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Oberon, the Fairy Prince:
A MASQUE OF PRINCE HENRY'S.
The first face of the scene appeared all obscure, and nothing perceived but a dark rock, with trees beyond it, and all wildness that could be presented: till, at one corner of the cliff, above the horizon, the moon began to shew, and rising, a SATYR was seen by her light to put forth his head and call.
1 Sat. CHROMIS !* Mnasil It none appear?
See you not who riseth here?
You saw Silenus late, I fear.‡
I'll prove if this can reach your ear.
He wound his cornet, and thought himself answered; but was deceived by the echo.
O, you wake then! come away,
What doth make you thus delay?
* They are the names of two young Satyrs, I find in Virgil Eclog. 6, that took Silenus sleeping; who is feigned to be the pædagogue of Bacchus as the Satyrs are his collusores or play-fellows. So doth Diodor. Siculus, Synesius, Julian, in Casarib. report them.
A proverbial speech, when they will tax one the other of drinking or sleepiness; alluding to that former place in Virgil:
Chromis et Mnasilús in antro Silenum, pueri, somno videre jacentem, Inflatum hesterno venas, ut semper, Iaccho. § Silenus is everywhere made a lover of wine, as in Cyclops Eurip., and known by the notable ensign, his tankard: out of the same place of Virgil: Et gravis attrita pendebat cantharus ausa. As also out of that famous piece of sculpture, in a little gem or piece of jasper, observed by Mons. Casaubon, in his tract de Satyrica Poësi, from Rascasius Bagarrius: wherein is
Wound his cornet the second time, and found it.
I thought 'twas she!
Here he wound the third time, and was answered by another Satyr, who likewise shewed himself.
Ay, this sound I better know;
List I would I could hear moe.
At this they came running forth severally, to the number of ten, from divers parts of the rock, leaping and making antick actions and gestures; some of them speaking, some admiring: and amongst them a SILENE, who is ever the prefect of the Satyrs, and so presented in all their chori and meetings.
2 Sat. Thank us, and you shall do so. 3 Sat. Ay, our number soon will grow.
2 Sat. See Silenus !T 3 Sat. CERCOPS too!
described the whole manner of the scene, and chori of Bacchus, with Silenus and the Satyrs. An elegant and curious antiquity, both for the subtilty and labour: where, in so small a compass (to use his words), there is Rerum, personarum, actionum plane stupenda varietas. lowing Narcissus; and his self-love. Il Respecting that known fable of Echo's fol
In the pomps of Dionysius or Bacchus, to every company of Satyrs, there was still given a Silene for their overseer or governor. And in that which is described by Athenæus in his fifth book. Bini Sileni non semel commemorantur, qui totidem plurium Satyrorum gregibus præsint. Erant enim eorum epistatæ, præsules, et coryphæi, propter grandem ætatem. He was also purpureo pallio vestitus cum albis soleis, et petasatus, aureum caduceum parvum ferens. Vid. Athena. Dipnos. lib. 6, de pompå Ptolemaică.
4 Sat. Yes. What is there now to do? 5 Sat. Are there any nymphs to woo? 4 Sat. If there be, let me have two.* Silen. Chaster language !t
Solemn to the shining rites
Of the Fairy Prince and knights:
2 Sat. Will they come abroad anon?
Bacchus, though he still be young,
Is the spring, and there can stay
* The nature of the Satyrs the wise Horace expressed well, in the word, when he called them Risores et Dicaces, as the Greek poets, Nonnus, &c., style them piλokepтoμovs. Nec solum dicaces, sed et proni in venerem, et saltatores assidui et credebantur, et fingebantur.
Omn. O, that he would come away!
Silen. He'll deserve
All you can, and more, my boys.
3 Sat. And to make 'em quickly fall? Silen. Peace, my wantons! he will do More than you can aim unto.
4 Sat. Will he build us larger caves? Silen. Yes, and give you ivory staves When you hunt; and better wine
I Sat. Than the master of the vine? 2 Sat. And rich prizes, to be won, When we leap, or when we run?
I Sat. Ay, and gild our cloven feet?
I Sat. Bind our crooked legs in hoops
2 Sat. Tie about our tawny wrists Bracelets of the fairy twists?
§ Mercury, who for the love of Penelope, while she was keeping her father Icarius's herds on the mountain Taygetas, turned himself into a fair buck-goat; with whose sports and flatteries the nymph being taken, he begat on her Pan: who was born, Capite cornuto, barbaque ac pedibus hircinis. As Homer hath it in Hymnis: and Lucian in dialogo Panis et Mercurii. was called the giver of grace, xapidoτns, paîdpos, λevкòs. Hilaris et albus, nitens Cyllenius alis. As Bacchus was called avotos, floridus; and Hebo, à lanugine et molli ætate, semper virens.
