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When the queen frown'd or smil'd, and he knows what
A subtle statesman may gather from that.
He knows who loves whom; and who by poison
Hastes to an office's reversion.

He knows who hath sold his land, and now doth beg
A licence, old iron, boots, shoes, and egg-
Shells to transport. Shortly boys shall not play
At spancounter, or blow point, but shall pay
Toll to some courtier. And (wiser than all us)
He knows what lady is not painted.


JOSEPH HALL, born at Bristow Park, in Leicestershire, in 1574, and who rose through various church preferments to be bishop of Norwich, is more distinguished as a prose writer than as a poet: he is, however, allowed to have been the first to write satirical verse with any degree of elegance. His satires, which were published under the title of Virgidemiarum, in 1597-9, refer to general objects, and present some just pictures of the more remarkable anomalies in human character: they are also written in a style of greater polish and volubility than most of the compositions of this age. Bishop Hall, of whom a more particular notice is given elsewhere, died in 1656, at the age of eighty-two.

[Selections from Hall's Satires.]

A gentle squire would gladly entertain
Into his house some trencher-chapelain :
Some willing man that might instruct his sons,
And that would stand to good conditions.
First that he lie upon the truckle-bed,
While his young master lieth o'er his head.
Second, that he do, on no default,
Ever presume to sit above the salt.

Third, that he never change his trencher twice.
Fourth, that he use all common courtesies;
Sit bare at meals, and one half rise and wait.
Last, that he never his young master beat,
But he must ask his mother to define,

How many jerks he would his breech should line.
All these observed, he could contented be,
To give five marks and winter livery.

Seest thou how gaily my young master goes,*
Vaunting himself upon his rising toes;
And pranks his hand upon his dagger's side;
And picks his glutted teeth since late noon-tide?
"Tis Ruffio: Trow'st thou where he dined to-day?
In sooth I saw him sit with Duke Humphrey.
Many good welcomes, and much gratis cheer,
Keeps he for every straggling cavalier;
An open house, haunted with great resort;
Long service mixt with musical disport.†
Many fair younker with a feather'd crest,
Chooses much rather be his shot-free guest,
To fare so freely with so little cost,

Than stake his twelvepence to a meaner host.
Hadst thou not told me, I should surely say
He touch'd no meat of all this live-long day.
For sure methought, yet that was but a guess,
His eyes seem'd sunk for very hollowness,
But could he have (as I did it mistake)
So little in his purse, so much upon his back!

*This is the portrait of a poor gallant of the days of Elizabeth. In St Paul's Cathedral, then an open public place, there was a tomb erroneously supposed to be that of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, which was the resort of gentlemen upon town in that day, who had occasion to look out for a dinner. When unsuccessful in getting an invitation, they were said to dine with Duke Humphrey.

† An allusion to the church service to be heard near Duke Humphrey's tomb.

So nothing in his maw? yet seemeth by his belt,
That his gaunt gut no too much stuffing felt.
Seest thou how side it hangs beneath his hip?
Hunger and heavy iron makes girdles slip.
Yet for all that, how stiffly struts he by,
All trapped in the new-found bravery.
The nuns of new-won Calais his bonnet lent,
In lieu of their so kind a conquerment.
What needed he fetch that from farthest Spain,
His grandame could have lent with lesser pain!
Though he perhaps ne'er pass'd the English shore,
Yet fain would counted be a conqueror.
His hair, French-like, stares on his frighted head,
One lock amazon-like dishevelled,
As if he meant to wear a native cord,
If chance his fates should him that bane afford.
All British bare upon the bristled skin,
Close notched is his beard, both lip and chin;
His linen collar labyrinthian set,
Whose thousand double turnings never met:
His sleeves half hid with elbow pinionings,
As if he meant to fly with linen wings.
But when I look, and cast mine eyes below,
What monster meets mine eyes in human show!
So slender waist with such an abbot's loin,
Did never sober nature sure conjoin.
Lik'st a strawn scarecrow in the new-sown field,
Rear'd on some stick, the tender corn to shield,
Or, if that semblance suit not every deal,
Like a broad shake-fork with a slender steel.


