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oraculous perduit, testudinous, auspicate, æquability, procere (used of grass), and induce (applied to a masque ; cf. Jonson's induce a morris, used in the Satyr). In the City Wit we find deprome, suspiration, surphuled, carkanetted, outrecuidance. Covent Garden Weeded has dehort, and Sparagus Garden, depusilated. In the Antipodes occur somniferous, capital (used of a beaver hat), and lacerate (used of papers). Some of these words I quote, not because they are unusual in themselves, but because they sound very pedantic in their context. Not many of them have actual precedents in Jonson's usage, but I think his style would easily lead an inferior mind like Brome's into the pitfall of verbal pedantry.
Actual verbal reminiscences of Jonson are not so common as might be expected. Dr. Faust has noted one in the City Wit.1 Sarpego says : Diogenes Laertius on a certain time demanded of Cornelius Tacitus, an areopagite of Syracusa, what was the most commodious and expeditest method to kill the itch.' This may be compared with Clove's speech in Every Man Out : 'Aristotle in his dæmonologia approves Scaliger for the best navigator in his time, and in his hypercritics he reports him to be Heautontimorumenos '! Another parallel noted by Dr. Fausta occurs in the Antipodes (1. 5, p. 244) : Blaze tells Letoy that the herald has Letoy's genealogy
Full four descents beyond
Of your French ancestry came in with the Conqueror.
Letoys have our descent.
They all come of our house, the La-Fooles of the north, the La-Fooles of the west, the La-Fooles of the south-we are as
1 Faust, op. cit., p. 52.
2 Op. cit., p. 59.
ancient a family as any in England, but I myself am descended lineally of the French La-Fooles.
Ward? points out another passage in Brome, parallel to this in the English Moor (3. 2, p.43) : ‘The Buzzards are all gentlemen. We came in with the Conqueror. Our name (as the French has it) is Beaudesert.' Two more verbal reminiscences have been noted by Professor Koeppel. The same Malapropism which occurs in Covent Garden Weeded (1. I, p. 1o), where, after a song one character says, 'O most melodious,' and another, Most odious, Did you say? It is methinks most odoriferous,' is to be found in the Poetaster (4. I), where, after Crispinus sings, Albius remarks, ‘0, most odoriferous music !' The general resemblance of Covent Garden Weeded 1. I and Alchemist 4. 2 has already been noted. There is also a verbal resemblance in Clotpoll's speech (p. II), ‘Do you think if I give my endeavor to it, I shall ever learn to roar and carry it as you do, that have it naturally as you say '? and Kastrill's 'Do you think doctor, I e'er shall quarrel well’?
One last detail in which Brome imitated Jonson is a minor one, but obvious. This is the use of the induction.' With Brome we never find it in such elaborate form as those of Bartholomew Fair, Every Man out of his Humor, or the Staple of News, but it appears rather as a humorous and somewhat longer prologue than usual. The City Wit has one of this sort spoken by the pedant in the play, and the prologue to the Novella has a humorously impromptu air that suggests Jonson. The long epilogue to the Court Begger, with its personal remarks and advertisement of the author's works, is another example of the same kind of thing. Another similar and purely external device is that of occasionally adding a brief characterization of
Op. cit., 3. 129, n. 2.
2 Op. cit., pp. 145, 169.
some of the dramatis persone in printing a play. For instance, before the Mad Couple well Matched, we read Wat, a blunt fellow,' 'Mrs. Crostill, a rich Vintners Widow, and humorous ' ; before the Court Begger, ‘Mr. Courtwit, a Complimenter,' 'Mr. Swaynwit, a blunt Country Gentleman,' 'Mr. Citwit, a citizens son that supposes himself a wit,' Sir Raphael, an old Knight that talkes much and would be thought wise,' etc. This is a very faint imitation of the long character-sketches that precede the early plays of Jonson.
After all this detailed discussion of the influence of Jonson on Brome, I repeat what I said at the beginning of it, that Brome's imitation is not a completely servile copying. His plays are the work of a man who learned playwriting by being apprenticed to it as a trade, just as he might have learned carpentry. He followed his master's methods, and applied them to his own pieces of work with much skill and intelligence, but without much literal plagiarism and without any originality.
