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How, best of Kings, dost thou a sceptre bear! How, best of Poets," dost thou laurel wear!

But two things rare the Fates had in their store,
And gave thee both, to show they could no more.
For such a Poet, while thy days were green,
Thou wert, as chief of them are said t' have been.
And such a Prince thou art, we daily see,
As chief of those still promise they will be.
Whom should my muse then fly to, but the best
Of Kings for grace; of Poets for my test?

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When was there contract better driven by Fate? Or celebrated with more truth of state?

The world the temple was, the priest a king, The spoused pair two realms, the sea the ring.


If all you boast of your great art be true,
Sure, willing poverty lives most in you.

His epigram was probably written soon after the accession of James, and when this good prince had surely given little cause for complaint to any one. With respect to his boyish poetry.... it is really creditable to his talents. Some of the Psalms are better translated by him than they were by Milton at his years. -G. It will not be forgotten in what terms Bacon addressed King James at this time, and what expectations he built on his Majesty's learning.


• Of England and Scotland under James; completed under Anne in 1707.


Where lately harbored many a famous whore,
A purging bill, now fixed upon the door,
Tells you it is a hot-house; so it may,
And still be a whore-house: they're synonyma.


Ridway robbed Duncote of three hundred pound; Ridway was ta'en, arraigned, condemned to


But, for this money, was a courtier found, Begged Ridway's pardon: Duncote now doth


Robbed both of money, and the law's relief:
The courtier is become the greater thief.


May none whose scattered names honor my book
For strict degrees of rank or title look;
'Tis 'gainst the manners of an epigram,
And I a poet here, no herald am.


Thou call'st me poet, as a term of shame;
But I have my revenge made, in thy name.

7 So called from the hot baths used in them. They were

generally bagnios.

- B.

"And now she professes a hot-house, Which I think is a very ill-house too."

Measure for Measure, II. i.


At court I met it, in clothes brave enough
To be a courtier, and looks grave enough
To seem a statesman. As I near it came,
It made me a great face; I asked the name.
A Lord, it cried, buried in flesh and blood,
And such from whom let no man hope least good,
For I will do none; and as little ill,

For I will dare none. Good Lord, walk dead still.8


Shift, here in town, not meanest amongst squires That haunt Pickt-hatch, Marsh-Lambeth, and Whitefriars,

Keeps himself, with half a man, and defrays The charge of that state with this charm, God pays, 10

By that one spell he lives, eats, drinks, arrays Himself; his whole revenue is, God pays.

"He [Jonson] never esteemed a man," says Drummond, "for the name of a Lord." -B.

The respective resorts of debauchees, thieves, and fraudulent debtors.-G.

"To your manor of Pickt-hatch, go."

Merry Wives of Windsor, II. ii. 10 The impudent plea for charity, or rather for running in debt, advanced by disbanded soldiers, of whom there were many at this period and more who pretended to be such.

The quarter-day is come; the hostess says,
She must have

money: he returns, God pays. The tailor brings a suit home; he it essays, Looks o'er the bill, likes it: and says, God pays. He steals to ordinaries; there he plays

At dice his borrowed money - which, God pays.
Then takes up fresh commodity, for days;
Signs to new bond; forfeits, and cries, God pays.
That lost, he keeps his chamber, reads essays,
Takes physic, tears the papers: still, God pays.
Or else by water goes and so to plays;
Calls for his stool, adorns the stage: " God pays.


The expression occurs in the London Prodigal, in a passage much to the purpose:

Sir Arthur. I am a soldier and a gentleman.

"Lace. I neither doubt your valor nor your love,

But there be some that bear a soldier's form,

That swear by Him they never think upon :

Go swaggering up and down from house to house,

Crying God pays.' "-G.

11 It was the custom for young men of fashion to sit upon the stage, for which they were charged extra. A three-legged stool, says Mr. Collier [Annals of the Stage], which Dekker (1609) dignifies by the style of "a tripos" seems to have been usually hired on these occasions, and for this sixpence, and subsequently a shilling, was paid. The entrance to the stage for persons who availed themselves of this privilege was through the 'tiring-house. — B.

"Would you have a stool, sir?"

"A stool, boy?"

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'Aye, sir, if you'll give me sixpence, I'll fetch you one." "For what, I pray thee? what shall I do with it?"


"O Lord, sir! will you betray your ignorance so much? why,

Throne yourself in state on the stage, as other gentlemen use, sir."

Cynthia's Revels: Induction.

To every cause he meets, this voice he brays:
His only answer is to all, God pays.

Not his poor cockatrice but he betrays
Thus; and for his lechery-scores, God pays.

But see! th' old bawd hath served him in his

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When men a dangerous disease did 'scape
Of old, they gave a cock to Esculape;
Let me give two, that doubly am got free
From my disease's danger, and from thee.

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Camden, most reverend head, to whom I owe
All that I am in arts, all that I know —
How nothing's that! to whom my country owes
The great renown, and name wherewith she goes.
Than thee the age sees not that thing more grave,
More high, more holy, that she more would crave.

12 Camden was our poet's niaster at Westminster-school; and gratitude has led him to make a proper acknowledgment for his care and pains in teaching him, both by this epigram, and the dedication of Every Man in his Humor to him.-W. These are not the only places in which Camden is mentioned with respect. In the King's Entertainment, Jonson terms him "the glory and light of the kingdom," and in the Masque of Queens he introduces him with similar commendation. G.

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