Hypnerotomachia - The Strife of Loue in a Dreame
by Francesco Colonna
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

This little childe was cut of the white vayne of Achates[A] or Onix, and the Eagle of the other vaine of the same stone called sardius which is of black couler of some called Cordeoll, ioyning both in one selfe same stone. Whereat I stood musing and commending to my selfe the ingenious and apt inuention of the Arthist, in the vse of such a stone, which of his owne nature to contrarie proportions affoorded contrarie coulers, and in such sort as by the raysing vp of hir small plummage aboue hir seare, hir beack halfe open, and hir toung appearing in the middest thereof, as if she had beene resolutely intended, and eagerly bent to haue gorged hir selfe vpon it.

[Sidenote A: Achates is a pretious stone wherein are represented the figures of the nine Muses, of Venus and such like beautiful personages.]

The hemicicle or arche rising rownd from the vpper part of the streight cheeke of the entrance, according to the thicknes thereof was disposed into losenges or squares, wherein were carued Roses, theyr leaues and branches hanging in a curious and delightfull order to behoulde, ouer the entry of the Gate.

In the two Triangles occasioned by the bow of the arche there were two fayre Nymphes of excellent proportions and shapes, theyr clothes which couered theyr Virgins bodyes, giuing place for theyr legges, brests, and armes to be bare, theyr hayre loose and flying abroad, and towardes the brace, and knitting together of the arche aboue, they held a victorious troph[ae].

The ground of which tryangle was of black stone, the better to shew the perfection and truthe of the mettals in the troph[ae]s, and the beautifull bodyes of the delycate virgins.

Aboue these mentioned partes, was the Zophor,[A] in the myddest whereof, I beheld a table of goulde, wherein was this Epigram in Cappitall Greeke Letters of Syluer. In thys sorte reporting.


Diis veneri filio amori, Bacchus, & Ceres de propriis, S. substantiis matri pientissim[ae].

[Sidenote A: Zophor is a border wherin diuers things are grauen.]

Eyther sides of which table was reteind and held vp with two babes or wynged spyrits of perfect and liuelye shapes, as if they had beene celestiall bodyes, vppon a ground of Iasul or blew Saphyrs to grace the mettals and imagerie.

Vpon the face of the Zophor extending and stretching along ouer the columnes of porphir stone were ingrauen certain spoiles or curates, gorgets of mayle, vaumbraces, gauntlets, shields, Targets, head-peeces, maces, battell Axes, spurres, quiuers, arrowes, dartes, broken launces, curtilaxes, and other auncient instruments of warre. As well ayerie and marine, as for the field singularly well cut, and manifesting to the behoulder both victories, force, and triumphes, after a mortall effusion of bloud.

Vpon this in order stood the coronice, wrought with such lyneaments as decently concurred, and were aunswerable to the excellencie of the rest of the worke: for other wise, as in a mans body one qualitie being contrarie to another, sicknesse dooth follow, the humors oppressing one an other in abundance: so in building if the adiuncts be vnaptly disposed, and vndecently distributed there will fall out a fowle deformitie.

For a frame and building growes weake and vnseemely wherin cannot be found a sweete harmonie and commodulate order and concent.

Which thing many moderne ideots doe confound, being ignorant in Locall distribution. For a cunning crafts master will in his worke shewe an allusion or resemblance to a humaine shape and proportion beautifully adorned in apparrell.

Aboue ouer the coronice, by an inuers gradation there were fowre Quadratures or square Tables, two right ouer the chamfered columnes, and channelled pyllars, and two within them. In an other deuision, betwixt the said two contrast and inwarde tables, there stood a Nimph in hir Anagliph[A] most rare and excellent of Orichalke or yealow Latin, houlding in eyther hand a Torche, one of them reuersed and turned downeward, beieng extinct and put out, and the other burning towardes the Sunne. The burning Torche in hyr righte hande, and the extincte in hyr left.

[Sidenote A: Anagliph smothly chased out with the hammer and not carued.]

In the quadriture vppon the right side, I behelde the iealous Climene,[A] with her haire trans-formed into an hearbe called Venus maid, or Lady hearbe, & Phoebus in a cruell indignation & wrathfull displeasure, she following of him weeping, from whom he fled hastening on forward hys swift horses, as one that flyeth from hys mortall and deadly enemie.

[Sidenote A: Clymene the mother of Phaeton.]

Vppon the Table ouer the Columnes on the left side in a curious and rare vnusuall caruing, there was the resemblance historyed of the vncomfortable and still mourning Cyparissus holding vp hys handes and armes toward the Sunne, and making his mone to Apollo for the wounded Cerua.

In the third Table nexte the last mencioned, in a worke answerable to the presedent and former, I behelde Leucothoe, wickedly slayne of hyr own Father, chaunging and transforming her fayre yong and tender flesh into smooth barke, shaking leaues and bending wandes.

In the fourth Table, was represented the discontented & displeasant Daphne, at the burning desires of the curled headed Delius, rendring vp by little and little her virgins body vndefiled, towards the hote heauens, beeing metamorphised most pyttifully into a greene Laurell.

Nowe successiuely in order ouer the afore-mencioned Tables and quadratures in the Zophor, wherein these Histories were represented in shapes, there was extended and laide ouer a Coronice denticuled & oualld with interset stralets, betwixt the iates of the Oualls, and leafeworke and the Imbrices with the rest that appertayneth to the setting forth of the same (past my skill to report) without any fault or defect: and lastly, the syme was adorned heere and there with the leaues of Achanthis.

And to return to the view of the whole frame, in the disposing thereof as aforesaide,[A] the Coronices by a perpendycular lyne were corrospondentand agreeing with the faling out of the whol worke, the Stilliced or Perimeter, or vtterpart of the vppermost Coronice onely except.

[Sidenote A: A petiment in corrupt English.]

It followeth to shew and speake of the Table or inward part of the Trigonall: within the which, according as the extreames of the same triangle would permit, there was presented to my view, a Crowne or Garland of diuers leaues, fruites, and stalkes, foulded vppe and wrapte together of a greene stone knitte in foure partes, the byndings of the selfe same stalkes, holden by two Mermaydes, the vpper parts of them of a humayne shape, and that vnder the nauell like a Fyshe, their one hande vp, and the other belowe on the Garlande, their scalye tayles extending to the nethermost corners of the Triangle, vppon the top of the Coronice hauing at theyr extreeme partes theyr fishy winges or finnes. Theyr faces like vyrgines, theyr tresses of haire, partly curling vppe vppon their forheades, some turned about their heads and rowled vp, some depending downe vppon theyr temples, and crisping and inanulating by their eares. From betwixt their shoulders grewe their winges like Harpies, stretching downe and extending to the foulding and turnings of theyr tayles, vpon their monstrous flankes grew out their fynnes to swimme withall, their beginning, their fishie and scalye substance, and from thenceso continuing theyr nether parts downewarde.

Within the saide Garland I beheld a rough Milche Gote,[A] which a little child did suck, sitting vnder hir side vpon his fleshie young legges one streight foorth, and the other retract and bowed vnder him. With his little armes houlding himselfe by the hearie and rough locks, his countenance and eyes vpon the byg and full vdder thus sucking. And a certaine Nimphe, as it were speaking woords, and giuing voyces of contentment, to the Goat and bowing downe hir selfe with the left hand, held vp one of the feete, and with the right hand putting the pappe to the smacking kissings of the sucking infant, and vnder hir were these letters Amalthea.[B]

[Sidenote A: Iupiter.]

[Sidenote B: Iupiters nursse.]

Another Nimphe stood against the head of the Goate, with one arme carefully compassing the neck, and with the other shee held hir by the horne.

In the middest stood the third Nimphe with greene bowgh leaues in one hand, and in the other an oulde fashioned drinking bowle, more long then broad, like a boate by a little handle. Vnder hir feete was written, Melissa.[A]

[Sidenote A: The daughter of Melissus and Iupiters nursse.]

Betwixt one and other of the three fore specified Nymphes, there were two other hauing Cymbals in theyr handes, as it were playing and dauncing, euery one apparrelled according to the perfection of theyr beauties, with an artificiall performance of workmanship in the vndertaken proportions, that they rather seemed the substances themselues then a Lythoglyph an Imagerie, either by Policletus, Phidias or Lysippus, neyther did y^e Anaglipts[A] to Artemisia the Queene of Caria, Scaphes, Briaxes, Timotheus, Leocaris and Theon, come any thing neare for the workemanship heereof seemed to excell the cunning of any humaine Lapicidarie, caruer grauer, or cutter whatsoeuer.

[Sidenote A: Anaglipts are cunning carues and grauers.]

Aboue this foresayde Triangle, and vnder the vpper coronice in a smooth plaine were these two Attic wordes in capitall Letters, DIOS AIGIOCHION.

This conspitious porche and gate, most woorthye to be behelde, thus stoode of a maruelous composition, excellently disposed. If I had not explaned the commodulation and harmonie heereof particularly, I might haue beene blamed for my prolixitie and tediousnesse, and for wanting of fit words, in the discription. And thus for this time heereof so much.

It must needes follow, that all the rest of the aforesaide court on euery side was beautifull to behold, and of stately workemanship by that which still remained standing: as in the inward parte the naues and columnes carrieng and bearing vp an immesurable and monstrous weight, and Corinthies of a lesser sort, a diuine and vnknowen work abounding in variety of perfections as proportion required and needfullnes did desire to beare vp the burthen that was laide vppon them. Their ornature and decking with woorkes, and deuises imitating the apparreling of princely bodies indewed as it were with an artificiall reason. For as to a large big and corpulent body strong legges, and broad feete, are necessarie to beare and carry the same: so in a modulate and well composed building, to sustaine great weights, Naues are appointed, and for beautie, columnes, Corinthies, and slender Ionices, are set vpon them. And this whole woorke euen after such sorte as was requisite for the harmonie thereof, euen so it stood in an approoued excellencie.

With diuersitie of coulers, sweetlye set, and aptlye disposed, the reflexion of one beautifing another, and all together making a gratious obiect. Of Porphyrit, Ophit, Numidian, Alabastrit, Pyropecil, Lacedemonian greene, and white marble, diuerslie watered, and of Andracine with white spottes, and many others of strange sorts and diuers commixtures.

