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LXXXIV. TO LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD. Madam, I told you late how I repented,
I asked a lord a buck, and he denied me; And, ere I could ask you, I was prevented,
For your most noble offer had supplied me. Straight went I home; and there, most like a poet,
I fancied to myself what wine, what wit
I would have spent; how every Muse should know it,
And Phoebus' self should be at eating it. O Madam, if your grant did thus transfer me, Make it your gift! 53 See whither that will
LXXXV. TO SIR HENRY GOODYERE.5+ Goodyere, I'm glad and grateful to report Myself a witness of thy few days' sport: Where I both learned why wise men hawking follow,
53 She had probably offered him a warrant for one: the object of the epigram seems to be that it should be sent home to him. — G.
54 A gentleman of fortune who resided at Polesworth, in Warwickshire, and who is frequently alluded to in the literary history of the time from his extensive intercourse with men of letters. He was the intimate associate of Donne. Jonson justly compliments him in the succeeding epigram, one of the happiest in the collection, on his choice of friends and books. Sir Henry Goodyere, however, did not cultivate literature with much success himself. - B.
And why that bird was sacred to Apollo;
LXXXVI. TO THE SAME.
When I would know thee, Goodyere, my thought looks
Upon thy well-made choice of friends and books;
Now, I must give thy life and deed the voice
Where, though 't be love that to thy praise doth
It was a knowledge that begat that love.
LXXXVII. ON CAPTAIN HAZARD, THE CHEATER.
Touched with the sin of false play, in his punk, Hazard a month forswore his; and grew drunk Each night to drown his cares; but when the gain Of what she'd wrought came in, and waked his
Upon th' accompt, hers grew the quicker trade; Since when, he's sober again, and all play's made.
LXXXVIII. ON ENGLISH MONSIEUR.
Would you believe, when you this Monsieur see, That his whole body should speak French, not he? That so much scarf of France, and hat, and feather, And shoe, and tie, and garter should come hither, And land on one whose face durst never be Toward the sea, farther than half-way tree? 55 That he, untravelled, should be French so much, As Frenchmen in his company should seem Dutch?
Or had his father, when he did him get,
The French disease, with which he labors yet? Or hung some Monsieur's picture on the wall, By which his dam conceived him, clothes and all? Or is it some French statue? No; 't doth move, And stoop, and cringe. O then, it needs must
The new French tailor's motion, monthly made, Daily to turn in Paul's, and help the trade.
LXXXIX. TO EDWARD ALLEN.56
If Rome so great, and in her wisest age,
55 In the way to Dover, in the poet's time 'tis probable some remarkable tree might be standing in the road about half-way thither. - W.
56 The connection of Allen's name (usually spelt Alleyn, but now printed Allen) with the munificent endowment of Dulwich College has eclipsed his reputation as an actor; but, independently of this high encomium by Jonson, ample evidence has been traced not only of the influential position he
As skilful Roscius, and grave Æsop, men,
held in relation to the stage, but of his great skill as a player. He appears to have been the chief manager of the business of the company for Henslowe, with whom he was part proprietor of the Fortune, and to whose step-daughter he was married. He negotiated with authors, and made engagements with actors, for which he was better qualified in some respects than Henslowe, who, although an excellent man of business, was illiterate. There is reason to believe, also, from certain entries in Henslowe's diary, that be sometimes helped to reconstruct, or adapt, pieces for the stage. As an actor he certainly stood in the first rank, and his special merits in particular parts are testified by Nash, Dekker, and Heywood. All the particulars of his life that are now likely to be recovered have been collected by Mr. Collier in the Memoir of him, and in the Alleyn Papers, published by the Shakespeare Society. - B.
57 Gifford remarks on the instinct for right words which Jonson had, as illustrated by his translation of doctus, as applied to Roscius in Horace's line:-
"Quæ gravis Esopus, quæ doctus Roscius egit."
"Hurd has two or three pages of vapid pomposity to prove that doctus, applied by Horace to Roscius, ought to be translated skilful and not learned. Jonson, who had ten times Hurd's learning, without a tithe of his pedantry, had done it in one word." One is constantly remarking the easy appearance of Jonson's learning. It made a part of the fibre of his mind, and disclosed itself whenever the subject naturally drew it forth.
Outstripped, than they did all that went before;
XC. ON MILL, MY LADY'S WOMAN.
When Mill first came to court, the unprofiting fool,
Unworthy such a mistress, such a school,
Went on; and proving him still, day by day,
And he grown youth, was called to his lady's chamber,
Still Mill continued: nay, his face growing
And he removed to gent'man of the horse,
Mill was the same.
Since, both his body and
Blown up; and he (too unwieldy for that place)