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Till in their own lov'd race they fall most lame,
And meet full but the close of Vice's shame.”

The Malecontent appears, from the title, to have been originally written by Webster, and afterwards augmented by Marston. The latter, however, dedicated it to Ben Jonson, and in the preface treats it as his own. The hand of Marston is manifest in some of the scenes, and the character of the Malecontent, or rather bis assumed character, is precisely in Marston's manner. It is, upon the whole, a tolerably good comedy. The comedy of Eastward Hoe, in which he joined Chapman and Jonson, will be discussed in our article on Chapman's joint Plays.

We have selected a few of the more delicate and retired beauties of Marston's dramas, to serve as a desert to the more substantial matters which have preceded.

Of content.

*** “0, calm-hush'd, rich content!
Is there a being blessedness without thee?
How soft thou down'st the couch where thou dost rest!
Nectar to life, thou sweet ambrosian feast.”

Of death.

“ He's a good fellow, and keeps open house:
A thousand thousand ways lead to his gate,
To his wide-mouthed porch: when niggard life
Hath but one little, little wicket through.
We wring ourselves into this wretched world,
To pule, and weep, exclaim, to curse and rail,
To fret, and ban the fates, and strike the earth,
As I do now.”

Of the body after death.

* * * “ As having clasp'd a rose
Within my palm, the rose being ta'en away,
My hand retains a little breath of sweet:
So may man's trunk, his spirit slipp'd away,

Hold still a faint perfume of his sweet guest.”
And, again; spoken by a father of his murdered son.

* * * •Look on those lips,
Those now lawn pillows, on whose tender softness,
Chaste modest speech, stealing from out his heart,
Had wont to rest itself, as loath to post

From out so fair an inn: look! look! they seem to stir, And breathe defiance to black obloquy."

The break of day.

* * * “ See, the dapple grey coursers of the morn Beat up the light with their bright silver hoops, And chase it through the sky.”

The fool's beatitude.

Even in that, note a fool's beatitude :
He is not capable of passion,
Wanting the power of distinction,
He bears an unturn'd sail with


wind :
Blow east, blow west, he steers his course alike.
I never saw a fool lean: the chub-fac'd fop
Shines sleek with full cramm'd fat of happiness,
Whilst studious contemplation sucks the juice
From wizards' cheeks: who making curious search
For Nature's secrets, the first innating cause
Laughs them to scorn, as man doth busy apes
When they will zany men. Had heaven been kind,
Creating me an honest senseless dolt,
A good poor fool, I should want sense to feel
The stings of anguish shoot through every vein;
I should not know what 'twere to lose a father :
I should be dead of sense, to view defame

my bright love; I could not thus run mad, As one confounded in a maze of mischief, Stagger'd, stark felld with bruising stroke of chance."

The fancy is described to be

“ A function,
Even of the bright immortal part of man.
It is the common pass, the sacred door
Unto the privy chamber of the soul,
That barr’d, nought passeth past the baser court
Of outward sense; by it, th' inamorate
Most lively thinks he sees the absent beauties
Of his lov'd mistress.
By it we shape a new creation,
Of things as yet unborn, by it we feed
Our ravenous memory, our intention feast.:

The genius of Marston was more suited to tragedy, with which he commenced his dramatic career, than to comedy, to which he afterwards applied himself. There is a declamatory boldness of tone—a rugged strait forward vehemence of manner--a clearness and precision of thought, which, combined with some (though not a very considerable) degree of imagination, enabled him to depict the more masculine passions with no little success. In the portraiture of love, that passion which manifests itself in such an infinite variety of forms, his mind led him to select the coarsest kind, which he described with a corresponding coarseness of expression. In the delineation of its lighter graces, its more delicate indications, and its more retired sufferings, he is much less successful. The scene, for instance, between Antonio and Mellida, in the prison of the latter, appears to us to be a failure, although, at the same time, it contains two or three touches of true feeling. The character of Sophonisba is somewhat attractive—there is an innocent fearlessness and boldness in the avowal of her feelings towards Massinissa, though a want of delicacy in the expression; and a devoted grandeur of soul in the sacrifice of her life to preserve the honour of her husband; which must find favour with the reader. The execution of the portrait is, however, vastly inferior to the conception of it. The tender and confiding passion of Belinda for Freewill, in the Dutch Courtezan, in spite of appearances being against him, is a beautiful moral picture amidst grossness and deformity. The expedient of Dulcimel, in the Parasitaster, not only to deceive the doting old coxcomb her father, but to make him the unwitting messenger of her wishes, and the contriver of their gratification, is pleasantly managed. The same sort of contrivance is resorted to in Moliere's L'Ecole des Femmes.

