Works of John Lyly
Endimion - The Man in the Moone,1591
Modern Spelling - Transcript by B.F. - copyright © 2002
Items discussed in the glossary are underlined.
Run on lines (closing open endings) are indicated by ~~~.
[Enter Cynthia, Tellus, Semele, Eumenides, Corsites, Panelion and Zontes.]
CYNTHIA: Is the report true that Endymion is stricken into
such a dead sleep that nothing can either wake him or move him?
EUMENIDES: Too true madam, and as much to be pitied as
TELLUS: As good sleep and do no harm as wake and do no good.
CYNTHIA: What maketh you, Tellus, to be so short? The
time was, Endymion only was.
EUMENIDES: It is an old saying madam, that a waking dog
doth afar off bark at a sleeping lion.
SEMELE: It were good, Eumenides, that you took a nap ... [III.1.10]
with your friend, for your speech beginneth to be heavy.
EUMENIDES: Contrary to your nature, Semele, which hath
been always accounted light.
CYNTHIA: What, hath we here before my face these unseemly
and malapert overthwarts? I will tame your tongues and
your thoughts, and make your speeches answerable to your
duties and your conceits fit for my dignity; else will I banish
you both my person and the world.
EUMENIDES: Pardon I humbly ask; but such is my unspotted
faith to Endymion that whatsoever seemeth a needle to ... [III.1.20]
prick his finger is a dagger to wound my heart.
CYNTHIA: If you be so dear to him, how happeneth it you
neither go to see him nor search for remedy for him?
EUMENIDES: I have seen him, to my grief, and sought recure
with despair, for that I cannot imagine who should restore
him that is the wonder to all men. Your Highness, on whose
hands the compass of the earth is at command (though not
in possession), may show yourself both worthy your sex,
your nature and your favor, if you redeem that honorable
Endymion, whose ripe years foretell rare virtues and whose ... [III.1.30]
unmellowed conceits promise ripe counsel.
CYNTHIA: I have had trial of Endymion and conceive greater
assurance of his age than I could hope of his youth.
TELLUS: But timely, madam, crooks that tree that will be
a cammock, and young it pricks that will be a thorn; and
therefore he that began without care to settle his life, it is a
sign without amendment he will end it.
CYNTHIA: Presumptuous girl, I will make thy tongue an
example of unrecoverable displeasure. -- Corsites, carry her
to the castle in the desert, there to remain and weave. ... [III.1.40]
CORSITES: Shall she work stories, or poetries?
CYNTHIA: It skilleth not which. Go to, in both; for she shall
find examples infinite in either, what punishment long
tongues have. [Exeunt Corsites and Tellus.] Eumenides, if
either the soothsayers in Egypt, or the enchanters in
Thessaly, or the philosophers in Greece or all the sages of
the world can find remedy, I will procure it. Therefore
dispatch will all speed: you, Eumenides, into Thessaly; you,
Zontes into Greece (because you are acquainted in Athens);
you, Panelion, to Egypt, saying that Cynthia sendeth and, ... [III.1.50]
if you will, commandeth.
EUMENIDES: On bowed knee I give thanks, and with wings
on my legs I fly for remedy.
ZONTES: We are ready at Your Highness' command, and
hope to return to your full content.
CYNTHIA: It shall never be said that Cynthia, whose mercy
and goodness filleth the heavens with joys and the world
with marvels, will suffer either Endymion or any to perish
if he may be protected.
EUMENIDES: Your Majesty's words have been always deeds, ... [III.1.60]
and your deeds virtues. [Exeunt.]
[Enter Corsites and Tellus.]
CORSITES: Here is the castle, fair Tellus, in which you must
weave till either time end your days or Cynthia her
displeasure. I am sorry so fair a face should be subject to so
hard a fortune, and that the flower of beauty, which is
honored in courts, should here wither in prison.
TELLUS: Corsites, Cynthia may restrain the liberty of my
body; of my thoughts she cannot. And therefore do I esteem
myself most free, though I am in greatest bondage.
CORSITES: Can you then feed on fancy, and subdue the
malice of envy by the sweetness of imagination? ... [III.2.10]
TELLUS: Corsites, there is no sweeter music to the miserable
than despair; and therefore the more bitterness I feel, the
more sweetness I find. For so vain were liberty. and so
unwelcome the following of higher fortune, that I choose
rather to pine in this castle than to be a prince in any other
CORSITES: A humor contrary to your years and nothing
agreeable to your sex, the one commonly allured with
delights, the other always with sovereignty.
TELLUS: I marvel, Corsites, that you, being a captain, who ... [III.2.20]
should sound nothing but terror and suck nothing but blood,
can find in your heart to talk such smooth words, for that it
agreeth not with your calling to use words so soft as that of
CORSITES: Lady, it were unfit of wars to discourse with
women, into whose minds nothing can sink but smoothness.
Besides, you must not think that soldiers be so rough-hewn or
of such knotty metal that beauty cannot allure, and you,
being beyond perfection, enchant.
TELLUS: Good Corsites, talk not of love. but let me to my ... [III.2.30]
labor. The little beauty I have shall be bestowed on my loom,
which I now mean to make my lover.
CORSITES: Let us in, and what favor Corsites can show,
Tellus can command.
TELLUS: The only favour I desire is now and then to walk. [Exeunt.]
[Enter Sir Tophas (armed as before) and Epiton (with a gown and other paraphernalia.]
EPITON: ~~~ Here sir.
TOPHAS: Unrig me. Heighho!
EPITON: ~~~ What's that?
TOPHAS: An interjection, whereof some are of mourning,
as eho, yah.
EPITON: I understand you not.
TOPHAS: Thou seest me
EPITON: ~~~ Ay.
TOPHAS: Thou hearst me.
EPITON: ~~~ Ay.
TOPHAS: Thou feelest me.
EPITON: ~~~ Ay.
TOPHAS: And not understandst me?
EPITON: ~~~ No. ... [III.3.10]
TOPHAS: Then I am but three quarters of a noun substantive.
But alas, Epi, to tell thee the truth, I am a noun adjective.
TOPHAS: Because I cannot stand without another.
EPITON: Who is that?
EPITON: Are you in love?
TOPHAS: No, but love hath, as it were, milked my thoughts
and drained from my heart the very substance of my
accustomed courage. It worketh in my head like new wine, ... [III.3.20]
so as I must hoop my sconce with iron lest my head break,
and so I bewray my brains; but I pray thee, first discover
me in all parts, that I may be like a lover, and then will I sigh
and die. Take my gun, and give me a gown. Cedant arma togae.
EPITON: [Helping Sir Tophas to disarm.] Here.
TOPHAS: Take my sword and shield. and give me beard-brush
and scissors. Bella gerant alii; tu, Pari, semper ama.
EPITON: Will you be trimmed, sir?
TOPHAS: Not yet, for I feel a contention within me whether
I shall frame the bodkin beard or the bush. But take my ... [III.3.30]
pike and give me pen. Dicere quae puduit, scribere jussit amor.
EPITON: I will furnish you, sir.
TOPHAS: Now for my bow and bolts, give me ink and paper;
for my smiter, a penknife. For scalpellum, calami,
atramentum, charta, libelli, sint semper studiis arma parata
EPITON: Sir, will you give over wars and play with that
bauble called love?
TOPHAS: Give over wars? No Epi. Militat omnis amans, et
habet sua castra Cupido. ... [III.3.40]
EPITON: Love hath made you very eloquent, but your face
is nothing fair.
TOPHAS: Non formosus erat, sed erat facundus Ulysses.
EPITON: Nay, I must seek a new master if you can speak
nothing but verses.
