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

And the Images, the Coppyes, and their bandes wherewith they were tyed in the midst and held by, were all shyning, and their hands inuiluped with the sundry stringes, flynging about the plaine smothe of the black stone.

Their habits were Nymphish, of most rare and most excellent working. The Sepulchre of Tarnia the Queene of the Scythians in Asia, was nothing comparable.

In the lowest Cubicall Figure, vpon the smoth plaine of euery square, were ingrauen Greeke Letters, three, one, two and three on thys sort. DYS A LO: TOS.

In the circular there were three Characters Hieragliphicall, perpendicularly vnder the feet of euerie Image. For the first, was impressed the forme of the Sonne. Next vnder another, the figure of an olde fashioned Ower.

Thirdly, a dyshe with a burning flame in it.

Vpon the heade of the trygonall blacke stone, towarde euerie corner, I did behold an Egiptian Monster of Gold, fower footed couchant. One of then hauing a face lyke man altogether. The other like half a man, & halfe a beast. And the third like a beast. VVith a linnen vaile ouer euery of their heades, with two Labels hanging ouer theyr eares, & the rest descending downe and couering their necks & backes, with the bodies of Lyons. Theyr lookes directly forward.

Vppon the backs of these three, dyd stande rysing vp a massiue Spyre of Gold, three square, sharpning vp to the toppe, fiue tymes as high as broade below. And vpon euery front or foreside, was grauen a circle, and ouer one circle a Greeke Letter, O. ouer another, a Letter O:. and ouer the third, a Greeke N.

There Logistica beganne to speake vnto me, saying, by these Figures are discribed, so farre as mans reason can shewe, the celestiall harmony. And vnderstand Poliphilus, that these Figures, with a perpetuall affynitie and coniunction, are auncient Monuments, and Egiptian Hieragliphs, signifying this, Diuin[ae] infinit[ae]que trinitati vnius essenti[ae]. Which is now by his holy word, in a most louing sort manifested to the whole world, according to his will: and yet it shall not be a misse to see antiquities, and consider what greater benefite is had by the precious Gospel.

The lower Figure was consecrated to the Deitie, because it is euerie way alike, and all one: and vpon euery side, and turned euery way, of like stablenes, vpon euery base, constant and permanent.

The round Circular standing vppon that, is without beginning or ende. Vppon the circumferent sides whereof, these three lyneaments are contained, directly vnder euerie Image, according to the property attributed.

The Sunne with his comfortable light, giueth life to euerie thing, and his nature is attributed to GOD.

The second is the Ower, which is prouident direction, and gouernment of all with an infinite wisedome.

The third is a Fyerie Vessell, whereby is vnderstoode a partycipation of Loue.

And although that they be three distinct things, yet they are contained & vnited in one sempeternallie, with great loue communicating their blessings, as you may see by the coppies at euery corner of the trygonall stone.

And continuing her delectable speech, shee sayd, vnder the forme of the Sunne, note this Greeke worde, Adiegetos. By the Ower looke vpon this, Adiachoristos. And by the Vessel of fier, was engrauen, Adiereynes.

And to this ende are the three Monsters placed vnder the golden Obelisque, because that there be three great opinions like those Monsters: & as that with the humane countenaunce is best, so the other be beastly and monstrous.

In the Spyre there be three plaine sides, lyneated with three circles, signifying one for euery time. The past, the present, and to come; and no other figure can holde these three circles, but in that inuariable. And no mortall man can at one instant perfectlie discerne and see together two sides of the same figure, sauing one integrally, which is the Present: and therefore vppon great knowledge were these three Characters engrauen, O. O:. N.

For which cause Poliphilus, not that I excuse my selfe for beeing ouer prolix and tedious, but briefely to teach thee, and sette thee right vp. In the knowledge heereof, thou shalt vnderstand, that the first basiall Figure is onely knowne to hymselfe, and to one Sonne of man, which hath a humane bodie glorifyed and without sinne: and the brightnes thereof wee see but as in a glasse, and not cleerely as it is, for that it is incomprehensible for a fynite substance.

But he that is indued with wisedome, let him consider of the glorious brightnes thereof. But to the thirde Figure, which is of a darke and blacke collour, wherein be the three golden Images: The Blacke stone is the Lawe: the Coppies foode: the three Women the preseruation of Man-kind.

Nowe they which will looke higher, they see a Figure in a tryne aspect, and the higher that they goe towardes the toppe, where the vnion of the three is, be they neuer so wise, their vnderstanding is vnperfect: and although that they see it, yet they knowe not what they see, but that there is such a thing, in comparison whereof, they are fooles, theyr power weake, and themselues nothing.

And there Logistica hauing ended her allowed talke, proceeding from an absolute knowledge, deepe iudgement, and sharpnesse of wit in Diuine matters, and vnknowne to weake capacities, I began heereat to take greater delight, then in any other meruailous worke what soeuer, that I had graciously beholden with my greedy eyes. Considering with my selfe of the mysticall Obelisque, the ineffable equality statarie, for durablenesse and perpetuitie vnmoueable, and enduring vncorruptible.

Where there breathed a sweet ayre from heauen, with vnuariable windes, in this Garden round about full of flowers, of a large and circular permanent plot: compassed about with all sorts of fruites, pleasant in taste and full of health; with a perpetuall greenesse, disposed and set by a regular order, both beautifull, pleasant, and conuenient; with the perfect labour and indeuour of Nature to bring it to that passe, and beautified with precious gold.

And Logistica holding her peace, they tooke mee both by the hands, and we went out at the mouth of one of the Arches from the precyncts of the Iuied inclosure. And beeing gone from thence, very contentedly passing on betwixt them both, saith Thelemia, let vs now hasten on to our three Gates whether we are sent.

Where-vpon, we passing through a plentiful seate and pleasant Countrey, with a reasonable conuenient pace, I beheld the heauens very cleere & bright, & beguiled the tyme with merry, sweet, and delightfull discourses. And I desirous to vnderstand euery particular of the inestimable riches, vnspeakeable delights and incomparable treasure of the sacred Queene, (to the which Osyris the builder of the two Temples of Golde, one to Iupiter, and the other to the kingdome, must giue place,) I mooued this question.

Tell me I beseech you fayre Nymphes, (if my curiosity bee not to your discontentment) amongst all the precious stones that I could perfectly behold of great estimation and pryce, one I deemed inestimable, and without comparison most precious; The Iasper which had the effigies of Nero cut, it was not much bigger. Neither was the Coruscant to passe in the statue of Arsinoe the Arabian Queene equall with it. Next her, of such value was the Iewell, wherein was the representation of Nonius the Senator, as this sparkling and shyning Dyamond, of a rare and vnseene beautie and bignes, which did hang vpon a rich Carkenet about the snowie necke of the sacred Queene, what cutting was in the same, which I could not perceiue by meanes of the brightnesse and my beeing some-what farre of. And therefore I beeing therein ignoraunt, desyre to knowe the same.

Logistica considering of my honest demaund, aunswered me incontinently. Know this Poliphilus, in the Iewell was ingrauen an imperiall throne, and in the throne the mighty name of Iehouah in Hebrew Letters, and before that throne, are cast downe and troden vnder foote, the Gyants which proudly haue lift vp themselues against his worde, and resisted hys will: vppon the left side of the throne is a flame of fire, vppon the right hande a horne of saluation, or Copie full of all good blessednes, and this is all that is contained in the Iewell.

Then I presumed further to knowe, what should these two things vpon eyther sides of the throne signifie, that were holden out in two handes. Thelemia quickly aunswered me, God of his infinite goodnesse, proposeth to mankind his mercie and his iudgement, chuse which they will.

For thys beeing satis-fied, I sayd moreouer. Seeing that most gracious Nymphs, my speeches be not displeasant vnto you, and that I am not yet satis-fied in all that I haue seene, I pray you let me vnderstand this.

Before the horrible feare that I was driuen into by the Dragon, I beheld a mighty huge Elephant of stone, with an entrance into his bellie, where were two Sepulchres, with a wryting, the meaning wherof is too mysticall for me, that was, that I shoulde not touch the bodie, but take away the head.

Logistica forthwith made me aunswer. Poliphilus, I doe vnderstande very well your doubt, and therefore you shall vnderstande, that this monstrous shape and machine was not made without great and wonderfull humane wisedome, much labour, and incredible diligence, with a perplexibility of vnderstanding to knowe the mysticall conceite. Thou remembrest that vpon the face there hung an ornament, with certaine Ideonix ionic and Arabic, which in our Mother-tongue, is as much to say, as labour, and industrie. Signifying thereby, that in thys world, whosoeuer will haue any blessing that shall do him good, he must leaue the body, which is ease and idlenes, and betake himselfe to trauaile and industry, which is the head.

Shee had no sooner ended her words both pleasant & piercing, but I vnderstoode it very well and gaue her great thankes. And yet desirous to be resolued in whatsoeuer I stood in doubt, and seeing that I might speake boldly, I made this third question. Most wise Nymph, in my comming out of the subterraneall vast darksome place, as I passed on, I came to a goodlie bridge, and vppon the same, in a Porphyrite stone vppon the one side, and an Ophite vpon the other, I beheld engrauen certaine Hieragliphs, both which I did interprete, but I stoode doubtfull of certaine branches, that were tyed to the hornes of the scalpe of the Oxe, and the rather because they were in the Porphyrite stone, and not in the Ophit vpon the other side.

