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Ben Jonson   /bɛn dʒˈɑnsən/   Listen
Ben Jonson

noun
1.
English dramatist and poet who was the first real poet laureate of England (1572-1637).  Synonyms: Benjamin Jonson, Jonson.






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"Ben Jonson" Quotes from Famous Books



... Sidney, one of the most accomplished women of her age, celebrated during her life by the wits and poets whom she patronized, and preserved in the memory of posterity by an epitaph from the pen of Ben Jonson which will not be ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... Greene versified a portion of the 'Orlando Furioso,' and Marlowe devoted one of his most brilliant studies to the villanies of a Maltese Jew. Of Shakspere's plays five are incontestably Italian: several of the rest are furnished with Italian names to suit the popular taste. Ben Jonson laid the scene of his most subtle comedy of manners, 'Volpone,' in Venice, and sketched the first cast of 'Every Man in his Humour' for Italian characters. Tourneur, Ford, and Webster were so dazzled by the tragic lustre of the wickedness of Italy that their ...
— Sketches and Studies in Italy and Greece, Complete - Series I, II, and III • John Symonds

... delivery of the much-coveted place was made on the 22nd May, 1607; the Prince Joinville, brother to the Duke de Guise, being present on the occasion, where fresh festivities were held, accompanied by an indifferent Masque from Ben Jonson. Whether the King or the Earl had the best of the bargain, we are not ...
— The Star-Chamber, Volume 1 - An Historical Romance • W. Harrison Ainsworth

... Ben Jonson told Drummond of Hawthornden that "when the king came to England, about the time that plague was in London, he being in the country, at Sir Robert Cotton's house with old Cambden, he saw in a vision his eldest son, then a young child and at London, appear unto him with ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... occupies about half of the south transept of Westminster Abbey. This famous place for the busts and monuments of eminent men includes those of Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, Drayton, Ben Jonson, Milton, Butler, Davenant, Cowley, Dryden, Prior, Rowe, Gay, Addison, Thomson, Goldsmith, Gray, Mason, Sheridan, Southey, Campbell, etc. Lord Macaulay and Lord Palmerston were buried here in 1860 and 1865. Thackeray is not buried here, but at Kensal Green, though his ...
— Dickens' London • Francis Miltoun

... [62] Ben Jonson, in his Discourses, gives the following eulogy on this illustrious author:—"No member of his speech but consisted of his own graces. His hearers could not cough or look aside from him without loss. He commanded where he spoke, and had his judges angry and pleased at his devotion: no man had ...
— On the Portraits of English Authors on Gardening, • Samuel Felton

... Funeral; or Guy the Bookseller, that founded the Hospital in Southwark; or even old John Elwes, Esquire, the admired Miser of these latter days. Sir Basil Hopwood was the rather of the same complexion of Entrails with that Signor Volpone whom we have all seen—at least such of us as be old Boys—in Ben Jonson's play of the Fox. He Money-grubbed, and Money-clutched, and Money-wrung, ay, and in a manner Money-stole, that he might live largely, and ruffle it among his brother Cits in surpassing state and splendour. He had been Lord Mayor; and on his Show-day the Equipments ...
— The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 2 of 3 • George Augustus Sala

... to Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour, Bobadil is styled a Paul's man; and Falstaff tells us that he bought Bardolph in Paul's. King Henry ...
— Microcosmography - or, a Piece of the World Discovered; in Essays and Characters • John Earle

... written, in describing Royal Christ-tides, but there is one, a notice of which must not be omitted, Ben Jonson's Masque of Christmas, as it was presented at Court 1616. ...
— A Righte Merrie Christmasse - The Story of Christ-Tide • John Ashton

... painful it is (oh dear, why is it so coarse?). Then I also read "Lear" and "Henry VIII," and being delightfully ignorant I had the great interest of reading the same period (Henry VIII) in Holinshed, and in finding Katharine's and Wolsey's speeches there! Then I have tried a little Ben Jonson and Lord Chesterfield's letters. What a worldling, and what a destroyer of a young mind that man was. Can you tell me how the son turned out? I cannot find any information about him. The language is delightful, and I wish I could remember any of his expressions.... Now give me a volume ...
— Lady John Russell • Desmond MacCarthy and Agatha Russell

... Ben Jonson called Inigo Jones Sir Lanthorn Leatherhead, but St. Paul's still stands; and how many flies are there in the sparkling amber of "The Dunciad"! Have the critics, poor birdling, torn your wings, and mocked at your recording? I know, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 21, July, 1859 • Various

... and Dr. Johnson were all distinguished for having great strength of memory. Sir W. Hamilton observed that Grotius, Pascal, Leibnitz, and Euler were not less celebrated for their intelligence than for their memory. Ben Jonson could repeat all that he had written and whole books he had read. Themistocles could call by name the 20,000 citizens of Athens. Cyrus is said to have known the name of every soldier in his army. Hortensius, a great Roman orator, ...
— Anomalies and Curiosities of Medicine • George M. Gould

... they have acquired an infamy which unfits them for publication in a decent family newspaper; and Shakspere himself, reposing in Elysium on his bed of asphodel and moly, omits them when reading his complete works to the shades of Kit Marlowe and Ben Jonson, for their sins. ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... hypocrisy, than when from vanity; for to discover any one to be the exact reverse of what he affects, is more surprizing, and consequently more ridiculous, than to find him a little deficient in the quality he desires the reputation of. I might observe that our Ben Jonson, who of all men understood the Ridiculous the best, hath chiefly ...
— Joseph Andrews Vol. 1 • Henry Fielding

... a scholar, if a man may trust The liberal voice of Fame, in her report. Myself was once a student, and indeed Fed with the self-same humour he is now." —Ben Jonson.—Every Man in ...
— Eugene Aram, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... I was familiar with the Abbey, and well remember the 'pavement square of blew marble, 14 inches square, with O Rare Ben Jonson,' which marked the poet's grave. When Buckland was Dean, the spot had to be disturbed for the coffin of Sir Robert Wilson, and the Dean sent his son Frank, now so well known as an agreeable writer ...
— Shakespeare's Bones • C. M. Ingleby

