Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

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 fury 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, weele 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, Cælum, Terra, and with globes, rainbows, looking-glasses, &c. Visus thus opens his case.

“ Vis. Lo, here the object that delights the sight.

The goodliest objects that man's heart can wish,
For all things that the orbe first moveable,
Wrapt in the circuit of his large stretcht armes,
Are subject to the power of Visus' eyes,
That you may know what profit light doth bring,
Note Lumen's words, that speakes next following.

Lu. Light, the faire grand-child to the glorious sun,
Opening the casements of the rosie morne,
Makes the abashed heavens soone to shunne
The ugly darkenesse it embrac't beforne,
And, at his first appearance, puts to fight
The utmost reliques of the hel-borne night.
This heavenly shield, soone as it is displaid,
Dismaies the vices that abhorre the light:
To wanderers, by sea and land, gives ayd,
Conquers dismay, re-comforteth affright,
Rouzeth dull idlenesse, and starts soft sleepe,
And all the world to dayly labour keepes.
This a true looking-glasse impartiall,
Where beautie's selfe her selfe doth beautifie,
With native hue, not artificiall,
Discovering falshood, opening verity.
The daye's bright eye colours distinction :
Just judge of measure and proportion.
The onely meanes by which each mortall eye
Sends messengers to the wide firmament,
That to the longing soule brings presently
High contemplation and deepe wonderment;
By which aspirement she her wings displaies,
And herselfe thither whence she came upraise.

Pha. What blue thing's that, that's dapled so with stars?
Vis. He represents the heaven.
Pha. In my conceit it were pretty, if hee thundred when hee

speakes.
Vis. Then none could understand him.

Col. Tropicke, colours, the equinoctial,
The zodiacke, poles, and line ecliptical,
The nadir, zenith, and anomalies ;
The azimuth, and ephimerides,
Stars, orbes, and planets, with their motions,
The oriental regradations;
Excentricks, epicycts, and-and-and-

Pha. How now, Visus, is your heaven at a stay?
Or is it his Motus trepidationis that makes him stammer?
I pray you, Memory, set him agate againe.

Com. S. Leave your jesting, you'le put the fresh actor out of countenance.

Col. Excentricks, epicyctes, and aspects,
In sextile, trine, and quadrate, which effects
Wonders on earth ; also the oblique part
Of signes, that make the day both long and short,
The constellations rising cosmical.
Setting of stars, chronicke, and heliacall,
In the horizon or meridionall,
And all the skill in deepe astronomy,
Is to the soule derived by the eye.

Pha. Visus, you have made Cælum a heavenly speech, past earthly capacity, it had bin as good for him he had thundred. But I pray you, who taught him to speake and use no action? methinks it had bin excellent to have turn'd round about in his speech.

Vis. He hath so many motions, he knowes not which to begin withall.

Pha. Nay, rather it seemes hee's of Copernicus' opinion, and that makes him stand stil. (Terra comes to the midst of the stage, stands

still a while, says nothing, and steps back. Com. S. Let's heare what Terra can say, just nothing.

Vis. An it like your lordship, 'twere an indecorum Terra should speake.

Mem. You are deceiv'd, for I remember, when Phaëton rul'd the sun, • I shal never forget him, he was a very pretty youth, the earth opened her mouth wide, and spoke a very good speech to Jupiter.

Anam. By the same token, Nilus hid his head then, he could never find it since.

Pha. You know, Memory, that was an extreame hot day, and 'tis likely Terra sweat much, and so tooke cold presently after, that ever since she hath lost her voice.”

The trial thus proceeds, till Visus is called on to describe his dwelling in Mount Cephalon, or the Head. He then gives this beautiful allegorical description of the eyes.

“Vis. Under the fore-head of Mount Cephalon,
That overpeeres the coast of Mycrocosme,
Al in the shadow of two pleasant groves,
Stand my two mansion houses, both as round
As the cleare heavens, both twins as like each other,
As starre to starre, which, by the vulgar sort,
For their resplendent composition,
Are nam'd the bright eyes of Mount Cephalon;
With foure fair roomes those lodgings are contriv'd,
Foure goodly roomes in forme most spherical,
Closing each other like the heavenly orbes :

The first whereof, of Nature's substance wrought,
As a strange moate the other to defend,
Is trained moveable by art divine,
Stirring the whole compacture of the rest :
The second chamber is most curiously
Composed of burnisht and transparent horne.

