Hypnerotomachia - The Strife of Loue in a Dreame
by Francesco Colonna
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Rounde about the steale whiche helde vp the vessell, foure Harpies of Golde did stand, with their clawes and tallented feete vpon the smoothe Table of the Ophite.

Their hinder partes towardes the steale, one iust opposite against an other, with their winges displaied and spredde abroad, they rested vnder the vessell with their feminine countenances, and hauing haire vpon their heades, from the same, it spredde downe to their showlders, their heades vnder, and not touching the vessell: with their tayles like Eeles, and turning rounde. And vpon their nauels, an Antique leafe worke. These were verie necessarie for the strengthening of the Pype within the steale and smal Pillar.

Within the middest of the wombe and bellye, or nauel of the vessel, vpon the Subiect steale, there was proportionately raised vp of the same vessel of Amathyst, a substance like a Challice, inward, or the inwarde moulde for a Bell, so high as the vessel was deepe the middle thereof, leuell with the brimme of the vessell.

Vppon the which was made an artificious foote set vnder the three graces naked of fine Gold, of a common stature, one ioyning to an other.

From the teates of their breastes the ascending water did spin out lyke siluer twist. And euerie one of them in their right hand did holde a copie full of all kinde of fruites, whiche did extend in length vp aboue their heades, and at the opening, all three of them ioyned rounde into one, with diuers leaues and fruites hangyng ouer the brimmes or lippes of the wrythen Copies.

Betwixt the fruite and the leaues, there came vp sixe small Pypes, out of the whiche the water did spring vp through a small hole.

And the cunning Artificer, because that hee would not trouble one Cubit with the tuch of another. With a signe of shamefastnes, the Images with their left handes did hide that part which modestie would not haue seene, but accounteth woorthie to bee couered.

Vppon the brimme of the hollow vessell, whose compasse was a foote moreouer about, then the subiacent of it, with their heades lifted vp vpon their Vipers feete, with a conuenient and decent intercalation, there were placed sixe little scaly Dragons, of pure shining Golde, with such a deuise, that the water comming from the teates of the Ladies, did fall directly vppon the euacuated and open crowne of the head of the Dragons, afore spoken of, with their winges spredde abroad, and as if they had been byting, they did cast vp and vomit the same water whiche fell beyonde the roundnes of the Ophict, into a receptorie of Porphyr, and rounde, whiche were both more higher then the flatnesse of the pauement before spoken of: where there was a little Channell going rounde about betwyxt the Ophit and the Porphyrite, in breadth one foote and a halfe, and in depth two foote.

Whiche Porphyrite was three foote from the playne ouermost parte to the Pauement, with an excellent vndiculation. The reste of the partes of the Dragonnes, for the moderate deepenesse of the vessell did grow on, vntill all met together, transforming the extreame partes of their tailes into an antique foliature making a beautifull illygament with the arule or foote set vnder the three images without any deforming hinderance to the hollownesse of the precious vessell. And what with the greene assayling of the compassing Orange trees, and the bright reflections of the shining matter, and the pure water, there was such a gratious couler, in that singular and most pretious vessell, as if the Rainbowe and the clowdes had made theyr habitation there.

Then in the corpulent bearing out of the belly of the vessell, betwixt one, and the other Dragons, in an equall distance, and of a most excellent melting or casting, there stood out Lyons heads of an exquisite exaction, and driuing, casting foorth by a little pype, the water that distilled from the six fistulets, placed in the copie aboue. Which water, did so forciblie spring vpward, that in the turning downe it fell among the Dragons in the large vessell, where by reason of the high fall, and fashion of the vessel, it made a pleasant tinckling noyse.

All which rare worke, by so sharpe and fine a wit composed, as this insolent and precious vessell was, the foure perfect harpies, the woonderfull and curious azule, wherevpon the three Images of pure gould stood, with what Arte, ordinance, and rule, digested and made perfect: as I am ignorant in them altogither, so much the lesse able am I to describe the whole as it did deserue, being a woorke past any humaine reache and capacitie to frame the like.

And I may bouldly say, that in our age there was neuer seene in stone and mettle such a peece of woorke embost, chased, and engrauen. For it was a woonder to see, that stones of such extreame hardnesse, as that which was the steale to hould vppe the Vessell, should be cut and wrought to that purpose, as if it had beene as soft as wax. A woorke raither to bee woondered at, then vndertaken.

The square base court, (in the middest whereof stood this notable woorke of the sumptuous Fountaine,) was paued with fine Marble of diuers coulers and fashions. Amongst which were appact very beautifully, roundes of Diasper, equally distant, and disagreeing from the couler of the pauement, and the corners closed vp with leaues and Lyllies. Betwixt the square marble pauing stones, there was a space left like a list, which was filled vp with diuers coulered stones of a lesser cut, some proportioned into greene leaues, and tawnie flowers. Cyanei, Ph[ae]nicei, and Sallendine, so well agreeing in theyr coulers, so glistering and seuerly set of a diligent Xesturgie. As full of coulers as a Christall glasse, repercust and beaten against with the beames of the sunne. Because the circumduct and compassing coulers, meeting together in the selfe same smoothe and cleane stones, did yeeld a reflection, no part being faultie, eyther of the square checkers or scutuls and Trigons. But with a smoothe and streight ordinance well ioyned together.

Whereat I remained woonderfully amased by my selfe, diligently considering vpon the noblenes of the woorke, such as I had not beene vsed to see, and verye willinglye I would haue beene content, to haue made more staye in the contemplating thereof, for so the dignitie of the worke required, but I could not because it was necessarie for me to follow after my leaders.

Then the aspect of this sumptuous magnificient and statelye pallace, the approoued situation thereof, the dew proportion, and the maruelous composition in my first comming to it, did make me woonderfully contented to view the woorthines thereof, and in continuance I was prouoked to behould more, for which cause I perswaded my selfe, as I might very well, that the expert builder, excelled all other whatsoeuer. What kinde of rafters? what manner of roofe? after what sort the Parlors chambers, closets and lodgings, were disposed? with what kind of seeling they were enclosed and incrusted? wherewithall hanged? with what couler and kinde of painting ouerhead? What order of columination, and what space betwixt. No other building maye goe beyonde this whatsoeuer, but may giue place verye well, of what kinde of Marble, and what manner of engrauing.

There I beheld the laboures of Hercules grauen in stone with halfe the representation standing out or bearing foorth, in a woonderfull sort, the skinnes, statues, tytles, and trophes, What an entry, what a stately porche, what that of Titus Cesar with his stone of Phenicea with all the tinkering and pullishing about it, there is none whose wit is so grosse to commend it, in respect of this, but will rather scorne to speake of it. As for the woorthie and excellent manner of glasing the gallerie without the pallace, the conspitious porche, the manner of building, the arched seeling aboue head, beautified and adorned with foliature and other lineaments of pure gould and asuer couler and excellent painting that whatsoeuer I had seene before I made finall acount of, as not worthie of remembrance. And beeing now come to the doore within the porche, the going in was closed vp wth a hanging, drawne ouer before it of gould and silke, wrought together, and in the same two images. One of them hauing all kinde of instruments about hir, fitte and readie to goe to worke, and the other with a maidenly countenance, looking vp with hyr eyes into heauen.

The beautye of which two were such, and so fresh, as I looked about mee, whether Apelles had painted them with his Pensill.

And there my sportfull, faire, and pleasant companions, euerie one putting their right handes to mine, willing to haue me in, sayde, Poliphilus this is the vsuall waye, by the which you must come into the presence of our Gracious and moste excellent Queene.

But you cannot haue leaue to enter in here through this Curtain, before you bee receiued of a vigilant and innocent Damosel that is the keeper of this doore, and she is called Cinosia. Who hearing vs comming, did forthwith present her selfe, and fauourably held vp the cloth, and wee entered in.

There was a roome hung about and diuided by an other Curtaine of excellent Arras full of Imagerie, as signes, shapes, plants, and beastes, singularly well done.

In this place at our comming, an other curious woman came towardes vs, called Indalomena, and she putting by the Curtaine, wee entered in. And there was an other suche like roome, from the second for quantitie, with discourses and reason marueilously wouen, with infinite knottes, bucklinges, tyings, and old fashioned harping Irons, or Hookes, as if they had been fastened and knit togither. In which place without any staying, the third woman came and receiued vs very gratiously, her name was Mnemosina, and shee calling vs, gaue vs free leaue to go in. Where lastly my companions did present mee before the sacred maiestie of the Queene Eleutherillida.

Poliphilus sheweth as well as hee may, how exceeding great the Maiestie of the Queene was, the manner of her Residence and seruice. His fauourable entertainment. Howe shee marueiled at him.

When I came towardes the first doore-keeper, I was somewhat abashed, but yet I did salute her in good sorte as became mee to doo. And shee verie curteously badde mee come neere. And in like manner the second.

In whose gard I did see a loftie Gallery as long the content of the Pallaice, the roofe whereof, was all painted with a greene foliature, with distinct flowers and folded leaues, and little flying Byrdes, excellently imphrygiated of museacall paynting, as without in the first Court, and the stone walls seeled with Chipworkes of diuers colours.

At the last doore, the Matrone Mnemosina perswaded me verie effectually, not to doubt of any thing, but that I should stedfastly follow the royall perswasion, and healthfull counsell of the Queene, and perseuere in the execution thereof, for that the ende without doubt would be to my content.

And thus hauing leaue to goe in, beholde such thinges presented themselues to my eyes, as were lyker to be celestiall then humane.

A most stately and sumpteous preparation, in a gorgeous and spacious Court, beyond the Pallaice neere and opposite to the other, and foure square.

The bewtifull and precious Pauement within a checkered compasse going about the same, there was a space of sixtie foure Squadrates of three foote, the dyameter of euerye one: Of the which one was of Iasper, of the colour of Corall, and the other greene, powdered with drops of blood not to bee woorne away: and set togither in manner of a Chesse-boord. Compassed about with a border, the breadth of one pace of a rare inuention of woorke, with small pieces of stones, of diuers colours, and so compacte together, as if it had beene a straunge paynted woorke euenly cut and set by rule, that you could not perceiue the ioyning, but smoothe and shyning, and so well framed by the Lybell and Squadrate, that no circulating or sph[ae]ricall Instrument woulde mooue to either sides without forcing.

