Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ceasse to molest the Moone - Mutabilitie Canto 6

Get ready for a brief, and irregular, turn into Sandman/Anime high, HIGH Fantasy as Edmund takes us first, directly to the Moon, for Moon-War One, and then back to Ireland for more blather about his house getting burnt down.

"What man that sees the ever-whirling wheele
Of Change, the which all mortall things doth sway,
But that therby doth find & plainly feele,
How MVABILITY in them doth play
Her cruell sports, to many mens decay?
Which that to all may better yet appeare,
I will rehearse that whylome I heard say,
How she at first her selfe began to reare,
Gainst all the Gods, and th'empire sought from them to beare."

But who is Mutability, and whence came she?

"She was, to weet, a daughter by descent
Of those old Titans, that did whylome strive
With Saturnes sonne for heavens regiment."

Women in Spenser are either super-good or super-evil, and you can guess which one is Mutability. She wants to first, rule the world, and then defeat the gods.

Ruling earth is realtively simple and achieved by verse five;

"For shee the face of earthly things so changed,
That all the which Nature had establisht first
In good estate, and in meet order ranged,
She did pervert, and all their statutes burst:"
"Ne shee the lawes of Nature onely brake,
But eke of Justice, and of Policie;
And wring of right, and bad of good did make,
And death for life exchanged foolishlie:
Since which, all living wights have learen'd to die,
And all this world is woxen daily worse.
O pittious worke of MVTABILITIE!
By which, we are subject to that curse,
And death in stead of life have sucked from our Nurse."

Word conquest achieved, she makes straight for heaven. First stop; THE MOON.

"Thence, to the Circle of the Moone she clambe,
Where Cynthia raignes in everlasting glory,"

Passing by the silver gates of the bright shining palace, and their keeper, Time, Change comes upon Cynthia;

"Her sitting on an Ivory throne shee found,
Drawne of two steeds, th'one black, the other white,
Environd with tenne thousand starres around,
That duly her attended day and night;
And by her side, there ran her Page, that hight
Vesper_, whom we the Evening-starre intend:
That with his Torche, still twinkling like teylight,
Her lightened all the way where she should wend,
And joy to weary wandring traveilers did lend."

Mutability instantly becomes envious of the Moons rich swag and glorious 'Crystall pillors';

"Eftsoones she cast by force and tortious might,
Her to displace, and to her selfe to have gained
The kingdome of the Night, and waters by her wained.

Boldly she bid the Godesse downe descend,
And let her selfe into that ivory throne;
For, shee her selfe more worthy thereof wend,
And better able it to guide alone:
Whether to men, whose fall she did bemone,
Or unto Gods, whose state she did maligne,
Or to th'infernall Powers, her need give lone
Of her faire light, and bounty most benigne,
Her selfe of all that rule shee deemed most condigne."

The Moon is having none of this, she bears 'Nights burning lamp,' and 'with sterne countenaunce and disitainfull cheare, Bending her horned browes, did put her back:' and tells her to get out 'Or at her perill bide the wrathfull Thunders wrack.'

Then it gets really, really Anime. Mutability 'rought forth her hand' to pluck Cynthia from her  Ivory Moon-Throne, and up-lifts her golden wand. The 'starres, which round about her blazed' and the Moons bright wagon stand amazed.

On earth the lights go out in the sky and people start to freak, 'Fearing least Chaos_ broken had his chaine,'.

And very quickly, Mercury (The Flash) runs to Joves Palace in 'heavens hight' to tell him whats going on.



"The father of the Gods when this he heard,
Was troubled much at their so strange affright
Doubting least Typhon_ were againe uprear'd,
Or other his old foes, that once him sorely fear'd."

So he sends the Flash 'Downe to the Circle of the Moone' to find out whats going on and to stop it. If hellish, cast it down, if other, bring it here.

"The wing-foot God, so fast his plumes did beat,
That soone he came where-as the Titanesse
Was striving with faire Cynthia for her seat:
At whose strange sight, and haughty hardinesse,
He wondred much, and feared her no lesse.
Yet laying feare aside to doe his charge,
At last, he bade her (with bold stedfastnesse)
Ceasse to molest the Moone to walk at large,
Or come before high Jove, her dooings to discharge."

The Flash even breaks out his 'snaky-wreathed Mace, whose awfull power Doth make both Gods and hellish fiends affraid:', but to no success as Mutability answers that she gives not two shits for him or Jove or anything else, she is going to go full-Killmonger on this joint.

Agnes Miller Parker

So the Flash runs back to Jove.

