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sayings and deeds often to the worst: oppressed with fantasy, which hath ever mastered his reason, a general disease in many poets.'

This character, it must be confessed, is far from being a flattering one; and probably it was, unconsciously, overcharged, owing to the recluse habits and staid demeanour of Drummond. We believe it, however, to be substantially correct. Inured to hardships and to a free boisterous life in his early days, Jonson seems to have contracted a roughness of manner, and habits of intemperance, which never wholly left him. Priding himself immoderately on his classical acquirements, he was apt to slight and condemn his less learned associates; while the conflict between his limited means and his love of social pleasures, rendered him too often severe and saturnine in his temper. Whatever he did was done with labour, and hence was highly prized. His contemporaries seemed fond of mortifying his pride, and he was often at war with actors and authors. With the celebrated Inigo Jones, who was joined with him in the preparation of the Court Masques, Jonson waged a long and bitter feud, in which both parties were to blame. When his better nature prevailed, and exorcised the demon of envy or spleen, Jonson was capable of a generous warmth of friendship, and of just discrimination of genius and character. His literary reputation, his love of conviviauty, and his high colloquial powers, rendered his society much courted, and he became the centre of a band of wits and revellers. Sir Walter Raleigh founded a club, known to all posterity as the Mermaid Club, at which Jonson, Shakspeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, and other poets, exercised themselves with wit-combats' more bright and genial than their wine.* One of the favourite haunts of these bright-minded men was the Falcon Tavern, near the theatre in Bankside, Southwark, of which a sketch has been preserved. The latter days of Jonson were dark and painful. Attacks of palsy confined him to his house, and his necessities compelled him to write for the stage when his pen had lost its vigour, and wanted the charm of novelty. In 1630, he produced his comedy, the New Inn, which was unsuccessful on the stage. The king sent him a present of £100, and raised his laureate pension to the same sum per annum, adding a yearly tierce of canary wine. Next year, however, we find Jonson, in an Epistle Mendicant, soliciting assistance from the lord-treasurer. He continued

of their ears and noses. They were not tried; and when Ben was set at liberty, he gave an entertainment to his friends (Selden and Camden being of the number): his mother was present on this joyous occasion, and she produced a paper of poison, which she said she intended to have given her son in his liquor, rather than he should submit to personal mutilation and disgrace, and another dose which she intended afterwards to have taken herself. The old lady must, as Whalley remarks, have been more of an antique Roman than a Briton. Jonson's own conduct in this affair was noble and spirited. He had no considerable share in the composition of the piece, and was, besides, in such favour, that he would not have been molested; but this did not satisfy him,' says Gifford; and he, therefore, with a high sense of honour, voluntarily accompanied his two friends to prison, determined to share their fate.' We cannot now ascertain what was the mighty satire that moved the patriotic indignation of James; it was doubtless softened before publication; but in some copies of Eastward Hoe' (1605), there is a passage in which the Scots are said to be dispersed over the face of the whole earth;' and the dramatist sarcastically adds, 'But as for them, there are no greater friends to Englishmen and England, when they are out on't, in the world, than they are; and for my part, I would a hundred thousand of them were there (in Virginia), for we are all one countrymen now, you know, and we should find ten times more comfort of them there than we do here.' The offended nationality of James must have been laid to rest by the subsequent adulation of Jonson in his Court Masques, for he eulogised the vain and feeble monarch as one that would raise the glory of England more than Elizabeth.* Jonson's three great comedies, Volpone, or the Fox, Epicene, or the Silent Woman, and the Alchemist, were his next serious labours; his second classical tragedy, Catiline, appeared in 1611. His fame had now reached its highest elevation; but he produced several other comedies, and a vast number of court entertainments, ere his star began sensibly to decline. In 1619, he received the appointment of poet laureate, with a pension of a hundred merks. The same year Jonson made a journey on foot to Scotland, where he had many friends. He was well received by the Scottish gentry, and was so pleased with the country, that he meditated a poem, or drama, on the beauties of Lochlomond. The last of his visits was made to Drum-writing to the last. Dryden has styled the latter mond of Hawthornden, with whom he lived three weeks, and Drummond kept notes of his conversation, which, in a subsequent age, were communicated to the world. In conclusion, Drummond entered on his journal the following character of Ben himself:'He is a great lover and praiser of himself; a contemner and scorner of others; given rather to lose a friend than a jest; jealous of every word and action of those about him, especially after drink, which is one of the elements in which he liveth; a dissembler of ill parts which reign in him; a bragger of some good that he wanteth; thinketh nothing well but what either he himself or some of his friends and countrymen hath said or done; he is passionately kind and angry; careless either to gain or keep; vindictive, but, if well answered, at himself; for any religion, as being versed in both ;† interpreteth best

