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BEN JONSON
English poet and dramatist
(1573? - 1637)
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The voice so sweet, the words so fair,
  As some soft chime had stroked the air;
    And though the sound had parted thence,
      Still left an echo in the sense.
      - Eupheme (IV) [Voice]

A crafty knave needs no broker.
      - quoted in Every Man in his Humour [Crime]

It will never come out of the flesh that's bred in the bone.
      - Every Man in his Humour (act I, sc. 1)
        [Proverbs]

Well, as he brews, so shall he drink.
      - Every Man in His Humour (act II, sc. 1)
        [Drinking]

Get money; still get money, boy;
  No matter by what means.
      - Every Man in His Humour (act II, sc. 3)
        [Money]

Ods me I marle what pleasure or felicity they have in taking their roguish tobacco. It is good for nothing but to choke a man, and fill him full of smoke and embers.
      - Every Man in His Humour (act III, sc. 2)
        [Tobacco]

I do honour the very flea of his dog.
      - Every Man in his Humour (act IV, sc. 4)
        [Fleas]

Hang sorrow, care 'll kill a cat.
      - Every Man is his Humour (act I, sc. 3)
        [Sorrow]

But I do hate him as I hate the devil.
      - Every Man Out of his Humour (act I, sc, 1)
        [Hatred]

Art hath an enemy called ignorance.
      - Every Man Out of his Humour (act I, sc. 1)
        [Art]

Blest be the hour wherein I bought this book;
  His studies happy that composed the book,
    And the man fortunate that sold the book.
      - Every Man Out of his Humour (act I, sc. 1)
        [Books]

Poor worms, they hiss at me, whilst I at home
  Can be contented to applaud myself, . . . with joy
    To see how plump my bags are and my barns.
      - Every Man Out of His Humour (act I, sc. 1)
        [Wealth]

My thoughts and I were of another world.
      - Every Man Out of His Humour
         (act III, sc. 3) [Thought]

Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
  Now the sun is laid to sleep,
    Seated in thy silver car,
      State in wonted manner keep.
        Hesperus entreats thy light
          Goddess, excellently bright!
      - Hymn--To Cynthia [Moon]

This figure that thou here seest put,
  It was for gentle Shakespeare cut,
    Wherein the graver had a strife
      With Nature, to outdo the life:
        Oh, could he but have drawn his wit
          As well in brass, as he has hit
            His face, the print would then surpass
              All that was ever writ in brass;
                But since he cannot, reader, look
                  Not on his picture, but his book.
      - Lines on a Picture of Shakespeare
        [Shakespeare]

For a good poet's made, as well as born,
  And such wast thou! Look how the father's face
    Lives in his issue; even so the race
      Of Shakespeare's mind and manner brightly shine
        In his well-turned and true-filed lines;
          In each of which he seems to shake a lance,
            As brandished at the eyes of ignorance.
      - Lines to the Memory of Shakespeare
        [Poets : Shakespeare]

He was not of an age, but for all time!
  And all the Muses still were in their prime,
    When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm
      Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm!
      - Lines to the Memory of Shakespeare
        [Shakespeare]

Nature herself was proud of his designs,
  And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines!
    Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit,
      As since, she will vouchsafe no other wit.
      - Lines to the Memory of Shakespeare
        [Shakespeare]

Soul of the Age!
  The applause! delight! the wonder of our stage!
    My Shakespeare rise! I will not lodge thee by
      Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie
        A little further off, to make thee room:
          Thou art a monument without a tomb,
            And art alive still, while thy book doth live
              And we have wits to read, and praise to give.
      - Lines to the Memory of Shakespeare
        [Shakespeare]

Sweet Swan of Avon! What a sight it were
  To see thee in our water yet appear.
      - Lines to the Memory of Shakespeare
        [Shakespeare]

Thou hadst small Latin and less Greek.
      - Lines to the Memory of Shakespeare
        [Shakespeare]

How near to good is what is fair!
      - Love Freed from Ignorance and Folly
        [Goodness]

And so to tread
  As if the wind, not she, did walk;
    Nor prest a flower, nor bow'd a stalk.
      - Masques--The Vision of Delight [Footsteps]

To the old, long life and treasure;
  To the young, all health and pleasure.
      - Metamorphosed Gipsies--Third Song [Toasts]

One woman reads another's character
  Without the tedious trouble of deciphering.
      - New Inn (act IV) [Women]


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