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And lies so far from wit, 'tis impudence.
Believe it, Guilty, if you lose your shame,
I'll lose my modesty and tell your name.

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For all night-sins with others' wives unknown, Colt now doth daily penance in his own.

XL.

ON MARGARET RATCLIFFE.23
M arble weep! for thou dost cover,
A dead beauty underneath thee,
Rich as nature could bequeath thee;
Grant then, no rude hand remove her.
All the gazers in the skies,
Read not in fair heaven's story
E xpresser truth, or truer glory,
Than they might in her bright eyes.

R are as wonder was her wit,
A nd, like nectar, ever flowing;
Till time, strong by her bestowing,
Conquered hath both life and it;
Life, whose grief was out of fashion
In these times. Few so have rued
Fate in a brother. 24 To conclude,
For wit, feature, and true passion,
E arth, thou hast not such another.

28 This lady appears to have been the sister of Sir John Ratcliffe. - See Epigram xciii. p. 49. — B.

24 The deaths of four brothers are mentioned in the epi. gram referred to in the previous note.- B.

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Gipsy, new bawd, is turned physician,
And gets more gold than all the college can ;
Such her quaint practice is, so it allures,
For what she gave, a whore a bawd, she cures.

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Who says that Giles and Joan at discord be?
Th' observing neighbors no such mood can see.
Indeed, poor Giles repents he married ever;
But that his Joan doth too. And Giles would

never, By his free will be in Joan's company; No more would Joan he should. Giles riseth

early, And having got him out of doors is glad; The like is Joan: but turning home is sad; And so is Joan. Ofttimes when Giles doth find Harsh sights at home, Giles wisheth he were

blind;
All this doth Joan: or that his long-yearned life
Were quite outspun; the like wish hath his wife.
The children that he keeps, Giles swears are

none
Of his begetting; and so swears his Joan.
In all affection she concurreth still.
If now, with man and wife, to will and nill
The selfsame things a note of concord be,
I know no couple better can agree!

XLIII. TO ROBERT, EARL OF SALISBURY.25 What need hast thou of me, or of my muse,

Whose actions so themselves do celebrate ? Which, should thy country's love to speak refuse,

Her foes enough would fame thee in their hate. 'Tofore, great men were glad of poets; now,

I, not the worst, am covetous of thee;
Yet dare not to my thought least hope allow

Of adding to thy fame; thine may to me, When in my book men read but Cecil's name,

And what I write thereof find far, and free From servile flattery, (common poets' shame)

As thou stand'st clear of the necessity.

XLIV.

ON CHUFFE, CANKS THE USURER'S KINSMAN. Chuffe, lately rich in name, in chattels, goods,

And rich in issue to inherit all,

Ere blacks were bought for his own funeral, Saw all his race approach the blacker floods: He meant they thither should make swift

repair, When he made him executor, might be heir.

ON MY FIRST son. 26 Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy: My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy;

XLV.

25 The younger son of Lord Burleigh.

26 The following remarkable circumstance relating to the death of Jonson's son is related by Drummond: “When the king came in England at that time the pest was in London, Jonson, being in the country at Sir Robert Cotton's house with old Camden, saw in a vision his eldest son, then a child and at London, appear unto him with the mark of a bloody cross on his forehead, as if it had been cut with a sword, at which amazed he prayed unto God, and in the morning he came to Mr. Camden's chamber to tell him ; who persuadel him it was but an apprehension of his fantasy, at which he should not be dejected; in the mean time comes there letters from his wife of the death of that boy in the plague. He appeared to him, he said, of a manly shape, and of that growth that he thinks he shall be at the resurrection.”

Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day,
Oh! could I lose all father, now! for why
Will man lament the state he should envý ?
To have so soon 'scaped world's, and flesh's rage,
And, if no other misery, yet age ?
Rest in soft peace and, asked, say here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry;
For whose sake, henceforth, all his vows be

such,
As what he loves may never like too much.

XLVI.

TO SIR LUCKLESS WOO-ALL.

Is this the Sir who, some waste wife to win,
A knighthood bought, to go a-wooing in ?
'Tis Luckless, he that took up one on band
To pay at's day of marriage. By my hand
The knight-wright's cheated then! he'll never

pay : Yes, now he wears his knighthood every day.

XLVII.

TO THE SAME. Sir Luckless, troth, for luck's sake pass by one; He that wooes every widow will get none

XLVIII.

ON MUNGRIL ESQUIRE. His bought arms Mung' not liked; for his first

day Of bearing them in field, he threw 'em away : And hath no honor lost, our duellists say. 27

XLIX. TO PLAYWRIGHT.28 Playwright me reads, and still my verses damns, He says I want the tongue of Epigrams; I have no salt: no bawdry he doth mean; For witty, in his language, is obscene. Playwright, I loathe to have thy manners known In my chaste book; profess them in thine own.

29

L.

TO SIR COD.30 Leave, Cod, tobacco-like, burned gums to take, Or fumy clysters, thy moist lungs to bake: Arsenic would thee fit for society make.

27 The arms were usually portrayed upon the shield; so that on his entering into battle he flung away his shield, that he might not be encumbered in his flight. This marks him for his cowardice. -- W. Jonson might have thrown his epigram after Mungril's arms with no more loss of credit than the other of honor. — G.

28 Probably Dekker. — B.

29 Gifford, on the strength of this phrase, commends Pope's emendation of the passage in Hamlet, II. ii., “I remember one said there were no ( sallets ] salts in the lines to make the matter savory."

80 See Epigram xix. p. 13.

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