« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
After which they danced forth their second masque-dance, and were again excited by a SONG.
1 Faie. Nor yet, nor yet, O you in this night blest,
Must you have will, or hope to rest.
2 Faie. If you use the smallest stay, You'll be overta'en by day.
I Faie. And these beauties will suspect That their forms you do neglect, If you do not call them forth.
2 Faie. Or that you have no more worth Than the coarse and country Faerie, That doth haunt the hearth or dairy.
Love freed from Ignorance and Folly:
A MASQUE OF HER MAJESTY'S.
LOVE FREED.] The date of this Masque is not mentioned, nor the particular occasion on which it was presented. There is no earlier edition of it than the folio, 1616. Mr. Stephen Jones (a name utterly unworthy of notice, but as the booksellers have connected it with the drama) assigns the first appearance of all these Masques to 1640. He could grovel in falsehood for the gratification of his senseless enmity to Jonson; but to open one of his volumes for the purpose of ascertaining the truth, appears to have been thought a mere loss of time.
[It was presented at Christmas, 1610-11, in the same season as the Mask of Oberon and Love Restored. On December 15, 1610, John More wrote to Sir R. Winwood : "Yet doth the Prince make but one Mask, and the Queen but two, which doth cost her Majesty but 600l. Neither do I see any likelihood of any further extraordinary expense that this Christmas will bring."-See Collier's Annals of the Stage, i. 377.—F. C.)
And you now, that thought to lay
Sphinx. Come, Sir Tyranne, lordly Love, Tell me, Monster, what should move
You that awe the gods above,
As their creatures here below,
With the sceptre called your bow;
And do all their forces bear
In the quiver that you wear,
*By this Sphinx was understood Ignorance, who is always the enemy of Love and Beauty, and lies still in wait to entrap them. For which Antiquity has given her the upper parts and
Thy despight thus against Love?
Clearest bosoms. Hath this place
I would tell you all the story
face of a woman; the nether parts of a lion, the wings of an eagle, to shew her fierceness and swiftness to evil where she hath power.
For it practised was on Beauty,
Sphinx. Do, I'll laugh, or cry alas !
Know then, all you glories here,
Of the rich and purest gum,
The meaning of this is, that these ladies being the perfect issue of beauty, and all worldly grace, were carried by Love to celebrate the majesty and wisdom of the King, figured in the sun, and seated in these extreme parts of the world; where they were rudely received by Ignorance, on their first approach, to the hazard of their affection, it being her nature
Knowing that these rites were done
By her wings and hooked hands,
'Less they could the knot unstrain
Darker than where they are shut:
They unwilling to forego
I, on th' other side as glad
To redeem them and the strife.
do not presume;
Sphinx. Have you said, sir? will you try Now your known dexterity? You presume upon your arts, Of tying and untying hearts; And it makes you confident: But anon you will repent. Love. No, Sphinx, But some little heart assume From my judges here, that sit As they would not lose Love yet. Sphinx. You are pleasant, sir, 'tis good. Love. Love does often change his mood. Sphinx. I shall make you sad agen. Love. I shall be the sorrier then. Sphinx. Come, sir, lend it your best ear. Love. I begin t' have half a fear.
to hinder all noble actions; but that the Love which brought them thither was not willing to forsake them, no more than they were to abandon it; yet was it enough perplexed, in that the monster Ignorance still covets to enwrap itself in dark and obscure terms and betray that way, whereas true Love affects to express itself with all clearness and simplicity.
Sphinx. First, Cupid, you must cast about
Love. Sphinx, you are too quick
Say't again, and take me along.1
Sphinx. I say, you first must cast about
Love. I say, that is already done,
Love. That's smiles and tears,
Sphinx. Which time till now,
Love. Without a glass? well, I shall do't.
Sphinx. Yes, but find out
A world you must, the world without.
Sphinx. Well, you shall run!
And is the light and treasure too.
Sphinx. Nay, your railing will not save
Cupid, I of right must have you.
And your mother's triumph prove.
Here the FOLLIES, which were twelve
To the cliff, where I will tear him
Love. Ladies, have your looks no power
Love. That's clear as light; for wherein lies Will you lose him thus ? Adieu!
A lady's power but in her eyes?
Love. A rolling eye, that native there Yet throws her glances everywhere; And, being but single, fain would do The offices and arts of two.
Sphinx. And in the powers thereof are mixed
*This shews that Love's expositions are not always serious, till it be divinely instructed and that sometimes it may be in the danger of ignorance and folly, who are the mother and issue: for no folly but is born of ignorance.
1 And take me along.] Go no faster than I can go with you; i.e., Let me understand you. The phrase, which is sufficiently common, is found in the Little French Lawyer; and is thus
Think what will become of you.
Sphinx. Away, go bear him
Here the MUSES' PRIESTS, in number
Gentle Love,* be not dismayed.
Had the sense first from the Muses,
But they bid that thou shouldst look
Love. 'Tis done! 'tis done! I've found
Britain's the world, the world without.
Priests. 'Tis true in him, and in no
Love, thou art clear absolved,
Vanish, Follies, with your mother,
The riddle is resolved.
Sphinx must fly when Phoebus shines,
[SPHINX retires with the FOLLIES. Love. Appear then, you my brighter charge,
And to light yourselves enlarge,
To behold that glorious star
Majestas, et Amor.-WHAL.