The Real History of the Rosicrucians, by Arthur Edward Waite, , at sacred-texts.com
The Fifth Day.
The night was over, and the dear wished-for day broken, Obambulatio antelucana. when hastily I got me out of bed, more desirous to learn what might insue than that I had sufficiently slept. After I had put on my cloathes, and according to my custom was gone down stairs, it was still too early, and I found nobody else in the hall, wherefore I entreated my Page to lead me a little about the castle, and shew me somewhat that was rare, who now (as always) willing, presently lead me down certain steps underground to a great iron door, on which the following words were fixed in large copper letters:--
[paragraph continues] Thalamus veneris sepultæ.These I copied and set down in my table-book. After this door was opened, the Page lead me by the hand through a very dark passage till we came to a little door now only put too, for, as the Page informed me, it was first opened yesterday when the coffins were taken out, and had not since been shut. As soon as we stepped in I espied the most pretious thing that Nature ever created, for this vault had no other light but from certain huge carbuncles. Thesaurus Regis.This was the King's Treasury, but the most glorious and principal thing was a sepulchre in the middle, so rich that I wondered it was no better guarded, whereunto the Page answered me, that I had good reason to be thankful to my planet, by whose influence I had now seen certain pieces which no humane eye (except those of the King's family) Descriptio sepulchri.had ever viewed. This sepulcher was triangular, and had in the middle of it a kettle of polished copper, the rest was of pure gold and pretious stones. In the kettle stood an angel, who held in his arms an unknown tree, whose fruit continually falling into the kettle, turned into water therein, and ran out into three small golden kettles standing by. This little altar was supported by an eagle, an ox, and a lion, which stood on an exceeding costly base. I asked my Page what this might signifie. "Here," said he, "lies buried Lady Venus, that beauty which hath undone many a great man, both in fourtune, honour, blessing, and prosperity"; after which he showed me a copper door in Aliud triclinium.the pavement, saying, "Here, if you please, we may go further down." We descended the steps, where it was exceeding dark, but the Page immediately opened a little chest in which stood a small ever-burning taper, wherefrom he kindled one of the many torches that lay by. I was mightily terrified and asked how he durst do this. He
gave me for answer, "as long as the Royal Persons are still at rest I have nothing to fear." Herewith I espied a rich bed ready made, hung about with curious curtains, one of which he drew, and I saw the Lady Venus stark nakedDescriptio corporis veneris dormientis. (for he heaved up the coverlets too), lying there in such beauty, and a fashion so surprising, that I was almost besides myself, neither do I yet know whether it was a piece thus carved, or an humane corps that lay dead there, for she was altogether immoveable, and yet I durst not touch her. So she was again covered, yet she was still, as it were, in my eye. But I soon espyed behind the bed a tablet on which it was thus written.
I asked my Page concerning this writing, but he laughed, with promise that I should know it too, and, he putting out the torch, we again ascended. Then I better viewed all the little doors, and found that on every corner there burned a small taper of pyrites of which I had before taken no notice, for the fire was so clear that it looked much liker a stone than a taper. From this heat the tree wasArboris calor ex facibus. forced continually to melt, yet it still produced new fruit. "Now, behold," said the Page, "when the tree shall be
quite melted down, then shall Lady Venus awake and be the mother of a King." Whilst he was thus speaking, in flew the little Cupid, who at first was somewhat abashed at our presence, but seeing us both look more like the dead Mulcta facta hujus obambulationis.then the living, he could not refrain from laughing, and demanded what spirit had brought me thither, whom I with trembling answered, that I had lost my way in the castle, and was by chance come hither, that the Page had likewise been looking up and down for me, and at last lited upon me here, and that I hoped he would not take it amiss. "Nay, then, ’tis well enough yet," said Cupid, "my old busie gransir, but you might lightly have served me a scurvy trick, had you been aware of this door. I must look better to it," and so he put a strong lock on the copper door where we before descended. I thanked God that he lited upon us no sooner; my Page, too, was the more jocond because I had so well helped him at this pinch. "Yet can I not," said Cupid, "let it pass unrevenged that you were so near stumbling upon my dear mother." With that he put the point of his dart into one of the little tapers, and heating it somewhat, pricked me with it on the hand, which at that time I little regarded, but was glad that it went so well with us. Meantime my companions were gotten out of bed and were come into the hall, to whom I joyned myself, making as if I were then first risen. After Cupid had carefully made all fast again, he came likewise to us, and would needs have me shew him my hand, where he still Cupido illudit autori.found a little drop of blood, at which he heartily laughed, and had the rest have a care of me, as I would shortly end Mira Cupidinus lætitia.my days. We all wondered how he could be so merry and have no sence of yesterday's sad passages. Our President had meantime made herself ready for a journey, coming in
all in black velvet, yet she and her Virgins still bare theirPræsidissæ vestitus lugubris. branches of lawrel. All things being in readiness, she bid us first drink somewhat, and then presently prepare for the procession, wherefore we made no long tarrying, but followed her out of the hall into the court, where stood six coffins, and my companions thought no other but that the six Royal Persons lay in them, but I well observed the device, though I knew not what was to be done with these other. By each coffin were eight muffled men. As soon as the musick went, it was so doleful a tune that I was astonished at it, they took up the coffins, and we followed them into the Garden, in the midst of which was erected a wooden edifice, have round about the roof a glorious crown, and standing upon seven columns. Within it were formed six sepulchers; by each of them was a stone, but in the middle it had a round hollow rising stone. In these graves the coffins were quietly, and with many ceremonies, laid; the stones were shoved over them, and they shut fast, but the little chest was to lie in the middle. Herewith were my companions deceived, for they imagined that the dead corps were there. On the top of all was a great flag, having a Phœnix painted on it, perhaps the more to delude us. After the funerals were done, the Virgin, having placed herself upon the midmost stone, made a short oration, Hospites vocantur ad labores pro vita Regum. exhorting us to be constant to our ingagements, not to repine at the pains we must undergo, but be helpful in restoring the buried Royal Persons to life, and therefore, without delay, to rise and make a journey with her to the Tower of Olympus, to fetch thence the medicines necessary for this purpose.
