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Teach me thy love to know;
Ben Jonson was born A.D. 1571. At an early age he served as a volunteer in Flanders, and highly distinguished himself; especially on one occasion, when he engaged with an enemy in single combat, and slew him, in the presence of both armies. Another instance of his high spirit he exhibited after he had become a writer for the stage. Marston and Chapman had been sent to prison, soon after the accession of James to the English throne, on a charge of having reflected injuriously on Scotland in a comedy entitled Eastward Hoe. Jonson having had a part in the composition of the play deemed it his duty to'share in the responsibility, and voluntarily accompanied his fellow-dramatists to prison. His dramatic career was eminently successful; and his fortunes were further improved by royal favour, and the liberal payment which he received for his court masques. In his later life, being reduced to distress by sickness, he found a munificent patron in the Earl of Newcastle; to whom, as a mark of his gratitude, he presented a dramatic interlude on the occasion of a royal visit to the earl's country seat. He died in the year 1637.
Jonson was the most learned of the English dramatists; and valued himself especially on his adherence to the ancient models. He is excellent alike for the perfection of his plots, his vigour in the conception of character, and the robust power of his diction. A man of a fiery temper, as well as of a daring spirit, his life was occasionally embittered by literary quarrels. The charges of malevolence and vindictiveness so long reiterated against him appear to have been brought forward on insufficient grounds. He has recorded, in the most expressive terms, his admiration of Shakespeare, whom he was accused of having depreciated.
SONG OF HESPERUS.
[In Cynthia's Revels.
Hesperus entreats thy light,
Earth, let not thy envious shade
Bless us then with wished sight,
Goddess excellently bright.
Thou that makest a shade of night,
[In the Silent Woman.] Still to be neat, still to be drest As you were going to a feast; Still to be powder'd, still perfumed: Lady, it is to be presumed, Though art's hid causes are not found, All is not sweet, all is not sound. 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.
SONG OF NIGHT.
[In the Masque of the Visions of Delight.] Break, Phant'sie, from thy cave of cloud,
And spread thy purple wings ; Now all thy figures are allow'd,
And various shapes of things ;
To all the senses here,
Or music in their ear.
GOOD LIFE, LONG LIFE.
THOMAS CAREw was born A.D. 1589, and descended from a family of the same name, long settled in Devonshire. He was in part educated at Oxford, after which he betook himself to the court of Charles I., of which he wạs one of the most brilliant ornaments. His poems possess a singular sweetness, freshness, and grace. Unfortunately a few of them are not free from a license in remarkable contrast with the refinement of the greater number. Carew died A.1. 1639.
INGRATEFUL BEAUTY THREATENED.
Know, Celia, since thou art so proud,
'Twas I that gave thee thy renown:
Of common beauties, lived unknown,
I gave it to thy voice and eyes :
Thou art my star, shinest in my skies;
Lest what I made I uncreate:
I'll know thee in thy mortal state.
He that loves a rosy cheek,
Or a coral lip admires,
Fuel to maintain his fires;
Gentle thoughts and calm desires,
Kindle never-dying fires.
WOTTON, SIR HENRY WOTTON was born at Brougton Place, Kent, A.D. 1568. After the accession of James I. to the English throne he was appointed ambassador at the court of Venice. In later life he became a clergyman, and was made provost of Eton. A man of learning, piety, and blameless life, he must ever rank among the worthies of early English literature. He died A.D. 1639
FAREWELL TO THE VANITIES OF THE WORLD.
Farewell, ye gilded follies ! pleasing troubles ;
I would be high, but see the proudest oak
1 Pieces of money.