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This HTML etext of Ben Jonson's "The Masque of Hymen" (1606) was created in March 2003 by Anniina Jokinen of Luminarium. The text is unaltered, and this etext also preserves, as much as possible within the constraints of the medium, the layout of the print edition. Jonson's footnotes have not been included. Another etext of the same, including Jonson's notes, is forthcoming. The Greek may be viewed with either the TekniaGreek or BSTGreek fonts.
    Source text:
    Jonson, Ben. The Works of Ben Jonson.   A New Edition.
    Edited, with a Biographical Memoir, by William Gifford.
    Boston: Phillips, Sampson, and Company, 1853.  668-674.
This edition is made available to the public for nonprofit purposes only. It is not represented by the publisher as a scholarly edition in the peer-reviewed sense. Unique site content is copyright 2003 Anniina Jokinen. This e-text may not be reproduced or published in any form without express written consent from the copyright holder. Permission granted for printing and distributing in the classroom for educational purposes, with this header included. For corrections, comments, and queries, please email the publisher.






H Y M E N Æ I ;

OR,

THE  SOLEMNITIES  OF  MASQUE  AND BARRIERS  AT  A  MARRIAGE.
 
 

H Y M E N Æ I,  &c.     

    ITis a noble and just advantage that the things subjected to understandinghave of  those which are objected to sense ;
that the one sort are but momentary, and  merely taking ;  the  other  impressing, and  lasting : else  the  glory  of  all  these
solemnies had perished like a blaze, and  gone out,  in  the  beholders'  eyes.   So short lived are the bodies of all things, in
comparison of  their souls.   And thoughbodies oftimes have the ill luck to be sensually preferred, they find afterwardsthe
good fortune (when souls live) to be utterly forgotten.  This it is  hath made the most  royal  princes, and greatest persons
(who are commonly the personaters of these actions) notonly studious of riches, and magnificence in the outward celebra-
tion or shew, which rightly becomes them ;  butcurious after the  most  high  and  hearty  inventions,to furnish the inward
parts ;  and those grounded upon antiquity, andsolid learning which though their voice be taught to  sound  to  present
occasions, their sense or doth or should always lay holdon more removed mysteries.   And howsoever some may squeam-
ishly cry out, that all endeavor of  learning and  sharpness  in  these  transitory  devices,especially where it steps  beyond
their little, or  (let me not wrong them,) no brain at all,  is superfluous :  I am contented, these fastidious  stomachs  should
leave my full tables, and  enjoy  at home their  clean  empty  trenchers,  fittest for  such  airy  tastes ;  where perhaps a few
Italian herbs, picked  up  and  made into  a  sallad, may  find  sweeter  acceptance than all  the most nourishing and sound
meats of the world.
    For these men's palates, let no meanswer, O Muses.   It is not my fault, if I fill them out nectar,and they run to metheglia.

Vaticana  bibant,  si  delectentur.

    All the courtesy I cando them, is to cry again :

Prætereant, si quid  non  facit ad  stomachum.

    As I will from the thoughtof  them,  to my better subject.


 
    On the night of the Masques (which were two,
One  of  men,  the  other  of  women)the  scene
being drawn,  there was first discovered an altar ;
upon which was inscribed,  in  letters of  gold,

Ioni.   Oimæ.Mimæ. 

UNIONI.

SACR.

     To  this  altar  entered five  pages,  attired  in
white,  bearing  five  tapers of  virgin wax ;   be-
hind them, one representing  a  bridegroom : his
hair  short,     and    bound  with   party-colored
ribands,  and   gold  twist ;  his  garments purple
and white.
     On the other hand, entered HYMEN (the god
of  marriage) in a saffron-color'd robe,  his under
vestures white,  his  socks yellow,  a  yellowveil
of  silk on  his  left arm,  his  head crowned with
roses  and  marjoram,  in his  right  hand a torch 
of  pine-tree.
     After  him  a youth  attired in  white,  bearing
another  light, of  white thorn ;  under  his arm,a
little wicker flasket shut behind him two others
in  white,  the  one  bearing  a  distaff, the  other
a  spindle.   Betwixt  these  a  personated bride,
supported, her hair flowing, and  loose sprinkled
with gray ;  on her head a garland  of  roses, like
a turret ;  her  garments white :  and on herback
a  wether's  fleece hanging down her zone, or
girdle  about  her  waist of  white wool, fastened
with the Herculean knot.
     In  the  midst went the Auspices;  after them,
two that sung, in several colored silks.  Of which
one bore the water, the other the fire ;  last of all
the   musicians,   diversly  attired,  all   crowned
with roses ;  and with this SONG began.