* An account of these entertainments, as essentially connected with English literature, is given at the close of this article.

† Drummond here alludes to Jonson having been at one period of his life a Roman Catholic. When in prison, after killing the actor, a priest converted him to the church of Rome, and he continued a member of it for twelve years. At the expiration of that time, he returned to the Protestant communion.

works of Jonson his dotages; some are certainly unworthy of him, but the Sad Shepherd, which he left unfinished, exhibits the poetical fancy of a youthful composition. He died in 1637, and was buried in Westminster Abbey, where a square stone, marking the spot where the poet's body was disposed vertically, was long afterwards shown, inscribed only with the words, O RARE BEN JONSON!'

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that Jonson drank out the full cup of wine at the communion As a proof of his enthusiastic temperament, it is mentioned, table, in token of his reconciliation with the church of Eng


* Many were the wit-combats betwixt Shakspeare and Ben Jonson, which two I behold like a Spanish great galleon and an English man-of-war: Master Jonson, like the former, was built far higher in learning; solid, but slow in his performances. Shakspeare, with the English man-of war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, could turn with all tides, tack about and take advantage of all winds, by the quickness of his wit and invention.'-Fuller's Worthies.

Besides the Mermaid, Jonson was a great frequenter of a club called the Apollo, at the Old Devil Tavern, Temple Bar, for which he wrote rules-Leges Conviviales-and penned a welcome over the door of the room to all those who approved of the ⚫ true Phobian liquor.' Ben's rules, it must be said, discounte nanced excess.

Jonson founded a style of regular English comedy, massive, well compacted, and fitted to endure, yet not very attractive in its materials. His works, altogether, consist of about fifty dramatic pieces, but by far the greater part are masques and interludes. His principal comedies are, Every Man in his Humour,'


Falcon Tavern.

'Volpone,' the Silent Woman,' and the Alchemist.' His Roman tragedies may be considered literal impersonations of classic antiquity, robust and richly graced,' yet stiff and unnatural in style and construction. They seem to bear about the same resemblance to Shakspeare's classic dramas that sculpture does to actual life. The strong delineation of character is the most striking feature in Jonson's comedies. The voluptuous Volpone is drawn with great breadth and freedom; and generally his portraits of eccentric characters-men in whom some peculiarity has grown to an egregious excess-are ludicrous and impressive. His scenes and characters show the labour of the artist, but still an artist possessing rich resources; an acute and vigorous intellect; great knowledge of life, down to its lowest descents; wit, lofty declamation, and a power of dramatising his knowledge and observation, with singular skill and effect. His pedantry is often misplaced and ridiculous: when he wishes to satirise his opponents of the drama, he lays the scene in the court of Augustus, and makes himself speak as Horace. In one of his Roman tragedies, he prescribes for the composition of a mucus, or wash for the face! His comic theatre is a gallery of strange, clever, original portraits, powerfully drawn, and skilfully disposed, but many of them repulsive in expression, or so exaggerated, as to look like caricatures or libels on humanity. We have little deep passion or winning tenderness to link the beings of his drama with those we love or admire, or to make us sympathise with them as with existing mortals. The charm of reality is generally wanting, or when

found, it is not a pleasing reality. When the great artist escapes entirely from his elaborate wit and personified humours into the region of fancy (as in the lyrical passages of Cynthia,' Epicene,' and the whole drama of the Sad Shepherd'), we are struck with the contrast it exhibits to his ordinary manner. He thus presents two natures; one hard, rugged, gross, and sarcastic-a mountain belly and a rocky face,' as he described his own person-the other airy, fanciful, and graceful, as if its possessor had never combated with the world and its bad passions, but nursed his understanding and his fancy in poetical seclusion and contemplation.


