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no longer "the lime and mortar" hands
with which it was his after-fate to be reproached;
but he bestows the master's eye
upon his mother's workmen. Yet he has
hours of leisure. There is a chamber in the
old house now filled with learned books. He
reads, and he writes, as his own pleasure
dictates. "Mother," he one day says, "I wish
to marry."—" Do so, my son; bring your
wife home; we will dwell together." So a
few years roll on. He and his wife weep

"Mary, the daughter of their youth."

But there is an event approaching which sets
aside sorrow. "Daughter," says the ancient
lady, "we must to the Rose Playhouse tonight.
There is a new play to be acted, and
that play is Benjamin's."—" Yes, mother, he
has had divers monies already. Not much, I
wot, seeing the labour he has given to this
'Comedy of Humours'five shillings, and
ten shillings, and, once, a pound."—"No
matter, daughter, he will be famous; I always
knew he would be famous." A calamity
clouds that fame. The play-writer has quarrels
on every side. In the autumn of 1598, Philip
Henslowe, the manager of " the Lord Admiral's
men," writes thus to his son-in-law,
Alleyn:—"Since you were with me, I have
lost one of my company, which hurteth me
greatlythat is, Gabriel; for he is slain in
Hogsden Fields, by the hands of Benjamin
Jonson, bricklayer." Twenty years after, the
great dramatist, the laureat, thus relates the
story to Drummond:—" Being appealed to
the fields, he had killed his adversary, which
had him hurt in the arm, and whose sword
was ten inches longer than his; for the
which he was imprisoned, and almost at the
gallows." There is the proud Shadow of a
Roman Matron hovering about his cell, in
those hours when the gallows loomed darkly
in the future.

The scholar and the poet has won his fame.
Bricklayer no longer, Ben is the companion
of the illustrious. Shakspeare hath "wit-combats"
with him; Camden and Selden try
his metal in learned controversies; Raleigh,
and Beaumont, and Donne, and Fletcher,
exchange with him "words of subtle flame"
at "The Mermaid." But a new trouble arises
James is come to the throne. Hear Jonson's
account of a remarkable transaction:—"He
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 amongst them. The
report was, that they should then have had
their ears cut, and noses." They are at
length released. We see the shadow of a
banquet, which the poet gave to his friends in
commemoration of his deliverance. There is
a joyous company of immortals at that feast.
There, too, is that loving and faithful Mother.
The wine-cups are flowing; there are song and
jest, eloquence, and the passionate earnestness
with which such friends speak when the heart
is opened. But there is one, whose Shadow
we now see, more passionate and more earnest
than any of that company. She rises, with a
full goblet in her hand:—"Son, I drink to
thee. Benjamin, my beloved son, thrice I
drink to thee. See ye this paper; one grain
of the subtle drug which it holds is death.
Even as we now pledge each other in rich
canary, would I have pledged thee in lusty
strong poison, had thy sentence taken execution.
Thy shame would have been my shame,
and neither of us should have lived after it."
"She was no churl," says Benjamin.



A TRIAL by the Law of Lynch is thus described
by a University Graduate who was an
eyewitness of it, and who seems to approve of
it more than our readers will be likely to do.
His communication is dated from Grass Valley,
Nevada County, on the 23d of May in the present

We are organising (he says) a little something
like society in this rising town. First,
there are a few women in the place; then,
hitherto we have kept gambling-houses out
of it; and so, please God! we will again.
As for men of education, they are to be
met with everywhere in California. A few
weeks ago we started a Lyceum. I felt
it not out of place to bring in some pretty
abstruse philosophisings in an essay I dealt
them, though my reading-desk was a quarter-
cask, my light a tallow stuck by three
nails in a chip of woodand my audience
mostly like myself, in flannel shirt and long

This country, however, tries a man. Here,
as old Swedenborg says of the spiritual world,
disguise is difficult. Men who have rid themselves
of decorum and the scarce-felt fetters of
civilised life, are here just what they will to be.
I was present a month ago at the most solemn
trial by Lynch Law of three men accused of
stealing; they were found guilty, and a terrible
sentence of lashing was passed, and executed
on them. One of them was what we should
call a gentleman by birth and education, and
had served with credit as an officer in the
late Mexican war. There is an earnestness
and a sincerity about the rogue and the good
man, in fact about all and everything of Californian
life, which I suppose the rest of the
world cannot match. The merits of Lynch
Law come on for discussion next week, in
our barn, which we call a Lyceum. Imagine
the earnestness given to the usually impractical
debates of a club, by the fact that there
is not a member of it who has not probably
taken a part, in one way or other, in one of
these terrible, but absolutely necessary scenes,
and may have to do so to-morrow.