                    Bid all profane away ;
                    None here may stay
                    To view our mysteries,
                    But who themselves have been,
                    Or will in time be seen,
                    The self-same sacrifice.
                    For Union, mistress of  these rites,
                    Will be observed with eyes,
                    As simple as her nights. 

         Cho.Fly thenall profane away,
                    Fly far off as hath the day ;
                    Night her curtain doth display,
                    And this is Hymen's holy-day. 

The  song  being  ended, 
HYMENpresented himself
     foremost,   and,  after   some   sign   of   admiration,
     began to speak.

Hy.  What more than usual light,
    Throughout the place extended,
        Makes Juno's fane so bright!
    Is there some greater deity descended ?

        Or reign on earth, thosePowers
    So rich, as with their beams
        Grace Union more than ours;
    And  bound  her  influence in  their  happier
             streams ?

        'Tis so :  this sameis he,
    The king, and priest of peace :
        And that his empress, she,
    That sits so crowned with her own increase !

        O you, whose better blisses
    Have proved the strict embrace
        Of  Union, with chastekisses,
    And seen it flow so in your happy race ;

        That know, how well it binds
    The fitting seeds of things,
        Wins natures, sexes, minds,
    And every discord in true music brings :

        Sit now propitious aids,
    To rites so duly prized ;
        And view two noble maids,
    Of different sex, to Union sacrificed.
        In honor of that blest estate,
    Which all good minds should celebrate.

Here  out  of  a  microcosm, or  globe,
     figuring a man, with a kind  of  contentious  music,
     issued  forth the  first  masque of  eight men.

These  represented   the  four   Humors  and    four  Af-
     fections,   all   gloriously   attired,    distinguished
     only   by  their  several  ensigns  and  colors ;  and,
     dancing  out  on the  stage,  in their  return  at  the
     end  of  their dance,  drew all their swords, offered
     to encompass  the altar,  and  disturb  the  ceremo-
     nies.    Atwhich Hymen, troubled, spake :

Hy.  Save, save the virgins ;  keep your hallow'd 
           lights
untouch'd ;  and with their flame defend our
           rites.
The four untemper'd Humors are broke out,
And, with their wild Affections, go about
To ravish all religion.  If there be
A power, like a reason, left in that huge body
Or little world of man, from whence these came,
Look forth, and with thy bright and numerous
           flame
Instruct their darkness, make them know and
           see,
In wronging these, they have rebell'd  'gainst
           thee.

Hereat,  Reason,  seated on the top of the globe, as in
     the  brain,  or highest  part  of  man,   figured  in a
     venerable personage, herhair white,  and  trailing
     to  her  waist,  crowned  with  light,  her  garments
     blue,   and  semined   with   stars,  girded  unto her
     with a white band  filled with arithmetical  figures,
     in one hand bearing a lamp,in  the other  a  bright
     sword,  descended and  spake :

    Rea.  Forbear your rude attempt ; what igno-
           rance
Could yield you so profance, as to advance
One thought in act against these mysteries ?
Are Union's orgies of  so slender price ?
She that makes souls with bodies mix in love,
Contracts the world in one, and therein Jove ;
Is  spring   and   end  of  all  things yet,  most
           strange,
Herself  nor  suffers spring, nor end, nor change.
No wonder they were you, that were so bold ;
For none but Humors  and  Affections would
Have dared so rash a venture.   You  will  say
It  was  your  zeal  that  gave  your powers  the
           sway ;
And urge the masqued and disguised pretence
Of saving blood, and succoring innocence :
So want of  knowledge still  begetteth  jars,
When humorous earthlings will control the
           stars.
Inform yourselves, with safer reverence,
To these mysterious rites,  whose  mystic  sense,
Reason,  which  all  things,  but  itself,confounds,
Shall clear  unto you  from the authentic grounds.

At  this   the  Humors  and Affections   sheathed   their
     swords,   and retired   amazed   to  the  side  of  the
     stage,  while  Hymen  began  to  rank  the  persons,
     And order  the ceremonies: and  REASONproceed-
     ed to speak.

    Rea.  The pair, which do each other side,
Thought yet some space doth them divide,
This happy night must both make one ;
Blest sacrifice to Union.
Nor is this altar but a sign
Of one more soft, and more divine.
The genial bed,  where Hymen keeps
The solemn orgies,  void  of  sleeps :
And wildest Cupid, waking hovers
With adoration 'twixt the lovers.
The tead of  white and blooming thorn,
In token of  increase, is born :
As also, with the ominous light,
To fright all malice from the night.
Like are the fire and water set ;
That, e'en as moisture, mixt with heat,
Helps every natural birth to life :
So, for their race, join man and wife,
The blushing veil shows shamefac'dness
Th' ingenuous virgin should profess
At meetings with the man ;  her hair,
That flows so liberal, and so fair,
Is shed with grey, to intimate,
She entereth to a matron's state,
For which those utensils are born.
And, that she should not labor scorn,
Herself a snowy fleece doth wear,
And these her rock and spindle bear,
To show, that nothing which is good
Gives check unto the highest blood.
The zone of wool about her waist,
Which, in contrary circles cast,
Doth meet in one strong knot, that binds,
Tells you, so should all married minds.
And lastly, these five waxen lights,
Imply perfection in the rites :
For five the special number is,
Whence hallow'd Union claims her bliss.
As being all the sum that grows
From the united strength of those
Which male and female numbers we
Do style, and are first two and three.
Which, joined thus, you cannot sever
In equal parts, but one will ever
Remain as common ;  so we see
The binding force of Unity.
For which alone the peaceful gods
In number always love the odds ;
And even parts as much despise,
Since out of them all discords rise.

Here  the  upper  part  of the  scene, which was  all of
     clouds,  and  made artificially  to  swell,  and  ride
     like the rack, began to open;  and the air clearing,
     in  the  top thereof   was  discovered  Juno,  sitting
     in a throne, supported bytwo beautiful  peacocks ;
     her  attire  rich,  and  like  a  queen,  a  white  dia-
     dem on her head,  from  whence  descended  a veil,
     and that  bound with  a  fascia  of  several  color'd
     silks, set  with  all  sorts  of   jewels, and  raised  in
     the  top  with lilies  and  roses :  in  her right hand
     she  held  a sceptre, in  the other a  timbrel,  at  her
     golden  feet  thehide of  a lion was placed :  round
     about her sat  the spirits  of  air in  several  colors,
     making  music above her the  region of  fire, with
     a continual  motion, was seen to  whirl  circularly,
     and  Jupiter  standing  in   the  top  ( figuring   the
     heaven)  brandishing  his  thunder :   beneath  her
     the  rainbow, Iris,   and   on  the  two  sides,  eight
     ladies  attired richly, and  alike, in  the most celes-
     tial  colors, who represented her  powers, as she is
     the  governess of  marriage,  and made  the second
     masque.   All which, upon  the  discovery,  REASON
     made narration of.

    Rea.  And see where Juno, whose greatname
Is Unio, in the anagram,
Displays her glittering state and chair,
As she enlightened all the air !
Hark how the charming tunes do beat
In sacred concords 'bout her seat !
And lo ! to grace what these intend,
Eight of her noblest Powers descend,
Which are enstyled her faculties,
That govern nuptial mysteries ;
And wear those masques before their faces,
Lest dazzling mortals with their graces,
As they approach them, all mankind
Should be, like Cupid, strucken blind.
The Order waits for, on the ground,
To keep, that you should not confound
Their measured steps, which only move
About the harmonious sphere of love.

Their descent was made in two greats clouds, that put
      forth  themselves severally, and, with one measure
     of  time,  were seen  to stoop, and  fall gently down
     upon   the  earth.     The   manner  of  their   habits
     came   after some  statues  of   Juno,  no   less  airy
     than   glorious.   The   dressings   of    their  heads,
     rare ;  so  likewise of   their  feet and  all  full of
     splendor,  sovereignty,  and   riches.    Whilst  they
     were descending, this SONG  wassung at the altar.

These, these are they,
          Whom Humor andAffection must obey ;
          Who come todeck the genial bower,
          And bring withthem the grateful Hour
          That crownssuch meetings, and excites
          The marriedpair to fresh delights :
          As courtings,kissings, coyings, oaths, and vows,
          Soft whisperings,embracements, all the joys
          And meltingtoys,
          That chasterlove allows. 

Cho.  Haste, haste, for Hesperus his headdown bows.

This  song   ended,  they danced   forth  in  pairs,  and
     each pair with a varied andnoble grace,  to a rare
     and   full music  of   twelve  lutes, led  on  by Order,
     the  servant  of  Reason,  who  was  there  rather  a
     person  of  ceremony than   use.    His   under  gar-
     ment was blue,  hisupper white,  and  painted  full-
     of  arithmetical andgeometrical  figures ;  his  hair
     and beard  long, a staron his  forehead, and in his
     hand  a  geometrical   staff  :   to  whom,  after  the
     dance,  REASON spake.

    Rea.  Convey them,  Order, to theirplaces,
And rank them so, in several traces,
As they may set their mixed powers
Unto the music of  the Hours ;
And these, by joining with them, know
In better temper how to flow :
Whilst I, from their abstracted names,
Report the virtues of  the dames.
First, Curis comes to deck the bride's fair tress,
Care of  the ointments Unxia doth profess.
Juga, her office to make one of  twain :
Gamelia sees that they should so remain.
Fair Iterduca leads the bride her way ;
And Domiduca home her steps doth stay :
Cinxia the maid, quit of  her zone, defends.
Telia, for Hymen, perfects all and ends.

By  this  time   the  ladies were  paired  with  the  men,
     and the whole  sixteen ranked  forth,  in  order,  to
     dance ;  and were withthis  SONG  provoked.

                        Now, now begin to set
                             Your spirits in active heat ;
                        And, since your hands are met,
                             Instruct your nimble feet.
                             In motions swift and meet,
                        The happy ground to beat ;

         Cho. Whilstall this roof doth ring,
                        And each discording string,
                        With every varied voice,
                        In union doth rejoice. 

Here   they   danced  forth   a  most  neat  and  curious

     measure,   full of   subtilty  and  device,  which  was
     so excellently performed,as it seemed to take away
     that spirit  from the invention, which the invention
     gave to it : and  left  it doubtful, whether the  forms
     f lowed  more perfectly  from  the author's brain, or
     their  feet.  The  strains were  all  notably  different,
     some  of  them formed  into  letters, very  signifying
     to the name of  the Bridegroom, and  ended  in  the
     manner of  a chain,linking  hands :  to  which  this
     was spoken.

    Rea.  Such was the golden chain let down
           from heaven;
    And not these links more even,
Than these :  so sweetly temper'd, so combined
    By union and refined.
Here no contention, envy, grief, deceit,
    Fear, jealousy, have weight ;
But all is peace, and love, and faith, and bliss :
    What harmony like this ?
The gall behind the altar quite is thrown ;
    This sacrifice hath none.
Now no affections rage, nor humors swell ;
    But all composed dwell.
O Juno, Hymen, Hymen, Juno !  who
    Can merit with you two ?
Without your presence, Venus can do nought,
    Save what with shame is bought ;
No father can himself a parent show,
    Nor any house with prosperous issue grow.
O then, what deities will dare
    With Hymen, or with Juno to compare ?

This speech being ended, they dissolved : andall took
     forth  other  persons, (men  and  women)  to  dance
     other measures, galliards,and corantos : the whilst
     this  SONG  importuned  them  to a  fit remembrance
     of  the time.

             Think, yet, how night doth waste,
                  How much of time is past,
             What more than winged haste
                  Your selves would take,
             If you were but to taste
             The joy the night doth cast
                  (O might it ever last)
             On this bright virgin, and her happy make. 

Their  dances  yet  lasting,  theywere the second  time

                           importuned by speech.

    Rea.  See, see !  the bright Idalianstar,
That lighteth lovers to their war,
Complains that you her influence lose ;
While thus the night-sports you abuse.
    Hym.  The longing bridgegroom, in theporch,
Shews you again the bated torch ;
And thrice hath Juno mixt her air
With fire, to summon you repair.
    Rea.  See, now she clean withdraws herlight
And, as you should, gives place to night,
That spreads her broad and blackest wing
Upon the world, and comes to bring
A thousand several-color'd loves,
Some like sparrows, some like doves,
That hop about the nuptial-room,
And fluttering there, against you come,
Warm the chaste bower, which Cypria strows,
With many a lily, many a rose.

    Hym.  Haste, therefore, haste, and call,away !
The gentle night is prest to pay
The usury of long delights,
She owes to these protracted rites.

At this, the  whole  scene  being drawn again,  and all
     covered  with clouds, as a night, they  left  off  their
     intermixed   dances,  and   returned   to   their   first
     places ; where, as they werebut beginning to move,
     this 
SONG, the third time, urged them.

                 O know to end, as to begin :
                 A minute's loss in love is sin.
                 These humors will the night out-wear
                 In their own pastimes here ;
                 You do our rites much wrong,
                 In seeking to prolong
                 These outward pleasures :
                 The night hath other treasures
                 Than these, though long conceal'd,
                 Ere day to be reveal'd.
                 Then, know to end, as to begin ;
                 A minute's loss in love is sin.

Here they danced  their  last  dances, full  of  excellent

     delight  and  change,  and,  in   their   latter strain,
     fell   into a   fair  orb  or  circle ;   REASON standing
     in the midst, and speaking.

    Rea.  Here  stay,   and  let  your  sports  be
The perfect'st figure is the round.       [crown'd :
Nor fell you in it by adventure,
When reason was your guide and centre.
This, this that beauteous ceston is
Of  lovers many-color'd bliss.
Come, Hymen, make an inner ring,
And let the sacrificers sing ;
Cheer up the faint and trembling bride,
That quakes to touch her bridegroom's side :
Tell her what Juno is to Jove,
The same shall she be to her love ;
His wifewhich we do rather measure
A name of  dignity than pleasure.
Up, youths !  hold up your lights in air,
And shake abroad their flaming hair.
Now move united, and in gait,
As you, in pairs, do front the state,
With grateful honors thank his grace
That hath so glorified the place :
And as, in circle, you depart
Link'd hand in hand ;  so, heart in heart,
May all those bodies still remain
Whom he with so much sacred pain
No less hath bound within his realms
Than they are with the ocean's streams.
Long may his Union find increase,
As he, to ours, hath deign'd his peace !

With  this,   to  a  soft   strain   of   music,   they  paced
     once about, in their ring, every pair  making  their
     honors, as  they came before  the  state and  then
     dissolving,   went  down   in   couples,  led   on  by
     Hymen,  the bride, and  auspices  following,  as  to
     the   nuptial  bower.     After  them,   the musicians
     with this  SONG.

         Glad time isat his point arrived,
         For which love'shopes were so long lived.
           Lead,Hymen, lead away ;
             And let no object stay,
           Norbanquets, but sweet kisses,
           Theturtles from their blisses.
           'TisCupid calls to arm ;
           Andthis his last alarm.

___ 

     Of  this  SONG, then,  only  one  staff  was  sung,  but
         because  I  made  it  both  in  form and  matter to
         emulate  that  kind  of  poem,  which  was called
         Epithalamium, and  by  the  ancients  used  tobe
         sung when  the bride  was  led  into her chamber,
         I  have here  set it down whole ;  and  do heartily
         forgive their ignorance  whom it chanceth not to
         please.      Hoping  that  nemo doctus  me  jubeat
         Thalassionem   verbis    dicere    non     Thalassi-
         onis.
 
 

EPITHALAMION

          Glad time isat his point arrived,
          For which love'shopes were so long lived.
             Lead, Hymen, lead away ;
             And let no object stay,
             Nor banquets, but sweet kisses,
             The turtles from their blisses.
             'Tis Cupid calls to arm ;
             And this his last alarm.

          Shrink not, softvirgin, you will love,
          Anon, what youso fear to prove.
             This is no killing war,
             To which you pressed are ;
             But fair and gentle strife,
             Which lovers call their life.
             'Tis Cupid cries, to arm ;
             And this his last alarm.

          Help, youthsand virgins, help to sing
          The prize whichHymen here doth bring.
             And did so lately rap
             From forth the mother's lap,
             To place her by that side
             Where she must long abide.
             On Hymen, Hymen call,
             This night is Hymen's all.

          See !  Hesperusis yet in view.
          What star canso deserve of  you ?
             Whose light doth still adorn
             Your bride, that ere the morn,
             Shall far more perfect be,
             And rise as bright as he ;
             When, like to him, her name
             Is changed, but not her flame.

          Haste, tenderlady, and adventure ;
          The covetoushouse would have you enter,
             That it might wealthy be,
             And you, her mistress, see :
             Haste your own good to meet ;
             And lift your golden feet
             Above the threshold high,
             With prosperous augury.

          Now, youths,let go your pretty arms ;
          The place withinchants other charms.
             Whole showers of roses flow ;
             And violets seem to grow,
             Strew'd in the chamber there,
             As Venus' mead it were.
             On Hymen, Hymen call,
             This night is Hymen's all.

          Good matrons,that so well are known
          To aged husbandsof  your own,
             Place you our bride to-night ;
             And snatch away the light :
             That she not hide it dead
             Beneath her spouse's bed ;
             Nor he reserve the same
             To help the funeral flame.

          So !  nowyou may admit him in ;
          The act he covetsis no sin,
             But chaste and holy love,
             Which Hymen doth approve ;
             Without whose hallowing fires
             All aims are base desires.
             On Hymen, Hymen call,
             This night is Hymen's all.

          Now free fromvulgar spite or noise,
          May you enjoyyour mutual joys ;
             Now, you no fear controls,
             But lips may mingle souls ;
             And soft embraces bind
             To each the other's mind,
             Which may no power untie,
             Till one or both must die !

          And look, beforeyou yield to slumber,
          That your delightsbe drawn past number ;
             Joys, got with strife, increase.
             Affect no sleepy peace ;
             But keep the bride's fair eyes
             Awake with her own cries,
             Which are but maiden fears :
             And kisses dry such tears.

          Then coin them'twixt your lips so sweet,
          And let notcockles closer meet ;
             Nor may your murmuring loves
             Be drown'd by Cypris' doves :
             Let ivy not so bind
             As when your arms are twined :
             That you may both ere day,
             Rise perfect every way.

          And, Juno, whosegreat powers protect
          The marriage-bed,with good effect,
             The labor of  this night
             Bless thou, for future light :
             And thou, thy happy charge,
             Glad Genius, enlarge ;
             That they may both, ere day,
             Rise perfect, every way.

          And Venus, thou,with timely seed,
          Which may theirafter-comforts breed,
             Inform the gentle womb ;
             Nor let it prove a tomb :
             But, ere ten moons be wasted,
             The birth, by Cynthia hasted.
             So may they both, ere day,
             Rise perfect every way.

          And, when thebabe to light is shown,
          Let it be likeeach parent known ;
             Much of  the father's face,
             More of  the mother's grace ;
             And either grandsire's spirit,
             And fame, let it inherit.
             That men may bless th' embraces,
             That joined two such races.

          Cease, youthsand virgins, you have done ;
          Shut fast thedoor : and as they soon
             To their perfection haste,
             So may their ardors last.
             So either's strength outlive
             All loss that age can give :
             And, though full years be told,
             Their forms grow slowly old. 


 


 
 
