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IR LUCKLESS, troth, for luck's sake pass by

one;

He that wooes every widow, will get none.

XLVIII.

ON MUNGRIL ESQUIRE.
IS bought arms Mung' not liked ; for his first

day
Of bearing them in field, he threw 'em away ;'
And hath no honour lost, our duellists say.

XLIX.

To PLAYWRIGHT.

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LAYWRIGHT me reads, and still my verses

damns,
os He says I want the tongue of epigrams ;
I have no salt, no bawdry he doth mean;
For witty, in his language, is obscene.

1

For his first day Of bearing them in field, he threw 'em away.] The arms were usually pourtrayed upon the shield; so that on his entering into battle, he flung away his shield, that he might not be encumbered in his flight. This marks him for his cowardice. WHAL.

Jonson might have thrown his epigram after Mungril's arms, with no more loss of credit than the other of honour,

? I have no salt, no bawdry he doth mean.] This expression sufficiently justifies Pope's emendation of the passage in Hamlet,

I remember one said there were no salts in the lines to make the matter savoury.” The old copies read sallets, which being akin to nonsense is, according to custom, replaced in the text by the last

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Playwright, I loath to have thy manners known
In my chaste book; profess them in thine own.

L.

TO SIR COD.

FEAVE, Cod, tobacco-like, burnt gums to take,

Or fumy clysters, thy moist lungs to bake :
Arsenic would thee fit for society make.

LI.

To KING JAMES. Upon the happy false rumour of his death, the two

and twentieth day of March, 1606.3 HAT we thy loss might know, and thou our love, Great heaven did well to give ill fame free

wing; Which though it did but panic terror prove,

And far beneath least pause of such a king;

editors ;—though, as Mr. Steevens adds, “ the alteration of Pope may be, in some measure, supported by the following passage in Decker's Satiromastix-"a prepared troop of gallants, who shall distaste every unsalted line in their fly-blown comedies.” If the change be in some measure supported by this quotation, it is altogether fixed by the line above, of which none of the commentators take the slightest notice.

3 The best comment upon this little piece is to be found in Winwood's State Papers, in a letter from Mr. Chamberlaine to that minister, dated April 5th, 1606; from which it appears that Jonson has not exaggerated the common feeling, which was the more alive as the story came so quickly upon the discovery of the Gun. powder Plot. The report was that the king had been stabbed with a poisoned knife, at Woking, in Surrey, where he was hunting.

Yet give thy jealous subjects leave to doubt,

Who this thy scape from rumour gratulate,
No less than if from peril; and devout,

Do beg thy care unto thy after-state.
For we, that have our eyes still in our ears,
Look not upon thy dangers, but our fears.

LII.

To CENSORIOUS COURTLING.

BOURTLING, I rather thou should'st utterly

Dispraise my work, than praise it frostily :
When I am read, thou feign'st a weak ap-

plause,
As if thou wert my friend, but lack’dst a cause.
This but thy judgment fools : the other way
Would both thy folly and thy spite betray.

Mr. Lodge has also a letter on the subject from the earl of Kent to the earl of Shrewsbury, of which a part is subjoined.

"My very hon'ble good Lo. I received yesterday yo' hon’able and frendley lines by John Sibley, whereby it pleased yo' LP to adv'tise me of the untruthe of those bruits spread abroad of so horrible a treason against his Majties precious life. Theis false bruits come very speedily not only to the Privie Councell at the Corte, and so to London, but also into theis parts, and not onlike, into a great p'te of the kingdom. All thother daye being Sondaye, we here knew nothinge certenly to the contrary but that the worst might be feared: but the greater astonishment this sudden fearefull rumour hath ev'y where occasioned, the more sing’lar comfort and joye will now redounde to ev'ie true harted subject by the report of his Maties safetie, for wch they shall have so just cause to sounde forth God's praise, together with incessant prayers for his Highnes longe happie and prosperous raigne ovus.” Wilson's account of the confusion and dismay which took place on this occasion, is given in yet stronger language.

At once

LIII.

To OLDEND GATHERER.

That I

What

When

For WE

ONG-GATHERING Oldend, I did fear thee

wise,
When having pill'd a book which no man buys,
Thou wert content the author's name to lose :
But when, in place, thou didst the patron's choose,
It was as if thou printed hadst an oath,
To give the world assurance thou wert both ;
And that, as puritans at baptism do,
Thou art the father, and the witness too.
For, but thyself, where, out of motley, 's he*
Could save that line to dedicate to thee?

From

As

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F

HEVERIL cries out my verses libels are;
And threatens the Star-chamber, and the Bar.

What are thy petulant pleadings, Cheveril, then,
That quit'st the cause so oft, and rail'st at men ?

Fleich The ) and c.

LV.

To FRANCIS BEAUMONT.

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OW I do love thee, Beaumont, and thy Muse,

That unto me dost such religion use!

How I do fear myself, that am not worth The least indulgent thought thy pen drops forth !

Where, out of motley, 's he, &c.] i. e. where out of a motley, or fool's coat is he, &c. In other words, who but a fool ?—Whalley seems to have strangely mistaken this simple expression.

the

als TOP the

!

At once thou mak'st me happy, and unmak’st;
And giving largely to me, more thou tak’st!
What fate is mine, that so itself bereaves ?
What art is thine, that so thy friend deceives ?
When even there, where most thou praisest me,
For writing better, I must envy thee.”

LVI.

ON POET-APE.

029 GOOR Poet-ape, that would be thought our

chief,

Whose works are e'en the frippery of wit,
From brokage is become so bold a thief,

As we, the robb’d, leave rage, and pity it.
At first he made low shifts, would pick and glean,

Buy the reversion of old plays ; now grown
5 When even there, where most thou praisest me,

For writing better, I must envy thee.] This short poem is an answer to a letter, which Beaumont, then in the country with Fletcher, sent to Jonson, together with two unfinished comedies. The letter is an excellent one, and proves the interesting frankness and cordiality in which “the envious and malignant Ben” lived with his brother poets. The passage to which the text more immediately applies is the following:

“Fate once again
Bring me to thee, who canst make smooth and plain
The way of knowledge for me, and then I,
(Who have no good but in thy company,)
Protest it will my greatest comfort be,
To acknowledge all I have to flow from thee.
Ben, when these scenes are perfect, we'll taste wine,

I'll drink thy muse's health, thou shalt quaff mine.
6 Poor Poet-ape, &c.] Mr. Chalmers will take it on his death that

person here meant is Shakspeare! Who can doubt it? For my part, I am persuaded, that Groom Idiot in the next epigram is also Shakspeare; and, indeed, generally, that he is typified by the words "fool and knave," so exquisitely descriptive of him, wherever they occur in Jonson.

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