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for we have had nothing from him: he has set out nothing, I am sure.
I Her. Like enough, perhaps he has not all in; when he has all in, he will set out, I warrant you, at least those from whom he had it; it is the very same party that has been i' the moon now.
Print. Indeed! has he been there since? belike he rid thither then?
Fact. Yes, post, upon the poet's horse, for a wager.
I Her. No, I assure you, he rather flew upon the wings of his muse. There are in all but three ways of going thither: one is Endymion's way, by rapture in sleep, or a dream. The other Menippus's way, by wing, which the poet took. The third, old Empedocles's way, who, when he leapt into Etna, having a dry sear body, and light, the smoke took him and whift him up into the moon, where he lives yet, waving up and down like a feather, all soot and embers, coming out of that coal-pit: our poet met him and talked with him.
Chro. In what language, good sir?
2 Her. Only by signs and gestures, for they have no articulate voices there, but certain motions to music: all the discourse there is harmony.
Fact. A fine lunatic language, i' faith; how do their lawyers then?
2 Her. They are Pythagoreans, all dumb as fishes, for they have no controversies to exercise themselves in.
Fact. How do they live then?
1 Her. On the dew of the moon, like grasshoppers, and confer with the doppers.1 Fact. Have you doppers?
2 Her. A world of doppers! but they are there as lunatic persons, walkers only: that have leave only to HUM and HA, not daring to prophesy, or start up upon stools to raise doctrine.
I Her. The brethren of the Rosie Cross have their college within a mile of the moon; a castle in the air that runs upon wheels with a winged lanthorn
Print. I have seen it in print.
2 Her. All the phantastical creatures you can think of are there.
Fact. "Tis to be hoped there are women there, then.
1 Her. And zealous women, that will outgroan the groaning wives of Edinburgh.
Fact. Are there no self-lovers there? 2 Her. There were; but they are all dead of late for want of tailors.
Fact. 'Slight, what luck is that! we could have spared them a colony from hence.
2 Her. I think some two or three of them live yet, but they are turned moon-calves by this.
Print. O ay, moon-calves! what monster is that, I pray you?
2 Her. Monster! none at all, a very familiar thing, like our fool here on earth. I Her. The ladies there play with them instead of little dogs.
Fact. Then there are ladies?
2 Her. And knights and squires. Fact. And servants and coaches?
I Her. Yes, but the coaches are much o' the nature of the ladies, for they go only with wind.
Chro. Pretty, like China waggons.
Fact. Have they any places of meeting with their coaches, and taking the fresh open air, and then covert when they please, as in our Hyde Park or so?
2 Her. Above all the Hyde Parks in Christendom, far more hiding and private; they do all in clouds there; they walk in the clouds, they sit in the clouds, they lie in the clouds, they ride and tumble in the clouds, their very coaches are clouds.
Print. But have they no carmen to meet and break their coaches?
2 Her. Alas, carmen! they will over a carman there, as he will do a child here: you shall have a coachman with cheeks like a trumpeter, and a wind in his mouth, blow him afore him as far as he can see him; or skirr over him with his bat's wings a mile and a half ere he can steer his wry neck to look where he is.
heightened by you, who, rapt above the moon far in speculation of your virtues, have remained there intranced certain hours, with wonder of the piety, wisdom, majesty reflected by you on them from the divine light to which only you are less. These, by how much higher they have been carried from earth to contemplate your greatness, have now conceived the more haste and hope in this their return home to approach your goodness; and led by that excellent likeness of yourself, the truth, imitating Procritus's endeavour, that all their motions be formed to the music of your peace, and have their ends in your favour, which alone is able to resolve and thaw the cold they have presently contracted in coming through the colder re[Music.
I Her. Only one island they have is called the isle of the Epicones, because there under one article both kinds are sig-gion. nified, for they are fashioned alike, male and female the same; not heads and broad hats, short doublets and long points; neither do they ever untruss for distinction, but laugh and lie down in moonshine, and stab with their poniards; you do not know the delight of the Epicones in moonshine.
2 Her. And when they have tasted the springs of pleasure enough, and billed, and kist, and are ready to come away; the shees only lay certain eggs (for they are never with child there), and of those eggs are disclosed a race of creatures like men, but are indeed a sort of fowl, in part covered with feathers (they call them VoLATEES), that hop from island to island: you shall see a covey of them, if you please, presently.
I Her. Yes, faith, 'tis time to exercise their eyes, for their ears begin to be weary. 2 Her. Then know we do not move these wings so soon
On which our poet mounted to the moon,
Enter the VOLATEES for the ANTIMASQUE,
and DANCE. After which
2 Her. We have all this while (though the muses' heralds) adventured to tell your majesty no news; for hitherto we have moved rather to your delight than your belief. But now be pleased to expect a more noble discovery worthy of your ear as the object will be your eye: a race of your own, formed, animated, lightened, and
1 Not heads.] e., closely shorn, or polled.
Here the Scene opens, and discovers the
Howe'er the brightness may amaze,
Till you collect your sight.
So while the warmth you do confess,
To quicken than refine,
You may by knowledge grow more bold,
The body whence they shine.
The first DANCE follows.
Now look and see in yonder throne,
This is that orb so bright,
Read him as you would do the book
What his proportions be;
No measure that is thence contrived,
Here the MAIN DANCE and REVELS.
Not that we think you weary be, For he That did this motion give, And made it so long live, Could likewise give it perpetuity.
Look, look already where I am,
Got up unto the sky,
Upon my better wing,
The knowing king,
And made the music here,
All ears will take the voice,
Or Truth hath left to breathe, and
I Her. See what is that this music brings, And is so carried in the air about?
2 Her. Fame, that doth nourish the renown of kings, And keep that fair which Envy would blot out. Thus it ended.
broken verse abone written maun of necessitie, in thir last short fete, have bot twa fete and a tayle to ilkane of them." Jonson omitted the tayle.-F. C.]
A Masque of the Metamorphosed Gipsies,
AS IT WAS THRICE PRESENTED TO KING JAMES,
First at Burleigh-on-the-Hill, next at Belvoir, and lastly at Windsor,
A MASQUE, &c.] From the folio 1641. But a copy of it had stolen abroad, and been printed the year before, together with a few of Jonson's minor poems, by J. Okes, il: 12mo.
The folio, never greatly to be trusted, is here grievously incorrect, and proves the miserable incapacity of those into whose hands the poet's papers fell. The surreptitious copy in 12mo is somewhat less imperfect, but yet leaves many errors. These I have been enabled in some measure to remove, by the assistance of a MS. in the possession of my friend Richard Heber, Esq., to whose invaluable collection, as the reader is already apprized, I have so many obligations. This, which is in his own hand, and is perhaps the only MS. piece of Jonson's in existence, is more full and correct than either of the printed copies, the folio in particular, and is certainly prior to them both. It fills up many lacune, and in one instance completes a stanza by furnishing three lines which no ingenuity could have supplied.
This Masque, as the title tells us, was performed before James and his Court at three several places. As the actors as well as the spectators varied at each, it became necessary to vary the language; and Jonson, who always attended the presentation of his pieces, was called on for additions adapted to the performers and the place. These unfortunately are not very distinctly marked either in the MS. or the printed copies, though occasional notices of them appear in the former. As everything that was successively written for the new characters is come down to us, the Gipsies Metamorphosed appears of immoderate length; it must however have been highly relished by the Court; and the spirit and accuracy with which the male characters are drawn, and the delicacy and sweetness with which some of the female ones are depicted, though they cannot delight (as at the time), by the happiness of their application, may yet be perused with pleasure us specimens of poetic excellence, ingenious flattery, or adroit satire.
The Speech at the King's entrance at Burleigh, made in the character of the Porter.
If for our thoughts there could but speech | The MASTER is your creature, as the place; be found, And every good about him is your grace: Whom, though he stand by silent, think not rude,
And all that speech be uttered in one sound, So that some power above us would afford The means to make a language of a word, It should be WELCOME! in that only voice We would receive, retain, enjoy, rejoice; And all effects of love and life dispense, Till it were called a copious eloquence; For should we vent our spirits now you are
But as a man turned all to gratitude. For what he ne'er can hope how to restore,
Since while he meditates one, you pour on
Vouchsafe to think he only is opprest With their abundance, not that in his breast
His powers are stupid grown; for please you enter
Him, and his house, and search him to the centre;
You'll find within no thanks or vows there shorter,
For having trusted thus much to his Porter.
The Prologue at Windsor.
As many blessings as there be bones
I dare be no waster
Of time or of speech,
Where you are in place: I only beseech
You take in good grace, Our following the court, Since 'tis for your sport
1 The house your bounty built, and still doth rear, &c.] Villiers (now Marquis of Buckingham) was in the zenith of his favour. Honours were showered upon all his relatives and friends. His mother was made a countess, her children promoted and married to persons of rank and fortune, and not a second cousin overlooked in the distribution of wealth and titles. If, as the speech says, the Marquis was "turned all to gratitude," it was well, and yet no more than so indulgent a master and friend as James deserved. Burleigh was burnt to the ground by the Parliament forces in 1645. They had made it a place of arms, and on evacuating it set it on fire. The destruction of a mansion once in
To have you still merry,
So long (some will say) till we grow a disease.
But you, sir, that twice Have graced us already, encourage to thrice; Wherein if our boldness your patience invade,
Forgive us the fault that your favour hath made.
habited by the great object of their hate, the Duke of Buckingham, must have gratified them beyond measure.
By the house your bounty built, the poet alludes classically and simply to the raising up of the family. In a literal sense, the house was originally constructed by some of the Harrington family; though much enlarged and beautified by the present possessor.
No introductory speech is given to the presentation at Belvoir. Buckingham had married the Earl of Rutland's daughter, so that the Royal appearance at that castle was not without some compliment perhaps to the favourite.