Theologicall, Philosphicall, Poeticall, Histori∣call, Apothegmaticall, Hierogriphicall and Emblema∣ticall Obseruations• touching the further illustra∣tion of the former Tractat.
AS Fire cannot be long smothered, but it will finde vent; nor the Sunne be so eclipsed and clouded• but it will soone worke it selfe into it's owne natiue glory and splendor: so the Omnipotencie of the great Creator cannot be so darkened, either by the stupidity of the Ignorant, or the malicious obstinacie of the seeming-Wise, but euen out of their voluntarie Blindnesse it will extract it's owne Brightnesse. Prophane Lucian, who so generally taxed all the gods, as that he was held scarcely to beleeue that there were any, and therefore purchased to himselfe the Cha∣racter of Blasphemus Maledicus, &c. yet he in one of his Coelestial Dialogues (so stiled because they meerely consist of conference held amongst the vpper Deities) in a discourse betwixt Ma•s and Mercury,* introduceth Mars speaking of Iupiter to this purpose:
I began the former Tractate with the Hierarchie of Angells, their three Classes or Ternions, their order and concatination; in Page 219 which I haue proceeded with that plainenesse, that I hope they need no further demonstration. As also of the opinion of the Sadduces and others, who will allow no Spirits or Angells at all; their weake and vnmomentary Tenents being with much facility remoued. I now proceed to this vnresistable conclusion, That the obiect and end of Gods diuine Will in the creation of all things,* was no other, than his Grace and Goodnesse, in which he conti∣nued from all eternitie, and so he might haue done, without the helpe, seruice, or ministerie of any Angell or Creature whatsoe∣uer, which neither to the ornament, conseruation, or augmentati∣on of his Diuine Nature, can adde or detract. And that his Al∣mightinesse was pleased to vndergo this great Worke of the Cre∣ation, it was his free-Will, and no Necessitie, that obliged him vnto it. And he that in his Diuine Wisdom and Goodnesse had Will to make things, hath the same Power to dispose them, by which he created them; and as much do we owe vnto him, for the Dangers from which he deliuereth vs, as for the Health, Wealth, and Dignities with which hee blesseth vs. For as Saint Hierome saith. The treasures of Vices in vs, are the aboundance of Good∣nesse in God, &c.
Angels were the first Creatures God made, created pure as the Light, ordained with the Light to serue God, who is the Lord of Light: They haue charge to conduct vs, wisedome to instruct vs, and grace to preserue vs: They are the Saints Tutors, Heauens Heraulds, and the Bodies and Soules Guardians. Furthermore as Origen saith, Euery ones Angell that hath guided him in this life, shall at the last day produce and bring his Charge forth whom he hath gouerned. They at all times and in all places be∣hold the majestie of the Heauenly Father. And according to Saint Augustine, they were created Immortall, Beautifull, Inno∣cent, Good, Free, and Subtile, resembling a far off the Essence of God himselfe.
Saint Basil saith,* The Angels suffer no mutation or change, for amongst them there is neither Childe, Youth, nor Old man; but in the same state they were created in the beginning, they stil per∣sist, and so vnchangeably shall to all eternitie. And Saint Augu∣stine in his Booke De vera Religione, vseth these words: Let not the worship of men that be dead be any Religion vnto vs; who if they liued piously, and died good men, desire no such honor to be con∣ferred vpon them: but they desire that Hee onely should be ado∣red by vs, by whose illumination, they reioyce, that wee shall be∣come partakers of their blessednesse. Therefore they are to be ho∣nored for imitation, but not worshipped for Religion. And af∣ter, speaking of the Augels, he addeth this: We honour them in Page 220 our Charitie, but not in any Seruilitie; neither do wee build any Temples vnto them. For they would not be so honoured of vs, knowing that we our selues, if we be good men, are the Temples of the euer liuing God. For our instruction therefore it was writ∣ten, That the Angell forbad man to bow to him, but to giue all worship and reuerence to that Great God, to whom he with him was a fellow seruant.
God vseth their ministerie and seruice not only to the celebra∣ting of his owne glory,* (as Psal. 103. vers. 20, 21. Praise the Lord ye his Angels that excell in strength, that do his commandement in obeying the voice of his Word. Praise the Lord all yee his Hosts, yee his Ser∣uants that do his pleasure.) But also when he employeth them to de∣liuer any message vnto man; as Numb. 22. vers. 32. And the Angel of the Lord said vnto him, Why hast thou stricken thin• Asse now thrice? &c. As also, Genes. 19. & 13. For wee will destroy this place, because the Cry of them is great before the Lord; and the Lord hath sent vs to de∣stroy it.* He employeth them likewise in the gouernment of the world: For by him were all things cre•ted, which are in heauen, or which are in earth; things visible and invisible, whether they be Thrones, or Dominions, or Principalities, or Powers; all things were created by him, and for him, &c. He vseth them in the deliuerance and protection of the Faithfull.*Acts 5.19. But the Angell of the Lord by night opened the prison doores, and brought him forth, &c. By their care and employment some are instructed in the Law of the Lord, and to haue the Gospell propagated; Acts 16.9. Where a Vision appea∣red to Paul in the night: There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come into Macedonia and helpe vs, &c. They comfort the Saints in afflictions, as well in things that belong to this bo∣dily, as spirituall life; they strengthen them when they faint; sometimes cherish, and at other times chastice them. Reg. 2.1.3. Then the Angell of the Lord said to Elijah the Tishbyte, Arise, and goe vp to meet the Messengers of the King of Samaria, and say vnto them, Is it not because there is no God in Israel, that you go to enquire of Baalze∣bub the god of Eckron, &c. Acts 27.23, 24. Paul saith, For there stood by me this night the Angell of God, whose I am, and whom I serue, saying, Feare not, Paul, for thou must be brought before Caesar, and Loe, God hath giuen vnto thee freely, all that saile with thee. They are Gods Avengers of the reprobat and such as oppose his Church & peo∣ple: Esay 37.36. Then the Angell of the Lord went out, and smote in the Campe of Assur an hundred fourestore and fiue thousand. So when they arose early in the morning, behold they were all dead Corps.
Of their seuerall apparitions and sundry employments much more might be said, but these few may serue to illustrate the rest. Yet notwithstanding, that great is their power and excellence, and Page 221 that God vseth their ministerie in preseruing and protecting vs, and bestowing many benefits and blessings vpon vs; yet as wel by their owne saying, as the sentence of the Apostles, it is manifest, no Diuine Worship is to be conferred vpon them, but vpon God onely.
Before I come by seuerall histories to enlarge that argument handled in the premisses; namely, That euen by Dreames it may be concluded that there be Spirits. I will speake something of Dreams in general. Aristotle defines them thus: Somnium est phan∣tasmain somno factum: i.* A Dreame is a phantasie begotten in the sleepe. Chrisippus the Philosopher after this manner; It is a dis∣cerning or explaining force,* signified by the gods vnto men in their sleepes: for so saith Cicero, Lib. de Divinat. Erasmus, Lib. 3. Apotheg. thus derideth such mens superstitions as are inquisitiue after the expositions of their Dreames: Those things (saith hee) which you do waking, you regard not; but after your dreams you solicitously enquire. But to the felicitie or infelicitie of Man it is not so much auaileable, what you suffer in your sleepe, as that which you do being awake: for what euill you then commit, you are to feare the wrath and anger of the gods, and some sad punish∣ment ensuing; but for the other not.
Thales being asked,* How far a Lie differed from a Truth? made answer, Iust so far as the eye differeth from the eare: Intimating, That all those were of an vndoubted faith which we see with our eyes; but many things fabulous reported, heard with our eares, come short of credit. Something alluding to that Homericall fi∣ction of Dreames: Of which (saith he) those which fly in at the Horny port are true; but those which enter at the Ivorie gate are false. By the Horny port meaning the eyes, by reason of the re∣semblance of their colour with horne: by the Ivory way, the mouth; alluding to the whitenesse of the teeth.
Seneca, in Hercul. Furent. calls Sleepe, The better part of mans life:
Aristotle saith,* That Sleepe is the Medium betwixt life and death. And in his Booke de Som. & Vigil. If Dreams come from Page 222 the gods, wise men should find the euent of them in the day: nei∣ther can they come Divinitus, or from aboue, because Dreames are as frequent with other Creatures as with Men. Eccles. cap. 34. As he that would take hold of a shadow, or pursueth the winde; so he, that is intentiue after Dreames. There are some define them the sleepie agitations of the waking minde. According to Seneca, in Octav.
Ovid, lib. 2. Eligiar. thus speaketh of them:
And Tibull. lib. 3. Eleg. 4.
But these are more perspicuously set downe by the excellent Poet Claudian, in Praefat. lib. 6. de Consol. Honor.
I cannot forget (for the excellencie thereof) here to insert one of Sr Thomas Mores Epigrams thus exprest:
From Poetry,* I come to History. Aristotle writeth of one Eude∣mus of Cyprus, his familiar friend; who trauelling to Macedo∣nia, came to the noble City Phaecas in Thessaly, then groaning vnder the immanitie of the barbarous Tyrant Alexander. In which place falling sicke, and being forsaken of all the Physiti∣ons, as one desperat of recouerie, a yong man appeared vnto him in a vision; who told him. That in a short space hee should be re∣stored to his former health. Next, That within a few dayes the Tyrant should be remoued by death. And lastly, That at the end of fiue yeares he himselfe should returne home into his country. The two first predictions happened accordingly; he being resto∣red to his former strength, and Alexander the Tyrant perishing, being slaine by the brothers of his wife. But in the fifth yeare, when (encouraged by his vision) he had hope to returne from Si∣cilie into Cyprus, he was ingaged by the way in a battell fought against the Syracusians, and slaine. His Vision therefore was thus interpreted; That when the Soule of Eudemus was departed from his body, it was said to returne againe into it's owne Coun∣trey, or into his hands againe who first leant it.
The father of Galen the excellent Physition,* was in a Dreame admonished, to educate and tutor his sonne, being then a Childe, in the study and practise of Physicke: which he accordingly did. In which, to what eminence and admiration his industry brought him, his learned Workes euen to this day testifie of him.
Quintus Catulus a noble Romane,* saw (as hee thought) in his depth of rest, Iupiter deliuering into the hand of a Childe the En∣signe Page 224 of the Roman People: and the next night after, hee saw the same child hugged in the bosome of the god. Whom Catulus of∣fering to pull thence, Iupiter charged him to lay no violent hands on him, who was borne for the weale and preseruation of the Ro∣man Empire. The very next morning, when Q. Catulus espied by chance in the street, Octavianus Augustus, (then a childe) and per∣ceiuing him to be the same, he suddenly ran vnto him, and with a loud acclamation said, Yes, this is he whom the last night I beheld hugg'd in the bosome of Iupiter.
*A rich Vessell of Gold being stollen out of the Temple of Hercules, Sophocles by his Genius was shewed the Theefe in his sleepe: which for the first and second apparition hee neglected; but being troubled the third night, he went to the Areopagus or hill of Mars, which is a village neere vnto Athens; and there cau∣sing the Areopagitae, (i. the Optimates of the City) to be assem∣bled, he told them the whole circumstance before related. Who vpon no other euidence, summoned the party to make his appea∣rance: who after strict examination, confessed the fact, and made restitution of the Vessell. For which discouery, the Temple was euer after called Templum Herculis Indicis.
*Alexander the Philosopher (a man knowne to be free from all superstition) reporteth of himselfe, That sleeping one night, hee saw his mothers funeralls solemnised, being then a dayes journey distant thence: and waking, in great sorrow and many teares, hee told this apparition to diuers of his Familiars and Friends. The time being punctually obserued, certaine word was brought him the next day after, That at the same houre of his Dreame his mo∣ther expired.
*Iovius reporteth, That Sfortia, Anno 1525, in a mornings slum∣ber dreamed, That falling into a Riuer, he was in great danger of drowning: and calling for succour to a man of extraordinary sta∣ture and presence, (such as Saint Christopher is pourtrayed) who was on the farther shore, he was by him sleighted and neglected. This Dreame he told to his wife and seruants, but no farther re∣garded it. The same day, spying a child fall into the water neere vnto the Castle Pescara, thinking to saue the childe, leaped into the Riuer; but ouer-burthened with the weight of his Armor, he was choked in the mud, and so perished.
*The like Fulgentius, lib. 1. cap. 5. reporteth of Marcus Antonius Torellus Earle of Cynastall: who, admonished of the like danger in his sleep, but contemning it, the next day swimming (in which exercise he much delighted) though many were neere him, yet he sunke in the midst of them and was drowned, not any one being at that time able to helpe him.
Page 225Alcibiades Probus;*Iustine and Plutarch relate of him, That a lit∣tle before his death, (which happened by the immanitie of Tis∣menius and Bag•as, sent from Critia) dreamed, That he was cloa∣thed in his mistresses Petticoat or Kirtle. Whose body, after his murther, being throwne out of the city naked, and denied both buriall and couerture; his Mistresse in the silence of the night stole out of the gates, and couered him with her garment as well as she was able, to shadow his dead Corps from the derision and scorne of his barbarous enemie.
No lesse strange was the Dreame of Croesus,* remembred by He∣rodotus and Valerius Max. Lib. 1. Cap. 7. Who of Atis (the eldest and most excellent of his two sonnes) dreamed, That he saw him wounded and trans-pierced with steele: And therefore with a fa∣therly indulgence sought to preuent all things that might haue the least reflection vpon so bad a disaster. And thereupon, where the youthfull Prince was before employed in the wars, hee is now altogether detained at home in peace. He had of his owne a rich and faire Arcenall or Armorie furnished with all manner of wea∣pons, (in which hee much delighted) which is shut vp, and hee quite debarred both the pleasure and vse thereof. His Seruants and Attendants are admitted into his presence, but they are first vnarmed. Yet could not all this care preuent Destiny; for when a Bore of extraordinarie stature and fiercenesse, had made great spoile and slaughter in the adiacent Region, (insomuch that the king was petitioned, to take some order how he might be destroi∣ed) the noble Prince by much importunitie and intercession ob∣tained leaue of his father, to haue the honour of this aduenture: but with a strict imposition, that he should expose his person vnto no seeming danger. But whilst all the Gallantry that day assem∣bled, were intentiue on the pursuit of the Beast; one Adrastus ai∣ming his Bore-speare at him, by an vnfortunate glance it turned vpon the Prince and slew him.
Valerius Maximus telleth vs of one Aterius Ruffus a Knight of Rome;* who when a great Sword-play was to be performed by the Gladiators of Syracusa, dreamed the night before, That one of those kinde of Fencers called Rhetiarij (which vsed to bring Nets into the Theatre, and by cunning cast them so to intangle their aduersaries, to disable them either for offence or defence) gaue him a mortal wound. Which dream he told to such of his friends as fate next him. It happened presently after, That one of those Rhetiarij was brought by a certaine Gladiator (being then Chal∣lenger) into a Gallery next vnto the place where Aterius and his friends were seated as spectator: Whose face hee no sooner be∣held, but hee started; and told his Friends, that hee was the man Page 226 from whose hands he dream'd he had receiued his deadly wound. When suddenly rising with his Friends to depart thence, as not willing to tempt that Omen; in thrusting hastily to get out of the throng, there grew a sudden quarrell: in which tumult Aterius was transpierced by the same mans sword, and was taken vp dead in the place, being by no euasion able to preuent his fate.
*Cambyses King of Persia, saw in a Vision his brother Smerdis sit∣ting vpon an Imperiall Throne, and his head touching the clouds. And taking this as a forewarning, that his brother had an aspiring purpose to supplant him, and vsurpe the Crowne; he wrought so far with Praxaspes, a Nobleman, and then the most potent in the Kingdome, that by his practise he was murthered. Yet did not all this avert the fate before threatned: for another Smerdis, a Ma∣gition and base fellow, pretending to be the former Smerdis, and the sonne of Cyrus, after enioyed the Kingdome: and Cambyses mounting his Steed, was wounded with a knife in his hip or thigh, of which hurt he miserably died.
Many Histories to the like purpose I could cite from Aristotle, Plato, Hippocrates, Galen, Pliny, Socrates, Diogines, Laertius, Themisto∣cles, Alexander Aphrodiensis, Livy, AElianus, and others. As of Pto∣lomeus besieging Alexandria. Of Galen himselfe, Lib. de venae Se∣ctione. Of two Arcadians trauelling to Megara.* Of Aspatia the daughter of Hermilinus Phocensis, who after was the Wife of two mighty Kings; Cyrus of Persia, and Artaxes: whose history, Elia∣nus, de Varia Historia,*lib. 12. writeth at large. As also that of Titus Atimius remembred by Cicero, Lib. de Divinat. 1. By Valer. Maxim. Lib. 1. Cap. 7. By Livy, lib. 2. By Macr•b. Saturn. 1. with infinite others.
*To the further confirmation that there are Spirits, I hold it not amisse to introduce some few Histories concerning Predicti∣ons. The Emperor Nero asking counsel of the Diuell,* How long his empire and dominion should last? Answer was returned him from that crafty and equivocating Pannurgist, To beware of 64. Nero being then in youth and strength, was wondrous ioyful in his heart, to heare so desired a solution of his doubt and demand; presuming that his principalitie should vndoubtedly continue to that prefixed yeare, if not longer. But soone after, •alba, who was threescore and foure yeares of age, being chosen to the Imperiall Purple, deposed and depriued him both of his Crowne and life.
*The like we reade of Philip King of Macedon, and Father to Alexander the Great. Who sending to the Oracle of Delphos, to know what should futurely betide him. Answer was returned, that his life should continue for a long season, if it were not endange∣red by a Chariot. Whereupon the King gaue strict and expresse Page 227 commandement, That all the Chariots within his kingdome should be pluckt in pieces, and no further vse to be made of them, and that no new ones should be after made: neither would hee come neere vnto places that had any reference or relation to such a name. Notwithstanding all his preuention, hee was soone after slaine by Pausonias, who wore at that time a sword which had a Chariot grauen vpon the pommell.
Dioclesian,* a man of a base and obscure parentage in Dalmatia, serued as a common soldier in France and elsewhere, vnder diuers and sundry Emperors. Vpon a time, reckoning with his Hostesse of the house wherein he was billited, (who was one of the sooth-saying Druides) she told him, that he was too penurious, and did not beare the noble minde of a Souldier. To whom he made an∣swer, That hee then reckoned with her according to his poore meanes and allowance: and merrily added, That if euer hee came to be made Emperor of Rome, he would then shew himself much more bountifull. To whom (first looking stedfastly in his face) she replied, Souldier, thou hast spoken truer than thou art aware of; for after thou hast killed one Aper, [which signifieth a Boare] thou shalt be made Caesar, semper Augustus, and weare the Impe∣riall Purple. Dioclesian smiled, and receiued it from her as a de∣li•ement or scoffe, because hee had before bated her of her recko∣ning. Yet after that time hee tooke great delight in the hunting and killing of Boares. But diuers Emperors succeeding one ano∣ther, and he finding little alteration in his fortune; hee was fre∣quently wont to say, I still kill the Boares, but there be others that eat the flesh. Yet in processe of time it happened, that a po∣tent man called Aper, hauing married the sister of the Emperour Numerianus, layd violent hands vpon his brother in law, and most traiterously slew him. For which facinerous act being apprehen∣ded by the souldiers, and brought into that part of the Army where Dioclesian was (who by reason of his long seruice was had in reputation with the prime Commanders;) the souldiers now demanding what should be done with the Traitor? it was conclu∣ded amongst them, that he should be at Dioclesians dispose: who presently demanding of him his name? and he answering, Aper; without further pause he drew his sword, & vttering these words, And this Aper or Boare shall be added to the rest; presently ranne him through the body and slew him. Which done, the soldiers com∣mending it for an act of justice, without further deliberation, sa∣luted him by the name of Emperor.
I haue read in the Chronicle of France, concerning one of the French Henries,* That Gonvarus an Italian Astrologer hauing cal∣culated his Natiuitie, wrote vnto him about fiue yeares before the Page 228 strange disaster of his death happened, That the Starres and Pla∣nets threatned him in the one and fortieth yeare of his age, with a dangerous wound in the head, by which he should be strooke ei∣ther blinde or dead: and therefore aduised him to beware of tilts, tourneys, or any the like violent exercises for the space of that yeare. Notwithstanding which, in the predicted yeare, at the so∣lemne and pompous celebration of his Sisters mariage with the young King of Spaine; after hee had three dayes together with great successe and generall applause demeaned himselfe in those Chiualrous exercises of Tilt and Barriers: though hee was much persuaded by the Queene, and entreated by the Lords, after the breaking of many staues, to giue ouer, yet nothing could preuaile with him: insomuch that in the very later end of the day, when most of the Spectators were risen and departed out of the Tilt∣yard, he called to the Count Montgomerie, Captain of his Guard, earnestly importuning that he would runne one course more with him. Which when hee sought by all meanes possible to excuse, pretending many vnwilling delayes; he tooke a speare and thrust it into his hand, compelling him to another encounter: in which he was most vnfortunately slaine by a splinter of the staffe, that entring at the sight of his beauer, pierced his braine, and so con∣cluded the great solemnitie with his owne lamentable Tragedie. Before this accident happened, in the beginning of the triumph, one Nostrodanus told vnto diuers of the Kings seruants in secret, that the King would be in great danger of death before the Tour∣nament was fully finished. And (which is most remarkable) a Merchants sonne of Paris, a childe of about six yeares old, not fully seuen, being brought thither that day by his father and mo∣ther to see the Tilting; at euery course the King ranne, hee was heard to cry out aloud, They will kill the King, ô they will kill the King.
*Plato was of opinion, That children are no sooner born, but they haue one of those Spirits to attend them, which doth first copu∣late and conioyne the soule vnto the body: and after being grown vnto some maturitie, teach, instruct, and gouerne them. The Aca∣demiques held,* That Spirits behold all mens actions, and assist them; that they know all our apprehensions and cogitations; and when the Soule is deliuered from the Body, they bring it before the high Iudge. That they are questioned about our good or bad actions, their testimonie being much preualent either to excuse or aggrauate. That also they are vigilant ouer vs, either sicke or in health, waking or sleeping, and especially in the very article and point of death, oftentimes inspiring the parting Soule with a diuination surpassing all humane knowledge. For instance:
Page 229Pheceredes Cyrus being vpon his death bed,* predicted victorie against the Magnesians; which fell out accordingly. And Possi∣donius telleth vs, That a Rhodian dying,* nominated six men, and told who should die first, who second, who third, and so in order till he came to the last. Neither did he any way faile in his pre∣diction.
Porphirius was of opinion,* That not one onely, but many Spi∣rits or Genij had the charge of one and euery man: one hauing care ouer his health, another indulgent ouer his beauty and fea∣ture; another to infuse into him courage and constancie, &c. But Iamblicus was of a contrarie assertion, affirming, That many nee∣ded not, when one being of so pure and refined a nature was suffi∣cient.
Some haue affirmed Spirits to be of diuers qualities, & there∣fore to worke in men, according to their owne dispositions, diuers effects. Affirming, That those AEthereall or Fierie, stirre vp men to contemplation: the Airy, to the businesse and common affaires of this life: the Waterie, to pleasure: the Earthy, to base and gripple auarice. So likewise the Martiall Spirits incite vs to for∣titude; the Ioviall, to prudence; the Venereall, to lust; the Mer∣curiall, to policie and wisedome; the Lunarie, to fertilitie and plenty of issue; the Saturnine, to dissuade from all things that be euill. Such was that Socraticum Daemonium,* or Genius of Socra¦tes, which still continued and encouraged him in the studie an practise of Vertue. whose condition was to dissuade him from many things, but to persuade him to nothing. Of this Daemoni∣um strange things are reported in Historie; as that it was euer at his elbow to diuert him from doing euill, and to aduise him to shun and auoid danger; to remember him of things past, to ex∣plaine vnto him things present, and reueale vnto him things fu∣ture. Socrates himselfe confessed that hee saw it sometimes, but seldome, yet heard it often.
He dissuaded Charmiades the sonne of Glaucus,* from going to the Groues of Nemaea, and to excuse himselfe from that journey: who despising his counsell, perished in the aduenture. Vpon a time sitting at the table of Timarchus, where a great banquet was serued in; Timarchus offered twice to rise from the boord, but was held by Socrates. Yet watching his opportunitie while the other was in serious discourse, hee stole away priuately; and met with Nyceus, whom he slew. For which fact being condemned and led to death, he confessed vnto his brother Clitimachus, That if he had been swayed by the double aduertisement of Socrates, hee had not vndergone so sad a disaster.
The same Socrates in a great defeate which the Athenians had, Page 230 flying from the victorious Enemie with Lachetes the Praetor, and comming to a place where three wayes met, he chose one path to himselfe, contrarie to the aduice and counsell of all the rest: And being demanded the reason wherefore he did so? he made answer, That his Genius so persuaded him. Which they deriding, tooke a contrarie course, and left him abandoned to himselfe. Now when the Horsemen of the Enemie made hot pursuit after them, they tooke that path which Lachetes and all his people had taken; who were all put to the sword, and onely those few which follow∣ed Socrates, escaped. He presaged the great strage and messacre which after hapned in Sicilia. As also of the deaths of Neon and Thrasillus, in their Expedition against those of Ionia and Ephe∣sus.
Saint Augustine in his booke De Cognitione verae vitae, is per∣suaded, That Spirits by Gods permission can raise stormes and tempests, and command raine, haile, snow, thunder, and lightning at their pleasures. As also, That by the instigation of Spirits, wild Beasts become either rebellious or seruiceable to mans vse. In a∣nother place hee ascribeth the operation of all things, seasonable or vnseasonable, vnto them, but not as Authors and Makers, but Ministers and Seruants to the Diuine Will and command. Ac∣cording with that in Ecclesiasticus, Cap. 39. vers. 28. There be Spi∣rits that are created for vengeance, which in their rigour lay on sure strokes: in the time of destruction they shew forth their power, and ac∣complish the wrath of him that made them. Fire, Haile, Famine, and Death, all these are created for vengeance; the teeth of the wilde Beasts and the Scorpions, and the Serpents, and the Sword, execute vengeance for the destruction of the Wicked. They shall be glad to do his commande∣ments; and when need is they shall be ready vpon earth; and when their houre is come, they shall not ouerpasse the commandements, &c.
To this strict rule of Gods commandement both the good and bad Spirits are limited, and beyond that they haue power or abi∣litie to do nothing. Otherwise, those that are malignant & euill, would in their rabies and fury destroy all Gods creatures in a mo∣ment. Moreouer, as the same Author affirmeth, the Diuell hath power to tempt and entice man to sinne and wickednesse; but he cannot compell him. These be his words; Serm. de Temp. Potest Diabolus ad malum invitare, non potest trahere: Delectationem infert non potestatem, &c.
*Rabbi Avot Nathan a learned Iew, affirmeth, That Spirits haue three things common with men, namely, Procreation, Food, and Death. Porphirius (as Proclus witnesseth of him) held all Spirits to be mortall; and that he amongst them who was the longest li∣ued, did not exceed the number of a thousand yeares. Plutarch in Page 231 his booke De Oraculorum defectu, reciteth a story, That about the Islands called Echinades, newes was brought to one Thamus, be∣ing then a ship boord, that god Pan was dead: and this happened iust at the birth of our Sauiour Christ. But because I haue made vse of this Historie heretofore, in a booke commonly entituled, The History of Women; to insert the same here likewise, might be tasted as Cibus bis coctus.
But to answer that learned Rabbi, and Porphyrius, like him opi∣nionated: Not possible it is, That Spirits, created by God im∣mortall and incorporeall, should be any way obnoxious to extin∣ction or death. More credible it is, that these were meere phan∣tasies and illusions of the Diuell; by such prestigious sorceries persuading vs that Spirits are mortall; to make man distrust the immorralitie of the Soule, and so possesse him with an heresie grosse, impious, and damnable.
Here likewise a most necessarie consideration may be inserted,* to giue answer to the Sadduces and others, who obstinately af∣firme, That Moses in his Booke of the Creation made no menti∣on at all of Spirits or Angels. When as Saint Augustine (contra∣rie to them in beleefe) saith, That vnder the words of Heauen, aud Light (though not by their proper and peculiar names) they were specified and intended. And that Moses, writing to a People whose obstinacie and stupidity was such, that they were not capa∣ble of their incorporeall Essence; he was the more chary to giue them plaine and manifest expression. Moreouer, it may be sup∣posed, That if the discreet Law-giuer had told them of their Di∣uine nature, it might haue opened a wide gap to their idolatry, to which he knew they were too prone of themselues. For if they were so easily induced to worship a golden Calfe and a brasen Serpent, both of them molten and made with hands; how could so excellent and diuine a Nature haue escaped their adoration. Yet doe the words of Moses allow of Spirits, (though couertly) where it is said, Genes. 3.1. Now the Serpent was more subtill than any Beast of the field which the Lord God had made, &c. By whom was meant the Diuell; as appears, Wisd. 2.24. As Satan can change him∣selfe into an Angell of light, so did he vse the wisedome of the Serpent to abuse Man, &c. I had occasion to speake in my discourse of Dreames, of the one brother, Sleepe: something shall not be a∣misse to be discoursed of the other, Death; and to amplifie that in the Prose, which in the Verse was onely mentioned.
Cicero calleth Death,* the yonger brother of Sleepe; which be∣ing a thing that cannot be auoided, it ought therefore the lesse to be feated. One demanding of a noble Sea Captaine, Why, hauing meanes sufficient to liue on land, hee would endanger his Page 232 person to the perills and frequent casualties of the Ocean? Hee answered, That hee had a naturall inclination to it, and therefore no persuasion could diuert him from it. The other replied vpon him, I pray where died your Father? he answered, At Sea. Again he asked him, Where his Grandfather died? Who told him, At sea. And are not you then (said he) sor that cause afraid to go to sea? The Captaine made answer; Before I resolue you fully of your demand, let me also be satisfied in one thing from you? I pray you where died your father? He answered, In his bed. And where (saith he) died your Grandfather? Hee likewise answered, In his bed. He then replied, Why are you not then for that cause onely, afraid to go to bed?
It is a true saying, No man dieth more willingly, than such as haue liued most honestly. And wherefore should we be afraid to meet with that, which wee know it is not possible for vs to shun? Heraclitus calleth it the Law of Nature, the Tribute of the Flesh, the Remedie of Euils, and the Path either to heauenly Felicitie, or eternall Miserie.
Claudian, lib. 2. de Raptu Proserp. speaking of Death, writeth af∣ter this manner:
And Ovid speaking of the vnpartialitie of the fatall Sisters, Metam. lib. 10. saith,
It is a great and weighty thing, (saith the Philosopher) and not soone learned, When that inevitable houre shall come, to en∣tertaine it with patience: Thou canst not fly the necessitie there∣of, ouercome it thou maist; namely, if thou dost not first yeeld vnto it; if quietly thou expectest it; if vnmoued thou receiuest Page 233 it; if thou dost persist certaine against incertaintie; and feare∣lesse, against that which most men feare: then maist thou be said truly to conquer and ouercome it. There is nothing so bitter, but an equall and constant spirit can easily digest; for many in their patient sufferings seeme to despise the most exquisite torments: Mutius, the Fire; Regulus, the Crosse; Anaxarchus, the contusion of all his members; Theramenes and Socrates, Poyson: and when sentence of death was deliuered to Canius, from the Tyrant, hee then playing at Chesse, seemed so little daunted at the message, that without change of countenance he played out his game. And so of others. Now whence grew this magnanimitie, but from a sound and cleare conscience; assiduate practise of Vertue; and a courage armed against all disasters? Nothing is more calami∣tous, than a minde doubtfull of what is to come: To be alwayes troubled, is to be miserable before miserie happen; for there is nothing more foolishly wretched, than to be still in feare, especi∣ally of death; which (if nothing else) the very necessitie thereof, and the common equalitie with all Mankind, ought to make tol∣lerable.
First diligently thinke with thy selfe, That before thou diest, all thy vices die in thee. And next, That thou makest a consum∣mation of thy life, before thy death. O! when thou shalt see that time in which thou shalt perceiue no time to belong vnto thee! in which thou shalt be temperate and calme, and in thy sa•ietie carelesse of the morrow! Then that day which now thou fearest as thy last, shall appeare to thee thy birth day to eternitie. Dost thou weepe and lament; These things belong to those which are new borne. Dost thou thinke those things to be lost, which thou leauest? Why shouldst thou dote vpon that which was not thine own, but leant? Who is it that would set a price vpon Time, or at a deare rate estimate the Day, who truly vnderstandeth that hee is euery houre dying? In this we much deceiue our selues, That we see not Death afarre off, nor apprehend it neere. That part of our age which is past, is free; that which is behinde, is in the power of Death: neither do we fall vpon Death suddenly, but step by step we meet it by degrees: we daily die, for euery day a part of our life is taken from vs; and euen at that time when we increase, our life decreaseth: we lose our Infancie first, our Childehood next, then our Youth, and euery one of these when it arriueth to the full pe∣riod, perisheth; for yesterdayes life is this day wanting, and to∣morrow, this dayes being hath ceased to be: nay euen this day which wee breath, wee diuide with Death; for it is the very mo∣ment and point of time in which we can be said to liue; yea lesse, if lesse can be imagined: neither of that little or lesse space can Page 234 we assure our selues. Saint Chrisostome super Math. calleth Death The necessarie gift of corrupt Nature, which ought not feareful∣ly to be auoided, but rather chearefully embraced; for by making that voluntarie which is compulsiue, that which is to God a due debt, we offer vnto him as a free gift. Moreouer, a foolish and ri∣diculous thing it is for men to delight in sleepe, and feare death, when sleepe is nothing else but the imitation of Death.
Saint Augustine, lib. de Natura & Gracia, vseth these words; If thou boastest thy selfe of Nobilitie, Riches, or Honour? of thy Countrey, or the applause giuen vnto thee by the People? looke into thy selfe and consider, That thou camest from the earth, and into it againe thou must returne. Looke about, and behold all those which in times past haue flourished in the like splendours; Where be the insuperable Emperors? Where be those that fre∣quented Meetings, Musicke, and Feasts; and delighted in the braue breed of Horses? Where be their Robes of state? their rich and gorgeous Vesture? Where their troupes of Followers, and large traine of Attendants? Where their sportings and Reuel∣lings? Where be the Captains of Armies? Champions, Iudges, Tyrants? are not all Earth, Dust, and Ashes? and their magnifi∣cence and memorie in a small Tombe and short Epitaph contai∣ned? Looke into their gorgeous and glittering Sepulchres, and see how much the Lord differs from the Seruant; Tell me which is the Rich man, and which the Poore; Distinguish if thou canst, the Captiue from the Conqueror; the Valiant from the Time∣rous; or the Faire from the Deformed. Therefore remember thy selfe, ô Man, of thy fraile and weake nature; least thou beest any way tumor'd with Pride, Arrogance, or Vain-glory.
Bernard in one of his Sermons saith, Novissima sunt quatuor, &c. The foure last things are, Death, Iudgement, Hell, and Glorie: Than Death, what more horrible? Than Iudgement, what more terrible? Than Hell, what more intollerable? Than Glory, what more delectable?
It will not, I hope, appeare much impertinent, to introduce one of Lucians Dialogues, because the Argument is not much forrein to this purpose. The Interloquutors or Speakers are, Charon, Mer∣cury: The Dead, Menippus, Charmeleus, Lampichus, Damasias a Philosopher, and a Rhetorician. The effect thereof is comprised in these few lines:
Bias, to one who by reason of the great sorrow he tooke for the losse of his children, called vpon Death, as desiring to depart out of the world;* said vnto him, Why, fond man, dost thou call vpon that, which though vncalled for, will come vpon thee?
*Musonius being demanded, Who died best? made answer, Those that make account of euery present day at their last. Theramines was no sooner departed out of an house, but it presently fell to the earth. When his Friends came about him to gratulate his vnexpected safety; he said vnto them, (beyond their expectation) Know you, ô men, vnto what greater dangers, or a more vnfortunate death, the gods haue reserued me? Intimating, That the escape from one disaster was no securitie from falling into another. Which happened ac∣cordingly; for not long after he fell into the hands of the thirtie Tyrants,* and was compelled to end his life by poyson.
Seneca, Epist. 78. vseth these words; Is any man so ignorant, but knowes, that at one time or other he must die? yet when the time commeth many weepe and lament. Why dost thou mourne, ô Wretch? why feare and tremble? since all men are tied to that strict necessitie, and thou art but to go whither all things before thee are gone. To this law thou art borne: the same thing happened to thy father, thy mother, and to all thy predecessors; to all before thee, and shall to all that must succeed thee, &c.
Spartanus being in•idiated by Iphicrates the Generall of the A∣thenians, and surprised by an ambush: and demaunded of his Souldiers, What in that exigent was to be done? made answer, Page 241What else, but that whilest you fly basely, I die fighting honorably.
Such was the spirit of Cato Vticensis, who persuaded others to the safety of their liues, whilest he prepared himselfe to a volun∣tarie death.*Rubrius Flavius, condemned vnto death by Nero, and being brought to the blocke; when the Executioner spake vnto him, that he would boldly stretch forth his neck: Yes, (quoth he) and I wish thou with as much resolution, and as little feare, mayst strike off my head.* I will conclude with this Similitude: As all those Starres which rise from the East, though they be of great celeritie and vertue; yet tend to their setting, and according to their diuers Circles, some sooner, some later, hide themselues from our aspect: So all the Gene∣ration of Mankinde, from the East, that is, by their Natiuitie, enter into the world; and though here for a season they shine, and according to their qualities and degrees giue lesse or greater lustre; yet of necessity they must all arriue, some early, some late, at the fall or set of Death, according vnto the continuance of that Course which God in his wisedome hath appointed them; and by degrees withdraw and hide themselues from the eyes of the World.
*I cannot passe Poetry without some Character, though neuer so briefe. Now what Poets are, or at least ought to be, Horrace, lib. de stat. Poet. thus contractedly deliuereth vnto vs:
*Of the great respect and honor conferred vpon them in antient times; and how those Dignities vnmeritedly are since taken from them, and they in succeeding Ages vilified; Ovid, lib. 3. de Arte Amand. not without great cause, thus ingeniously complaineth:
*Antonius Mancinellus speaking in the praise of Poets, writeth to this purpose: By Nature they are strengthened, by the power of the Minde inflamed, and by Diuine Rapture inspired. Rightly therefore did old Ennius call them Holy, as those commended Page 243 vnto vs by the gift and bounty of the gods. The Coliphonians claime Homer to be their Citisen; the Chij challenge him; the Salamines would vsurpe him; the Smyrnaeans ingrosse him; and three more of the most potent Cities of Greece erected Monu∣ments after his death,* to eternise him. So deare was Ennius to Africanus, that he afforded him a Graue amongst the antient and ennobled Family of the Scipio's. Theophanes Mylitides receiued a whole City as a Gift, which was then held too small a reward for one Poëm. Alexander the Great held the richest Casket taken a∣mong the spoiles of Darius, scarce worthy to preserue the Works of Homer in. The same Alexander surprising Thebes, preserued a great part of the City onely for Pindarus the Poets sake. Those Murtherers who priuatly slew Archilichus, Apollo himselfe reuea∣led, and caused his death to be reuenged. Sophocles, the Prince of the Cothurnate Tragedie, being dead at such time when Lysander beguirt the walls of Lacedemon; the King was warned in a dream by Liber Pater, to afford his Delight (for so the god called him) an honored sepulchre.
Poetry is a Study which instructeth Youth, delighteth Old-age, graceth Prosperitie, solaceth Aduersitie; pleaseth at home, delighteth abroad; shortneth the night, comforteth the day; tra∣uelleth with vs, dwelleth with vs, &c. The greatest Orators made vse of Poëms, both for the strengthning of their Causes, and or∣nament of their eloquence; as we may reade in Cicero, Asinius, Hör∣tensius, and others; who frequently quoted the ingenious Phra∣ses and graue sentences of Ennius, Pacuvius, Lucillius, Terentius, Cae∣cilius, &c.
Euripides the sonne of Muesarchides and Clito,* his father was no better than a Victualler, and his mother got the other part of their liuing by selling of sallads,* an Herbe-wife as wee call them: yet he proued to be the greatest Fauorit that King Archelaus had. And Sophocles the Tragicke Poet was graced and honoured by all the Learned of his time,* and bore the prime office of Magistracie in the city where he liued.* The Poet Aratus (in Grammar the schol∣ler of Menecrates; and in Philosophy, of Timon and Menedemus) flourished in the 124 Olympiad, in the time that Antigonus the sonne of Poliarcetes reigned in Macedonia: with whom, euen to his last expiration, he liued in great estimation and honour. Aulus Licinius Archias,* a Poet borne in Antiochia, was indeered to the best and greatest Orators in Rome, and more particularly graced by the Family of the Luculli. He was honored of many Greeke Heroës, and had rich Presents sent from their prime Cities: but he was especially endeered to Cicero, Aristonius a Comicke Poet liued vnder Philadelphus, and was Master of the kings Library after Page 244Apollonius. Arrianus was a Poet in whom the Emperor Tiberius Caesar was much delighted, (for so Tranquillus reporteth.) Cyrus Panopolita was greatly honoured by the Empresse Eudoxia.*Cherilus Samius liued about the 63 Olympiad, and was no more than Ser∣uant vnto Herodotus the Historiographer; who writing the Ex∣pedition of the Greekes against Xerxes, was for euery verse in his Poëme rewarded with a piece of gold to the value of 16 shillings foure pence sterling. Gorgius,* borne amongst the Leontini in Sici∣ly, was endeared to Critias and Alcibiades in their height of For∣tune; and to Pericles and Thucidides, in the extremitie of his age. Caius Manilius was the first that wrot any Astrologicall Poëm in Latine;* which he dedicated to Augustus Caesar, and by him was greatly respected and rewarded.*Lenaeus a freed-man of Pompeys, (but after his friend and companion in all his expeditions) survi∣ving his Lord; because Salust the historiographer had spoken bit∣terly against him after his death, hee inueighed against him in a most sharpe Satyre, calling him Lastaurus Lurchon, Nebul• popina∣rius, and Monstrous both in life and historie; and moreouer, a manifest Theefe, from Cato and diuers other antient Writers. Me∣nander,* a Comicke Poet of Athens, who writ fourescore in num∣ber, had great honours done vnto him by the Kings of AEgypt and Macedon.*Homerus Iunior liued about the time of Hesiod, the son of Andromachus, and borne in Byzantium: he writ 57 Tragedies; and as Zezes in his Commentaries vpon Lycophron affirmes, for one of them called Pleiades, and dedicated to King Ptolomaeus, he was greatly fauoured, and royally rewarded. Oppianus was of Silicia,* and borne in a City called Anazarbum: The Roman Emperour Severus being inuested before the City, and after pa•le, being con∣gratulated both by the Optimates and Plebe; he was onely neg∣lected and not thought worthy a salutation by this Oppianus. Hee therefore commanded him to be banished into an Island called Melita, scituate neere vnto the Adriaticke sea. In which place he wrot a noble Poëm, de Piscibus• which after the death of the em∣perour Severus, he dedicated to his sonne Antoninus• for which Worke hee was recalled from exile, and to recompence his inju∣rie, for euery verse in his Poëm he guerdoned him with a piece of gold. But soone after, returning with his father into his Coun∣trey, he died in the thirtieth yeare of his age. In honor of whom, the City in which hee was borne, erected his statue in Brasse, and writ vpon his Monument these Verses following:
Homer in his eighth Odyss. speakes to this purpose: Among all other men, Poets are most worthy to participate honour and reue∣rence, because the Muses themselues teach them their songs, and are enamoured both of their profession and them. But I had al∣most forgot my self: for in proceeding further, I might haue fore∣stalled a Worke, which hereafter (I hope) by Gods assistance, to commit to the publick view; namely, the Liues of all the Poets, Forreine and Moderne, from the first before Homer, to the Novis∣simi and last, of what Nation or Language soeuer; so farre as any Historie or Chronologie will giue me warrant. Therefore here in good time I breake off: yet cannot chuse but remember you' what Ovid speaketh in his last Elegie:
Thus much to shew you in what honour Poets haue been. But now (and hence Illae Lachrimae) to shew you in what respect they are; and not onely in the Times present, but what an heauy Fate hath heretofore (as now) been impending ouer the Muses. De dura & misera sorte Poetarum, thus far heare me:
I am loth to proceed further in this argument, to reckon vp all in that kinde, who as they liued eminently, so haue died misera∣bly; for it would aske too long a circumstance. Yet I cannot escape Iohannes Campanius, without commemorating vnto you some few of his Saphickes, De Poetarum Miseria, in these words:
That forrein Authors haue not onely complained of the great scorne and contempt cast vpon the Euthusiasmes and Raptures; as also that no due respect or honour hath been conferred vpon the Professors thereof: whosoeuer shall call to minde the all praise-worthy and euer-to-be-remembred Spencer, shall finde that hee much bewailed this inherent and too common a disease of neg∣lect, which pursueth the Witty, and inseparably cleaueth to the most Worthy. Witnesse, his Teares of the Muses, his Collen Clouts, Come home againe, and diuers other of his Workes: but more par∣ticularly in the tenth Eclogue of his Shepheards Calender, in the moneth entituled October, you may reade him thus:
Heare Faustus Andrelinus an excellent Poet, to another pur∣pose:
¶ Thus paraphrased:
I cannot here omit a Spanish Prouerbe, with which I purpose to conclude this argument now in speech: which is,
The French come neere it, in another, frequent amongst them.
Qui cum pauperte convenit, diues est: Hee may truly be called a rich man, that is content with pouertie.
To which Quintilian seemeth to comply, where he saith,
But of the former Prouerbe, Cant a la Rana, &c. I make this, and most sure I am no vnproper application.
And so much of Poets and Poetry.
*Pertinent it is to this discourse, to enquire, Whether Spirits, as with all quicke velocitie they can moue themselues, so haue the abilitie and power to remoue others, and transport the bodies of men, beasts, and the like. Which is not to be questioned, but that both the good and bad Angells can without difficultie per∣forme. Neither are their faculties bounded within any limit, as to beare only this weight, or carry such a burthen; but they haue an vncurbed strength according to their owne will and purpose: insomuch that one Spirit (by Gods permission) is able to shake, remoue, or demolish a Mountaine, a City, or a Prouince, as shall hereafter be more plainely illustrated. It is also obserued, That the neerer any spirituall Substance is vnto the Creator in place, it is so much the more swift & strong; and those that are farther remote, are lesse able and preualent. The Water is known to be of more swiftnesse and validity than the Earth; the Aire, than the Water; and the Moone, than either: and of all the other Pla∣nets, as they exceed in height, so they excel in vertue, euen vntill you come to the Primum Mobile, whose strength and puissance is such, that it circumrotes and turneth about all the Spheres below it, and in it's incredible celeritie, euery minute ouercomes more than a thousand miles, as astronomers report.
Yet, notwithstanding the incogitable force and dexteritie of Page 253 Spirits,* the Theologists are of opinion, That they are not of power to destroy any one Element, or to peruert that constant or∣der by which the fabricke of the World is guided and gouerned. Yet of their incredible celeritie and strength, histories are very frequent both in the sacred Scriptures, and elsewhere. We reade, That the Diuell tooke our blessed Sauiour, and by the permission of this Godhood, placed him on the top of the pinacle of the Tem∣ple; and in a moment tooke him from thence, and bare him into an exceeding high mountaine, from whence hee shewed him all the Kingdomes of the earth, and the glory thereof. Wee reade likewise,* That the Angell of the Lord tooke the Prophet Habba∣cuck (as he was carrying meat vnto the Reapers) by the haire of the head, and in the strength of spirit, in an instant transported him from Iudaea to Babylon: And as soone as the Prophet Daniel had tooke his repast, left him in the twinkling of an eye, in the selfe same place where he first found him. The like wee reade in the Gospell, of Philip the Apostle, who was snatched vp by the An∣gell, and brought where the Eunuch of Candaces was reading in Esaias the Prophet: which after he had expounded vnto him, and then baptised him in the riuer, hee was suddenly taken from his sight. Other histories to this purpose there be many.
Pythagoras (if we may beleeue Apollonius) was seene in one day both in Croton and Metapontus.* And Apollonias Tyanaeus the notable Magitian, being at Rome in the presence of the Emperor Domitian, and commanded to be bound hand and foot before him, yet he suddenly vanished out of his sight, and was the selfe same houre hurried as farre as Puteoli, to keepe a former appoint∣ment which he had made, to make merry with some of his ac∣quaintance and friends.
Iamblicus a notorious Inchanter hauing sacrificed vnto the Di∣uell,* was raised vp ten cubits from the earth, seeming (to the won∣der and amasement of all there present) to walke in the aire. And as Evanippus testifieth of him, his garments were strangely alte∣red, appearing as if they had been newly dipt in a thousand sundry glorious colours.*Iohannes Teutonicus a Cannon of Halbersted in Germanie, hauing by art Magicke performed many strange pre∣stigious feats, almost incredible; in one day (which was the birth day of our Sauiour) was transported by the Diuell in the shape of a blacke horse, and seene and heard to say Masse the same day, in Halbersted, in Mentz, and in Cullein.
Plutarch telleth vs,* That the Grecians hauing ouerthrowne the Persians in the great battell of Marathon, they purposed a great and solemne sacrifice to the gods, in thankefull remembrance of so miraculous and vnexpected a victory: who for their better in∣struction, Page 254 how the more reuerendly to mannage it, sent to aske counsell of the Oracle in Delphos. Who returned them answer, That they should first build a new Altar, and consecrate it to Iu∣piter the Deliuerer; and not to make their Offering till all the fire throughout whole Greece was quite extinguished, and not one sparke remaining, as being polluted by the Barbarians, and there∣fore by the gods of Greece held execrable. Which done, they should with all speed send to Delphos, and from thence fetch pure and vnpolluted fire to kindle the Sacrifice. According to this imposition of the Oracle, by a strict order made by the Prin∣ces and chiefe Magistrates, all the fire was extinct; and then one Euchides of Plataea, a man of an vnbeleeuable swiftnesse (af∣ter he had been first washed, and after that crowned with Lawrel) was sent to Delphos, distant from that city more than a thousand furlongs, who went and returned within the compasse of one day; and hauing brought the sacred Fire, he had no sooner deliuered it vp to the Priest (who was then chiefe in the Sacrifice) but hee in∣stantly fell downe dead. Yet the ceremonies went on; and after, by the command of the Princes, his body was taken vp, and by their appointment had the honour to be buried in the great and famous Temple of Diana: with this inscription vpon his Tomb;
*I haue read of a noble Centurion in the lower part of Germa∣nie, of great opinion and estimation with the people, for his ap∣proued goodnesse and knowne honestie; who reported this Dis∣course following: That walking one euening through a Thicket or Groue not farre distant from the place in which he liued, with onely one man and a boy in his company to attend him; hee saw approching towards him a faire and goodly company of Knights and Gentlemen; all seeming persons of great eminence, for they were mounted on great and braue horses, and well accommodated at all points; all which, without any salutation, in great silence past by him: In the lag of which troup he fixt his eye with some a∣stonishment on one, who to his present imagination had serued him and bin his Cook; who was dead and buried some few dayes before this apparition. This Fellow was as well mounted as the rest, and lead an empty or spare horse by the bridle. The Centu∣rion being a man of an vndaunted spirit, went vp close to him, and demanded what he was? and whether hee were the same Cooke Page 255 who had lately serued him, and whom hee had seene coffined and layd in the earth? Who answered him againe, That without any doubt or scruple, he was the selfe same man. His master then as∣ked him, what Gentlemen, or rather Noblemen (as appeared by their habit) were those that rid before? Whether he himself was then trauelling? And to what purpose he led that empty horse in his hand? To all which he replied in order; That all those horse∣men were men of note and qualitie (naming to him diuers whom he knew were deceased) and that they were now vpon a voiage to the Holy-land, whether he himselfe was likewise bound, and that spare horse was prouided of purpose to doe him seruice, if it so pleased him, and that hee had any desire to see Hierusalem. The Centurion made answer, That with great willingnesse hee could finde in his heart to see the City, and visit the holy Sepulchre, whether (had meanes and leasure serued to his purpose) hee had long since intended a pilgrimage. The other told him, Now was the time, his horse ready, no necessaries wanting; or if he inten∣ded that voyage, he could not go in better company. At which words, the bold Centurion leapt into the empty saddle, and was presently hurried away from the sight of his seruants in a mo∣ment: and the next euening, at the same houre, and in the same place, he was found by his seruants and friends, who were there seeking and enquiring after him. To whom he related his jour∣ney, and what he had seene in the Holy City; describing punctu∣ally euery Monument and place of remarke: which agreed with the relations of such Trauellers and Pilgrims as had beene there and brought Certificate and assured testimonie from thence. He shewed vnto them likewise, an hand-kerchiefe which that Cooke his seruant (or rather Diuell in his likenesse) had giuen him, stai∣ned with bloud; but told him, if at any time it were foule or dur∣tie, he should cast it into the fire, for that was the onely way to make it cleane. He shewed them likewise a knife and sheath which he bestowed vpon him, which hee said was the guift of a gratefull remembrance; but gaue him a great charge thereof, for (said he) the mettal is poysoned, and euery blow giuen therewith is present and immediate death.
Alexander Alexandri relateth a story of a poore Captiue shut vp in a darke dungeon; but by a Spirit taken from thence, and transported into diuers Infernal places: where hauing spent three entyre dayes and nights (being mist all that time by the Gaoler) he was after brought backe into the same, and lodged in his irons, though the place was double barred, locked, and bolted. Who made relation of many strange sights seen in Hell, and with what seuerall insufferable torments the Soules of the Damned were Page 256 inflicted; persuading all them that came to visit him, to haue more care how they lead liues dissolute and wicked, least after death they should be made partakers of such infatigable Tor∣ments.
*Boccatius writeth the historie of a Nobleman of Insubria, who vndertaking a journey, or rather Pilgrimage, to Ierusalem, to ac∣complish a Vow before made; at the parting with his wife, left her a Ring, with a constant condition and couenanted vowes be∣twixt them, That if he returned not to claim it before the expira∣tion of three yeares, she should haue free leaue and liberty to be∣stow her selfe in marriage to her owne liking; but vntill the last prefixed day to keepe her first nuptiall Faith inviolate. After his departure it so happened, that in the way he was set vpon by Out∣lawes and Robbers, rifled, taken prisoner, and after carried into AEgypt; where in processe of time being brought before the Em∣perour and examined, he told him (and truly too) that he was son to a Nobleman of such a Country; who when he himselfe in per∣son (disguised) trauelled to discouer some parts of Christendom, at his owne house gaue him courteous and honorable entertaine∣ment. Which the Sultan remembring, gratefully acknowledged his fathers great generositie and bounty, and not onely restored him to present libertie, but soone after created him Visier Bassa, and made him the second person in the kingdome. In which ho∣nour and greatnesse he continued till the date of three yeres were almost fully expired; when remembring the last contract made betwixt his wife and him, he grew into a sudden and deep melan∣choly: which the Sultan perceiuing, earnestly importuned him to know the reason of his so strange distemperature. Who (to shorten circumstance) disclosed vnto him all the former passage betwixt himselfe and his best affected wife. Which passionately apprehended by the Sultan, he presently caused a skilfull Magi∣tian to be called, and sollicited him, with the vtmost of his skill to further the desires of his Friend• The Necromancer caused in∣stantly a rich bed to be prouided, and layd him thereon; which the Emperor caused to be furnished with an inestimable treasure both of coine and jewels. The Insubrian was no sooner at rest, but by the helpe of Spirits, he was immediatly transported vnto Fy∣cina his owne city, and there left in the Cathedrall Church neere to the high Altar: This was in the night. Now early in the mor∣ning when the Sexton entred to prepare the Church for Diuine seruice, he cast his eye vpon the glorious bed which shined with stones and gems, and withall espied him layd thereon, and as yet not fully awake. At which vnexpected sight being extremely ter∣rified, he ran out of the Church, and to all that he met proclaimed Page 257 the prodigie. By this time the Nobleman began to awake and recollect himselfe; and then rising vp and walking forth of the Temple (for the Sexton had left the doore open) hee met with those who made toward the place to partake the wonderment: Some of which, notwithstanding his long absence and strange ha∣bit, knew him, and saluted him with a friendly welcome. From thence hee went home, longing to know how the affaires stood with his wife and Family; but the time of their former vowes be∣ing now expired, he found her newly contracted, and the next day to haue been married to another husband, which his seasonable arriuall most fortunately preuented.
Now touching the transportation of Witches by the assistance of the Diuell,* though I might select and cull out many histories both from Bodinus and Wyerius: yet because they haue passed tho∣row the hands of many; I will rather make choice of some few, gathered out of Authors lesse read, and not altogether so vulgar∣ly knowne.
Bartholomaeus Spinaeus Master of the holy Pallace,* recordeth this Historie: There was (saith he) a yong•Maid, who liued with her mother in Bergamus, and was found in one and the same night in bed with a cousin german of hers in Venice: who being found there in the morning naked, without linen, or so much as a rag to couer her; yet being neerely allyed to them, they gently deman∣ded of her how she came thither? where her cloathes were? and the cause of her comming? The poore Guirle being much asha∣med, and mixing her blushes with many teares, made answere to this purpose; This very night (said she) when I lay betwixt sleep and awake in bed, I perceiued my mother to steale softly from my side, thinking I had not seene her; and stripping her selfe from all her linnen, she tooke from her closet a box of ointment, which opening, she anointed her selfe therewith vnder the arm-pits and some other parts of her body: which done, she tooke a staf which stood ready in a corner; which shee had no sooner bestrid, but in the instant she rid (or rather flew) out of the window, and I saw her no more. At which being much amased, and the candle still burning by me, I thought in my selfe to try a childish conclusion, and rising from my bed tooke downe the said box, and anointing my selfe as I had before obserued her, and making vse of a bed∣staffe in the like manner, I was suddenly brought hither in a mo∣ment; where I was no sooner entred, but I espied my mother in the chamber with a knife in her hand, and comming towards the bed, with purpose (as I thought) to kill this my young Nephew, (pointing to a childe in the cradle;) but shee was hindred by fin∣ding mee here. Who no sooner saw mee, but shee began grie∣uously Page 258 to threat me, and came neere to strike me: In which feare I began to call vpon God to helpe me; whose name I had no soo∣ner vttered, but she vanished instantly, and I am left here euen as you found me. Whereupon her kinseman the Master of the house writ downe, and keeping the Maid still with him, sent to the Fa∣ther Inquisitor of the place, where the mother of the Guirle his Kinswoman liued in good reputation, and no way suspected; be∣fore whom shee was called and questioned, and as the manner of that Countrey is vpon the like probabilitie and suspition, put to the mercy of the Tormentor, and at length shee confessed euerie particular before mentioned: To which she added, That she had no lesse than fifty sundry times been transported by the Diuel, on∣ly with a malicious intent to kil that yong childe; but she found him alwayes at her arriuall so protected by the blessings & pray∣ers of his deuout and religious Parents, that she had no power at all ouer him, &c.
*To this story the Author addeth a second of one Antonius Leo, a Collier by profession, and dwelling in the city of Ferrara; who greatly suspecting his wife to be a Witch, by reason that diuers of his Neighbours informed him, That she was reputed to be one of those who had nightly conuentions with the Diuel: he there∣fore kept all to himselfe, and one night aboue the rest, snorting and counterfeiting a deepe and profound sleepe; with which his wife being deluded, rose softly from the bed, and as in the former discourse, daubing her selfe with an vnguent, leapt out at the ease∣ment, which was some three stories high, and he could set no more sight of her. At which he grew first strangely amased, as fearing shee had desperately done it to breake her necke; but hearing no cry, nor apprehending any noise by her fall, he then began to con∣firme his former suspition; and in a foolish curiositie tooke the same box, and did to himselfe in all respects as hee had seene her to practise before him, and was immediately in the same manner hurried out at the window, and in an instant found himselfe in a Noble Counts Wine-sellar, where hee saw his wife with diuerse others of that Diuellish sister hood, merrily gossipping and ca∣rousing deepe healths one to another; who no sooner beheld so vnexpected a guest, but they all suddenly vanished, and the poore Collier was left alone with the cellar dore fast locked vpon him; and early in the morning being found there by the Butler, hee cal∣led other his fellow seruants, who apprehended him as an House-breaker and Felon, and brought him before their Lord. Who at length by great importunitie obtaining libertie to speak for him∣selfe, he opened vnto the Count all the manner of the particular circumstances before related: which though at first they appea∣red Page 259 incredible, yet vpon more mature consideration hee was dis∣missed, but conditionally, That he call his wife in publique que∣stion, with the rest of her Associats. Which he accordingly did, and brought them before the Inquisitor; to whom, after examina∣tion, they confessed not onely that, but many other more notori∣ous and diabolical acts, the least of them sufficient to bring them to the stake and faggot.
