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The Steganographick Collection And The Muse

11167 words - 45 pages

The Steganographick Collection and The museIntroductionThe Steganographick Collection is a fascinating document in itself but when examined in regard to The Hypnertomachia Poliphilia and the later Chymical Wedding it takes on a new dimension. Because of the complexity of the works discussed here and frequent references too them, I have included a section from Day Five of the Chymical Wedding (hereafter referred to as CW) , a copy of the Steganographic Collection . (hereafter referred to as SC), and a synposis of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (hereafter referred to as HP) as appendix I - III.Goddess of LoveAt the most central and intimate turning point in the narrative of both the CW and the SC, there appear some similarities so extraordinary that they cannot be coincidence. Consider these:1. CW: The main character is separated from his companions, and takes a tour with his page as his guide, seeking further mysteries.SC: The main character is separated from his companions, and takes a tour with alone with Nephes as his guide.2. CW: The alter with the everburning tree fed by it's own fruit.SC: The everburning tree fed by it's ripe branches.3 CW: The sleeping Venus (never met only seen), symbol of love.SC: The everpresent hope of Olocliree (never actually met), the loves of love and friend of Nephes, who can cause her to be seen.4 CW : The legend on the plaque "When my tree shall be quite melted down then I shall awaken and be the mother of a King", and what the page heard revealed to the King by Atlas "When the tree shall be quite melted down, then shall Lady Venus awake, and be the mother of a King.SC: The words of Nephes "And although she is that which is the unique excellence, thus is she known only by the King who will be born from her, & by the fair Queen whose mother she shall also be, if one takes the trouble thereof". And further information. "She is truly their mother, in as much as she is their soul & perfect form in two of her terms: for as soon as she is at the commencement of her adolescence, she can be the mother of the Queen: then having reached the perfect age, & being in the truth of her greatest beauty, she will be able to give birth to the King, who is the little King of the World".It is as though the authors of both works, one published in France in 1600 and the other in Germany in 1616, had a mythology in common. It is certain that both works are alchemical, and that this is a central turning point of both, yet no other alchemical work features this myth, or these particular symbols. How did the author of the CW know this particular set of motifs?There is this one small possible clue; early on the fifth day the protagonist in the CW goes seeking wonders, his page takes him to a place he had no right to be and where he sees the sleeping Venus - later he pays the penalty for this. It is a curious difference between the SC and the CW that in the CW he is not meant to be there, but spys this secret and pays a penalty....

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