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leave my full tables, and enjoy at home their clean empty trenchers, fittest for such airy tastes; where perhaps a few Italian herbs, picked up and made into a sallad, may find sweeter acceptance than all the most nourishing and sound meats of the world.
For these men's palates, let not me answer, O Muses. It is not my fault, if I fill them out nectar, and they run to metheglin.
Vaticana bibant, si delectentur.
All the courtesy I can do them, is to cry again;
Prætereant, si quid non facit ad stomachum. As I will from the thought of them, to my better subject.
On the night of the Masques (which were two, one of men, the other of women) the scene being drawn, there was first discovered an altar; upon which was inscribed, in letters of gold,
"Ioni. Oima. Mimæ.
To this altar entered five pages, attired in white, bearing five tapers of virgin wax;" behind them, one
Mystically implying that both it, the place, and all the succeeding ceremonies were sacred to marriage, or Union; over which Juno was president: to whom there was the like altar erected, at Rome, as she was called Juga Juno, in the street, which thence was named Jugarius. See Fest.; and at which altar, the rite was to join the married pair with bands of silk, in sign of future concord.
Those were the Quinque Cerei, which Plutarch in his Quæst. Roman. mentions to be used in nuptials.
representing a bridegroom: his hair short, and bound with party-coloured ribands, and gold twist : his garments purple and white.
On the other hand, entered HYMEN (the god of marriage) in a saffron-colour'd robe,' his under vestures white, his socks yellow, a yellow veil of silk on his left arm, his head crowned with roses and marjoram, in his right hand a torch of pine-tree.
After him a youth attired in white,' bearing another light, of white thorn; under his arm, a little wicker flasket shut: behind him two others in white, the one bearing a distaff, the other a spindle. Betwixt
The dressing of the bridegroom (with the ancients) was chiefly noted in that, Quod tonderetur. Juv. Sat. 6. Jamque à tonsore magistro Pecteris. And Lucan, lib. ii., where he makes Cato negligent of the ceremonies in marriage, saith, Ille nec horrificam sancto dimovit ab ore Cæsariem.
1 On the other hand entered Hymen in a saffron-coloured robe, &c.] It is to this that Milton alludes:
"Then let Hymen oft appear
In saffron robe," &c.
See how he is called out, by Catullus in Nup. Jul. et Manl. Cinge tempora floribus Suave olentis amaraci, &c.
For so I preserve the reading there in Catul. Pineam quate tædam, rather than to change it Spineam; and moved by the authority of Virgil in Ciri., where he says, Pronuba nec castos incendet Pinus amores. And Ovid, Fast. lib. ii. Expectet puros pinea tæda dies. Though I deny not, there was also spinea tæda, &c., which Pliny calls Nuptiarum facibus auspicatissimam, Nat. Hist. lib. 16, cap. 18, and whereof Sextus Pompeius Fest. hath left so particular testimony. For which see the following note.
This (by the ancients) was called Camillus, quasi minister (for so that signified in the Hetrurian tongue) and was one of the three, which by Sex. Pompei were said to be Patrimi et Matrimi, Pueri prætextati tres, qui nubentem deducunt: unus, qui facem præfert ex spina alba. Duo qui tenent nubentem. To which confer that of Varro, lib. vi. de lingua Lat. Dicitur in nuptiis camillus, qui cumerum fert: as also that of Fest. lib. iii. Cumerum vocabant antiqui vas quoddam quod opertum in nuptiis ferebant, in quo erant nubentis utensilia, quod et camillum dicebant: eo quod sacrorum ministrum κάμιλλον appellabant.
these a personated bride, supported, her hair flowing, and loose sprinkled with gray; on her head a garland of roses, like a turret; her garments white and on her back, a wether's fleece hanging down: her zone, or girdle about her waist of white wool, fastened with the Herculean knot.
In the midst went the Auspices; after them, two that sung, in several coloured silks. Of which one bore the water, the other the fire; last of all the musicians," diversely attired, all crowned with roses; and with this SONG began.
Bid all profane away;
None here may stay
To view our mysteries,
But who themselves have been,
Or will in time be seen,
The self-same sacrifice.
