1691 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Dr. Thomas Lodge

Gerard Langbaine, in Account of the English Dramatick Poets (1691) 330-32.



A Doctor of Physick in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth; who was not so entirely devoted to Aesculapius, but that during his Residence in the University of Cambridge, he sometimes sacrificed to Apollo, and the Nine Sisters. Mr. Phillips says, "That he was One of the Writers of those pretty old Pastoral Songs and Madrigals, which were very much the Strain of those Times." But 'tis not in Lyrick Poetry alone that he exercis'd his Pen, but sometimes he exercis'd it in Dramatick likewise, in which way he has publish'd two Pieces, viz.

Looking-Glass for London and England, a Tragi-comedy, printed 4to Lond. 1598. in an old Black-Letter. In this Play our Author was assisted by Mr. Robert Green, of whom we have given an Account p. 241. This Drama is founded on Holy Writ, being the History of Jonas and the Ninevites, form'd into a Play. I suppose they chose this Subject in Imitation of others who had writ Dramas on Sacred Subjects long before them; as Ezekiel, a Jewish Dramatick Poet, writ the Deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt; Gregory Nanziansen, or as some say, Apollinaris of Ladodicea, writ the Tragedy of Christ's Passion: as I learn from the Learned Vossius. To these I might add Hugo Grotius, Theodore Beza, Petavius, &c. all which have built upon the Foundation of Sacred History.

Wounds of Civil War, lively set forth in the true Tragedies of Marius and Silla, publickly play'd in London, by the Right Honourable the Lord High Admiral his Servants; printed 4to. Lond. 1594. For the Plot, consult Plutarch in the Lives of Marius and Silla; Velleius Patercullus, Lib. 2. Salust. de Bello Jugurth. T. Livius, Lib. 66. Brev. Florus, Lib. 3. C 3. Aurelius Vistor; Eutropius, &c.

This Author (as Mr. Winstanley says) was an Eminent Writer of Pastoral Songs, Odes, and Madrigal; of which he cites a pretty Sonnet, which is said to be of his Composure; and he has transcrib'd another in praise of Rosalinde, out of his Euphues Golden-Legacy. This Book I never saw; and know nothing else of our Author's Writing, except a Treatise of the Plague, printed 4to Lond. 1600. As to the Plays ascrib'd to him by Mr. Philips and Mr. Winstanley, in which he is made an Associate with Mr. Robert Green, I have already shewed their mistake in the Account of that Author, to which I refer the Reader.