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 ~~~.


Scene IV.1
[Enter Tellus.]

TELLUS: I marvel Corsites giveth me so much liberty, all the
world knowing his charge to be so high and his nature to be
most strange, who hath so ill entreated ladies of great honor
that he hath not suffered them to look out of windows, much
less to walk abroad. It may be he is in love with me, for,
Endymion, hardhearted Endymion excepted, what is he
that is not enamored of my beauty? But what respectest thou
the love of all the world? Endymion hates thee. Alas, poor
Endymion, my malice hath exceeded my love, and thy faith
to Cynthia quenched my affections. Quenched, Tellus? Nay, ... [IV.1.10]
kindled them afresh, insomuch that I find scorching flames
for dead embers, and cruel encounters of war in my thoughts
instead of sweet parleys. Ah, that I might once again see
Endymion! Accursed girl, what hope hast thou to see
Endymion, on whose head already are grown gray hairs,
and whose life must yield to nature before Cynthia end her
displeasure? Wicked Dipsas, and most devilish Tellus, the one
for cunning too exquisite, the other for hate too intolerable!
Thou wast commanded to weave the stories and poetries
wherein were showed both examples and punishments of ... [IV.1.20]
tattling tongues, and thou hast only embroidered the sweet
face of Endymion, devices of love, melancholy imaginations,
and what not out of thy work, that thou shouldst study to
pick out of thy mind. But here cometh Corsites. I must seem
yielding and stout, full of mildness yet tempered with a
majesty. For if I be too flexible, I shall give him more hope
than I mean; if too froward, enjoy less liberty than I would.
Love him I cannot, and therefore will practice that which
is most contrary to our sex, to dissemble. [Enter Corsites.]

CORSITES: Fair Tellus, I perceive you rise with the lark, ... [IV.1.30]
and to yourself sing with the nightingale.

TELLUS: My lord, I have no playfellow but fancy. Being
barred of all company, I must question with myself and
make my thoughts my friends.

CORSITES: I would you would account my thoughts also your
friends, for they be such as are only busied in wondering at
your beauty and wisdom, and some such as have esteemed
your fortune too hard, and divers of that kind that offer to set
you free if you will set them free.

TELLUS: There are no colors so contrary as white and black, ... [IV.1.40]
nor elements so disagreeing as fire and water, nor anything
so opposite as men's thoughts and their words.

CORSITES: He that gave Cassandra the gift of prophesying,
with the curse that, spake she never so true, she should never
be believed, hath I think, poisoned the fortune of men, that,
uttering the extremities of their inward passions, are always
suspected of outward perjuries.

TELLUS: Well, Corsites, I will flatter myself and believe you.
What would you do to enjoy my love?

CORSITES: Set all the ladies of the castle free and make you ... [IV.1.50]
the pleasure of my life. More I cannot do; less I will not.

TELLUS: These be great words, and fit your calling, for
captains must promise things impossible. But will you do one
thing for all?

CORSITES: Anything, sweet Tellus, that am ready for all.

TELLUS: You know that on the lunary bank sleepeth

CORSITES: I know it.

TELLUS: If you will remove him from that place by force and
convey him into some obscure cave by policy, I give you ... [IV.1.60]
here the faith of an unspotted virgin that you only shall
possess me as a lover and, in spite of malice, have me for a

CORSITES: Remove him, Tellus? Yes Tellus, he shall be
removed, and that so soon as thou shalt as much commend
my diligence as my force. I go. [He starts to leave.]

TELLUS: Stay. Will yourself attempt it?

CORSITES: Ay, Tellus. As I would have none partaker of my
sweet love, so shall none be partners of my labors. But I pray
thee go at your best leisure, for Cynthia beginneth to rise, ... [IV.1.70]
and if she discover our love we both perish, for nothing
pleaseth her but the fairness of virginity. All things must
be not only without lust but without suspicion of lightness.

TELLUS: I will depart, and go you to Endymion.

CORSITES: I fly, Tellus, being of all men the most fortunate. [Exit.]

TELLUS: Simple Corsites! I have set thee about a task, being
but a man, that the gods themselves cannot perform. For little
dost thou know how heavy his head lies, how hard his fortune.
But such shifts must women have to deceive men, and, under
color of things easy, entreat that which is impossible. ... [IV.1.80]
Otherwise we should be cumbered with importunities, oaths,
sighs, letters, and all implements of love, which to one
resolved to the contrary, are most loathsome. I will in and
laugh with the other ladies at Corsites' sweating. [Exit.]

Scene IV.2
[Enter Samias and Dares.]

SAMIAS: Will thy master never awake?

DARES: No, I think he sleeps for a wager. But how shall we
spend the time? Sir Tophas is so far in love that he pineth
in his bed and cometh not abroad.

SAMIAS: But here cometh Epi, in a pelting chafe.
[Enter Epiton.]

EPITON: A pox of all false proverbs! And, were a proverb a
page, I would have him by the ears.

SAMIAS: Why art thou angry?

EPITON: Why? You know it is said, the tide tarrieth no man.

SAMIAS: True. ... [IV.2.10]

EPITON: A monstrous lie; for I was tied two hours, and
tarried for one to unloose me.

DARES: Alas, poor Epi!

EPITON: Poor? No, no, you base-conceited slaves, I am a
most complete gentleman, although I be in disgrace with
Sir Tophas.

DARES: Art thou out with him?

EPITON: Ay, because I cannot get him a lodging with
Endymion. He would fain take a nap for forty or fifty years.

DARES: A short sleep, considering our long life. ... [IV.2.20]

SAMIAS: Is he still in love?

EPITON: In love? Why, he doth nothing but make sonnets.

SAMIAS: Canst thou remember any one of his poems?

EPITON: Ay, this is one:
The beggar Love that knows not where to lodge,
At last within my heart when I slept,
He crept.
I waked, and so my fancies began to fodge.

SAMIAS: That's a very long verse.

EPITON: Why, the other was short. The first is called from ... [IV.2.30]
the thumb to the little finger, the second from the little
finger to the elbow, and some he hath made to reach to the
crown of his head and down again to the sole of his foot. It is
set to the tune of the Black Saunce, ratio est, because Dipsas
is a black saint.

DARES: Very wisely. But pray thee, Epi, how art thou
complete? And, being from thy master, what occupation
wilt thou take?

EPITON: Know my hearts, I am an absolute microcosmos, a
petty world of myself. My library is my head, for I have no ... [IV.2.40]
other books but my brains; my wardrobe on my back, for I
have no more apparel than is on my body; my armory at
my fingers' ends, for I use no other artillery than my nails;
my treasure in my purse. Sic omnia mea mecum porto.

DARES: Good.

EPITON: Now, sirs, my palace is paved with grass and tiled
with stars, for caelo tegitur qui non habet urnam: he that
hath no house must lie in the yard.

SAMIAS: A brave resolution. But how wilt thou spend thy
time? ... [IV.2.50]

EPITON: Not in any melancholy sort. For mine exercise I will
walk horses.

DARES: Too bad.

EPITON: Why, is it not said: 'It is good walking when one
hath his horse in his hand?'

SAMIAS: Worse and worse. But how wilt thou live?

EPITON: By angling. O, 'tis a stately occupation to stand
four hours in a cold morning and to have his nose bitten with
frost before his bait be mumbled with a fish.

DARES: A rare attempt. But wilt thou never travel? ... [IV.2.60]

EPITON: Yes, in a western barge, when, with a good wind
and lusty pugs, one may go ten miles in two days.

SAMIAS: Thou art excellent at thy choice. But what pastime
wilt thou use? None?

EPITON: Yes, the quickest of all.

SAMIAS: What, dice?

EPITON: No. When I am in haste, one-and-twenty games at
chess, to pass a few minutes.

DARES: A life for a little lord, and full of quickness.

EPITON: Tush, let me alone. But I must needs see if I can find ... [IV.2.70]
where Endymion lieth, and then go to a certain fountain
hard by, where they say faithful lovers shall have all things
they will ask. If I can find out any of these, ego et magister
meus erimus in tuto, I and my master shall be friends. He is
resolved to weep some three or four pailfuls to avoid the
rheum of love that wambleth in his stomach.
[Enter two Watchmen and the Constable.]

SAMIAS: Shall we never see thy master, Dares?

DARES: Yes, let us go now, for tomorrow Cynthia will be there.

EPITON: I will go with you. But how shall we see for the watch?

SAMIAS: Tush, let me alone. I'll begin to them. Masters, God ... [IV.2.80]
speed you.

1 WATCHMAN: Sir boy, we are all sped already.

EPITON: [Aside, to Samias and Dares.] So methinks, for they
smell all of drink like a beggar's beard.

DARES: But I pray, sirs, may we see Endymion?

2 WATCHMAN: No, we are commanded in Cynthia's name
that no man shall see him.

SAMIAS: No man? Why, we are but boys.

1 WATCHMAN: [To his fellow Watchmen.] Mass, neighbors,
he says true. For if I swear I will never drink my liquor by ... [IV.2.90]
the quart, and yet call for two pints, I think with a safe
conscience I may carouse both.

DARES: [Aside to Samias and Epiton.] Pithily, and to the

2 WATCHMAN: [To his fellow Watchmen.] Tush, tush,
neighbors, take me with you.

SAMIAS: [Aside to Dares and Epiton.] This will grow hot.

DARES: [Aside to Samias and Epiton.] Let them alone.

2 WATCHMAN: [To his fellow Watchmen.] If I say to my
wife, 'Wife, I will have no raisins in my pudding', she puts ... [IV.2.100]
in currants. Small raisins are raisins, and boys are men.
Even as my wife should have put no raisins in my pudding,
so shall there no boys see Endymion.

DARES: [Aside.] Learnedly.

EPITON: Let Master Constable speak; I think he is the wisest
among you.

CONSTABLE: You know, neighbors, 'tis an old-said saw,
'Children and fools speak true.'

ALL: True.

CONSTABLE: Well, there you see the men be the fools, ... [IV.2.110]
because it is provided from the children.

DARES: Good.

CONSTABLE: Then say I, neighbors, that children must not
see Endymion, because children and fools speak true.

EPITON: O, wicked application!

SAMIAS: Scurvily brought about.

1 WATCHMAN: Nay, he says true; and therefore till
Cynthia have been here, he shall not be uncovered.
Therefore away.

DARES: [Aside to Samias and Epiton.] A watch, quoth you? ... [IV.2.120]
A man may watch seven years for a wise word and yet go
without it. Their wits are all as rusty as their bills. --
But come on, Master Constable, shall we have a song before
we go?

CONSTABLE: With all my heart.

WATCHMEN: Stand, who goes there?
We charge you appear
'Fore our constable here.
In the name of the Man in the Moon, ... [IV.2.130]
To us billmen relate
Why you stagger so late,
And how you come drunk so soon.

PAGES: What are ye, scabs?

WATCHMEN: ~~~ The Watch.
This is the Constable.

PAGES: ~~~ A patch.

CONSTABLE: Knock 'em down unless they all stand.
If any run away,
'Tis the old watchman's play
To reach him a bill of his hand. ... [IV.2.140]

PAGES: O gentlemen, hold.
Your gowns freeze with cold,
And your rotten teeth dance in your head.

EPITON: Wine nothing shall cost ye,

SAMIAS: Nor huge fires to roast ye.

DARES: Then soberly let us be led.

CONSTABLE: Come, my brown bills, we'll roar,
Bounce loud at tavern door,

ALL: And i'th'morning steal all to bed. [Exeunt.]

Scene IV.3
[Enter Corsites. Endymion lies asleep on the lunary bank.]

CORSITES: I am come in sight of the lunary bank. Without
doubt Tellus doteth upon me; and cunningly, that I might
not perceive her love, she hath set me to a task that is done
before it is begun. Endymion, you must change your pillow,
and if you be not weary of sleep, I will carry you where at
ease you shall sleep your fill. It were good that without more
ceremonies I took him, lest being espied, I be entrapped and
so incur the displeasure of Cynthia, who commonly setteth
watch that Endymion have no wrong. [He tries to lift Endymion.]
What now, is your mastership so heavy? Or are you nailed ... [IV.3.10]
to the ground? Not stir one whit? -- Then use all thy force,
though he feel it and wake. -- What, stone still? Turned, I
think, to earth, with lying so long on the earth. Didst not
thou, Corsites, before Cynthia pull up a tree that forty years
was fastened with roots and wreathed in knots to the ground?
Didst not thou with main force pull upon the iron gates
which no ram or engine could move? Have my weak
thoughts made brawn-fallen my strong arms? Or is it the
nature of love or the quintessence of the mind to breed
numbness, or litherness, or I know not what languishing in ... [IV.3.20]
my joints and sinews, being but the base strings of my body?
Or doth the remembrance of Tellus so refine my spirits into a
matter so subtle and divine that the other fleshy parts cannot
work whilst they muse? Rest thyself, rest thyself; nay, rend
thyself in pieces, Corsites, and strive, in spite of love, fortune,
and nature, to lift up this dulled body, heavier than dead and
more senseless than death. [Enter Fairies.] But what are these
so fair fiends that cause my hairs to stand upright and spirits
to fall down? Hags -- out, alas! Nymphs, I crave pardon. Ay
me, out! What do I here ... [IV.3.30]
[The Fairies dance, and with a song pinch him, and he falleth asleep.]


ALL: Pinch him, pinch him, black and blue.
Saucy mortals must not view
What the Queen of Stars is doing,
Nor pry into our Fairy wooing.

1 FAIRY: Pinch him blue

2 FAIRY: And pinch him black.

3 FAIRY: Let him not lack
Sharp nails to pinch him blue and red,
Till sleep has rocked his addle-head. ... [IV.3.40]

4 FAIRY: For the trespass he hath done,
Spots o'er all his flesh shall run.
Kiss Endymion, kiss his eyes;
Then to our midnight hay-de-guise.
[They kiss Endymion and Depart, leaving him and Corsites asleep.
Enter Cynthia, Floscula, Semele, Panelion, Zontes, Pythagoras, and Gyptes.

CYNTHIA: You see, Pythagoras, what ridiculous opinions
you hold, and I doubt not but you are now of another mind.

PYTHAGORAS: Madam, I plainly perceive that the perfection
of your brightness hath pierced through the thickness that
covered my mind, insomuch that I am no less glad to be
reformed than ashamed to remember my grossness. ... [IV.3.50]

GYPTES: They are thrice fortunate that live in your palace,
where truth is not in colors but life, virtues not in imagination
but execution.

CYNTHIA: I have always studied to have rather living virtues
than painted gods, the body of truth than the tomb. But let us
walk to Endymion, it may be it lieth in your arts to deliver
him. As for Eumenides, I fear he is dead.

PYTHAGORAS: I have alleged all the natural reasons I can
for such a long sleep.

GYPTES: I can do nothing till I see him. ... [IV.3.60]

CYNTHIA: Come, Floscula, I am sure you are glad that you
shall behold Endymion.

FLOSCULA: I were blessed if I might have him recovered.

CYNTHIA: Are you in love with his person?

FLOSCULA: No, but with his virtue.

CYNTHIA: What say you, Semele?

SEMELE: Madam, I dare say nothing for fear I offend.

CYNTHIA: Belike you cannot speak except you be spiteful.
But as good be silent as saucy. Panelion, what punishment
were fit for Semele, in whose speech and thoughts is only ... [IV.3.70]
contempt and sourness?

PANELION: I love not, madam, to give any judgment. Yet sith
your Highness commandeth: I think, to commit her tongue
close prisoner to her mouth.

CYNTHIA: Agreed. Semele, if thou speak this twelve-month,
thou shalt forfeit thy tongue. -- Behold Endymion. Alas,
poor gentleman, hast thou spent thy youth in sleep, that once
vowed all to my service? Hollow eyes? Grey hairs? Wrinkled
cheeks? And decayed limbs? Is it destiny or deceit that hath
bought this to pass? If the first, who could prevent thy ... [IV.3.80]
wretched stars? If the latter, I would I might know thy cruel
enemy. I favored thee, Endymion, for thy honor, thy virtues,
thy affections; but to bring thy thoughts within the compass of
thy fortunes, I have seemed strange, that I might have thee
stayed. And now are thy days ended before my favor begin.
But whom have we here? Is it not Corsites?

ZONTES: It is, but more like a leopard than a man.

CYNTHIA: Awake him. [Corsites is awakened.] How now,
Corsites, what make you here? How came you deformed? Look
on thy hands, and then thou seest the picture of thy face. ... [IV.3.80]

CORSITES: Miserable wretch, and accursed! How am I
deluded? Madam, I ask pardon for my offense, and you see
my fortune deserveth pity.

CYNTHIA: Speak on. Thy offense cannot deserve greater
punishment; but see thou rehearse the truth, else shalt
thou not find me as thou wishest me.

CORSITES: Madam, as it is no offense to be in love, being a man
mortal, so I hope can it be no shame to tell with whom, my
lady being heavenly. Your Majesty committed to my charge
the fair Tellus, whose beauty in the same moment took my ... [IV.3.100]
heart captive that I undertook to carry her body prisoner.
Since that time have I found such combats in my thoughts
between love and duty, reverence and affection, that I could
neither endure the conflict nor hope for the conquest.

