« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
After which, they danced their last Dance, and
returned into the scene, which closed, and was a mountain again, as before.
AND SO IT ENDED.
This pleased the king so well, as he would see it again; when it was presented with these additions
* This pleased the king so well, as he would see it again.) Who can wonder at it? It must have been a very graceful and splendid entertainment: and, with due respect be it spoken, nearly as worthy of the nobility, as the private masquerades, &c., which, with such advantage to good manners, have been substituted for it. It is with peculiar modesty that we, who cannot eke out an evening's entertainment without the introduction of gamblers, hired buffoons, and voluntary jack-puddings, declaim on the “pedantry and wretched taste ” of James and his Court.
8 With these additions .] The sentence is incomplete, and must be filled up as in the fol. with the words on the opposite page,—" for the Honour of Wales.”
FOR THE HONOUR OF WALES.] This, as Jonson has just said, is merely a kind of Antimasque, added, for the sake of variety, and the king's amusement, to Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue.
It is my destiny to encounter the blundering enemies of Jonson upon all occasions. In turning over Pennant's Tour in Wales, I stumbled unexpectedly upon the following passage. “There is a circumstance attending Inigo Jones, which deserves mention, as it bears some relation to the country from whence he may have derived his origin. When he was employed to furnish rare devices and paint the scenery for the masques of the festive year 1619,* he painted the Creigie 'r eira, or a scene in Snowdonia, for the Masque For the Honour of Wales. He did it with such success, as to excite the envy of the poet, Ben Johnson; for the scenes were more admired than the entertainment, which might very well be; but Johnson was so offended as to give vent to his spleen in a copy of verses, as imbecil as they were rancorous and ill founded.” Vol. ii. p. 151. 1784.
The reader who has observed the kind solicitude with which Jonson puts forward the name of Jones in all the Masques printed under his own eye, will probably, unless already prejudiced by the stupid malignity of the Shakspeare commentators, be somewhat startled at this charge of “envy.” He need not, however, be under any concern for the poet. The fact is, that Pennant, with the usual fate of Jonson’s detractors, has not a syllable of truth or sense in his accusation. In the first place, it does not appear that Jones was, at this time, in England, at all events he was not employed on Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue ; which was probably fitted up by Nicholas Lanier, who prepared the scenery for the Masque of Lethe. In the second place, the little piece before us is not a Masque, but an Antimasque, a mere introduction. “The king (Jonson says) was so much pleased with the Masque of Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue, that he would see it again, with these additions (namely, those which immediately follow) for the Honour of Wales." In the third place, no scenery was painted by Inigo Jones, or any other person, for “these additions.” “The scene stood precisely as before,” the poet says, “ only the name of it was changed, and what had been Mount Atlas was now called CraigEriri.” This is more than sufficient to prove, that Pennant had not even looked at the title of the work which he was so zealously employed in abusing ! but this is too common for notice.—Let us proceed then, in the last place, to observe that the verses, how
What Pennant means by "festive,” it is not easy to guess. The principal events of the year, were the death of the Queen, and the breaking out of a continental war.