C. H. Herford, Percy Simpson, and Evelyn Simpson (eds), Ben Jonson, Vol. 11: Commentary; Jonson's Literary Record; Supplementary Notes; Index
LI. ALEXANDER BROME'S TRANSLATION OF THE LEGES CONVIVALESBen Johnson's sociable rules for the Apollo.
- 1LEt none but Guests or Clubbers hither come;
- 2 Let Dunces, Fools, sad, sordid men keep home;
- 3Let learned, civil, merry men b'invited,
- 4And modest too; nor the choice Ladies sleighted:
- 5Let nothing in the treat offend the Guests,
- 6More for delight then cost prepare the feasts:
- 7The Cook and Purvey'r must our palats know;
- 8And none contend who shall sit high or low:
- 9Our waiters must quick-sighted be and dumb,
- 10And let the drawers quickly hear and come:
- 11Let not our wine be mixt, but brisk and neat,
- 12Or else the d〈r〉inkers may the Vintners beat.
- 13And let our only emulation be,
- 14Not drinking much, but talking wittily:
- 15Let it be voted lawful to stir up
- 16Each other with a moderate chirping cup;
- 17Let none of us be mute, or talk too much,
- 18On serious things or sacred let's not touch
- 19With sated heads and bellies: Neither may
- 20Fidlers unask'd obtrude themselves to play:
- 21With laughing, leaping, dancing, jests and songs,
- 22And what ere else to grateful mirth belongs;
- 23Let's celebrate our feasts; And let us see
- 24That all our jests without reflection be:
- 25Insipid Poems let no man rehearse,
- 26Nor any be compell'd to write a verse:
- 27All noise of vain disputes must be forborn,
- 28And let no lover in a corner mourn:
- 29To fight and brawl (like Hectors) let none dare,
- 30Glasses or windows break, or hangings tare.
- pg 36131Who ere shall publish what's here done or said,
- 32From our Society must be banished:
- 33Let none by drinking do or suffer harm,
- 34And while we stay, let us be alwaies warm.
From Songs and other Poems, 2nd edition, 1664, pp. 325–6, a more correct text than in the first edition of that year. The Latin of the Leges Convivales is printed opposite the translation. See vol. viii, p. 653.