Ben Jonson (c. 1572–1637), British dramatist, poet. Timber, or Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter, para. 95, "Illiteratus Princeps," (1641), ed. Felix E. Schelling (1892).
The aphorism is attributed to the Greek philosopher Carneades by Montaigne (in Essays, bk. 3, ch. 7 "Of the Incommodity of Greatness," 1588): "Princes' children learnt nothing aright but to manage and ride horses; forsomuch as in all other exercises every man yieldeth and giveth them the victory; but a horse, who is neither a flatterer nor a courtier, will as soon throw the child of a king as the son of a base porter."