Shells from the Sands of Time/Of Masques and Triumphs
THESE things are but Toyes, to come amongst such serious observations, but yet, since Princes will have such things, it is better they should be Graced with Elegancy, than Daubed with cost.—Dancing to Song, is a thing of great State, and Pleasure. I understand it, that the song be in Quire1 placed aloft, and accompanied with some broken Musicke: And the Ditty fitted to the Divice. Acting in Song, especially in Dialogues, hath an extreme Good Grace: I say Acting, not Dancing: (for that is a mean, vulgar Thing;) And the Voyces of the Dialogue should be strong and manly (A Base, and a Tenour, no Trebble) And the Ditty High and Tragicall; Not nice, or Dainty. Several quires, placed one over against another, and taking the voyce by Catches, Antheme wise, give great Pleasure. Turning dances into figure, is a childish Curiosity.—And generally let it be noted, that those Things, which I here set downe, are such as do naturally take the sense, and not the respect petty wonderments. It is true the alterations of scenes, aboud with Light, specially coloured, and varied: And let the Masquers, or any other, that are to
come downe from the Scene, have some Motions upon the Scene itself, before their Comming downe, For it drawes the Eye strangely, and makes it with great pleasure, to see, that, it cannot perfectly discern.—Let the Songs be Loud and Cheerefull, and not Chirpings, and Pulings. Let the Musicke likewise be Sharpe and loud (!) and well placed. The Colours that shew best by Candle light, are; White, Carnation, and a kinde of Seawater-Greene; and Ols, or Sprangs,1 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 Sutes of the Masquers be Gracefull, and such as become the person, when the Vizars are off. Not after examples of known attires; Turkes, Souldiers, Mariners, and the like. Let Anti-masques not be long; they have been commonly of Fooles, Satyres, Baboons, Wilde-Men, Antiques, Beasts, Spirits, Witches, Ethiopes, Pigmies, Turquets [?], Nimphs, Rusticsk, Cupids, Statuas, Moving, and the like. As for Angels,—it is not comical enough [!] to put them in Anti-masques, and any thing that is hideous, as Devils, Giants, is on the other side, as unfit: But chiefly let the Musicke 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 Steame and Heat, Things of great Pleasure, and Refreshment. Double Masques, one of the, another of Ladies, addeth State and Variety. But all is nothing, except the Roome he kept Cleare, and Neat. For Justs, Turneys,1 and Barriers; the Glories of them are chiefly in the Chariots, wherein the Challengers make their Entry; especially if they be drawne 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 ther Horses, and Armour. But enough of these Toyes."
I think so too; but Cede magnis!‡