[The Fall of Catiline.]

Petreius. The straits and needs of Catiline being such,

As he must fight with one of the two armies
That then had near inclosed him, it pleas'd fate
To make us the object of his desperate choice,
Wherein the danger almost pois'd the honour:
And, as he rose, the day grew black with him,
And fate descended nearer to the earth,

As if she meant to hide the name of things
Under her wings, and make the world her quarry.
At this we roused, lest one small minute's stay
Had left it to be inquired what Rome was;
And (as we ought) arm'd in the confidence
Of our great cause, in form of battle stood,
Whilst Catiline came on, not with the face
Of any man, but of a public ruin :
His countenance was a civil war itself;
And all his host had, standing in their looks,
The paleness of the death that was to come;
Yet cried they out like vultures, and urged on,
As if they would precipitate our fates.
Nor stay'd we longer for 'em, but himself
Struck the first stroke, and with it fled a life,
Which out, it seem'd a narrow neck of land
Had broke between two mighty seas, and either
And whirl'd about, as when two violent tides
Flow'd into other; for so did the slaughter;
Meet and not yield. The furies stood on hills,
Circling the place, and trembling to see men
Griev'd for that side, that in so bad a cause
Do more than they; whilst pity left the field,
They knew not what a crime their valour was.
The sun stood still, and was, behind the cloud
The battle made, seen sweating, to drive up
His frighted horse, whom still the noise drove backward:
And now had fierce Enyo, like a flame,
Consum'd all it could reach, and then itself,
Had not the fortune of the commonwealth,
Come, Pallas-like, to every Roman thought;
Which Catiline seeing, and that now his troops
Cover'd the earth they 'ad fought on with their trunks,
Ambitious of great fame, to crown his ill,
Collected all his fury, and ran in
(Arm'd with a glory high as his despair)
Into our battle, like a Libyan lion
Upon his hunters, scornful of our weapons,
Careless of wounds, plucking down lives about him,
Till he had circled in himself with death:
Then fell he too, t' embrace it where it lay.
And as in that rebellion 'gainst the gods,
Minerva holding forth Medusa's head,
One of the giant brethren felt himself
Grow marble at the killing sight; and now,
Almost made stone, began to inquire what flint,
What rock, it was that crept through all his limbs;
And, ere he could think more, was that he fear'd:
So Catiline, at the sight of Rome in us,
Became his tomb; yet did his look retain
Some of his fierceness, and his hands still mov'd,

As if he labour'd yet to grasp the state With those rebellious parts.

Cato. A brave bad death!

Had this been honest now, and for his country, As 'twas against it, who had e'er fall'n greater?

[Accusation and Death of Silius in the Senate House.]

[Silius, an honourable Roman, hated by Tiberius Cæsar, the emperor, and Sejanus, is unjustly accused in the senate-house by Varro, the consul. The other persons present are Domitius Afer, Latiaris, and Cotta, enemies of Silius, and Arruntius and Sabinus, his friends, with lictores and præcones, inferior offi. cers of the senate.]

Afer. Cite Caius Silius.

Prae. Caius Silius!

Sil. Here.

Afer. The triumph that thou hadst in Germany For thy late victory on Sacrovir,

Thou hast enjoy'd so freely, Caius Silius,
As no man it envy'd thee; nor would Cæsar,

Or Rome admit, that thou wert then defrauded
Of any honours thy deserts could claim,
In the fair service of the commonwealth :
But now, if after all their loves and graces
(Thy actions and their courses being discover'd),
It shall appear to Cæsar, and this senate,
Thou hast defil'd those glories with thy crimes-
Sil. Crimes?

Afer. Patience, Silius.