TOPHAS: Quicquid conabar dicere versus erat. Epi, I feel all
Ovid de Arte Amandi lie as heavy at my heart as a load of
logs. O what a fine thin hair hath Dipsas! What a pretty
low forehead! What a tall and stately nose! What little
hollow eyes! What great and goodly lips! How harmless she ... [III.3.50]
is, being toothless! Her fingers fat and short, adorned with
long nails like a bittern! In how sweet a proportion her cheeks
hang down to her breasts like dug, and her paps to her waist
like bags! What a low stature she is, and yet what a great
foot she carrieth! How thrifty must she be in whom there is
no waste! How virtuous she is like to be, over whom no man
can be jealous!
EPITON: Stay, master, you forget yourself.
TOPHAS: O, Epi, even as a dish melteth by the fire, so doth
my wit increase by love. [[[ III.3.60]
EPITON: Pithily, and to the purpose. But what, begin you
TOPHAS: Good Epi, let me take a nap. For as some man may
better steal a horse than another look over the hedge, so
divers shall be sleepy when they would fainest take rest.
EPITON: Who ever saw such a woodcock? Love Dipsas?
Without doubt all the world will now account him valiant,
that ventureth on her whom none durst undertake. But here
cometh two wags. [Enter Samias and Dares.]
SAMIAS: [To Dares.] Thy master hath slept his share. ... [III.3.70]
DARES: [To Samias.] I think he doth it because he would
not pay me my board wages.
SAMIAS: It is a thing most strange, and I think mine will
never return; so that we must both seek new masters, for we
shall never live by our manners.
EPITON: [To Samias and Dares.] If you want manners, join
with me and serve Sir Tophas, who must needs keep more
men because he is toward marriage.
SAMIAS: What, Epi, where's thy master?
EPITON: Yonder sleeping in love. ... [III.3.80]
DARES: Is it possible?
EPITON: He hath taken his thoughts a hole lower and saith,
seeing it is the fashion of the world, he will vail bonnet to
SAMIAS: How is he attired?
EPITON: ~~~ Lovely.
DARES: Whom loveth this amorous knight?
EPITON: ~~~ Dipsas.
SAMIAS: That ugly creature? Why, she is a fool, a scold, fat,
without fashion, and quite without favor.
EPITON: Tush, you be simple. My master hath a good
marriage. ... [III.3.90]
DARES: Good? As how?
EPITON: Why, in marrying Dipsas, he shall have every day
twelve dishes of meat to his dinner, though there be none
but Dipsas with him. Four of flesh, four of fish, four of fruit.
SAMIAS: As how, Epi?
EPITON: For flesh, these: woodcock, goose, bittern, and rail.
DARES: Indeed, he shall not miss if Dipsas be there.
EPITON: For fish, these: crab, carp, lump and pouting.
SAMIAS: Excellent! For, of my word, she is both crabbish,
lumpish and carping. ... [III.3.100]
EPITON: For fruit these: fritters, medlars, heart-i-chokes,
and lady-longings. Thus you see he shall fare like a king,
though he be but a beggar.
DARES: Well, Epi, dine thou with him, for I had rather fast
than see her face. But see, thy master is asleep. Let us have a
song to wake this amorous knight.
EPITON: Here snores Tophas,.
That amorous ass, ... [III.3.110]
Who loves Dipsas,
With face so sweet.
Nose and chin meet.
ALL THREE: At sight of her each Fury skips
And flings into her lap their whips.
DARES: Holla, holla in his ear.
SAMIAS: The witch sure thrust her fingers there.
EPITON: Cramp him, or wring the fool by th' nose.
DARES: Or clap some burning flax to his toes.
SAMIAS: What music's best to wake him? ... [III.3.120]
EPITON: Bow-wow. Let bandogs shake him.
DARES: Let adders hiss in's ear.
SAMIAS: Else earwigs wriggle there.
EPITON: No, let him batten; when his tongue
Once goes, a cat is not worse strung.
ALL THREE: But if he ope nor mouth nor eyes,
He may in time sleep himself wise.
TOPHAS: [To himself, as he awakens.] Sleep is a binding of
the senses, love a loosing.
EPITON: [Aside, to Samias and Dares.]
Let us hear him awhile. ... [III.3.130]
TOPHAS: There appeared in my sleep a goodly owl, who,
sitting on my shoulder, cried 'Twit, twit,' and before mine
eyes presented herself the express image of Dipsas. I
marveled what the owl said, till at the last I perceived
'Twit, twit,' 'To it, to it,' only by contraction admonished by
this vision to make account of my sweet Venus.
SAMIAS: Sir Tophas, you have overslept yourself.
TOPHAS: No, youth, I have but slept over my love.
DARES: Love? Why, it is impossible that into so noble and
unconquered a courage, love should creep, having first a ... [III.3.140]
head as hard to pierce as steel, then to pass to a heart
armed with a shirt of mail.
EPITON: [Aside, to Samias and Dares.] Ay, but my master
yawning one day in the sun, love crept into his mouth
before he could close it, and there kept such a tumbling in
his body that he was glad to untruss the points of his heart
and entertain Love as a stranger.
TOPHAS: If there remain any pity in you, plead for me to
DARES: Plead? Nay, we will press her to it. [Aside to Samias.] ... [III.3.150]
Let us go with him to Dipsas, and there shall we have good
sport. -- But Sir Tophas, when shall we go? For I find my
tongue voluble and my heart venturous, and all myself
SAMIAS: [Aside to Dares.] Come, Dares, let us not lose him
till we find our masters, for as long as he liveth, we shall lack
neither mirth nor meat.
EPITON: We will traverse. -- Will you go, sir?
TOPHAS: I prae: sequar. [Exeunt.]
[Enter Eumenides and Geron.]
EUMENIDES: Father, your sad music, being tuned on the
same key that my hard fortune is, hath so melted my mind
that I wish to hang at your mouth's end till my life end.
GERON: These tunes, gentleman, have I been accustomed
with these fifty winters, having no other house to shroud
myself but the broad heavens; and so familiar with me hath
use made misery that I esteem sorrow my chiefest solace.
And welcomest is that guest to me that can rehearse the
saddest tale or the bloodiest tragedy.
EUMENIDES: A strange humor. Might I inquire the cause? ... [III.4.10]
GERON: You must pardon me if I deny to tell it, for, knowing
that the revealing of griefs is, as it were, a renewing of sorrow,
I have vowed therefore to conceal them, that I might not only
feel the depth of everlasting discontentment, but despair of
remedy. But whence are you? What fortune hath thrust you
to this distress?
EUMENIDES: I am going to Thessaly to seek remedy for
Endymion, my dearest friend, who hath been cast into a dead
sleep almost these twenty years, waxing old and ready for
the grave, being almost but newly come forth of the cradle. ... [III.4.20]
GERON: You need not for recure travel far, for whoso can
clearly see the bottom of this fountain shall have remedy
EUMENIDES: That, methinketh, is unpossible. Why, what
virtue can there be in water?
GERON: Yes, whosoever can shed the tears of a faithful lover
shall obtain anything he would. Read these words engraven
about the brim.
EUMENIDES: [Reading.] Have you known this by experience,
or is it placed here of purpose to delude men? ... [III.4.30]
GERON: I only would have experience of it, and then should
there be an end of my misery. And then would I tell the
strangest discourse that ever yet was heard.
EUMENIDES: [To himself.] Ah, Eumenides!
GERON: What lack you, gentleman; are you not well?
EUMENIDES: Yes, father, but a qualm that often cometh
over my heart doth now take hold of me. But did never any
lovers come hither?
GERON: Lusters, but not lovers. For often have I seen them
weep, but never could I hear they saw the bottom. ... [III.4.40]
EUMENIDES: Came there women also?
EUMENIDES: What did they see?
GERON: They all wept, that the fountain overflowed with
tears, but so thick became the water with their tears that I
could scarce discern the brim, much less behold the bottom.
EUMENIDES: Be faithful lovers so scant?
GERON: It seemeth so, for yet heard I never of any.
EUMENIDES: Ah Eumenides, how art thou perplexed! Call to
mind the beauty of thy sweet mistress and the depth of thy ... [III.4.50]
never-dying affections. How oft hast thou honored her, not
only without spot but suspicion of falsehood! And how hardly
hath she rewarded thee without cause or color of despite!
How secret hast thou been these seven years, that hast not,
nor once darest not, to name her for discontenting her.
GERON: Why, gentleman, did you once love?
EUMENIDES: Once? Ay, father, and ever shall.
GERON: Was she unkind and you faithful?
EUMENIDES: She of all women the most froward, and I of ... [III.4.60]
all creatures the most fond.
GERON: You doted then, not loved. For affection is grounded
on virtue and virtue is never peevish, or on beauty, and
beauty loveth to be praised.
EUMENIDES: Ay, but if all virtuous ladies should yield to all
that be loving, or all amiable gentlewomen entertain all that
be amorous, their virtues would be accounted vices and their
beauties deformities, for that love can be but between two,
and that not proceeding of him that is most faithful, but
most fortunate. ... [III.4.70]
GERON: I would you were so faithful that your tears might
make you fortunate.
EUMENIDES: Yea, father, if that my tears clear not this
fountain, then may you swear it is but a mere mockery.
GERON: So, 'faith, everyone yet that wept.
EUMENIDES: [Looking into the fountain.] Ah, I faint, I die!
Ah, sweet Semele, let me alone, and dissolve by weeping
GERON: [Aside.] This affection seemeth strange. If he see
nothing, without doubt this dissembling passeth, for nothing ... [III.4.80]
shall draw me from the belief.
EUMENIDES: Father, I plainly see the bottom, and there in
white marble engraven these words: 'Ask one for all, and
but one thing at all.'
GERON: O fortunate Eumenides (for so have I heard thee call
thyself), let me see. [He looks into the fountain.] I cannot
discern any such thing. I think thou dreamest.
EUMENIDES: Ah, father, thou art not a faithful lover and
therefore canst not behold it.
GERON: Then ask, that I may be satisfied by the event, ... [III.4.90]
and thyself blessed.
EUMENIDES: Ask? So I will. And what shall I do but ask, and
whom should I ask but Semele, the possessing of whose person
is a pleasure that cannot come within the compass of
comparison, whose golden locks seem most curious when they
seem most careless, whose sweet looks seem most alluring
when they are most chaste, and whose words the more
virtuous they are, the more amorous they be accounted. I
pray thee, Fortune, when I shall first meet with fair Semele,
dash my delight with some light disgrace lest embracing ... [III.4.100]
sweetness beyond measure, I take surfeit without a recure.
Let her practice her accustomed coyness, that I may diet
myself upon my desires; otherwise the fullness of my joys
will diminish the sweetness, and I shall perish by them before
I possess them.
Why do I trifle the time in words? The least minute being
spent in the getting of Semele is more worth than the whole
world; therefore let me ask. -- What now, Eumenides? whither
art thou drawn? Hast thou forgotten both friendship and
duty, care of Endymion and the commandment of Cynthia? ... [III.4.100]
Shall he die in a leaden sleep because thou sleepest in a golden
dream? -- Ay, let him sleep ever, so I slumber but one minute
with Semele. Love knoweth neither friendship nor kindred.
Shall I not hazard the loss of a friend, for the obtaining of
her for whom I would often lose myself? -- Fond Eumenides,
shall the enticing beauty of a most disdainful lady be of more
force than the rare fidelity of a tried friend? The love of men
to women is a thing common, and of course; the friendship of
man to man infinite, and immortal. -- Tush, Semele doth possess
my love. -- Ay, but Endymion hath deserved it. I will help ... [III.4.120]
Endymion; I found Endymion unspotted in his truth. -- Ay, but
I shall find Semele constant in her love. I will have Semele. --
What shall I do? Father, thy gray hairs are ambassadors of
experience. Which shall I ask?
