Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

was a very tolerable versifier, and did no discredit to George Buchanan's tuition. Besides The Essayes of a Prentise in the Divine Art of Poesie, which was published in Edinburgh eighteen years before he came to England, he was also the author of Some Reulis and Cautelis to be observit and eschewit in Scotts Poesie. Bishop Hurd before he reprehended Jonson for adulation of the new king, should have remembered the dedication of the Bible to the “Sun in his Strength."

P. 148. On the new Hot-house.] See Every Man out of his Humour, vol. ii. pp. 47 and 132. It seems to have been a kind of Turkish bath.

P. 150. Shift, here in town, not meanest amongst squires.] Jonson wrote and printed among, and, with a hissing word before and after it (meanest among squires), who will say he was not right?

P. 151. And for his letchery, scores, god pays.] I think there can be no doubt that scores is here a verb, and that the commas before and after it should be expunged.

P. 154. Sir Cod the perfumed.] Cod was a name commonly given to perfumers. So in Shirley's Wedding : "As thou goest call upon Cod the Perfumer, tell him he uses us sweetly, has not brought home the gloves yet.” Works, vol. i. p. 382. In Gifford's note (3) on this Epigram, he quotes The Woman's Prize, and gives a mysterious line about

“Counterfeit cods, or musty English crocus." P. 155. On my first daughter.] Peter Cunningham found in the Register of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields:"1593, Nov. 17. Seplta. fuit Maria Johnson, peste.” If this was Jonson's daughter he must have been married at least as early as August, 1592, when he was about 20, and this I suspect to be the true state of the case.

P. 156. Donne, the delight of Phæbus and each Muse.] Jonson told Drummond that he esteemed Donne “the first poet in the world in some things.” He had “written his best pieces ere he was twenty-five years old.” See vol. ix. P. 373, 374.

P. 157. And now her hourly her own cucquean makes.] Nares says this is “a familiar word, fabricated by taking the first syllable of cuckold, and adding quean to it.” Cotquean is quite a different word. See The Poetaster, vol. ii. p. 456.

P. 158. On sir John Roe.] Jonson said emphatically to Drummond that “Sir John Roe loved him.”

“He died in his arms of

1

the pest.”

P. 159. He has tympanies of business in his face.] Samuel Johnson defines tympany to be “a kind of obstructed flatulence that swells the body like a drum."

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

P. 159. For thy late sharp device.] It is plain from several passages that Jonson was in the habit of attending at the tiltings, and of supplying devices to his friends among the tilters. See post, pp. 183 and 343.

P. 160. On Banks the Usurer.] In the folio this man's name is Banck, not Banks, and I think it worth preserving, as in all probability it was a nick-name given to him from his profession.

P. 160. Note (1). Why Whalley chose to give us vile English instead of copying the elegant Latin of the original, I cannot tell.] After this Gifford ought not to have left it to me to give the elegant Latin:

D. JOANNI ROWE,

Amico

Probatissimo,
Hunc Amorem et delicias
Suas, Satiricorum doctissimum

Persium, cum
Doctissimo commentario

Sacravit
Ben : Jonsonius

et

L. M. D. D.

Nec prior est incipi parens amico.
Having thus given one of Jonson's Latin inscriptions, I may as
well insert another which I believe to be hitherto unpublished. It
was transcribed by Mr. Dyce from the fly-leaf of a copy of
Camdeni Annales, 1615, fol.:

In ædibus D. Margaretæ in Lothbury.
Quid divinare magnos invides, Parca ?

Heu

Robertus
Jerminorum a Rushbrooke nobili germine

Hic situs est.
Flos juvenum sub ævi flore raptus,
Qui virtutum utriusque ætatis apicibus potitus,
Ingenio et indole juventutis
Nec non senili pietate ac prudentia
Infra se turbam coetaneam reliquit,

Impubes senex:
Et quod negavit seculo, cælo dedit.
Sic sapere ante annos nocuit, nam maxima virtus
Persuasit morti ut crederet esse senem.

P. P. P. Ben. Jonson.
P. 161. The cold of Mosco, and fat Irish air,

His often change of clime, though not of mind,
All could not work.] That" All could not work" is

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

substituted most tastelessly for the What could not work” of Jonson, which is absolutely necessary for the symmetry of a most carefully studied piece. If these words are placed in front of the two lines which precede them, the construction will be selfevident:

“ What could not work

The cold of Mosco, and fat Irish air,
His often change of clime (though not of mind);

At home, in his repair, was his blest fate."
The parenthesis is in the original.
P. 161.

Thou art but gone before,
Whither the world must follow: and I, now,

Breathe to expect my When, and make my How.] Southey was greatly struck with these lines, and notes, “His own anticipation of death. A fine manly strain."

P. 163. On Cheveril the lawyer.] A cheveril-conscience was a conscience that would stretch like kid-skin. See The Poetaster, vol. ii. p. 382. See also post, p. 172, which shows that the present epigram had hit hard.

P. 164. On Margaret Ratcliffe.] I have been more fortunate than Gifford in tracing the history of the object of these exquisite lines. She was a great beauty and wit, and a favourite Maid of Honour of Queen Elizabeth. She died in November, 1599, aged 24, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. See Prefatory Notice, vol. i. p. 10.

