Elizabethan Authors – Endimion by Lyly – Act 1

Works of John Lyly
Endimion – The Man in the Moone,1591

Endimion by Lyly – Act 1

Dramatis Personae
Endymion, a young man
Samias, his page
Eumenides, friend of Endymion
Dares, his page
Cynthia, the Moon-Queen
Floscula, her servant
Ladies-in-waiting at Cynthia’s Court:
Tellus, spurned by Endymion
Attendants at Cynthia’s Court
Pythagoras, a Greek philosopher
Gyptes, an Egyptian soothsayer
Lords at Cynthia’s court
Panelion, Zontes
Sir Tophas, a braggart
Epiton, his page
Dipsas, an aged sorceress
Bagoa, a sorceress, assistant to Dipsas
Geron, a wise old man, estranged husband of Dipsas
Servant girls
Scintilla, Favilla
Three ladies and an ancient man, in a dumb show
Corsites, a captain
Two Watchmen and a Constable
Four Fairies
Scene: At or near the Court of Cynthia
[The date alluded to on the title page (above) is February 2, 1588]

Appendix I
Latin Translations
Allegory, Political Meaning
Suggested Reading
Appendix II: Connections
Appendix III: Vocabulary, Word Formation
Most high and happy princess,
we must tell you a tale of the Man in the Moon,
which if it seem ridiculous for the method,
or superfluous for the matter, or for the means incredible,
for three faults we can make but one excuse:
it is a tale of the Man in the Moon.

It was forbidden in old time to dispute of chimaera,
because it was a fiction. We hope in our times
none will apply pastimes, because they are fancies;
for there liveth none under the sun
that knows what to make of the Man in the Moon.
We present neither comedy, nor tragedy,
nor story, nor anything, but …
that whosoever heareth may say this:
‘Why, here is a tale of the Man in the Moon’.

Scene I. 1
[Enter Endymion and Eumenides.]

ENDYMION: I find, Eumenides, in all things both variety to
content and satiety to glut, saving only in my affections,
which are so stayed, and withal so stately, that I can
neither satisfy my heart with love nor mine eyes with
wonder. My thoughts, Eumenides, are stitched to the
stars, which being as high as I can see, thou may’st
imagine how much higher they are than I can reach.

EUMENIDES: If you be enamored of anything above the
moon, your thoughts are ridiculous; for that things immortal
are not subject to affections. If allured or enchanted with … [I.1.10]
these transitory things under the moon, you show yourself
yourself senseless to attribute such lofty titles to such low

ENDYMION: My love is placed neither under the moon nor

EUMENIDES: I hope you be not sotted upon the Man in the

ENDYMION: No, but settled either to die or possess the moon

EUMENIDES: Is Endymion mad, or do I mistake? Do you love … [I.1.20]
the moon, Endymion?

ENDYMION: Eumenides, the moon.

EUMENIDES: There was never any so peevish to imagine
the moon either capable of affection or shape of a mistress;
for as impossible it is to make love fit to her humor, which
no man knoweth, as a coat to her form, which continueth
not in one bigness whilst she is measuring. Cease off,
Endymion, to feed so much upon fancies. That melancholy
blood must be purged which draweth you to a dotage no less
miserable than monstrous. … [I.1.30]

ENDYMION: My thoughts have no veins, and yet, unless
they be let blood, I shall perish.

EUMENIDES: But they have vanities which, being
reformed, you may be restored.

ENDYMION: O fair Cynthia, why do others term thee
unconstant whom I have ever found unmovable?
Injurious time, corrupt manners, unkind men, who,
finding a constancy not to be matched in my sweet
mistress, have christened her with the name of wavering,
waxing, and waning! Is she inconstant that keepeth a … [I.1.40]
settled course, which since her first creation altereth not
one minute in her moving? There is nothing thought more
admirable or commendable in the sea than the ebbing and
flowing; and shall the moon, from whom the sea taketh
this virtue, be accounted fickle for increasing and
decreasing? Flowers in their buds are nothing worth till
they be blown, nor blossoms accounted till they be ripe fruit;
and shall we then say they be changeable for that they
grow from seeds to leaves, from leaves to buds, from buds
to their perfection? Then why be not twigs that become … [I.1.50]
trees, children that become men, and mornings that grow
to evenings termed wavering, for that they continue not
at one stay? Ay, but Cynthia, being in her fullness,
decayeth, as not delighting in her greatest beauty, or
withering when she should be most honored. When malice
cannot object anything, folly will, making that a vice
which is the greatest virtue. What thing (my mistress
excepted) being in the pride of her beauty and latter
minute of her age, that waxeth young again? Tell me,
Eumenides, what is he that, having a mistress of ripe … [I.1.60]
years and infinite virtues, great honors and unspeakable
beauty; but would wish that she might grow tender
again, getting youth by years and never-decaying
beauty by time, whose fair face neither the summer’s
blaze can scorch nor winter’s blast chap, nor the numbering
of years breed altering of colors? Such is my sweet Cynthia,
whom time cannot touch because she is divine nor will
offend because she is delicate. O Cynthia, if thou shouldst
always continue at thy fullness, both gods and men would
conspire to ravish thee. But thou, to abate the pride of our … [I.1.70]
affections, dost detract from thy perfections, thinking it
sufficient if once in a month we enjoy a glimpse of thy
majesty; and then, to increase our griefs, thou dost decrease
thy gleams, coming out of thy royal robes, wherewith thou
dazzlest our eyes down into thy swath clouts, beguiling
our eyes. And then —

EUMENIDES: Stay there, Endymion. Thou that committest
idolatry wilt straight blaspheme if thou be suffered. Sleep
would do thee more good than speech. The moon heareth
thee not; or if she do, regardeth thee not. [I.1.80]

ENDYMION: Vain Eumenides, whose thoughts never grow
higher than the crown of thy head! Why troublest thou
me, having neither head to conceive the cause of my love
or a heart to receive the impressions? Follow thou thine
own fortunes, which creep upon the earth, and suffer me
to fly to mine, whose fall, though it be desperate, yet shall
it come by daring. Farewell. [Exit.]

EUMENIDES: Without doubt Endymion is bewitched;
otherwise in a man of such rare virtues there could not
harbor a mind of such extreme madness. I will follow him,
lest in this fancy of the moon he deprive himself of the sight
of the sun. [Exit.]

Scene I. 2
[Enter Tellus and Floscula.]

TELLUS: Treacherous and most perjured Endymion, is
Cynthia the sweetness of thy life and the bitterness of my
death? What revenge may be devised so full of shame as my
thoughts are replenished with malice? Tell me, Floscula, if
falseness in love can possibly be punished with extremity of
hate. As long as sword, fire or poison may be hired, no traitor
to my love shall live unrevenged. Were thy oaths without
number, thy kisses without measure, thy sighs without end,
forged to deceive a poor credulous virgin whose simplicity had
been worth thy favor and better fortune? If the gods sit … [I.2.10]
unequal beholders of injuries or laughers at lovers’ deceits,
then let mischief be as well forgiven in women as perjury
winked at in men.

FLOSCULA: Madam, if you would compare the state of
Cynthia with your own, and the height of Endymion his
thoughts with the meanness of your fortune, you would rather
rather yield than contend, being between you and her no com-
parison, and rather wonder than rage at the greatness of his
mind, being affected with a thing more than mortal.

TELLUS: No comparison, Floscula? And why so? Is not my … [I.2.20]
beauty divine, whose body is decked with fair flowers, and
veins are vines, yielding sweet liquor to the dullest spirits,
Whose ears are corn to bring strength, and whose hairs are
grass to bring abundance? Doth not frankincense and
myrrh breathe out of my nostrils, and all the sacrifice of
the gods breed in my bowels? Infinite are my creatures,
without which neither thou nor Endymion nor any could
love or live.

FLOSCULA: But know you not, fair lady, that Cynthia
governeth all things? Your grapes would be but dry husks, … [I.2.30]
your corn but chaff, and all your virtues vain were it not
Cynthia that preserveth the one in the bud and nourisheth
the other in the blade, and by her influence both comforteth
all things and by her authority commandeth all creatures.
Suffer then Endymion to follow his affections, though to
obtain her be impossible, and let him flatter himself in his
own imaginations, because they are immortal.

