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The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz --------------------------------------- 2 The Chymical Wedding of Chr istian Rosenkre utz Originally published in German in 1616. This edition derives from an English trans- lation published in 1690. No part of this document is copyrighted or copyrightable in any domain. Adobe Acrobat edition prepared by Benjamin Rowe, October, 2000. Typeset in Bembo. --------------------------------------- 3 The First Day n an evening before Easter Day, I sat at a table, and having (as my custom was) in my humble prayer? suciently conversed with my Creator, and considered many gre at mysteries (whereof O the Father of Lights his Majesty had shown me not a few) and being now ready to prepare in my hear t, together with my dear Paschal Lamb, a small, unleavened, un?deled cake; all of a sudden arose so horrible a tempest, that I imag ined no other but that through its mighty force, the hill on which my little house was founded wo?uld y into pieces. But inasmuch as this, and the like from the Devil (who had done me many a spite) was no new thing to me, I took courage, and persisted in my meditation, till somebody in an unusual manner touched me on the back; whereupon I was so hugely te?red, ri that I dared hardly look about me; yet I showed myself as cheerful as (in such occurrences) human frailty would permit. Now the same thing still twitching me several times by the coat, I looked back, and behold it was a fair and glorious lady, whose garments were all sky-coloured, and curiously (like Heaven) bespangled with golden stars; in her r ight hand she bore a trumpet of beaten gold, on which a Name was engraved which I could well read but am as yet forbidden to reveal it. In her left hand she had a great bundle of letters of all languages, which she (as I afterwards understood) was to carry to all countries. She also had large and beautiful wings, full of eyes throughout, with which she could mount aloft, and? y swifter than any eagle. I might perhaps have been able to take further notice of her, but because she stayed so little time with me, and terror and amazement still possessed me, I had to be conte nt. For as soon as I turned about, she turne d her let- ters over and over, and at length drew out a small one, which with great reverence she laid down upon the table, and without giving one word, departed from me. But in her mounting upward, she gave so mighty a blast on her gallant trumpet, that the whole hill echoed from it, and for a full quarter of an hour after, I could hardly hear my own words. In so unlooked for an adventure I was at a loss, how either to advise or to assist my poor self, and therefore fell upon my knees and besought my Cre- ator to permit nothing contrary to my eternal happiness to befall me. Whereupon with fear and trembling, I went to the letter, which was now so h eavy, that h ad it b een mere gold it could hardly have been so weighty. Now as I was diligently viewing it, I found a little seal, on whic h a curious cross with this inscr iption, IN HOC SIGNO VINCES, was engraved. Page 1 --------------------------------------- 4 Now as soon as I espied this sign I was the more comforted, as not being ignorant that such a seal was little acceptable, and much less useful, to the Devil. Whereupon I tenderly opened the letter, and within it, in an azure ? eld, in golden letters, found the following verses written. This day, today Is the Royal Wedding day. For this thou wast bor n And chosen of God for joy Thou mayest go t o the mountain Whereon three temples stand, And see there this? aair. Keep watch Inspect thyself And shouldst thou not bathe thoroughly The Wedding may work thy bane. Bane comes to him who faileth here Let him beware who is too light. Below was written: Sponsus and Sponsa. As soon as I had read this letter, I was presently like to have fainted away, all my hair stood on end, and a cold sweat tr icked down my whole body. For although I well perceived that this was the appointed wedding, of which seven years before I was acquainted in a bodily vision, and which now for so long a time I had with great earnestness awaited, and which lastly, by the account and calculation of the planets, I had most diligently observed, I found so to be, yet could I never foresee that it must happen under such grievous perilous conditions. For whereas I before imag ined, that t o b e a w elcome and a cceptable g uest, I n eeded o nly t o b e r eady t o appear at the wedding, I was now directed to Divine Providence, of which until this time I was never certain. I a lso f ound b y m yself, t he m ore I e xamined m y s elf, t hat i n m y h ead there was nothing but gross misunderstanding, and blindness in mysterious things, so that I was not able to comprehend even those things which lay under my feet, and which I daily conversed with, much less that I should be born to the searching out and understanding of the secrets of Nature, since in my opinion Nature might everywher?end a more virtuous disciple, to whom to entrust her precious, though temporar y and changeable, treasures. Page 2 --------------------------------------- 5 I found also that my bodily behaviour, and outward good conversation, and brotherly love towards my neighbour, was not duly purged and cleansed. Moreover the tickling of th?e esh manife sted itself, whos?e aec- tion was bent only to pomp and bravery, and worldly pride, and not to the good of mankind: and I was always contriving how by this art I might in a short time abundantly increase my pr? t and advo antage, rear up stately pal- aces, make myself an everlasting name in the world, and other similar carnal designs. But the obscure words concerning the three temples particularly a? icted me, which I was not able to make out by any after-speculation, and perhaps should not have done so yet, had they not been wonderfully revealed to me. Thus stuck between hope and fear, examining my self again and again, and ? nding only my own frailty and impotence, not being in any way able to succour myself, and exceedingly amazed at the fore mentioned threaten- ing, at length I betook myself to my usual and most secure course - after I had ? nished my ear nest and most fervent prayer, I laid myself down in my bed, so that perchance my good angel by the Divine permission might appear, and (as it had sometimes formerly happened) instruct me in this doubtful a? air. Which to the praise of God, my own good, and my neigh- bours’ faithful and hearty warning and amendment, did now likewise come about. For I was yet scarcely fallen asleep, when I thought that I, together with an innumerable multitude of men, lay fettere d with great chains in a dark dungeon, in which, without the least glimpse of light, we swar med like bees one over another, and thus rendered each oth?eric’tios an more g riev- ous. But although neither I nor any of the rest could see one jot, yet I con- tinually heard one heaving himself above the other, when his chains and fetters had become ever so slightly lighter, though none of us had much reason to shove up above the other, since we were all captive wre tches. Now when I with the rest had continued a good while in th? iictions a , and each was still reproaching the other with his blindness and captivity, at length we heard many trumpets sounding together and kettle drums beat- ing in such a masterly fashion, that it even revived us in our calamity and made us rejoice. During this noise the cover of the dungeon was lifted up from above, and a little light let down to us. Then? rs t might truly have been discerned the bustle we kept, for all went pell-mell, and he who perchance had heaved himself up too much, was forced down again under the others’ feet. In brief, each one strove to be upper most. Neither did I myself linger, but Page 3 --------------------------------------- 6 with my weighty fetters slipped up from under the rest, and then heaved myself upon a stone, which I laid hold of; howbeit, I was caught at several time s by others, from whom yet as well as I might, I still guarded myself with hands and feet. For we imag ined no other but that we should all be set at liberty, which yet fell out quite otherwise. For after the nobles who looked upon us from above through the hole had recreated themselves a while with our struggling and lamenting, a cer- tain hoar y-he aded ancient man called to us to be quiet, and having scarcely obtained this, began (as I still re member) to speak on thus: If the poor human race Were not so arrogant It would have been given much good From my mother’s heritage, But because the human race will not take heed It lies in such straits And must be held in prison. And yet my dearest mother Will not regard their mischief, She leaves her lovely gifts That many a man might come to the light, Though this may chance but seldom That they be better pr ized Nor reckoned as mere fable. Therefore in honour of the feast Which we shall hold today, That her grace may be multiplied A good work will she do: The rope will now be lowered Whoever may hang on to it He shall be freed. He had scarcely ? nished speaking when an ancient matron commanded her servants to let down the cord seven times into the dungeon, and draw up whosoever could hang upon it. Good God! that I coul?d suciently describe the hurry and disquiet that then arose amongst us; for everyone strove to get to the cord, and yet only hindered each other. But after seven Page 4 --------------------------------------- 7 minute s a sign was given by a little bell, whereupon at? therst p ull the ser- vants drew up four. At that time I could not get very near the cord, having (as is before mentioned) to my huge misfortune, betaken myself to a stone at the wall of the dungeon; and thereby I was made unable to get to the cord which descended in the middle. The cord was let down the second time, but many, because their chains were too heavy, and their hands too tender, could not keep their hold on the cord, but with themselves beat down many another who else perhaps might have held fast enough; nay, many a one was forcibly pu?lled o by another, who yet could not himself get at it, so mutually e nvious were we even in this our great misery. But they of all others most moved my compassion whose weight was so heavy that they tore their very hands from their bodies, and yet could not get up. Thus it came to pass that at thos? ve e times very few were drawn up. For as soon as the sign was given, the servants were so nimble at draw- ing the cord up, that the most part tumbled one upon another, and the cord, this time especially, was drawn up very empty. Whereupon the greatest part, and even I myself, despaired of redemp- tion, and called upon God that he would have pity on us, and (if possible) deliver us out of this obscurity; who then also heard some of us. For when the cord came down the sixth time, some of them hung themselves fast upon it; and whilst being drawn up, the cord swung from one side to the other, and (perhaps by the will of God) came to me, and I suddenly caught it, uppermost above all the rest, and so at length beyond hope came out. At which I rejoiced exceedingly, so that I did not perceive the wound which during the drawing up I had received on my head from a shar p stone, until I, w ith the r est who were re leased (as was always d one before) h ad to h elp with the seventh and last pull; at which time through straining, the blood ran down all over my clothes, which I nevertheless because of my joy did not take notice of. Now when the last drawing up on which the most of all hung was? nished, the matron caused the cord to be laid aside, and asked her aged son to declare her resolution to the rest of the prisoners, who after he had thought a little spoke thus unto them. Ye childer dear Ye who are here, It is completed What long hath been known, Page 5 --------------------------------------- 8 The great favour which my mother Hath here shown you twain Ye should not disdain: A joyful time shall soon be come. When each shall be the othe’s er qual, No one be poor or rich, And who was given great commands Must bring much with him now, And who was much entrusted with Stripped to the skin will be, Wherefore leave o? your lamentation Which is but for a few days. As soon as he ha?d nished these words, the cover was again put to and locked down, and the trumpets and kettle-dr ums began afresh, yet the noise of them could not be so loud but that the bitter lamentation of the prisoners which arose in the dungeon was heard above all, which soon also caused my eyes to r un over. Presently afterwards the ancient matron, together with her son, sat down on seats before prepared, and commanded the redeemed should be told. Now as soon as she had demanded every’s nameone , which were also writ- ten down by a little page; having viewed us all, one after another, she sighed, and spoke to her son, so that I could well hear he“Ah, hor, w heart- ily I am grieved for the poor men in the dungeon! I would to God I could release them a”ll. To which her son replied, “It is, mother, thus ordained by God, against whom we may not contend. If we were all of us lords, and possessed all the goods upon Earth, and were seated at table, who would there then be to bring up the service”? Whereupon his mother held her peace, but soon after she s“Waid, e ll, however, let these be freed from their fette” whrs, ich was likewise presently done, and I was the last except a few; yet I could not refrain (though I still looked upon the rest) but bowed myself before the ancient matron, and thanked God that through her, he had graciously and fatherly vouchsafed to bring me out of such darkness into the light. After me the rest did likewise, to the satisfaction of the matron. Lastly, to everyone was given a piece of gold for a remembrance, and to spend by the way, on the one side of which was stamped the rising sun, and Page 6 --------------------------------------- 9 on the other (as I remember) these three letters, D.L.S.; and therewith everyone had license to depart, and was sent to his own business with this annexe d limitation, that we to the glory of God should ?benet our neigh- bours, and reserve in silence what we had been entrusted with; which we also promised to do, and so departed one from another. But be cause of the wounds which the fetters had caused me, I could not we ll go forward, but halted on both feet, which the matron presently espying, laughing at it, and calling me again to her said thus to me“My: son, do not let this defect a? ict you, but call to mind your ?inrmities, and therewith thank God who has per mitted you even in this world, and in your state of imperfection, to come into so high a light; and ke ep these wounds for my” s ake. Whereupon the trumpets began to sound again, which gave me such a shock that I woke up, and the?nrs t perceived that it was only a dream, but it so strongly impressed my imagination that I was still per petually troubled about it, and I thought I still felt the wounds on my feet. Howbeit, by all these things I understood well that God had vouchsafed that I should be present at this mysterious and bidden wedding. Where fore with childlike con? dence I returned thanks to his Divine Majesty, and besought him that he would further preserve me in fear of him, that he would daily? ll m y heart with wisdom and understanding, and at length graciously (without deserting me) conduct me to the desired end. Hereupon I prepared myself for the way, put on my white linen coat, girded my loins, with a blood-red ribbon bound cross-ways over my shoul- der. In my hat I stuck four red roses, so that I might sooner be noticed amongst the throng by this token. For food I took bread, salt and water, which by the counsel of an understanding person I had at certain times used, not without pr?ot, in similar occurrences. But before I left my cottage, I ? rst, in this my dress and wedding gar- ment, fell down upon my knees, and besought God that in case such a thing were, he would vouchsafe me a good issue. And thereupon in the presence of God I made a vow that if anything through his grace should be revealed to me, I would employ it to neither my own honour nor my own authority in the world, but to the spreading of his Name, and the service of my neighbour. And with this vow, and good hope, I departed out of my cell with joy. Page 7 --------------------------------------- 10 Page 8 --------------------------------------- 11 The Second Day had hardly got out of my cell into a forest when I thought the whole heaven and all the elements had already trimmed them- selves in preparation for this wedding. For even the birds I chanted more pleasantly than before, and the young fawns skipped so merrily that they made my heart rejoice, and moved me to sing; wherefore with a loud voice I thus began: Rejoice dear bird And praise thy Maker, Raise bright and clear thy voice, Thy God is most exalted, Thy food he hath prepared for thee To give thee in due season. So be content therewith, Wherefore shalt thou not be glad, Wilt thou arraign thy God That he hath made thee bird? Wilt trouble thy wee head That he made thee not a man? Be still, he hath it well bethought And be conte nt therewith. What do I then, a worm of earth To judge along with God? That I in this heave’ns storm Do wrestle with all art. Thou canst not? ght with God. And whoso is no?t t for this, let him be sped away O Man, be satis? ed That he hath made thee not the King And take it not amiss, Perchance hadst thou despised his name, That were a sorry matter: For God hath clearer eyes that that He looks into thy heart, Thou canst not God deceive. Page 9 --------------------------------------- 12 This I sang now from the bottom of my heart throughout the whole for- est, so that it resounded from all parts, and the hills repeated my last words, until at length I saw a curious green heath, to which I betook myself out of the forest. Upon this heath stood three lovely tall cedars, which by reason of their breadth a? orded excellent and desired shade, at which I greatly rejoiced. For although I had not hitherto gone far, yet my earnest longing made me very faint, whereupon I haste ned to the trees to rest a little under them. But as soon as I came somewhat closer, I saw a tablet fastened to one of them, on which (as afterwards I read) in curious letters the following words were written: “God save you, stranger! If you have heard anything concerning the nuptials of the King, consider these words. By us the Bridegro?oerms o you a choice between four ways, all of which, if you do not sink down in the way, can bring you to his royal court. T?hre st is short but dangerous, and one which will lead you into rocky places, through which it will scarcely be possible to pass. The second is longer, and takes you circui- tously; it is plain and easy, if by the help of the Magnet you turn neither to left nor right. The third is that truly royal way which through various plea- sures and pageants of our King? , aords you a joyful journey; but this so far has scarcely been allotted to one in a thousand. By the fourth no man shall reach the place, because it is a consuming way, practicable only for incor- ruptible bodies. Choose now which one you will of the three, and perse- vere constantly therein, for know whichever you will enter, that is the one destined for you by immutable Fate, nor can you go back in it save at g reat peril to life. These are the things which we would have you know. But, ho, beware! you know not with how much danger you commit yourself to this way, for if you know yourself to be obnoxious by the smallest fault to the laws of our King, I beseech you, while it is still possible, to return swiftly to your house by the way you came” . As soon as I read this writing all my joy nearly vanished again, and I who before sang mer rily, began now inwardly to lament. For although I saw all the three ways before me, and understood that henceforward it was vouch- safed to me to choose one of them, yet it troubled me that if I went the stony and rocky way, I might get a miserable and deadly fall, or if I took the long one, I mi ght wander out of it through byways, or be in other ways detained in the great journey. Neither could I hope that I amongst thou- sands should be the very one who should choose the royal way. I saw like- Page 10 --------------------------------------- 13 wise the fourth before me, but it was so environed w? reith a nd exaltations, that I did not dare draw near it by much, and there fore again and again considered whether I should turn back, or take any of the ways before me. I considered well my own unworthiness, but the dream still comforted me that I was delivered out of the tower; and yet I did not dare? dconently rely upon a dream; whereupon I was so perplexe d in various ways, that very great we ariness, hunger and thirst seize d me. Whereupon I presently drew out my bre ad and cut a slice of it; which a snow-white dove of whom I was not aware, sitting upon the tree, saw, and therewith (perhaps according to her usual manner) came down. She betook herself very familiarly with me, and I willingly imparted my food to her, which she re ceived, and so with her prettiness she again refre shed me a lit- tle. But as s oon as her e nemy, a most black r aven, perceived it, h e straight- away darted down upon the dove, and taking no notice of me, would force away the dove’s food, and she could not guard herself otherwise than by ? ight. Whereupon they both ? ew together towards the south, at which I was so hugely incense d and grieved that without thinking what I did, I has- tened after the? lthy raven, and so against my will ran into one of the fore mentioned ways a whol?eel d’s length. And thus the raven having been chased away, and the dove delivered, I th? enrst obs erved what I had incon- siderately done, and that I was already entere d into a way, from which under per il of great punishment I could not retire. And though I had still wherewith in some measure to comfort myself, yet that which was worst of all to me was that I had left my bag and bread at the tree, and could never retrieve them. For as soon as I turned myself about, a contrary wind was so strong against me that it was ready to fell me. But if I went forward on the way, I perceived no hindrance at all. From which I could easily conclude that it would cost me my life if I should set myself against the wind, where- fore I patiently took up my cross, got up onto my feet, and resolved, since so it must be, that I would use my utmost endeavour to get to my jou’srney end before night. Now although many apparent byways showed themselves, yet I still pro- ceeded with my compass, and would not budge one step from the Merid- ian Line; howbeit the way was often so rugged and impassable, that I was in no little doubt of it. On this way I constantly thought upon the dove and the rave n, and yet could not search out the meaning; until at length upon a high hill afar ?o I saw a stately portal, to which, not regarding how far it was distant both from me and from the way I was on, I hasted, because the Page 11 --------------------------------------- 14 sun had already hid himself under the hills, and I could see no abiding place elsewhere; and this ve rily I ascribe only to God, who might well have per- mitted me to go forward in this way, and withheld my eyes that so I might have gazed beside this gate. To this I now made great haste, and reached it in so much daylight as to take a very competent view of it. Now it was an exceedingly royal beautiful portal, on which were carved a multitude of most no?bgule res and devices, every one of which (as I afterwards lear ned) had its peculiar signi?