THE THIRD VISION OF THE LAST JUDGMENT.
HOmer makes Iupiter the Author, or Inspirer of Dreams; espe∣cially the Dreams of Princes and Governours; and if the matter of them be pious and important. And it is likewise the Judgment of the Learned Propertius, that Good Dreams come from above, have their weight, and ought not to be slighted, And truly I am much of his mind, in the Case of a Dream I had the other Night. As I was reading a Discourse touching the End of the World, I fell asleep over the Book, and Dreamt of The Last Iudg∣ment. (A thing which in the House of a Poet is scarce admitted so much as in a Dream.) This Phansie minded me of a Passage in Claudian; That all Creatures Page 89 dream at Night of what they have heard and seen in the Day: as the Hound dreams of Hunting the Hare.
Methought I saw a very handsome Youth towring in the Air, and sound∣ing of a Trumpet; but the forcing of his Breath did indeed take off much of his Beauty. The very Marbles, I per∣ceived, and the Dead obey'd his Call; for in the same moment, the Earth be∣gan to open, and set the Bones at Liber∣ty, to seek their Fellows. The First that appear'd, were Sword-men; As Generals of Armies, Captains, Lieute∣nants▪ Common-Souldiers; who suppo∣sing that it had sounded a Charge, came out of their Graves, methought, with the same Briskness and Resolution, as if they had been going to an Assault or a Combat. The Misers put their Heads out, all Pale and Trembling, for fear of a Plunder. The Cavaliers and Good Fellows believed they had been going to a Horse-Race, or a Hunting-match. And in fine, though they all heard the Trum∣pet, there was not any Creature knew the meaning of it (for I could read their Thoughts by their Looks and Ge∣stures.) Page 90 After This, there appear'd a great many Souls; whereof some came up to their Bodies, though with much Difficulty and Horrour: Others stood wondring at a Distance, not daring to come near so hideous and frightful a Spectacle. This wanted an Arm, That an Eye, T'other a Head. Upon the whole, though I could not but smile at the Prospect of so strange a variety of Figures; yet was it not without just matter of Admiration at the All-pow∣erful Providence, to see Order drawn out of Confusion, and every part re∣stor'd to the right Owner. I Dreamt my self then in a Church-Yard; and there, methought, divers that were loth to appear, were changing of Heads; and an Attorney would have Demurrer upon Pretence that He had got a Soul was none of his Own, and that his Bo∣dy and Soul were not fellows.
At length, when the whole Congre∣gation came to understand that This was the Day of Iudgment, it was worth the while, to observe what shifting and shuffling there was among the Wicked. The Epicure and Whore-master would Page 91 not own his Eyes, nor the Slanderer his Tongue, because they'd be sure to ap∣pear in Evidence against them. The Pick-Pockets ran away as hard as they could drive from their own Fingers. There was one that had been Embalm'd in Egypt, and staying for his Tripes, an Old Usurer askt him, if the Bags were to rise with the Bodies? I could have laught at this Question, but I was pre∣sently taken up with a Crowd of Cut-purses, running full speed from their own Ears (that were offer'd them again) for fear of the sad Stories they expected to hear. I saw all this from a Conve∣nient Standing; and in the Instant, There was an Outcry at my Feet, With∣draw, Withdraw. The word was no sooner given, but down I came, and immediately a great many Handsom La∣dies put forth their Heads, and call'd me Clown, for not paying them that Respect and Ceremony which belong'd to their Quality (now you must know that the Women stand upon their Pan∣toffles, even in H•ll it self:) They seem'd at first very Gay and Frolick; and truly, well enough pleas'd to be Page 92 seen Naked, for they were clea•-skin'd and well-made. But when they came to understand that this was the great Day of Accompt; Their Consciences took Check, and all the Jollity was dasht in a moment: Whereupon they took to the Valley, miserably Listless and o•t of Humour: There was One among the rest, that had had seven Husbands, and promis'd every one of them never