• A character in Ben Jonson's masque Time Vindicatedto Himself and to his Honours (1623), intended as a satire uponthe poet George Wither. Wither, who was often in trouble for his outspoken satirical verses, seems to have been characterized by an irrepressible self-esteem. Although his song 'Shall I, Wasting in Despair' has been much admired, he was also the author of poems notorious for their insipid awfulness. Memorable stanzas include:
    She would me 'Honey' call,
    She'd - O she'd kiss me too.
    But now alas! She's left me
    Falero, lero, loo.
    The Puritan tone of his later writings was also controversialand the chief element satirized by Jonson. When the Civil War came,Wither sold his house to pay for a troop of horse, which he led untilcaptured in 1639. His execution seemed inevitable until Sir John Denham,the Royalist poet and playwright (who had himself lost land to Wither'stroops) intervened. As Denham explained to the King, it was not fellow feelingfor a writer in distress that had prompted his charity but simply"that so long as Wither lived, Denham would not be accountedthe worst poet in England."