- cation. Above was ? xed a pretty large tablet, with these wor“dPrs, ocul hinc, procul ite profani” (“ke ep away, you who are profan”), and oe ther things more, that I was earnestly forbidden to relate. Now as soon as I came under the portal, there straightaway stepped forth one in a sky-coloured habit, whom I saluted in a friendly manner; and though he thankfully returned this salute, yet he instantly demanded of me my letter of invitation. O how glad was I that I had then brought it with me! For how easily might I have forgotten it (as it also chanced to others) as he himself told me! I quickly presented it, wherewith he was not only ?satised, but (at which I much wondered) showed me abundance of respect, sa“yComeing, in my brother, you are an acceptable guest to” m; and ee ntreated me not to with- hold my name from him. Now I having re plied that I was a Brother of the Red-Rosy Cross, he both wondered and se emed to rejoice at it, and then proceeded thus“: My brother, have you nothing about you with which to purchase a token?” I answered that my ability was small, but if he saw any- thing about me he had a mind to, it was at his serv ice. Now he having requested of me my bottle of water, and I having granted it, he gave me a golden token on which stood no more than these two letters, S.C., entreat- ing me that when it stood me in good stead, I would remember him. After which I asked him how many had come in before me, which he also told me, and lastly out of mere fr iendship gave me a sealed letter to the second Porter. Now having lingered some time with him, the night grew on. Where- upon a great beacon upon the gates was immediat? relyed, so that if any were still upon the way, he might make haste thither. But the way, where it ? nished at the castle, was enclosed on both sides with walls, and planted with all sorts of excellent fruit trees, and on every third tree on each side lanterns were hung up, in which all the candles were lighted with a glorious touch by a beautiful Virgin, dressed in sky-colour, which was so noble and Page 12 --------------------------------------- 15 majestic a spectacle that I yet delayed somewhat longer than was requisite. But at length after s?ucient information, and an advantageous instruction, I departed friendlily from th?e rst Porter. On the way, I would gladly have known what was written in my letter, yet since I had no reason to mistrust the Porter, I forbare my purpose, and so went on the way, until I came likewise to the second gate, which though it was very like the other, yet it was adorned with images and mystic signi- ? cations. On the a? xed tablet was“ Date et dabitur vob”is (“give and i t shall be given unto yo”u). Under this gate lay a terrible grim lion chained, who as soon as he saw me arose and made at me with great roar ing; whereupon the second Porter who lay upon a stone of marble woke up, and asked me not to be troubled or afraid, and then drove back the lion; and having receive d the latter which I gave him with trembling, he re ad it, and with very great respect said thus to me: “Now welcome in God’s Name to me the man who for a long time I would gladly have se”e n. Meanwhile he also drew out a token and asked me whether I could pur- chase it. But having nothing else left but my salt, I presented it to him, which he thankfully accepted. Upon this token again stood only two let- ters, namely, S.M. I was just about to enter into discourse with him, when it began to ring in the castle, where upon the Porter counseled me to run, or else all the pains and labour I had hitherto undergone would serve to no purpose, for the lights above were already beginning to be extinguished. Whereupon I went with such haste that I did not heed the Porter, I was in such anguish; and truly it was necessary, for I could not run so fast but that the Virgin, after whom all the lights were put out, was at my heels, and I should neve r have found the way, had she not given me some light with her torch. I was moreover constrained to enter right next to her, and the gate was suddenly clapped to, so that a part of my coat was locked out, which I was verily forced to leave behind me. For neither I, nor they who stood ready without and called at the gate, could prevail with the Porter to open it again, but he delivered the keys to the Virgin, who took them with her into the court. Meanwhile I again surveyed the gate, which now appeared so rich that the whole world could not equal it. Just by the door were two columns, on one of which stood a pleasa?ntgu re with this inscription“,Cong ratulor”. The other, which had its countenance veiled, was sad, and beneath was written, “Condoleo”. In brief, the inscr iptions and ? gures were so dark Page 13 --------------------------------------- 16 and my sterious that the most dextrous man on earth could not have expounded them. But all these (if God permits) I shall before long publish and explain. Under this gate I was again to give my name, which was this last time written down in a little vellum book, and immediately with the rest des- patched to the Lord Bridegroom. It was he re wher?e Irst received the tr ue guest token, which was somewhat smalle r than the former, but yet much heavier. Upon this stood these letters, S.P.N. Besides this, a new pair of shoes were given me, for the? o or of the castle was laid with pure shining marble. My old shoes I was to give away to one of the poor who sat in throngs, although in very good order, under the gate. I then bestowed them upon an old man, after which two pages with as many torches conducted me into a little room. There they asked me to sit down on a form, which I did, but they, stick- ing their torches in two holes, made in the pavement, departed and thus left me sitting alone. Soon after I heard a noise, but saw nothing, and it proved to be certain men who stumbled in upon me; but since I could see nothing, I had to su? er, and wait to see what they would do with me. But presently perceiving them to be barber s, I entreated them not to jostle me so, for I was content to do whatever they desired; whereupon they quickly let me go, and so one of them (whom I could not yet s?enee)ly a nd gently cut away the hair round about from the crown of my head, but over my fore- head, e ars and eyes he per mitted my ice-grey locks to hang. In? rsthis t encounter (I must confess) I was ready to despair, for inasmuch as some of them shove d me so forcefully, and yet I could see nothing, I could think nothing other but that God for my curiosity had? suered me to miscar ry. Now these invisible barbers carefully gathered up the hair which was cut o? , and carried it away with them. After which the two pages entered again, and heartily laughed at me for being s o terri? ed. But they had scarcely spoken a few words with me when again a little bell began to ring, which (as the pages informed me) was to give notice for assembling. Whereupon they asked me to rise, and through many walks, doors and winding stairs lit my way into a spacious hall. In this room was a great multitude of guests, emperors, kings, princes, and lords, noble and ignoble, rich and poor, and all sorts of people, at which I greatly marvelled, and thought to myse’ah, holf, w gross a fool you have been to engage upon this journey with so much bitterness and toil, when (behold) here are even those fellows whom you know well, and yet never had any Page 14 --------------------------------------- 17 reason to este em. They are now all here, and you with all your prayers and supplications have hardly got in at ’. This and morlast e the Devil at that time injected, while I notwithstanding (as well as I could) directe d myself to the issue. Meanwhile one or other of my acquaintance here and there spoke to me: “Oh Brother Rosencreutz! Are you here too?” “Yes (my brethren”), I replied, “the g race of God has helped me in to”. o At which they raised mighty laughter, looking upon it as ridiculous that there should be need of God in so slight an occasion. Now having demanded each of them concerning his way, and? ndin g that most of them were forced to clamber over the rocks, certain trumpets (none of which we yet saw) began to sound to the table, whereupon they all seated themselves, every one as he judged himself above the re st; so that for me and some other sorry fellows there was hardly a little nook left at the lowermost table. Pre sently the two pages entered, and one of them said grace in so hand- some and excellent a manner, that it made the very heart in my body rejoice. However, certain g reat Sr Jo’hns made but little reckoning of them, but jeered and winked at one another, biting their lips within their hats, and using other similar unseemly gestures. After this, meat was brought in, and although no one could be seen, yet everything was so orderly managed, that it seemed to me as if every guest had his own attendant. Now my art- ists having somewhat recreated themselves, and the wine having removed a little shame from their hearts, they presently began to vaunt and brag of their abilities. One would prove this, another that, and commonly the most sorry idiots made the loudest noise. Ah, when I call to mind what preter- natural and impossible enterprises I then heard, I am still ready to vomit at it. In a word, they never kept in their order, but whenever one rascal here, another there, could insinuate himself in between the nobles, then they pretended to having? nished such adventures as neither Samson nor yet Hercules with all their strength could ever have achieved: this one would discharge Atlas of his burden; the other would again draw forth the three- headed Cerberus out of He ll. In brief, every man had his own prate, and yet the greatest lords were so simple that they believed their pretences, and the rogues so audacious, that although one or other of them was here and there rapped over th?e ngers with a knife, ye t the?yinch ed not at it, but when anyone perchance had ? lched a gold-chain, then they would all haz- ard for the same. Page 15 --------------------------------------- 18 I saw one who heard the rustling of the heavens. The second could see Plato’s Ideas. A third could number Democritus’s atoms. There were also not a few pretenders to the perpetual motion. Many a one (in my opinion) had good understanding, but assumed too much to himself, to his own destruction. Lastly, there was one also who found it necessary to persuade us out of hand that he saw the servitors who attended us, and would have persuaded us as to his contention, had not one of t hese invisible waiters reached him such a handsome? c uupon his lying muzzle, that not only he, but many more who were by him, became as mute as mice. But it pleased me most of all, that all those of whom I had any esteem were very quiet in their business, and made no loud cry of it, but acknowl- edged themselves to be misunderstanding men, to whom the mysteries of nature were too high, and they themselves much too small. In this tumult I had almost cursed the day when I came here; for I could not behold but with anguish that those lewd vain people were above at the board, but I in so sorry a place could not rest in quiet, one of those rascals scornfully reproaching me for a motley fool. Now I did not realise that there was still one gate through which we must pass, but imagined that during the whole wedding I was to continue in this scorn, contempt and indignity, which I had yet at no time deserve d, either from the Lord Bridegroom or the Bride. And therefore (in my opin- ion) he should have done well to sort out some other fool than me to come to his wedding. Behold, to such impatience the iniquity of this world reduces simple hearts. But this really was one part of my lameness, of which (as is before mentioned) I dreamed. And truly the longer this clamour lasted, the more it increased. For there were already those who boasted of false and imaginary visions, and would persuade us of palpably lying dreams. Now there sat by me a ver?yne quie t man, who often discoursed of excellent matters. At length he said, “Behold my brother, if anyone should now come who were willing to instruct these blockish people in the right way, would he be hear”d? “No, verily”, I replied. “The world,” he said, “is now resolved (whatever comes of it) to be cheated, and cannot abide to give ear to those who intend its good. Do you see that same cocks-comb, with what whimsical ? gures and foolish conceits he allures others to him. There one make s mouths at the people with unheard-of mysterious words. Yet believe me in this, the time is now com- ing when those shameful vizards shall be pluck?e, and all d o the world shall Page 16 --------------------------------------- 19 know what vagabond impostors were concealed behind them. Then per- haps that will be valued which at present is not esteem” ed. Whilst he was speaking in this way, and the longer the clamour lasted the worse it was, all of a sudden there began in the hall such excellent and stately music such as I never heard all the days of my life; where upon every- one held his peace, and waited to see what would become of it. Now in this music there were all the sorts of stringed instruments imaginable, which sounded together in such harmony that I forgot myself, and sat so immovable that those who sat by me were amazed at me; and this lasted nearly half an hour, during which time none of us spoke one word. For as soon as anyone at all was about to open his mouth, he got an unexpected blow, nor did he know where it came from. I thought since we were not permitted to see the musicians, I should have been glad to view just all the instruments they were using. After half an hour this music ceased unexpect- edly, and we could neither see or hear anything more. Pre sently after, a g reat noise began before the door of the hall, with sounding and beating of trumpets, shalms and kettle-drums, as majestic as if the Emperor of Rome had been entering; whereupon the door opened by itself, and then the noise of the trumpets was so loud that we were hardly able to endure it. Meanwhile (to my thinking) many thousand small tapers came into the hall, all of which themselves marched in so very exact an order as altogether amazed us, till at last the two aforementioned pages with bright torches entered the hall, lighting the way of a most beautiful Virgin, all drawn on a gloriously gilded triumphant se lf-moving throne. It seemed to me that she was the very same who before on the way kindled and put out the lights, and that these attendants of hers were the very same whom she formerly placed at the trees. She was not now, as before, in sky-colour, but arrayed in a snow-white glittering robe, which sparkled with pure gold, and cast such a lustre that we could not steadily look at i t. Both the pages were dressed in the same manner (although somewhat more modestly). As soon as they came into the middle of the hall, and had descended from the throne, all the small tapers made obeisance before her. Whereupon we all stood up from our benches, yet everyone stayed in his own place. Now she having showed to us, and we again to her, all respect and reverence, in a most pleasant tone she began to speak as follows: The King, my gracious lord He is not far away, Page 17 --------------------------------------- 20 Nor is his dearest br ide, Betrothed to him in honour. They have now with the greatest joy Beheld your coming hither. Wherefore especially they would pr? er o Their favour to each one of you, And they desire from their hear’s det pth That ye at all times fare ye well, That ye have the coming we ddin’s jgoy Unmixed with other’s sorrow. Hereupon with all her small tapers she courteously bowed again, and soon after be gan as follows: Ye know what in the invitation stands: No man hath been called hither Who hath not got from God already All gifts most beautiful, And hath himself adorned ar ight As we ll be? ts him here, Though some may not believe it, That any one so wayward be That on such hard conditions Should dare to make appearance When he hath not prepared himself For this wedding long before. So now they stand in hope That ye be well furnished with all good things, Be glad that in such hard times So many folk be found But men are yet so forward that They care not for their boorishness And thrust themselves in places where They are not called to be. Let no knave be smuggled in No rogue slip in with others. They will declare r ight openly That they a wedding pure will have, Page 18 --------------------------------------- 21 So shall upon the morro’ws morn The artist’s scales be set Wherein each one be weighed And found what he forgotten hath. Of all the host assembled here Who trusts him not in this Let him now stand aside. And should he bide here longer Then he will lose all grace and f avour Be trodden underfoot, And he whose conscience pr icketh him Shall be left in this hall today And by tomorrow he’ll be freed But let him come hither never again. But he who knows what is behind him Let him go with his servant Who shall attend him to his room And there shall rest him for this day, For he awaits the scales with praise Else will his sleep be mighty hard. Let the others make their comfort here For he who goes beyond his means ’Twere better he had hid away. And now the best from each be hoped. As soon as she had ? nished saying this, she again made reverence, and sprung cheerfully into her throne, after which the trumpets began to sound again, which yet was not forceful enough to take the grievous sighs away from many. So they conducted h er invisibly away again, but most of the small tapers remained in t he room, and one of them accompanied each of us. In such perturbation it is not really possible to express what pensive thoughts and gestures were among us. Yet most of us were resolved to await the scale, and in case things did not work out well, to depart (as they hoped) in peace. I had soon cast up my reckoning, and since my conscience convinced me of all ignorance, and unworthiness, I purposed to stay with the rest in the hall, and chose rather to content myself with the meal I had already taken, than to run the risk of a future repulse. Now after everyone Page 19 --------------------------------------- 22 had each been conducted into a chamber (each, as I since understood, into a particular one) by his small taper, there remained nine of us, and among the rest he who discoursed with me at the table too. But although our small tapers did not leave us, yet soon after an hou’s timer one of the afore men- tioned pages came in, and, bringing a great bundle of cords with h? rsitm, demanded of us whether we had concluded to stay t here; when we had a? rmed this with sighs, he bound each of us in a particular place, and so went away with our small taper s, and left us poor wretches in darkness. Then some ? rst began to perceive the imminent danger, and I myself could not refrain from tears. For although we were not forbidden to speak, yet anguish and a? iction allowed none of us to utter one word. For the cords were so wonderfully made that none could cut them, much less get them o? his feet. Yet this comforted me, that still the future gain of many a one who had now taken himself to rest, would prove very little to his satis- faction. But we by only one nig’sh tpenance might expiate all our presump- tion. Till at length in my sorrowful thoughts I fell asleep, during which I had a dream. Now although there is no great matter in it, yet I think it not imper tinent to recount it. I thought I was upon a high mountain, and saw before me a great and large valley. In this valley were gathered together an unspeakable multitude of people, each of which had at his head a thread, by which he was hanged from Heaven; now one hung high, another low, some stood even almost upon the earth. But through the air? ew up and down an ancient man, who had in his hand a pair of shears, with which he cut here’ so, tnheere anothe’s tr hread. Now he that was close to the earth was so much more ready, and fe ll with- out noise, but when it happened to one of the high ones, he fell so that the earth quaked. To some it came to pass that their thread was so stretched that they came to the earth before the thread was c ut. I took pleasure in this tumbling, and it gave my hear t joy, when he who had over-exalted himself in the air about his wedding got so shameful a fall that it even carried some of his neighbours along with him. In a similar way it also made me rejoice that he who had all this while kept himself near the earth could come down? sonely an d gently that eve n the men next to him did not perceive it. But being now in my highest ? t of jollity, I was jogged unawares by one of my fellow captives, upon which I was awakened, and was very much dis- contented with him. However, I considered my dream, and recounted it to Page 20 --------------------------------------- 23 my brother, lying by me on the other side, who was not di?ssed witatis h it, but hoped that some comfort might be meant by it. In such discourse we spent the remaining part of the night, and with longing awaited the day. Page 21 --------------------------------------- 24 Page 22 --------------------------------------- 25 The Third Day ow as soon as the lovely day was broken, and the br ight Sun, having raised himself above the hills, had again took himself to his appointed ?o ce in the high Heaven, my good champions N began to r ise out of their beds, and leisurely to make themselves ready for the Inquisition. Whereupon, one after another, they came again into the hall, and saying good morning, demanded how we had slept that night; and having seen our bonds, there were some that reproved us for being so cowardly, and because we had not, rather, like them, hazarded upon all adventures. However, some of them whose hearts still smote them made no loud cry of the business. We excused ourselves with our igno- rance, hoping we should now soon be set at liberty, and learn wisdom by this disgrace, that they on the contrary had not ye t altogether escaped; and perhaps their greatest danger was still to come. At length everyone being assembled again, the tr umpets began again to sound and the kettle drums to beat as formerly, and we then imagined nothing other but that the Bridegroom was ready to present himself; which nevertheless was a huge mistake. For it was again the Virgin of yesterday, who had arrayed herself all in red velvet, and girded herself with a white scarf. On her head she had a green wreath of laurel, which greatly suited her. Her train was now no more of small tapers, but consisted of two hun- dred men in armour, who were all (like her) clothed in red and white. Now as soon as they were alighted from the throne, she came straight to us pr isoners, and after she had saluted us, she said in few w“Thoradts: some of you have been aware of your wretched condition is hugely pleasing to my most mighty Lord, and he is also resolved you shall fare the better for it”. And having seen me in my habit, she laughed and s“Gooaid, dness! Have you also submitted yourself to the yoke? I imagined you would have made yourself very smu”g. With which words she caused my eyes to run over. After which she commanded that we should be unbound, and coupled together and placed in a station where we might easily see the Scales. For, she said, it may yet fare better with them, than with the presumptuous who still stand here at liberty. Meanwhile the scales, which were entirely of gold, were hung up in the middle of the hall; there was also a little table covered with red velvet, and seven weights placed on it. First of all there was a pretty big one, next four Page 23 --------------------------------------- 26 little ones, lastly two great ones. And these weights were so heavy in pro- portion to their bulk, that no man can believe or comprehend it. But each of the armoured men had, together with a naked sword, a strong rope; these she distributed according to the number of weights into seven bands, and out of every band chose one for their own weight; and then again sprang up into her high throne. Now as soon as she had made her rever- ence, in a very shrill tone she began to speak as follows: Whoever goes into an arti’s rst oom And nothing knows of painting And yet will speak with much display Will yet be mocked by everyone. And he who enters arti’sst orders Who hath not been selected And begins to paint with much display Will yet be mocked by everyone. And who will to a wedding come And hath not bidden been, And yet doth come with much display Will yet be mocked by everyone. And who will climb upon these scales And ? nd he we igheth not, But is shot up with mighty crash Will yet be mocked by everyone. As soon as the Virgin ha?dnis hed speaking, one of the pages com- manded each one to place himself according to his order, and one after another to step in. Which one of the Emperors made no scruple of, but ? rst of all bowed himself a little towards the Virgin, and afterwards in all his stately attire went up: whereupon each Captain put in his weight, against which (to the wonder of all) he held out. But the last was too heavy for him, s o t hat h e must g o forth; a nd t hat he d id w ith s o much anguish that (as it seemed to me) the Virgin herself had pity on him, and beckoned to her people to hold their peace; ye t the good Emperor was bound and deliv- ered over to the Sixth Band. Next after him again there came another Emperor, who stepped haughtily into the Scale, and, having a great thick book under his gown, he imag ined he would not