About this, lastlye was an other marueylous kynde of Pauing of three paces broad, in knottes of Iasper, Praxin, Calcedonie, Agat, and other sortes of stones of price.

And about by the sides of the walles, compassing the sayde Court paued as you haue heard, there were placed Settles, of the wood of Palme Trees, of colour betwixt a yealow and tawny, passing well turned and fashioned, couered ouer with greene Veluet, and bowlstered with some soft stuffe or feathers easie to sit vpon, the Veluet brought downe to the frame of the Settles or Benches, and fastened to the same with tatch Nayles of Golde, with bossed heades vppon a plaine Siluer Nextrule or Cordicell.

The alament of the claustering walles, were couered ouer with Plates of beaten Golde, with a grauing agreeable to the pretiousnes of the metall.

And in the co[ae]quated and smoothe plaine of the same walles of stone, by certaine Pilastrelles, Quadrangules, or Lossenges, of an equall dimension and distinct correspondencie in the middest of euerie one, there were perspicuously appact rounde Iewels, bearing out and swelling beyond the plaine leuell of the wall, after the manner of the tores of bases, and of thicknes according to the proportion of the Losenge wherein it stood, compassed about with greene iagged leaues, one bending ouer an other, the tops turned toward the Iewell.

And betwyxt the Foliature and the great Iewell, another border of pretious stones curiouslie sorted and conspicuouslie set.

And in the rest of the wall circumvallate of these bearing out rownde Iewels, the seuen Plannets with their nature and properties, with an Encaustic woorke were sweetly painted, which I beheld with great delight. The rest of the wall exclusiue from the rowndnes of the Iewels within the Pilastrels, were filled vp and bewtified with infinite varietie of workes in siluer, and powdered with diuers inestimable stones, singularly well cut, and of diuers fashions.

The wall on the left side was in like sort, and opposite in tundels. Against the seuen Plannettes were there seuen Tryumphes ouer the subiectes of the same predominent Plannettes, and in such lyke Art of Painting as the other side.

And on the right part I behelde their seuen harmonies and friendly aspectes, and the passage of the blood, with the qualitatiue receiuing and retiring & circulating entrance, with an incredible Historie of the celestiall operation accedent.

The fourth alament made the Pallaice of suche like distribution as the other, the doore except, whiche did occupie an emptie voyde interstice. The other sixe with a regulate correspondence, and harmonye of the rest, in the Iewelles to the opposite and symentriall congresse of the Plannettes, with their vertuous inclinations, were expressed in the shapes of elegant Nimphes, with the titles and signes of their natures.

The seuenth Mediane quarter, was the forefront directlye placed against the seuenth Iewell, representing the Planet Soll, whiche was set vp more higher then the rest, by reason of the Queenes Throne.

Euerie part of matter, number, forme, and lyneament, in distribution equally correspondent to his Lybell, the right with the left, and here and there, with an exquisite loue, and congresse agreeing.

Of whiche moste excellent Court, euerie side was eight and twentie paces. In this sort stood this synarie open Court, all compassed about with fine golde, a worke rather to bee wondered at, then spoken off.

The Pilastrelles were discrepant fowre paces one from an other, with a iust partition of seuen (a number gratefull to nature) of fine and orient Azure, Lazull stone, passing well coloured according to his kinde, with a bewtifull bestowing of small glymces of gold. In the fore part of which, betwixt the seuen pilastrels, there were appointed little slender Pillers wrought about with leaues, copies, heades with haire like leaues, boyes their hippes and legges proportioned into brawnches, Birdes and copies, and vesselles full of flowers, with other woonderfull inuentions and deuises, from the top to the bottome of the Anaglyph, as if they had grown out of the foundation, making and diuiding in sunder the spaces, their chapters were wrought of a fashion answerable to the rest.

Ouer the whiche did extende a streight beame with grauen lineamentes fitting the same. And ouer that a Zophor, conteining this woorke still throughout, that is, the bonye scalpes of Oxen, with myroll bowghes full of berries, tyed abowt theyr hornes by a towell of linnen.

Vpon either sides of them were Dolphines, with their gilles lyke leaues, and their Finnes and their extreeme partes of a foliature, and vpon theyr heades and backes certaine naked boyes, getting holde of theyr lifted vp braunching tayles, with leaues and flowers, and bending them downe.

The head of the Dolphine hauyng a Syme, whereof the one part turned towardes the Boye, and the other bent against the vessell with an open gaping, and endyng in the head of a Storke, with her beake against the open mouth of a Monster, lying with his face vpwarde, and certaine Whorelles or Beades rysing vp betwixt his mouth and her beake.

Whiche heades in stead of haire, were couered with leaues one ouer an other, filling the Orifice of the vessell, and from one lyp to an other, and vnder the bowle thereof towarde the foote, there compassed a fine towell of linnen, the endes hanging downe from the knottes, in suche an excellent sorte as was conuenient both for the place and matter. And in the middle ouer the heades, was the face of a childe vppon a payre of winges.

And with suche lyke lineamentes was the Zophor adorned and couered, with a Coronice full of excellent workemanship. Vppon the plaine toppe whereof, by a perpendicular lyne ouer the Pillars, in the ordeining of the squadrangalles, there were placed and framed certaine olde fashioned vesselles, by an appointed distribution, three foote high of Calcedonie, some of Amethist, some of Agat, some of Iasper, with their bellies furrowed and Channelled, and cut of a rare and maruellous cunning, and with excellent eares.

In a perfect order ouer euerie Iewell aboue the Coronice, were aptlye ioyned traunsomes, squared seuen foote high, and the middle space betweene them of glistering Golde, with a superadiect extention, closing ouer the streight extended transomes. And by a turnyng downe the transomes, did ioyne decently one with the other, with a Topiarie[A] woorke. Intending that out of the vesselles standing vpon the Coronice as aforesaide, in the cornes the transome and the vyne should ryse vp togither, but out of the other vesselles, either a vyne or some Woodbine of Golde, by courses meeting ouer the transwerst traunsomes, with a thicke stretching out of theyr spreadyng braunches, one ioyning with an other, and twisting togither with a fine and pleasant congresse, couering ouer all the whole court with a riche and inestimable suffite, with diuers fashioned leaues of greene emeralde, gratefull to the sight, more perfect then that wherein Amenon was impressed, and the flowers dispersed and distributed of Saphires and byrrals. And with an excellent disposition and artificiall, betwixt the greene leaues and the grosse vaynes, so precious hunge downe the clusters of grapes made of stones, agreeable and fitting to the naturall coulers of Grapes.

[Sidenote A: Topiaria, the feate of making Images or Arbours in Trees.]

All which most rare deuises, of pryse incomparable, incredible, and past imagination, did shine all ouer most pretiouslie: not so much to be marueyled at for the costlinesse of the matter, but for the large greatnesse of the worke.

For nor without great cause, from place to place, with a diligent and iealous examination I did carefully consider the large extention of the inmost intricate braunches, and their proportionate strength and thicknesse, so cunninglie doone, by such an arte, boulde attempt, and continued intent, they were so aptly led out, whether by sowdering, or by the Hammer, or by casting, or by all three, mee thought it an vnpossible worke to make a couering of such a breadth, and so twysted and twyned together.

In the middle prospect, oppossite against our going in vpon a degreed regall throne, set full of glystering stones in a maruelous order, farre more excellent then the seat in the temple of Hercules at Tyre, of the stone Eusebes. The Queene with an imperiall Maiestie sitting vppon it, goddesse like, and of a woonderfull magnanimitie in countenance: gorgiously apparrelled in clothe of goulde, with a sumptuous and curious attyre, vpon hir head of a purple couler, with an edging of Orient Pearle, shadowing ouer hir large forhead, aunciently and princelike, euer pressing hir plemmirrulate trammels of hayre, as blacke as iet descending downe hir snowie temples, and the rest of the aboundance of hir long hayre, fastned rounde in the hinder parte of her head, and deuided into two partes or tresses, lapt about this waye and that waye, behind hir small eares, ouer hir streight proportioned head, and finished in the crowne, with a flower of great Orient, and rownd Pearles, such as be found in the Indian promontorie Perimula.

The rest of hir long spreding hayre was not seene, but couered ouer with a thinne vayle, edged with gould, hanging downe from the said flower and knot of pearle, to hir delicate shoulders, and flingering abroade with the ayre.

In the middle of the edging of hir dressing, vpon the highest parte ouer the middest of hir forhead hoong a rare iewell. And about hir round and snowie neck, went an inestimable Carkenet with a pendent ouer the diuision of hir rownde brests, of a table Dyamond, in fashion of an Egge, sparkling, and of a monstrous largenes, set in gould with wyer woorke.

At hir eares moste richelye were hanged in the typpes two earinges, two great shynyng Carbunckles of an inestimable price.

Hir shooes were of greene silke, and hir pantofles of gould imbrodered in a leafe woorke. Vppon a foote stoole aboue the which, and vnder hir feete, was layde a cushion of white Veluet, with a purseling of silke and Orient Pearles ofArabia, within the persick golph, with foure Buttons wrought with pretious Stones, and tasseld with goulde twist, and crimosen silke, depending.

Vppon eyther sides along vpon the aforesaid benches couered ouer with greene veluet, sate hir Ladyes of honour, attendant in a goodly and commendable order, according to their estates, apparrelled in clothe of goulde in an incredible brauerie, as in the world may bee seene. And in the middest of them this renowned and famous Queene in great pompe and vnspeakeable statelynes, and the hemmes of hir vestures so edged and set with pearle and stone, as if nature had rayned and powred them down vpon hir.

