Music for the Eyes
Oh, to make Boardes to speake! There is a taske
Painting & Carpentry are ye Soule of Masque.
Pack wth your pedling Poetry to the Stage,
This is ye money-gett, Mechanick Age!
To plant ye Musick where noe eare can reach!
Attyre ye persons as noe thought can teach
Sense, what they are! which by a specious fyne
Terme of ye Architects is called Designe!
Ben Jonson, 'Expostulation with Inigo Jones' (ll. 49-56)
Jonson's 'Expostulation' marks the final parting of the ways in a partnership which -- despite very evident difficulties -- had given the Jacobean masque a consistency of structure and an artistic integrity which no other form of courtly entertainment in Europe could rival. The occasion of the quarrel was said to have been Jones's annoyance at having had his name placed alongside (rather than above) Jonson's on the title-page of Love's Triumph through Callipolis.1 The battle between these two men was not simply a matter of either's feeling that their particular sphere should take precedence in the masque device. Jonson's attacks consistently claimed that Jones wanted all the arts -- including music -- subsumed under his control. As the 'Expostulation' has it 'but he now is come | To be ye Musick Master! Fabler too! | He is, or would be ye mayne Dominus doe | All in ye Worke!' Whatever the cause of the argument, Jonson's friends felt he was unwise to rail against as influential a person at court as Inigo Jones. James Howell wrote 'you shall do well to represse any more copies of the Satyre, for to deale plainly with you, you have____________________