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THE

WORKS

OF

BEN JONSON,

IN NINE VOLUMES.

WITH NOTES CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY,

AND A BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIR,

By W. GIFFORD, Esq.

The Muses' fairest light in no dark time;
The wonder of a learned age; the line
Which none can pass; the most proportion'd wit,
To nature, the best judge of what was fit;
The deepest, plainest, highest, clearest pen;
The voice most echo'd by consenting men ;
THE SOUL WHICH ANSWER'D BEST TO ALL WELL SAID
BY OTHERS, AND WHICH MOST REQUITAL MADE.

CLEVELAND.

VOLUME THE FIRST.

CONTAINING
MEMOIRS OF JONSON, &c.
EVERY MAN IN HIS HUMOUR.

LONDON:

PRINTED FOR G. AND W. NICOL; F. C. AND J. RIVINGTON; CADELL

AND DAVIES; LONGMAN AND CO.; LACKINGTON AND Co.;
R. H. EVANS; J. MURRAY; J. MAWMAN; J. CUTHELL; J. BLACK;
BALDWIN AND CO.; RODWELL AND MARTIN; AND R. SAUNDERS;

By W. Bulmer and Co. Cleveland-row, St. James's.

1816.

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ΤΟ

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

GEORGE CANNING,

PRESIDENT OF THE BOARD OF CONTROL FOR

INDIA, &c. &c.

THIS EDITION

OF THE

WORKS OF BEN JONSON,

IN TESTIMONY

OF THE SINCEREST ADMIRATION OF HIS

TRANSCENDENT TALENTS,

OF THE

HIGHEST RESPECT FOR HIS PUBLIC PRINCIPLES

AND PRIVATE VIRTUES,

AND IN

GRATEFUL ACKNOWLEDGMENT
OF THE FRIENDSHIP WITH WHICH, FOR A LONG
SERIES OF YEARS, HE HAS HONOURED THE
EDITOR, IS, WITH PRIDE AND PLEASURE

MOST AFFECTIONATELY

INSCRIBED.

July 3d, 1816.

MEMOIRS

OF

BEN JONSON.

To write the Life of Jonson as it has been usually written, would be neither a very long nor a very difficult task; since I should have only to transcribe from former biographers the vague accounts which each, in succession, has taken from his predecessor; and to season the whole with the captious and splenetic insinuations of the critics, and commentators on our dramatic poetry. A due respect for the public seemed to require something more. It was fully time to examine into the authenticity of the charges incessantly urged against this eminent man; and this has been, at least, attempted. The result has not accorded with the general persuasion concerning him. The reader, therefore, who has the courage to follow me through these pages, must be prepared to see many of his prejudices over

VOL. 1.

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