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mouth; neither, of course, does moral to supplant the earnest feeling and finer
ogy for the omission is even worse than the
which does not project on paper the very
From The Spectator. image which was projected upon the auMR. BENNETT’S ILLUSTRATIONS TO BUN. thor's brain." As, therefore, Bunyan had YAN.
only the Midland Counties in his mind's As a series of typical heads embodying eye, as he had never seen mountains or dethe abstract ideas of Bunyan's story, and mons, or anything beyond sober Bedford adding form and feature to the life which tradesmen, “and was much too honest a had been given already, these illustrations man to indulge his fancy without warrant are perfect. To say that they increase our of fact” as even the three shining ones who respect for the late C. H. Bennett's power met Christian at the foot of the cross were would most inadequately describe the new only three poor women who sat at a door light in which they place him. It often in the sun and talked with Bunyan, ideal happens that when a man who has had a drawings are wholly out of place. The number of small successes attempts any- Valley of the Shadow of Death, for inthing great, the only result is to remind us stance, is not described “objectively for unfavourably of the qualities which first the sake of the grand and terrible, but subearned our approval. We might have jectively for the sake of the man who feared some such collapse as this when the passes through it;" and, therefore, Bunyan artful designer of the “Shadows" ven- names merely, and that without an epitured to grapple with the Pilgrim's Pro- thet, all its satyrs, hobgoblins, snares, gins, gress. The very cleverness which told so and pitfalls.” The consequence of this well in those drawings might be expected theory is that instead of depicting the
· Valley of the Shadow of Death,” Mr. Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress: Illustrated by Bennett has given us merely a queer shape Charles Kingsley. London : Bradbury and Evans with straggling arms coming out of a heart,
the late Charles H. Bennett.
and whispering at the ear of a man in ar- truly original. We are inclined to give mour. If this image was ever projected the palm to the portrait of Discretion, the on Bunyan's brain he must at least have grave and beautiful damsel” who was seen one sight which the Midland Counties called out by Watchful the Porter to recould not boast. It is true, the image is ceive Christian at the gate of the palace. subjective rather than objective. But this When we have said that her face fully andoes not mend matters. If we might dis- swers to that description, we have done all cuss such a point with the author of Phae- that is necessary. Such a word-painter as thon, we should say that the artist must Mr. Kingsley might enlarge on the grand work by means of the objective, and leave curve of the outline of her face, her deep the subjective to take care of itself. The earnest eyes, the silent eloquence of her author, on the other hand, cannot help let- lips, her rapt attention looking like repose. ting the subjective predominate. No verbal But all those expressions would not teach description of satyrs and hobgoblins can give Mr. Bennett to project a more striking imthe same effect as the terror they produced age on paper, nor would they show why in Christian. But as that terror is a state Prudence just falls short of Discretion, but of the mind, and a picture can only repre- is worthy to be named with her. Indeed, sent an outward show, the best it can do is some of Prudence's features are better, esto give us the cause of terror. And this pecially the chin and neck. In his better distinction makes Mr. Kingley's mistake class of male faces Mr. Bennett is rather more evident. The author and the artist are too German. His Evangelist is almost of two men seeking the same end by different the modern school. Christian and Faithful means. So long as they attain that end, it are more distinctive. Help and Greatheart does not matter from what point they start, are too much alike, and this near agreeor how far they agree on the journey. Both ment in many of the types is not wholly are judged by the effect they actually pro- satisfactory. Sometimes it is suggestive, as duce, not by that which they may be sup- where Experience and Hypocrisy, Knowlposed to have intended to produce. Mr. edge and Legality appear to have been Kingsley assumes that Bunyan thought in taken from the same faces, and to have been pictures, that these pictures were such as but slightly varied. Yet though Bunyan did he always saw around him, that anything not always alter his types, putting in two which he did not see was vague and un- kinds of mistrust, and following up Timormeaning to him, and that he must not have ous by Mr. Fearing, at least there was a credit for more than the scantiest varia- change in circumstances. The artist has tions on a bare and meagre original. If not the same chances. We are apt to acthis be so, it is the more surprising that cuse him of poverty of invention when the the effect produced on the world should author earns the praise of skilful gradation. have been so very different. There are However, though Mr. Bennett does repeat few that have not believed in the reality of himself, he is rich in variety. What will Apollyon and the fiends of the pit, of the impress the world at large most favourably lions and the archers, of Giant Despair and is his stock of unpleasant faces. In these the Slough of Despond, of the Enchanted his strength comes out fully and palpably, Ground and the Delectable Mountains. although it occasionally leads him into carThis belief does not proceed from any de- icature, and though the result is of a lower tailed description, from any attempt at order than the one which culminates in Dis
word-painting," by which the idea that cretion and Prudence. The pigheaded face we all form would be clouded, instead of of Obstinate, and the little half-closed pig's being rendered more vivid. Nor is it eyes of Self-Conceit; the foolish wonder of shaken by the natural inference that the Pliable, the strait-laced, stiff-necked stare author of the story did not catch all the of Formalist, the blear-eyed cynicism of details suggested by his curt, matter-of- Mistrust; the firm, heavily cut nose and fact recital.
