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Conceit ap

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

scan

Impossibility, what reigns in man
Without disorder, wisely mix'd by nature,
To fashion and preserve so high a creature ?

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.

FF

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,
Water does commix with fire,

To give our prince's pleasure birth;
Each delight, each joy, each sweet
In one composition meet,
All the seasons of the year ;

Winter does invoke the Spring,
Summer does in pride appear,

Autumn forth its fruits doth bring,
And with emulation pay

Their tribute to this holy-day ;
In which the Darling of the Sun is come,
To make this place a new Elysium.

[A DANCE.-Exeunt Masquers.

Win. How do these pleasures please ?
Hum. Pleasures!

Boun. Live here,
And be my lord's friend; and thy sports shall

vary
A thousand ways; Invention shall beget
Conceits, as curious as the thoughts of Change
Can aim at.

Hum. Trifles! Progress o'er the year
Again, my Raybright; therein like the Sun;
As he in Heaven runs his circular course,
So thou on earth run thine; for to be fed
With stale delights, breeds dulness and contempt:
Think on the Spring.

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

[Recorders.

The Sun appears above.

Oh, what strange light appears !
The Sun is up, sure.

Sun. Wanton Darling, look,
And worship with amazement.

Omnes. Gracious lord !
Sun. Thy sands are number'd, and thy glass of

frailty
Here runs out to the last.— Here, in this mirror,
Let man behold the circuit of his fortunes;
The season of the Spring dawns like the Morning,
Bedewing Childhood with unrelish'd beauties
Of gaudy sights; the Summer, as the Noon,
Shines in delight of Youth, and ripens strength
To Autumn's Manhood; here the Evening grows,
And knits up all felicity in folly:
Winter at last draws on the Night of Age;
Yet still a humour of some novel fancy
Untasted or untried, puts off the minute
Of resolution, which should bid farewell
To a vain world of weariness and sorrows.

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