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Of Blackness.

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M  A  S  Q  U  E  S


C  O  U  R  T.

The Author  B. J.

Salve festa dies, meliorque revertere semper.    Ovid.


Q U E E N S  M A S Q U E S.

T H E  F I R S T,

Of  B L A C K N E S S:

Personated at the Court at Whitehall,
On the Twelfth-night, 1605.


H E honour and splendor of these Spectacles
 was such in the Performance, as, could those
 Hours have lasted, this of mine, now, had been
 a most unprofitable Work. But (when it is
the Fate, even of the greatest, and most absolute Births,
to need and borrow a Life of Posterity) little had been
done to the Study of Magnificence in these, if presently with
the rage of the People, who (as a part of greatness) are
priviledged by Custom, to deface their carkasses, the Spirits
had also perished. In duty, therefore, to that Majesty,
who gave them their Authority, and Grace; and, no less
than the most Royal of Predecessors, deserves eminent
Celebration for these Solemnities: I add this later hand,
to redeem them as well from Ignorance as Envy,
two common Evils, the one of Censure, the other of

   (a) Pliny, (b) Solinus, (c) Ptolomey, and
of late Leo (d) the African, remember
unto us a River in Æthiopia, Famous by the
Name of Niger; of which the People were
called Nigritæ, now Negroes: and are
the blackest Nation of the World. This
(a) Natur.
(b) Pol. Hist.
40 & 43.
(c) Lib. 4.
cap. 5.
(d) Descrip.

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(e) River taketh Spring out of a certain Lake,
Eastward; and after a long Race, falleth into
the Western Ocean. Hence (because it was
her Majesties will, to have them Black-mores      
at first) the Invention was derived by me,
and presented thus.
(e) Some
take it to
be the same
with Nilus
which is by
Lucan cal-
led Melas,
Niger. Howsoever Plin. in the place above noted, hath this: Nigri
stuvio eadem natura, quæ Nilo, calamum, papyrum 
& easdem gignit
See Solin. above mentioned.

   First, for the Scene, was drawn a Landtschap, consisting
of small Woods, and here and there a void Place fill'd with
Huntings; which falling, an artificial Sea was seen to
shoot forth, as if it flowed to the Land, raised with Waves
which seemed to move, and in some Places the Billows to
break, as imitating that orderly Disorder, which is
common in Nature. In front of this Sea were placed
(f) Six Tritons, in moving and sprightly
Actions, their upper Parts humane, save that
their Hairs were blue, as partaking of the
Sea-colour: their desinent Parts, Fish, moun-
ted above their Heads, and all varied in
Disposition. From their Backs were born
out certain light Pieces of Taffata, as if car-
ried by the Wind, and their Musick made
out of wreathed Shells. Behind these, a pair
of Sea-maids, for Song, were as conspicuously
seated; between which, two great Sea-horses
(as big as the life) put forth themselves; the
one mounting aloft, and writhing his Head
from the other, which seemed to sink for-
ward; so intended for variation, and that
the Figure behind, might come off better:
(g) upon their Backs, Oceanus and Niger were   

(f) The
form of
these Tri-
their Trum-
pets, you
may read
lively de-
scribed in
Ov. Metam.
1. Cæru-
leum Trito-
na vocat,
and in
Virg. Æneid.
vehit imma-
nis Triton.
& sequent.

(g) Lucian
Didas. pre-
sents Nilus so. Equo fluviatili insidentem. And Statius Neptune, in

T t 2                      Oceanus, 

324 Masques.                    

   Oceanus, presented in an human Form; the colour of
his flesh, blue; and shadow'd with a Robe of            
Sea-green; his head grey; and (a) horned;
as he is described by the Ancients: his beard of
the like mixt colour: he was gyrlanded with
Alga, or Sea-grass; and in his hand a Trident.