GERON: Eumenides, release Endymion; for all things,
friendship excepted, are subject to fortune. Love is but an
eye-worm, which only tickleth the head with hopes and
wishes; friendship the image of eternity, in which there is
nothing movable, nothing mischievous. As much difference
as there is between beauty and virtue, bodies and shadows, ... [III.4.130]
colors and life, so great odds is there between love and
friendship. Love is a chameleon, which draweth nothing
into the mouth but air and nourisheth nothing in the body
but lungs. Believe me, Eumenides, desire dies in the same
moment that beauty sickens, and beauty fadeth in the same
instant that it flourisheth. When adversities flow, then
love ebbs, but friendship standeth stiffly in storms. Time
draweth wrinkles in a fair face but addeth fresh colors to a
fast friend, which neither heat, nor cold, nor misery, nor place,
place, nor destiny can alter or diminish. O friendship, ... [III.4.140]
of all things the most rare, and therefore most rare because
most excellent, whose comforts in misery is always sweet
and whose counsels in prosperity are ever fortunate! Vain
love, that only coming near to friendship in name, would
seem to be the same, or better, in nature!
EUMENIDES: Father, I allow your reasons and will therefore
conquer mine own. Virtue shall subdue affections, wisdom
lust, friendship beauty. Mistresses are in every place, and
as common as hares in Athos, bees in Hybla, fowls in the air;
but friends to be found are like the phoenix in Arabia, but ... [III.4.150]
one, or the philadelphi in Arays, never above two. I will have
Endymion. [He looks into the fountain again.] Sacred fountain,
in whose bowels are hidden divine secrets, I have increased
your waters with the tears of unspotted thoughts, and there-
fore let me receive the reward you promise. Endymion,
the truest friend to me, and faithfullest lover to Cynthia, is in
such a dead sleep that nothing can wake or move him.
GERON: Dost thou see anything?
EUMENIDES: I see in the same pillar these words: 'When
she, whose figure of all is the perfectest and never to be ... [III.4.160]
measured, always one yet never the same, still inconstant
yet never wavering, shall come and kiss Endymion in his
sleep, he shall then rise; else never.' This is strange.
GERON: What see you else?
ENDYMION: There cometh over mine eyes either a dark mist,
or upon the fountain a deep thickness, for I can perceive
nothing. But how am I deluded? Or what difficult, nay
impossible, thing is this?
GERON: Methinketh it easy.
EUMENIDES: Good father, and how? ... [III.4.170]
GERON: Is not a circle of all figures the perfectest?
GERON: And is not Cynthia of all circles the most absolute?
GERON: Is it not impossible to measure her, who still worketh
by her influence, never standing at one stay?
GERON: Is she not always Cynthia, yet seldom in the same
bigness, always wavering in her waxing or waning, that
our bodies might the better be governed, our seasons the ... [III.4.180]
daylier give their increase, yet never to be removed from
her course as long as the heavens continue theirs?
GERON: Then who can it be but Cynthia, whose virtues
being all divine, must needs bring things to pass that be
miraculous? Go humble thyself to Cynthia; tell her the
success, of which myself shall be a witness. And this assure
thyself: that she that sent to find means for his safety will
now work her cunning.
EUMENIDES: How fortunate am I, if Cynthia be she that ... [III.4.190]
may do it!
GERON: How fond art thou if you do not believe it!
EUMENIDES: I will hasten thither, that I may entreat on my
knees for succor, and embrace in mine arms my friend.
GERON: I will go with thee, for unto Cynthia must I discover
all my sorrows, who also must work in me a contentment.
EUMENIDES: May I now know the cause?
GERON: That shall be as we walk, and I doubt not but the
strangeness of my tale will take away the tediousness of our
journey. ... [III.4.200]
EUMENIDES: Let us go.
GERON: I follow. [Exeunt.]
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