I found one rare forme of a base, in fashion like a cushion vpon the plynthe whereof stood two trochils or torrules, with an interposition of Hypotracles or shaftes, and Astragals, with a supreame Thore.

Diuers places were hidden and couered ouer with winding, felted and spreding Iuie, full of black berries, and greene soft leaues heare and there growing vp, and hindering the inwarde obiect of the auncient worke, with other Murall and wall weeds comming out of the chinkes and clifts, as the bell flowre. Venus Nauill, & Erogennet, of some called Loue, to whome he is gratefull, bushing downe againe toward the ground, in other ryfts grew Mowse-eare, Polypodie, Adientus or Lady hayre, the iagged and curled Cithracus the knotted Lunarie minor, Prickmaddam, Polytricon, or goulden lockes and such like, which vse to grow in decayed buildings, and ould stone wales, so that many woorthie peeces were inuested and hydden from me, with such like weedes and greene Olyues the garnishers of ruines.

There was in diuers places inestimable huge downe falles of many columnes or rather confused piles of broken stones, and vnshapely Culpins mounting vp from the earth.

Among which downefallen peeces I might see the remaynders of diuers shapes of men of sundrie sortes, many naked, other some hauing their members couered with folded and plited induments, fast sticking to their naked proportions. Some standing vpon the left foote, others vpon the right in a streight sort, with their heads perpendicularly, euer the center betwixt their heeles, and some looking sidewaies in height, foure Cubites of sixe foote.

Others standing vppon both feete, some deale distant one from an other, and each one in a maiestie sitting in their thrones, and the rest with a rare and modest grace in their best pleasing and appointed seates.

There also I beheld innumerable troph[ae]s, spoyles of armor, and infinite ornaments, with the heades of Oxen and Horses of conuenient bignes, and about their hornes part of their garlands of leaues, fruites, twigges, braunches and floures, and some about part of their bodies, with little children riding vpon them and playing, in so perfect a sort and wished order, as the most skilfull workemaister full of varietie, labour, studie, and industrie, could deuise and performe. With what care and paine his abounding skill did plainly manifest, and with what pleasure the effect of his purpose did no whit obscure.

And with such an Eurithmie or apt proportioning of members, hee did shewe the subtiltie of the art of Lapicidarie, as if the substances had not beene of the hardest marble howsoeuer, but of soft chaulke or Potters claie, and with what conclansture the stones were couched, and by what Artillerie, rule and measure they were composed and set, it was woonderfull to imagine.

This was the true Art enucleating and discouering the ignorance that wee worke in, our detestable presumption, and publike condemned errors.

This is that cleare and perfect light, which sweetly and with our vnconstrained willes draweth our dimme sighted eies to contemplate and behold the same. For none (vnles it be he which of set purpose refuseth to behold it) but his eyes would dasell with continuall desire to see it.

This is that which accuseth horrible couetousnes, the deuourer and consumer of all vertue, a stil byting and euerlasting greedie worme in his heart that is captiuated and subiect to the same, the accursed let and hinderance to well disposed wittes, the mortal enemy to good Architecturie, and the execrable Idol of this present world, so vnworthily worshipped, and damnably adored. Thou deadly poison to him that is infected with thee, what sumptuous workes are ouerthrowne, and by thee interdicted.

Herewithall I beeing rauished and taken vp with vnspeakeable delight and pleasure in the regarding of this rare and auncient venerable monument of such a grace and admiration, that I knew not to which part to turne me first, here and there willingly looking about, and thereat amazed, considerately perusing ouer what the ingrauen histories presented vnto me, as I remoued my selfe from place to place, with an vnknowne delight, and vnreportable pleasure to beholde the same, gaping at them with open mouth, forgetting my selfe like a young childe, neuer satisfying my greedie eyes and vnsaciable desire to looke and ouerlooke the exquisite perfection of the auncient worke, I was spoiled and robbed of all thoughts whatsoeuer, the remembrance of my desired Polia, often accurring, onely excepted. But with an extreeme and deepe set sigh, let vs leaue her a litle, and returne again to our continued purpose.


Poliphilus entring a little waye in at the described porch, with great delight he there also beheld how it was garnished and adorned, and after as he was comming out he met with a monstruous dragon whereat he was extreemlie afraide, and compelled to runne backe into the building, and at last getting foorth with much adoe hee came into a fertile place.

A great and commendable thing with out dout it shold be, trulie to discribe, & from point to point, to set down the incredible work, and vnimagined composition, of so vast a frame, and huge bignes, of so great a buildinge with the excellencie of the entrance, in a conspicuous and sightly place, conueniently situated, where of my delight to behold them, did exced the greatnes of my admiration breeding in me such a conceit so as I perswaded my self that Iupiter durst not vndertake the like to the rest of the gods, & certainly beleeuing that no workman, or human witt could compase so huge a frame, expresse so notable conceits, or imagine and inuent so rare deuises and so gorgiouslie to garnishe them, in so singuler an order and simmetry, to dispose them, and without supplement or correction perfictlye to finishe them. A rare and insolent pride in a building. Vppon which occasion I was in some doubt and that not a little that if the naturall historiographer had seene or heard of this, hee woulde haue scorned that of Egipt, and the cunning and industrie of the woorking thereof, for that heerein the sundrie and diuers woorkes effected by many seuerall workmen seemed in the perfections, of their dewe proportions as if they had been performed by one himselfe.

He would also as lightlie haue regarded the skillfull cunning of Satirus the architect and other of fame, especially Simandrus, for the woorke of Memnon, who cut the three statures of Iupiter in one stone, the feet being aboue seauen cubits long.

To this the representation of the magnanimous Semiramis carued out of the mountaine Bagistanus must geue place.

And letting passe to speake of the insolent greatnes of the Piramides of memphis, those writers at large would haue bente them selues to this description. And leauing vnreported, the famous Theaters, Amphitheaters, Bathes, and building sacred and prophane, carriages, of waters, and colosses, and that of Appolline translated byLioculus. Or the temple dedicated to Iupiter by Claudius C[ae]ser. Or that of Lisippus at Tarentum, or the wonder of Carelindius at the Rhodes, and of Xenodorus in France, and in Roome. And the colosse of Serapus nine cubits longe of Smarage or Emerauldes, or the famous Labyrinth of Egypt. Or the representacion of Hercules at Tyre.

They woulde haue accommodated their sweete styles, to the commendation heard of as aboue all other most excellent, although the Obelisk of Iupiter, compact of fower frustes, fortie Cubits high, fower Cubits broade, and two Cubits thick, in his deluber within the temple dooth manifest it selfe to be a wonderfull miracle.

Vnsaciable thus casting mine eyes, and turning vp my countenance now this way & now that way, towards this huge & mighty frame, I thus thought with my selfe. If the fragments and remaynder of so sacred an antiquitie, and if the greet and dust of such a decayed monument, can breed a stupifaction in the admiration thereof, and cause so great delyght to behould the same, what would it haue done in chiefest pride.

After this my discourseing, reason perswaded mee to suppose, that with in might bee the Aultar of Venus for hir misticall Sacrifices and sacred flames, or the representation of hir Godhead, or the Aphrodise of hir selfe and hir little Archer, and therefore with a deuoute reuerence, my right foote beeing set vppon the halowed lymit of the doore, there came towards me flying a white Horix.[A]

[Sidenote A: A bird of slow flight & long liuing, in old monuments by Augurs dedicated to Saturne.]

But I sodainlye with out any further regard or curious forcaste which with my searching eies went in as the spatious and lightsome entrie gaueme leaue, representing vnto me such sights as merit, and are Condigne of euerlastinge remembrannce, in ether sydes stilled with smoth poollishede Marble, in the middle parte where of there was impacte a rounde table, inclaustrede and compassede about with a greene Stonne verye pretious and accordinglie asosciated with curious workemanship. And the opposite of verie blacke stone, scorning and contemning the hardnes of iron, and cleare and shining as a mirror. By meanes whereof as I passed by (vnawares) I grew afrayd at my owne shadow, neuertheles I was by an by comforted with vnexspected delight, for the place that occasioned my disquiet nowe offered vnto me the grounde of all sciences, historied in a visible manifest and experte painting.

And on either sides vnder the same beautifull and most noble tables, there were placed all a long seates of stone. The pauement neat and cleane from dust, being made of Ostracus.[A]

[Sidenote A: Ostracus be pounded shels mixed with lime, whereof a plaster is made to floor withall.]

And so in like manner the coloured vpper seeling was pure and voyd of Spiders and Cobwebs, by reason of the continuall fresh ayre both entring in and going out.

The seeling of the walles as aforesayde, mounted vp to the bendyng of the Arche from the Chapters which stood vpon their strict and vpright Antes euen to the vttermost ende of the entrie, which was by my perspectiue iudgement twelue paces.

From which perpolyte ligature and fastned ioyntes, the roofe of the entrie all the length thereof, did march with a hemicircubate flexure, answerable to the Antes and streight sides of the afore described porche full of varieties and exquisite representments, rarely ingrauen and of little water monsters, as in the water it selfe in their right and well disposed plemmyrules, halfe men and women, with their fishie tailes: some imbracing one an other with a mutuall consent, some playing vppon Flutes, and others vpon other fantasticall instruments.

Some sitting in straunge fashioned Charriots, and drawne in them by swift Dolphines, crowned and adorned with water Lillies sutable to the furniture of the garnished seates: some with diuers dishes and vessels replenished with many sortes of fruites. Others with plentiful copies, some coupled togither with bands, and others wrastling as they did, riding vppon Hipposatamies, and other sundrie and vncoth beastes, with a Chiloneall defence.

Some wantonly disposed, others to varietie of sportes and feastes, with liuely indeuours and quicke motions, most singularlye well set foorth, and filling all ouer the aforesayde arched suffite.

Along vnder the bending ryse of the entrie, I beheld a singular woorkemanship of sundrie representments and counterfeits, in an excellent Thessellature, bright shining lyke goalde: and of diuers other coulers, with a border two foote broade, compassing about the turning couer of the roofe, both vnder and aboue, and deuiding them from the woorke, vpon the plaine sides, of so perfect and fresh coulers, as if they had beene new set, with a naturall leafe woorke of an emerawld greene, vppon a punice or tawnie grounde, with Flowers of Ciantes and Ph[ae]nicees adulterated with curious knottes and windings, and in the conteyned space of the aforesayde sides, I sawe this auncient Hystorye paynted.