... licence to be extreme. "In affecting the ancients," said Ben Jonson, "he writ no language." Daniel writes sarcastically, soon after the Faery Queen ...
— Spenser - (English Men of Letters Series) • R. W. Church

... became excessive, and in Cromwell's time, with the accession of the Puritans to power, like a hundred other brilliant traits of the old English life from whose abuse had grown riot, it was purged away. Ben Jonson, in The Staple of Newes, puts into the mouth of a sour character a complaint which no doubt was becoming common in that day, and ...
— The Last Leaf - Observations, during Seventy-Five Years, of Men and Events in America - and Europe • James Kendall Hosmer

... me, when I read this book, as if life were too rotten for any belief, a nest of sharpers, adulterers, cut-throats, and prostitutes. There was none—as far as I remember—of that amiable weakness, of that better sentiment, which in Ben Jonson or Massinger reconcile us to human nature. If truth be a test of genius, it must be a proof of true poetry, that man is not made uglier than he is. Nay, his very ugliness loses its intensity and palls upon ...
— The Wits and Beaux of Society - Volume 1 • Grace Wharton and Philip Wharton

... Lady Maclaughlan, as she twirled her victim round and round; "I suppose you think yourself vastly smart and well dressed. Yes, you are very neat, very neat indeed; one would suppose Ben Jonson had you in his eye when he composed that song." Then in a voice like ...
— Marriage • Susan Edmonstone Ferrier

... What his duties were is a matter of surmise. The office was successively held by Thomas Middleton, Ben Jonson and Francis Quarles. Ben Jonson's salary (100 nobles per annum) was stopped in 1631 by order of the Court of Aldermen "until he shall have presented to the court some fruits of his labours in that place" (Repertory 46, fo. 8); ...
— London and the Kingdom - Volume II • Reginald R. Sharpe

... poetry, which I take to be a nation's best guaranteed stock, it may safely be said that there are but two shrines in England whither it is necessary for the literary pilgrim to carry his cockle hat and shoon—London, the birthplace of Chaucer, Spenser, Ben Jonson, Milton, Herrick, Pope, Gray, Blake, Keats, and Browning, and Stratford-upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. Of English poets it may be said generally they are either born in London or remote country ...
— Obiter Dicta - Second Series • Augustine Birrell

... of these baleful draughts they considered it necessary to add as many as seven or nine of the most poisonous plants they could obtain, such, for instance, as those enumerated by one of the witches in Ben Jonson's ...
— The Folk-lore of Plants • T. F. Thiselton-Dyer

... still continued potent. Spenser revived many of his obsolete words, both in his pastorals and in his Faery Queene, thereby imparting an antique remoteness to his diction, but incurring Ben Jonson's censure, that he "writ no language." A poem that stands midway between Spenser and late mediaeval work of Chaucer's school—such as Hawes's Passetyme of Pleasure—was the Induction contributed by Thomas Sackville, Lord ...
— Brief History of English and American Literature • Henry A. Beers

... of the littleness of great men. I like to think that Shakespeare was fond of his glass. I even cling to the tale of that disgraceful final orgie with friend Ben Jonson. Possibly the story may not be true, but I hope it was. I like to think of him as poacher, as village ne'er-do-well, denounced by the local grammar-school master, preached at by the local J. P. of the period. I like to reflect that Cromwell had a wart ...
— The Second Thoughts of An Idle Fellow • Jerome K. Jerome

... dragged me again into the Magazine, but I feel the spirit of the thing in my own mind quite gone. "Some brains" (I think Ben Jonson says it) "will endure but one skimming." We are about to have an inundation of poetry from the Lakes, Wordsworth and Southey are coming up strong from the North. The she Coleridges have taken flight, to my regret. With Sara's own-made acquisitions, her unaffectedness and ...
— The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb (Vol. 6) - Letters 1821-1842 • Charles and Mary Lamb

... street noises and my disgust, I did not care to talk, and presently told him as much very curtly. He persisted, how: ever, in pointing out the sights, the Fleet prison, and where the Ludgate stood six years gone; and the Devil's Tavern, of old Ben Jonson's time, and the Mitre and the Cheshire Cheese and the Cock, where Dr. Johnson might be found near the end of the week at his dinner. He showed me the King's Mews above Charing Cross, and the famous theatre in the Haymarket, and we had but turned the corner into Piccadilly when ...
— The Crossing • Winston Churchill

... whether in verse or prose, is exclusively his own. In addition to this, his thoughts are often in the noblest sense of the word poetical; and passages may be quoted from him that no English poet may attempt to rival, unless it be Milton and Shakespear. Ben Jonson observed of him with great truth and a prophetic spirit: "Donne for not being understood will perish." But this is not all. If Waller and Suckling and Carew sacrificed every thing to the Graces, Donne went into the other extreme. With a few splendid and admirable exceptions, his phraseology and ...
— Thoughts on Man - His Nature, Productions and Discoveries, Interspersed with - Some Particulars Respecting the Author • William Godwin

... "Colin Clout" would have ranked little if at all higher than "Astrophel." Further: save for Sidney and Marlowe, who were both cut off prematurely, and Spenser himself who died at forty-six, the work of all the greater Elizabethan writers—Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson, Bacon, Hooker, Raleigh, Middleton, Drayton—lies as much in the time of James as in that of Elizabeth; while a whole group of those to whom the same general title is applied—Beaumont and Fletcher, Webster, Ford, Massinger—belong in effect ...
— England Under the Tudors • Arthur D. Innes

... "Spectator," its near neighbor Steele; the "Gentleman's Magazine," a long run this, but not complete; rare Ben Jonson, rubbed at the joints; Spenser's "Faerie Queen," with marginal notes in a contemporary hand; the "History of the Valorous and Witty Knight Errant," in sable morocco, with armorial decorations; Tacitus in all his atrocity, Herbert, ...
— Old Valentines - A Love Story • Munson Aldrich Havens

