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.
Page  136


IT is utterly Impossible for any thing in this World to fix our Appetites, and Desires, but they are still flit∣ting and restless like Pilgrims; delight∣ed and nourish't with Variety: which shews how much we are mistaken in the Value and Quality of the things we co∣vet. And hence it is, that what we pur∣sue with the greatest delight, and Passi∣on Imaginable, yields us nothing but Satiety, and Repentance in the Possession; yet such is the Power of these Appetites of ours, that when they call, and com∣mand; we follow, and Obey; though we find in the End, that what we took for a Beauty upon the Chace, proves but a Carkass in the Quarry; and we are Page  137 sick on't as soon as we have it. Now the World, that knows our Palate, and In∣clination, never fails to feed the Hu∣mour, and to flatter, and entertain us, with all sorts of Change, and Novelty; as the most certain Method of gaining upon our Affections.

One would have thought, that these Considerations might have put sober Thoughts and Resolutions in my Head, but it was my fate to be taken off, in the very Middle of my Morality and Specula∣tions; and carry'd away from my self by Vanity, and Weakness, into the wide world, where I was for a while after, not much unsatisfy'd with my Condi∣tion. As I past from one place to ano∣ther, several that saw me (I perceiv'd) did but make sport with me: for the further I went, the more I was at a loss in that Labyrinth of Delusions. One while, I was in with the Sword-men and Bravoes; up to the Ears in Challenges, and Quarrels; and never without an Arm in a Scarf, or a broken Head. Another Fit; I was never well, but either at the Fleece-Tavern, or Bear at Bridg-foot, stuffing my Guts with Food,Page  138 and Tipple, till the Hoops were ready to burst. Beside twenty other Enter∣tainments that I found, every jott as Extravagant as these, which to my great Trouble and Admiration, left me not so much as one moment of Re∣pose.

As I was in one of my unquiet, and pensive Moods; some body call'd after me and pluck't me by the Cloak: which prov'd to be A person of a Venerable age; His Clothes miserably poor and Tat∣ter'd; and his Face, just as if He had been Trampl'd upon in the Streets, which did not yet hinder, but that he had still the Ayr and Appearance of one that de∣serv'd much Honour and Respect. Good Father, (said I to him) why should you envy me my Enjoyments? Pray'e let me alone, and do not trouble your self with me, or my doings. You're past the pleasure of Life your self, and can't endure to see other people merry, that have the world before them. Consider of it; you are now upon the point of leaving the world, and I am but newly come into't. But 'tis the Trick of all Old men to be carping at the Actions of their Iuniors.Page  139 Son (said the old man, smiling) I shall neither hinder, nor envy thy Delights, but in pure pity I would fain reclaim Thee. Do'st thou know the Price of a Day; an hour; or a Minute? Did'st ever examine the value of Time? If thou had'st, thou would'st employ it better; and not cast away so many blessed Opportunities upon Trifles; and so Easily, and Insensibly, part with so inestimable a Treasure. What's become of thy past hours? have they made thee a Promise, to come back again at a Call when thou hast need of them? Or, can'st thou show me which way they went? No, No; They are gone without Recovery; and in their Flight, methinks, Time seems to turn his Head, and laugh over his shoulder, in Derision of those that made no better use of him, when they had him. Do'st thou not know, that all the Minutes of our life, are but as so many Links of a Chain, that has Death at the End on't? and every Moment brings thee nearer thy Expected End, which perchance, while the word is speaking, may be at thy very door: And doubtless at thy rate of Living, it will Page  140 be upon thee before thou art aware. How stupid is He, that Dyes while he Lives, for fear of Dying! How wicked is He that Lives, as if He should never Dye; and only fears Death when he comes to feel it! which is too late for comfort, either to Body, or Soul: And He is certainly none of the Wisest that spends all his days in Lewdness, and Debauchery; without considering▪ that of his whole Life, any Minute might have been his last.

My Good Father (said I) I am be∣holding to you for your Excellent Dis∣courses, for they have deliver'd me out of the Power of a Thousand Frivolous and Vain Affections, that had taken pos∣session of me. But who are You, I pray'e? And what is your Business here? My Poverty and These Rags, quoth he, are enough to tell ye that I am an honest man; a Friend to Truth, and one that will not be Mealy-Mouth'd, when he may speak it to Purpose. Some call me the Plain-Dealer; Others, the Vn∣deceiver General. You see me all in Tat∣ters, Wounds, Scars, Bruises. And what is all This, but the Requital the WorldPage  141 gives me, for my Good Counsel, and Kind Visits? And yet after all this en∣deavour to get shut of me; they call themselves my Friends: though they Curse me to the Pit of Hell, as soon as ever I come neer them; and had rather be hang'd, then spend one Quarter of an hour in my Company. If thou hast a Mind to see the World I talk of, come along with me, and I'l carry thee into a place▪ where thou shalt have a full Prospect of it; and without any Incon∣venience, see all that's in't; or in the People that dwell in't; and look it through and through. What's the Name of this place? quoth I. It is call'd, said he, The Hypocrites Walk; and it crosses the World from one Pole to t'other. It is large, and Populous; for I believe there's not any man alive, but has either a House or a Chamber in't. Some live in't for altogether; Others take it only in Passage: for there are Hypocrites of several sorts; but all Mortals have, more or less, a Tang of the Leaven. That fellow there in the Corner, came but to'ther day from the Plow-Tayl, and would now fain be a Page  142Gentleman. But had not he better pay his Debts, and walk alone, then break his Promises to keep a Laquay? There's another Rascal that would fain be a Lord; and would venture a Voyage to Venice for the Title, but that He's bet∣ter at building Castles in the Air, then upon the Water. In the mean time, he puts on a Nobleman's Face, and Garb; he swears and Drinks like a Lord, and keeps his Hounds and Whores, which 'tis fear'd in the end, will devour their Master. Mark now that piece of Gra∣vity, and Form; He walks ye see, as if he mov'd by Clock-work; His words are few, and Low; He makes all his Answers by a Shrug, or a Nod. This is the Hy∣pocrite of a Minister of State; who with all his Counterfeit of Wisdom, is one of the veriest Noddies in Nature.

Face about now, and mind those De∣crepit Sots there, that can scarce lift a Leg over a Threshold, and yet they must be Dying their Hair, Colouring their Beards, and playing the young fools again, with a Thousand Hobby-horse Tricks, and Antick Dresses. On the other side; Ye have a Compay of Silly Boys,Page  143 taking upon them to govern the world, under a Vizor of Wisdom, and Expe∣rience. What Lord is That (said I) in the Rich Clothes there, and the fine Laces? That Lord (quoth he) is a Taylor, in his Holy-day Clothes; and if He were now upon his Shop-bord, his own Scissers and Needles would hardly know him: And you must understand, that Hypo∣crisy is so Epidemical a Disease, that it has laid hold of the Trades themselves, as well as the Masters. The Cobler must be saluted, Mr. Translater. The Groom names himself Gentleman of the Horse; The fellow that carries Guts to the Bears, writes, One of his Majesty's Offi∣cers. The Hangman calls himself a Minister of Iustice. The Mountebank, an Able man. A Common Whore passes for a Courtisan. The Bwd acts the Puritan. Gaming Ordinaries are call'd Academies; and Bawdy-houses, Places of Entertainment. The Page stiles himself the Child of Ho∣nour; and the Foot-boy calls himself My Lady's Page. And every Pick-Thank names himself a Courtier. The Cuckold-maker passes for a Fine Gentleman; and the Cuckold himself, for the best natur'd Page  144 Husband in the World: And a very Ass, commences Master-Doctor. Hocus Pocus Tricks are call'd Slight of Hand; Lust, Friendship; Vsury, Thrift▪ Cheating is but Gallantry; Lying wears the Name of Invention; Malice goes for Quick∣ness of Apprehension; Cowardice, Meek∣ness of Nature; and Rashness carryes the Countenance of Valour. In fine, this is all but Hypocrisy, and Knavery in a Disguise; for Nothing is call'd by the right Name. Now there are beside these, certain General Appellations taken up, which by long Usage, are almost grown into Prescription. Every little Whore takes upon her to be a Great Lady. Every Gown-man, to be a Coun∣seller. Every Huffe to be a Soldat; Every Gay thing to be a Cavalier; Every Pa∣rish-Clerk to be a Doctor; and Every writing-Clerk in the Office must be call'd Mr Secretary.

So that the whole world, take it where you will, is but a meer Iuggle; and you will find that Wrath, Gluttony, Pride, Avarice, Luxury, Murther, and a Thou∣sand other Hainous sins, have all of them Hypocrisy for their Source, and thi∣ther Page  145 They'l return again. It would be well (said I) if you could prove what you say; but I can hardly see, how so great a Diversity of Waters should pro∣ceed from one and the same Fountain. I do not wonder (quoth he) at your Distrust, for you are mistaken in very good Company; to Phansy a Contra∣riety in many things, which are, in ef∣fect, so much alike. It is agreed upon, both by Philosophers, and Divines, that all Sins are Evil; and you must allow, that the Will Embraces, or pursues, no Evil but under the Resemblance of Good: Nor does the Sin lye in the Representa∣tion, or Knowledg of what is Evil, but in the Consent to it. Which Consent it self is sinful, although without any Sub∣sequent Act: It's true the Execution serves afterward for an Aggravation, and ought to be consider'd under ma∣ny Differences, and Distinctions. But in fine; Evident it is, that the Will enter∣tains no Ill, but under th shape of some Good. What do ye think now of the Hypocrite, that cuts your Throt, in his Arms, and Murders you, under pre∣tence of Kindness? What is the Hope of Page  146 an Hypocrite? says Iob. He neither has, nor can have any: For he is Wicked as he is an Hypocrite; and even his best Actions are worth nothing, because they are not what they seem to be. So that of all Sinners, he has the most to answer for. Other Offenders sin only against God. But the Hypocrite sins with Him, as well as against Him, ma∣king use of his Holy Name as a Cloak and Countenance for his Wickedness. For which reason, our Blessed Saviour, after many Affirmative Precepts deliver'd to his Disciples, for their Instruction; gave only This Negative. Be not sad as the Hypocrites: which lays them open in few words; And he might as well have said, Be not Hypocrites and ye shall not be Wicked.

We were now come to the Place the Old Man told me of, where I sound all according to my Expectation, and took the higher ground, that I might have the better Prospect of what past. The first remarkable thing I saw was a long Funeral Train of Kinred, and Guests, following the Corps of a Deceas'd La∣dy, in Company wih the Disconsolate Page  147Widdower; who march't with his Chin upon his Breast; a sad and a heavy pace; muffled up in a Mourning Hood, enough to have stiffled him, with at least Ten yards of Cloth upon his Body, and no less in his Train. Alack, Alack! cry'd I, that ever I should live to see so dis∣mal a Spectacle! Oh Blessed Woman! How did this Husband love Thee in thy Life-Time, that follows thee with this Infinite Faith and Affection, even to thy Grave! And happy the Hu∣band doubtless, in a Wife that deserv'd this Kindness! and in so many tender Friends, and Relations, to take part with him in his Sorrows. My Good Fa∣ther, let me entreat you to observe this doleful Encounter. With that (shaking his Head and smiling) My Son, quoth he, Thou shalt by and by perceive, that all is Nothing in the world but Vanity, Imposture, and Constraint; and I will shew thee the Difference between Things Themselves, and their Appearan∣ces. To see this Abundance of Torches, with the Magnificence of the Ceremony and Attndance, One would think there should be some mighty matter in the Page  148 business: but let me assure thee, that all this Pudder comes to no more, then much ado about Nothing. The Woman was Nothing (effectually) even while she liv'd: The Body now in the Coffin, is somewhat a less Nothing; and the Fu∣neral Honours, which are now paid her, come to just Nothing too. But the Dead it seems must have their Vanities, and their Holy days as well as the Living. Alas! What's a Carcass? but the most Odious sort of Putrefaction? A Corrup∣ted Earth; fit neither for Fruit, nor Tillage. And then for the sad Looks of the Mourners; They are only troubled at the Invitation; and would not care a pin, if the Invier, and Body too were both at the Devil. And That you might see by their Behaviour, and Discourses; for when they should have been Praying for the Dead, they were prating of her Pedegree, and Her last Will and Testa∣ment. I'm not so neer a kin (says one) but I might have been spar'd; and I had twenty other things to do. Another should have met Company at a Tavern; A Third, at a Play. A fourth mutters that he is not placed according to his Page  149Quality. Another cryes out, A Pox o your meetings where there is nothing stir∣ring but Worms-meat. Let me tell ye further, that the Widdower Himself is not griev'd as you Imagine for the Dead Wife; but for the Damn'd Expense, in Blacks and Scutcheons, Tapers, and Mourners; and that she was not fairly laid to Rest, without all this Ado: for He perswades himself, that she might have found the way to her Grave without a Candle. And since she was to Dye, 'tis his opinion, that she should have made quicker work on't: For a Good Wife, is like a Good Christian, to put her Con∣science in order betimes, and get her gone; without lingring in the Hands of Doctors, 'Pothecaries, and Surgeons, to murder her Husband too, Or (to save Charges) she might have had the dis∣cretion to have dy'd of the Plague, which would have stav'd off Company. This is the Second Wife, he has already turn'd over, and (to give the Man his Due) He has had the wit to scure him••elf of a Third, while This lay on her D••th-bed. So that this Case is no more then Chopping of a Cold Wife for Page  150 a Warm one, and Hee'l recover this Af∣fliction, I warrant ye.

The Good man, methought, spoke wonders; and being throughly convinc't of the danger of trusting to Appear∣ances, I took up a Resolution, never to conclude upon any thing, though never so plausible, without due Examination, and Inquiry. With that, the Funeral Va∣nish't, leaving Us behind; and for a farewell, This Sentence. I am gone be∣fore; you are to follow; and in the mean time, to accompany others to their Graves, as you have done Me; and as I, when time was, have attended many others, with as little Care, and Devo∣tion as your selves.

We were taken off from this Medi∣tation, by a Noise we heard in a house behind Us; where we had no sooner set foot over the Threshold, but we were entertained with a Consort of Six Voices, that were Set and Tun'd to the Sighs and Grones of a Woman newly be∣come a Widdow. The Passion was Act∣ed to the Life; but the Dead litle the better for't. They would be ever and anon, Clapping, and Wringing of their Page  151 Hands; Groning, and Sighing, as if their Hearts would break. The Hangings, Pictures, and Furniture were all taken down, and remov'd; The Rooms hung with Black, And in one of them lay the poor Disconsolate, upon a Couch with her Condoling Friends about her. It was as Dark as Pitch, and so much the Better, for the Parts they had to play; for there was no discovering of the Hor∣rid Faces, and Strains they made, to fetch up their Artificial Tears, and La∣mentations. Madam (says one) Tears are but thrown away; and really the Grief to see your Ladyship in this Condi∣tion, has made me as lost a woman to all thought of Comfort as your self: I beseech you Madam, chear up; (ryes another, with almost as many Sighs as words) your Husband's e'en happy that he is out of this miserable world. He was a Good man, and now He finds the sweet on't. Patience, Patience; Dear Madam, (cryes a Third) 'Tis the will of Heaven, and there's no Contending. Do'st talk of Pa∣tience (says she) and no Contending? Wrethed Creature that I am! to out∣live that Dear man! Oh that Dear Hus∣band Page  152 of Mine! Oh that I should ever live to see this Day! And then she fell to blubbering, Sobbing and Raving a thou∣sand times worse then before. Alas, Alas, who will trouble himself with a poor Widdow! I have never a friend left to look after me; what shall become of me!

At this pause, came in the Chorus, with their Nose-Instruments; and there was such Blowing, Snobbing, Sniveling and throwing Snot about, that there was no enduring the House. And all this, you must know, serv'd them to a dou∣ble purpose; that is to say; for Physick and for Complement: for it past for the Condoling Office, and purg'd their Heads of ill Humours all under one. I could not chuse but compassionate the poor Widdow; a Creature forsaken of all the world; and I told my Guide as much; and that a Charity (as I thought) would be well bestow'd upon her. The Holy Writ calls them Mutes; according to the Import of the Hebrew: in regard that they have no body to speak for them. And if at any time they take heart to speak for themselves, They Page  153 had e'en as good hold their tongues, for no body minds them. Is there any thing more frequently given in Charge throughout the whole Bible, then to Protect the Fatherless, and Defend the Cause of the Widdow? as the highest and most Necessary point of Christian Cha∣rity; in regard that they have neither Power, nor Right to defend themselves. Does not Iob in the Depth of his Mi∣sery, and Disgraces, make Choice to clear himself toward the Widdow, upon his Expostulations with the Almighty? [If I have caus'd the Eyes of the Widdow to fail] (or consum'd the Eyes of the Wid∣dow; after the Hebrew) so that it seems to me, beside the general Duty of Cha∣rity, We are also bound by the Laws of Honour, and Generosity, to assist them: for the poor Souls are fain to plead with their Eyes; and Beg with their Eyes, for want of Either Hands or Tongues to help themselves. Indeed you must par∣don me (My good Father said I) if I cannot hold any longer from bearing a part in this Mournful Consort, upon this sad Occasion. And is This (quoth the old man) the fruit of your boasted Page  154Divinity? to sink into Weakness and Tears, when you have the greatest Need of your Resolution, and Prudence. Have but a little Patience, and I'l unfold you this Mystery; though (let me tell ye) 'Tis one of the hardest things in Nature, to make any man as wise as he should be, that conceits himself wise enough already. If this Accident of the Widdow had not happen'd, we had had none of the fine things, that have been tarted upon't: for 'tis Occasion that awakens both our Virtue, and Philosophy; And 'tis not enough to know the Mine where the Treasure lyes; unless a man has the skill of Drawing it out, and making the best of what he has in his Possession. What are you the better, for all the Advan∣tages of Wit, and Learning, without the faculty of reducing what you know, into apt and proper Applica∣tions?

Observe me now, and I will shew you, that this Widdow that looks as if she had nothing in her Mouth, but The Service for the Dead, and only Hallelu∣jahs in her Soul; that This Mortify'd iece of Formality, has green Thoughts, un∣••r Page  155 her black-Vail; and brisk Imaginationsbout her, in despight of her Calamity,nd Misfortune. The Chamber you see 〈◊〉dark; and their faces are muffled up in heir Funeral Dresses. And what of all This? when the whole Course of their mourning is but a Thorough-Cheat. Their Weeping signifies Nothing more, then Crying, at so much an hour; for their Tears are Hackney'd out, and when they have wept out their stage, they take up, and are quiet. If you would relieve them, leave them to Themselves; and as soon as your Back is turn'd, you shall have them Singing, and Dancing▪ and as merry as Greeks: for take away the Spectators; their Hypocrisy is at an End, and the play is done: And now the Confidents Game begins. Come, Come, Madam, 'faith we must be Merry; (cryes one) we are to live by the Living, and not by the Dead. For a Bonny Young Wid∣dow as you are, to lye whimpering away your Opportunities, and lose so many brave Matches! There's, You know who, I dare swear, has a Months Mind to you; By my Troth I would you were in Bed toge∣ther, and I'd be hang'd, if you did not Page  156 find one warm Bed-fellow worth twenty Cold ones. Really, Madam (cryes a se∣cond) she gives you good Counsel; and if I were in your Place, I'd follow it, and make use of my Time. 'Tis but One Lost, and Ten found. Pray'e tell me, Madam, If I may be so bold; what's your Opinion of that Cavalier that was here Yesterday? Certainly He has a great Deal of Wit; and methinks, he's a very handsome, proper Gentleman. Well! If that man has not a strange Passion for you, I'l never believe my Eyes again for his sake; and, in good faith, if all parties were agreed, I would you were e'en well in his Arms the night before to morrow. Were it not a burning shame to let such a Beauty lye fallow? This sets the Widdow a Pinking, and Simpering like a Frumety-Kettle; at length she makes up the pretty little Mouth, and sayes, 'tis some∣what of the soonest to talk of those af∣fairs; but let it be as Heaven pleases. However, Madam, I am much beholden to you for your Friendly Advice. You have here the very bottom of her Sor∣row: she has taken a second Husband in∣to her Heart, before her first was in his Page  157rave. I should have told you, that 〈◊〉 right Widdow, Eats, and Drinks ore the first day of her Widdow-hood, ••en in any other of her whole life: for here appears not a Visitant; but pre∣ently out comes the Groning Cake; a old bak'd meat, or some Restorative orsel or Other, to comfort the Afflicted; nd the Cordial Bottles must not be for∣gotten neither, for Sorrow's Dry. So o't they fall, and at every Bit or Gulp,he Lady Relict, fetches ye up a heavy Sigh, pretends to chew false, and makes rotestation that for her part, she can aste nothing; she has quite lost her Digestion; and has such an oppression n her stomach, that she dares not eat ny more, for fear of over-charging Nature. And (in truth says she) how an it be otherwise; since (Unhappy reature that I am!) He is gone that gave the Relish to all my Enjoyments: But there is no Recalling him from the Grave, and so, no remedy but Patience. By this time, you see, (quoth the Old Man) whether your Exclamations were easonable, or no.

The wrds were hrdly out of his Page  158 Mouth, when hearing an uproar amon the Rabble in the Street, we look't ou to see what was the matter. And ther we saw a Catchpole, without either Hat or Band, out of Breath, and his face albloody, crying out Help, Help, in th King's name; stop Thief, stop Thief: and all the while, running as hard as he could drive after a Thief that made away from him, as if the Devil had been at his Breech. After him, cam an Atturney, all dirty; a world of pa∣pers in his hand; an Inkhorn at his Gir∣dle; and a Crowd of Nasty people about him; and down He sat himself just be∣fore us, to write somewhat upon his Knee. Bless me (thought I) how a Cause prospers in the Hand of one of these fellows, for he had fill'd his Paper in a Trice. These Catchpoles (said I) had need to be well paid, for the Ha∣zards they run to secure us in our Lives and Fortunes; and indeed they de∣serve it. Look how the poor Wretch is Torn, Bruis'd and Batter'd, and all this for the Good and Benefit of the Pub∣lick.

Soft and fair, quoth the old man; I Page  159 think thou wouldst never leave Talk∣ing, if I did not stop thy Mouth some∣time. You must know, that He that made the Escape, and the Catchpole are a Couple of Ancient Friends, and Pot-Companions. Now the Catchpole quar∣rels the Thief for not giving him a snip in the last Booty; and the Thief, after a great struggle, and a good lusty Rub∣ber at Cuffs, has made a shift to save himself. You'l say the Rogue had need of Good heels, to outrun this Gallows-Beagle; for there's hardly any Beast will outstrip a Bayliff that runs upon the View of a Quarry. So that there's not the least thought of a publick Good in the Catchpoles Action; but meerly a prosecution of his own Profit, and a spight to see himself Chous'd. Now if the Catchpole I confess, without any Pri∣vate Interest, had made this Attempt upon the Thief, (being his Friend) to bring him to Iustice; It had been well: And yet, take this along with you: It is as Natural to let slip a Sergeant at a Pick-pocket, as a Greyhound at a Hare. The Whip; The Pillory; The Axe, and the Halter make up the best part of the Page  160Catchpole's Revenue. These people are of all sorts the most odious to the world; and if men in Revenge would resolve to be Virtuous, though but for a year or two, they might starve them all. It is in fine an unlucky Employ∣ment, and Catchpoles, as well the Devils themselves have the Wages of Tormen∣ters.

I hope, said I to my Guide, that the Atturneys shall have your good word too. Yes, yes, ye need not doubt it (said the old man) for your Atturny, and your Catchpole always hunt in Couples. The Atturny draws the Information, and has all his forms ready, so that 'tis no more then, but to fill up the Blanks, and away to the Iayl with the Delinquent: if there be any thing to be gotten 'tis not a half-penny matter, whether the par∣ty be guilty, or Innocent: Give but an Atturny, Pen, Ink, and Paper, and let him alone for Witnesses. In case of an Examination, he has the Grace not to insist too much upon plain and Naked Truth; but to set down only what makes for his purpose, and then when they come to signing, to read over in Page  161the Deponets sense (for his Memory is good) what he has written in his own: And by this Means, the Cause goes on as He pleases. To prevent this Villany it wee well, if the Examiners were as well sworn to write the Truth, as the Witnesses are to speak it. And yet there are some honest men of all sorts, but among the Atturneys; the very Calling, does by the honest Catchpoles, Marshal's men, and their Fellows, as the Sea by the Dead: It may Entertain them for a while, but in a very short space it spews them up again.

The Good man would have proceed∣ed, if He had not been taken off, by the Ratling of a Guilt-Coach, wherein was a Courtier, that was blown up as big, as Pride, and Vanity could make him. He sat stiffe, and Upright, as if He had swallow'd a stake; and made it his Glory to shew himself in that posture. It would have hurt his Eyes, to have exchang'd a Glance with any thing that was Vulgar, and therefore He was very sparing of his Looks. He had a deep lac'd-band on, that was right Spanish; which He wore Erect, and stiffe starch't,Page  162 that a man would have thought He had Carry'd his Head in a paper-Lanthorn. He was a great Studier of Set-faces; and much affected with looking Poli∣tick, and Big. But, for his Arms, and Body, He had utterly lost, or forgotten the use of them: For He could neither Bow, nor move his Hat to any man that saluted him: No, nor so much as turn from One side to the Other; but sate as if He had been Box'd up, like a Bar∣tlemy-Baby. After this Magnificent Sta∣tue, follow'd a swarm of Gawdy Butter∣fly-Laquais: And his Lordships Com∣pany in the Coach, was a Buffon, and a Parasite. Oh blessed Prince! (said I) to live at this rate of Ease, and splendor, and to have the world at Will! What a Glorious Train is that! Beyond all doubt, there never was a great Fortune better bestow'd. With that, the old man took me up, and told me; that the Judgment I had made upon this Occasion, from one end to the other, was all Dotage, and Mistake; save only, when I said he had the world at Will: And in that (says he) you have reason; for what is the World, but Labour, Page  163 Vanity, and Folly; which is likewise the Composition, and Entertainment of this Cavalier.

As for the Train that follows him; let it be Examin'd, and my Life for yours, you shall find more Creditors in't, then Servants: There are Banquiers, Iewellers, Scriveners, Brokers, Mercers, Drapers, Taylors, Vintners; and these are properly the Stayes, and Supporters of this Animated Machine. The Money, Meat, Drink, Robes, Liveries, Wages; All comes out of their Pockets; They have his Honour for their Security; and must content themselves with Promises, and fair Words for full satisfaction, unless they had rather have a Foot-man with a Cudgel for their Pay-master. And after all, i this Gallant were taken to shrift, or that a man could enter into the Secrets of his Conscience, I dare un∣dertake, it would appear, that He that digs in a Mine for his Bread, lives ten thousand times more at Ease, then the other; with Beating of his Brains, Night and Day for new shifts, Tricks and Pro∣jects to keep himself above water.

Observe his Companions now: his Page  164Fool, and his Flatterer. They are too hard for him ye see; and Eat, Drink, and make Merry at his Expence. What greater Misery, or shame in the World, then for a Man to make a Friendship with such Rascals, and to spend his Time, and Estate, in so Brutal, and Insipid a So∣ciety! It costs him more (beside his Credit) to maintain that Couple of Coxcombs, then would have bought him the Conversation of as many Grave, and learned Philosophers. But will ye now see the Bottom of this Scandalous and Dishonorable Kindness? My Lord (says the Buffon) you were most infallibly wrapt in your Mother's Smock; for let me be — if ye have not set all the Ladies about the Court, Agog. The very Truth is (cryes the Parasite) all the rest of the Nobility look like Corn-Cutters to you; and indeed, wherever you come you have still the Eyes of the whole Company upon you. Go to, Go to, Gentlemen (ays my Lord) you must not flatter your Friends. This is more your Courtesy then my Desert; and I have an Obligation to you for your Kindness. After this Manner, these Page  165 Asses Knab and Curry one Another, and play the Fools by Turns.

The old Man had his words yet be∣tween his Teeth, when there past just by us a Lady of Pleasure, of so Excellent a shape, and Garb, that it was Impossi∣ble to see her without a Passion for her, and no less impossible to look upon any thing else, so long as she was to be seen. They that had seen her once, were to see her no more, for she turn'd her face still to New-Comers. Her Motion was graceful, and Free. One while she'd stare ye full in the Eyes, under colour of opening her Hood, to set it in better Order. By and by, shee'd steal a look at ye with one Eye, and a side face, from the Corner of her Vizor; like a Witch that's afraid to be discover'd, when she comes from a Catterwall. And then out comes the Delicate Hand, and discovers the more Delicious Neck, and Breasts, to adjust the Handkercher or the Scarfe; or to remove some other Grievance that made her Ladyship un∣easy. Her Hair was most artiicially dispos'd into Careless Rings; And the best Red and White in Nature was in Page  166 her Cheeks; if that of her Lips and Teeth did not Exceed it. In a word, all she look't upon was her own; and This was the Vision for my Money, from all the Rest. As she was marching off, I could not chuse but take up a Resolu∣tion to follow her. But my old man laid a Block in the way, and stop't me at the very starting; which was an Af∣front, to a Man that was both in Love, and in Haste, that might very well stir his Choler. My Officious Friend (said I) He that does not love a Woman, suck't a Sow. And questionless, He must be either Blind or Barbarous, that's Proof against the Charms of so Divine a Beauty. Nor would any but a Sot, let slip the blessed Opportunity of so fair an Encounter. A Handsome Wo∣man? why, what was she made for, but to be Lov'd? And He that has Her, has all that's Lovely, or Desireable in Na∣ture. For my own part, I would re∣nounce the World for the fellow of her, and never desire any thing either beyond her, or beside her. What Light∣ning does she carry in her Eyes▪ What Charms, and Chains in her Looks, and Page  167 Motions, for the very Souls of her Be∣holders! Was ever any thing so clear as her forehead? Or so black as her Eye-brows? One would swear, that her Complexion had taken a Tincture of Vermilion, and Milk: and that Na∣ture had brought her into the World with Pearl, and Rubies in her Mouth. To speak all in little, she's the Master∣piece of the Creation, worthy of Infi∣nite Praise, and Equal to our largest Desires.

Here the Old man cut me short, and bad me make an end of my Discourse, for thou art, said He, a Man of much wonder, and small Experience, and de∣liver'd over to the Spirit of Folly, and Blindness. Thou hast thy Eyes in thy Head, and yet not Brain Enough to know either why they were given Thee, or How to Use them. Understand then that the Office of the Eye is to see, but 'tis the Privilege of the Soul, to distin∣guish, and Chuse: whereas you either do the Contrary, or else Nothing, which is worse. He that trusts his Eyes, exposes his Mind to a Thousand Torments and Confusions: He shall take Clouds, for Page  168Mountains; Streight for Crooked; One Colour for Another, by reason of an Vn∣due distance, or an indispos'd Medium. We are not able sometimes to say what way a River runs, till we throw in a Twig, or a straw to find out the Cur∣rent. And what will you sy now, if this Prodigious Beauty, your New Mistress, prove as Gross a Cheat, and Imposture, as any of the Rest? She went to Bed last night as Ugly as a Witch; and yet this Morning she comes forth in your Opinion as Glorious as an Angel. The Truth of it is, she Hires all by the Day; and if you did but see this Puppet taken to pieces, you would find her little else but Paint, and Plaister. To begin her Anatomy at the Head. You must know that the Hair she wears, is borrow'd of a Tire-woman, for her own was blown off by an Unlucky Wind from the Coast of Naples. Or if she has any left, she keeps it private, as a Memorial of her Antiquity. She is beholden to the Pencil, for her Eye-brows, and Complex∣ion. And upon the whole mater, she is but an old Picture, refresh't. But the wonder is, to see a Picture, with Life,Page  169 and Motion; unless perchance she has got the Necromancer's Receit, that made himself Young again in his Glass-Bottle. For all that you see of her that's Good, comes from Distill'd Waters, Essences, Powders, and the like; and to see the Washing of her Face would fright the Devil. She abounds in Pomanders, Sweet waters, Spanish-Pockets, Perfum'd-Drawers; and all little Enough to qua∣lify the Poysonous Whiffs she sends from her Toes, and Arm-Pits, which would otherwise out-stink Ten thousand Pole-Cats. She cannot chuse but Kiss well, for her Lips are perpetually bath'd in Oyl, and Grease. And he that Embraces her, shall find the better half of her, the Taylors, and only a stuffing of Cotton and Canvas, to supply the Defects of her Body. When she goes to Bed, she puts off one half of her Person with her Shooes. What do ye think of your ador'd Beauty now? or have your Eyes be∣tray'd ye? Well, well; confess your Errour and mend it: and know that (without more Descant upon this wo∣man) 'tis the Design, and Glory of most of the Sex to lead Silly Men Captive. Page  170 Nay take the best of them, and what with the Trouble of getting them, and the Difficulty of pleasing them, he that comes off best, will find himself a Lo∣ser at the foot of the Accompt. I could recommend you here to other Reme∣dies of Love, inseparable from the very Sex, but what I have said already, I hope, will be sufficient.

The end of the fifth Vision.