Ben Jonson Quotes
''They say princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom.''Ben Jonson (c. 1572-1637), British dramatist, poet. Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter, para. 95, "Illiteratus Princeps," (1641), ed. Felix E. Schelling (1892). The aphorism is attributed to the Greek philosopher Carneades by Montaigne (in Essays, bk. 3, ch. 7 "Of the Incommodity of Greatness," 1588): "Princes' children learnt nothing aright but to manage and ride horses; forsomuch as in all other exercises every man yieldeth and giveth them the victory; but a horse, who is neither a flatterer nor a courtier, will as soon throw the child of a king as the son of a base porter."
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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.
His Excuse For Loving
Let it not your wonder move,
Less your laughter, that I love.
Though I now write fifty years,
I have had, and have, my peers.
Poets, though divine, are men;
Some have loved as old again.
And it is not always face,
Clothes, or fortune gives the grace,
Or the feature, or the youth;