to marry again, for she could never love any thing else she was sure: This La∣dy was casting about for Fetches, and Excuses, and what answer she should make to that Point. Another that had been as Common as Ratcliff Highway, would neither Lead nor Drive, and stood Huming and Hawing a good while, pre∣tending she had forgot her Night-Geer, and such Fooleries; but spight of her heart, she was brought at last within sight of the Throne; where she found a world of her old Acquaintance that she had carry'd part of their way to Hell; who had no sooner set Eye on her, but they fell a Pointing and Hoot∣ing, that she took up her Heels and Herded her self in a Troop of Serjeants.Page 93 After This, I saw a many People dri∣ving a Physician along the bank of a Ri∣ver, and these were only such as He had unnecessarily dispatcht before their time. They follow'd him with Cries of, Iustice, Iustice, and forc'd him on toward the Iudgment-Seat, where they arriv'd in the end with much ado. While This pass'd, I heard, methought, upon my left-hand a Paddling in the Water, as if one had been Swimming: and what should this be, but a Iudge in the middle of a River washing and rinsing his hands, over and over. I askt him the meaning of it; and he told me, that in his life time he had been often dawb'd in the Fist, to make business slip the better, and he would willingly get out the Grease before he came to hold up his hand at the Bar. There follow'd next a Multitude of Vintners and Tay∣lers, under the Guard of a Legion of Devils, arm'd with Rods, Whips, Cud∣gels, and other Instruments of Corre∣ction: and These Counterfeited them∣selves Deaf, and were very loth to leave their Graves, for fear of a worse lodging. As they were passing on, up Page 94 started a little Lawyer and askt whither they were going; They made answer, that they were going to give an ac∣compt of their Works. With that the Lawyer threw himself flat upon his Belly in his hole again: if I am to go down∣ward at last (says he) I am thus much onward of my way. The Vintner sweat as he walkt, 'till one drop follow'd ano∣ther; That's well done cry'd a Devil at's Elbow, to purge out thy water, that we may have none in our Wine. There was a Tayler wrapt up in Sarce∣nets, crook-finger'd and Baker-leg'd, spake not one word all the way he went, but Alas! Alas! how can any man be a Thief that dies for want of Bread? But his Com∣panions gave him a Rebuke for Discre∣diting his Trade. The next that ap∣peared were a Band of High-way-men, following upon the Heels one of ano∣ther, in great Distrust and Jealousie of Thieves among themselves. These were fetcht up by a Party of Devils in the turning of a Hand and lodg'd with the Taylers; for (said one of the Compa∣ny) your High-way-man is but a Wild Tayler. They were a little Quarrelsome Page 95 at first, but in the Conclusion, they went down into the Vally, and Ken∣nell'd quietly together. After these came Folly with her Gang of Poets, Fid∣lers, Lovers, and Fencers: the People of all the World, that Dream the least of a Day of Reckoning; These were di∣sposed of among the Hangmen, Iews, Scribes, and Philosophers. There were also a great many Sollicitors wondring among themselves, that they should have so much Conscience when they were Dead, and none at all Living. In fine, the Word was given, Silence.
The Throne being erected, and the great Day come: a Day of Comfort to the Good, and of Terror to the Wicked. The Sun and the Stars waited on the Foot-stool; the Wind was still; the Wa∣ter quiet; the Earth in suspense and An∣guish for fear of her Children: And in brief, the whole Creation was in Anxie∣ty and Disorder. The Righteous they were employ'd in Prayers and Thanks∣givings; and the Ungodly in framing of Shifts and Evasions, to Extenuate their Pains. The Guardian Angels were at hand, on the one side to acquit them∣selves Page 96 of their Duties and Commissions. And on the other side, were the Devils hunting for more matters of Aggrava∣tion and Charge against Offenders. The Ten Commandments had the Guard of a Narrow-Gate, which was so strait, that the most mortify'd body could not pass it, without leaving a good part of his skin behind him.
On one Hand, there were in Multi∣tudes; Disgraces, Misfortunes, Plagues, Griefs, and Troubles; All in a Clamour against the Physicians. The Plague Con∣fest indeed, that she had struck many; but 'twas the Doctor did their business. Melancholy and Disgrace said the like; and Misfortunes of all sorts made open Protestation, that they never brought any man to his Grave, without the Help and Advice of a Doctor. So that the Gentlemen of the Faculty were call'd to Accompt for those they had kill'd. They took their Places upon a Scaffold, with Pen, Ink, and Paper about them; and still as the Dead were call'd, some or other of them answered to the Name, and declar•d the Year and Day when such a P•tient pass'd th•ough his Hand.
Page 97They began the Inquiry at Adam, who, methought, was severely chid∣den about an Apple. Alas! (cry'd Iudas that was by) if that were such a fault, what will become of me that sold and betray'd my Lord and Master? Next came the Patriarchs, and then the Apostles, who took their Places by St. Peter. It was worth the Noting, that at this Day there was no Distinction between Kings and Beggars, before the Iudgment-Seat. Herod and Pilate, so soon as they put out their Heads, found it was like to go hard with Them. My Judgment is Just (quoth Pilate.) Alack! (cry'd Herod) What am I to trust to? Heaven is no place for me, and in Lim∣bo I should fall among the Innocents I have murder'd; so that without more ado I must e'en take up my Lodging in Hell: The Common Receptacle of notorious Malefactors.
There came in immediately upon this, a kind of a sowre rough-hewn fellow; Look ye (says he) stretching out his Arm, here are my Letters. The Company wonder'd at the Humour, and askt the Porter what he was; which Page 98 he himself over-hearing, I am (quoth he) a Master of the Noble Science of De∣fence: and plucking out several seal'd Parchments, These (said he) are the Attestations of my Exploits. At which word, all his Testimonials fell out of his Hand, and a Couple of Devils would fain have whipt them up, to have brought them in Evidence against him at his Tryal; but the Fencer was too Nimble for Them, and took them Up himself. At which time, an Angel offer'd him his Hand to help him in; but He, for fear of an Attaque, leapt a step backward, and with great agility, alonging withall, Now (says he) if ye think fit, I'l give ye a Tast of my skill. The Company fell a laughing, and This Sentence was past upon him; That since by his Rules of Art He had oc∣casioned so many Duels and Murders, He should Himself go to the Devil by a Per∣pendicular Line. He pleaded for Him∣self, that He was no Mathematician, and knew no such Line: but while the word was in his Mouth a Devil came up to him, gave him a turn and a half, and down he Tumbled.
Page 99After Him, came the Treasurers, and with such a Cry following them, for what they had Cheated and Stoln; that some said, the Thieves were coming; Others said No; And the Company was divided upon't; They were much trou∣bled at the word, Thieves, and desired the Benefit of Counsel to plead their Cause. And very good Reason (said one of the Devils) Here's a Discarded Apostle that has Executed both Offices, Let them take him, Where's Iudas? When the Treasurers heard that, They turn'd aside, and by chance, spy'd in a Devil's Hand, a Huge Roll of Accusa∣tions ready drawn into a formal Charge against them. With That, One of the bold•st among them: Away, Away (cry'd he) with these Informations; Wee'l ra∣ther come in and Compound, though i• were for Ten or Twenty Thousand years in Purgatory. Ha! Ha! (quoth the Devil, a cunning Snap that drew up the Charge) If ye are upon those Terms, ye are hard put to't. Where∣upon the Treasurers, being brought to a forc't Put, were e'en glad to make the best of a bad bargain, and follow the Fencer▪
