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As 'twere a challenge, or a borrower's letter?
The world must know your greatness is my debtor.
Imprimis, Grand, you owe me for a jest

I lent you, on mere acquaintance, at a feast.
Item, a tale or two some fortnight after,
That yet maintains you and your house in laughter.
Item, the Babylonian song you sing;

Item, a fair Greek posy for a ring:
With which a learned madam you belie.
Item, a charm surrounding fearfully



Your partie-per-pale 5 picture, one half drawn
In solemn cypress, the other cobweb lawn.
Item, a gulling imprese 6 for you, at tilt.
Item, your mistress' anagram, i' your hilt.
Item, your own, sewed in your mistress' smock.
Item, an epitaph on my lord's cock,

In most vile verses, and cost me more pain,
Than had I made 'em good, to fit your vein.
Forty things more, dear Grand, which you know


For which or pay me quickly, or I'll pay you.


Whilst thy weighed judgments, Egerton, I hear,
And know thee, then, a judge not of one year;

45 A heraldic phrase. A coat bisected by a vertical line, with a different field on each side of it, is said to be partj (or divided) per pale.

46 A device on a shield.

47 Thomas Egerton, Lord Ellesmere, was one of the most remarkable men in an age of great lawyers and eminent states

Whilst I behold thee live with purest hands;
That no affection in thy voice commands;
That still th'art present to the better cause;
And no less wise, than skilful in the laws;
Whilst thou art certain to thy words, once gone,
As is thy conscience, which is always one:
The Virgin, long since fled from earth, I see,
To our times returned, hath made her heaven in


I cannot think there's that antipathy


'Twixt puritans and players, as some cry;

Though Lippe, at Paul's, ran from his text away T'inveigh 'gainst plays


what did he then but

men. He was descended from an old family in Cheshire, and applying himself with unwearied assiduity to his profession, was early marked out for its highest honors; passing successively, during the reign of Elizabeth, through the offices of Solicitor and Attorney-General, Master of the Rolls, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal; in which latter capacity he received King James, who, with special marks of favor, continued him in his high appointment. "Surely all Christendom," says Fuller, “afforded not a person who carried more gravity in his countenance and behavior than Sir Thomas Egerton, inasmuch that many have gone to the Chancery on purpose only to see his venerable garb (happy they who had no other business!) and were highly pleased at so acceptable a spectacle." He survived Jonson's panegyric scarcely a year, and died on the 15th March, 1617, in his seventy-seventh year, having resigned the great seal less than a fortnight before.-B.

48 Lippe, like Cod, Surly, Mungril, and similar names, may be taken as a nickname only.

LXXVI. ON LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD. This morning, timely rapt with holy fire,

I thought to form unto my zealous Muse, What kind of creature I could most desire,


To honor, serve, and love, as poets use. I meant to make her fair, and free, and wise, Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great;

I meant the day-star should not brighter rise,

Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat. I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet,

Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride; I meant each softest virtue there should meet, Fit in that softer bosom to reside.

Only a learned and a manly soul

I purposed her, that should, with even powers, The rock, the spindle, and the shears control

Of destiny, and spin her own free hours. Such when I meant to feign, and wished to see, My Muse bade, Bedford write, and that was


49 This lady, sister and co-heir of the second Lord Harrington, was distinguished alike by the variety of her attainments, and her liberal patronage of men of genius. Amongst those upon whom she specially bestowed her munificence were Jonson, Drayton, Daniel, and Donne, and they have all paid poetical homage to her merits and her bounty. "Sir Thomas Roe," says Granger, "has addressed a letter to her as one skilled in medals; and she is celebrated by Sir William Temple for projecting the most perfect figure of a garden that he ever saw." She died in 1627. - B.


Be safe, nor fear thyself so good a fame,
That, any way, my book should speak thy name;
For, if thou shame, ranked with my friends, to go,
I'm more ashamed to have thee thought my foe.


Hornet, thou hast thy wife dressed for the stall, To draw thee custom; but herself gets all.


That poets are far rarer births than kings,
Your noblest father proved; like whom, before,
Or then, or since, about our Muses' springs,
Came not that soul exhausted so their store.
Hence was it, that the destinies decreed


(Save that most masculine issue of his brain) 5 No male unto him: who could so exceed Nature, they thought, in all that he would feign.

At which, she happily displeased, made you;
On whom, if he were living now to look,
He should those rare and absolute numbers view,
As he would burn, or better far his book.

50 Daughter of Sir Philip Sidney, by his wife Frances Walsingham, only daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham. She was not only a patroness of poets, but was herself a poetess of no ordinary mark. - B.

51 The Arcadia.


The ports of death are sins; of life, good deeds:
Through which our merit leads us to our meeds.
How wilful blind is he, then, that would stray,
And hath it in his powers to make his way!
This world death's region is, the other life's:
And here it should be one of our first strifes,
So to front death, as men might judge us past it:
For good men but see death, the wicked taste it.


LXXXI. TO PROWLE, THE PLAGIARY. Forbear to tempt me, Prowle, I will not show A line unto thee, till the world it know; Or that I've by two good sufficient men, To be the wealthy witness of my pen: For all thou hear'st, thou swear'st thyself didst do. Thy wit lives by it, Prowle, and belly too. Which, if thou leave not soon, though I am loth, I must a libel make, and cozen both.


Surly's old whore in her new silks doth swim: He cast, yet keeps her well! No, she keeps him.


To put out the word whore thou dost me woo, Throughout my book. "Troth, put out woman too.

52 A pure Latinism: testis locuples is the phrase for a full and sufficient evidence. W.

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