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On the top of all the throne (as being made out of all these) stood
a personage, whose dressing had something of all the others, and had her robe painted full of figures. Her head was compass'd with a crown of gold, having in it seven jewels equally set. In her hand a lyra, whereon she rested.
This was the ornament of the throne. The ascent to which consisting of six steps, was covered with a multitude of Cupids (chosen out of the best, and most ingenious youth of the kingdom, noble, and others) that were the torch-bearers; and all armed with bows, quivers, wings, and other ensigns of love. On the sides of the throne were curious and elegant arbors appointed; and behind, in the back-part of the isle, a grove of grown trees laden with golden fruit, which other little Cupids plucked, and threw at each other, whilst on the ground leverets picked up the bruised apples, and left them half eaten. ground-plat of the whole was a subtle indented maze: and in the two foremost angles were two fountains that ran continually, the one Hebe's, the other Hedone's: in the arbors were placed the musicians, who represented the shades of the old poets, and were attired in a priest-like habit of crimson and purple, with laurel garlands.
• She is so described in Iconolog. di Cesare Ripa; his reason of seven jewels, in the crown, alludes to Pythagoras's comment, with Macr. lib. ii. Som. Scip. of the seven planets and their spheres.
The inducing of many Cupids wants not defence, with the best and most received of the ancients, bs Prop. Stat. Claud. Sido. Apoll. especially Phil. in Icon. Amor. whom I have particularly followed in this description.
They were the notes of loveliness, and sacred to Venus. See Phil. in that place mentioned.
d Of Youth.
• Of Pleasure.
The colours of the masquers were varied; the one half in orange-tawny, and silver: the other in seagreen and silver. The bodies and short skirts on white and gold to both.
The habit and dressing for the fashion was most curious, and so exceeding in riches, as the throne whereon they sat seem'd to be a mine of light, struck from their jewels and their garments.
This throne, as the whole island moved forward on the water, had a circular motion of its own, imitating that which we call motum mundi, from the east to the west, or the right to the left side. For so Hom. Ilia. μ, understands by decía, Orientalia Mundi: by apoTepa, Occidentalia. The steps whereon the Cupids sat had a motion contrary, with analogy ad motum planetarum, from the west to the east: both which turned with their several lights. And with these three varied motions, at once, the whole scene shot itself to the land.
Above which, the moon was seen in a silver chariot, drawn by virgins, to ride in the clouds, and hold them greater light: with the sign Scorpio, and the character, placed before her.
The order of the scene was carefully and ingeniously disposed; and as happily put in act (for the motions) by the king's master carpenter. painters, I must needs say, (not to belie them,) lent small colour to any, to attribute much of the spirit of these things to their pencils. But that must not be imputed a crime, either to the invention or design.
Here the loud music ceased; and the musicians, which were placed in the arbors, came forth through the mazes to the other land: singing this full song, iterated in the closes by two Echoes, rising out of the fountains.
When Love at first, did move
I Ech. As now!
2 Ech. As now!
Yield Night, then to the light,
It was for Beauty that the world was made,
2 Ech. Admit no shade.
Which ended, Vulturnus, the wind, spake to the river Thamesis, that lay along between the shores, leaning upon his urn that flow'd with water, and crowned with flowers; with a blue cloth of silver robe about him; and was personated by master Thomas Giles, who made the dances.
Vul. Rise, Aged Thames, and by the hand
Whilst we, again, to sea are fled.
'So is he feigned by Orpheus, to have appeared first of all the gods; awakened by Clotho: and is therefore called Phanes, both by him, and Lactantius.
* An agreeing opinion, both with divines and philosophers, that the great artificer, in love with his own idea, did therefore frame the world.
Alluding to the name of Himerus, and his signification in the name, which is Desiderium post aspectum: and more than Eros, which is only Cupido, ex aspectu amare.
2 Instruct their silver feet to tread.] Warton seemed inclined to
With which the Winds departed: and the river received them into the land, by couples and fours, their Cupids coming before them.
These dancing forth a most curious, dance, full of excellent device and change, ended it in the figure of a diamond, and so, standing still, were by the musicians with a second SONG, sung by a loud tenor, celebrated.
So Beauty on the waters stood,
When Love had sever'd earth from flood!
And then a motion he them taught,
Which thought was, yet, the child of earth,*
The song ended; they danced forth their second dance, more subtle and full of change than the former; and so exquisitely performed, as the king's majesty (incited first by his own liking, to that which all others there present wished) required them both again, after some time of dancing with the lords. Which time to give them respite was intermitted with a SONG; first, by a treble voice, in this manner.
If all these Cupids, now were blind,
compliment Milton with the introduction of this expression, when Mr. Bowles (the keen detector of Jonson's plagiarisms, vol. iv. 37) informed him that silver-footed was to be found in Brown's Pastorals (1619)-" perhaps," subjoins the former, "for the first time in English poetry." It had previously occurred in twenty places in Jonson !
As, in the creation, he is said by the ancients to have done. k That is, born since the world, and out of those duller apprehensions that did not think he was before.
1 I make these different from him, which they feign cocum Cupidinem, or petulantem, as I express beneath in the third song,
Or play should put it in their mind
What pretty battle they would make,
Which was seconded by another treble; thus,
It was no policy of court,
Albe the place were charmed,
To let in earnest, or in sport,
For say, the dames should, with their eyes,
To which a tenor answered.
Yes, were the Loves or false, or straying;
Their flames are pure, their eyes are fix'd:
After which songs they danced galliards and corantos; and with those excellent graces, that the music appointed to celebrate them, shewed it could be silent no longer: but, by the first tenor, admired them thus:
Had those that dwelt in error foul
And hold that women have no soul,m
But seen these move; they would have then
these being chaste Loves that attend a more divine beauty than that of Love's common parent.
There hath been such a profane paradox published.