... will avoid errors in both kinds. Latin verse was as great a confinement to the imagination as rhyme; yet Ovid's fancy was not limited by it, and Virgil needed it not to bind his. In our own language, Ben Jonson confined himself to what ought to be said, even in the liberty of blank verse; and Corneille, the most judicious of the French poets, is still varying the same sense a hundred ways, and dwelling eternally on the same subject, though ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 57, No. 352, February 1845 • Various

... "a twentieth-century writer, to build yourself a Tudor House would be as absurd as for Ben Jonson to have planned himself a Norman Castle with a torture-chamber underneath the wine-cellar, and the fireplace in the middle of the dining-hall. His fellow cronies of the Mermaid would have ...
— They and I • Jerome K. Jerome

... chivalry and chivalrous procedure, such as to create a species of literature and bring it to a perfection which half-wrested the scepter of supremacy from the hand of the Attic tragedy. In this literature there is a name which dwarfs all others. Otway, Ford, Massinger, Webster, Ben Jonson, Green, and Marlowe (some of these men of surprising genius) must take a lower place, for the master of revels is come. William Shakespeare is here. His life is not lengthily but plainly writ. He might have ...
— A Hero and Some Other Folks • William A. Quayle

... golden goblet of a singular and antique appearance, moulded into the shape of a rampant bear, which the owner regarded with a look of mingled reverence, pride, and delight, that irresistibly reminded Waverley of Ben Jonson's Tom Otter, with his Bull, Horse, and Dog, as that wag wittily denominated his chief carousing cups. But Mr. Bradwardine, turning towards him with complacency, requested him to observe this curious relic of ...
— Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete • Sir Walter Scott

... adds Mr. Collier, "that the lines are genuine, as well as many other songs and poems attributed to Ben Jonson, Sir W. Raleigh, H. Constable, Dr. Donne, J. ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 183, April 30, 1853 • Various

... write thee as to the contention which hath arisen among our stock actors and supes of the Globe. Nicholas Bottom, whom you brought from the Parish workhouse in Stratford, is in ill humor with thee in especial. He says when he played with you in Ben Jonson's comedy, "Every Man in his Humor," he was by far the better actor and did receive the plaudits of all; despite which he now receives but 6 shillings each week, while you are become a man of great wealth, having ...
— Shakespeare's Insomnia, And the Causes Thereof • Franklin H. Head

... 30. Ben Jonson, a friend of Shakespeare's, wrote of him, "He was not of an age, but for all ...
— Public Speaking • Clarence Stratton

... humanitarianism" was making itself heard to the injury of our sturdy old English legislation. To be killed by a poet is now an unusual fate, but the St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, register (1598) mentions how "Gabriel Spencer, being slayne, was buried." Gabriel was "slayne" by Rare Ben Jonson, in Hoxton Fields. ...
— Books and Bookmen • Andrew Lang

... of considerable merit, a native of Fife, born at Kinaldie, who made his fortune by a Latin panegyric to King James I. on his accession; was on friendly terms with the eminent literary men of his time, Ben Jonson in particular; his poems are written in pure and even elegant English, some in Latin, and have only recently ...
— The Nuttall Encyclopaedia - Being a Concise and Comprehensive Dictionary of General Knowledge • Edited by Rev. James Wood

... time, literature abounds in allusions to tobacco. The Elizabethan writers constantly refer to it, often in praise though sometimes in condemnation. The incoming of the "Indian weed" created a great furore, and scarcely any other of the New World discoveries was talked about so much. Ben Jonson, Marlowe, Fletcher, Spenser, Dekker, and many other of the poets and dramatists of the time, make frequent reference to it; and no doubt at the Mermaid tavern, pipes and tobacco found a place beside the sack and ale. Singular to say, Shakespeare makes no reference to it; ...
— Pipe and Pouch - The Smoker's Own Book of Poetry • Various

... into a bricklayer, and would have come with a better grace from Ben Jonson than from Sam. But however that may be, under such an architect, ghosts would naturally be enrolled in the company. Dr. Farmer may say what he pleases, but I firmly believe Shakspeare had Latin enough to talk to his own ghosts; though I doubt whether I can express the ...
— The Mirror of Taste, and Dramatic Censor, Vol. I, No. 5, May 1810 • Various

... I say of the fragrant weed which Raleigh taught our gallants to puff in capacious bowls; which a royal pedant denounced in a famous 'Counterblast,' which his flattering, laureate, Ben Jonson, ridiculed to please his master; which our wives and sisters protest gives rise to the dirtiest and most unsociable habit a man can indulge in; of which some fair flowers declare that they love the smell, and others that they will never marry an indulger (which, ...
— Frost's Laws and By-Laws of American Society • Sarah Annie Frost

... of Queen Elizabeth, tea, coffee, and chocolate were unknown save to travellers and savants, and the handmaidens of the good queen drank beer with their breakfast. When Shakespeare and Ben Jonson forgathered at the Mermaid Tavern, their winged words passed over tankards of ale, but later other drinks became the usual accompaniment of news, story, and discussion. In the sixteen-sixties there were no strident newspapers to destroy one's equanimity, and the ...
— Cocoa and Chocolate - Their History from Plantation to Consumer • Arthur W. Knapp

... many centuries "sports" have been held in all parts of the country. It is said that they are the floralia of the Romans. Included in these sports are many of those amusements of the middle ages of which Ben Jonson sang: ...
— A Cotswold Village • J. Arthur Gibbs

... and she called Byron a 'love,' and Shelley an 'angel:' but if you tried her with a stanza that hasn't been done to death in 'Gems of Verse,' or 'Strings of Poetic Pearls,' or 'Drawing-room Table Lyrics,' she couldn't tell whether you were quoting Byron or Ben Jonson. But with Margaret—Margaret,—sweet name! If it were not that I live in perpetual terror of the day when the dilettante New Zealander will edit this manuscript, I think I should write that lovely name over and over again for a page or so. If the New Zealander should exercise ...
— Henry Dunbar - A Novel • M. E. Braddon

