❧The Terrors of the Night. OR A Discourse of Apparitions.
A Litle to beguile time idlely discontented, and satisfie so me of my solitary friends heere in the Countrey, I haue hastily vndertooke to write of the wearie fancies of the Night, wherein if I weary none with my weak fancies, I will herafter leane harder on my penne and fetch the petegree of my praise, from the vtmost of paines.
As touching the terrors of the night, they are as many as our sinnes. The Night is the Diuells Blacke booke, wherein hee recordeth all our transgressions. Euen, as when a condemned man is put into a darke dungeon, secluded from all comfort of light or companie, he doth nothing but despairfully call to minde his gracelesse for∣mer Page [unnumbered] life, and the brutish outrages and misdemeanours that haue throwne him into that desolate horrour: so when Night in her rustie dungeon hath imprisoned our ey-sight, and that we are shut seperatly in our chambers from resort, the diuell keepeth his audit in our sin-guilty consciences, no sense but surrenders to our memorie a true bill of parcels of his detestable impieties. The ta∣ble of our hart is turned to an index of iniquities, and all our thoughts are nothing but texts to condemne vs.
The rest we take in our beds is such another kinde of rest, as the wearie traueller taketh in the coole soft grasse in summer; who thinking there to lye at ease, and re∣fresh his tyred limmes, layeth his fainting head vnawares on a loathsome neast of snakes.
Well haue the Poets tearmd night the nurse of cares, the mother of despaire, the daughter of hell.
Some Diuines haue had this conceipt, that God would haue made all day and no night, if it had not been to put vs in minde, there is a Hell as well as a Hea∣uen.
Such is the peace of the subiects as is the peace of the Prince vnder whom they are gouerned. As God is inti∣tled the Father of light, so is the diuell surnamed the Prince of darknesse, which is the night. The only peace of minde that the diuell hath is dispaire, wherefore wee that liue in his nightly kingdome of darknes, must needs taste some disquiet.
The Rauen and the Doue that were sent out of Noes Arke, to discouer the worlde after the generall Deluge, may well be an allegorie of the day and the night. The Page [unnumbered] day is our good Angell the Doue, that returneth to our eyes with an Oliue branch of peace in his mouth (pre∣senting quiet and securitie to our distracted soules and consciences); the night is that ill angel the Rauen, which neuer commeth back to bring anie good tidings of tran∣quilitie: a continuall messenger hee is of dole and mis∣fortune. The greatest curse almost that in the scripture is threatened, is, that the rauens shal picke out their eies in the valley of death. This cursed rauen the night, pecks out mens eyes in the valley of death. It hindreth them from looking to heauen for succor, where their Redee∣mer dwelleth: wherefore no doubt it is a time most fa∣tall and vnhallowed. This being proued, that the diuell is a speciall predominant Planet of the night, and that our creator for our punishment hath allotted it him as his peculiar segniorie and kingdome, from his inuete∣rate enuie, I will amplifie the vgly terrours of the night. The names importing his mallice, which the scripture is plentiful of, I wil here omit; least some men shuld think I went about to coniure. Sufficeth vs to haue this heed∣full knowledge of him, that hee is an auncient male con∣tent, and seeketh to make anie one desperat like himselfe. Like a cunning fowler to this end he spreadeth his nets of temptation in the darke, that men might not see to a∣uoyd them. As the Poet saith.
Therfore in another place (which it cannot be but the diuell hath read) he counsaileth thus.
In the time of infidelitie, when spirits were so familiar with men that they cald them Du Penates, their houshold Gods or their Lares, they neuer sacrificed vnto them till Sunne-setting. Their Robbin-good-fellowes, Elfes, Fairies, Hobgoblins of our latter age, which idolatrous former daies and the fantasticall world of Greece yclea∣ped Fawnes, Satyres, Dryades & Hamadryades, did most of their merry prankes in the Night. Then ground they malt, and had hempen shirts for their labours, daunst in rounds in greene meadowes, pincht maids in their sleep that swept not their houses cleane, and led poore Tra∣uellers out of their way notoriously.
It is not to be gain-said, but the diuell can transforme himselfe into an angell of light, appeare in the day aswell as in the night, but not in this subtil world of Christianity so vsuall as before. If he doo, it is when mens mindes are extraordinarily throwne downe with discontent, or in∣ly terrified with some horrible concealed murder, or o∣ther hainous crime close smothered in secret. In the day he may smoothly in some mild shape insinuat, but in the night he takes vpon him like a tyrant. There is no theese that is halfe so hardie in the day as in the night, no more is the diuell. A generall principle it is, hee that doth ill ha∣teth the light.
This Macheuillian tricke hath hee in him worth the noting, that those whom he dare not vnited or together Page [unnumbered] encounter, disioined and diuided, hee will one by one assaile in their sleepe. And euen as Ruptures and crampes doo then most torment a man when the bodie with any other disease is distemperd, so the Diuell when with any other sickenes or malladie the faculties of our reason are enfeebled and distemperd, will be most busie to disturbe vs and torment vs.
In the quiet silence of the night he will be fare to sur∣prize vs, when he vnfallibly knowes we shall be vnarm∣ed to resist, and that there will be full auditorie granted him to vndermine or perswade what he lists. All that e∣uer he can scare vs with, are but Seleucus ayrie Castles, terrible bug-beare brags, and nought els, which with the least thought of faith are quite vanished and put to flight. Neither in his owne nature dare he come nere vs, but in the name of sin, and as Gods executioner. Those that catch birdes imitate their voyces, so will hee imitate the voyces of Gods vengeance, to bring vs like birds into the net of eternall damnation.
Children, fooles, sicke-men, or mad-men hee is most familiar with (for he still delights to worke vpon the ad∣uantage) and to them he boldly reuealeth, the whole a∣stonishing treasurie of his wonders.
It will bee demaunded why in the likenes of ones fa∣ther or mother, or kinsfolks, he oftentimes presents him∣selfe vnto vs?
No other reason can bee giuen of it but this, that in those shapes which hee supposeth most familliar vnto vs, and that wee are inclined to with a naturall kind of loue, we will sooner harken to him than otherwise.
Page [unnumbered]Should he not disguise himselfe in such sub til formes of affection, we would flie from him as a serpent, and es∣chew him with that hatred he ought to be eschewd. If anie aske why he is more conuersant & busie in church∣yards and places where men are buried, than in anie o∣ther places? It is to make vs beleeue, that the bodies & soules of the departed rest entirely in his possession, and the peculiar power of death is resigned to his dispositi∣on. A rich man delights in nothing so much as to be vn∣cessantly raking in his treasurie, to bee turning ouer hys his rustie gold euerie houre: the boanes of the dead the diuell counts his chiefe treasurie, and therfore is he con∣tinually raking amongst them; and the rather he doth it, that the lining which heare it should bee more vnwilling to die, insomuch as after death their boanes should take no rest.
It was said of Catiline, Vultum gestauit in manibus, with the turning of a hand he could turne and alter his coun∣tenance. Farre more nimble and sodaine is the Diuell in shifting his habit, his sorme he can change, and cogge as quicke as thought.
What do we talke of one diuel? there is not a roome in anie mans house, but is pestred and close packed with a campe royall of diuels. Chrisostome saith, the aire and earth are three parts inhabited with spirits. Hereunto the Philosopher alluded, when hee said, Nature made no voydnes in the whole vniuersall: for no place (bee it no bigger than a pockhole in a mans face) but is close thron∣ged with them. Infinite millions of them will hang swar∣ming about a worm-eaten nose.
Page [unnumbered]Don Lucifer himselfe their grand Capitano, asketh no bet∣ter throne than a bleare eye to set vp his state in. Vpon a haire they will sit like a nit, and ouer-dredgea bald pate like a white scurffe. The wrinkles in old witches visages, they eate out to entrench themselues in.
If in one man a whole legionof diuells haue bin bil∣letted? how manie hundred thousand legions retaine to a Tearme at London. If I said but to a Tauerne, it were an infinite thing. In westminster Hall a man can scarce breath for them: for in euery corner they houer as thick as moates in the sunne.
The Druides that dwelt in the Ile of Man, which are famous for great coniurers, are reported to haue beene lousie with familiars. Had they but put their finger and their thumbe into their neck, they coud haue pluckt out a whole neast of them.
There be them that thinke euerie sparke in a flame is a spirit, and that the wormes which at sea eate through a ship, are so also: which may verie well bee; for haue not you seene one sparke of fire burne a whole towne, & a man with a sparke of lightning made blinde, or kild out∣right. It is impossible the gunnes should goe off as they doo, if there were not a spirit either in the fier, or in the powder.
Now for wormes: what makes a dog run mad, but a worme in his tung? and what should that worme bee, but a spirit? Is there anie reason, such small vermine as they are, should deuoure such a vast thing as a shippe, or haue the teeth to gnaw through yron and wood? No, no they are spirits, or els it were incredible.