Sil. Tell thy moil of patience

I am a Roman. What are my crimes? proclaim them.
Am I too rich too honest for the times?
Have I or treasure, jewels, land, or houses,

That some informer gapes for? Is my strength
Too much to be admitted? or my knowledge?
These now are crimes.

Afer. Nay, Silius, if the name

Of crime so touch thee, with what impotence
Wilt thou endure the matter to be search'd?

Sil. I tell thee, Afer, with more scorn than fear:
Employ your mercenary tongue and art.
Where's my accuser ?

Var. Here.

Arr. Varro the consul.

Is he thrust in ?

Var. 'Tis I accuse thee, Silius.

Against the majesty of Rome, and Cæsar,
I do pronounce thee here a guilty cause,
First of beginning and occasioning,
Next, drawing out the war in Gallia,

For which thou late triumph'st; dissembling long
That Sacrovir to be an enemy,

Only to make thy entertainment more:

Whilst thou and thy wife Sosia poll'd the province :
Wherein, with sordid base desire of gain,
Thou hast discredited thy actions' worth,
And been a traitor to the state.

Sil. Thou liest.

Arr. I thank thee, Silius, speak so still and often. Var. If I not prove it, Cæsar, but unjustly Have call'd him into trial; here I bind Myself to suffer what I claim against him; And yield to have what I have spoke, confirm'd By judgment of the court, and all good men.

Sil. Cæsar, I crave to have my cause deferr'd, Till this man's consulship be out.

Tib. We cannot.

Nor may we grant it.

Sil. Why shall he design

My day of trial? is he my accuser?

And must he be my judge!

Tib. It hath been usual,

And is a right that custom hath allow'd

The magistrate, to call forth private men;
And to appoint their day: which privilege
We may not in the consul see infring'd,
By whose deep watches, and industrious care,
It is so labour'd as the commonwealth
Receive no loss, by any oblique course.

Sil. Caesar, thy fraud is worse than violence. Tib. Silius, mistake us not, we dare not use The credit of the consul to thy wrong; But only do preserve his place and power, So far as it concerns the dignity And honour of the state.

Arr. Believe him, Silius.

Cot. Why, so he may, Arruntius.
Arr. I say so.

And he may choose too.

Tib. By the Capitol,

And all our gods, but that the dear republic,
Our sacred laws, and just authority

Are interess'd therein, I should be silent.

Afer. 'Please Cæsar to give way unto his trial; He shall have justice.

Sil. Nay, I shall have law; Shall I not, Afer? speak.

Afer. Would you have more?

Sil. No, my well-spoken man, I would no more; Nor less might I enjoy it natural,

Not taught to speak unto your present ends,
Free from thine, his, and all your unkind handling,
Furious enforcing, most unjust presuming,
Malicious, and manifold applying,

Foul wresting, and impossible construction.
Afer. He raves, he raves.

Sil. Thou durst not tell me so,

Hadst thou not Cæsar's warrant. I can see
Whose power condemns me.

Var. This betrays his spirit.

This doth enough declare him what he is.
Sil. What am I? speak.

Var. An enemy to the state.

Sil. Because I am an enemy to thee, And such corrupted ministers o' the state, That here art made a present instrument To gratify it with thine own disgrace.

Sej. This to the consul is most insolent! And impious!

Sil. Ay, take part. Reveal yourselves. Alas! I scent not your confed'racies, Your plots, and combinations! I not know Minion Sejanus hates me; and that all This boast of law, and law is but a form, A net of Vulcan's filing, a mere engine, To take that life by a pretext of justice, Which you pursue in malice! I want brain, Or nostril to persuade me, that your ends And purposes are made to what they are, Before my answer! O, you equal gods, Whose justice not a world of wolf-turn'd men Shall make me to accuse, howe'er provok'd ; Have I for this so oft engag'd myself! Stood in the heat and fervour of a fight, When Phoebus sooner hath forsook the day Than I the field, against the blue-ey'd Gauls And crisped Germans? when our Roman eagles Have fann'd the fire with their labouring wings. And no blow dealt, that left not death behind it! When I have charg'd, alone, into the troops Of curl'd Sicambrians, routed them, and came Not off, with backward ensigns of a slave, But forward marks, wounds on my breast and face, Were meant to thee, O Cæsar, and thy Rome! And have I this return? did I for this

Perform so noble and so brave defeat

On Sacrovir? (O Jove, let it become me

To boast my deeds, when he, whom they concern, Shall thus forget them.)