For Union, mistress of these rites,
The song being ended, HYMEN presented himself foremost, and, after some sign of admiration, began to speak.
g Auspices were those that handfasted the married couple; that wished them good luck; that took care for the dowry; and heard them profess that they came together for the cause of children. Juv. Sat. 10. Veniet cum signatoribus auspex. And Lucan. lib. ii. Junguntur taciti, contentique auspice Bruto. They are also styled Pronubi, Proxeneta, Paranymphi.
The custom of music at nuptials, is clear in all antiquity. Ter. Adel. act. 5. Verum hoc mihi mora est, Tibicina, et Hymenæum qui cantent. And Claud. in epithal. Ducant pervigiles carmina tibiæ, &c.
Hy. What more than usual light,
Or reign, on earth, those Powers
Grace Union more than ours;
And bound her influence in their happier streams?
'Tis so this same is he,
The king, and priest of peace:
And that his empress, she,
That sits so crowned with her own increase!
O you, whose better blisses
Have proved the strict embrace
And seen it flow so in your happy race;
That know, how well it binds
The fighting seeds of things,
Wins natures, sexes, minds,
And every discord in true music brings :
Sit now propitious aids,
To rites so duly prized;
And view two noble maids,
Of different sex, to Union sacrificed.
In honour of that blest estate,
Which all good minds should celebrate.
Here out of a microcosm, or globe, (see p. 72) figuring a man, with a kind of contentious music, issued forth the first masque, of eight men.
Whose names as they were then marshalled by couples, I have heraldry enough to set down.
Sir JAMES HAY,
Earl of MONTGOMERY,5
Sir THOMAS HOWARD,6
Sir JOHN ASHLY.9
2 Lord Willoughby.] William, third lord Willoughby of Parham; he was a performer in the masque exhibited at court on the marriage of sir Philip Herbert, so often mentioned. His lady was Frances, daughter of John, fourth earl of Rutland.
3 Lord Walden.] Theophilus, eldest son of the earl of Suffolk. He married Elizabeth, daughter of the earl of Dunbar, and died 1640. This nobleman was called up to the house of Peers in his father's life time (1603) by the title of lord Howard of Walden. 4 Sir James Hay.] Son of sir James Hay of Kingask; he came into England in the suite of James, by whom he was greatly esteemed, and successively created baron Sowlie, viscount Doncaster, and finally earl of Carlisle. He continued a favourite under this and the following reign, and died in 1636, having received more grants, and spent more money, than any man of that age. He married, lord Clarendon says, a beautiful young lady, daughter to the earl of Northumberland.
5 Earl of Montgomery.] Philip Herbert, brother to the earl of Pembroke.
6 Sir Thomas Howard.] Probably a cousin of lord Arundel. He is mentioned in a letter to the earl of Shrewsbury, as preparing "for a journey to France with lord Cranborn: but I know nothing more of him. Lodge's Illus. vol. iii. 366.
7 Sir Thomas Somerset.] Third son of Edward, fourth earl of Worcester. He was sent by the privy council to announce to James the death of Elizabeth, was much and deservedly esteemed by the king, and in 1626 created viscount Somerset of Cashel.
8 Earl of Arundel.] Thomas Howard, son of that earl of Arundel who died in the Tower, 1595, and grandson of Thomas, duke of Norfolk, beheaded on account of his connexion with Mary, queen of Scots. He is called the young earl of Arundel by Mr. Chamberlaine, at this period, and if the dates in Collins's Peerage may be trusted, he could not be more than sixteen. When he married I know not, but in 1607, when he was little more than eighteen, James stood godfather to his first son. It is therefore possible, and indeed probable, that the countess of Arundel, who performed in the Masque of Beauty, (p. 38,) was the wife, and not the mother, of this nobleman. She was the lady Alithea Talbot, third daughter of Gilbert, earl of Shrewsbury. With respect to lord Arundel, he was one of the brightest characters of the court. We are indebted to him for the Arundel marbles.
9 Sir John Ashly.] Unknown to me: but probably sir John