Page [unnumbered]Tullius Hostillius who tooke vppon him to coniure vp Ioue by Numa Pompillius bookes, had no sense to quake & tremble at the wagging and shaking of euery lease, but that he thought all leaues are full of wormes, and those wormes are wicked spirits.
If the bubbels in streames were wel searcht, I am per∣swaded they would be found to be little better. Hence it comes that mares (as Columella reporteth) looking their formes in the water, run mad. A flea is but a little beast, yet if she were not possest with a spirit, she could neuer leape and skip so as she doth. Froisard saith, the Earle of Fois had a familiar that presented it selfe vnto him in the likenes of two rushes fighting one with another. Not so much as Tewksburie mustard but hath a spirit in it or els it would neuer bite so. Haue wee not read of a number of men that haue ordinarily carried a familiar or a spirite in a ring in stead of a sparke of a diamond? why I tell ye we cannot break a crum of bread so little, as one of them will be if they lift.
From this generall discourse of spirits, let vs digresse & talke another while of their seperate natures and pro∣perties.
The spirits of the fire which are the purest and perfe∣ctest, are merry, pleasant, and well inclined to wit, but ne∣uertheles gyddie, and vnconstant.
Those whome they possesse, they cause to excell in what euer they vndertake. Or Poets or boone compa∣nions they are out of question.
Socrates Genius was one of this stampe, and the Doue where with the Turkes hold Mahomet their Prophet to Page [unnumbered] bee inspired. What their names are, and vnder whome they are gouerned, the Discouerie of witchcraft hath amplified at large, wherefore I am exempted from that labour. But of the diuinest quintessence of mettals and of wines are many of these spirits extracted. It is almost im∣possible for any to bee encumbred with ill spirits, who is continually conuersant in the excellent restoratiue distil∣lations of wit and of Alcumie. Those that rauenously englut themselues with grosse meates, and respect not the quality but the quantity of what they eate, haue no affinitie with these spirits of the fire.
A man that will entertaine them must not pollute his bodie with any grosse carnall copulation or inordinate beastly desires, but loue pure beauty, pure vertue, and not haue his affections linseywolsey, intermingled with lust, and things worthy of liking.
As for example if hee loue good Poets hee must not countenance Ballet-makers, if he haue learned Phisitions he must not fauor horse-leaches and mountebanks: for a bad spirit and a good can neuer endure to dwell toge∣ther.
Those spirits of the fire, howeuer I tearme them com∣paratiuely good in respect of a number of bad, yet are they not simply well inclinde, for they bee by nature am∣bitious, haughty and proud, nor do they loue vertue for it selfe any whit, but because they would ouerquell and outstrip others, with the vaineglorious ostentation of it. A humor of monarchizing and nothing els it is, which makes them affect rare quallified studies. Many Atheists are with these spirits inhabited.
Page [unnumbered]To come to the spirits of the water, the earth, & the ayre; they are dull flegmaticke drones, things that haue much mallice without anie great might. Drunkards, mizers, and women they vsually retain too. water (you all know) breedeth a medley kinde of licor called beere; with these watrie spirits they were possessed, that first in∣uented the art of bruing. A quagmire consisting of mud and sand, sendeth forth the like pudly mixture.
All rheumes, poses, Sciaticaes, dropsies, and gouts, are diseases of their flegmaticke engendring. Sea-faring men of what sort soeuer, are chiefe entertainers of those spi∣rits. Greedy vintners likewise giue hospitalitie to a num∣ber of them; who hauing read no more scripture, than that myracle of Christs turning water into wine in Cha∣naan, thinke to doo a farre stranger miracle than euer he did, by turning wine into water.
Alehouses and cookes shadie pauisions, by watrie spi∣rits are principally vpholden.
The spirits of the earth are they which crie, all bread and no drinke, that loue gold and a buttond cap aboue heauen. The woorth in nought they respect, but the weight, good wits they naturally hate; insomuch as the element of fire their progenitor, is a wast-good & a con∣sumer. If with their earth-plowing snowtes they can turne vp a pearle out of a dunghill, it is all they desire. Witches haue manie of these spirits, and kill kyne wyth them. The giants and chiefetaines of those spirites, are powrfull sometimes to bring men to their ends, but not a iot of good can they doo for their liues.
Souldiers with these terrestriall spirits participate part Page [unnumbered] of their essence, for nothing but yron and golde (which are earths excrements) they delight in. Besides, in ano∣ther kinde they may be said to participate with them, in∣somuch as they confirme them in their furie, & congeale their mindes with a bloodie resolution. Spirites of the earth they were that entred into the heard of swyne in the Gospel. There is no citie merchant, or country pur∣chaser, but is haunted with a whole hoste of these spirits of the earth. The Indies is their Metrapolitane realme of abode.
As for the spirits of the aire, which haue no other vi∣sible bodies or form, but such as by the vnconstant glim∣mering of our eies is begotten; they are in truth all show and no substance, deluders of our imagination, & nought els. Carpet knights, politique statesmen, women & chil∣drē they most conuers with. Carpet knights they inspire with a humor of setting big lookes on it, being the basest cowards vnder heauen, couering an apes hart with a li∣ons case, and making false alarums when they mean no∣thing but a may-game. Politique statesmen they priuily incite, to bleare the worlds eyes with clowdes of com∣mon wealth pretences, to broach any enmitie or ambi∣tious humor of their owne, vnder a title of their cuntries preseruation. To make it faire or fowle when they list to procure popularity, or induce a preamble to some migh¦tie peece of prowling, to stir vp tempests round about, & replenish heauen with prodigies and wonders, the more to ratifie their auaritious religion. Women they vnder-hand instruct to pownce and boulster out theyr brawn-falne deformities, to new perboile with painting Page [unnumbered] their rake-leane withered visages, to set vp flaxeshops on their forheads, when all their owne haire is dead and rot∣ten, to sticke their gums round with Comfets, when they haue not a tooth left in their heads to help them to chide withall.
Children they seduce with garish obiects and toyish babies, abusing them many yeares with slight vanities. So that you see all their whole influence is but thin ouercast vapours, flying clouds dispersed with the least winde of wit or vnderstanding.
None of these spirits of the ayre or the fire haue so much predominance in the night as the spirits of the earth and the water; for they feeding on foggie-braind melancholly, engender thereof many vncouth terrible monsters. Thus much obserue by the way, that the gros∣sest part of our blood is the melancholy humor, which in the spleene congealed whose office is to disperse it, with his thicke steaming sennie vapours casteth a mist ouer the spirit, and cleane bemasketh the phantasie.
And euen as slime and durt in a standing puddle, en∣gender toads and frogs, and many other vnsightly crea∣tures, so this slimie melancholy humor still still thickning as it stands still, engendreth many mishapen obiects in our imaginations. Sundry times wee behold whole Ar∣mies of men skirmishing in the Ayre, Dragons, wilde beasts, bloody streamers, blasing Commets, firie strakes with other apparitions innumerable, whence haue all these their conglomerate matter but from fuming mete∣ors that arise from the earth, so from the fuming melan∣cholly of our spleene mounteth that hot matter into the Page [unnumbered] higher Region of the braine, whereof manie fearfull vi∣sions are framed. Our reason euen like drunken fumes it displaceth and intoxicates, & yeelds vp our intellectiue apprehension to be mocked and troden vnder foote, by euerie false obiect or counterset noyse that comes neere it. Heerein specially consisteth our senses defect and a∣buse, that those organicall parts which to the minde are ordained embassadours, doo not their message as they ought, but by some misdiet or misgouernment being di∣stempered, faile in their report, and deliuer vp nothing but lyes and fables.
Such is our braine oppressed with melancholy, as is a clocke tyde downe with too heauie weights or plum∣mets; which as it cannot chuse but monstrously goe a square, or not goe at all: so must our braines of necessi∣tie be either monstrously distracted, or vtterly destroy∣ed thereby.
Lightly this extreamitie of Melancholye neuer commeth, but before some notable sicknesse; it faring with our braynes as with Bees, who, as they excee∣dingly toyle and turmoile before a storme or change of weather, so doo they beate and toyle, and are infinitelie confused before sicknes.
Of the effects of melancholy I need not dilate, or dis∣course how many encumbred with it, haue thought thē∣selues birdes and beasts, with feathers, and hornes, and hydes; others, that they haue been turned into glasse; others, that if they should make water they should drowne all the world; others, that they can neuer bleed inough. Page [unnumbered] Phisitions in their circuit euerie day meet with far more ridiculous experience. Onely it shall suffise a little by the way to handle one speciall effect of it, which is dreames.
A dreame is nothing els but a bubling scum or froath of the fancie, which the day hath left vndigested; or an af∣ter feast made of the fragments of idle imaginations.
