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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 11.djvu/259

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he was styled "Juvenal" by contemporary writers, and Greene elsewhere addresses him as "a boy." That he was a "biting satirist" nobody can doubt he was the most "biting satirist " of his day.

If Nash, then, was one of the three " divers play-makers" addressed by Greene, to one of whom Chettle's apology was undoubtedly made, he was the most likely man, after Marlowe, to resent Greene's remarks. Shak- spere was not one of the "divers play- makers" so addressed, but the man against whom the three " play-makers " were warned, so that Chettle's apology could not apply to him.

ME. WILSON, if he carefully reads the passages in the 'Groats worth of Wit' and 'Kind -Harts Dreame,' may after all come over to Staunton's logical view of the situa- tion. In conclusion, MR. WILSON thanks MR. CRAWFORD "for his laborious and mas- terly articles," of which he says, "if they prove anything, it is that Bacon, if he wrote Shakspere, must also have written Ben Jonson." Not exactly. In ' N. & Q.' of 13 September last (p. 201) MR. CRAW- FORD said, " Baconians may say that Ben Jonson copied their master, or they may say vice versd ; or they may even assert, if they so choose, that Bacon wrote all Ben Jonson's work, or largely assisted to produce it" ; and immediately afterwards he writes : "Bacon's work and Bacon's phrasing are echoed and repeated throughout the work of Ben Jonson. I can best prove this statement >y confining myself almost exclusively to Jon- nn 's ' Discoveries ' "; arid he actually confesses t " many of these ' Discoveries ' flowed

t of Jonson's reading of Bacon." MR. WFORD is quite right. Jonson copied n, especially the 'Essays.' As Bacon died in 1626, and the ' Discoveries ' were not printed till 1641, it is difficult to see how Bacon could have been its author. MR. CRAW- FORD would have given us better service, I maintain, if he could have shown us the same parallelisms between the works of Bacon and Jonson published while both were alive, or between Jonson and Shakespeare, as Baconians can produce in the works of Bacon and Shakespeare, who lived practically contem- poraneously with each other. This, with his marvellous knowledge of Tudor literature, MR. CRAWFORD should easily accomplish. I await the result with anxiety.



With regard to MR. WILSON'S surmise on the subject of Jonson's alleged attack upon Shakspere during his lifetime and his warm

eulogies of him after his death, I venture to direct attention to the following, culled from my copy of ' Ben Jonson,' by John Addington Symonds (Longmans &, Co., 1888) :

" We have good right to maintain that Jonson's first real^ start in his playwright's craft was given him by Shakespeare. Yet, if one should deign to remember the nonsense vented by purblind critics at the end of last century touching Jonson's ani- mosity against Shakespeare, it is pleasant to be able to believe that their intimacy began by an act of kindness and of businesslike discernment on the

latter's part I shall take this occasion to express

my firm conviction that Jonson harboured no envy, malignity, or hostile feeling of any kind for Shake- speare. Jonson was not the man to acknowledge that Shakespeare's method was superior to his own. He therefore felt himself at liberty to criticize a dramatist whom we now place in all essential points above him. But when we examine his critique of Shakespeare, what do we find? The enthusiastic panegyric which introduces Heminge and Condell's folio of Shakespeare's plays, and which is reproduced in Jonson's ' Underwoods,' proves that though his ideal of art differed from that of Shakespeare, though he rated himself highly on attainments which the nobler poet lacked, yet he hailed in his great comrade a tragic and comic dramatist, born ' not for an age, but for all time,' who might compete with 'all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome sent forth.' "Pp. 24-6.


119, Elms Road, Clapham, S.W.

A DISMANTLED PRIORY OF BLACK CANONS AT GREAT MISSENDEN (9 th S. xi. 101). May I be allowed to comment upon MR. SIEVEKING'S note upon Great Missenden Priory? The note is very interesting to me to read, but its conclusions are, I think, in some points founded upon an error. MR. SIEVEKING expresses wonder that Henry VIII. could have utterly trodden out the powerful monastic fraternities strong in numbers and wealth, and in union with the rich mercantile classes of the towns and some of the oldest noble families so rapidly and easily as his 'overnment did, without any serious resist- ance. MR. SIEVEKING founds his astonish- ment and its justification on a statement that " four centuries and a half since they [the monks] Formed the centre of education in village and town, the centre of religion, the centre of employment for the people, their connexion with the world outside themselves," &c.

Did they 1 I ask. Has my friend read ' Piers Plowman,' Chaucer, Erasmus's ' Collo- quies "? Has he in childhood heard and fixed in his memory the traditions still repeated amongst our villagers about the monks, especially those around monastic ruins ? I have ; and they fully corroborate the con- temporary writers I allude to in representing the monasteries and convents, but especially the monasteries, not as the centres of educa-