Melville was warded in the Tower of London from April 1607 until April 1611 for writing a seditious epigram on the dressing of the Anglican altar. He was only freed through the intervention of Henri de la Tour d'Auvergne, Maréchal de France, who asked James VI and I to allow Melville to take up a position teaching theology at the Academy of Sedan. Melville was given leave to go on the condition that he never return home again, and he remained in Sedan until his death in 1622 (see Ernest R. Holloway III, Andrew Melville and Humanism in Renaissance Scotland 1545-1622 (Leiden, 2011), pp. 260-268, 277-288). During this time he wrote a wide range of poetry, much of which survives in a single manuscript published by Charles Mellon in his L'Académie de Sedan (Paris, 1913; for more details, see 'Andrew Melville: a bibliography' in Mason and Reid, Andrew Melville, pp. 271-3). However, one of the largest poems in the collection, and reproduced in the DPS, was this wedding epithalamium written for the marriage of Bouillon's daughter, Marie de la Tour d'Auvergne (1601-1665), to Henri de la Trémoille (1598-1674), the third duke of Thouars, in 1619. The main poem (preceded by two introductory epigrams, separately lined) is an extended paraphrase of Genesis 1-2. The poem reveals much of Melville's own literary tastes, with references, allusions, and textual interplays to a range of works and authors, ranging from De Partu Virginis (Venice, 1526) by the Italian humanist Jacopo Sannazaro (1458-1530), to the works of Lucretius, Manilius, Ovid, and Virgil. Metre of introduction: elegiac couplets; main poem's metre: hexameter.
Epithalamium Illustrissimorum Principum Henrici Tremollii, Ducis Thoarsii, etc. et Mariae Turreae, filiae Ducis Bullonii, etc. (1619)
Epithalamium Illustrissimorum Principum Henrici Tremollii, Ducis Thoarsii, etc. et Mariae Turreae, filiae Ducis Bullonii, etc
Turraeam Heroinam inhians Tremollius Heros,
concipit ignem, aestu fluctuat, ictus habet. 1
1Caelia pulchra suis me blandum aspexit ocellis
invisum caecis ante Cupidinibus. 2
Adspexit fixitque suos in me Dea vultus,
cui pudor ingenuo purpurat igne genas.
5Rarum a fronte decus ferit aegrum vulnere pectus;
dum petit ore oculisque os osculosque meos.
Mentem amentem animi transfigit cuspide lucis 3
aurea; corque excors, exanimenque animum.
Spem metuamne? Metum speremne? An spemque metum tumque
10inter agam dubio limite florem animae?
1Si nunc prima cano rudis incunabula mundi,
gentis et humanae primordia, dotis et amplae
munera, deliciasque horti, dulcesque Hymenaeos,
aeterni genitoris opus, reducisque sub auras
5nati arcanum ingens (qui patri aequalis, ab aethra 4
syderea agnati migravit luminis oras, 5
ut Stygiis fieret tenebris nigri obvius Orci,
infensum et numen, factus pia victima, et ara,
aeternum aeterna placaret lege sacerdos; 6
10qui sponsus sponsae morientis morte mariti,
viventis vita, ac redamantis amantis amore
conjugis ut conjux amplexu et pace fruatur), 7
ecquid gratum erit, et thalamis genialibus aptum
argumentum, hilares lustrans laeto omine taedas? 8
15Quas Turraee paras genero sacer, almus amanti,
Henrico Henricus; qui te tolerare magistro
militiam et grave Martis opus, tua noscere facta
primo in flore aevi, viridisque in vere juventae
assuetus; primis est te miratus ab annis,
20et patriae laudis miro succensus amore:
quam toties tot avi tantis meruere triumphis.
