Page images

issue of worthy parents, and we doubt not but you will find it accomplished with their virtue. Be pleased, then, my lord, to give it entertainment; the more destítute and needy it is, the greater reward may be challenged by your charity; and so, being sheltered under your wings, and comforted by the sunshine of your favour, it will become proof against the injustice of time, and, like one of Demetrius's statues, appear fresher and fresher to all ages. My lord, were we not confident of the excellence of the piece, we should not dare to assume an impudence to prefer it to a person

of your honour, and known judgment; whose hearts are ready sacrifices to your name and honour, being, my lord, your lordship’s most humble and most obligedly submissive servants,


Little more is known of Bird, than wbat is told by the sensible author of the Historia Histrionica, that“ he was one of the eminent actors at the Cockpit, before the wars.' He probably played in the Lady's Trial, to which he has a prologue; and he is known to have taken a part in several of Beaumont and Fletcher's pieces. In 1647, when the success of the puritans had enabled them to close the theatres, and consign the great actors of that period to hopeless poverty, he joined with Lewis, Taylor, and others, in bringing out a folio edition of Beaumont and Fletcher, which they dedicated to Philip, Earl of Pembroke, who ill deserved the honour.

Andrew Penneycuicke was also an actor of some celebrity. He is entitled to our gratitude for having, as Shirley expresses it, “in that tragical age in which the theatre itself was outacted,” rescued not only this, and perhaps the following drama, but also Massinger's admirable comedy of the City Madam, from what he calls "the teeth of time; and something yet more destructive than the teeth of time, the vulgar and malignant persecution of all that tended to harmonize and improve society.

READER, It is not here intended to present thee with the perfect analogy between the world and man, which was made for man; nor their co-existence, the world determining with man: this, I presume, hath been by others treated on: but, drawing the curtain of this moral, you shall find him in his progression as followeth:


Presents him in the Twilight of his age,
Not pot-gun-proof, and yet he'll have his page:
This small knight-errant will encounter things
Above his perch, and like the partridge springs.


Folly, his squire, the lady Humour brings,
Who in his ear far sweeter novels sings.
He follows them; forsakes the April queen,
And now the Noon-tide of his age is seen.


As soon, as nerv'd with strength, he becomes weak,
Folly and Humour do his reason break;
Hurry him from his Noontide to his Even:
From summer to his Autumn he is driven.


And now the Winter, or his nonage, takes him,
The sad remembrance of his errors wakes him;
Folly and Humour fain he'd cast away,
But they will never leave him till he's clay:
Thus man as clay descends, ascends in spirit;
Dust goes to dust: the soul unto its merit.

World and Man.] The “analogy betwixt the world and man,” or Macrocosmus and Microcosmus, had, as the writer says, been treated of by others. With this, however, the present Masque has little to do, and it is therefore unnecessary to say another word on the subject. Nabbes, who followed our authors, and who also calls his play (Microcosmus)“ a Moral Masque," bas written with better effect, and on a plan far more ingeniously constructed.

The “Progression” sufficiently explains the poet's object, which was originally more simple, perhaps, than it appears in the present piece of patch-work. The authors are mainly indebted to Jonson. Many hiuts are taken from some of his “ Masques at Court,” and the character of the Lady Humour is formed from the elaborate description of this quality in Every Man out of his Humour. If the reader wishes for more on the subject, he may turn to the Masque of Hymen, vol. vii. p. 55.


PHBUS, the Sun. RAYBRIGHT, the Sun's Darling. SPRING. YOUTH, DELIGHT, her attendants. HEALTH, SUMMER. PLENTY. POMONA. CUPID. FORTUNE. AUTUMN. BACCHANALIAN. BOUNTY. WINTER. CONCEIT. DETRACTION. TIME. Priest of the Sun. HUMOUR. FOLLY. Æolus. A Soldier, a Spaniard, an Italian Dancer, a French Tailor, a Forester, Masquers, Clowns, &c.

« PreviousContinue »