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have not seene. The vncertaintye where to find you, hath made mee so negligent in writing. When I haue vnderstood of your being at London, I will not be so lazie. I haue sent you here the Oth of our Knights, as I had it from Drysdale, haralt, if there be anay other such pieces wherein I can serue you, yee haue but to aduertise mee. Many in this countrye of your friends have trauelled with you in their thoughts, and all in their good wishes place you well at home. What a losse were it to vs if ought should have befallen you but good. Because I doubte if these come vnto you, I shall commit you to the tuition of God, and remaines
“Your assured and louing freind,"
In the Hawthornden MSS. there is also a corrected copy of this letter in Drummond's hand, which may be given, as it differs in a number of minute particulars :
“ To my good freind Ben JONSON. “Sir,--After euen a longing to heare of your happy journey, Mr. Fenton shew mee a letter from you, remembring all your freinds heere, and particularlie (such is your kyndnesse) mee. prayers
and good wishes could have made a voyage easie, your must have beene, for your acquaintance heere in their thoughts did trauelle along with you. The vncertaintye where to directe letters hath made mee this tyme by past not to write: when I vnderstand of your being at London I shall neuer (among my worthiest freinds) be forgetful of you. I have sent you the Oth of our Knights, as it was giuen mee by Harald Drysdale: If I can serue you in
other matter, yee shall find mee most willing. Thus wishing that the successe of your fortunes may answer our desires, [be equall to your deserts,] I commite you to the tuition of God.
“Edenbrough, 30 of Aprile 1619."
Another letter from Drummond to Jonson, dated the 1st of July 1619, and the copy of “ The Oath of a Knight,” which accompanied it, were first printed among his Familiar Epistles, at the end of his History of Scotland, in 1655. These are here subjoined, as forming the entire correspondence that has been discovered to have passed between the two Poets.
“ To his worthye Freind M. Benjamin Johnson.d · Sir,
“The uncertaintie of your abod was a cause of my silence this tyme past: I have adventured this packet upon hopes that a man so famous can not be in any place either of the Cittye or Court where hee shall not be found out. In my last I sent you a Description of Lough-Lomound with a Map of Inch-merinoch, which maye by your booke be made most famous ; with the form of the Governement of Edenbrough, and the Method of the Colleges of Scotland. For all Inscriptions I have beene curious to find out for you: The Impresa's and Emblems on a Bed of State, wrought and embrodered all with gold and silke by the late Queen Marie, Mother to our sacred Soverayne, which will embellish greatlie some pages of your Booke, and is worthy of remembrance. The first is the Loadstone turning towards the Pole; the word, Her Majesties name turned into an Anagram, Maria STEUART, SA VERTU M'ATIRÈ, which is not much inferiour to VERITAS ARMATA. This hath reference to a Crucifixe, before which, with all her royal ornaments, she is humbled on her knees most livelie, with the word UNDIQUE. An Impresa of Marie of Lorraine, her Mother, a Phænix in flames, the word, En ma fin git mon commencement. The Impresa of an Apple tree growing in a Thorn, the word, Per vincula crescit. The Impresa of Henry the Second the French King, a Crescent, the word, Donnec totum impleat orbem. The Impresa of King Francis the First, a Salamander crowned in the midst of flames, the word, Nutrisco et extingo. The Impresa of Godfrey of Bullogne, an Arrow passing throw three birds, the word, Dederitve viam Casusve Deusve. That of Mercurius charming Argos with his hundred eyes expressed by his Caduceus, two Flutes and a Peacock, the word, Eloquium tot lumina clausit. Two
d From Drummond's History, 1655, page 137, the first part collated with the original scroll preserved in the Hawthornden MSS., vol. ix.
women upon the wheels of Fortune, the one holding a launce the other a Cornucopia; which Impresa seemeth to glance at Queen Elizabeth and herself, the word, Fortunæ Comites. The Impresa of the Cardinal of Lorrain, her Uncle, a pyramid overgrown with Ivy, the vulgar word, Te stante virebo; A ship with her Mast broken and fallen in the Sea, the word Nanquam nisi rectam. This is for herself and her son, a big Lyon and a young whelp beside her, the word, Unum quidem sed Leonem. An Emblem of a Lyon taken in a net, and Hares wantonly passing over him, the word, Et Lepores devicto insultant Leoni. Cammomel in a garden, the word, Fructus calcata dat amplos. A Palm tree, the word, Ponderibus virtus innata resistit. A Bird in a cage and a Hawk flying above, with the word, Il mal me preme et me spaventa peggio. A Triangle with a Sun in the Middle of a Circle, the word, Trino non convenit orbis. A Porcupine amongst Sea rocks, the word, Ne volutetur. The Impresa of King Henry VIII., a Portcullis, the word, Altera securitas. The Impresa of the Duke of Savoy, the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, the word, Fortitudo ejus Rhodum tenuit: He had kept the Isle of Rhodes. Flourishes of Arms, as Helms, Launces, Corslets, Pikes, Muskets, Cannons and
the word, Dabit Deus his quoque finem.
