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L'ENDIMION DE GOMBAVLD ENGLISHED MDCXXXIX

LONDO [...]

ENDIMION.

AN Excellent Fancy first com­posed in FRENCH by Mounsieur Gombauld.

And now Elegantly Interpreted, BY RICHARD HURST Gentleman.

LONDON: Printed by I. Okes, for Samuel Browne, and are to be sold in Pauls Church-yard at the signe of the Fountaine. 1639.

To the truely Noble, and much honored, Sr. ROBERT ANSTRUTHER Knight, and one of the Gentleman of his Majesties Privy Chamber.

SIR,

IT is a position, and maine Tenent agreed upon by the most judi­cious, that to attaine unto Ho­nour, Wisedome is the truly Pole­starre, and to retaine it, Vertue the sole Patronesse: It being non [Page] ad tempus Invitamentum, sed per­petuae virtutis premium. To which, though some have arri­ved by favour, others by fortune, yet it may be ingeniously con­fest of You, that by Your owne merit You have won to this me­ridian: Into which the sacred Majesty of Great Brittaine ha­ving a true inspection, out of many others, hee made select choise of you, (for your known abilities) to create his Lord Em­bassadour to the Majesty of the Empire. And during your a­bode at Vienna in Austria, where the Emperors Court was then kept, the Gentleman, Author [Page] hereof, Mr. Richard Hurst (now deceased) your (then) servant and Secretary, at his more spare and retired houres, made this his Worke his play, and in his most solitude his best solace. And unto whose Patronage may it more properly appertaine, than to your Noble selfe, be­ing writ in your forraigne ser­vice. This was the maine in­ducement, which not onely in­couraged, but imboldned me to this presentment, knowing that Honos alit Artes; and the rather presuming on your acceptance hereof, since they who in their life time the Muses most fa­vour, [Page] those, after life, the nine Sisters most honour. Thus, with pardon for my bold­nesse crav'd, I humbly take my leave of You.

Yours in all Observance, S. B.

To the Reader.

Generous Reader,

HEre is commended to thy judicious view a most in­genious Tractate of En­dymion, vulgarly styld, The Man in the Moone: a Discourse intermixed, as well with Philoso­phicall rudiments, as Poeticall raptures: The matter sublime, the stile succinct; neither ought it to be any way mis-censured for the Title: For all that trade with Lu­na, are not therefore to bee held Lunaticke; neither are all things that seeme fixious meerely fabu­lous: [Page] for rare fruites may grow of rugged trees, and golden truths may be gathered from leaden Fables. But to such as are not throughly Verst in this subiect, it shall not be amisse to speake something brief­ly concerning Endymion and the Moone, (the argument of this present Fancy) the better to per­fect them in the perusall thereof. She is called Trivia, for so saith Virgil, Prince of Poets, in these words. Tria virginis, or a Diana And that by reason of her three shapes, Coelestiall, Terrestriall, and Infernall: when she shineth in Heaven, she is Cynthia, or [Page] Luna: when shee appeareth on Earth, Latonia virgo, or Dia­na; being resident in Hell, He­cate, or Proserpina: And for two reasons said to bee enamoured on Endymion: The one, in regard he was the first that studied to ob­serve the course of the Moone, and therefore was thought to have slept thirty yeares, because hee spent so much time in solitude, to find out that secret. The second, be­cause the humour of the nightly Dew, dropping from the Starres and Planets, is sucked in, and commixed with the moysture and juyce of the Hearbs and Plants, to their better animating & cheri­shing; [Page] as also being profitable to flocks of Shepheards, in whose number Endymion was ranked as the most eminent amongst them. It is the Translation of a French Coppy, three severall times imprest, and in the Originall cry'd up, even by the most supercilious Criticks: with many curious Copper Prints decorated, and to one of the greatest Princesses in Europe at first De­dicated: and for Mr. Richard Hurst, the Translator, he was not onely knowne to be a Traveller, but withall an excellent and learned Linguist, of an accute wit, and a mature iudgement; who in the In­terpreting thereof, hath not onely [Page] equald, but transcended it, in the elegancy both of phrase and stile: But why should I so much labour to recommend that, which in the Rea­ding can sufficiently approve it selfe, onely let me intreate thee to Read favourably, as it is rendred unto thee faithfully, and with this Caution, I commit it to thy free and friendly Censure.

Thine, S. B.

L: Gaultier incidit. 1624

ENDYMION.

The First Booke.

IN the City of Heraclea, when as the Night was much advanced, and drowsie slumber seazing the sences, had charmed all cares, and rendred small difference betwixt the dead, and the grea­ter part of the living: there was on a suddaine heard a great noise of Trumpets and Clarions, and without, in the fields multitudes of people, who hastening to the top of Mount Lathmos, made all the adjacent places resound with the Eccho of divers sorts of Instruments, both of Brasse and Copper, whereof they were furni­shed with plentifull store: For the Moone, who but a little before supplyed the place of the Sun, and dimmed the lustre of the fairest Starres in the Firmament, was surprised by a suddaine de­fection, and, as if shee herselfe had beene by [Page 2] some powerfull hand blotted out of the list of the Planets, her whole light was converted into such a horrible obscurity, as added another Night to the Night it selfe. The infernall shades seemed to extend their limits even to the very Heavens, or else that Nature becomming blind, were to returne to her former confusion; every thing was so replenished with horrour and astonishment, that even the most prophane were touched with a feare of the Gods. Now it was the custome of the Ancients in such Accidents, to make use of Mettalls of the shrillest sound they could get, as thinking by that meanes to recover the Moone from some trance, or deli­ver her from the charmes of the Magitians, who boasted that they could at their pleasure bring her downe from Heaven, under the favour of Night and Silence: so that they, perceiving her at length by little and little returne, as she had gone, and in lesse than a quarter of an houre, (so soone as the Sunne had restored her the light, which the shadow of the Earth had before robbed her of,) appeare in all her severall shapes, they ve­ry easily perswaded themselves that shee was much therein obliged to their care and dili­gence; and, thus pleased, resolved to imploy the remainder of the Night, in taking the rest which they conceived they had justly deserved at the hands of the gods, by having travailed them­selves [Page 3] in the rescue of a Goddesse. But as one of them, named Pyzander, more curious in the contemplation of this faire Starre, and slow in his Retreate, had by chance stayed on the Hill a little while behinde the rest; he heard not farre from him, certaine accents of Lamentation, and such as that houre of Night rendred, as more sad, so more plaine and shrill. This somewhat affrighted him, but presently inspired him with a greater curiosity of knowing what it might be; so that softly drawing nearer to it without dis­covering himselfe, he understood these words: Is not this Mount Lathmos? who is this, that in an instant hath brought me backe into mine owne Countrey, from whence of late I was so farre distant? And who is it, that together with my Countrey hath restored me my life? Alas! here is the Sacrifice, but what is become of the Priest, or where is the Altar? And what hand (intending to doe me a favour) hath brought me from amidst so great a people? Is it thou Diana, who as thou shinest more faire than ordi­nary in the Heavens, so thou now beholdest me, if at least thou vouchsafe to looke on me, more unfortunate than ever? Whether thou be cruell, or mercifull, wherefore permittest thou me not to die? Although thou bereavest me of all other happinesse, yet deprive me not at least of this last, as the common comfort of the most mise­rable: [Page 4] wilt thou force me to live therein, to shew the whole choler of Heaven assembled upon one man? doest thou hinder me to dye once, that thou mayst keepe me alwaies dying, and that the memory of the favours thou hast heretofore done me, may consume me with sorrow, being determined (having lost them) never hereafter to preserve any thing. That thou hast loved me Diana, is witnessed by thy exposing my life to so many dangers, that I could not have expected worse from thy hatred, than is arrived to mee from thine affection: Thou hast loved me, (I thinke) intending thereby to imprint in me an ill opinion of the gods, and to let me see they are neither constant nor just. I should have judged thy humour and disposition by that of thine Em­pire, which Fortune hath given thee onely over the lightest and most insensible things in the World. O yee Mortals, take mine example, to make you feare the loves of Goddesses, least they bring you to a tryall of all wretchednesse: all the honour and glory of their Love, are but vaine and silly rewards, since the excesse of so many torments wholly annihilates the sense of it.

O yee gods, sayes Pyzander to himselfe, what is this I heare? me thinkes I should know this voice, but I understand not this lamentation: can Endymion bee in these parts, and I have no advertisement of it? and being returned home, [Page 5] should he live as though he were still absent? and (seeking rather Desert places, than society of men) bee more diligent in visiting this Moun­taine, than his dearest friends? Thus Pyzander, diversly assaulted, sometimes with one imagina­tion, sometimes with another, continued heark­ning, and Endymion lamenting.

I endure the punishment, saies he, O god­desse, and know not the crime I have commit­ted; except it be for having added the con­tempt of all things in the world to the estima­tion I made of thy good will. Become now contrary to thy selfe, and (forgetting what thou owest to my constancy) take up against mee the plea both of the gods and men; all whom I have injured in the sole desire of adoring thee: If thou accusest me of no other thing, thine accu­sation is sufficient to justifie me. Mine offence is a great merit, which makes mee farre more worthy of recompence than punishment. Yet all this while I have not beene able to advance any one step, nor erect so much as a Tombe for my selfe: But peradventure mine affection is presumptuous, and my complaint rash. But now I am compelled (pardon me O goddesse) to re­quire it of thine eyes; to whom, as to thy pro­mises, I have beene too too credulous. I would also crave it of thy heart and memory, if happi­ly they may bee true to thee. Thinke not [Page 6] that I can forget my duty through the too often remembring thy favours: for although I should reape no other fruite of them, but the losse of time, and my selfe; yet will I dare counsell thee, to favour thine enemies still in that manner.

It is either Endymion, saies Pyzander, or his Ghost, which perhaps wanting opportunity of passage to the shoare of the dead, wanders in these parts. Hath he ended his dayes by Ship­wracke, or some other accident, which hath de­prived him of Buriall, and granted him none o­ther Tombe but the Heavens? So long as the Sunne shall behold his body, his soule shall not be received amongst the Ghosts. But whither doth mine astonishment make me wander? and what doth my feare cause me to utter? Those are not the Discourses of a dead man, but rather of some one weary of his life. In the meane time Endymion, whose complaint, like his passion, see­med infinite, and who, as it were, laboured to convince a goddesse of ingratitude, and incon­stancy, failed not (in continuing his discourse) presently to name himselfe, and thereby gave Py­zander a resolution to interrupt him. I must confesse Goddesse, said he, that I am not worthy of the least favour that ever thou hast done me; and that the consideration of what I am, might justly enjoyne mee silence. But what! are the gods blinde? or have they onely an obscure [Page 7] knowledge of humane actions? doe they delibe­rate without judgement? or can they possibly recant their first determinations? As for mee, I ever made account to surpasse all other men whatsoever in vowes, and affection to serve thee; but never thought to exceede a Goddesse in re­solution and constancy: yet I finde thee no lesse mutable than a mortall; and, as if it were not e­nough to change, thou proceedest from instabi­lity to oblivion. The name of Endymion is no more in thy mouth, than the estimation of him in thy heart: thou talkest no more of him to thy Nymphes; no, not so much as to thy thoughts. At this name of Endymion, Pyzander (transpor­ted with his longing) approaching him, findes him laid along under the brow of the Hill with his armes a crosse, and his eyes fixed upon the Moone; and thus beginnes to speake to him. What gods are those, that being at once fro­ward and favourable, doe make me heare the voyce of a man so deare to me, by a lamentation so grievous, whereof the cause is also unknowne to me? Have I so often desired to see Endymi­on againe, to the end that such a sinister accident should now make mee affraid of his encounter when it is offred me? Ah! my deare Pyzander, saies Endymion, (rising, and giving him his hand) what good fortune beginnes to approach mee, in restoring me the presence of him, whom my [Page 8] sight, but not my thought hath beene so long deprived of? Or what sad mishap is this that increaseth my sorrowes, by afflicting thee? For I believe, none but the unfortunate, and such as watch when others sleepe, doe repaire to these solitary places, in this time of night. Tell me, I beseech thee, what brings thee hither? Verily, answers Pyzander, I have more cause, and a farre greater desire to heare thy newes from thy selfe, since thou findest me in our owne Coun­trey, where thou leftest us all, to goe seeke (doubtlesse) more strange adventures than we. But I wonder extreamly, Endymion, that thou seemest ignorant of the cause of my comming hither▪ for if the noyse wee lately made were heard by the Moone, much more should it bee come unto thine eares, to awake thee out of the deepest slumber thou couldst be cast into. So farre was I from sleeping as thou imaginest, saies Endymion, that I was in a place farre remote from hence, where me-thought, I was cast into an everlasting slumber: From whence I was freed, like one that dreames, finding my selfe in this place, without perceiving how, or which way I came hither. I confesse there was even now a great noyse, which did doe me a very ill office, and made mee wish that all things had beene more quiet, and that an universall slumber had rendred all the creatures on earth as dumbe [Page 9] as those of the water. Indeed Endymion, saies Pyzander, I understand thee not, for thy latter Discourses are more obscure than thy former: I beseech thee therefore keepe me no longer ig­norant of that which our friendship should make common: Tell me thy good or ill adventures; for thou knowest it is the property of communica­tion to render contentments more full, and in­crease the power of them, as also on the contrary, to extenuate and ease afflictions and crosses. Alas! replies Endymion, where shall I beginne, or how shall I end? Shall I robbe thee of thy rest this night, by recounting unto thee my suf­ferings, wherein my owne spirit shunnes the re­membrance of whatsoever most delights it: so much am I grieved to see fortune, so unworthily insult over my torments and patience. Thus Endymion would have excused himselfe touching the Discourse; but that Pyzander still adding more intreaties and requests to his former, got him at length to sit downe by him, and to begin in this manner.

O Pyzander! how mighty a Master is Fate! and how vainely doth our reason labour in straining her selfe to resist, and not to follow it wheresoever it leades us, be it to our advantage or prejudice! It takes away our judgement, and one while by flattery, another while by force maketh us lose the path of every other adven­ture. [Page 10] Now, that I may not forget to tell thee every particular, thou must know what chanced me, when I was in the City of Ephesus. As upon an Holy-day about the end of the Sacrifices, we walking the Streets passed one of the houses nee­rest to Diana's Temple: (for Polydamon was by chance with me) I was mightily amazed, at a certaine woman, who from her threshold casting her eye upon me amongst the multitude, called me by my name, which was very strange, that she having never seene me before, should then so suddenly know me, without any informati­on whatsoever. Besides, she was so old, that she could scarce have found witnesses to testifie that ever shee had beene young: and together with her mis-shapen & discoloured face, hollow eyes, hanging cheekes, dry and withered skin, she had so few signes of life left, that it seemed, she stay­ed onely in the world, to represent the image of Death. In briefe, this woman with extraordi­nary paines casting up her sight, which before was continually fixed on the Earth, and which had beene long dis-accustomed from looking up to Heaven, sayes, come hither Endymion; I ob­serving the wildnesse of her looke, and her ge­stures to be such, as made her seeme transported with frenzy, or possessed of some spirit more vigorous than her owne; and not being able e­nough to wonder at this accident, suddenly [Page]

Cr Pas inu

[Page 12] stayed, without being curious to draw nearer, or answer her: but she comming towards me, stoo­ping and staggering, like one tyred with bearing the burthen of so many yeeres, and to whom the onely distance of three steps she had to make, seemed a long voyage, and a most tedious exer­cise, said, Be not affraid to heare thy fortune; for the Decrees of Themis are inevitable both to the gods and men: and then she uttered these Verses.

The Starre that in the Forrest raignes,
A thousand favourable straines
Ʋpon thee with her beames shall dart,
But in the end those shall depart,
And thou be forc'd to thinke and tell
Inconstancy in the gods doth dwell.
As the desires are violent,
Th'attempts are faint, not prevalent,
'Tis hard the gods to trace:
A heavy-light enchantment doth
Stoppe, and make thee wander both,
It kills▪ it gives thee grace.

And so retiring her selfe, Polydamon told me, he thought she was mad; for said hee, what ac­quaintance is there betwixt you? but I, instead of answering him, pondered what she had told [Page 13] me; and ghessing that there was some extraordi­nary matter in it, savouring rather of a Goddesse than a Woman, and inclining more to inspira­tion than frenzy, for my more full satisfaction, I instantly demanded of one of her Neighbours what shee was? who answered me, Art thou a Grecian, or a Barbarian, that thou knowest not the Virgin Parthenopea, one of the chiefe of the Race of the Iamides, who usually doe prophe­sie at the Olympian Festivalls? But another told me, in more courteous tearmes, that she whom we tooke for a Woman, was a Maiden, of at least an hundred yeares old, and who, besides that she was indeed of that race of the Prophets issued of Apollo and Evadne, having constantly vowed her Virginity to Diana, and employed her whole life in her service, had in plentifull measure received from her the gift of fore-tel­ling things to come.

The greatest feare I then had, was, lest I might have forgotten some of the words shee had spo­ken to me, wherein the measure of the Verses stood me in good stead: for by often turning and repeating them with my selfe, and by the helpe of the severall parts, I had in a short time imprinted the whole in my memory; where­withall I could not enough entertaine me, for my spirit already began to anticipate my good fortune, by hope and a thousand kinds of diffe­rently [Page 14] delightfull imaginations. The sweete aspects which were promised me in the begin­ning, did so fully deprive me of the considerati­on of the crosse adventures which threatned me towards the end, that the most rigorous af­flictions that could befall me, seemed delight­some & honourable, because they were to be for Diana's sake.

From thence forward mine eyes found none other object that could content them, except such as put me in minde of her; and shunning all vari­ety or diversion, I was still contemplating ei­ther her Portraict in the Temple, or her Starre in the Heaven. But chiefly, after my returne from Ephesus, I desired to remaine on the top of this Mountaine, where I slept the greater part of the day, that I might imploy the night in this sweet contemplation; which begot an opinion in divers, that I slept alwayes.

By this course I saw the Sunne lesse ordinarily than the Moone, whose lustre was to me a thou­sand times more pleasing, than that of the fairest dayes: I did so seldome let her goe out of my sight, that I was able to give the world accompt of the wayes she held in the Heaven, from the house of Helles even to that of Astrea, or that of Erigone, and thence to Ganymedes and far­ther: yea, even when in her Chariot drawne by Dragons, she parts from the Celestiall Mansions, [Page 15] to goe take her walke in the Countries of some of the Daughters of Atlas: whether on the one side she goe to visite Cassiope, Andromeda, and the whole family of Cepheus; or on the other, she goe to hunt towards Orions quarter, or by chance, in the hot weather shee sometimes for her recreation, retire to the Caves of the Cen­taure, or in the coole of the Evening shee walke upon the shoare of the great Celestiall River, which is diversly named, by some Nilus, by o­thers Erydanus. And the Goddesse tooke the di­ligence and affection I had to make her glory knowne in all parts so well, that shee became as willing to shew her selfe, as I was desirous to be­hold her; in so much that I cannot say, if mine eyes were either more comforted by her favour, and lesse dazeled by her light, or that by being accustomed to this exercise, they with the more ease pierced the Heaven. But (as if she were de­scended into the middle Region of the Ayre) me thought I saw her Chariot rowle upon the Clouds; and (to endeare and gratifie me the of­tener) she inclined her looke towards me with the same aspect, wherewith shee beholds the Sa­crifices that most delight her. She darted for my sake the sweetest lookes that her heart was able to send forth through the passage of her eyes; wherewith these places were so enlightened, that they seemed not sensible of the absence of the [Page 16] day: O wonder of Fate & Nature! A Goddesse for­getteth all the Gods, for the cōtemplation of one simple man, and finds that thing on earth, which makes her despise the Heavens. There is nothing lowlier than the subject which ordinarily retains her looks and thoughts; and by her affection she seemeth to become (as it were) mortall and hu­mane: And on the contrary, a mortall contem­plates onely heavenly things, hath nothing but a Deity in his thought, and hath his eye fixed onely upon beauty it selfe, that is, on Diana.

But what an extraordinary proofe did I re­ceive one day of her goodwill, when as the Hea­vens, all covered with Clouds, which seemed jealous of my good fortune, kept me from see­ing her: and how happy was it for me, that there had beene some few dayes so cloudy, as it were on purpose! For in that time I was adver­tised by the faithfull relation of one of her Nymphs, that shee was as much troubled there­with, as I, and that shee had bemoaned her selfe of it to the Goddesse Iris in this manner. Iris, said she, it would not trouble me much, to be a while deprived of seeing a good part of the Earth, provided that I might at least behold those places which doe most delight me. Now I will tell thee freely, that I have lately taken a particular affection to Caria, and yet it is full foure dayes since I last saw it: I had rather be de­barred [Page 17] the sight of the Isle Delos, or of my na­tive Mountaine, the name whereof I beare. Di­sperse therfore I pray thee the Clouds a little, & divert them either towards Lycia, or Ionia, or any way else, so that any hand thou hide not the City of Heraclea, nor Mount Lathmos from mine eyes. Immediately after this there appea­red a great opening in the Clouds, and the darke vapours vanished at the presence of the god­desse, who beganne to appeare in her fairest and most perfect lustre, and as if she had assembled all her beames about me; I found my selfe in an instant wholly environed with light. O hap­py and fortunate Endymion! sayes Pyzander, if the sweete lookes of the Moone can be able to render a man so. But tell me, what couldst thou be doing? and how couldst thou dispose of thy selfe, all the times she appeared not in the Heavens? Even that which she her selfe doth, when she is deprived of the light of the Sunne, answered Endymion: Shee attires her selfe in a blacke vaile, as if she could not misse the sight of him one houre, without mourning for his ab­sence. Even so, what light soever shone, I see­med to live in darknesse, and had no other exer­cise, but a continuall wandring up and downe the Woods, to trye whether I could learne any newes of her; or whether my Fate, or her favour [Page 18] would give me leave to finde her: Wherein I laboured a while in vaine, but at length, as it is the custome of the gods, sometimes to prevent our hopes, and otherwhiles to come when our expectations are tyred; so this good happe chanced to mee when I least thought of it.

The night had already begunne to furle up her sailes, and a gentle coole gale, the fore-runner of light, sweetly cherished slumber, and with the force of its wings, drove before it a cleare thinne Cloud, laden onely with a light dew, besprink­ling with drops the whole earth, like Pearles, which sparkled even as little eyes in the faces of the flowers and Plants. When as awaking, and finding an ayre more pleasing than ordinary, and such a one as the gods have in Heaven, or do bring with them when they come downe to the earth: I came out of the Cave, being moved thereunto by a certaine pleasing violence, which had no lesse power over me, than if some voice had called me forth. And scarce had I passed the threshold, when as I saw before me, upon the edge of the Hill a woman, for such at first I tooke her to be; but having a little nearer ob­served her beauty, her stature, and more than hu­mane Majesty, I knew that it was some of the goddesses. With what tearmes now shall I [Page 19] possibly expresse that, which then mine eyes beheld? and from whence shal I draw compa­risons to represent unto thee that which (be­ing beyond compare) can admit none? I shall have sooner done, if without attempting to demonstrate light by obscurity, I bid thee fixe the eye of thy imagination (so farre forth as thou art able) abovt all the Heavens, and there behold Beauty it selfe fitting, accompa­nyed with an everlasting youth, and such as can neither suffer alteration, or be impaired by any accident whatsoever. O Pyzander, how farre are the Divine beauties different from these here below! & how soon did they beget in my soule a contempt of all that be­fore I had ever seene! But I tasted this fe­licity in the most absolute degree of all, when perceiving the Bow she held in her hand, and the Cressant which shone upon her head, I found it to bee the goddesse to whom my heart addressed all its vowes: this, I say, made me imagine that the day tooke his being thence, and not from the rising of the Sunne. Endymion, sayes Pyzander, as I desire not to ingage thee in impossibilities; or to busie thee overmuch in a long and vaine de­scription of things which cannot be repre­sented: So will I yet entreate thee to give [Page 20] mee some figures of this Divine beau­ty, as much as our humane language can permit thee. Amongst so many perfections, sayes Endymion, I know not which I should first observe; and the desire I had to behold them all, hindred me from taking particular notice from any one, and was cause I saw them but confusedly. One while I was a­mazed to see, that in so perfect a stature, (wherein she farre surpassed the best formed of women) she seemed to be of so tender an age: for her complexion was tenderer and fairer, than that which appeares in the first bloome of youth it selfe, being mixed with certaine darting glances, which seemed to participate of both flames and flowers, and accompanyed with a vertue so Divine, as that it defended it from the injuries of the Seasons, and freed it for ever from the ju­risdiction of Yeares. Sometimes I admired in her a kinde of Majesticke demeanour, which as it had force to attract the noblest courages, wanted not also austerity enough to checke those whom pusillanimity accused of want of worth, and to prohibite them to approach her. Honour and Majesty seemed to sit in her Countenance, as in a seate of well polished Ivory, keeping a perpetuall resi­dence [Page 21] under the rich ornament of her faire Tresses, some whereof were plaited and wreathed; others bound up and curled after the Laconian manner, with farre more grace than Art, there being no neede of additi­on either to their lustre or number. Some others carelesly dispersed, and, as it were, e­scaped from the bands and captivity of the rest, danced on her vermillion cheekes, and faire shoulders; catching, and captiva­ting (in their sporting) both Love and Zephi­rus: round about her Corrall Lippes appea­red the sweetest smiles, and the most deli­cate of all the Graces, both which joyntly with their attracts and courtings, did there manure the Gilly-flowers amidst the Lyllies and Roses. Which way soever shee turned her faire eyes, both browne and cleare, the ayre became in an instant so sweete and pure, that every thing was beautified and refre­shed therewithall. Those eyes are really the two Starres, who at their pleasure doe beget a new Spring on Earth, and appease the Sea when it rageth and is troubled. But what dost thou embarke me in Pyzander? and what is this that I undertake? to speak to thee of those eyes, in whose presence, there is none other able to looke up, or contest [Page 22] never so little without being dazelled: which was the cause that I my selfe was constrained ever and anon to cast downe mine eyes, and let them fall on her faire necke, although it were onely a diversion of them from flames and lightnings, to loose them in the Snow of her bosome and breasts: where I could see no more on each side (they being by chance halfe covered) than a small Cressant of those two little (but truely Celestiall) Globes, which were in continuall motion, and who, as scorning to be restrained of liberty, forced open her garment, as much as possibly they could; so that if they could not fully display their dazelling whitenesse and beauty, at least they gave ample testimony of the perfection of their round forme; and if they troubled not the eye, yet spared they not to shake the imagination. Herein it is, Pyzander, that the most eloquent would become dumbe, and therefore will I speake no more of it, least the onely remembrance thereof should ren­der me speechlesse, and leave me nothing else but sighes.

All those places rejoyced in the presence of this Goddesse, who seemed to have made another Olympus of Mount Lathmos. As for me, I was so fraught and replenished with [Page 23] contentment, that enjoying whatsoever can in this life be most delightfull, me thought I then first began to live: I was wholly ravi­shed with the wonders of so rare an object, when as directing towards me her lookes, e­very motion whereof seemed to bee condu­cted by the Graces themselves: Endymion (sayes shee, with a voice so cleare and plea­sant, as would with the first word have char­med any breast) thy vowes have touched me even in Heaven, and thine affection hath beene acceptable to me. I know what care thou takest to imprint my glory and great­nesse in the knowledge of the Mortalls; if I should not be sensible of it, thou wouldst have just reason to complaine of me, and to pub­lish over all the World, that Ingratitude is lodged as well in Heaven amongst the gods, as on Earth amongst men. Make use there­fore of thy good Judgement, and aske of me whatsoever thou wilt, wherein I may have opportunity to testifie mine acknow­ledgment, and doubt not of the grant: I (re­maining wholly mute and confounded, not onely by seeing her, and receiving so great honour at her hands, but also, for that ad­miration and respect equally enjoyned me si­lence) had not the power to desire any thing; [Page 24] esteeming my paines and watchings too ful­ly recompenced with one only looke of hers, or the least word she had vouchsafed to speak to me: Insomuch that at first, I was not able to speake at all; and although I could, I knew not what to say unto her: and this for­ced silence wa [...] advantagious to me, in that she gave me (by an act of her accustomed goodnesse) some small time to bethinke and recollect me. I was once minded to beg of her the same thing which my Father ob­tained of Jupiter; which was, to live, and dye according to his good liking. At length finding that I must needs speake, the consi­deration of my duty surmounting my feare, and furnishing me with subject of discourse, in despight of the distraction wherewith I was possessed, I thus answered her: Great Goddesse, the honour thou dost me, doth in­finitely exceed my condition; grant me ther­fore what thou thinkest fitting; for what could I request of thee? I forget all that is past, and can thinke of nothing for the fu­ture, being so throughly possessed with what I at present enjoy. Give me leave rather to offer my selfe to thee, and if thou gratifie me so farre as to receive me, I will beleeve thou hast granted me all things. I would gladly [Page 25] begge of thee, that the happinesse I now en­joy, might be made everlasting: but she, well observing the extasie wherein so unwonted a felicity had cast me, and which having in the beginning deprived me of speech, went on also to seize upon my understanding, re­plying askes me, how wouldst thou be able, (said she) to endure that long, which in a moment hath so distempered thee, as thou hadst need of some body to restore thee to thy selfe? And as for that which thou requi­rest, thou couldst not obtaine it, albeit thou werest in the principall Ranke amongst the Immortals: thinke therefore quickly on some other suite, that I may be no longer de­tained. Assuredly said I to her, mortall men, who live so short a space, have great reason to thinke time precious, since the very gods themselves, whose Nature is infinite, are so tender and carefull to loose none of it. But whereunto dost thou oblige me ô Goddesse? for, considering thee as Diana, I doe not see what I can aske of thee suitable to my desire, since the honour of attendance, and perpetu­all serving of thee, belongeth onely to thy Nymphs? and for me, I can esteeme nothing gratefull, that shall enjoyne me a long sepa­ration from thy presence: I will therefore [Page 26] speake unto thee as to the Moone, beseeching thee, that by the power thou hast in Heaven, thou wilt be pleased to allow me some place amongst the Starres, and that I may be one of those, which goe least out of thy sight, and most frequently waite on thy Chariot whi­ther soever thou goest. Or, if the number of the Starres be so compleate, that not one more can bee added thereunto, and if the Fates resist me herein, grant me at least, the priviledge amongst the Mortals, of rendring thee the most acceptable Vowes and Sacrifi­ces, and of employing my whole life in thy services. Hereat the Goddesse (not con­tent to testifie her approbation by a gracious nod of her head onely) with a smile, able to ravish both gods and men, added these words: Well saies she, be it in Heaven, or on Earth, I will never omit any occasion of gra­tifying thee; neither would I have thee doubt of mine affection or memory of thee. Scarce had she said those words, when on a suddaine I lost the sight of her, and heard onely a small noise of the Arrows, and Qui­ver which shooke upon her shoulders, as she turned her selfe to be gone. In the meane time I forgot not to meditate on that which I had often heard speech of, to wit, that the [Page 27] gods have a forme of going, different from that of men, and that without the trouble of putting one foote before another, they have power in the twinkling of an eye, to transport themselves where they please, and that every way on Earth or in Heaven is alike easie to them. But alas! I much over-saw my selfe, in that I procured her not to sweare by the River Stix, an Oath inviolable amongst the gods. Endymion, sayes Pyzander, either the gods are not, or else they are true, and doe infallibly acknowledge the love is borne them; for if they faile us, whom shall wee trust? all things must faile us with them: but this Hill will bee sooner converted into a Plaine or Valley; and sooner shall Meander (shunning the Ionian Sea) runne retro­grade, and stoppe in the source, than the words of the gods prove instable; and chiefe­ly those of Diana, that great Ornament of the World, who by ordinance of the Desti­nies doth in so many Countries supply even the place of Jupiter himselfe: But good En­dymion, proceede, for I am sorry that I should imploy the time in any thing, but hea­ring thee; so much I long to see the successe of thine adventures.

The sense I had of this so high a favour, [Page 28] was for a great while the onely support of my life, and raised my contentment to that height, that it admitted no comparison; no, not with the most fortunate amongst men. The greatnesse and state of the person I ado­red, and who reciprocally graced me with so much good liking, did place all the honours and dignities in the world beneath my condi­tion and glory: All conversation, yea, even that of my dearest friends, seemed tedious to me; as well for that they onely interrupted the sweetest delights of my soule, as for the scruple I made to communicate unto them the least of my thoughts. My memory often represented this goddesse to me, as vively as if shee had beene before mine eyes: Wherein I tooke more pleasure, than in the very time in which I enjoyed her presence; because, as then, the excesse of my rapture depriving me of my sences and judgement, permitted me not to be mine owne. I went a hundred, and a hundred times to visit the place where I had seene her, and was never weary of see­king some new foote-steps of hers, which I had not before taken notice of. I kissed the grasse which her feete (accustomed to walke in Heaven) had bruised; and became as strict a Guardian of the place, as if it had [Page 29] beene of a Temple or Altar. But as my thoughts presented her before mine eyes, so also also did my dreames; dreames in­deed, more faire, and more resplendent than the day; and such, as truely I never desired to awake from. Sometimes me thought I be­held her speaking to me, onely with the lan­guage of her eyes, which looked on me with so sweete an aspect; that no tongue is able to expresse that which they seemed to say unto me. Another while me thought she spake to me, with a gesture equalling, yea, excee­ding speech it selfe. Sometimes, casting my selfe at her feete, I endeavoured to stay her, and kissed the hemme or skirt of her Vaile, and sometimes (O too presumptuous dreams!) me thought I kissed her hand it selfe. O to what altitude of glory and fe­licity doth sleepe raise even the most wretch­ed! And how much greater favours did it give me taste of, then the mouth which re­ceived them dares rehearse, it being so close shut, as if thereby silence had beene imposed upon it: and indeed I onely dis­coursed thereof to my thoughts. Oh Hea­venly contentments, said I, are you coun­terfeit or reall? But how counterfeit, be­cause so sensible? and how reall, being one­ly [Page 30] in a dreame? If I would complaine of them, or give my vowes and thankes for them: to whom should I addresse my selfe, to Slumber, or to Diana, or to both at once? The one shutteth mine eyes, the other seales up my lippes, and with a pleasing violence contrary to it selfe, steales my soule from me, and yet permits it not to issue. Oh god­desse! if thou art so favourable to me, as that thou assistest, and art really present in this sweete Mystery, wherefore dost thou make use of the opportunity of slumber? Or if thou be not present, or bearest no part herein▪ wherefore then dost thou suffer sleep to abuse thine Image for my sake? Oh, but perchance thou causest the charmes thereof to accompany thine, that being thus tempered, and the moderation of the one quallifying the force of the other, my life may be preserved. Is this then the way which the goddesses take, to communicate most familiarly with Mortals? And are their greater favours of such disproportion with our sences, that they must be entran­ced, before they can participate of them? or in a manner halfe dead, to prevent a full dying: It is to me indeed a favourable fore­seeing, and diverting of what might thence [Page 31] befall me; for I doe verily perswade my selfe, that if thou (when thou daignest to make me thus happy) shouldest not take me in my sleepe, thou wouldst inflict more than a thousand deaths upon me by an excesse of contentment, and so be as many times trou­bled to restore me my life, as thou hadst be­fore deprived me of it: Thus, Pyzander, I knew by day that I was a Man, although the night rendred me equall to the gods.

Pardon me Diana, if by chance I discourse freely that which I am not obliged by any Law to conceale. The wise man, sayes Py­zander, conceales the greatest part of his thoughts; but what rule of Wisdome tyes us to keepe secret our Dreames? Every man takes the liberty to speake of them to whom he pleaseth, and forbids not his curiosity to consult with any Interpreters, thereby to dis­cover and obtaine (according to their feares or desires) some light from their obscurity, or some certainty from their ambiguity: and besides, no man can be censured for the follies or vanities of Dreames, since to them all manner of liberty and freedome is allow­ed. There is no man, Pyzander, sayes Endy­mion, but in his sleepe doth sometimes see certaine obscure and cloudy representations [Page 32] of such things as most content and delight the minde being awake: but to have (as I had) every Night continuall visions of Dia­na, to see so cleare, mine eyes being closed, and so sensibly to enjoy (my whole sences being charmed) such pleasures as exceed any mention I am able to make of them, is a se­cret which I cannot comprehend.

The end of the First Booke.

ENDYMION.
The Second Booke.

AWhile after, not enduring to feed longer on vaine images or repre­sentations, how delightfull soe­ver, at so great a distance, I im­patiently longed, once more to see, on Earth, her, whom I only beheld in Heaven. Where­in, albeit a Goddesse, and a very favourable one, yet to me she seemed tedious, and of too slow and small a resolution. I durst pro­mise my selfe, that she, who in respect to the diligence and care I had taken to keepe me in [Page 34] her presence, had beene moved to wish so well to me, would bee yet more induced thereunto by my words, if I might but speak to her. And that I might lose no opportu­nity, I frequented for her sake, Hunting and Fishing; in both which pastimes I knew she▪ as Mistresse of those Exercises, tooke especiall delight. But all that was in vaine; for whilst I went to seeke her in the most desart places about Meander, shee was perchance on the Banke of Eurotus or Peneus▪ or else coursing some Lion in Getulia, or some Hart in Cre­ta, or Tiger in Armenia: For there are so many Rivers, Forrests, and Mountaines▪ more delightfull than those of Caria, so ma­ny by-waies and turnings, and so many Courriers, and travailers that she takes care of, as indeed it had beene a wonder for me to have encountred her.

At last, not knowing more what to doe, or with whom to consult, I called to mind Ismen, with whom I had a very familiar ac­quaintance. Thou knowest the esteeme she deserves above all other women, and the great judgment and insight she hath both in divine and humane things: Apollo himselfe exceeds her not, in the knowledge of the po­wer and vertue of Hearbs, and the Moone [Page 35] will sooner for her sake come downe from Heaven, than for any other. Indeed, saies Py­zander, it is held that she is able to compasse whatsoever shee will undertake, and that Thessalia never had her equall. I resolving one day to goe see her, saies Endymion, and to use my uttermost endeavours to charme the most charming of Women, did thus ac­cost her: Oh blessed Ismena, sole honour of thy Sexe, and thou whose manners and ver­tues are such, as yeeld no place to the Goddes­ses themselves: What praises shall I spare to set forth thy glory▪ and what a high obliga­tion of duty shall I be bound to thee in, if thou wilt befriend me so farre, as to free me from the torment and affliction wherewith I am at present enveloped; for whosoever, di­stressed in body or minde, labours for the ho­nour of seeing thee, finds thee presently fa­vourable. Thine encounter is a good pre­sage unto all, and whither so ever thou go­est, thou art more desired than present: but as thou hast power of doing that good, which none can ever be able to requite by any equall retribution: so must it necessarily fol­low, that thou findest the recompence there­of in the glory that thou duely gainest there­by. Besides, what can all mine endeavours [Page 36] adde to the felicity of her, who needs not the helpe of any Mortall, and to whom her owne vertue is a sufficient supply of whatsoever she hath use of? who with an equall power dis­poseth both of gods and men, and can at her owne discretion alter the course of Nature and Destiny! If thou wilt in all things exact­ly imitate the Example of the gods, thou knowest it is the hurt they have power to doe, which makes them feared, but it is their clemency and good deeds which chiefly make them adored; and all power is fruit­lesse, that being implored, assists not. My supplication and suite is not of such a difficult nature, as that ever the Night should there­by be made to surprise men at noone-day, or the force of Charmes hinder the course or brightnesse of the Starres. The Rivers shall never for my sake, run backwards to their sources, nor their waves swell in a calme. The Husband-mans graine shal not be there­by transported from one field into another, to beguile his hopes at Harvest: and the Hils or Woods shall not change their scituation or owners. Neither doe I petition thee to disquiet the contentment of the living, or repose of the dead, nor yet that the Ghosts should arise and answer thee: and farre lesse [Page 37] that thou shouldst by any charming or sini­ster potions, create or extinguish any affecti­on: No, I know thou never doest abuse thy skill, and for that cause it is, that the gods love thee, and give thee a daily increase thereof, rendring thee equall to themselves. But yet I will tell thee freely, that I have beene of late moved by a just occasion, to a continuall visiting of the most remote and solitarie places of the banke of Rivers, Plaines, Woods, and Mountaines, to find, if it be possible, an opportunity of seeing the Goddesse Diana, who hath heretofore obli­ged me with so great a liberality, both of her presence and promises. Wherein first, I will presume to crave thy advice, and then after­wards some effect of thy power and as­sistance.

She having awhile silently considered with her selfe, lifted up her eyes which were be­fore fixed on the Earth, and answered mee thus: I should thinke my selfe infinitely hap­py, Endymion, in finding any occasion, where­in I could be able to serve thee, which as I have devoutly wished for, so I will not spare to seeke it even amidst the greatest difficul­ties. I confesse, there is nothing so hard, but may by Art and Discretion be compassed: for [Page 38] not onely the Goddesse thou desirest to see, whether thou suest unto her as to the Moone, Diana, or Hecatea; but even both the Jupi­ters, and all the gods, must at length give place to the power of Charmes. The most speciall and important thing now is, that care be employed in making a right use of it, lest the abuse bring inseparable revenge with it. Hast thou never heard, that Nemesis (the punisher of offences) otherwise called An­drastea, because shee is inevitable, hath her Throne placed upon the Moone, (according to the representation the Egyptians have made of her) that she may thence the more perfectly take a view of the actions of men and punish such as are audacious and rash? Knowest thou not also, thot others figure her with a Scourge, in that hand on which side Hope is seated, to the end that none should thinke to escape with impunity, if they aspire to such things, as are not fit for them to de­sire? If therefore thou, instead of bringing downe the Moone, wouldst not draw on thy head the anger of Heaven, bee carefull that thou call her not, but on good and just grounds▪ and with the opportunity of a perfect silence, and that when all things, e­ven to the very leaves of the Trees, be at rest: [Page 39] for if the least noyse surprize her▪ before she have set foote on the ground, she will pre­sently before thy face returne up to the Heavens with greater speede than shee came downe. The gods, Endymion, with difficul­ty and much labour are moved to come to men, but doe returne with great and easie haste; as having alwayes more cause to be a­verse than favourable to them: and the least inconvenience or hindrance is of force to dis­temper and give interruption to the greatest miseries. Especially this one requireth so much observance and dexterity, that it must be stolne from the eyes of all the gods and Men: and although a generall slumber should seize both the one and the other, yet we are taught, both by necessity and providence, that Jupiter himselfe (and hee onely▪) never sleepes.

If the favour of Heaven towards us, Is­mena, said I, be so small; perchance that of the earth may be greater. And since this goddesse doth equally divide her care, and presence to the one and the other, if we can encounter her in the Mountaines or For­rests, what need have▪ wee to seeke more difficult meanes? and (with so much danger of losing it) to prevent the opportunity, [Page 40] which of it selfe may follow us? Indeede, saies she, that is the other meane I intended to tell thee of, which also wants not its ob­stacles or difficulties. For although we may sometimes find her in Ionia it selfe, or some other part of Greece: sometimes in the Woods of Merathon, or Erymanthus, other whiles on the tops of Hymettus, Cytheron▪ Othrys, or Pindus; yet we must oftner expect and seeke her amongst the Sarmatae, or Ga­ramantes, or in some other the most secret and remote place of the World. Besides, she is most commonly accompanyed of her Nymphes, whose profession and exercises have rendred them for the most part so rigo­rous, and unfit for conversation, that the onely sight of men so offends them, that a small provocation would induce them to denounce the same warre to them which they have done to the most savage Beasts. But (which is yet more fastidious, and lesse supportable to those that desire the enter­view of this goddesse) some of them keepe their eye so constantly upon her, as if Heaven had made them her Guardians Doris and Laomeda, ambitious, jealous, and curious Nymphes, doe so nearely watch, and so strict­ly besiege her, that she is not onely inacces­sible, [Page 41] but indeed really captive. Yet, that they should aime, to know, controle, and conduct all were more tollerable, if they did not also labour to possesse all. It is al­most incredible, how the very gods them­selves, as well as men, by a secret excesse of goodnesse and indulgence, are insensibly o­verswaied by the desires of those whom they favour. So that by over-gratifying some one, or two, or three persons, they seeme to retrench the greater part of their liberality they owe to many; I will not say unto all. And whilst a small number doth even surfeit on their beneficence; whole multitudes suffering it, accuse Heaven, and hate Government, to­gether with their owne lives, and the light. Shall we therefore inferre that the gods are not just? farre be it, but let us rather acknow­ledge that they governe all things by the will of Fate, according to its innocence, or the corruption of the times. This I tell thee, En­dymion, out of the affection I beare thee, to the end thou maist remember, and duely con­sider every poynt.

Oh Ismena, said I, let me see Diana and dye: she may perchance be touched her selfe with a desire to speake with me: for the gai­ning of this favour I am ready to expose [Page 42] my life to all manner of perills; and if I lose it, that shall not at all grieve me, if shee onely may know it was for her sake. O yee gods! replyed she then, my memory doth me ill offices very often: and I have much abused both the time and thy patience: for my last nights dreame fore-told me all that thou hast recounted to me; wherein I saw Diana her selfe, and received directi­ons from her what I should doe, and pre­scription of meanes, which but just now I was so much troubled to finde out. This is the very time, and the most fit, wherein shee leaves the Heaven to passe a few dayes on Earth. I know of a Forrest in the World, consecrated to this goddesse, whereunto the beauty of the place, and the innocence of the inhabitants, doe often invite her to come for her recreation. That is the place where she usually keepes her Chariot and her Armes: besides the great number of wilde beasts doe there afford her more different and acceptable pastimes than in any other part. Faile not thou on the day of the Sunne, towards evening, to be at the toppe of Mount Lathmos: and the morrow after, which will be the day of the goddesse, I will endeavour to make thee happy, if at least [Page 43] thy felicity onely consist in the honour of seeing her.