Jove has his own opinions on people trying to overturn divine power;

"Ye may remember since th'Earths cursed seed
Sought to assaile the heavens eternall towers,
And to us all exceeding feare did breed:
Of that bad seed is this bold woman bred,
That now with bold presumption doth aspire
To thrust faire Phoebe from her silver bed,
And eke our selves from heavens high Empire,
So haveing said, he ceast: and with his brow
(His black eye-brow, whose doomefull dreaded beck
Is wont to wield the world unto his vow,
And even the highest Powers of heaven to check
Made sign at them in their degrees to speake:"

Before they can really get into it, Mutability herself arrives;

"So forth she rose, and through the purest sky
To Joves high Palace straight cast to ascend,
To prosecute her plot: Good on-set boads good end."

Everyone fraks out, even Mutability freaks out because she has just burst into the country club and found the members quite heavily armed. Only rapey old Jove keeps his cool and asks her to lay that rap on him girl.

She has a complex and slightly boring argument about the descent of Titans and how this technically makes her Queen.

Jove is having none of this;

"... With that, he shooke
His Nectar-deawed locks, with which the skyes
And all the world beneath for terror quooke,
And eft his burning levin-brond in hand he tooke."

But then notices that she it hot;

".. when he looked on her lovely face,
In which, faire beames of beauty did appeare,
That could the greatest wrath soone turne to grace
(Such sway doth beauty even in Heaven beare)
He staine his hand:"

".. ceasse thy idle claime thou foolish gerle,
And seeke by grace and goodnesse to obtaine
That place from which by folly Titan_ fell;
There-to thou maist perhaps, if so thou faine
Have Jove thy gratious Lord and Soveraigne."

MVTABILITY is having none of this;

".. thee, o Jove, no equall Judgee I deeme
Of my desert, or of my dewfull Right;
That in thine owne behalfe maist partiall seeme:
But to the highest him, that is behight
Father of Gods and men by equall might;
To weet, the God of Nature, I appeale.
There-at Jove wexed wroth, and in his spright
Did inly grudge, yet did it well conceale;
And bade Dan Phoebus Scribe her Apellation seale."


So the trial between Jove and MVITABILITY to see who is in charge is set, and arranged to take place on Arlo hill, in Ireland.

Which means the rest of this Canto (about 40% of the whole thing) is an exhaustive descritpion of parts of Ireland, and how beautiful it is, and why its full of criminals and metaphorical wolves who burn people out of their homes.

You may feel free to skip the rest of the Canto if you wish, the next one picks up at the tiral, and is the final, ultimate and last Canto of the Faerie Queene.


".. were it not ill fitting for this file,
To sing of hilles & woods, mongst warres and Knights,
I would abate the sternenesse of my stile,
Mongst these sterne sounds to mingle soft delights:"

This is the mythical/allegorical history of a hill (Galymore to us).

So, this was a place so wonderful that Diana would go there to bathe.

"In her sweet streames, Diana used oft
(After her sweatie chace and toilsome play)
To bathe her selfe; and after, on the soft
And downy grasse, her dainty limbes to lay"

(I hope you have't forgotten Edmunds sweat fetish.)

So a creepy Satyr/God fellow, Faunus, wants to spy on Diana washing off the sweat. He manages to corrupt a maid who tells him when Diana will be bathing. He successfully peeps, but;

"There Faunus saw that pleased much his eye,
And made his hart to tickle in his brest,
that for great joy of some-what he did spy,
He could him not containe in silent rest;
But breaking forth in laughter, oud profest
His foolish thought. A foolish Faune indeed,
That couldst not hold thy selfe so hidden blest,
But wouldest needs thine owne conceit areed.
Babblers unworthy been of so divine a meed."

So Diana catches him, and we get this charming verse about her reaction;

"Like as a huswife, that with busie care
Thinks of her Darie to make wondrous gaine,
Finding where-as some wocked beast unware
That breakes into her Dayr'house, there doth draine
Her creaming pannes, and frustrate all her paine;
Hath in some snare or gin set close behind,
Entrapped him, and caught into her traine,
Then thinkes what punishment were best assign'd,
And thousand deathes deviseth in her vengefull mind:"

Diana and her nymphs throw Faunus around a bit, they consider castrating or drowning him. Instead they dress him in a deer-skin and chase him till he drops.

Its not exactly clear, but I think they stone the corrupted maid, Molassa, to death;

"They, by commaund'ment of Diana there
Her whelm'd with stones."

Faunus feels bad enough about this that he agrees to recieve her 'unto his bed' with her lover Fanchin, which, since he is a woody wood god means that they both get turned into rivers? So this is another Spencerian river-marriage story.

Diana is still so angry about the situation that she leaves Ireland forever;

"There-on an heavy haplesse curse did lay,
To weet, that Wolves, where she was wont to space,
Should harbour'd be, and all those Woods deface,
And Thieves should rob and spoile that Coast around.
Since wich, those Woods, and all that goodly Chase,
Doth to this day with Wolves and Thieves aboud:
Which too-too true that lands in-dwellers since have found."

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