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necting a passage referring to the lost Delphrygus, in Greene's Groatsworth, with another reference to the same lost play (or the King of Fairies) by Nashe in his Introduction to Menaphon (1589), Mr. Greg finds Greene began writing for the stage when this (or these) were the popular pieces, obsolete in 1589, so that 1587 is the latest date assignable for his earliest effort. The argument is perhaps strained, perhaps elusive, but it is legitimate. "Orlando must be after Alphonsus." Mr. Greg seems to accept a date of 1590 (from Collins) for Peele's Old Wives' Tale, and he deems it certain that it followed Orlando because there are two passages in common and because the character Sacrapant is in both, which Greene took from Ariosto. Mr. Greg disagrees with Collins about the authorship of Selimus, which play the former rightly continues to ascribe (mainly) to Greene-his arguments here are sound and useful -Greene, under the influence, no doubt, of Marlowe. It is a lamentable thing for Greene's play-writing repute, but it is nevertheless probably true, that George-a-Greene is to be removed from his authorship, or at the very least very strongly doubted as his. James the Fourth is placed last in date. Internal evidence shows it to date 1590-1591, as I have shown elsewhere. Needless to say none of the above information is due to Churton Collins. The date of 1590 for Peele's Old Wives' Tale is unacceptable. It must be earlier. The argument from common passages, and the name Sacrapant, will work the other way. And it is very doubtful if we have any dramatic work by Greene as early as, or at any rate earlier, than 1586.
Since Greene is most prominently met with in Part I., I will adduce his parallels first. More could be found by more careful reading, I have no doubt, and those I do adduce by no means exhaust my collection, as my notes will show.
I. i. 23. planets of mishap. "Borne underneath the Planet of mishap " (Alphonsus, Grosart, xiii. 391).
1. i. 67. cause him once more yield the ghost. Without to. Twice again in Henry VIII. Uncommon in Elizabethan writers. "Whose fathers he causd murthered in these warres" (George-a-Greene). Greene wrote a sketch of this scene, but it is mainly by Shakespeare, rewritten.
1. ii. 34. skirmish. Often used by Greene. The same applies to massacre above, 1. i. 135. Uncommon words at this time and seldom in Shakespeare. "The skirmish furiously begun, continuing for the space of three houres with great massacre and. bloodshed" (Euphues His Censure, Grosart, vi. 254). For massacre, see note II. ii. 18. But Greene has not the verb "skirmish." It is frequent in Berner's Froissart.
1. ii. 48. your cheer appal'd. Not elsewhere in Shakespeare. Occurs several times in Greene as distinct from appal. "Neither let our presence appale your senses" (Myrrour of Modestie, iii. 18).
1. ii. 72. at first dash. Only here with Shakespeare but a favourite with Greene-"shal Fancie give me the foyle at the first dash?" (Mamillia, ii. 73). And repeated in Alcida, ix. 59. Earlier in Promos and Cassandra by Whetstone.
1. ii. 95. buckle with. Twice again in this play, and in 3 Henry VI. I. iv. 50. Greene has it: "hasted forward to buckle with Acestes (Orpharion, xii. 53): "he marvelled how Scilla durst buckle with his great Fortune" (Tritameron, Part II. iii. 131); "buckle with the foe" (Alphonsus, xiii. 393). Shakespeare would know this from Grafton (1543).
I. ii. 148. immortalized. Not again in Shakespeare. Earlier in this sense in Greene: "immortalize whom thou wilt with thy toys" (Menaphon, vi. 110). He found it in Spenser.
1. iii. 13. warrantize. Occurs in this sense again only in Sonnet 150. A rare word. Greene has " Pawning his colours for thy warrantize" (Orlando Furioso, xiii. 155).
1. iii. 38. not budge a foot. Greene has "Bouge not a foote to aid Prince Rodomant" (Orlando Furioso, xiii. 155). "I'll not budge an inch" is in Taming of the Shrew. The first three scenes were chiefly written by Greene. But Nashe lent aid in Scene ii.?
I. iv. 74. martial men. Again in Lucrece 200. "nominate himselfe to be a Marshall man (Greene, Blacke Bookes Messenger, xi. 6). Nashe used this earlier.
This scene is by Shakespeare. Nashe seems again to have assisted. Scene v. with its assemblage of natural history metaphors is most near Greene.
I. vi. 22. Rhodope's or Memphis'. "They which came to Memphis thought they had seene nothing unlesse they had viewed the Pyramides built by Rhodope" (Mamillia, Grosart, ii. 270). And again, p. 280. And in The Debate between Follie, and Love, iv. 219: "What made Rhodope builde the Pyramides . but Follie?" And in Planetomachia, v. 104, and elsewhere. Characteristic of Greene.
