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Oberon, the Fairy Prince:
A MASQUE OF PRINCE HENRY'S.
The first face of the scene appeared all Wound his cornet the second time, and
obscure, and nothing perceived but a dark found it.
I thought 'twas she ! corner of the cliff, above the horizon, the
Idle nymph, I pray thee be
Modest, and not follow me: moon began to shew, and rising, a SATYR was seen by her light to put forth his
I not love myself, nor thee. head and call.
Here he wound the third time, and was I Sat. CHROMIS !* Mnasil !t none ap- answered by another Satyr, who likewise
shewed himself. See you not who riseth here? You saw Silenus late, I fear.1
Ay, this sound I better know ;
List ! I would I could hear moe.
answered; but was deceived by the to the number of ten, from divers parts of
the rock, leaping and making antick
actions and gestures ; some of them speakO, you wake then ! come away,
ing, some admiring: and amongst them Times be short are made for play; a SILENE, who is ever the prefect of the The humorous moon too will not Satyrs, and so presented in all their chori stay :
and meetings. What doth make you thus delay? Hath his tankards touched your brain ?
2 Sat. Thank us, and you shall do so. Sure, they're fallen asleep again:
3 Sat. Ay, our number soon will Or I doubt it was the vain
grow. Echo did me entertain.
2 Sat. See Silenus !T Prove again
3 Sat. CERCOPS too!
*+ They are the names of two young Satyrs, described the whole manner of the scene, and I find in Virgil Eclog. 6, that took Silenus chori of Bacchus, with Silenus and the Satyrs. sleeping; who is feigned to be the pædagogue An elegant and curious antiquity, both for the of Bacchus : as the Satyrs are his collusores or subtilty and labour : where, in so small a complay-fellows. So doth Diodor. Siculus, Synesius, pass (to use his words), there is Rerum, perJulian, in Cæsarib. report them.
sonarum, actionum plane stupenda varietas. # A proverbial speech, when they will tax one the other of drinking or sleepiness; alluding to lowing Narcissus ; and his self-love.
|| Respecting that known fable of Echo's folthat former place in Virgil : Chromis et Mnasilus in antro
1 In the pomps of Dionysius or Bacchus, to Silenum, pueri, somno videre jacentem,
every company of Satyrs, there was still given a
that which is described by Athenæus in his fifth $ Silenus is everywhere made a lover of wine, book. Bini Sileni non semel commemorantur, as in Cyclops Eurip., and known by the notable qui totidem plurium Satyrorum gregibus preensign, his tankard : out of the same place of sint. Erant enim eorum epistatæ, præsules, et Virgil : Et gravis attrita pendebat cantharus coryphæi, propter grandem ætatem.,.He was ansa. As also out of that famous piece of sculp- also purpureo pallio vestitus cum albis soleis, ture, in a little gem or piece of jasper, observed et petasatus, aureum caduceum parvum ferens. by Mons. Casaubon, in his tract de Satyrica Vid. Athena. Dipnos. lib. 6, de pompå Ptola Poësi, from Rascasius Bagarrius: wherein is maicâ.
4 Sat. Yes. What is there now to do? Omn. O, that he would come away! 5 Sat. Are there any nymphs to woo ? 3 Sat. Grandsire, we shall leave to play** 4 Sat. If there be, let me have two. With Lyæusit now; and serve Silen. Chaster language !t These are Only OBERON. nights,
Silen. He'll deserve Solemn to the shining rites
All you can, and more, my boys. Of the Fairy Prince and knights :
4 Sat. Will he give us pretty toys, While the moon their orgies lights.
To beguile the girls withal? 2 Sat. Will they come abroad anon? 3 Sat. And to make 'em quickly fall? 3 Sat. Shall we see young OBERON ? Silen. Peace, my wantons! he will do
4 Sat. Is he such a princely one More than you can aim unto. As you spake him long agon?
4 Sat. Will he build us larger caves ? Silen. Satyrs, he doth fill with grace Silen. Yes, and give you ivory staves Every season, every place ;
When you hunt; and better wineBeauty dwells but in his face :
I Sat, Than the master of the vine? He's the height of all our race..