TELLUS: Loath I am, Endymion, that thou shouldst die,
because I love thee well, and that thou shouldst live it
grieveth me, because thou lovest Cynthia too well. In these … [I.2.40]
extremities what shall I do? Floscula, no more words. I am
resolved: he shall neither live nor die.

FLOSCULA: A strange practice, if it be possible.

TELLUS: Yes. I will entangle him in such a sweet net that
he shall neither find the means to come out nor desire it.
All allurements of pleasure will I cast before his eyes,
insomuch that he shall slake that love which he now
voweth to Cynthia and burn in mine, of which he seemeth
careless. In this languishing between my amorous
devices and his own loose desires, there shall such dissolute … [I.2.50]
thoughts take root in his head, and over his heart grow so
thick a skin, that neither hope of preferment nor fear of
punishment, nor counsel of the wisest nor company of
the worthiest shall alter his humor, nor make him once
think of his honor.

FLOSCULA: A revenge incredible, and if it may be, unnatural.

TELLUS: He shall know the malice of a woman to have neither
mean nor end, and of a woman deluded in love to have
neither rule nor reason. I can do it, I must; I will. All his
virtues will I shadow with vices; his person — ah, sweet … [I.2.60]
person! — shall he deck with such rich robes as he shall
forget it is his own person; his sharp wit — ah, wit too sharp,
that hath cut off all my joys! — shall he use in flattering
of my face and devising sonnets in my favor. The prime
of his youth and pride of his time shall be spent in melan-
choly passions, careless behavior, untamed thoughts, and
unbridled affections.

FLOSCULA: When this is done, what then? Shall it continue
till his death, or shall he dote forever in this delight?

TELLUS: Ah, Floscula, thou rendest my heart in sunder, … [I.2.70]
in putting me in remembrance of the end.

FLOSCULA: Why, if this be not the end, all the rest is to no end.

TELLUS: Yet suffer me to imitate Juno, who would turn
Jupiter’s lovers to beasts on the earth, though she knew
afterwards they should be stars in heaven.

FLOSCULA: Affection that is bred by enchantment is like a
flower that is wrought in silk: in color and form most like,
but nothing at all in substance or savor.

TELLUS: It shall suffice me, if the world talk, that I am
favored of Endymion. … [I.2.80]

FLOSCULA: Well, use your own will, but you shall find that
love gotten with witchcraft is as unpleasant as fish taken
with medicines unwholesome.

TELLUS: Floscula, they that be so poor that they have
neither net nor hook will rather poison dough than pine
with hunger; and she that is so oppressed with love that
she is neither able with beauty nor wit to obtain her
friend will rather use unlawful means than try untolerable
pains. I will do it. [Exit.]

FLOSCULA: Then about it. Poor Endymion, what traps are … [I.1.90]
laid for thee because thou honorest one that all the world
wondereth at! And what plots are cast to make thee
unfortunate that studies of all men to be the faithfullest! [Exit.]

Scene I.3
[Enter Dares and Samias.]

DARES: Now our masters are in love up to the ears, what
have we to do but to be in knavery up to the crowns?

SAMIAS: O, that we had Sir Tophas, that brave squire, in
the midst of our mirth — and ecce autem, will you see the devil!
[Enter Sir Tophas and Epiton.]


EPITON: ~~~ Here sir.

TOPHAS: I brook not this idle humor of love. It tickleth
not my liver, from whence the love-mongers in former
ages seemed to infer it should proceed.

EPITON: Love, sir, may lie in your lungs, and I think it
doth; and that is the cause you blow and are so pursy. … [I.3.10]

TOPHAS: Tush, boy, I think it but some device of the poet
to get money.

EPITON: A poet? What’s that?

TOPHAS: Dost thou not know what a poet is?

EPITON: ~~~ No.

TOPHAS: Why fool, a poet is as much as one should say,
a poet. [Discovering Samias and Dares.] But soft, yonder
be two wrens. Shall I shoot at them?

EPITON: They are two lads.

TOPHAS: Larks or wrens, I will kill them.

EPITON: Larks? Are you blind? They are two little boys. … [I.3.20]

TOPHAS: Birds or boys, they are both but a pittance
for my breakfast. Therefore have at them, for their brains
must, as it were, embroider my bolts.
[He takes aim at Samias and Dares.]

SAMIAS: [To Sir Tophas.] Stay your courage, valiant
knight, for your wisdom is so weary that it stayeth itself.

DARES: Why, Sir Tophas, have you forgotten your old friends?

TOPHAS: Friends? Nego argumentum.

SAMIAS: And why not friends?

TOPHAS: Because, amicitia, as in old annals we find, is
inter pares. Now my pretty companions, you shall see … [I.3.30]
how unequal you be to me. But I will not cut you quite off;
you shall be my half-friends, for reaching to my middle.
So far as from the ground to the waist, I will be your friend.

DARES: Learnedly. But what shall become of the rest of
your body, from the waist to the crown?

TOPHAS: My children, quod supra vos nihil ad vos, you
must think the rest immortal because you cannot reach it.

EPITON: [To Samias and Dares.] Nay, I tell ye, my master
is more than a man.

DARES: [To Epiton.] And thou less than a mouse. … [III.1.40]

TOPHAS: But what be you two?

SAMIAS: I am Samias, page to Endymion.

DARES: And I Dares, page to Eumenides.

TOPHAS: Of what occupation are your masters?

DARES: Occupation, you clown? Why, they are
honorable, and warriors.

TOPHAS: Then they are my prentices.

DARES: Thine? And why so?

TOPHAS: I was the first that ever devised war, and there-
fore by Mars himself given me for my arms a whole … [I.3.50]
armory, and thus I go as you see, clothed with artillery.
It is not silks (milksops), nor tissues, nor the fine wool of
Seres, but iron, steel, swords, flame, shot, terror, clamor,
blood, and ruin, that rocks asleep my thoughts, which
never had any other cradle but cruelty. Let me see, do
you not bleed?

DARES: Why so?

TOPHAS: Commonly my words wound.

SAMIAS: What then do your blows?

TOPHAS: Not only wound, but also confound. [I.3.60]

SAMIAS: [To Epiton.]How darest thou come so near
thy master, Epi? [To Sir Tophas.] Sir Tophas, spare us.

TOPHAS: You shall live. You, Samias because you are
little; you, Dares because you are no bigger; and both
of you, because you are but two; for commonly I kill
by the dozen, and have for every particular adversary
a peculiar weapon. [He displays his armory.]

SAMIAS: May we know the use, for our better skill in war?

TOPHAS: You shall. Here is bird-bolt for the ugly beast,
the blackbird. … [I.3.70]

DARES: A cruel sight.

TOPHAS: Here is the musket for the untamed, or
(as the vulgar sort term it) the wild mallard.
[He demonstrates, not heeding their talk.]

SAMIAS: O desperate attempt!

EPITON: Nay, my master will match them.

DARES: Ay, if he catch them.

TOPHAS: Here is spear and shield, and both necessary:
the one to conquer, the other to subdue or overcome the
terrible trout, which, although he be under the water, yet
tying a string to the top of my spear and an engine of iron … [I.3.80]
to the end of my line, I overthrow him, and then herein I
put him. [He shows his gear and struts about, oblivious to their talk.]

SAMIAS: O wonderful war! [Aside.] Dares, didst thou
ever hear such a dolt?

DARES: [Aside.] All the better. We shall have good sport
hereafter if we can get leisure.

SAMIAS: [Aside.] Leisure! I will rather lose my master’s
service then his company. Look how he struts.
[To Sir Tophas.] But what is this; call you it your sword?

TOPHAS: No, it is my scimitar, which I, by construction … [I.3.90]
often studying to be compendious, call my smiter.

DARES: What — are you also learned, sir?

TOPHAS: Learned? I am all Mars and Ars.

SAMIAS: Nay, you are all mass and ass.

