chapter  15
18 Pages

Senex

Ben Jonson was now without his two principal sources of income, playwriting and masque-making. 1631 had brought his troubles to a head and there were more to come. In the summer of 1631 Jonson had been sent a fox. The donor was Sir Thomas Badger who had been Master of the Royal Harriers since 1605. Jonson's fox became the central character in the fable by which his old master sought to awake the benevolence of the Duke. The early months of 1633 found Jonson in his sixtieth year with two projects in hand. The first of these, a new play, had a dual purpose, to make money and to exact revenge from the hated Inigo. The second showed that Jonson's appeals to Newcastle had aroused the Duke's active interest and not simply his benevolence. Jonson died on 6 August 1637 and was buried three days later in Westminster Abbey.