(a) The An-
cients indu-
ced Oceanus
always with
a Bulls head:
propter vim
ventorum, à quibus incitatur,
& impellitur: vel quia Tauris similem
fremitum emittat, vel quia tanquam Taurus furibundus, in littora
Euripid. in Orest. 'WkeanoV on taurokranoV agkalaiV
elisswn, kuklei cqona.
And Rivers sometimes were so called. Look
Virg. de Tiberi, & Eridano. Geor. 4. Æneid. 8. Hor. Car. lib. 4. Ode.
14. and Eurip. in Ione.

   Niger, in form and colour of an Æthiop; his hair and
rare beard curled, shadowed with a blue and bright
mantle: his front, neck, and wrists adorned with pearl,
and crowned with an artificial wreath of cane, and paper-
   These induced the Masquers, which were twelve Nymphs,
Negroes, and the daughters of Niger; attended          
by so many of the (b) Oceaniæ, which were
their light-bearers.

(b) The
of Oceanus
and Tethys.
See Hesiod. in Theogon. Orphe. in Hym. and Virgil. in Georg.

   The Masquers were placed in a great concave shell, like
mother of pearl, curiously made to move on those wa-
ters, and rise with the billow; the top thereof was stuck
with a Chev'ron of lights, which, indented to the propor-
tion of the shell, strook a glorious beam upon them, as
they were seated, one above another: so that they were
all seen, but in an extravagant order.
   On sides of the shell, did swim six huge Sea-Monsters,
varied in their shapes and dispositions, bearing on their
backs the twelve Torch-Bearers; who were planted there
in several graces; so as the backs of some were seen;
some in purfle, or side; others in face; and all having their
lights burning out of Whelks, or Murex shells.
   The attire of Masquers was alike, in all, without dif-
ference: the colours, azure, and silver; but returned on
the top with a scroll and antique dressing of feathers, and
jewels interlaced with ropes of pearl. And, for the front,
ear, neck, and wrists, the ornament was of the most
choice and orient pearl; best setting off from the black.
   For the light-bearers, Sea-green, waved about the skirts
with gold and silver; their hair loose, and flowing, gyr-
landed with Sea-grass, and that stuck with branches of
   These thus presented, the Scene behind, seemed a vast
Sea (and united with this that flowed forth) from the
termination, or horizon of which (being the level of the
State, which was placed in the upper end of the Hall) was
drawn, by the lines of Prospective, the whole work shoot-
ing downwards, from the eye; which decorum made it
more conspicuous, and caught the eye afar off with a
wandring beauty. To which was added an obscure and
cloudy night-piece, that made the whole set So much
for the bodily part. Which was of Master Ynigo Jones's
design and act.
   By this, one of the Tritons, with the two Sea-maids, be-
gan to sing to the others loud Musick, their voices being a
tenor, and two trebles.

S O N G.

Ound, sound aloud
 The welcom of the Orient floud,
Into the West;
Fair, Niger, (c) Son to great Oceanus,                 
Now honour'd, thus,

(c) All
Rivers are
said to be the Sons of the Ocean: For, as the Ancients thought, out
of the Vapors exhaled by the heat of the Sun, Rivers, and Fountains
were begotten. And both by Orph. in Hym. and Homer. Iliad. x.
Oceanus is celebrated tanquam pater, & origo diis, & rebus, quia nihil
sine humectatione nascitur, aut putrescit.

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With all his beauteous Race:
Who, though but black in Face,
Yet, are they bright,
And full of life, and light.
To prove that Beauty best,
Which not the Colour, but the Feature
Assures unto the Creature.

O C E A N U S.

E silent, now the Ceremony's done,
 And Niger, say, how comes it, lovely Son,
That thou, the Æthiop's River, so far East,
Art seen to fall into th' extreamest West
Of me, the King of Flouds, Oceanus,
And, in mine Empire's heart, salute me thus?
My ceaseless Current, now, amazed stands!
To see thy Labour, through so many Lands,
(d) Mix thy fresh billow, with my brackish stream;
And, in the sweetness, stretch thy Diadem,
To these far distant, and unequall'd Skies
This squared Circle of cœlestial Bodies.

(d) There
wants not
enough, in
nature, to
this part of
our Fiction, in separating Niger, from the Ocean, (beside the Fable
of Alpheus, and that, to which Virgil alludes of Arethusa in his
10. Eclog. Sic tibi, cum fluctus subter labere Sicanos, Doris amara suam    
non intermisceat undam
) Examples of Nilus, Jordan, and others,
whereof see Nican. lib. 1. de flumin. and Plut. in vita Syllæ, even of
this our River (as some think) by the name of Melas.

N I G E R.

Ivine Oceanus, 'tis not strange at all,
 That (since the immortal Souls of Creatures mortal,
Mix with their Bodies, yet reserve for ever
A power of Separation) I should sever
My fresh streams, from thy brackish (like things fixed)
Though, with thy powerful saltness, thus far mixed.
"Vertue, though chain'd to Earth, will still live free;
"And Hell itself must yield to Industry.

O C E A N U S.

U T, what's the end of thy Herculean Labours,
 Extended to these calm, and blessed Shores?

N I G E R.

O do a kind, and careful Father's part,
 In satisfying every pensive heart
Of these my Daughters, my most loved birth:
(e) Read
Diod. Sicul.
3. It is a
of the old
that they
which dwell
under the
South, were
the first
begotten of
the earth.
Who thô they were the (e) first form'd dames of earth,

And in whose sparkling, and refulgent eyes,
The glorious Sun did still delight to rise;
Thô he (the best Judge, and most formal cause
Of all Dames beauties) in their firm hiews, draws

Signs of his fervent'st love; and thereby shews
That, in their black, the perfect'st beauty grows;
Since the fixt colour of their curled hair,
(Which is the highest grace of Dames most fair)
No cares, no age can change; or there display
The fearful tincture of abhorred Gray;
Since Death herself (herself being pale and blue)
Can never alter their most faithful hiew;
All which are Arguments, to prove, how far
Their Beauties conquer, in great Beauty's War;
And more, how near Divinity they be,
That stand from passion, or decay so free.
Yet, since the fabulous voices of some few
Poor brain-sick Men, stil'd Poets, here with you,
Have, with such envy of their Graces, sung
The painted Beauties, other Empires sprung;
Letting their loose, and winged Fictions flie
T' infect all Climates, yea, our Purity;

                Masques. 325

As of one (a) Phaeton, that fir'd the world,
And that, before his heedless flames were hurl'd
About the Globe, the Æthiopes were as fair,
As other Dames; now black, with black despair:
And in respect of their Complexions chang'd,
Are each where, since, for (b) luckless creatures rang'd,

Which, when my Daughters heard, (as women are
Most jealous of their Beauties) fear and care
Possess'd them whole; yea, and believing (c) them,
They wept such ceaseless tears, into my stream,
That it hath, thus far, overflow'd his shore
To seek them patience: who have since, ere-more
As the Sun riseth, (d) charg'd his burning throne
With vollies of revilings; 'cause he shone
On their scorch'd cheeks, with such intemperate fires,

And other Dames, made Queens of all desires.
To frustrate which strange Error, oft I sought,
(Thô most in vain, against a setled thought
As Womens are) till they confirm'd at length
By Miracle, what I, with so much strength
Of Argument resisted; else they fain'd:
For in the Lake, where their first spring they gain'd

As they sate cooling their soft limbs, one night,
Appear'd a face, all circumfus'd with light;
(And sure they saw't, for Æthiopes (e) never dream)

Wherein they might decipher thrô the stream,
   These words:

   That they a Land must forthwith seek,
   Whose termination (of the
Tania; where bright Sol, that heat
   Their bloods, doth never
(f) rise, or set,
   But in his Journey passeth by,
   And leaves that
Climate of the Sky,
   To comfort of a greater
   Who forms all beauty, with his sight.

In search of this, have we three Princedoms past,
That speak out Tania, in their Accents last;
Black Mauritania, first; and secondly,
Swarth Lusitania; next, we did descry
Rich Aquitania: and, yet, cannot find
The place unto these longing Nymphs design'd.
Instruct, and aid me, great Oceanus,
What Land is this, that now appears to us?

O C E A N U S.

This Land, that lifts into the temperate Air
His snowy Cliff, is (g) Albion the fair;
So call'd of (h) Neptune's Son, who ruleth here:
For whose dear guard, my self, (four thousand year)

Since old Deucalion's days, have walk'd the round
About his Empire, proud, to see him crown'd
About my waves.
(a) Notissi-
ma fabula.

Ovid. Met.

(b) Alluding   
to that of
Juvenal. Sa-
5. Et cui
per mediam
nolis occur-
rere noctem.
(c) The

(d) A cu-
stom of the
notable in
Herod. and
Diod. Sic.
See Plin.
Nat. Hist.
5. cap.8.

(e) Plin. ib.

(f) Con-
sult with
Tacitus, in
vita Agric.

and the
Paneg. ad

(g) Orpheus
in his Argo-
calls it
(h) Alluding
to the Rite
of stiling
Princes, af-
ter the name of their Princedoms: so is he still Albion, and Nep-
's Son that governs. As also his being dear to Neptune, in being
so embraced by him.

   At this the Moon was discover'd in the upper part of the house,
triumphant in a
Silver Throne, made in figure of a Pyramis.
Her garments White, and Silver, the dressing of her Head an-
tique; and crown'd with a
Luminary, or Sphere of light:
which striking on the clouds, and heightned with
Silver, reflected
as natural clouds do by the splendor of the
Moon. The Heaven,
about her, was vaulted with blue Silk, and set with stars of
Silver, which had in them their several lights burning. The
sudden sight of which, made
Niger to interrupt Oceanus, with
this present passion.

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N I G E R.

The Æthio-
shipped the
Moon, by
that Sur-
name, See
Steph. peri

in voce
   ——— O see, our silver Star!
Whose pure, auspicious light greets us, thus far!
Great Æthiopia, goddess of our shore,
Since, with particular worship, we adore
Thy general brightness, let particular grace
Shine on my zealous Daughters: Shew the place,
Which, long, their longings urg'd their eyseyes to see,
Beautifie them, which long have Deify'd thee.

Æ T H I O P I A.

Iger, be glad: Resume thy native chear.
 Thy Daugthers labours have their period here,
And so thy Errors. I was that bright Face
Reflected by the Lake, in which thy Race
Read mystick lines; (which skill Pythagoras
First taught to men, by a reverberate Glass)
This blessed Isle doth with that Tania end,
Which there they saw inscrib'd, and shall extend
Wish'd satisfaction to their best desires.
Britannia, which the triple world admires,
This Isle hath now recover'd for her Name;
Where raign those Beauties, that with so much Fame
The sacred Muses Sons have honoured,
And from bright Hesperus to Eous spred.
With that great Name Britannia, this blest Isle
Hath won her ancient dignity, and stile,
A World divided from the World: and try'd
The abstract of it, in his general pride.
For were the World, with all his wealth, a ring,
Britannia, (whose new Name makes all Tongues sing)
Might be a Diamant worthy to inchase it,
Rul'd by a Sun, that to this height doth grace it:
Whose beams shine day, and night, and are of force
To blanch an Æthiope, and revive a Corse.
His light sciential is, and (past meer nature)
Can salve the rude defects of every creature.
      Call forth thy honour'd Daughters, then;
      And let them, 'fore the Britain men,
      Indent the Land, with those pure traces
      They flow with, in their native graces.
      Invite them, boldly, to the shore;
      Their Beauties shall be scorch'd no more:
      This Sun is temperate, and refines
      All things on which his radiance shines.

   Here the Tritons sounded, and they danced on shore, every
couple (as they advanced) severally presenting their Fans: in
one of which were inscribed their mixt
Names, in the other a
Hieroglyphick, expressing their mixed qualities. Which
manner of
Symbole I rather chose, than Imprese, as well for
strangeness, as relishing of Antiquity, and more applying to that
original doctrine of Sculpture, which the
Egyptians are said, first,
to have brought from the
Æthiopians. [Diod. Sicul. Herod.]

The Names.The Symbols.
The Queen.
Co. of Bedford.  
1.  {   EUPHORIS.    
1.  {   A golden Tree, laden
    with Fruit.
La. Herbert.
Co. of Derby.  
2.  {   DIAPHANE.    
2.  {   The Figure Isocaedron
    of Crystal.
La. Rich.
Co. of Suffolke.  
3.  {   OCYTE.    
3.  {   A pair of naked Feet,
    in a River.
La. Bevill.
La. Effingham.  
4.  {   NOTIS.    
4.  {   The SALAMANDERNOTE: a 2.5 inch by 3 inch 
piece is missing from the bottom 
right hand corner of this page--  
missing text is reconstructed 
from the 1616 folio
La. El. Howard.
La. Sus. Vere.  
5.  {   GLYCYTE.    
5.  {   A Cloud full of Rain,
La. Wroth.
La. Walsingham.  
6.  {   BARYTE.    
6.  {   An Urne spheard with

TheNOTE: Conjecture, since text is missing

326 Masques.                    

Hesiod. in
The Names of the O C E A N I Æ were.            


   Their own single Dance ended, as they were about to make
choice of their Men: One, from the Sea, was heard to call 'em
with this
Charm, sung by a Tenor voice.

S O N G.

Ome away, Come away,
 We grow jealous of your stay:
If you do not stop your Ear,
We shall have more cause to fear
Syrens of the Land, than they
To doubt the Syrens of the Sea.

   Here they danc'd with their Men, several Measures, and
Coranto's. All which ended, they were again accited to Sea,
with a
Song of two Trebles, whose Cadences were iterated by a
Eccho, from several parts of the Land.

S O N G.

Aughters of the subtle Flood,
 Do not let Earth longer entertain you;
         1 Ecch. Let Earth longer entertain you.
               2 Ecch. Longer entertain you.

   'Tis to them enough of good,
That you give this little hope, to gain you.
         1 Ecch. Give this little hope to gain you.
               2 Ecch. Little hope to gain you.

   If they love,
         You shall quickly see;
   For when to flight you move,
They'll follow you, the more you flee.
         1 Ecch. Follow you, the more you flee.
               2 Ecch. The more you flee.

   If not, impute it each to others matter;
They are but Earth,
         1 Ecch. But Earth.
               2 Ecch. Earth.

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And what you vow'd was Water.
         1 Ecch. And what you vow'd was Water.
               2 Ecch. You vow'd was Water.

Æ T H I O P I A.

Nough, bright Nymphs, the Night grows old,
 And we are griev'd, we cannot hold
You longer light: But comfort take.
Your Father, only, to the Lake
Shall make return: your selves, with Feasts,
Must here remain the Ocean's Guests.
Nor shall this Vail, the Sun hath cast
Above your Blood, more Summers last.
For which, you shall observe these Rites.
Thirteen times thrice, on thirteen Nights,
(So often as I fill my Sphere
With glorious light, throughout the Year)
You shall (when all Things else do sleep
Save your chast Thoughts) with reverence, steep
Your Bodies in that purer brine,
And wholesome dew, call'd Ros-marine:
Then with that soft, and gentler Fome,
Of which the Ocean yet yields some,
Whereof bright Venus, Beauties Queen,
Is said to have begotten been,
You shall your gentler Limbs ore-lave,
And for your Pains, Perfection have.
So that, this Night, the Year gon round,
You do again salute this Ground;
And, in the Beams of yond' bright Sun,
Your Faces dry, and all is done:

   At which, in a Dance they returned to Sea, where they took
their Shell; and with this full
Song, went out.

S O N G.

OW Dian, with her burning Face,
       Declines apace:
      By which our Waters know
      To ebb, that late did flow.
Back Seas, back Nymphs; but, with a forward grace,
   Keep, still, your reverence to the Place:
And shout with joy of Favour, you have won,
   In sight of Albion Neptune's Son.

   So ended the first Masque: which (beside the singular grace
Musick and Dances) had the success in the Nobility of Per-
formance, as nothing needs to the Illustration, but the memory by
whom it was personated.


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