fail; but he was scarcely able to abide the third weight, and was unmercifu? unglly down, and his Page 24 --------------------------------------- 27 book in that upheaval fell from him, and all the soldiers began to laugh, and he was delivered up bound to the Third Band. Thus it went also with some of the other Emperors, who were all shamefully laughed at and put in cap- tivity. After these there came forth a short little man with a curled brown beard, also an Emperor, who after the usual reverence got up, and held out so steadfastly, that I thought that had there been more weights ready he would have outstood them. To him the Virgin immediately arose, and bowed before him, making him put on a gown of red velvet, and? nally gave him a branch of laurel, of which she had a good store upon her throne, upon the steps of which she asked him to sit down. Now how it fared with the rest of the Emperors, Kings and Lords after him, would take too long to recount; but I cannot leave unmentioned that few of those great per sonages held out. However, various eminent virtues (beyond my hopes) were found in many. One could stand out this, the second another, some two, some three, four o? rv e, but few could attain to the just perfec- tion; and everyone who failed was miserably laughed at by the bands. After the Inquisition had also passe d over the gentry, the learned, and unlearned, and all the re st, and in each condition perhaps one, it may be two, but for the most part none, was found perfect, it came at length to those honest gentlemen the vagabond cheaters, and rascally Lapidem Spi- talan? cum makers, who were set upon the Scale with such scorn that I myself, in spite of all my grief, was ready to burst my belly with laughing, nor could the very pr isoners themselve s refrain. For the most part could not abide that severe trial, but were jerked out of the Scale with whips and scourges, and led to the other pr isoners, but to a suitable band. Thus of so great a throng so few remained, that I am ashamed to reve al their number. However, there were persons of quality also amongst them, who notwith- standing were (like the rest) honoured with velvet robes and wreaths of lau- rel. The Inquisition being completely ? nished, and none but we poor cou- pled hounds standing aside, at length one of the Captains stepped forth, and said, “Gracious Madam, if it please your Ladyship, let these poor men who acknowledged their misunderstanding be set upon the Scale too, without their incurring any danger of penalty, and only for recreatio’s sanke, if per- haps any thing that is r ight may be found amongst t”h. em In the ? rst place I was in great perplexity, for in my anguish this was my only comfort, that I was not to stand in such ignominy, or to be lashed out Page 25 --------------------------------------- 28 of the Scale. For I did not doubt that many of the prisoners wished that they had stayed ten nights with us in the hall. Yet since the Virgin con- sented, so it must be, and we were untied and one after another set up. Now although the most part miscar ried, they were neither laughed at, nor scourged, but peaceably placed on one side. My companion wa?sfth th,e and he held out bravely, whereupon all, but especially the Captain who made the request for us, applauded him, and the Virgin showe d him the usual respect. After him again two more were dispatched in an instant. But I was the eighth. Now as soon as (with trembling) I stepped up, my companion who already sat by in his velvet looked fr iendlily upon me, and the Virgin herself smiled a little. But for as much as I outstood all the weights, the Virg in commanded them to draw me up by force, wherefore three men also hung on the other side of the beam, and yet nothing could prevail. Whereupon one of the pages immediately stood up, and cried out exceedingly lo“THud, AT ’S HE ”: upon which the other replied,“Th en let him gain his liber”ty; which the Virgin accorded. And, being received with due ceremonies, the choice was g iven me to re lease one of the captives, whosoever I pleased; where- upon I made no long deliberation, but elected th? rse t Emperor whom I had long pitied, who was immediately set free, and with all respect seate d amongst us. Now the last being set up, and the we ights proving too heavy for him, in the meantime the Virgin had spotted my roses, which I had taken out of my hat into my hands, and thereupon presently through her page gra- ciously requested them of me, and I readily sent them to her. And so this? rst Act was ? nished about ten in the morning. Whereupon the trumpets began to sound again, which neve rtheless we could not as yet see. Meantime the bands were to step aside with their pr isoners, and await the judgement. After which a council of the seven captains and us was set, and the business was propounded by the Virgin as President, who desire d each one to give his opinion how the prisone rs were to be dealt with. The ? rst opinion was that they should all be put to death, yet one more severely than another, namely those who had presumptuously intruded themselves contrary to the express conditions. Others would have them kept close prisoners. Both of which pleased neither the President, nor me. At length by one of the Emperors (the same whom I had freed), my companion, and Page 26 --------------------------------------- 29 myself, the a? air was brought to this point: th?atr st of all the principal Lords should with a ? tting re spect be led out of the Castle; othe rs might be carried out somewhat more scornfully. These would be stripped, and caused to r un out naked; the fourth should be hunted out with rods, whips or dogs. Those who the day before willingly surrendered themselves, might be allowed to depart without any blame. And last of all those presumptuous ones, and they who behaved themselves so unsee mly at dinner the day before, should be punished in body and life according to each’s man demer it. This opinion pleased the Virg in well, and obtained the upper hand. There was moreover another dinne r vouchsafed them, which they were soon told about. But the execution was deferred till twelve noon. Herewith the Senate arose, and the Virgin also, together with her atten- dants, returned to her usual quarter. But the upper most table in the room was allotted to us, they requesting us to take it in good part until the busi- ness was fully dispatched. And then we should be conducted to the Lord Bridegroom a nd t he B ride, w ith w hich we w ere a t p resent w ell c ontent. Meanwhile the pr isoners were again brought into the hall, and each man seated a ccording t o his q uality. T hey w ere l ikewise told t o b e have t hem- selves somewhat more civilly than they had done the day before, about which they yet did no t need to have been admonished, for without this, they had already put up their pipes. And this I can boldly say, not with ? attery, but in the love of truth, that commonly those persons who were of the highest rank best understood how to behave themselves in so unexpected a misfortune. Their treatment was but ind?i erent, yet respectful; neither could they yet see their atten- dants, but to us they were visible, at which I was exceedingly joyful. Now although Fortune had e xalted us, yet we did not take upon us more than the rest, advising them to be of good cheer, the event would not be so bad. Now although they would gladly have us reveal their sentence, yet we were so deeply obligated that none of us dared open his mouth about it. Nevertheless we comforted them as we ll as we could, drinking with them to see if the wine might make them any more cheerful. Our table was covered with re d velvet, beset with drinking cups of pure silver and gold, which the rest could not behold without amazement and very great anguish. But before we had seated ourselves, in came the two pages, pre- senting everyone on the Bridegroom’s behalf with the Golden Fleece with a ? ying Lion, requesting us to we ar them at the table, and as bec ame us, to observe the reputation and dignity of the Order which his Majesty had now Page 27 --------------------------------------- 30 vouchsafed us; and we should be? readti with suitable ceremonies. This we received with profoundest submission, promising obediently to perform whatsoever his Majesty should please. Besides these, the noble page had a schedule in which we were set down in order. And for my part I should not otherwise wish to conceal my place, if perhaps it might not be interpreted as pride in me, which is expressly against the fourth weight. Now because our entertainment was exceedingly stately, we demanded of one of the pages whether we might not have leave to send some choice bit to our friends and acquaintances; he made no? culty di of it, and every- one sent plentifully to his acquaintances by the waiters, although they saw none of them; and because they did not know where it came from, I myself wished to carry something to one of the m. But as soon as I had r isen, one of the waiters was at my elbow, saying he desired me to take friendly warn- ing, for if one of the pages had seen it, it would have come to he ’s eaKinr,g who would certainly have taken it amiss of me; but since none had observed it but himself, he did not intend to betray me, but that I ought for the time to come to have better regard for the dignity of the order. With which words the servant re ally astonished me so much that for a long time afterwards I scarcely moved in my seat, yet I returned him thanks for his faithful warning, as well as I was able in my haste and fear. Soon after, the drums began to beat again, to which we were already accustomed: for we knew well it was the Virgin, so we prepared ourselves to receive her; she was now coming in with her usual train, upon her high seat, one of the pages bearing before her a very tall goblet of gold, and the other a patent in parchment. Having alighted from the seat in a marvellous skillful manner, she took the goblet from the page, and presented the same on the King’s behalf, saying that it was brought from his Majesty, and that in honour of him we should cause it to go round. Upon the cover of this gob- let stood Fortune curiously cast in gold, who had in her hand a r? yinedg ensign, because of which I drunk somewhat more sadly, having been all too well acquainted with Fortun’se waywardness. But the Virgin as well as us was adorned with the G olden Fleece and Lion, from which I observed that perhaps she was the president of the Order. So we asked of her how the Order might be named. She answered that it was not yet the r ight time to reveal this, till the a? air with the pr isoners was dispatched. And therefore their eyes were still veiled; and what had hitherto happened to us, was to them only like an o? ence and scandal, although it was to be accounted as nothing in regard to the honour that attended us. Hereupon she began to Page 28 --------------------------------------- 31 distinguish the patent which the other page held into tw? o dierent parts, out of which about this much was read before? trhse t company: “That they should confess that they had too lightly given credit to false ? ctitious books, had assumed too much to themselves, and so come into this Castle, although they were neve r invited into it, and perhaps the most part had presented themselves with design to make their marke t here, and afterwards to live in g reater pr ide and lordliness; and thus one had seduced another, and plunged him into this disgrace and ignominy, wherefore they were deservedly to be soundly punis”hed. Which they with great humility readily ac knowledged, and gave their hands upon it. After which a severe check was given to the rest, much to this purpose: “That they very well knew, and were in their consciences convinced, that they had forged false? c titious books, had fooled others, and cheated them, and thereby had diminished regal dignity amongst all. They knew likewise what ungodly deceitfu? gl ures they had made use of, in so much as they spared not even the Divine Trinity, but accustomed themselves to cheat people all the country over. It was also now as clear as day with what practices they had e ndeavoured to ensnare the true guests, and introduce the ignorant: in such a manner that it was manifest to all the world that they wallowed in open whoredom, adultery, gluttony, and other uncleannesses: All which was against the express orders of our Kingdom. In brief, they knew they had disparaged Kingly Majesty, even amongst the common sort, and therefore they should confess themselves to be manifest convicted vag- abond-cheaters, knaves and rascals, where by they deserved to be kept from the company of civil people, and severely punis”h ed. The good ar tists were loath to come to this confession, but inasmuch as not only the Virgin herself threatened them, and swore that they would die, but the other party also vehemently raged at them, and unanimously cr ied out that they had most wickedly seduced them out of the Light, they at length, to prevent a huge misfortune, confessed the same with sadness, and yet withal alleged that what had happened here was not to be animadverted upon them in the worst sense. For inasmuch as the Lords were absolutely resolved to get into the Castle, and had promised great sums of money to that e? ect, each one had used all craft to seize upon something, and so things were brought to that state that was now manifest before their eyes. But just because it had not succeeded, “They”, in their opinion, “had deserved no less than the Lords themselves; Who should have had so much Page 29 --------------------------------------- 32 understanding as to consider that, if anyone could be sure of getting in, he should not have clambered over the wall with them, that there should be so great peril for the sake of a slight g”a in? Their books also sold so well, that whoever had no other means to maintain himself, had to engage in such a deception. They hoped more- over, that if a right judgement were made, they should be found in no way to have miscarried, for they had behaved themselves towards the Lords, as became Servants, upon the ir ear nest entreaty. But answer was made to them that his Royal Majesty had determined to punish them all, every man, although one more severely than another. For although what had been allege d by them was partly true, and therefore the Lords should not wholly be indulged, yet they had good reason to prepare themselves for death, they who had so presumptuously obtruded them- selves, and perhaps seduced the more ignorant against their will; as likewise those who had violated Royal Majesty with false books, for the same might be shown from their very wr itings and books. Hereupon many began to lament, cr y, wee p, entreat and prostrate them- selves most piteously, all of which notwithstanding could avail them noth- ing, and I marvelled much how the Virg in could be so resolute, when their misery caused our eyes to run over, and moved our compassion (although the most part of them had procured us much trouble and vexation). For she presently dispatched her page, who brought with him all the Cuirassiers who had this day been appointed at the Scales, who were each of them commanded to take his own to him, and in an orderly procession, so that each Cuirassier should go with one of the pr isoners, to conduct them into her g reat garden. At which time each one so exactly recognised his own man, that I marvelled at it. Leave was also likewise g iven to my companions of yesterday to go out into the garden unbound, and to be present at the execution of the sentence. Now as soon as every man had come forth, the Virgin mounted up into her high throne, requesting us to sit down upon the steps, and to appear at the judgement; which we did not refuse, but left everything standing upon the table (except the goblet, which the Virgin committed to the pages’ keeping) and went forth in our robes, upon the throne, w hich moved by itself as gently as if we passed through the air, t ill in this manner we came into the garden, where we all arose toge ther. This garden was not extraordinar ily curious, but it pleased me that the trees were planted in such good order. Besides, there ran in it a most costly fountain, adorned with wonderf?ugurl es and inscr iptions and strange char- Page 30 --------------------------------------- 33 acters (which, God willing, I shall mention in a future book). In this garden was raised a wooden s?cold, ha ung about with curiously painte? d gured coverlets. Now the re were four galleries made one over another?; trshte was more glorious than any of the re st, and the refore covered with a white ta? eta curtain, so that at that time we could not perceive who was behind it. The second was empty and uncovered. Again the last two were covered with red and blue ta? eta. Now as soon as we had come to the s? ocld, tha e Virgin bowed herself down to the ground, at which we were migh tily ter- ri ? ed, for we could easily guess that the King and Queen must not be far o? . Now we also having duly perfor med our reverence, the Virgin led us up by the winding stairs into the second gallery, where she placed herself uppermost, and us in our former order. But how the Emperor whom I had released behaved himself towards me, both at this time and also before at the table, I cannot well relate without slander of wicked tongues. For he might well have imagined in what anguish and solicitude he should now have been, in case he were at present to attend the judge ment with such ignominy, and that only through me he had now attained such dignity and worthiness. Meanwhile the Virgin who? rst of all brought me the invitation, and whom until now I had never since seen, came in. First she gave one blast upon her trumpet, and then with a very loud voice declared the se ntence in this manner: “The King’s Majesty my most gracious Lord could wish with all his heart that each and every one here assembled had upon his M’s inajesvtiyta- tion presented themselves so qu? aled asi that they might (to his honour) with greatest frequency have adorned this his appointed nuptial and joyful feast. But since it has otherwise pleased Almighty God, his Majesty has nothing about which to murmur, but must be forced, contrary to his own inclination, to abide by the ancient and laudable constitutions of this King- dom. But now, so that his Majest’s iny nate clemency may be celebrated all over the world, he has so far absolutely dealt with his Council and estates, that the usual sente nce shall be considerably? lenied. So in the ? rst place he is willing to vouchsafe to the Lords and Poten- tates, not only their lives entirely, but also that he will freely and frankly dis- miss them; friendlily and courteously entreating your Lordships not at all to take it in evil part that you cannot be present at his Ma’s Fjestyeast of Honour; but to remember that there is notwithstanding more imposed upon your Lordships by God Almighty (who in the distribution of his gifts Page 31 --------------------------------------- 34 has an incomprehensible consideration) than you can duly and easily sus- tain. Neither is your reputation hereby prejudiced, although you be rejected by this our Order, since we cannot all of us do all things at once. But for as much as your Lordships have been seduced by base rascals, it shall not, on their part, pass unrevenged. And furthermore his Majesty resolves shortly to communicate to your Lordships a catalogue of heretics or Index Expurgatorius, that you may henceforth be able to discern between the good and the evil with better judgement. And because his Majesty before long also intends to r ummage his library, an? d oer up the seductive writ- ings to Vulcan, he friendlily, humbly, and courteously entreats every one of your Lordships t o d o t he same w ith y our own, w hereby it i s t o b e h oped that all evil and mischief may for the time to come be remedied. And you are withal to be admonished, never henceforth to covet an entrance here so inconsiderately, lest the former excuse about seducers be taken from you, and you fall into disgrace and contempt with all men. Finally, for as much as the estates of the land still have something to demand of your Lordships, his Majesty hopes that no man will think much to redeem himself with a chain or whatever else he has about him, and so in friendly manner to depart from us, and through our safe conduct to take himself home again. The others who did not stand up to th? re st, third and fourth weight, his Majesty will not so lightly dismiss. But so that they also may now experi- ence his Majesty’s gentleness, it is his command to strip them stark naked and so send them forth. Those who in the second and ? fth weight were found too light, shall besides str ipping, be noted with one, two or more brand-marks, according as each one was lighter or he avier. They who were drawn up by the sixth or seventh, and not by the rest, shall be somewhat more graciously dealt with, and so forward. (For to every combination there was a certain punishment ordained, which is here too long to recount.) They who yesterday se parated themselves freely of their own accord, shall go out at liberty without any blame. Finally, the convicted vagabond-cheaters who could move up none of the weights, shall as occasion serves be punished in body and life, with the sword, halter, water and rods. And such execution of judgement shall be inviolably observed as an example to ot her” s. Page 32 --------------------------------------- 35 Herewith our Virgin broke her wand, and the other who read the sen- tence blew her trumpet, and stepped with most profound reverence towards those who stood behind the curtain. But here I cannot omit to reveal something to the reader concerning the number of our pr isoners, of whom those who weighed one, were seven; those who weighed two, were twenty one; they who three, th? irvety ; they who four, thirty? ve; those who ? ve, twenty one; those who six, seven; but he that came to the seve nth, and yet could not well raise it, he was only one, and indeed the same whom I released. Besides these, of them who wholly failed there were many; but of those who drew all the we ights from the ground, but few. And as these each stood before us, so I diligently num- bered them and noted them down in my table-book; and it is very admira- ble that amongst all those who weighed anything, none was equal to another. For although amongst those who weighed three, there were thir ty ? ve, yet one of them weighed th? er st, second, and third, another the third, fourth, and ? fth, a third, the? fth, sixth, and seventh, and so on. It is like- wise very wonderful that amongst one hundre d and twenty six who weighed anything, none was equal to another; and I would very willingly name them all, with each ma’s wn e ight, were it not as yet forbidden me. But I hope it may hereafter be published with the Interpretation. Now this judgement being read over, the Lords in th? rse t place we re well sati?s ed, because in such severity they did not dare look for a mild sen- tence. So they gave more than was desired of them, and each one re deemed himself with chains, jewels, gold, money and other things, as much as they had about them, and with reverence took leave. Now although the Kin’s g servants were forbidden to jeer at any at his going away, yet some unlucky birds could not hold their laughter, and certainly it w?ascien su tly ridicu- lous to see them pack away with such speed, without once looking behind them. Some desired that the promised catalogue might at once be dis- patched after them, and then they would take such order with their books as should be pleasing to his Majesty; which was again assured. At the door was g iven to each of them out of a cup a draught of FORGETFULNESS, so that he might have no further memory of misfortune. After these the Voluntiers departed, who because of their ingenuity were allowed to pass, but yet so as never to return again in the same fashion. But if to them (as likewise to the others) anything further were revealed, then they should be welcome guests. Page 33 --------------------------------------- 36 Meanwhile others were stripping, in which also an inequality (according to each man’s demerit) was observed. Some were sent away naked, without other hurt. Others were driven out with small bells. Some were scourged forth. In brief the punishments were so various, that I am not able to recount them all. In the end it came to the last, with whom a somewhat longer time was spent, for while some were being hung, some beheaded, some forced to leap into the water, and the rest otherwise being