Quarum jure tibi laudum decora alta merenti
bellatrix peperit virtus, atque aurea fandi
copia: corque animi prudens cati, et aetheris alti
25entheus ardor agens strictae rata pondera mentis;
qua te larga beat laeti indulgentia caeli,
quam cumulat plenis exundans gratia rivis. 9
[p78] Hinc juvat effœtum saeclis, gelidumque senecta
me vatem integros moribundum accedere fontes,
30atque haurire meras Mosaea ab origine lymphas, 10
ad Mosam et Charitum montem: procul Hippocrene,
et bifido Musis celebrati in vertice Grampi.
Nate Deo, illimis Charitum, et fons jugis amorum,
solque Astraeae ardens, cui vincla jugalia curae; 11
35te voco: tu largo liquidi me flaminis haustu
imbue, et irriguo mi in pectore fusus anhela;
ut rerum evaleam tantas emergere moles, 12
et diae acri animos incendere lucis amore.
Principio magni strueret cum mœnia mundi
40omnipotens rerum genitor, tum prima locando
fundamenta globum terrae suspendit inertis, 13
informem vastumque omnem: quem caeca profundo
circumfusum operit caligo: et spiritus ingens
incubat afflatu valido stagnantibus undis.
45At pater, ut dicto pollente silentia rupit, 14
iussit et extemplo e tenebris splendescere lucem; 15
ocyus orta dies fugientibus incubat umbris,
ex lux alma premit nigrae vestigia noctis,
alternoque meant cedentia tempora lapsu.
50Postera lux summi camerans fastigia caeli, 16
caelestesque cavans glomeratis orbibus orbes,
arcuat in faciem curvae testudinis undas,
sublimes undas pelagi quas dividit undis
aeris aura levis cognataque luminis ora. 17
55Tertia lux trepidas cogit decurrere lymphas 18
caeruleum in gremium, latebrosaque viscera vasti
oceani, et nudare solum, et discludere ponto 19
Nerea, et ingentes erumpere fontibus amnes.
Pubentes tum primum herbas, et flore comantes,
60frondentesque simul sylvas, et pondere fœtus
arborei gravidos saltus, stirpesque sub auras
seminibus fœtas summisit Daedala tellus: 20
ante sinum quam fœcundum pater imbribus aether
solveret, aut prognatus humo qui vomere glebas
65verteret, aut surgens imis ab sedibus humor
imbueret durae matris arentia terga.
Quarta anni, mensisque vias, et lucis, et umbrae
distinguit momenta, hilarans noctemque, diemque:
pulcher ubi auricomo collucet Phœbus amictu,
70et radiis candet nitidis argentea Phœbe:
sublustrisque polus stellis flammantibus ardet.
Quinta lacus sulcat liquidos, et caerula ponti
aequora squammigerum pinnis, pennisque volantum
praepetibus secat aerios sub nubila tractus.
75Sic matres animantur aquae. Iam grandia cete
affectant blandos Veneris dulcedine lusus: 21
et pictae volucres generatim saecla propagant. 22
Sexta rubescebat tenebris Aurora fugatis, 23
cum pecudum genus omne videt, genus omne ferarum 24
80terra parens, tardosque boves, acresque leones,
et pernicis equi palmas, et turrim elephantis 25
anguimani ingentem: sinuosa volumina torquent
labentes per humum spiris ingentibus angues. 26
Tum genitor: 'divum animal, plenumque sagacis
85consilii, nostrae fingamus imaginis instar,
qui mare, qui terras teneat ditione: regatque 27
imperio prolem pelagi, mutasque natantes,
et genus alituum, et pecudes, et secla ferarum'.
His dictis, arentis humi de pulvere fingit
90terrigenam: et patulis vitalem naribus auram 28
inspirat, testamque animat. Iam numinis instar
aurea divini vultus elucet imago.