... would have been more worthy of the Lord Chancellor of England; it would have been more in accordance with what we know of the character of 'the meanest of mankind'; and the exquisite humor of the title would tally precisely with what Ben Jonson tells us in his 'Discoveries,' under the head Dominus Verulamius, that 'his language (where he could spare or pass by a jest) was nobly censorious.' Sir Thomas More had the same proneness to merriment, a coincidence the more striking as both these great men were Lord Chancellors. ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 3, No. 16, February, 1859 • Various

... "Fetch me Ben Jonson's scull, and fill't with sack, Rich as the same he drank, when the whole pack Of jolly sisters pledged, and did agree It was no sin to be ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... of Ben Jonson's Works, published by Thomas Hodgkin, London, 1692, in which the "Leges Convivales" are I believe for the first time printed, the verses over the door of the Apollo are given, and the ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 216, December 17, 1853 • Various

... In the Black Forest, according to Ploss and Bartels, a pregnant woman may go freely into other people's gardens and take fruit, provided she eats it on the spot, and very similar privileges are accorded to her elsewhere. Old English opinion, as reflected, for instance, in Ben Jonson's plays (as Dr. Harriet C.B. Alexander has pointed out), regards the pregnant woman as not responsible for her longings, and Kiernan remarks ("Kleptomania and Collectivism," Alienist and Neurologist, November, 1902) that this is in ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 5 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... dramatists except Shakespeare, the first literary dictator and poet-laureate, a writer of verse, prose, satire, and criticism who most potently of all the men of his time affected the subsequent course of English letters: such was Ben Jonson, and as such his strong personality assumes an interest to us almost unparalleled, at ...
— Every Man In His Humour • Ben Jonson

... our fireplace, in which, some of the hearth-bricks are rather irregularly disposed; and we said to ourself, perhaps the brick-layer who built this noble fireplace worked like Ben Jonson, with a trowel in one hand and a copy of Horace in the other. That suggested to us that we had not read any Ben Jonson for a very long time: so we turned to "Every Man in His Humour" and "The Alchemist." Part of Jonson's notice "To the Reader" preceding "The Alchemist" struck ...
— Plum Pudding - Of Divers Ingredients, Discreetly Blended & Seasoned • Christopher Morley

... It still showed brilliant flashes of attack, but its defence was poor, especially against Brooks's smashing questions on the Italian influences in Milton's shorter poems. Harvard made its principal gains against Burckhardt, who simply could not solve Winship's posers from Ben Jonson and Beaumont and Fletcher. The Yale coaches finally took him out and sent in Skinner, the best Elizabethan on the scrub team, but it was too late to save the day. There were rumours after the game that Burckhardt ...
— The Patient Observer - And His Friends • Simeon Strunsky

... fee of the choristers at Windsor, perhaps at installations, or at the annual celebration of St. George's feast.' No notice of the subject occurs in Ashmole's or Anstis's History of the Order of the Garter. Mr. Markland, quoting a note to Gifford's edition of Ben Jonson, vol. ii. p. 49., says, 'In the time of Ben Jonson, in consequence of the interruptions to Divine Service occasioned by the ringing of the spurs worn by persons walking and transacting business in cathedrals, and especially in St. Paul's, a small fine ...
— Notes and Queries 1850.04.06 • Various

... attests the rank allotted to Shakespeare in the literary hierarchy by the professional critic, nearly two and a half centuries after the dramatist's death. There was no narrower qualification in the apostrophe of Shakespeare by Ben Jonson, a very ...
— Shakespeare and the Modern Stage - with Other Essays • Sir Sidney Lee

... John Wickliffe, who has too often been confused with his great contemporary and namesake, the reformer. And the village claims as a son Thomas May (1595-1650), playwright, translator of Lucan's "Pharsalia," secretary to Parliament and friend of Ben Jonson. ...
— Highways & Byways in Sussex • E.V. Lucas

... as "very sorry to leave," she drove to Roslin Chapel, where twenty "barons bold" of the house of St. Clair wear shirts of mail for shrouds, then went on to storied Hawthornden—a wooded nest hung high over the water, where the poet Drummond entertained his English brother-of-the-pen, Ben Jonson. ...
— Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen V.1. • Sarah Tytler

... place, it is said that Ben Jonson once walked all the way from London to visit the poet in this retreat; and a tree is still shown on the grounds under which they are said to have met. It seems that Ben's habits were rather too noisy and convivial to meet altogether the taste of his fastidious and aristocratic ...
— Sunny Memories Of Foreign Lands, Volume 1 (of 2) • Harriet Elizabeth (Beecher) Stowe

... plays in the time of Elizabeth. These are the "troops of children, little eyasses" alluded to by Shakespeare in "Hamlet." They sometimes acted in plays written for them by Lyly and others, and sometimes in the popular dramas of the day. Ben Jonson wrote a charming epitaph on Salathiel Pavy, one of these little actors, who ...
— Days of the Discoverers • L. Lamprey

... later), in which the human faculties, in their whole range, both intellectual and spiritual, reached such a degree of expansion as they had never before reached in the history of the world,— that great age, I say, the age of Spenser, Sidney, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Bacon, Raleigh, Hooker, Ben Jonson, Beaumont, Fletcher, Chapman, Dekker, Ford, Herbert, Heywood, Massinger (and this list of great names might be continued),—that great age, I say, was regarded by the men of the Restoration period as barbarous in comparison with their own. But beneath all, still lay the restorative ...
— Introduction to Robert Browning • Hiram Corson

... rank as a speaker and a writer. Sir Walter Raleigh, contrasting him with Salisbury, who could speak but not write, and Northampton, who could write but not speak, thought Bacon eminent both as a speaker and a writer. Ben Jonson, passing in review the more famous names of his own and the preceding age, from Sir Thomas More to Sir Philip Sidney, Hooker, Essex, and Raleigh, places Bacon without a rival at the head of the company as the man who had "fulfilled all numbers," and "stood as the mark and [Greek: akme] of ...
— Bacon - English Men Of Letters, Edited By John Morley • Richard William Church

... resist recording my astonishment at finding in Ben Jonson the phrase "to have a good time" used in precisely the sense in which the American girl employs it to-day, or at learning from Macaulay that Bishop Cooper in the time of Queen Elizabeth spoke of a "platform" in its exact modern American ...
— The Twentieth Century American - Being a Comparative Study of the Peoples of the Two Great - Anglo-Saxon Nations • H. Perry Robinson

... gloves to prevent the courage from oozing out at his palms, or not felt such an unlucky antipathy to the "snug lying in the Abbey;" and as for Captain Bobadil, he never had an opportunity of putting his plan, for vanquishing an army, into practice. We fear, indeed, that neither his character, nor Ben Jonson's knowledge of human nature, is properly understood; for it certainly could not be expected that a man, whose spirit glowed to encounter a whole host, could, without tarnishing his dignity, if closely pressed, condescend to fight an individual. But as these remarks on courage may ...
— Phelim O'toole's Courtship and Other Stories • William Carleton

... Essais is that by the Elizabethan, John Florio (1550-1625), a contemporary of Montaigne. His translation appeared in 1603, and may now be obtained complete in the handy "Temple" classics. There is a copy of Florio's Montaigne with Ben Jonson's autograph, and also one that has what many believe to be a genuine autograph ...
— Essays of Robert Louis Stevenson • Robert Louis Stevenson

... of Shakspeare's admirable observations of life, when we should feel, that not from a petty inquisition into those cheap and every-day characters which surrounded him, as they surround us, but from his own mind, which was, to borrow a phrase of Ben Jonson's, the very "sphere of humanity," he fetched those images of virtue and of knowledge, of which every one of us recognizing a part, think we comprehend in our natures the whole; and oftentimes mistake the powers which he positively creates in us, for nothing more than indigenous faculties ...
— The Works of Charles Lamb in Four Volumes, Volume 4 • Charles Lamb

... scarce able to keep up with him; could once have done it well enough. Funny thing at the Theatre. Among the discourse in "High Life below Stairs,"[481] one of the ladies' ladies asks who wrote Shakespeare. One says, "Ben Jonson," another, "Finis." "No," said Will Murray, "it is Sir Walter Scott; he confessed it at a public meeting the other day." March 3.—Very severe weather, came home covered with snow. White as a frosted-plum-cake, by jingo! No matter; I ...
— The Journal of Sir Walter Scott - From the Original Manuscript at Abbotsford • Walter Scott

... is found in Drummond's account of Ben Jonson's conversations with him in the year 1618: 'Spencer's stanzas pleased him not, nor his matter. The meaning of the allegory of his Fairy Queen he had delivered in writing to Sir Walter Rawleigh, which was, "that by the Bleating Beast he understood the Puritans, and by the ...
— A Biography of Edmund Spenser • John W. Hales

... presented. Sometimes even nobles and members of the royal family took part. These plays were accompanied by music, dancing, and spectacular effects. The literary character of the masque developed into the compositions of Ben Jonson, and culminated in Milton's Comus. During the reign of Elizabeth the productions of Kyd, Peele, Greene, Marlowe, and Beaumont and Fletcher raised the drama to such a lofty plane that only the genius of a Shakespeare could ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 10 - The Guide • Charles Herbert Sylvester

... Ben Jonson, master of dignified declamatory drama, was the greatest of the post-Shakespeare school. We may justly say post-Shakespeare, though Jonson was nearly contemporaneous with the Bard of Avon, because the influence of such a man clearly belongs ...
— War Letters of a Public-School Boy • Henry Paul Mainwaring Jones

... [Footnote 5: Ben Jonson's Alchemist having taken gold from Abel Drugger, the Tobacco Man, for the device of a sign—'a good lucky one, a thriving sign'—will give him nothing so commonplace as a sign copied from the constellation he was born ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... it James the First or Raleigh? Archbishop Laud or John Cotton? Charles the First or Cromwell? Charles the Second or William Penn? Was it Churchman, Presbyterian, Independent, Separatist, Quaker? One is tempted to say that the title of Ben Jonson's comedy "Every Man in his Humour" became the standard of action for two whole generations of Englishmen, and that there is no common denominator for emigrants of such varied pattern as Smith and Sandys of Virginia, ...
— The American Spirit in Literature, - A Chronicle of Great Interpreters, Volume 34 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Bliss Perry

... observation of life, when we should feel, that not from a petty inquisition into those cheap and every-day characters which surrounded him, as they surround us, but from his own mind, which was, to borrow a phrase of Ben Jonson's, the very 'sphere of humanity', he fetched those images of virtue and of knowledge, of which every one of us recognizing a part, think we comprehend in our natures the whole; and oftentimes mistake ...
— English Critical Essays - Nineteenth Century • Various

... Nor was this distinction in general one of place alone: in most of the wealthy and noble houses of the period, it portended a corresponding distinction in the quality of the food. Hence in the homely times in which Ben Jonson has apostrophized Penshurst, it is mentioned as an honorable instance of the hospitality of ...
— The Knickerbocker, or New-York Monthly Magazine, April 1844 - Volume 23, Number 4 • Various