Unde Satyrica saltatio, quæ oikivvis dicebatur, et à qua Satyri ipsi oikívvioral. Vel à Sicino inventore, vel àñò This Kivýσews, id est, a motu saltationis satyrorum, qui est concita-Kai tissimus.
+ But in the Silenes was nothing of this petulance and lightness, but, on the contrary, all gravity and profound knowledge of most secret mysteries. Insomuch as the most learned of poets, Virgil, when he would write a poem of the beginnings and hidden nature of things, with other great antiquities, attributed the parts of disputing them to Silenus rather than any other. Which whosoever thinks to be easily, or by chance done by the most prudent writer, will easily betray his own ignorance or folly. To this, see the testimonies of Plato, Synesius, Herodotus, Strabo, Philostratus, Tertullian, &c.
Among the ancients the kind, both of the Centaurs and Satyrs, is confounded; and common with either. As sometimes the Satyrs are said to come of the Centaurs, and again the Centaurs of them. Either of them are Sovès, but after a diverse manner. And Galen observes out of Hippocrates, Comment. 3 in 6 Epidemicor. that both the Athenians and Ionians called the Satyrs φηρας, or φηρέας ; which name the Centaurs have with Homer: from whence, it were no unlikely conjecture, to think our word Fairies to come Viderint critici.
Apollo is said, after Jupiter had put Saturn to flight, to have sung his father's victory to the harp, Purpurea toga decorus, et laura coronatus, mirificeque deos omnes qui accubuerant, in convivio delectavisse. Which Tibullus, in lib. 2 Elegiar. points to:
Sed nitidus, pulcherque veni. Nunc indue
Purpuream, longas nunc bene recte comas.
¶ He was then lovely, as being not yet stained aureum flagellum (vel rectius auream galeam) with blood, and called χρυσοπήλεξ"Αρης, quasi habens.
**In Julius Pollux, lib. 4, cap. 19, in that par which he entitles de satyricis personis, we read that Silenus is called Tarros, that is, avus, to note his great age: as amongst the comic persons, the reverenced for their years were called πάпπоι and with Julian in Cas. Bacchus, when he speaks him fair, calls him raжπídɩov.
tt A name of Bacchus, Lyæus, of freeing men's minds from cares: παρὰ τὸ λύω, solvo.
4 Sat. And, to spight the coy nymphs'
Hang upon our stubbed horns
3 Sat.. Fresh as when the flower discloses ? I Sat. Yes, and stick our pricking ears With the pearl that Tethys wears.
2 Sat. And to answer all things else, Trap our shaggy thighs with bells; That as we do strike a time,
In our dance shall make a chime
3 Sat. Louder than the rattling pipes Of the wood gods
I Sat. Or the stripes
Silen. O, that he so long doth tarry!
Silen. Look! does not his palace show
There are crowned with lasting youth:
But their guards, methinks, do sleep!
I Sat. They've ne'er an eye
To wake withal.
2 Sat. Nor sense, I fear;
For they sleep in either ear.1
3 Sat. Holla, Sylvans!-sure they're caves Of sleep these, or else they're graves. 4 Sat. Hear you, friends!-who keeps the keepers?
3 Sat. Or that we had a wasp or two For their nostrils.
I Sat. Hairs will do Even as well: take my tail.
2 Sat. What d'you say to a good nail Through their temples?
2 Sat. Or an eel
In their guts, to make 'em feel?
4 Sat. Shall we steal away their beards? 3 Sat. For Pan's goat, that leads the herds?
2 Sat. Or try whether is more dead, His club or the other's head?
Silen. Wags, no more: you grow too bold.
I Sat. I would fain now see them rolled Down a hill, or from a bridge Headlong cast, to break their ridgeBones: or to some river take 'em, Plump; and see if that would wake 'em. 2 Sat. There no motion yet appears. Silen. Strike a charm into their ears. At which the Satyrs fell suddenly into this catch.
Buz, quoth the blue flie,
Hum, quoth the bee:
And so do we.
In his ear, in his nose,
[They tickle them.
The two Sylvans starting up amazed, and betaking themselves to their arms, were thus questioned by Silenus :
Silen. How now, Sylvans! can you wake? I commend the care you take In your watch! Is this your guise, To have both your ears and eyes
and means to sleep soundly, without any thoughts of care.-WHAL.
*Eratsolenne Baccho in pompa tenerorum more puerorum gestari à Sileño, et Satyris, Bacchis præcedentibus, quarum una semper erat Tympanistra, altera Tibicina, &c.-Vide Athena.dered
1 For they sleep IN EITHER EAR.] The Latin phrase is, In utramvis aurem dormire;
They had it from the Greek; it is rightly ren by Whalley.
Επ' αμφοτερα νυ χ' η 'πικληρος ονατα
Sealed so fast; as these mine elves
3 Sat. We had thought we must have got
2 Sat. Or have fetched some trees to heave
Up your bulks, that so did cleave
4 Sat. Are you free
Yet of sleep, and can you see
I Sat. Be your eyes yet moon-proof?
I Sat. Say you so? then let us fall
Shall we, grandsire? Let us sport,
Silen. Do, my wantons, what you please. I'll lie down and take mine ease.
I Sat. Brothers, sing then, and upbraid, As we use, yond' seeming maid.
Now, my cunning lady: moon,
Of the boy you keep so hid?
Of your paleness to be rid. But perhaps it is your grace To wear sickness in your face,
That there might be wagers laid Still, by fools, you are a maid. Come, your changes overthrow, What your look would carry so ;
Moon, confess then what you are,
Let us Satyrs have a share.
With more virtue: every one
Here they fell suddenly into an antick dance full of gesture and swift motion, and continued it till the crowing of the
*Vid. Cyc. Euripid. ubi Satiri Ulyssi auxilio sint ad amburendum oculum Cyclopis.
cock: at which they were interrupted by Silenus.
Silen. Stay! the cheerful Chanticleer
There the whole palace opened, and the nation of Faies were discovered, some with instruments, some bearing lights, others singing; and within afar off in perspective, the knights masquers sitting in their several sieges: at the further end of all, OBERON, in a chariot, which, to a loud triumphant music, began to move forward, drawn by two white bears, and on either side guarded by three Sylvans, with one going in front.
Melt earth to sea, sea flow to air,
Whilst we in tunes to Arthur's chair
Bear Oberon's desire;
Than which there's nothing can be higher, Save JAMES, to whom it flies:
But he the wonder is of tongues, of ears, of
Who hath not heard, who hath not seen,
The soul that hath not, hath not been;
With buried sloth, and knows not fame,
By this time the chariot was come as far forth as the face of the scene. And the Satyrs beginning to leap, and express their joy for the unused state" and solemnity, the foremost SYLVAN began to speak.
Their annual vows; and all their glories lay | May without stop point out the proper heir
To whose sole power and magic they do give
The honour of their being; that they live
My boys, whom you must quake at when
He is above your reach; and neither doth Nor can he think within a Satyr's tooth: Before his presence you must fall or fly, He is the matter of virtue, and placed high.
His meditations, to his height, are even: And all their issue is akin to heaven.
He is a god o'er kings; yet stoops he then Nearest a man, when he doth govern men ; To teach them by the sweetness of his sway,
And not by force. He's such a king as they
Who're tyrants' subjects, or ne'er tasted peace,
Would in their wishes form for their release.
"Tis he that stays the time from turning old, And keeps the age up in a head of gold. That in his own true circle still doth run; And holds his course as certain as the sun. He makes it ever day, and ever spring, Where he doth shine, and quickens everything,
Like a new nature: so that true to call
I Syl. I thank the wise Silenus for this praise.
Stand forth bright FAIES and ELVES, and tune your lays
Unto his name; then let your nimble feet Tread subtle circles, that may always meet In point to him; and figures to express The grace of him and his great emperess, That all that shall to-night behold the rites Performed by princely Oberon and these knights,
1 Then the lesser Faies dance.] "The little ladies (Sir John Finnet says) performed their dance to the amazement of all beholders, considering the tenderness of their years, and the many intricate changes of the dance, which was so disposed that which way soever the changes went the little duke (Charles) was still found to be in the midst of these little dancers." Had Sir John been much skilled in the mysteries of fairyland he would have recollected that the
SONG BY TWO FAIES.
1 Faie. Seek you majesty, to strike? Bid the world produce his like.
2 Faie. Seek you glory, to amaze? Here let all eyes stand at gaze.
Cho. Seek you wisdom, to inspire? Touch then at no other's fire.
1 Faie. Seek you knowledge, to direct? Trust to his without suspect.
2 Faie. Seek you piety, to lead? In his footsteps only tread.
Cho. Every virtue of a king, And of all in him we sing.