Then, Arden, perish thou by that decree;. For Greene doth Who when they shall see me sit in Arden’s seat, The text of ‘Arden of Faversham’ can be read at. Arden of Feversham. edited by Ronald Bayne. contrib. by Thomas Kyd ยท Project Gutenberg Release # Select author names above for additional. Title. Arden of Feversham; Arden of Feversham / Anonymous; The tragedy of Master Arden of Feversham; The lamentable and true tragedy of Master Arden of .

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Search the history of over billion web pages on the Internet. I have not noted minute variations. The German editors, Warnke and Proescholt, give the various readings of the three Quartos and of later editions.

I cannot but finally take heart to say, even in the absence of all external or traditional testimony, that it seems to me not pardonable merely or permissible, but simply logical and reasonable, to set down this poem, a young man’s work on the face of it, as the possible work of no man”s youthful hand but Shakespeare’s. Arden of Feversham in Kent. Wherin is shewed the great mallice and discimulation of a wicked womanly the unsatiable desire of fit hie lust and the shamefttll end of all murderers.

The second and third Quartos are founded textually upon the first, and their variations are of no value. The text of the first Quarto is unusually good even when prose and verse are mixed together, although the printer has apparently no scientific knowledge of the nature of metre. Place of the Play in the Elizabethan Drama.

Arden of Faversham is the finest extant specimen of a kind of play which 1 A misprint for Blackwill. A picturesque or sensational murder in the sixteenth century was given to the public first in popular ballads or pamphlets, and afterwards, if sufficiently notable, in the more serious Chronicle. From the popular pamphlet, or from the Chronicle, or from both together, it ardeb its way on to the stage.

They form a minor section of the Chronicle plays or Histories.

Arden of Faversham

They did not attain any very striking literary development, owing perhaps to the necessary bondage of the poet to his facts. Arden of Faversham is a remarkable instance of the possi- bilities of this class of play, but it is to be noted that the poet used the narrative of a Chronicler who wrote twenty-seven years after the date of the murder.

Several famous dramatists produced ‘ domestic ‘ tragedies, but none have survived. Source of the Play. The chronicler begins thus: The which murder for the horribleness thereof, although otherwise it may seem to be but a private matter, and therefore as it were impertinent to this History, I have thought good to set ttext forth somewhat at large, having the instructions delivered to me by them that have used some diligence to gather the true understanding of the circumstances.

The Wardmote Book gives a curt account of the actual murder on the O evening with the names and fate of the culprits. It tells us nothing of the previous failures of these culprits which give to Holinshed’s tale such a terrible and dramatic interest.

We need not speculate on Holinshed’s sources. No doubt there were many contemporary pamphlets and ballads vull recounted the murder. We know only of The Complaint. But this is dated by Mr. Bullen aboutwhen the third Quarto of the play appeared, and was probably occasioned by that re-issue. The important point to bear in mind is the excellence of Holinshed’s narrative.


To praise it adequately we must say that it is worthy of the fine play founded upon it, which probably had no other source. The play agrees always with Holinshed when Holinshed differs from the Wardmote Book. When the play differs from Holin- shed it differs also from the Wardmote Book. Holinshed and the Wardmott Book both explicitly assert this. Franklin, Arden’s friend, is also an invention of the dramatist. Author of the Play. The three Quartos are all anonymous. We know of no other edition tillwhen Edward Jacob, a Faversham antiquary, edited the first Quarto, and boldly claimed the play for Shakespeare.

Ludwig Tieck published in an excellent German translation, accompanied by a dis- criminating statement of the case for the Shakesperean author- ship. Delius, editing the play inagreed with Tieck, and was followed by the French translator, Fran9ois Victor Hugo, and more recently by Professor Mezieres.

Owing to the sup- posed Shakespearean authorship there have been at least three translations into German, one into French, and one into Favershan. In England opinion has been more divided.

Arden of Feversham

Professor Ward’ and J. Symonds inchne to reject it.

Professor Saintsbury considers that ‘the only possible hypothesis on atden it could be admitted as Shakespeare’s would be that of an early experiment thrown off while he was seeking his way in a direction where he found no thoroughfare. The only reason for ascribing the play to Shakespeare is its merit. It seems incredible that a drama so mature in its art should have been written in by a writer otherwise unknown to us.

