Category Archives: Rosicrucian

Positio Fraternatatis (2001)


Positio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis

Salutem Punctis Trianguli!

In this, the first year of the third millennium, in the sight of the God of all beings and of all life, we, the Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Rosicrucians, have judged that the time has come to light the fourth R+C Torch in order to reveal our position regarding the present state of humanity, and to bring to light the threats that lie heavy upon it, as well as the hopes that we place on it.

So Mote It Be!

Ad Rosam per Crucem Ad Crucem per Rosam

Antiquus Mysticusque Ordo Rosae Crucis



Positio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis

©2005, Supreme Grand Lodge of the Ancient & Mystical Order Rosae Crucis Published by the Grand Lodge of the English Language Jurisdiction, AMORC, Inc.



Dear Reader,

Since we did not know how to contact you directly, we are doing so through the medium of this Manifesto. We hope that you will read it with an open mind and that it will arouse at the least some thought within you. Our wish is not to convince you of the validity of this Positio; it is to share it with you freely. Of course, we hope that it will find a responsive chord within your soul. If not, we appeal to your tolerance….

In 1623, the Rose-Croix plastered the walls of Paris with mysterious and intriguing posters, which read as follows:

“We, the Deputies of the Higher College of the Rose-Croix, do make our stay, visibly and invisibly, in this city, by the grace of the Most High, to Whom turn the hearts of the Just. We demonstrate and instruct, without books and distinctions, the ability to speak all manners of tongues of the countries where we choose to be, in order to draw our fellow creatures from error of death.”

“He who takes it upon himself to see us merely out of curiosity will never make contact with us. But if his inclination seriously impels him to register in our fellowship, we, who are judges of intentions, will cause him to see the truth of our promises; to the extent that we shall not make known the place of our meeting in this city, since the thoughts attached to the real desire of the seeker will lead us to him and him to us.”

A few years before, the Rose-Croix had already made themselves known by publishing three now famous Manifestos: the Fama Fraternitatis, the Confessio Fraternitatis, and the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz, published respectively in 1614, 1615, and    1616.

At the time, these three Manifestos aroused many reactions in intellectual circles, and also among political and religious authorities. Between 1614 and 1620, about 400 pamphlets, manuscripts, and books were published—some to praise these Manifestos; others to disparage them. As can be seen, their publication constituted a major historical event, especially in the esoteric world.

The Fama Fraternitatis addressed political and religious leaders, as well as the scientists of the time. While making a rather negative statement about the general situation in Europe, it revealed the existence of the Order of the Rose-Croix through the allegorical story of Christian Rosenkreuz (1378-1484), beginning with his journey throughout the world before giving birth to the Rosicrucian movement, and ending with the discovery of his tomb. This Manifesto called for a “Universal Reform.”

The Confessio Fraternitatis complemented the first Manifesto by insisting, on the one hand, upon the need for a regeneration of humanity and society; and, on the other hand, by pointing out that the Rosicrucians possess a philosophical knowledge enabling it to achieve this regeneration. It primarily addressed seekers who wished to participate in the work of the Order and to strive for the happiness of humanity. The prophetic aspect of this text greatly intrigued the scholars of the day.

In a style rather different from that of the first two Manifestos, the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz recounted an initiatory journey which portrayed the quest for Illumination. This seven-day journey took place for the most part in a mysterious castle where the wedding of a king and a queen was to be held. The Chymical Wedding symbolically related the spiritual development which leads an Initiate to achieve union between the soul (the bride) and God (the bridegroom).

As emphasized by contemporary historians, thinkers, and philosophers, the publication of these three Manifestos was neither insignificant nor inopportune. It occurred at a time when Europe—politically divided and torn asunder by conflicting economic interests—was experiencing a profound existential crisis. Religious wars were sowing unhappiness and desolation, causing division even within families; and science, developing rapidly, was already demonstrating a trend toward materialism. For the vast majority, living conditions were miserable. The changing society of the time was undergoing a complete mutation, and yet it lacked guidelines for evolvement that held a general interest.

History repeats itself and regularly re-enacts the same events, though generally on a broader scale. Thus, almost four centuries after the publication of the first three Manifestos, we notice that the entire world, and Europe in particular, is facing an unprecedented existential crisis    in all spheres: political, economic, scientific, technological, religious, moral, artistic, etc. Moreover, our planet—the environment in which  we live and evolve—is gravely threatened, elevating in importance the relatively recent science of ecology. Certainly, present-day humanity is not faring well. This is why, faithful to our Tradition and our Ideal, we, the Rose-Croix of today, have deemed it advisable to address this crisis through this Positio.

The Positio Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis is not an eschatological essay. It is by no means apocalyptic. As we have just mentioned, its purpose is to state our position concerning the state of the world today and to reveal what seems worrisome to us about its future. As our past brothers and sisters did in their time, we likewise wish to appeal for more humanism and spirituality, for we are convinced that the individualism and materialism now prevailing in modern societies cannot bring to humanity the happiness which it rightfully desires. This Positio will undoubtedly seem alarmist to some, and yet, as the saying goes: “Who is so deaf or so blind as the one that willfully will neither hear nor see?”

Today’s humanity is both troubled and bewildered. The great progress we have achieved materially has not truly brought us happiness and does not enable us to foresee our future with serenity. Wars, famines, epidemics, ecological catastrophes, social crises, attacks on fundamental freedoms—these are just some of the many calamities which contradict the hope that humans have for their future. That is why we are addressing this message to all those who are willing to hear  it. This message is in the same tradition as that expressed by the 17th- century Rosicrucians through the first three Manifestos. To understand the message we must realistically read the great book of history and  have a clear view of humanity—this great body composed of men and women in the process of  evolution.

Humanity evolves over time, as does everything else connected with our lives. Indeed, the whole universe evolves. This is characteristic of everything which exists in the manifested world. However we feel that human evolution is not limited to the material aspects of our existence, convinced as we are that we possess a soul—in other words, a spiritual dimension. According to our teachings, it is this soul that makes us conscious beings, capable of reflecting upon our origin and destiny. This is why we consider human evolution as an end, spirituality as a means, and time as an enlightener.

History is made intelligible not by the events which generate it or which it generates, rather by the connections which unite such events. Furthermore, most of today’s historians will admit that history has a greater overall meaning, and that events need to be understood within the entire context of history. To understand history properly, events should be carefully considered not simply as isolated elements, rather as parts of a greater whole. As a matter of fact, we feel that an event is truly historical only in relationship to the greater whole of which it is a part. To dissociate events from the greater whole, or to make a moral code from history out of their dissociation, constitutes intellectual fraud. This is why seeming connections, juxtapositions, coincidences, or concomitances never really owe anything to chance.

As mentioned in the Foreword, we see a similarity between the present world situation and that of 17th-century Europe. What some refer to as the “post-modern era” has brought about comparable effects in many areas of modern life, and this has unfortunately resulted in a certain degeneracy of humanity. However, we feel that this degeneracy is only temporary and that it will lead to an individual and collective regeneration, provided that men and women give a humanist and spiritualistic direction to their future. If we do not, we lay ourselves open to much more serious problems than those we are facing today.

Due to our ontology, we think that human beings are the most evolved of all creatures living on Earth, even though we often behave in a shameful manner not befitting this  status.

The reason that we hold this privileged position is because we are endowed with self-consciousness and free will. We are therefore capable of thinking and directing our lives as we so choose. We also believe that each human being is an elementary cell of a single body—that of all humanity. By virtue of this principle, our conception of humanism is that all humans should have the same rights, be given the same respect, and enjoy the same freedoms, regardless of the country of their origin or the nation in which they live.

As for our conception of spirituality, it is based, on the one hand, upon the conviction that God exists as an Absolute Intelligence having created the universe and everything therein; and, on the other hand, on the assurance that each human being possesses a soul which emanates from God. Moreover, we think that God manifests in all creation through laws that we must study, understand, and respect for our greater good. In fact, we believe that humanity is evolving toward the realization of     a Divine Plan and that humanity is destined to create an ideal society upon Earth. This spiritualistic humanism may seem utopian. However, we concur with Plato, when he stated in The Republic: “Utopia is the form of Ideal Society. Perhaps it is impossible to achieve it on Earth, and yet a wise man must place all his hopes in it.”

In this transitional period of history, the regeneration of humanity seems to us more possible than ever before because of the convergence  of consciousness, the generalization of international exchanges, the growth of cross-cultural fertilization, the worldwide coverage of news,   as well as the growing interdisciplinary movement among the different branches of learning. We think that this regeneration, which must take place both individually and collectively, can only come about by favoring eclecticism and its corollary, tolerance. Actually, no political institution, religion, philosophy, or science holds a monopoly on truth. However, we can approach truth by sharing the most noble aspects that each of these disciplines has to offer humanity, seeking unity through diversity.

Sooner or later, life’s vicissitudes lead us to ponder the reason for our presence on Earth. This quest for justification is natural, for it is an integral part of the human soul and constitutes the foundation of our evolution. Furthermore, the events which have blazed the trail of history cannot be justified simply through the fact that they exist; they demand a greater reason for their being,      a reason above and beyond their mere existence. We believe that this raison d’être involves a spiritual process which incites human beings to question themselves about the mysteries of life—hence the interest which we attach to mysticism and to the “Quest for Truth” at some point in our evolution. If this pursuit is natural, we additionally feel that humans are driven to hope and optimism by a command of their divine nature and by a biological instinct for survival. Thus, the aspiration to transcendency appears to be a vital requirement of the human species.


Concerning politics, we feel that a complete renewal of political systems is imperative. Among the important 20th-century political models, Marxism-Leninism and National Socialism, founded on supposedly definitive social postulates, have led to a decline of reason and finally to barbarism. These two totalitarian ideologies have inevitably come up against the human need for self-determination, thus betraying our right to freedom while at the same time writing some of the blackest pages of history. And history has disqualified them both—forever, let us hope! Whatever we may think of them, political systems based upon a single, monolithic idea often have in common a desire to impose upon human beings a “Doctrine of Salvation,” which is supposed to free them from their imperfect state, and elevate them to a heavenly status. Moreover, most of these political systems do not ask citizens to think, rather to believe, which makes them resemble in effect “nonsectarian religions.”

Conversely, trends of thought such as Rosicrucianism are not monolithic, rather they are open and pluralistic. In other words, they encourage dialogue with  others  and  promote  human  relations.  At the same time, they accept a plurality of opinions and the diversity of behavior patterns. Therefore, such systems of thought feed upon exchanges, interactions, and even contradictions, which totalitarian ideologies forbid and from which they abstain. Moreover, it is for this reason that Rosicrucian thought  has been consistently rejected by totalitarian systems, whatever their nature may be. From its very beginning, our Order has advocated the right of each individual to create and express her or his own ideas freely. In this respect, Rosicrucians are not necessarily freethinkers, however they are all free to think.

In the state of the world today, it seems to us that true democracy remains the best form of government—although certain weaknesses cannot be overlooked. In any genuine democracy, based upon freedom  of thought and expression, we generally find a multitude of tendencies, as much among the governors as among the governed. Unfortunately, this plurality often engenders dissension, with all its resulting conflicts. Sadly, it is for this reason that most democratic states manifest divisions that continually and almost systematically conflict with one another. It seems to us that these political divisions, most often gravitating around a majority and an opposition, are no longer well suited to modern societies, and hold back the regeneration of humanity. The ideal in this regard would be for each nation to help promote the emergence of a government bringing together the personalities most capable of governing the affairs of state. In a wider sense, we hope that one day there will be a worldwide government representing all nations, of which today’s United Nations is just the beginning.


Concerning economics, we feel that the economic situation of the world is completely adrift. We can see that the current economic system conditions human activity more and more, and this is increasingly becoming the norm. On the one hand, this economic dominance takes the form of very influential, and therefore interventionist, structured networks which appear in various guises. On the other hand, today’s economy operates from determined values that, more than ever before, are necessarily quantifiable, involving cost of production, break-even point, evaluation of profit, duration of labor, and so on. These values are essential to the present economic system and provide it with the means to achieve its ends. Unfortunately, these ends are fundamentally materialistic, because they are based on excessive profit and enrichment. This is how human beings have entered into the service of the economy, while the economy should instead serve human beings.

All nations are presently dependent on a worldwide economic system, which we may describe as being totalitarian. This economic totalitarianism does not meet the most elementary needs of hundreds    of millions of people, while the supply of money has never been so vast on a worldwide scale. This means that the wealth produced by human beings only benefits a minority among them, which we find deplorable. Actually, we notice that the gap never ceases to widen between the most affluent nations and the poorest. We can observe the same phenomenon within each country, between the most deprived classes and the most fortunate ones. We feel that this situation has arisen because the economy has become too speculative, and it supplies markets and interests that are more virtual than real.

Quite obviously, economics will fulfill its role well only when it is serving all of humanity. This supposes that we shall come to view money for what it should be: a means of exchange and an energy meant to supply everyone with what he or she needs to live happily on the material plane. In this regard, we are convinced that human beings are not destined to be poor, and even less to be destitute; on the contrary, they are meant   to have everything that may contribute to human welfare, so that we may lift our souls with perfect peace of mind toward higher planes of consciousness. In absolute terms, economics should be used in such a way that there would no longer be people who experience poverty, and every person would enjoy good material conditions, for such is the foundation of human dignity. Poverty is not destined; nor is it the effect of a divine decree. Generally speaking, it is the consequence of human selfishness. Therefore, we hope that the day will come when the economic system will be based upon sharing and taking into account the common good. However, the resources of the Earth are not inexhaustible and cannot  be divided endlessly, so it will certainly be necessary to control the birth rate, especially in overpopulated countries.


Concerning science, we feel that science has reached a particularly critical phase. Indeed, it cannot be denied that science has advanced immensely and enabled humanity to achieve considerable progress. Without science, we would still be in the Stone Age. And yet, where the Greek civilization had worked out a qualitative understanding of scientific research, the 17th century brought on a veritable upheaval by establishing the supremacy of the quantitative concept, which is closely tied in with the evolution of economics. Mechanism, rationalism, positivism, etc., have separated consciousness and matter into two very distinct realms and reduced all phenomena to a measurable entity devoid of subjectivity. The how has eliminated the why. While it is true that research undertaken in the past few decades has led to important discoveries, the financial stakes seem to have taken precedence over everything else, and we have now reached the pinnacle of scientific materialism.

We have made ourselves the slaves of science, more than we have subjected it to our will. Today, simple technological failures are capable of putting the most advanced societies in jeopardy, which proves that we have created an imbalance between the qualitative and the quantitative, and also between ourselves and that which we create. The materialistic goals that humans pursue today through scientific research have resulted in leading many minds astray. At the same time, these materialistic goals have estranged us from our soul and from the divine within us. This excessive rationalization by science is a real danger that will threaten humanity sooner or later. In fact, any society in which matter dominates conscience, advances that which is the less noble in human nature. Therefore, such a society condemns itself to disappear prematurely and most often under tragic circumstances.

To a certain extent, science has become a religion—a materialistic religion, which is paradoxical. Based upon a mechanistic approach to  the universe, nature, and humanity itself, science possesses its own creed: “Only believe what is seen”; and its own dogma: “No truth outside of science.” Nevertheless, we notice that the research conducted on the how of things has led science to question the why, so that little by little science is becoming aware of its limitations, and in this regard is beginning to agree with mysticism. Some scientists—still too few it is true—have even reached the point of admitting the existence of God. It must be noted that science and mysticism were very close in ancient times, to such an extent that scientists were mystics, and vice versa. It is precisely toward the reunification of these two paths of knowledge that we must work in the coming decades.

It has become necessary to rethink  the  question  of  knowledge.  For instance, what is the true meaning of being able to reproduce an experience? Is a proposition that cannot be verified in all cases necessarily false? Surpassing the rational dualism that took hold in the 17th century seems imperative to us, for true knowledge lies in this “surpassingness.” Moreover, simply because the existence of God cannot be proved does not justify the declaration that God does not exist. Truth may have many faces; to remember only one in the name of rationality is an insult to reason. Besides, can we truly speak of rational or irrational? Is science itself rational, when it believes in chance? In fact, it seems to us much more irrational to believe in chance rather than to not believe in it. On this same subject, we must say that our Order has always been against the common notion of chance, which it looks upon as an easy solution and resignation in the face of reality. We agree with Albert Einstein’s comment about chance when he described it as: “The Path that God takes when [God] wants to remain anonymous.”

The evolution of science also poses new problems, both ethically and metaphysically. While it cannot be denied that genetic research has made it possible to achieve incredible progress in the treatment of previously incurable illnesses, this same research has opened the way to developments making it possible to create human beings through cloning. This form of procreation can only lead to a genetic impoverishment of the human species and to the degeneracy of the human race. Further, it implies criteria of selection inevitably stamped with subjectivity and consequently presents risks when it comes to the matter of eugenics. Moreover, reproduction by cloning only takes into account the physical and material part of the  human  being,  without  paying  particular  attention to the mind or the soul. This is why we feel that such genetic manipulation not only harms human dignity; it also threatens the mental, psychic, and spiritual integrity of human beings.

In this respect, we agree with the following saying: “Science without conscience is the ruin of the soul.” The appropriation of human beings by other human beings has only left sad memories throughout history. Therefore, it seems dangerous to us that scientists be given free rein to conduct experiments involving the reproductive cloning of human beings in particular, and all living species in general. We entertain the same fears regarding the manipulations affecting the genetic makeup of both animals and plants.


Concerning technology, we note that technology is also undergoing  a  complete  transformation.  From  our  very  beginnings,  humans have always attempted to fabricate tools and machines so as to improve their living conditions and to make their work more efficient. In its  most positive aspects, this desire originally had three primary goals: to enable humans to create things which they could not fabricate by hand alone; to spare them effort and fatigue; and to save time. Of course, for centuries, if not millennia, technology was only used to help humans with manual work and physical activities, while today it also assists us in the intellectual sphere. Moreover, for a very long time technology was limited to mechanical processes requiring direct human intervention and causing little or no harm to the environment.

Today, technology is omnipresent and constitutes the core of modern societies, to the extent that it has become almost indispensable. Its uses are many, and it now integrates all types of processes—mechanical, as well as electrical, electronic, computer, and so on. Unfortunately, the dark side of technology is that machines have become a danger to humans themselves. Ideally, machines were intended to help humans by sparing us from toil; now they are replacing humans. Moreover, we cannot deny that the development of mechanization has progressively led to a certain dehumanization of society, in the sense that it has considerably reduced human interaction—in other words, direct physical contacts. Added to this are all the forms of pollution generated by industrialization.

The problem now posed by technology stems from the fact that it has evolved much faster than has human consciousness.

Consequently, we believe that technology must break away from today’s emphasis on materialism and become an agent of humanism. To bring this about, it is imperative that the human being again be placed at the center of our social fabric which, according to what we have said with respect to economics, implies having machines again serve human beings. To accomplish this necessitates a thorough questioning of the materialistic values that form the basis of today’s society. This implies that all human beings reorient themselves and come to understand that we must respect the quality of life, and stop this frenetic race against time. This is only possible, however, if humans learn once more how to live in harmony with nature, and also with themselves. The ideal would be for technology to evolve in such a way that it would free human beings from the most difficult tasks and, at the same time, enable us to evolve harmoniously in contact with others.


Concerning the great religions, we believe that they are now manifesting two opposite movements—centripetal and centrifugal. The first movement—which looks inward—consists of fundamentalist groups within Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, as well as other religions seeking a return to their religious roots. The second movement—which looks outward—has resulted in a neglect of religious creed in general and of religious dogmas in particular. People are no longer satisfied to remain on the periphery of a system of beliefs, even though a particular religion is said to be revealed. They now want to place themselves in the center of a system of thought arising from their own experiences. In this respect, the acceptance of religious dogmas is no longer automatic. Believers have acquired a certain critical sense regarding religious questions, and the basis of their convictions corresponds increasingly to a self-validation. Whereas in the past the need for spirituality brought forth a few religions having an arborescent form—i.e., that of a tree well rooted in its sociocultural soil, to the enrichment of which they have also contributed—today it takes the form of a rhizoidal structure, composed of many and  varied small shrubs. Does not Spirit move where It wishes?

What we have today, on the fringe or in place of the great religions, are groups of like mind, religious communities sharing similar ideas, or movements of thought within which doctrines, more proposed than imposed, are accepted through voluntary membership. Irrespective of the intrinsic nature of these religious communities, groups, or movements, their multiplication indicates a diversification of the spiritual quest. Generally speaking, we feel that this diversification has come about because the great religions, which we respect as such, no longer have a monopoly on faith. They exhibit increasing difficulties in answering people’s questions and can no longer satisfy them inwardly. Furthermore, people may be estranged because the religions have alienated themselves from spirituality. And yet spirituality, although immutable in essence, constantly seeks to express itself through channels increasingly suited to the evolution of humanity.

The survival of the great religions depends more than ever upon their ability to discard the most dogmatic moral and doctrinal beliefs and positions they have adopted through the centuries. If the major religions wish to endure, it is imperative that they adapt to society.  If they do  not take into account either the evolution of human consciousness or scientific progress, they condemn themselves to a gradual disappearance, and not without causing further ethnic, social, and religious conflicts. Nonetheless, we presume that their disappearance is inevitable and that, under the influence of a worldwide expansion of consciousness, they will give birth to a universal religion, which will integrate the best that the major religions have to offer humanity for its regeneration. Furthermore, we believe that the desire to know divine laws—that is, natural, universal, and spiritual laws—will eventually supplant the need just to believe in God. We assume, therefore, that belief will one day give way to knowledge.


Concerning morality—a concept whose meaning is becoming more and  more  ambiguous—we  observe that  it is being increasingly disregarded. In our  view,  morality  should  not show a blind compliance with various rules or even dogmas—social, religious, political, or otherwise.  However this is how much of society perceives today’s morality, and so, they reject it. We feel that morality should instead relate to the respect that any individual should have for oneself, for others, and for the environment. Self-respect consists of living according to one’s own ideas and not in assuming behavior that we disapprove of in others. Respect for others merely consists of not doing unto them what we would not want them to do unto us, as taught by all sages of the past. As to respect for the environment, let us be so bold as to say that to respect nature and preserve it for generations to come flows naturally from the heart. Seen from this standpoint, morality implies a balance between the rights and the duties of everyone, which gives it a humanistic dimension that is not at all moralizing.

Morality, in the sense that we have just explained, brings up the whole matter of education, which now seems to be in a state of distress. Most parents have withdrawn themselves from the educational process, or no longer have the necessary qualifications to properly educate their children. Many parents are shifting their responsibility onto the teachers in order to compensate for this inadequacy. After all, is it not a teacher’s role to instruct—that is, to transmit knowledge? Rather, education should consist of implanting civic and ethical values. In this, we concur with Socrates who believed it to be “the art of awakening the virtues of the soul,” such as humility, generosity, honesty, tolerance, kindness, and so on. Apart from any spiritual consideration, we believe that these are the virtues which parents, and adults in general, should inculcate in children. Naturally, this implies that, even if they have not acquired these virtues themselves, they at least be aware of the need to acquire them.

As you surely know, the Rosicrucians of the past practiced material alchemy, which consisted of transmuting raw metals—such as tin and lead—into gold. What we often ignore is that they also devoted themselves to spiritual alchemy. Contemporary Rosicrucians give priority to this form of alchemy, for the world needs it more than ever. This spiritual alchemy consists of transmuting every human fault into its opposite quality, so as to acquire precisely the virtues to which we have referred earlier. In fact, we believe that such virtues constitute human dignity,  for we are worthy of our status only when expressing virtue in our thoughts, words, and deeds. Undoubtedly, if all individuals—whatever their religious beliefs, political ideas, or other thoughts may be—made the effort to acquire these virtues, it would be  a better world. Consequently, humanity can and must effect a complete moral and spiritual reform, and for this to happen, each individual must regenerate oneself.


Concerning art, we feel that during the past centuries, and most particularly during the last decades, it has followed a trend of intellectualization that has led it toward an increasing degree of abstraction. This process has divided art into two opposing trends: elitist art and popular art. Elitist art, which is expressed through the abstract, is most often understood only by those who claim to be, or who are said to be its initiates. Through a natural reaction, popular art opposes this tendency by intensifying its way of portraying the concrete, sometimes in an excessively representational fashion. And yet, as paradoxical as it may seem, both delve deeper and deeper into matter, since it is quite true that opposites attract. Thus, art has become structurally and ideologically materialistic, in the image of most realms of human endeavor. At the present time, it interprets the impulses of the ego more than the aspirations of the soul, which we regret.

We believe that truly inspired art consists of interpreting on the human plane the beauty and purity of the Divine Plane. In this view, noise is not music; daubing is not painting; hammering is not sculpture; helter-skelter movement is not dancing. When these art forms are not limited to expressing some passing fashion, they become serious means of expression that convey a sociological message that cannot be ignored. We can appreciate such means of expression, of course, and yet it seems to us inappropriate to call them “artistic.” In order for the arts to participate in the regeneration of humanity, we believe that they must draw their inspiration from natural, universal, and spiritual archetypes, which implies that artists “ascend” toward these archetypes, rather than “descend” toward the most common stereotypes. At the same time, it is absolutely necessary that the arts bestow upon themselves an aesthetic purpose. In our view, these two major conditions must be met so that the arts may truly contribute to the raising of consciousness and become the human expression of Cosmic Harmony.


Concerning human relationships, we think that  people are more and more self-seeking and leave less and less room for altruism. Of course, outbreaks of solidarity occur, although it happens only occasionally during such catastrophes as floods, storms, earthquakes, etc. In ordinary times, the policy of “everyone for oneself” predominates in behavioral patterns. In our view, this increase in individualism is again a consequence of the excessive materialism that is rampant today in modern societies. Nevertheless, the resultant isolation should eventually bring about the desire and need to renew contact with others. Moreover, we may hope that this solitude will lead everyone to go increasingly within and eventually become aware of spirituality.

The general prevalence of violence also seems to us very disquieting. Of course, it has always existed, yet it now expresses itself increasingly in individual behavior. Even more seriously, it is manifesting itself at an earlier age. At the beginning of the 21st century, one child kills another without any apparent compunction. Added to this real-life violence is the fictional violence which dominates the motion-picture and television screens. The first kind of violence inspires the second, and the second feeds the first, creating a vicious circle that needs to be stopped. It cannot be denied that violence has any number of causes, such as social poverty, fragmentation of the family, desire for vengeance, need for domination, feelings of injustice, and so on; its worst agent is none other than violence itself. Clearly, this culture of violence is pernicious and cannot be constructive, especially since humanity has the means to destroy itself on a planetary scale for the first time in known history.

In a paradox of modern times, we notice, moreover,  that in this era of communication, individuals barely communicate  with one another. Members of the same family no longer converse among themselves, so busy are they in listening    to the radio, watching television, or surfing the Internet.

Another established fact has more generally commanded attention: telecommunication has supplanted  other  forms  of  communication.  In so doing, it places one in isolation and intensifies the individualism mentioned earlier. Please do not mistake our meaning: individualism,   as a natural right to live autonomously and responsibly, should not be condemned at all in our eyes—quite the contrary. Yet when it becomes a way of life based on the negation of others, it seems particularly disturbing, in that it has contributed to the disintegration of the family circle and the fabric of society.

As contradictory as it may seem, we feel that today’s lack of communication among our fellow citizens is partly the result of an  excess of information. Of course, we do not mean to question the right to inform and the right to be informed, for both are the pillars of any true democracy. Nevertheless, it appears to us that information has become both excessive and intrusive, to the point that it has generated its opposite: disinformation. We also regret that it is focused primarily on the precariousness of the human condition and overemphasizes the negative aspects of human behavior. At best, it feeds on pessimism, sadness, and despair; at worst, on suspicion, division, and rancor. Although there is a legitimate need to show those things, which contribute to the ugliness of the world, it is in everyone’s best interest to also reveal those things that contribute to its beauty. More than ever, the world needs optimism, hope, and unity.

This understanding would constitute a great step forward, more radical yet than the scientific and technological progress experienced in the 20th century. This is why every society should not only encourage face-to- face meetings among its members; it should also open itself up to the world. By doing so, we defend the cause of a humane society making   all  individuals  citizens of the world, which implies putting an end to  all forms of racial, ethnic, social, religious, or political discrimination or segregation. Such openness encourages the coming of a Culture of Peace, founded  upon  integration  and  cooperation,  to  which  the Rosicrucians have always devoted themselves. As   humanity is one in essence, its happiness is only possible by promoting the welfare of all human beings without exception.


Concerning humanity’s relationship with nature, we believe that on the whole it has never been so deleterious. It is surely obvious to everyone that human activity is inflicting increasing degradation on the environment. Yet, it is also obvious that the survival of the human species depends upon its ability to respect natural balance. The development of civilization has generated many dangers because of biological manipulations affecting food, the widespread use of polluting agents, the poorly controlled accumulation of nuclear wastes—just  to mention a few of the major risks. The protection of nature, and therefore the safeguarding of humanity, has become the responsibility of all people, whereas previously it concerned only specialists. Moreover, it has now become a worldwide matter. This is all the more important since our very concept of nature has changed, and we have come to realize how much we are part of it. We can no longer speak today of “Nature in itself ” in that nature will be what humanity wishes it to be.

One of the characteristics of our present era is our great consumption of energy. This phenomenon would not be worrisome in itself if it were intelligently managed. Yet we observe that such natural resources as coal, gas, and petroleum are being overexploited and are gradually becoming exhausted. Moreover, certain energy sources, such as nuclear power plants, present serious hazards, which are very difficult to overcome.    We also observe that, despite the recent attempts at dialogue, certain dangers, such as the greenhouse effects of gas emission, desertification, deforestation, pollution of the oceans, and so on, are not the object of adequate protective measures, because of a lack of will. Apart from the fact that these assaults upon the environment cause humanity to face very serious risks, they show a great lack of maturity, both individually and collectively. Despite what some experts claim, we feel that present climatic disturbances, with such a large share of storms, floods, and so on, are the result of the damage that humans have been inflicting upon our planet for too long.

Quite obviously, another major problem—that of water— is sure to confront us in the future with increasing impact. Water is an element indispensable to the maintenance and development of life. In one form or another, all living beings need it. Humans are no exception to this natural law, if only because water constitutes seventy percent of our bodies. And yet today, access to fresh water is restricted for approximately one out of six world inhabitants, a proportion which may reach one out of four in less than fifty years, due to the increase in worldwide population, and the pollution of rivers and streams. Today, most eminent specialists agree that “white gold,” more than “black gold,” will be the great resource of this century, with all the potential for conflict that this implies. An awareness of this problem on a worldwide level is imperative.

Air pollution also entails serious dangers for life in general, and for the human species in particular. Industry, heating, and transportation contribute to the degradation of air quality and pollute the atmosphere, giving rise to potential health hazards. Urban areas are the most affected by this phenomenon, which threatens to increase along with expanding urbanization. In connection with this, the massive growth of cities constitutes a danger which could threaten the stability of societies. Concerning the growth of urban areas, we concur with the advice that Plato, who was mentioned earlier, expressed centuries ago: “To the point where, enlarged, it preserves its unity, the city can expand, yet not beyond.” Gigantism cannot favor humanism, in the sense we have defined it. It inevitably brings about discord and gives rise to misery and insecurity.

Humanity’s behavior toward animals is also part of our relationship with nature. It is our duty to love and respect them. All are part of the life chain manifesting on Earth, and all are agents of evolution. In their own way, animals are also vehicles of the Divine Soul and participate in the Divine Plan. We can even go so far as to consider the most evolved among them to be humans in the making that are passing through the evolutionary process. For all of these reasons, we find the conditions in which many animals are reared and slaughtered to be appalling. As for vivisection, we view it as being an act of cruelty. Generally speaking, we believe that society must include all beings to whom life has given birth. Consequently, we agree with the following words attributed to Pythagoras: “As long as men continue to destroy ruthlessly the living beings from the lower kingdoms, they will know neither health nor peace. As long as they massacre animals, they will kill each other. In effect, whoever sows murder and suffering cannot reap joy and love.”


Concerning humanity’s relationship with the Universe, we believe that it is based upon interdependence. As children of the Earth, and as the Earth is a child of the universe, we are therefore children of the universe. The atoms composing the human body originate in nature and remain within the confines of the Cosmos, which causes astrophysicists to comment that “We are children of the stars.” Even though we are indebted to the universe, it should also be noted that the universe owes much to humanity also—not its existence, of course, rather its reason for being. Indeed, what would the universe be if human eyes could not contemplate it? If our consciousness could not embrace it? If our soul could not be reflected in it? The universe and humanity need each other to know and even recognize each other, which reminds us of the famous saying: “Know thyself, and thou shalt know the Universe and the Gods.”

Nevertheless, we should not deduce that our conception of Creation is anthropocentric. Indeed, we do not make humans the center of the Divine Plan. Rather, let us say that we make humanity a focus of our concerns. In our opinion, humanity’s presence on Earth is not the result of mere happenstance; rather, it is the consequence of an intention originating from a Universal Intelligence commonly called “God.”  Although God  is incomprehensible and unintelligible because of Transcendency, this is not true of the laws through which God manifests within Creation. As previously mentioned, we have the power—if not the responsibility—to study these laws and to apply them for our material and spiritual welfare. We even believe that in this study and application lie our reason for being, as well as our happiness.

Humanity’s relationship with the universe also brings up the matter of knowing whether life exists elsewhere outside of Earth. We are convinced that this is the case. Since the universe includes approximately one hundred billion galaxies, and each galaxy has about one hundred billion stars, there probably exist millions of solar systems comparable to ours. Consequently, to think that only our planet is inhabited seems to us to be an absurdity and constitutes a form of egocentrism. Among the forms of life populating other worlds, some are probably more evolved than those existing on Earth; others may be less so. Yet they are all a part of the same Divine Plan and participate in Cosmic Evolution. As for knowing whether extraterrestrials are capable of contacting humanity, we feel that this will happen, and we are not spending time waiting for it. We have other priorities. Nonetheless, the day will come when this contact will happen, and it will constitute an unprecedented event. Indeed, the history of humanity will then integrate into that of Universal Life….





Dear Reader,

This, therefore, is what we wished to tell you by means of this Manifesto. Perhaps it has seemed alarmist to you, however  because of our very philosophy, let us assure you that we are both idealistic and optimistic, for we have faith in humanity and in its destiny. When we consider the most useful and beautiful works humans have created in the fields of science, technology, architecture, art, literature, and others—and when we think of the most noble sentiments that we are capable of feeling and expressing, such as wonder, compassion, love, and so on—we cannot doubt that humanity is innately divine and capable of transcending itself for the greater good. In this respect, we believe, at the risk once again of appearing utopian, that humans have the power to make Earth a place of peace, harmony, and community. It simply depends on us.

The situation of the contemporary world is not hopeless; it is worrisome. What concerns us most is not so much the condition of humanity; it is that of our planet. We think that time is of no significance in terms of humanity’s spiritual development, since we have all eternity to carry out this evolution, seeing that our soul is immortal. On the other hand, Earth is truly threatened, at least as a living environment for the human species. Time is running out for it, and we believe that its protection is a vital necessity in the 21st century. It is to this purpose that politics, economics, science, technology, and all other fields of human activity should devote their efforts. Is it really so difficult to understand that humanity can only find happiness by living in harmony with natural laws and, in a wider sense, with divine laws? Furthermore, is it so unreasonable to admit that humanity has the wherewithal to sublimate its own interests? Nevertheless, if humans continue to pursue materialism, the darkest prophecies will be fulfilled and no one will be spared.

It matters little what political ideas, religious beliefs, and philosophical convictions people hold. The time has passed for divisiveness in all its forms; the time is now ripe for unity—unity of differences in the service of the common good. In this, our Order counts among its ranks Christians, Jews, Moslems,Buddhists, Hindus, Animists, and even Agnostics. It also includes people who belong to all social classes and represent all recognized political movements. Men and women enjoy complete equality in status, and each member enjoys the same prerogatives. This unity in diversity has given power to our ideals and to our égrégore, a reflection of the fact that the virtue we cherish the most is tolerance—in other words, the right to differ. This does not make us sages, for wisdom encompasses many other virtues. Rather, we think of ourselves as being philosophers—literally, as “lovers of wisdom.”

Before sealing this Positio, and thereby giving it the stamp of our Order, we wish to conclude with an invocation that expresses what we may call “Rosicrucian Utopia” in the Platonist sense of the word. We are appealing to the good will of everyone so that one day this Utopia may become a reality, for the greater good of humanity. Perhaps this day will never come, however if all men and women endeavor to believe in it, and act accordingly, the world can only become better because of  it….




God of all beings,God of all life,

In the humanity we are dreaming of:


  • Politicians are profoundly humanistic and strive to serve the common good;


  • Economists manage state finances with discernment and in the interest of all;


  • Scientists are spiritualistic and seek their inspiration in the Book of Nature;


  • Artists are inspired and express the beauty and purity of the Divine Plan in their works;


  • Physicians are motivated by love for their community and treat both the soul and the body;


  • Misery and poverty have vanished, for everyone has what one needs to live happily;


  • Work is not regarded as a chore; it is looked at as a source of growth and well-being;


  • Nature is considered to be the most beautiful temple of all, and animals are considered to be our brothers and sisters on the path of evolution;


  • A World Government composed of the leaders of all nations, working in the interest of all humanity, has come into existence;


  • Spirituality is an ideal and a way of life, which springs forth from a Universal Religion, founded more upon the knowledge of divine laws than upon the belief in God;


  • Human relations are founded upon love, friendship, and community, so that the whole world lives in peace and


So Mote It Be!







Sealed on March 20, 2001


Rosicrucian Year 3354



































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THE CHEMICAL WEDDING of Christian Rosenkruetz (AlchemyLab)


Christian Rosenkruetz

Come to the Wedding!

You Are Cordially Invited to a Royal Wedding!

 Today – today – today

is the wedding of the King.

If you are born for this,

Chosen by God for joy,

You may ascend the mount

Whereon three temples stand

And see the Thing yourself.

Take heed,

Observe yourself!

If you’re not clean enough,

The wedding can work ill.

Perjure here at your peril;

He who is light, beware!








The First Day

On an evening before Easter day, I sat at a table, and having (as my custom was) in my humble prayer sufficiently conversed with my Creator, and considered many great mysteries (whereof the Father of Lights his Majesty had shewn me not a few) and being now ready to prepare in my heart, together with my dear Paschal Lamb, a small, unleavened, undefiled cake; All on a sudden ariseth so horrible a tempest, that I imagined no other but that through its mighty force, the hill whereon my little house was founded, would flye in pieces. But in as much as this, and the like from the Devil (who had done me many a spight) was no new thing to me, I took courage, and persisted in my meditation, till some body after an unusual manner, touched me on the back; whereupon I was so hugely terrified, that I durst hardly look about me; yet I shewed myself as cheerful as (in the like occurrence.) humane 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 skye-colour, and curiously (like Heaven) bespangled with golden stars, in her right hand she bare a trumpet of beaten gold, whereon a Name was ingraven which I could well read in 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 into all countries. She had also large and beautiful wings, full of eyes throughout, wherewith she could mount aloft, and flye swifter than any eagle. I might perhaps been able to take further notice of her, but because she stayed so small time with me, and terror and amazement still possessed me, I was fain to be content. For as soon as I turned about, she turned her letters over and over, and at length drew out a small one, with which 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 thereof, 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 assist my poor self, and therefore fell upon my knees and besought my Creator 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 heavy, as had it been mere gold, it could hardly have been so weighty. Now as I we. diligently viewing it, I found a little seal, whereupon a curious cross with this inscription, IN HOC SIGNO VINCES, was ingraven. 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 field, in golden letters, found the following verses written.

“This day, this day, this, this

The Royal Wedding is.

Art thou thereto by birth inclin’d,

And unto joy of God design’d,

Then may’st thou to the mountain trend,

Whereon three stately temples stand,

And there see all from end to end.

Keep watch, and ward,

Thy self regard;

Unless with diligence thou bathe,

The Wedding can’t thee harmless save;

He’l damage have that here delays;

Let him beware, too light that weighs.”

