Monday, 12 August 2013

After the Horsemen came the Antimasquers

After the Horsemen came the Antimasquers, and as the Horsemen had their Musick, about a do|zen of the best Trumpeters proper for them, and in their Livery, sounding before them; so the first Antimasque being of Cripples, and Beggers on horseback, had their Musick of Keys and Tongues, and the like, snapping and yet playing in a Con|sort before them.
These Beggers were also mounted, but on the poorest leanest Jades that could be gotten out of the Dirt-carts, or elsewhere: and the variety and change from such noble Musick, and gallant Hor|ses, as went before them, unto their proper Mu|sick, and pitiful Horses, made both of them the more pleasing.
The Habits and properties of these Cripples and Beggers, were most ingeniously fitted (as of all the rest) by the Commissioners direction, wherein (as in the whole business) Mr. Attorney Noy, Sir John Finch, Sir Edward Herbert, Mr. Selden, those great and eminent Persons, as all the rest of the Committee, had often Meetings, and took extraor|dinary care and pains in the ordering of this bu|siness, and it seemed a pleasure to them.

After the Beggers Antimasque, came men on Horseback, playing upon Pipes, Whistles, and In|struments sounding Notes like those of Birds of all sorts, and in excellent consort, and were followed by the Antimasque of Birds: This was an Owl in an Ivy-bush, with many several sorts of other Birds, in a clustre about the Owl, gazing as it were upon her: these were little Boys put into covers of the shapes of those Birds, rarely fitted, and sit|ting on small Horses, with Footmen going by them, with Torches in their hands; and here were some besides to look unto the Children, and this was very pleasant to the Beholders. After this Antimasque, came other Musicians on Horseback playing upon Bag-pipes, Horn-pipes, and such kind of Northern Musick, speaking the following Antimasque of Projectors to be of the Scotch and Northern Quarters; and these, as all the rest, had many Footmen with Torches waiting on them.
First in this Antimasque, rode a Fellow upon a little Horse, with a great Bit in his mouth, and upon the man's head was a Bit, with Headstall and Rains fastned, and signified a Projector, who begged a Patent, that none in the Kingdom might ride their Horses, but with such Bits as they should buy of him.
Then came another Fellow with a bunch of Carrots upon his Head, and a Capon upon his Fist, describing a Projector who begg'd a Patent of Mo|nopoly, as the first Inventer of the Art to feed Ca|pons fat with Carrots, and that none but himself might make use of that Invention, and have the Priviledge for fourteen years, according to the Statute.
Several other Projectors were in like manner per|sonated in this Antimasque; and it pleased the Spectators the more, because by it an Information was covertly given to the King, of the unfitness and ridiculousness of these Projects against the Law: and the Attorney Noy, who had most know|ledge of them, had a great hand in this Anti|masque of the Projectors.
After this, and the rest of the Antimasques were past, all which are not here remembred; there came six of the chief Musicians on Horseback upon Foot-clothes, and in the habits of heathen Priests, and Footmen carrying of Torches by them.

Whitlocke, Bulstrode, 1605-1675 or 6.
Title: Memorials of the English affairs, or, An historical account of what passed from the beginning of the reign of King Charles the First, to King Charles the Second his happy restauration containing the publick transactions, civil and military : together with the private consultations and secrets of the cabinet.
Date: 1682 

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