Barthol. Ronfaus telleth a strange story of a Witch in Osburch: Antonius Torquinada deliuereth the like, who was by Nation a Spaniard: and Paulus Grillandus in his Book, De Sortilegis, remem∣breth diuers to the same purpose; one of which I thought good to transferre from him, and expose to your free view and censure. In the yeare of Grace (saith he) 1524, when I was chiefe Inquisi∣tor, many of these Inchantresses and Witches were brought be∣fore me. Amo•gst whom, a certaine woman Dioecis Sabensis, was a practiser of that diabolicall art: of which her husband had been long suspitious, and watched her so narrowly, that he took her in the manner when she was busie about her infernall exercise. Not∣withstanding which she impudently denied it, and out-faced him that she was no such woman. But he as obstinat on the contrary, and resolued withall not to be so deluded, with a good sound cud∣gell fell vpon her, and so be laboured her sides and shoulders, till with incessant beating hee forced the truth from her, and brought her vpon her knees most submissiuely to intreat his pardon: which after some entreaty he seemed willingly to grant, but vpon condi∣tion, That she would b•ing him to be present and an eye-witnesse of their abhominable ceremonies vsed in their nightly Conuen∣tions; which shee faithfully promised, and so they were reconci∣led. At the next night of their meeting, hee hauing ingaged his word for secrecie, she brought him to the place appointed, where he freely beheld the manner of their adoration done to the Di∣uell, their sports and their dances, full of many beastly postures and figures, with many other strange pastimes and merriments there practised. All which being ended, there was a long Table couered, and furnished with sundry dishes, and he seated amongst them; and as he saw the rest do, he began to fall heartily to his vi∣ctuals, which somwhat distasted him, as not being wel seasoned: therefore looking about him for salt, but spying none vpon the ta∣ble, he called to one that attended, to fetch him a little salt. But he not seeming to regard him, he began to grow importunate and somewhat loud: at length he brought him a small quantitie vpon the corner of a trencher; which hee seeing, and seeming glad thereof. Mary God be thanked (said he) for I haue now got some salt. Which words were no sooner vttered, but the Table, Meat, Page 260 Dishes, Diuels, Witches, and Lights all vanished, and hee was left there naked and alone in a desolate place. But in the morning spying certaine Shepheards, and demanding of them what coun∣trey hee was in, they told him, In the prouince of Beneventanus, belonging to the kingdome of Naples; which was more than an hundred miles distant from his owne house. The man, though he was of a faire reuenue, yet was forced to beg all the way home∣ward. But after his tedious and difficult journey, arriuing at his owne village, he summoned his wife before the Magistrate, with others whom he had espied and knowne at the Feast. Who vpon his testimonie were conuicted, and suffered according to the ex∣tremitie of the Law prouided for offences of that execrable na∣ture. I haue read of another guilty of the like curiositie, who was hurried so far in one night, that it cost him three yeares tedious trauell, before hee could come to see the smoke of his owne Chimney.
To shew that these Magicall sorceries haue beene from great antiquitie, and not lately crept into the world by the proditious insinuation of the Diuel; me thinks I heare Medaea thus speaking, Ovid Metam. lib. 7.
Here I might introduce many to the like purpose: but I return where I left, and thus proceed; That this swift transportation of Bodies, though it seeme strange, is not altogether impossible. Which will the better appeare, if either wee aduisedly consider the velocitie of Spirits, or the admirable celerity of the Spheres: from whence it comes that Magitions haue such speedy intelli∣gence (almost in an instant) of things done in the farthest and re∣motest places of the world. To approue which, if wee shall but examine Historie, there be many examples extant.
When Antonius the great Captaine made an insurrection in Germany against the Emperor Domitian,* and was slain in the bat∣tel, the death of that Revolter was confidently reported the same day in Rome, with the manner of his Armies ouerthrow; though the places were distant (as some account it) little lesse than fif∣teene hundred miles.
And Cedrenus writeth,* That when Adrianus Patricius was sent by the Emperour Basilius to war against the Carthaginians; be∣fore he had ouercome halfe his way, and whilest hee yet stayed in Peloponnesus with the greatest part of his Nauy; by the help of such Spirits (as it seemed) he was certainly informed, That Syra∣cusa was taken and destroyed by fire, the very selfe same day and houre that the disaster hapned.
Panlus Diaconus and Nicephorus haue left to memorie,* That one Calligraphus of Alexandria, walking late in the night by certaine Statues erected without the city, they called vnto him aloud and told him, That the Emperour Martianus, with his Queene and princely Issue, were all at that very instant murthered in Constan∣tinople. Which when he came to his house, he told to some of his Familiars and Friends, who seemed to deride his report, as a thing not possible, but beyond Nature. But nine dayes after came a Post with certaine newes of that barbarous and inhumane act: which by true computation happened the very same houre that it was deliuered to Calligraphus.
Platina in Dono telleth vs,* That Partharus sonne to the King of the Longobards, being expelled from his Countrey by the vsur∣pation Page 262 of Grinnaldas, shipt himselfe for England, to be secured from the sword of the Tyrant: and hauing beene a few dayes at sea, hee was sensible of a loud voice, which admonished him to change the course of his intended journey, and instantly to return backe into his owne Countrey; for the Tyrant hauing been trou∣bled with the Plurisie, and aduised by his Physitions to haue a Veine opened in the left arme, the flux of bloud could not by any art be stopped, but that he bled to death. Vpon this warning the Prince Partharus returned, and finding it to be true, within three months after his arriuall, he was inaugurated and freely instated in his proper inheritance.
Zonarus and Cedrenius affirme, That the same day in which the arch-Traitor and Regicide Andraea slew the Emperour Constantine,* bathing himselfe in Syracusa; his death by voices in the aire (which could be no other than Spirits) was not onely noised, but proclaimed openly in Rome the same day.
Zephilinus in Domiti. and Fulg•t. lib. 1. cap. 6. haue left remem∣bred vnto vs,* That Apollonius Tianaeus being in a publique Schoole in the city of Ephesus, and disputing at that time with diuers Philosophers; in the midst of his serious discourse, was on the sudden mute, and fixing his eyes stedfastly vpon the ground, re∣mained for a space in a still silence: but at length erecting his head, and casting vp his eyes, hee suddenly broke forth into this loud acclamation; Stephanus hath slaine an vniust man. And after hauing better recollected himselfe, he told vnto those which were there present, That at that instant the Emperor Domitian fell by the hand of one Stephanus. The circumstance being after exami∣ned, it proued true according to his relation.
Olaus Magnus, lib. 3. cap. 16. of his Gothicke History, writeth, That Govarus King of Norway being resident in his owne Court,* knew in the same houre, of all the machinations and plots inten∣ded against him in Normandy, though he was distant by land and sea many hundred miles.
Fulgotius relateth, That in the wars betwixt the Locrenses and the Crotoniatae, two spirits appeared like two yong men in white vesture, who when the Locrenses had woon the battaile, left the field and vanished; and in the selfe same houre were seene both in Athens and Corinth, in both which places they proclaimed the newes of that great victory, though these places were distant ma∣ny leagues one from another.
And so much for the Velocitie of Spirits.
IT figureth an Hedge-hog, who insidiates the silly field-Mice playing about her den, and fearelesse of any present danger; who the better to compasse her prey, wrappeth her selfe into a round globe-like compasse, appearing onely a ball of pricks, con∣tracting her head within her skinne, where nothing is seene saue a small hole, for such a little creature to shroud her selfe in; and thus she lieth confusedly vpon the ground without any seeming motion.* The apprehension thereof is borrowed from Greg. lib. 13. Moralium; from whence this Motto is deriued, Abiecta movent. The words of the reuerend Father be these:*Prius complexionem, vnius cuiusque Adversarius perspicit, & tunc tentationis laqueos expo∣nit: alius namque laetis, alius tristibus, alius timidis, alius elat is moribus existit, &c. (i.) Our Aduersarie the Diuell first looketh into the complexion and disposition of euery man, and then he layes the snares of tentation; for one is of a merry and pleasant constituti∣on, another sad and melancholy, another timerous and fearefull, a∣nother proud and haughty. Therefore that hee may the more se∣cretly and cunningly intrap them, he frameth his deceptions sui∣table with their conditions; and because pleasure hath proximi∣tie with mirth, to him that is giuen to mirth hee proposeth ryot and luxurie; and because sadnesse is prone to anger, to such he of∣fereth the cup of dissention and discord: and because the Time∣rous are fearefull of paine and punishment, to them he suggesteth terrors and horrors: and because the haughty and ambitious loue to be magnified and extolled, to them hee offers popular suffrage and vaine applause, &c. We also reade Saint Paul thus, 2 Corinth. 11.3. But I feare lest as the Serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your mindes should be corrupt from the simplicitie which is in Christ. And 1 Pet. 5.8. Be sober and watch; for the Diuell as a roaring Lion walketh about seeking whom he may deuoure.
The illustration of the Emblem followeth:
Pers. Satyr. 5.
¶ Thus paraphrased:
Livy saith, Fraus in parvis fidem sibi praestruit, vt cum opere praeti∣um est,*cum mercede magna fallat: (Id est) Deceit layes the snare in small things and of no moment; that in greater things it may deceiue with profit.
Noble in his minde was Alexander the Great, who when Par∣menio counselled him to seeke the subuersion of his enemies by fraud and subtiltie; made this answer, That being Alexander, his Majestie and Royaltie would not suffer him to doe so; but if hee were a priuate man, as Parmenio, hee might perhaps be thereunto persuaded. But contrarie vnto him, the Emperour Pertinax was syrnamed Christologus, which is as much to say as, Well speaking, and Euill doing. It was the saying of Demosthenes the excellent Orator; Wonder not that thou art deceiued by a wicked man, but rather wonder that thou art not deceiued. The fraudulent and deceitful are likened to a Chameleon, apt to take all obiects, capable of all co∣lours, cloaking Hate, with Holinesse; ambitious Gain, with shew of good Gouernment; Flatterie, with Eloquence: but whatsoe∣uer is pretended is meerely deceit and dishonestie.
Ovid. Fast. lib. 2.
The Serpent hid in the grasse stingeth the foot; and the de∣ceitfull man vnder pretence of honestie beguileth the Simple: Parva patitur vt Magnis potiatur. From whence Catsius deriues this conceit:
¶ Thus paraphrased: