John Lyly
by John Dover Wilson
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PHAO. It were best then that your Ladyship give me leave to be gone: for I can but sigh.

SAPHO. Nay stay: for now I beginne to sighe, I shall not leave though you be gone. But what do you thinke best for your sighing to take it away?

PHAO. Yew, Madame.


PHAO. No, Madame, yewe of the tree.

SAPHO. Then will I love yewe the better, and indeed I think it should make me sleepe too, therefore all other simples set aside, I will simply use onely yewe.

PHAO. Doe Madame: for I think nothing in the world so good as yewe[116].

[116] Sapho and Phao, Act III. Sc. IV. 60-85.

Altogether there is a great increase in general vitality in this play. Lyly draws nearer to the conception of ideal comedy. "Our interest," he tells us in his Prologue, "was at this time to move inward delight not outward lightnesse, and to breede (if it might be) soft smiling, not loud laughing"; and to this end he tends to minimize the purely farcical element. The pages are still present, but they are balanced by a group of Sapho's maids-in-waiting who discuss the subject of love upon the stage with great frankness and charm. Mileta, the leader of this chorus, is, we may suspect, a portrait drawn from life; she is certainly much more convincing than the somewhat shadowy Campaspe. The figures in Lyly's studio are limited in number—Camilla, Lucilla, Campaspe, Mileta, all come from the same mould: in Pandion we may discover Euphues under a new name, and the surly Vulcan is only another edition of the "crabbed Diogenes." And yet each of these types becomes more life-like as he proceeds, and if the puppets that he left to his successors were not yet human, they had learnt to walk the stage without that angularity of movement and jerkiness of speech which betray the machine.

Departing for a moment from the strictly chronological order, and leaving Gallathea for later treatment, we pass on to Endymion, the second of the allegorical dramas, and, without doubt, the boldest in conception and the most beautiful in execution of all Lyly's plays. The story is founded upon the classical fable of Diana's kiss to the sleeping boy, but its arrangement and development are for the most part of Lyly's invention: indeed, he was obliged to frame it in accordance with the facts which he sought to allegorize. All critics are agreed in identifying Cynthia with Elizabeth and Endymion with Leicester, but they part company upon the interpretation of the play as a whole. The story is briefly as follows. Endymion, forsaking his former love Tellus, contracts an ardent passion for Cynthia, who, in accordance with her character as moon-goddess, meets his advances with coolness. Tellus determines to be revenged, and, by the aid of a sorceress Dipsas, sends the youth into a deep sleep from which no one can awaken him. Cynthia learns what has befallen, and although she does not suspect Tellus, she orders the latter to be shut up in a castle for speaking maliciously of Endymion. She then sends Eumenides, the young man's great friend, to seek out a remedy. This man is deeply in love with Semele, who scorns his passion, and therefore, when he reaches a magic fountain which will answer any question put to it, he is so absorbed with his own troubles as almost to forget those of his friend. A carefully thought-out piece of writing follows, for he debates with himself whether to use his one question for an enquiry about his love or his sleeping friend. Friendship and duty conquer at length, and, looking into the well, he discovers that the remedy for Endymion's sickness is a kiss from Cynthia's lips. He returns with his message, the kiss is given, Endymion, grown old after 40 years' sleep, is restored to youth, the treachery of Tellus is discovered and eventually forgiven, and the play ends amid a peal of marriage bells. Endymion, however, is left unmarried, knowing as he does that lowly and distant worship is all he can be allowed to offer the virgin goddess. The play, of course, has a farcical underplot which is only connected very slightly with the main story by Sir Tophas' ridiculous passion for Dipsas. His love in fact is presented as a kind of caricature of Endymion's, and he is the laughing-stock of a number of pages who gambol and play pranks after the usual manner of Lyly's boys. The solution of the allegory lies mainly in the interpretation of Tellus' character, and I cannot but agree with Mr Bond when he decides that Tellus is Mary Queen of Scots. He is perhaps less convincing where he pairs Endymion with Sidney, and Semele with Penelope Devereux, the famous Stella. Lastly we may notice his suggestion that Tophas may be Gabriel Harvey, which certainly appears to be more probable than Halpin's theory that Stephen Gosson is here meant[117]. But the whole question is one of such obscurity, and of so little importance from the point of view of my argument, that I shall not attempt to enter further into it.

[117] Halpin, Oberon's Vision, Shakespeare Society, 1843.

In Endymion Lyly shows that his mastership of St Paul's has increased his knowledge of stage-craft. For example, while Campaspe contains at least four imaginary transfers in space in the middle of a scene, Endymion has only one: and it is a transfer which requires a much smaller stretch of imagination than the constant appearance of Diogenes' tub upon the stage whenever and wherever comic relief was considered necessary. There is improvement moreover in characterization. But the interesting thing about this play is Shakespeare's intimate knowledge of it, visible chiefly in the Midsummer Night's Dream. The well-known speech of Oberon to Puck, directing him to gather the "little western flower," is to all intents and purposes a beautiful condensation of Lyly's allegory. One would like, indeed, to think that there was something more than fancy in Mr Gollancz's suggestion that Shakespeare when a boy had seen this play of Lyly's acted at Kenilworth, where Leicester entertained Elizabeth; little William going thither with his father from the neighbouring town of Stratford. But however that may be, Endymion certainly had a peculiar fascination for him; we may even detect borrowings from the underplot. Tophas' enumeration of the charms of Dipsas[118] foreshadows Thisbe's speech over the fallen Pyramus[119], while, did we not know Lyly's play to be the earlier, we might suspect the page's song near the sleeping knight to be a clumsy caricature of the graceful songs of the fairies guarding Titania's dreams. Again there are parallels in Shakespeare's earliest comedy Love's Labour's Lost. Sir Tophas, who is undoubtedly modelled upon Roister Doister, reappears with his page, as Armado with his attendant Moth. And I have no doubt that many other resemblances might be discovered by careful investigation. We cannot wonder that Endymion attracted Shakespeare, for it is the most "romantic" of all Lyly's plays. Indistinctness of character seems to be in keeping with an allegory of moonshine; and even the mechanical action cannot spoil the poetical atmosphere which pervades the whole. Here if anywhere Lyly reached the poetical plane. He speaks of "thoughts stitched to the starres," of "time that treadeth all things down but truth," of the "ivy which, though it climb up by the elme, can never get hold of the beames of the sunne," and the play is full of many other quaint poetical conceits.

[118] Endymion, Act III. Sc. II. ll. 30-60.

[119] Cp. also Shakespeare, Sonnet CXXX.

From the point of view of drama, however, it cannot be considered equal to the third of the allegorical plays. As a man of fashion Lyly was nothing if not up to date. In August 1588 the great Armada had made its abortive attack upon Cynthia's kingdom, and twelve months were scarcely gone before the industrious Court dramatist had written and produced on the stage an allegorical satire upon his Catholic Majesty Philip, King of Spain. Though it contains compliments to Elizabeth, Midas is more of a patriotic than a purely Court play. The story, with but a few necessary alterations, comes from Ovid's Metamorphoses[120]. It is the old tale of the three wishes. Love, power, and wealth are offered, and Midas chooses the last. But he soon finds that the gift of turning everything to gold has its drawbacks. Even his beard accidentally becomes bullion. He eventually gets rid of his obnoxious power by bathing in a river. The fault of the play is that there are, as it were, two sections; for now we are introduced to an entirely new situation. The King chances upon Apollo and Pan engaged in a musical contest, and, asked to decide between them, gives his verdict for the goat-foot god. Apollo, in revenge, endows him with a pair of ass's ears. For some time he manages to conceal them; but "murder will out," for the reeds breathe the secret to the wind. Midas in the end seeks pardon at Apollo's shrine, and is relieved of his ears. At the same time he abandons his project of invading the neighbouring island of Lesbos, to which continual references are made throughout the play. This island is of course England; the golden touch refers to the wealth of Spanish America, while, if Halpin be correct, Pan and Apollo signify the Catholic and the Protestant faith respectively. We may also notice, in passing, that the ears obviously gave Shakespeare the idea of Bottom's "transfiguration."

