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Volpone , Or The Fox

NEVER, most equal Sisters, had any man a wit so presently excellent, as that it could raise itself; but there must come both matter, occasion, commenders, and favourers to it. If this be true, and that the fortune of all writers doth daily prove it, it behoves the careful to provide well toward these accidents; and, having acquired them, to preserve that part of reputation most tenderly, wherein the benefit of a friend is also defended.

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Ben Jonson

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Vōlpōṉ, allatu ti ḥpāks





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Hence is it, it, that I now render myself grateful, and am studious to justify the t the bounty of your act; to which, though your mere authority were satisfying, yet, it being an age an age wherein poetry and the professors of it hear so ill on all sides, there will a a reason be looked for in the subject. It is certain, nor can it with any forehead be d be opposed, that the too much license of poetasters in this time hath much deformed their mistress; that, every day, their manifold and manifest ignorance doth stick unnatural reproaches upon her: but for their petulancy, it were an act of the greatest injustice, either to let the learned suffer, or so divine a skill (which indeed should not be attempted with unclean hands) to fall under the least contempt. For, if men will impartially, and not asquint, look toward the offices and function of a z poet, they will easily conclude to themselves the impossibility of any man’s being the good poet, without first being a good man.



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