1635 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Joseph Rutter

Ben Jonson, "To my deare Sonne, and right-learned Friend, Master Joseph Rutter" Rutter, The Shepheards Holy-day" sig. A3-A3v.



You looke, my Joseph, I should something say
Unto the world, in praise of your first Play:
And truely, so I would, could I be heard.
You know, I never was of Truth afeard,
And lesse asham'd; not when I told the crowd
How well I lov'd Truth: I was scarce allow'd
By those deep-grounded, understanding men,
That sit to censure Playes, yet know not when,
Or why to like; they found, it all was new,
And newer, then could please them, by-cause trew.
Such men I met withall, and so have you.
Now, for mine owne part, and it is but due,
(You have deserv'd it from me) I have read,
And weigh'd your Play: untwisted ev'ry thread,
And know the woofe, and warpe thereof; can tell
Where it runs round, and even: where so well,
So soft, and smooth it handles, the whole piece,
As it were spun by nature, off the fleece:
This is my censure. Now there is a new
Office of Wit, a Mint, and (this is true)
Cry'd up of late: Whereto there must be first
A Master-worker call'd, th' old standerd burst
Of wit, and a new made: a Warden then,
And a Comptroller, two most rigid men
For order, and for governing the pixe,
A Say-master, hath studied all the tricks
Of Finenesse, and alloy: follow his hint,
Yo'have all the Mysteries of Wits new Mint,
The valuations, mixtures, and the same
Concluded from a Carract to a dramme.