How manie sorts there be of them no man can right∣ly set downe, since it scarce hath been heard, there were euer two men that dreamed alike. Diuers haue written diuersly of their causes, but the best reason among them all that I could euer picke out, was this, that as an arrow which is shot out of a bow is sent forth manie times with such force, that it flyeth farre beyond the marke wherat it was aymed: so our thoughts intentiuely fixt all the day time vpon a marke wee are to hit, are now and then o∣uer-drawne with such force, that they flye beyonde the marke of the day into the confines of the night. There is no man put to any torment, but quaketh & trembleth a great while after the executioner hath withdrawne his his hand from him. In the daye time wee torment our thoughts and imaginations with sundry cares and deui∣ces; all the night time they quake and tremble after the terror of their late suffering, and still continue thinking of the perplexities they haue endured. To nothing more aptly can I compare the working of our braines after we haue vnyoakt and gone to bed, than to the glimmering and dazeling of a mans eyes when hee comes newly out of the bright Sunne, into the darke shadow.
Euen as ones eyes glimmer and dazle when they are withdrawne out of the light into darknesse: so are our Page [unnumbered] thoughts troubled & vexed when they are retyred from labor to ease, and from skirmishing to surgerie.
You must giue a wounded man leaue to grone while he is in dressing: Dreaming is no other than groaning, while sleepe our surgeon hath vs in cure.
He that dreams merily is like a boy new breetcht, who leapes and daunceth for ioy his pain is past: but long that ioy stayes not with him, for presently after his master the day seeing him so iocond and pleasant, comes and dooes as much for him againe, whereby his hell is renued.
No such figure of the first Chaos whereout the world was extraught, as our dreames in the night. In them all states, all sexes, all places are confounded and meete to∣gether.
Our cogitations runne on heapes like men to part a fray, where euerie one strikes his next fellow. From one place to another without consultation they leap, like re∣bells bent on a head. Souldiers iust vp and downe they imitate at the sacke of a Citie, which spare neither age nor beautie: the yong, the old, trees, steeples & moun∣taines, they confound in one gallimafrie.
Of those things which are most knowne to vs, some of vs that haue moyst braynes make to our selues images of memorie: on those images of memorie whereon we buyld in the daye, comes some superfluous humour of ours, lyke a Iacke-anapes in the night, and erects a pup∣pet stage, or some such ridiculous idle childish inuen∣tion.
A Dreame is nothing els but the Eccho of our con∣ceipts in the day. Page [unnumbered] But other-while it fals out, that one Eccho borrowes of another: so our dreames (the Ecchoes of the day) bor∣row of anie noyse we heare in the night.
As for example; if in the dead of the night there be a∣nic rumbling, knocking, or disturbaunce neere vs, wee straight dreame of warres, or of thunder. If a dogge howle, we suppose we are transported into hell, where we heare the complaint of damned ghosts. If our heads lye double or vneasie, we imagine we vphold all heauen with our shoulders like Atlas. If wee bee troubled with too manie clothes, then we suppose the night mare rides vs.
I knew one that was crampt, and hee dreamt that hee was torne in peeces with wylde horses; and another, that hauing a blacke sant brought to his bed side at mid∣night, dreamt he was bidden to dinner at Iron-mongers Hall.
Anie meate that in the day time we eat against our sto∣mackes, begetteth a dismall dreame. Discontent also in dreames hath no little predominance: for euen as from water that is troubled, the mud dispersingly ascendeth from the bottome to the top; so when our blood is cha∣fed, disquieted and troubled, all the light imperfect hu∣mours of our bodie, ascend like mud vp aloft into the head.
The clearest spring a little tutcht, is creased wyth a thousand circles: as those momentarie circles for all the world such are our dreames. when all is said, melancho∣ly is the mother of dreames, and of all terrours of the night whatsoeuer.
Page [unnumbered]Let it but affirme it hath seene a spirit (though it be but the moone-shine on the wall) the best reason wee haue cannot infringe it.
Of this melancholy there be two sorts; one that dige∣sted by our liuer swimmeth like oyle aboue water, & that is rightly tearmed womens melancholy, which lasteth but for an houre, and is (as it were) but a coppie of their countenance: the other sinketh downe to the bottome like the lees of the wine, and that corrupteth all the blood, and is the causer of lunacie. well moderated re∣creations are the medicine to both: surfet or excessiue studie the causers of either.
There were gates in Rome, out of which nothing was carried but dust and dung, and men to execution: so ma∣nie of the gates of our senses serue for nothing but to conueigh out excrementall vapors, & afrighting deadly dreames, that are worse than executioners vnto vs.
Ah woe be to the solitarie man that hath his sinnes con∣tinually about him, that hath no withdrawing place from the diuell and his temptations.
Much I wonder how treason and murder dispense with the darknes of the night, how they can shriue them∣selues to it, and not raue and die. Me thinkes they shuld imagine that hell imbraceth them round, when she ouer spreads them with her blacke pitchie mantle.
Dreames to none are so fearfull, as to those whose ac∣cusing priuate guilt expects mischiefe euerie hower for their merit. Wonderfull superstitious are such persons in obseruing euerie accident that befalls them: and that their superstition is as good as an hundred furies to tor∣ment
Page [unnumbered]Bond-men in Turkey or in Spaine are not so ordinarilye fold, as witches sell familiars there. Farre cheaper maye you buy a winde amongst them, than you can buy wind or faire words in the Court. Three knots in a thred, or an odde grandams blessing in the corner of a napkin, will carrie you all the world ouer.
Wee when we frowne knit our browes, but let a wi∣zard there knit a noose or a riding snarle on his beard, & it is haile, storme and tempest a month after.
More might be spoken of the prodigies this countrey sendes foorth, if it were not too much erring from my scope. Whole Ilands they haue of yee, on which they build and ttaffique as on the maine land.
Admirable (aboue the rest) are the incomprehensible wonders of the bottomlesse Lake Vether, ouer which no fowle flies but is frozen to death, nor anie man pasleth but he is senselesly benummed like a statue of marble.
All the inhabitaunts round about it, are deafned wyth the hideous roring of his waters when the winter brea∣keth vp, & the yee in his dissoluing giues a terrible cracke like to thunder, when as out of the midst of it (as out of Mont-Gibell) a sulphureous stinking smoak issues, that welnigh poysons the whole Countrey.
A poyson light on it, how come I to digresse to such a dull, Lenten Northren Clyme, where there is nothing but stock-fish, whetstones and cods-heads? Yet now I re∣member me, I haue not lost my way so much as I thoght for my theame is The terrors of the Night, and Island is one of the chiefe kingdomes of the night; they hauing scarce so much day there, as will serue a childe to ask his Page [unnumbered] father blessing. Marry with one commoditie they are blest, they haue Ale that they carry in their pockets lyke glue, and euer when they would drinke, they set it on the fire and melt it.
It is reported, that the Pope long since gaue them a dispensation to receiue the Sacrament in ale, insomuch as for their vncessant frosts there, no wine but was turn∣ed to red emayle, as soone as euer it came amongst them.
Farewell frost: as much to say, as farewell Island, for I haue no more to say to thee.
I care not much if I dream yet a little more: & to say the troth, all this whole Tractate is but a dreame, for my wits are not halfe awaked in it: & yet no golden dreame, but a leaden dreame is it; for in a leaden standish I stand fishing all day, but haue none of Saint Peters lucke to bring a fish to the hooke that carries anie siluer in the mouth. And yet there be of them that carrie siluer in the mouth too, but none in the hand: that is to say, are verie bountifull and honourable in their words, but except it be to sweare indeed, no other good deedes comes from them.
Filthie Italionat complement-mungers they are, who would faine be counted the Courts Gloriosos, and the re∣fined iudges of wit; when if their war drops and the wi∣thred bladders of their braines were well searcht, they haue nothing but a fewe moath-eaten cod-peece sutes (made against the comming of Mounsier) in the one, and a few scraps of out-landish prouerbes in the other: and these alone doo buckler them from the name of beggers and idiots. Other-while perhaps they may keep a coyle Page [unnumbered] with the spirit of Tasso, and then they folde their armes like Braggarts, writhe their neckes alla Neapolitano, and turne vp their eye-balls like men intraunced.
Come, come, I am entraunced from my Text I wote weil, and talke idlely in my sleepe longer than I should, those that will harken any more after Dreames, I referre them to Artimidorus, Synesurs, & Cardan, with many o∣thers which onely I haue heard by their names, but I thanke God had neuer the plodding patience to reade, for if they bee no better than some of them I haue peru∣sed, euery weatherwise old wise might write better.
what sense is there that the yoalke of an egge should signifie gold, or dreaming of Beares, or fire, or water, de∣bate and anger, that euery thing must bee interpreted backward as Witches say their Pater-noster, good being the character of bad, and bad of good.
As well we may calculate from euery accident in the day, and not goe about any busines in the morning till we haue seene on which hand the Crow sits.
O Lord I haue heard many a wise Gentlewoman say, I am so merry and haue laught so hartily, that I am sure ere long to bee crost with some sad tydinges or other; all one as if men comming from a Play should conclude, Well we haue seene a Commedie to day, and therefore there cannot choose but be a Tragedie to morrow.
I doo not deny but after extremity of myrth, followe many sad accidents, but yet those sad accidents (in my o∣pinion) wee meerely plucke on with the feare of com∣ming mischiefe, and those meanes wee in pollicie most vse to preuent it, soonest enwrappe vs in it, and that was Page [unnumbered] Sathans tricke in the old world of gentillisme to bring to passe all his blind Prophecies.
Could any man set downe certaine rules of expoun∣ding of Dreames, and that their rules were generall, hol∣ding in all as well as in some, I would beginne a litle to list to them, but commonly that which is portentiue in a King is but a friuolous fancie in a beggar, and let him dreame of Angels, Eagles, Lyons, Griffons, Dragons ne∣uer so, all the augurie vnder heauen will not allot him so much as a good almes.
Some will obiect vnto mee for the certainety of Dreames, the Dreames of Cyrus, Cambyses, Pompey, Caesar, Darius, & Alexander. For those I answer, that they were rather visions than Dreames, extraordinarily sent from heauen to foreshew the translation of Monarchies.
The Greeke and Romane histories are full of them, and such a stirre they keepe with their Augurers and Soothsayers, how they foretold long before by Dreames and beasts and birds intrayles, the losse of such a battaile, the death of such a Captaine or Emperour, when false knaues, they were all as Prophet Calchas, pernitious Traytors to their Country and them that put them in trust, and were many times hyred by the aduerse part to disharten and discourage their Masters by such Conycat∣ching Riddles as might in truth be turned any way.
An easie matter was it for them to prognosticate trea∣sons and conspiracies, in which they were vnderhand in∣lincked themselues, & how euer the world went it was a good pollicie for them to saue their heades by the shift, for if the treasons chaunst afterwards to come to light, it Page [unnumbered] would not be suspected they were practisers in them, in∣somuch as they reueald them, or if they should by theyr confederates be appealed as practisers, yet might they plead and pretend it was done but of spite and mallice to supplant them for so bewraying and laying open their in∣tents.
This tricke they had with them besides, that neuer till the verie instant that anie treason was to be put in ex∣ecution, and it was so neere at hand that the Prince had no time to preuent it, would they speake one word of it, or offer to disclose it: yea, and euen then such vnfit sea∣sons for their colourable discouerie would they picke foorth, as they would be sure he should haue no leasure to attend it.
But you will aske why at all as then they should step foorth to detect it? Marry to cleare themselues to hys successors, that there might bee no reuenge prosecuted on their liues.
So did Spurina the great Astrologer, euen as Caesar in the midst of all his busines was going hastely to the Se∣nate house, he popt a bill in his hand of Brutus and Cassi∣us conspiracie, and all the names of those that were col∣leagued with them.
well he might haue thought that in such hast by the high way side, he wold not stay to peruse any schedules, and well he knew and was assertained, that assoone as e∣uer he came into the Capitoll, the bloudie deed was to be accomplished.
Shall I impart vnto you a rare secrecy how these great famous Coniurers and cunning men ascend by degrees Page [unnumbered] to foretell secrets as they doo. First and formost they are men which haue had some little sprinkling of Grammer learning in their youth; or at least I will allowe them to haue been Surgeons or Apothecaries prentises, these I say hauing runne through their thrift at the elbowes, and riotouslie amongst harlots and make-shifts spent the an∣nuitie of halfpennie ale that was left them, fall a beating their braynes how to botch vp an easie gainfull trade, & set a new nap on an old occupation.
Hereupon presently they rake some dunghil for a few durtie boxes and plaisters, and of tosted cheese and can∣dles endes, temper vp a fewe oyntments and sirrups: which hauing done, farre North, or into some such rude simple countrey they get them, and set vp.
Scarce one month haue they staid there, but what with their vaunting and prating, and speaking fustian in steede of Greeke, all the Shyres round about do ring with their fame: and then they begin to get them a Library of three or foure old rustie manuscript books, which they them∣selues nor anie els can read; and furnish their shops with a thousand quid pro quos, that would choake anie horse: besides, some wast trinkets in their chambers hung vp, which maye make the world halfe in iealouzie they can coniure.
They will euermore talke doubtfully, as if there were more in them than they meant to make publique, or was appliable to euerie common mans capacitie: when God bee their rightfull Iudges, they vtter all that they know and a great deale more.
To knit vp their knaueries in short, which in sooth is Page [unnumbered] the hang-mans office, & nones els) hauing pickt vp theyr crummes thus pretely well in the Countrey, they drawe after a time a little neerer and neerer to London; and at length into London they filtch themselues priuely: but how? Not in the hart of the Cittie will they presume at first dash to hang out their rat-banners, but in the skirtes and out-shifts steale out a signe ouer a Coblers stall, lyke Aqua vitae-sellers and stocking menders.
Manie pore people they win to beleeue in them, who haue not a barreld Herring or a peece of poore Iohn that lookes ill on it, but they will bring the water that he was steept in vnto them in an vrinall, & craue their iudg∣ment whether he be rottē, or merchant & chapmanable or no. The brute of their cunning thus traueling frō ale∣house to Ale-house, at length is transported in the great hiltes of one or other countrey Seruing-mans sword to some good Tauerne or Ordinarie: where it is no sooner arriued, but it is greedily snatcht vp by some dappert Mounsier Diego, who liues by telling of newes, & false dice, and it may be hath a pretie insight into the cardes al∣so, together with a little skill in his Iacobs staffe, and hys Compasse: being able at all times to discouer a new pas∣sage to Virginia.
This needie Gallaunt (with the qualities aforesaid) straight trudgeth to some Noble-mans to dinner, & there enlargeth the rumor of this newe Phisition, comments vpon euerie glasse and violl that he hath, rayleth on our Galenists and calls them dull gardners and hay-makers in a mans belly, compares them to dogs, who when they are sick eate grasse, and saies they are no better than pack Page [unnumbered] or malthorses, who if a man shuld knock out their brains will not goe out of the beaten high way; wheras his hors∣leach will leap ouer the hedge & ditch of a thousand Di∣oscorides and Hippocrates and giue a man twentie poysons in one, but he would restore him to perfit health. With this strange tale the Noble-man inflamed, desires to bee acquainted with him: what does me he, but goes imme∣diately and breaks with this mountebanke, telling him if he will diuide his gains with him, he will bring him in cu∣stome with such and such States, and he shall bee counte∣nanst in the Court as he wold desire. The hungrie drug∣gier, ambitious after preferment, agrees to any thing, and to Court he goes; where being come to enterview, hee speaks nothing but broken English like a French Doctor pretēding to haue forgottē his naturall tung by trauell, when he hath neuer been farther than either the Lowe Countries or Ireland, inforced thether to flye either for getting a maid with child, or marrying two wiues. Suffi∣feth he fet a good face on it, & will sweare he can extract a better Balsamum out of a chip than the Balm of Iudaea: yea, all receipts and authors you can name he syllogizeth of, & makes a pish at in comparison of them he hath seen and read: whose names if you aske, hee claps you in the mouth with halfe a dozen spruce titles, neuer til he inuē∣ted them heard of by any Christian. But this is most cer∣taine, if he be of any sect, he is a mettle-bruing Paracelsi∣an, hauing not past one or two Probatums for al diseases. But oafe he be called to practise, hee excuseth it by great cures he hath in hand; & will not encounter an infirmity but in the declining, that his credit may be more autētical Page [unnumbered] or els when by some secret intelligence hee is through lie instructed of the whole processe of his vnrecouerable extremitie, he comes grauely marching like a Iudge, and giues peremptorie sentence of death; whereby he is ac∣counted a Prophet of deepe prescience.
But how he comes to be the diuells secretarie, all this long tale vnrips not.
In secret be it spoken, he is not so great with the diuell as you take it. It may be they are neere a kinne, but yet you haue manie kindred that will doo nothing for one another; no more will the diuell for him, except it be to damne him.
This is the Tittle est amen of it: that when he wexeth stale, and all his pispots are crackt and wil no longer hold water, he sets vp a coniuring schoole, and vndertakes to play the baud to Ladie Fortune.
Not a thiefe or a cut-purse, but a man that hee keepes doth associate with, & is of their fraternitie; only that his master when any thing is stoln may tell who it is that hath it. In petie trifles hauing gotten some credit, great Peeres entertaine him for one of their priuie counsaile, and if they haue anie daungerous enterprise in hand they con∣sult with him about successe.
