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Desiderius Erasmus, The Colloquies vol. 2 [1518]

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Desiderius Erasmus, The Colloquies of Erasmus. Translated by Nathan Bailey. Edited with Notes, by the Rev. E. Johnson, M.A. (London: Reeves and Turner, 1878). Vol. 2. http://oll.libertyfund.org/titles/726

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About this Title:

In the guise of a school textbook on sound Latin prose Erasmus is able to mix sound language teaching, homilies on Christian ethics, and social criticism of some of the injustices and follies of his day.

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The text is in the public domain.

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This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.

Table of Contents:

Edition: current; Page: [i]
Colloquies of Erasmus.
Edition: current; Page: [ii]
The Colloquies of Erasmus.
translated by N. BAILEY.
Edited, with Notes, by the Rev. E. Johnson, M.A.
VOL. II.
LONDON:
REEVES & TURNER, 196, STRAND.
1878.
Edition: current; Page: [iii]

CONTENTS.

vol. ii.

  • The Religious Pilgrimage . . . . . . . Page 1
  • Ἰχθυοϕαγία . . . . . . . . . 38
  • The Funeral . . . . . . . . . 99
  • The Echo . . . . . . . . . . 120
  • The Unequal Feast . . . . . . . . 125
  • Of Things and Words . . . . . . . 132
  • Charon . . . . . . . . . . 139
  • The Assembly of Grammarians . . . . . . 146
  • The Unequal Marriage . . . . . . . 153
  • The Imposture . . . . . . . . . 167
  • Cyclops, or the Gospel Carrier . . . . . . 169
  • The Impertinents, or Cross-Purposes . . . . . 178
  • The False Knight . . . . . . . . 181
  • The Play of Cockall . . . . . . . . 192
  • The Assembly or Parliament of Women . . . . 203
  • Diluculum, or the Early Rising . . . . . . 212
  • The Sober Feast . . . . . . . . . 221
  • The Notable Art . . . . . . . . 227
  • The Sermon, or Merdardus . . . . . . . 231
  • The Lover of Glory . . . . . . . . 252
  • Opulentia Sordida, or the Wealthy Miser . . . . 266
  • The Seraphick Funeral . . . . . . . 281
  • Amicitia, or Friendship . . . . . . . 300
  • Problema, the Problems . . . . . . . 316
  • The Epicurean . . . . . . . . . 326
  • The Conflict between Thalia and Barbarism . . . . 346
  • Concerning the Profitableness of Colloquies . . . . 357
  • Of the Method of Study . . . . . . . 375
  • Notes . . . . . . . . . . 379
Edition: current; Page: [1]
The Familiar Colloquies of Erasmus.

The RELIGIOUS PILGRIMAGE.

The Argument.

Ogygius going a Pilgrimage for the Sake of Religion, returns Home full of Superstition. He had paid a Visit to St. James at Compostella, his Wife and Mother-in-Law having obliged him to make a Vow so to do. At that Time People began to be more cold, as to the Worshipping of Saints: For which Cause the Virgin Mary writes an Epistle full of Complaints, of their Worship being neglected. A Miracle of a Knight that was saved by the Help of the Virgin Mary, by opening a little Wicket through which he entred. Of the Virgin’s Milk. St. Bernard is feign’d to have suck’d the same Pap of the Virgin Mary, that the Child Jesus did. A new Sort of Jewel call’d the Toad-Stone: The various Natures of Jewels. The Tomb of Thomas Becket at Canterbury. He falls foul on the prodigious Magnificence, Luxury and Wealth of Churches; and reprehends the Manners and Impieties of Sailors. The Absurdity of Kissing the Reliques of Saints, as Shoes, Slippers, &c. Saints are compared to Sheep.

MENEDEMUS, OGYGIUS.

MEN.

What Novelty is this? Don’t I see my old Neighbour Ogygius, that no Body has set their Eyes on this Edition: current; Page: [2] : 2p. 2 six Months? There was a Report he was dead. It is he, or I’m mightily mistaken. I’ll go up to him, and give him his Welcome. Welcome Ogygius.

Ogy.

And well met, Menedemus.

Men.

From what Part of the World came you? For here was a melancholy Report that you had taken a Voyage to the Stygian Shades.

Ogy.

Nay, I thank God, I never was better in all my Life, than I have been ever since I saw you last.

Men.

And may you live always to confute such vain Reports: But what strange Dress is this? It is all over set off with Shells scollop’d, full of Images of Lead and Tin, and Chains of Straw-Work, and the Cuffs are adorned with Snakes Eggs instead of Bracelets.

Ogy.

I have been to pay a Visit to St. James at Compostella, and after that to the famous Virgin on the other Side the Water in England; and this was rather a Revisit; for I had been to see her three Years before.

Men.

What! out of Curiosity, I suppose?

Ogy.

Nay, upon the Score of Religion.

Men.

That Religion, I suppose, the Greek Tongue taught you.

Ogy.

My Wife’s Mother had bound herself by a Vow, that if her Daughter should be delivered of a live Male Child, I should go to present my Respects to St. James in Person, and thank him for it.

Men.

And did you salute the Saint only in your own and your Mother-in-Law’s Name?

Ogy.

Nay, in the Name of the whole Family.

Men.

Truly I am persuaded your Family would have been every Whit as well, if you had never complimented him at all. But prithee, what Answer did he make you when you thanked him?

Ogy.

None at all; but upon tendring my Present, he seemed to smile, and gave me a gentle Nod, with this same Scollop Shell.

Men.

But why does he rather give those than any Thing else?

Edition: current; Page: [3] : 3p. 3
Ogy.

Because he has plenty of them, the neighbouring Sea furnishing him with them.

Men.

O gracious Saint, that is both a Midwife to Women in Labour, and hospitable to Travellers too! But what new Fashion of making Vows is this, that one who does nothing himself, shall make a Vow that another Man shall work? Put the Case that you should tie yourself up by a Vow that I should fast twice a Week, if you should succeed in such and such an Affair, do you think I’d perform what you had vowed?

Ogy.

I believe you would not, altho’ you had made the Vow yourself: For you made a Joke of Fobbing the Saints off. But it was my Mother-in-Law that made the Vow, and it was my Duty to be obedient: You know the Temper of Women, and also my own Interest lay at Stake.

Men.

If you had not performed the Vow, what Risque had you run?

Ogy.

I don’t believe the Saint could have laid an Action at Law against me; but he might for the future have stopp’d his Ears at my Petitions, or slily have brought some Mischief or other upon my Family: You know the Humour of great Persons.

Men.

Prithee tell me, how does the good Man St. James do? and what was he doing?

Ogy.

Why truly, not so well by far as he used to be.

Men.

What’s the Matter, is he grown old?

Ogy.

Trifler! You know Saints never grow old. No, but it is this new Opinion that has been spread abroad thro’ the World, is the Occasion, that he has not so many Visits made to him as he used to have; and those that do come, give him a bare Salute, and either nothing at all, or little or nothing else; they say they can bestow their Money to better Purpose upon those that want it.

Men.

An impious Opinion.

Ogy.

And this is the Cause, that this great Apostle, that used to glitter with Gold and Jewels, now is brought to the very Block that he is made of, and has scarce a Tallow Candle.

Edition: current; Page: [4] : 4p. 4
Men.

If this be true, the rest of the Saints are in Danger of coming to the same Pass.

Ogy.

Nay, I can assure you, that there is a Letter handed about, which the Virgin Mary herself has written about this Matter.

Men.

What Mary?

Ogy.

She that is called Maria a Lapide.

Men.

That’s up towards Basil, if I am not mistaken?

Ogy.

The very same.

Men.

You talk of a very stony Saint. But who did she write it to?

Ogy.

The Letter tells you the Name.

Men.

Who did she send it by?

Ogy.

An Angel, no Doubt, who laid it down in the Pulpit, where the Preacher, to whom it was sent, took it up. And to put the Matter out of all Doubt, you shall see the original Letter.

Men.

Do you know the Angel’s Hand, that is Secretary to the Virgin Mary?

Ogy.

Well enough.

Men.

By what Token?

Ogy.

I have read St. Bede’s Epitaph, that was engraven by the same Angel, and the Shape of the Letters are exactly the same; and I have read the Discharge sent to St. Ægidius, and they agree exactly. Do not these prove the Matter plain enough?

Men.

May a Body see it?

Ogy.

You may, if you’ll damn your Soul to the Pit of Hell, if ever you speak on’t.

Men.

’Tis as safe as if you spoke it to a Stone.

Ogy.

But there are some Stones that are infamous for this, that they can’t keep a Secret.

Men.

If you can’t trust to a Stone, speak to a Mute then.

Ogy.

Upon that Condition I’ll recite it to you; but prick up both your Ears.

Men.

I have done so.

Ogy.

Mary the Mother of Jesus to Glaucoplutus sendeth Edition: current; Page: [5] : 5p. 5 Greeting. This is to let you know, that I take it in good Part, and you have much obliged me, in that you have so strenuously followed Luther, and convinced the World, that it is a Thing altogether needless to invoke Saints: For, before this Time, I was e’en wearied out of my Life with the wicked Importunities of Mortals. Every Thing was asked of me, as if my Son was always a Child, because he is painted so, and at my Breast, and therefore they take it for granted I have him still at my Beck, and that he dares not deny me any Thing I ask of him, for Fear I should deny him the Bubby when he is thirsty. Nay, and they ask such Things from me a Virgin, that a modest young Man would scarce dare to ask of a Bawd, and which I am ashamed to commit to Writing. A Merchant that is going a Voyage to Spain to get Pelf, recommends to me the Chastity of his kept Mistress; and a professed Nun, having thrown away her Veil, in Order to make her Escape, recommends to me the Care of her Reputation, which she at the same Time intends to prostitute. The wicked Soldier, who butchers Men for Money, bawls out to me with these Words, O Blessed Virgin, send me rich Plunder. The Gamester calls out to me to give him good Luck, and promises I shall go Snips with him in what he shall win; and if the Dice don’t favour, I am rail’d at and curs’d, because I would not be a Confederate in his Wickedness. The Usurer prays, Help me to large Interest for my Money; and if I deny ’em any Thing, they cry out, I am no Mother of Mercy. And there is another Sort of People, whose Prayers are not properly so wicked, as they are foolish: The Maid prays, Mary, give me a handsome, rich Husband; the Wife cries, Give me fine Children; and the Woman with Child, Give me a good Delivery; the old Woman prays to live long without a Cough and Thirst; and the doting old Man, Send that I may grow young again; the Philosopher says, Give me the Faculty of starting Difficulties never to be resolv’d; the Priest says, Give me a fat Benefice; the Bishop cries out for the Saving of his Diocese; and the Mariner for a prosperous Voyage; the Magistrate cries out, Shew me thy Son before I die; the Courtier, That he may make an effectual Edition: current; Page: [6] Confession, when at the Point of Death; the Husbandman calls on me for seasonable Rain; and a Farmer’s Wife, to preserve her Sheep and Cattle. If I refuse them any Thing, then presently I am hard-hearted. If I refer them to my Son, they cry, If you’ll but say the Word, I’m sure he’ll do it. How is it possible for me a lone Body, a Woman, and a Virgin, to assist Sailors, Soldiers, Merchants, Gamesters, Brides and Bridegrooms, Women in Travail, Princes, Kings, and Peasants? And what I have mentioned is the least Part of what I suffer. But I am much less troubled with these Concerns now than I have been, for which I would give you my hearty Thanks, if this Conveniency did not bring a greater Inconveniency along with it. I have indeed more Leisure, but less Honour, and less Money. Before, I was saluted Queen of the Heavens, and Lady of the World; but now there are very few, from whom I hear an Ave-Mary. Formerly I was adorned with Jewels and Gold, and had Abundance of Changes of Apparel; I had Presents made me of Gold and Jewels; but now I have scarce Half a Vest to cover me, and that is Mouse-eaten too: And my yearly Revenue is scarce enough to keep alive my poor Sexton, who lights me up a little Wax or Tallow Candle. But all these Things might be born with, if you did not tell us, that there were greater Things going forward. They say, you aim at this, to strip the Altars and Temples of the Saints every where. I advise you again and again to have a Care what you do: For other Saints don’t want Power to avenge themselves for the Wrong done to them. Peter, being turn’d out of his Church, can shut the Gate of the Kingdom of Heaven against you. Paul has a Sword. And St. Bartholomew a Knife. The Monk William has a Coat of Mail under his Habit, and a heavy Lance too. And how will you encounter St. George on Horseback, in his Cuirassiers Arms, his Sword, and his Whinyard? Nor is Anthony without his Weapon, he has his sacred Fire: And the rest of them have either their Arms, or their Mischiefs, that they can send out against whom they please: And as for myself, although I wear no Weapons, you shall not turn me out, unless you turn my Son out too, whom I hold in Edition: current; Page: [7] my Arms. I won’t be pulled away from him: You shall either throw us both out, or leave us both, unless you have a Mind to have a Church without a Christ. These Things I would have you know, and consider what Answer to give me; for I have the Matter much at Heart.

From our Stone House, the Calends of August, the Year of my Son’s Passion 1524. I the Stony Virgin have subscribed this with my own Hand.

Men.

In Truth this is a very terrible threatning Letter, and I believe Glaucoplutus will take Care what he does.

Ogy.

He will, if he is wise.

Men.

But why did not honest James write to him about this Matter?

Ogy.

Truly I can’t tell, except it is because he is a great Way off, and now-a-Days all Letters are intercepted.

Men.

But what God carried you to England?

Ogy.

A very favourable Wind; and I had made half a Promise to the beyond-Sea She-Saint, to pay her another Visit within two or three Years.

Men.

What did you go to ask for of her?

Ogy.

Nothing new; but those common Matters, the Health of my Family, the Increase of my Fortune, a long and a happy Life in this World, and eternal Happiness in the next.

Men.

But could not our Virgin Mary have done as much for you here? She has at Antwerp a Temple, much more magnificent than that beyond Sea.

Ogy.

I won’t deny that she is able, but one Thing is bestowed in one Place, and another Thing in another: whether this be her Pleasure merely, or whether she being of a kind Disposition, accommodates herself in this to our Affections.

Men.

I have often heard of James, but prithee give me some Account of that beyond-Sea Lady.

Ogy.

I will do it as briefly as I can: Her Name is very famous all over England; and you shall scarce find any Body in that Island, who thinks his Affairs can be prosperous, unless he every Year makes some Present to that Lady, Edition: current; Page: [8] : 8p. 8 greater or smaller, according as his Circumstances are in the World.

Men.

Where-abouts does she dwell?

Ogy.

Near the Coast, upon the furthest Part between the West and the North, about three Miles from the Sea; it is a Town that depends chiefly upon the Resort of Strangers: There is a College of Canons there, to which the Latins have added the Name of Regulars, which are of a middle Sort between Monks, and those Canons that are called Seculars.

Men.

You tell me of amphibious Creatures, such as the Beavers are.

Ogy.

Nay, so are Crocodiles too. But Trifling apart, I’ll tell you in three Words: In odious Cases they are Canons, in favourable Cases they are Monks.

Men.

You have hitherto been telling me Riddles.

Ogy.

Why then I will give you a Mathematical Demonstration. If the Pope of Rome shall throw a Thunderbolt at all Monks, then they’ll be all Canons; and if he will allow all Monks to marry, then they’ll be all Monks.

Men.

These are new Favours, I wish they would take mine for one.

Ogy.

But to return to the Matter in Hand. This College has little else to maintain it, but the Liberality of the Virgin; for all Presents of Value are laid up; but as for any Thing of Money, or lesser Value, that goes to the Support of the Flock and the Head of it, which they call the Prior.

Men.

Are they Men of good Lives?

Ogy.

Not much amiss. They are richer in Piety than in Revenue: There is a clever neat Church, but the Virgin does not dwell in it herself; but upon Point of Honour has given it to her Son. Her Church is on the Right-Hand of her Son’s.

Men.

Upon his Right-Hand! which Way then does her Son look?

Ogy.

That’s well taken Notice of. When he looks toward the West he has his Mother on the Right, and when he looks toward the East, she is on his Left-Hand. And she does Edition: current; Page: [9] : 9p. 9 not dwell there neither, for the Building is not finish’d; the Doors and Windows are all open, and the Wind blows thro’ it; and not far off is a Place, where Oceanus the Father of the Winds resides.

Men.

That’s a hard Case, where does she dwell then?

Ogy.

In that unfinish’d Church, that I spoke of, there is a little boarded Chapel, with a little Door on each Side to receive Visitors. There’s but a little Light to it, but what comes from the Tapers; but the Scent is very grateful.

Men.

All these Things conduce to Religion.

Ogy.

Nay, Menedemus, if you saw the Inside of it, you would say it was the Seat of the Saints, it is all so glittering with Jewels, Gold and Silver.

Men.

You set me agog to go thither too.

Ogy.

If you do, you will never repent of your Journey.

Men.

Is there any holy Oil there?

Ogy.

Simpleton, that Oil is only the Sweat of Saints in their Sepulchres, as of Andrew, Catherine, &c. Mary was never buried.

Men.

I confess I was under a Mistake; but make an End of your Story.

Ogy.

That Religion may spread itself the more widely, some Things are shewn at one Place, and some at another.

Men.

And it may be, that the Donations may be larger, according to the old Saying, Fit cito per multas praeda petita manus. Many Hands will carry off much Plunder.

Ogy.

And there are always some at Hand, to shew you what you have a Mind to see.

Men.

What, of the Canons?

Ogy.

No, no, they are not permitted, lest under the Colour of Religion they should prove irreligious, and while they are serving the Virgin, lose their own Virginity. Only in the inner Chapel, which I call the Chamber of the holy Virgin, a certain Canon stands at the Altar.

Men.

What does he stand there for?

Ogy.

To receive and keep that which is given.

Men.

Must People give whether they will or no?

Edition: current; Page: [10]
Ogy.

No: but a certain religious Modesty makes some give, when any Body stands by, which would not give a Farthing, if there were no Witness of it; or give more than otherwise they would give.

Men.

You set forth human Nature, as I have experienc’d in myself.

Ogy.

There are some so devoted to the Holy Virgin, that while they pretend to lay one Gift on the Altar, by a wonderful Sleight of Hand, they steal what another has laid down.

Men.

But put the Case no Body were by, would the Virgin thunder at them?

Ogy.

Why should the Virgin do that, any more than God himself does, whom they are not afraid to strip of his Ornaments, and to break thro’ the Walls of the Church to come at them?

Men.

I can’t well tell which I admire at most, the impious Confidence of those Wretches, or God’s Patience.

Ogy.

At the north Side there is a certain Gate, not of a Church, don’t mistake me, but of the Wall that incloses the Church-Yard, that has a very little Wicket, as in the great Gates of Noblemen, that he that has a Mind to get in, must first venture the breaking of his Shins, and afterwards stoop his Head too.

Men.

In Truth, it would not be safe for a Man to enter in against an Enemy at such a little Door.

Ogy.

You’re in the Right on’t. But yet the Verger told me, that some Time since a Knight on Horse-Back, having escaped out of the Hands of his Enemy, who follow’d him at the Heels, got in thro’ this Wicket. The poor Man at the last Pinch, by a sudden Turn of Thought, recommended himself to the holy Virgin, that was the nearest to him. For he resolv’d to take Sanctuary at her Altar, if the Gate had been open. When behold, which is such a Thing as was never heard of, both Man and Horse were on a sudden taken into the Church-Yard, and his Enemy left on the out-Side of it, stark mad at his Disappointment.

Edition: current; Page: [11]
Men.

And did he give you Reason to believe so wonderful a Relation?

Ogy.

Without Doubt.

Men.

That was no easy Matter to a Man of your Philosophy.

Ogy.

He shew’d me a Plate of Copper nail’d on the Door, that had the very Image of this Knight, that was thus sav’d; and in the very Habit, which was then in Fashion among the English, which is the same we see in old Pictures, which, if they are drawn truly, the Barbers, and Dyers, and Weavers in those Days, had but a bad Time on’t.

Men.

Why so?

Ogy.

Why, he had a Beard like a Goat; and there was not a Wrinkle in any of his Cloaths, they were made so strait to his Body, that the very Straitness of them made his Body the more slender. There was also another Plate that was an exact Description of the Chapel, and the Size of it.

Men.

Then there was no Doubt to be made on’t.

Ogy.

Under the little Wicket there was an iron Grate, no bigger than what a Man on Foot could just get in at. For it was not fit that any Horse afterwards should tread upon that Place, which the former Knight had consecrated to the Virgin.

Men.

And very good Reason.

Ogy.

From hence towards the East, there is another Chapel full of Wonders; thither I went. Another Verger received me. There we pray’d a little; and there was shewn us the middle Joint of a Man’s Finger; I kiss’d it, and ask’d whose Relick it was. He told me it was St. Peter’s; what, said I, the Apostle? He said it was. I then took Notice of the Bigness of the Joint, which was large enough to be taken for that of a Giant. Upon which, said I, Peter must Needs have been a very lusty Man. At this one of the Company fell a laughing; I was very much vext at it, for if he had held his Tongue, the Verger would have shewn us all the Relicks. However, we pacified him pretty Edition: current; Page: [12] well, by giving him a few Groats. Before this little Chapel stood a House, which he told us, in the Winter-Time when all Things were buried in Snow, was brought there on a sudden, from some Place a great Way off. Under this House there were two Pits Brim-full, that were fed by a Fountain consecrated to the holy Virgin. The Water was wonderful cold, and of great Virtue in curing Pains in the Head and Stomach.

Men.

If cold Water will cure Pains in the Head and Stomach, in Time Oil will quench Fire.

Ogy.

But, my good Friend, you are hearing that which is miraculous; for what Miracle is there in cold Water quenching Thirst?

Men.

That Shift goes a great Way in this Story.

Ogy.

It was positively affirmed, that this Spring burst out of the Ground on a sudden, at the Command of the holy Virgin. I observing everything very diligently, ask’d him how many Years it was since that little House was brought thither? He said it had been there for some Ages. But, said I, methinks the Walls don’t seem to carry any Marks of Antiquity in them: He did not much deny it. Nor these Pillars, said I: He did not deny but those had been set up lately; and the Thing shew’d itself plainly. Then, said I, that Straw and Reeds, the whole Thatch of it seems not to have been so long laid. He allow’d it. Nor do these cross Beams and Rafters, that bear up the Roof, seem to have been laid many Years ago. He confest they were not. And there being no Part of that Cottage remaining, said I to him, how then does it appear, that this is the very Cottage that was brought so far thro’ the Air?

Men.

Prithee, how did the Sexton extricate himself out of this Difficulty?

Ogy.

He presently shew’d us an old Bear’s Skin, tackt there to a Piece of Timber, and almost laught at us to our very Faces, for not having Eyes to perceive a Thing that was so plain. Therefore seeming to be satisfied, and excusing our Dulness of Apprehension, we turned ourselves to the Heavenly Milk of the blessed Virgin.

Edition: current; Page: [13]
Men.

O Mother like her Son! for as he has left us so much of his Blood upon Earth, so she has left us so much of her Milk, that it is scarce credible, that a Woman who never had but one Child, should have so much, altho’ her Child had never suck’d a Drop.

Ogy.

And they tell us the same Stories about our Lord’s Cross, that is shewn up and down, both publickly and privately, in so many Places, that if all the Fragments were gathered together, they would seem to be sufficient Loading for a good large Ship; and yet our Lord himself carried the whole Cross upon his Shoulders.

Men.

And don’t you think this is wonderful?

Ogy.

It may be said to be an extraordinary Thing, but not a wonderful one, since the Lord who encreases these Things according to his own Pleasure is Omnipotent.

Men.

You put a very pious Construction upon it, but I am afraid that a great many such Things are forged for the Sake of getting Money.

Ogy.

I cannot think God would suffer any one to put these Mockeries upon him.

Men.

Nay, when both the Mother and Son, Father and Spirit are robb’d by sacrilegious Persons, they don’t seem to be mov’d the least in the World, so as to deter wicked Persons, so much as by a Nod or a Stamp; so great is the Lenity of the Divine Being.

Ogy.

This is true, but hear me out: That Milk is kept upon the high Altar, in which Christ is in the Middle, and his Mother, for Respect Sake, at his right Hand; for the Milk represents the Mother.

Men.

Why, is it plain to be seen then?

Ogy.

It is preserv’d in a Crystal Glass.

Men.

Is it liquid then?

Ogy.

What do you talk of being liquid, when it has been put in above 1500 Years ago. It is so concreted, you would take it for beaten Chalk, temper’d with the White of an Egg.

Men.

But why don’t they shew it open?

Ogy.

Lest the Milk of the Virgin should be defil’d by the Kisses of Men.

Edition: current; Page: [14]
Men.

You say very well, for I believe there are some who put Lips to it, that are neither pure nor Virgin ones.

Ogy.

As soon as the Officer sees us, he runs presently and puts on a Surplice, and a Stole about his Neck, and falls down very devoutly and worships, and by and by gives us the holy Milk to kiss. Then we prostrated ourselves at the lowest Step of the Altar, and having first paid our Adoration to Christ, we apply’d ourselves to the Virgin in the following Prayer, which we had fram’d before-Hand for this very Purpose.

Virgin Mother, who hast merited to give Suck to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, thy Son Jesus, from thy Virgin Breasts; we desire that being purified by his Blood, we may arrive at that happy Infant State of Dove-like Innocence, which being void of Malice, Fraud, and Deceit, we may continually desire the Milk of the Evangelical Doctrine, until it grows up to a perfect Man, and to the Measure of the Fulness of Christ, whose blessed Society thou wilt enjoy for evermore, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Men.

Truly, a devout Prayer. But what Answer did she make?

Ogy.

If my Eyes did not deceive me, they were both pleased: For the holy Milk seem’d to give a Leap, and the Eucharist seem’d to look somewhat brighter than usual. In the mean Time the Shewer of the Relicks came to us, without speaking a Word, holding out such a Kind of Table, as they in Germany that take Toll on the Bridges hold out to you.

Men.

In Truth, I have oftentimes cursed those craving Tables, when I travelled in Germany.

Ogy.

We laid down some Pieces of Money, which he presented to the Virgin. After this, by our Interpreter, (If I remember right) one Robert Aldridge, a well spoken young Man, and a great Master of the English Tongue, I enquired, as civilly as I could, what Assurance he had, that this was really the Virgin’s Milk. And truly, I desired to be satisfied of this with a pious Intention, that I might stop the Mouths Edition: current; Page: [15] of some impious Persons, who are us’d to scoff at all these Things. The Officer first contracted his Brow without speaking a Word; thereupon I prest the Interpreter to put the same Question to him again, but in the fairest Manner that could be; and he did it in so obliging a Manner, that if he had address’d himself to the Mother herself in these Terms, when she had but newly lain in, she would not have taken it amiss. But the Officer, as if he had been inspired with some Enthusiasm, looking upon us with astonished Eyes, and with a Sort of Horror, cursing our blasphemous Expression, said, What Need is there for your putting this Question, when you have an Authentick Record? And had turn’d us out of Doors for Hereticks, had not a few Pence pacified his Rage.

Men.

But how did you behave yourselves in the Interim?

Ogy.

Just as if we had been stunned with a Cudgel, or struck with Thunder; we sneak’d away, humbly begging his Pardon for our Boldness: For so a Man ought to do in holy Matters. Thence we went to the little Chapel, the Dwelling of the Virgin Saint. In our Way thither, an Expounder of sacred Things, one of the Minors, offers himself; he stares upon us as if he had a Mind to draw our Pictures; and having gone a little further, another meets us, staring upon us after the same Manner; and after him a third.

Men.

It may be they had a Mind to have drawn your Picture.

Ogy.

But I suspected far otherwise.

Men.

What did you imagine then?

Ogy.

That some sacrilegious Person had stolen some of the Virgin’s Vestments, and that I was suspected as the Thief. Therefore, having entred the Chapel, I address’d myself to the Virgin-Mother with this short Prayer.

O thou who only of all Women art a Mother and a Virgin, the most happy of Mothers, and the purest of Virgins, we that are impure do now come to visit and address ourselves to thee that are pure, and reverence thee with our Edition: current; Page: [16] : 16p. 16 poor Offerings, such as they are. O that thy Son would enable us to imitate thy most holy Life, that we may deserve, by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, to conceive the Lord Jesus in the most inward Bowels of our Minds, and having once conceiv’d him, never to lose him. Amen.

So I kiss’d the Altar, laid down some Money, and withdrew.

Men.

What, did the Virgin hear? Did she give you no Nod as a Token that she had heard your Prayer?

Ogy.

As I told you before, it was but an uncertain Light, and she stood in the Dark at the right Side of the Altar: And the Check of the former Officer had made me so dejected, that I did not dare to lift up my Eyes again.

Men.

Then this Adventure had not a very happy Conclusion?

Ogy.

Nay, the happiest of all.

Men.

Nay, now you put me in Courage again; for, as your Homer says, my Heart was e’en sunk into my Breeches.

Ogy.

After Dinner we go to Church again.

Men.

How did you dare to do that, being suspected of Sacrilege?

Ogy.

It may be I was: but I did not suspect myself. A clear Conscience fears nothing. I had a great Mind to see the Record that the Shewer of the Reliques had referr’d us to. Having hunted a great While for it, we found it at last; but it was hung up so high, that he must have good Eyes that could read it: And mine are none of the best, nor none of the worst. Therefore, not being willing wholly to trust to him in a Matter of such Moment, I went along with Aldrisius as he read it.

Men.

Well! and were all your Doubts remov’d?

Ogy.

I was asham’d of myself, that I should doubt of a Matter, that there was made so plain before one’s Eyes, the Name, the Place, the Order of the Proceeding, in one Word, there was nothing omitted. There was one William of Paris, a Man of general Piety, but more especially religious in getting together the Relicks of Saints all over the Earth. He having travelled over a great many Countries, and Edition: current; Page: [17] having every where diligently search’d Monasteries and Churches, at last arriv’d at Constantinople; (for this William’s Brother was a Bishop there). When he was preparing to return Home, the Bishop acquainted him, that there was a certain Nun that had the Virgin’s Milk; and that he would be the happiest Man in the World, if he could possibly get any of it, either for Love or Money, or by any other Means; for that all the Relicks he had hitherto collected, were nothing, compared to that sacred Milk. Upon this, William never was at rest, till he had obtain’d one Half of this Milk; and having gotten this Treasure, thought himself richer than Crœsus.

Men.

And very well he might, ’twas a Thing so unexpected too.

Ogy.

He goes strait homeward, but falls sick by the Way.

Men.

O how little Trust is to be put in human Felicity, that it shall be either perfect or long-liv’d!

Ogy.

Finding himself in Danger, he sends for a Frenchman, a faithful Fellow-Traveller, and makes him swear Secrecy; and then delivers the Milk to him upon this Condition, That if he got Home safe, he should deposit that Treasure on the Altar of the holy Virgin that is worshipped at Paris, in that noble Church that has the River Sein on each Side of it, as if itself gave Place in Reverence to the Divinity of the Virgin. To sum up the Matter in few Words, William was buried; the other rides Post, but he falls sick by the Way, and thinking himself past Recovery, he delivers the Milk to an Englishman that was his Fellow-Traveller, making him take a solemn Oath that he would perform that which he himself was to have done. The one dies, the other takes it, and puts it upon the Altar, in the Presence of all the Canons of the Place, those that at that Time were call’d Regulars, as they are yet at St. Genoveve: He obtain’d Half this Milk of them, and carried it into England, and made a Present of it to this beyond-Sea Place, his Mind being moved thereunto by a Divine Impulse.

Men.

Truly this Story hangs very handsomly together.

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Ogy.

Nay farther, that there might not be left the least Room to doubt, the very Names of the Bishops were set down, that were authorized to grant Releases and Indulgences to such as should come to see the Milk, according to the Power to them given, but not without some Donation or another.

Men.

And how far did that Power extend?

Ogy.

To forty Days.

Men.

But are there Days in Purgatory?

Ogy.

For certain there is Time there.

Men.

But when they have dispos’d of this Stock of forty Days, have they no more to bestow?

Ogy.

No: For there ever and anon arises something for them to bestow, and ’tis in this quite otherwise than it is with the Tub of the Danaides. For tho’ that is continually filling, is always empty; but in this, tho’ you are continually drawing out, there is never the less in the Vessel.

Men.

But if the Remission of forty Days were given to a hundred thousand Men, would every one have so much?

Ogy.

Yes, so much.

Men.

And suppose that they that have received forty Days in the Morning, should ask for forty Days more at Night, Would they have wherewithal to give them?

Ogy.

Yes, ten Times over in an Hour.

Men.

I wish I had such a Cabinet at Home; I would not wish for above three Groats, if they might be doubled and tripled after that Manner.

Ogy.

You might as well have wish’d to be all turn’d into Gold yourself, and as soon have had what you wish’d for. But to return to my Story, there was one Argument added, by a Man of great Piety and Candour, which is, that tho’ the Virgin’s Milk, which is shewn in many other Places, is indeed venerable enough, in that it was scrap’d off from Stones, yet this was more venerable than all the rest, because this was sav’d as it flow’d from the Virgin’s Breast, without touching the Ground.

Men.

But how does that appear?

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Ogy.

O! the Nun at Constantinople that gave it, said so.

Men.

It may be she had it of St. Bernard.

Ogy.

I believe she had.

Men.

He, when he was very old, had the Happiness to taste Milk from the same Nipple which the Child Jesus sucked. Whence I wonder he was not rather called Lactifluous than Mellifluous. But how is that called the Virgin’s Milk that did not flow from her Breasts?

Ogy.

That did flow from her Breasts, but dropping upon the Stone she sat upon, while she was giving suck, it concreted, and was afterwards, by Providence, so multiplied.

Men.

Right. Go on.

Ogy.

These Things being over, we were just upon the Point of going away; but walking about, and looking round us to see if there was any Thing worth taking Notice of, the Chapel-Officers come to us again, leering at us, pointing at us with their Fingers, they advance to us, retreat, run backward and forward, nod, as if they would fain have said something to us, if they had had Courage enough to have done it.

Men.

And was not you afraid then?

Ogy.

No, not at all; but I looked them full in the Face very chearfully, as who should say, Speak and welcome. At length one of them comes up to me, and asked my Name. I told it him. He asked me if I was the Person that a Matter of two Years ago set up a Votive Table in Hebrew Letters? I told him I was.

Men.

Can you write Hebrew then?

Ogy.

No, but they call every Thing Hebrew that they can’t understand. But by and by (upon calling, as I suppose) came the πρωˆτος ὕστερος of the College.

Men.

What Title of Dignity is that? Have they not an Abbot?

Ogy.

No.

Men.

Why so?

Ogy.

Because they don’t understand Hebrew.

Men.

Have they no Bishop?

Ogy.

None at all.

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Men.

Why so?

Ogy.

Because the Virgin is so poor, that she has not wherewith to buy a Staff and a Mitre.

Men.

Ha’n’t they so much as a President?

Ogy.

No, nor that neither.

Men.

What hinders?

Ogy.

Because a President is a Name of Dignity, and not of Holiness, and therefore the Colleges of Canons reject the Name of an Abbot, but they willingly allow the Name of a President.

Men.

But this πρωˆτος ὕστερος is what I never heard of before.

Ogy.

In Truth you are but an indifferent Grammarian then.

Men.

I know what ὑστερόπρωτον is in Rhetoric.

Ogy.

Why that’s it. He that is next the Prior is Posterior Prior.

Men.

You mean a Sub-Prior.

Ogy.

He saluted me very courteously. He told me what great Pains had been taken to read those Verses; what wiping of Spectacles there had been to no Purpose; how often one grave Doctor of Divinity, and another of Law, had been brought thither to expound the Table. One said the Letters were Arabick, another said they were fictitious ones; but at last they found one that made a Shift to read the Title. It was written in Latin Words, and Latin Capitals. The Verses were Greek, in Greek Capitals, which at first Sight look’d like Roman Capitals. Being requested, I turn’d the Verses into Latin, Word for Word. They would have given me a Reward for this small Service, but I positively refused it, affirming that there was nothing so difficult that I would not, with all the Readiness in the World, undertake for the Sake of the Holy Virgin, even if she should command me to carry a Letter for her from thence to Jerusalem.

Men.

What Occasion can she have for you to be her Letter-Carrier, that has so many Angels for her Secretaries and Pages?

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Ogy.

He pulled out of his Pouch a little Piece of Wood, cut off from the Beam on which the Virgin-Mother stood. The admirable Fragrancy of it, shewed it to be a Thing that was highly sacred. I having received this Present in the lowest Posture of Humility, and bare-headed, and having kiss’d it over and over, put it in my Pocket.

Men.

May a Body see it?

Ogy.

I’ll let you see it if you will. But if you have eaten or drank to Day, or have had to do with your Wife last Night, I would not advise you to look upon it.

Men.

Let me see it, there is no Danger.

Ogy.

Here ’tis for you.

Men.

O happy Man art thou that hast such a Present!

Ogy.

Whether you know it or no, I would not exchange this little Fragment for all the Gold in Tagus. I’ll set it in Gold, and put it in a Crystal Case, so that it may be seen through it. When this Hysteroprotos saw me so religiously transported with that small Present, thinking I deserved to have Things of greater Moment imparted to me, he asked me, if I had seen the Virgin’s Secrets. That Word startled me a little, but I durst not ask him what he meant by the Virgin’s Secrets; for in Matters so sacred there is Danger in a Slip of the Tongue. I told him I had not seen them; but I had a very great Desire to see them. Then I am conducted in as one in an Ecstacy. A Wax Taper or two was lighted, and a little Image was shewn me, that made no extraordinary Figure, neither for Magnitude, Matter, nor Workmanship, but of extraordinary Virtue.

Men.

Bulk has no great Matter in it, as to the doing of Miracles. I have seen St. Christopher at Paris, not him of a Cart-Load, or of the Size of a Colossus, but rather of a large Mountain; but I never heard he was famous for doing Miracles.

Ogy.

At the Feet of the Virgin there is a Jewel, that neither the Latins nor Greeks have yet given a Name to. The French have given it a Name from a Toad, because it has the Resemblance of a Toad in it so lively, that no Art Edition: current; Page: [22] : 22p. 22 can match it. And that which is the more miraculous, is, that it is a very small Stone; and the Image does not stand out of it, but is included in the very Body of the Stone, and may be seen thro’ it.

Men.

Perhaps they may fancy they see the Likeness of a Toad cut in it, as some fancy they see that of an Eagle in the Stalk of a Brake or Fern; and as Boys, who see every Thing in the Clouds, as Dragons breathing out Fire, burning Mountains and armed Men fighting.

Ogy.

Nay, that you may be thoroughly satisfied in the Matter, no living Toad ever shewed itself more plainly, than that is expressed there.

Men.

I have been hearing your Stories all this While; but I would have you find out some Body else to give Credit to your Story of the Toad.

Ogy.

I don’t at all wonder, Menedemus, that you are so incredulous; I should not have believ’d it myself, if the whole Tribe of Divines had asserted it, unless I had seen it with these Eyes, I say, beheld with these very Eyes, and had experienced the Truth of it. But, methinks you seem not to be curious enough upon these natural Rarities.

Men.

Why so? what, because I won’t believe that Asses fly.

Ogy.

But do you not observe how Nature sports herself in imitating the Shapes and Colours of every Thing, in other Things, but especially in precious Stones? And also, what admirable Virtues it has planted in them, which are altogether incredible, if common Experience did not force us to a Belief of them? Prithee tell me, would you ever have believed without seeing it with your Eyes, that Steel could have been drawn by the Load-Stone, without touching it, or be driven away from it without being touch’d by it?

Men.

No, indeed I never should, although ten Aristotles had taken their Oaths of the Truth of it.

Ogy.

Well then, don’t say every Thing’s a Fable that has not fallen within the Compass of your Experience. We find the Figure of a Bolt in a Thunder-Stone; Fire in the Edition: current; Page: [23] Carbuncle; the Figure of Hail, and the Coldness of it in the Hail-Stone, nay, even tho’ you throw it into the Midst of the Fire; the deep and transparent Waves of the Sea in the Emerald; the Carcinias imitates the Figure of a Sea-Crab; the Echites of a Viper; the Scarites of a Gilt-Head; the Theracites of a Hawk; the Geranites shews you the figur’d Neck of a Crane; the Ægophthalmus shews the Eye of a Goat; and some shew that of a Hog, and another three Human Eyes together; The Lycophthalmus paints you out the Eye of a Wolf in four Colours, fiery and bloody, and in the Middle, black encompassed with white; if you open the black Cyamea, you will find a Bean in the Middle; the Dryites represents the Trunk of a Tree, and burns like Wood; The Cissites and Narcissites represent Ivy; the Astrapias darts forth Rays of Lightning out of the Midst of white or blue; the Phlegontites shews a Flame within, that does not come out; in the Anthracitis you may see certain Sparks running too and fro; the Crocias represents the Colour of Saffron; the Rhodites that of a Rose; the Chalcites of Brass; the Aetites the Figure of an Eagle, with a white Tail; the Taos represents a Peacock; the Chelidonia an Asp; the Mermecites has the Image of a creeping Pismire growing within it; the Cantharias shews a perfect Beetle; and the Scorpites admirably decyphers a Scorpion. But why should I proceed to recount that which is innumerable, when there is no Part of Nature, either in Elements, Animals, or Plants, which Nature, as it were to sport herself, does not give us some Resemblance of in Stones? And do you then admire that the Form of a Toad is represented in the Bufonites?

Men.

I wonder that Nature has so much spare Time, as to divert herself in drawing the Pictures of every Thing.

Ogy.

It has a Mind to exercise the Curiosity of Mankind, and by that Means to keep us from being idle. And yet as tho’ we were at a Loss to know how to pass away our Time, we run a madding after Buffoons, Dice, and Jugglers.

Men.

You say true.

Ogy.

And some Persons of Credit add, that if you put Edition: current; Page: [24] this Toad-Stone into Vinegar, it will move its Legs and swim.

Men.

But why is this dedicated to the Virgin?

Ogy.

Because she has overcome, trampled upon, and extinguished all Uncleanness, Malice, Pride, Avarice, and all Manner of earthly Desires.

Men.

Woe to us then who carry so much of the Toad still in our Hearts!

Ogy.

But we shall be pure if we worship the Virgin as we ought.

Men.

How would she have us worship her?

Ogy.

You will perform most acceptable Service to her if you imitate her.

Men.

That’s soon said, but not so easily performed.

Ogy.

It is hard, indeed; but then it is very well worth the Pains.

Men.

Come on, go forwards in what you have begun.

Ogy.

Afterwards he shewed me Statues of Gold and Silver: This, says he, is solid Gold; and this is only Silver gilt; he told me the Weight of every one, the Price, and the Name of the Donor. I being full of Admiration at every Thing, and congratulating the Virgin being Mistress of so much Wealth, says the Officer to me, Inasmuch as I perceive you are so pious a Spectator, I think I should not do fairly by you, if I should conceal any Thing from you; therefore you shall see the greatest Privacies the Virgin has: And presently he takes out of a Drawer from under the Altar a World of admirable Things, the Particulars of which, if I should proceed to mention, the Day would not be long enough; so that thus far the Journey succeeded to my Wish. I satisfied my Curiosity abundantly with fine Sights, and brought Home with me this inestimable Present, a Pledge of the Virgin’s Love, given me by herself.

Men.

Did you ever make Trial of the Virtues of this Piece of Wood?

Ogy.

I have. Three or four Days ago, I being in an House of Entertainment, found a Man stark mad, whom Edition: current; Page: [25] they were just going to put into Chains; I put this Piece of Wood privately under his Bolster, and he fell into a sound Sleep, and slept a long Time, and when he rose in the Morning he was as sober as ever.

Men.

Perhaps he was not distracted but drunk, and Sleep commonly cures that Distemper.

Ogy.

Menedemus, since you love to use Raillery, take another Subject. It is neither pious nor safe to make Sport with Saints. Nay, the Man himself told me, That there was a Woman appeared to him in his Sleep of an incomparable Beauty, that held forth a Cup to him to drink.

Men.

Hellebore, I believe.

Ogy.

That’s uncertain; but this is certain, that the Man recover’d his Reason.

Men.

Did you pass by Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury?

Ogy.

No, I think I did not. It is one of the most religious Pilgrimages in the World.

Men.

I long to hear it, if it won’t be too much Trouble to you.

Ogy.

It is so far from that, that you will oblige me in hearing of it. That Part of England that looks towards Flanders and France is called Kent: The Metropolis of it is Canterbury. There are two Monasteries in it, that are almost contiguous; and they are both of Benedictines. That which bears the Name of Augustine, is the antienter of the two; that which is now called by the Name of St. Thomas, seems to have been the Seat of St. Thomas the Archbishop, where he had led his Life with a few Monks, whom he chose for his Companions, as now-a-Days Deans have their Palaces near the Church, tho’ separate from the Houses of other Canons. For, in old Time, both Bishops and Canons were Monks, as appears by the manifest Vestigia of Things. But the Church, that is dedicated to St. Thomas, raises itself up towards Heaven with that Majesty, that it strikes those that behold it at a great Distance, with an Awe of Religion, and now, with its Splendor, makes the Light of the neighbouring Edition: current; Page: [26] : 26p. 26 Palaces look dim, and as it were obscures the Place that was antiently the most celebrated for Religion. There are two lofty Turrets, which stand, as it were, bidding Visitants welcome from afar off; and a Ring of Bells that make the adjacent Country echo far and wide with their rolling Sound. In the south Porch of the Church stand three Stone Statues of Men in Armour, who with wicked Hands murdered the holy Man, with the Names of their Countries, Tusci, Fusci, and Berti.

Men.

Why have such wicked Men so much Honour done them?

Ogy.

They have the same Honour done to them, that is done to Judas, Pilate, Caiaphas, and the Band of wicked Soldiers, whose Images you may see carv’d upon stately Altars: And their Names are added, that none after them might arrogate to themselves the Glory of the Fact. They are set there in open Sight, to be a Warning to wicked Courtiers, that no one may hereafter presume to lay his Hand on either Bishops or the Possessions of the Church. For these three Ruffians ran mad with Horror of the Fact they had committed; nor had they come to themselves again, had not holy Thomas been implored in Favour of them.

Men.

O the perpetual Clemency of Martyrs!

Ogy.

When you are entered in, a certain spacious Majesty of Place opens itself to you, which is free to every one.

Men.

Is there nothing to be seen there?

Ogy.

Nothing but the Bulk of the Structure, and some Books chained to the Pillars, containing the Gospel of Nicodemus, and the Sepulchre of, I can’t tell who.

Men.

And what else?

Ogy.

Iron Grates inclose the Place called the Choir, so that there’s no Entrance; but so that the View is still open from one End of the Church to the other. You ascend to this by a great many Steps, under which there is a certain Vault that opens a Passage to the North Side. There they shew a wooden Altar, consecrated to the holy Virgin; it is a very small one, and remarkable for nothing, except as a Monument Edition: current; Page: [27] of Antiquity, reproaching the Luxury of the present Times. In that Place the good Man is reported to have taken his last Leave of the Virgin, when he was at the Point of Death. Upon the Altar is the Point of the Sword, with which the Top of the Head of that good Prelate was wounded, and some of his Brains that were beaten out, to make sure Work on’t. We most religiously kiss’d the sacred Rust of this Weapon, out of Love to the Martyr. Leaving this Place, we went down into a Vault under Ground; to that there belong two Shewers of Relicks. The first Thing they shew you, is the Skull of the Martyr, as it was bored through; the upper Part is left open to be kiss’d, all the rest is cover’d over with Silver. There also is shewn you a leaden Plate with this Inscription, Thomas Acrensis. And there hang up in a great Place, the Shirts of Hair-Cloth, the Girdles, and Breeches, with which this Prelate used to mortify his Flesh, the very Sight of which is enough to strike one with Horrour, and to reproach the Effeminacy and Delicacy of our Age.

Men.

Nay, perhaps of the Monks themselves.

Ogy.

That I can neither affirm nor deny, nor does it signify much to me.

Men.

You say right.

Ogy.

From hence we return to the Choir. On the north Side they open a private Place. It is incredible what a World of Bones they brought out of it, Skulls, Chins, Teeth, Hands, Fingers, whole Arms, all which we having first adored, kiss’d; nor had there been any End of it, had it not been for one of my Fellow-Travellers, who indiscreetly interrupted the Officer that was shewing them.

Men.

Who was he?

Ogy.

He was an Englishman, his Name was Gratian Pullus, a Man of Learning and Piety, but not so well affected to this Part of Religion as I could wish he were.

Men.

I fancy he was a Wickliffite.

Ogy.

No, I believe he was not, tho’ he had read his Books; but I don’t know where he had them.

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Men.

Did he make the Officer angry?

Ogy.

He took out an Arm having yet some bloody Flesh upon it; he shew’d a Reluctance to the Kissing it, and a Sort of Uneasiness in his Countenance: And presently the Officer shut up all his Relicks again. After this we view’d the Table of the Altar, and the Ornaments; and after that those Things that were laid up under the Altar: all was very rich; you would have said Midas and Crœsus were Beggars compar’d to them, if you beheld the great Quantities of Gold and Silver.

Men.

And was there no Kissing here?

Ogy.

No, but my Mind was touch’d with other Sorts of Wishes.

Men.

What where they?

Ogy.

It made me sigh to think I had no such Relicks in my own House.

Men.

A sacrilegious Wish!

Ogy.

I confess it, and I humbly begg’d Pardon of the Saint, before I set my Foot out of the Church. After this we were carry’d into the Vestry. Good God! What a Pomp of Silk Vestments was there, of Golden Candlesticks! There we saw also St. Thomas’s Pastoral Staff: It look’d like a Reed plated over with Silver; it had but little of Weight, and nothing of Workmanship, and was no longer than up to one’s Girdle.

Men.

Was there never a Cross?

Ogy.

I saw none: There was a Gown shewn, it was Silk indeed, but coarse, and without Embroidery of Jewels; and a Handkerchief, still having plain Marks of Sweat and Blood from the Saint’s Neck. We readily kiss’d these Monuments of antient Frugality.

Men.

Are these shewn to every Body?

Ogy.

No certainly, my good Friend.

Men.

How then did you come to have such Credit with them, that none of their Secrets were conceal’d from you?

Ogy.

I had some Acquaintance with the Reverend Prelate William Warham the Archbishop, and he recommended me.

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Men.

I have heard he was a Man of great Humanity.

Ogy.

Nay, if you knew the Man, you would take him for Humanity itself. He was a Man of that Learning, that Candour of Manners, and that Piety of Life, that there was nothing wanting in him to make him a most accomplish’d Prelate. From hence we were conducted up higher; for, behind the high Altar, there is another Ascent, as into another Church. In a certain Chapel there was shewn to us the whole Face of the good Man set in Gold, and adorned with Jewels; and here a certain unexpected Chance had near interrupted all our Felicity.

Men.

I want sadly to hear what mischievous Matter this was.

Ogy.

My Friend Gratian lost himself here extremely. After a short Prayer, he says to the Assistant of him that shew’d us the Reliques, Good Father, is it true, as I have heard, that Thomas, while he liv’d, was very charitable to the Poor? Very true, replies he, and began to relate a great many Instances of his Charity. Then, answers Gratian, I don’t believe that good Inclination in him is changed, unless it be for the better. The Officer assented. Then, says he again, if this holy Man was so liberal to the Poor, when he was a poor Man himself, and stood in Need of Charity for the Support of his own Body, don’t you think he would take it well now, when he is grown so rich, and wants nothing, if some poor Woman having a Family of Children at Home ready to starve, or Daughters in Danger of being under a necessity to prostitute themselves for want of Portions, or a Husband sick in Bed, and destitute of all Comforts; if such a Woman should ask him Leave to make bold with some small Portion of these vast Riches, for the Relief of her Family, taking it either as by Consent, or by Gift, or by Way of Borrowing? The Assistant making no Answer to this, Gratian being a warm Man, I am fully persuaded, says he, that the good Man would be glad at his Heart, that when he is dead he could be able to relieve the Necessities of the Poor with his Wealth. Upon this the Shewer of the Relicks Edition: current; Page: [30] began to frown, and to pout out his Lips, and to look upon us as if he would have eaten us up; and I don’t doubt but he would have spit in our Faces, and have turn’d us out of the Church by the Neck and Shoulders, but that we had the Archbishop’s Recommendation. Indeed I did in some Measure pacify him with good Words, telling him, that Gratian did not speak this from his Heart, but had a drolling Way with him; and also laid down a little Money.

Men.

Indeed I exceedingly approve of your Piety. But I sometimes seriously think on’t, how they can possibly excuse themselves from being guilty of a Fault, who consume such vast Sums in building, beautifying, and enriching Churches, setting no Bound to their Expences. I allow that there ought to be a Dignity in the sacred Vestments, the Vessels of a Church, agreeable to the solemn Service; and would have the Structure of it to have a certain Air of Majesty. But to what Purpose are so many golden Fonts, so many Candlesticks, and so many Images? To what Purpose is such a Profusion of Expence upon Organs, as they call them? Nor are we indeed content with one Pair. What signify those Concerts of Musick, hired at so great an Expence; when in the mean Time our Brothers and Sisters, Christ’s living Temples, are ready to perish for Hunger and Thirst?

Ogy.

There is no Man, either of Piety or Wisdom, but would wish for a Moderation in these Matters; but since this Error proceeds from a certain Extreme of Piety, it deserves some Favour, especially when we reflect on the other hand, on the contrary Error of others, who rob Churches rather than build them up. They are commonly endow’d by great Men and Monarchs, who would employ the Money worse in Gaming, or War. And moreover, if you take any Thing away from the Church, in the first Place it is accounted Sacrilege; and in the second Place, it shuts up the Hands of those who had an Inclination to give; and besides, it is a Temptation to Rapine. The Churchmen are rather Guardians of these Things than Masters of them. And Edition: current; Page: [31] : 31p. 31 lastly, I had rather see a Church luxuriant with sacred Furniture, than as some of them are, naked and sordid, more like Stables than Churches.

Men.

But we read, that the Bishops of old were commended for selling the sacred Vessels, and relieving the Poor with the Money.

Ogy.

And so they are commended at this Day; but they are only commended; for I am of the Mind they neither have the Power, nor the Will, to follow the Example.

Men.

But I hinder your Narration, I now expect to hear the Conclusion of your Story.

Ogy.

Well! you shall have it, and I’ll be very brief. Upon this, out comes the Head of the College.

Men.

Who was he? the Abbot of the Place?

Ogy.

He wears a Mitre, and has the Revenue of an Abbot, he wants nothing but the Name; he is call’d the Prior, because the Archbishop is in the Place of an Abbot. For in old Time, every one that was an Archbishop of that Diocese was a Monk.

Men.

I did not matter if I was call’d a Camel, if I had but the Revenue of an Abbot.

Ogy.

He seem’d to me to be a godly and prudent Man, and not unacquainted with the Scotch Divinity. He open’d us the Box, in which the Remainder of the Holy Man’s Body is said to rest.

Men.

Did you see the Bones?

Ogy.

That is not permitted, nor can it be done without a Ladder. But a wooden Box covers a golden one, and that being craned up with Ropes, discovers an inestimable Treasure.

Men.

What say you?

Ogy.

Gold was the basest Part. Every Thing sparkled and shined with very large and scarce Jewels, some of them bigger than a Goose’s Egg. There some Monks stood about with the greatest Veneration. The Cover being taken off, we all worshipp’d. The Prior, with a white Wand, touch’d every Stone one by one, telling us the Name in French, the Edition: current; Page: [32] : 32p. 32 Value of it, and who was the Donor of it. The Principal of them were the Presents of Kings.

Men.

He had Need to have a good Memory.

Ogy.

You guess right, and yet Practice goes a great Way, for he does this frequently. Hence he carried us back into a Vault. There the Virgin Mary has her Residence; it is something dark, it is doubly rail’d in and encompassed about with iron Bars.

Men.

What is she afraid of?

Ogy.

Nothing, I suppose, but Thieves. And I never in my Life saw any Thing more laden with Riches.

Men.

You tell me of Riches in the Dark.

Ogy.

Candles being brought in, we saw more than a Royal Sight.

Men.

What, does it go beyond the Parathalassian Virgin in Wealth?

Ogy.

It goes far beyond in Appearance. What is concealed she knows best. These Things are shewn to none but great Persons, or peculiar Friends. In the End, we were carried back into the Vestry: There was pulled out a Chest covered with black Leather; it was set upon the Table, and opened. They all fell down on their Knees, and worshipped.

Men.

What was in it?

Ogy.

Pieces of Linen Rags, a great many of them retaining still the Marks of the Snot. These were those, they say, that the holy Man used to wipe the Sweat off from his Face and Neck with, the Snot out of his Nose, or any other such Sort of Filth which human Bodies are not free from. Here again my Gratian behaved himself in none of the most obliging Manners. For the gentle Prior offered to him, being an Englishman, an Acquaintance, and a Man of considerable Authority, one of the Rags for a Present, thinking he had presented him with a very acceptable Gift; but Gratian unthankfully took it squeamishly in his Fingers, and laid it down with an Air of Contempt, making up his Mouth at it, as if he would have smack’d it. For this was his Custom, if Edition: current; Page: [33] : 33p. 33 any Thing came in his Way that he would express his Contempt to. I was both ashamed and afraid. Nevertheless the good Prior, tho’ not insensible of the Affront, seemed to take no Notice of it; and after he had civilly entertained us with a Glass of Wine, dismissed us, and we went back to London.

Men.

What Need was there for that, when you were not far from your own Shore?

Ogy.

I was not, but I industriously shunned that Shore, it being more infamous for Cheats and Rapines than any Rocks are for Shipwrecks. I’ll tell you what I saw in my last Passage that Way. There were a pretty many of us upon the Shore of Calais, who were carried thence in a Chaloupe to a large Ship. Among the rest there was a young Frenchman that was poor and ragged, and they demanded two Pence for his Passage; for so much they will have if they carry you but a Boat’s Length: He pleaded Poverty. They in a Frolick would needs search him, and having pulled off his Shoes, they find ten or twelve Pieces of Silver between the Soles. They took the Money, laugh’d at him to his Face, and banter’d the Frenchman as a Cheat into the Bargain.

Men.

What did the Fellow do then?

Ogy.

What should he do but lament his Misfortune?

Men.

Do they do these Things by Authority?

Ogy.

By the same Authority that they steal the Baggage of a Guest in his Inn, or take his Purse upon the Road, if they find an Opportunity.

Men.

It is very strange that they dare to commit such Villainy before so many Witnesses.

Ogy.

They are so used to it, that they think they do well in it. There were many in the great Ship who looked on, and some English Merchants in the Boat, who grumbled at it; but to no Purpose. They boasted of it as a Piece of Wit in catching the Frenchman in his Roguery.

Men.

I would hang up those Coast Thieves, and laugh at them, and banter them at the Gallows.

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Ogy.

Nay, both Shores abound with such Fellows. Hence I make this Improvement: If the little Thieves dare to do thus, what will their Masters do? So that I had rather, for the future, go ever so far about than that shortest Way. And besides, as the Descent to Hell is easy, but the Return is difficult; so the Entrance of this Shore is not very easy, and the getting out of it very difficult. There were at London some Skippers belonging to Antwerp; so I determined to take Passage with them.

Men.

Are the Skippers of that Country any better than others?

Ogy.

I confess, as an Ape will always be an Ape, so a Skipper will always be a Skipper: But if you compare them to those that live upon the Catch, they are Angels.

Men.

I shall remember it, if I ever have a Mind to visit that Island. But go on again, I have led you out of the Way.

Ogy.

In our Journey to London, not far from Canterbury, there’s a narrow, hollow, steep Way, and a cragged, steep Bank on either Side, so that you can’t escape it; for there is no other Way to go. Upon the left Hand of that Way, there is a little Cottage of old Mendicants. As soon as they espy a Man on Horseback coming, one of them runs out, and sprinkles him with holy Water, and then offers him the upper Leather of a Shoe, with a Brass Ring to it, in which is a Glass, as if it were some Gem. Having kiss’d it, you give a small Piece of Money.

Men.

In such a Way, I had rather meet with a Cottage of old Mendicants, than a Gang of lusty Foot Pads.

Ogy.

Gratian rode on my left Hand, next to this Cottage; he was sprinkled with holy Water, and took it pretty well; but upon presenting the Shoe, he ask’d what was meant by that? This, says the poor Man, was St. Thomas’s Shoe. Gratian fell into a Passion, and turning to me, said, What would these Brutes have? Will they make us kiss the Shoes of all that have been good Men? Why do they not as well give us their Spittle, and the other Excrements of their Edition: current; Page: [35] : 35p. 35 Bodies, to kiss? I pitied the poor old Man, and comforted him, being sorrowful, by giving him a little Money.

Men.

In my Opinion, Gratian was not angry altogether without a Cause. If these Shoes and Slippers were preserved as an Argument of Moderation in living, I should not dislike it: But I think it a Piece of Impudence, to thrust Slippers, and Shoes, and Stockings, upon any one to be kissed. If any one shall do it of their own free Choice, from a great Affection to Piety, I think they deserve to be left to their own Liberty.

Ogy.

Not to dissemble, I think those Things had better be let alone; but in those Matters that cannot be mended on a sudden, it is my Way to make the best of them. In the mean Time my Mind was delighted with this Contemplation, that a good Man was like a Sheep, and a wicked Man like a hurtful Beast. A Viper indeed cannot bite when it is dead, yet it is infectious by its Stink and Corruption. A Sheep, while it lives, nourishes us with its Milk, cloaths us with its Wool, and enriches us by its Increase; when it is dead, it supplies us with Leather, and is every Part of it fit to be eaten. In like Manner, Men that are furious and devoted to this World, while they live are troublesome to all Persons, and when they are dead, are a Disturbance to those that are alive, with the Noise of the Bells and a pompous Funeral; and sometimes to their Successors at their entring upon their Possessions, by causing new Exactions. But good Men make themselves profitable, in all Respects, to the whole World. As this Saint, while he was alive, by his Example, his Doctrine, and Admonitions, invited to Piety, comforted the Friendless, succoured the Needy; so now he is dead, he is in some Sort more useful. He built this magnificent Church, and advanced the Authority of the Priesthood all over England: And now, after all, this Fragment of his Shoe maintains a Conventicle of poor Men.

Men.

That indeed is a very pious Contemplation: But I admire, since you are of this Mind, that you never went to see St. Patrick’s Den, of which the People say so many prodigious Things, that I can scarce think likely to be true.

Edition: current; Page: [36]
Ogy.

Nay, there is no Report of it can be so prodigious, but that the Thing itself exceeds it.

Men.

Why then, did you ever enter into it?

Ogy.

Yes, I have ferried over a Lake truly Stygian, and descended into the very Jaws of Avernus, and seen all that is done in Hell.

Men.

You’ll bless me, if you shall not think much to relate it.

Ogy.

I think this Preface of our Discourse has been prolix enough. I am going Home to give Order to get Supper ready; for I have not dined yet.

Men.

Why have you had no Dinner? Is it upon a religious Account?

Ogy.

No, but out of Spite.

Men.

What, do you spite your Belly?

Ogy.

No, but unconscionable Victuallers, who, altho’ they serve you with what is not fit to be eaten, make no Scruple of demanding for it an unreasonable Price. This is the Way that I revenge myself on them: If I am in Hope of a good Supper, either at an Acquaintance’s, or at an Eating-House, that is any Thing tolerable, my Stomach fails me at Dinner. If Fortune throws in my Way a Dinner, such as I like, then my Stomach fails me at Supper-Time.

Men.

And are you not ashamed to be so stingy and sneaking?

Ogy.

Believe me, Menedemus, in such Cases as this, those that make Use of their Modesty, employ it to a wrong Use. I have learned to keep my Bashfulness for other Purposes.

Men.

I do e’en long for the Remainder of your Story, and therefore expect me at Supper, and there you may tell it more at Leisure.

Ogy.

In Truth, I give you Thanks for taking the Freedom to invite yourself, when many who are invited with Earnestness, won’t accept of it: But I will thank you over and over, if you shall sup at Home to Night; for my Time will be taken up in congratulating my Family. But I have Edition: current; Page: [37] : 37p. 37 Advice to give you that will be more commodious for us both. Do you provide a Dinner at your House for me and my Wife to-Morrow, and I’ll proceed in my Story till Supper-Time, till you shall say, you have your Belly-full; and if you are contented so, we won’t leave you at Supper neither. What, do you scratch your Head? Do you but make Provision, and I’ll give you my Word we will come without fail.

Men.

I like Stories best gratis. However, come, I’ll provide a Dinner for you, but it shall be an unsavoury one, if you don’t make it relishing with your Stories.

Ogy.

But hark ye, han’t I set you a-gog to go on Pilgrimages?

Men.

Perhaps you may, by that Time you have finish’d your Relation; but as I find myself at present, I have enough to do to travel my Roman Stations.

Ogy.

Roman ones, you who never saw Rome?

Men.

I’ll tell you: After that Manner I walk about my House, I go to my Study, and take Care of my Daughter’s Chastity; thence I go into my Shop, and see what my Servants are doing; then into the Kitchen, and see if any Thing be amiss there; and so from one Place to another, to observe what my Wife, and what my Children are doing, taking Care that every one be at his Business. These are my Roman Stations.

Ogy.

But St. James would take Care of these Things for you.

Men.

The Holy Scriptures enjoin me to look after them myself, but I do not find any Text to leave them to the Saints.

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ΙΧΘϒΟΦΑΓΙΑ.

The Argument.

: 38p. 38This Colloquy contains an ingenious Discourse concerning human Constitutions, which, tho’ not altogether to be rejected, yet are not to be so much set by as some Persons do, who in a Manner prefer them before the divine Law itself. Others again, abuse both divine and human Constitutions, making them serve their own Profit and tyrannical Disposition. What Persons, and how far human Constitutions are binding, what they conduce to, and how much they differ from divine. The preposterous Judgment of Women concerning them is blamed. Many Incommodities proceed from eating of Fish, not only to Bodies, but also to Minds. The barbarous Cruelty of them that forbid the Use of Flesh to sickly Persons. Why the Ceremonial Law was abolished. The Pontifical Laws require Things more burdensome than the Ceremonial Laws of the Jews. The Custom of baptizing new-born Infants is reprehended. The Popish Ceremonies are a great Obstacle to many from embracing the Christian Religion. That there might be a general Peace in the Christian World, if the Emperor would remit something of his Right, and the Pope something of his. The God Terminus, what he is. Human Laws are not binding of themselves. Edition: current; Page: [39] : 39p. 39 God commands nothing injurious to the Health either of Soul or Body, not so much as Fasting. The common Custom of Mankind is to fear and reverence God and his Worship, less than Man.

A BUTCHER and a SALT-FISHMONGER.

BUT.

Tell me, silly Seller of Salt-Fish, han’t you bought a Halter yet?

Fish.

A Halter, Butcher?

But.

Yes, I say an Halter.

Fish.

For what?

But.

To hang yourself with.

Fish.

Let them buy Halters that want them, I’m not weary of my Life yet.

But.

But you will be weary of it quickly.

Fish.

God send that may rather be your Case than mine. What’s the Matter?

But.

I’ll tell you, if you don’t know. Here’s a Time coming upon you, that you and your Brother Tradesmen will be all starv’d to Death, and ready to hang yourselves out of the Way.

Fish.

Easy, easy, Butcher, God send this may be our Enemies Case, and not ours. But prithee, Butcher, how came you to be a Fortune-Teller all on a sudden, to divine such a Calamity.

But.

’Tis no Guess-Work, I promise you; do not flatter yourself, ’tis Matter of Fact.

Fish.

You fright me out of my Wits; if you have any Thing to say, let us have it out.

But.

I’ll tell you to your Cost. Here’s a Dispensation of the College of Cardinals coming out, for every Body to eat what he lists. Then what will you and your Fraternity do, but be starved to Death in the Midst of your Heaps of stinking Salt-Fish.

Fish.

They that have a Mind to it may feed upon Snails Edition: current; Page: [40] : 40p. 40 or Nettles, with all my Heart. But is there a Prohibition that no Body shall eat Fish?

But.

No. But every Body is at Liberty to eat Flesh, that has a Mind to it.

Fish.

If what you predict be true, you rather deserve to be hang’d than I; and if it be false, you have more Need to buy a Halter. For I hope for a better Trade for the future.

But.

You may have Stock enough by you, but your Belly’s full of Fasting. But if you’ll hear the best of the Story, you may live a little cleanlier than you used to do, and not have Occasion to wipe your snotty, scabby Nose upon your Elbow.

Fish.

Ha, ha, now it is come out at last: The Kettle calls the Pot Black-Arse. Is there any Part of a Butcher cleaner and sweeter than his Backside? I wish what you say were true, but I’m afraid you only feed me with Francies.

But.

What I tell you is too true to make a Jest on. But, prithee, how do you promise yourself a better Trade upon this Consideration?

Fish.

Because People are of that Humour, that they are most desirous of that which is forbidden.

But.

What then?

Fish.

When they are at Liberty to eat Flesh, they will eat least of it; and then no Entertainment will be accounted noble, but what has Fish at it, as it used to be in old Time: So I shall be glad if there be a Licence to eat Flesh. And I wish heartily that the eating Fish were forbidden too, then People would covet it more earnestly.

But.

Well wish’d indeed.

Fish.

I should wish so too if I were like you, and aim’d at nothing but getting Money, for the Sake of which thou sendest that lumpish, Flesh-fed Soul of thine to the Devil.

But.

You are very smart upon me, but what you say is very silly.

Fish.

What is it puts the See of Rome upon the relaxing the Law for prohibiting eating of Flesh, that has been observed for so many Ages?

