Pierce Penilesse, His Supplication to the Divell.
Note: this Renascence Editions text was transcribed by Risa S. Bear, March 2001, from the 1924 Bodley Head reprint of the third 1592 edition. Any errors that have crept into the transcription are the fault of the present publisher. The text is in the public domain. Content unique to this presentation is copyright © 2001 The University of Oregon. For nonprofit and educational uses only. Send comments and corrections to the Publisher.
to the Diuell.
Barbaria grandis habere nihil.
Written by Tho. Nash, Gent.
full meaning and purpose (in
AITH I am verie sorrie (Sir) I am thus vnawares betrayed to infamie. You wrote to me my book is hasting to the second impression: he that hath once broke the Ice of impudence, need not care how deepe he wade in discredit. I confesse it to be a meer toy, not deseruing any iudicial mans view: If it haue found any friends, so it is, you knowe very wel that it was abroad a fortnight ere I knew of it, & vncorrected and vnfinished, it hath offred it selfe to the open scorne of the world. Had you not beene so forward in the republishing of it, you shold haue had certayne Epistles to Orators and Poets, to insert to the later end; As namely, to the Ghost of Macheuill, of Tully, of Ouid, of Roscius, of Pace the Duke of Norfolks Iester; and lastly, the the Ghost of Robert Greene, telling him, what a coyle there is with pamphleting on him after his death. These were prepard for Pierce Penilesse first setting foorth, had not the feare of infection detained mee with my Lord in the Countrey.
Now this is that I woulde haue you to do in this second edition: First cut off that long-tayld Title, and lett mee not in the forefront of my Booke, make a tedious Mountebanks Oration to the Reader, when in the whole there is nothing praise-worthie.
I heare say there bee obscure imitators, that goe about to frame a second part to it, and offer it to sell in Paules Churchyard, and elsewhere, as from mee. Let mee request you (as euer you will expect any fauour at my hands) to get some body to write an Epistle before it, ere you set it to sale againe, importing thus much; that if any such lewde deuise intrude it selfe to their hands, it is a coseanage and plane knauery of him that sels it to get mony, and that I haue no manner of interest or acquaintance with it. Indeed if my leysure were, such as I could wish, I might haps (halfe a yeare hence) write the returne of the Knight of the Post from hel, with the Deuils answer to the Supplication: but as for a second part of Pierce Penilesse, it is a most ridiculous rogery.
Other news I am aduertised of, that a scald triuial lying pamphlet, cald Greens groatsworth of wit is giuen out to be of my doing. God neuer haue care of my soule, but vtterly renou[n]ce me, if the least word or sillable in it proceeded from my pen, or if I were any way priuie to the writing or printing of it. I am growne at length to see into the vanity of the world more than euer I did, and now I condemne my selfe for nothing so much, as playing the dolt in Print. Out vpon it, it is odious, specially, in this moralizing age, wherein euery one seeks to shew himselfe a Politician by mis-interpreting. In one place of my Booke Pierce Penilesse saith, but to the Knight of the Post, I pray how might I call you, & they say, I meant one Howe, a Knaue of that trade, that I neuer heard of before. The Antiquaries are offended without cause, thinking I goe about to detract from that excellent profession, when (God is my witnesse) I reuerence it as much as any of them all, and had no manner of allusion to them that stumble at it. I hope they wil giue me leaue to think there be fooles of that Art as well as of al other; but to say I vtterly condemne it as an vnfruitfull studie, or seeme to despise the excellent qualified partes of it, is a most false and iniurious sumise. There is nothing that if a man list he may not wrest or peruert, I cannot forbid anie to thinke villainously, Sed caueat emptor, Let the interpreter beware: for none euer hard me make Allegories of an idle text. Write who wil against me, but let him look his life be without scandale: for if he touch me neuer so litle, Ile be as good as the Black Booke to him & his kindred. Beggerly lyes no beggerly wit but can inuent: who spurneth not at a dead dogge? but I am of another mettal, they shall know that I liue as their euil Angel, to haunt them world without end, if they disquiet me without cause. Farewell, and let me heare from you as soone as it is come forth. I am the Plagues prisoner in the Country as yet: if the sicknesse cease before the thirde impression, I wil come and alter whatsoeuer may be offensiue to any man, and bring you the latter ende.
Your friend, Tho. Nash.
to the Diuell.
AUING spent many yeeres in studying how to liue, and liu'de a long time without mony: hauing tired my youth with follie, and surfetted my minde with vanitie, I began at length to looke backe to repentaunce, & addresse my endeuors to prosperitie: But all in vaine, I sate vp late, and
When life is my true happinesse disease?
My soule, my soule, thy safetye makes me flie
The faultie meanes, that might my paine appease.
Diuines and dying men may talke of hell,
But in my heart, her seueral tormentes dwell.
Ah worthlesse Wit, to traine me to this woe,
Deceitfull Artes that nourish Discontent:
Ill thriue the Follie that bewicht me so,
Vaine thoughts adieu, for now I will repent.
And yet my wants perswade me to proceede,
Since none takes pitie of a Scollars neede.
Forgiue me God, although I curse my birth,
And ban the aire, wherein I breath a Wretch:
Since Miserie hath daunted all my mirth,
And I am quite vndone through promise-breach.
Oh friends, no friends, that then vngently frowne,
When changing Fortune casts us headlong downe.
Without redresse complaines my carelesse verse,
And Mydas-eares relent not at my moane:
In some far Land will I my griefes reherse,
Mongst them that will be mou'd when I shall groane.
England (adieu) the Soyle that brought me foorth,
Adieu vnkinde, where skill is nothing woorth.
But thou art dead in thy graue, and hast left too few successors of thy glory, too few to cherish the Sons of the Muses, or water those budding hopes with their plenty, which thy bounty erst planted.
This is the lamentable condition of our Times, that men of Arte must seeke almes of Cormorantes, and those that deseue best, be kept vnder by Dunces, who count it a policie to keepe them bare, because they should follow their bookes the better: thinking belike, that as preferment hath made themselues idle, that were earst painefull in meaner places, so it would likewise slacken the endeauours of those Students that as yet striue to excell, in hope of aduauncement. A good policy to suppresse superfluous liberalitie. But had it beene practised when they were promoted, the Yeomandry of the Realme had beene better to passe than it is, and one Droane should not haue driuen so many Bees from the hony-combes.
I, I, weele giue loosers leaue to talke, it is no matter what Sic probo and his pennilesse companions prate, whilest we haue the gold in our coffers: this is it that will make a knaue an honest man, and my neighbour Cramptons stripling a better Gentleman than his Grandsier. O it is a trim thing, when Pride the sonne goes before, Shame the father followes after. Such presidents there are in our Common-wealth a great many: not so much of them whome Learning and Industry hath exalted, (whome I preferre before Genus and proauos) as of Carterly vpstarts, that out-face Towne and Country in their Veluets, when Sir Rowland Russet-coat their Dad, goes sagging euery day in his round Gascoynes of whyte cotton, and hath much a doo (poore pennie-father) to keepe his vnthrift elbowes in reparations.
Marry happy are they (say I) that haue such fathers to worke for them whilest they play, for which other men turne ouer many leaues to get bread and cheese in their old age, and studie twentie yeeres to distill golde out of inke; our young maisters doe nothing but deuise how to spend and aske counsaile of the Wine and Capons, how they may quickliest consume their patrimonies. As for me, I liue secure from all such perturbations: for (thankes be to God) I am vacuus viator, and care not though I meete the Commissioners of Newmarket-heath at high midnight, for any Crosses, Images, or Pictures that I carry about me more than needes.
Than needes (quoth I) nay I would be ashamde of it, if Opusand Usus were not knocking at my doore twentie times a weeke when I am not within; the more is the pittie, that such a franke Gentleman as I, should want: but since the dice runne so vntowardly on my side, I am partly prouided of a remedie. For whereas those that stand most on their honour, haue shut vp their purses, and shifte vs off with court-holie-bread: and on the other side, a number of hypocriticall hot-spurres, that haue God alwayes in their mouthes, will giue nothing for Gods sake; I haue clapt vp a handsome Supplication to the Diuell, and sent it by a good fellow, that I know will deliuer it.
And because you may beleeue me the better, I care not if I acquaint you with the circumstance.
I was informde of late dayes, that a certaine blind Retayler called the Diuell, vsed to lend money vpon pawnes, or any thing, and would lette one for a needle haue a thousand pounds vppon a Statute Merchant of his soule: or if a man plide him thoroughly, would trust him vppon a Bill of his hande without any more circumstance. Besides, he was noted for a priuy Benefactor to Traitors and Parasites, and to aduance fooles and Asses far sooner than any, to be a greedy pursuer of newes, and so famous a Politician in purchasing, that Hel (which at the beginning was but and obscure Village) is now become a huge Cittie, whereunto all Countries are tributary.
These manifest coniectures of Plentie, assembled in one common-place of abilitie; I determined to clawe Auarice by the elbowe, till his full bellie gaue mee a full hande, and lette him bloud with my penne (if it might be) in the veyne of liberaltie: and so (in short time was this Paper-monster Pierce Penilesse begotten.
But written and all, here lies the question; where shal I finde this olde Asse, that I may deliuer it? Masse thats true, they say the Lawyers haue the Diuell and all; and it is like enough he is playing Ambodexter amonst them. Fie, fie, the Diuell a driuer in Westminster hall, it can neuer be.
Now I pray what doe you imagine him to bee? perhaps you thinke it is not possible he should be so graue. Oh then you are in an errour, for hee is as formall as the best Scriuener of them all. marry he doth not vse to weare a night-cap, for his hornes will not let him: and yet I know a hundred as well headed as he, that will make a iolly shift with a Court-cup on their crownes if the weather be colde.
To proceede with my tale, to Westminster hall I went, and made a search of Enquiry, from the blacke gown to the buckram bagge, if there were any such Sergeant, Bencher, Counsellor, Attorney, or Pettifogger, as Signior Cornuto Diablo, with the good face. But they al (vna voce) affirmed, that he was not there: marry whether he were at the Exchaunge or no, amongst the rich Merchantes, that they could not tell: but it was likelier of the two, that I should meet with him, or heare of him at the least in those quarters. I faith, and say you so quoth I, and Ile bestowe a little labour more, but Ile hunt him out.
Without more circumstance, thither came I, and thrusting my selfe, as the manner is, amongst the confusion of languages, I asked, (as before) whether he were there extant or no? But from one to another, Non noui Dæmonem was all the answer I could get. At length (as Fortune serued) I lighted vpon an old stradling Vsurer, clad in a damaske cassocke edged with Fox fur, a paire of trunke slops, sagging down like a Shoomakers wallet, and a shorte thrid-bare gown on his backe, fac't with moatheaten budge, vpon his head he wore a filthy course biggen, and next it a garnish of night-caps, which a sage butten-cap, of the forme of a cow-sheard ouer spread very orderly: a fat chuffe it was I remember, with a gray beard cut short to the stumps, as though it were grimde, and a huge woorme-eaten nose, like a cluster of grapes hanging downe-wardes. Of him I demaunded if hee could tell m[e] any tidings of the partie I sought for.
By my troth quoth he stripling, (and then he cought) I saw him not lately, nor know I certanely where he keepes: but thus much I heard by a Broker a friend of mine, that hath had some dealings with him in his time, that he is at home sicke of the gout and will not bee spoken withal, vnder more than thou art able to giue, some two or three hundred angels at least, if thou hast anie sute to him: & then parhapes hele straine curtesie with his legges in childe-bed, and come forth and talke with thee: but otherwise, Non est domi, hee is busie with Mammon, and the prince of the North, how to build vp his kingdome, or sending his spirites abroad to vndermine the maligners of his gouernment.