A Tree planted in a Church-yard environed with dead mens bones, the word, Pietas revocabit ab Orco. Eclipses of the Sun and the Moon, the word, Ipsa sibi lumen quod invidet aufert; glancing, as may appear at Queen Elizabeth. Brennus's ballances, a Sword cast in to weigh Gold, the word, Quid nisi victis dolor ? A Vine tree watred with wine, which, instead of making it spring and grow, maketh it fade, the word, Mea sic mihi prosunt. A Wheel rolled from a mountain into the Sea, Piena di dolor voda de Speranza, which appeareth to be her own, and it should be, Precipitio senza speranza. A heap of wings and feathers dispersed, the word, Magnatum vicinitas. A Trophie upon a tree, with mytres, crowns, hats, masks, swords, books, and a Woman with a vail about her eyes or muffled, pointing to some about her, with this word, Ut casus dederit. Three Crowns, two opposite, and another above in the Sky, the word, Aliamque moratur. The Sun in an eclipse, the word, Medio occidit die.
“ I omit the Arms of Scotland, England and France severally by themselves, and all quartered in many places of this Bed. The workmanship is curiously done, and above all value; and truly it may be of this piece said Materiam superabat opus.
“ I have sent you (as you desired) the Oath which the old valiant Knights of Scotland gave, when they received the order of Knighthood, which was done with great solemnity and magnificence.
· W. DRUMMOND. “ July 1st 1619.”
THE OATH OF A KNIGHT.
“I shall fortifie and defend the true holy Catholique and Christian Religion presently professed, at all my power.
“I shall be loyal and true to my Soveraign Lord the King his Majesty, and do honour and reverence to all Orders of Chevalrie, and to the noble office of Arms.
I shall fortifie and defend Justice to the uttermost of my power, but feed or favour.
“I shall never flie from the King's Majesty my Lord and Master, or his Lieutenant in time battel or medly with dishonour.
“I shall defend my native country from all aliens and strangers at all my power.
“I shall maintain and defend the honest Adoes and Quarrels of all Ladies of Honour, Widows, Orphans, and Maids of good Fame.
“ I shall do diligence, wherever I hear tell there is any Traytours, Murtherers, Rovers, and Masterfull Theeves and Outlaws, that suppress the Poor, to bring them to the Law at all my power.
“I shall maintain and defend the Noble and gallant state of Chevalrie with Horses, Harnesses, and other Knightly Apparel to my power.
“ I shall be diligent to enquire and seek to haue the knowledge of all Articles and points touching or concerning my duty contained in the Book of Chevalrie.
“ All and sundry the premisses I oblige me to keep and fulfil, so help me God by my own hand, and by God himself.” Jonson, it
had written a work describing his journey to Scotland; but this was unfortunately destroyed in the fire which consumed several of his other
papers, (probably in 1629), as commemorated by himself in his “ Execration upon Vulcan.” In his
In his masque of “ News from the Moon,” presented at court in the January 6th and February 11th, 1620-21, he thus alludes to his Northern journey :
“P. How might we do to see your Poet? Did he undertake this Journey, I pray you, to the Moon, on foot ? “ First Herald. Why do you
ask? “ Printer. Because one of our greatest Poets (I know not how good a one) went to Edinburgh on foot, and came back : Marry, he has been restive, they say, ever since; for we have had nothing from him ; he has set out nothing, I am sure.
“ First Herald. Like enough, perhaps he has not all in ; when he has all in, he will set out I warrant you, at least those from whom he had it: It is the very same party that has been in the Moon now."
Jonson died at London on the 6th of August 1637, and Drummond survived to the 4th of December 1649.
In 1711, there was published at Edinburgh an edition of Drummond's works, both in prose and verse.
His son, Sir William Drummond, who still survived, and had preserved his father's papers with religious care, communicated them to the editor of the volume, supposed to be Thomas Ruddiman the grammarian, or to Bishop Sage, who is said to have furnished the biographical account of the author, and the historical Introduction. Among those papers were the original Notes by Drummond of his Conversations with Ben Jonson. Unfortunately, as it has proved, the editor, instead of giving a correct copy of these Notes, or Informations, gave merely an abstract, which he entitled “Heads of a Conversation betwixt the famous Poet Ben Johnson, and William