Lucus in Edenis campo florebat amœno,
ardentes qua Phœbus equos cursu urget anhelo
95matutinus, agens juga contra acclivis Olympi:
largior hic campos aether, et semine vestit 29
purpureo, teretes hic caeli e semine rores
haurit agris Aurora, leves hunc lenibus auris 30
mulcebant Zephyri. Hunc regis manus alma supremi
100consevit stirpe omnigena, ac viridantibus herbis:
dulcibus olim ori illecebris, visuque decoris. 31
Et dumi horrentis sepsit sylva aspera circum.
In medio ramos aurataque brachia pandit, 32
et caput auricomum fulgentibus inserit astris
105stirps opulenta, ingens, vitae faelicis alumna.
[p80] Quam juxta adsimilis facie, et dulcedine fructus
blanda videbatur superas consurgere in auras
altera; at in terram pronum nutare cacumen.
Quod si non tetrum leti celaret odorem,
110fronte sua vitalis erat; sophiae ipsa magistra,
quando ferebatur recti pravique magistra.
Arctoa flumen delapsum Edenis ab ora
praecipites devolvit aquas per amœna vireta
fortunatorum nemorum: rivisque liquenti 33
115purior electro vernantia temperat arva. 34
At subter, supraque vias se fundit in ambas:
hinc atque hinc binos geminus vehit alveus amnes. 35
Quippe diem contra medium vasto impete Phison,
dum petit aequoreos Persarum in gurgite fluctus,
120vorticibus rapidis, et multa flavus arena 36
circuit Eoas Chavilae cognominis oras.
Dives ubi telluris honos, praestantis et auri
copia odorato pellucent bdellia ligno:
sardoniches vitreo pellucent marmore gemmae.
125Sic tepidos adversum Austros, orbique propinquus
labitur occiduo Gichon: Chusaeaque rura,
et dives Arabum saltus, et thura Sabaea 37
adluit: atque suis rubrum mare miscet arenis.
Partis ab adversae flabris, et montibus altis
130Armeniae, et longi linquens juga celsa Niphatae
hinc vagus Euphrates, hinc devius agmine Tigris
fertur arundineo late praecinctus amictu:
surgenti hic Soli propior, Soli ille cadenti.
Terrigenam locat hac faelici in sede virentis
135pomiferi, irrigui nemoris, blandique recessus
rerum opifex; et testa Dei modo fictilis instar, 38
iam pedibus subjecta videt late omnia circum.
Quaeque secant liquidum stridentibus aera pennis,
quaeque secant pontum sulcantibus aequora pinnis; 39
140et cicurem, atque ferum terrae omnipotentis alumnum; 40
omnibus et princeps imponit nomina rebus.
Verum oculis in patrem omnem licet omnia lustret
intentis, vitae comitem auxiliumque beatae
non videt opportunum usquam; at soli esse beato
[p81] 145nonne nefas? Ergo ossa alto pater ima sopore
irrigat: et costa exempta latus haurit apertum 41
stertenti, rursusque resartum corpore complet.
Unde opifex pulchram effingit mira arte puellam,
blandam oculis, fronte, ore, genis, roseisque labellis,
150quin matura viro, Veneris jubar aurea vincat.
Qualis stella nitet tardam quae circuit Arcton
Hiberna sub nocte, aut matutina resurgens
Aurora, aut ubi jam Oceano Sol aureus exit, 42
quae Mariae laus divae, intactae et virginis alma: 43
155aemula cui Turraea animosque et corpore virgo:
non secus ac fato nacta est, tincta amne salubri,
nomen idem, vitaque referre et moribus ardens
matris ab exemplo, divisque sororibus ambit.
Pronubus ecce Deus decus hoc muliebre una mox
160sistit, uti promptum auxilium pactosque Hymenaeos, 44
et laetis jugat omnibus, faustumque profatur: 45
'in dulces ite amplexus, prolemque feraces
sufficite, et gnavis terram complete colonis.'
Sic Deus. At terra genitus: 'nunc o mihi demum
165dulce meis ex ossibus os, ex sanguine sanguis.
Tu nunc orta viro mulier diceris: et aevi
Eva parens, generique meo, stirpique nepotum.
