Ben Jonson
(1573? — 1637)

AT that time the pest was in London, he being in the country at Sir Robert Cotton's house with old Camden, he saw in a vision his eldest son, then a child and at London, appear unto him with the mark of a bloody cross on his forehead, as if it had been cut with a sword; at which amazed he prayed unto God, and in the morning he came to Mr. Camden's chamber to tell him, who persuaded him it was but an apprehension of his fantasy at which he should not be dejected. In the mean time comes there letters from his wife of the death of that boy in the plague. He appeared to him (he said) of a manly shape, and of that growth that he thinks he shall be at the resurrection.

Notes of Ben Jonson's Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden, ed. David Laing (1842), pp. 19-20.

Jonson was delated by Sir James Murray to the King for writing something against the Scots in a play Eastward Ho!, and voluntarily imprisoned himself with Chapman and Marston, who had written it among them. The report was that they should then have had their ears cut and noses . . . After their delivery, he banqueted all his friends; there was Camden, Selden, and others. At the midst of the feast his old mother drank to him, and shewed him a paper which she had (if the sentence had taken execution) to have mixed in the prison among his drink, which was full of lusty strong poison; and that she was no churl, she told him she minded first to have drunk of it herself.

Notes of Ben Jonson's Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden, ed. David Laing (1842), pp. 20.

Sir WALTER Ralegh sent him governor with his son, anno 1613, to France. This youth being knavishly inclined, among other pastimes (as the setting of the favour of damosells on a codpiece), caused him to be drunken, and dead drunk, so that he knew not where he was; thereafter laid him on a car, which he made to be drawn by pioners through the streets, at every corner showing his governor stretched out, and telling them that was a more lively image of the crucifix than any they had. At which sport young Ralegh's mother delighted much (saying his father young was so inclined), though the father abhorred it.

Notes of Ben Jonson's Conversations with William Drummond of Hawthornden, ed. David Laing (1842), pp. 21.

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