BRITISH WRITERS, Volume 2 by IAN SCOTT-KILVERT (EDITOR)

By IAN SCOTT-KILVERT (EDITOR)

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He thus came to maturity in a select social group, and this in many ways affected his work as a writer. The Inns of Court at this time functioned largely as a kind of finishing school for the sons of gentry and wealthy middle-class parents. They resembled the two universities of Oxford and Cambridge in providing something like a college atmosphere, but differed in that no formal instruction was given. The young men, who entered often after having attended a university, could keep terms and study for a career in law, but for many the law was less important than the access the Inns of Court provided 24 7OHN MARSTON AND CYRIL TOURNEUR ston's first publications were inevitably of this kind, beginning with what may, to judge by the dedication to Opinion, and the elaborate foolery of its presentation, have been intended as a burlesque of Ovidian amatory poetry in The Metamorphosis of Pygmalion's Image.

London, 1976); A Mad World, My Masters (London, 1608), comedy, in S. Henning, ed. (London, 1965); A Trick to Catch the Old One (London, 1608), comedy, in C. Barber, ed. (London, 1968), G. J. Watson, ed. (London, 1968), and G. R. Price, ed. (The HagueParis, 1976); The Roaring Girl (London, 1611), comedy, in F. T. , Dramatic Works of Thomas Dekker, vol. Ill (London, 1958) and A. Gomme, ed. (London, 1976); A Fair Quarrel (London, 1617), tragicomedy, in R. V. Holdsworth, ed. (London, 1974) and G. R.

Sensitized by such an atmosphere, we begin to pick up ominous words and phrases: the winds that should bear Alsemero from Beatrice are (against the evidence of the senses) "contrary"; words like "infirmity," "poison," "frailty" begin to be heard. We take in the dangerous intensity of Beatrice's impulsive and independent nature. We see the ugliness of De Flores (directly suggestive to the Jacobeans, and not quite neutral even to us) and understand his obsessive impulses, echoing those of Beatrice.

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