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