Lapas attēli

THE GOLDEN AGE RESTORED.] From the first folio. This Masque is written with great care: the conclusion of it is highly poetical. It must have been a splendid and interesting perform



The Court being seated, and in expectation,

Loud music: PALLAS in her chariot descending, to a softer music.

OOK, look! rejoice and wonder

That you, offending mortals, are
(For all your crimes) so much the


Of him that bears the thunder.

Jove can endure no longer,

Your great ones should your less invade; Or that your weak, though bad, be made A prey unto the stronger,

And therefore means to settle

Astræa in her seat again;

And let down in his golden chain

The Age of better metal.

Which deed he doth the rather,

That even Envy may behold Time not enjoy'd his head of gold Alone beneath his father.

But that his care conserveth,

As time, so all time's honours too,

Regarding still what heav'n should do, And not what earth deserveth.

[A tumult, and clashing of arms heard within.

But hark! what tumult from yond' cave is heard?
What noise, what strife, what earthquake and alarms,
As troubled Nature for her maker fear'd;
And all the Iron Age were up in arms!

Hide me, soft cloud, from their profaner eyes,
Till insolent Rebellion take the field;
And as their spirits with their counsels rise,
I frustrate all with showing but my shield.

[She retires behind a cloud.

The IRON AGE presents itself, calling forth the Evils.

I. Age. Come forth, come forth, do we not hear What purpose, and how worth our fear,

The king of gods hath on us?

He is not of the Iron breed,

That would, though Fate did help the deed,
Let Shame in so upon us.

Rise, rise then up, thou grandame Vice
Of all my issue, Avarice,

Bring with thee Fraud and Slander,
Corruption with the golden hands,
Or any subtler Ill, that stands

To be a more commander.

Thy boys, Ambition, Pride, and Scorn,
Force, Rapine, and thy babe last born,
Smooth Treachery, call hither.
Arm Folly forth, and Ignorance,
And teach them all our Pyrrhic dance :
We may triumph together,

Upon this enemy so great,
Whom if our forces can defeat,

And but this once bring under,
We are the masters of the skies,
Where all the wealth, height, power lies,
The sceptre, and the thunder.

Which of you would not in a war
Attempt the price of any scar,

To keep your own states even?
But here, which of you is that he,
Would not himself the weapon be,
To ruin Jove and heaven?

About it then, and let him feel
The Iron Age is turn'd to steel,
Since he begins to threat her:
And though the bodies here are less
Than were the giants; he'll confess
Our malice is far greater.

The Evils enter for the Antimasque and Dance, to two drums, trumpets, and a confusion of martial music : At the end of which, PALLAS re-appears, shewing her shield. The Evils are turned to Statues.

Pal. So change, and perish, scarcely knowing how, That 'gainst the gods do take so vain a vow, And think to equal with your mortal dates, Their lives that are obnoxious to no fates.'Twas time t'appear, and let their folly see, 'Gainst whom they fought, and with what destiny. Die all, that can remain of you, but stone, And that be seen a while, and then be none! Now, now descend, you both belov'd of Jove, And of the good on earth no less the love;

[The scene changes; and she calls


Descend, you long, long wish'd and wanted pair,
And as your softer times divide the air,
So shake all clouds off with your golden hair;
For Spite is spent: the Iron Age is fled,
And, with her power on earth, her name is dead.

ASTRAA and the GOLDEN AGE descending with a

Ast. G. Age. And are we then

To live agen,

With men?

Ast. Will Jove such pledges to the earth restore As justice?

G. Age. Or the purer ore?


Once more.

G. Age. But do they know,

How much they owe?


Ast. And will of grace receive it, not as due?
Pal. If not, they harm themselves, not you.

Ast. True.

G. Age. True.

Cho. Let narrow natures, how they will, mistake, The great should still be good for their own sake.

[They come forward.

Pal. Welcome to earth, and reign.

Ast. G. Age. But how, without a train
Shall we our state sustain?

Pal. Leave that to Jove: therein

you are

No little part of his Minerva's care.

Expect awhile.

You far-fam'd spirits of this happy isle,

That, for your sacred songs have gain'd the style

« iepriekšējāTurpināt »