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To keep your own, states even ? Ast. Will Jove such pledges to the earth But here which of*you is that he
restore Would not himself the weapon be, As justice? To ruin Jave and heaven?
G. Age. Or the purer ore?
G. Age. But do they know
How much they owe? • Since he begins to threat her.
Ast. And will of grace receive it, not as
due ? Our malice is far greater.
Pal. If not, they harm themselves, not you. The Evils enter for the Antimasque and
Ast. True. DANCE to two drums, trumpets, and a
G. Age. True. confusion of martial music. At the end Cho. Let narrow natures, how they will,
mistake, of which PALLAS re-appears, shewing her shield. The Evils are turned to The great should still be good for their own
[They come forward.
Pal. Welcome to earth, and reign. Pal. So change, and perish, scarcely Ast. G. Age. But how, without a train knowing how,
Shall we our state sustain ? That 'gainst the gods do take so vain a Pal. Leave that to Jove: therein you
Expect awhile. 'Twas time t'appear, and let their folly see You far-famed spirits of this happy isle, 'Gainst whom they fought, and with what That for your sacred songs have gained destiny
the style Die all that can remain of you but stone, Of Phæbus' sons, whose notes the air And that be seen awhile, and then be
aspire none !
Of th' old Egyptian or the Thracian lyre, Now, now descend, you both beloved of That CHAUCER, GOWER, LIDGATE, SPENJove,
SER, hight, And of the good on earth no less the Put on your better flames and larger love;
light, [The scene changes, and she calls To wait upon the Age that shall your names
new nourish, ASTRÆA and the GOLDEN AGE. Since Virtue pressed shall grow, and buried Descend, you long, long wished and wanted Arts shall flourish. pair,
Chau. Gow. We come. And as your softer times divide the air, Lid. Spen. We come. So shake all clouds off with your golden
Omnes. Our best of fire, hair ;
Is that which Pallas doth inspire. For Spite is spent: the Iron Age is fled,
[They descend. And with her power on twrth, her name is
Pal. Then see you yonder souls, set far dead.
within the shade,
That in Elysian bowers the blessed seats ASTRÆA and the GOLDEN AGE descending do keep, with a
That for their living good now semi-gods SONG.
And went away from earth, as if but Ast. G. Age. And are we then
tamed with sleep.1 To live agen
These we must join to wake ; for these are With men ?
of the strain
1 And went away from earth, as if but tion of the Golden Age, copied Hesiod, has tamed with sleep.] This is from Hesiod : neglected to take notice of so beautiful a circum.
stance. WHAL. Θνησκον δ' ως υπνω δεδμημενοι.
Put on air, is also from Hesiod: nepa It is remarkable that Ovid, who, in his descrip- corajevo..
That justice dare defend, and will the age or else you do but half restore sustain.
The Age's liberty. Cho. Awake, awake, for whom these! Poe. The male and female used to times were kept,
join, O wake, wake, wake, as you had never And into all delight did coin slept !
That pure simplicity. Make haste and put on air, to be their | Then Feature did to Form advance, guard,
And Youth called Beauty forth to dance, Whom once but to defend, is still reward. And every Grace was by: Pal. Thus Pallas throws a lightning It was a time of no distrust, from her shield.
So much of love had nought of lust, [The scene of light discovered. None feared a jealous eye. Cho. To which let all that doubtful dark- The language melted in the ear, ness yield.
Yet all without a blush might hear, Ast. Now Peace.
They lived with open yow.' G. Age. And Love.
Cho. Each touch and kiss was so well Ast. Faith.
placed, G. Age. Joys.
They were as sweet as they were chaste, Ast. Ĝ. Age. All, all increase. [A pause.
And such must yours be now.
Here they dance with the Ladies.
Ast. What change is here? I had not Spen. And Pain, Omnes. All cease.
Desire to leave the earth before Pal. No tumour of an iron vein.
Than I have now to stay ; The causes shall not come again.
My silver feet, like roots, are wreathed Cho. But, as of old, all now be gold.
Into the ground, my wings are sheathed, Move, move then to these sounds;
And I cannot away. And do not only walk your solemn rounds,
Of all there seems a second birth, But give those light and airy bounds,
It is become a heaven on earth,
And Jove is present here.
