The visions of dom Francisco de Quevedo Villegas, knight of the Order of St. James made English by R.L.
Quevedo, Francisco de, 1580-1645., L'Estrange, Roger, Sir, 1616-1704.

The Wicked Advice of one of Ptolomy's Courtiers, about the Killing of Pom∣pey: taken out of Lucan's Pharsalia. Lib. 8.

MEthinks, under favour, (most Renowned Ptolomy) we are now slipt into a debate, a little beside the business. The question is, whether Pompey should be deliver'd up to Cae∣sar, or no. That is to say, whether in reason of State, it ought to be done▪ and we are formalizing the matter, whether in point of equity and justice it may be done. Bodies Politique have no Souls; and never did any great Prince Page  290 turn a Council of State, into a Court of Conscience, but he repented it. King∣doms are to be govern'd by Politicians, not by Casuists; and there is nothing more contrary to the true interest of Crowns and Empires, then in publick cases, to make a scruple of private du∣ties. The Argument is this; Pompey is in distress: and Ptolomy under an Ob∣ligation; so that it were a violation of Faith and Hospitality, not to relieve him. Now give me leave to reason it the other way. Pompey is forsaken, and persecuted by the Gods; Caesar up∣on the Heels of him, with victory and success. Shall Ptolomy now ruine him∣self, to protect a Fugitive, against both Heaven, and Caesar? I must confess▪ where honesty, and profit are both of a side, 'tis well; but where they disa∣gre, the Prince that does not quit his Religion, for his convenience, falls into a direct conspiracy against himself. He shall lose the Hearts of his Souldiery, and the reputation of his power. Where∣as on the contrary, the most hateful Tyrant in the world shall be able to keep his head above water, let him Page  291 but give a general License to commit all sorts of Wickedness: you'l say 'tis Impious: but I say, what if it be? who shall call you to accompt? These deli∣berations are only for Subjects, that are under Command; and not for Sove∣raign Princes, whose will is a Law.
Exeat Aulâ
Qui volet esse pius.
He was never cut out
For a Court, that's devout.

In fine, since either Pompey or Pto∣lomy must suffer, I am absolutely for the saving of Ptolomy, and the present∣ing of Pompey's head, without any more ado, to Caesar. A dead Dog will never bite.

Photinus had no sooner made an end, but Domitian appear'd in a monstrous Rage, and lugging of poor Suetonius af∣ter him, like a Bear to the stake.

There is not in nature (says he) so damn'd a Generation of Scribling Rogues, as these Historians. We can neither be quiet for them, Living, nor Dead: for Page  292 they haunt us in our very Graves; and when they have vented the Humour, and Caprice of their own Brains, that forsooth must be call'd, The life of such an Emperour. And for an Instance, I'll shew ye what this Impertinent Chroni∣cler says of my self. He had squander'd away his treasure (says he) in expensive Buildings, Comedies, and Donatives to the Souldiers.

Now would I fain know which way it could have been better employ'd.

In another place, he says, that Do∣mitian had some thoughts of easing him∣self in his Military charges, by reducing the number; but that he durst not do, for fear some of his Neighbours should put an affront upon him. So that to lick himself whole, he fell to raking and scraping what ever he could get, either from Dead, or Living; and any Rascals Testimony was proof enough for a Con∣fifcation: for there needed no more to undo an honest man, then to tell a Tale at Court, that such a one had spoken ill of the Prince.

Is this the way of treating Majesty? what could this impudent Pedant have Page  293 said worse, if he had been speaking of a Pick-pocket or a Pirate? But Prin∣ces and Thieves are all one to them.

He says further, that Domitian made seizure of several Estates, without any sort of right whatsoever; and there went no more to his Title, than for a false Witness to depose, that he heard the Defunct declare, before he dy'd, that he made Caesar his Heir. He set such a Tax upon the Jews, that many of them deny'd their Religion to avoid it; and I remember that when I was a young fellow, I saw an old man of fourscore and ten taken upon suspicion by one of Domitian's spies, and turn'd up in a publick Assembly, to see if he were cir∣cumcised.

Be you now Judges, Gentlemen of the Black-Guard, if this be not a most intolerable indignity. Am I to answer for the actions of my inferior Officers? it amazes me that my Successors should ever endure these scandalous reports to be publisht, especially a∣gainst a Prince that had laid out so much money in repairng the Libra∣ries that were burnt.

Page  294It is very true (said Suetonius in a doleful tone) and I have not forgotten to make mention of it to your Honour. But what will you say, if I shew you in a Warrant under your hand, this exe∣crable and impious Blasphemy? It is the Command of your Lord and God. And in fine, if I speak nothing but truth, where's your cause of complaint? I have written the Lives too of the great Iulius Caesar, and the divine Augustus, and the world will not say but I have done them right. But for your self, and such as you, that are effectually but so many incarnate and crowned Plagues, what fault have I committed in setting before your eyes those Tyrannies, which Heaven and Earth cannot but look up∣on with Dread and Horrour?

