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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Ben Jonson 1572-1637 John Bartlett

    It was a mighty while ago.
          Every Man in his Humour. Act i. Sc. 3.
    Hang sorrow! care ’ll kill a cat. 1
          Every Man in his Humour. Act i. Sc. 3.
    As he brews, so shall he drink.
          Every Man in his Humour. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    Get money; still get money, boy,
No matter by what means. 2
          Every Man in his Humour. Act ii. Sc. 3.
    Have paid scot and lot there any time this eighteen years.
          Every Man in his Humour. Act iii. Sc. 3.
    It must be done like lightning.
          Every Man in his Humour. Act iv. Sc. v.
    There shall be no love lost. 3
          Every Man out of his Humour. Act ii. Sc. 1.
    Still to be neat, still to be drest,
As you were going to a feast. 4
          Epicæne; Or, the Silent Woman. Act i. Sc. 1.
    Give me a look, give me a face,
That makes simplicity a grace;
Robes loosely flowing, hair as free,—
Such sweet neglect more taketh me
Than all the adulteries of art:
They strike mine eyes, but not my heart.
          Epicæne; Or, the Silent Woman. Act i. Sc. 1.
    That old bald cheater, Time.
          The Poetaster. Act i. Sc. 1.
    The world knows only two,—that ’s Rome and I.
          Sejanus. Act v. Sc. 1.
    Preserving the sweetness of proportion and expressing itself beyond expression.
          The Masque of Hymen.
    Courses even with the sun
Doth her mighty brother run.
          The Gipsies Metamorphosed.
    Underneath this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die;
Which in life did harbour give
To more virtue than doth live.
          Epitaph on Elizabeth, L. H.
    Whilst that for which all virtue now is sold,
And almost every vice,—almighty gold. 5
          Epistle to Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland.
    Drink to me only with thine eyes,
  And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
  And I ’ll not look for wine. 6
          The Forest. To Celia.
    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. 7
          To the Memory of Shakespeare.
    Marlowe’s mighty line.
          To the Memory of Shakespeare.
    Small Latin, and less Greek.
          To the Memory of Shakespeare.
    He was not of an age, but for all time.
          To the Memory of Shakespeare.
    For a good poet ’s made as well as born.
          To the Memory of Shakespeare.
    Sweet swan of Avon!
          To the Memory of Shakespeare.
    Underneath this sable hearse
Lies the subject of all verse,—
Sidney’s sister, Pembroke’s mother.
Death, ere thou hast slain another,
Learn’d and fair and good as she,
Time shall throw a dart at thee.
          Epitaph on the Countess of Pembroke. 8
    Let those that merely talk and never think,
That live in the wild anarchy of drink. 9
          Underwoods. An Epistle, answering to One that asked to be sealed of the Tribe of Ben.
    Still may syllabes jar with time,
Still may reason war with rhyme,
Resting never!
          Underwoods. Fit of Rhyme against Rhyme.
    In small proportions we just beauties see,
And in short measures life may perfect be.
          Underwoods. To the immortal Memory of Sir Lucius Cary and Sir Henry Morison. III.
    What gentle ghost, besprent with April dew,
Hails me so solemnly to yonder yew? 10
          Elegy on the Lady Jane Pawlet.
Note 1.
Hang sorrow! care will kill a cat.—George Wither: Poem on Christmas. [back]
Note 2.
Get place and wealth,—if possible, with grace;
If not, by any means get wealth and place.
Alexander Pope: Horace, book i. epistle i. line 103. [back]
Note 3.
There is no love lost between us.—Cervantes: Don Quixote, part ii. chap. xxxiii. [back]
Note 4.
A translation from Bonnefonius. [back]
Note 5.
The flattering, mighty, nay, almighty gold.—John Wolcot: To Kien Long, Ode iv.

Almighty dollar.—Washington Irving: The Creole Village. [back]
Note 6.
(Drink to me with your eyes alone…. And if you will, take the cup to your lips and fill it with kisses, and give it so to me).
Philostratus: Letter xxiv. [back]
Note 7.
Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh
To learned Chaucer, and rare Beaumont lie
A little nearer Spenser, to make room
For Shakespeare in your threefold, fourfold tomb.
Basse: On Shakespeare. [back]
Note 8.
This epitaph is generally ascribed to Ben Jonson. It appears in the editions of his Works; but in a manuscript collection of Browne’s poems preserved amongst the Lansdowne MS. No. 777, in the British Museum, it is ascribed to Browne, and awarded to him by Sir Egerton Brydges in his edition of Browne’s poems. [back]
Note 9.
They never taste who always drink;
They always talk who never think.
Matthew Prior: Upon a passage in the Scaligerana. [back]
Note 10.
What beckoning ghost along the moonlight shade
Invites my steps, and points to yonder glade?
Alexander Pope: To the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady. [back]