A prophecy of the white king, and dreadfull dead-man explaned to which is added the prophecie of Sibylla Tibvrtina and prediction of Iohn Kepler, all of especiall concernment for these times
Lilly, William, 1602-1681., Kepler, Johannes, 1571-1630.
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WILLIAM LILLY His Paraphrase upon the precedent Prophecie.

BEcause I will avoid all misconstruction, that my intentions might point out any particular man living (as some may knavishly surmize) I will keep close to the letter of the words; and yet hope, I shall give much light to the people God hath appointed to live and be partakers of the times and infelicities thereof, predicted at least nine hundred yeares since; which times are generally supposed not yet completed. Who this prophet was (for so we must call him) I cannot learne, the originall was in Welsh, and therefore he was certainely of that people; being wrote so many hundred yeares since, should it now appeare in its own words, few, if any at all, could give the words in their genuine and native sence; for prevention whereof, it seemes some hundreds of yeares since, either Godfrey of Mon∣mouth, or some other well meaning man hath put it into Latine, in which language it hath since continued; and yet in the oft transcriptions of the Latine copies, there hath crept in some multiplication of words, but not so, as to destroy the sence in the least measure: It was also translated into Eng∣lish in Edward the 4th his dayes, according to the rudnesse of the language of those times: Both the Latine copies and the English in effect tell us one and the same thing, viz.

That the Lion of justice or righteousnesse represents a King which after the delivery of the Prophecie, was to reigne in Brittaine, and in his govern∣ment, was just, mercifull and righteous to his people, or so accounted a∣mongst men, under whose protection the Brittaines should live comfortably. This pious King being dead, the prophet tells, he should either leave a suc∣cessor, or a King should arise after his dayes obtaining the Crowne; whe∣ther he should immediatly succeed, it appeares not, or some yeares after, but he should once reigne, who either by his oft and frequent wearing of white apparell, or extremely delighting in that colour, or by giving some cognizance or Armes in a white field, or by some action or actions of his should give his subjects occasion to repute him the White King. Its intima∣ted in direct words, that this White King should upon some unexpected oc∣casion, or in some feare of danger, and in some haste, fly or leave his Royall seate or habitation, which is called flying: and this should be his first act in this prophecie mentioned: After this his flight; the word (Equitans) imports his raising of many Horsemen or an Army of Horsemen, wandring and riding up and downe with them, and some space of time maintaining Page  12 or keeping them together; but afterwards he shall it seemes be brought law and poore, and shall loose many of them, and with the remainder in∣deavour to avoide his adversries or pursuers, in this his flight he shall be in danger of being seised on or his person taken: the word (inviscabitur) hath relation to be ensnared or catcht by craft as birds with birdlime, viz. partly by treachery, and partly by force: men use birdlime cunningly to captivate the silly birds, and yet sometimes the harmelesse birds escape the fowler, though they loose many feathers and leave some behind them, the better to escape the rod. At the first time of this his besetting, it appeares not to me that this White King shall be taken, or his body laid hold on, for the sense of the subsequent words deny it; I rather conceive he shall obscure him∣selfe for a certaine time or some dayes or weeks, after this his escape, for it shall be as it were pointed with the finger, or men shall commonly say; there the White King is; in such a place; here; there; no where; or yon∣der he is: so uncertaine shall the place of his residence be: now we use to point with our finger at objcts farre distant, and therefore in my judge∣ment, though many cunning trapps may be laid to obtaine his body, yet whensoever the White King doth appeare, its more then probable to me he evades the captivity of his person untill a little or immediately before his death.

At that time when very few men shall certainely know where the White King is, and he in this danger, many of his friends for his use shall gather and be gathering together a great Army of men, and a number of people and many ships; the White King is not recorded to be amongst them in person either at mustering his Army or numbring his ships, the words (pro eo capietur) argue the contrary, viz. that others are Agents for him and doe his businesse; and inroll men for him. We are upon these times, here seemes to bee insinuated a fight or battell either proceeding or not long af∣ter subsequent, wherein many prisoners are like to be taken on both sides, and they againe as frequently exchanged, viz. man for man; as formerly men chaffered for Horse and Oxe; Lightly in exchange of cattell men have some ware, and some money: When such a generall exchange of priso∣ners is, the people will be in hopes of better times, and earnestly desire peace, or an emendation of the times; but no such matter; still one head for another, or one prisoner released in roome of another. At which, many are so terrified they leave their native seates, and fly for safety into severall Countries, as into Holland France, &c. and those Countries that lye Eastward from Brittaine: some are said to goe Westward, perhaps towards Ireland or Spaine.