CYNTHIA: In love? A thing far unfitting the name of a
captain and, as I thought, the tough and unsmoothed nature
of Corsites. But forth.

CORSITES: Feeling this continual war, I thought rather by
parley to yield than by certain danger to perish. I unfolded to
Tellus the depth of my affections and framed my tongue to ... [IV.3.110]
utter a sweet tale of love, that was wont to sound nothing but
threats of war. She, too fair to be true and too false for one so
fair, after a nice denial practiced a notable deceit, commanding
me to remove Endymion from this cabin and carry him to some
dark cave, which I, seeking to accomplish, found impossible,
and so by fairies or fiends have been thus handled.

CYNTHIA: How say you, my lords, is not Tellus always
practicing of some deceits?-- In sooth, Corsites, thy face is now
too foul for a lover and thine heart too fond for a soldier.
You may see, when warriors become wantons, how their ... [IV.3.120]
manners alter with their faces. Is it not a shame, Corsites,
that, having lived so long in Mars his camp, thou shouldst
now be rocked in Venus' cradle? Dost thou wear Cupid's quiver
at thy girdle, and make lances of looks? Well Corsites, rouse
thyself and be as thou hast been, and let Tellus, who is made
all of love, melt herself in her own looseness.

CORSITES: Madam, I doubt not but to recover my former
state, for Tellus' beauty never wrought such love in my
mind as now her deceit hath despite; and yet to be revenged
of a woman were a thing than love itself more womanish. ... [IV.3.130]

GYPTES: These spots, gentleman, are to be worn out if you
rub them over with this lunary, so that in place where you
received this maim you shall find a medicine.

CORSITES: I thank you for that. The gods bless me from love
and these pretty ladies that haunt this green!

FLOSCULA: Corsites, I would Tellus saw your amiable face.
[Corsites rubs out his spots with lunary from the bank.
Semele laughs

ZONTES: How spitefully Semele laugheth, that dare not

CYNTHIA: Could you not stir Endymion with that doubled
strength of yours? ... [IV.3.140]

CORSITES: Not so much as his finger with all my force.

CYNTHIA: Pythagoras and Gyptes, what think you of
Endymion? What reason is to be given, what remedy?

PYTHAGORAS: Madam, it is impossible to yield reason for
things that happen not in compass of nature. It is most
certain that some strange enchantment hath bound all
his senses.

CYNTHIA: What say you, Gyptes?

GYPTES: With Pythagoras, that it is enchantment, and
that so strange that no art can undo it, for that heaviness ... [IV.3.150]
argueth a malice unremovable in the enchantress, and that
no power can end it till she die that did it, or the heavens
show some means more than miraculous.

FLOSCULA: O Endymion, could spite itself devise a mischief
so monstrous as to make thee dead with life, and living being
altogether dead? Where others number their years, their
hours, their minutes, and step to age by stairs, thou only
hast thy years and times in a cluster, being old before thou
rememberest thou wast young.

CYNTHIA: No more, Floscula; pity doth him no good. I would ... [IV.3.160]
anything else might, and I vow by the unspotted honor of a
lady he should not miss it. But is this all, Gyptes, that is to
be done?

GYPTES: All as yet. It may be that either the enchantress
shall die or else be discovered. If either happen, I will then
practice the utmost of my art. In the mean season, about this
grove would I have a watch, and the first living thing that
toucheth Endymion to be taken.

CYNTHIA: Corsites, what say you: will you undertake this?

CORSITES: Good madam, pardon me; I was overtaken too ... [IV.3.170]
late. I should rather break into the midst of a main battle
than again fall into the hands of those fair babies.

CYNTHIA: Well, I will provide others. Pythagoras and Gyptes,
you shall yet remain in my court till I hear what may be
done in this matter.

PYTHAGORAS: We attend.

CYNTHIA: Let us go in. [Exeunt. Endymion continues asleep
on his lunary bank, near a tree, but perhaps curtained off during
the entr'acte music.

Go to Endimion Act 5

Go Back to Endimion Act 1

Go Back to Endimion Act 2

Go Back to Endimion Act 3

Go to Endimion Glossary & Appendices

Go Back to Elizabethan Authors HOME PAGE

The Elizabethan Authors website is a collaborative effort by Robert Brazil & Barboura Flues
All Rights Reserved. All site contents Copyright © 2002 B. Flues and
Webmaster contact: