« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
A Challenge at Tilt,
AT A MARRIAGE.
A CHALLENGE AT Tilt.] The title is from the first folio. The date of the mar. riage is not given, nor are the names of those in honour of whom the challenge took place. That they were of high distinction is certain, from the splendour of the Court on the occasion, and the presence of the Royal Family. Many defiances of this kind are noticed in the life of Prince Henry, who was much attached to these manly exercises, in which he was well skilled. Instead of contrasting the chariness of Milton on these occasions with the exuberance of Jonson, Warton might with far more justice have complained of the retentiveness of the latter. But he probably knew no more of him than he had picked up in casual reading; and, at any rate, he was sure to be on the popular side in condemning him.
[Gifford quotes Warton at second hand (ante, p. 70 b). His words, taken with the context, are by no means unfair to Jonson. Speaking of Milton's Arcades, he says, “Unquestionably this Masque was a much longer performance. Milton seems only to have written the poetical part, consisting of these three Songs, and the Recitative Soliloquy of the Genius. The rest was probably prose and machinery.. In many of Jonson's Masques the poet but rarely appears, amidst a cumbersome exhibition of heathen gods and mythology."-T. Warton's Milton, 8vo, 1785, p. 97.-F. C.]
THE DAY AFTER THE MARRIAGE. 2 Cup. One of us must break the
wonder; and therefore I that have best The Court being in expectation, as before. I demand of thee by what magic thou
cause to be assured of mine own truth, Enter Two CUPIDS, striving.
wear'st my ensigns? or hast put on my
person? I Cup. It is my right, and I will have it. i Cup. Beware, young ladies, of this
2 Cup. By what law or necessity ? Pray impostor; and, mothers, look to your you come back.
daughters and nieces ; a false Cupid is i Cup. I serve the man, and the nobler abroad: it is I that am the true, who to creature.
do these glad solemnities their proper 2 Cup. But I the woman, and the purer ; rites have been contented not to put off, and therefore the worthier. Because you but to conceal my deity, and in this habit are a handful above me, do you think to of a servant do attend him who was get a foot afore me, sir? No; I appeal to yesterday the happy Bridegroom, in the you, ladies.
complement of his nuptials, to make all his 1 Cup. You are too rude, boy, in this endeavours and actions more gracious and presence.
lovely. 2 Cup. That cannot put modesty in me 2 Cup. He tells my tale, he tells my to make me come behind you though; I tale; and pretends to my act.
It was I will stand for mine inches with you as that did this for the Bride. I am the true peremptory as an ambassador. Ladies, Love, and both this figure and those arms your sovereignties are concerned in me; I are usurped by most unlawful power : can am the wife's page.
you not perceive it? Do not I look liker a I Cup. And I the husband's.
Cupid than he? am I not more a child ? 2 Cup. How
Ladies, have none of you a picture of me i Cup. Ha !
in your bosom? is the resemblance of Love banished your breasts? Sure they are all assertion that I am a child of Mars and these garments that estrange me to you! Venus : and in the honour of that lady if I were naked you would know me (whom it my ambition to serve) that that better ; no relic of love left in an old bosom love is the most true and perfect that still here! what should I do?
waiteth on the woman, and is the servant I Cup. My little shadow is turned of that sex. furious.
I Cup. But what gage gives my con2 Cup. What can I turn other than a fident counterfeit of this? Fury itself to see thy impudence? If I be a 2 Cup. My bow and quiver, or what shadow, what is substance? Was it not I else I can make. that yesternight waited on the bride into I Cup. I take only them : and in exthe nuptial chamber, and against the bride- change give mine, to answer and punish groom came made her the throne of love? this thy rashness, at thy time assigned, by Had I not lighted my torches in her eyes, a just number of knights, who by their planted my mother's roses in her cheeks; virtue shall maintain me to be the right were not her eyebrows bent to the fashion Cupid; and true issue of valour and of my bow, and her looks ready to be beauty ; and that no love can come near loosed thence, like my shafts ? Had I not either truth or perfection but what is ripened kisses on her lips fit for a Mer- manly and derives his proper dignity from cury to gather, and made her language thence. sweeter than his upon her tongue? was 2 Cup. It is agreed. not the girdle about her he was to untie I Cup. In the meantime, ladies, suspend my mother's,? wherein all the joys and your censures which is the right; and to delights of love were woven?
