This was Shakespeares form; Who walked in every path of human life, Felt every passion; and to all mankind Doth now, will ever, that experience yield Which his own genius only could acquire. AkensideInscription. IV.
Renowned Spenser, lie a thought more nigh To learned Chaucer, and rare Beaumont lie A little nearer Spenser, to make room For Shakespeare in your threefold, fourfold tomb. William BasseOn Shakespeare.
If I say that Shakespeare is the greatest of intellects, I have said all concerning him. But there is more in Shakespeares intellect than we have yet seen. It is what I call an unconscious intellect; there is more virtue in it than he himself is aware of. CarlyleEssays. Characteristics of Shakespeare.
When great poets sing, Into the night new constellations spring, With music in the air that dulls the craft Of rhetoric. So when Shakespeare sang or laughed The world with long, sweet Alpine echoes thrilled Voiceless to scholars tongues no muse had filled With melody divine. C. P. CranchShakespeare.
What point of morals, of manners, of economy, of philosophy, of religion, of taste, of the conduct of life, has he not settled? What mystery has he not signified his knowledge of? What office, or function, or district of mans work, has he not remembered? What king has he not taught state, as Talma taught Napoleon? What maiden has not found him finer than her delicacy? What lover has he not outloved? What sage has he not outseen? What gentleman has he not instructed in the rudeness of his behavior? EmersonRepresentative Men. Shakespeare.
If we wish to know the force of human genius we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning we may study his commentators. HazlittTable Talk. On the Ignorance of the Learned.
I remember, the players have often mentioned it as an honour to Shakespeare, that in his writing (whatsoever he penned) he never blotted out a line. My answer hath been, would he had blotted a thousand. Ben JonsonDiscoveries. De Shakespeare nostrat.
This figure that thou here seest put, It was for gentle Shakespeare cut, Wherein the graver had a strife With Nature, to outdo the life: Oh, could he but have drawn his wit As well in brass, as he has hit His face, the print would then surpass All that was ever writ in brass; But since he cannot, reader, look Not on his picture, but his book. Ben JonsonLines on a Picture of Shakespeare.
He was not of an age, but for all time! And all the Muses still were in their prime, When, like Apollo, he came forth to warm Our ears, or like a Mercury to charm! Ben JonsonLines to the Memory of Shakespeare.
Nature herself was proud of his designs, And joyed to wear the dressing of his lines! Which were so richly spun, and woven so fit, As since, she will vouchsafe no other wit. Ben JonsonLines to the Memory of Shakespeare.
Soul of the Age! The applause! delight! the wonder of our stage! My Shakespeare rise! I will not lodge thee by Chaucer, or Spenser, or bid Beaumont lie A little further off, to make thee room: Thou art a monument without a tomb, And art alive still, while thy book doth live And we have wits to read, and praise to give. Ben JonsonLines to the Memory of Shakespeare.
For a good poets made, as well as born, And such wast thou! Look how the fathers face Lives in his issue; even so the race Of Shakespeares mind and manners brightly shine In his well-turned and true-filèd lines; In each of which he seems to shake a lance, As brandished at the eyes of ignorance. Ben JonsonLines to the Memory of Shakespeare.
What needs my Shakespeare for his honored bones The labors of an age in piled stones? Or that his hallowed reliques should be hid Under a starre-y-pointing pyramid? Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame, What needst thou such weak witness of thy name? Thou in our wonder and astonishment Hath built thyself a livelong monument. MiltonAn Epitaph. Similar phrases in the entire epitaph are found in the epitaph on Sir Thomas Stanley, supposed to have been written by Shakespeare. Also, same ideas found in Crashaw.
Shakspeare (whom you and every playhouse bill Style the divine! the matchless! what you will), For gain, not glory, wingd his roving flight, And grew immortal in his own despite. PopeImitations of Horace. Ep. I. Bk. II. L. 69.
Few of the university pen plaies well, they smell too much of that writer Ovid and that writer Metamorphosis and talk too much of Proserpina and Jupiter. Why, heres our fellow Shakespeare puts them all down. Aye, and Ben Jonson too. O that B. J. is a pestilent fellow, he brought up Horace giving the poets a pill, but our fellow, Shakespeare, hath given him a purge that made him beray his credit. The Return from Parnassus; or, the Scourge of Simony. Act IV. Sc. 3.