A.Hamilton • Link
From Schelling, Felix E. Elizabethan Drama, 1558-1642.
New York: Houghton Mifflin & Company, 1908. 93-138.
THE ENGLISH MASQUE
(Recounting Inigo Jones's two great court masque productions of 1634)
The first of these was Shirley's Triumph of Peace, given February 3, the most magnificent pageant ever perhaps exhibited in England,"a procession and masque in which the four inns of court united to honor their king and to show their detestation of the tenets of Prynne and such as thought with him, recently set forth in notorious diatribe, Histriomastix. 3 The Triumph of Peace is
a monster masque, like for its size and the incongruous elements which its designers, in their search after novelty, saw fit to unite in it. The main idea seems no more than the descent of Peace and Law and Justice to do honor to King Charles and his queen. But about this are clustered no less than seven changes of scene from street, tavern, and forest to the sinking of the moon in an open landscape and the rise of Amphiluche, the harbinger of morning. There were eight antimasques, a rapid succession of character dances, of abstractions, birds, thieves, huntsmen, projectors, beggars, and what not. There were little scenes of humor and folly, a knight tilting at a windmill, four dotterels captured by mimicry, nymphs beset by satyrs; and at one point the carpenter, tailor, painter, and tire-women invade the scene in an unexpected bit of pleasantry. Shirley names more than twenty principal characters in a list prefixed as taking part, but the text discloses at least sixty more, besides musicians, torchbearers, and chorus. Shirley's verse and prose is abundantly adequate to the slender demands of such a performance. The scene, costume, and ornament was Inigo Jones', the music that of William Lawes, the famous composer. A contemporary estimate gives the total cost of the masque to the four societies as "above twenty thousand pounds." 1
1 1. B. Whitelocke, Memorials of English Affairs, 1682, p. 22; quoted by Dyce, Shirley, i, p. i.
Cumgranissalis • Link
THE CARDINAL, 1641.
THE CARDINAL ! 'Cause we express no scene,
We do believe most of you, gentlemen,
Are at this hour in France, and busy there,
Though you vouchsafe to lend your bodies here ;
But keep your fancy active, till you know,
By th' progress of our play, 't is nothing so.
A poet's art is to lead on your thought
Through subtle paths and workings of a plot ;
And where your expectation does not thrive,
If things fall better, yet you may forgive.
I will say nothing positive ; you may
Think what you please ; we call it but a Play :
Whether the comic Muse, or ladies' love,
Romance, or direful tragedy it prove,
The bill determines not ; and would you be
Persuaded, I would have 't a Comedy,
The text of James Shirley, *The Cardinal* via Google Book
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.