Vpon this resolution, Pyzander, which was taken on Venus day, I tooke leave of her, untill the time she had assigned me; which seemed so long in comming, that I can scarce tell thee, whether I had greater tor­ment by mine impatient desire, or more comfort in my hope. But above all, the day of the Sunne seemed to me so long, that I would have beene glad to have seen Phoebus hastened with a precipitation to his setting. At length the shadowes of the Woods and Hills beganne to increase, and the fore-runner of the day and night, which appeares alwaies in the Heavenly Carriere, had already lighted his Torch, and the West became as red, as if all the fire in the World had beene enclosed in the bosome of it, or the fall of some other Phaëton had enfla­med it of new. Such are the Evenings which presage faire and untroubled dayes; and such was that to be, which promised me the sight of Diana on the morrow: When I percei­ved Ismena, who as lively and cheerefully mounted to the toppe, where I attended her, as if Mercury had conducted, or Zephyrus carryed her. At the very first she asked me [Page 44] what I ailed, adding, if thy heart be no better than thy looke, how dost thou thinke to ac­complish thy enterprise? I thinke thou hast not slept since I was last with thee, thou art so distempered: this indeede I did feare, and that the disquiet of thy minde could not permit thy body to take any rest; and fore-seeing the inconvenience, have not failed to fit thee with a remedy. Behold wherewith, said she, presenting me a Violl, I was not long since in the Kingdome of slum­ber, where I drew this water from the Fountaine which bedewes her Gardens, and begets her Poppeyes, and Mandragora's; being one of the sources of the River Lethes: Take onely two or three droppes of it, and I will assure thee thou shalt sleep the sweetest Nappe that ever thou yet tookest. Besides, it is necessary that thou sleepe whilst I labour for thee, lest thine impatience should trouble me. These Mysteries, Endymion, require rest and silence, and will admit none other spectators, or witnesses, than onely those that act them, and are designed for the office. Free me then from the feare of thy distem­per, and ruine not thine owne designes by thy curiosity, or presence: which way soever I turne, goe, or stirre, leave me wholly to [Page]

[figure]

[Page 46] mine owne liberty, least thou become a­stonished by the sight of incredible things, and so at length horrour and affright seize thee. For what wouldst thou say if thou shouldst see me presently descend for Hea­ven in the Chariot of the Moone? I obey­ing whatsoever she commanded me, laid me downe in this Cave, where I felt sud­dainly the great vertue of that little water she had given me, which so stupified me, that if no body had awaked me I beleeve I should have continued in an everlasting slumber. The calme of silence was generall (as you may beleeve) and the Starres had well advan­ced their course; when as, not knowing what Ismena had done, or what vertue of Hearbs, actions, or words, or what force of Crea­tures, or Heavenly, or earthly power she had employed: I suddenly found my selfe trans­ported with great contentment, and little or no feare; but doe not yet know whether it were in a Chariot of Ivory, or Ebony, or whether it were drawne by Horses, or Dra­gons; for I could scarce discerne that which was nearest to me: like unto vaine and ambi­tious men, who alwayes perceive things re­mote, better than they see themselves. I cannot judge whether it were by the inspira­tion [Page 47] of the gods, or by the industry of Isme­na, or whether Morpheus gave me such cleare visions: But I knew places which, if mine eyes had beene open, I should not have knowne, even to the discovering and distin­guishing of the Hills, Rivers, and Provin­ces over which I was carried. I had one en­counter which gave me matter to thinke on even from the beginning: which was, that just as I felt my selfe taken up, I heard a voice, and saw a Monster in the Aire, faced like a Man, but in all other parts resem­bled a Fowle, which followed mee till hee had uttered these words. Now goe thy wayes, with a mischiefe, and make the Oracle a lyer, which hath pronoun­ced that one of thy race shall deprive the Citie of Olympia of a part of her glory, by building another to the memory of his owne Name, whereunto our Games must one day be transferred. Oh Pyza, Pyza, thou art not yet borne, and yet thy fame and the menti­on of thee annoyes me.

This first Vision was enough to have ama­zed me, if what I had heard concerning the Oracle, had not given me more hope, than the first words feare: But if I knew not what this name of Pyza might signifie, except it [Page 48] were meant for the name of some Citie, to be hereafter built by some one of mine off­spring: For the rest, I supposed it was the Ge­nius of Olympia that had thus spoken, or at least some Magitian of that place, who had assumed the forme of some Bird of Night to flie in the darke withall. So making way to­wards the East, borne by a divine and all Celestiall motion, I passed as it were in an instant Licia, a great part of Mount Taurus, Licaonia, Tyanea, the River Melas, Mount Argeus, and all Capadocia, even to Euphra­tes, which I began to discover in the lesse Armenia, and immediately after, in Arme­nia the greater I observed the Sources there­of at the Hill Periardes, so famous for its fer­tility: then turning a little towards the North, I passed the River Araxes, neare un­to the mouth of it, where it falls into the Caspian Sea.

At length having traversed many Hills and Vallies, I found my selfe in a seeming quiet place, where having remained awhile in my former astonishment and trance, I felt Isme­na, who taking me by the hand, raised me up, saying; Now Endymion, now is the time to goe, and to take resolution and cou­rage with thee; gird on thy Sword, (for [Page 49] she had a care to bring it along from the Hill) draw it, brandish it in thine hand, and see that thou be not much moved at whatsoever thou encounterest: for here thou hast to doe onely with a vaine and giddy people, who not enduring the light, are constrained to wan­der in darknesse; and who at the onely glance of Steele, doe tremble with feare. What Monsters soever shall follow, or appeare to thee, suppresse all affright with this confi­dence and assurance, that their formes ren­der them farre more terrible than their for­ces. Goe straight forward, but above all, when thou commest into the Forrest, where thou art to see the Goddesse, beware of cut­ting, breaking, or violating the least branch or leafe, for the place is sacred, and thou maist peradventure thereby unwitting­ly offend some Nymphe, to whom, by the favour of Diana, a priviledge is granted to live a second life, and passe many ages under the barke of some Tree. For me, I will be as carefull to know what becomes of thee, as I have beene to know where Diana was; that if any danger threaten thee, thou shalt no sooner have thrice pronounced the name of Ismena, but thou shalt see mee at hand to succour thee: and if thy hazard be such, that [Page 50] my power alone, without the helpe of the gods, be not sufficient to deliver thee, I will, rather than faile thee, use force upon the gods themselves, and draw the Moone from Hea­ven, to free thee from the danger whereinto thou shalt be plunged for her sake.

Upon these assurances I resolved to march through the darke, wherein I had enough to doe to keepe my way: and having scarce gone three steps, I thought to have turned mine eyes towards Ismena, but could nei­ther see her any more, nor know what was become of her. Here I beleeve, there is no courage so resolute, that would not have beene moved; for I found my selfe enviro­ned with the most horrible Monsters that can be imagined, and such as seemed to have beene created in so generall a confusion, that neither the kinds, or sexes were discernable. There is not that thing in Africa so prodi­gious, but was there presented: the Hydra's, Gorgons, and such infinite sorts of Chymaera's appeared to me, that I should have had much trouble in my resolution, and no small cause to feare a Metamorphosis of my selfe by the horrible aspect of their shapes, if the remem­brance of Ismena's words to me, had not made mee repose more trust to mine eares [Page]

[figure]

[Page 52] than mine eyes. If I looked backe, I saw my selfe pursued with an infinite number of wild beasts, ready to assaile and devoure me▪ and what endeavour or invention soever I used to escape their pursuit, or shun their encoun­ter, I could make none other haste, than if I had had Fetters on mine ankles, or that my feete had beene fastened by some charme. On the other side, I saw great numbers of Centaures continually crossing my way, see­king incessantly some lost thing which they could not finde. Anon I saw Harpyes flying and devouring on all sides, not sparing to exact tribute even from the dead carkasses: then againe I found my selfe amidst a defor­med people, and a strange kinde of men, vaine; fantastick; and mutable; who had more than a thousand assemblies about no­thing, some where of were crippled, croo­ked, and mishapen, others hunger-starved and feeble, and very few rightly shapen. But as their features were vaine and miserable, their exercises were farre more extravagant; some of them busied themselves in erecting ill composed edifices upon in the ruines of their fellows: others, amongst the sad Reliques of a devouring fire, turned all things topsie­turvy to seeke treasure, but found nothing [Page 53] but burning coales: and some sold smoake, and others trafficked with the fruits of Tan­talus Garden, which howsoever they seemed to me of no use, were neverthelesse bought up at very deare rates.

By this time I began to discover the Skie cleare up a little towards the East, and fore­tell the rising of Aurora from one end of the Earth to the other, when as all those other objects began to become more rare, lesse vi­sible, and at length wholly vanished; or at least the Sylla's and Medusa's were converted into Rocks and Trees, and the Serpents in­to broken Reeds. Immediately I descryed a great Forrest, which seemed to rejoyce at the approach of the day, and in the shade whereof I was well advanced, before the Sun had displayed his beames: Since, sayes Pyzan­der, that was the day, wherein thou wert to have the honour of seeing Diana, it would have beene too much to behold two such great lights in one day. The hope of this in­ter-view, sayes Endymion, did extraordina­rily move me, and the uncertainty of what might befall me, possessed me sometimes with one thought, sometimes with another, be­cause I neither knew the time nor place wherein this good fortune was alotted me. [Page 54] In the meane while I observed the growth & height of the Trees, and the large extent of their branches, which represented so great an antiquity, as that they seemed to have beene borne with the World. Oh immortall Nymphs said I to my selfe, (for the place was so shady and silent, that me thought I was not free to open my mouth, so much as to utter a sigh:) Oh Hamadryades! how ma­ny long-lived Harts and Crowes have had leasure to live and die, and how often hath the Phoenix renewed her selfe since your birth! Thus I continued walking a long time, when instead of finding an increase of light, I seemed to remaine wholly betwixt the Night and the Day, and even to follow darknesse, yea, move with it, so much did the mists grow thicker and thicker to my sight. Silence and solitude brought with them a secret kind of horrour and affright, which no lesse astonished me, than the Mon­sters I had seene before: Besides, all this time I had gained so little on my way, that I knew it no more; and the more I went forward, the more was I touched with a certaine re­spect of the places, which made me imagine, that now, having lost the sight of humane foot-steps, I was not farre from the resi­dence [Page 55] of the gods. And indeed, lifting up my head I perceived a Table, fixed on a Tree, which for bulke and talenesse exceeded the rest, wherein was this in Inscription in Capi­tall Letters.

Stay not long in this place, Mor­talls, except you meane suddainly to suffer the punishment of your te­merity.

I had scarce read these words, when I felt the Earth shake and tremble in such a man­ner under my feete, that the toppes of the Trees were mooved therewithall. These accidents indeed had power to stay me, but not so easily to divert my course▪ for, I being already so accustomed to Prodigies and Monsters, would have beene loath to flye before the gods themselves. What couldst thou thinke to doe, saies Py­zander, since thou knowest there is neither valour, or force in man, but must presently give way to the threatnings of the gods? And whosoever would be so rash, as to make them the least resistance, would onely shew [Page 56] the excesse of his desperate resolution to his owne ruine. There was one sole conside­ration Pyzander, sayes Endymion, which made me resolve to retire thence, which was an un­fortunate custome I have (by some secret Fate) never to enjoy, any more than the ap­pearances, beginnings, promises, and hopes of any great felicity. Insomuch, that I had a kinde of feare, that Heaven (already tyred with shewing grace to me) would in stead of Diana, whom I sought, have exposed me to the encounter of Hecatea, whose presence alone either rendreth men astonished, or, turning them into stones, deprives them wholly of sence. And indeed I presently heard a horrible noyse, like unto the how­ling of Dogges in the darke, mingled with the roaring of Lyons, the hissing of Snakes, or some other more strange sound, which cannot be represented by the example of any voyce. This encreased more and more, ad­vancing like the winde, which rising, mur­mures, and ruffles amongst the Trees, and Woods, which oppose the course, or re­tard the violence of it; or as the raine and tempest, who have alwaies some noise go­ing before them, seeming to advertise us, and give us time to take some shelter, be­fore [Page 57] they dissolve upon our heads. With this, I beganne more and more to adde feare to observation; my face grew pale, my haire stared, and I became wholly seized with hor­rour and affright. I was constrained to leave the place, and even to seeke pathes where there were none. I knew not which way to turne me, but wandring thus up and downe the Forrest, I began to dispaire of my fortune, and repent me of mine enter­prize. But when as we, poore Mortalls, are are reduced to such exigents, that wee can doe no more, when our wits and counsailes faile us, and our best wisedome and judge­ment becomming blind, remaines in confusi­on; then I say it is, that the gods appeare, and witnesse themselves both powerfull, and fa­vourable to those that implore their assis­tance, and commit them wholly to their pro­tection. And so it fared with me; for that which whilome seemed to me an ominous encounter, proved now a meane to conduct me to that which I desired to finde. But it is a common errour amongst men, to place the meanes which brings them to hap­pinesse, in the ranke of disasters and mis­fortunes. For I had not gone farre, when I perceived before me a certaine shining [Page 85] light, whose silver beames made as it were another day, and expelling the Clouldy mists on every side, made, for a good distance, round about the shades lesse obscure. Im­mediately hereupon I saw a Cressant appeare farre clearer than the Starres, and to whom, next the Sunne, the greatest honour is due. With which Object mine eyes were presently dazeled, and my heart so moved with a con­tinuall panting, that I could hardly settle it. At length, having recollected the powers of my sight, I perceived it was Diana, who, as I thought, had her eyes fixed upon me, before I saw her; because, the feare I had contracted, permitted me not so much to looke on what was before me, as to thinke on what might follow me. I stopping sud­dainly, found my soule wholly possessed with joy, respect, and feare. But observing her lookes, no lesse mild now, than at other times, I tooke the boldnesse, yet with se­cresie and silence, to advance some steppes, the better to discerne the places and per­sons, because the branches and leaves hid the whole Company from my sight, and in part the goddesse her selfe.

Then I perceived her sitting upon a Rock, which nature for her service had raised to the [Page]

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[Page 60] height of a seat; from whence there issued a murmuring Fountaine, and about it sate her Nymphes upon little greene Turffes, some of them leaning their heads upon their hands, and their Elbowes upon their knees, seemed to sleepe, or to be much trans­ported with the pleasant warbling of the gliding Spring; and others leaning over it, beheld their faces in the Water: and some o­thers, whom I could not perfectly see, had laid themselves downe here and there up­on the grasse. But I, not diverting my selfe much with considering the particulari­ties of the place, kept mine eyes alwaies fix­ed upon Diana, who had hers also upon me. And doubtlesse, Pyzander, if it bee true, that the eyes are the faithfull witnesses of the soule, she had some intention to speake to me: But that a Nymph, who was next to her, and who before had beene writing up­on the Rocke with the poynt of her Ar­row, lifting up her head, discovered me, and being therewith suddainly moved, she tur­ned towards Diana, saying; oh goddesse! what is hee that thus audaciously beholds thee with impunity? What priviledge hath he to be in this place, and present himselfe before thee? Surely there is no want [Page 61] on his part (having presumptuously ta­ken this liberty) that he is not already recei­ved into our company, and made partaker of all our actions and secrets. Herewith taking her Bow, and fitting that Arrow to it, wherewithall she had formerly written: Give me leave, said she, with one blow to take downe the man, and abate his presump­tion. No, no, answers Diana smiling, if he dye, he must dye by my hand. So calling to a Nymph that stood behind her: (and from whence, as I will tell thee hereafter, I had knowledge of all passages) Bring me hither, saies shee, whispering to her, the two little Quivers of Arrowes which Cupid gave us the other day, as we passed by the Forrest of Ida­lia. The Nymph stooping onely to take them up, gave them her immediately. And then Diana (oh cruell deliverance! oh meane of saving, worse than the very intention of de­stroying me!) unbinding them first, shot one, then another at me, without taking much paines about it: for they are Arrowes which doe almost flye of themselves, and seldome misse the marke, whereunto the will of the sender directs them, especially being sent from the hand of Diana. Sometimes they escape unawares, and yet effect no lesse [Page 62] execution, than if they were sent on pur­pose, or accompanyed with a designe. These Nymphes doe also very often use them both treacherously and maliciously, taking plea­sure in inflicting that on others, which they themselves will never have either compas­sion or sence of. I perceiving that Diana persisted in wounding me with them all one after another, cryed out (but so as she heard me not) Alas, goddesse! what wilt thou doe? Dost thou know the power of these Darts? peradventure thou scatterest them negli­gently, because they seeme weake and light unto thee. Was it not enough for thee to have with one or two onely, wounded my my heart, already wholly accustomed to the sence of thy Shafts, but that thou must co­ver me with them from head to foot? I stood firme, Pyzander, in this suffering whilst I was able; but at length when shee had so filled mine eyes therewith, that I was wholly blin­ded, I felt so strong a poyson slide into my veines, that by degrees, losing the use of my strength, I fell flat downe at the foote of the Tree, where I suffered a continuall Death, and yet saw no end of my life, as if life and death had seemed to be in dispute, which of them had greatest interest in me, wherein [Page 63] my extreame torment perswaded me every moment, that Death would get the upper hand: so that losing the hope of ever spea­king to Diana againe, I cast forth my La­mentations to the hazard of being transpor­ted to her eares.

Oh it is the onely desire of seeing thee, God­desse, which hath made me expose my life to all the perills of Heaven and Earth, to come and receive my death at thy hands! and have beene spared by so many Monsters, to be re­served onely to thy rigours! Who could e­ver have thought that of all the dangers which threatned me, thine Encounter had beene most terrible? What crime have I com­mitted, that can deserve the punishment of so suddaine a change, that it seemes to me thou consultest hatred and affection, to know which of them thou shouldest practise to­wards me? How canst thou accord the qua­lity of a Goddesse with thine irresolution and inconstancy? howbeit indeed thou be but too too constant in making me feele the smart of the darts which flye from thine eyes and hands, wherewith thou hast so wholly covered me, that my wound is generall, no roome being left about me to receive one stroake more, except thou wilt make other [Page 64] wounds within these I have already. I re­quest this onely comfort of thee, that dying by thy hand, I may at least have the freedome to tell thee so; and that if thou takest plea­sure in my torment, thou wilt vouchsafe au­dience to my lamentation, which will wit­nesse unto thee the violence thereof, or at least shew that thou art really a Goddesse, and that thou readest in my heart that which my mouth might in vaine labour to give thee in­formation of.

In this wavering estate of my good or ill fortune, Pyzander, wherein the Fates them­selves seemed to be in doubt how to dispose of me, I esteemed my selfe infinitely happy by having seene Diana, and suffered none o­ther torment than what her hand had in­flicted. And although my felicities were ac­companied with my complaints, yet the cause rendred them so delightfull and honourable to me, that whosoever could not lament in the same fashion, seemed to me to deserve bewayling or contempt: For as on the one side I experimented the whole force of sor­row, so on the other I enjoyed the content­ments of a felicity not communicated to o­ther Mortalls, but at such time as some one of the gods intending to ravish them with ho­nour [Page 65] and delight, vouchsafes them his sight and presence. And indeed, as if in the midst of my most violent passion, some Deity had approached me, to drive death away, and de­fend me against it, or as if the same hand, that had injured me, had also cured me; I felt a delightfull Aire, a pleasing winde, and a sweet breath, such as seemed to issue from some Divine mouth, with some other plea­sures, (which cannot bee expressed but by sighing) wherein there was a mixture of sweet and bitter, so excellently tempered, that the sower served onely as a necessary in­gredient to set the sweet the better off Re­maining in this extasie, wherein the pleasures I found amidst my sorrows had cast me, I heard a Nymph, who calling aloud for her Dogge, cryed sundry times, Licanthe, Lican­the; and at length seeking round about, drew neare to me; and having awhile beheld me, called to me, saying, Sleepest thou? or what doest thou there? doth any thing ayle thee? I could at first, answer her only with a sigh: but she continuing, said, Speake to me I pray thee, and tell me thy griefe: Alas I said I, how canst thou ask what I suffer, seeing me wholly stuck full of arrows? how! full of arrows? sayes she, what dost thou meane? Dost thou rave? Open [Page 66] thine eies, looke on me, or indeed, looke ra­ther upon thy selfe: how can I open mine eies, answered I, having more wounds there than in any other part? Yes for sooth said she, and so stooping opened mine eye-lids with her fingers, saying, See, are they not very sore? Wherewith I, (but not without great asto­nishment) beheld the light againe, where­of I before thought I had bin for ever depri­ved. Then she, taking me by the hand, I endeavoured to rise, and remaining so a­while, I cast mine eies towards the place where Diana was, but I neither saw her, nor any of her traine, saving the Nymph that was with me.

A little after, beginning to view my selfe somewhat better, I neither saw the Arrows, nor the wounds whereof before I had so much complained; yet my heart still feeling their violence, kept a continuall sighing. Be­ing about to rise, I was going to say, what have I done oh ye gods! to deserve to be a But unto all Diana's shafts? But the Nymph interrupted me, saying, Doest thou thus ac­knowledge the grace she hath done thee in saving thy life? for thou hadst bin exposed to the mercy of the most rigorous Nymphs, and greatest enemies in the World to men, and [Page 67] such as never suffer any that comes prying a­bout these Desarts and Fountaines, to scape without the punishment of their curiosity. Then I intreated her to recount unto me what had passed concerning me, which she performed, according as I have already in part related to thee: but it is no new thing sayes she, to see the Goddesse so ready to gra­tifie thee. What thinkest thou she spake the other day of thee in the Assembly of the Nay­ades and Nereides, about the Mouth of Me­ander, betwixt Milet and Priene? when spea­king alone to us, who are about her by par­ticular service, she said, Behold Endymions Countrie, it is now a good while since I saw him: informe your selves to day of the Nymphs of these places, and of himselfe, if it be possible, where his usuall residence is, what study most possesseth him, and what we may doe for his contentment. If per­chance he present himselfe where we are in our most solitary walkes, and where men doe least of all frequent, hinder him not from seeing me, use him favourably, and let not your ordinary austerity deny him ad­mittance. And in truth said the Nymph, there is not any one of the Dryades, Nap [...]ae, or Oreades, but knows thy Name, though [Page 68] not thy person, and that have not learned it from the great esteeme which Diana hath thee in: who talkes of thee both to the Sil­vans and Fawnes, and conceales not her re­spect of thee from the celestiall Deities. Faire Nymph said I, by what I now observe, it seemes thou knowest that the Goddesse hath alwaies graced me with her particular good­will. O yes, said she, I know it very well: thinke it not strange then, said I, if from the same subject which so highly delights me, I draw also the cause of all my lamentations. For how can that consist, that shee so long wisheth me the good, which she never does me? What know I but that some humour contrary in it selfe, opposing her intention, uncertaine of what she hath to doe, and te­dious in resolving, may at length wholly deprive me of that which she continually de­ferres; and that time, which like her selfe at­tereth every thing, may administer so many diversions unto her, that all this affection vanishing, she at length may her selfe forget that ever she thought of it, and then in vaine will it be for me to accuse the gods of muta­bility, and breach of promise as well as men. Thinke not so ill, sayes the Nymph, but con­sider that the gods themselves are led by Fate, [Page 69] and must give way to necessity. Know, that she her selfe takes not the repose and ease she gives to the World. How dost thou thinke she can give satisfaction, I will not say to so many persons, but to so many different peoples, who desire her favour and presence? One while Scythia re­quires her, then Greece, and anon Ethiopia. But what doe I say? the whole world a­dores; what Countrey is visited with the Sunne but knowes Diana, and her fame? and if thus she must be every where, how can she remaine long in one place? And yet not­withstanding all those great cares of the most weighty affaires of the world, thou hast an exceeding great share of her thoughts, and the merit of her words. Besides, she hath this day charged me, by a most speciall command, to assure thee, that she often thinkes particularly on thee, and that the opportunity of witnessing it will bee excee­ding gratefull to her: if this suffice thee not, and if thou hast ought to say to her, be to morrow at high noone in the Valley of Pines, neare the next mountaine, where so soone as I shall see thee, I will draw her alone from the rest of her Nymphes, assuring my selfe she will afford thee all the liberty of [Page 70] speech, thou canst in justice desire of a god­desse. O faire Nympth, said I, thou dost so much obliege me, that thon rendrest my life eternally subject: But give me leave to tell thee that which thou knowest better than I; that is, that the difference and inequa­lity betwixt us and the gods is so great, that we are so farre from being able to looke on them, or desire them, without rendring our selves ridiculous, that wee cannot so much as love them, except they first affect us. But againe, whensoever they prevent us, then is it our part to follow them with all care and diligence, and thus doe I desire the honour of speaking with Diana, having nothing to say to her, but onely in pursuit of what she hath beene formerly pleased to gra­tifie me withall, having beene oftentimes desirous to speak with me, without any o­ther motion or solicitation, save onely that of her owne inclination and good will. If Mischance could have plaid me that injuri­ous pranke, as to make time able to remove that desire of hers, then with good reason should respect have taken me off from such presumption, and confined me to everlasting silence. O how happy were I, if any such propitious desire possessed her, whereof I will [Page 71] endeavour to give her to morrow the oppor­tunity, according to the advice thou givest me. Well, said she, it is thy part to thinke on it; time calls me away, farewell: So, shew­ing me the way I was to goe, she gave me from her hand a taste of such delightfull fe­licities, as that I asked her whether she inten­ded them to end my sorrowes, or to pro­long them into a further continuance, and render me immortall with them; where­unto perceiving that she answered me onely with a smile; as she withdrew her selfe, I bade her farewell, saying, Adieu thou the most courteous and discreete of all the Nymphes, I cannot wish thee any greater happinesse, than the continuance of that which thou already possessest, of being so neare to Diana. Thus went I on, revolving in my thoughts a thousand times all that had befalne me, sometimes praising, and some­times even daring to accuse Diana, since it be­ing so easiy to her to make me happier, she stil kept me in doubt and disquiet. In the mean time I being growne weary, and finding the day beginne to encrease, and the way to ha­sten towards an end, I beganne to find the tracing of mens foote-steps, which made me imagine, by the appearance, that I was not [Page 72] exposed to any more danger. At last I en­ded my dayes work with the Sunne, who was no sooner at the end of his Carriere, than I was at the end of the Forrest; where seeing nothing but Mountaines, and seeing no better retreat than the Forrest it selfe, ha­ving chosen a convenient place, I laid me downe at the foote of a Mirtle, the Mosse being there somewhat soften than else where, as if Fortune had conducted me to the place where Nature had long before prepared a Bed for my repose.