Europa a young Ladye, swimming into Creete vppon a prestigious Bull. And the edict of King Agenor to his Sonnes Cadus, Foenice, and Cilicia, to finde out theyr defloured sister, which thing they could not do, but after that they had valiauntly kylled the skalie fierce Dragon that kepte the fayre Fountayne: and consulted with Appollo, they determined with theyr followers, and agreed to builde a Cittie, where the bellowing Heyffer should appoynte, wherevppon that countrey, euen to this daye carryeth the name of the bellowing of a Cowe Europe. Cadmus builte Athens. The other brotherFoenicia. The third Cilicia.

Thys woorke and musaicall painting, was rightlye placed in order, as the beginning and end of the historie required with fictions in theyr naturall coulers, theyr actions and degrees tightlye expressed.

On the contrarie side, I beheld in the same manner the wanton and lasciuious Pasiph[ae] burning in infamous lust, lying in a Machine or frame of wood, and the Bull leaping vpon that hee knew not.

After that the monstrous mynotaure with hys vglye shape shut and inclosed in the intricate Labyrinth. And after that the imprysoned Dedalus, artificially making of winges for hymselfe, and his young sonne Icarus, who vnhappylye not obseruing hys Fathers rule, fell downe headlong into the deepe see, leauing vnto the same seas his name, after his drowning. And his discreete father, being safe according to his vowe, hanging vp his wings in the temple of Appollo.

Vppon the which I stoode with open mouth attentiuely gazing with my eyes, and rauished in minde with the beautie of the hystorie, so well disposed, so perfectly ordered, so artificiallye paynted and curiouslie expressed, whole and sounde, without any signe of decaye, the strength of the glutinous substance, which ioyned and held the Thessalature or checkers, together was such and so perfect. For therein the workeman had taken great paine and shewed a rare cunning.

And thus foote by foote I went forward bowldly, examining and behoulding what direction and arte of painting hee had obserued with a pensiled distribution to make whole proportions in a smoothe and flat playne. Some lynes drawing neere to my obiect, and some seeming as they had beene a farre of hardely to bee deserned, and yet both of a like neerenesse. And the same againe which was hardlie to bee seene, to offer it selfe more and more, to the iudgement of the eye, with exquisite parergie and shadowing Waters, Fountaines, Mountaines, Hilles, woodes, and beasts, in theyr naturall coulours, and distante one from an other, with opposite light. And in apparrell the plyghts and fouldes so cunninglye perfected and shaddowed that as well in that, as in all the rest, the arte did seeme to enuye nature it selfe, and that not a little whereat I greatly woondered.

After this manner I came to the further ende, where the beautifull hystories finished, and beyond the same more inward the darknes was such as I durst not enter, & comming back againe I heard among the ruines a continuing noise like the cracking of bones or their ratling together, whereat I stood still forgetting my fore conceiued delight being interrupted therewith from the sweetnes of the obiects. At length I might heare a rustling as if a dead Oxe had been dragged vpon the ground, the noyse still approaching and comming neerer and neerer the poarch that I was to passe out at, where I heard a great hissing of a huge Serpent: the sodaine feare I was in, made mee past crying out for helpe, neither did I see how to escape, but by running into the darke and obscure vastnes whiche before I was afraide to enter into.

Oh vnhappie wretch oppressed with aduers and sad fortune, I saw in the entrie of the doore comming towardes mee, no hurtfull Lyon crowching to Androdus, but a fearefull and horrible Dragon[A] shaking her trisulked and three parted tongue against mee, grating her teeth, and making a skritching or critching noyse, her squamy and scaly hide trailing vpon the flowerd pauement, clapping her winges vpon her wrimpled backe, with a long taile folding and crinckling like and Eele and neuer resting. Ohi me, the sight was sufficient to haue affrighted Mars himselfe in the assurednes of warlike Armour, or to haue made tremble the strong and mightie Hercules, for all his molorchied and clubbed but. And to call Theseus backe from his begunne imprese and bold attempt, and to terrifie the Gyant Typhon, and to make the proudest and stoutest heart whatsoeuer to quaile and stoope. I wished my selfe the swiftnes of Atalanta, beeing but young and vnarmed, no way able to encounter with such a poisonable force, and perceiuing his blacke infectious breath smoaking out at his mouth. Beeing past all hope to slip by him, I deuoutly cried for diuine helpe. And sodeinly turning my backe, as fast as I could runne, I conueighed my fearefull bodie by the helpe of my swift pacing feete, into the inward part of the darke places, penetrating through diuers crooked torments, ambagious passages and vnknowne waies.

[Sidenote A: The Dragon is that Abaddon and Apollion, the enemy to mankinde.]

So that I thought to bee[A] in the inextricable frame of the prudent Dedalus, or of Porsena, so full of wayes and winding turnings, one entring into another, to deceiue the intent of the goer out, or in the romthie denne of the horrible Cyclops, or the hollow Caue of the theeuish Carus. In such sort, that although my eyes were somewhat wel acquainted with the darkenes, yet I could see iust nothing. But was glad to stretche out my armes forme before my face, groping about mee (lyke one that played blynde Sym) least I should runne my face against some pyllers, and feeling with my feete softlye before I did rest vpon them for feare I should tumble downe into some vaulte vnder thys mighty Pyramides.

[Sidenote A: The darke places is ignorance, and the wisedome of this word which is nothing els but meere folly.]

And looking backe, whether this fearefull Dragon did still followe mee or no, the light was cleane gone. And I remayning in a darke place, full of sundrie turnings and crossing passages, in a greater terror and more deadly heauinesse of minde then Mercurie. Making himselfe Ibis and Apollo, Threicia, Diana, into the lyttle byrd Cholomene. And Pan into two shapes. I and more afraide then euer was Oedipus, Cyrus, Crasus, andPerseus. And more trembling then the theefe Thracilius in his beares skinne. In sorrowe more abounding then poore Pscyphes. And in more laboursome daungers then Lucius Apuleus, when hee heard the theeues consulting to knocke him on the head and kyll him.[A]

[Sidenote A: Cosby for killing the L. Browgh.]

Oppressed and laden with all these aforenamed frightes and terrors, I began to imagine that the Dragon was flying about my head, and with the noyse of hir scritching teeth and tearing clawes to take hould vpon me with hir deuouring iawes: my heart giuing mee to vnderstand, that the carniuorus Woolfe which I drempt of, was a presage of this my last doubted end. And thus running vppe and downe like a little poore Pismeere or Aunte, when the Partrich is scratching vpon their hillocks and picking of them vp. With my watchfull and attentiue eares, listning if the horrible monster with hir slimie and filthie poyson and stinking sauour were drawing towards mee. And fearing whatsoever came first into my thought.

Finding my selfe vnarmed, voyde of all helpe, in this mortall daunger, and miserable perplexitie, although that death is naturally bytter and hated, yet notwithstanding at that time, I did gratiouslie esteeme of it, which mee thought I could suffer willinglye, but that will was insufficient: hope still looking, and perswading mee of an vncertaine, fearefull, and vnquyet lyfe.

Alas howe my soule and bodye were lothe to leaue one an another, the sorrowe whereof made me vnwilling to intertaine so cruel an enemy as death: whereupon I plucking vp a good heart, thought thus.

Shall the greatnes of my loue so sweetly set on fire, now decaie, frustrated of anie effect, for if at this present I had been but presented with a sight thereof, I could haue beene yet the better satisfied.

But yet forthwith returning to the inward impression of my sweetest obiect, stil dwelling in the secret of my heart, I fell into blobering teares, for the losse of two so worthie iewels. That was Polia and my precious life. Continually calling vpon her with deepe sighes and singultiue sobbings, sounding in the thicke ayre, incloystered vnder the huge arches and secret darke couering, saying thus to my selfe.

If I die heere thus miserably, sorrowfully, and vncomfortably, all alone, who shal bee a woorthie successour of so precious a gemme? And who shal be the possor of such a treasure of so inestimable valure? And what faire heauen shal shew so cleare a light? Oh most wretched Poliphilus, whether dost thou go vnfortunate? whether dost thou hasten thy steppes? hopest thou euer to behold againe any desired good? Behould all thy gratious conceits and pleasant highe delyghtes builded in thy apprehensiue thoughtes, through the sweetenes of loue, are deadly shaken, and abruptlie precipitated and cast downe? Looke how thy loftie Amorous cogitations are shaken in peeces and auchilated. Ah me what iniurious lot & maleuolent constellations, haue so perniciously driuen, and deceitfully allured thee into this miserable obscure darknes? and now haue despitefully ledde thee in a heape of mortal feares, and drowning in a deepe sea of vnspeakeable sorrowes. To the vnmercifull deuouring and sodaine gobbling vp of so filthie a monster, and to bee rotted and disgested in the stinking intrailes of so fowle a beast, and to bee cast out in so vile a place. Oh lamentable and vnaccustomed death. O miserable end of my desired life. Where are my eyes? what be they barreine? Is their humor gone? Are there no more teares left to fall trickeling downe my blubbered cheekes? Well then I perceiue that death is at my backe, who did euer see such a change of fortune? Behold vnhappie and wayward death, and the last houre, and accursed minute thereof at hande, in this darkesome shade, where my bodie and flesh is appointed to bee a foode for so fowle a beast. What furie? what crueltie? what miserie more monstrous can a mortall creature suffer. That sweete and pleasant light should bee rest from them that bee aliue, and the earth denied to them that are dead. What hoggish calamitie, and deformed mishap, so greeuously and vntimely shall abandon from mee my most desired and florishing Polia, Farewell the merror of all vertue, and true perfection of beautie, farewell.

And thus beyond all measure tost and tumbled in such and so great afflictions, my verie soule was vexed within me, striuing to be set at libertie from my vnfortunate and feeble bodie, passing vp and downe I knew not where. My legges weake, feeble, and fowltering vnder mee, my spirites languishing, and my sences in a maner gone from mee. Sauing that I called deuoutly vppon the omnipotent God to haue pittie vppon mee, and that some good Angell might bee appointed to conduct mee out. And with that beholde I discouered a little light. To the which, how gladly I hasted, let euerie one iudge what hee would doo in such a perplexitie.