Page 100These were no sooner gone, but in came an unlucky Pastry-man; They askt him, if he would be try'd. That's e'en as't hitts; (said he) At that Word, the Devil that manag'd the Cause against him, prest his Charge, and laid it Home to him, that He had put off Catts for Hares; and filled his Pyes, with Bones instead of Flesh; and not only so, but that he had sold Horse∣flesh, Dogs and Foxes for Beef and Mut∣ton. Upon the Issue, it was prov'd against him, that Noah never had so many Animals in his Ark as this poor fellow had put in his Pyes, (for we read of no Rats and Mice there) so that he e'en gave up his Cause, and went away to see if his Oven were hot. Next, came the Philosophers with their Syllo∣gisms, and it was no ill Entertainment, to hear them Chop Logic, and put all their Expostulations, in Mood and Fi∣gure. But the Pleasantest people in the World, were the Poets; who insisted upon it, that they were to be try'd by Iupiter: And to the Charge of Worship∣ing false Gods, their Answer was, that through Them they worship't the True. Page 101 One, and were rather mistaken in the Name, than in the Worship. Virgil had much to say for himself, for his Sicelides Musae; But Orpheus interrupted him; who being the Father of the Poets, de∣sir'd to be heard for them all. What, He? (cry'd one of the Devils) Yes; for teaching that Boyes were better Bed-fellows than Wenches; But the Women had comb'd his Coxcomb for him, if they could have Catch't him. Away with him to Hell Once again then they cry'd; and let him get out now if He can. So they all fil'd off, and Orpheus was their Guide, because he had been there once before. So soon as the Poets were gone, there knockt at the Gate a Rich Penurious Chuffe; but 'twas told him, that the Ten Commandments kept it, and that he had not kept them. It is Impossible (quoth he) under favour, to prove that ever I broke any One of them. And so He went to Justify him∣self from Point to Point: He had done This and That; and He had never done That, nor T'other; but in the End, he was deliver'd over to be •ewarded ac∣cording to his Works. And then came Page 102 on, a Company of House-breakers, and Robbers: so Dextrous, some of them▪ that they sav'd themselves from the ve∣ry Ladder. The Scriveners, and Attur∣neys, observing That; Ah! thought they; if we could but pass for Thieves now! And yet they set a Face good enough upon the Business too. And then Iudas, and Mahomet, taking No∣tice of their Confidence, began to hope well of Themselves; for (said they) We are well enough, if any of these fellows come off, whereupon they ad∣vanc'd boldly, with a Resolution to take their Tryal: Which set the De∣vils all a laughing. The Guardian-An∣gels of the Scriveners, and Atturneys, mov'd that the Evangelists might be of their Counsel; which the Devils op∣pos'd; for (said they) we shall insist only upon matter of Fact, and leave them without any possibility of Reply, or Excuse. We might indeed content our selves with the bare proof of what they are; for 'tis Crime enough that they are Scriveners, and Atturneys. With That, the Scriveners deny'd their Trade, alleging that they were Secre∣taries; Page 103 and the Atturneys call'd them∣selves Sollicitors. All was said, in Effect, that the Case would bear; but the best part of their Plea was Church-member∣ship. And in fine, after several Replica∣tions, and Rejoynders, they were all sent to Old Nick; save only Two or Three, that found Mercy. Well (cry'd one of the Scriveners) This 'tis to keep ill Company. The Devils called out then, to clear the Bar, and said they should have occasion for the Scriveners Themselves, to enter Protestations in the Quality of Publick Notaries, against Lawless and Disorderly people: but the poor Wretches it seems, could not hear on that Ear. To say the Truth, the Christians were much more trouble∣some, than the Pagans, which the De∣vils took exceedingly Ill; but they had This to say for themselves, that they were Christen'd when they were Chil∣dren, so that 'twas none of their Fault, and their Parents must answer for't. Iudas, and Mahom•t took such Cou∣rage, when they saw two or three of the Scriveners, and Atturneys sav'd, that they were just upon the point of Chal∣•••ging their Clergy; but they were Page 104 prevented by the Doctor I told ye of, who was set first to the Bar, in Company with an Apothecary, and a Barber, when a Certain Devil, with a great Bundle of Evidences in his hand, inform'd the Court, that the greatest part of the Dead there present, were sent thither by the Doctor then at the Bar, in Confederacy with his Apothe∣cary, and Barber, to whom they were to acknowledge their Obligation for that fair Assembly. An Angel then in∣terposing for the Defendent, recommen∣ded the Apothecary for a Charitable Person, and one that Physick'd the Poor for nothing; No matter for that, (cry'd the Devil); for I have him in my Books, and am able to prove, that he has killed more people with two little Boxes, then the King of Spain has done with two thousand Barrels of Powder, in the Low-Country-Wars. All his Medi∣cines are corrupted, and his Compo∣sitions hold a perfect Intelligence with the Plague: He has utterly unpeopled a Couple of his Neighbour Villages, in a matter of three weeks time. The Doctor, he let fly upon the 'Pothecary too, & said, He would maintain against the whole Page 105 College, that his Prescriptions were ac∣cording to the Dispensatory: And if an Apothecary would play the Knave, or the Fool, and put in This, for That, he could not help it. So that without any more words, The 'Pothecary was put to the Summer-salt, and the Doctor and Barber, were brought off, at the Inter∣cession of St. Cosmus, and St. Damian. After these, came a Dapper Lawyer, with a Tongue steep'd in Oyl, and a great Master of his Words, and Actions; A most Exquisite Flatterer, and no man better skill'd in the Art of moving the Passions than himself; or more ready at bolting a Lucky President at a dead lift; or at making the best of a Bad Cause; for he had all the shifts and starting-holes in the Law at his Fingers Ends: but all this would not serve, for the Verdict went against him, and He was Order'd to pay Costs. In that Instant, there was a Discovery made of a fellow that hid himself in a Corner, and look't like a Spy. They askt him, what he was? He made Answer, An Empirick; what (said a Divel) my Old Friend Pon∣taeus: Alas! Alas! Thou hadst ten Page 106 thousand time• better be in Covent-Gar∣den now, or at Charing-cross; for upon my word thou't have nothing to do here, unless, perhaps, for an Oyntment for a Burn, or so; And so Pontaeus went his way. The next that appear'd, were a Company of Vintn•rs, who were ac∣cused for Adulterating, and mingling Water with their Wines. Their Plea was, that in Compensation they had furnish't the Hospitals with Communion-Wine that was Right, upon Free Cost; but this Excuse signify'd as little, as that of the Taylors there present, who sug∣gested, that they had Cloth'd so many Friers, Gratis; and so they were dis∣patch't away together. After These, follow'd a Number of Banquiers, that had turn'd Bankrupt, to cousen their Creditors; who finding there several of their old Correspondents, that they had reduced to a Morsel of Bread, be∣gan to treat of Composition: but One of the Devils presently cry'd out, All the Rest have had enough to do to ans∣wer for themselves; but these people are to Reckon for other men's scores, as well as their own. And hereupon, Page 107 they were forthwith sent away to Pluto with Lette•s of Exchange; but as it happen'd at That time, the Devil was out of Cash.
After this, enter'd a Spanish Cavalier, as Vpright, as Iustice it self. He was a matter of a Quarter of an hour, in his Legs, and Reverences, to the Company. We could see no Head He had, for t•e Prodigious starcht Band he wore, that st•od staring up like a Turkey-Cock's •ayl, and Cover'd it. In fine, It was so Phantastick a Figure, that the Porter stood staring at it, and ask't if it were a Man, or No? It is a Man (quoth the Spaniard) upon the Honour of a Cava∣lier, and his name is Don Pedro Rhodo∣montadoso, &c. He was so long a tel∣ling his Name, and Titles, that one of the Devils burst out a laughing in the Middle of his Pedigree, and demanded, What he would be at. Glory; (quoth he) which they taking in the worse sense, for Pride, sent him away immediately to Lucifer. He was a little severe upon his Guides, for disordering his Mustachoes, but they help't him presently to a pair of Beard-IronsPage 108 to set Him Right, and all was well again.
