|(Enter Sol, very richly attired, with a noise of musicians before him.)|
Summer: Aye, marry, here comes majesty in pomp,|
Resplendent Sol, chief planet of the heavens:
He is our servant, looks he ne'er so big.
Sol. My liege, what crav'st thou at thy vassal's hands?
Summer: Hypocrisy, how it can change his shape!
How base is pride from his own dunghill put!
How I have rais'd thee, Sol, I list not tell,
Out of the Ocean of adversity,
To sit in height of honour's glorious heaven;
To be the eye-sore of aspiring eyes,
To give the day her life from thy bright looks,
And let nought thrive upon the face of earth
From which thou shalt withdraw thy powerful smiles.
What hast thou done deserving such high grace?
What industry or meritorious toil
Canst thou produce, to prove my gift well placed?
Some service or some profit I expect:
None is promoted but for some respect.
Sol: My Lord, what needs these terms betwixt us two?
Upbraiding ill beseems your bounteous mind:
I do you honour for advancing me.
Why, t'is a credit for your excellence,
To have so great a subject as I am:
This is your glory and magnificence,
That, without stooping of your mightiness,
Or taking any whit from your high state,
You can make one as mighty as yourself.
Autumn: Oh arrogance exceeding all belief!
Summer, my Lord, this saucy upstart jack
That now doth rule the chariot of the Sun,
And makes all stars derive their light from him,
Is a most base insinuating slave,
The son of parsimony and disdain,
One that will shine on friends and foes alike,
That under brightest smiles hideth black showers,
Whose envious breath doth dry up springs and lakes,
And burns the grass, that beasts can get no food.
Winter: No dunghill hath so vile an excrement
But with his beams he will forthwith exhale.
The fens and quagmires tithe to him their filth:
Forth purest mines he sucks a gainful dross:
Green ivy-bushes at the vintners' doors
He withers, and devoureth all their sap.
Autumn: Lascivious and intemperate he is.
The wrong of Daphne is a well-known tale:
Each evening he descends to Thetis' lap
The while men think he bathes him in the sea.
O, but when he returneth whence he came
Down to the West, then dawns his deity,
Then doubled is the swelling of his looks!
He overloads his car with Orient gems
And reins his fiery horses with rich pearl:
He terms himself the god of poetry,
And setteth wanton songs unto the lute.
Winter: Let him not talk; for he hath words at will,
And wit to make the baddest matter good.
Summer: Bad words, bad wit : oh, where dwells faith or truth?
Ill usury my favours reap from thee,
Usurping Sol, the hate of heaven and earth.
Sol. If Envy unconfuted may accuse,
Then Innocence must uncondemned die.
The name of martyrdom offence hath gained,
When fury stopped a froward Judge's ears.
Much I'll not say (much speech much folly shows);
What I have done, you gave me leave to do.
The excrements you bred, whereon I feed,
To rid the earth of their contagious fumes:
With such gross carriage did I loade my beams:
I burnt no grass, I dried no springs and lakes,
I sucked no mines, I withered no green boughs
But when, to ripen harvest, I was forced
To make my rays more fervent than I wont.
For Daphne's wrongs, and scapes in Thetis' lap -
All Gods are subject to the like mishap.
Stars daily fall (t'is use is all in all)
And men account the fall but nature's course:
Vaunting my jewels, hasting to the West,
Or rising early from the grey-eyed morn,
What do I vaunt but your large bountihood,
And show how liberal a lord I serve?
Music and poetry, my two last crimes,
Are those two exercises of delight
Wherewith long labours I do weary out.
The dying swan is not forbid to sing:
The waves of Heber played on Orpheus' strings
When he (sweet music's trophy) was destroyed.
And as for Poetry, wood's eloquence,
(Dead Phaeton's three sisters' funeral tears
That by the gods were to electrum turned,)
Not flint, or rocks of icy cinders framed,
Deny the source of silver-falling streams.
Envy envieth not outcry's unrest:
In vain I plead ; well is to me a fault,
And these my words seem the slight web of art,
And not to have the taste of sounder truth.
