Decensus Astraeae

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Deſcenſus Aſtrææ.
Horizontal Rule
of a Pageant, borne before M.
William Web
, Lord Maior of the Citie
of London on the day he tooke
his oath, beeing the 29. of
October. 1591.

Wherevnto is annexed A Speech deliuered by one clad like
a Sea Nymph, who preſented a Pineſſe on the water braue
ly rigd and mand, to the Lord Maior, at the time
he tooke Barge to go to Weſtminſter.

Printer’s ornament

Printed for William Wright.

Printer’s ornament
The Preſenters Speech.
SEE louely Lords, and you my Lord behold
How Time hath turnd his reſtles wheele about
And made the ſiluer moone: & heauens bright (eie
Gallop the Zodiacke and end the yere
Whoſe reuolution now begets a new
The daies that haue created and confirmd
A worthie Gouernor for Londons good,
To vnderbeare vnder his Soueraignes ſwaie
Vnpartiall Iuſtice beame, and weau’d a Web
For your content, and her command in all,
You Citizens of this Metapolis
Whoſe honor and whoſe oath to gratulate
Lordings behold what Emblem I preſent.
Aſtræa daughter of immortall Ioue,
Great Ioue defender of this antient towne,
Deſcended of the Troian Brutus line:
Ofſpring of that couragious conquering king.
Whoſe pure renown, hath pierced the worlds large
In golden ſcrolls, rowling about the heauens (eares,
Celeſtiall ſacred Nymph, that tendes her flocke
With watchfull eyes, and keep this fount in peace:
Garded with Graces, and with gratious traines,
Vertues diuine, and giftes incomparable.
Nor lets blind ſuperſtitious ignorance,
Corrupt ſo pure a ſpring: O happie times

That do beget ſuch calme and quiet daies,
Where ſheep & ſhepheard breath in ſuch content.
Honor attendes hir throne, in hir bright eies
Poſſeſſe hir hart, ſweete mercy ſwaies hir ſword.
Her champion armed with reſolution,
Sits at her feete to chaſtiſe Malecontentes,
That threat hir honors wracke. And Time & Kinde
Produce hir yeares to make them numberleſſe
While Fortune for hir ſeruice and hir ſake,
WiThis text has been supplied. Reason: Type not (sufficiently) inked. Evidence: The text has been supplied based on evidence internal to this text (context, etc.). (SM)th golden hands doth ſtrengthen and enrich
The Web that they for faire Aſtræa weaue.
Long may ſhe liue, long may ſhe gouerne vs
In peace triumphant, fortunate in warres
Our faire Aſtræa, our Pandora faire,
Our faire Eliza, or Zabeta faire.
Sweet Cynthias darling, beauteous Cyprias peere
As deere to England and true Engliſh heartes,
As Pompey to the Citizens of Rome:
As mercifull as Cæſar in his might.
As mightie as the Macedonian king,
Or Troian Hector, terror to the This text is the corrected text. The original is Gree esGreekes.
Goddeſſe liue long, whoſe honors we aduance,
Strengthen thy neighbours, propagate thine owne:
Guide well thy helme, lay thine annointed hand
To build the temple of triumphant Trueth,
That while thy ſubiects draw their peace fromfrō thee,
Thy friends with ayd of armes may ſuccor’d be.
Aſtræa with hir ſheephook on the top of the pageant.
Feed on my flocke among the gladſome greene
Where heauenly Nectar flowes aboue the banckes.

Such paſtures are not common to be ſeene,
Pay to immortall Ioue immortall thankes:
For what is good fro heauens hie throne doth fall.
And heauens great Architect be praiſed for all.
Superſtition. A Friar ſitting by the fountaine.
Stirre Prieſt, and with thy beades poyſon this (ſpring,
I tell thee all is banefull that I bring.
Ignorance. A Prieſt.
It is vaine hir eye keepes me in awe,
Whoſe heart is purely fixed on the law:
The holy law, and bootleſſe we contend,
While this chaſt nimph, this fountain doth defend.
Whilom when Saturnes golden raigne did ceaſe,
and yron age had kindled cruel warres:
Enuie in wrath, perturbing common peace,
engendring cancred hate and bloudy iarres:
Lo then Olympus king, the thundring Ioue,
raught hence this gracious nymph Aſtræa faire,
Now once againe he ſends hir from aboue,
deſcended through the ſweete tranſparent aire:
And heere ſhe ſits in beautie freſh and ſheene,
Shadowing the perſon of a peereleſſe Queene.
A peereleſſe Queene, a Royall princely dame,
Enrold in regiſter of eternall fame.
The Graces through their balme about hir ſacred (head,
Whoſe gouernment hir realms true happines hath (bred.
That happineſſe continue in her land,
Great Iſraels God, ſpiing of all heauenly peace:

