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Works published from 1596 to 1640. The time of neither the birth or the death of this writer is known. He wrote over two hundred plays-only a few of which have come down to us — and several prose works, besides attending to his business as an actor.

[From the "English Traveller."]


-THIS gentleman and I

Passed but just now by your next neighbor's house,
Where, as they say, dwells one young Lionel,
An unthrift youth, his father now at sea,

And there, this night, was held a sumptuous feast.
In the height of their carousing, all their brains

Warmed with the heat of wine, discourse was offered

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Of ships and storms at sea; when, suddenly,
Out of his giddy wildness, one conceives

The room wherein they quaffed to be a pinnace,
Moving and floating, and the confused noise

To be the murmuring of winds, gusts, mariners;
That their unsteadfast footing did proceed

From rocking of the vessel. This conceived,
Each one begins to apprehend the danger,

And to look out for safety. Fly, saith one,

Up to the maintop and discover. He

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Climbs by the bed-post to the tester, there
Reports a turbulent sea and tempest towards,
And wills them, if they'll save their ship and lives,
To cast their lading overboard. At this,
All fall to work, and hoist into the street,
As to the sea, what next comes to their hand
Stools, tables, tressels, trenchers, bedsteads, cups,
Pots, plate, and glasses. Here a fellow whistles-
They take him for the boatswain; one lies struggling
On the floor, as if he swam for life;

A third takes the bass-viol for a cock-boat,

Sits in the hollow on 't, labors and rows,

His oar, the stick with which the fiddler played;
A fourth bestrides his fellow, thinking to escape,
As did Arion, on the dolphin's back,

Still fumbling on a gittern. The rude multitude,
Watching without, and gaping for the spoil
Cast from the windows, went by the ears about it.
The constable is called to atone the broil;

Which done, and hearing such a noise within

Of imminent shipwreck, enters the house, and finds them In this confusion; they adore his staff,

And think it Neptune's trident; and that he

Comes with his Tritons, so they called his watch,

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To calm the tempest, and appease the waves;

And at this point we left them.



[Chorus from the Tragedy of " Marion."— Republished 1613.]

THE fairest action of our human life
Is scorning to revenge an injury;
For who forgives without a further strife,
His adversary's heart to him doth tie.
And 't is a firmer conquest, truly said,
To win the heart, than overthrow the head.

If we a worthy enemy do find,

To yield to worth, it must be nobly done;
But if of baser metal be his mind,

In base revenge there is no honor won.
Who would a worthy courage overthrow?
And who would wrestle with a worthless foe?

We say our hearts are great, and cannot yield;

Because they cannot yield, it proves them poor. Great hearts are tasked beyond their power, but seld The weakest lion will the loudest roar. Truth's school, for certain, doth this same allòw High-heartedness doth sometimes teach to bow.

A noble heart doth teach a virtuous scorn
To scorn to owe a duty overlong;

To scorn to be for benefits forborne ;

To scorn to lie; to scorn to do a wrong;

To scorn to bear an injury in mind;

To scorn a free-born heart slave-like to bind.


But if for wrongs we needs revenge must have,
Then be our vengeance of the noblest kind;
Do we his body from our fury save,

And let our hate prevail against our mind!
What can 'gainst him a greater vengeance be,
Than make his foe more worthy far than he?

Had Marion scorned to leave a due unpaid,
She would to Herod then have paid her love,
And not have been by sullen passion swayed.
To fix her thoughts all injury above
Is virtuous pride. Had Marion thus been proud,
Long famous life to her had been allowed.

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Massinger is considered superior to any other tragic poet of the reign of James I. He wrote a great number of pieces; the "New Way to Pay Old Debts" is considered one of his best productions. His life was spent in obscurity and poverty. He was one morning found dead in his bed, and "was buried, with no other inscription than the melancholy note in the parish register, 'Philip Massinger, a stranger,'

[From the "Virgin Martyr."]


[Angelo, an angel, attends Dorothea, as a page.]

Dorothea. My book and taper.

Angelo. Here, most holy mistress.

Dor. Thy voice sends forth such music, that I never Was ravished with a more celestial sound.

Were every

servant in the world like thee,

So full of goodness, angels would come down
To dwell with us; thy name is Angelo,
And like that name thou art.
Get thee to rest;
Thy youth with too much watching is opprest.
Ang. No, my dear lady. I could weary stars,
And force the wakeful moon to lose her eyes,
By my late watching, but to wait on you.
When at your prayers you kneel before the altar,
Methinks I'm singing with some choir of heaven,
So blest I hold me in your company.

Therefore, my most loved mistress, do not bid

Your boy,

For then

so serviceable, to get hence;


break his heart.

Dor. Be nigh me still, then.

In golden letters down I'll set that day

Which gave thee to me.

Little did I hope

To meet such worlds of comfort in thyself -
This little, pretty body-when I, coming
Forth of the temple, heard my beggar-boy,
My sweet-faced, godly beggar-boy, crave an alms,
Which with glad hand I gave, with lucky hand;
And when I took thee home, my most chaste bosom,
Methought, was filled with no hot, wanton fire,
But with a holy flame, mounting since higher,
On wings of cherubim, than it did before.

Ang. Proud am I that my lady's modest eye
So likes so poor a servant.

Dor. I have offered

Handfuls of gold but to behold thy parents.
I would leave kingdoms, were I queen of some,
To dwell with thy good father; for the son
Bewitching me so deeply with his presence,
He that begot him must do 't ten times more.
pray thee, sweet boy, show me thy parents;


Be not ashamed..

Ang. I am not; I did never

Know who my mother was; but, by your palace,

Filled with bright heavenly courtesies, I dare assure you,
pawn these
eyes upon it, and this hand,
My father is in heaven; and, pretty mistress,
If your illustrious hour-glass spend his sand
No worse than yet it doth, upon my life,
You and I both shall meet my father there,
And he shall bid you welcome.

Dor. A blessed day!

[From the "City Madam."]


Luke. No word, sir,

I hope, shall give offence; nor let it relish
Of flattery, though I proclaim aloud,

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