She aunswered me straight way. The braunches, one is of the Thistle or thorne of Iudea[A], and the other of the Turbentine. The nature of which Woodes bee, that the one will not easily take fire, and the other will neither bend, rotte, consume, nor be eaten with wormes. And so that patience is commended, which with anger is not kindled, nor by aduersity will bee subdued.

[Sidenote A: The crown of thorne vpon Christes head.]

The nature of the Porphyrit stone is of this secrecie, that in the fornace it will neither burne it selfe, but also causeth other stones neere adioyning that they shall not burne. And of that nature is patience, that it will neither be altered itselfe, nor suffer any other wherein it beareth rule to fall into a furie. And the Ophite stone is of such nature also.

Nowe Poliphilus, I doe greatly commende you, in that you are desirous to vnderstand such secrets: for to behold, consider, and measure the same, is a commendable vertue, and the way to knowledge: whereuppon I had occasion giuen to render innumerable thanks, for her great and fauourable curtesies.

And thus with allowed and delightfull discoursing speeches, we came to a fayre Riuer, vpon the banck whereof, besides other fayre greene and florishing Trees, and water hearbes, I beheld a fine Groue of Plane Trees, in the which was an excellent fayre bridge ouer the Riuer made of stone, with three Arches, with pyles bearing foorth against the two fronts, to preserue the worke of the bridge, the sides thereof beeing of excellent workmanship.

And in the middle bending of the same, vpon eyther sides, there was a square stone of Porphyrite set, hauing in it a Catagliphic, engrauing of Hieragliphies.

Vpon the right hand as I went ouer, I beheld a woman, casting abroade her armes, sitting onely vppon one buttocke, putting foorth one of her legges as if shee woulde rise; In her right hand, vpon that side which shee did sitte, shee helde a payre of winges, and in the other hand, vppon that side whereon she was arysing, a Tortice.

Right against her, there was a Circle, the center wherof two little Spyrits did hold, with their backs turned towards the circumference of the Circle.

And then Logistica saide vnto me, Poliphilus, I am sure that thou doost not vnderstand these Hieragliphs, but they make much for thy purpose: and therfore they are placed for a Monument and thing to be considered, of such as passe by.

The Circle Medium tenuere beati.

The other, temper thy hast by staying, and thy slownesse by rysing, consider heereof as thou seest cause.

This bridge was built with a moderate bending, shewing the cunning disquisition, tryall, examination, arte, and discretion of the excellent workman and inuenter, commended in the continuaunce and durablenesse thereof, which manie of our Bayard-like moderne Idiots, without knowledge, measure and arte buzzing on, neither obserue proportion nor lyneaments, but all out of order.

This bridge was all of pure Marble.

When wee had passed ouer the bridge, wee walked in the coole shadow, delighted with the variable notes and chirpings of small byrds, to a rocky and stony place, where high & craggie Mountaines lifted vp themselues, afterwarde continuing to abrupt and wilesome hilly places, full of broken and nybled stones, mounting vppe into the ayre, as high as a man might looke to, and without any greene grasse or hearbe, and there were hewen out the three gates, in the verie rocke it selfe, euen as plaine as might be. A worke verie auncient and past record, in a very displeasant seate.

Tif'eret Ha'el Gidul Ha'a'hava Tif'eret Ha'olam



Ouer euery one of the which, I beheld in Letters Ionic, Romaine, Hebrew and Arabic, the tytle that the sacred Queene Eleutherillida fore-told me that I should find. The Gate vppon my right hand, had vpon it this word, Theodoxia. That vppon my left hand, Cosmodoxia. And the thirde, Erototrophos. Vnto the which as soone as we were come, the Damosels beganne to instruct me in the tytles, and knocking in the resounding leaues of the Gates, vppon the right hande couered ouer with greene mosse, they were presently opened.

And ther dyd an olde woman present herselfe vnto vs, of an honourable countenaunce, out of an olde dawbed and smoakie house, hauing a poore base little doore, ouer the which was painted Pilurania. Shee came with a modest and honest shamefastnesse, and her dwelling place was in a solitarie site and shadie Rocke, decayed and crumbly, her clothes were tattered, her face leane, pale & poore. Her eyes looking towards the ground, her name was Thende. Shee had attending vpon her sixe Handmaydes, basely and slenderly apparrelled. One was named Parthenia, the second Edosia, an other Hypocolinia, the fourth Pinotidia, the next Tapinosa, the last Prochina. Which reuerent Matron, with her right arme naked poynted to the heauens.

She dwelt in a place very hard to come vnto, and ful of troubles to passe on the way, beeing hyndered with thorne and bryers, very rough and displeasant, a mistie clowde cast ouer it, and very hard to clymbe vp into.

Logistica perceiuing by my looke that I had no great lyking in this place, some-what greeued therewith, said, this Rocke is knowne neuer but at the end. And then Thelemia sayde, Poliphilus, I see you make small regarde of such a painefull woman. Whereat I assenting to her with my countenaunce, wee departed, and the gate being shut we came to the next.

Where knocking, it was presently opened, and wee entering in, there met vs a browne woman, with fierce eyes rowling, and of a quicke countenaunce, lyfting vp a naked glittering sworde, vpon the middle wherof was a Crowne of golde, and a branche of Palme tree intrauersed.

Her armes brawnie like Hercules, in labour and acts magnanimious and nobly minded. Her belly small. A little mouth, strong and stooping shoulders, by her countenaunce seeming to bee of an vndaunted minde, not fearing to vndertake any enterprise how hard soeuer.

Her name was Euclelia, verie honourablie attended vppon with sixe young Women. The first was called Merimnasia, the second, Epitide, another, Ergasilea, the fourth, Anectea, the fift was named Statia, the last was called Olistea.

The situation and place me thought was painefull, and Logistica perceiuing my inclynation, presentlie tooke into her hand Thelemias Lute, and beganne to strike a doricall tune, and sung to the same verie sweetly, saying. O Poliphilus be not wearie to take paynes in thys place, for when labour and trauell is ouer-come, there will be a tyme of rest. And her songe was of such force, that I was euen consenting to remaine there, notwithstanding that, the habitation seemed laboursome. Wherevppon, Thelemia inticingly said vnto me, I think that it standeth with verie great reason my Poliphilus, that before you set downe your rest heere in this place, you ought in any case to see the third Gate.

Whereunto I consented with a very good will, and therefore going out from hence, we came to the other Gate, where Thelemia knocking at a ring of Brasse, it was forth-with sette open, and when wee were come in, there came towardes vs a notable goodly woman, and her name was Philtronia.

Her regards were wanton, lasciuious, and vnconstant, her grace wonderfull pleasant, so as at the verie first sight shee violently drew me into her loue.

This place was the Mansion-house of Voluptuousnes. The grounde decked with small hearbes, and adorned with all sorts of sundrie flowers, abounding with solace and quiet ease. Issuing and sending foorth in diuers places small streames of water, pyppling and slyding downe vpon the Amber grauell in theyr crooking Channels heere and there, by some suddaine fall making a still continued noyse, to great pleasure moystning the open fieldes, and making the shadowed places vnder the leaffye Trees, coole and fresh.

Shee had with her also sixe young women of like statures, passing fayre, of pleasant countenaunces, amorously adorned, and dressed as may bee desired of an ambitious beautie and gesture.

The first was called Rastonelia. The second, Cortasina. The thirde, Idonesa. The fourth, Triphelia. The fift, Epiania. And the last was named Adia.

These and their companie, were very delightfull to my gasing and searching eyes. VVhere-vppon Logistica presentlie with a sad and grieued countenaunce, seeing mee disposing my selfe abruptlie to the seruile loue of them, shee said vnto mee, O Poliphilus, the alluring and inticing beauties of these, are vaine, deceiueable, and counterfeited, vnsauorie and displeasant, and therefore if thou wouldest with aduisement looke vppon their backes, thou wouldest then hate, contemne, and abhorre theyr lothsome filthinesse and shame, abounding in stinke and noysome sauoure aboue any dunghill, which no stomacke can abide.

And therefore what is slypperie and transitorie flye and eschewe, despise that pleasure which bringeth shame and repentance, vaine hopes, a short and small ioy, with perpetuall complaynts, doubtfull sighes, and a sorrowful life neuer ending.

Oh adulterated and vnkindly pleasure, fraught with miserie, contayning such bitternesse, like honnie, and yet gall dropping from greene leaues.

O lyfe worse then death, and yet deadly, delighted in sweete poyson, with what care, sorrow, pensiue thoughts, mortall and desperate attempts, art thou sought for to bee obtained by blind Louers, who without regarde or aduise cast themselues headlong into a gulfe of sorrowes.

They be present before thine eyes, and yet thou seest them not. Oh what and howe great sorrowes, bitter and sharpe paine and vexation doost thou beare, wicked, execrable and accursed appetite.

O detestable madnesse, oh beguiled senses, by your faulte with the selfe same beastlie pleasure, myserable mortall men are ouerthrowne.

Oh filthy lust, absurd furie, disordinate and vaine desire, building nests with errours, and torments for vvounded harts, the vtter destroyer, and idle letting goe by of all good blessings.

Oh blinde Monster, how doost thou blinde, and with what deceipt doost thou couer the eyes, and deceiue the vnderstanding sences of vnhappie and miserable Louers with vailes and mystes.

