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As 'twere a challenge, or a borrower's letter?
I lent you, on mere acquaintance, at a feast.
Item, a fair Greek posy for a ring:
With which a learned madam
Item, a charm surrounding fearfully
Your partie-per-pale 5 picture, one half drawn
In most vile verses, and cost me more pain,
Forty things more, dear Grand, which you know
For which or pay me quickly, or I'll pay you.
LXXIV. TO THOMAS, LORD CHANCELLOR
Whilst thy weighed judgments, Egerton, I hear,
45 A heraldic phrase. A coat bisected by a vertical line, with a different field on each side of it, is said to be part (or divided) per pale.
46 A device on a shield.
47 Thomas Egerton, Lord Ellesmere, was one of the most remarkable men in an age of great lawyers and eminent states
Whilst I behold thee live with purest hands;
To our times returned, hath made her heaven in thee.
LXXV. ON LIPPE, THE TEACHER.*
I cannot think there's that antipathy 'Twixt puritans and players, as some cry; Though Lippe, at Paul's, ran from his text away Tinveigh 'gainst plays what did he then but play?
men. He was descended from an old family in Cheshire, and applying himself with unwearied assiduity to his profession, was early marked out for its highest honors; passing successively, during the reign of Elizabeth, through the offices of Solicitor and Attorney-General, Master of the Rolls, and Lord Keeper of the Great Seal; in which latter capacity he received King James, who, with special marks of favor, continued him in his high appointment. "Surely all Christendom," says Fuller, "afforded not a person who carried more gravity in his countenance and behavior than Sir Thomas Egerton, inasmuch that many have gone to the Chancery on purpose only to see his venerable garb (happy they who had no other business!) and were highly pleased at so acceptable a spectacle." He survived Jonson's panegyric scarcely a year, and died on the 15th March, 1617, in his seventy-seventh year, having resigned the great seal less than a fortnight before.-B.
48 Lippe, like Cod, Surly, Mungril, and similar names, may be taken as a nickname only.
LXXVI. ON LUCY, COUNTESS OF BEDFORD.49
This morning, timely rapt with holy fire,
I thought to form unto my zealous Muse, What kind of creature I could most desire, To honor, serve, and love, as poets use. I meant to make her fair, and free, and wise, Of greatest blood, and yet more good than great;
I meant the day-star should not brighter rise,
Nor lend like influence from his lucent seat. I meant she should be courteous, facile, sweet, Hating that solemn vice of greatness, pride; I meant each softest virtue there should meet, Fit in that softer bosom to reside.
Only a learned and a manly soul
I purposed her, that should, with even powers, The rock, the spindle, and the shears control
Of destiny, and spin her own free hours. Such when I meant to feign, and wished to see, My Muse bade, Bedford write, and that was
49 This lady, sister and co-heir of the second Lord Harrington, was distinguished alike by the variety of her attainments, and her liberal patronage of men of genius. Amongst those upon whom she specially bestowed her munificence were Jonson, Drayton, Daniel, and Donne, and they have all paid poetical homage to her merits and her bounty. "Sir Thomas Roe," says Granger, "has addressed a letter to her as one skilled in medals; and she is celebrated by Sir William Temple for projecting the most perfect figure of a garden that he ever saw." She died in 1627. - B.
LXXVII. TO ONE THAT DESIRED ME NOT TO
Be safe, nor fear thyself so good a fame,
LXXVIII. TO HORNET.
Hornet, thou hast thy wife dressed for the stall, To draw thee custom; but herself gets all.
LXXIX. TO ELIZABETH, COUNTESS OF RUTLAND.
(Save that most masculine issue of his brain) 51 No male unto him: who could so exceed
Nature, they thought, in all that he would feign.
At which, she happily displeased, made you;
50 Daughter of Sir Philip Sidney, by his wife Frances Walsingham, only daughter of Sir Francis Walsingham. She was not only a patroness of poets, but was herself a poetess of no ordinary mark. - B.
51 The Arcadia.
LXXX. OF LIFE AND DEATH.
The ports of death are sins; of life, good deeds:
LXXXI. TO PROWLE, THE PLAGIARY. Forbear to tempt me, Prowle, I will not show A line unto thee, till the world it know; Or that I've by two good sufficient men, To be the wealthy witness of my pen: For all thou hear'st, thou swear'st thyself didst do. Thy wit lives by it, Prowle, and belly too. Which, if thou leave not soon, though I am loth, I must a libel make, and cozen both.
LXXXII. ON CASHIERED CAPTAIN SURLY.
Surly's old whore in her new silks doth swim: He cast, yet keeps her well! No, she keeps him.
LXXXIII. TO A FRIEND.
To put out the word whore thou dost me woo, Throughout my book. "Troth, put out woman too.
52 A pure Latinism: testis locuples is the phrase for a full and sufficient evidence.