1683 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Ben Jonson

John Dryden, in William Soame, trans., Art of Poetry (1683) 51-52.



Observe the Town, and study well the Court,
For thither various Characters resort:
Thus 'twas great Johnson purchas'd his renown,
And in his Art had born away the Crown;
If less desirous of the Peoples praise,
He had not with low Farce debas'd his Playes;
Mixing dull Buffoonry with Wit refin'd,
And Harlequin with noble Terence joyn'd.
When in the Fox I see the Tortois hist,
I lose the Author of the Alchymist.