I saw an euerlasting Lampe, burning before an Aultar that was fiue foote high, and tenne foote broad, with the images of golde standing thereupon, which I could not verie perfectly behold, notwithstanding the burning Lampe, the grossenes of the ayre was such and so great an enemy to the light.

And alwayes with attentiue eares I diligently harkened, as not yet ridde of feare, and somewhat I saw, the dimme images and the large foundations, and feareful vaultes, and subterraneal buttresses or vpholders and strengthes, heare and there in infinite places distributed, and many huge and mightie pillers, some fouresquare, some sixe square, some eight square, aptly set vnder and approportioned to sustaine the vast bignes of the waightie Pyramides.

There I hauing small delight to make anie long staie, I intended to take an vnknowne way further in, which my vndertaken course, I espied a light whiche so long I had wished for, comming in at a litle wicket as small as I could see.

Oh with what ioy, and with what a glad heart, I beheld it, and with what cheare did I hasten my steppes towards it. Perchance faster then Canistius or Philonides[A] my vnbrideled gladnesse and extreame desire to come neere therevnto was such, that I reuoked and haled backe againe the diuorse of my discontented and irkesome life, successiuely comforting my perturbed minde and quailed hart. Somewhat refreshing and reassuring my selfe: filling vp againe my euacuated and emptie heart, and replenishing the same with his ould cogitations.

[Sidenote A: Two blockish lasie lubbers, one of Melite an other of Athens, that thought it a great labour to eate their owne meate.]

Nowe I settled my selfe more towardes my louely Polia, and bound my affections more surely to hir. Being perswaded and firmely opinionated, that this sight was a traunce in loue, for shewing that I should dye and lose my loue. Oh how extreamely did it vexe mee. Neyther did it refuse or make resistance to anye sharpe and newe assaulte of loue, which in my stroken and sore wounded heart woulde lye festering and feeding of himselfe.

And by this time, all lets and hynderances past ouer, a spatious and large going out was offered vnto me. Then by meanes of the cleere light I was somwhat comforted, and reassuming and gathering together againe my wandering thoughts, and restoring my prostrate force, my suspected and vnknowne voyage, made me to set out in running: so as the nearer I came to the doore, the bigger mee thought it grewe. To the which at last by Gods wyll, Polia in my amorous brest bearing a predominante vigor, I came, not ceasing to continue forward my fast course: my hands which before I groping helde foorth, to keepe me from running against pyllers, I nowe vsed like a payre of Ores to hasten mee awaye.

Thus traueling on safely, I came into a verie pleasaunt sighte and counttie, in the which I was not yet without feare, and not daring to rest me downe, the impression of the horrible monster was so fresh in my minde, that mee thought I still heard him behinde me, and therefore I could not so easily forget him. But was rayther perswaded to goe on further: first because the countrie was so fertile, pleasaunt and beautifull. Secondly, that I might get farre enough off from the place wherein I was so lately affrighted. That then I sitting downe, might rest my selfe, and set my minde together againe, and forget this conceiued dread, at my entrance in of the gate, the apparation of the white Sorix gratiously comming againe into my reteyning memorie, an exhortatorie prouacation, and good occasion to animate and comforte me, because that to Augures it was a gratefull and propitious signe of good luck.

[Sidenote A: Capillata ministra.]

At last I was resolutely perswaded to commit my selfe to the benignitie of my good fortune, which some time might bee vnto me an officious and bountifull handmaide, of prosperous euents.[A] And therewithall pricked forward and prouoked to continue on my walke, whether my wearie and feeble legges would conduct and bring mee. And yet I was (as in good sorte became mee) somewhat doubtfull to enter into such a place, (beeing vnknowne vnto mee) where perchaunce it was not lawfull for me to come. Albeit that I was heerin more audacious and bould a great deale, then in the enteraunce of the gorgeous Porche. And thus my brest fast beating, and my minde perplexed, I saide to my selfe.

There is no cause that should lead mee to turne back againe, all things considered: is not this a safer place, and more fit to flie from daunger? Is it not better to hassard a mans lyfe in the light and cleere Sunne, then to dye and sterue in a blinde darkenesse? and so resolued not to turne backe anye more: with a deepe set sighe, I called into memorie, the pleasure and delight that my sences had well neere lost: for the woorke which I had seene was full of maruelous woonders, and thinking by what meane I was depriued of them, I called to remembrance the brasen Lyons, in Salomons Temple, which were of such fierce countenances, as that they would bring men to forgetfulnes.

And into such an estate I was afrayde that the dragon had brought me, that so excellent and maruellous woorkes, and rare inuentions, in a manner vnpossible for any humaine creature to performe, worthie to be manifested, and by my selfe diligentlye perused, should now be fled out of my sucking remembrance, so as I should not bee able to make a true reporte of them: but therein I contraried my selfe: neither did I finde that I was in a Lithargie passion: But that I verrie well remembred and helde without any defaulte in order and proportion whatsoeuer I had seene and beheld. And that the monstrous and cruell beast was a verrie liuelye substance, and no fiction, the like of any mortall man sildome seene, no not of Regulus. The verie remembrance whereof, made my hayre stand right vp, and foorthwith mooued me to mend my pace.

Afterward returning to my selfe, I thought thus. Heere without all doubte (for so I imagined by reason of the glorious bountie of the beautiful soile) is no habitation but for ciuill people, or rather for Angles and noble personages, and a place for Nimphes to frequent vnto, or for the Goddes and Auncients, Monarches and princes, in so much as my perswasiue desire did prouoke forwarde my restrained pace, causing a perceuerance in my late begun iourney. And thus as one captiuated and subiect to the sharpe spurre of vnsatiable desire, I purposed to houlde on whether the fayrenesse of my fortune should conduct mee, as yet but indifferent and rather languishing.

Nowe come to behoulde a fayre and plentifull countrie, fruitefull fieldes, and fertill groundes, I did exceedinglye commend the desire that mooued mee first to enter into them. But especially to giue thankes to him that had brought mee out from the fearefull place, which now I little regarded being far enough off from it.


Poliphilus sheweth the commodiousnesse of the countrie where-into hee was come, in his trauailing within the same, he came vnto a goodlie Fountaine, and howe hee sawe fiue faire Damsels comming towardes him, and their woondering at his comming hither, assuring him from hurte, and inuiting him to bee a partaker of their solaces.

Thus gotten foorth of this fearefull hell, darke hollownesse, and dreadfull place (although it were a sacred Aphrodise and reuerend Temple:) and beeing come into a desired light, louelye ayre, and pleasaunt countrie, full of contentment: I turned my selfe about to looke backe at the place from whence I came out, and where my life, my life that latelye I esteemed so lightlie, was so greatlye perplexed and daungered, where I beheld a mountaine vnnaturall, with a moderate assention and steepe rising, ouer-growne and shaddowed with greene and tender leaues of mastie Okes, Beeches, Wainescot Okes, Holmes, Cerries Aesculies, Corke trees, Yew trees, Holly or Huluer, or Acilon.

And towardes the plaine, it was couered with Hamberries, Hasels, Fylbirds, prune, print, or priuet, and whitened with the flowers thereof: by coulered Xeapie, beeing red towardes the north, and white against the Southe, Plane trees, Ashe trees, and such like, spredding and stretching out their braunches: fowlded and imbraced with the running of Hunnisuckles or woodbines, and Hoppes, which made a pleasaunt and coole shade. Vnder the which grewe Ladyes Seale or Rape Violet, hurtfull for the sight, iagged Polypodie, and the Trientall and foure inched Scolopendria, or Hartes toongue, Heleborous Niger, or Melampodi, Trayfles, and such other Vmbriphilous hearbes and Woodde Flowers, some adorned with them, and some without.

So that the mouth of the darke place, out of the which I had escaped, was in a manner within the highe Mountaine, all ouergrone with trees.

And as I could coniecture it was iust against the afore spoken of frame, and in my iudgement it had been some rare peice of woork, more auncient then the other, and by time wasted and consumed, now bearing Iuie and other wall trees, and so was become an ouer growne wood, that I could scarce perceiue any comming out, or mouth for easie passage but euen for a necessitie, for it was rownd about compassed and enuironed with bushie and spreeding trees, so as I was neuer determined to enter in there againe.

In the streight passage of the valie betwixt the extensed and highe mounting rockes, the ayre was dim by reason of the retained vapores, and yet I was as well pleased therewith as Apollo at his deuine birth.

But letting passe this hole, from the which I gat out by stooping, let vs come on forward to the sweet liberties which I next beheld and that was a thicke wood of Chestnuts at the foote of the hill, which I supposed to be a soile for Pan or some Siluane God with their feeding heards and flockes, with a pleasant shade, vnder the which a I passed on, I came to an auncient bridge of marble with a very great and highe arche, vppon the which along winning to eyther sides of the walls, there were conuenient seats to rest vppon, which although they were welcome to my wearye bodie, yet I had more desire to go on forwarde, vppon which sides of the bridge, iust ouer the top of the arche, there was placed a porphirit table with a gorgeous border of curious workmanship, one table on the one side and an other on the other side, but that one the left side was of Ophite.

Vppon the table on my right hand as I went I beheld Egiplie hierogliphies on this sorte, An auncient Helmet crested with a Doggeshead.

The bony scalpe of an oxe with two green braunches of trees bound fast to the hornes. And an ould lampe. Which hierogliphis the braunches excepted because I know not whether they were of Firre tree, Pineapple, Larix or Iuniper, or such like: I thus interpret.


On the other side there was ingrauen a cyrcle, then an Anchor with a Dolphin winding about the strangule thereof, which I coniectured should signifie this, AEI SPEU DE BRADEOS, Semper festina tarde.

Vnder which auncient, sure, and faire bridge, did runne a most cleare swift water, deuiding it selfe into two seuerall currents, the one one way and the other an other, which ranne most colde, making a soft continuall still noyse, in their freesed, broken and nibbled Channels, by their eaten in and furrowed bancke, full of stones, couered ouer and shadowed with trees, their spredding rootes appearing in the same bare, and about them hanging Tricomanes, Adiantus and Cimbalaria, and bearded also with diuers small hayres as vse to growe about the banckes of Ryuers.

The wood that I haue spoken of, was to looke vppon verye pleasant, neyther ouer thick or more large in compasse than a man would wish, but building a delightfull shadowe, the trees full of small birdes and foules.