The end of the Second Booke.

ENDYMION.
The Third Booke.

NO sooner had night and silence imposed a dumbe tranquility on all Creatures, when I began to feele that slumber disdaines not plaine and simple lodgings; but (as the Pro­verbe saies) is more frequent in the Cotta­ges of silly Shepheards, than in the Palaces of great Princes, amidst their golds and silke, as if she were not well pleased that, that which the gods have so freely bestowed on Mortalls, should be made a Merchandise of [Page 74] so deare a rate. So I tooke my first sleepe, which was short and quiet: but in my se­cond I was much troubled with Dreames: One while me-thought I went up and down seeking Diana, with a great deale of toyle, but could not finde her; another while me­thought I had many businesses, and much to doe with men whom I knew not: And as it is usuall to those who sleepe upon any great designe, or feare, to awake with the least dif­ficulty, and even in their very sleepe to stand upon their Guards: So I, with much lon­ging waited for day, and troubled my rest with a thousand disquiets. When as, about the time of Aurora's approaching, me­thought I saw Aurora her selfe approaching me, or at least a beauty that had her Tresses, her colour, and her eyes, and which was so gorgeously attired, as if Art had contended with Nature for the prize, and beene yet sur­passed; and so accoutred, as if she had beene that day to be marryed to some one of the gods, or of the most eminent of men: her Robe was white, embroydered all over with Flowers, which of all sides seemed to fall from her head and bosome; her Girdle was of gold, wrought in the fashion of Bees upon Flowers, whose leaves were of Eme­ralds; [Page]

G. par in

[Page 76] in her right hand she had a Knife, wherewith she would faine have cut a branch of that same Myrtle Tree, at the foot where­of I slept; but not being able to reach so high, she was forced to have recourse to me, so, beholding me with a looke, of it selfe able to informe one of her desire, if it could have uttered it, she saies to me; I rose this mor­ning a good while before the Sunne, being appoyted very shortly to assist at a Sacrifice, where I shall have use of a Branch of this Myrtle, and finde none that offers it me, ex­cept I put my selfe to the trouble of reque­sting it. As for thee, whom peradventure the gods have sent to ease me of this travaile; I pray thee grant me this, which scarce any man would deny me, and in acknowledge­ment of that good office, I will give to thee a­lone that heart, and that affection which so many have desired, but never yet any could obtaine: wherein I dare say the recompence will farre surpasse the paines, and that thou shouldest never desire any other, if thou art by Nature or Nation courteous, than the fa­vour I doe thee in requesting this at thy hands: this she thought was enough to say on that subject, and had there stayed, seeing me ready instantly to obey her; but as I re­mained [Page 77] immoveable, and tyred with stri­ving against the charme which held me so fast, she thought I was insensible, and be­gan to adde other perswasions to the for­mer: How dull-sighted soever thou art, sayd she, that which thou seest in me, doth so sufficiently represent unto thee what I am, that thou canst not with discretion engage me to tell it thee, much lesse, make any far­ther inquiry of the reason or cause of this my request; yet to take from thee all subject of doubt or excuse, I will make no scruple to declare unto thee both the one and the other. Know therefore, for thy further informati­on, (if herein it bee more proper to follow the generall opinion concerning my selfe than mine owne) that I am held the patterne and honour of all the Damosells in those parts, and as one whose vertue and beautie like a Goddesse amongst Mortalls, suffers nei­ther comparison, or envy, sued unto, and in vaine sollicited by the whole flower of the Youth hereabouts, and such as at the least signe I should give them of what I de­sire, would not onely seeke it throughout this Forrest, but throughout the World; and I cannot thinke thee inferiour to them in courtesie or affection if the object deserve [Page 78] it. Howsoever, although thine owne incli­nation should not move thee to oblige me, I am of opinion thy Fate would compell thee to it; and though thou wouldest doe that for a great Goddesse, which thou wouldest not doe for me, yet I know not whether it be of thee or no, that our Oracles speake so much, where they say, that a little branch of Myrtle shall be a cause of the greatest and most fa­mous Sacrifice that ever we have made to Di­ana; and that shee then is to descend from Heaven in favour of, and for the sake of him that cut it, and that in the meane time I shall weare it in my bosome for thy sake; where if it beare no fruit, it shall at least flourish, untill we goe both together to the high Al­tar, where I am to sacrifice my heart to thee, and thou thine to Diana. At these words I started up, ready to serve her in all her de­sires; but she commanded me to stay a while, and forbeare stirring, till shee had with­drawne her selfe a little apart; for the day be­gins to advance, and if by chance I were dis­covered by any of the Keepers of this For­rest, alone with thee, they might, not know­ing mine intention, impute it for a crime to me, and the time would adde something to the sinister opinion that might be thence con­ceived. [Page 79] As for thee, as soone as thou hast cut down the branch, retire aside, that I may have time to come & take it. With these last words, she with-drew her selfe, and I wholly ravi­shed with this Vision, could not suffer the losse of it, but with much griefe; so in an in­stant I rose and looked about me, to see what was become of her: but perceiving her no more, and for her sake forgetting all other things, I turned towards the Tree, which was so tall a Myrtle, that I could not so much as touch any Branch of it with the point of my Sword, save onely one little one which was lower than all the rest, with striving to get it, I strook the body of the Tree thrice, whose tough Barke thrice turned the edge of my Weapon; the Forrest resounded of it, and Eccho distributed the noise into all parts. At length I cut the fatall sprigge, and laying it at my feet, I uttered these words to the beau­tie I had seene: Whether thou be a God­desse or Mortall, behold, what I owe to thy request, wherein I desire thee rather to con­sider the ready and prompt obedience I have rendred thee, than the thing it selfe which thou requiredst. I had scarce uttered these words, when I perceived three or foure men come running towards me, armed with Darts [Page 80] and Axes, according to the fashion of the Countrie; and how unequall soever the match was, yet I resolved in stead of yeel­ding, to sell deare either my life or liberty: I, with so much resolution and quicknesse, put my selfe in posture to charge them, that they began to be affraid of me: but when I had scattered them here and there, others came (such was my misfortune) from every cor­ner of the Forrest, so that I finding all meanes of safety within the Wood taken away, was forced to seeke it without: But ere I had gone farre, I discovered Huntsmen, who seeing me alone pursued of so many, run af­ter me with full speed, crying aloud, what hath he done? whereof is he guilty? It is a barbarous fellow said the other, (wholly out of breath) who hath wronged us all, and violated the Lawes, and honour of these places, to the great contempt of our gods and Altars.

At these words they presently pressed to stay me, but Fortune at first so favoured my resolution and courage, that the first that approached me, soone repented his dili­gence; for I struck his Horse so rude a stroke on the head with an Axe that I had gotten from the other, that the Weapon remained [Page 81] so fast behind his eare, that I could not get it out againe; and besides, he rising an end, fell backward with the man under him so vio­lently, that hee that next followed him, stumbling thereat, cast his Rider at my feet, to the mercy of mine Armes; but turning me with my Sword in my hand, to looke to that which more concerned me, and finding my selfe equally environed with horses and men, I resolved upon a desperate attempt as my last refuge, and so laying about me on all sides with more vehemence▪ and promptitude than these words can deliver it to thee, which way soever I turned my selfe, I so astonished mine enemies, that I began to finde my selfe in a manner without resistance; and had doubtlesse made them leave the place, and freed my selfe at last, from one and other of them, if amidst the violence, wherewith I made their Weapons flye in splinters, if mine owne Sword also had not broken at the hilts, which gave the courage to a young man who first perceived it, to spurre his Horse so rudely upon me, that mine indig­nation, seeing my selfe thus affronted, tooke from me the consideration of his youth and extreame beautie, which were of force to have moved the most barbarous to use him [Page 82] with more mildnesse: and so, not being able to containe my selfe, I threw that piece of my Sword which remained in my hand, the pummell whereof hit him (harder than I my selfe desired) upon the bottome of the sto­macke, the paine whereof made him sud­denly open his knees, and fall to the ground as if hee had beene dead. I made haste to­wards him to get his Weapons, but the o­thers, who lost no time, failed not to seize on me; and yet in such wise, that they durst not offer me any violence: and when they had taken me, they still continued so affraid of me, as if indeed they had beene my priso­ners, and not I theirs. Some complained of their armes, some of their thighes, and others shewed the wounds they had received in other parts. But when they perceived this faire young man trembling and waxing pale, as if he had beene about to give up the ghost, they forget all their owne paine through their sense of his; and then dispaire and rage beginning to seize them, I every moment expected that they would have revenged his death on me, before it happened to him. I was inwardly exceeding sorry to have im­ployed my hands towards the destruction of such a Master-peece of Nature, and was now [Page 83] no lesse sorry than before I was angry, for the lineaments of his face, had now no other motion, than such as were able to stirre pitty in the most obdurate minds. The Roses onely hid themselves under the Lillies, which a tender modesty, upon the least occasion was wont to cover with the Roses: and his golden Tresses, thick, and naturally curled, had so faire a lustre, that they seemed even to dispute with the Sunne it selfe, insomuch that it might have bin said, that Death de­layed, and made scruple to seize on him, be­cause so much beauty and cleare lustre could not agree with the horrours of her obscurity. At length he began by little and little to come to himselfe, and open his faire eyes, where­at all the Company, and even those whom I had worst treated, were no lesse rejoyced, than if he had healed them of their wounds and hurts.

Their next care was to informe themselves of me, and of mine offence, and to bring me backe to the place where they found me, where indeed I could not see the branch I had out, but the place of it was all covered with blood, which issued from the Myrtle in great abundance. Then they cryed out to me, O thou sacrilegious wretch, who brought thee [Page 84] into this Countrie? or what hast thou to doe amongst us, thus to draw hither the wrath and vengeance of the gods, and specially that of the Goddesse, our Protectresse? what Euphrates or Thetis will ever suffice to wash away thy crime? Presently upon this we per­ceived the boughs begin to tremble, and from the curled top we heard a dolefull voice mixed with such sighs and sobs, as moved us to compassion and sorrow, which in a con­fused and ill-pronounced tone, pronounced this lamentation under the Barke: O wret­ched man! thou that disturbest the repose of the soules, whose new being should free them for ever from humane passions, or the injuries of Fortune; was there any suffering behind, which I endured not in my life, but was reserved for me to receive at thy hands? Know therefore, that both thy paines and thine errours are vaine, and thou doest here­in onely abuse hope, and resist the decrees of Heaven. Whosoever hath at any time ob­served a poore Prisoner, pale and confoun­ded with the apprehensions of the fatall Sen­tence of his Death, may ghesse the estate whereinto this prodigious Spectacle had re­duced me: as well, in regard these words de­prived me of all hope, of the contentment I [Page 85] so long, and with so much paine and suffering had sought, as for that I was in the hands and mercy of these Barbarians.

This puts me in minde of the Dodonean Forrest, sayes Pyzander, the so famous resi­dence of the Oracle of Jupiter Chaonian, where the Trees give answer: Indeed, an­swers Endymion, it was also in my thought, and I seemed amongst the South-saying Oakes, esteeming my Disaster no lesse assu­red than if the Doves of Chaonia had utte­red it. But this is not all Pyzander; for as they were doubtfully muttering amongst themselves, sometimes saying it was the voice and ghost of the last deceased Priest, a­nother while, that it was one of Diana's Nymphs; Heaven permitted them, for clea­ring their doubts, and putting them out of trouble, to heare these words: What gods and men have thus wronged Diophania, who under this tough Barke, and the protection of so great a Goddesse, is yet thus exposed to their violence and out-rage. This was all we could comprehend of her Lamentati­on, for here voice failing by degrees turned it selfe into an uncouth mourning, and at length insensibly vanished.

At the name of Diophania they were all a­stonished, [Page 86] and looking long one upon ano­ther, they at length began to say, Alas! should this be the Diophania whom we have lately lost, and whom her Father seekes throughout all the world. Whereat one yong man testifyed himselfe more moved at this Name than all the others, and casting him­selfe at the foote of the Tree, embraced it, and thus powred forth his griefe and heavi­nesse in these words: It is I Diophania, it is I who have really lost thee, and to whom no earthly thing can administer comfort: it is I that have sought thee in all places, till di­spairing of finding thee, I have onely hoped for death, to put an end to my dispaire and misery: And thou without pitty either of my errours or travailes, hidest thy selfe in this new shape under this Barke, leaving me to the mercy of horrours and affrights, which for thy sake have continually dwelt in my dreames and thoughts. One while I have i­magined that thine unaparalell'd beauty had incited either some god or man to ravish thee, and carrie thee hence, and sometimes that some Monster had devoured thee, there is no danger that can bee incurred by Sea or Land, but I feared had seized thee. O Dio­phania, to what hath my love, and thy Fa­thers [Page]

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[Page 88] rigour reduced thee? and what can I ex­pect of this adventure, since in the state I find thee at present, thou art much more lost to me, than if death it selfe had deprived me of thee: for then I, who now onely expect the houre wherein dispaire and my sorrows will ease mee of my wearisome life, should have had some hope to have found thee a­mongst the ghosts: but now such is my mise­ry, that neither the dead nor living can ever be able to comfort me. He would eternally have continued his lamentation, if the ex­cessive surcharge of his sorrow had not ren­dred him awhile speechlesse. The Myrtle, or rather Diophania, was moved with it, and her trembling branches gave tokens of her compassion: But when the others endeavou­red to get him thence, and remove him from the foot of the Tree, which he grasped and embraced so fervently, that it made me expect another Metamorphosis: Give me leave sayes hee, to end my sorrows with my dayes, and goe tell Myrtavia that her daugh­ter is found; but so found, as to her she is no lesse lost than formerly. Hereupon they in­stantly besought him to tell them what cause he had above others, thus particularly to be­waile Diophania: You have there with you, [Page 89] saies he, one of her fathers principall slaves, who knowes the whole story, which I could not conceale from him, after she had first ac­quainted him with it: Lentreat, saies the slave, that I may be dispenced withall, & not here in her presence relate the story, the remem­brance whereof would no lesse annoy her soule, than this strangers Sword lately hath injured her body; if the trunke of a tree may be this day tearmed Diophania's body, whose beauty equally ravished both gods and men: come along with us, sayes one of the chiefe, and let us returne to the City, for wee have this day hunted enough, having taken this Stranger, and found Diophania. Thus per­ceiving the Mirtle stirre no more, nor utter a­ny other voice, and having used new perswa­sions and attempts to draw this young man from the Tree, who to satisfie them, promised to follow them. One of them taking me up behind him, carried me towards the City, and the slave began thus to recite the discourse of this adventure.

There is not any one of you but knowes what was the beauty of Diophania, the onely jealousie of Stenobia the Priests Neece, or what was her birth, her fortune, the cruelty, and brutishnesse of her Father, or the con­stant and violent suit of Amphidamas, but [Page 90] for ought I see you knew not of the love of Hermodan; it was the name Pyzander of this poore lover, who, as I have beene in­formed was borne of an Amazone, having beene in his infancy adopted by a certaine man of inferiour quality, whose house was neare unto that of Lycaspis, father of Diopha­nia: Al these things have produced the strange effects, whereof I am now going to give you account.

You cannot but know, saies he, that Dio­phania from her tender youth frequented usually the fields, amongst her Fathers flocks, and that by a certaine priviledge of Neigh­bour-hood, Hermodan conducted his to the same Pastures, and so passing their yonger yeares in pastimes and exercises, sutable to that their age of Child-hood, they were so accustomed to be together, that the one could not live without the other. But at length they began to grow, and Diophania's beauty tooke an equall encrease with her age and growth: and howbeit it became of force to captivate the rudest courage, and tame the most rebellious opposition, yet she no whit perceived its force, or the pow­er of the Charmes of it; and which Her­modan beheld on the other side with so much [Page 91] innocence, that neither, the gods, nor men, no nor his owne Conscience, was able to ac­cuse any one of his thoughts of the least crime: And whether the continuall seeing her, made her seeme to him lesse rare and wonderfull, or whether innocency it selfe car­ry with it some kinde of insensiblenesse, hee had not so soone knowne she was beautifull, if he had not so often heard it divulged by a generall consent and report. But love, without whose aide our sences would re­maine in a manner uselesse, and indeed voyde of sence, layes before him so many al­lurements, that howbeit hee be blinde, he quickly made the other understand what use he was to make of his eyes, but yet not so perfectly as that he knew yet what was the force or manner of a looke that pierces the breast, or was skilfull enough wittingly to inflict on Diophania the least part of the great torment, he innocently made her suf­fer: He contents himselfe with the con­templation of her, and by his eyes, from her lookes to receive the flame which se­cretly and unknowne to him, slidingly creepes into his heart: he is so farre from labouring to oppose the violence of an enemy he knowes not, or from going about [Page 92] to master that, which perchance in the begin­ning was not untameable, that hee not onely not resists it, but on the contrary seemes to do every thing that conduces to strength­en it: for he immediately suffers himselfe to be lead captive as a triumph to this se­cret Conqueror, and as if hee tooke de­light in betraying himselfe; he aspires not so much as to the glory of having made the least defence: In the meane time he takes pleasure in nothing but in his torment, and what before was wont to divert and ease him, becomes now too importune and af­flict him. By night he longs for the day, whose light neverthelesse affords him no more contentment than darknesse, except it by chance shew him his beloved, whom when he sees, he is no lesse distempered than before. He knowes not what to resolve on, and becomes so much changed from what he was, that Diophania at length perceiving it, thinkes her selfe engaged by her friend­ship to demand the cause of this so suddaine alteration; which she once tryed, but got no satisfaction therein, in regard Hermodan, who felt more than hee was able to expresse, and who besides, was no lesse troubled to dissemble and maske his griefe, than to utter [Page 93] it, would have wisht she could have under­stood it by his eyes, or at least would have contented her selfe, with the best language her mouth was able to produce on this subject, which were his fighes: At last, she still more and more urging him, the necessi­ty of answering, made him trample both up­on feare and shame, which endeavoured to impose everlasting silence upon him: Since, saies he, Diophania, it is thy absolute decree, that I declare my griefe unto thee; if thou chancest to be troubled with the knowledge of it, remember to lay the blame thereof to the charge of thy curiosity, and not of mine obedience. It is thy beauty, Diophania, which wounds all men, and which assuredly will kill me, since the remembrance and consideration of thy quality and time, so farre different, causes on my side a continuall dispaire to ac­company my love.

At the uttering of these words, it would have seemed that Hermodan had cashierd his shamefastnesse, onely thereby to encrease that of Diophania, who so blushed, that he would have beene very fortunate, if he had thereby kindled as great a heat in her heart as her countenance, she too late repented her curio­sity, and not knowing what to doe, became [Page 94] so out of order, that she had beene lost in this confusion of thoughts and actions, had she not embraced some pretext and light occa­sion of turning from him: O Love! thy power produces daily strange wonders, and in a moment, at thy pleasure changeth the face of all things. But how dost thou beare the name of Love, since thou executest the of­fice of discord? Thou puttest division be­twixt two, whose friendship and lives ought to have equall bounds, since their affections, which began in their infancy hath increased with their persons. Thou interruptest the freest actions of the World, by exposing an innocent Shepheard to so many thousand ri­gorous constraints and tortures: She, who formerly with freedome of heart commu­nicated with him her most secret thoughts, and received his with the same generall li­berty, hath now much a doe to looke up­on him: shee suspects all her actions, and her selfe too, and (so odious is the name of love) the most indifferent dis­courses of her owne mouth seemed suspect to her: O yee gods! in these, rigour, dissi­mulation and slight are naturall to women; Diophania is already become acquainted with the things she never learned, and with­out [Page]

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[Page 96] consulting any other Oracle than her selfe, she hath learnt Artifice enough to in­flict a thousand torments upon him, from whom she hath never received any thing but good offices. For one sole fault, which no­thing but the excesse of affection could make him commit, she on a suddaine com­mits to oblivion all the services that ever he hath rendred her, and the just acknow­ledgements which she owes to his former affection: she begins so to know her selfe, that the more esteeme men make of her, the more she contemnes them; and howsoever the dissemble it, she becomes no lesse proud of her beauty, than of her condition and birth: and as often as she thinkes on Hermo­dans fortune, comparatively with hers, she laughes at his rashnesse, and wonders at his attempt; whilst he daily adoring her foote­steps▪ laments and sighes for her, and the more he implores her grace and favour, the more he seemes to provoke her disdaine and choller, and what petition or entreaty soever he makes to her, se either answers him no­thing at all, or if by chance she vouchsafe to speake, the words she utters are as so many sentences of death pronounced against him: He knowes not by what meanes to render [Page 97] himselfe acceptable, nor what counsell to aske of his perturbed reason; he consults one­ly his passion, which formes a thousand cour­ses unto him, whereof he is againe afterwards ashamed; his projects drive out one another, and depend more on hazard than providence. Sometimes he appeares before her, and is content to try her by his silence; and some­times feigning an acknowledgment, hee craves pardon of her for the fault which he is resolved hourely to commit, and promises her that which he never intends to performe: Under this dissembled pretext he resolves to try whether he can draw any words of more comfort from her. How now Diophania sayes he! since I labou [...]d to give the call, or indeed rather to acquire all, it seemes thou art determined to make me lose all, as if thou hadst no remainder left of thy former good will. O no, sayes she, but the wrongs and mistakes, which it hath drawne thee to commit, makes me withdraw the outward expression and shew of it; and if thou trouble me any further therein, thou wilt make me recall and withdraw also the substantiall and reall part. It was so long since Hermodan had received from Diophania any word accom­panied with favour, or any kind of free­dome, [Page 98] that to him, the hope, as well as the custome seemed for ever lost; insomuch that herein striving to give some moment of ease to his passion, he layes hold on the tast and relish of that little sweet that was contained in so much gall. But it is so difficult a thing to a minde, to whom Love propounds so many felicities and honours, whereunto it hourely aspires, to finde any great content­ment in the ordinary pleasures of an indiffe­rent affection, that in a short time hee was forced to give himselfe the lye, and to sigh more than formerly for her sake.

It is a poore enterprize of his, to think to be able to resist so many attracts and charmes; in what estate soever he sayes her, or beholds her, he is not able to be Master of himselfe, or subsist; and what action soever shee im­ployes her selfe in, seemes to him a conti­nuall killing of him. So that one day, being surcharged with his sorrow, he determined to implore her pitty, without which hee could no longer live; or at least beg leave of her to bewaile his condition: but she, not onely, not contented her selfe, to interrupt and refuse audience to his lamentation, but under pretext of sending him to seeke in ab­sence the cure of a Disease, which tooke [Page 99] hourely increase in presence, shee absolutely forbad him to come any more neare her, which sentence shee could not pronounce without some passion, and a kind of chole­rick motion, which rendred her eyes more fervently darting than usuall, and made her thereby seeme the more beautifull. At this instant Love seeming not content to use his ordinary shafts, armed himselfe with a Thunder-bolt, not onely to threaten Her­modan, but to overturne him, and in one moment reduce him to ashes. Ah woe is me! Diophania, sayes he, that such an expresse command requires so prompt an obedience: lest therefore my life may hereafter be offen­sive to thee, accept not onely the farewell of separation thou hast ordained me, but also that of Death, which I am going to suffer. This being uttered, his mouth was not able in a long time to utter any one word, nor his eyes to shed any teares; and yet Diophania had the heart to breake company first, and leave him to the mercy of dispaire and fren­zy which seized him. He calls upon Death without intermission, and finding himselfe deprived of his beloved, grows weary of the company of his life: But his Fate was not conformable to his will, nor any way ply­able [Page 100] to his intreaties, to whom then shall he have recourse? It is to no end to sigh a­mongst the Woods and Wildernesses; for in respect of a Lovers lamentation, the De­sarts, the Rocks, and Diophania are all one, and have one and the same eares.

