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The Fifth Day from: The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkruetz

by, Johann Valentin Andrae

The Fifth Day

The night was over, and the dear wished-for day broken, when hastily I got me out of bed, more desirous to learn what might yet insue, than that I had sufficiently slept. Now after I had put on my cloths, and according to my custom was gone down the stairs, it was still too early, and I found no body else in the hall, wherefore I intreated my page to lead me a little about in the castle, and shew me somewhat that was rare, who was now (as always) willing, and presently led me down certain steps under ground, to a great iron door, on which the following words in great copper letters were fixed:

Here lies buried
that beauty which hath 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 now only put too, for (as my page informed me) it was first opened but yesterday when the coffins were taken out, and had not been since shut. Now 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 great carbuncles, and this (as I was informed) was the King's Treasury. But the most glorious and principal thing, that I here saw, was a sepulcher (which stood in the middle) so rich that I wondered that it was no better guarded, whereunto the page answered me, that I had good reason to be thankful to my planet, by whose influence it was that I had now seen certain pieces which no human eye else (except the King's family) had ever had a view of. 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, from which it continually dropped fruit into the kettle; and as oft as the fruit fell into the kettle, it turned into water, and ran out from thence into three small golden kettles standing by. This little altar was supported by these three animals, an eagle, an ox, and a lyon, 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 honour, fortune, blessing, and prosperity." After which he shewed me a copper door on the pavement. "Here", said he, "if you please, we may go further down." "I still follow you", replyed I. So I went down the steps, where it was exceeding dark, but the page immediately opened a little chest, wherein stood a small ever-burning taper, at which he kindles one of the many torches that lay by. I was mightily terrified, and seriously 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 already made, hung about with curious curtains, one of which he drew, where I saw the Lady Venus stark-naked ( for he heaved up the coverlets too) lying there in such beauty, and a fashion so surprising, that I was almost besides my self, neither do I yet know whether it was a piece thus carved, or a humane corps that lay dead there. For she was altogether immovable, and yet I durst not touch her. So she was agin covered, and the curtain drawn before her, yet she was still (as it were) in my eye. But I soon espied behind the bed a tablet on which it was thus written:

When the fruit of my
tree shall be quite melted down
then I shall awake and
be the mother of a

I asked my page concerning this writing, but he laughed, with promise that I should know it too. So he putting out the torch, we again ascended. Then I better viewed all the little doors, and first 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 was forced continually to melt, yet it still produced new fruit. Now behold (said the page) what I heard revealed to the King by Atlas. When the tree (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 flew the little Cupid, who was first somewhat abashed at our presence, but seeing us both looked more like the dead than the living, he could not at length refrain from laughing, demanding 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, and that the page likewise had been looking up and down for me, and at last lited upon me here, I hoped he would not take it amiss. "Nay then 'tis well enough yet", said Cupid, "my old busie grandsir, but you might lightly have served me a scurvy trick, had you been aware of this door. Now 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 had lighted upon us no sooner. My page too was the more jocund, because I had so well helped him in his pinch. "Yet I cannot", said Cupid, "let this pass unavenged, 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 a little, pricked me with it on the hand, which at that time I little regarded, but was glad that it went so well with us, and that we had came off without further danger.

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