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If any sword could save from Fates, Roe's could;
If any muse outlive their spite, his can; If any
friend's tears could restore, his would ; If any pious life e'er lifted man To heaven, his hath: O happy state! wherein We, sad for him, may glory, and not sin.
Don Surly, to aspire the glorious name
eminence, who died about 1570. The allusions to him in the Epigrams do not supply very satisfactory suggestions in support of this conjecture. They indicate the character of a man of pleasure, fond of literature and travelling, and in the enjoyment of an independence which enabled him to indulge his tastes. He appears to have fought two duels, and at one time to have served with the army in the Low Countries. Jonson esteemed few men so highly, and was as ardently loved in return. Sir John Roe was a prodigal lirer, and Jonson related of him that he used to say “when he had no more to spend he could die.” It is not improbable that his extravagance finally impaired his fortune. He diel of the playue in Jonson's arms, and Jonson furnished £ 20 for the charges of the funeral, which, however, he was afterwards repaid. Sir John Roe had some talent for verse, and once upon leaving a masque with Jonson, wrote an epistle to him, beginning “ That next to plays, the court and the state are the best. God threateneth kings, kings lords, lords do us.” This piece, incorrectly quoted by Drummond, who recoris the anecdote, is printed amongst Donne's poems, under the date of January 6, 1603. See Mr. Laing's eclition of Jonson's Conversations with Drummond, printed for the Shakespeare Society, — B.
He speaks to men with a rhinocerote's nose,
TO SIR ANNUAL TILTER.20 Tilter, the most may admire thee, though not I; And thou, right guiltless, mayst plead to it, why?
19 That is, I believe, with a nose elate, or curled up into a kind of sneer, scornfully, contemptuously. This, at least, is the meaning of the expression in Martial's lively address to his book, Lib. I. iv.-G.
20 Sir Henry Lee, Knight of the Garter, made a vow to present himself at the Tilt Yard annually, on the 27th of November, but in 1590 he surrendered his post as Annual
For thy late sharp device. I say 'tis fit
XXX. TO PERSON GUILTY.
ON BANKS THE USURER.
Banks feels no lameness of his knotty gout,
XXXII. ON SIR JOHN ROE.
Could not effect, nor all the Furies do,
What not the envy of the seas reached to, The cold of Moscow, and fat Irish air, His often change of clime, (though not ol
Tilter, owing to his increasing age, to the Earl of Cumberland. It is hardly likely that the reference in the epigram can be to Sir Henry Lee, and as his action gave rise to a school of Knights of the Tilt Yard, it is not certain that Cumberland is intended.
What could not work at home, in his repair,
Was his blest fate, but our hard lot to find. Which shows, wherever death doth please t
appear, Seas, sèrenes, 2 swords, shot, sickness, all are there.
TO THE SAME. I'll not offend thee with a vain tear more, Glad-mentioned Roe; thou art but gone before, Whither the world must follow. And I, now, Breathe to expect my When, and make my How; Which if most gracious heaven grant like thine, Who wets my grave, can be no friend of mine.
He that fears death, or mourns it, in the just, Shows of the Resurrection little trust.
Who would not be thy subject, James, t' obey
21 A blight, the damp of evening. - NARES. Jonson uses the word elsewhere :
“ Some serene blast me." - Volpone, II. 6. -- B.
And, than in them, how could we know God
more? First thou preserved wert our king to be, And since, the whole land was preserved for
XXXVI. TO THE GHOST OF MARTIAL. Martial, thou gav'st far nobler epigrams To thy Domitian, than I can my James; But in my royal subject I pass thee, Thou flatter'dst thine, mine cannot flattered be.
XXXVII. ON CHEVERIL THE LAWYER. No cause, nor client fat, will Chev’ril leese, But as they come, on both sides he takes fees, And pleaseth both; for while he melts his grease For this, that wins for whom he holds his peace.
XXXVIII. TO PERSON GUILTY. Guilty, because I bade you late be wise,* And to conceal your ulcers did advise, You laugh when you are touched, and long before Any man else you clap your hands, and roar, Aud cry, "Good! Good !” This quite perverts
my sense, 22 This epigram was probably written in 1604 as the last allusion is to the plague, which broke out in London soon after the death of Elizabeth. The “treasons" spoken of just above are probably those of the Gowries and Sir Walter Raleigh.-G.
See Epigram xxx. p. 19.