However, magic could equally be used as an agent of reform by forces hostile to the church and state. The work of the great Puritan poet and reformer John Milton utilised the conception of Albion as a magical paradise in his advocacy first of royal reform but later of republicanism.1 Underlying the iconoclasm of the new Puritan order was an inevitable hostility towards Neoplatonic-inspired art-forms which had expressed the Caroline theme of royal absolutism and the philosophy of Divine Right which animated it. The first of Charles’s symbolic assertions of divine kingship had been in Jonson’s companion masques Love’s Triumph through Callipolis and Chloridia (both of 1631); no British Court after the Restoration was to use the masque as a vehicle for the cultivation of its self-image. The stage illusion of Charles’s magical powers to evoke the gods, through the apparent resolution of real political problems into Platonic harmony, gave the Caroline Court an insularity and air of blind invincibility which would facilitate, if not directly cause, the Civil War itself and the iconoclasm which followed in its wake. If magic expressed in art was the key sign of royal power to the Renaissance audience, then its patron was himself not immune to delusion by these apparent talismans and a dangerous dependence on artifice to fabricate a false sense of his own magical supremacy. For Milton in L’Allegro (1631) Charles’s Court, with its tales of fairy lore, had become a magical dream world: ‘Where throngs of knights and barons bold,/In weeds of peace high triumphs hold…/ And pomp, and feast, and revelry,/With masque and antique pageantry’ (lines 119-20, 127-8). This blurring of dream and reality was dramatically emphasised when images of actual buildings, including the Banqueting House itself, were placed on stage. In its unrealised and destroyed state, the Stuart city ultimately proved as temporary as the masques themselves. Jones’s vision of the legendary ‘Fallen House’ of British Neoplatonic chivalry was to become an ironic prophecy of the destruction of his own architecture, with his masque palaces as insubstantial as those of Prospero and Stuart Platonism as illusory as their defiance of gravity.