This poore Shepheard, who thought continually on his Birth and extraction, and in whom the gods had with noblenesse and generous courage, supplyed the defects of his Fortune, was never negligent in the service of their Altars, as knowing well that upon their conduct and providence depends the good or ill Fortune of men. But as on Earth hee bore an extreame love to Diophania, so in Heaven he per­formed a particular Devotion to the Sun; to him he addresses his vowes and suppli­cations, and thus falling cut of one ex­treamity into another, hee, who whilome invoked the most dreadfull of the Goddes­ses, now againe implores and calleth up­on the fairest of the gods. O great Apol­lo, sayes he, thou Fountaine of life and light, which givest being and increase to all things, if ever the Oblations, which I with an innocent minde and undefiled hand have offered thee, have beene acceptable, [Page 101] give eare to my present request; and if there be any errour in my thoughts or wayes, let the voluntary confession I make thereof, expiate the offence. But first looke whe­ther the stroke that wounds me be inevi­table, and whether I have not had cause enough to doubt thy sole and absolute authority. O thou great Author of Ages, grant me the grace of being loved, where I love and adore, to wit, of the Sunne and Diophania. These prayers sent from a heart surcharged with passion, touched the Sunne, but the beauty of Diophania had struck him before; and he, who sees every thing, saw nothing more worthy to bee looked upon than shee; as indeed there was nothing more like unto him, or more worthy of his love. I have sundry times heard, that which I never yet could beleeve; that is, that love hath of­tentimes moved the gods, yea, Jupiter him­selfe to forsake Heaven, and come downe on Earth; the verity whereof is so confirmed by this History, that it must for ever remaine in­dubitable; for though I cannot say, that the Magitians charmes are able to draw the Moone from Heaven, yet well I know that those of Diophania have prevailed so farre up­on the Sun, whose beauty may be truely said [Page 102] to appeare as a Sun in the Sunne it selfe. On a certaine day, as this faire, but over-cruell Shepheardesse, avoiding perchance the love and presence of her Shepheard, had driven her Flock into a place more solitary and qui­et than ordinary, not farre from that part of this sacred Forrest, which is nearest to the City, where she thought she might bee most exempt from the encounter of any thing that might disturbe or molest her: This god, whose eye pierces the most secret corners, and whose darting beames Hell it selfe can­not easily shun, presents himselfe before her with his beauty, which gives him the ad­vantage above all the rest of the gods, and with a good part of that great lustre, which renders him generally knowne; where-with she was so surprized, that her feare making her betake her selfe to flight, she would have bin so glad that any one would have lent her wings to increase her speed, that if Love himselfe had offered her his, she would not have refused them. She runnes a great way into the Wood, where albeit she was safe e­nough at the first entry, yet shee forbeares not to runne continually; every shade to her seemes to shine, and on which, side soever she sees any day, she thinks she is pursued.

[Page 103] At length feare having as it were embol­dened her, she thinks there is no safety for her, but in that most horrid darknesse and obscurity, which at other times was wont to affright her. Take courage Hermodan, and draw a good Augury from this accident; she thinkes if thou hadst not bin separated from her, this affright had not surprised her; she repents her over-sight, and begins to wish for thee. And thou Diophania, goe boldly out of these shady places, for thy feare is the vainest in the World: Of all the gods, this whom thou last sawest, is least terrible; and I wonder by what chance it happens, that he, who chases away all af­frights, hath so distempered thee.

In the meane time the Sunne, howsoever so very swift of foote, that hee could easily have stayed her, seeing her flye in such man­ner, would not follow her: The example of Daphne having tempered him so farre, that he then tooke an Oath, never any more to make any violent pursuit in the like case, and therefore chuseth rather to worke by perswasions than constraint: But hee fin­ding that his many faire qualities rendred him more dreadfull, and lesse acceptable, and that the meane to obtaine favour at [Page 104] her hands, was to abate of his extraordi­nary great merit, and that his Deity did prejudise him, he resolves to assume the forme of a man. Now although the gods doe all things divinely, yet their wills go­verne not so all the authorities of Fates, but that they have some secret reservations, which they know not of. He perceiving Diophania's rigour to be no lesse than her beauty, and that she either could not be perswaded, or perswaded onely to a vertu­ous end, he so governes his undertakings, that hee intends with one and the same acti­on, either to satisfie himselfe, or at least grant the request of him, who incessantly implores his assistance. Hee therefore puts on the shape of Hermodan, presuming that his absence had by this time wrought some compunction in her breast, imagining that she might dislike his so prompt obedience, or have conceived an opinion, that if hee had really loved her, he could never have beene so easily commanded to a separation: shee beholds him curiously as hee ap­proaches her, and is so farre from star­ting aside, or withdrawing her selfe from him, that, besides her feare, which be­fore m [...]de her desire his presence, shee [Page 105] discernes something in him which renders him more gracefull than formerly: O Dio­phania! how wilt thou be able to oppose the violence that this day thou art assaulted withall, both by the gods and men? all the powers and vertues of the world are assembled in one body to attempt thine all alone, and are so much the more fearefull, because in acknowledging thee Conquerour, they will render thee vanquished: They are the same eyes thou wert wont to be­hold, and yet they have certaine beames and sparklings, which render them more cleare and penetrating than ordinary. The coun­tenance hath the same lineaments, but some attracts and graces withall, which it had not formerly. It is indeed the same voyce and speech, but what doth it not utte? and what Charmes doth it forbeare to inchant thine eares withall? In a word, it is the same stature, the same body, but inspired with a Deity, of whom (to avoyd being perswaded) thou must shunne the conference. She should have fled him, as formerly, but poore Diophania knowes not that there are two Hermodans at once in the world; and that the counterfeit is farre more po­tent than the reall one; whilst she at [Page 106] once receives such powerfull and pleasing impressions of him, as cannot be afterwards defaced, and his image equally assisted with Love, and the god he personated, enters so firmly into her breast, that she will for e­ver remaine possessed therewith: howsoe­ver she give no other exteriour signe or testi­mony of it, than her patient and attentive eare to his words; wherein also she used so much discretion and reservednesse, that a Mortall could not perceive it, but that it was requisite to have a Divinity to discerne it. But Apollo, who read her thoughts, finding, that what arguments so­ever he alleadged, she could not be induced to entertaine any undue affection, and that all his attempts unprofitable to his owne suit, had no other effect, but to render more acceptable the person, of whom he bore the shape, contented himselfe with the admiration of Diophanias vertue, and to grant to Hermodan the aide he required so humble at his hands. It now onely remaines to make him know, that he is no lesse for­tunate, than he thinkes himselfe miserable: which he presently performes before hee would quit the shape he had assumed, the more pregnantly to prove to him, that [Page 107] notwithstanding his separation had pro­hibited him to see Diophania, yet, that he had beene both seene and heard of her▪ Hermodan, tyred with sighing and lamenta­tion, was by chance risen from the foot of a Tree, and sitting himselfe to retire, stood a while beholding his flocke, which seemed sensible of his anguish and affliction; when as from farre he perceived the Sunne, like his second selfe approaching him, which so per­fectly resembled him, that he could not mis­take him, without mis-knowing himselfe; which so much disturbed his thoughts, that to get out of the confusion wherein he was, he determined to goe and behold himselfe in some Fountaine, to see whether he were not by some miracle changed into another, as he really beheld another transformed into his likenesse: he could not understand any possibility of being in two places at once, to walke and stand still all at once, or how he could be intire, and yet divided. And al­though in this object, he saw no other thing than what he had beheld every day of his life; yet if any man should have asked him the name of it, he would have beene much troubled to have told it: when he heard [Page 108] these words: Hermodan, I am the god whom thou implorest, and who have assumed thy shape for no other end, but to render thee more powerfull and acceptable to her who gloried in disdaining thee: An af­fright she lately had, made her wish for thy presence, which I have this day granted her in thine absence, to the end, by this meanes, and by the strongest perswasions, and most powerfull charmes, which un­der a humane shew could proceed from a Divinity to make her sensible. Having spoken these words, the Sunne retires, and night arrives, so that Hermodan had not time, either to adore him, or give him thankes: And in that intention he scarce knew how to resolve to demeane himselfe, so much he feared to offend the gods, in Honouring his owne Image. He ne­ver had thought himselfe so faire or per­fect, that he could easily be induced to take his owne resemblance for the Sunne. Here upon a thousand doubts assaulted his imagination, especially when he called to minde what had some few dayes before been told him by an old Shepheard, who had the name and repute of a Magician or [Page 109] Sooth-Sayer; to wit, that to purchase the love of the Beauty he affected, were required the qualities of a god, under the appearance of a man: Which he formerly had taken for a testimony of Diophania's Pride and Scorne, and the small hope hee was to expect of her. But now comparing these sayings with the words he had last heard, that which before made him dispaire, gives him now more assurance: yet as the gods, when they are disposed to appeare to us, doe accommodate themselves to the weaknesse of our sences, and assume such shapes as are most familiar, and supportable by us, lest by presenting themselves in their owne reall Formes, the onely glance of their presence should destroy and con­sume us: so also by too much dispo­sing themselves in so gentle a way, they often leave scruples and doubts in us of their reality, and whether they be them­selves or no; suggesting by this meanes to our blindnesse a thousand Subjects and causes of incredulity. So this poore shep­heard, not knowing what he should be­leeve, vexes himselfe, and findes his Spi­rits [Page 110] overwhelmed in the confusion of his thoughts, and passing the night with a thousand Disquiets, could not sleepe, had he not beene forced to it by the ne­cessity of his former watching.

The end of the Third Booke.

ENDYMION.
The Fourth Booke.

ON the other side Diophania findes not her sleepe so sweete or plea­sing as she was wont, and her ill rest beginnes already to make her awake before Aurora: she never ceases to delight her spirit with the pleasures which love usually at first represents to those whom he intends to ingage in his service, and as yet perceived not the secret thornes and prickles, covered with the sweete plea­sing Flowers and Roses: she admires the [Page 112] constancy and loyalty of her shepheards, and incessantly revolves in her thoughts his dis­courses and his actions, which rendered him perfectly amiable. But as her beauty ac­quired her no fewer servants than all young men that durst looke upon her; so a­mongst others, Amphidamas had already but too much beheld her, for he thence found such inward assaults▪ as deprived him of his patience, and induced him, with the day, to goe interrupt the quiet of Hermodan with this language. Now is the time and op­portunity Hermodan saies he, that together with the glorious title of the firmest friend in the world, thou maist in one instant gaine Amphidamas his fortune; and whatsoever is his, if thou but accord him one good of­fice, which, also, no respect can permit thee to refuse him in.

Thou knowest that the extreame beauty of Diophania, accompanied with as great an au­sterity, renders her inaccessable to all men, except onely to thee, whom a long habit of acquaintance hath rendred familiar with her: In which respect I [...]ntreat thee to intimate unto her my desire and suite to serve her, and to adde in my behalfe whatsoever thy good will or friendship shall suggest unto [Page 113] thee, to obliege me: I cannot thinke this message propounded by Hermodan, in the behalfe of Amphidamas, can displease her, except it be so that none but a Deity onely, can be able to deserve or obtaine the grace and permission I sue for. Hermodan, whose misfortune continually assaults and traverses his merit, and so violently oppo­ses his felicity, that even the gods them­selves have much travile and difficulty to witnesse by effects the good will they beare him, would faine have excused himselfe of this so fatall Commission: But when we have to doe with men, whose condition so farre exceeds ours, excuses must bee well grounded, and supported with many firme reasons, otherwise they are taken as refu­sals, and injurious discourtesies. But hee with this beginnes to conceive, that this imployment will give him a good pretext to frequent and accost Diophania with the more confidence and be a meanes for him to draw from her some proofe of her late favourable change: whereupon (through his excessive desire thereof) he could not yet fixe his hope, and so resolves to gratifie this his irksome Rivall with this smooth answer: That he would most cheerefully and willingly de­liver [Page 114] to Diophania the message he had char­ged him withall, and would with no lesse fidelity and promptitude, render him the an­swer which he should receive from her; that he so perfectly Honourd them both, that he desired to render them equally satisfied of his obedience: and that he would rather expose himselfe to the hazard of incurring Diophanias displeasure, than to omit any oc­casion of serving him. So Amphidamas stai­ed him no longer, for indeed they were both travailed with one and the same longing: Hermodan to see Diophania, and Amphidamas to see him set for­ward.

Behold now at length the happy day where­in Hermodan beginnes to reassume the path he had so long lost: But although hee was bound to trust more to the gods than to himselfe, yet his incredulity hourely sug­gested new feares, and kept him in a conti­nuall irresolution, untill he came even into Diophanias presence, whom he at first per­ceived nothing moved, or surprized at his sight, as at some new thing, which some­what fortified his resolution, yet he endea­voured by these words to gather more full assurance. There is, Diophania, saies he, a [Page 115] new occasion which engages me to make thee a discourse, which perchance will be lesse unpleasing than that whereby I purchased thy displeasure, and procured banishment from thy presence: Thou now hast no fur­ther need to consult thy rigour for mine answer, or employ it to make me suffer death, since the designe of Amphidamas is more than enough to ruine and destroy me; he is wholly resolved to serve thee, and hath made me promise him to give thee notice of it. Whereat Diophania interrupting him, sayes; Tell me no more of this, sayes shee, neither let me any more heare of thee, or Amphidamas. These first words so astoni­shed Hermodan, that he thought himselfe no lesse unfortunate than he was wont: Hee inwardly accuses both the gods and men, and imagines that his evill Genius, or some other Devill yet more fatall to him, had assumed his forme to deceive him, and mocke his hope. Then Diophania thus went forward: Had I yesterday the pati­ence to heare thee speake thy pleasure of thine owne affection, that thereby I should encourage thee to thinke that I would en­dure this day to heare thee talke so much of that of Amphidamas? hast thou had halfe [Page 116] a dayes constancy? or hast thou so little to sue for in thine owne behalfe that thou must of necessity either be silent, or speake for a­nother? Away deceiver, thou no more remembrest the words thou speakest, or the protestations thou makest, than as if some other had pronounced them for thee, or thou never hadst thought on them: With this Hermodan manifestly perceiving the verity he had beene informed, beganne too late to repent his incredulity; yet a secret joy seizing his heart, doth so transport him beyond himselfe, that he forgets all his for­mer sorrowes, and suffers now no paine, but that of excessive pleasure: He throwes himselfe at Diophanias feete, and begges of her the pardon he is sure to obtaine; for now all her rigours are growne feigned, and her moth utters not that harsh word which is not presently contradicted by her eyes. It was now that these two lovers beganne to sigh equally for one another, and entertaine themselves with so much delight and felici­ty, that there was no day so long, which in this respect seemed not short to them; yet not their pleasures onely, but even their ve­ry desires were alwayes accompanyed of in­nocence; and whatsoever violent tryalls love [Page 117] charged them, their vertue was never inju­red or impaired in the least. And as they judged of all things onely in favour, and by the rule of their affections, so they soone forgat the inequality of their fortunes; and without troubling themselves with any thing that might be able to crosse their de­signes, they promised themselves that time would accommodate all things, and from thenceforward entertained onely good hopes thereof.

In the meane time Amphidamas, whose love sensible increased by the difficulty Diophania made in receiving the advice of it, found soone after an expedient to pro­cure him audience: for by addressing him­selfe to Lycaspis her father, obtained of him all that he could request at his hands. The onely respect of his power and parentage, which ranked him as farre above Diophania, as she was above Hermodan, permits him not to consult further upon the poynt, and thinks his daughter must needes be no lesse pleased therewith than he: and so when he speakes to her of it, he imputes the change which ap­peares in her face to modesty, and the natural bashfulnesse, which in the like occasion com­monly accompanies those of her Age and [Page 118] Sexe, and takes her silence for consent; yet Amphidamas pressing more and more, Dio­phania must declare her selfe; and her father, who at first is resolved to constraine her, is desirous to heare her inclination thereunto from her selfe. But her feare of displeasing him, makes her not dare to tell him, what she hath before sufficiently declared to her mo­ther▪ and therefore Mirtamisa speaking for her, informes Lycaspis of that which he desi­red not to have heard: which was, that her Daughters disposition, would make her pre­ferre the condition of the poorest shepheard of the World, before all the wealth of him, whose person she could not affect: Which when Lycaspis heard, his Barbarous inhu­manity would not give him leave to reply any thing, but words of reproach. And as he never had the temper either to retaine his Choler, or conceale his opinion, he fai­led not to acquaint Amphidamas, with the very words, which Mirtamisa had reported of Diophania, and to advise with him what meanes were most proper to be used to gaine her. Amphidamas bearing himselfe violent­ly against whatsoever resists him, thinking all things due to him upon his first demand, is not able to support with patience, at the [Page 119] hands of whom he so much loves, words so full of disdaine and hatred: Whosoever now looks upon her, increases his jealousie, but especially Hermodan, who never forsakes her Company; insomuch that the first thing he counsells Lycaspis, is to forbid Diopha­nia any more to see him, or admit him to her presence. Then he commands her to re­solve, and joyne a voluntary and cheerefull obedience to the necessity of obeying; that he had engaged his promise therein, and besides could not thinke that she was so little carefull of her selfe, or void of Judgment, as to refuse the greatest honour and advan­tage that ever he should be able to procure her. Lycaspis being farre more indulgent to the desires of Amphidamas, than to those of his Daughter, forgot not from thence forward to repeate often to her that unplea­sing Oration, and to offer her the choise of two things, either to remaine in his perpe­tuall disgrace, or to give him satisfaction in that which he required.

Diophania finding her selfe thus urged, howbeit she could not easily perswade her selfe, that her determinations were in every thing to depend on her Fathers will, or that it was more convenient for her to enter into [Page 120] an assured misfortune for her whole life, than once to disobey him; resolves neverthelesse to tell him, that her will depends wholly up­on his, and that she will rather chuse death than disobedience: But it was farre easier for her to weepe than to answer; and from those two or three words, which shee scarce was able to utter, shee fell suddenly into an a­bundance of teares; this is now all the exer­cise she can imploy her selfe in, and by night she chiefly torments and afflicts her selfe, whilst Hermodan takes his rest, or perhaps delights his spirit with some pleasing hope, although indeed it were time for him to dispaire. He longs for nothing but the day, to render himselfe in these faire places, as the sole witnesses of his felicity and content­ment; which arrives for him too soone, be­cause with it he encounters Diophania sad and desolate, bringing him this irkesome and unpleasing message. Ah Hermodan sayes she, now is the time that my Fathers tyranny is become compleat, who not onely com­mands me to love Amphidamas, but with all forbids me to see or speake to thee: Farewel therefore Hermodan; the small power I have over mine actions and my selfe, permits me not any further conference with thee: know [Page 121] onely that my life cannot subsist without the continuance of thy love, and nothing can comfort me but thy loyalty: How should I be able to expresse the estate our poore Lo­ver was now reduced, to whom this change was so rude and sensible, that hee was not himselfe able to signifie his sorrow but by a­stonishment and silence? he knows not what way to turne him, and seeing her the whole object of his love, and onely that which made his life acceptable to him, retire from him, if he could have thought on any expe­dient to facilitate the approach of death, he would assuredly have made use of it. And Diophania from thence forward became so wholly seized with sorrow, that every houre she visibly changed, and in a very short time became wholly unlike to her selfe; yet shee continued faire, for her beauty was so per­fect, that neither her teares or her sorrows were able to deface it.

I observing all those passages, and having before perceived the affection she bare to Hermodan, although I were not resolved much to flatter her passion, as imagining it could turne to no other thing but a necessary change of the one or the other, or at least a common dispaire in both, yet her Fathers [Page 122] cruelty was to her so compleate an affliction, that she needed not the addition of any o­ther from me, who on the contrary sought all opportunities to divert and comfort her: And perceiving that the onely name of Her­modan had more power with her than any discourse I was able to present her withall, I forced my selfe, for her sake, as much as was possible, to comply with her humour, and by that meanes got knowledge of the whole Story. If at any time I laboured to reduce her memory to the consideration of what she ought to doe, as by that meanes gently to draw her back to the knowledge of her duty, I found the opposition of two such strong passions, her love to Hermodan, and her ha­tred to Amphidamas, that the onely effect of all my remonstrances was a renovation of her teares, and a drawing of this plaint from her lips.

Ah me! sayes she, either our desires and affections are blind, or the Lawes of Heaven are cruell, that we must so ardently love that which we can never possesse, or be possessed by that, which we cannot affect: What like­lyhood is there, that ever I shall be able to perswade my selfe, that Amphidamas, whom I hate above all other men, should one day [Page 123] become my better part, or indeed my second selfe? If the gods have so much exalted his fortune, it is onely to display his defects, and shew the many wants in his person. My Fa­ther is quite different from the disposition of other Fathers, whose children, how defor­med soever, seeme faire to them; for it is his opinion, I must seeme very defective and ill-shapen, since he goes about to present me my Match in the most imperfect man of all others, and as if I were bound to see one­ly with his eies, and love with his inclinati­on, he will purchase me a contentment, which I shall not onely never enjoy, but ra­ther esteeme it for a singular affliction. Wher­in have I ever so much offended him, that he inflicts a penance on me no shorter than my life? and whereas others seeke the good and contentment of their Children, he will unworthily condemne me to the sufferance of an eternall affliction. Shall I alone in all the workes of Nature be linked to my con­trary? If it be a Decree of Heaven, why is it onely particular to me? And why is not light as well annexed to darknesse, and all o­ther opposites mixed with a like confusion? It is a vaine proposition they make to me, that even those, who in the beginning are [Page 124] most odious to us, doe become, when once the Law renders them ours, amiable by cu­stome, and the necessity which is imposed upon us to affect them; Is not this a continu­all errour that reignes in us? Thus the poore Galley-slave becomes enamoured on the Chaine wherewith he hath bin accustomed to be continually fettered; thus the very poison, retaining its proper quality, is to many, food and nourishment: and thus must we doubt­lesse be growne exceeding ill, when we can finde no taste but in ill things, and that wee begin to esteeme Vice in lieu of Vertue.

