Page:Notes and Queries - Series 9 - Volume 5.djvu/347

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9*h s.v. APRIL 28, i9oo.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


339


indebted to Chetwood for some useful in- formation.

I have nothing more to say about the rela- tive merits of the comedies and the minor poems. I have not sat at the feet of Gamaliel- Hallam ; and it never occurred to me to con- sider Gifford a judge of lyric poetry MR CURRY probably knows "what porridge had John Keats." The quoted comment on Jon- son's lyrics is droll enough, but the note on "Oh do not wanton with those eyes' ('Underwoods,' 2) is Gifford's master-stroke : "If it be not the most beautiful song in the language, I freely confess, for my part, that I know not where it is to be found." Here is one verse of this perfect lyric :

0, be not angry with those fires, For then their threats will kill me ;

Nor look too kind on my desires, For then my hopes will spill me.

The authorship of 'Underneath this Sable Hearse' has provoked fruitless discussion elsewhere. Mr. A. H. Bullen's article on Browne in the ' Dictionary of National Bio- graphy' should have been consulted before penning gibes about the methods of Mr. Donnelly. A vindication of Jonson's author- ship, conducted on critical lines, will be most welcome. Whalley's statement in 1756 that the lines were " universally assigned " to Jonson is now the earliest authority for so assigning them. Browne's autograph MS. tacitly claiming them and Aubrey's asser- tion that he was the author are far older, Aubrey's statement is repeated in Aubrey MS. 6, fol. 81 b, of the Bodleian.

A personal point remains. From the phrase "a serious student," MR. CURRY, employing inverted commas of his own, has inferred that he is looked upon as " frivolous." An innuendo of that kind would be beneath criticism, and I did not indulge in it.

PERCY SIMPSON.

There is a family likeness in such elegies, tending to hyperbole, which renders specula- tion doubtful. The late Henry Morley, a frequent contributor to 'N. & Q.' and a ver- satile author, drew attention to one written on a blank page in Milton's ' Early Poems ' of 1645 ; it appears to be signed " J. M.," but, unfortunately, the Museum stamp has obscured the first initial. It opens : " He, whom Heaven did call away," and, although the metaphors are obscure, it certainly re- cords a male who wrote verse and com- muned with nature. It is dated 1647, the year in which Milton's father died, to whom the poet had inscribed a memorial in Latin verse dated 1633. It has been abridged by Mr. Beeching in his ' Paradise of Poetry,' and


is not inferior to Milton's epitaph on the Marchioness of Winchester, commencing

This rich marble doth inter. The imagery is not unworthy of Milton, for he compares his " supposed " father's remains to the ideal butterfly, which insect he apos- trophizes as his father, ending with the Christian hope of immortality :

When this cold numbness shall retreat By a more than chymick heat.

It had obviously been "thrown off," and remains unrevised. A. HALL.

Highbury, N.

What is remarked by the Editor (p. 232) is true: "The best styles admit of ornateness as well as simplicity." The first book, also the best, of 'Paradise Lost' is ornate through- out. The fine address of Satan to the sun is, I think, quite simple. There is nothing ornate in it. In the later books of ' Para- dise Lost ' Milton is often tumid rather than ornate. The style of Shakspeare's prose is sometimes, as in '1 Henry IV.,' Act II. scene iv., as good as possible ; but nothing could be worse than the first scene of ' The Winter's Tale,' that between Camillo and Archidamus. I have said that the style of Jonson's prose in his first play of ' Every Man in his Humour ' is very good ; but it is not always so in his later works. In ' The Tempest,' the latest, or one of the latest, of Shakspeare's plays, the language of Prqspero, when he informs his daughter of the circum- stances of his expulsion from his duke- dom, is tumid. Immediately afterwards the language becomes as simple as it is beautiful. Then in the inferior scenes the mannerism of Shakspeare again becomes conspicuous. In ' The Winter's Tale,' a very late play, there is continued turgidity in the verse of the first three acts, and in most of the serious prose ; but most of the verse and prose becomes excellent and simple when Perdita's story begins. 'Antony and Cleopatra,' ' Cymbe- line,' ' Coriolanus,' late plays, have much of this mannerism to which I have referred. So have other plays, late, but not so late as the above-mentioned, such as 'Macbeth,' 'King Lear,' 'Measure for Measure,' 'Othello.' But we see little of it in ' Hamlet,' ' Julius Jsesar,' ' As You Like It,' ' Romeo and Juliet,' Henry IV.,' 'Merchant of Venice,' 'Mid- summer Night's Dream.' Generally we can distinguish between Shakspeare's earlier and ater plays by the growth of his ugly mannerism. Sometimes, however, the style seems to mislead us as to the date of the

y. I should have said from its style

hat 'Twelfth Night' was after 'Julius