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It now lies on his hands,
HEY, OWL FOURTH ! Was once a bankrupt of worth; And having run a shifting-race, At last by money, and grace, Got him a serjeant's place, And to be one of chace. A full fortnight was not spent, But out comes the parliament, Takes away the use of his mace, And left him in a worse than his first case.
HEY, OWL FIFTH ! But here was a defeat, Never any so great, Of a Don, a Spanish reader, Who had thought to have been the leader, Had the match gone on, Of our ladies one by one, And triumph'd our whole nation, In his rodomant fashion : But now since the breach, He has not a scholar to teach.
HEY, OWL sixth !
THE THIRD OWL VARIED. A crop-ear'd scrivener, this, Who when he heard but the whisper of monies to come down, Fright got him out of town With all the bills and bands Of other men's in his hands, And cried, who will, drive the trade, Since such a law they had made : It was not he that broke, Two i' the hundred spoke. Nor car'd he for the curse, He could not hear much worse, He had his ears in his purse.
THE FORTUNATE ISLES,
AND THEIR UNION.
CELEBRATED IN A MASQUE DESIGNED FOR THE
Court, ON THE TWELFTH-NIGHT, 1626.
Hic chorea, cantusque vigent.
THE FORTUNATE ISLES.] From the second folio. Charles (now king) seems to have been so much pleased with the main Masque of Neptune's Triumph, presented two years before, as to call for it again, with another introduction, by way of Antimasque. This was the poet's first exhibition before his new sovereign, and it did not discredit him; for there is a considerable degree of humour, as well as satire, in the part of Johphiel; the latter of which must have been fully felt and enjoyed at a period when men were hourly burying white wands in the ground, to catch fairies; and muttering prayers in woods, to render sylphs and salamanders visible!
Evil days were now come upon Jonson : some months before this Masque was written, he had been struck with the palsy, from which he never recovered : his old complaint the dropsy, too, increased about the same time; and, as he says himself, fixed his muse to the bed and boards, as she had never been. Though no symptoms of decay be apparent in the present Entertainment, yet it is necessary to mention these circumstances; as the poet's enemies, while they watch for the opportunity of triumphing in the abatement of his powers, anxiously keep his maladies out of sight.
THE FORTUNATE ISLES.
His Majesty being set, Enter, running, JOHPHIEL, an airy spirit, and (ac
cording to the Magi) the intelligence of Jupiter's sphere :- attired in light silks of several colours, with wings of the same, a bright yellow hair, a chaplet of flowers, blue silk stockings, and pumps, and gloves, with a silver fan in his hand.
Or an arrow shot by Love,
Be't a sparrow, or a dove :
To wish good-night
To your delight. Johphiel, an airy spirit, and (according to the Magi) the Intelligence of Jupiter's sphere.] Jonson is so accurate in all his positions (however unimportant they may appear in themselves) that it can scarcely be doubted that he had authority for the rank of Johphiel. I will not question the assertion of the “ Magi;” but Agrippa (also a wise-man) affirms that “Johphiel is one of the presiding angels in the Intelligible World, and that he reigns in the sphere of the zodiac.” This seems a pretty wide command! The name of the spirit of the “sphere of Jupiter, is Zadkiel.” Occ. Phil. b. 2. c. xiii.
Nothing in Jonson is done at random. Whatever was the subject of his verse, he came to it with a mind fully furnished, and