Four

… the Virgin began to speak thus:–“My Lords, we are here in the sixth room, and have only one more before us, in which our trouble will be at an end, and we shall return home to our castle to awaken our most gratious Lords and Ladies. Now albeit I could heartily wish that all of you had behaved yourselves in such sort that I might have given your commendations to our most renowned King and Queen, and you have obtained a suitable reward, yet because, contrary to my desire, I have found amongst you these four”–pointing at me and three others–“lazy and sluggish labourators, and yet according to my good-will to all, I am not willing to deliver them to condign punishment. However, that such negligence may not remain wholly unpunished, I purpose that they shall be excluded from the future seventh and most glorious action of all the rest, and so they shall incur no further blame from their Royal Majesties.”

In what a case we now were I leave others to consider, for the Virgin so well knew how to keep her countenance that the water soon ran over our baskets, and we esteemed ourselves the most unhappy of all men. The Virgin by one of her maids, whereof there were many always at hand, caused the musitians to be fetcht, who were with cornets to blow us out of doors with such scorn and derision that they themselves could hardly sound for laughing.

But it did particularly afflict us that the Virgin vehemently laughed at our weeping, and that there might be some amongst our companions who were glad of our misfortune. But it proved otherwise, for as soon as we were come out at the door the musitians bid us be of good cheere, and follow them up the winding staires to the eighth floor under the roof, where we found the old man standing upon a little round furnace. He received us friendly, and heartily congratulated us that we were hereto chosen by the Virgin; but after he had understood the fright we had conceived, his belly was ready to burst with laughing that we had taken such good fortune so hainously. “Hence,” said he, “my dear sons, learn that man never knoweth how well God intendeth him.”

~from “The Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosencreutz” by Christian Rosencreutz (Francis Bacon)

Four watchers, incarnated as humans, given a chance at redeeming themselves in the eyes of Heaven.

Four watchers, selected from their group, given the task of bringing forth the new King and Queen of Earth.

Four watchers, cautioned by the old lord, “to instil the blood of the bird, which had been received in a little golden cup, drop after drop in the mouth of the little images” of the manifesting King and Queen.

Four watchers, wearied from their work, observing the “young Royal Persons” set sail at sea, destined not for a land of dreams but for a harbor of nightmares.

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