Let none but fools be cared for of the wise;
Knowledge's own children knowledge most despise.
Summer: Thou know'st too much to know to keep the mean.
He that sees all things oft sees not himself.
The Thames is witness of thy tyranny,
Whose waves thou hast exhaust for winter showers.
The naked channel 'plains her of thy spite
That laid'st her entrails into open sight.
Unprofitably borne to man and beast,
Which like to Nilus yet doth hide his head,
Some few years since thou let'st o'erflow these walks,
And in the horse-race headlong ran at race,
While in a cloud thou hid'st thy burning face.
Winter?:Where was thy care to rid 'contagious filth'
When some men (wetshod) with his waters drooped?
Others, that ate the eels his heat cast up
Sickened and died, by them empoisonéd.
Sleep'st thou, or keep'st thou then Admetus' sheep,
Thou driv'st not back these flowings to the deep?
Sol: The winds, not I, have floods and tides in chase:
Diana, whom our fables call the moon,
Only commandeth o'er the raging main;
She leads his wallowing offspring up and down.
She waning, all streams ebb, (as)in the year
She was eclipsed, when that the Thames was bare.
Summer: A bare conjecture, builded on perhaps:
In laying thus the blame upon the moon,
Thou imitat'st subtle Pythagoras,
Who, what he would the people should believe,
The same he wrote with blood upon a glass
And turned it opposite 'gainst the new moon;
Whose beams, reflecting on it with full force,
Showed all those lines, to them that stood behind,
Most plainly writ in circle of the moon.
And then he said, 'Not I, but the new moon,
Fair Cynthia, persuades you this and that'.
With like collusion shalt thou not blind me:
But for abusing both the moon and me,
Long shalt thou be eclipséd by the moon,
And long in darknesse live, and see no light.
Away with him, his doom hath no reverse.
Sol: What is eclipsed will one day shine again:
Though Winter frowns, the Spring will ease my pain.
Time from the brow doth wipe out every stain.
Will Summer: I think the Sun is not so long in passing through the twelve signs as the son of a fool hath been disputing here about had-I-wist. Out of doubt the poet is bribed by some that have a mess of cream to eat before my Lord go to bed yet, to hold him half the night with riff-raff-of-the-rumming-of-Elinor - if I can tell what it means, pray god I may never get breakfast more when I am hungry. Troth, I am of opinion he is one of those hieroglyphical writers, that by the figures of beasts, planets and stones express the mind, as we do in ABC. Or one that writes under hair, as I have heard of a certain notary, Histiaeus, who following Darius in the Persian wars and desirous to disclose some secrets of import to his friend Aristagoras, that dwelt afar off, found out this means. He had a servant that had been long sick of a pain in his eyes whom, under pretence of curing his malady, he shaved from one side of his head to the other; and with a soft pencil wrote on his scalp (as on parchment) the discourse of his business, the fellow all the while imagining his master had done nothing but 'noint his head with a feather. After this he kept him secretly in his tent till his hair was somewhat grown, and then willed him to go to Aristagoras into the country and bid him shave him, as he had done, and he should have perfect remedy. He did so: Aristagoras shaved him with his own hands, read his friend's letter, and when he had done washed it out, that no man should perceive it else, and sent him home to buy a nightcap. If I wist there were any such knavery, or Peter Bales' Brachigraphy, under Sol's bushy hair, I would have a barber, mine host of the Murrion's Head, to be his interpreter, who would whet his razor in his Richmond cap and give him the terrible cut, like himself, but he would come as near as a quart pot to the construction of it. To be sententious, not superfluous, Sol should have been beholding to the barber and not the beard-master. Is it pride that is shadowed under this two-legged sun, that never came nearer heaven than Dubba's Hill? That pride is not my sin, Sloven's Hall where I was born be my record! As for covetousness, intemperance and exaction - I meet with nothing in a whole year but a cup of wine, for such vices to be conversant in. Pergite porro, my good children, and multiply the sins of your absurdities till you come the full measure of the grand hiss; and you shall hear how we shall purge rheum with censuring your imperfections.