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founded the second and third parts of Henry VI. If we take
Malone pursued the plan of placing asterisks to all the lines
lat there plavs, ! that still hens the
groundlar be to of themi. he hand wilarities ight. 1 es after
“She bears a duke's revenues on her back,"
he had probably forgotten that Marlowe, in the above men-
" He wears a lord's revenue on his back."
And other similarities of language may be traced. This last
Art III.—Letter from Ben Jonson to the Earl of Newcastle,
and other matters relating to the Poet's family.
The following letter from Ben Jonson to his “noble patron by excellence,” as he calls him, is now printed for the first time. Mr. Gifford refers to it (p. clxii) as “a petitionary letter written with some humour as well as spirit.” It is the best begging letter I remember to have read.
A Letter to the Earl of Newcastle.
[Harl. MSS. No. 4955, fol. 204.]
“My Noble and most honor'd Lord,
with shadows, or (what is less) an Apologue or Fable in a dream. I being strucken with the Palsy in the year 1628, had by Sir Thomas Badger some few months since a Fox sent me for a present, which creature by handling I endeavoured to make tame, as well for the abating of my disease as the delight I took in speculation of his nature. It happened this present year, 1631, and this very week, being the week ushering Christmas, and this Tuesday morning in a dream, (and morning dreams are truest) to have one of my servants come up to my bedside, and tell me— Master, Master, the Fox speaks! Whereat (me thought) I started, and troubled went down into the yard, to witness the wonder. There I found my Reynard, in his tenement—the Tub I had hired for him-cynically expressing his own lot to be condemned to the house of a Poet, where nothing was to be seen but the bare walls, and not any thing heard but the noise of a saw, dividing billets all the week long, more to keep the family in exercise than to comfort any person there with fire, save the paralytick master; and went on in this way as the Fox seemed the better Fabler of the two. I, his master, began to give him good words and stroke him, but Reynard,
w letter the best
barking, told me those would not do, I must give him meat.
needs are such, and so urging, as I do beg what
your bounty can give me, in the name of Good Letters, and the bond of an ever grateful and acknowledging servant
“ To your honour, ,
- BEN JONSON. “ Westminster, 20mo Decbris, 1631.
e tame, ook in 1631,
Yesterday the barbarous Court of Aldermen have withdrawn their Chandlerly Pension for Verjuice and Mustard, 331i 6 8."
way ster, art.
The maiden name of Ben Jonson's wife has not transpired, and we know nothing more about her than the information preserved by Drummond : “ He married a wyfe who was a shrew yet honest : 5 yeers he had not bedded with her, but
remayned with my Lord Aulbanie." (Concersations, p. 19.) Epigram 22 is entitled “On my first daughter.”
“Here lies, to each her parents ruth,
(Gifford, viii., 163.)
She was only six months old when she died :
" At six months end she parted hence.”
Epigram 45 is entitled “On my first son :”
Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy." He died at the early age of seven : “ Seven years thou wert lent to me.”
(Gifford, viii., 175.)
The poet's “ eldest sone, then a child and at London,” (Cono., p. 20) died of the plague in 1603, when the father was in the country, at Sir Robert Cotton's. This, therefore, is the son the father has celebrated in enduring poetry.
In the parish register of St. Martin's in the Fields I discovered the baptism of Benjamin Jonson, the son of Ben, and what I believe to be the burial of the poet's daughter Mary. That the poet had a son named Benjamin was the belief of Whalley. I transcribe the entries as I found them :
“ 1593. Nocember 17. Seplta fuit Maria Johnson peste.” “ 1610. Aprilis 6. Bapt fuit Beniamin Johnson fil Ben :"
Fuller's researches found the far-famed father "a little child, in Hartshorn Lane, near Charing Cross ;” and Gifford tells us (p. v.) that he was sent, “when of a proper age, to a private school in the church of St. Martin in the Fields."
The plague of 1603 committed fearful havoc in the then thinly populated parish of St. Martin's. Eight of the name of Jonson were buried in that year in the church or churchyard of St. Martin's. The christian name of the poet's eldest son
has not been ascertained ; it is believed to have been Benjamin,
“ Jonson's wife,” says Gifford, p. xxiii, “was dead when
“8 December, 1617. Sepult fuit Elizab. Johnson.”
This is brief enough ; but the same Register records the burial
“ 23 May, 1707. George Falkuere."
The entry would have defied recognition, but for the previous
There cannot be a doubt, I conceive, that Ben Jonson had a
The supposition of Malone and Gifford, that Ben Jonson's
I have to tender my best thanks to the Rev. Sir Henry
le then lame of
+ June, 1814.