Ben Jonson (1573?-1637) attended Westminster School under Camden, and probably did not proceed to either University. From Camden however he took his scholarly bent and was later reputed one of the best classicists of his age. In a different sense of the word, he is a severe classicist, and Spenser does not escape his censure. I have included in this section remarks made by Jonson and reported by Drummond. See also No. 148.
(a) From The Golden Age Restored, in Workes (1616), p. 1012; repr. Works, ed. Herford and Simpson (Oxford, 1925-1952), VII. 425:
You farre-fam'd spirits of this happie Ile,
That, for your sacred songs haue gain'd the stile
Of PHOEBVS sons: whose notes they aire aspire
Of th'old AEgyptian, or the Thracian lyre,
That Chaucer, Gower, Lidgate, Spencer hight
Put on your better flames, and larger light
To waite vpon the age that shall your names new nourish
Since vertue prest shall grow, and buried arts shall flourish.
(b) From Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden (written 1619) National Library of Scotland Adv. MS. 33.3.19 fol. 25v; repr. in edition of G.B. Harrison (1923) p. 4:
Spenser's stanzaes pleased him not nor his matter the meaning of which Allegorie he had delivered in papers to Sir Walter Raughlie.
Ibid., fol. 26v; repr. Harrison, p. 7:
He Jonson hath be heart some verses of Spensers Calender, about wyne, between Soline & percye.
Ibid., fols. 26v-7; repr. Harrison, pp. 8-9: