Ben Jonson on Bacon

 

There happened in my time one noble speaker , who was full of gravity in his speaking. His language , where he could spare or pass by a jest, was nobly censorious. No man ever spoke more neatly , more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered. No member of his speech but consisted of his own graces. His hearers could not cough or look aside from him without loss. He commanded where he spoke and had his judges angry and pleased at his devotion. No man had their affections more in his power.The fear of every man that heard him was lest he should make an end.--Ben Jonson, regarding Bacon's eloquence

"He who have filled up all numbers and performed that in our tongue which may be compared or preferred either to insolent Greece or haughty Rome...In short, within his view, and about his times , were all the wits born that could honor a language or help study. Now things daily fall; wits grow downward and eloquence grows backward, so that he may be named and stand as the mark and acme of our language." -- Ben Jonson after Bacon's death