Underneath stood 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 trickled down my whole body. For although I well perceived that this was the appointed wedding, whereof seven years before I was acquainted in a bodily vision, and which now so long time I had with great earnestness attended, 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 fore-see that it must happen under so grievous perilous conditions. For whereas I before imagined that to be a well-come and acceptable guest, I needed only be ready to appear at the wedding, I was now directed to Divine Providence, of which until this time I was never certain. I also found by my self, the more I examined my self, that in my head there was nothing but gross mis-understanding, 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 every where find a more virtuous disciple, to whom to intrust her precious, though temporary, and changeable treasures. I found also that my bodily behaviour, and outward good conversation, and brotherly love toward my neighbour, was not duly purged and cleansed; moreover the tickling of the flesh manifested itself, whose affection 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 profit and advantage, rear up stately palaces, make my self an everlasting name in the world, and other like carnal designs.

But the obscure words concerning the three temples did particularly afflict me, which I was not able to make out by any after-speculation, and perhaps should not yet, had they not been wonderfully revealed to me. Thus sticking betwixt hope and fear, examining my self again and again, and finding only my own frailty and impotency, not being in any wise able to succour myself, and exceedingly amazed at the fore-mentioned threatening, at length I betook myself to my usual and most secure course; after I had finished my earnest and most fervent prayer, I laid me down in my bed, that so perchance my good angel by the Divine permission might appear, and (as it had sometimes formerly happened) instruct me in this doubtful affair, which to the praise of God, my own good, and my neighbours faithful and hearty warning and amendment did now likewise fall out. For I was yet scarce fallen asleep, when me-thought, I, together with a numberless multitude of men lay fettered with great chains in a dark dungeon, wherein without the least glimpse of light, we swarmed like bees one over another, and thus rendered each others affliction more grievous. But although neither I, nor any of the rest could see one jot, yet I continually heard one heaving himself above the other, when his chains or fetters were become ever so little lighter, though none of us had much reason to shove up the other, since we were all captive wretches. Now as I with the rest had continued a good while in this affliction, and each was still reproaching the other with his blindness and captivity, at length we heard many trumpets sounding together, and kettle drums beating so artificially thereto, that it even revived and rejoiced us in our calamity. During this noise the cover of the dungeon was from above lifted up, and a little light let down unto us. Then first might truly have been discerned the bustle we kept, for all went pesle-mesle, and he who perchance had too much heaved up himself, was forced down again under the others feet. In brief, each one strove to be uppermost, neither did I my self linger, but with my weighty fetters slipt up from under the rest, and then heaved myself upon a stone, which I laid hold of; howbeit, I was several times caught at by others, from whom yet as well as I might, with hands and feet I still guarded my self. For we imagined 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 a while recreated themselves with this our struggling and lamenting, a certain hoary-headed ancient man called us to be quiet, and having scarce obtained it, began (as I still remember) thus to say on.

“If wretched mankind would forbear

Themselves so to uphold,

Then sure on them much good confer,

My righteous Mother would:

But since the same will not ensue,

They must in care and sorrow rue,

And still in prison lie.

Howbeit, my dear Mother will

Their follies over-see,

Her choicest goods permitting still

Too much in the’ light to be.

Though very rarely it may seem

That they may still keep some esteem,

Which else would pass for forgery.

Wherefore in honour of the feast

We this day solemnise,

That so her grace may be increast,

A good deed she’1 devise.

For now a cord shall be let down,

And whosoe’er can hang thereon,

Shall freely be releast.

He had scarce done 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 could sufficiently describe the hurry and disquiet that then arose amongst us for every one strove to get to the cord, and yet only hindered each other. But after seven minutes a sign was given by a little bell, whereupon at the first pull the servants drew up four. At that time I could not come near the cord by much, having (as is before-mentioned) to my huge misfortune, betaken my self to a stone at the wall of the dungeon, and thereby was disabled to get to the cord which descended in the middle. The cord was let down the second time, but divers, 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 an one was forcibly pulled off by another, who yet could not himself get at it, so mutually envious 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 those five times very few were drawn up. For as soon as the sign was given, the servants were so nimble at the draught, 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 redemption, and called upon God that he would have pity on us, and (if possible) deliver us out of this obscurity, who also then heard some of us: for when the cord came down the sixth time, some of them hung themselves fast upon it; and whilst in the drawing up, the cord swung from one side to the other, it (perhaps by the will of God) came to me, which I suddenly catching, uppermost above all the rest, and so at length beyond hope came out; whereat I exceedingly rejoiced, so that I perceived not the wound, which in the drawing up I received on my head by a sharp stone, till I with the rest who were released (as was always before done) was fain to help at the seventh and last pull, at which time through straining, the blood ran down all over my clothes, which I nevertheless for joy regarded not. Now when the last draught whereon the most of all hung, was finished, the matron caused the cord to be laid away, and willed her aged son to declare her resolution to the rest of the prisoners, who after he had a little bethought himself spoke, thus unto them.

“Ye children dear

All present here,

What is but now complete and done,

Was long before resolved on:

What er’r my mother of great grace

To each on both sides here hath shown,

May never discontent mix-place;

The joyful time is drawing on,

When every one shall equal be,

None wealthy, none in penury.

Who er’e receiveth great commands

Hath work enough to fill his hands.

Who er’e with much hath trusted been,

‘Tis well if he may save his skin.

Wherefore your lamentations cease,

What is’t to wait for some few days?”

As soon as he had finished these words, the cover was again put to and locked down, and the trumpets and kettle-drums began afresh, yet could not the noise thereof 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 run-over. Presently after 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 understood the number, and had written it down in a gold-yellow tablet, she demanded every ones name, which were also written down by a little page; having viewed us all, one after another, she sighed, and spoke to her son, so as I could well hear her, “Ah how hartily am I grieved for the poor men in the dungeon! I would to God I durst release them all,” whereunto her son replied; “It is mother thus ordained of God, against whom we may not contend. In case we all of us were 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 said; “Well, however, let these be freed from their fetters”, which was likewise presently done, and I, except a few was the last; yet I could not refrain, but (though I still looked upon the rest) bowed myself before the ancient matron, and thanked God that through her, had graciously and fatherly vouch-safed to bring me out of such darkness into the light: after me the rest did likewise, to the satisfaction of the matron. Lastly, to every one was given a piece of gold for a remembrance, and to spend by the Way, on the one whereof was stamped the rising sun, on the other (as I remember) these three letters, D.L.S., and therewith every one had license to depart, and was sent to his own business with this annexed intimation, that we to the glory of God should benefit our neighbours, and reserve in silence what we had been intrusted with, which we also promised to do, and so departed one from another.

But in regard of the wounds which the fetters had caused me, I could not well 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, let not this defect afflict thee, but call to mind thy infirmities, and therewith thank God who hath permitted thee even in this world, and in the state of thy imperfection to come into so high a light, and keep these wounds for my sake.” Whereupon the trumpets began again to sound, which so affrighted me that I awoke, and then first perceived that it was only a dream, which was so strongly impressed upon my imagination, that I was still perpetually troubled about it, and me thought I was yet sensible of the wounds on my feet. Howbeit, by all these things I well understood that God had vouchsafed that I should be present at this mysterious and bidden wedding; wherefore with childlike confidence I returned thanks to his Divine Majesty, and besought him, that he would further preserve me in his fear, that he would daily fill my heart with wisdom and understanding, and at length graciously (without my desert) conduct me to the desired end. Hereupon I prepared my self for the way, put on my white linen coat, girded my loins, with a blood-red ribbon bound-cross-ways over my shoulder. In my hat I stuck four red roses, that I might the sooner by this token be taken notice of Amongst the throng. For food I took bread, salt and water, which by the counsel of an understanding person I had at certain times used, not without profit, in the like occurrences. But before I parted from my cottage, I first in this my dress and wedding garment, 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 any thing through his grace should be revealed unto me, I would employ it neither to my own honour nor 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   Return to Top

I was hardly got out of my cell into a forest when me thought the whole heaven and all the elements had already trimmed themselves against this wedding. For even the birds chanted more pleasantly then before, and the young fawns skipped so merrily, that they rejoiced my old heart, and moved me to sing: wherefore with a loud voice I thus began:

“With mirth thou pretty bird rejoice,

Thy Maker’s praise in-tranced.

Lift up thy shrill and pleasant voice,

Thy God is high advanced.

Thy food before he did provide,

And gives it in a fitting side,

Therewith be thou sufficed.

Why should’st thou now unpleasant be,

Thy wrath against God venting?

That he a little bird made thee,

Thy silly head tormenting?

Because he made thee not a man,

O peace, he hath well thought thereon.

Therewith be thou sufficed.

What is’t I’d have poor earthly worm,

By God (as’twere) inditing,

That I should thus ‘gainst Heaven storm

To force great arts by fighting?

God will out-braved be by none,

Who’s good for naught, may hence be gone,

O man b’ herewith sufficed.

That he no Caesar hath thee fram’d,

To pine therefore ’tis needless

His name perhaps thou hadst defam’d

Whereof he was not heedless

Most clear and bright Gods eyes do shine,

He pierces to thy heart within,

And cannot be deceived.”

This sang I now from the bottom of my heart throughout the whole forest, so that it resounded from all parts, and the hills repeated my last words, until at length I espied a curious green heath, wither I betook my self out of the forest. Upon this heath stood three lovely tall cedars, which by reason of their breadth afforded an excellent and desired shade, whereat I greatly rejoiced; for although I had not hitherto gone far, yet my earnest longing made me very faint, whereupon I hasted to the trees to rest a little under them, but as soon as I came somewhat higher, I espied a tablet fastened to one of them, on which (as afterwards I read) in curious letters the following words were written:

“God save thee, stranger! If thou hast heard anything concerning the nuptials of the King, consider these words. By us doth the Bridegroom offer thee a choice between four ways, all of which, if thou dost not sink down in the way, can bring thee to his royal court. The first is short but dangerous, and one which will lead thee into rocky places, through which it will be scarcely possible to pass. The second is longer, and takes thee circuitously; it is plain and easy, if by the help of the Magnet, thou turnest neither to left nor right. The third is that truly royal way which through various pleasures and pageants of our King, affords thee a joyful journey; but this so far has scarcely been allotted to one in a thousand. By the fourth shall no man reach the place, because it is a consuming way, practicable only for incorruptible bodies. Choose now which thou wilt of the three, and persevere constantly therein, for know which soever thou shalt enter, that is the one destined for thee by immutable Fate, nor canst thou go back therein save at great peril to life. These are the things which we would have thee know, but, ho, beware! thou knowest not with how much danger thou cost commit thyself to this way, for if thou knowest thyself by the smallest fault to be obnoxious to the laws of our King, I beseech thee, while it is still possible, to return swiftly to thy house by the way thou camest.”

As soon as I had read this writing all my joy was near vanished again, and I who before sang merrily, began now inwardly to lament. For although I saw all the three ways before me, and understood that hence forward it was vouchsafed me, to make choice of one of them, yet it troubled me that in case I went the stony and rocky way, I might get a miserable and deadly fall, or taking the long one, I might wander out of it through by-ways, or be otherway’s detained in the great journey. Neither durst I hope, that I amongst thousands should be the very one who should choose the royal way. I saw likewise the fourth before me, but it was so invironed with fire and exhalations, that I durst not (by much) draw near it, and therefore again and again considered, whether I should turn back, or take any of the ways before me. I well weighted my own unworthiness, but the dream still comforted me, that I was delivered out of the tower, and yet I durst not confidently rely upon a dream; whereupon I was so variously perplexed, that for very great weariness, hunger and thirst seized me, whereupon I presently drew out my bread, cut a slice of it, which a snow-white dove of whom I was not aware, sitting upon the tree, espied and therewith (perhaps according to her wonted manner) came down, and betook herself very familiarly with me, to whom I willingly imparted my food, which she received, and so with her prettiness did again a little refresh me. But as soon as her enemy a most black raven perceived it, he straight darted himself down upon the dove, and taking no notice of me, would needs force away the dove’s meat, who could no otherwise guard her self but by flight; whereupon they both together flew towards the south, at which I was so hugely incensed and grieved, that without thinking what I did, I made hast after the filthy raven, and so against my will ran into one of the forementioned ways a whole fields length; and thus the raven being chased away, and the dove delivered, I then first observed what I had inconsiderately done, and that I was already entered into a way, from which under peril of great punishment I durst not retire. And though I had still herewith in some measure to comfort my self, 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 my self about, a contrary wind was so strong against me, that it was ready to fell me.

But if I went forward on my way, I perceived no hinderance at all. From whence I could easily conclude, that it would cost me my life, in case I should set my self against the wind, wherefore I patiently took up my cross, got up on my feet, and resolved, since so it must be, I would use my utmost endeavour to get to my journeys end before night. Now although many apparent byways shewed themselves, yet I still proceeded with my compass, and would not budge one step from the Meridian Line; howbeit the way was oftentimes so rugged and unpassable, that I was in no little doubt of it. On this way I constantly thought upon the dove and raven, and yet could not search out the meaning until at length upon a high hill afar off I espied a stately portal, to which not regarding how far it was distant both from me and the way I was in, I hasted, because the sun had already hid himself under the hills, and I could elsewhere espy no abiding place, and this verily I ascribe only to God, who might well have permitted me to go forward in this way, and withheld my eyes that so I might have gazed beside this gate. To which I now made mighty haste, and reached it by so much daylight, as to take a very competent view of it. Now it was an exceeding royal beautiful portal, whereon were carved a multitude of most noble figures and devices, every one of which (as I afterwards learned) had its peculiar signification. Above was fixed a pretty large tablet, with these words, Procul hinc, procul ite profani, and other things more, that I was earnestly forbidden to relate. Now as soon as I was come under the portal, there straight stepped forth one in a sky-coloured habit, whom I in friendly manner saluted, which though he thankfully returned, 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 satisfied, but (at which I much wondered) shewed me abundance of respect, saying, Come in my brother, an acceptable guest you are to me; and withal intreated me not to with-hold my name from him. Now having replied, that I was a Brother of the Red-Rosie Cross, he both wondered, and seemed to rejoice at it, and then proceeded thus, My brother, have you nothing about you wherewith to purchase a token? I answered my ability was small, but if he saw any thing about me he had a mind to, it was at his service. Now he having requested of me my bottle of water, and I granted it he gives me a golden token whereon stood no more but these two letters, S. C., intreating me that when it stood me in good stead, I would remember him. After which I asked him, how many were got in before me, which he also told me, and lastly out of mere friendship gave me a sealed letter to the second Porter. Now having lingered some time with him, the night grew on. Whereupon a great beacon upon the gates was immediately fired, that so if any were still upon the way, he might make hasted hither. But the way where it finished at the castle, was on both sides inclosed with walls, and planted with all sorts of excellent fruit trees, and still on every third tree on each side lanterns were hung up, wherein all the candles were already lighted with a glorious torch by a beautiful Virgin, habited in skye-colour, which was so noble and majestic a spectacle, that I yet delayed somewhat longer than was requisite. But at length after sufficient information, and an advantageous instruction, I friendly departed from the first Porter. On the way, though 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 was it adorned with images and mystic significations. In the affixed tablet stood Date et dabitur vobis. Under this gate lay a terrible grim lion chain’d, who as soon as he espied me arose and made at me with great roaring; whereupon the second Porter who lay upon a stone of marble awaked, and wished me not to be troubled or affrighted, and then drove back the lion, and having received the letter which I with trembling reached him, he read it, and with very great respect spake thus to me, “Now well-come in Gods Name unto me the man whom of long time I would gladly have seen.” Meanwhile he also drew out a token, and asked me whether I could purchase it? But having nothing else left but my salt, presented it to him, which he thankfully accepted. Upon this token again stood only two letters, namely, S. M. Being now just about to enter discourse with him, it began to ring in the castle, whereupon the Porter counselled me to run apace, or else all the pains and labour I had hitherto taken would serve to no purpose, for the lights above began already to be extinguished; whereupon I dispatched with such haste that I heeded not the Porter, in such anguish was I, and truly it was but 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 never have found the way, had not she with her torch afforded me some light; I was moreover constrained to enter the very next to her, and the gate was so suddenly clap’s to, 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. Mean time I again surveyed the gate, which now appeared so rich, as the whole world could not equal it; just by the door were two columns on one of which stood a pleasant figure with this inscription, Congratulor. The other having its countenance veiled was sad, and beneath was written, Condoleo. In brief, the inscriptions and figures thereon, were so dark and mysterious, that the most dexterous man upon earth could not have expounded them. But all these (if God permit) I shall ever long publish and explain. Under this gate I was again to give my name, which was this last time written down in a little vellum book, and immediately with the rest dispatched to the Lord Bridegroom. Here it was where I first received the true guest token, which was somewhat less 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 floor of the castle was laid with pure shining marble; my old shoes I was to give away to one of the poor who sate in throngs, howbeit in very good order, under the gate. I then bestowed them on an old man; after which two pages with as many torches conducted me into a little room; there they willed me to sit down on a form, which I did, but they sticking 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 was fain to suffer, and attend what they would do with me; but presently perceiving them to be barbers, I intreated 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 see) fine and gently cut away the hair-round about from the crown of my head, but on my forehead, ears and eyes he permitted my ice-grey locks to hang. In his first encounter (I must confess) I was ready to dispair, for inasmuch as some of them shoved me so forceably, and I could yet see nothing, I could think no other but that God for my curiosity had suffered me to miscarry. Now these invisible barbers carefully gathered up the hair which was cut off, and carried it away with them. After which the two pages entered again, and heartily laughed at me for being so terrified. But they had scarce 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 willed me to rise, and through many walks, doors and winding stairs lighted me 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 hugely marvelled, and thought to my self, ah, how gross a fool hast thou been to engage upon this journey with so much bitterness and toil, when (behold) here are even those fellows whom thou well know’st, and yet hadst never any reason to esteem. They are now all here, and thou with all thy prayers and supplications art hardly got in at last. This and more the Devil at that time injected, whom I notwithstanding (as well as I could) directed to the issue. Mean time one or other of my acquaintance here and there spoke to me: Oh Brother Rosencreutz! Art thou here too; yea, (my brethren) replied I, the grace of God hath helped me in also; at which they raised a 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 found that most 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 rest; so that for me and some other sorry fellows there was hardly a little nook left at the lower-most table. Presently the two pages entered, and one of them said grace in so handsom and excellent manner, as rejoyced the very heart in my body.

Howbeit, certain great St John’s made but little reckoning of them, but fleired and winked one at another, biting their lips within their hats, and using more the like unseemly gestures. After this, meat was brought in, and albeit none could be seen, yet every thing was so orderly managed, that it seemed to me as if every guest had had his proper attendant. Now my artists having somewhat recruited themselves, and the wine having a little removed 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 preternatural and impossible enterprises I then heard, I am still ready to vomit at it. In fine, they never kept in their order, but when ever one rascal here, another there, could insinuate himself in between the nobles; then pretended they the finishing of such adventures as neither Sampson, nor yet Hercules with all their strength could ever have achieved: this would discharge Atlas of his burden; the other would again draw forth the three-headed Cerberus out of Hell. In brief, every man had his own prate, and yet the great 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 the fingers with a knife, yet they flinched not at it, but when any one perchance had filched a gold-chain, then would all hazard for the like. 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 an one (in my opinion) had good understanding, but assumed too much to himself, to his own destruction Lastly, there was one also who would needs out of hand persuade us that he saw the servitors who attended, and would still have pursued his contention, had not one of those invisible waiters reached him so handsom a cuff upon his lying muzzle, that not only he, but many more who were by him, became as mute as mice.

But it best of all pleased me, that all those, of whom I had any esteem, were very quiet in their business, and made no loud cry of it, but acknowledged 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 wherein I came hither; for I could not but with anguish behold 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 thought not that there was yet one gate behind, through which we must pass, but imagined I was during the whole wedding, to continue in this scorn, contempt and indignity, which yet I had at no time deserved, either of the Lord Bridegroom or the Bride. And therefore (in my opinion) he should have done well to sort out some other fool to his wedding than me. Behold, to such impatience cloth the iniquity of this world reduce simple hearts. But this really was one part of my lameness, whereof (as is before mentioned) I dreamed. And truly this clamour the longer it lasted, the more it increased. For there were already those who boasted of false and imaginary visions, and would persuade us of palpably lying dreams. Now there sat by me a very fine quiet man, who oftentimes discoursed of excellent matters. At length he said, “Behold my brother, if any one should now come who were willing to instruct these blockish people in the right way, would he be heard? “No, verily,” replied I. “The world” said he, “is now resolved (whatever comes on it) to be cheated, and cannot abide to give ear to those who intend its good. Seest thou also that same cocks-comb, with what whimsical figures and foolish conceits he allures others to him. There one makes mouthes at the people with the unheard-of mysterious words. Yet believe me in this, the time is now coming when those shameful vizards shall be plucked off, and all the world shall know what vagabond imposters were concealed behind them. Then perhaps that will be valued which at present is not esteemed. “Whilst he was thus speaking, and the clamour the longer it lasted the worse it was, all on a sudden there began in the hall such excellent and stately musick, as all the days of my life I never heard the like; whereupon every one held his peace, and attended what would become of it. Now there were in this music all sorts of stringed instruments imaginable, which sounded together in such harmony, that I forgot myself, and sat so unmovable, that those who sat by me were amazed at me, and this lasted near half an hour, wherein none of us spoke one word. For as soon as ever any one was about to open his mouth, he got an unexpected blow, neither knew he from whence it came. Me thought since we were not permitted to see the musicians, I should have been glad to view only all the instruments they made use of. After half an hour this music ceased unexpectedly, and we could neither see nor hear any thing further. Presently after, before the door of the hall began a great noise sounding and beating of trumpets, shalms and kettle-drums, also master-like, as if the Emperor of Rome had been entering; whereupon the door opened of itself, and then the noise of the trumpets was so loud, that we were hardly able to indure it. Meanwhile (to my thinking) many thousand small tapers came into the hall, all which of themselves marched in so very exact an order as altogether amazed us, till at last the two aforementioned pages with bright torches, lighting in a most beautiful Virgin, all drawn on a gloriously gilded triumphant self-moving throne, entered the hall. It seemed to me she was the very same who before on the way kindled, and put out the lights, and that these her attendants were the very same whom she formerly placed at the trees. She was not now as before in skye-colour, but arrayed in a snow-white glittering robe, which sparkled of pure gold, and cast such a lustre that we durst not steadily behold it. Both the pages were after the same manner habited (albeit somewhat more slightly). As soon as they were come into the middle of the hall, and were descended from the throne, all the small tapers made obeisance before her. Whereupon we all stood up from our benches, yet every one staid in his own place. Now she having to us, and we again to her, shewed all respect and reverence, in a most pleasant tone she began thus to speak:

“The King my Lord most gracious,

Who now’s not very far from us,

As also his most lovely Bride,

To him in troth and honour ti’d;

Already, with great joy indu’d,

Have your arrival hither view’d;

And do to every one,

and all Promise their grace in special;

And from their very hearts desire,

You may it at the same acquire;

That so their future nuptial joy

May mixed be with none’s annoy.”

Hereupon with all her small tapers she again courteously bowed, and presently after began thus:


“In the invitation writ, you know

That no man called was hereto

Who of God’s rarest gifts good store

Had not received long before,

Adorned with all requisit’s,

As in such cases it befit’s.

How though they cannot well conceit

That any man’s so desperate,

Under conditions so hard,

Here to intrude without regard;

Unless he have been first of all,

Prepared for this nuptial;

And therefore in good hopes do dwell

That with all you it will be well.

Yet men are grown so bold, and rude,

Not weighing their inepitude,

As still to thrust themselves in place

Whereto none of them called was.

No cocks-comb here himself may sell,

No rascal in with others steal;

For they resolve without all let

A wedding pure to celebrate.

So then the artists for to weigh

Seals shall be fix’d the ensuing day;

Whereby each one may lightly find

What he hath left at home behind.

If here be any of that rout

Who have good cause themselves to doubt,

Let him seek quickly hence aside;

For that in ease he longer bide,

Of grace forelor’n, and quite undone

Betimes he must the gauntlet run.

If any now his conscience gall,

He shall tonight be left in th’ hall

And be again releas’t by morn,

Yet so he hither ne’er return.

If any man have confidence,

He with his waiter may go hence,

Who shall him to his chamber light

Where he may rest in peace tonight;

And there with praise await the scale

Or else his sleep may chance to fail.

The others here may take it well,

For who aim’s ‘bove what’s possible,

‘Twere better much he hence had pas’t,

But of you all wee’l hope the best.”

As soon as she had done speaking this, she again made reverence, and sprung cheerfully into her throne, after which the trumpets began again to sound, which yet was not of force to take from many their grievous sighs. So they again conducted her invisibly away, but the most part of the small tapers remained in the room, and still one of them accompanied each of us. In such perturbation ’tis not well possible to express what pensive thoughts and gestures were amongst us. Yet the most part were resolved to await the scale, and in ease things sorted not well, to depart (as they hoped) in peace. I had soon cast up my reckoning, and being my conscience convinced me of all ignorance, and unworthiness, I purposed to stay with the rest in the hall, and chose much rather to content myself with the meal I had already taken, than to run the risk of a future repulse. Now after that every one by his small taper had severally been conducted into a chamber (each as I since understood into a peculiar one), there stayed nine of us, and amongst the rest he also, who discoursed with me at the table. But although our small tapers left us not, yet soon after within an hours time one of the aforementioned pages came in, and bringing a great bundle of cords with him, first demanded of us whether we had concluded to stay there, which when we had with sighs affirmed, he bound each of us in a several place, and so went away with our small tapers, and left us poor wretches in darkness. Then some first began to perceive the imminent danger, and I my self could not refrain tears. For although we were not forbidden to speak, yet anguish and affliction suffered none of us to utter one word. For the cords were so wonderfully made, yet none could cut them, much less get them off his feet. Yet this comforted me, that still the future gain, of many an one, who had now betaken himself to rest, would prove very little to his satisfaction. But we by only one nights penance might expiate all our presumption; till at length in my sorrowful thoughts I fell asleep, during which I had a dream. Now although there be no great matter in it, yet I esteem it not impertinent to recount it. Me thought I was upon an 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 up towards Heaven, now one hung high, another low, some stood even quite upon the earth. But in the air there flew up and down an ancient man, who had in his hand a pair of sheers, wherewith here he cut one’s, and there another’s thread. Now he that was nigh the earth was so much the readier, and fell without 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 no stretched, that they came to the earth before the thread was cut. I took pleasure in this tumbling, and it joyed me at the heart, when he who had over-exalted himself in the air, of his wedding, got so shameful a fall, that it carried even some of his neighbours along with him. In like manner it also rejoiced me, that he who had all this while kept himself near the earth, could come down so fine and gently, that even his next men perceived it not. But being now in my highest fit of jolity, I was unawares jogged by one of my fellow captives, upon which I was awaked, and was very much discontented with him. Howbeit, I considered my dream, and recounted it to my brother, who lay by me on the other side, who was not dissatisfied with it, but hoped some comfort might thereby be pretended. In such discourse we spent the remaining part of the night, and with longing expected the day.

The Third Day   Return to Top

Now as soon as the lovely day was broken, and the bright sun, having raised himself above the hills, had again betaken himself, in the high heaven, to his appointed office, my good champions began to rise out of their beds, and leisurely to make themselves ready unto the inquisition. Whereupon, one after another, they came again into the hall, and giving us a good morrow, demanded how we had slept; and having espied our bonds, there were some that reproved us for being so cowardly, and that we had not, as they, hazarded upon all adventures. Howbeit, same of them whose hearts still smote them made no loud cry of the business. We excused ourselves with our ignorance, hoping we should now be set at liberty, and learn wit by this disgrace, that they on the contrary had not yet altogether escaped, and perhaps their greatest danger was still to be expected. At length each one being assembled, the trumpets began now again to sound and the kettle drums to beat as formerly, and we then imagined no other but that the Bridegroom was ready to present himself; which nevertheless was a huge mistake. For it was again the yesterday’s Virgin who had arrayed her self all in red velvet, and girded her self with a white scarfe. Upon her head she had a green wreath of laurel, which hugely became her. Her train was now no more of small tapers, but consisted of two hundred men in harness, who were all (like her) cloathed in red and white. Now as soon as they were alighted from the throne, she comes straight to us prisoners, and after she had saluted us, she said in few words, “That some of you have been sensible of your wretched condition is hugely pleasing to my most mighty Lord, and he is also resolved you shall fare the better for it.” And having espied me in my habit, she laughed and spake, “Good lack! hast thou also submitted thy self to the yoke, I imagined thou wouldst have made thy self very smug,” with which words she caused my eyes to run over. After which she commanded we should be unbound, and coupled together and placed in a station where we might well behold the scales. “For,” said she, “it may yet fare better with them, than the presumptuous, who yet stand here at liberty.” Mean time the scales which were intirely of gold were hung up in the midst of the hall. There was also a little table covered with red velvet, and seven weights placed thereon. First of all stood a pretty great one, next four little ones; lastly, two great ones severally. And these weights in proportion to their bulk were so heavy, that no man can believe or comprehend it. But each of the harnessed 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 proper weight; and then again sprung up into her high throne. Now as soon as she had made her reverence, with a very shrill tone she began thus to speak:

“Who int’ a painters room does go

And nothing does of painting know,

Yet does in prating thereof, pride it;

Shall be of all the world derided.

Who into th’ artists order goes,

And “hereunto was never chose;

Yet with pretence of skill does pride it;

Shall be of all the world derided.

Who at a wedding does appear,

And yet was ner’e intended there;

Yet does in coming highly pride it;

Shall be of all the world derided.

Who now into this scale ascends,

The weights not proving his fast friends,

And that it bounces so does ride it;

Shall be of all the world derided.”

As soon as the Virgin had done speaking, one of the Pages commanded 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 first of all bowed himself a little towards the Virgin, and afterwards in all his stately attire went up: whereupon each captain laid in his weight; which (to the wonder of all) he stood out. But the last was too heavy for him, so that forth he must, and that with much anguish that (as it seemed to me) the Virgin her self had pity on him, who also beckoned to her people to hold their peace, yet was the good emperor bound and delivered over to the sixth band. Next him again came forth another emperor, who steps hautily into the scale, and having a great thick book under his gown, he imagined not to fail. But being scarce able to abide the third weight, and being unmercifully flung down, and his book in that affrightment flipping from him, all the soldiers began to laugh, and he was delivered up bound to the third band. Thus it went also with some others of the emperors who were all shamefully laughed at and captived. After these comes forth a little short man with a curled brown beard, an emperor too, who after the usual reverence got up also, and held out so steadfastly, that me thought, and there been more weights ready, he would have outstood them; to whom the Virgin immediately arose, and bowed before him, causing him to put on a gown of red velvet, and at last reached him a branch of laurel, having good store of them upon her throne, upon the steps whereof she willed him to sit down. Now how, after him it fared with the rest of the emperors, kings and lords, would be too long to recount; but I cannot leave unmentioned that few of those great personages held out. Howbeit sundry eminent virtues (beyond my hopes) were found in many. One could stand out this, the second another, some two, some three, four or five, but few could attain to the just perfection; but everyone who failed, was miserably laughed at by the bands. After the inquisition had also passed over the gentry, the learned, and unlearned, and the rest, 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 Spitalanficum makers, who were set upon the scale with such scorn, that I my self for all my grief was ready to burst my belly with laughing, neither could the very prisoners themselves refrain. For the most part could not abide that severe trial, but with whips and scourges were jerked out of the scale, and led to the other prisoners, yet to a suitable band. Thus of so great a throng so few remained, that I am ashamed to discover their number. Howbeit there were persons of quality also amongst them, who notwithstanding were (like the rest) honoured with velvet robes and wreaths of laurel.

The inquisition being completely finished, and none but we poor coupled hounds standing aside, at length one of the captains stepped forth, and said, Gratious Madam, if it please your ladyship let these poor men, who acknowledged their mis-understanding, be set upon the scale also without their incurring any danger of penalty, and only for recreation’s sake, if perchance any thing that is right may be found amongst them. In the first 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 nothing doubted but that many of the prisoners wished that they had stay’d ten nights with us in the hall. Yet since the Virgin consented, so it must be, and we being untied were one after another set up. Now although the most part miscarried, yet they were neither laughed at, nor scourged, but peaceably placed on one side. My companion was the fifth, who held out bravely, whereupon all, but especially the captain who made the request for us, applauded him, and the Virgin shewed 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 friendly upon me, and the Virgin her self smiled a little. But for as much as I out-stayed all the weights, the Virgin commanded them to draw me up by force, wherefore three men moreover hung on the other side of the beam, and yet could nothing prevail. Whereupon one of the Pages immediately stood up, and cried out exceeding loud, THAT IS HE. Upon which the other replied, Then let him gain his liberty, which the Virgin accorded; and being received with due ceremonies, the choice was given me to release one of the captives, whosoever I pleased; whereupon I made no long deliberation, but elected the first emperor whom I had long pittied, who was immediately set free, and with all respect seated amongst us. Now the last being set up, and the weights proving too heavy for him, in the mean while the Virgin espied my roses, which I had taken out of my hat into my hands, and thereupon presently by her Page graciously requested them of me, which I readily sent her. And so this first act was finished about ten in the fore-noon. Whereupon the trumpets began to sound again, which nevertheless we could not as yet see. Mean time the bands were to step aside with their prisoners, and expect 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 desired each one to give his opinion, how the prisoners were to be dealt with.

The first 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 which pleased neither the president nor me. At length by one of the emperors (the same whom I had freed) my companion, and my self the affair was brought to this point; that first of all the principal lords should with a befitting respect be led out of the castle; others might be carried out somewhat more scornfully. These would be stripped and caused to run out naked. The fourth with rods, whips or dogs, should be hunted out. Those who the day before willingly surrendered themselves, might be suffered to depart without any blame. And last of all those presumptuous ones, and they who behaved themselves so unseemly at dinner the day before, should be punished in body and life according to each man’s demerit. This opinion pleased the Virgin well, and obtained the upper hand. There was moreover another dinner vouchsafed them, which they were soon acquainted with. But the execution was deferred till twelve at noon. Herewith the senate arose, and the Virgin also, together with her attendants returned to her usual quarter. But the uppermost table in the room was allotted to us, they requesting us to take it in good part till the business were fully dispatched. And then we should be conducted to the Lord Bridegroom and the Bride, with which we were at present well content. Mean time the prisoners were again brought into the hall, and each man seated according to his quality; they were likewise enjoined to behave themselves somewhat more civilly than they had done the day before, which yet they needed not to have been admonished, for without this, they had already put up their pipes. And this I can boldly say, not with flattery, 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 indifferent, yet with respect, neither could they yet see their attendants, but to us they were visible, whereat I was exceeding joyful. Now although fortune had exalted us, yet we took not upon us more than the rest, advising them to be of good cheer, the event would not be so ill. Now although they would gladly have understood the sentence of us, yet we were so deeply obliged that none durst open his mouth about it. Nevertheless we comforted them as well we could, drinking with them to try if the wine might make them any thing cheerfuller. Our table was covered with red velvet, beset with drinking cups of pure silver and gold, which the rest could not behold without amazement and very great anguish. But e’er we had seated ourselves, in came the two Pages, presenting every one in the Bride-groom’s behalf, the Golden Fleece with a flying lion, requesting us to wear them at the table, and as became us to observe the reputation and dignity of the order, which his majesty had now vouchsafed us, and should suddenly be ratified with suitable ceremony. This we received with profoundest submission, promising obediently to perform whatsoever his Majesty should please. Besides these, the noble Page had a schedule, wherein we were set down in order. And for my part I should not otherwise be desirous to conceal my place, if perchance it might not be interpreted to pride in me, which yet is expressly against the fourth weight. Now because our entertainment was exceedingly stately, we demanded one of the Pages, whether we might not have leave to send some choice bit to our friends and acquaintance, who making no difficulty of it, every one sent plentifully to his acquaintance by the waiters, howbeit they saw none of them; and forasmuch as they knew not whence it came, I we. my self desirous to carry somewhat to one of them, but as soon as I was risen, one of the waiters was presently at my elbow, saying he desired me to take friendly warning, for in case one of the Pages had seen it, it would have come to the King’s ear, who would certainly have taken it amiss of me; but since none had observed it but himself, he purposed not to betray me, but that I ought for the time to come to have better regard to the dignity of the order. With which words the servant did really so astonish me, that for a long time after I scarce moved upon my seat, yet I returned him thanks for his faithful warning, as well as in haste and affright I was able. Soon after the drums began to beat again, to which we were already accustomed: for we well knew it was the Virgin, wherefore we prepared ourselves to receive her, who 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. Being now after a marvellous artificial manner alighted from the seat, she takes the goblet from the Page, and presents the same in 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 goblet stood Fortune curiously cast in gold, who had in her hand a red flying ensign, for which cause I drunk somewhat the more sadly, as having been but too well acquainted with Fortune’s way-wardness. But the Virgin as well as we, was adorned with the Golden Fleece and lion, whence I observed, that perhaps she wan the president of the order. Wherefore we demanded of her how the order might be named? She answered that it was not yet seasonable to discover it, till the affair with the prisoners were dispatched. And therefore their eyes were still held, and what had hitherto happened to us, was to them only for an offence and scandal, although it were to be accounted as nothing, in regard of the honour that attended us. Hereupon she began to distinguish the patent which the other Page held into two different parts, out of which about thus much was read before the first company.

That they should confess that they had too lightly given credit to fictitious books, had assumed too much to themselves, and so came into this castle, albeit they were never invited into it, and perhaps the most part had presented themselves with design to make their market here, and afterwards to live in the greater pride and lordliness; and thus one had seduced another, and plunged him into this disgrace and ignominy, wherefore they were deservedly to be soundly punished. Which they with great humility readily acknowledged, and gave their hands upon it. After which a severe check was given to the rest, much to this purpose.

That they very well knew, and were in their consciences convinced, that they had forged false fictitious books, had befooled others, and cheated them, and thereby had diminished regal dignity amongst all. They knew in like manner what ungodly deceitful figures they had made use of, in so much a. they spared not even the Divine Trinity. but accustomed themselves to cheat people the country over. It was also now as clear as day with what practices they had endeavoured to ensnare the true guests, and introduce the ignorant: in like 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 vagabond-cheaters, knaves and rascals, whereby they deserved to be cashiered from the company of civil people, and severely to be punished.

The good artists were loath to come to this confession, but inasmuch as not only the Virgin her self threatened, and swore their death, but the other party also vehemently raged at them, and unanimously cryed out, that they had most wickedly seduced them out of the Light, they at length, to prevent a huge misfortune, confessed the same with dolour, and yet withal alledged that what had herein happened was not to be animadverted upon them in the worst sense. For in as much as the lords were absolutely resolved to get into the castle, and had promised great sums of money to that effect, each one had used all craft to seize upon something, and so things were brought to that pass, as was now manifest before their eyes. But that it succeeded not, they in their opinion had dis-deserved no more than the lords themselves; as who should have had so much understanding as to consider that in case any one had been sure of getting in, he would not, in so great peril, for the sake of a slight gain, have clambered over the wall with them. Their books also sold so mightily, that whoever had no other mean to maintain himself, was fain to engage in such a cousenage. They hoped moreover, that if a right judgment were made, they should be found no way to have miscarried, as having behaved themselves towards the lords, as became servants, upon their earnest entreaty. But answer was made them, that his Royal Majesty had determined to punish all, and every man, albeit one more severely than another. For although what had been alledged by them was partly true, and therefore the lords should not wholly be indulged, yet they had good reason to prepare themselves for death, who had so presumptuously obtruded themselves, and perhaps seduced the more ignorant against their will; as likewise they who with false books had violated royal majesty, as the same might be evinced out of their very writings and books.

Hereupon many began most pitteously to lament, cry, weep, entreat, and prostrate themselves, all which notwithstanding could avail them nothing, and I much marvelled how the Virgin could be so resolute, when yet 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 curiassiers which had this day been appointed at the scales, who were commanded each of them to take his own to him, and in an orderly procession, so as still each curiassier should go with one of the prisoners, to conduct them into her great garden. At which time each one so exactly recognised his own man, that I marvelled at it. Leave also was likewise given to my yesterday companions to go out into the garden unbound, and to be present at the execution of the sentence. Now as soon as every man was come forth, the Virgin mounted up into her high throne, requesting us to sit down upon the steps, and to appear at the judgment, which we refused not, but left all standing upon the table (except the goblet, which the Virgin committed to the Pages keeping) and went forth in our robes upon the throne, which of it self moved so gently as if we had passed in the air, till in this manner we came into the garden, where we arose altogether. This garden was not extraordinary curious, only it pleased me that the trees were planted in so good order. Besides there ran in it a most costly fountain, adorned with wonderful figures and inscriptions, and strange characters (which God willing I shall mention in a future book). In this garden was raised a wooden scaffold, hung about with curiously painted figured coverlets. Now there were four galleries made one over another, the first more glorious than any of the rest, and therefore covered with a white taffeta curtain, so that at that time we could not perceive who-was behind it. The second was empty and uncovered. Again the two last were covered with red and blew taffeta. Now as noon as we were come to the scaffold, the Virgin bowed her self down to the ground, at which we were mightily terrified: for we might easily guess that the King and Queen must not be far off. Now we also having duely performed our reverence, the Virgin lead 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 as also before at the table, I cannot, without slander of wicked tongues, well relate. For he might well imagine in what anguish and sollicitude he now should have been, in case he were at present to attend the judgment with such ignominies and that only through me he hast not attained such dignity and worthiness. Mean time the virgin who first of all brought me the invitation, and whom hitherto I had never since seen, stepped in. First she gave one blast upon her trumpet, and then with a very loud voice declared the sentence in this manner.

The Kings Majesty my most gratious Lord could from his heart wish, that all and every one here assembled, held upon his Majesty’s invitation presented themselves so qualified, as that they might (to his honour) with greatest frequently have adorned this his appointed nuptial and joyful feast. But since it hath otherwise pleased Almighty God, his Majesty hath not whereat to murmur, but must be forced, contrary to his own inclination, to abide by the ancient and laudable constitutions of this Kingdom. But now, that his Majesty’s innate clemency may be celebrated over all the world, he hath thus far absolutely dealt with his council and estates, that the usual sentence shall be considerably lenified. So that in the first place he in willing to vouchsafe to the lords and potentates, not only their lives entirely, but also freely and frankly to dismiss them, friendly and courteously entreating your lordships not at all to take it in evil part that you cannot be present at his Majesty’s Feast of Honour; but to remember that there in notwithstanding more imposed upon your lordship. by God Almighty (who in the distribution of his gifts hath an incomprehensible consideration) than you can duely and easily sustain. Neither is your reputation hereby prejudiced, although you be rejected by this our order, since we cannot at once all of us, do all things. 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 resolveth shortly to communicate with your lordships a catalogue of hereticks or Index Expurgatorius, that you may hence forward be able with better judgment to discern between the good and the evil. And because his Majesty e’re long also purposeth to rummage his library, and offer up the reductive writings to Vulcan, he friendly, humbly, and courteously entreats every one of your lordships to put the name in execution with your own, whereby it is to be hoped that all evil and mischief may for the time to come be remedied. And you are withal to be admonished, never henceforth so inconsiderately to covet an entrance hither, least the former excuse of seducers be taken from you, and you fall into disgrace and contempt of all men. In fine, for as much as the estates of the land have still somewhat to demand of your lordships, his Majesty hopes that no man will think much to redeem himself with a chain or what else he hath about him, and so in friendly manner to depart from us, and through our safe conduct to betake himself home again.

The others who stood not at the first, third and fourth weight, his Majesty will not no lightly dismiss. But that they also may now experience his Majesty’s gentleness, it is his command, to strip them stark naked and so send them forth.

Those who in the second and fifth weight were found too light, shall besides stripping, be noted with one, two or more brand-marks, according as each one was lighter, or heavier.

They who were drawn up by the sixth or seventh, and not by the rest, shall be somewhat more gratiously dealt withal, and so forward. For unto every combination there was a certain punishment ordained, which were here too long to recount.

They who yesterday separated themselves freely of their own accord, shall go 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 judgment shall be inviolably observed for an example unto others.

Herewith our Virgin broke her wand, and the other who read the sentence, blowed her trumpet, and stepped with most profound reverence towards those who stood behind the curtain. But here I cannot omit to discover somewhat to the reader concerning the number of our prisoners, of whom those who weighed one, were seven; those who weighed two, were twenty one; they who three, thirty five; they who four, thirty five; those who five, twenty one; those who six, seven; but he that came to the seventh, and yet could not well raise it, he was only one, and indeed the same whom I released. Besides, of them who wholly failed there were many. But of those who drew all the weights from the ground, but few. And these as they stood severally before us, no I diligently numbered, and noted them down in my table-book. And it is very admirable that amongst those who weighed any thing, none was equal to another. For although amongst those who weighed three, there were thirty five, yet one of them weighed the first, second, and third, another the third, fourth, and fifth, a third, the fifth, sixth and seventh and so on. It is likewise very wonderful that amongst one hundred and twenty six who weighed any thing, none was equal to another. And I would very willingly name them all, with each mans weight, were it not as yet forbidden me. But I hope it may hereafter be published with the interpretation.

Now this Judgment being read over, the lords in the first place were well satisfied, because in such severity they durst not look for a mild sentence. For which cause they gave more than they were desired, and each one redeemed himself with chains, jewels, gold, monies and other things, as much as they had about them, and with reverence took leave. Now although the King’s servants were forbidden to jear any at his going away, yet some unlucky birds could not hold laughing, and certainly it was sufficiently ridiculous to see them pack away with such speed, without once looking behind them. Some desired that the promised catalogue might with the first be dispatched 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 given to each of them out of a cup a draught of FORGETFULNESS, that so he might have no further memory of misfortune.

After these the volunteers departed, who because of their ingenuity were suffered to pass, but yet so as never to return again in the same fashion. But if to them (as likewise to the others) any thing further were revealed, then they should become well-come guests.

Mean while others were stripping, in which also an inequality(according to each man’s demerit) was observ’d. 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 also with whom somewhat a longer time was spent, for whilst some were hanging, some beheading, some forced to leap into the water, and the rest otherwise dispatching, much time was consumed. Verily at this execution my eyes ran over, not indeed in regard of the punishment, which they otherwise for their impudency well deserved, but in contemplation of human blindness, in that we are continually busting ourselves in that which ever since the first Fall hath been hitherto sealed up to us. Thus the garden which so lately was quite full, was soon emptied; so that besides the soldier there was not a man left. Now as soon as this was done, and silence had been kept for the space of five minutes, there came forward a beautiful snow-white unicorn with a golden coller (having it in certain letters) about his neck. In the same place he bowed himself down upon both his fore-feet, as if hereby he had shown honour to the lion, who stood so immoveably upon the fountain, that I took him to be of stone or brass, who immediately took the naked sword which he bare in his paw, and brake it in the middle in two, the piece. whereof to my thinking sunk into the fountain: after which he so long roared, 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 lead us down again by the winding stairs from the scaffold, and so we again made our reverence toward the curtain. We were to wash our hands and heads in the fountain, and there a little while to wait in our order till the King through a certain secret gallery were again returned into his hall and then we also with choice music, pomp, state and pleasant discourse were conducted into our former lodging. And this was done about four in the afternoon. But that in the meanwhile the time might not seem too long to us, the Virgin bestowed on each of us a noble page, who were not only richly habited, but also exceedingly learned, so that they could so aptly discourse upon all subjects, that we had good reason to be ashamed of our selves. These were commanded to lead us up and down the castle yet but into certain places and if possible, to shorten the time according to our desire.

Meantime the Virgin took leave with this consolation, that at supper she would be with us again, and after that celebrate the ceremonies of the hanging up of the weights, requesting that we would in patience waite till the next day, for on the morrow we must be presented to the King. She being thus departed from us, each of us did what best pleased him. One part viewed the excellent paintings, which they copied out for themselves, and considered also what the wonderful characters might signify. Others were fain to recruit themselves again with meat and drink. I indeed caused my page to conduct me (together with my companion) up and down the castle, of which walk it will never repent me as long as I have a day to live. For besides many other glorious antiquities, the royal sepulcher was also shewed me, by which I learned more than is extant in all books. There in the same place stands also the glorious Phoenix (of which two years since I published a particular small discourse) and Am resolved (in case this my narration shall prove useful) to set forth several and peculiar treatises, concerning the Lion, Eagle, Griffon, Falcon and other like, together with their draughts and inscriptions. It grieves me also for my other conforts, that they neglected such pretious treasures. And yet I cannot but think it was the special will of God it should be so. I indeed reaped the most benefit by my page, for according as each ones genius lay, so he lead his intrusted into the quarters and places which were pleasing to him. Now the keys hereunto belonging were committed to my page, and therefore this good fortune happened to me before the rest; for although he invited others to come in, yet they imagining such tombs to be only in the churchyard, thought they would well enough get thither, when ever any thing 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 shewed us two was the noble library as it was altogether before the Reformation. Of which (albeit it rejoices my heart as often as I call it to mind) I have so much the less to say, because the catalogue thereof in very shortly to be published. At the entry of this room stands a great book, the like whereof I never saw, in which all the figures, rooms, portals, also all the writings, riddles ant the like, to be seen in the whole castle, are delineated. Now although we made some promise concerning this also, yet at present I must contain my self, and first learn to know the world better. In every book stands its author painted, whereof (as I understood) many were to be burnt, that so even their memory may be blotted out from amongst the righteous. Now having taken a full view hereof, and being scarce gotten forth, another page came running to us, and having whispered somewhat in our pages ear, he delivered up the keys to him, who immediately carried them up the winding stair. But our page was very much out of countenance, and we setting hard upon him with entreaties, he declared to us that the King’s Majesty would by no means permit that either of the two, namely the library and sepulchers, should be seen by any man and therefore he besought us as we tendered his life, to discover it to no man, he having already utterly denyed it. Whereupon both of us stood hovering between joy and fear, yet it continued in silence, and no man made further inquiry about it. Thus in both places we consumed three hours, which does not at all repent me. Now although it had already struck seven, yet nothing was hitherto given us to eat, howbeit our hunger was easie to be abated by constant revivings, and I could be well content to fast all my life long with such entertainment. About this time the curious fountains, mines, and all kind of art-shops, were also shown us, of which there was none but surpassed all our arts, though they should all be melted into one mass. All their chambers were built in semi-circle, that so they might have before their eyes the costly clock-work which was erected upon a fair turret in the center, 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 wherein our artists failed, howbeit its none of my duty to inform them. At length I came into a spacious room (shown indeed to the rest a great while before) in the middle whereof stood a terrestrial globe, whose diameter contained thirty foot, albeit near half of it, except a little which was covered with the steps, was let into the earth. Two men might readily turn this globe about with all its furniture, so that more of it was never to be seen, but so much as was above the horizon. Now although I could easily conceive that this was of some special use, yet could I not understand whereto those ringlets of gold (which were upon it in several places) served; at which my page laughed and advised me to view them more narrowly. In brief, I found there my native country noted with gold also. Whereupon my companion sought his, and found that so too. Now for as much as the same happened in like manner to the rest who stood by, the page told us of a certain that it was yesterday declared to the Kings Majest’y by their old Atlas (so is the astronomer named) that all the gilded points did exactly answer to their native countries, according as had been shown of each of them. And therefore he also, as soon as he perceived that I undervalued my self and that nevertheless there stood a point upon my native country, moved one of the captains to intreat for us, that we should be set upon the scale (without our peril) at all adventures; especially seeing one of our native countries had a notable good mark. And truly it was not without cause 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 immediately 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 to my own praise or glory. I saw much more too upon this globe than I am willing to discover. Let each man take into consideration why each city produceth not a philosopher. After this he lead us quite into the globe, which was thus made. On the sea was a tablet, whereon stood three dedications, and the author’s name, which a man might gently lift up and by a little joyned board, go into the center, which was capable of four persons, being nothing but a round board whereon 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 agreeable order, and moved so gallantly, that I had scarce any mind ever to go out again, as the page afterwards told the Virgin, with which she often twitched me. For it was already supper time, and I had so much amused my self in the globe, that I was almost the last at table; wherefore I made no longer delay, but having again put on my gown (which I had before laid aside) and stepping to the table, the waiters treated me with so much reverence and honour, that for shame I durst not look up, and so unawares permitted 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 magnificent entertainment, I hold it needless both because it is not possible sufficiently to express it, and I have above reported it according so my power. In brief, there was nothing there but art and amenity. Now after we had each to other related our employment since noon ( howbeit, not a word was spoken of the library and monuments) being already merry with the wine the Virgin began thus:

My lords, I have a great contention with one of my sisters. In our chamber we have an eagle. Now we cherish him with such diligence. that each of us in desirous to be the best beloved, and upon that score have many a squabble. On a day we concluded to go both together to him, and toward whom he should show himself most friendly, hers should he properly be; this we did. and I (as commonly) bare in my hand a branch of laurel, but my sister had none. Now as soon as he espied us both, he immediately gave my sister another branch which he had in his beak, and offered at mine, which I gave him. Now each of us hereupon imagined her self to be best beloved of him. Which way am I to resolve my self?” This modest proposal of the Virgin pleased us all mighty well and each one would gladly have heard the solution, but in as much as they all looked upon me. and desired to have the beginning from me, 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 ladyships question were easily to be resolved if one thing did not perplex me. I had two companions, both which loved me exceedingly; now they being doubtful which of them was most dear to me, concluded to run to me unaware, 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 staid behind and wept; the other I embraced with amazement. Now when they had afterwards discovered the business to me, I knew not how to resolve myself and have hitherto let it rest in this manner, until I may find some good advice herein.” The Virgin wondered at it, and well observed where about I was. whereupon she replied, “well then let us both be quit,” and then desired the solution from the rest. But I had already made them wise. Whereupon the next began thus: “In the city where I live, a virgin was lately condemned to death, but the judge being something pitiful towards her, caused it to be proclaimed that if any man desired to become the virgin’s champion, 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 expect his adversary; afterwards the other also presented himself. but coming somewhat too late, he resolved nevertheless to fight, and willingly suffer himself to be vanquished, that so the virgin’s life might be preserved, which also succeeded according. Whereupon each challenged her. Now my lords instruct me, to which of them of right belongeth she “The Virgin could hold no longer, but said, I thought to have gained much information, and am my self gotten into the net but yet would gladly hear whether there be any more behind. “Yes, that there is ” answered a third,” a stranger adventure hath not been yet recounted than that which happened to my self. In my youth I loved a worthy maid. Now that this my love might attain its wished end, I was fain to make use of an ancient matron, who easily brought me to her. Now it happened that the maid’s brethren came in upon us just as we three were together, who were in such a rage that they would have taken my life, but upon my vehement supplication, they at length forced me to swear to take each of them for a year, to my wedded wife. Now tell me my lords, should I take the old, or the young one first?” We all laughed sufficiently at this riddle, and although some of them muttered one to another thereupon, 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 noble man, who would needs be too importunate with her; at length she gave him this determination, that in case he would, in a cold winter, lead her into a fair green garden of roses, then he should obtain, but if not, he must resolve never to see her more. The noble man travelled into all countries to find such a man as might perform this, till at length he lite upon a little old man that promised to do it for him, in case 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 contrary to her expectation, she found all things green, pleasant and warm, and withal 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 for as much as he sufficiently perceived her faithfulness, he dispatched 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 affect the noble man, 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, how poor soever he were, be the least, but restored the noble man all his goods again and went his way. Now my lords, I know not which of these persons may have shown the greatest ingenuity?” Here our tongues were quite cut off. Neither would the Virgin make any other reply, but only that another should go on. Wherefore the fifth, without delay, began: “My Lords, I desire not to make long work; who hath the greater joy, he that beholdeth what he loveth, Or he that only thinketh on it?” “He that beholdeth it,” said the Virgin; “Nay” answered I; hereupon arose a contest, wherefore 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 rest.” “It goes well there” replied the seventh, where a man hath his choice, but with me the case is otherwise; in my youth I loved a fair and virtuous virgin from the bottom of my heart, and she me in like manner: howbeit because of her friends denial we could not come together in wedlock.

Whereupon she was married to another, yet an honest and discreet person, who maintained her honourably and with affection, until she came into the pains of child-birth, which went so hard with her that all thought she had been dead, so with much state, and great mourning she was interred. Now I thought with my self, during her life thou couldst have no part in this woman, but yet now dead as she is thou mayst embrace and kiss her sufficiently; whereupon I took my servant with me, who dug her up by night. Now having opened the coffin and locked her in my arms, and feeling about her heart, I found still some little motion in it, which increased more and more from my warmth, till at last I perceived that she was indeed still alive; wherefore I quietly bare 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 (as the mother) I caused faithfully to be nursed. After two days (she being then in a mighty amazement) I discovered to her all the forepassed affair, requesting her that for the time to come she would live with me as a wife, against which she thus excepted, in case it should be grievous to her husband who had well and honourably maintained her. But if it could otherwise be, she was the present obliged in love to one as well as the other. Now after two months (being then 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 could be content to receive her, and he affirming it with tears and lamentations, at length I brought him his wife together with his son, and an account of all the forepassed business, intreating him to ratifie with his consent my fore-purposed espousals. After a long dispute he could not beat me from my right, but was fain to leave me the wife. But still the contest was about the son.” Here the Virgin interrupted him, and said, “It makes me wonder how you could double the afflicted mans grief.” “How’ answered he, ‘was I not then concerned?” Upon this there arose a dispute amongst us, yet the most part affirmed that he had done but right. “Nay,” said he, “I freely returned him both his wife and son. Now tell me my lords, was my honesty, or this man’s joy the greater? “These words had so mightily cheered the Virgin that (as if it had been for the sake or these two) she caused a health to go round. After which the rest of the proposals went on somewhat perplexedly, 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 bought 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 the use of it for nothing. “Here must needs be skill,” said the Virgin, “but the time is now past.” “Yea,” replied my companion, who ever understands not how to resolve all the riddles, may give each man notice of it by a proper messenger, I conceive he will not be denied.” At this time they began to say grace, and we arose altogether from the table, rather satisfied and merry than glutted; and it were to be wished that all invitations and feastings were thus to be kept. Having now taken some few turns up and down the hall again, the Virgin asked us whether we desired to begin the wedding. “Yes,” said one, noble and virtuous lady; whereupon she privately dispatched a page, and yet in the mean time proceeded in discourse with us. In brief she was already become so familiar with us, that I adventured and requested her Name. The Virgin smiled at my curiosity, but yet was not moved, but replied:

My Name contains five and fifty, and yet hath only eight letters; the third is the third part of the fifth, which added to the sixth will produce a number whose root shall exceed the third itself by just the first, and it is the half of the fourth. Now the fifth and the seventh are equal, the last and the first are also equal, and make with the second as much as the sixth hath, which contains just four more than the third tripled. Now tell me, my lord, how am I called?

The answer was intricate enough to me, yet I left not off so, but said, noble and virtuous lady, may I not obtain one only letter? Yea, said she, that may well be done. What then (replied I again) may the seventh contain? It contains (said she) as many as there are lords here. With this I was content, and easily found her Name, at which she was well pleased, with assurance that much more should yet be revealed to us. Mean time 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 gentile proportion. The other looks something angerly, and whatever he would have, must be, as I afterwards perceived. After them first followed four virgins. One looked shame-facedly towards the earth, very humble in behaviour. The second also was a modest, bashful virgin. The third, as she entered the room seemed amazed at somewhat, and as I understood, she cannot well abide where there is too much mirth. The fourth brought with her certain small wreaths, thereby to manifest her kindness and liberality. After these four came two which were somewhat more gloriously apparelled; they saluted us courteously. One of them had a gown of sky colour spangled with golden stars. The others was green, beautified with red and white stripes. On their heads they had thin flying tissaties, which did most becomingly adorn them. At last came one alone, who had on her head a coronet, but rather looked up towards heaven, than towards earth. We all thought it had been the Bride, but were much mistaken, although otherwise in honour, riches 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, howbeit she showed her self extreme humble, offering every one 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 eye to our Creator, and learn hereby to acknowledge his omnipotency, and so proceed in our enterprised course, employing this grace to the praise to God, and the good of man. In sum, her words were quite different from those of our Virgin, who was somewhat more worldly. They pierced even through my bones and marrow. “And thou ‘said she further to me, “hast received more than others, see that thou also make a larger return.” This to me was a very strange sermon; for as soon a. we saw the virgins with the music, we imagined we must presently fall to dancing, but that time was not as yet come. Now the weights, whereof mention has been before made, stood still in the same place, wherefore the Queen (I yet knew not who she was) commanded each virgin to take up one, but to our Virgin she gave her own, which was the last and greatest, and commanded us to follow behind. Our majesty was then somewhat abated, for I well observed that our Virgin was but too good for us, and we were not so highly reputed as we our selves wore almost in part willing to fantasy. So we went behind in our order, and were brought into the first chamber, where our Virgin in the first place hung up the Queen’s weight, during which an excellent spiritual hymn was sung. There was nothing costly in this room save only curious little prayer books which should never be missing. In the midst was erected a pulpit, very convenient for prayer, where in the Queen kneeled down, and about her we were all fain to kneel and pray after the Virgin, who read out of a book, that this Wedding might tend to the honour of God, and our own benefit. Afterwards we came into the second chamber, where the first Virgin hung up her weight also, and so forward until all the ceremonies were finished. Hereupon the Queen again presented her hand to every one, and departed thence with her virgin. Our president stayed yet a while with us. But because it had been already two hours night, she would no longer detain us; me thought she was glad of our company, yet she bid us good night, and wished us quiet rest, and so departed friendly, although unwillingly from us. Our pages were well instructed in their business, and therefore showed every man his chamber, and stayed also with us in another pallet. that in case we wanted any thing 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 excellently spoken. and experienced in the arts, that he yet spent another hour with me and it was half an hour after three when first I fell asleep. And this indeed was the first night that I slept in quiet, and yet a scurvy dream would not suffer me to rest; for I was all the night troubled with a door which I could not get open. but at last I did it. With these fantasies I passed the time. till at length cowards day I awaked.

The Fourth Day   Return to Top

I still lay in my bed, and leisurely surveyed the noble images and figures up and down about my chamber, during which on a sudden I heard the music of coronets, as if they had been already in procession. My page skipped out of the bed as if he had been at his wits end, and looked more like one dead than living. In what case I was then, is easily imaginable, for, said he, “The rest are already presented to the King.” I knew not what else to do, but weep out-right and curs s my own slothfulness; yet I dressed my self, but my page was ready long before me, and ran out of the chamber to see how affairs might yet stand. But he soon returned, and brought with him this joyful news, that the time indeed was not yet but only I had over-slept my breakfast, they being unwilling to waken me because of my age. But that now it was time for me to go with him to the fountain where the most part were assembled. With this consolation my spirit returned again, wherefore 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 well viewed it, I found that it was taken out of the ancient monuments, and placed here for some especial honour. The inscription was somewhat worn out with age, and therefore I am minded to set it down here. as it is, and give every one leave to consider it.








 Bibat ex me qui potest: lavet, qui vult: turbet qui audet:


This writing might well be read and understood, and may therefore fitly be here placed, because easier than any of the rest. Now after we had first washed our selves 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 with flowers. There was also given to every one another Golden Fleece, which was set about with precious stones, and various workmanship according to the utmost skill of each artificer. On it hung a weighty medal of gold, whereon were figured the sun and moon in opposition; but on the other side stood this poesie, The light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven times lighter than at present. But our former jewels were rayed in a little casket, and committed to one of the waiters. After this the Virgin lead us out in our order, where the musicians waited ready at the door, all apparelled 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 hundred and sixty five stairs; there we saw nothing but what was of extreme costly and artificial workmanship; and still the further we went, the more glorious still was the furniture, until at length at the top we came under a painted arch, where the sixty virgins attended us, all richly apparelled. Now as soon as they had bowed to us, and we as well as we could, had returned our reverence, our musicians were dispatched away, who fain to go down the stairs again, the door being shut after them. After this a little bell was tolled; then came in a beautiful Virgin who brought every one a wreath of laurel. But our virgins had branches given them. Mean while a curtain was drawn up, where I saw the King and Queen as they sate there in their majesty, and had not the yesterday queen so faithfully warned me, I should have forgotten my self, and have equalled this unspeakable glory to Heaven.

For besides that the room glistered of mere gold and precious stones; the Queen’s robes were moreover so made that I was not able to behold them. And whereas I before esteemed any thing for handsome, here all things so much surpassed the rest, as the stars in heaven are elevated.

In the mean time the Virgin steps 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 thus to speak: “That to honour your Royal Majesties (most gracious King and Queen) these lords here present have ventured hither with peril of body and life, your Majesties have reason to rejoice, especially since the greatest part are qualified for the enlarging of your Majesties Estates and Empire, as you will find the same by a most gracious and particular examination of each of them.

Herewith I was desirous to have them in humility presented to your Majesties, with most humble suit to discharge me of this my commission, and most graciously to take sufficient information from each or them, concerning both my actions and omissions.” Hereupon she laid down her branch upon the ground. Now it would have been very fitting for one of us to have put in and spoken somewhat on this occasion, but seeing we were all troubled with the falling of the uvula, at length the old Atlas steps forward and spoke on the King’s behalf; “Their Royal Majesties do most graciously rejoice at your arrival, and will that their Royal Grace be assured to all, and every man. And with thy administration, gentle Virgin, they are most graciously satisfied, and accordingly a Royal Reward shall therefore be provided for thee. Yet it is still their intention, that thou shalt this day also continue with them, in as much as they have no reason to mistrust thee.” Hereupon the Virgin humbly took up the branch again. And so we for the first time were to step aside with our Virgin. This room was square on the front, five times broader than it was long; but towards the West it had a great arch like a porch, wherein in circle stood three glorious royal thrones, yet the middle-most was somewhat higher than the rest. Now in each throne sate two persons. In the first sate a very antient King with a grey beard, yet his consort was extraordinarily fair and young. In the third throne sate a black King of middle age, and by him a dainty old matron, not crowned, but covered with a vail. But in the middle sate the two young persons, who tho’ they had likewise wreaths of laurel upon their heads, yet over them hung a large and costly crown. Now albeit they were not at this time so fair as I had before imagined to my self, yet so it was to be. Behind them on a round form sat for the most part antient men, yet none of them (at which I wondered) had any sword, or other weapon about him. Neither saw I any other life-guard, but certain Virgins which were with us the day before, who sate on the sides of the arch. Here can I not pass in silence how the little Cupid flew to and again there, but for the most part he hovered and played the wanton about the great crown; sometimes he seated himself between the two lovers, somewhat smiling upon them with his bow. Nay, sometimes he made as if he would shoot one of us. In brief, this knave was so full of his waggery, that he would not spare even the little birds, which in multitudes flew up and down the room, but tormented them all he could.

The virgins had also their pastimes with him, but whensoever 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 unpressibly curious altar, wherein lay a book covered with black velvet, only a little over-rayed with gold. By this stood a small taper in an ivory candlestick. Now although it were very small, yet it burnt continuously, and stood in that manner, that had not Cupid, in sport, now and then puffed upon it, we could not have conceived it to be fire. By this stood a sphere or celestial globe, which of itself turned clearly about. Next this, a small striking-watch, by that a little christal pipe or siphon-fountain, out of which perpetually ran a clear blood-red liquor; and last of all a skull, or death’s head; in this was a white serpent, which was of such a length, that though she crept circle-wise about the rest of it, yet her taile still remained in one of the eye-holes, until her head again entered at the other, so she never stirred from her skull, unless it happened that Cupid twitched a little at her, for then she slips 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 images, 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 certainly tell, whether it were performed by the virgins who yet stayed behind, or by the images themselves. Now we beeing for this time satisfied, went thence with our virgins, who, the musicians being already present, led us down the winding stairs again, but the door was diligently locked and bolted.

As soon as we were come again into the hall, one of the virgins began: “I wonder, Sister, that you dourest adventure your self amongst so many persons.” My Sister,” replied our president, “I am fearful of none so much as of this man,” pointing at me. This speech went to the heart of me, for I well understood that she mocked at my age, and indeed I wan the oldest of them all. Yet she comforted me again with promise, that in case I behaved my self well towards her, she would easily rid me of this burden. Mean time a collation was again brought in, and every one’s virgin seated by him, who well knew how to shorten the time with handsome discourses, 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 lightly gather that both young and old were conversant in the sciences. But still it run in my thoughts how I might become young again, whereupon I wan somewhat the sadder. This the Virgin perceived, and therefore began, “I dare lay anything, if I lye with him to night, he shall be pleasanter in the morning.” Hereupon they began to laugh, and albeit I blushed all over, yet I was fain to laugh too at my own ill-luck. Now there was one there that had a mind to return my disgrace again upon the Virgin, whereupon he said, “I hope not only we, but the virgins too themselves will bear witness in behalf of our brother, that our lady president hath promised her self to be his bedfellow to night.” “I should be well content with it,” replied the Virgin, “if I had no reason to be afraid of these my sisters; there would be no hold with them should I choose the best and handsomest for my self, against their will.” My Sister presently began another, “we find hereby that thy high office makes thee not proud; wherefore if by thy permission we might by lot part the lords here present, amongst us, for bed-fellows, thou shouldst with our good will have such a prerogative.” We let this pass for a jeast, and began again to discourse together. But our Virgin could not leave tormenting us, and therefore began again, “My lords, how if we should permit fortune to decide which of us must lie together to night? “Well,” said I, “if it may be no otherwise, we cannot refuse such a proffer.” Now because it was concluded to make this trial after meat, we resolved to sit no longer at table, so we arose, and each one walked up and down with his virgin. “Nay,” said the Virgin, “it shall not be so yet, but let us see how fortune will couple us,” upon which we were separated asunder. But now first arose a dispute how the business should be carried, but this was only a premeditated device, for the Virgin instantly made the proposal that we should mix our selves together in a ring, and that she beginning to count from her self, the seventh, was to be content with the following seventh, whether it were a virgin, or man. For our parts we were not aware of any craft, and therefore permitted it so to be; but when we thought we had very well mingled our selves, the virgins nevertheless were so subtle, that each one knew her station beforehand. The Virgin began to reckon, the seventh next her was again a 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 standing alone, and were moreover forced to suffer our selves to be jeared too. and confess we were very handsomely couzened. In short, who ever had seen us in our order, might sooner have expected the skye to fall, then that it should never have come to our turn. Herewith our sport was at an end, and we were fain to satisfy our selves with the Virgin’s . In the interim, the little wanton Cupid came also in unto us. But because he presented himself on behalf of their Royal Majesties, and delivered us a health (as from them) out of a golden cup, and was to call our virgins to the King, withal declaring he could at this time tarry no longer with them, we could not sufficiently sport our selves with him. So with a due return of our most humble thanks we let him fly forth again. Now because (in the interim) the mirth began to fall into my consort’s feet. and the virgins were nothing sorry to see it, they quickly lead up a civil dance, whom I rather beheld with pleasure then assisted, for my mercurialists were so ready with their postures, as if they had been long of the trade. After some few dances our president came in again, and told us how the artists and students had offered themselves to their Royal Majesties, for their honour and pleasure. before their departure to act a merry comedy; and if we thought good to be present at it, and to wait upon their Royal Majesties to the House of the Sun, it would be acceptable to them, and they would most gratiously acknowledge it. Hereupon in the first place we returned our most humble thanks for the honour vouchsafed us; not only so, but moreover most submissively tendered our small service which the Virgin related again, and presently brought word to attend their Royal Majesties (in our order) in the gallery, whither we were soon led, and stayed not long there; for the Royal Procession was just ready, yet without any music at all. The unknown Queen who was yesterday with us, went foremost. with a small and costly coronet, apparelled in white satin, she carried nothing but a small crucifix which was made of a pearl, and this very day wrought between the young King and his Bride. After her went the six fore-mentioned virgins in two ranks, who carried the King’s jewels belonging to the little altar. Next to these came the three Kings. The Bridegroom was in the midst of them in a plain dress, only in black satin, after the Italian mode. He had on a small round black hat, with a little black pointed feather, which he courteously put off to us, thereby to signify his favour towards us. To him we bowed our selves, as also to the first, as we had been before instructed. After the Kings came the three Queens, two whereof were richly habited, only she in the middle went likewise all in black, and Cupid held up her train. After this, intimation was given to us to follow, 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 furnished scaffold, to behold the fore-ordained comedy. We indeed, though separated, stood on the right hand of the Kings, but the virgins on the left, except those to whom the Royal Ensigns were committed. To them was allotted a peculiar standing at top of all. But the rest of the attendants were fain to stand below between the columns, and therewith to be content. Now because there are many remarkable passages in this comedy, I will not omit in brief to run it over.

First of all came forth a very ancient King. with some servants, before whose throne was brought a little chest, with mention that it was found upon the water. Now it being opened, there appeared in it a lovely babe, together with certain jewels, and a small letter of parchment sealed and superscribed to the King, which the King therefore presently opened, and having read it, wept, and then declared to his servants how injuriously the King of the Moors had deprived 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 purposed to have matched his son. Hereupon he swore to maintain perpetual enmity with the Moor and his allies, and to revenge this upon him; and therewith commanded that the child should be tenderly nursed, and to make preparation against the Moor. Now this provision and the discipline of the young lady (who after she was a little grown up was committed to an ancient tutor) continued all the first act, with many very fine and laudable sports besides.

In the interlude a lion and griffon were set at one another, to fight, and the lion got the victory, which was also a pretty sight.

In the second act, the Moor, a very black treacherous fellow, came forth also; who having with vexation understood that his murder was discovered, and that too a little lady was craftily stolen from him, began thereupon to consult how by stratagem he might be able to encounter so powerful an adversary, whereof he was at length advised by certain fugitives who by reason of famine fled to him. So the young lady contrary to all men’s expectation, fell again into his hands, whom, had he not been wonderfully deceived by his own servants, he had like to have caused to be slain. Thus this act too was concluded with a marvellous triumph of the Moor.

In the third act a great army on the King’s party was raised against the Moor, and put under the conduct of an ancient valiant knight, who fell into the Moors country, till at length he forceably rescued the young lady out of the tower, and apparelled her a new. After this in a trice they erected a glorious scaffold, and placed their young lady upon it. Presently came twelve royal ambassadors, amongst whom the fore-mentioned knight made a speech, alleging that the King his most gracious lord had not only heretofore delivered her from death, and even hitherto caused her to be royally brought up (though she had not behaved her self 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 graciously desired that the said espousals might be really executed in case 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, were well worthy to be here recounted. In brief, the young lady took an oath inviolably to observe the same, returning thanks withal in most seemly sort for this so high a grace. Whereupon they began to sing to the praise of God, of the King, and the young lady, and so for this time departed. For sport, in the mean while, the four beasts of Daniel, as he saw them in the vision, and hath at large described them, were brought in, all which had its certain signification.

In the fourth act the young lady was again restored to her lost kingdom, and crowned, and for a space, in this array, conducted about the place with extraordinary joy. After this many and various ambassadors presented themselves, not only to wish her prosperity, but also to behold her glory. Yet it was not long that she preserved her integrity, but soon began again to look wantonly about her, and to wink at the ambassadors and lords, wherein she truly acted her part to the life.

These her manners were soon known to the Moor, who would by no means neglect such an opportunity, and because her steward had not sufficient regard to her, she was easily blinded with great promises, so that she had no good confidence in her King but privily submitted her self to the entire disposal of the Moor. Hereupon the; Moor made haste, and having (by her consent) gotten her into his hands, he gave her good words so long till all her kingdom had subjected itself to him, after which in the third scene of this act, he caused her to be led forth, and first to be strips stark naked, and then upon a scurvy wooden scaffold to be bound to a post, and well scourged, and at last sentenced to death. This was so woeful a spectacle, that it made the eyes of many to run over. Hereupon thus naked as she was, she was cast into prison, there to expect her death, which was to be procured by poison, which yet killed her not but made her leprous all over. Thus this act was for the most part lamentable.

Between, they brought forth Nebuchadnezzar’s image, which was adorn ‘d with all manner of arms, on the head, breast, belly, legs and feet, and the like, of which too more shall be spoken in the future explication.

In the fifth act the young King was acquainted with all that had passed between the Moor and his future spouse, who first interceeded with his father for her, intreating that she might not be left in that condition; which his father having agreed to, ambassadors were dispatched to comfort her in her sickness and captivity, but yet withal to give her notice of her inconsiderateness. But she would not yet receive them, but consented to be the Moor’s concubine, which was also done, and the young King was acquainted with it.

After this comes a band of fools, each of which brought with him a cudgel, where within a trice they made a great globe of the world, and soon undid it again. It was fine sportive fantasy.

In the sixth act the young King resolved to bid battle to the Moor, which also was done. And albeit the Moor was discomfited, yet all held the young King too for dead. At length he came to himself again, released his spouse, and committed her to his steward and chaplain, the first whereof tormented her mightily; at last the leaf turned over, and the priest was so insolently wicked, that he would needs be above all, until the same was reported to the young King, who hastily dispatched one who broke the neck of the priest’s mightiness, and adorned the bride in some measure for the nuptials.

After the act a vast artificial elephant was brought forth. He carries a great tower with musicians, which was also well pleasing to all.

In the last act the bride-groom appeared in such pomp as is not well to be believed, and was amazed how it was brought to pass. The bride met him in the like solemnity, whereupon a11 the people cried out VIVAT SPONSUS, VIVAT SPONSA so that by this comedy they did withal congratulate our King and Queen in the most stately manner, which (as I well observed) pleased them most extraordinarily well.

At length they made some paces about the stage in such procession, till at last they altogether they began thus to sing:


This time full of love

Does our Joy much improve

Because of the King’s nuptial;

And therefore let’s sing

That from all parts it ring,

Blest be he that granted us all.


The Bride most exquisitely fair,

Whom we attended with long care

To him in troth’s now plighted:

We fully have at length obtained

The same for which we did contend:

He’s happy, that’s fore-sighted.


Now the parents kind and good

By intreaties are subdu’d:

Long enough in hold was she mew’d;

In honour increase,

Till thousands arise

And spring from your own proper blood.

 After this thanks were returned, and the comedy was finished with joy, and the particular good liking of the Royal Persons wherefore (the evening also being already hard by) they departed together in their fore-mentioned order. But we were to attend the Royal Persons up the winding stairs into the forementioned hall, where the tables were already richly furnished, and this was the first time that we were invited to the Kings table. The little altar was placed in the midst of the hall, and the six fore-named royal ensigns were laid upon it. At this time the young King behaved himself very gratiously towards us, but yet he could not be heartily merry. But howbeit he now and then discoursed a little with us, yet he often sighed, at which the little Cupid only mocked, and played his waggish tricks. The old King and Queen were very serious, only the wife of one of the ancient Kings was gay enough, the cause of which I yet understood not. During this, the Royal Persons took up the first table, at the second we only sate. At the third, some of the principal virgins placed themselves. The rest of the virgins, and men, were all fain to wait. This was performed with such state and solemn stillness, that I am afraid to make many words of it. Here I cannot leave untouched how that all the Royal Persons, before meat, attired themselves in snow-white glittering garments, and so sate down to table. Over the table hung the great golden crown, the precious stones whereof, without any other light, would have sufficiently illuminated the hall. However all the lights were kindled at the small taper upon the altar; what the reason was I did not certainly know. But this I took very good notice of, 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 perpetually producing some strange matter. However, there was no considerable mirth, all went silently on, from whence I, by my self, could imagine some great imminent peril. For there was no music at all heard; but if we were demanded any thing, we were fain 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 stoutheartedst 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 by an old man to be propounded to us, whether we resolved to abide with him in prosperity and adversity; which we having with trembling consented to, he further caused us sadly to be demanded, whether we would give him our hands on it, which, when we could find no evasion, was fain so to be.

