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the Nymphs, Floods, and Fountains, make a full choir; at which Fame begins to mount, and moving her wings flieth, singing, up to heaven.
Fame. Rise, golden Fame, and give thy name a birth.
And dies despised—
Where the Fame's neglected.
Whom jealousy and hell thought to devour?
But they last to memory.
4 Where the Fame's neglected.] This sentiment has occurred more than once before. It is from Tacitus: Contemptu famæ contemni virtutem,
5 From to die,] i. e. from death. A very elegant Grecism ; ato Tov Davey: and which our poets have employed in our language with singular strength and beauty. Thus Spenser :
“Be sure that nought may save thee from to die.” WHAL. The Grecism is, as Whalley says, very elegant; in our language the expression is a mere barbarism, feeble, ungraceful, and ungrammatical.
Fame. Thus Fame ascends, by all degrees, to heaven, And leaves a light, here, brighter than the
Air first, that gave the bright
Resound and sing
Chloris, the queen of flowers;
The top of paramours.
the heaven closeth,
The MASQUERS dance with the Lords.
AND THUS IT ENDED.
E have now reached the scene of contention between our
poet and Inigo Jones. Till this period they appear to
have lived in sufficient harmony. The writer of Jones's life, in the Biographia Britannica, says, that the quarrel broke out soon after 1609, and continued to the death of Jonson; this is the eternal echo : and I am weary of repeating that it is utterly false and groundless. The first symptoms of disaffection, on the poet's side, appear in the Tale of a Tub, written in 1633, and from the language there used, it is more than probable that the quarrel originated not with him, but his associate.
If the reader has looked through these Masques, he must have noticed the friendly solicitude of Jonson to put forward the talents of this man : this was the more important, as the first attempts of Jones had been somewhat unsuccessful. In 1605-6, he was employed on a Masque, prepared for the king's entertainment, at Oxford. “The machinery and stages,” (says my author) “were chiefly constructed by one Mr. Jones, a great traveller, who undertook to furnish them with rare devices, but performed very little to what was expected.” Lel. Col. vol. ii. 646. He was not more fortunate at Cambridge, where he was employed on the machinery for'the representation of Ajax. Till the death of Prince Henry, then, in 1612, nothing but kindness appears on the part of Jonson. In that year, or the next, Jones went abroad, and pursued his studies in Italy for several years; yet Jonson is ridiculously charged with attacking him in Bartholomew Fair, which was brought out in 1614. No mention of his name occurs in any part of our poet's works, (though the Master of the Revels says he was employed in the Prince's Masque,) till 1625, when he joined in the production of Pan's Anniversary. Another interval of five years took place, before he was called upon again, when, as Jonson says, they met by the king's command, and consulted together on the construction of Love's Triumph and Chloridia. During this long period, not a murmur of discontent appears to have escaped Jonson. Why then is it taken for granted that the quarrel which followed the exhibition of the last piece, originated solely with him ? Even in the description of the scenery, which evidently proceeded from Jonson, there is a visible anxiety to recommend it to favour.
But what, after all, occasioned the breach? Dr. Aikin, in that worthless compilation, the General Biography, is pleased to insinuate
that it arose from our author's envy of Inigo's poetry! The only
To track thy steps, who, Proteus like, dost varie
For though in Venice thou not long didst tarie,
As in that time thou eat'st but one good meale.” It seems reasonable to suppose that Chloridia was not so well received as Love's Triumph. Ben's share in it, as a poet, was not very important, nor, to say the truth, very remarkable either for harmony or expression. In the construction of the fable, both took part alike; but Inigo chose to fasten on the verse, and to attribute their want of success solely to its demerits, while he arrogated to himself a more than ordinary portion of applause for his skill in painting the scenery. He had a fair field before him : he was rich and popular ; his associate was sick, confined to “the bed and boards,” and in want of every thing. Jones was, besides, as vain as Jonson was proud; as arrogant as Jonson was overbearing; he was also extremely petulant. Pennant claims him for a countryman on the strength of his “violent passions ;"1 and we know, from the charges carried up by the Commons to the House of Lords against him, that his language was of the most insolent kind. Jonson, however, bore it for two years, when he wrote, in 1633, the ridiculous Motion of Squire Tub of Totten ; and, as this perhaps did not silence his adversary, two years afterwards he drew up, and handed about, in private, the verses which Whalley reprinted among the Epigrams. To prevent the necessity of recurring to this disagreeable subject, I shall give them here.
The first notice of them appears in Howel's Letters. “I thank you
for the last regalo you gave me at your Museum, and for the good company. I heard you censured a lately at court,
1 Tour in Wales, vol. ii. p. 150.
? I heard you censured lately at court.] It might be so; but the validity of the assertion depends upon the character of Howel's informer, a good hand, as he calls him just below. One thing, however, is certain, that the king had listened, some time before, and, as far as appears, without displeasure, to an attack upon Inigo
that you have lighted too foul upon sir Inigo, and that you write with a porcupine's quill, dipt in too much gall: excuse me that I am so free with you, it is because I am in no common way of friendship,
“Your's, &c. “ May 3, 1635."
“J. H. This letter, which is directed “to his honoured friend and father, M. Ben Johnson,” having failed of effect, he wrote a second, bearing date July 5, 1635, in which he repeats his allusion to the porcupine's quill, and, after deprecating the asperity of the satire on the “royal architect,” concludes thus: “If your spirit will not let you retract, yet you shall do well to repress any more copies of the satire ; for to deal plainly with you, you have lost some ground at court by it; and as I hear from a good hand, the King, who hath so great a judgment in poetry, (as in all other things else,) is not well pleased therewith. Dispense with this. “Your respectful son and servitor.
"J.H." In consequence, perhaps, of this remonstrance, Jonson recalled, and destroyed every copy (as he probably thought) of his satire, for not a line of it was found among his papers : but there is in some minds a perverse passion for perpetuating the memory of enmities, which no sense of propriety can subdue. A copy, most probably secreted by a person of this description, fell into the hands of Mr. Vertue, who communicated it, as a great favour, to Whalley, by whom it was sent to the press. Thus, in despite of the author, this wretched squabble has reached posterity.
(Coronel Vitruvius) in a masque prepared solely for his entertainment, and presented by one who would, on no account, have hazarded a word that was likely to give him offence. See p. 134.