entertain your thoughts till the day, may I Cup. And did I not bring on the the Court hourly present you with delicate blushing bridegroom to taste those joys ? and fresh objects, to beget on you pretty and made him think all stay a torment? and pleasing fancies ! may you feed on did I not shoot myself into him like a pure meats, easy of concoction, and drink flame, and made his desires and his graces that will quickly turn into blood, to make equal? were not his looks of power to have your dreams the clearer, and your imagikept the night alive in contention with nations the finer ! day, and made the morning never wished for? Was there a curl in his hair that I
So they departed. did not sport in, or a ring of it crisped, that might not have become Juno's fingers ? his very undressing, was it not on New-Year's-day, he that before is numLove's arming? did not all his kisses
bered the SECOND CUPID came now the charge? and every touch attempt? but
first, with his ten Knights attired in his words, were they not feathered from
the Bride's colours, and lighting from my wings, and flew in singing at her ears, his chariot, spake : like arrows tipt with gold?
2 Cup. Hers, hers did so into his : and i Cup. Now, ladies, to glad your aspects all his virtue was borrowed from my once again with the sight of Love, and powers in her, as thy form is from me. make a spring smile in your faces, which But that this royal and honoured assembly must have looked like winter without me; be no longer troubled with our contention, behold me, not like a servant now, but a behold, I challenge thee of falshood, and champion, and in my true figure, as I used will bring upon the first day of the new to reign and revel in your fancies, tickling year into the lists before this palace ten your soft ears with my feathers, and laying knights armed, who shall undertake against little straws about your hearts, to kindle
1 Was not the girdle about her my mother's, Παρφασις, ήτ' εκλεψε νοον πυκα περ φρονεoντων. &c.) That girdle had scarcely more charms in
Il. xiv. v. 214. it than the poet's language in these sprightly [Which has been so exquisitely rendered by and gallant little pieces, but the allusion of Cowper : Cupid is to this beautiful passage :
“ It was an ambush of sweet snares, replete
With love, desire, soft intercourse of hearts, H, και απο στηθεσφιν ελυσατο κεστον ιμαντα, And music of resistless whispered sounds Ποικιλον, ενθα δε οι θελκτηρια παντα τετυκτο That from the wisest win their best resolves." Ενθ' ανι μεν φιλοτης, εν δ' ίμερος, εν δ'
F. C) οαριστες
bonfires shall flame out at your eyes; i champions emulated, and almost their playing in your bloods like fishes in a habits ! what insolence is this? stream, or diving like the boys in the bath, 2 Cup. Good little one, quarrel not, you and then rising on end like a monarch, have now put yourself upon others' valour, and treading humour like water, bending not your own, and you must know you can those stiff pickardils of yours under this bring no person hither to strengthen your yoke my bow; or if they would not bend, side, but we can produce an equal. Be it whipping your rebellious vardingales with Persuasion you have got there, the peculiar my bow-string, and made them run up enchantress of your sex; behold we have into your waists (they have lain so flat) for Mercury here to charm against her, who fear of my indignation. What ! is Cupid gives all lovers their true and masculine of no name with you? have I lost all re- eloquence; or are they the Graces you putation, or what is less, opinion, by once presume on, your known clients, Spring, putting off my deity? Because I was a Beauty, and Cheerfulness? here are Youth, page at this solemnity, and would modestly Audacity, and Favour to encounter them, serve one for the honour of you all, am I three more manly perfections, and much therefore dishonoured by all ? and lost in more powerful in working for Love : my value so that every juggler that can child, you are all the ways of winning too purchase him a pair of wings and a weak, there is no thinking, either with quiver, is committed with me in balance, your honour or discretion kept safe, to and contends with me for sovereignty? continue on a strife wherein you are Well, I will chastise you, ladies ; believe already vanquished ; yield, be penitent it, you shall feel my displeasure for this ; early, and confess it. and I will be mighty in it. Think not to i Cup. I will break my bow and quiver have those accesses to me you were wont; into dust first (restore me mine own arms) or you shall wait four of those galleries off, be torn in pieces with Harpies, marry one of and six chambers for me; ten doors locked the Furies, turn into Chaos again, and between you and me hereafter, and I will dissolve the harmony of nature. allow none of you a key : when I come 2 Cup. O, most stiffly spoken, and fit abroad, you shall petition me, and I will for the sex you stand for! Well, give the not hear you ; kneel, I will not regard sign then : let the trumpets sound, and you; I will pass by like a man of business, upon the valour and fortune of your and not see you, and I will have no Master champions put the right of your cause. of Requests for you. There shall not the
i Cup. 'Tis done. greatest pretender to a state-face living put on a more supercilious look than I will do upon you. Trust me--ha! what's
Here the TILTING took place. this?