Edition: current; Page: [41]
But.

Why, indeed, they have had a Mind to do it a great While ago, and for this Reason, That they think, as it really is, that the City is defiled by Salt-Fishmongers; the Lands, the Waters, Rivers, Air, and Fire are infected, and all the other Elements, if there be any more; Mens Bodies corrupted, and filled with putrid Humours by the Eating of Fish; from whence proceed Fevers, Consumptions, Gouts, Falling-Sicknesses, Leprosies, and what not of Diseases.

Fish.

But prithee tell me, Hippocrates, how it comes to pass, that in well-govern’d Cities it is forbid to kill Oxen and Hogs within the Walls of the City? For it would tend more to the Healthfulness of the City, if they were restrain’d from killing Sheep in it too. Why is there a certain Place appointed for Butchers apart from others, but lest if they had Liberty to rove about, and settle any where, they should infect the whole City? Is there any Kind of Stink so pestilential as that of the corrupted Blood and Gore of Beasts?

But.

They are mere Perfumes compared to stinking Fish.

Fish.

You, perhaps, may think them Perfumes, but it is a Sign the Magistrates thought otherwise that expell’d you the City. Besides that, how fragrant your Slaughter-Houses smell is very plainly seen, by Peoples stopping their Noses when they pass by them, and that they had rather have ten Bawds for their Neighbours, than one Butcher.

But.

Whole Ponds and Rivers are little enough for you to wash your stinking Salt-Fish in; for as the old Saying is, You do but attempt to wash the Blackmoor white; for a Fish will always smell like a Fish, tho’ you perfume it. Nor is it to be wonder’d at, that they smell so strong when they are dead, when many stink alive, and as soon as they are taken. Flesh, pickled up, is so far from stinking, that it may be preserved many Years, and smell as sweet as a Violet at last. Nay, being but salted up with common Salt, will never stink; and being hung up a drying in Smoke, or Wind, will have no ill Scent. But do what you will to a Fish it will smell like a Fish still. It is evident, there is no Stink to be compared to that of Fish; that Fish corrupts even Salt itself, Edition: current; Page: [42] which was given for the very End of preserving Things from Putrefaction, by shutting, binding up, and also forcing out that which should produce any Thing nauseous, and drying up the Humours within, from whence Putrefaction might come: Fish is the only Thing on which Salt loses its Efficacy. It may be some nice Beau or other may stop his Nose as he passes by a Butcher’s Shop, but no Body can bear to be in the Boat where your Salt-Fish is. If a Traveller chance to meet a Cart loaden with Salt-Fish on the Road, how does he run away, stop his Nose, hawk and spit, and curse the stinking Cargo? And if it were possible that Salt-Fish could be carried sweet into the City, as we do our Beef, when killed and dressed, the Law would be laid aside. But besides, what can you say as to them that stink while they are eaten? And besides, how often do we see your condemn’d Ware thrown into the Rivers by the Clerks of the Markets, and a Fine put upon you for selling it? And we should see that oftner, but that they, corrupted by you, don’t so much regard the City’s Good, as their own Profit. Nor is this the only Thing that you are notorious for; but besides that, there is a wicked Combination among you, to hinder fresh from coming to Town.

Fish.

Pray, did no Body ever know a Butcher fined for killing measled Pork, or selling Mutton drowned in a Ditch, or maggotty Shoulders of Mutton dawb’d over with fresh Blood, to make ’em look as if new killed?

But.

But no Body ever knew such an Instance of us as has been known by you lately, that nine Persons were poisoned by one Eel baked in a Pie: And this is what you furnish Citizens Tables with.

Fish.

What you speak of was an Accident, and no Body can help that, when it pleases God it shall fall out so. But ’tis a daily Practice with you to sell young Cats for Rabbits, and Puppies for Hares, if People don’t know ’em by their Ears, and rough Feet; not to speak of your Meat-Pies made of dead Mens Flesh.

But.

That which you charge me with is the Failings of Edition: current; Page: [43] Men in common; and let them defend themselves that are guilty of the Fault: I make my Comparison between Gain and Gain. By the same Reason you may condemn Gardeners, who, by mistake, sell Henbane for Coleworts; or Apothecaries, who administer Poison instead of Antidotes. There is no Trade, or Calling, that is not liable to these Mistakes. But you, when you act the most faithfully in your Calling, sell that which is Poison. If indeed you sold a Cramp-Fish, a Water-Snake, or a Sea-Hare, catch’d among other Fish, it would be an Accident rather than a Fault. Nor do I think it any more to be imputed to you, than to a Physician, that sometimes kills the Patient he undertakes to cure. And this might be excusable, if you only put off your stinking Wares in the Winter Season; then the Cold might mitigate the Contagiousness of Infection: But you add putrid Matter to the Fire of the Summer Season, and render Autumn, which is of itself a sickly Season, more sickly. And in the Spring of the Year, when the Humours that have been lock’d up begin to flow, to the Hazard of the Body, then for two whole Months you exercise your Tyranny, and corrupt the Infancy of the springing Year, by bringing an Old Age upon it: And when Nature is busied to purge the Body from unwholsome Juices, and make it fresh and blooming with new, you throw into it mere Stinks and Corruption; so that if there be any vitious Humours in the Body, you increase ’em, adding worse to bad, and not only so, but corrupting the good Juices of the Body. But this might be borne with too, if you only injured the Body; but inasmuch as by different Foods the Organs of the Mind are vitiated, you vitiate the very Minds themselves. So that do but mind your Fish-Eaters, how like Fishes do they look, pale, stinking, stupid and mute?

Fish.

O rare Thales! But prithee, how wise are they that live upon Beets? just as much as the Beets themselves. What Sort of Fellows are they that feed upon Beef, Mutton, and Goats Flesh? truly, like Oxen, Sheep, and Goats themselves. You sell Kids for a mighty Delicacy, and yet Edition: current; Page: [44] : 44p. 44 this Creature is very bad for the Falling-Sickness, and brings that Distemper upon the Flesh-Eaters. Were it not better to satisfy a craving Appetite with Salt-Fish?

But.

Do you think then that all that your Naturalists write is true? But were what they say ever so true, it is certain, that to some Persons that are inclinable to Diseases, those Things that are good of themselves, prove hurtful. We sell Kids for those that are troubled with the Hectick, or Phthisick, but not for those that have the Vapours.

Fish.

If the eating of Fish be so prejudicial, as you would insinuate, how comes it about, that our Superiors permit us to sell our Ware the whole Year, and make you keep Holy-Day for a good Part of it?

But.

That’s none of my Business to answer. But it may be, this was the Contrivance of wicked Doctors, that they might get the more Money.

Fish.

I don’t know what Doctors they are that you speak of; for I am sure none are greater Enemies to Fish than they are.

But.

Goodman Coxcomb, to set you right in this Matter, it is not for your Sake, nor the Love of Fish; for none are more averse than they to the eating it, but ’tis their own Game they play. The more People are troubled with Coughs, Consumptions, and Chronick Distempers, the more they get by it.

Fish.

I won’t advocate for Doctors in this Matter; let them avenge their own Quarrel, when they get thee into their Clutches. The antient Sanctimony of Life, the Authority of the most Approved, the Majesty of Bishops, and the publick Usage of Christian Nations, are enough for my Purpose: All which, if you tax of Madness, I had rather be mad with them than be sober with Butchers.

But.

You decline being an Advocate for Doctors, and so do I to be an Accuser or Censurer of the Antients, or common Custom. Those it is my Custom to revere, but not revile.

Fish.

You’re more cautious than pious in this Point, or I’m mistaken in you, Butcher.

Edition: current; Page: [45]
But.

In my Opinion, they are the wisest, that have least to do with those that carry Thunderbolts in their Hands. But however, I won’t conceal what I understand from my Bible, translated into my Mother Tongue, that I sometimes read in.

Fish.

What now, the Butcher’s turn’d Parson too.

But.

I am of the Opinion, that Mankind, in the first Ages, being newly form’d out of primitive Clay, were of more healthful Constitutions. This appears by their Vivacity. More than that, I believe, Paradise was a Place commodiously situated, and in a very healthy Climate. Such Bodies, in such a Situation, might be sustained without Food, by breathing the very Air, and Fragrancy of Herbs, Trees, and Flowers, that exhaled every where, and especially the Earth, spontaneously producing all Things in Abundance, without Man’s Sweating or Toiling, who was neither infected with Distempers, nor Old Age. The Dressing of such a Garden was not a Toil, but rather a Pleasure.

Fish.

Hitherto you seem to be right.

But.

Of the various Increase of so fertile a Garden nothing was prohibited, but the Use of one single Tree.

Fish.

That’s true too.

But.

And that for this Reason only, That they might pay their Acknowlegement to their Lord and Creator by Obedience.

Fish.

All this is very right.

But.

Moreover, I verily believe, that the new Earth produced every Thing better in its Kind, and of a more nutritive Juice, than it does now, grown old, and almost past Bearing.

Fish.

Well, I grant it. Take that for granted.

But.

And that especially in Paradise.

Fish.

It is very probable.

But.

If so, then Eating was rather for the Sake of Pleasure, than Necessity.

Fish.

I have heard so.

But.

At that Time to abstain from eating Flesh, was rather Humanity than Sanctity.

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Fish.

I don’t know. I read that the Eating of Flesh was permitted after the Flood, but I don’t read it was forbidden before: But to what Purpose were it, to permit it, if it were permitted before?

But.

Why don’t we eat Frogs? Not because they are forbidden, but because we have an Aversion to them. How can you tell, whether God might not instruct Man what Food human Nature required, and not what he permitted?

Fish.

I can’t divine.

But.

But presently after Man’s Creation, we read, Rule ye over the Fish of the Sea, the Fowls of the Air, and every living Creature that moveth upon the Face of the Earth. What Use was there of the Government of ’em, if it were not lawful to eat them?

Fish.

O cruel Master! Do you eat your Men and Maid-Servants, your Wife and Children? Why don’t you, at the same Time, eat your Chamber-Pot? for you are Master of that too.

But.

But, prithee, hear me again, thou silly Salt-Fishmonger. There is a real Use of other Things, and not a bare Name of Dominion only. A Horse carries me upon his Back, and a Camel my Baggage. But what Use are Fish of, but to be eaten?

Fish.

As if there were not Abundance of Fish that are good for Physick. And besides, there are a great many that were created merely for the Sake of Contemplation, and to carry us forth to admire their Creator. It may be, you don’t believe that Dolphins carry Men on their Backs. In the last Place, there are some Fish that are useful to foretell a Tempest, as the Echinus, or Sea-Urchin; and would you not wish to have such a Servant in your own House?

But.

Suppose that be granted, that before the Flood it was not lawful to eat any Food, but the Fruits of the Earth; it was no great Matter to abstain from those Things the Necessity of the Body did not require, and in the Killing of which was Cruelty; yet you will allow, that in the Beginning, the Eating of living Creatures was permitted, by Reason Edition: current; Page: [47] of the Weakness of human Bodies. The Deluge had brought in a cold Temperament; and at this Time we see, those that live in cold Climates, are greater Eaters than others in hotter; and the Flood had either quite destroy’d, or at least spoiled, the Products of the Earth.

Fish.

That is granted.

But.

And yet, after the Deluge, they lived above 200 Years.

Fish.

I believe they did.

But.

Why then did God afterwards, as Moses commanded, tie up Persons of a weaker Constitution, and shorter-liv’d, to some particular Kinds of living Creatures, which he permitted to those of a stronger, without Exception?

Fish.

Just as if it were my Province to give a Reason for what God did! But I believe, that God did then, as Masters do now, who contract their Indulgence towards their Servants, when they see them abuse their Lenity. So we forbear to feed a Horse with Oats and Beans, when he grows pamper’d, and too mettlesome, give him Hay more sparingly, and ride him with a curb Bridle, and a sharper Spur. Mankind had thrown off all Reverence of the Deity, and lived as licentiously, as if there was no God at all. Upon this Account, the Lattices of the Law, and Bars of Ceremonies, the Bridles of Threatnings and Precepts, were made Use of, to bring them to know themselves.

But.

What then, do those Bars of the Law hold us in at this Day too?

Fish.

Inasmuch as the Asperity of carnal Servitude is removed, we being by the Gospel adopted Sons of God: there being an Augmentation of Grace, there is a Diminution of the Number of Precepts.

But.

How comes it to pass, that when God calls his Covenant everlasting, and Christ denies that he dissolved the Law, but fulfilled it; by what Confidence, I say, do Men of After-Ages dare to abrogate good Part of it?

Fish.

That Law was not given to the Gentiles; and therefore it seemed meet to the Apostles, not to burden them Edition: current; Page: [48] with the Load of Circumcision, lest, as the Jews, even at this Day, do, they should rather place the Hope of their Salvation in corporal Observances, than in Faith and Love towards God.

But.

I forbear to speak of the Gentiles; what Scripture is there, that says plainly of the Jews, that if they did embrace the Gospel, they should be freed from the Servitude of the Mosaical Law?

Fish.

That was prophesied by the Prophets, who promise a new Covenant and a new Heart, and introduce God, as abhorring the Festival Days of the Jews, aversating their Meat-Offerings, abhorring their Fasts, rejecting their Gifts, and desiring a People of circumcised Hearts; and the Lord himself confirmed what they had promised, who, holding forth to his Disciples his Body and Blood, calls it the New Testament. If nothing be abolished of the old, why is this called a new one? The Lord did not only abrogate the Jewish Choice of Meats by his Example, but by his Doctrine; when he denies that Man is defiled by Meats which go into the Stomach, and pass thence into the Draught. He teaches Peter the same by a Vision: And Peter himself shews the same, in that he, with Paul and others, eat of common Meats, from which the Law commanded them to abstain. Paul treats in this Manner every where in his Epistles, nor is there any Doubt, but what Christians now practise, was handed down to us by Tradition from the Apostles themselves. So that the Jews were not so properly set at Liberty, as weaned from Superstition, as from the Milk to which they had been accustomed and made familiar; but now was grown out of Season. Neither is the Law abrogated, but it is but requisite, that that Part of it should give Way, which was not essential. Leaves and Flowers bespeak Fruit coming; and when a Tree is loaded with that, no Body covets the Flowers. Nor is any Body sorry that his Son’s Puerility is gone, when Maturity of Age is come: Nor does any Body call for Candles and Torches, when the Sun is gotten above the Horizon: Nor does a School-Master complain, Edition: current; Page: [49] if a Son, being come to Man’s Estate, puts in his Claim for Freedom, and, in his Turn, has the Master under his Tuition. A Pledge ceases to be a Pledge, when the Thing promised is produced. The Spouse comforts herself with the Bridegroom’s Letters, till she is married; she kisses his Presents, embraces his Picture; but when she comes to enjoy his Company, she disregards those Things she before admired for the Sake of it. The Jews, at first, were very hardly brought off from those Things they had been accustomed to; which is just as if a Child that had been used to suck, being grown a lusty Fellow, should cry for the Breast, and slight more solid Food. So they were forced, as it were, from those Figures, Shadows, and temporary Comforts, that they might entirely turn themselves to him, whom that Law had promised and shadowed out.

But.

Who would have expected so much Divinity from a Seller of Salt-fish?

Fish.

I used to serve the Dominican College in our City with Fish; and, by that Means they often dine with me, and I sometimes with them; and I gather’d these Things from their Discourses.

But.

In Truth, instead of a Seller of Salt-Fish, you deserve to be a Seller of fresh Fish. But prithee tell me, If you were a Jew, (for I cannot very well tell, whether you are one or not,) and you were like to be starved with Hunger, would you eat Swine’s Flesh, or rather die?

Fish.

I can’t very well tell what I should do; for I do not yet well understand what I ought to do.

But.

God has forbid both; Thou shalt not kill, and thou shalt not eat Swine’s Flesh. In such a Case as this, which Precept must give Way to the other?

Fish.

In the first Place, it does not appear, that God has forbidden the Eating Swine’s Flesh, meaning, that a Man should rather be accessory to his own Death, than eat it. For the Lord excuses David, in that he eat Shew-Bread contrary to the Letter of the Law: And in the Babylonish Captivity, many Things were omitted by the Jews, which Edition: current; Page: [50] : 50p. 50 were required by the Law. Secondly, I am of Opinion, that the Law which Nature has dictated, and therefore is perpetual and inviolable, ought to be accounted the more obligatory, which never was, nor ever will be abrogated.

But.

But why then were the Maccabees so much commended, that chose rather to die than eat Swine’s Flesh?

Fish.

I suppose, because this Eating being required by the King, did comprise in itself a Denial in the general of the Law of the Country; as Circumcision, which the Jews endeavoured to obtrude on the Gentiles, carried in it a Profession of the whole Law; just as Money given in Earnest, obliges to the Performance of the whole Contract.

But.

Well then, if this more gross Part of the Law is justly taken away, after the Exhibition of the Gospel, by what Authority are either the same, or like Things, imposed upon us, especially when our Lord calls his Yoke an easy one, and Peter, in the Acts of the Apostles, calls the Law of the Jews a hard one, which neither they, nor their Fathers, were able to bear? Circumcision is taken away, but Baptism came in the Room of it, and indeed, I was about to say, with a harder Condition. That was deferr’d till the eighth Day, and if any Thing happen’d to the Child in that Time, the Vow of Circumcision was taken for Circumcision itself. But we dip Children, scarce well got out of the dark Caverns of the Mother’s Womb, all over in cold Water, which has stood a long Time in a stony Font, (not to say while it stinks) and if it chance to die upon the first Day, or in its very Ingress into the World, tho’ there be no Fault neither in its Parents nor Friends, the poor Babe is doom’d to eternal Damnation.

Fish.

They do say so indeed.

But.

The Sabbath is abrogated; nay indeed, not abrogated, but translated to the Sunday. What does it signify? The Mosaick Law enjoin’d a few Fast-Days; but what a Number have we added to them? And as to the Choice of Meats, how much freer were the Jews than we are, who were at Liberty to eat Sheep, Capons, Partridges, and Kids, all the Edition: current; Page: [51] Year round? They were forbid the Use of no Garment, but what was mix’d with Linen and Woollen: But now, besides the appointed and forbidden Forms and Colours of a great Number of Garments, the Head must be shaven too, some after one Manner, and some another. Not to mention that heavy Burden of Confession, the Wallets of human Constitutions, Tythes, and those not single ones neither; Matrimony skrew’d up into too narrow a Compass, the new Laws of Affinity, and Abundance of other Things, which render the Jews Circumstances much more easy than ours.

Fish.

Indeed, Butcher, you are much out of the Way, the Yoke of Christ is not to be accounted for by that Rule you imagine. A Christian is tyed up in many Points, and to harder Circumstances, and liable to a greater Punishment: But to make Amends for this, the greater Strength of Faith and Love that is added, makes those Things pleasant which by Nature are burdensome.

But.

Pray tell me, why, when the Holy Spirit descended from Heaven of old, in the Shape of fiery Tongues, and enrich’d the Hearts of Believers with a more copious Gift of Faith and Charity, why was the Burden of the Law taken away from them, as from Persons weak, and in Danger under an unequal Yoke? Why did Peter, by the Inspiration of the Spirit, call it an intolerable Burden?

Fish.

It was taken away on one Part, lest Judaism, as it had begun, should overwhelm the Glory of the Gospel; and lest the Gentiles, by the Stumbling-Block of the Law, should be alienated from Christ, among whom there were many weak Persons, who were in a double Danger: On the one Hand, lest they should believe there was no Salvation to be had without the Observation of the Law; and on the other Hand, lest they should rather chuse to remain in Paganism, than take upon them the Yoke of the Mosaick Law. It was necessary to allure these weak Minds, as it were, with a Bait of Liberty. Secondly, That they might heal them who deny’d there was any Hope of Salvation by the Profession of the Gospel, without the Observation of the Law, Circumcision, Edition: current; Page: [52] Sabbaths, the Choice of Meats, and other Things of that Kind, they either wholly took away, or changed into something else. And besides, whereas Peter denies that he was able to bear the Burden of the Law, it is not to be understood of him as to the Person he then bare, when there was nothing unbearable to him, but of the stupid and weak Jews, who, tho’ they were cloy’d with it, fed upon the Husk, not having any Relish of the Spirit.

But.

You argue indeed very smartly. But for all that, in my Opinion, even at this Day, there is no less Reason why those carnal Obligations that are arbitrary, and not obligatory, should be taken away.

Fish.

Why so?

But.

I lately saw the whole World described in a large Map; from thence I learn’d how small a Part of the World it was, that truly and sincerely professed the Christian Religion: One small Part of Europe to the East, and another towards the North; the third inclining towards the South, but reaching but a little Way; and the fourth Part, which is Poland, inclining towards the East. All the Rest of the World is either possess’d by Barbarians, or such as differ but very little from brute Beasts; or Schismaticks, or Hereticks, or both.

Fish.

But did you not mind the Southern Shore, and the Christian Islands that lay scatter’d about it?

But.

I saw them, and learn’d that there were great Spoils brought out of them, but no Christianity carry’d into them. When indeed, when there is so plentiful a Harvest, it seems most adviseable for the Propagation of the Christian Religion, to do as the Apostle did, who took away the Burden of the Mosaick Law, lest the Gentiles should fall back: so now to allure the weak, the Obligations to some Ceremonies should be removed; without which the World was saved in the Beginning, and may now, if it hath Faith and Gospel Charity. Again, I both hear and see many who place Religion in Places, Garments, Meats, Fasts, Gestures and Songs, and for the Sake of these Things judge their Neighbour contrary Edition: current; Page: [53] : 53p. 53 to the Precept of the Gospel. From whence it comes to pass, that whereas Faith and Charity constitute the Christian Religion, they are both extinguished by those Superstitions. For he is far from the Faith of the Gospel who depends upon these Acts; and he is far from Christian Charity, who for the Sake of Meat or Drink, which a Person may lawfully use, exasperates his Brother, for whose Liberty Christ died. What bitter Contentions do we see among Christians! What spightful Calumnies upon Account of a Garment differently tied, or of different Colours than what is customary, and about that Sort of Food which the Water produces, and that which the Land produces! And if this Evil had reach’d but a few, it might have been slighted. But now we see the whole World in a Flame, on Account of these deadly Contentions. These and such like Things, were they removed, we should both live in greater Concord, not minding Ceremonies, but pressing after those Things which Christ hath taught us; and the Nations of the World would the more readily embrace Religion, were it accompanied with Liberty.

Fish.

But there is no Salvation out of the Pale of the Church.

But.

I confess it.

Fish.

Whosoever does not own the Authority of the Pope, is out of the Pale of the Church.

But.

I don’t deny that neither.

Fish.

But he that neglects his Injunctions does not own him.

But.

But I hope a Time will come, that the Pope, who is Clement by Name, and most of all so by Nature, will mitigate all these Things, which hitherto seem to have alienated some People from the Roman Church; that he may bring all Nations to the Communion of it, and will rather pursue those Things that are for the Good of the Church, than his own private Interest. I hear daily Complaints of yearly Offerings, Pardons, Dispensations, and other Exactions and Church Grievances; but I believe he will so moderate all Edition: current; Page: [54] : 54p. 54 Things, that in Time to come it would be impudent to complain.

Fish.

I wish all Monarchs would do the like, and then I would not doubt but Christianity, which is now confined to a narrow Compass, would extend itself, when the barbarous Nations did perceive that they were called not to human Servitude, but to Gospel Liberty; and that they were not sought after to be made a Prey of, but to a Fellow-Enjoyment of Happiness and Holiness. If once they came to be united with us, and found in us Manners truly Christian, they would of their own Accord offer us more than the utmost Violence can extort from them.

But.

I should soon hope to see that accomplish’d, if that mischievous Ate that has engaged the two most mighty Monarchs in the World in a bloody War, were sent to her Place (i. e. to the Dogs.)

Fish.

I admire that that is not done already, when nothing can be imagined more humane than Francis, and I look upon it, that Charles has had Principles instilled into him by his Masters, that by how much the more Fortune enlarges the Bounds of his Empire, by so much the more he encreases in Clemency and Bounty; besides that good Humour and Lenity is peculiar to his Age.

But.

You won’t find that they will be wanting in any Thing.

Fish.

What then is it, that hinders the Accomplishment of that which all the World wishes for?

But.

Why, the Lawyers have not yet come to an Agreement about Bounds and Limits, and you know that the Storm of a Comedy always ends in the Calm of a Matrimony; and the Tragedies of Princes commonly end in the like Manner. But in Comedies Matches are quickly made up, but among great Men, Matters move but slowly; and it is better to have a Wound long in healing, than presently to break out again in an Ulcer.

Fish.

But do you think Marriages to be firm Bonds of Amity?

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But.

I would have them so indeed; but I see sometimes the sharpest Contentions rise from them; and when once a War arises between near Kindred, it not only is more extensive, but harder to be made up.

Fish.

I confess it, and acknowledge it to be true.

But.

But do you think it fit, that because of the Contentions and Delays of Lawyers, in Relation to Contracts, the whole World should be kept in Pain? For as Matters are now, there is no Safety any where, and the worst of Men take Advantage of the Opportunity, while there is neither Peace nor War.

Fish.

It is not my Business to determine concerning the Counsels of Princes. But if I were Caesar, I know what I would do.

But.

Well, come on then, you shall be Caesar and the Pope too, if you please. What is it you would do?

Fish.

I had rather be Emperor, and King of France.

But.

Well, let it be so, you shall be both of them then.

Fish.

I would immediately take upon me a Vow of Peace, and publish a Truce throughout my Dominions, disband my Forces, and make it a capital Crime for any to touch so much as a Hen that was not their own. So having settled Affairs to my Conveniency, or rather that of the Publick, I would treat concerning the Limits of my Dominion, or the Conditions of a Match.

But.

Have you projected any firmer Ties than those of Matrimony?

Fish.

I think I have.

But.

Let’s hear them.

Fish.

Were I emperor, I would without Delay, thus treat with the King of France: “My Brother, some evil Spirit has set this War on Foot between you and me; nor do we fight for our Lives, but our Dominions. You, as to your Part, have behaved yourself as a stout and valiant Warrior. But Fortune has been on my Side, and of a King made you a Captive. What has been your Lot, may be mine, and your Mishap admonishes all of our human Condition. Edition: current; Page: [56] We have experienced that this Way of Contention has been detrimental to both of us; let us engage one another after a different Manner. I give you your Life, and restore you your Liberty, and instead of an Enemy take you for my Friend. Let all past Animosities be forgotten, you are at free Liberty to return into your own Dominions, enjoy what is your own, be a good Neighbour, and for the future let this be the only Contention, which shall out-do the other in Offices of Fidelity and Friendship; nor let us vie one with another, which shall govern the largest Dominions, but who shall govern his own with the greatest Justice and Goodness. In the former Conflict I have bore away the Prize of Fortune, but in this he that gets the better, shall gain far more Glory. As for me, the Fame of this Clemency will get me more true Glory than if I had added all France to my Dominion. And in you a grateful Mind will be more to your Praise than if you had drove me quite out of Italy. Don’t you envy me the Praise that I am ambitious of, and I’ll on the other Hand carry myself toward you, that you shall willingly owe an Obligation to so good a Friend.”

But.

In Truth, not only all France, but all the World might be attach’d by this Method. For if this Ulcer should happen to be skin’d over, rather than throughly heal’d, by unequal Terms, I am afraid that upon the first Opportunity the Skin being broken, Abundance of corrupt Matter would issue out, and that with more dangerous Consequences.

Fish.

How great and glorious would this Act of Humanity render Charles all over the World? What Nation would not readily submit to so generous and kind a Prince?

But.

You have acted the Part of the Emperor very well. Now act the Pope too.

Fish.

It would be too long to go thro’ every Thing. I will tell you in brief. I would so demean myself that the whole World should see that there was a Prince of the Church that aspired after nothing but the Glory of Christ, and Salvation of Mankind. That would infallibly take away all Invidiousness Edition: current; Page: [57] from the Name of Pope, and gain him solid and lasting Glory. But by the Way, from worse to better. We have digress’d from our first Proposition.

But.

Well, I’ll bring you to Rights again, by and by. But do you say then, that the Pope’s Laws are binding to the whole Church?

Fish.

I do say so.

But.

What, to the Punishment of Hell?

Fish.

They say so.

But.

And are the Bishops Laws obligatory in like Manner?

Fish.

I think they are every one in his own Diocese.

But.

And those of Abbots too?

Fish.

I am in Doubt as to that. For they receive their Administration upon certain Conditions, nor have any Power to burden their Inferiors with Constitutions without the Concurrence of the whole Order.

But.

But what if a Bishop receive his Function upon the same Conditions?

Fish.

I doubt as to that.

But.

Can the Pope annul what a Bishop has constituted?

Fish.

I believe he can.

But.

Can no Body annul what the Pope decrees?

Fish.

No, no Body.

But.

How comes it about that we hear of the Resuming of Popes Constitutions, under this Title, that they have not been rightly instructed; and that the Constitutions of former Popes have been antiquated by later, as deviating from Piety?

Fish.

Those were surreptitious and temporary Things. For the Pope considered as a Man, may be ignorant of Person and Fact. But that which proceeds from the Authority of an universal Council, is a heavenly Oracle, and is of equal Authority with the Gospel itself, or at least very near it.

But.

Is it lawful to doubt concerning the Gospels?

Fish.

By no Means; no, nor the Councils neither, rightly assembled by the holy Spirit, carried on, published and received.

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But.

What if any one should doubt whether there is any Council so constituted? as I hear concerning the Council at Basil, which has been rejected by some; nor do all approve of that of Constance. I speak of those that are accounted Orthodox, not to mention the late Lateran Council.

Fish.

Let them that will doubt at their own Peril. I will not doubt for my Part.

But.

Had Peter then the Authority of making new Laws?

Fish.

He had.

But.

And had Paul too, and the rest of the Apostles?

Fish.

Yes, they had every one in their own Churches committed to them by Peter or Christ.

But.

And have the Successors of Peter a like Authority with Peter himself?

Fish.

Why not?

But.

And is there the same Regard to be had to the Pope of Rome’s Letter, as to the Epistle of St. Peter himself, and as much to the Constitutions of Bishops, as to the Epistles of Paul?

Fish.

Nay, I think and more too, if they command and make it a Law by Authority.

But.

Is it lawful to doubt, whether Peter and Paul wrote by the Inspiration of the holy Spirit?

Fish.

Nay, let him be accounted an Heretick that doubts of that.

But.

And do you think the same of the Ordinances and Constitutions of the Popes and Bishops?

Fish.

I do as to the Popes, but I should make some Question as to the Bishops; but that it seems a Part of Piety not to be suspicious of any Person unless there be very good Grounds for it.

But.

But why will the holy Spirit suffer a Bishop to err rather than a Pope?

Fish.

Because that Error is the most dangerous that proceeds from the Head.

But.

If the Constitutions of Prelates are of such Force, what does the Lord mean in Deuteronomy, who uses so severe Edition: current; Page: [59] a Commination; That none add to or diminish from the Law?

Fish.

He does not add to the Law, that more largely explains what lay couch’d in it, and who suggests those Things that have Relation to the Observation of the Law; nor does he diminish, who preaches the Law according to the Capacity of the Hearers, declaring some Things, and concealing others, according to the Circumstances of the Time.

But.

Were the Constitutions of the Pharisees and Scribes obligatory?

Fish.

I don’t think they were.

But.

Why so?

Fish.

Because, tho’ they had Authority to teach, yet not to make Laws.

But.

Which Power is the greatest, that of making human Laws, or that of interpreting divine?

Fish.

That of making human Laws.

But.

I am of another Mind: For he that has the Right of interpreting his Opinion, has the Force of a divine Law.

Fish.

I don’t well take you in.

But.

I’ll explain it to you. The divine Law commands us to assist our Parents. The Pharisee interprets it thus: That which is offer’d to the Church is given to the Father; because God is the Father of all. Does not the divine Law then give Place to this Interpretation?

Fish.

But that’s a false Interpretation.

But.

But when once they have receiv’d an Authority of interpreting, how can I tell which Interpretation is true, and especially if they differ among themselves?

Fish.

If you cannot be satisfied, as to the Sense of the Commonalty, follow the Authority of the Prelates; that is the safest.

But.

Is then the Authority of the Scribes and Pharisees devolv’d upon Divines and Preachers?

Fish.

It is.

But.

I hear none more ready to inculcate, Hear, I say unto you, than those that never made Divinity much their Study.

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Fish.

You must hear all candidly, but with Judgment, unless they are quite mad. Then People ought to rise and hiss them out of the Pulpit, to make them sensible of their Madness. But you ought to believe those that have arrived to the Degree of a Doctor in Divinity.

But.

But among them I find a great many that are much more ignorant and foolish, than those that are altogether illiterate; and I see much Controversy among the Learned themselves.

Fish.

Single out the best Things, and leave those Things that are difficult to others; always receiving those Things that the Consent of the Rulers, and Majority, has approv’d.

But.

I know that is the safest Way. But then there are false Constitutions as well as false Interpretations.

Fish.

Whether there be or no, let others look to that. I believe there may be.

But.

Had Annas and Caiaphas Authority to make Laws?

Fish.

Yes they had.

But.

Did these Mens Constitutions in all Things oblige to the Punishment of Hell?

Fish.

I can’t tell.

But.

Suppose Annas had made an Order, that no Body coming from a Market should touch a Bit of Meat before he had washed his Body: If any one eat Meat unwashed, did he incur the Pain of Damnation?

Fish.

I think not, unless the Contempt of the publick Authority aggravated the Crime.

But.

Did all the Laws of God oblige to the Punishment of eternal Damnation?

Fish.

I believe not; for God forbids all Sin, how venial soever, if we may believe Divines.

But.

But perhaps a venial Sin might send to Hell, unless God by his Mercy assisted our Infirmity.

Fish.

It is no Absurdity to say so, but I dare not affirm it.

But.

When the Israelites were in Captivity in Babylon, besides a great many other Things which the Law requires, many of them omitted Circumcision; did all these perish?

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Fish.

God knows that.

But.

If a Jew should privately, for Fear of being starved, eat Swine’s Flesh, would he be guilty of a Crime?

Fish.

In my Opinion, the Necessity would excuse the Fact; inasmuch as David was excused by the Mouth of God himself, that he had eat holy Bread, which is called Shew-Bread, contrary to the Precept of the Law; and did not only eat it himself, but also fed his profane Companions with it too.

But.

If any one lay under that Necessity that he must either steal or starve, which ought he to chuse, to steal or be starv’d to Death?

Fish.

Perhaps, in that Case, Theft would not be Theft.

But.

How’s that? What, is not an Egg an Egg?

Fish.

Especially, if he took it with an Intention of making a Return, and pacifying the Owner, as soon as he should be in a Capacity to do it.

But.

What if a Man must either lose his own Life, or swear falsly against his Neighbour? which must he chuse?

Fish.

Death.

But.

What if he could save his Life by committing Adultery?

Fish.

He ought rather to chuse Death.

But.

What if he could save his Life by committing Fornication?

Fish.

They say he ought rather to die.

But.

Why does not an Egg cease to be an Egg here; especially if there be no Force offered or Injury done?

Fish.

There is wrong done to the Maiden’s Body.

But.

What if by Perjury?

Fish.

He ought to die.

But.

What say you as to a simple harmless Lye?

Fish.

They say a Man must rather die. But I am of Opinion, that upon an urgent Necessity, or a great Advantage, such a Sort of a Lye rather is no Fault, or a very small one; unless it be that having once opened the Way, there is Danger of our growing into a Habit of lying injuriously. Put Edition: current; Page: [62] : 62p. 62 the Case that by a harmless Lye, a Man might save the Bodies and Souls of his own Country; which would a pious Man chuse? Would he refuse to tell the Lye?

But.

What others would do, I can’t tell, but as for me, I would make no Scruple of telling fifteen as notorious Lyes as ever Homer told in his Life, and presently wash away my Guilt with Holy Water.

Fish.

I would do the same.

But.

Well then, it is not what God has commanded, nor what he has forbid, that obliges to eternal Damnation.

Fish.

It seems otherwise.

But.

Then the Modus of the Obligation is not so much from the Author of the Law, as from the Matter of it. For some Things give Way to Necessity, and some do not.

Fish.

It seems so.

But.

What if a Priest should be in Danger of his Life, and should save it by marrying? Whether should he chuse?

Fish.

Death.

But.

When a Divine Law can give Way to Necessity, why does not this Human Law give Way to it?

Fish.

It is not the Law that hinders, but the Vow.

But.

What if any one should make a Vow of going to Jerusalem, but could not do it without being sure to lose his Life, shall he go, or shall he die?

Fish.

Why he ought to die, unless he can get his Vow dispensed with by the Pope.

But.

But why may one Vow be dispensed with, and not another?

Fish.

Because one is a solemn Vow, and the other a private one.

But.

What do you mean by a solemn one?

Fish.

That which is usual.

But.

Why then, is not the other a solemn one which is a daily one?

Fish.

Yes, but then it is a private one.

But.

Well then, if a Monk should profess privately before an Abbot, would not this be a solemn one?

Edition: current; Page: [63]
Fish.

You trifle. A private Vow is the easier discharged, because it is dispensed with the least Offence; he that makes a private Vow, does it with this Intention, that if it be convenient he may alter his Mind.

But.

Then might they vow with this Intention, that vow perpetual Chastity?

Fish.

They ought so to do.

But.

Then it would be perpetual, and not perpetual. What if it were the case of a Carthusian Monk, that he must either eat Meat or die? Whether ought he to chuse?

Fish.

Physicians tell us, that there is no Flesh so efficacious but Aurum potabile, and Jewels would answer the End.

But.

Which is the more useful, to succour a Person in Danger of Life with Gold and Jewels, or with the Price of them to succour a great many, whose Lives are in Danger, and to let the sick Man have a Chicken?

Fish.

I can’t say as to that.

But.

But the eating of Fish or Flesh is not of the number of those Things that are called Substantials.

Fish.

Let us leave the Carthusians to be their own Judge.

But.

Let us then talk in the general. Sabbath-Keeping has been diligently, frequently, and largely inculcated in the Law of Moses.

Fish.

True.

But.

Whether then ought I to relieve a City in Danger, neglecting the Sabbath, or not?

Fish.

Do you think me a Jew then?

But.

I wish you were, and a circumcised one too.

Fish.

The Lord himself hath solved that Difficulty; saying, The Sabbath was made for Man, and not Man for the Sabbath.

But.

Well then, is that Law of Force in all human Constitutions?

Fish.

Yes, except any Thing obstruct.

But.

What if a Law-Maker make a Law, not with this Design, that it should be obligatory upon the Pain of eternal Damnation, nor indeed unto any Guilt, and to have no other force but an Exhortation?

Edition: current; Page: [64]
Fish.

Good Man, is it not in the Law-Maker’s Power how far the Law shall be binding? He uses his Authority in making the Law, but as to what it shall oblige to, and what not, that is in the Hand of God.

But.

Why then do we hear our Parish Priests out of the Pulpit crying, To morrow you must fast under Pain of eternal Damnation, if it does not appear to us how far a human Law is binding?

Fish.

They do this, that they may in an especial Manner strike Terror into the Contumacious, for I presume those Words do properly belong to them. But whether they are a Terror to the Contumacious, I know not, they throw weak Persons into Scruples and Danger. It is a hard Matter to suit both.

But.

The Power of the Law and Custom are much the same.

Fish.

Sometimes Custom is the more powerful.

But.

They that introduce a Custom, whether they do it with design of bringing any one into a Snare or not, they oftentimes bring ’em into an Obligation, whether they will or no.

Fish.

I am of your Mind.

But.

Custom may lay a Burden upon a Man when it cannot take it off again.

Fish.

It may so.

But.

Well then, now I hope you are sensible how dangerous a Thing it is to impose new Laws upon Men without any Necessity, or a very great Utility.

Fish.

I confess it.

But.

When the Lord says, Swear not at all, does he render every one that swears obnoxious to the Pains of Hell.

Fish.

I think not, I take it to be a Counsel, and not a Command.

But.

But how can that be made clear to my Understanding, when he has scarce forbid any thing with greater Strictness and Severity, than that we Swear not?

Fish.

You must learn of your Teachers.

Edition: current; Page: [65]
But.

When Paul gives Advice, does he oblige to the Pain of Damnation?

Fish.

By no Means.

But.

Why so?

Fish.

Because he will not cast a Stumbling-Block before the Weak.

But.

So then it is in the Breast of the Maker of the Law, to lay liable to Damnation or not. And it is a sacred Thing to beware, lest we lay a Stumbling-Block before the weak by any Constitutions.

Fish.

It is.

But.

And if Paul made Use of this Caution, much more ought Priests to use it, of whom it is uncertain, whether they have the Spirit or not.

Fish.

I confess so.

But.

But a little While ago you deny’d that it was at the Lawgiver’s Pleasure, how far the Law should oblige a Person.

Fish.

But here it is a Counsel, and not a Law.

But.

Nothing is easier than to change the Word. Swear not, is it a Command?

Fish.

It is.

But.

Resist not Evil?

Fish.

It is a Counsel.

But.

But this last carries in it the Face of a Command more than the former; at least is it in the Breasts of Bishops whether they will have their Constitutions, Commands, or Counsels?

Fish.

It is.

But.

You deny’d that strenuously but now. For he who will not have his Constitution render any one guilty of a Crime, he makes it Advice, and not Command.

Fish.

True: But it is not expedient the Vulgar should know this, lest they should presently cry out, that what they han’t a Mind to observe is Counsel.

But.

But then what will you do as to those weak Consciences, that are so miserably perplexed by thy Silence? But come on, pray tell me, can learned Men know by any Edition: current; Page: [66] : 66p. 66 certain Tokens, whether a Constitution has the Force of a Counsel or a Command?

Fish.

As I have heard, they can.

But.

Mayn’t a Body know the Mystery?

Fish.

You may, if you won’t blab it out.

But.

Pshaw, I’ll be as mute as a Fish.

Fish.

When you hear nothing but, We exhort, we ordain, we command, it is a Counsel; when you hear, We command, we require, especially if Threatnings of Excommunication be added, it is a Command.

But.

Suppose I owe Money to my Baker, and can’t pay him, and had rather run away than be cast into Prison, am I guilty of a capital Offence?

Fish.

I think not, unless a Will be wanting as well as Ability?

But.

Why am I excommunicated then?

Fish.

That Thunderbolt affrights the Wicked, but does not hurt the Innocent. For you know amongst the antient Romans, there were certain dreadful threatning Laws, made for this very Purpose; as that which is fetch’d from the twelve Tables, concerning the cutting the Body of the Debtor asunder, of which there is no Example extant, because it was not made for Use but Terror. And now as Lightning has no Effect upon Wax or Flax, but upon Brass, so such Excommunications don’t operate upon Persons in Misery, but upon the Contumacious. To speak ingenuously, to make Use of Christ’s Thunderbolt on such frivolous Occasions as these are, seems in a Manner to be as the Antients said, in lente unguentum.

But.

Has a Master of a House the same Power in his own House, as a Bishop has in his Diocese?

Fish.

It is my Opinion he has proportionably.

But.

And do his Prescriptions equally oblige.

Fish.

Why not?

But.

I command that no Body eat Onions: How is he that does not obey, a Sinner before God?

Fish.

Let him see to that.

Edition: current; Page: [67] : 67p. 67
But.

Then for the future, I’ll say I admonish you, not I command you.

Fish.

That will be wisely done.

But.

But suppose I see my Neighbour in Danger, and therefore I take him aside and Admonish him privately to withdraw himself from the Society of Drunkards and Gamesters, but he slighting my Admonition, lives more profligately than before; does my Admonition lay him under an Obligation?

Fish.

In my Opinion it does.

But.

Then neither by Counsel nor Exhortation we avoid the Snare.

Fish.

Nay, it is not Admonition, but the Argument of Admonition that brings into the Snare. For if I admonish my Brother to make Use of Slippers, and he does not do it, he is not guilty of a Crime.

But.

I will not put the Question at this Time, how far the Prescriptions of Physicians are obligatory. Does a Vow lay liable to the Pain of eternal Damnation?

Fish.

Yes.

But.

What, all Kind of Vows?

Fish.

Ay, all universally, if they be possible, lawful and voluntary.

But.

What do you mean by voluntary?

Fish.

That which is extorted by no Necessity.

But.

What is Necessity?

Fish.

Fear falling upon a Man of Constancy.

But.

What, upon a Stoick, such a one as Horace says, if the World fall to Pieces about his Ears, would not be afraid?

Fish.

Shew me such a Stoick, and then I’ll give you an Answer.

But.

But, without Jesting, can the Fear of Famine or Infamy fall upon a Man of Constancy?

Fish.

Why not?

But.

Suppose a Daughter that is not at her own Disposal, should marry privately, without the Consent of her Parents, who would not give their Consent if they knew it; will the Vow be lawful?

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Fish.

It will.

But.

I can’t tell whether it be or no; but this I am sure of, if there be any such, this is one of the Number of those which, altho’ they be true, yet lest they be a Scandal to the weak, are to be kept secret. Again, suppose a Virgin who, by her Parents Consent, has engaged herself in Marriage to her Lover, should enter herself in the Cloister of St. Clare; will this Vow be allowable and lawful?

Fish.

Yes, if it be a solemn one.

But.

Can that be solemn that is done in a Field, and a dark Monastery?

Fish.

It is accounted so.

But.

Suppose the same Person at Home, a few Witnesses being present, should make a Vow of perpetual Virginity, will it not be a lawful Vow?

Fish.

No.

But.

Why so?

Fish.

Because a more holy Vow is in the Way.

But.

If the same Maid sell a Field, will the Contract be good?

Fish.

I think not.

But.

And will it be valid if she give herself into the Power of another?

Fish.

If she devote herself to God.

But.

And does not a private Vow devote a Person to God? And does not he that receives the holy Sacrament of Matrimony, devote himself to God? And can they whom God has joined together, devote themselves to the Devil? when only of married Persons God has said, Whom God has joined, let no Man put asunder. And besides this, when a young Man not come of Age, and a simple Maid, by the Threats of Parents, Severity of Tutors, the wicked Instigation of Monks, fair Promises, and Terrifyings, is thrust into a Nunnery; is the Vow a free Vow?

Fish.

Yes, if they are at Years of Discretion.

But.

A Virgin of that Age is emphatically doli capax, being easy to be imposed upon. What if I should purpose Edition: current; Page: [69] : 69p. 69 in my Mind to drink no Wine on a Friday? would my Purpose bind me as strongly as a Vow?

Fish.

I don’t think it would.

But.

What Difference is there then between a determinate Purpose, and a Vow conceiv’d in the Mind?

Fish.

The Mind of binding.

But.

You deny’d but just now, that the Mind signified any Thing in this Matter. Do I purpose if I am able, and vow whether I am able or not?

Fish.

You have it.

But.

Have it? I have Clouds painted upon the Wall, that is just nothing at all. What then, is the Ratio of the Matter to be disregarded in a Purpose?

Fish.

I think so.

But.

And must we take Care of that on Account of the Law, and this on Account of the Vow?

Fish.

Yes.

But.

Suppose the Pope should make a Law, that no Body should marry any one within the seventh Degree of Affinity, would he be guilty of a Sin that should marry a Cousin in the sixth Degree?

Fish.

In my Opinion he would.

But.

What if a Bishop should put forth an Edict, that no Body should have to do with his Wife except on a Monday, Thursday, and Saturday? would he be guilty of a Sin that should have to do with her upon other Days?

Fish.

I think he would.

But.

What if he should enjoin, that no Body should eat bulbous Roots?

Fish.

What does that signify to Piety.

But.

Because bulbous Roots are Provocatives, but what I say of Bulbs, I say even of the Herb Rocket?

Fish.

I can’t well tell.

But.

Why, can’t you tell where lies the Force of Obligation in human Laws?

Fish.

In the Words of St. Paul, Be obedient to those that are set over you.

Edition: current; Page: [70]
But.

Upon this Foot the Constitution of a Bishop and Magistrate binds all Persons.

Fish.

Yes, if it be just, and lawfully made.

But.

But who shall be Judge of that?

Fish.

He that made it: For he that makes the Law ought to interpret it.

But.

What then, must we be obedient to all Constitutions, without Distinction?

Fish.

I think we should.

But.

What if a Fool or a wicked Person be set over us, and he make a foolish and wicked Law? must we abide by his Judgment? and must the People obey, as having no Right to judge?

Fish.

What signifies it to suppose what is not?

But.

He that succours his Father, and would not succour him, unless the Law oblig’d him to it, does he fulfil the Law or not?

Fish.

No, I think he does not.

But.

Why not?

Fish.

In the first Place, because he does not fulfil the Will of the Law-Giver: Secondly, he adds Hypocrisy to his wicked Will.

But.

If he fasts, that would not fast unless the Church requir’d him, does he satisfy the Law?

Fish.

You change both the Author of the Law, and the Matter of it.

But.

Well then, compare a Jew, if he fasting upon Days appointed, would not fast unless the Law requir’d him, with a Christian, who keeping a Fast appointed by Men, would not keep it if there were no Law for it; or if you had rather, a Jew abstaining from Swine’s Flesh, and a Christian abstaining from Flesh and Milk-Meats on Friday.

Fish.

I believe there ought to be some Grains of Allowance made to Infirmity, tho’ the Law be against it; but not so to him that on purpose acts and murmurs against a Law.

But.

But you do allow, that the divine Laws do not always oblige to eternal Damnation.

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Fish.

Why should I not?

But.

But do you not dare to own, that there is any human Law which does not bind to the same Penalty, but leave a Man in Suspense? Then you seem to attribute something more to the Laws of Men than to the Laws of God. Lying and Backbiting are evil in their own Nature, and forbidden by God himself; and yet you acknowledge that some Kind of Lyes and Backbitings do not bind a Person to the Punishment of Hell: And yet you don’t dare to exempt a Person from the same Punishment, that upon any Condition whatsoever eats Flesh on a Friday.

Fish.

It is none of my Business to acquit or condemn any one.

But.

If divine and human Laws bind equally alike, what Difference is there between one and the other?

Fish.

This Difference, that he that transgresses a human Law, sins immediately against Man, (if you will allow me to use School-Terms) but mediately against God; he that transgresses a Divine Law, è contra.

But.

Where’s the Difference, in mingling Vinegar and Wormwood, which is put in first, if I must drink ’em both? Or, what Matter is it, whether a Stone that has given me a Wound, rebounds from me to a Friend directly or sideways?

Fish.

I have learn’d that.

But.

And if the Modus of a Law’s binding, in Laws of both Kinds, is to be taken from the Matter and Circumstances, what Difference is there between the Authority of God, and that of Man?

Fish.

Indeed a very wicked Question!

But.

There are, for all that, a great many that don’t think there is much Difference. God gave a Law by Moses, and it is not lawful to violate it: And he also gives Laws by a Pope, or a Council; What Difference is there between the one and the other? Moses’s Law was given by a Man, and our Laws were given by Men. And it should seem that those Laws which God gave by one Moses, should be of less Moment Edition: current; Page: [72] than those which the Holy Spirit gives by a full Council of Bishops and learned Men.

Fish.

It is unlawful to doubt concerning the Spirit of Moses.

But.

Paul comes in the Place of a Bishop; what Difference is there then betwixt the Precepts of Paul and of any other Bishop?

Fish.

Because, without Controversy, Paul wrote by the Inspiration of the Spirit.

But.

How far extends this Authority of Writers?

Fish.

I think no farther than the Apostles themselves, unless that the Authority of Councils ought to be look’d upon inviolable.

But.

Why may we not doubt of Paul’s Spirit?

Fish.

Because the Consent of the Church is against it.

But.

May we doubt concerning that of Bishops?

Fish.

We ought not rashly to be suspicious of those, unless the Matter manifestly savours of Gain or Impiety.

But.

But what think you of the Councils?

Fish.

We ought not to doubt of them, if they are rightly constituted and managed by the Holy Spirit.

But.

Is there then any Council that is not so?

Fish.

It is possible there may be such, otherwise Divines would never have made this Exception.

But.

Then it seems that it is lawful to doubt concerning Councils themselves.

Fish.

I don’t think we may, if they be received and approved by the Judgment and Consent of Christian Nations.

But.

But since we have exceeded the Bound that God has set, and within which he would have the sacred and inviolable Authority of the Scripture circumscribed, it seems to me, that there is some other Difference between Laws divine and human.

Fish.

What is that?

But.

Divine Laws are immutable, unless such as are of that Kind, that they seem to be given only for a Time, for the Sake of Signification and Coercion, which the Prophets Edition: current; Page: [73] foretold should end, as to the carnal Sense of them, and the Apostles have taught us are to be omitted. And then again, as to human Laws; there are sometimes unjust, foolish, and hurtful Laws made, and therefore either abrogated by the Authority of Superiors, or by the universal Neglect of the People: But there is nothing such in the divine Laws. Again, a human Law ceases of itself, when the Causes for which it was made cease; as for Instance, suppose a Constitution should enjoin all Persons yearly to contribute something towards building a Church, the Requirement of the Law ceases when the Church is built. Add to this, that a human Law is no Law, unless it be approved by the Consent of those who are to use it. A divine Law can’t be dispensed with nor abrogated; altho’ indeed, Moses being about to make a Law, required the Consent of the People; but this was not done because it was necessary, but that he might render them the more criminal in not keeping it. For, indeed, it is an impudent Thing to break a Law that you gave your Approbation to the making of. And in the last Place, inasmuch as human Laws commonly concern corporal Matters, and are School-Masters to Piety, they seem to cease, when a Person has arrived to that Strength in Grace, that he does not stand in Need of any such Restraints, but only should endeavour to avoid giving an Offence to weak Persons, who are conscientiously scrupulous. As for Instance, suppose a Father enjoins a Daughter that is under Age, not to drink Wine, that she may with the greater Safety preserve her Virginity till she is married; when she comes of Age, and is delivered up to a Husband, she is not bound to her Father’s Injunction. There are many Laws that are like Medicaments, that are alter’d and give Place according to the Circumstances, and that with the Approbation of the Physicians themselves, who, if they should at all Times make Use of the Remedies the Antients prescribed, would kill more than they cure.

Fish.

You indeed heap a great many Things together, some of which I like, and others I do not, and some I don’t understand.

Edition: current; Page: [74] : 74p. 74
But.

If a Bishop’s Law manifestly savours of Gain, that is, if he makes an Order, that every Parish-Priest every Year purchase, at a Guinea apiece, a Right of Absolution in those Cases that are called Episcopals, that he might extort the more Money from those in his Jurisdiction; do you think it ought to be obey’d?

Fish.

Yes, I think it ought; but at the same Time we ought to exclaim against this unjust Law, but always avoiding Sedition. But how comes it about that you turn Catechiser at this Rate, Butcher? Every one should keep to his own Trade.

But.

We are often perplexed with these Questions at Table, and sometimes the Contest proceeds to Blows and Bloodshed.

Fish.

Well, let them fight that love fighting; I think we ought with Reverence to receive the Laws of our Superiors, and religiously observe them, as coming from God; nor is it either safe or religious either to conceive in Mind, or sow among others any sinister Suspicion concerning them. And if there be any Tyranny in them, that does not compel us to Impiety, it is better to bear it, than seditiously to resist it.

But.

I confess this is a very good Way to maintain the Authority of Persons in Power; I am pretty much of your Mind, and as for them, I do not envy them. But I should be glad to hear any Thing wherein the Liberty and Advantage of the People is aimed at.

Fish.

God will not be wanting to his People.

But.

But where all this While is that Liberty of the Spirit that the Apostles promise by the Gospel, and which Paul so often inculcates, saying, The Kingdom of God consists not in Meat and Drink; and that we are not Children under a School-Master; and that we do no longer serve the Elements of this World; and Abundance of other Expressions: if Christians are tied to the Observance of so many more Ceremonies than the Jews were; and if the Laws of Man bind more closely than a great many Commands of God?

Fish.

Well, Butcher, I’ll tell you, the Liberty of Christians Edition: current; Page: [75] does not consist in its being lawful for ’em to do what they will, being set free from human Ordinances, but in that they do those Things that are enjoined them with a Fervour of Spirit and Readiness of Mind, willingly and chearfully, and so are Sons rather than Servants.

But.

Very cleverly answer’d indeed! But there were Sons under the Mosaic Law, and there are now Servants under the Gospel; and I am afraid the greatest Part of Mankind are so, if they are Servants who do their Duty by Compulsion. What Difference is there then between the new Dispensation and the old?

Fish.

A great Deal in my Opinion: Because the old taught under a Veil, and the new is laid open to View; that which the old foretold by Parables and Riddles, the new explains clearly; what that promised darkly, this exhibits for the most Part manifestly: that was given to one Nation singly, this equally teaches all the Way of Salvation; that imparted that notable and spiritual Grace to a few Prophets and famous Men, but this largely sheds abroad every Kind of Gifts, as Tongues, healing Diseases, Prophecies and Miracles, into Persons of all Ages, Sexes, and Nations whatsoever.

But.

Where are those Gifts now?

Fish.

They are ceased, but not lost, either because there is no Need of them, now the Doctrine of Christ is spread abroad, or else because many are only Christians in Name, and we want Faith, which is the Worker of Miracles.

But.

If Miracles are necessary on Account of Unbelievers, I’m sure the World is full of them now.

Fish.

This is an Unbelief simply erring, such as that of the Jews murmuring against Peter, because he had received Cornelius’s Family into the Grace of the Gospel; and such as was that of the Gentiles, who thought the Religion they had received from their Ancestors was sufficient to Salvation; and the Apostles Doctrine to be a strange Superstition: These were converted by seeing Miracles. But now those that believe not the Gospel when it shines so gloriously thro’ the whole World, do not err simply, but being Edition: current; Page: [76] : 76p. 76 blinded by their evil Affections, will not understand that they may do what is good; such as these no Miracles would reduce to a better Mind. And now is the Time of healing, but the Time of punishing will come.

But.

Indeed you have said many Things that have a Probability in them: however, I am resolved not to depend upon the Judgment of a Salt-Fishmonger; but I will go to some Divine, eminent for Learning, and what he says concerning all these Things, I’ll believe.

Fish.

Who? Pharetrius?

But.

He dotes before he is old, and is fit to preach to none but doting old Women.

Fish.

Well then, what? Bliteus?

But.

Do you think I’ll give any Credit to a prating Sophister?

Fish.

Well then, Amphicholus?

But.

I’ll never trust him to answer Questions, that never answer’d my Demands for the Meat I trusted him. Can he resolve hard Questions, that was always insolvent as to his Debts?

Fish.

Who then? Lemantius?

But.

I shan’t chuse a blind Man to shew me the Way.

Fish.

Who then?

But.

If you have a Mind to know, it is Cephalus, a Man very well versed in three Languages, and accomplish’d with all good Literature, familiarly acquainted with the sacred Scriptures, and antient Fathers.

Fish.

I’ll advise you better: Go to the Elysian Shades, and there you’ll find Rabin Druin, he’ll cut all your knotty Questions in two with a Pair of Sheers.

But.

Do you go before and clear the Way.

Fish.

But, setting aside Jesting, is that true you told me, of a Dispensation for Flesh-eating?

But.

No, I did but joke with you to teaze you. And if the Pope had ever so much Mind to do it, you Fishmongers would raise Mobs about it. And besides, the World is full of a Sort of Pharisees, who have no other Way of appearing Edition: current; Page: [77] religious but by such Superstitions, who would neither be deprived of their ostentatious Sanctity, nor suffer their Successors to have more Liberty than they had themselves. Nor, indeed, would it be for the Interest of Butchers, to have a free Toleration to eat every Thing; for then our Trade would be very uncertain, for now our Profit is more certain, and we run less Hazards, as well as have less Trouble.

Fish.

What you say is very true, and we should be in the same Condition.

But.

I am glad here is something found out at last, that a Fishmonger and Butcher can agree in. But to begin to talk seriously, as perhaps it would be convenient for Christians not to be ty’d up to so many Ceremonies, especially to such as make but very little to true Religion, not to say that make against it; so I have no Mind to vindicate those Persons, who reject and set light by all human Ordinances; nay, such as often do many Things, because they are forbid to do them. Yet I can’t but admire at the absurd Notions of Mankind in many Things.

Fish.

Nor can I help wondring at them neither.

But.

We are for confounding Heaven and Earth together, if we do but suspect any Danger of lessening the Authority of Priests, as to their Impositions; and are all asleep when we are under imminent Danger of attributing so much to the Authority of Man, that the Authority of God suffers by it. So we avoid one Evil, and fall into another far more pernicious. That there is Honour due to Bishops no Body denies, especially if they act agreeably to what they talk. But it is a wicked Thing to transfer the Honour due to God alone, upon Men; and in doing too much Honour to Men, to do too little to God. God is to be honoured and reverenced in our Neighbour; but, however, we ought to take Care at the same Time that God, by this Means, be not robbed of his Honour.

Fish.

We see a great many Men lay so much Stress upon corporal Ceremonies, that relying upon them they neglect Matters of real Religion, arrogating that to their own Merits, Edition: current; Page: [78] : 78p. 78 which ought to be attributed to the divine Bounty; and there taking up their Station, where they should begin to ascend to greater Perfection, and reviling their Neighbour for those Things that in themselves are neither good nor bad.

But.

And when in the same Matter there are two Things, one better than the other, we commonly chuse the worst of them. The Body, and those Things that belong to the Body, are every where made more Account of than those of the Mind. And it is accounted a great Crime to kill a Man, and indeed it is so; but to corrupt Mens Minds with poisonous Doctrine and pernicious Principles, is made a Jest on. If a Priest lets his Hair grow, or wears a Lay Habit, he is thrown into Prison and severely punished; but if he sits tippling in a Bawdy-House with Whores, games, or debauches other Mens Wives, and never takes a Bible in his Hand, he is still a Pillar of the Church. Not that I excuse the wearing a Lay Habit, but I accuse the Absurdity of Mens Notions.

Fish.

Nay, if he shall neglect to say his Prayers at stated Hours, he must be excommunicated; but if he be an Usurer, or guilty of Simony, he goes Scot-free.

But.

If any Body sees a Carthusian in a Dress not of the Order, or eating Flesh, how does he curse him, tremble at the Sight, and fall into a Fright, lest the Earth should open and swallow up him for wearing, and himself for beholding it? But let the same Person see him drunk as a Lord, reviling his Neighbour with notorious Lyes, imposing upon his poor Neighbour with manifest Frauds, he is not at all shock’d at that.

Fish.

So if any one sees a Franciscan with a Girdle without Knots, or an Augustin girt with a Woollen one instead of a Leather one, or a Carmelite without one, or a Rhodian with one, or a Franciscan with whole Shoes on his Feet, or a Cruciferian with Half-Shoes on; will he not set the whole Town into an Uproar?

But.

There were lately in our Neighbourhood two Women, whom one would take for Persons of Prudence, and Edition: current; Page: [79] : 79p. 79 the one miscarried, and the other fell into a Fit on seeing a Canon, who was a President of the Nuns in a Cloister not far distant, appear out of Doors, without a Surplice under his Gown: But the same Women have frequently seen these Sort of Cattle junketting, singing and dancing, to say no more; and their Stomachs never so much as heav’d at it.

Fish.

Perhaps some Allowance ought to be made for the Sex. But I suppose you know Polythrescus: He was dangerously ill, his Distemper was a Consumption: The Physicians for a long Time had persuaded him to eat Eggs and Milk-Meats, but to no Purpose: The Bishop exhorted him to do the like; but he being a Man of Learning, and a Batchelor in Divinity, seem’d to resolve rather to die, than to take the Advice of either of these Physicians. At last the Doctors, and his Friends together, contriv’d to put the Cheat upon him, making him a Potion of Eggs and Goats Milk, telling him it was Juice of Almonds. This he took very freely, and for several Days together mended upon it, till a certain Maid told him the Trick, upon which he fell to vomiting of it up again. But the very same Man that was so superstitious in relation to Milk, had so little Religion in him, that he forswore a Sum of Money that he owed me. Having gotten before an Opportunity to tear the Note of his Hand that he had given me, he forswore it, and I was obliged to sit down with the Loss. But he took not the Oath with so much Difficulty, but that he seem’d to wish he had such Complaints made against him every Day. What can be more perverse than such a Spirit? He sinned against the Mind of the Church, in not obeying the Priest and the Doctors: But he whose Stomach was so weak in relation to Milk, had a Conscience strong enough as to Perjury.

But.

This Story brings to my Mind what I heard from a Dominican in a full Auditory, who upon Easter-Eve was setting out the Death of Christ, that he might temper the Melancholiness of his Subject, by the Pleasantness of the Story. A certain young Man had got a Nun with Child, and her great Belly discover’d her Fault: A Jury of Nuns Edition: current; Page: [80] : 80p. 80 were impannell’d, and the Lady Abbess sat Judge of the Court. Evidence was given against her; the Fact was too plain to admit of a Denial; she was obliged to plead the Unavoidableness of the Crime, and defended the Fact upon that Consideration; also transferring the Blame to another, having Recourse to the Status Qualitatis, or if you will rather have it so, the Status Translationis. I was overcome, says she, by one that was too strong for me. Says the Abbess, then you should have cry’d out. So I would, says the Prisoner, had it not been a Crime to make a Noise in the Dormitory. Whether this be a Fable or not, it must be confest, there are a great many foolisher Things than this done. But now I will tell you what I have seen with my own Eyes. The Man’s Name, and Place where he lives, shall be concealed. There was a Cousin of mine, a Prior that was next in Degree to the Abbot of the Benedictine Order, but of that Sort that don’t eat Flesh, unless it were out of the Place they call the great Refectory; he was accounted a learned Man, and he was desirous to be so accounted, about fifty Years of Age: it was his daily Practice to drink freely, and live merrily; and once every twelve Days to go to the Hot-Houses, to sweat out the Diseases of his Reins.

Fish.

Had he wherewithal to live at that Rate?

But.

About six hundred Florins a Year.

Fish.

Such a Poverty I myself would wish for.

But.

In short, with drinking and whoring he had brought himself into a Consumption. The Doctors had given him over; the Abbot order’d him to eat Flesh, adding that terrible Sentence, Upon Pain of Disobedience; but he, tho’ at the Point of Death, could scarce be brought to taste Flesh, tho’ for many Years he had had no Aversion to Flesh.

Fish.

A Prior and an Abbot well match’d! I guess who they are, for I remember I have heard the same Story from their own Mouths.

But.

Guess.

Fish.

Is not the Abbot a lusty fat Man, that has a stammering in his Speech; and the Prior a little Man, but straitbodied and long-visag’d?

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But.

You have guess’d right.

Fish.

Well, now I’ll make you Amends; I’ll tell you what I saw with my own Eyes but t’other Day; and what I was not only present at, but was in a Manner the chief Actor. There were two Nuns that went to pay a Visit to some of their Kinsfolks; and when they came to the Place, their Man-Servant had left behind him their Prayer-Book, which was according to the Custom of the Order and Place where they liv’d. Good God! What a vexatious Thing that was! They did not dare to go to Supper before they had said their Vespers, nor could they read in any Book but their own; and at the same Time all the Company was in great Haste to go to Supper: the Servant runs back, and late at Night brings the Book; and by that Time they had said their Prayers, and got to Supper, ’twas ten o’Clock at Night.

But.

That is not much to be found Fault with hitherto.

Fish.

You have heard but one Part of the Story yet. At Supper the Nuns begin to grow merry with Wine; they laugh’d, and jok’d, and kiss’d, and not over-modestly neither, till you could hardly hear what was said for the Noise they made; but no Body used more Freedom than those two Virgins that would not go to Supper before they had said their Prayers. After Supper there was dancing, singing of lascivious Songs, and such Doings I am asham’d to speak of; insomuch that I am much afraid that Night hardly pass’d very honestly; if it did, the wanton Plays, Nods and Kisses deceived me.

But.

I don’t blame the Nuns for this, so much as the Priests that look after them; but, come on, I’ll give you Story for Story, or rather a History that I myself was an Eye-Witness of. A little While since there were some Persons sent to Prison for baking Bread on a Sunday, tho’ at the same Time they wanted it. Indeed, I do not blame the Deed, but I do the Punishment. A little after, being Palm-Sunday, I had Occasion to go to the next Street, and being there about four o’Clock in the Afternoon, I saw a Sight, I can’t well tell whether I shall call it ridiculous or wretched: Edition: current; Page: [82] : 82p. 82 I scarce believe any Bacchanals ever had so much Lewdness in them; some were so drunk they reel’d to and fro, like a Ship toss’d by the Waves, being without a Rudder; others were supporting one so drunk he could not go, and hardly able to stand themselves; others fell down, and could scarce get up again; some were crowned with Leaves of Oak.

Fish.

Vine-Leaves and Wands would have befitted them better.

But.

The Senior of them, acting the Part of Silenus, was carried like a Pack upon Mens Shoulders, after the Manner they carry a dead Corps, with his Feet foremost, but with his Face downwards, lest he should be chok’d with his own Vomit, vomiting plentifully down the Heels of those that carry’d hindmost; and as to the Bearers, there was not a sober Man amongst ’em; they went along laughing, but after such a Manner, that you might perceive they had lost their Senses. In short, they were all mad; and in this Pickle they made a Cavalcade into the City in the Day-Time.

Fish.

How came they to be all so mad?

But.

You must know, in the next Town, there was Wine sold something cheaper than in the City, so a Parcel of boon Companions went thither, that they might attain the greater Degree of Madness for the lesser Sum of Money; but tho’, indeed, they did spend the less Money, they got the more Madness. If these Men had but tasted an Egg, they would have been haul’d to Prison as if they had committed Paricide; when, besides their neglecting divine Service, and Evening Prayers upon so sacred a Day, so much Intemperance was not only committed with Impunity, but no Body seem’d to be so much as displeas’d at it.