This scene recalls Marlowe a little. Compare the last lines to clear the stage with Tamburlaine, Part I. end of Act III.; and Tamburlaine, Part II. end of 1. i.; end of 1. iii. and end of 11. iii. The classical references may be his. But see under Marlowe. The metre and verse is nearer Marlowe than Shakespeare's earliest stage.
II. i. 4. Court of guard. Compare the position here with that in Greene's Orlando Furioso, xiii. 134, 135. The term is often in Greene, as Menaphon, vi. 120; Orpharion, xii. 58, etc.
II. i. 14. to quittance their deceit. An uncommon verb, not again in Shakespeare. Greene has "to quittance all my ils" (Orlando Furioso, xiii. 140); and "to quittance all thy wrongs" (p. 186) in the same play. And again in Philomela and elsewhere.
L II. i. 77. platform (plan). Not again in Shakespeare, but very common in Greene.
11. ii. 27. dusky vapours. "No duskie vapour did bright Phœbus shroude (Never too Late, viii. 68).
II. iii. 10. give their censure. Again in 2 Henry VI. and Richard III. A favourite with Greene: "to give a censure of painting" (Tritameron of Love, iii. 78); and often.
II. iii. 41. Captivate (captive). A rare word outside Greene. It occurs below, v. iii. 107 again: "the mindes of the souldiers captivate by their Captaines bounty" (Euphues His Censure, vi. 283). And elsewhere.
Up to this Greene has had a share, at least, in the composition of Act II.; although his work has been retouched in ii. and iii. See Shakespeare's part below. Scenes iv. and v. I would allot wholly to Shake
III. i. 8. Presumptuous. Outside these three plays, in each of which it occurs, Shakespeare uses presumptuous only once in All's Well That Ends Well. Greene is very fond of it as suitable to his favourite air of bravado, which shows itself in this scene. Greene has it in James the Fourth and twice in Alphonsus. Compare "Presumptuous Viceroy darst thou check thy Lord" (A Looking Glasse for London, xiv. 12). Marlowe and Spenser both use it, and it was far earlier.
III. i. 13. Verbatim. Not elsewhere in Shakespeare. "I have not translated Lentulus letter verbatim worde for worde" (Tullies Love, vii. 153).
III. i. 15. pestiferous. Only again in All's Well That Ends Well, iv. iii. 340. Greene has it several times: "prohibit him from his pestiferous purpose" (Mamillia, ii. 118, and again 186). Dissentious (1. 15) is also a favourite with Greene.
III. i. 48. to patronage his theft. This verb occurs again below, III. iv. 32; and is not known elsewhere except as a word of Greene's: "patronage learning and souldiers" (Euphues to Philautus, vi. 151 (1587)); patronage such affections" (ibid. p. 239). Greene has the verb in his epistles to three others of his prose tracts.
III. i. 43. lordly sir. Then lordly sir, whose conquest is as great" (Frier Bacon, xiii. 54). Shakespeare never uses this word outside these plays (I. and II.) excepting once in Lucrece. Probably then, as now, it had an unpleasant sneer in it.
Greene and Peele have it often.
III. i. 64. have a fling at.
Not elsewhere in Shakespeare and no
earlier example in New Eng. Dict. that is parallel. It is a favourite with Greene: "they must have one fling at women? dispraysing their nature" (Mamillia, ii. 76, 77); “did meane to have a fling at her" (Defence of Conny-Catching, xi. 37). And in Never too Late, viii. 190, and again, viii. 218. And in Selimus (by Greene and Peele), xiv. 290. Earlier in Whetstone.
III. i. 113. repulse. An uncommon word in the sense of serious rebuff. Greene affords an example: "When the Turke doth heare of this repulse, We shall be sure to die " (Alphonsus, xiii. 381).
III. i. 99. inkhorn mate. The adjective is not elsewhere in Shakespeare, nor is the word anywhere used by him with a sneer. And mate, as a term of contempt, disappears early from his work. Mate is frequent in Greene. See Greene, xiii. 124, 138, 342, 366, 396, etc. One of his most usual words. For inkhorn; "an inkhorne desire to be eloquent " (Menaphon, vi. 82).
III. i. 171. girt. Again in 2 Henry VI. 1. i. 165. "And girt faire England with a wall of brasse" (Frier Bacon, xiii. 77); "Go girt thy loines" (A Looking Glasse for London, xiv. 51). (See note at passage here.) Earlier in Marlowe.
III. i. 190. feign'd . . . forged. Commonly set together by Greene: "fained faith & forged flatterie" (Mamillia, ii. 183); "to forge a fayned tale" (Alphonsus, xiii. 341). And the first line of the Prologue to Selimus. In Spenser's Colin Clout.
