1720 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Thomas Randolph

Giles Jacob, in Poetical Register: or the Lives and Characters of the English Dramatick Poets (1719) 207-08.



A Poet that liv'd in the Reign of King Charles I. He was born at Houghton in Northamptonshire, educated at Westminster-School, from whence he remov'd to Trinity-College Cambridge, where he became Fellow; but he died young. He was a Man of a pregnant Wit, gay Humour, and of excellent Learning, which gain'd him the Esteem of the polite Part of the Town, and particularly recommended him to the Favour of Ben Johnson, who adopted him one of his Sons, and held him in equal Esteem with the ingenious Mr. Cartwright, another of the Laureat's adopted Sons. He writ the following Plays:

I. Hey for Honesty, Down with Knavery; a Comedy, translated from Aristophanes's Plutus, 1651.

II. The Jealous Lovers; a Comedy, presented before their Majesties at the University of Cambridge, by the Students of Trinity-College, 1668. This Play was commended by Copies of Verses from the most eminent Wits of both Universities, and was acted with Applause. It was reviv'd on the Theatre at London, 1685.

III. The Muses Looking-Glass; a Comedy, 1681. This Play was first call'd by the Author, The Entertainment, and was very much commended by Sir Aston Cockain and Mr. Rich of Christ-Church-College, Oxon.

IV. ARISTIPPUS, or The Jovial Philosopher; a Tragi-Comedy, 1688. To which is added, The Conceited Pedlar, a Farce.

V. AMYNTAS, or The Impossible Dowry; a Pastoral, presented before the King and Queen at White-Hall, 1688. Four of these Plays were printed with his Poems at Oxford. He writ an Answer to Ben Johnson's Ode in Defense of his New Inn, to perswade him not to leave the Stage, which begins thus:

BEN, do not leave the Stage,
'Cause 'tis a loathsome Age:
For Pride and Impudence will grow too bold,
When they shall hear it told
They frighted Thee; stand high as is thy Cause,
Their Hiss is thy Applause;
More just were thy Disdain,
Had they approv'd thy Vein:
So Thou for Them, and They for Thee were Born;
They to Incense, and Thou as much to Scorn.