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are at a certainty with me, and keep a tally, an ingot, a loaf, or a wedge of some five pounds weight, which is nothing of nothing, a trifle. And so the blackguard* are pleased with any lease of life, (for some 999,) especially those of the boiling-house, they are to have Medea's kettle hung up, that they may souse into it when they will, and come out renewed like so many stript snakes at their pleasure. But these are petty engagements, and, as I said, below the stairs; marry above here, perpetuity of beauty, (do you hear, ladies ?) health, riches, honour; a matter of immortality is nothing. They will calcine you a grave matron, as it might be a mother o' the maids, and spring up a young virgin, out of her ashes, as fresh as a Phoenix: lay you an old courtier on the
4 And so the black-guard, &c.] There is much satirical humour in these wild stipulations of the menials of the court; but expectations, full as extravagant, were fostered by the dupes of this ridiculous pursuit, in all ranks of life. With respect to the black-guard, they were, as I have shewn, (vol. ii. 160,) the lowest drudges of the kitchen, turnspits, carriers of wood, coal, &c. This is sufficiently clear from Jonson; but it is also distinctly stated by others. Thus Decker. "King. What place would you serve in? Gazette. Any, but one of your turnbroaches; I would not be one of your blackguard, there's too much fire in me already." Match me in London.
Mr. Todd has quoted Jonson, under this word, to little purpose, and copied Malone, to none at all. It is rather singular that he should be at a loss for the meaning of so common a word.
I once entertained some indistinct hope that Jonson, who assuredly had a more critical knowledge of the English language, than any person of the age in which he lived, and whose works are, besides, full of expressive and beautiful terms, would have been permitted to contribute somewhat to the perfection of the New Dictionary. But it does not appear (from what I have seen of it) that he has been thought worth consulting. With the exception of a few of his words, which might be gathered from the marginal remarks of Horne Tooke, or the notes of the Shakspeare commentators, he brings no aid :—but modestly retires, as it is fit he should, to make way for those dignified examples of purity and skill, Blackmore and the "festivous" Gayton.
coals like a sausage, or a bloat herring, and after they have broiled him enough, blow a soul into him with a pair of bellows, till he start up into his galliard, that was made when Monsieur was here." They profess familiarly to melt down all the old sinners of the suburbs once in a half-year, into fresh gamesters again; get all the crack'd maidenheads, and cast them into new ingots: half the wenches of the town are alchemy. See, they begin to muster again, and draw their forces out against me! the Genius of the place defend me! You that are both the Sol and Jupiter of this sphere, Mercury invokes your majesty against the sooty tribe here; for in your favour only, I grow recovered and warm.
At which time VULCAN entering with a troop of threadbare Alchemists, prepares them to the first ANTIMASQUE.
When Monsieur was here,] i. e. in 1579. See vol. ii. p. 214. 6 Here the first Antimasque.] As this word occurs here for the first time, it may not be amiss to notice it. Whalley has printed it through the greater part of his sixth volume Antemasque, as if he supposed it to signify something introductory to the main masque: he afterwards changed his opinion and his orthography, and wrote it Antimasque, which "he inclined to think was a smoother pronunciation of antick masque." My predecessor is still wrong. An Antimasque, or, as Jonson elsewhere calls it, "a foil, or false masque," is something directly opposed to the principal masque. If this was lofty and serious, that was light and ridiculous. It admitted of the wildest extravagancies, and it is only by Jonson that attempts are sometimes made to connect it, in any degree, with the main story. He was fully sensible of its absurdity, and has spoken of it in another place; but the spectators, as the Cook says in Neptune's Triumph, "hearkened after these things," and, indeed James himself, who laughed as boisterously as his merry grandson, was well pleased with their introduction. He "loved Masques (Wilson observes) and such disguises in these maskeradoes (antimasques) as were witty and sudden; the more ridiculous the more pleasant." Life of James, p. 104.
It should be added, that the antimasques were, for the most part, performed by actors hired from the theatres. They partook
Vul. Begin your charm, sound music, circle him in, and take him if he will not obey, bind him.
They all danced about MERCURY with variety of changes, whilst he defends himself with his Caduceus, and after the Dance, speaks.
