To call such passages -- which Jonson never intended for publication -- plagiarism, is to obscure the significance of words. To disparage his memory by citing them is a preposterous use of scholarship. Jonson's prose, both in his dramas, in the descriptive comments of his masques, and in the "Discoveries," is characterised by clarity and vigorous directness, nor is it wanting in a fine sense of form or in the subtler graces of diction. When Jonson died there was a project for a handsome monument to his memory. But the Civil War was at hand, and the project failed. A memorial, not insufficient, was carved on the stone covering his grave in one of the aisles of Westminster Abbey: "O rare Ben Jonson.
Other minor poems first appeared in Gifford's edition of Works.
Masques and Entertainments were published in the early folios. Whalley, 7 volumes. Cunningham, 3 volumes. Nicholson Mermaid Series , with Introduction by C. Herford, , etc. Bennett Carlton Classics , ; Masques and Entertainments, ed. Morley, Now trust me, here's a goodly day toward. Musco, call up my son Lorenzo; bid him rise; tell him, I have some business to employ him in. I will, sir, presently. But hear you, sirrah; If he be at study disturb him not. Very good, sir.
How happy would I estimate myself, Could I by any means retire my son, From one vain course of study he affects!
Every Man in His Humour
He is a scholar if a man may trust The liberal voice of double-tongued report Of dear account, in all our "Academies. What, cousin Stephano!
What news with you, that you are here so early? Nothing: but e'en come to see how you do, uncle. That's kindly done; you are welcome, cousin. Ay, I know that sir, I would not have come else: how doth my cousin, uncle? Oh, well, well, go in and see; I doubt he's scarce stirring yet.
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Uncle, afore I go in, can you tell me an he have e'er a book of the sciences of hawking and hunting? I would fain borrow it. Why, I hope you will not a hawking now, will you? No, wusse; but I'll practise against next year; I have bought me a hawk, and bells and all; I lack nothing but a book to keep it by. Oh, most ridiculous. Nay, look you now, you are angry, uncle, why, you know, an a man have not skill in hawking and hunting now-a-days, I'll not give a rush for him; he is for no gentleman's company, and by God's will I scorn it, ay, so I do, to be a consort for every hum-drum; hang them scroyles, there's nothing in them in the world, what do you talk on it?
Go to, you are a prodigal, and self-willed fool.
Every Man In His Humour Summary
Nay, never look at me, it's I that speak, Take't as you will, I'll not flatter you. Oh, it's brave, this will make you a gentleman, Well, cousin, well, I see you are e'en past hope Of all reclaim; ay, so, now you are told on it, you look another way. What would you have me do, trow? What would I have you do? For he that's so respectless in his courses, Oft sells his reputation vile and cheap. Let not your carriage and behaviour taste Of affectation, lest while you pretend To make a blaze of gentry to the world A little puff of scorn extinguish it, And you be left like an unsavoury snuff, Whose property is only to offend.
Cousin, lay by such superficial forms, And entertain a perfect real substance; Stand not so much on your gentility, But moderate your expenses now at first As you may keep the same proportion still: Bear a low sail. Soft, who's this comes here? Gentlemen, God save you. Welcome, good friend; we do not stand much upon our gentility, yet I can assure you mine uncle is a man of a thousand pound land a year; he hath but one son in the world; I am his next heir, as simple as I stand here, if my cousin die. I have a fair living of mine own too beside. In good time, sir.
By Ben Jonson
In good time, sir! Not I, sir.
An you should, here be them can perceive it, and that quickly too. Go to; and they can give it again soundly, an need be. Why, sir, let this satisfy you. Good faith, I had no such intent. By God, an I thought you had, sir, I would talk with you.
Every Man in His Humour Summary | GradeSaver
So you may, sir, and at your pleasure. And so I would, sir, an you were out of mine uncle's ground, I can tell you. Why, how now, cousin, will this ne'er be left? What would you do? You see, the gentleman contains himself In modest limits, giving no reply To your unseason'd rude comparatives; Yet you'll demean yourself without respect Either of duty or humanity.
I pray you, sir, is this Pazzi house? Yes, marry is it, sir. I should enquire for a gentleman here, one Signior Lorenzo di Pazzi; do you know any such, sir, I pray you? Yes, sir; or else I should forget myself. I cry you mercy, sir, I was requested by a gentleman of Florence having some occasion to ride this way to deliver you this letter. To me, sir? What do you mean? I pray you remember your court'sy. Nay, pray you be covered.
Signior Prospero. Signior Prospero? A young gentleman of the family of Strozzi, is he not? Ay, sir, the same: Signior Thorello, the rich Florentine merchant married his sister. You say very true. Make this gentleman drink here. I pray you go in, sir, an't please you.
Well, all is one: I'll be so bold as read it, Be it but for the style's sake, and the phrase; Both which I do presume are excellent, And greatly varied from the vulgar form, If Prospero's invention gave them life. How now! But quis contra diuos? And then, too, thy Father will say thy wits are a wool- gathering. But it's no matter; the worse, the better. Anything is good enough for the old man.
Sir, how if thy Father should see this now? Well, how ever I write to thee I reverence him in my soul, for the general good all Florence delivers of him. Lorenzo, I conjure thee by what, let me see by the depth of our love, by all the strange sights we have seen in our days, ay, or nights either , to come to me to Florence this day. Go to, you shall come, and let your Muses go spin for once.
If thou wilt not, 's hart, what's your god's name? Ay, Apollo.