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One of the minor poets of the Elizabethan age. Raleigh's title to literary fame depends upon his History of the World, composed during his long imprisonment in the Tower.
If all the world and love were young,
Time drives the flocks from field to fold,
The flowers do fade, and wanton fields
Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy beds of roses,
Thy belt of straw and ivy buds,
But could youth last, and love still breed,
The Nymph's Reply to the Passionate Shepherd.
End of the Sixteenth Century.
AUTHOR of several volumes of miscellaneous poetry published between the years 1594 and 1598. Little or nothing is known of his life. The Address to the Nightingale was long attributed to Shakespeare.
THE TRUE AND THE FALSE FRIENDSHIP.
As it fell upon a day,
King Pandion he is dead ;
Pity but he were a king.'
Address to the Nightingale.
PRINCIPAL WORKS: Every Man in His Humour, 1596 ; brought out at the famous Globe Theatre, where Shakespeare played one of the parts.-Every Man out of His Humour, 1599, inferior to its predecessor.–Cynthia's Revels.-- The Poetaster.-S«janus, 1603, a Roman tragedy.—Eastward Hoe appeared soon after the succession of James VI. to the English crown. In this comedy were introduced some depreciatory reflections on the Scotch nation, which, provoking the patriotic susceptibilities of the new king, occasioned the author's imprisonment and almost the loss of his ears.- - Volpone or the Fox, Epicene or the Silent Woman, and The Alchemist, some of his best comedies, next followed. — Catiline, 1611, a Roman tragedy.— The New Inn (comedy), 1630.—The Sad Shepherd, the most fanciful and Shakespearian of his dramas, is one of his best productions. Altogether his dramatic works are about fifty in number. His comedies show considerable wit and vigour: though the vis comica is not sufficiently restrained within the bounds of nature and probability. His tragedies, correct as copies of the antique models, are too frequently disfigured by pedantry. It is as a comic writer that Jonson has earned his place in English literature. Dryden gives him high praise. “If,' says he, ‘we look upon him while he was himself (for his last plays were but his dotages) I think him the most learned and judicious writer which any theatre ever had. He was a most severe judge of himself as well as of others. One cannot say that he wanted wit, but rather that he was frugal of it. In his works you find little to retrench or alter. Wit, and language, and humour also in some measure, we had before him ; but something of art was wanting in the drama till he came. He managed his strength to more advantage than any who preceded him. You seldom find him making love in any of his scenes, or endeavouring to move the passions; his genius was too sullen and saturnine to do it gracefully, especially when he knew he came after those who had performed both to such a height. Humour was his proper sphere ; and in that he delighted most to represent mechanic people. deeply conversant with the ancients, both Greek and Latin, and he borrowed boldly from them; there is scarce a poet or historian among the Roman authors nt those times whom he has not translated in