[120] XI. 85-193.

The weakness of the play, as I have said, lies in its duality of action. In other respects, however, it is certainly a great advance on its predecessors, especially in its underplot, which is for the first time connected satisfactorily with the main argument. Motto, the royal barber, in the course of his duties, obtains possession of the golden beard: and the history of this somewhat unusual form of treasure affords a certain amount of amusing farcical relief. It is stolen by one of the Court pages, Motto recovers it as a reward for curing the thief's toothache, but he loses it again because, being overheard hinting at the ass's ears, he is convicted of treason by the pages, and is blackmailed in consequence. From this it will be seen that the underplot is more embroidered with incident and is, in every way, better arranged than in the earlier plays.

We must now turn to the pastoral plays, Gallathea, The Woman in the Moon, and Love's Metamorphosis, which we may consider together since their stories, uninspired by any allegorical purpose beyond general compliments to the Queen, do not require any detailed consideration. And yet it should be pointed out that this distinction between Lyly's allegorical and pastoral plays is more apparent than real. There are shepherds in Midas, the Queen appears under the mythological title of Ceres in Love's Metamorphosis. Such overlapping however is only to be expected, and the division is at least very convenient for purposes of classification. Lyly's pastoral plays form, as it were, a link between the drama and the masque; indeed, when we consider that all the Elizabethan dramatists were students of Lyly, it is possible that comedy and masque may have been evolved from the Lylian mythological play by a process of differentiation. It may be that our author increased the pastoral element as the arcadian fashion came into vogue, but this argument does not hold of Gallathea, while we are uncertain as to the date of Love's Metamorphosis. None of these plays are worth considering in detail, but each has its own particular point of interest. In Gallathea this is the introduction of girls in boys' clothes. As far as I know, Lyly is the first to use the convenient dramatic device of disguise. How effective a trick it was, is proved by the manner in which later dramatists, and in particular Shakespeare, adopted it. Its full significance cannot be appreciated by us to-day, for the whole point of it was that the actors, who appeared as girls dressed up as boys, were, as the audience knew, really boys themselves; a fact which doubtless increased the funniness of the situation. The Woman in the Moon gives us a man disguised in his wife's clothes, which is a variation of the same trick. But the importance of The Woman lies in its poetical form. Most Elizabethan scholars have decided that this play was Lyly's first dramatic effort, on the authority of the Prologue, which bids the audience

"Remember all is but a poet's dream, The first he had in Phoebus' holy bower, But not the last, unless the first displease."

But the maturity and strength of the drama argue a fairly considerable experience in its author, and we shall therefore be probably more correct if we place it last instead of first of Lyly's plays, interpreting the words of the Prologue as simply implying that it was Lyly's first experiment in blank verse, inspired possibly by the example of Marlowe in Tamburlaine and of Shakespeare in Love's Labour's Lost[121]. But, whatever its date, The Woman in the Moon must rank among the earliest examples of blank verse in our language, and, as such, its importance is very great. In Love's Metamorphosis there is nothing of interest equal to those points we have noticed in the other two plays of the same class. The only remarkable thing, indeed, about it is the absence of that farcical under-current which appears in all his other plays. Mr Bond suggests, with great plausibility, that such an element had originally appeared, but that, because it dealt with dangerous questions of the time, perhaps with the Marprelate controversy, it was expunged.

[121] Bond, III. p. 234.

It now remains to say a few words upon Mother Bombie, which forms the fourth division of Lyly's dramatic writings. Though it presents many points of similarity in detail to his other plays, its general atmosphere is so different (displaying, indeed, at times distinct errors of taste) that I should be inclined to assign it to a friend or pupil of Lyly, were it not bound up with Blount's Sixe Court Comedies[122], and therein said to be written by "the onely Rare Poet of that time, the wittie, comical, facetiously quicke, and unparalleled John Lilly master of arts." It is clever in construction, but undeniably tedious. It shows that Lyly had learnt much from Udall, Stevenson, and Gascoigne, and perhaps its chief point of interest is that it links these writers to the later realists, Ben Jonson, and that student of London life, who is surely one of the most charming of all the Elizabethan dramatists, whimsical and delightful Thomas Dekker. Mother Bombie was an experiment in the drama of realism, the realism that Nash was employing so successfully in his novels. It has been labelled as our earliest pure farce of well-constructed plot and literary form, but, though it is certainly on a much higher plane than Roister Doister, it would only create confusion if we denied that title to Udall's play. Yet, despite its comparative unimportance, and although it is evident that Lyly is here out of his natural element, Mother Bombie is interesting as showing the (to our ideas) extraordinary confusion of artistic ideals which, as I have already noticed, is the remarkable thing about the Renaissance in England. Here we have a courtier, a writer of allegories, of dream-plays, the first of our mighty line of romanticists, producing a somewhat vulgar realistic play of rustic life. There is nothing anomalous in this. "Violence and variation," which someone has described as the two essentials of the ideal life, were certainly the distinguishing marks of the New Birth; and the men of that age demanded it in their literature. The drama of horror, the drama of insanity, the drama of blood, all were found on the Elizabethan stage, and all attracted large audiences. People delighted to read accounts of contemporary crime; often these choice morsels were dished up for them by some famous writer, as Kyd did in The Murder of John Brewer. The taste for realism is by no means a purely 19th century product. Moreover, the Elizabethans soon wearied of sameness; only a writer of the greatest versatility, such as Shakespeare, could hope for success, or at least financial success; and it was, perhaps, in order to revive his waning popularity that Lyly took to realism. But the child of fashion is always the earliest to become out of date, and we cannot think that Mother Bombie did much towards improving our author's reputation.

[122] For title-page, Bond, III. p. 1, date 1632.

At this point of our enquiry it will be as well to say a few words upon the lyrics which Lyly sprinkled broadcast over his plays. From an aesthetic point of view these are superior to anything else he wrote. "Foreshortened in the tract of time," his novel, his plays, have become forgotten, and it is as the author of Cupid and my Campaspe played that he is alone known to the lover of literature. There is no need to enter into an investigation of the numerous anonymous poems which Mr Bond has claimed for him[123]; even if we knew for certain that he was their author, they are so mediocre in themselves as to be unworthy of notice, scarcely I think of recovery. But let us turn to the songs of his dramas, of which there are 32 in all. These are, of course, unequal in merit, but the best are worthy to be ranked with Shakespeare's lyrics, and our greatest dramatist was only following Lyly's example when he introduced lyrics into his plays. I have already pointed out that music was an important element in our early comedy. Udall had introduced songs into his Roister Doister, and we have them also in Gammer Gurton and Damon and Pithias, but never, before Lyly's day, had they taken so prominent a part in drama, for no previous dramatist had possessed a tithe of Lyly's lyrical genius. Every condition favoured our author in this introduction of songs into his plays. He had tradition at his back; he was intensely interested in music, and probably composed the airs himself; and lastly he was master of a choir school, and would therefore use every opportunity for displaying his pupils' voices on the stage. Too much stress, however, must not be laid upon this last condition, because Lyly had already written three songs for Campaspe and four for Sapho and Phao before he became connected with St Paul's, a fact which points again to de Vere, himself a lyrist of considerable powers, as Lyly's adviser and master. Doubts, indeed, have been cast upon Lyly's authorship of these lyrics on the ground that they are omitted from the first edition of the plays. But we need, I think, have no hesitation in accepting Lyly as their creator, since the omission in question is fully accounted for by the fact that they were probably written separately from the plays, and handed round amongst the boys together with the musical score[124]. These songs are of various kinds and of widely different value. We have, for example, the purely comic poem, probably accompanied by gesture and pantomime, such as the song of Petulus from Midas, beginning, "O my Teeth! deare Barber ease me," with interruptions and refrains supplied by his companion and the scornful Motto. Many of these songs, indeed, are cast into dialogue form, sometimes each page singing a verse by himself, as in "O for a Bowle of fatt canary." This last is the earliest of Lyly's wine-songs, which for swing and vigour are among some of the best in our language, reminding us irresistibly of those pagan chants of the mediaeval wandering scholar which the late Mr Symonds has collected for us in his Wine, Women, and Song. The drinking song, "Io Bacchus," which occurs in Mother Bombie, is undoubtedly, I think, modelled on one of these earlier student compositions; the reference to the practice of throwing hats into the fire is alone sufficient to suggest it. But it is as a writer of the lyric proper that Lyly is best known. No one but Herrick, perhaps, has given us more graceful love trifles woven about some classical conceit. Mr Palgrave has familiarized us with the best, Cupid and my Campaspe played, but there are others only less charming than this. The same theme is employed in the following:

"O Cupid! Monarch over Kings! Wherefore hast thou feet and wings? Is it to show how swift thou art, When thou would'st wound a tender heart? Thy wings being clipped, and feet held still, Thy bow so many would not kill. It is all one in Venus' wanton school Who highest sits, the wise man or the fool! Fools in love's college Have far more knowledge To read a woman over, Than a neat prating lover. Nay, 'tis confessed That fools please women best[125]!"

[123] Bond, III. p. 433.

[124] Bond, I. p. 36, II. p. 265.

[125] Mother Bombie, Act III. Sc. III. 1-14.

Another quotation must be permitted. This time it is no embroidered conceit, but one of those lyrics of pure nature music, of which the Renaissance poets were so lavish, touched with the fire of Spring, with the light of hope, bird-notes untroubled by doubt, unconscious of pessimism, which are therefore all the more charming for us who dwell amid sunsets of intense colouring, who can see nothing but the hectic splendours of autumn. For the melancholy nightingale the poet has surprise and admiration, no sympathy:

"What Bird so sings, yet so does wail? O 'tis the ravished Nightingale. Jug, jug, jug, jug, tereu, she cries, And still her woes at Midnight rise. Brave prick song! who is't now we hear? None but the lark so shrill and clear; Now at heaven's gates she claps her wings, The Morn not waking till she sings. Hark, hark, with what a pretty throat Poor Robin-red-breast tunes his note. Hark how the jolly cuckoos sing 'Cuckoo' to welcome in the spring, 'Cuckoo' to welcome in the spring[126]."

[126] Campaspe, Act V. Sc. I. 32-44. I have modernised the spelling.

This delightful song comes from the first of Lyly's dramas, and few even of Shakespeare's lyrics can equal it. Indeed, coming as it does at the dawn of the Elizabethan era, it seems like the cuckoo herself "to welcome in the spring."

SECTION III. Lyly's dramatic Genius and Influence.

Having thus very briefly passed in review the various plays that Lyly bequeathed to posterity[127], we must say a few words in conclusion on their main characteristics, the advance they made upon their predecessors, and their influence on later drama.

[127] I have said nothing of the Mayde's Metamorphosis, as most critics are agreed in assigning it to some unknown author.

In Lyly, it is worth noticing, England has her first professional dramatist. Unlike those who had gone before him he was no amateur, he wrote for his living, and he wrote as one interested in the technical side of the theatre. They had played with drama, producing indeed interesting experiments, but accomplishing only what one would expect from men who merely took a lay interest in the theatre, and who possessed a certain knowledge, scholastic rather than technical, of the methods of the classical playwrights. He, having probably learnt at Oxford all there was to be known concerning the drama of the ancient world, came to London, and, definitely deciding to embark upon the dramatist's career, saw and studied such moralities and plays as were to be seen, aided and directed by the experience and knowledge of his patron: finding in the moralities, allegory; in the plays of Udall and Stevenson, farce; in Damon and Pithias, a romantic play upon a classical theme; and in Gascoigne's Supposes, brilliant prose dialogue. That he was induced to make such a study, and that he was enabled to carry it out so thoroughly, was due partly, I think, to his peculiar financial position. As secretary of de Vere, and later as Vice-master of St Paul's School, he was independent of the actual necessity of bread-winning, which forced even Shakespeare to pander to the garlic-eating multitude he loathed, and wrung from him the cry,

"Alas, 'tis true I have been here and there And made myself a motley to the view, Gored mine own thoughts, sold cheap what is most dear" ...

But, on the other hand, neither post was sufficiently remunerative to secure for him the comforts, still less the luxuries, of life. His income required supplementing, if only for the sake of meeting his tobacco bill, though I have a strong suspicion that the bills sent in to him served no more useful purpose than to light his pipe. But, however, adopting the theatre as his profession, he would naturally make a serious study of dramatic art, and, having no need for constantly filling the maw of present necessity, he could undertake such a study thoroughly and at his leisure. And to this cause his peculiar importance in the history of the Elizabethan stage is mainly due. Next to Jonson, the most learned of all the dramatists, yet possessing little of their poetical capacity, he set them the most conspicuous example in technique and stage-craft, in the science of play-writing, which they would probably have been far too busy to acquire for themselves. Lyly's eight dramas formed the rough-hewn but indispensable foundation-stone of the Elizabethan edifice. Spenser has been called the poet's poet, Lyly was in his own days the playwright's dramatist.

Of his dramatic construction we have already spoken. We have noticed that he introduced the art of disguise; that he varied his action by songs, accompanied perhaps with pantomime. Mr Bond suggests further that he probably did much to extend the use of stage properties and scenery[128]. But the real importance of his plays lies in their plot construction and character drawing, points which as yet we have only touched upon. The way in which he manages the action of his plays shows a skill quite unapproached by anything that had gone before, and more pronounced than that of many which came after. Too often indeed we have dialogues, scenes, and characters which have no connexion with the development of the story; but when we consider how frequently Shakespeare sinned in this respect, we cannot blame Lyly for introducing a philosophical discussion between Plato and Aristotle, as in Campaspe, or those merry altercations between his pages which added so much colour and variety to his plays. However many interruptions there were, he never allowed his audience to forget the main business, as Dekker, for example, so frequently did. Nowhere, again, in Lyly's plays are the motives inadequate to support the action, as they were in the majority of dramas previous to 1580. Even Alexander's somewhat tame surrender of Campaspe is quite in accordance with his royal dignity and magnanimity; and, moreover, we are warned in the third act that the King's love is slight and will fade away at the first blast of the war trumpet, for as he tells us he is "not so far in love with Campaspe as with Bucephalus, if occasion serve either of conflict or of conquest[129]." In Endymion the motives are perhaps most skilfully displayed, and lead most naturally on to the action, and in this play, also, Lyly is perhaps most successful in creating that dramatic excitement which is caused by working up to an apparent deadlock (due to the intrigues of Tellus), and which is made to resolve itself and disappear in the final act. Closely allied with the development of action by the presentation of motives is the weaving of the plot. And in this Lyly is not so satisfactory, though, of course, far in advance of his predecessors. A steady improvement, however, is discernible as he proceeds. In the earlier plays the page element does little more than afford comic relief: the encounters between Manes and his friends, and between Manes and his master, can hardly be dignified by the name of plot. It is in Midas, as I have already suggested, that this farcical under-current displays incident and action of its own, turning as it does upon the relations of the pages with Motto and the theft of the beard. Here again the comic scenes, now connected together for the first time, are also united with the main story. But the page element by no means represents Lyly's only attempt at creating an underplot. It will be seen from the story of Endymion related above that in that play our author is not contented with a single passion-nexus, if the expression may be allowed, that of Tellus, Cynthia, and Endymion, but he gives us another, that of Eumenides and Semele, which has no real connexion with the action, but which seriously threatens to interrupt it at one point. Other interests are hinted at, rather than developed, by the infatuation of Sir Tophas for Dipsas, and by the history of the latter's husband. Though Midas is more advanced in other ways, it displays nothing like the complexity of Endymion, and it is moreover, as I have said, cut in two by the want of connexion between the incident of the golden touch and that of the ass's ears. Lastly, in Love's Metamorphosis, which is without the element of farce, the relations between the nymphs and the shepherds complete that underplot of passion which is hinted at in Sapho, in the evident fancy which Mileta shows for Phao, and developed as we have just noticed in Endymion.

