THE SEVENTH VISION OF HELL REFORM'D.
THere happen'd lately so terrible an Vproar, and Disorder in Hell, that (though it be a place of perpetual Outrage, and Confusion) the oldest Devil there never knew the Fel∣low of it; and the Inhabitants expected nothing less then an absolute Topsy-Turvy, and Dissolution of their Empire. The Devils fell upon the Damn'd; and the Damn'd fell upon the Devils, with∣out knowing One from t'other: and all running helter-skelter, to and again, like Mad; for in fine, it was no other then a general Revolt. This Hurly-Burly lasted a good while, before any Mor∣tal could imagine the meaning of it; but at length, there came certain Intel∣ligence of a Monstrous Talker; A Prag∣matical, Page 259 Medling Vndertaker, and an old Bawd of a Gouvernante, that had knock't off their Shackles, and made all this Havock: Which may give the Reader to Vnderstand what kind of Cat∣tel These are, that could make Hell it self more Dangerous, and Vnquiet.
Lucifer, in the Mean time, went Yelp∣ing up and down, and Bawling, for Chains, Hand-Cuffes, Bolts, Manacles, Shackles, Fetters, to tye up his Pris'ners again; when, in the Middle of his Car∣riere, He and the Babler, or Talker, I told ye of, met full-butt; and after a little staring one Another in the Face, upon the Encounter, the Babler open'd. Prince mine; (says he) you have a pack of Lazy, Droning Devils in your Domi∣nions, that look after Nothing, but sit with their Arms and Legs across, and leave all your affairs at Six and Seven, And you have divers abroad too, upon Commission, that have staid out their Time, and yet give you no Accompt of their Employment. The Gouvernante, that had been blowing the Coal, and Whispering Sedition from one to ano∣ther, chanc'd to pass by in the Interim▪ Page 260 and stopping short, address'd her self to Lucifer: Look to your self; (she cry'd) there is a Desperate plot upon your Dia∣bolical Crown, and Dignity. There are Two Tyrants in't; Three Parasites; A world of Physicians, and whole Legions of Lawyers, and Atturneys. One word more in your Ear. There is among them, a mungrel Priest (a kind of a Lay-Elder) that will go near to sit upon your Skirts, if you have not a care of him.
At the very name of Priest, and Lay-Elder, Lucifer look't as Pale as Death; stood stone-still; as mute as a Fish; and in his very looks, discover'd his Ap∣prehensions. After a little pause, he rous'd himself, as out of a Trance; A Priest do ye say? a Lay-Elder? Ty∣rants? Lawyers? Physicians? A Com∣position (he cryes) to poyson all the Devils in Hell, and purge their very Guts out. With that, away he went to visit the Avenues, and set his Guards, and who should he meet next, but the Medler? in a monstrous hast, and hurry. Nay then (says he) here is the Fore∣runner of Ill-Luck. But what's the Mat∣ter?Page 261 The Matter? cry'd the Medler; And then with a huge deal of tedious, and Impertinent Circumstance, he up, and told him, that a great many of the Damn'd had Contriv'd an Escape; and that there was a Design to call in four or five Regiments of Hypocrites, and Vsur∣ers, under colour forsooth of Esta∣blishing a better Intelligence betwixt Earth, and Hell, with a Hundred other Fopperies; and had gone on till this time, if Lucifer would have found Ears. But he had other Fish to fry; for Neck and All was now at Stake; and so he went about his Business of put∣ting all in a posture, and strengthening his Guards. And for the further Secu∣rity of his Royal Person, he enter∣tain'd into his own Immediate Regiment, several Reformadoes of the Society, that he particularly knew to be no Flinchers.