I hearing of this cold comfort, tooke me leaue of him verie faintly, and like a carelesse malecontent that knew not which way to turne, retired me to Paules to seeke my dinner with Duke Humfrey: but when I came there, the olde souldier was not vp: he is long a rising thought I, but thats all one: for he that hath no mony in his purse, must go dine with sir Iohn Best-betrust, at the signe of the chalk and the Post.
Two hungry turnes had I scarce fetcht in this wast gallery, when I was encountred by a neat pedantical fellow, in forme of a Cittizen: who thrusting himselfe abruptly into my companie like an Intelligencer, began very earnestly to question with me about the cause of my discontent, or what made me so sad, that seemed too yoong to be acquainted with sorrow. I nothing nice to vnfold my estate to any whatsoeuer, discourst to him the whole circumstaunce of my care: and what toyle and paines I had tooke in searching for him that would not be heard of. Why sir (quoth he) had I been priuie to your purpose before, I could haue easd you of this trauell: for if it be the diuell you seeke for, I know I am his man. I pray sir how
Now trust me a substantiall trade, but when doe you thinke you could send next to your maister? why euery day: for there is not comorant that dies, or Cut-purse that is hanged, but I dispatch letters by his soule to him, and to all my friends in the low-cuntries: wherefore, if you haue any thing that you would haue transported: giue it me, and I will see it deliuered. Yes marry haue I (quoth I) a certaine Supplication here vnto your Maister, which you may peruse if it please you. With that he opened it, and read as followeth.
Darknesse, Donsell dell Lucifer, King of
Acheron, Stix and Phlegethon, Duke of Tartary,
marquesse of Conytus, and Lord high Regent
of Lymbo: his distressed Orator Pierce
Penilesse, wisheth encrease of damnati-
on, and malediction eternall, Per
stum Dominum nostrum.
OST humbly sueth vnto your sinfulnes, your singlesoald Orator Pierce Penilesse: that whereas your impious excellence, hath had the poore tennement of his purse any time this halfe yeer for your dauncing schoole, and he (notwithstanding) hath receiued no peny nor crosse for
I knowe a great sort of good fellowes that would venture farre for his freedom, and a number
Famine, Lent, and dessolation, sit in Onyon skind iackets before the doore of his indurance, as a Chorus in the Tragedy of Hospitality, to tell hunger and pouertie thers no reliefe for them there: and in the inner part of this vgly habitation, stands Greedinesse, prepared to deuoure all that enter, attyred in a Capouch of written parchment, buttond downe before with Labels of wax, and lined with sheepes fels for warmenes: his Cappe furd with cats skins, after the Muscouie fashion, and all to be tasseld with
Thus walkes hee vp and downe all his life time, with an yron crow in his hand in steed of a staffe, and a Sariants Mace in his mouth (which night and day he still gnawd vpon) & either busies himselfe in setting siluer lime twigs to entangle yoong Gentlemen, and casting foorth silken shapes to catch Woodcocks, or in syuing of Muckhils and shop-dust, whereof he will boult a whole cartload to gaine a bowd Pinne.
On the other side, Dame Niggardize his wife, in a sedge rug kirtle, that had beene a mat time
The house (or rather the hell) where these two Earthwormes encaptiued this beautifull Substaunce, was vaste, large, strong buildt, and well furnished, all saue the Kitchin: for that was no bigger then the Cookes roome in a ship, with a little court chimney, about the compasse of a Parenthesis in proclamation print: then iudge you what diminutiue dishes came out of this doues-neast. So likewise of the Buttry, for whereas in houses of such stately foundation that are builte to outward shewe so magnificent, euery Office is answerable to the Hall, which is principall, there the Buttry was no more but a blind Cole-house vnder a paire of staires, wherein (vprising and downelying) was but one single single kilderkin of small beere, that would make a man with a carrouse of a spoonfull, runne through an Alphabet of faces. Nor vsd they any glasses or cups (as other men) but onely little farthing ounce boxes, whereof one of them likd vp with froath (in manner and forme of an Ale-house) was a meales allowance for the whole houshold. It were lamentable to tel what misery the Rattes and Mise endured in this hard world, how when all supply of vittualls failed them, they went a Boot-haling one night to Sinior Greedinesse bed-chamber, where finding nothing but emptines and vastitie, they encountred (after long inqusition) with a cod-peece, wel dunged and manured with greace (which my pinch-fart penie-father had retaind from his Bachelorship, vntill the eating of these presents). Vppon that they set, and with a couragious assault rent it cleene away from the breeches, and then carried it in triumph like a coffin on their shoulders betwixt them. The verie spiders and dust-weauers, that wont to set vp their loomes in euery window, decayed and vndone through the extreame dearth of the place, (that afforded them no matter to worke on) were constrained to breake against their wills, and goe dwell in the countrey, out of the reach of the broome and the wing: and generally, not a flea nor a cricket that caried any braue minde, that would stay there after he had once tasted the order of their fare. Onely vnfortunate gold (a predestinat slaue to drudges and fooles) liues in endlesse bondage ther amongst them, and may no way be releast, except you send the rot halfe a yeare amongst his keepers, and so make them away with a murrion one after another.
O, but a far greater enormity raigneth in the hart of the Court: Pride the peruerter of all
All malcontent sits the greasie son of a Cloathier, & complaines (like a decaied Earle) of the ruine of ancient houses; whereas the Weauers loomes first framed the web of his honor, & the lockes of wool that bushs and brambles haue tooke for toule of insolent sheep, that would needs striue for the wall of a fir bush, haue made him of the tenths of their tar, a Squier of low degree: and of the collectio[n]s of their scatterings, a iustice Tam Marti quam Mercurio, of Peace & of Coram. Hee will be humorous forsooth, and haue a broode of fashions by himselfe. Sometimes (because Loue commonly weares the liuerey of Wit) hee will be an Inamorato Poeta, & sonnet a whole quire of paper in praise of Lady Swin-snout, his yeolow-fac'd Mistres, & weare a feather of her rainbeaten fan for a fauor, like a fore-horse. Al Italionato is his talke, & his spade peake is as sharpe as if he had been a Pioner before the walls of Roan. Hee will despise the barbarisme of his own Cou[n]trey, & tel a whole Legend of lyes of his trauailes vnto Constantinople. If he be challenged to fight, for his delatorye excuse hee objects, that it is not the custome of the Spaniard or the Germaine to looke back to euery dog that barks. You shall see a dapper Iacke, that hath been but ouer at Deepe, wring his face round about, as a man would stir vp a mustard pot, & talke English through ye teeth like Iaques Scabd-hams, or Monsieur Mingo de Moustrap: when (poore slaue) he hath but dipt his bread in wilde Boares greace, and come home againe: or been bitten by the shins by a wolfe: and saith, he hath aduentured vpon the Barricadoes of Gurney or Guingan, and fought with the yong Guise hand to hand.
Some thinke to be counted rare Politicians and Statesmen, by being solitary: as who would say, I am a wise man, a braue man, Secreta mea mihi: Frustra sapit, qui sibi non sapit: and there no
Is it not wondefull ill prouided, I say, that this disdainfull companion is not made one of the fraternity of Fooles, to talke before great States, with some olde moth eaten Polititian, of mending high waies, and leading Armies into Fraunce?
A yoong Heyre or Cockney, that is his Mothers Darling, if hee haue playde the waste-good at
As a mad Ruffion on a time, being in daunger of shipwrack by a tempest, and seeing all other at their vowes and praiers, that it would please God of his infinite goodnesse, to delyuer them out of that imminent daunger, one woulde abiure this sinne wher vnto he was addicted: an other, make satisfaction for that vyolence he had committed: he in a desperate iest, began thus to reconcile his soule to heauen.
O lord, if it may seeme good to thee to deliuer me from this feare of vntimely death, I vow before thy Throne and all thy starry Host, neuer to eate Haberdine more whilest I liue. Well, so it fell out that the Sky cleared, and the tempest ceased, and this carelesse wretch that made such a mockery of praier, readie to set foote a Land, cryed out: not without Mustard good Lord, not without Mustard: as though it had been the greatest torment in the world, to haue eaten Haberdine without Mustard. But this by the way, what pennance can be greater for Pride, than to let it swinge in his owne halter? Dulce bellum in expertis, theres no man loues the smooke of his owne Countrey, that hath not beene syngde in the flame of an other soyle. It is a pleasante thing ouer a full pot, to read the fable of thirsty Tantalus: but a harder matter to digest salt meates at Sea, with stinking water.
An other misery of Pride it is, when men that haue good parts, and beare the name of
Hence Atheists triumph and reioyce, and talke as prophanely of the Bible, as of Beuis of Hampton. I heare say there be Mathematitions abroad, that will prooue men before Adam, and they are harboured in high places, who will maintaine it to the death, that there are no diuels.
It is a shame (senior Belzibub) that you should suffer your selfe thus to be tearmed a bastard, or not approue to your predestinate children, not only that they haue a father, but that you are he that must owne them. These are but the suburbes of the sinne we haue in hand: I must describe to you a large cittie, wholy inhabited with this damnable enormitie.
In one place let me shew you a base Artificer, that hath no reuenues to boast on, but a Needle in his bosome; as braue as any Pensioner or Noble man.
In an other corner, Mistris Minx a Marchants wife, that will eate no Cherries forsooth, but when they are at twenty shillings a pound, that lookes as simperingly as if she were besmeard, and iets it as gingerly as if she were dancing the Canaries: she is so finicall in her speach, as though she spake nothing but what shee had first sewd ouer before in her Samplers, and the puling accent of her voyce is like a fained treble, or ones voyce that interprets to the puppets. What should I tel how sqeamish she is in her dyet, what toyle she puts her poore seruaunts vnto, to make her looking glasses in the pauement? how she will not go into the field to cowre on the green grasse, but she must haue a Coatch for her conuoy: and spends halfe a day in pranking her selfe if she be inuited to any strange place? Is not this the excesse of pride signior Sathan? Goe too, you are vnwise, if you make her not a chiefe Saint in your Calender.
The next object that encounters my eyes, is some such obscure vpstart gallants, as
Yet I am not against it, that these men by their mechanicall trades should come to be
These whelpes of the first Litter of Gentilitie, these Exhalations, drawne vp to the heauen of honor, from the dunghill of abiect fortune, haue long been on horseback to come riding to your Diuelship: butI knowe not howe like Saint George they are alwaies mounted, but neuer moue. Here they outface Towne and countrey, and doo nothing but bandie factions with their betters. Theyr big limbes yeelde the Common-wealth no other seruice but idle sweate, and theyr heads like rough hewen Gloabes, are fit for nothing but to be the blockhouses of sleepe. Raynold the Fox may well beare vp his taile in the Lions denne, but when he comes abroad, hee is afraid of euerie dogge that barkes. What Cur wil not bawle, and be ready to flie in a mans face, when he is set on by his maister, who if hee bee not by, to encourage him, he casts his taile betwixt his legs, & steales away like a sheepbyter. Vlisses was a tall man vnder Aiax shield: but by himselfe hee would neuer aduenture but in the night. Pride is neuer built but vpon some pillers: and let his supporters faile him neuer so little, you shall finde him very humble in the dust. Wit oftentimes stands in stead of a chiefe arche to vnderproppe it, in souldiers strength, in women beautie.
