1824 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Heywood

Anonymous, in Retrospective Review 11 (1824) 126.



When the lamp of genius burnt dim, and the coruscations of wit ceased to sparkle, when the audience tired of the old plays, and managers no longer called for new ones, then the wit was forgotten at the patron's table, and the empty pockets, like the muffled drum, sounded the death of dramatic reputation. Such was the case with Green and Lilly, and Nash and Marlowe, and various others. Heywood, however, belonged, as far as we can ascertain or judge, to a steadier and more sedate order of writers. — Indeed, he appears to have had no time for dissipation, for, if we are to believe Kirkman, "he not only acted almost daily, but also obliged himself to write a sheet every day, for several years together;" it is true, however, that the same person adds, that — "many of his plays were composed loosely in taverns," which, if it is true, it seems, he frequented for a very untavern-like purpose.