He began his Survey in the Vaults, and Dungeons, among his Iaylers, and Pris'ners. The Make-Bate Babler March't in the Van, breathing an Air that kindled, and Enflam'd wherever he past, without giving any Light (set∣ting Page 262 People together by the Ears, they know not why) In the second Place the Gouvernante, as full of News, and Tittle-Tattle as she could hold, and tel∣ling her tale all the way she went. In the Breech of her, follow'd the Medler, learing as he past along, first on one side, then on the Other, without ever moving his Head, and making fair with every Soul He saw in's way. He gave One, a Bowe; T'other, a Kiss; Your most humble Servant, to a Third; Can I serve you Sir to a Fourth: But every Com∣plement was worse to the poor Crea∣tures, then the Fire it self. Ah Traytor! says one; For Pity's sake, away with this new Tormenter! crys another. This Fellow is Hell upon Hell, says a Third. As he trudg'd on, there was a Rabble of Rascals, got together; and in the Middle of the Crowd, a most Eminent Knight of the Post, (a great Master of his Trade) that was reading a Lecture to that Venerable Assembly, of the Noble Mystery of Swearing and Ly∣ing; and would have taught any man in one Quarter of an hour, to prove any thing upon Oath, that he never Page 263 saw, nor heard of in his life. This Doctor had no sooner cast his Eye upon the Intermedler, but up he started in a Fright. How no? says he; Is that Devil here? I came hither on purpose t• avoid him; and if I could but have dream't, hee'd have been in Hell, be∣yond all Dispute, I'd have gone my self to Paradise.
As He was speaking, we heard a great, and a confused Noise of Arms, Blows, and Out-cryes; and presently we discover'd several Persons falling one upon Another like lightning; and in short with such a Fury, that 'tis not for any Tongue, or Pen to Des•ribe the Battle. One of them appear'd to be an Emperour; for he was crown'd with Lawrel, and surrounded with a grave sort of People, that look't like Coun∣sellors or Senators; and had all the Old Statutes, and Records at their Fingers End: by which they endeavour'd to make it out; That a King might be kill'd in his Personal Capacity, and his Politick Capacity never the worse for't. And up∣on this point, were they at Daggers Drawn with the Emperour. LuciferPage 264 came then roundly up to him, and with a Voice that made Hell quake; what are you Sir, (says he) that take upon you thus in my Dominions? I am the Great Iulius Caesar, (says he) that in this general Tumult, thought to have reveng'd my self upon Brutus, and Cas∣sius, for Murthering me in the Senate, under colour (forsooth) of asserting the Common Liberty: Whereas these Traytors did it merely out of Envy, Ava∣rico, and Ambition. It was the Empe∣rour not the Empire they hated. They pretended to destroy Me, for Introdu∣cing a Monarchy; But did they over∣throw the Monarchy it self? No; but on the Contrary, they confirm'd it; and did more Mischief, in taking away my life, than I did in dissolving their Re∣publick. However, I dy'd an Emperour, and these Villains carry'd only the Infamy, and Brand of Regicides, to their Grav•s, and the World has ever since, ador'd my Memory, and abhorr'd theirs. Tell me (quoth he) ye cursed Bloud-Hounds; (turning towards them) Whether was your Government better, think ye? in the •ands of your Senators; a Company of Page 265 talking Gown-men, that knew not how to keep it; Or in the hands of a Souldier, that won it by his Merit? It is not the Drawing of a Charge, or the making of a fine Oration, that fits people for Govern∣ment; nor will a Crown sit well upon the Head of a Pedant; but let him wear it that deserves it. He is the true Patriot that advances the Glory of his Country, by Actions of Bravery and Honour. Which has more right to Rule, think ye, he that only knows the Laws, or He that Maintains them? The one only studies the Government; The other Protects it. Wretched Republick! Thou call'st it Free∣dom, to obey a Divided Multitude, and slavery, to serve a single Person; and when a Company of Covetous little Fellows are got together, they must be stil'd Fathers of their Countrey, forsooth; And shall one Generous Person take up with the Name of Tyrant? Oh! how much better had it been for Rome to have preserv'd that one Son that made her Mistress of the World, than that Multitude of Fathers, who by so many Intestine Wars, render'd her but a Step-mother to her own Children. Barbarous, and Cruel that you are! so Page 266 much as to mention the name of a Com∣mon-wealth, considering that since the people tasted of Monarchy, they have pre∣fer'd even the worst of Princes, as Nero, Tiberius, Caligula, Heliogabalus, &c. before your Tribe of Senators.
