that's a nice image that toffee one. I must say that I enjoy reading the
Jonson essay , there is a lovely sense of the chasms which surround all
pronouncement in lines like " jonson did not write a good tragedy but we can
see no reason why he should not have written one." ('should' not 'could' is
terrific really) and a line which often appeals to me when I think about
orphans which have found a home late e.g. Roussel's Impressions of Africa
"surely the category of tragedy could me made wide enough to include
something possible for Jonson to have done." Have nice day.
I believe Eliot himself comments someplace on his fatal ability to coin a
phrase that sticks around. Jonson happens to be one of the poets that I
cherish; I've probably (since 1958 or so) spent (say) three hours with the
Muse's Library Jonson for every 10 minutes with Eliot's Collected Poems.
Over the years I have returned over and over to the Epistle to Elizabeth,
Countess of Rutland. What can surpass its opening lines:
XII. - EPISTLE TO ELIZABETH COUNTESS OF RUTLAND.
Whilst that for which all virtue now is sold,
And almost every vice, almighty gold,
That which, to boot with hell, is thought worth heaven,
And for it, life, conscience, yea souls are given,
Toils, by grave custom, up and down the court,
To every squire, or groom, that will report
Well or ill, only all the following year,
Just to the weight their this day's presents bear ;
While it makes huishers serviceable men,
And some one apteth to be trusted then,
Though never after ; whiles it gains the voice
Of some grand peer, whose air doth make rejoice
The fool that gave it ; who will want and weep,
When his proud patron's favors are asleep ;
While thus it buys great grace, and hunts poor fame ;
Runs between man and man ; 'tween dame, and dame ;
Solders crack'd friendship ; makes love last a day ;
Or perhaps less : whilst gold bears all this sway,
I, that have none to send you, send you verse.
It's never bothered me that he didn't write a tragedy. We have plenty of
them to go around, why be sad that Jonson didn't add to the supply.
Indeed, have a nice day. And thank you for sending me to the web to find a
text of this marvelous poem.