INFLUENCE OF SHAKESPEARE
The influence of Shakespeare on Brome has naturally been worked out with much care. Certain of the more obvious indications of it have been pointed out by Ward and by Dr. Faust, but a full study of the question is to be found in Professor Koeppel's Studien über Shakespeare's Wirkung auf Zeitgenössische Dramatiker. 1 This careful work must be supplemented, however, by a few further cases of resemblance.
Professor Koeppel says, in introducing his chapter on Brome: 'In verschwenderischer weise hat Richard Brome die stoffe verwendet, die ihm das drama und die
1 Materialien zur Kunde des Alteren Englischen Dramas (1905) 9. 42–47,
prosa seiner vorgänger und zeitgenossen boten. Er nimmt sich dabei selten die zeit, ein motiv sauber herauszuarbeiten und es organisch mit der haupthandlung zu verknüpfen; er will nur durch eine möglichst bunte reihenfolge von scenen fesseln. Begreiflicher weise werden wir in dem sammelsurium seiner production oft auch an Shakespeare erinnert – Bromes freundschaft mit Ben Jonson, der als dichter in erster linie sein vorbild war, hielt ihn nicht ab, auch die werke des grossen dichterischen antipoden seines meisters für seine zwecke auszubeuten.'
But once does Brome refer to Shakespeare by name. In the Antipodes,1 Letoy says of his troop of actors,
These lads can act the Emperors lives all over,
And Shakespeares Chronicled histories to boot.' But there are, besides this passage, many cases of parallelism which show an undoubted knowledge of Shakespeare.
Of the several resemblances in situations, most are too slight to prove any direct influence. There is a rather unimportant resemblance between the situation in one of the minor interests in the Mad Couple well Matchedin which Alicia, the light wife of the merchant Saleware, falls in love with Bellamy, a woman in disguise—and the Olivia-Viola motive in Twelfth Night. Professor Koeppel's comment on this is ? : ' Schon diese andeutungen genügen, uns erkennen zu lassen, dass sich Brome's dramatis persona in einer viel unreineren luft bewegen als Shakespeare's gestalten'; but I think the resemblance too slight to suggest anything else. The same monograph has a comparison of the main outline of the City Wit with Timon of Athens. Here, again, I should say that the resemblance is too slight to be worth noting, were it not for a
1 l. 5.
Op. cit., p. 43.
3 Op. cit., p. 43.
rather close verbal imitation of a single passage. There is no likeness in plot or character, but merely in the situation of a man refused credit by his friends when he has suffered financial reverses. The attitude of mind and the behavior of the leading character in the two plays are totally different. A much more obvious case of borrowing is that pointed out by Professor Koeppel between the Court Begger, Act 3, and the Merchant of Venice 1. 2. Lady Strangelove and her maid Philomel discuss the lady's lovers with great freedom, much as Portia and Nerissa discuss Portia's.
The Queen's Exchange is much more reminiscent of Shakespeare than any other of Brome's plays. Professor Koeppel, following Ward's hint, 3 has shown the resemblance of the relations between Segebert and his sons, Anthynus and Offa, to those of Lear and his daughters, as well as a further parallel between the two sons and Edgar and Edmund in Lear. Another instance of indebtedness in the same play is the fact that Anthynus has a vision, in which six West-Saxon kings appear in dumb show,4 like the show of Scottish kings in Macbeth. Dr. Faust 5 finds a resemblance between the scene in which Segebert and Anthynus are set upon by Offa and that in Macbeth in which Banquo is murdered and Fleance escapes, but I doubt whether any one else can detect any similarity. Dr. Faust has two better suggestions, however-the comparison of the flight of the lovers in the Novella with the elopement of Lorenzo and Jessica in the Merchant of Venice, and the parallel between Victoria's characterization of her lovers in the same play and the dialogue between Portia and Nerissa,? which Brome borrowed again in the Court Begger. Furthermore,
Op.cit., p. 44. 2 Op.cit., p. 46. 3 Ward, op. cit., 3. 129, n. 4. 4 Act 3, p. 505. Faust, op. cit, p. 94. 6 Faust, op. cit., p. 80. 7 Faust, op. cit., p. 80.