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Fen. O spare me, by the law of nations, I am but their am bassador.

Shep. You speak in time, sir.

The THEBANS enter for the 2 ANTIMASQUE, which

danced, Shep. Now let them return with their solid heads, and carry their stupidity into Bæotia, whence they brought it, with an emblem of themselves, and their country. This is too pure an air for so gross brains.

[They retire.
To the Nymphs.
End you the rites, and so be eas'd
Of these, and then great Pan is pleas'd.

Great Pan, the father of our peace and pleasure,

Who giv'st us all this leisure,
Hear what thy hallow'd troop of herdsmen pray

For this their holyday,
And how their vows to thee they in Lyceum pay.
Cho. So may our ewes receive the mounting rams,
And we bring thee the earliest of our lambs :
So may the first of all our fells be thine,
And both the beestning of our goats and kine;

As thou our folds dost still secure,

And keep'st our fountains sweet and pure ; Driv'st hence the wolf, the tod, the brock, Or other vermin from the flock. That we, preseru'd by thee, and thou observ'd by us, May both live safe in shade of thy lov'd Manalus. Shep. Now each return unto his charge, And though to-day you've liv'd at large,

5 The tod,] i.e. the fox. WHAL.

And well your flocks have fed their fill,
Yet do not trust your hirelings still.
See yond they go, and timely do
The office you have put them to;
But if you often give this leave,
Your sheep and you they will deceive.

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THE MASQUE OF Owls, &c.] From the second folio. This trifle is not a Masque, nor could it have been so termed by the author : it is, in fact, a mere monologue, a Lecture on Heads; which, such as it is, probably gave the first hint to G. A. Stevens, for his amusing exhibition, of that name.

Of captain Cox I know no more than Jonson tells. Queen Elizabeth had been entertained at Kenelworth by the “great earl of Leicester," in 1575. To make her time pass as agreeably as possible, the bears were brought in, and baited with great applause ! There was also a burlesque representation of a battle, from some old romance, in which captain Cox, who appears to have been some well-known humourist, valiantly bestirred himself. A description of this part of the Entertainment was written and published at the time, in a “ Letter from a freend Officer attendant in the court, unto his freend a citizen and merchaunt of London.” To this letter, which is written in a most uncouth style by a pedantic coxcomb of the name of Laneham, under an affectation of humour, Jonson perpetually alludes.

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Enter captain Cox, on his Hobby-horse.'
OOM! room ! for my horse will wince,

, If he come within so many yards of a

And though he have not on his wings,

He will do strange things.
He is the Pegasus that uses
To wait on Warwick Muses;
And on gaudy-days he paces
Before the Coventry Graces ;
For to tell you true, and in rhyme,
He was foal'd in queen Elizabeth's time,
When the great earl of Lester
In this castle did feast her.

Now, I am not so stupid
To think, you think me a Cupid,
Or a Mercury that sit him ;
Though these cocks here would fit him:

1 The captain enters on, or rather in, the paste-board hobbyhorse used by the morris-dancers of the county, whom Jonson calls the Warwickshire Muses, and capers round the circle to make room, according to the usual practice. This little jeu-d'esprit formed perhaps an episode in some amusement of a more extensive nature, for it could scarcely occupy ten minutes. It is not easy to say before whom it was played. The first couplet speaks of the Prince, and, from a subsequent passage, it would seem to be the prince of Wales: but there was none at this period : add too, that the earl of Leicester (if he was the possessor of Kenelworth castle) died in 1626; so that the date is probably too late, by a year.

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