Drudges, that haue no extraordinarie gifts of body, nor of minde, filche themselues into
But beware you that be great mens Fauorites: let not a seruile insinuating slaue creepe betwixt your legs into credit with your Lords: for pesants that come out of the colde of pouertie, once cherisht in the bosome of prosperitie, will straight forget that euer there was a winter of want, or who gaue them roome to warme them. The sonne of a churle cannot chuse but prooue ingratefull like his Father. Trust not a villaine that hath beene miserable, and is sodainly growne happie. Vertue ascendeth by degrees of desert vnto dignitie: golde and lust may lead a man a nearer way to promotion: but he that hath neither comlinesse nor coine to commend him, vndoubtedly strides ouer time by stratagems,
Fraunce, Italy, and Spaine, are all full of those false hearted Machiuillions: but properly Pride is the disease of the Spaniard, who is borne a Bragart in his mothers wombe: for if he be but 17 yeeres old and hath come to the place where a Field was fought (though halfe a yeare before) he then talks like one of the Giants that made warre vppon his honour as much, as if hee were one of Augustus Souldiers, of whom he first instituted the order of Heralds: and let a man sooth him in his vaine of kilcow vanitie, you may commaund his heart out of his belly to make you a rasher on the coales, if you will next your heart.
The Italian is a more cunning proud fellowe, that hides his humour far cleanlier, and
The Frenchman (not altered from his owne nature) is wholly compact of deciuable Courtship, and for the most part, loues none but himselfe and his pleasure: yet though he be the most
The most grosse and sencelesse proud dolts (in a different kind from all these) are the
There the souldiour may fight himselfe out of his skinne, and do more exploites than
I will not stand to inferre, what a preiudice it is to the thrift of a florishing State, to
You all knowe, that man (insomuch as hee is the Image of God) delighteth in honour and worship, and all holy Writ warrantes that delight, so it bee not derogatory to any part of Gods owne worship: now take away that delight, a discontented idlenesse ouertakes him. For his hire, any handicraft man, be he Carpenter, Ioyner, or Painter, wil ploddingly do his day labor: but to add credit and fame to his workmanship, or to win a maistery to himself aboue all other, hee will make a further assay in his trade, than euer hitherto he did, hee will haue a thousand florishes which before he neuer thought vpon, and in one day ridde more out of hand, than earst hee did in ten: So in Armes, So in Artes, if titles of fame and glory be proposed to forward minds, or that soueraignetie (whose sweetnes they haue not yet felt) be set in likely view for them to sore too, they will make a ladder of cord of the links of their braines, but they will fasten their handes as well as their eies, on the imaginatiue blisse, which they already enioy by admiration. Experience reproues me for a foole, for dilating on so manifest a case.
The Danes are bursten-bellied sots, that are to bee confuted with nothing but Tankards or quart pots, and Ouid might as well haue read his verses to the Getes that vnderstood him not, as a man talk reason to them that haue no eares but their mouths nor sense but of that which they swallowe downe their throates. God so loue me, as I loue the quicke-witted Italians, and therefore loue them the more, because they detest this surley swinish Generation.
I need not fetch colours from other countries to paint the vglie visage of Pride, since her picture is set forth in so many painted faces here at home. What drugs, what sorceries, what oiles, what oyntments, doe our curuious Dames vse to inlarge their withered beauties? Their lips are as lauishly red, as if they vsed to kisse an okerman euery morning, and their cheeks suger-candied and cherry blusht so sweetly, after the colour of a newe lord Mayors postes, as if the pageant of their wedlocke hiliday were harde at the doore; so that if a Painter were to drawe any of their Counterfets on Table, he needs no more but wet his pencill, and dab it on their cheekes, and he shall haue vermillion and white enough to furnish out his worke, though he leaue his tar-boxe at home behind him. Wise was that sin-washing Poet that made the Ballet of Blue starch and poaking stickes, for indeed the lawne of licentiousnesse hath consumed all the wheat of hospitalitie. It is said Laurence Lucifer, that you went vp and downe London crying then like a lanterne & candle man. I meruaile no Laundresse would giue you the washing and starching of your face for your labour, for God knowes it is as black as the blacke Prince.
It is suspected you haue beene a great Tobacco taker in your youth, which causeth it to come so to passe: but Dame Nature your nurse was partly in fault, else she might haue remedied it. She should haue noynted your face ouernight with Lac virginis, which baking vpon it in bed till the morning, she might haue pild off the scale like the skin of a custard, and making a posset of vergis mixt with the oyle of Tartary and Camphire, bathde it in a quarter of an houre, and you had been as faire as the floure of the frying pan. I warrant we haue old hucksters in this great Gandmother of Corporations, Madame Troynouant, that haue not backbited any of their neighbours with the tooth of enuy this twentie yeare, in the wrinckles of whose face, ye may hide false dice, and play at cherry-pit in the dint of their cheekes, yet these aged mothers of iniquitie will haue their deformities newe plaistred ouer, and weare nosegayes of yeolow haire on their furies foreheads, when age hath written Hoe God be here, on their bald burnt parchment pates. Pish, pish, what talke you of old age or balde pates? men and women that haue gone vnder the South pole, must lay off their furde night-caps in spight of their teeth, and become yeomen of the Vinegar bottle: a close periwig hides all the sinnes of an olde whore-master, but Cucullus non facit Monachum: tis not their newe bonnets will keepe them from the old boanach. Ware when a mans sins are written on his ey-browes, and that there is not a haire bredth betwixt them and the falling of sicknes. The times are dangerous: and this is an yron age, or rather no yron age, for swordes and bucklers goe to pawne a pace in Long-Lane: but a tinne age, for tinne and pewter are more esteemed than Latine. You that bee wise despise it, abhorre it, neglect it; for what shoulde a man care for gold that cannot get it.
An Antiquarie is an honest man, for hee had rather scrape a peece of copper out of the
VT vpon it, how long is Pride a dressing her selfe? Enuie awake for thou must appear before Nicalao Maleuolo great Muster maister of hell. Marke you this slie mate, how smoothly hee lookes? The Poets were ill aduised, that fained him to be a leane gag toothed Beldam with hollow eyes, pale cheeks, and snakie heire: for he is not onely a man, but a iolly lusty Gentleman, that will winke, and laugh, and ieast drily, as if he were the honestest of a thousand: and I warrant you shall not heare a foule word come from him in a yeare. I wil not contradict it, but the Dog may worry a sheepe in the dark, & thrust his necke into the collar of clemency & pity when he hath don: as who shold say, God forgiue him, hee was a sleepe in the shambles, when the innocent was done to death. But openly, Enuie sets a ciuil fatherly countenance vpon it, & hath not so much as a drop of bloud in his face to attaint him of murther. I thought it expedient in this my Supplication, to place it next to Pride: for it is his adopted sonne. And hence comes it, that proud men repine at others prosperitie, and greeue that any should be great but themselues. Mens cuiusque, is est quisque: it is a Prouerbe that is as hoary as Dutch-butter. If a man will go to the diuell, he may go to the diuell: there are a thousand iugling tricks to be vsed at hey passe come aloft: & the world hath cords enough to trus vp a calf that stands in ons way. Enuie is a Crocodile that weepes when he kils, and fights with none but he feedes on. This is the nature of this quick-sighted monster, he will endure any paynes to endamage another, waste his body with vnder-taking exploytes that would require tenne mens strengths, rather than any should get a penny but himselfe, bleare his eyes to stand in his neighbours light; and to conclude, like Atlas vnder-proppe heauen alone, rather than any should be in heauen that hee likte not of, or come vnto heauen by any other meanes but by him.
You goodman wandrer about the world, how doe yee spende your time, that you do not rid
I do not doubt (Doctor Diuell) but you were present in this action or passion rather, and helpt to bore holes in ships, to make them sinke faster; and rence out Galley-foistes with salt water, that stunk like fustie barrels with their Maisters feare. It will be a good while ere you doe as much for the King, as you did for his subiects. I would haue ye persuade an Armie of goutie Vsurers to go to Sea vppon a boon voyage: trie if you can tempt Enuy to embarke himself in the mal'aduenture, and leaue troubling the streame, that Poets and good fellowes may drinke, and Souldiers may sing Placebo, that haue murmured so long at the waters of strife.
But thay wil neuer be: for so long as Pride, Riot, and whoredome are the companions of yoong Courtiers, they wil alwayes bee hungry, and ready to bite at euery Dog that hath a boane giuen him besides themselues. Iesu, what a secret grudge and rancor raignes amongst them, one being ready to dispaire of himself, if he see the Prince but giue his fellow a faire looke: or to die for griefe if he be put down in brauery neuer so little. Yet this custome haue our false hearts fetcht from other countries, that they will sweare and protest loue, where they hate deadly, and smile on him most kindly, whose subuersion in soule they haue vowed. Fraus sublimi regnat in aula. Tis rare to find a true friend in Kings Pallaces; Either thou must be so miserable, that thou fall into the hands of scornful pitie, or thou canst not escape the sting of enuy. In one thought assemble the famous men of all ages, and tel me which of them all sate in the sun-shine of his soueraignes grace, or wext great of low beginnings, but he was spite-blasted, heaued at, & ill spoken of: and that of those that bare them most countenaunce. But were enuy nought but wordes, it might seeme to bee onely womens sinne: but it hath a lewde mate hanging on his sleeue, called Murther, a sterne fellowe, that (like a Spanyard in fight) aymeth all at the heart: hee hath more shapes than
O Italy, the Academie of man-slaughter, the sporting place of murther, the Apothecary shop of poyson for all Nations: how many kind of weapons hast thou inuented for malice? Suppose I loue a mans wife whose husband yet liues and cannot enioy her for his iealous ouer-looking: Physicke, or rather the art of murther (as it may be vsed) will lend one a Medicine which shall make him away, in the nature of that disease he is most subiect to, whether in the space of a yeare, a moneth, halfe a yeare, or what tract of time you will, more or lesse.
In Rome the Papal Chayre is washt euery fiue yeares at the furthest with this oyle of Aconitum. I pray God the King of Spayne feasted not our holy father Sextus, that was last, with such conserue of Henbane, for it was credibly reported hee loued him not, & this that is now, is a God made with his owne hands as it may appeare by the Pasquil that was set vp of him, in manner of a note, presently after his election. Sol, Re, Me, Fa. that is to say: Solus Rex me facit; onely the K. of
Is it your will and pleasure (noble Lantsgraue of Lymbo) to let vs haue lesse carousing to your health in poison, fewer vnder hand conspirings, or open quarrels, executed onely in wordes, as they are in the world now a dayes: & if men wil needes carouse, conspire, and quarrell, they may make Ruffians hall of Hell: and there, bandy balles of Brimstone at one anothers head, and not trouble our peaceable Paradise with their priuate hurliburlies about strumpets, where no weapon (as in Adams Paradise) should bee named: but onely the Angell of prouidence stand with a fiery sword at the gate, to keep out our enemies.
HE Romaine Emperours that succeeded Augustus, were exceedingly giuen to this horrible vice, whereof some of them would feed on nothing but the tongues of Phesants and Nightingales: other, would spend as much at one banquet, as a kings reuenues came to in a yeare, whose excesse I would decypher at large, but that a new Laureat hath sau'd me the labor: who for a man that stands vpon paines and not wit, hath performd as much as any Storie dressed may doo, that sets a new English nap on an old latine Apothegs. It is enough for me to like dishes heere at home, though I feed not mine eyes at any of the Romane feasts. Much good doe it you Maister Diues heere in London: for you are he my pen meanes to dine withall. Miserere mei, what a fat churle it is? Why, he hath a belly as big as the round Church in Cambridge, a face as huge as the whole bodie of a base viall, and legs that if they were hollow, a man might keepe a mill in eyther of them. Experto credo Roberto, there is no mast like a Marchants table. Bona fide, it is a great misture, that we haue not men swine as well as beasts, for then we should haue porke that hath no more bones than a pudding, and a side of bacon that you might lay vnder your head in stead of a bolster.
It is not for nothing, that other Countries whom we vpbraide with Drunkennesse, call
Lord, what a coyle haue we with this Course and that course, remoouing this dish higher, setting another lower, and taking awaye the third. A Generall might in lesse space remooue his campe, than they stand disposing of their gluttonie. And whereto tends all this gurmandise, but to giue sleepe grosse humors to feede on, to corrupt the braine, and make it vnapt and vnweldie for any thing.
The Romane Censors, if they lighted vpon a fat corpulent man, they straight tooke away his horsse, and constrained him to goe a foote: positiuely concluding, his carcasse was so puft vp with gluttonie or idlenesse. If we had such horse-takers amongst vs, and that surfit-swolne Churles, who now ride on their foot-cloathes, might be constrained to carrie their flesh budgets from place to place on foote, the price of veluet and cloath would fall with their belies, and the gentle craft (alias the red herrings kinsmen) get more and drinke lesse. Plenus venter nil agit libeter, & plures gula occidit quam gladius. It is as desperate a peece of seruice, to sleepe vpon a full stomacke, as it is to serue in face of the bullet: a man is but his breath, and that may as well be stopt by putting too much in his mouth at once, as running on the mouth of the cannon. That is verefied of vs, which Horace writes of an outragious eater in his time, Quicquid quæsierat ventri donabat auaro, Whatsoeuer he could rap or rend, he confiscated to his couetous gut. Nay, we are such flesh-eating Saracens, that chast fish may not content vs, but we delight in the murder of innocent mutton, in the vnpluming of pullerie, and quartering of Calues and Oxen. It is horrible and detestable, no godly Fishmonger that can digest it. Report (which our moderners clippe flundring Fame) puts me in memorie of a notable iest I heard long a goe of Doctor Watson, verye conducible to the reproofe of these fleshly minded Belials. He beeing
Alphonsus King Phillips Confessor, that came ouer with him to
Rare and worthy to be registred to all posterities, is the Countie Molines
Let but our English belly-gods punish their pursie bodies with this strict penaunce, and professe Capuchinisme but one month, and Ile be their pledge they shall not grow so like dry-fats as they doo. O it will make them iolly long winded to trot vp and downe the Dorter staires, and the water-tankard wil keepe vnder the insurrection of their shoulders, the haire shirt will chase whordome out of their boanes, and the hard lodging on the boards take their flesh downe a button hole lower.
But if they might be induced to distribute all their goods amongst the poore, it were to be hoped Saint Peter would let them dwell in the suburbes of heauen, whereas other wise they must keepe aloofe at Pancredge, and not come near the liberties by fiue leagues and aboue. It is your dooing (Diotrephes Diuell) that these stal-fed cormorants to damnation, must bung vp all the welth of the Land in their snaphaunce bags, and poore Scholers and Souldiers wander in backe lanes, and the out-shiftes of the Citie, with neuer a rag to their backes, but our trust is, that by some intemperance or other, you will turne vp their heeles one of these yeares together, and prouide them of such vnthrifts to their
ROM Gluttony in meates, let me discend to superfluitie in drinke: a sinne, that euer since we haue mixt our selues with the Low-countries, is counted honourable: but before we knew their lingring warres, was held in that highest degree of hatred that might be. Then if we had seene a man goe wallowing in the streetes, or line sleeping vnder the boord, we would haue spet at him as a toade, and cald him foule drunken swine, and warnd al our friends out of his company: now he is no body that cannot drinke super nagulum, carouse the Hunters hoop, quaffe vpsey freze crosse, with healthes, gloues, mumpes, frolickes, and a thousand such dominiering inuentions. He is reputed a pesaunt and a boore that wil not take his licour profoundly. And you shall heare a Caualier of the first feather, a princockes that was but a Page the other day in the Court, and now is all to be frenchified in his Souldiers sute, stand vppon termes with Gods wounds you dishonour me sir, you do me the disgrace if you do not pledge me as much as I drunke to you: and in the midst of his cups stand vaunting his manhood: beginning euerie sentence, with when I first bore Armes, when he neuer bare any thing but his Lords rapier after him in his life. I haue beene ouer and visited a towne of Garrison as a trauailer or passenger, he hath as great experience as the greatest Commander and chiefe Leader in England. A mightie deformer of mens manners and features, is this vnnecessary vice of all other. Let him bee indued with neuer so many vertues, and haue as much goodly proportion and fauour as nature can bestow vppon a man: yet if hee be thirstie after his owne destruction, and hath no ioy nor comfort, but when he is drowning his soule in a gallon pot, that one beastly imperfection, will vtterlie obscure all that is commendable in him: and all his good qualities sinke like lead down to the bottome of his carrowsing cups, where they will lie like lees and dregges, dead and vnregarded of any man.
Clim of the clough, thou that vsest to drinke nothing but scalding lead and sulpher in hell, thou art not so greedie of thy night gaere. O, but thou hast a foule swallow, if it come once to carousing of humane bloud, but thats but seldome once in a seauen yeare, when theres a great execution, otherwise thou art tide at rack and manger, and drinkest nothing but the Aqua vitæ of vengeance all thy life time. The Prouerbe giues it forth, thou art a knaue, and therefore I haue more hope thou art some manner of good fellowe: let mee intreate thee (since thou hast other iniquities inough to circumuent vs
One of their breede it was that writ the Booke De Arte bibendi: a worshipfull
Nor haue we one or two kinde of drunkards onely, but eight kindes. The first is Ape
Gentlemen, all you that will not haue your braines twise sodden, your flesh rotten with
HE nurse of this
Setting iesting a side, I hold it a great disputable question which is a more euill man, of him that is an idle glutton at home, or a retchlesse vnthrift abroad? The glutton at home doth nothing but engender diseases, pamper his flesh vnto lust, and is good for none but his owne gut: the vnthrift abroad exerciseth his bodie at dauncing schoole, fence schoole, tennis, and all such recreations: the vintners, the victuallers, the dicing houses, and who not, get by him. Suppose he lose a little now and then at play, it teacheth him wit: and how should a man know to eschew vices, if his own experience did not acquaint him with their inconueniences? Omne ignotum pro magnifico est: that villany we haue made no assaies in, we admire. Besides, my vagrant Reueller haunts Plaies, & sharpens his wits with frequenting the company of Poets; he emboldens his blushing face by courting faire women on the sodaine, and looke into all Estates, by conuersing with them in publike places. Nowe tell me whether of these two, the heauie headed gluttonous house doue, or this liuelie wanton yoong Gallant, is like to prooue the wiser man, and better member in the Common-wealth. If my youth might not be thought partiall, the fine qualified Gentleman, although vnstaide, should carrie it cleane away from the lazie clownish droane.
Sloath in Nobilitie, Courtiers, Schollers, or any men is the chiefest cause that brings them
That State or Kingdome that is in league with all the world, and hath no forraine sword to vexe it, is not halfe so strong or confirmed to endure, as that which liues euery houre in feare of inuasion. There is a certaine waste of the people for whome there is no vse, but warre: and these men must haue some employment still to cut them off: Nam si foras hostem non habent, domi inuenient. If they haue no seruice abroad, they will make mutinies at home. Or if the affayres of the State be such, as cannot exhale all these corrupt excrements, it is very expedient they haue some light toyes to busie their heads withall, cast before them as bones to gnaw vpon, which may keepe them from hauing leisure to intermeddle with higher matters.
To this effect, the pollicie of Playes is very necessary, howsoeuer some shallow-braind
How would it haue ioyed braue Talbot (the terror of the French) to thinke that after he had lyne two hundred yeares in his Tombe, hee should triumphe againe on the Stage, and haue his bones newe embalmed with the teares of ten thousand spectators at least, (at seuerall times) who in the Tragedian that represents his person, imagine they behold him fresh bleeding.
I will defend it against any Collian, or clubfisted Vsurer of them all, there is no immortalitie, can be giuen a man on earth like vnto Playes. What talke I to them of immortalitie, that are the onely vnderminers of Honour, and doe enuie any man that is not sprung vp by base Brokerie like themselues. They care not if all the auncient houses were rooted out, so that like the Burgomasters of the Low-countries they might share the gouernment amongst them as States, and be quarter-maisters of our Monarchie. All Artes to them are vanitie: and if you tell them what a glorious thing it is to haue Henrie the fifth represented on the Stage leading the French King prisoner, and forcing both him and the Dolphin to sweare fealty. I, but (wilt they say) what do we get by it? Respecting neither the right of Fame that is due to true Nobilitie deceased, nor what hopes of eternitie are to be proposed to aduentrous mindes, to encourage them forward, but onely their execrable luker, and filthie vnquenchable auarice.
They know when they are dead they shall not be brought vpon the Stage for any goodnes, but in a merriment of the Vsurer and the Diuel, or buying Armes of the Herald, who giues them the Lyon without tongue, tayle, or tallents, because his maister whome hee must serue is a Townesman, and a man of peace, and must not keepe any quarrelling beasts to annoy his honest neighbours.
In Playes, all coosenages, all cunning drifts ouer-gulyded with outward holinesse, all
In Augustus time (who was the Patron of all wittie sports) there happened a great Fraie in Rome about a Player, insomuch as all the Cittie was in an vprore: wherevpon, the Emperour (after the broyle was somewhat ouer-blowne) calde the Player before him, and askt what was the
Not Roscius nor Æsope those admyred tragedians that haue liued euer since before Christ was borne, could euer performe more in action, than famous Ned Allen. I must accuse our Poets of sloth and partialitie that they will not boast in large impressions what worthy men (aboue all Nations) England affoords. Other Countries cannot haue a Fidler breake a string, but they
Heere I haue vsed a like Method, not of tying my selfe to mine owne Countrie, but by insisting in the experience of our time: and if I euer write any thing in Latine, (as I hope one day I shall) not a man of any desert here amongst vs, but I will haue vp. Tarlton, Ned Allen, Knell, Bentlie, shall be made knowne to France, Spaine, and Italie: and not a part that they surmounted in, more than other, but I will there note and set downe, with the manner of theyr habites and attyre.
HE child of Sloath is
Westminster, Westminster, much maydenhead hast thou to answere for at the day of Iudgement, thou hadst a Sanctuarie in thee once, but few Saints left in thee now. Surgeons and Apothecaries, you know what I speake is true: for you liue (like Sumners) vpon the sinnes of the people; tell me, is there anye place so lewde as this Ladie London? not a Wench sooner creepes out of the shell, but she is of the Religion. Some wiues will sowe Mandrake in their gardens, and crosse-neighborhood with them is counted good-fellowship.
The Court I dare not touch, but surely there (as in the Heauens) be many falling starres, and but one true Diana. Consuetudo peccandi, tollit sensum peccati, Custome is a Lawe, and Luste holds it for a Lawe, to liue without Lawe. Lais that had so manie Poets to her Louers, could not alwayes preserue her beauty with their praises. Marble will weare away with much raine: Gold will rust with moyst keeping; and the richest garments are subiect to Times Moath-frets, Clitemnestra, that slew her husband to enioy the Adulterer Ægistus, and bathde her selfe in milke euery day to make her yoong againe, had a time when she was ashamed to viewe her selfe in a looking Glasse, and her body withered, her minde being greene. The people pointed at her for a murtherer, yoong children howted at her as a strumpet: shame, misery, sicknesse, beggery, is the best end of vncleannesse.
Lais, Cleopatra, Helen, if our Clyme hath any such, noble Lord warden of the witches and iuglers, I commend them with the rest of our vncleane sisters in Shorditch, the Spittle, Southwarke, Westminster, & Turnbull streete, to the protection of your Portership: hoping you will speedily carrie them to hell, there to keepe open house for all young Diuels that come, and not let our ayre bee contaminated with theyr six-pennie damnation any longer.
Supplication calst thou this, it is the maddest Supplication that euer I sawe; me thinks thou hast handled all the seuen deadly sinnes in it, and spared none that exceedes his limits in any of them. It is well done to practise thy witte, but (I beleeue) our Lord will cun thee little thanks for it.
The worse for me (quoth I) if my destinie be such, to lose my labour euery where, but I meane to take my chance be it good or bad. Well, hast thou any more that thou wouldest haue mee to doo (quoth he?) Onely one sute (quoth I) which is this, that sith opportunitie so conuenientlie serues, you would acquaint mee with the state of your infernall regiment: and what that hel is, where your Lord holdes his throne; whether a world like this, which spirites like outlawes doo inhabit, who being banisht from heauen, as they are from there Country, enuy that any shall bee more happy than they: and therefore seeke all meanes possible that Wit or Arte may inuent, to make other men as wretched as themselues: or, whether it be place of horror, stench, and darknesse, where men see meat, but can get none, or are euer thirstie and readie to swelt for drinke, yet haue not the power to taste the coole streames that runne hard at their feet: where permutata vicissitudine) one ghost torments another by turnes, and he that all his life time was a great fornicator, hath all the diseases of lust continually hanging vppon him, and is constrained (the more to augment his misery) to haue congresse euery houre with hagges and olde witches: and he that was a great drunkard here on earth, hath his penance assigned him, to carouse himselfe drunke with dishwash and Vinegar, and surfet foure times a day, with sower Ale and small Beere: as so of the rest, as the vsurer to swallow moulten gold, the glutton to eate nothing but toades, and the Murtherer to bee still stabd with daggers, but neuer die: or whether (as some phantasticall refyners of philosophie will needes perswade vs) hell is nothing but error, and that none but fooles and Idiotes and Machanicall men that haue no learning shall be damned: of these doubts if you will resolue me, I shall thinke my selfe to haue profited greatly by your company.
He hearing me so inquistiue in matters aboue humane capacity, entertained my greedie humour with this answere, Poets and Philosophers that take a pride in inuenting newe opinions, haue sought to renoume their wittes, by hunting after strange conceits of heauen and hell; all generally agreeing, that such places there are, but how inhabited, by whom gouerned, or what betides them that are transported to the one or other, not two of them iumpe in one tale. We that to our terror and griefe do know their dotage by our sufferings, reioyce to thinke how these sillie flyes plaie with the fire that must burne them.
But leauing them to the Laborynth of their fond curiositie, shall I tell thee in a word what Hell is? It is a place where the soules of vntemperate men and ill liuers of all sorts, are detayned and imprisoned till the generall Resurrection, kept and possessed chiefly by spirites, who lye like Souldiours in Garison, ready to be sent about any seruice into the world, whensoeuer Lucifer their Lieftenaunt Generall pleaseth. For the scituation of it in respect of heauen, I can no better compare it than to Callis and Douer: for as a man standing vpon Callis Sands may see men walking on Douer Clyffes, so easily may you discerne Heauen from the farthest part of hell, and behold the melodie and motions of the Angels and Spirits there resident, in such perfect manner, as if you were amongst them; which how it worketh in the mindes and soules of them that haue no power to apprehend such felicity, it is not for me to intimate, because it is preiudiciall to our Monarchie.
I would bee sorrie (quoth I) to importune you in anie matter of secrecie: yet this I desire, if it might bee done without offence, that you would satisfie me in full sort and according to truth, what the Diuell is whome you serue? as also how he began, and howe farre his power and authoritie extends?
Persie, beleeue me thou shriuest me very neere in this latter demaund, which concerneth vs more deeply than the former, and may worke vs more damage than thou art aware of: yet in hope thou wylt conceale what I tell thee, I will laye open our whole estate plainly and simply vnto thee as it is: but first I will begin with the opinions of former times, and so hasten forwarde to that manifeste verum that thou seekest. Some men there be that building too much vpon reason, perswade themselues, that there are no Diuels at all; but that this word Dæmon, is such another morall of mischiefe, as the Poets Dame Fortune is of mishap: for as vnder the fiction of this blinde Goddesse we ayme at the folly of Princes and great men in disposing of honours, that oftentimes preferre fooles and disgrace wise men, and alter their fauours in turning of an eye, as Fortune turnes her wheele: so vnder the person of this olde Gnathonicall companion called the Diuell, we shrowd all subtiltie masking vnder the name of simplicitie, all painted holines deuouring widowes houses, all gray headed Foxes clad in sheepes garments; so that the Diuell (as they make it) is onely a pestilent humour in a man, of pleasure, profit, or policie, that violently carries him away to vanitie, villanie, or monstrous hypocrisie: vnder vanitie I comprehend not onely all vaine Arts and studies whatsoeuer, but also dishonourable prodigalitie, vnterperate venery, and that hatefull sinne of selfe-loue, which is so common amongst vs: vnder villanie I comprehend murder, treason, theft, cousnage, cut-throat couetise, and such like: lastly, vnder hypocrisie, all Machiauilisme, puritanisme, and outward gloasing with a mans enemie, and protesting friendship to him that I hate, and meane to harme: all vnder-hand cloaking of bad actions with Common-wealth pretences: and finally all Italionate conueyances, as to kill a man, and then mourne for him quasi vero it was not by my consent, to be a slaue to him that hath iniur'd me, and kisse his feete for opportunitie of reuenge, to be seuere in punishing offenders, that none might haue the benifite of such meanes but my selfe, to vse men for my purpose and then cast them off, to seeke his destruction that knowes my secrets: and such as I haue imployed in any murther or stratagem, to set them priuilie together by the eares, to stab each other mutually, for feare of bewraying me: or if that faile, to hire them to humour one another in such courses, as may bring them both to the gallows. These and a thousand more such sleights hath hypocrisie learned by trauailing strange Countries. I will not say she puts them in practise here in England, although there be as many false brethren and crafty knaues here amongst vs, as in any place: witnes the poore Miller of Cambridge, that hauing no roome for his hen-loft, but the Testor of his bed, and it was not possible for any hungry Poultrers to come there, but they must stande vppon the one side of it, and so not steale them but with great hazard; had in one night notwithstanding (when hee and his wife were a snorting) all the whole progenie of their Pullerie taken away, and neither of them heard any sturring: it is an odde tricke, but what of that, we must not stand vpon it, for wee haue greater matters in hand, then the stealing of Hennes. Hypocrisie I remember was our Text, which was one of the chiefe morall Diuels our late Doctors affirme to bee most busie in these daies, and busie it is in trueth more than any Bee that I know: nowe you talke of a Bee, Ile tell you a tale of a Battle-dore.
The Beare on a time beeing chiefe Burgomaster of all the Beasts vnder the Lyon, gan thinke with himselfe how hee might surfet in pleasure, or best husband his Authoritie to enlarge his delight and contentment. Wyth that hee beganne to prye and to smell through euery corner of the Forrest for praye, to haue a thousande imagynations with himselfe what daintie morsell he was master of, and yet had not tasted: whole Heards of sheepe had hee deuoured, and was not satisfied; fat Oxen, Hayfers, Swine, Calues, and yoong Kiddes, were his ordinary vyands: he longed for Horse-flesh, and went presently to a medowe, where a fat Cammell was grazing, whom fearing to encounter with force because he was a huge beast and well shod, he thought to betray vnder the colour of demaunding homage, hoping that as he should stoope to doo him truage, he might seaze vpon his throat and stifle him before he should be able to recouer himselfe from his false embrace; but therein he was deceiued: for comming vnto this stately Beast with this imperious message, in stead of doing homage vnto him, he lifted vp one if his hindmost heeles, and stroake him such a blowe on the forehead that hee ouerthrew him. Thereat not a little mou'd and enrag'd, that he should be so dishonoured by his inferiour as he thought, he consulted with the Ape how he might be reuenged.
The Ape abhorring him by nature, because he ouerlookt him so Lordly, and was by so many degrees greater than he was, aduised him to digge a pit with his pawes right in the way where this big boand Gentleman should passe, that so stumbling and falling in, he might lightly skip on his back, and bridle him, and then he come and seaze on him at his pleasure. No sooner was this perswaded, than performed: for enuie that is neuer idle, could not sleepe in his wrath, or ouer-slip the least opportunitie, till hee had seene the confusion of his enemie. Alas goodly Creature, that thou mightest no longer liue. What auaileth thy gentlenes, thy prowesse, or the plentifull pasture, wherein thou wert fed: since malice triumphs ouer all thou commaundest? Well may the Mule rise vp in armes, and the Asse bray at the Authors of thy death: yet shall their furie be fatall to themselues, before it take hold on these Traitours. What needeth more words? the deuourer feedes on his captiue, and is gorged with bloud. But as auarice and crueltie are euermore thirstie, so far'd it with this hungrie Vsurper: for hauing flesht his ambition with this treacherous conquest, he past a long through a groue, where a Heard of Deare weare a ranging: whom when he had steadfastly surueyed from the fattest to the leanest, he singled out one of the fairest of the company, with whom he meant to close vp his stomack in stead of cheese: but because the Wood-men were euer stirring thereabout, and it was not possible for one of his coate, to commit such outrage vndescried, and that if he were espyed, his life were in perill: though not with the Lyon, whose eyes he could blinde as hee list, yet with the lesser sort of the brutish Comminaltie, whome no flatteries might pacifie. Therefore he determined slylie and priuilie to poyson the streame, where this iolly Forrester wonted to drinke; and as he determined, so he did: whereby it fell out, that when the Sunne was ascended to his height, and all the nimble Cittizens of the Wood betooke them to their Laire, this youthfull Lorde of the Lawnds, all fainte and malecontent (as prophecying his neere approching mishap by his languishing) with a lazie wallowing pace, strayed aside from the rest of his fellowship, and betooke him all carelesly to the corrupted fountaine that was prepared for his Funerall.
Ah, woe is me, this poyson is pittilesse. What need I saye more, since you know it is death with whome it encounters. And yet cannot all this expence of life, set a period to insatiable Murther: but still it hath some Anuile to worke vppon, and ouer-casts all opposite prosperitie, that may any waye shadow his glorie.
Too long were it to rehearse all the practises of this sauadge blood-hunter, how he assailed the Vnicorne as he slept in his den, and tore the heart out of his breast ere he could awake: how hee made the lesser beasts lye in wayte one for the other, and the Crocodyle to coape with the Basiliske, that when they had enterchangeably weakened each other, he might come and insult ouer them both as hee list. But these were lesser matters, which daily vse had worne out of mens mouthes, and he himselfe had so customablie practised, that often exercise had quite abrogated the opinion of sinne, and impudencie throughlie confirmed an vndaunted defiance of vertue in his face. Yet newfangled lust, that in time is wearie of welfare, and will bee as soone cloyed with too much ease and delicacie, as Pouertie with labour and scarcitie, at length brought him out of loue with this greedy bestiall humour: and nowe hee affected a milder varietie in his dyet: hee had bethought him what a pleasant thing it was to eate nothing but honie another while, and what great store of it there was in that Countrey.
