1738 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Francis Beaumont

Anonymous, in "The Apotheosis of Milton" Gentleman's Magazine 8 (May 1738) 234.



I had almost lost the Observation of the next remarkable Person, because after Ben Johnson a great Crowd came in, who for the most part stood behind the Seats; yet I could easily discern one, who was dressed with the greatest Propriety and Elegance imaginable: But what most distinguished him was, that as he went up to his Seat Ben Johnson rose and gave him a most respectful Bow, which he had not yet done to any of the Company. That Person who now takes his Seat, said my Conductor, is Beaumont. Along with him several motley Figures appeared, some in white Sattin Doublets with flashed Sleeves, others in greasy Buff, and not a few in Cassocks and Lawn Sleeves. Most of them attempted to take Seats, but they were reprimanded by a severe Look from the President: However, I could see Ben take some of them by, the Hand, and place them in Seats; but he always had such a Look from the President, as shewed that he permitted them to enjoy that Honour rather out of Indulgence to his Friend Ben, than from any Merit of the Parties themselves. I observed too, that after they were seated, they were constantly employ'd in studying the Motions of the Muscles of Ben's Face, and by them they framed their own, till they had caught all the Sourness and Rusticity of his Air, without any of its Sincerity and Frankness.