O monstrous and slauish, which compassed with so manie euils, hastenest to so small pleasure poysoned and fayned.

Logistica speaking with vehemencie these and such lyke words, her fore-head frowning, wrympling with sorrowes, and veines, rysing vp in a great rage, shee cast her Lute vppon the ground and brake it.

VVhere-vppon Thelemia, with a smyling countenaunce, nodded towards mee, as if shee shoulde say, let Logistica speake her pleasure, but doe as you see good your selfe.

And Logistica seeing my wicked intent and resolute determination, beeing kindled with disdaine, turned her backe, and with a great sigh hastened away.

And I remained still with my companion Thelemia, vvho with a flattering and smyling grace said vnto me, Poliphilus, this is the place where thou shalt not continue long, but thou shalt finde the deerest thing which thou louest in the world, & which thou hast in thy hart, without intermission determined to seeke and desire.

And doubtfully then discoursing with my selfe, I was resolued that nothing coulde breede quiet, or bring content to my poore grieued hart, but my best desired Polia. The promise and warrantise of Thelemia for my obtayning the same, bred in mee some comfort.

And shee perceiuing that the Mistris of thys place, and the seate it selfe, and her Women dyd bothe please mee vvell, and entertained mee courteously, shee kissing mee, tooke her leaue and gaue me a fare-well.

The metallyne gates beeing shut, I remayned incloystered among these fayre and beautifull Nymphes, who began very pleasantly and wantonly to deuise with mee: and beeing hemmed in with their lasciuious company, I found my selfe prouoked by their perswasiue alluring intisements, to vnlawfull concupiscence, feeling in my selfe a burning desire, kyndled with their wanton aspects, an increasing prouocation of a lusting fier. I doubt me that if Phrine had beene of that fauour, and force in gesture of speech, colde Xenocrates would haue consented to her alluring, and not haue beene accused by her, to be an image of stone. Their countenances were so lasciuious, their breastes naked and intycing, theyr eyes flattering, in their roseall forheads, glystering and rowling, their shapes most excellent, their apparell rich, their motions girlish, theyr regards byting, theyr ornaments, sweete and precious, no part counterfeited, but all perfected by nature in an excellent sort, nothing deformed, but all partes aunswerable one to an other.

Their heades yellowe, their tresses fayre, and the hayre soft and fine, in such a sort dressed vp and rouled into trammels, with laces of silke and golde, passing any ioye that a man may beholde, turned about their heads in an excellent manner, inuiluxed, and bound vppe together, their forheades compassed about and shaddowed with wauering curles, mouably pr[ae]pending in a wonderfull manner, marueilous delightfull, perfumed & sweet, yeelding an vnknown fragrancie. Their speeches so perswasorie and pleasing, as might robbe the fauour of an indesposed hart, and violently drawe vnto them any mind, though Satyr-like or churlish howsoeuer, to depraue Religion, to binde euery loose conceit, to make any rusty Peasant amorous, and to mollifie any froward disposition. Vppon which occasion, my minde, altogether set on fier with a new desire, and in the extreame heate of concupiscence, prouoked to fall headlong into a lasciuious appetite, & drowned in lustfull loue vnbridled: in the extreame inuasion and infectious contage thereof, the Damoselles forsooke mee and left me all alone in a fruitfull playne.

In this place Poliphilus being left alone, a most fayre Nymphe (when hee was forsaken of the lasciuious company) came vnto him, whose beautie and apparell Poliphilus dooth amourously describe.

My tender heart thus excessiuely wounded with amorous prouocation, I think I was mad, I stood so amazed, or blinde at the least, because that I coulde not perceiue in what sort or how this desired and delightfull company gaue mee the slip: and at last not knowing what I did, but casting mine eyes right forward, I behelde before mee, a fine Arbour of sweete Gessamine, somewhat high, lifting vppe and bending ouer, all to bee painted and decked with the pleasant and odoriferous flowers of three sortes commixt, and entring in vnder the same. Wonderfully perplexed for the losse of my company, I knewe not howe or in what sort, and calling to remembraunce the diuers, rare and wonderfull thinges past, and aboue al the great hope and trust which I had conceiued vpon the Queenes promise, that I should finde my loue Polia.

Alas said I, with a deepe sigh, my Polia, that the greene Arbour resounded againe therewithall, my amourous breathings were such, framed within and sent out from my burning hart. And I was no sooner entered into this agony, and ouerwhelmed in this passion, but as I passed on to the other ende of the Arbor, I might perceiue a farre off, a great number of youthes, solacing and sporting themselues very loude with diuers melodious soundes, with pleasant sports and sundry pastimes, in great ioye, and passing delight assembled together, in a large playne. Vppon this gratefull and desired noueltie, I set me down marueiling at it, before I would step any further on.

And beholde, a most noble and faire Nymph, with a burning torch in her hand, departing from the company, tended her course towardes mee, so as I might well perceiue that shee was a reall mayde indeede and no spirite, whervpon I mooued not one whit, but gladly expected her comming, who with a maidenly hast, modest accesse, star-like countenance, and smiling grace, drewe neere vnto mee with such a Maiestie, and yet friendly, so as I doubt me, the amorous Idalea neuer shewed her selfe to Mars, nor to her the fayre Pastor Adonis. Nor the delicate Ganimed to Iupiter, or the fayre Psyches, to her spouse Cupid.

For which cause, if shee had beene the fourth among the three contending Goddesses, if Joue had beene Iudge, as in the shady Wooddes of Mensunlone was the Phrigian Sheepheard, without all doubt she had beene iudged of farre more excellent beautie, and without equiuolence, more worthy of the golden apple, then all or any one of the rest. At the first sight I was perswaded that shee had beene Polia, but the place vnaccustomed & her apparell made mee thinke the contrarie, and therefore my doubtfull iudgement remained in suspence, hauing onely a reuerent suspition therof.

This honourable Nymph, had her virgineall diuine and small body couered with a thinne subtill stuffe of greene silke, powdered with golde, vppon a smocke of pure white coorled Lawne, couering her most delicate and tender body, and snowye skinne, as fine and good as euer Pamphila the daughter to Platis in the Iland of Coo, did inuent to weaue. Which white smocke seemed as if it had couered damaske Roses.

The coate which she wore ouer that, was not like our fashioned petticoates with French wastes, for that her sweete proporcioned body needed no such pinching in, & vnholsome weare, hyndering procreation and an enemie to health: but rather like a wastcoate, with little plightes and gathers vnder her rounde and pretty bearing out breasts, vpon her slender and small waste, ouer her large proportioned flanckes and little round belly, fast girded about with a girdle of golde: and ouer the same, a gowne or garment side to the ground, and welted belowe.

This garment beeing very side, was taken vp round about the pitch of her hippes, and before vpon her belly, & tyed about with the studded marriage girdle of Citherea, the plucking vp of y^e garment, bearing ouer the girdle about her like a french vardingale, & the nethermost part falling down about her feet in plightes and fouldes, vnstable and blowne about with the sweete ayre & coole winde, causing sometime, by the thinnesse thereof, her shape to be seene in it, which shee seemed with a prompt readinesse to resist and hynder. Her beautie and grace was such, as I stoode in doubt whether shee were begotten by any humaine generation: her armes stretching downe, her handes long and slender, her fingers small and fayre, and her nayles thinne and ruddy, and shining, as if she had beene Minerua her selfe. Her armes to be seene through the cleere thinnesse of the Lawne, the winges about the size of her garment where her armes came out, were of golde, in an excellent sort and fashion welted, and set with Pearle and stone: and in like sort, all the hemming about of her vesture, with golde ooes, and Pearle, and spangles of golde in diuers places, distantly disposed in a curious and pleasant sort to beholde.

Vppon either side, vnder the armes to her waste, her vpper garment was vnsowed and open, but fastened with three buttons of great Orient Pearle (such as Cleopatra neuer had to dissolue in a Potion) in loopes of blewe silke, so that you might see her smocke betweene the distance of one Pearle from an other, couering her daintie soft snowye thinne skinne: except her small necke and the vpper halfe of her spatious and delitious breast, more desired and contenting mine eyes, then the water brookes and coole Ryuers to the emboste and chased Hart, more pleasing then the fisher boate of Endimion to Cynthia, and more pleasant then Cithera to Orpheus.

The sleeues of her smocke of a conuenient largenesse, and about her wristes plighted and tyed with Bracelets of Golde, double and vnited with Orient Pearle. And besides all her ornaments and gracious gestures, she indeuoured nowe and then with stolen and affected regards, in a sweet & pleasant sort, to cast down her eyes vpon her little round swelling breastes, impatient at the suppressing of her soft and fine apparell: so as I iudged vppon good consideration, and thought that in the dignitie and honourable frame of her personage, the Creator had framed and vnited together, all the violence of Loue. The foure Nourses of the royall Kingdome of Babilon, called The tongue of the Gods, had not that powre to winne fauour and loue of the King, which this most sweet Nymph had.

About her fayre Necke, more white then the Scithian snowe, shee wore a Carkenet of Oryent Pearle: Cerna the wife of C[ae]sar neuer had the like, and I doubt me that that of Eriphile, which she tooke to Amphiaraus, was nothing comparable vnto it. And in the bending downe ouer the deuision of her breastes, betwixt two great Pearles, there was laced a corruscant rounde Rubie, and vppon the collaterate sides of the sayde Pearles, two glistering Saphires, and two Pearles, next them two Emeraldes, & two Pearles, and after them two fayre Iacinthes: all these Pearles and Stones were laced in a worke in losenges, in a rare and beautifull manner.

