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- Sejanus: His Fall - 5/53 -


than ever present, the satire degenerates into personal lampoon, especially of his sometime friend, Inigo Jones, who appears unworthily to have used his influence at court against the broken-down old poet. And now disease claimed Jonson, and he was bedridden for months. He had succeeded Middleton in 1628 as Chronologer to the City of London, but lost the post for not fulfilling its duties. King Charles befriended him, and even commissioned him to write still for the entertainment of the court; and he was not without the sustaining hand of noble patrons and devoted friends among the younger poets who were proud to be "sealed of the tribe of Ben."

Jonson died, August 6, 1637, and a second folio of his works, which he had been some time gathering, was printed in 1640, bearing in its various parts dates ranging from 1630 to 1642. It included all the plays mentioned in the foregoing paragraphs, excepting "The Case is Altered;" the masques, some fifteen, that date between 1617 and 1630; another collection of lyrics and occasional poetry called "Underwoods, including some further entertainments; a translation of "Horace's Art of Poetry" (also published in a vicesimo quarto in 1640), and certain fragments and ingatherings which the poet would hardly have included himself. These last comprise the fragment (less than seventy lines) of a tragedy called "Mortimer his Fall," and three acts of a pastoral drama of much beauty and poetic spirit, "The Sad Shepherd." There is also the exceedingly interesting 'English Grammar' "made by Ben Jonson for the benefit of all strangers out of his observation of the English language now spoken and in use," in Latin and English; and 'Timber, or discoveries' "made upon men and matter as they have flowed out of his daily reading, or had their reflux to his peculiar notion of the times." The 'Discoveries', as it is usually called, is a commonplace book such as many literary men have kept, in which their reading was chronicled, passages that took their fancy translated or transcribed, and their passing opinions noted. Many passage of Jonson's 'Discoveries' are literal translations from the authors he chanced to be reading, with the reference, noted or not, as the accident of the moment prescribed. At times he follows the line of Macchiavelli's argument as to the nature and conduct of princes; at others he clarifies his own conception of poetry and poets by recourse to Aristotle. He finds a choice paragraph on eloquence in Seneca the elder and applies it to his own recollection of Bacon's power as an orator; and another on facile and ready genius, and translates it, adapting it to his recollection of his fellow-playwright, Shakespeare. To call such passages--which Jonson never intended for publication--plagiarism, is to obscure the significance of words. To disparage his memory by citing them is a preposterous use of scholarship. Jonson's prose, both in his dramas, in the descriptive comments of his masques, and in the 'Discoveries', is characterised by clarity and vigorous directness, nor is it wanting in a fine sense of form or in the subtler graces of diction.

When Jonson died there was a project for a handsome monument to his memory. But the Civil War was at hand, and the project failed. A memorial, not insufficient, was carved on the stone covering his grave in one of the aisles of Westminster Abbey:

"O rare Ben Jonson."

FELIX E. SCHELLING.

THE COLLEGE, PHILADELPHIA, U.S.A.

The following is a complete list of his published works:--

DRAMAS. -- Every Man in his Humour, 4to, 1601; The Case is Altered, 4to, 1609; Every Man out of his Humour, 4to, 1600; Cynthia's Revels, 4to, 1601; Poetaster, 4to, 1602; Sejanus, 4to, 1605; Eastward Ho (with Chapman and Marston), 4to, 1605; Volpone, 4to, 1607; Epicoene, or the Silent Woman, 4to, 1609 (?), fol., 1616; The Alchemist, 4to, 1612; Catiline, his Conspiracy, 4to, 1611; Bartholomew Fayre, 4to, 1614 (?), fol., 1631; The Divell is an Asse, fol., 1631; The Staple of Newes, fol., 1631; The New Sun, 8vo, 1631, fol., 1692; The Magnetic Lady, or Humours Reconcild, fol., 1640; A Tale of a Tub, fol., 1640; The Sad Shepherd, or a Tale of Robin Hood, fol., 1641; Mortimer his Fall (fragment), fol., 1640.

To Jonson have also been attributed additions to Kyd's Jeronymo, and collaboration in The Widow with Fletcher and Middleton, and in the Bloody Brother with Fletcher.