This we soon agreed to, and followed her through another little door to the shore, where the seven ships stood empty,
and on them all the Virgins stuck up their Laurel branches, and, having distributed us in the six ships, they caused us in God's name to begin our voyage, and looked upon us as long as we were in sight, after which they, with all the Virgines remanent in arce.watchmen, returned into the Castle. Our ships had each of them a peculiar device; five of them, indeed, had the five regular bodies, each a several one, but mine, in which the Virgin too sate, carried a globe. Thus we sailed on in a singular order, and each had only two mariners. Foremost went the a
b ¦¦ c ¦¦ d ¦¦
e ¦¦ f ¦¦
g ¦¦ship a in which, as I conceive, the Moor lay. In this were twelve musitians who played excellently well, and its device was a pyramid. Next followed three abreast, b, c, and d, in which we were disposed; I sate in c. Behind these came the two fairest and stateliest ships, e and f, stuck about with many branches of lawrel, and having no passengers in them; their flags were the sun and moon. But in the rear 40 Virgines comites.was only one ship, g, and in this were forty Virgins. Having passed over this lake, we came through a narrow arm into the right sea, where all the sirens, nymphs, and sea-goddesses attended us, and immediately dispatched a Excipiuntur à nymphis.sea-nymph unto us to deliver their present of honour to the Wedding. It was a costly, great, set, round, and orient pearl, the like to which hath not at any time been seen,
Autori perplacent nymphæ and cantus.These having, with most admirable concent and melody, finished this song, I no more wondred at Ulisses for stopping the ears of his companions; I seemed to myself the most unhappy man alive that Nature had not made me too so trim a creature. But the Virgin soon dispatched The nymphs rewarded.them, and commanded to set sail; wherefore the nymphs, having been presented with a long red scarf for a gratuity, dispersed themselves in the sea. I was at this time sensible that Cupid began to work with me too, which tended little Autori desunt adhunc duo.to my credit; but as my giddiness is likely to be nothing beneficial to the reader, I am resolved to let it rest. This was the wound that in the first book I received on my head in a dream. Let every one take warning by me of loitering about Venus’ bed, for Cupid can by no means brook it. Turris Olympi.After some hours, we came within ken of the Tower of
[paragraph continues] Olympus; wherefore the Virgin commanded by the discharge of some pieces to give signal of our approach, and immediately we espyed a great white flag thrust out, and a small gilded pinnace sent forth to meet us, wherein was a very antient man, the Warder of the Tower, with certainCustos guards in white, by whom we were friendly received, and conducted to the Tower, which was situated upon an island exactly square, 1 and invironed with a wall so firm andStructura thick that I counted two hundred and sixty paces over. Dies. On the other side was a fine meadow with certain little gardens, in which grew strange, and to me unknown fruits. There was an inner wall about the Tower which itself was as if seven round towers had been built one by another, yet the middlemost was somewhat higher, and within they all entered one into another. Being come to the gates of the Tower, we were led a little aside on the wall, that so the coffins might be brought in without our notice, but of this the rest knew nothing. We were conducted into the1. Conclave. Tower at the very bottom, which was an excellently painted laboratory, where we were fain to beat and washLabores hospitum. plants, precious stones, and all sorts of things, extract their juice and essence, put up the same in glasses, and deliver them to be laid up. Our Virgin was so busie with us, and so full of directions, that she knew not how to give us employment enough, so that in this island we were meer drudges till we had atchieved all that was necessary for restoring the beheaded bodies. Meantime, as I afterwards learned, three Virgins were in the first apartmentVirginum. washing the corps with diligence. Having at length almost done our preparation, some broath, with a little
Cibus. Potus.draught of wine, was brought us, whereby I observed that we were not here for pleasure. When we had finished our Lectus tenuis.day's work, everyone had a mattress laid on the ground for him, wherewith we were to content ourselves. For my part I was not much troubled with sleep, and walking out into the garden, at length came as far as the wall, where, the heaven being very clear, I could well give away the Autor speculator cœlum prosomno.time in contemplating the stars. By chance I came to a great pair of stone stairs leading to the top of the wall, and because the moon shone very bright, I was so much the more confident, and, going up, looked too a little upon the sea, which was exceeding calm. Thus having good opportunity to consider better of astronomy, I found that this night there would happen such a conjunction of the planets, the like to which was not otherwise suddenly to be observed. Having looked a good while into the sea, and it being just about midnight, I beheld from far the seven Flames passing over sea hitherward, and betakeing themselves to the top of the spire of the tower. This made me somewhat affraid; for as soon as the Flames had settled themselves, the winds rose, and made the sea very tempestuous. The noon also was covered with clouds, and my joy ended with such fear that I had scarce time enough to hit upon the stairs again, and betake myself to the Tower, where I laid me down upon my mattress, and there being in the laboratory a pleasant and gently purling fountain, I fell asleep so much the sooner. And thus this fifth day too was concluded with wonders.
169:1 See additional note, No. 4.