At hir high and imperiall aspect, with great reuerence bowing their knees to the ground vnto hir, hir women did rise vppe from their seates, occasioned by the noueltie of the spectacle, & greatly marueiling that I should come into such a place.

But I founde my selfe more amazed, my hearte quayling, and dilating both of the troubles that I passed, and the present estate that I was brought into, which did enuiron and fill me with an extreame amasement, reuerend feare, and honest shamefastnesse.

And they asking the fiue Nimphes that brought me in, whysperinglie what I was, and the strangenesse of my hap, directing, bending and intentiuely fixing all their eyes vpon me. Where finding my selfe so base a worme in such an excellent conspect, I was woonderfully astonished, and lyke one that had no spyrite.

But the successe and manner of my comming being demaunded of them, the Nymphes plainly, open and manifest the same at large, whereat the gratious Queene beeing mooued to compassion, caused me to stand vp, and vnderstanding what my name was, began to say.

Poliphilus, be of good comfort, and pluck vp a good heart, and tell me how thou commest hither, and by what meanes, and how thou diddest escape that mortall and horrible Dragon? and how thou diddest finde away out of that odious and blinde darkenes, I haue beene tould of it: But I maruell me not a little, because few or none dare aduenture that waye. But seeing that grace hath safelye brought thee hither vnto vs, I will not denye thee (any cause notwithstanding) a gratious and fauourable intertaynement.

To whose liberall inuiting, royall woordes and intertaynement, better then I could haue imagined to desire, with diuote and honourable thankes, giuen aboundantly from pointe to pointe, I tould how I escaped and fled from the Dragon, a fearefull monster. And consequently with what trauell and payne I came to the desired place. And how the fiue Nimphes did finde me wandering and afrayde. Which when I had at large declared and ended my speeche, I began with great desire to frame my selfe to bee a pertaker of their solacious and magnificent pleasures.

After that she said vnto me with a smiling and pleasant countenance. It is a woorthie matter to consider, that an euill and discontented beginning, often time falleth out to a happie and good successe in the end: and before that anye thing bee committed vnto you to perfourme, as touching your amorous and firme conceit, it is our pleasure, for the asswagement and mitigation of thy commendable griefes, that in this company thou especially shouldest associate thy selfe with Philotesia, seeing that the faire heauens haue shewed thee of thy entertainment, and brought thee into our triumphant mansion place. And therefore my Poliphilus, without any more ceremonies take thy place there and sit downe, for thou shalt see (with a verie good will) part of our sumptuous and stately manner of seruice, the plentifull diuersitie and number of my more then princely dainties, the honourable attendance of my houshold, & excellent order thereof, the inestimable pretiousnes of my great aboundance, and the large effects of my bounty.

At which imperious commaund, her eloquent and fauorable speech ended, humbly, and with a little more audacitie than before, vppon one of the benches of my right hande I did sit downe (lapping my torne gowne together before me with certaine brymble leaues still sticking in it) betwixt the fiue Nymphes that brought mee in, and amongst them next vnto Offresia and Achoe, placed behinde the Queene, and six other of the chamber vppon the other hande, and in the middest on high vppon a throne did the Queene sitte in an imperiall Maiestie.

The Couer ouer the Throne was of an inamelled couloring contayning in it a beautifull image without any beard, the head bushing with yellow haire, part of his brest couered with a thinne cloath ouer the displayed winges of an Eagle, her head turning vp, and beholding of him. The head of which image was redymited with an azure Diademe, adorned with seauen beames, and at the foot of the Eagle two braunches of greene Lawrell, one one way, the other contrary towards either side. And in euerie garland I behelde the figment proper to his planet, and behind at my backe was the iewell, containing the historie of the winged Mercury, and howe the benignitie of his good disposition is depraued, when he is in the malignant taile of the venemous Scorpion. And looking vpon my selfe, I was ashamed to see my vile habite among suche sumpteous induments, that me thought my selfe no otherwaies but euen lyke that vile and mortiferous beast among the most noble signes of the Zodiac. The bewtifull and honorable damosels sate in order vpon the Benches, compast about all along by the sides of the walles vppon the right side, and the best of the Court, with a rare and strange kinde of womanly dressing vppon their heads, as is in the world, with the tresses of their haire lapt and bowed vp in Caules of gold.

Some with their haires of Amber colour, curled and dressed vp with flowers of the same vppon a wyer, with the endes turning downe and wauing vppon their snowy foreheades and smooth temples, bewtified with Rubies and Diamonds prickt in the haire.

Others of the colour of the Obsidium of India, blacke and shining, adorned with floures of Orient Pearle, & Carkenets of the same. They stood all waiting with such a venerate attention, that when the seruice was brought to the table, they all at one instant time alike, made their reuerent curtesies in bowing of their knees, and in like manner when they did rise from of their seates, euerie one apparrelled in cloth of Golde, but they did not sit and eate at the same table.

Streight before the triumphant Queene was the opening of the third Curtaine, couering a great and goodly doore, not of Marble, but of rare and hard Diasper of the East, of an artificiall and ancient worke, wonderfully bewtifull to behold. Vpon either sides of this doore, their yoong damosels Musitians, seuen vpon a side in a Nimpish apparrel, notable for the fashion and verie rich: which at euery change of seruice, did alter their Musicke and Instruments, and during the banquetting, others with an Angelike and Syreneall consent, did tune the same to their handes. Then in a sodaine was placed frames of Hebony, with three feete, and other temporary tables, without any noyse or brustling. Euerie one readie to his appoynted Office, with a carefull, diligent, and affecting indeuour, wholy to that seruice which was enioyned him.

And first before the Queene, there was placed a frame of three feete of this fourme, vpon a rounde of fine Dyasper, with curious Lineaments. To the which were three stypits, the lower partes whereof, did finish in the forme of the tearing claw of a Lyon, with an exsquisite foliature, compassing about the steales of the stypets, hauing in the middest of euerie one, fastened the head of a childe betwixt two wings, from the which betwixt one and other of the stypets, there hung in maner of a Garland a bundle of leaues and fruites bounde togither, and biggest towardes the midst, and vppon the top of the stypets or steales, was put a proiection to beare vp the rounde table before the Queene.

This frame was vnmoueable, but the round table was to be quickly taken of and on, according to the substance of the vessels at euery changing of the table.

And streight way as it were in the twinckling of an eye and turne of a hand, there was put vppon this three footed frame a rounde table of Golde, three foote by the Diameter, and of an indifferent thicknesse, and of this forme and bignes were all the rest.

Vpon this table was laide a Carpet perfumed, of cloth of Hormisine of a greene colour, euenly distended large and long downe to the pauement: fringed vpon the sides with twisted threede of the selfe same, and mixed with Siluer and Golde, depending downe vnder a border of imbroyderie of Pearle and pretious stone, with a hand-breadth of the pauement on euerie side hanging downe. And of this sort were all the Carpets bordered and fringed.

Afterwards followed a faire yoong Damosell and quicke, with a great Bason of Gold filled with the flowers of Violets, tawny, blew & white, and sweet smelling, as in the prime spring time, and strewing of them vpon the tables, except that before the Queene.

Her sacred maiestie, hauing put off her robe so gorgeous as Lolia, wife to Paulus Aemilius neuer saw in her husbandes tryumphes, and shee remayned in a gowne of purple Veluet, hauing wouen in it birdes, little beastes, leaues and flowers in knottes, the worke somewhat raysed vp with pearle and stone, with a thynne vayle couering it all ouer of silke syprusse, shewing through it the couered workes and cloath by reason of the cleare subtiltie and thinnesse thereof, and imperiall and gratious apparell.

After came in two beautifull Damosels bringing in an artificious fountaine continually running with water, and reassuming the same agayne, which was of fine golde, and in a vessell of a curious workmanshippe, which was brought before the Queene, and after the presenting of it vpon the table of golde they bowed their knees downe to the pauement, and like reuerence at the same instaunt made all the rest of the attendant Ladyes, both at the presenting of euery thing, and at the taking away. Three other faire Damosels followed neare after them, one carrying an Ewer of golde, the second a bason, and the other a towell of white silke.

The Queen whilest shee did wash her handes, one that caried the golden bason, receyued therin the water, that it might not fall agayne into the reassuming fountaine: and the other with the Ewrie, powred in as much sweete water as was borne away, because that the fountaine shoulde not be emptie, and hyndered in hys course. The third did wipe and drie her hands.

The broad and large Receptorie of this fountaine was carryed vpon foure little wheeles, which they drew vppon euerie table to wash the handes of all that were sette.

The brim of the vessell wherein the rising vp fountaine did stande, was adorned with bubbles of pearle standing vp, and vnder the same was sette an other of an other sorte, and both ioyned together with two claspes of an exquisite dipoliture, fine worke, and pretiously garnished. For among other iewelles of inestimable price, vppon the verie toppe in a flower, there was sette a Diamond in fashion of a peare, glistering and sparkling of a huge and vnseene bignes.

And as neare as my smell could tell mee, I did iudge the water to bee of Roses, mixt with the iuice of Lymon pilles, and a little Amber artificially composed, which yeelded a sweet and pleasant smell.

In the middest of this admirable and stupendious Court, there was set out a maruellous perfuming vessel, not so much for the excellent and perfecte substaunce thereof, which was pure and fine golde: but for the conspicuous, rare, and auncient fashion of the base, standing vpon three Harpyes feete, the which in a foliature made a trianguled illygament to the base, full of deuises, as the mettall required, ouer euerie Angle or corner whereof stoode three naked shapes of flying spirites orderly sette, of two cubites high, with their shoulders turned one towards an other, and somewhat neare together.

They stood vpon the base with the right foot towards the corner, and the lefte stretching towardes the fixed foot of the other boye. Their cubits bending vp, and holding the handle of the perfuming panne, verie slender in the steale, and vpward in fashion of a bowle, somewhat furrowed and broad lipped.

There were six in a round circuit, one towardes an other: And betwixt theyr shoulders in the Center point of the trianguled base, there rose vp a steale like an olde fashioned Candlesticke, holding on the toppe thereof suche a bowle or vessell as aforesaide, and so broade as did fill vp the voyde place in the middest betwixt the other six.

