A Masque, presented by the Queen
and fourteen ladies,
to the King's Majesty at Whitehall
on Shrove Tuesday, 1632
Circe˚ by her allurements enamoured a young gentleman on her
person, who awhile lived with her in all sensual delights until, upon
some jealousy conceived, she gave him to drink of an enchanted cup,
and touching him with her golden wand, transformed him into a lion.
After some time she, remembering her former love, retransformed him5 into his former shape. Which he reassuming took the first occasion by
flight to quit the place, and coming into the presence of his majesty,
whose sight frees him from all fear, he relates the story of his fortune.
When Circe had notice of her lover's escape, it put her into a
furious anger, and then into a lamentation or love passion. But being 10 consolated by her nymphs, she commands that all such delights be
prepared as may sweeten her sorrow; and presently all the
voluntary˚ beasts under her subjection are introduced to make her
sport. After which, the way being first prepared by Harmony and the
Influences,˚ Divine Beauty, accompanied with fourteen stars of a 15 happy constellation, descends to the music of the spheres and joineth
with Heroic Virtue, where, in presence of Jove and Cupid, Circe,
knowing the design of the Destinies on this glorious interview,˚
voluntarily delivers her golden rod to Minerva. So all the
enchantments being dissolved, Tempe,˚ which for a time had been 20 possessed by the voluntary beasts of Circe's court, is restored to the
true followers of the muses.
In the upper part of the border, serving for ornament to the scene, was
painted a fair compartment of scrolls and quadratures, in which was