VERTUMNUS

And why 'Vertumnus'? Because, as the first extract indicates, in classical terms Vertumnus was the god of change, the god of the seasons. But my Latin dictionary also has a quote from Horace's satires: "Vertumnus natus iniquis, i.e. of a fickle character". If Vertumnus were meant as a satirical portrait of Sir Henry Killigrew, this might refer to his habitiual discretion, and especially to his canny avoidance of total commitment to either the Essex or Cecil faction.

At any rate, as the few extracts below show, Vertumnus cuts a diligent but faintly absurd figure as he bustles to do Summer's bidding. He tuts that naughty Ver must be docked in pay, solemnly calls Solstitium, trills a little song as he fetches Sol, is put sharply in his place by dashing Orion, nags young Back-winter to stand up straight and lift up his head - and above all, he is teased for being 'Harry Baker'.

Summer: Vertumnus then, that turnst the yere about,
Summon them one by one to answere me;
...
Vertum. I will, my Lord. Ver, lusty Ver, by the name of lusty Ver, come into the court! lose a marke in issues.



Summer. Vertumnus call Solstitium.
Vertum. Solstitium, come into the court.
[Without.] Peace there below! make roome for master Solstitium.


Summer. Vertumnus, will Sol come before us?
Vertum. Sol, Sol, vt, re, me, fa, sol,
         Come to church while the bell toll.


Summer. Vertumnus, call Orion
Vertum.             Orion, Vrion, Arion;
                    My Lord thou must looke vpon:
Orion, gentleman dogge-keeper, huntsman, come into the court: looke you bring all hounds, and no bandogges. Peace there, that we may heare their hornes blow.

Enter Orion like a hunter, with a horne about his necke, all his men after the same sort hallowing and blowing their hornes. l

Orion. Sirra, wast thou that cal'd vs from our game?
How durst thou (being but a pettie God)
Disturbe me in the entrance of my sports?

Summer. 'Twas I, Orion,, caus'd thee to be calde.

Orion.
'Tis I, dread Lord, that humbly will obey...