[128] Bond, II. pp. 265-266.

[129] Campaspe, Act III. Sc. IV. 31.

In this plot construction and interweaving, Lyly had no models except the classics, and we may, therefore, say that his work in this direction was almost entirely original. The last-mentioned play was produced at Court some time before 1590, and we cannot doubt, was attended by our greatest dramatist. At any rate the lessons which Shakespeare learnt from Lyly in the matter of plot complication are visible in the Midsummer Night's Dream, which was produced in 1595[130]. The intricate mechanism of this play, reminding us with its four plots (the Duke and Hippolyta, the lovers, the mechanics, and the fairies) of the miracle with its imposing but unimportant divinities in the Rood gallery, its main stage whereon moved human characters, its Crypt supplying the rude comic element in the shape of devils, and its angels who moved from one level to another welding the whole together, was far beyond Lyly's powers, but it was only possible even for Shakespeare after a thorough study of Lyly's methods.

[130] Sidney Lee, Life, p. 151.

As I have previously pointed out, Lyly was not very successful in the matter of character drawing. Never, even for a moment, is passion allowed to disturb the cultured placidity of the dialogue. The conditions under which his plays were produced may in part account for this. The children of Paul's could hardly be expected to display much light and shade of emotion in their acting, certainly depth of passion was beyond their scope. But the fault, I think, lies rather in the dramatist than in the actors. Lyly's mind was in all probability altogether of too superficial a nature for a sympathetic analysis of the human soul. That at least is how I interpret his character. All his work was more "art than nature," some of it was "more labour than art." On the technical side his dramatic advance is immense, but we may look in vain in his dramas for any of that appreciation of the elemental facts of human nature which can alone create enduring art. In their characterization, Lyly's plays do little more than form a link between Shakespeare and the old morality. This comes out most strongly in their peculiar method of character grouping. By a very natural process the moral type is split up with the intention of giving it life and variety. Thus we have those groups of pages, of maids-in-waiting, of shepherds, of deities, etc., which are so characteristic of Lyly's plays. There is no real distinction between page and page, and between nymph and nymph; but their merry conversations give a piquancy and colour to the drama which make up for, and in part conceal, the absence of character. All that was necessary for the creation of character was to fit these pieces of the moral type together again in a different way, and to breathe the spirit of genius into the new creation. We can see Lyly feeling towards this solution of the problem in his portrayal of Gunophilus, the clown of The Woman in the Moon. This character, which anticipates the immortal clowns of Shakespeare, is formed by an amalgamation of the pages in the previous plays into one comic figure. But Lyly also attempts to create single figures, in addition to these group characters which for the most part have little to do with the action. Often he helps out his poverty of invention by placing descriptions of one character in the mouth of another. "How stately she passeth bye, yet how soberly!" exclaims Alexander watching Campaspe at a distance, "a sweet consent in her countenance with a chaste disdaine, desire mingled with coyness, and I cannot tell how to tearme it, a curst yeelding modestie!"—an excellent piece of description, and one which is very necessary for the animation of the shadowy Campaspe. At times however Lyly can dispense with such adventitious aids. Pipenetta, the fascinating little wench in Midas and one of our dramatist's most successful creations, needs no other illumination than her own pert speeches. Diogenes again is an effective piece of work. But both these are minor characters who therefore receive no development, and if we look at the more important personages of Lyly's portrait gallery, we must agree with Mr Bond[131] that Tellus is the best. She is a character which exhibits considerable development, and she is also Lyly's only attempt to embody the evil principle in woman—a hint for the construction of that marvellous portrait of another Scottish queen, the Lady Macbeth, which Lyly just before his death in 1606 may have seen upon the stage.

[131] Bond, II. p. 284.

On the whole Lyly is most successful when he is drawing women, which was only as it should be, if we allow that the feminine element is the very pivot of true comedy. This he saw, and it is because he was the first to realise it and to grapple with the difficulties it entailed that the title of father of English comedy may be given him without the least reserve or hesitation. Sapho the haughty but amorous queen, Mileta the mocking but tender Court lady, Gallathea the shy provincial lass, and Pipenetta the saucy little maid-servant, fill our stage for the first time in history with their tears and their laughter, their scorn of the mere male and their "curst yeelding modestie," their bold sallies and their bashful blushes. Nothing like this had as yet been seen in English literature. I have already pointed out why it was that woman asserted her place in art at this juncture. Yet, although the revolution would have come about in any case, all honour must be paid to the man who saw it coming, anticipated it, and determined its fortunes by the creation of such a number of feminine characters from every class in the social scale. And if it be true that he only gave us "their outward husk of wit and raillery and flirtation," if it be true that his interpretation of woman was superficial, that he had no understanding for the soul behind the social mask, for the emotional and passionate current, now a quiet stream, now a raging torrent, beneath the layer of etiquette, his work was none the less important for that.

"Blood and brain and spirit, three Join for true felicity."

Blood his girls had and brain, but his genius was not divine enough to bestow upon them the third essential. Yet they were alive, they were flesh, they had wit, and in this they are undoubtedly the forerunners not only of Shakespeare's heroines but of Congreve's and of Meredith's—to mention the three greatest delineators of women in our language. They are the Undines in the story of our literature, beautiful and seductive, complete in everything but soul!

While realising that woman should be the real protagonist in comedy, Lyly also appreciated the fact that skilful dialogue and brilliant repartee are only less important, and that for this purpose prose was more suitable than verse. Gascoigne's Supposes was his model in both these innovations, and yet he would undoubtedly have adopted them of his own accord without any outside suggestion. And since The Supposes was a translation, Campaspe deserves the title of the first purely English comedy in prose. The Euphues had given him a reputation for sprightly and witty dialogue, he himself was possibly known at Court as a brilliant conversationalist, and therefore when he came to write plays he would naturally do all in his power to maintain and to improve his fame in this respect. With his acute sense of form he would recognise how clumsy had been the efforts of previous dramatists, and he knew also how impossible it would be, in verse form, to write witty dialogue, up to date in the subjects it handled. He therefore determined to use prose, and, though he manipulates it somewhat awkwardly in his earlier plays while still under the influence of the euphuistic fashion, he steadily improves, as he gains experience of the function and needs of dialogue, until at length he succeeds in creating a thoroughly serviceable dramatic instrument. This departure was a great event in English literature. Shakespeare was too much of a poet ever to dispense altogether with verse, but he appreciated the virtue of prose as a vehicle of comic dialogue, and he uses it occasionally even in his earliest comedy, Love's Labour's Lost. Ben Jonson on the other hand—perhaps more than any other Lyly's spiritual heir—wrote nearly all his comedies in prose. And it is not fanciful I think to see in Lyly's pointed dialogue, tinged with euphuism, the forerunner of Congreve's sparkling conversation and of the epigrammatic writing of our modern English playwrights.

Such are the main characteristics of Lyly's dramatic genius. To attempt to trace his influence upon later writers would be to write a history of the Elizabethan stage. In the foregoing remarks I have continually indicated Shakespeare's debt to him in matters of detail. The Midsummer Night's Dream is from beginning to end full of reminiscences from the plays of the earlier dramatist, transmuted, vitalized, and beautified by the genius of our greatest poet. It is as if he had witnessed in one day a representation of all Lyly's dramatic work, and wearied by the effort of attention had fallen asleep and dreamt this Dream. Love's Labour's Lost is only less indebted to Lyly; indeed nearly all Shakespeare's plays, certainly all his comedies, exhibit the same influence: for he knew his Lyly through and through, and his assimilative power was unequalled. Shakespeare might almost be said to be a combination of Marlowe and Lyly plus that indefinable something which made him the greatest writer of all time. Marlowe, his master in tragedy, was also his master in poetry, in that strength of conception and beauty of execution which together make up the soul of drama. Lyly, besides the lesson he taught him in comedy, was also his model for dramatic construction, brilliancy of dialogue, technical skill, and all that comprises the science of play-making—things which were perhaps of more moment to him, with his scanty classical knowledge, than Marlowe's lesson which he had little need of learning. And what we have said of Shakespeare may be said of Elizabethan drama as a whole. "Marlowe's place," writes Mr Havelock Ellis, "is at the heart of English poetry"; his "high, astounding terms" took the world of his day by storm, his gift to English literature was the gift of sublime beauty, of imagination, and passion. Lyly could lay claim to none of these, but his contribution was perhaps of more importance still. He did the spade-work, and did it once and for all. With his knowledge of the Classics and of previous English experiments he wrote plays that, compared with what had gone before, were models of plot construction, of the development of action, and even of characterization. Moreover he was before Marlowe by some nine years in the production of true romantic drama, and in his treatment of women. In spite, therefore, of Marlowe's immense superiority to him on the aesthetic side, Lyly must be placed above the author of Edward II. in dynamical importance.

In connexion with Lyly's influence the question of the exact nature of his dramatic productions is worth a moment's consideration. Are they masques or dramas? and if the latter are they strictly speaking classical or romantic in form? As I have already suggested, the answer to the first half of this question is that they were neither and both. In Lyly's day drama had not yet been differentiated from masque, and his plays, therefore, partook of the nature of both. Produced as they were for the Court, it was natural that they should possess something of that atmosphere of pageantry, music, and pantomime which we now associate with the word masque. But Elizabeth was economical and preferred plain drama to the expensive masque displays, though she was ready to enjoy the latter, if they were provided for her by Leicester or some other favourite. Lyly's work therefore never advanced very far in the direction of the masque, though in its complimentary allegories it had much in common with it. The question as to whether it should be described as classical rather than as romantic is not one which need detain us long. It is interesting however as it again brings out the peculiarity of Lyly's position. It may indeed be claimed for him that all sections of Elizabethan drama, except perhaps tragedy, are to be found in embryo in his plays. I have said that he was the first of the romanticists, but he was no less the first important writer of classical drama. Gorbuduc and its like had been tedious and clumsy imitations, and, moreover, they had imitated Seneca, who was a late classic. Lyly, though the Greek dramatists were unknown to him, had probably studied Aristotle's Poetics, and was certainly acquainted with Horace's Ars Poetica, and with the comedies of Terence and Plautus. He was, therefore, an authority on matters dramatic, and could boast of a learning on the subject of technique which few of his contemporaries or his successors could lay claim to, and which they were only too ready to glean second-hand. And yet, though he was wise enough to appreciate all that the classics could teach him, he was a romanticist at heart, or perhaps it would be better to say that he threw the beautiful and loosely fitting garment of romanticism over the classical frame of his dramas. And even in the matter of this frame he was not always orthodox. He bowed to the tradition of the unities: but he frequently broke with it; in The Woman alone does he confine the action to one day; and, though he is more careful to observe unity of place, imaginary transfers occurring in the middle of scenes indicate his rebellion against this restriction. Nevertheless, when all is said, he remains, with the exception of Jonson, the most classical of all Elizabethan playwrights, and just as he anticipates the 17th and 18th centuries in his prose, so in his dramas we may discover the first competent handling of those principles and restrictions which, more clearly enunciated by Ben Jonson, became iron laws for the post-Elizabethan dramatists.

It is this "balance between classic precedent and romantic freedom[132]" that constitutes his supreme importance, not only in Elizabethan literature, but even in the history of subsequent English drama. From Lyly we may trace the current of romanticism, through Shakespeare, to Goethe and Victor Hugo; in Lyly also we may see the first embodiment of that classical tradition which even Shakespeare's "purge" could do nothing to check, and which was eventually to lay its dead hand upon the art of the 18th century. May we not say more than this? Is he not the first name in a continuous series from 1580 to our own day, the first link in the chain of dramatic development, which binds the "singing room of Powles" to the Lyceum of Irving? And it is interesting to notice that the principle which he was the first to express shows at the present moment evident signs of exhaustion; for its future developments seem to be limited to that narrow strip of social melodrama, which lies between the devil of the comic opera and the deep sea of the Ibsenic problem play. Indeed it would not be altogether fanciful, I think, to say that The Importance of being Earnest finishes the process that Campaspe started; and to view that process as a circle begun in euphuism, and completed in aestheticism.

[132] Bond, II. p. 266.



At the beginning of this essay I gave a short account of the main facts of our author's life, reserving my judgment upon his character and genius until after the examination of his works. That examination which I have now concluded is far too superficial in character to justify a psychological synthesis such as that advocated by M. Hennequin[133]. But though this essay cannot claim to have exhausted the subject of the ways and means of Lyly's art, yet in the course of our survey we have had occasion to notice several interesting points in reference to his mind and character, which it will be well to bring together now in order to give a portrait, however inadequate, of the man who played so important a part in English literature.

[133] La Critique Scientifique.

Nash supplies the only piece of contemporary information about his person and habits, and all he tells us is that he was short of stature and that he smoked. But Ben Jonson gives us an unmistakeable caricature of him under the delightfully appropriate name of Fastidious Brisk in Every Man out of His Humour. He describes him as a "neat, spruce, affecting courtier, one that wears clothes well, and in fashion; practiseth by his glass how to salute; speaks good remnants notwithstanding his base viol and tobacco; swears tersely and with variety; cares not what lady's favour he belies, or great man's familiarity: a good property to perfume the boot of a coach. He will borrow another man's horse to praise and back him as his own. Or, for a need can post himself into credit with his merchant, only with the gingle of his spur and the jerk of his wand[134]." Allowing for the exaggeration of satire, we cannot doubt that this portrait is in the main correct. It indicates a man who follows fashion, even in swearing, to the excess of foppery, who delights in scandal, who contracts debts with an easy conscience, and who is withal a merry fellow and a wit. All this is in accordance with what we know of his life. We can picture him at Oxford serenading the Magdalen dons with his "base viol," or perhaps organizing a night party to disturb the slumbers of some insolent tradesman who had dared to insist upon payment; his neat little figure leading a gang of young rascals, and among them the "sea-dog" Hakluyt, the sturdy and as yet unconverted Gosson, the refined Watson, and perchance George Pettie concealing his thorough enjoyment of the situation by a smile of elderly amusement. Or yet again we can see him at the room of some boon companion seriously announcing to a convulsed assembly his intention of applying for a fellowship, and when the last quip had been hurled at him through clouds of smoke and the laughter had died down, proposing that the house should go into committee for the purpose of concocting the now famous letter to Burleigh. When we next catch a glimpse of him he is no longer the madcap; he walks with such dignity as his stature permits, for he is now author of the much-talked-of Anatomy of Wit, and one of the most fashionable young men of the Court. What elaboration of toilet, what adjustment and readjustment of ruffles and lace, what bowing and scraping before the glass, preceded that great event of his life—his presentation to the Queen—can only be guessed at. But we can well picture him, following his magnificently over-dressed patron up the long reception-room, his heart beating with pleasurable excitement, yet his manners not forgotten in the hour of his pride, as he nods to an acquaintance and bows with sly demureness to some Iffida or Camilla. Those were the days of his success, the happiest period of his life when, as secretary to the Lord Chamberlain and associate of the highest in the land, he breathed his native atmosphere, the praises and flattery of a fickle world of fashion. But, time-server as he was, he was no sycophant. Leaving de Vere's service after a sharp quarrel, he was not ashamed to take up the profession of teaching in which he had already had some experience. We see him next, therefore, a master of St Paul's, engrossed in the not unpleasant duties of drilling his pupils for the performance of his plays, accompanying their songs on his instrument, or himself taking his place on the stage, now as Diogenes in his ubiquitous tub, and now as the golden-bearded and long-eared Midas. And last of all he appears as the disappointed, disillusioned man, "infelix academicus ignotus." A wife and children on his hands, his occupation gone, his hopes of the Revels Mastership blasted, he becomes desperate, and writes that last bitter letter to Elizabeth.

[134] From the Preface.

