THE VISIONS OF Dom Francisco de Quevedo VILLEGAS, KNIGHT of the ORDER OF St IAMES.
Made English by R. L.
LONDON, Printed for H. Herringman at the Sign of the Blew Anchor in the Lower walk of the New Exchange. 1667.
TO THE READERS, GENTLE and SIMPLE.
THis Preface is meerly for Fashion-sake, to fill a space, and please the Stationer, who says 'tis neither usual not handsome, to leap immediately from the Title-Page to the Matter. So that in short, a Preface ye have, together with the Reason of it, both under One: but as to the Ordinary Mode and Pre∣tence of Prefaces, the Translator desires to be excus'd. For he makes a Conscience of a Lye, and it were a damn'd one, to tell ye, that he has Page [unnumbered] publisht This, either to Gratifie the importunity of Friends, or to Oblige the Publick, or for any other Reason of a hundred, that are commonly gi∣ven in excuse of Scribling. Not but that he loves his Friends, as well as any man, and has taken their Opini∣on along with him. Nor, but that he loves the Publick too (as many a Man does a Coy Mistress that has made his heart ake.) But to pass from what had no effect upon him in this Publication, to that which over-rul'd him in it. It was pure Spite. For he has had hard Mea∣sure among the Physicians, the Law∣yers, the Women, &c. And Dom Francisco de Quevedo, in English, Revenges him upon all his Ene∣mies. For it is a Satyre (in fine) that taxes Corruption of Manners,Page [unnumbered] in all sorts and degrees of people, without reflecting upon particular States or Persons. It is full of Sharpness and Morality; and has found so good Entertainment in the World, that it wanted only English, of being baptiz'd into all Christian Languages.Page [unnumbered]
PAge 14 line 24 read a Lacquay, p. 23 l. 25 d. in, p. 48. r. Teize for seize, p. 60 l. 5. r. Potosi for Potoss, p. 63 l. 24. r. Government for Governments, p. 71 l. 13 r. ye for he, p. 90 l. 19 r. demurr'd for demurrer, p. 149 l. penult. r. His for This, p. 160 l. 7 insert as, p. 171 l. 4. insert night, p. 180 l. 2 r. Discourse for Discourses, p. 192 l. 23 r. This for it, and dele to us, p. 263 l. 4 r. now for no, p. 284 l. 14 dele and. p 319. l. 7. insert it.Page 1
THE FIRST VISION OF THE Algouazil (or Catchpole) possest.
I Was going t' other day to hear Mass at a Convent in this Town, but the door it seems was shut, and a world of people pressing and begging to get in; I ask'd, What was the matter? They told me that there was a Demoniac to be exor∣cised (or dispossest): Whereupon, I thrust into the Crowd for company, to see the Ceremony; but to little pur∣pose: for after I had half smothered my self in the throng, I was e'en glad to get out again, and bethink my self of my Lodging. Upon my way homeward, at the streets end, it was my fortune to meet a familiar friend of mine of the same Convent; who told me over again what I had heard before, and taking notice of my curiosity, bad me Page 2 follow him; which I did, and with his Passe-par-tout he brought me through a little back-door into the Church, and so into the Vestry, where we saw a wretched kind of a dog-look'd fellow, with a Tippet about his neck, as ill ordered as you'd wish; his Cloaths all in tatters, his hands bound behind him, roaring and tearing after a most hide∣ous manner. Bless me, quoth I, (cros∣sing my self) what spectacle have we here? This (said the good Father who was to do the Feat) is a man that's pos∣sest with an Evil-spirit. That's a damn'd lye (with respect of the Company, cryed the Devil that tormented him) for this is not a man possest with a De∣vil, but a Devil possest with a man; and therefore you should do well to have a care what you say, for both by the Question and Answer it is most evi∣dent, that you are but a Company of Sots. You are to understand that we Devils never enter into the body of a Catchpole, but by force, and in spight of our hearts; and therefore to speak pro∣perly, you are to say, This is a Devil Catchpol'd, and not a Catchpole bedevil'd.Page 3 To say the truth, you men can deal better with us Devils, than with the Catchpoles, for we fly from the Cross, whereas They make use of it for a Cloak for their villany.
There is somewhat a better agree∣ment, I must confess, between our Offi∣ces: If we draw men into Iudgment and Condemnation, so do the Catchpoles; we pray for an encrease of wickedness in the world, so do they; nay and more zealously than we, for it is their live∣lihood, and we do it only for company: And in this, the Catchpoles are worse than the Devils, they prey upon their own Kind, and worry one another; for our parts we are Angels still, though black ones, and were turn'd into Devils only for aspiring into an equality with our Maker: whereas the very corrupti∣on of mankind is the generation of a Catchpole; so that, my good Father, your labour is but lost in plying this Wretch with Reliques; for you may as soon redeem any thing from Hell as (be it never so holy, if he once seizes it) out of his Clutches. In fine, your Algou∣•zils (or Catchpoles) and your Devils are Page 4 both of an Order, only your Catch∣pole Devils wear Shoes and Stockings, and we go barefoot after the Fashion of this reverend Father, and (to deal plainly) have a very hard time on't.
I was not a little surprized to find the Devil so great a Sophister, but all this notwithstanding, the holy man went on with his Exorcism, and to stop the Spi∣rits mouth, washt his face with a little Holy Water, which made the Demoniac ten times madder than before, and set him a yelping so horridly, that it deaf∣ned the company, and made the very ground under us to tremble. And now, says he, you may, perchance, imagine this extravagance to be the effect of your Holy Water; but let me tell you, that meer Water it self would have done the same thing; for your Catchpole hates nothing in this world like Water, [espe∣cially that of a Grays-Inne Pump.] But to conclude, They are so reprobated a sort of Christians, that they have quit∣ted even the very name of Misins, by which they were formerly known, for that of Algouazils; the latter being of Pagan extraction, and made suitable to their manners.
Page 5Come, come, says the Father, there is no ear, nor credit to be given to this Villain, set but his tongue at liberty, and you shall have him fall foul upon the Government, and the Ministers of Justice, for keeping the World in Or∣der and suppressing wickedness, because it spoils his market. No more chopping of Logick, good Mr. Conjurer, says the Devil, for there's more in't than you are aware of; but if you'l do a poor Devil a good office, give me my dispatch out of this accursed Algouazil; for I am a Devil, you must know, of Reputation and Quality, and shall never be able to endure the gibes and affronts will be put upon me at my return to Hell, for hav∣ing kept this Rascal company. All in good time, said the Father, thou shalt have thy discharge, but in pity to this miserable Creature, and not for thy own sake. But tell me now, what makes thee torment him thus? Nothing in the world, quoth the Devil, but a con∣test betwixt him and me, which was the greater Devil of the two.
The Conjurer did not at all relish these wild and malicious replies; but •o Page 6 me the Dialogue was extream pleasant, especially being by this time a little familiariz'd with the Devil. Upon which confidence my Good Father, said I, here are none but Friends; and I may speak to you as my Confessour, and the Confident of all the secrets of my soul; I have a great mind with your leave, to ask the Devil a few Questions, and who knows but a man may be the better for his Answers, though per∣chance contrary to his intention! keep him only in the interim from torment∣ing the poor creature. The Conjurer granted my request, and the Spirit went on with his babble: Well, says he smiling, the Devil shall never want a Friend at Court, so long as there's a Poet within the Walls. And indeed the Poets do us many a good turn, both by Pimping and otherwise; but if you, said he, should not be kind to us, (looking upon me) you'l bethought very ungrate∣ful, considering the honour of your en∣tertainment now in Hell. I ask't him then what store of Poets they had? whole swarms, says the Devil; so many, that we have been forc'd to make more Page 7 room for them: Nor is there any thing in nature so pleasant as a Poet in the first year of his probation; he comes ye laden forsooth with Letters of Recom∣mendation to our Superiours, and en∣quires very gravely for Charon, Cerbe∣rus, Rhadamanthus, AEacus, Minos.
Well said I, but what's their punish∣ment (for I began now to make the Poets case my own) Their punishments, quoth the Devil, are many, and suited to the Trade they drive. Some are condemn'd to hear other mens works: (and this is the plague of the Fidlers too) We have others that are in for a thousand year, and yet still poring up∣on some old Stanzas they have made of Jealousie. Some again are beating their fore-heads with the palms of their hands, and even boring their very Noses with hot Irons, in rage that they can∣not come to a resolution, whether they shall say Face or Visage; whether they shall write Iayl or Gaol; whether Co∣ny or Cunny, because it comes from Cu∣niculus, a Rabbet. Others are biting their Nails to the quick, and at their Wits end for a Rime to Chimney; and Page 8 dozing up and down in a brown study, till they drop into some hole at last, and give us trouble enough to get them out again. But they that suffer the most, and fare the worst, are your Comick Poets, for whoring so many Queens and Princesses upon the stage, and coupling Ladies of Honour with Lacquies, and Noblemen with common Strumpets, in the winding up of their Plays; and for giving the Bastonado to Alexander and Iulius Caesar in their Interludes and Far∣ces. Now be it known to you, that we do not lodge these with other Poets, but with Petty-foggers and Attournies, as common dealers in the mystery of Shifting, Shuffling, Forging, and Cheat∣ing: And now for the discipline of Hell, you are to understand we have incom∣parable Harbingers and Quarter-masters; insomuch that let them come in whole Caravans, as it hapn'd t' other day, every man is in his quarter before you can say what's this.
There came to us several Trades∣men; the first of them a Poor Rogue that made profession of drawing the long Bow; and him we were about to Page 9 put among the Armorers, but one of the company moved and carried it, that since he was so good at draughts, he might be sent to the Clerks and Scriv∣ners; a sort of people that will fit you with draughts good and bad, of all sorts and sizes, and to all purposes. Ano∣ther called himself a Cutter, we ask'd him whether in Wood or Stone? Nei∣ther said he, but in Cloth and Stuffe: (Anglice a Taylor) and him we turn'd over to those that were in for Detra∣ction and Calumny, and for cutting large Thongs out of other mens Lea∣ther. There was a Blind fellow would fain have been among the Poets, but (for likeness sake) we quartered him among the Lovers. After him, came a Sexton, or (as he styl'd himself) a Bu∣ryer of the Dead; and then a Cook that was troubled in Conscience for putting off Catts for Hares: These were dis∣patch'd away to the Pastry-men. A matter of half a dozen Crack-brain'd Fools we disposed of among the Astrolo∣gers and Alchymists. In the number, there was one notorious Murtherer, and him we pack'd away to the Gentlemen Page 10 of the Faculty, the Physitians. The Broken Merchants we kennel'd with Iu∣das for making ill bargains. Corrupt Mi∣nisters and Magistrates, with the Thief on the left hand. The Embroylers of Affairs, and the Water-bearers take up with the Vintners; and the Brokers with the Iews. Upon the whole matter the policy of Hell is admirable, where eve∣ry man has his place according to his condition.
As I remember (said I) you were speaking e'en now concerning Lovers. Pray tell me, have you many of them in your Dominions? I ask, because I am my self a little subject to the itch of Love, as well as Poetry. Love (says the Devil) is like a great spot of Oyl, that diffuses it self every where, and conse∣quently Hell cannot but be sufficiently stockt with that sort of Vermine. But let me tell you now, we have several sorts of Lovers; some dote upon them∣selves; others upon their Pelf; these upon their own Discourses; those upon their own Actions; and once in an Age perchance, comes a fellow that dotes upon his own Wife; but this is very Page 11 rare, for the Jades commonly bring their Husbands to repentance, and then the Devil may throw his Cap at them. But above all, for sport (if there can be any in Hell) commend me to those Gawdy Monsieurs, who by the variety of Colours and Ribbands they wear (Favours as they call them) one would swear, were only dress'd up for a Sample, or kind of Inventory of all the Gew-Gaws that are to be had for love or money at the Mer∣cers. Others you shall have so over∣charged with Perrugue, that you'l hard∣ly know the Head of a Cavalier, from the ordinary Block of a Tire-woman. And s•me again you'd take for Carriers, by their pacquets and bundles of Love-Letters; which being made combusti∣ble by the fire and flame they treat of, we are so thrifty, as to employ upon the sindging of their own Tailes, for the saving of better Fuel. But, oh! the pleasant postures of the Maiden-Lover, when he is upon the practice of the Gentle-Leere, and embracing the Air for his Mistress! Others we have that are condemn'd for Feeling, and yet ne∣ver come to the Touch: These pass for Page 12 a kind of Buffon Pretenders; ever upon the Vigil, and never arrive at the Festi∣val. Some again have lost themselves with Iudas for a Kiss.
One story lower is the abode of con∣tented Cuckolds; a nasty poisonous place, and strewed all over with the Horns of Rams and Bulls, &c. Now these are so well read in Woman, and know their destiny so well before hand, that they never so much as trouble their heads for the matter. Ye come next to the Admirers of old Women; and these are wretches of so depraved an Appe∣tite, that if they were not kept tyed up, and in Chains, they'd horse the very Devils themselves, and put Barrabbas to his Trumps, to defend his Buttocks: For the truth is, whatever you may think of a Devil, he passeth with them for a very Adonis, or a Narcissus.
So much for your Curiosity; a word now for your Instruction. If you would make an interest in Hell, you must give over that Roguy way ye have got of abusing the Devils in your Shews, Pi∣ctures, and Emblems: One while for∣sooth we are painted with Claws, or Ta∣lons,Page 13 like Eagles, or Griffons. Another while we are drest up with Tails, like so many Hackney-Jades with their Fly-flaps: And now and then ye shall see a Devil with a Coxcomb. Now I will not deny, but some of us may indeed be very well taken for Hermites, and Phi∣losophers. Help us, if you can, in this particular, and you shall find one good turn paid with another. I was asking Michael Angelo here a while ago, why he drew the Devils in his Great Peice of the Last Iudgment, with so many Monkey Faces, and Iack-Pudding Postures. His answer was, that he follow'd his Fancy, without any Malice in the World, for as then, he had never seen any Devils; nor (indeed) did he believe that there were any; but he has now learn'd the contrary to his cost. There's another thing too we take extreamly ill, which is, that in your ordinary discourses, ye are out with your Purse presently to every Rascal, and calling of him Devil. As for Example. Do you see how this Devil of a Taylor has spoil'd my Suit? how the Devil has made me wait? how this Devil has couzen'd me. &c. whic Page 14 is very ill done, and no small disparage∣ment to our Quality, to be rank'd with Taylors: A company of Slaves, that serve us in Hell only for Brush-wood; and they are fain to beg hard to be ad∣mitted at all: though I confess they have possession on their sides, and Cu∣stom, which is another Law: Being in possession of Theft, and stoln goods; they make much more Conscience of keep∣ing your stuffs, then your Holidays, grumbling and domineering at every turn, if they have not the same respect with the Children of the Family. Ye have another trick too, of giving every thing to the Devil, that displeases ye, which we cannot but take very un∣kindly. The Devil take thee, says one: A goodly present I warrant ye; but the Devil has something else to do, then to take and carry aw•y all that's given him; if they'l come of themselves, let them come and welcome. Another gives that whelp of Laquey to the De∣vil; but the Devil will none of your Laqueys, he thanks ye for your love, for those Rogues are commonly worse than Devils, and to say the truth, they are Page 15 good neither rost nor sodden. I give that Italian to the Devil, cryes a third; thank you for nothing: For ye shall have an Italian will chouse the Devil himself, and take him by the Nose like Mustard. Some again will be giving a Spaniard to the Devil; but he has been so cruel wherever he has got footing, that we had rather have his Room then his Company, and make a Present to the Grand-Signior of his Nutmegs.
Here the Devil st•pt, and in the same instant, there hapning a slight scuffle, betwixt a couple of conceited Coxcombs, which should go foremost: I turn'd to see the matter, and cast my Eye upon a certain Tax-gatherer, that had undone a Friend of mine: And in some sort to revenge my self of this Ass in a Lions Skin, I ask't the Devil, whe∣ther they had not of 〈◊〉 sort of Blood-Suckers among the rest, in their Domi∣nions (an Informing, projecting Gene∣ration of men, and the very bane of a Kingdom.) You know little (says he) if you do not know these vermine to be the right Heirs of Perdition, and that they claim Hell for their Inheri∣tance: Page 16 And yet we are now e'en upon the point of discarding them, for they are so pragmatical, and ungrateful, there's no enduring of them. They are at this present in Consultation about an Impost upon the High-way to Hell; and indeed payments run so high already, and are so likely to encrease too, that 'tis much fear'd in the end, we shall quite lose our Trading and Commerce. But if ever they come to put this in Execution, we shall be so bold, as to treat them next bout to the Tune of Fortune my Foe, &c. and make them cool their Heels on the wrong side of the Door, which will be worse then Hell to them, for it leaves them no retreat, being expell'd Paradise, and Purgatory already. This Race of Vipers, said I, will never be quiet, till they tax the way to Heaven it self. Oh, quoth the Devil, that had been done long since, if they had found the Play worth the Candles: but they have had a Factor abroad now these half-score years, that's glad to wipe his nose on his sleeve still, for want of a Handkerchief. But these new im∣positions, upon what I pray ye do they Page 17 intend to levy them? For that (quoth the Devil) there's a Gentleman of the Trade at your Elbow can tell you all; pointing to my old Friend the Publican. This drew the Eyes of the whole Com∣pany upon him, and put him so damn'd∣ly out of Countenance, that he pluck't down his Hat over his Face, clap't his tail between his Legs, and went his way; with which we were all of us well enough pleas'd, and then the De∣vil went on. Well (said the Devil and laught) my Voucher is departed ye see; but I think I can say as much to this point as himself; The Impositions now to be set on foot, are upon bare∣neck'd Ladies, Patches, Mole-skins; Spa∣nish-paper, and all the Mundus Mulie∣bri• more then what is necessary and decent; upon your Tour à la mode, and Spring Garden-Coaches; excess in Ap∣parel, Collations, Rich Furniture, your Cheating, and Blaspheming Gaming-Ordi∣naries, and in general, upon whatsoever serves to advance our Empire; so that without a Friend at Court, or some good Magistrate to help us out at a dead lift, and stick to us, we may e'en Page 18 put up our Pipes, and you'l find Hell a very Desart. Well said I, and methinks I see nothing in all this, but what is very reasonable; for to what end serves it but to corrupt good manners, stir up ill Ap∣petites, provoke and encourage all sorts of Debauchery, destroy all that is good and Honourable in humane Socie∣ty, and chalk out in effect the ready way to the Devil.
But you said something e'en now of Magistrates, I hope (said I) there are no Iudges in Hell. You may as well ima∣gine (cry'd the spirit) that there are no Devils there; for let me tell you (Friend mine) your corrupt Iudges are the great Spawners that supply our Lake; for what are those Millions of Catchpoles, Proctors, Atturneys, Clerks, Barristers, that come sailing to us every day in Shoals, but the Fry of such Iudges! nay sometimes, in a lucky year, for cheating, forging, and forswear∣ing, we can hardly find Cask to put them in.
From hence now (quoth I) would you infer, that there's no Iustice upon the face of the Earth. Very right (quoth Page 19 the Devil) for Astraea (which is the same thing) is fled long since to Hea∣ven. Do n't ye know the story? no (said I) then (quoth the Devil) mind me and I'l tell ye it. Once upon a time Truth and Iustice came together to take up their Quarters upon the Earth: But the One being naked, & the Other very severe and plain-dealing, they could not meet with any body that would receive them. At last, when they had wander'd a long time like Vagabonds in the open Air; Truth was glad to take up her Lodging with a Mute; and Iu∣stice, perceiving that though her name was much used for • Cloak to Knavery, yet that she her self was in no Esteem, bethought her self of returning to Hea∣ven: and in order to her Journey, she bad adieu in the first place to all Courts, Palaces, and great Cities, and went into the Country; where she met with some few poor simple Cottagers, that gave her entertainment; but Malice, and Persecution, found her out in the end, and she was banish'd thence too. She presented her self in many places, and people askt her what she was? She Page 20 answer'd them Iustice, for she would not lye for the matter. Iustice (cry'd they) she is astranger to us; tell her here's nothing for her, and shut the door. Up∣on these repulses, she took wing, and away she went to Heaven, hardly leav∣ing so much as the bare print of her footsteps behind her. Her Name how∣ever is not yet forgotten, and she's pi∣ctured with a Scepter in her hand, and is still called Iustice; but call her what ye will, she makes as good a Fire in Hell as a Taylor; and for slight of hand, puts down all the Gilts, Cheats, Pick∣locks and Trepanners in the World: to say the truth, Avarice is grown to that height, that men employ all the facul∣ties of Soul and Body to Rob, and De∣ceive. The Leacher, does not he steal away the honour of his Mistress? (though with her consent) The Attur∣ney picks your Pocket, and shews you a Law for't; The Comedian gets your money and your time, with reciting other men's Labours; The Lover cou∣zens you with his Eyes; The Eloquent with his Tongue; The Valiant, with his Arm; The Musician, with his Voice Page 21 and Fingers; The Astrologer, with his Calculations; The Apothecary, with Sickness and Health; The Surgeon, with Blood; and the Physician, with Death it self; And in some sort or other they are all cheats: But the Catchpole (in the name of Iustice) abuses you with his whole Man; He watches you with his Eyes; Follows you with his Feet; Seizes with his hands; Accuses with his Tongue; And in fine, put it in your Litany, From Catchpoles as well as Devils, Libera nos Domine.
But how comes it (said I) that you have not coupled the Women with the Theeves? for they are Both of a Trade. Not a word of Women as ye love me (quoth the Devil) for we are so tired out with their Importunities; so deaf'd with the Eternal Clack of their Tongues, that we start at the very thought of them. And to say the Truth, Hell were no ill Winter-Quarter, if it were not so overstock'd with that sort of Cattle. Since the Death of the Witch of Endor, it has been all their business to improve themselves in sub∣•lety and •alice, and to set us together Page 22 by the Ears among our selves. Nay some of them are confident enough, to tell us to our Teeth, that when we have done our worst, they'l give us a Rowland for our Oliver. Only this com∣fort we have, that they are a Cheaper Plague to Vs then they are to You; for we have no Exchanges, Hide-Parkes, or Spring-Gardens in our Territories.
You are well stored then with Wo∣men I see, but of which have you most (said I) Handsome or Ill-favour'd? oh, of the Ill-favour'd six for one (quoth the Devil) For your Beauties can never want Gallants to lay their Appetites; and many of them, when they come at last to have their Bellies full, e'en give over the sport, Repent and 'scape▪ Whereas no body will touch the Ill-fa∣vour'd without a pair of Tong•; and for want of water to quench their fir•, they come to us such Skeletons, that they are enough to afright the Devil himself. For they are most commonly old, and accompany their last grones with a Curse upon the younger that ar• to survive them. I carryed away one t'other day of threescore and ten, that Page 23 I took just in the nick, as she was upon a certain Exercise to remove Obstructi∣ons: And when I came to land her; Alas for the poor woman! what a ter∣rible fit had she got of the Tooth-Ach! when upon search, the Devil a Tooth had she left in her head, onely she be∣lyed her Chops to save her Credit.
You have exceedingly satisfied me (said I) in all your answers; but pray'e once again, what store of Beggars have ye in Hell? Poor people I mean. Poor (quoth the Devil) who are they? Those (said I) that have no Possessions in the World: How can that be, (quoth he) that those should be damn'd, that have nothing in the World? when men are onely damn'd for cleaving to't. And briefly, I find none of their names in our Books, which is no wonder, for he, that has nothing to trust to, shall be left by the Devil himself in time of need. To deal plainly with you, where have ye greater De∣vils, than in your Flatterers, false Friends, lewd Company, Envious Per∣son•, than a Son, a Brother, or a Rela∣tion, that lyes in wait for your life to Page 24 get your Fortune, that mourns over you in your sickness, and wishes you al∣ready at the Devil. Now the Poor have none of this; They are neither flatter'd, nor envy'd nor befriended, nor accom∣panyed: There's no gaping for their Possessions; and in short, they are a sort of people that live well, and dye better; and there are some of them, that would not exchange their Raggs, for Royalty it self: They are at liberty to go and come at pleasure, be it War or Peace; free from Cares, Taxes, and publick Duties. They fear no Judg∣ments or Executions, but live as invio∣lable as if their Persons were Sacred. Moreover they take no thought for to morrow, but setting a just value on their hours, they are good Husbands of the present; considering that what is past, is as good as Dead, and what's to come Vncertain. But they say, when the Devil preaches, the world's neer an End.
The divine Hand is in this (said the Holy Man that perform'd the Exor∣cism) Thou art the Father of Lyes, and yet deliver'st truths, able to mollify Page 25 and convert a Heart of stone. But do not you mistake your selves, (quoth the Devil) to suppose that your Conversion is my Business; for I speak these Truths to aggravate your Guilt, and that you may not plead ignorance another day, when you shall be call'd to answer for your Transgressions. 'Tis true, most of you shed tears at parting, but 'tis the Apprehension of Death, and no true Repentance for your sins that works up∣on you: For ye are all a pack of Hy∣pocrites: Or if at any time you enter∣tain those Reflections, your trouble is, That your Body will not hold out; and then forsooth ye pretend to pick aquar∣rel with the Sin it self. Thou art an Impostor (said the Religious) for there are many Righteous Souls, that draw their sorrow from another Fountain. But I perceive you have a mind to amuse us, and make us lose Time, and perchance your own hour is not yet come to quit the Body of this miserable Creature; however, I conjure thee in the name of the most High to leave tor∣menting him, and to hold thy Peace. The Devil obey'd; and the Good Fa∣ther Page 26 applying himself to us, My Masters (says he) though I am absolutely of Opinion that it is the Devil that has talkt to us all this while through the Organ of this unhappy wretch, yet he that well weighs what has bin said, may doubtless reap some benefit by the Discourse. Wherefore without considering whence it came; Remember, that Saul (al∣though a wicked Prince) Prophesied; and that Honey has been drawn out of the Mouth of a Lyon. Withdraw then, and I shall make it my Prayer (as 'tis my hope) that this sad and prodigious spectacle may lead you to a true sight of your Errours, and in the end, to amendment of Life.
THE SECOND VISION OF DEATH and her EMPIRE.
MEan Souls do naturally breed sad Thoughts, and in Soli∣tude, they gather together in Troops to assault the Unfortunate; which is the Tryal (according to my Observation) wherein the Coward does most betray himself; and yet cannot I for my life, when I am alone, avoid those Accidents and Surprizes in my self, which I condemn in others. I have sometime, upon Reading the Grave and Severe Lucretius, been seized with a strange Damp; whether from the strik∣ing of his Counsels upon my Passions, or some tacite reflection of shame upon my self, I know not. However, to render this Confession of my weakness the more excusable, I'l begin my Dis∣course Page 28 with somewhat out of that ele∣gant and excellent Poet;
Put the Case (sayes he) that a Voice from Heaven should speak to any of us after this manner; What do'st thou ail, O Mortal Man, or to what purpose is it, to spend thy life in Groans, and Com∣plaints, under the apprehension of Death? where are thy past Years and Pleasures? Are they not vanish't and lost in theFlux of Time, as if thou hadst put Water into a Sieve? Bethink thy self then of a Re∣treat, & leave the World with the same content, & satisfaction, as thou wouldst do a plentiful Table, and a jolly Com∣pany upon a full stomach. Poor Fool that thou art! thus to Macerate and Torment thy self, when thou may'st enjoy thy Heart at Ease, and Possess thy Soul with Repose and Comfort, &c.
This passage brought into my mind, the words of Iob. Cap. 14. and I was carried on from one Meditation to another, till at length, I fell fast asleep over my Book, which I ascribed rather to a favourable providence, then to my natural Disposition. So soon as my Soul felt her self at Liberty, she gave Page 29 me the entertainment of this following Comedy, my Phansy supplying both the Stage and the Company.
In the first Scene, enter'd a Troop of Physicians, upon their Mules, with deep Foot-cloths; marching in no very good Order, sometime fast, sometime slow, and to say the Truth, most commonly in a huddle. They were all wrinkled and wither'd about the Eyes; I sup∣pose with casting so many sowre looks upon the Piss-pots and Close-stools of their Patients: bearded like Goats; and their Faces so overgrown with Hair, that their Fingers could hardly find the way to their Mouths. In their left hand they held their Reins, and their Gloves roul'd up together; and in the right, a Staffe à la mode, which they carryed ra∣ther for Countenance, then Correction; (for they understood no other Manege than the Heel) and all along, Head and Body went too, like a Baker upon his Panniers. Divers of them I observ'd, had huge Gold Rings upon their Fing∣ers, and set with Stones of so large a size, that they could hardly feel a Pa∣tients Pulse, without minding him of Page 30 his Monument. There were more tha• a good many of them, and a world of Puny Practisers at their heels, that came out Graduates, by conversing ra∣ther with the Mules than the Doctors: Well! said I to my self; if there goes no more than This to the making a Physitian, it is no marvel we pay so dear for their Experience.
After These, follow'd a long Train of Mountebank Apothecaries laden with Pestles, and Mortars, Suppositories, Spa∣tulas, Glister-Pipes and Siringes, ready charg'd, and as mortal as Gun-shot, and several Titled Boxes with R•medies with∣out, and Poysons within: Ye may ob∣serve that when a Patient comes to die, the Apothecaries Mo•tar rings the Pas∣sing-Bell, as the Priests R•quiem finishes the business. An Apothec•ries Shop is (in effect) no other than the Physitians Armory, that supplies him with Wea∣pons; and (to say the truth) the In∣struments of the Apothecary and the Souldier are much of a quality: What are their Boxes but Petards? their Sy∣ringes, Pistols; and their Pills, but Bul∣lets? And after all, considering their Page 31 Purgative Medicines, we may properly enough call their Shops Purgatory; and why not their Persons Hell? their Pa∣tients the Damn'd? and their Masters the Devils? These Apothecaries were in Iacquets, wrought all over with Rs, struck through like wounded hearts, and in the form of the first Character of their Prescriptions; which (as they tell us) signifies Recipe (T•ke thou) but we find it to stand for Recipio (I take.) Next to this Figure, they write Ana, Ana, which is as much as •o say An Ass, An Ass; and after this, march the Ounces and the Scruples: an incomparable Cor∣dial to a dying man; the former to di∣spatch the Body, and the latte•, to put the Soul into the high-way to the D•∣vil. To hear them call over their Sim∣ples, would make you swear, they were raising so many Devils. Ther••s your Opopanax, Buphthalmus, Ast•p•y∣linos, Alectorolophos, Ophios•orod•n, Ane∣mosphorus, &c.
And by all this formidable Bombast, is meant nothing in the world but a few paltry Roots, as Carrots, Turneps, Skirrets, Radish and the like. But they Page 32 have the old Proverb at their fingers ends, He that knows thee will never buy thee; and therefore every thing must be made a Mystery, to hold their Pa∣tients in ignorance, and keep up the Price of the Market. And were not the very names of their Medicines suf∣ficient to fright away any Distemper, 'tis to be fear'd the Remedy would prove worse than the Disease. Can any pain in Nature, think ye, have the confidence to look a Physitian in the face, that comes arm'd with a Drug made of Man's Grease? though dis∣guis'd under the name of Mummy, to take off the Horrour and Disgust of it: Or to stay for a dressing with Dr. Wha∣chums Plaster, that shall fetch up a man's leg to the size of a Mill-post? When I saw these people Herded with the Phy∣sitians, methought the old sluttish Pro∣verb, that says, There is a great distance between the Pulse and the Arse, was much to blame for making such a difference in their Dignities, for I find none at all; but the Physitian skips in a trice from the Pulse to the Stool and Vrinals, ac∣cording to the Doctrine of Galen, who Page 33 sends all his Disciples to those unsavou∣ry Oracles: from whose hands the De∣vil himself, if he were sick, would not receive so much as a Glister. Oh! these cursed and lawless Arbitrators and Disposers of our Lives! that with∣out either Conscience or Religion, di∣vide our Souls and Bodies, by their damn'd poysonous Potions, Scarifica∣tions, Incisions, Excessive Bleedings, &c. which are but the several wayes of exe∣cuting their Tyranny and Injustice up∣on us.
In the tail of These, came the Surge∣ons, laden with Pincers, Cranes-bills, Ca∣theters, Desquamatories, Dilaters, Scis∣sers, Saws; and with them, so horrid an outcry, of Cut, Tear, Open, Saw, Flay, Burn, that my Bones were ready to creep one into another for fear of an Operation.
The next that came in, I should have taken by their Min, for Devils disguised, if I had not spyed their Chains of Rot∣ten Teeth, which put me in some hope they might be Tooth-drawers, and so they prov'd; which is yet one of the lewdest Trades in the world; for they Page 34 are good for nothing but to depopu∣late our Mouths, and make us old before our time. Let a man but yawn, and ye shall have one of these Rogues examin∣ing his Grinders, and there's not a sound Tooth in your head, but he had rather see't at his Girdle, than in the place of its nativity: Nay, rather than fail, hee'l pick a quarrel with your Gums. But that which puts me out of all pa∣tience, is to see these Scoundrels ask twice as much for drawing an old Tooth as would have bought ye a new One.
Certainly (said I to my self) we are now past the worst, unless the Devil himself come next: And in that instant I heard the Brushing of Guy•ars, and the Ratling of Citterns, Raking over certain Passacailles and Sarabands. These are a Kennel of Barbers thought I, or I'l be hang'd; and any man that had ever seen a Barber's shop might have told you as much without a Con∣jurer, both by the Musick, & by the very Instruments, which are as proper a part of a Barbers Furniture, as his Comb-Cases and Wash-balls. It was to me a pleasant entertainment, to see them Page 35 lathering of Asses heads, of all sorts and sizes, and their Customers all the while winking and sputtering over their Ba∣sons.
Presently after these, appear'd a Consort of loud and tedious Talkers, that tired and deafen'd the Company with their shrill, and restless Gaggle: but as one told me, these were of several sorts. Some they call'd Swimmers from the motion of their Arms in all their Dis∣courses, which was just as if they had been Padling. Others they called Apes, (and we Mimicks) these were perpetu∣ally making of Mopps, and Mowes, and a thousand Antick Ridiculous Gestures, in derision and imitation of Others. In the third place, were Make-Bates, and Sowers of Dissention, and these were still Rolling their Eyes (like a Bartlemey-Puppet, without so much as moving the Head) and leering over their Shoulders, to surprize people at unawares in their Familiarities, and Privacies, and ga∣ther matter for Calumny and Detraction. The Lyers follow'd next; and these seem'd to be a jolly contented sort of People, well Fed, and well Clothed; Page 36 and having nothing else to trust to, me∣thought it was a strange Trade to live upon. I need not tell you, that they are never without a full Audience, since all Fools and Impertinents are of their Congregation.
After these, came a Company of Medlers; a Pragmatical Insolent Ge∣neration of men that will have an Oar in every Boat, and are indeed the Bane of honest Conversation, and the Trou∣blers of all Companies and Affairs: The most Prostitute of all Flatterers; and only devoted to their own Profit. I thought this had been the last Scene, because no more came upon the Stage for a good while; and indeed I won∣der'd that they came so late themselves, but one of the Bablers told me (unaskt) that this kind of Serpent carrying his Venome in his tayl, it seem'd reasona∣ble, that being the most Poysonous of the whole Gang, they should bring up the Rear.
I began then to take into thought, what might be the meaning of this Oglio of People of several Conditions and Hu∣mours, met together; but I was quickly Page 37 diverted from that Consideration, by the Apparition of a Creature which lookt as if 'twere of the Feminine Gen∣der. It was a Person, of a thin and slender make; laden with Crowns, Gar∣lands, Scepters, Scythes, Sheep-hooks, Pattins, Hob-nail'd-shooes, Tiaras, Straw-hats, Miters, Mounmoth Caps, Embroideries, Skins, Silk, Wool, Gold, Lead, Diamonds, Shells, Pearl, and Pebles: She was drest up in all the Co∣lours of the Rainbow; she had one eye shut, the other open; young on the one side, and old o' the other. I thought at first, she had been a great way off, when indeed she was very neer me, and when I took her to be at my Chamber-door, she was at my Beds head. How to unridle this mystery I knew not; nor was it possible for me to make out the meaning of an Equi∣page so extravagant, and so fantasti∣cally put together. It gave me no affright however, but on the contrary I could not forbear laughing, for it came just then into my mind that I had for∣merly seen in Italy a Farce, where the Mimick, pretending to come from the Page 38 other world, was just thus Accoutred, and never was any thing more Nonsen∣sically pleasant. I held as long as I could, and at last, I askt what she was? she answer'd me, I am Death. Death! (the very word brought my Heart into my Mouth) and I beseech you Madam, quoth I (with great Humility and Re∣spect) whither is your Honour a going? No further (said she) for now I have found you, I am at my Journey's End. Alas, Alas! and must I Dye then (said I) No, no, (quoth Death) but I'l take thee Quick along with me: For since so many of the Dead have been to visit the Living, It is but equal for once, that one of the Living should Return a Visit to the Dead. Get up then and come along; and never hang an Arse for the matter: for what you will not do wil∣lingly, you shall do in spight of your Teeth. This put me in a Cold Fit; but without more delay up I started, and desired leave only to put on my Breech∣es. No, no, (said she) no matter for Clothes, no body wears them upon this Road; wherefore come away, naked as you are, and you'l Travel the better. Page 39 So up I got, without a word more and follow'd her; in such a Terrour, and Amazement, that I was but in an ill Condition to take a strict account of my Passage; yet I remember, that up∣on the way, I told her; Madam, under Correction, you are no more like the Deaths that I have seen, then an Apple's like an Oyster. Our Death is pictur'd with a Scyth in her hand; and a Carkass of bones, as clean, as if the Crows had pick'd it: Yes, yes (said she) turning short upon me, I know that very well: but in the mean time your Designers, and Painters, are but a Company of Buzzards. The Bones you talk of, are the Dead, or otherwise the miserable Remainders of the Living; but let me tell you, that you your selves are your own Death, and that which you call Death, is but the Period of your Life, as the first moment of your Birth, is the be∣ginning of your Death: And effectually, ye Dye Living, and your Bones are no more then what Death has left, and committed to the Grave. If this were rightly understood, every man would find a Memento Mori, or a Death's HeadPage 40 in his own Looking-glass; and consi∣der every house with a Family in't, but as a Sepulchre fill'd with Dead Bo∣dies; a Truth which you little dream of, though within your daily View and Experience. Can you imagine a Death elsewhere, and not in your selves? Be∣lieve't y' are in a shameful mistake; for you your selves are Skeletons before ye are aware.
But Madam, under Favour, what may all these People be that keep your Ladish•p Company? and since you are Death (as you say) how comes it, that the Bablers, and Make-bates▪ are neerer your Person, and more in your Good Graces, than the Physicians? Why (sayes she) there are more People Talk'd to Death and dispatcht by Bablers, then by all the Pestilential Diseases in the World. And then your Make-bates, and Medlers kill more then your Physicians, though (to give the Gentlemen of the Faculty their due) they labour night and day for the enlargement of our Em∣pire. For you must understand, that though distemper'd humours make a man sick, 'tis the Physician Kills him; and Page 41 looks to be well paid for't too: (and 'tis fit that every man should live by his Trade) so that when a man is askt, what such or such a one dy'd of; He is not presently to make answer, that he dy'd of a Fever, Pleurisie, the Plague, Purples, or the like; but that He dy'd of the Doctor. In one point, however I must needs acquit the Physician; Ye know that the stile of right Honourable, and right Worshipful, which wa• hereto∣fore appropriate onely to Persons of Eminent degree and Quality, is now in our days used by all sorts of little peo∣ple; Nay the very Bare-foot Friers, that live under Vows of Humility and Morti∣fication, are stung with this Itch of Title and Vain-Glory. And your ordinary Trades-men, as Vintners, Taylors, Masons, and the like, must be all drest up for∣sooth in the Right Worshipful: whereas your Physician does not so much Court Honour of Appellation (though, if it should rain Dignities, he might be per∣swaded happily to venture the wet∣ting) but sits down contentedly with the Honour of disposing of your Lives and Moneys, without troubling him∣self Page 42 about any other sort of Reputa∣tion.
The Entertainment of these Lectures, and discourses made the way seem short and Pleasant, and we were just now en∣tring into a Place, betwixt Light, and Dark; and of Horrour enough, if Death and I had not by this time been very well acquainted. Upon one side of the Passage, I saw three moving Figures; Arm'd, and of Humane shape; and so alike, that I could not say which was which. Just Opposite, on the other side, a Hideous Monster, and these Three to One, and One to Three, in a Fierce, and Obstinate Combate. Here Death made a stop, and facing about, askt me, if I knew these People. Alas! No (quoth I) Heaven be praised, I do not, and I shall put it in my Litany that I never may. Now to see thy Ignorance, cry'd Death; These are thy old Acquain∣tance, and thou hast hardly kept any other Company since thou wert born. Those Three are, the World, the Flesh, and the Devil; the Capital Enemies of thy Soul: and they are so like one ano∣ther, as well in Quality, as Appearance, Page 43 that Effectually, whoever has One, has All. The Proud, and Ambitious man thinks he has got the World, but it proves the Devil. The Lecher, and the Epicure, perswade themselves that they have gotten the Flesh, and that's the Devil too; and in fine, thus it fares with all other kinds of Extravagants. But what's He there, said I, that ap∣pears in so many several shapes? and fights against the other three? That (quoth Death) is the Devil of Money, who maintains that He himself Alone is Equivalent to them Three, and that wherever He comes, there's no need of Them. Against the World, He argues from their own Confession, and Expe∣rience: for it passes for an Oracle; that There's no World but Money; He that's out of Money, 's out of the World. Take away a man's Money, and take away his Life. Money answers All things. Against the second Enemy, he pleads that Money is the Flesh too: witness the Girles and the Ganimedes it procures, and main∣tains. And against the Third, He urges that there's nothing to be done with∣out this Devil of Money. Love does Page 44 much but Money does All: And Money will make the Pot boyl, though the Devil piss in the Fire. So that for ought I see, (quoth I) the Devil of Money has the better end of the staffe.
After this, advancing a little further, I saw on One hand, Iudgment; and Hell, on the other (for so Death called them) Upon the sight of Hell, making a stop, to take a stricter Survey of it, Death askt me, what it was I look't at? I told her, it was Hell; and I was the more intent upon it, because I thought I had seen it, somewhere else before. She question'd me, where? I told her, that I had seen it in the Corruption and Avarice of Wick∣ed Magistrates; In the Pride and Haugh∣tiness of Grandees; In the Appetites of the Voluptuous; In the lewd Designs of Ruine, and Revenge; In the Souls of Op∣pressours; and in the Vanity of divers Princes. But he that would see it whole, and Entire, in one subject, must go to the Hypocrite who is a kind of a Religi∣ous Broker, and puts out at five and forty per Cent. the very Sacraments, and ten Commandments.
I am very glad too (said I) that I Page 45 have seen Iudgment as I find it here, in it's Purity; for That which we call Iudgment in the World, is a meer Mock∣ery: If it were like This, men would live otherwise than they do. To con∣clude; if it be expected that our Iudges should govern Themselves and Us by This Iudgment, the world's in an ill Case; for there's but little of't there. And to deal plainly, as matters are, I have no great maw to go home again: for 't is better being with the Dead, where there's Iustice, then with the Li∣ving, where there's None.
Our next step was into a fair and spa∣cious Plain, encompass'd with a huge wall, where he that's once in, must never look to come out again. Stop here (quoth Death) for we are now come to my Iudgment-Seat, and here it is that I give Audience. The Walls were hung with Sighs and Grones, Ill-News, Fears, Doubts, and Surprizes. Tears did not there avail, either the Lover or the Beg∣gar; but Grief and Care were without both Measure and Comfort; and serv'd as Vermine, to gnaw the Hearts of Em∣perours, and Princes, feeding upon the Page 46 Insolent, and Ambitious; as their pro∣per Nourishment. I saw Envy there drest up in a Widdow's Vail, and the very Picture of the Governant of one of your Noblemen's Houses. She kept a Continual Fast as to the Shambles, Prey∣ing only upon her self; and could not but be a very slender Gentlewoman, up∣on so spare a Diet. Nothing came a∣miss to her Teeth (Good or Bad) which made the whole set of them Yellow and Rotten, and the reason was, that though she bit, and set her mark upon the Good, and the Sound, she could never swallow it. Under her, sate Discord; the Legi∣timate Issue of her own Bowels. She had formerly convers'd much with married people, but finding no need of her there, away she went to Colleges and Corporations, where it seems they had more already than they knew what to do withall: and then she betook her self to Courts, and Palaces, and Officia∣ted there, as the Devil's Lieutenant. Next to Her, was Ingratitude, and she out of a certain Paste made up of Pride and Malice, was moulding of New De∣vils. I was extreme glad of this Disco∣very, Page 47 being of Opinion, till now, that the Vngrateful had been the Devils Themselves, because I read, that the An∣gels that fell were made Devils for their Ingratitude. To be short, the whole Pl•ce Eccho'd with Rage and Curses. What a Devil have we here to do, (said I) does it rain Curses in this Country? With that, a Death at my Elbow askt me, what a Devil I could expect else, in a place where there were so many Match-makers, Atturneys, and Common-Barretters; who are a Pack of the most Accursed Wretches in Nature? Is there any thing more Common in the World, then the Exclamations of Husbands and Wives? Oh! that Damn'd Devil of a Pander: A heavy Curse upon that Bitch of a Bawd that ever brought us together. The Pillory and ten thousand Gibbets to boot, take that Pick-pocket Atturney, that advised me to this Law-suit; h•as ruin'd me for ever. But pray'e (said I) what do all these Match-makers and Atturneys here together? Do they come for Au∣dience? Death was here a little quick upon me, and called me Fool for so Im∣pertinent a Qustei•n. If th•re were Page 48 no Match-makers (said she) we should not have the Tenth part of these Ske∣letons, and Desperado's. Am not I here the fifth Husband of a woman yet living in the world, that hopes to send twice as many more after me, and drink Maudlin at the fifteenth Funeral? You say well (said I) as to the business of Match-ma∣kers; But why so many Petty-foggers I pray'e? Nay then I perceive (quoth Death) now you have a mind to seize me; for that Rascally sort of Cater∣pillers have been my undoing. Had not a man better dye by the Common Hangman, than by the Hand of an At∣torney? to be killed by Falsities, Quirks, Cavils, Delays, Exceptions, Cheats, Cir∣cumventions: Yes, yes, And it must not be deny'd, that these Makers of Matches, and Splitters of Causes, are the Principal support of this Imperial Throne.
At these words, I rais'd my Eyes, and saw Death seated in her Chair of state, with abundance of little Deaths crowd∣ing about her; As the Death of Love, of Cold, Hunger, Fear, and Laughter; All, with their several Ensigns and Page 49 Devices. The Death of Love, I per∣ceived, had very little Brain, and to keep her self in Countenance, she kept Company with Pyramus and Thisbe; Hero and Leander, and some Amadis's and Palmerins d' Oliva; all Embalm'd, steep'd in good Vinegar, and well Dry'd. I saw a great many other sorts of Lovers too, that were brought, in all Appearance, to their last Agonies, but by the singular Miracle of self-In∣terest recover'd, to the Tune of
The Death of Cold, was attended by a many Prelates, Bishops, Abbots, and other Ecclesiasticks; who had neither Wives, nor Children, nor indeed any body else that cared for them, further than for their Fortunes. These, when they come to a Fit of sickness, are Pil∣lag'd even to their sheets and Bedding, before ye can say a Pater-noster. Nay, many times they are stript, e're they are Laid, and destroy'd for want of Clothes to keep them warm.
Page 50The Death of Hunger was encom∣passed with a Multitude of Avaritious Misers, that were Cording up of Trunks; Bolting of Dores, and Windows; Lock∣ing up of Cellars, and Garrets; and Nailing down of Trap-doors; Burying of Pots of Money, and starting at every Breath of Wind they heard. Their Eyes were ready to drop out of their heads, for want of sleep; their Mouths and Bellies complaining of their Hands, and their Souls turn'd into Gold and Sil∣ver (the Idols they ador'd.)
The Death of Fear, had the most Magnificent Train and Attendance, of all the rest, being accompanied with a great number of Vsurpers, and Tyrants, who commonly do Justice upon Them∣selves, for the Injuries they have done to Others: Their own Consciences do∣ing the Office of Tormentors, and Avenging their Publique Crimes by their Private Sufferings; for they live in a perpetual Anguish of Thought, with Fears and Jealousies.
The Death of Laughter, was the last of all, and surrounded with a Throng of people, hasty to Believe, and slow to Page 51Repent; Living without fear of Iu∣stice, and Dying without hope of Mercy. These are they that pay all their Debts and Duties with a Jest. Bid any of them give every man his Due, and Re∣turn what he has either Borrow'd, or wrongfully taken, His Answer is, You'd make a man dye with Laughing. Tell him, my Friend, You are now in years, Your dancing dayes are done, and your Body is worn out; what should such a Scare-Crow as you are, do with a Bed-fellow? Give over your Bawdy Haunts for shame, and do n't make a man Glory of a Sin, when you're past the Pleasure of it, and your self upon all Accompts con∣temptible into the Bargain. This Fellow (sayes He) would make a man break his heart with Laughing. Come, come, say your Prayers, and bethink your self of Eternity, you have one Foot in the Grave already, and 'tis high time to fit your self for the other World. Thou wilt absolutely kill me with Laughing. I tell thee I'm as sound as a Roche, and I do not Remember that ever I was bet∣ter in my Life. Others there are, that, let a man advise them upon their Death Page 52 Beds and even at the last Gasp, to send for a Divine, or to make some handsome settlement of their Estates. Alas, Alas! they'l cry; I have been as bad as this many a time before, and (with Falstaffe's Hostess) I hope in the Lord there's no need to think of him yet. These men are lost for ever, before they can be brought to understand their Danger. This Vision wrought strangely upon me, and gave me all the Pains and Marques Imagina∣ble of a true Repentance. Well, (said I) since so it is, that man has but one life allotted him, and so many Deaths; but one way into the World, and so many Millions out of it, I will certainly at my Return make it more my Care than it has been to Live with a Good Con∣science, that I may dye with Com∣fort.
These last words were scarce out of my Mouth, when the Cryer of the Court with a loud Voice, Called out, The Dead, The Dead; Appear the Dead. And so immediately, I saw the Earth begin to Move, and gently opening it self, to make way, first for Heads and Arms, and then by Degrees for the whole Bo∣diesPage 53 of Men and Women, that came out, half muffled in their Night-Caps, and ranged themselves in excellent Order, and with a profound silence. Now (says Death) let every one speak in his Turn; And in the instant, up comes One of the Dead to my very Beard, with so much Fury and Menace, in his Face and Action, that I would have gi∣ven him half the Teeth in my Head for a Composition. These Devils of the World (quoth he) what would they be at? my Masters, cannot a poor Wretch be quiet in his Grave for ye? but ye must be Casting your Scorns upon him, and charging him with things that up∣on my Soul, he's as Innocent of as the Child that's Unborn. What hurt has he done any of you (ye Scoundrels you) to be thus Abused. And I beseech you, Sir, said I (under your Favourable Correction) who may you be? for I confess I have not the Honour either to Know or to understand ye. I am (quoth he) the Unfortunate Tony, that has been in his Grave now this many a fair year, and yet your wise Worships forsooth have not wit enough to make your Page 54 Selves and your Company merry, but Tony must still be one half of your En∣tertainment and Discourse. When any man plays the Fool or the Extravagant, presently He's a Tony. Who drew this or that Ridiculous Piece? Tony. Such or such a one was never well taught: No, he had a Tony to his Master. But let me tell ye, He that shall call your Wisdoms to shrift, and take a strict ac∣compt of your words and actions, will upon the Upshot find you all a Compa∣ny of Tonys: and in Effect the Greater Impertinents. As for Instance; Did I ever make Ridiculous Wills (as you do) to oblige others to pray for a man in his Grave, that never pray'd for Himself in his Life? Did I ever rebell against my Superiors? Or, was I ever so arrant a Coxcomb, as by colouring my Cheeks and Hair, to imagine that I could reform Nature, and make my Self young again? Can ye say, that I ever put an Oath to a Lye? or, broke a solemn Promise, as you do every day that goes over your Heads? Did I ever enslave my self to money? Or, on the other side, make Ducks and Drakes with it? and squander it away in Gaming, Page 55 Revelling, and Whoring? Did my Wife •ver wear the Breeches? Or, did I ever marry at all, to be reveng'd of a false Mistress? Was I ever so very a fool as to believe any man would be True to me, who had betray'd his Friend? Or, to ven∣ture all my Hopes upon the Wheel of For∣tune? Did I ever envy the Felicity of a Court-life, that sells and spends all for a Glance? What pleasure did I ever take in the lewd Discourses of Hereticks and Li∣bertines? Or, did I ever List my self in the party, to get the name of a Gifted-Brother? Who ever saw me Insolent to my Inferiors, or Basely Servile to my bet∣ters? Did I ever go to a Conjurer, or to your Dealers in Nativities, and Horoscopes upon any Occasion of Loss or Death? Now if you your selves be guilty of all these Fopperies, and I innocent, I beseech ye where's the Tony? So that you see To∣ny is not the Tony you take him for. But (to Crown his other Vertues) he is also endued with so large a stock of Pa∣tience, that whoever needed it, had it for the asking: Unless it were such as came to borrow money; or in Cases of Women, that claim'd Marriage of him; Page 56 or Laquais that would be making sport with his Bauble; and to These, He was as Resolute as Iohn Florio.
While we were upon this Discourse, another of the Dead came marching up to me, with a Spanish pace and gra∣vity; and giving me a Touch o'the El∣bow; Look me in the Face (quoth he with a stern Countenance) and know Sir, that you are not now to have to do with a Tony. I beseech your Lordship (said I, saving your Reverence) let me know your Honour, that I may pay my Respects accordingly; for I must confess, I thought all people here had been, Hail fellow well met? I am call'd (quoth he) by mortals, Queen Dick; and whether you know me or not, I'm sure you'l think of me often enough: and if the Devil did not possess ye, you would let the Dead alone, and content your selves to persecute One Another. Ye can't see a High-crown'd Hat, a Thred-bare Cloak, a Basket-hilt Sword, or a Dudgeon Dagger, nay not so much as a Reverend Matron well stri∣ken in years, but presently ye cry This or That's of the Mode or Date of Page 57Queen Dick. If ye were not every Mother's Child of ye stark mad, ye would confess that Queen Dick's were Golden-daies to those ye have had since, and 'tis an easie matter to prove what I say. Will ye see a Mother now teaching her Daughter a Lesson of good Government? Child (says she) you know that modesty is the great Ornament of your Sex; wherefore be sure, when ye come in Company, that you don't stand staring the men in the Face, as if ye were looking Babies in their Eyes, but rather look a little Downward, as a Fashion of Behaviour, more sutable to the Obligations of your Sex. Downward? (says the Girl) I beseech you, Madam, Excuse me: This was well enough in the Days of Queen Dick, when the poor Crea∣tures knew no better. Let the Men look downward toward the Clay of which they were made, but Man was our Ori∣ginal, and it will become us to keep our Eyes upon the matter from whence we came. If a Father give his Son in Charge, to Worship his Creator, to say his Prayers Morning and Evening, to give Thanks before and after Meat, to have a Page 58 care of Gaming and Swearing. Ye shall have the Son make Answer, that 'tis true, this was practis'd in the time of Queen Dick; but it is now quite out of Mode: And in plain English, men are better known now a daies by their Atheism and Blasphemy, than by their Beards.
Hereupon, Queen Dick withdrew, and then appear'd a large Glass-bottle, wherein was Luted up (as I heard) a famous Necromancer, hackt and minc'd according to his own Order, to render him Immortal. It was boiling upon a Quick fire, and the Flesh by little and little began to piece again, and made first an Arm, then a Thigh, after That a Leg; and at last there was an entire Body, that rais'd it self upright in the Bottle. Bless me (thought I!) what's here? A man made of a Pottage, and brought into the world out of the Bel∣ly of a Bottle? This Vision affrighted me to the very Heart; and while I was yet panting and trembling, a voice was heard out of the Glass. In what year of our Lord are we. 1636 (quoth I) And welcome, said he; for 'tis the hap∣py Page 59 year I have longed for this many a day. Who is it, I pray'e (quoth I) that I now see and hear in the belly of this Bottle? I am (said he) the Great Necromancer of Europe; and certainly you cannot but have heard both of my Operations in General, and of this par∣ticular Design. I have heard talk of you from a Child (quoth I) but all those stories I took only for old Wives Fa∣bles. You are the man then it seems: I must confess that at first, at a Distance I took this bottle for the Vessel that the Ingenious Rablais makes mention of; but coming neer enough to see what was in it, I did then imagine it might be some Philosopher by the fire, or some Apothecary doing Penance for his Er∣rors. In fine, it has cost me many a heavy step to come hither, and yet to see so great a Rarity I cannot but think my Time and Pains very well bestow'd. The Necromancer call'd to me then to unstop the Bottle, and as I was breaking the Clay to open it: Hold, Hold a lit∣tle, He cry'd; and I prethee tell me first how go squares in Spain? What Mony? Force? Credit? The Plate-Fleets go Page 60 and come (said I) reasonably well; but the Forreigners that come in for their snips have half spoil'd the Trade. The Genoeses run out as far as the mountains of Potoss, and have almost drain'd them dry. My Child (quoth He) That Trade can never be secure and open, so long as Spain has any Enemy that's Po∣tent at Sea. And for the Genoeses, they'l tell you this is no Injustice at all, but on the Contrary, a new way of quitting old scores, and justifying his Catholick Majesty for a good Pay-master. I am no Enemy to that Nation, but upon the Accompt of their Vices and Encroch∣ments; and I confess, rather than see these Rascals prosper, I'd turn my self into a Bouillon again, as ye saw me just now; nay, I did not care if 'twere into a Powder, though I ended my daies in a Tobacco-box. Good Sir, (said I) com∣fort your self, for these people are as miserable as you'd wish them. You know they are Cavaliers and Signeurs already, and now (forsooth) they have an Itch upon them to be Princes: A va∣nity that gnaws them like a Cancer; and by drawing on great Expences, breeds Page 61 a Worm in their Traffick, so that you'l find little but Debt and Extravagance at the foot of the Accompt. And then the Devils in them for a Wench, inso∣much, that 'tis well, if they bring both ends together; for what's gotten upon the Change is spent in the Stews.
This is well (quoth the Necromancer) and I'm glad to hear it. Pray'e tell me now, what price bears Honour and Ho∣nesty in the World? There's much to be said (quoth I) upon that point: but in brief, there was never more of it in Talk, nor less in Effect. Upon my Ho∣nesty cries the Tradesman: Upon my Honour, says his Lordship. And in a word, Every man has it, and Every thing is it, in some disguise or other: but duly consider'd, there's no such thing upon the Face of the Earth. The Thief says 'tis more Honourable to Take than Beg. He that asks an Alms, pleads that 'tis Honester to Beg than Steal. Nay the False Witnesses and Murtherers them∣selves, stand upon their points, as well as their Neighbours, and will tell ye that a Man of Honour will rather be bu∣ried alive than Submit: (though they Page 62 will not alwayes do as they say) Upon the whole matter, every man sets up a Court of Honour within himself; pro∣nounces every thing Honourable that serves his Purpose, and laughs at them that think otherwise. To say the Truth, All things are now Topsy Turvy. A good Faculty in Lying is a fair step to Prefer∣ment; and to Pack a Game at Cards, or help the frail Dye, is become the Marque, and Glory of a Cavalier. The Spaniards were heretofore, I confess, a very Brave, and well govern'd People: But they have Evil Tongues among them now adays, that say they might e'en go to School to the Indians to learn Sobriety, and Vertue. For they are not really Sober, but at their own Tables, which indeed, is rather Avarice▪ than Moderation; for when they Eat or Drink at another man's Cost, there are no greater Gluttons in the World; and for Fudling, they shall make the best Pot-Companion in Switzerland knock under the Table.
The Necromancer went on with his Discourse, and askt me what store of Lawyers, and Atturneys in Spain at pre∣sent? Page 63 I told him, that the whole world swarm'd with them, and that there were of several sorts; some, by Profession; Others, by Intrusion, and Presumption; and some again by Study, but not many of the last, though in∣deed sufficient of every kind to make the People pray for the Egyptian Lo∣custs and Caterpillars in Exchange for that Vermine. Why then (quoth the Necromancer) if there be such Plagues Abroad, I think I had best e'en keep where I am. It is with Iustice (said I) as with sick men; In time past, when we had fewer Doctors (as well of Law as of Physick) we had more Right, and more Health: but we are now destroy'd by Multitudes, and Consultations, which serve to no Other end than to enflame both the Distemper, and the Reckoning. Iustice, as well as Truth, went naked, In the Dayes of Old; One single Book of Laws and Ordinances, was enough for the best Order'd Governments in the world. But the Iustice of our Age, is trickt up with Bills, Parchments, Writs, and Labels; and furnish't with Millions of Codes, Digests, Pandects, Page 64 Pleadings, and Reports; And what's their use, but to make wrangling a Sci∣ence? and to Embroil us in seditions, Suits, and Endless Trouble and Confu∣sion. We have had more books pub∣lish't this last Twenty years, than in a Thousand before, and there hardly passes a Term without a New Author, in four or five Volumes at least under the Titles of Glosses, Commentaries, Ca∣ses, Iudgments, &c. And the great strife is, who writes Most, not Best; so that the whole Bulk, is but a Body with∣out a Soul, and fitter for a Church-yard than a Study. To say the Truth, These Lawyers and Sollicitors, are but so ma∣ny Smoak-Merchants; Sellers of Wind, and Troublers of the Publick Peace. If there were no Atturneys, there would be no Suits; if no Suits, No Cheats, No Serjeants; No Catchpoles, No Prisons; If no Prisons, no Iudges; No Iudges, No Passion; No Passion, No Bribery or Subornation.
See now what a Train of Mischiefs one wretched Pettyfogger draws after him! If you go to him for Counsel, he hears your Story, Reads your Case, Page 65 and tells you very gravely: Sir, This is a Nice point, and would be well hand∣led; Wee'l see what the Law says. And then he runs ye over with his Eye and Finger, a matter of a Hundred Volums, grumbling all the while, like a Cat that Claws in her Play 'twixt jest and Earn∣est. At last, down comes the Book, he shews ye the Law, bids ye leave your Papers, and hee'l study the Question. But your Cause is very good (sayes he) by what I see already, and if you'l come again in the Evening, or to mor∣row morning, I'le tell ye more. But pardon me, Sir, now I think on't, I am so full of Business at present, It cannot be till Munday Next, and then I'm for ye. When ye are to part, and that you come to the Greasing of his Fift; (The best Thing in the World both for the Wit, and Memory) Good Lord! Sir (says he) what do ye Mean? I beseech you Sir; Nay, pray'e Sir, and if he spyes you drawing back, the Paw opens, sei∣zes the Guinneys, and Good morrow Country man; sayst thou me so? (quoth the good Fellow in the Glas) stop me up close again as thou lov'st me then: Page 66 for the very Air of these Rascals will poyson me, if ever I put my Head out of this Bottle, till the whole Race of them be extinct. In the mean time, take this for a Rule. He that would thrive by Law, must fee his Enemies Counsel as well as his own.
But now ye talk of great Cheats; what News of the Venetians? Is Ve∣nice yet in the World or no? In the World do ye say? Yes, marry Is't (said I) and stands just where it did. Why then (quoth He) I prethee give it to the Devil from me as a Token of my Love; for 'tis a Present equal to the severest Revenge. Nothing can ever destroy that Republick but Consci∣ence; and then you'l say 'tis like to be Long-liv'd; for if every man had his own, it would not be left worth a Groat. To speak freely, 'tis an od kind of Common-wealth. 'Tis the very Arse∣gut, the Drain and Sink of Monarchies, both in War and Peace. It helps the Turk to Vex the Christians, and the Christians to Gall the Turk, and main∣tains it self to torment Both. The In∣habitants are neither Mores nor Christi∣ans,Page 67 as appears by a Venetian Captain, in a Combat against a Christian Enemy: Stand to't my Masters (says he) Ye were Venetians before ye were Christians.
Enough enough, of This, cry'd the Necromancer, and tell me, how stand the people affected? what Malecontents and Mutiners? Mutiny (said I) is so Univer∣sal a Disease, that every Kingdom is (in Effect) but a Great Hospital, or ra∣ther a Bedlam (for all men are mad) to entertain the Disaffected. There's no stirring for me then (quoth the Necro∣mancer) but pray'e commend me how∣ever to those busy Fools, and tell them, that carry what Face they will, there's Vanity and Ambition in the Pad. Kings and Princes have in •heir Nature much of Quick silver. They are in perpetual Agitation, and without any Repose Press them too hard, (that is to say be∣yond the Bounds of Duty and Reason) and they are lost. Ye may observe, that your Guilders, and great Dealers in Quick-silver, are generally troubled with the Palsy; and so should all Sub∣jects Tremble that have to do with Majesty, and better to do it at first, out Page 68 of Respect, then afterward, upon Force and Necessity.
But before I fall to pieces again, as you saw me e'en now (for better so than worse) I beseech ye, One word more, and it shall be my Last. Who's King of Spain now? You know (said I) that Phillip the 3d. is Dead: Right (quoth he) A Prince of Incomparable Piety, and Vertue (or my stars deceive me) After him, (said I) came Philip the 4th. If it be so (quoth he) Break, break my Bottle immediately, and help me out; for I am resolv'd to try my Fortune in the world once again, under the Reign of that Glorious Prince. And with that word, he dash't the Glass to pieces against a Rock, crept out of his Case and away he ran. I had a good mind to have kept him Company; but as I was just about to start, Let him go, let him go, cry'd one of the Dead; (and laid hold of my Arm) He has Devil∣lish Heeles, and you'l never overtake him.
So I staid, and what should I see next? but a wondrous Old Man, whose Name might have been Bucephalus by his Head,Page 69 and the Hair on his Face might very well have stuff'd a Couple of Cushions: take him together, and you'l find his Picture in the Map, among the Savages. I need not tell ye that I stared upon him sufficiently; and he taking notice of it, came to me, and told me; Friend (says he) My Spirit tells me that you are now in Pain to know who I am; Understand, that my Name is Nostrada∣mus. Are you the Author then (quoth I) of that Gallimaufry of Prophecyes that's publish't in your Name? Galli∣maufry say'st thou? Impudent and Bar∣barous Rascal that thou art; to despise Misteries, that are above thy Reach, and to Revile the Secretary of the Stars, and the Interpreter of the Destinyes; Who is so Brutal as to doubt the Mean∣ing of these Lines?
Reprobated and besotted Villains that ye are! what greater blessing Page 70 could betide the world, then the Ac∣complishment of this Prophecy? would it not Establish Justice and Ho∣lyness, and suppress all the vile suggesti∣ons, and motions of the Devil? Men would not then any longer set their Hearts upon Avarice, Cozening and Ex∣tortion; and make Money their God; That Vagabond Money, that's perpe∣tually trotting up and down like a wan∣dring whore, and takes up most com∣monly with the unworthy, leaving the Philosophers and Prophets, which are the very Oracles of the Heavens (such as Nostradamus) to go barefoot. But let's go on with our Prophecyes, and see if they be so frivolous and dark, as the world reports them.
This gave me such a Fit of Laughing, that it made me cast my nose up into the Page 71 Air, like a Stone-horse that had got a Mare in the Wind: Which put the Astrologer out of all Patience. Buffon, and Dog-whelp, as ye are (quoth he) There's a Bone for you to pick; you must be snarling and snapping at every thing. Will your Teeth serve ye now to fetch out the Marrow of this Pro∣phecy? Hear then in the Devils name, and be Mannerly. Hear, and Learn I say, and let's have no more of that Grin∣ning, unless ye have a mind to leave your Beard behind he. Do you ima∣gine that all that are Marry'd, Marry? No, not the one half of them. When you are Marry'd, the Priest has done his part; but after that, to Marry, is to do the Duty of a Husband. Alack! How many Marry'd men live as if they were single; and how many Batchelors on the other side, as if they were Marry'd! after the Mode of the Times. And Wedlock, to divers Couples, is no other than a more sociable state of Virginity. Here's one half of my Prophecy ex∣pounded already, now for the Rest. Let me see you run a little for Experi∣ment, and try if you carry your El∣bows Page 72 before or behind. You'l tell me perhaps, that this is ridiculous, because every body knows it. A pleasant shift: As if Truth were the worse for being Plain. The things indeed that you de∣liver for Truths, are for the most part meer Fooleries and Mistakes; and it were a hard matter to put Truth in such a Dress as would please ye. What have ye to say now, either against my Pro∣phecy or my Argument? not a Sylla∣ble I warrant ye, and yet somewhat there is to be said, for There's no Rule without an Exception. Does not the Physician carry his Elbow before him, when he puts back his hand to take his Patients Money? And away he's gone in a Trice, so soon as He has made his Purchase. But to proceed, here's ano∣ther of my Prophecies for ye,
What say ye to this now? are there not many Husbands do ye think (if the Truth were known) that father more Page 73 Children than their own? Believe me (Friend) A man had need have good security upon a Womans Belly, for Chil∣dren are commonly made in the Dark, and 'tis no easie matter to know the Workman, especially having nothing but the woman's bare word for't. This is meant of the Court of Assistance; And whoever Interprets my Prophe∣sies to the Prejudice of any Person of Honour, abuses me. You little think what a world of our Gay folks in their Coaches and six, with Lacquies at their Heels by the Dozens, will be found at the last Day, to be only the Bastards of some Pages, Gentlemen-Vshers, or Valets de Chambre of the Family; nay per∣chance the Physician may have had his hand in the wrong Box, and in case of necessity, good Use has been made of a Lusty Coachman. Little do you think (I say) how many Noble Families upon that Grand Discovery, will be found Extinct for want of Issue.
I am now convinc'd (said I to the Mathematician) of the Excellency of your Predictions; and I perceive (since you have been pleas'd to be your own Page 74 Interpreter) that they have more weight in them, than we were aware of. Ye shall have one more (quoth he) and I have done.
I dare say that your wit will serve ye now to Imagine, that I'm talking of Rooks and Iack-daws; but I say, No. I speak of Lawyers, Attorneys, Clerks, Scriveners, and their Fellows, that with the Dash of a Pen, can defeat their Cli∣ents of their Estates, and flye away with them when they have done.
Upon these words Nostradamus Va∣nisht, and some body plucking me be∣hind, I turn'd my face upon the most meager, melancholick Wretch that ever was seen, and cover'd all in white. For pitty's sake (says he) and as you are a good Christian, do but deliver me from the Persecution of these Impertinents and Bablers that are now tormenting me, and I'l be your Slave for ever (casting himself at my Feet in the same Page 75 Moment, and crying like a Child.) And what art thou (quoth I) for a misera∣ble Creature? I am (says he) an Anci∣ent, and an Honest man, although de∣fam'd with a thousand Reproches and Slanders: And in fine, some call me Another, and others Some-body, and doubtless ye cannot but have heard of me. As Some-body says, cryes one, that has nothing to say for himself; and yet till this Instant, I never so much as open'd my mouth. The Latines call me Quidam, and make good use of me to fill up Lines, and stop Gaps. When you go back again into the World, I pray'e do me the Favour to own that you have seen me, and to justifie me for one that never did, and never will either speak or write any thing, whatever some Tatling Ideots may pretend. When they bring me into Quarrels and Brawles, I am call'd forsooth, A certain Person: In their Intrigues, I know not who: and in the Pulpit, A certain Au∣thor: and all this, to make a Mystery of my Name, and lay all their Foole∣ries at my Door. Wherefore I beseech ye help me; which I promis'd to do. Page 76 And so this Vision withdrew to make Place for another,
And That was the most frightful piece of Antiquity that ever Eye beheld in the shape of an Old Woman. She came nodding tow•rds me, and in a Hollow, Ratling Tone (for she spoke more with her Chops, than her Tongue) Pray'e (says she) •s there not some bo∣dy come lately hither from the other World? This Apparition, thought I, is undoubtedly one of the Devils Scare-Crows. Her Eyes were so sunk in their Sockets, that they lookt like a pair of Dice in the bottom of a couple of Red-boxes. Her Cheeks and the Soles of her Feet, were of the same Complexion. Her mouth was pale, and open too; the bet∣ter to receive the Distillations of her Nose. Her Chin was cover'd with a kind of Goose-Down, as Toothless as a Lam∣prey; and the Flaps of her Cheeks were like an Apes Bags; Her Head danc'd, and her Voice at every word kept time to't. Her Body was vail'd, or rather wrapt up in a shroud of Cre'pe. She had a Crutch in one hand, which serv'd her for a Supporter; and a Rosary in Page 77 t'other, of such a length, that as she stood stooping over it, a man would have thought she had been fishing for Deaths Heads. When I had done ga∣ping upon This Epitome of past-ages; Hola! Grannum (quoth I, good lustily in her Ear, taking for granted that she was deaf) what's your Pleasure with me? with that she gave a Grunt and being much in wrath to be called Gran∣num, clapt a fair pair of Spectacles up∣on her Nose, and pinking through them; I am, quoth she, neither Deaf, nor Gran∣num; but may be called by my Name as well as my Neighbours (giving to un∣derstand, that Women will take it ill to be called Old, even in their very Graves. As she spake, she came still neerer me, with her Eyes drop∣ping, and the smell about her perfect∣ly of a Dead Body. I beg'd her Par∣don for what was past, and for the future her Name, that I might be sure to keep my self within the Bounds of Respect. I am call'd (sayes she) Doüegna, or Ma∣dam the Gouvernante. How's that? quoth I, in a great Amazement. Have ye any of those Cattle in this Country? Page 78 Let the Inhabitants pray heartily▪ for Peace then; and all little enough to keep them quiet. But to see my mi∣stake now. I thought the Women had dyed, when they came to be Gouver∣nantes, and that for the punishment of a wicked World, the Gouver∣nantes had been Immortal. But I am now better inform'd, and very glad truly to meet with a Person I have heard so much talk of. For with us, Who but Madam the Gouvernante, at every turn? Do ye see that Mumping Hag, cryes One? Come here ye Damn'd Iade cryes Another. That Old Bawd, sayes a Third, has forgotten, I warrant ye, that ever she was a Whore, and now see if we do not remember ye: You do so, and I'm in your debt for your Remem∣brance, The Great Devil be your Pay-masters, ye Son of a Whore, you; Are there no more Gouvernantes than my self? Sure there are, and ye may have your Choice, without Affronting me. Well, Well, (said I) have a little Pati∣ence, and at my Return, I'l try if I can put things in better Order. But in the mean time, what business have you Page 79 here? her Reverence upon this was a little Qualified, and told me, that she had now been eight hundred years in Hell, upon a Design to erect an Order of the Gouvernantes; but the right Worshipful the Devil-Commissioners, are not as yet come to any Re•olution upon the Point. For say they, if your Gou∣vernantes should come once to settle here, there would need no other Tor∣mentors, and we should be but so many Iacks out of Office. And besides, we should be perpetually at Daggers draw∣ing about the Brands and Candles-Ends which they would still be filching, and laying out of the way; and for us to have our Fewel to seek, would be very Inconvenient. I have been in Purgatory too (she said) u•on the same Project, but there so soon as ever they set eye on me, all the Souls cry'd out Unani∣mously, Libera Nos, &c. As for Heaven That's no place for Quarrels, Slanders, Disquiets, Heart-burnings, and conse∣quently None for Me. The Dea•〈◊〉 none of my Friends neither, 〈…〉 grumble, and bid me let 〈…〉 as they do me; and beg 〈…〉Page 80 world again if I please, and there (they tell me) I may play the Gouvernante in saecula saeculorum. But truly I had ra∣ther be here at my Ease, than spend my Life crumpling, and brooding over a Carpet at a bed-side, like a thing of Clouts, to secure the Poultry of the Fa∣mily from strange Cocks, which would now and then have a Brush with a Vir∣gin Pullet, but for the Care of the Gou∣vernantes. And yet 'tis she, good wo∣man, beares all the blame, in Case of any Miscarriage: The Gouvernante was presently of the Plot, she had a Feeling in the Cause, a Finger in the Pye. And 'tis she in fine that must answer for all. Let but a Sock, and old Handkercher, the Greasy Li∣ning of a Masque, or any such Frippery piece of business be missing; Ask the Gouvernante for This, or for That. And in short, they take us certainly for so many Storks, and Ducks, to gather up 〈◊〉 the filth about the house. The 〈…〉 look upon us as Spyes and〈…〉Cousin forsooth, and 'tothers 〈…〉 not come to the house, for 〈…〉•ouvernante. And indeed I Page 81 have made many of them Cross them∣selves, that took me for a Ghost. Our Ma∣sters they curse us too, for Embroyling the Family. So that I have rather Chosen to take up here, betwixt the Dead and the Living, than to return again to my Charge of a Doüegna, the very sound of the Name being more Terrible than a Gibbet. As appears by one that was lately Travailing from Madrid, to Vailladolid, and asking where he might lodge that night. Answer was made at a small Village call'd Doüegnas. But is there no other place (quoth he) within some reasonable Distance, either short or beyond it. They told him no, un∣less it were at a Gallows. That shall be my Quarter then (quoth he) for a thou∣sand Gibbets are not so bad to me as one Doüegnas. Now ye see how we are abus'd (quoth the Gouvernante) I hope you'l do us some Right, when it lyes in your Power.
She would have talk't me to Death, if I had not given her the slip upon the removing of her Spectacles; but I could not scape so neither, for looking about me for a Guide to carry me home Page 82 again, I was arrested by one of the Dead; a good proper Fellow, only he had a pair of Rams-horns on his head, and I was about to salute him for Aries in the Zodiac: but when I saw him plant himself, just before me, with his best Leg forward, stretching out his Arms, Clutching his Fists, and looking as Soure as if He would have Eaten me without Mustard; Doubtless, (said I) the Devil is Dead and This is He. No, No, cry'd a by-stander, This is a man: Why then (sayd I) he's Drunk, I per∣ceive, and Quarrelsome in his Ale, for here's no body has touched him. With that as he was just ready to fall on, I stood to my Guard, and we were arm'd at all points alike, only he had the Ods of the Head-piece. Now, Sirrah, (says he) have at ye, slave that you are to make a Trade of Defaming Persons of Honour. By the Death that Com∣mands here, I'l ha' my Revenge, and turn your skin over your Ears: This In∣solent Language stir'd my Choler I confess, and so I call'd to him; Come, come on, Sirrah; A little neerer yet, and if ye have a mind to be twice kill'd, Page 83 I'l do your business; who the Devil brought this Cornuto hither to trouble me? The word was no sooner out, but we were immediately at it, Tooth and Nail, and if his Horns had not been flatted to his head, I might have had the worst on't. But the whole Ring pre∣sently came in to part us, and did me a singular kindness in't, for my Adversary had a Fork, and I had none. As they were staving and Tayling, you might have had more manners (cry'd one) than to give such Language to your Bet∣ters, and to call Don Diego Moreno, Cuckold. And is this That Diego Moreno then, said I,? Rascal that he is to charge me with abusing persons of Honour. A Scoundrel (said I) that 'tis a shame for Death to be seen in's Company, and was never fit for any thing in his whole life, but to furnish matter for a Farce. And that's my Grievance, Gentlemen, (quoth Don Diego) for which with your Leave he shall give me satisfaction. I do not stand upon the matter of being a Cuckold, for there's many a Brave fel∣low lives in Cuckolds-Row. But why does he not name others, as well as Page 84 me? As if the Horn grew upon no bo∣dies head but mine: I'm sure there are Others that a Thousand times bet∣ter deserve it. I hope, he cannot say that ever I gor'd any of my Superiors; or that my being Cornuted has rais'd the Price of Post-horns, Lanthorns, or Pocket-Ink-horns. Are not shooing-horns, and Knife-handles as cheap now as ever? Why must I walk the stage then more than my Neighbours? Beyond question there never liv'd a more peace∣able Wretch upon the face of the Earth, all things consider'd, than my self. Ne∣ver was man freer from Ielousy, or more careful to step aside at the Time of Vi∣sit: for I was ever against the spoiling of sport, when I could make None my self. I confess I was not so charitable to the poor as I might have been; The truth of't is, I watcht them as a Cat would do a Mouse, for I did not love them. But then in Requital, I could have out-snorted the seven sleepers, when any of the better sort came to have a word in private with my Wife. The short on't is, We agreed blessedly well together, she and I; for I did what∣ever Page 85 she would have me: and she would say a Thousand and a Thousand times: Long live my poor Diego, the best Condi∣tion'd, the most complaisant Husband in the World; whatever I do is well done, and he never so much as opens his mouth Good or Bad. But by her leave that was little to my Credit, and the Jade when she said it, was beside the Cushi∣on. For many and many a Time have I said, This is Well, and That's Ill. When there came any Poets to our house, Fid∣lers or Morrice-Dancers, I would say, This is not well. But when the Rich Merchants came; Oh very good, would I say, This is as well, as well can be. Sometime we had the hap to be visited by some Pennyless Courtier, or Low-Country Officer perchance; then should I take her aside, and Rattle her to some Tune: Sweetheart, would I say, Pray'e what ha' we to do with these Frippery Fellows, and Damme Boyes, shake them off, I'd advise ye, and take this for a warning. But when any came that had to do with the Mint, or Chequer, and spent freely, (for lightly come, lightly go) I marry, my Dear (quoth I) there's Page 86 nothing to be lost by keeping such Com∣pany. And what hurt in all this now? Nay, on the Contrary, my poor Wife enjoy'd her self happily under the Pro∣tection of my shadow, and being a Femme Couverte, not an Officer durst come neer her. Why should then this Buffon of a Poetaster make me still the Ridicu∣lous Entertainment of all his Interludes and Farces, and the Fool in the Play? By your Favour (quoth I) we are not yet upon even terms; And before we part, you shall know what 'tis to pro∣voke a Poet. If thou wert but now alive, I'd write the to Death, as Archi∣locus did Lycambes. And I'm resolv'd to put the History of thy life in a Satyre, as sharp as Vinegar, and give it the Name of The Life and Death of Don Diego Moreno; It shall go hard, (quoth he) but I'l prevent That, and so We fell to't again, Hand and Foot, till at length the very Fancy of a Scuffle wak'd me, and I found my self as weary, as if it had been a Real Combat. I began then to reflect upon the Particulars of my Dream, and to Consider what Ad∣vantage Page 87 I might draw from it: for the Dead are past fooling, and Those are the soundest Counsels, which we receive from such as advise us without either Passion or Interest.
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.
THE FOURTH VISION OF LOVING FOOLS.
ABout four a Clock, in a Cold Frosty Morning, when it was much better being in a Warm Bed, with a good Bedfellow, then upon a Biere in the Church-Yard; as I lay ad∣vising with my Pillow, Tumbling and Tossing a Thousand Love-Toyes in my Head, I past from one Phansy to ano∣ther, till at last, I f•ll into a slumber; and there appear'd the Genius of Dis∣abuse; Laying before me all the Follies, and Vanities of Love; and supporting her Opinions, with great Authorities, and Reasons. I was carry'd then (me∣thought I knew not how) into a fair Medow: A Medow, pleasant and agreeable infinitely beyond the very Fictions of your half-witted Poets, Page 114 with all their far-fetch't Gildings, and Enamellings (for a Paper of Verses is worth nothing with them, unless they force Nature for't, and Riffle both the Indies. This Delicious Field was wa∣ter'd with two Riv'lets; the One, Bitter; the Other, Sweet; and yet they ming∣led their streams with a pretty kind of Murmur, Equal perhaps to the best Mu∣sick in the World. The use of these Waters was, (as I observ'd) to temper the Darts of Love; for while I was up∣on the Prospect of the Place, I saw several of Cupid's little Officers, and sub∣jects, dipping of Arrows there, for their Entertainment, and Ease. Upon this, I Phansy'd my self in one of the Gar∣dens of Cyprus, and that I saw the very Hive, where the Bee liv'd, that stung my Young Master, and occasion'd that Ex∣cellent Ode which Anacreon has writ∣ten upon the Subject. The next thing I cast my Eye upon, was a Palace, in the Mid'st of the Medow; a rare piece, as well for the Structure, as Design. The Porches, were of the Doric Order, excel∣lently wrought; And the Pedestals, Bases, Columns, Cornishes, Capitals, Ar∣chitraves, Page 115 Freezes (and in short the whole Front of the Fabrick) was Beauti∣fied with Imaginary Trophies, and Tri∣umphs of Love, in Half Relief, which as they were intermixt with other Phantastick works and Conceits, car∣ry'd the face of several little Histories, and gave a great Ornament to the Build∣ing. Over the Porch, there was in Gol∣den Letters, upon black Marble, This Inscription.
The Finishing, and Materials were pleasant to Admiration. The Portal, spacious; the Doors, always open, and the House free to all Comers, which were very many; the Porter's place was supply'd by a Woman; Exquisitely handsome, both for Face and Person; Tall; Delicately shap'd, and set off with great Advantages of Dress, and Iewells. She was made up in fine, of Charmes, and her Name (as I understood) was Page 116Beauty. She would let any man in to see the House for a Look; and that was all I paid for my Passage. In the first Court, I found a many of Both Sexes, but so alter'd in habit, and Counte∣nance, that they could scarce know one another. They were sad, Pensive; and their Complexions teinted with a yel∣low Paleness (which Ovid calls Cupid's Livery) There was no talk of being True to Friends; Loyal to Superiors; and Dutiful to Parents: But Kinred did the Office of Procurers; and Procurers were call'd Cousins. Wives lov'd their Hus∣bands She-Friends, and Husbands did as much for Them, in loving their Gal∣lants.
While I was upon the Contempla∣tion of these Encounters of Affection, their appear'd a strange Extravagant figure, but in the likeness of a Humane Creature. It was neither perfectly Man, nor perfectly Woman, but had indeed a Resemblance of Both. This Person I perceiv'd was Ever busy, up and down, going and coming; beset all over with Eyes and Ears, and had one of the Craftiest distrustful Lookes (me∣thought) Page 117 that ever I saw. And withal (as I observ'd) no small Authority in the Place, which made me enquire after this Creature's Name, and Office. My Name (quoth she) for now it prov'd to be a Woman) is Ielousy, and methinks, you and I should be better acquainted, for how come you here else? However, for your satisfaction; you are to un∣derstand that the greater part of the Distemper'd people you see here, are of my bringing; and yet I am not their Physician, but their Tormentor; and serve only to aggravate, and Embitter their Misfortunes. If you would know any thing further of the House, never ask me, for 'tis Forty to One I shall tell you a Lye; I have not told you half the Truth even of my self; and to deal plainly with you, I am made up of In∣ventions, Artifice, and Imposture: But the Good Old man that walks there, is the Major Domo, and will t•ll you all, if you will but bear with his slow way of Discourse.
Thereupon I went to the Good Man, whom I knew presently to be Time: and desir'd him •o let me look into the se∣veral Page 118 Quarters and Lodgings of the House, for there were some Fools of my Acquaintance there I'd fain Visit; He told me that he was at present so busie about making of Candles, Cock∣broths, and Gellies for his Patients, that he could not stir; but yet he directed me where I might find all those I inqui∣red for, and gave me the freedom of the House to walk at pleasure.
I past out of the First Court, into the Maids-Quarter, which was the very strongest part of the whole Building; and so't had need; for divers of the Young Wenches were so Extravagant and Furious, that no other place would have held them. (The Wives and Wid∣dows were in another Room apart.) Here ye should have One, sobbing and raging with Ielousie of a Rival. There Another, Stark mad for a Husband; and inwardly bleeding because she durst not discover it. A Third was writing of Letters all Riddle and Mystery, Mending and Marring, till at last the Paper had more blots than whole words in it. Some were practising in the Glass the Graci∣ous Smile, the Rowle of the Eye, the Vel∣vet Page 119 Lip, &c. Others again were in a Diet of Oatmeal, Clay, Chalk, Cole, Hard Wax, and the like. Some were condi∣tioning with their Servants for a Ball, or a Serenade, that the whole Town might ring of the Address. Yes, yes, they cry'd, You can go to the Park with This Lady, and to a Play with That Lady, and to Banstead with T'other Lady, and spend whole Nights at Beste or Ombre with my Lady Pen-Tweezel; but by my Troth, I think you are asham'd to be seen in my Company. Some I saw upon the very point of Sealing and Delivering. I am Thine (crys one) and Thine Alone, or let all the Devils in Hell, &c. But be sure you be Constant. If I he not (says he) let my Soul, &c. and the silly Jade believes him. In one Corner ye should have them praying for Husbands, that they might the better love at Randome: In another, nothing would please them but to be Marry'd-Mens Wives, and this Dis∣ease was lookt upon as a little Despe∣rate. Some again stood ready furnisht with Love-Letters and Tickets to be cast out at the Window, or thrust under the Door, and These were lookt upon not only as Fools but Beasts.
Page 120I had seen as much already as I de∣sir'd, for I had learnt of Old, that He that keeps such Company, seldom comes off without a scratcht face: but if he misses a Mistress, he gets a Wife, and stands condemn'd to a Repentance du∣ring Life, without Redemption, unless One of the Two dies. For Women in the Case are worse than Pyrats; a Gally-Slave may compound for his Freedom, but there's no thought of Ransom in Case of Wedlock. I had a good mind to a little Chat with some of them, but (thought I) they'l Phancy I'm in Love wi•h them. And so I e'en march'd off into the Marry'd Quarter.
Where there was such Ranting, Damning, and Tearing, as if Hell had been broke l•os•. And what was all This? but a number of women that had been lockt up and shackl'd by their Husbands, to keep them in Obedience, and had now broken their Prisons, and their Chains, and were grown ten times madder than before. Some I saw Cares∣sing and Cokesing their Husbands, in the very moment they design'd to betray them. Others were picking their Husbands Page 121 Pockets to pay now and then for a By-Blow. Some again were upon a Reli∣gious point, and all upon the Humour (for∣sooth) of Pilgrimages and Lectures; when alas! they had no other business with the Altars or Churches, than a Sacrifice to Venus, or a Love-meeting. Divers there were that went to the Bath; but Ba∣thing was the least part of their Errand. Others to Confession, that mistook their Martyr for their Confessor: Some to be reveng'd of Ielous Husbands, were re∣solving to do the thing they fear'd; and pay them in their Coin. Others were for making sure afore-hand by way of Advance; for that's the Revenge, they say, that's as sweet as Muscadine and Eggs. One was Melancholy for a Delay; Another for a Defeat; a Third is pre∣paring to make her Market at a Play. There was One among the rest, was ne∣ver out of her Coach; and asking her the Reason, she told me, she lov'd •o be •olted. In this Crowd of Women, you mu•t know that there were no Wives of Embassadors, Souldiers, or Merchants that were abroad upon Commission; f•r such were consider'd in effect as single Page 122 Women, and not allow'd as members of this Commonwealth.
The next Quarter was that of the Grave and Wise; the Right Reverend Widdows; Women in appearance of Marvelous severity and reserve, and yet every One of them had her weak side, and ye might read her Folly and Distem∣per through her Disguise. One of them I saw crying with one Eye for the loss of one Husband, and laughing with t'other upon him that was to come next. Ano∣ther, with the Ephesian Matron, was ma∣king the best of a bad Game, and solacing her self with her Gallant, before her Husband was thorough cold in the mouth; considering, that he that dy'd half an hour ago, is as dead as William the Conqueror. There were several others passing to and again, quite out of their mourning, that lookt so de∣murely (I warrant ye) as if Butter would not have melted in their mouths, and yet Apostate Widdows (as I was told) and there they were kept as strictly, as if they had been in the Spanish Inquisi∣tion. Some were laying wagers, whose mourning was most a-la-mode, and best Page 123 made; or whose Peak or Veil became her Best: and setting themselves off with a Thousand tricks of Ornament and Dress. The Widdows I observ'd that were marching off, with the marque out of their mouths, were hugely concern'd to be thought Young, and still talking of Masques, Balls, Fiddles, Treats; Chant∣ing and Iigging to every tune they heard, and all upon the Hoyty-Toyty like mad wenches of fifteen. The Younger, on the other side, made use of their time and took pleasure while 'twas to be had. There were too of the Religious strain; a people much at their Beads, and in private; and These were there in the Quality of Love-Hereticks, or Pla∣tonicks, and under the Penance of perpe∣tual Abstinence from the Flesh they lov'd best (which is the most Mortifying Lent of all Other) Some, that had skill in Perspective, were before the Glass with their Boxes of Patch and Paint about them; Shadowing, Drawing out, Re∣freshing, and in short, Covering and Pal∣liating, all the Imperfections of Feature and Complexion, every one after her own Humour. Now these women were Page 124 absolutely insufferable, for they were most of them Old and Head-strong, ha∣ving got the better of their Husbands, so that they would be taking upon them to domineer here, as they had done at home; and indeed, they found the Master of the College enough to do.
When I had tyr'd my self with this Variety of Folly and Madness, I went to the Devotes; where I found a great many women and girles that had Cloy∣stered up themselves from the Conver∣sation of the World; and yet were not a jot soberer than their Fellows. These one would have thought might have been easily cur'd, but many of them were in for their Lives, in despight of Either Counsel or Physick. The Room where they were was Barricado'd with strong Bars of Iron; and yet when the Toy took them, They'd make now and then a Sally: for when the Fit was up∣on them, they'd own no Superior but Love, come what would on't in the Event. The greater part of these good People, were writing of Tickets and Dispatches, which had still the sign of the Cross at the Top, and Satan at the Page 125Bottom, concluding with This, or some such Postscript; I commend this Paper to your Discretion. The Fools of This Pro∣vince would be Twatling Night and Day; and if it happen'd that any one of them had talkt her self a weary, (which was very rare) she would presently take up∣on her very gravely to admonish the Rest, and read a Lecture of Silence to the Company. There were some that for want of better Entertainment fell in Love with one another; but these were lookt upon as a sort of Fops and Ninnys, and therefore the more favou∣rably us'd; but they'd have been of another mind, if they had known the Cause of their Distemper.
The Root of all these several Extra∣vagancies was Idleness, which (accord∣ing to Petrarch's Observation) never fails to make way for wantonness. There was One among the Rest, that had more Letters of Exchange upon the Credit of her insatiable desires, than a whole Regiment of Banquiers. Some of them were sick of their Old Visiter, and call'd for a Fresh∣man. Others, by Intervals, I perceiv'd had their wits about them, and con∣tented Page 126 themselves discreetly with the Physician of the House. In short, It e'en pity'd my heart to see so many poor people in so sad a Condition, and with∣out any hope of Relief, as I gather'd from him that had them in care: for they were still Puddering and Royling their Bodies; and if they got a little Ease for the present, they'd be down again, as soon as they had taken their Medicine.
From thence, I went to the single women (such as made Profession never to marry) which were the least Outra∣gious, and discompos'd of all; for they had a thousand wayes to Lay the Devil as well as to Raise him. Some of them liv'd like common High-way men, by Robbing Peter to Pay Paul; and strip∣ping honest men to cloth Rascals, which is (under favour) but a lewd kind of Charity. Others there were, that were absolutely out of their seven senses, and as Mad as March-Hares for This Wit, and t'other Poet; that never fail'd to pay them again in Rimes, and Madri∣gals, with Ruby Lips; Pearly Teeth: so that to read their Ver•es, a man would Page 127 swear the whole woman to be directly Petrify'd.
I saw One in Consultation with a Cunning man to know her Fortune; Another, dealing with a Conjurer for a Philtre, or Drink to make her Be∣lov'd. A Third was dawbing and patch∣ing up an Old ruin'd-Face, to make it fresh and young again: but she might as well have been washing of a Black∣moor to make him White. In fine, a world there were, that with their borrow'd Hair, Teeth, Eyes, Eye-Brows, look't like fine folks at a Distance, but would have been left as Ridiculous, as AEsop's Crow, if every Bird had fetch't away his own Feather. 'Deliver me (thought I, smiling and shaking my head) if This be Woman.
And so I step't into the Men's Quar∣ter which was but next door, and only a Thick Wall between. Their great Mi∣sery was that they were deaf to good ad∣vice, obstinately hating, and despisingPage 128 both Physick, and Physician: for if they would have either quitted, or chang'd, they might have been cured. But they chose rather to dye, and though they saw their Errour, would not mend it. Which minded me of the Old Rime:
These Fools-male were all in the same Chamber; and one might per∣fectly read their Humour, and Distemper, in their Looks and Gestures. Oh! how many a gay Lad did I see there, in his Poynt Band, and Embroyder'd Vest, that had not a whole Shirt to his Back! How many Huffes and Highboyes, that had no∣thing else in their Mouths, but the Lives and Fortunes they'd spend in their sweet Ladies service! that would yet have run five miles on your Errand, to have been treated but at a Three-penny Ordinary? How many a poor Devil that wanted Bread, and was yet troubled with the Re∣bellion of the Flesh! Some there were, that spent much time in setting their Page 129Perruques, Ordering the Mustache, and dressing up the very face of Lucifer himself for a Beauty: (The Woman's Privilege, and in truth an Encroch∣ment, to their prejudice) There were Others, that made it their Glory to pass for Hectors; Sons of Priam; Brothers of the Blade; and Talk't of nothing but Attacques, Combats, Reverses, Stra∣mazons, Stoccados: not considering that a Naked Weapon is present Death to a Timerous Woman. Some were taking the Round of their Ladies Lodgings, at Midnight, and went to bed again as wise as they rose. Others fell in Love by Contagion, and meerly conversing with the Infected. Some again went Post from Church to Chappel, every Ho∣ly-day, to hunt for a Mistress; and so turn'd a Day of Rest into a Day of La∣bour. Ye might see others skipping con∣tinually from house to house, like the Knight upon a Chess-bord, without ever catching the (Queen or) Dame. Some, like crafty Beggars made their Case worse then 'twas: And Others though 'twere n'ere so bad, durst not so much as open their Mouths. Really it griev'd me for Page 130 the poor Mutes, and I wish't with all my Heart, their Mistresses had been Witches, that they might have known their Meaning by their Mumping; but they were lost to all Counsel, so that there was no advising them. There was another sort of Elevated, and Conceited Lovers: and These forsooth were not to be satisfy'd without the Seven Libe∣ral Sciences, and the Four Cardinal Ver∣tues, in the shape of a Woman; and their Case was Desperate. The next I ob∣serv'd, were a Generation of Modest Fools, that past there under the Notion of people Diffident of Themselves. They were generally men of good Under∣derstanding, but for the most part Younger Brothers, of low fortunes, and such as for want of wherewithal to go to the Price of higher Amours, were fain to take up with Ordinary Stuffe, that brought them nothing in the End, but Beggery, and Repentance. The Hus∣bands, I perceiv'd, were horribly furi∣ous, although in Manacles, and Shackles. Some of them left their own Wives, and fell upon their Neighbours. Others to keep the good Women in Awe and Obedi∣ence,Page 131 would be taking upon them, and playing the Tyrants, but upon the Up∣shot they found their Mistake, and that though they came on as fierce as Lions, they went off as Tame as Muttons. Some were making Friendships with their Wives She-Cousins: and agreeing upon a Cross-Gossipping whoever should have the first Child.
The Widdowers, that had bit of the Bridl•, past from place to place, where they staid more or less, according to their Entertainment, and so were in ef∣fect, as good as marry'd; for as long, or as little a while as Themselves pleas'd. These liv'd single, and spent their time in Visiting, first One Friend, then Ano∣ther. Here they fell in Love; There they kindled a Ielousy, which they con∣tracted Themselves in one place, and cur'd it in another. But the Miracle was, that they all knew, and confest themselves a Company of Mad Fools, and yet continu'd so. Those that had skill in Musick, and could either Sing or Fiddle, made use of their Gifts, to put the silly Wenches that were but half Mop'd before, directly out of their Wits.Page 132 They that were Poetical, were perpe∣tually hammering upon the Subjects of Cruelty, and Disappointment. One tells his Good Fortune to another, that requi•es him with the story of his Bad. They that had set their Hearts upon Girls, were beating the streets all day, to find what Avenues to a Lady's lodg∣ings at night. Some were tampering and Caressing the Chamber-maid, as the ready way to the Mistress. Others chose rather to put it to the Push, and attempt the Lady Her self. Some were Examining their Pockets, and taking a View of their Furniture; which con∣sisted much in Love-Letters, delicately seal'd up with perfum'd Wax, upon Raw silk; and a Thousand pretty Devices within; All wrap't up in Riddle, and Cipher. Abundance of Hair Bracelets, Lockets, Pomanders, Knots of Ribband, and the like. There were others, that were call'd the Husband's Friends, who were ready upon all Occasions to do This, and to do That Kindness for the Husband. Their Purse, Credit, Coach and Horses, were all at his service: And in the mean time, who but They to Gal∣lantPage 133 the Wife? To the Park, the Gar∣dens, a Treat, or a Comedy: where forty to one, by the Greatest good luck in the World, they stumble upon an Aunt, an old House-Keeper of the Family, or some such Reverend Goer-between, that's a well-willer to the Mathe∣maticks; she takes the hint, performs the Good Office, and the Work is done.
Now there were two sorts of Fools for the Widdows; The one was Belov'd; and the Other not. The latter were con∣tent to be a kind of Voluntary slaves, for the compassing their Ends: but the other, were the Happier; for they were ever at perfect Liberty to do their Pleasure, unless some Friend or Child of the House perchance came in, in the Mischievous Nick, and then in case of a little colour more than Ordinary, or a tumbled Handkercher, 'twas but chang∣ing the Scene and strugling for a paper of Verses or some such business to keep all in Countenance. Some made their A••aults both with Love, and Money, and they seldom fail'd, for they came doubly arm'd; and your Spanish Pistols Page 134 are a sort of Battery hardly to be re∣sisted.
I came now to reflect upon what I had seen, and as I was walking (in that Meditation) toward another lodging, I found my self (ere I was aware) in the first Court again; where I enter'd, and in it I observ'd new Wonders: I saw that the Number of the Mad fools in∣creas'd every moment; Although Time (I perceiv'd) did all that was possible to recover them. There was Ielousy tor∣menting even those that were most con∣fident of the Faith of what they lov'd. There was Memory rubbing of Old sores. There was Vnderstanding, lock't up in a dark Cellar: and Reason with both her Eyes out. I made a little pause, the better to observe these Varieties, and Disgui∣ses. And when I had look't my self a weary, I turn'd about and spy'd a Door; but so Narrow that it was hardly passa∣ble; And yet streight as it was, divers there were that Ingratitude, and Infide∣lity had set at Liberty; and made a shift to get through. Upon which Opportu∣nity of Returning, I made what haste I could to be One of the first at the Page 135 Door, and in that Instant, my Man drew the Curtain of my Bed, and told me, the Morning was far gone. Where∣upon I wak'd, and recollecting my self, found all was but a Dream. The very Phansy however of having spent so much time in the Company of Fools, and Madmen, gave me some Disorder, but with this Comfort, that both sleep∣ing and waking, I had experimented Passionate Love to be nothing else then a meer Phrensy, and Folly.
THE FIFTH VISION OF THE WORLD.
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 Compa•y 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 B•wd 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 Thro•t, 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 wi•h 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 Att•ndance, 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 Invi•er, 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 s•cure 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 lit•le 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? Wret•hed 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 Imaginations•bout 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 157•rave. 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 w•rds were h•rdly 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 al•bloody, 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 Depone•ts 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 we•e 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 arti•icially 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 s•y 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 mat•er, 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 SIXTH VISION OF HELL.
BEing one Autumn, at a Friend's house in the Country, (which was indeed a most delicious Re∣treat) I took a walk one Moon-light into the Park; where all my past Visions came fresh into my Head again, and I was well enough pleas'd with the Medita∣tion. At length, the Humour •ook me to leave the Path, and go further into the wood: what Impulse carry'd me to this, I know not. Whether I was mov'd by my good Angel, or some higher Power, but so it was▪ that in half a quarter of an hour, I found my self a great way from home, and in a place where 'twas no longer Night; with the Pleasantest Prospect round Page 172 about me that ever I saw since I was born. The Air was calm, and Tempe∣rate; and it was no small Advantage to the Beauty of the Place, that it was both Innocent, and Silent. On the one hand, I was entertain'd with the Mur∣murs of Christal Rivolets; On the Other, with the whispering of the Trees; The Birds singing all the while either in Emulation, or Requital of the Other Harmonies. And now, to shew the Instability of our Affections, and Desires, I was grown weary even of Tranquillity it self, and in this most agreeable Solitude, began to long for Company.
When in the very Instant, (to my great wonder) I discover'd two Paths, issuing from One, and the same Begin∣ing; but dividing themselves forwards, more and more, by Degrees, as if they liked not One Another's Company. That on the right Hand was Narrow, almost beyond Imagination; and being very little frequented, it was so over∣grown with Thorns and Brambles; and so stony withal, that a man had all the Trouble in the world to get into't. Page 173 One might see however, the Prints and Marks of several Passengers, that had rubb'd through, though with Exceed∣ing Difficulty; for they had left pieces of Heads, Arms, Legs, Feet, and many of them their whole skins behind them. Some we saw yet upon the way, pres∣sing forward, without ever so much as looking back; and these were all of them Pale-faced, Lean, Thin, and Mise∣rably Mortify'd. There was no passing for Horse-men; and I was told, that St. Paul himself left his Horse, when He went into't. And indeed, there was not the footing of any Beast to be seen. Neither Horse, nor Mule; Nor the Track of any Coach, or Charret. Nor could I learn that any had past that way in the memory of man. While I was bethinking my self of what I had seen, I spy'd at length, a Beggar, that was Resting himself a little to take Breath; and I ask'd him what Inns or Lodging they had upon that Road? His Answer was that there was no stop∣ping there, till they came to their Journey's End. For This (said he) is the way to Paradise, and what should Page 174 they do with Inns or Taverns, where there are so few Passengers? Do not you know that in the Course of Na∣ture, to Dye, is to be Born; to Live, is to Travel; and the world is but a great Inn, after which, it is but one stage Ei∣ther to Pain or Glory. And with these words he March'd forward, and bad me God b'w'y'; telling me withal, that it was time lost to linger in the way of Virtue, and not safe to entertain such Dialogues, as tend rather to Curiosity, then Instruction. And so he pursued his Journey, stumbling, tearing his Flesh, and Sighing, and Groning at every step; and weeping as if he thought to soften the stones with his Tears. This is no way for me, thought I to my self; and no Company Nei∣ther; for they are a sort of Beggarly, Morose people, and will never agree with my Humour. So I drew back and strook off into the left hand way.
And there I found Company Enough, and Room for more. What a world of Brave Cavaliers! Guilt Coaches, Rich Liveries, and handsome, Lively Lasses, as Glorious as the Sun! Some were Page 175 Singing, and Laughing; Others tick∣ling One another, and Toying; Some again, at their Cheese-Cakes and China-Orenges; Or appointing a Set at Cards: so that taking all together, I durst have sworn I had been at the Park. This minded me of the Old saying, Tell me thy Company, and I'l tell thee thy Man∣ners: and to save the Credit of my Education, I put my self into the Noble Mode, and Jogg'd on. And there was I at the first Dash up to the Ears, in Balls, Playes, Mascarades, Collations, Dallian∣ces, Amours, and as full of Joy as my Heart could hold.
It was not here, as upon t'other Rode, where folks went bare-foot, and Naked, for want of Shoo-makers, and Taylors: for here were Enow, and to spare; Beside Mercers, Drapers, Iewellers, Bodyes-ma∣kers, Perruque-makers, Milleners, and a French Ordinary at every other Door. You cannot imagine the Pleasure I took in my New Acquaintance; And yet there was now and then, some Justling and Disorder upon the way; Chiefly between the Physicians upon their Mules, and the Infantry of the Lawyers,Page 176 that march't in great Bodies before the Iudges; and contested for Place. But the Physicians carry'd it, in favour of their Charter, which gives them Privi∣lege, to Study, Practise, and Teach the Art of Poysoning; and to read Lectures of it in the Vniversities. While this point of Honour was in dispute, I per∣ceiv'd divers crossing from one way to the Other, and changing of parties. Some of them stumbled, and Reco∣ver'd; Others fell down right. But the pleasantest Gambole of all, was that of the Vintners. A whole Litter of them tumbled into a Pit together, one over another, but finding they were out of their Element, they got up again as fast as they could. Those that were in the right hand way, which was the way of Paradise, or Virtue, advanc'd very hea∣vily, and made us Excellent sport. Prethee look what a Friday-face that fel∣low makes! cryes one; Hang him, Prick-Ear'd Cur, says another; Dam' me cryes a Third, if the Rogue be not Drunk with Holy water; If the Devil h•d raked Hell, he could not have found such a Pack of Ill-lookt Rascals, sayes Another. Page 177 Some of them stop't their Ears, and went on without minding us. Others we put out of Countenance, and they came over to us. And a Third sort came out of pure Love to our Com∣pany.
After this, I observ'd a great many People a far off in a By-path: with as much Contrition, and Devotion, in their Looks, and Gestures as ever I saw in Men. They walk'd shaking their Heads, and lifting up their hands to Heaven; and they had most of them large Ears, and to my thinking Geneva-Bibles. These thought I, are a People of sin∣gular Integrity, and strictness of Life, above their Fellows; but coming near∣er, we found them to be Hypocrites; and that though they'd none of our Com∣pany upon the Road, They would not fail to meet us at our Iourney's End. Fasting, Repentance, Prayer, Mortifica∣tion, and other Holy Duties, which are the Exercise of Good Christians, in Or∣der to their Salvation, are but a Kind of Probation to these men, to fit them for the Devil. They were follow'd by a Number of Devotes, and Holy Sisters; Page 178 that Kiss't the Skirts of their Garments all the way they went, but whether out of Zeal, Spiritual, or Natural, is hard to say; and undoubtedly, some Women's Kisses are worse then Iudass•es. For though his Kiss was Treacherous in the Intention, it was right yet in the Appli∣cation: but This was one Iudas Kissing Another, which makes me think there was more of the Flesh, then of the Spirit in the Case. Some would be drawing a Thred now and then out of the Holy∣man's Garment, to make a Relique of. Others would cut out large Snips, as if they had a Mind to see them Naked▪ Some again desir'd they would remember them in their Prayers; which was just as much as if they had commended them∣selves to the Devil by a Third Person. Some Pray'd for good Matches for their Daughters; Others, beg'd Children for themselves: And sure the Husband that allows his Wife to ask Children abroad, will be so Civil as to take them Home, when they are given him. In fine, these Hypocrites may for a while perchance impose upon the world, and Delude the Multitude; but no Mask, or Dis∣guise Page 179 is proof against the all-piercing Eye of the Almighty. There are I must confess many Religious, and Godly men, for whose Persons and Pray∣ers, I have a great Esteem. But these are not of the Hypocrites Humour, to build their Hopes, and Ambition upon Popular applause, and with a Counter∣feit Humility, to proclaim their Weak∣ness, and Unworthiness; their Failings; Yea and their Transgressions in the Market place; All which is indeed but a True Iest; for they are really what they say, though they would not be thought so.
These went apart, and were look't upon to be neither Fish, nor Flesh; nor Good Red-Herring. They wore the Name of Christians; but they had nei∣ther the wit, nor the honesty of Pagans. For they content themselves with the Pleasures of this Life, because they know no better. But the Hypocrite, that's instructed both in the Life Tem∣poral, and Eternal, lives without either Comfort in the One, or Hope in the Other; and takes more pains to be damn'd, then a Good Christian does to Compass his Sal∣vation.Page 180 In short, we went on our way in Discourses. The Rich follow'd their Wealth, and the poor the Rich; beg∣ging there, what Providence had deny'd them. The Stubborn, and Obstinate went away by Themselves, for they would hear no Body that was wiser then them∣selves, but ran hudling on, and prest still to be foremost. The Magistrates drew after them, all the Sollicitors, and At∣turneys. Corrupt Iudges were carry'd away by Passion, and Avarice. And Vain, and Ambitious Princes, trayl'd along with them, Principalities, and Common-wealths. There were a world of Cler∣gy upon this Rode too. And I saw one full Regiment of Souldiers there, which would have been brave Fellows indeed, if they had but been half so good at Praying, and Fighting, as they were at Swearing. Their whole discourse was of their Adventures, How Narrowly they came off at such an Assault; What wounds they receiv'd upon t'other Breach; and then what a Destruction they made at such a time, of Mutton, and Poultry. But all they said, came in at one Ear, and went out at t'other. Page 181 Do' n't you remember, Sirrah, sayes one, how we claw'd it away at such a Place! Yes, ye Damn'd Rogue you, cryes t'other, when you were so drunk you took your Aunt for the Bawd. These and such as these were the Only Exploits they could truly brag of.
While they were upon these Glori∣ous Rhodomontades, certain generous Spirits from the Right Hand way, that knew what they were, by the Boxes of Pass-ports, Testimonials, and Recommen∣dations they wore at their Girdles, cry'd out to them, as if it had been to an Attacque: Fall on, Fall on, my Lads, and Follow me. This, This is the Path of Honour, and if you were not Poultrons you would not quit it for fear of a Hard March, or an ill Lodging. Courage Camerades; and be assur'd, that this Combat well fought, makes all your For∣tunes, and Crowns ye for ever. Here, ye shall be sure both of Pay, and Reward, without casting the Issue of all your Haz∣zards, and Hopes upon the Empty Promi∣ses of Princes. How long will ye pursue this Trade of Blood and Rapine? And Ac•us•om your Ears, and tongues to the Page 182 Tragical out-cryes of, Burn; No Quar∣ter; Kill, or Dye. It is not pay, or Pil∣lage, but Virtue that's a Brave man's Recompence. Trust to her, and shee'l not deceive ye. If it be the War, ye Love, Come to Vs; Bear Arms on the right side, and wee'l find you work. Do not you know, that Man's Life is a Warfare? That the World, the Flesh, and the De∣vil, are Three Vigilant Enemies? And that it is as much as his Soul is worth, to put himself, but for one Minute out of his Guard. Princes tell ye, that your Bloods, and your Lives are Theirs, and that to shed the One, and lose the Other, in their Service, is no Obligation, but a Duty. You are still however to look to the Cause; Wherefore turn head, and come along with us, and be happy. The Soul∣diers heard all this with Exceeding Pa∣tience, and Attention: But the Brand of Cowardice had such an effect upon them, that without any more ado, like men of Honour, they presently quitted the Rode; Drew; and as bold as Lyons, charg'd headlong into a Tavern.
After this, we saw a great Troop of Women upon the High-way to Hell, with Page 183 their Bags; and their fellows, at their Heels, ever, and anon, hunching, and Justling one Another. On the other side; A number of Good people, that were almost at the End of their Jour∣ney, came over into the wrong Rode; for the Right-hand way, growing Easier, and Wider toward the End, and that on the left hand, on the Contrary, Narrower, they thought they had been out of their way, and so came in to Vs; As many of Ours, went over to Them, upon the same Mistake. Among the Rest, I saw a great Lady, without either Coach, Se∣dan, or any living Creature with her, foot it all the way to Hell: which was to me so great a wonder, considering how she had liv'd in the world, that I presently look't about for a Publick Notary, to make an Entry of it. The Woman was in a most Miserable Pickle; and I did not know what design she might Drive on, under that Disguise; but finding never a Notary, or Register at hand, though I mist my Particular Aim, yet I was well Enough pleas'd with it, for I took it then for Granted that I was in my Ready way to Heaven.Page 184 But when I came afterward to reflect upon the Crosses, Afflictions and Morti∣fications, that lye in the way to Para∣dise: And to Consider, that there was Nothing of That upon this Rode. But on the Contrary, Laughing, Singing, Frollicking, and all manner of Iollity: This I must confess, gave me a Qualm, and made me a little doubtful whither I was going.
But I was quickly deliver'd of that Doubt, by a Gang of Marry'd Men, that we overtook, with their Wives in their Hands, in Evidence of their Mortifi∣cations: My Wife's my Witness (cryes one) that every day since I marry'd her has been a Fasting day to me; To Pamper her with Cock-Broth, and Iellyes. And my Wife knows how I have humbled my Body, by Nakedness; for I have hardly allow'd my self a Rag to my Back-side; or a Shoe to my Foot, to maintain her in her Coach, Pages, Gowns, Petty-Coats, and Iewels. So that upon the matter, I pe•ceive an Vnlucky hit with a Wife, gives a Man as much Right to the Cata∣logue of Ma•tyrs, as if He h•d ended his Dayes at the stake.
Page 185The Misery these poor Wretches endur'd, made me think my self in the Right again; till I heard a Cry behind me, Make Way there; Make Way for the 'Pothcearies. Bless me, thought I, If They be here we are certainly going to the Devil. And so it prov'd, for we were just then come to a little Door, that was made like a Mouse-Trap, where 'twas Easy to get in, but there was no getting out again.
It was a strange thing, that scarce any body so much as Dream't of Hell, all the way we went; and yet every body knew where they were, as soon as they came there: and cry'd out with one Voice, Miserable Creatures! we are Damn'd, we are Damn'd. That Word made my Heart Ake; And is it come to that then? said I. I began then with Tears in my Eyes, to Reflect upon what I had left in the World, As my Rela∣tions, Friends, Ladyes, Mistre••es, and in •ine, all my Old Acquaintance: When with a Heavy Sigh, looking behind m•, I saw the greater part of them Po∣••ing af••r me. It gave me, me thoug•t, s•me Comfort, that I sh•uld have so Page 186 good Company; vainly imagining that even Hell it self might be Capa∣ble of some Relief.
Going further on; I was gotten in∣to a Crowd of Taylors, that stood up sneaking in a Corner, for fear of the Devils. At the first Door, there was Seven Devils, taking the Names of those that Came in: and they ask't me mine, and my Quality, and so they let me pass. But examining the Taylors; These fellows (cry'd one of the Devils) come in such shoals, as if Hell were made only for Taylors. How many are they? (says another) Answer was made, about a Hundred. About a Hundred? They must be more then a Hundred, says t'other, if they be Taylors; for they never come u•der a Thousand, or Twelve hundred st•ong. And we have so many here al∣ready I do not know where we shall 'stow them. Say the word, my Masters, shall's let them in or no? the poor Prick-Lice were damn'dly startled at that, for fear they should not get in: but in the End, they had the Favour to be admit∣ted. Certainly, said I, these folks are but in an ill Condition, when 'tis a Page 187 Menace for the Devils themselves to refuse to receive them: Thereupon, a Huge, over-grown, Club-footed, Crump-shoulder'd Devil, threw them all into a Deep Hole. Seeing such a Monster of a Devil, I ask't him, how He came to be so deform'd. And He told me, He had spoyl'd his Back with Carrying of Taylors: for said he, I have been formerly made use of as a Sumpter to fetch them; but now of late they save me that Labour, and come so fast of themselves, that 'tis one Devils work to dispose of them. While the word was yet speaking, there came Another Glut of them, and I was fain to make way, that the Devil might have Room to work in, who pil'd them up, and told me they made the best Fewel in Hell.
I pass'd forward then into a little Dark Ally, where it made me start to hear one call me by my Name, and with much ado I perceiv'd a fellow there all wrapt up in Smoke, and Flame. Alas! Sir s•ys he; Have you forgotten your old Book-seller in Pope's Head-Alley? I cry thee M•rcy, quoth I, What? art thou Page 188 here? Yes, Yes, Sir (says he) 'tis e'en too True. I never dream't it would have come to This. He thought I must needs pity him, when I knew him: but truly I reflected rather upon the Justice of his Punishment. For in a word, his Shop was the very Mint of Heresy, Schisme, and Sedition. I put on a Face of Compassion however, to give him a little Ease, which He took hold of, and vented his Complaint. Well Sir (sayes He) I would my Father had made me a Hangman, when He made me a Statio∣ner; for we are call'd to Accompt for Other Men's works, as well as for our Own. And one thing that's cast in our Dish, is the selling of Translations, so Dog-cheap, that every Sot knows now as much, as would formerly have made a Passable Doctor, and every Nasty Groom, and Roguy Lacquay is grown as familiar with Homer, Virgil, Ovid, as if 'twere Robin the Devil; The seven Champions; or a piece of George Withers. He would have talk't on, if a Devil had not stop't his Mouth with a Whiffe from a rowle of his own Papers, and Choak't him with the smoak on't. The Pestilent Page 189 Fume would have dispatch't me too, if I had not got presently out of the Reach on't. But I went my way, say∣ing this to my self; If the Book-seller be thus Criminal, what will become of the Author?
I was diverted from this Medita∣tion, by the ruful Grones, of a great many Souls that were under the Lash; and the Devil Tyrannizing over them with Whips, and Scourges. I ask't what they were; and it was told me, that there was a Plot among the Hackney-Coach-men to exhibit an Information against the Devils, for taking the Whip out of their Hands, and setting up a Trade they had never serv'd to, (which is Contrary to Quinto Elizabethae.) Well, said I: But why are they tor∣mented here? With That, an old Sowr-look't Coach-man took the Answer out of the Devil's Mouth, and told me; that it was because they came to Hell a Horseback, which they pretended, was a Privilege that did not belong to Rogues of their Quality. Speak Truth, and be hang'd, cry'd the Devil; and make an honest Confession here. Say, Page 190 Sirrah, How many Bawdy Voyages h•ve you made to Hackney? How many Nights have you stood Pimping at Marybone? How many Whores, and Knaves have you Brought together? And how many Lyes have you told, to keep all Private, since you first set up this Scandalous Trade? There was a Coach-man by, that had serv'd a Iudge, and thought 'twas no more for his old Master to fetch a Ras∣cal out of Hell, then out of Newgate; which made this fellow stand upon his Points, and ask the Devil, how he durst give that Language to so Honourable a Profession: for (says he) who wear• better Clothes then your Coachmen? Are not we in our Velvets, Embroyderies, and Laces? and as Glorious as so many Phae∣to•s? Have not our Mast•rs reason to be good to us, when their Necks are at stake, and their Lives at our Mercy? Nay, we govern those, many times, that Govern Kingdomes; And a Prince is almost in as much Danger of his Coach-man as of his Physician. And There are, that under∣stand it too, and Themselves, and Vs•; and that will not stick to trust their Coach-men as far as they would do their Page 191 Confessors. There's no Absurdity in the Comparison; for if They know some of their Privacies, we know more; yes, and perhaps more then Wee'l speak of. What have we here to do? cry'd a De∣vil that was ready to break his heart with Laughing. A Coach-man, in his Tropes, and Figures? An Orator instead of a Waggoner? The slave has broke his Bridle, and got his Head at Liberty, and now hee'l never have done. No, why should he? (says another that had serv'd a great Lady more wayes then One) Is this the best Entertainment you can afford your Servants? your daily Drudges? I'm sure we bring you good Commodity, well pack't; well Con∣dition'd; well perfum'd; Right, Neat, and Clean: Not like your City-war•+- that comes dirty to you, up to the Hocks; and yet every Daggle-Tayl'd Wench, and Skip-Kennel, shall be better us'd then We. Ah! The Ingratitude of this Place! If we had done as much for some-body else, as we have done fo• you, we should not have been now to seek, for our Wages. When you have nothing else to say, you tell me that Page 192 I am punish't for carrying the Sick, the Gowty, the Lame, to Church; to Mass; or some stragling Virgins, back again to their Cloyster: Which is a Damn'd Lye; for I am able to prove, that all my Trading lay at the Play-houses, Baw∣dy-houses, Taverns, Balls, Collations: Or else at the Tour à la Mode, where there was still appointed some after-meeting, to treat of certain affairs, that highly Import the Interest, and Welfare of your Dominions. I have indeed carry'd my Mistress sometimes to the Church-Door, but it signify'd no more then if I had carry'd her to a Conventicle; for all her Business there, was to meet her Gallant, and to agree when they should meet next; according to the way of De∣votion now in Mode. To conclude; It is most certain, that I never took any Creature (knowingly) into my Coach, that had so much as a Good Thought. And it was so well known to us, that it was all one, to ask, If a Lady were a Maid; or, if she had ever been in my Coach. If it appear'd she had; He that marry'd her, knew before-hand, what he had to trust to. And after all this, Page 193 ye have made us a fair Requital. With That, the Devil fell a Laughing, and with five or six Twingeing Jerks, half flay'd the poor Coach-man; so that I was e'en glad to Retire; in pity partly to the Coach-man, and partly to my self; for the Currying of a Coach-man, is little better then the turning up of a Dunghil.
My next Adventure was into a Deep Vault, where I began immediately to shudder, and my Teeth chatter'd in my Head. I ask't the Meaning of it; and there came up to me a Devil, with Kib'd Heels, and his Toes all Mortify'd; and told me that That Quarter was alotted to the Buffons and Drolls, which are a people (says he) of so starv'd a Conceipt, and so cold a Discourse, that we are fain to Chain, and Lock them up, for fear they should spoil the Tem∣per of our Fire. I ask't if a man might see them. The Devil told me yes, and shew'd me One of the lewdest Ken∣nels in Hell. And there were they at it, pe•king at One Another, and nothing but the same fooleries over and over again, that they had practis'd upon Page 194 Earth. Among the Buffons, I saw di∣vers that pas•'d here in the World for Men of Honesty, and Honour: which were in, as the Devil told me, for Flat∣tery, and were a sort of Buffon, that goes betwixt the Bark and the Tree. But, why are they condemn'd? said I. The other Buffons are condemn'd (quoth the De∣vil) for want of Favour; and These, for having too much, and abusing it. You must know, they come upon us, still at Unawares; and yet they find all things in Readiness; the Cloth laid, and the Bed made, as if they were at home. To say the Truth, we have some sort of Kindness for them; for they save us a great deal of Trouble, in Tormenting one another.
Do you see him there? That, was a wicked, and a Partial Iudg; and all he has to say for himself, is, that he re∣members the Time when he could have broke the Neck of two Honest Causes, and He put them only out of Ioynt. That good-fellow there, was a careless Hus∣band, and him we lodge too with the Buffons. He sold his Wives Portion, Wife and all, to please his Companions; Page 195 and turn'd both into an Annuity. That Lady there (though a great One) is fain to take up too with the Buffons, for they are both of a Humour: What They do with their Talk, she does with her Body, and seasons it to all Appetites. In a word, you shall find Buffons in all Conditions; and in effect, there are nigh as many, as there are men and Women: For the whole world is given to Ieering, Slandering, Back-biting, and there are more Natural Buffons, then Artificial.
At my going out of the Vault, I saw a matter of a Thousand Devils, follow∣ing a Drove of Pastry-men, and Break∣ing their Heads as they pass'd along, with Iron Peels. Alack! cry'd one of them, that was yet in a whole Skin, it is hard the Sin of the Flesh should be laid to our charge, that never had to do with Women. Impudent, Nasty Ras∣cals (quoth a Devil) who has deserv'd Hell, if they have not? How many thousand men have these slovens poy∣son'd, with the Grease of their Heads, and Tailes, instead of Mutton-Sewet? with Snot-Pies for Marrow; and FliesPage 196 for Currants? How many Stomach• have they turn'd into Laystals with the D•gs-Flesh; Horse-Flesh and other Car∣rion that they have put into them? And do these Rogues complain (in the Devil's Name) of their sufferings? Leave your Bawling, Ye Whelps, (says he) and know, that the Pain you en∣dure, is nothing to that of your Tor∣menters. And for your Part (says he, with a fowr Look) because you are a stranger, you may go about your Busi∣ness; but we have a Crow to pluck with these fellows, before we part.
I went next, down a pair of stairs into a huge Cellar, where I saw men burning in unquenchable Fire; and one of them Roaring, Cry'd out, I ne∣ver over sold; I never sold, but at Con∣scionable Rates, why am I punish't thus? I durst have sworn it had been Iudas, but going Nearer him, to see if He had a Red-head, I found him to be a Mer∣chant of my Acquaintance, that dy'd not long since. How now, old Martin, (said I) art thou there? He was dogged, because I did not call him Sir, and made no Answer. I saw his Grief, and told Page 197 him how much He was to blame, to cherish that Vanity even in Hell, that had brought him thither. And what do ye think on't now (said I) Had not you better have traded in Blacks then Christians? Had not you better hav• contented your self with a Little, honestly got, then run the Hazard of your Soul for an Estate; and have gone to Heaven a foot, rather then to the Devil on Horse∣back? My Friend was as Mute as a Fish; whether out of Anger, Shame, or Grief, I know not. And then a Devil in Office took up the Discourse. These Pick-Pocket Rogues, (says he) Did they think to govern the World with their own Weights and Measures, in Sec•la Seculorum. Methinks, the Blinking, and false lights of their shops, should have Minded them of their Quarter in the Other World, aforehand. And 'tis all a Case, with Iewellers, Goldsmiths, and Other Trades, that serve only to Flatter and Bolster up the World in Luxury, and Folly. But if people would be wise, these Youths should have little Enough to do. For what's their Cloth of Gold, and Silver, their Silks, their Diamond,Page 198 and Pearl, (which they sell at their own Price) but matter of meer Wantonness, and Superfluity? These are they that inveigle ye into all sorts of Extrava∣gant Expences, and so ruine ye Insensi∣bly, under colour of Kindness, and Credit. For they set every thing at double the Rate; and if you keep not touch at your Day, your Persons are imprison'd; your Goods Seiz'd; and your Estates Extended. And they that hel'pt to make you Princes before, are now the forwardest to put you into the Con∣dition of Beggars.
The Devil would have talk't on, if I had given him the hearing, but there was such a Laugh set up on one side of me, as if they would all have split; and I went to see what the Matter was; for 'twas a strange thing, me thought, to hear them so merry in Hell. The Business was, there were two men upon a Scaffold, in Gentile habits, gaping as lowd as they could Bawl. One of them had a great Parchment in his Hand, dis∣play'd, with Divers Labels hanging at it, and several Seals. I thought at first i• might have been Execution-day, and Page 199 took the Writing for a Pardon, or R•∣prieve. At every word they spoke, a matter of Seven or Eight Thousand Devils burst out a Laughing, as they would have crack't their Sides. And This again made me think, it might be some Iack-pudding, or Mounte-bank, shewing his Tricks, or his Attestations; with his Congregation of fools about him. But nearer hand, I found my Mi∣stake; and that the Devils Mirth made the Gentlemen angry. At last, I per∣ceiv'd that this great Earnestness of theirs was only to make out their Pe∣degree, and get themselves past for Gentlemen; the Parchment being a Te∣stimonial from the Heralds Office, to that Purpose. My Father (says he with the writing in's Hand) bore Arms for his Majesty in many Honourable Oc∣casions, of Watching, and Warding; and has made many a Tall Fellow speak to the Constable, at all hours of the Night. My Uncle was the first man that ever was of the Order of the black-Guard: And we have had five Brave Commanders of our Family, by my Father's side, that have serv'd the State Page 200 in the Quality of Marshal's-men, and Turn-Keys, and given his Majesty a fair Accompt of all the Pris'ners commit∣ted to their Charge. And by my Mo∣ther's side, it will not be deny'd, but that I am honourably descended; For my Grandmother was never without •Dozen Chamber-maids, and Nurses in Family. It may be 'twas her Trade (quoth the Devil) to procure Services, and Servants, and consequently to deal in that Commodity. Well, Well, (said the Cavalier) she was what she was; and I'm sure I tell you Nothing but Truth. Her Husband wore a Sword, by his Place, for he was a Deputy-Mar∣shal; and to prove my self a Man of Honour, I have it here in Black and White, under the Seal of the Office. Why must I then be quarter'd among a Pack of Rascals? My Gentleman Friend; (quoth the Devil) your Grand∣father wore a Sword, as He was Vsher to a Fencing School; and we know very well what his Son, and Grandchild can pretend to. But let that pass; you have led a Wicked a•d infamous Life, and sp•nt your time, in Whoring, Drinking, Page 201 Blaspheming, and in Lewd Company; and do you tell us now of the Privileges of your Nobility? Your Testimonials; and the Seal of the Office? A Fart for your Privileges, Testimonials, Office and all. There is no Honour, but Virtue. And if your Children, though they had a Scoundrel to their Father, should come to do honourable and worthy things, we should look upon them as Persons Sacred, and not dare to Meddle with them. But Talking is Time lost; You were ever a Couple of Pitiful fellows, and your Tayls scarce worth the Scald∣ing. Have at ye, (says he) and at that word, with a huge Iron Bar He gave him such a Salute over the Buttocks, that He took two or three turns in the Air, Heels over Head, and dropt at last into the Common-shore; where never any man as yet found the Bot∣tom.
When his Companion had seen him Cut that Caper; This Usage (says he) may be well enough for a Parchment Gentleman: but for a Cavalier of my Extraction, and Profession, I suppose you'l Treat him with somewhat more Page 202 of Civility, and Respect. Cavalier (quoth the Devil) if you have brought no better Plea along with you, then the Antiquity of your House, you may e'en follow your Camerade, for ought I know, for we find very few ancient Fa∣milies, that had not some Oppressor or Vsurper, for their Founder; and they are commonly continu'd by the same means, they were begun. How many are there of our Titular Nobility, that write Noble, purely upon the Accompt of their Violence, and Injustice? Their Subjects, and Tenants, what with Im∣positions, hard services, and Rack't Rents, are they not Worse then slaves? If they happen to have any thing Ex∣traordinary, as a pleasant Fruit; A Handsome Colt; a Good Cow; and that the Landlord, or his Sweet Lady take a liking to it, they must either sub∣mit to part with it Gratis, or else take their Pay in foul Language, or Bastina∣does. And 'tis well if they 'scape so: For many times when the sign's in Ge∣mini; their Wives and Daughters go to Pot, without any regard of Laws either Sacred or Prophane. What Page 203 Damn'd Blasphemies and Imprecations do they make use of, to get Credit with a Mistress or a Creditor, Upon a Faith∣less Promise! How intolerable is their Pride, and Insolence, even towards ma∣ny Considerable Officers, both in Church and State! for They behave themselves as if all people below their Quality and Rank in the World, were but as so many Brutes, or Worse. As if Humane Blood were not all of a Co∣lour: As if Nature had not brought them into the world the Common way, or Moulded them of the same Materi∣als with the Meanest Wretches upon the Earth. And then for such as have Military Charges, and Commands; How many Great Officers are there, that without any Consideration of their Own, or Their Princes Honour, fall to spoil and Pillage? Cousening the State with false Musters, and the Soul∣diers of their Pay; and giving them, instead of their Due from the Prince, a Liberty of taking what is not their due from the People; forcing them to take the Bread out of the poor La∣bourers Mouths, to fill their own Bel∣lies, Page 204 and protecting them when they have done, in the most Execrable Out∣rages Imaginable. And when the poor Souldier comes at last to be dismist, or disbanded; Lame, Sick, Beggerly, Naked almost, and Enraged; with Nothing left him to trust to, but the high-way to keep him from starving. What Mischief is there in the world, that these men are not the Cause of? How many good Families are utterly ruin'd, and at this day in the Hospital, for trusting to their Oaths and Promises! and becoming bound for them, for vast sums of Money to maintain them in Tipple, and Whores, and in all sorts of Luxury, and Ryot? This Rhetorical Devil would have said a Thousand times more, but that his Companions call'd him off, and told him they had business elsewhere. The Cavalier hear∣ing that, my Friend, (said he) your Morals are very good, but yet with your Favour, all men are not alike. There's never a Barrel better Herring, (said the Devil) You are all of ye tainted with Original Sin, and if you had been any better then your fellows, Page 205 you had never been sent hither. But if you are indeed so Noble, as you say, you're worth the Burning, if 'twere but for your Ashes. And that you may have no Cause of Complaint, you shall see, Wee'l treat you like a person of your Condition. And in that Instant, Two Devils presented themselves; the one of them Bridled, and Sadled; and the other, doing the Office of the Squire; holding the Stirrop, with his left hand, and giving the Gentleman a Lift into the Saddle with the Other. Which was no sooner done, but away he went like an Arrow out of a Bow. I ask't the De∣vil then into what Countrey he car∣ry'd him. And he told me, Not far: for 'twas only matter of Decorum, to send the Nobility to Hell, a Horse-back. Look on that side now, says he, and so I did; and There I saw the poor Cava∣lier in a huge Furnace, with the first Inventers of Nobility, and Arms: As Cain; Cham; Nimrod; Esau; Romulus; Tarquin; Nero; Caligula; Domitian; Heliogabalus; and 〈◊〉 world of other Brave fellows, that had made themselves famous by Usurpation, and Blood. The Page 206 Place was a little too hot for me, and so I retir'd, meditating on what I had heard; and not a little satisfied with the Discourse of so learned a Devil. Till that time, I took the Devil for a Notorious Lyer; but I find now that He can speak the Truth too, when he pleases; and I would not for all I am worth, but have heard him Preach.
When I was thus far, my Curiosity carry'd me still farther; and within Twenty Yards, I eame to a huge Mud∣dy, Stinking Lake, near 'twice as big as that of Geneva; and heard in't so strange a Noise, that I was almost out of my Wits, to know what it was. They told me that the Lake was stor'd with Doüegna's, or Governantes, which are turn'd into a kind of Frogs in Hell, and perpetually Driveling, Sputtering, and Croaking. Me thought, The Con∣version was apt enough; for they are Neither Fish, nor Flesh, no more then Frogs; And Only the lower Parts of them are Man's-Meat, but their Heads are Enough to turn a very good Sto∣mach. I could not but Laugh, to see Page 207 how they Gaped, and stretch't out their Legs as they swam, and still as we came Neer, They'd Scud away and Dive.
This was no place to stay in, there was so Noysome a Vapour; and so I strook off, upon the Left-Hand; where I saw a Number of old men, beating their Breasts, and Tearing their Faces; with bitter Grones, and Lamentations. It made my Heart ake to see them, and I ask't what they were: Answer was made, that I was now in The Quarter of the Fathers that damn'd themselves, to raise their Posterity; which were called by some, The Unadvised. Wretch that I am! (cry'd one of them) The great∣est Penitent that ever liv'd, never suf∣fer'd the Mortification I have endur'd; I have Watch'd; I have Fasted; I have scarce had any Clothes to my Back▪ My whole Life has been a Restless Course of Torment, both of Body, and Mind▪ and all This, to get Money for my Chil∣dren; that I might see them well Mar∣ry'd; Buy them Places at Court, or pro∣cure them some other Preferment in the World: starving my self in the Con∣clusion, rather then I would lessen the Page 208 Provision, I had made for my Posterity. And yet Notwithstanding this my fa∣therly care, I was scarce sooner Dead, then forgotten: and my Next Heir bu∣ry'd me without Tears, or Mourning; and indeed without so much as paying of Legacies, or praying for my Soul: as if they had already received certain In∣telligence of my Damnation. And to aggravate my Sorrows, The Prodigals are now Squandering, and consuming that Estate in Gaming, Whoring, and Debauches, which I had scraped together by so much Industry, Vexation and Oppression, and for which I suffer at this Instant such Insupportable Torments. This should have been thought on before (cry'd a Devil) for sure you have heard of the Old saying. Happy is the Child whose Fa∣ther goes to the Devil. At which word, the Old Misers brake out into fresh Rage, and Lamentation, Tearing their Flesh, with Tooth and Nayl, in so ru∣ful a manner, that I was no longer able to endure the Spectacle.
A Little further, there was a Dark, Hideous Prison, where I heard the Clat∣tering of Chains; the Crackling of Page 209Flames; the Slapping of Whips; and a confused out-cry of Complaints. I ask't what Quarter this was; and they told me it was the Quarter of the Oh that I had's! What are those said I? Answer was made, that they were a Company of Brutish Sots, so absolutely deliver'd up to Vice, that they were damn'd in∣sensibly, and in Hell before they were aware. They are now reflecting upon their Miscarriages, and Omissions, and perpetually crying out; Oh that I had Examin'd my Conscience! Oh that I had frequented the Sacraments! Oh that I had humbled my self with Fasting, and Prayer! Oh that I had serv'd God as I ought! Oh that I had Visited the Sick▪ and Reliev'd the Poor! Oh that I had set a Watch before the Door of my Lips!
I left these late Repentants, (as it ap∣pear'd) in Exchange for worse, which were shut up in a Base Court, and the Nastiest that ever I saw. These were such as had ever in their Mouths. God is Merciful, and will pardon me. How can this be, (said I) that these people should be Damn'd? When Condemna∣tionPage 210 is an Act of Iustice, not of Mercy; I perceive you are simple, (quoth the Devil) for half these you see here, are condemn'd with the Mercy of God in their Mouths. And to Explain my self, Consider I pray'e, how many Sin∣ners are there, that go on in their Wayes, in spight of Reproof, and Good Counsel: and still this is their Answer; God is Merciful, and will not damn a Soul for so small a Matter. But let them talk of Mercy as they please; so long as they persist in a Wicked Life, we are like to have their Company at last. By your Argument (said I) there's no trusting to Divine Mercy. You mistake me (quoth the Devil) for every good Thought, and Work, flows from that Mercy. But This I say: He that per∣severes in his Wickedness, and makes use of the Name of Mercy, only for a Countenance to his Impieties, does but Mock the Almighty, and has no Title to that Mercy. For 'tis vain to expect Mercy from above, without do∣ing any thing in order to it. It properly belongs to the Righteous, and the Pe∣nitent; and they that have the most Page 211 of it upon the Tongue, have commonly the least thought of it in their Hearts: And 'tis a great Aggravation of Guilt, to Sin the more, in Confidence of an Abounding Mercy. It is True that many are receiv'd to Mercy, that are utterly Unworthy of it, which is no wonder, since No man of himself can deserve it: But men are so Negligent of seeking it betimes, that they put that off, to the last, which should have been the first part of their bus'ness; and many times their Life is at End, before they begin their Repentance. I did not think so Damn'd a Doctor could have made so good a Sermon. And there I left him.
I came next, to a Noysome Dark hole, and there I saw a Company of Dyers, all in Dirt, and Smoke, inter∣mixt with the Devils, and so alike, that it would have posed the subtlest Inqui∣sitor in Spain, to have said, which were the Devils, and which the Dyers.
There stood at my Elbow, a strange kind of Mungrel Devil, begot betwixt a Black, and a White; with a Head so bestuck with Little Horns, that it look't Page 212 at a Distance like a Hedg-hog. I took the Boldness to ask him, where they quarter'd the Sodomites, the Old Women and the Cuckolds. As for the Cuckolds, (said He) they are all over Hell, with∣out any Certain Quarter, or Station; and in Truth, 'tis no easie matter to know a Cuckold from a Devil, for (like kind Husbands) they wear their Wives favours still, and the very same Head∣pieces in Hell, that they wore living in the world. As to the Sodomites, we have no more to do with them, then needs must; but upon all Occasions, we either Fly, or Face them: for if ever we come to give them a Broad-side, 'Tis ten to one but we get a Hit betwixt Wind and Water; and yet we fence with our Tayls, as well as we can, and they get now and then a Flap o're the Mouth into the Bargain. And for the Old women, we make them stand off; for we take as little pleasure in them, as you do: And yet the Jades will be per∣secuting us with their Passions; and ye shall have a Bawd of five and fifty, do ye all the Gamboles of a Girl of fifteen. And yet after all this, There's not an old Page 213 Woman in Hell; for let her be as old as Pauls; Bald, Blind, Toothless, Wrinckled, Decrepit: This is not long of her Age, shee'l tell you; but a Terrible Fit of sick∣ness last year, that fetch't off her Hair, and brought her so low, that she has not yet recover'd her flesh again. She lost her Eyes by a Hot Rheum: and utterly spoil'd her Teeth with Cracking of Peach-stones, and Eating of Sweet-meats, when she was a Maid. And when the Weight of her Years has almost brought both Ends together, 'Tis nothing shee'l tell ye but a Crick she has got in her Back: And though she might recover her Youth again, by confessing her Age, shee'l never acknowledge it.
My next encounter was, a Number of People making their mone, that they had been taken away by sudden Death. That's an Impudent Lye (cry'd a De∣vil) saving this Gentleman's presence) for no man dyes suddenly. Death sur∣prizes no man, but gives all men sufficient warning, and Notice. I was much taken with the Devil's Civility, and Dis∣course; which he pursu'd after this manner. Do ye complain (says He) of Page 214 sudden Death? that have carry'd Death about ye, ever since you were Born; That have been entertain'd with daily Spectacles of Carkasses and Funerals; That have heard so many Sermons upon the subject; and read so many good Books upon the Frailty of Life, and the Certainty of Death. Do ye not know that every Moment ye live, brings ye nearer to your End? Your Cloaths wear out; Your Woods, and your Houses decay; and yet ye look that your Bodies should be Immortal. What are the Common Acci∣dents and Diseases of Life, but so many warnings to provide your self for a Re∣move? Ye have Death at the Table, in your Daily Food, and Nourishment; for your Life is maintain'd by the Death of •ther Creatures. And you have the ••vely picture of it, every Night for your Bedfellow. With what Face then can you Charge your Misfortunes upon sudden Death? that have spent your whole Life, both at Bed, and at Bord, among so many Remembrances of your Mortality. No, No; change your stile, and hereafter confess your selves to have been Care∣less and Incredulous. You Dye, t•in•ing Page 215 you are not to Dye yet; and forgetting that Death grows upon you, and goes along with ye from one End of your Life to the Other, without Distinguishing of Per∣sons, or Ages; Sex, or Quality: and whether it finds ye Well, or Ill-doing; As the Tree falls, so it Lies.
Turning toward my left Hand, I saw a great many Souls that were put up in Gally-pots, with Assa foetida, Gal∣banum, and a Company of Nasty Oyls that served them for Syrrup. What a Damn'd stink is here (Cry'd I, stopping my Nose) We are now come undoubt∣edly to the Devil's house of Office; No, No, (said their Tormenter) which was a kind of a Yellowish Complexion'd Devil) 'Tis a Confection of Apothecaries. A sort of people, that are commonly Damn'd for Compounding the Medici••• by which their Patients hope to be saved. To give them their due; These are your only True, and Chymical Philoso∣phers; and worth a thousand of Ray∣mund Lullius, Hermes, Geber, Ruspicella, Avicen, and their Fellows; 'Tis true, they have written fine things of the Transmutation of Mettals; but did they Page 216 ever make any Gold? Or if they did, We have lost the Secret. Whereas your Apothecaries, out of a Little Pud∣dle-water; a Bundle of Rotten sticks; a Box of Flies; Nay out of Toads, Vi∣pers, and a Sir Reverence it self, will fetch ye Gold ready Minted, and fit for the Market; which is more then all your Philosophical Projecters ever pre∣tended to. There is no Herb so Poyso∣nous, (let it be Hemlock) nor any stone so dry, (suppose the Pumice it self) but they'l draw silver out of it. And then for words, 'tis Impossible to make up any word out of the four and twenty Letters, but they'l shew ye a Drug, or a Plant of the Name; and turn the Alphabet into as good Money as any's in your Pocket. Ask them for an Eye-Tooth of a Flying Toad; they'l tell ye, yes, ye may have of it, in powder; Or if you had rather have the Infusion of a Tench of the Mountains, in a little Eeles Milk, 'tis all one to them. If there be but any Money stirring, you shall have what you will, though there be to such thing in Nature. S• that it looks as if all •he Plants, and stones of Page 217 the Creation, had their several powers and Vertues given them, only for the Apothecaries sakes; and as if Words themselves had been only made for their Advantage. Ye call them Apothe∣caries; but instead of That, I pray'e call them Arm•r•rs; and their Shops, Arsenals; Are not their Medicines as Certain Death, as Swords, Daggers, or Musquets? while their Patients are Purg'd and Blouded into the other World, without any regard either to Distemper, Measure, or Season.
If you will now see the Pleasantest sight you have seen yet, walk up but these two steps, and you shall see a Iury (or Conspiracy) of Barber-Surgeons, sitting upon life and Death. You must think that any Divertisement there was welcome, so that I went up, and found it in Truth a very pleasant Spe∣ctacle. These Barbers were most of them Chain'd by the Middle; their Han•s at Liberty; and Every one of them, a Cittern about his Neck; and upon his knees a Chess-board: and still as he reach't to have a Touch at the Citte••, the Instrument Vanish't; and Page 218 so did the Chess-board, when he thought to have a Game at Draughts; which is directly Tantalizing the poor Rogues, for a Cittern is as Natural to a Barber, as Milk to a Calf. Some of them were washing of Asses Brains, and putting them in again; and scouring of Negroes to make them White.
When I had laught my Fill at these fooleries, my next Discovery was, of a great many people, Grumbling and Muttering, that There was no Body look't after them; No not so much as to torment them; as if Their Tayls were not as well worth the Toasting, as their Neighbours. Answer was made, that being a kind of Devils them∣selves, they might put in for some sort of Authority in the Place, and Exe∣cute the Office of Tormenters. This made me ask what they were. And a Devil told me (with Respect) that they were a Company of Ungracious, Left-handed Wretches, that could do No∣thing aright. And their Grievance was that they were Quarter'd by Them∣selves; but not knowing whether they were Men or No; or indeed what else Page 219 to make of them, we did not know how to Match them, or in what Company to put them. In the world they are look't upon as Ill Omens; And let any man meet one of them, upon a Jour∣ney in a Morning, Fasting; 'tis the same thing as if a Hare had cross't the way upon him; He presently turns head in a Discontent, and goes to bed again. Ye know that Scaevola, when he found his Mistake, in killing Another, for Porsenna (the Secretary, for the Prince) burn't his Right-Hand in Revenge of the Miscarriage: Now the severity of the Vengeance, was not so much the Maiming or the Cripling of Himself, but the Condemning of himself to be for ever Left-handed. And so 'tis with a Malefactor that suffers Justice; The Shame, and Punishment, does not lye so much in the Loss of his Right-Hand, as that the other is Left. And it was the Curse of an old Bawd, to a fellow that had vex'd her, That He might go to the Devil by the stroke of a Left-handed Man. If the Poets speak Truth, (as 'twere a Wonder if they should not) The Left is the Vnlucky side; and there Page 220 never came any Good from it. And for my last argument against these Crea∣tures; The Goats, and Reprobates stand upon the Left-hand: And Left-handed men are, in Effect, a sort of Creature that's made to do Mischief; Nay whe∣ther I should •all them Men, or no, I know not.
Hereupon, a Devil becken'd me to come softly to him; and so I did, with∣out a word speaking or the least Noise in the World. Now (says he) if you'l see the Daily Exercise of Ill-favour'd Women, look through that Lattice-Win∣dow. And there I saw such a Kennel of Vgly Bitches, you would have blest your self. Some, with their faces so poun∣ced, and speckled, as if they had been scarify'd, and newly past the Cupping-Glass; with a world of little Plaisters, long, round, square; and briefly, cut out into such Variety, that it would have posed a good Mathematician to have found out another Figure; And you would have sworn that they had been either at Cats-play, or Cuffs. Others, were scraping their faces with pieces of Glass; tearing up their Eye∣brows Page 221 by the Roots, like Mad: And some that had none to tear, were fetch∣ing out of their black Boxes, such as they could get, or make. Others were powd'ring, and curling their false Locks; or fast'ning their new Ivory Teeth, in the place of their old Ebony Ones. Some were Chewing Lemon-pill, or Cinamon, to countenance a foul Breath; And rai∣sing themselves upon their Ciopines, that their View might be the fairer, and their fall the Deeper. Others were quarrelling with their Looking-Glasses, for shewing them such Hags-faces: and cursing the state of Venice for Enter∣taining no Better workmen. Some were stuffing out their Bodies, like Pack-sad∣dles, to cover secret Deformities: And some again had so many Hoods over their faces, to conceal the Ruines, that I could hardly discern what they were; And These past for Penitents. Others, with their pots of Hogs Grease, and Po∣matum, were sleeking, and polishing their faces, and indeed their fore-heads were bright, and shining, though there were neither Suns, nor Stars in That Firma∣ment: Some there were (in Fine) that Page 222 would have fetch't a man's Guts up at's mouth, to see them with their Masques of After-Births; and with their Men∣struous Slibber Slobbers, dawbing one another to take away the Heats, and Bubos. Nasty and Abominable! I cry'd. Well (quoth the Devil) you see now how far a Woman's Wit, and Invention will carry her to her own Destruction. I could not speak one word for Asto∣nishment at so horrid a spectacle; till I had a little recollected my self: and then (said I) If I may deal freely with∣out Offence; I dare Defy all the De∣vils in Hell, to out-do these Women. But pray'e let's be gone, for the sight of them, makes my very Heart ake.
Turn about then, (said the Devil) and there was a fellow sitting in a Chair, all alone; never a Devil near him; No Fire, or Frost; No Heat, or Cold; or any thing else; that I could perceive, to torment him; and yet crying and Roar∣ing out the most hideously of any thing I had yet heard in Hell: Tearing his Flesh; and Beating his Body, like a Bedlam; and his Heart, all the while, Bleeding at his Eyes. Good Lord, Page 223 thought I, what ails this Wretch, to yell out thus when no Body Hurts him▪ So I went up to Him; Friend (said I) what's the meaning of all this Fury, and Transport? for, so far as I can see, there's nothing to trouble you. No, No, (says he with a Horrid Out-cry, and with all the Extravagances of a Man in Rage, and Despair) you do not see my Tormentors; but the all-searching Eye of the Almighty, sees my Pains, as well as my Transgressions; and with a severe, and Implacable Iustice, has condemn'd me to suffer Punishments answerable to my Crimes. (Which Words He utter'd with redoubled Clamours) My Exe∣cutioners are in my Soul, and all the Plagues of Hell in my Conscience. My Memory serves me instead of a Cruel Devil. The Remembrance of the Good I should have done, and Omitted; And of the Ill, I should not have done, and did. The Remembrance of the wholesome Counsels I have rejected, and of the Ill example I have given. And for the Ag∣gravation of my Misery; where my Me∣mory leaves afflicting me, my Under∣standing begins: shewing me the Glo∣ries, Page 224 and Beatitudes I have lost, which others enjoy, who have gain'd Heaven, with less Anxiety, and Pain then I have endur'd, to compass my Damnation. Now am I perpetually meditating on the Comforts, Beauties, Felicities, and Rap∣tures of Paradise, only to enflame, and exasperate my Despair in Hell: begging in Vain, but for one moments Interval of Ease, without obtaining any; for my Will is also as Inexorable, as either my Memory, or my Understanding. And These (my Friend of the other world) are the Three Faculties of my Soul, which Divine Iustice, for my Sins, has conver∣ted into three Tormentors, that Torture me without Noise; Into Three Flames, that burn me without consuming. And if I chance at any time to have the least Remission, or Respite; The Worm of my Conscience gnaws my Soul, and finds it, to an Insatiable Hunger, an Immortal Aliment, and Entertainment. At that word, turning towards me with a Hel∣lish Yell; Mortal (says he) learn, and be assur'd from me, that all those that either bury or misemploy their Talents, •arry a Hell within Themselves, and are Page 225 Damn'd even above ground; and so He return'd to his Usual Clamours. Upon this, I left him, miserably sad and pen∣sive. Well, thought I, what a weight of sin lyes upon this Creatures Conscience! Whereupon the Devil observing me in a Muse, told me in my Ear, that this Fellow had been an Atheist, and believ'd neither God, nor Devil. Deliver me then, said I, from that Vnsanctify'd Wis∣dom, that serves us only for our fur∣ther Condemnation.
I was gone but a step or two aside, and I saw a world of people running after Burning Chariots, with a great ma∣ny Souls in them, and the Devils tear∣ing them with Pincers: and before them, march't Certain Officers, making Proclamation of their Sentence, which with much ado I got near enough to hear, and it was to this effect. Divine Iustice hath appointed this Punishment to the Scandalous, for giving Ill Examples to their Neighbours. And at the same time, several of the Damn'd laid their sins to their Charge, and cry'd out, that 'twas long of Them they were thus Tor∣mented. So that the Scandalous were Page 226 punish't both for their own Sins, and for the Offences of those they had misled to their Destruction. And these are they of whom 'tis said, that They had better ne∣ver have been born.
My very Soul was full of Anguish, to see so many Doleful Spectacles; and yet I could not but smile, to see the Vintners every where up and down Hell, as free, as if they had been in their Taverns, and only Pris'ners upon Parole. I ask't how they came by that Privilege; and a Devil told me, there was no need of shackling them, or so much as shutting them up; for there was no fear of their making a 'scape, that took so much pains in the World, and made it their whole Business to come thither. Only, says he; if we can keep them from throwing Water in the Fire, as they do in their Wines, we are well Enough. But if you would see somewhat worth the while, leave these fellows, and follow me; and I'le shew ye Iudas and his Brethren, the Stew∣ards, and Purse-bearers: so I did as he bad me, and he brought me to Iudas, and his Companions, who had no Faces,Page 227 divers of them, and most of them no Foreheads.
I was well enough pleas'd to see him, and to be better inform'd; for I had ever Phansy'd him to be a kind of an Olive-colour'd Tawny Complexion'd fel∣low, without a Beard; and an Eunuch into the Bargain: which perhaps (nay probably) He was; for nothing but a Capon, a Thing un-man'd, could ever have been guilty of so sordid, and Treacherous a Villany, as to sell, and betray his Master, with a Kiss; and af∣ter That, so Cowardly, as to hang him∣self in Despair, when he had done. I do believe, however, what the Church says of him: That He had a Carrot Beard, and a Red Head; but it may be his Beard was burn't, and as he ap∣pear'd to me in Hell, I could not but take him for an Eunuch, which to deal freely, is my Opinion of all the De∣vils, for they have no Hair; and they are for the most pa•t all wrinkled, and Baker-legg'd.
Iudas was beset with a Great many Money-Mongers, and Purse-bearers, that were telling him stories of the pranks Page 228 they had play'd, and the Tricks they had put upon their Masters, after his Example. Coming up to them, I per∣ceiv'd that their Punishment was like that of Titius, who had a Vultur con∣tinually gnawing upon his Liver; for there were a Number of Ravenous Birds perpetually preying upon them, and tearing off their Flesh; which grew again as fast as they devour'd it; a De∣vil in the mean time crying out, and the Damn'd filling the whole place with Clamour and Horrour; Iudas, with his Purse, and his Pot by his side, bearing a large part in the Out-cry, and Torment. I had a huge mind (me thought,) to have a word or two with Iudas; and so I went to him with this Greeting: Thou Perfidious, Impudent, Impious Traytor, (said I) to sell thy Lord and Master at so base a Price, like an Avarici∣ous Rascal. If men, (said he) were not ungrateful, they would rather pity, or Commend me, for an Action so much to their Advantage, and done in Order to their Redemption. The Misery is Mine that am to have no part my self, in the Benefit I have procured to others. Page 229 Some Heretiques there are, (I must con∣fess to my Comfort) that adore me for't. But do you take me for the only Iudas? No, No. There have been many since the Death of my Master, and there are at this Day, more wicked, and ungrateful, Ten thousand times then my self; that buy the Lord of Life, as well as sell him, scourging and Cru∣cifying him daily with more Spite, and Ignominy then the Iews. The Truth is, I had an Itch to be fingering of Money, and Bartering, from my Entrance into the Apostleship. I began, you know, with the Pot of Oyntment, which I would fain have sold, under colour of a Relief to the Poor. And I went on▪ to the selling of my Master, wherein I did the World a greater good then I in∣tended, to my own irreparable ruine. My Repentance, now signifies Nothing. To conclude, I am the only Steward that's condemn'd for Selling; All the rest are damn'd for Buying: And I must entreat you, to have a better Opinion of me; for if you'l look but a little lower here, you'l find people a Thou∣sand times worse then my self. With∣draw Page 230 draw then (said I) for I have had talk enough with Iudas.
I went down then, some few steps, as Iudas directed me; and There, I saw a world of Devils upon the March, with Rods, and Stirrup-leathers in their Hands, lashing a Company of handsome Lasses, stark naked, and driving them out of Hell (which me thought was pity, and if I had had some of them in a Corner, I should have treated them better) With the Stirrup-Leathers, they disciplin'd a Litter of Bawds. I could not Imagine why These; of all others, should be expell'd the place, and ask't the Question. Oh, says a Devil, These are our Factresses in the world, and the best we have, so that we send them back again to bring more Grist to the Mill: And indeed, if it were not for Women, Hell would be but thinly peopled; for what with the Art, the Beauty, and the Allurements of the Young Wenches; and the Sage Advice and Counsel of the Bawds, they do us very great services. Nay; for fear any of our Good Friends should tire upon the Rode, they send them to us on Horse-back, or bring Page 233 them themselves, e'en to the very Gates, lest they should miss their way.
Pursuing my journey, I saw, a good way before me, a large Building, that lookt (me thought) like some Enchant∣ed Castle, or the Picture of Ill-Luck: It was all ruinous, the Chimneys down, the Planchers all to pieces, only the Bars of the Windows standing: The Doors all bedaw'd with dirt, and patcht up with Barrel-Heads, where they had been broken. The Glass gone, and here and there a Quarrel supply'd with Paper. I made no doubt at first but the house was forsaken; but coming nearer, I found it otherwise, by a horrible confusion of tongues and noises within it. As I came just up to the Door; one open'd it, and I saw in the house many Devils, Thieves, and Whores. One of the craftiest Jades in the Pack, placed her self presently upon the Threshold, and made her address to my Guide and me. Gentle∣men, says she, how comes it to pass, I pray'e, that people are damn'd both for giving and taking? The Thief is con∣demn'd for taking away from another; and we are condemn'd for giving what Page [unnumbered] is our own. I do not find, truly, any injustice in our Trade; and if it be lawful to give every one their own, and out of their own; why are we con∣demn'd? We found it a nice point, and sent the Wench to Counsel learned in the Law, for a resolution in the Case. Her mentioning of Thieves made me inquire after the Scriveners and Notaries. Is it possible (said I) that you should have none of them here? for I do not re∣member that I have seen so much as one of them upon the way; and yet I had occasion for a Scrivener, and made a search for one. I do believe indeed (quoth the Devil) that you have not found any of them upon the Road. How then? (said I) what, are they all sav'd? No, no (cry'd the Devil) but you must understand, that they do not foot it hither, as other mortals; but come upon the Wing, in Troops like Wild-geese; so that 'tis no wonder you see none of them upon the way. We have millions of them, but they cut it away in a trice, for they are damn'dly rank-wing'd, and will make a flight, in the third part of a minute, betwixt Page 233Earth and Hell. But if there be so ma∣ny (said I) how comes it we see none of them? For that (quoth the Devil) we change their names, when they come hither once, and call them no longer Notaries or Scriveners, but Cats: and they are so good mousers, that though this place is large, old, and ruinous; yet you see not so much as a Rat or a mouse in Hell: how full soever of all other sorts of Vermine. Now ye talk of Ver∣mine (said I) are there any Catchpoles here? No not one (says he.) How so (quoth I?) when I dare undertake there are five hundred Rogues of the Trade for one that's ought. The Rea∣son is (says the Devil) that every Catch∣pole upon Earth, carries a Hell in's Bo∣som. You have still (said I, crossing my self) an aking tooth at those poor Var∣lets. Why not (cry'd he) for they are but Devils incarnate, and so damn'dly verst in the art of tormenting, that we live in continual dread of losing our pla∣ces, and that his Infernal Majesty should take these Rascals into his Service.
I had enough of this, and travelling on, I saw a little way off, a great enclo∣sure, Page 234 and a world of Souls shut up in't; some of them weeping and lamenting without measure, others in a profound silence. And this I understood to be the Lovers Quarter. It sadn'd me to consider, that Death it self could not kill the lamentations of Lovers. Some of them were discoursing their passions, and teizing themselves with fears and jelousies; casting all their miseries up∣on their appetites and phansies, that still made the Picture infinitely fairer than the Person. They were for the most part troubled with a simple disease, call'd (as the Devil told me) I Thought. I askt him what that was, and he an∣swer'd me, it was a Punishment suita∣ble to their Offence: for your Lovers, when they fall short of their Expecta∣tions, either in the pursuit, or enjoy∣ment of their Mistresses, they are wont to say, Alas! I Thought she would have lov'd me: I Thought she would never have prest me to marry her: I Thought she would have been a Fortune to me: I Thought she would have given me all she had: I Thought she would have cost me nothing: I Thought she would have Page 235 askt me nothing: I Thought she would have been true to my Bed: I Thought she would have bin dutiful and modest: I Thought she would never have kept her Gallant. So that all their Pain and damnation comes from I thought This or That, or So, or So.
In the middle of them was Cupid, a little beggarly Rogue, and as naked as he was born, only here and there co∣ver'd with an odd kind of Embroidery; but whether it was the workmanship of the Itch, Pox, or Measles, I could not perfectly discover; and •lose by him was this Inscription.
A ha! (said I) by these Rimes me∣thinks the Poets should not be far off; and the word was hardly out of my mouth, when I discovered millions of them through a Park-Pale, and so I stopt to look up•n them. (It s••ms in H•ll they are not call'd Poets now, but Page 236Fools) One of them shew'd me the Women's Quarter there hard by, and askt me what I thought of it, and of the handsome Ladies in it. Is it not true (says he) that a Buxome Lass is a kind of half-Chambermaid to a man? when she has stript him and brought him to Bed, she has done her business, and never troubles her self any further a∣bout the helping him up again, and dressing him. How now (said I?) have ye your Quirks and Conceipts in Hell? In troth ye are pleasant: I thought your edge had been taken off. With that, out stept the most miserable Wretch of the whole Company laden with Irons: Ah! (quoth he) I would to God the first Inventer of Rimes and Poetry were here in my Place, and then he went on with this following and sad Complaint.
A Complaint of the Poets in Hell:
So soon as he had done; There is not in the world (said I) a more ridiculous phrensie, than yours, to be poetizing in Hell. The humour sticks close sure, or the fire would have fetcht it out. Nay (cry'd a Devil) these Versifiers are a strange Generation of Buffons. The time that others spend in Tears and Groans for their sins and follies; these Wretches employ in Songs and Madri∣gals; and if they chance to light upon the critical minute, and get a snap at a Lady, all's worth nothing, unless the whole Kingdom ring of it, in some mi∣serable Sing-song or other, under the name forsooth of Phillis, Chloris, Sylvia, or the like: and the goodly Idol must be deckt and drest up with Diamond, Pearl, Rubies, Musque, and Amber, and both the Indies are too little to furnish Eyes, Lips, and Teeth for this Imaginary Goddess. And yet after all this magni∣ficence and bounty, it would put the poor Devil's credit upon the stretch, to take up an Old Petty-coat in Long-Lane,Page 239 or a pair of Cast-shooes, at the next Coblers. Beside; we can give no Account either of their Countrey, or Religion. They have Christian Names, but most Heretical Souls; They are Arabians in their Hearts: and in their Language, Gentiles; but to say the Truth, they fall short of the right Pa∣gans in their Manners. If I stay here a little longer, (said I to my self) This spiteful Devil will hit me over the Thumbs e're I'm aware; for I was half Jealous, that he took me already for a piece of a Poet.
For fear of being Discover'd, I went my way, and my Next Visit was to the Impertinent Devotes; whose very Pray∣ers are made up of Impiety, and Extra∣vagance. Oh! what Sighing was there, and Sobbing! Groning, and Whining! Their Tongues were ty'd up to a perpe∣tual Silence; Their Souls, Drooping; and their Ears condemn'd to hear eternally the hideous cryes and Reproaches of a wheasing Devil, greeting them after this manner. Oh, Ye Impudent and Profane Abusers of Prayer, and Holy Duties! that treat the Lord of Heaven Page 240 and Earth, in His own house, with le•• respect then ye would do a Merchant upon the Change, sneaking into a Cor∣ner with your Execrable Petitions, for fear of being over-heard by your Neighbours; and yet without any scru∣ple at all, ye can Expose, and offer them up to that Eternal Purity! shameless Wretches that ye are! Lord, (says one) take the Old man, my Father, to thy self, I beseech Thee, that I may have his Office and Estate. Oh, that this Vncle of mine would but march off! There's a Fat Bishoprick, and a good Deanery; I would the Devil had the Incumbent so I had the Dignity. Now for a lusty Pot of Guinneys, or a Lucky hand at Dice if it be thy pleasure, and then I would not doubt of good Matches for my Chil∣dren. Lord, make me His Majesties Fa∣vourite and Thy Servant; that I may get what's Convenient, and keep what I have gotten. Grant me This, and I do here engage my self, to entertain six Blew-Coats, and Bind them out to good Trades; to set up a Lecture for every day of the Week; to give one Third part of my clear gains to Charitable Vses; and Page 241 another, toward the Repairing of Pauls; and to pay all honest Debts, so far as may stand with my Private Convenience. Blind and Ridiculous Madness! for Dust and Ashes thus to reason and Con∣dition with the Almighty! for Beggars to talk of Giving, and obtrude their Vain and unprofitable Offerings upon the Inexhaustible fountain of Riches and Bounty! To Pray for Those things as Blessings, which are commonly showr'd down upon us for our Confu∣sion and Punishment. And then in Case your Wishes take effect; what becomes of all the Sacred Vows and Promises ye made, in storms, (perhaps) Sickness, or Adversity? so soon as ye have gain'd your Port, recover'd your Health; or Patch'd up a Broken Fortune, you shew your selves, all of ye, a pack of Cheats; Your Vows, and Promises are not worth so many Rushes: They are forgotten with your Dreams; and to keep a Promise upon Devotion, that you made out of Necessity, is no Article of your Religion. Why do ye not ask for Peace of Conscience? Encrease of Grace? The Aid of the Blessed Spirit?Page 242 But you are too much taken up with the Things of this World, to attend those spiritual Advantages and Trea∣sures; and to consider, that the most acceptable Sacrifices and Oblations you can make to the Almighty, are Pu∣rity of Mind, an humble Spirit, and a Fervent Charity. The Almighty takes delight to be often call'd upon, that He may often pour down his Blessings upon his Pe•itioners. But such is the Corrup∣tion of Humane Nature, that Men sel∣dom think of him, unless under af∣fliction; and therefore it is, that they are often Visited; for by Adversity, they are brought to the Knowledg, and Exercise of their Duty. I would now have you consider, how little Reason there is in your Ordinary Demands. Put Case you have your Asking; what are you the better for the Grant? since it fails you at last; because you did not ask aright. When you die, your Estate goes to your Children; and for their parts, you are scarce cold, before you are forgotten. You are not to expect they should bestow much upon Works of Charity; for if nothing went that Page 243 way while you were living: They'l live after your Example when you are Dead. And beside; there's no Merit in the Case. At this word some of the poor Creatures were about to Reply; but the Devils had put Barnacles upon their Lips, that Hindred them.
From thence, I went to the Witches and Wizards; such as pretend to cure Man and Beast by Charms, Words, A∣mulets, Characters: and These were all burning alive. These (says a Devil) are a Company of Cousening Rogues; the most accursed Villains in Nature. If they help one man, they kill another, and only remove the Disease from a worse to a Better: And yet there's no great Clamour against them neither; for if the Patient recover, hee's well enough content, and the Doctor Gets both Reputation and Reward for his Pains. If He dyes, his mouth is stop't, and forty to one the next Heir does him a good turn for the Dispatch. So that, Hit, or Miss; All is well at last. If you enter into a Debate with them about their Remedies, They'll tell you, they learn't the Mystery of a certain Iew; and Page 244 There's the Original of the Secret. Now to hear these Quacks give you the History of their Cures, is beyond all the Playes and Farces in the World. You shall have a fellow tell you of fifteen people that were run clean through the Body, and glad for a matter of three dayes to carry their Puddings in their Hands; that in four and twenty hours he made them as whole as Fishes, and no so much as a Scar for a Remem∣brance of the Orifice. Ask him, when and where? you'l find it some Twelve Hundred Leagues off, in a Terra Incog∣•ita, by the Token, that at that time he was Physician in Ordinary to a great Prince that dy'd about five and twenty years ago.
Come, Come; (Cry'd a Devil) make an End of this Visit, and you shall see those now, that Iudas told you were ten times Worse then himself. I went along with him, and he brought me to a Pas∣sage into a great Hall, where there was a Damn'd smell of Brimstone, and a Company of Match-makers, as I thought at first; but they prov'd afterward to be Alchymists, and the Devils examining Page 245 them upon Interrogatories, who were filthily put to't, to understand their Gibbrish. Their Talk was much of the Planetary Mettals; Gold they call'd Sol; Silver, Luna; Tin, Iupiter; Copper, Ve∣nus. They had about them, their For∣naces, Crucibles, Coal, Bellows, Clay, Mi∣nerals, Dung, Man's Bloud, Powders, and Alimbecks. Some were Calcining; O∣thers Washing; Here Purifying; There Separating. Fixing what was Volatile, in one place; and Rarifying what was Fix in another. Some were upon the Work of Transmutation, and Fixing of Mercury with Monstrous Hammers, upon an Anvile. And after they had resolv'd the Viscous matter, and sent out the subtler parts, that they came to the Coppel, All went away in Fume. Some again were in a hot dispute, What Fuel was best; and whether Raymund Lul∣lius his Fire, and no Fire, could be any thing else then Lime; or otherwise to be understood of the Light Effective of Heat, and not of the Effective Heat of Fire. Others were making their En∣trance upon the Great Work, after the Hermetical Method. Here they were Page 246 watching the Progress of their Opera∣tions, and making their Observations upon Proportions, and Colour. While all the rest of these blind Oracles lay waiting for the Recovery of the Ma∣teria Prima: till they brought them∣selves to the last Cast both of their Lives and Fortunes: and instead of turning Base Mettals and Materials into Gold, as they pretended; they made the Contrary Inversion, and were glad at length to take up with Beggarly Fools, and False Coiners. What a stir was there, with crying out, ever and anon! Look ye, Look ye! The old Father is got up again; Down with him, Down with him; What Glossing, and Commenting upon the o•d Chymical Text, that says; Blessed be Heaven, That has order'd the most Excel∣lent thing in Nature out of the Vilest. If so, (quoth one) let's try, if we can fetch the Philosophers Stone out of a Common Strumpet, which is of all Crea∣tures undoubtedly the Vilest. And the Word was no sooner out, but a matter 〈◊〉 Three and Twenty Whores went to Pot, but the Flesh was so Cursedly Mawmish and Rotten, that they soon Page 247 gave over the Thought of that Pro∣jection. And then they entred upon a fresh Consultation, and concluded, Ne∣mine Contradicente, that the Mathema∣ticians, by that rule, were the only fit matter to work upon; as being most damnably dry, (to say nothing of their Divisions, among, and against them∣selves) so that with one Voice, they call'd for a parcel of Mathematicians, to the Fornace, to begin the Experi∣ment. But a Devil came in just in the God-speed, and told them; Gentlemen Philosophers, (says he) if you would know the Wretched'st, and most con∣temptible thing in the World; It is an Alchymist: and we are of Opinion, that you'l make as Good Philosopher's stones, as the Mathematicians. However, for Curiosity's sake, wee'l try for Once; and so he threw them all together into a great Caldron; and to say the Truth, the poor Snakes suffer'd very conten∣tedly; out of a desire I suppose, to help on toward the perfecting of the Ope∣ration.
On the other side, we•e a Knot of Astrologers, and one among the rest that Page 248 had study'd Chiromancy or Palmestry; who took all the Damn'd by the Hands, one after another. One he told, that it was as plain as the Nose on his Face, that he was to go to the Devil, for he perceiv'd it by the Mount of Saturn. You (says he to another) have been a Swindging Whore-master in your Days; I see that by the Mount of Venus here, and by her Girdle; and in short; every Man's Destiny he read in his Fist. Af∣ter him advanced another, Creeping upon all four; with a pair of Compasses betwixt his Teeth; his Spheres and Globes about him; his Iacob's staffe before him; and his Eyes upon the Stars, as if he were taking a Height, or making an Observation. When he had gazed a while, up he starts of a sud∣den, and wringing his Hands, Good Lord (says he) What an Vnlucky Dog was I! If I had come into the World, but one half quarter of an hour sooner, I had been sav'd; for Just then Saturn shifted, and Mars was lodg'd in the house of Life. One that follow'd him, bad his Tormentors be sure he was Dead, for (says he) I am a little doubtful of Page 249 it my self; in regard that I had Iupiter for my Ascendent, and Venus in the House of Life, and no Malevolent Aspect to cross me. So that by the Rules of Astro∣logy, I was to live, precisely, a hundred years and one; Two Months, Six days, four Hours, and Three Minutes. The next that came up was a Geomancer; one that reduced all his Skill to Certain little points, and by them would tell you, as well things past, as to come: These points he bestow'd at a Venture, among several unequal lines; some long, others shorter, like the Fingers of a Man's Hand; and then with a certain Ribble-Rabble of Mysterious Words, he proceeds to his Calculation, upon Even, or Odd, and challenges the whole world to allow him the most learned, and In∣fallible of the Trade.
There were Divers great Masters of the Science that follow'd him. As Haly, Gerard, Bart'lemew of Parma, and one Toudin; a familiar Friend, and Com∣panion of the Great Cornelius Agrippa, the famous Conjurer: who though he had but one Soul, was yet burning in four Bodies. (I mean the four Damnable Page 250 Books he left behind him.) There was Trithemius too, with his Polygraphy, and Stenography: that had Devils now, his Belly full, though in his Life time his Complaint was, that He could never have enough of their Company: Over against him was Cardan; but they could not set their horses together, be∣cause of an old Quarrel; whether was the more Impudent of the Two. And there I saw Misaldus, tearing his Beard, in Rage, to find himself Pumpt dry; and that he could not fool on, to the End of the Chapter. Theophrastus was there too, bewailing himself for the Time he had spent at the Alchymists Bellows. There was also the Unknown Author of Clavicula Solomonis, and The Hundred Kings of Spirits; with the Composer of the Book, Adversus Omnia pericula Mundi. Taysnerus too, with his Book of Physiognomy, and Chi∣romancy; and He was doubly punish't, first for the Fool he was; and then for those he had made▪ Though to give the Man his Due, He knew himself to be a Cheat, and that he that gives a Judg∣ment upon the Lines of a Face, takes Page 251 but a very uncertain aim. There were Magicians, Necromancers, Sorcerers, and Enchanters innumerable, beside divers private Boxes that were kept for Lords and Ladies; and other Personages of great quality, that put their trust in these Disciples of the Devil, and go to Strand-Bridge or Billeter-Lane, for reso∣lution in cases of Death, Love, or Mar∣riage, and now and then to recover a Gold Watch or a Pearl Neck-lace.
Not far from these, were a company of handsome Women, that were tor∣mented in the quality of Witches; which griev'd my very heart to see it: but to comfort me, What? (says a De∣vil) Have you so soon forgot the rogue∣ry of these Carrions? Have you not had tryal enough yet of them? they are the very poyson of life, and the on∣ly dangerous Magicians that corrupt all our senses, and disturb the faculties of your soul; these are they that cousen your Eyes with false appearances, and set up your wills in opposition to your Vn∣derstanding and Reason. 'Tis right, said I, and now you mind me of it, I do very well remember, that I have found Page 252 them so; but let's go on and see the rest.
I was scarce gone three steps further, but I was got into so hideous a dark place, that it was e'en a mercy we knew where we were. There was first at the entrance, Divine Iustice, which was most dreadful to behold; and a little beyond stood Vice, with a countenance of the highest pride and insolence ima∣ginable: There was Ingratitude, Ma∣lice, Ignorance, obstinate and incorrigi∣ble Infidelity, brutish and head-strong Dis∣obedience, rash and imperious Blasphemy, with Garments dipt in bloud, Eyes spark∣ling, and a hundred pair of Chops, barking at Providence, and vomiting rage and poyson. I went in (I confess) with fear and trembling) and there I saw all the Sects of Idolaters and Hereticks, that ever yet appeared upon the stage of the Universe: And at their feet, in a glori∣ous array, was lascivious Barbara, second Wife to the Emperor Sigismund, and the Queen of Harlots: One that agreed with Messalina in This, that Virginity was both a burden and a folly; and that in her whole life she was never either Page 253wearied or satisfy'd; but herein she went beyond her; in that she held the mortality as well of the Soul as of the Body; but she was now better instru∣cted, and burnt like a bundle of Matches.
Passing forward still, I spy'd a fellow in a corner, all alone, with the flames about his ears, gnashing his teeth, and blaspheming through fury and despair. I askt him what he was, and he told me he was Mahomet. Why then (said I) thou art the damn'dest Reprobate in Hell, and hast brought more Wretches hither than half the World beside: and Lucifer has done well to allot thee a Quarter here by thy self, for certainly thou hast well deserv'd the first place in his Dominions. But since every man chuses to talk of what he loves, I prethee good Imposter tell me, What's the reason that thou hast forbidden Wine to all thy Disciples? Oh (says he) I have made them so drunk with my Alchoran they need no Tipple. But why hast thou forbidden them Swines-flesh too (said I?) because (says he) I would not affront the Iambon; for Water up∣on Page 254Gammon, would be false Heraldry. And beside I never lov'd my people well enough to afford them the plea∣sure, either of the Grape or the Spare-Rib. Nay, and for fear they should chance to grope out the way to Heaven, I have establisht my power and my Do∣minion by force of Arms; without subjecting my Laws to idle disputes and discourses of reason. Indeed there is lit∣tle of Reason in my Precepts, and I would have as little in their obedience. A world of Disciples I have, but I think they follow me more out of appetite than Religion, or for the miracles I work. I allow them Liberty of Conscience; they have as many Women as they please, and do what they list, provided they meddle not with the Government. But look about ye now, and you'l find that there are more Knaves than Mahomet.
I did so, and found my self presently surrounded with a Ring of Hereticks, and their Adherents; many of which were ready to tear out the Throats of their Leaders. One among the rest was beset with a brace of Devils, and either of them a pair of Bellows, puffing into Page 255 each ear Fire instead of Air, which made him a little hot-headed. There was ano∣ther, that; as I was told, was a kind of a Symoniac, and had taken up his seat in a Pestilential Chair; but it was so dark I could not well discern whether it was a Pope or a Presbyter.
By this time I had enough of Hell, and began to wish my self out again; but as I was looking about for a Re∣treat, I stumbled upon a Long Gallery before I was aware: and there I saw Lucifer himself with all his Nobility a∣bout him, male and female. (For let marry'd men say their pleasure, there are she-Devils too) I should have been at a damn'd loss what to do, or how to be∣have my self among so many strange faces, if one of the Vshers had not come to me, and told me, that being a stranger, it was his Majesties pleasure, I should enter and have free liberty of seeing what was there to be seen. We exchang'd a couple or two of Comple∣ments, and then I began to look about me, but never did I see a Palace so fur∣nisht, nor indeed comparable to it.
Our Furniture at the best is but a Page 256 choice collection of dead and dumb Sta∣tues, or paintings without life, sense, or motion: But there, all the pieces were animated, and no trash in the whole Inventory. There was hardly any thing to be seen, but Emperors and Princes, with some few (perhaps) of their choicest Nobility and Privados. The first Banque was taken up by the Otto∣man Family; and after them sate the Roman Emperors, in their order; and the Roman Kings down to Tarquin the proud; beside Highnesses and Graces, Lords Spiritual and Temporal innumera∣ble. My Lungs began now to call for a little fresh air, and I desired my Guide to shew me the way out again. Yes, yes, with all my heart (says he) follow me then: And so he carry'd me away by a back passage into Lucifer's House of Of∣fice, where there was I know not how many Tun of S r Reverence, and Bales of flattering Panegyricks, not to be num∣ber'd; all of them Licens'd, and En∣ter'd according to Order. I could not but smile at this provision of Tail-Tim∣ber, and my Guide took notice of it; who was a good kind of a damn'd Droll. But Page 257 I call'd still to be gone, and at length he led me to a little hole like the vent of a Vault, and I crept through it as nimbly as if the Devil himself had gi∣ven me a lift at the Crupper; when to my great wonder, I found my self in the Park again, where I begun my story: not without an odd medly of Passions, partly reflecting upon what others en∣dur'd, and in part, upon my own con∣dition of ease and happiness, that had deserv'd, perhaps, the contrary as well as they. This thought put me upon a resolution of leading such a course of life, for the future, that I might not come to feel these torments in Reality, which I had now only seen in Vision.
And I must here entreat the Reader to follow my example, without making any further experiment; and likewise not to cast an ill construction upon a fair meaning. My design is to discredit, and discountenance the works of darkness, without scandalizing of Persons; and since I speak only of the damn'd, I'm sure no honest man alive will reckon this discourse a Satyre.
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.