Her fayre heade, sending downe and vnfolding a loose spreading abroade of plentifull hayre, like the smallest threds of golde, wauing with the winde, and vpon her crowne, a garland of tawny vyolets sweetly smelling, and couering the same almost to her forheade: from the middle vpper point whereof, in forme of two Hemycycles to the halfe of her eares, it mounted vppe in curled trammelles, falling downe againe vppon her fayre Temples, moueably wauing and shaddowing the same, and hyding the vpper halfe of her small eares, more fayre then euer was reported of Mimoria.

The rest of her yellowe haire, descended downe ouer her fayre necke, well disposed shoulders, and straight backe, to the calues of her slender legges, moderatly wauing and blowne abroad, in greater beautie than the proude eyed feathers of Iunoes Birde. Such hayre as Berenice did neuer vow in the venereous Temple for her Tholomaus, nor Conus the Mathematrician did euer beholde the like placed in the Triangule.

In her forehead, vnder two subtile blacke Hemycicles and distinct eye brees, such as Abacsine in [Ae]thiopia had not to boast of, or compare with, nor Juno her selfe, did looke out and present themselues two pleasant radious and glistering eyes, which would enforce Jupiter to rayne golde, of a cleere sight, quicke and pearcing, with a browne circle betwixt the Apple and the milchie white: neere to the which, were her purple and Cherry cheekes, beautified with two round smyling dimples, gracing the pleasure of her countenaunce, of the collour of the fresh Roses gathered at the rysing of the Sunne, and layde in a vessell of the Christall of Cyprus, and shewing through the same, as me thought.

Vnder her nose to her lyppes, passed a little valley to her small mouth of a most sweete forme, her lyppes not blabbered or swelling, but indifferent, & of a rubye collour, couering two vniforme sets of teeth, like yuory, and small, not one longer and sharper than an other, but in order euenly disposed and set: from betwixt the which, Loue had composed an euerlasting sweet breathing, so as I presumed to thinke, that the snow white teeth betwixt her gracious lyppes, were no other but Oryent Pearles, & her sweet breath hot Muske, and by her delightfull voyce that she was Thespis with her nine daughters.

By all which sight I was greatly mooued and my sences rauished with a kindled appetite, causing among them great strife and bitter contention, such as I neuer felt before, by any other presence or excellent sightes whatsoeuer. My searching eyes commended one part aboue another, to bee more beautifull: but my appetite rapt into an other part of her heauenly body, esteeming that aboue the other. And thus my insatiable and wanton eyes, were the euill beginning of all thys perturbing and contentious commotion, whome I founde the seminaries and moouers of all so great strife and trouble, in my wounded and festering heart. Through theyr contumacy, I was now brought from my selfe, and neuerthelesse, I could not be satisfied by them. My greedy appetyte extolled her delicate breast aboue any comparison, my eyes delightfully consenting thervnto, sayd, at least by that we may discouer what y^e rest is; And they, glauncing from that to the regarde of her grace and gesture, set all their delight therein: and my appetite strengthened and not easilie remooued from thence, I perswaded my selfe, that the plentie and fayrenesse of her head and hayre, and the dressing thereof, and the beautie of her forheade, coulde neuer bee compared with of any one or other, like the scrapings of golde alwaies turning into little roundels.

With two eyes lyke morning starres in a cleere heauen, more beautifully adorning her heade, than any that euer the warlike Neco behelde among the Acitanians, wounding my heart like one of the arrowes of the angrie Cupid. And thus to conclude, I dare be bolde to say, that no mortall man hath seene, so gracious, so shyning, so cleere and pleasant lightes as these were placed in the forhead of this heauenly creature; so that by them my hart was taken prisoner, & was filled with such continuall controuersies of desire, as if a leafe of the Laurell of the Tombe of the king of Bibria had bin placed betwixt, & that strife should neuer cease whilst it was there: so as I thought that this strife would neuer cease, vntill the pleasure were taken away, by reason wherof, I could not perceiue howe I shoulde obtaine the fulnes of my desire, or howe it coulde agree with either one or other. Like one extreamely hungry among a number of prepared meates being desirous of all, feedes of none, his burning appetite remayning satisfied with none, but still hungry.

The most fayre Nymph beeing come to Poliphilus, bearing a Torch in her left hand, with the other tooke him and inuited him to walke with her, and there Poliphilus by her loue was more inflamed.

Thus seing before me, a reall and visible obiect of a most excellent representation, louely presence and heauenly aspect, of a plentifull store and vniuersall gathering of vnseene beautie, and inhumaine comelinesse, I made light and slender account, in respect heereof, of all the inestimable delights, riches, and great pompe which before I had behelde and seene, thinking their worthinesse nothing to speake of, in comparison of this. Oh happie hee that may enioy such and so great a treasure of loue; and not onely a happie possessor I account him, but most happie that shall possesse and obtaine her obedience, to hys desire and rule. But if Zenes had behelde this substance, hee would haue commended the same aboue all the Agrigentine maides, euery proprotion would haue made vnto him an oportune shewe of the absolutest perfection in the whole world.

Which fayre and heauenly Nymph nowe comming neere vnto me, with a cheerefull countenance, incontinently her most rare beautie, before somewhat a farre of looked vppon with mine eyes, but nowe, by them more neere and narrowly behelde, I was rauished and amased.

And her amorous aspect and louely presence, was no sooner brought by the message of mine eyes to my inward partes, but my recording and watchfull remembrance, stirring and waking vppe my heart, presenting and offering her vnto the same: it is become her shoppe; the quiuer for her piercing arrowes and wounding regardes, and the dwelling place and conseruable mansion house, of her sweete picture. Knowing that this was shee which had t[ae]diously consumed my tender yeeres, in her hotte and prime loue, not to be resisted. For I felt the same leaping and beating against my breast, without ceasing, like as one that striketh vpon a hoarse Taber. And still me thought by her louely and delightfull countenance, by her fayre tresses, and the curling and wauing haire, playing vp and downe vppon her forheade, that it should be Polia, whome so greatly I had loued and desired, and for whom I had sustained so many & sundry griefes, without intermission, sending out scalding sighes, the outward reporters of my inwarde flames. But her rich and Nymphish habite, vnaccustomed, and the place vnknowne and strange, made mee still doubtfull and suspicious.

Shee (as beforesaide) carried in her snowe white left arme, close to her body, a kindled and burning Torch, somewhat higher then her heade a good deale, and the lower ende growing smaller and smaller, shee helde in her hande: and stretching foorth that which was at libertie, more white then euer had Pelopea, wherein appeared the thinne smoothnes of the skynne, and the blewnesse of the veynes lyke Azure streames, vppon the faire and whitest paper. Shee tooke me by the left hande with a sweete and louing countenance and smiling grace, and with an eloquent speech, shee pleasantly saide in this manner.

Poliphilus, I thinke my selfe to come in saftie, but it seemeth that you stand doubtfull. Heereat I was more amazed, and my sences in a manner gone to imagine howe she should knowe my name; and al my inward parts vanquished, and hemmed in with burning amorous flames, my speech was taken from mee with feare and reuerent bashfulnesse.

In this sort remayning, I knewe not vppon the suddaine what good aunswere I might make, or otherwise doe her reuerence, but to offer her my vnworthy and vnfit hande; Which when it was streined in hers, me thought that it was in hot snowe and curded milke, and me thought indeede, that I touched and handled something which was more then humaine; which when I had so done, I remained moued in minde, troubled and doubtfull, vnaccustomed to such a companion, not knowing what to say, or whether to followe her, in my simple apparell and homely bringing vp, not agreeable with hers: and as a foole, vnworthy and vnfit for her fellowship, perswading my selfe, that it was not lawfull for a mortall and earthly creature to enioy such pleasures. For which cause, my collour red and blushing, with reuerent admiration, being grieued at my basenesse, I setled my selfe to followe her.

At length, and yet not with a perfect recalled minde, I beganne to reduce and sommon together, my fearefull and distempered spirites: perswading my selfe, that I must needes haue good successe, being neere so faire and diuine an obiect, and in such a place; And so followed her on with a panting heart, more shaking than the birde Sisura, or a Lambe carryed in the mouth of a Wolfe.

And thus touched most feruently with pleasant heates, growing & encreasing more & more, they began to boyle & kindle my colde feare, and dispositiuely to adopt my altered heate to sincere loue. Which being thus brought to thys passe, by a prouoked inward desire, yet inwardly as I reasoned with my selfe, it was wonderfully variable and doubtfull. Oh most happye Louer of all Louers, that in requitall of hys, might bee sure to participate of hers.

On the other side, I perswaded my selfe, that if I shoulde offer vnto her my amorous heart and loue, hauing no better thing to bestow vpon her, or present vnto her, it might be that she would not refuse it: like Artaxerxes, the King of the Percians; who hauing water presented to hys handes, accepted of it bowing downe himselfe. Heerewithall, me thought yet that a fearefull and chill trembling inuaded mee, infusing it selfe ouer all my body and breast, renewing the force of the extreame fire, euen like dry reede: which being once kindled, is enflamed and nourished with the fresh ayre, vntill at length it is increased so mightily, that it consumeth all to ashes.