This discourse of Caesars struck Bru∣tus with exceeding shame and confusion; but at length with a feeble and trem∣bling voice, he deliver'd himself to this effect.
At these words a hollow-Ey'd, super∣cilious Senator (that had been of the Conspiracy, and was then blazing like a Pitcht Barrel) rais'd himself, and with a faint voice, askt Caesar what reason he had to complain?
We had had another skirmish upon these words, if Lucifer had not com∣manded Caesar to his Cell again, upon pain of Death; and there to abide such correction as belong'd to him, for slight∣ing the warnings he had of his Disaster. Brutus and Cassius too were turn'd over to the politick Fools: and the Senators were dispatch'd away to Minos and Rhadamanthus, and to sit as Assistants in the Devils Bench.
After this I heard a murmuring noise, as of people talking at a distance, and Page 269 by degrees I made it out that they were wrangling and disputing still lowder and lowder, till at length it was but a word and a blow; and the nearer I came the greater was the clamour. This made me mend my pace; but before I could reach them, they were all toge∣ther by the Ears in a bloudy fray: They were persons of great quality all of them, as Emperors, Magistrates, Generals of Armies. Lucifer, to take up the Quarrel, commanded them Peace and Silence, and they all obey'd, but it vext them to the hearts to be so taken off in the full carriere of their Fury and Revenge. The first that open'd his mouth, was a fellow so martyr'd with wounds and scars, that I took him at first for an indigent Officer; but it prov'd to be Clitus (as he said himself) And one at his Elbow told him, he was a sau∣cy Companion, for presuming to speak before his time; and so desir'd Audi∣ence of Lucifer, for the high and mighty Alexander, the Son of Jupiter, and the Emperor and Terror of the World: He was going on with his Qualities and Ti∣tles; but an Officer gave the word, Si∣lence,Page 270 and bad Clitus begin; which he took very kindly, and told his story.
At that word there was heard a la∣mentable cry, and at the same time a venerable old man, as pale as if he had no bloud in his veins, came up to Lu∣cifer, and told him, that his Emblem of the Sponge came very pat to his Case; Page 273 For (says he) I was a great Favourite, and a great horder of Treasure: a Spa∣niard by birth, the Tutor and Confident of Nero; and my name is Seneca. In∣deed his bounties were to excess, he gave me without asking, and in taking I was never covetous but obedient. It is in the nature of Princes, and it befits their quality, to be liberal where they take a liking, both of Honour and Fortunes: and 'tis hard for a Subject to refuse, with∣out some reflection upon the generosity or discretion of his Master. For 'tis not the merit, or modesty of the Vassal, but the glory of the Prince that is in questi∣on: and he is the best Subject, that con∣tributes the most to the splendor and re∣putation of his Sovereign. Nero indeed gave me as much as such a Prince could bestow; and I manag'd his liberalities with all the moderation imaginable: yet all too little, to preserve me from the strokes of envious and malicious tongues; which would have it, that my philosophizing upon the contempt of the World, was nothing else but a meer im∣posture, that with less danger and notice I might feed and entertain my avarice,Page 274 and with the fewer Competitors. Find∣ing my credit with my Master decli∣ning, it stood me upon to provide some way or other for my quiet, and to with∣draw my self from being the mark of of a publick envy. So I went directly to Nero, and with all possible respect and humility made him a Present back again of his own ••unties. The truth is, I had so great a p•ssion for his service, that neither the severity of his Nature, nor the debauchery of his Manners could ever deter me from exhorting him to nobler courses, and paying him all the duties of a Loyal Subject. Especially in cases of cruelty and bloud, I laid it per∣petually home to his conscience, but all to little purpose; for he put his mother to death, laid the City of Rome in ashes, and indeed depopulated the Empire of honest men. And this drew on Piso's Conspiracy, which was better laid than executed: for upon the discovery, the prime instruments lost their lives; and by Divine Providence this Prince was p•eserv'd, in order (as one would have th•ught) to his repentance and change of life. But upon the issue, the Conspi∣racyPage 275 was prevented, and Nero never the better. At the same time he put Lucan to death, only for being a better Poet than himself. And if he gave me my choice what death to die, it was rather cruelty than pity: for in the very delibe∣ration which death to chuse, I suffer'd all even in the terror and apprehension that made me refuse the rest. The election I made, was to bleed to death in a Bath, and I finisht my own dispatches hither; where to my further affliction, I have again encountred this infamous Prince, studying new cruelties, and instructing the very Devils themselves in the Art of tormenting.
