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the Ditty, High and Tragicall; Not Nice or Dainty. Severall Quires, placed one over against another, and taking the Voice by Catches, Antheme-wise, give great Pleasure. Turning Dances, into Figure, is a childish Curiosity. And generally, let it be noted, that those Things, which I here set downe, are such as doe naturally take the Sense, and not respect Petty Wonderments.
"It is true, the Alterations of Scenes, so it be quietly, and without Noise, are Things of great Beauty and Pleasure: for they feed and relieve the Eye, before it be full of the same Object. Let the Scenes abound with Light, specially Coloured and Varied: And let the Masquers, or any other, that are to come down from the Scene, have some Motions, upon the Scene itselfe, before their comming down: For it draws the Eye strangely, and makes it with great pleasure, to desire to see that, it cannot perfectly discerne. Let the Songs be Loud and Cheerefull, and not Chirpings or Pulings. Let the Musicke likewise, be Sharpe, and Loud, and Well Placed. The Colours that shew best by Candlelight are: White, Carnation, and a Kinde of Sea-Water-Greene; and Oes and Spangles, as they are of no great Cost, so they are of most Glory. As for Rich Embroidery, it is lost and not Discerned. Let the Sutes of the Masquers, be Gracefull, and such as become the Person when the Vizars are off; Not after Examples of Knowne Attires; Turkes, Soldiers, Mariners, and the Like. Let Antimasques not be long; They have been commonly of Fooles, Satyres, Baboones, Wilde-Men, Antiques, Beasts, Sprites, Witches, Ethiopes, Pigmies, Turquets, Nimphs, Rusticks, Cupids, Statua's Moving, and the like. As for Angels it is not Comicall enough, to put them in Anti-Masques; And any Thing that is hideous, as Devils, Giants, is on the other side as unfit. But chiefly, let the Musicke of them, be Recreative, and with some strange Changes. Some Sweet Odours, suddenly coming forth, without any drops falling, are, in such a Company, as there is Steame and Heate, Things of Great Pleasure & Re
freshment. Double-Masques, one of Men, another of Ladies, addeth State and Variety. But All is Nothing, except the Roome be kept Cleare, and Neat.
"For Justs and Tourneys, and Barriers; The Glories of them, are chiefly in the Chariots, wherein the Challengers make their Entry; Especially if they be drawne with Strange Beasts; As Lions, Beares, Cammels, and the like; Or in the Devices of their Entrance; Or in the Bravery of their Liveries; Or in the Goodly Furniture of their Horses, and Armour. But enough of these Toyes."
Instruments Mentioned by Shakespeare
THE preceding chapter has shown that, although England had not, as yet, the Italian development of orchestra,' it possessed a fair knowledge of concerted music, and used combinations of instruments. These combinations were called "consorts." Shakespeare alludes to them in "Romeo and Juliet," when Tybalt and Mercutio meet (Act iii. Sc. 1).
"Tybalt. Mercutio, thou consort'st with Romeo.
Mercutio. Consort!2 what, dost thou make us minstrels? an thou make minstrels of us, look to hear nothing but discords: here's my fiddlestick; here's that shall make you dance. Zounds, consort!"
One finds here the usual Shakespearian pun, and also a subtle reference to the low caste of the musician in this epoch (whereof more hereafter), for
"L'Anima e nel Corpo," the first oratorio (Rome, 1600), had a double lyre, a harpsichord, a large guitar, and two flutes, as orchestra. "Euridice," the oldest opera extant (1600), had a combination of harpsichord, large guitar, viol, large lute, flute, and a triple flute.
Consorts" were often mentioned by Milton.
Mercutio is mightily indignant at the minstrel imputation or pretends to be.
At the outset we must accustom ourselves to the fact that Shakespeare makes but few attempts to picture the country in which his scene is laid. Musicians were not despised in Verona, where Romeo and Juliet reside, but the poet is picturing London instead, and he presents the contemporary English ife, whether the scene be laid in Bohemia, Denmark, Italy, or elsewhere.
The "consorts" of Shakespeare's time were not only concerted music, but generally composed of such instruments as belonged to one family. If, for example, only viols were employed, the consort was called "whole," but if virginal, lute, or flute, came into the combination, the result was a "broken consort," or "broken music," which Shakespeare alludes to more than once, and which will be described in connection with Shakespeare's technical terms.
Viols were most employed in these "consorts," and were generally sold to music-lovers in "sets," so that a "chest of viols" usually consisted of six pieces two trebles, two tenor viols, and two basses. The violin was not among these, nor the contrabass. The golden epoch of violin-making began nearly fifty years after Shakespeare's death; Stradivarius, Amati, Guarnerius, the kings of violin-making, all came later, and in the first half of the seventeenth century