In 1616, BEN JONSON collected the plays he had then written, and published them in one volume, folio, adding, at the same time, a book of epigrams, and a number of poems, which he entitled The Forest, and The Underwood. The whole were comprised in one folio volume, which Jonson dignified with the title of his Works, a circumstance which exposed him to the ridicule of some of his contemporaries.* It is only with the minor poetry of Jonson that we have to deal at present, as the dramatic productions of this stern old master of the manly school of English comedy will be afterwards described. There is much delicacy of fancy, fine feeling, and sentiment, in some of Jonson's lyrical and descriptive effusions. He grafted a classic grace || and musical expression on parts of his masques and interludes, which could hardly have been expected from his massive and ponderous hand. In some of his songs he equals Carew and Herrick in picturesque images, and in portraying the fascinations of love. A taste for nature is strongly displayed in his fine lines on Penshurst, that ancient seat of the Sidneys. It has been justly remarked by one of his critics, that Jonson's dramas do not lead us to value highly enough his admirable taste and feeling in poetry; and when we consider how many other intellectual excellences distinguished him-wit, observation, judgment, memory, learning-we must acknowledge that the inscription on his tomb, “() rare Ben Jonson !" is not more pithy thau it is true.'

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To Celia.

[From The Forest."]

Drink to me only with thine eyes,

And I will pledge with mine;

Or leave a kiss but in the cup,

And I'll not look for wine.

The thirst, that from the soul doth rise,
Doth ask a drink divine;

But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.

I sent thee late a rosy wreath,
Not so much honouring thee,
As giving it a hope, that there
It could not wither'd be.

But thou thereon didst only breathe,
And sent'st it back to me;

Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
Not of itself, but thee.

The Sweet Neglect.

[From The Silent Woman.]

Still to be neat, still to be drest,
As you were going to a feast;
Still to be powder'd, still perfum'd:
Lady, it is to be presum❜d,

Though art's hid causes are not found,
All is not sweet, all is not sound.
Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free;
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all th' adulteries of art:

They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.

Hymn to Diana.

[From 'Cynthia's Revels.]

Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep;
Seated in thy silver chair,

State in wonted manner keep.

Hesperus intreats thy light,
Goddess excellently bright!

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made
Heaven to clear when day did close;
Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright!

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,

And thy crystal shining quiver: Give unto the flying hart,

Space to breathe, how short soever; Thou that mak'st a day of night, Goddess excellently bright!

To Night.

[From The Vision of Delight.]

Break, Phantasy, from thy cave of cloud,
And spread thy purple wings;
Now all thy figures are allow'd,

And various shapes of things;
Create of airy forms a stream,

It must have blood, and nought of phlegm ;
And though it be a waking dream,
Yet, let it like an odour rise

To all the senses here,

And fall like sleep upon their eyes,
Or music in their ear.


[From The Forest."]

Oh do not wanton with those eyes,
Lest I be sick with seeing;

Nor cast them down, but let them rise,
Lest shame destroy their being.

Oh be not angry with those fires,

For then their threats will kill me; Nor look too kind on my desires,

For then my hopes will spill me. Oh do not steep them in thy tears, For so will sorrow slay me;

Nor spread them as distraught with fears; Mine own enough betray me.

To Celia.

[From the same.]

Kiss me, sweet! the wary lover
Can your favours keep and cover,
When the common courting jay
All your bounties will betray.
Kiss again; no creature comes;
Kiss, and score up wealthy sums
On my lips, thus hardly sunder'd
While you breathe. First give a hundred,
Then a thousand, then another
Hundred, then unto the other
Add a thousand, and so more,
Till you equal with the store,
All the grass that Romney yields,
Or the sands in Chelsea fields,
Or the drops in silver Thames,

Or the stars that gild his streams

In the silent summer nights,

When youths ply their stol'n delights;
That the curious may not know
How to tell them as they flow,
And the envious when they find
What their number is, be pined.

Her Triumph.

