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He boasts on the stage of being more in the enjoyment of the favour of the great ones than any of his literary contemporaries. Modesty was certainly not a mitigating trait in the character of hot-tempered Jonson, whose wrath was easily roused. Convinced of the power of his own genius, he most eagerly wanted to see the value of his work acknowledged.

Dramatist, poet, and pamphleteer, s. of a draper in London, appears to have had a somewhat chequered career. He went to Rome in 1578, and pub. The Englyshe Romayne Life, in which he gives descriptions of rites and other matters fitted to excite Protestant feeling; and he appears to have acted practically as a spy upon Roman Catholics. He was ridiculed by Ben Jonson in The Case is Altered.

Swinburne, in his very able study of Ben Jonson, not a little disgusted at the introduction of the broader humour and burlesque of the dialect-speaking characters, Maudlin, Lorel, Scathlock, in conjunction with the greater refinement of Robin, Marian, and the shepherds.

Meredith; and their field, the great living world of their time, is what the general reader wants the novelist to deal with as he best may. Shakespeare, to be sure, wrote no drama on Elizabethan times in England; we must go to Heywood and Ben Jonson for the drama of his contemporary world.

That these pasties were highly appreciated is the only conclusion which can be drawn from the contemporary exclamation, "I'll not take thy word for a Dagger pie," and from the fact that in "The Devil is an Ass" Jonson makes Iniquity declare that the 'prentice boys rob their masters and "spend it in pies at the Dagger and the Woolsack."

The production of them was attended with labour, and unfortunately it is also a labour to read them. They resemble solid and regular, edifices, before which, however, the clumsy scaffolding still remains, to interrupt and prevent us from viewing the architecture with ease, and receiving from it a harmonious impression. We have of Jonson two tragical attempts, and a number of comedies and masques.

In spite of his heaviness in drama, Jonson had a light enough touch in lyric poetry. His songs have not the careless sweetness of Shakspere's, but they have a grace of their own. Such pieces as his Love's Triumph, Hymn to Diana, the adaptation from Philostratus, Drink to me only with thine eyes, and many others entitle their author to rank among the first of English lyrists.

More than two centuries after Beaumont penned his rhyming epistle to Jonson, three brothers had their lodging for a brief season in Cheapside, and the poetic member of the trio doubtless mused long and often on those kindred spirits who, for him far more than for ordinary mortals, haunted the spot where the famous tavern once stood.

Francis Beaumont did not more pleasantly recall the things that he and Ben Jonson had seen done at the Mermaid than an old Brook Farmer remembers the long walks, eight good miles in and eight miles out, to see the tall, willowy Schmidt swaying with his violin at the head of the orchestra, to hear the airy ripple of Auber's 'Zanetta, the swift passionate storm of Beethoven's 'Egmont, the symphonic murmur of woods and waters and summer fields in the limpid 'Pastorale, or the solemn grandeur of sustained pathetic human feeling in the 'Fifth Symphony. The musical revival was all part of the new birth of the Transcendental epoch, although none would have more promptly disclaimed any taint of Transcendentalism than the excellent officers of the Boston Academy of Music.

But Master Shakspere came about as quickly as an English man-of-war, dodged here and there on a breath of wind, and seemed quite everywhere at once; while Master Jonson tacked and veered, and loomed across the elements like a great galleon, pouring forth learned broadsides with a most prodigious boom, riddling whatever was in the way, to be sure, but often quite missing the point because Master Shakspere had come about, hey, presto, change! and was off with the argument, point and all, upon a totally different tack.

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