Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson

Excerpt

We know more of Jonson than of any of the greater writers of his age. There are no mysteries, or at least great mysteries, in his literary career, and the biographer is not driven, with the Shakespearians, to conjectural reconstruction from the shards of record and anecdote. Even his personality stands forth fresh and convincing beside the blurred portrait of Marlowe, or Shakespeare, or Fletcher. For this fuller knowledge we are indebted to Jonson himself. Hard fighters have few secrets, and he of all men was least willing to shirk open encounter. He has received poor thanks for thus revealing himself; and posterity, always willing to forgive the sins of youth and sack, has turned rather coldly from his virtues of honesty and self-reliance to his faults of harshness, pugnacity, and egotism; as, too, in its estimate of his art, it has chosen to forget altogether the poet of the Witches' Dimble in the academic and antiquary of Humours.

Ben claimed that he came of Annandale stock, presum.

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