The third's a lesser roome of purest glasse,
The fourth's smallest, but passeth all the former,
In worth of matter: built most sumptuously
With wals transparant of pure christaline.
This the soule's mirrours, and the bodie's guide,
Love's cabinet, bright beacons of the realme,
Casements of light, quiver of Cupid's shafts :
Wherein I sit, and immediatly receive
The species of things corporeall.
Keeping continuall watch and centinell,
Lest forraine hurt invade our microcosme,
And warning give, if pleasant things approach
To entertaine them; from this costly roome
Leadeth, my lord, an entry to your house,
Through which I hourely to yourselfe convey
Matters of wisedome by experience bred :
Art's first invention, pleasant vision,
Deepe contemplation, that attires the soule
In gorgeous robes of flowing literature.
Then, if that Visus hath deserved best,
Let his victorious brow with crowne be blest.”

But far the most delightful of these scenes, in which the Senses are supposed to be pleading their cause before the grave and wise Lord Common Sense, is that wherein Auditus is introduced, who enters in a trance of admiration at sounds, which none can hear save himself. Phantasy, however, soon works himself up to imagine he hears them too ; and old Memory, as usual, does remember him that he heard them a long time ago. Nothing can be more admirable than the spirit with which these two characters are supported through the whole drama. There is hardly a scene to which Phantasy does not give some portion of romantic wildness, or in which Memory, by his deep reaches into old time, does not excite a great many venerable associations. Indeed, the whole play gives one an idea of a fairy land, where we are indulged with glimpses of a race of most amusing creatures, composed of a strange mixture of drollery and seriousness, whose persons we seem to have some recollection

of, though we are well assured we could never have seen them before. But it is time to listen with Auditus-See, he enters :

Aud. Harke, harke, harke, harke, peace, peace,O, peace, O, sweet, admirable, swan-like, heavenly; harke, 0, most mellifluous straine, O, what a pleasant close was there, O, ful, most delicate.

Com. S. How now, Phantastes, is Auditus mad?

Pha. Let him alone, his musicall head is alwayes full of odde crotchets.

Aud. Did you marke the dainty driving of the last point? an excellent maintaining of the song, by the choise tympan of mine eare, never heard a better, hist, st, st, harke, why there's a cadence able to ravish the dullest stoicke.

Com. S. I know not what to thinke on him.

Aud. There, how sweetely the plaine song was dissolved into descant, and how easily they came off with the last rest? harke, harke, the bitter-sweetest achromaticke.

Com. S. Auditus!

Aud. Thanks, good Apollo, for this timely grace, never could'st thou in fitter : 0, more than musicall harmony ! O, most admirable concert! have you no eares? doe you not heare this musicke?

Pha. It may bee good, but, in my opinion, they rest too long in the beginning.

Aud. Are you then deafe? do you not yet perceive the wonderous sound the heavenly orbes do make with their continuall motion ? harke, 0, honey sweet.

Com. S. What tune do they play?

Aud. Why such a tune as never was, nor ever shall be heard, marke now, now marke, now, now.

Pha. List, list, list.
Aud. Hearke, 0, sweete, sweete, sweete.

Pha. List, now my heart envies my happy eares. Hisht, by the gold-strung harp of Apollo, I heare the celestial musick of the spheres as plainly as ever Pythagoras did. O, most excellent diapason! good, good, good. It playes fortune my foe, as distinctly as may bee.

Com. S. As the foole thinketh, the bel clinketh; I protest I heare no more than a post.

Pha. What, the Lavata hay? Nay, if the heavens fiddle, Phansy must needes daunce.

Com. S. Prithee, sit stil, thou must daunce nothing but the passing measures; Memory, do you heare this harmony of the spheres ?

Mem. Not now, my lord, but I remember about some four thousand yeeres ago, when the sky was first made, we heard very perfectly.

Ana. By the same token, the first tune the planets played I remember, Venus the treble ran sweet division upon Saturne the base. The first tune they placed was Sellengers round, in memory whereof, ever since, it hath bin called the beginning of the world.

Com. S. How comes it we cannot heare it now?

Mem. Our eares are so wel acquainted with the sound, that wee never marke it. As I remember, the Egyptian Catadupes never heard

« ПредишнаНапред »