Mer. It is in vain, Vulcan, to pitch your net in the sight of the fowl thus: I am no sleepy Mars, to be catch'd in your subtile toils. I know what your aims are, sir, to tear the wings from my head and heels, lute me up in a glass with my own seals,' while you might wrest the Caduceus out of my hand, to the adultery and spoil of nature, and make your accesses by it, to her dishonor, more easy. Sir, would you believe it should be come to that height of impudence, in mankind, that such a nest of fireworms as these are, because their patron Mulciber heretofore has made stools stir, and statues dance, a dog of brass to bark, and (which some will say, was his worst act) a woman to speak, should therefore with their heats call'd Balnei Cineris, or horse-dung, profess to outwork the sun in virtue, and contend to the great act of generation, nay almost creation? It is so, though: for in yonder vessels which you see in their laboratory, they have inclosed materials to produce men, beyond the deeds of Deucalion, or Prometheus; of which, one, they say, had the philosopher's stone, and threw it over his shoulder, the other the fire, and lost it. And what men are they, they are so busy about, think you? not common ordinary creatures, but of rarity and excellence, such as the times wanted, and the age had a special deal
of the nature of the old Exodia, and like them afforded a little breathing time for those who came forward in the regular pieces.
Lute me up in a glass with my own seals,] i. e. in glasses hermetically sealed. See vol. iv. p. 62.
of need of such as there was a necessity, they should be artificial; for nature could never have thought or dreamt of their composition. I can remember some of their titles to you, and the ingredients; do not look for Paracelsus' man among them, that he promised you out of white bread, and Dele-wine, for he never came to light. But of these let me see; the first that occurs; a master of the duel, a carrier of the differences. To him went spirit of ale, a good quantity, with the amalgama of sugar and nutmegs, oil of oaths, sulphur of quarrel, strong waters, valour precipitate, vapoured o'er the helm with tobacco, and the rosin of Mars with a drachm of the business, for that's the word of tincture, the business. Let me alone with the business. I will carry the business. I do understand the business. I do find an affront in the business. Then another is a fencer in the mathematics, or the town's cunning-man, a creature of art too; a supposed secretary to the stars; but, indeed, a kind of lying intelligencer from those parts. His materials, if I be not deceived, were juice of almanacs, extraction of ephemerides, scales of the globe, filings of figures, dust of the twelve houses, conserve of questions, salt of confederacy, a pound of adventure, a
8 Do not look for Paracelsus' man among them, &c.] The device of Paracelsus was to produce a man without the conjunction of the sexes this opinion is also said to have been countenanced by Hippocrates. Sir Thomas Brown professes the same sentiments (Religio Medici, lib. ii. sect. 9.) in words which he has borrowed from Aulus Gellius; ca voluptas, sc. gustu et tactu, sicut sapientes viri censuerunt, omnium rerum fœdissima est. WHAL.
9 Out of white bread and Dele-wine.] A species of Rhenish wine. It is frequently mentioned by our old dramatists, and generally in company with Backrach, a thin Hock. Thus Shirley:
"Whirl in coaches
To the Dutch magazine of sauce, the Steelyard,
Where Deal and Backragge, and what strange wines else,
Lady of Pleasure.
grain of skill, and a drop of truth. I saw vegetals too, as well as minerals, put into one glass there, as adder's-tongue, titlebane, nitre of clients, tartar of false conveyance, aurum palbabile, with a huge deal of talk, to which they added tincture of conscience, with the faces of honesty; but for what this was, I could not learn; only I have over-heard one of the artists say, out o' the corruption of a lawyer was the best generation of a broker in suits: whether this were he or no, I know not.
Vul. Thou art a scorner, Mercury, and out of the pride of thy protection here, makest it thy study to revile art, but it will turn to thine own contumely Call forth the creatures of the first class, and let them move to the harmony of our heat, till the slanderer have sealed up his own lips, to his own
Mer. Let them come, let them come, I would not wish a greater punishment to thy impudence.
Enter the second ANTIMASQUE, of imperfect creatures, with helms of limbecks on their heads: whose dance ended, MERCURY proceeded.
Mer. Art thou not ashamed, Vulcan, to offer, in defence of thy power and art, against the excellence of the sun and nature, creatures more imperfect than the very flies and insects that are her trespasses and scapes? Vanish, with thy insolence, thou and thy impostors, and all mention of you melt before the majesty of this light, whose Mercury henceforth I profess to be, and never again the philosophers'. Vanish, I say, that all who have but their senses, may see and judge the difference between thy ridi culous monsters and his absolute features.
At which the whole scene changed to a glorious bower, wherein NATURE was placed, with PROMETHEUS at