Right forwarde, the Bridge did extende it selfe, and leade towardes a large plaine, resounding all ouer with the sweete chirpings, melodious recordings, and loude singing of them. Wherein were leaping and running little Sqirrels, and the drowsie Dormouse, and other harmeles beastes.

And after this manner as aforesayd, this wooddie Countrie shewed it selfe, enuironed about with high mountaines as much as a man might looke vnto, and the plaine couered all ouer with a fine varietie of sundrie sweete hearbes, and the cleare channels of Charistaline streames, sliding downe a long the hilles with a murmuring noyse into the leauell vally.

Adorned and beautified with the flowing bitter Oliue, Lawrell, white Poplar, and Lisimachia, blacke Pople, Alders, and wilde Ashe.

Vpon the hils grew high Firre trees vnarmed, and the weeping Larix, whereon Turpentine is made, and such like.

When I had well considered of this so fruitfull and so commodious a place for cattel and beasts to be fedde in and kept, (for it looked as though it would desire a shepheardes company and a pastorall song) I mused what should be the occasion, that so commodious a place should lye vninhabited. And casting my eyes further on forward into the plaine before mee, and leauing this fore discribed place, I might perceiue a building of Marble, shewing the roofe thereof ouer the tender toppes of the compassing trees. At the sight whereof, I grew wonderfully glad and in good hope, that there yet I should finde some habitation and refuge. To the which without delaie I hastined my selfe. And being come thereunto, I found a building eight square, with a rare and wonderfull fountaine: which was not altogither amisse. For as yet I had not quenched and slaked my thirst.

This building was eight cornered, small towardes the top and leaded. Vpon one side there was placed a faire stone of pure white Marble foure cornered, half as long again as it was broad, which latitude as I supposed was some sixe foote.

Of this goodly stone were exact two litle halfe pillers, chamfered with their bases, holding vp a streight Sime, with a gule and adiected denticulature & cordicules, or worke of harts, with their chapters vnder a Trabet, Zophor and Coronice, ouer the which was a trigonall conteined, in the fourth part of the stone smooth and plaine without any workemanship in the table thereof sauing a litle garland, within the which were two Doues drinking in a smal vessel.

Al the space vnspoken of inclusiue was cut in and euacuated, betwixt the Pillers the Gulature and ouerthwart Trabet, did containe an elegant Cigrued Nimph. And vnder the Syme was another quarter wrought with Thors, Torques, Ballons and a Plinth.

Which faire Nymph laye sleeping vppon a folded cloth, lap, and wounde vp vnder her head. An other part conuenientlie brought ouer her, to hide that bare which was womanly & meete to be kept secret. Lying vpon her right side with that subiected arme retract, and her open palme vnder her faire cheeke, wherevpon she rested her head.

The other arme at libertie, lying all along ouer her left loyne, stretching to the middle of her goodly thigh. By her smal teates (like a yong maids) in her round brests did sprowt out smal streamings of pure and cleare fresh water from the right brest as it had been a threed, but from the left brest most vehemently. The fall of both of them, receiued in a vessel of Porphyrit stone, with two Receptories ioyning togither in the same vessel, seperated and distinct from the Nimph sixe foote, standing vppon a conuenient frame of flint stone. Betwixt either of the receptories, there was an other vessel placed, in the which the waters did striue togither and meete, running out at the cut and appointed places, in the middle lymbus of their Receptories, which waters comixt out of that vessel, vnladed themselues into a little channel sliding away, and what with one and what with the other, al the hearbes and flowres adioyning, and about were bountifullye benifited.

That of the left brest did spin vp so high, that it did not weat or hinder any that would sucke or drinke of the water that streamed and sprung out of the right brest.

And this excellent Image was so difinitelye expressed, that I feare mee Prapitiles neuer perfourmed the lyke for Venus, to Nichomides the King of Caria which Idoll he appointed to be adored of his subiects, although the beauty therof were such that it moued that filthie people to fleshly concupiscence.

But I was perswaded that the perfection of the image of Venus was nothing to this, for it looked as if a most bewtifull Ladye in hir sleep had beene chaunged into a stone, hir hart still panting and hir sweete lipps readie to open, as if she would not be so vsed.

From hir head hir loose tresses laye wauing vppon the suppressed couering, fowlded and plited and as it were scorning the haires of the inglomatede cloth, hir thighes of a conueniente bignes and hir fleshie knees somwhat bending vpp, and retract towardes hir.

Showing hir streight toes as it were incereating hir fingers to handle and streine them, the rest of hir bodie aunswerable to the perfections of these seuerall proportions.

And behind hir the shadowing of the leaffye Memerill or Arbut full of soft small Apples and fruite, and prettye byrdes as yf they had beene chirping and singing of hir a sleep.

At hir feet stood a satire in prurient lust vppon his gotishe feet, his mouth and his nose ioyning together like a gote with a beard growinge on either sides of his chin, with two peakes and shorte in the middeste like Goates hayre, and in like manner about his flankes and his eares, grewe hayre, with a visage adulterated betwixt a mans and a Goates, in so rare a sort as if the excellent woorkman in his caruinge had had presented vnto him by nature the Idea and shape of a Satire.

The same Satire, had forciblie with his lefte hand bent an arme of the Arbut tree ouer the sleepie nimphe, as if he would make hir a fauorable shadowe therewith, and with the other hand howldinge vpp a curtaine by one of the sides that was fastened to the body of the tree.

Betwixt the comare Meimerill or Arbut, and the Satire, were two little Satires, the one howlding a bottell in his hands and the other with two snakes fowlding about his armes.

The excellencie, dilicatnes and perfection of this figment and woorkmanshippe cannot be suffientlie expressed.

This also helping to adorne the sweetnes thereof that is the whitnes of the stone, as if it had been pure iuorie.

I wondered also at the woorking of the clothe coueringe as yf it had been wouen: and at the bowes, braunches, and leaues, and at the little birdes, as if they had been singing and hopping vpp and downe vpon their pretie feet in euerie ioynt single and pounce made perfect, and so the Satire like wise. Vnder this rare and woonderfull carued woork betwixt the gulatures and vnduls in the plaine smothe was grauen in Atthic characters this poesye PANTA TO KADI.

The thirst which I had gotten the daie before was so increased, that I was prouoked now to slacken the same, or rather inticed with the faire beautie of the instrument, the coolenes whereof was such, as betwixt my lippes me thought it stirred and trembled.

And rounde about this pleasant place, and by the pipplyng channels, grew Vaticinium, Lilly conuallie, and the flowring Lysimachia or willow hearbe, the sorrowfull Reedes, Myntes, water Parsley, Baume, Hydrolapathos, or water Sorrell, and other approued hearbes, and fine floures, a little Channel comming by a sluce from the Bridge, entering in and vnlading it selfe, was the cause of a goodly faire Poole, broad and large, in a verie good order, trimmed about and beautified with a fence of sweete Roses and Gessamine. And from thence running ouer it, dispersed it selfe, nourishyng and visiting the nexte adioyning fieldes and grounde, abounding in all sortes of hearbes, floures, fruites, and trees.

There grewe also great store of Cynarie grateful to Venus, wylde Tansie, Colocassia, with leaues like a shielde, and garden hearbes.

And from thence beholding the plaine fieldes, it was woonderfull to see the greennes thereof, powdered with such varietie of sundrie sorted colours, and diuers fashioned floures, as yealow Crowfoote, or golden Knop, Oxeye, Satrion Dogges stone, the lesser Centorie, Mellilot, Saxifrage, Cowslops, Ladies fingers, wilde Cheruile, or shepheardes Needle, Nauens Gentil, Sinquifolie Eyebright, Strawberies, with floures and fruites, wilde Columbindes Agnus Castus, Millfoyle, Yarrow, wherewith Achilles did heale Telephus, and the rust of the same speares head that hurt him. Withe the white Muscarioli, bee floures and Panenentes in so beautifull and pleasant manner, that they did greatly comfort mee (hauing lost my selfe) but euen with the looking vppon them. And heere and there in a measurable and wel disposed distaunce and space betweene. In a conuenient order and sweete disposed sort by a iust line, grew the greene and sweete smelling Orenges, Lymons, Citrons, Pomegranettes, their water boughes bendyng downe within one pace of the ground, couered with leaues of a glassie greene colour, of a great height and turning downe againe their toppes, laden with the aboundance of their floure and fruites, breathing forth a most sweet and delectable odoriferous smell. Wherwithall my appaled heart did not verie lightly reuiue himselfe (it might bee in a pestilent ayre and contagious and deadly sauour.)

For which cause I stood amazed and in great doubt what to thinke or doo, and the rather because in that place I had seene such a marueilous fountaine, the varietie of hearbes, the colours of floures, the placing orderly of the trees, the faire and commodious disposition of the seat, the sweet chirpings and quiet singing of Birds, and the temperate and healthful ayre. And which I could verie well haue been contented withall, and the worst of them might wel haue contented me, if I had found any inhabitant there. And somewhat I was grieued that I could no longer abide in such a place where so many delightful sightes did present themselues vnto mee. Neither was I aduised to my better safetie and content which way to turne me.

Standing thus in such a suspence of minde, calling to remembraunce the daunger that I had lastlye escaped, and the present place that I was newlye entered into, and thinking vppon hieragliphes that I did see in the left side of the bridge, I was in doubt, to hasten my selfe towards any vnaduised aduers accident, And that such a monument and warning woorthie of golden letters, should not be set in vaine to them that passed by, which was Semper festina tarde. Behold of a sodaine behinde me, I heard a rusling noyse, like the winde or beating of a Dragons winges. Alas I knew not what it should bee. And sodeinly ispasurated and turning my selfe about, I might perceiue vpon one side of me many silique trees of Aegypt, with their ripe long coddes hanging and beating one against an other with the winde, had felled downe themselues, which when I perceiued, I was soone quieted, and beganne to make sport at my owne folly.

