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one who professed to be a "sound Machiavill.” In Tamburlaine, a bitter enemy, the son of a king on whom unforgettable indignities had been heaped, was allowed to live. In the Jew of Malta, the victim of the worst harm that could be inflicted was made the arbiter of the fate of the guilty person. Both Tamburlaine and Barabas remained hopelessly ignorant of the first principles of Machiavellian psychology at the most critical moments in their lives. To make matters worse, Barabas attempted to apply to his private life the laws or expedients governing public policy,– an endeavor which finds no support in Il Principe.
What Marlowe meant to present in the Jew of Malta is one thing: and he failed signally to rise to the occasion. What he actually presented is another thing, which had to be, because a certain Christopher Marlowe was responsible for it, namely a further example of the Nietzschean dicta : “Man has one terrible and fundamental wish; he desires power. ... There is a universal need to exercise some kind of power, or to create for one's self the appearance of some power.
That same urge was back of the superhuman longings of Faustus.
It is only fair to Marlowe, however, to admit that his political plays, Edward II and The Massacre at Paris, are creditable efforts to employ the Machiavellian art in a fitting environment. Young Mortimer, in the former, has the attributes of a successful leader. But, as always in the case of any human character constructed by Marlowe, the Will to Power, the intense, personal, arrogant pride of the man frustrate his laudable ambitions as a ruler. In addition, Mortimer was too much of an Englishman to work out a Machiavellian scheme in all its logical details. Traditions, moral conventions, a certain ineradicable optimism, a sort of subjection to what may be called his “better nature," an apparently indestructible belief in the ultimate honor of man, and a stubborn inflexibility of will, -- a poor substitute for Machiavellian fluidity of thought and action,-invalidate his good intentions. He suspects Kent, yet does not remove him from this sordid world. He should have divined the feelings and the probable conduct of the young Prince, yet complacently expects to be the power behind the throne :
“The prince I rule, the queen I do command,
And to conclude, I am Protector now.
And what I list command who dare control?” These are admirable Machiavellian notions : all that Mortimer lacked was psychological insight. His courage, proved a dozen times, his clever stirring up of rebellion for the purpose of ridding the court of Gaveston, the king's favorite, his plan to keep Gaveston in England, where he could be more easily assassinated, his repeal of Gaveston's exile, for which the king rewards him by appointing him Lord Marshall, his orders to Gurney to worry the king to death rather than to kill him outright, his decision to put an end to the king's life because the populace is beginning to pity him, his prompt murder of Lightborn after the latter has murdered the king,- are all signs of an accomplished politician, but not necessarily of a statesman. To have realized his aims, he should have made allowance for the affection of the English for their king: he should have pitted the barons against one another; he should have debauched the Prince and made him a ready tool or cultivated his friendship in a seemingly sincere manner through the mother; he should have disposed of the king in some really subtle, swift fashion, instead of letting him linger in prison, an object of daily compassion. The whole trouble with Mortimer as a Machiavellian is that he transferred a perfectly good Italian policy to England without making those racial and temperamental modifications demanded by the specific circumstances surrounding him.
The Duke of Guise, in the Massacre at Paris, falls far short of the Machiavellian ideal for two simple reasons. Ready as he is to quote Machiavelli for his purposes, he finds himself doomed to failure by that fatal lust for blood which marks the leading
characters in Marlowe's plays, and even more by the counterplots of that genuine, though veiled, female Machiavellian in the drama,- Catherine de' Medici, daughter of the Most Magnificent Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Urbino, to whom Machiavelli dedicated Il Principe and from whose house he hoped to see the deliverer of Italy appear.
It will have been seen that Marlowe's conception of Machiavellianism was little more than the current Elizabethan conception. It was characterized by mediocre psychological intuition, by want of impersonality, by lack of finesse. It was deficient in imagination. It glorified sledge-hammer politics, crass cruelty, and an overweening passion for the Will to Power. It was based on a misunderstanding of the difference between public and private morality. It portrayed monsters. It coincided with the vulgar interpretation of Machiavellianism which has persisted down to the present time. It divorced virtue from virtù, which Machiavelli has not deemed by any means a necessary consequence. It eliminated, or nearly eliminated, fortuna, since the artificially energetic will-power of Marlowe's creation is incompatible with extraneous acts of chance.
Enamored as Marlowe and his fellow-dramatists were of the fascinating Machiavellian game, only one of them succeeded in playing it in a truly expert manner. That Shakespeare was the man need scarcely be mentioned. His Richard III embodied the spirit of Il Principe, -not with absolute perfection, perhaps, since, as Nietzsche points out, Machiavellianism “is superhuman, divine, transcendental, and can never be achieved by man,- the most he can do is to approximate it," but certainly with extraordinary sympathy. Friendless, hated, feared, Richard made of his ambitions a purely intellectual pursuit. Whatever step he took had a complete psychological motivation. His calculation of all the possible moves on the board was rapid and exact. His discrimination between individual and mob hychology was unerring. His knowledge of the feminine heart was uncanny. Withal, there resided in that hectic, syncopated body a comprehension of all that is noble and magnanimous, which leads one to conjecture that in a more enlightened and generous age he might have dazzled by good deeds. Above all,
he was a profound realist, humble before facts, though never elsewhere. Machiavellianism, in a nutshell, is exactly this, leadership based on realism unadulterated by shoddy. Marlowe's interpretation will not stand that test.
How much significance is to be attached to Courthope's affirmation that “Marlowe's conception of Machiavelli's principle of virtù revolutionized the English drama,” cannot be determined without a thorough examination of the Elizabethan drama in its totality. Strong, domineering characters of the Marlowe type were familiar to Elizabethans before Marlowe began to write for the stage, and Seneca and the Elizabethan criticism of life may be accounted responsible for them in large measure. That Marlowe's interpretation of virtù was rather a vital factor in the evolution of a new species of English drama than a revolution of the entire drama, is more than probable. Whatever the truth may be, we should be on our guard against confusing Marlowe's conception of the principle of virtù with Machiavelli's expression of that principle. They are not identical. For, if the facts be looked squarely in the face, it will be seen that Marlowe was not so much a Post-Machiavellian as a Pre-Nietzschean.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF MUSIC
In his book on Heroes and Hero-Worship Carlyle left the musician without exposition. He makes amongst others the following statement: “Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us nearer to the Infinite; we look for moments, across the cloudy elements, into the Eternal Sea of Light, when song leads and inspires us. Serious nations, all nations that can still listen to the mandate of nature, have prized song and music as the highest; as a vehicle for worship, for prophecy, and for whatsoever in them was divine.
Their singer was a Vates, admitted to the council of the universe, friend of the gods, and choicest benefactor to man.” Notwithstanding this tribute, which accords to music the position to which its adherents believe that it has an eminent right, Carlyle does not give the great musician a place among the heroes who have labored with success in the advancement of the race.
So Emerson, in his “Representative Men," speaks of the poet and the mystic, the philosopher, the man of the world, and the writer, but he proceeds in his discussion in apparent unconsciousness of the claim of the illustrious musician to a share in his eulogies of the benefactors of mankind. On the other hand, however, in George Eliot's novel of Daniel Deronda there appears a pianist and composer, Klesmer, who makes extraordinary demands for due consideration. This figure is generally regarded as being a portrayal of Anton Rubenstein; and he arrogates to himself an assured position among the great men of his period who mould public opinion and give form and character to the age to which they belong.
It has taken music a long time to come into its own. It is the last of the great arts to reach its majority and accomplish its task. For sculpture we go back to the Greeks; for architecture we have Egypt and Athens and the cathedral building centuries; for painting we have the times of Raphael and Angelo, Dürer and Rembrandt; poetry, the universal art, belongs everywhere; but music has had a long novitiate, has made a slow and arduous