 
     Hitherto extended thefirst night's solemnity,  whose  grace  in  the execution,  left  not  where to add  unto it, with wish-
ing :  I mean  (nor do I court them) in those,  that  sustained  the  nobler  parts.   Such  was  the  exquisite  performance, as,
beside the pomp, splendor, or what  we may call apparelling  of  such  presentments, that alone  (had all else been absent )
was of  power  to surprize with delight, andsteal away the spectators  from  themselves.   Nor was  there  wanting  whatso-
ever might give to the furniture or complement ; either in richness, or strangeness of  the habits, delicacy of dances,  mag-
nificence of  the scene, or divine rapture of music.    Only, the envy was, that  it  lasted not  still,  or,  now it is past, cannot
by imagination, much less description, be recovered toa part of that spirit it had in the gliding by.
     Yet, that I may not utterlydefraud  the  reader of  his  hope,  I am drawnto give it  those  brief  touches, which may leave
behind some shadow of  what  it  was :  and  first  of  the attires.
     That of  the lords, hadpart of  it,  for the fashion,  taken  from  theantique  Greek  statues, mixed with some modern addi-
tions :  which made it both graceful andstrange.    On their  heads  they wore Persiccrowns,  that were with scrolls of  gold
plate turned outward, and wreathed about  with a carnation  and  silver net-lawn ;  the one end  of which  hung  carelessly
on the left shoulder ;  the other was  trickedup  before, in   several  degrees of  folds, between  the  plaits, and set with rich
jewels and great  pearl.    Their bodies were of  carnation  cloth  of  silver, richly  wrought, and cut to express the naked, in
manner of  the Greek thorax ;  girt under thebreasts with a broad  belt  of  cloth  of  gold,embroidered, and  fastened before
with jewels :  their  labels were of white cloth  of  silver, laced, and  wrought  curiously between, suitable to the upper half
of  their sleeves ;  whose  nether parts  with  their  bases, were of  watchet  clothof  silver, cheveroned  all  over  with  lace.
Their  mantles were  of  several-colored silks,  distinguishing  their  qualities,  as theywere coupled in pairs ;  the first, sky-
color ;  the second, pearl-color ;  the third,flame-color ;  the fourth, tawny ;   and  these cut  in  leaves,  which  were  subtly
tacked up, and  embroidered  with  O's, and between every  rank of  leaves a broad silver race.   They were fastened on the
right shoulder, and  fell  compass down the back  in  gracious  folds, and were again tied with a round knot  to  the  fasten-
ing  of  their swords.    Upontheir legs they wore silver greaves,  answering in work to their labels.   And  these  were  their
accoutrements.
     The ladies attire was whollynew, for the invention, and  full of  glory ;  as having  in  it  the  most  true  impression of  a
celestial figure :  the  upper part  of  white  cloth  of  silver, wrought with  Juno's  birds and  fruits ;  a loose under garment,
full gathered,  of carnation,  striped withsilver,  and  parted  with  a golden  zone ;  Beneath that, another  flowing  garment,
of  watchet  cloth of  silver, laced withgold ;  through all which, though they were round, and swelling, there yet appeared
some touch of  their delicate lineaments, preservingthe sweetness of  proportion, and expressing itself  beyond expression.
The attire of  their  heads did answer, if  not exceed ;  their  hair  being  carelessly ( but yet  with  more art  than  if  more af-
fected )  bound under the circle of  a rare  and  rich  coronet, adorned with all variety, and choice of  jewels ;  from  the  top
of  which  flowed a transparent veil, down to the ground ;  whose verge returning up,  was  fastened to either side in most
sprightly manner.    Their  shoes were azure and gold,  set  with  rubies  and diamonds ;  so were all   their  garments ;  and
every part abounding in ornament 
     No less  to  be admired, for  the  grace  and  greatness, was the whole machineof  the spectacle from whence they came,
the first  part of  which  was a MIKROKOSMOS, or  globe,  filled with countries, and those gilded ;  wherethe sea was ex-
prest,  heightened with  silver waves.    This stood, or rather hung ( for no axle was seen to support it )  and turning softly,
discovered the firstmasque  (as we have before, but too runningly, declared )  whichwas of  the men, sitting in fair compo-
sition, within a mine of  several metals :  to which  the lights wereso placed,  as no one was seen ;  but  seemed  as if  only
Reason, with the splendorof  her crown, illumined the whole grot.
    On the sides of  this, which began the other part, were placed twogreat statues, feigned  of  gold, one of  Atlas, the oth-
er of  Hercules,in varied postures, bearing  up  the  clouds, which were  of  relievo, embossed,  and  tralucent as naturals :
to these a cortineof  painted clouds joined, which reached to the utmost roof of the hall ;  and suddenly opening, revealed
the  three regions of  air :  in the highest of  which sat  Juno,  in a glorious  throne of  gold, circled with c omets, and  fiery
meteors, engenderedin that hot and dry region ;  her  feet  reaching to  the lowest :  where was made a rainbow, and within
it musicians seated,figuring airy spirits, their habits various, and  resembling the several colors caused in  that  part of  the
air by reflection.   The midst  was  all  of  dark  and  condensedclouds, as being the proper place where rain, hail, and other
watery meteors aremade ;  out  of  which  two concave clouds from the rest  thrust  forth  themselves  ( in  natureof  those
Nimbi,  wherein, by  Homer,  Virgil,  &c., the  gods  are feigned  to  descend )  and  these carried  theeight  ladies  over  the
heads of  the two  terms ;1  who,as the engine moved, seemed also to bow themselves  ( by virtue of their  shadows )  and
discharge their shoulders  of  their  glorious burden :  when having set  them on  the earth, both they and the clouds gath-
ered themselves upagain, with some rapture of  the beholders.
    But that, which  (as above in place, so in the beauty)  was most  taking  in  the spectacle, was  the  sphereof  fire,  in  the
top of all, encompassing the air, and  imitated  with  such  art and  industry,  as  the  spectators  might discern  the  motion
(all  the time  the shews  lasted )  without  any  mover;  and  that  so  swift, as no eye  could distinguish  any  color  of  the
light, but might form  to itself  five  hundred  several  huesout of  the  translucent  body of  the air, objected betwixt  it and
them.
    And this was crowned with a statue of  Jupiter the Thunderer.
 

1 Atlasand Hercules, the figures mentioned before.

 







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