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About the time of mens dispersing themselves and families into severall Countries, there seemes to be some fight wherein the White Kings friends are totally routed and discomfited, whereupon himselfe shall not dare to ap∣peare openly: or else he shall willingly for some pretty time absent his per∣son from his peoples knowledge, so as men shall make question all over the Kingdome, or in most places thereof, Whether the White King be living or not? or what's become of him; or there's no King; and this intimates a kind of interregnum, or as if his Regall power should be executed by others for some yeares in his so long absence: But time will manifest he was not dead by the actions which he is said to perfome afterwards; for then he is said to lift up his head; men doe usually after some deepe muse or long study upon the suddaine expresse such a posture as lifting up their head; I conceive the words doe properly signifie some appearance of precedent hardship, mi∣sery, and want, and now again a recovery of some friends, and some fresh assistance, whereupon he againe publikely shewes his person to his people and friends, doing many active things, as granting Commissions, setting many things in Order in his owne Army and affaires, sending many Agents abroad into forraigne parts; and himselfe occasionally performing many actions, and bestirring himselfe carefully, so that one may mistrust some in∣clination or willingnesse in the White King to make many overtures and proffers to his people for a setled peace: but the words (nulla reparatione) are like Coloquintida in pottage, for they bring to nothing all the White Kings affaires; and manifestly shew he gets nothing by all his infinite la∣bours: for he shall find few men contented to sit downe with those unrea∣sonable losses they shall receive in those calamitous times, and to have no recompence for themselves, or punishment inflicted on Malefactours, who were the first disturbers of the publike peace, and the destructive incendia∣ries of the Brittish Common-wealth: for these considerations, I finde not any peace shall be concluded, though the words (multis structuris) and some other private conjectures, may sufficiently import many words to that pur∣pose, ploddings, plots, curious devises, fained policies, and letters, messages and messengers shall oft passe and repasse in these Brittish unquiet seasons: For immediately, the (tempus Milvorum) approacheth, as if no treaty would hold, and as if for a certaine space of time, men upon horses like Kytes with wings every where, and in all places, should ravenously hunt af∣ter mens substance with as much eagernesse as Gleads after their prey: we know the Kyte askes no leave, but takes all forcibly; so when ever this Prophecy comes to fulfilling, the horse-men compared to a ravenous Crea∣ture, Page  14 will steale and take any thing they can singer without leave, or the good will of the poore oppressed Brittaine: And although, he doth not po∣sitively acquaint you when these predictions shall come to passe, or when the souldier so irregularly and uncontrolled shall plunder; yet if by the thread one may recover the needle; then you must observe: when and at what time Churches and Chappels consecrated to God for his worship, are of no more estimation then the black baking Ovens; or at what time men as usually performe workes of drugery in Churches, as commonly the people in Ovens, or when profanation is made of Churches and holy places, men respecting a Church no more then a stable or barne: Then you may know (saith the Welsh Prophet) that the dayes, moneths, and yeares of the Brit∣tish Common-wealth, her oppressions and sorrowes are neere at hand, and the White King upon the face of the earth. And he addeth another rule whereby you might have two strings to the bow, viz. he saith there will be much plundring in those dayes, I thinke the word (rapacitas) may well expresse that sense, there will be also much spilling of bloud, viz. much warre every where, he beginneth that verse with Ecce: or behold, was ever such doings in Brittaine before, such wicked actions countenanced: such plenti∣full liberty frequently given to plunder the native of his estate; to destroy him if he refuse: to kill him at pleasure without any cause given: to steale from every man, and repute it well gotten goods: he assures safety to o man, nay he fore-tels much poverty to the painfull plough man and hard la∣bouring Farmer, for let him sow much during these times, he shall be sure to reape but litle; nay, so furious, so violent and suddaine this storme will be, he that was competently rich over-night, may have all taken away before mor∣ning; notwithstanding all this each man endeavours to prolong his life though in much penury and want: the times will be so extreme, men will beleeve no man; nor will there be any neighbourhood or Charity amongst men.

Here's ever and anon the words Deinde or Post haec: as if the times would not only be plentifull of action, but of some yeares continuance (in one Prophecie it speakes of seven) when these times doe really come upon the Brittish people.

He goeth on, and long before hand tels the Brittish, that the White King notwithstanding all his horses, men, ships, and all other various devices, he shall be inforced to seeke aid in forraigne parts, whereby its evidently appa∣rant, that he either voluntarily in his discretion leaves the Kingdome, or out of feare and mistrust of his person, or is in more plaine termes beaten out by Page  15 the Nation, the more probable truth: He steeres his slight or journey to∣wards those Countries that lie South from Brittaine to procure some aide or assistance there, for re-estating himselfe and family: he is said to procure Forces, and with these outlandish souldiers, or a rabble of many Nations, or a hodge-podge, or omnigatherum of severall rude people, the White King in person comes in borrowed ships, or woodden horses, and lands his men upon an extreme high-water or spring-tide in Kent, or Sussex, as the sonne of Merlin conjectures, and perhaps neare Dover.

There comes along upon the pransing woodden horses with the White King some young Prince, or principall Commander, who is said to be the Chicken of the Eagle, or of an Eagle: ergo, none of the Family of the Lion or white King: who this Pullus Aquilae may be; or who the Eagle here intended, is, or was; I am silent as a man that have no revelations; much mischiefe comes by such particular interpretations: Onely thus, Eagles shew a royall regall Family, and Chickens are harmelesse Creatures, during their youth, but after they will shew of what house they are; this Pullus Aquilae will prove himselfe a Cocke of the game, and when growne to yeares, will shew himselfe no foole, but a perfect man and lover of the Brit∣taines. But because I would have none understand me improperly, I tell them before-hand, the Eagle doth not alwayes signifie the Austrian Family, or house of the Emperour or Spaniard, &c. this Eagle, Merline thinkes must come more Northward, viz. he must be borne more North then Spaine, or many Cities in Germany, &c. The White King and the Chicken of the Eagle, for from hence the White King hath a partner in all his a faires, acti∣ons and in government, who before time was Solus cum sola: I say, they and their armed troopes presently after landing will make all possible speed either to seize the Citie of London by a furious assault, or else to give some valiant onset on the Castle of Dover: thinking to find the one easie to be ta∣ken, and the other to be quietly surrendred; and the Brittaines secure, mis∣trusting nothing. They both will thirst after London as the chiefest house the White King ever had; and after Kent, and therein Dover as the most convenient place for landing supplies. It's probable they shall leave the one untaken, and the other unmedled with, for the words (sitiens & sitiet) im∣port the great willingnesse both King and Chicken have to be possessed of either of those places, either the high house or the other; But as men natu∣rally thirst for what they presently have not, but have great desire there∣unto; and as men sometimes thirst for wine and are glad of faire water, and yet many times goe without that: such fortune is also allotted to other Page  16 men, to covet much and enjoy little, of this fate the White King partakes, &c. I heare not all this while a Kingdome regained, or reconquered, onely some house, seat, or footing, or some petty village or market Towne, per∣haps only a landing place is obtained. At what time these things shall be, viz. upon the entrance of these ragged troopes of men, the White King shall issue out many sugred Proclamations, and send plenty of cunning and subtill Messengers round about the Countries to publish the occasion of his comming, promising a generall pardon for all offences past. But my author saith, (Tunc nihil valebit Mercurius:) all the White Kings faire words, his Embassadours, his motion for a treaty, his well penned Letters and Mes∣sages, his many verball Professions and deepe expressions, will then, I say, worke nothing in the hearts of the stubborne and wily Brittaines, ten thousand good promises will scarce procure the love of one man, the poore soules, it seemes, had formerly been so abused with dissembling and coloura∣ble pretences, that now they give no credit to these protracting devices; onely in stead of returning answere, they first by flying with such goods as they can into places of safety, secure those and their wives and children: per∣haps, it may be then, that a bush in Essex will be worth a farme in Kent, as some wise men have formerly said. But the men of every Countrey gene∣rally enraged at this forraigne Armies landing, doe entirely unite their forces, (no tricks to make them at discord availing:) The White King ha∣ving done much mischiefe in the South, and perceiving a storme is coming, that is, how all his people (Ʋnde{que}) assemble against him, moveth towards the West, but not farre into the West, and makes some stop at or neere or in some antient City, Towne, or Castle by which some faire running Streame or River passeth: it seemes he marcheth in a good posture, and with a full Army as the words (suo circundatus examine,) doe import. Neither the City of London, or Kent it selfe if he land there, doe I beleeve either by his Army or Forces shall be subjected; Tunc (saith the Prophet) when the Brittaines see the White King entring farther into their Countrey, and hea∣ring of the inhumanities of the barbarous souldiers upon the people in Kent, Surrey, and Sussex, then saith he, they come from all places and parts of the Kingdome, and gather themselves into severall bodies to stop his fur∣ther progresse, and they shall have severall principall Commanders, who all now unanimously concurre for expulsion of their common enemies, and these Brittish forces are said and called the White Kings enemies by our Prophet, and it may be conceived, they are so termed by the White King himselfe. The Northerne and East-countrey Armies being now at the time Page  17 of the White Kings going Westward assembled into one body, they more Westward; and the Westerne Army (for they also very freely muster up their men and are ready to meet at a place appointed) they move South-East, and so by degrees they all so unanimously joyne together, that at last they doe inviron and catch, as in a trap, the White King and his whole Ar∣my, neere or in some antient Towne, perhaps Wallingford, Kingston, or Rea∣ding, or if he goe farther, it may be Oxford, Bristoll, Bath, or Salisbury, but I conceive the White King shall hardly make so long a progresse without first being surrounded.

It seemes battell is presented by the Brittish severall times unto the White King, and all wayes and passages blockt up, that now the word (in∣viscabitur) will take place; for from this populous Army he cannot evade, not yeeld he will; but what followes, (Tunc à fronte) when by no way or meanes the White King will be brought out of his place of safety (Oppugna∣bitur) they batter downe the workes or wals of the Towne on every side, and furiously enter the breaches, destroying and killing without any mercy those unmercifull and plundering forraigners that had so wretchedly abu∣sed the poore Countreys all along their march; during the time of the souldiers rage, and while they in their heat pursue from house to house the flying enemy, the unfortunate White King, amongst the number of those that desire the prolonging an unhappy life by any shifts or meanes, (as in his former actions he was still successelesse, so now in his last above all most miserable) thinking to creepe through one house into another, being at last straightly pursued, and making too much haste, he casually comes to un∣timely end by violence of a fall: which is significantly expressed by (labe∣tur in auram:) This is the manner of the untimely end of him that shall be called the White and Noble King: he seemes to be stiled Noble for his birth, and perhaps for many other heroicall dispositions in him: however he appeares to be extreamely out of the affections of his people, but whereup∣on one should ground a true judgement to discover upon what occasion it first tooke its rise, I cannot finde any particle to satisfie my understan∣ding: But to proceed

Now begins a Comedy, the White King once departed this life, the fury of the Nation being prettily satisfied; yet not presently; for the word Deinde, doth expresse that after some expence or expiration of time, (some Copies expresse a yeare and a halfe) and a serious consultation or debate of the States of the Kingdome, whether they shall againe admit of Monarchy, by reason of the generall hatred the people had to the White King (so that Page  18 here appeares an extreme unwillingnesse to accept of any Kingly title) the unnaturall deportment of the White King, having so much enraged the Brittish spirits: But yet, if the words of our Prophet prove reall, The (pullus Aquilae) or Chicken of the Eagle that came in Company of the White King, and by a divine hand was preserved in the others failing and unfortunate attempts, he, I say, shall obtaine the Kingdome of Brittaine: But whether his accesse to the Crowne shall be without great labour and travell, I much question: for it is said, he shall build in the highest rock of Brittaine; we know birds that build, take paines before their nest is built, so also shall this Chicken of the Eagle; but not with the sword (the White King once dead,) but by mediation, treaties, love of the Brittish: Let it suffice he shall obtaine the Diademe, but as birds that build on high on rocks, or on the tops of tall trees (for so the words import) doe usually rebuild each yeare, and are casually in their so high erections, subject to the fury of stormes, boysterous windes, and suddaine tempests, having thereby no long or certaine assurance or possession of their habitations; no more shall this Chicken of this Eagle have in himselfe or new acquisition of a Realme, any stable hopes of the long enjoying thereof; or leaving a numerous or happy off-spring; for of his is∣sue the Prophet maketh no mention at all, a signe he shall either leave none, or that he shall be the onely man of his race allotted to sway the Brittish Scepter. But alas, what shall this most honourable Chicken of the Eagle purchase to himselfe for his unwearied paines? Fame, and Love of the op∣pressed Brittaines he shall: But to their perpetuall sorrow, he raignes but a few yeares; for our wise man tels, he shall not live till he is old; nor shall he dye in perfect youth: let Merline make a probable conjecture of his age at the time of his first accesse to the throne, and he will make you beleeve, this pretty Chicken will prove a good Cockrill about the 29. or 30. of his age; and that he may then be turned loose, and for sixe yeeres and one halfe, very hardly nine, this lusty Cockrill may live happily, and sway the Brittish Scepter. But having settled the Church and Common-wealth of the Brit∣taines in unity, both at the time of his accesse in Division; and having brought the oppressed people to a reasonable flourishing condition, inabled the Merchant to traffique securely to all Ports, countenanced the labourious trades-man in the way of his vocation, exactly performed what a gracious Prince ought to performe for his subjects good; he then must prepare for another world, the worke being ended for which he was solely created. It will be said to him as unto Moses, who earnestly desired entrance into Ca∣naan, Chicken of the Eagle, thy dayes are numbred, thy worke finished, set Page  19 thy house in order, the Brittaines are now in peace: in his best of yeares he unwillingly leaves the world, Nation and Crowne, to the extreame sorrow of the people: After whose death, its thought, and not improbably, a new Government succeeds, but whether Democraticall, viz. Popular or Aristo∣craticall, viz. Optimatum principatus, or the Common-wealth governed by a few of the Nobility or Gentry, my Author in distinct language doth not de∣liver, only he saith (Probitas generosa) will permit no wrong to be done to any man, after the death of this Chicken of the Eagle; now if the Nobili∣ty or Gentry permit no wrong to be done to any, then it seemes they rule, and that's in the nature of Aristocracy, but my Author is silent, and so am I, Who this White King was, is, or really in time to come shall be, &c. or whe∣ther he is in he number of the deceased, or living Kings, I finde not; I am of opinion his Tragedy (if any such shall ever be) is not yet acted; I dare not affirme it is acting:) its more apparant to my understanding that the times are not yet expired then elapsed; I finde nothing historically sounding to maintaine the sense of those will have this Cometragedy acted; My selfe am confident, that an high, a mighty, and a supreame piece of worke is already upon the stage of Europe in action, answering to the greatest of preceding ages, and verily this so great a mutation, or transmigration of Kings, King∣domes, Monarchies and Common-wealths shall absolutely be apparant, if not in some measure compleated before or neare 1666. The formidable Eclipse in 1654. threatens a beginning to purpose, &c. All this I probably conjecture by the Clavis of the more secret Astrology: but in what nature this grand accident shall come to passe, or by whose meanes at first it will shew its selfe, or by what Prince in particular these grand actions shall first be undertaken, agitated, and actively concluded, or what Kingdome in par∣ticular shall hereafter produce, or hath already produced this second Caesar, the palpable forerunner of these expectant mutations, let man pardon me, that taske must be prosecuted by a more able hand, or untill I see this Para∣phrase either accepted or slighted, &c.

The End of the Paraphrase.