Hereupon one after another arose, and with his own hand writ himself down in this book. When thin also was performed, the little crystal fountain, together with a very small crystal glass was brought near, out of which all the Royal Person, one after another drank, Afterwards it was reached to us too, and so forward to all persons, and this was called, the Draught of Silence. Hereupon all the Royal Persons presented us their hands, declaring that in case we did not now stick to them, we should now and never more hereafter see them; which verily made our eyes run over. But our president engaged her self and promised very largely on our behalf, which gave them satisfaction. Mean time a little bell was tolled, at which all the Royal Persons waxed so mighty bleak, that we were ready utterly to despair. They quickly put off their white garments again, and put on entirely black ones. The whole hall likewise was hung about with black velvet, the floor we covered with black velvet, with which also the ceiling above (all this being before prepared) was over-spread. After that the tables were also removed away, had all had seated themselves round about upon the form, and we also had put on black habits. In comes our president again, who was before gone out, and brought with her six black taffeta scarffs, with which she bound the six Royal Persona eyes. Now when they could no longer see, there were immediately brought in by the servants six covered coffins, and set down in the hall also a low black seat placed in the midst. Finally, there steps in a very coal-black tall man, who bare in his hand a sharp axe. Now after that the old King hat been first brought to the seat, his head was instantly whips off, and wrapped up in a black cloth, but the blood was received into a great golden goblet, had placed with him in this coffin that stood by, which being covered was set aside. Thus it went with the rest also, so that I thought it would at length have come to me too, but it did not. For as noon as the six Royal Persons were beheaded, the black man went out again; after whom another followed, who beheaded him too just before the door, and brought back his head together with the axe, which were laid in a little chest. This indeed to me seemed a bloody Wedding, but because I could not tell what would yet be the event, I was fain for that time to captivate my understanding until I were further resolved.

For the Virgin too, seeing that some of us were faint-hearted and wept, bid us be content. For, said she to us, “The life of these standeth now in your hands, and in case you follow me, this death shall make many alive.” Herewith she intimated we should go sleep, and trouble our selves no further on our part, for they should be sure to have their due right. And so she bad us all good night, saying that she must watch the dead corps this night. We did so, 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 very well remember) and gave me cause enough to admire at his Understanding. But his intention was to lull me asleep, which at last I well observed, whereupon 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, no that I could well look upon it, the windows being nigh the bed. About midnight, as soon as it had struck twelve, on a sudden I espied on the lake a great fire, wherefore out of fear I quickly opened the window to nee what would become of it. Then from far I saw seven ships making forward, which were all stuck full of lights. Above on the top of each of them hovered a flame that passed to and fro, and sometimes descended quite down, as that I could lightly Judge that it must needs be the spirits of the beheaded. Now these ships gently approached to land, and each of them had no more than one mariner. As soon as they were now gotten to shore, I presently espied our Virgin with a torch going towards the ship, after whom the six covered coffins, together with the little chest, were carried, and each of them privily laid in a ship. Wherefore I awakened my page too, who hugely thanked me, for having run much up and down all the day, he might quite have overslept this, tho’ he well knew it. Now as soon as the coffins were laid in the ships, all the lights were extinguished, and the six flames passed back together over the lake so that there was no more but one light in each ship for a watch. There were also some hundreds of watchmen who had encamped themselves on the shore, and sent the Virgin back again into the castle, who carefully bolted all up again, so that I could well judge that there was nothing more to be done this night, but that we must expect the day, so we again betook 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 extreme weary, and so fell asleep in my manifold speculations.

The Fifth Day   Return to Top

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 ensue, than that I had sufficiently slept. Now after that I had put on my clothes, and according to my custom was gone down the 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 show me somewhat that was rare, who was now (as always) willing, and presently lead me down certain steps underground, to a great iron door. 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 precious 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 sepulchre (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 humane eye else (except the King’s family) had ever had a view of. This sepulchre was triangular, and had in the middle of it a kettle of polished copper, the rest was of pure gold and precious 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 an 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 lion, which stood on an exceeding costly base. I asked my page what this might signify. “Here,” said he, “lies buried Lady Venus, that beauty which hath undone many a great man, both in fortune, honour, blessing and prosperity.” After which he showed me a copper door on the pavement. “Here,” said he, “if you please, we may go further down.” “I still follow you,” replied 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 kindled one of the many torches which 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 ready 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 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 yet I durst 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 espied 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. 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 like 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 (said he) 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 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 lighted upon me here, I hoped he would not take it amiss. “Nay then ’tis well enough yet,” said Cupid, “my old busy grandsire, 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 lighted upon us no sooner. My page too was the more jocund, 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 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 came off without further danger. Meantime my companions were gotten out of bed too, and were again returned into the hall. To whom I also joined 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 show him my hand, where he still found a little drop of blood, at which he heartily 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 the yesterday’s sad passages. But he was no what troubled. Now our president had in the mean time made herself ready for the journey, coming in all in black velvet, yet she still bare her branch of laurel. Her virgins too had their branches. Now all things being in readiness, the Virgin 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. In the court stood six coffins, and my companions thought no other but that the six Royal Persons lay in them, but I well observed the device. Yet I knew not what was to be done with these other. By each coffin were eight muffled men. Now as soon as the music went (it was so mournful and dolesome a tune, that I was astonished at it) they took up the coffins, and we (as we were ordered) were fain to go after them into the forementioned garden, in the midst of which was erected a wooden edifice, having round about the roof a glorious crown, and standing upon seven columns; within it were formed six sepulchres, and by each of them 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 no other but that the dead corpse were there. Upon the top of all there was a great flag, having a phoenix painted on it, perhaps therewith the more to delude us. Here I had great occasion to thank God that I had seen more than the rest. Now after the funerals were done, the Virgin, having placed her self upon the middle-most stone, made a short oration, that we should be constant to our engagements, and not repine at the pains we were hereafter to undergo, but be helpful in restoring the present buried Royal Persons to life again, and therefore without delay to rise up with her, to make a journey to the tower of Olympus, to fetch from thence medicines useful and necessary for this purpose. This we soon agreed to, and followed her through another little door guise to the shore. There the seven forementioned ships stood all empty, on which all the virgins stuck up their laurel branches, and after they had distributed us in the six ships, they caused us in Gods name thus to begin our voyage, and looked upon us as long as they could have us in sight, after which they with all the watch-men 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 sat, carried a globe. Thus we sailed on in a singular order, and each had only two mariners. Foremost went the ship as in which, as I conceive the Moor lay. In this were twelve musicians, who played excellent well, and its device was a pyramid. Next followed three a breast, b, c, and d, in which we were disposed. I sat in c. In the midst 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 flags were the sun and moon. But in the rear only one ship g, in this were forty virgins. Now being thus passed over this lake, we first came through a narrow arm, into the right sea, where all the sirens, nymphs, and sea-goddesses had attended us; wherefore they immediately dispatched a sea-nymph to us to deliver their present and offering 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, either in ours, or yet in the new world. Now the Virgin having friendly received it, the nymph further entreated that audience might be given to their divertissements, and to make a little stand, which the Virgin was content to do, and commanded the two great ships to stand into the middle, and with the rest to encompass them in pentagon. After which the nymphs fell into a ring about them, and with a most delicate sweet voice began thus to sing:


There’s nothing better here below,

Than beauteous, noble, Love;

Whereby we like to God do grow,

And none to grief do move.

Wherefore let’s chant it to the King,

That all the sea thereof may ring.

We question; answer you.


What was it that at first us made?

‘Twas Love.

And what hath grace a fresh conveigh’d?

‘Tis Love.

Whence was’t (pray tell us) we were born?

Of Love

How came we then again forlorn?

Sans Love.


Who was it (say) that us conceived?

‘Twas. Love.

Who suckled, nursed, and reliev’d?

‘Twas Love.

What is it we to our parents owe?

‘Tis Love.

What do they us such kindness show?

Of Love.


Who get’s herein the victory?

‘Tis Love.

Can Love by search obtained be?

By Love.

How may a man good works perform?

Through Love.

Who into one can two transform?

‘Tis Love.


Then let our song sound,

Till it’s eccho rebound.

To Loves honour and praise,

Which may ever increase

With our noble Princes, the King,

and the Queen,

The soul is departed, their body’s within.


And as long as we live,

God graciously give;

That as great love and amity,

They bear each other mightily;

So we likewise, by Loves own flame,

May reconjoyn them once again.


Then this annoy

Into great joy

(If many thousand younglings deign)

Shall change, and ever so remain.

They having with most admirable consent and melody finished this song, I no more wondered at Ulysses for stopping the ears of his companions, for I seemed to my self the most unhappy man alive, that nature had not made me too so trim a creature. But the Virgin soon dispatched them, and commanded to set sail from thence; wherefore the nymphs too after they had been presented with a long red scarf for a gratuity, went off, and dispersed themselves in the sea. I was at this time sensible that Cupid began to work with me too, which yet tended but very little to my credit, and for as much as my giddiness is likely to be nothing beneficial to the reader, I am resolved to let it rest as it in. But this was the very wound that in the first book I received on the head in a dream. And let every one take warning by me of loitering about Venus’s bed, for Cupid can by no means brook it. After some hours, having in friendly discourses made a good way, we came within ken of the Tower of Olympus, wherefore the Virgin commanded by the discharge of some pieces to give the signal of our approach, which was also done. And immediately we espied a great white flag thrust out, and a small gilded pinnace sent forth to meet us. Now as soon as this was come to us, we perceived in it a very ancient man, the warden of the Tower, with certain guards clothed in white, of whom we were friendly received, and so conducted to the Tower. This Tower was situated upon an island exactly square, which was environed with a wall so firm and thick, that I my self counted two hundred and sixty passes over. On the other side of the wall was a fine meadow with certain little gardens, in which grew strange, and to me unknown, fruits; and then again an inner wall about the Tower. The Tower of it self was just as if seven round towers had been built one by another, yet the middlemost was somewhat the higher, and within they all entered one into another, and had seven storeys one above another. Being thus come to the gates of the Tower, we were led a little aside on the wall, that so, as I well observed, the coffins might be brought into the Tower without our taking notice; of this the rest knew nothing.

This being done, we conducted into the Tower at the very bottom, which albeit it were excellently painted, yet we had here little recreation, for this was nothing but a laboratory, where we were fain to beat and wash plants, and precious stones, and all sorts of things, and extract their juice and essence, and put up the same in glasses, and deliver them to be laid up. And truly our Virgin was so busy with us, and so full of her directions, that she knew how to give each of us employment enough, so that in this island we were fain to be mere drudges, till we had achieved all that was necessary for the restoring of the beheaded bodies. Meantime (as I afterwards understood) three virgins were in the first apartment washing the corpse with all diligence. Now having at length almost done with this our preparation, nothing more was brought us, but some broth with a little draught of wine, whereby I well observed, that we were not here for our pleasure; for when we had finished our days work too, every one had only a mattress laid on the ground for him, where with we were to content ourselves. For my part I was not very much troubled with sleep, 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, which led up to the top of the wall. And because the moon shone very bright, I was so much the more confident, and went up, and looked too a little upon the sea, which was now exceeding calm; and thus having good opportunity to consider better of astronomy, I found that this present night there would happen such a conjunction of the planets, the like to which was not otherwise suddenly to be observed. Now having looked a good little into the sea, and it being just about midnight, as soon as it had struck twelve, I beheld from far the seven flames passing over sea hitherward, and betaking themselves to the top of the spire of the Tower. This made me somewhat afraid for as soon as the flames had settled themselves, the winds arose, and began to make the sea very tempestuous. The moon 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 my self again to the Tower. Now whether the flames tarried any longer, or passed away again, I cannot say, for in this obscurity I durst no more venture abroad. So I laid me down upon my mattress, and there being besides 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.

The Sixth Day   Return to Top

Next morning, after we had awakened one another, we sat together a while to discourse what might yet be the event of things. For some were of opinion what they should all be enlivened again together. Others contradicted it, because the decease of the ancients was not only to restore life, but increase too to the young ones. Some imagined that they were not put to death, but that others were beheaded in their stead. We having now talked together a pretty long while, in comes the old man, and first saluting us, looks about him to see if all things were ready, and the processes enough done. We had herein so behaved ourselves, that he had no fault to find with our diligence, whereupon he placed all the glasses together, and put them into a case. Presently come certain youths bringing with them some ladders, ropes, and large wings, which they laid down before us, and departed. Then the old man began thus: “My dear sons, one of these three things must each of you this day constantly bear about with him. Now it is free for you either to make a choice of one of them, or to cast lots about it.” We replied, we would choose. “Nay, said he, “let it rather go by lot.” Hereupon he made three little schedules. On one he writ Ladder, on the second Rope, on the third Wings. These he laid in a hat, and each man must draw, and whatever he happened upon, that was to be his. Those who got the ropes, imagined themselves to be in the best case, but I chanced on a ladder, which hugely afflicted me, for it was twelve-foot long, and pretty weighty, and I must be 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 nearly on to the third sort, as if they had grown upon them. Hereupon he turned the cock and then the fountain ran no longer, and we were fain to remove it, from the middle out of the way. After all things were carried off, he taking with him the casket with the glasses, took leave, and locked the door fast after him so that we imagined no other but that we had been imprisoned in this Tower. 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 bad us good morrow, desiring us to come up. They with the wings were instantly above through the hole. Only they with the ropes were in evil plight.

For as soon as ever one of us was up, he was commanded to draw up the ladder to him. At last each mans rope was hanged on an iron hook, so every one was fain to climb up by his rope as well as he could, which indeed was not compassed without blisters. Now as soon as we were all well up, the hole was again covered, and we were friendly received by the Virgin. This room was the whole breadth of the Tower itself having six very stately vestries a little raised above the room, and to be entered by the ascent of three steps. In these vestries we were distributed, there to pray for the life of the King and Queen. Meanwhile the Virgin went in and out of the little door, till we had done. For as soon as our process was absolved, there was brought in, and placed in the middle through the little door, by twelve person (which were formerly our musicians) a wonderful thing of a longish shape, which my companions took only to be a fountain. But I well observed that the corpse lay in it, for the inner chest was of an oval figure, 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 she attendants, with a most delicate noise of music. The Virgin carried a little casket, but the rest only branches and small lamps, and some too lighted torches. 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 whence the virgins came, or whether they dwelt in the castle, or whether they were brought in by night, I know not, for all their faces were covered with delicate white linen, so that I could not know any of them. Hereupon the Virgin opened the casket, in which there was a round thing wrapped up in a piece green double taffeta. This she laid in the uppermost kettle, and then covered it with the lid, which was full of holes, and had besides a rim, on which she poured in some of the water which we had the day before prepared, whence the fountain began immediately to run, and through four small pipes to drive into the little kettle. Beneath the undermost kettle there were many sharp points, on which the virgins stuck their lamps, that so the heat might came to the kettle, and make the water seethe. Now the water beginning to simmer, by many little holes at a, it fell in upon the bodies, and was so hot, that it dissolved them all, and turned them into liquor. But what the above said round wrapped up thing was, my companions knew not, but I understood that it was the Moor’s head, from which the water conceived so great heat. At b round about the great kettle, there were again many holes, in which they stuck their branches. Now whether this was done of necessity, or only for ceremony, I know not. However, these branches were continually besprinkled by the fountain, whence it afterwards drops somewhat of a deeper yellow into the kettle. This lasted for near two hours, that the fountain still constantly ran of it self; but yet the longer, the fainter it was.

Meantime the musicians went their way, and we walked up and down in the room, and truly the room was so made, that we had opportunity enough to pass away our time. There was, for images, paintings, clock-works, organs, springing fountains, and the like, nothing forgotten. Now it was near the time when the fountain ceased, and would run no longer, upon which the Virgin 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 (whereof certain quarts 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 was now become much lighter) was again carried forth. Now whether it was opened abroad, or whether anything of the bodies that was further useful yet remained, I dare not certainly say. But this I know, that the water that was emptied into the globe was much heavier than six or yet more of us were well able to bear, albeit for its bulk it should have seemed not too heavy for one man. Now this globe being with much ado gotten out of doors, we again sat alone, but I perceiving a trampling overhead, had an eye to my ladder. Hear one might take notice of the strange opinions my companions had concerning this fountain, for they not imagining but that the bodies lay in the garden of the castle, knew not what to make of this kind of working, but I thanked God that I awaked in so opportune a time, and saw that which helped me the better in all the Virgins business. After one quarter of an hour the cover above was again lifted off, and we commanded to come up, which was done as before with wings, ladders and ropes. And it did not a little vex me, that whereas the virgins could go up another way, we were fain to take so much toil; yet I could well judge there must be some special reason in it, and we must leave somewhat for the old man to do too. For even those with the wings had no advantage by them but when they were to mount through the hole.

Now being gotten up thither also, and the hole shut again, I saw the globe hanging by a strong chain in the middle of the room. In this room was nothing else but mere windows, and still between two windows there was a door, which was covered with nothing but a great polished looking-glass; and these windows and looking-glasses were so optically opposed one to another, that although the sun (which now shined exceeding bright) 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 was nothing but suns, which by artificial refraction’s beat upon the whole golden globe hanging in the midst, and for as much as the same (besides that brightness) was polished, it gave such a lustre, that none of us could open our eyes, but were therefore forced to look out at windows till the globe was well heated, and brought to the desired effect. Here I may well avow that in these mirrors I have seen the most wonderful spectacle that ever Nature brought to light, for there were suns in all places, and the globe in the middle shined yet brighter, so that but for one twinkling of an eye, we could no more endure it than the sun it self. At length the Virgin commanded to shut up the looking-glasses again, and to make fast the windows, and so let the globe cool again a little; and this was done about seven of the clock. Wherefore we thought good, since we might now have leisure a little to refresh our selves with a breakfast. This treatment was again right philosophical, 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 comforted us) made us so jocund that we regarded not 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 physic, and hence to contemplate the Creator’s wisdom and omnipotency.

After we had taken our refection, we again settled ourselves to work, for the globe was sufficiently cooled, which with toil and labour we were to lift off the chain and set upon the floor. Now the dispute was how to get the globe in sunder, for we were commanded to divide the same in the midst. The conclusion was that a sharp pointed diamond would best do it. Now when we had thus opened the globe, there was nothing of redness more to be seen, but a lovely great snow-white egg. It most mightily rejoiced us, that this was so well brought to pass. For the Virgin was in perpetual care, least 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 presently be carried forth, and departed herself too from us again, and (as all ways) locked the door to. But what she did abroad with the egg, or whether it were some way privately handled, I know not, neither do I believe it. Yet we were again to pause together for one quarter of an hour, till the third hole were opened, and we by means of our instruments were come upon the fourth stone or floor. In this room we found a great copper kettle filled with yellow sand, which was warmed with a gentle fire. Afterwards the egg was raked up in it, that it might therein come to perfect maturity. This kettle was exactly square; upon one side stood these two verses, writ in great letters:



On the second side were these three words.


The third had no more but this one word.


But on the hindermost part stood an entire inscription running thus.


Ignis: Aer: Aqua: Terra:



Eripere non potuerunt.

Fidelis Chymicorum Turba




Now whether the sand or egg were hereby meant, I leave to the learned to dispute, yet do I 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. We first set him upon the warm sand, so the Virgin commanded that before we gave him any thing to eat, we should be sure to make him fast, otherwise he would give 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, that we well saw why the Virgin gave us such warning of him. He bit and scratched so devilishly about him, that could he have had his will upon any of us, he would soon have dispatched him. Now he was wholly black, and wild, wherefore other meat was brought him, perhaps the blood of another of the Royal Persons, whereupon all his black feathers moulted again, and instead of them there grew out snow-white feathers. He was somewhat tamer too, and suffered himself to be more tractable. Nevertheless we did not yet trust him. At the third feeding his feathers began to be so curiously coloured, that in all my life I never saw the like colours for beauty. He was also exceeding tame, and behaved himself so friendly with us, that (the Virgin consenting) we released him from his captivity. “Tis now reason,” began our Virgin, “since by your diligence, and our old man’s consent, the bird has attained both his life, and the highest perfection, that he be also joyfully consecrated by us.”

Herewith she commanded to bring dinner, and that we should again refresh ourselves, since the most troublesome part of our work was now over, and it was fit we should begin to enjoy our passed labours. We began to make ourselves merry together. Howbeit we had still all our mourning clothes on, which seemed somewhat reproachful to our mirth. Now the Virgin was perpetually inquisitive, perhaps to find 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 peculiarly commend an artist. This dinner lasted not above three quarters of an hour, which we yet for the most part spent with our bird, whom we were fain constantly to feed with his meat, but he still continued much at the same growth. After dinner we were not long suffered to digest our meat, but after that the Virgin together with the bird was departed from us. The fifth room was set open to us, whither we got too after the former manner, and tendered our service. In this room a bath was prepared for our bird, which was so coloured with a fine white powder, that it had the appearance of mere milk. Now it was at first cool when the bird was set into it. He was mighty well pleased with it, drinking of it, and pleasantly sporting in it. But after it began to heat by reason of the lamps that were placed under it, we had enough to do to keep him in the bath. We therefore claps a cover on the kettle, and suffered him to thrust his head out through a hole, till he had in this sort lost all his feathers in this bath, and was as smooth as a newborn child, yet the heat did him no further harm, at which I much marvelled, for in this bath the feathers were quite consumed, and the bath was thereby tinged with blue. At length we gave the bird air, who of himself sprung out of the kettle, and was so glitteringly smooth, that it was a pleasure to behold it. But because he was still somewhat wild, we were fain to put a collar, with a chain, about his neck, and so led him up and down the room. Meantime a strong fire was made under the kettle, and the bath sodden away till it all came to a blue stone, which we took out, and having first pounded it, we were afterwards fain to grind it on a stone, and finally with this colour to paint the bird’s whole skin over. Now he looks much more strangely, for he was all blue, except the head, which remained white. Herewith our work on this story was performed, and we (after the Virgin with her blue bird was departed from us) were called up through the hole to the sixth storey, where we were mightily troubled, for in the midst a little altar, every way like that in the King’s hall above described, was placed. Upon which stood the six fore-mentioned particulars, and he himself (the bird) made the seventh. First of all the little fountain was set before him, out of which he drunk a good draught. Afterwards he pecked upon the white serpent until she bled mightily. This blood we were to receive into a golden cup, and pour it down the bird’s throat, who was mighty averse from it. Then we dipped the serpents head in the fountain, upon which she again revived, and crept into her deaths head, so that I saw her no more for a long time after.

Meantime the sphere turned constantly on, until it made the desired conjunction. Immediately the watch struck one, upon which there was a going another conjunction. Then the watch struck two. Finally, whilst we were observing the third conjunction, and the same was indicated by the watch, the poor bird of himself submissively laid down his neck upon the book, and willingly suffered his head (by one of us thereto chosen by lot) to be smitten off. Howbeit he yielded not one drop of blood, till he was opened on the breast, and then the blood spun out so fresh and clear as if it had been a fountain of rubies. His death went to the heart of us, and yet we might well judge that a naked bird would stand us in little stead. So we let it rest, and removed the little altar away and assisted the Virgin to burn the body (together with the little tablet hanging by) to ashes with fire kindled at the little taper; afterwards to cleanse the same several times, and to lay them in a box of cypress wood. Here I cannot conceal what a trick I and three more were served. After we had thus diligently taken up the ashes, the Virgin began to speak thus: “My lords, we are here in the sixth room, and 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 albeit I could heartily wish that all of you, as you are here together, had behaved yourselves in such sort, that I might have given you commendations to our most renowned King and Queen, and you have obtained a suitable reward, yet because, contrary to my desire, I have found amongst you these four (herewith she pointed at me and three more) lazy and sluggish labourers, and yet according to my good-will to all and every one, am not willing to deliver them up to consign punishment; however, that such negligence may not remain wholly unpunished, I am purposed thus concerning them, that they shall only be excluded from the future seventh and most glorious action of all the rest, and so too they shall incur no further blame from their Royal Majesties.” In what a case we now were at this speech I leave others to consider. For the Virgin so well knew how to keep her countenance, that the water soon ran over our basket; and we esteemed ourselves the most unhappy of all men. After this the Virgin by one of her maids (whereof there were many always at hand) caused the musicians to be fetched, who were with cornets to blow us out of doors with such scorn and derision that they themselves could hardly sound for laughing. But it did particularly mightily afflict us 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 our misfortune. But it proved otherwise, for as soon as we were come out at the door, the musician bid us be of good cheer and follow them up the winding stairs. They led us up to the seventh floor under the roof, where we found the old man, whom we had not hitherto seen, standing upon a little round furnace. He received us friendly, and heartily congratulated us, that we were hereto chosen by the Virgin; but after he understood the affright we had conceived, his belly was ready to burst with laughing, that we had taken such good fortune so heinously. “Hence,” said he, “my dear sons, learn that man never knoweth how well God intended him.” During this discourse the Virgin also with her little box came running in, who (after she had sufficiently laughed at us) emptied her ashes into another vessel, and filled hers again with other matter, saying she must now go cast a mist before the other artists eyes, that we in the meantime 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 whither she called our companions. Now what she first did with them there, I cannot tell, for they were not only most earnestly forbidden to speak of it, but we too by reason of our business, durst not peep on them through the ceiling. But this was our work. We were to moisten the ashes with our fore-prepared water till they became altogether like a very thin dough, after which we set the matter over the fire, till it was well heated. Then we cast it thus hot as it was into two little forms or moulds, and so let it cool a little (here we had leisure to look a while upon our companions through certain crevices made in the floor). They were now very busy at a furnace, and each was himself fain to blow up the fire with a pipe, and they stood thus blowing about it, as if they were herein wondrously preferred before us. And this blowing lasted so long till our old man roused us to our work again, so that I cannot say what was done afterwards.

We having opened our little forms, there appeared two beautiful bright and almost transparent little images, the like to which mans eye never saw, a male and a female, each of them only four inches long and that which most mightily surprised me was that they were not hard, but limber and fleshy, as other human bodies, yet had they no life; so that I do most assuredly believe that the Lady Venus’s image was also made after some such way. These angelically fair babes we first laid upon two little satin cushonets, and beheld them a good while, till we were almost besotted upon so exquisite an object. 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 whence they apparently to the eye increased; and whereas they were before very small, they were now (according to proportion) much more beautiful, so that worthily all limners ought to have been here, and 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 cushonets, and were fain 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 of the fine white double taffeta, which because of their unspeakable beauty, almost went against us. But that I may be brief, before we had in this manner quite spent the blood, they were already in their perfect full growth. They had gold yellow curled hair, and the above mentioned figure of Venus was nothing to them. But there was not yet any natural warmth, or sensibility in them. They were dead figures, yet of a lively and natural colour, and since care was to be taken that they grew not too great, the old man would not permit any thing more to be given them, but quite covered their faces too with the silk, and caused the table to be stuck round about with torches. Here I must warn the reader that he imagine not these lights to have been of necessity, for the old man’s intent hereby, was only that we should not observe when the soul entered into them, as indeed we should not have taken notice of it, in case I had not twice before seen the flames. However, I permitted the other three to remain in their belief, neither did the old man know that I had seen anything more. Hereupon he bid us sit down on a bench over against the table. Presently the Virgin came in too with the music and all furniture, and carried two curious white garments, the like to which I had never seen in the castle, neither can I describe them, for I thought no other than that they were mere crystal, but they were gentle, and not transparent, so that I cannot speak of them. These she laid down upon a table, and after she had disposed her virgins upon a bench round about, she and the old man began many legerdemain 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 top a little round hole, which was nevertheless shut, and was observed by none else. After many ceremonies steps in six virgins, each of which bare a large trumpet, which were rouled about with a green glittering and burning material like a wreath, one of which the old man took, and after he had removed some of the lights at top, and uncovered their faces, he placed one of the trumpets upon the mouth of one of the bodies in such manner, that the upper and wider part of it was directed just against the fore-mentioned hole. Here my companions always looked upon the images, but I had other thoughts, for an soon as the foliage or wreath about the shank of the trumpet was kindled, I saw the hole at top open, and a bright stream of fire shooting down the tube, and passing into the body, whereupon the hole was again covered, and the trumpet removed. With this device my companions were deluded, so that they imagined that life came into the image by means of the fire of the foliage, for as soon as he received the soul he twinkled with his eyes, howbeit he scarce 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 was repeated upon each of them three times, after which all the lights were extinguished and carried away. The velvet carpets of the table were cast together over them, and immediately a travelling bed was unlocked and made ready, into which thus wrapped up they were born, and so after the carpets were taken off them, they were neatly laid by each other, where with the curtains drawn before them, they slept a good while. (Now was it also time for the Virgin to see how our other artists behaved themselves. They were well pleased because, as the Virgin 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 no other but that the whole bird was provided for the sake of gold, and that life must thereby be restored to the deceased.) Mean time we sat very still, attending when our married couple would awake. Thus about half an hour was spent. For then the wanton Cupid presented himself again, and after he had saluted us all, flew to them behind the curtain, tormenting them so long till they awaked. This happened to them with very great amazement, for they imagined no other but that they had hitherto slept from the very hour in which they were beheaded. Cupid, after he had awaked them, and renewed their acquaintance one with another, stepped aside a little, and permitted them both somewhat better to recruit themselves, mean time playing his tricks with us, and at length he would needs have the music fetched to be somewhat the merrier. Not long after the Virgin herself comes, and after she had most humbly saluted the young King and Queen (who found themselves somewhat faint) and kissed their hands, she brought them the two forementioned curious garments, which they put on, and so stepped forth. Now there were already prepared two very curious chairs, wherein they placed themselves, and so were by us with most profound reverence congratulated, for which the King in his own person most graciously returned his thanks, and again re-assured us of all grace. It was already about five of clock, wherefore they could make no longer stay, but as noon as ever the chiefest of their furniture could be laden, we were to attend the young Royal Persons down the winding stairs, through all doors and watches unto the ship, in which they embarked themselves, together with certain virgins and Cupid, and sailed so mighty swift that we soon lost sight of them, yet they were met (as I was informed) by certain stately ships. Thus in four hours time they had made many leagues out at sea. After five of clock the musicians were charged to carry all things back again to the ships, and to make themselves ready for the voyage. But because this was somewhat long a doing, the old lord commanded forth a party of his concealed soldiers, who had hitherto been planted in the wall, so that we had taken no notice of any of them, whereby I observed that this Tower was well provided against opposition. Now these soldiers made quick work with our stuff that no more remained further to be done but to go to supper. Now the table being completely furnished, the Virgin brings us again to our companions where we were to carry our selves as if we had truly been in a lamentable condition and forbear Laughing. But they were always smiling one upon another, howbeit some of them too sympathised with us. At this supper the old lord was with us too, who was a most sharp inspector over us, for none could propound any thing so discreetly, but that he knew how either to confute it, or amend it, or at least to give some good document upon it. I learned most by this lord, and it were very good that each one would apply himself to him, and take notice of his procedure, for then things would not so often and so untowardly miscarry. After we had taken our nocturnal reflection, the old lord led us into his closets of rarities, which were here and there dispersed amongst the bulwarks where we saw such wonderful productions of Nature, and other things too which man’s wit in imitation of Nature had invented, that we needed a year more sufficiently to survey them. Thus we spent a good part of the night by candlelight. At last, because we were more inclined to sleep than see many rarities we were lodged in rooms in the wall, where we had not only costly good beds but also besides extraordinary handsome chambers, which made us the more wonder why we were the day before forced to undergo so many hardships. In this chamber I had good rest, and being for the most part 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 of clock till eight in the morning.

The Seventh Day   Return to Top

After eight of clock I awaked, and quickly made myself ready, being desirous to return again into the Tower, but the dark passages in the wall were so many and various, that I wandred a good while before I could find the way out. The same happened to the rest too, till at last we all met again in the neither most vault, and habits entirely yellow were given us, together with our golden fleeces. At that time the Virgin declared to us that we were Knights of the Golden Stone, of which we were before ignorant. After we had now thus made ourselves ready, and taken our breakfast, the old man presented each of us with a medal of gold; on the one side stood these words,


On the other these,


exhorting us moreover we should enterprise nothing beyond and against this token of remembrance. Herewith we went forth to the sea, where our ships lay so richly equipped, that it was not well possible but such brave things must first have been brought thither. The ships were twelve in number, six of ours, and six of the old lord’s, who caused his ships to be freighted with well appointed soldiers. But he betook himself to us into our ship, where we all were together. In the first the musician seated themselves, of which the old lord had also a great number; they sailed before us to shorten the time. Our flags were the twelve celestial signs, and we sat in Libra. Besides other things our ship had also a noble and curious clock, which showed us all the minutes. The sea too was so calm, that it was a singular pleasure to sail. But that which surpassed all the rest, was the old man’s discourse, who so well knew how to pass away our time with wonderful histories, that I could have been content to sail with him all my life long. Meantime the ships passed on amain, for before we had sailed two hours the mariner told us that he already knew the whole lake almost covered with ships, by which we could conjecture they were come out to meet us, which also proved true. For as soon as we were gotten out of the sea into the lake by the forementioned river, there presently stood in to us five hundred ships, one of which sparkled with mere gold and precious stones, in which sate the King and Queen, together with other lords, ladies, and virgins of high birth. As soon an they were well in ken 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 about our stripe together, and so made a stand. Immediately the old Atlas stepped forth on the King’s behalf, asking a short, but handsome oration, wherein he welcomed us, and demanded whether the Royal Presents were in readiness. The rest of my companions were in an huge amazement, whence this. King should arise, for they imagined no other but that they must again awaken him. We suffered them to continue in their wonderment, and carried ourselves as if it seemed strange to us too. After Atlas’s oration out steps our old man, making somewhat a larger reply, wherein he wished the King and Queen all happiness and increase, after which he delivered up a curious small casket, but what was in it, I know not, only it we committed to Cupid, who hovered between them both, to keep.

After the oration was finished, they again let off a joyful voile of shot, and so we sailed on a good time together, till at length we arrived at another shore. This was near the first gate at which I first entered. At this place again there attended a great multitude of the King’s family together with some hundreds of horses. Now as soon as we were come to shore, and disembarked, the King and Queen presented their hands to all of us one with another with singular kindness; and so we were to get up on horseback. Here I desire to have the reader friendly entreated not to interpret the following narration to any vain glory or pride of mine, but to credit me thus far, that if there had not been a special necessity in it, I could very well have utterly concealed this honour which was showed me. We were all one after another distributed amongst the lords. But our old lord, and I most unworthy, were to ride even with the King, each of us bearing a snow white ensign with a red cross. I indeed was made use of because of my age, for we both had long grey beards and hair. I had besides fastened my token round about my hat, of which the young King soon took notice, and demanded if I were he, who could at the gate redeem these tokens? I answered in most humble manner, Yea. But he laughed on me, saying, there henceforth needed no ceremony; I was HIS father. Then he asked me wherewith I had redeemed them? I replied, “With Water and Salt,” whereupon he wondered who had made me so wise; upon which I grew somewhat more confident, and recounted unto him how it had happened to me with my bread, the Dove and the Raven, and he was pleased with it and said expressly that it must needs be, that God had herein vouchsafed me a singular happiness. Herewith we came to the first gate where the Porter with the blue clothes waited, who bore in his hand a supplication. Now as soon as he spied me even with the King, he delivered me the supplication, most humbly beseeching me to mention his ingenuity before the King. Now in the first place I demanded of the King, what the condition of this porter was? who friendly answered me, that he was a very famous and rare astrologer, and always in high regard with the Lord his Father, but having on a time committed a fault against Venus, and beheld her in her bed of rest, this punishment was therefore imposed upon him, that he should so long wait at the first gate, till some one should release him from thence. I replied, “May he then be released?” “Yes,” said the King, “if any one can be found that hath as highly transgressed as himself, he must stand in his stead, and the other shall be free.” This word went to my heart, for my conscience convinced me that I was the offender, yet I held my peace, and herewith delivered the supplication. As soon as he had read it, he was mightily terrified, so that the Queen who, with our virgins, and that other Queen besides, of whom I made mention at the hanging of the weights, rid just behind us, observed it, and therefore asked him, what this letter might signify. But he had no mind that he should take notice of it, but putting up the paper, began to discourse of other matters, till thus in about three hours time we came quite to the castle, where we alighted, and waited upon the King into his forementioned hall. Immediately the King called for the old Atlas to come to him in a little closet, and showed him the writing, who made no long tarrying, but rid out again to the Porter to take better cognisance of the matter, after which the young King with his spouse, and other lords, ladies and virgins sat down. Then began our Virgin highly to commend the diligence we had used, and the pains and labour we had undergone, requesting we might be royally rewarded, and that she henceforward might be permitted to enjoy the benefit of her commission. Then the old lord stood up too, and attested that all that the Virgin had spoken was true, and that it was but equity that we should both on both parts be contented. Hereupon we were to step out 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, but that those of understanding would also make the best wish. So we were to consider of it till after supper. Mean time the King and Queen for recreations sake, began to fall to play together. It looked not unlike chess, only it had other laws; for it was the Virtues and Vices one against another, where it might ingeniously be observed with what plots the Vices lay in wait for the Virtues, and how to re-encounter them again. This was so properly and artificially performed, that it were to be wished that we had the like game too. During the game, in comes Atlas again, and asks his report in private, yet I blushed all over, for my conscience gave me no rest; after which the King gave me the supplication to read, and contents whereof were much to this purpose. First he wished the King prosperity, and increase; that his seed might be spread abroad far and wide.

Afterwards he remonstrated that the time was now accomplished, wherein according to the royal promise he ought to be released, because Venus was already uncovered by one of his guests, for his observation could not lie to him. And that if his Majesty would please to make a strict and diligent enquiry, he would find that she had been uncovered, and in case this should not prove to be so, he would be content to remain before the gate all the days of his life. Then he sued in the most humble manner, that upon peril of body and life he might be permitted to be present at this nights supper. He was in good hopes to spy out the very offender, and obtain his wished freedom. This was expressly and handsomely indicted, by which I could well perceive his ingenuity, but it was too sharp for me, and I could well have endured never to have seen it. Now I was casting in my mind whether he might perchance be helped through my wish, so I asked the King, whether he might not be released 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 desire.” So he sent forth one to fetch him in. Meantime the tables were prepared in a spacious room, in which we had never been before, which was so complete, and in such manner contrived, that it is not possible for me only to begin to describe it. Into this we were conducted with singular pomp and ceremony. Cupid was not at this time present, for (as I was informed) the disgrace which had happened to his mother, had somewhat angered him. In brief, my offence, and the supplication which was delivered were an occasion of much sadness, for the King was in perplexity how to make inquisition amongst his guests, and the more because thus even they too, who were yet ignorant of the matter, would come to the knowledge of it. So he caused the Porter himself, who was already come, to make his strict surveigh, and showed himself as pleasant as he was able. Howbeit at length they began again to be merry, and to bespeak one another with all sorts of recreative and profitable discourses. Now how the treatment and other ceremonies were then performed, 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 that we were overcharged with drinking. 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, both their old men, the ladies and virgins, were to sit. After which a very handsome page opened the above-mentioned glorious little book, when Atlas immediately placing himself in the midst, began to bespeak us to the ensuing purpose, that his Royal Majesty had not yet committed to oblivion the service we had done him, and how carefully we had attended our duty, and therefore by way of retribution had elected all and each of the Knights of the Golden Stone. That it was therefore further necessary not only once again to oblige ourselves towards his Royal Majesty, but to vow too upon the following articles, and then his Royal Majesty 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 ascribe your order either unto any devil or spirit, but only to God your Creator, and his hand-maid Nature.

II. That you will abominate all whoredom, incontinency and uncleanness, and not defile your order with such vices.

III. That you through your talents will be ready to assist all that are worthy, and have need of them.

IV. That you desire not to employ this honour to worldly pride and high authority.

V. That you shall not be willing to live longer than God will have you.

At this last article we could not choose but laugh sufficiently, and it may well have been placed after the rest, only for a conceit. Now being to vow to them all by the King’s sceptre, we were afterwards with the usual ceremonies installed Knights, and amongst other privileges set over Ignorance, Poverty, and Sickness, to handle them at our pleasure. And this was afterwards ratified in a little chapel (whither we were conducted in all procession) and thanks returned to God for it, where I also at that time to the honour of God hung up my golden fleece and hat, and left them there for an eternal memorial. And because every one was there to write his name, I writ thus;

Summa Scientia nihil Scire,


Eques aurei Lapidis.