This discourse of Suetonius was in∣terrupted by the Babbler or Boutefeu, that rounded Lucifer in the Ear, and told him,

Look ye Sir (says he, point∣ing with his finger) that limping Devil there, that looks as if he were sur∣bated with beating the Hoof, has been abroad in the world, this twenty year, and is but just now come back Page  295 again.
Come hither Sirrah, crys Lu∣cifer; and so the poor Cur went wrig∣ling and gloting up toward his Prince.
You are a fine Rogue to be snt of an Errand, are ye not? (••ys Lucifer) to stay twenty year out, and come back again e'en as wise as ye went: What souls have ye boght now? or what news from t'other world?
Ha! Your Highness (quoth the Dvil) has too much honour and justice to condemn me unheard. Wherefore be pleased to remember, that at my going out, you gave me charge of a certain Merchant; It cost me the first ten year of my time to make him a Thief, and ten more to keep him from turning honest again, and re∣storing what he had stolen. A fine fetch for a Devil this, is it not? cry'd Lucifer. But Hell is no more the Hell it was when I knew it first, than Chalk is Cheese: And the Devils now adays are so damn'dly insipid and dry, they're hardly worth the roasting. A sensls Puppy to come back to me with a story of Waltham's Calf, that went nine mile to suck a Bull. But he's not Master of his Trade yet: and with that Lucifer bad one of his Page  296 Officers take him away and put him to School again; for I perceive he's a Ras∣cal, says he, and he has e'en been roguing at a Play-house, when he should have been at Church.

In that instant, from behind a little hill, a great many men came running as hard as they could drive after a compa∣ny of Women: The Men crying out, Stop, Stop; and the Women crying for Help. Lucifer commanded them all to be seiz'd, and askt what was the matter. Alas, alas! (cry'd one of the men, quite out of breath) These Carrions have made us Fathers, though we never had Children. Govern your Tongue, Sirrah (cry'd a Devil of Honour, that had a kindness for the Ladies) and speak truth: for 'tis utterly impossible you should be Fa∣thers without Children. Pardon me, said the Fellow, we were marry'd men, and honest men, and good House-keepers, and have born Offices in the Parish, and have Children that call us Fathers: But 'tis a strange thing, we have been abroad some of us by the seven year together; Others, as long Bed-rid; and so impotent, that the Civilians would have put us Page  297inter frigidos & maleficiatos; and yet our Wives have brought us every year a Child, which we were such Fools as to keep and bring up, and give our selves to the Devil at last to get them Estates; out of a charitable perswasion (for∣sooth) they might yet be our own, though for a twelve-month together (perhaps) we never so much as exa∣min'd whether our Wives were Fish or Flesh. But now since the Mothers are dead, and the Children grown up, we have found the Tools that made them. One has the Coach-mans Nose; another the Gentleman-Vsher's Legs; a third a Cousin-german's Eyes. And some we are to presume, conceiv'd purely by strength of imagination, or else by the Ears like Weazels.

Thereupon appear'd a little Remnant of a man; a dapper Spaniard, with a kind of a Besome-beard, and a Voice not unlike the Yapping of a foysting Cur. As he came neer the Company, he set up his throat, and call'd out: Ah Jade! says he, I shall now take ye to task, ye Whore you, for making me Father my Negro's Bastard, and for the Estate I Page  298 setled upon him. I did ever misdoubt foul play, but should never have dreamt of That ugly Toad, when there was such choice of handsome, lusty young Fellows about us; but it may be she had them too. I curst the Monks many and many a time, I remember, to the Pit of Hell, Heaven forgive me for't▪ for the Strumpet would be perpetually gad∣ding abroad, under colour of going to Confession, and in sooth, I was never any great Friend to Penance and Morti∣fication. And then would I be easing my mind ever and anon to this cursed Moor. I cannot imagine (said I) where this Mistress of thine should commit all the sins that she goes every hour of the day to confess at yonder Monastery. And then would this Dog-Moor an∣swer me. Alas good Lady! I would e'en venture my Soul with hers with all my heart; she spends all her time you see in holy Duties. I was at that time so innocent, that I suspected nothing more, than a pure Respect and Civility to my Wife; but I have learnt better since, and that effectually his Soul and hers were commonly ventur'd in the Page  299 same Bottom; yes and their Bodies too, as I perceive by their Magpy Issue, for the Bastards take after both Father and Mother.

So that at this rate, cry'd the adopt∣ed Fathers, the Husband of a Whore has a plesant time on't. First, he's subject∣ed to all the Pukings, Longings, and pee∣vish importunities, that a breeding Wo∣man gives those about her till she's Laid; and then comes the squalling of the Child, and the Twittle-twattle-Gos∣sippings of the Nurse and Midwife, that must be well treated too, well lodg'd, and well paid. A sweet Baby, says one (to the Jade the Mother on't) 'tis e'en as like the Father as if he had spit it out on's mouth: It has the very Lips, the very Eyes of him, when 'tis no more like him, than an Apple is like an Oyster. And in conclusion, when we have born all this, and twenty times more in t'other World with a Christian Pati∣ence, we are hurry'd away to Hell, and here we lie a Company of damn'd Cuck∣olds of us; and here we are like to lie, for ought I see, in Saecula Saeculorum: which is very hard, and in truth out of all reason.

Page  300I cut this Visit short, to see what news in a deep Vault neer at hand, where we heard a great bustle and contest betwixt divers Souls and the Devils. There were the Presumptuous, the Revengeful, and the Envious, gaping and crying out as they would break their hearts. Oh, that I could but be born again! says one; Oh, that I might back into the world again! says another; Oh, that I were but to die once more! crys a third. Inso∣much that they put the Devils out of all Patience, with their impertinent and unprofitable Wishes and Exclamations. Hang your selves, cry'd they, for a pack of cousening, bawling Rascals: You live again? and be born again? and what if you might do't a thousand times over? You would only die at last a thousand times greater Villains, than now you are, and there would be no clearing Hell of you with a Dog-whip. How∣ever, to try you, and make you know your selves; we have Commission to let you Live again and Return. Vp then ye Varlets, go, be born again: Get ye into the World again. Away, cry'd the De∣vils, with a lusty lash at every word, Page  301 and thrust hard to have got them out. But the poor Rogues hung an Arse, and were struck with such a Terrour, to hear of Living again, and Returning, that they slunk into a Corner, and lay as quiet upon't, as Lambs.