Which bowles were filled with burning coles couered ouer with embers, and in euery vessell vppon the ashes did boyle a little pot of gold, which contrary liquors infused with sweet odours.

And as I suspected, euery potte had seuerall water, as it were, one with Rose-water, another with water of Orange flowers, another of myrtle, tender greene Lawrell leaues, elder flowers, and diuers such lyke sociable symples. And these boyling together, they did yeelde a most pleasant and fragrant smell.

In the presence of the magnificent Queene there did alwayes wayte and attend three honourable Nymphes, their apparell beeing of golde and silke, maruelously wouen and adorned, and sette with pearle and stone. The lyninges of theyr gownes going about their snowie shoulders, and comming downe vppon theyr little round brestes to the lower parte of their wastes, of suche colour as the napkins, leauing to be seene the pleasaunt valleys betwixt their faire brestes, an extreame delight and desired nourishment vnto a narrowe looke and greedie eye, with a thousand small chaynes, pretie iewelles and flowers of golde in a f[ae]minine sort, a sweet bayte to carrie a man headlong into forgetfulnes of hymselfe, beeing inchaunted with choyse and amorous regards, farre passing the desire of any other delycate vyands. Their shooes of golde cutte with halfe Moones, and closed vp at the ioyning of the hornes or corners with buttons and flowers of gold-smithes woorke in a curious sorte, and the trammels of their faire and plentifull haire aboue their forheads and temples instrophiated with large and round oryent pearle.

They stoode thus on eyther hande and before the Queene with a singular and reuerent regarde, attending and readilie perfourming that charge whereunto they were appoynted. And these serued but an one Table: which beeing chaunged, they withdrewe themselues by, and stoode still vppon theyr feete arme in arme, other three hauing supplyed their places: And the three that wayted, shee in the middest was caruer.

The other vppon the right side helde vnder a plate if anie thing should fall by: and the thirde vppon the lefte hand held a most whyte and cleane towell of silke to drie her lippes, and in euery action a reuerence.

The towell was not vsed but once, and then cast by vpon the pauement, and carryed away by one that stoode neare. And so many morsels as shee did eate, so many sweete perfumed cleane towelles of silke plyted and finely wrought were vsed.

And the like was doone to euerie guest, for not one at that banquet did touch anie thinge sauing onelye the cuppe.

After that the Queene had washed, and had her first seruice, then all the rest did wash at the same fountaine, casting out water of it selfe, and reassuming the same in a wonderfull manner by two small pypes on eyther sides, and running vp straight in the middest from the bottome of the vessell, the deuyse whereof when I did vnderstand, I was much contented therewithall.

After the washing of the Queene first, and successiuely of all the rest, there was deliuered to euery one of the wayters a rounde ball of golde wyer-woorke full of small holes, and within stuft with Amber past of a most perfect composition, set with pretious stones, to the ende their hands, eyes, and sences should not be idle.

Then there at euerie chaunge of course, two Edeabriees that had the ordayning of the Queenes meate, did bring into the middest of the royall Court vppon foure turning wheeles a stately repositorie or cupbord, in fashion like vnto a shippe, and the rest like to a triumphant Chariot, of most fine golde, with many fishes and water monsters, and infinit other exquisite shapes maruelously wrought, and sette full of riche stones, the sparklings and glisterings whereof did shine rounde about the sides of the Court, and reincounter vpon the roundelles of the other before spoken iewelles, on euery side fitly placed, as if Phoebus had been sette by a Nymph to grace hir eyes and countenance with his shining brightnes.

To all which continuall glistering of ineffable workemanshippe, there could no more bee deuised of equall comparison, although it were the Temple at Babylon with the three golden statues.

Within the which was put all such necessaries perfumed, as were meete and conuenient for the chaunging of the tables, as clothes, flowers, cuppes, towelles, and vesselles, to powre out of, to drinke in, and plates to eate vpon.

And these two Nymphes plaustraries[A], did take them downe, and deliuer them (as neede required) to the wayters.

[Sidenote A: Which did draw in the cupbord.]

And the first Table beeing chaunged, euerie thing was brought backe agayne to the plaustraries, at whose going away the Trumpettes sounded in such a sorte, as Piseus Therrenus neuer came neare vnto, nor Maletus Trumpetor to the King of Hetruria.

And then they did wind their Cornettes, thus dooing euerie time that the repositorie was drawne out, vntil that it came in againe, at what time they ceased.

And when the Table was chaunged, they altered their musicall instruments, which beeing ceased, the singers began so heauenly, that it would haue caused the Syrens to sleepe, hauing mixed with their voyces still winde instruments of wood, such as the Troezein Dardanus neuer inuented.

And by this appoynted order, there was continually heard melodious soundes, and pleasaunt harmonies, sweete concords with delightfull Musicke presented, odoriferous perfume smelt, and stately viandes plentifully fedde of. And euerie thing whatsoeuer, without any defect of grace or delight answerable, according to the dignitie of the place.

To this first princely table, all the vessels and instruments togither with the table it selfe, were of pure fine Gold. Wherupon there was appresented a Cordiall confection, and as I could coniecture, it was made of the scraping of Vnicornes horne, Date stones and Pearle, often hette, and quenched and pownded small, Manna, Pineapple kernels, Rose water, Musk and Lyquid, Golde, in a precious composition by weight, and made Losenges with fine Sugar and Amylum.

This was eaten without any drinking vpon it, and it was a Confection to prohibite all Feuers, and to driue away Melancholy wearines.

This being done in a moment, all things were taken vp and remoued, the Violets cast vpon the ground, and the table bare. And assoone as this was done, the table was laide againe couered with cloth of Talasike, and also the wayters, and as at the first, there was cast vpon them the sweete flowers of Cedars, Orenges, and Lymons, and vpon that, they did appresent in vessels of Beryl, and of that precious stone was the Queenes table (except the skinking pottes which were all of pure fine Gold) fiue Fritters of paste of a Saffron colour, and crusted ouer with extreeme hotte Rose water, and fine pownded Sugar, and then againe cast ouer with musked water, and with fine Sugar like frost vpon Ise. These Seruices of a most pleasant taste, and of sundry fashions were laid in thus. The first, in oyle of the flowers of Orenges. The second, in oyle of Gilliflowers. The third, in oyle of the floures of Gessamin. The fourth, in pure Oyle of Beniamin.

And the last, in the oyle of Muske and Amber. And when we had wel tasted and eaten of the same delectable meat, there was deliuered to vs a goodly cup of the aforenamed Beryl, with his couer, and couered ouer that also with a thinne Veyle of silke and Gold curiously folded into the fourme of a Canapie, the ends cast ouer the shoulders of the bearers, and hanging down their backe.

And in this sort they did present all drinking vessels and others, with meates and sawces couered. Within the drinkyng cup they had infused a precious Wine, so as mee thought that the Gods of the Elysian fieldes, had transformed their power into the sweetnes of the lyquor: surpassing the wine of Thassus.

Without delaie (after our drinking this table being taken away, and the sweete flowers cast vpon the pauement), there was forthwith spred a cloth of murry silke and carnation: with Roses white, redde, Damaske, Muske, and yealow cast vppon the same. And presently new wayters brought in (apparrelled in the same colours) sixe pieces of bread cut for euery one, tossed and dressed with refined marrow, sprinckled ouer with Rose water, Saffron, and the iuice of Orenges, tempering the taste and gilded ouer, and with them sixe pieces of pure manchet were set downe. And next vnto them a confection, of the iuice of Lymons tempered with fine Sugar, the seedes of Pines, Rose water, Muske, Saffron, and choyce Synamon, and thus were all the sawces made with conuenient gradation and deliuery. The vessels were of Topas and the round table.

This third magnificent table being taken vp as before said, there was presently an other innouated, with a cloth of silke smooth, and of a yealow colour, (the wayters sutable) and strewed with Lilly Conually, and Daffadil, immediately this course was presented, seuen morsels of the flesh of a Partridge in a sharpe broth, and so many pieces of pure white Manchet. The sauce Acceres, minced and dissolued in Sugar thrice sodden, Amylum, Saunders, Muske and Rose water. The vessels and the rounde table of Chrysolite. Lastly, they offered a precious drinking cup, and so obserued in the rest.

The fourth table beeing taken away, the fift was reuested with a cloth of silke, of a crimosen colour, and in like sort the Nimphish apparrel. The flowers of purple, yealow, white, and tawny. The Seruis, eight morsels of the flesh of a Pheasant rosted lying in the grauie, and withall so many pieces of fine white manchet. The sauce was this, water of Orenge flowers, the iuice of Pomegranets, Sugar, Cloues, and Cynamon. The vesselles of Smaragde, and the table of the Souereigne Queene.

This beeing taken away verie solemnely, there was spred an other cloth of silke of a purple colour, and so the apparrel of the wayters.

The flowers were of three sortes, of Iessamine, tawny, yealow, and white. The Seruice was nine morsels of the flesh of a restoratiue Peacocke, moystened in his grauie. The sauce was most greene and tart, with Pistacke, Nuttes pownded, Sugar, Cypricum, Amylum, and Muske, Time, white Marioram, and Pepper. The vesselles of Saphyre, and the Princely Table.

At the seuenth chaunge, they brought in a sumpteous table of white Iuory, bordered, trayled, and finely wrought with many small pieces vpon the precious wood of Aloes, and ioyned & glued togither, and from one side to the other, wrought with knottes and foliature, flowers, vesselles, monsters, little Birdes, and the strikes and caruings filled vp with a black paste and mixture of Amber and Muske. This mee thought was a most excellent thing and sumpteous breathing out, a most delightful sweet smel. The cloth white and subtily wrought with drawne worke with Satten silke, the ground powdered and filled, and the worke white and plaine, with the representation of shapes, byrdes, beastes, and flowers, and in like sort the apparel of the wayters. The flowers Lady steale, Rape, Violet, and all sortes of sweete Gilliflowers. And thus there varied euerie where such diuersitie of smelles, seuerally brought in, and so delightfull to the sences, as I cannot sufficiently expresse.

Then there was giuen to euerie one a confection in three morsels of the shell, fish, Dactilus, with Pistacke, Nut kernels pownded and put into Rose water and Sugar, of the Ilandes, and Muske and leafe Golde, beaten and adulterated therwith, that euerie piece taken vp, seemed as if it had beene all Gold.

The vessels were of Iacynth, and the table circular. An apt and conuenient stone to so excellent disposition and royall board and straunge banquets, suche as before were neuer heard of.

After the taking away of these wonderfull Confections, and the flowers cast downe vpon the pauement in a princely magnificence, there was presently brought in, a great vessell of Gold full of kindled coales, into the which the table cloathes, napkins and towelles of silke were throwne, whiche presently burned light, and after that beeing taken out and cooled, they were whole, vnhurt and cleane, as at the first. And this yet was the wonderfull straungest of all the rest. And then the tables and frames were taken downe and carried away.

Which most excellent order and sightes, the more that I carefully indeuoured to consider of them, the more ignorant and amazed I founde my selfe.

But in all thinges assuredly I did take great pleasure with my intended admiration, in seeing of such, so great, plentifull, and tryumphant sumpteousnes, of so incredible costly a banket, that it is better to holde my peace then not to speake sufficiently in the report thereof. For that the bankets of Sicilia be in respect but beggerly, and so were the stately Ornaments of Attalus. The Corinthian vessels, the dainties of Ciprus, and Saliarie suppers.

Yet notwithstanding so supreame and excessiue alacritie, and cordiall delectation, and that onely and extreeme pleasure (occasioned by such and so vnexpected delightes) by one of those three which in the last chaunge attended, was quayled, ouerthrowne, interrupted, lamed, intercepted and made vaine. For shee did represent in her behauiour, the sweet iesture and resemblance of Polia, stirring vp by them in me stealing regardes.

This was no small hinderance vnto mee, in the takyng of those pleasant dainties and princely refection. Yet notwithstanding my eyes would now and then with much adoo, bee withdrawne to beholde the bewtie of the Iewels and precious stones, sparkeling and glistering in euerie place, in such diuersities of straunge and vnseene gloriousnes and conspicuous decoraments, as if they had all ought a duetie to her, which made mee with an immoderate desire, to behold the correspondency of her excellent bewtie.

Lastly, in suche order and sorte, as aforesaide, the tables beeing taken away, I hung downe my heade, because that I might not followe after the last iunckates which I had lost by minding of her that ministred.

Then first before the sacred Maiestie and royall person of the Queene, and afterwards to vs, fiue fayre Nymphes apparelled in blewe silke and golde curiously wouen togeather in workes, did all together appresent themselues.

The middlemost of them did beare a braunch of coorrall, lyke a tree, such as is not founde amongst the Ilandes Orchades, of one cubite high, which stoode as vppon a little mountayne, which was the couer of an old fashioned vessell of pure gold, in forme of a Challyce, as high agayne as the couer and the tree of coorrall, full of curious workmanshippe and leafe worke, neuer made in our age, nor the like seene.

Betwixt the gracylament of the foote and the cuppe, it was knitte together with a handle of inestimable workemanship, and in lyke manner the foote and the bowle were of an excellent anaglyphie of foliature, monsters and byformed Scyllules, so exquisitely expressed, as could be imbossed, chased, or ingrauen by proportionate circulation.

And the mordycant couer of the same was thicke set with incomparable iewelles: and in lyke sorte all the base and handle whereas conueniencie requyred, and glystering about.

Vppon the braunches of the coorrall, there were artificially sette certayne open flowers with fiue leaues, some of Saphyre, some of Iacynth and Berill, and in the middest of them a little round seede of golde, fastening the leaues to the stalke of corrall.

Which yoong woman reuerently bowing to the earth with her right knee, reseruing the other still vp, whereuppon shee helde this couer of coorrall, which also besides the flowers, had vppon the pointes and toppes of other twigges or sprouts curiously infixed monstrous great pearle. An other of them had a cuppe full of pretious lyquor, better then that which the prowde Cleopatra gaue vnto the Romane Captaine: The reste did execute their offices as aforesaid, and plucking off one after another, with a little instrument with two teeth of golde they offering the same fruits vnto vs, to me vnknowne, for that I had neuer seene the lyke, we did tast them.

But the vnexpected pleasure of them, and sweetnes of their tast, was no otherwise to me than like a gratious substance wanting his desired forme.

And there were restored agayne the balles of golde before mentioned.

Vppon this appeared an other maruellous woorke, that was a perpetuall running fountaine artificially deuysed of the aforesaid matter, but of an other notable fashion and workemanshippe, founded vppon an immoueable axeltree, vppon the which two wheeles turned about.

Aboue the which stood an vnequal quadrature three foot long, two foot broad, and six foote high.

In euery angular part did sit a Harpie with both her winges extended and stretched vp to the breadth of a higher vessell, standing vp vppon the middest of the measured quadrangule, coronized at the extreme and vpper parts, and beautified with chanelling and foliature, circumuesting the lower part.

And vppon euerie side the same diuided into three, the middle parte betwixt the fall of the waters intercepted, did contayne in halfe bodyes carued, a tryumph of Satyres and Nymphes, with Trophees, and exquysite actions, excepte the fore-part and hinder parte moderately sinuated and bent in. The which in steade of squadred lyneament, did contayne a roundnesse waued betweene, in the which was maruellously ingrauen a little sacrifice with an olde Aultar on eyther sides, with manie figures and actions, the rest that was voyde, the tayles of the foresayde Harpyes ioyning togeather, and turning heere and there into leaues, did excellently couer the same.

Out of the medyan center of the equature and quadrangule afore specified and described out of an antyke folyature, did ryse vp an olde fashioned vessell, and verie beautifull, the cyrcuite whereof did not exceede the content of the quadrangulate playne, and this with all the rest of the woorke, and euerie proportionate disquisition, tryall, and examination, both in the highest breadth and thicknesse, with moste conuenient vesseling lineamentes, diligently delymated and fyled, and then finished with an absolute and depolyte deformation.

The which out of the suppressed orifice thereof did ascend vp an other hollowe vessell, the compasse whereof did exceede the aforesaide subiect vessell furrowed and channelled round about, of a great breadth and large brymmes so wel fashioned, as is possible for any goldsmith to beate out with his hammer.

In the center poynt whereof did rise and mount an other vessell of incredible workemanship.

In the bottome of which thirde there were small ridges swelling outwardes, the toppes of them compassed about with a row of diuerse inestimable stones, bearing out and differing in colours, as best might content the eye of a curious Lapidarie and skilfull vnderstanding.

Vppon the same on eyther sides was made a heade of a monster, from the which on both handes did proceede the garnishing thereof in an exquysite and most rare worke of leaues, inuesting the same about with the congresse of the opposyte heade, and finely gracing that parte of the vessell.

And in the bearing out of the lippe of the vessell ouer the perpendicular poynt of the heade there was fastened a rynge, from the which vppon eyther sides there hung downe a garland of braunches, leaues, flowers, and fruites growing bigger towardes the middest, with a perpolyte bynding to eyther ringes.

Ouer the middle bending of the garland, and vnder the proiecture of the lyppe of the vessell, there was fixed and placed the head of an olde man, with his beard and haire of his head transformed into nettle leaues, and out of whose mouth gushed out the water of the fountayne by art continually into the hollownes of the broad vessell vnder this.

Vppon the mouth of this last described vessell did mount vppe a pretyous hyll maruellously congest, and framed of innumerable rounde pretious rocke stones closing one with another vnequally, as if nature had ioyned them growing, making a rounde composed hill, beautifully glistering of dyuerse sortes and colours in a proportionate bignes.

And aloft vppon the toppe of this little hill, there grewe a fine pomgranate tree, the body, boughes and fruite made all of golde, the leaues of greene Smaragde. The fruit of theyr naturall bignesse heere and there aptly placed, their sides cut open, and in place of kernelles they were full of most perfecte Rubyes, as bigge as the kernels.

After that, the ingenious Artificer wanting no inuention, hee seperated the graynes in steade of the fylme with siluer foyle.

And moreouer, in other apples, opened, but not rype, hee redoubled the thicknesse of the foyle, making the kernelles of an oryentall colour, so also hee made the flowers of perfect corrall, in the cuppes full of bees of golde.

Besides this, out of the toppe of the hollowe steale, lyke a pype, there came out a turning steale, the lowest part whereof rested in a heade, framed from the middle trunke or pype iust ouer the axeltree.

Which steale or stypet beeing strongly fastened, it bare vp a vessell of Topas of an auncient forme, the bowle whereof in the bottome was broad, and swelling out with rigges in the opening, rarely bewtified with a coronice, and put vnder with another.

In which closing and binding together in foure equall diuisions, there were foure winged heades of a little childe, with foure pipes in their mouthes.

The rest mounted vp so much as the lower bignesse of the vessell was, beeing closed vp at the orifice with an inuerse foliature. Vppon the which there was placed an other vessell as it were a circular couer of a most curious leafe worke, with a smal coronice, and an artificiall orifice.

From the bottome of which there beganne a flourished tayle of a Dolphin fastened and sowldered to the gracylament of the vessell, descending downe with his heade finned with leaues, to the circulating brymme of the vessell where the boyes heades were fixed. And with a moderate swelling out about the head, and streightning in towardes the tayle, they fitted for the eares in a beautiful manner. And all that inclining part with an exquisite polishing did make an expresse shewe of most curious lineaments.

The ypper vessell was so perfectly wrought, that when the wheele was mooued, the steale with the vessell vppon the toppe thereof, turned about and powred out water through the tree, and when the wheele stoode still, then that lefte turning.

The wheeles were halfe couered with two winges, the typpes turning one one way, and the other an other way, adorned with a chasing of Mermaydes or Scillaes.

This excellent peece of woorke thus running before euerie one, and weeting our handes and feete of an incredible sweetnesse, such as I neuer had felt before, we dryed our hands, and it was carryed away.

And beeing thus sprinckled with this rare and maiesticall water, the wayters with great reuerence presented vnto the Queene first a great cuppe of golde, and her highnesse affably saluting vs, drunke Nectar, and afterwardes euerie one of vs after other, with reuerent, mutual, and solemne honours done, did drinke a most pleasaunt farewell and shutting vp of all the pretious dainties that we had tasted and fed vpon.

Lastly, the redolent flowers beeing diligently taken away, and all thinges that had beene vsed borne from thence, the pauement remayned pure and shining as a most cleare steele glasse, and as it were emulating the pretious iewelles rownde about.

And euerie one beeing sette in his appoynted place, the high and mightie Princesse did commaund a company to come in, and stande vppon the diasper checkers, neuer the like before seene or imagined of anie mortall creature.

Poliphilus followeth to shew besides this great banket of a most excellent daunce or game, and how the Queene did commit him to two of her Nymphes, the which did leade and conduct him to the sight of many wonderfull things, and as they talked, shewed vnto him the secrecies of such things as hee stood in doubt of. Finally, how they came to the three gates, in the middlemost whereof, hee remained amongst the amorous Nymphes.

Hauing spoken something of the exceeding & incomparable glorie, triumph, vnknowne treasure, plentiful delights, solemne banket, and the most honourable and sumptuous drinking of this most happie and rich Queene, if I haue not distinctly and perfectly expressed her chiefest dignitie, let not the curious company maruel thereat, for whatsoeuer rype, sharpe, and readie wit, with a franke, eloquent and plentiful toong adorned, is not able to performe the least part of his duetie.

And much lesse I, who continually suffer in euerie secret place of my burning heart, an vncessant strife notwithstanding the absence of Polia my mistres, the owner of all my skil, and imprisoner of my perfections.

Besides that, in truth the many maruels in excellency, and varietie vnhard of, so vncoth, rare and straunge vnlikes inestimable, and not humane, haue so oppressed, laden & born down my sences, with the greedie and excessiue contemplation and beholding of their variable diuersities, as that from point to point I am no whit able to describe them, and much lesse worthie to publish them.

All and the most that I can do, is to thinke of the rich apparrel, exquisite prouision, curious dressings, perfect ambitious and wounding bewties without imperfections, their deepe iudgements, Aemilian eloquence, & bountie more then princely, the notable disposition and order of Architecture, the durable Symmetrie and proportion of the building, perfect and absolute, the noblenes of the Art of Masonrie and Lapycidarie, the directions and placing of Columnes, the perfection of statues and representations, the adornment of the walles, the diuersitie of the stones, the stately entrance & princely porch, large Gallery, artificious pauements, no man will thinke with what cost and charge bewtified and hanged with precious Arras and Verdure. The spacious and loftie inner Court, goodly bedchambers, inner withdrawing chambers, parlours, bathes, librarie and pinacloth, where coat Armors escuchions, painted tables, and counterfeates of strangers were kept, & with a maiestical comelines and order placed and solemnely distributed.

In which conceiuing capacitie, maruellous performance, incredible charge and high commendation of the most excellent Artificer, woorthily allowed in euerie partition and elegant conuention of exquisite Lineaments. I also beheld a marueilous twisted conlignation or couering of gold-smiths work, ouer a foure square plaine Court, growing vp alike, without comparison like a heauen, with a disposite distance of many sorted proportions, with sundry lybellated Dimensions, shadowing ouer the Court, with an Arched Eminence, which was vnder, adorned with coronised Lyneaments and grauings, thereunto conuenient, as Fasheols, Gululles, and Oualling, and the leaues of Achanthus, licking vp as it were in the corners of the quadranguled Court. With Roses and the growing order of their leaues, the top leafe least, their iaggings about the leaues, and space betweene leafe and leafe. All thinges couered with pure fine gold and Azure colour, with diuers other proportions and counterfets of substance, equal with their workemanship. The roofing of Salances King of Colchis, may not compare with this.

Then the delightful fruitfulnes of the set hedges, Orchards, watered Gardens, springing Fountaines, current streames in Marble Channelles, conteined, framed, and held in, with an incredible Art, greene Hearbes, still freshe and flowering, a sweete ayre, warme and spring windes, with a confused charme of singing and chirping birdes, a pure, faire and bright aire, and stil continuing temperate and healthfull, country free from danger and cleane, No craggy nor rockie places, nipt and blasted with sharpe windes, nor burnt with an vntemperate hotte Sunne, but vnder a sweet and pleasant temperature, in a moderate meane reioycing, betwixt two extreemes, the fields fruitful and without tillage and manuring, yeelding all commodities, warme hilles, greene woods and sweet coole shadowes.

Also the inestimable furniture, the attendant housholde and great number, their excellent seruice, the diuersitie of youthes, and all in the prime of their yeares. The delightfull presence of the Nymphes, both attending abroad in the presence and chambers, her baser sort, their honourable and gracious behauiours, their diuersitie of apparrel, attire and dressings set with Pearle and stone, in an allowed, pleasant & louely sort, as any can imagine or expresse. With these infinite riches, supreame delightes, and immeasurable treasure, neither Darius, Cr[ae]sus, or any other humane state, whatsoeuer might any way compare.

And thus to conclude, being ouercome with the glorie of them, I know not what more to say, but that I stood amazed, and as it were senceles, and yet in great delight and without wearines, beholding those present obiects, and casting with my selfe what fate and destinate should conduct and leade mee into such a place.

But afterwardes finding my selfe in such an accumulation of glorie, pleasant seate, happie Country, great contentment and tryumphant company, such as Clodius the Player in Tragedies neuer had seene. I was but moderately conuerted, notwithstanding the promise of the Queene, to fauour my amorous desire, accounting all, but as eye pleasures that hitherto I had seene and had been presented vnto me, stil desiring a greater happines.

For which cause, and for the greater setting out of the excesse and abounding excellency, beyond all the rest of her royall magnificence, euery one sitting in their place after the miraculous, wonderful, and sumpteous banket, without any delaie, she commanded a game to be playd by parsonages, not onelie woorthie the beholding, but of eternall remembrance, which was a game at Chesse, in this sort as followeth.

By the entraunce of the curtaine there came in thirty two Nymphes, whereof sixteene were apparrelled in cloth of gold (eyght vniformally without difference of degrees) afterwards one of those sixteene was apparrelled in princely robes lyke a King, and the other lyke a Queene, with two tower-keepers or Rookes, as wee tearme them, two counsell-keepers or Secretaries, wee tearme them Bishoppes, and two Knights. In like sort were eight other in cloth of siluer, vnder the like gouernement and magistracie as aforesaid.

Euerie one of these according to their duties, tooke theyr places vppon the checkers of the pauement, that is, sixteene in golde of one side in two rowes, and sixteene in siluer of the contrarie side.

The Musicke beganne vppon a sodayne with a rare inuention to sound a charge with a pleasaunt concord, participating togeather a sweete and thundering melodie, hauing in it a deuine furie.

At the measured sounde and time of the Musicke vppon their checkers, as it pleased the King to commaund, the pawns turning themselues with a decent reuolution, honouring the King and the Queene, leapt vppon an other checker before them.

The King of the white men, his musicke sounding, commaunded her forward that stoode before the Queene, and the same with lyke reuerent behauiour marched forward her continent, and stoode still. And according to the mensuration of the musicall time in this order, so they chaunged their places, or continued vppon the checkers dauncing, vntill that they were eyther taken or commaunded forward by the King.

If the musicke kepte still one time, those eyght vnyforme pawnes did spende the time in marching forwardes into an other checker, neuer comming backe vntill that worthily without touch or appalement of courage, they had leapt vppon the line of that square where was the residence of the Queene, proceeding straight on, vnlesse she tooke a prisoner by a Diagonick line.

The Bishop went in a Diagonike line, still holding that coloured checker wherein he stood first.

The Knight ouer two checkers before him taketh the next of eyther handes, and of a contrary colour to that hee stood in immediately before.

The Castle-keepers or Rookes might passe ouer manie checkers streight on as they pleased at commaundement, so that they might goe one, two, three, foure, or fiue checkers, keeping a measure, and not staying in their march.

The King might goe vpon anie checker if none were in it, or backeward, and cause any other to remooue for him, and make him roome.

The Queene might goe any way, but it is best when shee is neare her husband on euery side.

And whensoeuer the officers of eyther of the Kings shall finde one without guarde of helpe, they take her prisoner, and both kissing one another, she that is ouercome and taken, goeth foorth and standeth by.

Thus they continued playing and dauncing according to the time of the musicke, with greate pleasure, solace, and applause, vntill the King of the siluer Nymphes was victour and conquerour.

This solemne sport, what with resistance flying backe, and seconding of one an other, with such a measured circulation, reuerence, pause, and modest continencie, endured the space of an hower, whereat I tooke such pleasure and delyght, that I imagyne (and not amysse) that I was rapt vpon the sodaine from the liking of the sportes of Olympus to a newe felicitie.

This first game beeing ended, and conquest obtayned, all retourned into theyr accustomed places, and in like manner as at the first, so the second time euerie one in theyr appoynted checkers, the Musicke chaunging theyr measure, so the moouings and gestures of the players were altered.

And obseruing the time of the musicke in a conuenient order, and approoued gesture and arte, that it was no neede to commaund or say any thing.

But the cunning and experte Nymphes, with theyr plentifull tresses effused ouer theyr delicate shoulders hung wauing, and in theyr motion forwardes would streame out at length, somewhat shewing their backes, about their heades wearing Garlandes and Crownes of Violets. And when any one was taken, they lifted vp their armes and clapt handes. Thus playing and coursing vp and downe, the first continued still conquerour.

