Lapas attēli

And for the front, ear, neck, and wrists, the ornament was of the most choice and orient pearl; best setting off from the black.

For the light-bearers, sea-green, waved about the skirts with gold and silver; their hair loose and flowing, gyrlanded with sea-grass, and that stuck with branches of coral.

These thus presented, the scene behind seemed a vast sea, and united with this that flowed forth, from the termination, or horizon of which (being the level of the state, which was placed in the upper end of the hall) was drawn by the lines of prospective, the whole work shooting downwards from the eye; which decorum made it more conspicuous, and caught the eye afar off with a wandering beauty: to which was added an obscure and cloudy night-piece, that made the whole set off. So much for the bodily part, which was of master Inigo Jones's design and


By this, one of the tritons, with the two sea-maids, began to sing to the others' loud music, their voices being a tenor and two trebles.

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Fair Niger, son to great Oceanus,
Now honour'd, thus,

With all his beauteous race:
Who, though but black in face,

All rivers are said to be the sons of the Ocean; for, as the ancients thought, out of the vapours exhaled by the heat of the sun, rivers and fountains were begotten. And both by Orph. in Hym. and Homer, Il. . Oceanus is celebrated tanquam pater, et origo diis, et rebus, quia nihil sine humectatione nascitur, aut putrescit.

Yet are they bright,
And full of life and light.

To prove that beauty best,

Which, not the colour, but the feature
Assures unto the creature.

Ocea. Be silent, now the ceremony's done,
And, Niger, say, how comes it, lovely son,
That thou, the Ethiop's river, so far east,
Art seen to fall into the extremest west
Of me, the king of floods, Oceanus,
And in mine empire's heart, salute me thus ?
My ceaseless current, now, amazed stands
To see thy labour through so many lands,
Mix thy fresh billow with my brackish stream;'
And, in the sweetness, stretch thy diadem
To these far distant and unequall❜d skies,
This squared circle of celestial bodies.

Niger. Divine Oceanus, 'tis not strange at all, That, since th' immortal souls of creatures mortal, Mix with their bodies, yet reserve for ever


power of separation, I should sever

My fresh streams from thy brackish, like things fix'd, Though, with thy powerful saltness, thus far mix'd. "Virtue, though chain'd to earth, will still live free; And hell itself must yield to industry."

Ocea. But what's the end of thy Herculean labours,

Extended to these calm and blessed shores?

1 There wants not enough, in nature, to authorize this part of our fiction, in separating Niger from the ocean, (beside the fable of Alpheus, and that, to which Virgil alludes of Arethusa, in his 10. Eclog.

Sic tibi, cum fluctus subter labêre Sicanos,

Doris amara suam non intermisceat undam.)

Examples of Nilus, Jordan, and others, whereof see Nican. lib. i. de flumin. and Plut. in vita Syllæ, even of this our river (as some think) by the name of Melas.

Niger. To do a kind and careful father's part,
In satisfying every pensive heart

Of these my daughters, my most loved birth :
Who, though they were the first form'd dames of earth,"
And in whose sparkling and refulgent eyes,
The glorious sun did still delight to rise;
Though he, the best judge, and most formal cause
Of all dames' beauties, in their firm hues, draws
Signs of his fervent'st love; and thereby shows
That in their black, the perfect'st beauty grows;
Since the fixt colour of their curled hair,
Which is the highest grace of dames most fair,
No cares, no age can change; or there display
The fearful tincture of abhorred gray;

Since death herself (herself being pale and blue)
Can never alter their most faithful hue;
All which are arguments, to prove how far
Their beauties conquer in great beauty's war;
And more, how near divinity they be,
That stand from passion, or decay so free.
Yet, since the fabulous voices of some few
Poor brain-sick men, styled poets here with you,
Have, with such envy of their graces, sung
The painted beauties other empires sprung;
Letting their loose and winged fictions fly
To infect all climates, yea, our purity;
As of one Phaëton," that fired the world,
And that, before his heedless flames were hurl'd
About the globe, the Ethiops were as fair
As other dames; now black, with black despair :
And in respect of their complexions chang'd,
Are eachwhere, since, for luckless creatures rang'd;°

m Read Diod. Sicul. lib. iii. It is a conjecture of the old ethnics, that they which dwell under the south, were the first begotten of the earth.

n Notissima fabula, Ovid. Met. lib. ii.

Alluding to that of Juvenal, Satyr. v. Et cui per mediam nolis

Occurrere noctem.

Which, when my daughters heard, (as women are Most jealous of their beauties) fear and care Possess'd them whole; yea, and believing them,P They wept such ceaseless tears into my stream, That it hath thus far overflow'd his shore

To seek them patience: who have since, e'ermore
As the sun riseth, charg'd his burning throne
With vollies of revilings; 'cause he shone

On their scorch'd cheeks with such intemperate fires,
And other dames made queens of all desires.
To frustrate which strange error, oft I sought,
Tho' most in vain, against a settled thought
As women's are, till they confirm'd at length
By miracle, what I, with so much strength
Of argument resisted; else they feign'd:
For in the lake where their first spring they gain'd,
As they sat cooling their soft limbs, one night,
Appear'd a face, all circumfused with light;
(And sure they saw't, for Æthiops' never dream)
Wherein they might decipher through the stream,
These words:

That they a land must forthwith seek,
Whose termination, of the Greek,

Sounds TANIA; where bright Sol, that heat

Their bloods, doth never rise or set,

But in his journey passeth by,

And leaves that climate of the sky,

To comfort of a greater light,

Who forms all beauty with his sight.

In search of this, have we three princedoms past,
That speak out Tania in their accents last;
Black Mauritania, first; and secondly,

P The poets.

A custom of the Ethiops, notable in Herod. and Diod. Sic. See Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. v. cap. 8.

• Plin. ibid.

" Consult with Tacitus, in vita Agric. and the Paneg. ad Constant.

Swarth Lusitania; next we did descry

Rich Aquitania: and yet cannot find

The place unto these longing nymphs design'd.
Instruct and aid me, great Oceanus,

What land is this that now appears to us?

Ocea. This land, that lifts into the temperate air His snowy cliff, is Albion the fair;

So call'd of Neptune's son," who ruleth here:
For whose dear guard, myself, four thousand year,
Since old Deucalion's days, have walk'd the round
About his empire, proud to see him crown'd
Above my waves.-

At this the Moon was discovered in the upper part of the house, triumphant in a silver throne, made in figure of a pyramis. Her garments white and silver, the dressing of her head antique, and crowned with a luminary, or sphere of light: which striking on the clouds, and heightened with silver, reflected as natural clouds do by the splendour of the moon. The heaven about her was vaulted with blue silk, and set with stars of silver, which had in them their several lights burning. The sudden sight of which made NIGER to interrupt OCEANUS with this present passion.

O see, our silver star! Whose pure, auspicious light greets us thus far! Great Æthiopia goddess of our shore,*

Since with particular worship we adore

Thy general brightness, let particular grace

Shine on my zealous daughters: shew the place


* Orpheus, in his Argonaut. calls it Aevкatov xépoov.

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Alluding to the right of styling princes after the name of their princedoms: so is he still Albion, and Neptune's son that governs. As also his being dear to Neptune, in being so embraced by him.

* The Æthiopians worshipped the moon by that surname. See Step. περὶ πόλεων, in voce ΑΙΘΙΟΠΙΟΝ.

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