I remember, that as she powred out those Lamentations, Lycaspis came and told her, that neither Amphidamas or he could attend any longer, and that therefore she should prepare her selfe for the consummation of the Marriage within two daies. But she, striving onely to gaine time, to see if there­by she might obtaine from the gods the fa­vour that was denied her of men, answers him, that therein her resolution should be alwayes conformable to her duty. But since she was now engaged to a suddaine forsaking of her present estate, to enter into that, which Fate, at her Fathers command, seemed to have appointed her, and that shee was sud­denly [Page 125] to be cured of the jealousie she former­ly had borne to the Damosells, who had for ever vowed themselves to the service of Dia­na; that at least, she desired to quit it with the approbation and favour of the Goddesse, and so desired of him some few daies respite, to render her the vowes which she could not continue in the practice of during her life. And that shee might the more easily induce him to grant her this licence, she added, she would never preferre any thing, but the will of the gods, to that of her Father; who at last unwillingly granted her the request, which he could not refuse her: So the same day she provided her selfe against the next morning a Lampe, a vessell of holy water, a Basket of Flowers, Garlands, a white Robe, and Aromatick Odours: I waited upon her to the Sacrifice the first day, which she perfor­med with a white Heyfer, which by her command I conducted thither, and immo­lated in her presence, upon the high Altar of Diana; wherein I marked one signe, which till that present I had beene utterly ignorant of, which was, that the flame from all parts drew towards the Sacrifice, just as you see the roots all joyntly contribute to forme the body of a Tree; and when it came to the [Page]

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[Page 127] place, where usually it ascends directly up­ward, it by the contrary spred it selfe into abroad toppe, curled, and wholly resembling that of the Mirtle we lately saw. The next day she resolved to be alone, so that I can­not say what she did, or with what presents her devotions were accompanyed, save onely that towards the evening I saw her re­turne so pale and dis-figured, that she seemed onely the shadow of the former Diophania, and I judged no otherwise but if that her voyages and vowes had continued, she would shortly have onely her soule to make offer of, which she was every houre ready to render: you would have said she had beene hired to deface the Fabricke of her faire Body, to prevent Amphidamas of possessing it, or at least to abolish and destroy that beau­ty which had rendred her so amiable to him, whom she could never love. Thus dai­ly persisting in this her devout and religi­ous demeanour, shee went abroad the third morning more early than she had beene ac­customed: And this is all that I can say of her; for night being come, we were all equally amazed that Diophania returned not. You know what desolation Mirtamisa fell into, and what astonishment, fury, and rage [Page 128] seized Lycaspis at this accident; and how wee were sent abroad that very night, and all these dayes past, to seeke her in all places, without having ever gotten any tidings of her: And had we not by chance lighted upon the adventure of this stranger, we might in vaine have continued our search over all the world of her who was so neare us, and whom we had before our eyes, and were yet neither able to see or know her. From the offence he hath committed, we have drawne the good of knowing what is become of her, and in what manner hee hath stopped the course of our paines and labour: with this the slave en­ded his story, just as we began to enter the City. They all brought me to their Cap­taines house, where for a while they locked me in a Chamber alone, where I employ­ed me in afflicting my selfe, expecting no lesse at my issue thence, than a straight prison, or an eternall and cruell captivity: yet I said to my selfe, I shall not be wholly Captive, if I can get leave but thus to sigh at liberty. Shall it be said that I have wholly vowed my selfe to the service of a Goddesse, and that (she not so much as regarding it) I must be compelled to suffer another bondage, and [Page 129] undergoe the torment of the injustice of men: Must I be punished for a fault which a Deity hath forced me to commit, decei­ving my eyes and judgement, to make my hands the instruments to serve her turne? But is Heaven so exact, as not to pardon an accident which no Providence could prevent? Is it your custome, oh yee gods! that you you your selves having an intention to destroy us, make us commit faults, and then interpret our mistakes for crimes? Which of you all, if I may dare to speake thus, could have refused a branch of Mirth to so many beauties, albeit they had not beene secon­ded with so many entreaties and perswasi­ons: It was perhaps some dreame or vaine apparition; yet it was of your owne forming, if it perchance were not some one of your goddesses; what glory will you ob­taine by it, that thus to beguile one poore man you have imployed such attracts, & for­cible charmes, as your selves would not have bin able to have resisted.

Whilst I entertained my selfe with those thoughts, more full of feare than hope, I heard one open the doore, where I saw en­ter a great number of the principall, and the most ancient of the City, who tooke spe­ciall [Page 130] notice of my face, my stature, and the whole proportion of my body; and then they examined me whence I was, what was the oc­casion of my Voyage, and concerning the ac­cident that was befalne me; which done, they retired apart, and talked a good while toge­ther, and by their gestures they seemed to me, all to consent to one and the same thing: In the meane time, I not knowing what to doe, could conclude no other thing in my thoughts, but that I was a lost man, and bought and sold by them, and should bee presently delivered over to the best Chap­man. I wayted with longing to see how they had disposed of me: And daring to ex­pect nothing at the hands of my misfortune, but all manner of disasters, I resolved my selfe to a constant suffering of more torment than they could inflict upon me. But in stead of this, I was on the suddaine wholly amazed to see them, whom I had newly so much incen­ced; to treat me, as if they had beene much oblieged to me: and the chiefest of those that had taken me, suddainly turning his Choler into Courtesie, and his injuries into good of­fices, was exceeding carefull that I should re­ceive all manner of contentment in his house, and be better treated than himselfe: [Page 131] this made me say with my selfe, those people are not sensible of injuries, since they thus mildly punish sacriledges, and so ill defend the cause of their gods. But little knew I that it was their custome to observe the words and gestures of their Captives, and slaves thereby to discerne, which of them was best inspired to the discourse of times, and events, and fore-tell things to come, and then to sacrifice them. And so walking one evening with some of the principall of them, and being the first that perceived the New Moone, as soone as she appeared in the Skye, I tooke occasion to discourse of her, telling them how hap­py I thought this Countrey, by being in the protection of so great a goddesse; and in pur­suit of this, I beganne to shew them her course, her motions, the causes of her seve­rall shapes, and all her alterations and effects: Thus, whilst I precipitated my selfe to my fatality, these people heard me with great attention, and admiring that which they understood not, they tooke all my words for Oracles: especially perceiving me so passionately to rehearse the praises of the goddesse, and repeat Hymnes in Honour of her, such as they had not beene wont to [Page 132] heare. Sometimes I seemed to them to be transported even to Heaven; and that the per­formance of these Discourses, required, that either I must have an extraordinary inspirati­on have beene an eye-witnesse of all her mo­tions; insomuch, that they all unanimously professed, and with one voyce said: this young man is questionlesse happened fortu­nately into our hands, and we have not any one more worthy of the sacred Chaine than he▪ for it was the custome to honour and a­dorne with this Chaine, the person desig­ned for the Sacrifice) which I then under­stood not.

The next morning, before Sunne-rising, they led me to the River, where, putting off their Cloathes, and causing mee to doe the like, the first leapt into the water, and then tooke me, according to the custome of their Purifications, and plunged me thrice o­ver head and eares deepe into the water, kee­ping my head alwayes towards the East; then perceiving me cleane, without the least spot, they clad me with new garments of blacke, and white, which they had brought along with them, and added thereunto the sacred Chaine, which was of three sorts, the first gold, the second silver, and the third Iron, [Page]

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[Page 134] wherewith they bound me after their man­ner, which was so, that mine armes were not at liberty, and yet told me that, that was rather a signe of Freedome than Captivity, to the end, that whosoever met me should ho­nour me, and seeing me a stranger should not take me for a slave; that all pastimes and re­creations were freely allowed me, and that I might goe and take them in the Forrests, and Mountaines, according to mine owne choyse; from thence they brought me back to the City, not to my accustomed lodging, but to their High-priest, or Sacrificers house, where they more and more encreased their honour, and good treatment of me: inso­much, that I knew not whether I should impute the cause of it to the proofes I had given them of my courage, or the instruction and light I had given them in other things, or to the noblenesse of my Nation, hol­ding it a very easie thing for a Grecian to passe for a demy-god amongst Barbarians.

But Endymion, saies Pyzander, pardon my just curiosity, which oblieges me to interrupt thee, by asking thee what became of Hermo­dan all this while, whom you lost at the foot of the Myrtle? Hermodan, replyed Endy­mion, staied there the whole day, beholding [Page 135] Diophania in this new condition, adoring her, and powring out his lamentations be­fore her: but it seemes she hath neither voyce nor words more, and that her Fate had already put a limit to all the Discourses she was for ever to make, with that case shee had uttered to us: neither doe I thinke that he received any other answer from her: or at least, if she spoke any more to him, it was that which onely served to increase his affliction to the height of dispaire. At length perceiving there was no more of Diophania left him, and that to see her in that estate, and to see her dead, was one and the same thing; that after having acquired the affection of the rarest beauty in the World, and beene preferred therein, not onely to the greatest of men, but even to the gods themselves, there remained no earthly thing fit for him to desire: And besides, he having beene the principall cause of whatsoever had beene tragicall, and most deploreable in this sad ad­venture [...]; it would have argued a want of sence or feeling of it, and a stupidity of courage to have desired to live longer, and purchase nothing thereby, but contempt and shame: So, finding both love and despaire, yea, and his very Conscience reproaching [Page 136] him with every moment he added to his life, he resolved to ranke himselfe into the num­ber of the dead, provided, that in Sacrificing himselfe in her presence, he might, if it were possible, procure her a place amongst the Dei­ties. And thus, having the whole day wa­tered and bedewed the foote of the Myrtle with his teares, he resolved at night to be­sprinkle it with his blood; but just as he was giving himselfe the mortall stroke, one by chance passing by saw him, and snach­ed the Dart out of his hand, which he was going to employ in this fatall execution. Afterwards he would have sought some Rocke or Precipice for the accomplishing of his purpose, if he had not esteemed it as a great crime, from thenceforward any mo­ment to leave her presence, for whose sake onely in what estate soever she were, hee was fully determined to live and dye. He therefore implores the pitty of the gods, especially of Apollo, and conjures them so unfeignedly to put some period to his sufferings, that the night following, when all creatures were dumbe and at rest, they also stopped the current of his lamentations, and by a change, not much unlike that of Dio­phania, granted him the repose he had so [Page 137] much desired at their hands. For the next morning the people who came flocking from all parts, to see this new Nymph, under the shape of a Myrtle, where wholly amazed with the sight of another spectacle before her, which was that of Hermodan, represen­ted under the figure of a wilde Olive-Tree, which Olive and Myrtle were so neare toge­ther, that their branches began to intermixe in token of sympathy and affection. And since that time, the Nymphes of these quar­ters have celebrated nothing so much as the names of Hermodan and Diophania, singing continually to their praises, as of two incom­parable examples of love and fidelity, whom they have recommended to everlasting me­mory and renowne.

There is one doubt more, saies Pyzander, to be cleared, which is, that thou hast hither­to discoursed of a City, a River, and a Coun­trey, without naming either one or other of them. Indeed saies Endymion, that que­stion is easily answered; they having all three almost one and the same name. The City is called Alba; the River, Alban; and the Countrey, Albania. And this, as I suppose, by reason of the nature of the place, which produces the people generally flaxen-haird [Page 138] in their youth: A people excelling in beauty, of faire stature; another race of Cy­clops, inhabiting the Confines of the Caspian Sea, and Mount Caucasus, for the most part shepheards; Galactophagi, simple, innocent, and just of life and manners, and in a word, really such as the Abiens, and Nomadi. Fur­thermore, it is a Countrey of pasture, the soyle is so fertile, that without any manu­ring it produces infinite quantity of good fruits, which in mine opinion is the cause that the people are more negligent, and lesse addicted to husbandry; for indeed they love no kinde of labour, except it bee imme­diatly followed with reward, or accompa­nyed with pleasure, as hunting, also they im­ploy more fervency and affection than indu­stry. But in stead of Art, Nature hath fur­nished them with the best and strongest Dogges of the World, such as both fight with, and destroy Lyons, and are not af­fraid to set upon any living creature. I can­not give thee any more particular descripti­on of it, save onely, that as the fertility of E­gypt is accompanyied with its Crocodiles, so this Countrey hath her Serpents, the teeth whereof are mortall, and their poyson of such a tickling operation, that men dye of it with continuall laughing.

[Page 139] That is the place, Pyzander, where I (not sensible of the disaster, which not only threat­ned but pressed my life) have remained ever since thou last sawest me, and where I have passed the greatest part of my time at ease, a­midst the fresh shades, on the River sides, with fragrant and odoriferous Flowers and Hearbes, amongst the Nymphes and the May-maids, in the fulnesse of thousands of delights, if my Spirit had then beene as sen­sible thereof, as I became afterwards, when I was reduced to the like degree of torment and affliction. There were the feasts, where I was treated with the most exquisite Cates, with the Musicke both of instruments and voyce, and with the Dances of young Gal­lants, and faire Ladies: in a word, there was nothing but pastimes and delights▪ If I were accompanyed, so had I also the liberty of being alone when I pleased; and so making dayly choyce of the recreations that most pleased me; I went usually up and downe the Forrest, where I often encountered Diana, whose sole presence made mee live, in the same time that her change, and the remem­brance of the time past had even killed me. Sometimes I saw her walke, attended by the sixty daughters of Oceanus, and of twenty o­ther [Page 140] Nymphes, who have charge of her Bowes, her Arrowes, her Busgins, and her Dogges. Sometimes I observed her retur­ning from her game, all haughty, and trium­phing over the Lyons, Beares, and other Monsters which she had slaine. Sometimes also I found her almost all alone, where I had opportunity of seeing, and being seene of her: But Pyzander wilt thou beleeve this? Oh doe, for it is certaine, howbeit it seeme scarce credible: Albeit, she saw me in the estate wherein I was, bearing the Chaine, which she knew well (though I knew it not) to be the marke, not onely of my Captivity, but of the end whereunto I was designed; although I say, she well knew I was to be sacrificed for her, yet had she in the meane time the heart to looke upon me without pitty, as if she had beene changed into another, or had sudainly lost all com­passion, remembrance, knowledge, or speech of me. If I had presented my selfe to the flinty Rocke, where the waves of the Sea are broken, and Marriners suffer shipwracke; I might have obtained as much comfort: And yet it is not lawfull for me to say she is a little rigorous, since that from hencefor­ward there is no other contentment left [Page 141] me, than to alleadge mine affection to her, that doth not acknowledge it: Yea, that Nymph who had promised me so much fa­vour and assistance, and to whom I had vowed so much service, had also forgotten my vowes, and her owne promises; and either vouchsafed not to looke upon me at all, or else looked on me by chāce, or as it were upon a delinquent. Must the transgression of the Lawes which Ismena had prescribed me, cost me so deare? and must I thus pay for having beene compelled to violate things esteemed sacred: O Endymion, happy hadst thou bin if thou haddest not found any Myrtle in the Forrest of Diana: I should at least from the beginning have beleeved the Oracle which sounded thence, and which at length I found too true. I should have laid aside the care of presenting my selfe before her, since her insensible carriage continually frustrated my paines and expectation. But that hope which usually entertaines men with errour and vanity, engaging them after to force their Fate, perswaded me to tempt fortune yet once more; yea, and a second time also. I went so often to the place where I first had seene her, and received more than a thousand Deaths from her hand, without dying, that [Page 142] at length it chanced me to finde her there, and participate of a spectacle farre more wor­thy of the gods than of men.

The noyse which these Nymphes made, to whom her affection and goodnesse per­mitted all manner of freedome in these soli­tary places, even to a familiar sporting with her, gave me occasion to hide my selfe in a thicket, which I had before observed, where I could see all, yet no body could see me; they stood all upon their feete before the God­desse, observing heedfully the enterprise which two or three of the chiefest of them had ingaged themselves in against her, which she resisted onely with smiling, as if she cared not much, although they should overcome her. One would have thought, seeing them so imperiously to abuse the power she had given them, that they had changed conditi­ons with her, and that she, being really sub­ject to them, had deserved to be handled as a disobedient and criminall person; for one bound her feete, another her hands, with bonds of silke and gold, which they tooke from the Dryades that stood by: O yee gods, thought I to my selfe! being amazed to see so many vertues and beauties captive toge­ther; in what estate or fashion soever Diana [Page 143] at it, and could not containe themselves. But the Nayades onely laughed at it; and I tooke that opportunity to retire me.

Thus much time stole away, and the Feast of Sacrifices approached: It was now that Diana, ceasing to be any more favourable to me, Ismene might have beene to mee in stead of a goddesse; if the knowledge she had of what was to befall me, and the remem­brance of the promises she had made me, had mooved her to have a greater care of my returne, than I had of it my selfe. But is it possible, said Pyzander, that thou wert not troubled, concerning the time and meanes she should use to free thee from thence? I was so farre from calling her to mine aide, or once naming her, that I en­deavoured to deny her admittance into my thoughts, for feare least my thoughts should come to her knowledge, and ma­king some attempt upon her vertue, should solicite her favour towards mee; as I had feared nothing more, than to be drawne out of the torment wherein I was: A blind desire made me violently to pursue that which I ought to have avoyded: for whether Diana were averse or favourable, I could not for­beare to goe daily to seeke her: More­over [Page 144] the true innocence of these people, the honour and good entertainment they gave me, the beauty of the place and the persons, and especially of the women, who almost generally had faire haire▪ and fresh com­plexions, mingled with redde and white, and the stature so gracefull and come­ly, that if they had added to their na­turall perfections the Art of setting them out, with the grace and ornaments, which the Greekish Dames use, they would have seemed goddesses. Those things which see­med in a manner to induce Diana her selfe to visite them so often, might well make me for a while forget the charmes of my native soyle.

Amongst other, the High Priest, named Timetes, had a Neece of about seventeene or eighteene yeares of age, who shared with him in the care of the sacred things, and see­med to vow her selfe wholly to the service of Diana: But her beauty extreamly resisted her vowes, being such, with the Naturall grace wherewith it was accompanied, that there are very few in the world can equall it, but none surpasse it: From the first time that I saw her; I thought I had formerly beheld and seene her else where, or at [Page 145] least some shadow, or resemblance of her beauty; for, having beene alwaies separated with so many Rivers, mountaines, and remote Countryes, there was no likely­hood that it could be the same: Moreover, I imagined she thought the same concerning me, because she continually looked upon me, as if she had knowne me; which made me suddenly beleeve we had seene each other in Heaven before we were borne into the World; and by consequence might have some sympathy of affections: In the meane time, I who was never unsensible in the encounter of such objects (save onely since the Law which I imposed on my selfe) to ob­serve constantly the vowes I had made to Di­ana, whose onely Idea purifies my thoughts, and banishes all earthly & mortall thoughts from my heart, would not engage her affecti­on by too much Discourse, nor promise her more than I had liberty to performe, having ever observed that Rule amongst all sorts of people, that my words should not in any thing differ from mine intentions. But yet from my first view of her I endeavoured to render mine actions acceptable to her, there­by to doe me good will at her hands.

It happens usually that in these accidents [Page 146] we finde something within us which doth so strongly animate us, and stirres up in us desires of on affection so naturall, that we have much adoe to overcome our selves, and conceale our passion: And although in this respect, our owne inclinations were not of themselves so prompt, yet we are oblie­ged by discretion and civility, not to seeme wholly insensible of it. Great beauties have a secret kinde of Divinity, more powerfull than Scepters and Empires: And our ex­treame disposition to love them, makes our opinions adde new force, and charmes to them. They can so naturally perswade and constraine; yea, without the assistance of Art, that their very silence is more eloquent than any Language; we cannot looke on them without amazement and disturbance; and their sole presence in one instant be­reaves us both of judgement, force, and cou­rage: for by the eyes issue such attracts, as gives us what inspiration and motion they please, and by invisible Chaines doe so sweet­ly force and draw us, that they make us fol­low them without contradiction or resi­stance. A smile, a gesture, or motion, ravishes us with admiration and sighes, and even transports us: what shall I say more? one [Page 147] onely looke charmes us, inchants us, drinks our blood, transformes and renders us in­sensible. No Pyzander, I am of opinion, that if the World were without women, we should have a familiar conversation with the gods: for indeed, what is there but they may command over our soules? and what per­swasion, compulsion, or torture, is compa­rable to the force of their attracts? O Iu­piter! wilt thou not pardon all the wrongs malice, fraudulent Discourses, artifices, false oathes, losse of time, and the impertinent paines and labours they ingaged us in? As for me, I neither ought nor could love any other earthly thing, being so farre engaged in the service of a goddesse; yet wheresoe­ver this faire one came into my sight; I was much troubled to keepe my selfe from using a secret language of mine eyes, a perswading silence, a gesture and garbe more eloquent than speech it selfe, a negligence repleni­shed with artifice, and a demeanour discreet and moderate in it selfe, although towards others full of violence: Whereof at first, by reason of the innocent freedome of her age, and her small experience she tooke little heed, but within a few dayes I could plain­ly perceive that her heart was as tender as [Page 148] others, and that her disposition was cap­able of love, how carefull soever she were to keepe it private; and that a woman more ex­pert in dissembling her thoughts, would have beene harder to be discovered. But Stenobea (so was her name) who had not yet learned that love is a fire, hard to be hidden, or kept from shining, and that the heate of it causes a thousand disquiets, which beget as many severall motions, thought her silence a sufficient Maske to cover her inward trouble, as if love had had no other Organ but the tongue to expresse it selfe by: In­deed she betraid not her thoughts with any one word, and so made it a dumbe love, though not blind: But the vaile seemed to be taken from her eyes, onely to stop her mouth. How then couldest thou perceive Pyzander, that she loved thee. The end, an­swered Endymion will give thee proofe of the truth of it: It was that, which gave me assurance of it my selfe; yet I will tell thee what it was that made me of that opinion from the beginning, where I might reckon the extraordinary care she had of me; the recommendation she gave of me to others, and the testimonies of it, which I could read in the faces of her servants; and the frequent [Page 149] messages, she sent me upon all occasions un­der the pretexts, as sometimes sending mee little Presents, or demanding where I was as soone as ever I was out of her sight: eve­ry thing smiled, and looked upon me with affectionate eyes. But thou maist imagine that all this was onely in respect of their Cu­stome of treating those well, who are desig­ned to dye for them. So I, not building much on those slighter proofes, was wholly amazed to see her in so short a time become unlike to her selfe, and change her former li­berty, and free actions, the signes of a sound mind, into a disposition pensive, solitary, and languishing: Her face was become pale, and her eyes swolne, true witnesses of her watchings and disquiet: Her lookes were sometimes wandring in the aire, and some­times fixed on the earth, like one in a deepe frenzy. Sometimes she beganne Discourses, but ended them not, as not knowing well what she said: Otherwhiles leaving her workes undone, and forgetting her most pleasing exercises, they being not powerfull enough to make her forget her torment; she inclined to all manner of change, she wan­dred impatiently, seeking that repose every where, which she could not encounter in any [Page 150] one place: Sometimes as if she had perceived that she discovered her selfe, she laboured to reprove her selfe, by employing an endea­vour to resist her malady, and putting on a more cheerefull countenance; And if the compassion she had of my disaster had not forbidden her to adde to mine affliction, shee would have made a shew of hating mee, to prevent the accusation of loving mee too much. But doe what she could, it was of small continuance, and immediately as Con­quered, she relapsed into her former passi­on: she sighed incessantly, without any appa­rent cause of vexation or sorrow, and this she could not forbeare whatsoever she attemp­ted to suppresse her sighes, and smother them in the Cradle. Besides, the heart, by a secret power, turnes the eyes alwayes towards the Object of its love: there was nothing able to possesse her so fully, but that she diverted her eyes a thousand times from it, to returne, without any occasion at all, to the continual search of the subject of her thoughts; I con­fesse freely that I often observed great alte­ration in her disposition, insomuch that sometimes she made me distrust my former opinion, or feare that she esteemed me un­worthy of her affection, because I shewed my [Page 151] selfe, so little sensible of it: whereas, if on the other side I had given her cause to per­ceive, that my breast was possessed with ano­ther more pleasing care, it would have beene as much, as if I had played to winne her ha­tred: for women are naturally inclined to fall from one externity to another; and be­twixt those two of their love and hatred, there is no medium: whatsoever they will, they will absolutely; and if happily it be not granted at the very least signe they give of their will, there is no hope to excuse it; and on the contrary, they are all ready to pro­claime to the world the small esteeme they make of it, and conserve their owne inte­rest to the very prejudice of what they most before loved. When once they have chan­ged their disposition and affection, as they give themselves what opinion they please of things past, so they endeavour in the end to perswade us that they have never beene: But when they perceive that they cannot be­guile our sences and judgement, at least, as they have lost the affection of a thing, so would they have us lose the memory of it, whereof we dare not so much as com­plaine; for discretion oblieges us to silence, because their tyranny whereunto we attri­bute [Page 152] all, hath so wonne upon us, that the very truth it selfe would be alwayes imputed to errour and vanity. But by good chance Stenobea had neither leasure nor opportuni­ty to come by the repentance of it, or make me taste her rigours; for I kept my selfe al­wayes upright in the termes of the duty and honour I was oblieged to render her, yet so, that nothing could thereby be al­leadged against me, in prejudice of my con­stancy, or the vowes I had made to bee Di­ana's servant for ever. And although Ste­nobea was such a one, as onely the affection of a goddesse was to bee esteemed above hers, and that it is hard to be loved of the most amiable creature of the world, without growing very sensible thereof; yet I had so much power of my selfe, as that I was no way touched or moved with her love; yet very much with her griefe, and the sorrow I had, for not being able to requite her with the like affection: O subject worthy of a farre better acknowledgment, and of an affection as loyall and sincere as her owne! whom, neither my Captivity, nor inevi­table Death, nor the whole multitude of just reasons which assaulted her, would ever be able to make her change conclusi­on. [Page 153] Have I not cause to curse the day wherein I found Diana so ready to give me testimony of her good will, and pro­mise me her favours; since that now, when she hath made me contemne and despise all things, she beares me to the contempt and losse of my selfe.

The end of the Fourth Booke.

ENDYMION.
The Fifth Booke.

WHilst I thus feasted my Spirit with these delights, and enter­tained my selfe chiefely with the hope of a sight of Diana, I was suddainly amazed, perceiving my selfe not knowing any thing thereof, at the even of the Feast, every one was busie in prepa­ring things necessary against the next mor­row; decking the Temple and Altars, and scouring the Vessels with salt, and sulphure: there was nothing to be seene but Baskets [Page 255] with flowers and branches of Pine-trees; most of the women and maidens were bu­sied in making of Garlands, and Posies of flowers; some prepared Incence, and all manner of sweete Odours, others the sa­cred Vestments and Ornaments: for albeit these people contenting themselves with what their fertile soyle naturally produ­ces, entertaine little or no commerce at all, contemning forraigne Riches: yet through the great number of Devotions and Oblations, which the Kings and people of the bordering Provinces doe daily bring and offer to this goddesse: they doe appeare at their Sacrifices with great lustre and mag­nificence: As for me, I rejoyced in the hope I had to see every thing in its pompe. But when I beheld the Harts and Bulls with gol­den Hornes, and an infinite number of other Sacrifices, I little thought that I my selfe was to be the principall piece: Observing that Stenobia's Chariot was preparing, and that she was to execute a part of the function: I sought all opportunityes of seeing her, and that with more greedy passion than usuall, being more moved thereunto by this new state which was providing for her; and a little inward griefe I had conceived by not [Page 156] having not seene her of late, so frequently as J was wont. But whether it were too hard a taske, and severe constraint to her to see mee ignorant of the approaching period whereunto I was designed, and not give te­stimony of the compassion she was possessed withall; or whether shee were over-busie: So it was, that I having beene deprived of her sight all the rest of the day, and having with great impatience suffered that privati­on; I cast my selfe upon the faire bed (this time as the last) which shee had provided for me from the beginning; where I could heare, specially by night, the least noise that stirred in her Chamber, which joyned to mine. I had by chance passed the better halfe of the night in a very sound and pleasing repose; and the Bird of the day had scarce once invited the approach of Aurora by his shrill-tun'd call: when as hea­ring a noyse at the doore, I started up, and drawing the Curtaine a little a side to see what the matter was; I saw a little boy en­ter my Chamber, with a Torch of Virgin-waxe in his hand, and behind him a slave, which set upon the Table a Vessell filled with the water of Purification, and a branch of Pine; for in that Countrey the slaves [Page]

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[Page 158] have the speciall charge of sacred things. Presently I perceived some more of them appeare, in the middest whereof was Timetes, who taking the branch, did therewith sprinkle a fine light dew upon me, with no lesse reverence than ordinarily it rendred to the gods and their Altars; then, drawing neere me he uttered these words.

We have hitherto observed the great ad­vantages, Endymion; which the gods have vouchsafed unto thee above other men; but there is yet something remaining which must be done, ere thy glory can bee brought to perfection, and this is the solemne day wherein we are to see the strongest proofes of thy generous courage: wherein wee have nothing to desire, but that thou appeare al­wayes like thy selfe: great mindes never yeeld to the assaults of the strongest adversi­ties, or encounter any thing greater than than themselves: and to such all humane accidents seeme so slight, that they disdaine to live for them: If then neither labour or toyle can daunt them, or sorrow wring plaints from their mouths, what is it that can terrifie them in death, whom so many vertuous men dispise, so many also even con­temne, and with all men must once suffice? [Page 159] The Oracles which have proceeded from thine owne mouth, have taught us that thou art farre more worthy of Heaven than of Earth, and that the goddesse hath made choyse of thee above all others, as the most deare and gratefull Oblation wee can present on her Altar. And this is the cause why we have alwaies so honored thee, for which we shall be amply recompensed, if thou but this day beare thy selfe constantly, and not feare, or seeme unwilling to shor­ten thy life, to give so great and large an in­crease to thy fame: Justifie then both thy selfe and us; and (if I may dare to say so) ju­stifie the goddesse her selfe in the choyse she hath made of thee, and we shall be all oblie­ged to celebrate eternally the memory of thee, as of one, whose life and behaviour hath rendred so deare to the gods, and his death so wholesome to men. This day is to thee, Endymion, the most happy of all o­ther, as that wherein thou art to have so ma­ny witnesses of thy glory; when thou shalt shew them that they doe not so much con­duct thee to death, as to immortality; make it therefore appeare, that thou art not one­ly a man, but that thou hast a great resem­blance of the gods themselves, who will [Page 160] bereave men of thy Company. At these words they all observed attentively what ge­sture I would use, and tooke speciall notice of my first Motions; which I laboured to o­vercome as much as lay in me: for what man is able (without some change) to heare the report of my extraordinary and un­thought of accident, whether it concerne him or no, and though hee neither gather thence any particular cause of joy or sor­row? Besides, Death is of it selfe alwayes hideous and terrible, in what soothing forme soever it be represented: yet I, pre­sently resolving, thus answered them. Is it then for Diana's sake that I must this day dye? Yes sonne, answered Timetes, it is for her, the fairest, the greatest, and the best of all the goddesses. Whosoever, replyed I, hath beene judged worthy to dye for Diana, hath lived but too happily: it is the most gratefull tydings you could have brought me: doubt not at all of mee, for my resoluti­on is already taken, whet your knives and freely drench them in my blood, powre it it out even to the last droppe for her sake, and cover her Altar with the Crimson dye thereof: for I am so farre from being troubled or amazed with the feare of it, [Page 161] that I doe with longing expect the houre. This day, sayes he, is yet wholly thine, and howbeit the Sacrifices of the Celestiall Dei­ties are usually celebrated in the presence of the Sunne, yet we are by some secret Fate appoynted to attend the night, to the end that this may be rendred more famous by the honour of the goddesses presence, of which secret Fate we cannot ghesse the cause, except it bee, that thou art the most deare and most acceptable of all the Sacrifices that ever have beene offered to her. Bee of good cheere then Sonne, sayes Timetes, kissing and embracing me; for indeede wee held it fit to give thee knowledge of it, to the end thou mightest be the better prepa­red. Goe, goe your wayes said I, and pro­vide for the rest, as for me, I will be sooner ready than you, and the delay of my death will bee more tedious to me than the death it selfe.

Thus they left me, looking one upon a­nother, letting loose some sighes and teares. Ah Stenobea! said I then to my selfe, is it for this that thou hiddest thy selfe yesterday? hast thou had the heart to refuse me thy presence onely on the last day, as if I had some suite to begge at thy favour: By this [Page 162] anticipated and untimely bereaving me of one of the sweetest contentments of my life, thou art the first that beginnes to kill me. And thou Ismena, what is become of all thy promises? is this the care thou wilt take of me: It may be that thou estee­mest not thy selfe oblieged to afford me suc­cour, since I demanded not any at thy hands: But whatsoever thou owest not to my desire herein, thou owest at least to thine owne promise; whereof, if thou labour not to render me performance, thou remainest no lesse guilty: Alas! this savage and Barbarous people have pitty on my Fate; those that are to kill me, bemoane me, and even he who is appoynted to give mee the sad stroake, kisses me, and embraces me with the same armes that are to plunge the knife deepe in my blood, and open my Bowels; and yet all these things will not procure me at the hands of Diana the least signe of Compassion: she remaines unmoved, and makes as slight account of my death as my life.

Is the Altar the place then Diana, where I must be presented to thee, to gaine thy favour, and receive the effects of thy promi­ses: must they be sought in the Stygian [Page 163] waters, and through the streames of blood and teares? Is this the way to goe take pos­session of a place amongst the starres? and can we not without forsaking the apparrell of this mortall and earthly body, arrive at the honour of Heaven, or share in the glo­ry of the gods? Oh no, I perceive the mystery of thy designe, thou hast onely given me verball promises, whereof I in vaine retaine thy memory, since thou art resolved to take away my hope and life to­gether; to the end to drowne all those par­ticulars in everlasting oblivion. Thou re­pentest thee for having favoured me with too much affection: but although thou kil­lest me, thou shalt not have power to make me repent my over-loyall adoring thee: And although thine affection to mee, bee wholly blotted out of thine heart, yet thou shalt not be able to banish it thy memory, which, against thy will, will satisfie mee, with a continuall reproaching and remon­strance of thy ficklenesse and ingratitude. Adde yet some new torture to my death, &, so it be pleasing to thee, be sure I will em­brace it as a peculiar felicity: At least, how great soever thou be amongst the goddesses, I shall have just ground to boast my selfe of [Page 164] having something more great, and divine than thou, when I shall have witnessed a greater constancy.

Whilst I uttered those words with a low voyce, and a resolved, but grieved minde, the sighes and sobs of Stenobea, piercing the walls betwixt my Chamber and hers came to mine eares; suddainly imposing silence upon me, that I might give eare to a lamen­tation, which was to prove so deare to me, and which more deplored my calamity than my selfe. How is it possible that I can this day behold with drye eyes so tragicke and lamentable a spectacle? and that I must as­sist, and as it were consent to an action so so cruell and so averse to my life and tran­quility: and that I must beare a part in the execution: O Endymion, Endymion, par­don mee I beseech thee, and know that in the designe I had of delivering thee, I have a great while forgotten my duty both to my Countrey, and my selfe, that I might render thee that which I never owed thee, for who ever saw any love so loyally as I, having utterly nothing to expect of my love, should I onely have turned mine eyes on a person pensive, solitary, and possessed with some other thoughts, which I could not [Page 165] conceive or comprehend, and who onely respected me so farre as superficiall civility, and a kind of generall custome of honouring my Sexe obliged him? But alas▪ it is now time to bewayle, rather than accuse thee: know then, that if thou this day receive the mortall stroke, I shall beare the greatest part in the suffering, thou onely wilt endure the violence for a moment, but I shall there­by feele an immortall sorrow. O Endymion! why have not the Oracles set me in thy place? why cannot I be accepted there? at least, why may not I have leave to dye with thee, since my misfortune will not permit me to live with thee? And thou ô Goddesse, so great and powerfull, what advantage wil redound to thee from a Disaster, whereun­to thou mayest with so much facility apply a remedy? Doth the glory and felicity which environs thee, stand in want of our afflicti­on, to render them more compleat? or doe they reape any advancement or perfection from our sorrows and torments? Or if our superstition offer thee more than thou requi­rest, suffer not our errour to continue lon­ger, nor force not me, by this act of inhu­manity, which hath no other object than thy service, to witnesse more resentment and [Page 166] pitty than thy selfe: Content thee with a milder sacrifice, and choose instead of En­dymion, some Hinde, or some one of those stragling Oxen, marked with the Lampe, and which are consecrated to thee in Persia, and live unprofitably on the bankes of Eu­phrates; whilst the most exquisite of men are sacrificed to thee: or if thou lovest one of these better, receive my life for his: In this case death will be exceeding welcome to me, whether thou dost appoint it me in recom­pence of the services I have done thee, or for my punishment, for having esteemed thee too cruell. Thus did poore Stenobea lament, and the excesse of her griefe not being able to be smothered, or retained within the limits of any respect, made her powre forth more teares than words. It was a great honour to me Pyzander, to be thus bewailed, and yet a greater affliction to see her thus tor­ment her selfe; and both these extreames together did so comfort me, in torturing me, that finding my selfe thus bewailed, I could have beene loth to have dyed: I had a perfect cause to esteeme Death sweet, both for that I was to be offered to Diana, and bewailed by Stenobea; but all those passages were onely as the first signes of her despaire.

[Page 167] By this time it was broad day, and the houre of arising being come, I saw enter, not the Slaves, which were wont to serve me, for they kept themselves farther from me, rendring me no other duty than that of their teares; but one of those who had the prime charge of sacred things, who brought me garments whiter than Snow, the smell whereof exceeded the sweetest perfumes of Sabea, and the delights of the Assyrians; and having presented them to me with grea­ter respect and reverence, than if it had beene to the greatest Monarch of the earth, hee presently retired; for now the time en­tered wherein Stenobea was to execute her Function: But besides that it is the usuall custome of Maidens, to bee long making them ready, chiefly on such daies as they are to put on their fairest Ornaments, there is no doubt but her sorrow rendered her yet more slow; for shee made them expect her a good while, and at length appeared in more magnificence and pompe than ever I had seene her, dressed as it seemed by the hands of the Graces, who had not forgot­ten to beautifie her Tresses with all the formes of adornment that Venus had taught them, to decke her head with the most pre­cious [Page 168] stones, or crowne it with the most beautifull Flowers: Then I perceived and knew her, whom at first I had so much a­doe to call to minde, and whom I former­ly had seene in my Vision in the sacred For­rest, and who seemed never to bee appoin­ted to appeare before me in the Equipage of her Attracts, but either to condemne me, or put me to death. I knew her by the rich dressings of her head, her Girdle of Gold and Emeralds, and her Gowne embrode­red with Flowers, the ground whereof was a kind of white stuffe, fine, and shining, which the Nymphs who inhabite the shores of Phasis doe make, of the finest wooll in the world; shee wanted nothing to render her wholly the same, that appeared to me in the Forrest, but the Knife she had in her hand, which also she had when we came before the Altar: But I could not any where about her perceive the branch of Myrtle she had made me cut, and which shee had promised to weare for my sake. What! sayes Pyzander, diddest not thou see that which was most vi­sible in her? why, this her extreame but fruitlesse, and vaine love of thee was the true Myrtle, which was to flourish long, and remaine greene in her brest, yet without [Page 169] hope of any fruit. This was not like the love of Thetis (sayes Endymion) the day shee married Peleus, nor like that of her who waites upon the Table of the Gods; the day that by Junoes owne hand she was presented to Hercules. And howbeit poore Stenobea being then more moved than ever, had no stedfast colour, but in one instant often blushed and waxed pale againe, and bore all the tokens of sorrow, vively represented in her face; yet her beauty shined in despight of her affliction, the teares upon her cheeks resembled the Morning-dew on the blush­ing Roses, whereunto her very griefe see­med to adde some new grace. She was fol­lowed of some of her most faithfull Compa­nions, all gentile and properly accoutred, and of Maids who carried the Ornaments wherewith shee was to apparrell me. The first thing shee did, she besprinkled me as Timetes had done before, with some few drops of water, which were presently fol­lowed with a whole Torrent of her teares. She no sooner began to put the Purple-vaile over mine eyes, and bind it upon mine haire with a trembling hand, but that her heart, swolne with affliction and bitternesse, over-flowes more than ever with teares and [Page 170] sighes. Shee hath neither power, or com­mandement more of her selfe, and her rea­son losing its absolute power, sorrow gives it selfe liberty. In vaine doe the poore May­dens labour to make her compose her selfe a­gaine, their owne pitty and compassion pre­vailing so farre on them, that they are like to fall into the same distemper; which re­spect obliged me to speake thus to her.

What meanes this Stenobea, art thou come here to afflict me? Hast thou more pitty, than either my selfe or Diana have of me? for, by as much as I see, if thou wert in her place, per­chance I should not die. Hitherto my reso­lution hath forbidden me to wonder, aud thou alone doest now trouble me; let me, I pray thee, die in peace, and be contented, that I tell thee, I doe more pitty thy suffe­ring, than feare mine owne, and should not be sensible of death it selfe, but that thine affliction makes me feele it; and Fate is in no respect cruell to me, but in afflicting thy beauty for my sake: If thou continue thus, thou wilt make me die more than once: O Stenobea, reserve my life and blood for the Altar, and powre them not out before hand in thy sighes and teares.

I had no sooner spoken the first word, [Page 171] but she redoubled her former lamentations, in such sort, that my desire of comforting her, seemed to give addition to her sorrow: When I had finished, she would have spo­ken, but had not the power, by reason of the excesse of griefe wherewith she was tra­vailed: At length (like as after one vio­lent undertaking we cannot enterprise ano­ther without some intervall of repose) so she, having dryed her eyes, at great leasure, began very coldly to re-imbrace her duty, and drawing nearer to me, began sometimes one thing, sometimes another, but could fi­nish nothing; for being transported, and wholly seized with the despaire which before had deprived her of her speech, she lost also at length the ease of teares and sighes, having nothing left her but silent sobs, to testifie that there remained some little life, but great griefe within her: Insomuch that she, leaning upon my bed, the others were faine to put their hands to the worke: some of which told me, Alas! shee hath done her uttermost endeavour to cause some other to be put into thy place; wherein shee hath beene so serious, that shee hath not for forborne to consult with old Women, whose Art and Experience shee [Page 172] thought might have furnished her with some invention to this effect: Besides, that her feare was somewhat diminished, by the hope was given her by a whispering report amongst the slaves, who, all with one ac­cord seemed to prophesie, that the course of the Sacrifices should be altered, and that the Goddesse, as being her selfe a Virgin, requi­red a Virgin for Sacrifice; but could not notwithstanding all this, finde any meanes for thy deliverance, she calls said I, the ex­posing me to a thousand torments, my deli­verance; No, no, said I, since the Moone is growne weary of seeing me, so I am also weary of seeing the Sunne; but they tooke no notice of my meaning herein, being three or foure houres together busie to dresse me in sundry colours, and binding my head, mine armes, and every part with a thousand different Flowers and Ribonds. After this Stenobea, being a little come to her selfe, through the multitude of impor­tunate requests, and remonstrances they made her, passed slightly with her hand and eye over all those things, and so taking a small Violl of precious Oyle, she powred it upon my head, and for conclusion crow­ned me with a Garland, which she her selfe had prepared for me.

[Page 173] The Sunne having done the moiety of his course, the multitude expected me in Jupi­ters Temple, where the people assembled, and were to goe thence unto the high places, which were a good way within the Forrest, and where the yearely Sacrifice was celebra­ted. Then came Timetes, in a more vene­rable and grave manner than usuall, with his Turbant, which sparkled with the num­ber of Jewells that were therein, and a Cloak of the Phrigian fashion, which covered him from the head to the feete: His other chiefe ministers with their Coronets of Flowers, and all their sacred Ornaments, came with him to fetch me, and brought me to the Temple, where with voices and Instru­ments they made an excellent Harmony, un­till I was consecrated before the Altars, where usually the Sacrifices were offered, in the presence of the Images of their gods, Ju­piter, the Sunne, and the Moone; where the eyes of the whole Assembly were fixed upon me: on the one side stood all the men, from the highest to the lowest, and on the other side the women, where the Mothers, the new married, and the Maidens, exposed their richest and fairest Ornaments to the publick view. From thence wee were to [Page 174] part presently, and goe towards the high Altar; whither the remainder of the day was little enough for our March: yea, but Endy­mion, sayes Pyzander, thou passest this ve­ry slightly over, doe they goe so without order, or any pompe to their Sacrifices, and is there nothing in their whole Ceremony and State worth the paines of Remem­brance? Thou mayst well thinke Pyzander sayes Endymion, that I could not be so curi­ous a Spectator, being my selfe the greatest part of the Spectacle, yet I will give thee briefly an accompt of what I was able to ob­serve.

Those who carried the Holy Water, the Banners, and the Images of their gods, mar­ched foremost, according to the Custome; next unto them were led all the Sacrifices, a­mongst which were great numbers of black and white Bulls, which amply witnessed the fertility of the Countrey by the large­nesse of their limbes; having faire Heads, strong Hornes, and unmeasurable broad and long backs: in a word, just like those which the Aegyptians worship, all wor­thy of the Rape of Europa, and to be ran­ked amongst the Celestiall Signes; yet I can­not tell thee, whether there were more or [Page 175] lesse of them than an Hecatombe: But well could I discerne about an Hundred or sixe score Maidens following them, some where­of carryed Baskets full of flowers and fruits, other Myrrhe, Incense, and other Aroma­ticke Drugs, in such abundance, that all the adjacent places were perfumed withall. It was a pleasure to see them with their baskets upon their heads, their locks spred upon their shoulders, by a gentle gale of winde that then blowed, their hands on their sides, and their tall and straight stature, with their robes and bodies of severall colours; in a word, they were such as Ceres, or Pomena, would gladly have chosen, than to have bin the bearers of some Present of their fairest fruits to the gods and goddesses. After this followed Stenobea, (the sole honour of all the Troope) borne on high above the rest, in a Chariot painted with Azure, enamelled with sundry rich colours, & drawne by two Harts, with silvered heads; round about her marched twelve Virgins, chosen out of the fairest of all the rest, & were the most gorge­ously apparrelled and decked, as was possible to be imagined, bearing Bowes and arrows like Diana's Nymphs: The players on the Flute, Bag-pipe, Harpe, & Viall, never ceased betwixt her & me, who came after, mounted [Page 176] upon the Chariot of the Moone; for so doe they tearme the Chariot, whereon, for ac­complishment of all honour and respect, they make those mount, that are to be sacri­ficed; whence they have a Proverb, which they often rehearse to such amongst them as want courage, chiefly against their Slaves; which is, Alas! thou needest not feare, thou shalt never bee set upon the Chariot of the Moone. In effect it is a Type of the god­desses owne Chariot, being one halfe of I­vory, the other of Ebony, and in like man­ner drawne by two Horses, the one white, the other blacke. Here it was that I was ex­alted above all the rest of the Troope, and seemed rather in the state of a tryumphing Conquerour, than of a Sheepe led to the slaughter, or a sacrifice to the Altar. The whole flower of the youth in their proudest and most sumptuous accoustrements, fol­lowed, marching on both sides of me, and behind me followed divers yong men bea­ring Crownes of Pine, chosen from amongst the Slaves, whereof they usually take the best inspired to serve for publick Sacrifices, and the others to take charge of the sacred things: they seemed transported with a kind of rage, for besides their continuall dancing [Page]

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[Page 178] and leaping, they murmured a certaine strange kind of Oracles, singing sometimes praises to the Goddesse, under different names, according to the places of her resi­dence, the Functions she exercises, and the Countries of their owne Birth; so that at e­very other word I heard them name Diana Ortigia, or of Delos, Diana of Caphria, Dia­na of Ephesus, Diana of Perga, Schithia, Ec­batana, Alphea, Mynthia, Ilithia, Lucina, Latonia, Cynthia, Artemis, Dictina, and by a thousand other names, wherewith she hath made her selfe famous throughout the world. Amongst the last appeared good old Timetes, riding upon a little pyed Nag, which it seemed the Moone had sent him, and that the Day and the Night had given him so equall a distribution of their severall co­lours, that to have seene him on one side onely, one would have thought him wholly black, or wholly white: After him follow­ed the State, of the principall and most ho­nourable men, followed of the multitude, and behind them againe all the women pro­miscuously.

Now, by reason of their slow March, it grew late, and the Sun was entred a good way into the Ocean, when wee first entred [Page 179] the Forrest, and before we came to the high places, the day had forsaken us: From thence wee could see the City of Alba, as from this Mount Lathmos we can that of He­raclea; and the Forrest under us, seemed like a waved valley. There, in the middest of a large Plaine, is a faire and spacious Altar, a reverend Testimony of the devotion of the Ancients, horrible and frightfull in respect of the Forrest it selfe; and is not higher rai­sed, than even with the Earth, the place it selfe being so high, that nothing can hinder it from the first and immediate beame of the Moones light. Thither doe repaire, to render their most solemne vowes to the Goddesse, not onely the Inhabitants of Al­bania, but also many of the neighbouring peoples, as those of Armenia, and Colchos, the Iberians and Nomades, even from Palus Meotis, to the Caspian Sea.

