Shakespeare’s great contemporary Ben Jonson dressed an actor in armour to open his play Poetaster. The Prologue explained:
If any muse why I salute the stage,
An armèd Prologue, know, ’tis a
Wherein who writes had need present
Forty-fold proof against the conjuring
Of base detractors and illiterate apes,
That fill up rooms in fair and formal
A dangerous age, and Ben Jonson was not a circumspect man. This new edition of all Ben Jonson’s work brings out the valiant nature of his achievement.