The Seventh Day
After eight of clock I awaked, and quickly made my self ready, being desirous to return again into the Tower, but the dark passages in the Wall were so many, and various, that I wandred a good while before I could find the way out. The same happened to the rest too, till at last we all met again in the neather most Vault, and habits intirely yellow were given us, together with our golden Fleeces. At that time the Virgin declared to us that we were Knights of the GOLDEN STONE, of which we were before ignorant. After we had now thus made our selves ready, and taken our Breakfast, the old Man presented each of us with a medal of Gold; on the one side stood these Words,
AR. NAT. MI. 
On the other these,
TEM. NA. F. 
Exhorting us moreover we should entreprize nothing beyond and against this token of remembrance. Herewith we went forth to the Sea, where our Ships lay so richly equipped, that it was not well possible but that such brave things must first have been brought thither. The Ships were twelve in number, six of ours, and six of the old Lord's, who caused his Ships to be freighted with well appointed Soldiers. But he betook himself, to us, into our Ship, where we all were together; In the first the Musitians Seated themselves, of which the old Lord had also a great number, they sailed before us to shorten the time. Our Flags were the twelve Celestial Signs, and we sate in Libra; besids other things, our Ship had also a noble and curious Clock, which shewed us all the Minutes. The Sea too was so calm, that it was a singular pleasure to Sail. But that which surpassed all the rest, was the old Man's discourse, who so well knew how to pass away our time with wonderful Histories, that I could have been content to Sail with him all my Life long. Mean time the Ships passed on amain, for before we had sailed two hours the Mariner told us that he already saw the whole Lake almost covered with Ships, by which we could conjecture they were come out to meet us, which also proved true: For as soon, as we were gotten out of the Sea into the Lake by the forementioned River, there presently stood in to us five hundred Ships, one of which sparkled with mere Gold and pretious Stones, in which sate the King and Queen, together with other Lords, Ladies, and Virgins of high Birth. As soon as they were well in Ken of us the pieces were discharged on both sides, and there was such a din of Trumpets, Shalms, and Kettle Drums that all the Ships upon the Sea capered again. Finally, as soon as we came near they brought about our Ships together, and so made a stand, Immediately the old Atlas stepped forth on the King's behalf, making a short, but handsom oration, wherein he wellcomed us, and demanded whether the Royal Presents were in readiness. The rest of my Companions were in an huge amazement, whence this King should arise, for they imagined no other but that they must again awaken him. We suffered them to continue in their wonderment, and carried our selves as if it seemed strange to us too. After Atlas's oration out steps our old Man, making somewhat a larger reply, wherein he wished the King and Queen all happiness and increase, after which he delivered up a curious small Casket, but what was in it, I know not; only it was commited to Cupid, who hovered between them both, to keep. After the oration was finished, they again let off a joyful Volle of Shot, and so we sailed on a good time together, till at length we arrived at another Shore. This was near the first Gate at which I first entred: At this place again there attended a great Multitude of the King's Family together with some hundreds of Horses. Now as soon as we were come to shore, and disembarqued, the King and Queen presented their Hands to all of us one with another with singular kindness; and so we were to get up on Horseback. Here I desire to have the Reader friendly intreated not to interpret the following Narration to any vain glory or pride of mine, but to credit me thus far, that if there had not been a special necessity in it, I could very well have utterly concealed this honour which was shewed me. We were all one after another distributed amongst the Lords. But our old Lord, and I most unworthy, were to ride even with the King, each of us bearing a snow white Ensign, with a Red Cross: I indeed was made use of because of my Age, for we both had long grey Beards, and Hair. I had besides fastened my token round about my Hat, of which the young King soon took notice, and demanded if I were he, who could at the Gate redeem these tokens? I answered in most humble manner, "Yea." But he laughed on me, saying, There henceforth needed no Ceremony; I was HIS Father. Then he asked me, Wherewith I had redeemed them? I replied, with Water and Salt: whereupon he wondred who had made me so wise; upon which I grew somewhat more confident, and recounted unto to him how it had happened to me with my Bread, the Dove, and the Raven, and he was pleased with it, and said expresly, That it must needs be, that God had herein vouch safed me a singular happiness. Herewith we came to the first gate where the Porter with the blew Cloaths waited, who bare in his Hand a supplication. Now as soon as he spied me even with the King, he delivered me the supplication, most humbly beseeching me to mention his ingenuity towards me before the King: Now in the first place I demanded of the King, what the condition of this Porter was? who friendly answered me, That he was a very famous and rare Astrologer, and always in high regard with the Lord his Father. But having on a time committed a fault against Venus, and beheld her in her Bed of rest, This punishment was therefore imposed upon him, that he should so long wait at the first Gate, till some one should release him from thence. I replied, may he then be released? Yes, said the King, if any one can be found that