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-The queen her maids doth call,
And bids them to be ready all,
She would go see her summer hall,
She could no longer tarry.

Her chariot ready straight is made,
Each thing therein is fitting laid,
That she by nothing might be stay'd,
For nought must her be letting:
Four nimble gnats the horses were,
The harnesses of gossamer,
Fly Cranion, her charioteer,

Upon the coach-box getting.

Her chariot of a snail's fine shell,
Which for the colors did excel;
The fair queen Mab becoming well,
So lively was the limning:

The seat the soft wool of the bee,
The cover (gallantly to see)
The wing of a py'd butterflee,

I trow, 'twas simple trimming.

The wheels composed of crickets' bones,
And daintily made for the nonce,
For fear of rattling on the stones,

With thistle-down they shod it:

For all her maidens much did fear,
If Oberon had chanc'd to hear,

That Mab his queen should have been there,
He would not have abode it.

She mounts her chariot with a trice,
Nor would she stay for no advice,

Until her maids, that were so nice,

To wait on her were fitted,

But ran herself away alone;

Which when they heard, there was not one But hasted after to be gone,

As she had been diswitted.

Hop, and Mop, and Drap so clear,
Pip, and Trip, and Skip, that were
To Mab their sovereign dear,

Her special maids of honor;
Fib, and Tib, and Pinck, and Pin,
Tick, and Quick, and Jill, and Jin,
Tit, and Nit, and Wap, and Win,

The train that wait upon her.
Upon a grasshopper they got,
And what with amble and with trot,
For hedge nor ditch they spared not,
But after her they hie them.

A cobweb over them they throw,
To shield the wind if it should blow,
Themselves they wisely could bestow,
Lest any should espy them.

From the Nymphidia.

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BENJAMIN JONSON, or Ben Jonson, as he signed his own name, was the son of a clergyman in Westminster, and born in 1574, about a month after his father's death. He was educated at Westminster, but his mother, having taken a bricklayer for her second husband, removed him from school, where he had made extraordinary progress, to work under his step-father. Disgusted with this occupation, he escaped, enlisted in the army, and went to the Netherlands. On his return to England, he entered Cambridge; but the failure of pecuniary resources obliging him to quit the university, he applied to the theatre for employment. Though at first his station was a low one, he soon, by his own industry and talent, rose to distinction, and gained great celebrity as a dramatic writer. His works altogether consist of about fifty-four dramatic pieces,' but by far the greater part of them are masques and interludes, for which his genius seemed better fitted, being too destitute of passion and sentiment for the regular drama. "His tragedies," says a critic, "seem to bear about the same resemblance to Shakspeare's, that sculpture does to actual life." There are, however, interspersed throughout his works, many lyrical pieces that have peculiar neatness and beauty of diction, and will bear a comparison with any in our language. Of these, the following may be taken as specimens


Beauties, have ye seen this toy,
Called love! a little boy

Almost naked, wanton, blind,

Cruel now, and then as kind?

If he be amongst ye, say!

He is Venus' run-away.

He hath of marks about him plenty,

You shall know him among twenty:
All his body is a fire,

And his breath a flame entire,

That, being shot like lightning in,
Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

He doth bear a golden bow,
And a quiver, hanging low,
Full of arrows, that outbrave

Dian's shafts, where, if he have

Any head more sharp than other,

With that first he strikes his mother.

The four best comedies of Jonson are, "Every Man in his Humor," "The Silent Woman,” “Volpone or The Fox," and the "Alchemist." Two of his best tragedies are entitied, "Catiline," and "The Fall of Sejanus."

"Many were the wit-combats betwixt Shakspeare and Ben Jonson, which two I beheld like a Spanish great galleon and an English man-of-war. Master Jonson, like the former, was built far higher in learning; solid, but slow in his performances. Shakspeare, with the English man-of-war, lesser in bulk, but lighter in sailing, could turn with all tides, tack about, and take advantage of all winds, by the quickness of his wit and invention."-Fuller's Worthies.

Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
Seldom with his heart do meet

All his practice is deceit,

Every gift is but a bait:

Not a kiss but poison bears,

And most treason in his tears.

If by these ye please to know him,
Beauties, be not nice, but show him.
Though ye had a will to hide him,
Now, we hope, ye'll not abide him.
Since ye hear his falser play,
And that he's Venus' run-away.


Queen and huntress, chaste and fair,
Now the sun is laid to sleep,
Seated in thy silver chair,

State in wonted manner keep:

Hesperus entreats thy light,
Goddess, excellently bright.

Earth, let not thy envious shade
Dare itself to interpose;
Cynthia's shining orb was made

Heaven to clear, when day did close:

Bless us then with wished sight,

Goddess, excellently bright.

Lay thy bow of pearl apart,

And thy crystal shining quiver;

Give unto the flying heart

Space to breathe, how short soever:

Thou that mak'st a day of night,

Goddess, excellently bright.