In the next place, came a fellow, weeping, and wayling; but my Ma∣sters, (says he) my Cause is never the worse for my Crying, for if I would stand upon my Merits, I could tell ye that I have kept as good Company, and had as much to do with the Saints, as ano∣ther Body. What have we here (cry'd one) Dioclesian, or Nero? for They had enough to do with the Saints, though 'twere but to persecute Them. But up∣on the Upshot, what was this poor Creature, but a small Officer, that swept the Church, and dusted the Images and Pictures. His Charge, was for stealing the Oyl out of the Lamps, and leaving all in the Dark; pretending that the Owles, and Iack-daws had drunk it up. He had a Trick too of Clothing him∣self out of the Church-habits, which he got new-dy'd; And of Crumming his Porrege with Consecrated Bread, that he stole every Sunday. What He said for Himself, I know not: but he had his Mittimus, and took the Left-hand way at parting.
Page 109With that, a voice was heard, Make way there, Clear the Passage: And this was for a Bevy of handsome, buxsome Bona Roba's, in their Caps and Feathers, that came dancing, laughing, and singing of Ballads and Lampoons, and as mer∣ry as the Day was long. But They quickly chang'd their Note, for so soon as ever they saw the Hideous Looks of the Devils, they fell into Violent Fits of the Mother; Beating their Breasts, and Tearing their Hair, with all theHor∣ror and Fury Imaginable. There was an Angel offer'd in their Favour, that they had been great Frequenters of Our La∣dy's Chappel. Yes, yes (cry'd a Devil) less of her Chappel, and more of herVirtue, would have done well. There was a Notable Whipster, among the rest, that confest, the Devil had reason. And then her Tryal came on, for making a Cloak of a Sacrament; and only Marrying, that she might play the Whore with Pri∣vilege, and never want a Father for her Bastards. It was her fortune alone to be condemn'd; and going along, well, she cry'd! If I had thought, 'twould have come to This, I should ne're have Page 110 troubled my self with so many Masses▪
And now, after long waiting, came Iudas and Mahomet upon the Stage, and to them Iack of Leyden: Up comes an Officer, and askt which of the Three was Iudas? I am He, quoth Iack of Leyden. Nay, but I am Iudas cry'd Mahomet. They're a Couple of Lying Rascals, says Iudas himself, for I am the man: only the Rogues make use of my Name to save their Credit. 'Tis True I sold my Master Once, and the World has ever since been the better for't: But these Villains sell Him and Themselves too, every hour of the Day, and there follows nothing but Misery and Confu∣sion. So they were all Three packt away to their Disciples.
The Angel that kept the Book, found that the Serjeants and Remembrancers were to come on next; whereupon they were call'd, and appear'd: but the Court was not much troubled with them, for they confest Guilty at first word, and so were ty'd up without any more ado.
The next that appear'd was an Astro∣loger, loaden with Almanacks, Globes, Page 111 Astrolabes, &c. making Proclamation as loud as He could bawl, that there must needs be a gross Mistake in the Reckoning, for Saturn had not finisht his Course, and the world could not be yet at an End. One of the Devil• that saw how he came provided, and lookt upon him as his own already: A Provident Slave (quoth he) I war∣rant him, to bring his firing along with him. But This I must needs tell ye, (says he to the Mathematician) 'Tis a strange thing, ye should create so ma∣ny Heavens in your Life, and go to the Devil for want of one after your Death. Nay, for Going, (cry'd the Astrologer) ye shall excuse me; but if you'l Carry me, Well and Good. And immediately Order was given to carry him away and Pay the Porter.
Hereupon methought, the Court rose, the Throne Vanisht; the Shadows and Darkness withdrew; the Air sweet∣en'd; the Earth was cover'd with Flowers; the Heavens Clear: And then I waked; not a little satisfy'd to find that after all this, I was still in my Bed, and among the Living. The Use I Page 112 made of my Dream was this: I betook my self presently to my Prayers, with a firm Resolution of changing my life, and putting my Soul into such a Frame of Piety and Obedience, that I might attend the coming of the Great Day with Peace and Comfort.