And in like sorte, I fully founde in my selfe, an increase and flashing abroade of my inwarde flames, in their prepared subject, so effectually, that her amorous regardes gaue me mortall and deadly woundes: euen as lightning and thunder, among the stronge and mightie oakes, suddainely with a great force, scorching & tearing them. And therefore I durst not looke vpon her bright eyes, because that dooing so, (being ouercome with the incredible beauty of her gracious aspect) if peraduenture her radious beames did reincounter mutually with myne, for a little while euery thinge seemed two vnto mee, vntill I had closed the lyddes together, and restored them to theyr former light.

Wherevpon, and by reason of these thinges captiuated, spoyled, and ouercome, I determined at that instant to plucke vp some fresh flowers, and in all humble sort to offer them vnto her, and it came to passe, that whilst my secret thoughts consented thervnto, consygning a free meane and large entrance, for the discouery of my desire. But my burning heart humbly hauing opened the same, euen as a rype Apple being eyther bytten or shaken, so it fell and fayled me. And receiuing into his wounded and familiar estuation, in some interposition of time, immediatly his accustomed heat and feruor increased, piercing the inward parts with her virgineall aspects, exceedingly beautified with a comely grace and vnexcogitable elegancie; Because, that into this sweete introduction into my minde, of these first amorous flames, (lyke the Troian horse, full of weapons and deceite) the enterance was made for an euerlasting, vnknown, and vncessant plague, deeply festering in my tender and poore heart, perpetually remayning: which easily ouercome with one sweete looke, inconsiderately without delay, hasteneth his owne hurt, and wholly layeth it selfe open to amorous incursions, and burneth it selfe with sweet conceits, going into the flames of his owne accord.

To all which burning desires her present company did greatly inforce mee, which I esteemed to yeelde mee more comfort, then the North starre in a tempestuous night to the troubled Marriner: more acceptable then that of Melicta to Adonis, or to Phrodites, the obsequious Nymph Peristera: and more delightfull then Dittander to the daughter of Dydo, with the Purple flowre for the wounde of Pius [Ae]neas: And finding my heart strooken and inwardly pricking, secretly filled and compressiuely stuft; recording and gathering together into it, varyable thoughts and working of Loue, my immedicable wounde grewe greater and greater. But gathering vp the remaynder of my sences, as one that durst, I assured my selfe to manifest and lay open before her, my intended desires and amorous conceites. And thus loosing my selfe in a blinde folly. I could not choose but giue place to my inuading desires, feruently boyling and inforcing me to say thus.

Oh delycate and heauenly Damosell, whatsoeuer thou art, thy forcyble loue hath set me on fire, and consumeth my grieued heart; I finde my selfe all ouer, burning in an vncessant flame, and a sharpe dart cast into the middest of my breast, where it sticketh fast, hauing made a mortall wounde vncurable. And hauing spoken thus, to the ende I might discouer vnto her my hidden desire, and moderate by that meanes the extreamitie of my bitter passions: vvhich I felt, the more they were concealed, the more to augment and increase, I patiently helde my peace: and by this meanes all those feruent and greeuous agitations, doubtfull thoughtes, wanton and vyolent desires, were somewhat supprest; with my ill fauoured Gowne, that had still some of the Bramble leaues and prickes in the Wood hanging vpon it, and euen as a Peacocke in the pride of his feathers, beholding the fowlenesse of his feete, pulleth downe hys traine: so I considering the inequallitie of my selfe, with such a heauenly obiect, appaled the prouocations of my contumacious and high desires, looking into the vanities of my thoughtes.

And then I earnestly endeuoured by all the meanes that I might, to subdue, encloyster, and keepe in, my vnbridled gadding appetite, wandring minde, and immodest desire, intending nowe that it should neuer be vttered againe.

At length I beganne to thinke in the secret depth of my wounded heart, that vndoubtedly this my present continued griefe, was equall with that of wicked Tantalus, to whose hotte and thirsting lyppes, the coole and cleere water did offer it selfe, and to his hungry appetite, the sweete fruites honge ouer hys gaping mouth appresenting, but he neuer tasted any of either.

Ah woe is mee euen in like sort, a most fayre Nymph of an excellent shape, of a florishing age, of Angel-like behauiour vnspeakable, and of rare honour and exceeding curtesie as mine eies coulde beholde, whose company exceeded any exquesite humaine content; and I, iust by her, full of all whatsoeuer prouocation, forcing sollaciously loue and desire, heaping vppe in her selfe the whole perfections of delight, and yet my yauning and voluptuous desire, neuer the more thereby satisfied.

Well, on this sorte my burning concupiscence nothing allayed, as much as I might, I comforted my languishing hart, vnmeasurably tormented, in putting of it in minde, of solacious and amorous hope: and with that, there was neuer a coale so neere put out, but it was presently renued and set on fire, with the company of the next. And my vnbridled eyes, the more they were vnarmed to resist her power, the more they were inflamed with the insolent desire and liking of her wonderfull and heauenly beautie; Still seeming more faire, more excellent, more louely, more to be desired, extreamly apt and pr[ae]pared for loue: euedently shewing foorth in her selfe, a wonderfull increase of sweete pleasure.

Afterwards I thought with my selfe, it may be that she is some creature which I may not desire, and it may bee the place is not fitte for such thoughtes, and then it may bee I haue made a wise worke, and spunne a fayre thred, if I should bee punished for my impudencie, like Ixion. In like sort, the Thracian had neuer founde the deepe seate of Neptune, if he had not medled with Tethis; and Gallantide, the mayde of Lucina, shoulde not haue brought foorth in her mouth, if hee had not deceiued. It may that thys Nymph is spowsed to some high and mightie Prince, and I to offer her this dishonour, what am I worthy of?

And thus resoning with my selfe, I thought that those thinges which had but slender assurance, woulde lightly slyppe away, and that it would not be hard to deceiue, where was no watchfull regarde: and to bolde spirites, Fortune was not altogether fayling: and besides, that it was harde to knowe a mans thought. Where-vpon, euen as Calistone, being ashamed at her swelling belley, shronke aside from the presence of Diana; so I withdrewe my selfe, blushing at my attempt, and bridling my inconuenient desires. Yet with a lincious eye, I neuer left to examine, with great delight, the extreame beautie of the excellent Nymph, disposing my selfe to her sweete loue, with an vnfallyble, obstinate, and firme resolution.

Polia, as yet vnknowne to her Louer Poliphilus, shee gratiously assureth him: who for her extreame beautie, hee indeuoreth his minde to loue. And both of them going to the triumphes, they see innumerable youths and Damosels, sporting with great delight.

The Archer Cupid, in my wounding heart hauing his residence, like a Lord and king, holding me tyed in the bands of Loue, I found my selfe pricked and grieuously tormented, in his tyrannous and yet pleasant regiment. And abounding in doubtfull delight, vnmeasurably sighing, I watered my plaints; and then the surmounting Nymph, with a pleasing grace, incontinently gaue me comfort, and with her ruddy and fayre spoken lyppes, framing violent and attractiue wordes, she gaue me assurance: abandoning and remouing from my heart, all fearefull thoughts, with her Olymphicall aspects, and cooling with her eloquent speeches, my burning heart; and with an amorous and friendly regarde, and cast of her eyes, and smiling grace, she saide thus vnto mee.

Poliphilus, I woulde thou shouldest vnderstand and know thys, that true and vertuous loue hath no respect of outward things, and therefore let not the basenes of thy apparell, diminish or lessen thy minde, if perhaps noble and gentle, and worthy of these places, and fitte to beholde these maruellous tryumphes; Therefore let not thy minde be dismayed with feare, but dilligently behold what Kingdomes they possesse, that are crowned by Venus. I meane, such as bee strongly agonished and yet perseuere still, seruing and attending vpon her amorous Aultars and sacred flames, vntill they obtaine her lawfull fauour. And then making an ende of her short and sweet speech, both of vs making forward, our pace neither too fast nor too slowe, but in a measure; I thought thus, and thus discoursing with my selfe.

Oh most valiant Perseus, thou wouldest more feirsly haue fought with the cruell Dragon, for the fauour of this, then for the loue of thy fayre Andromada. And after.

Oh Iason, if the marriage of this had beene offered vnto thee, with a more greater and more daungerous aduenture, then the obtayning of the golden fleece, thou wouldest haue let goe that, and vndertaken this, with a greater courage, esteeming it aboue al the iewelles and precious treasures of the whole worlde; I, more then those of the ritch and mightie Queene Eleutherillida. Continually seeming more fayre, more beautifull, and more louely. Hippodamia, and all the greedy scraping and doubtfull Vsurers, neuer tooke such delight in getting of gold. A quyet Harbour was neuer so welcome to a destressed Marryner, in a stormy, darke, and tempesteous winter night: nor the wished and oportune fall of rayne, at the prayer of Cr[ae]sus, as the louing consent of this daintie Nymph: more welcome to mee, then bloody broyles to warlike Mars, or the first fruites of Creta to Dionisius: or the warbling Harpe to Apollo: and yet more gratefull, then fertill grounde, full eares, and plentifull yeelding, to the labouring Husbandman.

And thus in most contented sort, passing on and pressing down the thicke, greene, and coole grasse: sometime my searching and busie eyes, woulde haue a cast with her pretty & small feete, passing well fitted with shooes of Red leather, growing broader from the instept, narrowe at the toe, and close about the heele; and sometimes her fine and moueable legges, (her vesture of silke beeing blowne about with the winde, vppon her virgineall partes) discouered themselues. If I might haue seene them, I do imagine that they did looke like the finest flower of Peloponesus, or like the purest milke, coagulated with Muske.

