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BEN JONSON
English poet and dramatist
(1573? - 1637)
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A valiant man
  Ought not to undergo, or tempt a danger,
    But worthily, and by selected ways,
      He undertakes with reason, not by chance.
        His valor is the salt t' his other virtues,
          They're all unseason'd without it.
      - New Inn (act IV, sc. 3) [Valor]

Of Pan we sing, the best of leaders Pan,
  That leads the Naiads and the Dryads forth;
    And to their dances more than Hermes can,
      Hear, O you groves, and hills resound his worth.
      - Pan's Anniversary Hymn (I) [Gods]

It is not growing like a tree
  In bulk, doth make man better be;
    Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
      To fall a log at last, dry, bald, and sere:
        A lily of a day
          Is fairer far in May,
            Although it falls and die that night--
              It was the plant and flower of Light.
      - Pindaric Ode on the Death of Sir H. Morison
        [Growth : Trees]

Pleasure the servant, Virtue looking on.
      - Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue [Pleasure]

The master of art or giver of wit,
  Their belly.
      - Poetaster [Eating]

Apes are apes though clothed in scarlet.
      - Poetaster (act 5, sc. 3) [Apparel]

Sweet meat must have sour sauce.
      - Poetaster (act III, 3) [Sweetness]

Ramp up my genius, be not retrograde,
  But boldly nominate a spade a spade.
      - Poetaster (act V, 3) [Names]

'Tis not the wholesome sharp mortality,
  Or modest anger of a satiric spirit,
    That hurts or wounds the body of a state,
      But the sinister application
        Of the malicious, ignorant, and base
          Interpreter; who will distort and strain
            The general scope and purpose of an author
              To his particular and private spleen.
      - Poetaster (act V, sc. 1) [Criticism]

O what is it proud slime will not believe
  Of his own worth, to hear it equal praised
    Thus with the gods?
      - Sejanus (act I) [Power]

Cut
  Men's throats with whisperings.
      - Sejanus (act I, sc. 1) [Slander]

The world knows only two, that's Rome and I.
      - Sejanus (act V, sc. 1) [Conceit]

Give me a look, give me a face,
  That makes simplicity a grace:
    Robes loosely flowing, hair as free;
      Such sweet neglect more taketh me
        Than all the adulteries of art;
          They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.
      - Silent Woman (act I, sc. 1) [Books : Neglect]

It strikes! one, two,
  Three, four, five, six. Enough, enough, dear watch,
    Thy pulse hath beat enough. Now sleep and rest;
      Would thou could'st make the time to do so too;
        I'll wind thee up no more.
      - Staple of News (act I, sc. 1)
        [Clocks : Jewels]

-----They write here one Cornelius--Son
  Hath made the Hollanders an invisible eel
    To swim the haven at Dunkirk, and sink all
      The shipping there.
        --But how is't done?
          --I'll show you, sir.
            It is automa, runs under water
              With a snug nose, and has a nimble tail
                Made like an auger, with which tail she wriggles
                  Betwixt the costs of a ship and sinks it straight.
      - Staple of News (act III, sc. 1)
        [Navigation]

Care that is entered once into the breast
  Will have the whole possession ere it rest.
      - Tale of a Tub (act I, sc. 4) [Care]

Nay, if he take you in hand, sir, with an argument,
  He'll bray you in a mortar.
      - The Alchemist (act II, sc. 1) [Argument]

The burnt child dreads the fire.
      - The Devil is an Ass (act I, sc. 2) [Fire]

If he were
  To be made honest by an act of parliament
    I should not alter in my faith of him.
      - The Devil Is an Ass (act IV, sc. 1)
        [Faith]

The Devil is an ass, I do acknowledge it.
      - The Devil is an Ass (act IV, sc. 1)
        [Devil]

Drink to me only with thine eyes,
  And I will pledge with mine;
    Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
      And I'll not look for wine.
      - The Forest--Song to Celia
        [Kisses : Love : Toasts]

Follow a shadow, it still flies you,
  Seem to fly, it will pursue:
    So court a mistress, she denies you;
      Let her alone, she will court you.
        Say are not women truly, then,
          Styled but the shadows of us men?
      - The Forest--Song--That Women are but Men's Shadows
        [Shadows : Wooing]

The thirst that from the soul doth rise,
  Doth ask a drink divine;
    But might I of Jove's nectar sup,
      I would not change for thine.
      - The Forest--To Celia [Toasts]

For he that once is good, is ever great.
      - The Forest--To Lady Aubigny [Greatness]

Preserving the sweetness of proportion and expressing itself beyond expression.
      - The Masque of Hymen [Expression]


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