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Joar Marston is supposed to have been of a fumily settled at Aftcot, in the county of Salop." Wood? imagines him to have been the same John Marston who was a student of Corpus Christi College in Orford, and was admitted B. A. February 20, 1592. He was a poet who acquired, and very deservedly, a considerable reputation, and is 3 said to have died in the former part of King Charles the First's time, aged about sixty years. He was the author of, 1. “ The Metamorphosis of Pigmalion's Image, and Certain Satires, 1598."
2. The Scourge of Villanie. Three Bookes of Satires, 1599.
Both these works were reprinted in 1764. And Mr Warton, in his Observations on Spenser's Fairy Queen, Vol. I. p. 59., says of these Satires, that they “contain many well drawn characters, and sederal good strokes of satirical genius ; but are not, upon the whole, so finished and classical as Bishop Hall's, the first part of which were published about a year before these.”
Marston sometimes assumed the name of Kinsayder; but why he did so, and from whence he adopted it, do no where appear. Under this fictitious surname, he is satirized in The Return of Parnassus, 4.1. S. 2.
“ What, Monsieur Kinsayder, lifting up your leg, and pissing against the World ? put up, man, put up for shame!"
“ Methinks he is a ruffian in his style,
Tut, what cares be for modest, close-couched terms,
When The Malcontent was first published, Marston lived in friendship with Ben Jonson, to whom he dedicated it. He, also, wrote some complimentary verses to that author, which are printed before the first edition of Sejanus in 1605. The good correspondence between them, however, was afterwards broken ; but the cause of it remains unknown.
In the next yeur, 1606, the play of Sophonisba appeared ; and in the preface is the following pas'sage, plainly levelled at the play he had just before applauded : “ Know, that I have not laboured in this Poem to relate any thing as an historian, but to enlarge every thing as a poet. To transcribe authors, quote authorities, and translate Latin prose orations into English blank verse, hath in this subject been the least aim of my studies."
Ben also, many years afterwards, spoke of Marston with some degree of acrimony: he said to Drummond of Hawthornden, that “ he fought several times with Marston ; and that the latter wrote his father-in-law's preuchings, and his father-in-law his comedies.”
Klarston was the author of the following plays :
2. Antonio's Revenge. The Second Part. As it huth beene sundry times acted by the children of Paul's, 410, 1002.
3. The Insatiate Countess; a tragedy. Acted at White Fryers, 4to, 1603 ; 4to, 1613 ; 410, 1631. 4. The Malcontent, 410, 1604. Another edition in 4to in the same year,
5. The Dutch Courtezan. As it was played in the Blacke Friars, by the children of her Majestie's Revels, 4to, 1605.
6. Parisituster ; or, The Fuwne. As it hath bene divers times presented at the Blacke Friars, by the children of the Queenės Majestic's Revels, 4to, 1606.
7. The Wonder of Women ; or, The Tragedy of Sophonisba. As it hath beene sundry times acted
8. What you will, 4to, 1607.
He was also the author of " The Argument of the Spectacle, presented to the Sacred Majestys of
The following Epigram is printed in The Scourge of Folly, by John Davies, 12mo, N. D. p. 105:
TO THE READER.
I am an ill orator; and, in truth, use to indite more honestly than eloquently, for it is my custom to speak as I think, and write as I speak.
