Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jonson Poem from Another 1623 Blount Publication

 Jonson - 1623 Prefatory Poem from:

WRITTEN IN SPANISH by MATHEO ALEMAN, Seruant to his Catholike Maiestie, and borne in SEVILL.

LONDON, Printed for Edward Blount. 1623.


On the Author, Worke, and Translator.

VVHo tracks this Authors, or Translators Pen,
Shall finde, that either hath read Bookes, and Men:
To say but one, were single. Then it chimes,
When the old words doe strike on the new times,
As in this Spanish Proteus; who, though writ
But in one tongue, was form'd with the worlds wit:
And hath the noblest marke of a good BOOKE,
That an ill man dares not securely LOOKE,
Vpon it, but will loath, or let it passe,
As a deformed face doth a true glasse.
Such Bookes deserue Translators, OF LIKE COAT
As was the Genius where with they were wrote;
And this hath met that one, that may be stil'd
More then the Foster-father of this Child;
For though Spaine gaue him his first ayre and Vogue,
He would be call'd, henceforth, the English-Rogue,
But that hee's too well suted, in a cloth,
Finer then was his Spanish, if my Oath
Will bee receiu'd in Court; If not, would I
Had cloath'd him so. Here's all I can supply
To your desert, who'haue done it, Friend. And this
Faire Aemulation, and no Enuy is;
When you behold me wish my selfe, the man
That would haue done, that, which you onely can.
Ben: Ionson.

Deformed Face/Ill-Cut Coat


 Jonson, To the Reader (Shakespeare's First Folio)

This figure that thou here seest put,
It was for gentle Shakespeare cut,
Wherein the graver had a strife
With Nature, to out-do the life:
O could he but have drawn his wit
As well in brass, as he has hit
His face; the print would then surpass
All that was ever writ in brass:
But since he cannot, reader, look
Not on his picture, but his book.


  Jonson, Cynthia's Revels
Thou art a Bountiful and Brave Spring, and waterest all the Noble Plants of this Island. In thee the whole Kingdom dresseth it self, and is ambitious to use thee as her Glass. *Beware then thou render Men's Figures truly*, and teach them no less to hate their Deformities, than to love their Forms: For, to Grace, there should come Reverence; and no Man can call that Lovely, which is not also Venerable.


 John Beaumont , Jonsonus Virbius

...Twas he that found (plac'd) in the seat of wit,
DULL grinning IGNORANCE, and banish'd it;
He on the prostituted stage appears
To make men hear, not by their eyes, but ears;
Who painted virtues, that each one might know,
And point the man, that did such treasure owe :
So that who could in JONSON'S lines be high
Needed not honours, or a riband buy ;
But vice he only shewed us in a glass,
Which by reflection of those rays that pass,
Retains the figure lively, set before,
And that withdrawn, reflects at us no more;
So, he observ'd the like decorum, when
*He whipt the vices, and yet spar'd the men* :
When heretofore, the Vice's only note,
And sign from virtue was his party-coat;
When devils were the last men on the stage,
And pray'd for plenty, and the present age.


Trashing Vulgar Judgements/Praises in Blount's 1623 'The Rogue':

WRITTEN IN SPANISH by MATHEO ALEMAN, Seruant to his Catholike Maiestie, and borne in SEVILL.
[Figure: ]
LONDON, Printed for Edward Blount. 1623.


To the Uulgar.

TO me it is no new thing (though perhaps it be to thee) to see (O thou vertue-hating Vulgar) the many bad friends that thou hast; that little, which thou deseruest, and that lesse, which thou vnderstandest: To behold, how biting, how enuious, how couetous thou art; how quick in de|faming, how slowe in honoring; how certain in ill, how vncertaine in good; how facile to fly out, and how hard to bee curbed in. What Diamond is there so hard, which thy sharpe teeth doe not grind to powder? What vertue scapes Free from thy venemous tongue? What piety doe thy actions protect? What defects doth thy cloake couer? What Treacle doe thy eyes behold, which doe not like the Basilsske im|poyson? What Flower, though neuer so cordiall, euer entred thorow thy eares, which in the Hiue of thy heart thou didst not conuert into poy|son? What sanctitie hast not thou calumniated? What innocencie hast not thou persecuted? What singlenesse of heart hast not thou condem|ned? What iustice hast not thou confounded? What truth hast not thou profaned? In what greene field hast thou set thy foot, which thou hast not defiled with thy filthy luxuries? And if it were possible to paint forth to the life the true fashion of hell, and the torments thereof, thou onely, in my iudgement, mightst (and that truely) be its perfectest counterfet. Thin|kest thou (peraduenture) that passion blindeth mee, that anger moueth me, or that ignorance violently thrusts me on? No verily. And if thou couldst but be capable of seeing thy owne errour, but suffer thy selfe to be informed, (onely but with turning thy head aside) thou shouldst finde thy actions aeternized, and euen from Adam reproued, as thou thy selfe art already condemned. But alas, what amendment may bee ex|pected from so inveterated a Canker? Or who is he, that can be so happy, as to vnclue himselfe from this Labyrinth, or to vnseaze himselfe from thy griping talons? I fled from the confused Court, and Section of illegible texthou followedst me into a poore Village; I with-drew my selfe into solitarie Shades, and there thou madest a shot at me, and drew'st thy venemous shafts at mee; neuer letting me alone, but still vexing and pursuing me, to bring me vn|der thy rigid Iurisdiction, and tyrannicall Empire. I am well assured that the protection which I carry with mee, will not correct thy crooked dis|position, nor giue that respect, which in good manners thou owest, to his noble qualitie, nor that in confidence thereof I should get free from thy arresting hand. For thou despising all goodnesse and ciuilitie, (which are things that neuer yet came within the reach of thy better considerati|on) hast rashly and vnaduisedly bitten so many illustrious and worthy persons, extolling some for their wit (though idle) accusing others for their lightnesse, and defaming a third of lyes and false-hoods. Thou
art Mus campestris, a very Field-mouse, and no better. Thou art still nib|bling on the hard rinde of the sowre and vnsauourie Melons, but when thou commest to those that are sweet and wholesome, and fitter for nou|rishment, thy stomake fals into a loathing, thou canst not feede on them without surfetting. Thou imitatest that importunate, troublesome, and eare-offending Fly (through his vntuneable buzzing) the Scarabee, who not dwelling on the sweeter sort of Flowers, flyes from forth the de|licate Gardens, and pleasant Woods, for to settle on a Cowe-sheard, fall vpon a dunghill, and other such like noysome places. Thou doest not make any stay vpon the high moralities of diuiner wits, but onely con|tent'st thy selfe with that which the Dogge said, and the Foxe answered; this cleaues close vnto thee; this, when thou hast read it, remaineth still with thee, and hauing made it once thine owne, is neuer againe forgotten. O vnfortunate Foxe, that thou must be likened to one of these, and must, like these, be reuiled and persecuted, like an vnprofitable and mischie|uous member in a Common-wealth! I will not inioy the priuiledge of thy honours, nor the freedome of thy Flatteries, though thou wouldst inrich me with all the wealth of thy praises. For the commendation of wicked men, is but shame and dishonour. And I rather desire the repre|hension of the good; because the end for which they doe it, is like vnto themselues, then thy depraued estimation, which cannot bee but bad. Thou takest too much libertie vnto thee, thou art an vnbridled beast, a head-strong Iade; and, if occasion of matter bee offered vnto thee, thou runn'st away with it, thou kick'st, and fling'st, thou tramplest mens good names vnder thy feete, thou breakest all bounds of modestie, and tearest all in pieces that stands in thy way, and whatsoeuer else shall seeme good vnto thee. But these faire Flowers, which thou so scornefully treadest vn|der thy feete, crowne the Temples of the vertuous, and giue a fragrant and odoriferous smell in the nostrils of those that are noble. The deadly razour-wounding slashes of thy sharpe tuskes, and the mortall strokes made by thy hands, shall heale the man that is discreet, vnder whose warme shade, I shall happily bee de|fended from all the stormes and tempests of thy blustring malice.


Vulgar and Adulterate Brains:

P R O L O G U E. Cynthia's Revels, Jonson

IF gracious silence, sweet attention,
Quick sight, and quicker apprehension,
(The lights of Judgments throne) shine any where;
Our doubtful Author hopes this is their Sphere.
And therefore opens he himself to those;
To other weaker Beams his labours close:
As loth to prostitute their Virgin strain,
To ev'ry VULGAR and adult'rate Brain,
In this alone, his Muse her sweetness hath,
She shuns the print of any BEATEN PATH;
And proves new WAYS to come to learned Ears:
Pied IGNORANCE she neither loves nor, fears.
Nor hunts she after POPULAR Applause,
Or fomy praise, that drops from COMMON Jaws:
The Garland that she wears, their bands must twine,
Who can both censure, understand, define
What merit is: Then cast those piercing Rays,
Round as a Crown, instead of honour'd Bays,
About his Poesie; which (he knows) affords
Words, above action: matter, above words. 


Taking the Ways of 'Vulgar' Praise:

 Jonson, To my Beloved Master

To draw no envy, SHAKSPEARE, on thy name,
Am I thus ample to thy book and fame ;
While I confess thy writings to be such,
As neither Man nor Muse can praise too much.
'Tis true, and all men's suffrage. But these ways
Were not the paths I meant unto thy praise
For seeliest ignorance on these may light,
Which, when it sounds at best, but echoes right ;
Or blind affection, which doth ne'er advance
The truth, but gropes, and urgeth all by chance ;
Or crafty malice might pretend this praise,
And think to ruin where it seemed to raise.
These are, as some infamous bawd or whore
Should praise a matron ; what could hurt her more ?
But thou art proof against them, and, indeed,
Above the ill fortune of them, or the need.
I therefore will begin: Soul of the age!
The applause ! delight ! the wonder of our stage!


 I know not truly which is worse - he that maligns all, or that praises all.  There is as a vice in praising, and as frequent, as in detracting. -- Jonson, Timber


"To My Book" by Ben Jonson

It will be looked for, book, when some but see
Thy title, Epigrams, and named of me,
Thou should'st be bold, licentious, full of gall,
Wormwood, and sulphur, sharp, and toothed withal;
Become a petulant thing, hurl ink, and wit,
As madmen stones: not caring whom they hit.
Deceive their malice, who could wish it so.
And by thy wiser temper, let men know
Thou are not covetous of least self-fame.
Made from the hazard of another's shame:
Much less with lewd, profane, and beastly phrase,
To catch the world's loose laughter, or VAIN gaze.
*He that DEPARTS with his own HONESTY
For VULGAR PRAISE, doth it too dearly buy.*



To my TRULY-belov'd FREIND, Mr. Browne:
on his Pastorals.

Some men, of Bookes or Freinds NOT SPEAKING RIGHT,
May hurt them more with praise, then Foes with spight


 John Oldham on Jonson

Sober, and grave was still the Garb thy Muse put on,
No tawdry careless slattern Dress,
Nor starch'd, and formal with Affectedness,
Nor the cast Mode, and Fashion of the Court, and Town;
But neat, agreeable, and janty 'twas,
Well-fitted, it sate close in every place,
And all became with an uncommon Air, and Grace:
Rich, costly and substantial was the stuff,
Not barely smooth, nor yet too coarsly rough:
No refuse, ill-patch'd Shreds o'th Schools,
The motly wear of read, and learned Fools,

No French Commodity which now so much does take,
And our own better Manufacture spoil,
Nor was it ought of forein Soil;
But Staple all, and all of English Growth, and Make:
What Flow'rs soe're of Art it had, were found
No tinsel'd slight Embroideries,
But all appear'd either the native Ground,
Or twisted, wrought, and interwoven with the Piece.

Plain Humor, shewn with her whole various Face,
Not mask'd with any antick Dress,
Nor screw'd in forc'd, ridiculous Grimace
(The gaping Rabbles dull delight,
And more the Actor's than the Poet's Wit)
Such did she enter on thy Stage,
And such was represented to the wond'ring Age:
Well wast thou skill'd, and read in human kind,
In every wild fantastick Passion of his mind,
Didst into all his hidden Inclinations dive,
What each from Nature does receive,
Or Age, or Sex, or Quality, or Country give;
What Custom too, that mighty Sorceress,
Whose pow'rful Witchcraft does transform
Enchanted Man to several monstrous Images,
Makes this an odd, and freakish Monky turn,
And that a grave and solemn Ass appear,
And all a thousand beastly shapes of Folly wear:
Whate're Caprice or Whimsie leads awry
Perverted, and seduc'd Mortality,
Or does incline, and byass it
From what's Discreet, and Wise, and Right, and Good, and Fit;

All in thy faithful Glass were so express'd,
As if they were Reflections of thy Breast,
As if they had been stamp'd on thy own mind,
And thou the universal vast Idea of Mankind.

Let meaner spirits stoop to low precarious Fame,
Content on gross and coarse Applause to live,
And what the dull, and sensless Rabble give,
Thou didst it still with noble scorn contemn,
Nor would'st that wretched Alms receive,
The poor subsistence of some bankrupt, sordid name:
Thine was no empty Vapor, rais'd beneath,
And form'd of common Breath,
The false, and foolish Fire, that's whisk'd about
By popular Air, and glares a while, and then goes out;
But 'twas a solid, whole, and perfect Globe of light,
That shone all over, was all over bright,
And dar'd all sullying Clouds, and fear'd no darkning night;
Like the gay Monarch of the Stars and Sky,
Who wheresoe're he does display
His sovereign Lustre, and majestick Ray,
Strait all the less, and petty Glories nigh
Vanish, and shrink away.
O'rewhelm'd, and swallow'd by the greater blaze of Day;
With such a strong, an awful and victorious Beam
Appear'd, and ever shall appear, thy Fame,
View'd, and ador'd by all th' undoubted Race of Wit,
Who only can endure to look on it.
The rest o'recame with too much light,
With too much brightness dazled, or extinguish'd quite:
Restless, and uncontroul'd it now shall pass
As wide a course about the World as he,
And when his long-repeated Travels cease
Begin a new, and vaster Race,
And still tread round the endless Circle of Eternity.