Afer. Silius, Silius,

These are the common customs of thy blood,
When it is high with wine, as now with rage:
This well agrees with that intemperate vaunt
Thou lately mad'st at Agrippina's table,
That, when all other of the troops were prone
To fall into rebellion, only thine

Remain'd in their obedience. Thou wert he
That sav'd the empire, which had then been lost,
Had but thy legions, there, rebell'd or mutin'd;
Thy virtue met, and fronted every peril,

Thou gav'st to Cæsar, and to Rome, their surety,
Their name, their strength, their spirit, and their

Their being was a donative from thee.

Arr. Well worded, and most like an orator.

Tib. Is this true, Silius?

Sil. Save thy question, Cæsar,

Thy spy of famous credit hath affirm'd it.

Arr. Excellent Roman!

Sab. He doth answer stoutly.

Sej. If this be so, there needs no other cause

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Sil. Come, do not hunt

And labour so about for circumstance,

To make him guilty, whom you have foredoom'd:
Take shorter ways; I'll meet your purposes.
The words were mine, and more I now will say:
Since I have done thee that great service, Cæsar,
Thou still hast fear'd me; and, in place of grace,
Return'd me hatred: so soon all best turns,
With doubtful princes, turn deep injuries
In estimation, when they greater rise
Than can be answer'd. Benefits, with you,
Are of no longer pleasure than you can

With ease restore them; that transcended once,
Your studies are not how to thank, but kill.
It is your nature to have all men slaves
To you, but you acknowledging to none.

The means that make your greatness, must not come
In mention of it; if it do, it takes

So much away, you think: and that which help'd, Shall soonest perish, if it stand in eye,

Where it may front, or but upbraid the high.

Cot. Suffer him speak no more.

Var. Note but his spirit.

Afer. This shows him in the rest.

The coward and the valiant man must fall,
Only the cause, and manner how, discerns them:
Which then are gladdest, when they cost us dearest.
Romans, if any here be in this senate,
Would know to mock Tiberius' tyranny,

Look upon Silius, and so learn to die. [Stabs himself.
Var. O desperate act!

Arr. An honourable hand!

Tib. Look, is he dead?

Sab. "Twas nobly struck, and home. Arr. My thought did prompt him to it. Farewell, Šilius.

Be famous ever for thy great example.


[From the New Inn.']

Fall of Sejanus.

LOVEL and Host of the New Inn.

Lov. There is no life on earth, but being in love! There are no studies, no delights, no business, No intercourse, or trade of sense, or soul, But what is love! I was the laziest creature, The most unprofitable sign of nothing, The veriest drone, and slept away my life Beyond the dormouse, till I was in love! And now I can out-wake the nightingale, Out-watch an usurer, and out-walk him too, Stalk like a ghost that haunted 'bout a treasure; And all that fancied treasure, it is love!

Host. But is your name Love-ill, sir, or Love-well! I would know that.

Lov. I do not know 't myself,

Whether it is. But it is love hath been

The hereditary passion of our house,
My gentle host, and, as I guess, my friend;
The truth is, I have lov'd this lady long,
And impotently, with desire enough,
But no success: for I have still forborne
To express it in my person to her.

Host. How then?

Lov. I have sent her toys, verses, and anagrams,
Trials of wit, mere trifles, she has commended,
But knew not whence they came, nor could she guess.
Host. This was a pretty riddling way of wooing!
Lov. I oft have been, too, in her company,
And look'd upon her a whole day, admir'd her,
Lov'd her, and did not tell her so; lov'd still,
Look'd still, and lov'd; and lov'd, and look'd, and

But, as a man neglected, I came off,
And unregarded.

Host. Could you blame her, sir,

When you were şilent and not said a word?

Lov. O, but I lov'd the more; and she might read it Best in my silence, had she been

Host. As melancholic

Sej. He hath spoke enough to prove him Cæsar's foe. As you are. Pray you, why would you stand mute, sir?

Lat. Let him be censur'd.

Cot. His thoughts look through his words.

Sej. A censure.

Sil. Stay,

Stay, most officious senate, I shall straight
Delude thy fury. Silius hath not plac'd
His guards within him, against fortune's spite,
So weakly, but he can escape your gripe,
That are but hands of fortune: she herself,
When virtue doth oppose, must lose her threats.
All that can happen in humanity,

The frown of Cæsar, proud Sejanus' hatred,
Base Varro's spleen, and Afer's bloodying tongue,
The senate's servile flattery, and these
Muster'd to kill, I'm fortified against,

And can look down upon: they are beneath me.
It is not life whereof Î stand enamour'd ;
Nor shall my end make me accuse my fate.

Lov. O thereon hangs a history, mine host.
Did you e'er know or hear of the Lord Beaufort,
Who serv'd so bravely in France? I was his page,
And, ere he died, his friend: I follow'd him
First in the wars, and in the times of peace

I waited on his studies; which were right.
He had no Arthurs, nor no Rosicleers,
No Knights of the Sun, nor Amadis de Gauls,
Primalions, and Pantagruels, public nothings;
Abortives of the fabulous dark cloister,
Sent out to poison courts, and infest manners:
But great Achilles', Agamemnon's acts,
Sage Nestor's counsels, and Ulysses' sleights,
Tydides' fortitude, as Homer wrought them
In his immortal fancy, for examples
Of the heroic virtue. Or, as Virgil,
That master of the Epic poem, limn'd
Pious Æneas, his religious prince,

Bearing his aged parent on his shoulders,
Rapt from the flames of Troy, with his young son.
And these he brought to practice and to use.
He gave me first my breeding, I acknowledge,
Then shower'd his bounties on me, like the Hours,
That open-handed sit upon the clouds,
And press the liberality of heaven

Down to the laps of thankful men! But then,
The trust committed to me at his death
Was above all, and left so strong a tie
On all my powers, as time shall not dissolve,
Till it dissolve itself, and bury all:
The care of his brave heir and only son !
Who being a virtuous, sweet, young, hopeful lord,
Hath cast his first affections on this lady.
And though I know, and may presume her such,
As out of humour, will return no love,
And therefore might indifferently be made
The courting-stock for all to practise on,
As she doth practise on us all to scorn:
Yet out of a religion to my charge,
And debt profess'd, I have made a self-decree,
Ne'er to express my person, though my passion
Burn me to cinders.

[A Simpleton and a Braggadocio.]

this book. O eyes, no eyes, but fountains fraught with tears! There's a conceit !-fountains fraught with tears! O life, no life, but lively form of death! Another! O world, no world, but mass of public wrongs! A third! Confused and fill'd with murder and misdeeds!' A fourth! O, the muses! Is't not excellent Is't not simply the best that ever you heard, captain? Ha! how do you like it?

Bob. "Tis good.

Mat. To thee, the purest object to my sense,
The most refined essence heaven covers,
Send I these lines, wherein I do commence
The happy state of turtle-billing lovers.
If they prove rough, unpolish'd, harsh, and rude,
Haste made the waste. Thus mildly I conclude
Bob. Nay, proceed, proceed. Where's this?

[Bobadil is making him ready all this while. Mat. This, sir? a toy o' mine own, in my nonage; the infancy of my muses! But when will you come and see my study? Good faith, I can show you some very good things I have done of late. That boot be comes your leg passing well, captain, methinks.

Bob. So, so; it's the fashion gentlemen now use. Mat. Troth, captain, and now you speak o' the fashion, Master Well-bred's elder brother and I are fallen out exceedingly. This other day, I happened to enter into some discourse of a hanger, which, I assure you, both for fashion and workmanship, was

[Bobadil, the braggadocio, in his mean and obscure lodging, most peremptory-beautiful and gentleman-like; yet is visited by Matthew, the simpleton.]