... Rousseau, and any quantity of French letters, memoirs, and novels, and was a dear student of Dante and Petrarca, and knew German books more cordially than any other person, she was little read in Shakspeare; and I believe I had the pleasure of making her acquainted with Chaucer, with Ben Jonson, with Herbert, Chapman, Ford, Beaumont and Fletcher, with Bacon, and Sir Thomas Browne. I was seven years her senior, and had the habit of idle reading in old English books, and, though riot much versed, yet quite enough to give ...
— Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli, Vol. I • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... 'miracle' of Shakespeare, meaning again that the total Shakespeare quite outpasses my comprehension; yet Shakespeare, too, on occasion talks stark nonsense, or at any rate stark bombast. He never blotted a line—'I would he had blotted a thousand' says Ben Jonson: and Ben Jonson was right. Shakespeare could have blotted out two or three thousand lines: he was great enough to afford it. Somewhere Matthew Arnold supposes us as challenging Shakespeare over this and that weak ...
— On the Art of Writing - Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge 1913-1914 • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... Folio, give a most satisfactory account of the somewhat crucial point—how they came by the manuscripts, with all the amendments and corrections, and pass lightly over the fact that those manuscripts had disappeared. 'Rare Ben Jonson' in the witness-box is a masterpiece of dramatic invention; he demolishes Bacon's advocate with magnificent vitality. John Selden makes a stately witness, and Francis Meres a very useful one. Generally ...
— In the Name of the Bodleian and Other Essays • Augustine Birrell

... one time a very influential family of old Liverpool; Leigh-street after the Leighs; Cases-street after the Cases. Mr. Rose, who projected many streets at the north end of the town on his extensive property, seems to have adopted the poets' names to distinguish his thoroughfares, as in Chaucer, Ben Jonson, Juvenal, Virgil, Dryden, Milton, Sawney (Alexander) Pope-street, etc. Meadows-street, Scotland-road, was named after Mr. William Meadows, who married six wives. His first wife lived two years. He next married Peggy ...
— Recollections of Old Liverpool • A Nonagenarian

... no doubt, that Shakespeare acquired the "small Latin and less Greek" which Ben Jonson accords to him. What was "small" learning in the eyes of such a scholar as Jonson, may yet have been something handsome in itself; and his remark may fairly imply that the Poet had at least the regular free-school education of the time. Honourably ambitious, as his father seems to have ...
— Shakespeare: His Life, Art, And Characters, Volume I. • H. N. Hudson

... when it is a remarkable thing if an author has his pocket picked, or narrowly escapes being in a ship that is wrecked, or takes poison when he is young, even the outline of Borrow's life is attractive. Like Byron, Ben Jonson, and Chaucer, he reminds us that an author is not bound to be a nun with a beard. He depicts himself continually, at all ages, and in all conditions of pathos or pride. Other human beings, with few exceptions, he depicts only in relation ...
— George Borrow - The Man and His Books • Edward Thomas

... complaints about 'dull Devonshire.' Herrick was a true Cockney, and the earliest part of his life was spent in a house in Cheapside. When he grew up, he had the good luck to come into the brilliant and witty company that gathered round Ben Jonson, so it must be allowed that he had an excuse for sometimes thinking that life in an obscure hamlet, two hundred miles from London, was a dreary exile. But, as Mr R. J. King remarks, in spite of all his grievances, he ...
— Devon, Its Moorlands, Streams and Coasts • Rosalind Northcote

... the visitor to that spot finds it covered by the Artillery barracks. Walking through King Street, Westminster, you will not forget the great poet Edmund Spenser, who, a victim to barbarity, died there, in destitution and grief. Ben Jonson's terse record of that calamity says: "The Irish having robbed Spenser's goods and burnt his house and a little child new-born, he and his wife escaped, and after he died, for lack of bread, in King Street." Ben Jonson is closely associated with places ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume I. - Great Britain and Ireland • Various

... will observe that in many places I have given a reading different from that in the best-known copy of the poem. I have followed a manuscript in the handwriting of Ben Jonson.[70] I cannot tell whether Jonson has put the master's hand to the amateur's work, but in every case I ...
— England's Antiphon • George MacDonald

... describing things which really exist not, if they are founded on popular belief. Of this nature are fairies, pigmies, and the extraordinary effects of magic; for it is still an imitation, though of other men's fancies: and thus are Shakespeare's "Tempest," his "Midsummer Night's Dream," and Ben Jonson's "Masque of Witches" to be defended. For immaterial substances, we are authorised by Scripture in their description: and herein the text accommodates itself to vulgar apprehension, in giving angels the likeness of beautiful young men. ...
— The Works of John Dryden, Volume 5 (of 18) - Amboyna; The state of Innocence; Aureng-Zebe; All for Love • John Dryden

... Shakespeare's power. Heroic himself, he was born into an age of heroes. You see it in his works. Not a play but gives patent evidence that to him all forms of human magnanimity were common and wayside flowers—among the humours of men which he and Ben Jonson used to wander forth together to observe. And thus he could give living action and speech to the ancient noblenesses of Rome and the Middle Age; for he had walked and conversed with them, unchanged in everything but in the ...
— Literary and General Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... at six o'clock A.M., or at midnight? We must remember that we are dealing with a question of English law; and therefore the evidence of an English decision will, I submit, be stronger proof of the latter mode of reckoning than the only positive proof with which A. E. B. has defended Ben Jonson's use of ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 219, January 7, 1854 • Various

... not what the world would now call a learned man. We may say of him, in this respect, what Ben Jonson said of Shakespeare: 'He knew little Latin and less Greek,' but he had a mind and a power of intellect which as eminently fitted him for a physician, as Shakespeare's genius qualified him to become a dramatist ...
— The History of Dartmouth College • Baxter Perry Smith

... that we find to the cat incident is in the play Eastward Hoe by Chapman, Ben Jonson, and Marston; for, as the portrait which was said to have existed at Mercers' Hall is not now known, it can scarcely be put in evidence. This half-length portrait of a man of about sixty years of age, dressed in a livery gown and black cap of the time of Henry VIII. with a figure of a black ...
— The History of Sir Richard Whittington • T. H.

