Lapas attēli

Janu. Would thou hadst not begun, unlucky Wind,

That never yet blew'st goodness to mankind;

But with thy bitter and too piercing breath, Strik'st* horrors through the air as sharp as death.

Here a second wind came in, VULTURNUS, in a blue coloured robe and mantle, puft as the former, but somewhat sweeter; his face black, and on his head † a red sun, shewing he came from the east: his wings of several colours; his buskins white, and wrought with gold.

Vult. All horrors vanish, and all name of death,

Be all things here as calm as is my breath. A gentler wind, Vulturnus, brings you news The isle is found, and that the nymphs now


Their rest and joy. The Night's black charms are flown.

For being made unto their goddess known, Bright Æthiopia, the silver moon,

As she was Hecate, she brake them soon:‡ And now by virtue of their light and grace, The glorious isle wherein they rest, takes place

Of all the earth for beauty. There their queens

Hath raised them a throne, that still is


To turn unto the motion of the world; Wherein they sit, and are, like heaven, whirled

About the earth; whilst, to them contrary, (Following those nobler torches of the sky) A world of little Loves and chaste Desires Do light their beauties with still moving fires.

And who to heaven's consent can better move,

Than those that are so like it, beauty and love?

Hither, as to their new Elysium,

The spirits of the antique Greeks are come, Poets and singers, Linus, Orpheus, all That have excelled in knowledge musical ;||

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Where, set in arbours made of myrtle and gold,

They live again these beauties to behold. And thence in flowery mazes walking forth,

Sing hymns in celebration of their worth. Whilst to their songs two fountains flow, one hight

Of Lasting Youth, the other Chaste Delight,

That at the closes, from their bottoms spring,

And strike the air to echo what they sing. But why do I describe what all must see? By this time, near the coast, they floating be;

For so their virtuous goddess, the chaste


Told them the fate of th' island should, and


Would fix itself unto thy continent,
As being the place, by destiny fore-meant,
Where they should flow forth, drest in her

And that the influence of those holy fires, First rapt from hence, being multiplied upon

The other four, should make their beauties


Which now expect to see, great Neptune's


And love the miracle which thyself hast done.

Here a curtain was drawn, in which the Night was painted, and the scene discovered, which (because the former was marine, and these, yet of necessity, to come from the sea) I devised should be an island floating on a calm water. In the midst thereof was a seat of state, called the Throne of Beauty, erected: divided into eight squares, and distinguished by so many Ionic pilasters. In these squares the sixteen masquers were placed by couples: behind them in the centre of the throne was a tralucent pillar, shining with several coloured lights, that reflected on their backs. From the top of which pillar went several

Helena, which is Lucifera, to which name we here presently allude.

§ For the more full and clear understanding of that which follows, have recourse to th succeeding pages, where the scene presents itself.

So Terence and the ancients called Poesy, artem musicam.


arches to the pilasters that sustained the flowing, and stuck with flowers. The roof of the throne, which was likewise fifth, adorned with lights and gyrlands: and between the pilasters, in front little Cupids in flying posture, waving of in a garment of gold, silver, and colours wreaths and lights, bore up the cornice: weaved; in one hand she held a burning over which were placed eight figures, re- steel, in the other an urn with water. presenting the elements of beauty; which her head a gyrland of flowers, corn, vineadvanced upon the Ionic, and being fe- leaves, and olive-branches interwoven. Her males had the Corinthian order. The socks as her garment. The sixth, first was


in a robe of flame colour, naked breasted; her bright hair loose flowing: she was drawn in a circle of clouds, her face and body breaking through: and in her hand a branch with two roses,* a white and a red. The next to her was


in a garment of bright sky-colour, a long tress, and waved with a veil of divers colours, such as the golden sky sometimes shews: upon her head a clear and fair sun shining, with rays of gold striking down to the feet of the figure. In her hand a crystal, † cut with several angles, and shadowed with divers colours, as caused by refraction. The third,


in green, with a zone of gold about her waist, crowned with myrtle, her hair likewise flowing, but not of so bright a colour: in her hand a branch of myrtle. Her socks of green and gold. The fourth was


in a vesture of divers colours, and all sorts of flowers embroidered thereon: her socks so fitted. A gyrland of flowers§ in her hand; her eyes turning up and smiling: her hair

*The rose is called elegantly by Achil. Tat. lib. 2, puτúv äydacoua; the splendour of plants, and is everywhere taken for the hieroglyphic of splendour.

† As this of serenity, applying to the optic's reason of the rainbow, and the mythologists making her the daughter of Electra.

So Har. lib. i. od. 4, makes it the ensign of the Spring. Nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire myrto, Aut flore, terræ quem ferunt solutæ, &c.

§ They are everywhere the tokens of gladness, at all feasts and sports.

