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Tunes without sense, words inarticulate,
Ling. Perfidious lyar, how can I endure thee,
A ml. Heavens looke on my distresse!
Ling. May the loud cannoning of thunder-bolts,
Come not within my thoughts. But thou, Deceit,
Breake up the pleasure of my brim-full brest,
Enrich my mind with subtill policies.
Well then I'le goe—whither? nay, what know I?
And do, in faith I will, the devill knowes what;
What if I set them all at variance,
And so obtaine to speak, it must be so.
It must be so, but how? there lies the point:
How? thus;—tut, this device will never prove—
Augment it so—'twill be too soone discride,
Or so—not so, 'tis too too dangerous;
Pish, none of these—what if I take this course, ha?
Why there it goes, good, good, most excellent—
He that will catch eeles must disturbe the floud;
The chickens hatcht, y'faith, for they are proud,
And soone will take a cause of disagreement."
Lingua, producing a crown and robe, which she intends to throw in the way of the Senses as a bone of contention, describes the prize in these terms:
"Zing. Whilome this crowne and gorgeous ornament,
Tactus first finds the insidious treasures, and, after admiring them, puts them on, and exclaims—*
* Winstanley tells us, that on this play being acted by the students of Trinity College, Cambridge, Oliver Cromwell, then at that university, performed the part of Tactus, and of course had occasion "Roses and bayes, packe hence: this crowne and robe,
My browes and body circles and invests.
How gallantly it fits me, sure the slave
Measur'd my head that wrought this coronet.
They lie that say complections cannot change;
My blood's enobl'd, and I am transform'd
Unto the sacred temper of a king:
Methinkes 1 heare my noble parasites
Stiling me Caesar, or great Alexander,
Licking my feete, and wond'ring where I got
This precious ointment: how my pace is mended!
How princely doe I speake, how sharpe I threaten!
Peasants, I'le curbe your head-strong impudence,
And make you tremble when the lyon roares,
Ye earth-bred wormes! oh, for a looking glasse:
Poets will write whole volumes of this scarre,
Wher's my attendants? Come hither, sirra, quickly,
Or by the wings of Hermes."
He is interrupted by some of the other Senses, and is compelled to resort to some very humorous shifts, to conceal his treasure and send them off.
Common Sense demands of Mendacio, or the Liar, some account of the respective armaments of the Senses, whom he is informed are drawn up in battle array to contend for the crown and robe. Mendacio gives him a long description of the armies, written in an admirable vein of ludicrous exaggeration and mock-heroic dignity.
"Pha. Hot youths I protest, saw you those warlike preparations?
Men. Lately, my lords, I spied into the army,
Com. S. Go to, speake what thou canst.
Men. Upon the right hand of a spacious hill,
to repeat this speech. He, it is said, entered with such spirit and animation into the part, that it is supposed the promptings of his future ambition then first rose in his breast—an anecdote curious enough if it were true. It is possible that Cromwell may have assisted in the representation of this play, though it was published many years before he was born. The consequence attributed to its effects is however sufficiently absurd. It should be recollected that Cromwell was a fellow commoner of Sidney, while the play is said to have been represented at Trinity College, a circumstance which almost alone destroys the credit of the story.
Proud Visus marshalleth a puissant army,
Three thousand eagles strong, whose valiant captaine
Is Jove's swift thunder-bearer, that same bird,
That hoist up Ganimede from the Troyan plaines:
The vant-gard strengthen'd with a wonderous flight
Of faulcons, haggards, hobbies, terselets,
Lanards, and goshaukes, spar-haukes, and ravenous birds,
The rereward granted to Auditus' charge,
Is stoutely follow'd with an impetuous heard
Of stiffe-neekt buls, and many horne-mad stagges
Of the best head the forrest can afford.
Pha. I promise you a fearefull troupe of souldiers.
Mem. 'Tis very strange, I cannot remember the like engine at any
time. Men. Nay more, my lord, the maskes are made so strong, That I myselfe upon them scal'd the heavens,
And boldly walk't about the middle region,
Where, in the province of the meteors,
I saw the cloudy shops of haile and raine,
Garners of snow, and christals full of dew,
Rivers of burning arrowes, dens of dragons,
Huge beames of flames, and speares like fire-brands,
Where I beheld hot Mars and Mercurie,
With rackets made of speares, and balls of starres,
Playing at tennis for a tunne of nectar:
And that vast gaping of the firmament
Under the southerne pole, is nothing else
But the great hazzard of their tennis court:
The Zodiacke is their line. The shooting starres,
Which in an eye-bright evening seem to fall,
Are nothing but the bals they lose at bandy.
Thus having tooke my pleasure with those sights,
By the same net I went up, I descended.
Com. S. Well, sirra, to what purpose tends this stratagem?
T intrap the eagles when the battailes joyne.
Pha. Who takes Tactus his part? Men. Under the standard of thrice hardy Tactus, Thrice valiant Gustus leades his warlike forces, An endlesse multitude of desperate apes, Five hundred marmosets, and long tail'd monkies, All trained to the field, and nimble gunners. Pha. I imagine ther's odd mowing amongst them, methinkes a handful of nuts would turne them all out of their souldier's coates. Men. Ramparts of pasty-crust and forts of pies, Entrench'd with dishes full of custard stuffe, Hath Gustus made, and planted ordinance, Strange ordinance, cannons of hollow canes, Whose powder's rape-seede, charg'd with turnip-shot. Men. I remember, in the country of Utopia, they use no other kind of artillery. Com, S. But what's become of Olfactus? Men. He politickly leanes to neither part, But stands betwixt the camps as at recite, Having great wine, his pioneers, to entrench them. Pha. In my foolish imagination, Olfactus is very like the goddesse of victory, that never takes any part but the conquerors. Men. And in the woods, he placed secretly Two hundred couple of hounds and hungry mastiffes: And ore his head hover at his command A cloud of vultures, which o're-spread the light, Making a night before the day be done, But to what end not knowne, but fear'd of all. Pha. I conjecture hee intends to see them fight, and after the battel, to feed his dogs, hogs, and vultures, upon the murthered carcasses. Men. My lorde, I thinke the o of their anger wil not bee obedient to the message of Lingua, for otherwise in my conceit they should have beene here ere this: with your lordship's good liking, weel'e attend upon you to see the field for more certainty. Com. S. It shall be so. Come Master Register, let's walke."
In the trial before Common Sense, each Sense brings his respective shew, in order to exhibit his merits in the most striking manner, and is also required to “describe his respective instrument, that is, his house where he performs his dayly duty, so that, by the object and the instrument, my Lord can with great ease discern their place and dignities.” Visus first submits his pretensions, and comes on to the stage accompanied by figures attired as Lumen, Calum, Terra, and with globes, rainbows, looking-glasses, &c. Visus thus opens his case.
“Wis. Lo, here the object that delights the sight.