The greater part of Marston's male characters, in his comedies, are of the description to which we have before alluded. There is a want of invention in his situations, and of variety in his humour. His mind was too stubborn'and unbending to accommodate itself to the various follies of his time, and to assume their shape and bearing. With strong notions of moral rectitude, he had not the slightest toleration for deviations from them, and no other resource for correcting or reforming them than to apply his satirical lash, and then he was happy-for in this his power laid, and he felt that it did.

ART. VIII.-The Sacred Theory of the Earth: containing an

Account of the Original of the Earth, and of all the General Changes which it hath already undergone, or is to undergo, till the Consummation of all Things. The two first Books concerning the Deluge, and concerning Paradise. The two Last Books concerning the Burning of the World, and concerning the New Heavens und New Earth. Folio, 1691.



It is something like these magnificent questions which this book undertakes to answer and explain; and though the investigations of succeeding philosophers may have proved the system, in which these answers are conveyed, incorrect in particulars and untenable as a whole, yet the undying and embalming charms which imagination, liveliness of fancy, and eloquence of diction can bestow, will ever preserve it for the entertainment and instruction of posterity. They, who are indifferent to science, will find, in this Theory of the Earth, a philosophical romance which delights by its admirable contrivances, its vigorous language, its noble descriptions of the stupendous objects of nature, its new views of ages and of scenes, which, though they never rolled over this habitable globe, easily might, and which if they did not, one cannot help wishing they had. All that is grand and awful in mundane commotions, in a deluge, or in a conflagration, of a world, is here described, by a pencil that puts the picture before the eyes. Those blissful ages, when storms and winds, nd changes of seasons, were unknown in a globe of perpetual spring, when centuries were as years, and the human frame rejoiced in the purity and pellucidness of the atmosphere, which fed instead of corroding it, are here not only presented to the imagination, but almost proved to the understanding. And with a pen of equal power, are sketched the close of the world, the moment when the foundations of the earth sink, its joints and ligatures burst asunder, the mountains melt, and the sea is evaporated.

Our readers will probably remember, that this book called forth the admiration of Addison, and that he dedicated one of the Spectators to it, and wrote a Latin ode in its praise. The Theory itself was originally published in Latin, and the

present work is a translation, or rather a recomposition, written with great spirit, though in the opinion of some, the author felt more at home, and expressed his ideas with greater freedom and richness, in the dead language, than in his vernacular tongue. Such as it is, however, we are confident our readers will receive pleasure from the account of it, which we shall proceed to give, after having said a few words concerning the writer himself.

Dr. Burnet was the Master of the Charter House, and must be distinguished from the celebrated Bishop of that name, whose contemporary he was. He was educated at Cambridge, and became a fellow of Christ College in that University. In standing, he was a good deal junior to Dr. Cudworth, the master of that college, but soon became signally attached to him, and formed one of a very high, but singular band of philosophers, who illuminated Cambridge at that time, with More and Cudworth at their head. After travelling with, successively, the sons of two of the most considerable noblemen of the time, and being universally admired for the depth of his learning, and the ingenuity and polish of his conversation, he became settled as the Master of the Charter-House. In this retreat, he gave birth to some publications, which met with a bigoted interpretation from some quarters, and raised a most unjust clamour of infidelity against as pious and sincere a believer, as ever adorned the ranks of Christianity. This cry is said, however, to have lost him the See of Canterbury.-The act of his life, however, for which we, as Englishmen and freemen, owe him most gratitude, is the resistance, which, in his station of Master of the Charter-House, he made to James II., who was attempting to force an individual on that establishment, without taking the oaths of abjuration. In spite of considerable opposition, he effectually succeeded in excluding him, under circumstances which would have appalled or corrupted almost any other man of his rank and station. He thus gave the first example of resistance to the wild and arbitrary schemes of that infatuated monarch, and prepared the way for the happy deliverance from his tyrannical attempts which soon after took place. Dr. Burnet had the more merit in this adherence to the constitution, for he had been distinguished with considerable marks of favour by Charles II., and might have been supposed in his gratitude to have lost sight of the cause of freedom." But Dr. Burnet knew precisely where loyalty ended and servility began, and thus set an example to all men, who spend their time in the retreats of learning and science, not to forget the duties of the man and the citizen in the pursuits of the scholar. But to return to the Theory of the Earth, which is his chief and most remarkable work, and highly deserving of our attention, though the manner in which it has been handled by the scientific reader, who only looked for truth

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