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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume VI. The Drama to 1642, Part Two.

VI. Philip Massinger

§ 4. Literary friends

The dedications and poems make us acquainted with numerous members of the nobility to whom Massinger felt himself bound for benefits received, or whom he wished to number among his patrons. About his relations to his literary contemporaries we gain very little information from Massinger himself, and not much more from other sources. One of his shorter poems is addressed to James Smith, an obscure clerical poet, whom he praises as the author of a “neat” poem, calling him, after the fashion of Ben Jonson, his “son.” One of the many dramas of James Shirley, entitled The Grateful Servant (1630), Massinger ushered in by some commendatory verses, whose well weighed and carefully worded praise leaves a deeper impression than the customary hyperboles of similar compositions. Among the poets who did him a similar service at the publication of his own dramas, we find, together with Shirley, Massinger’s other fellow dramatists John Ford, Thomas May, Thomas Goffe and his faithful friend and fervent admirer Sir Aston Cockayne.

Massinger is said to have been married: a Miss Massinger, who died in 1762, claimed a direct descent from him. But all the other circumstances of his life which seems to have had its full share of cares besides ceaseless work, are hidden from us. He died in March, 1640, and was buried on the 18th of that month in the churchyard of St. Saviour’s church in Southwark, where John Gower had also found his resting place.