Page images

the scene,

the scenes abound with light, especially coloured and varied; and let the masquers, or any other that are to come down from

have some motions upon the scene itself before their coming down; for it draws the eye strangely, and makes it with great pleasure to desire to see that it cannot perfectly discern. Let the songs be loud and cheerful, and not chirpings or pulings; let the music likewise be sharp and loud, and well placed. The colours that show best by candle-light are white, carnation, and a kind of sea-water green; and ouches, or spangs, as they are of no great cost, so they are of most glory." As for rich embroidery, it is lost and not discerned. Let the suits of the masquers be graceful, and such as become the person when the vizards are off, not after examples of known attires, Turks, soldiers, mariners, and the like. Let anti-masques' not be long; they have been commonly of fools, satyrs, baboons, wild men, antics, beasts, sprites,' witches, Æthiopes," pigmies,

1 That.


What. See page 72. * Puling. Whining.

* To speak puling, like a beggar at Halimass.'-Shakespere. * Ouches. Ornaments of gold in which jewels may be set. “Thou shalt make the two stones be set in ouches of gold.'—Exodus xxviii. 11. Spangs. Spangles.

A vesture sprinkled here and there,
With glittring spangs that did like stars appere.'—Spenser.
Glory. Lustre. "The moon serene in glory.'—Pope.

• Vizard—Visor. A mask used to disguise. “A lie is like a vizard, that may cover the face, indeed, but can never become it.'-South.

? Anti-masques. Short masques, or light interludes, played between the parts of the principal masques. Antics. Buffoons.

• If you should smile, he grows impatient,-
Fear not, my Lord; we can contain ourselves,
Were he the veriest antick in the world.'—Shakespere.

• Within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps Death his court: and there the antick sits

Scoffing his state.'—Shakespere.
Sprites. Spirits.

· And forth he call'd out of deep darkness drear

Legions of sprites.'-Spenser.
• Of these am I who thy protection claim,

A watchful sprite, and Ariel is my name.'—-Pope. ** Ethiops. Ethiopians ; blacks.

Since her time colliers are counted fair,
And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack.'-Shakespere.

turquets,' nymphs, rustics, Cupids, statues moving, and the like. As for angels, it is not comical enough to put them in antimasques; and anything that is hideous, as devils, giants, is, on the other side, as unfit; but chiefly, let the music of them be recreative, and with some strange changes. Some sweet odours suddenly coming forth, without any drops falling, are, in such a company, as there is steam and heat, things of great pleasure and refreshment. Double masques, one of men, another of ladies, addeth state and variety ; but all is nothing, except the room be kept clear and neat.

For justs, and tournies,' and barriers, the glories of them are chiefly in the chariots, wherein the challengers make their entry, especially if they be drawn with strange beasts, as lions, bears, camels, and the like; or, in the devices of their entrance, or in bravery of their liveries, or in the goodly furniture of their horses and armour. But enough of these toys.


· These things are but toys ....?

Lord Bacon seems to think some kind of apology necessary for treating of matters of this kind in the midst of grave treatises. But his taste seems to have lain a good deal this way. He is reported to have always shown a great fondness for splendour and pageantry, and everything that could catch the

· Turquets. (Probably) Turks.
9 Comical. Comic.
8 Tourneys. Tournament.

• Not but the mode of that romantic age,
The age of tourneys, triumphs, and quaint masques,
Glared with fantastic pageantry which dimned
The sober eye of truth, and dazzled e'en

The sage himself.'— Mason. Glory. Splendour ; magnificence. “Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.'—Matthew.

• Bravery. Finery. 'In that day the Lord will take away the tinkling ornaments about their feet.”Isaiah iii. 18.

• A stately ship, with all her bravery on,
And tackle trim.' - Milton,

ery of their

eye and make a display of wealth and magnificence. This may be accounted, in such a great philosopher, something frivolous. It is worth remarking that the term 'frivolous' is always applied (by those who use language with care and correctness) to a great interest shown about things that are little to the person in question. For, little and great,-trifling or important,-are relative terms. If a grown man or woman were to be occupied with a doll, this would be called excessively frivolous; but do one calls a little girl frivolous for playing with a doll.



CATURE is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom ex-

tinguished. Force maketh nature more violent in the return, doctrine and discourse maketh nature less importune, but custom only doth alter and subdue nature. Ile that seeketh victory over his nature, let him not set himself too great nor too small tasks; for the first will make him dejected by often failing, and the second will make him a small proceeder, though by often prevailing. And, at the first, let him practise with helps, as swimmers do with bladders or rushes; but, after a time, let him practise with disadvantages, as dancers do with thick shoes, for it breeds great perfection if the practice be harder than the

Where nature is mighty, and therefore the victory hard, the degrees had need be, first to stay and arrest nature in time; (like to him that would say over the four-and-twenty letters when he was angry) then to go less in quantity; as if one should, in forbearing wine, come from drinking healths to a draught at a meal; and, lastly, to discontinue altogether; but if a man have the fortitude and resolution to enfranchise himself at once, that is the best :

• Optimus ille animi vindex, lædentia pectus

Vincula qui rupit, dedoluitque semel." Neither is the ancient rule amiss, to bend nature as a wand, to a contrary extreme, whereby to set it right; understanding it where the contrary extreme is no vice. Let not a man force a habit upon himself with a perpetual continuance, but with some intermission, for both the pause reinforceth the new onset; and if a man that is not perfect be ever in practice, he shall well practise his errors as his abilities, and induce one habit of both, and there is no means to help this but by seasonable intermission. But let not a man trust his victory over his nature too far, for nature will lie buried a great time, and yet revive upon the occasion or temptation; like as it was with Æsop's


1 Importune. Importunate ; troublesome. See page 94.

* *He is the best assertor of the soul, who bursts the bonds that gall his breast and suffers all, at once.'--Ovid, R. Amor. 293.

damsel, turned from a cat to a woman, who sat very demurely at the board's end till a mouse ran before her; therefore, let a man either avoid the occasion altogether, or put himself often to it, that he may be little moved with it. A man's nature is best perceived in privateness,' for there is no affectation in passion : for that putteth a man out of his precepts, and in a new case or experiment, for there custom leaveth him. They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations, otherwise they may say, "Multum incola fuit anima mea," when they converse in those things they do not affect. In studies, whatsoever a man commandeth upon himself, let him set hours for it; but whatsoever is agreeable to his nature, let him take no care for any set times; for his thoughts will fly to it of themselves, so as the spaces of other business or studies will suffice. A man's nature runs either to herbs or weeds; therefore let him seasonably water the one, and destroy the other.


Contra, Consuetudo contra naturam, quasi Cogitamus secundum naturam; lotyrannis quædam est; et cito, ac levi quimur secundum præcepta; sed agimus occasione corruit.

secundum consuetudinem. Custom, when contrary to nature, • We think according to our nature; is a kind of usurpation over it; and is we speak according to instruction ; but quickly overthrown on the most trifling we act according to custom.' occasion.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* Privateness. Privacy. See page 104.

2 Sort. Suit. See page 71. Vocation. Calling in life. See page 20. ''My soul has been long a sojourner.'

Converse. To have one's way of life in. See Conversation, page 280. Let your conversation be as becometh the Gospel of Christ.Phil. i. 27.

• Octavia is of a holy and still conversation.'—Shakespere. & Affect. To like.

• Dost thou affect her ?.'—Shakespere.

« PreviousContinue »