The Case is Altered
By Ben Jonson
Poet and dramatist, was probably born in Westminster. His father, who died before Ben was four, seems to have come from Carlisle, and the family to have originally belonged to Annandale. He was sent to Westminster School, for which he seems to have been indebted to the kindness of W. Camden, who was one of the masters. His mother, meanwhile, had married a bricklayer, and he was for a time put to that trade, but disliking it, he ran away and joined the army, fighting against the Spaniards in the Low Countries. Returning to England about 1592 he took to the stage, both as an actor and as a playwright. In the former capacity he was unsuccessful. In 1598, having killed a fellow-actor in a duel, he was tried for murder, but escaped by benefit of clergy. About the same time he joined the Roman Catholic Church, in which he remained for 12 years.
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