See the chariot at hand here of love,
Wherein my lady rideth!
Each that draws is a swan or a dove,
And well the car love guideth.
As she goes all hearts do duty
Unto her beauty;

And enamour'd do wish, so they might
But enjoy such a sight,

That they still were to run by her side,
Through swords, through seas, whither she would ride

Do but look on her eyes, they do light
All that love's world compriseth!

Do but look on her, she is bright
As love's star when it riseth!

Do but mark, her forehead's smoother
Than words that soothe her!
And from her arch'd brows, such a grace
Sheds itself through the face,

As alone there triumphs to the life
All the gain, all the good of the elements' strife.
Have you seen but a bright lily grow,

Before rude hands have touch'd it?
Have you mark'd but the fall of the snow,
Before the soil hath smutch'd it?

Have you felt the wool of the beaver,
Or swan's down ever?

Or have smell'd of the bud o' the brier?
Or the 'nard in the fire?

Or have tasted the bag of the bee?
O so white! O so soft! O so sweet is she!

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* Penshurst is situated in Kent, near Tunbridge, in a wide and rich valley. The grey walls and turrets of the old mansion; its high-peaked and red roofs, and the new buildings of fresh stone, venerable aspect. It is a fitting abode for the noble Sidneys. The park contains trees of enormous growth, and others to which past events and characters have given an everlasting interest; as Sir Philip Sidney's Oak, Saccharissa's Walk, Gamage's Bower, &c. The ancient massy oak tables remain; and from Jonson's description of the hospitality of the family, they must often have groaned with the weight of the feast. Mr William Howitt has given an interesting account of Penshurst in his Visits to Remarkable Places, 1840.

mingled with the ancient fabric, present a very striking and

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There, in the writhed bark, are cut the names
Of many a Sylvan token with his flames.
And thence the ruddy Satyrs oft provoke
The lighter Fauns to reach thy Ladies' Oak.
Thy copse, too, named of Gamage, thou hast here
That never fails, to serve thee, season'd deer,
When thou would'st feast or exercise thy friends.
The lower land that to the river bends,
Thy sheep, thy bullocks, kine, and calves do feed:
The middle ground thy mares and horses breed.
Each bank doth yield thee conies, and the tops
Fertile of wood. Ashore, and Sidney's copse,
To crown thy open table doth provide
The purpled pheasant, with the speckled side:
The painted partridge lies in every field,
And, for thy mess, is willing to be kill'd.
And if the high-swollen Medway fail thy dish,
Thou hast thy ponds that pay thee tribute fish,
Fat, aged carps that run into thy net,
And pikes, now weary their own kind to eat,
As loath the second draught or cast to stay,
Officiously, at first, themselves betray.
Bright eels that emulate them, and leap on land,
Before the fisher, or into his hand.
Thou hast thy orchard fruit, thy garden flowers,
Fresh as the air, and new as are the hours.
The early cherry with the later plum,
Fig, grape, and quince, each in his time doth come:
The blushing apricot and woolly peach
Hang on thy walls that every child may reach.
And though thy walls be of the country stone,
They're rear'd with no man's ruin, no man's groan;
There's none that dwell about them wish them down;
But all come in, the farmer and the clown,
And no one empty handed, to salute
Thy lord and lady, though they have no suit.
Some bring a capon, some a rural cake,
Some nuts, some apples; some that think they make

The better cheeses, bring them, or else send
By their ripe daughters, whom they would commend
This way to husbands; and whose baskets bear
An emblem of themselves, in plum or pear.
But what can this (more than express their love)
Add to thy free provisions, far above

The need of such whose liberal board doth flow
With all that hospitality doth know!
Where comes no guest but is allow'd to eat
Without his fear, and of thy lord's own meat:
Where the same beer, and bread, and self-same wine
That is his lordship's shall be also mine.
And I not fain to sit (as some this day
At great men's tables) and yet dine away.
Here no man tells my cups; nor, standing by,
A waiter doth my gluttony envy:
But gives me what I call, and lets me eat;
He knows below he shall find plenty of meat;
Thy tables hoard not up for the next day,
Nor, when I take my lodging, need I pray
For fire, or lights, or livery; all is there,
As if thou, then, wert mine, or I reign'd here.
There's nothing I can wish, for which I stay.
This found King James, when hunting late this way
With his brave son, the Prince; they saw thy fires
Shine bright on every hearth, as the desires
Of thy Penates had been set on flame
To entertain them; or the country came,
With all their zeal, to warm their welcome here.
What (great, I will not say, but) sudden cheer
Did'st thou then make them! and what praise was

On thy good lady then, who therein reap'd
The just reward of her high housewifery;
To have her linen, plate, and all things nigh,
When she was far; and not a room but drest
As if it had expected such a guest!

These, Penshurst, are thy praise, and yet not all;
Thy lady's noble, fruitful, chaste withal.
His children

have been taught religion; thence
Their gentler spirits have suck'd innocence.
Each morn and even they are taught to pray,
With the whole household, and may, every day,
Read, in their virtuous parents' noble parts,
The mysteries of manners, arms, and arts.
Now, Penshurst, they that will proportion thee
With other edifices, when they see

Those proud ambitious heaps, and nothing else,
May say their lords have built, but thy lord dwells.

To the Memory of my beloved Master, William Shakspeare, and what he hath left us.

To draw no envy, Shakspeare, on thy name,
Am I thus ample to thy book and fame;
While I confess thy writings to be such
As neither man nor Muse can praise too much.
'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these ways
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise;
For silliest ignorance on these would light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right;
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance
The truth, but gropes, and urges all by chance;
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,
And think to ruin, where it seem'd to raise.
But thou art proof against them, and, indeed,
Above the ill fortune of them, or the need.
I therefore will begin: Soul of the age!
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage!
My Shakspeare, rise! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
A little further off, to make thee room:
Thou art a monument without a tomb,
And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read, and praise to give.

That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses,
I mean with great but disproportion'd Muses:
For if I thought my judgment were of years,
I should commit thee surely with thy peers,
And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine,
Or sporting Kyd or Marlowe's mighty line.
And though thou had small Latin and less Greek,
From thence to honour thee I will not seek
For names; but call forth thund'ring Eschylus,
Euripides, and Sophocles to us,

Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To live again, to hear thy buskin tread,
And shake a stage: or when thy socks were on,
Leave thee alone for the comparison

Of all, that insolent Greece or haughty Rome
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britain, thou hast one to show,
To whom all scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an age, but for all time!
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
Our ears, or like a Mercury, to charm!
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joy'd to wear the dressing of his lines!
Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please;
But antiquated and deserted lie,
As they were not of nature's family.
Yet must I not give nature all; thy art,
My gentle Shakspeare, must enjoy a part.
For though the poet's matter nature be,
His art doth give the fashion; and, that he
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the Muses' anvil; turn the same,
And himself with it, that he thinks to frame;
Or for the laurel, he may gain a scorn;
For a good poet's made as well as born.
And such wert thou! Look how the father's face
Lives in his issue, even so the race

Of Shakspeare's mind and manners brightly shines
In his well turned and true filed lines:
In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
As brandish'd at the eyes of ignorance.
Sweet Swan of Avon! what a sight it were
To see thee in our water yet appear,
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames
That so did take Eliza and our James !
But stay, I see thee in the hemisphere
Advanced, and made a constellation there!
Shine forth, thou Star of Poets, and with rage,
Or influence, chide, or cheer the drooping stage,
Which since thy flight from hence hath mourned like

And despairs day, but for thy volume's light!

On the Portrait of Shakspeare.