The man of fashion out of date, the social success left high and dry by the unheeding current, he died eventually in poverty, not because he had wasted his substance, like Greene, in Bohemia, but because, thinking to take Belgravia by storm, he had forgotten that the foundations of that city are laid on the bodies of her sons. But leaving

"The thrice three muses mourning for the death Of Learning late deceased in beggary,"

let us look more closely into the character of this man, whose brilliant and successful youth was followed by so sad an old age.

In spite of Professor Raleigh and the moralizing of Euphues, we may decide that there was nothing of the Puritan about him. His life at Oxford, his attachment to the notorious de Vere, the keen pleasure he took in the things of this world, are, I think, sufficient to prove this. His general attitude towards life was one of vigorous hedonism, not of intellectual asceticism. The ethical element of Euphues links him rather to the already vanishing Humanism than to the rising Puritanism, against which all his sympathies were enlisted, as his contributions to the Marprelate controversy indicate. I have refrained from touching upon these Mar-Martin tracts because they possess neither aesthetic nor dynamical importance, being, as Gabriel Harvey—always ready with the spiteful epigram—describes them, "alehouse and tinkerly stuffe, nothing worthy a scholar or a real gentleman." They are worth mentioning, however, as throwing a light upon the religious prejudices of our author. He was a courtier and he was a churchman, and in lending his aid to crush sectarians he thought no more deeply about the matter than he did in voting as Member of Parliament against measures which conflicted with his social inclinations. There was probably not an ounce of the theological spirit in his whole composition; for his refutation of atheism was a youthful essay in dialectics, a bone thrown to the traditions of the moral Court treatise.

If, indeed, he was seriously minded in any respect, it was upon the subject of Art. Himself a novelist and dramatist, he displayed also a keen delight in music, and evinced a considerable, if somewhat superficial, interest in painting. And yet, though he apparently made it his business to know something of every art, he was no sciolist, and, if he went far afield, it was only in order to improve himself in his own particular branch. All the knowledge he acquired in such amateur appreciation was brought to the service of his literary productions. And the same may be said of his extensive excursions into the land of books. No Elizabethan dramatist but Lyly, with the possible exception of Jonson, could marshal such an array of learning, and few could have turned even what they had with such skill and effect to their own purposes. Lyly had made a thorough study of such classics as were available in his day, and we have seen how he employed them in his novel and in his plays. But the classics formed only a small section of the books digested by this omnivorous reader. If he could not read Spanish, French, or Italian, he devoured and assimilated the numerous translations from those languages into English, Guevara indeed being his chief inspiration. Nor did he neglect the literature of his own land. Few books we may suppose, which had been published in English previous to 1580, had been unnoticed by him. We have seen what a thorough acquaintance he possessed of English drama before his day, and how he exhibits the influence of the writings of Ascham and perhaps other humanists, how he laid himself under obligation to the bestiaries and the proverb-books for his euphuistic philosophy, and how his lyrics indicate a possible study of the mediaeval scholar song-books. In conclusion, it is interesting to notice that we have clear evidence that he knew Chaucer[135].

[135] Bond, I. p. 401.

Idleness, therefore, cannot be urged against him; nor does this imposing display of learning indicate a pedant. Lyly had nothing in common with the spirit of his old friend Gabriel Harvey, whom indeed he laughed at. There is a story that Watson and Nash invited a company together to sup at the Nag's Head in Cheapside, and to discuss the pedantries of Harvey, and our euphuist in all probability made one of the party. His erudition sat lightly on him, for it was simply a means to the end of his art. Moreover, a student's life could have possessed no attraction for one of his temperament. Unlike Marlowe and Greene, he had harvested all his wild oats before he left Oxford; but the process had refined rather than sobered him, for his laugh lost none of its merriment, and his wit improved with experience, so that we may well believe that in the Court he was more Philautus than Euphues. In his writings also his aim was to be graceful rather than erudite; and, ponderous as his Euphues seems to us now, it appealed to its Elizabethan public as a model of elegance. His art was perhaps only an instrument for the acquisition of social success, but he was nevertheless an artist to the fingertips. Yet he was without the artist's ideals, and this fact, together with his frivolity, vitiated his writings to a considerable extent, or, rather, the superficiality of his art was the result of the superficiality of his soul. Of that "high seriousness," which Aristotle has declared to be the poet's essential, he has nothing. Technique throughout was his chief interest, and it is in technique alone that he can claim to have succeeded. "More art than nature" is a just criticism of everything he wrote, with the exception of his lyrics. He was supremely clever, one of the cleverest writers in our literature when we consider what he accomplished, and how small was the legacy of his predecessors; but he was much too clever to be simple. He excelled in the niceties of art, he revelled in the accomplishment of literary feats, his intellect was akin to the intellect of those who in their humbler fashion find pleasure in the solution of acrostics. And consequently his writings were frequently as finical as his dress was fastidious; for it was the form and not the idea which fascinated him; to his type of mind the letter was everything and the spirit nothing. Indeed, the true spirit of art was quite beyond his comprehension, though he was connoisseur enough to appreciate its presence in others. Artist and man of taste he was, but he was no poet. Artist he was, I have said, to the fingertips, but his art lay at his fingers' ends, not at his soul. He was facile, ingenious, dexterous, everything but inspired. He had wit, learning, skill, imagination, but none of that passionate apprehension of life which makes the poet, and which Marlowe and Shakespeare possessed so fully. And therefore it was his fate to be nothing more than a forerunner, a straightener of the way; and before his death he realised with bitterness that he was only a stepping-stone for young Shakespeare to mount his throne. He was, indeed, the draughtsman of the Elizabethan workshop, planning and designing what others might build. He was the expert mathematician who formulated the laws which enabled Shakespeare to read the stars. Of the heights and depths of passion he was unconscious; he was no psychologist, laying bare the human soul with the lancet; and though now and again, as in Endymion, he caught a glimpse of the silver beauties of the moon, he had no conception of the glories of the midday sun.

And yet though he lacked the poet's sense, his wit did something to repair the defect, and even if it has a musty flavour for our pampered palates, it saves his writings from becoming unbearably wearisome; and moreover his fun was without that element of coarseness which mars the comic scenes of later dramatists who appealed to more popular audiences. But it is quite impossible for us to realise how brilliant his wit seemed to the Elizabethans before it was eclipsed by the genius of Shakespeare. Even as late as 1632 Blount exclaims, "This poet sat at the sunne's table," words referring perhaps more especially to Lyly's poetical faculty, but much truer if interpreted as an allusion to his wit. The genius of our hero played like a dancing sunbeam over the early Elizabethan stage. Never before had England seen anything like it, and we cannot wonder that his public hailed him in their delight as one of the greatest writers of all time. How could they know that he was only the first voice in a choir of singers which, bursting forth before his notes had died away, would shake the very arch of heaven with the passion and the beauty of their song? But for us who have heard the chorus first, the recitative seems poor and thin. The magic has long passed from Euphues, once a name to conjure with, and even the plays seem dull and lifeless. That it should be so was inevitable, for the wit which illuminated these works was of the time, temporary, the earliest beam of the rising sun. This sunbeam it is impossible to recover, and with all our efforts we catch little but dust.

And yet for the scientific critic Lyly's work is still alive with significance. Worthless as much of it is from the aesthetic point of view, from the dynamical, the historical aspect few English writers are of greater interest. Waller was rescued from oblivion and labelled as the first of the classical poets. But we can claim more for Lyly than this. Extravagant as it may sound, he was one of the great founders of our literature. His experiments in prose first taught men that style was a matter worthy of careful study, he was among the earliest of those who realised the utility of blank verse for dramatic purposes, he wrote the first English novel in our language, and finally he is not only deservedly recognised as the father of English comedy, but by his mastery of dramatic technique he laid such a burden of obligation upon future playwrights that he placed English drama upon a completely new basis. Of the three main branches of our literature, therefore, two—the novel and the drama—were practically of his creation, and though his work suffered because it lacked the quality of poetry, for the historian of literature it is none the less important on that account.


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ASCHAM, ROGER. The Schoolmaster. Arber's English Reprints.

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BAKER, G. P. Lyly's Endymion.

