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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index J > Ben Jonson Quotes

Ben Jonson
(11 Jun 1572 - 6 Aug 1637)

English playwright and poet who is regarded as second only to Shakespeare for importance in his era. He came to prominence in 1598 with his play Every Man in His Humour in which he wove into four characters the four “humours” of medieval and Renaissance medicine (choler, melancholy, phlegm and blood). His other plays include The Alchemist (1610).

Science Quotes by Ben Jonson (3 quotes)

A most vile face! and yet she spends me forty pound a year in Mercury and Hogs Bones. All her teeth were made in the Black-Fryars, both her Eyebrows i’ the Strand, and her Hair in Silver-street. Every part of Town owns a Piece of her.
— Ben Jonson
A reference to artificial teeth by character Otter, speaking of his wife, in Epicoene: or, The Silent Woman (1609), Act IV, Sc. 2, 64. Also, True-wit makes a specific reference to “false Teeth” in Act I, Sc. 1, 10.
Science quotes on:  |  Bone (101)  |  Both (496)  |  Dentistry (3)  |  Eyebrow (2)  |  Face (214)  |  Hair (25)  |  Hog (4)  |  Mercury (54)  |  Most (1728)  |  Silver (49)  |  Spend (97)  |  Stand (284)  |  Strand (9)  |  Teeth (43)  |  Tooth (32)  |  Year (963)

Custom is the most certain mistress of language, as the public stamp makes the current money.
— Ben Jonson
In 'Timber: or Discoveries Made Upon Men and Matter', The Works of Ben Jonson (1756), Vol. 7, 132.
Science quotes on:  |  Certain (557)  |  Current (122)  |  Custom (44)  |  Language (308)  |  Linguistics (39)  |  Mistress (7)  |  Money (178)  |  Most (1728)  |  Public (100)  |  Stamp (36)

These turdy-facy-nasty-paty-lousy-fartical rogues, with one poor groat's worth of unprepared antimony, finely wrapt up in several scartoccios, are able, very well, to kill their twenty a week, and play; yet, these meagre, started spirits, who have half stopt the organs of their minds with earthy oppilations, want not their favorers among your shrivell’d sallad-eating artizans, who are overjoyed that they may have their half-pe’rth of physic; though it purge them into another world, it makes no matter.
— Ben Jonson
Spoken by character Volpone, disguised as a “mountebank Doctor” in Valpone: or, The Foxe (1605), collected in Ben Jonson and William Gifford, The Works of Ben Johnson (1879), 282.
Science quotes on:  |  Antimony (7)  |  Artisan (9)  |  Eating (46)  |  Kill (100)  |  Matter (821)  |  Meager (2)  |  Medicine (392)  |  Mind (1377)  |  Organ (118)  |  Physic (515)  |  Poor (139)  |  Purge (11)  |  Rogue (2)  |  Spirit (278)  |  Start (237)  |  Starvation (13)  |  Want (504)  |  Week (73)  |  World (1850)  |  Worth (172)

Quotes by others about Ben Jonson (2)

Doctor Johnson said, that in sickness there were three things that were material; the physician, the disease, and the patient: and if any two of these joined, then they get the victory; for, Ne Hercules quidem contra duos [Not even Hercules himself is a match for two]. If the physician and the patient join, then down goes the disease; for then the patient recovers: if the physician and the disease join, that is a strong disease; and the physician mistaking the cure, then down goes the patient: if the patient and the disease join, then down goes the physician; for he is discredited.
In 'A Collection of Apophthegms, New and Old' (1625). As given in Essays, Moral, Economical, and Political: A New Edition, With the Latin Quotations Translated (1813), No. 147, 308. The doctor is identified Ben Johnson by Forbes Winslow in his notes appended to Physic and Physicians (1842). Notes section, 39. Perhaps he means poet and playwright of stage comedy, Ben Jonson (1572-1637), also referred to in the book as “Benjamin Johnson” and once as “Dr. Johnson.” Note that Francis Bacon (1561-1626) died well before the life of writer Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784).
Science quotes on:  |  Cure (124)  |  Death (406)  |  Diagnosis (65)  |  Discredit (8)  |  Disease (340)  |  Doctor (191)  |  Down (455)  |  Hercules (9)  |  Himself (461)  |  Joined (2)  |  Match (30)  |  Material (366)  |  Patient (209)  |  Physician (284)  |  Recovery (24)  |  Sickness (26)  |  Strong (182)  |  Thing (1914)  |  Treatment (135)  |  Two (936)  |  Victory (40)

When Ben Jonson presented a masque entitled “News from the New World,” his new world was not the newly found continent of North America, but the new world of science, the world revealed by the telescope of Galileo.
From The Triumph of Numbers: How Counting Shaped Modern Life (2005), 36.
Science quotes on:  |  Galileo Galilei (134)  |  New World (6)  |  North America (5)  |  Telescope (106)

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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