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In Capricorn, Saturn, when “joinedl," i.e., in conjunction, with Mars, obscured him, “of him disposing in his own abode” (III., 385). The signs, moreover, had each a special significance : three were watery” (III., 495), Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces ; three were “ earthy” (III., 496), Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn ; three fiery, of which Leo (III., 404) was one ; and three airy. Each sign, too, presided over a different part of the human body.
3. The Houses (not to be confounded with the “planetary houses indicated in 2) were twelve imaginary equal divisions of the celestial sphere. They were always plotted from the place of the child's, or “native's,” birth, or, if the inquiry concerned some possible action, the place in which things were going to happen. The astrologer imagined twelve great circles, thirty degrees apart, intersecting at the north and south poles of the sphere. The first space of thirty degrees below the horizon on the east was the “first house," the first above the horizon on the west the “ seventh house,” and so on. Unlike the Signs of the Zodiac and the planets, these houses revolved with the earth. They were designed to show the positions of the planets, but each had its peculiar significance. The first, for example, had to do with the “native's” personal appearance and disposition, the fourth with his inheritance, and so on. Moreover, in certain of these houses, the influence of planets was stronger than in others. Thus, the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth houses were the positions of greatest potency. So Saturn (I., 246) is represented as being, at the birth of Palamon and Arcite, in the “dungeon of the sky," or one of the dark houses ; that is, a house of baleful influence.
It was the combinations of these planets, signs, and houses—of which the variety is almost endless—that were supposed to bring the “native” weal or woe. Thus, a baleful planet like Saturn, rising in a baleful sign, from the first house, for example, would portend most terrific disaster. Even this influence would be strengthened if Saturn were placed at a certain angle, or “aspect” (I., 247), with regard to another planet. Thus, two planets placed at the angle of the
quartil” (I., 500), or ninety degrees, portended evil, and two planets“ in a trine" (191., 383), or one hundred and twenty degrees apart, made for good. It is interesting to note that the position of Mars, Venus, and Saturn (III., 383, 384) can be worked out with manuals of astrology to show that Saturn in the “trine” with Venus and obscuring Mars in Capricorn, caused Saturn's influence to be malicious, and made it appropriate that he should gull Mars.
A word is necessary on the “ geomantic figures” of II., 614. Geo. mancy was the science of “divination by spotting,” that is, making figures on the ground, originally, and afterwards on paper. It is
hardly necessary fully to explain here how geomantic figures were produced ; good accounts are given in the London Saturday Review (February 16, 1889), The Academy (March 2, 1889), and in Skeat's The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer (V., p. 82). The geomantic figures here indicated are called by Chaucer Puella (the “ maid ”) and Rubeus (the “warrior”). They were simply regular arrangements of dots plotted in the painting above the Mars's head. Each figure had its planet, its element, and its sign; and hence its astrological signifi
When Mars was moving direct,” that is, moving with the Signs of the Zodiac, Rubeus was the astrologically significant figure ; when Mars was retrograde,” that is, moving backward in the signs, Puella, with her special influences, was dominant. Dryden probably had no definite idea in mind, but introduced the image because Chaucer had used it.
IV. GLOSSARY OF PROPER NAMES
Actæon (I., 258), a famous mythological huntsman, grandson of Cadmus, who one day came accidentally upon Diana and her nymphs while they were bathing. The angry goddess changed him to a stag, and he was torn to pieces by his own hounds.
Adonis (III., 147), a young hunter whom Venus fell in love with and wooed in vain. To her lasting sorrow he was killed by a boar. Palamon's appeal to Venus in the name of Adonis would naturally be effective.
Æsop (I., 342), the traditional author or compiler of the fables which bear his name. He is represented as a Greek slave of the sixth century, B.C., but in reality probably never existed.
Amazons (I., 17), the legendary race of fighting women. Their country was supposed to be north of the Black Sea, among the Caucasus mountains.
Anthony (II., 607), Marc Anthony, who with Octavius and Lepidus formed the second triumvirate after the death of Julius Cæsar. Ile slew himself to avoid capture by his successful rival, Octavius.
Apollo (II., 632), the god of the sun and of music, and brother of Diana. In Palamon and Arcite he is merely mentioned as the unsuccessful lover of Daphne.
Argus (I., 552), a hundred-eyed giant. Hermes (Mercury) was sent by Jupiter to kill Argus, a task which he performed after putting the giant to sleep with the caduceus.
Atalanta (II., 636), a fleet-footed Grecian maiden. Her prowess in hunting and her beauty were the cause of the quarrel between Meleager and his uncles at the Calydonian boar-hunt, in which the latter were slain. Later, she offered to marry the suitor who would defeat her in a foot race, on condition that the vanquished should suffer death. Finally Hippomenes, aided by Venus, won the race ; but ultimately the marriage, made through “the fatal power of Atalanta's eyes,” led them to neglect Venus, and by her they were changed to a lion and a lioness.
Aurora (I., 186), the goddess of dawn.
Bacchus (III., 99), the god of wine. He is usually represented as a youth, smooth-faced and jolly, surrounded by animals, especially panthers. He journeyed through many lands, even to India, teaching the cultivation of the vine.
Cadmus (II., 93), the legendary Phænician prince who came in search of his sister Europa to Bæotia, there slew the dragon, and built the citadel of Thebes. His slaying of the dragon sacred to Mars, however, involved him and his descendants in the curse of Juno and Mars and “that side of heaven."
Cæsar (II., 605). Caius Julius Cæsar was assassinated on the fifteenth of March (“ Mars his ides ”), B.C. 44.
Calisto (II., 623), better “Callisto,” a nymph of Diana, changed by Juno into a bear, slain by Diana, and by Jupiter set, with her son Arcas, in the constellation of the Bear, in the Arctic circle.
Calydonia (in “Calydonian,” II., 634), a country in western Greece. Hither the famous boar was sent by Diana to overrun the lands of Eneus, and was finally killed by Meleager and Atalanta.
Camilla (II., 639), a Latin chieftainess, killed in the wars of Æneas, by Aruns, who was in turn slain by Diana, her patroness.
Capaneus (I., 76), one of the seven heroes who took part in the attack of Polynices against Thebes. He was, while scaling the walls, struck dead by a thunderbolt, because he had defied Jupiter to keep him out of the city.
Capitol (II., 604), the meeting place of the Roman senate. Here Cæsar was assassinated.
Capricorn (III., 390), the tenth sign of the zodiac. See APPENDIX, III.
Chronos (III., 420), better “ Cronos.” See Saturn.
Circe (in the phrase “Circean feasts,” II., 505), the enchantress of the Odyssey, who, by giving men bowls of drugged wine, changed them to beasts.
Citheron (II., 498; also “Cytheron,” III., 145), better “Cithæron,” a range of mountains, between Bæotia and Attica, sacred to the gods, of whom Venus was the “gladder.” Dryden has probably confounded the spelling with Cythera, one of the Ionian islands sacred to Venus, and also with a city of the same name in Crete.
Creon (I., 81), a famous tyrant of Thebes. He forbade the burning of the dead after the assault of the Seven, and he immured his niece
Antigone, because she refused to obey his mandate, but burned the remains of her brother, Polynices, who perished in the assault.
Cynthia (II., 261). See Diana.
Daphne (II., 631), a nymph, daughter of Peneus. She was loved by Apollo, but refused his suit. On his pursuing her, she was changed by Diana into a laurel-tree, which became sacred to Apollo.
Diana (II., 618 ; “goddess of the silver bow,” II., 232 ; “Queen of Night,” II., 465), daughter of Latona and sister of Apollo. She was variously the goddess of the woods, of the night, and of Hades ; she was protectress of chastity, patroness of hunting, and presided over childbirth. She is called by various names, as Cynthia and Lucina, and is generally represented as arrayed in hunting dress.
