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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

Page 175

Sir Henry Wotton. (1568–1639) (continued)
    He first deceased; she for a little tried
To live without him, liked it not, and died.
          Upon the Death of Sir Albert Morton’s Wife.
    I am but a gatherer and disposer of other men’s stuff.
          Preface to the Elements of Architecture.
    Hanging was the worst use a man could be put to.
          The Disparity between Buckingham and Essex.
    An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie abroad for the commonwealth. 1
          Reliquiæ Wottonianæ
    The itch of disputing will prove the scab of churches. 2
          A Panegyric to King Charles.
Richard Barnfield. (d. 1570)
    As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made.
          Address to the Nightingale. 3
Sir John Davies. (1570–1626)
    Much like a subtle spider which doth sit
  In middle of her web, which spreadeth wide;
Note 1.
In a letter to Velserus, 1612, Wotton says, “This merry definition of an ambassador I had chanced to set down at my friend’s, Mr. Christopher Fleckamore, in his Album.” [back]
Note 2.
He directed the stone over his grave to be inscribed:—

Hic jacet hujus sententiæ primus author:


Nomen alias quære

(Here lies the author of this phrase: “The itch for disputing is the sore of churches.” Seek his name elsewhere).
Izaak Walton: Life of Wotton. [back]
Note 3.
This song, often attributed to Shakespeare, is now confidently assigned to Barnfield; it is found in his collection of “Poems in Divers Humours,” published in 1598.—Ellis: Specimens, vol. ii. p. 316. [back]