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PLEASURE RECONCILED TO VIRTUE.] From the second fol. If the scenery answered the poet's description, the opening of this Masque must have had a very striking effect. The entrance of Comus is picturesque and full of voluptuous gaiety. The commentators on Milton, after spending twenty or thirty pages in conjectures on the origin of Milton's Comus, without the slightest reference to Jonson, condescend, in the course of their subsequent annotations, to observe that "Jonson's Masque of Pleasure might, perhaps, afford some hint to Milton !" Perhaps it might and so, I suspect, might some others: but enough on this head.


The Scene was the Mountain


Who had his top ending in the figure of an old man, his head and beard all hoary, and frost, as if his shoulders were covered with snow; the rest wood and rock. A grove of ivy at his feet; out of which, to a wild music of cymbals, flutes and tabors, is brought forth COMUS, the god of cheer, or the Belly, riding in triumph, his head crown'd with roses and other flowers, his hair curled: they that wait upon him crown'd with ivy, their javelins done about with it; one of them going with HERCULES his bowl bare before him, while the rest present him with this


Full Chorus.

OOM! room! make room for the Bouncing Belly,

First father of sauce, and deviser of jelly;
Prime master of arts, and the giver of

That found out the excellent engine the spit;
The plough and the flail, the mill and the hopper,
The hutch and the boulter, the furnace and copper,
The oven, the baven, the mawkin, the peel,


The hearth, and the range, the dog and the wheel ;
He, he first invented the hogshead and tun,
The gimlet and vice too, and taught them to run,
And since with the funnel and Hippocras bag,
He has made of himself, that now he cries swag!
Which shows, though the pleasure be but of four inches,
Yet he is a weasel, the gullet that pinches

Of any delight, and not spares from his back
Whatever to make of the belly a sack!

Hail, hail, plump paunch! O the founder of taste,
For fresh meats, or powder'd, or pickle, or paste,
Devourer of broil'd, baked, roasted, or sod;
And emptier of cups, be they even or odd:

All which have now made thee so wide in the waist,
As scarce with no pudding thou art to be laced;
But eating and drinking until thou dost nod,
Thou break'st all thy girdles, and break'st forth a god.

Bowl bearer. Do you hear, my friends? to whom did you sing all this now? Pardon me only that I ask you, for I do not look for an answer; I'll answer myself: I know it is now such a time as the Saturnals for all the world, that every man stands under the eves of his own hat, and sings what pleases him; that's the right and the liberty of it. Now you sing of god Comus, here, the belly-god; I say it is well, and I say it is not well; it is well as it is a ballad, and the belly worthy of it, I must needs say, an 'twere forty yards of ballad more, as much ballad as tripe. But when the belly is not edified by it, it is not well; for where did you ever read or hear that the belly had any ears? Come, never pump for an answer, for you are defeated: our fellow Hunger there, that was as ancient a retainer to the Belly as any of us, was turn'd away for being unseasonable; not unreasonable, but unseasonable; and now is he, poor thin-gut, fain to get his living with teaching of

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