Nowe did hee cast in his head, that if hee might bring the Husbandmen of the soyle in opinion, that they might buie honey cheaper, than beeing at such charges in keeping of Bees, or that those Bees which they kept, were most of them Drones, and what should such idle Drones doe with such stately Hyues, or lye sucking at such pretious Honny-combes; that if they were tooke awaye from them, and distributed equally abroade, they would releeue a great many of painfull labourers that had neede of them, and would continually liue seruiceable at theyr commaund, if they might enioy such a benefite. Nay more, let them giue Waspes but onely the waxe, and dispose of the honie as they thinke good, and they shall humme and buzze a thousand times lowder than they, and haue the hiue fuller at the yeares ende (with young ones I meane) than the Bees are woont in ten yeere.
To broach this deuice, the Foxe was addrest like a shepheardes dogge, and promist to haue his Pattent seald, to be the Kings Poulterer for euer, if he could bring it to passe. Faith, quoth he, and Ile put it in a venter, let it hap how it wil. With that he grew in league with an old Camelion, that could put on all shapes, and imitate any colour, as occasion serued, and him he addrest sometime like an Ape to make sport, and then like a Crocodile to weep, sometime like a Serpent to sting, and by and by like a Spaniell to fawne, that with these sundrie formes, (applyde to mens variable humors) he might perswade the world he ment as he spake, and onely intended their good, when he thought nothing lesse. In this disguise, these two deceiuers went vp and downe, and did much harme vnder the habite of Simplicity, making the poore silly Swaines beleeue they were cunning Phisitions, and well seene in all Cures, that they could heale any maladie, though neuer so daungerous, and restore a man to life that had beene dead two daies, onely by breathing vpon him: aboue all things they perswaded them, that the honny that their Bees brought foorth, was poysonous and corrupt, by reason that those floures and hearbs, out of which it was gathered and exhaled, were subiect to the infection of euery Spider and venimous Canker, and not a loathsome Toade (how detestable soeuer) but reposde himselfe vnder theyr shadow, and lay sucking at their rootes continually: wheras in other Countries, no noisome or poisnous creature might liue, by reason of the imputed goodnes of the Soyle, or carefull diligence of the Gardners aboue ours, as for example, Scotland, Denmarke, and some more pure partes of the seauenteene Prouinces.
These perswasions made the good honest Husbandmen to pause, and mistrust their owne wits very much, in nourishing such dangerous Animals, but yet I know not how antiquitie and custome so oer-rulde their feare, that none would resolue to abandon them on the sodaine, till they sawe a further inconuenience: whereby my two cunning Philosophers were driuen to studie Galen a new, and seeke out splenatiue simples, to purge their popular Patients of the opinion of their olde Traditions and Customes: which howe they wrought with the most parte that had least wit, it were a world to tell. For now nothing was Canonical but what they speake, no man would conuerse with his wife, but first askt their aduise, nor pare his nailes, nor cut his beard, without their prescription: so senceles, so wauering is the light vnconstant multitude, that will daunce after euerie mans pipe; and sooner prefer a blind harper that can squeake out a new horne-pipe, than Alcinous or Apolloes varietie, that imitates the right straines of the Doryan melodie. I speake this to amplifie the nouell folly of the hedlong vulgar, that making their eyes and eares vassailes to the legerdemaine of these iugling Mountbanks, are presentlie drawne to contemne Art and experience in comparison of the ignorance of a number of audatious idiots. The Fox can tell a faire tale, and couers all his knauerie vnder conscience, and the Camelion can addresse himselfe like an Angell whensoeuer he is disposed to worke mischiefe by myracles: but yet in the end their secret drifts are laide open, and Linceus eyes that see through stone walles, haue made a passage into the close couerture of their hypocrisie.
For one daie, as these two Deuisers were plotting by themselues how to driue all the Bees from their Honny combs, by putting wormwood in their Hyues, and strewing Henbane and Rue in euerie place where they resort: a Flye that past by, and heard all their talke, stomaking the Foxe of olde, for that he had murdred so many of his kindred with his flail-driuing tail, went presentlie and buzd in Linceus eares the whole purport of their malice, who awaking his hundred eies at these vnexpected tidings, gan pursue them wheresoeuer they went, and trace their intents as they proceeded into action, so that ere half their baits were cast forth, they were apprehended and imprisoned, and all their whole counsaile detected. But long ere this, the Beare impatient of delaies and consumed with an inward griefe in himselfe, that hee might not haue his will of a fat Hind that outran him, he went into the woods all melancholie, and there died for pure anger: leauing the Foxe and the Camelion to the destinie of their desert, and mercie of their Iudges. How they scape I know not, but some saie they were hanged, and weele leaue them.
How likest thou of my tale friend Persie? Haue I not described a right earthly Diuell vnto thee, in the discourse of this bloodie minded Beare? Or canst thou not attract the true image of hypocrisie, vnder the description of the Fox and the Camelion?
Yes very well (quoth I) but I would gladly haue you returne to your first subiect, since you haue mooued doubts in my mind, which you haue not yet discust.
Of the sundrie opinions of the Diuell thou meanest, and them that imagin him to haue no existence, of which sort are they that first inuented the prouerbe, Homo homini Dæmon: meaning thereby, that that power which we call the Diuell, and the ministring Spirits belonging to him and his kingdom, are tales and fables, and meere bugge-[beares] to scarre boies: and that there is no such essence at all, but only it is a terme of large content, describing the rancor, grudg, and bad dealing of one man toward another: as namely, when one friend talkes with another subtilly, and seeks to diue into his commodity, that he may depriue him of it craftelie: when the sonne seeks the death of the father, that he maie be infeoffed in his welth: and the stepdame goes about to make awaie her sonne in-law, that her children may inherit: when brothers fall at iarres for portions, and shall by open murther or priuie conspiracie, attempt the confusion of each other, only to ioine house to house, and vnite two Liulihoods in one: when the seruant shall rob his master, and Men put in trust start away from their oathes and vowes they care not how.
In such cases and manie more, may one man be said to be a diuell to another, and this is the second opinion. The third is that of Plato, who not onely affirmeth that there are diuels, but deuided them into three sorts, euerie one a degree of dignitie aboue the other; the first are those, whose bodies are compact of the purest airie Element, combined with such transparant threeds; that neither they doo partake so much fire as should make them visible to sight, or haue anie such affinitie with the earth, as they are able to be prest or toucht: and these he setteth in the hiest incomprehensible degree of heauen. The second, he maketh these whom Apuleius doth call reasonable creatures, passiue in mind and eternall in time, being those Apostata spirits that rebelled with Belzebub: whose bodies, before their fall, were bright and pure all like to the former: but after their trangression, they were obscured with a thick ayrie matter & euer after assigned to darknes. The third, he attributes to those men, that by some diuine knowledge or vnderstanding, seeming to aspire aboue mortalitie, are called Dæmona, (that is) Gods: for this word Dæmon contayneth either, and Homer in euery place doth vse it, both for that omnipotent power that was before al things, and the euill spirit that leadeth to error: so doth Syrianus testifie, that Plato was called Dæmon, because he disputed of deepe Common-welth matters, greatly auailable to the benefite of his Countrye: and also Aristotle because he wrote at large of all things subiect to moouing and sence. Then belike (quoth I) you make this word Dæmon, a capable name of Gods, of men and of diuels, which is farre distant from the scope of my demand: for I doo onlie inquire of the divel, as this common appelation of the Diuel, signifieth a malignant spirit, enemie to mankind, and a hater of God and all goodnes. Those are the second kinde said he, vsuallie termed detractors or accusers that are in knowledge infinit, insomuch as by the quicknes of their wits, and agreeable mixtures of the Elements, they so comprehend those seminarie vertues to men vnknown, that those thinges which in the course of time, or by growing degrees Nature of it selfe can effect. They by their Art and skill in hastening the works of nature, can contriue and compas in a moment, as the Magitians of Pharao, who whereas nature not without some interpostion of time, and ordinarie causes of conception brings forth frogs, serpents, or any liuing thing else, they without all such distance of space, or circumscription of season euen in a thought assoon as their K. commanded, couered the land of Aegypt with this monstrous increase. Of the originall of vs spirits, the scripture most amplie maketh mention, namelie that Lucifer (before his fall) an Archangel, was a cleer bodie compact of the purest, and brightest of the aire; but after his fall, he was vailed with a grosser substance, and tooke a new forme of darke and thick ayre, which he still reteineth. Neither did he onlie fall, when he stroue with Michael, but drew a number of Aungels to his faction: who ioint partakers of his proud reuolt, were likewise partakers of his punishmente, and all thrust out of heauen togither by one iudgement: who euer since do nothing but wander about the Earth, and tempt and in force fraile men to enterprise all wickednesse that maie be, and commit most horrible and abhominable things against God. Maruell not that I discouer so much of our estate vnto thee: for the scripture hath more than I mention, as S. Peter when he saith that God spared not his Angels that sinned. And in another place where he saith, that they are bound with the chaines of darknes, and throwne headlong into hell: which is not meant of anie locall place in the earth, or vnder the waters: for as Austin affirmeth, we doo inhabite the Region vnder the moone, and haue the thick aire assigned vs as a prison, from whence we maie with small labour cast our nets where we list: yet are we not so at our disposition but that we are still commanded by Lucifer (although we are in number infinite) who retaining that pride wherewith he arrogantlie affected the maiestie of God, hath still his ministring Angels about him, whome he emploies in seuerall charges, to seduce and deceiue as him seemeth best: as those spirites which the Latines call Iouios and Antimeridianos, to speake out of Oracles, and make the people worship them as gods, when they are nothing but deluding Diuels that couet to have a false Deitie ascribed vnto them, and drawe men vnto their loue by wonders & prodigies, that else would hate them deadlie, if they knew their maleuolence and enuie. Such a monarchizing spirit it was, that said to Christ, If thou wilt fall downe and worship me, I wil giue thee al the kingdoms of the earth: and such a spirit it was that possest the Libian Sapho, and the Emperor Dioclesian, who thought it the blessedest thing that might be, to be called God. For the one being wearie of humane honour, and inspried with a supernaturall follie, taught little birds that were capable of speech, to pronounce distinctlie Magnus Deus Sapho, that is to saie A great God is Sapho: Which words when they had learned readilie to caroll, &, were perfect in their note, he let them flie at randon, that so dispersing themselues euerie where, they might induce the people to account of him as a God. The other was so arrogant, that he made his subiectes fall prostrate on their faces, and lifting vp their handes to him as to heauen, adore him as omnipotent.
The second kind of Deuils which he most imploieth, are those Northerne Marcij called the spirits of reuenge, & the authors of massacres, and seedsmen of mischiefe, for they haue commission to incense men to rapines, sacriledge, theft, murther, wrath, furie, and all manner of cruelties, and they commande certein of the Southern spirits (as slaues) to wait vpon them, as also great Arioch, that is tearmed the spirit of reuenge.
These know how to dissociate the loue of brethren, and to break wedlock bands with such violence, that they may not be vnited, and are predominant in manie other domisticall mutinies: of whom if thou list to heare more, read the 39. of Ecclesiasticus. The Prophet Esay maketh menteon of another Spirit sent by God to the Egyptians, to make them straie and wander out of the way, that is to say, the Spirit of liing, which they call Bolychym. The Spirits that entice men to gluttonie and lust are certaine watry spirits of the West, and certaine Southerne spirits as Nefrach & Kelen, which for the most part prosecute vnlawfull loues, and cherish all vnnaturall desires: they wander through lakes, fish ponds and fennes, and ouerwhelme ships, cast boates vpon ankers, and drowne men that are swimming: therefore are they counted the most pestilent, troublesome, and guilefull spirits that are: for by the helpe of Alrynach a Spirite of the West, they will raise stormes, cause earthquaks, whirlwinds, raine, haile or snow in the clerest daie that is: and if euer they appeare to anie man, they come in womens apparell. The spirits of the aire will mix themselues with thunder & lightenening, and so infect the Clime where they raise any tempest, that suddenlie great mortalitie shall ensue to the inhabitants from the infectious vapors which arise from their motions: of such as S. Iohn maketh mention in the 9. of the Apocalips: their patron is Mereris, whoe beareth chiefe rule about the middle time of the daie. The spirits of the fire haue their mansions vnder regions of the Moon, that whatsoeuer is committed to their charge, they maie there execute, as in their proper consistorie, from whense they cannot start. The spirites of the earth keepe for the most part in Forrests and woods, and doo hunters much noiance, & sometime in the broade fieldes where they lead trauellers out of the right waie, or fright men with deformed apparitions, or make them run mad through excessiue melancholie lik Aiax Telamonius, & so proue hurtfull to themselues, and dangerous to others: of this number the chiefe are Saniaab and Achymael spirits of the east, that haue no power to do anie great harme, by reason of the vnconstancie of their affections. The vnder-earth spirits, are such as lurke in dens & little cauerns of the earth, and hollow creuises of mountaines, that they maie diue into the bowels of the earth at their pleasure: these dig mettals, and watch treasures, which they continuallie transport from place to place, that none should haue vse of them: they raise winds that vomit flames, and shake the foundation of buildings, they dance in rounds in pleasant launds, and greene medowes, with noises of musicke and minstrelsie, & vanish awaie when anie comes neere them: they will take vpon them anie similitude but of a woman, and terrifie men in the likenesse of dead mens ghostes in the night time: and of this qualitie and condition the Necromancers hold Gaziel, Fegor, and Anarazel, Southern spirits to be. Besides, there are yet remaining certeine lieng spirits, (whoe, although all bee giuen to lie by nature) yet are they more prone to that vice, than the rest, being named Pythonists of whome Apollo comes to be called Pyteus: they haue a prince as well as other spirits, of whom mention is made in the 3. booke of kings, when he saith he will be a lieng spirit in the mouth of all Ahabs prophets: from which those spirits of iniquitie do little differ, which are called the vessels of wrath, that assist Belial (whom they interpret a spirit without yoke or controuler) in all damnable deuises and inuentions. Plato reports them to be such as first deuised cards and dice, and I am in the mind, that the Monke was of the same order, that found out the vse of Gunpouder, and the engins of war therto belonging. Those that write of these matters, call this Belial Chodar of the East, that hath all witches & coniurors spirits vnder his iurisdiction, & giues them leaue to helpe Iuglers in their tricks, & Simon Magus to doo miracles; alwaies prouided they bring a soule home to their Maister for his hire. Yet are not these all, for there are spirits called spies & tale carriers, obedient to Ascaroth, whom the Greeks call Daimona, and S. Iohn The accuser of the brethren: also tempters, whoe for their interrupting vs in al our good actions, are cald our euil Angels. Aboue all thinges they hate the light and reioyce in darknesse, disquieting men maliciouslie in the night and sometimes hurt them by pinching them or blasting them as they sleep but they are not so much to be dreaded as other spirits, bicause if a man speak to them, they flee awaie and will not abide. Such a spirit Plinius Secundus telleth of, that vsed to haunt a goodlie house in Athens that Athenadorus hired; and such another Suetonius describeth to haue long houered in Lamianus Garden wher Caligula lay buried, who for bicause he was onlie couered with a few clods, and vnreuerentlie thrown amongst the weeds, he meruelouslie disturbed the owners of the garden, & woulde not let them rest in their beds, till by his Sisters returned from banishment, he was taken vp, and intoombed solemnlie. Pausanias auoucheth (amongst other experiments) that a certain spirit called Zazilus doth feed vpon dead mens corses, that are not deeplie interred in the earth as they ought: which to confirme, there is a wonderfull accident set downe in the Danish history of Asuitus and Asmundus, who being two famous friends (well knowne in those parts) vowd one to another, that which of them two out liued the other, should be buried aliue with his friende that first died. In short space Asuitus fell sick and yeelded to nature, Asmundus compelled by the oath of his friendship, tooke none but his horsse and his dog with him, and transported the dead bodie into a vast caue vnder the earth, & there determined (hauing victualed himselfe for a long time) to finish his daies in darknesse, and neuer depart from him that he loued so derelie. Thus shut up and inclosed in the bowels of the earth, it hapened Eritus K. of Sweueland to passe that waie with his armie not full two months after, who comming to the toomb of Asuitus, & suspecting it a place where tresure was hidden, caused his Pioners with their spades and mattockes to dig it vp: where vpon was discouered the lothsome bodie of Asmundus, all to besmeared with dead mens filth, & his visage most vglie and fearefull; which imbrued with congeald blood, and eaten & torn like a raw vlcer, made him so gastlie to behold, that all the beholders were afrighted. He seeing himselfe restord to light, and so manie amazed men stand about him, resolued their vncertain perplexity in these terms. Why stand you stonisht at my vnusual deformities? when no liuing man conuerseth with the dead, but is thus disfigured. But other causes haue effected this change in mee: for I know not what audacious spirit sent by Gorgon from the deep, hath not onelie most rauenously deuoured my horse & my dog, but also hath laid his hungrie pawes vpon me, and tering downe my cheekes as you see, hath likewise rent awaie one of mine eares. Hense is it that my mangled shape seems so monstrous, and my humane image obscured with gore in this wise. Yet scaped not this fell Harpie from me vnreuenged: for as he assailde me, I raught his head from his shoulders, and sheathd my sword in his bodie. Haue spirits their visible bodies saide I, that may be toucht, wounded, or pierst? Beleeue me, I neuer heard that in my life before this. Why quoth he, although in their proper essence they are creatures incorporall, yet they can take on the inducements of anie liuing bodie what soeuer, & transform themselues into all kind of shapes, wherby they maie more easilie deceiue our shallow wits and senses. So testifies Basilius that they can put on a material forme when they list. Socrates affirmeth that his Dæmon did oftentimes talke with him, and that he saw him and felt him manie times. But Marcus Cherronesius (a wonderfull discouerer of Diuels) writeth, that those bodies which they assume, are distinguisht by no difference of sex, bicause they are simple, and the discernance of sex belongs to bodies compound: yet are they flexible, motiue, and apt for any configuration, but not all of them alike: for the spirits of the Fire and Aire haue this power aboue the rest. The spirits of the water haue slow bodies resembling birdes & women, of which kind the Naiades & Nereieds are much celebrated amongst Poets. Neuerthelesse, how euer they are restrained to their seuerall similitudes, it is certeine that all of them desire no forme or figure so muche, as the likenesse of a man, and doo thinke themselues in heauen, when they are infeoft in that hue: wherefore I know no other reason but this, that man is the neerest representation to God, insomuch as the scripture saith, He made man after his own likenesse and image: and they affecting by reason of their pride, to be as like God as they may, contend most seriouslie to shroud themselues vnder that habit. But I pray tell me this, whether are there (as Porphirius holdeth) good Spirits as well as euill. Naie certeinlie (quoth he) we are all euill, let Porphirius, Proclus, Apuleius, or the Platonists dispute to the contrarie as long as they will, which I will confirm to thy capacitie by the names that are euerie wher giuen vs in the Scripture, for the diuell which is the Summum genus to vs all, is called Diabolus quasi deorsum ruens, that is to say falling downeward, as he that aspiring too high, was throwne from the top of felicitie to the lowest pit of despaire: and sathan, that is to saie, an Aduersarie, who for the corruption of his malice, opposeth himselfe euer against God, whoe is the chiefest good. In Iob, Behemoth and Leviathan, and in the 9. of the Apocalips, Apolyon, that is to saie, a Subuerter: bicause the foundation of those vertues, which our high Maker hath planted in our soules; he vndermineth and subuerteth. A serpent for his pojsoning, a Lyon for his deuouring: a furnace, for that by his malice the Elect are tried, who are vessels of wrath and saluation. In Esay, a Syren, a Lamia, a Scrich-oule, an Estridge. In the Psalmes, and Adder, a Basiliske, a Dragon. And lastlie, in the Gospell, Mammon, Prince of this world, and the Gouernour of darknes: so that by the whole course of condemning names that are giuen vs, and no one instance of anie fauourable tytle bestowed vpon vs, I positiuelie set downe that all spirits are euill. Now, whereas the Diuines attribute vnto vs these good and euill spirits, the good to guide vs from euil, and the euil to draw vs from goodnesse, they are not called spirits but Angels, of which sort was Raphaell, the good Angell of Tobias, who exilde the euill spirit Asmodius into the desart of Aegypt, that he might be the more secure from his temptation. Since we haue entred thus far into the diuels commonwealth, I beseech you certifie me thus much, whether haue they power to hurt granted them from God, or from themselues; can they hurt as much as they wil. Not so quoth hee, for although that diuels be most mightie spirites, yet can they not hurt but permissiuelie, or by some speciall dispensation: as when a man is faln into the state of an out-law, the Law dispenseth with them that kill him, & the Prince excludes him from the protection of a subiect, so, when a man is a relaps from GOD and his Lawes, God withdrawes his prouidence from watching ouer him, and authoriseth the deuil as his instrument, to assault him and torment him, so that whatsoeuer he dooth, is Limitata potestate, as one saithe: insomuche as a haire cannot fall from our heades, without the will of our heauenlie Father. The Diuell could not deceiue Achabs prophets til he was licensed by God, nor exercise his tyranie ouer Iob till he had giuen him commission, nor enter into the heard of swine til Christ bad them goe. Therefore need you not feare the diuell any whit as long as you are in the fauor of God, who raineth him so straight, that except he let him loose he can doo nothing. This man like proportion which I now retaine, is but a thinge of suffrance granted vnto me to plague such men as hunt after strife, and are delighted with variance. It may be very well, but whether haue you that skill to foretell thinges to come, that is ascribed vnto you? We haue (quoth he) sometimes, not that we are priuie to the eternall counsell of god, but for that by the sense of our ayrie bodies we haue a more refined faculty of forseeing, than men possibly can haue, that are chained to such heauie earthlie moulder; or else for that by the incomparable pernicitie of those ayrie bodies, we not onely out-strip the swiftnes of men, beasts & birds, whereby we may be able to attain to the knowlege of thinges sooner, than those that by the dulnes of their earthlie sense come a great waie behind vs. Hervnto may we adioine our long experience in the course of things from the begining of the world, which men want and therfore cannot haue that deepe coniecture that we haue. Nor is our knowledge any more than coniecture: for prescience only belongeth to God, & that gesse that we haue, proceedeth from the compared disposition of heauenly and earthlie bodies, by whose long obserued temperature, we doo diuine manie times, as it happens, & therefore doo we take vpon vs to prophecy, that we may purchase estimation to our names, and bring men in admiration with that we doo, and so be counted for Gods. The myracles wee work, are partly contriued by illusion, and partly assisted by that supernatural skil we haue in the experience of nature aboue all other Creatures. But against these illusions of your subtilties & vain terrors you inflict, what is our cheefe refuge? I shall be accounted a foolishe Diuell anon, if I bewray the secretes of our kingdome, as I haue begun: yet speak I no more than learned Clarkes haue written, and asmuch as they haue set downe will I shew thee. Origin in his treatise against Celsus saith, there is nothing better for him that is vexed with spirites, then the naming of Iesu, the true God, for he auoucheth, he hath seene diuers driuen out of mens bodies by that means. Athanasius in his booke De varijs questionibus saith, The presentest remedie againste the inuasion of euill spirits, is the beginning of the 67. Psalme, Exurgat Deus, & dissipentur inimici eius. Cyprian counsels men to adiure spirites only by the name of the true God. Some hold that fire is a preseruatiue for this purpose, because when any spirit appeareth, the lights by little and little, go out as it were of their own accord, and the tapers are by degrees extinguisht. Others by inuocating vpon God, by the name of Vehiculum ignis superioris, and often rehearsing the Articles of our faith. A third sort are perswaded that the brandishing of swords is good for this purpose, because Homer faineth, that Vlisses sacrificing to his mother, wafted his sworde in the aire to chase the spirits from the blood of the sacrifice. And Sybylla conducting Aeneas to hell begins hir charmes in this sort.
