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To whom she answerd: "Then it is by name
Proteus, that hath ordayn'd my sonne to die;
For that a waift,' the which by fortune came
Upon your seas, he claym'd as propertie :
And yet nor his, nor his in equitie,
But yours the waift by high prerogative:
Therefore I humbly crave your Maiestie
It to replevie,2 and my sonne reprive3:
So shall you by one gift save all us three alive."

32 He graunted it: and streight his warrant made, Under the Sea-gods seale autenticall,

Commaunding Proteus straight t' enlarge the mayd Which, wandring on his seas imperiall,

He lately tooke, and sithence kept as thrall. Which she receiving with meete thankefulnesse, Departed straight to Proteus therewithall:

Who, reading it with inward loathfulnesse, Was grieved to restore the pledge he did possesse.

33 Yet durst he not the warrant to withstand,
But unto her delivered Florimell:

Whom she receiving by the lilly hand,
Admyr'd her beautie much, as she mote well,
For she all living creatures did excell,-
And was right ioyous that she gotten had

So faire a wife for her sonne Marinell.

So home with her she streight the virgin lad, And shewed her to him, then being sore bestad.1

1 Waift, waif.

2 Replevie, reclaim for your own.

8 Reprive, rescue.

4 I. e. in a sad plight.

34 Who soone as he beheld that angels face
Adorn'd with all divine perfection,

His cheared heart eftsoones away gan chace
Sad death, revived with her sweet inspection,
And feeble spirit inly felt refection;

As withered weed through cruell winters tine,1
That feeles the warmth of sunny beames reflection,
Liftes up his head that did before decline,
And gins to spread his leafe before the faire sunshine.

35 Right so himselfe did Marinell upreare,

When he in place his dearest Love did spy;
And though his limbs could not his bodie beare,
Ne former strength returne so suddenly,
Yet chearefull signes he shewed outwardly.
Ne lesse was she in secret hart affected,
But that she masked it with modestie,

For feare she should of lightnesse be detected:
Which to another place I leave to be perfected.

1 Tine, injury, violence.






1 So oft as I with state of present time
The image of the antique world compare,
When as mans age was in his freshest prime,
And the first blossome of faire vertue bare;
Such oddes I finde twixt those, and these which are,
As that, through long continuance of his course,
Me seemes the world is runne quite out of square
From the first point of his appointed sourse;
And, being once amisse, growes daily wourse and


2 For from the golden age, that first was named, It's now at earst1 become a stonie one;

And men themselves, the which at first were framed

Of earthly mould, and form'd of flesh and bone,

1 I. e. at length.

Are now transformed into hardest stone; Such as behind their backs (so backward bred) Were throwne by Pyrrha and Deucalione: And if then those may any worse be red, They into that ere long will be degendered.

3 Let none then blame me, if, in discipline
Of vertue and of civill uses lore,

I doe not forme them to the common line
Of present dayes, which are corrupted sore,
But to the antique use1 which was of yore,
When good was onely for itselfe desyred,

And all men sought their owne, and none no more; When Iustice was not for most meed out-hyred, But simple Truth did rayne, and was of all admyred.

4 For that which all men then did vertue call,
Is now cald vice; and that which vice was hight,
Is now hight vertue, and so us'd of all:

Right now is wrong, and wrong that was is right;
As all things else in time are chaunged quight:
Ne wonder; for the heavens revolution
Is wandred farre from where it first was pight,2
And so doe make contrárie constitution

Of all this lower world toward his dissolution.

5 For whoso list into the heavens looke, And search the courses of the rowling spheares,

1 Use, custom.

2 Pight, placed.

V. 1.— For whoso list, &c.] In this and the succeeding stanza, the effects of the precession of the equinoxes are correctly stated.

Shall find that from the point where they first tooke Their setting forth, in these few thousand yeares They all are wandred much; that plaine appeares; For that same golden fleecy Ram, which bore Phrixus and Helle from their stepdames feares, Hath now forgot where he was plast of yore, And shouldred hath the Bull which fayre Europa bore:

And eke the Bull hath with his bow-bent horne
So hardly butted those two Twinnes of Iove,
That they have crusht the Crab, and quite him

Into the great Nemean Lions grove.

So now all range, and doe at randon rove

Out of their proper places farre away,

And all this world with them amisse doe move, And all his creatures from their course astray; Till they arrive at their last ruinous decay.

Ne is that same great glorious lampe of light,
That doth enlumine all these lesser fyres,
In better case, ne keepes his course more right,
But is miscaried with the other spheres:

The points where the ecliptic cuts the equator have a retrograde motion from east to west of about fifty seconds in a year. The equinoctial points were first fixed in the time of Hipparchus, since which time they have gone back nearly thirty degrees, which is the space occupied by each sign in the zodiac, so that the sun is now in the constellation Aries at the period of the year when he was formerly in Taurus, in Taurus when he was formerly in Gemini, &c. H.

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