Deferet hinc genitorem almum caramque parentem
natus, et uxori conjunx haerebit amatae.
170Unum ambo dehinc corpus erunt sub fœdere casto,
ut quam firma sacro stant vincla jugalia nexu,
tam conjuncta thoro coeat concordia sancto.
Vernabant in flore aevi sine vestibus ambo:
nudi artus humerosque, et candida pectora nudi.
175Non ullus partem obscœnam velabat amictus,
nondum obscœni aliquid necdum pudor ora tegebat,
177pulchra sed integro regnabat corpore virtus.
A poem on the wedding between the most illustrious nobles Henry of Trémoille, duke of Thouars, etc. and Maria de la Tour, daughter of the Duke of Bouillon, etc.
Lord Trémoille, gazing at Lady de la Tour, receives Cupid's flame, is overcome by its heat, and the wound takes hold of him.[p77]
[Speaking thus] with himself [he said]
Beautiful Caelia looked upon me as agreeable with her eyes, I who previously was hateful to her because the Cupids had been blind. That goddess looked at me and she fixed her gaze upon me, and a modesty flushed red my cheeks with a noble passion. The uncommon beauty before me strikes my ailing heart with love's wound; as she seeks out my eyes, face and kisses with her mouth. With a golden shaft of light she pierced through the demented consciousness of my soul; through my senseless senses, through my lifeless soul. Should I fear hope? Should I hope for fear? Or should I cultivate this flower of life on unfamiliar terrain, between hope and fear?
1If now I sing of the first infancy of the primitive world, and the origins of the human race, and the gifts of an abundant dowry, and the pleasures of the garden, and sweet marriages, or the heavenly father's miracle, and the remarkable mystery of his son resurrected on earth (who is just like his father, and from the father's starry sky he passed through the regions of light, in order to become exposed to the infernal darkness of black Hell, a and having become both holy victim and the altar, in order to pacify, as priest, forever the hostile deity according to eternal law; he who was pledged to his betrothed through the death of a dying husband, and the life of a living man, and the love of a loving man and reciprocating wife so that the wife might enjoy his embrace and peace), surely this will be a pleasing theme, and an appropriate one for marriage, as it makes bright the wedding torches with happy tidings? These things you, venerable Duke of Tour, provide for your son-in-law, a cherisher to a lover, one Henry to another; under your direction he learned to endure military service and the harsh toil of Mars, learning of your exploits b in the first bloom of life, and the spring of flourishing youth; he has admired you from those first years, and has been fired up by a wondrous love of the glory of the nation: which so often so many ancestors obtained in so many triumphs.
22 Of which glories justly did martial courage reap high honours for you who deserved it, as did your golden facility for eloquence: the judicious intellect of a cautious mind, and an inspired passion for high heaven is directing the well-weighted conclusions of a disciplined mind; in which the abundant generosity of blessed heaven enriches you, generosity which your grace, flowing in full rivers, increases. [p78] For this reason it pleases me as a poet worn out by time, numbed by old age c and decaying to approach fresh fountains, and to drink pure water from the Muse's source, beside the mountain of the Graces and the Goddess of the Arts: d far from the sacred spring of Helicon, and atop the forked Grampians e frequented by the Muses.
33Born from a God, the unblemished Grace, both the perpetual source of love, and the sun burning for Justice, for whom marriage bonds are a source of care; I call upon you: initiate me with a large splash of your flowing breath, and freely exhale in my well-watered heart; so that I can free myself from such great troubles, and fire up my spirits with an intense love of the divine light.
39 In the beginning f while the omnipotent creator of all was constructing the walls of the universe, in setting up its first foundations he hung the formless, desolate globe of the lifeless earth: which a blind fog covers and surrounds in every direction: and his massive breath makes contact with the still waters in a powerful blast.
45And now the father, as he broke his silence with a mighty utterance, ordered the light to shine forth through the darkness; quickly did the dawning day fall upon the fleeing shades, and nourishing light pressed upon the footsteps of black night, and their allocated time moves on, yielding in an alternating cycle.
50The next day, g covering the vaults of highest heaven, and marking out the heavens in clustered constellations, he bent the lofty expanses of heaven into the shape of a curved dome; and the lofty expanses of the sea were separated from these airy expanses by his light breath and the kindred realm of light.
55On the third day, h he compelled the trembling waters to flow into the azure sea and the hidden depths of the immense ocean, and to lay bare the land, and to shut off the sea god Nereus in the deep, and vast rivers to gush forth from their sources. And then for the first time the wonder-working earth brought forth into the air the flourishing meadows, budding with flowers, and at the same time the leaf-sprouting forests, and their fruits heavy with the produce of the woodland meadows, and their stalks pregnant with seeds: before the heavenly father let flourish the valleys fertile with rainwater, or man turned clods of earth with a ploughshare, or the waters rising from the depths moistened the parched back of a then barren Mother Nature.[p79]
67On the fourth day, i animating night and day, he marked out the courses of light from that of dark, and the divisions of the year and months: when fair Phoebus covers all in light with his golden cloak, and silvery Phoebe shines forth with her shining rays: and the faintly-lit heavens glow with burning stars.
72 On the fifth day, j he marked out the liquid lakes, and apportioned the azure expanse of the sea to the fins of the scaly creatures, and the airy tracts under the clouds to the swift wings of birds. Thus the sources of the sea were brought into life. Now huge whales attempt the sport that entices with Venus' sweetness: k and the colourful birds propagate their species through their descendants.
78 On the sixth day, l with the darkness put to flight Aurora reddened the sky, and Mother Earth beheld all types of animals and beasts, both slow oxen, and fierce lions, the best of the swift horses, the massive frame of the snake-handed elephant: and the snakes, sliding over the ground on their mighty coils, twist their sinuous folds.
84 Then the creator said: m 'let me fashion a divine being, full of sagacious wisdom, and in my image, who may hold the sea and earth under its authority: in their kingdom let them rule the brood of the sea, and the silent sealife, and the species of birds, and the animals, and the race of the wild beasts.'
89 After saying these things, he fashioned the first man on earth from the dry soil: and he breathed the life-giving air into his open nostrils, and brought the clay to life. Now, like the divinity, the golden image of the divine visage shone forth. Daybreak shone on the pleasant fields of Eden, where in the morning Phoebus drove on his fiery horses in breathless haste, driving them towards the peaks of steep Olympus: here the more abundant ether covered the meadows with a rosey hue, here Aurora drained from the fields the round dew drops sent condensed from heaven's seed, and the light Zephyrs rustled through on gentle breezes. And here has the nourishing hand of the supreme ruler planted every kind of root and flourishing plant: n soon to be sweet enticements for the mouth and a vision of splendour. And a rough forest of fearful thickets surrounded and guarded it.
103 In the middle a noble, huge shoot, an offspring of fertile life spread out its limbs and golden branches, and shakes its golden-leafed head amid the glowing stars. [p80] Next to it another one, similar in appearance, with enticingly sweet fruit seemed to rise up to the stars above; but its top drooped towards the ground. But even if it were not concealing the foul stench of death, it was a life-giving tree in its appearance; it itself was the teacher of wisdom, since it was called the instructor of right and wrong.
112 The river of Eden, descending from the northern regions o flows down to the rushing waters through the pleasant meadows of the blessed groves: and purer than liquid amber it irrigates the flourishing fields with its streams. Moreover, at both top and bottom the river casts itself into two routes: and on each side the twin channel conveys two rivers apiece. For the river Phison, in a huge surge towards the south, while making its way toward the waves of the sea in the Persian Gulf, in swirling motions, and golden-yellow with sand, encircles the eastern shores of the place called Havilah. Where the rich ornaments of the land, and abundance of outstanding gold and the rich palm oil from the sweet-smelling wood all shine forth: and gem stones shine out from shining marble.
125Thus Gichon, facing the warm south winds and near to the land, flows forth: and it flows near the Cushite lands, p and the rich groves of the Arabs, and the Sabean q incense plants: and it infuses the Red Sea with its own sands.
129 Departing the raised peaks of the extensive Niphates, on one side the wandering Euphrates and on the other the swirling Tigris, r bound along their length by a reed-hemmed margin, are borne on opposing winds from the high mountains of Armenia: one closer to the rising Sun; the other to the setting Sun.
134 The maker of the universe places the first-born man in this fertile home of the fruit-bearing tree, of the well-watered grove, and of the pleasant hideaway; s and now the image of God, the earthy clay looks around far and wide at everything now subjected to his feet. Whatever surfs the liquid air on whistling wings, and whatever surfs the calm sea with cleaving fins; both the tame animals and the wild beasts, the dependents of all-powerful Earth; the first man on earth gives a name to all these things. However, even though he examines everything with his eyes strained in every direction, he does not behold a suitable helper and companion t for his blessed life anywhere: but surely it is contrary to divine law for a blessed [p81] man to be alone? Therefore the father overwhelms man's innermost marrow with deep sleep: he tears open the exposed side of the snoring man, and rib extracted, he mends and restores his body again. From this, with wondrous skill, the creator fashions a beautiful girl, alluring in eyes, face, mouth, cheeks, and rosey lips, who, ripe for a husband, might be golden and surpass the brilliance of Venus. She is just like the star shining forth which passes round the slow-moving Arctos on a wintry night, or like early-rising Aurora, or as when the golden Sun just departs the Ocean; this is the fame of divine Maria, and the chaste virgin's nourishment: to this the maiden of Tours strives in body and soul: just so by fate has her nature been created, baptised in wholesome waters, the same name, striving to draw from the example of the mother in both her life and her manners, who contends with her divine sisters.
159 Soon behold the wedding god sets up this feminine charm in one person, as the promised help and agreed marriage, and he yokes her to another with happy tidings, and favourably proclaims: 'Go into the sweet embraces of your partner, and being fertile bring forth offspring, and fill up the land with busy farmers.' Thus God spoke. But now the man born of the earth speaks: 'Now for me finally there is a bone from my bones and blood from my blood. You are now called wife, sprung forth for and from man: and Eve you will be called, as parent of every generation, and parent to my family and to the bloodline of my descendants. For her each son will leave the support of their father and the care of their mother, and as husband will join themselves to their beloved wife. Henceforth both will be one body under a chaste covenant, just as the bonds of marriage endure fixedly in sacred harmony, so the marriage union joins via a holy binding. Together, uncovered, they flourished in the first bloom of youth: naked in limbs and torso, and naked in beautiful bosom. No garment was covering their indecent region, modesty was neither concealing anything indecent nor their beautiful faces, but rather virtue held sway over their entire bodies.
1: Ovid, Metamorphoses XV.348
2: Propertius, Elegies I.1-2
3: cf. Virgil, Aeneid IV.203
4: '...aethera / siderea...' Virgil, Aeneid III.585-6
5: cf. Virgil, Georgics II.47 'oras luminis' is a fairly common poetic expression found in Ennius, Lucretius, and Ovid.
6: Vulgate, Heb. VII.15. This is referring specifically to Christ.
7: cf. Virgil, Aeneid III.331
8: Claudian, In Rufinam II.96-97
9: Jacopo Sannazaro provides Melville with much of the content in this stanza: '...merenti / Bellatrix peperit virtus...plenis exundans gratia ' Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis II.182 and I.115
10: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura I.927, and Virgil, Aeneid VIII.508
11: Virgil, Aeneid IV.59
12: Manilius, Astronomica I.499
13: Vulgate, Job XXXVIII.4, and Proverbs VIII.29
14: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.208
15: Calvin, In Epist. II ad Cor. IV.25. Cf. Corinthians II.4.6
16: Manilius, Astronomica III.506
17: Vulgate, Genesis I.7. For 'luminis ora' see n. 5 above
18: 'Tertia Lux' is a Vergilian rendering of the Vulgate's 'dies tertius'. Cf. Virgil, Aeneid III.117
19: Virgil, Eclogues VI.35
20: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura I.7
21: cf. Manilius, Astronomica V.416; 430; 659
22: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura I.20
23: Virgil, Aeneid III.521
24: Virgil, Georgics IV.223. Also influenced by Georgics III.243, from whence the 'volucres' of two lines previous.
25: Lucretius, De Rerum Natura II.537
26: Virgil, Aeneid XI.753
27: Virgil, Aeneid I.236
28: Virgil, Georgics I.376
29: Virgil, Aeneid VI.640
30: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.107-8
31: Virgil, Georgics III.217
32: Virgil, Aeneid VI.282
33: Virgil, Aeneid VI.638-9; 'vireta' = 'virecta'
34: Virgil, Georgics III.522 and I.110
35: Virgil, Georgics I.203
36: Virgil, Aeneid VII.31
38: Ovid, Metamorphoses I.79
39: cf. Virgil, Georgics I.406-411
40: Virgil, Aeneid VI.555
41: Virgil, Aeneid X.314
42: Entire passage from Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis II.14-16
43: Sannazaro, De Partu Virginis III.65
44: Virgil, Aeneid IV.99
45: Virgil, Aeneid I.345
a: The Apostles' Creed (late fourth century) states that Jesus 'descended to the dead', and there has been considerable debate as to whether or not this means Jesus descended into Hell before his ascenscion to Heaven. For the text of the Creed, see Diarmaid MacCulloch, Reformation: Europe's House Divided, 1490-1700 (Penguin, 2004), p. 709.
b: Although De la Tour took part in the siege against Huguenot-held La Rochelle in 1573, he served as part of the Huguenot forces before and after this. He was important in negotiating both the Peace of Nérac between the opposing confessional sides in 1579 and in renewing the alliance with England in 1596.
c: Born in 1545, Melville would have been almost 75 when he wrote this.
d: Melville is possibly thinking of a hill or mountain in the vicinity of Thouars here, or at least within Aquitaine.
e: 'Bifidus' is the adjective usually associated with Mount Parnassus, and thus Melville is equating it with the Grampian hills.
f: Genesis 1:1-5
g: Genesis 1:6-8
h: Genesis 1:9-13
i: Genesis 1:14-19
j: Genesis 1:20-23
k: ie, they mate.
l: Genesis 1:24-25
m: Genesis 1:26-31
n: Genesis 2:8-10
o: Genesis 2:10-15, and the discussion that follows on the rivers that flow through Eden corresponds with the Genesis text. Very little is known about the actual location of Eden (if it existed) or these rivers, though several sites in modern-day Iraq and around the Persian Gulf have been suggested. 'Édinu' means 'plain' in Babylonian, and the writer of Genesis may have had the fertile lands of Mesopotamia in mind, but the geography is extremely vague.
p: The 'Cushite' lands usually refer to Ethiopia in general, and Gihon/Gichon has been traditionally identified with the Nile.
q: An ancient Semitic people who ruled Saba in south-west Arabia until overrun by Persians and Arabs in the sixth century AD. Melville also refers to their incense in his 'Anti-Tami-Cami-Categoria' (completed 1604; published in David Calderwood, Parasynagma Perthense et iuramentum ecclesiae Scoticanae ('Holland', 1620)).
r: Genesis (2:14) refers to this river as Hiddekel, but other parts of the Old Testament (eg Daniel 10:4) help identify this as the Tigris.
s: Genesis 2:15-17
t: For what follows, see Genesis 2:18-25.