Anno. 1459.

Others writ likewise, and truly each as seemed him good. After which we were again brought into the hall, where being sate down, we were admonished quickly to bethink ourselves what every 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 severally, so that I cannot speak of any man’s proper wish. I thought nothing could be more praise-worthy than in honour of my order to demonstrate some laudable virtue, and found too that none at present could be more famous, and cost me more trouble than Gratitude. Wherefore not regarding that I might well have wished somewhat more dear and agreeable to my self, I vanquished my self, and concluded, even with my own peril, to free the Porter, my benefactor. Wherefore being now called in, I was first of all demanded whether, having read the supplication, I had observed or suspected nothing concerning the offender, upon which I began undauntedly to relate how all the business had passed. How through ignorance I fell into that mistake, and so offered myself to undergo all that I had thereby demerited. The King, and the rest of the lords wondered mightily at so unhoped for confession, and so wished me to step aside a little. Now as soon as I was called for in again, Atlas declared to me, that although it were grievous to the King’s Majesty, that I whom he loved above others, was fallen into such a mischance, yet because it was not possible for him to transgress his ancient usages, he knew not how else to absolve me, but that the other must be at liberty, and I placed in his stead, yet he would hope that some other would be apprehended, that so 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 near cost me my life, and I first hated myself and my twatling tongue, in that I could not hold my peace, yet at last I took courage, and because I considered there was no remedy, I related how this Porter had bestowed a token on me, and commended me to the other, by whose assistance I stood upon the scale, and so was made partaker of all the honour and joy already received. And therefore now it was but equal that I should shew my self grateful to my benefactor, and because the same could no way else be done, I returned thanks for the sentence, and was willing gladly to sustain some inconvenience for his sake, who had been helpful to me in coming to so high place. But if by my wish any thing might be effected, I wished my self at home again, and that so he by me, and I by my wish might be at liberty. Answer was made me, that the wishing stretched not so far. However I might well wish him free.

Yet it was very pleasing to his Royal Majesty that I had behaved my self so generously herein, but he was affraid I might still be ignorant into what a miserable condition I had plunged myself through this my curiosity. Hereupon the good man was pronounced free, and I with a sad heart was fain to step aside. After me the rest were called for too, who came jocundly out again, which was still more to my smart, for I imagined no other, but that I must finish my life under the gate. I had also many pensive thoughts running up and down in my head, what I should yet undertake, and wherewith 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 anguish and melancholy life would easily dispatch me, and then my doorkeeping would be at an end, and that by a most happy sleep I might quickly bring myself into the grave. I had sundry of these thoughts. Sometimes it vexed me that I had seen such galant things, and must be robbed of them. Sometimes it rejoiced me that yet before my end I had been accepted to all joy, and should not be forced so shamefully to depart. This was the last and worst shock that I sustained. During these my cogitations the rest were ready. Wherefore 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 yet must moreover suffer myself to be tormented, and that I might be certain of my future function, I was fain to put on the ring, which the other had before worn. Finally, the King exhorted me, that since this was now the last time I was like to see him in this manner, I should however behave myself according to my place, and not against the order. Upon which he took me also in his arms, and kissed me, all which I so understood as if in the morning I must sit at my gate. Now after they had all a while spoken friendly to me, and at last presented their hands, committing me to the divine protection, I was by both the old men, the Lord of the Tower. and Atlas, conducted into a glorious lodging, in which stood three beds, and each of us lay in one of them, where we yet spent almost two, &c.

Here are wanting about two leaves in quarto, and he ( the author hereof ), whereas he imagined he must in the morning be door keeper, returned home.

The Chemical Marriage

THE self-admitted author of The Chemical Marriage, Johann Valentin Andreæ, born in Württemberg in 1586, was twenty-eight years of age when that work was first published. It was presumably written about twelve years prior to its publication–or when the author was fifteen or sixteen years old. The fact is almost incredible that one so young could produce a volume containing the wealth of symbolic thought and philosophy hidden between the lines of The Chemical Marriage. This book makes the earliest known reference to Christian Rosencreutz, and is generally regarded as the third of the series of original Rosicrucian manifestoes. As a symbolic work, the book itself is hopelessly irreconcilable with the statements made by Andreæ concerning it. The story of The Chemical Marriage relates in detail a series of incidents occurring to an aged man, presumably the Father C.R.C. of the Fama and Confessio. If Father C.R.C. was born in 1378, as stated in the Confessio, and is identical with the Christian Rosencreutz of The Chemical Marriage, he was elevated to the dignity of a Knight of the Golden Stone in the eighty-first year of his life (1459). In the light of his own statements, it is inconceivable that Andreæ could have been Father Rosy Cross.

Many figures found in the various books on symbolism published in the early part of the seventeenth century bear a striking resemblance to the characters and episodes in The Chemical Marriage. The alchemical wedding may prove to be the key to the riddle of Baconian Rosicrucianism. The presence in the German text of The Chemical Marriage of some words in English indicates its author to have been conversant also with that language. The following summary of the main episodes of the seven days of The Chemical Marriage will give the reader a fairly comprehensive idea of the profundity of its symbolism.


Christian Rosencreutz, having prepared in his heart the Paschal Lamb together with a small unleavened loaf, was disturbed while at prayer one evening before Easter by a violent storm which threatened to demolish not only his little house but the very hill on which it stood. In the midst of the tempest he was touched on the back and, turning, he beheld a glorious woman with wings filled with eyes, and robed in sky-colored garments spangled with stars. In one hand she held a trumpet and in the other a bundle of letters in every language. Handing a letter to C.R.C., she immediately ascended into the air, at the same time blowing upon her trumpet a blast which shook the house. Upon the seal of the letter was a curious cross and the words In hoc signo vinces. Within, traced in letters of gold on an azure field, was an invitation to a royal wedding.

C.R.C. was deeply moved by the invitation because it was the fulfillment of a prophecy which he had received seven years before, but so unworthy did he feel that he was paralyzed with fear. At length, after resorting to prayer, he sought sleep. In his dreams he found himself in a loathsome dungeon with a multitude of other men, all bound and fettered with great chains. The grievousness of their sufferings was increased as they stumbled over each other in the darkness. Suddenly from above came the sound of trumpets; the cover of the dungeon was lifted, and a ray of light pierced the gloom. Framed in the light stood a hoary-headed man who announced that a rope would be lowered seven times and whoever could cling to the rope would be drawn up to freedom.

Great confusion ensued. All sought to grasp the rope and many were pulled away from it by others. C.R.C. despaired of being saved, but suddenly the rope swung towards him and, grasping it, he was raised from the dungeon. An aged woman called the “Ancient Matron” wrote in a golden yellow book the names of those drawn forth, and each of the redeemed was given for remembrance a piece of gold bearing the symbol of the sun and the letters D L S. C.R.C., who had been injured while clinging to the rope, found it difficult to walk. The aged woman bade him not to worry, but to thank God who had permitted him to come into so high a light. Thereupon trumpets sounded and C.R.C. awoke, but so vivid was the dream that he was still sensible of the wounds received while asleep.

With renewed faith C. R. C. arose and prepared himself for the Hermetic Marriage. He donned a white linen coat and bound a red ribbon crosswise over his shoulders. In his hat he stuck four roses and for food he carried bread, water, and salt. Before leaving his cottage, he knelt and vowed that whatever knowledge was revealed to him he would devote to the service of his neighbor. He then departed from his house with joy.


As he entered the forest surrounding his little house, it seemed to C.R.C. that all Nature had joyously prepared for the wedding. As he proceeded singing merrily, he came to a green heath in which stood three great cedars, one bearing a tablet with an inscription describing the four paths that led to the palace of the King: the first short and dangerous, the second circuitous, the third a pleasant and royal road, and the fourth suitable only for incorruptible bodies. Weary and perplexed, C.R.C. decided to rest and, cutting a slice of bread, was about to partake thereof when a white dove begged it from him. The dove was at once attacked by a raven, and in his efforts to separate the birds C.R.C. unknowingly ran a considerable distance along one of the four paths–that leading southward. A terrific wind preventing him from retracing his steps, the wedding guest resigned himself to the loss of his bread and continued along the road until he espied in the distance a great gate. The sun being low, he hastened towards the portal, upon which, among other figures, was a tablet bearing the words Procul hinc procul ite profani.

A gatekeeper in sky-colored habit immediately asked C.R.C. for his letter of invitation and, on receiving it, bade him enter and requested that he purchase a token. After describing himself as a Brother of the Red Rosie Cross, C.R.C. received in exchange for his water bottle a golden disk bearing the letters S C. Night drawing near, the wanderer hastened on to a second gate, guarded by a lion, and to which was affixed a tablet with the words Date et dabitur volis, where he presented a letter given him by the first gatekeeper. Being urged to purchase a token bearing the letters S M, he gave his little package of salt and then hastened on to reach the palace gates before they were locked for the night.

A beautiful virgin called Virgo Lucifera was extinguishing the castle lights as C.R.C. approached, and he was barely able to squeeze through the closing gates. As they closed they caught part of his coat, which he was forced to leave behind. Here his name was written in the Lord Bridegroom’s little vellum book and he was presented with a new pair of shoes and also a token bearing the letters S P N. He was then conducted by pages to a small chamber where the “ice-grey locks” were cut from the crown of his head by invisible barbers, after which he was ushered into a spacious hall where a goodly number of kings, princes, and commoners were assembled. At the sound of trumpets each seated himself at the table, taking a position corresponding to his dignity, so that C.R.C. received a very humble seat. Most of the pseudo-philosophers present being vain pretenders, the banquet became an orgy, which, however, suddenly ceased at the sound of

stately and inspired music. For nearly half an hour no one spoke. Then amidst a great sound the door of the dining hall swung open and thousands of lighted tapers held by invisible hands entered. These were followed by the two pages lighting the beautiful Virgo Lucifera seated on a self-moving throne. The white-and-gold-robed Virgin then rose and announced that to prevent the admission of unworthy persons to the mystical wedding a set of scales would be erected the following day upon which each guest would be weighed to determine his integrity. Those unwilling to undergo this ordeal she stated should remain in the dining hall. She then withdrew, but many of the tapers stayed to accompany the guests to their quarters for the night.

Most of those present were presumptuous enough to believe that they could be safety weighed, but nine–including C.R.C.–felt their shortcomings so deeply that they feared the outcome and remained in the hall while the others were led away to their sleeping chambers. These nine were bound with ropes and left alone in darkness. C.R.C. then dreamed that he saw many men suspended over the earth by threads, and among them flew an aged man who, cutting here and there a thread, caused many to fall to earth. Those who in arrogance had soared to lofty heights accordingly fell a greater distance and sustained more serious injury than the more humble ones who, falling but a short distance, often landed without mishap. Considering this dream to be a good omen, C.R.C. related it to a companion, continuing in discourse with him until dawn.


Soon after dawn the trumpets sounded and the Virgo Lucifera, arrayed in red velvet, girded with a white sash, and crowned with a laurel wreath, entered accompanied by two hundred men in red-and-white livery. She intimated to C.R.C. and his eight companions that they might fare better than the other, self-satisfied guests. Golden scales were then hung in the midst of the hall and near them were placed seven weights, one good-sized, four small, and two very large. The men in livery, each carrying a naked sword and a strong rope, were divided into seven groups and from each group was chosen a captain, who was given charge of one of the weights. Having remounted her high throne, Virgo Lucifera ordered the ceremony to begin. The first to step on the scales was an emperor so virtuous that the balances did not tip until six weights had been placed upon the opposite end. He was therefore turned over to the sixth group. The rich and poor alike stood upon the scales, but only a few passed the test successfully. To these were given velvet robes and wreaths of laurel, after which they were seated upon the steps of Virgo Lucifera’s throne. Those who failed were ridiculed and scourged.

The “inquisition” being finished, one of the captains begged Virgo Lucifera to permit the nine men who had declared themselves unworthy also to be weighed, and this caused C.R.C. anguish and fear. Of the first seven one succeeded and was greeted with joy. C.R.C. was the eighth and he not only withstood all the weights but even when three men hung on the opposite end of the beam he could not be moved. A page cried out: “THAT IS HE!” C.R.C. was quickly set at liberty and permitted to release one of the captives. He chose the first emperor. Virgo Lucifera then requested the red roses that C.R.C. carried, which he immediately gave her. The ceremony of the scales ended about ten o’clock in the forenoon.

After agreeing upon the penalties to be imposed upon those whose shortcomings had been thus exposed, a dinner was served to all. The few successful “artists,” including C.R.C., were given the chief seats, after which the Golden Fleece and a Flying Lion were bestowed upon them in the name of the Bridegroom. Virgo Lucifera then presented a magnificent goblet to the guests, stating that the King had requested all to share its contents, Following this, C.R.C. and his companions were taken out upon a scaffolding where they beheld the various penalties suffered by those who failed. Before leaving the palace, each of the rejected guests was given a draught of forgetfulness. The elect then returned to the castle, where to each was assigned a learned page, who conducted them through the various parts of the edifice. C.R.C. saw many things his companions were not privileged to behold, including the Royal Sepulcher, where he learned “more than is extant in all books.” He also visited a magnificent library and an observatory containing a great globe thirty feet in diameter and with all the countries of the world marked upon it.

At supper the various guests propounded enigmas and C.R.C. solved the riddle which Virgo Lucifera asked concerning her own identity. Then entered the dining hall two youths and six virgins beautifully robed, followed by a seventh virgin wearing a coronet. The latter was called the Duchess, and was mistaken for the Hermetic Bride. The Duchess told C.R.C. that he had received more than the others, therefore should make a greater return. The Duchess then asked each of the virgins to pick up one of the seven weights which still remained in the great room. To Virgo Lucifera was given the heaviest weight, which was hung in the Queen’s chamber during the singing of a hymn. In the second chamber the first virgin hung her weight during a similar ceremony; thus they proceeded from room to room until the weights had been disposed of. The Duchess then presented her hand to C. R. C. and his companions and, followed by her virgins, withdrew. Pages then conducted the guests to their sleeping chambers. The one assigned to C.R.C. was hung with rare tapestries and with beautiful paintings.


After washing and drinking in the garden from a fountain which bore several inscriptions–among them one reading, “Drink, brothers, and live”–the guests, led by Virgo Lucifera, ascended the 365 steps of the royal winding stairs. The guests were given wreaths of laurel and, a curtain being raised, found themselves in the presence of the King and Queen. C.R.C. was awestruck by the glory of the throne room and especially by the magnificence of the Queen’s robes, which were so dazzling that he could not gaze upon them. Each guest was presented to the King by one of the virgins and after this ceremony the Virgo Lucifera made a short speech in which she recited the achievements of the honest “artists” and begged that each be questioned as to whether she had properly fulfilled her duty. Old Atlas then stepped forward and in the name of their Royal Majesties greeted the intrepid band of philosophers and assured Virgo Lucifera that she should receive a royal reward.

The length of the throne room was five times its width. To the west was a great porch in which stood three thrones, the central one elevated. On each throne sat two persons: on the first an ancient king with a young consort; on the third a black king with a veiled matron beside him; and on the central throne two young persons over whose heads hung a large and costly crown, about which hovered a little Cupid who shot his arrows first at the two lovers and then about the hall. Before the Queen a book bound in black velvet lay on a small altar, on which were golden decorations. Beside this were a burning candle, a celestial globe, a small striking-watch, a little crystal pipe from which ran a stream of clear blood-red liquor, and a skull with a white serpent crawling in and out of the orbits. After their presentations, the guests retired down the winding stairs to the great hall.

Later the Virgo Lucifera announced that a comedy was to be performed for the benefit of the six royal guests in a building called the House of the Sun. C.R.C. and his companions formed part of the royal procession, which after a considerable walk arrived at the theater. The play was in seven acts, and after its happy ending all returned through the garden and up the winding stairs to the throne room. C.R.C. noticed the young King was very sad and that at the banquet following he often sent meat to the white serpent in the skull. The feast over, the young King, holding in his hand the little black book from the altar, asked the guests if they would all be true to him through prosperity and adversity, and when they tremblingly agreed he asked that each should sign his name in the little black book as proof of his fealty. The royal persons then drank from the little crystal fountain, the others afterwards doing likewise. This was called the “Draught of Silence.” The royal persons then sadly shook hands with all present. Suddenly a little bell tinkled and immediately the kings and queens took off their white garments and donned black ones, the room was hung in sable draperies, and the tables were removed. The eyes of the royal persons were bound with six black taffeta scarfs and six coffins were placed in the center of the room. An executioner, a Moor, robed in black and bearing an axe, entered, and beheaded in turn each of the six royal persons. The blood of each was caught in a golden goblet, which was placed in the coffins with the body. The executioner was also decapitated and his head placed in a small chest.

The Virgo Lucifera, after assuring C.R.C. and his companions that all should be well if they were faithful and true, ordered the pages to conduct them to their rooms for the night while she remained to watch with the dead. About midnight C.R.C. awakened suddenly and, looking from his window, beheld seven ships sailing upon a lake. Above each hovered a flame; these he believed to be the spirits of the beheaded. When the ships reached shore, the Virgo Lucifera met them and on each of six of the vessels was placed a covered coffin. As soon as the coffins had been thus disposed of, the lights were extinguished and the flames passed back over the lake so that there remained but one light for a watch in each ship. After beholding this strange ceremony, C.R.C. returned to his bed and slept till morning.


Rising at daybreak and entreating his page to show him other treasures of the palace, C.R.C. was conducted down many steps to a great iron door bearing a curious inscription, which he carefully copied. Passing through, he found himself in the royal treasury, the light in which came entirely from some huge carbuncles. In the center stood the triangular sepulcher of Lady Venus. Lifting a copper door in the pavement, the page ushered C.R.C. into a crypt where stood a great bed upon which, when his guide had raised the coverlets, C.R.C. beheld the body of Venus. Led by his page, C.R.C. then rejoined his companions, saying nothing to them of his experience.

Virgo Lucifera, robed in black velvet and accompanied by her virgins, then led the guests out into the courtyard where stood six coffins, each with eight pallbearers. C.R.C. was the only one of the group of “artists” who suspected the royal bodies were no longer in these coffins. The coffins were lowered into graves and great stones rolled over them. The Virgo Lucifera then made a short oration in which she exhorted each to assist in restoring the royal persons to life, declaring that they should journey with her to the Tower of Olympus, where the medicines necessary to the resurrection of the six royal persons could alone be found. C.R.C. and his companions followed Virgo Lucifera to the seashore, where all embarked on seven ships disposed according to a certain strange order. As the ships sailed across the lake and through a narrow channel into the open sea, they were attended by sirens, nymphs, and sea goddesses, who in honor of the wedding presented a great and beautiful pearl to the royal couple. When the ships came in sight of the Tower of Olympus, Virgo Lucifera ordered the discharge of cannon to signal their approach. Immediately a white flag appeared upon the tower and a small gilded pinnace, containing an ancient man–the warden of the tower–with his white-clad guards came out to meet the ships.

The Tower of Olympus stood upon an island which was exactly square and was surrounded by a great wall. Entering the gate, the group was led to the bottom of the central tower, which contained an excellent laboratory where the guests were fain to beat and wash plants, precious stones, and all sorts of things, extract their juice and essence, and put these latter into glasses. Virgo Lucifera set the “artists” to work so arduously that they felt they were mere drudges. When the day’s work was finished, each was assigned a mattress on the stone floor. Being unable to sleep, C.R.C. wandered about contemplating the stars. Chancing upon a flight of steps leading to the top of the wall, he climbed up and looked out upon the sea. Remaining here for some time, about midnight he beheld seven flames which, passing over the sea towards him, gathered themselves on the top of the spire of the central tower. Simultaneously the winds arose, the sea became tempestuous, and the moon was covered with clouds. With some fear C.R.C. ran down the stairs and returned to the tower and, lying down on his mattress, was lulled to sleep by the sound of a gently flowing fountain in the laboratory.


The next morning the aged warden of the tower, after examining the work performed by the wedding guests in the laboratory and finding it satisfactory, caused ladders, ropes, and large wings to be brought forth, and addressed the assembled “artists” thus: “My dear sons, one of these three things must each of you this day constantly bear about with him.” Lots were cast and to C.R.C., much to his chagrin, fell a heavy ladder. Those who secured wings had them fastened to their backs so cunningly that it was impossible to detect that they were artificial. The aged warden then locked the “artists” in the lower room of the tower, but in a short time a round hole was uncovered in the ceiling and Virgo Lucifera invited all to ascend. Those with wings flew at once through the opening, those with ropes had many difficulties, while C.R.C. with his ladder made reasonable speed. On the second floor the wedding guests, musicians, and Virgo Lucifera gathered about a fountain-like contrivance containing the bodies of the six royal persons.

Virgo Lucifera then placed the if Moor’s head in a kettle-like receptacle in the upper part of the fountain and poured upon it the substances prepared on the previous day in the laboratory. The virgins placed lamps beneath. These substances when they boiled passed out through holes in the sides of the kettle and, falling upon the bodies in the fountain below, dissolved them. The six royal bodies having been reduced thus to a liquid state, a tap was opened in the lower end of the fountain and the fluid drained into an immense golden globe, which, when filled, was of great weight. All but the wedding guests then retired and shortly a hole in the ceiling opened as before and the guests ascended pell-mell to the third floor. Here the globe were suspended by a strong chain. The walls of the apartment were of glass, and mirrors were so arranged that the sun’s rays were concentrated upon the central globe, thus causing it to become very hot. Later the sun’s rays were deflected and the globe permitted to cool, after which it was cut open with a diamond, revealing a beautiful white egg. Carrying this with her, Virgo Lucifera departed.

The guests, having ascended through another trap door, found

themselves upon the fourth floor, where stood a square kettle filled with silver sand warmed by a gentle fire. The great white egg was placed upon the warm sand to mature. In a short time it cracked and there emerged an ugly, ill-tempered bird, which was fed with the blood of the beheaded royal persons diluted with prepared water. At each feeding its feathers changed color; from black they turned to white and at last they became varicolored, the disposition of the bird improving the while. Dinner was then served, after which Virgo Lucifera departed with the bird. The guests ascended with ropes, ladders, and wings to the fifth floor, where a bath colored with fine white powder had been prepared for the bird, which enjoyed bathing in it until the lamps placed beneath the bath caused the water to become uncomfortably warm. When the heat had removed all the bird’s feathers it was taken out, but the fire continued until nothing remained in the bath save a sediment in the form of a blue stone. This was later pounded up and made into a pigment; with this, all of the bird except the head was painted.

The guests thereupon ascended to the sixth floor, where stood a small altar resembling that in the King’s throne room. The bird drank from the little fountain and was fed with the blood of the white serpent which crawled through the openings in the skull. The sphere by the altar revolved continuously. The watch struck one, two, and then three, at which time the bird, laying its neck upon the book, suffered itself to be decapitated. Its body was burned to ashes, which were placed in a box of cypress wood. Virgo Lucifera told C.R.C. and three of his comrades that they were lazy and sluggish “labourators” and would therefore be excluded from the seventh room. Musicians were sent for, who with cornets were to “blow” the four in ridicule from the chamber. C.R.C. and his three companions were disheartened until the musicians told them to be of good cheer and led them up a winding stair to the eighth floor of the tower directly beneath the roof. Here the old warden, standing upon a little round furnace, welcomed them and congratulated them upon being chosen by Virgo Lucifera, for this greater work. Virgo Lucifera then entered, and after laughing at the perplexity of her guests, emptied the ashes of the bird into another vessel, filling the cypress box with useless matter. She thereupon returned to the seventh floor, presumably to mislead those assembled there by setting them to work upon the false ashes in the box.

C.R.C. and his three friends were set to work moistening the bird’s ashes with specially prepared water until the mixture became of doughlike consistency, after which it was heated and molded into two miniature forms. Later these were opened, disclosing two bright and almost transparent human images about four inches high (homunculi), one male and the other female. These tiny forms were laid upon satin cushions and fed drop by drop with the blood of the bird until they grew to normal size and of great beauty. Though the bodies had the consistency of flesh, they showed no signs of life, for the soul was not in them. The bodies were next surrounded with torches and their faces covered with silk. Virgo Lucifera then appeared, bearing two curious white garments. The virgins also entered, among them six bearing great trumpets. A trumpet was placed upon the mouth of one of the two figures and C.R.C. saw a tiny hole open in the dome of the tower and a ray of light descend through the tube of the trumpet and enter the body. This process was repeated three times on each body. The two newly ensouled forms were then removed upon a traveling couch. In about half an hour the young King and Queen awakened and the Virgo Lucifera presented them with the white garments. These they donned and the King in his own person most graciously returned thanks to C.R.C. and his companions, after which the royal persons departed upon a ship. C.R.C. and his three privileged friends then rejoined the other “artists,” making no mention of that which they had seen. Later the entire party were assigned handsome chambers, where they rested till morning.


In the morning Virgo Lucifera announced that each of the wedding guests had become a “Knight of the Golden Stone. ” The aged warden then presented each man with a gold medal, bearing on one side the inscription “At. Nat. Mi. ” and on the other, “Tem. Na. F.” The entire company returned in twelve ships to the King’s palace. The flags on the vessels bore the signs of the zodiac, and C.R.C. sat under that of Libra. As they entered the lake, many ships met them and the King and Queen, together with their lords, ladies, and virgins, rode forth on a golden barge to greet the returning guests. Atlas then made a short oration in the King’s behalf, also asking for the royal presents. In reply the aged warden delivered to Cupid, who hovered about the royal pair, a small, curious-shaped casket. C.R.C. and the old lord, each bearing a snow-white ensign with a red cross on it, rode in the carriage with the King. At the first gate stood the porter with blue clothes, who, upon seeing C.R.C., begged him to intercede with the King to release him from that post of servitude. The King replied that the porter was a famous astrologer who was forced to keep the gate as a punishment for the crime of having gazed upon Lady Venus reposing upon her couch. The King further declared that the porter could be released only when another was found who had committed the same crime. Upon hearing this, C.R.C.’s heart sank, for he realized himself to be the culprit, but he remained silent at that time.

The newly created Knights of the Golden Stone were obliged to subscribe to five articles drawn up by His Royal Highness: (1) That they would ascribe their Order only to God and His handmaid, Nature. (2) That they should abominate all uncleanness and vice. (3) That they should always be ready to assist the worthy and needy. (4) That they should not use their knowledge and power for the attainment of worldly dignity. (5) That they should not desire to live longer than God had decreed. They were then duly installed as Knights, which ceremony was ratified in a little chapel where C. R. C. hung up his Golden Fleece and his hat for an eternal memorial, and here he inscribed the following: Summa Scientia nihil Scire, Fr. Christianus Rosencreutz. Eques aurei Lapidis. Anno 1459.

After the ceremony, C.R.C. admitted that he was the one who had beheld Venus and consequently must become the porter of the gate. The King embraced him fondly and he was assigned to a great room containing three beds–one for himself, one for the aged lord of the tower, and the third for old Atlas.

The Chemical Marriage here comes to an abrupt end, leaving the impression that C.R.C. was to assume his duties as porter on the following morning. The book ends in the middle of a sentence, with a note in italics presumably by the editor.

Under the symbolism of an alchemical marriage, mediæval philosophers concealed the secret system of spiritual culture whereby they hoped to coordinate the disjecta membra of both the human and social organisms. Society, they maintained, was a threefold structure and had its analogy in the triune constitution of man, for as man consists of spirit, mind, and body, so society is made up of the church, the state, and the populace. The bigotry of the church, the tyranny of the state, and the fury of the mob are the three murderous agencies of society which seek to destroy Truth as recounted in the Masonic legend of Hiram Abiff. The first six days of The Chemical Marriage set forth the processes of philosophical “creation” through which every organism must pass. The three kings are the threefold spirit of man and their consorts the corresponding vehicles of their expression in the lower world. The executioner is the mind, the higher part of which–symbolized by the head–is necessary to the achievement of the philosophical labor. Thus the parts of man–by the alchemists symbolized as planets and elements–when blended together according to a certain Divine formula result in the creation of two philosophic “babes” which, fed upon the blood of the alchemical bird, become rulers of the world.

From an ethical standpoint, the young King and Queen resurrected at the summit of the tower and ensouled by Divine Life represent the forces of Intelligence and Love which must ultimately guide society. Intelligence and Love are the two great ethical luminaries of the world and correspond to enlightened spirit and regenerated body. The bridegroom is reality and the bride the regenerated being who attains perfection by becoming one with reality through a cosmic marriage wherein the mortal part attains immortality by being united with its own immortal Source. In the Hermetic Marriage divine and human consciousness are united in holy wedlock and he in whom this sacred ceremony takes place is designated as “Knight of the Golden Stone”; he thereby becomes a divine philosophic diamond composed of the quintessence of his own sevenfold constitution.

Such is the true interpretation of the mystical process of becoming “a bride of the Lamb.” The Lamb of God is signified by the Golden Fleece that Jason was forced to win before he could assume his kingship. The Flying Lion is illumined will, an absolute prerequisite to the achievement of the Great Work. The episode of weighing the souls of men has its parallel in the ceremony described in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The walled city entered by C.R.C. represents the sanctuary of wisdom wherein dwell the real rulers of the world–the initiated philosophers.

Like the ancient Mysteries after which it was patterned, the Order of the Rose Cross possessed a secret ritual which was lived by the candidate for a prescribed number of years before he was eligible to the inner degrees of the society. The various floors of the Tower of Olympus represent the orbits of the planets. The ascent of the philosophers from one floor to another also parallels certain rituals of the Eleusinian Mysteries and the rites of Mithras wherein the candidate ascended the seven rungs of a ladder or climbed the seven steps of a pyramid in order to signify release from the influences of the Planetary Governors. Man becomes master of the seven spheres only when he transmutes the impulses received from them. He who masters the seven worlds and is reunited with the Divine Source of his own nature consummates the Hermetic Marriage.




From Rosencreutz’ Chemical Marriage.

The most remarkable of all the publications involved in the Rosicrucian controversy is that of The Chemical Marriage, published in Strasbourg. This work, which is very rare, should be reproduced in exact facsimile to provide students with the opportunity of examining the actual text for the various forms of cipher employed. Probably no other volume in the history or literature created such a profound disturbance as this unpretentious little book. Immediately following its publication the purpose for which the volume was intended became the subject of popular speculation. It was both attacked and defended by theologians and philosophers alike, but when the various contending elements are simmered down the mysteries surrounding the book remain unsolved. That its author was a man of exceptional learning was admitted, and it is noteworthy that those minds which possessed the deepest understanding of Nature’s mysteries were among those profoundly impressed by the contents of The Chemical Marriage.




From Ashmole’s Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum.

This plate, which is the key to mystic Christian alchemy, is missing from almost every copy of the Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum, a work compiled by Elias Ashmole and containing about a score of pieces by English poets treating of the Philosopher’s Stone and the Hermetic mysteries. In view of the consistent manner in which the plate disappeared, it is possible that the diagram was purposely removed because it revealed too plainly the Rosicrucian arcana. Worthy of notice also is the care with which owners’ names have been effaced from early books pertaining to alchemy and Hermeticism. The original names are usually rendered illegible being covered with heavy ink lines, the procedure often seriously defacing the volume, While an occasional exception is found, in practically every instance the mutilated books either deal with Rosicrucianism or contain cryptic writings of suspected Rosicrucian origin. It is presumed that this Practice of obliterating the owners names was to prevent the early Rosicrucians and Hermetists from being discovered through the volumes composing their libraries. Elias Ashmole’s plate shows the analogies between the life of Christ and the four grand divisions of the alchemical process. Herein is also revealed the teaching that the Philosopher’s Stone itself is a macrocosm and a microcosm, embodying the principles of astronomy and cosmogony, both universal and human.




From Fludd’s Philosophia Mosaica.

The Supreme Deity is symbolized by the small globe at the top, which is divided into two hemispheres, the dark half representing the divine darkness with which the Deity surround Himself and which serves as His hiding place. The radiant hemisphere signifies the divine light which is in God and which, pouring forth, manifests as the objective creative power. The large dark globe to the left and beneath the dark half of the upper sphere signifies the potential darkness which was upon the face of the primordial deep and within which moved the Spirit of God. The light globe to the right is the Deity who is revealed out of the darkness. Here the shining Word has dissipated the shadows and a glorious universe has been formed. The divine power of this radiant globe is cognizable to man as the sun. The large light and a dark section represents the created universes partaking of the light and darkness which are in the nature of the Creator. The dark half represents the Deep, or Chaos, the Eternal Waters pouring forth out of the Deity; the light half-circle containing the figure of Apollo represents the diurnal hemisphere of the world, which in the ancient Mysteries was ruled over by Apollo. The dark half-circle is the nocturnal hemisphere ruled over by Dionysius (Dionysos), whose figure is faintly visible in the gloom.



Commentaries on the
Chymical Wedding of CRC
 The Rosicrucian Archive


by Jack Courtis

The Chymical Marriage is one of the seminal documents of the Western esoteric tradition. It has a depth and complexity that give it an almost infinite amount of meaning. This commentary represents only one attempt to understand that meaning. It is easier if we see the Chymical Marriage in its proper context. For example, it is divided into “7 Days”. This is a clear reference to Genesis ch 1. The very first sentence refers to “an evening before Easter day”. Hence this is a reference to Christianity and therefore, the Gospels and other parts of the New Testament. Furthermore, the entire work is alchemical in character and it is therefore appropriate to consider the Emerald Tablet of Hermes. In the first chapter there is a clear allusion to Plato’s Cave and that brings with it by necessary implication, a great deal of Greek philosophy and metaphysics. There is much else but this is sufficient to demonstrate that the Chymical Marriage is to be understood in its particular cultural and historical milieu.

Technically, this document is one of the Rosicrucian Manifestos and they in turn, are part of the late mature phase of the Hermetic Revival of the Renaissance. But that does not assist the reader. What is the Chymical Marriage all about?

We believe that it is an allegorical description of the inner journey of personal transformation. This is our interpretation and we invite you to join us as we conduct this journey together.

We shall be assisted in our journey if we have some landmarks to follow and a map and compass, with which to navigate.

Genesis Chapter 1

The 7 Days of Creation are familiar to everyone but not everyone knows what the Bible says even if, they do read it. Two separate issues emerge from a careful consideration of the text of Genesis ch 1. First, there is the principle of polarity.

First Day:        Light divided from darkness.
Second Day: Waters divided from waters.
Third Day: Dry land divided from seas.
Fourth Day: Day divided from night.
Fifth Day:        Birds of the air and creatures of the waters created.
Sixth Day:        Man created as male and female.
Seventh Day: God “rests”.

The fundamental issue is that God creates by the principle of polarity for 6 days and that the polarity is reconciled on the seventh. This is significant because the number 7 appears in the Chymical Marriage. However that is not all.

Secondly, a closer reading of the text of Genesis ch 1 brings us to the realization that there is a different number pattern interwoven and it comes out as follows:

The expression “God said” appears 10 times.
The expression “God made” appears 3 times.
The expression “God saw” appears 7 times.
The word   “God”             appears 12 times.

From the above formula we can derive the Tree of Life because there are 10 seferot, 3 horizontal paths, 7 vertical paths and 12 diagonal paths.

The Tree of Life gives a coherent and self consistent journey of the number pattern upon which it is based. As we follow CRC on his inner journey, we can make some sense of the imagery and symbolism by noting the numbers. The importance of this is that the text of the Chymical Marriage gives us the inner landscape and the Tree of Life with its number pattern, are our map and compass for the inner journey.

Emerald Tablet of Hermes

  1. It is true, certain, and without falsehood, that whatever is below is like that which is above; and that which is above is like that which is below: to accomplish the one wonderful work.
  2. As all things are derived from the One Only Thing, by the will and by the word of the One Only One who created it in His Mind, so all things owe their existence to this Unity by the Order of Nature, and can be improved by the Adaptation of that Mind.
  3. Its Father is the Sun; its Mother is the Moon; the Wind carries it in its womb; and its nurse is the Earth.
  4. This Thing is the Father of all perfect things in the world.
  5. Its power is most perfect when it has again been changed into Earth.
  6. Separate the Earth from the Fire, the subtle from the gross, but carefully and with great judgment and skill.
  7. It ascends from earth to heaven, and descends again, new born, to the earth, taking unto itself thereby the power of the Above and the Below.
  8. Thus the splendour of the whole world will be thine, and all darkness shall flee from thee.
  9. This is the strongest of all powers, the Force of all forces, for it overcometh all subtle things and can penetrate all that is solid.
  10. For thus was the world created, and rare combinations, and wonders of many kinds are wrought.
  11. Hence I am called HERMES TRISMEGISTUS, having mastered the three parts of the wisdom of the whole world.
  12. What I have to say about the masterpiece of the alchemical art, the Solar Work, is now ended.

The first point of note, is that there are 12 statements. The number 12 immediately resonates with the Tree of Life and as we shall see, with the 12 Spiritual Disciples that begin CRC on his inner journey. Here is one connection between the Emerald Tablet and Genesis ch 1. The unity of truth is beginning to manifest.

The Emerald Tablet is itself another seminal document and contains infinite depth of meaning. Only one issue will be examined here, because it becomes important in the inner journey of CRC.

A careful examination of the text reveals that there are 3 processes which have a combined total of 8 steps. Prior to the commencement of the processes, there is again a polarity. First, the polarity: things are “made” and things are “born”. A further connection with Genesis ch 1, where God functions through polarity. Secondly, there is a process of 4 steps that “turns towards the earth” ie, from the Above to the Below:

Father/Sun + Mother/Moon + Wind/Womb + Earth/Breast

The point to note is that there is a downward movement by 4 steps. This will become intelligible shortly. Thirdly, the process changes its nature in 3 steps by:

separating Earth from Fire and Subtle from Gross; acquiring wisdom.

The process then “ascends” from earth to heaven ie, from the Below to the Above. Immediately it “re-descends” to earth ie, from the Above to the Below and takes back the power. In summary, this particular aspect of the Emerald Tablet outlines a relationship between the Above and the Below in 3 processes by 8 steps:

    1. 4 step descent:

Father/Sun + Mother/Moon + Wind/Womb + Earth/Nurse

    1. 3 step ascent:

(Fire – Earth) + (Gross – Subtle) + Wisdom

  1. 1 step re-descent.

What does all this mean? First there are 8 steps divided into 3 groups. The number 3 resonates with the Tree of Life, but what about the number 8. If we look at Tiferet on the Tree we count 8 paths leading to it. Kabala tells us that the path from Keter to Tiferet correlates with a double letter. The other paths correlate with single letters. We can immediately see that the 4 paths from Chakhmah, Binah, Chesed and Gevurah, to Tiferet, are all single paths and move from the Above to the Below. They correlate to the first process of 4 steps in the Emeral Tablet. We can then see that the paths from Yesod, Hod and Netzach to Tiferet, are 3 single paths and move from the Below to the Above. They correlate to the 3 step process of the Emerald Tablet. Finally, the double path from Keter to Tiferet is a re-descent from the Above to the Below and correlates with the final process of the Emerald Tablet.

Since the Emerald Tablet is the source of Western alchemy, it is significant that at the end of the First Day, CRC acts in a way that appears to point to the 4 step descent, the 3 step ascent and the 1 step re-descent.

Christian Kabala

CRC is invited to a wedding. Does this entitle us to see any Christian implication? In the first of the Rosicrucian Manifestoes, the Fama Fraternitatis, we are told that in the tomb of CRC upon the central altar there is inscribed (amongst other things) Jesus Mihi Omnia (Jesus is my all). In his book The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order, Paul Foster Case argues convincingly that the Fama and the Confessio Fraternitatis are the works of Christian kabalists. He puts the Chymical Marriage into a different category but does not deny its Christian implications. We are entitled to assume a Christian influence.

We are therefore able to consider the significance of the marriage at Cana that is mentioned in the Gospel of John ch 2 v 1-11. This was the first of the 7 miracles taken to be signs of the Messiah. Specifically, the wedding implies the lawful union of a man and a woman (reconciliation of a polarity) and the conversion of water into wine implies the integration of the vehicles of consciousness. The symbolism used in this chapter of John, implies that “water” is the normal objective consciousness of the physical body as a vehicle of consciousness and the “wine” is the spiritual consciousness of the vehicle we know as spirit. Between them lies the soul as a vehicle of consciousness. The whole process of the “marriage” is the integration for each of us, of our male/female aspects with our vehicles of consciousness. Diagramatically, it looks like this:

wpe1B.gif (2698 bytes)

But how do we achieve this integration? Christian tradition tell us that there are 12 Spiritual Disciplines performed in 3 groups:


Inner Outer Group
Fasting Submission Worship
Study Service Guidance
Meditation Solitude Confession
Prayer Simplicity Celebration

Again in a diagrammatic form, the process of integration of our male/female nature with our 3 vehicles of consciousness, via the Disciplines, looks like this:


CM intro#2.gif (5290 bytes)

There are 12 Disciplines in 3 groups of 4. The numbers 12 and 3 resonate with the Tree of Life. The number 4 is implied in the Tree because there are 4 levels of reality expressed by the Tree. These levels are, from the Above to the Below, Atzilut/Emanation, Briah/Creation, Yetzirah/Formation and Assiah/Action. From the Below to the Above, we need vehicles of consciousness in order to function properly. At the level of Action, our vehicle is the physical body. At the level of Formation, our vehicle is the soul and at the level of Creation our vehicle is the spirit. However, at the level of Emanation, we have no vehicle of consciousness – we are consciousness. This is called the Divine Spark. This is our true nature and our true being. The emphasis upon the “marriage” in the Chymical Marriage, now becomes more understandable. The inner journey of CRC is about the integration of his male/female aspects with his vehicles of consciousness.

By the way, Jesus and his disciples are “called” to a wedding at Cana, just as CRC is “invited” to his wedding. This implies that the Great Work of personal transformation is not something we accomplish alone. We are guided into it when we are ready. It is also illuminating to read Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians ch 5 v 22-33, as to his concept of the mystical marriage.

Kabalistically, the marriage involves the Son (Tiferet) and the Bride (Malkhut). In turn, the Son is the union of the Father (Chakhmah) and the Mother (Binah). On the Tree of Life, the path between the Mother and the Son, is Zain which means “sword” and refers to the faculty of discrimination. In his inner journey, CRC comes across swords quite often. As an aside, consider the kabalistic significance of ikons of Madonna and Child. There is more to such ikons than a sentimental view of motherhood.

Along his inner journey, CRC comes across imagery that reminds us of the Apocalypse of John. That book is itself, the description of the processes of personal transformation by way of an inner journey.

The Sefer Yetzirah, is the earliest written description that we have, of the level of reality called Yetzirah/Formation. Amongst many other things, we learn from the Sefer Yetzirah about the 7 pairs of opposites:


Seed Desolation
Wealth Poverty
Life Death
Grace Ugliness
Wisdom Folly
Peace War
Dominance Subjugation

Immediately, we see the principle of polarity in action. These polarities are on the inner landscape and we must successfully navigate a course between them in order to complete the inner journey. We shall see what CRC has to do about this.

We now have a context within which to read the Chymical Marriage. Let us meet CRC and follow him on his inner journey. It is also our journey.

Christian Rosenkreutz – Spiritual Transformation and Renewal in the Fama Fraternitatis

Christian Rosenkreutz

Spiritual Transformation and Renewal in the Fama Fraternitatis
A Presentation in Two Parts
A Summary and Practical Guide (with illustrations and diagrams)
PART 1: The Journey as Allegory
PART 2: The Rosicrucian Vault and its Symbolism
by Paul Goodall FRC
Printed by EGL Greenwood Gate, Blackhill, Crowborough
Copyright © Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC

Presentation Part One

The Journey as Allegory

“[God] hath raised men indued [imbued] with great Wisdom who might properly renew and reduce all Arts (in this our Age spotted and imperfect to perfection; so that finally Man might understand his own Nobleness and Worth, and why he is called Microcosmos and how far his Knowledge extendeth into Nature. ” (Fama Fraternitatis)

IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY to stay focussed on the narrative in the Fama Fraternitatis because of the period style of writing; in addition to this the Fama is more than just a story about a quest for knowledge since there is an underlying deeper meaning to the whole and this means doubly concentrating on its content. Part One of this presentation serves (hopefully) as an introductory lesson to its mysteries that can be expanded upon by individual study in combination with periods of quiet contemplation. In the first part we accompanied Christian Rosenkreutz on his journey to the East and quickly learned that we are not just dealing with mundane adventures but with a journey of self discovery culminating in self-mastery in the Rosicrucian sense. From this it will be appreciated that the text of the Fama Fraternitatis is an elaborate allegory full of esoteric symbolism and import making its comprehension rather more involved than the relatively straightforward narrative it appears to be for the casual reader.

The visible universe is divided into two parts: the macrocosm, representing the outer world or large scale structure of the universe, and the microcosm, corresponding to the human body as a living, conscious being. Our bodies are composed of atoms that vibrate constantly under the effect of spirit energy, as taught in the monographs. This energy is distributed throughout the whole universe in the form of vibrations made up of electrons, protons and neutrons, which are the fundamental particles of atoms. We are, however, more than just a physical body; we are animated by the Vital Life Force.

In the narrative we initially meet its principle character at the tender age of five when he has been placed by reason of poverty into a cloister signalling the beginning of his religious training. And so his voyage of self-discovery and indeed the allegory itself is set into motion. From now on the metaphors and double meanings come thick and fast and Rosicrucian students that are deliberately studying the text have to keep a sharp eye out for all the clues that lay between the lines. Now we all know that this allegory was written 400 years ago and that the original intentions of its author, that of esoteric instruction, were being conveyed in a quite contemporary fashion. Reading and studying the Fama today we tend, quite naturally, to interpret what the text is telling us within our modern mode of thinking. Bearing this in mind the first part of the presentation brings in modern concepts of Rosicrucian thought relating to what we know as “spiritual alchemy” that is the inner transformation of the soul personality during each incarnation.
Universal Soul (perfect)
Soul Personality (imperfect)

To achieve a realisation of consciousness we are provided with a particular attribute, the soul personality. As the monographs state: “the soul personality corresponds to the personal expression that each individual gives to his or her soul nature. In other words, it is a faithful reflection of the moral and spiritual qualities that we have developed under the guidance of the Cosmic. ” It is our soul personality, rather than our soul, that memorises all our experiences and evolves over many incarnations in the material world. But this degree of difference is very subtle; nevertheless these two souls interpenetrate on the vibratory plane to form a harmonious unity. Here is a diagram from the monographs that illustrates the concept… The soul personality is not essentially different from the soul and disagrees only in respect of its imperfection.

Spiritual alchemy  or personal transformation of the inner self is at the heart of the Fama Fraternitatis and is the essential message of the allegory.

It is important that we understand this if we want to relate to the allegory that is contained within the Fama because the journey of Christian Rosenkreutz is a grand metaphor for our own path of self-discovery. Being aware of this will put the events of the narrative, i.e. the personal circumstances of its principal character, in terms of our own spiritual evolvement.

Synopsis of the Narrative

Having left the environment of the religious life Christian Rosenkreutz embarks on his higher quest and the reader is taken along with him through the mysterious lands of the east starting at the island of Cyprus. At this point the presentation begins to really give us a clearer idea of the depth of the esoteric symbolism involved in this allegory. Each place Christian Rosenkreutz visits represents the developing aspects of his soul personality and it is fascinating to read and follow this particular aspect of the narrative. Cyprus, in this instance, represents the doorway to the higher mysteries embodied in the death of Brother PAL in the text and is intimately connected to Venus symbolism and the inner feminine aspect of Christian Rosenkreutz as the presentation explains.

The symbolic death of Brother PAL at Cyprus represents an inner transformation within Christian Rosencreutz, awakening the feminine aspect that is Venus. This is a crucial event in the narrative without which furthermore spiritual progress would nor occur. 

Following Cyprus he next travels to Damascus, a thriving city and located on the north-south trading route, where he meets all manner of people. Damascus is a place where Rosenkreutz learns control of his bodily functions including that of his thoughts and behaviour; here he also practices abstinence in many aspects of his life. His skill in the art of healing is considerably advanced. These are the fundamental techniques that characterise a mystic. While staying in Damascus Christian Rosenkreutz learns of the existence of a place far to the south called Damcar where there reside men of great esoteric wisdom and he is determined that he must go there.

Brother PAL Male aspect TRANSITION

The men of Damcar are very different to those he has encountered in Cyprus and Damascus. They are, in fact, Sabians, an older group of mystical philosophers than the Sufis. Here, Christian Rosenkreutz, having learnt enough Arabic, is schooled in the teachings of Hermes, the Neo-Platonists, Kabala and translates the mysterious “Book M” into Latin. The Arabs, being passionate about the great learning of the Greeks, had amassed a host of manuscripts, many of which they had translated into their language. After having spent three years of intensive instruction in Damcar including long periods of contemplation, his soul personality has become further refined.
Fez was one of the chief intellectual centres of the Arabic world.
Christian Rosenkreutz next crosses the Arabian Gulf and travels to the ancient land of Egypt. Here he becomes skilled in the use of herbs and supplements his knowledge of the natural world. From Egypt he sets sail to travel the length of the Mediterranean Sea and arrives at North Africa and the city of Fez. He finds this city a centre of learning and much given to the process of reason in the accumulation of knowledge. Whilst this is laudable, in part, to Christian Rosenkreutz he finds their methods based too much on the prevailing Aristotelian method and he takes from it what is “agreeable” to his personal philosophy. He learns much of the “Elementary Inhabitants” and of the divine signatures in the “Book of Nature.” This part of his journey appears to represent not just an intellectual period but, like that of Damcar, one of introspection to rid the impurities of mind and body necessary to the development of his soul personality.
Having stayed in Fez for two years Christian Rosenkreutz sets sail for Spain full of expectation for a universal reformation of European society. He wants to set up new methods of learning; promoting the art of observation as the basis of common knowledge rather than relying on a reverence for the past that has caused the intellectual life of Europe to stagnate. His efforts to introduce these reforms prove fruitless and he returns to Germany. After living quietly and leading the life of a mystic for a few years he is ready to renew his efforts toward a universal reformation and begins to gather a group of other dedicated brothers around him. They put together all of the teachings that Christian Rosenkreutz had learned on his journey into a large book using the esoteric language of symbolism and veiled writing. During this work the brothers are attending many of the sick which come to them for treatment. In this way the Order re-establishes the Domus Spiritus Sancti or “House of the Holy Spirit” represented in the narrative as a building, a wheeled castle. Although this is not a physical entity it is indeed “in plain sight” as the summation of the wisdom of the ages and to be found inwardly.

The House of the Holy Spirit is re-established and represented in the narrative as a wheeled castle. Although this is not a physical entity it is “in plain sight” and to be found inwardly.

Over time several of the brothers pass through transition; the text of the Fama does not tell us at what point the body of Christian Rosenkreutz dies. Eventually the Fraternity is led by a certain “Brother A.” who appears to be privy to information not known by the others. This frater, at his death, swears his successor, Brother N.N., to a solemn oath of secrecy assuring him that the Fraternity would not remain hidden much longer and would become known publicly throughout the world. Part 1 of the presentation ends with a guided reflection on the journey of Christian Rosenkreutz…

Studying and Using the Journey Narrative

The presentation in Part 1 should give you ideas of how to approach the text in your Rosicrucian studies. As an aid, here are some (perhaps too obvious) suggestions you might want to think about on the further use of the narrative itself.
Initially, read through the text enough times to get the feel of the story and what is happening at different parts of it. While doing so think about the relationship of Christian Rosenkreutz to the places he visits and to the people he meets. It will be helpful to look at the diagram overleaf on page 12 which demonstrates how we can relate the text to the cycle of the evolving soul personality. Then make a detailed study of the text itself; this will mean taking notes and thinking for yourself. Y ou might want to supplement your studies by reading one or more books to increase your understanding of the narrative from an intellectual perspective. If you have reached certain levels in your monographs and where they cover aspects of the Fama and Christian Rosenkreutz you will probably want to look at these first. Once you have a good grasp of the narrative then it will be time to engage with it using your intuition. At first try and construct the journey of Christian Rosenkreutz in the form of a period of reflection, rather like the one you experienced at the end of Part 1 of the presentation. Once you have practised this  to your satisfaction you can go on to meditate at a much deeper level on what the journey of Christian Rosenkreutz means to you. The presentation maps events in the narrative to phases of one’s spiritual development or rather to the evolement of the soul personality. If anything, by engaging meaningfully with the Fama in this way and at this profound level it forces us to come to terms with our own spiritual development.


The Fama Fraternitatis is a key document in the Rosicrucian Order. Nevertheless, it is often left unread because of its contemporary writing style and language. W e cannot just pick up the text and read it like a modern short story; we have to pause frequently to understand what the narrative is telling us and this can be a tiring exercise. It is hoped that Part 1 of this presentation, so far, has revealed enough of what is going on under the surface of the story to renew members’ interest in this crucial document. There is much to tease out and reflect upon in the light of our own journeys of self discovery…

The Rosicrucian Vault

“We also hope that this our example will stir up others more diligently to enquire after their names and to search for the place of their burial… so perhaps our Gaza [treasure] be enlarged. ” (Fama Fraternitatis, 1614)

RIGHT FROM THE BEGINNING there are some definite symbolic features to consider when we come to this part of the narrative. Although we might view the narrative as a physical description of an historical event, this presentation has approached it from a purely metaphorical and metaphysical perspective. This is a crucial point to be aware of and gives the text a certain functionality, making the narrative useful as an instructional treatise to work with. W e have already seen how we can relate the journey of Christian Rosenkreutz to the soul personality cycle and part two of the presentation continues in this manner teasing out what we can in the text regarding the symbolism of the Rosicrucian Vault. In part one we left off with the succession of Brother NN to the leadership of the Fraternity. This Frater, like Christian Rosenkreutz before him, decides to travel but before doing so he needs to make repairs to his building, “to make it more fit” as the Fama tells us.
Here is another instance of veiled language; the “building” is a reference to the soul personality of Brother NN. In the same way that we discussed the wheeled fortress of the House of the Holy Spirit in relation to the Rosicrucian egregore or group consciousness, this “building” represents the spiritual nature of Brother NN as well as the other members of the Fraternity and by inference ourselves. The “repairs”, so called, that Brother NN is undertaking, is a figurative description for the spiritual work that he undergoes; prayer and quiet periods of meditation. During this retirement he has a vision of a brass plate fixed upon a wall, into which is stuck a “great nail.” It takes some effort to withdraw this nail; so much so that part of the wall comes away revealing a hidden door. At a deeper level we might see this in terms of intuitive insight on the part of Brother NN.

Symbolism of the Nail

To delve deeper into the allegory at this point we need to resort to some Kabalistic interpretation; we will find that the symbolism within the Vault suggests this kind of correspondence along with that of astrology, numerology and hermetic systems and other philosophies. This was the “magical language” that we read of in the text used by mystical philosophers of the time. Looking at the diagram below, the Hebrew letter vav ( w ) is equivalent to the English word “nail” or “hook” which we can relate to the nail in the brass plate we’ve just mentioned. Furthermore, this letter vav corresponds to the sixteenth path of the Kabalistic T ree to which the arrow is pointing (in the diagram below).
This path is also associated with the astrological sign Taurus. More significantly for us, Taurus is traditionally ruled by Venus whose symbolic figure appears consistently beneath the surface of the narrative of the Fama, representing changes within the initiate and giving the story its alchemical dimension. Going further, Taurus the bull is also used to represent the alchemical element of earth, and we might make some connection here with the vitriol diagram in the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians of the 16th and 17th Centuries which refers to an underground initiation process (see diagram).

Symbolism of the Door with the Nail

As we have said in the process of withdrawing the nail some of the stone masonry comes away with it and a door is revealed. Once again, resorting to the Kabala to elucidate further on the allegorical nature and symbolism of this door, some interesting correspondences are brought out; firstly the English word “door” is equivalent to the Hebrew letter daleth ( d )which is aligned with the 14th path of the Kabalistic Tree. And significantly, this path we find has the astrological correspondence of the planet Venus associated with it.

The symbols of the nail and the door in the narrative are intimately linked at a crucial point in the initiate’s progress…

Here we hit upon an important point where the association of a door with Venus in the opening of the Vault is paralleled in the entry to the underground Chamber of Venus in the Chymical Wedding, each marking a key stage of development in the initiate’s spiritual transformation and progress. Furthermore, there is now a distinct Kabalistic correspondence between the allegorical symbols of the nail and the door (represented by the Hebrew letters of daleth and vav) where both images are employed by the author in the opening of the Vault. Looking at the diagram we can see that the symbols of the nail and door (circled in blue) are directly connected to the sphere of Chokmah or “Wisdom”, inferring a path through the use of these symbols and with Venus as the agent, that ultimately leads to the discovery of knowledge and self. We read in the narrative that the door is inscribed with the words post 120 annos patebo or “after 120 years I shall open.” It is decided to wait until morning before opening this door…

The Opening of the Rosicrucian Vault

Now although the opening of the door of the Vault can be viewed in terms of the narrative as a physical act, part two of this presentation continues on a metaphorical footing and regards this event as a spiritual experience at the super conscious level as the result of the intuitive insight of Brother NN while making his “repairs, ” what we would call today contact with the “Master Within.” Although we might remind ourselves that there is more than one Brother present, this is not an issue since the event can be perceived as a group experience within the consciousness of Brother NN at the level of the sphere of Chokmah.
Upon opening the door of the Vault the first thing noticed is that the shape of this room is heptagonal, with seven sides and corners. Each side is five feet broad by eight feet high. The whole chamber is lit from a central light source in a domed ceiling  and in the middle of the floor is situated a round altar upon which there is a brass plate engraved around its circular perimeter with the words “This compendium of the Universe I made in my lifetime to be my tomb.”

The Upper Part or Ceiling

The most obvious component of the upper part would be the so called “artificial sun” which would draw the initiate’s attention immediately. The presentation explains in detail what symbolism is being portrayed here between the central sun or light of cosmic wisdom in the ceiling and the lesser sun or inner light of Christian Rosenkreutz that is situated in the lower part; as above, so below.

Apart from the Hebrew mother letters of Aleph, Mem and Shin in the central rose the three points of the triangle can assigned to other correspondences such as God, Cosmic and Man from the hermetic writings and Mercury, Sulphur and Salt from an  alchemical perspective. In Rosicrucian terms we can assign Ether, Nous and Universal Soul. Whatever terminology is used this trinity corresponds to the Thought, Word and Action of God. The radiating triangles suggest a visual representation of this outward flow of manifestation. Although difficult to see in this diagram the small rose at the absolute centre of the hermetic rose reinforces the general Rosicrucian ontology portrayed as indicated.

Concerning a general description of the ceiling the Fama says “it was divided according to the seven sides in the triangle, which was in the bright centre…” Although the wording is a little ambiguous the Latin text can be read as “…divided according to the seven sides into triangles, with a triangle in the bright centre.” The central triangle has all those connotations of manifestation that we may apply in symbolic and Rosicrucian terms; therefore the hermetic rose is added to its centre with its 22 petals displaying the sacred Hebrew alphabet and corresponding to the 22 paths that link the Sephiroth or Spheres of Emanation in Kabalistic philosophy. The three points of the triangle represent in this case the supernal Sephiroth: Kether, Chokmah and Binah which are virtually beyond human cognisance. In terms of manifestation Kether gives rise to Chokmah and Binah as male and female principles respectively. The diagram below shows the arrangement of the ceiling correspondences which are placed within a heptagram in such a way as to reflect the associations between them.

The inclusion of the astrological and Kabalistic correspondences reinforce the cosmic and heavenly nature of the Vault ceiling. In the outward pointing triangles are placed the spheres of emanation next to their corresponding astrological sign. So, for example, Binah is associated with Saturn, Chesed with Jupiter and so on. This geometrical configuration on the ceiling also allows the placing of the traditional planetary angelic associations; the case for placing these attributes lies in their opposition to the so called “Inferior Governers” that are mentioned in the Fama. T ogether they form the inherent positive and negative qualities that exist between the upper and lower part of the Vault. As above, so below…

We see below the same ceiling diagram with a solid line heptagon and a dotted line acute heptagram. Both of these demonstrate the integrity of the correspondences in the following way… If we begin with Mars and take the anti-clockwise route thereby skipping every other planetary symbol, we find that we are going in the correct succession of metals by atomic weight, thus: Mars, iron, 55.84; Venus, copper, 63.55; Moon, silver, 107.87; Jupiter, tin, 118.71; Sun, gold, 196.97; Mercury, quicksilver, 200.59; Saturn, lead, 207.22.
The second interesting sequence belongs to the days of the week; if we begin with the Sun and trace through the dotted acute heptagram they appear in perfect order as follows: Sun, Sunday; Moon, Monday; Mars, T uesday; Mercury, W ednesday; Jupiter, Thursday; Venus, Friday; Saturn, Saturday and then back to the Sun to continue the weekly cycle.
The rather vague description of the Vault given in the Fama has led to several variations in the arrangement of the correspondences, a significant one being that of the Golden Dawn. This configuration is well integrated for Kabala work and maintains the element of polarity between the active and passive pillars that the initiate has to negotiate between on the upward spiritual ascent of the T ree of Life. However, the slightly differnet arrangement we have considered in this presentation suits our purpose as Rosicrucians.

A dramatic effect is produced if we imagine the ceiling heptagram in a spectrum of colours placed according to the planetary  correspondences and simultaneously aligning with the colours of the Kabalistic spheres. This multi-coloured aspect represents the Peacock stage in the alchemical process.

Here is our ceiling diagram, rotated 180 degrees with some perspective tilt giving the impression we are standing at the western door of Venus looking east. Rather than coming to the Vault from a working Kabala perspective as in the Golden Dawn, we approach it from the view of the transformative alchemical process which is in keeping not only with Rosicrucian principles but also with the general thrust of this presentation. What further reinforces the integrity here is the sequence of spheres in descending order, going in an anti-clockwise direction, from Binah in the north-east through to Y esod. Furthermore, we have a harmonious balance of the male and female aspects represented by the planetary correspondences coming together with Mercury symbolising the integrated personality.

Vault Colours and the Alchemical Process

The Vault is tripartite in design; we will find this helpful in imagining what colours can be employed for each of the three parts. Essentially, the stages of alchemical transformation are represented by certain colours that tend to reflect that part of the inner alchemical work being done. This is the traditional and contemporary way of approaching spiritual alchemy and is quite different to the Rosicrucian principles we discussed in Part 1, but you might like to keep in mind what is happening at the metaphysical level as you think about these coloured stages. Here is the basic colour scheme…

Assigning the colour of the seven walls to white does not prevent us from following a traditional colouring scheme on the basis of the planets associated with each side. This does, however, put a strain on the ability of the imagination to retain the mental picture.

At the Peacock Stage the initiate has entered into a greater experience of inner change which symbolically appears as ever shifting patterns of colour. This  can be a very dramatic part of our spiritual development and we might find that period we know and dread, the so called “Dark Night of the Soul”, making its presence felt with the ever swaying metaphysical polarities of the male and female principles pulling us to and fro between mental anguish and spiritual upliftment. The multicoloured heptagram we were introduced to in the presentation (and on the opposite page) is suspended between the walls and ceiling, as indicated in the diagram, to convey the idea of the middle Peacock stage in our own spiritual alchemy, this will allow the light from the central rose above to shine through it and giving the impression from below as if one were passing vertically upward through the heptagram; in this way our mental image of the spiritual alchemy occurring within the Vault is more dramatically enhanced.

There is an added benefit from this arrangement; looking up to the ceiling we have displayed before us a veritable mandala of flashing colours depicting the cosmic realm that can be used for meditative work. Just to illustrate this aspect, if we were to direct our attention to the image of the ceiling displayed whilst staring intently at the central point of the rose we can easily imagine moving upward through the centre of the hexagram directly towards this central point. And as we do this almost immediately we can see that the interplay of light has a very dramatic effect on our senses. The colours seem to shift into and through each other mimicking the effect of the alchemical fire.

Talking Numbers

As we can see the Rosicrucian Vault is a symbolic structure formed through the use of sacred geometry and certain correspondences. The association of number and geometry assert their presence and influence throughout the archetypal structure of the Vault and their use by the author of the Fama is, in a very real sense, a coded language concealing special knowledge from those not privy to it. The number Seven is the principle number employed and the most obvious one to spot and this septenary or sevenfold symbolism of the Vault carries everything else with it. According to the narrative Christian Rosenkreutz travelled back to Germany via Spain which coincides with the efflorescence of Spanish Kabalism and the use of the sevenfold castle or palace as a symbolic tool for spiritual advancement through the various realms of being or consciousness.
In this light we can understand the Rosicrucian Vault as an initiation chamber. This idea is supported if we consider the role of Venus discussed up to this point. Venus, you might recall, is attributed in Kabala to the Hebrew letter daleth which means “door, ” that is, the door of initiation and it is this feminine archetype that is a key to understanding the inner alchemical process involved throughout the narrative. Moreover, this ever present symbolic figure is also associated with the number seven.
Seven has several creative associations attributed to it such as the six days of creation plus one day in Genesis; it also consists of 1 joining 3 plus 3 and is, therefore, a number of marriage. This fits in nicely with the subject of transformation in this presentation. It is also said to be the number of virginity because it cannot be divided into two equal parts; this also resonates with the Venus symbolism underpinning the narrative and Christian Rosenkreutz’s chaste character. There are other numbers inherent in the design of the V ault; study carefully and reflect on the diagram below and see how these numbers relate to it.
Another important number generated is that of 40; gained by multiplying the width and height of each wall, i.e. 5 x 8, which equals forty. The number forty has many associations especially in the Bible where it appears frequently. Particularly interesting is Cornelius Agrippa’s writing concerning this number where, in his De Occulta Philosophia (Concerning the Secret Philosophy) he concludes that it is connected with trial, experience, and gaining the state of purity and readiness for a new life.  In ancient times the term of pregnancy was divided into 7 periods of 40 days each; this agrees with the number of sides of the Vault and the number of squares within each side being forty. Moreover, the product of 7 and 40 is 280, or the approximate gestation period of a human pregnancy. Once again this agrees with what we have discussed so far concerning the Rosicrucian Vault as a chamber of rebirth.

The Middle Part or Walls

We come now to the central chamber of the Vault; the Fama refers to the sides as follows: “…every side or wall is parted into ten squares, every one with their several figures and sentences, as they are truly shewed, and set forth Concentratum here in our book. ” The text of the narrative appears relatively straight forward and one might assume immediately that the ten squares mentioned refer to the ten emanations in Kabala, but there are a number of details missing in the text, so again we have to use what knowledge and intuition we can to give us a convincing mental picture. W e have already learned that each side is five feet broad and eight feet high and this makes fitting in ten squares in a symmetrical fashion problematic. Furthermore, we are given no hint as to what the “figures” and “sentences” are but the figures are likely to be those of Kabalistic correspondences, combining alchemical, astrological and number associations, while the sentences are perhaps from biblical and hermetic writings as well as Kabalistic attributions to the Sephiroth or Spheres of Emanation. Let us review some of the configurations of others before settling on one that reasonably agrees to what can be gleaned from the text.

The first diagram  appears in Manly Hall’s Secret Teachings of All Ages which divides each side into nine squares instead of ten, superimposing a triangle on top of the central square which is likely to represent Tiphareth in the centre of the Kabalistic Tree. This downward pointing triangle, one imagines, is the elemental sign for water and we could make a case for the Feminine being given preference which would fall in with the Venus symbolism that carries throughout the narrative. Of the planets Venus embraces all of the Kabalistic spheres of emanation or Sephiroth as they are termed. The door, the symbolism of which we have already discussed, being placed beneath this configuration supports the Venus connection too.

The second diagram shows the Golden Dawn model of Samuel MacGregor Mathers, multiplying the breadth and height of each side (5 x 8) to produce 40 squares on each. Ten of these incorporate the Kabalistic Tree of Life seen here in the formation of the Hebrew letters. The remaining 30 squares are engraved with astrological and alchemical figures placed according to Golden Dawn symbolism. There is no lower door in this design. This involves quite a lot of intelligent speculation based on sound symbolic principles and it does tie in with the reference in the narrative to figures being superimposed on the squares.

The third diagram, from Adam McLean, gives us a good interpretation if one wants to remain as much as one can within the descriptive text of the narrative. It incorporates the element of sexual polarity by placing the squares in two columns of five; and it also places a door beneath these in keeping with the text. This arrangement also resonates with the details of the Vault we have been discussing so far, in that we have the duality of self in the two columns and the added dimension of the symbolism of Venus in the door.

The fourth diagram is from that devised by Robert Fludd in his Ars Memoriae, the “Art of Memory” of 1612. Given its contemporary provenance (the same year as the publication of the Fama) and the fact that the squares are pretty well lined up spatially according to the Tree of Life in Kabala this is the one that is perhaps most acceptable. Also it preserves the element of polarity that we saw in the last diagram.

This presentation offers a fifth diagram illustrated above which seems to fit the bill. The squares are quite simply arranged upon the Kabalistic Tree so that the spheres of Kether (God), Tiphareth (Illumined Philosopher), Yesod (the Initiate) and Malkuth (Earth) are central as in the Tree of Life with the polarised pillars of Binah and Chokmah on either side. Alchemical and astrological correspondences can be added to the squares. An added dimension is introduced where the Spheres of the central pillar extend either side into the female and male columns representing our work in bringing these into resolution within ourselves.
The door is placed at the sphere of Malkuth which seems reasonable since we enter the sphere of life from this position before becoming an initiate but also behind the door, as we learn from the text, are lots of paraphernalia pertaining to the knowledge of the world that is Malkuth and how the seeker might come to a knowledge of the Cosmic. One more point that binds this example to the Vault number symbolism is the sevenfold horizontal arrangement of the squares rising vertically. Just to counter any remarks you might have regarding the size of the doors in these diagrams; remember this is a mental construct and once we have entered the Vault in our imagination we don’t need to have a full sized door on the western wall to remind us of our entrance…
While we are on the subject of doors, the Fama states that every side or wall had a door, behind each of which was housed a chest, wherein various things were found; we must keep in mind that we are still dealing with allegory and while all of these things that the Brothers list as having been found appear as tangible items, they are really representations of aspects of knowledge, including the fledgling sciences and those practices carried out by esoteric initiates such as the Rosicrucians.

In one chest they find “looking glasses of divers virtues”; these were likely to have been items that ranged from scrying mirrors through to magnifying lenses and simple telescopes, all of which point to work concerning the natural philosophy of the time and the means by which they might come to knowledge of the world in its different aspects. From a mystical perspective, however, these kinds of glasses represent self reflection and perhaps introspection by the physical outer self and the inner more spiritual being.

In other chests the Brothers find bells, burning lamps and “wonderful artificial songs”. Here are definite references to the esoteric practices of the Fraternity; the bells mentioned have an esoteric interpretation if we consider their use in ritual but also their sound effect upon the aural senses, with the ability to stimulate different aspects of awareness in the initiate through the psychic centres and so forth. The burning lamps suggest the idea of light and the everlasting search for the unknown, but we might also interpret them as representing the soul personalities of past Brothers of the Fraternity, ever alight in their spiritual quest. The reference to “wonderful artificial songs” is rather obscure but one might hazard a guess that these are referring to vowel sounds, perhaps in certain tonal sequences.

“Every side or wall had a door for a chest, wherein there lay diverse things, especially all our books, which otherwise we had, besides the Vocabular of Theoph: Par. Ho. and these which daily unfalsifieth we do participate.” (Fama Fraternitatis, 1614)

The brothers also find many books, copies of which they already possess, we are told in the narrative, and which they were using. But two in particular are singled out: the first is the vocabulary of Paracelsus which they were familiar with. This is a reference to the philosophy and language of the famous Swiss alchemist of Hohenheim. His work and discoveries were useful to the Fraternity even though, the Fama states, he was not a Rosicrucian. That his work was said to have been found in the Vault is in complete agreement with the narrative of the Fama being allegorical since it was stated that Christian Rosenkreutz died in 1484, before the birth of Paracelsus, which means in real terms, one wouldn’t have expected to have actually seen his work here at all. The second book specifically mentioned is Christian Rosenkreutz’s Itinerarium and Vitam, his travels and life. It is from this work, the Brothers tell us, that the present narrative is largely taken.

The Lower Part or Floor

Among the other things that were described by the Brothers when they first open the Vault is a round altar upon which was situated a plate of brass with the following words engraved around its perimeter: A.C.R.C. Hoc universi compendium unius mihi sepulchrum feci (This compendium of the universe, I made in my lifetime to be my tomb). The capitals forming the prefix to this are likely to stand for: Ad Christiani Rosencreutz, meaning “By Christian Rosenkreutz.” The inscription on the altar is a statement essentially summing up the nature and function of the Rosicrucian Vault. It tells us that herein is a spiritual repository of all the knowledge required by the initiate; this is reinforced by the assertion that “should [it] happen after many hundred years, the Order or Fraternity should come to nothing, they might by this only Vault be restored again.” The Vault is by inference, a chamber of rebirth or resurrection by which the inner self is awakened or re-awakened. There is a clue in the inscription where it says that the knowledge of the outer and inner self gained during life (referring to the “compendium of the universe”) is in preparation for death, from which new life will arise.

The altar plate pictured here, an early 17th century depiction, is a rather elaborate reconstruction put together with knowledge of contemporary symbolism. One assumes that the corners fold down onto the side of the altar leaving the round part uppermost. At first glance there seems to be something wrong in the placing of the east and west cardinal points where Oriens or East is on the left side and Occidens or West is on the right. Then you suddenly realise that you are looking at the figure in reverse as in a mirror and in the same manner as that of the Kabalistic T ree of Life when viewed from outside of it. There is only one reason for portraying the figure thus and that is because it is meant to represent the observer; in other words, ourselves. By the same token it must also represent Christian Rosenkreutz.

“They four had the face of a man and the face of a lion on the right side: and they four had the face of an ox on the left side: they four also had the face of an eagle.. ” (Ezekiel 1:10)

In the Fama four figures are mentioned, enclosed in circles with circumscriptions on top of the altar. There is no hint as to what these figures are but they might have portrayed the four apocalyptic creatures from Ezekiel 1:10. The inclusion of these figures would have been entirely in keeping with the climate of apocalyptic expectation present during these times.
The list above shows the four mottos that circumscribe these apocalyptic figures on the altar plate and their usual associations. Some variance does appear concerning the cardinal directions for the first and last station… others have swapped these two points so you have the lion in the north and the man in the east.  This does fit rather nicely with the “Lion of the Septentrion [North];” a prophecy in Europe at this time that speaks of a political figure with Rosicrucian leanings coming from the north and expelling Roman Catholicism in Europe. The man being placed in the east might be argued alongside the fact that Christian Rosenkreutz brought back his knowledge from the east.

The Altar Plate in Modern Terms

T o make our mental construct of this altar easier the presentation puts together an alternative and modern looking version. This modern version retains the Christ like figure in the centre which seems to be an important component for reminding us of the function and nature of the V ault in relationship to ourselves. An alternative for this central point might be the illustration of the Rosicrucian initiate in the Secret Symbols seen below. In place of the apocalyptic figures, elemental symbols or principals in their triangular form have been substituted. Take note that in the placing of these elemental symbols to the cardinal points the presentation employs that taught in AMORC so their configuration is a little different to those in the diagram opposite; they are  as follows:

The altar plate inscribed in English; the correspondences are aligned with those listed above.

The depiction of the Rosicrucian initiate on the right is taken from the Secret Symbols.

A three dimensional representation of the altar plate.

Altar Plate Symbolism

Viewing the altar plate diagrammatically allows us to reflect upon the various cycles and phases of our Rosicrucian path. It should be borne in mind that the diagram portrays the continuous cyclic nature of the path of life and death. There are two progressive paths indicated by the green and blue arrows: The first is circular and moves clockwise through the phases of our physical life, from our entry (symbolised by our entry into the Vault) to infancy, youth, maturity and back to old age. Accompanying these four phases are corresponding elements marked in red and blue. So as we go through the cycle of the physical, the emotional, the intellectual and the spiritual self… we identify these with the four phases of consciousness: the objective, subconscious, subjective and cosmic consciousness. From a diagrammatic perspective there are direct relationships depicted here too. Notice that the physical self is harmoniously opposite the intellectual and the emotional is opposite the spiritual. By the same token we can observe that the objective consciousness is opposite that of the subjective and the subconscious opposite that of cosmic consciousness.

Christ Consciousness

Here is the altar plate retaining the Latin inscriptions… Around the rim are the words Jesus mihi omnia or “Jesus is my all.” This seems a very Christian-like statement here but it is in keeping with the cultural and religious setting of the time. You will see many references to Jesus in the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians which demonstrate this. The Brothers of the Fraternity were Christians as such, and devoutly so; and the author of the Fama, presumably Johann Valentin Andreae, was a Lutheran minister. We must be mindful that the Fama Fraternitatis was meant for public consumption and given that life revolved around a religious milieu encroaching upon everyday lives and activities it would have been rather strange, dangerous even, to have published anything of this nature without a Christian dimension in the writing.
Having said that the figure of Jesus does generally pervade the message of the Manifestos and perhaps we should briefly address this issue here in terms of our Rosicrucian path. It must be understood that it is the universal Christ Consciousness we are dealing with and which was experienced through mysticism before the time of Jesus. Jesus was the most recent and greatest avatar of Christ Consciousness. This particular mystical state dwells within us all with varying degree; we are each at different levels of Christ Consciousness and Jesus had attained the highest degree of this mystical development. In this light it is quite telling that the author of the Fama chose the first name “Christian” for his archetypal figure.
Consider also the association of the elements or principles to the stages outlined at the perimeter; Earth naturally corresponds to the physical and the watery principle to the emotional fluid self. The air element aligns with the more rigid intellectual self while the fiery principle is associated with the spiritual self. The second path follows a zigzag route from the physical self through the intellectual and emotional to the spiritual self. This is our path of initiation which is also supported by the successive phases of consciousness i.e. the objective, subjective, subconscious and ultimately cosmic consciousness.
The altar is so orientated that our entry to the vault is at a particular point which is indicated on the diagram. This entrance marries up to the paths we have just outlined, reinforcing the function of the chamber as a focus for our entire existence justifying its basis as a “Compendium of the Universe.” From what has been discussed we can see that the altar plate itself is a useful object or symbol for the purposes of reflection and meditation on our esoteric nature and its relationship to the archetypal concept of the Vault.

A three dimensional representation of the altar plate with Latin inscriptions.

The Floor Geometry

After giving their description of the altar the Brothers refer to the “seventh side” and the two “Heptagoni” … where it says “This is all clear and bright, as also the seventh side and the two Heptagoni…”

The two Heptagoni: one above and one below, with the seventh side indicated.

This is telling because it firstly supports the planetary correspondences already discussed; for example, the seventh side, actually on the right of Venus as you enter, is associated with the Sun indicated by the arrow, “all clear and bright.” But secondly we are informed that there is a similar geometrical configuration on the floor as the one we constructed for the ceiling, as you can see. So we have our two “heptagoni, ” one above and one below. It should be noted that the planetary correspondences carry on from the ceiling to the floor…
At this point the author refers to a so called “ungodly” element in the invisible form of “inferior Governors” existing in the floor section of the Vault. These are the destructive forces of our inner self, all that belongs in the physical world and which are in opposition to those traditional angelic associations in the upper part mentioned earlier. This aspect of opposition in the Vault is an illustration of our Rosicrucian path which involves moving through the three main alchemical stages. This is our work of spiritual alchemy, transforming and refining our soul personality.

The image of the victorious rose cross, the ultimate symbol of spiritual attainment, from the Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians. At its centre is a cross surrounded by a heart, the traditional symbol of love. Surrounding the heart and cross is the mystical rose itself representing the soul personality; no longer depicted at the centre of the cross but shown enveloping the whole, symbolising the victory over the material part of our existence. In Cr u c e R o s e a Me a Victoria: In the Rose Cross I am Victorious.

The Unveiling of Christian Rosenkreutz

The Brothers move the round altar to reveal a plate of brass beneath; we are given nothing else regarding this feature but this metal continues to reflect the presence of Venus and with it the meaningful message of esoteric awakening and renewal. It would be fitting, however, to place upon this brass plate the image of the victorious rose cross (illustrated opposite) from the Secret Symbols because underneath lies the body of Christian Rosenkreutz; “a fair and worthy body, whole and unconsumed, ” we are told. From an allegorical perspective this informs us of the perfect example of purity embodied in this exemplar of our Order.
The plate opens before them up and folds over to reveal a bright light that mirrors that shining down from the domed ceiling. We can visualise the Brothers gazing at one who has completed his cycles of human activity and now exists as a spiritual impulse; an impulse that will feed the soul personalities of succeeding initiates on their spiritual quest. The enveloping of the cross by the rose in the symbol we have placed here reflects this mastery of life, the victory over the physical dross that binds most to the mundane world. Before the Brothers is the very essence of Rosicrucianism representing the whole body of the Rosicrucian Order and the ultimate alchemical and spiritual transformation of the Rosicrucian initiate.
But something more is conveyed in this visual spectacle: it is the re-awakening of the inner self. In alignment with the very nature of the Rosicrucian Vault the encounter with the body of Christian Rosenkreutz unveils to the Rosicrucian initiate renewed spiritual insight. As one looks upon this perfect body a wave of emotion and unreserved love propels us forward on the path to the mastery of self. This is a key moment for us as we begin to understand what the Rosicrucian Vault means in relation to our own progress.

As one looks upon this perfect body a wave of emotion and unreserved love propels us forward on the path to the mastery of self. This is a key moment for us as we begin to understand what the Rosicrucian Vault means in relation to our own progress.

The Book T

The Brothers now observe that he is holding in his hands a special object; the Book T. This book most obviously contains all the knowledge of the Rosicrucians and is revered next to the Bible by the Fraternity so we are told. Its contents, coupled with the perfect body of Christian Rosenkreutz, express knowledge and purity respectively. At the end of Book T, we are informed, is an elogium, the Latin word for an inscription. This is essentially an epitaph commemorating the life and work of Christian Rosenkreutz which is summed up in one long sentence in Latin.
The esoteric scholar, Arthur Edward W aite, summarised its main points as illustrated on the opposite page. Following this inscription was written a list of the first eight Brothers and their particular skills, whether a painter, architect, Cabalist, mathematician, writer or some other talent; each contributed to the Order in their own fashion. After these names and marking the end of the Book T there is a sentence in Latin: Ex Deo nascimur, in jesu morimur, per Spiritum Sanctum reviviscimus (From God we are born, in Jesus we die, we live again through the Holy Spirit). Despite the apparent Christian overtones these words for us really highlight our relationship to the exemplar that is Christian Rosenkreutz and to the Rosicrucian Order, and does not mean the end but the beginning of the rest of our spiritual evolvement within the Rosicrucian égregore itself.


Ten Points Commemmorating the Life and Work 
of Christian Rosenkreutz
  1. That CRC came from a noble and illustrious family of Germany bearing that name;
  2. That on account of his subtle conceptions and untiring labours he became acquainted with Divine and human mysteries by way of revelation;
  3. That he collected a royal and imperial treasure in his journeys to Arabia and Africa;
  4. That the same was serviceable not only to his age but to posterity;
  5. That he desired to have heirs of the name, faithful and closely joined;
  6. That he fabricated a little world corresponding to the great one in its movements;
  7. That it was a compendium of things past, present and to come;
  8. That after living for more than a century he passed away at the call of the Holy Spirit and not by reason of disease, yielding his illuminated soul to its faithful Creator;
  9. That he was a beloved Father, a most kind Brother, a faithful Preceptor and an upright Friend; and
  10. That he is hidden here from his own for one hundred and twenty years.

After this there is some support for the allegorical nature of the Fama; I mean here the reference to the wish and desire of the Brothers. It states:

“We also hope that this our example will stir up others more diligently to enquire after their names and to search for the place of their burial… so perhaps our Gaza [treasure] be enlarged…”

This “example” we read of clearly indicates the wishes of the author; the narrative of the Fama is still instructional for us today, if we can read between the lines, and demonstrates to us the path of self discovery, albeit in contemporary terms. By searching inwardly we can take the life, journey and work of Christian Rosenkreutz as the supreme model for ourselves, especially when we read it in conjunction with his final initiation in the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz where his true humility is demonstrated.

The Minutum Mundum

Before the Brothers set all back as they had found, mention is made of the Minutum Mundum or “small world.” This is clearly a reference to the microcosm and it seems reasonably correct to assume that the “little altar” mentioned is a veiled term to mean the inner self of the initiate. Perhaps it is that element of Christ Consciousness that we discussed earlier that is embodied in the image of this small altar. W e can read a little more between the lines here where it says:

“Concerning Minutum Mundum… we shall leave him undescribed, until we shall truly be answered upon this our true hearted Fanam…”

None can know the ultimate nature of the Christ Consciousness or “State of the Rosy Cross, ” because until one reaches this pinnacle of attainment it is simply unknowable to us and  to the Brothers of the Fraternity. At this point the presentation ends with a guide to visualising the Rosicrucian Vault.

A coloured representation of the Rosicrucian Vault to assist in visualisation.

Practical Work with the Rosicrucian  Vault

Part Two of this presentation has tried to build up a working picture of the Rosicrucian Vault to enable us to engage more with its import and symbolism as encapsulated in the phrase “Compendium of the Universe.” Although the presentation has been divided into two parts this does not mean we can divorce the journey of Christian Rosenkreutz from the elevated image of the Vault since both are intimately connected in terms of the soul personality cycle. The narrative successfully joins the two in the dramatic scene of the discovery of the Rosicrucian Vault and the presentation dwelt at length on the symbolism and hidden meaning of this particular episode. W e have already been given ideas  on how to make the journey of Christian Rosenkreutz useful on a practical level at the end of part one of this booklet. Engaging with the Rosicrucian Vault in our Rosicrucian practices takes a lot more thought but also a great deal more effort. The advantage is with the more advanced Rosicrucian students since they have greater experience with the technique of stilling the mind and using the esoteric tools of practice such as concentration, mental creation and visualisation plus imagination.
Visualization combined with meditation is the best means of experiencing the Rosicrucian Vault at a profound level and the presentation took us through a practical example of this method.  However, working with the symbolic archetype of the Vault  is always going to be a unique and personal involvement for each of us, firstly from the amount of preparatory work we put into it but depending also on our level of attunement during our meditations. The first practical step is to read the latter part of the narrative again but not forgetting its connection with the earlier journey of Christian Rosenkreutz. Do this as many times as you need to be familiar with what is happening at this point. While doing so write down any thoughts and impressions that might come to you. Next read through part two of this booklet to reinforce the mental imagery that will be required during your visualisation of the Vault. The presentation and this booklet does not pretend to be definitive in providing the imagery for the Vault but it will be a good guide in your own unique work with it.
Next you will want to study in particular the altar diagram on page 35 as this will give you a definite focus for your meditations within the Rosicrucian Vault. But it will also be profitable to combine this sudy with that of the journey diagram  on page 12 since both of these chart the soul personality cycle. As a guide to the overall image of the Vault look at the illustrations on pages 37 and 43. Something else that may prove fruitful is to take some meaningful phrase from the text of the narrative and reflect and meditate on it. This can be done during your normal Rosicrucian work or from within the Vault itself. Finally, casting your mind back over the presentation will provide extra stimulus for the imagination and perhaps ideas for further work. Most importantly you will need to create your own visualisation experience and the presentation demonstrated what can be done here combined with uplifting and soul stirring music.


The presentation has shown how both the journey of Christian Rosenkreutz and the archetypal image of the Rosicrucian Vault forms a complete treatise, if you like, on the life cycle of the soul personality. Although  the Fama Fraternitatis was written in the 17th century this presentation has also demonstrated in practical ways how meaningful the narrative still is to the sincere mystic. It is truly hoped that the presentation combined with this booklet has aroused renewed interest in the formative documents of the Rosicrucian Order that we know as the Rosicrucian Manifestos.


While a good proportion of this presentation and booklet contain original and learning material, the following is a list of sources that were used and consulted (apart from AMORC monographs). They will also serve as recommended reading.

Part 1: The Journey as Allegory

  • Dan Merkur, “Stages of Ascension in Hermetic Rebirth” at http://www.esoteric.
  • F N Pryce (editor), Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of R:C: Kessenger reprint.
  • Lyndy Abaham, A Dictionary of Alchemical Imagery, Cambridge University Press, 1998.
  • Paul Foster Case, The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order, W eiser 1989.
  • Susannah Åkermann, Rose Cross Over the Baltic, Brill 1998.
  • Tanya Luhrmann, “ An Interpretation of the Fama Fraternitatis” in A Compendium on the Rosicrucian Vault, 1985 (ed. Adam McLean).
  • Tobias Churton, The Golden Builders, W eiser 2005.

Part 2: The Rosicrucian Vault

  • A E Waite, The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, Kessenger Reprint of first 1924 edition.
  • Adam McLean, “ Animal Symbolism in the Alchemical T radition” at The Alchemy Web Site.
  • Deidre Green Ph.D., “The Symbolism of the Rosicrucian Vault” in A Compendium on the Rosicrucian Vault, 1985.
  • Ian Rees, “The Rosicrucian Vault” in A Compendium on the Rosicrucian Vault, (ed. Adam McLean) 1985.
  • Paul Foster Case, The True and Invisible Rosicrucian Order, W eiser 1989.
  • Rafal Prinke, “The Great W ork in the Theatre of the W orld” in A Compendium on the Rosicrucian Vault, 1985.
  • Rosicrucian Order AMORC, Supplementary Monographs, Numbers, Analytical Discussions, Lecture 14.

Diagrams and Illustrations

All diagrams and illustrations in this booklet are original except for the following:
  • Pages 19 and 20, adapted from Paul Foster Case, The T rue and Invisible Rosicrucian Order, Weiser 1989.
  • Page 22 (first diagram), adapted from Ian Rees, “The Rosicrucian Vault” in A Compendium on the Rosicrucian Vault, (ed. Adam McLean) 1985.
  • Pages 26-27 and 31, Rafal Prinke, “The Great W ork in the Theatre of the W orld” in A Compendium on the Rosicrucian Vault, 1985.


  • Page 32, “ AST02. Woodcut of Ezekiel’s dvision from the Bear Bible, ” 16th century, from a hand coloured print by Adam McLean at The Alchemy Web Site.
Rosicrucian Order AMORC
Greenwood Gate, Blackhill, Crowborough. TN6 1XE

Fama Fraternitatis – History (From The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of the R:C:)

Fama Fraternitatis – History

From the Introduction of the Book: The Fame and Confession of the Fraternity of the R:C:
S.R.I.A. edition, now online in public domain

Then, did any body of men styling themselves the Fraternitas R.C. exist in 1610 or 1614, or are the Rosicrucian manifestoes the work of one man. And in either case was the project of the new association seriously meant and genuinely undertaken, or is the whole simply an elaborate hoax, to which no more serious purpose ought to be attributed than possibly to convey a practical warning against the credulity of the age.

The hoax theory has of recent years been vigorously championed by Begemann, the leading German authority on the Rosicrucian literature, who has laid down as axiomatic that only the first editions of the Fama and the Confessio have any significance, the other editions being merely publisher’s reprints’

These first editions, as will be seen, are in some respects peculiar and the admission may be made that if they were all we possessed, the balance of evidence would be in favour of Begemann’s view.

But a study of all the editions will show that Begemann’s theory will not hold, that the later publications are not to be separated from the first editions; and that there is definite evidence from first to last of a controlling intelligence, a methodical development and a reasoned purpose. Further it will appear that the latest editions have even more authority than the experimental and tentative first, editions in solving the question of whether the movement is to be regarded as jest or earnest; and that their evidence strongly supports the view that the attempt to establish a Fraternity was meant seriously. Lastly it will be shown that the documents point beyond doubt to the co-operation of more than one person and not to the authorship of a single individual; in other words, that the Fraternitas R.C., or a nucleus of such a Fraternity, did exist.

Several Front pages of Fama 1614. – 1615., courtesy of Sid Pass

We shall now examine the various appearances of the Fama and Confessio, marking each edition with a capital letter, and giving to each component document a number. In every case these documents are recapitulated in the order they occupy in the edition:—
A. The first edition of the Fama appeared at Cassel in Hesse not later than the beginning of August, 1614 (1): It bore the title:—
Universal and General Reformation of the Whole
Wide World; together with the Fames Fraternitatis
of the Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross, written to
all the Learned and Rulers of Europe; also a short
Reply sent by Herr Haselmeyer, for which he was
seized by the Jesuits and put in irons on a Galley,
Now put forth in print and communicated to all true
Printed at Cassel by Wilhelm Wessel, 1614.
“The statement is often found that the Fama was printed before 1614. That it was in circulation in manuscript before 1614 is certain, but no trace of an earlier printed edition has ever been disinterred, and the words of Julian de Campis quoted on p. 20 seem decisive (2) We must then regard all references of earlier date to the Fama as having reference to copies of the manuscript. Edition A, of 147 pages, is composed of four documents in the following order:-
1. The first preface;
2. The General Reformation;
3. The Fama;
4. Haselmeyer’s reply.
The problems raised by the Preface and the Reformation will most conveniently be discussed later. We will only note here that three-fourths of the book is occupied by the Reformation and that the Fama occupies a completely subordinate place both in title-page and text.

(1) I deduce the date of August from documents Nos. 5 arid 13, to be described presently. Julian de Campis (p. 20) also may be noted in confirmation.
(2) “In Phlensthioure andas, Hoc est Redinteoratio an die Fraternitet von Rosen Creutze”, a work published anonymously in 1619, occurs the statement that the Fama was published in five languages in 1812. The five languages is pretty certainly a myth (see p. 35), and the date is not more probable. The statement is probably based on Haselmeyer, who declares his reply to have been written in 1812, but assigns no date to the Fama.

The text of the Fama is given on pp. 1-32 of Vaughan’s translation. Haselmeyer’s reply will be found translated on pp. 57ff. It is a fair example of the style of most of the replies to the Fraternity, and is the most frequently quoted of all, as it contains the information that the writer saw a manuscript of the Fama in the Tyrol in the year 1610. Otherwise it is a worthless production, so ungrammatical and incoherent as to be in parts almost untranslateable (1)

B. The second edition was produced, also at Cassel by Wilhelm \Vessel, before the end of the year 1614. We need pay little attention to this, as save for some minor details of spelling, etc., it is simply a reprint of Edition A; it contains, however, one additional document inserted at the end after No. 4 :—
5. Epistle and Message to the Fratres R.C. written and sent by M.H. and LI., 14 August 1614.
A short appeal for admission to the Fraternity – “Highly illuminated, God-wise and chosen men, beloved brethren of the Rosy Cross, your book called Fama Fraternitatis was shown and lent me by a Doctor of Medicine, my good friend. I have read it with wonder that God in these latter days should have displayed forth so bright a light and decked it with such peculiar learning and wisdom. . . Now not only Spartam gown nactus ut ornem, but from my great desire to cultivate and promote these hitherto unknown arts, I beg . . to be accepted into the Brotherhood. For myself, I am nobly-born, in youth destined for letters; later I went to the wars, now am an Occonomicas and Alicuss. I am married but have no children, come of honourable parents and though I hold a position of responsibility, thanks to God I enjoy a good name as well as my daily bread. Further I have spoken in confidence to a respectable citizen, who had some schooling in his youth and is now a Politicus; he is also willing to offer his services to the Christian and Laudable Order. . . . We then request the Brethren at their discretion to choose some opportunity of judging us for themselves; for we hold them to be Christian people, and hence we have the less objection to converse with them in person. And seeing that, despite our earnest longings, we must not be observed in correspondence, let the laudable Brethren scatter their letters to us in Leipzig and the places around.” . . .

(1) For Haselmeyer, see also p. 34.

The only point which need detain us here is the date, which serves to fix the time of the appearance of A. The reason for the inclusion of this document is one which will become more apparent as we proceed, namely, a desire to manifest to the world that some people were taking the Fraternity seriously and were coming forward to join it. But the caution manifested in the concluding paragraph was not likely to encourage other aspirants, and we shall find a little later, in edition F, which contains the most careful selection of these replies, that No. 5 is dropped; and only once again, in J, does it. recur.
We have now reached the end of the year 1614, and it will be observed that the Fama alone has hitherto appeared, although this contains allusions to the Confessio, which will be examined later. In the following year, 1615, no less than six editions appear, one of the Confessio alone, five of the two works These fall into two groups, C, D and E, which must be dated to the beginning of the year, and F, G, H, of which H, the latest, was in print by August.
It will be shown later that the Confessio, though projected, was not written when Edition A was published. The first trace of the existence of the Confessio is found in Document 11, when a correspondent at Frankfurt had just seen it at the end of November, 1614. This has led some writers to suppose an editio princeps of the Confessio in 1614; but here again, as in the case of the Fama, there is absolutely no trace of the existence of such an edition. The explanation is probably that, like the Fama, the Confessio was allowed to circulate for a short time in manuscript; Cassel and Frankfurt are not far apart, and we shall observe other instances of a Teutonic adherence to precedent on the part of the publishers. On the other hand, in Document 12 we have a writer who has read the Confessio by 12th January, 1615. This again might refer to a manuscript copy, but seeing that in any case the first group of editions, which is obviously earlier than the second, must be assigned to the first months of 1615, it more probably refers to the printed edition and enables us to place the appearance of the first edition of the Confessio in the first days of January. The title of this edition is:—

C. “A Brief Consideration of Occult Philosophy, written by Philip a Gabella, Student of Philosophy and now published for the first time, together with the Confessio of the Fraternitas R.C.
Printed at Cassel by Wilhelm Wessel, printer to the Most Illustrious Prince, 1615”
On the fly-leaf runs “God give thee of the dew of heaven and of the fatness of the earth.”
The whole book is in Latin and comprises two documents.-
6. The Brevis Consideratio of Gabella, comprising a dedication, an introduction, nine chapters of text and a final prayer.
7.The Confessio, in fourteen chapters and preceded by the short preface by which it is invariably accompanied.
This edition will call for detailed examination later; we may observe though that the subordinate place occupied by the Rosicrucian manifesto in A is here repeated in exaggerated form. The Confessio is barely mentioned, and in the smallest of type, ou the title-page; the text also is in smaller type than the Consideratio, on which the publisher obviously desired to focus attention.
The second edition of 1615 is quite different in plan:—
D. “Fama Fraternitatis, that is, Report of the Brotherhood. of the Highly Laudable Order of the R.C. — To all Learned and Princes of Europe, together with their Latin Confessio, which hath never before appeared in print, but now, in response to many enquiries, is printed accompanied by a German translation and communicated in all good faith to friendly Souls and true Hearts. By a Philomagus who loveth and desireth Light, Truth and Peace.
Printed at Cassel by Wilhelm Wessel, 1615.” The contents of this are:-
3. Fama (observe that no preface to the Fama appears in this edition).
7. Latin Confessio, as in C.
8. German Confessio (the first translation, which preserves the division into chapters of the Latin original).
It has been suggested by one writer (1) that this is the editio princeps of the Confessio;

(1) Katsch, Entstehung der Freimauerei, p. 118. It is only fair to Katsch to add that he admits that he had never seen an example of C, which is of the utmost rarity; there is a copy in the British Museum.

but the worth on the title-page on which the argument is based are without, value, for all the Cassel editions have a trick of proclaiming themselves the editio princeps; even J of 1616 reads ” Printed for the first time at Cassel, 1616.” The probability that the Latin Confessio preceded the Confessio plus translation is overwhelming; we shall also find later that edition C was deliberately modelled on A, the editio princeps of the Fama; in fact, with this single exception, there is a general agreement that C preceded D. The interval between the two, however, is improbably more than a few weeks.

E. An edition appeared at Marburg in Hesse in 1615, and resembled D in that it contained at least Documents 3, 7 and 8; it is therefore to be attached to the first group. Unfortunately not a single copy is known to have survived, and we cannot say whether it was a simple reprint of D, or whether it occupied an intermediate position between D and F (1)

F.With this edition the scene ohanges to Frankfurt-on-the¬Main and henceforward all editions are controlled from Frankfurt, and with one exception (K) based on F, the arrangement of which should be carefully noted. A new preface is placed at the head of the Fama; the Latin Confessio is dropped; the Reformation, which has disappeared since B, is re-published, but inconspicuously at the end, in contrast to the predominant position it occupied previously; and in front of it, separating it from the Rosicrucian writings, come four replies, of which the first two (4 and 9) claim to have seen the Fama before it was printed and the last (11) makes a similar claim for the Confessio. The title-page of F runs:-
“Fama Fraternitatis, or Discovery of the Brotherhood
of the Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross; together
with the Confessio, or Revelation, of the same
Fraternity; written to all Learned and Princes of
Europe; also some Replies to the Fama, written by
Herr Haselmeyer and other learned men, together
with a Discourse on the General Reformation of the
World. Now emended of many errors, improved and
set forth in open print, with God’s help, for the good
of all true Hearts.
Printed at Frankfurt on the Mayn by Johann Bringer,
in commission for Johann Berner, 1615.”

(1) Its existence is proved by marginal notes in the Iudicium Theolooicum, oder Christfiches und Kurtzes Bedenken von der Fama and Confessio, by David Meders, 1616. It was also quoted in a second tract published at Rostock in 1618. (See Murr, Ursprung der Freimauerei, p. 47).

From the fact that a complete Dutch translation of this edition was published before the end of August, it is reasonable to conclude that F appeared not later than May or June. The full contents are:—
1a. The preface in its second form (this is the one translated in Vaughau’s edition, entitled “To the Wise and Understanding Reader “.
3. The Fama.
8a. The German Confessio (the second German translation, in which the division into chapters of the Latin original is disregarded. From now on this seoond version is always employed).
4. Haselmeyer’s Reply;
9. “Reply to the Christian Brethren of the Rosy Cross” signed I.M.P. Medicus (1) and dated 12th January, 1614.
This is a long and noteworthy reply, mainly composed of macrocosmical speculations; but at the end comes the following passage :—” Some have been of the opinion that the Fama of your Fraternity was a metaphorical and enigmatical book and that what it contains about the grave of your Father and the beginning of the wisdom of your Fraternity had a veiled meaning regarding Philosophy; and many have doubted whether the Fraternity was real or only to be understood metaphorically But these doubts have been removed by your reply to a good friend at Prague, who soon after receiving it caught the plague and died. I had written the preceding pages to you in the beginning of June 1613, and up to Decem. ber, nay, even this January, I remained in my doubt; but this reply of yours, which I had not previously seen, sot my doubts at rest and moved me to seek and address you.” A little later he remarks, ” since I first saw your writings, on 28th June, 1613,”
10. Another reply, undated, written from Linz in Austria by two poor students, who sign as M.V.S. and A.Q.L.I.H. They will await the reply of the Fraternity” in the garden at Wels (2) or wherever it may please God to let us live”;

(1) Later editions give the name as I.B.P.
(2) Linz is on the Danube west of Vienna; Wels lies to the south of Linz.

11. Another reply, written on the last day of November, 1614. by G.A D from Frankfurt. The writer will await the reply either at Frankfurt or wherever God and the Fraternity may ordain. ” Wonderfully illuminated men; Words fail to express the joy with which I read first your Fame, and now your Confessio.” This is the first dated reference to the Confessio; otherwise the document has no interest.
2. The General Reformation.
G.The next edition was printed at Danzig by Andreas Hiinefeldt. This is a reprint of F, save that it omits the Reformation and in its place prints one additional reply, the pages of which are not numbered:-
12. A Reply to the Fraternity dated 12th January, 1615, and signed C.H.C , who describes himself at a “Lover of Perfect Wisdom,” and who has read both Fama and Confessio. He begins soberly enough but the Microcosm of Father R.C. rouses him to several pages of ecstatio eloquence. “I should not thus have addressed you with¬out naming myself; but for certain weighty reasons I have an objection to giving my name save under the seal of secrecy; but, as you have declared, so great is your wisdom that the thoughts and acts of the peoples of the uttermost parts of the earth, even in India or Peru, cannot remained concealed from you.” This reply is not written without a certain method despite its extravaganoes, which I suspect were not intended over seriously.
H. Before the end of August, (1) 1615, a Dutch translation of F appeared, bearing at the bottom of the title page “Printed from the Copy of Jan Berner at Frankfurt, Anno 1615.” This of course does not imply that it was printed at Frankfurt, and Amsterdam is the most probable place of origin. It follows F with two exceptions; Reply No. 12, which we have just met in G, is placed between Nos. 11 and 2, that is, before the General Reformation, taking its place in the sequence of replies. But having thus preserved the scheme of F, the Dutch editor promptly spoils the arrangement by tacking on a new reply after the General Reformation by way of postcript or after-thought:-
13. ” Reply to the Fama Fraternitatis of the Rosy Cross, by an author devoted to the Hermetic Art of Medicine.” Contrary to the usual practice, this writer sets down his name and address like a man —

(1) See Document No. 18.

“Andreas Hoberveschel von Hobernfeld, Doctor of Medicine and Amateur of Chemistry. . . . Written at Prague, 1st September, 1614.” He had read ” that very learned, truthful and wise, Magical and Cabalistical work,” the Fama, but does not refer to the Confessio. The bulk of the reply is an attempt to answer his two self-imposed questions, “Wat is die Ladder Jakobs? Wat is die Flotel Davids?” and we need not follow him through the maze of theology in which he speedily loses himself.
I. Buhle (1) states that a French translation was printed at Amsterdam in 1616; this would presumably be based on H, but I have been unable to find a copy, or any reference to it in later authorities.
J. This, the largest edition of all, was printed at Cassel by Wilhelm Wessel in 1616, shortly after May. (2) Curiously enough, it is based not on the earlier Cassel editions but on F (of Frankfurt). The title-page is the same as F, adding after the General Reformation “with four replies annexed thereto.” The first two-thirds of the book is a simple reprint of F, after which Reply No. 5 from B is inserted; then comes a new document:-
14. “Reply to the Fama and Confessio, by a sincere searcher for the wisdom of God and Nature. In silentio et spe erit fortitudo vestra; nil prophanum in Philosophiae (sic).” A short and pathetic appeal for admission by one who “through great toil and tribulation has brought the course of his life nearly to its end.” He begs the Fraternity to visit his poverty in Leipzig, Magdeburg, or wherever in that district may be convenient. At the end is appended a specimen of his philosophical attainments, three weirdly impressive pages of scraps of alchemical formula interspersed with such gems as Mens sana in corpore sano. He gives his name and age as paVLVs and dates the work on 10th July Anno Salutis
Sio MIhI offert fortItVdo IehoVa (=1615).
This is followed by No. 12, which we met in G and H; the rest of the book contains new material and first comes a more important work:

(1) Buhle, Ursprung d. Freimauerei, p. 181.
(2) Compare No. 20.

15. “Letter or Report to all who have read or heard anything concerning the new Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross; by Julianus de Campis.”Written “in Belbosco” 24th April, .1615. (1)
This is not an appeal for admission, but a reasoned defence and justification of the Order, which merits detailed attention; but only the most striking passages can be quoted here. “Many will be aware of the unfortunate reception accorded to a discourse on the Reformation of the World which first appeared in print at Cassel about summer of last year, 1614, and of the still more pitiful fate which befell the annexed Fama Fraternitatis.” But all inventions are liable to be received with scepticism or ridicule. That applications for admission have not been answered does not prove the Fraternity a myth; many are called but few are chosen. In all his life he has meet but three members of the Order. “Some people again cannot see why along with the Fama should have been printed the General Reformation, which is a piece of comedy; and hence they have imagined the Declaration of the Fraternity to be also a fable. True, something is hinted and concealed in the Reformation which cloth not appear on the surface; but this is of small consequence in comparison with the deep wisdom of the Fama. I myself fell into error through this when I knew no better; for it is not expedient to associate a weighty secret book with a slight and open discourse.” But the reason for the association is to dissuade persons who have no discrimination from applying to the Order. The Brethren are not preachers or Theologi, but Theosophi; and if they despise gold-making as a mere parergon, it is because for them the true ergon and the highest wisdom is the knowledge of God.” Some may ask, where is the Fraternity and where may a College of the Brethren be found? Thereto I tell thee that the Brethren in their writings give to understand, as thou thyself mayest read, that as yet no incorporated assembly of all Rosicrucians in one certain spot hath been held or ordained, but the College with its ordinances will come to pass in time.” Nothing is known of the identity of the author, (2) who was thirty-three years of age and had lived a life of roving adventure;

(1) i.e., in Frankfurt, where this work had appeared independently in 1615.
(2) In 1618 he was at Erfurt, where he inserted a short but vitriolic attack on J. V. Andreae’s Menippus into a chemical work entitled Tetras Chymiatrica, by Arnold Kerner.

he writes like a man of the world, wasting no time on Jacob’s Ladder, or hid treasures of Paracelsus. (1)
16. A short reply written in Latin from Amsterdam in December, 1615, inviting the Fraternity to establish a seat in Holland. “Your Fama and Confessio have reached us here in Holland. You will have many nobles here to lead the way, who long for the RC.” Signed T.B.
17. Simple Reply and Petition of a Layman, but a Lover of Wisdom, signed by L.V.; undated. “I heartily regret that your Fama and Confessio did not reach me before the Frankfurt Easter Fair of this year 1615. . . . as your meeting place is unknown to me, would that I might be transported there by the Angel of the Lord, even as the Prophet Habakkuk . . . I would gladly leave my fields, my oxen, even my earthly wife . . it has doubtless not escaped you that some scoffers speak slightingly of your Reformation and defame your Fama . . . to which I reply that you do not boast to heal the sick or make gold by your own powers, but strive to discover the works of God and the hidden arts . . . should you enquire where I am to be found, I have confided to a good friend in Leipzig, he is from Frankfurt on the Main and will know where to find me, he is to be found with the Printer whose name is on the front of this book.”
After this Reply, No. 10, which had already appeared in its due order, is reprinted by some editorial oversight.
18. Reply to the Fama and Confessio, signed by M.B. at Amsterdam, 4th September, 1615. “The Dutch translation of your tract De fame Fraternitatis (sic) reached me in August; I hastened forthwith to get the original German text printed at Frankfurt.”
“Assertio or Confirmation of the Fraternity R.C., called of the Rosy Cross; written by a member of the Fraternity in Latin and now poorly translated into German.” At the end is added “Written by B.M.I., least of the Brethren of the R.C., while on his third Journey, at Hagenau, where he was detained by continuous rain for some days, 22nd September, 1614”

(1) On the title-page after the name occur the mystic letters O.G.D.C.R.F.E. By analogy with other works (see No. 22) these may be taken to imply that Julian was a member of the Rosicrucian Fraternity, the first three letters being perhaps an Ordensname, and the last four probably standing for Crucis Roseae Fraternitatis Ercellentissimae. But the statement found in many authorities that in the text he expressly declares himself a member is not true.

This professes to be a complete description of the surroundings and life of the Fraternity, “although many doubt whether Brethren of the Rosy Cross do exist and refuse to believe our Fama, notwithstanding that it is published to the whole world. But he who can distrust such open facts must need a candle at mid-day. For see, I who write this am of the Brotherhood; and although our Order is hidden within Germany, it is known in all foreign parts. Lately its small and scanty number bath been increased by ten chosen worthy men; and at the same time it hath been fortified with such statutes and ordnances that it may rightly be said to be reformed. Therefore many of you seek our company, but only a few shall attain thereto; we admit only those whom we have long observed and bind them by hard conditions which they must keep so long as they live. . . . We dwell in a monastery which our Father called ‘of the Holy Spirit’ when he first built it; which name the long course of time hath lost and altered; but our monumenta we have preserved. Round about us are trees and woods and our fields, and a smooth but famous river runneth by; and not far away is a well-known town. . . . We journey to various places, even as I am now at Hagenau in a year I shall return from the peoples and places I have been sent to greet.” Then follows a description of their oocupations—the Elders teach the disciples; the Brethren have all arts and all languages; they can speak French, Italian; Spanish and Polish. ” Ho who thinketh all this is the work of the devil,—Ach, how far bath he strayed from the way ! . . . I know well many writings are published in the name of the Brethren which we do not recognise for ours, as they agree not with our Fama. Of like character was that deceiver, who worked such evil at Nürnberg until it was revealed that he was a thief and a purse-snatcher and so he went to the galleys; likewise that brigand who was caught at Augsburg and ran the gauntlet, leaving his ears behind him. Further, not rightly doth the common man style us ‘of the Rosy Cross,’ because we are named after the first Father of our body. How then was he named! That we shall steadfastly hold secret. Be they who they will, they do not right by us, who under our name scatter abroad such fancied visions. . . . The Jesuit band howls day and night about our home; to avoid the jaws and fangs of such a wolf, we must bide our time. . . We wish to be known throughout the whole world, but great obstacles stand in our way; and we hold it prudent to live unknown, but yet in such fashion as to win for ourselves friends from among those to whom our virtue and righteousness is revealed. Hence though unknown we search for the learned and greet the virtuous with our books.”

This document has been quoted at some length because of its claim to be a Rosicrucian publication, but it is a feeble production, full of execrable puns and puerile conceits. The early date it bears is noteworthy, and there are some indications which confirm this — the absence of all reference to the Confessio, the use of the abbreviation R.C., which is less common at a later period, (1) the anti-Jesuitical bias, etc. On the other hand, the references quoted above to spurious Rosicrucian works and to impostors, which all occur in one paragraph towards the end, point to 1615 or 1616 rather than to 1614. The explanation is probably that the work was left unfinished in 1614 and completed later. The question of the Latin original is treated on p. 42.
20. Despatch to the Philosophical Fraternity of the Rosy Cross, by Valentine Tchirness of Gorlitz, a German and a Licentiate of Philosophy and Medicine. Dated 1st May of the year es MVe Ia aLLes offenbar VVer Den (=1616). An appeal to the Fraternity to cure an old miner so worn in body “that I could compare him to the Present Age in the Dialogue you published concerning the Reformation of the World.” (2) This is the latest in date of the contents of .1 and is probably a postscript, like 12 in G or 13 in H. From it we may deduce the approximate date of Edition J.
K. The last edition “now freed from many errors which have hitherto prevailed, the genuine sense restored and once more set forth in print,” was published at Frankfurt in 1617 by Bringer and Berner. It begins like F, the earlier Frankfurt publication, with the Preface, Fama and German Confessio (3); but the text has everywhere been a good deal worked over, the sentences rearranged to read more smoothly, and oocasionally a word or two inserted.

(1) It persists, of course, to the end in the text of Fame and Confessio.
(2) Documents 19 and 20 were reprinted by Bunefeldt of Danzig lu 1617—another example of the tendency of these minor documents to maintain an order which in the first instance was accidental.
(3) The German Confessio reverts to the arrangement in chapters of the Latin text. As the translation is still the second, which on its former appearances omitted these divisions, we have a clear instance of revision from the MS., or Editions C or D.

Of the variae lectiones recorded in the notes, the bulk comes from this edition; but in no case has the sense been materially altered (1) The remainder of R is novel; all replies and the Reformation are omitted; at the end of the Confessio comes No. 15, the defence by Julian de Campis, which is followed by two new works.
21. ” Complete History of an Unknown Man who travelled through the town of Wetzlar ‘in 1615 and not only professed himself a Brother of the Rosy Cross but by his manifold accomplishments and universal knowledge aroused general astonishment; written by George Molther, Doctor of Medicine and Town-physician of Wetzlar in Hesse, on the First of April, 1616.” There is a dedicatory epistle to the High and Well-Born John the Elder, Count of Nassau, Dillenberg, etc. The mysterious stranger, among whose accomplishments was the art of whistling mice out of houses, was dressed like a peasant, and of middle age; he spoke several languages but was very taciturn; on being questioned, however, he modestly confessed that he was the third in the Order of the Brethren of R.C. The honest doctor relates that his reason for writing is “to stop the mouths of those who declare what has been said by truthful men to be false and fictitious because strange and novel.”
22. “Report of the Design, Occasion and Content of the Brotherhood, by an unnamed but distinguished member.” This is the heading on the title-page, but the text has another heading “Report concerning a great secret of Nature.” (2) Like the Fama and Confessio, this professes to be an official manifesto of the Fraternity, in the form of a reply to some postulant whose prayer for admission had been heard. “Impelled by the Spirit of God, we do announce the will of God to the world; and this we have performed and published in divers languages. But men have either scorned our writings, or else have supposed we are going to teach them to make gold by alchemical art, or to bestow upon them riches to satisfy their pomp and ambition, their wan and greed, their gluttony and drunkenness and lust.
. . But the evil intentions of such men we perceived from their own writings. We atop our ears and wrap ourselves in a cloud to avoid the clamour of men who cry to us for gold and cry in vain. Hence comes it that they slander and abuse us without end; we resent it not, though God in His good time will punish them.

(1) See, however, p. 47.
(2) At the end of the text is the signature E.D.F.O.C.R., the latter half of which represents Ordinis Crucis Roseae.

But having well weighed you, though you saw us not, and observed from your writings that you are diligent to search the Scriptures and seek the true knowledge of God; out of many thousands, we have thought you worthy of an answer.”
Then comes a parable of the ascent of the Hidden Mountain, the perils to be encountered and the prize to be won. This is one of the gems of all Rosicrucian literature and the significance of its position at the end of our long series of documents cannot be misunderstood. It has been forgotten for many a year; but Thomas Vaughan had read it and incorporated it bodily into his writings. (1)
Thus on a note of lofty mysticism, and with a marked tinge of disappointment, our list ends; for with the publication of the Fama and Confessio drop out. of sight, at the very height of the excitement they have caused. It may be that the promoters were discouraged at the ridicule and opposition their project. had aroused; it is more probable that the two manifestoes were judged to have done their work and to be no longer necessary or suitable; for by 1617 two of the greatest writers of the age, Robert Fludd in England and Michael Maier in Germany had come forward to champion the idea of the Fraternity. For several years to come the printing-presses of Germany were to pour out pamphlets in attack and defence of the Order and frantic appeals for admission such as we have studied. (2) The idea of the mysterious Fraternity had seized the popular mind over half Europe, and if the controversy began to abate in 1623 or 1629, all trace of it in Germany is not lost until about 1630. But throughout these years, the Fama and Confessio are not again reprinted. (3)

(1) In Lumen et Lumine, at p. 259 of Mr. Waite’s edition. Some paragraphs at the end are omitted by Vaughan. The central allegory is also given in John Heydon’s Holy Guide; it seems then to have been a favourite with English seventeenth-century writers. I can find no reference to it in recent literature. (2) According to L C. Orvius, Occulta Philosophia, by 1622 there were regular assemblies of Rosicrucians at the Hague, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Nurnberg, Danzig, Erfurt, Mantua and Venice. I am aware that this authority has been suspected, but it is noteworthy that some of these places have a long record of Activity as centres of Rosicrucian publication.
For the various appearances of individuals professing, or alleged, to be Rosicrucians, see Buhle, Ursprung, p. 231, and the reference listed below on p. 34, note. It may here be observed against Buhle that if all these men were proved impostors, as no doubt many were, nothing is proved or disproved with regard to the existence of genuine members of a Fraternity of the R.C. (3) Nicolai had a reprint of Edition A issued at Berlin in 1781; this, for some obscure reason, bears on the title-page “Printed at Ragensburg, 1681.” It is a very poor reprint. There is also a edition of the Fama and Confessio (both Latin and German) published anonymously at Frankfurt in 1827; its editor is believed to have been J. F. von Meyer.