At length, one of the Company that seem'd to have somewhat more Brain, and Resolution then his Fellows, en∣ter'd very gravely upon the Debate, whether they should go out, or no.

If I should now, says he, at my Second Birth, come into the World a Bastard; The shame would be mine, though my Pa∣rents committed the fault; and I should carry the Scandal, and the In∣famy of it to my Grave. Now put Cale, my Mother should be honest, (for that's not Impossible) and that I came into the World, Legitimate; how ma∣ny Follies, Vices, and Diseases are there that run in a Bloud! who knows, but I should be Mad, or Simple? Swear, Lye, Cheat, Whore; Nay if I came off, with a Little Mortification of my Car∣cass, as the Stone, the Scurvy, or the Noble Pox, I were a happy Man. But oh the Lodging, the Diet, and the Page  302Cookery that I am to expect for a mat∣ter of Nine Months in my Mother's belly: and then the Butter and Beer that must be spent to sweeten me, when I change my Quarter. I must come Crying into the World, and live in ignorance even of what Life is, till I dye; and then as ignorant of Death too, till 'tis past. I Phansy my Swad∣ling-Clouts, and Blankets to be worse then my Winding-sheet; My Cradle represents my Tomb. And then who knows, whether my Nurse shall be sound, or No? Shee'l over-lay me perhaps; leave me some four and twenty hours, it may be, without clean Clouts, and a Pin or Two all the while perchance, up to the Hilts in my back-side. And then follows Breeding of Teeth, and Worms; with all the Gripes, and Disorders that are caus'd by Vnwholesome Milk. These Miseries are Certain, and why should I run them over again?

If it happen that I pass the state of Infancy, without the Pox, or Meazils: I must be then pack't away to School, to get the Itch; a Scal'd Head, or a Page  303 pair of Kib'd Heels. In Winter, 'tis ten to one you find me always with a Snotty Nose; and perpetually under the Lash, if I either miss my Lesson, or go late to Shool. So that Hang him for my Part that would be born again; for any thing I see yet.

When I come up toward Man; the Women will have me as sure as a Gun, for they have a Thousand Ginnes, and Devices to catch Wood-cocks; and if ever I come to set eye upon a Lass that understands Dress, and Raillery, I'm gone, if there were no more Lads in Christendom. But for my part I am as sick as a Dog, of Powdering, Curling, and playing the Lady-bird. I would not for all the world be in the Shooma∣kers stocks, and choak my self over a∣gain in a streight Doublet; only to have the Ladies say, Look, what a Delicate shape, and foot that Gentleman has. And I should take as little pleasure to spend six hours, of the four and twen∣ty, in picking Grey hairs out of my Head, or Beard; or turning White in∣to Black: To stand half ravish't in the contemplation of my own shadow: Page  304 To dress fine, and go to Church only to see handsome Ladies: To correct the Midnight Air with ardent sighs, and Ejaculations; and to keep company with Owls, and Batts, like a Bird of Evil Omen: To walk the round of a Mistress lodging, and play at Bo-peep at the corner of every street: To adore her imperfections, (or as the song says, — for her Vgliness, and for her want of Coin) To make Bracelets of her Locks, and truck a Pearl Neck∣lace for a Shoo-string. At this rate, I say, Cursed again and again be he, for my part, that would live over again so Wretched a Life.

Being come now to write full Man; If I have an Estate, how many Cares, Suits and Wrangles go along with it! If I have None, what Murmuring, and Regret, at my Misfortunes! By this Time, the Sins of my Youth are got∣ten into my Bones; I grow Sowre, and Melancholy; Nothing pleases me; I curse old Age to Ten thousand Devils, and the Youth which I can never reco∣ver in my Veins, I endeavour to fetch out of the Barber's Shops, from Per∣ruques, Page  305 Razors, and Patches, to con∣ceal, or at least disguise all the Marks and Evidences of Nature in her De∣cay. Nay, when I shall have never an Eye to see with, nor a Tooth left in my head; Gowty Legs; Wind-mills in my Crown; my Nose running like a Tap, and Gravel in my Reins, by the Bushel; then must I make Oath that all this is nothing but mere Accident, gotten by Lying in the Field, or the like, and out-face the Truth in the very Teeth of so many undeniable Witnesses. There is no Plague Comparable to this Hypocrisy of the Members. To have an Old Fop shake his Heels, when he's ready to fall to pieces; and cry, These Legs would make a shift yet to play with the best Legs in the Company; and then with a lusty Thump on's Breast, fetch ye up a Hem, and cry, Sound at Heart Boy, and a Thousand other Fooleries of the like Nature. But all this is No∣thing, to the Misery of an Old fellow in Love; especially if he be put to Gallant it against a Company of Young Gamesters. Oh the Inward shame, and Vexation, to see himself scarce so Page  306 much as Neglected. It happens some∣times times that a Iolly Lady, for want of better Entertainment, may content her self with one of these Reverend Fornicators, instead of a Whetstone; but alack, alack! the poor Man i weak, though willing; and after a whole Night spent, in cold, and frivolous Pretences, and Excuses, away he goes with Torments of Rage, and Confusion about him, not to be exprest; and many a heavy Curse is sent after him for keeping a poor Lady from her Natural Rest, to so little purpose. How often must I be put to the Blush too, when every old Toast shall be calling me Old Acquaintance, and telling me, Oh Sir, 'tis many a fair Day since you and I knew one Another first. I think 'twas in the four and thirtieth of the Queen, that we were School-fellows. How the World's alter'd since! &c. And then must my head be turn'd to a Memento Mori: My flesh, dissolv'd into Rheums; My Skin, Wither'd, and Wrinkl'd; with a staff in my Hand, knocking the Earth at every trembling step, as if I call'd upon my Grave to receive me: Page  307walking, like a Moving Phantosme; my Life little more then a Dream; My Reins, and Bladder turn'd into a Per∣fect Quarry; and the Vrinal, or Piss∣pot my whole Study. My next heir, watching, every Minute, for the long-look't-for, and happy hour of my De∣parture; And in the mean time, I'm become the Physicians Revenue; and the Surgeons Practice, with an Apothe∣caries shop in my Guts; and every old Iade calling me Grandsire. No no▪ I'l no more Living again, I thank ye: One Hell rather then two Mothers.