2 Sat. And rich prizes, to be won, Our Pan's father, god of tongue, $
When we leap, or when we run ? Bacchus, though he still be young, I Sat. Ay, and gild our cloven feet? Phoebus, when he crowned sung,ll 3 Sat. Strew our heads with powders
Nor Mars, when first his armour rung, I sweet? Might with him be narned that day:
1 Sat. Bind our crooked legs in hoops He is lovelier than in May
Made of shells with silver loops ?
Bracelets of the fairy twists?
* The nature of the Satyrs the wise IIorace § Mercury, who for the love of Penelope, expressed well, in the word, when he called while she was keeping her father Icarius's herd's them Risores et Dicaces, as the Greek poets, on the mountain Taygetas, turned himself into Nonnus, &c., style them praokeprouovs. Nec a fair buck-goat; with whose sports and flatteries solum dicaces, sed et proni in venerem, et salta- the nymph being taken, he begat on her Pan : tores assidui ét credebantur, et fingebantur. who was born, Capite cornuto, barbaque ac
Unde Satyrica saltatio, quæ OLKLVVIS dice- pedibus hircinis. Aš Homer hath it in Hymnis: batur, et à qua Satyri ipsi oikívvloTAL. Vel à and Lucian in dialogo Panis et Mercurii. He Sicino inventore, vel atrò ths kivÝOews, id est, was called the giver of grace, xapudotus, paispos, a motu saltationis satyrorum, qui est concita- kai devkòs. Hilaris et albus, nitens Cyllenius tissimus.
alis. As Bacchus was called avēlos, floridus; and
Hebo, à lanugine et molli ætate, semper virens. But in the Silenes was nothing of this petulance and lightness, but, on the contrary, all
|| Apollo is said, after Jupiter had put Saturn gravity and profound knowledge of most secret
to flight, to have sung his father's victory to the mysteries. Insomuch as the most learned of harp, Purpurea toga decorus, et laura coronapoets, Virgil, when he would write a poem of the tus, inirificeque deos omnes qui accubuerant, in
Which Tibullus, in lib. beginnings and hidden nature of things, with convivio delectavisse. other great antiquities, attributed the parts of 2 Elegiar. points to : disputing them to Silenus rather than any other. Sed nitidus, pulcherque veni. Nunc indue Which whosoever thinks to be easily, or by
vestem chance done by the most prudent writer, will Purpuream, longas nunc bene recte comas. easily betray his own ignorance or folly. To Qualem te memorant Saturno rege fugato this, see the testimonies of Plato, Synesius, Victoris laudes tunc cecinisse Jovis. Herodotus, Strabo, Philostratus, Tertullian, &c.
He was then lovely, as being not yet stained Among the ancients the kind, both of the aureum flagellum (vel rectius auream galeam)
with blood, and called xpuerotÝLes Apns, quasi Centaurs and Satyrs, is confounded ; and com- habens. mon with either. As sometimes the Satyrs are said to come of the Centaurs, and again the
** In Julius Pollux, lib. 4, cap. 19, in that par, Centaurs of them. Either of them are søvès, which he entitles de satyricis personis, we read but after a diverse manner. And Galen observes that Silenus is called tantos, that is, avus, to out of Hippocrates, Comment. 3 in 6 Epide- note his great age: as amongst the comic permicor. that both the Athenians and Ionians sons, the reverenced for their years were called called the Satyrs φηρας, or φηρέας ; which name
TTÁTTOL : and with Julian in Cæs. Bacchus, when the Centaurs have with Homer: from whence, he speaks him fair, calls him tattíð.ov. it were no unlikely conjecture, to think our word It A name of Bacchus, Lyæus, of freeing men's Fairies to come Viderint critici.
minds from cares: mapa tò dów, solvo.
4 Sat. And, to spight the coy nymphs' I Sat. They are the eighth and ninth scorns,
sleepers ! Hang upon our stubbed horns
2 Sat. Shall we cramp 'em ? Garlands, ribbands, and fine posies-
Silen. Satyrs, no. 3 Sat. Fresh as when the flower discloses? 3 Sat. Would we had Boreas here, to
i Sat. Yes, and stick our pricking ears blow With the pearl that Tethys wears.
