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Be thou my book's intelligencer, note
What each man says of it, and of what coat
His judgment is; if he be wise, and praise,
Thank him if other, he can give no bays.
If his wit reach no higher, but to spring
Thy wife a fit of laughter, a cramp ring 9
Will be reward enough: to wear like those
That hang their richest jewels in their nose,
Like a rung bear, or swine: grunting out wit
As if that part lay for a
97 most fit!

If they go on, and that thou lov'st a-life
Their perfumed judgments, let them kiss thy
wife.

66

AN EPIGRAM TO WILLIAM, EARL OF NEW

CASTLE.

They talk of fencing, and the use of arms,
The art of urging and avoiding harms,
The noble science, and the mastering skill
Of making just approaches how to kill;
To hit in angles, and to clash with time:
As all defence or offence were a chime!

96 It was an ancient usage of the kings of England to hallow rings on Good Friday; "which rings," says Boorde, 'worn on one's finger doth help them which hath the cramp." Rings made from coffin hinges were also supposed to prevent the cramp. The custom of the royal hallowing of rings had its origin in a ring said to have been brought from Jerusalem to King Edward, and which had long been preserved with great veneration in Westminster Abbey, in consequence of its supposed efficacy in curing cramp and falling sickness. — B. 97 This blank occurs in the folio.

I hate such measured, give me mettled, fire

That trembles in the blaze, but then mounts

higher!

A quick and dazzling motion! when a pair

Of bodies meet like rarefied air!

Their weapons shot out with that flame and force,
As they outdid the lightning in the course;
This were a spectacle! a sight to draw
Wonder to valor! No, it is the law
Of daring not to do a wrong is true
Valor to slight it being done to you;
To know the heads of danger, where 'tis fit
To bend, to break, provoke, or suffer it.
All this, my lord, is valor! This is yours,
And was your father's, all your ancestors!
Who durst live great 'mongst all the colds and
heats

Of human life; as all the frosts and sweats
Of fortune, when or death appeared, or bands;
And valiant were, with or without their hands.

AN EPITAPH ON HENRY LORD LA-WARE. 98

TO THE PASSER-BY.

If, passenger, thou canst but read,
Stay, drop a tear for him that's dead:
Henry, the brave young lord La-ware,

98 Fourth Lord Delaware. It was his father who was appointed Captain-General of the expedition to America in 1609, and died near the coast when on his second voyage out as Governor of Virginia, in 1618.

Minerva's and the Muses' care!

What could their care do 'gainst the spite
Of a disease that loved no light

Of honor, nor no air of good,

But crept like darkness through his blood,
Offended with the dazzling flame

Of virtue, got above his name?
No noble furniture of parts,
No love of action and high arts;
No aim at glory, or in war,
Ambition to become a star,

Could stop the malice of this ill,
That spread his body o'er to kill:
And only his great soul envied,
Because it durst have noblier died.

AN EPIGRAM.99

That you have seen the pride, beheld the sport,
And all the games of fortune, played at court;
Viewed there the market, read the wretched rate
At which there are would sell the prince and state;
That scarce you hear a public voice alive,
But whispered counsels, and those only thrive;
Yet are got off thence, with clear mind and hands
To lift to heaven: who is't not understands
Your happiness, and doth not speak you blessed,

99 Evidently addressed to the Lord-Keeper Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, and probably written in 1625, when the chancellorship was transferred from him to Sir Thomas Coventry. G.

To see you set apart thus from the rest,

To obtain of God what all the land should ask?
A nation's sin got pardoned! 'twere a task
Fit for a bishop's knees! O bow them oft,

My lord, till felt grief make our stone hearts soft,
And we do weep to water for our sin.
He, that in such a flood as we are in,
Of riot and consumption, knows the way
To teach the people how to fast and pray,
And do their penance, to avert God's rod,
He is the man, and favorite, of God.

AN EPIGRAM TO KING CHARLES,

FOR A HUNDRED POUNDS HE SENT ME IN MY SICKNESS. 1629.

Great Charles, among the holy gifts of grace
Annexed to thy person and thy place,
"Tis not enough (thy piety is such)

To cure the called King's Evil with thy touch;
But thou wilt yet a kinglier mastery try,
To cure the poet's evil, poverty:

And in these cures dost so thyself enlarge,
As thou dost cure our evil at thy charge.
Nay, and in this, thou show'st to value more
One poet, than of other folk ten score.

100

100 Alluding to the angel which was given to each person who came to be touched for the evil. The angel was worth ten shillings, and as it would require two hundred angels to make up the value of £100, Jonson estimates that the king valued the poet more than ten score of other folk. The custom of presenting a piece of gold on these occasions was in

O piety! so to weigh the poor's estates!
O bounty! so to difference the rates!
What can the poet wish his king may do,
But that he cure the people's evil too?

TO KING CHARLES AND QUEEN MARY,

FOR THE LOSS OF THEIR FIRST-BORN. AN EPIGRAM CON

SOLATORY. 1629.

Who dares deny that all first-fruits are due
To God, denies the Godhead to be true:
Who doubts those fruits God can with gain
restore,

Doth by his doubt distrust His promise more.
He can, He will, and with large interest, pay
What, at His liking, He will take away.
Then, royal Charles and Mary, do not grutch
That the Almighty's will to you is such:
But thank His greatness and His goodness too;

66

troduced in the reign of Henry VIII. It probably descended from the practice, common in the time of Edward III., of wearing the rose-noble as an amulet against danger in battle. "The angel-noble of Henry VII.," observes Mr. Pettigrew, appears to have been the coin given, as it was of the purest gold; it was the coin of the time, and not made especially for this purpose. It bore the inscription, Per Cruce tua salva nos rpe rede; but in the time of Elizabeth this was altered to A Domino factum est istud, et est mirabile in oculis nostris. After the reign of Elizabeth it was found necessary to reduce the size of the coin, so great were the numbers that applied to he touched, and the inscription was therefore reduced to that of Soli Deo Gloria, which continued to be the case to the time of Queen Anne."-On Superstitions connected with Medicine and Surgery. — B.

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