TOPHAS: Mock you me? You shall both suffer; yet with
such weapons as you shall make choice of the weapon
wherewith you shall perish. Am I all a mass or lump; is
there no proportion in me? Am I all ass; is there no wit in
me? — Epi, prepare them to the slaughter.

SAMIAS: I pray sir, hear us speak. We call you ‘mass’, … [I.3.100]
which your learning doth well understand is all ‘man’,
for mas, maris, is a man. Then ‘as’, as you know, is a
weight; and we for your virtues account you a weight.

TOPHAS: The Latin hath saved your lives, the which a
world of silver could not have ransomed. I understand
you and pardon you.

DARES: Well Sir Tophas, we bid you farewell; and at our
next meeting we will be ready to do you service.

TOPHAS: Samias, I thank you; Dares, I thank you.
But especially I thank you both. … [I.3.110]

SAMIAS: Wisely. [Aside.] Come, next time we’ll have
some pretty gentlewomen with us to walk, for without
doubt with them he will be very dainty.

DARES: [To Samias.] Come, let us see what our masters
do; it is high time. [Exeunt Dares and Samias.]

TOPHAS: Now will I march into the field, where, if I
cannot encounter with my foul enemies, I will withdraw
myself to the river and there fortify for fish; for there
resteth no minute free from fight.
[Exeunt Sir Tophas and Epiton.]

Scene I.4
[Enter Tellus and Floscula at one door; enter Dipsas at another.]

TELLUS: Behold, Floscula, we have met with the woman
by chance that we sought for by travel. I will break my
mind to her without ceremony or circumstance, lest we
lose that time in advice that should be spent in execution.

FLOSCULA: Use your discretion. I will in this case neither
give counsel nor consent; for there cannot be a thing more
monstrous than to force affection by sorcery, neither do I
imagine anything more impossible.

TELLUS: Tush, Floscula, in obtaining of love what impos-
sibilities will I not try? And for the winning of Endymion, … [I.4.10]
what impieties will I not practice? [Crossing to Dipsas.]
Dipsas, whom as many honor for age as wonder at for
cunning, listen in few words to my tale and answer in one
word to the purpose, for that neither my burning desire can
afford long speech nor the short time I have to stay, many
delays. Is it possible by herbs, stones, spells, incantation,
enchantment, exorcisms, fire, metals, planets or any practice,
to plant affection where it is not and to supplant it where it is?

DIPSAS: Fair lady, you may imagine that these hoary hairs
are not void of experience, nor the great name that goeth of … [I.4.20]
my cunning to be without cause. I can darken the sun by
my skill and remove the moon out of her course; I can
restore youth to the aged and make hills without bottoms.
There is nothing I cannot do but that only which you
would have me do, and therein I differ from the gods,
that I am not able to rule hearts; for, were it in my power
to place affection by appointment, I would make such evil
appetites, such inordinate lusts, such cursed desires as all
the world should be filled both with superstitious heats and
extreme love. … [I.4.30]

TELLUS: Unhappy Tellus, whose desires are so desperate that
they are neither to be conceived of any creature nor to be
cured by any art!

DIPSAS: This I can: breed slackness in love though never
root it out. What is he whom you love, and what she that
he honoreth?

TELLUS: Endymion, sweet Endymion, is he that hath my
heart; and Cynthia, too too fair Cynthia, the miracle of
nature, of time, of fortune, is the lady that he delights in,
and dotes on every day and dies for ten thousand times a day. … [I.4.40]

DIPSAS: Would you have his love either by absence or sick-
ness, aslaked? Would you that Cynthia should mistrust
him, or be jealous of him without color?

TELLUS: It is the only thing I crave, that seeing my love
to Endymion, unspotted, cannot be accepted, his truth to
Cynthia, though it be unspeakable, may be suspected.

DIPSAS: I will undertake it and overtake him, that all his
love shall be doubted of and therefore become desperate.
But this will wear out with time, that treadeth all things
down but truth. … [I.4.50]

TELLUS: Let us go.

DIPSAS: I follow. [Exeunt all.]