By all which most delectable thinges, tyed and bounde in the harde and inextricable knots of vehement loue, more vneasie to vndoe then that of Hercules, or that which Alexander the great did cut in sunder with hys sworde: and amorously masked in rowled nettes, and my subdued heart, helde downe withe grieued cogitations and burning desires, leading mee whether they would, I founde in it more pricking torments then faythfull Regulus in Aphrica. So that my sorrowing spirites exasperated with an amorous desire and extreame vexation, continually burning in my panting breast, coulde by no meanes bee asswaged, but with supping vp of continuall sobbings, and breathing out of their flying losse. And thus drowned in a mist of doubts, and seeing me vyolently taken in her loue, I saide thus to my selfe.

O Poliphilus, howe canst thou leaue at any tyme thy inseperable loue, kindled towardes thy sweete Polia, for any other? And therewithall, from this Nymph, thus close and fast bounde, more strongly then in the clawes of a Creuise or Lobstar, endeuouring to vntie my selfe, I found it no easie peece of worke, so that I coulde not choose but greeuously binde my troubled hart, to the loue and affecting of this by all likelihoodes, hauing the true shape, sweete resemblance, and gratious behauiour of my most beloued Polia. But aboue all thinges, this came more neere vnto mee and grieued me worst, howe I should bee assured that shee was Polia. Wherevppon, from my watry eyes, the salt teares immediatly tryckling downe, it seemed vnto me a hard & contemptuous matter, to banish from my forlorne and poore heart, his olde soueraigne Lady and Mistresse, and to entertaine a newe, strange, and vnknowne Tyrannyzer.

Afterwards, I comforted my selfe again, with thinking that peraduenture this was shee, according to the sacred Oracle and true speech, of the mighty Queene Eleutherillida: and therefore, that I should not shrinke or stoope vnder my burthen; for if I were not greatly deceiued, this was shee indeede. And hauing made thys amorous and discoursiue thought and swasiue pr[ae]suppose, abandoning all other desires whatsoeuer, I onely determined with my heart and minde, to come backe againe to this noble and excellent Nymph; in whose great loue I beeing thus taken, with extreame compulsion, I was bolde with an vnaccustomed admyration, dilligently to looke vpon her rare shape, and louely features, my eyes making themselues the swallowing whirlpooles of her incomparable beautie: and they were no sooner opened, hotly to take in the sweete pleasure of her so benigne and conspicuous presence, but they were strengthened for euer, to hold with them solaciously agreeing, the assembly of all my other captiued sences, that from her and no other, I did seeke the mittegation and quenching of my amorous flames. And in this sort we came, whilst I was thus cruelly wounded by exasperating Loue, somewhat vppon the right side of the spacious fielde.

In which place, were set greene trees, thicke with leaues, and full of flowers, bearing fruite, rounde about the place and seate of such variable and diuers sorts, neuer fading but still greene, giuing great content to the delightfull beholder.

The gallant and pleasant Nymphe there stayed; and I also stood still: Where looking about, by the benignitie of the fruitfull playne, with halfe my sight, because I coulde not altogether withdrawe the same from the amorous obiect; I behelde very neere vnto vs, a certaine shewe of an inuyroning company, tryumphing and dauncing about vs, of most braue and fine youthes, without beardes and vnshorne heares, but that of their heads bushing, curling, and wrything, without any art or eff[ae]minate crysping: crowned and dressed, with garlands and wreathes of diuers flowers, and red Roses, with leauye Myrtle, with purple Amaranth or flower gentle, and Melliot: and with them a great company of yonge maydes, more fayre and delicate then bee to bee founde in Sparta; Both kindes apparelled very richly, in silkes of changable collours, hyding the perfect collour; some in Purple & Murry, and some in white curled Sendall, such as [Ae]gipt neuer affoorded, and of dyuers other collours: some Tawney, some Crymosen, others in Greene, some in Vyolet, some in Blewe, Peach collour, Peacocke collour, perfectly engrayned, as euer Corica coulde yeelde: and powdered and wouen with golde, and edged and hemmed about With orient Pearle and stones set in pure golde; some in gownes, and others in hunting sutes.

And the most of the beautifull Nymphes, had their fayre haire smoothly bounde vppe together, and thrise rowled about, with an excellent finishing knot; Others had their vnstable & wauing tresses, spreading downe ouer their fayre neckes. Some, with aboundance of haire, cast vp ouer their forheades, and the endes turning into curles, & shaddowing ouer the fayrenes of the same: so as Nature and not Arte, shewed her selfe therein a beautifull mistresse; With fillets and laces of golde, edged with orient Pearle, and others in Caules of golde, wearing about theyr slender neckes, rich and precious Carkenets and, necklaces, of Pearles and stone, and depending iewelles. And vppon theyr small eares, did hange dyuers precious stones, and ouer the variable dressings of theyr heades, before in two Hemycicles, were set shoddowes of oryent Pearle and stone, in flowers of hayre.

All which excellent ornaments, together with theyr most elegant personages, were easily able to alter, any churlish, vile or obstinate heart.

Theyr fayre breastes, in a voluptuous and wanton sort, were bare to the middest of them: And vppon their prettie feete, some wore sandalles, after the auncient manner, beeing soles, and the foote bare fastened to the same, with a small chaine of golde, comming vp betwixt the great toe and the middle, and the little toe and the next, about the heele ouer the instep, and fastening vppon the vpper part, betwixt the toes and the instep, in a flower. Others hauing straight shooes, claspt vppon the instep with flowers of golde. Their stockings of silke; some of Purple, some of Carnation, some of parted collours: such as Caius Galicola neuer first brought vp. Others wearing Buskins, vppon the white swelling calfes of their legges, and laced with silke; some butned wyth golde and precious stone.

Their fore-heades most fayre, and beautified with the moueable wauinges of theyr crysping hayre couered ouer with a thinne vayle, lyke a Spiders vvebbe. Theyr eyes byting and alluring, more bright, than the twinkling starres in a cleere ayre, vnder theyr circulate brees: vvith a small nose, betwixt their rounde and cherry cheekes: their teeth orderly disposed, small and euen set, of the collour of refyned siluer: vppon the rest, betwixt their sweet and soft lyppes: of the collour of Corrall.

Many of them carrying instruments of Musique, such as neuer were seene in Ausonia, nor in the handes of Orpheus: yeelding in the flowring Meadowe & smoth playne, most delightfull sounds, with sweete voyces and noyces of ioye and tryumphing: and to increase the glory, amorously stryuing and contending one with an other, vvith solacious and pleasant acts, accompanied with faire speeches and friendly aspects. And in this place, with a most delectable applause, I behelde foure Tryumphes, so precious and sumptuously set foorth, as neuer any mortall eye hath seene.

Poliphilus in this prescribed place, did beholde foure tryumphing Chariots, all set with precious stones and iewelles, by a great number of youthes, in the honour of Iupiter.

The first of the foure marueilous tryumphant Chariots, had foure rounde wheeles, of Perfect greene Emeralds of Scythia; the rest of the Chariot did amase mee to beholde, beeing made all of table Dyamonds: not of Arabia or Cyprus, of the newe Myne, as our Lapidaries call them: but of India, resisting the harde stroakes of yron and steele, abyding the hote fire & striuing therwith, mollified onely with the warme bloode of Goates, gratefull in the Magicall arte; which stones, were wonderfully cut of a Cataglyphic explicature, and set very curiously in fine golde.

Vppon the right side of the Chariot, I sawe expressed, the representation of a noble Nymph, with many accompanying her in a Meddowe, crowning of victorious Bulles with garlands of flowers, and one abyding by her very tamely.

The same Nymph, vppon the other side was also represented, who hauing mounted vp vppon the backe of the Bull, which was gentle and white, he carryed her ouer the sea.

Vppon the fore-ende I behelde Cupid, with a great number of wounded people and Nations, marueiling to see him shoote into the ayre. And in the hinder part, Mars standing before Iupiter, mourning because the boy had shotte through his impenetrable Brest-plate, and shewing the wounde, and with the other hande, holding out his arme, he helde this worde Nemo.

The fashion of this Chariot was quadrangulat, of two perfect squares, longe wayes, of sixe foote in length and three foote in height, with a bearing out coronice aboue and vnder the plynth: and about the same a plaine, in breadth two foote and a halfe, and in length fiue foot and a halfe, bearing towards the Coronice, all ouer scally, with precious stones, with an altered congresse and order of collours, variably disposed. And vppon the foure corners, were fastned foure coppies, inuersed, and the mouth lying vpward vpon the proiect corner of the Coronice, full of fruites and flowers cut of precious stones, as it were growing out of a foliature of golde. The hornes were chased neere their mouth, with the leaues of Poppy, and wrythen in the belly: the gracylament & outward bending, ioyning fast to the ende of the plaine, and breaking of in an olde fashioned iagged leaf-worke, lying a long vnder the backe of the Coppisse, and of the same mettall. Vpon euery corner of the Plynth, from the Coronice downeward, there was a foote lyke a Harpies, with an excellent conuersion and turning vppon eyther sides of the leaues of Acanthus.

The wheeles, aboue the naues and axeltrees, were closed within the Chariot, and the sides thereof vnder the Harpies feete, bent somewhat vpward and growing lesser, turned rounde downward, wherevnto the furniture or trace to drawe it by, were fastned: and where the axeltree was, there vpon the side of the bottom of the Charriot, ouer the naue of the wheele, there came downe a prepention ioyning to the Plynth, twise so long as deepe, of two foliatures, one extending one way and the other an other way: and vpon the middle thereof and lowest part, was a Rose of fiue leaues, in the seede whereof, the ende of the axeltree did lye.

Vppon the aforesaide Playne, I behelde the ymage of a fayre white and tame Bull, trymmed and dressed with flowers, in manner like an Oxe for a Sacrifice. And vppon his large and broade backe, did sit a princely virgine, with long and slender armes, halfe naked; with her handes she helde by his hornes. Her apparell was exquesite of greene silke and golde, marueilously wouen, and of a Nymphish fashion, couering her body and girded about her wast, edged about with Pearle and stone, and a crowne of glittering golde vpon her fayre heade.

This Triumph, was drawne by sixe lasciuious Centaures, which came of the fallen seede of the sausy and presumpteous Ixion: with a furniture of gold vpon them, and a long their strong sides, like horses, excellently framed and illaqueated in manner of a flagon chayne, whereby they drewe the Tryumph; such as Ericthonius neuer inuented, for swiftnesse.

Vpon euery one of them did ride a goodly Nymph, with theyr shoulders one towards an other: three, with their beautifull faces towards the right side of the Tryumphes, and three to the left, with Instruments of Musique, making together a heauenly harmonie and consort. Their hayres yellowe, and falling ouer their fayre neckes, with Pancarpiall garlands of all manner of flowers, vpon their heades. The two next the Tryumph, were apparelled in blewe silke, like the collour of a Peacockes necke.

The middlemost in bright Crymosen: and the two formost in an Emerald greene, not wanting any ornamentes to sette them foorth, singing so sweetly with little rounde mouthes, and playing vppon their instruments, within so celestiall a manner, as woulde keepe a man from euer dying.

The Centaures were crowned with yuie, that is called Dendrocyssos. The two next the tryumph did beare in their handes, two vesselles of an olde fashion, of the Topas of Arabia, of a bright golden collour, gratefull to Lucina, and to the which, the waues will be calme: slender at the bottom, bigge swelling in the belly, and lessening small vp towardes the Orifice; In height two foote, without eares: out of the which, did ascend a thicke smoake or fume, of an inestimable fragrancie. The middlemost, did sounde Trumpets of golde, with banners of silke and golde, fastned to the Trumpets in three places.

The other two formost, with olde fashioned Cornets, agreeing in consort with the Instruments of the Nymph.

Vnder the which triumphant Chariot, were the Axeltrees conuently placed, wherevppon the wheeles turned, and of a balustic lyneament, waxing small towarde the ende and rounde: Which Axeltrees, were of fine pure golde and massiue, neuer cankering or fretting; which is the deadly poyson and destroyer of vertue and peaceable quyet.

This tryumph was solemnly celebrated, with moderate leaping and dauncing about, and great applause: their habites were girded with skarfes, the endes flying abroade.

And in like sort, those which did sit vpon the Centaures, commending in their song, the occasion and mistery of the Tryumph, in voyces consonant and cantionell verse; more pleasant than I am able to expresse, but let this suffice.

The second Tryumph.

The next Tryumph, was not lesse worthy to be beholden then the first. The foure wheeles, the spokes, and naues, were all of Fulkish Agate, and in dyuers places white veines: such as King Pyrrhus could not shewe, with the representation of the nine Muses, and Apollo playing in the middest of them vppon his Lute.

The Axeltrees and fashion of the same like the other: but the Tables were of orient blewe Saphire, hauing in them, as small as motes in the Sunne, certaine glinces of golde, gratefull to the Magicke Arte, and of Cupid beloued in the left hande.

Vpon the Table on the right side, I behelde engrauen, a goodly Matron lying in a princely bed, beeing deliuered of two egges in a stately Pallace: her Midwyues and other Matrons and yonge women, beeing greatly astonished at the sight. Out of one of the which, spronge a flame of fire: and out of the other egge two bright starres.

Vppon the other side were engrauen, the curious Parents, ignorant of thys strange byrth, in the Temple of Apollo, before hys image, asking by Oracle the cause and ende heereof, hauing this darke aunswere. Vni gratum Mare. Alterum gratum Mari. And for thys ambiguous aunswere they were reserued by their Parents.

Vppon the fore-ende of the Charyot, there was represented most liuely the figure of Cupid, aloft in the skyes, with the sharpe heades of his golden arrowes, wounding and making bleede the bodyes of dyuers foure footed beastes, creeping Serpents, and flying Foules. And vppon the earth, stoode dvuers persons, wondering at the force of such a little slaue, and the effect of suche a vveake and slender Arrowe.

In the hynder ende, Iupiter appoynting in hys steade, a prudent and subtill Sheepehearde as a Iudge, awakened by hym, as hee lay sleeping neere a most fayre Fountaine, whether of the three most fayre Goddesses, hee esteemed best worthie. And hee beeing seduced by deuising Cupid, gaue the Apple to the pleasant working Venus.

This tryumphant Charyot, was drawen by sixe white Elephants, coupled two and two together, such as will hardly be found in Agesinua, nor among the Gandars of India. Pompei neuer had the like in his Tryumphes in Affricke: neither were the like seene in the Tryumphes of the conquest of India; their tronckes armed with deadly teeth of yuory, passing on theyr way and drawing together, making a pleasant braying or noyse. Their furniture & traces of pure blewe silke, twisted with threds of golde and siluer: the fastnings in the furniture, all made vp with square or true loue knots, lyke square eares of corne of the Mountaine Garganus. Their Poyterelles of golde, set with Pearle and stone different in collours; the beautie of the one striuing to excell the beautie of the other. And thus was all their furniture or armings to the traces, of silke as aforesayde.

Vppon them also, did ride (as before) sixe younge and tender Nymphes, in like sort, but theyr Instruments different from the former, but agreeing in consort: and what soeuer the first did, the same did these.

The first two were apparelled in Crymosen: the middle most two in fine hayre collour: and the foremost in vyolet. The Caparisons of the Eliphants were of cloth of golde, edged with great Pearles and precious stones: And about their neckes were ornaments of great round iewelles, and vpon their faces, great balles of Pearles, tasled with silke and golde, vnstable and turning.

Ouer this stately Chariot tryumphant, I behelde a most white Swanne, in the amorous imbracing of a noble Nymph, the daughter of Theseus, of an incredible beautie: and vpon her lappe, sitting the same Swanne, ouer her white thighes. She sate vppon two cushines of cloth of golde, finely and softely wouen, with all the ornaments necessary for them.

Her selfe apparelled in a Nimphish sort, in cloth of siluer, heere and there powdered with golde, ouer one and vnder three, without defect or want of any thing, requisite to the adorning of so honorable a representation, which to the beholder, may occasion a pleasurable delight. In euery sort performed with as great applause as the first.

The third Tryumph.

Then followed the thyrd Tryumph, with foure wheles of [Ae]thyopian Chrysolite, sparkling out golde: that which hath beene helde in the same, in olde time hath beene thought good to dryue away malignant spirits. The wheeles vpwardly couered, as aforesaide, and the naues and spokes of the same fashion, of greene Helitropia of Cyprus: whose vertue is, to keepe secret in the day light, to diuine giftes, full of drops of blood.

This Historie was engrauen vppon the right side of the Table thereof, as followeth. A man of great Maiestie, requesting to knowe what should happen to his fayre daughter: her Father vnderstanding, that by her meanes he should be dispossessed of his Crowne and dignitie; and to the ende she shoulde not be carried away or stollen of any, he built a mightie stronge Tower, and there, with a watchfull garde caused her to bee kept: and shee remayning there in this sort with great content, had falling into her virgineall lap, drops of Golde.

Vppon the other side was chased out a valiant youth, who with great reuerence did receiue a protection of a Christall shielde, and with his sworde afterward cutting off the heade of a terryble woman, and afterwardes proudly bearing her heade in signe of victorie; Out of the hotte blood of whome, did rise vp a flying horse: who striking vppon a Mountaine with one of hys houes, made a strange springe of water to gush out.

Vpon the fore ende I behelde the mightie Cupid, drawing hys golden Arrowe, and shooting the same vp into the heauens, causing them to raine bloode: whereat a number stoode wonderfully amazed, of all fortes of people. Vpon the other ende, I did see Venus in a wonderfull displeasure, hauing taken her son by a Knight in a Net, and getting him by the winges, she was about to plucke of his fethers: hauing plucked of one handfull, that flewe about, the little elph crying out pitteously; and an other sent from Jupiter, tooke him away and saued him from his mother, and presented him to Jupiter: against whose diuine mouth, were in Attic Letter these wordes written, SUMOIPL UKUSTEKAIPKROS and hee couered him in the lap of his celestiall gowne.

This tryumphant Charriot, was pompously drawne with sixe fierce Vnicornes: their heades like Harts, reuerencing the chaste Diana. The poyterelles and furniture about their stronge breasts, was of golde, set with precious stone, and fringed with siluer and hayre colloured silke, tyed into knots, in manner of a net worke, and tasseled at euery prependent point, their caparisons like the other before spoken of.