... becomes inaudible. Poetry leaves the farmyard and the craftsman's bench for the court. The folk-song, fashioned in to a thing of wondrous beauty by the creator of Amiens, Feste and Autolycus, is driven from the stage by Ben Jonson, and its place is taken by a lyric of classic extraction. The popular drama, ennobled and made shapely through contact with Latin drama, passes from the provincial market-place to Bankside, and the rude mechanicals of the trade-guilds yield place to the Lord Chamberlain's players. In the ...
— Songs of the Ridings • F. W. Moorman

... General character of the Gothic Mind in the Middle Ages II. General Character of the Gothic Literature and Art III. The Troubadours—Boccaccio—Petrarch—Pulci—Chaucer—Spenser IV-VI. Shakspeare (not included in the original text) VII. Ben Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, and Massinger VIII. 'Don Quixote'. Cervantes IX. On the Distinctions of the Witty, the Droll, the Odd, and the Humorous; the Nature and Constituents of Humour; Rabelais, Swift, Sterne X. Donne, Dante, ...
— Literary Remains (1) • Coleridge

... have crowded his books together without regard to any system of classification. He had a habit of mixing his books around with fishing-tackle, and his charming biographer tells us it was no uncommon thing to find the "Wealth of Nations," "Boxiana," the "Faerie Queen," Jeremy Taylor, and Ben Jonson occupying close quarters with fishing-rods, boxing-gloves, and ...
— The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac • Eugene Field

... this is, 'Herse is the solemne obsequie in funeralles.' Cp. also Ben Jonson's 'Epitaph on the ...
— Marmion • Sir Walter Scott

... "Oh! Ben Jonson!" said Hildegarde. "He was another great dramatist, you know; a little younger, but of the same time with Shakspeare and Marlowe. He lived to be quite old, and he wrote a very famous poem on Shakspeare, 'all full of quotations,' as somebody said about 'Hamlet.' It is in that ...
— Hildegarde's Holiday - a story for girls • Laura E. Richards

... poetical as well as political potentates, possessed him,—a desire to nominate a successor. In his case, indeed, the idea may have been borrowed from "MacFlecknoe" or the "Dunciad." The Earl of Chesterfield, during his administration in Ireland, had discovered a rival to Ben Jonson in the person of a poetical bricklayer, one Henry Jones, whom his Lordship carried with him to London, as a specimen of the indigenous tribes of Erin. It was easier for this Jones to rhyme in heroics than to handle a trowel or construct a chimney. He rhymed, therefore, ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 2, Issue 11, September, 1858 • Various

... table-talker, "great at the midnight hour." The "wit-combats" at his Wednesday-evening parties were waged with scarcely inferior skill and ability to those fought at the old Mermaid tavern between Shakspeare and Ben Jonson. Hazlitt, in his delightful essay intituled "Persons One would Wish to have Seen," gives a masterly report of the sayings and doings at one of these parties. It is to be regretted that he did not report the conversation at all of these ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 11, Issue 67, May, 1863 • Various

... century, and sundry engravings from Hogarth. But poets, oh, they were there too! poets who might be supposed to have been sufficiently good fellows to be at home with such companions,—Shakspeare, of course, with his placid forehead; Ben Jonson, with his heavy scowl; Burns and Byron cheek by jowl. But the strangest of all these heterogeneous specimens of graphic art was a full-length print of William Pitt!—William Pitt, the austere and ...
— My Novel, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... even the most perspicuous people in past times had made the grossest blunders when they judged their own age. Let them remember the insensibility of Montaigne to the merits of all his contemporaries. In the next age, and in their own country, Ben Jonson took occasion at the very moment when Shakespeare was producing his masterpieces, to lament the total decay of poetry in England. We could not see the trees for the wood behind them, but we ought to be confident they ...
— Poems: New and Old • Henry Newbolt

... well until near the end of July, when the company presented The Isle of Dogs, a satirical play written in part by the "young Juvenal" of the age, Thomas Nashe, and in part by certain "inferior players," chief of whom seems to have been Ben Jonson.[256] The play apparently attacked under a thin disguise some persons high in authority. The exact nature of the offense cannot now be determined, but Nashe himself informs us that "the troublesome stir which happened about it is a general rumour that hath ...
— Shakespearean Playhouses - A History of English Theatres from the Beginnings to the Restoration • Joseph Quincy Adams

... colonization had begun. On the sea her flag was supreme; her merchant marine, going to and from her own possessions was seen in every port of the world; her admirals, Ruyter and Tromp, had won her an illustrious place forever in the annals of naval warfare. These were the days of Milton and Ben Jonson; of Cromwell, Gustavus Adolphus and Richelieu; of Murillo, Rubens and Van Dyck—days when Holland had within her own borders such men as Barneveld, the great statesman; Grotius, the father of international law; Spinoza, ...
— Rembrandt and His Etchings • Louis Arthur Holman

... As if by sleep or fev'rous fit assail'd.] O Rome! thy head Is drown'd in sleep, and all thy body fev'ry. Ben Jonson's Catiline. ...
— The Divine Comedy • Dante

... Ben Jonson's "Discoveries" are, as he says in the few Latin words prefixed to them, "A wood—Sylva—of things and thoughts, in Greek "[Greek text]" [which has for its first meaning material, but is also applied peculiarly to kinds of wood, and to a wood], "from the multiplicity and variety of the material ...
— Discoveries and Some Poems • Ben Jonson

... Steps on the Aventine Hill, leading to the Tiber, to which the bodies of executed criminals were dragged to be thrown into the river. The word is now obsolete, but was employed by Ben Jonson (Sejanus) and ...
— Thais • Anatole France

... this they were professed friends, etc. This description of Ben Jonson, down to the words "with infinite labour and study could but hardly attain to," was omitted by Pope, for reasons which appear in his Preface. ...
— Eighteenth Century Essays on Shakespeare • D. Nichol Smith

