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Davis, and Weever, and the best have been,
ON SIR COD THE PERFUMED.
HAT Cod can get no widow, yet a knight,
I scent the cause : he wooes with an ill sprite."
For thou hast seen Davis, and Weever.] Davis was the author of a collection of epigrams called the Scourge of Folly: he was by profession a writingmaster, and chiefly taught in the university of Oxford. He was a contemporary of Jonson, and has an epigram addressed to him. Weever was the author of a work in folio, which is called Funeral Monuments, and is a miscellany of epitaphs, and inscriptions, collected from ancient monuments in various parts of the kingdon. WHAL.
3 He wooes with an ill sprite.] A play on the double meaning
Selling, which is a sin unpardonable,
Than that drawn fox Moroso." A. i. S. 2.
YHE expense in odours is a most vain sin,
ON REFORMED GAMESTER.
ON MY FIRST DAUGHTER.
Yet all heaven's gifts being heaven's due,
am afraid the allusion is not so delicate.” The writer's fears are
his hair close cut, &c.] These are the characteristic
At six months end she parted hence
grave partakes the fleshly birth; Which cover lightly, gentle earth!
To John Donne.
Whose every work, of thy most early wit,
marks of a puritan, which Gamester was now become. The word was the cant phrase for the Scripture, which was profanely applied to every incident of life. This is an epigram of all times.
5 Whose soul heaven's Queen, whose name she bears,] i. e. the virgin Mary; this seems to have been written, when our poet was a convert to the church of Rome. WHAL.
There is both pathos and beauty in this little piece : Jonson appears to have been a most kind and affectionate parent, and if, as Fuller says, he did not always meet with an equal return of duty and love, those who denied it to him have the greater sin. It is here the proper place to observe that our poet is by far the best writer of epitaphs that this country ever possessed. 6
John Donne.] The celebrated Dean of St. Paul's. His character is excellently given in this affectionate memorial of his virtues ; indeed, no one knew him better, or valued him more justly than Jonson. The domestic life of this eminent man is admirably written by Izaak Walton; and a severe, though not unjust, estimate of his poetical merits will be found in Dr. Johnson's Life of Cowley.
All which I meant to praise, and yet I would ;
TO THE PARLIAMENT.
WHERE'S reason good, that you good laws
should make :
ON SIR VOLUPTUOUS BEAST.
HILE Beast instructs his fair and innocent
wife, In the past pleasures of his sensual life, Telling the motions of each petticoat, And how his Ganymede mov’d, and how his goat, And now her hourly her own cucquean makes, In varied shapes, which for his lust she takes : What doth hè else, but say, Leave to be chaste, Just wife, and to change me, make woman's haste !
ON THE SAME.
HAN his chaste wife though Beast now know
no more, He adulters still : his thoughts lie with a
ON SIR John Roe.?
If any Muse outlive their spight, his can ;
If any pious life ere lifted man
On Don SURLY.
LON Surly, to aspire the glorious name
Of a great man, and to be thought the same,
Makes serious use of all great trade he knows.
7 On sir John Roe.] Probably the son of sir Thomas Roe, knt., an eminent merchant of London, who after passing with distinguished credit through every municipal honour, died full of years and good works about 1570. This worthy citizen, whose charity was directed by his piety to the most useful purposes, left four sons, who appear to have trod in the footsteps of their father.
8 He speaks to men with a rhinocerote's nose,] i. e. I believe, with a nose elate, or curled up into a kind of sneer, scornfully, contemptuously. This, at least, is the meaning of the expression in Martial's lively address to his book:
Nescis, heu nescis dominæ fastidia Roma,
Crede mihi, nimium Martia turba sapit ;
Et pueri nasum Rhinocerotis habent ! lib. i. 4.