Off their heavy coats, and strip 'em. 2 Sat. And to answer all things else, 4 Sat. Ay, ay, ay; that we might whip Trap our shaggy thighs with bells ;
'em. That as we do strike a time,
3 Sat. Or that we had a wasp or two In our dance shall make a chime
For their nostrils. 3 Sat. Louder than the rattling pipes I Sat. Hairs will do Of the wood gods--
Even as well: take my tail. 1 Sat. Or the stripes
2 Sat. What d' you say to a good nail Of the taber ;* when we carry
Through their temples ? Bacchus up, his ponip to vary.
2 Sat. Or an eel Silen. O, that he so long doth tarry! In their guts, to make 'em feel ?
Omn. See ! the rock begins to ope, 4 Sat. Shall we steal away their beards? Now you shall enjoy your hope;
3 Sat. For Pan's goat, that leads the 'Tis about the hour, I know.
2 Sat. Or try whether is more dead, There the whole scene opened, and within His club or the other's head ? was discovered the frontispiece of a bright
Silen. Wags, no more: you grow too and glorious palace, whose gates and
bold. walls were transparent. Before the gates
I Sat. I would fain now see them rolled lay two SYLVÁNS, armed with their Down a hill, or from a bridge clubs, and drest in leaves, asleep. At Headlong cast, to break their ridgethis the Satyrs wondering, Silenus pro- Bones : or to some river take 'em, ceeds:
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. Once the noblest of the earth, Quickened by a second birth :
Buz, quoth the blue flie, Who for prowess and for truth,
Hum, quoth the bee : There are crowned with lasting youth:
Buz and hum they cry, And do hold, by Fate's command,
And so do we. Seats of bliss in Fairy land.
In his ear, in his nose, But their guards, methinks, do sleep!
Thus, do you see? Let us wake 'em.-Sirs, you keep
[They tickle them. Proper watch, that thus do lie
He eat the dormouse; Drowned in sloth !
Else it was he. 1 Sat. They've ne'er an eye
The two Sylvans starting up amazed, and To wake withal.
betaking themselves to their arms, were 2 Sat. Nor sense, I fear ;
thus questioned by Silenus : For they sleep in either ear.?
3 Sat. Holla, Sylvans !--sure they're caves Silen. How now, Sylvans! can you wake? Of sleep these, or else they're graves.
I commend the care you take 4 Sat. Hear you, friends !-- who keeps In your watch ! Is this your guise, the keepers ?
To have both your ears and eyes
* Erat solenne Bacchoin fompa tenerorum more and means to sleep soundly, without any
Επ' αμφοτερα νυ χ' η 'πικληρος ουατα
Mellel Kadevondelv. – Men. Frag.
Sealed so fast; as these mine elves
cock : at which they were interrupted by Might have stol'n you from yourselves ? Silenus.
3 Sat. We had thought we must have got Stakes, and heated 'em red-hot,
Silen. Stay! the cheerful Chanticleer And have bored you through the eyes,
Tells that the time is near :
you With the Cyclops, * ere you'd rise.
See, the gates already spread ! 2 Sat. Or have fetched some trees to Every Satyr bow his head. heave
There the whole palace opened, and the Up your bulks, that so did cleave
nation of Faies were discovered, some with To the ground there.
instruments, some bearing lights, others 4 Sat. Are you free
singing; and within afar off in perspecYet of sleep, and can you see
tive, the knights masquers sitting in their Who is yonder up aloof ?
several sieges: at the further end of all, I Sat. Be your eyes yet moon-proof? OBERON, in a chariot, which, to a loud I Syl. Satyrs, leave your petulance,
triumphant music, began to move forAnd go frisk ́about and dance;
ward, drawn by two white bears, and on Or else rail upon the moon :
either side guarded by three Sylvans, Your expectance is too soon.
with one going in front.
Melt earth to sea, sea flow to air, 1 Sat. Say you so? then let us fall
And air fly into fire, To a song, or to a brawl :
Whilst we in tunes to Arthur's chair Shall we, grandsire? Let us sport,
Bear Oberon's desire ; And make expectation short.
Than which there's nothing can be higher, Silen. Do, my wantons, what you please. Save JAMES, to whom it flies : I'll lie down and take mine ease.
But he the wonder is of tongues, of ears, of I Sat. Brothers, sing then, and upbraid,
eyes. As we use, yond' seeming maid.
Who hath not heard, who hath not seen,
Who hath not sung his name?