After which Enter 2 CUPID, with his company of ten Knights.
2 Cup. Now, sir, you have got mightily
by this contention, and advanced your 2 Cup. O, are you here, sir! you have cause to a most high degree of estimation got the start of me now by being chal- with these spectators ! have you not? lenger, and so the precedency, you think.
1 Cup. Way, what have you done, or
won ? I see you are resolved to try your title by arms then ; you will stand to be the right called out to this trial, that I have not
2 Cup. It is enough for me who was Cupid still? how now! what ails you that you answer not? are you turned a statue lost, or that my side is not vanquished. upon my appearance? or did you hope I
Enter HYMEN. would not appear, and that hope has deceived you?
Hy. Come, you must yield both; this I Cup. Art shou still so impudent to is neither contention for you, nor time fit belie my figure? that in what shape soever to contend: there is another kind of tilting I present myself thou wilt seem to be the would become Love better than this; to same; not so much as my chariot but meet lips for lances, and crack kisses resembled by thee? and both the doves instead of staves : which there is no and swans I have borrowed of my mother beauty here, I presume, so young but can to draw it? the very number of my fancy, nor so tender but would venture. Here is the palm for which you must This made that thou wert born her second strive : which of you wins this bough is birth. Since when your natures are, that the right and best Cupid ; and whilst you either of you looking upon other thrive, are striving, let Hymen, the president of and by your mutual respects and interthese solemnities, tell you something of change of ardour flourish and prosper ; your own story, and what yet you know whereas if the one be deficient or wanting not of yourselves. You are both true to the other, it fares worse with both. Cupids, and both the sons of Venus by This is the Love that Hymen requires, Mars, but this the first born, and was without which no marriage is happy : called Eros; who upon his birth proved a when the contention is not who is the true child of excellent beauty, and right worthy Love, but being both true, who loves his mother ; but after, his growth not most ; cleaving the bough between you, answering his form, not only Venus, but and dividing the palm. This is a strife the Graces who nursed him, became ex- wherein you both win, and begets a contremely solicitous for him; and were cord worthy all married minds' emulaimpelled out of their grief and care to tion, when the lover transforms himself consult the oracle about him. Themis into the person of his beloved, as you two (for Apollo was not yet of years) gave do now, by whose example let your answer, there wanted nothing to his per- knights (all honourable friends and serfection, but that they had not enough con- vants of Love) affect the like peace, and sidered or looked into the nature of the depart the lists equal in their friendships infant, which indeed was desirous of a com- for ever, as to-day they have been in their panion only; for though Love, and the true, fortunes. And may this royal court never might be born of Venus single and alone, know more difference in humours; or yet he could not thrive and increase alone. these well-graced nuptials more discord in 'Therefore if she affected his growth, Venus affections than what they presently feel, must bring forth a brother to him, and and may ever avoid ! name him Anteros; that with reciprocal 1, 2 Cup. To this Love says Amen. affection might pay the exchange of Love.