And let thine angels in her reskew ſtand,
With hir liues wane done Englands ioyes decreaſe
O let hir princely daies neuer haue fine,
Whoſe vertues are immortall and deuine.
Such vertues as her throne do beautiſie,
And make hir honors mount and skale the skie.
Where hope of hir eternall bliſſe doth reſt,
Conceaued in hir ſweete & ſacred breſt.
With radiant beames, reflecting on the earth,
Euen from the ſnowie browes of Albion,
Beyond the vtmoſt verge of Chriſtendome,
As bright as is the burning lampe of heauen,
Shineth my miſtreſſe honor, in whoſe fame
The heathen carrols ſing and all admire,
From Icy Tanais to the ſeuenfold Nyle,
Her glorie that commands this Weſterne Ile.
In whoſe defense my colours I aduance,
And girt me with my ſword, and ſhake my lance:
Theſe Brittiſh Lions rampant in this field,
That neuer learned in battails rage to yeeld:
Breath terror to the proud aſpiring foe,
Ranging the world commanding where they go.
Therefore in vaine this miſproud Malecontent,
Threatens hir ſtate whoſe harms the heavensheauēs preventpreuēt
Sit ſafe ſweet Nymph among thy harmleſſe ſheep,
Thy ſacred perſon angels haue in keep.
1. Male

What meaneth this, I ſtriue and cannot ſtrike,
She is preſerued by myracle belike:
If ſo then, wherefore threaten we in vaine,
That Queene, whoſe cauſe the gracious heauens (maintain.
No maruell then although we faint and quaile,
For mightie is the truth and will preuaile.
In the hinder part of the Pageant did ſit a Child, repreſen
ting Nature, holding in her hand a diſtaffe, & ſpin-
ning a Web, which paſſed through the hand of Fortune
and was wheeled vp by Time, who ſpake as followeth
Thus while my wheele with euer turning gyres,
At heauens hie heaſt ſerues earthly mens deſires,
I wind the Web that kinde ſo well beginnes:
While Fortune doth enrich what Nature ſpinnes.
A ſpeech on the water deliuered in the morning at my
Lord Maiors going to Weſtminſter.
Liſt gentle Lords, and bubling ſtreame be ſtill
and whiſtling windes your angrie murmur ceaſe
Let Thetis Nymph vnfold the goddeſſe heſt:
Behold imbarckt thus brauely as you ſee,
Laden with treaſure and with precioThis text is the corrected text. The original is nus ore
From where in Tellus veynes the parching ſunne,
Doth gold and glittering munerals create,
Are come theſe ſtrangers louingly inflamde
To gratulate to you my louely Lord.
This gladſome day wherein your honors ſpring.
And by the barre that thwarts this ſiluer ſtreame,
Euen to the beauteous verge of Troynouant

That deckes this Thameſis on eyther ſide,
Thus farre theſe friendes haue pierced, & all by me,
Salute your honour and your companie.
Thrice worthy Prætor of this auntient towne.
The morter of theſe walles tempered in peace,
Yet holdes the building ſure, as are the ſprigges
Wouen from the ſpreading roote in knottie boxe.
Labour fayre Lord as other Maiors of yore
To beautifie this citie with deſertes.
So wiſh theſe friendly ſtrangers, man by man
Paſſe with aduiſement to receiue thy oth:
Keepe it inuiolate for thy foueraignes hope,
Vertues pure mirror, Londons great miſtreſſe,
Vnſheath the ſword committed to thy ſwaie,
With mercifull regard of euery cauſe.
So go in peace happie by ſea and land,
Guided by grace, and heauens immortall hand.
Printer’s ornament

Cite this page

MLA citation

Peele, George. Decensus Astraeae. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, Draft.

Chicago citation

Peele, George. Decensus Astraeae. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. Draft.

APA citation

Peele, G. 2022. Decensus Astraeae. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from Draft.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Peele, George
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Decensus Astraeae
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#PEEL1"><surname>Peele</surname>, <forename>George</forename></name></author>. <title level="m">Decensus Astraeae</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target=""></ref>. Draft.</bibl>





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