The principal prose composition of Ben Jonson is a small tract entitled Discoveries, or Observations on Poetry and Eloquence." It displays his judgment and classical learning to great advantage, and the style is unusually close, precise, and pure.


For a man to write well, there are required three necessaries :to read the best authors; observe the best speakers; and much exercise of his own style. In style, to consider what ought to be written, and after what manner; he must first think, and excogitate his matter; then choose his words, and examine the weight of either. Then take care in placing and ranking both matter and words, that the composition be comely; and to do this with diligence and often. No matter how slow the style be at first, so it be labored and accurate; seek the best, and be not glad of the forward conceits, or first words that offer themselves to us, but

1 "Ben Jonson's directions for writing well should be indelibly impressed upon the mind of every student."-Drake's Essays.

judge of what we invent, and order what we approve. Repeat often what we have formerly written; which, besides that it helps the consequence, and makes the juncture better, quickens the heat of imagination, that often cools in the time of sitting down, and gives it new strength, as if it grew lustier by the going back. As we see in the contention of leaping, they jump farthest that fetch their race largest; or, as in throwing a dart or javelin, we force back our arms, to make our loose the stronger. Yet if we have a fair gale of wind, I forbid not the steering out of our sail, so the favor of the gale deceive us not. For all that we invent doth please us in the conception or birth; else we would never set it down. But the safest is to return to our judgment, and handle over again those things, the easiness of which might make them justly suspected. So did the best writers in their beginnings. They imposed upon themselves care and industry. They did nothing rashly. They obtained first to write well, and then custom made it easy and a habit. By little and little, their matter showed itself to them more plentifully; their words answered, their composition followed; and all, as in a well-ordered family, presented itself in the place. So that the sum of all is, ready writing makes not good writing; but good writing brings on ready writing.


One, though he be excellent, and the chief, is not to be imitated alone; for no imitator ever grew up to his author; likeness is always on this side truth. Yet there happened in my time one noble speaker, who was full of gravity in his speaking. His language (where he could spare or pass by a jest) was nobly censorious. No man ever spake more neatly, more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered. No member of his speech but consisted of his own graces. His hearers could not cough, or look aside from him, without loss. He commanded where he spoke; and had his judges angry and pleased at his devotion. No man had their affections more in his power. The fear of every man that heard him was, lest he should make an end.

My conceit of his person was never increased toward him by his place or honors, but I have and do reverence him for the greatness that was only proper to himself, in that he seemed to me ever, by his work, one of the greatest men, and most worthy of admiration, that had been in many ages. In his adversity I ever prayed that God would give him strength; for greatness he could not want. Neither could I condole in a word or syllable for him, as knowing no accident could do harm to virtue, but rather help to make it manifest.

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GEORGE HERBERT, a most pious and learned divine of the Church of England, is the author of the "Country Parson, his Character and Rule of Holy Life," and also of "Sacred Poems, and Private Ejaculations." We cannot give the object of the former better than in his own words:" I have resolved to set down the form and character of a true pastor, that I may have a mark to aim at, which also I will set as high as I can, since he shoots higher that threatens the moon, than he that aims at a tree. Not that I think, if a man do not all which is here expressed, he presently sins, and displeases God; but that it is a good strife to go as far as we can in pleasing Him, who hath done so much for us." The work consists of thirty-seven chapters, treating of so many different duties of the "Pastor." The last chapter is


The Country Parson-perceiving that most, when they are at leisure, make others' faults their entertainment and discourse; and that even some good men think, so they speak truth, they may disclose another's fault-finds it somewhat difficult how to proceed in this point. For if he absolutely shut up men's mouths, and forbid all disclosing of faults, many an evil may not only be, but also spread in his parish, without any remedy, (which cannot be applied without notice,) to the dishonor of God, and the infection of his flock, and the discomfort, discredit, and hinderance of the pastor. On the other side, if it be unlawful to open faults, no benefit or advantage can make it lawful; for we must not do evil that good may come of it.

Now the Parson, taking this point to task, (which is so exceeding useful, and hath taken so deep root that it seems the very life and substance of conversation,) hath proceeded thus far in the discussing of it. Faults are either notorious or private. Again, notoricus faults are either such as are made known by common fame; and of these those that know them may talk, so they do it not with sport, but commiseration:-or else, such as have passed judgment, and been corrected either by whipping, imprisoning, or the like. Of these also men may talk; and more, they may discover them to those that knew them not: because infamy is a part of the sentence against malefactors, which the law intends, as is evident by those which are branded for rogues that they may be known, or put into the stocks that they may be looked upon. But some may say, though the law allow this, the gospel doth not: which hath so much advanced charity, and ranked back biters among the generation of the wicked. But this is easily answered. As the executioner is not uncharitable that takes away the life of the condemned, except, besides his office, he adds a tincture of private malice in the joy and haste of acting his part; so neither is he

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