I had not continued long thus, but I heard a singing company of gallant damoselles comming towardes mee (by their voyces of young and tender yeares) and faire (as I thought) solacing and sporting themselues among the flowering hearbes and fresh coole shadow, free from the suspect of any mans sight, and making in their Gate a great applause among the pleasant flowers. The incredible sweetnesse of hir musicall and consonant voyce, conueighed in the roriferous ayre, and spredding it selfe abroade with the aunswerable sounde and delectable report of a warbeling harpe (for the tryall of which noueltie, I couched downe vnder the lowe bowghes of the next adioining bushes, and saw them come towardes mee with gratious gestures) hir Maydenlie head attyred and bound vp in fillets of glystering gould, and instrophiated redimited, garnished ouer and beset with floured mirtle, and vpon hir snowye foreheade, branched out hir trembling curled lockes, and about hir fayrest showlders, flew her long tresses after a nymphish fashion artyfitiallye handeled.

They were apparrelled in carpanticall habites of fine sylke of sondrye coulers, and weauinges of three sorts, one shorter, and distinct from the other. The nethermost of purple, the next of greene silke, & goulde or tissew, and the vppermost of curled white sendall, gyrded about their smale wastes with girdles of goulde vnder the lower partes of their round breasts. Their sleeues of the same curled Sendall, often doubled, which bettered and graced the subiect couler. And tyed about their wrists with ribands of silke, tagged with Gouldsmithes woorke. And some of them with Pantophles vpon their shooes, the vpper part of the Pantophle of gould and purple silke, leafe worke, shewing thorough betwixt the voyde spaces of the leaues, the fine proportion of their prittie illaquiated and contayned feete. Their shooes comming straightly vnder their anckles, with two lappes meeting vpon their insteps, and closed fast eyther with Buttons or claspes of gowld after a fine manner. Aboue the hemmes of theyr nether garments, there compassed about insteed of gardes and imbrodered woorke of hearts, which now and then blowne vp with the gentle ayre, made a discouerie of their fine legges.

And assoone as they were aware of mee, they left of their song and stayed theyr nimphish gates, being amazed with the insighte, and of my comming into this place, maruelling together, and whisperinglye enquiring of me, one of another, for I seemed vnto them a rare and vnusuall thing, because I was an aliant and stranger, and by chaunce come in to so famous and renowmed a countrie. Thus they staide still, sometimes looking downe vpon me, & again muttering one to an other, I stood still like an image. Oh wo was me, for I felt all my ioynts quake like the leaues of an Aspe, in a bitter winde. And I was affraide of the presaging poesie that I had read, otherwise aduising me, whereof I now thought to late to experience the effect thereof, and looking for no other euent, I remained as doubtfull of the deuine vision, therewith as much deceyued as Semele with the fayned shape of the Epidaurean Beroe. Alas I trembled and shooke like the fearefull hinde calues at the sight of the tawnie Lyons roring out for hunger.

Contending and striuing with my selfe, whether it were better for me submissiuely to kneele downe, or els to turne me about and flye from them (for they seemed to mee by their behauiour, to courteous young women, and besides their humanitie of a deuine beningnitie) or to remaine still vnmoueable. At length I determined to make tryall, and put my selfe forwarde to whatsoeuer would follow, being very well assured, that by no means I should finde any inhumanitie or cruell dealing by any of them, and especially, because that innocencie carryeth alwayes his protection with him. And thus somewhat comforting my fearefull minde, and yet restrained with shamefastnesse, knowing that I was vnwoorthily come into this shadowie place, and solicious company of deuine and delicate nimphes, my guiltie and troubled minde, telling mee that it was rashly and ouer-bouldly doone, and that they were it might be, prohibited places, and a forbidden countrie for a straining to frequent. And thinking thus and thus with my selfe: one amongst the rest of a more boulde and audatious spirite, very hardly spake vnto me, saying. Ho who art thou? at hir speeche I was halfe afraide, and of my selfe ashamed, both ignorant what to say, or howe to aunswer: my voyce and spirit being interdicted, I stoode stone still like a dead image. But the fayre Damsels and beautifull Nimphes well aduised, that in me was a reall and humaine personage and shape, but distempered and afrayde, they drew all of them more neerer vnto me, saying.

Thou young man, whatsoeuer thou art, and from whencesoeuer thou art come: Let not our present aspects any whit dismay thee, or occasion thy discouragement nor be no whit afrayde, for here thou shalt not finde any cruell customes, or cause of discontent, but free from displeasures, and therefore be not afrayde to discouer thy selfe, and tell vs what thou art.

By this motion hauing called backe againe my forgotten and lost sences, comforted with their faire, pleasant, and fauourable aspects, and recouering my selfe with their sweet speeches, with a very good will I made this aunswer vnto them.

I am the most disgraced and vnhappiest louer that the whole world can aforde. I loue, and she whom so greatly I esteeme, and so earnestly I desire, I neyther know where eyther she or my selfe is.

And by the greatest and most daungerous hap that can be imagined I am come hither. And now with prouoked teares downe falling from my waterie eyes along my pale cheekes, and bowed downe to the earth prostrating my selfe to your virginall feete I humblie craue and sue for your fauourable graces: whereat theyr soft and tender heartes mooued with pittie towardes mee, and halfe weeping with mee for companie, and as it were dutifullye striuing with theyr armes to lift mee vp from the grounde, with sweete and comfortable speeches, they courteouslye spake vnto me.

Wee are certainly perswaded and know full well (poore wretch) that few or none can escape by that way which thou art come, and therefore bee not vnthankfull to that diuine power, which hath thus preserued thee. And now be not doubtfull or afrayde of any aduers accident or greefe to assaile thee. Therefore quyet, comfort, and settle thy heart to rest. For nowe thou art come as thou mayest euidently perceiue, and plainely see, into a place of pleasure and delight, abandoning strife and discontent. For our vniformed ages: the seate vnchaungeable, the time not stealing away, the good oportunitie, the gratious and sotiable familiaritie, inticingly dooth allure vs therevnto, and graunteth vnto vs a continuall leysure. And this also thou must vnderstand, that if one of vs be merrie and delightsome, the other sheweth her selfe the more glad and pleasaunt, and our delectable and perticipated friendship, is with an attentiue consideration perpetually vnyted and knitte together. One of vs increasing an others content, to the highest degree of delight, and moste conuenyent solace.

Thou seest also that the ayre is healthfull, the lymittes and bounds of this place verie large: of hearbes full of varietie. Of plants diuerslie abounding, and with fruites plentifully laden, inuironed and defended with huge mountaines and rockes, well stored with harmelesse beasts, and fitte for all pastimes and pleasures, replenished with all kinde of fruites and graynes, vniuersally growing, and full of goodly fountaines.

An other said: vnderstand, vnknowne, (and yet assured guest,) good friend, that this territorie is more fruitfull then the fertill mountaine Taurus in the aquilonall asspect, whose frame dooth swell so much, that their clusters of grapes bee two cubits long, and that one Figtree will beare seauentie bushels.

The third: this famous and spatious countrey, exceedeth the fertilitie of the Hyperborean Island in the West India, or the portugalles of Lucitania, nowe vsurped and tyrannized by the insolent Spanyard.

Nor Talga in the Caspian mountaine. The fourth affirmed in hir commendation of that countrie, that the plentifulnesse of Egypt was but to be accounted scarsitie, in respect of that although that it were thought to be the garden of the world.

And the last, of a choyse countenance and sweete pronuntiation aboue the rest, added thus much, saying.

In this fayre countrie you shall not finde any large fennie groundes, or offensiue and sicklye ayres, or craggie and fertlesse mosses, but faire and pleasaunt hilles, inuironed and walled about with steip and vnpassageable rockes, and by meanes thereof, secure and free from all daungers and feare, we want not any thing which may breed delight, and cause a sweete content. Besides all this wee are attendant vppon a renowned and most excellent Queene of large bountie and exceeding liberalitie: called Euterilyda of great pittie and meruelous clemencie, ruling with great wisdome, and with a kingly gouernement, with great pompe, in an accumolated heape of all felicitie, and shee wyll bee greatly delighted, when we shall present thee vnto hir sacred presence, and maiesticall sight. And therefore cast away, shake of, and forget all afflicting sorrowe, and frame thy selfe and thy affrighted spyrits to intertaine of our comforts solace and pleasure.

Poliphilus feeling himselfe vnder the assurance of the five Nymphes, went with them to the bathes where they had great laughter in the deuise of the fountaine, and also by his vnction. Afterward being brought to the Queene Eutherillida, he did see many thinges worthie of regard, but chiefly the worke of a fountaine.

I Being thus curteously intreated of these gracious and pitiful Nymphes, and hauing my safetie by them sufficiently warranted with sweet comforts, reuiuing my decaied spirites. To whatsoeuer might seeme grateful and pleasing vnto them, so much as was conuenient for mee, I framed my selfe to offer my seruice. And because that they had boxes of sweete perfumes, and casting bottels of golde and precious stone, looking Glasses in their delicate and faire handes, and pure white Vailes of silke plited and folded vp, and other necessaries to bee vsed in bathing, which I offering to helpe them to beare, they refusing say thus vnto mee: that their comming into this place was to bathe, and therewith shewed mee that it was their pleasure that I should goe with them, for (saide they) the fountaine is here hard by, haue you not seene it. And I reuerently made them this answere.

Most faire Nimphes, if I had a thousande tongues and knew how to vse them al, yet could I not render sufficient thankes for your gracious desertes, and make requital of your great fauours, because you haue restored vnto mee my life. And therefore if I should not consent and yeeld vnto you my seruice and company, I might wel bee accounted of a churlish disposition. For which cause, amongst you I had rather be a seruant, then in an other place a Lord and commander, for that (so farre as I can coniecture) you are the tenantes and chamberfellowes of al delight and true felicitie.

You shal vnderstand that I did see a maruerlous fountaine of a rare and wonderful workemanship, as neuer before my eyes did beholde, and so much my minde was occupied in the regard of the straungenes thereof, and to quench my great thirst, that I did looke for no further benefit.

One pleasant Nymphe spake thus merrily vnto mee saying, giue mee thy hand, thou art verie welcome. Thou seest at this present here, that we are fiue companions,[A] and I am called Aphea, and she that carrieth the boxes and white cloathes Offressia. This other with the shining Glasse (our delightes) her name is Orassia. Shee that carrieth the sounding Harpe is called Achol, and shee that beareth the casting bottle of precious Lyquor, is called Genshra. And we are al now going togither to these temperate bathes, to refresh and delight our selues. Therefore you also (seeing that it is your good hap to bee amongst vs) shal bee willing to doo the like, and afterwardes with a verie good wil wee wil make our repaire to the great Pallais of our soueraigne.

[Sidenote A: These nimphs were his fiue sences.]

Who is most merciful, bountiful, and liberal, and willing to helpe and further you, in your intended loues, burning desires, and high conceites. Plucke vp a good heart, man, come let vs goe on.

With pleasurable actions, maydenly iestures, swasiuious behauiours, girlish sportes, wanton regardes, and with sweet vvords they ledde mee on thither, beeing vvel content vvith euerie present action, but that my Polia vvas not there to the suppliment of my felicitie, and to haue been the sixt person in the making vp of a perfect number.

Further, I found my selfe agrieued, that my apparel vvas not conformable to this delicious confort, but grovving into some houshold familiaritie, I disposed my self to be affable vvith them, and they with mee, til at last wee came to the place.

There I behelde a marueilous buildyng of a bathe eight square, and at euerye Exterior corner, there were doubled together twoo Pyles, in fashion of a Pyke, from the leuell of the foundation, the subiect Areobates Circumcinct and ribbed about. And after them followed the vtmost of like bignes from the ground of the other, with their chapters set vnder the streight beame, with a border aboue, vnder a Coronice going round about. Which border was beautified with excellent carued worke, of litle naked children passing wel set forth, and equally distant one from an other, with their handes intricately tyed and wrapped about, and in them holding little bundels of smal greene boughes instrophiated togither. And aboue the said Coronice, did mount vp (by an elegant arching) an eight square Spyer, imitating the subiect. Which from corner to corner was cut through with a marueilous workemanship of a thousand sundrie fashions, and closed againe with quarrels of Christal, which a farre of I did take to bee Leade. Vpon the top of which arched Spyer was placed a Trygon, and from the vpper center thereof, did ascend vp a strong steale, wherinto was ioyned an other steale whiche was turned about, and to the same was fastened a wyng, which with euerie blast of winde tarried about, the piping steale which had vpon the top thereof a ball, whereupon stood a naked Boy, streight vpon his right foote, and the left holden out. His head was hollow to his mouth like a Tunnel, with the Orifice euacuated to his mouth, to the which was sowdered a Trompet, with his left hand holding the Lanquet to his mouth, & his right hand extending towardes the middle ioynt, iust ouer the pinyon of it the wing or fane. Al which was of thinne brasse, excellently wel cast and guilt. Which wing, ball, and boye, with his cheekes and countenance as if hee were sounding, with the hinder part of his head euacunated towardes the blustring winde, as that blew, so he sounded, and as the winde caused a strange noyse among the rods of Siliques of Egypt, euen so did it heare in the Trumpet. Vppon which cause I merily thought to my selfe, that a man being alone in an vnknowne place and out of quiet, may easilie bee afrighted with such like strange noyses.

In that part of the building that was on the other side of the Nimph was the enteraunce into the bathe perfourmed as mee thought by the same Lithoglyphe, that couered the sleepyng Nimphe, vppon the phrise whereof, were certaine Greeke Caracters, signifying ASAMINTHOS.

Within there were foure seates whiche went rounde about, and one vnder an other, and close knitte togither, wroght with Iasper and Calcedony stone, in all kinde of colours. Two of the compassing about seates were couered ouer with water, and to the vpper margine of the third. In the corners, & in euerry corner stoode a Chorinthian Collumne of diuers colours, waued with so pure & beautiful Iacintes as nature could affoord, with conuenient bases and their chapters curiously made vnder the beame, ouer the which was a Zophor, wherein were carued little naked Boyes playing in the water, with water monsters, with wrastling and childish strifes, with cunning flights and agilities fit for their yeares, in liuely motions and sportes. Al which was beautiful ouer compassed about with a Coronice. Ouer the which, according to the order of the little Collumies, from the perpendicular poynt in the toppe of the Cupul or Suffite and couer of the Bathe, there went a Tore moderator, increasing bigger and bigger of Oke leaues, one folding and lying ouer an other of greene Diasper hanging vppon their braunshing stalkes gilt, which ascending vp met togither, and ioyned rounde in the aforesaide Cupul: where was placed a Lyons head, with his haire standing vp round about his face, and holding a Ring in his iawes, vnto the whiche were fastened certaine chaines Orichalke or Copper, that held a large goodly vessel, with a great braine or lyp, and furrowed of the aforesaide shyning substance, and hangyng two Cubites aboue the water, the bowle of the vessel which was of Christal onely except, the rest as the ribbes thereof and lippings, was of Asure blew, with bubbles of gold and shining sprinkled here and there.

Not farre of, there was a cleft in the earth, the which continually did cast foorth burning matter, and taking of this, and filling the bottome of the vessel, they did put certaine ginnes and sweet woods which made an inestimable suffumigation, as of the sweetest past, afterwardes closing the same, and putting downe the couer, both partes being holow, and the lipping and ribbing perforated and pearced through the transparent, Christal cleare and bright, they rendered a pleasant and diuers coulered light, by the which through the smal holes the bathes were lightened, and the heate stil incarcerated and interdicted.

The wal equally interposite betwixt Columne, and Columne was of most blacke stone, of an extreame hardnes and shining, incloystered about and bordered with a conuenient border of Diasper redde as Coral, adorned with a Lyneament and worke of double Gurgules or Verticules. In the middle part of which table, betwixt the Collumnes, there sate an elegant Nymph naked, as if she had been staying and attending of the stone Gallatitis, of colour like Iuorie, the lower partes of euerie of the said borders, circulating iustly with the bases of the Collumnes.

Oh how exsquitely were the same Images cut, that oftentimes my eyes would wander from the real and liuely shapes, to looke vpon those feyned representations.

The paued ground vnder the water being of a diuers emblemature of hard stone, checkered where you might see marueilous graphics through the diuersitie of the colours. For the cleare water and not sulphurous, but sweete and temperatelye hotte, not like a Hotte-house or Stew, but naturally cleansing it selfe beyond all credet, there was no meanes to hinder the obiect from the sight of the eye. For diuers fishes in the sides of the seates, and in the bottom by a museacall cutting expressed, which did so imitate nature as if they had beene swimming aliue. As barbles, lampreys, and many others, the curiousnes of whose woorke I more regarded, then their names and natures.

The black stone of the walles was ingrauen with a leafe worke, as if it had beene an illaqueated composition of leaues and flowers, and the little shelles of cytheriaces, so beautifull to the eye, as was possible to be deuised.

Vpon the doore, the interstice whereof was of stone called Gallactites, I beheld a Dolphin swimming in the calme waues, and carrying vpon his back a young man, playing vpon an harpe: And on the contrarie side vpon the colde Fountaine, there was an other dolphin swimming, and Posidonius riding vpon him with a sharpe elle speare in his hand.

These histories were perfected within the compasse of one selfe same stone, and set out in a most blacke ground. Then deseruedly I did commend, both the archytect and the statuarie. On the other side, the pleasant dignitie of the fayre and beautiful sporting nimphes did highlye content mee, so as I could not compare to thinke whether the excesse of my passed sorrow, or present solace should be greatest. And there was so sweete a smell as Arabia neuer yeelded the like.

Vppon the seates of stone, in steed of an Apodyterie, they did impouerish theyr apparrell, richely inuoluped, in the casting of it off, from their celestiall bodyes. Theyr fayre tresses bound vp in nettings of gould, wouen after a most curious sort. And without any respect at all, they gaue mee leaue to looke vpon theyr fayre and delicate personages, theyr honestie and honour reserued. Flesh vndoubtedly like the pure Roses and white Snowe. Ah woe is me, I found my heart to rise and open it selfe, and altogether to be adicted to a voluptuous delight. Wherevpon I at that present thought my selfe most happie, onely in the behoulding of such delights, because I was not able to resist the burning flames which did set vpon mee in the fornace of my heart. And therefore sometime for a refuge and succour I durst not looke so narrowly vppon theyr inticing beauties, heaped vp in their heauenly bodyes. And they perceiuing the same did smile at my bashful behauiour, making great sport at me: And thereat I was glad, and contented that I might any way occasion their pastime. But I was greatly ashamed, in that I was an vnfit companion for such a company, but that they intreated mee to enter in with them where I stood like a Crowe among white Doues, which made me partly ashamed to behould, and ouerlooke such choyse obiects.

Then Offressia a very pleasant disposed piece, said vnto mee. Tel me young man what is your name? And I reuerently aunswered them, Poliphilus: it will please me well saith she, if the effect of your conditions be aunswerable to your name. And without deceit, said the rest. And how is your dearest loue called? Whereat I making some pause, aunswered, Polia: then she replyed. A ha I thought that your name should signifie that you were a great louer, but now I perceiue that you are a louer of Polia: and presently shee added more, saying: if shee were heere present, what would you doo? I aunswered. That which were agreeable with hir honour, and fit for your companies. Tel me Poliphilus doest thou loue hir wel indeed? Then I setting a deepe sigh, aunswered: beyond all the delights and cheefest substance of the greatest and most pretious treasure in the whole world, and this opinion hath made an euerlasting impression in my still tormented heart. And she: where haue you lost or abandoned so loued a iewel? I know not, neyther where I am my selfe I know. Then she smyling aunswered. If any should finde hir out for you, what rewarde would you giue. But content thy selfe, be of good comfort, and frame thy selfe to delights, for thou shalt finde thy Polia againe. And with these and such like pleasaunt and gratious questions, these fayre young Virgins, sporting and solacing themselues, we washt and bathed together.

At the opposite interstice of the beautifull fountaine without, of the faire sleeping Nymph before mentioned, within the Bathe there was another of statues of fine mettal, and of a curious workemanship, glistering of a golden colour, that one might see himselfe therein. Which were fastened in a Marble, cut into a squadrature, and euacuated for the Images to stand in their proportions, with two halfe Collumnes that is Hemiciles, one of either side, with a Trabet, a smal Zophor, and a Coronice, all cut in one sollid Marble, and this peece of worke was nothing inferior to any of the rest, which before I had seene, but with a rare art, and marueilous inuention, both deuised and performed. In the voyd and plaine euacuated quadret, there stood two Nimphes, little lesse then if they had been liuely creatures, apparelled, so as you might see somewhat aboue their knees, vppon one of theyr legges, as if the winde had blowne it vp, as they were doing theyr office, and their armes bare, from the elbow to the shoulder except. And vpon that arme, wherewith they sustained the Boye, the habite that was lifted vp was reiect. The feete of the Infant stood one in one of the handes of the Nymphes, and the other, in the others hand. All their three countenances smiling: and with their other handes, they held vp the Boyes shirt, aboue his nauil.

