Ben Jonson

(11 June 1572 – 6 August 1637 / London / England)

Ben Jonson Quotes

  • ''Blueness doth express trueness.''
    Ben Jonson (1573-1637), British dramatist, poet. Amorphus, in Cynthia's Revels, act 5, sc. 2.
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  • ''I do honour the very flea of his dog.''
    Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. repr. In The Complete Plays, vol. 1, ed. G.A. Wilkes (1981). Cob, in Every Man in His Humour, act 4, sc. 4, l. 19 (performed 1598, published 1616).
  • ''Donne, for not keeping of accent, deserved hanging ... Shakespeare wanted art ... Sharpham, Day, Dekker, were all rogues.''
    Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. repr. In Ben Jonson's Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden, ed. R.F. Patterson (1923). Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden (written 1619, published 1711).
  • ''For I loved the man and do honour his memory, on this side of idolatry, as much as any.''
    Ben Jonson (1573-1637), British dramatist, poet. "De Shakespeare Nostrati," Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter (1641).
  • '''Tis the common disease of all your musicians that they know no mean, to be entreated, either to begin or end.''
    Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. repr. In The Complete Plays, vol. 2, ed. G.A. Wilkes (1981). Julia, in The Poetaster, act 2, sc. 2, l. 179-80 (performed 1601, published 1616).
  • ''We are persons of quality, I assure you, and women of fashion, and come to see and to be seen.''
    Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. repr. In The Complete Plays, vol. 2, ed. G.A. Wilkes (1981). Mirth, in The Staple of News, "Induction," l. 8-10 (1626). See Ovid on fashion.
  • ''He threatens many that hath injured one.''
    Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. repr. In The Complete Plays, vol. 2, ed. G.A. Wilkes (1981). Silius, in Fall of Sejanus, act 2, l. 476 (performed 1603, published 1616).
  • ''Language most shews a man: Speak, that I may see thee.''
    Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter, para. 121, "Explorata: Oratio Imago Animi," (1641), ed. Felix E. Schelling (1892).
  • ''The players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing, whatsoever he penned, he never blotted out [a] line. My answer hath been, "Would he had blotted a thousand."''
    Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter, "De Shakespeare Nostrati," (1641), ed. Felix E. Schelling (1892). Nonetheless, Jonson wrote, "I loved the man and do honour his memory, on this side idolatry, as much as any."
  • ''Talking is the disease of age.''
    Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter, para. 46, "Lingua Sapientis," (1641), ed. Felix E. Schelling (1892).

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Best Poem of Ben Jonson

On My First Son

Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy;
My sin was too much hope of thee, lov'd boy.
Seven years thou'wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I lose all father now! For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have so soon 'scap'd world's and flesh's rage,
And, if no other misery, yet age?
Rest in soft peace, and, ask'd, 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.

Read the full of On My First Son

To Celia

Drinke to me, onely, with thine eyes,
And I will pledge with mine;
Or leave a kisse but in the cup,
And Ile not looke for wine.
The thirst, that from the soule doth rise,
Doth aske a drinke divine:
But might I of Jove's Nectar sup,
I would not change for thine.
I sent thee, late, a rosie wreath,

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