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said that humanity was going to develop into something altogether new." 1
1 The editions of Beaumont and Fletcher are by Weber (1812), Alexander Dyce (11 vols., 1843-6), and the “Variorum editions,” now in progress, one under the direction of A. H. Bullen, the other issuing from the Pitt Press. Ten principal plays were given in the Mermaid Series (2 vols., ed. Strachey). The studies by Hazlitt and Lowell, and Ashley H. Thorndike's Influence of Beaumont and Fletcher on Shakespeare (1901), are also to be consulted.-The standard edition of Ben Jonson is that by William Gifford (9 vols., 1816), reissued with additions by Cunningham in 1875. The best plays appeared in 3 vols. of the Mermaid Series, 1893-5. The exploration of Jonson still remains very incomplete. There are suggestive introductory studies by Swinburne (cf. Fortnightly, 1888), Herford (Mermaid edition), Symonds (Canterbury Poets), Dowden, Schelling (Timber), and others; a very useful introduction to Every Man in his Humour, by H. B. Wheatley; and there are copiously annotated American editions of The Alchemist (Hathaway), Bartholomew Fair (Alden), The Staple of News (De Winter), and Poetaster (Mallory), among the "Yale Studies" of 1903-5. Add to these a brilliant causerie by T. E. Brown (New Review, xiv.) A competent edition is expected of Professor Herford.— Of Marston there are editions by Halliwell-Phillipps (1856) and A. H. Bullen (3 vols., 1887).-The standard edition of Middleton is also that of A. H. Bullen (8 vols., 1885-6); and see the essays of Swinburne, Ellis, Wiggin on the Middleton-Rowley plays, and Hugo Jung (1904).-Heywood's plays were edited by J. Pearson (6 vols. 1874), and in the Mermaid Series by Verity, 1888.-Webster's plays have been edited by Dyce (1830 and 1857), and re-edited by Hazlitt. His two best plays were edited with those of Tourneur for the Mermaid Series by J. A. Symonds. See also Elmer E. Stoll, John Webster: The Periods of his Work (1905), and an interesting criticism of The White Devil by W. W. Greg (Mod. Lang. Quarterly, December, 1900), who takes an extremely high view of the consummate art of the construction. For Webster's filchings from Sidney see Charles Crawford in Notes and Queries, October, 1904.-There are editions of Massinger by Coxeter, Gifford, Hartley Coleridge (Massinger and Ford, 1840), Cunningham, and a selection in the Mermaid Series (2 vols., ed. Symons, 1904); and for Mas
singer the student is referred to Stephen's Hours in a Library, Symons's Studies in Two Literatures, and Westminster Review, 1899. James Shirley (Dramatic Works, 6 vols., 1833, and six plays, Mermaid Series, ed. Gosse) is supplemented by Dr. Nissen's James Shirley (Hamburg, 1901).—Ford, Heywood, Dekker, and Cyril Tourneur are sufficiently represented in the Mermaid Series. For the later dramatists generally, in addition to the notes by Lamb, Coleridge, and Hazlitt, the student must refer first and foremost to the highly eulogistic studies by Swinburne in his collected essays, and then to the works of Ward, Lowell, Mezières, Jusserand, and Bodenstedt (Shakespeare's Zeit-Genossen, Berlin, 1858).
ELIZABETHAN AND JACOBEAN PROSE-I
"O all-seeing Light, and eternal Life of all things, to whom nothing is either so great that it may resist or so small that it is contemned, look upon my miserie with thine eye of mercie, and let thine infinite power vouchsafe to limite out some proportion of deliverance unto me, as to thee shall seem most convenient. Let not injurie, O Lord, triumphe over me, and let my faults by thy hands be corrected, and make not mine unjuste enemie the minister of thy Justice. But yet, my God, if in thy wisdome, this be the aptest chastisement for my inexcusable follie; if this low bondage be fittest for my over-hie desires; if the pride of my not-inough humble harte, be thus to be broken, O Lord, I yeeld unto thy will, and joyfully embrace what sorrow thou wilt have me suffer."-The famous prayer used by Charles I. in Arcadia, Book III.
John Lyly-Sidney's Arcadia-Greene-Dekker-Nash-Nicholas Breton-Hall-Overbury-Earle-James I.-Bacon.
THE first author who risked an original novel in English on his own account had a phenomenal success. This was a young man of some twenty-five summers, a grandson of the once terrible William Lilly, pedagogue and grammarian. John Lyly, as he usually called himself, was a Kentish man and was fresh from Magdalen, Oxford, when in December, 1578, he hatched the memorable novel Euphues: The Anatomie of Wit. The resounding character of the success achieved could hardly have been foreseen by any one-even by John Lyly himself. For nearly fifteen years thenceforth he became arbiter elegantiarium in all matters pertaining to literature in the court of the Great Queen. Recognised as the high priest of a political and witty fashion, he not only encroached upon the atten
tion paid by fashionable dames to the sit of a ruff or the health of a pet dog, and imposed his very phrases and sentiments upon their obedient lips, but he was even paid the sincerer homage of imitation by the greatest wits of the age, including not only Greene and Lodge, but William Shakespeare himself. The supplementary volume known as Euphues and his England appeared in 1580. Like More's Hythlodaye, Euphues is a moral philosopher who holds forth omnisciently on religion, travel, government, marriage, ethics, and every subject under the sun. Unlike Hythlodaye, he is an ineffable bore.
Lyly's highly artificial style of ornamentation has proved extremely interesting to literary archæologists. In it are to be found, as in a meeting-place, many affectations of contemporary stylists on the continent, many hints from Lyly's contemporary, the rhetor, Arthur Wilson, and not a few supposed peculiarities of Lyly's imitators and successors. What attracted Lyly's readers in the 'eighties of the sixteenth century, however, was not merely his extravagantly elaborate style, but also his high didactic manner and his judicious flattery of Englishmen and more particularly Englishwomen. Great as was his influence among the ladies of the court (who, we are told, were all Lyly's scholars), it was short-lived, and the novelist fluttered about the court a soured and discontented man until, upon his death in November, 1606, hardly any one knew anything either of the writer or his book. Neglect was its fate for over two centuries. Yet its importance in the history of English letters is something considerable, for in it first we leave epic and mediæval tales of chivalry, and approach the novel of manners. There is no longer question of Arthur and his marvellous knights, of Roland or Palmerin, of Guy of Warwick, Bevis of Hamtoun, Huon of Bordeaux, or Amadis of Gaul, but rather of contemporary men, who in spite of excessive oratorical finery
some resemblance to reality. There is some attempt, at any rate, to depict contemporary manners, and conversations are reported in which the tone of well-born persons of the period may often be detected.
Of the heirs and imitators of Lyly, the well-to-do Thomas Lodge (Rosalynde, 1590), the disreputable Robert Greene (Pandosto, 1588; Menaphon, 1589), the unscrupulous Anthony Munday (Zelauto, 1580), the edifying Brian Melbancke (Philotimus), Warner, Dickenson, Breton, Rich, Emmanuel Ford and the rest, the fact that they are the costly and exclusive delight of the antiquary and the bibliophile may be allowed to speak for itself. They were evidently written with facility during the flood-tide of an early fiction market, and so much easy writing makes uncommonly hard reading. The story in all these "novels," as we must call them, meanders now between banks of dialogue and now at its own sweet will, now through a marsh of mythology and moral instruction, and again through a mead of miscellaneous verse. But for all the flowers in the meadows and the pleasant conceits in its course, the Elizabethan novel must be pronounced to be wholly unreadable by the reader of to-day. A few of these stories claim to have been written for the delectation of the gentlemen no less than "the ladies of the court"; but in a modern view they will appear almost without exception to have been written for the benefit of very patient children.1
The popularity of Euphues and of the books which it inspired was waning when Sidney's still more famous Arcadia was first published in quarto by Ponsonbie as The
'The only writer who has made anything out of them is M. Jusserand, who in his English Novel in the Time of Shakespeare, and in vol. ii. of his Histoire Littéraire du Peuple Anglaise, has discovered a delightful method of poking sympathetic fun at their ingenuous imbecility.