At that word Nero advanc'd, with his ill-favour'd face and shrill voice.
Up stept Plantian then, (Severus his Favourite) he that was toss'd out of a Garret Window to make the people sport. My condition in the World (says he) was perfectly like that of a Rocket or Fire-work: I was carry'd up to a Pro∣digious Page 281 Height in a Moment, and all peo∣ples Eyes were upon me, as a Star of the first Magnitude; but my Glory was very short-liv'd; and down I fell, into Obscu∣rity, and Ashes. After him, appear'd a number of other Favorites; and all of them hearkening to Bellisarius the Favorite of Iustinian; who Blind as he was, had already knock't twice with his staff, and shaking his Head, with a weak and complaining Voice, desir'd Audience; which was at length granted him, Silence commanded; And he said, as follows.
Princes (said he) before they destroy the Creatures they have rais'd, and chosen, should do well to Consider, that Cruelty, and Inconstancy is much a great∣er Infamy to a Prince, then the Worst effects of it can be to a Favorite. For my own part, I serv'd an Emperour, that was both a Christian, and a great Lo∣ver, and Promoter of Iustice. And yet after all the services I ha• done him, in several Battles, and Adventures, (inso∣much that He was effectually become my Debter, for the very glory of his Empire) My Reward, in the End, was Page 282 to have my Eyes put out, and (with a Dog and a Bell) to be turn'd a begging from Door to Door. Thus was That Belizarius treated, whose very Name formerly was Worth an Army, and he was the Soul of his Friends, as well as the Terror of his Enemies. But a Prin∣ce's Favour, is like Quick-silver, Restless, and Slippery, never to be fix'd; never secured. Force it, and it spends it self in Fumes: Sublime it, and 'tis a Mortal Poyson. Handle it only, and it works it self into the very Bones; and all that have to do with it, Live and Dye, Pale, and Trembling.
At these Words, the whole Band of Favorites, set up a Hideous, and a Heavy Grone, trembling like Aspen-leaves, and at the same time, reciting several passa∣ges out of the Prophet Habbacuck, against Careless, and Wicked Governors. By which Threatnings, is given to un∣derstand, that the Almighty, when he has a Mind to destroy a Wicked Ruler, does not always punish one Potentate by Another, and bring his Ends about by a Tryal of Arms, or the Event of a Battle: but many times makes use of things the Page 283 most Abject, and Vile, to Confound the Vanity, and Arrogance of the Mighty; and makes even Worms, Flyes, Caterpil∣lars, and Lice to serve him •s the Mini∣sters of his Terrible Iustice: Nay, the Stone in the Wall, and the Beam in the house, shall rise in Iudgment against them.
This Discourse might have gone fur∣ther, but that the Company presently parted, to know the Meaning of a sud∣den Noise, and Clatter they heard, •hat half deafen'd the Auditory. And what was it at last? but a Scuffle between the Gown-men, and the Brothers of the Blade; And there were Persons of great Ho∣nour, and Learning, Young, and Old, en∣gag'd in the Fray: The Men of War were at it dashing with their Swords, and the Gentlemen of the Long Robe, fencing, some with Tostatus, O•hers with huge Pandects, that with their old Wainscot Covers were as good as Buck∣lers, and would now and then give the Foe a Heavy Rebuke, over and above. The Combate had certainly been very Bloudy, if one of Lucifer's Constables had not commanded them in the King's Page 284 name to keep the Peace; which made it a Drawn Battle. And with That, one of the Combatants with his best Leg forward, said aloud; If Ye knew (Gen∣tlemen) either Vs, or our Quarrel, you'd say we had reason, and perhaps side with us. At that Instant, there ap∣pear'd Domitian, Commodus, Caracalla, Phalaris, Heliogabalus, Alcetes, Andro∣nicus, Busiris, and old Oliver, with a World of great Personages more; which when Lucifer saw, he dispos'd himself to treat so Majestical an Ap∣pearance, and as much to their satis∣faction as was Possible. And then came up a grave Ancient man, with a great Train at his Heels, all Bloudy, and full of the Marks they had receiv'd under the Persecution of these Tyrants.
When Dionysius the Tyrant heard this, (with his Companions about him) Flesh and Bloud could hold no longer; and He cry'd out in a Rage,
I have said enough, I suppose, to stop Page 289 your Mouths, but here's an Orator will read you another-gates Lecture of Poli∣ticks, then any you have deliver'd, if you'l give him the Hearing. Photinus, advance, (said Iulian) and speak your Mind; whereupon, there appear'd a Brazen-fac'd fellow, with a hanging look, and twenty other marks of a Desperate Villain: who with a Hellish Yell, and three or four wry mouths for a Prologue, brake into his Discourse.
The Wicked Advice of one of Ptolomy's Courtiers, about the Killing of Pom∣pey: taken out of Lucan's Pharsalia. Lib. 8.
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.
Now would I fain know which way it could have been better employ'd.
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,
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 ple•sant 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.
After This, came a Testator, cursing, and Raving, like a Bedlam, that He had made his last Will, and Testament.
But if I were to begin the World Page 311 again,
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,
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
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;
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,
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.
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 th•ught 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; som•time 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 Corn•r, 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 suppr•ss 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.
The Decree of Lucifer.
TO our Trusty and Despairing Le∣gions, and well-beloved Subjects, lying under the Condemnation of Per∣petual Darkness, that liv'd Pensioners to sin, and had Death for their Pay-master, Greeting. This is to let you understand, that there are two Devils, who pretend a claim to the honour of our Lieutenancy; but we have absolutely refus'd to gra∣tifie Page 336 either the One or the Other, in that point, out of a singular Affection and Respect to Our right Trusty and Well-beloved Cousin, a certain She-Devil that deserves it before all others.
At this the whole Assembly fell to whispering and muttering, and staring one upon another; till at last Lucifer observ∣ing it, bad them never trouble them∣selves to guess who it might be, but fetch Good Fortune to him, known other∣wise by the name of Madam Prosperity; who presently appear'd in the tail of the Assembly, and with a proud and dis∣dainful Air, march'd up and planted her self before the degraded Seraphim; who lookt her wistly in the face, and then he went on in the Tone he first began.