By this time the Slaves had ranged them­selves on the sides, making a Lane betwixt them for me to passe to the Altar, where round about were more than a thousand Torches burning, and the people began to place themselves in every quarter: Onely Stenobea, who was more slow and backward staid behind, by her Chariot, from which [Page 180] she was but newly alighted, I knew not what was the cause of her delay, neither could I discerne it for the Damosell that waited up­on her that day, like Nymphs upon Diana, kept themselves alwayes so close, and neare about her, that I could not so much as see her: It seemed to me, that either they were very attentive to the observation of some new adventure, or the discourse of some subject which they had not beene accusto­med to heare. In the meane time Timetes and his chiefe ministers, came and took me, and as they were leading me to the Altar, Is­mene came into my thought; insomuch that I said to my selfe, O Ismene, Ismene, thy helpe is slow, and wheresoever thou beest, thine Art must be powerfull, to deliver me from the hands of this people: What honour or advantage wilt thou acquire, by having enterprised that which thou art not able to accomplish; or to have promised that which thou hadst no intention to performe? If I accuse thee wrongfully, God knows, and thine owne conscience can witnesse. It is not that I any more desire thine aide, as not troubling me much about it; for that thou maist know it touches me lesse than thyselfe. I here declare, that I would bee sorry thou [Page 181] shouldest this day prove constant, and that my Fate is so answerable to my desires, that I am farre lesse troubled with the death I am going to, than amazed at thy dissembling: At length I was brought before the Altar, where I stood with a grave & stedfast coun­tenance, and shewing more promptitude towards death than even the most conten­ted, are wont to embrace increase of dayes withall. Sorrow presented her selfe before me in all her different formes, for which way soever I turned me, I could perceive nothing but teares, or heare any thing but sighes and sobs: Every one bemoaned me, but my selfe, and there was not one of them all more willing to live, than I was to dye. Then they all at once lifting up their voices, and sung (as it were the beginning of mine obsequies) certaine sad and mournfull Hymnes, in a pitteous and lamenting Tone, whilst I addressing all my vowes to Heaven; where I continually kept mine eyes fixed, (which had beene long accustomed to the contemplation of the Moone) who then ascended the Horizon, more beautifull and cleare, than ever I had before seene her; to whom the noise of their song gave me respit to utter these words instead of prayer: Ha­sten, [Page 182] oh inconstant Goddesse, to give thy presence to the most acceptable Sacrifice that ever I shall be able to render thee; and looke at least with a gracious eye on my death, since thou makest so small account of my life: Then my desire of giving mine eyes their last farewell of Stenobea, made me looke a little downwards, where I saw her close by me, and a little behind Timetes: Alas I saw her, but fairer, and better composed than she was wont; whether it were that in the presence of this so great an assembly shee governed her carriage, and used more power over her passion, than she had done formerly, or that misfortune which makes us distrust­full of every thing, did then beget that error and opinion in me for an increase of my af­fliction; howsoever it were, she seemed not the same person, who before had shed so many teares: But on the contrary, look­ing firmely upon me with dry and resolute eyes, shee seemed to be another Atropos, holding the Knife in her hand, (not to cut any more branches of Myrtle, but the thred of my Life) the sharpnesse where­of was so subtile, and well prepared, that it was in a manner undiscernable; shee seemed very ready, or rather [Page]

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[Page 184] hastily desirous to present it to her Uncle; I knew not who had thus counsailed her, but she was so farre from shewing any re­mainder or token of sorrow in her demea­nour, that both in her face and actions ap­peared testimonies, if not of joy, yet at least of moderation: O ye gods said I, what change is this! she, who but lately seemed inconsolable, and wholly bent upon the sa­ving of my Life, is so suddenly become so resolute, and seemes to long to see me dispatched. O fraile Sexe! thou hast spilt all thy sorrow in thy Teares, thy la­mentations were too violent to be of a­ny long continuance, and were onely of force to kill me with sorrow: but since they are so soone passed, let us now dye free of care, or the consent of Stenobea, to whom our very Destiny already seemes to be slow.

With this they made an end of their Songs, and I expecting every moment the fatall stroke, lifted up mine eyes againe to­wards the Moone: And Stenobea gave the Knife to Timetes, who had no sooner loo­ked upon it, but turning suddenly to­wards her, what doest thou meane Steno­bea, sayes he, and what dost thou here give [Page 585] me? are we wont to use such Knives in our Sacrifices? why this is so weake and so light, that me thinkes I have nothing in my hand; from whence proceeds this Novelty? Aske this Woman, answered Stenobea, that stands heere, who will tell thee strange things thereof: Hereupon I turning my selfe to see who this might be, to my great amazement and wonder saw it was Ismene, who thus began to speake.

You shall know Oh Priest, and people of Albania, that the Goddesse being the other day on Hunting in the Countrey of the Cimmerians, tooke occasion to goe and re­pose her selfe with one of the gods of that Countrey, who in a Banquet gave her a taste of those rare and delightfull Cates where with hee is wont to charme the cares both of the gods an men. Afterwards having shewed her in his Dens and Caves, as in another World, the Magazin of all manner of Rarities, he presented her with one of the Knives wherewith hee takes his Recreation, and cuts what hee plea­ses in his Nocturnall Exercises; saying, what more proper or fitter Present can I bee able to make to thee Oh Goddesse, who art so great a Lover of [Page 186] Hunting, then the best Knife that ever our Vulcan made with his owne hand, where with thou maist cut downe all things that hinders thee, and make thine owne way through the thickest for­rests. This gift was infinitely gratefull to the Goddesse, the more, because it was neat­ly made, light, and fit for her hand: but through a mischance, she had no sooner ta­ken it, but going to feele the edge of it with the thumbe of her left hand, she could not so gently touch it, by reason of the sharpe and subtile edge of it, but that she cut her finger that some drops of blood fol­lowed; which he perceiving said, Alas, God­desse, I gave it thee not for that use: I be­leeve it well, said shee, but since it is so gree­dy of blood, I will for thy sake have it em­ployed in the most pleasing and acceptable Sacrifice that ever was made to me: here­with said Ismene, she gave it me, with com­mand to bring it hither, and present it, as I have done, to the mayden that serves at the Altar: Doubt not then to obey the message of the Goddesse, and then you shall perceive, that obedience joyned with sacri­fice is of force even to draw the Gods from Heaven: for you shall presently see her [Page 187] come downe (if ye be not blinded) to gra­tifie with a gracious acceptance, the Oblati­on you offer her of this yong man.

She had no sooner said this, but there was presently heard a confused murmur of diffe­rent voyces through the whole assembly; the greater part whereof were rejoyced at this alteration, as supposed it tended to my de­livery: but seeing me appoynted for death, they re-entred into their former fashion of pitty and compassion. Now I leave thee to judge whether I were a little amazed or no, to see her, from whom onely I was to ex­pect life and delivery, carrying the Knife wherewith I was to be killed. Then said Timetes with a loud voyce: O ye people of Albania, lift up your eyes and hearts to Heaven, and give thankes to the Goddesse who this day is so carefull of you, & your Sa­crifices: And then turning towards me, said, Endymion, whether thou hast beene chosen for the offence thou hast committed, or for the generosity that is in thee, thou thy selfe plainly seest what confirmation the Goddesse gives to the election we have made of thee: It is thy part now to carry thy selfe with such resolution, as that we may have no cause to repent us of having offered [Page 288] thee, nor the Goddesse of having desired thee. I, whom the feare of death touched farre lesse than the offence, and suspition I had conceived of Stenobeas change; as in those extreames, the least signe of disloyalty we discover in those who have professed love to us, is farre more irksome to us, than whatsoever else can crosse us. I could not containe my selfe from speaking thus to him: Diddest thou not observe, said I, Ti­metes, that the Goddesse gave expresse com­mand, that the Knife should be given to the Virgin that served at the Altar? wherefore then dost thou take it out of her hand, and hinder her from killing me, who of her selfe hath more desire to doe it, than thou hast? and who appeares so resolute? She will, doubtlesse, acquit her selfe better than thee, and the Sacrifice will thereby be much bette­red. This is not carryed as thou imaginest, saies Timetes, neither is it the intention of the Goddesse, or our custome: The stroke must be given, Endimon, by that person, who of all the assembly, either doth, or should love thee best: Ah me! said I then, it must not be done by Stenobea: But she, be­holding me with the eye of innocence and amazement, was mightily surprized at my [Page 189] uttering of these words; and her receiving unjustly so great an injury from one whom she had alwayes so highly oblieged; and to receive it in such a manner, as that the op­portunity of justifying her selfe, was for ever taken away, by my going to death with this opinion, which so vively touched her heart, that I did more and more perceive in her the extreame griefe she had hereupon contracted; which also made her retire be­hind Timetes; whether it were, that she would not see me any more, or that she de­sired to cover the alteration which appea­red in her looke.

In the meane time Timetes perceiving that there was nothing wanting but my death, to the accomplishment of the sacrifice, lifting up his hand wherewith he held the Knife, said to me: Now is the time, Endy­mion, wherein thou must give a notable proofe of that excellent nature, which hath beene cause thou hast beene chosen by the gods. He had no sooner uttered these words, but that suddainly there arose a great murmuring amongst the people that were behind him, chiefly amongst the Damosells, who were about Stenobea, some of which hastened to receive her in their armes, seeing [Page 190] her falling downe, either dead, or in a swone, griefe, despight, and choler all at once seized her, and in such a furious and violent man­ner suffocated her spirits, that she became suddainly unable either to speake or breath. What sacrifice have we here? saies poore Timetes, who was utterly lost and desperate; Doe the Gods on a suddaine require two in stead of one? Endymion for the Moone, and perchance Stenobea for the Sunne? Why then am not I, wretched and miserable man, as acceptable to Iupiter, to the end, that every one of our Gods may have a particular Oblation? What became of me, Pyzander, at the sight of this dying beauty, when I dis­cerned the flower and ornament of the whole assembly lying on the ground: Woe is me, Stenobea, said I, art thou then indeed so sensible of mine unjust calumnies? and am I so little touched with thy good offices? Although I have not had just cause to be­leeve thy mutability, yet I have at least had ground for my suspition of it: But in vaine doe I confesse a fault, whereof I demand no pardon; I just now desired death at thy Hands, and have since given it thee: How shall I alone be able to suffice to the expiati­on of so many crimes? Alas, I have neede [Page 191] to have two lives, the one to offer for Dia­na, the other to powre out for Stenobea: O Stenobea, thou teachest me to dye, and I long to follow thee, and my spirit in these vaine lamentations loses the opportunity of accompanying thine: Then I became incen­sed against my selfe, and mine owne Fate: and being growne wholly weary and impa­tient of life, I thrice called upon Timetes, but he heard me not, being on the other side as busie in the incessant calling upon her, as his daughter, who indeed was onely his Neece: and who, by what name soever hee called her, was not able to make him any manner of answer. At length, having by continuall pulling him by the garment, got­ten him to turne towards me: Wherefore, said I, dost thou lose any more time about her, on whom thou gainest nothing? or what can thy care adde to her life, or contentment? Dost not thou know that it is unlawfull to interrupt the sacrifices of the gods for vaine and unprofitable respects? wilt thou keepe those alive, whose death Diana requires? what knowest thou but this may be a stroke of her owne hand: seest thou not that shee requires nothing but death on every side? use then the knife shee hath sent thee, and [Page 192] keepe me no longer in languishing, who am like to dye with a desire and longing for death.

Timetes pressed with time, and mine im­portunity, making a signe with his hand to the whole assembly, to impose silence upon the murmur was risen, by reason of Steno­bea's accident, and to obliege every one to the attention and respect he owed to the Sa­crifice, tooke the Knife by the Ebon-haft, and presented it to me. Which when I beheld with amazement, not knowing what he meant, and imagining that his mind was exceedingly distempered in the occasion: How now Endymion, sayes hee, hast thou not yet learned our Lawes and Customes? knowest thou not, that our Sacrifices are most happy, chiefly when the person sa­crificed dyes cheerefully. Now wee, who by the commandement of the Oracle, are to offer men to the Goddesse, doe use no o­ther triall of their resolution and constance, to assure us of their willing acceptance of death, than in engaging them to bee them­selves the actors of it. This likes me well Timetes, said I, taking the Knife, I shall my selfe farre better know where my life lyes hidden, and shall not misse my heart at first [Page 193] stroke: And so addressing my last words to the Moone: O Goddesse, said I, I have erred I confesse; but my firme beleefe that the gods are alwaies true, and not subject to change, hath beene the cause of all mine er­rors. This heart, the most true guardian of that affection and loyalty, which hath brought me where I now am, shall presently expiate the offence I have thereby commit­ted. Content thy selfe, O Goddesse, to see, that having forgone all things for thy sake, I yet willingly lay downe my life, for testimony that I am thine even unto the Al­tar, and further, if it were possible. Having finished these discourses, I strooke the Knife profoundly into my bosome, and gave my selfe a stroke, which so suddainly cut in sunder the thred of my life, that I had onely so much sence left me, as to heare a pit­tifull lamentation of many thousand confu­sed voyces, just in the instant as I fell downe upon the Altar.

What is this thou tellest me Endymion, sayes Pyzander, taking him by the hand, if from the beginning I had not embraced thee, and did not still touch thee, I should rather thinke it were a Ghost than a man that now speakes to me. I doe not my [Page 194] selfe know, sayes Endymion, what I am, and therefore thou shalt doe me a great pleasure, if thou seest farther into my adventures than my selfe, to give me some light; there is yet something more sad and tragicall therein, there is yet another sacrifice, & another Priest; for I do beleeve that the gods, observing the smal esteem I have made of death, & of what­soever is therein most terrible, are againe re­solved to inforce me to live, intending to be more cruell to me, and keepe me in a conti­nuall torment with the sorrow and anguish, wherewith I am possessed, for having bin the cause of another more strange & lamentable sacrifice. What sacrifice can that be, saies Py­zander, or what more strange accident canst thou recount unto me? O Endymion, there are many thousand and broad waies to goe out of this life, but scarce any one for return. How then, sayes Endymion, have I found it, without seeking, and how am I returned to my selfe, that so little desired it? O sweet, but too short death? who, or what hindred me from seeing the Kingdome of the Ghosts? was it the sad and drowsie Lord, or the inex­orable Judges? and that from thence I attai­ned not the Elisian fields, which are perpetu­ally watered with the streames of milke and honey, flowing and running through the [Page 195] meadowes, wholly enameled with flowers which no winter is either able to annoy or wither. What hindred me that I could not participate in the delightfull banquets, revel­lings, and dances of the Children and favou­rites of the gods? I was at the bankes of Ache­ron, with an extreame desire to passe it, but that old, uncivil boat-man would not receive me into his Barke; whether it were that I brought not my passage mony in my mouth, like the rest, or that my body had not yet bin interred: I had the patience to see him crosse, and returne often, and as often to offer my selfe to him, out of a hope, that one time might have rendred me more acceptable than another; but all my hope was vaine, and I could never gaine any thing of him: At length, as I stood still observing the multi­tude of soules which repaired thither from al sides, in no lesse number than the leaves in Autumne use (after the first frost) to fal from the trees, the sad and unfortunate soule of poore Stenobea, presented it selfe to me, with the selfe same lineaments and feature which I had usually seene in her, save onely that she seemed farre greater, which did so surprise both mine eyes & thoughts, that I knew not what to thinke of it, untill she began to enter into this Discourse.

[Page 196] What strange adventure, Endymion, makes thee wander in these obscure and solitary places, whereunto thy Fate hath not yet cal­led thee? For (to the end thou maist not trouble thy selfe to aske me the same questi­on) I tell thee; that it is not the will of Hea­ven that thou shalt dye yet, or that I should live any longer: perchance the gods, being now at length tyred with crossing me, doe send thee hither to give me opportunity of justifying my selfe of the crime thou hast un­justly laid to the charge of mine innocence; the onely sorrow which had power to an­noy me even after death. Thou diddest me wrong in the interpreting of the resoluti­on, wherewith I beheld thee dye, and that I had so soone forgot thy losse. All the resolution I tooke, proceeded from the hope Ismene gave me, that the Knife would do thee no harme, & that thy life was in far lesse danger than mine owne. But thou estee­medst my joy for thy deliverance as a crime, and thine exclamations were so highly inju­rious to mine affection, and so sensible to me, that at length they bereaved me of sence, making me fall downe in thy presence, as the true and reall Sacrifice of Love first, and then of Diana: All the care which the [Page 197] maydens that were about me tooke to re­move me out of the throng into the grasse, produced no other effect, than a transporting me from one death to another, and under co­lour of giving me more aire and liberty of breath, and seeking a cure for my present disease, they gave me a generall cure for all my diseases at once; for Diana, who for a while before held me in a continuall pursuit, had laid a Serpent in ambush, which with his sting, and mortall venome had wholly in­fected me, before I could either come to my selfe, or give any notice of it. This was a strange kind of Sacrifice, wherein Timetes bore onely the vaine name and title of a Priest, and a Serpent performed the Office. Endymion was presented, but Stenobea was accepted. I had beene farre more happy En­dymion, if thou hadst beene lesse curious, and hadst never seene Albania; then none of the gods would have made use of my resem­blance, to make thee violate the sacred For­rest, or have kindled in my breast a fire so contrary to my vowes: for to be in love, and to be vowed to Diana are two things incom­patible in one subject: I had not then presen­ted my selfe at her Altar, with any other care or duty, than that which I owed to her ser­vice, [Page 198] nor should have bin troubled at the fall of such other sacrifices as were made unto her. Thus she finding me more guilty than thee, slew me to preserve thee; my life hath redeemed thine, and now, the same image that made thee guilty, brings thee thy abso­lution. Farewell then Endymion, but remem­ber this testimony I give thee, even beyond the grave it selfe, that I have loved thee, more than I have loved the gods themselves. Thou seest how the Ferry-man presses and calls up­on me, therefore hinder me not to goe looke for rest after death, since thou hast possessed it in life.

As she uttered these words, I thrice stretch­ed forth my hand to take hold of hers, and stay her, and as often I grasped the aire; shee fled and vanished from my sight, like a visi­on or dreame, leaving me no further possibi­lity of seeing or knowing her. I would have leaped into the Boat after her, but was more rudely repulsed than before: when I opened my mouth to call to Charon, or Stenobea, and to powre out my plaints and petitions to them, I found my selfe starke dumbe: being thus transported with griefe, I would have wept, but mine eyes had no more teares: Ah me, said my poor Ghost, wch way shal I turne [Page]

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[Page 200] since, as I now am, I can neither be received amongst the dead, nor the living? Thus was I compelled to wander here and there on the shore▪ where instead of the blessed troopes which I thoght to have visited, I encountred onely lamentations, afflictions, torments, & such like, the wretched inhabitants of those sad confines; at length I rested my selfe under the sable shadow of a large tree, whose bran­ches spred farre and wide, and whose fruit seemed to he groundlesse dreames, and the leaves vaine hopes. At length having conti­nued a while like a man that dreams, sleeps, is dead, or is not at at all, as I knew not what path I trod to conduct me into these parts; so likewise knew I not what way my spirit tooke to returne to my body, or how I came to my selfe, yet I began to recollect sence and motion, and was able to sigh, and open mine eyes: Howbeit, I stood yet in doubt, whe­ther they were those of my body or mind; for as if I had bin ravished into the heavens, me­thought I insensibly approached the Moon, but observing more nearely, I again thought that she approached me: then I perceived her descend softly under the favour of silence & darknesse, as though she would have stolne from Heaven, or had bin affraid to bring day with her unto the earth, in the midst of the [Page]

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[Page 202] Night, and had therefore covered her face with a Vaile: But whether it were too trans­parent or untied, or that her eyes were too cleare for it, it could not hinder mee both from seeing and knowing her▪ and so the ho­nour which I promised my selfe of her, made me forget my passed misfortunes, and be­thinke me what to say to her: but she no soo­ner put foot on ground, but shee prevented me with this gratefull language.

Thy Felicity Endymion, exceeds thy vowes and thy hopes, from hence forth let thine ac­cusing the gods cease, for they give much bet­ter than men are able to demand: Thy suf­ferings are this day crowned with glory, and have ranked thee in the number of the Im­mortall; and this thou art obliged to thine affection for, or rather, to mine. The names of the greatest number of the Stars are scarse knowne to the world, but as long as there shall be any speech of the Moone, or that shee shall shine in the Heavens, thy name shall re­maine in the mouths and memory of men.

Thus she continued rewarding my paines with winde and smoke, when on a suddaine a shrill noise of Trumpets, and Clarions, a confused bruite of Cymballs, and all other kinds of Instruments of Copper, and Brasse, [Page 203] issued from the Hills, and the Vallies, and beate the aire with such violence, that it bereaved me of her, who retired and vani­shed in an instant. Then I opened mine eies indeed, just like one that suddenly starts out of his sleepe, and suddenly stretched forth my head and hands, as if I would have followed her, or called her backe a­gaine: but having wholly lost the sight of her, I looked about me, to see if I could perceive the assembly, wherewith I seemed lately environed, but neither saw that, nor the Priest, or Altar; nay, I could not see my selfe, it was so darke; and so making more use of my hands than mine eyes, I endea­voured by feeling round about me, to finde out where I was; I began to thinke my selfe shut up in some Sepulchre: At length I discerned a small light, which by little and little increased, and drawing nearer to the place, where I first saw it appeare, I found my selfe (to my great astonishment) up­on Mount Lathmos, and the Moone in the Firmament, to whom I was making my complaint, just as thou camest to me.

Verily Endymion sayes Pyzander, if I be not deceived, I begin to discerne the whole my­ [...]ery of thine Adventures, and in mine [Page 204] opinion I may say, thou hast done a great journey, without budging from one place, in lying still thou hast travailed farre, and hast seene strange Cities, peoples, and large Countries, all in one little Cave: It was doubtlesse one and the same noise that recal­led the Moone from her swoune, and thee from the long sleepe Ismene had cast thee in­to, either by some slight of her craft, or else by some inspiration of the goddesse herselfe; for since the time shee gave thee that water to make thee, as she said, rest, whilst she tra­vailed for thee, I have not observed that she ever waked thee: Onely I have noted that thou felt'st her take thee by the hand, to con­duct thy March in the darke, where thou en­countredst all those strange Monsters where­of thou madest mention, which in effect are but dreames, yet images of the truths wee this day see. Moreover, the Arrows of Ve­nus Boy, comming out of Diana's hand, which cast thee downe at the foot of a Tree, or the Knife of Morpheus, brought as thou say'st▪ from the Countrey of the Cimmeriana, the ordinary residence of slumber, doe of their owne nature worke no other executi­on, or kill any body otherwise than thou art slaine there with, as long as no other [Page 205] force is used with them. But what clearer proofe canst thou desire of what I say, than the very words which the virgin Parthenopea uttered to thee at the beginning by way of Oracle?

What charme can this be, but that of Sleepe, by the meane whereof, Ismena to give thy curiosity some kind of satisfaction, hath given thee visions of thy good or ill fortune, of the estate wherein thou art with Diana, and in a word, the very same things which thou mightest see with thine eyes o­pen, if thou wouldest well consider them. I alwayes imagined Pyzander, sayes Endymion, that mine adventures would seeme so little strange to thee, that thou wouldest rather take them for dreames, than verities.

By this time the Birds began to raise their severall notes, to give a joyfull welcome to the approach of the Morning, and the won­ted noise of the Carts, and men returning to their accustomed labour, was heard on all sides, when Endymion at the earnest request of Pyzander, came downe from Mount Lath­mos, and returned to his Houshold-gods in the City of Heraclea, and to a thousand vowes and prayers which his friends inces­santly offered for his presence. From that [Page 206] time forward he continued recounting, and extolling to all the World the praises of Di­ana, although she had beene the cause of all his miseries and tortures; and that hee had spent the better part of his time and life, ei­ther in the tedious watchings which he had employed in the contemplation of her beau­tie and glory, or in the long sleepe which she had caused him to be cast into.

FINIS.

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