hath as highly transgressed as himself, he must stand in his stead, and the other shall be free. This word went to my Heart, for my Conscience convinced me that I was the offender, yet I held my peace, & herewith delivered the supplication. As soon as he had read it, he was mightily terrified, so that the Queen, who (with our Virgins, and that other Queen besides, of whom I made mention at the hanging of the Weights) rid just behind us observed it, & therefore asked him, what this Letter might signifie. But he had no mind that he should take notice of it, but putting up the Paper, began to discourse of other matters, till thus in about three hours time we came quite to the Castle, where we alighted, and waited upon the King into his forementioned Hall. Immediately the King called for the old Atlas to come to him in a little Closet, and shewed him the writing, who made no long tarrying, but rid out again to the Porter to take better Cognizance of the matter. After which the young King with his Spouse, and other Lords, Ladies and Virgins sate down. Then began our Virgin highly to commend the diligence we had used, and the pains and labour we had undergone, requesting we might be royally rewarded, and that she henceforward might be permitted to enjoy the benefit of her commission. Then the old Lord stood up too, and attested that all that the Virgin had spoken was true, and that it was but equity that we should both on both parts be contented. Hereupon we were to step out a little; and it was concluded that each man should make some possible wish, and accordingly obtain it; for it was not to be doubted, but that those of understanding would also make the best wish: So we were to consider of it till after Supper. Mean time the King and Queen for recreations sake, began to fall to play together. It looked not unlike Chesse, only it had other Laws; for it was the Vertues and Vices one against another, where it might ingeniously be observed with what Plots the Vices lay in wait for the Vertues, and how to re-encounter them again. This was so properly and artifically performed, that it were to be wished, that we had the like game too. During the game, in comes Atlas again, and makes his report in private, yet I blushed all over. For my Conscience gave me no rest; after which the King presented me the supplication to read, and Contents whereof were much to this purpose: First he wished the King prosperity, and increase; that his seed might be spread abroad far and wide: Afterwards he remonstrated that the time was now accomplished, wherein according to the Royal promise he ought to be released. Because Venus was already uncovered by one of his Guests, for his observations could not lie to him. And that if his Majesty would please to make a strict and diligent enquiry, he would find that she had been uncovered, and in case this should not prove to be so, he would be content to remain before the Gate all days of his life. Then he sued in the most humble manner, that upon peril of Body and Life he might be permitted to be present at this Nights supper, he was in good hopes to spye out the very Offender, and obtain his wished freedom. This was expresly and handsomly indicted, by which I could well perceive his ingenuity, but it was too sharp for me, and I could well have endured never to have seen it. Now I was casting in my mind whether he might perchance be helped through my wish, so I asked the King, whether he might not be released some other way: No, replyed the King, because there is a special consideration in the business. However, for this Night, we may well gratifie him in his desire; so he sent one forth to fetch him in. Mean time the Tables were prepared in a spatious Room, in which we had never been before, which was so compleat, and in such manner contrived, that it is not possible for me only to begin to describe it. Into this we were conducted with singular Pomp, and Ceremony. Cupid was not at this time present. For (as I was informed) the disgrace which had happened to his Mother, had somewhat angred him. In brief, my offence, and the Supplication which was delivered were an occasion of much sadness, for the King was in perplexity how to make inquisition amongst his Guests, and the more because thus even they too, who were yet ignorant of the matter, would come to the knowledge of it. So he caused the Porter himself, who was already come, to make his strict surveigh, and shewed himself as pleasnat as he was able. Howbeit at length they began again to be merry, and to bespeak one another with all sorts of recreative and profitable discourses. Now how the treatment and other Ceremonies were then performed, it is not necessary to declare, since it is neither the Reader's concern, nor serviceable to my design. But all exceeded more in art, and human invention, than that we were overcharged with drinking. And this was the last, and noblest Meal at which I was present. After the Bancket the Tables were suddainly taken away, and certain curious Chairs placed round about in circle, in which we together with the King, and Queen, both their old Men, the Ladies and Virgins, were to sit. After which a very handsom Page opened the above-mentioned glorious little Book, when Atlas immediately placing himself in the midst, began to bespeak us to the ensuing purpose. That his Royal Majesty had not yet committed to oblivion the service we had done him, and how carefully we had attended our duty, and therefore by way of retribution had elected all and each of the Knights of the Golden Stone. That it was therefore further necessary not only once again to oblige our selves towards his Royal Majesty, but to vow too upon the following Articles, and then his Royal Majesty would likewise know how to behave himself towards his liege People. Upon which he caused the Page to read over the Articles: which were these.
At this last Article we could not choose but laugh sufficiently, and it may well have been placed after the rest, only for a conceit. Now being to vow to them all by the King's Scepter, we were afterwards with the usual Ceremonies installed Knights, and amongst other Priviledges set over Ignorance, Poverty, and Sickness; to handle them at our pleasure. And this was afterwards ratified in a little Chappel (whither we were conducted in all Procession) and thanks returned to God for it. Where I also at that time to the honour of God hung up my Golden Fleece and Hat, and left them there for an eternal memorial. And because every one was there to write his Name, I writ thus;
Summa Scientia nihil Scire,
Others writ otherwise, and truly each as seemed him good. After which we were again brought into the Hall, where being sate down, we were admonished quickly to bethink our selves what every one would wish. But the King and his party retired into a little Closet, there to give audience to our wishes. Now each man was called in severally, so that I cannot speak of any man's proper wish, I thought nothing could be more praise-worthy than in honour of my order to demonstrbite some laudable vertue. And found too that none at present voted be more famous, and cost me more Trouble than Gratitude. Wherefore not regarding that I might well have wished somewhat more dear and agreeable to my self, I vanquished my self, and concluded, even with my own peril, to free the Porter my Benefactor. Wherefore being now called in, I was first of all demanded, whether, having read the supplication, I had observed, or suspected nothing concerning the offender? upon which I began undauntedly to relate how all the business had passed. How through Ignorance I fell into that mistake, and so offered my self to undergo all that I had thereby demerited. The King, and the rest of the Lords wondered mightily at so un-hoped for confession, and so wished me to step aside a little. Now as soon as I was called for in again, Atlas declared to me, that although it were grievous to the King's Majesty, that I whom he loved above others, was fallen into such a mischance, yet because it was not possible for him to Transgress his ancient usages, he knew not how else to absolve me, but that the other must be at Liberty, and I placed in his stead, yet he would hope that some other would soon be apprehended, that so I might be able to go home again. However, no release was to be hoped for, till the Marriage Feast of his future Son. This Sentence had near cost me my life, and I first hated my self and my twatling Tongue, in that I could not hold my peace, yet at last I took courage, and because I considered there was no remedy, I related how this Porter had bestowed a token on me, and commended me to the other, by whose assistance I stood upon the Scale, and so was made partaker of all the honour and joy already received. And therefore now it was but equal that I should shew my self grateful to my Benefactor: and because the same could no way else be done, I returned thanks for the sentence, and was willing gladly to sustain some inconvenience for his sake, who had been helpful to me in coming to so high place. But if by my wish any thing might be effected, I wished my self at home again, and that so he by me, and I by my wish might be at Liberty. Answer was made me, that the wishing stretched not so far. However I might well wish him free. Yet it was very pleasing to his Royal Majesty, that I had behaved my self so generously herein, but he was affraid I might still be ignorant, into what a miserable condition I had plunged my self through this my curiosity. Hereupon the good man was pronounced free, and I with a sad heart was fain to step aside. After me the rest were called for too, who came jocundly out again, which was still more to my smart; for I imagined no other, but that I must finish my life under the Gate. I had also many pensive thoughts running up and down in my Head, what I should yet undertake, and wherewith to spend the time, at length I considered that I was now old, and according to the course of nature, had few years more to live: And that this anguish and melancholy Life would easily dispatch me, and then my doorkeeping would be at an end: And that by a most happy Sleep I might quickly bring my self into the Grave. I had sundry of these thoughts, Sometimes it vexed me that I had seen such galant things, and must be robbed of them. Sometimes it rejoyced me that yet before my end I had been accepted to all joy, and should not be forced so shamefully to depart. This was the last and worst shock that I sustained; During these my Cogitations the rest were ready. Wherefore after they had received a good night from the King and Lords, each one was conducted into his Lodging. But I most wretched Man had no body to shew me the way, and yet must moreover suffer my self to be tormented, and that I might be certain of my future function, I was fain to put on the Ring, which the other had before worn. Finally, the King exhorted me, that since this was now the last time I was like to see him in this manner: I should however behave my self according to my place, and not against the order: Upon which he took me also in his Arms, and kissed me, all which I so understood, as if in the morning I must sit at my Gate. Now after they had all a while spoken friendly to me, and at last presented their Hands, committing me to the divine protection: I was by both the old Men, the Lord of the Tower, and Atlas conducted into a glorious Lodging, in which stood three Beds, and each of us lay in one of them, where we yet spent almost two, & c.
Here are wanting about two Leaves in quarto, and he (the Author hereof) whereas he imagined he must in the morning be Door-Keeper, returned home.
naturae ministra" wich can be translated as: "Art
is the priestess (or: hand-maiden)of nature."