The sign of temperature, as also her gyrland mixed of the four seasons.



in a silver robe, with a thin, subtile veil over her hair and it : pearl about her neck¶ and forehead. Her socks wrought with pearl. In her hand she bore several coloured lilies.** The seventh was


in a dressing of state, the hair bound up
with fillets of gold, the garments rich, and
set with jewels and gold; likewise her bus-
kins; and in her hand a golden The

in a vesture of pure gold, a wreath of gold
upon her head. About her body the zodiac, ‡‡
with the signs: in her hand a compass of
gold drawing a circle.

On the top of all the throne (as being made out of all these) stood


a personage whose dressing had something of all the others, and had her robe painted full of figures. Her head was compassed with a crown of gold, having in it seven jewels equally set. §§ In her hand a lyra, whereon she rested.

This was the ornament of the throne The ascent to which, consisting of six steps

¶ Pearls with the ancients were the special hieroglyphics of loveliness; in quibus nitor tantum et lævor expetebantur.

** So was the lily, of which the most delicate city of the Persians was called Susa: signifying that kind of flower in their tongue. tt The sign of honour and dignity.

Both that, and the compass, are known ensigns of perfection.

§§ She is so described in Iconoiog, ai Cesa.. Ripa; his reason of seven jewels in the crown alludes to Pythagoras's comment, with Macr. lib. 2, Som. Scip. of the seven planets and their spheres.

was covered with a multitude of Cupids* (chosen out of the best and most ingenious youth of the kingdom, noble, and others) that were the torch-bearers; and all armed with bows, quivers, wings, and other ensigns of love. On the sides of the throne were curious and elegant arbors appointed; and behind, in the back part of the isle, a grove of grown trees laden with golden fruit, which other little Cupids plucked and threw at each other, whilst on the ground leveretst picked up the bruised apples, and left them half eaten. The ground-plat of the whole was a subtle indented maze: and in the two foremost angles were two fountains that ran continually, the one Hebe's, the other Hedone's:§ in the arbors were placed the musicians, who represented the shades of the old poets, and were attired in a priestlike habit of crimson and purple, with laurel gyrlands.

The colours of the masquers were varied ; the one half in orange-tawny and silver: the other in sea-green and silver. The bodies and short skirts on white and gold to both.

The habit and dressing for the fashion was most curious, and so exceeding in riches, as the throne whereon they sat seemed to be a mine of light struck from their jewels and their garments.

This throne, as the whole island moved forward on the water, had a circular motion of its own, imitating that which we call motum mundi, from the east to the west, or the right to the left side. For so Hom. Ilia. p, understands by degia, Orientalia Mundi: by ȧpiorepa, Occidentalia. The steps whereon the Cupids sate had a motion contrary, with analogy ad motum planetarum, from the west to the east: both which turned with their several lights. And with these three varied motions at once, the whole scene shot itself to the land.

Above which, the moon was seen in a silver chariot, drawn by virgins, to ride in the clouds, and hold them greater light:

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with the sign Scorpio and the character placed before her.

The order of this scene was carefully and ingeniously disposed; and as happily put in act (for the motions) by the king's master carpenter. The painters, I must needs say (not to belie them), lent small colour to any to attribute much of the spirit of these things to their pencils. But that must not be imputed a crime either to the invention or design.

Here the loud music ceased; and the musicians, which were placed in the arbors, came forth through the mazes to the other land: singing this full song, iterated in the closes by two Echoes, rising out of the fountains.

When Love at first did move
From out of Chaos, brightned
So was the world, and lightned,
As now.

1 Ech. As now!

2 Ech. As now!

Yield Night, then to the light,
As Blackness hath to Beauty:
Which is but the same duty.
It was for Beauty that the world was made,
And where she reigns, ** Love's lights admit
no shade.

1 Ech. Love's lights admit no shade.
2 Ech. Admit no shade.

Which ended, Vulturnus, the wind, spake to the river Thamesis, that lay along between the shores, leaning upon his urn that flowed with water, and crowned with flowers; with a blue cloth of silver robe about him; and was personated by Master Thomas Giles, who made the dances.

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Instruct their silver feet to tread,1 Whilst we again to sea are fled. With which the Winds departed: and the river received them into the land by couples and fours, their Cupids coming before them.

These dancing forth a most curious dance, full of excellent device and change, ended it in the figure of a diamant, and so standing still, were by the musicians with a second song, sung by a loud tenor, celebrated.

So Beauty on the waters stood,

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When Love had severed earth from flood!* After which songs they danced galliards

So when he parted air from fire,

He did with concord all inspire!
And then a motion he them taught,
That elder than himself was thought.
Which thought was yet the child of earth,t
For love is elder than his birth.

The song ended, they danced forth their second dance, more subtle and full of change than the former: and so exquisitely performed, as the king's majesty (incited first by his own liking to that which all others there present wished) required them both again, after some time of dancing with the lords. Which time, to give them respite, was intermitted with a SONG; first, by a treble voice, in this manner.

If all these Cupids now were blind,
As is their wanton brother ;+
Or play should put it in their mind
To shoot at one another :
What pretty battle they would make,,
If they their objects should mistake,

And each one wound his mother!

Which was seconded by another treble;


It was no polity of court,

Albe the place were charmed,

* As in the creation he is said by the ancients to have done.

That is, born since the world, and out of those duller apprehensions that did not think he was before.

I make these different from him, which they feign cæcum Cupidinem, or petulantem, as I express beneath in the third song, these being chaste Loves that attend a more divine beauty than that of Love's common parent.

and corantos; and with those excellent graces, that the music appointed to celebrate them shewed it could be silent no longer: but, by the first tenor, admired them thus:

Had those that dwelt in error foul
And hold that women have no soul,§
But seen these move; they would have

Said women were the souls of men.

So they do move each heart and eye
With the world's soul, true harmony.||

Here they danced a third most elegant and curious dance, and not to be described again by any art but that of their own footing, which ending in the figure that was to produce the fourth, January from his state saluted them thus:

Janu. Your grace is great as is your beauty, dames;

Enough my feasts have proved your thankful flames.

Now use your seat: that seat which was before

Thought straying, uncertain, floating to

each shore,

And to whose having every clime laid claim, Each land and nation urged as the aim

For what country is it thinks not her own beauty fairest yet?

1 Instruct their silver feet to tread.] Warton seemed inclined to compliment Milton with the introduction of this expression, when Mr. Bowle (the keen detector of Jonson's plagiarisms, vol. ii. p. 16 a) informed him that silver-footed was to be found in Brown's Pastorals [1619]" perhaps," subjoins the former, § There hath been such a profane paradox" for the first time in English poetry." It oublished. had previously occurred in twenty places in See also Mac. Jonson!

The Platonick's opinion.

lib. 1 and 2 Som. Scip.

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The Persons who were received on land by the river god were,




Lady Arabella.] Lady Arabella Stewart. This beautiful and accomplished lady was the only child of Charles Stewart, fifth Earl of Lennox (uncle to James I. and great-grandson to Henry VII.) by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir William Cavendish of Hardwick. Mr. Lodge, in his admirable Illustrations of British History, has given with his usual elegance a concise narrative of her eventful life. "She was brought up (he says) in privacy under the care of her grandmother, the old Countess of Lennox, who had for many years resided in England. Her double relation to royalty was equally obnoxious to the jealousy of Elizabeth and the timidity of James, and they secretly dreaded the supposed danger of her leaving a legitimate offspring. The former therefore prevented her from marrying Esme Stuart, her kinsman, and heir to the titles and estates of her family, and afterwards imprisoned her for listening to some overtures from the son of the Earl of Northumberland ;* the latter, by obliging her to reject many splendid offers of marriage, unwarily encouraged the hopes of inferior pretenders, among whom, as we may fairly infer from some passages in his letters in this collection, was the fantastical William Fowler, secretary to Anne of Denmark. Thus circumscribed, she renewed a childish connexion with William Seymour, grandson to the Earl of Hertford, which was discovered in 1609, when both parties were summoned to appear before the Privy Council, and received a severe repri

* Sully says that Henry IV. once told him he should have no objection to marry her if he thought the succession to the crown of England could be obtained for her; but immediately added, that was a very improbable thing.


mand. This mode of proceeding produced the very consequence which James meant to avoid; for the lady, sensible that her reputation had been wounded by this inquiry, was in a manner forced into a marriage, which becoming publicly known in the course of the next spring, she was committed to close custody in the house of Sir Thomas Parry, at Lambeth, and Mr. Seymour to the Tower. In this state of separation, however, they concerted means for an escape, which both effected on the same day, June 3, 1611, and Mr. Seymour got safely to Flanders; but the poor lady was retaken in Calais Road, and imprisoned in the Tower; where the sense of these undeserved oppressions operating too severely on her high spirit, she became a lunatic, and languished in that wretched state, augmented by the horrors of a prison, till her death on the 27th of September, 1615."

She was a

2 Countess of Arundel.] Anne, daughter of Thomas, Lord Dacre, and widow of the unfortunate Philip, Earl of Arundel, who was imprisoned by Elizabeth for some imaginary plot, and died in the Tower 1595. most excellent woman. "Her letters to her family (says a very competent judge) are written in the best style of the time in which she lived, and in a strain of unaffected piety and tenderness."-Lodge, vol. iii. 35. But see p. 21. 3,4,5] See p. 8.

Lady Elizabeth Guilford.] Eldest daughter of Edward, fourth Earl of Worcester, and wife of Sir Henry Guilford, of Hemsted Place, in Kent.

7 Lady Katherine Peter.] Sister to Lady Guilford, second daughter of the Earl of Worcester, and wife of William, second Lord Petre. She died in 1624, in her forty-ninth year; avidior cœlestis habitationis (as her Epitaph says) quam longioris vitæ.

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