Tuque inuande viam, vaginaque eripe ferrum.
Philostratus reporteth that he and his companions meeting that Diuell which Artistes entitle Apolonius as they came one night from banquetting, with such terms as he is curst in holy writ, they made him run awaie howling. Manie in this case extoll perfume of Calamentum pæonia, Menta palma Christi, and Appius. A number prefer the carying of red Corral about them, or of Arthemisia hypericon, Ruta verbena: and to this effect manie doo vse the iyngling of keyes, the sound of the harp, and the clashing of armor. Some of old time put great superstition in charcters, curiously engraued in their Pentagonon, but they are all vaine, & will doo no good, if they be otherwise vsed than as signes of couenant betweene the diuell and them. Nor doo I affirme al the rest to bee vnfallible prescriptions, though sometime they haue their vse: but that the onelie assured way to resist their attempts is prayer and faith, gainst which all the diuells in hell cannot preuaile. Inough gentle spirit I will importune thee no further, but commit this Supplication to thy care: which if thou deliuer accordinglie, thou shalt at thy returne haue more of my custome: for by that time I wil haue finished certain letters to diuers Orators & Poets, disperced in your dominions. That as occation shal serue, but nowe I must take leaue of you, for it is Terme time, and I haue some busines. A Gentleman (a frend of mine that I neuer saw before) staies for me, and is like to be vndoone if I come not in to beare witnesse on his side: wherefore Bazilez manus, til our next meeting.
Entle Reader tandem aliquando, I am at leasure to talke to thee. I dare say, thou hast cald me a hundred times dolt for this senseles discourse: it is no matter, thou dost but as I haue doone by a number in my dayes. For who can abide a scuruie pedling Poet to plucke a man by the sleeue at euerie third step in Paules Churchyard, & when he comes in to seruey his wares, theres nothing but purgations and vomits wrapt vppe in wast paper. It were verie good the dog whipper in Paules would haue a care of this in his vnsauory visitation euerie Saterday: for it is dangerous for suche of the Queenes liedge people, as shall take a view of them fasting.
Looke to it you Booksellers and Stationers, and let not your shops be infected with any such goose gyblets or stinking garbadge, as the Iygs of newsmongers, and especiallie such of you as frequent Westminster hall, let them be circumspect what dunghill papers they bring thither: for one bad pamphlet is enough to raise a damp that may poison a whole Tearme, or at the least a number of poore Clyents that haue no money to preuent ill aire by breaking their fasts ere they come thither. Not a base Inck-dropper or scuruy plodder at Nouerint, but nailes his asses eares on eurie post and comes off with long Circumquaque to the Gentleman Readers, yea the most excrementorie dishlichers of learning are growne so valiant in impudencie, that now they set vp their faces (like Turks) of gray paper to be spet at for siluer games in Finsburie fields. Whilst I am thus talking, me thinks I heare one say, What a fop is this he entitles his booke A Supplication to the Diuell, and doth nothing but raile on ideots, and tels a storie of the nature of Spirits. Haue patience good sir, and weele come to you by and by. Is it my Title you find fault with? Why, haue you not seen a Towne surnamed by the principall house in the towne, or a Nobleman deriue his Baronrie from a little village where he hath least land? So fareth it by me in christening of my Booke. But some will obiect, whereto tends this discourse of diuels, or how is it induced? Forsooth, if thou wilt needs know my reson, this it is. I bring Pierce Penilesse to question with the diuel, as a yoong nouice would talke with a great trauailer: who carrieng an Englishmans appetite to enquire of news, will be sure to make what vse of him he maie, and not leaue anie thing vnaskt, that he can resolue him of. If then the diuell be tedious in discoursing, impute it to Pierce Penilesse, that was importunate in demanding; or if I haue not made him so secret or subtill in his Art, as Diuels are woont, let that of Lactantius bee mine excuse lib. 2. chap. 16. de Origenis errore, where he saith, the diuels haue no power to lie to a just manne and if they adiure them by the maiestie of the high God, they will not onlie confesse themselues to be Diuels, but also tell their names as they are. Deusbone, what a vaine am I fallen into? what, an Epistle to the Readers in the end of thy booke? Out vppon thee for an arrent blocke, where learndst thou that wit? O sir, holde your peace: a fellow neuer comes to his answere before the offence be committed. Wherfore if I in the beginning of my Book should haue come off with a long Apologie to excuse my selfe, it were all one, as if a theefe going to steale a horse, should deuise by the waie as he went, what to speake when he came at the gallows. Here is a crosse waie, and I thinke it good heere to part. Farwell, farewell, good Parenthesis, and commende mee to Ladie Vanitie thy mistres. Now Pierce peniles if for a parting blow thou hast ere a tricke in thy budget more then ordinarie bee not daintie of it, for a good Patron will pay for all. I where is he? Promissis quilibet diues esse Potest. But cap and thankes is all our Courtiers payment: wherefore I would counsell my frends to be more considerate in their Dedications, and not cast away so many months labour on a clown that knowes not how to vse a Scholer: for what reason haue I to bestow any wit on him, that wil bestow none of his wealth vpon me. Alas, it is easie for a goodlie tall fellow that shineth in his silkes, to come and out face a poore simple Pedant in a thred bare cloake, and tell him his book is prety, but at this time he is not prouided for him: marrie about two or three daies hence if he come that waie, his Page shall say he is not within, or else he is so busie with my L. How-call-ye-him, and my L. What-call-ye-him, that he may not be spoken withall. These are the common courses of the world, which euerie man priuatlie murmurs at but none dares openlie vpbraid, bicause all Artists for the most part are base minded and like the Indians, that haue store of gold & pretious stones at command, yet are ignorant of their value, & therfore let the Spaniards, the Englishmen, and euerie one loade their ships without molestation. So they enioying and possessing the puritie of knowledge (a treasure farre richer than the Indian Mines) let euerie proude Thraso be partaker of their perfections, repaieng them no profit: and gylde himselfe with the titles they giue him, when he wil scarse returne them a good word for their labor: giue an Ape but a nut, & he will look your head for it; or a dog a bone, and hele wag his taile: but giue me one of my yoong Maisters a booke, and he will put of his hat & blush, and so go his waie: yes, now I remember me I lie, for I know him that had thanks for three yeares worke, and a gentleman that bestowed much cost in refining of musicke, and had scarse Fidlers wages for his labor. We want an Aretine here among vs, that might strip these golden asses out of their gaie trappings, and after he had ridden them to death with railing, leaue them on the dunghill for carion. But I will write to his ghost by my carrier, and I hope hele repaire his whip, and vse it against our English Peacockes, that painting themselues with church spoils, like mighty mens sepulchers, haue nothing but Atheisme, schisme, hypocrisie, & vainglory, like rotten bones lurking within them. O how my soule abhors these buckram giants, that hauing an outwarde face of honor set vppon them by flatterers and parasites, haue their inward thoughtes stuft with strawe and feathers, if they were narrowelie sifted. Far be it bright stars of Nobilitie, and glistring attendants on the true Diana, that this my speech shoulde be anie way iniurious to your glorious magnificence: for in you liue those sparks of Augustus liberalitie, that neuer sent anie awaie emptie: & Science seauenfold throne well nigh ruined by ryot and auarice, is mightilie supported by your plentifull larges, which makes Poets to sing such goodlie himnes of your praise, as no enuious posteritie may forget. But from generall fame, let me digres to my priuate experience, and with a toong vnworthy to name a name of such worthines, affectionatelie emblason to the eies that woonder, the matchlesse image of Honor, and magnificent rewarder of vertue, Ioues Eagle-borne Ganimed, thrice noble Amyntas. In whose high spirit, such a Deitie of wisdom appeereth, that if Homer were to write his Odissea new (where vnder the person of Vlysses he describeth a singular man of perfection, in whom all ornaments both of peace and warre are assembled in the height of their excelence) he need no other instance to augment his conceipt, than the rare carriage of his honorable minde. Manye writers and good wits, are giuen to commend their patrons and Benefactors, some for prowesse, some for policie, others for the glorie of their Ancestrie and exceeding bountie and liberalitie: but if my vnable pen should euer enterprise such a ccontinuate taske of praise, I woulde embowell a number of those wind puft bladders, and disfurnish their bald-pates of the periwigs Poets haue lent them, that so I might restore glorie to his right inheritance, and these stoln Titles to their true owners: which if it would so fall out, (as time maie worke all thinges) the aspiring nettles with their shadie toppes shal no longer ouer-dreep the best hearbs, or keep them from the smiling aspect of the Sunn, that liue & thriue by his comfortable beames, none but Desert should sit in Fames grace, none but Hector be remembred in the chronicles of Prowesse, none but thou most curteous Amyntas be the second misticall argument of the knight of the Red-crosse.
And heere (heauenlie Spencer) I am most highlie to accuse thee of forgetfulnes, that in that honourable catalogue of our English Heroes, which insueth the conclusion of thy famous Fairie Queene, thou wouldst let so speciall a piller of Nobilitie passe vnsaluted. The verie thought of his far deriued discent, & extraordinarie parts wherewith he astonieth the world, and drawes all harts to his loue, haue inspired thy forewearied Muse with new furie to proceede to the next triumphs of thy statelie Goddesse, but as I in fauour of so rare a scoller, suppose with this counsell he refraind his mention in this first part, that he might with full saile proceed to his due commendations in the second. Of this occasion long since I happened to frame a sonnet which being wholie intended to the reuerence of this remoumed Lord, (to whom I owe all the vtmoste powers of my loue and dutie) I meante heere for variety of stile to insert.
with idle eyes,
Accipe qui pura nouit amare fide.
And if my zeale and duty (though all to meane to please) may by any industrie, be reformed to your gratious liking, I submit the simplicitie of my indeuours to your seruice, which is, all my performance may profer, or my abilitie performe.
Præbeat Alcinoi poma benignus ager,
Officium pauper numerat studiumque fidemque.
And so I breake off this endlesse argument of speech abruptlie.