The soul that hath not, hath not been ; Now, my cunning lady: moon,
But is the very same
With buried sloth, and knows not fame, Can you leave the side so soon
Which doth him best comprise : Of the boy you keep so hid ?
For he the wonder is of tongues, of ears, Midwife Juno sure will say This is not the proper way, Of your paleness to be rid.
By this time the chariot was come as far But perhaps it is your grace
forth as the face of the scene. And the To wear sickness in your face,
Satyrs beginning to leap, and express That there might be wagers laid their joy for the unused state and Still, by fools, you are a maid.
solemnity, the foremost SYLVAN began to Come, your changes overthrow,
speak. What your look would carry so ; Moon, confess then what you are,
I Syl. Give place, and silence ; you
were rude too late ; And be wise, and free to use
This is a night of greatness and of state, Pleasures that you now do lose,
Not to be mixt with light and skipping Let us Satyrs have a share.
sport; Though our forms be rough and rude,
A night of homage to the British court, Yet our acts may be endued With more virtue : every one
And ceremony due to Arthur's chair, Cannot be ENDYMION.
From our bright naster, OBERON the Here they fell suddenly into an antick Who with these knights, attendants, here
dance full of gesture and swift motion, preserved and continued it till the crowing of the In Fairy land, for good they have de
served * Vid. Cyc. Euripid. ubi Satiri Ulysse Of yond' high throne are come of right to auxilio sint ad ambuirendum oculum Cyclopis. pay
Their annual vows; and all their glories lay May without stop point out the proper heir At's feet, and tender to this only great, Designed so long to Arthur's crowns and True majesty, restored in this seat ;
chair. To whose sole power and magic they do give
SONG BY TWO FAIES. The honour of their being ; that they live
1 Faie. Seek you majesty, to strike ? Sustained in form, same, and felicity, Bid the world produce his like. From rage of fortune, or the fear to die.
2 Faie. Seek you glory, to amaze? Silen. And may they well. For this Here let all eyes stand at gaze. indeed is he,
Cho. Seek you wisdom, to inspire ? My boys, whom you must quake at when Touch then at no other's fire.
i Faie. Seek you knowledge, to direct ? He is above your reach; and neither doth Trust to his without suspect. Nor can he think within a Satyr's tooth:
2 Faie. Seek you piety, to lead ?
And of all in him we sing.
Then the lesser Faies dance forth their He is a god o'er kings ; yet stoops he then
dance;' which ended, a full SONG folNearest a man, when he doth govern men;
lows by all the voices. To teach them by the sweetness of his sway,
The solemn rites are well begun ; And not by force. He's such a king as And though but lighted by the moon, they
They shew as rich as if the sun Who're tyrants' subjects, or ne'er tasted Had made this night his noon. peace,
But may none wonder that they are so Would in their wishes form for their re- bright, lease.
The moon now borrows from a greater "Tis he that stays the time from turning old, light? And keeps the age up in a head of gold. Then, princely Oberon, That in his own true circle still doth run; And holds his course as certain as the sun. This is not every night. He makes it ever day, and ever spring, Where he doth shine, and quickens every- OBERON and the knights dance out the thing,
first masque-dance ; which was followed Like a new nature : so that true to call with this Him by his title is to say, He's all.
SONG. I Syl. I thank the wise Silenus for this
Nay, nay, praise.
You must not stay, Stand forth bright FAIES and Elves, and
Nor be weary yet ;
This 's no time to cast away ;
Or for Faies so to forget
The virtue of their feet.
Knotty legs, and plants of clay,'
Seek for ease, or love delay.
But with you it still should fare
As with the air of which you are. knights,
1 Then the lesser Faies dance.] “ The little Faies always danced in a circle, of which ladies (Sir John Finnet says) performed their Oberon or Mab, or some graced person, was the dance to the amazement of all beholders, con- centre. sidering the tenderness of their years, and the 2 Plants of clay,] i.e., feet of clay, from the many intricate changes of the dance, which was Latin planta.-WHAL. so disposed that which way soever the changes Shakspeare uses the word with a punning went the little duke (Charles) was still found to allusion to the unsteady condition of his rebe in the midst of these little dancers. Had vellers in Antony and Cleopatra :
Sir John been much skilled in the mysteries of they'll be anon; some of their plants are illo i fairyland he would have recollected that the rooted already.'