brow of Pride; the simpering leer of But we must not allow our differences Shame; the old Adam, a cross between an with Mr. Kingsley to divert us from con- agricultural labourer of the worst type and sidering Mr. Bennett's pictures. The first a Fenian, my Lord Timeserver uttering his point that strikes the least observing eye is toothless flatteries, Worldly Glory, with that the artist has formed his style on that of the exact look of an old German general, Ilans Holbein. Some of the heads seem to and Vain Confidence, bearing the saine have been taken directly from old German resemblance to an Italian leader of merengravings. Others preserve the spirit of cenaries, are the most dramatic features of those masters without suggesting an actual the series. To some extent we have all likeness. The finest heads are still more these gradations in miniature when we look at the picture of the jury. The art dis- merely well versed in our dramatic literaplayed there is not so high, but we might ture, but also in the Latin writers — Senealmost pick out each particular juryman by ca, Juvenal, and others — from whom the his expression, and assign to each mouth stage writers before the Restoration drew the saying that came out of it. Lord Hate liberally. It was, perhaps, scarcely worth good, the judge, is a shade too temperate while to break upon a wheel such butterflies in his atrocity. But for that, bis beetle as the preceding editors of Massinger brows, the corner of his mouth, the seams Coxeter and Mason. But Gifford, besides in his face curling round like a wave and being almost a lifelong invalid, and editor cresting in his double chin, would be in of a then very pugnacious journal, had in keeping with the set glare of his eyes. him a good deal of the spirit of the ScaliThe allegorical vignettes of “ Vanity Fair gers, the elder Gronovius, George Steevens, come under the censure we have already, and Porson none of whom were wont to expressed. It is unfortunate that Mr. deal complimentary phrases to their editoBennett should shrink from reproducing | rial brethren. the most characteristic parts of the book, The plan and size of this edition did not while he shows us what he can do with those admit of footnotes, but the Introductory which have seemed secondary. Yet in the Notice and the Glossary furnish nearly all same way he disappoints us most with the that ordinary readers will require. He who figures to which we look with the greatest makes Massinger his study will have recuriosity. There may be doubts how course to Gifford, but an edition which may Worldly Wiseman should be drawn. Mr. be read with pleasure, and does not tax the Bennett has not solved them by giving us pocket heavily, merits a kindly welcome. a face which seems the exact portrait of In one respect indeed the volume before us the late Cardinal. We do not know whether is more complete than any former edition this likeness was an intentional caricature, of Massinger's works, since it contains a or whether the characters of the Cardinal play long supposed to have been one of the and his worldly namesake were thought to many victims to the oven and piepans of coincide. But in any point of view the re- herald Warburton's ever-memorable cooksemblance is curious. The juxtaposition maid. Believe as You List will not add was probably tempting.
much to its author's reputation. It wears the aspect of a play written in haste for some particular occasion, and it shows also tokens of other hands besides Massinger's.