The Infant holding his little Instrument in both his hands, and continued pissing into the hotte water, fresh coole water. In this delicious place of pleasure, I was verie iocund and full of content, but the same was much apalled, in that I thought my selfe a contemptible bodie, among such beauties, and dewe coniealed into Snowe, and as it were a Negro or tawnye Moore amongst them.

One of them called Achoe, verie affably and with a pleasant countenance said vnto mee, Poliphile take that Christal vessel and bring mee some of that fresh water. I without staie intending to do so, and thinking nothing, but to do her seruice in any sort that she would commaund me, went to the place. And I had no sooner set my foote vpon the steppe, to receiue the water, as it fell, but the pissing Boye lift vp his pricke, and cast sodeinlye so colde water vppon my face, that I had lyke at that instant to haue fallen backward. Whereat they so laughed, and it made such a sounde in the roundnes and closenes of the bathe, that I also beganne (when I was come to my selfe) to laugh that I was almost dead. Afterward, I founde out the concauitie, and perceiued that any heauy weight, being put vpon the moueable stepping, that it would rise vp like the Keye and Iacke of a Virginall, and lift vp the Boyes pricke, and finding out the deuise and curious workemanship thereof, I was greatly contented. Vpon the Zophor was written in Atthic letters this title GELOIASTOS.

After our great laughter and bathing, and all hauing washed with a thousand sweete, amorous, and pleasant wordes, maydenly sportes, and pastimes, wee went out of the water, and leapt vp vppon the accustomed seates, tripping on their toes, where they did annoynt themselues with sweete Odours, Diasdasmatic, and with a Myristic liquor, or water of Nutmegges. And they offered a boxe vnto mee also, and I annoynted my selfe therewithall, and I founde great pleasure therein, for besides the excellent smel and sweete sauour, it was verie good to comfort my bodie, legges, and armes, that had been so wearied in my daungerous flight.

Afterward when we had made ourselues redy, which was somwhat long after the manner of other women, by reason of so many gewgawes and gimmerie whatchets, they did open their vesselles of daintie confections, and refreshed themselues, and I amongst them, and with precious drinke. When they had eaten sufficiently, they returned againe to their looking Glasses, with a scrupulous examination, about their bodies, and the attire of their heades, and dressing of their yealow curling haires depending, and hemicirculately instrophiated about their diuine faces. And when they had made an ende, they sayde vnto mee.

Poliphilus, wee are now going vnto our gratious and most excellent Souereigne the Queene Eutherillida, where you shal finde and conceiue greater delight, but the water is still in your face, whereat they beganne to renew their laughter, without all measure at mee, glauncing and turning their eyes one to an other, with a louely regarde. At last they set foorth, and as they went rounde togither, they beganne to sing verses in a Phrygial tune, of a pleasaunt metamorphosing of one, who with an oyntment thought to haue transfourmed himselfe into a Byrd, and by mistakyng of the Boxe, was turned into a rude Asse.

Concludyng, that manye tooke Oyntmentes to one purpose, and founde the effecte to contrarie their expectations.

Whereat I beganne to be in a doubt, that they had sung that by mee, because that they still smiled as they turned towardes mee. But seeing that I perceiued no alteration in my selfe, but wel I was contented to let them laugh on. Vpon a sodaine I founde my selfe so lasciuiously bent, and in such a prurient lust, that which way so euer I turned, I could not forbeare, and they as they sung laughed the more, knowing what had happened vnto mee. And it did so increase in mee more and more, that I knew not wherewithal I might bridle and restraine my selfe from catching of one of them, like an eager and hotte Falcon comming downe out of the ayre, vpon a couie of Partriges. I was with such a violent desire prickt forwarde, which I felt more and more to increase in a sault burning. And the more I was to that venerious desire by the violent offers of so oportune and sweete obiects. A foode for suche a pernitious plague, and vnexperienced burning.

Then one of these flamigerous Nymphes named Aphea, said vnto mee, How is it Poliphilus? Euen now I did see you verye merry, what hath altered your disposition? I answered. Pardon mee that I binde and vexe my selfe more then a willow Garland. Giue mee leaue to destroy my selfe in a lasciuious fire. And thereat they burst out all in a laughter and said, Ah ha, and if your desired Polia, if shee were here, what would you do, how? Alas my desire, euen by the deitie which you serue, I beseech you put not Flaxe and Rosin to the fire, whiche burneth mee out of all measure. Put no Pitch to the fire in my heart, make me not to forget my selfe I beseech you.

At this my lamentable and sorrowing answere, they were prouoked to such a loude laughter, wherin they did exceed so much, that neither they nor my selfe with the wearines thereof could goe any further, but were constrained to rest our selues for want of breath, vpon the odoriferous floures & coole grasse, by meanes whereof, I became somewhat oportunely to bee eased, my heate aswaging and relenting by little and little.

And as they thus contentedly rested themselues a while, vnder the coole vmbrage of the leafie Trees, I beganne to bee bolde with them saying. O you women, that are burners and destroyers, doo you vse mee thus? See what an offered occasion I haue, which wil holde mee excused, to breake foorth and doo violence vnto you. And thereupon somewhat boldly moouing my selfe and fayning as if I would haue done that which by no meanes I durst, but then with a newe pastyme and laughter they called one for an others helpe, leauing heere and there their golden Pantoffles and Vailes, to bee carried about with the winde, and their vesselles neclected in the grasse, they ranne all awaye, and I after them, that I might well perceiue that they had neither crampes nor stringhawldes or leaden heeles, and thus continuing our pastimes a pretie space, being somewhat pleased that I had made them to runne. I returned backe to gather vp their Pantophles and such things as they had scattered behind them. And comming neare to a fresh coole Riuer, they began to cease off from laughter, and to take pittie vppon mee, and Geussia behinde all the rest, bowed her selfe downe to the water, beautifully adorned with the bendyng Bull Rushe, water Spyke, swimmyng Vitrix, and aboundaunce of water Symples, shee dyd plucke vp the Heraclea Nympha, of some called water Lillye or Nenuphar, and the roote of Aron or wake Robyn, of, some, Pes vituli or Serpentaria Minor.

And Amella or Bawme Gentill, all whiche grew very neare togither and not farre distant, whiche shee fauourably offered vnto mee saying, of these whiche I haue made choyse of take, and for my freedome taste.

For whiche cause I refused the Nenuphar, and reiected the Dracuncle for his heate, and accepted of the Amella, whiche shee had cleane washed, by meanes whereof, within a verye short space, I founde my venerious Lubric and incensing spurre of desire to leaue of, and my intemperate luste was cleane gone.

And when my vnlawfull desires[A] of the fleshe were brideled, the pleasant Nymphes came againe to mee, and as wee walked on, wee came into a frequented place, and wonderfully fruitfull.

[Sidenote A: Vnlawfull concupiscence blindeth a man, and driueth his sences from him.]

And there in a fine order and appointed distance was a waye set on either sides with Cyprus Trees, with their corner clefted Apples, and as thicke with leaues as their nature will suffer them, the leauell grounde beeyng couered all ouer, with greene Vinca Peruima, or Lawreoll and Chamme, Daphne, and full of his asurine flowers. Which adorned way of a meete and conuenient breadth, did lead directly on into a greene Closure, from the beginning of whiche walke, iust betwixt the Cyprus Trees, to the entrance and opening of the aforesaide enclosure, was some foure furlonges. Vnto which enclosure when wee came, I founde it equilaterall, with three fences like a streight wall, as high as the Cyprus Trees vpon either sides of the waye, that wee had passed along in: which was altogither of Cytrons, Orenges and Lymonds, bushing with their leaues one within an other, and artifitially knitte and twisted togither, and the thicknes mee thought of sixe foote: with a Gate in the middest of the same Trees, so wel composed as is either possible to bee thought or done. And aboue in conuenient places were made windowes, by meanes whereof, the bowghes in those places were to be seene bare, but for their greene leaues which yeelded a most sweet and pleasant verdure. Betwixt the curious twistings of the braunches and their greene leaues, the white flowers did aboundantly shewe themselues a singular Ornament, breathing foorth a most delectable and sweete odour. And to please the eye, the faire fruite was in no place wanting, where it should yeelde content. And afterwardes I might perceiue, that in the interstitious thicknes, the bowghes (not without a wonderful woorke) were so artificially twisted and growne togither, that you might assend vp by them, and not bee seene in them, nor yet the way where you went vp.

At length comming into this greene and delightful grounde to the eye, and in a mans vnderstanding woorthie of estimation, I perceiued that it was a great enclosure in the fore front of a marueilous Pallaice of a noble simmetriated architecturie which of this frondiferous conclausure, was the fourth part in longitude sixtie paces. And this was the Hyp[ae]thri to walke in, for open ayre.

In the middest of this great base Court, I did behold a goodly Fountaine of cleare water, spinnyng from the verie toppe as it were to the foundation, whiche stoode vpon a smoothe pauement through little streight Pypes, falling into a hollowed vessel, whiche was of most pure Amethist, whose Diameter conteined three paces, the thicknes agreeing therewithall, leauyng the twelfth part for the thicknesse of the brimme, rounde about the same were carued water monsters, after the best sort that euer any auncient inuentor or woorkeman for the hardnes of the stone could deuise to woorke, it might bee the woorke of D[ae]dalus, for the wonderful excellencie thereof. Pausania, if he had seene this, would haue taken small pleasure to boast of the standing cup which he made to Hipparis.

Which same was founded vpon a steale or final Pillar of Iasper of diuers colours, beautifully adulterating one with an other being cut in the middest and closed vp with the cleare Calcidonie, of the colour of the troubled Sea water, and brought into marueilous woorke, beeing lifted vp with guttured hollowe vessels, one aboue an other, with a reserued seperation, by artificiall and woonderful ioyntes. It stood streight vp, fastened in the center of a Plynth, made of greene Ophite which was rounde, and somewhat lifted vp aboue, about compassing Porphyr, some fiue inches, whiche was curiously wrought with diuers lyneaments.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5     Next Part
Home - Random Browse