Literary Birthday – 11 June – Ben Jonson

Ben Jonson was born 11 June 1572, and died 6 August 1637.


  1. Language most shows a man; speak that I may see thee.
  2. To speak and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.
  3. He that is taught only by himself has a fool for a master.
  4. A prince without letters is a pilot without eyes. All his government is groping.
  5. He knows not his own strength that has not met adversity.
  6. Drink to me only with thine eyes, And I will pledge with mine; Or leave a kiss but in the cup And I’ll not look for wine.
  7. There was never a great genius without a touch of madness.
  8. 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.
  9. Art hath an enemy called ignorance.
  10. Memory, of all the powers of the mind, is the most delicate and frail.

Ben Jonson was an English playwright, poet, and literary critic of the seventeenth century. He popularised the comedy of humours.

  by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 11th June 2015