P. 166. Note (8). Robert, Earl of Salisbury.] This note is well worth reading, as exhibiting Gifford in one of his most rabid moods : “When the time shall come for Walpole himself to be added to the number of Noble Authors, by a sterner biographer than Mr. Parke, he will, if fairly represented, be found to be one of the most odious and contemptible of the whole Catalogue." There must have been some private cause of dislike to account for this extreme virulence of abuse, and it may, perhaps, have been connected with some grievance of his friend Hoppner, the painter, who was more likely to have come in contact with Walpole, and who also disliked him heartily, as may be seen in his excellent article in the first number of the Quarterly Review. With reference to the estimate of Walpole's talents, it must be remarked in justice to Gifford, that his marvellous powers as a letter writer were unknown in 1816. Even the letters to Montagu were then unpublished, and none indeed known, except such as were selected by himself for the quarto edition of his works. More abuse of Walpole will be found further on, vol. ix. p. 6.

P. the e

P. must

quot

P. Che

dou!

P Frau Shal Sho

P hop

Ga2

P. 167. On my first son.] The abuse of Drummond contained in note (9) is best answered by asking the reader to turn to vol. ix. p. 390, and read what the “vile calumniator" really did “report.

P. 169. I have no salt, no bawdry he doth mean.] In spite of Gifford, the word sallets still holds its own in Hamlet, and is likely to do so.

Sawte bytche of my lorde Bonner,” is one article in the Table of Contents of “Yet a course at the Romyshe Fox.”

P. 172. Note. To Francis Beaumont.] Beaumont's famous letter, which Gifford strangely omitted to print, will be found at vol. i. p. 172, of the present edition. It is not to be forgotten, however, that Jonson told Drummond that “ Francis Beaumont loved too much himself and his own verses.” Vol. ix. p. 378.

P. 173. On Poet-Ape.] I have no doubt there is some connection between this epigram and a remarkable passage in Poetaster, vol. ii. p. 371 :

"Are there no players here ? no poet-apes,

That come with basilisk's eyes, whose forked tongues

Are steep'd in venom, as their hearts in gall ?”
P. 175. Note. To William lord Mounteagle.] The poem men-
tioned at the end of this note should of course be Castara, not
Castora. It was published in 1634.

P. 176. To Fool, or Knave.] Gifford remarks that Jonson frequently used the word to stroke for to flatter. See vol. vi. p. 78, where “my lady's stroker" is used for “my lady's she-parasite."

P. 180. To Thomas earl of Suffolk.] This is the Lord Suffolk who “ushered" Jonson and Sir John Roe from a masque, see vol. ix. p. 378. He was the father of the infamous Countess of Essex.

P. 182. To Courtling.) In this little piece there are two small, but quite unnecessary departures from the genuine text. In the second line,doth dine" should be dost dine;" and in the fifth, thy prejudice" should be “the prejudice.”

P. 183. In solemn cyprus, th' other cobweb lawn.] Cotgrave has

Crespe, Cipres, also cobweb-lawn," so there would seem to have been little difference between them. Most probably Cypres (so Jonson speaks it, as well as Cotgrave), was black, and cobweb-lawn white.

P. 183. Item, a gulling imprese for you, at tilt.] See ante, p. 159, and post, p. 343.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

P. 188. 10 Lucy countess of Bedford.] Drummond notes that the epigram on “my lady Bedford's bucke" was among the “most common places of his repetition." Vol. ix. p. 372.

P. 188. To sir Henry Goodyere.] This Sir Henry Goodyere must not be confounded with his uncle, whose daughter he married, and whose estate of Polesworth he inherited. The tetrastich quoted by Camden must have been addressed to the uncle.

P. 190. On captain Hazard, the cheater. ] Whalley says that Cheater and Gamester were “synonymous terms in Jonson's age.” Here Cheater certainly means one who plays falsely, and I have no doubt it has always done so.

P. 191. And shoe, and tye.] These were introduced from France, and hence shoe-tye became a name for a traveller. So Shakspeare, “Master Forthright, the tilter, and brave Master Shoetye, the great traveller." Measure for Measure, A. iv. S. 3.

P. 191. Or hung some Monsieur's picture on the wall.] In the hope, I suppose, that it would have the effect of the peeled sticks in Scripture.

P. 194. And the Gazetti, or Gallo-Belgicus.] For a note on Gazettes, see The Fox, vol. iii. p. 211; and for the Gallo-Belgicus see Poetaster, vol. ii. p. 502.

P. 195. At Bill's.] This noble old printer and publisher is still represented by two opulent families descended from him. The one settled at Storthes Hall, in Yorkshire, the other at Farleigh, in Staffordshire.

P. 195. To sir John Radcliffe.] I have not been able to discover any particulars of the death of the first brother, or whether he was older than the sir Alexander Radcliffe, who was killed with sir Conyers Clifford in the Curlew Mountains near Sligo, in August, 1699. On this occasion Essex wrote to the queen: “Too much of the unhappy province of Connaught, I have written to my L.L.: to your maj. only this, that if your maj. be not gracious to poor Jack Radclyffe

, in bestowing his wardship on him, he that is heir of a brave race, and has lost his two older brothers in your maj. service, is utterly undone ; his last worthy brother who did as much honour to his name by his death as ever any young gentleman did, hath so impaired the estate, as without your maj. goodness it is irrecoverable.” This fight at the Curlews was not honourable to the English arms, but the rout at Rhé, in which “poor Jack Radcliffe” was destined to be slain, was infinitely more disgraceful. As Holles wrote to Strafford, “No man can tell what was done, nor no account can be given how any man was lost, not the Lieu

« ZurückWeiter »