dispatched, much time was consumed. Verily at this execution my eye s ran over, not indeed in regard of the punishment, which they for their impudency well deserved, but in contemplation of human blindness, in that we are continu- ally busying ourselves in that which eve r since? thrse t Fall has been hith- erto sealed up to us. Thus the garden which so recently was quite full, was soon emptied, so that besides the soldiers there was not a man left. Now as soon as this was done, and silence had been kept for the space of ? ve minutes, there came forth a beautiful snow-white unicorn with a golden collar (having on it certain letters) about his neck. In the same place he bowed himself down upon both hi s forefeet, as if hereby he had shown honour to the lion, who stood so immoveably upon the fountain, that I had taken him to be of stone or brass. The lion immediately took the naked sword which he had in his paw, and broke it in two in the middle, and the pieces of it, it seemed to me, sunk into the fountain; after which he roare d for so long, until a white dove brought a branch of olive in her bill, which the lion devoured in an instant, and so was quieted. And so the unicorn returned to his place with joy. Hereupon our Virgin led us down again by the winding stairs from the sca? old, and so we again made our reverence towards the curtain. We were to wash our hands and heads in the fountain, and there to wait a little while in our order, till the King was again returned into his hall through a certain secret gallery, and then we were also conducted into our former lodging with choice music, pomp, state, and pleasant discourse. And this was done about four in the afternoon. But so that in the meantime the time might not seem too long to us, the Virgin bestowed on each of us a noble page, who were not only richly dressed, but also exceedingly learned, so that they could so aptly discourse upon all subjects that we had good reason to be ashamed of ourselves. These were commanded to lead us up and down the Castle, but only into certain places, and if possible, to shorten the time according to our desire. Meanwhile the Virgin took leave with this consolation, that at supper she Page 34 --------------------------------------- 37 would be with us again, and after that celebrate the cere monies of the hanging up of the weights, requesting that we would in patience wait till the next day, for on the morrow we must be presented to the King. She having thus departed from us, each of us did what best pleased him. One part viewed the excellent paintings, which they copied out for them- selves, and considered also what the wonderful characters might signify. Others wanted to occupy themselves again with meat and drink. I caused my page to conduct me (together with my companion) up and down the Castle, which walk I shall never regret as long as I have a day to live. For besides many other glorious antiquities, the Royal Sepulchre was also showed to me, by which I learned more than is extant in all books. There in the same place stands also the glor ious phoenix (about which, two year s ago, I published a particular small discourse). And I am resolved (in case this narration shall prove useful) to set forth several particular treatises concerning the lion, eagle, g? rni , falcon and the like, together with their draughts and inscr iptions. It grieves me fo r my other companions, that they neglected such precious treasures. And yet I cannot but think it was the special will of God that it should be so. I indeed reaped the mos?t bet ne from my page, for according as each ’ones genius lay, so he led whoever was entrusted to him into the quarters and places which we re pleasing to him. Now the keys belonging hereunto were committed to my page, and there- fore this good fortune happened to me before the rest; for although he invited others to come in, yet they imagining such tombs to be o nly in the churchyard, thought they should get the re well enough, whenever anything was to be seen there. Neither shall these monuments (as both of us copied and transcribed them) be withheld from my thankful scholars. The other thing that was shown to us two was the noble library as it was all together before the Reformation. Of which (although it makes my heart rejoice as often as I call it to mind) I have so much the less to say, because the catalogue of it is very shortly to be published. At the entry to this room stands a great book, the like of which I never saw, in which a?ll thegure s, rooms, portals, also all the wr itings, riddles and the like, to be seen in the whole Castle, are delineated. Now although we made a promise concern- ing this also, yet at present I must contain myself, and? rst le ar n to know the world better. In every book stands its author painted; of which (as I understood) many were to be burnt, so that even their memory might be blotted out from amongst the righteous. Page 35 --------------------------------------- 38 Now having taken a full view of this, and having scarcely gone forth, another page came running to us, and having whispered something in our page’s ear, he delivered up the key s to him, who immediately carried them up the winding stairs. But our page was very much out of countenance, and we having set hard upon him with entreaties, he declared to us that the King’s Majesty would by no means per mit that either of the two, namely the library and sepulchre s, should be seen by any man, and therefore he besought us as we cared for his life, to reveal this to no man, he having already utterly denied it. Whereupon both of us stood hovering betwee n joy and fear, yet it continued in silence, and no man made further enquiry about it. Thus in both places we passed three hours, which I do not at all repent. Now although it had already struck seven, yet nothing had so far been given us to eat; however, our hunger was easy to abate by constant reviv- ings, and I could be well content to fast all my life long with such enter- tainment. About this time the curious fountains, mines, and all kinds of art- shops, were also shown to us, of which there was none but surpassed all our arts, even if they should all be melted into one mass. All their chambers were built in a semi-circle, so that they might have before their eyes the costly clockwork which was erected upon a fair turret in the centre, and regulate themselves according to the course of the planets, which were to be seen on it in a glorious manner. And hence I could easily conjecture where our artists failed; howeve’r its none of my duty to inform them. At length I came into a spacious room (shown inde ed to the rest a great while before) in the middle of which stood a terrestr ial globe, whose diam- eter was thirty feet, although nearly half of it, except a little which was cov- ered with the steps, was let into the earth. Two men might readily turn this globe about with all its furniture, so that no more of it was ever to be seen, just so much as was above the horizon. Now although I could easily con- ceive that this was of some special use, yet I could not understand what those ringlets of gold (which were upon it in several places) served for; at which my page laughed, and advised me to view them more closely. In brief, I found there my native country noted in gold also; whereupon my companion sought his, and found that so too. Now for as much as the same happened in a similar way to the rest who stood by, the page told us for certain that it was yesterday declared to the King’s Majesty by their old Atlas (so is the Astronomer named) that all the gilded points exactly answered to their native countries, according as had Page 36 --------------------------------------- 39 been shown to each of them. And therefore he also, as soon as he perceive d that I undervalued myself and that nevertheless there stood a point upon my native country, moved one of the Captains to entreat for us that we should be set upon the scale (without peril) at all adventures; especially see- ing one of our native countries had a notable good mark. And truly it was not without reason that he, the page who had the greatest power of all the rest, was bestowed on me. For this I then returned him thanks, and imme- diately looked more diligently upon my native country, and found more- over that besides the ringlet, there were also certain delicate streaks upon it, which nevertheless I would not be thought to speak about to my own praise and glory. I saw much more too upon this globe than I am willing to reveal. Let each man take into consideration why every city does not produce a philos- opher. After this he led us right into the globe, which was thus made: on the sea (there being a large square beside it) was a tablet, on which stood three dedications and the author’s name, which a man might gently lift up and by a little joined board go into the centre, which was capable of hold- ing four persons, being nothing but a round board on which we could sit, and at ease, by broad daylight (it was now already dark) contemplate the stars. To my thinking they were mere carbuncles which glittered in an ag reeable order, and moved so gallantly that I had scarcely any mind ever to go out again, as the page afterwards told the Virgin, with which she often teased me. For it was already supper-time, and I had so much amused myself in the globe, that I was almost the last at the table; so I made no more delay, but having put on my gown again (which I had before laid aside) and stepping to the table, the waiters treated me with so much rever- ence and honour, that for shame I dare d not look up, and so unawares per- mitted the Virgin, who attended me on one side, to stand, which she soon perceiving, twitched me by the gown, and so led me to the table. To speak any further concerning the music, or the rest of that m?acegnnti entertain- ment, I hold it needless, both because it is not possible to express it well enough, and because I have repor ted it above according to my power. In brief, there was nothing there but art and amenity. Now after we had related our employment since noon to each other (however, not a word was spoken of the librar y and monuments), being already merry with the wine, the Virg in began th“usM: y Lords, I have a great contention with o ne of my s isters. In o ur chamber we have an eagle. Now we cherish him with s uch d iligence, that each o f u s is d esirous to b e Page 37 --------------------------------------- 40 the b est b eloved, and u pon t hat s core w e h ave m any a s quabble. O ne d ay we concluded to go both together to him, and toward whom he should show himself most fr iendly, hers should he properly be. This we need, and I (as commonly) carried in my hand a branch of laurel, but my sister had none. Now as soon as he saw us both, he immediately gave my sister another branch which he had in his beak, and reached for mine, which I gave him. Now each of us hereupon imag ined herself to be best beloved of him; which way am I to resolve myse“lf? This modest proposal of the Virgin pleased us all mighty well, and each one would gladly have heard the solution, but inasmuch as they all looked to me, and wanted me to begin, my mind was so extremely confounded that I knew not what else to do with it but propound another in its stead, and therefore said: “Gracious Lady, your Ladysh’ips question would easily be resolved if one thing did not perplex me. I had two companions, both of which loved me exceedingly; now they being doubtful which of them was most dear to me, concluded to run to me, I unawares, and that he whom I should then embrace should be the right. This they did, yet one of them could not keep pace with the other, so he stayed behind and wept, the other I embraced with amazement. Now when they had afterwards discovered the business to me, I did not know how to resolve myself, and have since then let it rest in this manner, until I ma?y nd some good advice here”in. The Virgin wondered at it, and well observed whereabout I was, where- upon she replied, “Well then, let us both be quit”; and then desired the solution from the rest. But I had already made them wise. So the next began th“Iusn th. e city where I live, a Virgin was recently condemned to death, but the Judge, being somewhat pitiful towards her, caused it to be proclaimed that if any man desire d to become the Virg’si Chn ampion, he should have free leave to do it. Now she had two lovers; the one presently made himself ready, and came into the lists to await his adversar y; afterwards the other also presented himself, but coming somewhat too late, he resolved neverthe le?ss toght, and willingly su? er himself to be vanquished, so that the Vi’rgs linife might be preserved, which also su cceeded accordi”n. gly Whereupon each challenged he“r:N ow my Lords, instruct me, to which of them of right does she belo”ng ? Page 38 --------------------------------------- 41 The Virgin could hold out no longer, but said“I t, hought to have gained much information, and have got myself into the net, but yet would gladly hear whether there are any more to co”me . “Yes, that there ar”e, answered the third, “a strange r adventure has not yet been recounted than that which happened to me. In my youth I loved a worthy maid: now so that my love might attain its desired end, I used to employ an ancient matron, who easily brought me to her. Now it hap- pened that the maid’s b rethren c ame i n u pon u s j ust a s w e t hree w e re together, a nd we re i n s uch a r age t hat t hey would h ave t aken m y life, but upon my vehement supplication, they at length forced me to swear to take each of them for a year, to be my wedded wife. Now tell me, my Lords, should I take the old, or the young o? rsnet? ” We all laughed su? ciently at this r iddle, and though some of them mut- tered to one another about it, yet none would undertake to unfold it. Hereupon the fourth began: “In a certain city there dwelt an honourable lady, who was beloved of all, but especially by a young nobleman, who was too importunate with her. At length she gave him this determination, that if he could lead her into a fair gre en garden of roses in a cold winter, then he should obtain what he desire d, but if not, he must resolve never to see her again. The nobleman traveled to all countr ies to ? nd such a man as might perform this, till at length he found a little old man that promised to do it for him, if he would assure him of half his estate; which he having consented to the other, was as good as his word. Whereupon he invited the aforesaid lady to his garden, where, contrar y to her expectation, she found all thin gs green, pleasant and warm, and remembering her promise, she only requested that she might once more return to her lord, to whom with sighs and tears she bewailed her lamentable condition. But becaus?-e he su ciently perceived her faithfulness, he dispatc hed her back to her lover who had so dearly purchased her, so that she might give him satisfaction. This husband’s integrity did so mightily a? ect the nobleman, that he thought it a sin to touch so honest a wife; so he sent her home again with honour to her lord. Now the little man perceiving such faith in both these, would not, however poor he was, be the least in honour, but restored to the nobleman all his goods again and went his way. Now, my lords, I know not which of these persons may have shown the greatest ingen”u ity? Here our tongues were quite cut o? . Neither would the Virgin make any other reply, but only that another should go on. Page 39 --------------------------------------- 42 So the ? fth, without delay, began: “My Lords, I do not wish to make long work of this; who has the greater joy, he that beholds what he loves, or he that only thinks on it?” “He that beholds it,” said the Virgin. “No,” I answered. Hereupon a debate arose, so the sixth called out“My, lords, I am to take a wife; now I have before me a maid, a married wife, and a widow; ease me of this doubt, and I will afterwards help to order the r” est. “It goes well ther”e r, eplied the seventh“,wh ere a man has a choice, but with me the case is otherwise. In my youth I loved a fair and virtuous vir- gin from the bottom of my heart, and she loved me in similar manner; however, because of her frien’ ddens ial we could not come together in wedlock. Whereupon she was mar ried to another, yet an honest and dis- creet person, who maintained her honourably and wi? thec tioa n, until she came to the pains of childbirth, which went so hard for her that all thought she was dead, so with much state and great mourning she was interred. Now I thought to myself, dur ing her life you could have no part in this woman, but now she is dead you may embrace and kiss he? cienr sutly; so I took my servant with me, who dug her up by night. Now having opened the co? n and locked her in my arms, feeling about her heart, I found some little motion in it still, which increased more and more from my warmth, till at last I perceived that she was indeed still alive. So I quietly bore her home, and after I had warmed her chilled body with a costly bath of herbs, I committed her to my mother until she brought forth a fair son, whom I caused to be nursed faithfully, as for his mother. After two days (she being then in great amazement) I revealed to her all the precedin? aig r, raequest- ing her for the time to come to live with me as a wife; against which she found exception, in case it should be grievous to her husband who had maintained her well and honourably. But if it could be otherwise, she was obliged in love at present to one as well as the other. Now after two months (being then about to make a journey elsewhere) I invited her husband as a guest, and amongst other things demanded of him whether, if his deceased wife should come home again, he would be content to receive her. He a? rmed it with tears and lamentations, and I brought him his wife together with his son, and gave an ac count of all the preceding business, entreating him to ratify with his consent my intended espousals. After a long dispute he could not deny me my r ight, but had to leave me his wife. But there was still a debate about the so” n. Page 40 --------------------------------------- 43 Here the Virgin interrupted him, and said, “It makes me wonder how you could double the a? icted man’s grief”. “What,” he answered“, Was I not concerned about it” Upo? n this there arose a dispute amongst us, yet most? r ma ed that he had done righ“tNo. ,” he said, “I freely returned him both his wife and his son. Now tell me, my Lords, was my honesty, or this m’s joan y, the greater?” These words h ad s o much cheered t he Virgin that (as if it h ad been for the sake of these two) she caused a health to be drunk. After which the rest of the proposals went on somewhat per plexedly, so that I could not retain them all; yet this comes to my mind, that one said that a few years before he had seen a physician, who brought a parcel of wood against winter, with which he warmed himself all winter long; but as soon as the spring returned he sold the very same wood again, and so had use of it for nothing. “Here there must be sk”ill, said the Virgin, “but the time is now pa”st. “Yes”, replied my companion“, whoever does not understand how to resolve all the riddles may give each man notice of it by a proper messenger, and he will not be denie”d . At this time they began to say grace, and we arose all together from the table, satis? ed and merry rather than satiated; and it is to be wished that all invitations and feastings were kept like this. Having now taken a few turns up and down the hall again, the Virgin asked us whether we desired to begin the wedding. “Yes, noble and virtuous lady” s, aid one. Whereupon she privately des- patched a page, and yet in the meantime proceeded in discourse with us. In brief she had already become so familiar with us, that I ventured to request her Name. The Virgin smiled at my curiosity, but yet was not moved, but replied: “My Name contains ? ve and ? fty, and yet has only eight letters; the third is the third part of the? f th, which added to the sixth will produce a number whose root shall exceed the third itself by jus?t thrst, and it is the e half of the fourth. Now the ? fth and the seventh are equal, the last and the ? fth are also equal, and make with the second as much as the sixth, which contains just four more than the third tripled. Now tell me, my lord, what am I called?” The answer was intricate enough to me, yet I did not lea?v, be out said, “Noble and virtuous lady, may I not have only one let”t er? “Yes”, she said, “that may well be done”. Page 41 --------------------------------------- 44 “What then”, I replied again, “may the seventh contai”n? “It contains”, she said, “as many as there are lords her”. e With this I was content, and easily found her Name, at which she was very pleased, and assured us that much more should yet be revealed to us. Meantime certain virgins had made themselves ready, and came in with great ceremony. First of all two youths carried lights before them; one of them was of jocund countenance, sprightly eyes and gentle proportion. The other looked rathe r angry, and whatever he would have, must be, as I afterwards perceived. After them ? rst followed four virgins. One looked shame-facedly towards the earth, very humble in behaviour. The second also was a mod- est, bashful virgin. The third, as she entered the room, seemed amazed at something, and as I understood, she cannot easily abide where there is too much mirth. Th e fourth brought with her certain small wreaths, thereby to manifest her kindness and liberality. After these four came two who we re somewhat more glor iously appar- eled; they saluted us courteously. One of them had a gown of sky colour spangled with golden stars. The ot’hs wer as g reen, beau? tied with red and white stripes. On their heads they had th? in ying ti? aties, which adorned them most becomingly. At last came one on her own, who had a coronet on her head, but looked up rather towards heaven than towards earth. We all thought it was the Bride, but were much mistaken, although otherwise in honour, r iches and state she much surpassed the Bride; and she afterwards ruled the whole Wedding. Now on this occasion we all followed our Virgin, and fell down on our knees; however, she showed herself to be extremely humb? er-le, o ing everyone her hand, and admonishing us not to be too much surprised at this, for this was one of her smallest bounties; but to lift up our eyes to our Creator, and learn hereby to acknowledge his omnipotency, and so proceed in our enterprised course, employing this grace to the praise of God, and the good of man. In sum, her words were quite di? erent from those of our Virgin, who was somewhat more worldly. They pierced me through even to my bones and marrow. “And you”, she said further to me“, have received more than others, se e that you also make a larger retu”r Thn. is to me was a very strange sermon; for a s soon as w e s aw the v irgins with t he music, w e i magined w e m ust soon begin to dance, but that time was not as yet come. Now the weights, Page 42 --------------------------------------- 45 which have been mentioned before, stood still in the same place, so the Duchess (I knew not ye t who she was) commanded each virgin to t ake up one, but to our Virgin she gave her own, which was the last and gre atest, and commanded us to follow behind. Our majesty was then somewhat abated, for I observed well that our Virgin was too good for us, and we were not so highly reputed as we ourselves were almost in part willing to fantasise. So we went behind in our order, and were brought into? rstht e chamber, where our Virgin in th?e rst place hung up the Duche’ wess ight, during which an excellent spiritual hymn was sung. There was nothing costly in this room save only curious little prayer books which sho uld never be missing. In the middle was erected a pulpit, very convenient for prayer, in which the Duchess kneeled down, and about her we all had to kneel and pray after the Virgin, who re ad out of a book, that this Wedding might tend to the honour of God, and our own be?net. Afterwards we came into the sec- ond chamber, where th?e rst Virgin hung up her weight too, and so for- ward until all the ceremonies we?ren ished. Hereupon the Duchess again presented her hand to everyone, and departed hence with her virgin. Our president stayed yet a while with us. But because it had already been night for two hours, she would no longer detain us. I thought she was glad of our company, yet she bade us goo d night, and wished us quiet rest, and so departed friendlily, although unwillingly, from us. Our pages were well instructed in their busine ss, and therefore showed every man his chamber, and s tayed w ith u s t oo in anothe r bed, s o that in case we wante d anything we might make use of them. My chamber (of the rest I am not able to speak) was royally furnished with rare tapestries, and hung about with paintings. But above all things I delighted in my page, who was so excel- lently spoken, and experienced in the arts, that he spent yet another hour with me, and it was half past three when ? rsI t fell asleep. And this was the ? rst night that I slept in quiet, and yet a scurvy dream would not let me rest; for all the night I was trouble d with a d oor which I could not get open, but at last I did it. With these fantasies I passed the time, till at length towards day I awakened. Page 43 --------------------------------------- 46 Page 44 --------------------------------------- 47 The Fourth Day was still lying in my bed, and leisurely surveying all the noble images and? gures up and down about my chamber, when sud- denly I heard the music of coronets, as if they were already in I procession. My page jumped out of the bed as if he had been at his wit’s end, and looked more like one dead than living. In what state I was then is easily imaginable, for he said, “The rest are already presented to the King.” I did not know what else to do but weep outright and curse my own slothfulness; yet I dressed my self, but my page was ready long before me, and ran out of the chamber to see ho?w aairs might yet stand. But he soon returned, and brought with him this joyful news, that indeed the time was not yet, but I had only overslept my breakfast, they being unwilling to awaken me because of my age. But now it was time for me to go with him to the fountain where most of them were assembled. With this consolation my spirit returne d again, so I was soon ready with my habit, and went after the page to the fountain in the aforementioned garden, where I found that the lion, instead of his sword, had a pretty large tablet by him. Now having looked well at it, I found that it was taken out of the ancient monuments, and placed here for some special honour. The inscription was somewhat worn out with age, and therefore I have a mind to set it down here, as it is, and give everyone leave to consider it. (“Hermes the Prince. After so many wounds? iincte d on humankind, here by God’s counsel and the help of the Ar? ot w I, a healing medicine. Let him drink me who can: let him wash who will: let him trouble me who dare: drink, brethren and l”iv.) e This wr iting might well be read and understood, and may therefore suit- ably be placed here, because it is easie r than any of the rest. Now after we had ? rst washed ourse lve s out of the fountain, and every man had taken a draught out of an entirely golden cup, we were once again to follow the Virgin into the hall, and there put on new apparel, which was all of cloth of gold gloriously set out wit? ohw ers. There was also given to everyone another Golden Fleece, which was set about with precious stones, and various workmanship according to the utmost skill of each ? cerar.t Oi n it hung a weighty medal of gold, on which w?egurre ed the sun and moon in opposition; but on the other side stood this sayin“Tgh, e light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven Page 45 --------------------------------------- 48 time s lighter than at prese”n But our ft. ormer jewels were laid in a little cas- ket, and committed to one of the waiters. After this the Virgin led us out in our order, where the musicians waited ready at the door, all appareled in red velvet with white guards. After which a door (which I never saw open before) to the Royal winding stairs was unlocked. There the Virgin led us, together with the music, up three hun- dred and sixty ? ve stairs; there we saw nothing that was not of extremely costly workmanship, full of ar? ctie; and the further we went, the more glo- rious still was the furniture, until at length at the top we came under a painted arch, where the sixty virgins attended us, all richly appare led. Now as soon as they had bowed to us, and we, as well as we could, had returned our reverence, our musicians were sent away, and must go down the stairs again, the door being shut after them. After this a little bell was tolled; then in came in a beautiful Virgin who brought everyone a wreath of laurel. But our virgins had branches given them. Meanwhile a curtain was drawn up, where I saw the King and Queen as they sat there in their majesty, and had not the Duchess yesterday so f aith- fully warned me, I should have forgotten myse lf, and have equaled this unspeakable glory to Heaven. For apart from the fact that the room glis- tened with gold and precious stones, the Qu’s reenobes were moreover made so that I was not able to behold them. And whereas before I esteemed anything to be handsome, here all things so much surpassed the rest, as the stars in heaven are elevated. In the meantime the Virgin came in, and so each of the virgins taking one of us by the hand, with most profound reverence presented us to the King, whereupon the Virgin began to speak th“uThats: to honour your Royal Majesties (most gracious King and Queen) these lords here present have ventured here in per il of body and life, your Majesties have reason to rejoice, especially since the greatest part are ?qued for thali e enlarg ing of your Majestie’s Estates and Empire, as you will ? nd by a most gracious and particular examination of each of them. Herewith I desired to have them presented in humility to your Majesties, with most humble suit to discharge myself of this commission of mine, and most g raciously to ta?kecie sunt information from each of them, concerning both my actions and omis- sions”. Hereupon she laid down her branch upon the ground. Now it would have be en very? tting for one of us to have put in and said something on this occasion, but se eing we were all tongue-tied, at length the old Atlas Page 46 --------------------------------------- 49 stepped forward and spoke on the Ki’s bngehalf:- “Their Royal Majesties do most graciously rejoice at your arrival, and wish that their Royal Grace be assured to all, and every man. And with your administration, gentle Vir- gin, they are most g raciously sat? ed, is and accordingly a Royal Reward shall therefore be provided for you. Yet it is still their intention that you shall also continue t o be with them this day, inasmuch as they h ave no rea- son to mistrust yo”u . Hereupon the Virgin humbly took up the branch again. And so we for the ? rst time were to step aside with our Virgin. This room was square on the front, ? ve times broader than it was long; but towards the West it had a great arch like a porch, wherein in a circle stood three glorious royal thrones, yet the middlemost was somewhat higher than the rest. Now in each throne sat two persons. In th? res t sat a ve ry ancient King with a grey beard, yet his consort was extraordinar ily fair and young. In the third throne sat a black King of middle age, and by him a dainty old matron, not crowne d, but covered with a veil. But in the middle sat the two young per- sons, and though they had likewise wreaths of laurel upon their heads, yet over the m hung a large and costly crown. Now although they we re not at this time so fair as I had before imagined to myself, yet so it was to be. Behind them on a round form sat for the most part ancient men, yet none of them had any sword or other weapon ab out him, at which I wondered. Neither saw I any other body-guard, but certain Virgins who were with us the day before, who sat on the sides of the arch. Here I cannot pass over in silence how the little Cu?pid ew to and fro there, but for the most part he hovered over and played the wanton about the g reat crown; sometimes he seated himself between the two lovers, somewhat smiling upon them with his bow. Indeed, sometimes he made as if he would shoot one of us. In brief, this knave was so full of his waggery, that we would not even spare the little birds wh?ich ew in multitudes up and down the room, but torme nted them all he could. The virgins also had their pastimes with him, but whenever they could catch him, it was not so easy a matter for him to get from them again. Thus this little knave made all the sport and mirth. Before the Queen stood a small but inexpressibly curious altar, on which lay a book cove red with black velvet, a little overlaid with gold. By this stood a small taper in an ivory candlestick. Now although it was very small, yet it burnt continually, and was such that had not Cupid, in sport, now and then pu? ed upon it, we could not have conceived it to? bere. By this Page 47 --------------------------------------- 50 stood a sphere or celestial globe, which turned clearly about by itself. Next to this, a small striking-watch, and by that was a little cr ystal pipe or syphon-fountain, out of which perpetually ran a clear blood-red liquor. And last of all there was a skull, or death’s head; in this was a white ser pent, who was of such a length that though she wound about the rest of it in a circle, her tail still remained in one of the eyeholes until her head again entered the other; so she never stir red from her skull, unless it happened that Cupid twitched a little at her, for then she slipped in so suddenly that we all could not choose but marvel at it. Together with this altar, there were up and down the room wonderful image s, which moved themselves as if they had been alive, and had so strange a contrivance that it would be impossible for me to relate it all. Likewise, as we were passing out, there began such a marvellous kind of vocal music, that I could not tell for sure whether it was performed by the virgins who still stayed behind, or by the images themselves. Now we being satis? ed for the time being, went away with our virgins, who (the musicians being already present) led us down the winding stairs again, and the door was diligently locked and bolted. As soon as we had come again into the hall, one of the virgins began“I w: onder, Sister, that you dare hazard your- self amongst so many peop” le. “My Sister,” replied our president, “I am afraid of none so much as of this man”, pointing at me. This speech went to my heart, for I well understood that s he mocked at my age, and indeed I was the oldest of them all. Yet she comforted me again with the promise that if I behaved myself well towards her, she would easily rid me of this burden. Meantime a light meal was again brought in, and ever’ys Voneirgin seated by him; they knew well how to shorten the time with handsome dis- courses, but what their discourses and sports were I dare not blab out of school. But most of the questions were about the arts, whereby I could eas- ily gather that both young and old were conversant in knowledge. But still it ran in my thoughts how I might become young again, whereupon I was somewhat sadder. The Virgin perceived this, and therefore began“I b, et anything, if I lie with him tonight, he shall be pleasanter in the morn” ing. Hereupon they all began to laugh, and although I blushed all ove r, yet I had to laugh too at my own ill-luck. Page 48 --------------------------------------- 51 Now there was one there who had a mind to return my disgrace upon the Virgin again, so he said“I, hope not only we, but the virgins them- selves too, will bear witness on behalf of our brother, that our lady president has promised to be his bedfellow tonight.” “I should be well conte nt with it,” replied the Virgin“, if I had no reason to be afraid of my sisters here; there would be no hold with them should I choose the best and handsomest for myself, against their will.” “My Sister,” began another,“ we ? nd by this that your high ? oce doesn’t make you proud; so if with your per mission we might divide by lot the lords here present among us for bedfellows, you should with our good will have such a prerogati”v e. We let this pass for a jest, and again began to discourse together. But our Virgin could not leave tormenting us, and therefore began ag“ain.My lords, what about if we should let fortune decide which of us must lie together tonight?” “Well,” I said, “if it may not be otherwise, we cannot re fuse such an o? er.” Now because it was concluded to make this tr ial after the meal, we resolved to sit no longer at table, so we arose, and each one walked up and down w ith his Virgin. “No,” said the Virgin, “it shall no t be so yet, but let us see how fortune will couple us,” upon which we were separated. But now ? rst arose a dispute how the business should be carried out; but this was only a premeditated device, for the Virgin instantly made the pro- posal that we should mix ourselves together in a r ing, and that she begin- ning to count the seventh from herself, was to be content with the following seventh, whether it were a virgin, or a man. For our parts we were not aware of any craft, and therefore per mitted it to be so; but when we thought we had mingled ourselves very well, th e virgins nevertheless were so clever that each one knew her station beforehand. The Virgin began to reckon; the seventh from her was another virgin, the third seventh a virgin likewise, and this happened so long till (to our amazement) all the virgins came forth, and none of us was hit. Thus we poor pitiful wretches remained s tanding a lone, and were m oreover forced t? oer s ouu rselves to be j eered a t, a nd t o c onfess w e w ere v ery h andsomely t ricked. I n s hort, whoever had seen us in our order, might sooner have expecte d the sky to fall, than that it should never have come to our turn. With this our sport was at an end, and we had to satisfy ourselves with the Virg’s wainggery. Page 49 --------------------------------------- 52 In the interim, the little wanton Cupid came in to us too. But we could not sport ourselves with him enough, because he prese nted himself on behalf of their Royal Majesties, and delivered us a health (from them) out of a golden cup, and had to call our virgins to the King, declaring also that he could at this time tar ry no longer with them. So with a due return of our most humble thanks we let hi?my o ? again. Now because (in the interim) the mirth had begun to fall to my con- sort’s feet - and the virgins were not sorry to see it - they quickly started up a civil dance, which I beheld with pleasure rather than taking part; for my mercurialists were so r eady w ith their postures, as if they h ad l ong b ee n of the trade. After a few dances our president came in again, and told us how the ar tists and students had o? ered themselves to their Royal Majesties, for their honour and pleasure, to act a mer ry comedy before their departure ; and if we thought it good to be present at this, and to wait upon their Royal Majesties to the House of the Sun, it would be acceptable to them, and they would most graciously acknowledge it. Hereupon in the ? rst place we returned our most humble thanks for the honour vouchsafed us; not only this, but moreover we most submissively tendere d our humble ser- vice. This the Virgin related again, and presently brought word to attend their Royal Majesties (in our order) in the galler y, where we were soon led; and we did not stay long there, for the Royal Procession was just ready, yet without any music at all. The unknown Duchess who was with us yesterday went in front, wearing a small and costly coronet, appareled in white satin. She carried nothing but a small cr?ux whci ich was made of a pearl, and this very day wrought between the young King and his Bride. After her went the six aforementioned virgins in two ranks, who carried the Ki’s jengwels belonging to the little altar. Next to these came the three Kings. The Bridegroom was in the midst of them in a plain dress, but in black satin, after the Italian f ashion. He had on a small round black hat, with a little pointed black feather, which he courteously took o? to us, so to signify his favour towards us. We bowed ourselves to him, as also t?ors tht,e a s we had been instructed before. After the Kings came the three Queens, two of whom were richly dressed, but she in the middle was likewise all in black, and Cupid held up her train. After this, intimation was given to us to fol- low, and after us the Virgins, till at last old Atlas brought up the rear. In such procession, through many stately walks, we at length came to the House of the Sun, there next to the King and Queen, upon a richly fur- Page 50 --------------------------------------- 53 nished sca? old, to behold the previously ordained comedy. We indeed, though separated, stood on the right hand of the Kings, but the virgins stood on the left, except those to whom the Royal Ensigns were commit- ted. To them was allotted their own place at the top of all. But the re st of the attendants had to stand below between the columns, and to be content with that. Now because there are many remarkable passages in this comedy, I will not omit to go over it br ?iey. First of all a very ancient King came on, with some servants; before his throne was brought a little chest, with mention being made that it was found upon the water. Now it being opened, there appeared in it a lovely baby, together with some jewels, and a small letter of parchment sealed and superscr ibed to the King, which the King therefore opened; and having read it, wept, and then declared to his servants how injuriously the King of the Moors had deprive d his aunt of her country, and had extinguished all the royal seed even to his infant, with the daughter of which country he had now the intention of matching his son. Hereupon he swore to maintain perpetual enmity with the Moor and his allies, and to revenge this upon them; and with this he commanded that the child should be tenderly nursed, and to make preparation against the Moor. Now this provision, and the disciplining of the young lady (who after she had grown up a little was committed to an ancient tutor) took up all th? re st act, with many very? ne and laudable sports besides. In the interlude a lion and g? rn wi ere set at one another to ? ght, and the lion got the victory, which was also a pretty sight. In the second act, the Moor, a very black treacherous fellow, came on too. He, having with vexation understood that his murder had been discov- ered, and that a little lady was craftily stolen from him too, began thereupon to consult how by stratagem he might be able to encounter so powerful an adversary; on which he was eventually advised by certain fugitive?s whed o to him because of a famine. So the young lady, contrar y to everyone’s expectations, fell again into his hands; he would have been likely to have caused her to be slain if he had not been wonderfully deceived by his own servants. Thus this act was con- cluded too, with a marvellous tr iumph of the Moor. In the third act a great army of the K’is png arty was raised against the Moor, and put under the conduct of an ancient valiant knight, who fell into the Moor’s country, till at le ngth he forcibly rescued the young lady Page 51 --------------------------------------- 54 from the tower, and appareled her anew. After this in a tr ice they erected a glorious sca? old, an d placed their young lady upon it. Presently twelve royal ambassadors came, amongst whom the aforementioned knight made a speech, alleging that the King his most gracious lord had not only delivered her from death earlier, and even caused her to be royally brought up until now (though she had not behaved herself altogether as became her). But moreover his Royal Majesty had, before others, elected her to be a spouse for the young lord his son, and most g raciously desired that the said espous- als might actually be executed, if they would be sworn to his Majesty upon the following articles. Hereupon out of a patent he caused certain glorious conditions to be read, which if it were not too long, would be well worthy of being recounted here. In brief, the young lady took an oath inviolably to observe the same, returning thanks too in a most seemly way for such a high grace. Whereupon they began to sing to the praise of God, of the King, and the young lady, and so for the time being departed. For sport, in the meantime, the four beasts of Daniel, as he saw them in the vision and as he described them at length, were brought in, all of which had its certain sig?ncati ion. In the fourth act the young lady was again restored to her lost kingdom, and crowned, and for a while, in this array, conducted about the place with extraordinary joy. After this many and various ambassador s presented them- selves, not only to wish her prosperity, but also to behold her glory. Yet it was not for long that she preserved her integrity, but soon began again to look wantonly about her, and to wink at the ambassadors and lords; in this she tr uly acted her part to the life. These manners of hers were soon known to the Moor, who would by no means neglect such an opportunity, and because her steward did not pay su? cient attention to her, she was easily blinded with great promises, so that she did not keep good con? dence with her King, but privately submit- ted herself entirely to the disposal of the Moor. Hereupon the Moor made haste, and having (by her consent) got her into his hands, he gave her good words until all her kingdom had subjected itself to him. After which, in the third scene of this act, he caused her to be led forth, an? rst d to be str ipped stark naked, and then to be bound to a post upon a scurvy woode? olnd sca, and well scourged, and at last sentenced to death. This was so woeful a spectacle, that it made the eyes of many run over. Hereupon like this, naked as she was, she was cast into prison, there to await her death, which was to be procured by poison, which actually did not kill her, but made her lep- rous all over. Thus this act was for the most part lamentable. Page 52 --------------------------------------- 55 Between acts, they brought forth Nebuchadnezz’s iamr age, which was ador ned with all manner of ar ms, on the head, breast, belly, legs and feet, and the like, of which more shall be said in the future explanation. In the ? fth act the young King was told of all that had passed between the Moor and his future spouse; h? ers t interceded with his father for her, entreating that she might not be left in that condition; which his father having agreed to, ambassadors were despatched to comfort her in her sick- ness and captivity, but yet also to make her see her inconsiderateness. But she still would not receive them, but consented to be the Mo’s concor u- bine, which was also done, and the young King was acquainted with it. After this came a band of fools, each of which brought with him a cud- gel; within a tr ice they made a great globe of the world, and soon undid it again. It was a ? ne sportive fantasy. In the sixth act the young King resolved to do battle with the Moor, which was also done. And although the Moor was discomforted, yet all held the young King too to be dead. At length he came to himself again, released his spouse, and committed her to his steward and chaplain. The ? rst of these tormented her greatly; then the tables were turned, and the priest was so insolently wicked that he had to be above all, until this was reported to the young King; who hastily despatched one who broke the neck of the pr ie’sts mightiness, and adorne d the bride in some measure for the nuptials. After the act a vast ar?ticial elephant was brought forth. He car ried a great tower with musicians, which was also well pleasing to all. In the last act the bridegroom appeared with such pomp as cannot be believe d, and I was amazed how it was brought to pass. The bride met him in similar solemnity, whereupon all the people cried out LONG LIVE THE BRIDEGROOM! LONG LIVE THE BRIDE! - so that by this comedy they also congratulated our King and Queen in the most stately manner, which (as I well observed) pleased them most extraordinar ily well. At le ngth they walked about the stage in this procession, till at last they began to sing altogether as follows: I This lovely time Bringeth much joy With the king’s wedding, So sing ye all That it resound Page 53 --------------------------------------- 56 And gladness be to him who giveth it to us. II The beauteous bride Whom we have long awaited Shall be betrothed to him, And we have won Whereafter we did strive O happy he Who looketh to himself. III The elders good Are bidden now, For Long they were in care, In honour multiply That thousands ar ise From your own blood After this thanks were returned, and the comedy w? nisas hed with joy, and the particular enjoyment of the Royal Persons, so (the evening also drawing near already) they departed together in their aforementioned order. But we were to attend the Royal Persons up the winding stairs i nto the aforementioned hall, where the table s were already r ichly furnished, and this was the ? rst time that we were invited to the Ki’ngs table. The little altar was placed in the midst of the hall, and the six royal ensigns previously mentioned were laid upon it. At this time the young King behaved himself very graciously towards us, but yet he could not be heartily merry; although he now and then discoursed a little with us, yet he often sighed, at which the little Cupid only mocked, and played his waggish tr icks. The old King and Queen were very serious; only the wife of one of the ancient Kings was gay enough, the reason for which I did not yet understand. During this time, the Royal Persons took up th? re st table, at the second only we sat. At the third, some of the pr incipal virgins placed themselves. The rest of the virgins, and men, all had to wait. This was performed with such state and solemn stillness that I am afraid to say very much about it. Page 54 --------------------------------------- 57 But I cannot leave untouched upon here, how all the Royal Persons, before the meal, attired themselves in snow-white glittering garments, and so sat down at the table. Over the table hung the great golden crown, the pre- cious stone s of which would have? suciently illuminated the hall without any other light. However, all the lights we re kindled at the small taper upon the altar; what the reason was I did not know for sure. But I took very good notice of this, that the young King frequently sent meat to the white serpent upon the little altar, which caused me to muse. Almost all the prattle at this banquet was made by little Cupid, who could not leave us (and me, indeed, especially) untormented. He was per- petually producing some strange matter. However, there was no consider- able mirth, all went silently on; from which I, myself, could imag ine some great imminent peril. For there was no music at all heard; but if we were demanded anything, we had to give short round answers, and so let it rest. In short, all things had so strange a face, that the sweat began to trickle down all over my body; and I am apt to believe that the most stout-hearted man alive would then have lost his courage. Supper being now almost ended, the young King commanded the book to be reached him from the little altar. This he opened, and caused it once again to be propounded to us by an old man, whether we resolved to abide by him in prosperity and adversity; which we having consented to with trembling, he fur ther had us asked, whether we would give him our hands on it, which, when we coul?d nd no evasion, had to be so. He reupon one after another arose, and with his own hand wrote himself down in this book. When this also had been performed, the little crystal fountain, together with a very small crystal glass, was brought near, out of which all the Royal Persons drank one after another. Afterwards it was held out to us too, and so to all persons; and this was called the Draught of Silence. Hereupon all the Royal Persons presented us their hands, declaring that if we did not now stick to them, we should nevermore from now on see them; which truly made our eyes run over. But our preside nt engaged herself and prom- ised a great deal on our behalf, which gave them satisf action. Meantime a little bell was tolled, at which all the Royal Persons became so i ncredibly b leak, that w e w ere r eady to d espair u tterly. T hey q uickly took o? their white garments again, and put on entirely black ones. The whole hall likewise was hung about with black velvet, the? oor w as covered with black velvet, with which also the ceiling above was overspread (all this Page 55 --------------------------------------- 58 being prepared beforehand). After that the tables were also removed, and all seated themselves round about upon the for m, and we also put on black habits. In came our president again, who had before gone out, and she brought with her six black t? eta a scarves, with which she bound the six Royal Persons’ eyes. Now when they could no longer se e, six covere d cof- ? ns were immediately brought in by the servants, and set down in the hall; also a low black seat was placed in the middle. Finally, there came in a ve ry coal-black, tall man, who bore in his hand a sharp axe. Now after the old King had ? rst been brought to the seat, his head was instantly whipped ? , o and wrapped in a black cloth; but the blood was re ceived into a great golden goblet, and placed with him in this co? n that stood by; which, being covered, was set aside. Thus it we nt with the rest also, so that I thought it would at length have come to me too, but it did not. For as soon as the six Royal Persons were beheaded, the black man went out again; another followed after him, and beheaded him too just before the door, and brought back his head together with the axe, which were laid in a little chest. This indeed seemed to me a bloody Wedding, but because I could not tell what was yet to happen, for the time being I had to suspend my under- standing until I had further resolved things. For the Virgin too, seeing that some of us were faint-hear ted and wept, bid us be content. “For”, she said to us, “The life of these now stands in your hands, and if you follow me, this death shall make many ali” ve. With this she intimated that we should go to sleep, and trouble ourselves no further on their part, for they should be sure to have their due right. And so she bade us all goodnight, saying that she must watch the dead bod- ies this night. We did this, and were each of us conducted by our pages into our lodgings. My page talked with me of sundry and various matters (which I still remember very well) and gave me cause enough to admire his understanding. But his intention was to lull me to sleep, which at last I well observed; so I made as though I was fast asleep, but no sleep came into my eyes, and I could not put the beheaded out of my mind. Now my lodging was directly over against the great lake, so that I could easily look upon it, the windows being near to the bed. About midnight, as soon as it had struck twelve, suddenly I saw a g? rreate o n the lake, so out of fear I quickly opened the window to see what would become of it. Then from afar I saw seven ships making forward, which were all full of lights. Above each of them on the top hovered a ? ame that passed to and fro, and Page 56 --------------------------------------- 59 sometimes descended right down, so that I could easily judge that it must be the spirits of the beheaded. Now these ships gently approached land, and each of them had no more than one mariner. As soon as they had come to shore, I saw our Virgin with a torch going towards the ship, after whom the six covere? d cns o were carried, together with the little chest, and each of them was secretly laid in a ship. So I awakened my page too, who greatly thanke d me, for, having r un up and down a lot all day, he might have slept through this altogether, though he knew quite well about it. Now as soon as the ? ncos w ere l aid in t he ships, all the lights were extinguished, and the s? ameix s passed back together over the lake, so that there was no more than one light in each ship for a watch. There we re also some hundreds of watchmen who had encamped themselves on the shore, and sent the Virgin back again into the castle; she carefully bolted everything up again, so that I could judge that there was nothing more to be done this night, but that we must await the day. So we again took ourselves to rest. And I only of all my company had a chamber towards the lake, and saw this, so that now I was also extremely wear y, and so fell asleep in my manifold speculations. Page 57 --------------------------------------- 60 Page 58 --------------------------------------- 61 The Fifth Day he night was over, and the dear wished-for day broken, when hastily I got out of bed, more desirous to learn what might yet ensue, than that I had slept enough. Now after I had put on my T clothes, and according to my custom had gone down the stairs, it was still too early, and I found nobody else in the hall; so I entreated my page to lead me about a little in the castle, and show me something rare. He was now (as always) willing, and led me down certain steps under g round, to a great iron door, on which the following words in great copper letters were ? xed: (Here lies buried Venus, that beauty which has undone many a great man both in fortune, honour, blessing and prosperity.) This I thus copied, and set down in my table-book. Now after this door was opened, the page led me by the hand through a very dark passage, till we came again to a very little door, that was only now put to; for (as my page informed me) it wa?s rst opened yesterday when the ? cons we re taken out, and had not si nce been shut. Now as soon as we stepped in, I saw the most precious thing that Nature ever created, for this vault had no light other than that from certain huge great carbuncles, and this (as I was informed) was the King’s Treasury. But the main and most glorious thing that I saw here was a sepu lchre (which stood in the middle) so r ich that I wondered that it was not better guarded. To which the page answered me, that I had good reason to be thankful to my planet, by whose in? uence it was that I had now seen certain pieces which no other human eye (except the King’s family) had ever had a view of. This sepulchre was triangular, and had in the middle of it a vessel of pol- ished copper; the rest was of pure gold and precious stones. In the vessel stood an angel, who held in his ar ms an unknown tree, which continually dropped fruit into the ve ssel; and as often as the fruit fell into the vessel, it turned into water, and ran out from there into thre e small golden vessels standing by. This little altar was supported by these three animals, an eagle, an ox and a lion, which stood on an exceedingly costly base. I asked my page what this might signify. “Here,” he said, “lies buried Lady Venus, that beauty which has undone many a g reat man, both in fortune, honour, blessing and pros”pe Afrittye.r which he showed me a copper door on the pavement. “Here,” he said, “if you please, we may go further do”wn. Page 59 --------------------------------------- 62 “I still follow you,” I replied. So I went down the steps, where it was exceedingly dark, but the page immediately opened a little chest, in which stood a small ever-burning taper, at which he kindled one of the torches which lay by. I was greatly terri? ed, and ser iously asked how he dared do this? He s aid by way o f a nswe“Ar s long as the Royal Persons are still at rest, we have nothing to fear” . Then I saw a rich bed ready made, hung about with curious curtains, one of which he drew aside, where I saw the Lady Venus stark naked (for he heaved up the coverlets too) lying there in such beauty, and in such a surprising fashion, that I was almost beside myself; neither do I yet know whether it was a piece thus carved, or a human corpse that lay dead there. For she was altogether immovable, and ye t I dared not touch her. So she was again covered, and the curtain drawn before her, yet she was still (as it were) in my eye. But I soon saw behind the bed a tablet on which it was written as follows: (When the fruit of my tree shall be quite melted down then I shall awake and be the mother of a King.) I asked my page about this writing, but he laughed, with the promise that I should know it too. So, he putting out the torch, we ascended again. Then I had a better look at all the little doors, and ? rst found that on every corner there burned a small taper of pyrites, of which I had before taken no notice, for the ? re was so clear that it looked much more like a stone than a taper. From this heat the tree was forced continually to melt, yet it still pro- duced new fruit. Now behold (said the page) what I heard revealed to the King by Atlas. Wh en the tre e (he said) shall be quite melted down, then shall Lady Venus awake, and be the mother of a King. Whilst he was thus speaking, in ? ew the little Cupid, who at? rst was somewhat abashed at our prese nce, but seeing us both look more like the dead than the living, he could not in the end refrain from laughing, demanding what spir it had brought us there. I with trembling answered him, that I had lost my way in the castle, and had come here by chance, and that the page likewise had been looking up and down for me, and at last came upon me here, and I hoped he would not take it amiss. “Well then, that’s well enough yet, my old busy grand”s saire,id Cupid, “but you might easily have served me a scurvy trick, h ad you been aware of this door. Now I must look better to ”i tand so he put a, strong lock on the copper door where we had before descended. Page 60 --------------------------------------- 63 I thanked God that he had not come upon us sooner. My page too was happier, because I had helped him so well at this pinch. “Yet,” said Cupid, “I cannot let it pass unrevenged that you were so near stumbling upon my dear moth”e r. With that he put the point of his dart into one of the little tapers, and heating it a little, pr icked me with it on the hand, which at that time I paid little attention to, but was glad that it had gone so well for us, and that we came o? without further danger. Meantime my companions had got out of bed too, and had returned into the hall again. To them I also joined myself, making as if I had just risen. After Cupid h ad carefully made all fast again, he came to us too, and would have me show him my hand, where he still found a little drop of blood; at which he hear tily laughed, and bade the rest have a care of me, as I would shortly end my days. We all wondered how Cupid could be so merry, and have no sense at all of yester’s sad occuday rrences. But he was in no way troubled. Now our president had in the meantime made herself ready for the jour- ney, coming in all in black ve lvet, yet she still car ried her branch of laurel. Her virg ins too had their branches. Now all things being ready, the Virgin asked us? rst to drink something, and then presently to prepare for the pro- cession, so we did not tarry long but followed her out of the hall into the court. In the court stood six co? ns, and my companions thought nothing other than that the six Royal Pe rsons lay in them, but I well obser ved the device. Yet I did not know what was to be done with these others. By each co? n were eight mu? ed men. Now as soon as the music began (it was so mournful and dolesome a tune, that I was astonished at it) they took up the co? ns, and we (as we were ordered) had to go after them into the afore- mentioned garden, in the middle of which was erected a wooden ed? ce, i having round about the roof a glorious crown, and standing upon seven columns. Within it were for med six sepulchres, and by each of them was a stone; but in the middle was a round hollow rising stone. In these graves the co? ns were quietly and with many ceremonies laid. The stones were shoveled over them, and they shut fast. But the little chest was to lie in the middle. Herewith my companions were deceived, for they imagined noth- ing other but that the dead corpses were there. Upon the top of all there was a grea?t ag, having a phoenix painted on it, perhaps the more to delude us. Here I had great occasion to thank God that I had seen more than the rest. Page 61 --------------------------------------- 64 Now after the funerals were done, the Virgin, having placed herself upon the middlemost stone, made a short oration, that we should be con- stant to our engagements, and not re pine at the pains we were hereafter to undergo, but be helpful in restoring the prese nt buried Royal Persons to life again; and therefore without delay to r ise up with her, to journey to the tower of Olympus, to fetch from there medicines useful and necessar y for this purpose. This we soon agreed to, and followed her through another little door right to the shore. There the seven aforementioned ships stood all empty, on which the virgins stuck up their laurel branches, and after they had dis- tributed us in the six ships, they caused us thus to begin our voyage in God’s name, and looked upon us as long as they could have us in sight, after which they, with all the watchmen, returned into the castle. Our ships each had a peculiar device. Five of them indeed had the? ve r egular bodies, each their own, but mine, in which the Virgin sat too, carried a globe. Thus we sailed on in a par ticular order, and each ship the Moor lay. In this were twelve musicians, who played excellently well, and its device was a pyra- mid. Next followed three abreast, B, C, and D, in which we were. I sat in C. In the middle behind these came the two fairest and stateliest ships, E and F, stuck about with many branches of laurel, having no passengers in them; their? ags were the sun and moon. But in the rear was only one ship, G; in this were forty virg ins. Now having passed over this lake in this way, w? rset went through a narrow arm, into the right seas, where all th e sirens, nymphs, and sea-god- desses were waiting for us; wherefore they immediately dispatched a sea- nymph to us to deliver their present an?d oering of honour to the Wed- ding. It was a costly, great, set, round and oriental pearl, the like of which has never been seen, neither in our world nor ye t in the new world. Now the Virgin having friendlily received it, the nymph further entreated that audience might be given to their entertainments, and to make a little stand, which the Virgin was content to do, and commanded the two great ships to stand in the middle, and the rest to encompass them in a pentagon. After which the nymphs fell into a r ing about, and with a most delicate sweet voice began to sing as follows: I Naught better is on earth Than lovely noble love Page 62 --------------------------------------- 65 Whereby we be as God And no one vexeth his neighbour. So let unto the king be sung That all the sea shall sound. We ask, and answer ye. II What hath to us life brought? ’Tis Love Who hath brought grace again? ’Tis Love Whence are we born? Of Love How we re we all fo rlorn? Without Love III Who hath us then begotten? ’Twas Love Wherefore were we suckled? For Love What owe we to our elders? ’Tis Love And why are they so patient? From Love IV What doth all things o’ercome? ’Tis Love Can we ? nd Love as well? Through Love Where letteth a man good work appear? In Love Who can unite a twain? ’Tis Love V So let us all sing That it resound To ho nour Love Page 63 --------------------------------------- 66 Which will increase With our lord king and quee n, Their bodies are here, their souls ar? ede . VI And as we live So shall God give Where love and g race Did sunder them That we with? ame of Love May haply join them up again. VII So shall this song In greatest joy Though thousand generations come Return into eternity. When they, with most admirable concert and me lody, ?hnisad hed this song, I no more wondered at Ulysses for stopping the ears of his compan- ions, for I seemed to myself the most unhappy man alive, because nature had not made me, too, so trim a creature. But the Virgin soon dispatched them, and commanded us to set sail from there; so the nymphs w? ent o too, after they had been presented with a long red scarf for a gratuity, and dispersed themselves in the sea. I was at this time aware that Cupid began to work with me too, which yet tended by a very little towards my cre dit, and forasmuch as my giddiness is not likely to be bene? cial to the reader, I am resolved to let it rest as it is. But this was the very wound that in t?hre st book I received on the head in a dream. And let everyone take warning by me of loitering about V’enus bed, for Cupid can by no means brook it. After some hours, having gone a good way in friendly discourses, we came within sight of the Tower of Olympus, so the Virgin commanded to give the signal of our approach by the discharge of some pieces, which was also done. And immediately we saw a great whit? ag e thrust out, and a small gilded pinnace sent forth to meet us. Now as soon as this had come to us, we perceive d in it a very ancient man, the Warder of the Tower, with certain guards clothed in white, by whom we were fr iendlily received, and so conducted to the Tower. Page 64 --------------------------------------- 67 This Tower was situated upon an island which was exactly square, and which was environed with a wall that was? srom and thick that I myself counted three hundred and sixty passes over. On the other side of the wall was a? ne meadow with certain little gardens, in which grew strange, and to me unknown, fruits; and then again there was an inner wall about the Tower. T he Tower i tself w as j ust a s i f s even round t owers h ad b ee n b uilt one by another, yet the middlemost was somewhat the higher, and within they all entered one into another, and had seven sto reys one above another. Be ing come in this way to the gates of the Tower, we were led a little aside by the wall, so that, as I well observed, the? cons might be brought into the Tower without our taking notice; of this the rest knew nothing. This being done, we were conducted into the Tower at the very bottom, which although it was excellently painted, yet we had little recre ation there; for this was nothing but a laboratory, where we had to beat and wash plants, and precious stones, and all sorts of things, and extract their juice and essence, and put the same in glasses, and hand them over to be put aside. And truly our Virgin was so busy with us, and so full of her directions, that she knew how to give each of us enough employment, so that in this island we had to be mere dr udges, till we had achieved all that was necessary for the restoring of the beheaded bodies. Meantime (as I afterwards understood) three virgins we re in th? rste apartment washing the bodies with all diligence. Now when we had at last almost ? nished this preparation of ours, nothing more was brought us but some broth with a little draught of wine, by which I well observed that we were not here for our pleasure. For when we h? anisd hed our da’s wy ork, too, everyone had only a mattress laid on the ground for him, with which we were to conte nt ourselves. For my part I was not very much bothere d about sleeping, and therefore walked out into the garden, and at length came as far as the wall; and because the heaven was at that time very clear, I could well drive away the time in contemplating the stars. By chance I came to a great pair of stone stairs, wh ich led up to the top of the wall. And because the moon shone very bright, I was so much the more c?oden nt, and went up, and looked a little upon the sea too, which was now exceedingly calm. And thus having good opportunity to consider more about astronomy, I found that this present night there would occur a conjunction of the plan- ets, the like of which was not otherwise usually to be observed. Now hav- ing looked a good while at the sea, and it being just about midnight, as Page 65 --------------------------------------- 68 soon as it had struck twelve I saw from afar the se? vaemn es passing over the sea towards here, and taking themselves towards the top of the spire of the Tower. This made me somewhat afraid, for as soon as? the ames had settled themselves, the winds arose, and began to make the sea very tempes- tuous. The moon also was covered with clouds, and my joy ended with such fear that I scarcely had enough time? nd tto he stairs ended with such fear that I scarcely had enough time? tndo the stairs again, and take myself to the Tower again. Now whether th?e ames tarried any longer, or passe d away again, I cannot say, for in this obscurity I did not dare venture abroad more. So I lay down on my mattress, and there being in the laboratory a pleas- ant and gently murmuring fountain, I fell asleep so much the sooner. And thus the ? fth day too was concluded with wonders. Page 66 --------------------------------------- 69 The Sixth Day ext morning, after we had awakened one another, we sat together a while to discuss what might yet be the events to occur. For some were of the opinion that they should all be N brought back to life again together. Others contradicted this, because the decease of the ancients was not only to restore life, but to increase it too to the young ones. Some imag ined that they had not been put to death, but that other s had been beheaded in their stead. We now having talked together a pretty long while, in came the old man, and ? rst saluting us, looked about him to see if all things were ready, and the processes su? ciently completed. We had so conducted ourselves as regards this that he had no fault to? nd wi th our diligence, so he placed all the glasses together, and put them into a case. Presently in came certain youths br inging with them some ladders, ropes, and large wings, which they laid down before us. Then the old man began as follo“Myws d: ear sons, each of you must this day constantly bear one of these three things about with him. Now you are free either to make a choice of one of them, or to cast lots about it.” We re plied, “we would choos”e. “No,” he said,“ let it rather go by lo”t. Hereupon he made three little schedules. On one he wr‘Laddeote r’, on the second‘ Rope ’, on the third ‘Wings’. These he put in a hat, and each man must draw, and whatever he got, that was to be his. Those who got the ropes imagined themselves to have the best of it, but I chanced to get a lad- der, which a? icted me greatly, for it was twelve feet long, and pretty weighty, and I was forced to carry it, whereas the others could handsomely coil their ropes about them. And as for the wings, the old man joined them so closely onto the third group, as if they had grown upon them. Hereupon he turned the cock, and then the fountain no longer ran, and we had to remove it from the middle out of the way. After all things we re carried o? , he took leave, taking with him the casket with the glasses, and locked the door f ast after him, so that we imag ined nothing other but that we had been impr isoned in this Towe r. But it was hardly a quarter of an hour before a round hole at the very top was uncovered, where we saw our Virgin, who called to us, and bade us good morrow, desiring us to come up. Those with the wings were instantly above and through the hole. Only those with the ropes were in an evil Page 67 --------------------------------------- 70 plight. For as soon as every one of us was up, he was commanded to draw up the ladder after him. At last each m’s ranope was hanged on an iron hook, so everyone had to climb up by his rope as we ll as he could, which indeed was not accomplished without blisters. Now as soon as we were all up, the hole was covered again, and we were friendlily receive d by the Virgin. This room was the whole breadth of the Tower itself, having six very stately vestries raised a little above the room, and were entered by an ascent of three steps. In these vestries we were placed, there to pray for the life of the King and Queen. Meanwhile the Virgin went in and out of the little door A, till we were ready. For as soon as our process was absolved, there was brought in by twelve persons (who were formerly our musicians), through the little door, and placed in the middle, a wonderful thing of longish shape, which my com- panions took only to be a fountain. But I well observed that the corpses lay in it, for the inner chest was of an ov?al gure, so large that six persons might well lie in it one by another. After which they again went forth, fetched their instruments, and conducted in our Virgin, together with her fe male attendants, with a most delicate sound of music. The Virg in carried a little casket, but the rest only branches and small lamps, and some lighted torches too. The torches were immediately given into our hands, and we were to stand about the fountain in this order. First stood the Virgin A with her attendants in a ring round about with the lamps and branches C. Next stood we with our torches B, then the musicians A in a long rank; last of all the rest of the virgins D in another long rank too. Now where the virg ins came from, whether they lived in the castle, or whether they had been brought in by night, I do not know, for all their faces were covere d with delicate white linen, so that I could not recognise any of them. Hereupon the Virgin opened the casket, in which there was a round thing wrapped up in a piece of green doub?le eta. Thta is she laid in the uppermost vessel, and then covered it with the lid, which was full of holes, and which had besides a rim through which she poured in some of the water which we had prepared the day before. Then the fountain began immediately to run, and to ? ow into the little vessel through four small pipes. Beneath the underneath vessel there were many shar p points, on which the virg ins stuck their lamps, so that the heat might reach the vessel, and make the water boil. Now the water beginning to simmer, it fell in upon the bodies by many little holes at A, and was so hot that it dissolved Page 68 --------------------------------------- 71 them all, and turned them into liquor. But what the above-mentioned round wrapped-up thing was, my companions did not know, but I under- stood that it was the Moo’sr head, from which the water drew so great a heat. At A, round about the gre at vessel, there were again many holes, in which they stuck their branches. Now whether this was done of necessity, or only for ceremony, I do not know. However, these branches were con- tinually besprinkled by the fountain, and from them it afterwards dropped into the vessel something of a deeper yellow. This lasted for nearly two hours, the fountain still constantly r unning by itself; but the longer it ran, the fainter it was. Meantime the musicians went their way, and we walked up and down in the room, and truly the room was made in such a way that we had oppor- tunity enough to pass away our time. There were, for images, paintings, clockworks, organs, springing fountains, and the like, nothing forgotten. Now it was near the time when the fountain ceased, and would run no longer, when the Virg in commanded a round golden globe to be brought. But at the bottom of the fountain there was a tap, by which she let out all the matter that was dissolved by those hot drops (of which certain parts were then very red) into the globe. The rest of the water which remained above in the kettle was poured out. And so this fountain (which had now become much lighter) was again car ried forth. Now whether it was opened elsewhere, or whether anything of the bodies that was further useful yet remained, I dare not say for certain. But this I know, that the water that was emptied into the globe was much heavier than six, or even more of us, were well able to bear, although going by its bulk it should have seemed not too heav y for one man. Now this globe having been got out of doors with much ado, we again sat alone, but I perceiving a trampling overhead, had an eye to my ladder. Here one might take notice of the strange opinions my companions had concerning this fountain, for they, imagining that the bodies lay in the gar- den of the castle, did not know what to make of this kind of working, but I thanked God that I had awakened at so opportune a time, and that I had seen that which helped me the better in all the Vi’s brginusiness. After one quarter of an hour the cover above was again lifted o? , and we were commanded to come up, which was done as before with wings, lad- ders and ropes. And it ve xed me not a little that whereas the virgins could go up another way, we had to take so much toil; yet I could well judge that there must be some special reason for it, and we must leave something for Page 69 --------------------------------------- 72 the old man to do too. For even those with wings had no advantage by them other than when they had to climb through the hole. Now we having got up there, and the hole having been shut again, I saw the globe hanging by a strong chain in the middle of the room. In this room was nothing but windows, and betwe en two windows the re was a door, which was covere d with nothing other than a great polished looking- glass. And these windows and these looking-glasses were optically oppose d to one another, so that although the sun (which was now shining exceed- ingly brightly) beat only upon one door, yet (after the windows towards the sun were opened, and the doors before the looking-glasses drawn aside) in all quarters of the room there were nothing but suns, which b?ycial ar ti refractions beat upon the whole golden globe standing in the midst; and because (be sides all this brightness) it was polished, it gave such a lustre, that none of us could open our eyes, but were forced to look out of the win- dows till th e globe was well heated, and brought to the desir? eecd et. Here I may well avow that in these mirrors I have seen the most wonderful spec- tacle that ever Nature brought to light, for there were suns in all places, and the globe in the middle shined still br ighter, so that we could no more endure it than the sun itself, except for one twinkling of an eye. At length the Virgin commanded the looking-glasses to be shut up again, and the windows to be made f ast, and so to let the globe cool again a little; and this was done about seve’n oclock. This we thought good, since we might now have a little leisure to refresh ourselves with breakfast. This treatment was again right p hilosophical, and we had no need to be afraid of intemperance, yet we had no want. And the hope of the future joy (with which the Virgin continually comforte d us) made us so jocund that we took no notice of any pains or inconvenience. And this I can truly say too concerning my companions of high quality, that their minds never ran after their kitchen or table, but their pleasure was only to attend upon this adventurous physick, and hence to contemplate the Creat’s wisdoor m and omnipotency. After we had taken our meal, we again settled down to work, for the globe, which with toil and labour we were to lift o? the chain and set upon the ? oor, was su? ciently cooled. Now the dispute was how to get the globe in half, for we were commanded to divide it in the middle. The con- clusion was that a shar p pointed diamond would best do it. Now when we had thus opened the globe, there was nothing more of redness to be seen, but a lovely great snow-white egg. It made us rejoice most greatly that this Page 70 --------------------------------------- 73 had been brought to pass so well. For the Virgin was in perpetual care le st the shell might still be too tender. We stood round about this egg as jocund as if we ourselves had laid it. But the Virgin made it be carried forth, and departed herself, too, from us again, and (as always) locked the door. But what she did outside with the egg, or whether it were in some way pr i- vately handled, I do not know, neither do I believe it. Yet we were again to wait together for a quarter of an hour, till the third hole was opened, and we by means of our instruments came to the fourth stone? oo or r. In this room we found a great copper ves?slled with el yellow sand, which was warmed by a gent?le re. Afterwards the egg was raked up in it, that it might therein come to perfect maturity. This vessel was exactly square; upon one side stood these two verses, written in great letters. O. BLI. TO. BIT. MI. LI. On the second side were these three words: SANITAS. NIX. HASTA. (Health, Snow, Lance.) The third had only one word: F.I.A.T. But on the behind was an entire inscription r unning thus: QUOD. Ignis: Aer: Aqua: Te rra: SANCTIS REGUM ET REGINARUM NOSTR: Cineribus. Eripere non potuerunt Fidelis Chymicorum Turba IN HANC URNAM Contulit. A. What Fire: Air: Water: Earth Were unable to rob From the holy ashes OF OUR KINGS AND QUEENS Page 71 --------------------------------------- 74 Was gathered by the faithfu? ockl Of Alchemists In this urn A.D. 1459. Now whether the egg were hereby meant, I leave to the lear ned to dis- pute; yet I do my part, and omit nothing undeclared. Our egg being now ready was taken out, but it needed no cracking, for the bird that was in it soon freed himself, and showed himself very jocund, yet he looked very bloody and unshapen. W?er st set him upon the warm sand, so the Virgin commanded that before we gave him anything to eat, we should be sure to make him fast, otherwise he would g ive us all work enough. This being done too, food was brought him, which surely was nothing else than the blood of the beheaded, diluted again with prepared water; by which the bird grew so fast under our eyes, t hat we s aw well why the Virgin gave u s such warning about him. He bit and scratched so devilishly about him, that could he have had his will upon any of us, he would have despatched him. Now he was wholly black, and wild, so other food was brought him, perhaps the blood of another of the Royal Persons; whereupon all his black feathers moulted again, and instead of them there g rew out snow-white fe athers. He was somewhat tamer too, and more docile. Nevertheless we did not yet trust him. At the third feeding his feathers began to be so curi- ously coloured that in all my life I never saw such beautiful colours. He was also exceedingly tame, and behaved himself so friendlily with us, that (the Virgin consenting) we released him from his captivity. Our Virgin began: “Since by your diligence, and our old man’s consent, the bird has attained both his life and the highest perfection, this is a good reason that he should also be joyfully consecrated b” y us. Herewith she commanded that dinner should be brought, and that we should again refresh ourselves, since the most troublesome part of our work was now over, and it wa?s tting that we should begin to enjoy our past labours. We began to make ourselves merry together. However, we still had all our mourning clothes on, which seemed somewhat reproachful to our mirth. Now the Virgin was per petually inquisitive, perhaps to? nd to which of us her future purpose might prove serviceable. But her discourse was for the most part about Melting; and it pleased her well when one seemed expert in such compendious manuals as do particularly commend an artist. This dinner lasted not more than three quarters of an ho ur, which Page 72 --------------------------------------- 75 we still for the most part spent with our bird, and we had to constantly feed him with his food, but he still remained much the same size. After dinner we were not allowed long to digest our food, before the Virgin, togethe r with the bird, departed from us. The ? fth room was set open to us, where we went as before, and? ered o our services. In this room a bath was prepared for our bi rd, which was so coloured with a ? ne white powder that it had the appearance of milk. Now it was at ? rst cool when the bird was set into it. He was mighty well pleased with it, drinking of it, and pleasantly spor ting in it. But after it began to heat because of the lamps that were placed under it, we had enough to do to keep him in the bath. We therefore clapped a cover on the vessel, and allowed him to thrust his head out through a hole, till he had in this way lost all his feathers in the bath, and was as smooth as a new-born child; yet the heat did him no further harm, at which I much marveled, for the feath- ers were completely consumed in this bath, and th e bath was thereby tinged blue. At length we gave the bird air, and he sprang out of the vessel of his own accord, a nd h e w as so g litteringly s mooth t hat i t w as a p leasure t o behold. But because he was still somewhat wild, we had to put a collar with a chain about his neck, and so led him up and down the room. Meanwhile a strong? re was made under the vessel, and the bath boiled away till it all came down to a blue stone, which we took out, and ha?virng st pounded it, ground it with a stone, an?d nally with this colour began to paint the bird’s skin all over. Now he looked much more strange, for he was all blue, except the head, which remained white. Herewith our work on this storey was performed, and we (after the Vir- gin with her blue bird was departed from us) were called up through the hole to the sixth storey, where we were greatly troubled. For in the middle was placed a little altar, in every way like that in the Kin’s hall abog ve described. Upon this stood the six aforementioned particulars, and he him- self (the bird) made the seventh. F irst of all the little fountain was set before him, out of which he drunk a good draught. Afterwards he pecked the white serpent until she bled a great deal. This blood we had to receive into a golden cup, and pour it down the bir’s thd roat, who was greatly averse to it. Then we dipped the serpen’s ht ead in the fountain, upon which she revived again, and crept into her de’sa-thead, so thath I saw her no more for a long time after. Meantime the sphe re turned constantly, until it made the desired conjunction. Immediately the watch struck one, upon which another conjunction was set going. Then the watch struck two. Page 73 --------------------------------------- 76 Finally, while we were observing the third conjunction, and this was indicated by the watch, the poor bird submissively laid down his neck upon the book of his own accord, and willingly allowed his head to be smitten o? (by one of us chosen for this by lot). However, he yielded not a drop of blood until his breast was opened, and then the blood spurted out so fresh and clear as if it had been a fountain of rubies. His death went to our hear ts, and yet we could well judge that a naked bird would stand us in little stead. So we let it be, and moved the little altar away and assisted the Virg in to burn the body to ashes (together with the little tablet hanging by) with? re kindled by the little taper; and afterwards to cleanse the same several times, and to lay them in a box of cypress wood. Here I cannot conceal what a trick was played on myself and three oth- ers. After we had thus dilige ntly taken up the ashes, the Virgin began to speak as follows: “My lords, here we are in the sixth room, and we have only one more before us, in which our trouble will be at an end, and then we shall return home again to our castle, to awaken our most gracious Lords and Ladies. Now I could heartily wish that all of you, as you are here together, had behaved yourselves in such a way that I might have com- mended to our most renowned King and Queen, and you might have obtained a suitable reward; yet contrar y to my desire, I have found amongst you the se four lazy and sluggish workers (herewith she pointed at me and three others). Yet, according to my goodwill to each and every one, I am not willing to deliver them up to deserved punishment. However, so that such negligence may not remain wholly unpunished, I am resolved thus concerning them, that they shall only be excluded from the future seventh and most glorious action of all the rest, and so they shall incur no further blame from their Royal Majestie”s . In what a state we now were at this speech I leave others to consider. For the Virgin knew so well how to keep her countenance, that the water soon ran over our baskets, and we esteemed ourselves the most unhappy of all men. After this the Virgin caused one of her maids (of whom there were many always at hand) to fetch the musicians, who were to blow us out of doors with cornets, with such scorn and derision that they themselves could hardly blow for laughing. But it? ica ted us particularly greatly that the Virgin so vehemently laughed at our weeping, anger and impatience, and that there might well perhaps be some amongst our companions who were glad of this misfortune of ours. Page 74 --------------------------------------- 77 But it proved otherwise, for as soon as we had come out of the door, the musicians told us to be of good cheer and follow them up the winding stairs. They led us up to the seven?tooh r under the roof , where we found the old man, whom we had not hitherto se en, standing upon a little round furnace. He received us friendlily, and heartily congratulated us that we had been chosen for this by the Virgin; but after he understood the fright we had received, his belly was re ady to burst with laughing that we had take n such good fortune so badly. “Hence”, said he, “my dear sons, learn that man never knows how well God intended him.” During this discourse the Virg in also came running in with her little box, and (after she had laughed at us enough) emptied her ashes into another vessel, and ? lled hers again with other st? , su aying she must now go and cast a mist before the other ar’ti estyses, and that we in the mean- time should obey the old lord in whatsoever he commanded us, and not remit our former diligence. Herewith she departed from us into the seventh room into which she called our companions. Now what she ? did rst with them there, I cannot tell, for not only were they most earnestly forbidden to speak of it, but we also, because of our work, did not dare peep on them through the ceiling. But this was our work. We had to moisten the ashes with our previously prepared water until they became altogether like a very thin dough, after which we set the matter over th?e re, till it was well heated. Then we cast it, hot like this, into two little for ms or moulds, and let it cool a little. Here we had leisure to look a while at our companions through certain crevices made in the? oor . They were now very busy at a furnace, and each had to blow up th?e re himself with a pipe, and they stood blowing about it like this, as if they were wondrously preferred before us in this. And this blowing lasted until our old man roused us to our work again, so that I can- not say what was done afterwards. We opened our little forms, and there appeared two beautiful, bright and almost transparent little images, the like of which ’s emayne never saw, a male and a female, each of them only four inches long, and what surprised us most g reatly was that they were not hard, but lithe an? esd hy, like other human bodies, yet they had no life; so that I most assure dly believe that the Lady Ve nus’s image was also made after some such manner. These angelically f air babes w? ers t laid upon two little satin cushions, and looked at them for a good while, till we we re almost besotted by such Page 75 --------------------------------------- 78 exquisite objects. The old lord warned us to forbear, and continually to instil the blood of the bird (which had been received into a little golden cup) drop after drop into the mouths of the little images, from which they appeared to increase; and whereas they were before ve ry small, they were now (according to proportion) much more beautiful, so that all painters ought to have been here, and would have been ashamed of their art in respect of these productions of nature. Now they began to grow so big that we lifted them from the little cushions, and had to lay them upon a long table, which was covered with white velvet. The old man also commanded us to cover them over up to the breast with a piece o?f tnhee white double ta? eta, which, because of their unspeakable beauty, almost we nt against us. But to be brief, before we had quite used up the blood in this way, they were already in their perfect full growth. They had golden-yellow, curly hair, and the above-mentione?d gure of Venus was nothing to the m. But there was not yet any natural warmth or sensibility in them. They were dead ? gures, yet of a lively and natural colour; and since care was to be taken that they did not grow too big, the old man would not permit anything more to be given to them, but covered their f aces too with the silk, and caused the table to be stuck round about with torches. Here I must warn the reader not to imagine these lights to have bee n put there out of necessity, for the old ma’sn intent hereby was only that we should not observe when the soul entered into them; and indeed we should not have noticed it, had I not twice before seen the? ames. Ho wever, I permitted the other three to remain with their own belief, neither did the old man know that I had seen anything more. Hereupon he asked us to sit down on a bench over against the table. Pre sently the Virgin came in too, with the music and all necessities, and carried two cur ious white garments, the like of which I had never seen in the castle, nor can I descr ibe them, for I thought that they were nothing other than crystal; but they were soft, and not transparent; so that I cannot descr ibe them. These she laid down on a table, and after she had disposed her virgins upon a bench round about, she and the old man began many slight-of-hand tricks about the table, which was done only to blind us. This (as I told you) was managed under the roof, which was wonderfully formed; for on the inside it was arched into seven hemispheres, of which the middlemost was somewhat the highest, and had at the top a little round hole, which was nevertheless shut, and was observed by no-one else. Page 76 --------------------------------------- 79 After many ceremonies six virgins came in, each of whom carried a large trumpet, around which were rolled a green, glittering and burning material like a wreath. The old man took one of these, and after he had remove d some of the lights at the top of the table, and uncovered their faces, he placed one of the trumpets upon the mouth of one of the bodies in such a way that the upper and wider end of it was directed just towards the afore- mentioned hole. Here my companions always looked at the images, but I had other thoughts, for as soon as the foliage or wreath about the shank of the tr umpet was kindled, I saw the hole at the top open, and a br ight stream of? re shooting down the tube, and passing into the body; where- upon the hole was covered again, and the trumpet removed. With this device my companions were d eluded, s o that t hey i magined that life came into the image by means of th? e re of the foliage, for as soon as he received the soul his eyes twinkled, although he hardly stirred. The second time he placed another tube upon its mouth, and kindled it again, and the soul was let down through the tube. This as repeated for each of them three times, after which all the lights were extinguished and carried away. The velvet coverings of the table were cast over them, and immediately a birthing bed was unlocked and made ready, into which, thus wrapped up, they were born. And after the coverings were take?n t ohem, they were neatly laid by each other, and with the curtains drawn before them, they slept a good while. Now it was also time for the Virgin to see how other artists behaved themselves. They were well pleased because, as the Virg in afterwards informed me, they were to work in gold, which is indeed a piece of this art, but not the most principal, most necessary, and best. They had indeed too a part of these ashes, so that they imagined nothing other than that the whole bird was provided for the sake of gold, and that life must thereby be restored to the deceased. Meantime we sat very still, waiting for our married couple to awake. About half an hour was spent like this. Then the wanton Cupid presented himself again, and after he had saluted us? eall, w to them behind the cur- tain, tormenting them until they awakened. This was a cause of great amazement to them, for they imag ined that they had slept from the very hour in which they were beheaded until now. Cupid, after he had awak- ened them, and renewed their acquaintanc e with one another, stepped aside a little, and allowed them both to get themselves together a bit better, Page 77 --------------------------------------- 80 meantime playing his tricks with us; and at length he wanted to have the music brought in, to be somewhat merrier. Not long after, the Virgin herself came in, and after she had most hum- bly saluted the young King and Queen (who found themselves rathe r faint) and kisse d their hands, she brought them the two aforementioned strange garments, which they put on, and so stepped forth. Now there were already prepared two ve ry strange chairs, in which they placed themselves. And they were congratulated with most profound reverence by us, for which the King himself most graciously returned his thanks, and again reas- sured us of al l grace. It was already about ? ve o’clock, so they could no longer stay, but as soon as the best of their furniture could be laden, we had to attend the young Royal Persons down the winding stairs, through all doors and watches to the ship. In this they embarked, together with certain virgins and C upid, a nd s ailed s o v ery s wiftly t hat we s oon lost s ight o f t hem; b ut they were met (as I was informed) by certain stately ships. Thus in four hours’ time they had gone many leagues out to sea. Af? tever o’clock the musicians were charge d to carry all things back again to the ships, and to make themselves ready for the voyage. But because this took rather a long time, the old lord commanded a party of his concealed soldiers to come out. They had hitherto been planted in a wall, so that we had not noticed any of them, whereby I observed that this Tower was well provided against opposition. Now these soldiers made quick work with o u?r stu, so that nothing more re mained to be done but to go to supper. The table being completely furnished, the Virg in brought us again to our companions, where we were to carry ourselves as if we had truly been in a lamentable condition, and forbear laughing. But they were always smil- ing to one another, although some of them sympathised with us too. At this supper the old lord was also with us, who was a most sharp inspector over us; for no-one could propound anything so discreetly, but he knew either how to confute it, or to amend it, or at least to give some good information on it. I learned a great deal from this lord, and it would be very good if each one would apply themselves to him, and take notice of his procedure, for then things would not miscarry so often and so unfortunately. After we had taken our nocturnal refreshment, the old lord took us into his closets of rarities, which were dispersed here and there amongst the bul- warks; where we saw such wonderful productions of Nature, and other things too which ma’s wit, inn imitation of Nature, had invented, that we Page 78 --------------------------------------- 81 needed another year to survey them? scieu ntly. Thus we spent a good part of the night by candlelight. At last, because we were more inclined to sleep than to see many rar ities, we were lodged in rooms in the wall, where we had not only costly and good beds, but also extraordinarily handsome chambers, which made us wonder all the more why we were forced to undergo so many hardships the day before. In this chamber I had good rest, and being for the most par t without care, and weary with continual labour, the gentle rushing of the sea helped me to a sound and sweet sleep, for I continued in one dream from eleven’cl oock till eight in the morning. Page 79 --------------------------------------- 82 Page 80 --------------------------------------- 83 The Seventh Day fter eight o’clock I woke up, and quickly made myself ready, wanting to return again into the Tower; but the dark passage s in the w all w ere s o m any a nd various, t hat I w andered a g ood A while before I could ? nd the way out. The same happened to the rest too, till at last we all met again in the nethermost vault, and entirely yellow apparel was given to us, together with our golde? eenc es. At this time the Virgin declared to us that we were Knights of the Golden Stone, of which we were before ignorant. After we had made ourselves ready, and take n our breakf ast, the old man presented each of us with a medal of gold. On one side were these words: AR. NAT. MI. (Art is the Pr iestess of Nature) On the other these: TEM. NA. F. (Nature is the Daughter of Time.) He exhorted us moreover that we should try to take nothing more than this token of remembrance. Herewith we went forth to the sea, where our ships lay, so ri chly equipped t hat it was n ot possible but that such amazing things must? rst have been brought there. The ships were twelve in num- ber, six of ours, and six of the old lo’s,r dwho caused his ships to be freighted with well appointed soldiers. But he himself came to us in our ship, where we were all together. In th? res t the musicians, of which the old lord also had a great number, seated themselves; they sailed before us to shorten the time. Our ? ags were the twelve celestial signs, and we sat in Libra. Besides other things our ship also had a noble and curious clock, which showe d us all the minutes. The sea was so calm, too, that it was a singular pleasure to sail. But what surpassed all the rest was the o’sld man discourse; he knew so well how to pass away our time with wonderful sto- ries, that I could have been content to sail with him all my life long. Meanwhile the ships passed on in haste, for b efore we had sailed two hours the mariner told us that he already saw the whole lake almost covered with ships, by which we could conjecture that they had come out to meet Page 81 --------------------------------------- 84 us, which proved true. For as soon as we had come out of the sea into the lake by the aforementioned r iver, there before us w? evree hu ndred ships, one of which sparkled with gold and precious stones, and in which sat the King and Queen, together with other lords, ladies, and virgins of high birth. As soon as they were well in sight of us the pieces were discharged on both sides, and there was such a din of trumpets, shalms, and kettle drums that all the ships upon the sea capered again. Finally, as soon as we came near they brought our ships together, and so made a stand. Immediately the old Atlas stepped forth on the K’s behing alf, making a short but handsome oration, in which he welcomed us, and asked whether the Royal Presents were ready. The rest of my companions were in great amazement, where this King should come from, for they imag ined nothing other than that they would have to awaken him again. We allowed them to continue in their amazement, and acted as if it seemed strange to us too. After Atlas’ oration out stepped our old man, making a rather longer reply, in which he wished the King and Queen all happiness and increase, after which he delivered up a cur ious small casket. What was in it, I do not know, but it was committed to Cupid to keep, who hovered between the King and Queen. After the oration was ? nished, they again let o? a joyful volley of shot, and so we sailed on a good time together, till at length we arrived at another shore. This was near th? ers t gate at which I ? rst entered. At this place again there attended a great multitude of the Ki’s fngamily together with some hundreds of horses. Now as soon as we came to shore, and dis- embarked, the King and Queen presented their hands to all of us, every one, with singular kindness; and so we were to get up on horseback. Here I wish to friendlily entreat the reader not to interpret the following nar ration as any vain glory or pr ide of mine, but to credit me this much, that if there had not been a special necessity for it, I could very well have utterly concealed this honour which was shown me. We were all one after another distributed amongst the lords. But our old lord, and I, most unworthy, were to ride alongside the King, each of us bearing a snow- white ensign with a re d cross. Indeed, I was made use of because of my age, for we both had long grey beards and hair. I had also fastened my toke ns about my hat, which the young King soon noticed, and asked if I were he who could redeem these tokens at the gate? I answered in most humble mann“erYe, s”. But he laughed at me, sayin“gTh, ere was no need for ceremony; I was HIS father”. Page 82 --------------------------------------- 85 Then he asked me with what I had redeemed them? I replied,“ With Water and Salt”. Whereupon he wondered who had made me so wise ; upon which I grew a bit more co?ndent, and recounted to him how it had happened with my bread, the Dove and the Raven, and he was pleased with it and said expressly that it must be that God had h erein vouchsafed me a singular happiness. With this we came to the ? rst gate where the Porter with the blue clothes waited, bearing in his hand a supplication. Now as soon as he saw me alongside the King, he delivered me the supplication, most humbly beseeching me to mention his ingenuity to the King. Now in? thrse t place I asked the King what the condition of this porter was. He friendlily answered me, that he was a very famous and rare astrologer, and always in high regard with the Lord his Father, but having once committed a fault against Venus, and seen her in her bed of rest, this punishment was there- fore imposed upon him, that he should wait at t? hrset gate for so long until someone should release him from it. I replied,“ May he then be released?” “Yes”, said the King, “if anyone can be found that has transgressed as highly as himself, he must take his place, and the other shall be f” ree. This went t o my h eart, f or my conscience convinced me t hat I was t he o? ender, yet I kept quiet, and herewith delivered the supplication. As soon as he had read it, he was greatly ter? ed, ri so that the Queen (who with our virgins, and that other Duchess as well - whom I mentioned at the hanging of the weights - rode just behind us) observed this, and therefore asked him what this letter might mean. But he had no mind to take any notice of it, and putting away the paper, began to talk about other matters, till thus in about thre e hour’ times we came to the castle, where we alighted, and waited upon the King as he went into his hall. Immediately the King called for the old Atlas to come to him in a little closet, and showed him the writing, and Atlas did not tarry, but rode out again to the Porter to ge t more information on the matter. After this the young King, with his spouse, and the other lords, ladies and virgins, sat down. Then our Virgin began to highly commend the diligence we had shown, and the pains and labour we had undergone, requesting that we might be royally rewarded, and that she might be permitted to enjoy the bene? t of her commission from then on. Then the old lord stood up too, and attested that all the Virgin had said was true, and that it was only just that we should both be contented on both our parts. Hereupon we were to Page 83 --------------------------------------- 86 step forward a little, and it was concluded that each man should make some possible wish, and accordingly obtain it; for it was not to be doubted that those of understanding would also make the best wish. So we were to con- sider it until after supper. Meantime the King and Queen, for re creatio’s sn ake, began to play together, at something which looked not unlike chess, only it had di? erent rules; for it was the Virtues and Vices one against another, and it might ingeniously be observed with what plots the Vices lay in wait for the Vir- tues, and how to re-encounter them again. This was so properly and clev- erly p erformed, t hat i t i s t o b e w ished t hat w e h ad the s ame g ame t oo. During the game, in came Atlas again, and made his report in private, but I blushed all over, for my conscience gave me no rest. After this the King gave me the supplication to read, and the contents of it we re much to this purpose. First he (the doorkeeper) wished the King prosper ity, and increase, and that his seed might be spread abroad far and wide. Afterwards he remonstrated that the time was now come in which according to the royal promise he ought to be released, because Venus had already been uncovered by one of his guests, for his observations could not lie to him. And that if his Majesty would be pleased to make a strict and diligent enquiry, he would ? nd that she had been uncovere d, and if this should not prove to be so, he would be content to remain before the gate all the days of his life. Then he asked in the most humble manner, that upon peril of body and life he might be permitted to be present at this night’s supper. He was hoping to seek out the ve?rendey o r, and obtain his desired free dom. This was expressly and handsomely indicated, by which I could well perceive his ingenuity, but it was too sharp for me, and I would not have minded if I had never seen it. Now I was wondering whether he might perhaps be helped through my wish, so I aske d the King whether he might not be re leased some other way. “No,” replied the King, “because there is a special consideration in the business. However, for this night, we may well gratify him in his de” Sosire. he sent someone to fetch him in. Meanwhile the tables were prepared in a spacious room, in which we had never been before, which was so perfect, and contrived in such a manner, that it is not possible for me even to begin to describe it. We we re conducted into this with singular pomp and cere- mony. Cupid was not at this time present, for (as I was informed) the dis- grace which had happened to his mother had somewhat angered him. In brief, my o? ence, and the supplication which was delivered, were an occa- Page 84 --------------------------------------- 87 sion of much sadness, for the King was in perplexity how to make inquisi- tion amongst his guests, and the more so because through this, eve n they who were yet ignorant of the matter would come to know about it. So he caused the Porter himself, who had already ar rived, to make his strict sur- vey, and he himself acted as pleasantly as he was able. However, eventually they all began to be merry again, and to talk to one another with all sorts of recreative and pr? taoble discourses. Now, how the treatment and other ceremonies were then perfor med, it is not necessary to declare, since it is neither the reader’s concern, nor serviceable to my design. But all exceeded more in art, and human invention, than we exceeded in dr inking! And this was the last and noblest meal at which I was present. After the banquet the tables were suddenly taken away, and certain curious chairs placed round about in a circle, in which we, together with the King and Queen, and both their old men and the ladies and virgins, were to sit. After this, a very handsome page opened the above-mentioned glorious little book, and Atlas immediately placed himself in the midst, and began to speak to this purpose: that his Royal Majesty had not forgotten the service we had done him, and how care fully we had attended to our duty, and therefore by way of retribution had elected all and each of us Knights of the Golden Stone. And that it was therefore further necessar y not only once again to oblige ourselves towards his Royal Majesty, but also to vow to the following articles; and then his Royal Maje sty would likewise know how to behave himself towards his liege people. Upon which he caused the page to read over the articles, which were these. (I) You my lords the Knights shall swear that you shall at no time ascr ibe your order to any devil or spir it, but only to God your Creator, and his handmaid Nature. (2) That you will abominate all whoredom, incontinency and unclean- ness, and not de? le your order with such vices. (3) That you through your talents will be re ady to assist all that are wor- thy, and have need of them. (4) That you desire not to employ this honour to worldly pr ide and high authority. (5) That you shall not be willing to live longer than God will have you do. At this last article we could not choose but laugh, and it may well h ave been placed after the rest only for a conceit. Now after vowing to them all by the King’s sceptre, we were afterwards installed Knights with the usual Page 85 --------------------------------------- 88 ceremonies, and amongst other pr ivileges set over Ign orance, Poverty, and Sickness, to handle them at our pleasure. And this was afterwar?ds raed inti a little chapel (to which we were conducted in procession) and thanks returned to God for it. I also hung up there at that time my golde? eecne and hat, and left them there for an eternal memorial, to the honour of God. And because eve ryone had to wr ite his name there, I wrote thus: The highest wisdom is to know nothing. Brother Christian Rosenkreutz Knight of the Golden Stone A.D. 1459. Others w rote l ikewise, e ach a s i t s eemed g ood t o h im. A fte r t his, w e were again brought into the hall, where, having sat down, we were admon- ished quickly to think what we each one would wish. But the King and his party retired into a little closet, there to give audience to our wishes. Now each man was called in separately, so that I cannot speak of an’s oy manwn wish. I thought nothing could be more praiseworthy than to demonstrate some laudable virtue in honour of my order, and found too that none at present could be better, and cost me more trouble, than Gratitude. Where- fore in spite of the fact that I might well have wished something more dear and agreeable to myself, I vanquished myself, and concluded, even at my own peril, to free the Porter, my benefactor. So as I was now called in, I w?ars st of all asked whether, having read the supplication, I had observed or suspected nothing concerning? tenhed oer? Upon which I began undauntedly to relate how all the business had passed, how through ignorance I fell into that mistake, and so? er oed myself to undergo all that I had the reby deserved. The King, and the rest of the lords, wondered g reatly at so unexpected a confession, and so asked me to step aside a little. Now as soon as I was called in again, Atlas declared to me that although it was grievous to the King’s Majesty that I, whom he loved above others, had fallen into such a mischance, yet because it was not possible for him to transgress his ancient usages, he did not know how to absolve me; the other must be at liberty, and I put in his place; yet he would hope that some other would be apprehended, so that I might be able to go home again. However, no release was to be hoped for, till the marriage feast of his future son. This sentence had nearly cost me my life, and? rs I t hated myself and my twaddling tongue, in that I could not keep quiet; yet at last I took courage, Page 86 --------------------------------------- 89 and because I thought there was no remedy, I related how this Porter had bestowed a toke n on me, and commended me to the other, by whose assis- tance I stood upon the scale, and so was made partaker of all the honour and joy already received. And therefore now it was but fair that I should show myself grateful to my benefactor, and because this could not be done in any other way, I returned thanks for the sentence, and was willing gladly to bear some inconvenience for the sake of he who had been helpful to me in c oming t o s uch a high p lace. B ut i f b y m y w ish a nything might be e? ected, I wished myself at home again, so that he by me, and I by my wish might be at liberty. Answer was made me, that the wishing did not stretch so f ar. However, I might wish him free. Yet it was very pleasing to his Royal Majesty that I had behaved myself so generously in this, but he was afraid I might still be ignoran t of what a miserable condition I had plunged myself into through my curiosity. Hereupon the good man was pro- nounced free, and I with a sad heart had to step aside. After me the rest were called for too, and came jocundly out again, which pained me still more, for I imagined nothing other than that I must ? nish my life under the gate. I also had many pensive thoughts running up and down in my head, what I should do, and how to spend the time. At length I considered that I was now old, and according to the course of nature, had few years more to live. And that this anguished and melancholy life would quickly send me from this world, and then my door-kee ping would be at an end, and by a most happy sleep I might quickly bring myse lf to the grave. I had many of these thoughts. Sometimes it vexed me that I had seen such gallant things, and must be robbed of them. Sometimes I rejoiced that still, before my end, I had been accepted to all joy, and should not be forced to depart shamefully. This was the last and worst shock that I sustained. During my cogitations the re st had got ready. So after they had received a good night from the King and lords, each one was conducted into his lodging. But I, most wretched man, had nobody to show me the way, and must moreover su? er myself to be tormented; and so that I might be cer- tain of my future function, I had to put on the ring which the other had worn before. Finally, the King exhorted me that since this was now the last time I was likely to see him in this manner, I sh ould behave myself accord- ing to my place, and not against the order. Upon which he took me in his ar ms, and kissed me, all which I understood to mean that in the morning I must sit at my gate. Now after they had all spoken friendlily to me for a while, and at last given their hands, committing me to the Divine protec- Page 87 --------------------------------------- 90 tion, I was conducted by both the old men, the Lord of the Tower, and Atlas, into a glorious lodging, in which stood three beds, and each of us lay in one of them, where we spent almost two, &c..... ( Here a bout t wo l eaves i n q uarto a re m issing, a nd h e ( the a uthor o f this), whereas he imagined he must in the mor ning be doorkeeper, returned home.) Page 88