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ments during the most happy reign of the most illustrious and renowned Queen Elizabeth, &c.' From the preface it appears, that this work was published about the year 1600. The Second, and Third Parts of his Reports were published in the same reign. The Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Parts appeared at different times under James I.; and these are all, that were published by himself. The Twelfth Part has a printed certificate prefixed, dated February 2, 1655, and subscribed • E. Bulstrode, purporting that he conceives it to be the genuine work of Sir Edward Coke. The Thirteenth Part is entitled, “ Select Cases in Law, reported by Sir Ed ward Coke;' and these are asserted to be his in a preface, signed with the initial letters J. G.

II. A · Book of Entries, folio, 1614, intended as a Supplement to his Reports.'

III. Institutes of the Laws of England, in four parts : The First containing his translation and comment upon Sir Thomas Littleton's • Tenures,' published in 1628; the Second, Magna Charta and other select statutes, with a commentary full of excellent learning; the Third, the Criminal Law, or Pleas of the Crown; and the Fourth, the Jurisdiction of all the Courts in the Kingdom, from the high court of parliament down to the court-baron. Some inaccuracies in this last part were corrected by William Prynne in a separate work published in 1669. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth editions of the Institutes (1788, 1789, and 1794) by Hargrave and Butler, are the best.

Several smaller tracts of his, also, have been published; particularly, “a Treatise of Bail and Mainprize, 4to. 1637, the Complete Copyholder,' 4to. 1640, and Readings on the Statute of Fines, 27 Edward I. 4to. 1662.

575

BEN JONSON.*

[1574–1637.]

THE commercial spirit, which animated the main body of the nation in the days of Elizabeth, and operated still more widely as well as more powerfully in those of James, was highly unfavourable to the cultivation of the polite arts. Engrossed by their new colonies, which now began to repay the proprietors with profit, the people eagerly embarked with the hopes of similar success in mercantile adventures: and as to the nobility and gentry from the accession of James to the death of Charles, involved in religious or political disputes, or occupied in the im. provement of their estates, they had neither time nor inclination to patronise those pursuits, which embellish kingdoms and refine society. The favourite public amusements were those of the theatre, and therefore dramatic poetry met with encouragement; but sculpture, painting, and music were confined within the narrow circle of the court. James had a taste for architecture, and took under his protection Inigo Jones. By Charles, who possessed a more than

* AUTHORITIES. General Biographical Dictionary; and Cibber's Lives of the Poets.

ordinary skill in the liberal arts, this illustrious builder was continued in the royal service: the celebrated Flemish masters likewise, Sir Peter Paul Rubens and Vandyke, were invited to England by the same Sovereign, who united the latter to one of his kinswomen. Of subjects, the most distinguished at this time in their patronage of the polite arts, were the Earls of Pembroke and Arundel, and Archbishop Laud.*

Ben Jonson, or Johnson (for so he, and some of his friends, wrote his name) was the posthumous son of a clergyman in Westminster, where he was born June 11, 1574, about a month after his father's death. His family was originally from Annandale in Scotland, whence his grandfather removed to Carlisle in the reign of Henry VIII., under whom he held some office. His father was imprisoned and lost his estate in the time of Queen Mary, probably on account of religion. After the accession of Elizabeth, he entered into holy orders. Benjamin was first put to a private school in the church of St. Martin's in the Fields; and removed thence, at a proper age, to the royal foundation at Westminster, where Camden became his master. For this illustrious preceptor he ever retained the highest respect, and beside dedicating to him one of his best plays, commemorates him in one of his epigrams as the person to whom he owed all he knew. His mother however, on account of her narrow circumstances, having thought fit to accept for her second husband

* It may be added that Lawes, an eminent musician, was a particular favourite of Charles I., and was stiled by his royal patron, the Father of English Music.'

a bricklayer, removed him (notwithstanding his extraordinary progress in classical learning) from this illustrious seminary, and obliged him to work under his step-father.*

But his spirit was not of a temper to accommodate itself to so mortifying a change. He resentfully left his home; and after a short time spent at Cambridge, whence his poverty compelled him to withdraw, joined the English army, then engaged against the Spaniards in the Netherlands. Here he acquired a degree of military glory, which rarely falls to the lot of a private soldier. In an encounter with a single enemy, he slew his opponent, and carried off the spoils in the view of both armies. Of this achievement he was naturally, ever afterward, not a little proud.

Upon his return to England, he followed the bent of his inclination; and resuming his studies, entered himself of St. John's College, Cambridge. But here he had speedily the misfortune to encounter a second mortification. The scantiness of his purse not supplying him with the decent conveniences of

* Fuller informs us that he was employed in the new structure of Lincoln's Inn (the garden-wall next to Chancery Lane, built, according to Dugdale in 1588 or 1593) with a trowel in his hand, and a Horace in his pocket. In this situation, Wood adds, he was assisted by some generous gentlemen, who saw and pitied his unworthy degradation.

+ Aubrey says, he was of Trinity College; but, beside that tradition assigns him to St. John's, there are in the library of the latter College several books with his name in them given by himself. That name, however, does not occur either in the public or the private registers of the University; as there was, about this time, a considerable chasm in their records. VOL. II.

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