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Epigrams and The Forest

Ben Jonson

Edited by Richard Dutton

Cover Picture of Epigrams and The Forest
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Categories: 17th Century
Imprint: Fyfield Books
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (128 pages)
(Pub. Apr 2003)
£6.95 £6.25
  • Description
  • Excerpt
  • Editor
  • Contents
  • To thee, my way in epigrams seems new,
        When both it is the old way, and the true.
    Thou say'st, that cannot be: for thou hast seen
        Davies, and Weever, and the best have been,
    And mine come nothing like. I hope so. Yet
        As theirs did with thee, mine might credit get:
    If thou'ld'st but use thy faith, as thou didst then,
        When thou wert wont t'admire, not censure men.
        (from 'To My Mere English Censurer')

    Ben Jonson (1572-1637) is overshadowed as a dramatist by Shakespeare, his great contemporary. As a poet, however, he stands high. His polished urbanity, direct expression and classicism have been especially valued in modern times. T.S. Eliot says Jonson 'incorporated his erudition into his sensibility', creatively assimilating Horace, Martial and Juvenal into his poetry and hence into English literature. Richard Dutton's introduction illuminates the structure and context of Jonson's Epigrams and The Forest. Dutton shows them to be carefully structured poem sequences that display Jonson's command of poetic forms and involve the reader in evaluating a range of shifting perspectives. Jonson's recurrent theme, the nature of truth and virtue, is as pertinent today as it was in his own time.
    Table of Contents


    A note on the text and punctuation

    A note on the Notes

    Select bibliography


    Dedication to William, Earl of Pembroke

    I To the Reader

    II To My Book

    III To My Bookseller

    IV To King James

    V On the Union

    VI To Alchemists

    VII On the New Hot-Houses

    VIII On a Robbery

    IX To All, To Whom I Write

    X To My Lord Ignorant

    XI On Something, that Walks Somewhere

    XII On Lieutenant Shift

    XIII To Doctor Empiric

    XIV To William Camden

    XV On Court-Worm

    XVI To Brain-Hardy

    XVII To the Learned Critic

    XVIII To My Mere English Censurer

    IVIX On Sir Cod the Perfumed

    XX To the Same Sir Cod

    XXI On Reformed Gamester

    XXII On My First Daughter

    XXIII To John Donne

    XXIV To the Parliament

    XXV On Sir Voluptuous Beast

    XXVI On the Same Beast

    XXVII On Sir John Roe

    XXVIII On Don Surly

    XXIX To Sir Annual Tilter

    XXX To Person Guilty

    XXXI On Bank the Usurer

    XXXII On Sir John Roe

    XXXIII To the Same

    XXIV Of Death

    XXXV To King James

    XXVI To the Ghost of Martial

    XXVII On Chev'ril the Lawyer

    XXVIII To Person Guilty

    XXIX On Old Colt

    XL On Margaret Ratcliffe

    XLI On Gypsy

    XLII On Giles and Joan

    XLIII To Robert, Earl of Salisbury

    XLIV On Chuff, Banks the Usurer's Kinsman

    XLV On My First Son

    XLVI To Sir Luckless Woo-All

    XLVII To the Same

    XLVIII On Mongrel Esquire

    XLIX To Playwright

    L To Sir Cod

    LI The King James. Upon the happy false rumour of his death

    LII To Censorious Courtling

    LIII To Old-End Gatherer

    LIV On Chev'ril

    LV To Francis Beaumont

    LVI On Poet-Ape

    LVII On Bawds, and Usurers

    LVIII To Groom Idiot

    LIX On Spies

    LX To William, Lord Mounteagle

    LXI To Fool, or Knave

    LXII To Fine Lady Would-Be

    LXIII To Robert, Earl of Salisbury

    LXIV To the Same

    LXV To My Muse

    LXVI To Sir Henry Cary

    LXVII To Thomas, Earl of Suffolk

    LXVIII On Playwright

    LXIX To Pertinax Cob

    LXX To William Roe

    LXXI On Court-Parrot

    LXXII To Courtling

    LXXIII To Fine Grand

    LXXIV To Thomas, Lord Chancellor

    LXXV On Lip, the Teacher

    LXXVI On Lucy, Countess of Bedford

    LXVII To One that Desired Me Not to Name Him

    LXXVIII To Hornet

    LXXIX To Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland

    LXXX Of Life, and Death

    LXXXI To Prowl and Plagiary

    LXXII On Cashiered Capt(ain) Surly

    LXXXIII To a Friend

    LXXIV To Lucy, Countess of Bedford

    LXXXV to Sir Henry Goodyere

    LXXXVI To the Same

    LXXXVII On Captain Hazard the Cheater

    LXXXVIII on English Monsieur

    LXXXIX To Edward Alleyn

    XC On Mill, My Lady's Woman

    XCI To Sir Horace Vere

    XCII The New Cry

    XCIII To Sir John Radcliffe

    XCIV To Lucy, Countess of Bedford, with Mr Donne's Satires

    XCV To Sir Henry Savile

    XCVI To John Donne

    XCVII On the New Motion

    XCVII To Sir Thomas Roe

    XCIX To the Same

    C On Playwright

    CI Inviting a Friend to Supper

    CII To William, Earl of Pembroke

    CIII To Mary, Lady Wroth

    CIV To Susan, Countess of Montgomery

    CV To Mary, Lady Wroth

    CVI To Sir Edward Herbert

    CVII To Captain Hungry

    CVIII To True Soldiers

    CIX To Sir Henry Nevil

    CX To Clement Edmonds

    CXI To the Same, on the Same

    CXII To a Weak Gamester in Poetry

    CXIII To Sir Thomas Overbury

    CVIV To Mrs Philip Sidney

    CXV On the Town's Honest Man

    CXXVI To Sir William Jephson

    CXVII On Groin

    CXVIII On Gut

    CXIX To sir Ra(l)ph Shelton

    CXX Epitaph on S.P.

    CXXI To Benjamin Rudyerd

    CXXII To the Same

    CXXIII To the Same

    CXXIV Epitaph on Elizabeth, L.H.

    CXXV To Sir William Uvedale

    CXXVI To His Lady, then Mrs Cary

    CXXVII To Esmé, Lord Aubigny

    CXXVIII To William Roe

    CXXIX To Mime

    CXXX To Alphonso Ferrabosco, on his Book

    CXXXI To the Same

    CXXXII To Mr Joshua Sylvester

    CXXXIII On the Famous Voyage

    The Voyage Itself


    I Why I write Not of Love

    II To Penshurst

    III To Sir Robert Wroth

    IV To the World

    V Song: To Celia

    VI To the Same

    VII Song: That Women Are But Men's Shadows

    VIII To Sickness

    IX Song: To Celia

    X ('And must I sing? What subject shall I choose?')

    XI Epode

    XII Epistle to Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland

    XIII Epistle to Katherine, Lady Aubigny

    XIV Ode to Sir William Sidney, on his Birthday

    XV To Heaven


    Richard Dutton
    ... read more
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