BARNEFIELD, RICHARD. Poems. Arber's Scholar's Library.

BERNERS, LORD. The Golden Boke of Marcus Aurelius.

BERNERS, LORD. Froissart's Chronicles. Globe Edition.

BOAS. Works of Kyd. Clarendon Press.

BOND, R. W. John Lyly. Clarendon Press. 3 Vols.

BRUNET. Manuel de Libraire.

BUTLER CLARKE. Spanish Literature.

CHILD, C. G. John Lyly and Euphuism. Muenchener Beitraege VII.

CRAIK, SIR H. Specimens of English Prose.

DICTIONARY of National Biography.

EARLE. History of English Prose.

FIELD, NATHANIEL. A Woman is a Weathercock.

FITZMAURICE-KELLY. Spanish Literature. Heinemann.

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GOSSE. From Shakespeare to Pope.

GOSSON. School of Abuse. Arber's English Reprints.

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HALLAM. Introduction to the Literature of Europe.

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HUME, MARTIN. Spanish Influence on English Literature.

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MACAULAY, G. G. Introd. to Froissart's Chronicles. Globe Edition.

MEREDITH, GEORGE. Essay on Comedy.

MEZIERES. Predecesseurs et contemporains de Shakespeare.

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Affectionate Shepherd, 46

Albion's England, 57

Alencon, Duc d', 105

Amis and Amile, 66

Anatomy of Wit (v. Euphues)

Andrews, Dr, 55

Arber (reprints), 12, 27, 38, 46

Arcadia, 9, 51, 56, 58, 68, 82, 84

Aretino, 48

Ariosto, 94, 96

Aristotle, 121, 129, 137

Armada, Spanish, 110

Arnold, Matthew, 47

Ars Poetica (of Horace), 130

Ascham, 31, 37, 38, 39, 42, 50, 52, 67, 73, 74, 136

Athenae Oxonienses, 4, 5

Athenaeum, 30

Athens, 69, 79

Aucassin and Nicolette, 66

Aurelius, Marcus, 22, 34, 69

Austen, Jane, 80

Bacon, Lord, 19, 47

Baena, 48

Baker, G. P., 4, 5, 7, 85, 98

Baker, George, 28

Baker, Robert, 28

Barnefield, Richard, 46

Berners, Lord, 22, 29, 30, 31, 33, 34, 35, 36, 42, 66, 67

Bertaut, Rene, 34, 35

bestiaries, 20, 41, 136

Biographia Britannica, 12

Blackfriars, 100

blank verse, 3, 97, 113

Blount, 114, 139

Boas, 45

Boccaccio, 66, 67, 75

Bond, R. W., 4, 5, 8, 9, 26, 30, 34, 43, 55, 60, 69, 72, 74, 78, 81, 85, 86, 87, 89, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, 100, 108, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, 120, 125, 130, 137

Brunet, 34

Bryan, Sir Francis, 30, 31

Burleigh, 4, 6, 7, 86, 133

Butler Clarke, 49

Byron (anticipated by Lyly), 77

Cambridge, 7, 75, 87, 93

Campaspe, 7, 85, 87, 98-102, 104, 105, 109, 116, 121, 124, 126

Canterbury Tales, 65

Carew, 27

Carpenter, Edward, 19

Castiglione, 48, 49, 72

Caxton, 66, 67

Cecil, 8

Celestina, 24

Charles VIII., 48, 66

Chaucer, 65, 66, 137

Cheke, Sir John, 26, 31, 37, 42, 50

Child, C. G., 14, 15, 16, 56, 59

choristers, 7, 8, 87, 92, 94, 116

Christ Church, 26, 39

Cicero, 12, 50

Civile Conversation, 40

comedy before Lyly, 89-98 and folly, 90 and masque, 112 and music, 87, 92, 94, 116 and society, 88 and woman, 97-98, 100-101, 125-126

Congreve, 88, 101, 126, 127

Cooling Carde for all Fond Lovers, A, 71

Corpus Christi College (Oxford), 26

Corro, Antonio de, 26, 28

Cortes, 27

Craik, Sir H., 28, 37, 38, 39

Cupid and my Campaspe played, 115, 117

Cynthia, 46

Damon and Pithias, 93, 116, 119

De Educatione (of Plutarch), 72

Dekker, Thomas, 114, 121

Demosthenes, 12

Devereux, Penelope, 109

Diall of Princes, 22, 30, 39, 69

Diana, 24

Dickens, 79

Dispraise of the Life of a Courtier, 31

Doni, 48

Dryden, 84

dubartism, 51

Earle, 53, 54

education (Lyly's views on), 72-73

Edward II., 129

Edwardes, Richard, 86, 87, 93, 94, 95, 97, 101

Eliot, George, 80

Elizabeth, Queen, 3, 6, 8, 9, 17, 25, 26, 65, 75, 80, 81, 86, 98, 100, 101, 103, 104, 105, 107, 112, 129, 134

Ellis, Havelock, 128

Endymion, 85, 98, 99, 104, 107-110, 121, 122, 138

English Novel, The (v. Raleigh)

English Novel in the time of Shakespeare, The (v. Jusserand)

Erasmus, 26

Estella, 27

Eton, 93

Euphues antecedents of, 65-69 criticism and description of (i) Anatomy of Wit, 69-73 (ii) Euphues and his England, 76-80 dedication of, 74-76 distinction between the two parts, 73-74 Elizabethan reputation of, 10-13, 43-47, 57, 61, 84, 137 first English novel, 3, 10-11, 74, 140 moral tone of, 5, 71-72 publication and editions of, 6, 7, 8, 10, 43, 57, 61, 73, 83, 84 quoted, 4, 10, 15, 16, 18, 20, 21, 45, 58, 70, 76, 78

Euphues and his England (v. Euphues)

Euphues and his Ephoebus, 72-73

Euphuism analysis of, 13-21 an aristocratic fashion, 3, 49, 54, 56, 61, 62 diction and, 56 humanism and, 36-39, 50-53 imitators of, 43-46 origins of, 21-43 Oxford and, 26-28, 39-42, 45-46, 54, 60, 61 poetry and, 55-56 Renaissance and, 47-52, 62 Scott's misapprehension of, 11 secret of Lyly's influence, 11-13 Spain and, 22-36

Every Man out of His Humour, 132

fabliau, the, 66

Faery Queen, The, 103

Field, Nathaniel, 44, 102

Fitzmaurice-Kelly, 24

Flaubert, 56

Florence, 79

Fortescue, 69

France (and French), 22, 23, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 40, 42, 47, 48, 52, 53, 56, 61, 66, 80, 136

Froissart, 31, 33, 35

Gager, William, 39, 86

Gallathea, 98, 107, 112

Gammer Gurton's Needle, 93, 96, 116

Gascoigne, George, 69, 94, 95, 97, 114, 119, 126

Gayley, 91, 92, 94, 95

Geoffrey of Dunstable, 92

Gesta Romanorum, 66

Gibbon, 58

Glasse for Europe, A, 52, 81

Goethe, 130

Golden Boke, The, 22, 30, 31, 36, 37

Gollancz, 109

gongorism, 51

Goodlet, Dr, 56

Gorbuduc, 129

Gosse, 36

Gosson, Stephen, 4, 27, 28, 46, 53, 71, 86, 109, 133

Granada, 24

Greek, 48, 62

Greene, 43, 135, 137

Grey, Lady Jane, 74

Guazzo, 40

Guerrero, 26

Guevara, Antonio de, 22-24, 28-31, 33-38, 40, 42, 49, 69, 72, 76, 136

Habsburgs, 103

Hakluyt, 24, 26, 27, 133

Hallam, 33, 34

Halpin, 109, 111

Harrison, 69

Harvey, Dr, 19

Harvey, Gabriel, 6, 20, 42, 109, 135, 137

Hekatompathia, 7, 45, 46

Hennequin, 4, 132

Henry VIII., 23, 31

Hernani, 100

Herrick, 117

Heywood, 69, 92, 95, 96

Homer, 67

Horace, 130

Hugo, Victor, 130

humanism, 25, 26, 37, 50, 52, 53, 54, 67, 92, 135

Hume, Martin, 24, 25

Huon of Bordeaux, 30, 66

Huss, John, 66

Importance of being Earnest, The, 131

Italy (and Italian), 24, 25, 47, 48, 49, 52, 53, 66, 67, 69, 74, 75, 78, 86, 94, 95, 136

