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IR LUCKLESS, troth, for luck's sake pass by
He that wooes every widow, will get none.
ON MUNGRIL ESQUIRE.
LAYWRIGHT me reads, and still my verses
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
Playwright, I loath to have thy manners known
TO SIR COD.
FEAVE, Cod, tobacco-like, burnt gums to take,
Or fumy clysters, thy moist lungs to bake :
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,
Do beg thy care unto thy after-state.
To CENSORIOUS COURTLING.
BOURTLING, I rather thou should'st utterly
Dispraise my work, than praise it frostily :
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.
To OLDEND GATHERER.
ONG-GATHERING Oldend, I did fear thee
HEVERIL cries out my verses libels are;
What are thy petulant pleadings, Cheveril, then,
Fleich The ) and c.
To FRANCIS BEAUMONT.
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.
als TOP the
At once thou mak'st me happy, and unmak’st;
029 GOOR Poet-ape, that would be thought our
Whose works are e'en the frippery of wit,
As we, the robb’d, leave rage, and pity it.
Buy the reversion of old plays ; now grown
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
I'll drink thy muse's health, thou shalt quaff mine.
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.