"Edward. I tell thee, Lacie, that her sparkling eyes
Do lighten forth sweet Love's alluring fire:
And in her tresses she doth fold the looks
If thou survaist her curious imagerie."
The following scene discloses an interesting situation.Greene had found the right vein, although he does not go very deep into it.
"Edward. I tell thee, Peggie, I will have thy love,
In frigats bottom'd with rich Sethin planks,
And doe due homage to thine excellence,
If thou wilt be but Edward's Margret.
Margret. Pardon, my lord, if Jove's great roialtie
Send me such presents as to Danaë;
If Phoebus, tied in Latona's webs,
Came courting from the beautie of his lodge,
The dulcet tunes of frolicke Mercurie,
Not all the wealth heaven's treasurie affords
Should make me leave lord Lacie or his love.
Edw. I have learn'd at Oxford then this point of schooles,
Abbata causa, tollitur effectus.
Lacie the cause that Margret cannot love,
Lacie. Rather than live and misse fair Margret's love,
Prince Edward, stop not at the fatall doome,
But stabb it home, end both my loves and life.
Marg. Brave Prince of Wales, honour'd for royal deeds, "Twere sinne to staine fair Venus' courts with blood, Love's conquest ends, my lord, in courtesie;
Spare Lacie, gentle Edward, let me die.
For so both you and he doe cease your loves.
Edw. Lacie shall die as traitor to his lord.
Lacie. I have deserved it; Edward, act it well.
Marg. What hopes the prince to gaine by Lacie's death?
Marg. Why thinks king Henrie's sonne that Margret's love
Hangs in the uncertaine ballance of proud time,
That death shall make a discord of our thoughts;
No, stab the earle, and, fore the morning sun
Lacie. If ought betides to lovely Margret,
Then, Edward, short my life and end her love.
Marg. Rid me, and keepe a friend worthe many loves. Lacie. Nay, Edward, keepe a love worthe many friends. Marg. And, if thy mind be such as fame hath blazde, Then, princely Edward, let us both abide
The fatal resolution of thy rage;
Banish thou fancie and embrace revenge,
And in one toombe knit both our carkases,
Edw. Edward, art thou that famous prince of Wales
And brought'st home triumph on thy launce's point?
Is it princely to dissever lovers' leagues,
To part such friends as glorie in their loves?
Conquering thyself, thou getst the richest spoile.
Lacie, rise up; fair Peggie, heere's my hand,
The Prince of Wales hath conquer'd all his thoughts,
And all his loves he yeelds unto the earle;
Lacie, enjoy the maid of Fresingfield,
Make her thy Lincolne countesse at the church;
And Ned, as he is true Plantagenet,
Lacie. Humbly I take her of my soveraigne,
Marg. And doth the English prince mean true?
And yeeld the title of a country maid
Unto Lord Lacie?
Edw. I will, fair Peggie, as I am true lord.
Marg. Then, lordly sir, whose conquest is as great,
In conquering love, as Cæsar's victories,
Margret, as mild and humble in her thoughts
As was Aspasia unto Cirus' selfe,
Yeelds thanks, and next Lord Lacie doth inshrine
Edward, the second secret in her heart."
Bacon, worn out with watching the brazen head which he had framed, enjoins his scholar to supply his place, and awaken him at the propitious moment of its speaking.
"Bacon. Miles, thou knowest that I have dived into hell,
And sought the darkest palaces of fiendes,
That with my magic spells great Belcephon
Hath left his lodge and kneeled at my cell;
I have fram'd out a monstrous head of brasse,