In the last game and daunsing, they beeing all returned to their distributed places, the Musicke againe sounded a measure phrygiall in as perfect and prouoking furie as euer Marcias of Phrygia inuented.

The King in robes of Golde, caused the yoong Damosell that stood before the Queene, to marche forwarde to the third Checker, direct in the first remooue, whereupon immediately there was seene a battaile and Torney, with so swift and sodaine forces, bending themselues to the grounde as it were lying close vpon their Garde, and presently vpon it capering vp with a turne twise aboue ground, one iust opposite against an other, and vpon their downe come withall a turne vpon the toe thrise about.

All this Action they did at one time, with such a grace and agilitie, as nothing could be better, with their lowe inclinatitions, high Capers and Turnings, without affectation of strayning, as it should seeme with facilitie and careles ease at pleasure and sweete iestures, as in such a thing may bee imagined, and not else where to bee seene. Neuer any one troubling an other, but who so was taken prisoner, did presently kisse their Conquerour, and voyded the place. And the lesser number that there was, the more pleasure it was to perceiue the pollicies of either sides to ouercome other.

And such an order and motion was vsed of euerie one, in a commendable sort without fault, as the measure and time of the Musike appointed, stirryng euen them that looked on to haue a motion in their sinowes and mindes to doo the lyke, there was such a concord and agreement betwixt nature and the Musike especially, seeing the performance of the same in the actions of others.

Vpon this occasion I was moued to call to remembrance the force of Timotheus, the most cunning musitian, who with his voice and measure vppon his Instrument would prouoke the great Macedonian Alexander, violently to take Armes, and presently altering his voyce and tune, to forget the same, and sit downe contentedly. In this third game, they apparrelled in gold did triumph in the victoritie.

Thus honourably with exceeding pleasure and great solace, this sumpteous feast beeing ended, euerie one framed themselues to sit downe. And I rysing vp, made reuerence before the Royall seate of her sacred maiestie, and kneelyng downe vpon my knee, she thus said vnto me.

Poliphilus, forget now, and wype out of thy remembrance all forepassed griefes, occursiue troubles, pensiue conceites, and ouergone daungers, because that I am assured of thy forthwith full contentment of desire.

And seeing that thy determination is to perseuere resolutely in the amorous flames and loue of Polia, I thinke it conuenient, that for the recouerie thereof, thou repaire to the three Portes, which are the resident places of the high and mightie Queene Telosia, in which place vppon euerie of those Portes and Gates, thou shalt see her tytle and name inscrypt. Read it diligently, but for thy better direction and safegarde, thou shalt haue to accompany thee, two of my handmaydes, which know verie well the way thither, and therefore go on vndoubtedly with a happie successe.

And thereupon with a princely bountie, she drew of from her finger a Ring of gold, hauing set in it an Anchit, and deliuered it vnto me to remember her bountie by.

At this aduise and precious gift, I became amphasiatike, not knowing what to saie or doo, in requitall or giuing of thankes. Which her Highnes perceiuing, motherly and with a naturall promptnes in a maiestical grauitie, turned her countenance to two noble and goodly Nymphes, attending neere vnto her Royall and imperiall Throne, saying thus to one of them vpon her right side.

Logistica, you shall bee one that shall accompanye our guest Poliphilus, and with a sacred and honourable grace, shee turned to the left hande saying, Thelemia, you shall also go with him. And both of you shewe and instruct him at what Gate hee must remayne, and then Poliphilus, they shall bring you to an other mightie and maiesticall Queene, who if shee shall bee bountifull vnto thee in entertainment thou art happie, if contrarie, then discontented.

Notwithstandyng, none doth knowe her intent by her countenance, because that sometime shee sheweth her selfe full of fauour, loue, and pleasant dispositions. An other time shee is malignant, frowarde, disdainefull, with vnstable incursyue passions. And shee it is that determineth such euents as thou seekest after. And for her obscure condition, shee is rightly called Thelosia.

Her residence is not in suche a stately Pallaice, as thou seest mee to dwell in.

Therefore I would haue thee to vnderstande, that the chiefe woorkeman in the creation of nature, did make no thyng comparable to mee, neyther can the earth shew thee greater treasure then to come to my presence and taste of my bountie, obtaine my fauour and participate of my qualitie.

And therefore esteeme of it according to the value, for that thou findest in me, is a heauenly Tallent aboue all earthly Iewels, for I haue not had my residence in man since his fall.

They may imagine of mee, but they knowe mee not, neyther doo I beare any rule with them to the good of my selfe.

Nowe the Queene Telosia, shee dwelleth in a place of cloudie darkenes, her house is kept close and shut, for that shee will not shew her selfe vnto man, nor anothomise, discouer, and laye open her selfe vnto any as shee is, and for this cause the euent of her variable determination is kept secret.

But in a maruellous sort considerately, shee transformeth her selfe against the haire, into diuers fashions, not manifesting her selfe, although desired.

And when the auncient Gates shall be opened vnto thee, in euerie one shall bee written what shall befall thee, but thou shalt not perceiue the same, vnless that in some part thy vnderstandyng and wisedome enigmatically and with a right and sincere iudgement looke vnto it, and quickly consider of it, for because that shee ambyguously chaungeth her selfe in habite and countenance, and through this doubtfull anymaduersion, a man remaineth deceiued of his expectation without remedie.

And therefore Polphilus, that which these my consigned trustie and appoynted handmaydes by suggestion shall perswade thee vnto, and at what Gate thou oughtest to enter in and remayne, euen which of those two it shall best please thee to giue eare vnto, doo: for they haue some vnderstanding of her.

And hauyng thus spoken, shee made a signe or becke with her head to the two Nymphes Logistica and Thelemia, who presently without delaie, were obedient to her commaund. And I beeing readie to speake, neyther knew what to say, or yet durst to so high a maiestie, and for so great bounties giue a word.

The two appoynted companyons of my iourney, verie fauourablye, and with a familiar readines and virginlike iestures, tooke holde of mee, one by the right hande, and the other by the left, and reuerently obteyning licence, first of the Queene, and takyng theyr leaue of the rest, went out the same way that I came in.

And I beeyng desirous and not satisfied, turned mee about towardes the conspicuous Poarch, to beholde diligently the artificious Pallaice, wonderfull and perfinite of the Art of building.

The subtiltie of which, no humane excogitation is able to imitate.

And therefore I thought that nature had made that for a maruell of all her woorkes for commoditie, vse, grace, bewtie, ayre, and continuall durablenes.

For which cause, I was excessiuely desirous to staie and looke vppon it, but my leaders and guides would not suffer mee, and yet by the theft of my eye in the Zopher, ouer the gate I noted this inscription, HO TE:S PHUSEO:S OLBOS.

And as muche as with my quicke sences I could carrie, I tooke in my going foorth, with as greate pleasure and delight as is possible to expresse. O happie were hee that myght bee but a drudge or kitchin slaue in suche a Paradice.

Nowe beeing come into the base Court, compassed and sette about with Orenge trees, Thelemia in great curtesie saide thus vnto mee, besides and aboue all the maruellous and woonderfull thinges which thou hast yet seene and behelde, there bee fower yet remayning behynde whiche thou shalt see.

And vppon the lefte side of the incomparable pallace, they brought mee into a fayre Orchyard of excogitable expence, tyme, and subtletie of woorke-manshippe, the contynent and cyrcuite whereof was as muche as the plot of the Pallace, wherein was the resydence and abiding of the Queene.

Round about fast by the walles of the Orchyard there were set conuenyent garden pots in the which in stead of growing plantes, euerie one was of pure glasse, exceeding a mans imagination or beleefe, intorpiaried[A] boxe the rootes and stalkes of golde, whereout the other proceeded.

[Sidenote A: Ars toparia is the way of cutting of trees in gardens or other places to proportions or shapes.]

Betwixt one and other of the which was placed a Cyprusse tree, not aboue two paces high, and the boxe one pace full of manyfolde maruellous symples, with a moste excellent imitation of nature, and pleasaunt diuersitie in the fashions of flowers in distinct colours verie delyghtfull.

The playne labiall compassing about the quadrant Orchyard comming out from the walles as a seate for these aforesayde garden pottes and trees to stande vppon, was subcoronized with golde by excellent lyneamentes wrought and adorned. The vpper face whereof, and whereuppon those pottes and trees did stande, was couered with a playster of glasse gilte, and a curious historographie to be seene in the same, and compassed about and holden in with wyering and netting of golde.

The wall that compassed about the Orchyard with a conuenient distance, was bellyed out with columnes of the same matter, and inuested with flowring bindings naturally proportioned, and heere and there were quadrangulate columnes of golde chamfered, arching from one to an other, with a requisite beame Zophor and coronice, with a meete and conuenient proiecture ouer the chapter of glasse vppon the round.

The substance of which subiect proiecture of the bryttle matter, was of counterfayte diasper diuersly coloured and shining. Which bryttle substance had some void space betwixt that and the other.

The mouth of the arches were stopped with rombyes of cleare glasse in forme of a tryangle, and the pypes beautified all ouer with an Encaustick painting, verie gratious to the sight of the beholder.

The ground was here and there couered with great round balles of glasselyke gunne stones, and other fine proportions much pleasing, with a mutuall consent vnmooueable lyke pearles shining without any adulteration by folyature. From the flowers did breath a sweet fragrancie by some cleare washing with oyle for that purpose.

There most cunningly did Logistica lyke an Orator make a discourse in commendation physically of that excellent confection of the noblenes of the substaunce, secrecie of the art, and straungenes of the inuention. The like is not to bee found.

And after shee sayde, Poliphilus lette vs goe and ascende vp this mount nexte the Garden, and Thelemia remayning at the stayre foote, wee ascended vp to the playne toppe. Where shee shewed vnto mee, with a heauenly eloquence, a Garden of a large compasse, made in the forme of an intricate Laborynth allyes and wayes, not to bee troden, but sayled about, for insteade of allyes to treade vppon, there were ryuers of water.

