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Detr. Prithee, foolish Conceit, leave off thy set speeches, and come to the conceit itself in plain language. What goodly thing is't, in the name of laughter? Con. Detraction, do thy worst.
pears, In honour of the Sun, their fellow-friend, Before thy censure: know, then, that the spheres Have for a while resign'd their orbs, and lend Their seats to the four Elements, who join'd With the four known Complexions, have atoned A noble league, and severally put on Material bodies; here amongst them none Observes a difference: Earth and Air alike Are sprightly active; Fire and Water seek No glory of pre-eminence; Phlegm and Blood, Choler and Melancholy, who have stood In contrarieties, now meet for pleasure, To entertain time in a courtly Measure.
Detr. Impossible and improper; first, to personate insensible creatures, and next, to compound quite opposite humours ! fie, fie, fie! it's abominable.
Con. Fond ignorance ! how darest thou vainly
Impossibility, what reigns in man
Detr. Sweet sir, when shall our mortal eyes behold this new piece of wonder? We must gaze on the stars for it, doubtless.
The Scene opens, and discovers the Masquers, (the four Elements, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth; and the four Complexions, Phlegm, Blood, Choler, and Melancholy,) on a raised Platform.
Con. See, thus the clouds fly off, and run in
chase, When the Sun's bounty lends peculiar grace.
Detr. Fine, i'faith; pretty, and in good earnest : but, sirrah scholar, will they come down too?
Con. Behold them well; the foremost represents Air, the most sportive of the elements.
Detr. A nimble rascal, I warrant him some alderman's son; wondrous giddy and light-headed; one that blew his patrimony away in feather and tobacco.
Con. The next near him is Fire.
Detr. A choleric gentleman, I should know him; a younger brother and a great spender, but seldom or never carries any money about him: he was begot when the sign was in Taurus, for he roars like a bull, but is indeed a bell-wether.
Con. The third in rank is Water.
Detr. A phlegmatic cold piece of stuff: his father, methinks, should be one of the duncetable,' and one that never drank strong beer in's
• Dunce-table.) An inferior table provided in some Inns of court, it is said, for the poorer or duller students. See Mass, vol. iii. p.
216. VOL, II.
life, but at festival times; and then he caught the heart-burning a whole vacation and half a term after.
Con. The fourth is Earth.
Detr. A shrewd plotting-pated fellow, and a great lover of news. I guess at the rest; Blood is placed near Air, Choler near Fire; Phlegm and Water are sworn brothers, and so are Earth and Melancholy.
Con. Fair nymph of Harmony, be it thy task To sing them down, and rank them in a masque.
A Song : During which, the Masquers descend upon the
Stage, and take their places for the Dance.
See the Elements conspire:
Nimble Air does court the Earth,
To give our prince's pleasure birth;
Winter does invoke the Spring,
Autumn forth its fruits doth bring,
Their tribute to this holy-day ;
[A DANCE.-Exeunt Masquers.
Win. How do these pleasures please ?
Boun. Live here,
Hum. Trifles! Progress o'er the year
Ray. She was a lovely virgin.
Win. My royal lord! Without offence, be pleased but to afford Me give you my true figure; do not scorn My age, nor think, 'cause I appear forlorn, I serve for no use : 'tis my sharper breath Does purge gross exhalations from the earth; My frosts and snows do purify the air From choking fogs, make the sky clear and fair : And though by nature cold and chill I be, Yet I am warm in bounteous charity; And can, my lord, by grave and sage advice, Bring you to the happy shades of paradise. Ray. That wonder! Oh, can you bring me thi
ther? Win. I can direct and point you out a path. Hum. But where's the guide ?
Quicken thy spirits, Raybright; I'll not leave
thee: We'll run the self-same race again, that happiness; These lazy, sleeping, tedious Winter's nights Become not noble action.
Ray. To the Spring I am resolv'd
The Sun appears above.
Oh, what strange light appears !
Sun. Wanton Darling, look,
Omnes. Gracious lord !