Mat. Save you, sir; save you, captain.

Bob. Gentle master Matthew! Is it you, sir? Please you to sit down.

Mat. Thank you, good captain, you may see I am somewhat audacious.

Bob. Not so, sir. I was requested to supper last night by a sort of gallants, where you were wish'd for, and drunk to, I assure you.

Mat. Vouchsafe me, by whom, good captain? Bob. Marry, by young Well-bred, and others. Why, hostess, a stool here for this gentleman.

Mat. No haste, sir; 'tis very well.

Bob. Body o' me it was so late ere we parted last night, I can scarce open my eyes yet; I was but new risen, as you came: how passes the day abroad, sir ?— you can tell.

Mat. Faith, some half hour to seven now, trust me, you have an exceeding fine lodging here, very neat and private!

Bob. Ay, sir; sit down, I pray you. Mr Matthew (in any case) possess no gentlemen of our acquaintance with notice of my lodging.

Mat. Who! I, sir?-no.

Bob. Not that I need to care who know it, for the cabin is convenient, but in regard I would not be too popular, and generally visited as some are.

Mat. True, captain, I conceive you.

Bob. For, do you see, sir, by the heart of valour in me (except it be to some peculiar and choice spirits, to whom I am extraordinarily engaged, as yourself,

or so), I could not extend thus far.

Mat. O Lord, sir, I resolve so.

Bob. I confess I love a cleanly and quiet privacy, above all the tumult and roar of fortune. What new book ha' you there? What! Go by, Hieronymo !! Mat. Ay, did you ever see it acted? Is't not well penn❜d?

Bob. Well-penn'd! I would fain see all the poets of these times pen such another play as that was! they'll prate and swagger, and keep a stir of art and devices, when (as I am a gentleman), read 'em, they are the most shallow, pitiful, barren fellows, that live upon the face of the earth again.

Mat. Indeed; here are a number of fine speeches in

1 A cant phrase of the day.

he condemned and cried it down for the most pyed and ridiculous that ever he saw.

Bob. Squire Downright, the half-brother, was't not! Mat. Ay, sir, he.

Bob. Hang him, rook, he! why, he has no more judgment than a malt-horse. By St George, I wonder you'd lose a thought upon such an animal; the most peremptory absurd clown of Christendom, this day, he is holden. I protest to you, as I am a gentleman and a soldier, I ne'er changed words with his like. By his discourse, he should eat nothing but hay: he was born for the manger, pannier, or packsaddle! He has not so much as a good phrase in his belly, but all old iron and rusty proverbs !—a good commodity for some smith to make hob-nails of.

Mat. Ay, and he thinks to carry it away with his manhood still, where he comes: he brags he will gi' me the bastinado, as I hear.

that word, trow? Bob. How he the bastinado? How came he by

Mat. Nay, indeed, he said cudgel me; I term'd it so for my more grace.

Bob. That may be, for I was sure it was none of his word but when? when said he so ?

Mat. Faith, yesterday, they say; a young gallant, a friend of mine, told me so.

Bob. By the foot of Pharaoh, an 'twere my case now, I should send him a chartel presently. The bas tinado! A most proper and sufficient dependance, warranted by the great Caranza. Come hither; you shall kill him with at pleasure; the first stoccata, if shall chartel him; I'll show you a trick or two, you you will, by this air.

Mat. Indeed; you have absolute knowledge i' the mystery, I have heard, sir

Bob. Of whom of whom ha' you heard it, I be seech you?

Mat. Troth I have heard it spoken of divers, that you have very rare, and un-in-one-breath-utter-able skill, sir.

Bob. By heav'n, no not I; no skill i' the earth; some small rudiments i' the science, as to know my time, distance, or so: I have profest it more for noblemen and gentlemen's use than mine own practice, I assure you. Hostess, accommodate us with another bed-staff here quickly: lend us another bed-staff: the woman does not understand the words of action. Look

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