"Marley, the Muse's Darling" -- George Peele

George Peele's advice to Christopher Marlowe in Ad Maecenatum Prologus.


Marley, the Muse's darling for thy verse,
Fit to write passions for the souls below,
If any wretched souls in passion speak?
Why go not all into the Elysian fields,
And leave this centre barren of repast, [5]

Unless in hope Augusta will restore
The wrongs that learning bears of covetousness,
And court's disdain, the enemy to art?
Leave, foolish lad, it mendeth not with words;
Nor herbs nor time such remedy affords. [10]


[1] Marley, the Muse's darling for thy verse,
"Marley":: Christopher Marlowe.
"Muse's darling" can spell Mary Sidney, or Mary Sidney is a one-way anagram of "Muse's darling." She is the Muse here (the tenth Muse in sonnet 38).
[2] Fit to write passions for the souls below,
"fit":: qualify; adjust; supply;
"fit":: to force by fits or paroxysms out of (the usual place) (OED);
"fit":: a position of hardship, danger, or intense excitement (OED);
"fit":: a mortal crisis; a bodily state that betokens death (OED).
The use of fit shows Marlowe is writing under some mortal crisis, his faked death.
"the souls below":: the common audience, target of Shakespeare's plays.
[3] If any wretched souls in passion speak?
"wretched, speak" can spell Shakespeare (who does the speaking job).
"any wretched souls" can spell Wilton House.
"souls":: Wilton House poets.
[4] Why go not all into the Elysian fields,
"Elysian fields":: fields for the departed without return, a hint of Marlowe's faked death. Elysium is a place of ideal happiness.
"all":: indicating Wilton House poets.
"Why go not all":: a rhetorical question. If Marlowe is happy after his faked death in some Elysian fields, then all Wilton poets should go.
[5] And leave this centre barren of repast,
"barren of repast":: Wilton House cannot afford the "Why go not all."
[6] Unless in hope Augusta will restore
Augustus (63 BC-14 AD) was a patron of literature (Virgil, Horace, Ovid).
"Augusta":: a title to the wife of Roman emperor.
"in hope Augusta":: indicating a powerful patroness in Peele's time.
"Augusta":: Mary Sidney, an august patroness, based on the "Muse's darling."
[7] The wrongs that learning bears of covetousness,
"that learning":: Mary Sidney's learning adventure in Shakespeare.
"covetousness":: she covets Marlowe's words, one of the wrongs.
[8] And court's disdain, the enemy to art?
"distaine" can spell Sidney, and "enemy to art can spell Mary.
"court's disdain":: Pembroke's disdain.
Peele sees Mary Sidney as "the enemy to art."
 to Marlowe in the next line after the wrongs.
[9] Leave, foolish lad, it mendeth not with words;
"Leave":: Peele's advice.
"lad":: a serving-man, attendant; a man of low birth and position (OED).
"foolish lad":: Kit Marlowe.
"mendeth not with words":: Marlowe's hard working in the Elysian fields for the Herberts cannot mend his sin.
[10] Nor herbs nor time such remedy affords.
This lines spells Mary Sidney Herbert and Henry Herbert.
"herbs nor time" can spell Herberts and Henry Herbert. Wilton House poets are supported by the Herberts.
"nor such remedy affords":: the Herberts cannot afford to restore Marlowe.

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