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Ben Jonson

Whom to blame

Earlier today I posted about a passage in The Independent of Britain about the late William Rees-Mogg:  Fraser Nelson, the editor of The Spectator, yesterday recalled the advice Lord Rees-Mogg gave him in 2001: "He said he took inspiration from Ben Johnson's essays: the originals, he said, were still the best." I would like to masticate that a little further. Are we to conclude that the editor of The Spectator has trouble distinguishing between Ben Jonson and Samuel Johnson? That may well be so, but one should not leap to a conclusion.  There is a possibility that the reporter mangled the quotation, hearing it imperfectly or recording it...