Vpon these did sit, six fayre virgines, in such pompe and manner as before, apparelled in cloth of golde, wouen with blewe silke into diuers leaues & flowers; these had a consort of liuncyers winde Instruments, full of spirite. And vppon the toppe of the Chariot, was placed a stoole of green Iasper, set in siluer: needfull in byrth, and medicinable for chastitie; at the foote it was sixe square, and growing smaller towarde the seate, and from the middle to the foote, champhered and furrowed, and vpward wrought with nextrulles: the seate whereof was somewhat hallowed, for the more easily sitting vppon it. The Lyneaments thereof most excellent.

A loft vppon the same did sit a most singuler fayre Nymph, richly apparelled in cloth of golde and blewe silke, dressed lyke a virgine, and adorned with innumerable sortes of Pearles and stone; she shewed an affectious delight, to beholde droppes of golde fall from heauen into her lappe. She sate in solemne pompe like the other, and with great applause, with her fayre and plentifull haire spreading downe ouer her backe, crowned with a Dyademe of golde, set with sundry precious stones.

The fourth Tryumph.

The fourth Tryumph was borne vppon foure wheeles, with Iron strakes, forcibly beaten out without fire; All the rest of the Charyot, in fashion like the former, was of burning Carbuncle, shewing light in the darkest places, of an expolite cutting: past any reason, to thinke howe or where it was possible to be made, or by what workeman.

The right side whereof, helde this History. An honourable woman with childe, vnto whome Jupiter shewed himselfe (as he was wont With Iuno) in thunder and lightning: insomuch, as shee fell all to ashes, out of the which was taken vp a younge infant.

Vpon the other side, I behelde Iupiter, hauing the saide Infant in his hands, & delyuering him to a yonge man, with winged buskyns, and a staffe, with two serpents winding about it: who deliuered the Infant to certaine Nymphes in a Caue, to be fostered.

In the fore-ende, I might see howe Cupid hauing shot vp into heauen with hys mischeeuous Arrowe, had caused Iupiter to beholde a mortall Nymph: and a great number of wounded people woondering at it.

In the hinder end was Iupiter sitting in a tribunall seate as iudge, and Cupide appeering limping before him, and making grieuous complaints against his louing mother, bicause that by hir means he had wounded himselfe extreemly with the loue of a faire damsell, and that his leg was burnt with a drop of a lampe, presenting also the yoong Nymph and the lampe in hir hand. And Iupiter with a smiling countenance speaking to Cupid,

Perfer scintillam qui coelum accendis & omnes.

This Monosticon was grauen in Latine letters in a square table before the faces of their supreame maiesties, the rest as is described.

This mysticall triumph was drawen by sixe spotted beasts of yealow shining colour, and swift as the tygers of Hyrcania called Leopards, coupled togither with withes of twined vines, full of tender greene leaues, and stalkes full of greene clusters. This chariot was drawen very leisurely.

Vpon the middle of which plaine there was placed a base of golde by the lowest diameter, one foote and three handfuls high, the lataster or lowest verdge round and hollowed, in the middle vnder the vpper sime or brimme in forme of a pallie with nextrubs, rules and cordicels: the vpper plaine of this base was euacuated, wherein rested the traines of the fower eagles standing vpon the plaine, smooth superficies of the base, which were of precious [Ae]tite of Persia, of the colour of a sakers plume. And these stood with their shoulders one opposite against another, and their pounces of gold fastened and sticking in the said base, euery one surueying with their wings, and the flowering tips of their sarcellets touching one another. Ouer these as vpon a nest, was placed this maruellous vessell of [Ae]thiopian Hyacints cleere and bright, Celso inimicus, Comiti gratiosus. This vessell was crusted with emeralds and vaines of diuers other pretious stones, a worke incredible. The height thereof two foote and a halfe, the fashion in maner round, the breadth by diameter one foote and a halfe, and the circumference consisted of three diameters. From the heads of the eagles the bottome or foote of the vessell did ascend vp one triens, and a border going about the thicknes of a hand, from which border to the beginning of the belly of the vessel, and to the bottome of the foote with this hand breadth, was a foote and a halfe. Vpon this stood the forme of the vessell aforesaid one handfull and a halfe broader, which halfe handfull was distributed to the border, about the brimme of foulding leaues and flowers standing out from the hyacinth. The diameter two quarters & a halfe. Vnder this border there did stick out round about certaine proportions like walnut shels, or the keele of a ship, somwhat thicke and broade at the vpper end, and lessing themselues to nothing belowe. From thence to the orifice it did rise vp two quarters and a halfe, furrowed with turning champhers, and an excellent sime: and in steed of eares to take vp the vessell by, it had two lips standing out and turning in round like the head of a base viall.

Vnder and aboue the borders, the vessel was wrought with turned gululs, vnduls, and imbossings, and with such lineaments were the borders wrought, both vnder and aboue. Vppon the border in the necke of the couer, were two halfe rings, suppressed in the border by transuersion, one of them iust against another, which were holden in the biting teeth of two Lysarts, or byting Dragons of greene emerauld, bearing out from the couer. They stoode with their serpentlike feete vpon the lower part of the couer vnder the necke, betwixt the which and the lower vessell, was one quantitie, and from his vpper gracilament descending, he ioyned with the turned in sime of the circumferent lymbus or verdge, where they did closely byte togither. This couer to the necke was made in skalie work of Hyacinth, except the vaynes of smaragd, for the little dragons, their bellies and feetes fastening to the skalie couer. These little dragons one against an other, their brests and throtes hollowing out from the border and the couer, and their tayles turning vpwards againe, did serue for the eares of the couer, iust ouer them of the lower vessell.

The lower turning about, where the couer did close with the vessell being of two parts, ioyned togither with an excellent foliature, halfe a foote broad, as if they had bin inseparable.

The bodie of this vessell was all run ouer with a Vine, the stringes and vaines whereof, and small curling twists, were of Topas, farre better then is founde in the Ilande Ophiadis, the leaues of fine smaragd, and the braunches of Amethist, to the sight most beautifull, and to the vnderstanding woonderfull contemplable. The subiect vessell appearing thorough the same of Hiacinth so round and polished, as any wheele can send foorth: except, vnder the leaues there was a substaunce left, which helde the foliature to the vessell of Hiacinth, passing ouer and separated from the subiect. The hollowed and bending leaues with all the other lapicidariall lineaments, were performed with such an emulation of nature as was woonderfull.

Let vs nowe returne to the circumferent brim of the pretious vessell. In the smooth partes whereof, vppon eyther sides of the tayles of the Lysarts, I behelde two hystorials woorthy of regard, ingrauen in this sort. Vpon the foreside of the vessell, the representation of Iupiter, holding in his right hande a glistering sword, of the vayne of the [Ae]thiopian Chrysolits: and in the other hande a thunder bolt of shining Rubie. His countenance sauour of the vaine of Gallatits, and crowned with stars like lightening, he stoode vpon an aultar of Saphyre. Before his fearefull maiestie, were a beuie of Nymphs, seauen in number, apparrelled in white, proffering with their sweete voices to sing, and after transforming themselues into greene trees like emeralds full of azure flowers, and bowing themselues downe with deuotion to his power: Not that they were all transformed into leaues, but the first into a tree, hir feete to rootes, their armes and heads into braunches, some more then other, but in a shewe that they must followe all alike, as appeared by their heads.

Vpon the other Anaglyph, I did behold a merrie and pleasant maiesticall personage, like a yoong fat boye, crowned with two folding serpents, one white, and the other blacke, tied into a knot. Hee rested delightfullie vnder a plentifull vine tree full of ripe grapes, and vpon the top of the frame there were little naked boies, climing vp and sitting aloft gathering the ripe clusters: others offering them in a basket to the God, who pleasantly receiued them: other some lay fast a sleepe vpon the ground, being drunke with the sweet iuice of the grape. Others applying themselues to the worke of mustulent autumne: others singing and piping: all which expression was perfected by the workman in pretious stones, of such colour as the naturall liuelinesse of euery vaine, leafe, flower, berrie, body, proportion, shape, and representation required. And in this imagerie, although it was very small, yet there was no defect to be found in the least part belonging thereunto, but perfectly to be discerned.

Out of this former described vessell did spring vp a greene flourishing vine, the twisting branches thereof full set with clusters of grapes, the tawny berries of Indian Amethyst, and the leaues of greene Silenitis of Persia: Not subiect to the change of the moone, delighted of Cupid. This tree shadowed the chariot: At euery corner of this triumphant chariot vpon the plaine where the vessell stood, was placed a candlesticke, of excellent workmanship, vpon three feet of red corrall, well liked of the ruder sort, resisting lightening and tempests, fauourable and preseruatiue to the bearer: The like were not found vnder the head of Gorgon of Persia, nor in the Ocean Erythreum. The steale of one of the candlesticks was of white corrall, beloued of Diana, of a conuenient length, with round knobs and ioints, in height two foote. Another was of most fine stone Dionisias, hauing spots growing from a blackish to a pure red, the same pounded smelleth sweetly. The third was of perfect Medea of the colour of darke gold, and hauing the smell of Nectar. The fourth of pretious Nebritis from a blacke growing to a white and greene. Out of the hollowed steales whereof, there ascended vp a pyramidall flame of euerlasting fire, continually burning. The brightnes of the works expressed through the reflexion of the lights, and the sparkling of the pretious stones were such, as my eies dazeled to behold them.

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