The which mysticall place was of a verie lustie mould and fruitfull, replenished with all sorts of fruits, beautified with faire springs, and greene hearbes and flowers, full of all solace and delight. Whereupon she spake thus.

I doe imagine (Poliphilus) that you doe not vnderstande the conditionate state of this maruellous feate, and therefore giue attendance to my wordes.

Whosoeuer entereth in cannot come backe, but as you see yonder mountaines heere and there distributed, seuen circuits and the about goings distant one from another.

And the extreeme molestation and sorrowe of the enterers in, is this: In the myddle mountayne within the center thereof, and open mouth of the same, there lurketh inuisibly a deadly deuouring olde Dragon, hee is vtter destruction to some, and others are not hurte to death by him. Hee cannot bee seene nor shunned, neyther doth hee leaue any vnassaulted, but eyther in the entrie, or in their iourney, hee destroyeth or woundeth. And if hee killeth them not betwixt one mountayne and another, they passe the seuen circuites to the next mount.

And they that enter in by the first tower or mount (wherevppon is this tytle inscript DOXA KOSMIKE:O:S POMPHOLYS.) They sayle in a little shippe with a prosperous winde, and securely at pleasure: the fruites and flowers fall downe vppon theyr hatches, and with great solace and pleasure they cut through by the seauen reuolutions with a merry winde, vntill the second mount bee discouered and come vnto. And marke and beholde (Poliphilus) howe cleare and bright the ayre is in the entrance, ouer that it is in the center, about the which is thicke darknesse.

In the first mount or tower there is alwayes resident a pittifull matron and bountifull, before whome standeth an auncient appoynted vessell called Vrna, in a readinesse, hauing vppon it seauen Greeke letters as thus THESPION, full of appoynted honie, and to euerie one that entereth in, verie curteously and with a good will shee giueth one of them without respecte of state and condition, but according to theyr enterance.

These beeing receyued, they came foorth, and begin to sayle in the Laborynth, the water beeing enuyroned vpon either sides, with roses, trees, and fruits.

And hauing sayled the first seuen reuolutions of Aries, and being come to the second mount, there they meet with innumerable troopes of yong women of diuerse conditions, which demaund of euerie one the sight of theyr honye, which beeing shewed vnto them, they straightwayes knowe the propertie of the hony, and the goodnesse thereof, and embracing him as theyr guest, they inuyte him with them to passe through the next seuen reuolutions, and with diuerse exercises according to her inclyned promptnes, they accompany them to the third mount.

In this place hee that will goe on forwards with his companion, shee will neuer abandon or leaue him: for there bee farre more pleasaunt voluptuous women. And many refuse the first and make choyse of them.

In the putting off from the second mount, to come to the third, they finde the current of the water somewhat agaynst them, and stand in neede of oares, but beeing fallen off from the thirde mount, making theyr course towardes the fourth, they finde the tide and streame more against them, and in these seauen oblique courses their pleasure is variable and vnconstant.

Beeing come to the fourth mount, they finde other yoong women combatting and fighting, and those examining theyr pottes of honie, they intice them to theyr exercise, but those that refuse to leaue theyr first companions, they let passe together, and in this cyrcuite the water is yet more contrary and troublesome, where there is neede of great studie and labour to passe on.

And beeing come to the fift mount, they finde it speculable, lyke a mirrour wherein they see theyr representations, and in that they take great delyght, and with a feruent desire they passe on their laboursome course. In that mount they see this sentence and golden saying manyfested, Medium tenuere beati: not lyneall, nor locall, but temporall, where by a sincere and perfect examination hee discerneth that meane wherewith he hath ioyned his felicitie, wisdome and riches: which if not well, in the rest of his course he faynteth the more.

And losing off from thence, the Waters by reason of the broken circles, beginne to be verie slyding towards the Center, so that with small or no rowing they are brought to the sixt Mount. And there they finde elegant Women, with a shew of heauenly modestie and diuine worship, with whose amiable aspects and countenaunces, the Trauailers are taken in their loue, condemning their former with despite and hatefull abhorrence. And with these they fall acquainted, and passe the seauen reuolucions.

These beeing come ouer with an obscure and foggy close ayre, with many losses and a grieuous voyage, they beginne to remember what they haue past and lost: for the more that the compasse of the reuolucion, draweth neere to the discouerie of the Figure of the Center, the sooner they are passed ouer, styll shorter and shorter, and the more swyfter the course of the streame is into the deuouring swallow of the Center.

And then with extreame affliction and bitter anguish remembring the abuse of their pleasures, and companions that they haue forsaken, and sweete places, which so much the more augmenteth their sorrowes, for that they can not returne or goe backe with theyr Shyppe, such a companie still follow them vppon the stearne with their fore-castles. And most of all dysmayeth them the heauie sentence ouer the median Center, Theonlykos Dys Algetos.

And there, considering the displeasant tytle, they curse the time of their entrance into the Labirinth, which hath in it so manie sundry delights, and the end of them subiect to such myserable and ineuitable necessity.

And then she smyling, said: Poliphilus, ouer the deuouring throat of thys Center, there sitteth a seuere Iudge, balancing euery ones actions, and helping whom hee will helpe. And because that it will be tedious to tell thee all, let thus much heereof suffise. Let vs goe downe to our companion Thelemia, who demanding the cause why they staid so long aboue, Logistica made aunswer, it doth not content our Poliphilus, onely to behold, but also to vnderstand by me the secrecie of those things, which he could not goe to knowe, wherein I haue satis-fied him. And when she had ended, Thelemia said.

Let vs goe a little while to an other garden no lesse pleasant ioyning to the glasse garden, vppon the right side of the Pallas: and when wee were come in thither, I was amazed with excessiue wondering, to see the curiousnesse of the worke; as vneasie to report as vncredible to beleeue: [ae]quiuolent with that of glasse, wyth lyke disposition of benches or bankes; theyr lyppes set out with coronising and golden ground worke, and such trees, but that the boxes and Cyprus trees, were all silke, sauing the bodies and greater branches, or the strength of the armes: the rest, as the leaues, flowers, and outermost rynde, was of fine silke, wanting no store of Pearles to beautifie the same: and the perfect fine collour, smelling as the glasse flowers beforementioned, and alike, but that they about compassing walles, of meruailous and incredible sumpteousnesse, were all couered ouer with a crusting of Pearle, close ioyned and set together: and towardes the toppe, there sprouted out greene yuie, the leaues thickning and bushing out from the Pearles, vvith the stringes and veines of golde, running vppe in diuers places betwixt the Pearles, in a most rare and curious sort, as if it had beene very growing yuie, with berries of precious stones sette in the stalkes in little bunches: and in the bushes were Ringe-doues of silke, as if they had beene feeding of the berries, all along the sides of the square plotted garden walles: ouer the which, in master-like and requisite order, stretched out the beame and Zophor of golde.

The plaine smoth of the settles, where-vpon the boxe trees stoode, couered ouer with Histories of loue and venerie, in a worke of silke and threddes of golde and siluer, in suche a perfect proportioned ymaginarie and counterfaiting as none may goe beyonde. The ground of the leuell garden, was of leaues, grasse, and flowers of silke, like a faire sweete meddowe: in the midst whereof, there was a large and goodly round Arbour, made with golde wyer, and ouerspread with roses of the lyke worke, more beautifull to the eye, then if they had been growing roses, vnder which couering, and within which Arbour about the sides, were seates of red Diaspre, & all the round pauement of a yellow Diaspre, according to the largenes of the place, with dyuers colloured spottings, confusedly agreeing together in pleasant adulterated vniting, and so cleere and shining, that to euery obiect was it selfe gaine represented. Vnder the which Arbour, the fayre and pleasant Thelemia, solaciously sitting downe, tooke her Lute which she carryed with her, and with a heauenly melodie and vn-hearde sweetenesse, she began to sing in the commendation and delightes of her Queene. And seeing what a grace vnto her, the company of her fellowe Logistica was, I maruailed why Apollo came not to harken the Harmonie made by them: it was so melodious, that for the present tyme a man woulde haue thought that there had beene no greater f[ae]licitie. And after that shee ended her diuine Poems, Logistica tooke me by the hande and led me foorth of the Arbour, saying vnto me.

Poliphilus, thou shalt vnderstande that the deuise of these obiects, are more pleasant to bee vnderstoode then behelde, and therefore lette vs enter in heere, to bee satisfied in both.

And from thence, shee and her companion brought mee from thys garden to an other, where I behelde an arching Areostile, from the ground bent to the toppe, fyue paces in height and three ouer, and thus continued rounde about the compasse of the garden, in an orderly and requisite proportioning, all inuested and couered ouer with greene yuie, so that no part of the wall was to be seene. And there were a hundred Arches to the compassing of this garden.

By euery of the Arches, was an Aulter of red Porphirite, curiously proportioned with exquisite lyneaments; and vppon euery one of them was placed, an image of golde, like a Nymph, of rare and beautifull semblances, diuersly apparelled, and varying in theyr attyre and heade dressing, euery one bending their eyes towards the Center of the garden.

In which middle Centricke place, there was founded a Base, of a cleere Christal-like Calcedonie stone, in a Cubic forme: that is, euery way a like square. And vppon that was set a round stone, but flatte vppon both sides, two foote high, and by the Diameter, one pace and a halfe ouer, of most pure red Diaspre. Vppon the which, stoode a most blacke stone, in forme three square, and in quantitie for breadth, fitting the rounde, and in height one pace and a halfe. The corners of which triangle did iumpe with the sides, and lymbus of the subiacent plynth or round stone.

In the smooth polished fronts of which triangle, there was appact a beautifull Image, of a heauenly aspect, graue and modest, with their feete not touching the stone, but standing out from the same iust ouer the suppressed and vnder put rounde stone. Theyr statures as tall as the trygonall would beare, vnto the which they did stick fast by their backe parts. Theyr armes were stretched abroade, both the right and left to the corners of the triangle, where they held a Coppy, filled and fastned to the corners of the Trigonall, the length of euery one of which Coppies of fine gold, was seauen foote.

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