Quotations by Jonson, Ben


Underneath this stone doth lie
As much beauty as could die;
Which in life did harbor give
To more virtue than doth live.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
“Epitaph on Elizabeth, Lady H—,” ll. 3-6.
Added on 2-Apr-13 | Last updated 2-Apr-13
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No man is so foolish but he may sometimes give another good counsel, and no man so wise that he may not easily err if he takes no other counsel than his own. — He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
(Attributed)

Attributed in Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1891 ed.).
Added on 3-Jul-13 | Last updated 3-Jul-13
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The dignity of truth is lost
With much protesting.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Catiline: His Conspiracy, Act 3, sc. 2 (1611)
Added on 5-Mar-13 | Last updated 5-Mar-13
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True happiness
Consists not in the multitude of friends,
But in the worth and choice.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Cynthia’s Revels, Act 3, sc. 2 (1600)
Added on 19-Feb-13 | Last updated 19-Feb-13
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No greater hell than to be slave to fear.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Every Man in His Humour, 3.2 (1598)
Added on 4-May-10 | Last updated 4-May-10
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Art hath an enemy called Ignorance.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Every Man in His Humour, Act 1, sc. 1 (1598)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jan-13
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Hang sorrow! care’ll kill a cat.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Every Man in His Humour, Act 1, sc. 3 (1598)
Added on 23-Apr-13 | Last updated 23-Apr-13
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As he brews, so shall he drink.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Every Man in His Humour, Act 2, sc. 1 (1598)
Added on 12-Mar-13 | Last updated 12-Mar-13
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Ambition makes more trusty slaves than need.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Sejanus, His Fall, Act 1, sc. 2 (1603)
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Added on 2-Aug-17 | Last updated 2-Aug-17
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Farewell, thou child of my right hand, and joy!
My sin was too much hope of thee, loved boy.
Seven years thou wert lent to me, and I thee pay,
Exacted by thy fate, on the just day.
O, could I lose all father now. For why
Will man lament the state he should envy?
To have soon ‘scaped world’s and flesh’s rage,
And, if no other misery, yet age!
Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say here doth lie
Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry:
For whose sake, henceforth, all his vows be such,
As what he loves may never like too much.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
The Works of Ben Jonson, First Folio, Epigram 45, “On My First Son,” ll. 1-12 (1616)
Added on 19-Mar-13 | Last updated 19-Mar-13
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Thy praise or dispraise is to me alike;
One doth not stroke me, nor the other strike.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
The Works of Ben Jonson, First Folio, Epigram 61 “To Fool, or Knave” (1616)
Added on 26-Mar-13 | Last updated 26-Mar-13
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Ill fortune never crushed that man whom good fortune deceived not.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
The Works of Ben Jonson, Second Folio, ‘Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter”, “Fortuna” (1640)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 14-Jan-13
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Wisdom without honesty is mere craft and cozenage.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter (1641)
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Added on 12-May-15 | Last updated 12-May-15
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They say princes learn no art truly, but the art of horsemanship. The reason is, the brave beast is no flatterer. He will throw a prince as soon as his groom.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter, para. 95 “Illiteratus Princeps” (1641)

From an aphorism by the Greek philosopher Carneades, quoted in by Montaigne, Essays, Book 3, ch. 7 "Of the Incommodity of Greatness" (1588): "Princes' children learnt nothing aright but to manage and ride horses; forsomuch as in all other exercises every man yieldeth and giveth them the victory; but a horse, who is neither a flatterer nor a courtier, will as soon throw the child of a king as the son of a base porter."
Added on 16-Apr-13 | Last updated 16-Apr-13
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He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Timber: Or, Discoveries, “Explorata” (1640)
Added on 22-Apr-13 | Last updated 21-Oct-14
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Sir, calumnies are answer’d best with silence.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Volpone, Act 2, sc. 2 (1606)
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Added on 26-Feb-13 | Last updated 2-Aug-17
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