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Nose. And nose the thing you scent not. First,
whence come you ? Fame. I came from Saturn. Ears. Saturn ! what is he? Nose. Some Protestant, I warrant you, a time
server, As Fame herself is.
Fame. You are near the right. Indeed, he's Time itself, and his name CHRONOS. Nose. How ! Saturn ! Chronos! and the Time
itself! You are found : enough. A notable old pagan ! Ears. One of their gods, and eats up his own
children. Nose. A fencer, and does travel with a scythe, 'Stead of a long sword.
Eyes. Hath been oft call'd from it,
Ears. As Cincinnatus
Nose. O, we shall have his Saturnalia. Eyes. His days of feast and liberty again. 2 To be their lord of Misrule.] “In the feast of Christmass, there was in the king's house, wheresoever he was lodged, a lord of misrule, or master of merry disports; and the like had ye in the house of every noble man of honour, or good worship, were he spiritual or temporal.” Stow. In the following verses the poet alludes to that liberty which reigned amongst the Romans during the Saturnalia, or feasts of Saturn. These were appointed to remind them of the general equality between all men in the first age. WHAL.
Ears. Where men might do, and talk all that they
Eyes. This will be better :
Ears. And hear the passages, and several humours
Nose. I have it here, here, strong, the sweat of it,
Eyes. My four eyes itch for it.
Nose. That's the fear.
Enter CHRONOMASTIX. Chro. What, what, my friends, will not this room
receive ? Eyes. That which the Time is presently to shew us. Chro. The Time! Lo, I, the man that hate the
Fame. Who's this ?
Eyes. Yes, Fame must know him, all the town
admires him. Chro. If you would see Time quake and shake,
but name us, It is for that, we are both beloved and famous. Eyes. We know, sir: but the Time's now come
about. Ears. And promiseth all liberty. Nose. Nay, license. Eyes. We shall do what we list. Ears. Talk what we list. Nose. And censure whom we list, and how we list.
Chro. Then I will look on Time, and love the same, And drop my whip : who's this? my mistress, Fame ! The lady whom I honour, and adore ! What luck had I not to see her before ! Pardon me, madam, more than most accurst, That did not spy your ladyship at first; T' have given the stoop, and to salute the skirts Of her, to whom all ladies else are flirts. It is for you, I revel so in rhyme, Dear mistress, not for hope I have, the Time Will
grow the better by it: to serve Fame Is all my end, and get myself a name.
Fame. Away, I know thee not, wretched impostor, Creature of glory, mountebank of wit, Self-loving braggart, Fame doth sound no trumpet To such vain empty fools : 'tis Infamy Thou serv'st, and follow'st, scorn of all the Muses ! Go revel with thine ignorant admirers, Let worthy names alone.
Chro. O, you, the Curious, Breathe you to see a passage so injurious, Done with despight, and carried with such tumour 'Gainst me, that am so much the friend of rumour? I would say, Fame? whose muse hath rid in rapture On a soft ambling verse, to every capture,
From the strong guard, to the weak child that reads
me, And wonder both of him that loves or dreads me ; Who with the lash of my immortal pen Have scourg'd all sorts of vices, and of men. Am I rewarded thus ? have I, I say, From Envy's self torn praise and bays away, With which my glorious front, and word at large, Triumphs in print at my admirers' charge ? Ears. Rare ! how he talks in verse, just as he
writes ! 3 Chro. When have I walk'd the streets, but happy he That had the finger first to point at me, Prentice, or journeyman! The shop doth know it, The unletter'd clerk, major and minor poet ! The sempster hath sat still as I pass'd by,
3 Rare! how he talks in verse, just as he writes.] From the particular description given us of Chronomastix, it appears that the character was personal ; and there is reason for thinking that the author intended was John Marston : who, besides his dramatic writings, was the author of three books of satires, called The Scourge of Villainy. WHAL.
Whalley writes very carelessly. Had he ever looked into Marston, he could not have formed so strange a conjecture. The Scourge of Villainy was written nearly thirty years before this Masque appeared, to which, in fact, it has not the slightest reference. Chronomastix is undoubtedly a generic name for the herd of libellists, which infested those times; but the lines noticed by Whalley bear a particular reference to George Wither the puritan, the author of Abuses striptand whipt, and other satirical poems on the Times : the style and manner of which Jonson has imitated with equal spirit and humour. The allusion to his
"picture in the front With bays and wicked rhyme upon’t,” and which was in great request with “ the godly," was probably not a little grateful to the courtiers.
In some editions of Abuses stript and whipt, there is a print of a Satyr with a scourge, such as Chronomastix enters with; but Wither had displayed his glorious front and word at large“ (nec habeo, nec careo, nec curo) in the title-page of another poem not long before
And dropt her needle! fish-wives stay'd their cry!
Enter the Mutes for the ANTIMASQUE.
Eyes. You'll see That he has favourers, Fame, and great ones too; That unctuous Bounty, is the boss of Billinsgate. the appearance of this Masque, in which he refers, with sufficient confidence, to his former works :
“Had I been now dispos'd to satyrize,
I have Furies that lye ty'd in chaines,
To play againe, the sharp-fang'd Satyrist.” This man, whom nature meant for better things, and who did not always write doggrel verses, once thought more modestly of himself; but popularity gave him assurance. In the introduction to his Abuses Whipt, he tells his readers “not to looke for Spencer's or Daniel's well-composed numbers, or the deep conceits of the now flourishing Jonson; but to say—'tis honest plain matter, and there's as much as he expects.”
4 That unctuous Bounty, is the boss of Billinsgate.] Boss is an head or reservoir of water. It frequently occurs in Stow, who also mentions that of the text. “ The Bosses of water at Belinsgate, by