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century. It is, however, apparently nothing but a gratuitous assumption, there being no kind of evidence to shew that any acquaintance existed betwixt the two poets till some months after Jonson had reached Edinburgh. That he was induced to visit Scotland by any supposed admiration of Drummond's genius, may be safely denied, judging from what he himself records of Jonson's “ censure of my verses,” that "

they smelled too much of the schools,” and that, merely to please the King, he wished he had been the author of Forth Feasting, a congratulatory poem, written by Drummond on occasion of King James's visit to his native kingdom in May 1617.

Jonson, when he commenced his journey, was well advanced in life, having reached the forty-fifth year of his age. He was at the time in special favour at the English court; and the desire of visiting some of his noble friends in the course of his travels may have strengthened his resolution to spend some time in what in one sense he might regard to be his native country, although Jonson could not have felt the same “ salmonlike instinct” with his Royal master, (to use his own words) when he announced his long-deferred intentions to revisit Scotland, having “ had (he says) these many years a great and naturall longing to see our native soyle and place of our birth and breeding.” But “ this desire of ours, proceeding from a naturall man,” having been accomplished, it might possibly suggest to the English poet a similar journey during the year that followed the King's return. We know at least that, with that sturdy independence which marked his character,

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Jonson set out with the resolution to walk all the way both going and returning. This must have been in the summer of 1618. John Taylor, “the Water-Poet,

,” about the same time undertook what he termed his

Pennylesse Pilgrimage” to Scotland-in other words, that he should carry no money with him; and as Jonson, while in Scotland, was impressed with the belief that Taylor, who left London on the 14th of July 1618, and reached Edinburgh on the 13th of August, been sent hither to scorn him,” this implies that he must have followed, not preceded, Jonson. But the WaterPoet, in 1623, published a rambling account, in verse and prose, of his “ Pennylesse Pilgrimage,” showing, “how he travailed on foot from London to Edenborough in Scotland, not carrying any money to or fro, neither begging, borrowing, or asking meate, drinke, or lodging," and he there indignantly repels the aspersion of his having been actuated by such a motive, and vows,

by the faith of a Christian,” that the insinuations of

many shallow-brained criticks” were wholly unfounded. The address in which this is stated is too curious in itself not to be quoted at full length.


To all my Loving Adventurers, by what name or title soever, my

Generall Salutation. Reader, these Trauailes of mine into Scotland, were not undertaken, neither in imitation, or emulation of any man, but onely deuised by myselfe, on purpose to make triall of my friends, both in this Kingdome of England, and that of Scotland, and because I would be an eye-witnes of diuers things which I had heard of that Countrey; and whereas many shallow-brain'd Critickes, doe lay an aspersion on me, that I was set on by others, or that I did undergoe this project, either in malice or mockage of Master Benjamin Ionson, I vow by the faith of a Christian, that their imaginations are all wide, for he is a Gentleman, to whom I am so much obliged for many undeserved courtesies that I have receiued from him, and from others by his fauour, that I durst neuer to be so impudent or ungratefull, as either to suffer any man's perswasions, or mine own instigation, to incite me, to make so bad a requitall, for so much goodnesse formerly received. So much for that,” &c.

After“ five and thirty days hunting and travell” in the Highlands, Taylor came back to Edinburgh before the end of September; and he informs us

“Now the day before I came from Edenborough (on his return to England] I went to Leeth, where I found my long approued and assured good friend Master Beniamin Iohnson, at one Master Iohn Stuarts house: I thanke him for his great kindnesse towards me; for at my taking leaue of him, he gaue me a piece of gold of two and twenty shillings to drink his health in England ; and withall, willed me to remember his kind commendations to all his friends : So with a friendly farewell, I left him as well, as I hope neuer to see him in a worse estate: for he is amongst Noblemen and Gentlemen that knowe his true worth, and their owne honours, where, with much respective loue he is worthily entertained."a

Jonson remained at least four months longer in Scotland, no doubt residing in different parts of the country, with the noblemen and gentlemen to whom Taylor alludes. The precise time of Jonson's visit at Hawthornden is uncertain, and of no moment. But it was previous to the 17th of January, 1619, when Drummond sent him the following note.b


Workes of Iohn Taylor, the Water Poet,” p. 138, London, 1630, folio. Taylor reached London on the 18th of October 1618. See an interesting account of his life and writings, in Mr. Southey's volume on Uneducated Poets.

b Drummond's Works, p. 234.

To his worthy friend Mr. Benjamin Johnson.

you have that Epigram which you desired, with another of the like argument. If there be any other thing in this Country, (unto which my power can reach) command it: there is nothing, I wish more, than to be in the Calendar of them who love you. I have heard from Court, that the late Mask was not so approued of the King as in former times, and that your absence was regretted : Such applause hath true worth, even of those who otherwise are not for it. Thus, to the next occasion, taking my leave, I remain

“Your loving friend January 17, 1619."


Two days later, on the 19th of January, the very day when he took his departure,” Jonson sent him the madrigal, “ On a Lover's Dust, made sand for an hour

ss,” (which will be found at p. 39) with this very flattering inscription :











Jonson reached London in April; and, on the 10th of May, addressed the following letter to Drummond.

To my worthy, honoured and beloved Friend Mr. William Drummond,

Edinburgh. "Most loving and beloved Sir,

Against which titles I should most knowingly offend, if I made you not at length some account of myself, to come even with your friendship. I am arrived safely, with a most Catholick welcome, and my Reports not unacceptable to His Majesty. He professed (I thank God) some joy to see me, and is pleased to hear of the purpose


Book: To which I most earnestly sollicit you for your promise of the Inscriptions at Pinky, some things concerning the Loch of Lomound, touching the Government of Edinburgh, to urge Mr. James Scot; and what else you can procure for me with all speed; Especially I make it my request, that you will enquire for me whether the Students method at St. Andrews be the same with that at Edinburgh, and so to assure me, or wherein they differ. Though these requests be full of trouble, I hope they shall neither burden nor weary such a Friendship, whose commands to me I will ever interpret a pleasure. News we have none here, but what is making against the Queen's Funeral, whereof I have somewhat in hand, which shall look upon you with the next. Salute the beloved Fentons, the Nisbets, the Scots, the Levingstons, and all the honest and honoured names with you ; especially Mr. James Writh, his wife, your sister, &c. And if you forget yourself, you believe not in “ Your most true friend and lover

“ BEN JOHNSON. · London, 10th of May 1619.”

Previous to this letter being received, Drummond had written a note to Jonson as follows, according to the first scroll of the letter still preserved :


“Mr. Fenton shew mee a letter of yours, in which yee remember your freinds heere, but I am particularly beholden to you for your particular remembrance of mee. Other letters of yours I

• Drummond's Works, page 154, Edinburgh, 1711, folio.

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