Let us now consider the Comforts of Life: The Humours, and the Man∣ners. He that would be Rich, must play the Thief, or the Cheat; He that would rise in the World, must turn Pa∣rasite, Informer, or Projecter. He that Marries, Ventures fair for the Horn, either before, or after. There is no Valour, without Swearing, Quarrelling or Hectoring. If ye are poor, No body Owns ye. If Rich, you'l know No body. If you dye Young, what pity it was (they'l say) that he should be cut off thus in his Prime. If Old: He was e'en Page  308 past his best; there's no great Mis of him. If you are Religious, and fre∣quent the Church, and the Sacrament; You're an Hypocrite; And without this, y'are an Atheist, or an Heretick. If you are Gay, and pleasant, you pass presently for a Buffon: and if Pensive, and reserv'd, you are taken to be soure, and Censorious. Courtesy is call'd Collo∣guing, and Currying of Favour: Down∣right Honesty, and plain-dealing, is In∣terpreted to be Pride, and Ill manners. This is the World; and for all that's in't, I would not have it to go over again. If any of ye, My Masters (said he to his Camerades) be of another Opinion, hold up your hands. No, No (they cry'd all Unanimously) No more Generation-work, I beseech ye; Better the Devils, then the Mid∣wives.

After This, came a Testator, cursing, and Raving, like a Bedlam, that He had made his last Will, and Testament.

Ah Villein! (said he) for a Man to murder himself as I have done! If I had not Seal'd, I had not dy'd. Of all things, next a Physician, Deliver me from a Testa∣ment.Page  309 It has kill'd more then the Pe∣stilence. Oh Miserable Mortals; let the Living take warning by the Dead, and make no Testaments. It was my hard Luck, first to put my Life into the Physicians power, and then by ma∣king my Will, to sign the Sentence of Death upon my self, and my Own Exe∣cution. Put your Soul, and your Estate in Order, (says the Doctor) for there's no hope of Life; And the Word was no sooner out, but I was so wise and Devout (forsooth) as to fall imme∣diately upon the Prologue of my Will, with an In Nomine Domini, Amen, &c. And when I came to dispose of my Goods and Chattels I pronounc'd these Bloody Words (I would I had been Tongue-ty'd when I did it) I make and Constitute my Son, my Sole Exec'tor. Item, to my Dear Wife, I give and Be∣queath all my Playes, and Romances, and all the Furniture in the Rooms up∣on the Second Story. To my very good Friend T. B. my large Tankard, for a Remembrance. To my Foot-boy Robin, five pound to bind him Prentice: To Betty that tended me in my sickness, Page  310my little Candle-Cup. To Mr. Doctor, my fair Table-Diamond, for his Care of me in my Illness. After Signing, and Sealing, the Ink was scarce dry upon the Paper, but methought the Earth open'd as if it had been hungry to de∣vour me. My Son and my Legatees were presently Casting it up, how many hours I might yet hold out. If I call'd for the Cordial Iulep, or a little of Dr. Gilbert's Water; my Son was taking Possession of my Estate: My Wife so busy about the Beds, and Hangings, that she could not intend it. The Boy, and the Wench could under∣stand Nothing but about their Lega∣cies. My very good Friend's Mind was wholly upon his Tankard. My kind 〈◊〉 I must confess took Occasion now and then, to handle my Pulse, and see whe∣ther the Diamond were of the right Black Water, or no. If I ask't him, what I might Eat; his Answer was; Any thing, any thing, E'en what you please your self. At every Grone I fetch't, they were calling for their Legacies; which they could not have till I was Dead.

But if I were to begin the World Page  311 again,

I think I should make another kind of Testament. I would say. A Curse upon him that shall have my Estate when I am Dead: And may the first bit of Bread he eats out on't, choak him. The Devil in Hell take what I cannot carry away, and him too, that struggles for't, if He can Catch him. If I dye, let my Boy Robin have the Strappado, three hours a day, to be duly paid him during Life. Let my Wife dye of the Pip, or the Mother; (not a half penny matter which) but let her first live long Enough to Plague the Damn'd Doctor, and Indite him for poysoning her Poor Husband.
To speak sincerely, I can never forgive that Dog-Leech. Was it not enough to make me Sick, when I was well, without making me Dead, when I was Sick? And not to rest there neither, but to persecute me in my Grave too. But to say the Truth, this is only Neighbour's-fare; for all those fools that trust in them, are serv'd with the same Sawce. A Vomit, or a Purge is as good a Pass-port into the other World, as a man would wish. And then when our heads are laid; 'tis never to be en∣dured, Page  312 the Scandals they cast upon our Bodies, and Memories! Heaven rest his Soul (crys one) He kill'd himself with a Debauch. How is't possible (says another) to cure a man that keeps no Diet? He was a Mad-man; (crys a Third) a Meer Sot, and would not be govern'd by his Physi∣cian. His Body was as Rotten as a Pear: He had as many Diseases as a Horse: and it was not in the Power of Man to save him. And truly 'twas well that his hour was come, for he had better a great deal Dye well, then live on as he did. Thieves and Murtherers that ye are; You your selves are that hour ye talk of. The Physician is only Death in a Disguise, and brings his Patients Hour along with him. Cru∣el People! Is it not Enough to take away a Man's life; and like Common Hang-men to be paid for't when ye have done: but you must blast the Honour too of those you have dispatch't, to excuse your Ignorance? Let but the Li∣ving follow my Counsel, and write their Testaments after This Copy, they shall live long and Happily; and not go out of the World at last, like a Rat with a straw in his Arse (as a learned Author Page  313 has it) or be cut off in the flower of their days, by these Counterfeit Doctors of the faculty of the Close-stool.

