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EARL

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V25, Page 925 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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EARL OF 925 (b) dramas, (c) the heroic fragment on Jonathan and the long poem on Doomesday. a. His earliest effort was Aurora, containing the first fancies of the author's youth (London, 1604), a miscellany of sonnets, songs and elegies, showing considerable formal felicity, if little originality, in the favourite themes of the Elizabethan sonneteers. To this may be added the Paraenesis to Prince Henry (u.s.), An Elegie on the Death of Prince Henrie (u.s.), and shorter pieces, including a sonnet to Michael Drayton, who had called Alexander " a man of men," and lines on the Report of the Death of Drummond of Hawthornden. b. He wrote four tragedies, Darius (1603), Croesus (1604), The Alexandraean (1605), and Julius Caesar (1607). The first and second were published together in 1604 as the Monarchicke Tragedies, a title which was afterwards given by Alexander to a print of the four works in the editions of 1607 and 1616. They are didactic poems rather than plays, a sequence of reflections of the type of the Falls of Princes, the Mirror for Magistrates, or Lyndsay's Dialog between Experience and a Courteour (known also as the " Monarche "). It is very probable that the last suggested both motif and title. The pieces are dialogues rather than dramas: the choruses are of the " Moralitas " type of Renaissance verse rather than classical; and the varied versification is unsuitable for representation. Yet they contain not a few fine passages in the soliloquies, notably one in Darius (IV., iii.) on the vanishing of " Those golden palaces, those gorgeous halls " as " vapours in the air," which recall Shakespeare's later lines in the Tempest. c. Of Jonathan, an Heroicke Poeme intended, only the first book (105 eight-lined stanzas) was written. Doomesday, or The Great Day of the Lord's Judgement (1614) is a dreary production in twelve books or " hours," extending to nearly 12,000 lines. It is written in eight-lined stanzas. In addition to the pamphlet on Colonization, he wrote (1614) a continuation or " completion " to the third part of Sidney's Arcadia, which appears in the fourth and later editions of the Romance; and a short critical tract entitled Anacrisis, a " censure " of poets, ancient or modern. A collected edition of his works appeared in his lifetime (1637) with the title Recreations with the Muses (folio). Aurora and the Elegie were not included. A complete modern reprint The Poetical Works . . . now first collected and edited (but without the editor's name on the title-page) was published in 3 vols. 8vo. in 187o (Glasgow: Maurice Ogle & Co.). His Encouragement to Colonies was edited for the Bannatyne Club by David Laing (1867), and by Edmund F. Slafter, in Sir W. Alexander and Amer. Colonization (Prince Society, Boston, Massachusetts, 1865). See also E. F. Slafter, The Copper Coinage of the Earl of Stirling, 7632 (1874) ; The Earl of Stirling's Register of Royal Letters relative to the Affairs of Scotland and Nova Scotia from 161.5-1635 (ed. C. Rogers, with biographical introduction (1884—1885) ; C. Rogers, Memorials of the Earl of Stirling (1877); the introduction to the Works (187o) referred to above; the Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, passim; and the bibliography for William Drummond (q.v.) of Hawthornden. (A. B. G.; G. G. S.)
End of Article: EARL
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