The way in which it has been reclaimed, From The Saturday Review.
however, as described in the Introductory THE PLAYS OF PHILIP MASSINGER.*
Notice, is very creditable to Colonel CunCOLONEL CUNNINGHAM, by this handy ningham's editorial sagacity: and indeed handsome volume of the Plays The life of Massinger, like that of so of Massinger, has supplied a void long ex- many of his contemporaries who wrote for isting in popular collections of our old the stage, was passed amid difficulties and dramatists. The four-volume edition of distress; and, in his case, the causes of Gifford was always costly, and has now be- distress are not easy to understand. To come scarce; and the reprint of it in one all appearance he had a fair start in life. volume (1841) is cumbrous, and not very He had a good education, completed at the remarkable for correctness of type. The University, the traces of which are visible castigated edition forming a portion of in all that remains of his writings; and he Murray's Cabinet Library did not satisfy inherited from his father Arthur the patronthe real students of dramatic literature, and age of the noble family of the Herberts, at yet did not find favour with readers who a time when a patron was almost as essenaccount all plays, whether Bowdlerized or tial as a manager to every one who wrote not, abominations. Colonel Cunningham has for the stage. There is no ground for imwisely adhered to Gifford's text; for, both puting to Philip Massinger such a life and as regards text and comment, the first real conversation as wrecked, not undeservedly, editor of Massinger left little to be done by the fortunes of Peele and Marlowe. Yet others. Into this, his first editorial essay, after a time we find his prospects suddenly, Gifford put his full force, and that force was and, as it seems, irretrievably, overcast. of no common order, since he was not It is agreed that he quitted St. Alban's
Hall, Oxford, abruptly, and it has been surThe Plays of Philip Massinger,, from the Text of mised that his conversion to the Church of William Gifford; with the addition of the Tragedy Rome — a political, almost as much as a
Edited by Lieut.-Colonel F. Cunningham. London: Crocker.
religious, offence in those days — was the
" Belicve as You List."
cause of his doing so, and that it lost him, erty infused a democratic bitterness into
The lines are
Whosoe'er beyond desert commends Church líving, or an underling's place at Errs more by much than he that reprehends : Court or in a noble household, was the For praise misplaced, and honour set upon highest object of his studies and his ambi- A worthless object, is distraction.
I cannot sin so hcre, unless I went tion. The prices, however, paid to dra- About to style you only excellent. matic authors, if the value of money at the Apollo's gifts are not confined alone time be taken into account, were by no To your dispose, he hath more heirs than one. means contemptible; and, besides what man. And such as do derive from his blest hand agers Alleyne or Henslowe might pay, the A large inheritance in the poet's land worth of a dedication was at least forty | As well as you ; nor are you, I assure shillings. Of such adjuncts to housekeep- Myself, so envious, but you can endure ing Massinger enjoyed at least a fair amount. To hear their praise, whose worth long since was He held the pen of a ready writer, and his
known plays appear to have been generally well and justly too preferred before your own. received by audiences; yet in 1615, several I knew you'd take it for an injury years after he commenced writing for the (And ’tis a well becoming inodesty) theatre, we find bim, in conjunction with To be parallel’d with Beaumont, or to hear other bedfellows in misery, humbly suing Unequall’d Jonson ; being men whose fire,
Your name by some too partial friend writ near Philip Henslowe for a sinall advance of At distance and with reverence, you admire money.
• How much money have you, Do so, and you shall find your gain will be Master Matthew ?” was a question he was Much more, by yielding them priority, often asked; and his writings display a Than with a certainty of loss to hold close and unhappy familiarity with the A foolish competition.
painful family" of debt, hunger, rags, the spunging-house, and the sheriff's officer. From the tenor of Thomas Jay's advice, We can scarcely 'imagine him to have which is far better than his verses,
it might paraded, as Euripides was taxed with do- appear that Massinger had been indulging ing, the rage and the wallet of Telephus in some thrasonical vein, or in some unand Peleus, merely from a taste for pictur- seemly complaints about his position among esque mendicancy. We may indeed dis- writers for the stage in the year 1630, for card Coleridge's supposition that his pov- in that year his drama of The Picture was
printed for the first and only time. Yet, that he composed rapidly we learn from a on the other hand, there is a generally contemporary poet cited by Langbaine : sober tone in his plays, and an absence of servility in his dedications
Massinger that knows
if they are the strength of plot to write in verse and prose ; compared with that class of addresses cur- Whose easy Pegasus will amble o’er rent at the time — which may lead us to Some threescore miles of fancy in an hour. think better of him, and to give him credit, poor as he undoubtedly was for many years, Yet, if he wrote quickly, he must have corfor modesty and dignitied self-respect. And rected leisurely, since in his verse there are this opinion is in some measure confirmed po marks of the fatal facility which augurs by Gifford, who remarks that the commend- haste rather than speed. “ Next to the atory verses prefixed to his dramas dwell grace and dignity of sentiment in Massinmore on the moral worth than on the genius ger," says Mr. Hallam, a favourable but of their author. There were literary fac- not a partial judge of his plays, we must tions and literary wars in the days of Éliza- praise those qualities in his style. Every beth and James, as well as in the days when modern critic has been struck by the peculDryden and Settle, Pope and Cibber, wres- iar beauty of his language. In his barmotled with one another in the arena of abuse. nious swell of numbers, in his pure and But the records of Massinger's life are too genuine idiom, we find an unceasing charm.”' scanty to warrant even in surmising Such graces are not to be earned by a poet whether he took part with Ben Jonson, or with his foes, Marston and Decker. Gifford Ut magnum, versus dictabat, stans pede in uno.
qui in hora sæpe ducentos, indeed remarks that it is evident that there “ was little cordiality between Jonson and Copartnership in the composition of plays our author; the former could bear no rival was not merely a convenience for the writers near the throne." We require the evidence of them, some of whom might be devoid of for this assertion; at best it is merely neg- tragic and others of comic powers, but also ative.
in some degree a necessity of the theatre in The evidence for Massinger's extreme the time of Massinger. The playhouse was poverty rests principally upon two or three the general purveyor of public amusement, sentences in the dedications of his Great its only rival being the bear-garden, and Duke of Florence, licensed for the Queen's that, in the course of Elizabeth's reign, had servants, July 5, 1627, and of his Maid of begun to fail in attraction.
The stage Honour, probably licensed a year later. afforded at least three avenues to literary Their author had then been writing for the men; one, the mending or altering of plays stage for at least ten years. To Sir Robert that had gone out of fashion, or of plays Wiseman, to whom the earlier dedication imperfectly constructed; another, the comwas addressed, he writes:-“For myself, bination of two or three writers in one I will freely, and with a zealous thankful- piece, so that the copy might be the sooner ness, acknowledge that for many years I ready for representation; and the third, had but faintly subsisted, if I had not often sole and single authorship. We may reasontasted of your bounty.” In the later dedi- ably imagine Massinger to have spent some cation he says to his most honoured friends, years in the obscure and perhaps ill-paid Sir Francis Foljambe and Sir Thomas Sabour of working upon other persons' plays Bland:-“I heartily wish that the world - in fact, in learning the business of his may take notice, and from myself, that I calling. In his next stage he is found in had not to this time subsisted, but that I conjunction with writers who have left a was supported by your frequent courtesies name Field, Decker, and others; and and favours." These passages settle the finally, he attains experience and confidence question as to Massinger's distress; but a enough to stand alone. It is impossible to statement of Langbaine's seems to point to detect such portions of the dramas bearing some improvement in his fortunes, at least Massinger's name on their title-pages as towards the close of his life :-“ He went were written by his colleagues. Field, we to bed on the 16th of March, 1640, in good know, contributed to one of his noblest health, and was found dead in the morning plays, the Fatal Dowry, and it is to be in his own house in the Bankside." The hoped that the comic scenes fell to his allotowner of a house can hardly, even in days ment of the work. Massinger, although of low rents, have died in destitution like capable of devising comic situations and poor Otway or Floyd Sydenham.
characters, does not excel in humorous or That he laboured diligently in his voca- witty dialogue, and too often, when he attion is evident from the number of plays tempts it, strives to raise a laugh by gross which he wrote, jointly or severally; and indecency. Of the sparkling rapidity of