All malcontents entending anie inuasiue violence a∣gainst their Prince and Countrey runne headlong to his oracle. Contrarie factions enbosome vnto him their in∣wardest complots, whilest he like a crastie Iacke a both sides, as if he had a spirit still at his elbow, reciprooallie embowelleth to the one what the other goes about; re∣ceiuing no intelligence from anie familiar, but their own Page [unnumbered] mouths. I assure you most of our chiefe noted Augurers and Soothsayers in England at this day, by no other Arte but this gaine their reputation.
They may verie well picke mens purses, like the vn∣skilfuller cousning kind of Alchumists, with their artifi∣ciall and ceremoniall Magicke, but no effect shall they atchieue thereby, though they would hang themselues: the reason is, the diuell of late is growen a puritane, and cannot away with anie ceremonies; he sees all Prinees haue left off their States, and hee leaues off his state too, and will not be inuocated with such solemnity as he was wont.
Priuate and disguised he passeth too and fro, and is in a thousand places in an houre.
Faire words cannot anie longer beguile him, for not a cue of curtsie will he doo anie man, except it be vpon a flat bill of sale; and so hee chaffers with wysards and wit∣ches euerie howre.
Now the world is almost at an end, he hath left forme and is all for matter; and like an Embroyderer or a Tai∣ler he maketh hast of worke against a good time, which is the day of iudgement: therefore you goodmen exorci∣sers his olde acquaintance must pardon him, though (as heretofore) he stay not to dwell vpon complements.
In diebus illis when Corineus and Gogmagog were little boyes, I will not gainsaye but hee was wont to iest and sport wyth countrey people, and play the good fellowe amongst kitchin-wenches, sitting in an euening by the fire side making of possets, and come a woing to them in the likenes of a cooper, or a curmogionly purchaser: & Page [unnumbered] sometimes he would dresse himselfe like a Barbar, & wash and shaue all those that laye in such a chamber: other∣while like a stale cutter of Queene hyue, hee would iu∣stle men in their owne houses, pluck them out of bed by the heeles, and daunce in chaynes from one chamber to another: now there is no goodnes in him but miserable∣nes and couetousnes.
Sooner he will pare his nayles cleanly, than cause a man to dreame of a pot of golde, or a money bag that is hid in the eaues of a thatcht house.
(Heere is to bee noted, that it is a blessed thing but to dreame of gold, though a man neuer haue it.)
Such a dreame is not altogether ridiculous or imper∣tinent, for it keepes flesh and bloud from despaire: all o∣ther are but as dust we raise by our steps; which awhyle mounteth aloft, and annoyeth our ey-sight, but present∣ly disperseth and vanisheth.
Senior Sathan when he was a yong stripling, and had not yet gotten perfect audacitie to set vpon vs in the day time, was a sly Polititian in dreames; but those dayes are gone with him, and now that he is thoroughly steeled in his scutcherie, hee playes aboue-boord boldly, & sweeps more stakes than euer he did before.
I haue rid a false gallop these three or foure pages: now I care not if I breathe mee, and walke soberly and demurely halfe a dozen turnes, like a graue Citizen go∣ing about to take the ayre.
To make a shaft or a bolt of this drumbling subiect of dreames, from whence I haue bin tost off and on I know not how; this is my definitiue verdit: that one may aswel Page [unnumbered] by the smoke that comes out of a kitchin gesse what meat is there a broach, as by paraphrasing on smokie dreames praeominate of future euents. Thus far notwithstanding Ile goe with them; Phisitions by dreames may better dis∣cerne the distemperature of their pale clients, than either by vrine or ordure.
He that is inclining to a burning feuer shall dreame of frayes, lightning and thunder, of skirmishing with the di∣uell, and a hundred such like. He that is spiced wyth the gowte or the dropsie, frequently dreameth of fetters & manacles, and being put on the bilbowes, that his legges are turned to marble or adamant, and his feet like the gi∣ants that scal'd heauen kept vnder with Mount Ossa and Peleon, and earst while that they are fast locked in quag∣myres. I haue heard aged mumping beldams as they sat warming their knees ouer a coale scratch ouer the argu∣ment verie curiously, and they would bid yong folks be∣ware on what day they par'd their nayles, tell what luck euerie one should haue by the day of the weeke he was borne on; show how many yeares a man should liue by the number of wrinkles on his forhead, and stand descan∣ting not a litle of the difference in fortune when they are turnd vpward, and when they are bent downward; him that had a wart on his chin, they would confidently as∣sertaine he should haue no need of anie of his kin: mar∣ry they would likewise distinguish betweene the stand∣ing of the wart on the right side and on the left. when I was a little childe, I was a great auditor of theirs, and had all their witchcrafts at my fingers endes, as perfit as good morrow and good euen.
Page [unnumbered]Of the signification of dreames, whole catalogues could I recyte of theirs, which heere there is no roome for: but for a glannce to this purpose, this I remember they would verie soberly affirme, that if one at supper eate birds, he should dreame of flying; if fish, of swim∣ming; if venison of hunting, and so for the rest: as thogh those birds, fish, and venison beeing dead and disgested, did flie, swim and hold their chase in their braynes; or the solution of our dreames should be nought els but to expresse what meates we eate ouer-night.
From the vnequall and repugnant mixture of contra∣rious meates I iumpe with them, manie of our mystie cogitations proceede: and euen as fire maketh yron like it selfe, so the firie inflammations of our liuer, or stomack transforme our imaginations to their analagie and like∣nesse.
No humor in generall in our bodies ouer-flowing or abounding, but the tips of our thoughts are dipt in hys tincture. And as when a man is readie to drowne, hee takes hold of anie thing that is next him: so our flutring thoughts, when wee are drowned in deadly sleepe, take hold, and coessence themselues with anie ouerboyling humour which fourseth hiest in our stomackes.
What heede then is there to be had of dreames, that are no more but the confused giddie action of our braines, made drunke with the innundation of hu∣mours?
Iust such like impostures as is this Art of exposition of dreames, are the artes of Phisiognomie and Palmestrie: wherein who beareth most palme and praise, is the palpa∣blest Page [unnumbered] foole and Crepundio. Liues there anie such slowe yce-braind beefe-witted gull, who by the riueld barke or outward rynde of a tree will take vpon him to forespeak how long it shall stand, what mischances of wormes, ca∣terpillers, boughs breaking, frost bitings, cattells rubbing against, it shall haue? As absurd is it, by the external bran∣ched seames or furrowed wrinckles in a mans face or hand, in particular or generall to coniecture and fore∣doome of his fate.
According to euerie ones labor or exercise, the palme of his hand is wrythen and pleyted, and euerie daye al∣ters as he alters his employments or pastimes: wherfore well may we collect, that he which hath a hand so braw∣ned and enter-lined, vseth such and such toyles or recre∣ations; but for the minde or disposition, we can no more looke into through it, than wee can into a looking Glasse through the woodden case thereof.
So also our faces, which sundrie times with surfets, greefe, studie, or intemperaunce, are most deformedlye welked and crumpled; there is no more to bee gathered by their sharpe embossed Ioyners anticke worke, or rag∣ged ouer-hangings or pit-falls; but that they haue beene layd vp in slouens presse, and with miscarriage and mis∣gouernment are so fretted and galled.
My owne experience is but small, yet thus much I can say by his warrantize, that those fatall brands of phisiog∣nomie which condemne men for fooles and for idiots, and on the other side for trecherous circumuenters and false brothers, haue in a hundred men I know been vere∣fied in the contrarie.
Page [unnumbered]So Socrates (the wisest man of Greece) was censured by a wrinckle-wyzard for the lumpishest blockehead that e∣uer went on two legs: whome though the Philosopher in pitie vouchsafed with a nyce distinction of Art and na∣ture to rayse and recouer, when he was vtterly confoun∣ded with a hisse and a laughter, yet sure his insolent sim∣plicity might lawfully haue su'd out his patent of exemp∣tion; for hee was a forlorne creature, both in discretion and wit-craft.
Will you haue the summe of all: some subtill humo∣rist, to feede fantasticke heads with innouations and no∣uelties, first inuented this trifling childish glose vppon dreames and phisiognomie; wherein he stroue onely to boast himselfe of a pregnant probable conceipt beyonde philosophie or truth.
Let but anie man who is most conuersant in the super∣stition of dreames, reckon me one that hath hapned iust; and Ile set downe a hundred out of Histories, that haue perished to foolerie.
To come to late dayes; Lewes the xj. dreamt that he swam in blood on the toppe of the Alpes: which one Father Robert (a holy Hermit of his time) interpreted to be present death in his next warres against Italy: though hee liu'd and prosperd in all his enterprises a long whyle after,
So Charles the fifth sayling to the siege of Tunis, dreamt that the Citie met him on the sea like an Argosie, and o∣uerwhelmed his whole Nauie: when by Cornelius A∣grippa the great Coniurer (who went along with him) it was expounded to be the ouerthrow of that famous ex∣pedition. Page [unnumbered] And thereupon Agrippa offred the Emperor (if it pleased him) to blowe vp the Citie by Art Magicke in the ayre before his eyes, without anie farther ieopar∣die of warre, or besieging. The Emperour vtterly refu∣sed it and said, Since it was Gods warres against an Infi∣del, he would neuer borrow aid of the diuell.
Some haue memorized, that Agrippa seeing his coun∣saile in that case reiected, and that the Emperour (not∣withstanding his vnfortunate presage) was prosperous and succesfull, within few dayes after dyed franticke and desperate.
Alphonso King of Naples in like case, before the rumor of the French Kings comming into Italy, had a vision in the night presented vnto him of Aeneas ghoast hauing Turnus in chase, & Iuno Pronuba comming betwixt them, and parting them; whereby hee gest that by marriage their iarring Kingdomes should be vnited: but far other∣wise it fell out, for the Freuch King came indeed, and he was driuen thereby into such a melancholy extasie, that he thought the verie fowles of the ayre would snatch his Crowne from him; and no bough or arbour that ouer∣shadowd him, but enclosed him, and tooke him prisner; and that not so much but the stones of the street sought to iustle him out of his Throne.
These examples I alledge, to proue there is no cer∣taintie in dreames; and that they are but according to our deuisings and meditations in the day time.
I confesse the Saintes and Martirs of the Primitiue Church had vnfallible dreames fore-running their ends, as Policarpus and other: but those especially proceeded Page [unnumbered] from heauen, and not from anie vaporous dreggie parts of our blood or our braines.
For this cause the Turkes banish Learning from a∣mongst them, because it is euerie daye setting men toge∣ther by the eares, mouing straunge contentions and alte∣rations, and making his professors faint hearted and effe∣minate. Much more requisite were it that out of our ci∣uill Christian Common-wcalths we seuerely banish and exterminate those fabulous commentaries on toyish fan∣tasies, which feare-benum & effeminate the harts of the stoutest, cause a man without any ground to be iealous of his owne frends and his kinsfolkes, and withdraw hym from the search and insight into more excellent things, to stand all his whole life sifting and winnowing dry rub∣bish chaffe, whose best bottome quintessence prooues in the end but sandie grauell and cockle.
Molestations and cares inough, the ordinarie course of our life tythes of his owne accord vnto vs, though we seeke not a knot in a bulrush, or stuffe not our night pil∣lowes with thistles to encrease our disturbance.
In our sleepe wee are agasted and terrified, with the disordered skirmishing and conflicting of our sensitiue faculties: yet with this terror and agastment cannot wee rest our selues satisfide, but we must pursue and hunt af∣•ter a further feare in the recordation and too busie exa∣mining our paines ouer-passed.
Dreames in my minde if they haue anie premonstran∣ces in them, the preparatiue feare of that they so pre∣monstrate and denounce, is far worse than the mischiefe it selfe by them denounced and premonstrated.
Page [unnumbered]So there is no long sicknesse but is worse than death, for death is but a blowe and awaye, whereas sicknesse is like a Chancerie sute, which hangs two or thee yeare ere it can come to a iudgement.
O a consumption is worse than a Capias ad Ligatum, to nothing can I cōpare it better, thā to a repriue after aman is condemnd, or to a boy with his hoase about his heeles, ready to be whipt, to whom his master stands preaching a long time all law and no Gospel, ere he proceed to exe∣cution. Or rather it is as a man should be rosted to death, and melt away by little and little, whiles Phisitions lyke Cookes stand stuffing him out with hearbes, and basting him with this oyle and that sirrup.
I am of the opinion, that to be famisht to death is farre better, for his paine in seauen or eight dayes is at an end, whereas he that is in a consumption, continues languish∣ing manie yeares ere death haue mercie on him.
The next plague and the neerest that I know in affini∣tie to a consumption, is long depending hope friuolous∣ly defeated, than which there is no greater miserie on earth: & so per consequens no men in earth more miserable than courtiers. It is a cowardly feare that is not resolute inough to despaire. It is like a cowardly feare that is not resolute inough to despaire. It is like a pore hungerstarvd wretch at sea, who still in expectation of a good voyage, endures more miseries than Iob. He that writes this can tell, for he hath neuer had good voyage in his life but one, & that was to a fortunate blessed Iland, nere those pinacle rocks called the Needles. O it is a purified Continent, & a fertil plot fit to seat another Paradice, where or in no place the image of the ancient hospitalitie is to be found.
Page [unnumbered]While I liue I will praise it and extoll it, for the true magnificence and continued honourable bountie that I saw there.
Farre vnworthie am I to spend the least breath of com∣mendation in the extolling so delightfull and pleasaunt a Tempe, or once to consecrate my inke with the excellent mention of the thrice noble and illustrious Chiefetaine, vnder whom it is flourishingly gouerned.
That rare ornament of our Countrey, learned Master Camden, whose desertfull name is vniuersally admyred throughout Christendome, in the last repollished Editi∣on of his Brittania, hath most elaborate and exactly de∣scribed the souereigne plenteous scituation of that Ile; as also the inestimable happines it inherites, it beeing pa∣tronizd and carefully protected by so heroicall and cou∣ragious a Commaunder.
Men that haue neuer tasted that full spring of his libe∣ralitie, wherwith (in my most forsaken extremities) right graciously hee hath deigned to reuiue and refresh mee, may rashly (at first sight) implead me of flatterie, and not esteeme these my feruent tearmes as the necessary repai∣ment of due debt, but words idly begotten with good lookes, and in an ouer-ioyed humour of vaine hope slipt from me by chance: but therein they shall shewe them∣selues too vnciuill iniurious, both to my deuoted obser∣uant dutie, and the condigne deare purchased merite of his glorie.
Too base a ground is this, whereon to embroyder the rich storie of his eternall renowme; some longer lyued Tractate I reserue for the full blaze of his vertues, which Page [unnumbered] here onely in the sparkes I decypher. Manie embers of encumbraunces haue I at this time, which forbid the bright flame of my zeale to mount aloft as it would. Per∣force I must breake from it, since other turbulent cares sit as now at the stearne of my inuention. Thus I con∣clude with this chance-medley Parenthesis, that whatso∣euer minutes intermission I haue of calmed content, or least respite to call my wits together, principall and im∣mediate proceedeth from him.
Through him my tender wainscot Studie doore is de∣liuered from much assault and battrie: through him I looke into, and am lookt on in the world: from whence otherwise I were a wretched banished exile. Through him all my good (as by a conduit head) is conueighed vn∣to me; and to him all my endeuours (like riuers) shall pay tribute as to the Ocean.
Did Ouid entitle Carus a Noble-man of Rome, the one∣ly constant frend hee had, in his vngratefull extrusion a∣mongst the Getes: and writ to him thus,
Why doo I vse so much circumstance, and in a streame on which none but gnats and flies doo swimme, sound Fames trumpet like Triton, to call a number of foolish skiffes and light cock-boates toparley?
Page [unnumbered]Feare (if I be not deceiud) was the last pertinent mat∣ter I had vnder my displing; from which I feare I haue strayed beyond my limits: and yet feare hath no limits, for to hell and beyond hell, it sinkes downe and pene∣trates.
But this was my position, that the feare of anie expec∣ted cuill, is worse than the euill it selfe; which by dyuers comparisons I confirmed.
Now to visions and apparitions againe, as fast as I can trudge.
The glasses of our sight (in the night) are like the pro∣spectiue glasses one Hostius made in Rome, which repre∣sented the images of things farre greater than they were: each moate in the darke they make a monster, and eue∣rie sleight glimmering a giant.
Asolitarie man in his bed, is like a poore bed-red lazer lying by the high way side; vnto whose displaied wounds and sores a number of stinging flyes doo swarme for pa∣stance and beuerage: his naked wounds are his inward hart-griping woes, the waspes and flyes his idle wande∣ring thoughts; who to that secret smarting paine he hath alreadie, do adde a further sting of impatience, and new lanch his sleeping griefes and vexations.
Questionlesse this is an vnrefutable consequence, that the man who is mocked of his fortune; he that hath con∣sumed his braines to compasse prosperitie, and meetes with no counteruaylement in hir likenesse, but hedge wine and leane mutton, and peraduenture some halfe eid good looks that can hardly be discerned from wink∣ing; this poore piteous perplexed miscreant either final∣lie Page [unnumbered] lie despaire; or like a lanke frost-bitten plant looseth hys vigor or spirit by little and little: anie terror, the least illu∣sion in the earth, is a Cacodaemon vnto him. His soule hath left his bodie; for why, it is flying after these ayrie incor∣poreate Courtly promises, and glittring painted allure∣ments; which when they vanish to nothing, it lykewise vanisheth with them.
Excessiue ioy no lesse hath his desectiue and ioylesse o∣perations, the spleene into water it melteth▪ so that ex∣cept it be some momentarie bubbles of mirth, nothing it yeelds but a cloying surfet of repentance.
Diuers instances haue we of men, whom too much so∣daine coment and ouer-rauished delight hath brought vntimely to their graues.
Foure or fiue I haue read of, whom the very extremi∣tie of laughter hath bereft of their liues: whereby I ga∣ther, that euen such another pernitious sweete, superflu∣ous mirth is to the sence, as a surfet of honnie to a mans stomacke, than the which there is nothing more dange∣rous.
Bee it as dangerous as it will, it cannot but be an easie kinde of death. It is like one that is stung with an Aspis, who in the midst of his paine falls delighted asleepe, and in that suauitie of slumber surrenders the ghost: where∣as hee whom greefe vndertakes to bring to his end, hath his hart gnawenin sunder by little & little with vultures, like Prometheus.
But this is nothing (you will obiect) to our iourneys ende of apparitions. Yes, altogether: for of the ouer∣swelling superabundance of ioy and greefe, wee frame Page [unnumbered] to our selues most of our melancholy dreames and visi∣ons.
There is an olde philosophicall common Prouerbe, Vnusquisque fingit fortunam sibi, Euerie one shapes hys owne fortune as he lists. More aptly may it be said, Eue∣rie one shapes his owne feares and fancies as he list.
In all points our brains are like the firmament, and ex∣hale in euerie respect the like grose mistempred vapors and meteors; of the more foeculent combustible ayrie matter whereof, afrighting formes and monstrous ima∣ges innumerable are created: but of the slymie vnweel∣dier drossie part, dull melancholy or drousines.
And as the firmament is still moouing and working, so vncessant is the wheeling and rolling on of our braines; which euerie hower are tempring some newe peece of prodigie or other, and turmoyling, mixing and changing the course of our thoughts.
I write not this, for that I thinke there are no true apparitios or prodigies; but to shew how easily we may be flouted if we take not great heed, with our own an∣ticke suppositions. I will tell you a strange tale tending to this nature: whether of true melancholy or true ap∣parition, I will not take vpon me to determine.
It was my chance in Februarie last to be in the Coun∣trey some threescore myle off from London; where a Gentleman of good worship and credit falling sicke, the verie second day of his lying downe, hee pretended to haue miraculous waking visions: which before I enter to describe, thus much I will informe ye by the way, that at the reporting of them he was in perfect memorie; nor Page [unnumbered] had sicknes yet so tirannizd ouer him to make his tongue grow idle. A wise graue sensible man he was euer repu∣ted, and so approou'd himselfe in all his actions in his life time. This which I deliuer (with manie preparatiue pro∣testations) to a great Man of this Land hee confidently a∣vouched: beleeue it or condemn it, as you shal see cause, for I leaue it to be censured in differently.
The first day of his distemprature, he visibly saw (as he affirmed) al his chamber hung with silken nets and siluer hookes, the diuell (as it should seeme) comming thether a fishing; whereupon euery Pater noster while he lookt whether in the nets he should be entangled, or with the hookes ensnared; with the nets he feard to be strangled or smothred, & with the hooks to haue his throat scracht out, and his flesh rent and mangled: at length, he knew not how they sodainly vanished, and the whole chamber was clered. Next a copanie of lusty sailers (euerie one a sharker or a swaggerer at the least) hauing made a braue voyage, came carousing and quaffing in large siluer kans to his helth. Fellowes they were that had good big pop mouths to crie Port a helme Saint George, and knew as well as the best what belongs to haling of bolings yare, and falling on the star-boord buttocke.
But to the issue of my tale: their drunken proffers he vtterly put by, and sayd hee highly scorned and detested both them and their hellish disguisings: which notwith∣standing, they tost their cups to the skies, and reeled and staggered vp and downe the roome like a ship shaking in the winde.
After all they danst Lustie gallant, & a drunken Danish Page [unnumbered] Laualto or two, and so departed. For the third course, rust tin a number of statcly diuels, bringing in boystrous chests of massie tresure betwixt the. As braue they were as Turkish Ianissaries, hauing their apparel alll powdred with gold and pearle, and their armes as it were bemay∣led with rich chaynes and bracelets; but faces far black∣er than anie ball of Tobacco, great glaring eyes that had whole shelues of Kentish oysters in them, and terrible wyde mouthes, whereof not one of them, but would well haue made a case for Molenax great Gloabe of the world.
These louely youths and full of fauour, hauing stalkt vp and downe the iust measures of a sinkapace, opened one of the principall chests they brought, and out of it pluckt a Princely royall Tent, whose empearled shining canopie they quickly aduaunced on hie, and with all ar∣tificiall magnificence adorned like a state: which perfor∣med, pompous Lucifer entred, imitating in goodly sta∣ture the huge picture of Laocoon at Rome: who sent vn∣to him agallant Embassadour, signifying thus much, that if hee would serue him, hee should haue all the rich trea∣sure that he saw there, or anie farther wealth hee would desire.
The Gentleman returned this milde aunswere, that he knew not what he was, whether an Angell or a wick∣ed seend: and if an Angell, he was but his fellow seruant, and no otherwise to be serued or regarded; if a fiend or a diuell, hee had nothing to doo with him, for God had exalted and redeemed him aboue his desperate out-cast condition, and a strong faith he had to defie & with-stand Page [unnumbered] all his iugling temptations. Hauing vttered these words, all the whole traine of them inuisibly auoyded, and hee neuer set eye on them after.
Then did ther for the third pageant present themselues vnto him, an inueigling troupe of naked Virgins, thrice more amiable and beautifull than the bright Vessals, that brought in Augustus Testament to the Senate, after hys decease: but no Vestall-like Ornament had they about them; for from top to toe bare despoyled they were, ex∣cept some one or two of them that ware maskes before their faces, and had transparent azur'd lawne veyles be∣fore the chiefe iewell houses of their honors.
Such goodly lustfull Bonarobaes they were (by his re∣port) as if anie sharpe eyd Painter had been there to per∣use them, he might haue learned to exceed diuine Mihel Angclo in the true boske of a naked, or curious Tuns in quicke life, whom the great masters of that Art do terme the sprightly old man.
Their haire they ware loose vnrowled about their shoulders, whose dangling amber trammells reaching downe beneath their knees, seemed to drop baulme on their delicious bodies; and euer as they moou'd too and fro, with their light windye wauings, wantonly to cor∣rect their exquisite mistresses.
Their daintie feete in their tender birdlike trippings, enameld (as it were) the dustie ground; and their odori∣ferous breath more perfumed the aire, than Ordinance would, that is charged with Amomum, Muske, Cyuet, and Amber-greece.
But to leaue amplifications, and proceed: those sweet Page [unnumbered] bewitching naked maides, hauing maiestically paced a∣bout the chamber, to the end their naturall vnshelled shi∣ning mother pearle proportions might be more imprin∣tingly apprehended, close to his bed-side modestly blush∣ing they approched, & made impudent profer vnto him of theyr lasciuious embraces. He obstinatly bent to with∣stand these their sinfull allurements no lesse than the for∣mer, bad them goe seek entertainment of hotter bloods, for he had not to satisfie them. A cold comfort was this to poore wenches no better cloathed, yet they hearing what to trust too, verie sorrowfully retyred, and shrunk away.
Lo in the fourth Act there sallied out a graue assembly of sober attyred Matrones, much like the Virgines of Marie Magdalens order in Rome, which vowe neuer to see man; or the chast daughters of Saint Philip.
With no incontinent curtesie did they greete him, but tolde him, if so hee thought good they would praye for him.
Therupon, frō the beginning to the ending he vnfold∣ed vnto them, how he had been mightely hanted with wicked illusions of late: but neuertheles, if he could be perswaded that they were Angels or Saintes, their inuo∣cations could not hurt him; yea, he would adde his de∣sire to their requestes, to make their prayers more pene∣trably enforcing.
Without further parley, vppon their knees they fell most deuoutly, and for halfe an hower neuer ceased ex∣tensiuely to intercessionate GOD for his speedie re∣couerie.
Page [unnumbered]Rising vp agayne on the right hand of his bed, there appeared a cleare light, and with that he might perceiue a naked slender foote offring to steale betwixt the sheets in to him.
At which instant, entred a messenger from a Knight of great honour thereabouts, who sent him a most preci∣ous extract quintessence to drinke: which no sooner he tasted, but he thought hee saw all the fore-named Enter∣luders at once, hand ouer head leap, plunge, & drowne themselues in puddles and ditches hard by, and hee felt perfect ease.
But long it lasted not with him, for within foure how∣ers after, hauing not fully settled his estate in order, hee grewe to trifling dotage and rauing dyde within two daies following.
God is my witnesse, in all this relation, I borrowe no essential part from stretcht out inuention, nor haue I one iot abusde my informations; onely for the recreation of my Readers, whom loath to tyre with a course home∣spunne tale, that should dull them woorse than Holland cheese, heere and there I welt and garde it with allusiue exornations & comparisons: and yet me thinks it comes off too goutie and lumbring.
Bee it as it will, it is lyke to haue no more allow∣aunce of English for mee. If the world will giue it anie allowaunce of truth, so it is: For then I hope my excuse is alreadye lawfullye customed and autho∣rized; since Truth is euer drawne and painted naked, Page [unnumbered] and I haue lent her but a leathren patcht cloake at most to keepe her from the cold: that is, that she come not off too lamely and coldly.
Vpon the accidentall occasion of this dreame or ap∣parition, (call or miscall it what you will, for it is yours as freely as anie wast paper that euer you had in your liues) was this Pamphlet (no bigger than an old Praeface) spee∣dily botcht vp and compyled.
Are there anie doubts which remaine in your mynde vndigested, as touching this incredible Narration I haue vnfolded? well, doubt you not, but I am milde and tra∣ctable, and will resolue you in what I may.
First, the house where this Gentleman dwelt, stood in a low marish ground, almost as rotten a Clymate as the Lowe Countreyes; where their mystie ayre is as thicke as mould butter, and the deaw lyes like froathie barme on the ground.
It was noted ouer and besides to haue been an vnluc∣kie house to all his predecessors, scituate in a quarter not altogether exempted from witches.
The abrupt falling into his sicknesse was suspitious, pro∣ceeding from no apparant surfet or misdiet. The outra∣gious tyrannie of it in so short a time, bred thrice more admiration and wonder, and his sodaine death inconti∣nent ensuing vppon that his disclosed dreame or vision, might seeme some probable reason to confirme it; since none haue such palpable dreames or visions, but die pre∣sently after.
The like to this was Master Allingtons vision in the be∣ginning of her Maiesties raigne; than the which there is Page [unnumbered] nothing more ordinarilie bruted. Through Greeke and Romane common-places to this purport I could runne, if I were disposed to vaunt my selfe like a ridiculous Pe∣dant, of deepe reading in Fulgosius, Licosthenes, and Va∣lerius.
Goe no farther than the Court, and they will tell you of a mightie worthie man of this Land; who riding in his Coatch from London to his house, was all the waye haunted with a couple of Hogges, who followed him close, and doo what his men could they might not driue them from him: wherefore at night hee caused them to be shut vp in a barne, and commanded milke to be giuen them; the barne dore was lockt, and the key safely kept, yet were they gone by morning, and no man knew how.
A number of men there be yet liuing, who haue been haunted by their wiues after their death, about forswea∣ring themselues, and vndooing their children, of whom they promised to be carefull fathers: whereof I can ga∣ther no reason but this, that Women are borne to tor∣ment a man both aliue and dead.
I haue heard of others likewise, that beside these night terrors, haue been (for whole months together whether soeuer they went or rid) pursued by wesels and rats, and oftentimes with squirrels and hares; that in the traueling of three hundred myle, haue still wayted on their horse heeles.
But those are onely the exploytes and stratagems of witches, which may well astonish a little at first sight, but if a man haue the least heart or spirite to with-stand one fierce blast of their brauadoes, he shall see them shrinke Page [unnumbered] faster than Northren cloath, and outstrip time in dastard∣ly flight.
Fie, fie, was euer poore fellow so farre benighted in an old wiues tale of diuells and vrchins. Out vpon it, I am wearie of it, for it hath caused such a thicke fulsome Sere∣na to descend on my braine, that now my penne makes blots as broad as a furd stomacher, and my muse inspyres me to put out my candle and goe to bed: and yet I wyll not neyther, till after all these nights reuells, I haue so∣lemnly bid you good night: as much to saye, as tell you how you shall haue a good night, and sleep quietly with∣out affrightment and annoyance.
First and formost drinke moderately, and dice and drabbe not away your money prodigally, and then for∣sweare your selues to borrow more.
You that be pore mens children, know your own fa∣thers; & though you can shift & cheate your selues into good cloathes here about Towne; yet bow your knees to their leathern bagges and russet coates, that they may blesse you from the ambition of Tiburne.
You that beare the name of souldiers, and liue baselie swaggering in euerie ale-house, hauing no other exhibi∣tion but from harlots and strumpets; seeke some newe trade, and leaue whoring and quarrelling, least besides the nightly guilt of your owne banqurout consciences, Bridewell or Newgate prooue the ende of your caue∣leering.
You, whosoeuer or wheresoeuer you be, that liue by spoyling and ouer-reaching yong Gentlemen, and make but a sport to deride their simplicities to their vndooing, Page [unnumbered] to you the Night at one time or other will proue terri∣ble, except you foorthwith thinke on restitution: or if you haue not your Night in this world, you will haue it in hell.
You that are married and haue wiues of your owne, and yet hold too nere frendship with your neighbours; set vp your rests, that the Night will be an il neighbour to your rest, and that you shall haue as little peace of minde as the rest. Therefore was Troy burnt by night, because Paris by night prostituted Helena, and wrought such tre∣son to Prince Menclaus.
You that are Macheuilian vaine fooles, and thinke it no wit or pollicie but to vowe and protest what you ne∣uer meane, that trauell for nothing els but to learne the vices of other countries, and disfigure the ill English fa∣ces that God hath giuen you with Tuscan glickes and a∣pish trickes; the night is for you with a black saunt or a matachine, except you presently turne and conuert to the simplicitie you were borne too.
You that can cast a man into an Italian ague when you list, and imitate with your diet drinkes anie disease or in∣firmitie, the night likewise hath an infernall to act before yee.
Traitors that by night meete and consult how to walke in the day vndiscouered, & thinke those words of Christ vainly spoken, There is nothing done in secret but shalbe reuea∣led and laid open: to you no lesse the night shalbe as a night owle to vexe and torment you.
And finallie, O you Iudges and Magistrates, if there bee anye amongest you, that doo wrest all the Lawe Page [unnumbered] into their owne hands, by drawing and receyuing euery mans money into their hands, and making newe golden lawes of their owne, which no Prince nor Parliament euer dreamed of; that looke as iust as Iehouah by daye, enthronizing graue zeale and religion on the eleuated whites of their eyes, when by night corrupt gifts and re∣wards rush in at their gates in whole Armies, like Nor∣thren Carriers comming to their Inne; that in steede of their bookes turne ouer their bribes, for the deciding of causes, adiudging him the best right, that brings the ri∣chest present vnto them. If anie such there be I say, as in our Common-wealth I know none, but haue read of in other States, let them looke to haue a number of vnwel∣come Clients of their owne accusing thoughts and ima∣ginations, that will betray them in the night to euery idle feare and illusion.
Therefore are the terrors of the night more than of the day, because the sinnes of the night surmount the sinnes of the day.
By night time came the Deluge ouer the face of the whole earth; by night time Iudas betrayed Christ; Tar∣quin rauisht Lucretia.
When anie Poet would describe a horrible Tragicall accident; to adde the more probabilitie & credence vn∣to it, he disinally beginneth to tell, how it was darke night when it was done, and cheerfull daylight had quite aban∣doned the firmament.
Hence it is, that sinne generally throughout the scrip∣ture is called the workes of darknesse; for neuer is the diuell so busie as then, and then he thinkes he may aswel Page [unnumbered] vndiscouered walke abroad, as homicides and outlawes.
Had we no more Religion than we might deriue from heathen fables; me thinkes those dolefull Querristers of the night, the Scritch-owle, the Nightingale, and croking Frogs, might ouer-awe vs from anie insolent transgressi∣on at that time. The first for her lauish blabbing of for∣bidden secrets, being for euer ordayned to be a blabbe of ill newes and misfortune, still is crying out in our eares, that we are mortall, and must die: the second puts vs in minde of the end and punishment of lust & rauishment; and the third and last, that we are but slyme & mud, such as those watrie creatures are bred of: and therfore why should we delight to adde more to our slyme & corrup∣tion, by extraordinarie surfets and drunkennes.
But these are nothing neither in comparison: for hee whom in the day heauen cannot exhale, the night wil ne∣uer helpe: she onely pleading for her old grandmother hell, as well as the day for heauen.
Thus I shut vp my Treatise abruptly, that hee who in the daye doth not good woorkes inough to answere the obiections of the night, will hardly aunswere at the daye of iudgement.