Dryad (III., 961), a wood nymph whose life was bound up in that of a tree.
Ægeus (III., 871), father of Theseus.
Fates (“the Sisters,” III., 172), the three goddesses, Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who held the distaff, and spun and cut the thread on which the lives of men depended.
Hector (III., 864), the greatest hero and warrior of the Trojans in the Trojan war.
Hermes (I., 547), or Mercury, the messenger of the gods, especially of Jupiter.
Hippolyta (I., 21). The Amazon queen whom Theseus married is usually called Antiope.
Idalian Mount (II., 498), a mountain in Cyprus sacred to Venus. Venus is elsewhere (I., 261) called the “Cyprian queen.”
Juno (I., 260), queen of the gods and wife of Jupiter. She is also here (II., 88) represented as the hereditary enemy of the race of Cadmus, because of the offence offered to her son Mars.
Jupiter or Jove (“the Thunderer,” III., 277), king of the gods.
Love (II., 520), Cupid, Amor, or Eros, god of love and son of Venus. The word “ love,” however, is often used by Dryden as mere personification.
Lucina (II., 654). See Diana.
Mars (II., 104), son of Jupiter and Juno and god of war. He is represented as bloody, blustering, and cruel, as usually presiding over the bloodshed and murder that come from premeditated evil and war, from fire and sword.
Medea (II., 505), daughter of the king of Colchis. When Jason went after the golden fleece, she wrought charms that he might safely steal it, and restored his father, Æson, to youth. Her magic also caused the death of Creusa, the second wife of Jason,
Minotaur (I., 116), the famous half-man, half-bull of Crete, slain
in the labyrinth of Theseus, with the help of Ariadne, Minos's daughter.
Narcissus (II., 502), a beautiful youth who scorned the love of the nymph Echo, and was afterwards made so enamoured of his own reflection in a pool, that he was unable to withdraw himself from it, and died of starvation.
Niobe (III., 221), wife of Amphion, King of Thebes. On account of her beauty she dared compare herself to Latona. The angry goddess thereupon caused her children, Apollo and Diana, to shoot to death Niobe's seven sons and seven daughters, and transformed Niobe herself to a stone.
Enides (II., 635), Meleager, son of Eneus. At his birth the Fates prophesied that he should live only until a brand then burning on the hearth should consume. This brand, Althea, his “murderous mother,” extinguished and carefully preserved, only to set fire to it again when Meleager slew her brothers at the Calydonian boarhunt.
Parthia (in the phrase “Parthian bow," III., 953), a country east of the Caspian Sea and Asia Minor. The Parthian warriors were famous as bowmen.
Peneus (in Peneian Daphne,” II., 631), a river god, father of Daphne.
Philomel (I., 199), an unhappy girl who was changed to a nightingale.
Phosphor (III., 120), the planet Venus when it appeared as the morning star.
Pirithoüs (I., 358), a Thessalian prince, the sworn bosom friend of Theseus. The latter accompanied Pirithoüs in his attempt to carry off Proserpine, queen of Hades, in which Pirithoüs was torn to pieces by the dog Cerberus.
Pluto (III., 700), son of Saturn and Rhea, the gloomy lord of the lower world and brother of Jupiter and Neptune.
Pruce (III., 31), Prussia, the country which, during the middle ages, separated the Teutonic tribes from the more savage Russians, between whom there was much fighting.
Samson (II., 503). See Judges xiii.-xvi. He is represented as a victim of Venus, because he was captured and imprisoned by the Philistines through the wiles of his Philistine wife, Delilah.
Saturn (I., 246), the father of Jupiter, and the oldest of the gods. He was represented as the sire of whatsoever evils spring from accident, as the falling of towers, and from privy malice, as poisoning.
Scythia (I., 7), the ancient name for the unexplored northern parts of Asia and Europe, as Russia and Siberia.
Sisters (III., 172). See Fates.