Fish.

But that you may not wonder so much at that, in the Midst of the Cities, and in Alehouses next to the Churches, upon the most solemn Holidays, there was drinking, singing, dancing, fighting, with such a Noise and Tumult, that divine Service could not be perform’d, nor one Word heard that the Parson said. But if the same Men had set a Stitch in a Edition: current; Page: [83] : 83p. 83 Shoe, or eat Pork on a Friday, they would have been severely handled; tho’ the Lord’s Day was instituted chiefly for this End, that they might be at Leisure to attend to the Doctrine of the Gospel; and therefore it was forbid to mend Shoes, that they might have Leisure to trim their Souls. But is not this a strange perverting of Judgment?

But.

A prodigious one. Whereas there are two Things in the ordering a Fast, the one Abstinence from Meat, and the other the Choice of it; there is scarce any Body ignorant, that the first is either a divine Command, or very near it; but the other not only human, but also in a Manner opposite to the Apostles real Doctrine; however we excuse it, nevertheless by a preposterous Judgment in common, it is no Crime to eat a Supper, but to taste a Bit of Meat that is forbidden by Man, but permitted by God, and also by the Apostles, this is a capital Crime. Fasts, tho’ it is not certain they were commanded by the Apostles, yet they are recommended in their Examples and Epistles. But the forbidding the eating of Meats, that God has made to be eaten with Thanksgiving, if we were to defend that before St. Paul, as a Judge, to what Shifts should we be driven? And yet, almost all the World over, Men eat plentifully, and no Body is offended at it; but if a sick Man taste a Bit of a Chicken, the whole Christian Religion is in Danger. In England the common People have a Supper every other Day, in Lent Time, and no Body wonders at it; but if a Man, at Death’s Door in a Fever, should sup a little Chicken Broth, it is accounted a Crime worse than Sacrilege. Among the same Persons in Lent Time, than which there is nothing of greater Antiquity, nor more religiously observ’d among Christians, as I have said before, they sup without any Penalty; but if you shall attempt to do the same, after Lent is over, on a Friday, no Body will bear it; if you ask the Reason of it, they’ll tell you ’tis the Custom of the Country. They curse a Man who does not observe the Custom of the Country, and yet they forgive themselves the Neglect of the antient Custom of the universal Church.

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Fish.

He is not to be approved, that without Cause neglects the Custom of the Country wherein he lives.

But.

No more do I blame them that divide Lent between God and their Bellies; but I find Fault with preposterous Censuring in Matters.

Fish.

Tho’ the Lord’s Day was instituted in an especial Manner, that Persons might meet together to hear the Gospel preach’d; he that does not hear Mass, is look’d upon as an abominable Sinner; but he that neglects to hear a Sermon, and plays at Ball in the Time, is innocent.

But.

What a mighty Crime is it accounted for any one to receive the Sacrament, not having first wash’d his Mouth! when, at the same Time, they do not stick to take it with an unpurified Mind, defiled with vile Affections.

Fish.

How many Priests are there, that would die before they would participate the Sacrament in a Chalice and Charger, that has not been consecrated by a Bishop, or in their every-Day Clothes? But among them all that are thus nice, how many do we see that are not at all afraid to come to the Lord’s Table, drunk with the last Night’s Debauch? How fearful are they, lest they should touch the Wafer with that Part of the Hand that has not been dipp’d in consecrated Oil? Why are they not as religious in taking Care that an unhallow’d Mind does not offend the Lord himself?

But.

We won’t so much as touch a consecrated Vessel, and think we have been guilty of a heinous Offence, if we shall chance so to do; and yet in the mean Time, how unconcern’d are we, while we violate the living Temples of the Holy Spirit?

Fish.

Human Constitutions require that no Bastard, lame, or one that hath but one Eye, be admitted to any sacred Function; how nice are we as to this Point? But in the mean Time, Unlearned, Gamesters, Drunkards, Soldiers, and Murderers, are admitted every where. They tell us, that the Diseases of the Mind lie not open to our View: I don’t speak of those Things that are hidden, but of such as are more plain to be seen than the Deformity of the Body.

Edition: current; Page: [85] : 85p. 85
But.

There are Bishops likewise, that have nothing, as to their Function to value themselves upon, but some sordid Accomplishments. The Gift of Preaching, which is the chief Dignity of a Bishop, this they make to give Place to every sordid Thing; which they would never do, unless they were possess’d with a preposterous Judgment.

Fish.

He that shall profane a Holy-Day instituted by a Bishop, is hurried away to Punishment: but some great Men setting at Nought the Constitution of Popes and Councils, and all their Thunderbolts, who hinder Canonical Elections, ravage the Church-Lands, not sparing Alms-Houses and Hospitals, erected by the Alms of pious Persons for the Succour of the Old, Sick, and Needy, think themselves Christians good enough, if they do but wreak their ill Temper upon Persons that offend in trivial Matters.

But.

But we had better let great Men alone, and talk about Salt-Fish and Flesh.

Fish.

I agree with you: Let us return to Fasts and Fish. I have heard say that the Pope’s Laws do by Name except Boys, old Men, and sick and weak Persons, such as work hard, Women with Child, sucking Children, and very poor People.

But.

I have often heard the same.

Fish.

I have also heard a very great Divine, I think his Name is Gerson, say further, if there be any other Case of equal Weight with those which the Pope’s Laws except by Name, the Force of the Precept gives Way in like Manner. For there are peculiar Habits of Body which render the Want of some Things more material than an evident Disease; and there are Distempers that do not appear that are more dangerous than those that do: therefore he that is acquainted with his own Constitution, has no Need to consult a Priest; even as Infants do not, because their Circumstances exempt them from the Law. And therefore they that oblige Boys, or very old Men, or Persons otherwise weak, to fast, or to eat Fish, commit a double Sin: First, against Brotherly Charity: And secondly, against the very Intention Edition: current; Page: [86] of the Pope, who would not involve them in a Law, the Observation of which would be pernicious to them. Whatsoever Christ has ordered, he has ordained for the Health of Body and Mind both; neither does any Pope claim to himself such a Power, as by any Constitution of his, to bring any Person into Danger of Life: As, suppose that any Person by not eating in the Evening, should not rest at Night, and so for Want of Sleep be in Danger of growing light-headed, he is a Murderer, both against the Sense of the Church, and the Will of God. Princes, as oft as it suits with their Conveniency, publish an Edict threatning with a capital Punishment: How far their Power extends I will not determine; but this I will venture to say, they would act more safely, if they did not inflict Death for any other Causes, than such as are express’d in the Holy Scriptures. In Things Blame-worthy, the Lord dehorts from going to the Extremity of the Limits, as in the Case of Perjury, forbidding to swear at all; in Murder, forbidding to be angry; we by a human Constitution force Persons upon the extreme Crime of Homicide, which we call Necessity. Nay, as oft as a probable Cause appears, it is a Duty of Charity, of our own Accord, to exhort our Neighbour to those Things that the Weakness of his Body requires: And if there be no apparent Cause, yet it is the Duty of Christian Charity kindly to suppose it may be done with a good Intention, unless it carries along with it a manifest Contempt of the Church. A profane Magistrate very justly punishes those that eat contumaciously and seditiously; but what every one shall eat in his own House, is rather the Business of a Physician than a Magistrate: Upon which Account, if any Person shall be so wicked as to cause any Disorder; they are guilty of Sedition, and not the Person that consults his own Health, and breaks no Law, neither of God nor Man. In this the Authority of the Pope is misapplied; ’tis absurd to pretend the Authority of Popes in this Case, who are Persons of so much Humanity, that if they did but know a good Reason for it, they would of their own Accord invite them to those Things Edition: current; Page: [87] that are for their Health, and defend them by Dispensations against the Slanders of all Persons. And besides, throughout Italy, they permit Flesh to be sold in certain Markets, for the Sake of the Health of such Persons as are not comprehended in that Law. Besides, I have heard Divines that have not been precise in their Sermons, say, Don’t be afraid at Supper-Time to eat a Piece of Bread, or drink a Pint of Wine or Ale, to support the Weakness of the Body. If they take upon them the Authority of indulging, so that they will indulge a small Supper to those that are in Health, and that contrary to the Ordinance of the Church, which requires Fasting; may they not permit not only a small Supper, but a pretty hearty one, to such Persons whose Weakness requires it, and the Popes themselves expressly declare that they approve it? If any one treats his Body with Severity, it may be called Zeal, for every one knows his own Constitution best; but where is the Piety and the Charity of those Persons that reduce a weak Brother, wherein the Spirit is willing, but the Flesh weak, even to Death’s Door, or bringing him into a Disease worse than Death itself, against the Law of Nature, the Law of God, and the Sense and Meaning of the Law of the Pope himself?

But.

What you mention brings to my Mind what I saw myself about two Years since: I believe you know Eros an old Man, about sixty Years of Age, a Man of a very weakly Constitution, who by a lingering Illness, acute Diseases, and hard Studies, even enough to kill a Horse, was brought to Death’s Door. This Man by some occult Quality in Nature, had, from a Child, a great Aversion to eating Fish, and an Inability to endure Fasting, so that he never attempted them without imminent Hazard of his Life, at last obtain’d a Dispensation from the Pope to defend him against the malevolent Tongues of some Pharisaical Spirits. He not long ago, upon the Invitation of Friends, goes to the City Eleutheropolis, a City not at all like its Name: it was then Lent-Time, and a Day or two were devoted to the Enjoyment of his Friends, in the mean Time Fish was the common Diet; Edition: current; Page: [88] but he, lest he gave Offence to any Person, tho’ he had his Necessity to justify him, as well as the Pope’s Dispensation to bear him out, eat Fish. He perceived his old Distemper coming upon him, which was worse than Death itself; so he prepares to take his Leave of his Friends, and go Home; being necessitated so to do, unless he would lie sick there. Some there suspecting that he was in such Haste to go, because he could not bear to eat Fish, got Glaucoplutus, a very learned Man, and a chief Magistrate in that Province, to invite him to Breakfast. Eros being quite tir’d with Company, which he could not avoid in a publick Inn, consented to go, but upon this Condition, that he should make no Provision, but a Couple of Eggs, which he would eat standing, and immediately take Horse and be gone. He was promis’d it should be as he desir’d; but when he comes, there was a Fowl provided: Eros taking it ill, tasted nothing but the Eggs, and rising from Table, took Horse, some learned Men bearing him Company Part of the Way. But however it came about, the Smell of the Fowl got into the Noses of some Sycophants, and there was as great a Noise in the City, as if ten Men had been murder’d; nor was the Noise confin’d there, but was carried to other Places two Days Journey off, and, as is usual, still gain’d by carrying; adding, that if Eros had not got away, he had been carried before the Justice, which tho’ that was false, yet true it was, that Glaucoplutus was obliged to give the Magistrate Satisfaction. But now considering the Circumstances of Eros, had he eat Flesh in publick, who could justly have been offended at it? And yet in the same City all Lent-Time, but especially on Holidays, they drink till they are mad, baul, dance, fight, play at Dice at the Church-Door, so that you can’t hear what the Parson says when he is preaching; and this is no Offence.

Fish.

A wonderful Perversity of Judgment!

But.

I’ll tell you another Story not much unlike this: It is now almost two Years since the same Eros went for the Sake of his Health to Ferventia, and I out of Civility bore him Company. He went to an old Friend’s House, who Edition: current; Page: [89] had given him frequent Invitations by Letters: He was a great Man, and one of the Pillars of the Church. When they came to eating of Fish, Eros began to be in his old Condition; a whole Troop of Distempers were coming upon him, a Fever, severe Head-Ache, Vomiting, and the Stone. His Landlord, tho’ he saw his Friend in this Danger, did not dare to give him a Bit of Flesh-Meat; but why? he saw a great many Reasons that he might do it; he saw likewise the Pope’s Licence: but he was afraid of publick Censure; and the Disease had grown so far upon him, that then it was in Vain to give it him.

Fish.

What did Eros do? I know the Man’s Temper, he’d sooner die than be injurious to his Friend.

But.

He shut himself up in a Chamber, and lived three Days after his own Manner; his Dinner was one Egg, and his Drink Water and Sugar boil’d. As soon as his Fever was abated he took Horse, carrying Provision along with him.

Fish.

What was it?

But.

Almond-Milk in a Bottle, and dry’d Grapes in his Portmanteau. When he came Home, the Stone seiz’d him, and he lay by for a whole Month. But for all this, after he was gone, there was a very hot, but a false Report of eating Flesh follow’d him, which reach’d as far as Paris; and a great many notorious Lyes told about it. What Remedy do you think proper for such Offences?

Fish.

I would have every Body empty their Chamber-Pots upon their Heads, and if they happen to meet them in the Street, to stop their Noses while they go by them, that they may be brought to a Sense of their Madness.

But.

I think truly the Divines ought to write sharply against such Pharisaical Impiety. But what is your Opinion of his Landlord?

Fish.

He seems to me a very prudent Man, who knows from what frivolous Causes the People excite such dismal Tragedies.

But.

This may indeed be the Effect of Prudence, and we Edition: current; Page: [90] : 90p. 90 may interpret the good Man’s Timorousness as favourably as may be; but how many are there, who in the like Case suffer their Brother to die, and pretend a Cautiousness to act against the Usage of the Church, and to the Offence of the People; but have no Fear upon them of acting to the Offence of the People, in living a Life publickly scandalous, in Rioting, Whoring, Luxury, and Idleness, in the highest Contempt of Religion, in Rapine, Simony, and Cheating?

Fish.

There are too many such; that which they call Piety, is nothing but a barbarous and impious Cruelty. But yet methinks they seem to be more cruel, who do not leave a Man in Danger occasionally, but invent Dangers for him, and force many into them as into a Trap, into manifest Danger of both Body and Soul, especially having no Authority for it.

But.

I wait to hear what you have to say.

Fish.

About thirty Years ago I liv’d at Paris, in the College call’d Vinegar-College.

But.

That’s a Name of Wisdom: But what say you? Did a Salt-Fishmonger dwell in that sour College? No wonder then, he is so acute a Disputant in Questions in Divinity; for, as I hear, the very Walls there teach Divinity.

Fish.

You say very right; but as for me, I brought nothing out of it but my Body full of gross Humours, and my Clothes full of Lice. But to go on as I began: At that Time one John Standoneus was President, a Man whose Temper you would not mislike, and whose Qualifications you would covet; for as I remember, in his Youth, when he was very poor himself, he was very charitable, and that is much to be commended; and if he had still supply’d the Necessities of young Persons, as he found them Materials for going on with their Studies, he would not have had so much Money to have spent lavishly, but would have done Praise-worthily: But what with lying hard, by bad and spare Diet, late and hard Studies, within one Year’s Space, of many young Men of a good Genius, and very hopeful, some he kill’d, others he blinded, others he made run distracted, and others he Edition: current; Page: [91] brought into the Leprosy, some of whom I know very well; and in short, not one of them but what was in Danger by him. Was not this Cruelty against one’s Neighbour? Neither did this content him, but adding a Cloke and Cowl, he took away the eating of Flesh altogether, and transplanted such Plants as those into far distant Countries: So that if every one should give themselves such a Liberty as he did himself, their Followers would over-spread the whole Face of the Earth. If Monasteries had their Rise from such Beginnings as these, what Danger are not only Popes, but Kings themselves in? It is a pious Thing to glory in the Conversion of a Neighbour to Piety; but to seek for Glory in a Dress or Diet, is Pharisaical. To supply the Want of a Neighbour, is a Part of Piety; to take Care that the Liberality of good Men be not converted to Luxury, is Discipline; but to drive a Brother into Distempers, Madness, and Death, is Cruelty, is murdering him. The Intention of Murder may, indeed, be wanting, but Murder it is. Perhaps some will say, no Body forces them into this Kind of Life; they come into it voluntary, they beg to be admitted, and they are at Liberty to go away when they are weary of it; but this is a cruel Answer. Is it to be thought, that young Men can tell better what is good for them, than Men of Learning, Experience, and Age? A Man might thus excuse himself to a Wolf, that had drawn him into a Trap, when he was almost famish’d with Hunger. But can he that sets unwholesome and poisonous Food before a Man that is ready to gnaw his Flesh for Hunger, so excuse himself to him when he is perishing, by saying, No Body forc’d you to eat it, you devour’d what was set before you willingly and eagerly? May he not justly answer him, You have not given me Food, but Poison? Necessity is very prevalent, Hunger is very sharp; therefore let them forbear to use these plausible Excuses, that they were, indeed, at Liberty to let it alone. But whosoever uses such Engines, uses Force. Neither did this Cruelty only destroy mean Persons, but many Gentlemens Sons too, and spoil’d many a hopeful Genius. It is, indeed, Edition: current; Page: [92] the Part of a Father, to hold in Youth that is apt to grow lascivious, by Restraint. But in the very Depth of Winter, here’s a Morsel of Bread given them when they ask for their Commons; and as for their Drink, they must draw that out of a Well that gives bad Water, unwholesome of itself, if it were not made the worse by the Coldness of the Morning: I have known many that were brought to such an ill State of Health, that they have never got over it to this Day. There were Chambers on a Ground-Floor, and rotten Plaister, they stood near a stinking House of Office, in which none ever dwelt, but he either got his Death, or some grievous Distemper. I shall say nothing of the unmerciful Whippings, even of innocent Persons. This they say is to break their Fierceness, for so they call a sprightly Genius; and therefore, they thus cow their Spirits, to make them more humble in the Monasteries: Nor shall I take Notice how many rotten Eggs were eaten; nor how much sour Wine was drank. Perhaps these Things may be mended now; but however, ’tis too late for those that are dead already, or carry about an infected Carcass. Nor do I mention these Things because I have any ill Will to the College, but I thought it worth While to give this Monition, lest human Severity should mar inexperienc’d and tender Age, under the Pretence of Religion. How much Civility, or true Piety, may be taught there at present, I don’t determine. If I could but see that those that put on a Cowl, put off Naughtiness, I should exhort every Body to wear one. But besides, the Spirit of a vigorous Age is not to be cow’d for this Sort of Life; but the Mind is to be form’d for Piety. I can scarce enter into a Carthusian Monastery, but I find some Fools and some Madmen among them. But it is Time now, after so long a Digression, to return to our first Proposition.

But.

We lose nothing by the Digression, as long as we have talked to the Purpose; but, perhaps, you have something further to add concerning human Constitutions.

Fish.

In my Mind, he does by no Means observe a human Constitution, who neglects to do what he aim’d at that ordain’d Edition: current; Page: [93] it. He that upon Holy-Days forbears working, and does not employ them in divine Duties, profanes the Day, by neglecting to do that for which End it was appointed; therefore is one good Work forbidden that a better may be done. But now, as for those that leave their secular Employ, to go to Junketting, Whoring, and Drinking, Fighting and Gaming, they are guilty of a double Profanation of it.

But.

It is my Opinion, that the Task of saying Prayers was imposed upon Priests and Monks for this Purpose, that by this Exercise they might accustom themselves to lift up their Hearts to God: and yet he that neglects saying his Prayers, is in Danger to be punished; but he that only mumbles over the Words with his Mouth, and does not regard the Meaning of ’em, nay, nor take Pains so much as to learn the Language they are written in, without which he can’t tell what the Sound meaneth, is accounted a good Man by others, and he thinks himself such.

Fish.

I know a great many Priests that look upon it a heinous Sin to omit any Part of their Prayers, or by Mistake to have said concerning the Virgin Mary, when they should have said concerning St. Paul. But the same Persons count it no Crime to game, whore, and drink, tho’ these Things are forbidden both by the Law of God and Man.

But.

Nay, I myself have known a great many, that would sooner die than be persuaded to take the Sacrament after they had chanc’d to taste a Bit of Food, or let a Drop of Water go down their Throat while they were washing their Mouths; yet the same Persons will own, that they have so much Malice against some, that, if they had an Opportunity, they would kill them; nor are they afraid with this Temper of Mind to approach the Lord’s Table.

Fish.

That they take the Sacrament fasting, is a human Ordinance; but that they lay aside Wrath before they come to the Lord’s Table, is a Command of the Lord himself.

But.

But then again, how preposterously do we judge concerning Perjury! He is accounted an infamous Person, Edition: current; Page: [94] who swears he has paid a Debt, when it is proved he has not. But Perjury is not charged upon a Priest, who publickly lives unchastly, tho’ he publickly profess a Life of Chastity.

Fish.

Why don’t you tell this to the Bishops Vicars, who swear before the Altar, that they have found all that they present to be entred into holy Orders, to be fit Persons in Age, Learning and Manners; when for the most Part there are scarce two or three that are tolerable, and most of them scarce fit to follow the Plow?

But.

He is punish’d that being provok’d, swears in a Passion; but they that forswear themselves every three Words they speak, escape Scot-free.

Fish.

But they don’t swear from their Hearts.

But.

By the same colourable Pretence you may vindicate a Man that kills another, saying, he did not do it in his Heart. Perjury is not lawful either in Jest or Earnest; and it would make the Crime the greater to kill a Man in Jest.

Fish.

What if we should weigh the Oaths Princes take at their Coronation in the same Scale?

But.

These Things, tho’ indeed they are very serious Matters, being done customarily, are not accounted Perjuries. There is the same Complaint concerning Vows. The Vow of Matrimony is without Doubt of divine Right; yet it is dissolved by entring into a monastick Life of Man’s Invention. And tho’ there is no Vow more religious than that of Baptism, yet he that changes his Habit, or his Place, is sought after, apprehended, confin’d, and sometimes put to Death for the Honour of the Order, as tho’ he had murder’d his Father; but those whose Lives are diametrically repugnant to their Baptismal Vows, in that they serve Mammon, their Bellies, and the Pomps of this World, are in mighty Esteem, are never charged with breaking their Vow, nor upbraided, nor call’d Apostates; but are reckon’d good Christians.

But.

The common People have the like Esteem of good and bad Deeds, and the Safeguard of Virtue: What a scandal Edition: current; Page: [95] is it for a Maid to be overcome? But a lying, slanderous Tongue, and a malicious, envious Mind, are greater Crimes; and where is it that a small Theft is not punish’d more severely than Adultery. No Body will willingly keep him Company that has been accused of Theft; But it is accounted a Piece of Honour, to hold a Familiarity with such as are drench’d in Adultery. No Body will deign to marry a Daughter to a Hangman who executes the Law for a Livelihood, and a Judge does the same; but they have no Aversion at all to the affinity of a Soldier, who has run away from his Parents, and listed himself a Soldier for Hire, and is defil’d with all the Rapes, Thefts, Sacrileges, Murders, and other Crimes, that used to be committed in their Marches, Camps, and Retreats; this may be taken for a Son in Law, and tho’ he be worse than any Hangman, a Maid may love him dearly, and account him a noble Personage. He that steals a little Money must be hang’d; but they that cheat the Publick of their Money, and impoverish Thousands by Monopolies, Extortions, and Tricking and Cheating, are held in great Esteem.

Fish.

They that poison one Person, are hang’d for it; but they that poison a whole Nation with infectious Provisions go unpunish’d.

But.

I know some Monks so superstitious, that they think themselves in the Jaws of the Devil, if by chance they are without their sacred Vestments; but they are not at all afraid of his Claws, while they are lying, slandering, drunkening, and acting maliciously.

Fish.

There are a great many such to be seen among private Persons, that can’t think their House safe from evil Spirits, unless they have holy Water, holy Leaves, and Wax Tapers; but they are not afraid of ’em because God is so often offended in them, and the Devil served in them.

But.

How many are there, who put more trust in the Safeguard of the Virgin Mary, or St. Christopher, than of Christ himself? They worship the Mother with Images, Candles, and Songs; and offend Christ heinously by their impious Edition: current; Page: [96] : 96p. 96 Living. A Mariner when in a Storm is more ready to invoke the Mother of Christ or St. Christopher, or some one or other of the Saints, than Christ himself. And they think they have made the Virgin their Friend, by singing her in the Evening the little Song, Salve Regina, tho’ they don’t know what it is they do sing; when they have more Reason to be afraid, that the Virgin should think they jeer her by their so singing, when the whole Day, and great Part of the Night is spent in obscene Discourses, Drunkenness, and such Doings as are not fit to be mentioned.

Fish.

Ay; and so a Soldier, when he’s about any dangerous Enterprise, is more ready to remember George, or Barbara, than Christ. And tho’ there is no Reverence more acceptable to the Saints, than the Imitation of their Deeds, by which they have approv’d themselves to Christ, that is despis’d as much as can be; and we fancy that St. Anthony is mightily attach’d to us, if we keep some Hogs consecrated to him, and have him painted upon Doors and Walls with his Hog, his Fire, and his Bell; and never fear that which is more to be dreaded, lest he should look with an evil Eye upon those Houses, where those Wickednesses reign, that the holy Man always abhorred. Do we say over Rosaries and Salutations to the holy Virgin? we should rather recount to her the Humiliation of our Pride, the repressing our Lusts, the forgiving of Injuries. The Mother of Christ takes more Delight in such Songs as these, and these are the Offices that oblige them both.

But.

A Man that is sick is more ready to remember St. Rochus or Dionysius, than Christ, the only Health of Mankind; and more than that, they that from the Pulpit interpret the holy Scriptures, which none, without the Assistance of the Spirit, can rightly understand, or profitably teach; they chuse rather to invoke the Aid of the Virgin Mary, than of Christ or his Spirit. And he’s suspected for a Heretick, that dares to mutter against this Custom which they call laudable. But the Custom of the antient Fathers was much more laudable, such as Origen, Basil, Chrysostom, Edition: current; Page: [97] Cyprian, Ambrose, Jerom, and Austin used, who often invoked Christ’s Spirit, but never implored the Aid of the Virgin: But they are not at all displeased at them, who have presumed to alter so holy a Custom, taken from the Doctrine of Christ and the Apostles, and the Examples of holy Fathers.

Fish.

A great many Monks are guilty of such like Errors, who persuade themselves that St. Benedict is mightily attach’d to them, if they wear his Cowl and Cloke; tho’ I don’t believe he ever wore one so full of Folds, and that cost so much Money; and they are not afraid of his Anger, in that they do not imitate him in his Life at all.

But.

He is a very good Son of St. Francis, who does not disdain to wear an Ash-colour’d Habit, and a Canvas Girdle; but compare their Lives, and nothing can be more disagreeable: I speak of a great many, but not of all. And this may be carried thro’ all Orders and Professions. A preposterous Confidence springs from an erroneous Judgment, and from them both, preposterous Scandals. Let but a Franciscan go out of Doors with a Leather Girdle, if he has chanc’d to lose his Rope; or an Augustine with a Woollen one, or one that uses to wear a Girdle without one; what an Abomination would it be accounted? What Danger is there, that if some Women should see this, they would miscarry! And from such Trifles as these, how is brotherly Charity broke in upon! what bitter Envyings, how virulent Slanderings! The Lord exclaims against these in the Gospel, and so does Paul vehemently, and so ought Divines and Preachers to do.

Fish.

Indeed they ought to do so; but there are a great many among them, whose Interest it is to have People, Princes, and Bishops, such as they are themselves. And there are others again, that have no more Sense, as to these Things, than the People themselves; or if they do know better, they dissemble it, consulting their own Bellies, rather than the Interest of Jesus Christ. And hence it comes to pass, that the People being every where corrupted with erroneous Judgments, are secure where there is Danger, and Edition: current; Page: [98] : 98p. 98 fearful where there is none; can sit down satisfied where they should proceed, and go forward when they should return. And if a Man attempt to bring any one off from these erroneous Principles, presently they cry out Sedition; as tho’ it were Sedition for any one, with better Remedies, to endeavour to correct a vitious Habit of Body, which an ignorant Pretender to Physick has for a long Time nourished, and almost brought it to be natural. But ’tis Time to leave off these Complaints, for there is no End of them. And if the People should hear what Discourse we have, we are in Danger to have a new Proverb raised upon us, That a Salt-Fishmonger and a Butcher trouble their Heads about such Things.

But.

If they did, I would return this Proverb upon them, Sæpe etiam est olitor valde opportune loquutus. A little while ago I was talking of these Things at the Table, and, as ill Luck would have it, there sat a ragged, lousy, stern, old, wither’d, white-liver’d Fellow, he had scarce three Hairs on his Head, and whenever he open’d his Mouth, he shut his Eyes; they said he was a Divine, and he call’d me a Disciple of Antichrist, and a great many such like Things.

Fish.

What did you do then? Did you say nothing?

But.

I wish’d him a Dram of sound Judgment in his stinking Brain, if he had any.

Fish.

I should be glad to hear the whole of that Story.

But.

So you shall, if you will come and dine with me on Thursday next; you shall have a Veal-Pye for Dinner, so tender bak’d, that you may suck it thro’ a Quill.

Fish.

I’ll promise you I will come; if you’ll come and dine with me on Friday, I’ll convince you, that we Fishmongers don’t live merely on stinking Salt-Fish.

Edition: current; Page: [99]

The FUNERAL.

The Argument.

: 99p. 99This Colloquy paints out the different Kinds of Deaths in two private Persons, describing, as in a Picture, the extravagant Expence that those Persons are at, who put their Confidence in Fictions, more than those that trust in the Mercy of God. In the Person of George Balearicus, he takes Occasion to rally the foolish Ambition of rich Men, who extend their Luxury and Pride beyond even Death itself. That the Way to Death is harder than Death itself. That God would therefore have Death to be terrible to us, that we might not be ready to contemn Life. That Physicians don’t use to be present where Persons are dying. Of the Orders of Monks, who play upon the Folly of rich Men for their own Gain, when it should be their Business especially to correct it. The Pompousness of the Venetians at Funerals, altho’ it be but that of a Cobler. Cornelius, a Man truly pious, composes himself for Death after another, and indeed a more Christian Manner.

MARCOLPHUS, PHÆDRUS.

MAR.

Where have you been, Phædrus? What, are you just come out of Trophonius’s Cave?

Ph.

What makes you ask me that Question?

Mar.

Because you look so horridly sad, sour, and slovenly; in short, you don’t look at all like what you are called.

Edition: current; Page: [100]
Ph.

If they that have been a long Time in a Smith’s Shop, commonly have a Dirty Face, do you wonder that I that have been so many Days with two Friends that were sick, dying, and are now buried, should look a little more sad than I used to do, especially when they were both of them my very dear Friends?

Mar.

Who are they that you talk of?

Ph.

I suppose you know George Balearicus, don’t you?

Mar.

I know him by Name, and that’s all; I never saw his Face.

Ph.

I know the other was wholly a Stranger to you; his Name was Cornelius Montius. They were both of them my particular Friends, and had been so for many Years.

Mar.

It was never my Lot to be by where any one was dying.

Ph.

But it has been mine too often, if I might have had my Wish.

Mar.

Well, but is Death so terrible a Thing as they make it?

Ph.

The Way to’t is worse than the Thing itself; so that if a Man could free his Mind from the Terror and Apprehension of it, he would take away the worst Part of it. And, in short, whatsoever is tormenting, either in Sickness or in Death itself, is render’d much more easy by Resignation to the Will of God; for, as to the Sense of Death, when the Soul is departing from the Body, I am of Opinion, they are either wholly insensible, or the Faculty is become very dull and stupid; because Nature, before it comes to that Point, lays asleep and stupifies all the sensible Faculties.

Mar.

We are born without Sense of Pain, as to ourselves.

Ph.

But we are not born without Pain to our Mother.

Mar.

Why might we not die so? Why would God make Death so full of Pain?

Ph.

He was pleased to make Birth painful and dangerous to the Mother, to make the Child the dearer to her; and Death formidable to Mankind, to deter them from laying violent Hands upon themselves; for when we see so many Edition: current; Page: [101] make away themselves, as the Case stands, what do you think they would do, if Death had no Terror in it? As often as a Servant, or a Son, is corrected, or a Woman is angry at her Husband, any Thing is lost, or any Thing goes cross, Men would presently repair to Halters, Swords, Rivers, Precipices, or Poisons. Now the Bitterness of Death makes us put a greater Value upon Life, especially since the Dead are out of the Reach of the Doctor. Altho’, as we are not all born alike, so we do not all die alike; some die suddenly, others pine away with a languishing Illness; those that are seized with a Lethargy, and such as are stung by an Asp, are as it were cast into a sound Sleep, and die without any Sense of Pain. I have made this Observation, that there is no Death so painful, but a Man may bear it by Resolution.

Mar.

But which of them bore his Death the most like a Christian?

Ph.

Why truly, in my Opinion, George died the most like a Man of Honour.

Mar.

Why then, is there any Sense of Ambition, when a Man comes to that Point?

Ph.

I never saw two People make such different Ends. If you will give me the Hearing, I’ll tell you what End each of them made, and you shall judge which of them a Christian would chuse to make.

Mar.

Give you the Hearing! Nay, I desire you will not think much of the Trouble, for I have the greatest Mind in the World to hear it.

Ph.

Well then, you shall first hear how George died. As soon as ever the certain Symptoms of Death appeared, the Physicians, who had attended upon him during his Sickness, saying never a Word of the Despair they had of his Life, demanded their Fees.

Mar.

How many Doctors had he?

Ph.

Sometimes ten, sometimes twelve, but never under six.

Mar.

Enough in Conscience to have done the Business of a Man in perfect Health.

Ph.

As soon as ever they had gotten their Money, they Edition: current; Page: [102] privately hinted to some of his near Relations, that his Death was near at Hand, and that they should take Care of the Good of his Soul, for there was no Hope of his Recovery; and this was handsomely intimated by some of his particular Friends to the sick Man himself, desiring him that he would commit the Care of his Body to God, and only mind those Things that related to a happy Exit out of this World. George hearing this, look’d wonderful sourly at the Physicians, taking it very heinously, that they should leave him now in his Distress. They told him, that Physicians were but Men, and not Gods, and that they had done what Art could do, but there was no Physick would avail against Fate; and so went into the next Chamber.

Mar.

What did they stay for after they were paid?

Ph.

They were not yet agreed upon the Distemper; one would have it to be a Dropsy, another a Tympany, another an Imposthume in the Guts: every Man of them would have it to be a different Disease; and this Dispute they were very hot upon all the Time he was sick.

Mar.

The Patient had a blessed Time of it all this While!

Ph.

And to decide this Controversy, they desired by his Wife, that the Body might be opened, which would be for his Honour, being a Thing very usual among Persons of Quality, and very beneficial to a great many others; and that it would add to the Bulk of his Merits; and lastly, they promised they would purchase thirty Masses at their own Charge for the Good of his Soul. It was a hard Matter to bring him to it, but at last, by the Importunities and fair Words of his Wife and near Relations, he was brought to consent to it; and this being done, the Consultation was dissolved; for they say, it is not convenient that Physicians, whose Business it is to preserve Life, should be Spectators of their Patient’s Death, or present at their Funerals. By and by Bernardine was sent for to take his Confession, who is, you know, a very reverend Man, and Warden of the Franciscans. His Confession was scarce over, but there was a whole houseful of the four Orders of Begging-Fryars, as they are called.

Edition: current; Page: [103] : 103p. 103
Mar.

What! so many Vultures to one Carcass?

Ph.

And now the Parish-Priest was called, to give him the Extreme Unction, and the Sacrament of the Eucharist.

Mar.

That was very religiously done.

Ph.

But there had like to have been a very bloody Fray between the Parish-Priest and the Monks.

Mar.

What, at the sick Man’s Bed-Side?

Ph.

Nay, and Christ himself looking on too.

Mar.

Pray, what was the Occasion of so sudden a Hurly-burly?

Ph.

The Parson of the Parish, so soon as ever he found the sick Man had confess’d to the Franciscan, did Point-blank refuse to give him either the Extreme Unction, the Eucharist, or afford him a Burial, unless he heard his Confession with his own Ears. He said he was the Parson of the Parish, and that he was accountable for his own Flock; and that he could not do it, unless he was acquainted with the Secrets of his Conscience.

Mar.

And don’t you think he was in the Right?

Ph.

Why indeed they did not think so, for they all fell upon him, especially Bernardine, and Vincent the Dominican.

Mar.

What had they to say?

Ph.

They rattled off the Parson soundly, calling him Ass, and one fitter to be a Pastor of Swine than Men’s Souls. I, says Vincent, am a Batchelor of Divinity, and am shortly to be licensed, and take my Degree of Doctor; and you can scarce read the Collect, you are so far from being fit to dive into the Secrets of a Man’s Conscience: but if you have such an Itch of Curiosity, go Home and inquire into the Privacies of your Concubine and Bastards. And a great Deal more of such Stuff that I am asham’d to mention.

Mar.

And did he say nothing to all this?

Ph.

Nothing, do you say? Never was any Man so nettled. I, says he, will make a better Batchelor than you, of a Bean-Stalk; as for your Masters Dominic and Francis, pray where did they ever learn Aristotle’s Philosophy, the Arguments of Thomas, or the Speculations of Scotus? Where did they take Edition: current; Page: [104] : 104p. 104 their Degree of Batchelors? You have crept into a credulous World, a Company of mean Wretches, tho’ some I must confess were devout and learned. You nested at first in Fields and Villages, and thence anon you transplanted yourselves into opulent Cities, and none but the best Part of them neither would content you. Your Business lay then only in Places that could not maintain a Pastor; but now, forsooth, none but great Men’s Houses will serve your turn. You boast much of your being Priests; but your Privileges are not worth a Rush, unless in the Absence of the Bishop, Pastor, or his Curate. Not a Man of you shall ever come into my Pulpit, I’ll assure you, as long as I am Pastor. It is true, I am no Batchelor; no more was St. Martin, and yet he discharged the Office of a Bishop for all that. If I have not so much Learning as I should, I will never come a begging to you for it. Do you think the World is so stupid, as to think the Holiness of Dominic and Francis is entail’d upon the Habit? Is it any Business of yours, what I do at my own House? It is very well known in the World what you do in your Cells, and how you handle your holy Virgins. No Body is ignorant that you make those rich Mens Houses you frequent, no better than they should be. For the rest, Marcolphus, you must excuse me, it is too foul to be told; but in Truth, he handled the Reverend Fathers very scurvily; and there had been no End of it, if George had not held up his Hand, in Token he had something to say, and it was with much ado that the Storm was laid at last, tho’ but for a little While. Then says the sick Man, Peace be among you, I’ll confess myself over again to you, Mr. Parson; and as for the Charge of tolling the Bell, my Funeral-Rites, my Monument and Burial, they shall all be paid down to you before you go out of the House; I’ll take Order that you shall have no Cause to complain.

Mar.

Did the Parson refuse this fair Proposal?

Ph.

He did not absolutely refuse it, but he mutter’d something to himself about Confession; but he remitted it at last, and told them, there was no Need of troubling the Patient, or the Priest, with the same Things over again; but Edition: current; Page: [105] : 105p. 105 if he had confessed to me in Time, said he, perhaps he would have made his Will upon better Conditions; but if it be not as it should be, you must now look to it. This Equity of the sick Man vexed the Monks to the Heart, who thought very much that any Part of the Booty should go to the Parson of the Parish. But upon my Intercession the Matter was composed; the Parson gave the sick Man the Unction and the Sacrament, received his Dues, and went away.

Mar.

Well, now certainly a Calm follow’d this Storm, did there not?

Ph.

So far from it, that this Storm was no sooner laid, than a worse follow’d.

Mar.

Upon what Ground pray?

Ph.

I’ll tell you. There were four Orders of Begging-Fryars in the House already; and now, in comes a fifth of Cross-Bearers, against which all the other four Orders rise up in a Tumult, as illegitimate and spurious, saying, Where did you ever see a Waggon with five Wheels? or with what Face would they reckon more Orders of Mendicants, than there were Evangelists? At this Rate ye may even as well call in all the Beggars to ye, from the Bridges and Cross-Ways.

Mar.

What Reply made the Cross-Bearers to this?

Ph.

They asked them how the Waggon of the Church went before there were any Mendicants at all. And so after that, when there was but one Order, and then again when there were three? As for the Number of the Evangelists, say they, it has no more Affinity with our Orders than with the Dye, for having on every Side four Angles. Pray, who brought the Augustines or Carmelites into the Order? When did Austin or Elias go a begging? For they make them to be Principals of their Order. These and a great Deal more they thundred out violently; but being overpower’d with Numbers of the four Orders, they could not stand the Charge, but were forced to quit the Ground, but threatning them with dreadful Things.

Mar.

Well, but I hope all was quiet now.

Ph.

Nay, not so, for this Confederacy against the fifth Edition: current; Page: [106] Order, was come almost to Daggers drawing; the Franciscan and Dominican would not allow the Augustines and Carmelites to be true Mendicants, but Bastards and Supposititious. This Contention rose to that Height, that I was afraid it would have come to Blows.

Mar.

And could the sick Man endure all this?

Ph.

They were not in his Bed-Chamber now, but in a Court that joined to it, but so that he could hear every Word they said; for there was no whispering, believe me, but they very fairly exercised their Lungs. Besides, Men, as you know, are quicker of hearing than ordinary, in Sickness.

Mar.

But what was the End of this Dispute?

Ph.

Why, the sick Man sent them Word by his Wife, that if they would but hold their Tongues a little, he would set all to Rights; and therefore desired that the Augustines and Carmelites should go away for the present, and that they should be no Losers by it, for they should have the same Portion of Meat sent them Home, that those had that staid there. He gave Direction, that all the five Orders should assist at his Funeral, and that every one of them should have an equal Share of Money; but that they should not all be set (down) at the common Table, lest they should fall together by the Ears.

Mar.

The Man understood Oeconomy, I perceive, that had the Skill to compose so many Differences, even upon his Death-Bed.

Ph.

Phoo; he had been an Officer in the Army for many Years, where such Sort of Mutinies are common among the Soldiers.

Mar.

Had he a great Estate?

Ph.

A very great one.

Mar.

But ill-gotten perhaps, as is common, by Rapine, Sacrilege, and Extortion.

Ph.

Indeed Officers commonly do so, and I will not swear for him that he was a Jot better than his Neighbours: But if I don’t mistake the Man, he made his Fortune by his Wit, rather than by down-right Violence.

Edition: current; Page: [107] : 107p. 107
Mar.

After what Manner?

Ph.

He understood Arithmetic very well.

Mar.

And what of that?

Ph.

What of that? why, he would reckon 30000 Soldiers when there were but 7000, and a great many of those he never paid neither.

Mar.

A very compendious Way of accounting!

Ph.

Then he would lengthen out the War, and raise Contributions monthly, both from Friends and Foes; from his Enemies, that they might not be plunder’d; and from his Friends, that they might have Commerce with the Enemy.

Mar.

I know the common Way of Soldiers; but make an End of your Story.

Ph.

Bernardine and Vincent, with some Companions of their Order, staid with the sick Man, and the rest had their Provisions sent them.

Mar.

Well, and did they agree among themselves that staid upon Duty?

Ph.

Not very well; they continually grumbled something about the Prerogative of their Bulls; but they were fain to dissemble the Matter, that they might go the better on with their Work: Now the Will is produced, and Covenants enter’d into before Witnesses, according to what they had agreed upon between themselves.

Mar.

I long to hear what that was.

Ph.

I’ll tell you in brief, for the whole would be a long History. He leaves a Widow of thirty eight Years of Age, a discreet virtuous Woman; and two Sons, the one of nineteen, and the other fifteen Years of Age; and two Daughters, both under Age. He provided by this Testament, that his Wife, seeing she would not be prevail’d upon to confine herself to a Cloister, should put on the Habit of a Beguin, which is a middle Order, between a Laick and a Religious: And the eldest Son, because he could not be prevail’d upon to turn Monk—

Mar.

There’s no catching old Birds with Chaff.

Ph.

That as soon as his Father’s Funeral was over, he Edition: current; Page: [108] should ride Post to Rome, and there being made a Priest before his Time, by the Pope’s Dispensation, he should say Mass once a Day, for one whole Year, in the Lateran Church, for his Father’s Soul; and creep up the holy Steps there upon his Knees every Friday.

Mar.

And did he take this Task upon himself willingly?

Ph.

To deal ingenuously with you, as willingly as an Ass takes his Burden. His younger Son was dedicated to St. Francis, his eldest Daughter to St. Clare, and the younger to Catherine Senensis. This was all that could be obtain’d; for it was George’s Purpose, that he might lay the greater Obligation upon God, to dispose of the five Survivors into the five Orders of the Mendicants; and it was very hard pressed too: But his Wife and his eldest Son could not be wrought upon by any Terms, either fair or foul.

Mar.

Why, this is a Kind of disinheriting.

Ph.

The whole Estate was so divided, that the Funeral Charges being first taken out, one Twelfth-Part of it was to go to his Wife; one Half of that for her Maintenance, and the other Half to the Stock of the Place where she should dispose of herself; upon Condition, that if she should alter her Mind, the whole should go to that Order. Another Twelfth was to go to the eldest Son, who was to have so much Money paid him down upon the Nail, as would bear the Charges of his Journey, purchase him a Dispensation, and maintain him at Rome; provided always, that if he should at any Time change his Mind, and refuse to be initiated into holy Orders, his Portion should be divided between the Franciscans and Dominicans: And I fear that will be the End of it, for he had a strange Aversion to that Course of Life. Two Twelfth-Parts were to go to the Monastery that should receive his younger Son, and two more to those that should entertain his Daughters; but upon this Condition, that if they should refuse to profess themselves, the Money should go intire to the Cloister. And then Bernardine was to have one Twelfth, and Vincent another; a Half Share to the Carthusians, for the Communion of the Edition: current; Page: [109] : 109p. 109 good Works of the whole Order. The remaining Twelfth and Moiety was to be distributed among such private Poor, as Bernardine and Vincent should think worthy of the Charity.

Mar.

It would have been more Lawyer-like to have said quos vel quas, instead of quos only.

Ph.

The Testament was read, and the Stipulation ran in these Words: George Balearicus, dost thou, being alive, and of sound and disposing Mind and Memory, approve of this Testament, which thou madest long since according to thy own Mind? I approve it. Is this thy last and unchangeable Will? It is. Dost thou constitute me and this Batchelor Vincent the Executors of this thy last Will? I do so. And then he was commanded to subscribe it.

Mar.

How could he write when he was dying?

Ph.

Why, Bernardine guided his Hand.

Mar.

What did he subscribe?

Ph.

Whosoever shall attempt to violate this Testament, may he incur the Displeasure of St. Francis and St. Dominic.

Mar.

But were they not afraid to have an Action Testamenti inofficiosi [of a forged Will] brought against them?

Ph.

That Action does not take Place in Things dedicated to God; nor will any Man willingly go to Law in a Suit with him. When this was over, the Wife and Children give the sick Man their right Hands, and swear to the Observance of his Directions. After this they fell to treating of the Funeral Pomp, and there was a Squabble about that too: but it was carried at last that there should be nine out of every one of the five Orders, in Honour of the five Books of Moses, and the nine Choirs of Angels; every Order to carry its proper Cross, and sing the Funeral Songs. To these, besides the Kindred, there should be thirty Torch-Bearers hired, and all in Mourning, in Memory of the thirty Pieces of Silver our Saviour was sold for; and for Honour’s Sake, twelve Mourners to accompany them, as a Number sacred to the Apostolical Order. That behind the Bier should follow George’s Horse, all in Mourning, with his Head ty’d down to his Knees in such a Manner, that he might Edition: current; Page: [110] : 110p. 110 seem to look upon the Ground for his Master. That the Pall should be hung about with Escutcheons; and that the Body should be laid at the right Hand of the high Altar, in a marble Tomb, some four Foot from the Ground, and he himself lying in Effigy at Length on the top of it, cut in the purest Marble, all in Armour from Head to Foot. To his Helmet a Crest, which was the Neck of an Onocrotalus, and a Shield upon his left Arm, charged with three Boars Heads Or, in a Field Argent; his Sword by his Side, with a golden Hilt, and a Belt embroider’d with Gold and Pearl, and golden Spurs, he being a Knight of the Golden Order. That there should be a Leopard at his Feet, and an Inscription on his Tomb worthy of so great a Man. His Heart he would have to be buried separately in St. Francis his Chapel, and his Bowels he bequeathed to the Parish, to be honourably interr’d in our Lady’s Chapel.

Mar.

This was a Noble Funeral, but a dear one. Now, a Cobler at Venice should have as much Honour done him, and with very little or no Charge at all; the Company gives him a handsome Coffin, and they have many Times 600 Monks, all in their Habits, to attend one Corpse.

Ph.

I have seen it myself, and could not but laugh at the Vanity of those poor People. The Fullers and Tanners march in the Van, the Coblers bring up the Rear, and the Monks march in the Body; you would have said it had been a Chimera, if you had seen it. And George had this Caution too, that the Franciscans and Dominicans should draw Lots which should go first at the Funeral, and after them the rest, that there might be no quarrelling for Place: the Parson and Clerk went in the lowest Place (that is, first) for the Monks would not endure it otherwise.

Mar.

I find George had Skill in marshalling of a Ceremony, as well as an Army.

Ph.

And it was provided, that the Funeral Service, which was to be perform’d by the Parish-Priest, should be performed with a Concert of Musick, for the greater Honour of the Deceased. While these and such like Things were doing Edition: current; Page: [111] the Patient was seiz’d with a Convulsion, which was a certain Token that he was near his End: so that they were now come to the last Act.

Mar.

Why, is not all done yet?

Ph.

Now the Pope’s Bull is to be read, wherein he is promised a full Pardon of all his Sins, and an Exemption from the Fear of Purgatory; and with a Justification over and above of his whole Estate.

Mar.

What, of an Estate gotten by Rapine?

Ph.

Gotten by the Law of Arms, and Fortune of War. But one Philip a Civilian, his Wife’s Brother, happen’d to be by at the reading of the Bull, and took Notice of one Passage that was not as it should be, and raised a Scruple upon it, of its not being authentick.

Mar.

It might very well have been let pass at this Time, and no Notice taken of it, if there had been any Error, and the Sick never the worse for it.

Ph.

I am of your Mind, and I’ll assure you it so wrought upon George, that it had like to have cast him into Despair: and in this Case Vincent shew’d himself a Man indeed; he bid George be satisfied, for that he had an Authority to correct or supply any Error or Omission that might be in the Bull: So that, says he, if this Bull should deceive you, this Soul of mine shall stand engag’d for thine, that thine shall go to Heaven, or mine be damn’d.

Mar.

But will God accept of this Way of changing Souls? Or, if he does, is the Pawn of Vincent’s Soul a sufficient Security for George’s? What if Vincent’s Soul should go to the Devil, whether he changes it or no?

Ph.

I only tell you Matter of Fact: It is certain that Vincent effected this by it, that the sick Man was much comforted. By-and-by the Covenants are read, by which the whole Society promise to transfer to George the Benefits of the Works which were done by all the four Orders, and also a Fifth, that of the Carthusians.

Mar.

I should be afraid that such a Weight would sink me to Hell, if I were to carry it.

Edition: current; Page: [112]
Ph.

I speak of their good Works only; for they bear down a Soul that is about to fly to Heaven, no more than Feathers do a Bird.

Mar.

But who will they bequeath their evil Works to then?

Ph.

To the German Soldiers of Fortune.

Mar.

By what Right?

Ph.

By Gospel Right; for, to him that has, shall be given. And then was read over how many Masses and Psalms were to accompany the Soul of the Deceased, and there was a vast Number of them. After this, his Confession was repeated, and they gave him their Benediction.

Mar.

And so he dy’d?

Ph.

Not yet: They laid a Mat upon the Ground, roll’d up at one End in the Form of a Pillow.

Mar.

Well, and what’s to be done now?

Ph.

They strew’d Ashes upon it, but very thin, and there they laid the sick Man’s Body; and then they consecrated a Franciscan’s Coat with Prayers and Holy-Water, and that they laid over him, and a Cowl under his Head (for there was no putting it on then) and his Pardon and the Covenants with it.

Mar.

This is a new Way of dying.

Ph.

But they affirm that the Devil has no Power over those that die in this Manner; for so they say St. Martin and St. Francis, and others died.

Mar.

But their holy Lives were correspondent to their Deaths. But prithee, what follow’d?

Ph.

They then presented the sick Man with a Crucifix, and a Wax Candle: Upon the holding out the Crucifix, says the sick Man, I used to be safe in War under the Protection of my own Buckler; but now I will oppose this Buckler to my Enemy: and having kiss’d it, laid it at his left Side. And as to the holy Taper; I was, said he, ever held to be a good Pikeman in the Field; and now I will brandish this Lance against the Enemy of Souls.

Mar.

Spoken like a Man of War!

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Ph.

These were the last Words he spake, for Death presently seized his Tongue, and he breath’d his last. Bernardine kept close to him in his Extremity, on his right Hand, and Vincent on his left; and they had both of them their Pipes open: One shew’d him the Image of St. Francis, the other that of St. Dominic; while the rest up and down in the Chamber were mumbling over certain Psalms to a most melancholy Tune; Bernardine bawling in his right Ear, and Vincent in his left.

Mar.

What was it they bawl’d?

Ph.

Bernardine spake to this Purpose: George Balearicus, if thou approvest of all that is here done, lean thy Head toward thy right Shoulder. And so he did. Vincent on the the other Side said, George, fear not, you have St. Francis and St. Dominic for your Defenders, therefore be of good Courage: Think on what a great Number of Merits are bestow’d upon thee, of the Validity of thy Pardon; and remember, that I have engaged my Soul for thine, if there be any Danger. If you understand all this, and approve of it, lean your Head upon your left Shoulder. And so he did. And then they cry’d out as loud as before, If thou art sensible of all this, squeeze my Hand; then he squeez’d his Hand: so that, what with turning of his Head, and squeezing of the Hand, there were almost three Hours spent. And when George began to yawn, Bernardine stood up and pronounced the Absolution, but could not go thro’ with it, before George’s Soul was out of his Body. This was about Midnight, and in the Morning they went about the Anatomy.

Mar.

And pray what did they find out of Order in the Body?

Ph.

Well remember’d, for I had like to have forgot it. There was a piece of a Bullet that stuck to the Diaphragm.

Mar.

How came that?

Ph.

His Wife said he had been wounded with a Musket-Shot; and from thence the Physicians conjectured, that some Part of the melted Lead remained in his Body. By-and-by they put the mangled Corpse (after a Sort) into a Franciscan’s Edition: current; Page: [114] Habit; and after Dinner they buried him with Pomp, as it had been ordered.

Mar.

I never heard of more Bustle about a Man’s dying, or of a more pompous Funeral; but I suppose you would not have this Story made publick.

Ph.

Why not?

Mar.

Lest you should provoke a Nest of Hornets.

Ph.

There is no Danger; for if what I relate be done well, it is convenient the World should know it; but if it be ill done, all good Men will thank me for discovering it; and they themselves being seized with Shame for what they have done, will do so no more. Besides, it may possibly preserve the Simple from falling into the like Mistakes; for some learned and pious Men have frequently complained to me, that the Superstition and Wickedness of some few, brings a Scandal upon the whole Order.

Mar.

This is well and bravely said. But I would fain know what became of Cornelius.

Ph.

Why truly, he died as he lived, without troubling any Body. He had an anniversary Fever, which took him every Year at such a certain Time; but being now worse than ordinary, either by Reason of Age (for he was above sixty Years old) or some other Cause, finding that his fatal Day was drawing on, he went to Church upon a Sunday, four Days before he died, confess’d to the Parish-Priest, heard divine Service and the Sermon, and having received the Sacrament went Home.

Mar.

Had he no Physicians?

Ph.

Only one, who was as good in Morals as he was in his Profession; his Name is James Castrutius.

Mar.

I know him, as honest a Man as any in the World.

Ph.

He told him, he should be ready to serve him in any Thing he could as a Friend; but that in his Opinion his Business lay rather with God than the Doctor. Cornelius received this Answer as chearfully, as if he had assured him of his Recovery. Wherefore, altho’ he had been always very charitable according to his Power, yet he then bestow’d Edition: current; Page: [115] upon the Needy all that he could possibly spare from the Necessities of his Wife and Children, not upon such as take a seeming Pride in a Sort of Poverty, that are every where to be met withal, but upon those good Men, that oppose a laborious Industry to an innocent Poverty. I desired him that he would betake himself to his Bed, and send for a Minister to him, rather than fatigue his weak Body. He reply’d, that it had been always his Desire rather to make his Friends easy where he could, by doing good Offices, than to make himself troublesom to them by receiving; and that he was now willing to die as he had liv’d. Nor would he take to his Bed till the very last Day, and Part of the last Night, of his Life. In the Interim he supported his weak Body with a Stick, or else sat in a Chair, but very rarely went into the naked Bed, but lay down in his Cloaths, his Head being raised. And in this Time he was either giving Orders for the Relief of the Poor, especially those of his Acquaintance and Neighbours, or reading something of the Scriptures, proper to strengthen his Faith in God, or that shew his Love to Mankind. And when he was so tired that he could not read himself, he heard some Friend read to him; and would very frequently, and with wonderful Affection, exhort his Family to mutual Love and Concord, and the Exercise of true Piety; comforting his Friends, who were sollicitous for his Death, with great Tenderness; and gave it often in Charge to his Family, to take Care to see all his Debts paid.

Mar.

Had he not made a Will?

Ph.

Yes, a long Time before; he had taken Care to do that when he was in perfect Health; for he was used to say, that what a Man did at his last Gasp was rather a Dotage than a Testament.

Mar.

Had he given any Thing to Monasteries, or poor People?

Ph.

No, not a Cross; I have, says he, already in my Life-Time, given according to my Ability, and now as I leave the Possession of what I have to my Family, I leave them the Edition: current; Page: [116] : 116p. 116 disposing of it too, and I trust that they will employ it better than I have done.

Mar.

Did he send for no holy Men, as George did?

Ph.

Not a Man: There was no Body about him but his own Family and two intimate Friends.

Mar.

I admire what he meant by that.

Ph.

He said, he was not willing to trouble more People when he went out of the World, than he did when he came into it.

Mar.

I want to hear this Story out.

Ph.

You shall hear it presently. Thursday came, and finding himself extremely weak, he kept his Bed. The Parish-Priest being then call’d, gave him the Extreme Unction, and again the Sacrament; but he made no Confession, for he said he had no Scruple upon his Mind. The Parson then began to talk to him about his Burial, with what Pomp, and in what Place he would be buried. Bury me, says he, as you would bury the meanest Christian; nor do I concern myself where you lay this worthless Body of mine, it will be found all one at the Day of Judgment wheresoever you lay it; and as to the Pomp of my Funeral, I matter it not. When he came to mention the ringing of Bells, and saying Masses, (tricenary and anniversary) Pardons and purchasing a Communion of Merits; he reply’d, My good Pastor, I shall find myself never the worse if no Bell be rung at all; if you will afford me but one funeral Office, it will abundantly content me; but if there be any Thing else, that the publick Custom of the Church has made necessary, and that can’t well be omitted without Scandal to the Weak, I leave that to your Pleasure. Nor am I at all desirous to buy any Man’s Prayers or rob any Man of his Merits; there is Merit enough in Christ, and to spare; and I trust that I myself shall be the better for the Prayers and Merits of the whole Church, if I be but a living Member of it. My whole Hope is in these two Assurances; the one is, that the Lord Jesus, the chief Shepherd, hath taken all my Sins upon him, nailing them to his Cross; the other is, that which Christ himself hath signed and sealed with his own holy Blood, Edition: current; Page: [117] which gives us Assurance of eternal Salvation, if we place all our Trust in him. Far be it from me, to insist upon being furnished with Merits and Pardons, and provoke my God to enter into Judgment with his Servant, in whose Sight no Flesh living shall be justified; because his Mercy is boundless and unspeakable, to it I appeal from his Justice. The Parson hearing this, went away; and Cornelius with great Joy and Chearfulness (as one transported with the Hope of a better Life) caused some Texts to be read out of the holy Scriptures, that confirm the Hope of the Resurrection, and set before him the Rewards of Immortality; as that out of Isaiah, concerning the Death of Hezekiah, together with the Hymn; and then the fifteenth Chapter of the first Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians; the Death of Lazarus out of John; but especially the History of Christ’s Passion, out of the Gospels. But O with what Affection did he take in all these Scriptures, sighing at some Passages, folding his Hands, as in Thankfulness, at others; one While rapt and overjoy’d at some Passages, and another While sending up short Ejaculations! After Dinner, having taken a little Rest, he order’d the twelfth Chapter of St. John to be read, to the End of the Story. Here you would have said the Man was transfigured and possessed with a new Spirit. When it grew toward Evening, he called for his Wife and Children, and raising himself as well as he could, he thus bespake them: My dear Wife, the same God that once joined us together, doth now part us, but only in our Bodies, and that too for a short Time. That Care, Kindness, and Piety, that thou hast hitherto used to divide betwixt me, and the tender Pledges of our mutual Love, do thou now transfer wholly to them. Think thou canst do nothing more acceptable either to God or to me, than to educate, cherish, and instruct those whom God has given us the Fruit of our conjugal Relation, that they may be found worthy of Christ. Double therefore thy Piety upon them, and account upon my Share too, as translated unto thee. If thou shalt do this, as I trust thou wilt, they will not be accounted Orphans; and if ever thou shouldst marry Edition: current; Page: [118] again—At which Word his Wife burst out into Tears, and was about to forswear ever to think of marrying again; but Cornelius interposed: My dearest Sister in Christ, if the Lord Jesus shall vouchsafe to thee Resolution and Strength of Spirit, be not wanting to the heavenly Gift, for it will be more commodious, as well for thyself as the Children. But if the Infirmity of the Flesh shall carry thee another Way, know that my Death has indeed freed thee from the Bonds of Wedlock, but not from that Obligation, which in both our Names thou owest in common to the Care of our Children. As to Marriage itself, make Use of the Freedom that God has given thee; only let me intreat and admonish thee of this one thing, to make choice of a Husband of such a Disposition, and discharge thyself so towards him, that he, either by his own Goodness, or for thy good Carriage, may be kind to our Children. Therefore have a Care of tying thyself up by any Vow; keep thyself free to God, and to our Children, and bring them up in all Points religiously, and take Care that they don’t fix upon any Course of Life, till by Age and Experience they shall come to understand what is fittest for them. Then turning to his Children, he exhorted them to the Study of Piety, Obedience to their Mother, and mutual Love and Concord among themselves. And having done, he kiss’d his Wife and them, pray’d for them, and making the Sign of the Cross, recommended them to the Mercy of Christ. And then looking round upon all about him, By to-Morrow Morning, says he, the Lord who renew’d this Morning to me, will graciously please, out of his infinite Mercy, to call this poor Soul of mine out of the Sepulchre of my Body, and out of the Darkness of this Mortality, into his heavenly Light. I will not have you fatigue yourselves in your tender Age with unprofitable Watching; and as for the rest, let them take their Rest by turns; one is enough to sit up with me, and read to me. Having pass’d the Night, about four o’Clock in the Morning, all the Family being present, he caused that Psalm to be read, which our Saviour praying recited upon the Cross. And when that was done, he call’d for a Taper and Edition: current; Page: [119] a Cross, and taking the Taper in his Hand, he said, The Lord is my Light and Salvation, whom shall I fear? And then kissing the Cross, he said The Lord is the Defender of my Life, of whom shall I be afraid? And by-and-by, laying his Hands upon his Breast in a praying Posture, with his Eyes lift up to Heaven, he said, Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit; and immediately he closed his Eyes, as if he were only going to Sleep, and with a gentle Breathe, delivered up his Spirit. You would have thought he had only been in a Slumber, and had not expired.

Mar.

I never heard of a less painful Death in my Life.

Ph.

His Life was as calm as his Death. These two Men were both of them my Friends, and perhaps I am not so good a Judge which of them dy’d most like a Christian; but you that are unbiassed, may perhaps make a better Judgment.

Mar.

I will think of it, and give you my Opinion some Time or other at Leisure.

Edition: current; Page: [120]

ECHO.

The Argument.

A Discourse between a young Man and an Echo, concerning the Choice of Studies, and chusing the best way of Livelihood; the Echo facetiously answering the young Man’s Interrogatories.

NOTE. It appears by Erasmus’s having so frequently made Use of Greek Words in the Echo’s Answer, that there is a considerable Difficulty in this Way of Writing; nor will the English Tongue so well bear it as the Latin, in that it will not allow that Transposition of Words that the Latin Tongue will. It being therefore very difficult, if not impossible, to make the two last Syllables answer by Way of Echo, I have contented myself with a bare Translation without it.

The YOUNG MAN and the ECHO.

YO.

I have a Mind to ask your advice about a few Things, if you are at Leisure.

Ec.

I am at Leisure.

Yo.

And if I, a young Man, shall be welcome to you.

Ec.

You shall be welcome.

Yo.

And can you tell me true concerning Things to come, Echo?

Ec.

I can.

Yo.

And do you understand Greek too? What Novelty is this?

Ec.

I do.

Yo.

What Kind of Studies do you think those of the Muses to be?

Edition: current; Page: [121]
Ec.

Divine ones.

Yo.

Do you think then, that those Authors that conduce to Learning ought to be studied?

Ec.

Do thou study them.

Yo.

What is then in their Minds, that speak contemptibly of these Studies?

Ec.

The Thoughts of a Swine.

Yo.

But I wish the Lovers of these were as studious of Piety.

Ec.

I wish they were so.

Yo.

Now-a-Days the Wickedness of some makes all hated.

Ec.

It does so.

Yo.

And many lay the Sins of Man on the Back of Learning.

Ec.

Ay, Asses.

Yo.

Why, but they commonly seem not to be of the meanest Sort.

Ec.

They are vile Persons.

Yo.

What do you think they do, who spend their Time in a sophistical Kind of Learning? Perhaps they spin Cobwebs?

Ec.

They do so.

Yo.

And they weave and unweave Penelope’s Web.

Ec.

They do weave it.

Yo.

What Course of Life do you advise me to follow?

Ec.

A safe one.

Yo.

Will it prove fortunate if I shall marry?

Ec.

Do it late.

Yo.

But what if it shall happen to be my Lot to marry an unchast, or extravagant Wife?

Ec.

You must bear it.

Yo.

Why, but it is worse than Death itself to live with such.

Ec.

It is so.

Yo.

Does Fortune so domineer in human Affairs?

Ec.

Yes, she only.

Yo.

Perhaps a Person had better enter himself into the Life of a Monk, than that of Marriage.

Edition: current; Page: [122]
Ec.

That binds one.

Yo.

What Remedy is there left, when any one is bound by that Knot that cannot be unloosed?

Ec.

Melancholy.

Yo.

Well, but it is a miserable Life for Men to live alone.

Ec.

It is entirely so.

Yo.

What Sort of Men do you account the Monks of these Times to be?

Ec.

A Trouble.

Yo.

What then makes some esteem them as half-Gods?

Ec.

Fear.

Yo.

What do most hunt after who sue for a Benefice?

Ec.

Idleness.

Yo.

Does a Priest get nothing else?

Ec.

Yes, Gain.

Yo.

What good Thing do they get that obtain Bishopricks?

Ec.

Labours.

Yo.

But none live more in Idleness.

Ec.

I know it.

Yo.

What Things will be able to make them think and understand what a great Burden they have upon them?

Ec.

Understanding.

Yo.

Therefore the Priesthood is an excellent Thing, if a Man behave himself as he ought to do in it.

Ec.

It makes him happy.

Yo.

What Advantage shall I have, if I go into their Court, who excel in princely Dignity?

Ec.

Misery.

Yo.

But I see a great many that are wont to promise themselves great Happiness from thence.

Ec.

They are Blockheads.

Yo.

But in the mean Time, while they go clothed in their Silks, the common People look upon them as brave Fellows.

Ec.

They are not worth a Fig.

Yo.

Why then, you speak of Men that are golden without, and wooden within, if any Body were but to inspect them narrowly?

Edition: current; Page: [123]
Ec.

Not so good.

Yo.

Why then, those Men have but little Excellency in them, that being array’d in Silks, we worship as Gods?

Ec.

Mischief.

Yo.

And perhaps, you will put no great Value upon military Men?

Ec.

A Farthing.

Yo.

But your Astrologers that tell Fortunes by the Stars, promise great Things.

Ec.

They are Fables.

Yo.

But Grammarians take a great Deal of Pains.

Ec.

To no Purpose.

Yo.

I believe hungry greedy Lawyers don’t please you.

Ec.

They are Wolves.

Yo.

What Sort of a Man shall I be, if I turn a Handicraft-Man?

Ec.

The Scum of the People.

Yo.

What then, do good nor bad Arts procure one nothing else?

Ec.

A Maintenance.

Yo.

Shall I be happy, if I shall persevere in good Learning?

Ec.

You shall.

Yo.

But what will make me pious?

Ec.

Age.

Yo.

I have spent my Time this ten Years in Cicero.

Ec.

O you Ass!

Yo.

How comes it into your Mind to call me an Ass?

Ec.

By the Thing itself.

Yo.

Perhaps, you mean that I should not so apply myself to him, as to leave off others?

Ec.

I do say so.

Yo.

Why then, does not he please you, that fatigues himself all his Days, only for this Purpose, that he may become a Ciceronian at last?

Ec.

He is a Madman.

Yo.

What is left for them to do that are old, whose Age is not seasonable for the learning these Things?

Edition: current; Page: [124]
Ec.

The Plough-Tail.

Yo.

I believe you would be more eloquent, if you were at a greater Distance.

Ec.

I should be so.

Yo.

I don’t like Words of two Syllables.

Ec.

Go your Way.

Yo.

I began first, and I see I can’t hinder your having the last Word.

Ec.

Let me have it.

Yo.

Do you now think I am sufficiently instructed to perform those Things well, which shall happen in Life?

