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1, therefore, will begin:-Soul of the age,
The applause, delight, the wonder of our stage,
My Shakespeare rise ! I will not lodge thee by
Chaucer or Spenser; or bid Beaumont lie
A little further, to make thee a room * ;
Thou art a monument without a tomb;
And art alive still, while thy book doth live,
And we have wits to read and praise to give.
That I not mix thee so, my brain excuses;
I mean, with great but disproportion'd muses:
For, if I thought my judgement were of years,
I should commit thee surely with thy peers;
And tell how far thou didst our Lyly outshine,
Or sporting Kyd, or Marlowe's mighty line.
And though thou hadst -small Latin, and less Greek,
From thence to honour thee, I would not seek
For names; but call forth thund'ring Æschylus,
Euripides, and Sophocles, to us,
Pacuvius, Accius, him of Cordova dead,
To life again, to hear thy buskin tread
And shake a Stage; or, when thy socks were ono
Leave thee alone; for the comparison
Of all that insolent Greece, or haughty Rome,
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come.
Triumph, my Britain! thou hast one to show,
To whom all Scenes of Europe homage owe.
He was not of an Age, but for all Time;
And all the Muses still were in their prime,
When like Apollo he came forth to warm
Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm.
Nature herself was proud of his designs,
And joy'd to wear the dressing of his tines;
Which were so richly spun, and woven 60 fit,
As, since, she will vouchsafe no other wit:
The merry Greek, tart Aristophanes,
Neat Terence, witty Plautus, now not please ;

This is an allusion to the following lines in a commendatory poem on Shakespeare hy William Basse :

Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To varned Chaucer; and rare Beaumont lie
A lire nearer Spenser; to make room
Por Shakespeare, in your three-fold four-fold toms.

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But antiquated and deserted lie,
As they were not of Nature's family.
Yet must I not give Nature all; thy art,
My gentle Shakespeare, must enjoy a part :-
For though the Poet's matèer Nature be,
His Art doth give the fashion : and that he,
Who casts to write a living line, must sweat,
(Such as thine are) and strike the second heat
Upon the Muses' anvil; turn the same,
(And himself with it) that he thinks to frame;
Or, for the laurel, he may gain a scorn,

For a good Poet's made, as well as born :
And such wert thou. Look, how the father's face
Lives in his issue; even so the race
Of Shakespeare's mind and manners brightly shines
In his well-torned and true-filed lines;
In each of which he seems to shake a lance
As brandish'd at the eyes of ignorance.
Sweet Swan of Avon, what a sight it were,
To see thee in our waters yet appear;
And make those flights upon the banks of Thames,
That so did take Eliza, and our James!

But stay ; I see thee in the hemisphere
Advanc'd, and made a constellation there :
Shine forth, thou Star of Poets*; and with rage,
Or influence, chide, or cheer, the drooping stage;
Which, since thy flight from hence, hách mourn'd like

And despairs day, but for thy Volume's light !


In short, in the praise which Jonson bestows on Shakespeare we see rather the full and un. restrained homage of unfeigned affection than the niggardly payment of latent envy and con

* A Comet in 1618, very conspicuous, perhaps contributed to suggest this imagery.

cealed detraction. The commendation is not destroyed by any qualifying clause nor any ar. tifice of invidious extenuation. Many years after Shakespeare's death Ben with warmth exclaimed, I loved the man and do honour his memory on this side idolatry as much as åny. 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; sufflaminandus erat, as Augustus said of Harterius. We have distinct and incontrovertible proof that Ben Jonson did profess to esteem the worth and to venerate the genius of Shakespeare, and not a particle of proof has been adduced to shew that he professed what he did not feel; and that like some of his commentators, he secretly calumniated whom he affected to praise.”--Crit. Rev. July 1808.


{ Slight Alteration.
+ Addition,
1 Greater Alteration,
+ Change of Grammar.

Aphoristic Basis extracted, and the Aphorism

conveyed in new Expression.
Accommodation of the Words to a different

Aphorism applied in the Original to a particular

occasion; but detacht as an Expression of a

General Truth.
1 Only Dramatically true.

Where Figures, 2, 3, &c. follow at the Head

of successive Aphorisms, they indicate that
the same Character is to be understood until
another be introduced.


N. B. Where any of these Marks have Notes with corresponding Marks, they are in that case used as mere References.

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