In plainness, therefore, understand, that in some things I have willingly erred, as in supposing a Duke of Genoa, and in taking names different from that city's families : for which some may wittily accuse me; but my defence shall be as honest, as many reproofs unto me have been most inalicious. Since, I heartily protest, it was my care to write so far from reasonable offence, that even strangers, in whose state I laid my scene, should not from thence draw any disgrace to any, dead or living ; yet, in despite of my endeavours, I understand some have been most unadvisedly over-cunning in misinterpreting me, and with subtilty, as deep as hell, have maliciously spread ill rumours, which springing from themselves, might to themselves have heavily returned. Surely I desire to satisfy every firm spirit, who, in all his actions, proposeth to himself no more ends than God and virtue do, whose intentions are always simple: to such I protest, that with my free understanding I have not glanced at disgrace of any, but of those whose unquiet studies labour innovation, contempt of holy policy, reverend comely superiority, and established unity: for the rest of my supposed tartness, I fear not, but unto every worthy mind it will be approved so general and honest, as may modestly pass with the freedom of a satire. I would fain leave the paper; only one thing afflicts me, to think that scenes, invented merely to be spoken, should be inforcively published to be read, and that the least hurt I can receive is to do myself the wrong. But, since others otherwise would do me more, the least inconvenience is to be accepted : I have myself, therefore, set forth this comedy; but so, that my inforced absence must much rely upon the printer's discretion; but I shall intreat slight errors in orthography may be as slightly overpassed; and that the unhandsome shape which this trifle in reading presents, may be pardovied, for the pleasure it once afforded you, when it was presented with the soul of lively action. Sine aliqua dementia nullus Phæbus.
GIOVANNI ALTOFRONTO, disguised Malevole, | EQUATO, some time Duke of Genoa,
GUEATINO,} PIETRO Jacomo, Duke of Genoa, MEN D070, a Minion to the Duchess of Pietro Aurelia, Duchess to Duke Pielro Jacomo, Jacomo,
Marsa, Duchess to Duke Allofronto, Celso, a friend to Altofronto,
EMELIA, ) Bilioso, an old choleric Marshal,
} two Ladies attending the Duchess, PREPASSO, a Gentleman-usher,
MAQUERELLE, an old Panderess. FERNEZE, a young Courtier, and enamoured of the Duchess,
PassarELLO, Tool to Bilioso. FERRARDO, a Minion to Duke Pietro Jacomo,
W. Sly. I tell you no; I am one that hath seen Enter WILLIAM SLY;4 a Tire-mun following this play often, and can give them intelligence him with a Stool.
for their action. I have most of the jests here
in my table-book. Tire. Sir, the gentlemen will be angry if you
Enter SNKLow.8 sit here.
W. Sly. Why, we may sit upon the stage at the Sink. Save you, cuz. private house. Thou dost not take me for a W. Sly. O! cousin, come, you shall sit becountry gentleman? dost think I fear hissing? tween my legs here. I'll hold my life thou took'st me for one of the Sink. No, indeed, cousin; the audience then players ?
will take me for a viol de ganıbo,' and think l'ire. No, sir.
that you play upon me. W. Sly. By god's-slid, if you had I would have W. Sly. Nay, rather that I work upon you, given you but sixpences for your stool. Let cuz. them that have stale suits sit in the galleries. Sink. We staid for you at supper last night at Hiss at ine! He that will be laughed out of a ta- my cousin Honeymoon's, the woollen-draper's. vern, or an ordinary, shall seldom feed well, or After supper we drew cuts for a score of apribe drunk in good company. Where's Harrycots; the longest cut still to draw an apricot; Condell, 6 Dick Burbage, and William Sly? by this light, 'twas Mrs Frank Honeymoon's forLet me speak with some of them.
to have the longest cut. I did measure Tire. An't please you to go in, sir, you may.
for the women. What be these, cuz?
4 William Sly, was one of the original actors in Shakespeare's plays. His name is among those enumerated in the folio edition of his works, 1623.
5 But sixpence.-- From Chap. VI. in Dekkar's Guls Horn-book, reprinted in the last edition of Shakespeare, Vol. I. p. 80., it appears, that it was the fashion for the gallants of the times to sit on the stage on stools. We learn also that a shilling was the sum paid for them.
Harry Condell,—One of the publishers of Shakespeare's plays in folio, 1623. 7 Dick Burbage, an actor of that period.
8 Sinklow --This was a player in Shakespeare's time. His name is twice printed in that author's works, instead of the characters he performed. See Induction to The Taming of the Shrew, and the conclusion of The Second Part of King Henry IV.
9. A viol de gambo.-I'rom the name of this instrument, which is derived from the Italian, and the manner in which it appears to have been played on, I apprehend it to be the same which is now called a bass viol.