POEMS. -- Epigrams, The Forrest, Underwoods, published in fols., 1616, 1640; Selections: Execration against Vulcan, and Epigrams, 1640; G. Hor. Flaccus his art of Poetry, Englished by Ben Jonson, 1640; Leges Convivialis, fol., 1692. Other minor poems first appeared in Gifford's edition of Works.

PROSE. -- Timber, or Discoveries made upon Men and Matter, fol., 1641; The English Grammar, made by Ben Jonson for the benefit of Strangers, fol., 1640.

Masques and Entertainments were published in the early folios.

WORKS. -- Fol., 1616, vol. 2, 1640 (1631-41); fol., 1692, 1716-19, 1729; edited by P. Whalley, 7 vols., 1756; by Gifford (with Memoir), 9 vols., 1816, 1846; re-edited by F. Cunningham, 3 vols., 1871; in 9 vols., 1875; by Barry Cornwall (with Memoir), 1838; by B. Nicholson (Mermaid Series), with Introduction by C. H. Herford, 1893, etc.; Nine Plays, 1904; ed. H. C. Hart (Standard Library), 1906, etc; Plays and Poems, with Introduction by H. Morley (Universal Library), 1885; Plays (7) and Poems (Newnes), 1905; Poems, with Memoir by H. Bennett (Carlton Classics), 1907; Masques and Entertainments, ed. by H. Morley, 1890. SELECTIONS. -- J. A. Symonds, with Biographical and Critical Essay, (Canterbury Poets), 1886; Grosart, Brave Translunary Things, 1895; Arber, Jonson Anthology, 1901; Underwoods, Cambridge University Press, 1905; Lyrics (Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher), the Chap Books, No. 4, 1906; Songs (from Plays, Masques, etc.), with earliest known setting, Eragny Press, 1906.

LIFE. -- See Memoirs affixed to Works; J. A. Symonds (English Worthies), 1886; Notes of Ben Jonson Conversations with Drummond of Hawthornden; Shakespeare Society, 1842; ed. with Introduction and Notes by P. Sidney, 1906; Swinburne, A Study of Ben Jonson, 1889.

SEJANUS: HIS FALL TO THE NO LESS NOBLE BY VIRTUE THAN BLOOD ESME LORD AUBIGNY

My LORD,-If ever any ruin were so great as to survive, I think this be one I send you, The Fall of Sejanus. It is a poem, that, if I well remember, in your lordship's sight, suffered no less violence from our people here, than the subject of it did from the rage of the people of Rome; but with a different fate, as, I hope, merit: for this hath outlived their malice, and begot itself a greater favour than he lost, the love of good men. Amongst whom, if I make your lordship the first it thanks, it is not without a just, confession of the bond your benefits have, and ever shall hold upon me,

Your lordship's most faithful honourer. BEN JONSON.

TO THE READERS

THE following and voluntary labours of my friends, prefixed to my book, have relieved me in much whereat, without them, I should necessarily have touched. Now I will only use three or four short and needful notes, and so rest.

First, if it be objected, that what I publish is no true poem, in the strict laws of time, I confess it: as also in the want of a proper chorus; whose habit and moods are such and so difficult, as not any, whom I have seen, since the ancients, no, not they who have most presently affected laws, have yet come in the way of. Nor is it needful, or almost possible in these our times, and to such auditors as commonly things are presented, to observe the old state and splendour of dramatic poems, with preservation of any popular delight. But of this I shall take more seasonable cause to speak, in my observations upon Horace his Art of Poetry, which, with the text translated, I intend shortly to publish. In the mean time, if in truth of argument, dignity of persons, gravity and height of elocution, fulness and frequency of sentence, I have discharged the other offices of a tragic writer, let not the absence of these forms be imputed to me, wherein I shall give you occasion hereafter, and without my boast, to think I could better prescribe, than omit the due use for want of a convenient knowledge.

The next is, lest in some nice nostril the quotations might savour affected, I do let you know, that I abhor nothing more; and I have only done it to shew my integrity in the story, and save myself in those common torturers that bring all wit to the rack; whose noses are ever like swine, spoiling and rooting up the Muses' gardens; and their whole bodies like moles, as blindly working under earth, to cast any, the least, hills upon virtue. Whereas they are in Latin, and the work in English, it was presupposed none but the learned would take the pains to confer them: the authors themselves being all in the learned tongues, save one, with whose English side


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