Court Masques: Jacobean and Caroline Entertainments, 1605-1640

By David Lindley | Go to book overview

THOMAS CAMPION

The Caversham Entertainment
A Relation of the Late Royal Entertainment
given by the Right Honourable the Lord Knollys
at Caversham House near Reading
to our most gracious Queen, Queen Anne,
in her Progress toward the Bath
upon the seven and eight and twenty days of April.
1613

For as much as this late entertainment hath been much desired in writing,
both of such as were present at the performance thereof, as also of many
which are yet strangers both to the business and place, it shall be
convenient in this general publication a little to touch at the description

and situation of Caversham˚ seat. The house is fairly built of brick, 5
mounted on the hillside of a park within view of Reading, they king
severed about the space of two miles. Before the park gate, directly opposite
to the house, a new passage was forced through arable land, that was lately
paled in, it being from the park about two flight-shots˚ in length, at the
further end whereof, upon the Queen's approach, a Cynic˚ appeared out 10
of a bower, dressed in a skin coat,˚ with bases, of green calico, set thick
with leaves and boughs, his nakedness being also artificially shadowed with
leaves; on his head he wore a false hair, black and disordered, stuck
carelessly with flowers
.

The speech of the Cynic to the Queen and her train. 15

CYNIC Stay! Whether you human be or divine, here is no passage. See you not the earth furrowed, the region solitary? Cities and
courts fit tumultuous multitudes: this is a place of silence. Here a
kingdom I enjoy without people; my self commands, my self

obeys; host, cook, and guest my self; I reap without sowing, owe 20
all to Nature, to none other beholding. My skin is my coat, my
ornaments these boughs and flowers, this bower my house, the
earth my bed, herbs my food, water my drink. I want no sleep nor
health. I envy none, nor am envied; neither fear I, nor hope, nor

-92-

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