It is our Will, Pleasure, and Command, that next and immediately under our proper Person, you pay all Honour and Respect to the Lady Prosperity, and obey her, as the most mighty and supreme Go∣verness of these our Dominions. Which Titles and Qualities, we have conferr'd upon her, as due to her merit; for she hath damn'd more Souls than all you to∣gether; She it is that makes men cast off Page 337 all fear of God, and Love of their Neigh∣bour. She it is, that makes men place their Sovereign good in Riches. That Engages and Entangles mens minds in Vanity; strikes them blind in their Plea∣sures; Loads them with Treasure, and Buries them in sin. Where's the Trage∣dy that she has not play'd her part in't? Where's the Stability and Wisdom that she has not stagger'd? Where's the Folly that she has not improv'd and augment∣ed? She takes no Counsel, and fears no Punishment. She it is that furnishes mat∣ter for Scandal, experience for Story, that entertains the Cruelty of Tyrants, and bathes the Executioners in Innocent Bloud. How many Souls, that liv'd in∣nocent, while they were poor, have fal∣len into impiety and reprobation, so soon as ever they came to drink of the in∣chanted Cup of Prosperity! Go to then, be Obedient to Her, we charge ye all, as to Our Self: and understand, that They that stand their ground against Prosperity are none of your Quarry. Let them e'en alone; for 'tis but time lost to attempt them. Take example from that imper∣tinent Devil, that got leave to tempt Iob; he persecuted him, begger'd him, Page 338 cover'd him all over with Scabs and Vlcers. Sot that he was! if he had understood his business, he would have gone another way to work, and begg'd leave, to have multiplyed Riches upon him; and to have possest him of Health and Pleasures. That's the Tryal; and how many are there that when they thrive in the world, turn their backs upon Heaven, and never so much as name their Creator; but in Oaths, and then too, without thinking on him? Their Discourse is all of Iollities, Banquets, Comedies, Purchases, and the like. Where∣as the poor man has God perpetually both in his mouth and heart. Lord (says he) be mindful of me, and have mercy upon me, for all my trust is in thee. Wherefore (says Lucifer, redoubling his accursed clamour) let it be Publisht forthwith throughout all our Territories, that, Calamities, Troubles, and Persecutions are our mortal Enemies: for so we have found them upon Experience: they are the Dispensations of Providence, the Bles∣sings of the Almighty, to fit Sinners for himself, and they that suffer them are enrolled in the Militia of Heaven.
Item; For the better administration Page 339 of our Government, It is our Will and Pleasure, and we do strictly charge and command, that our Devils give constant attendance in all Courts of Iudicature; and they are hereby totally discharged from any further care of Little petty Fog∣gers, Flatterers, and Envious Persons, for they are so well acquainted with Hell Rode, that they'll guide one another, without the help of a Devil to bring them hither.
Item; We do Ordain and Command that no Devil presume for the future to entertain any Confident, but Profit; for That's the Harbinger that provides Vice the most commodious Quarter, even in the straitest Consciences.
Item; We do Ordain, as a matter of great importance to the conservation of our Empire, that in what part soever of our Dominions, the Devil of Money shall vouchsafe to appear, all other Devils there present, shall rise, and with a low Reverence▪ present him the Chair, in to∣ken of their submission to his Power and Authority.
Item; We do most expresly Charge and Command all our Officers, as well Ci∣vil as Military, to employ their utmost Page 340Diligence and Industry, for the establish∣ing a General Peace throughout the World. For that's the time for wicked∣ness to thrive in, and all sorts of vices to prosper and flourish; as Luxury, Gluttony, Idleness, Lying, Slandering, Gaming, and Whoring; and in a word, sin is upon the Encrease, and Goodness in the Wane. Whereas in a state of War, men are up∣on the exercise of Valour and Virtue; calling often upon Heaven, in the morn∣ing, for fear of being Knockt on the Head after Dinner: and honest men and acti∣ons are rewarded.
Item; We do from this time forward dis∣charge all our Officers and Agents what∣soever, from giving themselves any fur∣ther trouble of tempting Men and Women to sins of Incontinence; for as much as we find upon Experience, that Adultery and Fornication will never be left, till the old Woman scratches the stooll for her back∣side. And though there may be several intervals of Repentance, and some faint Purposes of giving it over: yet the Hu∣mour returns again with the next Tyde of Bloud, and Concupiscence is as Loyal a Subject to us, as any we have in our Do∣minions.