I feel the god-head ; nor will doubt
But he can fill the place throughout,
Whose power is everywhere.
This, this, and only such as this,
The bright Astræa's region is, Age. That every thought a seed doth
Where she would pray to live, bring,
And in the midst of so much gold, And every look a plant doth spring,
Unbought with grace or fear unsold, And every breath a flower:
The law to mortals give. Pal. Then earth unploughed shall yield
Here they dance the Galliards and Pure honey from the oak shall drop,
Pallas (ascending and calling the Poets.] And every bramble roses wear,
"Tis now enough ; behold you here, And every worm make silk.
What Jove hath built to be your sphere, Cho. The very shrub shall balsam sweat, You hither must retire. And nectar melt the rock with heat, And as his bounty gives you cause Till earth have drunk her fill :
Be ready still without your pause, That she no harmful weed may know,
To shew the world your fire. Nor barren fern, nor mandrake low,
Like lights about Astræa's throne,
You here must shine, and all be one,
In fervour and in flame;
That by your union she may grow, After which : Pal. But here's not all: you must do 1 They lived with open vow.] Aperto vivere more,
And, you sustaining her, may know
The Age still by her name.
That want may touch you never ;
To write your names in some new
flower, That you may live for ever. Cho. To Jove, to Jove, be all the honour
given, That thankful hearts can raise from earth to
1 It is with regret I inform the reader that the from 1630 to 1641, has no such advantages. No excellent old folio here deserts us. I am not part of it, I am well persuaded, was seen by quite sure that the concluding pages enjoyed the Jonson ; as, exclusive of the press-errors, which benefit of Jonson's superintendence; but as by are very numerous, there is a confusion in the far the greatest portion of the volume undoubt names of the speakers which he could not have edly did, it is come down to us one of the cor- overlooked. I have revised it with all imagirectest works that ever issued from the English nable care, and endeavoured to preserve that press.
uniformity of arrangement of which he was apThe second folio, which has a medley of dates parently so solicitous.
Christmas his Masque :
AS IT WAS PRESENTED AT COURT, 1616.
CHRISTMAS HIS MASQUE.] Not dated in the second folio; but probably printed after the author's death. It is a humorous trifle, calculated for the season, and merely intended to excite an hour's merriment, as introductory perhaps to some entertainment of a higher kind. Granger, in his Biographical Dictionary, vol. ii. p. 296, 8vo, after bestowing just praise on Milton's admirable Masque, very gravely adds, "but the generality of these compositions are trifling and perplexed allegories. Ben Jonson (poor Ben is always the foil) in his Masque of Christmas, has introduced
Minced Pie,' and 'Babie Cake,' who act their parts in the drama. But the most wretched of these performances could please by the help of music, machinery, and dancing.” The masque before us had not the advantage of much machinery, I suspect. But could Granger find nothing in Jonson to oppose to Comus, but this magnificent “ drama," as he is pleased to call it ! an innocent Christmas gambol, written with no higher end in view than producing a hearty laugh from the good-natured James, and the holyday spectators of the show. But such is the mode in which Jonson is constantly treated ; and yet the critics who institute these parallels (not exactly “after the manner of Plutarch," it must be granted) are astonished at being told that they always want candour, and not seldom common sense. Granger's ridiculous parade of "perplexed allegories," &c., is worse than useless here. They might indeed perplex him ; but he should have recollected that Minced Pie and Babie Cake were sufficiently hamiliar to those who witnessed their appearance ; and that ignorance is the worst of all possible pleas for the contemptuous sneer of criticism.
The Court being seated,
have me, they would not let me in. I
must come another time! a good jest, as Enter CHRISTMAS, with two or three of the if I could come more than once a year.
guard. He is attired in round hose, long Why, I am no dangerous person, and so I stockings, a close doublet, a high-crowned told my friends of the guard. I am old hat, with a brooch, a long thin beard, Gregory Christmas still, and though I a truncheon, little ruffs, white shoes, his come out of Pope's-head alley, as good a scarfs and garters tied cross, and his Protestant as any in my parish. The drum beaten before him.
truth is, I have brought a Masque here Why, gentlemen, do you know what you
out o' the city, of my own making, and do do? ha! would you have kept me out? present it by a set of my sons, that come CHRISTMAS, old Christmas, Christmas of out of the lanes of London, good dancing London, and Captain Christmas? Pray Curriers-Hall; but because the weather
It was intended, I confess, for you let me be brought before my Lord Chamberlain, I'll not be answered else : has been open, and the Livery were not
at leisure to see it till a frost came, that 'Tis merry in hall, when beards wag all. they cannot work, I thought it convenient, I have seen the time you have wished for with some little alterations, and the Groom me, for a merry Christmas ; and now you of the Revels' hand to't, to fit it for a higher
place; which I have done, and though I 1 Old Gregory Christmas.] An allusion to say it, another manner of device than your Pope Gregory's alteration of the Calendar, not New-year's-night. Bones o' bread, the long before the accession of James.
King ! (seeing James) Son Rowland l son lem ! be ready there in a trice : quick, Your highness small, with my good lords boys !
all, Enter his Sons and DAUGHTERS (ten in
And ladies, how do you do there? number) led in, in a string, by CUPID, Gi' me leave to ask, for I bring you a who is attired in a flat cap and a
masque prentice's coat, with wings at his
From little, little, little, little London ; shoulders. 1
Which say the King likes, I ha' passed MISRULE," in d velvet cap, with a sprig, a the pikes,
short cloak, great yellow ruff, like a If not, old Christmas is undone. reveller, his torch-bearer bearing a rope,
[Noise without. a cheese, and a basket.
Chris. Ha, peace! what's the matter CAROL, a long tawney .coat, with a red there?
cap, and a fute at his girdle, his torch- Gam. Here's one o' Friday-street would
hearer carrying a song-book open. come in. MINCE-PIE, like a fine cook's wife, drest Chris. By no means, nor out of neither
neat; her man carrying a pie, dish, and of the Fish-streets, admit not a man ; they spoons.
are not Christmas creatures :. fish and GANBOL, like a tumbler, with a hoop and look to't,
fasting days, foh! Sons, said I well? bells'; his torch-bearer armed with a
Gam. Nobody out o' Friday-street, nor colt-staff, and a blinding cloth.
the two Fish-streets there, do you hear? POST AND PAIR, with a pair-royal of aces Car. Shall John Butter o' Milk-street
in his hat; his garment all done over come in? ask him? with pairs and purs; his squire car- Gam. Yes, he may slip in for a torch
rying a box, cards, and counters. bearer, so he melt not too fast, that he NEW-YEAR'S-GIFT, in a blue coat, serving- will last till the masque be done. man like, with an orange, and a sprig of
Chris. Right, son. rosemary gilt on his head, his hat full Our dance's freight is a matter of eight, of brooches, with a collar of ginger- And two, the which are wenches : bread, his torch-bearer carrying a march- In all they be ten, four cocks to a hen, pane with a bottle of wine on either arm. And will swim to the tune like tenches, MUMMING, in a masquing pied suit, with Each hath his knight for to carry his
a visor, his torch-bearer carrying the light, box, and ringing it.
Which some would say are torches ; WASSEL, like a neat sempster and songster; To bring them here, and to lead them
her page bearing a brown bowl, drest there, with ribands, and rosemary before her.
And home again to their own porches. OFFERING, in a short gown, with a porter's Now their intent
staff in his hand, a wyth borne before
him, and a bason by his torch-bearer. Enter VENUS, a deaf tire-woman.” BABY-CAKE, drest like a boy in a fine long
Ven. Now, all the lords bless me! coat, biggin, bib, muckender, and a little dagger : his usher bearing a great
where am I, trow? where is Cupid cake, with a bean and a pease.
"Serve the King !" they may serve the
cobbler well enough, some of 'em, for any They enter singing.
courtesy they have, I wisse; they have
need o' mending : unrude people they are, Now God preserve, as you well do your courtiers ; here was thrust upon deserve,
thrust indeed! was it ever so hard to get Your majesties all, two there;
in before, trow?
1 Who is attired in a flat cap, with wings at 2 This tire woman is the prototype of the Deaf his shoulders.] This Cupid is worthy of Bunbury Lover. The author, however, must be acquitt ed himself. But the whole is a whimsical bur- of any depredations on Jonson, of whose work. lesque. An additional proof of the judgment of he probably never heard. Granger in selecting it to oppose to Comus !