« السابقةمتابعة »
Davis, and Weever, and the best have been,
ON SIR COD THE PERFUMED.
HAT Cod can get no widow, yet a knight,
For thou hast seen Davis, and Weever.] Davis was the author of a collection of epigrams called the Scourge of Folly: he was by profession a writingmaster, and chiefly taught in the university of Oxford. He was a contemporary of Jonson, and has an epigram addressed to him. Weever was the author of a work in folio, which is called Funeral Monuments, and is a miscellany of epitaphs, and inscriptions, collected from ancient monuments in various parts of the kingdom. WHAL.
3 He wooes with an ill sprite.] A play on the double meaning of the last word, an evil genius or spirit, and a stinking breath. To this last sense of sprite, young Knowell alludes in the inflated panegyric with which he puzzles and plays upon master Stephen : “A wight that hitherto, his every step hath left the stamp of a great foot behind him, as every word the savour of a strong spirit.” The name of the person to whom this epigram is addressed is borrowed from the cod or little purse in which civet and other perfumes were kept in the poet's days. In the Woman's Prize, Livia says to her lover, “ Hold this certainSelling, which is a sin unpardonable, Of counterfeit cods, or musty English crocus, Switches, or stones for the tooth-ach, sooner finds me
Than that drawn fox Moroso.” A. i. S. 2. Upon which Mr. Weber observes : “In some MS. notes which have been procured for me, cod is explained, a pillow, a belly. I
TO THE SAME.
HE expense in odours is a most vain sin,
ON REFORMED GAMESTER.
ORD, how is Gamester chang’d! his hair close
cut,“ His neck fenced round with ruff, his eyes half
shut ! His clothes two fashions off, and poor ! his sword Forbid his side, and nothing, but the word, Quick in his lips ! Who hath this wonder wrought? The late ta'en bastinado. So I thought. What several ways men to their calling have ! The body's stripes, I see, the soul may save.
ON MY FIRST DAUGHTER.
Mary, the daughter of their youth;
Yet all heaven's gifts being heaven's due, It makes the father less to rue. am afraid the allusion is not so delicate.” The writer's fears are about as ideal as those of Mr. Steevens, from whom this miserable cant is adopted; his ignorance, however, here, as well as every where else, is sufficiently real: what did he suppose Livia to mean? Counterfeit cods are spurious or adulterate civet-bags, and nothing
his hair close cut, &c.] These are the characteristic
At six months end she parted hence
To JOHN DONNE.
Whose every work, of thy most early wit,
marks of a puritan, which Gamester was now become. The word was the cant phrase for the Scripture, which was profanely applied to every incident of life. This is an epigram of all times.
5 Whose soul heaven's Queen, whose name she bears,] i.e. the virgin Mary; this seems to have been written, when our poet was a convert to the church of Rome. WHAL.
There is both pathos and beauty in this little piece : Jonson appears to have been a most kind and affectionate parent, and if, as Fuller says, he did not always meet with an equal return of duty and love, those who denied it to him have the greater sin. It is here the proper place to observe that our poet is by far the best writer of epitaphs that this country ever possessed. 6
John Donne.] The celebrated Dean of St. Paul's. His character is excellently given in this affectionate memorial of his virtues; indeed, no one knew him better, or valued him more justly than Jonson. The domestic life of this eminent man is admirably written by Izaak Walton ; and a severe, though not unjust, estimate of his poetical merits will be found in Dr. Johnson's Life of Cowley.
All which I meant to praise, and yet I would;
TO THE PARLIAMENT.
ÝHERE'S reason good, that you good laws
should make : Men's manners ne'er were viler, for your sake.
ON SIR VOLUPTUOUS BEAST.
HILE Beast instructs his fair and innocent
wife, In the past pleasures of his sensual life, Telling the motions of each petticoat, And how his Ganymede mov'd, and how his goat, And now her hourly her own cucquean makes, In varied shapes, which for his lust she takes : What doth he else, but say, Leave to be chaste, Just wife, and to change me, make woman's haste !
ON THE SAME.
HAN his chaste wife though Beast now know
He adulters still : his thoughts lie with a
ON SIR John Roe.?
herse, Take better ornaments, my tears and verse. If any sword could save from Fates', Roe's could;
If any Muse outlive their spight, his can ;
If any pious life ere lifted man
ON DON SURLY.
ON Surly, to aspire the glorious name
Makes serious use of all great trade he knows.
7 On sir John Roe.] Probably the son of sir Thomas Roe, knt., an eminent merchant of London, who after passing with distinguished credit through every municipal honour, died full of years and good works about 1570. This worthy citizen, whose charity was directed by his piety to the most useful purposes, left four sons, who appear to have trod in the footsteps of their father.
8 He speaks to men with a rhinocerotè's nose,] i. e. I believe, with a nose elate, or curled up into a kind of sneer, scornfully, contemptuously. This, at least, is the meaning of the expression in Martial's lively address to his book:
Nescis, heu nescis dominæ fastidia Rome,
Crede mihi, nimium Martia turba sapit;
lib. i. 4.