Page 341Item; In Consideration of the Exem∣ption aforesaid, by which means several Devils are left without present Employ∣ment; And for as much as there are ma∣ny Merchants and Tradesmen in London, Paris, Madrid, Amsterdam, and elsewhere, up and down the world, that are very cha∣ritably dispos'd to relieve People in want; especially young Heirs newly at Age, and Spend-Thrifts, that come to borrow mo∣ney of them; but the times being Dead and little money stirring, all they can do is to furnish them with what the House af∣fords; and if a hundred pound or two in Commodity will do them any good, 'tis at their service (they say.) This the Gal∣lant takes up at an excessive Rate, to sell again immediately for what he can get; and the Merchant has his friend to take it off under-hand, at a third part of the Va∣lue (which is his way of helping men in distress.) Now out of a singular Respect •o the said Merchants and Tradesmen, and for their better Encouragement; as also, to the end that the Devils aforesaid may not run into lewd Courses, for want of business; We Will and Require that a Legion of the said Devils, shall from time to time be continually aiding and assisting Page 342 to the said Merchants and Tradesmen, in the Quality of Factors, to be reliev'd monthly by a fresh Legion, or oftner if oc∣casion shall require.
Item; We Will and Command that all our Devils, of what Degree, or Quality soever, do henceforth Entertain a strict Amity and Correspondence with Our Trusty, and well belov'd, the Usurers, the Revengeful, the Envious, and all Pretenders to great Places, and Digni∣ties: And above all Others, with the Hy∣pocrites, who are the most Powerful Im∣postors in Nature, and so Excellently skill'd in their Trade, that they steal away People's Hearts and Souls at the Eyes, and Ears, insensibly, and draw to themselves Adoration, and Reward.
Item; We do further Order, and Command, that all Care possible be ta∣ken for the maintaining of Blabs, In∣formers, Incendiaries, and Parasites in all Courts, and Palaces, for thence comes Our Harvest.
Item; That the Bablers, Tale-Bear∣ers, Make-Bates and Instruments of Di∣vorces, and Quarrels, be no longer call'd Fannes, but Bellows; in regard that they draw, and Inflame, without giving any Allay, or Refreshment.
Page 343Item; That the Intermedlers be here∣after call'd, and Reputed the Devils Bo∣dy-Lice, because they fetch Bloud of those, that feed, and Nourish them.
Lucifer then casting a Soure Look over his Shoulder, and spying the Go∣vernante: I'm of his Mind (quoth he) that said, Let God dispose of the Doüeg∣nas (or Governantes) as he pleases: for I'm in no little Trouble, how to dispose of these Confounded Carrions. Whereupon, the Damn'd cry'd out with one Voice: Oh! Lucifer, let it never be said, that it rain'd Doüegnas in thy Dominions. Are we not miserable enough without this new Plague of being baited by Haggs? Ah! Cursed Lucifer; (cry'd every one to himself) stow them any where, so they come not near me. And with that, they all clapt their Tayls between their Legs, and drew in their Horns, for fear of this new Torment. Lucifer, finding how the Dread of the old Women wrought upon the Devils, contented himself, at the present, to let it pass only, in Terrorem; but withal, he swore, by the honour of his Imperial Crown, and as he hop'd to be sav'd; that what Devil, Devil s Damme, or Reprobate soever, should in time to Page 344 come be found wanting to his Duty; and in the least Degree disobedient to his Laws, and Ordinances: All, and every the said Devil, or Devils; their Dams, and Reprobates so offending, should be deliver'd up to the Torture of the Doü∣egna; and ty'd Muzzle to Muzzle; so to remain in Secula Seculorum, without Relief or Appeal; or any Law, Statute, or Vsage to the Contrary Notwithstand∣ing. But in the Mean time, Cast them into that Dry Ditch, (says he) that they may be ready for use upon any Occa∣sion.
Immediately, upon the Pronouncing of this Solemn Decree, Lucifer retir'd to his Cell; The Weather clear'd up; and the Company disperst in a fright, at so horrible a Menace, and so went about their Business: When a Voice was heard out of the Clouds, as the Voice of an Angel, saying, He that rightly compre∣hends the Morality of this Discourse, shall never repent the Reading of it.