"in old King James’s time, when I was wont to esteem it a high favor to be admitted to a court mask"
Monkeys and Cats at a Masked Ball (1632)
Public DomainMonkeys and Cats at a Masked Ball (1632) - Credit: Flemish School

Masks were a ceasless diversion at the court of James I, when the royal consort Anne of Denmark succeeded in turning it into a “continued Maskarado, where she and her Ladies, like so many sea-Nymphs, or Nereides, appeared often in various dresses to the ravishment of the beholders. The King himself being not a little delighted with such fluent Elegancies, as made the nights more glorious than the days” (The History of Great Britain, p. 54).