Nicholas Downey

C. H. Herford, Percy Simpson, and Evelyn Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Vol. 11: Commentary; Jonson's Literary Record; Supplementary Notes; Index

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On Sicily and Naples, or, The Fatall Union by Samuel Harding, 1640,*2v, A, 11. 15–48.

  • 1Ben is deceas'd, and yet I dare avow,
  • 2    (Without that booke) Ben's redivivus now,
  • 3I could beleeve a Metempsycosis,
  • 4And that thy soule were not thirie owne, but his,
  • 5Or else the Genius which did wait upon
  • 6His worthy quill serves thee, now he is gone;
  • 7But I observe this difference, thy braine
  • 8Vents fancies with a pleasure, his with paine;
  • 9His were mature indeed; they went full time
  • 10Before they were deliver'd into rime;
  • 11Thine were conceiv'd, brought forth at once, yet may
  • 12As they are faire, be as long-liv'd as they;
  • 13Who reads thy play-worke (Friend) needs not compell,
  • 14Or force thy lines to make them parallel
  • 15With his, unlesse 'cause thou contract'st in one
  • 16Small part, what he in a whole day has done.
  • 17  His humorists in thy Alphonso ly:
  • 18Sejanus, Catiline's damn'd treachery
  • 19Lives in Vrsini's treasons, there is not
  • 20Ben's Fox can scape the policy o'th plot.
  • 21  'Tis true, thine never walk't upon the stage,
  • 22In fine, gay clothes (the praysers of this age,)
  • 23Nor in a full throng'd theater did'st begge
  • 24Confus'd applause, with a cring'd Courtiers legge;
  • 25Such flatteries would abuse thy poëm, thou
  • 26Had'st nere an entrance, though an exit now;
  • 27Thine is expos'd unto the world's large eye,
  • 28In it's unchang'd and native infancie,
  • 29Before some Players braine new drencht in sacke
  • 30Do's clap each terme new fancies on it's backe;
  • 31Or in'ts front t'beares this apology
  • 32For th' Stationer, it tooke his Majestie,
  • 33After a third presentment, thou hast none
  • 34Of these poore succours, thine is meere thy owne;
  • pg 49835And that so singular as thou may'st dare
  • 36The quickest wit, severest censurer
  • 37To view't, review it, and at length receive
  • 38From thy intended enemy a wreathe,

Nich. Downey, A.B. é.C. Ex.

Harding, like Downey, was of Exeter College, Oxford.

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