Jacke Jugelar, 96

James I., 23

James, Henry, 53

Johnson, Dr, 58

Jonson, Ben, 114, 120, 127, 130, 132, 136

Jusserand, 18, 43, 65, 72, 76

Katherine of Aragon, 23

Kenilworth, 109

Knox, John, 75

Kyd, 43-46, 102, 115

Kynge Johan, 99

Lady Windermere's Fan, 88

Landmann, Dr, 14, 16, 22, 24, 29, 30, 31, 40, 42, 47, 69, 75

Latimer, 36

Lazarillo de Tormes, 24

Lee, Sidney, 12, 29-33, 123

Leicester, Earl of, 107, 109, 129

Libro Aureo (v. Guevara)

Liebig, 19

Literature of Europe, 33, 34

Lodge, Thomas, 27, 43

Lok, Henry, Thomas, and Michael, 26, 27

London, 7, 71, 78, 91, 114, 119

London, Bishop of, 8

Love's Labour's Lost, 110, 113, 127, 128

Love's Metamorphosis, 98, 112, 113, 122

Luther, 89

Lyly, John: character and genius, 3, 51, 62, 63, 123, 137-139 compared with Marlowe, 128-129 courtier and man of fashion, 63, 87, 88, 98, 103, 110, 134, 135 dramatist, 7, 8, 9, 85-131 forerunner of Shakespeare, 43, 47, 95, 100, 101, 102, 105, 109-111, 116, 123, 124, 127-128, 130, 138-139 friends of, 26-28, 39, 42, 46, 53, 54, 61, 133, 135, 137 Jonson's caricature of, 132-133 learning, 17, 20, 38, 69, 86, 95, 119-120, 130, 136-137 life, 4-9, 86-88, 119-120, 132-135 novelist, 10, 64-84 poet, 3, 110, 113, 115-118, 138, 139 position in English literature, 2-3, 10-13, 51, 52-63, 65-69, 73-84, 98-131, 138-140 prose, 3, 11-21, 52-63, 97, 126-127 reputation, 9, 11-13, 43, 57, 58, 60, 61

lyrics, 115-118

Macaulay, G. C., 33

Macaulay, Lord, 80

Macbeth, 125

Magdalen College (Oxford), 4, 6, 86, 133

Malory, 66, 67

Marini, 48

Marius the Epicurean, 50

Marlowe, 3, 47, 113, 128-129, 137, 138

Martin Marprelate, 3, 8, 114, 135-136

Mary (Tudor), 25, 26

Mary (of Scots), 109

masque, 112, 129

Maupassant, Guy de, 75

Mayde's Metamorphosis, 119

Mendoza, 23, 24

Meredith, George, 53, 79, 88, 97, 126

Midas, 98, 104, 110-112, 117, 122, 125

Midsummer Night's Dream (anticipated by Lyly), 105, 109-111, 123, 127

Milton, 55

miracle-play, the, 89-91, 123

Monastery, The, 11

Montemayor, 23, 24

moral court treatise, the, 49, 65, 67, 68, 69, 73, 74, 75

morality-play, the, 70, 89-92, 94, 99, 102, 119, 124

Morte d'Arthur, 66, 67

Mother Bombie, 98, 105, 114-117

Munday, Anthony, 28, 43

Murder of John Brewer, The, 115

Naples, 69

Nash, 23, 55, 56, 84, 114, 137

Newton, 19

Nicholas, Thomas, 27

North, Sir Thomas, 22, 29, 30, 39

novella, the, 65, 66, 67, 68, 74, 75

Ovid, 17, 69, 111

Oxford, 4-7, 25-28, 39, 42, 46, 49, 53, 61, 69, 72, 86, 87, 93, 95, 119, 133, 137

Oxford, Earl of (v. Vere, Edward de)

Painter, William, 40

Palgrave, 117

Palamon and Arcite, 86

Pallace of Pleasure, 40

Pamela, 83

pastoral romance, 23, 68

Petrarchisti, 48

Pettie, George, 32, 39, 40, 41, 46, 53, 56, 69, 86, 133

Petite Pallace of Pettie his Pleasure, 40, 69

Philip II. of Spain (caricatured by Lyly), 110

picaresque romance, 23

Plato, 67, 75, 79, 121

Plautus, 92

Play of the Wether, The, 93

Pleasant History of the Conquest of West India, 27

Pliny, 17, 20, 41, 69, 100

Plutarch, 17, 69, 72, 73

Poetics of Aristotle, The, 130

puritanism, 3, 26, 57, 71, 135

Puttenham, 87

Quick, 73

Quintilian, 12

Raleigh, Prof. W., 20, 55, 57, 65, 71, 84, 135

Ralph Roister Doister, 93, 110, 114, 116

Renaissance, the, 25, 47-52, 62, 64, 66, 68, 95, 115, 118

Revels' Office, the, 8, 9, 103, 134

Richardson, 72, 83

Rogers, Thomas, 27

romance of chivalry, 65-68, 75

Ronsard, 61

Rowland, 24

Sacharissa, 13

Sainte Beuve, 53

St Paul's Choir School, 7, 8, 87, 99, 109, 116, 119, 123, 131, 134

Saintsbury, Prof., 27

Sallust, 37

Sapho and Phao, 7, 87, 98, 99, 104-107, 116, 122

Savoy Hospital, the, 7

School of Abuse, The, 27

Schoolmaster, The, 38, 50, 52, 67, 73, 75

Schwan, Dr, 56

Scott, Sir Walter, 11

Seneca, 129

Shakespeare, 2, 9, 43, 47, 55, 95, 100, 101, 102, 105, 109, 110, 111, 113, 115, 116, 118, 120-124, 127, 128, 130, 138, 139

Sheridan, 88

Sidney, Sir Philip, 23, 27, 55, 58, 68, 82, 84

Sixe Court Comedies, 114

Soliman and Perseda, 45

Soto, Pedro de, 26

Spain (and Spanish), 22-28, 30, 31, 33-36, 40, 42, 47, 48, 52, 66, 69, 136

Spanish Tragedy, The, 43, 44, 45

Spencer, Herbert, 61

Spenser, 103, 120

Stella, 109

Stevenson, 93, 95, 114, 119

Stratford, 109

Suppositi (Supposes), 94, 119, 126

Surrey, 31

Symonds, J. A., 47, 62, 91, 93, 104, 117

Taine, 1

Tamburlaine, 113

Taming of the Shrew, The, 93

Tasso, 48

Tents and Toils (office of), 8

Terence, 50, 92, 96

Thackeray, 77

Timon of Athens (anticipated by Lyly), 101

Toxophilus, 38

Tully (v. Cicero)

Udall, Nicholas, 87, 93, 95, 96, 97, 114, 116, 119

Underhill, 23, 24, 27, 28, 34, 36, 40

Vere, Edward de, 7, 28, 46, 86, 87, 116, 119, 134

Villa Garcia, 26

Virgil, 17, 50

Vives, 25, 26

Waller, 12, 140

Ward, Dr, 8, 92, 93

Ward, Mrs H., 30, 80

Warner, 43, 57

Watson, Thomas, 7, 45, 46, 49, 53, 133, 137

Webbe, William, 11

Welbanke, 43

West, Dr, 33, 34

Weymouth, Dr, 14

Wilkinson, 43

Wine, Women and Song, 117

Woman in the Moon, The, 98, 112, 113, 124, 130

Woman is a Weathercock, A, 44

women, importance of, in the Elizabethan age, 74-76, 80-82, 97-98, 100-101, 125-126, 128

Wood, Anthony a, 4, 5, 86

Wyatt, 31

Wycliff, 66

Wynkyn de Worde, 66

Zola, 75



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