Fama Fraternitatis (Introduction by Alexandre David)

 Fama Fraternitatis
A Discovery of the Fraternity of the
Most Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross



 Introduction by Alexandre David


The first  and anonymous public document that purports to be Rosicrucian is the Fama Fraternitatis Rosae Crucis, a manifesto which appeared in 1614. in Cassel, Germany, as an apendix of  the 77th. Advertisement ( section )  intitled  Generale Riforma dell’ Universo ( The Universal Reformation of  Mankind ) of  a German translation of Bocallini’s satira Ragguagli di Parnasso ( Advertisements from Parnassus).

The Fama which created a profound effect was soon published in separate form. In 1615 appeared the Confessio Fraternitatis, issued with the Fama . Both manifestoes passed through several editions while Boccalini’s essay disappeared. The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, Anno 1459, issued in 1616,   is a later book  in the chronology and  introduces for the first time the name Christian Rosenkreutz that remained unnamed except for the three initials in the first manifestoes ( Fama & Confessio Fraternitatis ).

These works have been attributed , though not without question, to the German  Lutheran philosopher and  theologian  Johan Valentin Andreae, who, it is reported, on the authority of M.C.Hirachen, to have confessed that he, with thirty others in Wurttemberg, had  sent forth the Fama Fraternitatis; that under this veil they might discover who were the true lovers of the wisdom, induce them to come dorward.

In spite of the most  scholar researches postulates Johan Valentin Andreae as the true autor of the first Rosicrucian manifestoes another researches incline us to belive that at least the Fama and Confession was actually written by Lord Verulam , Sir Francis Bacon, well known as the Chanceller of Parnassus, the allegorical Mount of the Poets.

Fama Fraternitatis gives an account of the life and adventures of Christian Rosenkreutz, a symbolical character, who is the founder of the Society of Rosicrucians.

According to the Legend ,C.R.C. has born in 1378 in a poor , but noble, family. Having lost his parents still boy, he was placed in a convent since  five years old. In the cloister he  learned Latin and Grecian .  At the age of the fifteen year of age , finding the instructions insatisfactory,  he  associated himself with a   a monk ,  Frater P. , on a pilgrimage for the  Holy Land , to visit the Holy Sepulcro.His fellow traveler , Frater P. died on their arrival at  the Island of Cyprus , but C.R.C. proceed  alone on  his journey  for Damascus. At  Damascus  poor health detained him , and he  remained  studying with astrologers and physicians. Hearing of a groups of wise men abiding in Damcar, a mystical city in Arabia,  C.R.C. continued his jorney to   Damcar and arrived there with sixteenth years of age.   In Damcar he was  received by the  wise men as anybody long awaited,and  remained  among them  along three years, learning the arabian language and translating  along a year the whole book “M” for the Latin.  . After he sailed for   Egypt, where he continued his  studies, and having traveled the Mediterranean, he at lenghth  arrived at Fez , holy city of Morocco  that was during the Middle Ages one of the most famous  Centers of the Alchemic  Arts  . There  he was instructed concerning the creatures existing in the elements.

From  Fez he crossed over into Spain carrying with him many rare medicines, curious animals, and  wonderful books. He conferred with the learned at Madrid, but he met with unfavorable reception. So, he deeply discourage, return to Germany, where he built himself a house on the brow of a little hill and devoted his life to study and experimentation.

After  a hush of five years, C.R.C. selected three of the faithful friends  of the old convent in which he had been educated , and they began to arrange and classify the great knowlege he possessed. Thus, the Rosicrucian Fraternity was founded. Later four members were accepted. Under the  direction of the Father C.R.C. ,  Head of the  Order, they began building a Temple , called “The Temple of the Holy Spirit“. When this temple was completed, the Brothers, being now thoroughly instructed in the mysteries and the sciences, agreed to separate. Five of the Brothers  traved to distant lands to promulgate their doctrines among the wise of the earth. The travelers were to return to the Temple at the end of each year, or to send an excuse for their absence.

The society thus formed was governed  by a code of laws. The first rule was that they should take to themselves no other dignity or credit than that they were willing to heal the sick whithout charge. The second was that from that time on forever they should wear no special robe or garment, but should dress according to the custom of the country wherein they dwelt. The third stated that every year upon a certain day they should meet in the “House of the Holy Spirity”, or, if unable to do so, should be represented by an epistle. The fourth decreed that each member should search for a worthy person to succeed him at his own demise. The fifth stated that the letters “R.C.” should be their seal, mark, and character from that time onward. The sixth specified that the Fraternity should remain unknown  to the world for a period of one hundred years.

When the first Brother of the Order died, in England,  it was decided that the burial places of the members should be secret. Soon afterward Father C.R.C. called the remaining six together, and it is supposed that  then  he prepared his own symbolic tomb, a perfect miniature reprodution of the universe. The Fama records that none of the Brothers alive at the time of its writing knew when Father  C.R.C. died or where he was buried. His body was accidentally discovered 120 years after his death when one of the Brothers decided to make some alterations in the “House of the Holy Spirit”. While making his alterations , the Brother discovered a memorial tablet upon which were inscribed the names of the early members of the Order.

The memorial plate was of brass, and was affixed to the wall by a nail driven through its center; but so firmly was it attached that , in tearing it away, at portion of the plaster came off, thereby exposing at Secret Door. Upon removing the incrustations from the door, there apperead written in large letters the following inscription:

POST CXX ANNOS PATERO – [ After One Hundred Twenty Years I will appear ].

Waiting for the sunrise of the next morning, they resumed their researches. When they opened the heavy door, they discovered  a  heptagonal vault. Each of its seven sides , five feet wide by eight feet in height, had well known symbols inscribed on it. The light was received from an artificial sun in the roof, and was almost blinding to the eye.

To their amazement , in the middle of the floor there stood, instead of at tomb, at circular altar , on which was an inscription , saying that the apartment had been erected by C.R.C. as a   compendium of the universe.Many other inscriptions were seen about the apartment, including.


all of which indicated the christian character of the builter.

In Each of the seven sides was at door opening into at closet. In these closets they found many rare and valuable articles such the “The History And Life of the Founder“; the vocabulary of the Paracelsus; The Secrets of the Order; together with bells, mirrors, lamps, and various other things.On Removing The altar and the brass palte beneath it , to their surprise, they came upon the body of C.R.C. in at perfect state of preservation.

Several  theories have been brought forward to sove the  riddle of Rosicrucians.

The First Theory build up that the Fraternity Rose Cross exist historicamente under the description of his foundation and subsequentes activities insert in its manifesto The  Fame Fraternitatis, that appeared in Cassel , German  in 1614 with the long title of Allegeme Und General -Reformation der Fame Fraternitatis des Loblichen Orders des Rosencreuzes.

Certain discrepancies have been found in this story. It is said  that writings by Paracelsus were discovered in the C.R.C. ‘s vault but if he died with 106 years old and the tomb was sealed at that time and not opened for 120 years, we come upon a historical difficulty because  at such time Paracelsus was only one year of age.

Curious research relating to the identity of Father C.R.C. is presented by Maurice Magre in his Magicians, Seers And Mystics . He states that Christian Rosenkreutz was the last descendant of the Germelschausen, a german family florished in the 13th century. Their Castle stood in the Thuringian Forest on the Border of Hesse they had  embraced Albigense’s doctrines,  combining pagan superstitions and christian beliefs.The whole family  was put to death, by Landgrave Conrad of Thuringia, excepted the youngest son ,who was only five years old. He was carried away secretly by at monk, who was an Albigensian adept from Languedoc. The child was placed in a monastery, that had  already come under the influence of the Albigenses, wgere he was educated and made the acquaintance of the four others brothers later to be associated with him in the founding of the Rosicrucian Brotherhood. His account derives from oral tradition .


The Second  Theory supposed that the Rosicrucian Society has been founded about the year 1610 by a German Lutheran theologian , Johan Valentin Andreae . Some adds that its roots flourished in Middle Ages as a development of Alchemical researshes.  According to Robert Macoy,the German Lutheran theologian ,  Johan Valentin Andreae was its founder , that have been founded as  one amplification  of an ancient association set along by Henry Cornelius Agrippa. In his Secret Symbols of the Rosicrucians, Dr. Franz Hartmann describes the Fraternity as “A secret society of men possessing superhuman – if not supernatural – powers; they were said to be able  to prophesy future events, to penetrate into the deepest mysteries of Nature, to transform Iron, Copper, Lead, or Mercury into Gold, to prepare an Elixir of Life, or universal Panacea, by the use of which they could preserve their youth and manhood; and moreover it was believed that they could command the Elemental Spirits of Nature, and knew the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone, a substance which rendered him who possessed it all-powerful, immortal, and supremely wise”. He also states that a Rosicrucian is a person who by the process of spiritual awakening has attained a pratical knowledge of the secret of the Rose and the Cross.

The Third Theory defends that the Rosacrucianism  was  the first invasion of  Buddhism and    Bhramanism in Europe.

The Fourth Theory argues that the association of the Rose Cross was founded in  Egypt during the philosophical supremacy of the College of Heliopolis in that empire , and that it also perpetuated the Mysteries of the ancient Persia and Chaldea. When we speak of Rosicrucianism as a society of men functioning under the laws and regulations of a physical society , organized under the name Rose Cross, we must then limit ourselves to the opening years of the 17th century, but when we speak of it as a mystical tradition , we can trace it back to Egypt and Atlantis.

The Fourth  Theory affirms that the ancient Rosicrucian Fraternity  was entirely a product of fancy.It is regarded by some scholars that this story of Andrea’s was purely romance. Others generally agree with the theory that Andrea, at the time of the appearance of this book, was a young man full of the excitement and ambition, and  seeing the defects of the theology and the sciences, sought to purify them, and to accomplish this design imaged a union into one body of all those  who, like himself, were the admirers of true virtue.Still others contend that he wrote this account of the rise and progress of Rosicrucianism for the purpose of advancing his own peculiar views of morals and religion. Be this as it may, this so-called “fiction” has persisted through the centuries , and has been readily accepted as truth by multitudes of people.

The Sixth Theory defend that the Rosicrucian Society was actually founded about 1604, probably by  the English philosopher Francis Bacon, Lord  Verulam,  well known as the Chanceller of Parnassus, The allegorical Mount of the Poets. It has been proposed that the face of the author of the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, as preserved on a rare print shown a striking resemblance to that of Sir Francis Bacon , in spite of the age difference. If, as another conjecture maintains, he borrowed the name and identity of William Shakespeare, he could also have assumed , after the latter’s mock funeral, the personality of Johan Valentin Andreae. The crescent moon drawn below his bust appers upon the crest of Lord Bacon. In addition, the four letters (OMDC) in the frame at the lower right corner of the plate, by a simple Baconian cipher, can be changed into numbers whose sum gives 33 – the numerical equivalent of the name Bacon. Should this proposal seem far-fetched, its is helpful to know that such practices were common place in Baco’s time.


The seventh Theory argues that the Order  Rose Cross is not merely  a secret society but one of the Mystery Schools, although it have been working with some Secret Rosicrucian Socities in diferent periods of History.

Writing about the transcendental theory , Manly P. Hall said that  “the apparent incongruities of the Rosicrucian controversy has also been accounted for by a purely transcendental explanation. There is evidente that early writers were acquainted with such a supposition  – which, however, was popularized only after it had been espoused by Theosophy.(…) This Theory asserts that the Rosicrucians actually possessed all the supernatural powers with they were credited; that they were in reality citizens of the two worlds; that , while they had physical bodies for expression on the material palne , they were also capable, through the sinstructions they received from Brotherhood, of functioning in the mysterious ethereal body not subject to the limitations of time and distance. By means of this “astral form” they were able to function in the invisible realm of Nature, and in this realm, beyond reach of the profane, their Temple was located.(…) According to this Theory , those who have sough to record the events of the importance in connection with the Rosicrucian controversy have invariable failed because they approched their subject from a purely physical or materialistic angle.(…) The mystic believes that the true  Rosicrucian Fraternity , consisting of a School of Supermen, is an institution existing not in the visible world but in its spiritual counter part, which he sees fit to call the “inner planes of Nature”, that the brothers can be reached only by those who are capable of trancending the limitations of the material world.(…)”

“As to the etymology of the word Rosicrucian, a great many derivations have been given. Both Peter Gassandi and later Mosheim deduced it from two words, ros , meaning dew and crux meaning cross, and thus they defined it “Drew Cross“. According to the alchemists, dew was the most powerful of all substances to dissolve gold; and the cross, in the language of the same philosophers, was identical with light, or lux, because the figure of the cross exhibits the three letters of that word. but the word lux was referred to as the seed of the Read Dragon , which was that crude and material light that when properly concocted and digested produces gold. ” Hence”, says Mosheim, “a Rosicrucian is a philosopher who by means of dew seeks for Light, that is, for the substance of the Philosopher’s Stone”.”(4)


Works quoted from or consulted in the preparation of this Preface:


1.ANDREAS, Johan Valentin Andreae –Fama Fraternitatis;Confessio Fraternitatis;The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz, Anno 1459

2.HALL, Manly P-. The Adepts in The Esoteric Tradition;Codex Rosae Crucis;The Secret Teachings of All Ages;Fundamentals of The Esoteric Sciences;The Riddle of The Rosicrucians

3.HEINDEL, Max-The Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception

4.HOTALING, Minnie-Exploring the Origins of Rosicrucianism in Rays From the Rose Cross, Vol 90, #04

5.SALOMONSSEN, Arne- The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz Anno 1459, A Modern Poetic Version

6.STEINER, Rudolf , Christian Rosenkreutz

7.WEBER, Charles- Early Rosicrucian and Occult Symbolism in Rays from the Rose Cross,Vol.92,#03

8.YATES, Frances A-.O Iluminismo Rosa-Cruz


Fama Fraternitatis
A Discovery of the Fraternity of the
Most Laudable Order of the Rosy Cross

Seeing the only wise and merciful God in these latter days hath poured out so richly his mercy and goodness to mankind, where by we do attain more and more to the perfect knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ and Nature, that justly we may boast of the happy time, wherein there is not only discovered unto us the half part of the world, which was heretofore unknown and hidden, but he hath also made manifest unto us many wonderful, and never heretofore seen, works and creatures of Nature, and moreover hath raised men, imbued with great wisdom, who might partly renew and reduce all arts (in this our age spotted and imperfect) to perfection; so that finally man might thereby understand his own nobleness and worth, and why he is called Microcosmus,(1)and how far his knowledge extendeth into Nature.

Although the rude world herewith will he but little pleased, but rather smile and scoff thereat; also the pride and covetousness of the learned is so great, it will not suffer them to agree together; but were they united, they might out of all those things which in this our age God doth so richly bestow upon us, collect Librum Naturae, or a perfect method of all arts: but such is their opposition, that they still keep, and are loth to leave the old course, esteeming Porphyry,(2) Aristotle, and Galen, yea and that which bath but a mere show of learning, more than the clear and manifested light and truth; who if they were now living, with much joy would leave their erroneous doctrines. But here is too great weakness for such a great work. And although in theology, physics, and the mathematics, the truth doth oppose itself (3) nevertheless the old enemy by his subtlety and craft doth show himself in hindering every good purpose by his instruments and contentious wavering people. To such an intent of a general reformation, the most godly and highly illuminated father, our brother, C.R. a German, the chief and original of our Fraternity, hath much and long time laboured, who by reason of his poverty (although descended of noble parents) in the fifth year of his age was placed in a cloister, where he had learned indifferently the Greek and Latin tongues, who (upon his earnest desire and request) being yet in his growing years, was associated to a brother, P.A.L. who had determined to go to the Holy Land.

Although this brother died in Ciprus,(4) and so never came to Jerusalem, yet our brother C.R. did not return, but shipped himself over, and went to Damasco,(5) minding from thence to go to Jerusalem; but by reason of the feebleness of his body he remained still there, and by his skill in physic he obtained much favour with the Turks. In the meantime he became by chance acquainted with the wise men of Damasco in Arabia, and beheld what great wonders they wrought, and how Nature was discovered unto them; hereby was that high and noble spirit of brother C.R. so stirred up, that Jerusalem was not so much now in his mind as Damasco; also he could not bridle his desires any longer, but made a bargain with the Arabians, that they should carry him for a certain sum of money to Damasco; he was but of the age of sixteen years when he came thither, yet of a strong Dutch constitution. There the wise received him (as he himself witnesseth) not as a stranger, but as one whom they had long expected; they called him by his name, and showed him other secrets out of his cloister, whereat he could not but mightily wonder. He learned there better the Arabian tongue, so that the year following he translated the book M. into good Latin, which he afterwards brought with him. This is the place where he did learn his physicks, and his mathematicks, whereof the world hath just cause to rejoice, if there were more love, and less envy. After three years he returned again with good consent, shipped himself over Sinus Arabicus into Egypt, where he remained not long, but only took better notice there of the plants and creatures. He sailed over the whole Mediterranean sea for to come unto Fez, where the Arabians had directed him. And it is a great shame unto us, that wise men, so far remote the one from the other, should not only be of one opinion, hating all contentious writings, but also be so willing and ready under the seal of secrecy to impart their secrets to others.

Every year the Arabians and Africans do send one to another, inquiring one of another out of their arts, if happily they had found out some better things, or if experience had weakened their reasons. Yearly there came something to light, whereby the mathematica, physic, and magic (for in those are they of Fez most skilful) were amended. As there is nowadays in Germany no want of learned men, magicians, cabalists, physicians, and philosophers, were there but more love and kindness among them, or that the most part of them would not keep their secrets close only to themselves. At Fez he did get acquaintance with those which are commonly called the Elementary Inhabitants, who revealed unto him many of their secrets. As we Germans likewise might gather together many things, if there were the like unity, and desire of searching out secrets amongst us.

Of these of Fez he often did confess that their Magia was not altogether pure, and also that their Cabala was defiled with their religion; but notwithstanding he knew how to make good use of the same, and found still more better grounds for his faith, altogether agreeable with the harmony of the whole world, and wonderfully impressed in all periods of times. And thence proceedeth that fair concord, that, as in every several kernel is contained a whole good tree or fruit, so likewise is included in the little body of man the whole great world, whose religion, policy, health, members, nature, language, words and works, are agreeing, sympathizing, and in equal tune and melody with God, heaven, and earth. And that which is dis-agreeing with them is error, falsehood, and of the Devil, who alone is the first, middle, and last cause of strife, blindness, and darkness in the world. Also, might one examine all and several persons upon the earth, he should find that which is good and right, is always agreeing with itself; but all the rest is spotted with a thousand erroneous conceits.

After two years brother C.R. departed the city of Fez, and sailed with many costly things into Spain, hoping well [that since] he himself had so well and so profitably spent his time in his travel, that the learned in Europe would highly rejoice with him, and begin to rule and order all their studies according to those sound and sure foundations. He therefore conferred with the learned in Spain, showing unto them the errors of our arts, and how they might be corrected, and from whence they should gather the true Indicia of the times to come, and wherein they ought to agree with those things that are past; also how the faults of the Church and the whole Philosophia Moralis was to be amended. He showed them new growths, new fruits, and beasts, which did concord with old philosophy, and prescribed them new Axiomata, whereby all things might fully be restored. But it was to them a laughing matter; and being a new thing unto them, they feared that their great name should be lessened, if they should now again begin to learn and acknowledge their many years errors, to which they were accustomed, and wherewith with they had gained them enough. Who-so loveth unquietness, let him be reformed.

The same song was also sung to him by other nations, the which moved him the more because it happened to him contrary to his expectations, being ready then bountifully to impart all his arts and secrets to the learned, if they would have but undertaken to write the true and infallible Axiomata, out of all faculties, sciences, and arts, and whole Nature, as that which he knew would direct them, like a globe or circle, to the only middle point and Centrum, and (as is usual among the Arabians) it should only serve to the wise and learned as a rule. That also there might be a Society in Europe, which might have gold, silver, and precious stones, sufficient for to bestow them on kings, for their necessary uses and lawful purposes; with which such as be governors might be brought up, for to learn all that which God hath suffered man to know, and thereby to he enabled in all times of need to give their counsel unto those that seek it, like the heathen oracles. Verily we must confess that the world in those days was already big with those great commotions, labouring to be delivered of them; and did bring forth painful, worthy men, who broke with all force through darkness and barbarism, and left us who succeeded to follow them: and assuredly they have been the uppermost point in trigono igneo, whose flame now should be more and more bright, and shall undoubtedly give to the world the last light.

Such a one likewise hath Theophrastus been in vocation and callings, although he was none of our Fraternity, yet nevertheless hath he diligently read over the book M: whereby his sharp ingenium was exalted; but this man was also hindered in his course by the multitude of the learned and wise-seeming men, that he was never able peacefully to confer with others of his knowledge and understanding he had of Nature. And therefore in his writing he rather mocked these busy bodies, and doth not show them altogether what he was: yet nevertheless there is found with him well grounded the aforenamed Harmonia, which without doubt he had imparted to the learned, if he had not found them rather worthy of subtle vexation, than to be instructed in greater arts and sciences; he then with a free and careless life lost his time, and left unto the world their foolish pleasures.

But that we do not forget our loving father, brother C.R., he after many painful travels, and his fruitless true instructions, returned again into Germany, the which he (by reason of the alterations which were shortly to come, and of the strange and dangerous contentions) heartily loved. There, although he could have bragged with his art, but specially of the transmutations of metals, yet did he esteem more Heaven, and the citizens thereof, Man, than all vain glory and pomp.

Nevertheless he built a fitting and neat habitation, in which he ruminated his voyage, and philosophy, and reduced them together in a true memorial. In this house he spent a great time in the mathematicks, and made many fine instruments, ex omnibus hajus artis partibus, whereof there is but little remaining to us, as hereafter you shall understand. After five years came again into his mind the wished for reformation; and in regard he doubted of the aid and help of others, although he himself was painful, lusty, and unwearying, he undertook, with some few joined with him, to attempt the same. Wherefore he desired to this end, to have out of his first cloister (to the which he bare a great affection) three of his brethren, brother G.V., brother J.A., and brother J.O., who besides that, they had some more knowledge in the arts, than in that time many others had, he did bind those three unto himself, to be faithful, diligent, and secret; as also to commit carefully to writing, all that which he should direct and instruct them in, to the end that those which were to come, and through especial revelation should be received into this Fraternity, might not be deceived of the least syllable and word.

After this manner began the Fraternity of the Rose Cross; first, by four persons only, and by them was made the magical language and writing, with a large dictionary, which we yet daily use to God’s praise and glory, and do find great wisdom therein; they made also the first part of the book M. But in respect that that labour was too heavy, and the unspeakable concourse of the sick hindered them, and also whilst his new building (called Sancti spiritus) was now finished, they concluded to draw and receive yet others more into their Fraternity; to this end was chosen brother R.C., his deceased father’s brother’s son, brother B. a skilful painter, G. and P.D. their secretary, all Germans except J.A. so in all they were eight in number, all bachelors and of vowed virginity; by those was collected a book or volume of all that which man can desire, wish, or hope for.

Although we do now freely confess, that the world is much amended within an hundred years, yet we are assured that our Axiomata shall unmovably remain unto the world’s end, and also the world in her highest and last age shall not attain to see anything else; for our Rota takes her beginning from that day when God spake Fiat, and shall end when he shall speak Pereat; yet God’s clock striketh every minute, where ours scarce striketh perfect hours. We also steadfastly believe, that if our brethren and fathers had lived in this our present and clear light, they would more roughly have handled the Pope, Mahomet, scribes, artists, and sophisters, and had showed themselves more helpful, not simply with sighs, and wishing of their end and consummation.

When now these eight brethren had disposed and ordered all things in such manner, as there was not now need of any great labour, and also that everyone was sufficiently instructed, and able perfectly to discourse of secret and manifest philosophy, they would not remain any longer together, but as in the beginning they had agreed, they separated themselves into several countries, because that not only their Axiomata might in secret be more profoundly examined by the learned, but that they themselves, if in some country or other they observed anything, or perceived some error, they might inform one another of it.

Their agreement was this: First, That none of them should profess any other thing than to cure the sick, and that gratis. (2). None of the posterity should be constrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but therein to follow the custom of the country. (3). That every year upon the day C. they should meet together in the house S. Spiritus, or write the cause of his absence. (4). Every brother should look about for a worthy person, who, after his decease, might succeed him. (5). The word C.R. should be their seal, mark, and character. (6). The Fraternity should remain secret one hundred years. These six articles they bound themselves one to another to keep, and five of the brethren departed, only the brethren B. and D. remained with the father, Fra. R. C., a whole year; when these likewise departed. Then remained by him his cousin and brother J.O. so that he hath all the days of his life with him two of his brethren. And although that as yet the Church was not cleansed, nevertheless we know that they did think of her, and what with longing desire they looked for. Every year they assembled together with joy, and made a full resolution of that which they had done; there must certainly have been great pleasure, to hear truly and without invention related and rehearsed all the wonders which God had poured out here and there through the world. Everyone may hold it out for certain, that such persons as were sent, and joined together by God, and the heavens, and chosen out of the wisest of men, as have lived in many ages, did live together above all others in highest unity, greatest secrecy, and most kindness one towards another.

After such a most laudable sort they did spend their lives, and although they were free from all diseases and pain, yet notwithstanding they could not live and pass their time appointed of God. The first of this Fraternity which died, and that in England, was J.O., as brother C. long before had foretold him; he was very expert, and well learned in Cabala, as his book called H. witnesseth. In England he is much spoken of; and chiefly because he cured a young Earl of Norfolk of the leprosy. They had concluded, that as much as possibly could be, their burial place should be kept secret, as at this day it is not known unto us what is become of some of them, yet everyone’s place was supplied with a fit successor. But this we will confess publicly by these presents to the honour of God, that what secrets soever we have learned out of the book M. (although before our eyes we behold the image and pattern of all the world) yet are there not shown unto us our misfortunes, nor hour of death, the which only is known to God himself, who thereby would have us keep in a continual readiness. But hereof more in our Confession, where we do set down 37 reasons wherefore we now do make known our Fraternity, and proffer such high mysteries, and without constraint and reward. Also we do promise more gold than both the Indies bring to the King of Spain; for Europe is with child and will bring forth a strong child, who shall stand in need of a great godfather’s gift.

After the death of J.O., brother R.C. rested not, but as soon as he could, called the rest together (and as we suppose) then his grave was made. Although hitherto we (who were the latest) did not know when our loving father R.C. died, and had no more but the bare names of the beginners, and all their successors, to us, yet there came into our memory a secret, which through dark and hidden words, and speeches of the 100 years, brother A., the successor of D. (who was of the last and second row and succession, and had lived amongst many of us) did impart unto us of the third row and succession. Otherwise we must confess, that after the death of the said A. none of us had in any manner known anything of brother R.C. and of his first fellow-brethren, than that which was extant of them in our philosophical Bibliotheca, amongst which our Axiomata was held for the chiefest, Rota Mundi for the most artificial, and Protheus the most profitable. Likewise we do not certainly know if these of the second row have been of the like wisdom as the first, and if they were admitted to all things. It shall be declared hereafter to the gentle Reader, not only what we have heard of the burial of R.C., but also made manifest publicly by the foresight, sufferance, and commandment of God, whom we most faithfully obey, that if we shall be answered discreetly and Christian-like, we will not be afraid to set forth publicly in print our names and surnames, our meetings, or anything else that may be required at our hands.

Now the true and fundamental relation of the finding out of the high illuminated man of God, Fra. C.R.C. is this. After that A. in Gallia Narbonensis was deceased, then succeeded in his place our loving brother N.N. This man after he had repaired unto us to take the solemn oath of fidelity and secrecy, he informed us bona fide, that A. had comforted him in telling him that this Fraternity should ere long not remain so hidden, but should be to all the whole German nation helpful, needful, and commendable; of the which he was not in any wise in his estate ashamed of. The year following, after he had performed his school right and was minded now to travel, being for that purpose sufficiently provided with Fortunatus’ purse, he thought (he being a good architect) to alter something of his building and to make it more fit. In such renewing he lighted upon the memorial table which was cast of brass, and containeth all the names of the brethren, with some few other things. This he would transfer in another more fitting vault; for where or when Fra R.C. died, or in what country he was buried, was by our predecessors concealed and unknown to us. In this table stuck a great nail somewhat strong, so that when he was with force drawn out, he took with him an indifferently big stone out of the thin wall, or plastering, of the hidden door, and so, unlooked for, uncovered the door. wherefore we did with by and longing throw down the rest of the wall, and cleared the door) upon which was written in great letters, Post 120 annos patebo,(6) with the year of the Lord under it. Therefore we gave God thanks and let it rest that same night, because we would first overlook our Rotam. But we refer ourselves again to the Confession, for what we here publish is done for the help of those that are worthy, but to the unworthy (God willing) it will he small profit. For like as our door was after so many years wonderfully discovered, also there shall be opened a door to Europe (when the wall is removed) which already doth begin to appear, and with great desire is expected of many.

In the morning following we opened the door, and there appeared to our sight a vault of seven sides and corners, every side five foot broad, and the height of eight foot. Although the sun never shined in this vault, nevertheless it was enlightened with another sun, which had learned this from the sun, and was situated in the upper part in the center of the ceiling. In the midst, instead of a tombstone, was a round altar covered over with a plate of brass, and thereon this engraven:

A.C.R.C. Hoc universi compendium unius mihi sepulchrum feci(7))

Round about the first circle, or brim, stood, Jesus mihi omnia (8)

In the middle were four figures, inclosed in circles, whose circumscription was,

1. Nequaquam vacuum.(9)

2. Legis Jugum.(10)

3. Libertas Evangelii.(11)

4. Dei gloria intacta.(12)

This is all clear and bright; as also the seven sides and the two Heptagoni: so we kneeled altogether down, and gave thanks to the sole wise, sole mighty and sole eternal God, who hath taught us more than all men’s wits could have found out, praised be his holy name. This vault we parted in three parts, the upper part or ceiling, the wall or side, the ground or floor.

Of the upper part you shall understand no more of it at this time, but that it was divided according to the seven sides in the triangle, which was in the bright center; but what therein is contained, you shall God willing (that are desirous of our society) behold the same with your own eyes; but every side or wall is parted into ten figures, every one with their several figures and sentences, as they are truly shown and set forth Concentratum here in our book.

The bottom again is parted in the triangle, but because therein is described the power and the rule of the inferior governors, we leave to manifest the same, for fear of the abuse by the evil and ungodly world. But those that are provided and stored with the heavenly antidote, they do without fear or hurt tread on and bruise the head of the old and evil serpent, which this our age is well fitted for. Every side or wall had a door or chest, wherein there lay divers things, especially all our books, which otherwise we had. Besides the Vocabular of Theoph: Par. Ho. (13) and these which daily unfalsifieth we do participate. Herein also we found his Itinerarium and vitam, whence this relation for the most part is taken. In another chest were looking-glasses of divers virtues, as also in another place were little bells, burning lamps, and chiefly wonderful artificial songs, generally all done to that end, that if it should happen after many hundred years the Order or Fraternity should come to nothing, they might by this only vault be restored again.

Now as yet we had not seen the dead body of our careful and wise father, we therefore removed the altar aside, there we lifted up a strong plate of brass, and found a fair and worthy body, whole and unconsumed, as the same is here lively counterfeited, with all his ornaments and attires. In his hand he held a parchment book, called I., the which next unto the Bible is our greatest treasure, which ought to be delivered to the censure of the world. At the end of this book standeth this following Elogium:

Granum pectori Jesu insitum.

C. Ros. C. ex nobili atque splendida Germaniae R.C. familia oriundus, vir sui seculi divinis revelatiombus subtilissimis imaginationibus, indefessis laboribus ad coetestia, atque humana mysteria; arcanave admissus postquam suam (quam Arabico, & Africano itineribus Collegerat) plusquam regiam, atque imperatoriam Gazam suo seculo nondum convenientem, posteritati eruendam custodivisset & jam suarum Artium, ut & nominis, fides acconjunctissimos herides instituisset, mundum minitum omnibus motibus magno illi respondentem fabricasset hocque tandem preteritarum, praesentium, & futurarum, rerum compendio extracto, centenario major non morbo (quem ipse nunquam corpore expertus erat, nunquam alios infestare sinebat) ullo pellente sed spiritu Dei evocante, illuminatam animam (inter Fratrum amplexus & ultima oscula) fidelissimo creatori Deo reddidisset, Pater dilectissimus, Fra: suavissimus, praeceptor fidelissimus, amicus integerimus, a suis ad 120 annos hic absconditus est.” (14)

Underneath they had subscribed themselves,

1. Fra. I.A., Fr. C.H. electione Fraternitatis caput.(15)

2. Fr. G.V. M.P.C.

3. Fra. R.C. Iunior haeres S. Spiritus

4. Fra. B.M., P.A. Pictor & Architectus

5. Fr. C.G. M.P.I. Cabalista

Secundi Circuli

1. Fra. P.A. Successor, Fr. I.O. Mathematicus

2. Fra. A. Successor Fra. P.D.3. Fra. R. Successor patris C.R.C. cum Christo triumphant.

At the end was written

Ex Deo nascimur, in Jesu morimur, per spiritum sanctum revivscimus. (16)

At that time was already dead brother I.O. and Fra. D. but their burial place where is it to be found? We doubt not but our Fra. Senior hath the same, and some especial thing laid in earth, and perhaps likewise hidden. We also hope that this our example will stir up others more diligently to inquire after their names (whom we have therefore published) and to search for the place of their burial; for the most part of them, by reason of their practise and physic, are yet known, and praised among very old folks; so might perhaps our Gaza be enlarged, or at least be better cleared.

Concerning Minutum Mundum, we found it kept in another little altar, truly more fine than can be imagined by any understanding man; but we will leave him undescribed, until we shall truly be answered upon this our true hearted Fama. And so we have covered it again with the plates, and set the altar thereon, shut the door, and made it sure, with all our seals. Besides by instruction and command of our Rota, there are come to sight some books, among which is contained M. (which were made instead of household care by the praiseworthy M.P.). Finally we departed the one from the other, and left the natural heirs in possession of our jewels. And so we do expect the answer and judgment of the learned, or unlearned.

Howbeit we know after a time there will now be a general reformation, both of divine and human things, according to our desire, and the expectation of others. For it is fitting, that before the rising of the sun, there should appear and break forth Aurora, or some clearness, or divine light in the sky. And so in the mean time some few, who shall give their names, may join together, thereby to increase the number and respect of our Fraternity, and make a happy and wished for beginning of our Philosophical Canons, prescribed to us by our brother R.C., and be partakers with us of our treasures (which never can fail or be wasted), in all humility and love to be eased of this world’s labour, and not walk so blindly in the knowledge of the wonder-fill works of God.

But that also every Christian may know of what religion and belief we are, we confess to have the knowledge of Jesus Christ (as the same now in these last days, and chiefly in Germany, most clear and pure is professed, and is nowadays cleansed and void of all swerving people, heretics, and false prophets), in certain noted countries maintained, defended and propagated. Also we use two Sacraments, as they are instituted with all forms and ceremonies of the first reformed Church. In Politia we acknowledge the Roman Empire and Quartam Monarchiam for our Christian head; albeit we know what alterations be at hand, and would fain impart the same with all our hearts to other godly learned men; notwithstanding our hand-writing which is in our hands, no man (except God alone) can make it common, nor any unworthy person is able to bereave us of it. But we shall help with secret aid this so good a cause, as God shall permit or hinder us. For our God is not blind, as the heathen Fortuna, but is the Church’s ornament, and the honour of the Temple. Our Philosophy also is not a new invention, but as Adam after his fall hath received it) and as Moses and Solomon used it. Also she ought not much to be doubted of; or contradicted by other opinions, or meanings; but seeing the truth is peaceable, brief; and always like herself in all things, and especially accorded by with Jesus in omni parte and all members. And as he is the true Image of the Father, so is she his Image. It shall not be said, this is true according to Philosophy, but true according to Theologie. And wherein Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras and others did hit the mark, and wherein Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Solomon did excel, but especially wherewith that wonderful book the Bible agreeth. All that same concurreth together, and makes a sphere or Globe, whose total parts are equidistant from the Centre, as hereof more at large and more plain shall be spoken of in Christianly conference.

But now concerning (and chiefly in this our age) the ungodly and accursed gold-making, which hath gotten so much the upper hand, whereby under colour of it, many runagates and roguish people do use great villanies and cozen and abuse the credit which is given them. Yea nowadays men of discretion do hold the transmutation of metals to be the highest point and fastigium in philosophy, this is all their intent and desire, and that God would be most esteemed by them, and honoured, which could make great store of gold, and in abundance, the which with unpremeditate prayers, they hope to attain of the all-knowing God, and searcher of all hearts. We therefore do by these presents publicly testify, that the true philosophers are far of another mind, esteeming little the making of gold, which is but a parergon; for besides that they have a thousand better things.

And we say with our loving father R.C.C. Phy: aurum nisi quantum: aurum, for unto them the whole nature is detected: he doth not rejoice that he can make gold, and that, as saith Christ, the devils are obedient unto him; but is glad that he seeth the heavens open, and the angels of God ascending and descending, and his name written in the book of life. Also we do testify that under the name of Chymia many books and pictures are set forth in Contumeliam gloriae Dei, as we will name them in their due season, and will give to the pure-hearted a Catalogue, or register of them. And we pray all learned men to take heed of these kind of books; for the enemy never resteth but soweth his weeds, till a stronger one doth root it out. So according to the will and meaning of Fra C.R.C. we his brethren request again all the learned in Europe who shall read (sent forth in five languages) this our Famam and Confessionem, that it would please them with good deliberation to ponder this our offer, and to examine most nearly and most sharply their arts, and behold the present time with all diligence, and to declare their mind, either Communicatio consilio, or singulatim by print.And although at this time we make no mention either of names or meetings, yet nevertheless everyone’s opinion shall assuredly come to our hands, in what language so ever it be; nor anybody shall fail, who so gives his name, but to speak with some of us, either by word of mouth, or else, if there be some let, in writing. And this we say for a truth, that whosoever shall earnestly, and from his heart, bear affection unto us, it shall be beneficial to him in goods, body, and soul; but he that is false-hearted, or only greedy of riches, the same first of all shall not be able in any manner of wise to hurt us, but bring himself to utter ruin and destruction. Also our building (although one hundred thousand people had very near seen and beheld the same) shall for ever remain untouched, undestroyed, and hidden to the wicked world.




(1) the “lesser universe.”

(2) “Popery” was the intended word here.

(3) meaning “the Truth doth manifest itself.”

(4) Cyprus.

(5) Damascus. Sometimes written as Damcar.

(6) “after 120 years I shall open.”

(7) “unius” should be “vivus.” “This compendium of the Universe I have made in my lifetime to be my tomb.”

(8) “Jesus is all things to me.”

(9) “A Vacuum exists nowhere.”

(10) “The Yoke of the Law.”

(11) “the Liberty of the Gospel.”

(12) “The Whole Glory of God.”

(13) “Theophrasti Paracelsi ab Hohenheim.” More commonly known as Paracelsus.

(14) “A grain buried in the breast of Jesus. C. Ros. C., sprung from the noble and renowned German family of R.C.: a man admitted into the mysteries and secrets of heaven and earth through the divine revelations, subtle cognitions and unwearied toil of his life. In his journeys through Arabia and Africa he collected a treasure surpassing that of Kings and Emperors; but finding it not suitable for his times, he kept it guarded for posterity to uncover, and appointed loyal and faithful heirs of his arts and also of his name. He constructed a microcosm corresponding in all motions to the macrocosm and finally drew up this compendium of things past, present and to come. Then, having now passed the century of years, though oppressed by no disease, which he had neither felt in his own body nor allowed to attack others, but summoned by the Spirit of God, amid the last embraces of his brethren he rendered up his illuminated soul to God his Creator. A beloved Father, an affectionate Brother, a faithful Teacher, a loyal Friend. He was hidden by his disciples for 120 years.”

(15) “by the choice of Fra. C.H., head of the fraternity.”

(16) “We are born from God, we die in Jesus, we live again though the Holy Spirit.

(17) “Under the shadow of they wings, Jehovah.”