... to some degree, warped by political prejudice. In these respects, Gifford's work may not have risen above—it certainly did not fall below—the highest standard of contemporary criticism. His editions of 'Massinger' (1805), which superseded that of Monck Mason and Davies (1765), of 'Ben Jonson' (1816), of 'Ford' (1827), are valuable. To his translation of 'Juvenal' (1802) is prefixed his autobiography. His translation of 'Persius' appeared in 1821. To Gifford, Byron usually paid ...
— The Works Of Lord Byron, Letters and Journals, Vol. 1 • Lord Byron, Edited by Rowland E. Prothero

... set himself to correct. He began with metre, and invented a system of prosody which has many merits, and would have had more in less arbitrary hands. 'Donne, for not keeping of accent, deserved hanging,' said Ben Jonson, who was nevertheless his friend and admirer. And yet, if one will but read him always for the sense, for the natural emphasis of what he has to say, there are few lines which will not come out in at all events the way that he meant them to be delivered. The way he meant them to be ...
— Figures of Several Centuries • Arthur Symons

... of the ancient House of Drummond was William Drummond, a descendant of the Drummonds of Carnock, son of Sir John Drummond of Hawthornden, and author of the "History of the Five James's," Kings of Scotland.[210] The friend of Drayton, and of Ben Jonson, this man of rare virtues presents one of the brightest examples of that class to which he belonged, the Scottish country-gentleman. True-hearted, like the rest of his race, Drummond was never called forth from a retirement ...
— Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745 - Volume III. • Mrs. Thomson

... to in the epilogue to Ben Jonson's Masque of the Metamorphosed Gipsies, when it was performed at Windsor ...
— Notes and Queries, Number 74, March 29, 1851 • Various

... idea was then generally overlaid with splendid trappings, the dresses and the arrangements were often extremely elaborate, and the introduction of dialogued speech made these "disguises" regular dramatic performances. A notable example is Ben Jonson's "Masque of Christmas."{2} Shakespeare, however, gives us in "Henry VIII."{3} an example of a simpler impromptu form: the king and a party dressed up as shepherds break in ...
— Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan • Clement A. Miles

... 'noble ladie Diana Primrose' wrote A Chain of Pearl, which is a panegyric on the 'peerless graces' of Gloriana. Mary Morpeth, the friend and admirer of Drummond of Hawthornden; Lady Mary Wroth, to whom Ben Jonson dedicated The Alchemist; and the Princess Elizabeth, the sister of Charles ...
— Miscellanies • Oscar Wilde

... madness—put up thy toasting-fork, Hal. This is no time nor place for imitations of Ben Jonson's Bobadil. Zounds! man, you'll startle all the game with your roaring—and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine—Vol. 54, No. 333, July 1843 • Various

... title-page bears the portrait of the poet by Droeshout. The dedicatory epistle is in large italic type, and is followed by a second epistle, 'To the Readers,' in Roman. The verses in praise of the author, by Ben Jonson and others, are printed in a second fount of italic, and the Contents in a still smaller fount of the same letter. The text, printed in double columns, is in Roman and Italic, each page being enclosed within printer's rules. Of these various types, the best is the large italic, which somewhat ...
— A Short History of English Printing, 1476-1898 • Henry R. Plomer

... Ben Jonson, when his erstwhile taproom roisterer, Will Shakespeare, was dead, defied "insolent Greece or haughty Rome" to show his superior. With such authority, I feel safe in at least defying the contemporary schools of insolent Russia or haughty Germany to send forth a better musicwright than our ...
— Contemporary American Composers • Rupert Hughes

... jealous of the clergyman I read about the other day, who footed it from Edinburgh to London, as poor Effie Deans did, carrying her shoes in her hand most of the way, and over the ground that rugged Ben Jonson strode, larking it to Scotland, so long ago. I read with longing of the pedestrian feats of college youths, so gay and light-hearted, with their coarse shoes on their feet and their knapsacks on their backs. It would ...
— Winter Sunshine • John Burroughs

... monument erected by the Empress Catherine to the memory of her husband, arrogant as they are, contain the essence of the sublime. And, in like manner, among the most impressive memorials in Westminster Abbey are the words, "O rare Ben Jonson," chiselled beneath the great play-wright's bust, and the name of J. DRYDEN, with the date of his birth and death, and the simple statement, that the tomb was erected, in 1720, by John Sheffield, ...
— The International Monthly Magazine - Volume V - No II • Various

... Lamb, I ventured, one evening, to say something that I intended should pass for wit. "Ha! very well; very well, indeed!" said he. "Ben Jonson has said worse things" (I brightened up, but he went stammering on to the end of the sentence)—"and—and—and better!" A pinch of snuff concluded this compliment, which put a stop to my wit for the evening. I related the thing to Hazlitt, afterwards, who laughed. "Aye," said ...
— The Bed-Book of Happiness • Harold Begbie

... as a phoenix; lay you an old courtier on the coals, like a sausage or a bloat-herring, and, after they have broiled him enough, blow a soul into him, with a pair of bellows! See! they begin to muster again, and draw their forces out against me! The genius of the place defend me!" — Ben Jonson's Masque "Mercury ...
— Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Vol. I • Charles Mackay

... woman's nature and sphere, and how it has gone on developing itself in the poetry which is its truest expression, till we have got its different stages from the ideal of the school which really had a gloss of elevation and fine sentiment about it—the woman of Herrick and Ben Jonson, and later on of Lovelace and Montrose, to the woman of Owen Meredith and Swinburne, who, instead of inspiring men to die for her honor, makes them rather wish her to live to be the instrument of their pleasure? It was not a bad idea, and ...
— Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. XII. No. 31. October, 1873. • Various

... is seen on the right, and on an eminence close by is the "Old Hall," built by Lord Chancellor Sir Thomas Bromley. It was the birthplace of Lord Herbert of Chirbury, of whom Ben Jonson wrote:— ...
— Handbook to the Severn Valley Railway - Illustrative and Descriptive of Places along the Line from - Worcester to Shrewsbury • J. Randall



Words linked to "Ben Jonson" :   dramatist, playwright, poet



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