In three directions the art of the writer is mature. The picture of Arden, as a man fascinated and bewitched by his wife and by his fate, might match that of Mosbie and Alice if the artist had not blurred his conception by the introduction of the jarring motives of avarice and sacrilege. But the poet’s aim is clear ; it is his own, and it almost succeeds. Second, the picturesque ferocity and grim humour of Black Will and Shakebag are described with a firmness and ease and restraint of style which critics have not sufficiently noted.

The prose of our poet is excellent. His humour has a clearly defined character and style of its own. The character of Michael, so admired by Mr. Swinburne, is as subtle and well-sustained as Mosbie’s or Alice Arden’s, and it exhibits our poet’s special humorous gift. This gift, excellent as it is, seems to me very definitely not Shakespearean. Arden’s words, ‘ I am almost stifled favversham this fog!

Bullen insists, the weak point in Mr. In none of Shakespeare’s plays can it be perceived that the poet has taken such pains as the poet of Arden takes. Unless Shakespeare wrote tex play as soon as he reached London, and then for a year or two wrote nothing else, it is impossible to fit it into his work. To suggest that Shakespeare revised the play is to shirk the question. Its excellence is in its warp and woof, not in its ornaments.

Bullen’s Lntrodtidion is the best mono- graph on the play. Warnke and Proescholt’s Introduction should be consulted, but lacks the distinction of style and the critical insight of Mr. Enter Arden and Franklin. Arden, cheer up thy spirits, and droop no aarden


My gracious Lord, the Duke of Somerset, Hath freely given to thee and to thy heirs. By letters patents from his Majesty, All the lands of the Abbey of Feversham. Sealed and subscribed with his name and the king’s: Read them, and leave this melancholy mood. Franklin, thy love prolongs my weary life ; And but for thee how odious were this life, lo That shows me nothing but torments my soul, And those foul objects that offend mine eyes!

Which makes me wish that for this veil of heaven The earth hung over my head and covered me. Arden of Feversham Love-letters pass ‘twixt Mosbie and my wife, And they have privy meetings in the town: Nay, on his finger did I spy the ring Which at our marriage-day the priest put on.

Can any grief be half so great as this? Comfort thyself, sweet friend ; it is not strange 20 That women will be false and wavering.

Arden, Ay, but to dote on such a one as he Is monstrous, Franklin, and intolerable. Why, what is he? A botcher, and no better at the first ; Who, by base brokage getting some small stock, Crept into service of a nobleman.

And by his servile flattery and fawning Is now become the steward of his house, And bravely jets it in his silken gown. No nobleman will countenance such a peasant. Yes, the Lord Clifford, he that loves not me. But through his favour let him not grow proud ; For were he by the Lord Protector backed. He should not make me to be pointed at.

I am by birth a gentleman of blood, And that injurious ribald, that attempts To violate my dear wife’s chastity For dear I hold her love, as dear as heaven Shall on the bed which he thinks to defile 40 2 Arden of Feversham act i.

See his dissevered joints and sinews torn, Whilst on the planchers pants his weary body, Smeared in the channels of his lustful blood. Be patient, gentle friend, and learn of me To ease thy grief and save her chastity: In any case be not too jealous.

Nor make no question of her love to thee ; But, as securely, presently take horse, 50 And lie with me at London all this term ; For women, when they may, will not, But, being kept back, straight grow outrageous. Though this abhors from reason, yet I ’11 try it, And call her forth and presently take leave.

Husband, what mean you to get up so early?

Summer-nights are short, and yet you rise ere day. Had I been wake, you had not risen so soon. Sweet love, thou knowest that we two. Ovid- like, 60 Have often chid the morning when it ‘gan to peep. And often wished that dark night’s purblind steeds Would pull her by the purple mantle back, And cast her in the ocean to her love.

Arden of Feversham But this night, sweet Alice, thou hast killed my heart: I heard thee call on Mosbie in thy sleep. Ay, but you started up and suddenly. Instead of him, caught me about the neck. And where but one is, how can I mistake? Arden, leave to urge her ttext.

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