The dead man ply'd his discourse with so much Gravity and Earnestness, that Lucifer began to believe what he said. But because all Truths are not to be spoken, especially among the Devils, where hardly any are admitted; and for fear of mischief, if the Doctors should come to hear what had been said, Lu∣cifer presently order'd the Fellow should be Gagg'd, or to put in security for his good behaviour.

His mouth was no sooner stopt, but another was open'd; and one of the damn'd came running cross the Compa∣ny, and so up and down, back and for∣ward (like a Cur that had lost his Ma∣ster) bawling as if he had been out of his Wits, and crying out,

Oh! Where am I? Where am I? I am abus'd, I am chous'd: What's the meaning of all this? Here are damning Devils; tempt∣ing Devils; and tormenting Devils; but the Devil a Devil can I find of the Devils that brought me hither: They have gotten away my Devils: where Page  314 are they? Give me my Devils again.

It might well make the Company stare, to see a Fellow hunting for Devils in Hell, where they swarm in Legions. But as he was in this Hurry, a Governante caught him by the arm, and gave him a half turn, and stopt him. Thou art a Luckey-bird (says she) if thou wantest Devils here, where do'st expect to find them? He knew her as soon as he saw her. And

Art thou here old Beelzebub in a Petticoat? (said he) the very Pi∣cture of Satan; The Coupler of Male and Female; The Buckle and Thong of Leachery; The Multiplyer of sin, and the Guide of Sinners; The Sea∣soner of Rotten Mutton; The Inter∣pretress betwixt Whores and Knaves; The Preface to the Remedy of Love, and the Prologue to the Critical Mi∣nute. Speak, and without more ado, tell me; where are the Devils and their Dams that brought me hither? These are none of them. No, no; I am not such and Awfe as to be Trepan'd, and spirited away by Devils with Tails, Horns, Bristles, Wings, that smell as if they had been smoakt in a Chimney-Corner.Page  315 The Devils that I look for, are worse than these. Where are the Mo∣thers that play the Bawds to their own Daughters? and the Aunts that do as much for their Neices, and make them caper and sparkle like Wild-fire? The black-ey'd Girls, that carry fire in their Eyes, and strike as sure as a Lance from the Rest of a Cavalier? Where are the Flatterers, that speak nothing but pleasing things? The Make-bates and Incendiaries, that are the very Canker of Humane Society? Where are the Story-Mongers? The Masters of the fa∣culty of Lying? That Report more than they, Hear, Affirm more than they Know, and swear more than they Believe. Those slanderous Backbiters, that like Vultures prey only upon Carrion? Where are the Hypocrites that turn Devotion into Interest, and make a Revenue of a Com∣mandment? That pretend Extasie when they are drunk; and utter the Fumes and Dreams of their Luxury and Tipple for Revelations? That make Chppels of their Parlours; Preachment of their ordinary Enter∣tainments; and every thing they do Page  316 is a miracle. They can Divine all that's told them; and raise people to life again, that counterfeit sick, when they should work; and give an honest man to the Devil with a Deo gratias. These are the Devils I would be at: These are they that have damn'd me; look them out, and find them for me, ye impudent Hag, or I shall be so bold as to search your French Hood for them.
And with that word, he fell on upon the poor Governante, tore off her Head-Geer, and laid about him so furi∣ously, that there were would have been no getting him off, if Lucifer had not made use of his Absolute Authority to quiet him.

Immediately upon the composing of this Fray, we heard the shooting of Bars and Bolts, the opening of Doors and Hinges that creakt for want of Grease, and a strange humming of a great number of People. The first that appear'd, were a company of Bold, Tal∣kative, and painted old Women; but as bonny and gamesome, tickling and toying with one another, as if they had never seen Fifteen; and carrying it out with Page  317 an Air of much satisfaction and content. The Babbler was somewhat scandaliz'd at their Behaviour; and told them how ill they did to be so merry in Hell: and several others admir'd it as much, and askt them the reason of it, considering their Condition. With that, one of the Gang that was wretchedly thin and pale, and rais'd upon a pair of Heels that made her legs longer than her Body, told Lucifer, with great Respect; that at their first coming, they were as sad as it was possible for a company of damn'd old Iades to be. But (says she) we were a little comforted, when we heard of no other Punishments here, than Weep∣ing and Gnashing of Teeth; and in some hope to come off upon reasonable terms: for we have not among us all so much as a drop of moisture in our bo∣dies, nor a Tooth in our Heads. Search them presently (cry'd the Intermedler) squeeze the Balls of their Eyes, and let their Gums be examin'd, you'll find Snags, Stumps, or Roots; or enough of somewhat or other there to spoil the Jest. Upon the Scrutiny, they were found so dry, that they were good for Page  318 nothing in the world, but to serve for Tinder or Matches; and so they were di∣spos'd of into the Devils Tinder-boxes.

While they were casing up the Old Women, there came on a number of people of several sorts and qualities, that all'd out to the first they saw; Pray'e Gentlemen (said they) before we go any further, will ye direct us to the Court of Rewards? How's That? (cry'd one of the Company) I was afraid we had been in Hell; but since you talk of Rewards, I hope 'tis but Purgatory. Good, Good! (said the whole Multitude) you'l quickly find where you are: Purgatory! (cry'd the Intermedler) you have left that up the Hill there, upon the Right hand. This is Hell, and a Place of Punishment; Here's no Registry of Rewards. Then we are mistaken (said he that spake first.) How so? (cry'd the Intermedler) You shall hear (said the other) We were in the other world intitled to the Order of the Squires of the Pad; and borrow'd now and then a small sum upon the Kings High-way: we understood somewhat too of the Cross-bite, and the use of the frail Dye. Some of our conscientious Page  319 and charitable friends, would fain have drawn us off from the course we were in; and to give them their due, bestow'd a great deal of good counsel upon us to very little purpose; for we were in a pretty way of Thriving, and had got∣ten a habit of, and could not leave it. We askt them, What would you have us do? Money we have none, and without it, there's no living: should we stay till it were brought, or came alone? How would ye have a poor Individuum Vagum to live? That has neither Estate, Office, Master, nor Friend to maintain him: and is quite out of his Element, unless he be either in a Tavern, a Bawdy-house, or a Gaming Ordinary. Now, That's the man, that Providence has appointed to live by his Wits. Our Advisers saw there was no good to be done, and went their way, telling us, that in the other world we should meet with our Reward.

They would tell us sometime, how base a thing it was to defame the house, and abuse the Bed of a Friend. Our An∣swer was ready;

Well! and had we not better do it there where the house is open to us, the Master and Lady Page  320 kind, the occasion fair and easie; than to run a Catterwawling into a Family where every servant in the house is a spy, and (perhaps) a Fellow behind every door in the house with a Dagger, or Pistol in his hand to entertain us.
Upon this, our Grave Counsellours find∣ing us so resolute, e'en gave us over, and told us as before; that, In the other world we should meet with our Reward. Now taking This to be the other World these honest men told us of, we are inquiring after the Rewards they pro∣mis'd us.

Abominable Scoundrels! said an Offi∣cer of Iustice, there at hand; How ma∣ny of your reprobated Companions, have squander'd away their Fortunes upon Whores and Dice, exposing not on∣ly their Wives and Children, but many a Noble Family to a shameful and irrepa∣rable Ruine: And let any man put in a word of wholsome advice, their An∣swer is,

Tush, Tush; Our Wives and Children are in the hands of Provi∣dence; and let him provide for the Rooks, that feeds the Ravens.
Then was it toldye, you should find your Reward Page  321 in the other World; and the time is now come, wherein ye shall receive it: Vp, up then ye cursed Spirits, and away with them. At which word, a Legion of De∣vils fell on upon the miserable Cai∣tiffs, with Whips and Firebrands, and gave them their long expected Reward; And at every lash, a voice was heard to say; In the other World you shall receive your Reward. These Wretches in the mean while, damning and sinking them∣selves to the pit of Hell, still, as if they had been upon Earth, and vomiting their customary and execrable Blasphe∣mies.

Just as this storm blew over, there drew neer a multitude of Bayliffs, Ser∣jeants, Catchpoles, and other Officers of Prey, with the Thieves Devil, bound hand and foot, and a foul Accusation against him. Whereupon Lucifer with a fell countenance took his seat in a flaming Chair, and call'd his Officers about him. So soon as the Prince had taken his place, a certain Officer began his Report.

Here is before thee (quoth he) a Devil (most mighty Lucifer) that stands charg'd with Ignorance in his Page  322 Trade; and the shame of his Quali∣ty and Profession, instead of damning men, he has made it his business to save them. The word save, put the Court in such a Rage, that they bit their lips, till the bloud started, and the fire sparkled at their Eyes; and Lucifer, turning about to his Atturney; Who would ever have imagin'd, said he, that so treacherous a Rascal could have been harbour'd in my Dominions? It is most certain, my gracious Lord, re∣ply'd the Atturney, that this Devil has been very diligent in drawing people into Thefts and Pilferies, and then when they come to be discover'd, they are clapt up and hang'd, or some mis∣chief or other. But still before Execu∣tion, the Ordinary calls them to shrift; and many times the toy takes them in the head, to confess and repent, and so they are sav'd. Now this sily Devil thinks, that when he has brought them to Steal, Murther, Coin, and the like, he has done his part, and so he leaves them: whereas he should stick close to them in the Prison; and be tempt∣ing of them to despair, and make away Page  323 themselves. But when they are once left to the Priest, he commonly brings them to a sight of their sins, and they 'scape. Now this simple Devil was not aware, it seems, that many a soul goes to Heaven from the Gallows, the Wheel, and the Faggot: and this failing has lost your Highness many a fair Pur∣chase. Here's enough (cry'd the Pre∣sident) and there needs no more Charge against him. The poor Devil thought it was high time to speak now, when they were just upon the point of pas∣sing his Sentence: and so he cry'd out, My Lord (said he) I beseech you hear me; for though they say the Devil is deaf, it is not meant of your Great∣ness: so there was a general silence, and thus he proceeded.

I cannot deny (my Lord) but Tyburn is the way to Paradise, and many a man goes to Heaven from the Gallows. But if you will set those that are damn'd for condemning others, against those that are sav'd from the Gallows, Hell will be found no Loser by me at the foot of the Accompt. How mny Marshal's-me, Turn-keys, and Keepers have I sent Page  324 ye for letting a Coiner give them the slip now and then, with his false Mo∣ney (alwaies provided they leave better Money instead on't) How many false Witnesses, and Knights of the Post, that would set their Consciences like Clocks to go faster or slower, according as they had more or less weight, and swear ex tempore, at all Rates and Prices! How many Sollicitors, Atturneys, and Clerks, that would draw ye up a Decla∣ration or an Inditement so slily, that I my self could hardly discover any Errour in't; and yet when it came to the Test, it was as plain as the nose on a mans face (that is to say again, Provi∣ded they were well paid for the Fa∣shion) How many Iaylers that would wink at an Escape for a Lusty Bribe! And how many Atturneys that would give ye Dispatch or Delay thereafter as they were greas'd! Now after all this, what does it signifie, if one Thief of a thousand comes to the Gallows? he only suffers because he was poor, that there may be the better Trading for the Rich, and without any design in the world to suppress stealing. Nay It often falls Page  325 out, that they that bring the Malefactor to the Gibbet, are the worse Criminals of the two. But they are never lookt af∣ter; or if they should be, they have tricks and fetches enough to bring themselves off; so that it fares in this case, as it did with him that had his house troubled with Rats, and would needs take in a company of Cats to destroy them: The Rats would be nibbling at his Cheese, his Bacon, a crust of Bread, and now and then a Candles End: But when the Cats came, down went a Milk-bowl, away goes a Brace of Partriges, or a Couple of Pigeons; and the poor man must content himself to go supperless to Bed. In the Conclusion, the Rats were troublesome, but the Cats were intolerable. And then there's This in't: supposeOne poor fellow hangs and goes to Heaven; I do but give him in truck for two hundred at least, that deserve to be hang'd, but 'scape and go to Hell at last. Beside; A Thief upon a Gibbet, is as good as a Roasted-Dog in a Pigeon∣house; for ye shll immediately have two or three thousand Witches about him, for sips of his Hlter, an Eye-Tooth,Page  326 or a Collop of his Fat, which i of Soveraign use in many of their Charms. But in fine, let me do what I will, my services are not understood. My Successor, it may be, will dis∣charge his Duty Better, and indeed I am very well content to lay down my Commission; for, (to say the Truth) I am in Years, and would gladly have a Little Rest now, in my old age, which I rather propose to my self in the Service of some Pretender, then where I am.

Lucifer heard him with great Pati∣ence, and in the End, gave him all the satisfaction imaginable; strictly charg∣ing the Evil Spirits that had abus'd him, to do so no more, upon hazard of Pain Corporal, and Spiritual: And they de∣sir'd him too, that he would not lay down his Employment, for he was strong enough yet to do very good ser∣vice in it. But to think of Easing him∣self, by going to a Pretender, he'd find himself mistaken, for 'twas a Duty he'd never be able to endure. Well! (says he) ee'n what your Highness pleases. But truly I thught a Devil might have Page  327 liv'd very Comfortably in that Condi∣tion; for he has no more to do, that I can see, then to keep his Ears open, and learn his Trade. For put Case it should be some Pretender to a Good Office, or a fat Bishoprick (though the Fathers, and Counsels are against Pretenders in This Case) I Phansy to my self, all the Plea∣sure, and Divertisement that may be. It is as good as going to School, for these People teach the Devils their A. B. C. And all that we have to do, is to sit still, and learn.

The Vision that follow'd this, was the Daemon of Tabacca; which I must con∣fess did not a little surprize me. I have indeed, often said to my self; Certainly These Smokers are Possest; but I could never swear it till now. I have (said the Devil) by bringing this Weed into Spain, reveng'd the Indians upon the Spaniards for all the Massacres and Butcheries they committed there, and done Them more Mischief, then ever Colon, Cortes, Almero, Pizarro did in the Indies: By how much it is more ho∣nourable, to dye upon a Sword's point, by Gun-shot, or at the Mouth of a Can∣non; Page  328 then for a man to Snivel, and Sneeze himself into another World; or to go away in a Meagrim, or a Spotted-Feaver, perchance; which is the Ordi∣nary effect of this poysonous Tabacca. It is with Tobacconists, as 'tis with Demoni∣acs under an Exorcism; They fume, and Vaper, but the Devil sticks to them still. Many there are that make a very Idol of it, they admire, they adore it, tempting and persecuting all people to take it, and the bare mention of it, puts them into an Extasie. In the Smoke, it is a Probation for Hell, where another day they must Endure Smoking; Taken in Powder, at the Nose, it draws upon Youth the Incommodities of old age, in the perpetual Annoyance of Rheum, and Drivel.

The Devil of Subornation came next, which was a good complexion'd, and a well timber'd Devil: to my great A∣mazement I must acknowledg, for I had never seen any Devils till now, but what were Extreme Ugly. The Air of his face was so familiar to me, that me∣thought I had seen it in a Thousand se∣veral places; somtime under a Veil, Page  329 sometime open; now under one shape, and then under another. One while he call'd himself Child's-play; Another while, Kind Entertainment; Here, Pay∣ment; there, Restitution; and in a third place, Almes: but in fine, I could never learn his right Name. I remember in some places I have heard him call'd In∣heritance; Profit; Good Cheap; Patri∣mony, Gratitude. Here he was call'd Doctor; there, Batchelor. With the Lawyers, Solliciters, and Atturneys, he past under the Name of Right; and the Confessers call'd him Charity.

He was well accompany'd, and stil'd himself Satan's Lieutenant: but there was a Devil of Consequence that oppos'd him, might and main: and made This Proclamation of himself. Be it known, (says he) that I am the Great Embroyler, and Politick Entangler of Affairs. The Deluder of Princes, The Pretext of the Vnworthy, and the Excuse of Tyrants. I can make Black, White; and give what Colour I please to the foulest Actions in Nature. If I had a Mind to overturn the World, and put all in a general Confusion, I could do it; for I have it in my Power, Page  330 to Banish Order and Reason out of it: To turn Sauciness, and Importunity into Merit; Example into Necessity; To give Law to Success; Authority to Infamy; and Credit to Insolence. I have the Tongues of all Counsellers at my Girdle, and they shall speak neither more nor less then just as I please. In short, That's Easie to me which others account Impossible, and while I live, ye need ne∣ver fear either Virtue, Justice or Good Government in the World. This Devil of Subornation, that talks of his Lieu∣tenancy, what could he ever have done without me? He's a Rascal that no Person of Quality would admit into his Company, if I did not fit him with Vi∣zors, and Disguises. Let him hold his Tongue then, and know himself; and let me hear no more of those Disputes about the Lieutenancy of Hell, for I have Lucifer's Broad Seal to shew for my Title to't.

For my part (cry'd another Muti∣nous Spirit) I am one of those humble-minded Devils that can content my self to hold the Door, upon a good Occasion; or knock under the Table, and play at Page  331 small Game rather then stand out. But few words among Friends are best, and when I have spoken three or four, let him come up that lists. I am then (says he) the Devil Interpreter, and my bu∣siness is to Gloss upon the Text; In which Case, the Cuckolds are Exceed∣ingly beholden to me; for I have much to say for the Honour of the Horn. How should a poor fellow that has a handsome Wench to his Wife, and never a penny to live on, hold up his Head in the World, if it were not for that Quality? I have a pretty faculty in doing good Offices for Distressed Ladies, at a time of Need; and I make the whole Sex sensible how great a Folly, and Madness it is to neg∣lect those sweet opportunities. Among other Secrets, I have found out a way to establish an Office for Thievery, where the Officers shall be Thieves and Iustify it when they have done. Here he stop't.

There was a short Silence, and then there appear'd another Devil, of about a foot and a half long. I am (says he) a Devil but of a small size, and perhaps one of the least in Hell; and yet the Door opens to me as well as to ano∣ther; Page  332 for I never come Empty-handed. Why, what have you brought then? (says the Intermedler) and came up to him; What have I brought? (quoth he) I have brought an Eternal Talker, and a Finical Flatterer: They are two pieces, that were in high Esteem in the Cabinets of two Great Princes; and I have brought them for a Present to Lucifer. With That, Lucifer cast his Eye upon them, and with a Damn'd-Verjuice-face, as if he had bitten a Crab, You do well (says he) to say ye had them at Court; and I think you should do well to carry them thither again; for I had as live have their Room, as their Company.

After him, follow'd another Dwarf-Devil, complaining that he had been a matter of six years about so infamous a Rascal, that there was no good to be done with him, for the Bad as well as the Better sort were Scandaliz'd at his Conversation. A mighty Piece of bu∣siness, cry'd the Governante. And could you not have gotten him a handsome Office, or Employment? That would have made him good for something, and you might have done his Business.

Page  333In the mean time the Babbler went whispering up and down, and finding faults, till at length he came to a huge bundle of sleeping Devils in a Cornr, that were fagotted up, and all mouldy and full of Cobwebs; which he immediately gave notice of, and they cut the band to give them Air. With much ado, they waked them, and askt what Devils they were; what they did there, and why they were not upon Duty. They fell a Yawning, and said, that they were the Devils of Luxury: But since the Wo∣men have taken a Phansie to prefer Guinies and Iacobusses, before their Mo∣desty and Honour, there has been no need of a Devil in the Case to tempt them: for 'tis but shewing them the merry Spankers, they'll dare like Larks, and fall down before ye, and then ye may e'en do what you will with them, and take them up in a Purse-net. Gold supplies all imperfections; it makes an Angel of a Crocodile; turns a Fool into a Philosopher; and a Dressing-Box well lin'd, is worth twenty thousand Devils. So that there is no temptation like a Pre∣sent: and take them from Top to Bottom, Page  334 the whole Race of Woman is frail, and one thred of Pearl will do more with them than a million of fine stories.

Just as this Devil made an end, we heard another snorting; and 'twas well he did so, for we had trod upon his belly else. He was laid hold of, upon suspicion that he slept Dog-sleep, or rather the sleep of a contented Cuckold, that would spoil no sport where he made none. I am (says he) the Nuns Devil, and for want of other employment I have been three days asleep here as you found me. My Mi∣stresses are now chusing an Abbess, and al∣ways when they are at that work, I make Holy-day: For they are all Devils them∣selves then; There is such Canvasing, Flattering, Importuning, Cajoling, making of Parties; and in a word so general a Confusion, that a Devil among them would do more hurt than good. Nay, the Ambitious make it a point of Honour upon such an occasion, to shew that they can out-wit the Devils. And if ever Hell should be in danger of a Peace, It is my Advice, that you presently call in a Convention of Nuns to the Election of an Abbess; which would most certainly Page  335 reduce it to its ancient state of Sedi∣tion, Mutiny, and Confusion, and bring us all in effect to such a pass, that we should hardly know one another.

Lucifer was very well pleas'd with the Advice, and order'd it to be entred upon the Register, as a sure Expedient to supprss any disorders that might happen for the future to the disturbance of his Government: after which he commanded the issuing out of a Sum∣mons to all his Companies and Livery∣men, who forthwith appear'd in pro∣digious Multitudes; and Lucifer with a Hideous Yell deliver'd himself most graciously as follows.