Montemayor's Diana

Page 249

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two, since ech of them is absolutely al. So that as our Authors confound themselues with this God, they wil shew the like of all other Gods. But well (saide Syluanus) whom doe you beleeue that Pan is? Let him be whosoeuer he will (answered Pari∣siles) sufficeth you to honor this God Pan vnder the name of the God of all. The first, that I knew did sacrifice to this God was king Euander, and the first that built a tem∣ple to him in Arcadia at the foote of a hill called in the old time Olympus, bicause Romulus (they said) was nursed in that place. This hill afterwards was called Palatine, and Lyceus, wherein were fower principall things. A Wood consecrated to Iupiter, of such qualitie, that if any despising the lawe that forbad them to enter in, did go in∣to it, he died within one yeere after. An Aulter in the top of it to the same Iupiter, held in great reuerence. A Fountaine of so maruellous a nature, that it seemed the Gods were more curious in it, then in any other thing; for the water being gently stirred with an oken twigge, a vapour rose suddenly out of it like a thicke miste: The which, not long after being congealed into a cloude, and mixed with others that were there raised vp, was sufficient to haue made a great shower of raine. And at the foote of the hill laie a certaine place or space of ground called Lupercall, which some saie tooke that name, bicause there were no woolues that ranged vp & downe with their crueltie to hurt the harmelesse sheepe. Others, bicause Romulus and Re∣mus were nursed there by a certaine woman called Lupa. Heere therefore stoode the temple of God Pan, and heereupon the sacrifices they do him, tooke their name Lupercalles: They were first called Lycea of the hill, where first they were made, and are solemnized, as you know, the eighteene of Ianuarie. They that celebrated those sacrifices were called Lupercos: who in making them, ran naked vp and downe the streetes, couering their faces with maskes, and hauing in their handes certaine reines made of Goates skinnes, wherewith they smit the handes and bellies of women with childe, and of those that coulde not conceiue, to make the childe∣birth by these meanes more easie to them, and the others fruitfull. They went vppe and downe naked (as some say) to shewe thereby (as it seemed) the light∣nes of their God: and bicause Pan (as others say) abhorred garments, where∣upon they paint him without them. And because Romulus and Remus (as others report) being one daie with other yoongsters to celebrate these sacrifices, and to exercise their persons in games agreeable to their youth, wherein they cast off their garments for heat, newes came that their flockes were stolne away: who with the rest of the youth, full of rage and anger, not staying to put on their appa∣rell, pursued the theeues, and the victorie obtained by Remus with the Fabians, that were in his companie, they got their flockes againe. In honorable memorie of which valiant act, it was afterwards ordained, that they that offered sacrifice to Pan, should be naked. All which abouesaide hath continued vntill our times, except the going naked: for it was not vsed since a certain Roman dictator refused th’imperial crown that a Consull (made Lupercus) did put on his head: for that which that Consull did, was so abhominable in the sight of the people of Rome, that, for his sake, they abhorred from thence such an vnseemely forme of sacrifice. You see here therefore (my friends) how I haue resolued you (I thinke) in that which you asked me, wherein though I haue seemed somewhat long, yet shorter, then so ample a matter as this required. And I thinke too breefe (saide Syrenus) considering how much you haue laide open vnto vs. Wherfore do vs yet this pleasure (I pray you) to tell vs why God Pan so much abhorreth garments. With a good will, said Parisiles, for it is both prettie and pleasant.


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