The Works of Ben Jonson...: With Notes Critical and Explanatory, and a Biographical Memoir, Volume 9

Front Cover
G. and W. Nicol, 1816

Selected pages

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 181 - Yet there happened in my time one noble speaker, who was full of gravity in his speaking. His language (where he could spare or pass by a jest) was nobly censorious. No man ever spake more neatly, more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered.
Page 11 - A lily of a day Is fairer far, in May, Although it fall and die that night; It was the plant and flower of light. In small proportions we just beauties see; And in short measures life may perfect be.
Page 173 - I loved the man, and do honour his memory on this side idolatry as much as any. He was, indeed, honest, and of an open and free nature ; had an excellent phantasy, brave notions, and gentle expressions, wherein he flowed with that facility that sometimes it was necessary he should be stopped.
Page 218 - Custom is the most certain mistress of language, as the public stamp makes the current money. But we must not be too frequent with the mint, every day coining, nor fetch words from the extreme and utmost ages ; since the chief virtue of a style is perspicuity, and nothing so vicious in it as to need an interpreter.
Page 172 - For they commend writers as they do fencers or wrestlers ; who, if they come in robustiously, and put for it with a great deal of violence, are received for the braver fellows...
Page 154 - ... scoffing. For to all the observations of the Ancients we have our own experience, which if we will use, and apply, we have better means to pronounce. It is true, they opened the gates, and made the way, that went before us; but as guides, not commanders: Non domini nostri, sed duces, fuere.
Page 174 - Augustus said of Haterius. His wit was in his own power; would the rule of it had been so too. Many times he fell into those things could not escape laughter; as when he said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him, "Caesar, thou dost me wrong," he replied, "Caesar did never wrong but with just cause"; and such like, which were ridiculous.
Page 175 - They would not have it run without rubs, as if that style were more strong and manly that struck the ear with a kind of unevenness. These men err not by chance, but knowingly and willingly; they are like men that affect a fashion by themselves; have some singularity in a ruff, cloak, or hatband; or their beards specially cut to provoke beholders, and set a mark upon themselves.
Page 211 - So did the best writers in their beginnings: they imposed upon themselves care and industry; they did nothing rashly; they obtained first to write well and then custom made it easy and a habit.
Page 232 - Hence he is called a poet, not he which writeth in measure only, but that feigneth and formeth a fable, and writes things like the truth. For the fable and fiction is, as it were, the form and soul of any poetical work, or poem.

Bibliographic information