[Under the frontispiece to the first edition of his works: 1623.]
This figure that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle Shakspeare cut,
Wherein the graver had a strife
With nature, to outdo the life:

O could he but have drawn his wit,
As well in brass, as he hath hit
His face; the print would then surpass
All that was ever writ in brass:
But since he cannot, reader, look
Not on his picture but his book.*

*This attestation of Ben Jonson to the first engraved portrait of Shakspeare, seems to prove its fidelity as a likeness. The portrait corresponds with the monumental effigy at Stratford, but both represent a heavy and somewhat inelegant


RICHARD CORBET (1582--1635) was the son of a man who, though only a gardener, must have possessed superior qualities, as he obtained the hearty commendations, in verse, of Ben Jonson. The son was educated at Westminster and Oxford, and having taken orders, he became successively bishop of Oxford and bishop of Norwich. The social quali

ties of witty Bishop Corbet, and his never-failing vivacity, joined to a moderate share of dislike to the Puritans, recommended him to the patronage of King James, by whom he was raised to the mitre. His habits were rather too convivial for the dignity of his office, if we may credit some of the anecdotes which have been related of him. Meeting a balladsinger one market-day at Abingdon, and the man complaining that he could get no custom, the jolly doctor put off his gown, and arrayed himself in the leathern jacket of the itinerant vocalist, and being a handsome man, with a clear full voice, he presently vended the stock of ballads. One time, as he was confirming, the country people pressing in to see the ceremony, Corbet exclaimed-Bear off there, or I'll confirm ye with my staff.' The bishop and his chaplain, Dr Lushington, it is said, would sometimes repair to the wine-cellar together, and Corbet used to put off his episcopal hood, saying, "There lies the doctor;' then he put off his gown, saying, 'There lies the bishop;' then the toast went round, 'Here's to thee, Corbet;'Here's to thee, Lushington.' Jovialities like these seem more like those of figure. There is, however, a placid good humour in the expression of the features, and much sweetness in the mouth and lips. The upper part of the head is bald, and the lofty forehead is conspicuous in both, as in the Chandos and other pictures. The general resemblance we have no doubt is correct, but considerable allowance must be made for the defective state of English art at this period.

the jolly Friar of Copmanhurst than the acts of a Protestant bishop, but Corbet had higher qualities; his toleration, solid sense, and lively talents, procured him deserved esteem and respect. His poems were first collected and published in 1647. They are of a miscellaneous character, the best known being a Journey into France, written in a light easy strain of descriptive humour. The Farewell to the Fairies is equally lively, and more poetical.


[To Vincent Corbet, his Son.]

What I shall leave thee none can tell,
But all shall say I wish thee well:
I wish thee, Vin, before all wealth,
Both bodily and ghostly health;

Nor too much wealth, nor wit come to thee,
So much of either may undo thee.
I wish thee learning not for show,
Enough for to instruct and know;
Not such as gentlemen require
To prate at table or at fire.

I wish thee all thy mother's graces,
Thy father's fortunes and his places.
I wish thee friends, and one at court
Not to build on, but support;
To keep thee not in doing many
Oppressions, but from suffering any.
I wish thee peace in all thy ways,
Nor lazy nor contentious days;
And, when thy soul and body part,
As innocent as now thou art.

[Journey to France.]

I went from England into France, Nor yet to learn to cringe nor dance, Nor yet to ride nor fence:

But I to Paris rode along,
Much like John Dory* in the song,
Upon a holy tide.

I on an ambling nag did get,
(I trust he is not paid for yet),

And spurr'd him on each side.
And to Saint Dennis fast we came,
To see the sights of Notre Dame,

(The man that shows them snuffles),
Where who is apt for to believe,
May see our Lady's right-arm sleeve,
And eke her old pantofles;

Her breast, her milk, her very gown
That she did wear in Bethlehem town,

When in the inn she lay.
Yet all the world knows that's a fable,
For so good clothes ne'er lay in stable,
Upon a lock of hay.

There is one of the cross's nails,
Which, whoso sees, his bonnet vails,

And, if he will, may kneel.
Some say 'twas false, 'twas never so,
Yet, feeling it, thus much I know,
It is as true as steel.

*This alludes to one of the most celebrated of the old English ballads. It was the favourite performance of the English minstrels, as lately as the reign of Charles II., and Dryden alludes to it as to the most hacknied thing of the time

But Sunderland, Godolphin, Lory,
These will appear such chits in story,
"Twill turn all politics to jests,
To be repeated like John Dory,
When fiddlers sing at feasts.

Ritson's Ancient Songs, p. 163

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