111. i. 192. fester'd members rot. "the festring Fistuloe hath by long continuance made the sound flesh rotten" (Mamillia, ii. 125).
This scene is quite beyond Greene in dignity and continuity of purpose. But he certainly bore a hand in its construction.
III. ii. 55. twit with cowardice. Only in Two Gentlemen of Verona outside these plays. "She twits thee with Vesta" (Tullies Love, vii. 167); "twit him with the lawes that nature lowes" (A Looking Glasse for London, xiv. 12). But see under Peele.
III. ii. 119. enshrines. This term is found figurativly used both in Locrine and Selimus, which proves nothing. New Eng. Dict. has no earlier example than the present.
Scene ii. is probably wholly Shakespeare's. I see no reason to look for another's work; if there be any it would be safest to suggest Peele. į
III. iii. 3. corrosive. Occurs again only in 2 Henry VI. III. ii. 403 where it is a noun. Not an uncommon word in figurative use with various spellings, and often used by Greene as in Mamillia: "the corasive of despair," ii. p. 152, etc., etc. Earlier in Grafton.
III. iii. 6, 7. peacock pull his plumes. Greene is particularly fond of the peacock and his plumes as a metaphor in his prose tracts. For pull his plumes (not again in Shakespeare) compare Greene: "Pull all your plumes and sore dishonour you" (George-a-Greene (Dyce edn. 261, b, Routledge)); "a tawny hiew pulleth downe my plumes" (Metamorphoses, Grosart, ix. 22); "Solon pulde downe his plumes" (Farewell to Follie, ix. 260). Marlowe uses this also.
III. iii. II. foil. Occurs again meaning defeat, miscarriage (Schmidt)
only at v. iii. 23 below. Often in Greene, but it is also earlier. The same words apply also to "sugared words" in line 18, only paralleled in 2 Henry VI. and Richard III.
V III. ii. 12.
secret policies (dodges, tricks). The only plural use in Shakespeare. A favourite word with the writer of the Conny-Catching tracts: "sundry policies" (Second Part of Conny-Catching, x. 77); “now Ile flie to secret policie" (George-a-Greene, xiv. 146).
III. iii. 61. progeny, meaning descent, is an old use but not met with in Shakespeare. Greene used it frequently (see note): "my progeny from such a peevish Parent" (Planetomachia, v. 40, etc.).
L III. iii. 79. roaring cannon-shot. The earliest example of cannonshot in New Eng. Dict., and not again in Shakespeare. Greene has the whole expression: "the roaring cannon-shot spit forth the venome of their fired panch" (Alphonsus, xiii. 397).
III. iii. 91. prejudice the foe. The verb is not used by Shakespeare. "What daies and nightes they spende in watching either to preuent or preiudice the enemie" (Farewell to Follie, ix. 247). And in Never too Late, viii. 53.
III. iv. is so poor a scene and contains such wretched lines that one hesitates to ascribe it to any one. It contains Greene's verb patronage (1. 32), and his excrescent of (1. 29). miscreant (1. 44) is also a pet word with him. So that perhaps he would claim it in addition to Scene iii. which has many marks of him.
Iv. i. is entirely by Shakespeare. Evidences of him, and of no one else, appear in every speech. So also of Scenes ii., iii., iv. and v. Shakespeare is the author. Scenes vi. and vii., though recalling Greene in several places, and possibly written over an effort of his, are Shakespeare's down to the entrance of the Herald (vii. 50); the latter forty-five lines seem mongrel. "The proudest of you all " (v. vii. 88) is a favourite with Greene, and would have seemed strong evidence had I not met it in Hall's Chronicle. See note at passage, and at 3 Henry VI. 1. i. 46. ACT v.
v. i. 23.
Wanton dalliance with a paramour.
Probably by Greene.
Shakespeare has it
v. i. 28.
only in Henry VIII. and 1 and 3 Henry VI.
/ v. i. 33. co-equal with the crown. The word is not again in Shake"Make me in termes coequall with the gods” (Greene, Orlando
Furioso, xiii. 128). See under Marlowe for an earlier use.
In this scene we have fallen to a very low level of poetry. ii. there is no room or substance for an opinion, but Shakespeare seems almost to disappear from this onwards. Note here also how few Spenserian parallels occur; Act v. shows hardly any. This accords with Shakespeare's work as compared with Greene's.
v. iii. 6. lordly monarch of the north. "Asmenoth, guider of the north (Frier Bacon, xiii. 62); "Astmeroth, ruler of the North" (ibid. p. 81). For "lordly," see III. i. 43 above.