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tend, under the specious names of Geber, Arnold, Lully, Bombast of Hohenhein,' to commit miracles in art and treason against nature. And as if the title of philosopher, that creature of glory, were to be fetched out of a furnace, abuse the curious and credulous nation of metal-men through the world, and make Mercury their instrument. I am their crude and their sublimate; their precipitate and their unctuous, their male and their female; sometimes their hermaphrodite: what they list to style me. It is I that am corroded, and exalted, and sublimed, and reduced, and fetched over, ana filtered, and washed, and wiped; what between their salts and their sulphurs, their oils and their tartars, their brines and their vinegars, you might take me out now a soused Mercury, now a salted Mercury, now a smoked and dried Mercury, now a powdered and pickled Mercury never herring, oyster, or cucumber [coucumer] past so many vexations. My whole life with them hath been an exercise of torture; one, two, three, four, and five times an hour have they made me dance the philosophical circle, like an ape through a hoop, or a dog in a wheel. I am their turnspit indeed: they eat and smell no roast-meat but in my name. I am their bill of credit still, that passes for their victuals and house-room. It is through me they have got this corner of the Court to cozen in, where they shark for a hungry diet below stairs, and cheat upon your under-officers, promising mountains for their meat, and all upon Mercury's security. A poor page of the larder, they have made obstinately believe he shall be
1 Bombast of Hohenhein.]i.e., Paracelsus. 2 The proverb inverted.] i.e., Thesaurus pro carbone: the proverb is Carbo pro thesauro. 3 And so the black-guard, &c.] There is much satirical humour in these wild stipulations of the menials of the Court; but expectations full as extravagant were fostered by the dupes of this ridiculous pursuit in all ranks of life. With respect to the black-guard, they were, as I have shown (vol. i. 125 a), the lowest drudges of the kitchen, turnspits, carriers of wood, coal, &c. This is sufficiently clear from Jonson; but it is also distinctly stated by others. Thus Decker: "King. What place would you serve in? Gazette. Any but one of your turnbroaches; I would not be one of your black-guard, there's too much fire in me already."-Match me in London.
Mr. Todd has quoted Jonson, under this word, to little purpose, and copied Malone to none at all. It is rather singular that he should
physician for the household next summer : they will give him a quantity of the quintessence shall serve him to cure kibes or the mormal o' the shin, take away the pustules in the nose, and Mercury is engaged for it. A child of the scullery steals all their coals for them too, and he is bid sleep secure, he shall find a corner of the philosopher's stone for't under his bolster one day, and have the proverb inverted.2 Against which one day I am to deliver the buttery in so many firkins of aurum potabile, as it delivers out bombards of bouge to them between this and that. For the pantry, they are at a certainty with me, and keep a tally, an ingot, a loaf, or a wedge of some five pounds weight, which is nothing of nothing, a trifle. And so the blackguard3 are pleased with any lease of life (for some 999), especially those of the boiling-house, they are to have Medea's kettle hung up, that they may souse into it when they will, and come out renewed like so many stript snakes at their pleasure. But these are petty engagements, and, as I said, below the stairs; marry above here, perpetuity of beauty (do you hear, ladies ?) health, riches, honour; a matter of immortality is nothing. They will calcine you a grave matron, as it might be a mother o' the maids, and spring up a young virgin, out of her ashes, as fresh as a Phoenix: lay you an old courtier on the coals like a sausage, or a bloat herring, and after they have broiled him enough, blow a soul into him with a pair of bellows, till he start up into his galliard, that was made when Monsieur was here. They profess familiarly to melt down all the old
be at a loss for the meaning of so common a word.
I once entertained some indistinct hope that Jonson, who assuredly had a more critical knowledge of the English language than any person of the age in which he lived, and whose works are besides full of expressive and beautiful terms, would have been permitted to contribute somewhat to the perfection of the New Dictionary. But it does not appear (from what I have seen of it) that he has been thought worth consulting. With the exception of a few of his words, which might be gathered from the marginal remarks of Horne Tooke, or the notes of the Shakspeare commentators, he brings no aid :-but modestly retires, as it is fit he should, to make way for those dignified examples of purity and skill, Blackmore and the "festivous," Gayton.
4 When Monsieur was here.] i.e., in 1509.See vol. i. p. 147 b. H
sinners of the suburbs once in a half-nature, and make your accesses by it to year into fresh gamesters again; get all the cracked maidenheads, and cast them into new ingots: half the wenches of the town are alchymie. See, they begin to muster again, and draw their forces out against me! the Genius of the place defend me! You that are both the Sol and Jupiter of this sphere, Mercury invokes your majesty against the sooty tribe here; for in your favour only I grow recovered and warm.
At which time VULCAN entering with a troop of threadbare ALCHEMISTS, prepares them to the first ANTIMASQUE.1
Vul. Begin your charm, sound music, circle him in, and take him: if he will not obey, bind him.
They all danced about MERCURY with variety of changes, whilst he defends himself with his Caduceus, and after the DANCE, speaks.
Mer. It is in vain, Vulcan, to pitch your net in the sight of the fowl thus: I am no sleepy Mars, to be catched in your subtile toils. I know what your aims are, sir, to tear the wings from my head and heels, lute me up in a glass with my own scals, while you might wrest the Caduceus out of my hand, to the adultery and spoil of
her dishonour more easy. Sir, would you believe it should be come to that height of impudence in mankind, that such a nest of fire-worms as these are, because their patron Mulciber heretofore has made stools stir, and statues dance, a dog of brass to bark, and (which some will say, was his worst act) a woman to speak, should therefore with their heats, called Balnei Cineris, or horse-dung, profess to outwork the sun in virtue, and contend to the great act of generation, nay, almost creation? It is so though: for in yonder vessels which you see in their laboratory, they have enclosed materials to produce men, beyond the deeds of Deucalion or Prometheus; of which one, they say, had the philosopher's stone, and threw it over his shoulder, the other the fire, and lost it. And what men are they, they are so busy about, think you? not common ordinary creatures, but of rarity and excellence, such as the times
wanted, and the age had a special deal of need of such as there was a necessity they should be artificial; for nature could never have thought or dreamt of their composition. I can remember some of their titles to you, and the ingredients: do not look for Paracelsus' man among them,3 that he promised you out of white bread and Delewine, for he never came to light. But of these let me see; the first that occurs; a
were, for the most part, performed by actors hired from the theatres. They partook of the nature of the old Exodia, and like them afforded a little breathing time for those who came for
2 Lute me up in a glass with my own seals.] i.e., in glasses hermetically sealed.-See vol. ii. p. 26 a.
1 Here the first Antimasque.] As this word occurs here for the first time, it may not be amiss to notice it. Whalley has printed it through the greater part of his sixth volume Antemasque, as if he supposed it to signify some-ward in the regular pieces. thing introductory to the main masque: he afterwards changed his opinion and his orthography, and wrote it Antimasque, which "he inclined to think was a smoother pronunciation of antick 8 Do not look for Paracelsus' man among 'em, masque." My predecessor is still wrong. An &c.] The device of Paracelsus was to produce a Antimasque, or, as Jonson elsewhere calls it, "a man without the conjunction of the sexes: this foil or false masque, is something directly op- opinion is also said to have been countenanced posed to the principal masque. If this was by Hippocrates. Sir Thomas Browne professes lofty and serious, that was light and ridiculous. the same sentiments (Religio Medici, lib. 2, sect. It admitted of the wildest extravagancies, and 9), in words which he has borrowed from Aulus it is only by Jonson that attempts are sometimes Gellius: ea voluptas, sc. gustu et tactu, sicut made to connect it, in any degree, with the sapientes viri censuerunt, omnium rerum main story. He was fully sensible of its absur-fadissima est.-WHAL. dity, and has spoken of it in another place; but the spectators, as the Cook says in Neptune's Triumph, "hearkened after these things," and, indeed, James himself, who laughed as boisterously as his merry grandson, was well pleased with their introduction. He "loved Masques (Wilson observes) and such disguises in these maskeradoes (antimasques) as were witty and sudden; the more ridiculous the more pleasant." -Life of James, p. 104.
It should be added, that the antimasques
Out of white bread and Dele-wine,] A species of Rhenish wine. It is frequently mentioned by our old dramatists, and generally in company with Backrach, a thin Hock. Thus Shirley:
"Whirl in coaches
To the Dutch magazine of sauce, the Steelyard, Where Deal and Backragge, and what strange wines else,
Shall flow."-Lady of Pleasure, act v. sc. I.
I say, that all who have but their senses, may see and judge the difference between thy ridiculous monsters and his absolute features.
At which the whole scene changed to a glorious bower, wherein NATURE was placed, with PROMETHEUS at her feet, and the twelve Masquers standing about them. After they had been a while viewed, PROMETHEUS descended, and NATURE after him, singing.
master of the duel, a carrier of the diffe-
bane, nitre of clients, tartar of false con-
Nat. How young and fresh am I tonight,
And twelve my sons stand in their maker's To see't kept day by so much light. sight?
Help, wise Prometheus, something must
To shew they are the creatures of the
That each to other
Is a brother,
Nature here no step-dame, but a
Cho. Come forth, come forth, prove all the numbers then,
That make perfection up, and may absolve
Vul. Thou art a scorner, Mercury, and Of out of the pride of thy protection here, makest it thy study to revile art, but it will turn to thine own contumely soon. Call forth the creatures of the first class, and let them move to the harmony of our heat, till the slanderer have sealed up his own lips, to his own torment.
Mer. Let them come, let them come, I would not wish a greater punishment to thy impudence.
Enter the second ANTIMASQUE, of imperfect creatures, with helms of limbecks on their heads: whose dance ended, MERCURY proceeded.
Mer. Art thou not ashamed, Vulcan, to offer, in defence of thy power and art, against the excellence of the sun and nature, creatures more imperfect than the very flies and insects that are her trespasses and scapes? Vanish, with thy insolence, thou and thy impostors, and all mention of you melt before the majesty of this light, whose Mercury henceforth I profess to be, and never again the philosophers'. Vanish,
Nat. But shew thy winding ways and arts,
Thy risings and thy timely starts,
stealing fire from ladies' eyes and
Those softer circles are the young man's heaven,
And there more orbs and planets are
To know whose motion
As worthy of youth's study as devotion.
all the time will gain,
For Nature bids the best, and never bade
Here the first DANCE.
Pro. How many 'mongst these ladies
Wish now they such a mother were !
Pro. You think they would not be so old,
Nat. I think that thought so told
'Tis yet with them but beauty's noon, They would not grandames be too soon. Pro. Is that your sex's humour?
'Tis then since Niobe was changed, that they have left that tumour.
Cho. Move, move again, in forms as heretofore.
Nat. 'Tis form allures.
Then move, the ladies here are store.
Pro. Nature is Motion's mother, as she's yours.
Cho. The spring whence order flows, that all directs,
And knits the causes with the effects.
Here they dance the main DANCE,
After which PROMETHEUS calls to them
Pro. What! have you done
And can you from such beauty part?
I woman with her ills did fly;
Nat. They are loth to go
Or sure they are no sons of mine.
There is no banquet, boys, like this,
The taste knows no such cates, nor yet the palate wine.
No cause of tarrying shun,
They are not worth his light, go backward from the sun.
With which it ended.
IN A MASQUE AT COURT, 1615, BY THE LORDS AND GENTLEMEN THE KING'S SERVANTS.
THE GOLDEN AGE RESTORED.] From the first folio. This Masque is written with great care: the conclusion of it is highly poetical. It must have been a splendid and interesting performance.
The Court being seated and in
Loud music: PALLAS in her chariot descending to a softer music.
Look, look! rejoice and wonder
That you, offending mortals, are (For all your crimes) so much the care Of him that bears the thunder.
Jove can endure no longer,
Your great ones should your less invade;
Or that your weak, though bad, be made
A prey unto the stronger.
And therefore means to settle
Astræa in her seat again;
And let down in his golden chain The Age of better metal.
Which deed he doth the rather,
That even Envy may behold Time not enjoyed his head of gold Alone beneath his father.
But that his care conserveth,
As time, so all time's honours too, Regarding still what heaven should do, And not what earth deserveth.
[A tumult and clashing of arms heard within.
But hark! what tumult from yond' cave is heard?
What noise, what strife, what earthquake and alarms,
As troubled Nature for her maker feared; And all the Iron Age were up in arms!
Hide me, soft cloud, from their profaner eyes,
Till insolent Rebellion take the field; And as their spirits with their counsels
I frustrate all with showing but my shield. [She retires behind a cloud.
The IRON AGE presents itself, calling forth the EVILS.
1. Age. Come forth, come forth, do we not hear
What purpose, and how worth our fear,
That would, though Fate did help the deed,
Rise, rise then up, thou grandame Vice
Bring with thee Fraud and Slander,
To be a more commander.
Thy boys, Ambition, Pride, and Scorn,
And but this once bring under,