The Plays of Philip Massinger: From the Text of William Gifford, With the Addition of the Tragedy Believe as You List (Classic Rep by Philip MassingerThe Plays of Philip Massinger: From the Text of William Gifford, With the Addition of the Tragedy Believe as You List (Classic Rep by Philip Massinger

The Plays of Philip Massinger: From the Text of William Gifford, With the Addition of the Tragedy…

byPhilip Massinger

Paperback | August 5, 2018

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Excerpt from The Plays of Philip Massinger: From the Text of William Gifford, With the Addition of the Tragedy "Believe as You List"

Popular as Massinger must have been during the latter part of his life, he was utterly forgotten during the rule of the Puritans, and smroely remembered for many years after the Restoration. During this period, indeed, the dramatists ot' the preceding generation seem to have been valued in proportion as indecency predominated in their writings, and Beaumont and Fletcher were greatly more popular than Shabpeare. But the public taste in every way was perverted, and if others had been as honest as Samuel Pepys we should have had many such records as To Deptford by water, reading Othello, Moor qf Venue, which I ever heretofore esteemed a mighty good play, but having so lately read The Adventures of Five Houres, 1! Seems a mean thing Betterton indeed detected the fine opening which The Bomlman and The Roman Actor afforded to his grand powers of declamation, but it is probable that the exhibition was attended with more pleasure to the player than to the public. At length Nicholas Rowe, sixty-four years after Massinger's death, determined upon collecting and publishing his works, but after mature deliberation considered it more judicious to plunder the dead man rather than attempt to revive him. Nothing can show more decisively the oblivion into which Massinger had falim than that Rowe should think it possible to escape detection in his wholesale looti For a time, too, he was thoroughly successful. His Gay Lothario took such a ho in the English mind that he still dwells in the English tongue, and nearly eighty yous later, when Johnson pronounced this shameless plagiarism to be one of the most pleasing tragedies on the stage, where it still keeps its turns of appearing, and probably will long keep them, for there is scarcely any work of any poet at once so interesting by the fable, and so delightful by the language, he was evidently not aware that every thing in the play really deserving admiration, except the mere harmonious versifica tion, was the work of another man. And yet Johnson was himself a Shakspearian commentator! Of the baseness and shabbiness ot' Rowe's conduct in the a?'air it is impossible to speak with patience, and one feels quite grateful to the Earl of Oxford for loading him that famous dance about the Spanish language. Time too has already put the matter square. The once fashionable Fair Penitent is read by no one, and will probably never be reprinted, while The Fatal Dowry is perused year after year by in, creasing numbers with increasing admiration.

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Title:The Plays of Philip Massinger: From the Text of William Gifford, With the Addition of the Tragedy…Format:PaperbackDimensions:672 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.35 inPublished:August 5, 2018Publisher:FB&C LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:133448905X

ISBN - 13:9781334489051

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