Ec.

Yes.

Yo.

Well then, if you’d have me go away, bid me be gone.

Ec.

Be gone.

Edition: current; Page: [125]

ΠΟΛϒΔΑΙΤΙΑ, or, The UNEQUAL FEAST.

The Argument.

: 125p. 125The unequal Entertainment teaches Civility in entertaining Guests. How the Table should be furnished, that all the Guests may be pleased, altho’ of different Palates, Manners, and Humours. That the placing of the Company may conduce much to the making the Entertainment chearful. That the ordinariest Dishes should make the first Course, and the most delicate the last. That Drink is to be given to none, but when they call for it. Variety of Stories, suited to the Fancy of each Person, cause Merriment. Old Men, Married Women, Sailors, and Merchants, delight to hear Stories of their own Occupations and Actions. All melancholy Things, which may cause Sadness, ought to be avoided: And likewise, so must Drunkenness, which often occasions Fightings, Quarrels, and Contentions. The Method of turning off the Discourse when Persons are angry, &c. No one’s Grief ought to be called to Mind. Salutations are not to be often repeated. That every one should salute each other. That no Mention should be made of the Goodness, Management, or Price of the Provision. A slender Provision is to be excused modestly.

Edition: current; Page: [126]

SPUDÆUS, APITIUS.

SP.

Soho, Soho, Apitius.

Ap.

I don’t hear ye.

Sp.

Soho, I say, Apitius.

Ap.

What troublesom Fellow is this?

Sp.

I have a Matter of Consequence to tell you of.

Ap.

And I am going about a Matter of Consequence, and in great Haste too.

Sp.

Whither, prithee?

Ap.

Why, to Supper.

Sp.

That was it I wanted to talk with you about.

Ap.

I have not Time now to meddle with Talkers or Doers, lest I lose my Labour.

Sp.

You shall lose no Time, I’ll go along with you.

Ap.

Well, tell me what ’tis quickly.

Sp.

I am busy in contriving how to make a Feast, so as to please all, and displease none of my Guests; and knowing you to be the principal Artist in this Scheme, I apply myself to you as to an Oracle.

Ap.

Well, take this for an Answer, and, according to antient Usage, in Verse,

  • If none you would displease, then none invite.
Sp.

But ’tis a publick Entertainment; I am under a Necessity of having a great many Guests.

Ap.

To be sure, the more you invite, the more you will displease: What Play was so well written, or so well acted, as to please the whole Theatre?

Sp.

But come, Darling of the God of Banquets, assist me with your Advice in this Affair, and I will account you an Oracle for Time to come.

Ap.

Take this in the first Place; Don’t attempt to do that which is impossible to be done.

Sp.

What’s that?

Ap.

To be a Master of a Feast, and give Satisfaction to all your Guests, when there is a great Variety of Palates.

Sp.

Well then, that I may displease but a few?

Edition: current; Page: [127] : 127p. 127
Ap.

Call but a few.

Sp.

But that can’t be.

Ap.

Then invite those that are equals, and of agreeable Humours.

Sp.

I am not at Liberty to do that neither; I can’t avoid inviting a great many, and of different Humours: nor are they all of the same Speech or Nation.

Ap.

You talk of a Bedlam rather than a Banquet. Here will necessarily arise such Confusion, as the Hebrews relate to have happened at the Building of Babel, that when one asks for cold Water, the other will bring him hot.

Sp.

But prithee help me out at a dead Lift, you shall find I’ll be both mindful of, and grateful for your good Office.

Ap.

Well, come then, seeing you are not at Liberty to pick and chuse your Guests, I’ll give you Advice in this difficult Point. It signifies no small Matter, as to the Mirth of the Entertainment, what Places any of them sit in.

Sp.

That’s very right.

Ap.

But to take away all Occasion of Uneasiness, let them cast Lots for their Places.

Sp.

That’s well advis’d.

Ap.

Let not your Dishes proceed gradually from the upper to the lower End of the Table, so as to make the Letter Σ, or rather in a serpentine Order, or to be chang’d reciprocally hither and thither, as the Myrtle in old Times used to be handed about at Banquets.

Sp.

How then?

Ap.

To every four Guests set four Dishes, so that the fourth may be the middlemost, as Boys upon three Nuts set a Fourth; in every one of these let there be a different Sort of Victuals, that every one may help himself to what he likes.

Sp.

Well, I like that very well; but how often must I change the Dishes?

Ap.

How many Parts are there in a theatrical Oration?

Sp.

Five, I think.

Ap.

How many Acts are there in a Play?

Edition: current; Page: [128] : 128p. 128
Sp.

I have read in Horace that they ought not to exceed five.

Ap.

Well then, so many different Courses you must have. Let the first Course be Soop, and the last a Desert of Sweetmeats.

Sp.

What Order of the Courses do you approve of?

Ap.

The same that Pyrrhus did in his Army.

Sp.

What say you?

Ap.

As in an Oration, so at a Feast, the Preface, or first Courses should not be very delicate; and again, the last Course should rather excel in Variety, than Daintiness. So Pyrrhus’s Discipline consisted in three Particulars, that on each Side there should be something excellent, and in the Middle, that which was more ordinary. By this Method, it will be so ordered, that you will neither appear to be sparing, nor prodigal by Reason of a cloying Abundance.

Sp.

The Eating-Part is well enough contriv’d; now tell me what is to be done as to drinking?

Ap.

Don’t you give the Cup to any Body; leave that to your Servants, to ask every Body what Sort of Wine he likes, and to fill every one the Wine he drinks readily, at the very first Call or Nod. In this there will be a twofold Conveniency, they will drink both more sparingly and more merrily; not only because every now and then there would otherwise be a different Sort of Wine given them, but also because no Body will drink but when he is dry.

Sp.

Upon my Word, this is very good Advice. But then how will they all be made merry?

Ap.

That’s partly in your Power.

Sp.

How is that?

Ap.

You know the old Proverb, A hearty Welcome is the best Cheer.

Sp.

How is that?

Ap.

Entertain them courteously, speak to them with a chearful Countenance, ordering your Speech according to each Person’s Age and Humour.

Sp.

I’ll come nearer to you, that I may hear the better.

Edition: current; Page: [129]
Ap.

You understand Languages?

Sp.

Yes, most Languages.

Ap.

You must ever and anon speak to every one in his own Tongue; and that the Entertainment may be the more diverting by a Variety of Stories, intermix such Matters as every one will remember with Pleasure, and no Body will be uneasy to hear.

Sp.

What Sort of Matters mean you?

Ap.

The peculiar Differences of Dispositions, which you yourself are better vers’d in; I will only touch upon some Heads. Old Men take a Pleasure in relating those Things that are out of the Memory of many Persons, and are Admirers of those Times, in which they were in their Prime. It’s a pleasant Thing to a married Woman to have the Memory of that Time refreshed, when she was courted by her Sweethearts. Mariners that have been in divers and far distant Countries, take a Pleasure to tell of those Things that they have seen, and other People admire at; and according to the Proverb, the Remembrance of Dangers, when they are over, is very pleasant, if they are such as have nothing opprobious in them, as in the Army, in Travels, in the Dangers at Sea: And in the last Place, every one loves to talk of his own Calling, especially in that Part that he excels in. These are some general Heads; as to particular Affections it is not possible to describe them; but for Example Sake, one is ambitious of Honour, another would be accounted learned, another loves to be taken for a rich Man; one is full of Talk, another is sparing of his Speech; some will be surly, others on the other Hand affable; some don’t care to be thought old when they are so, and some would fain be thought older than they are, affecting to be admir’d for carrying their Age well. Some Women please themselves mightily in being thought handsome, and some love to be flattered. These Dispositions being known, it will be no difficult Matter so to intermix Speeches, as to be pleasing to every one, and to avoid those Things that cause Uneasiness.

Edition: current; Page: [130] : 130p. 130
Sp.

Upon my Troth, you are excellently skill’d in the Art of ordering an Entertainment.

Ap.

Phoo! if I had spent as much Time, and taken as much Pains in the Study of the Law, Physick, or Divinity, as I have spent upon this Art, I had long before now commenc’d Doctor of them all.

Sp.

I am of your Mind.

Ap.

But hark ye, that you may not mistake, you must be sure to take Care, that your Stories be not long-winded ones, and that they don’t turn upon Drunkenness; for as there is nothing better than Wine drank with Moderation, so, on the other hand, there is nothing worse, if you drink too much. It is the same in Stories.

Sp.

You say right. But what Remedy have you for this?

Ap.

When you perceive any dispos’d to be quarrelsom, take an Opportunity to break off abruptly from what you were saying, and talk of something else. I take it to be unnecessary to caution you against bringing any one’s Affliction to his Mind, during the Time of the Entertainment. Plato is of Opinion, that Banquets will cure some Distempers, the Wine driving away Sorrow, and making Persons forget what caused Uneasiness to them. But you ought to be caution’d of this, not to salute the Guests too often; yet I would have you walk about sometimes, and speak kindly first to one, and then to another; for a Master of a Feast ought to act a moveable Part in the Play. But then again, there is nothing more uncivil than to be continually talking of the Sorts of Provision, the Manner of dressing it, and what it cost you. It is the same Thing as to the Wine. But you should rather modestly undervalue the Provision; for if you undervalue it too much, it will be much the same as if you were ostentatious concerning it. It is sufficient to say twice, or at the most three Times, Much Good may’t do you; and Tho’ my Entertainment is but homely, your Welcome is hearty. Sometimes you may break a Jest, but such a one that has no Teeth. It will also be proper to bespeak every one, now and then, in his own Tongue, but in a few Words. Edition: current; Page: [131] : 131p. 131 But it now comes into my Mind, to speak what I should have said at the beginning.

Sp.

What is it?

Ap.

If you han’t a Mind to place the Guests by Lot, take Care to chuse three out of the Company, that are of a diverting Humour, and apt to talk, place one at the upper End of the Table, another at the lower End, and a third in the Middle, that they may keep the rest from being either silent or melancholy. And if you perceive the Company grow either mute or noisy, and inclinable to fall out.—

Sp.

This is very common with our Countrymen; but what must be done then?

Ap.

Then take the Course that I have frequently experienc’d to succeed.

Sp.

I want to hear it.

Ap.

Bring in a Couple of Buffoons or Jesters, who by their Gestures may express some Argument without speaking a Word.

Sp.

But why without speaking?

Ap.

That the Guests may be all equally diverted; or, if they do speak, let them speak in a Language that none of them understands. By speaking by Gestures they will all understand alike.

Sp.

I can’t very well tell what you mean by an Argument.

Ap.

There are a Thousand; as suppose, a Wife fighting with the Husband for the Breeches, or any other such comical Transaction in low Life. And, as to Dancing, the more ridiculous it is, the more diverting it will be. These ought not to be above half Fools; for, if they be downright Ideots, they will, before they are aware, foolishly blab out what may give Offence.

Sp.

As you have given me good Advice, so I wish that the Deity Comus may always befriend ye.

Ap.

I will conclude with this, or rather repeat what I said at first; Don’t be too thoughtful to please every Body, not only in this Affair, but in any other Circumstance of Life, and that will be the Way to please them the sooner; for it is a good Maxim in Life, Too much of one Thing is good for nothing.

Edition: current; Page: [132]

Of THINGS and WORDS.

The Argument.

: 132p. 132This Colloquy concerning Things and Words, exposes the preposterous Judgments of some People, who are more ambitious of Names, than they are of the Things themselves; to be esteemed, than to deserve Esteem. In aiming at Things, it is better to be and to have; in avoiding Things, it is better to be thought to have them and be without them. It is the worst of Frauds to cheat a Friend.

BEATUS and BONIFACE.

BE.

God bless you, Boniface.

Bo.

And God bless you heartily, Beatus. But I wish we were both of us answerable to our Names, you rich, and I handsom.

Be.

Why then, do you account it so small a Matter to have a great Name?

Bo.

Indeed I make very small Account of the Name, unless there be the Thing too.

Be.

But most Men are of another Mind.

Bo.

Perhaps they may be Mortals, but I don’t take ’em to be Men.

Be.

Nay, good Man, they are Men, unless you think there are now-a-Days Camels and Asses in the Shape of Men.

Bo.

I should sooner be of that Mind, than believe that they can be Men, who had rather have the Name than the Thing itself.

Edition: current; Page: [133]
Be.

In some Sort of Things, I confess, that many had rather have the Thing, than the Name; but in many Things it is quite the contrary.

Bo.

I don’t very well take you in.

Be.

We have an Example of it in ourselves, you are call’d Boniface, and you have what you are call’d; but if you were to be depriv’d of either of them, had you rather have an ugly Face, or be call’d Cornelius?

Bo.

Why, indeed, I had rather be call’d Thersites, than have a Face as ugly as the Devil; whether I have a handsom one now or not, I can’t tell.

Be.

Then again, if I was rich, or must either part with my Wealth or my Name, I had rather be call’d Irus than be depriv’d of my Estate. I grant what you say to be true; and I am of Opinion it is the common Temper of those that enjoy Health, and other corporal Enjoyments.

Bo.

It is probable.

Be.

But how many may we see that had rather have the Name of being learned and pious, than to be learned and pious?

Bo.

I know a great many of this Sort of People.

Be.

Well then, is not the Name more esteem’d among us than the Thing itself?

Bo.

So it seems to be.

Be.

Now if we had a good Logician, who could properly define what a King, a Bishop, a Magistrate, and a Philosopher was, it is very likely we should find some among them, who are more for the Name than the Thing itself.

Bo.

He is really a King who aims at the Good of his People, and not his own; governing them by Law and Justice: And he a Bishop, who watches carefully over the Lord’s Flock: And he is a Magistrate, who sincerely studies the good of the Publick. And a Philosopher is one, who neglecting the Goods of Fortune, studies only to get the Endowments of the Mind.

Be.

By these you may see how many Examples of this Kind I could produce.

Edition: current; Page: [134] : 134p. 134
Bo.

Why truly, a great many.

Be.

Will you deny all these to be Men?

Bo.

I am afraid we shall sooner lose the Name of Men ourselves.

Be.

But if Man is a rational Animal, how contrary is it to Reason, that in the Conveniencies, rather than the real Goods of the Body, and in external Things, which Fortune gives and takes away at her Pleasure; we had rather have the Thing itself than the Name; and in the real Goods of the Mind, we put more Value upon the Name, than the Thing itself.

Bo.

It is an absurd Way of judging, if a Man did but consider it seriously.

Be.

And the Reason is quite the same in those Things, that are on the contrary Side.

Bo.

I expect what you’re going to say.

Be.

We may pass the same Judgment as to the Names of those things that are to be avoided, as has been given as to those that are to be desired.

Bo.

That’s plain.

Be.

For to be a Tyrant is more to be abhorr’d, than to have the Name; and if a Bishop be a bad Man, the Scripture calls him a Thief, and a Robber: These Names are not to be detested by us, so much as the Things themselves.

Bo.

In Truth I am of your Mind.

Be.

Do you infer the same as to the rest?

Bo.

I understand you perfectly well.

Be.

Don’t all Fools hate to be call’d Fools?

Bo.

Yes indeed, and more than other Folks.

Be.

Would not he be a Fool that should fish with a golden Hook, and prefer Glass before Jewels? that should put more Value upon his Horses, than his Wife and Children?

Bo.

He would be a greater Fool than Ben of the Minories.

Be.

Are not they such Fools that list themselves for Soldiers, and for the Sake of a poor Pay expose Body and Soul to Danger? who make it their Study to scrape up Riches, when their Minds are destitute of all good Science? who Edition: current; Page: [135] make their Cloaths and Houses fine, but let their Minds lie neglected and slovenly? who are very careful to preserve their Bodies in Health, and take no Care of their Minds, that are sick of mortal Diseases? and in the last Place, who for the Sake of enjoying the fleeting Pleasures of this Life, deserve eternal Torments?

Bo.

Reason itself obliges a Man to confess, that they are worse than Fools.

Be.

But tho’ every Place is full of such Fools as these, you can scarce find one that can bear to be call’d a Fool, tho’ they have no Aversion to being Fools.

Bo.

It is really so.

Be.

Come on, you know every Body hates to be call’d a Lyar or a Thief.

Bo.

They are very hateful Names, and not without Reason.

Be.

But for all that, tho’ to debauch another Man’s Wife is a greater Sin than Theft, some glory in the Name of Adulterers; and if you were to call them Thieves, they would draw their Swords upon you.

Bo.

This is a common Thing with a great many.

Be.

And again, tho’ many give themselves up to Whoring, and Drinking, and do it publickly; yet if you should call them Whoremasters, they would be highly offended at it.

Bo.

These glory in the Thing, and hate the Name that belongs to it.

Be.

There is scarce any Name that sounds harsher in our Ears, than the Name of a Lyar.

Bo.

I know some that would run a Man thro’, that should affront them by giving them the Lye.

Be.

But I wish they did as much abhor the Practice. Have you never had it happen to you, that he that promis’d to pay you what you lent him, upon a certain Day, fail’d you?

Bo.

Ay, very often; and tho’ he had sworn to it too, and not only once, but over and over.

Be.

But it may be they were not able to pay.

Bo.

Nay, they were able enough, but they thought it more to their Advantage to let it alone.

Edition: current; Page: [136]
Be.

And is not this Lying?

Bo.

Ay, downright.

Be.

And did you dare to say to this Debtor, Why have you told me so many Lyes?

Bo.

No, not except I had a Mind to fight him too.

Be.

Well, and in like Manner do not Masons, Smiths, Goldsmiths, and Taylors promise Things upon a certain Day; and don’t perform it, altho’ it is of great Concern to you?

Bo.

Ay, and are not at all asham’d of it: And you may add to these, such Persons as promise to do you a Kindness.

Be.

Ay, you might give a thousand Instances more, not one of which would bear to have the Lye given them.

Bo.

The World abounds with these Lyes.

Be.

So in like Manner no Body will bear to be call’d Thief, when at the same Time, they have not the same Abhorrence of stealing.

Bo.

I would have you tell me plainly.

Be.

What Difference is there between him that steals a Thing out of your Escritoire, and him that forswears what you have deposited with him?

Bo.

No Difference but this, that he’s the more wicked Man that robs him who reposes a Confidence in him.

Be.

But how few are there that do restore that which has been put into their Hands? or, if they do, restore the whole.

Bo.

I believe but very few.

Be.

But yet not one of them will bear to be call’d a Thief, tho’ he has no Aversion to the Thing itself.

Bo.

This is very common.

Be.

Now do but reckon up with me, what is commonly done in the Management of the Estates of Orphans, as to Wills and Legacies; how much sticks to the Fingers of the Managers?

Bo.

Very often the whole.

Be.

They love Thieving, but hate the Name of it.

Bo.

’Tis true.

Be.

What do Collectors and Coiners of publick Money Edition: current; Page: [137] : 137p. 137 do, who either coin it with too great an Allay, or too light? Or they who raise and fall the Exchange of Money for private Ends? Tho’ we don’t very well understand the Reason of it, yet we may speak of what we experience daily. He that borrows, or runs in Debt with Design never to pay, altho’ he be able, differs very little from a Thief.

Bo.

He may probably be said to be more wary, but not more honest.

Be.

But notwithstanding there is so great a Number, yet none of them can endure the Name of a Thief.

Bo.

God alone knows the Heart; and for that Reason, among Men, those that run themselves over Head and Ears in Debt, are not call’d Thieves.

Be.

What signifies what Men call them, if God accounts them Thieves? Surely every one knows his own Mind. And besides, he that owes a great Deal of Money, and yet dishonestly lavishes away what Money he gets; and after he has broke, and cheated his Creditors in one City, runs into another, hunting about for People to cheat; the oftner he does so, does not he declare the more plainly what he is at Heart?

Bo.

Ay, too plainly; but they oftentimes gloss over the Matter.

Be.

How?

Bo.

They pretend that this is a common Practice with great Men, and Kings, to owe a great Deal of Money, and to a great many Persons; and therefore they that are of this Disposition more resemble great Men.

Be.

What Use would they make of that?

Bo.

It is admirable, what great Liberty they would have allow’d to Knights.

Be.

But by what Right, or by what Law?

Bo.

Just the same that the Lord of the Manor shall claim to himself, whatsoever is cast a-Shore from a Shipwreck, altho’ there be a right Owner of it; or by which other Persons would keep to their own Use, what they take from a Highway-Man after he has been apprehended.

Edition: current; Page: [138] : 138p. 138
Be.

Robbers themselves might make such Laws.

Bo.

Ay, and they would too, if they knew how to maintain them; and they would have enough to plead in excuse of them, if they did but denounce War before they committed the Robbery.

Be.

Who gave Knights this Privilege above the Commons?

Bo.

The Law of Arms; for thus they are train’d up for War, that they may be more expert at plundering the Enemy.

Be.

I believe it was after this Manner that Pyrrhus train’d his Soldiers up to War.

Bo.

No, but the Lacedemonians did.

Be.

A Mischief take them, and their whole Army too. But how came this Title to have so great a Prerogative?

Bo.

Some have it by Descent, some purchase it with Money, and some take it to themselves.

Be.

And may any Body have it that will?

Bo.

Yes, he may, if his Manners but be answerable to theirs.

Be.

What are they?

Bo.

Never to be guilty of doing a good Action, to go fine, wear a Diamond Ring, whore stoutly, game continually, spend his Life in Drinking and Diversion, speak of nothing that’s Mean, be continually cracking of Castles, Duels, Battles, and every Thing that looks great: They take the Liberty of quarrelling with whom they have a Mind, altho’ they han’t a Foot of Land of their own to set their Feet upon.

Be.

Such Knights as these deserve to be mounted upon the Wooden Horse: But there are a great many such Knights in Gelderland.

Edition: current; Page: [139]

CHARON.

The Argument.

: 139p. 139Charon detests Christians fighting one with another. An evil Genius brings News to Charon, that all the Earth was up in Arms for War: Ossa, the Goddess Fame in Homer, the Monks and Jesuits, are the Incendiaries.

CHARON, Genius ALASTOR.

CH.

Whither are you going so brisk, and in such Haste, Alastor?

Al.

O Charon, you come in the Nick of Time, I was coming to you.

Ch.

Well, what News do you bring?

Al.

I bring a Message to you and Proserpine, that you will be glad to hear.

Ch.

Out with what you have brought, and lighten your Burden.

Al.

The Furies have been no less diligent than they have been successful, in gaining their Point: there is not a Foot of Ground upon Earth, that they have not infected with their hellish Calamities, Seditions, Wars, Robberies, and Plagues; so that they are grown quite bald, having shed their Snakes, and having quite spit all their Venom, they ramble about in search after whatever they can find of Vipers and Asps; being become as smooth as an Egg, not having so much as a single Hair upon their Heads, and not one Drop of Venom more in their Breasts. Do you get your Boat and your Oars ready; you will have such a vast Multitude of Ghosts come to you anon, that I’m afraid you won’t be able to carry them all over yourself.

Edition: current; Page: [140]
Ch.

I could have told you that.

Al.

How came you to know it?

Ch.

Ossa brought me that News above two Days ago.

Al.

Nothing is more swift than that Goddess. But what makes you loitering here, having left your Boat?

Ch.

My Business brought me hither; I came hither to provide myself with a good strong Three-Oar’d Boat: for my Boat is so rotten and leaky with Age, that it will not carry such a Burden, if Ossa told me true. But, indeed, what Need was there of Ossa? for the Thing shews itself, for I have suffered Shipwreck already.

Al.

Indeed you are dropping dry, I fancied you were just come out of a Bath.

Ch.

No, I swam out of the Stygian Lake.

Al.

Where did you leave the Ghosts?

Ch.

They are swimming among the Frogs.

Al.

But what was it that Ossa told you?

Ch.

That the three Monarchs of the World were bent upon one another’s Destruction with a mortal Hatred, and that there was no Part of Christendom free from the Rage of War; for these three have drawn all the rest in to be engag’d in the War with them. They are all so haughty, that not one of them will in the least submit to the other: Nor are the Danes, the Poles, the Scots, nor the Turks at Quiet, but are preparing to make dreadful Havock. The Plague rages every where, in Spain, Britain, Italy, and France; and more than all, there is a new Fire sprung out of the Variety of Opinions, which has so corrupted the Minds of all Men, that there is no such Thing as sincere Friendship any where; But Brother is at Enmity with Brother, and Husband and Wife cannot agree. And it is to be hop’d, that this Distraction will be a glorious Destruction of Mankind, if these Controversies, that are now managed by the Tongue and the Pen, come once to be decided by Arms.

Al.

All that Fame has told you is very true; for I myself, having been a constant Companion of the Furies, have with these Eyes seen more than all this, and that they never Edition: current; Page: [141] : 141p. 141 at any Time have approv’d themseves more worthy of their Name, than now.

Ch.

But there is Danger, lest some Good Spirit should start up, and of a sudden exhort them to Peace: And Men’s Minds are variable, for I have heard, that among the Living there is one Polygraphus, who is continually, by his Writing, inveighing against Wars, and exhorting to Peace.

Al.

Ay, ay, but he has a long Time been talking to the Deaf. He once wrote a Sort of Hue and Cry after Peace, that was banish’d or driven away; and after that, an Epitaph upon Peace defunct. But then, on the other Hand, there are others that advance our Cause no less than the Furies do themselves.

Ch.

Who are they?

Al.

They are a certain Sort of Animals in black and white Vestments, Ash-colour’d Coats, and various other Dresses, that are always hovering about the Courts of Princes, and are continually instilling into their Ears the Love of War, and exhorting the Nobility and common People to it, haranguing them in their Sermons, that it is a just, holy and religious War. And that which would make you stand in admiration at the Confidence of these Men, is the Cry of both Parties. In France they preach it up, that God is on the French Side, and they can never be overcome, that have God for their Protector. In England and Spain the Cry is, the War is not the King’s, but God’s; therefore, if they do but fight like Men, they depend upon getting the Victory; and if any one should chance to fall in the Battle, he will not die, but fly directly up into Heaven, Arms and all.

Ch.

And is Credit given to all this?

Al.

What can’t a well-dissembled Religion do? when to this there is added Youth, Unexperiencedness, Ambition, a natural Animosity, and a Mind propense to any Thing that offers itself. It is an easy Matter to impose upon such; it is an easy Matter to overthrow a Waggon, that was inclining to fall before.

Ch.

I would do these Animals a good Turn with all my Heart.

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Al.

Prepare a good Treat; you can do nothing that will be more acceptable to them.

Ch.

What, of Mallows, and Lupines, and Leeks? for you know we have no other Provision in our Territories.

Al.

No, but of Partridges, and Capons, and Pheasants, if you would have them look upon you as a good Caterer.

Ch.

But what is it that moves these People to be so hot for War? What will they get by it?

Al.

Because they get more by those that die, than those that live. There are last Wills and Testaments, Funeral Obsequies, Bulls, and a great many other Articles of no despicable Profit. And in the last Place, they had rather live in a Camp, than in their Cells. War breeds a great many Bishops, who were not thought good for any Thing in a Time of Peace.

Ch.

Well, they understand their Business.

Al.

But what Occasion have you for a new Boat?

Ch.

None at all, if I had a Mind to be wreck’d again in the Stygian Lake.

Al.

How came that about? because you had too large a Company?

Ch.

Yes.

Al.

But you carry Shadows, not Bodies.

Ch.

Let them be Water-Spiders, yet there may be enough of them to over-load a Boat; and then you know my Boat is but a shadowy Boat neither.

Al.

But I remember once upon a Time, when you had a great Company, so many that your Boat would not hold them, I have seen three thousand hanging upon your Stem, and you were not sensible of any Weight at all.

Ch.

I confess there are such Sorts of Ghosts; those are such as pass slowly out of the Body, being reduced to little or nothing with Consumptions, and Hectick-Fevers. But as for those that are torn of a sudden out of gross Bodies, they bring a great Deal of corpulent Substance along with them; such as are sent hither by Apoplexies, Quinseys, Pestilences, and especially by War.

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Al.

I don’t think the French or Spaniards bring much Weight along with them.

Ch.

Much less than the rest; but for all that, their Ghosts are not altogether so light as Feathers neither. But as for the Englishmen and Germans that feed well, they come sometimes in such Case, that I was lately in Danger of going to the Bottom in carrying only ten; and unless I had thrown some of my Lading over-Board, I had been lost, Boat, Passengers, and Boat-Hire, all together.

Al.

You were in great Danger then indeed.

Ch.

But what do you think I must do, when so many fat Lords, Hectors, and Bullies, shall come to us?

Al.

As for those that die in a just War, I suppose none of them will come to you; for they say, they fly bolt upright into Heaven.

Ch.

I can’t tell where they fly to; but this I am sure of, as often as there is a War, there come so many Wounded and Cripples to me, that I admire that there should be one Soul left above Ground; and they come over-charg’d, not only with Surfeits and Paunch-Bellies, but with Bulls, Benefices, and a great many other Things.

Al.

But they don’t bring these Things along with them, but come naked to you.

Ch.

True; but at their first coming, they bring the Dreams of all these Things along with them.

Al.

Are Dreams so heavy then?

Ch.

They load my Boat; load it, did I say? nay, they have sunk it before now. And, in the last Place, do you think so many Halfpence don’t weigh any Thing?

Al.

Yes, I believe they do, if they bring Brass ones.

Ch.

Therefore I am resolv’d to look out for a Vessel, that shall be fit for my Cargo.

Al.

You’re a happy Fellow.

Ch.

Wherein?

Al.

Because you’ll get an Estate in a Trice.

Ch.

What, out of a Multitude of Ghosts?

Al.

Yes, indeed.

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Ch.

Ay, if they did but bring their Wealth along with them. But now they sit in my Boat, bewailing themselves for the Kingdoms, and Dignities, and Abbacies, and the innumerable Talents of Gold they have left behind them, and bring me nothing but a poor Halfpenny: So that all I have been scraping together for these three thousand Years, will go for the Purchase of a new Boat.

Al.

They that expect Gain, must be at some Charge.

Ch.

But the People in the World have better Trading, I hear; for, if Fortune favour them, they can get an Estate in three Years Time.

Al.

Ay, and sometimes turn Bankrupts too; tho’ your Gain is less, it is more certain.

Ch.

I can’t tell how certain it is, if any Deity should start up, and make Peace among the Princes, all this goodly Expectation of mine is knock’d on the Head at once.

Al.

As to that Matter, I’ll take upon me to be your Security, so that you may set your Heart at Rest. You have no Reason to fear a Peace for these ten Years: The Pope is the only Man that persuades them to come to an Agreement among themselves; but he had as good keep his Breath to cool his Porridge. The Cities murmur at the Load of Calamities they lie under; and some there are, I can’t tell who, that whisper it about, that it is an unreasonable Thing, that the whole World should be turned upside down, for the private Piques and Ambition of two or three Persons. But for all this, take my Word for it, the Furies will get the better of it, let these Attempts be as promising as they will. But what Occasion had you to come into this World to get a Boat? han’t we Workmen enough among ourselves? We have Vulcan, have we not?

Ch.

Ay, right, if I wanted a Boat of Brass.

Al.

Or, you may send for a Workman for a small Matter.

Ch.

I might do that, but I want Materials.

Al.

What say you? Are there no Woods in this Country?

Ch.

All the Woods in the Elysian Fields are destroy’d.

Al.

In doing what?

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Ch.

In burning Hereticks Ghosts, so that of late, for Fuel we have been forc’d to dig for Coals in the Bowels of the Earth.

Al.

What, could not Ghosts be punish’d at a less Charge than that?

Ch.

Rhadamanthus (the Judge) would have it so.

Al.

If it be so, when you have got a Boat, where will you get Oars?

Ch.

It is my Business to steer, let the Ghosts row themselves, if they have a Mind to get over.

Al.

But some of them never learned to row.

Ch.

I have no Respect for Persons, Kings and Cardinals row with me; every one takes his Turn, as much as the poorest Peasant, whether they have learned to row or not.

Al.

Well, do you see and get a Boat as cheap as you can, I won’t detain you any longer, I’ll away to Hell with my good News: But, soho, soho, Charon.

Ch.

What’s the Matter?

Al.

Make Haste, and get back as soon as you can, lest you be smothered in the Crowd.

Ch.

Nay, you’ll find at least Two hundred thousand upon the Bank already, besides those that are paddling in the Lake. I’ll make what Haste I can; and do you tell them I shall be there presently.

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The ASSEMBLY of GRAMMARIANS.

The Argument.

In this Colloquy a certain Carthusian is ridicul’d, a mighty Pretender to the Greek Tongue, and a very learned Man in his own Opinion, who gave his Book a Greek Title, calling those Anticomaritas, which he should rather have call’d Antimarians, or Antidicomarians. The whole Club of Grammarians dispute about this Word, and trump up a great many Etymologies of it. At last they come to this Resolution, to call the Author of that Word, Archimorita.

ALBINUS, BERTULPHUS, CANTHELUS, DIPHILUS, EUMENIUS, FABULLUS, GADITANUS.

AL.

Is there any Body here that understands Arithmetick?

Ber.

For what?

Al.

To cast up exactly how many Grammarians there are of us.

Ber.

That may be done without a Counting-Table, we may count upon our Fingers; I count you upon my Thumb, myself upon my fore Finger, Canthelus upon my middle Finger, Diphilus, upon my Ring-Finger, and Eumenius upon my little Finger: and now I go to my left Hand; there I count Fabullus upon my Thumb, and Gaditanus on my fore Finger; so that, unless I am out in my Account, we are seven of us. But to what Purpose is it for us to know that?

Al.

Because, as I have heard, the Number Seven makes up a compleat Council.

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Ber.

What makes you talk of a Council?

Al.

There is a Matter of Moment that has puzzled me a long Time, and not me alone, but a great many other Men of no mean Learning; I will propose it, that the Question may be decided by the Authority of this Assembly.

Can.

Sure it must be some knotty Subject, that you can’t decide it yourself, Albinus; or that it should puzzle you, that are of so penetrating a Judgment. Therefore we desire to know what this difficult Matter is. I speak in the Name of all the rest.

Al.

Well then, do you all be very attentive, applying both your Ears, and your Minds; Two Heads are better than one. Is there any one of you all that can explain what is the Meaning of this Word Anticomarita?

Ber.

That’s the easiest Thing in the World, for it signfies a Kind of a Beet, which the Antients call’d a Water-Beet, having a knotty wreathed Stalk, very insipid, but of a very stinking Smell, if you touch it; so that it may vie with the Bean-Cod Tree.

Can.

A Natatile Beet, do you say? Nay, rather a Cacatile Beast. Who ever heard of, or ever read the Name of a swimming Beet?

Ber.

Yes, Mammotrectus (as he is corruptly call’d) which should be pronounc’d Mammothreptos, as tho’ you should say his Grandmother’s Darling, has made this as plain as the Nose in a Man’s Face.

Al.

What Sort of a Title is that?

Ber.

This is to give you to understand, that there is nothing in the Book but darling Things, because Mamma’s, i.e. Grandmothers, are wont to be more fond of their Grand-Children, than their Mothers themselves are of their own Children.

Al.

You talk of a darling Work indeed. I happen’d lately to dip into this Book, I e’en burst my Sides with laughing.

Can.

Where did you get that Book? it is very scarce.

Ber.

Being at Dinner at Bruges, Livinus, the Abbot of Edition: current; Page: [148] : 148p. 148 Bavo, carried me into his private Library, which the old Gentleman had furnish’d with scarce Books at a vast Expence, being desirous to leave some Monument of himself to Posterity. There was not a Book, but what was a Manuscript, and upon Vellum too, and illuminated with various Pictures, and bound in Velvet, and emboss’d with Gold. And besides, there being a vast Number of them, they made a very stately Shew.

Al.

What Books were they?

Ber.

They were all excellent Books; there was the Catholicon, Brachylogus, and Ovid expounded allegorically, and Abundance of others; and among them I found this facetious Book Mammothreptos: And among the rest of the Curiosities I found also this Natatile Beet.

Al.

Why do they call it natatile?

Ber.

I’ll relate to you what I read; as for the Truth of it, let the Author be answerable for that. Forasmuch, says he, as it grows in wet, stinking Places, and thrives no where so well as in Mud, or a Dunghill, saving your Reverence, Sir—

Al.

Therefore it stinks, does it?

Ber.

Ay, worse than a Turd.

Al.

Is this Herb good for any Thing?

Ber.

Yes, it is accounted a great Delicacy.

Al.

Perhaps by Swine, or Asses, or Cyprian Cows.

Ber.

Nay, by Men themselves, and very fine-mouth’d ones too. There is a People call’d the Peligni, who make their Dinners of an extraordinary Length; and the parting Glass they call a Resumpta in their Language, as we call it a Dessert or Kickshaws.

Al.

Fine Desserts indeed!

Ber.

The Law of the Entertainment is, that the Entertainer shall have the Liberty of having what he will brought to the Table; and it is not allowed that the Guests should refuse any Thing, but must take all well.

Al.

What if he should have Henbane, or twice-boiled Coleworts set before them?

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Ber.

Let it be what it will, they must eat it, and not speak a Word against it. But when they come Home, they are at Liberty to vomit it up again, if they please. And in their Entertainments, one Dish is commonly this Water-Beet or Anticomarita, for it matters not which Name you call it by, the Thing is the same. They mix a great Deal of Oak-Bark, and a good Quantity of Garlick with it. And this is the Composition of the Tansey.

Al.

Who made this barbarous Law?

Ber.

Custom, the most mighty of Tyrants.

Al.

You tell me a Story of a tragical Conclusion, which has such a nauseous Ending.

Ber.

I have given my Solution of the Question, not imposing it upon any Body, nor to prevent any Body, who has a Mind to offer theirs.

Can.

I have found out that the Antients had a Fish that they call’d Anticomarita.

Ber.

What Author is that in?

Can.

I can produce the Book, but I can’t tell the Author’s Name; it is written in French Words, but in the Hebrew Character.

Ber.

What’s the Shape of this Fish call’d Anticomarita?

Can.

The Belly is white, but all over every where else it has black Scales.

Ber.

I fancy you have a Mind, of this Fish to make a Cynic with a Cloak; what Taste has it?

Can.

It has the nastiest Taste in the World; and besides that, it is infectious too. It breeds in old Lakes, and sometimes in Houses of Office. It is a good-for-nothing muddy Fish; if you put but a Bit of it into your Mouth, it causes a certain tough Phlegm, that you can hardly bring up by taking a Vomit. It is very common in the Country call’d Celtithrace; they esteem it as a Delicacy, and at the same Time account it a more detestable Crime than Murder, to taste a Bit of Flesh.

Al.

A very wretched Country with their Anticomarita!

Can.

This is what I have to say; but I would not have any Body to be determined by my Opinion.

Edition: current; Page: [150]
Di.

What Occasion have we to fetch the Explanation of this Word from Mammothreptos’s or Hebrew Writings, when the very Etymology of the Word shews plainly, that Anticomarita signifies Damsels unhappily married, that is to say, to old Husbands? And it is no new Thing for Writers to write co instead of quo; c, q, and k are cognate Letters.

Eu.

What Diphilus has mention’d carries something of Weight with it, if we were sure the Word was a Latin one. I take it to be a Greek Word, and a Compound of these three, ἀντί, which signifies against; κώμη, which signifies a Town; and ὀαρίζειν, which signifies to tattle like a Woman: and so by striking out ο by the Figure Synalœpha it is Anticomarita, one who by clownish prating makes every Body deaf.

Fa.

My Eumenius has made it out very elaborately; but in my Opinion the Word is composed of as many Words as it has Syllables; for ἀν stands for ἄνους, τι for τίλλων, κω for κώδια, μα for μάλα, and ῥυ for ῥυπαρὰ, (for it is an Error to write it with an ι) and τα for τάλας; and out of these is formed this Sentence, A mad wretched Person pulling the Hairs out of a rotten Hide.

Al.

Indeed such Food as a Water-Beet as Bertulphus was speaking of just now was very fit for such a Workman.

Ber.

That is as much as to say an Anticomarita for an Anticomarita.

Ga.

You have all spoken very learnedly to the Matter; but I am of Opinion that a disobedient Wife is call’d Anticomarita by the Figure Syncope, for Antidicomarita, because she always crosses her Husband.

Al.

If we allow of such Tropes, we might of a Turd make a Bird, and of a Cook a Cuckoe.

Ber.

But Albinus, who is the Chief of this Assembly, has not given his Opinion yet.

Al.

I have, indeed, nothing of my own to offer; but, however, I shall not think much to acquaint you with what I lately learn’d from my Landlord, who was a very talkative Man; he used to change his Discourse oftner than a Nightingale Edition: current; Page: [151] : 151p. 151 does her Note. He asserted it was a Chaldee Word, compounded of three Words: that among the Chaldeans, anti signified cross-grain’d, or Brain-sick; and comar, a Rock; and ita, belonging to a Shoe-Maker.

Ber.

Who ever said that a Rock had Brains?

Al.

There is no Absurdity in that, if you do but change the Gender.

Can.

This Synod makes the old Proverb good, So many Men, so many Minds. But what Conclusion are we come to? The Opinions may be summ’d up, but can’t be divided; so that the major Part may carry it against the minor.

Al.

Well then, let the better overcome the worse.

Can.

But we must have another Assembly to do that; for every Man’s own Geese are Swans.

Al.

If that Proverb held good, we should not have so many Adulteries as we have. But I can advise you to an expeditious Method: Let us cast Lots whose Opinion of all of them shall be allow’d to be determinative.

Can.

That Lot will fall upon yourself. Have not I spoken the Truth?

Al.

I approve best of the first, and of the last.

Can.

If I may speak for the rest, we all agree.

Al.

Well then, let it go for authentick.

Can.

Let it be so.

Al.

If any Body shall dissent, what shall be the Penalty?

Can.

Let him be set down in great Letters, A HERETICK IN GRAMMAR.

Al.

I will add very fortunately one Thing, that in my Opinion ought not to be omitted: Having receiv’d it from a Syrian Physician, I will communicate it to my Friends.

Ber.

What is it?

Al.

If you pound a Water-Beet, an Oak-Gall, and some Shoemakers Ink in a Mortar, and sprinkle with it six Ounces of Dung, and make it into a Poultice, it will be a present Remedy for the Mange and Measles in Hogs.

Ber.

But hark ye, Albinus, you that have help’d us all to this Job of the Anticomarita, what Author did you read it in?

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Al.

I’ll tell you, but in your Ear, and but one of you.

Ber.

Well, I’ll receive it, but upon this Condition, that I may whisper it in the Ear of one Person too.

Al.

But one repeated often enough will make a Thousand.

Ber.

You say right, when you have once a Couple, it is not in your Power to stop it from going further.

Al.

That which a few know may be kept a Secret; but that which a great many know cannot; three makes a Multitude.

Ber.

Right, he that has three Wives at the same Time, may be said to have many; but he that has but three Hairs upon his Head, or three Teeth in his Mouth, may be said to have a few or none.

Al.

Mind, Sophister.

Ber.

What strange Story is this! This is as absurd as if the Greeks, who carry’d so many Fleets to conquer Troy, should not be able to call it by its Name, but instead of Troy should say Sutrium.

Al.

But this is a Rabbin that is lately come down from Heaven, who, unless he had, like a present Deity, lent his Assistance in sustaining human Affairs, we had long ere now been at a Loss to find either Men, Religion, Philosophy, or Letters.

Ber.

In Troth he ought to be one of Moria’s Noblemen of the first Rank, and deserves for the future to be call’d Archimorita (an Arch-Fool) with his Anticomarites.

Edition: current; Page: [153]

ΑΓΑΜΟΣ ΓΑΜΟΣ, or, The UNEQUAL MARRIAGE.

The Argument.

: 153p. 153The unequal Marriage exposes to View the Folly of People in common, who in their Espousals chiefly regard the Greatness of the Fortune, and disregard the Diseases of the Husband, tho’ they are worse than the Leprosy itself. The Description of a deform’d Man. That the Cruelty of Parents in matching their Daughters, is worse than that of Mezentius, of which Virgil writes in his Tenth Book of Æneids. He describes the Vices of a bad Husband; that this is not marrying a Man, but a dead Carcass. In getting Dogs, Calves, and Horses, they take Care to have one strong Beast copulate with another, good ones with those that are like themselves; nor won’t suffer a diseas’d one to leap a sound one. That the Commonwealth sustains a great Detriment by these foolish and unhappy Marriages.

PETRONIUS and GABRIEL.

PET.

Whence is our Gabriel come, with this sour Look? what, is he come out of Trophonius’s Cave?

Ga.

No, I have been at a Wedding.

Pet.

I never saw a Look in my Life that had less of the Air of a Wedding in it; for those that have been at Weddings, use to look cheerfully and airily for a whole Edition: current; Page: [154] : 154p. 154 Week after, and old Men themselves to look younger by ten Years. What Wedding is it that you have been at? I believe at the Wedding of Death and the Cobler.

Ga.

Not so, but of a young Gentleman with a Lady of Sixteen, who has all the Accomplishments that you can wish for, whether Beauty, good Humour, Family, or Fortune; in short, a Wife fit for Jupiter himself.

Pet.

Phoo! what, so young a Girl to such an old Fellow as he?

Ga.

Kings don’t grow old.

Pet.

But what makes you look so melancholy then? It may be you envy the Happiness of the Bridegroom, who has rival’d you.

Ga.

Pshaw, there’s nothing of that in the Matter.

Pet.

Well then, has any Thing happen’d like what is related of the Lapithae’s Feast?

Ga.

No, not so neither.

Pet.

What then, had you not Wine enough?

Ga.

Yes, and too much too.

Pet.

Had you no Pipers?

Ga.

Yes, and Fiddlers too, and Harpers, and Trumpeters, and Bagpipers.

Pet.

What was the Matter then? Was not Hymen at the Wedding?

Ga.

They call’d loudly for him with all this Musick, but to no Purpose.

Pet.

Were not the Graces there neither?

Ga.

Not a Soul of them, nor Bridemaid Juno, nor beautiful Venus, nor Jupiter Gamelius.

Pet.

By my Troth, you tell me a Story of a dull Weding indeed, an ungodly one, or rather an unmarried Marriage.

Ga.

You would have said so indeed, if you had seen it.

Pet.

Had you no Dancing at it?

Ga.

No, but we had wretched Limping.

Pet.

What, had you no lucky Godship at all to exhilarate the Wedding.

Ga.

No, not one there but a Goddess, that the Greeks call Psora.

Edition: current; Page: [155] : 155p. 155
Pet.

Why, you give me an Account of a scabby Wedding indeed.

Ga.

Nay, a cankered, and a pockey one.

Pet.

But, prithee, Friend Gabriel, tell me, What makes the Remembrance of it fetch Tears from your Eyes?

Ga.

Ah! dear Petronius, it is enough to fetch Tears from a Flint-Stone.

Pet.

I believe so, if a Flint-Stone had been present, and seen it. But prithee, What extraordinary Mischief is this? Don’t hide it from me, nor keep my Expectation any longer in Suspense.

Ga.

Do you know Lampridius Eubulus?

Pet.

Yes; there is not a better nor happier Man in the City.

Ga.

Well, and do you know his Daughter Iphigenia too?

Pet.

You have mention’d the very Flower of the Age.

Ga.

She is so; but, do you know who she’s married to?

Pet.

I shall know when you have told me.

Ga.

She is married to Pompilius Blennus.

Pet.

What, to that Hector, that us’d to talk Folks to Death in cracking of his bullying Tricks?

Ga.

To the very Man.

Pet.

He has been for a long Time very noted in this Town, for two Things chiefly, i. e. Lying, and the Mange, which has no proper Name to it, tho’ indeed it has a great many.

Ga.

A very proud Distemper, that won’t strike Sail to the Leprosy, the Elephantine Leprosy, Tetters, the Gout, or Ringworm, if there was to be an Engagement between them.

Pet.

So the Sons of Esculapius tell us.

Ga.

What Need is there, Petronius, for me to describe to you a Damsel that you are very well acquainted with? altho’ her Dress was a great Addition to her native Beauty. My Petronius, you would have taken her for a Goddess, had you seen her. Every Thing in her and about her was graceful. In the mean Time out comes our blessed Bridegroom with his Snub-Nose, dragging one Leg after him, but not so Edition: current; Page: [156] : 156p. 156 cleverly neither as the Switzers do; itchy Hands, a stinking Breath, heavy Eyes, his Head bound up with a Forehead-Piece, and a Running at his Nose and Ears. Other People wear their Rings on their Fingers, but he wears his on his Thighs.

Pet.

What was in the Mind of the Lady’s Parents, to join such a Daughter to a living Mummy?

Ga.

I can’t tell, except it was with them, as it is with many more, that have lost their Senses.

Pet.

It may be he was very rich.

Ga.

He is very rich indeed, but it is in the Debts he owes.

Pet.

What greater Punishment could they have inflicted upon the Maid, if she had poison’d her Grandfathers and Grandmothers, both of the Father’s and Mother’s Side?

Ga.

Nay, if she had scatter’d her Water upon the Grave of her Parents, it would have been a Punishment bad enough to have oblig’d her but to have given a Kiss to such a Monster.

Pet.

I am of your Mind.

Ga.

I look upon it a greater Piece of Cruelty, than if they had stripp’d their Daughter naked, and expos’d her to Bears, Lions, or Crocodiles: For these wild Beasts would either have spar’d her for her exquisite Beauty, or put her out of her Pain by a quick Dispatch.

Pet.

You say right: I think this is what would have become Mezentius himself, who, as Virgil tells us, bound dead Bodies to living ones, Hands to Hands, and Mouths to Mouths. But I don’t believe Mezentius himself would have been so inhuman as to have bound such a lovely Maid to such a Carcass as this: Nor is there any dead Body you would not chuse to be bound to, rather than to such a stinking one; for his Breath is rank Poison, what he speaks is Pestilence, and what he touches mortifies.

Ga.

Now, Petronius, imagine with yourself what a Deal of Pleasure she must needs take in these Kisses, Embraces, and nocturnal Dalliances.

Pet.

I have sometimes heard Parsons talk of unequal Edition: current; Page: [157] : 157p. 157 Matches; that may certainly with the greatest Propriety be call’d an unequal Match; which is, as it were, setting a Jewel in Lead. But all this While I stand in Admiration at the Virgin’s Courage; for such young Damsels are frighted out of their Wits at the Sight of a Fairy or a Hobgoblin; and can this Damsel dare to embrace such a Carcass as this in the Night-Time?

Ga.

The Damsel has these three Things to plead in her Excuse; The Authority of her Parents, the Persuasion of her Friends, and the Unexperiencedness of her Age. But I am amaz’d at the Madness of her Parents. Who is there that has a Daughter never so homely, that would marry her to a Leper?

Pet.

No Body, in my Opinion, that had a Grain of Sense. If I had a Daughter that had but one Eye, and but one Leg, and as deform’d as Thersites was, that Homer speaks of, and I could not give her a Penny for her Portion, I would not marry her to such a Son-in-Law as he.

Ga.

This Pox is more infectious and destructive than the worst of Leprosies: It invades on a sudden, goes off, and rallies again, and frequently kills at last; while the Leprosy will sometimes let a Man live, even to extreme old Age.

Pet.

Perhaps the Parents were ignorant of the Bridegroom’s Distemper.

Ga.

No, they knew it very well.

Pet.

If they had such a Hatred to their Daughter, why did they not sew her up in a Sack, and throw her into the Thames?

Ga.

Why truly if they had, the Madness would not have been so great.

Pet.

By what Accomplishments did the Bridegroom recommend himself to them? Was he excellent in any Art?

Ga.

Yes, in a great many; he’s a great Gamester, he’ll drink down any Body, a vile Whoremaster, the greatest Artist in the World at bantering and lying, a notable Cheat, pays no Body, revels prodigally; and in short, whereas there are but seven liberal Sciences taught in the Schools, he’s Master of more than ten liberal ones.

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Pet.

Sure he must have something very extraordinary to recommend him to the Parents.

Ga.

Nothing at all, but the glorious Title of a Knight.

Pet.

A fine Sort of a Knight, that can scarce sit in a Saddle for the Pox! But it may be he had a great Estate.

Ga.

He had once an indifferent one; but by his living so fast, has little or nothing left, but one little Turret, from whence he makes Incursions to rob Passengers; and that’s so illy provided for Entertainment, that you would not accept of it for a Hog-Stye. And he’s always bragging of his Castles, and Fiefs, and other great Things; and is for setting up his Coat of Arms every where.

Pet.

What Coat of Arms does his Shield bear?

Ga.

Three Golden Elephants in a Field Gules.

Pet.

Indeed an Elephant is a good Bearing for one that is sick of the Elephantiasis. He must, without Doubt, be a Man of Blood.

Ga.

Rather a Man of Wine; for he is a great Admirer of Red Wine, and by this Means he is a Man of Blood for you.

Pet.

Well then, his Elephant’s Trunk will be serviceable to him.

Ga.

It will so.

Pet.

Then this Coat of Arms is a Token that he is a great Knave, a Fool, and a Drunken Sot; and the Field of his Coat of Armour represents Wine, and not Blood; and the Golden Elephant denotes, that what Gold he had, has been spent in Wine.

Ga.

Very right.

Pet.

Well, what Jointure does this Bully settle upon his Bride?

Ga.

What? Why a very great one.

Pet.

How can a Bankrupt settle a large one?

Ga.

Pray don’t take me up so short; I say again, a very large one, a thundering Pox.

Pet.

Hang me, if I would not sooner marry my Daughter to a Horse, than to such a Knight as he.

Ga.

I should abundantly rather chuse to marry my Daughter Edition: current; Page: [159] to a Monk; for this is not marrying to a Man, but to the Carcase of a Man. Now, tell me, had you been present where this Spectacle was to be seen, could you refrain from Tears?

Pet.

How should I, when I can’t hear it without? Were the Parents so abandon’d to all natural Affection, as to throw away their only Child, a Virgin of such Beauty, Accomplishments, and sweet Conditions, by selling her for a Slave to such a Monster, for a lying Coat of Arms?

Ga.

But this enormous Crime, than which you can’t find one more inhuman, cruel, or unlike a Parent, is made but a Jest on now-a-Days by our People of Quality: altho’ it is necessary that those that are born for the Administration of the Affairs of the Government, should be Persons of very sound and strong Constitutions: For the Constitution of the Body has a great Influence upon the Mind; and it is not to be doubted, but this Disease exhausts all the Brains a Man has: and by this Means it comes to pass, that our Ministers of State have neither sound Minds, nor sound Bodies.

Pet.

It is not only requisite that our Ministers of State should be Men of sound Judgment, and strong Constitutions but Men of Honour, and goodly Personages. Altho’ the principal Qualifications of Princes are Wisdom and Integrity, yet it is of some considerable Moment what the Form of his Person is that governs others: for if he be cruel, the Deformity of his Body will expose him the more to Envy. If he be a Prince of Probity and Piety, his Virtue will be render’d more conspicuous by the Amiableness of his Person.

Ga.

That’s very true.

Pet.

Don’t People use to lament the Misfortune of those Women, whose Husbands, soon after their Marriage, fall into Leprosies or Apoplexies?

Ga.

Yes, and that with very good Reason too.

Pet.

What Madness is it then, voluntarily to deliver a Daughter over into the Hands of a Leper?

Ga.

Nay, it is worse than Madness. If a Nobleman has a Mind to have a good Pack of Hounds, do you think he would bring a mangy scoundrel Cur to a well-bred Bitch?

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Pet.

No, he would with the utmost Diligence look for a Dog, that upon all Accounts was of a good Breed, to line her, that he might not have a Litter of Mongrels.

Ga.

And if a Lord had a Mind to have a good Breed of Horses, would he admit a diseased good-for-nothing Stallion to leap a most excellent Mare?

Pet.

No, he would not suffer a diseased Stallion to enter his Stable Door, lest he should infect other Horses.

Ga.

And yet, at the same Time, they don’t matter what Sort of a Son-in-Law they gave their Daughter to, from whom those Children are to be produc’d, that are not only to inherit their Estates, but also to govern the State.

Pet.

Nay, a Country Farmer won’t suffer any Bull to leap a young Cow, nor every Horse his Mare, nor every Boar to brim his Sow; tho’ a Bullock is design’d for the Plough, a Horse for the Cart, and a Swine for the Kitchen.

Ga.

See now how perverse the Judgments of Mankind are. If a poor Fellow should presume to kiss a Nobleman’s Daughter, they would think the Affront a Foundation enough to go to War upon.

Pet.

And very hotly too.

Ga.

And yet these Persons, voluntarily, knowingly, and deliberately, give up the dearest Thing they have in the World to such an abominable Monster, and are privately unnatural to their own Flesh and Blood, and publickly to their Country.

Pet.

If the Bridegroom does but halt a little, altho’ as to any Thing else he is perfectly sound, how is he despis’d for a Husband! And is the Pox the only Thing that is no Inconvenience in a married Life?

Ga.

If any Man should marry his Daughter to a Franciscan, what an abominable Thing would it be accounted! what an Outcry would there be, that he had thrown his Daughter away! But yet, when he has pull’d off that Dress, he has every Way well-made sound Limbs; while the other must pass her Days with a rotten Carcase, that is but half alive. If any one is married to a Priest, he is banter’d on Edition: current; Page: [161] account of his Unction; but one that is married to one that has the Pox, has one whose Unctions are worse by Abundance.

Pet.

Enemies that have taken a Maid captive, won’t be guilty of such Barbarity as this; nor will Kidnappers themselves, to those they have kidnapp’d away; and yet Parents will be guilty of it against their only Daughter; and there’s no Magistrate ordain’d to prevent the Mischief.

Ga.

How should a Physician cure a Madman, if he has a Spice of the same Distemper himself?

Pet.

But it is a Wonder to me, that Princes, whose Business it is to take Care of the Common-Wealth only in those Things which relate to the Body, of which nothing is of greater Moment than the Health of it, should find out no Remedy for this Evil. This egregious Pestilence has infected great Part of the Earth; and in the mean Time they lie snoring on, and never mind it, as if it were a Matter not worth their Notice.

Ga.

Have a Care, Petronius, what you say as to Princes. But hark you, I’ll tell you a Word in your Ear.

Pet.

O wretched! I wish what you say were not true.

Ga.

How many Diseases do you think are caused by bad Wine, a thousand Ways sophisticated?

Pet.

Why, if we may believe the Physicians, they are innumerable.

Ga.

Well, and do the Ministers of State take any Care of the Matter?

Pet.

They take Care enough as to the collecting the Excise, but no further.

Ga.

She that knowingly marries a Husband that is not sound, perhaps may deserve to suffer the Punishment she has brought upon herself; altho’, if it were my Fortune to sit at the Helm, I would banish them both from civil Society: But if any one married one that was infected with this Disease, who told her he was a sound Man, and I were chosen Pope, I would make this Marriage void, altho’ it had been confirm’d by a thousand Contracts.

Edition: current; Page: [162]
Pet.

Upon what Pretence I wonder? For Marriage legally contracted can’t be disannull’d by any human Power.

Ga.

What? Do you think that legally contracted, which is contracted treacherously? A Contract is not valid, if a Slave palms himself upon a Maid for a free Man, and she marries him as such. She that marries such a Slave, marries an errant Slave; and her Slavery is so much the more unhappy, in that the Lady Psora never makes any Body free; that there’s no comfortable Hope of ever being deliver’d from this Slavery.

Pet.

Indeed you have found out a Colour for it.

Ga.

And besides, there can be no such Thing as Marriage, but between those Persons that are living; but in this Case, a Woman is married to a dead Man.

Pet.

You have found out another Pretence: But I suppose you would permit pocky Folks to marry pocky, that, according to the old Proverb, there might be like to like.

Ga.

If it was lawful for me to act for the Good of the Publick, I would suffer them to be married together, but I would burn them after they were married.

Pet.

Then you would act the Part of a Tyrant, not of a Prince.

Ga.

Do you account a Surgeon to be a Tyrant who cuts off some of the Fingers, or burns some Part to preserve the whole Body? I don’t look upon that to be Cruelty, but rather Mercy. And I wish this had been done when this Distemper first appear’d in the World; then the publick Welfare of Mankind had been consulted by the Destruction of a few. And we find Examples of this in the French Histories.

Pet.

But it would be a gentler Way to geld them, or part them asunder.

Ga.

And what would you have done to the Women, pray?

Pet.

I’d padlock them up.

Ga.

That’s one Way, indeed, to prevent us from having more of the Breed; but I will confess it is a gentler Way, if you will but own the other to be safer. Even those that Edition: current; Page: [163] : 163p. 163 are castrated, have an itching Desire upon them; nor is the Infection convey’d by one Way only, but by a Kiss, by Discourse, by a Touch, or by drinking with an infected Party. And we find also, that there is a certain malicious Disposition of doing Mischief peculiar to this Distemper, that whosoever has it, takes a Delight to propagate it to as many as he can, tho’ it does him no good. Now if they be only separated, they may flee to other Places, and may either by Night impose upon Persons, or on them that do not know them. But there can be no Danger from the Dead.

Pet.

I confess it is the safest Way, but I can’t tell whether it is agreeable to Christian Gentleness, or no.

Ga.

Prithee tell me then, from whom is there the most Danger, from common Thieves, or from such Cattle?

Pet.

I confess Money is of much less Value than Health.

Ga.

And yet we Christians hang them, nor is it accounted Cruelty, but Justice; and if you consider the publick Good, it is our Duty so to do.

Pet.

But in this Case, the Person is punish’d that did the Injury.

Ga.

What, then these, I warrant you, are Benefactors to the Publick? But let us suppose that some get this Distemper without any Fault of their own; tho’ you will find that very few have it, that don’t get it by their own Wickedness: the Lawyers will tell you, it is sometimes lawful to put the Innocent to Death, if it be very much for the Good of the Publick; as the Greeks, after the taking of Troy, put Astyanax, the Son of Hector, to Death, lest he should set a new War on Foot: Nor do they think it any Wickedness, to put a Tyrant’s innocent Children to Death, after they have slain the Father. And do not we Christians go to War, tho’ at the same Time the greatest Share of the Calamities falls on those Persons, that least deserve them? And it is the same Thing in our Reprisals, or Letters of Mark; he who did the Wrong is safe, and the Merchant is robb’d, who never so much as heard one Word of it, he is so far from being chargeable with the Fault. Now if we make Use of Edition: current; Page: [164] such Remedies as these in Things of no great Moment, what, think you, ought to be done in a Matter of the greatest Consequence?

Pet.

I am overcome by the Truth of your Arguments.

Ga.

Then take this along with you too. As soon as ever the Plague begins to appear in Italy, the infected Houses are shut up, and the Nurses that look after the Sick, are forbidden to appear abroad. And tho’ some call this Inhumanity, it is the greatest Humanity; for by this prudent Care, the Calamity is put a Stop to, by the Burials of a few Persons. But how great Humanity is it to take Care to preserve the Lives of so many thousands? Some think it a very inhospitable Thing, for the Italians, when there is but the bare Report of a Pestilence, to drive Travellers from their very Gates in an Evening, and force them to lie all Night in the open Air. But for my Part, I account it an Act of Piety to take Care of the publick Good at the Inconvenience of a few. Some Persons look upon themselves very couragious and complaisant, in daring to venture to visit one that is sick of the Plague, having no Manner of Call at all to do it; but what greater Folly can there be, than by this Courage, when they come Home, to bring the Distemper to their Wives and Children, and all their Family? What can be more unkind, than by this Complaisance to a Friend, to bring those Persons that are the dearest to you in the World, into the Danger of their Lives? But then again, how less dangerous is the Plague itself than the Pox? the Plague frequently passes by those that are nearest, and seldom affects the old; and as to those that it does affect, it either dispatches them quickly, or restores them to their Health much sounder than they were before. But as for the Pox, what is that but a lingring Death; or, to speak more properly, Burial?

Pet.

What you say is very true; and at least, the same Care ought to be taken to prevent so fatal an Evil, as they take to prevent the spreading of the Leprosy; or if this should be thought too much, no Body should let another shave him, but be his own Barber.

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Ga.

But what will you say, if both of them keep their Mouths shut?

Pet.

They would take the Infection in at their Nostrils.

Ga.

But there is a Remedy for that too.

Pet.

What is it?

Ga.

They may do as the Alchymists do, they may wear a Mask with Glasses for Eyes to see thro’, and a breathing Place for their Mouths and Nostrils, thro’ a Horn which reaches from their Jaw-Bones down to their Back.

Pet.

That Contrivance might do pretty well, if there were no Danger from the Touch of the Finger, the Linen, the Combs, and the Scissars.

Ga.

But however, I think ’tis the best Way to let the Beard grow, tho’ it be even down to the Knees.

Pet.

Why, I am of that Mind too. And then let there be an Act of Parliament, that the same Person shan’t be a Barber and a Surgeon too.

Ga.

But that’s the Way to starve the Barbers.

Pet.

Then let them spend less, and be something better paid for Shaving.

Ga.

Let it be so with all my Heart.

Pet.

And let there be a Law made too, that no Body shall drink out of the same Cup with another.

Ga.

They will scarce be confin’d to that in England.

Pet.

And that two shan’t lie in the same Bed, unless they be Husband and Wife.

Ga.

I like that very well.

Pet.

And then as to Inns, let no Stranger sleep in the same Sheets, that another has lain in before.

Ga.

But what will you do then with the Germans, who scarce wash them twice a Year?

Pet.

Let them employ Washer-Women. And besides, let them leave off the Custom of saluting with a Kiss, altho’ it be of an old standing.

Ga.

But then, as to the Churches?

Pet.

Let every one hold his Hand before his Mouth.

Ga.

But then as to common Conversation?

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Pet.

Let that Direction of Homer be observed, not to come too near the Person he talks to, and let he that hears him keep his Lips shut.

Ga.

Twelve Tables would scarce contain all these Laws.

Pet.

But in the mean Time, what Advice do you give for the poor unfortunate Girl?

Ga.

What can I give her but this, that unless she likes being miserable, she be so as little as she can? to clap her Hands before her Mouth, whenever her Husband offers to kiss her; and to put on Armour when she goes to Bed with him.

Pet.

Whither do you steer your Course when you go Home?

Ga.

Directly to my Closet.

Pet.

What are you going to do there?

Ga.

They have desired me to write an Epithalamium; but instead of it, I will write an Epitaph.

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The IMPOSTURE.

The Argument.

This Colloquy contains a familiar Discourse between Livinus and Philip: where Livinus imposes upon Philip, by speaking in Verse, when he suppos’d him to speak Prose.

PHILIP and LIVINUS.

PH.

I wish you Health, Livinus.

Liv.

I will be well, if that will please you; but do you be upon your Guard, for I design to catch you, if you don’t watch me very narrowly.

Ph.

An open Enemy is not much to be feared. But come on, deceive me if you can.

Liv.

I have deceiv’d you already, and you have not perceiv’d it; but take Care of the second Time.

Ph.

I believe I have to do with a Master of Leger-de-main; I can’t find you have impos’d upon me at all.

Liv.

Well then, be very attentive this Time; except you have a Mind to be deceiv’d, as you have been twice already.

Ph.

I am prepar’d for you; begin.

Liv.

What you bid me do, is done already.

Ph.

What is acted, or what is done? I perceive nothing of Deceit.

Liv.

Well, tho’ I have given you Warning so many Times already, however mind this Time.

Ph.

This is a new Sort of Conjuration; you tell me you have impos’d upon me, and I perceive nothing of Art in all this, altho’ I watch very narrowly your Eyes, your Hands, and your Tongue. But come, t’other Touch; begin again.

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Liv.

I have begun again and again, over and over so many Times, and you can’t see the Trap that’s laid for you.

Ph.

Wherein do you lay a Trap for me?

Liv.

This Tongue, I say, of mine entraps you, and you neither perceive it with your Ears, nor see it with your Eyes. However, now let your Eyes and Ears be both attentive.

Ph.

I can’t be more attentive, if my Life lay at Stake; but however, try to trick me once more.

Liv.

Why, I have trick’d you again already, and you perceive nothing of the Artifice.

Ph.

You make me mad: Prithee tell me, what Kind of Hocus-pocus is this?

Liv.

Why all this While I have been speaking to you in Verse, and am at this Time.

Ph.

I thought of nothing less than of that.

Liv.

At first I answer’d you in two Trimeter Iambics; then in a Trochaic Tetrameter Catalectic; after that in nothing but Cretics; after that in a Phaolaecian Hendecasyllable; then again in mere Coriambics; then in plain Anapæstes; then again in three Sapphics; by-and-by in a Sotadic, and last of all in a Trochaic Tetrameter.

Ph.

Good God! I should have guess’d a hundred Things before I should have guess’d that. If I live, I’ll serve you the like Trick.

Liv.

Do, if you can.

Ph.

I have pay’d you in your own Coin twice, and you did not perceive the Trick.

Liv.

What, in this short Time?

Ph.

I threaten’d you in an Iambic Tetrameter Catalectic; after that I added five Cretics.

Liv.

Why then I find it is according to the old Proverb, Set a Thief to catch a Thief.

Ph.

Very true; but I pray this for both of us, that neither of us may have a more injurious Cheat put upon us.

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CYCLOPS, or the GOSPEL-CARRIER.

The Argument.

: 169p. 169Cyclops, or Evangeliophorus, inveighs against them who have the Gospel always in their Mouths, but nothing agreeable in their Lives. It contains bitter Invectives against Hypocrites, who make a Profession of Religion with their Tongues, but deny Religion by their Conversation. The Gospel, like Wine, does no Good, except it be inwardly taken.

CANNIUS, POLYPHEMUS.

CAN.

What is Polyphemus hunting after here?

Poly.

Do you ask what I am hunting after, when I have neither Dogs nor Hunting-Pole?

Can.

Perhaps some Lady of the Wood here?

Poly.

You have guess’d shrewdly, lo here is my Hunting-Net.

Can.

What’s this I see? Bacchus in a Lion’s Skin? Polyphemus with a Book in his Hand, γαλῃ̑ κροκωτόν; a Cat in a lac’d Petticoat?

Poly.

Nay, I have not only painted my Book with Saffron, but also with Vermilion and Azure.

Can.

I did not speak of Crocus, but I spoke Greek, Crocoton. It seems to be a military Book, for it seems to be armed with Bosses and Plates, and Rings of Brass.

Poly.

Look into it.

Can.

I see what it is, and truly it is very fine; but not so fine as it should be.

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Poly.

What does it want?

Can.

You ought to put your Coat of Arms upon it.

Poly.

What Arms?

Can.

The Head of Silenus looking out of a Hogshead. But what does it treat of? the Art of Drinking?

Poly.

See what it is, that you do not speak Blasphemy before you are aware.

Can.

Why then, is there any Thing in it that is sacred?

Poly.

What can be more sacred than the Gospel?

Can.

Good God! What does Polyphemus do with the Gospel?

Poly.

Why don’t you ask, what a Christian has to do with Christ?

Can.

I don’t know but that a Halbert would become you better; for if any one should meet you at Sea in that Figure, he would take you for a Pirate, or in the Wood for a High-Way-Man.

Poly.

But the Gospel teaches us, not to judge of Men by outward Appearance; for as a tyrannous Disposition often lies hid under a monkish Habit, yet sometimes a short Head of Hair, curl’d Whiskers, a stern Brow, a fierce Look, and a Feather in the Cap, and a Buff-Coat and Breeches cut and slash’d, cover an Evangelical Mind.

Can.

And why may it not? sometimes a Sheep lies hid under a Wolf’s Skin. And if we may give any Credit to Emblems, an Ass lurks under the Coat of a Lion.

Poly.

Nay, I have known a Man carry the Sheep in his Face, and the Fox in his Heart. And I wish he had as candid Friends, as he has black Eyes; and that he had as well the Value of Gold, as the Colour of it.

Can.

If he that wears a woollen Hat, must needs wear a Sheep’s Head, how do you go loaded, that carry a Sheep and an Estrich too on your Head? But does not he act more absurdly, that carries a Bird upon his Head, and an Ass in his Breast?

Poly.

You bite too close.

Can.

But it were very well, if that Gospel that you have Edition: current; Page: [171] so finely adorn’d, did reciprocally adorn you. You have adorn’d it with Colours, I wish it did adorn you with good Manners.

Poly.

I’ll make that my Care.

Can.

As you used to do.

Poly.

But omitting all Reflections, do you really blame those that carry the Gospel about them?

Can.

No, by no Means (minime Gentium).

Poly.

What? will you say that I am the least Man in the World, that am taller than you by an Ass’s Head?

Can.

I don’t think you are so much taller, tho’ the Ass should prick up his Ears.

Poly.

By an Ox’s Head, I dare say.

Can.

I like the Comparison; but I said Minimè the Adverb, not Minime the Vocative Case.

Poly.

Pray what’s the Difference between an Egg and an Egg?

Can.

And what’s the Difference, say you, between the middle Finger and the little Finger?

Poly.

Why, the middle Finger is the longest.

Can.

Wittily said: What’s the Difference between the Ears of an Ass, and those of a Wolf?

Poly.

The Ears of a Wolf are shorter.

Can.

You have hit it.

Poly.

But I used to measure long and short Things by the Span, and by the Ell, and not by the Ears.

Can.

Come on. He that carried Christ, was call’d Christopher; and instead of Polyphemus, you, who carry the Gospel, shall be call’d the Gospel-Bearer.

Poly.

Don’t you think it a holy Thing to carry the Gospel?

Can.

Not at all, unless you will allow me, that Asses are the Greatest Saints.

Poly.

Why so?

Can.

Because one Ass will carry at least three thousand such Books; and I am persuaded you would be able to carry as many yourself, if you were well hamper’d.

Poly.

I think there is no Absurdity in attributing Holiness to an Ass, because he carry’d Christ.

Edition: current; Page: [172]
Can.

I shan’t envy you that Holiness; and if you have a Mind to it, I will give you some Reliques of that very Ass that Christ rode upon, to kiss.

Poly.

You will give me a very acceptable Present; for that Ass was consecrated by being touch’d by the Body of Christ.

Can.

And those Persons touch’d Christ too, that smote our Saviour on the Face.

Poly.

But come, tell me your Mind seriously; is it not a pious Thing to carry the Book of the Gospel about one?

Can.

It is a pious Thing, if it be done sincerely, and without Hypocrisy.

Poly.

Talk of Hypocrisy to Monks; what has a Soldier to do with Hypocrisy?

Can.

But first tell me what Hypocrisy is.

Poly.

When a Man seems to be one Thing, and is really another.

Can.

But what does the carrying the Gospel about you signify? Does it not signify a holy Life?

Poly.

I suppose it does.

Can.

Well then, where a Man’s Life is not suitable to the Book, is not that Hypocrisy?

Poly.

It seems so to be. But what is it truly to carry the Gospel?

Can.

Some carry the Gospel in their Hands, as the Franciscans do the Rules of St. Francis; and at that Rate the Paris Porters, Asses, and Geldings may carry it as well as a Christian. Some carry it about in their Mouths, and talk of nothing but Christ and the Gospel: This is Pharisaical. Others carry it about in their Hearts. He is the true Gospel-Bearer, that carries it in his Hands, in his Mouth, and in his Heart.

Poly.

But where are these?

Can.

The Deacons in the Churches, who both carry the Gospel, read it to the People, and have it in their Hearts.

Poly.

But for all that, they are not all holy, who carry the Gospel in their Hearts.

Can.

Don’t play the Sophister with me. A Man does not Edition: current; Page: [173] carry it in his Heart, that does not love it with all his Soul; and nobody loves it as he ought, that does not conform to it in his Life.

Poly.

These Subtleties I don’t understand.

Can.

I’ll be plainer then. If you were to carry a Flaggon of Wine upon your Shoulders, what is it but a Burden?

Poly.

Nothing.

Can.

If you hold it in your Mouth and spurt it out?

Poly.

I should be never the better for it; tho’ I don’t often use to do so.

Can.

But suppose you take a hearty Draught, as your Way is?

Poly.

There is nothing more Divine.

Can.

It warms the whole Body, brings the Blood into the Cheeks, and makes a Man look with a merry Countenance.

Poly.

Most certainly.

Can.

So it is with the Gospel; being receiv’d into the Veins of the Soul, it renews the whole Habit of the Man.

Poly.

It may be you think then, that I don’t lead my Life according to my Book.

Can.

No Body can tell that better than yourself.

Poly.

If it, indeed, were to be resolved after the military Manner.

Can.

Suppose a Man should give you the Lye to your Face, or call you Blockhead, what would you do?

Poly.

What would I do? I’d give him a Box on the Ear: I’d make him feel the Weight of my Fingers.

Can.

What if he should give you a Box o’th’ Ear?

Poly.

Why then I’d cut his Throat for it.

Can.

But your Book teaches you another Lesson, and bids you return good (Words) for evil, and if any one strikes you on the right Cheek, to turn to him the left also.

Poly.

I have read so, but I had forgot it.

Can.

You pray often, I suppose.

Poly.

That’s Pharisaical.

Can.

Long Prayers are indeed Pharisaical, if they be accompanied with Ostentation. But your Book teaches, that you should pray always, but with your Mind.

Edition: current; Page: [174]
Poly.

Well, but for all that I do pray sometimes.

Can.

When?

Poly.

Sometimes, when I think on’t: It may be once or twice a Week.

Can.

And what is your Prayer?

Poly.

Why, the Lord’s Prayer.

Can.

And how often do you say it over?

Poly.

But once: For the Gospel forbids vain Repetitions.

Can.

Can you go thro’ the Lord’s Prayer without thinking of any Thing else?

Poly.

I never try’d that. Is it not enough that I pronounce?

Can.

I can’t tell that God takes Notice of any Thing in Prayer but the Voice of the Heart. Do you fast often?

Poly.

No, never.

Can.

But your Book recommends Prayer and Fasting both.

Poly.

I should approve of it too, but my Stomach will not bear it.

Can.

But St. Paul says, that he is no Servant of Christ that serves his Belly. Do you eat Flesh every Day?

Poly.

Yes, when I can get it.

Can.

And you are of a robust Constitution, that would live upon Hay (like a Horse) or the Barks of Trees.

Poly.

But Christ says, that those Things that go into a Man do not defile him.

Can.

Nor do they, if they be taken moderately, and without giving Scandal. But St. Paul, who was a Disciple of Christ, would rather starve with Hunger, than offend a weak Brother by his eating; and he exhorts us to follow his Example, and that we become all Things to all Men.

Poly.

But Paul is Paul, and Polyphemus is Polyphemus.

Can.

But it is Ægon’s Office to feed she-Goats.

Poly.

But I had rather eat myself.

Can.

That’s a pleasant Wish; you’ll sooner be a he-Goat than a she one.

Poly.

But I used esse for edere.

Edition: current; Page: [175] : 175p. 175
Can.

Neatly spoken. Do you give liberally to the Poor?

Poly.

I have nothing to give.

Can.

But you would have something to give, if you lived soberly, and took Pains.

Poly.

But it is a pleasant Thing to live at Ease.

Can.

Do you keep the Commandments?

Poly.

That’s a hard Task indeed.

Can.

Do you repent of your Sins?

Poly.

Christ has made Satisfaction for us already.

Can.

How is it then that you make it out, that you love the Gospel?

Poly.

I’ll tell you; there was a certain Franciscan with us, who was perpetually thundering out of the Pulpit against Erasmus’s New Testament; I caught the Fellow once by himself, and took him hold by the Hair with my left Hand, and nubbled him so well-favouredly with my right, that you could see no Eyes he had for the Swellings. What do you say now? Was not this done like a Man that loves the Gospel? And after all this, I gave him Absolution with this very Book, knocking him over his Coxcomb three Times, made three Bunches upon his Crown, in the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and so absolv’d him in Form.

Can.

This was evangelically done, without Question: This is indeed a defending one Gospel with another.

Poly.

I chanc’d to light upon another, a Brother of his, of the same Order, who was still railing against Erasmus without either End or Measure. My Gospel-Zeal mov’d me once again, and I threatned him so severely, that I brought him to beg Pardon on his Knees, and confess, that what he said was by the Instigation of the Devil. I stood over him with my Partizan in my Hand, looking upon him like the Picture of Mars in a Battle, ready to have cut off his Head if he had not done it readily; and this was done in the Presence of a great many Witnesses.

Can.

I wonder the Man was not frighted out of his Wits. But to proceed; do you live chastly?

Poly.

It may be I shall when I come to be old. But shall I tell you the Truth, Cannius?

Edition: current; Page: [176]
Can.

I am no Priest, and if you have a Mind to confess yourself, you must seek somebody else.

Poly.

I use to confess to God, but for once I’ll do it to you: I am as yet no perfect, but a very ordinary, Christian. We have four Gospels, and we military Gospellers propound to ourselves chiefly these four Things: 1st, to take Care of our Bellies. 2ndly, That nothing be wanting below. 3rdly, To have wherewith to live on. And lastly, To do what we list. And when we have gain’d these four Points, we drink and sing as if the Town was our own, Let the Gospel live, and Christ reign.

Can.

This is the Life of an Epicure, not of a Christian.

Poly.

I can’t deny that. But you know Christ is omnipotent, and can make us other Men in an Instant, if he pleases.

Can.

Yea, and he may make you Swine too, and that seems to be an easier Change than into good Men.

Poly.

I wish there were no worse Things in the World, than Swine, Oxen, Asses and Camels. You may find a great many People that are fiercer than Lions, more ravenous than Wolves, more lustful than Sparrows; who will bite worse than Dogs, and sting worse than Vipers.

Can.

But it is now high Time for you to turn from a Brute to a Man.

Poly.

You say well, for I find in the Prophecies of these Times, that the World is near at an End.

Can.

There is so much the more Reason for you to make Haste to repent.

Poly.

I hope Christ will give me his helping Hand.

Can.

But do you see that you render yourself fit Matter to work upon. But from whence do they gather, that the World is so near an End?

Poly.

Because, they say, People are now doing just as they did before the Flood; they are eating and drinking, marrying and giving in Marriage; they whore, they buy, they sell, they pawn and lend upon Usury, and build; Kings make War, and Priests study to encrease their Revenues; Edition: current; Page: [177] : 177p. 177 School-Men make Syllogisms, Monks run up and down the World; the Rabble makes Mobs, and Erasmus writes Colloquies; and, in fine, no Miseries are wanting, Hunger, Thirst, Robberies, Hostilities, Plagues, Seditions; and there is a great Scarcity of all that is good: and do not all these Things argue that the World is near an End?

Can.

But of all this Mass of Mischiefs, which of them is it that troubles you most?

Poly.

Guess.

Can.

That Spiders perhaps make Cobwebs in your empty Pockets.

Poly.

As I hope to live, you have hit it. I am just now come from drinking hard; but some other Time, when I am sober, if you will, we’ll have another Touch at the Gospel.

Can.

And when shall I see you sober?

Poly.

When I am so.

Can.

And when will you be so?

Poly.

When you see me so. And, my dear Cannikin, in the mean Time, all Happiness attend you.

Can.

And, by Way of Requital, I wish you may be what you are call’d.

Poly.

And, that you may not outdo me in Courtesy, I wish the Can, from whence you have borrowed your Name, may never fail Cannius.

Edition: current; Page: [178]

ΑΠΡοΣΔΙοΝϒΣΑ The IMPERTINENTS, or CROSSPURPOSES.

The Argument.

: 178p. 178This Colloquy, call’d Ἀπροσδιόνυσα, or Absurda, contains a confused Discourse, where nothing is answered to the Purpose, but is mere Nonsense: For one enquires about a Wedding, and the other answers about a dangerous Voyage.

ANNIUS and LUCIUS.

AN.

I was told that you were at Pancratius’s and Albina’s Wedding.

Lu.

I never had a more unhappy Voyage in my Life, than at this Time.

An.

What say you? Was there such a Power of Company then?

Lu.

I never would have taken less for my Life, than at that Time.

An.

See what it is to be rich; now I had but a few at my Wedding, and they were poor Folks too.

Lu.

We were scarce put to Sea, but a great Storm arose.

An.

Why, you’re talking of an Assembly of the Deities; were there so many Noblemen and Ladies there?

Lu.

Boreas tore the Sail in Pieces, and blew it quite away.

An.

I know the Bride, she’s a perfect Beauty.

Lu.

Presently a Wave comes and tears off the Rudder.

An.

It is everybody’s Opinion. And her Bridegroom does not come much short of her in Beauty, according to common Report.

Edition: current; Page: [179] : 179p. 179
Lu.

What do you think we thought of the Matter?

An.

It is very rare now-a-Days for any to be Maids when they are married.

Lu.

We were obliged to fall back again.

An.

You talk of an incredible Portion.

Lu.

Presently we had another Misfortune befel us.

An.

Why did they venture such a tender Girl to such a boisterous Fellow?

Lu.

We espied a Pirate Ship.

An.

In Truth, it is so in many Cases; Naughtiness makes Amends for Want of Age.

Lu.

There we had a double Engagement, one with the Sea, and another with the Pirates.

An.

What, so many Services? and in the mean Time no Body gives a Farthing to the Poor.

Lu.

What! should we have struck Sail? Nay, Despair made us fight desperately.

An.

I am afraid it will be but a barren Match, if what you say be true.

Lu.

Nay, we threw our grappling Irons.

An.

This is a Novelty indeed! What, with Child before Marriage?

Lu.

Had you but seen the Conflict, you would have sworn, that I fought like an Hero.

An.

Well, I find the Marriage was not only made, but consummated too.

Lu.

We jump’d aboard the Pirate Ship.

An.

But I admire that they invited you who are a Stranger, and did not invite me who am related to the Bride’s Father in the third Degree of Consanguinity.

Lu.

We threw them all over-Board into the Sea.

An.

You say right: The afflicted have no Friends.

Lu.

We shared all the Booty among us.

An.

I’ll rally the Bride for it the first Opportunity I have.

Lu.

It presently grew very calm; you would have said it had been the Halcyon Days.

An.

If she has Money, I have a stomachful Spirit: I don’t care a Fig for her Kindness.

Edition: current; Page: [180] : 180p. 180
Lu.

And so we brought two Ships Home instead of one.

An.

Let him be angry that will.

Lu.

Where am I going, do you ask? Why to Church, to make an Offering of Part of the Sail to St. Nicholas.

An.

I an’t at Leisure to Day, I expect some Friends to dine with me; at another Time I won’t refuse.

Edition: current; Page: [181]

The FALSE KNIGHT: Or, ΙΠΠΕϒΣ ΑΝΙΠΠΟΣ·

The Argument.

Ἱππεὺς ἄνιππος, or counterfeit Nobility, exposes the Vices of those Persons who think they may do any Thing under the Mask of Nobility, altho’ they are not remarkable for either noble Birth or Virtue: But Knaves, that have a good Stock of Impudence, arrogate to themselves that Honour that they don’t deserve, unless Honour is due to the most flagitious Crimes.

HARPALUS and NESTOR.

HAR.

Can you help me out now with your Advice? If you can, you shall find I am neither forgetful nor ungrateful.

Nes.

I’ll bring it about that you shall be what you would be.

Har.

But it is not in our own Power to be born Noble-Men.

Nes.

If you are not a Noble-Man, strive by virtuous Actions, that your Nobility may derive its Original from yourself.

Har.

That’s a long Way about.

Nes.

Then the King will sell it you for a small Matter.

Har.

But Nobility that is purchased with Money, is ridiculed by the Vulgar.

Nes.

If Nobility that is bought be so ridiculous a Thing, why are you so fond of being a Knight?

Edition: current; Page: [182]
Har.

There are Reasons for that, and no slight ones neither, which I shall freely tell you, if you’ll but put me in the Way of making myself honourable in the Opinion of the Vulgar.

Nes.

What signifies the Name without the Thing?

Har.

But as I han’t the Substance, I would have the Reputation of it. But, my Nestor, give me your Advice, and when you hear my Reasons you will say it is worth my While.

Nes.

Well, since you will have it, I’ll tell you: In the first Place, remove yourself to a Place where you are not known.

Har.

Right.

Nes.

Then work yourself into the Acquaintance of young Men of Quality.

Har.

I take you in.

Nes.

First of all, by this Means, People will be apt to judge of you by the Company you keep.

Har.

They will so.

Nes.

But then you must be sure to have nothing about you that is vulgar.

Har.

As to what, do you mean?

Nes.

I speak of your Cloaths, that they be not made of Wool, but Silk; but if you cannot go to the Price of Silk, rather Fustian or Canvass, than Cloth.

Har.

You’re in the right.

Nes.

And take Care not to wear any Thing that’s whole; but cut your Hat and your Doublet, your Hose, and your Shoes, and your Nails too, if you can. Never talk of any Thing that is mean. If any Traveller comes out of Spain, enquire of him how the King and the Pope agree, how your Cousin the Count of Nassau does, and all the rest of the Officers your old jolly Acquaintance.

Har.

It shall be done.

Nes.

Wear a Seal-Ring upon your Finger.

Har.

That’s if my Pocket will speak.

Nes.

Then you may have a brass Ring gilt with a Doublet Edition: current; Page: [183] : 183p. 183 for a small Matter: But then you must have your Coat-of-Arms upon it too.

Har.

What Bearing would you have me chuse?

Nes.

Why, if you will, two Milk-Pails and a Pot of Ale.

Har.

You joke upon me; but do tell me seriously.

Nes.

Was you ever in a Battle?

Har.

I never saw a Battle.

Nes.

But I believe you have beheaded the Farmers Geese and Capons.

Har.

Ay, many a Time, and manfully too.

Nes.

Why then, let your Coat of Arms be, three Goose Heads Or, and a Whinyard Argent.

Har.

What must the Field be?

Nes.

What should it be but Gules? a Monument of Blood shed plentifully.

Har.

Ay, why not? for the Blood of a Goose is as red as the Blood of a Man. But pray go on.

Nes.

Have this Coat-of-Arms hung over the Gate of every Inn you lodge at.

Har.

What shall be added to the Helmet?

Nes.

That’s well thought on, make that with a Mouth slit from Ear to Ear.

Har.

What’s your Reason for that?

Nes.

First, to give you Air; and then, that it may be suitable to your Dress. But what must the Crest be?

Har.

I want to know that.

Nes.

A Dog’s Head with bangle Ears.

Har.

That’s common.

Nes.

Then add two Horns to it, this is uncommon.

Har.

I like that very well. But what Beasts shall I have for Supporters?

Nes.

Why, as for Bucks, and Dogs, and Dragons, and Griffins, they have been all taken up already by Princes; you shall have two Harpies.

Har.

Nothing can be better.

Nes.

But then we want the Title. In the first Place, you must be sure to take Care not to suffer yourself to be call’d Edition: current; Page: [184] : 184p. 184 Harpalus Comensis, but Harpalus a Como; the one is noble, the other pedantick.

Har.

It is so.

Nes.

Is there any Thing you can call yourself Lord of?

Har.

No, not so much as a Hog’s Stye.

Nes.

Was you born in any famous City?

Har.

No, in a poor sorry Village; for a Man must not lye when he asks Counsel.

Nes.

That’s very true; but is there never a Mountain near that Village?

Har.

There is.

Nes.

And is there any Rock near that?

Har.

Yes, a very steep one.

Nes.

Why, then you shall be, Harpalus, the Knight of the Golden Rock.

Har.

But most great Men, I observe, have their peculiar Motto’s: As, Maximilian had, Keep within Compass; and Philip, He that will; and Charles, Further yet; some one Thing, and some another.

Nes.

Well, do you let yours be, Turn every Stone.

Har.

Nothing more pertinent.

Nes.

Now, to confirm the World in their Esteem of you, you must counterfeit Letters sent you from such and such great Persons, in which you must frequently be styled the Illustrious Knight; and there must be Mention made of great Affairs, as of Estates, Castles, huge Revenues, Commands, great Offices, rich Matches: and you must contrive that these Letters shall fall into People’s Hands, as being dropt by Chance, or forgotten.

Har.

That will be very easy to me; for, I understand Letters, and have so us’d myself to it, that I can counterfeit any Man’s Hand, so exactly, that he shall not know it from his own.

Nes.

Either sew them into your Garment, or leave them in your Pocket, that when you send your Cloaths to the Taylor to mend, he may find them, and he’ll make no Secret of it; and when you come to the Knowledge of it, put an Edition: current; Page: [185] : 185p. 185 Air of Vexation and Displeasure on your Countenance, as if you were heartily vex’d, you were so careless as to leave them there.

Har.

I have practised that so long, that I can as easily change my Countenance, as I can my Dress.

Nes.

By this Means the Deceit will not be discovered, and the Matter will be blaz’d abroad.

Har.

I’ll be sure to take great Care of that.

Nes.

Then you must furnish yourself with Companions, or Servants, who shall stand Cap in Hand to you, and call you my young Lord at every Turn. You need not be discourag’d at the Charge; there are a great many young Men who will act this Part for nothing, or for the Humour’s-Sake. And besides, there are a great many scribbling Blades in this Country, that are strangely infected with the Itch (I was going to say the Scab) of Writing; and there are hungry Printers, that will venture at any Thing, if there be but any Hope of getting Money. You must bribe some of these, to give you in their Pamphlets the Title of a Nobleman of your Country, and let it be repeated every now and then in Capital Letters. Thus they will celebrate you a Nobleman in Bohemia; and one Book spreads more than an hundred talkative Tongues, or prattling Servants.

Har.

I don’t dislike this Way neither; but there will be Servants to be maintained.

Nes.

There will so; but then you must not keep idle Servants, that have no Hands; they will be unprofitable. You must send one one Way, and another another, and so they will lay their Fingers on something or other; they will have frequent Opportunities of doing that.

Har.

Say no more: I understand you.

Nes.

And then there are other Inventions.

Har.

Pray let me hear them.

Nes.

Unless you are an expert Gamester at Cards and Dice, a rank Whore-Master, a stout Drinker, a daring Extravagant, and understand the Art of Borrowing and Bubbling, and have got the French Pox to-boot, scarce any one will believe you to be a Knight.

Edition: current; Page: [186]
Har.

I have been train’d up to these Exercises. But where must I get the Money?

Nes.

Hold, I was coming to that: Have you any Estate?

Har.

A very little one.

Nes.

Well, but when you are once settled in the Reputation of a great Man, you will easily find Fools that will give you Credit; some will be asham’d, and others afraid to deny you; and there are a thousand Ways to delude Creditors.

Har.

I am not unacquainted with them. But they’ll be very pressing, when they find nothing coming but Words.

Nes.

Nay, on the contrary, no Man has his Creditors more at Command, than he that owes Money to a great many.

Har.

How so?

Nes.

First of all, your Creditor pays you that Observance, as if he was the Person obliged; and is afraid lest he should give any Occasion of losing his Money. No Man has his Servants so much in Awe, as a Debtor his Creditor; and if you ever pay them any Thing, it is more kindly taken than if you gave it them.

Har.

I have found it so.

Nes.

But you must take Care not to deal with little People, for they’ll make a great Noise for a small Matter; those that have a more plentiful Fortune, are more easy to be appeas’d; they will be restrain’d by Modesty, led on by Hope, or deterr’d by Fear, for they know the Danger of meddling with Men of Power. And last of all, when you’re got over Head and Ears in Debt, then upon one Pretence or another remove your Quarters first to one Place, and then to another; and you need not be asham’d of that, for no Body is more in Debt than great Princes. If you find yourself press’d by a Fellow of mean Condition, make as if you were provok’d by his Confidence; but make a small Payment now and then, but never pay the whole Sum, nor to all your Creditors. But you must always take Care that none ever come to know that you have an empty Pocket; always make a Shew of Money.

Har.

But what can a Man make a Shew of that has nothing?

Edition: current; Page: [187]
Nes.

If any Friend has given you any Thing to lay up for him, shew it as your own, but do it artfully, as if it were done by Chance. And it will be good in this Case to borrow Money and shew it, tho’ you pay it again presently. Pull a Couple of Guineas, that you have plac’d by themselves, out of your Pocket, from a whole Pocket full of Counters. You may imagine—

Har.

I understand ye; but at last I must of Necessity sink under my Debts.

Nes.

You know what Knights can do with us.

Har.

They do just what they please, and there’s no Redress.

Nes.

Let those Servants you keep be such as are diligent ones, or some of your Kindred, such as must be kept however. They’ll stumble now and then upon some Merchant upon the Way, and rob him; they’ll find something in an Inn, a House, or a Boat that wants a Keeper; they will remember that a Man’s Fingers were not given him for nothing.

Har.

Ay, if this could be done with Safety.

Nes.

You must take Care to keep them in handsome Liveries, and be still sending them with counterfeit Letters to this great Man, or the other. If they steal any Thing, altho’ they should suspect them, no Body will dare to charge them with it, for Fear of the Knight their Master. If they chance to take a Booty by Force, ’tis as good as a Prize in War.

Har.

O brave Counsel!

Nes.

This Maxim of Knighthood is always to be maintain’d, That it is lawful for a Knight upon the Road, to ease a common Traveller of his Money; for what can be more dishonourable, than for a pitiful Tradesman to have Money enough, and a Knight at the same Time wants it to spend upon his Whores, and at Dice? Get as much as you can into the Company of great Men, tho’ you pin yourself upon them; and that you may not be asham’d of any Thing, you must put on a brazen Face, but especially to your Host. And it will be best for you to live in some publick Place, as at the Bath, and at the most frequented Inns.

Edition: current; Page: [188]
Har.

I was thinking of that.

Nes.

In such Places Fortune will oftentimes throw some Prey in the Way.

Har.

How? I beseech you.

Nes.

Suppose one drops a Purse, another leaves the Key in the Door of his Store-House, or so, you take me in.

Har.

But—

Nes.

What are you afraid of? Who’ll dare to suspect a Person that goes as you do, talks great, the Knight of the Golden-Rock? If there shall happen to be any saucy Fellow, impudent enough to dare to suspect you, the Suspicion will rather be cast upon some Body that went away the Day before. There will be a Disorder among the Master and the Servants, and do you behave yourself as a Person wholly unconcern’d. If this Accident befals either a Man of Modesty, or of Brains, he’ll pass it over without making Words of it, lest he lose his Credit as well as his Money, for looking no better after it.

Har.

That’s very Probable, for I suppose you know the Count of the White-Vulture.

Nes.

Why not?

Har.

I have heard of a certain Spaniard, a handsome genteel Fellow, that lodg’d at his House, he carried away a Matter of six hundred Florins; behaving himself with that State, that the Count never dar’d to open his Mouth against him.

Nes.

You have a Precedent then. You may now and then send out a Servant for a Soldier, and he having rifled Churches and Monasteries, will return loaden with the Plunder that he has got by the Law of Arms.

Har.

This is the safest Expedient that we have had yet.

Nes.

There is yet another Way of getting Money.

Har.

Pray let me hear what that is.

Nes.

Pick a Quarrel with those that have a good Deal of Money, especially with Monks or Priests; for the People generally look very invidiously upon them now-a-Days, viz. One broke a Jest upon you, another spit upon your Escutcheon, Edition: current; Page: [189] : 189p. 189 another spoke dishonourably of you; one or the other wrote something that might be interpreted scandalous. Send your Heralds to declare an irreconcilable War. Breathe nothing but Destruction and Ruin: And they being terrified will come to you to make it up. Then see that you set a great Price upon your Dignity; and that is, you must ask out of Reason, for your bearing that which is reasonable. If you make a Demand of three thousand Guineas, they will be asham’d to offer you less than two hundred.

Har.

And I will threaten others with the Law.

Nes.

That’s more like a Sycophant; but yet it may help in some Degree. But hark ye, Harpalus, I had almost forgot what I should have mention’d first: Some young Wench with a good Fortune is to be drawn into the Noose of Matrimony; you have Charms in yourself, you’re young and handsome, you’re a Beau, and have a pretty smiling Countenance; give it out that you are call’d away to some great Office in the Emperor’s Court. Girls are fond of marrying Nobility.

Har.

I know some that have made their Fortunes this Way. But what if the Cheat should be discovered, and all my Creditors should fall upon me at once? Then I, the sham Knight, shall become a Laughing-Stock; for Creditors hate this Sort of Tricking worse than they do robbing of Churches.

Nes.

Why, in this Case you must remember to put on a brazen Face, and that Impudence never past so current for Wisdom, as it does now-a-Days. You must betake yourself to Invention for some Excuse; and you will always find some easy People, that will favour it; and some so civil, that if they perceive the Fallacy, they will not discover it. And last of all, if you can do nothing else, you must shew them a Pair of Heels, and run into the Army or a Riot: for as the Sea hides all Mischief, so War hides all Sins. And now-a-Days, he that has not been train’d up in this School, is not look’d upon fit to be a Commander. This must be your last Shift, when every Thing else fails Edition: current; Page: [190] you; but you must turn every Stone before you come to’t. Take Care that you are not ruin’d by being bound for other Men. Shun little Towns that a Man can’t let a Fart in, but the People must know it: In great and populous Cities a Man may take more Liberty, unless it be in such a Place as Marseilles. Make it your Business to know what People say of you; and when you hear the People begin to talk at this Rate, What does this Man do here so long? why does he not go Home, and look after his Castles? whence does he take his Pedigree? whence does he get Money to live so extravagantly? when you find that such Talk as this grows rife among the People, it is Time for you to think of packing up your Awls, and be jogging in good Time; but make your Retreat like a Lion, and not like a Hare. Pretend you are call’d away by the Emperor to some great Employment; and that you shall return in a short Time at the Head of an Army. Those that have any Thing they are not willing to lose, won’t dare to open their Mouths against you when you are gone. But above all, I advise you to have a Care of that peevish malicious Set of Men call’d Poets. If any Thing displeases them, they will envenom their Papers, and the Venom of them will be of a sudden diffused all the World over.

Har.

Let me die if I am not wonderfully pleas’d with your Counsel; and I’ll make it my Business to let you see that you have got a docible Scholar, and a Youth that is not ungrateful; the first good Horse that I shall get into my Pasture, that is equal to your Deserts, I will present you with.

Nes.

Well, all that remains, is, that you be as good as your Word. But what is the Reason that you should be so fond of a false Opinion of Nobility?

Har.

For no other Reason, but that they are in a Manner lawless, and do what they please. And do you think this a Matter of small Moment?

Nes.

If the worst come that can come, Death is owing to Nature, altho’ you liv’d a Carthusian; and it is an easier Edition: current; Page: [191] Death to be broken on the Wheel, than to die of the Stone, the Gout, or the Palsy: for it is like a Soldier to believe, that after Death there remains nothing of a Man but his Carcass.

Har.

And I am of that Opinion.

Edition: current; Page: [192]

ΑΣΤΡΑΓΑΛΙΣΜΟΣ.

The Argument.

: 192p. 192Ἀστραγαλισμός, or the Play of Cock-all, shews what the Talus is, and where it is situated. How they us’d to Play at Cock-all in old Time. Why the Clergy wear their Garments down to their Ancles, for the Sake of Modesty and Distinction. Talus is a Sort of a Leg-Bone. The Etymology of Ἀστράγαλος, a Sort of Play, in English call’d Cock-all, or Take-all. The Ace is a bad Cast of the Dice. Aumesace, or Dog-Chance. Size is a good Cast, and is call’d Senio or Midas.

QUIRINUS, CHARLES.

QU.

Cato bids us learn of those that are learned; and for that Reason, my Utenhovius, I have a Mind to make Use of you for my Master. For what Reason did the antient Directors in religious Affairs, order the Clergy to wear Ancle-Coats, that is, Vestments reaching down to their Ancles?

Ch.

I am of Opinion it was done for these two Reasons: First, for the Sake of Modesty, that nothing of Nakedness might be exposed: For, in old Time, they did not wear those Sort of Trowsers that reach from the Waist to the Feet; nor did they, in common, wear Drawers or Breeches. And, for the same Reason, it is accounted immodest for Women to wear short Coats, long ones being more agreeable to the Modesty of the Sex. In the second Place, not only for the Sake of Modesty, but also to distinguish them Edition: current; Page: [193] : 193p. 193 from the common People, by their Habit; for, the more loose they are in their Morals, the shorter they wear their Coats.

Qu.

What you say is very probable. But I have learn’d from Aristotle and Pliny, that Men have not the Tali, but only four-footed Beasts; and not all of them neither, but only some of those that are cloven-footed; nor have they them in their hinder Legs. How then can the Garment be call’d a Talarian Garment, which a Man wears, unless in former Days Men went upon all-fours, according to Aristophanes’s Play?

Ch.

Nay, if we give Credit to Oedipus, there are some Men that are four-footed, some three-footed, and some two-footed, and oftentimes they come from a Battle one-footed, and sometimes without e’er a Foot at all. But, as for the Word, you would be more at a Loss if you were to read Horace, who attributes the Tali to Plays. For thus, I think, he writes in his Art of Poetry;

  • Securus cadat, an recto stet fabula talo.

Being regardless whether or no the Comedy fall or stand upon its Talus.

Qu.

Poets have a Liberty of speaking as they please; who give Ears to Tmolus, and make Ships speak, and Oaks dance.

Ch.

But your own Aristotle could have taught you this, that there are half Tali, which he calls ἡμιαστραγάλους, that he attributes to those Beasts that are of the Lynx Kind. And he says, that Lions have that which is instead of the Talus, but it is crooked, or turned to and fro; and that which he calls λαβυρινθωˆδες, Pliny translates tortuosum [full of Turnings and Windings.] And in the last Place, Bones are every where inserted into Bones, for the Conveniency of bending the Joints; and there are Cavities for the receiving the Prominencies that answer to them, that are defended on each Side with a slippery Cartilage, the Parts being so inviron’d, or kept in, that they can’t hurt one another; as the same Edition: current; Page: [194] : 194p. 194 Aristotle teaches us. And there is, for the most Part, in these, something that answers pretty near, both in Form and Use, to the Talus: In the lower Part of the Leg, near the Heel, where is the bending of the whole Foot, there is a Prominence which resembles the Talus, which the Greeks call σθυρόν. Again, we see in the bending of the Knee a Vertebra, which, if I am not mistaken, they call ἰσχίον. And we also see something like this in the Hips, in the Shoulders, and, lastly, in the Joints of the Toes and Fingers. And, that it may not seem strange to you, the Greeks write, that the Word ἀστράγαλος is, in approved Authors, applied to the Bones, of which the Spine is compos’d, especially in the Neck. For they quote you this Verse:

  • Ἐκ δέ μοι ἀυχὴν
  • Ἀστραγάλων ἐάγη.

My Neck-Bone was broke on the outside the Tali.

And, as Aristotle says, the fore Legs are given to Animals, upon the Account of Swiftness, and for that Reason are without the Tali; the hind Legs for Firmness, because the Weight of the Body bears upon that Part: as also it contributes to Strength in those Creatures that kick. Horace, to signify that the Play was not cut short, but acted quite to the End, says, Stetit fixo talo; and uses the Word Talus in a Play, in the same Sense as we apply the Word Calx to a Book; and also says, the Umbilicus voluminis, or Navel of a Volume.

Qu.

In Troth, you play the Part of a Grammarian very cleverly.

Ch.

But to confirm it, the more learned Greeks will have Ἀστράγαλος deriv’d of στρέθω, and the privative Particle α, because it is never bended, but is immoveable. But others chuse to derive ἀστράγαλος from ἀστάγαλος, by inserting the Letter ρ, because it can’t stand by Reason of its slippery Volubility.

Qu.

If you go that Way to Work, you may make a great many more Guesses: But I think it a fairer Way to confess Ignorance in the Matter.

Edition: current; Page: [195]
Ch.

This Guess will not seem so very absurd, if you consider what great Obscurity there is in the primitive Origin of Words: And besides, there is nothing contradictious in the Matter, if you look narrowly into it. The Talus is voluble, but it is voluble after such a Manner, that it renders that Part to which it is inserted, the more firm for standing; and then it joins one Bone to another.

Qu.

I find you can play the Part of a Sophister, when you have a Mind to it.

Ch.

But there is nothing in the Word Talus, that the Etymology of it should perplex us; for that which the modern Greeks call ἀστράγαλος, the Antients, of which Callimachus was one, call’d ἄστριον, to whom this Hemistich is ascribed Δέκα δ’ ἄστρια αἴνυτο λύτρον; whence, as the Greeks us’d the Word ἀστραγαλίζειν, so they also used the Word ἀστρίζειν, to play at Cock-all.

Qu.

What then is that which is properly the Talus?

Ch.

It is that which now-a-Days the Girls play with; it was formerly a Boy’s Play, as Cob-Nuts was; concerning which there is this Greek Sentence, Ἀμϕ’ ἀστραγάλοισι χολωθείς, when they would intimate that Persons were angry for a Trifle. Again Horace in his Odes has Nec regna vini sortiere talis. And also in his Sermones; Te talos Aule nucesque, &c. And lastly, that Saying of the Lacedemonian, if I am not mistaken, Pueros esse fallendos talis, viros jurejurando. They deny that the Talus is found in any Animal that is μώνυχον, that is, that has a solid Hoof, except the Indian Ass that has but one Horn; or that is πολυσχιδὲς, that has its Foot divided into many Toes or Claws; of which Sort are the Lion, the Panther, the Dog, the Ape, a Man, a Bird, and a great many others: But those Animals that are δίχηλα, that have a Hoof divided into two, many of them have the Talus, and that, as you said very rightly, in their hinder Legs. Man only has not the Talus for two Reasons: First because he is two-footed; and secondly, because his Foot is divided into five Toes.

Qu.

That I have heard often; but I should be glad to hear Edition: current; Page: [196] where the Talus was situated, and what Form it has described; for that Sort of Play is quite out of Doors even with Girls now-a-Days, and they rather affect Dice, Cards, and other masculine Plays.

Ch.

That is not to be wonder’d at, when they affect Divinity itself: But if I were a Mathematician, or a Painter, or a Founder, I could not represent it more clearly to you, than by shewing you the Talus itself; unless you would have me describe it algebraically, as they do.

Qu.

Have you got e’er a Talus?

Ch.

Here’s one out of the right Leg of a Sheep, you see it has but four Sides, when a Cube and a Dice has six, four on the Sides, one at the Top, and one at the Bottom.

Qu.

It is so.

Ch.

And forasmuch as the upper and lower Part of the Talus is crooked, it has but four Sides, one of which, you see, rises like a Ridge.

Qu.

I see it.

Ch.

On the opposite Side there is a Hollow; this Aristotle calls πρανὲς, that is, prone; and this ὕπτιον, that is, supine: as when in the Act of Copulation, for the Sake of Procreation, the Woman is supine, and the Man is prone: And the Hand, if the Palm of it be held towards the Ground, is prone; if you turn it up, it is supine; tho’ Orators and Poets do sometimes confound the Use of these Words, but that is nothing to the Matter in Hand.

Qu.

You have demonstrated this very plainly to my Sight; but what’s the Difference between the two other Sides?

Ch.

One of them is hollowed a little, to make it answerable to the Bone to which it is joined; the other has no Hollow at all to speak on, and is not so much defended with a cartilaginous Coat, but is only cover’d with a Nerve and a Skin.

Qu.

I see it very plain.

Ch.

The prone Side has no Nerves at all; but to the Concavity of the supine Part a Nerve adheres, to the Top of the right Side and the Bottom of the left.

Edition: current; Page: [197]
Qu.

You make it out very plain; but how must I know the right Side from the left?

Ch.

That’s very well minded; for I had instructed you very illy, except you suppose me to mean the Talus of the right Leg: I will tell you, and at the same Time I’ll shew you the Situation of it, which you desired to know. The Talus is in that Bending of the Leg beneath the Hip.

Qu.

A great many are of Opinion it is near the Foot.

Ch.

They are under a Mistake: That which is properly call’d the Talus, is in the Bendings of the Joints, which the Greeks call καμπὰς; but those of the hinder Legs, as I said before, between your Foot and your Knee, is the Tibia.

Qu.

Why, so I think.

Ch.

Behind the Knee, καμπή.

Qu.

I allow it.

Ch.

For those Bendings which Men have in their Arms, four-footed Beasts have in their hinder Legs; but I except the Ape, which is but half Man: and so that which is the Knee in the Leg, is the Elbow in the Arm.

Qu.

I take it in.

Ch.

And so one Bending answers to another.

Qu.

You mean of the fore Legs and the hinder Legs.

Ch.

You have it: So that in that Bending which answers to the Bending which is behind the Knee, the Talus stands upright when a four-footed Beast stands, the upper and lower Part of which is a little bended, but not altogether after the same Manner; for the upper Part is folded back into a Sort of Horns, as it were, which Aristotle calls κεραίας; Theodorus translates the Word Antennas; near to which the prone Side gives Way; the Bottom has no such Thing.

Qu.

I perceive it very plainly.

Ch.

Therefore Aristotle calls that Side which is towards the fore Legs, supine; and that which is contrary to it, prone. Again, there are two Sides, one of which inwardly, is towards the hinder Leg, either the right or left, suppose which you will; the other looks outwards: that which looks Edition: current; Page: [198] : 198p. 198 inwards Aristotle calls κωˆλον, and that which looks outwards, ἰσχίον.

Qu.

I see it plainly with my Eyes: but still here’s this to be done, to inform me what was the antient Manner of playing with these Tali: for the Play, as it is us’d now-a-Days, is quite different from what we find in antient Authors concerning this Sort of Play.

Ch.

And truly that’s very likely, as we in like Manner now pervert the Use of Cards and Dice from the antient Manner of playing with them.

Qu.

What you say is very probable.

Ch.

Theodorus Gaza, or as others rather chuse to call him, of Thessalonica, in translating Aristotle’s second Book of his History of Animals, says, That the Side of the Talus that looks outwardly transverse, was call’d Canis; and that which looks inwardly to the other Leg, Venus: and then he adds to it this of his own, for Aristotle said no more; Τὸ μὲν πρανὲς ἔξω, τὸ δε ὕπτιον εἴσω, καὶ τὰ μὲν κωˆλα ἐντὸς ἐστραμμένα πρὸς ἄλληλα, τὰ δε ἰσχία καλούμενα ἔξω, καὶ τὰς κεραίας ἄνω. But since it is certain that the Throw is call’d Venus’s by other Persons, as often as in four Dice the uppermost Sides of them all are different one from another; I wonder by what Example Theodorus calls one Side Venus. Our Erasmus, who is our common Friend, who is no negligent Observer of these Things, in some of his Proverbs upon the Authority of the Antients, intimates some Things of the Play of the Tali; as in the Proverb, Non Chius sed Cous; he says, that the Cous and the Size were the same that the Greeks call’d ἑξίτην. He relates the same in the Proverb Chius ad Cous, (adding, that Chius was the same with Canis, the Ace.) That the Cast of the Cous was a lucky Cast, but of the Canis an unlucky one, according to the Testimony of Persius.

  • Quid dexter Senio ferret
  • Scire erat in votis, damnosa canicula quantum
  • Raderet.

And likewise Propertius;

Edition: current; Page: [199]
  • Semper damnosi subsiluere canes.

And Ovid, in his second Book de Tristibus, calls them, damnosos canes.

And Martial adds, that the Size by itself is a lucky Cast; but if an Ace comes up with it, unlucky; for so he speaks,

  • Senio nec nostrum cum Cane quassat ebur.

And now as to Venus’s Cast, as it is what happens but very seldom, so it is a very lucky Throw: As Martial writes in his Apophoreta;

  • Cum steterit vultu nullus tibi talus eodem,
  • Munera me dices magna dedisse tibi.

For they play’d with so many Tali as every one had Sides: for as to Dice, they used to play but with three. But that which Suetonius writes of Octavius Augustus comes nearer to the Method of Play, reciting out of a certain Epistle of his to Tiberius; At Supper we play’d, both Yesterday and to Day, like old, grave Men, at Tali: And as every one threw an Ace or a Size, he laid down a Piece of Money for every Talus; and he that threw Venus took up all.

Qu.

You told me before, that it was a very fortunate Throw when any one threw four different Sides, as at Dice-Play the most fortunate Cast is Midas; but you did not tell me that this Cast was call’d Venus.

Ch.

Lucian will make that Matter plain to you: Thus speaking concerning Cupids, καὶ βαλὼν μὲν ἐπὶ σκοπονˆ, μάλιστα δὲ εἴ ποτε τὴν θεὸν αὐτὴν εὐβολήσειε. Μηδενὸς ἀστραγάλου πεσόντος ἴσω σχήματι, προσεκύνει, τη̂ς ἐπιθυμίας τεύξεσθαι νομίζων. He there speaks of Venus.

Qu.

If Theodorus is mistaken, his Words only make Mention of two Sides.

Ch.

It may be, he follow’d the Authority of some Author that is out of my Memory; but I have quoted what I find in Authors: For, there are some that speak of the Stesichorian Number, as to the Tali, which they take to be the Number Eight; and also of the Euripidian, which contain’d 40.

Edition: current; Page: [200]
Qu.

But it remains, that you lay down the Rules of the Play.

Ch.

I am not of the Opinion, that Boys make Use of the same Rule that Octavius writes he observ’d: Nor is it probable, that this Game which he speaks of was a common one; if that had been so, it had been enough for him to have said, After Supper we play’d at the Tali. But he seems by this to hint, that it was a new Method that they had invented among themselves, as one that was fit for Persons of Age, not puzzling their Minds by a careful Thoughtfulness, as a great many of our modern Games do; so that it is much less Fatigue to the Mind to study hard, than to play.

Qu.

Prithee, pull out the rest of the Tali, that we may try an Experiment with them.

Ch.

But we have no Turret, nor Box to throw them in.

Qu.

Why, this Table will do well enough to try any Experiment with them; or this Cup, or Cap, will supply the Place of a Turret.

Ch.

Nay, hussling them in the Palm of one’s Hand may do well enough. A Throw oftner turns up the supine Face than the prone Face; and the prone Face, oftner than a Size or an Ace.

Qu.

So it seems.

Ch.

Now, if there be an Ace turn’d up in the four Tali, you shall lay down one Piece of Money; if there are two, two Pieces; if three, three Pieces; if four, four Pieces: and as often as you throw a Size, you shall take up one Piece.

Qu.

But what if I should throw Size Ace?

Ch.

Why, if you will, both of us shall lay down, and neither of us take up; and he that throws four different Spots shall take up all.

Qu.

What if we throw upper, or under, blank?

Ch.

That Throw shall go for nothing, and either you shall throw again, or I’ll take it.

Qu.

I had rather the other should take the Cast.

Ch.

Now down with your Money.

Qu.

Let’s play for nothing.

Edition: current; Page: [201]
Ch.

Would you learn such an Art as this for nothing?

Qu.

But it is an unequal Match, for one that knows nothing of the Game to play with a Gamester.

Ch.

Well, but the Hope of Winning, and the Fear of Losing, will make you mind your Game the better.

Qu.

How much shall we play for?

Ch.

If you have a Mind to get an Estate quickly, let’s play for 100 Crowns.

Qu.

I wish I had them to lay down. But ’tis the safer Way to grow rich gradually. See, here’s a whole Half-Penny.

Ch.

Well, come on, we’ll add a little to a little, as Hesiod advises, and this will in Time make a large Heap. Shake them, and throw away. A good Beginning: You have thrown an Ace; lay down your Money, and acknowledge you’re on the losing Side. Give me the Tali.

Qu.

That’s a better Beginning, there’s three Aces; lay down.

Ch.

Fortune is laying a Trap for you; throw away, but hussle them first. O good Man! you have got nothing at all, there is an upper Blank and an under one. ’Tis my Throw, give me the Tali.

Qu.

Well done again, I see three Aces.

Ch.

Well, don’t reckon your Chickens before they be hatch’d. Well, Fortune has a Mind to make a Gamester of you; but mind, this is my Way of learning. But I am of the Opinion, that Octavius play’d after a different Manner.

Qu.

How was it?

Ch.

He that threw an Ace, laid down a Penny, as we said; he that threw a Size took up nothing, but the other laid down.

Qu.

But what if he threw Doublets?

Ch.

Then the other laid down so many Pieces; and when there was a good Heap of Money down, he that threw Venus took up all; and you may add this, if you will, That he that throws neither Size nor Ace, shall only lose his Throw.

Qu.

I agree to it.

Edition: current; Page: [202] : 202p. 202
Ch.

But I look upon this to be better, That he that holds the Dice shall throw thrice, and then give the Throw to the other.

Qu.

I like that well enough. But how many Venus’s will you make up?

Ch.

Why three, if you will; and after that, you may make a new Bargain, or play who shall take all: For a Size comes up but seldom, and but to very few neither. Now let us make a lucky Beginning.

Qu.

Well; let it be so; but we had best have the Doors shut, lest our Queen of the Kitchen should happen to see us playing at Childrens Play.

Ch.

Nay, we rather play at old Mens Play. But have you got a Blab of a Servant then?

Qu.

So great a Gossip, that if she can’t find any Body else to tell what’s done at Home, she’ll hold a long Discourse with the Hens or Cats, about it.

Ch.

Soho Boy! shut the Door and lock it, that no Body come and surprize us; that we may play our Belly-full.

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ΓϒΝΑΙΚΟΣϒΝΕΔΡΙΟΝ. The ASSEMBLY or PARLIAMENT OF WOMEN.

The Argument.

This Senate of Women, or Γυναικοσυνέδριον, very handsomely exposes some of the Faults of Woman-Kind: They have a Mind to set up a Common-Wealth, and a Parliament, as the Men have. They say they could order Matters better than the greatest Princes have done. A Woman that disgraces her Husband, disgraces herself. The Condition of Women is safer than that of Men. They treat of Dress and Attire; and that there be a Difference between the Commonalty and Gentry.

CORNELIA, MARGARET, PEROTTA, JULIA and CATHERINE.

CORN.

Since so many of you are assembled here to Day, and in so good Humour, for the Good and Happiness of this Convention, and the whole Common-Wealth of Women, it gives me the greatest Hope, that every one’s good Genius will suggest to her those Things that concern the Dignity and Advantage of the whole Sex. I believe, you all know what a Prejudice it has been to our Affairs, that, while the Men have had their daily Meetings for transacting their Affairs, we have been sitting at our Spinning-Wheels, and neglected the Management of our own Cause. Whence Things are now come to that Pass, that there are not the Edition: current; Page: [204] : 204p. 204 least Footsteps of Discipline and Government left amongst us; and the Men make a mere Jest of us, and scarce allow us the Title of rational Creatures. So that if we go on as we have done, you may easily foresee what will come on it in a short Time; and indeed, I am afraid to utter it: and if we should take no Care at all of our Dignity, yet we ought to have some Regard to our Safety. And the wisest of Kings has left it upon Record, that in the Multitude of Counsellors there is Safety. The Bishops have their Synods, and the Flocks of Monks their Conventicles; the Soldiers their Councils of War, and Thieves and Pick-Pockets their Clubs; and even the Pismires themselves have their Meetings: And we Women, of all living Creatures, are the only ones that have had no Meeting of Members at all.

Mar.

Oftner than is becoming.

Corn.

Don’t interrupt there; let me conclude my Speech, and you shall have all Time to speak in your Turns. That which we now do is no new Thing; we only revive an old Custom: For, if I am not mistaken, about 1300 Years ago, that most Praise-worthy Emperor Heliogabalus

Per.

Most Praise-worthy! when it is certain he was dragg’d about with a Hook, and thrown into a House-of-Office.

Corn.

Here I am interrupted again. If we approve, or disapprove of any Person, by this Way of arguing, we must allow Christ was an ill Person because he was crucified; and Domitian a good Man, because he died in his Bed. The worst Thing that was laid to the Charge of Heliogabalus, was his flinging down to the Ground the sacred Fire that was kept by the Vestal Virgins; and that he had the Pictures of Moses and Christ hanging up in his private Chapel, whom, by Way of Contempt, they called Chrestus. This Heliogabalus published a Proclamation, that as he, being Emperor, had a Parliament of Men to consult of their common Affairs; so his Mother Augusta should have her Parliament of Women to transact the Affairs of their own Sex; which the Men, either by Way of Drollery, or Distinction, Edition: current; Page: [205] call’d the Little Senate. This Precedent, which has been omitted for so many Years, the present Posture of our Affairs obliges us to revive. Neither let any one be scrupulous, because the Apostle Paul forbids a Woman to speak in the Assembly, that he calls a Church; for he speaks of an Assembly of Men, and this is an Assembly of Women. Otherwise, if Women must always hold their Tongues, to what Purpose did Nature give them, which are as voluble as Mens, and a Voice that is shriller? altho’ they make a hoarser Sound, and thereby resemble Asses more than we do. But this ought to be the Care of us all, to manage our Debates with that Gravity, that the Men may not call our Assembly a Conventicle, or by some other more scandalous Name: and they are used to be forward enough to be scurrilous in their Language to us; altho’ if one might estimate their Parliaments according to Truth, they will appear more womanish than the Assemblies of Women themselves. We see Monarchs have done nothing but fight, for these I don’t know how many Years. The Students of Divinity, Priests, Bishops, and People, are at Daggers-drawing, and there are as many Opinions as there are Men in the World, and they are more inconsistent in them than we Women ourselves are. One City does not agree with another, nor one Neighbour with another. If the supreme Administration were entrusted in our Hands, I am mistaken, if the World would not be managed at a better Rate than now it is. Perhaps it may not become our female Modesty, to charge such noble Personages with Folly; but, I suppose, I may be allowed to recite what Solomon has written in the 13th Chapter of his Proverbs, There is always Contention among the Proud; but they that do every Thing by Counsel, are governed by Wisdom. But that I may not detain you any longer with a tedious Preamble; to the End that all Things may be carried on decently and without Confusion, in the first Place it will be necessary to consider who shall be allowed as Members, and who shall be excluded. For too great a Company will make it look more like a Mob and a Riot Edition: current; Page: [206] : 206p. 206 than a grave Assembly; and if we take in too few, it will seem to be something tyrannical: Therefore I humbly conceive, that no Virgin is to be admitted as a Member; because many Things may happen to be debated, that are not proper for them to hear.

Jul.

But how shall we be able to know who are Virgins and who are not? Will you allow all those to be Virgins that pass for such?

Corn.

No; but my Meaning is, that none but married Women be admitted among us.

Jul.

But there are Virgins among those that are married; such as have Fumblers for their Husbands.

Corn.

Well, but this Honour shall be allow’d to a married State, that all that have been married shall be allowed to be Women.

Jul.

Under your Favour, if you exclude none but Virgins, we shall still have too great a Number.

Corn.

Well then, those shall be excluded that have been more than thrice married.

Jul.

For what Reason?

Corn.

Because they ought to have their quietus est, as being superannuated. And I am of Opinion, that we ought to do the same by those that are upwards of 70 Years of Age. I think also, that it ought to be resolved, Nemine contradicente, that no Woman be allow’d particularly to mention her own Husband by Name too freely: It may be allowed to speak in the general; but that too ought to be done with Moderation and Decency.

Ca.

But why may it not be allow’d us to talk freely of the Men here, when they are always talking about us every where? My Titius, whenever he has a Mind to divert his Company, tells them what he did with me in the Night, what I said to him, and oftentimes affirms what is false.

Corn.

If we would speak the Truth, our Reputation depends wholly upon that of the Men; so that if we expose them, what else do we do but disgrace ourselves? And altho’ indeed, we have a great many just Complaints against them; Edition: current; Page: [207] yet, all Things being duly considered, our Condition is much preferable to theirs: For they, endeavouring to get a Maintenance for their Families, scamper thro’ all the Parts of the Earth by Land and Sea. In Times of War, they are call’d up by the Sound of the Trumpet, stand in Armour in the Front of the Battle, while we sit at Home in Safety. If they transgress the Law, they are punish’d severely; but our Sex is spared. And in the last Place, for the most Part it is in our own Power to make our Husbands such as we would have them. But it remains, that we come to some Resolutions about Precedency in taking Places; lest it should be with us as it often happens among the Plenipotentiaries of Kings, Princes, and Popes, who in their Congresses, squabble away three Months at least in Punctilios and Ceremony, before they can sit down to Business. Therefore it is my Opinion, that none but Peeresses sit in the first Bench; and these shall take their Places according to the Degrees of their Nobility: First, those that have four; next, those that have three; after them, those that have two; then, those who have but one; and last of all, those who have but half a one: And in every Rank Regard shall be had to Antiquity. Bastards of every Rank shall sit in the lowest Place of it. The next Bench shall be that of the Commons; and of those, they shall sit in the foremost Places who have had the most Children; and between those who have had the same Number, Age shall decide the Difference. The Third Bench shall be for those who never had any Children.

Ca.

Where do you intend to place the Widows?

Corn.

Well remembred. They shall have their Seats in the Middle of the Mothers, if they have Children, or ever had any; those that have been barren, shall sit at the lower End of them.

Jul.

Well, but what Place do you design for the Wives of Priests and Monks?

Corn.

We will consider of that Matter at our next Meeting.

Jul.

What do you determine about those Women who get their Living by their bodily Labour?

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Corn.

We will not suffer this Assembly to be polluted by the Mixture of such Cattle.

Jul.

What will you do concerning kept Mistresses?

Corn.

They are of several Ranks; we’ll consider that when we are more at Leisure. There’s another Matter to be considered of, How we shall give our Votes; whether by Scratching or Balloting, or by Word of Mouth, or Holding up our Hands, or by Dividing.

Ca.

There are Tricks in Balloting, and so there are in Scratching; and if we give our Vote by Dividing, as we wear long Petticoats, we shall raise too much Dust; so that I am of Opinion, it will be the best Way for every one to give her Vote viva voce.

Corn.

But it will be a difficult Matter to number the Votes. And then too, great Care ought to be taken, that it be not rather a Billingsgate than a Senate, [a Place of Scolding, rather than a Place of Pleading.]

Ca.

It will be impossible to do any Thing without Clerks, to take Care that nothing be omitted.

Corn.

Well then, we have taken Care about numbering; in the next Place, how shall we exclude scolding?

Ca.

That no-Body speak but when she is asked, and in her Turn too. She that does otherwise, shall be expelled the House. And if any one shall be found to blab out what is transacted here, she shall incur the Penalty of a three Days Silence.

Corn.

Well, Ladies, so far we have settled Matters, as to the Method of Proceeding; now let us consider what we shall debate about. In the first Place, we ought to take Care of our Honour; and that consists chiefly in Dress, which Matter has been so neglected, that now-a-Days you can scarce know a Dutchess from a Shop-Keeper’s Wife; a married Woman from a Maid, or a Widow or a Matron, from a Whore. Modesty is remov’d at that Distance, that every one wears what Apparel she pleases. You may see those, that are scarce one Degree on this Side Beggars, and of a base and sordid Extraction, dress’d in their Velvets, Edition: current; Page: [209] Silks, and water’d Tabbies, Garden Sattins, sprigg’d Callicoes and Chintzes, in Gold and Silver, Sable Tippets, &c. whose Husbands in the mean Time sit at Home cobbling Shoes. Their Fingers are loaded with Emerald and Diamond Rings; for Pearls are now made no Account of; not to mention their Amber and Coral Necklaces, their lac’d Shoes. It was formerly thought enough for your ordinary Women, to be allow’d the Privilege to wear a Silk Girdle, and to border their Petticoats with a Ribbon, in Honour of the Sex: But now we labour under a double Inconveniency; the Family is beggar’d, and Distinction, which is the Life and Soul of Quality, is quite lost. If the Wives of the Commonalty must be dragg’d about in gilded Chariots, adorn’d with Ivory Seats, and Cotton Linings and Coach-Seats, what shall Dutchesses and Countesses do? And, if a ’Squire’s Spouse shall be allow’d to drag a Train after her of 15 Ells long, what must a Dutchess or a Countess do? But there is one Thing that is worse than all this, that by an unaccountable Fickleness we are always altering the Fashion. Formerly our Head-Dresses were mounted upon Wires; and by this Dress Women of Quality were known from ordinary ones. Again, that the Difference might be more visible, they wore Caps of Ermin powdered with black Spots: But the Mob had ’em presently. Then they altered the Fashion again, and wore black Caps; but Women of the ordinary Sort did not only presume to imitate them, but out-did them, by adding Gold Embroidery and Jewels to them. Formerly it was the Custom of Ladies of Quality, to comb up their Hair from their Foreheads and Temples, and to make a Tower of it; but this did not last long; for every Baggage soon fell into that Fashion. Then they wore their Hair on their Foreheads; but in this too they were soon followed by the ordinary Sort. Formerly none but Ladies of Quality had their Gentlemen-Ushers, and Pages, and out of these they chose some pretty smock-fac’d Fellow to take them by the Hand, when they arose from their Chairs, or to support their left Arm with his right, when they walk’d; but this Honour was Edition: current; Page: [210] granted to none but Gentlemen. But now, Women in common following this Fashion, admit any mean Persons to this Office, and also to bear up their Train too. And whereas formerly, in primitive Times, none but Persons of high Extraction saluted one another with a Kiss, and did not permit every one to kiss them, no not so much as their Hand; now-a-Days a Tanner or Currier, that stinks of the Leather, shall presume to kiss a Lady of the highest Quality. Nay, even in Marriages, there is no Regard had to Honour: Noblemens Daughters are married to Tradesmens Sons, and Tradesmens Daughters to Noblemen; so that a Sort of Mongrels are brought into the World. Nor is there a Wench of ever so mean a Birth, but would presume to use the same Paints and Washes that the Quality use: when ordinary People ought to be satisfied with a little Ale Yeast, or the Fresh Juice of a Tree that has been barked, or any such Thing that costs but little: They ought to leave the fine Paints, Washes, and Cosmeticks, to Women of Quality. To come now to publick Entertainments and the Park, what Confusion and Disorder is there! A Merchant’s Wife shall oftentimes refuse to give Place to a Lady of noble Descent both by Father and Mother: So that the present Posture of Affairs calls upon us to come to some Resolution as to these Matters: and these Things may be easily settled among us, because they belong to none but our own Sex. But there are also some Affairs that we have to settle with the Men too, who exclude us from all honourable Employments, and only make us their Landresses, and their Cooks; while they themselves manage every Thing according to their own Pleasure. We will allow them the Management of publick Offices, and military Concerns: But is it a sufferable Thing that the Wife’s Coat of Arms should be painted on the left Side of the Escutcheon, altho’ her Family is twice as honourable as that of her Husband’s? And in the last Place, it is but just, that a Mother’s Consent should be had in putting out the Children. And it may be, we shall gain the Ascendant so far, as to take our Turns in the Edition: current; Page: [211] Administration of the publick Offices; but, I mean, only those that can be managed at Home, and without Arms. These are the chief Heads of the Matters, which, in my Opinion, deserve our Deliberation. Let every one here deliberate with herself upon these Matters, that an Act may be passed concerning every one of them; and if any one shall think of any Thing else, that is necessary to be debated, let her communicate it to Morrow: For we will sit de die in diem till we have concluded the Session. Let us have four Clerks, that may take down our Speeches; and two Chair-Women, who shall have the Power of giving Liberty to Speak, and of enjoining Silence: And let this Meeting be a Sample of what may be expected hereafter.

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DILUCULUM: Or, The EARLY RISING.

The Argument.

: 212p. 212This Colloquy is a very learned Chastisement of Sloth, and an Incitement to honest Studies. A Joke of Nasica, to whom Ennius’s Maid-Servant, by her Master’s Order, told that he was not at Home. Philypnus was fast asleep after Eight a Clock in the Morning, having sat up till Midnight, feasting, gaming, and talking merrily. Nephalius persuades him to rise sooner in a Morning. The Morning is the golden Part of the Day. The Sun does not shine for Men to sleep by it. The Soul is rather to be taken Care of than the Body. The Life of Man is a Time of watching. It is in our own Power to lengthen out our Lives. It is not wholsome to study presently after Dinner. We must leave off an evil Habit.

NEPHALIUS and PHILYPNUS.

NE.

I wou’d have been glad to have met with you to Day, Philypnus; but your Servants deny’d that you were at Home.

Ph.

They did not tell you altogether false; I was not at Home, indeed, to you; but I was never more at Home to myself.

Ne.

What Riddle is this?

Ph.

You know the old Proverb, I don’t sleep to all: Nor Edition: current; Page: [213] can you forget that pleasant Joke of Nasica; to whom, when he would have visited his old Friend Ennius, the Maid, by her Master’s Command, deny’d him to be at Home. Nasica perceiv’d how Matters went, and departed. Afterwards Ennius, in his Turn, entering the House of Nasica, asks the Boy whether his Master was within or not: Nasica cries aloud from an inner Room, saying, I am not at Home. Ennius, knowing his Voice, cries, Art thou not an impudent Fellow? Dost think I don’t know thee when thou speak’st? Rather you, says Nasica, are the more impudent, who won’t give Credit to me myself, when I believ’d your Servant.

Ne.

Perhaps you were very busy.

Ph.

No, in Troth, I was most pleasantly at Leisure.

Ne.

Again you perplex me with Riddles.

Ph.

Why, then I’ll speak plainly, and not call any Thing out of its Name.

Ne.

Say on.

Ph.

In short, I was fast asleep.

Ne.

What say’st thou? what at past 8? when the Sun rises this Month before 4.

Ph.

The Sun is very welcome to rise at Midnight, for all me; truly I love to sleep my Belly-full.

Ne.

But was this by Accident, or is it your common Custom?

Ph.

Why, truly I’m pretty much us’d to it.

Ne.

But the Habit of Evil is most pernicious.

Ph.

There’s no Sleep so pleasant as after Sun-rising.

Ne.

Prithee, at what Hour do you use to leave your Bed?

Ph.

Why, some Time betwixt Four and Nine.

Ne.

A very pretty Space of Time, truly! a Woman of Quality is scarce so long a dressing. But how came you into this agreeable Method?

Ph.

Because we us’d to spend most Part of the Night in good Eating and Drinking, Play, Merriment, and what not; and this Expence we repair by a good sound Sleep in the Morning.

Ne.

I scarce ever saw a Prodigal more undone than thee.

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Ph.

It seems to me rather Parsimony than Profuseness; for in the mean Time, I neither burn my Candles, nor wear out my Cloaths.

Ne.

Ridiculous Parsimony! to destroy Jewels that thou may’st preserve Glass. The Philosopher was of quite another Opinion, who, being ask’d what was the most precious Thing, reply’d Time. Moreover, when it plainly appears, that the Morning is the best Part of the whole Day, you delight to destroy the preciousest Part of the most precious Thing.

Ph.

Is that destroy’d which is giv’n to the Body?

Ne.

’Tis rather taking away from the Body; which is then best affected, most lusty and strong, when ’tis refresh’d by timely and moderate Sleep, and corroborated by early Rising.

Ph.

But ’tis a pure pleasant Thing to sleep.

Ne.

What can be pleasant to him who has no Sense of any Thing?

Ph.

Why, that alone is pleasing, to have no Sense of Trouble.

Ne.

At this Rate, those are most happy who sleep in their Graves; for they are never disturbed with troublesome Dreams.

Ph.

They say, the Body is fed very much by Sleep.

Ne.

This is the Food of Dormice, and not of Men. The Beasts, who are made only to eat, are cramm’d very fitly; but how does it relate to a Man to heap up Fat, unless that he may trudge on under the greater Burden? Tell me now, if you had a Servant, wou’d you have him fat and lumpish, or gay and sprightly, apt for any Employment?

Ph.

But I am no Servant.

Ne.

No Matter; ’tis enough for me, that you had rather have one alert, and fit for Business, than a Fellow stoutly cramm’d.

Ph.

Certainly I wou’d.

Ne.

Now, Plato says, The Mind of a Man is the Man; the Body nothing more than the Mansion or Instrument. Edition: current; Page: [215] You’ll certainly confess, I suppose, the Soul to be the principal Part of a Man; the Body, only the Attendant of the Mind.

Ph.

Be it so, if you will.

Ne.

Since then thou wou’dst not have a Belly-Gut for thy Servant, but rather one brisk and agile; why then dost thou provide for thy Mind a Minister fat and unwieldy?

Ph.

I yield to Truth.

Ne.

Now see another Misfortune. As the Mind far excels the Body; so you’ll confess, that the Riches of the Mind far exceed the Goods of the Body.

Ph.

What you say is very probable.

Ne.

But amongst all the Goods of the Mind, Wisdom holds the chief Place.

Ph.

I confess it.

Ne.

For obtaining this, no Time is more fit than the Morning, when the new-rising Sun gives fresh Vigour and Life to all Things, and dispels those Fumes which are exhaled from the Stomach; which are wont to cloud the Mansion of the Mind.

Ph.

I don’t deny it.

Ne.

Now, do but consider what a Share of Learning you might obtain in those four Hours which you consume in unseasonable Sleep.

Ph.

Truly, a great Share!

Ne.

I have experienc’d that more may be done at Study in one Hour in the Morning, than in three after Noon; and that without any Detriment to the Body.

Ph.

I have heard as much.

Ne.

Consider this further: If you should bring into a gross Sum the Loss of each particular Day, what a vast Deal would it amount to!

Ph.

A great Deal indeed!

Ne.

He who heedlessly confounds Money and Jewels, is deem’d a Prodigal, and has a Guardian appointed him: Now, he who destroys these so much more precious Goods, is not he a Prodigal of a far deeper Dye?

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Ph.

Certainly ’tis so, if we rightly weigh the Matter.

Ne.

Consider further what Plato writes, That there is nothing fairer, nothing more amiable than Wisdom; which, if it could be seen by corporeal Eyes, would raise to itself an incredible Number of Admirers.

Ph.

But she is not capable of being seen.

Ne.

I own she is not with corporeal Eyes; but she is to be seen with the Eyes of the Mind, which is the better Part of Man. And where the Love is incredible, there must necessarily be the highest Pleasure, as often as the Mind enjoys so pleasing a Mistress.

Ph.

What you say is very probable.

Ne.

Go now, if you think good, and barter this Enjoyment for Sleep, that Image of Death.

Ph.

But in the mean Time I lose my dear nocturnal Sports.

Ne.

Those Things are well lost, which being worst are changed for the best, shameful for honourable, most vile for the most precious. He has happily lost his Lead who has changed it into Gold. Nature has appointed the Night for Sleep; the Sun arising recalls all the animal Species, and especially Men, to their several Offices. They who sleep, (saith St. Paul) sleep in the Night; and they who are drunken, are drunken in the Night. Therefore, what can be more unseemly, than, when all Animals rouze with the Sun, nay, some even before his Appearance, and as it were with a Song salute his coming; when the Elephant adores the rising Sun; Man only shou’d lie snoring long after his Rising. As often as his golden Rays enlighten thy Chamber, does he not seem thus to upbraid thee, as thou liest sleeping? Fool! why dost thou delight to destroy the best Part of thy Life? I shine not for this Purpose, that you may hide yourselves and sleep; but that you may attend your honest Employments. No Man lights a Lamp to sleep by, but that he may pursue some Sort of Labour; and by this Lamp, the fairest, the most refulgent of all Lamps, wretched Thou dost nothing but snore.

Ph.

You declaim smartly.

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Ne.

Not smartly, but truly. Come on, you have often heard that of Hesiod, ’Tis too late to spare when all is spent.

Ph.

Very frequently; for in the Middle of the Pipe, the Wine is best.

Ne.

But in Life the first Part, that is to say, Youth is best.

Ph.

Verily, so it is.

Ne.

And the Morning is the same to the Day, as Youth is to Life. Do not they then act foolishly, who spend their Youth in Trifles, and their Morning Hours in Sleep?

Ph.

So it appears.

Ne.

Is there any Possession which may be compared with a Man’s Life?

Ph.

No, not the whole Persian Treasure.

Ne.

Wou’dst thou not vehemently hate the Man, that by evil Arts cou’d and wou’d curtail thy Years, and shorten thy Thread of Life?

Ph.

I’d rather do my Endeavour to destroy his Life.

Ne.

But I deem those far worse, and more guilty, who voluntarily render their own Lives shorter.

Ph.

I confess it, if any such are to be found.

Ne.

To be found! ’Tis what all, who are like thee, do.

Ph.

Good Words, Man.

Ne.

The best. Thus consider with your own Self, whether Pliny has spoken justly or not, when he says, All Life is one continued Watching, and he lives most, who employs the greatest Part of his Time in Study? For Sleep is a Kind of Death; therefore the Poets feign it to come from the infernal Shades; and it is call’d by Homer, the Cousin-German of Death; and so, those who sleep can scarce be number’d either amongst the Dead or Living; but of the two, they seem most properly nam’d amongst the Dead.

Ph.

I am intirely of your Opinion.

Ne.

Now tell me fairly, how much of Life do they cut off, who every Day destroy three or four Hours in Sleep?

Ph.

Truly, a vast Deal.

Ne.

Would not you esteem him as a God, if there were an Alchymist, who cou’d find a Way to add ten Years to the Edition: current; Page: [218] : 218p. 218 Length of your Life, and when you are advanc’d in Years, reduce you to Youth and Vigour?

Ph.

Ay, why should I not?

Ne.

And this so divine Blessing, thou may’st obtain from thy own Self.

Ph.

Which Way?

Ne.

Because the Morning is the vigorous Youth of the Day; this Youth flourishes till Noon; the Evening succeeds by the Name of Old-Age; and call Sun-set the Article of Death. Frugality is a handsome Income, and never more necessary than in this Case. Now, has he not been a great Gainer, who has avoided losing the greatest and best Part of Life?

Ph.

All these Things are too true.

Ne.

How intolerably impudent then must they seem, who accuse Nature, and complain that the Life of Man is short and little, when they themselves voluntarily cut off so great a Part of that little which Nature gave? Life is long enough, if Men would but use it prudently. Nor has he made a small Progress, who knows how to do every Thing in Season. After Dinner, we are scarce half Men, when the Body loaded with Meats, burdens and oppresses the Mind; nor is it safe to excite, or draw up the Spirits from Nature’s Kitchen, the Stomach, where they are employ’d in the Business of Concoction. After Supper, much less. But in the Morning a Man is effectually, and all a Man, when his Body is apt and fit for every Employment; when the Soul is active, and in full Force; and all the Organs of the Mind serene, and in Tranquillity; whilst it breathes a Part of that divine Flatus (as one says,) has a Relish of its great Original, and is rapt, or hurried on to commendable Actions.

Ph.

Truly, you harangue very elegantly.

Ne.

Agamemnon, in Homer, tells us, ’Tis unbecoming a Man of Counsel to sleep the whole Night. How much greater then the Fault, to spend so much of the Day in Sleep?

Ph.

True; but this has Respect to a Man of Counsel. I am no General of an Army.

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Ne.

If there is any Thing more dear to you than yourself, don’t be mov’d, or affected by this Opinion of Homer. A Brasier will rise before ’tis Light, only in Hopes of some poor Advantage. And has not the Love of Wisdom Power to rouze and stir us up, that we may at least hear the approaching Sun calling us forth to Profit inestimable? Physicians rarely give Physick but in the Morning. They know the Golden Hours, in which they may assist the Body; and shall we be ignorant of those precious Hours, in which we may heal and enrich the Mind? Now, if these Things are of small Weight with you, hear what Solomon says. Wisdom, heavenly Wisdom herself speaks, They who seek me early, shall find me. So in the holy Psalms what Praise and Commendation is there of the Morning Seasons. In the Morning the Prophet extols the Mercy of the Lord; in the Morning his Voice is heard; his Prayers come before God in the Morning. And, according to Luke the Evangelist, The People, seeking from the Lord Cure and Instruction, flock’d together to him early in the Morning. Why dost thou sigh, Philypnus?

Ph.

I can scarce refrain weeping, when I consider what a Waste I have made of Life.

Ne.

’Tis all in Vain to torment yourself about those Things which cannot be recall’d, but may nevertheless be repair’d in Time to come. Apply yourself to this; rather than in vainly deploring what is past, lose also some Part of the future.

Ph.

You advise well. But long Habit has intirely overcome me.

Ne.

Phy! One Nail drives out another; and Custom is overcome by Custom.

Ph.

But ’tis difficult to forego those Things to which we have been long accustom’d.

Ne.

In the Beginning, I grant; but a different Habit first lessens the Uneasiness, anon changes it into the highest Pleasure; so that it won’t repent you to have undergone a short Discipline.

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Ph.

I am afraid ’twill never succeed.

Ne.

Why, truly, if you were seventy Years of Age, I would not attempt to draw you from your wonted Course; but, if I guess right, you are scarce seventeen; and what is there that that Age is not able to overcome, if there be but a willing Mind?

Ph.

I will attempt it, and endeavour of a Philypnus to be made a Philologus, of a Lover of Sleep, a Lover of Learning.

Ne.

If you do this, my Philypnus, I am very well satisfied, after a few Days, you will congratulate yourself, and give me Thanks who advis’d you.

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ΝΗΦΑΛΙοΝ ΣϒΜΠοΣΙοΝ. The SOBER FEAST.

The Argument.

The Sober Feast produces Symbols (Motto’s, Devices) learned Arguments, and other curious Things. The Patience of Phocion. The Justice of Aristides, who was forced away (from his own Country) by the Ostracism: His great Patience. Socrates, a very patient Man. The Way of overcoming Injuries. The Patience of Cato. How Diogenes avenged himself upon an Enemy. The Saying of Phocion, when he had defended a wicked Man by his Patrociny. Demochares, the Nephew of Demosthenes, treats Philip of Macedon unhandsomly. The Way of getting a good Name. The witty Answer of a certain Laconian Damsel, when she was selling in an Auction. The Moderation of Philip of Macedon, when three great Felicities befel him upon one and the same Day.

ALBERT, BARTHOLINE, CHARLES, DENNIS, ÆMILIUS, FRANCIS, GYRALDUS, JEROM, JAMES, LAURENCE.

AL.

Did you ever, in your Life, see any Thing more pleasant than this Garden?

Ba.

I scarce think that there is a pleasanter Spot of Ground in all the fortunate Islands.

Edition: current; Page: [222]
Ch.

I can’t but fancy myself viewing that Paradise that God plac’d Adam in.

Den.

Even a Nestor or a Priamus might grow young again, if they were here.

Fr.

Nay, if a Man was dead, it would fetch him to Life again.

Gy.

If it was possible I would add to your Hyperbole.

Jer.

Upon my Word, all Things look wonderful Pleasant.

Ja.

In short, this Garden ought to be dedicated with a drinking Match.

La.

Our James speaks much to the Purpose.

Al.

This Place has been formerly initiated with such Ceremonies. But I would have you observe by the Way, that I have nothing here to make you a Dinner, except you’ll be content with a Collation without Wine. I’ll treat you with Lettices without either Salt, Vinegar, or Oil; here’s not a Drop of Wine, but what flows out of this Fountain. I have here neither Bread (to eat with the Sallad) nor Cup (to drink out of.) And the Season of the Year is such, that it is more proper for feeding the Eyes than the Belly.

Ba.

But I suppose you have gotten playing Tables, or Bowls, we’ll dedicate the Garden with Playing, if we can’t with Feasting.

Al.

Since there is such a Set of jolly Fellows of us met together, I have something to propose, as to the Consecration of the Garden, that, I am of Opinion, you’ll confess is far before either Gaming or Banquetting.

Ch.

What’s that?

Al.

Let every one furnish his Quota, and I dare engage we shall have a noble and delicate Feast.

Æm.

What can we furnish, that are come hither unprovided?

Al.

Unprovided, who have your Intellectuals so well furnished!

Fr.

We long to hear what you would be at.

Al.

Let every one produce the neatest Observation, that his Week’s Reading has furnished him with.

Edition: current; Page: [223]
Gy.

Very well proposed; nothing can be more agreeable to such Guests, such an Entertainment, and such a Place. Do you begin, we’ll all follow you.

Al.

If you agree to it, I won’t stick out. I was mightily pleased to Day to find so Christian-like a Sentence in a Man who was no Christian; it was that of Phocion, a Man, than whom there was not a more divine one, nor more regardful of the publick Utility in all Athens. When he had been invidiously sentenc’d to Death, and was about to drink his Poison, being ask’d by his Friends, what Message he had to send to his Children; he answered, he only requir’d of them, that they would ever banish this Injury out of their Memories.

Ba.

You will scarce find an Example of such notable Patience amongst either the Dominicans or Franciscans. And I’ll present you with one Instance that is something like this, tho’ it does not come up to it. Aristides was very like Phocion for Integrity, so that the common People gave him the Surname of the Just; which Appellation raised him so much Envy, that this good Man, that deserv’d so well of the Common-Wealth, was banish’d for ten Years from his native Country. When he understood that the People was offended at nothing but that Appellation, tho’ that had always been to their Advantage, he patiently submitted. Being in Banishment, his Friends asking him what Punishment he wish’d to the ungrateful City, he reply’d, I wish them nothing, but so much Prosperity, that they may never once remember Aristides.

Ch.

I wonder that Christians are not asham’d of themselves, that are in a Rage upon the Occasion of every trifling Affront, and will have Revenge, cost it what it will. The whole Life of Socrates, in my Opinion, is but one continued Example of Temperance and Patience. And that I may not be scot-free, I’ll mention one Instance that pleases me above the rest. As he was going along the King’s Highway, a saucy Fellow hit him a Slap on the Face; Socrates said nothing to him, but his Friends that were with him, advised Edition: current; Page: [224] him to be reveng’d on him. To which he reply’d, What would you have me do to him? They reply’d, Arrest him in an Action of Assault and Battery. A foolish Story indeed, says he; What, says he, suppose an Ass had given me a Kick, must I sue him upon the same Action, and subpœna you for Evidences of the Injury offered? intimating, that that saucy Fellow was no better than an Ass; and that it was the Part of a mean Soul, not to be able to bear such an Affront from a Numb’d-Skull, as he would from a brute Animal.

Den.

The Roman History is not so well stored with Instances of Moderation, nor so remarkable; for in my Opinion, he does not deserve the Praise of Moderation, that strenuously labours to bring haughty Persons under Subjection, and then spares them when they are in his Power: But yet I think it deserves to be related, what Cato the Elder said, when Lentulus spit in his Face, and threw Snot in it. He said nothing to him but this, Hereafter I shall have an Answer ready for them that shall say, you are a Man that have no Mouth (Os) for the Latins us’d to say, that he that has no Shame in him, has no Os; so that the Joke depends upon the double Meaning of Os (which signifies the Mouth and the Countenance.)

Æm.

One Man is pleas’d with one Thing, and another with another. But among Diogenes’s Sayings, which are all excellent ones, none charms me more than the Answer he made to one that ask’d him, What was the best Way to be revenged on an Enemy? Says he, By approving yourself an honest good Man. I can’t but admire how so divine a Thought could ever come into his Mind. And, methinks, the Saying of Aristotle is agreeable to St. Paul’s Notion; who being ask’d by a certain Person, What Advantage his Philosophy afforded him, answered him, That by Reason of it, he did those Things voluntarily, which other Persons did by Constraint, and for Fear of the Law: For St. Paul teaches, that those that are endued with the Love of Christ, are not under the Subjection of the Law, in that they do more of their own Accord, than the Law can influence them to do for Fear of Punishment.

Edition: current; Page: [225]
Fr.

Our Saviour, when the Jews murmured against him, because he had Communion at the Table with Publicans and Sinners, answered them, The whole have not need of a Physician, but those that are sick. That which Phocion in Plutarch wittily answer’d, when he was reprehended because he had patronized a Person infamous, and of an ill Character, is not very different from this: Why should I not, says he, when no good Man stands in Need of such a Patronage?

Gy.

That is a Pattern of Christian Goodness, and according to the Example of God himself, to do Good both to good and bad, as much as may be; For he causes his Sun to shine upon the just and unjust. And perhaps an Example of Moderation in a King will be more admirable. When Demochares, the Nephew of Demosthenes, was sent Ambassador to Philip King of Macedon; and having obtain’d of him what he desired, being about to have his Audience of Leave, was courteously ask’d by the King, if there was any Thing else he requested of him; he answered, Yes, that he would hang himself. This unhandsome Answer was an Argument of Hatred: He to whom this Affront was offered was a King, and a worthy one too; but for all that, he did not fall into a Passion, but only turning to the Ambassador’s Retinue, said, Do you report this to the People of Athens, and then let them judge, which has the greater Soul of the two, I who heard this patiently, or he who spoke it saucily. Where are now our Monarchs, who think themselves equal to the Gods themselves; and for a single Word spoken over a Glass of Wine, will immediately wage War?

Jer.

The Thirst of Glory is very impetuous, and many are carry’d away by the Violence of it. One of that Number put the Question to Socrates, Which was the shortest Way to get a good Reputation? To whom he answer’d, If you shall behave yourself like such an one as you would be accounted to be.

Ja.

In Troth I don’t know what could be said more concisely and to the Purpose. A good Name is not to be obtain’d by wishing for, but is a Concomitant of Virtue, as Edition: current; Page: [226] Infamy is of Improbity. You have been admiring of Men; but the Laconian Maid charm’d me, who being to be sold at a Sale, the Person who was to buy her, came to her, and ask’d her, If I buy you, will you be honest? She answered, Yes, I will, whether you buy me or not; intimating, that she retain’d an Affection to Honesty, not upon the Account of any other Person, but was honest of her own Inclination, and upon this Notion, that Virtue was its own Reward.

La.

A very manly Saying, indeed, for a Maid! But after all, this, in my Opinion, is an Example of Constancy against Fortune, flattering to the utmost Degree; That when three extraordinary Felicities were related to Philip of Macedon on the same Day; That he had won the Prize in the Olympic Games, that his General Parmenio had overcome the Dardans in a Battle, and that his Wife Olympia was brought to Bed of a Son; lifting his Hands up to Heaven, he pray’d that God would be pleas’d that so mighty a Prosperity might be expiated by a small Adversity.

Al.

Now-a-Days there is no Prosperity so great, that any one fears the Invidiousness of Fortune; but is so puffed up, if any good Luck happens to him, as if Nemesis were either dead, or at least deaf. Well, if you like this Dinner, this Garden shall entertain you as often as you will, since you have consecrated it with this Conversation, that is no less pleasant than profitable.

Ba.

In short, Apitius himself could not have furnish’d a more dainty Entertainment; so that if you like what we have brought, you may depend upon our Company often, which Things indeed are not worth your hearing, but are such as came into our Minds without any Premeditation: But when we have Time to think before-Hand, we’ll afford you something more exquisite.

Al.

You shall be so much the more welcome.

Edition: current; Page: [227]

The NOTABLE ART.

The Argument.

: 227p. 227Ars notoria derides the vain Boastingness of a bold Pretence of a certain Book, promising the Knowledge of Languages and Science in fourteen Days Time. A good Apprehension and Method is the most compendious Way to attain Arts. (1.) To love Studies. (2.) To admire them. (3.) To take Notice when Honour is done to Men of Learning. Those that have not a retentive Memory, must follow their Studies the more closely. (1.) Let it be your first Care throughly to apprehend the Matter. (2.) To repeat it over with yourself. (3.) To render the Mind tame, that it may dwell upon Thought; for a fickle Mind is unfit for Literature. (4.) To keep Company with learned Men. In a Word, Care, Love, and Assiduity are the best Arts of helping the Memory.

DESIDERIUS, ERASMIUS.

DE.

How do you succeed in your Studies, Erasmius?

Er.

But very slowly; but I should make a better Proficiency, if I could obtain one Thing of you.

De.

You may obtain any Thing of me, provided it be for your Good; do but tell me what it is.

Er.

I believe there is nothing of the most hidden Arts, but what you are acquainted with.

De.

I wish I were.

Er.

I am told there is a certain compendious Art, that Edition: current; Page: [228] will help a Man to accomplish himself with all the liberal Sciences by a very little Labour.

De.

What is that you talk of? Did you ever see the Book?

Er.

I did see it, and that was all, having no Body to instruct me in the Use of it.

De.

What was the Subject of the Book?

Er.

It treated of various Forms of Dragons, Lions, Leopards; and various Circles, and Words written in them, some in Greek, some in Latin, and some in Hebrew, and other barbarous Languages.

De.

Pray, in how many Days Time did the Title-Page promise you the Knowledge of the Arts and Sciences?

Er.

In fourteen.

De.

In Truth a very noble Promise. But did you ever know any Body that has become learned by that notable Art?

Er.

No.

De.

No, nor no Body ever did, or ever will, till we can see an Alchymist grow rich.

Er.

Why, is there no such Art then? I wish with all my Heart there was.

De.

Perhaps you do, because you would not be at the Pains which is requir’d to become learned.

Er.

You are right.

De.

It seem’d meet to the divine Being, that the common Riches, Gold, Jewels, Silver, Palaces, and Kingdoms, should be bestow’d on the slothful and undeserving; but the true Riches, and such as are properly our own, must be gotten by Labour. Nor ought we to think that Labour troublesome, by which so valuable a Thing is procured; when we see a great many Men run thro’ dreadful Dangers, and work their Way thro’ unimaginable Labours, to get temporary Things, and such as are really vile too, if compar’d to Learning; and do not always attain what they strive for neither. But indeed the Pains that Studies cost, are mingled with a great Deal of Sweetness, if you make but a little Proficiency Edition: current; Page: [229] : 229p. 229 in ’em. And again, it is for the most Part in your own Power to cut off the greatest Part of the Tiresomness of attaining them.

Er.

How is that to be done?

De.

In the first Place, by bringing your Mind to the Love of Studies. And secondly to admire ’em.

Er.

How must that be done?

De.

Consider how many Learning has enrich’d, how many it has promoted to the highest Honours: Then again, consider with yourself, how great the Difference is between a Man and a Beast.

Er.

You give very good Advice.

De.

Then you ought to tame, and bring your Mind to be consistent with itself; and to take Pleasure in those Things that bring Profit rather than Pleasure. For those Things that are honourable in themselves, altho’ they are something troublesome in the Beginning, yet they grow pleasant by Use; and by that Means you will give the Master less Trouble, and you will more easily make a Progress; according to the Saying of Isocrates, which deserves to be written in Gold Letters on the Cover of your Book; Ἐὰν ᾐ̑ς ϕιλομαθὴς ἔσῃ πολυμαθής, If thou be desirous to learn, thou shalt learn many Things well.

Er.

I am quick enough at Apprehension, but I presently forget what I have learned.

De.

Then you tell me your Vessel is leaky.

Er.

You’re much about the Matter; but what Remedy is there for it?

De.

Why, you must stop the Chinks that it don’t run out.

Er.

What must I stop ’em with?

De.

Not with Moss, nor Mortar, but with Diligence. He that learns Words, and does not understand the Meaning of ’em, soon forgets ’em; For Words, as Homer says, have Wings, and easily fly away, unless they be kept down by the Weight of the Meaning. Therefore let it be your first Care thoroughly to understand the Meaning of them, and then frequently revolve them in your Mind, and repeat them; Edition: current; Page: [230] and then, as I have said, you ought to break your Mind, that it may be able to use Application as often as is necessary; for that Mind that is so wild, that it can’t be brought to this, is not fit for Learning.

Er.

I know too well how hard a Matter that is.

De.

Whosoever has so voluble a Mind, that it cannot fix itself upon any Thought, he neither can attend long on the Person teaching, nor fix what he has learn’d in the Memory. An Impression may be made even upon Lead, because it is fixed; but no Impression can be set upon Water or Quicksilver, because they are fluid. But if you can but bring your Mind to this, if you converse constantly with Men of Learning, whose Discourses do daily produce so many Things worthy Notice, you may learn a great Deal with but little Pains.

Er.

That is very right.

De.

For besides the Table-Talk, their daily Conversation after Dinner, you hear eight fine Sentences, collected out of the most approv’d Authors; and after Supper as many. Now do but reckon up what a Sum this will amount to in a Month, and how many more in a Year.

Er.

A very large Sum, if I could but remember them all.

De.

And then, again, when you hear nothing but true Latin spoken, what hinders you, but that you may learn Latin in a very few Months, when Lads, who have no Learning, do learn the French or Spanish Tongue in a very little Time?

Er.

I will take your Course, and try whether I can bring this Mind of mine to submit to the Yoke of the Muses.

De.

I know no other notable Art, but Industry, Delight, and Assiduity.

Edition: current; Page: [231]

The SERMON, or MERDARDUS.

The Argument.

: 231p. 231Here Erasmus inveighs against a certain Franciscan, whom he calls (Merdardus) a shitten Divine, that had carp’d at his Version of the Virgin Mary’s Song call’d Magnificat. He describes the Man’s Person who had call’d Erasmus Devil, and cavill’d at his translating it, quia respexit Dominus ad humilitatem ancillæ suæ, when the Virgin Mary was higher in Dignity than the Angels. Whether or not vilitas answers to τῃ̑ ταπεινώσει. Respicere ad and aspicere, wherein they differ. Respicere aliquem and Respicere ad aliquem. Humilitas is us’d by the Latins, as well in Respect to the Mind, as the Condition. The Place in Col. ii. 18. is explain’d, as also James i. 9, 10. The Difference between ταπείνωσις and ταπεινωϕροσύνη. The Tenor of the Song itself shews that the Virgin speaks of her own Unworthiness, which Erasmus elegantly explains. The stupid Ignorance of the Monks, who say Vestimenta for Vestes. A Crew of saucy Knaves, that make even Kings stand in Awe of them.

HILARY and LEVINUS.

HIL.

Good God! What Monsters there are in the World! What, Men in holy Orders to be asham’d of nothing! why certainly they think they are talking to Mushrooms, and not to Men.

Edition: current; Page: [232] : 232p. 232
Lev.

What’s that which Hilary mutters to himself? I fancy he’s making Verses.

Hil.

What would I give, had I but the stopping of that Babbler’s nasty Mouth with a Turd?

Lev.

I’ll speak to him. How now? what, Hilary not merry!

Hil.

You’re come in very good Time, Levinus, for me to discharge myself of this Uneasiness too.

Lev.

If you discharge your Stomach, I had rather you should do it into a Bason than upon me. But prithee, what’s the Matter, and where have you been?

Hil.

Been! I have been hearing a Sermon.

Lev.

But what should a Poet concern himself with Sermons for?

Hil.

I have no Aversion to holy Duties, but I have happen’d to drop into this Performance, which is to be call’d so in the Sense that Virgil calls Avarice so: But it is such Sort of Billingsgate Parsons as these, that are the Occasion that I seldom go to Church.

Lev.

But where was this Sermon preach’d?

Hil.

In the Cathedral.

Lev.

What, in the Afternoon? Men commonly take a Nap after Dinner.

Hil.

I wish all that were hearing that Babbler had been asleep, for he was scarce fit to preach to a Flock of Geese.

Lev.

A Goose is a noisy Creature. But they say St. Francis once preach’d to a Sisterhood of little Birds, who heard him with a great Deal of Attention. But prithee tell me, do they use to preach on Saturdays?

Hil.

Yes, they do in Honour of the Virgin Mary; for Christ’s Day is on Sunday, and it is meet the Mother should be serv’d first.

Lev.

What was the Text?

Hil.

He went thro’ the Song of the Virgin Mary.

Lev.

That’s a very common Argument.

Hil.

The fitter for him that preach’d upon it, for I believe he never learn’d any Argument but this; as they say there Edition: current; Page: [233] : 233p. 233 are some Priests who can say no Part of the Common Prayer, but the Service for the Dead.

Lev.

Well then, let him be call’d the Magnificat Preacher, or if you will, the Magnificatarian. But what Sort of a Fellow is he? what Habit does he wear?

Hil.

He’s a Wolf in Sheep’s Cloathing.

Lev.

What House did he come out of?

Hil.

The Franciscans.

Lev.

How say you, a Franciscan? what, one of that holy Order? It may be he is one of those that are call’d Gaudentes, that wear Garments of a brown Colour, whole Shoes, a white Girdle; and make no Scruple (I tremble to speak it) to touch Money with their bare Fingers.

Hil.

Nay, none of them, I’ll assure you; but of those that call themselves Observants, that wear Ash-colour’d Garments, Hempen Girdles, cut and slash’d Shoes, and would rather commit Murder than touch Money without Gloves.

Lev.

It is no strange Thing for a Nettle to grow in a Rose-Bed; but who brought this Fool upon the Stage?

Hil.

You’d say so the rather, if you were but to see the Buffoon. He was a swindging great Fellow, with a red Face, a paunch Gut, and a hopper Arse: You would take him to be a Master of the Science, and one that I verily believe drinks more than one Pint of Wine at a Meal.

Lev.

But how can one come by so much Wine, that has no Money to buy it?

Hil.

King Ferdinand allows them four Pints a Day out of his Cellar.

Lev.

A Bounty indeed very ill bestow’d: But it may be he was a Man of Learning.

Hil.

Nothing in the World but Impudence and Noise.

Lev.

But how came Ferdinand to be so much out of the Way, as to bestow his Bounty upon a Blockhead?

Hil.

Why, to tell you in brief, his pious Inclination and bounteous Disposition led him aside; he was recommended to him, and he was one of them that carried his Head upon his right Shoulder.

Edition: current; Page: [234]
Lev.

So Christ hung upon the Cross. But was there a great Auditory?

Hil.

How could it be otherwise at Augsburg, in the great Church there, where there was so great a Concourse of Sovereign Princes, whom the Emperor Charles had drawn together from all Parts of Germany, Italy, Spain and England? And besides, there were a great many Men of Learning present at the Sermon, especially of the Courtiers.

Lev.

I should wonder if such a Swine should produce any Thing worthy of such an Auditory.

Hil.

I’ll assure you he did produce a great many Things worthy of himself.

Lev.

What were they, prithee? but first, pray tell me his Name.

Hil.

That is not convenient.

Lev.

Why so, Hilary?

Hil.

I don’t love to gratify such Fellows.

Lev.

Prithee hold thy Tongue: Is that a gratifying of them to expose ’em?

Hil.

It is the greatest Gratification in the World to them to become noted, be it by what Means it will.

Lev.

Well do but tell me the Name, I won’t mention it again.

Hil.

He is call’d Merdardus.

Lev.

Merdardus! phoo, I know him very well; he’s the very same Man that lately at an Entertainment call’d our Erasmus a Devil.

Hil.

He did so: but however, he was taken up for it; for those that were the most favourable to him, took it to be the effect of his Wine, and look’d upon it accordingly.

Lev.

But what Excuse had he when he was reprov’d for it?

Hil.

He said he did not speak it seriously.

Lev.

Seriously! how should he, when he had neither Seriousness nor Sense in him?

Hil.

But it is, in my Opinion, and also of all learned Men, an unsufferable Thing, that this nasty Fellow should set forth his nasty Ware so publickly, in so venerable a Place, Edition: current; Page: [235] : 235p. 235 before such an Auditory, and in the hearing of so many great Princes.

Lev.

I am with Child to hear what it was he said.

Hil.

He foolishly raved against our Erasmus, saying a great many scurvy Things of him, the Substance of which was as follows: There is, says he, in our Days a new up-start Doctor call’d Erasmus: My Tongue fail’d me, I would have said Asinus. Then he inform’d the People what Asinus signify’d in the German Tongue.

Lev.

A very comical Fancy!

Hil.

Was it so very comical, do you think? I think it was rather very foolish.

Lev.

Was it not very comical that such an Ass as he should call any Body Ass, and much less Erasmus? I am confident, had Erasmus been there, he would not have forborn laughing.

Hil.

In Truth, he resembles an Ass as much by his Stupidity, as he does by the Colour of his Cloaths.

Lev.

I believe all Arcadia does not produce an Ass that is so much of an Ass, or better deserves to be fed with Hay than he does.

Hil.

In short, he is Apuleius turn’d inside out; for Apuleius hid a Man under the Form of an Ass, but this Fellow hides an Ass under the Shape of a Man.

Lev.

In short, we make so many of these Asses pamper’d with Wine and Dainties, that it’s no Wonder if they bite and kick all that come near them.

Hil.

This Dr. Ass, says he, presumes to correct the Magnificat, notwithstanding it is a Song of the holy Spirit’s own inditing, pronounced by the Mouth of the most holy Virgin herself.

Lev.

I know the Proverb of the Brothers.

Hil.

And then he sets it out in Words, as tho’ it was the utmost Pitch of Blasphemy.

Lev.

Now my Heart aches for Fear of the Crime committed.

Hil.

Why, he said Erasmus had translated that which the Edition: current; Page: [236] Church uses in the Litany in these Words: Quia respexit Dominus humilitatem ancillae suae, thus, Quia respexit vilitatem ancillae suae.—Because the Lord hath regarded the Lowliness of his Handmaid; he has translated it, The Lord hath regarded the Vileness of his Handmaid. And that Word sounds worse in High-Dutch, than it does in Latin.

Lev.

Who will not own that it were a horrid Blasphemy for any one to call the most holy Mother of Christ (who was higher in Dignity than the Angels themselves) a vile Handmaid?

Hil.

Why, suppose any one should call the Apostles themselves unprofitable Servants?

Lev.

I would find Faggots to burn such a Blasphemer.

Hil.

What if any one should say that famous Apostle Paul was unworthy the Name of an Apostle?

Lev.

I would have him burnt for a Heretick.

Hil.

And yet Christ himself, that Teacher who cannot be refuted, taught his Apostles to speak after this Manner: When you have done whatsoever is commanded you, say, We are unprofitable Servants. And St. Paul, not unmindful of this command, says of himself, I am the least of all the Apostles, and not worthy the Name of an Apostle.

Lev.

Ay, but when godly Men say such Things of themselves, it is their Modesty, than which nothing is more wellpleasing to God: But if any Body else should say such Things of them, especially such as are gone to Heaven, it would be Blasphemy.

Hil.

You have made out the Matter finely: then if Erasmus has said that the adorable Virgin was a vile Handmaid of the Lord’s, there is no Body but would say this was impiously spoken. But inasmuch as she speaks of herself after that Manner, it is for her Glory, and furnishes us with an Example of Modesty; because as whatsoever we are, we are by the Grace of God; so the greater any Person is, the more humbly he ought to behave himself.

Lev.

I agree with you so far. But those Persons, when they say they correct, intend to corrupt or falsify. But Edition: current; Page: [237] then we ought to see, whether the Word vilitas answers to the Greek Word that Luke made Use of.

Hil.

For that very Purpose I made Haste from the Sermon, to consult the Text.

Lev.

Pray let me hear what you gather’d thence.

Hil.

The Words which Luke, by the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writ with his holy Fingers, are thus, ὅτι ἐπέβλεψεν επὶ τὴν ταπείνωσιν τη̂ς δούλης ἀυτονˆ; our Erasmus has translated, Quia respexit ad humilitatem ancillae suae. He only adds the Preposition, which Luke himself did not leave out; which is no inelegant Latin, nor is superfluous as to the Sense. Terence in Phormio speaks in the same Form, Respice ad me. But in the Annotations we find, Luke rather said, aspice ad me, than respice ad me.

Lev.

Why then, is there any Difference between respicere and aspicere?

Hil.

Not very much, but there is some: He respicit, who, turning his Head, looks at those Things that are behind him; He aspicit, who simply looks upon. As in Terence, Phædria looks upon Thais coming out of Doors, saying, Totus, Parmeno, tremo horreoque postquam aspexi hanc. But the Brother Chaerea speaks thus, Quum huc respicio ad virginem; for he had turned himself toward the old Man, and when he had done, turned his Body back again to the Maid. But yet sometimes respicere is used, for to have Regard to, or Care of any Thing, either coming on us, or that is present: So the Satyrist uses it;

  • Respicere extremae jussit spatia ultima vitae.

For Death follows us as pressing upon our Backs, at which we look back as often as we think of it. And Terence says, Respice senectutem tuam: Therefore he, that being intent upon any Thing else, does not take Care of his Children, is said illos non respicere: And on the other Hand, he that throwing off other Cares, turns his Thoughts this Way, is very elegantly said respicere. But God, at one View, sees all Things past, present, and to come; but yet in the holy Scripture he speaks to us after the Manner of Men. He is Edition: current; Page: [238] said aversari those whom he rejects, respicere those whom he bestows his Favour upon, after having seemed to neglect them for some Time. But Luke had expressed this more fully, if he had said ἀπέβλεψεν; now we read it ἐπέβλεψεν: but read which you will, the Sense is much the same.

Lev.

But then the Preposition repeated seems to be superfluous.

Hil.

It is certain the Latins speak in this Manner; Accessit ad me; appulit animum ad scribendum. I don’t think the Preposition is superfluous in this Sentence: For he may be said respicere, who happens to look back, directing his Sight to no particular Object; but when it is expressed respexit ad me, there is a peculiar Favour of the Person’s being willing to succour this or that Person expressed. So aspicimus Things sometimes that come in the Way by Chance, that we have no certain Care of, nay, even those Things that we have no Mind to see: But whosoever ad aliquem aspicit, is in a peculiar Manner attent to that which he beholds. And then again, aspicimus, we behold many Things at once; but not aspicimus, we have Regard to many Things at once. Therefore, the Holy Spirit designing to signify to us a singular Favour toward the Holy Virgin, thus expresses it by her own Mouth, Quia respexit ad humilitatem ancillae suae. He turns away his Eyes from those that are lifted up, and great in their own Opinions, and fixes them upon her who is very low in her own Eyes. Nor is it to be doubted, but there were a great many learned, mighty, rich, and noble Persons, who hoped for the Messiah to come of their Stock: But, God despising them, turn’d the Eyes of his most merciful Favour upon a Virgin of an obscure Character, mean in the World, marry’d to a Carpenter, and not inrich’d with any Off-spring.

Lev.

But, I hear nothing all this While of vilitas [Vileness.]

Hil.

That was the Sycophant’s own Word, and none of Erasmus’s.

Lev.

But, perhaps, he uses the Word vilitas in the Annotations.

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Hil.

No not at all. Indeed, upon the Word ταπείνωσιν he very modestly observes thus, Ut intelligas parvitatem, non animi virtutem; sitque sensus: Etsi sim infima ancilla, tamen non est aversatus me Dominus: That thou mayst understand it of Meanness, not of the Virtue of the Mind; and the Meaning must be: Altho’ I be a very mean Handmaid, yet the Lord hath not disdained me.

Lev.

If this is true, and so pious, what is it that these wild Asses bray at?

Hil.

Why, it is Ignorance of the Latin Tongue that makes them cause this Disturbance. Humility, with the Antients, who spoke most correctly, did not signify that Virtue of the Mind that is opposite to Arrogance, and is call’d Modesty, but a meaner Sort of Condition; in that Sense that we call ignoble, poor, private, and despised Persons, humiles, as if we should say humi repentes. And, as when speaking to great Personages, we say, We entreat your Highness to do me the Favour; so they, who speaking of themselves, would extenuate their own Circumstances, use to say, We pray, that out of your Humanity, you would assist our humilitatem [low Estate.] For, the Emphasis of Pronouns Primitive carries in it oftentimes a Sort of Arrogancy: As, I say, I will cause. So that the Maiden two Ways very modestly both extenuates her own Condition, and extols the Munificence of the divine Being; not being content to style herself a Handmaid, but also a humble one, one of the meanest Circumstances. According to the old Proverb, There is Difference in Servants; so in Maid-Servants, one is better than another, as to the Dignity of their Office: A Waiting-Gentlewoman is more honourable than a Laundry-Maid.

Lev.

But I wonder that Merdardus should not be acquainted with that Form of Expression, seeing I myself have often heard the Franciscans thus speaking, mea parvitas [my Meanness] gives you Thanks for this noble Entertainment.

Hil.

Some of them would not be out of the Way if they said mea pravitas [my Naughtiness.] But, because the Edition: current; Page: [240] Greek Word ταπεινοϕροσύνη seems to express something more than the Latin Word Modestia, Christians have chose rather to use the Word Humilitas [Humility,] than Modestia [Modesty,] that is, they had rather speak significantly than elegantly: For, he is said to be modest, that thinks moderately of himself; arrogating nothing to himself more than he deserves. But the Commendation of ταπεινοϕροσύνη, [Humility,] belongs only to him that ascribes less to himself than he hath.

Lev.

But then there is Danger, lest while we affect to be modest, we happen to be vain.

Hil.

How so?

Lev.

Why, if Paul spoke Truth, in saying, I am not worthy to be call’d an Apostle; and if Mary said truly, that she was a mean Handmaid, that is, one of the meanest Circumstances; then, they run the Hazard of Lying, who set them out in so magnificent Titles.

Hil.

My good Friend, here’s no great Danger in that; for, when we set out good Men, or Women, with Praises, in that we speak forth the Goodness of God to them; but when they debase themselves, they have an Eye to what their own Strength and Merits are, if it were not for the Grace of God. Nor is it of Necessity a Lye, if any one does not lay claim to what he has; if he speaks as he thinks, it can at most be but a Mistake, it can’t be call’d a downright Lye: And God is pleased when we are in this Error.

Lev.

Paul, who denies that he was worthy to be called an Apostle, in another Place speaks very magnificently of himself, recounting his Performances; I have, saith he, laboured more than all, and those who seem to be something, have added nothing to me: Whereas we don’t read the holy Virgin said any Thing of this Nature.

Hil.

But Paul calls these Performances his Infirmities, by which the Power of God was manifested; and likewise, calls the Mention of them Folly, to which he was compell’d by the Wickedness of some false Apostles, who had render’d it necessary for him to lay Claim to his Apostolical Authority; Edition: current; Page: [241] not that he delighted in human Glory, but because it was expedient for the Gospel, the Dispensation of which was committed to him. The Virgin had not the same Reason; she had not the Office of preaching the Gospel committed to her. Besides, the utmost Decency and Modesty became her, as a Woman, as a Virgin, and as the Mother of Jesus. Now I come to the Original of this Error. They that do not understand Latin, think Humility signifies nothing but a notable Modesty; when it is often made Use of as to Place or Condition, and not as to any Virtue of the Mind; and sometimes it is so applied to the Mind, as to signify that which is Blame-worthy.

Lev.

What, in the holy Scriptures?

Hil.

Yes. Here’s a Place for you in the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, Chap. ii. Let no Man seduce you in a voluntary Humility and Worshipping of Angels. Nor is it in this Place ἐν ταπεινώσει, which is the Word that is in the Virgin’s Song, but ἐν ταπεινοϕροσύνῃ. The Place, I confess, has something of Difficulty in it; but I take that to be the genuine Sense of it, that learned Men have accurately given it: Be ye not of so low and abject a Mind, as having once dedicated yourselves to Christ, the only Author of Salvation, to suffer yourselves to be persuaded to hope for Salvation from Angels, whom some pretend to have appeared to them. Be ye of so high a Mind, as that if any Angel, who really came from Heaven, should preach any other Gospel than that Christ hath delivered, let him be accursed, as a wicked Angel, and an Enemy to Christ: Much less is it fit, that you should be of such abject Minds, as to suffer yourselves to be led away from Christ by their feigned Apparitions. To hope for Salvation from Christ alone, is Religion; to expect it from Angels, or Saints, is Superstition. Paul therefore means, that it is the Part of an abject Mind, and not that exalted Mind of Christ, to swerve aside to the fictitious Apparitions of Angels; and it is the Part of a mean Mind to be led about by every Body’s Persuasion. Here you see, that ταπεινοϕροσυνη is us’d in a bad Sense.

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Lev.

I see it.

Hil.

Again, in the same Chapter, After the Commandments and Doctrines of Men, which Things have indeed a Shew of Wisdom in Will-Worship and Humility. Here again, ταπεινοϕροσύνη is used in a bad Sense.

Lev.

It is plain.

Hil.

Again, in 1 Pet. v. it is used for that Virtue which is contrary to Pride, τὴν ταπεινοϕροσύνην ἐγκομβώσασθε, for which we read, be cloathed with Humility. And again, in the 2d of Philippians, τῃ̑ ταπεινοϕροσύνῃ ἀλλήλους ἡγούμενοι ὑπερέχοντας ἑαυτωˆν. In Lowliness of Mind let every one esteem another better than himself.

Lev.

You have made it out, that ταπεινοϕροσύνη is used both Ways, when the Romans use modestia only by Way of Commendation; but can you prove that ταπείνωσις is used for Modesty?

Hil.

There is no Absurdity in using of it so. There is nothing hinders but that we may attribute Submission and Lowliness, to the Mind: But whether or no it be so used in the holy Scriptures, I cannot tell.

Lev.

Consider if St. James uses it in that Sense or not, Let the Brother of low Degree rejoice in that he is exalted, but the rich in that he is made low.

Hil.

In that Place it is ἐν ταπεινώσει, not ταπεινοϕροσύνῃ. And if you will needs have it, that here Humility is taken for Modesty, it follows of Consequence, that we must take Exaltation for Pride; and then arises a twofold Absurdity. For, as he is no modest Man that boasts of his Modesty, and brags of himself; so also he is doubly arrogant that glories in his Pride.

Lev.

What then does the Apostle mean?

Hil.

He commands Equality among Christians. The poor Man is said to be low, in that he is of a meaner Fortune; the rich Man is said to be high in the Eye of the World, because of the Splendor of his Fortune. This rich Man debases himself to the Condition of a poor Man, and the poor Man is raised to be equal with the rich Man. They Edition: current; Page: [243] have both of them something to glory in; the one rejoices in his helping the Necessity of the Poor with his Riches; the other glories in the Names of Christ, that he has inspired such a Spirit into the Rich.

Lev.

But all this While the rich Man enjoys the Commendation of his Modesty too.

Hil.

Perhaps he may; but it does not thence follow, that ταπείνωσις signifies Modesty. For there are some Persons who bestow a great Deal upon the Poor, that they may gain a good Name among Men. But indeed, both of them may be modest, if they are truly pious: the rich Man, when it is not burdensome to him, for Christ’s Sake, to be made equal with the Poor; and the poor Man, that he does not become puffed up with the Honour conferred upon him, but, giving Thanks to Christ, glories in him. It is beyond Dispute, that ταπείνωσις is frequently used in the holy Scriptures, to signify that Lowliness of Mind, or Dejection, which proceeds from Affliction, or Infirmity. Thus Paul, in the 3d to the Philippians, Who shall change our vile Bodies, ταπεινώσεως. In like Manner in Psalms 9, 13. Consider my Trouble, which I suffer of them that hate me; ταπείνωσιν. And again, in Psalm 1, 18. This hath comforted me in mine Humility, ἐν ταπεινώσει, that is to say, in Affliction. There are a great many Texts of the like Kind, too many to be mentioned here. Therefore, as ταπεινός may be metaphorically expressed ταπεινόϕρων, that is, of a modest Mind, and not puffed up; so it will be no strange Thing for any one to use ταπείνωσις for ταπεινοϕροσύνη if we speak according to the Scripture Phrase. But, as for those who will have it that ταπείνωσις signifies Modesty of Mind in the Song of the Virgin Mary, and at the same Time do in like Manner interpret what we read, Gen. 29. The Lord hath looked upon my Affliction, ταπείνωσιν; Leah does not boast of her Modesty; but in that, by Reason of her Deformity, she was less pleasing to her Husband, she calls her Affliction. After the same Manner in Deuteron. 26. And looked on our Affliction, and our Labour, and our Oppression. Does he not call ταπείνωσιν Affliction?

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Lev.

What is in their Minds then, who, in the Song of the Virgin, interpret ταπείνωσις Modesty of Mind?

Hil.

I can give no Reason for it; but that our Divines neglect the Knowledge of Language, and the Study of the Latin Tongue, and the antient Fathers, who cannot be thoroughly understood without these Helps: And add to this, ’tis a hard Matter to remove Prejudice, when once ’tis fixed in the Mind. And besides, you see some Persons attribute so much to the Maxims of Schools, that they will rather reduce the Scripture to them, than correct their human Notions by it.

Lev.

But that is more absurd than what we read of the Lesbian Rule.

Hil.

Bede the Monk, no very grave Author, whensoever he departs from the received Opinions, in Relation to the Word ταπείνωσις, makes Mention of Pride. But Theophylact, a Greek Writer, who form’d his Notions chiefly from the most approved Greek Writers, denies that ταπείνωσις is here to be taken for a Virtue.

Lev.

But what Need is there to have Recourse to Authority, when the common Opinion of Men rejects that Interpretation?

Hil.

You say very well; for inasmuch as Modesty is, as it were, the Perfection and Defendress of all Virtues, it would be Immodesty in any one to praise himself for it. I will allow that this Virtue was most perfect, and incomparable in the holy Virgin (I mean, Christ excepted;) but in this very Thing she is the more commendable for Modesty, in that she does not praise herself, but acknowledging her own Meanness, ascribes the Greatness of the Mystery to Divine Mercy. Mary, say they, for her Modesty deserved to be the Mother of God. I will allow this to be true in a Sense: but pray what Modesty is it for the Virgin to say this of herself?

Lev.

Nay, more than that, the very Tenor of the Song declares, that she speaks of her own Unworthiness, and therefore thus begins: My Soul doth magnify the Lord. But Edition: current; Page: [245] : 245p. 245 she that shall say, I deserve to be the Mother of God for my Modesty, magnifies herself, and not the Lord; and therefore anon she adds, For behold, from henceforth all Generations shall call me blessed. Behold signifies the Thing was sudden and unexpected. He does not expect to have the highest of Honours, that does not judge himself worthy of any Honour at all. Nor is that said to be a Happiness, that is obtain’d by Merit; for Horace denies that himself was to be call’d happy, in that he was adopted into the Number of Mæcenas’s Friends.

Hil.

Why so?

Lev.

Because it was the Effect of Judgment, and not mere Favour: Mæcenas render’d this to him, because he adjudg’d it due to his Merit.

Hil.

And to the same Purpose is that which follows: For he that is mighty hath done to me great Things, and holy is his Name: She does not say, He hath done to me great Things because he judg’d me worthy; but because he is mighty, and doth whatsoever he will, and maketh them meet for his Favour who are unworthy. She has said holy instead of glorious. By how much we arrogate to our own Merits, by so much we detract from the Glory of the Divine Being: For, as St. Paul says, His Power is made perfect in our Weakness. And immediately, in the same Verse, He hath deposed the Mighty from their Seats, and exalted the Men of low Degree: Not ταπεινόϕρονας, but ταπεινούς, i. e. that he may oppose the despised in the Eye of the World to Men of Power. The Sequel explains this Verse after the Manner of the Prophet’s speaking, The hungry hath he filled with good Things, but the rich hath he sent empty away. Those who just now were call’d Men of low Degree, here are call’d hungry, that is, poor; those who in one Place are call’d mighty, are here call’d rich Men. In the next Verse there is Mention made of Mercy diffusing itself thro’ all the Nations of the World. In the last Verse she makes Mention of her Confidence in God’s Promises, As he hath spoken, &c. Throughout the whole Song there is a setting forth Edition: current; Page: [246] the Glory, that is, the Power, the Goodness and Truth of God: There is no Mention at all made of Merits.

Lev.

But as Pride commonly accompanies Power and Riches, so Poverty teaches Modesty.

Hil.

I don’t deny that it sometimes so falls out; but you may oftentimes see poor Men that are very proud: If you deny that, I shall instance to you the many Merdards that there are in the World. But for once, suppose I allow it, though it is not always so. The Question is not here, what Sort of Person the most holy Mother of Christ was, but what she says of herself in this Song.

Lev.

I admire at the Obstinacy of those Persons, who have been so often refuted, and laugh’d at for their Folly; and that they are not brought to a Recantation.

Hil.

How often have they been told, that Declamation is the treating on a fictitious Theme, wont to be made Use of to exercise the Faculty of speaking? and yet their Sermons are nothing else but Declamations. How often have they been told, that he is a Batchelor that has no Wife, tho’ he keeps six hundred Concubines? and yet they will have it, that Celibacy is only Continency and Chastity. It is the same as to Humility, and a great many other Things.

Lev.

Whence proceeds this obstinate Stupidity?

Hil.

I answer you, I say, it proceeds from the Merdards that are in the World: They never would be at the Pains to learn when they were young; nor have they any Books nor Opportunity to learn; and if they have wherewithal to furnish themselves with Learning, they had rather lay it out upon their Bellies. They think the Sanctity of their Garment is enough in Conscience to gain them a Reputation for Piety and Learning. And, in the last Place, they think it is some Part of Religion to know as little Latin as St. Francis did himself.

Lev.

In Truth, I know a great many that are like their Patron in that, who say, capero for galerus, and as I think vestimenta for vestes. But St. Francis always refus’d the Honour of a Presbyter; and so I think St. Benedict and Edition: current; Page: [247] Dominic did likewise. But now-a-Days they, with their Vestimenta at their Arse, won’t refuse a Cardinal’s Hat, if it be offer’d them.

Hil.

A Cardinal’s Hat, say you? no, nor a triple Crown neither. And those humble Sons of poor St. Francis, will put forth their Slippers to be kiss’d by the greatest Monarchs in the World.

Lev.

And then if you should use the Term Vilitas to ’em, it would be an unpardonable Crime.

Hil.

Unpardonable indeed, if by Vile you mean that which is of small Account among Men, or seems contemptible to itself. But what Need is there to make an Excuse for that which was not said?

Lev.

But was not Merdardus asham’d to tell that Lye, and at Church too, and in one of the most famous ones, and in the Hearing of a great Assembly of Monarchs, a great many learned Men, that had read over Erasmus’s Writings?

Hil.

Asham’d, say you? no, the Buffoon thought he deserv’d the Laurel for it; for this is the fourth Vow of the Merdardians, that they observe more religiously than the other three, Not to be asham’d of any Thing.

Lev.

There are indeed a great many that are very studious of that.

Hil.

But this was not a single Lye neither; for in the first Place, the Song of Mary, as Luke wrote it, remains untouch’d. How can he be said to correct any Thing, that makes no Alteration in it? And then the Word Humilitas is not alter’d, nor is there any Mention made of Vilitas. And in the last Place, he does not correct the Song, who translates faithfully what Luke wrote, but only explains it.

Lev.

I perceive a threefold Lye, very like such a Buffoon.

Hil.

But hold, you have not heard the greatest Piece of Impudence yet.

Lev.

What, have you any more then?

Hil.

He exclaimed against that Ass as the Head, Author, and Ringleader of all the Tumults that are in the Christian World.

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Lev.

Said he so?

Hil.

And that it is to be charged upon him, that the Church is torn in Pieces by so many Sectaries, that the Clergy are despoil’d of their Tythes, that the Bishops are set light by, and the sacred Authority of the Pope himself is every where disregarded; that Ploughmen play the Part of the old Gigantic Race.

Lev.

Does he say these Things publickly?

Hil.

Publickly? ay, and makes a mighty Clamouring too.

Lev.

But they are quite of another Mind, that have attentively read over the Writings of Erasmus. A great many of them will acknowledge, that they have from his Performances collected the Seeds of true Piety. And this Fire that has been kindled by the Monks, is gotten to that Height, that all the Endeavours they use to put it out, are but just as if you should pour Oil into a Fire.

Hil.

You see what an evil Beast the Belly is.

Lev.

You have hit the Nail on the Head. It is indeed for the Interest of such Fellows, that there be a great Deal of Superstition in the Christian World, and but a very little true Religion. But what said the Auditory? could they bear to hear such an Ass bray in the Pulpit?

Hil.

Some wonder’d what was come to the Man. Those that were of a cholerick Temper, went out of the Church murmuring, saying, We came to hear the Praises of the holy Virgin set forth, and this drunken Fellow is vomiting out his mere Calumnies upon us. And there were a great many Women present.

Lev.

This Sex us’d to be mighty Admirers of this Order of Men.

Hil.

You say right: But the Women perceiv’d what Sort of a Fellow he was. And some that were Women of reading were uneasy, and some hissed him.

Lev.

But an Ass does not mind hissing; such a railing Fellow ought to have been pelted out of his Pulpit with rotten Eggs and Brick-Bats.

Hil.

There were some that thought he deserv’d it, and would have done it, had it not been for Respect to the Place.

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Lev.

The Reverence of a Place ought not to protect such as profane it by their Impiety: As he that within the Verge of the Court murders a Man, it is not meet the Church should be a Sanctuary to him; so in like Manner, he that in sacred Discourses abuses, not only Peoples Patience, but also the Sanctity of the Place, ought not to be skreen’d by the Place, that he has by his Temerity profaned. He was commended by the Antients, that would not permit any Person to be Consul, who had not been a Senator: So it is not meet that he should be a Clergyman, that knows not how to preach a Sermon.

Hil.

Folks are afraid of the Bishops Thunder-Bolts, Si quis instigante Diabolo, &c. You know the Law.

Lev.

The Bishops ought rather to level their Thunder-Bolts at such Railers.

Hil.

They themselves are afraid of these Fellows.

Lev.

Whom are they afraid of?

Hil.

Why, of these bawling Fellows.

Lev.

Why so?

Hil.

Because they are bawling Fellows.

Lev.

The Apostles were not afraid of the Menaces of Kings and Rulers; and are they afraid of a single Beggar?

Hil.

For that very Reason they are the more to be fear’d, because they are Beggars; they have nothing to lose, but they have Tongues to hurt: Go but to a Wasp’s or Hornet’s Nest, and do but touch one of them with your Finger; and if you come off well, come to me again, and then call the Bishops Drones, that are afraid of irritating one of these Beggars. Do not the most powerful Monarchs of the Christian World revere the Pope; nay, and perhaps are afraid of him too?

Lev.

That’s no Wonder, inasmuch as he is the Vicar of Christ.

Hil.

Well; but it is reported of Pope Alexander VI. who was no Fool, nor Blockhead neither, that he us’d to say, He had rather offend one of the greatest Monarchs, than the least Brother of the Order of Mendicants.

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Lev.

Well, let’s not meddle with Popes: But when the Princes that were at Augsburg heard it, did they not punish him for it?

Hil.

They were all highly provok’d at him, but especially King Ferdinand, and his Sister Mary, the Ornament of her Sex in this Age, and Bernard Cardinal of Trent, and Balthasar Bishop of Constance; and this Preacher was severely chid, but by no Body more severely, than by John Faber Bishop of Vienna.

Lev.

What signifies chiding? an Ass minds nothing but a Cudgel.

Hil.

Especially if you give him Belly-Timber. But what should Princes trouble their Heads about such a silly Fellow as he for? they had Things of far greater Consequence to Mind.

Lev.

They should at least have silenced him from preaching, and taken away his Pension.

Hil.

But the cunning Rogue put off the spitting his Venom, till just at the breaking up of the Diet, and they were just going away.

Lev.

They say the Devil goes away so, leaving a Stink behind him.

Hil.

He was dismiss’d by King Ferdinand, but was in very good Case, as to his Corpse; for the Chiding he met with, did not make him abate of his Flesh.

Lev.

It is reported of St. Francis, that he preach’d a Sermon to his Sisters the Birds; but he seems only fit to preach to his Brethren the Asses, and Hogs. But whither went he, when he had done?

Hil.

Whither should he go, but to his Cell? where he was receiv’d with Applause by his Comrades, for having acted his Part so bravely and successfully; and when they got over their Cups, instead of Io triumphe, they sung Te Deum.

Lev.

This Merdardus deserves to wear his Rope about his Neck, rather than his Waist. But what can we wish bad enough to that foolish Society, that maintains such Cattle as this is?

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Hil.

You can scarce think of any Thing to wish them worse, than what they bring upon themselves; for by such Doings as these especially, they make themselves odious to all good Men, and bring themselves into Contempt more effectually than an Enemy can do. But it is not a Christian Spirit to wish ill to any one; but we ought rather to wish, that the most merciful Creator and Reformer of all Things, who made Nebuchadnezzar an Ox of a Man, and again turned him from an Ox to a Man; and gave the Tongue of a Man to Balaam’s Ass; would amend all who are like this Merdardus, and give them Understanding and Utterance becoming Men that profess the Gospel.

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The LOVER of GLORY.

The Argument.

Symbulus shews the Way to true Glory, and a good Name. (1.) That a Man should labour to be really such a one as he would be accounted. (2.) That he should endeavour to imitate famous Men, who nevertheless have been accused of various Crimes. Cato the Elder was accused forty Times. (3.) That he should take Care not to overdo Things. (4.) That he be of an easy bearing Temper in Relation to other Persons Manners, winking at small Faults. (5.) Not obstinate and fond of his own Opinion. (6.) That he should be courteous, &c. It is impossible to please every one. (7.) That as much as in him lies, he should deserve well of all. This is to be effected, partly by good Offices, and partly by Beneficence. Some Persons have naturally this Felicity, that whatsoever they do pleases. (8.) Courtesy and engaging Carriage gain Respect. (9.) Inconstancy is to be avoided. (10.) We must deviate but little from Nature, but not at all from that which is Honest. (11.) The Customs of Men and Nations are to be observ’d. (12.) If we are under a Necessity to do any Thing that will necessarily displease, let it appear that it was our Will to have done otherwise. (13.) Let us always do that which is just and honest. (14.) The Tongue is the Cause Edition: current; Page: [253] : 253p. 253 why many Persons are envy’d. How we ought to commend or discommend. (15.) To write Books on an uncommon Subject, and to do it with Accuracy, is an Inlet to a good Reputation. (16.) Envy, when it begins first to rise, must be overcome by good Offices.

PHILODOXUS, SYMBULUS.

PHI.

I promise myself Happiness, that I have met with you, Symbulus.

Sym.

I wish, Philodoxus, it were in my Power to make you happy in any Thing.

Phi.

What can be more felicitous, than for God to meet a Man?

Sym.

Indeed I should account that much more lucky than the Flight of a thousand Night-Owls; but what God is it you Mean?

Phi.

Why, ’tis yourself I mean, Symbulus.

Sym.

What me!

Phi.

Even yourself.

Sym.

I always thought, that those Gods that did their Business backwards, were not worth a Straw.

Phi.

If the Proverb be true, That he is a God that helps a Man, then you are a God to me.

Sym.

I leave the Proverb to be made out by other People; but as for me, I would do any Service I can to my Friend with all my Heart.

Phi.

Well, Symbulus, don’t be in Pain, I an’t about to borrow any Money of you: Counsel is a sacred Thing, only give me your Assistance with that.

Sym.

That is only demanding what is your own, since this Office ought to be mutual among Friends, as indeed should every Thing else. But what is it you want my Counsel in?

Phi.

I am weary of living in Obscurity, I have a great Mind to become famous; prithee tell me how I may become so.

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Sym.

O, here’s a short Way for you; imitate Erostratus, who set Diana’s Temple on Fire; or Zoilus, who carped at Homer; or do some memorable Villainy or other; and then you will be as famous as the Cercopes or Nero.

Phi.

They that like it, may get themselves a Name by Impiety; I am ambitious of a good Name.

Sym.

Then be such a one in Fact, as you would be in Name.

Phi.

But a great many Persons have been virtuous, that were never famous.

Sym.

I question that; but however, if it be as you say, Virtue is a sufficient Reward to itself.

Phi.

You speak very true, and much like a Philosopher. But for all that, as Times go, in my Opinion, Glory is the chief Reward belonging to Virtue, which delights to be known, as the Sun does to shine; for this very Reason, that it may benefit a great many, and draw them to an Imitation of itself. And then lastly, I don’t see how Parents can leave a fairer Fortune to their Children, than the immortal Memory of a good Name.

Sym.

Then, as I understand you, you would have Glory gotten by Virtue.

Phi.

That’s the very Thing.

Sym.

Then set before you, for Imitation, the Men that have been celebrated by the Pens of all Men, such as Aristides, Phocion, Socrates, Epaminondas, Scipio Africanus, Cato Senior, and Cato of Utica, and Marcus Brutus, and the like; who both by War and Peace studied to deserve as well as possible of the Common-Wealth. This is the fertile Field of Glory.

Phi.

But among those famous Men, Aristides suffered Banishment for ten Years, Phocion and Socrates drank Poison, Epaminondas was accused of Treason, and so was Scipio; Cato the Elder being accus’d, was oblig’d to plead forty Times in his own Defence, Cato of Utica kill’d himself, and so did Brutus. But I would have Glory without Envy.

Sym.

Ay, but that is more than Jupiter granted even to Edition: current; Page: [255] Hercules himself; for after he had tamed so many Monsters, last of all he had Hydra to engage with; and that was the longest Engagement of ’em all.

Phi.

I would never envy Hercules the Glories of his Labours; I only account them happy Men that obtain a good Name, not sullied with Envy.

Sym.

I perceive you’d have a pleasant Life, and for that Reason are afraid of Envy; nor are you in the wrong, for that is one of the worst of Monsters.

Phi.

It is so.

Sym.

Then live a private Life.

Phi.

But that is to be dead, and not to live.

Sym.

I understand what you would be at; you would walk in the Sun, and have no Shadow.

Phi.

That’s impossible.

Sym.

And so it is equally impossible to obtain Glory, and be free from Envy; Glory accompanies Well-doing, and so does Envy Glory.

Phi.

But the old Comedian tells us, that Glory may be without Envy, saying, Ita ut facillime sine invidia laudem invenias et amicos pares.

Sym.

If you will be content with that Praise, which young Pamphilus gain’d by Obsequiousness and Agreeableness of Humour, you may from the same Place fetch the Method of obtaining what you desire so earnestly. Remember in every Thing, Ne quid nimis, [not to over-do any Thing] but yet Mediocriter omnia, [all Things with Moderation] be easy in bearing with the Manners of other Persons, taking no Notice of small Faults; and do not be obstinate and tenacious of your own Opinion, but be comformable to the Tempers of others; don’t contradict any one, but be obliging to all.

Phi.

Many Persons have a mighty Affection for Youth, and so it is no hard Matter to obtain such Praise as that. That which I would have is a certain Gloriousness of Name, that should ring all the World over, that should increase in Illustriousness, as I do in Age, and be most renowned after my Death.

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Sym.

I commend the Greatness of your Mind, Philodoxus; but if you are ambitious of a Glory that proceeds from Virtue, it is the chiefest Virtue to be regardless of Glory, and the highest Commendation not to aspire after Praise, which follows them most that endeavour to shun it. Therefore you ought to take Care, lest the more strenuously you pursue it, the more you be frustrated of it.

Phi.

I am not an insensible Stoic, I am subject to human Affections.

Sym.

If you acknowledge yourself to be a Man, and don’t refuse to submit to those Things that are human, why do you pursue those Things which are denied, even to God himself? for you know that Saying of Theocritus, that was as truly as it was wittily said, Jovem nec pluvium, nec serenum, placere omnibus; That Jupiter does not please all Men, either when he sends Rain or fair Weather.

Phi.

Perhaps there is no Fire, but there is some Smoke; but yet there are some Things that are without Smoke. Altho’ it be impossible for a Man to obtain a Glory, that shall not be obscur’d with some Cloud or other of Ill-will; yet I believe there are some Methods to be taken, that there shall be but very little of Enmity mixed with it.

Sym.

Shall I tell you what those Methods are?

Phi.

I should be very glad to know them.

Sym.

Shew your Virtue but sparingly, and you shall be the less troubled with Envy.

Phi.

But Glory is no Glory, unless it be notable.

Sym.

Well, I’ll tell you a sure Way: Do some noble Exploit, and die; and then you shall be renown’d without Envy, as the Codri, the Menæcei, the Iphigenii, the Decii and Curtii were.

  • Pascitur in vivis livor, post fata quiescit.
  • Envy is maintain’d among the Living, but ceases after Death.
Phi.

Indeed, to confess ingenuously, I would leave the Inheritance of a good Name to my Children and Grand-Children; but I would have some Enjoyment of it myself while I am alive.

Edition: current; Page: [257]
Sym.

Well, come, I won’t keep you any longer in Suspence. The surest Way to obtain an illustrious Name, is to deserve well, as well in a private Capacity, of every particular Person, as in a publick Capacity, of the whole Community; and that is to be done partly by good Offices, and partly by Bounty: But Bounty is so to be moderated, as not to be obliged to take away forcibly from one, what you bestow upon another; for from such Bounty as this, there arises more ill Will from the good, than good Will from the bad. And besides, to be commended by the bad, is rather an Infamy than a Reputation. Moreover, the Fountain of Bounty will be drawn dry by frequent Donations: But that Bounty that consists in good Offices has no Bottom; the more it is drawn, the more it springs: But there are a great many Things that mitigate Envy, and illustrate Glory; which no Body can give to himself, but they happen purely from the Bounty of God himself.

  • Gratior est pulchro veniens e corpore virtus.
  • That Virtue is the more lovely, that comes from a beautiful Body.

But no Man can bestow upon himself Comeliness of Person. Nobility carries along with it much of Dignity, but this is the Gift of Fortune. The same Opinion we ought to have of Riches, which being justly gotten by Grandfathers or Great-Grandfathers, descend to us by Inheritance. Nor can any one bestow this upon himself. Of the same Kind are Quickness of Wit, a Grace in Speaking, Pleasantness and Courteousness, that is not acquired, but in-bred; and in the last Place, a certain internal Beauty and Felicity; the Effect of which we see daily in a great many, but can give no Reason of it: so that we often see the same Things to be said and done by different Persons, and he that acted and said the worst, obtain’d Favour, when he who did and said best, instead of Thanks, gain’d ill Will. The Antients indeed ascribed this Effect to Mens Genius; for they said that every one was fortunate in that which he was born to; and, on Edition: current; Page: [258] : 258p. 258 the other Hand, whatsoever any one attempted against the Grain, and the Consent of his Genius, would never succeed.

Phi.

Then here is no Room for Advice in this Case.

Sym.

Very little: But yet Persons of Penetration do discover in Children and Youth some secret Marks, by which they can conjecture what Studies, what Sort of Life, and what Actions they are fitted for. So also as to those Things that are good, there is a certain secret Instinct of Nature in us, that we have an Aversion for some Things, without any apparent Cause, and are carried on with a wonderful Propensity to others. Hence it is that one is an expert Soldier, another a good Politician, and another, you would say, was born to be a Student. And in these Things too, there is an admirable Variety, as great as is the Diversity of Employments. Nature has framed one for a General, another for a good common Soldier; and where Nature has been most bountiful, there the same Person may be fit to command or obey, as Homer says. So likewise in civil Affairs, one is a good Counsellor; another a good Barrister; another is made for an Ambassador, and performs that Office with great Success. What Need is there to mention the Variety of Inclinations? There are some who are so strongly inclined to a monastick Life, and yet not every one neither, but to this or that particular Order, that they take no Pleasure of their Lives, if they do not attain it; when, on the other Hand, others have so strong an Aversion for that Sort of Life, that they had rather die than be made Monks: Nor is this because they hate that Way of Living, or can give any Reason for it, but by some secret Instinct in Nature.

Phi.

As you say, I have often found many such Instances, and have admired at them.

Sym.

In these Gifts that Nature liberally bestows upon us, a Person shall be much less liable to Envy, if a Man be not proud and ostentatious. Beauty, Nobility, Wealth, Eloquence, appear the most lovely in those Persons that seem not to know they are endow’d with them. Courtesy and Modesty do no Way lessen these Advantages; but as they Edition: current; Page: [259] add a Grace to them, so they drive away Envy. And this Courtesy and Sweetness of Temper ought to go along with all the Actions of our Lives, unless it be contrary to our Nature; for, in my Opinion, Xenocrates would have attempted in vain that which Socrates and Diogenes succeeded in; Cato the Censor would in vain have endeavour’d after that which gain’d Laelius so much good Will. Yet Demea in Terence being alter’d so on a sudden, is a sufficient Instance of what Efficacy it is in gaining good Will, to suit ourselves with Persons Inclinations and Humours: but as often as Men deviate from Right, they degenerate from true Glory to the temporary Favour of Man; but that Glory only is lasting, which is founded upon Honesty, and comes from the Judgment of Reason: For the Affections make their temporary Efforts, and when they have once spent themselves, we begin to hate what before we loved vehemently, and hiss what before we clapp’d, and condemn what before we commended: But tho’ the Disposition can’t be wholly alter’d, yet it may in Part be corrected.

Phi.

I want to hear what you aim at.

Sym.

He that is of a complaisant Temper, ought to be careful, lest while he labours to ingratiate himself with all Persons, he deviates from Honesty: and lest, while he endeavours to accommodate himself to all Company, he changes his Shape so often, that none can tell what to make of him.

Phi.

I know a great many such slippery Blades, at whose Vanity one cannot forbear blushing.

Sym.

But then again, they who are of a rugged Temper, ought to endeavour so to affect Courtesy, as that what they do may not seem to be counterfeit; or by ever and anon falling into their natural Propensity, instead of Commendation get a double Disgrace, first for acting rigidly, and then for being inconsistent with themselves. For Constancy has so great an Efficacy, that they who are naturally of a bad Temper, are the easier borne with for this Reason, because they always act like themselves; for as soon as the Disguise Edition: current; Page: [260] : 260p. 260 is seen thro’, even Things that have been well acted become displeasing: And besides, that which is done under a Colour, can’t be kept always conceal’d; it will come out one Time or other, and whenever it does, all the gay Appearance drops off, and becomes a mere Jest.

Phi.

If I take in your Intention, you would have one depart as little as may be from Nature, but not at all from Integrity; (that which is honest is honourable.)

Sym.

You are right; and besides, you know very well, that whatsoever grows famous on a sudden, lies exposed to Envy. And thence comes the odious Name of an Upstart, call’d by the Greeks νεοπλούτος; and by the Romans, Novus homo; and by both, Terrae filii, [Sons of the Earth] and Caelo delapsi [dropt out of the Clouds.] But that Reputation that springs up gently, and grows gradually, as on the one Side it is less liable to Envy, so on the other it is commonly more durable; as the witty Poet Horace intimates, saying, Crescit occulto velut arbor aevo fama Marcelli, [Marcellus’s Fame grows insensibly like a Tree:] So that if you would obtain Glory that is true, lasting, and as little as may be obnoxious to Envy, mind what Socrates says, that it often happens that they who make the most Haste at first setting out, come latest to their Journey’s End.

Phi.

But the Life of Man is very short.

Sym.

For that Reason we should use Expedition towards good Deeds, and not Glory; and that will follow necessarily of its own Accord: For I suppose what you enquire after, is not how you may live long; for that is in the Breasts of the Destinies, who draw out and cut off the Thread of Life at their Pleasure.

Phi.

I wish you could do that too.

Sym.

O Philodoxus! God has never been so bountiful as to give all to one Man: What one wants in Years, is often made up in Honour. There are indeed some, but those very few, to whom he is so bountiful, that while they are alive and as it were in being, they enjoy the Fruits of Posterity; tho’ they are but few that the just God loves. Perhaps some Edition: current; Page: [261] of a divine Descent have attain’d this; but this Felicity does not fall under our Consideration.

Phi.

I have often admired whether it is by the Malignity of Nature or Fortune, that no Conveniences happen to Mankind, without being allayed with some Inconvenience.

Sym.

My Friend, what then have we to do, but, as we are of human Race, to endeavour to bear our human Condition with a contented Mind? And it will not a little conduce to moderate Envy, if you do but look thoroughly into the Dispositions of Nations, of Bodies of Men, and single Persons; as they do who make it their Business to tame and feed Beasts; for such Persons make it their chief Study to find out by what Things the Animal is made fierce, or becomes tame. I don’t at present speak of the Difference between a Bird and a four-footed Beast, between a Serpent and a Fish; or between the Eagle and the Vulture, between the Elephant and the Horse, between the Dolphin and the Porpoise, between a Viper and an Asp; but of the innumerable Variety that is between all Kinds of Animals.

Phi.

I would fain hear what you drive at.

Sym.

All Dogs are contain’d under one Species, but this Species is diversify’d into innumerable Forms, so that you would say there were so many distinct Genus’s, rather than one Species: For in the same Species, what a great Variety is there of Manners and Tempers?

Phi.

A very great one indeed!

Sym.

That which is said of Dogs, you may understand of all other living Creatures; but it is not visible in any other Creature so much as in Horses.

Phi.

’Tis true: But what do you mean by all this?

Sym.

Whatsoever Variety there is in the Different Kinds or Forms of living Creatures, or in Individuals, suppose the same to be in Man: among them you will find Wolves of various Kinds, Dogs in an unspeakable Variety, Elephants, Camels, Asses, Lions, Sheep, Vipers, Apes, Dragons, Eagles, Vultures, Swallows, Leeches; and what not?

Phi.

But what of all that?

Edition: current; Page: [262] : 262p. 262
Sym.

There is no living Creature so fierce, but, being managed by Art, it may be made useful, or at least not hurtful.

Phi.

I can’t for my Life see what you drive at.

Sym.

There is a Difference between a Spaniard, an Italian, a German, a Frenchman, and an Englishman.

Phi.

There is so.

Sym.

Besides, there is in every single Man of these several Nations, a certain Temper peculiar to himself.

Phi.

I confess it.

Sym.

If you shall nicely observe this Variety, and accommodate yourself to each of their Manners, you will easily bring it about, that they will either all be your Friends, or at least that none of them will be your Enemies.

Phi.

What, would you have me to be a Polypus; where is Honesty and Sincerity in the mean Time?

Sym.

There is in all common Affairs a certain Obsequiousness that does in no wise intrench upon Honesty; as for Instance, in Italy Men kiss one another, which would be look’d upon very absurd to do in Germany; but instead of that, they give you their right Hand. Again, in England it is the Custom for Men to kiss the Women, even at Church: but if you should do this in Italy, it would be accounted a high Crime. Again, in England it is accounted a Piece of Civility to give the Cup to one that comes in when you are at Dinner; but in France it is look’d upon as an Affront. In these and the like Cases Persons may be complaisant, without any Detriment to Honesty.

Phi.

But it is a very hard Matter to be acquainted with the Manners and Tempers of every Man of all Nations.

Sym.

’Tis true, Philodoxus: But if you would obtain a considerable Reputation, and that by Virtue, you must of Necessity exercise no common Virtue. You know Virtue is conversant in Difficulties, as old Hesiod taught before the Peripateticks; and therefore if you have a Mind to eat Honey, you must be content to bear with the Trouble of Bees.

Edition: current; Page: [263]
Phi.

I know that, and remember it very well; but that we are in Quest of, is, how to moderate Envy.

Sym.

Then do you endeavour that in the Camp you rather chuse to be a common Soldier than a General, and in such a War as is against Enemies who are Foreigners, rather than your Fellow-Citizens and Countrymen. In Government rather chuse those Offices which are popular and ingratiating; as to defend is more popular than to accuse, to honour than to punish. But if any Case happen, as it sometimes necessarily will, that is troublesome in its Nature, if you can’t avoid acting in it, make it as easy as you can by Moderation.

Phi.

How must that be done?

Sym.

Suppose you are a Judge, or an Arbitrator, you must bear something hard upon one Party or another; but be sure to manage the Matter with so much Equity, that, if it be possible, he that you give the Cause against, may give you Thanks.

Phi.

How must that be manag’d?

Sym.

Suppose the Action be to be laid for Theft or Sacrilege; if it be in your Power, mitigate it, and let it be laid for a Trespass; and by this Means you may ease the Defendant, and do no Injury to the Plaintiff. In short, moderate every Cause so, that without injuring the Plaintiff, you may seem to act justly to the Defendant; and lastly, make the condemn’d Person’s Sentence as easy as may be. And all the while take Care to avoid surly Looks, or sour or morose Words; for they often are the Cause that some Persons will owe you more ill Will for doing them a Courtesy, than others shall for denying them one. Sometimes you ought to admonish a Friend; but if there are no Hopes of his being the better by it, it is better to be silent. If it be a weighty Case, and there be any Hope of doing Good, then it is of great Moment what the Admonition is; for it often falls out that Admonition being either unhandsome or unseasonable, exasperates the Disease, and makes a Friend an Enemy. But this Dexterity is most necessary if you admonish Edition: current; Page: [264] : 264p. 264 a Prince; for sometimes it falls out, that their Humours must be contradicted; and if it be done pleasantly and wittily, afterwards they that contradicted have greater Thanks given them, than they that soothed them: For that which is grateful to the Passion is of short Continuance, but what is done with Reason, is approved always; for the far greater Part of ill Will arises from the Unruliness of the Tongue. How much Mischief does sometimes a single Word bring upon some Persons? how many has an ill-timed Jest brought to Ruin? Therefore when you commend any Person, let it be those that are worthy, and sparingly; but be more sparing in reflecting on any one, if you do reflect at all. And then again, you must avoid Talkativeness, for it is a very hard Matter to talk much, and to the Purpose.

Phi.

I agree to all these Things; but, in my Opinion, the chief Way of making one’s Name famous, is to write Books.

Sym.

You say very right; it is, were it not that there are so many Authors: But if you are for doing it that Way, take Care you write with a great Deal of Exactness, rather than much; and in the first Place, chuse some Argument that is not common, that has been touch’d on but by very few, and such a one that is not of an invidious Nature: and bestow upon it all the curious Observations that you have been collecting for many Years, and then treat on it in such a Manner, that may be both profitable and pleasant.

Phi.

You give me very prudent Advice, and such as would be to my Satisfaction, if you went one Step farther, and told me how I might attain this Glory quickly too; for I see a great many that don’t grow famous till they are going out of the World, and others not till they are gone out of it.

Sym.

As to that, I have no better Advice to give you, than that which the Fidler gave his Fellow: See that you approve yourself to those that have already attain’d such a Glory as has repell’d Envy: Let yourself into the Familiarity of such Persons whose good Word will gain you Esteem with the Populace.

Edition: current; Page: [265] : 265p. 265
Phi.

But if notwithstanding all this I be attack’d with Envy, what Remedy do you prescribe?

Sym.

Then do as they do who boil Pitch; if it catch Fire they pour Water upon it, and then it will rage and crackle more if you don’t keep on doing so.

Phi.

What Sort of Riddle is that?

Sym.

When you perceive Envy arising, rather overcome it by Benefits than Revenge. Hercules was never the better for cutting off the Hydra’s Heads; it was by the Greek Fire that he overcame the destroying Monster.

Phi.

But what is that you call the Greek Fire?

Sym.

That which burns in the Middle of the Water. He applies that who being provok’d by the Injuries of ill Men, nevertheless does not give over doing good to all that deserve it.

Phi.

What’s that you mean? is Beneficence sometimes Water, and sometimes Fire?

Sym.

Why not? when Christ by Way of Allegory is sometimes a Sun, sometimes a Fire, sometimes a Stone. I said so for the Purpose; if you know any Thing better, make Use of it, and don’t follow my Advice.

Edition: current; Page: [266]

OPULENTIA SORDIDA, or the WEALTHY MISER.

The Argument.

: 266p. 266Opulentia Sordida relates the wretched Miserliness of a certain rich Miser; by which is set forth how Misers live. In Winter-Time they make their Fires of green Roots of Trees, which produce scarce either Flame or Smoke. There is scarce any sleeping for the Fleas and Bugs. They mix their Wine with Water. The Lees of Wine produce the Gravel in the Kidneys. They buy damaged Corn, and mix it with a third Part of Chalk. They eat no Breakfast, put off their Dinner till Afternoon, and go to Supper near Midnight. The mean Provision of the Table. They buy the worst of Meat. Persons of lean Bodies and weak Constitutions should not fast. That Diet has a great Influence for the Preservation of Health.

JAMES and GILBERT.

JA.

How comes it about that you are so lean and meagre? you look as if you had liv’d upon Dew with the Grass-hopper; you seem to be nothing but a mere Skeleton.

Gil.

In the Regions below, the Ghosts feed upon Leeks and Mallows; but I have been these ten Months where I could not come at so much as them.

Ja.

Where is that, prithee? what, have you been in the Galleys?

Edition: current; Page: [267] : 267p. 267
Gil.

No, I have been at Synodium.

Ja.

What, starv’d to Death almost in so plentiful a Country?

Gil.

’Tis true as I tell you.

Ja.

What was the Occasion of it? what, had you no Money?

Gil.

I neither wanted Money nor Friends.

Ja.

What the Mischief was the Matter then?

Gil.

Why, you must know I boarded with Antronius.

Ja.

What, with that rich old Cuff?

Gil.

Yes, with that sordid Hunks.

Ja.

’Tis very strange, methinks.

Gil.

Not strange at all; for by this sordid Way of living, they that have little or nothing to begin the World with, scrape together so much Wealth.

Ja.

But how came you to take a Fancy to live for so many Months with such a Landlord?

Gil.

There was a certain Affair that oblig’d me to it, and I had a Fancy so to do likewise.

Ja.

But prithee tell me after what Manner he lives.

Gil.

I’ll tell you, since ’tis a Pleasure to recount the Hardships one has sustain’d.

Ja.

It will certainly be a Pleasure to me to hear it.

Gil.

Providence so order’d it, that the Wind sat full North for three Months together, only it did not blow from the same Point above eight Days together; but I can’t tell the Reason of it.

Ja.

How then could it blow North for three Months together?

Gil.

Why, upon the eighth Day, as if by Agreement, it shifted its Station; where, after it had continu’d some seven or eight Hours, then it veer’d to the old Point again.

Ja.

In such a Place as that your Callicoe Body had Need have a good Fire to keep it warm.

Gil.

We had had Fire enough, if we had but had Wood enough: but our Landlord Antronius, to save Charges, us’d to grub up old Stumps of Trees in the Common, that no Edition: current; Page: [268] : 268p. 268 Body thought worth While to get but himself; and would get them by Night: And of these, green as they were, our Fire was commonly made, which us’d to smoke plentifully, but would not flame out; so that tho’ it did not warm us at all, yet we could not say there was no Fire. One of these Fires would last us a whole Day, they burnt so deliberately.

Ja.

This was a bad Place for a Man to pass the Winter in.

Gil.

It was so; but it was a great Deal worse to pass a Summer in.

Ja.

Why so?

Gil.

Because there was such a Multitude of Fleas and Bugs, that there was no being quiet in the Day-Time, nor sleeping in the Night.

Ja.

What a wretched Wealth was here?

Gil.

Few were wealthier in this Sort of Cattle.

Ja.

Sure your Women were lazy Sluts.

Gil.

They were mew’d up in an Apartment by themselves, and seldom came among the Men; so that you have nothing of ’em but the Name of Women: And the Men are forc’d to go without those Services which properly belong to that Sex in other Families.

Ja.

But how could Antronius away with all this Nastiness?

Gil.

Pshaw, he was us’d to it from his Cradle, and minded nothing in the World but getting of Money. He lov’d to be any where but at Home, and traded in every Thing you can think of. You know that City is a great Town, of the greatest Commerce and Business: What’s-his-Name the famous Painter thought that Day was lost, wherein he did not employ his Pencil; and our Antronius look’d upon himself undone, if one single Day pass’d over his Head without some Profit. And if such a Disaster happen’d to him, he did not fail one Way or other to make it up at Home.

Ja.

What did he do?

Gil.

Why, he had a Cistern of Water in the House, as most People in that City have, whence he us’d to draw so Edition: current; Page: [269] many Buckets of Water, and put it into his Hogsheads of Wine. This was a most certain Profit.

Ja.

I suppose the Wine was something of the strongest then?

Gil.

Far from that, for it was as dead as Ditch-Water; for he never bought any but what was decay’d to his Hand, that he might buy it at an easier Rate: And that he might not lose a Drop of this, he us’d to mix and jumble the Grounds of at least ten Years standing, and set them a fermenting, that it might pass for new Wine upon the Lees; and would not lose a Drop of the Dregs neither.

Ja.

If we may believe the Physicians, such Wine will certainly breed the Stone.

Gil.

There were no Doctors there, I’ll assure you: and in the most healthful Years, two or three at least of the Family died of that Distemper; but he never troubled his Head about that, how many Burials went out of the House.

Ja.

No?

Gil.

He made a Penny even of the Dead. And there was no Gain he was asham’d to take, tho’ it was never so small.

Ja.

Under your Favour this was downright Theft tho’.

Gil.

Your Merchants term it, turning an honest Penny.

Ja.

But what Sort of Liquor did Antronius drink all the While?

Gil.

Almost the very same Nectar that I told you of.

Ja.

Did he find no Harm by it?

Gil.

He was as hard as a Flint, he could have lived upon chopt Hay; and, as I told you before, he had been us’d to fare hard from his Infancy. And he look’d upon this dashing and brewing to be a certain Profit to him.

Ja.

How so, I beseech you?

Gil.

If you reckon his Wife, his Sons, his Daughters, his Son-in-Law, his Men-Servants, and his Maid-Servants, he had about thirty-three Mouths in the Family to feed. Now the more he corrected his Wine with Water, the less of it was drunk, and the longer it was drawing off; so then if Edition: current; Page: [270] : 270p. 270 you compute a large Bucket of Water thrown in every Day, it will amount to no small Sum, let me tell you, at the Year’s End.

Ja.

A sordid Fellow!

Gil.

This was not all, he made the same Advantage of his Bread too.

Ja.

How could he do that?

Gil.

He bought musty Wheat, such as no Body else would buy but himself. Now, in the first Place, here was a present Gain, because he bought it so much cheaper; and then he had an Art to cure the Mustiness.

Ja.

But prithee how did he do that?

Gil.

There is a Sort of Chalk, not altogether unlike to Corn, which you may see Horses are delighted with, when they gnaw it out of the Walls, and drink more freely out of that Pond-Water where this Chalk is to be found. He mixed one third Part at least of this Earth with his Bread.

Ja.

And do you call this curing of it?

Gil.

This is certain, that it made the Mustiness of the Corn be not altogether so perceiveable; and now, was not this a considerable Profit? He had another Stratagem besides that, for he bak’d his own Bread at Home, which, in the very Midst of Summer, he never did oftner than twice in a Month.

Ja.

Sure it must be more like Stones than Bread for Hardness.

Gil.

Nay, harder than a Stone, if possible; but we had a Remedy for that too.

Ja.

What was that?

Gil.

We us’d to soke Slices of this Bread in Bowls of Wine.

Ja.

The Devil a Barrel the better Herring. But how did the Servants like this Treatment?

Gil.

I will first tell you how the top Folks of the Family were serv’d, and then you may easily guess how the Servants far’d.

Ja.

I long to hear it.

Edition: current; Page: [271]
Gil.

There was not a Word to be mention’d about Breakfast; and as for Dinner, that was generally deferr’d till one of the Clock in the Afternoon.

Ja.

Why so?

Gil.

We waited for the Master of the Family’s coming Home, and then we seldom went to Supper before ten.

Ja.

But how did you bear it? you us’d to be very impatient for your Victuals.

Gil.

I call’d ever and anon upon Orthrogonus, our Landlord’s Son-in-Law, who lay upon the same Floor with myself: Soho, Monsieur, said I, do you make no Dining to Day at Synodium? He answer’d, Antronius will be here in a Minute. Then finding not the least Motion towards Dinner, and my Guts very mutinous; Hark you, Orthrogonus, said I, do you design to starve us to Day? Then he would persuade me it was not so late, or put me off with some such Pretence. Then, not being able to bear the Bawling my Bowels made, I interrupted him again: What do you mean, said I, to starve us to Death? When he found he had no more Excuses to make, he went down to the Servants, and order’d them to lay the Cloth. But at last, when no Antronius came, and Dinner seem’d to be as far off as ever, Orthrogonus, wearied with the Noise I made in his Ears, went to the Apartment where his Wife and Mother, and Children were, bidding them get Dinner ready.

Ja.

Well, now I expect to hear of the Dinner.

Gil.

Pray don’t be so hasty. Then there came a lame Fellow, just such another as Vulcan, who laid the Cloth, for that it seems was his Province; this was the first Hope we had of Dinner; and at last, after I had bawl’d a long Time, a Glass Bottle of fair Water is brought in.

Ja.

Well, now there’s more Hope.

Gil.

But I tell you, don’t be too hasty. Again, not without a great Deal of knocking and calling, in comes a Bottle of the Wine I spoke of, as thick with Dregs as Puddle-Water.

Ja.

That’s well, however.

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Gil.

But not a Bit of Bread came along with it; tho’ there was no great Danger we should touch it; for scarce any Body would, had they been ever so hungry. Then I fell to calling till I was hoarse again; and at last the Bread comes, but such as a Bear could scarce bite of.

Ja.

Well, now there was no Danger of starving.

Gil.

Late in the Afternoon Home comes Antronius, and generally with this unlucky Pretence, that his Belly ach’d.

Ja.

But what was that to you?

Gil.

Thus much, that we were to go Supperless to Bed! for what could you expect when the Master of the House is out of Order?

Ja.

But was he sick in good Earnest?

Gil.

So sick that he would have devour’d you three Capons to his own Share, if you would have treated him.

Ja.

I am impatient to hear your Bill of Fare.

Gil.

First of all there is a Plate full of grey Peas brought in, such as old Women cry about the Streets, and this was for our Landlord’s own eating: He pretended that this was his Remedy against all Diseases.

Ja.

How many Guests were there of you at Table?

Gil.

Sometimes eight or nine; among whom was one Verpius, a learned Gentleman, to whose Character I suppose you are no Stranger, and our Landlord’s eldest Son.

Ja.

What was their Mess?

Gil.

Why, the same that Melchisedek offer’d to Abraham, after he had conquer’d the five Kings; and was not that enough for any reasonable Man?

Ja.

But was there no Meat?

Gil.

There was Meat, but there was but a very little of it.

Ja.

What was it?

Gil.

I remember we were once nine of us at Table, when there were no more then seven small Lettice Leaves swimming in Vinegar, but not a Drop of Oil to make ’em slip down.

Ja.

But did your Landlord eat all his grey Peas himself?

Gil.

You must know there was scarce a Farthing-worth Edition: current; Page: [273] of them, however he did not absolutely forbid those that sat next him to taste them, but it look’d uncivil to rob a sick Man of his Victuals.

Ja.

But were not your Lettice Leaves split, to make the greater Show?

Gil.

Why truly they were not; but when those that sat at the upper End of the Table had eaten up the Leaves, the rest sop’d their Bread in the Vinegar.

Ja.

But what, I pray, came after these Lettice Leaves?

Gil.

What? what should come but Cheese, the last Dish at Dinner?

Ja.

But was this your daily Fare?

Gil.

Generally speaking it was; but now and then, if the old Gentleman had the good Luck to get Money in the Way of Trade that Day, he would be a little more generous.

Ja.

How did you fare then?

Gil.

Why, then he would send out to buy a Pennyworth of fresh Grapes, at nine Bunches a Penny: this made the whole Family sing O be joyful.

Ja.

Why not?

Gil.

But then you must understand too, that this was never but when Grapes were dog-cheap.

Ja.

What then, did he never launch out but in Autumn?

Gil.

Yes, he will thus launch out at some other Times too; for you must know that there are Fellows that catch a small Sort of Shell-Fish, most commonly on the Shores, and cry them about the Streets, and he’d now and then buy an Halfpennyworth of these; then you’d swear there had been a Wedding-Dinner in the Family: There was a Fire made in the Kitchen, tho’ not very much of it neither, for these don’t ask much boiling; and these Dainties come always after the Cheese, instead of a Desert.

Ja.

A very fine Desert indeed! But do you never use to have any Flesh or Fish?

Gil.

At last the old Gentleman being overcome by my clamouring, began to live a little more nobly; and whenever Edition: current; Page: [274] he had a Mind to shew his Generosity in good Earnest, this was our Bill of Fare.

Ja.

I long to hear what that is.

Gil.

Imprimis, we had a Dish of Soop which they call a Service, but I don’t know why.

Ja.

A very rich one, I suppose.

Gil.

Very high season’d with the following Spices: They took you a large Kettle of Water, and set it over the Fire; into this they fling a good Quantity of skim’d-Milk Cheese, grown as hard as a Brick-Bat, that you can scarce cut it with an Hatchet; and when these Fragments of Cheese grow a little softer by soaking and seething, they alter the Property of the Liquor, that it is not then fair Water: Now this Soop is serv’d in as a Preparative for the Stomach.

Ja.

This was a Soop for Sows.

Gil.

And the next Course is a Piece of stale Tripe, that has been boil’d a Fortnight.

Ja.

Why then it must needs stink.

Gil.

It does stink, but they have a Remedy for that too.

Ja.

What is that, pray?

Gil.

I would tell you, but I’m afraid you’ll put it into Practice.

Ja.

Ay, marry, Sir!

Gil.

They would take an Egg and beat it up in warm Water, and daub the Tripe over with the Liquor; and so they put the Cheat upon the Eye indeed, but can’t cheat the Nose, for the Stink will force its Way thro’ all. If it happen’d to be a Fish-Day, we had sometimes three Whitings, and but small ones neither, altho’ there were seven or eight of us at Table.

Ja.

What, nothing else?

Gil.

Nothing but that Cheese, as hard as a Stone.

Ja.

The oddest Epicure I ever heard of. But how could so slender Provision be enough for so many Guests of you, and especially not having eat any Breakfast.

Gil.

Well, to satisfy you, I tell you, that the Remainder fed the Mother-in-Law, the Daughter-in-Law, the youngest Son, a Servant-Maid, and a Litter of Children.

Edition: current; Page: [275]
Ja.

Nay, now instead of lessening, you have heighten’d my Admiration.

Gil.

’Tis scarce possible for me to explain this Difficulty to you, unless I first represent to you in what Order we sat at Table.

Ja.

Pray represent it then.

Gil.

Antronius, he sat at the upper End of the Table, and I sat at his right Hand, as being principal Guest; overagainst Antronius sat Orthrogonus; next Orthrogonus, Verpius; next to Verpius, Strategus a Grecian; Antronius’s eldest Son sat at his left Hand. If any Stranger came to dine with us, he was plac’d according to his Quality. As for the Soop, there was no great Danger of its being eaten up, nor no great Difference in the Messes, but only that in the Dishes of the principal Guests there were some Bits of this Cheese floating up and down. And besides, there was a Sort of Barricado made betwixt this Soop by Bottles of Wine and Water, that none but three, before whom the Dish stood, could participate, unless he would be impudent indeed, and go beyond his Bounds. Nor did this Dish stay long there, but was soon taken away, that something might be left for the Family.

Ja.

What did the rest eat all this While?

Gil.

They regal’d themselves after their own Fashion.

Ja.

How was that?

Gil.

Why they sopt the chalky Bread in that sour dreggy Wine.

Ja.

Sure your Dinner us’d to be over in a Minute.

Gil.

It oftentimes held above an Hour.

Ja.

How could it be?

Gil.

The Soop being taken away, which, as I told you before, might have stood without any great Danger, Cheese was brought to Table, and that ran no great Risque; for it was so hard it would bid Defiance to a Carving-knife. Every Man’s Portion of that dreggy Wine and Bread stood before him still; and over these Dainties they diverted themselves with telling Stories; and in the mean Time the Women eat their Dinner.

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Ja.

But how did the Servants fare in the mean Time?

Gil.

They had nothing in common with us, but din’d and sup’d at their own Hours: But this I can tell you, they scarce spent half an Hour’s Time in a whole Day at Victuals.

Ja.

But what Sort of Provision had they?

Gil.

You may easily guess that.

Ja.

Your Germans think an Hour little enough to breakfast in, and they commonly take as much Time to their Beaver, an Hour and an half at their Dinner, and at least two Hours at Supper; and unless their Bellies are well fill’d with good Wine, Flesh, and Fish, they run away from their Masters, and go into the Army.

Gil.

Every Nation has its peculiar Customs; the Italians lay out but very little upon their Bellies; they love Money better than Pleasure; and this Temperance they owe rather to Nature than Custom.

Ja.

Now truly I don’t wonder you are come Home so lean, but rather that you are come Home alive, especially since you were so us’d to Capons, Partridges, Pigeons, and Pheasants.

Gil.

Why, in Truth, I had very fairly troop’d off, unless I had found me out a Remedy.

Ja.

’Tis but poor living, where such frequent Recourse must be had to Remedies.

Gil.

I brought Matters about so, that I had the fourth Part of a boil’d Pullet allow’d to every Meal, to keep up my languishing Spirits.

Ja.

Ay, marry, now you begin to live!

Gil.

Not altogether so well as you imagine; for old Gripe bought the least he could lay his Hands on, to save Expences, such that six of them would not serve a Polander of a tolerable Stomach for a Breakfast; and when he had bought them, he would give them no Corn, because he would not put himself to extraordinary Charges; so a Wing or a Leg of the Fowl, that was half starv’d, before it was put into the Pot, was boil’d for my Dinner, and the Liver always went to Orthrogonus’s little Son; and as for the Broth, Edition: current; Page: [277] the Women were perpetually lapping it up, and every now and then they put in fresh Water; so that by that Time it came to me it was as dry as a Chip, and no more Taste in it than the Foot of a Joint-Stool: And as for the Broth, it was nothing but a little Water bewitch’d.

Ja.

And yet I hear that you have all Sorts of Fowl there in great Plenty, very good, and very cheap.

Gil.

They are so, but Money is hard to come by.

Ja.

You have done Penance enough, one would think, if you had murder’d the Pope, or piss’d against St. Peter’s Tomb-Stone.

Gil.

But hear the rest of the Farce out. You know there are five Days in a Week that we may eat Flesh on.

Ja.

What then?

Gil.

He only bought two Pullets for the whole Week: On Thursday he would pretend he forgot to go to Market, lest I should either have a whole Pullet on that Day, or any should be left.

Ja.

In short, I think your Landlord was a greater Miser than Euclio in Plautus. But what Course did you take to keep yourself alive upon Fish-Days?

Gil.

I employ’d a certain Friend to buy me every Day three Eggs with my own Money, two for my Dinner, and one for my Supper: But here also the Women put their Tricks upon me; for instead of my new-laid Eggs that I paid a good Price for, they would give me rotten ones, that I thought I came well off, if one of my three Eggs prov’d eatable. I also at last got a small Cask of good Wine bought for my own drinking, but the Women broke open my Cellar-Door, and in a few Days drank it all up, and my Landlord Antronius did not seem to be much displeas’d at the Matter.

Ja.

But was there no Body in the Family that took Pity on you?

Gil.

Take Pity on me, say you? No, they thought me a Glutton and a Cormorant, who by myself devour’d so much Victuals: And upon that Account Orthrogonus would ever Edition: current; Page: [278] and anon give me good Advice, that I should consider the Climate where I liv’d, and therefore have Regard to myself; telling me of several of my Countrymen, who had by their over-eating in that Country either procur’d their own Deaths, or brought upon themselves very dangerous Distempers. But when he found me supporting my outward Tabernacle, that was fatigued, starv’d, and distemper’d, with some Knick-knacks that were sold at the Confectioners; he sets a Physician, a Friend and Acquaintance of mine, to persuade me to live moderately. The Doctor took a great Deal of Pains with me: I soon perceiv’d he had been set on to do it, so I made him not a Word of Answer: But when he was still urging me very hard, and was always harping on the same String; I said to him, Worthy Doctor, pray tell me, are you in Jest, or in Earnest? O, in Earnest, said he. Well then, reply’d I, what would you have me to do? Why, to leave off Suppers for good and all, and to mix at least one half Water with your Wine. I could not forbear laughing at this excellent Advice, and said to him, If you want to see me decently laid in a Church- Yard, you propose a ready Way for it; for I am sure it would be present Death to me, in the Circumstances of this poor, lean, dispirited Body, to leave off Suppers; and I have try’d that so often, that in short I have no Mind to make the Experiment again. What, pray, do you think would become of me, if, after such Dinners as we have here, I should go supperless to Bed? And then to bid me mingle Water with such weak insipid Wine! pray tell me, is it not much better to drink clear Water from the Spring, than to debauch it with this sour dreggy Stuff? I don’t doubt but Orthrogonus put you upon giving me this Advice. At this the Doctor smil’d, and allow’d me better Terms: Most learned Gilbert, said he, I did not say this to you, that you should totally leave off eating Suppers; you may eat an Egg, and drink a Glass of Wine; for this is my own Manner of living. I have an Egg boil’d for my Supper, one half of the Yolk I eat myself, and give the other half to my Son; then I drink half a Glass of Wine, and by the Help of this Refreshment I study till late in the Night.

Edition: current; Page: [279]
Ja.

But did this Doctor speak the Truth?

Gil.

Yes, the very Truth; for as I was once coming Home from Church, a Gentleman that bore me Company, told me the Doctor dwelt there: I had a Mind to see his Quarters, so I knock’d at the Door, and in I went, I remember it was on a Sunday; I found the Doctor, his Son, and Servant, at Dinner; the Bill of Fare was a Couple of Eggs, and nothing at all else.

Ja.

Why sure they must be mere Skeletons.

Gil.

No, really, they were both plump and in good-liking, fresh-colour’d, their Eyes brisk and lively.

Ja.

I can scarce believe it.

Gil.

I tell you nothing but what I know to be true: Nay, he is not the only Man that lives after this Manner, but many others, Men of Fashion and Substance in the World, do the same. Take my Word for it, much eating and drinking is rather an Effect of Custom, than of Nature. If a Person accustom himself by little and little, he may come in Time to do as much as Milo, to eat up an Ox in a Day’s Time.

Ja.

Good God! if it be possible for a Man to preserve his Health with so little Sustenance, what a great Deal of unnecessary Expence are the Germans, English, Danes, and Poles at upon their Bellies?

Gil.

A great Deal without Doubt, and that to the apparent Prejudice of their Health and Understanding.

Ja.

But what’s the Matter that you could not content yourself with that Way of living?

Gil.

Because I had accustom’d myself to another Manner, and it was too late to alter my Way of living then. But besides, I did not so much dislike the Quantity of our Provision, as the Quality of it. Two Eggs had been enough for a Meal for me, if they had been fresh-laid; one Glass of Wine had been enough, if we had not had nasty Lees given us instead of Wine; half the Bread would have serv’d me, if it had not been mix’d with Chalk.

Ja.

Lord! that Antronius should be such a sordid Wretch amidst so much Wealth!

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Gil.

I believe verily he was worth 80,000 Ducats; and to speak within Compass, he never got less, than 1,000 Ducats a Year besides.

Ja.

But did those young Sparks, for whom he scrap’d all this together, live at the same sparing Rate?

Gil.

Yes, at Home they did, but it was only there; for when they got abroad, they would eat, drink, whore, and game notably; and while their old Father thought much to spend Sixpence at Home, to treat the best Friend he had, these Sparks would make nothing to lose sixty Ducats in a Night at gaming.

Ja.

This is the usual Fate of Estates that are gotten by miserly living; they are commonly thus spent. But now you are gotten safe out of these great Difficulties, whither are you steering your Course?

Gil.

I am going to an old Club of merry Cocks, to endeavour to fetch up what I have lost.

Edition: current; Page: [281]

The SERAPHICK FUNERAL.

The Argument.

: 281p. 281The Seraphick Funeral lays open the Order, Habit, Life, Vows, and horrid Blasphemies of the Franciscans. That the Franciscan Habit will make one that lives to the Devil die to Christ, and is of more Efficacy than Baptism. The Secrets of the Franciscan Order. That the Disciples of St. Francis have greater Privileges than the Disciples of Christ. That a Franciscan Habit will drive away the Devil, and not suffer the Worms to prey upon the dead Corps. That this Dress makes Men happy without Faith. That it would save a Turk, nay the Devil himself, if they did but put it on. That St. Francis has added to the Gospel of Christ. That the Franciscans are forbid so much as to touch Money.

PHILECOUS and THEOTIMUS.

PH.

Why, where have you been, Theotimus, with that new-fashion’d religious Look?

Th.

Why so?

Ph.

You look so stern, methinks, with your Eyes fix’d upon the Ground, your Head lying upon your left Shoulder, and your Beads in your Hand.

Th.

Why, my Friend, if you must needs be made acquainted with that which don’t concern you, I have been at a Show.

Ph.

What have you been seeing, the Rope-Dancers, or High German Artist, or something of that Nature?

Edition: current; Page: [282]
Th.

Something pretty like them.

Ph.

In short, you are the first Man I ever saw come from a Show with such a Countenance.

Th.

But let me tell you, this was such a Spectacle, that if yourself had been a Spectator, perhaps you had been more melancholy than I am.

Ph.

But prithee tell me what has made you so religious all on a sudden?

Th.

I come from the Funeral of a Seraph.

Ph.

What say you? why, do the Angels die?

Th.

No, but Angels Fellows do. But not to keep you any longer in Suspense, I suppose you know that famous learned Man Eusebius of Pelusium.

Ph.

What, do you mean he that was degraded of his Authority from a Prince, to the State of a private Man, and of a private Man made an Exile, and of an Exile made little better than a Beggar; I had like to have said something Worse?

Th.

You have hit very right, that’s the Man.

Ph.

Why, what’s come to him?

Th.

He was bury’d to Day, and I am just come from his Funeral.

Ph.

Sure it must have been a very doleful Sight indeed, to put you into this dismal Mood.

Th.

I’m afraid I shall never be able to tell you what I have seen without weeping.

Ph.

And I am afraid I shan’t be able to hear it without laughing: But however, let’s have it.

Th.

You know that Eusebius has been in a very weak Condition a long Time.

Ph.

Yes, yes, I know that his Body has been worn out for this many a Year.

Th.

In this Sort of slow and consumptive Diseases Physicians frequently foretell the Time of a Man’s Death to a Day.

Ph.

They do so.

Th.

They told the Patient, that all the Art of Man could Edition: current; Page: [283] do towards his Preservation, had been done for him already: That God indeed could do what was beyond the Power of Physic to effect, but according to human Conjecture he had not above three Days to live.

Ph.

Well, what did he do then?

Th.

The excellent Eusebius immediately stripping himself stark-naked, puts on the Habit of the most holy Francis, has his Head shav’d, is drest in an ash-colour’d Cowl and Gown, an hempen knotted Girdle, and cut and slash’d Shoes.

Ph.

What, when he was departing this Life?

Th.

Even so; and with a dying Voice profess’d, that if it should please God to restore him to the Health that the Physicians despair’d of, he would serve under Christ according to the Rule of St. Francis; and there were several holy Men call’d in to be Witnesses to this Profession. In that Habit dies the famous Man, at the very Time that the Physicians had foretold he would. There came a great many of the Fraternity to assist at his Funeral Solemnity.

Ph.

I wish I had been present at this Sight.

Th.

It would have fetch’d Tears from your Eyes, to have seen with what tenderness the Seraphick Fraternity wash’d the Body, fitted the holy Habit to it, laid his Hands one over another in the Form of a Cross, uncover’d and kiss’d his naked Feet, and according to the Precept of the Gospel, chear’d up his Countenance with Ointment.

Ph.

What a prodigious Humility was this, for the Seraphick Brethren to take upon them the Office of Washers and Bearers?

Th.

When this was done, they laid it upon the Bier, and according to the Doctrine of St. Paul, Bear ye one another’s Burdens, the Brethren took the Brother upon their Shoulders, and carry’d him along the high Way to the Monastery, and there they interr’d him with the usual Songs and Ceremonies. As this venerable Pomp was passing along the Way, I observ’d a great many People, that could not forbear weeping to see a Man, that us’d to go in Silk and Scarlet, now wrapt in a Franciscan’s Habit, girded about with a Edition: current; Page: [284] Rope’s End, and the whole Body dispos’d in such a Posture, as must needs move Devotion; for, as I said, his Head was laid upon his Shoulder, and his Arms across, and every Thing else carry’d a wonderful Appearance of Holiness. And then the March of the Seraphick Brethren themselves with their Heads hanging down, their Eyes fix’d upon the Ground, and their mournful Dirges, so mournful, that I can scarce think that in Hell itself there can be any Thing beyond it, drew Sighs and Tears in Abundance from the Beholders.

Ph.

But had he the five Wounds of St. Francis too?

Th.

I dare not affirm that for a Certainty, but I saw some bluish Scars in his Hands and Feet; and there was an Hole in the left Side of his Gown; but I did not dare to look too narrowly; for they say many People have been undone, by being too curious in these Matters.

Ph.

But did you not see some that laught too?

Th.

Yes, I did take Notice of some, but I believe they were Hereticks; there are too many of them in the World now-a-Days.

Ph.

Well, my Theotimus, to deal honestly with you, if I had been there, in my Conscience, I believe I should scarce have been able to forbear laughing too, for Company.

Th.

Pray God you han’t got a Spice of that Leaven too!

Ph.

Good Theotimus, there’s no Danger of that; for I have had a great Veneration for St. Francis from a Child, who, according to the World, was neither wise, nor learned, but very acceptable to God and Man for the strict Mortification of his worldly Affections; and not only for him, but for all, who following his Foot-Steps, endeavour from their Hearts to be dead to the World, and to live to Christ. But as to the Habit itself, I value it not; and I would fain know of you what a dead Man is the better for a Garment?

Th.

You know it is the Lord’s Precept, Not to cast Pearls before Swine, nor to give holy Things to Dogs. Besides, if you ask Questions to make yourself merry with them, I’ll tell you nothing at all; but if you do it with an honest Edition: current; Page: [285] Desire of being inform’d, I’ll very freely communicate to you what I have learn’d from them.

Ph.

I profess myself willing to learn, and promise to be an attentive, teachable, and thankful Scholar.

Th.

In the first Place, you know that there are some Persons that are so ambitious, that it is not enough for them to have liv’d proudly and insolently, but they must be bury’d pompously too, when they are dead; not that the Dead are sensible, but yet while they are alive, they take some Pleasure by the Force of Imagination, to think of the Pomp of their Funerals. Now I suppose you will not deny, but it is some Degree of Piety to renounce this vain Affection.

Ph.

I will own it, if there be no other Way to avoid the Vanity of pompous Funerals: But in my Opinion, it is more modest for a Prince, when he is dead, to be wrapt in a coarse Winding-Sheet, and to be carry’d by the common Bearers, and interr’d in the common Burying-Place among the common Sort of People; for they that were carry’d, as Eusebius was carry’d, do rather seem to have chang’d their Pride than avoided it.

Th.

It is the Intention of the Mind that God accepts, and it is His Province only to judge of Mens Hearts. But what I have told you is but a small Matter, there are greater Things behind.

Ph.

What are they?

Th.

They profess themselves of the Order of St. Francis’s Rule before their Death.

Ph.

What, that they’ll observe it in the Elysian Fields?

Th.

No, but in this World, if they happen to recover, and it oftentimes has happen’d, that they, that have been given over by the Physicians, have, by God’s Blessing, recover’d as soon as ever they have put on this holy Robe.

Ph.

Ay, and it often happens so to those that never put it on at all.

Th.

We ought to walk with Simplicity in the Way of Faith. If there were no extraordinary Advantage in this Case, certainly so many learned and eminent Persons, even Edition: current; Page: [286] among the Italians themselves, would not be so desirous of being bury’d in this holy Habit. But lest you should object against the Examples of Strangers, I’ll tell you that one whom you very deservedly had an high Esteem for, was thus bury’d; Rudolphus Agricola, and so was Christopher Longolius too.

Ph.

I don’t regard what Men do, being delirious at the Point of Death: I would fain have you tell me what good professing, or being cloath’d, does a Man, when he comes to be terrify’d with the Fears of Death, and discompos’d with Despair of Life. Vows are of no Force, unless they be made in sound Sense and Sobriety, with mature Deliberation, without either Force, Fear, or Guilt. Nay, if nothing of all this were requir’d, such a Vow is not binding till after the Expiration of the Year of Probation, at which Time they are commanded to wear the Coat and Hood. This is what St. Francis himself says; so that if they recover, they are at Liberty in two Respects, because a Vow is not binding that is made by a Man under an Astonishment, betwixt the Hope of Life and the Fear of Death; and because Profession does not oblige a Man before the wearing of the Hood.

Th.

Whether it be an Obligation or no, it is certain they think it one; and the Resignation of the whole Mind is acceptable to God. And this is the Reason that the good Works of Monks, if we allow them to be but equal with other Persons, are more acceptable to God than those of other Men are, because they spring from the best Root.

Ph.

I shall not here enter into the Examination of the Merit of a Man’s dedicating himself wholly to God, when he is no longer in his own Power. I take it that every Christian delivers himself up wholly to God in his Baptism, when he renounces all the Pomps and Vanities of Satan, and lists himself a Soldier to fight under Christ’s Banner all his Life after. And St. Paul, speaking of those that die with Christ, that they may live no longer to themselves, but to him that died for them; does not mean this of Monks only, but of Christians universally.

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Th.

You have very seasonably put me in Mind of Baptism; for in Times past, if they were but dip’d or sprinkled at the last Gasp, there was Hope given them of eternal Life.

Ph.

’Tis no great Matter what the Bishops promise; but ’tis a Matter of great Uncertainty what God will do; for if it were certain that such Men were presently made Citizens of Heaven, by having a little Water sprinkled in their Faces, what greater Gap could be laid open, that worldly Men might all their Life long serve their filthy Lusts and Appetites, and then get two or three Drops of Water sprinkled upon them, when they were not able to sin any longer? Now if the same Rule holds in your Profession, and this Baptism, it is very well provided for the wicked, that they may not be damn’d; that is, that they may live to the Devil, and die to Christ.

Th.

If it be lawful to divulge the Seraphick Mysteries, the Profession of a Franciscan is more efficacious than Baptism.

Ph.

What’s that you say?

Th.

In Baptism our Sins are only wash’d away, and the Soul, tho’ it be purg’d, is left naked; but he that is invested with this Profession, is presently enrich’d with the egregious Merits of the whole Order, by being grafted into the Body of the most holy Fraternity.

Ph.

Well, and pray is he that is ingrafted into the Body of Christ never the better neither for the Head nor the Body?

Th.

He is never the better for the Seraphick Body, unless he deserves it by some special Bounty or Favour.

Ph.

Pray from what Angel had they this Revelation?

Th.

Let me tell you, not from any Angel, but Christ himself with his own Mouth reveal’d this, and a great Deal more to St. Francis, Face to Face.

Ph.

I intreat you, if you have any Kindness for me, and I adjure you, tell me what the Discourses were.

Th.

These are deep profound Mysteries, nor is it meet to commit them to profane Ears.

Ph.

Why profane, my Friend? I never wish’d better to any Order than to the Seraphick.

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Th.

But you give them shrewd Wipes sometimes.

Ph.

This is a Sign of Love, Theotimus. The greatest Enemies of the Order are those Professors of it, that by their ill Lives bring a Scandal upon it. And whosoever wishes well to the Order, can’t but be offended with the Corrupters of it.

Th.

But I am afraid St. Francis will be angry with me, if I blab any of his Secrets.

Ph.

What can you be afraid of from so harmless a Person?

Th.

What? why lest he should strike me blind, or cause me to run mad, as I am told he has done to many, who have deny’d the Print of the five Wounds.

Ph.

Why then the Saints are worse in Heaven, than they were upon Earth. I have heard that St. Francis was of so meek a Disposition, that when Boys out of Roguery would be throwing Cheese, Milk, Dirt, and Stones into his homely Cowl, as it hung down at his Back, he was not at all mov’d at it, but walk’d on his Way chearful and pleasant; and what, is he now become so angry and revengeful? And at another Time when one of his Companions call’d him Thief, sacrilegious, Murderer, incestuous, Sot, and all the Rogues he could think on, he thank’d him, confessing himself guilty. But one of the Company wondering at such an Acknowledgement, I had done worse than all this, says he, unless God’s Grace had restrain’d me. How then comes St. Francis now to be so vindictive?

Th.

It is so: The Saints, now they are in Heaven, will take no Affront. Was ever any Man gentler than Cornelius, milder than Antony, or more patient than John the Baptist, while they liv’d upon Earth? But now they are in Heaven, what dreadful Diseases do they send among us, if we do not worship them as we should do?

Ph.

I am of Opinion that they rather cure our Diseases than cause them. But however, assure yourself, that what you say to me, you say to a Man that is neither profane, nor a Blab.

Th.

Well, come on then, depending upon your Secrecy, Edition: current; Page: [289] I’ll tell you something relating to this Matter. Good St. Francis, I intreat thee and the Society, that I may have your Leave to relate what I have heard! St. Paul, you know, was endow’d with an hidden Wisdom, which he did not communicate openly, but in private, to such as were perfect. So have the Seraphicks also certain Mysteries, which they do not make common, but only communicate them in private to certain blessed Widows, and other choice and godly People, that are Well-wishers to the Seraphick Society.

Ph.

I am impatient to hear this triple holy Revelation.

Th.

In the first Place, the Lord foretold the Seraphick Patriarch, that the more the Seraphick Society increas’d, the more abundantly he would make Provision for them.

Ph.

So then, at first Dash here are those People’s Mouths stop’d, who complain that those People growing more numerous every Day, are a Burden to the Public.

Th.

And secondly, he discover’d this, that annually upon St. Francis’s Day, all the Souls not only of the Brotherhood, who wear the holy Habit, but also of those who wish well to that Order, and are Benefactors to the Brotherhood, should be discharg’d from the Fire of Purgatory.

Ph.

Why, did Christ talk so familiarly with him?

Th.

Why not? Yes he did, as familiarly as one Friend or Companion would do with another. God the Father convers’d with Moses; and Moses communicated the Law so deliver’d to him, to the People: Christ publish’d the Evangelical Law, and St. Francis deliver’d two Copies of his Law, that had been written by the Hands of an Angel, to the Seraphick Fraternity.

Ph.

I want to hear the third Revelation.

Th.

The worthy Patriarch was in Fear, lest the Evil One should corrupt, by Night, the good Seed which had been sown, and the Wheat should be rooted up with the Tares. The Lord likewise freed him from this Scruple, promising him, that he would take it into his Care, that none of the Edition: current; Page: [290] half-shod, rope-girded Tribe, should ever miscarry, even till the Day of Judgment.

Ph.

Oh, the Kindness of God! If it were not so, the Church of God would be undone. But go on.

Th.

And then fourthly, he discover’d to him, that none that liv’d impiously should long persevere in that Order.

Ph.

Why, does not he that lives wickedly fall from the Order?

Th.

No more than he that lives wickedly denies Christ; altho’ in a Sense they may be said to deny God, who profess him in Words, but in Works deny him. But whosoever has cast off the holy Habit, he irreparably falls from the Order.

Ph.

What shall we say then of so many Monasteries of Conventuals who have Money, drink, game, whore, and keep Concubines publickly; not to mention any Thing else.

Th.

St. Francis never wore a Garment of that Colour, I mean a grey, nor a Girdle of white Linen; and therefore, when they come to knock at Heaven Gates, it will be said to them, I never knew you, for that they have not on the Wedding-Garment.

Ph.

Well, what, have you any more?

Th.

You have heard nothing yet to what is behind. In the fifth Place, he made known to him, that those who were Enemies to the Seraphick Order, such as there are but too many, the more is the Pity, should never live half the Time God had appointed them, without making-away with themselves; and that unless they anticipated their Fate, they should suddenly come to a miserable End.

Ph.

We have, among Abundance of other Instances, seen that made good in Matthew Cardinal of Sedunum, who had a very ill Opinion, and spoke ill of the half-shod Fraternity; for the died, I think, before he was full 50 Years of Age.

Th.

You say very right; but then he had done Injury to the Cherubick Order likewise: For they say, it was brought about chiefly by his Management, that the four Dominicans were burnt at Bern, when otherwise they would have overcome the Pope’s Resentment by Money.

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Ph.

But they say they had begun to act a Piece of most monstrous Impiety. They attempted, by false Visions and Miracles, to persuade People, that the Virgin Mary was polluted with original Sin, and that St. Francis had not the genuine Marks of Christ’s Wounds, and that Catharina Senensis had them more authentickly; but had promis’d the most perfect of them all to the Lay-Man they had converted, and suborn’d to act this Farce, and had abus’d the Body of the Lord, to carry on the Imposture, and afterwards with Clubs and Poisons. And in the last Place they say, that this Project was not carry’d on by one University only, but by all the Heads of the whole Order.

Th.

Let that be as it will, it was not without Reason that God said, Touch not mine Anointed.

Ph.

I want to hear what is to come.

Th.

The sixth Revelation is behind, in which the Lord sware to him, that those that were Favourers of the Seraphick Order, how wickedly soever they liv’d, should one Time or other obtain Mercy from the Lord, and end their wicked Life with a blessed Death.

Ph.

What if they should be caught and kill’d in the very Act of Adultery?

Th.

What God has promis’d, cannot fail of being perform’d.

Ph.

But what is it that they interpret Favour and Good-Will by?

Th.

Oh! do you doubt of that? He that gives them Presents, that cloaths them, furnishes their Kitchen, he loves them long ago.

Ph.

But does he not love those that give them Admonitions and Instructions?

Th.

They have enough of those Things at Home; and it is their Profession to bestow these Benefits on other Persons, and not to receive them from them.

Ph.

Then the Lord has promis’d more to the Disciples of St. Francis, than he has to his own. He indeed suffers it to be imputed to him, if any Thing be done for his Sake to a Edition: current; Page: [292] Christian, but he never promis’d Salvation to such as live wickedly.

Th.

That’s no Wonder, my Friend; for the transcendent Power of the Gospel is reserv’d for this Order. But you shall now hear the seventh and last Revelation.

Ph.

I am ready to hear it.

Th.

The Lord sware to him, that none should make an ill End, who dy’d in a Franciscan’s Habit.

Ph.

But what is it, that you call an ill End?

Th.

Why, he makes an ill End, that when his Soul leaves the Body, it goes down directly into Hell without any Redemption.

Ph.

But what then, does not the Habit deliver from the Fire of Purgatory?

Th.

No, unless a Person dies in it upon St. Francis’s Day. But don’t you think it is a great Thing to be freed from Hell?

Ph.

Yes, I think it is the greatest of all. But what must we think of those Persons, who are put into the Habit, after they are dead, and don’t actually die in it?

Th.

If they desire it in their Life-Time, the Will is taken for the Deed.

Ph.

When I was at Antwerp, I was present in the Company of the Relations of a Woman, that was just giving up the Ghost. There was a Franciscan by, a very reverend Man, who observing the Woman to yawn, put one of her Arms into the Sleeve of his Garment, so that it cover’d that Arm, and Part of the Shoulder; and there was a Dispute rais’d upon it, whether the whole Woman should be safe from the Gates of Hell, or that Part only which had been cover’d.

Th.

Why, the whole Woman was secur’d; as it is in Baptism, but Part of the Person is dip’d in the Water, but the whole Person is made a Christian.

Ph.

It is wonderful what a Dread the Devils have of this Habit.

Th.

They dread it more than they do the Cross of Christ. When Eusebius was carry’d to the Grave, I saw, and so did Edition: current; Page: [293] : 293p. 293 many others besides me, Swarms of black Devils, like Flies, buzzing about the Body, and striking at it; but not one of them durst to touch it.

Ph.

But in the mean Time, his Face, his Hands, and his Feet were in Danger, because they were bare.

Th.

As a Snake will not come near the Shadow of an Ash, let it spread ever so far; so the Devils are sensible of the Venom of the holy Garment at a great Distance.

Ph.

Why then, I believe, such Bodies do not putrify; if they do, the Worms have more Courage than the Devils.

Th.

What you say is very probable.

Ph.

How happy are the Lice, which always live in that holy Garment! But when the Garment is going to the Grave, what becomes of the Soul?

Th.

Why the Soul carries away with it the Influence of the Garment, and renders it secure; so that a great many will not allow, that any of that Order do go at all to Purgatory.

Ph.

In Truth, if this Revelation were true, I would esteem it at an higher Rate than that of St. John; for this shews us an easy and a ready Way, without Labour, Trouble, or Repentance, to escape eternal Misery, and yet to live all our Life long merrily.

Th.

It is so.

Ph.

From henceforth I shall leave off admiring at the great Deference that so many pay to the Seraphick Fraternity: But I stand in great Admiration that any Man should dare to open his Mouth against them.

Th.

You may observe where-ever you see them, that they are Persons given over to a reprobate Mind, and blinded in their Wickedness.

Ph.

I will for the future be more cautious than I have been, and take Care to die in a Franciscan Habit. But there are some risen up in our Age who will have it, that a Man is justified only by Faith, without the Help of good Works; but it is the greatest Privilege in the World to be saved by a Garment without Faith.

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Th.

Don’t mistake me, Philecous; I don’t say simply without Faith, but with this Faith of believing, that the Things I have told you were promised by our Saviour to the Patriarch St. Francis.

Ph.

But will this Garment save a Turk?

Th.

It would save the Devil himself, if he would but suffer it to be put on him, and could but believe this Revelation.

Ph.

Well, thou hast won me for ever; but I have a Scruple or two more, that I would desire you to clear up for me.

Th.

Let me hear them.

Ph.

I have heard that St. Francis has said his Order was of evangelical Institution.

Th.

True.

Ph.

Now I thought that all Christians had profess’d the Rule of the Gospel; but if the Franciscan’s Order be a Gospel one, then all Christians ought to be Franciscans, and Christ himself, his Apostles, and the Virgin-Mother at the Head of them.

Th.

It would be so indeed, unless St. Francis had added some Things to the Gospel of Christ.

Ph.

What Things are they?

Th.

An Ash-colour’d Garment, an Hempen Girdle, and naked Feet.

Ph.

Well then, by these Marks we may know an evangelical Christian from a Franciscan, may we?

Th.

But they differ too in the Point of touching Money.

Ph.

But, as I am inform’d, St. Francis forbids the receiving of it, not the touching of it; but the Owner, or the Proctor, the Creditor, the Heir, or the Proxy does commonly receive it; and tho’ he draws it over with his Glove on, and does not touch it, nevertheless he is said to receive it. Whence then came this new Interpretation, that not to receive it, is not to touch it?

Th.

This was the Interpretation of Pope Benedict.

Ph.

But not as a Pope, but only as a Franciscan. And then again, do not the most strict of the Order take Money in a Clout, when it is given them in their Pilgrimages?

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Th.

They do in a Case of Necessity.

Ph.

But a Man should rather die than violate so superevangelical a Rule. And then, do they not receive Money every-where by their Officers?

Th.

Why should they not, and that thousands and thousands too, as they do frequently?

Ph.

But the Rule says, not by themselves, nor by any Body else.

Th.

Well, but they don’t touch it.

Ph.

O ridiculous! if the Touch be impious, they touch it by others.

Th.

But that is the Act and Deed of the Proctors, not their own.

Ph.

Is it not so? Let him try it that has a Mind to it.

Th.

We never read that Christ touch’d Money.

Ph.

Suppose it, tho’ it is very probable that, when he was a Youth, he might buy Oil, and Vinegar, and Salads for his Parents: But Peter and Paul, without all Controversy, touch’d it. The Virtue consists in the Contempt of Money, and not in the not touching of it. It is much more dangerous to touch Wine, than to touch Money; why are they not afraid of that?

Th.

Because St. Francis did not forbid it.

Ph.

Do they not readily enough offer their Hands, which they keep soft with Idleness, and white with Washes, to pretty Wenches? but, bless me! if you offer them a Piece of Money to look upon, and see if it be good, how do they start back and cross themselves! Is not this an evangelical Nicety? In Truth, I believe St. Francis, illiterate as he was, was never so silly as to have absolutely forbid all touching of Money. And if that were his Opinion, to how great a Danger did he expose his Followers, in commanding them to go barefoot? for it is scarce possible, but that one Time or another, they might unawares tread upon Money lying on the Ground.

Th.

Well, but then they don’t touch it with their Hands.

Ph.

Why, pray is not the Sense of touching common to the whole Body?

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Th.

But in Case any such Thing should fall out, they do not officiate after it till they have been at Confession.

Ph.

’Tis conscientiously done.

Th.

But without cavilling, I’ll tell you how it is; Money ever was, and ever will be, the Occasion of very great Evils to many Persons.

Ph.

I allow it: But then, on the other Hand, it is an Instrument of as much good to others. I find the inordinate Love of Money to be condemned; but I nowhere find Money itself to be so.

Th.

You say very well; but that we may be kept at greater Distance from the Disease of Covetousness, we are forbid to touch Money, as we are forbid by the Gospel to swear at all, that we may be kept from Perjury.

Ph.

Why then is not the Sight of Money forbidden too?

Th.

Because it is easier to govern our Hands than Eyes.

Ph.

And yet Death itself entred into the World at those Windows.

Th.

And therefore your true Franciscans pull their Cowls over their Eye-Brows, and walk with their Eyes cover’d and fixt upon the Ground, that they may see nothing but their Way, just like Carriers Horses, that have Winkers on each Side of their Head-Geer, that they may see nothing but what is before them, and at their Feet.

Ph.

But tell me, is it true as I hear, that they are forbidden by their Order to receive any Indulgences from the Pope?

Th.

They are so.

Ph.

But as I am inform’d, there are no Men in the World that have more of them than they have; so that they are allow’d either to poison, or bury alive, those that they themselves have condemn’d, without any Danger of being called to Account for it.

Th.

What you have heard is no Fiction; for I was told once by a Polander, and a Man of Credit too, that he, having gotten drunk, fell fast asleep in the Franciscans Church, in one of the Corners where the Women sit to make their Confessions Edition: current; Page: [297] : 297p. 297 thro’ a Lattice; and being awak’d by the singing of their Nocturns, according to Custom, he did not dare to discover himself: and when the Office was over, the whole Fraternity went down into the Vault, where there was a large deep Grave ready made, and there stood two young Men with their Hands tied behind them: There was a Sermon preach’d in Praise of Obedience, and a Promise of God’s Pardon for all their Sins, and some Hope given them that God would incline the Minds of the Brotherhood to Mercy, if they would voluntarily go down into the Grave and lay themselves upon their Backs there. They did so, and as soon as they were down, the Ladders were drawn up, and the Brethren all together flung the Dirt upon them.

Ph.

Well, but did the Polander say nothing all the while?

Th.

No, not a Word; he was afraid, if he had discover’d himself, he should have made the third Person.

Ph.

But can they justify this?

Th.

Yes, they may as often as the Honour of the Order is call’d in Question; for he, as soon as he had made his Escape, told what he had seen in all the Companies he came into, to the great Scandal of the whole Seraphick Order. And had it not been better now that this Man had been buried alive?

Ph.

It may be it had; but omitting these Niceties, how comes it that when their Patriarch has ordered them to go barefoot, they now go commonly half-shod?

Th.

This Injunction was moderated for two Reasons, the one for Fear they should tread upon Money unawares; the other lest Cold, or Thorns, or Snakes, or Flint, or any such Thing should hurt them, since they are oblig’d to travel barefoot all the World over: But however that that might be, and the Dignity of the Rule preserved inviolable, the Slashes in the Shoes shew the naked Foot, and so fulfil the Rule by Synecdoche.

Ph.

They value themselves much upon their professing evangelical Perfection, which, they say, consists in evangelical Precepts; but about those Precepts the Learned Edition: current; Page: [298] : 298p. 298 themselves have hot Disputes. And in every State of Life there is Room for evangelical Perfection. But now which do you reckon the most perfect of the Gospel Precepts?

Th.

I believe that you find in the fifth of Matthew which ends thus, Love your Enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for those that persecute you and revile you, that you may be the Children of your Father who is in Heaven, who maketh his Sun to shine upon the good and the evil, and sendeth Rain upon the just and the unjust; therefore be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Ph.

You have answer’d very pertinently; but then our Father is rich and munificent to all People, asking nothing of any Man.

Th.

And so are they bountiful too, but it is of spiritual Things, of Prayers and good Works, in which they are very rich.

Ph.

I would there were among them more Examples of that evangelical Charity, that returns Blessings for Cursings, and Good for Evil. What is the Meaning of that celebrated Saying of Pope Alexander, ’Tis safer to affront the most powerful Prince, than any one single Franciscan or Dominican?

Th.

It is lawful to avenge an Injury offer’d to the Dignity of the Order; and what is done to the least of them, is done to the whole Order.

Ph.

But why not rather the Good that is done to one, is done to the whole Order? And why shall not an Injury done to one Christian engage all Christendom in Revenge? Why did not St. Paul, when he was beaten and stoned, call for Succour against the Enemies of his apostolical Character? Now, if according to the Saying of our Saviour, it be more blessed to give than receive, certainly he that lives and teaches well, and gives of his own to those that are in Want, is much perfecter than he that is only on the receiving Hand; or otherwise St. Paul’s Boast of preaching the Gospel gratis is vain and idle. It seems to me to be the best Proof of an evangelical Disposition, that Persons are Edition: current; Page: [299] not angry when reproached, and have a Christian Charity for those that ill deserve it. What great Matter is it for a Man to relinquish something of his own, to live better upon that which is another Body’s, and to reserve to himself a Desire of Revenge? The World is full every where of this half-shod, rope-girt Sort of People; but there is scarce one of them to be found that presses after that which Christ calls Perfection, and the Apostles constantly practised.

Th.

I am no Stranger to the Stories that wicked Persons tell of them; but for my own Part, where ever I see the sacred Habit, I think the Angels of God are by; and count that a happy House, whose Threshold is most worn by their Feet.

Ph.

And I am of Opinion, that Women are no where more fruitful than where these Men are most familiar. But I beg St. Francis’s Pardon, Theotimus, for being so much out of the Way. I really took their Habit to be no more than a Garment, nor one Jot better than a Sailor’s Jacket, or a Shoemaker’s Coat, setting aside the Holiness of the Person that wears it, as the Touch of our Saviour’s Garment cured the Woman with the bloody Issue. Or else I could not satisfy myself whether I was to thank the Weaver, or the Taylor, for the Virtue of it.

Th.

Without Doubt he that gives the Form gives the Virtue.

Ph.

Well then, for Time to come I’ll live more merrily, and not torment myself with the Fear of Hell, the Tediousness of Confession, or the Torment of Repentance.

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AMICITIA, or FRIENDSHIP.

The Argument.

Amicitia treats of the Sympathy and Antipathy of Things. A Serpent is an Enemy to Mankind and Lizards: He loves Milk, hates the Smell of Garlick. A Crocodile is a mortal Enemy to Mankind. A Dolphin is a greater Lover of them. Every Kind of Animal by mere Instinct fears its Enemy. A Horse mortally hates a Bear. An Elephant loves a Man wonderfully, but hates a Dragon, a Mouse, and a Swallow. A Dog is a very friendly Creature to Man, and a Wolf as great an Enemy, so that the very Sight of him strikes a Man dumb. A Spider is a great Enemy to a Serpent and a Toad. A Toad is cured immediately by eating of Plantane. The History of a Monk that was rescued from a Toad. An Ape is very fearful of a Tortoise; an Acanthis of an Ass; a Beetle of an Eagle; a Dove of a Hawk. A Lion is struck with Fear by the crowing of a Cock. A Monkey admires Coneys. The Boxtree chases away Serpents. Moths are turned into Butterflies, and being dead are sensible of the Touch of a Spider. Even a dead Body detects a Murderer. An Oak has an Enmity to an Olive-tree, and a Walnut-tree; a Vine to a Cole-wort. Garlick is very friendly to Lilies. Rivers have their Antipathy: Winds, Stars, and Genii, are some of them friendly, Edition: current; Page: [301] others noxious. Oxen love one Companion, but hate another. Men have a secret Antipathy against some Persons. Boys themselves love one Play-Fellow, but shun the Company of another. Erasmus at eight Years of Age had a mortal Aversion to a Lyar, by some secret Guidance of Nature. Every one ought to avoid that Way of Livelyhood, that he has a natural Aversion to. We ought to have Charity for all, but Familiarity with very few.

EPHORINUS and JOHN.

EPH.

I often admire with myself what God Nature consulted when it intermixt certain secret Amities and Enmities in all Things, for which there is no probable Reason to be given, unless for her own Entertainment, as we set Cocks and Quails a fighting to make us Diversion.

Joh.

I don’t very well take in what you aim at.

Eph.

Well then, I’ll tell you in familiar Instances: You know that Serpents generally are Enemies to Mankind.

Joh.

I know there is an old Enmity betwixt them and us, and an irreconcileable one; which will be so as long as we remember that unlucky Apple.

Eph.

Do you know the Lizard?

Joh.

Why not?

Eph.

There are very large green ones in Italy. This Creature is by Nature very friendly to Mankind, and an utter Enemy to Serpents.

Joh.

How does this appear?

Eph.

Which Way soever a Man turns his Face they will gather about him, turn their Heads towards him, look steadfastly in his Face, and view him a long Time: If he spits, they will lick up his Spittle; nay, I have seen ’em drink up a Boy’s Piss. They suffer themselves to be handled by Boys, and will suffer themselves to be hurt by them without doing them any Harm; and if you put ’em to your Mouth, they Edition: current; Page: [302] love to lick your Spittle; but if you catch them, and set them a fighting together, it is wonderful to see how fierce they are, and will not at all meddle with him that set them a fighting. If any one is walking in the Fields in a hollow Way, by rustling the Bushes sometimes in one Place, and sometimes in another, they will make him take Notice of them. One that is not acquainted with it, would think they were Serpents; when you look at them they turn their Heads to look at you till you stand still; if you go on, they follow you; and if a Man be doing any Thing, they will make him take Notice of them. You would think they were sporting, and mightily delighted with the Sight of a Man.

Joh.

’Tis very admirable.

Eph.

I saw once a very large and charming green Lizard fighting with a Serpent, at the Entrance of a Hole; I wondred at first what was the Meaning of it, for I could not see the Serpent; an Italian told me that the Serpent was within; by and by the Lizard comes to us, as it were shewing us her Wounds, and begging a Remedy, and did not only suffer herself to be touch’d, but as often as we stood still she stood still, viewing us very earnestly. The Serpent had almost gnawed away one of her Sides, and of green had made it red.

Joh.

Had I been there, I should have had a Mind to avenge the Lizard’s Quarrel.

Eph.

But her Enemy had hid herself in the bottom of the Hole: But some Days after we had the Pleasure to see her revenge herself.

Joh.

I am glad at my Heart; but prithee how was it?

Eph.

We happened to be walking near the same Place, and the Serpent had been drinking at a Spring hard by, for it was so violent hot Weather, that we were like to perish with Thirst. A Boy of about thirteen Years old, the Man’s Son where we lodg’d, having fled from Bononia for Fear of the Pestilence, happen’d very luckily to come by, with a Hay-Rake upon his Shoulder; as soon as he saw the Serpent he cries out.

Joh.

Perhaps for Fear.

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Eph.

No, for Joy, rejoicing that he had found the Enemy. The Boy strikes him with the Rake, the Serpent rolls himself up; but he laid on, till, having broke his Head, the Serpent stretch’d himself out, which they never do, but when they are dying; that’s the Reason that you have heard the Apologist, concerning a Crab-Fish, who killing a Serpent that was his Enemy, when he saw him stretch’d out, says thus, You ought to have gone so when you were alive.

Joh.

That was bravely done; but how then?

Eph.

The Boy takes him upon his Rake, and hangs him upon a Shrub over the Cave, and in a few Days Time we saw the Leaves tinctur’d with the Blood of the Serpent. The Husbandmen of that Place related to us a wonderful strange Thing for a certain Truth; that the Countrymen, being weary sometimes, sleep in that Field, and have sometimes with them a Pitcher of Milk, which serves both for Victuals and Drink; that Serpents are great Lovers of Milk, and so it often happens, that they come in their Way: But they have a Remedy for that.

Joh.

Pray what is it?

Eph.

They dawb the Brims of the Pitcher with Garlick, and the Smell of that drives away the Serpents.

Joh.

What does Horace mean then, when he says Garlick is a Poison more hurtful than Henbane, when you say it is an Antidote against Poison?

Eph.

But hear a little, I have something to tell you that is worse than that: They often creep slily into the Mouth of a Man, that lies sleeping with his Mouth open, and so wind themselves into his Stomach.

Joh.

And, does not a Man die immediately, that has entertain’d such a Guest?

Eph.

No, but lives most miserably; nor is there any Remedy, but to feed the Man with Milk, and other Things that the Serpent loves.

Joh.

What, no Remedy against such a Calamity?

Eph.

Yes, to eat Abundance of Garlick.

Joh.

No Wonder then, Mowers love Garlick.

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Eph.

But those that are tired with Heat and Labour, have their Remedy another Way; for, when they are in Danger of this Misfortune, very often a Lizard, though but a little Creature, saves a Man.

Joh.

How can he save him?

Eph.

When he perceives a Serpent lying perdue, in Wait for the Man, he runs about upon the Man’s Neck and Face, and never gives over, till he has waked the Man by tickling him, and clawing him gently with his Nails; and as soon as the Man wakes, and sees the Lizard near him, he knows the Enemy is somewhere not far off in Ambuscade; and looking about, seizes him.

Joh.

The wonderful Power of Nature!

Eph.

Now, there is no living Creature that is so great an Enemy to a Man as a Crocodile, who oftentimes devours Men whole, and assists his Malice by an Artifice; having sucked in Water, he makes the Paths slippery where they go to the Nile to draw Water, and when they fall down, there swallows ’em up. Nor can you be ignorant, that Dolphins, that live in a quite different Element, are great Lovers of Men.

Joh.

I have heard a very famous Story of a Boy who was beloved by one; and a more famous one than that, about Arion.

Eph.

Besides that, in catching Mullets the Fishermen make Use of the Assistance of Dolphins instead of Dogs; and when they have caught their Prey, give them Part for their Pains. Nay, more than that, they suffer themselves to be chastised, if they commit any Fault in their hunting them. They frequently appear to Mariners at Sea, rejoicing and playing upon the Top of the Waves; sometimes swimming to the Ship Sides, and leaping over the spread Sails, they are so delighted with the Conversation of Men. But again, as a Dolphin is so very great a Lover of Men; so he is a mortal Enemy to the Crocodile. He goes out of the Sea, and dares to venture into the River Nile, where the Crocodile domineers, and attacks the monstrous Animal that is defended Edition: current; Page: [305] : 305p. 305 with Teeth, Claws, and Scales more impenetrable than Iron; when he himself is not very well framed for biting neither, his Mouth inclining to his Breast: Yet, for all that, he runs violently upon his Enemy, and coming near him, diveth down on a sudden, gets under his Belly, and setting up his Fins, pricks him in the soft Part of his Belly; which is the only Place he can be wounded in.

Joh.

It is a wonderful Thing, that an Animal should know his Enemy, tho’ he never saw him before in his Life; and to know, both why he should be attack’d, and where he can be hurt, and how to defend himself, when a Man has not that Faculty; who would not have Sense enough to be afraid of a Basilisk, unless he were warned before-Hand, and taught by having received Harm.

Eph.

A Horse, you know, is a Creature devoted to the Service of Man; and there is a capital Enmity between him and a Bear, that is an Enemy to Man: He knows his Enemy, tho’ he has never seen him before, and presently prepares himself to engage him.

Joh.

What Arms does he fight with?

Eph.

Rather with Art than Strength: He leaps over the Enemy, and strikes his hind Legs on his Head. The Bear, on the other Hand, claws at the soft Part of the Horse’s Belly. The Poison of an Asp is incurable to a Man; and the Ichneumon makes War with the Asp, and is likewise a mortal Enemy to the Crocodile. An Elephant is also very well affected toward Mankind; for they very kindly shew the Way to a Traveller that has happened to lose it; and they know and love their Teacher. There are likewise Examples of an extraordinary Love toward Mankind: For, one of them fell in Love with an Ægyptian Maid that sold Garlands that was beloved of Aristophanes the Grammarian; and another lov’d Menander a Youth of Syracuse so affectionately, that he would not eat his Victuals when he was out of his Sight. But not to mention any more of this Nature, tho’ there is Abundance related: When King Bocchus had a Mind to exercise his Cruelty toward 30 Persons, he Edition: current; Page: [306] : 306p. 306 determined to expose them, bound to Stakes, to so many Elephants; but they that were sent out among the Elephants, to provoke them, could never bring them to be Executioners of the King’s Cruelty. There is likewise a very destructive Antipathy between this Creature, so friendly to Mankind, and the Indian Dragons, which are reported to be the largest that are; so that they oftentimes both perish in the Engagement. There is the like Disagreement between the Eagle and the lesser Dragon, altho’ it is harmless towards Men; as it has been reported to have borne amorous Affections towards certain Maidens. There is likewise a deadly Enmity between the Eagle and the Cymindis, or Night-Hawk. And also an Elephant hates a Mouse, a troublesome Creature to Mankind, and won’t touch a Bit of Provender that it sees a Mouse in; nor is there any manifest Cause why it hates him so: It is with good Reason it hates the Horse-Leech; because if it happens to sup it up in its Drink, it torments him miserably. There is scarce any Animal that is more friendly to Man than a Dog is, nor a greater Enemy to him than a Wolf, so that a Man loses his Speech if he sees him; and between these two there is the utmost Discord; as a Wolf is the most bitter Enemy to Sheep, which have their Dependance merely upon the Providence of Mankind, whose Care it is to defend this harmless Creature made for the Nourishment of Man. They are all in Arms against the Wolf, as against the common Enemy of Mankind, especially the whole Army of Dogs; so that it is grown into a Proverb, I’ll give you no more Quarter than a Dog does to a Wolf. The Sea-Hare is an incurable Poison to Mankind, if any Body taste it unawares; again, on the other Hand, the Touch of a Man is Death to that Hare. A Panther is a very fierce Beast towards a Man; and yet is so afraid of a Hyæna, that it does not dare to engage him; and hence they say, that if any Body carry a Piece of a Hyæna Skin about him, a Panther won’t set upon him, there is such a Sagacity in their natural Sense: and they add also, that if you hang their two Skins one over against the other, the Edition: current; Page: [307] : 307p. 307 Panther Hair will fall off. A Spider is an Animal that is one of a Man’s own Family, but is very destructive to a Serpent; so that if he happen to see a Serpent sunning himself under a Tree, it will spin down and fix his Sting so sharply in his Forehead, that the Serpent will roll himself up, and die at last. I have heard it told by those that have seen it, that there is the like Enmity between a Toad and a Spider; but that the Toad cures himself, when he is wounded, by biting of a Plantane Leaf. I’ll tell you an English Story: I suppose you know ’tis the Custom there to strew the Floor with green Rushes; a certain Monk had carried some Bundles of these Rushes into his Chamber, to strew them at his Leisure; and happening to take a Nap after Dinner, a great Toad creeps out and gets upon his Mouth while he lay asleep, fixing his Feet, two upon his upper and two upon his under Lip. To draw off the Toad was certain Death; to let him be there was worse than Death itself. Some persuaded that the Monk should be carried and laid upon his Back in the Window where a great Spider had his Web. It was done: The Spider presently seeing her Enemy, spins down, darts her Sting into the Toad, and runs up again to her Web; the Toad swelled, but was not gotten off. The Spider spins down a second Time, and gives him another Wound; it swells more, but still is alive: The Spider repeats it a third Time; then the Toad takes off his Feet and drops off dead. This Piece of Service the Spider did her Landlord.

Joh.

You tell me a wonderful strange Story.

Eph.

I’ll tell you now not what I have heard, but what I have seen with my own Eyes. An Ape has an unmeasureable Aversion to a Tortoise; a certain Person gave me a Specimen of this when I was at Rome: He set a Tortoise upon the Head of his Servant, and put his Hat upon it, and then brought him to the Monkey; the Ape presently, with much Alacrity, leaps upon the Lad’s Shoulders to catch Lice in his Head, and taking off his Hat spies the Tortoise. It was amazing to see with what Horror he leap’d away, how Edition: current; Page: [308] frighted he was, and with what Fearfulness he look’d back to see whether the Tortoise follow’d him or not. There was likewise another Specimen: the Tortoise was tied to the Monkey’s Chain, that he could not avoid seeing him. It is incredible how much he was tormented; he was almost dead with Fear: sometimes turning his Back, he would endeavour to beat off the Tortoise with his hinder Feet; at last, he piss’d and shit towards him all that was in his Belly, and with the Fright fell into such a Fever, that we were forced to let him loose, and put him into a Bath made of Wine and Water.

Joh.

There was no Reason that the Monkey should be afraid of the Tortoise.

Eph.

There may, perhaps, be something natural in it, that we are not acquainted with. Why a Linnet should hate an Ass, is easily accounted for; because he rubs himself against the Thorns, and eats off the Flowers of the Hedge where she makes her Nest; and she is so affrighted at the Sight of an Ass, that if she hear him bray, tho’ it be a great Way off, she throws down her Eggs, and her young ones fall out of the Nest for Fear. But however, she does not suffer him to pass unrevenged.

Joh.

How can a Linnet do any Hurt to an Ass?

Eph.

She pecks his sore Back, that is gall’d with Blows and Burdens, and the soft Part of his Nose. We may also guess at the Cause, why there is a mutual Grudge between the Fox and the Kite, because the ravenous Fowl is always laying Wait to catch the Foxes Whelps; and very likely, on the other Hand, that the Fox does the same by her young ones; which is the Cause of the Dissension between the Rat and the Heron. And the same Reason may be given for the Enmity between the little Bird call’d a Merlin and the Fox; the Merlin breaks the Crows Eggs; the Foxes persecute them, and they the Foxes, pecking their Whelps, which the Crows seeing, join their Assistance, as against a common Enemy. But I can’t find out any Reason, why the Swan and the Eagle, the Raven and the Green-Bird, the Edition: current; Page: [309] Rook and the Owl, the Eagle and the Wren, should hate one another; unless it be that the latter hates the Eagle because he is called the King of Birds. Why should an Owl be an Enemy to small Birds, a Weesel to a Crow, a Turtle-Dove to a Candle-Fly, the Ichneumon (Indian Rats) Wasps to the Spiders call’d Phalangiae, Ducks to Sea-Gulls, the Harpe to the Buzzard-Hawk, the Wolf to the Lion? And besides, why should Rats have an Aversion to a Tree where Ants are? Why is there so irreconcileable an Enmity between a Beetle and an Eagle? For the Fable was framed from the Nature of that Animal. Hence it is, that near to Olynthus, in a certain Place, Beetles will not live if they are brought into it. And then again, between Creatures that live in the Water; what Reason is there why the Mullet and the Pike mutually hate one another, as the Conger and Lamprey, that gnaw one another’s Tails? The Lobster has such an Hatred to the Polypus, that if it chance to see it near him, he dies with Fear. On the contrary, a certain hidden Affection of Good-Will has united other Creatures, as Peacocks and Doves, Turtles and Parrots, Black-birds and Thrushes, Crows and Herns, who mutually assist one another against the Fox; the Harpe and Kite against the Triorche, which is a Kind of Hawk, and a common Enemy to ’em. The Musculus, a little Fish swimming before the Whale, is a Guide to him; nor does it appear why he is thus serviceable to him. For, that the Crocodile opens his Jaws for the little Wren, is not to be attributed to Friendship, when either Creature is led by its own Advantage. The Crocodile loves to have his Teeth cleansed, and therefore embraces the Pleasure of having them pick’d; and the Wren seeks her Food, feeding upon the Fragments of Fish that stick in the other’s Teeth: And for the same Reason, a Crow rides upon a Sow’s Back. There is such a stubborn Enmity between the Anthus and Ægythus, that it is affirmed their Blood will not mingle one with the other; just as it is related of other Birds, that their Feathers will consume away if they be mingled with those of the Eagle. Edition: current; Page: [310] A Hawk is a deadly Enemy to the Dove Kind, but the little Bird the Kestrel defends them; for a Hawk is wonderfully afraid either to see or hear that Bird. Nor are the Pigeons ignorant of this; wheresoever the Kestrel has her Nest, they’ll never leave that Place, relying upon their Defenders. Who can give a Reason why a Kestrel should be so friendly to Pigeons, or why a Hawk should be so afraid of a Kestrel? And as a very little Animal is sometimes a Safeguard to a great Beast; so on the contrary, a very little one is often a Destruction to a great one. There is a little Fish in the form of a Scorpion, and of the Size of the Fish Quaquiner; he sometimes sticks his Sting into the Fin of Tunnies, that often are bigger than a Dolphin, and puts them to that Torture, that they sometimes leap into Ships; and the same he does to the Mullet. What should be the Reason that a Lion, that is terrible to all Animals, should be struck with Fear at hearing a Cock crow?

Joh.

That I may not be altogether Shot-free in this Entertainment, I’ll tell you what I saw with my own Eyes, in the House of that famous Englishman Sir Thomas More: He kept in his House a large Monkey, who, that he might the sooner get well of a Wound he had received, was suffer’d to go loose. At the End of the Garden there were Rabbets kept in Hutches, and a Weesel used to watch them very narrowly. The Monkey sitting aloof off, quietly, as tho’ unconcern’d, observ’d all his Motions, till he saw the Rabbets were in no Danger from him. But perceiving the Weesel had loosened a Board in the back Part of the Hutch, and that now they were in Danger to be attack’d in the Rear, and so be made a Prey to their Enemy, the Ape runs, jumps up on the Plank, and put it into its former Place, with as much Dexterity as any Man could have done. From whence ’tis plain, that Apes are great Lovers of this Animal. So the Coneys, not knowing their own Danger, that used to kiss their Enemy through the Grate, were preserved by the Monkey.

Eph.

Apes are mightily delighted with all young Whelps, Edition: current; Page: [311] : 311p. 311 and love to hug them, and carry them about in their Arms. But that good-natur’d Monkey did really deserve to be made Amends for his Kindness.

Joh.

And he was too.

Eph.

How?

Joh.

He found there a Piece of Bread that had, I suppose, been thrown there by the Children, which he took up and eat.

Eph.

But it seems most admirable to me, that this Kind of Sympathy and Antipathy, as the Greeks call a natural Affection of Friendship and Enmity, should be found even in Things that have neither Life nor Sense. I omit to mention the Ash-Tree, the very Shadow of which a Serpent can’t endure; so that how far soever it spreads, if you make a Circle of Fire of the same Bigness, the Serpent will sooner go into the Fire than into the Shadow of the Tree. For there are Examples innumerable of this Kind. Moths included in Parchment, are transformed into Butterflies, by some secret Workmanship of Nature, tho’ they seem as if they were dead, and stir not if you touch them, unless a Spider creep near them; then only they appear to be alive: They can’t feel the Touch of a Man’s Finger; but they feel the Feet of a very small Animal crawling.

Joh.

An Insect, before it is alive, can be sensible of his capital Enemy. That which is related concerning Persons murdered is very like this; to whom if other Persons approach, there is no Alteration; but if he that killed them comes nigh, presently Blood flows fresh out of the Wound; and, they say, that by this Token the Author of a Murder has been often discovered.

Eph.

What you have heard, as to that Matter, is no Fiction. But, not to mention Democritical Stories, do we not find by Experience, that there is a mighty Disagreement between an Oak and an Olive-Tree, that they will both die if they be planted into the Ground of each other? And that an Oak is so opposite to a Walnut-Tree, that it will die tho’ it be set at a good Distance from it; and indeed a Edition: current; Page: [312] Walnut-Tree is hurtful to most Sorts of Plants and Trees. Again, tho’ a Vine will twine its Sprigs round all other Things else, yet it shuns a Colewort; and, as tho’ it were sensible of it, turns itself another Way, as if some Person gave the Vine Notice that his Enemy was near at Hand. The Juice of Coleworts is a Thing contrary to Wine, and they are used to be eaten against Drunkenness: But the Colewort has its Enemy too; for, if it be set near the Herb called Sow-Bread, or wild Marjoram, it will wither presently. There is the like Disposition between Hemlock and Wine; as Hemlock is Poison to a Man, so is Wine to Hemlock. What secret Commerce is there between the Lily and the Garlick, that growing near to one another, they seem, as it were, mutually to congratulate one another? The Garlick is the stronger, but the Lily-Flower smells the sweeter. Why should I speak of the Marriage of Trees one with another? the Females being barren unless the Male grows near them. Oil will only mix with Chalk; and both of them have an Antipathy to Water. Pitch attracts Oil, tho’ they are both fat Things. All Things but Gold swim in Quicksilver, and that only draws it to itself and embraces it. What Sense of Nature is that which seems to be in a Diamond, that will resist every Thing that is hard, but grow soft in a Goat’s Blood? Nay, you may see an Antipathy even in Poisons themselves. A Scorpion, if it chance to creep thro’ Henbane, grows pale and benumbed. And the Herb Cerastis is so noxious to a Scorpion, that he that handles the Seed of it, may take a Scorpion into his Hand. There are Abundance of Things of this Kind, but the Consideration of them more properly belongs to Physicians. What a mighty Power of either Sympathy or Antipathy is there between the Steel and the Loadstone, that a Matter heavy by Nature should run to, and cleave to a Stone, as tho’ it kissed it; and without touching it, should fly backward? And as to Water, which readily mingles with all Things, but most of all with itself; yet there are some Waters which, as tho’ they hated one another, will not mix; Edition: current; Page: [313] as for instance, the River flowing into the Lake Fucinus, runs over it; as Addua does to Larius, as Ticinus to Verbanus, Mincius to Benacus, Ollius to Sevinus, Rhodanus to Lemanus: some of which for many Miles only carry their hospitable Streams thro’ ’em, and go out just as much and no more than they came in. The River Tygris flows into the Lake Arethusa, and is carried thro’ it like a Passenger, that neither the Colour, the Fish, nor the Nature of the Water intermixes one with the other. And besides, whereas other Rivers generally seem at it were in Haste to flow into the Sea; yet some Rivers, as tho’ they had an Aversion to it before they come at it, hide themselves in the Earth. There is something of a like Nature to be observed concerning the Winds; the South Wind is pestilential to Mankind; the North Wind, on the contrary, healthful; one collects the Clouds, the other scatters them. And if we may believe Astrologers, there is a certain Sympathy and Antipathy in the very Stars themselves, some are friendly to Mankind, and others hurtful; and some are helpful to a Man against the Influences of the noxious ones: So that there is nothing in Nature, but by these Sympathies and Antipathies, brings a Man Injuries and Remedies.

Joh.

And perhaps you may find something above the Skies too; for if we believe the Magi, there are two Genius’s, a good and a bad, that attend every Man.

Eph.

I think it’s very well, and enough for us that we are got so far as Heaven, without passing over the Limits of it. But let us return to Oxen and Horses.

Joh.

In Truth you make a very fine Transition.

Eph.

It is the more admirable to us, that in the same Species of Animals we find manifest Footsteps of Sympathy and Antipathy, no Cause of it appearing: For so your Horse-Coursers and Herdsmen endeavour to persuade us, that in the same Pastures, and the same Stable, one Horse shall desire to have one Horse nigh him, and won’t endure another. Indeed, I am of Opinion, that there is the like Affection in all Kind of living Creatures, besides the Favour Edition: current; Page: [314] : 314p. 314 of Sex; but is in no Kind so evident, as it is in Man. For what Catullus expresses of his Volusius, concerning his Affection of Mind, is manifest in a great many others:

  • I love thee not, Volusius; and if thou askest why?
  • I love thee not, Volusius, is all I can reply.

But in adult Persons, a Person may conjecture another Cause: In Children that are only led by the Sense of Nature, what can it be that makes a Child love one so dearly, and have such an Aversion to another? I myself, when I was a Boy not eight Years of Age, happen’d to fall into the Acquaintance of one of my own Age, or perhaps a Year older, of so vain a Humour, that upon every Occasion he would invent, without study, most monstrous Lyes. If he met a Woman, he would say to me, Do you see that Woman? I answered Yes, I see her. Why, says he, I have lain with her ten Times. If we went over a narrow Bridge, nigh a Mill, when he perceiv’d me shock’d at the Sight of the Water looking black by Reason of the Depth, he’d say, I fell into this Place once, what say you to that? And there I found the dead Body of a Man, with a Purse tied about him, and three Rings in it. And thus he would do continually. And tho’ it is common for others to be delighted with such Romances as these, I abhor’d him more than a Viper, and knew no Reason for it, but only a certain hidden Instinct in Nature. Nor was this only temporary; but to this very Day I so naturally hate those vain lying Persons, that at the very Sight of them I perceive my whole Constitution to be shock’d. Homer takes Notice of something of the like Nature in Achilles, when he says he hated Lies as much as the Gates of Hell. But tho’ I was born with this natural Disposition; yet, contrary to it, I seem to have been born to have to do with Liars and Impostors thro’ the whole Course of my Life.

Joh.

But I don’t take in what this tends to.

Eph.

I’ll tell you in a few Words: There are some that fetch their Felicity from Magical Arts, others from the Stars; I think there is no surer Way of coming at it, than if every Edition: current; Page: [315] one would abstain from that Sort of Life that he has a natural Aversion to, and betake himself to that he has a natural Inclination to, always excluding those Things that are dishonest; and that he would withdraw himself from the Conversation of those, whose Disposition he perceives does not agree with his own; and join himself with such as he finds he has a natural Propensity to.

Joh.

If that were done, there would be Friendship between some few.

Eph.

Christian Charity extends itself to all; but Familiarity is to be contracted with but few: And he that does no hurt to any Body, tho’ he be bad, and would rejoice if he would grow better, in my Opinion, loves all as becomes a Christian to do.

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PROBLEMA.

The Argument.

Problema treats of what is heavy and light. That the Earth is the Center of heavy Bodies. What Earth is heaviest, and what is lightest. Why Lead is heavier than a Stone; Gold heavier than Lead. Nothing is more liquid than Honey and Oil. A lean Man is heavier than a fat one; a Man that’s fasting, than one that has eat his Dinner: But Sin is the heaviest Thing of all.

CURIO and ALPHIUS.

CU.

I should be glad to learn something of you who are well skill’d in many Things, if it would not be troublesome to you to inform me.

Al.

Well, Curio, go on then, propose what Questions you have a Mind to, and be in Fact what you are in Name.

Cu.

I shan’t take it amiss to be call’d Curio, so you don’t put that Monosyllable sus [a Sow] to it, that is hateful both to Venus and Minerva, and makes it Curiosus.

Al.

Speak out then.

Cu.

I have a mighty Mind to know what we call Heavy and Light.

Al.

I may as well ask you what Hot and Cold is too: you should rather put that Question to a Porter than to me; or rather to an Ass, who will tell you when the Burden is heavy by hanging his Ears.

Cu.

I expect a Solution, not such a one as an Ass can give, but such as becomes a Philosopher, an Alphius himself.

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Al.

Heavy is that which naturally tends downwards, and Light that which mounts upwards.

Cu.

How comes it about then that the Antipodes who are under us, don’t fall into the Sky that is under them?

Al.

They may as well wonder why you don’t fall into the Heaven that is not under you but over you; for the Heaven is above all that are comprehended within it: nor are the Antipodes under you any more than you above them. Nay, you might rather wonder why the Rocks, that the Earth of the Antipodes sustains, don’t break and fall into Heaven.

Cu.

What then is the natural Center of heavy Bodies? and on the other Hand, of light Bodies?

Al.

All heavy Things are by a natural Motion carried towards the Earth, and light Things towards Heaven: I do not speak of a violent or animal Motion.

Cu.

Why, is there then a Motion that is called an animal one?

Al.

Yes, there is.

Cu.

What is it?

Al.

It is that which is carried according to the four Situations of the Body, forward, backward, to the right and left, and in a Circle; and in the Beginning and End is swifter, and slowest in the Middle; for in the Beginning, Vigor adds Alacrity, and near the End the Hope of coming to what the Animal aims at.

Cu.

I can’t tell how it is with other Animals; but I have got a Maid-Servant who is weary before she begins, and tired before she ends. But return to what you begun.

Al.

I say, heavy Things are carried downward by a natural Motion; and by how much the heavier any Thing is, by so much a swifter Motion it is carried towards the Earth; and by how much the lighter it is, by so much the swifter Motion it is carried toward Heaven. It is quite otherwise in a violent Motion, which being swift at first, grows slower by Degrees; and contrary in a natural Motion; as an Arrow shot into the Air, and a Stone falling from on high.

Cu.

I used to think that Men ran about upon the Globe of Edition: current; Page: [318] the Earth, like little Ants on a great Ball; they stick upon it everywhere, and none fall off.

Al.

That is to be attributed to the Ruggedness of the Globe, and a certain Roughness in the Feet of the Ants, which, indeed, is common to all Insects in a Manner; and lastly, to the Lightness of their Bodies. If you don’t believe me, make a glass Globe very smooth and sleek; you will see that only those Ants don’t fall that are at the upper Part of it.

Cu.

If any God should bore thro’ the Center of the Earth, quite down to the Antipodes, in a perpendicular Line, and as Cosmographers use to represent the Situation of the Globe of the Earth, and a Stone were let fall into it, whither would it go?

Al.

To the Center of the Earth; there all heavy Bodies rest.

Cu.

What if the Antipodes should let fall a Stone on their Side?

Al.

Then one Stone would meet the other about the Center, and stop there.

Cu.

But hark you, if what you said just now be true, that a natural Motion by its Progress grew more and more strong, if nothing hinder’d, a Stone or Lead cast into the Hole, by Reason of the Vehemence of its Motion it would pass beyond the Center; and having got beyond the Center, the Motion would grow more violent.

Al.

Lead would never come to the Center unless it were melted; but a Stone, if it did pass the Center with so violent a Motion, would go at first more heavily, and return to the Center again, just as a Stone thrown up into the Air returns again to the Earth.

Cu.

But returning back again by its natural Motion, and again recovering Force, it would go beyond the Center, and so the Stone would never rest.

Al.

It would lie still at last by running beyond, and then running back again till it came to an Equilibrium.

Cu.

But if there be no Vacuum in Nature, then that Hole must be full of Air.

Edition: current; Page: [319]
Al.

Suppose it to be so.

Cu.

Then a Body that is by Nature heavy will hang in the Air.

Al.

Why not? As Steel does, being born up by the Loadstone; what Wonder is it, that one Stone hang in the very middle of the Air, when the whole Earth, loaden with so many Rocks, hangs after the same Manner?

Cu.

But where is the Center of the Earth?

Al.

Where is the Center of a Circle?

Cu.

That is a Point that is indivisible; if the Center of the Earth be so small, whosoever bores thro’ the Center takes it away, and then heavy Bodies have no where to tend to.

Al.

Now you talk idly enough.

Cu.

Pray don’t be angry; what I say is for the Sake of Information. If any one should bore thro’ the Globe of the Earth, and not thro’ the Center itself; as suppose one hundred Furlongs aside of it, where would a Stone fall then?

Al.

It would not pass strait thro’ the Hole. It would indeed go strait, but to the Center; and so when it came to the Middle, it would rest in the Earth on the left Hand, if the Center were at the left Hand.

Cu.

But what is it that makes a Body heavy or light?

Al.

That’s a Question fit for God to answer, why he made Fire the lightest of all Things, and Air next to that; the Earth the Heaviest, and Water next to that.

Cu.

Why then do watry Clouds hang in a lofty Air?

Al.

Because by the Attraction of the Sun they conceive a fiery Nature, as Smoke being forc’d by a violent Heat out of green Wood.

Cu.

Why then do they sometimes fall with such a Weight, that they level Mountains into a Plain?

Al.

Concretion and Density add a Weight to them, and they may be imagin’d so to be borne up by the Air under them, as a thin Plate of Iron is borne up upon the Surface of the Water.

Edition: current; Page: [320]
Cu.

Do you think then, that whatsoever has most of a fiery Quality in it is lightest, and that which has most of an earthy Quality heaviest?

Al.

You are right.

Cu.

But Air is not all of a Lightness, nor Earth all of a Heaviness; and it is the same as to Water.

Al.

Nor is that strange, since those Things you have mentioned are not pure Elements, but tempered of various Elements; so that it is probable, that Earth is the lightest that has the most Fire or Air mixt with it, and that Water heaviest that has the most Earth which is heaviest mixt with it, as, I think, Sea-Water is, and that whereof Salt is made: And, in like Manner, that Air that is nearest to Water or Earth is the heaviest, or, at least, it is certainly not so light as that which is farther from the Earth.

Cu.

Which has most of an earthy Quality in it, a Stone or Lead?

Al.

A Stone.

Cu.

And yet Lead is heavier than a Stone in Proportion.

Al.

The Density is the Cause. That proceeds from its Solidity: For, a Stone is more porous, and so contains more Air in it than Lead does. Hence it is, that we see some Sort of dry Earth, which if you cast into Water will swim, and not sink: So we see whole Fields floating; being borne up by hollow Roots of Reeds and other marshy Herbs, interwoven one with another.

Cu.

Perhaps it is from this Cause that a Pumice-Stone is so light.

Al.

Because it is full of Pores, and very much burnt in the Fire; they are thrown out of burning Places.

Cu.

Whence is it that Cork is so light?

Al.

That has been answer’d already; the spungy Hollowness of it is the Cause.

Cu.

Which is heaviest, Lead or Gold?

Al.

Gold, in my Opinion.

Cu.

But yet Gold seems to have more of a fiery Nature than Lead.

Edition: current; Page: [321]
Al.

What, because, as Pindar says, it shines by Night like Fire?

Cu.

Yes.

Al.

But Gold has the greater Solidity.

Cu.

How is that found?

Al.

Goldsmiths will tell you, that neither Silver, Lead, nor Copper, nor any such Kind of Metal, can be hammer’d out so thin as Gold can. And, for the same Reason, Philosophers gather, that there is nothing more liquid than Honey and Oil; that if any one spread this, or daub any Thing with it, it will spread the widest, and be longest in drying, of any Thing.

Cu.

But which is heaviest, Oil or Water?

Al.

If you speak of Linseed-Oil, I take Oil to be the heaviest.

Cu.

Why then does Oil swim upon Water?

Al.

The Lightness is not the Cause, but the fiery Nature of Oil, and a peculiar Nature in all fat Things that is contrary to Water; as it is in the Herb that is call’d Ἄβαπτος.

Cu.

Why then does not Iron swim when it is red hot?

Al.

Because the Heat is not a natural one; and therefore the sooner penetrates the Water, because the Intenseness of the Heat dispels the resisting Water: So an Iron Wedge sinks sooner to the Bottom than a thin Plate.

Cu.

Which is the most unbearable, hot Iron or cold?

Al.

Hot.

Cu.

Then it is heavier.

Al.

It is, if it be better to carry burning Straw in your Hand than a cold Flint.

Cu.

What is the Cause that one Wood is heavier or lighter than another?

Al.

The Solidity or Hollowness.

Cu.

But I knew one of the King of England’s Household, who, when we were at Table, shew’d us some Wood, which, he said, was the Wood of an Aloes Tree, so solid, that it seemed to be a Stone; and so light, if you pois’d it in your Hand, that it seem’d a Reed; being put into Wine, (for he Edition: current; Page: [322] : 322p. 322 was of Opinion, that so it would expel Poison) it presently sunk to the Bottom, as swiftly as Lead would.

Al.

Neither Solidity nor Hollowness is always the Cause but a peculiar occult Agreement between Things; which is the Cause that some Things embrace or shun other Things of a cognate or different Quality; as a Loadstone attracts Steel, and a Vine avoids a Colewort; and Flame will reach toward Naphtha, set in a lower Place, altho’ it be at some Distance; and yet Naphtha is naturally heavy, and Flame light.

Cu.

All Sorts of Money swim in Quicksilver, and Gold only sinks, and is inclosed in it; yet Quicksilver is very liquid.

Al.

I can give no Solution to that, but a peculiar cognate Quality; and Quicksilver was made for the Refinement of Gold.

Cu.

Why does the River Arethusa run under the Sicanian Sea, and not rather swim upon it; when you say that Sea-Water is heavier than River-Water?

Al.

A natural Disagreement is the Cause, but it is a secret one.

Cu.

Why do Swans swim, when Men going into the same Water sink?

Al.

The Cause is not only the Hollowness and Lightness of their Feathers, but also a Driness that the Water shuns: And hence it comes to pass, that if you put Water or Wine into a Cloth or Linnen that is very dry, it contracts itself into a globular Form; but put it into a wet one, it spreads itself presently. And in like Manner, if you pour any liquid Thing into a dry Cup, or whose Brims are greased with Fat, and pour a little more than the Cup will hold, the Liquor presently gathers itself into a Round before it will run over the Brim.

Cu.

Why can’t Ships carry so much in Rivers as in the Sea?

Al.

Because River-Water is of a thinner Consistence; and for the same Reason Birds poise themselves with more Ease in a thick Air, than in a thin one.

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Cu.

Why does not the Fish call’d Flota sink?

Al.

Because its Skin being dried in the Sun, is made lighter, and resists Moisture.

Cu.

Why does Iron drawn out into a large Plate swim, but being contracted in a narrow Compass sink?

Al.

It is Driness is the Cause in Part, and partly because there gets in an Air between the Plate and the Water.

Cu.

Which is the heaviest, Wine or Water?

Al.

I believe Wine won’t give Place to Water.

Cu.

How comes it about then, that they that buy Wine of the Vintners sometimes find Water in the Bottom of the Cask?

Al.

Because there is in Wine a certain fat Substance like Oil, that resists the Water; the Reason is plain, by how much richer the Wine is, so much the more difficultly does it mingle with Water; and being set on Fire, it burns the fiercer.

Cu.

What is the Reason that no living Creature will sink in the Lake Asphaltitis?

Al.

I can’t give a Solution to all the Miracles in Nature; Nature has some Arcana, that she will have us admire but not understand.

Cu.

Why is a lean Man heavier than a fat Man, supposing them both of an equal Size?

Al.

Because Bones are more solid than Flesh, and therefore the more weighty.

Cu.

Why is the same Man heavier when he is fasting, than after he has eat his Dinner, and so added a Weight to his Body.

Al.

Because by Meat and Drink the Spirits are increased, and they add a Lightness to the Body: And hence it is that a merry Man is lighter than a sorrowful one, and a dead Man heavier than a living one.

Cu.

But how is it that the same Man can make himself heavier or lighter when he pleases?

Al.

By holding in his Breath he makes himself lighter, and by breathing it out, heavier: So a Bladder when blown, Edition: current; Page: [324] : 324p. 324 and close tied, swims; but when it is burst, sinks. But when will Curio have done asking Questions?

Cu.

I’ll leave off if you will tell me but a few Things more; Is the Heaven heavy or light?

Al.

I can’t tell whether it be light or no, but I’m sure it can’t be heavy, it being of the Nature of Fire.

Cu.

What then does the old Proverb mean, What if the Sky should fall?

Al.

Because the ignorant Antients, following Homer, believ’d the Heaven to be made of Iron; but Homer call’d it Iron from the Similitude of Colour, not of Weight; as we call that Ashy that is of the Colour of Ashes.

Cu.

Is there any Colour in the Sky?

Al.

There is not really any Colour in it; but it appears so to us, because of the Air and Water that is betwixt us and it; as the Sun sometimes appears to us to be red, sometimes yellow, sometimes white, when of itself it admits of no such Mutations: In like Manner the Colours of the Rainbow are not in the Sky, but in the moist Air.

Cu.

But to make an End; you confess there is nothing higher than the Heaven, which Way soever it covers the Orb of the Earth.

Al.

I do confess so.

Cu.

And nothing deeper than the Center of the Earth.

Al.

No.

Cu.

Of all Things in the World, what is the heaviest?

Al.

Gold, in my Opinion.

Cu.

I differ very much from you in this Point.

Al.

Why, do you know of any Thing that is heavier than Gold?

Cu.

Yes, I do, and by many Degrees too.

Al.

Then now do you take your Turn, and teach me; for I profess I don’t know any Thing that is.

Cu.

Must not that needs be the heaviest Thing in the World, that forc’d down the fiery Spirits from the very Vortex of Heaven to the Bottom of Hell? and that, you know, is plac’d in the Center of the Earth.

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Al.

I confess it; but what is that?

Cu.

Sin, which plunges the Souls of Men, that Virgil calls Sparks of pure Æther, to the same Place.

Al.

If you have a Mind to pass to that Sort of Philosophy, I confess both Gold and Lead to be as light as Feathers compared to it.

Cu.

How then can they that are laden with this Sort of Luggage mount up to Heaven?

Al.

In Truth I can’t tell.

Cu.

They that prepare themselves for running or leaping, do not only lay aside all heavy Things, but make themselves light by holding in their Breath; when as to the Race and Leap that we take to Heaven, we don’t endeavour to throw aside that which is heavier than Stone or Lead.

Al.

Ay, but we should do it if we had but one Grain of sound Judgment.

Edition: current; Page: [326]

The EPICUREAN.

The Argument.

: 326p. 326The Epicurean, a divine Colloquy, reasons learnedly and piously concerning the true Good, a pure Conscience, temporary and eternal Life. That there is Felicity where is true Pleasure, and the least Sorrow. That Christians truly pious are true Epicureans, in that they have a clear Conscience, and Peace with God; and that, altho’ they may be thought by the World to mourn, yet they do really live pleasantly. That the chiefest Pleasures proceed from the Mind. He that has God, what can he desire more? Concerning a Priest who entertain’d his Guests with imaginary Dainties. Lust, Whoring, and Drunkenness have more Pain than Pleasure in them. Tantalus’s foolish Desire. Sin is the Tantalean Stone. The great Mercy of God towards repenting Sinners.

HEDONIUS and SPUDÆUS.

HE.

What is my Spudæus hunting after, he is so intent upon his Book, muttering I know not what to himself?

Sp.

Hedonius, I was indeed hunting, but that was all, for I can catch nothing.

He.

What Book is that in your Bosom?

Sp.

Tully’s Dialogues of the Ends of good Things.

He.

But is it not better to enquire after the Beginning of them, than the End?

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Sp.

Mark Tully calls a perfect Good the End of Good, such as whosoever obtains can desire nothing more.

He.

It is indeed a very eloquent and learned Piece; but have you done any Thing to the Purpose, as to the Attainment of the Knowledge of the Truth?

Sp.

Indeed I seem to have gotten this Good by it, that I am more in Uncertainty, as to the Ends of Good, than I was before.

He.

It is commonly the Case of Farmers to be at Uncertainty, as to the Ends of Lands.

Sp.

I admire very much that there is so great a Disagreement in the Opinions of so many great Men, concerning so great a Matter.

He.

No Wonder at all, for Error is very fertile, but Truth simple: and they being ignorant of the Head and Fountain of the whole Affair, they all make absurd and doating Guesses. But which Opinion do you think comes nearest to the Truth?

Sp.

When I meet with M. Tully opposing them, I like none of them. Again, when I find him defending them, I have not a Word to say against it. But to me the Stoicks seem to be the least out of the Way, and next to them the Peripateticks.

He.

I like no Sect so well as the Epicureans.

Sp.

There is no Sect amongst them all that is so much condemn’d by a universal Consent.

He.

Let us set Prejudice aside, and let Epicurus be what he will, let us consider the Thing in itself. He places the Happiness of Man in Pleasure, and judges that Life to be most blessed, that has most Pleasure, and least Pain.

Sp.

He does so.

He.

What can be more divine than this Sentence?

Sp.

Every Body cries out, this is the Saying of a Brute, rather than of a Man.

He.

I know they do; but they are mistaken in the Names of Things. If we will speak the Truth, none are greater Epicureans than those Christians that live a pious Life.

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Sp.

They come nearer to it than the Cynicks; for they make their Bodies lean with fasting, bewail their own Weaknesses; either are poor, or else make themselves so by their Liberality to the Poor; are oppressed by the Powerful, and derided by the Populace. And if Pleasure be that which makes happy, I think this Kind of Life is as distant from Pleasure, as can well be.

He.

Will you admit of Plautus for an Author?

Sp.

Yes, if he says that which is right.

He.

Then I’ll present you with one Sentence of a naughty Servant, that has more Wisdom in it, than all the Paradoxes of the Stoicks.

Sp.

Let me hear it.

He.

Nihil est miserius quam animus sibi mali conscius: Nothing can be more wretched than a guilty Conscience.

Sp.

I approve the Saying; but what do you infer from it?

He.

If nothing be more wretched than a guilty Conscience, it follows of Consequence, that nothing is more happy than a clear Conscience.

Sp.

A very good Inference; but in what Part of the World will you find a Conscience that is clear from all that is evil?

He.

I call that evil, that breaks the Friendship between God and Man.

Sp.

But I believe there are very few that are clear of Evil of this Kind.

He.

And I take those that are cleansed to be pure; such as by the Lather of Tears, and Soap of Repentance, and Fire of Charity have washed away their Pollutions. The Sins of such Persons are not only not hurtful to them, but oftentimes turn to a greater Good.

Sp.

I know what Soap and Suds is; but I never heard that Pollutions were purged away by Fire.

He.

But if you go to the Refiner’s Shop, you’ll see Gold purged by Fire; and there is a certain Sort of Flax, which being put into the Fire, is not burnt, but shines brighter, and is as clear as Water; and therefore is called living Flax.

Edition: current; Page: [329]
Sp.

In Truth, thou bringest us a Paradox, that is more paradoxical than all the Paradoxes of the Stoicks. Don’t they live a pleasant Life, of whom Christ has said, Blessed are they that mourn?

He.

They seem to mourn to Men of the World, but in Reality they live deliciously, and, as the old Saying is, being anointed with Honey, live sweetly; so that, compared to them, Sardanapalus, Philoxenus, Apicius, or the most noted Voluptuary, lived but a miserable Life.

Sp.

What you say is new, but it is scarce credible.

He.

Do but once make a Trial, and you’ll say over and over, that what I say is true. I don’t question but I can make you sensible that it is not incredible.

Sp.

Go about it then.

He.

I will, if you’ll grant me something by Way of Preliminary.

Sp.

I will, if what you require be just.

He.

If you grant ’em me, I’ll return them with Interest. I suppose you will allow that there is a Difference between the Soul and Body?

Sp.

There is so, and as much as between Heaven and Earth, immortal and mortal.

He.

And again, that false Goods are not to be taken for true Goods?

Sp.

No more than Shadows are to be taken for the Bodies themselves, or the Delusions of Magicians, or the Fancies of Dreams, are to be accounted for Truth.

He.

So far you have answer’d me well; I suppose you’ll likewise grant me this, that there can be no real Pleasure, but in a sound Mind.

Sp.

Why not? a Person can’t take Pleasure in the Sun, if his Eyes are sore; or relish Wine in a Fever.

He.

Nor can I think Epicurus himself would embrace a Pleasure that has more Pain in it, and of longer Continuance than the Pleasure itself.

Sp.

In my Opinion, neither he, nor any Body else that has any Sense, would.

Edition: current; Page: [330]
He.

I’ll presume you’ll grant me this, that God himself is the chiefest Good, than which nothing is more glorious, more lovely, and more pleasant.

Sp.

No Body would deny that, but one that is more brutish than a Cyclops: But what then?

He.

Well then, now you have granted me, that no Body lives more pleasantly than they that live piously; and no Body more miserably, and afflictedly, than they that live wickedly.

Sp.

Then I granted you more than I was aware of.

He.

But as Plato says, that which has been fairly granted, ought not to be deny’d.

Sp.

Well, go on.

He.

A little Puppy that is kept for Pleasure, is fed daintily, lies softly, plays and wantons continually; does not she live pleasantly then?

Sp.

Yes.

He.

Would you wish for such a Life then?

Sp.

No, by no Means, unless I should wish to be a Dog.

He.

Then you confess that true Pleasures proceed from the Mind, as from a Fountain.

Sp.

It is plain they do.

He.

So great is the Force of the Mind, that it often takes away the Sense of outward Pain, and sometimes makes what of itself is bitter, to be sweet.

Sp.

We see that daily in those who are in Love, who take a Pleasure in watching and waiting all a cold Winter’s Night at their Mistresses Door.

He.

Well then, consider with yourself, if human Love have such a Power, which Bulls and Dogs have as well as we, how much more prevalent will that heavenly Love be, that proceeds from the Spirit of Christ, the Power of which is so great, that it can render Death amiable, than which there is nothing in the World more terrible?

Sp.

I can’t tell what others feel within themselves; but I think that they want a great many Pleasures that adhere to true Piety.

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He.

What Pleasures do they go without?

Sp.

They do not get Riches, attain Honours, junket, dance, sing, perfume themselves, laugh and play.

He.

You should not have mention’d Riches and Honours in this Case; for they don’t make a Life pleasant, but rather full of Cares and Anxiety. Let us consider the other Things which are what they hunt after, that have a Desire to live a pleasant Life. Do you not daily see Drunkards, Fools and Madmen laughing and dancing?

Sp.

I do so.

He.

Do you think that they live pleasantly?

Sp.

I would wish that Pleasure to those I hate.

He.

Why so?

Sp.

Because their Mind is out of Order.

He.

Then had you rather fast and study, than live after that Manner?

Sp.

Nay, I had rather dig.

He.

There is no Difference between a rich Man and a drunken Man, saving that Sleep will cure a drunken Man, but Doctors can’t cure a covetous Man. A natural Fool differs from a Brute only in the Form of his Body; but they are less miserable whom Nature has made Brutes, than they that have made themselves so by their beastly Lusts.

Sp.

I confess that.

He.

Do you think that they are sober or in their right Mind, who for the Sake of Delusions, and Shadows of Pleasure, neglect the true Pleasures of the Mind, and bring upon themselves real Torments?

Sp.

They do not seem to be so.

He.

Such Persons are not drunk with Wine, but with Love, with Anger, with Avarice, with Ambition, and other filthy Lusts; which is a Drunkenness more Dangerous than to be drunk with Wine. Cyrus, in the Comedy, after he had slept away his Debauch, spoke sober Things; but a Mind drunk with vicious Lust, how hardly does that come to itself? How many Years does Love, Anger, Hatred, Lust, Luxury and Ambition torment the Mind? How many do Edition: current; Page: [332] we see that never wake out of the Sleep of Drunkenness, Ambition, Avarice, Lust, and Luxury, and repent of them, even from their Youth to a decrepit old Age.

Sp.

I know a great many such as those.

He.

You have granted likewise, that Persons should not take false Pleasures for true ones.

Sp.

I have so, and I shall not eat my Words.

He.

That is no true Pleasure that does not spring from true Causes.

Sp.

I own that.

He.

Then they are no true Pleasures that Mankind generally pursue, right or wrong.

Sp.

I don’t think they are.

He.

If they were true Pleasures, they would only happen to good Men, and render them happy whose Share they fall to. But as to Pleasure, can that be thought to be true that proceeds not from true Good, but from the false Shadows of Good?

Sp.

By no Means.

He.

But Pleasure is that which makes us live sweetly.

Sp.

It does so.

He.

Well then, none lives truly pleasantly, but he that lives piously, i. e. that enjoys true Good: It is only Piety that gains the Favour of God, the Fountain of the chiefest Good, that makes a Man happy.

Sp.

I am almost convinced.

He.

Now do but mind how vastly wide they are from Pleasure, who, as is commonly accounted, follow nothing but Pleasures. First of all, their Minds are polluted and vitiated with the Leaven of Lusts, that if any Thing that is pleasant happens, it presently grows bitter: for when a Fountain’s muddy, the Stream will not run clear. Again, that Pleasure is no true Pleasure, that is received with a disorder’d Mind; for there is nothing more pleasant to an angry Man than Revenge: but that Pleasure is turn’d into Pain, as soon as the Disease has forsaken the Mind.

Sp.

I don’t deny that.

Edition: current; Page: [333]
He.

But lastly, these Pleasures proceed from false Goods; whence it follows, that they are but Cheats; for what would you say if you saw a Man under a Delusion by magical Arts, to drink, dance, clap his Hands, when there was nothing really there that he thought he saw?

Sp.

I should say he was both mad and miserable.

He.

I was once present at such a Spectacle; there was a certain Priest skill’d in Magick.

Sp.

He did not learn that from the holy Scriptures.

He.

From the most unholy ones. Some Ladies of the Court paid a Visit to this Priest, inviting themselves to dine with him, and upbraiding him with Covetousness and Niggardliness: At last he consented, and gave them an Invitation. They came without a Breakfast, that they might eat the heartier Dinner: The Table seem’d to be plentifully furnished, and no Dainties wanting; and they fed heartily, and returning their Host Thanks for his Entertainment, went Home. But immediately they perceiv’d themselves very hungry, and admir’d that they should be so, when they had just come from eating so plentifully. At Length the Matter came out, and they were soundly laugh’d at.

Sp.

And they deserv’d it too: they had better have staid at Home and fed upon ordinary Fare, than have gone abroad to be feasted with imaginary Dainties.

He.

But in my Opinion, it is far more ridiculous for Men in common to grasp at the mere empty Shadows of Good, instead of the true and substantial Goods; and to take a Pleasure in those Deceits that do not only end in a Jest, but in everlasting Sorrows.

Sp.

The more I consider it, the more I am convinced I have spoken to the Purpose.

He.

Well, let it be allow’d for the Present, that Things are call’d Pleasures that really are not so: But would you call that Metheglin sweet, that has more Aloes than Honey in it?

Sp.

No, I should not, if there were a third Part as much.

He.

Or would you wish to have the Itch, that you might have the Pleasure of scratching?

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Sp.

No, if I were in my Senses.

He.

Well then, do but reckon with yourself how much Bitterness is mix’d with those Pleasures falsely so call’d, which a dishonest Love, an unlawful Lust, Gluttony and Drunkenness produce. At the same Time I take no Notice of the Torment of Conscience, Enmity with God himself, and the Expectation of eternal Torment, which are the chiefest Things of all: For pray do but consider, what is there in these Pleasures, that does not bring with it a whole Troop of external Evils?

Sp.

What are they?

He.

Not to mention Covetousness, Ambition, Wrath, Pride, Envy, which of themselves are troublesome enough, let us only compare those Things that are in a special Manner accounted Pleasures. When hard Drinking throws a Man into a Fever, the Head-ach, the Gripes, Dizziness, a bad Name, Decay of Memory, Vomiting, Loss of Appetite, and the Palsy; would Epicurus himself think this was a Pleasure worth seeking after?

Sp.

He would say it were to be shunn’d rather.

He.

When young Men by Whoring, as it commonly falls out, get the Pox, which by Way of Extenuation they call the Common-Garden Gout, by which they are so often brought to Death’s Door in their Life-Time, and carry about a dead Carcase; do they not epicurize gloriously?

Sp.

Yes, if coming often to the Powdering-Tub be doing so.

He.

But now suppose the Pain and Pleasure to be equal, would you be willing to bear the Pain of the Tooth-ach, as long as the Pleasure of Whoring or a drunken Bout lasted?

Sp.

In Truth I had rather go without both; for to buy Pleasure with Pain, is Penance without Gain. In this Case, in my Opinion, an utter ἀναλγησία, which Cicero calls an Indolency, is much better.

He.

But besides that, the Titillation of unlawful Pleasure, as it is much less than the Pain it brings, so it is of shorter Continuance: But when a Man has once got the Pox, he’s Edition: current; Page: [335] : 335p. 335 plagued with it all his Life-Time, and forced to suffer a Sort of Death a great many Times over before his Time comes to die.

Sp.

Epicurus himself would not own such Persons for his Disciples.

He.

Poverty is commonly the Attendant of Luxury, and that is a miserable and heavy Burden to bear; and a Palsy, Weakness of the Nerves, sore Eyes, and the Pox, the Consequents of immoderate Venery: and this is not all neither: Is it not a notable Way of Merchandizing, to purchase a Pleasure, neither real, solid, nor of long Continuance, with so many Evils, greater and longer-lasting?

Sp.

If there were nothing of Pain in the Matter, I should think him a foolish Trader who should barter Jewels for Bits of Glass.

He.

And will you not say the same of them that lose the real Enjoyments of the Mind, for the counterfeit Pleasures of the Body?

Sp.

Indeed I think so.

He.

But let us come closer to the Matter: Suppose that neither a Fever nor Poverty should always accompany Luxury; nor a Pox nor Palsy, Whoring; yet a guilty Conscience, that you allow to be by far more wretched, is the inseparable Companion of unlawful Pleasure.

Sp.

Nay, sometimes it goes before it, and galls the Mind in the very Fruition of it. But there are some, perhaps, you’ll say, that have no Feeling in their Conscience.

He.

Such are the more miserable; for who would not rather feel his Pain, than have his Body so stupify’d, as to have no Sense of Feeling? But as some Persons in their Youth, by the Exorbitancy of their Lusts, are as it were drunk, and habituated to them, and, like a Callous, grown insensible of their Calamity; yet when they come to old Age, besides the innumerable Evils they have treasured up in the Time of their past Life, Death, the inevitable Fate of Mankind, stares ’em in the Face with a terrible Aspect; and then the Conscience is so much the more tormenting, by how Edition: current; Page: [336] : 336p. 336 much the more stupify’d it has been all their Life before. Then the Soul is awaken’d, whether it will or no; old Age, which of itself is a melancholy Thing, as being obnoxious to many Incommodities of Nature; how much more miserable and wretched is it, if a guilty Conscience adds to its Infelicity? Entertainments, Club-Feasts, Balls, Amours, Concerts of Musick, and those Things that are delightful to them when young, will be burdensome to them when old. Old Age has nothing to support itself with, but the Remembrance of a Life innocently pass’d, and the Hope of a better to come: These are the two Crutches upon which old Age is borne up; therefore if you take these away, and in the Stead of them put a double Burden upon their Shoulders, the Remembrance of a Life ill spent, and Despair of Happiness to come, pray what living Creature can be imagin’d more afflicted and more miserable?

Sp.

Indeed I cannot see what, unless it be the old Age of a Horse.

He.

Then indeed is the Stable-Door shut when the Steed is stolen; and the old Saying is a true one, The End of Mirth is Heaviness, and There is no Delight equal to a glad Heart. And again, A merry Heart doth good like a Medicine, but a broken Spirit drieth the Bones. And again, All the Days of the Afflicted are Evil, i. e. afflicted and wretched. A contented Mind is a continual Feast.

Sp.

Then they act wisely that get Wealth betimes, and provide a Viaticum for old Age against it comes.

He.

The holy Scripture has not so low a Sense as to measure Man’s Happiness by outward Enjoyments: He is poor indeed, that is divested of all Virtue, and owes both Soul and Body to the Devil.

Sp.

And he indeed is a very severe Creditor.

He.

He is truly rich who has God for his Friend; for what should he fear that has such a Protector? Should he be afraid of Men? The united Power of all the Men in the World, is less to God, than that of a Gnat against an Indian Elephant. Should he fear Death? To godly Men that is Edition: current; Page: [337] : 337p. 337 the Way to eternal Happiness. Should he fear Hell? A godly Man says with Confidence to God, Tho’ I walk in the Region of the Shadow of Death, I will fear no Evil, for thou art with me. Why should he be afraid of Devils, that carries Him in his Breast at whom the Devils tremble? The Scripture, which cannot be contradicted, in many Places says, That the Breast of a godly Man is the Temple wherein God dwells.

Sp.

Indeed I don’t see how these Things can be refuted, tho’ they seem contrary to common Sense.

He.

How so?

Sp.

For according to your Way of Reasoning, any Franciscan lives a Life more pleasant than he that abounds with Honours, and in a Word, all Kinds of Delight.

He.

Nay, you may add the Sceptre of a King, and the Pope’s triple Crown too, and of a three-fold Crown make a hundred-fold one; and except only a good Conscience, and I’ll be bold to say, that this bare-footed Franciscan girt about with a Rope full of Knots, in a mean and ragged Coat, worn to a Skeleton with Fasting, Watching, and Labours, and that is not worth a Penny in the World, if he has but a good Conscience, lives more deliciously a thousand Times than Sardanapalus himself.

Sp.

What’s the Reason then that we commonly see poor Men look more melancholy than rich Men?

He.

Because a great many are doubly poor. Indeed Diseases, Want, Watching, Labour, and Nakedness, do weaken the Habit of the Body. But the Alacrity of the Mind does not exert itself in these Cases alone, but also in Death itself: For the Mind, altho’ it is ty’d to a mortal Body, yet it being of a more powerful Nature, does after a Sort transform the Body into itself, especially if the Efficacy of the Spirit be added to the Power of its Nature. Hence it comes to pass that we frequently see Men that are truly pious, die with greater Chearfulness than others live.

Sp.

I have often admired at that myself.

He.

It is not at all to be wonder’d at, that there should Edition: current; Page: [338] be an invincible Joy, where God the Fountain of all Joy is. What new Thing is it, that the Mind of a pious Man should always be chearful in a mortal Body, when the same Man, if he should be plunged down to the lowest Part of Hell, would suffer nothing as to his Felicity? Wheresoever is a good Conscience, there is God; wheresoever God is, there is Paradise; where Heaven is, there is Happiness; where Happiness is, there is true Joy and sincere Alacrity.

Sp.

But for all that, they would live a more pleasant Life, if they were freed from some Incommodities, and enjoy’d some Pleasures which they either set light by, or can’t attain to.

He.

What Incommodities are those you speak of? Do you mean those Things that are Concomitants of Humanity; as Hunger, Thirst, Distempers, Weariness, old Age, Death, Thunder, Earthquakes, Inundations, and Wars?

Sp.

These among the rest.

He.

But now we are talking of immortal ones. And yet also, in these Calamities the Condition of the godly is much more tolerable than that of those who hunt after bodily Pleasures, right or wrong.

Sp.

How so?

He.

Because their Minds are inur’d to Temperance and Bearance, and therefore undergo those Things which are inevitable more moderately than other Persons. And lastly, in that they understand that all those Things are sent by God, either for the Purgation of their Faults, or the Exercise of their Virtue: and therefore they take them not only patiently, but also willingly, as obedient Children from the Hand of a kind Father; and are thankful either for his favourable Correction, or for the great Advantage got by them.

Sp.

But there are a great many Persons who bring bodily Afflictions upon themselves.

He.

But more make Use of physical Medicines, either to preserve the Health of the Body, or to recover it: but to bring Troubles upon themselves, viz. Want, Sickness, Persecution, or Reproach, unless Christian Charity oblige to it, is Edition: current; Page: [339] not Piety, but Folly. But as often as they are inflicted for the Sake of Christ or Righteousness, who is he that dares to call them miserable, when the Lord himself calls them blessed, and bids them rejoice on Account of them?

Sp.

But for all that, they carry something of Torment in them.

He.

They do so, but ’tis such a one, that the Fear of Hell on the one Side, and the Hope of Heaven on the other, easily overcomes. But prithee tell me if you did firmly believe that you should never feel any Sickness or bodily Pain all your Life long, if you would but once suffer your Skin to be prick’d with a Pin, would you not willingly and gladly suffer that little Pain?

Sp.

If I were but sure I should never feel the Tooth-ach all my Life, I would suffer my Skin to be prick’d deeper, and both my Ears to be bor’d thro’ with an Awl.

He.

But whatsoever Affliction happens in this Life, is more light and short in Comparison to eternal Torments, than the momentary Prick of a Needle to the Life of Man, the longest that ever any Man liv’d; for there is no Comparison between that which is finite, and that which is infinite.

Sp.

You say very well.

He.

Now suppose, if you could be persuaded that you should live without Trouble all your Life long, if you did but divide the Flame with your Hand (which Pythagoras forbad to be done,) would you not readily do it?

Sp.

Yes, I would do it an hundred Times, if he that promis’d me would be as good as his Word.

He.

God cannot be worse than his Word; but that Sense of the Flame is of longer Continuance, if compar’d to the Life of Man, than all his Life is, compar’d to the Happiness of Heaven, tho’ the Life of that Man should be three Times as long as that of Nestor. For that putting the Hand into the Flame is some Part of the Life of Man, let it be never so small a one; but the whole Life of a Man is no Part of Eternity.

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Sp.

I have nothing to say against it.

He.

Besides, they that hasten forwards with all their Heart and a certain Hope, when the Way is so short; do you believe they are tormented with the Troubles of this Life?

Sp.

I don’t think they are, if they have a certain Belief and firm Hope of attaining to it.

He.

I come now to those Delights you took Notice of: They abstain from Balls, Banquets and Plays; they so despise them, that they enjoy those that are much pleasanter. They don’t take less Pleasure, but they take it after another Manner. The Eye has not seen, nor the Ear heard, nor has it enter’d into the Heart of Man, to conceive what Comforts God has prepar’d for those that love him. Blessed Paul was acquainted with the Songs, Dances, Exultations, and Banquets of pious Minds in this Life.

Sp.

But there are some lawful Pleasures which they abridge themselves of.

He.

The immoderate Use of such Pleasures, as are in themselves lawful, is unlawful; if you except that, they who seem to live this austere Life, exceed others in Enjoyment. What can be a more noble Spectacle than the Contemplation of this World? Men that are in God’s Favour, take far more Pleasure in that Contemplation, than other Men; for while they, out of Curiosity, contemplate this wonderful Fabrick, they are perplex’d in their Minds, because they cannot attain to the Knowledge of the Causes of many Things. And in some Cases, like Momus’s, some murmur against the Workman, often calling Nature, which is indeed a Mother, a Step-Mother; which Reflection, tho’ in Word it be levell’d against Nature, yet rebounds on him that is the Author of Nature, if indeed there is any such Thing as Nature. But a godly Man, with religious and pure Eyes, beholds the Works of God, his Father, with great Pleasure of Mind, admiring every Thing, finding Fault with nothing; but giving Thanks for all Things, when he considers that all these Things were made for Man: and so in every Thing Edition: current; Page: [341] adores the Omnipotence, Wisdom and Goodness of the Creator, the Footsteps of which he perceives in the Things created. Imagine for once that there were really such a Palace as Apuleius feign’d for Psyche, or something more magnificent and fine, if it can be: And suppose two Spectators, one a Stranger, who only came to see it, the other a Servant, or a Son of him that built it; which of them will take the greatest Pleasure in the Sight? the Stranger who has nothing to do with the House, or the Son who beholds the Genius, Wealth, and Magnificence of a dear Father, in that Building, with great Pleasure, especially when he reflects, that all this Fabrick was made for his own Sake?

Sp.

Your Question needs no Answer; but the greatest Part, that are not religious, know not that Heaven, and what is contain’d therein, was made for the Sake of Man.

He.

They all know it, but they do not all consider it; and if it does come into their Mind, yet he takes the most Pleasure that loves the Workman best, as he looks most chearfully upon Heaven, that breathes after eternal Life.

Sp.

There seems to be a great Deal of Truth in what you say.

He.

Now as to Banquets, the Sweetness of them does not consist so much in the having a dainty Palate, or in the Seasonings of the Cook, as the good State of the Health of the Body, and the Goodness of the Appetite. Therefore don’t think that any Lucullus sups more pleasantly upon his Partridges, Pheasants, Turtle-Doves, Hares, Giltheads, Sturgeons, or Lampreys, than a godly Man does upon brown Bread, a Sallad, or Pulse, and Water, or Small-Beer, or a little Wine mixed with a great Deal of Water, because he receives them as sent from a kind Father. Prayer seasons them all, and the preceding Thanksgiving sanctifies, and being accompanied with the reading of the Word of God, refreshes the Mind more than Meat does the Body. And having return’d Thanks, at last he rises from the Table, not stuffed, but recreated; not loaded, but refreshed in Mind, as well as Body. Do you think the Contriver of any of those vulgar Delicacies can fare more deliciously?

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Sp.

But the highest Pleasure is in Venery, if we give Credit to Aristotle.

He.

Well, in this Particular too, the Advantage is on the pious Man’s Side, as well as in Feasting; consider it thus. By how much the more ardent his Love is toward his Wife, by so much the more pleasurable are his conjugal Embraces. And none love their Wives better, than those that love them as Christ loved his Church; for they that love them for the Sake of Concupiscence, do not love them in Reality. But besides, the seldomer is the Enjoyment, the pleasanter it is: The profane Poet was not ignorant of this, who said, Voluptates commendat rarior usus. Although, indeed, that is the least Part of the Pleasure that consists in Coition, the far greater Part of the Pleasure is in their cohabiting and dieting together, which cannot be more pleasant between any Persons, than between those who sincerely love one another with a Christian Love. In other Persons commonly Pleasure growing old, so does Love too; but Christian Love grows the more flourishing, by how much carnal Love decreases. Well, have I not convinced you yet, that no Body lives more pleasantly than those that live piously?

Sp.

I wish you had so much convinced all Persons as you have me.

He.

Well then, if they are Epicureans that live pleasantly, none are more truly Epicureans, than those that live holily and religiously. And if we are taken with Names, no Body more deserves the Name of an Epicurean, than that adorable Prince of Christian Philosophers; for ἐπίκουρος in Greek signifies as much as an Helper. Therefore when the Law of Nature was almost erased by Vice; and the Law of Moses rather incited than cured Lusts, when the Tyrant Satan ruled without Controul in the World, he alone afforded present Help to perishing Mankind. So that they are mightily mistaken that foolishly respresent Christ, as by Nature, to be a rigid melancholick Person, and that he invited us to an unpleasant Life; when he alone show’d the Way to the most comfortable Life in the World, and fullest of Pleasure, and so vastly distant from that Tantalean Stone.

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