An Answer to a Scoffing and Lying Lybell, Put forth and privately dispersed under the Title of A Wonderful Account of the Cureing the Kings-Evil, by Madam Fanshaw the Duke of Monmouth's Sister.

—Soepius clim
Religio peperit scelerosa atque impia facta,
Suerit. l. 1.
An si quis atro dente me petiverit
Inultus ut flibo Puer?
Hor. Ep. 6.

IT is still, and has been of old, the cunning Tricks of Wicked and evil Men for Religion sake, to run into all manner of Wicked and impious actions, leaving no Stone unturned, that may any ways help to­wards the establishment of their Diana. But as it has been the actions of such, who only make Religion their stalking Horse, for their profit and advantage, which is their true Goddess, so it is most easie to find out whence the many late and most inveterate Libells; which have been spread abroad privately, proceed: even from such, who would make Godliness their gain, and care not what Idolatry is set up, so they may fill their Coffers: They care not whom they abuse and belye, nor whom they defame and Libel, so they may gain their point, or advantage their Interest; but let such know, that as the old pro­verb is, 'Tis ill medling with edge Tools, and dan­gerous to defame a person of Honour, who may at some time or other, in all likelihood, have the power of Revenge. All the refuge these fort of persons have, is the Blind under which they shelter themselves, appearing only Incognito, or in Masquerade, only to be known to their own party, and by such ridiculous Libells as these, to fortifie the imbicillity of a staggering Bro­ther, or to increase the malice of an inveterate Champion.

But however this most scandalous Libel, put out under the name of Madam Fanshaw, and at­tested by several persons of Honour, goes as yet unpunished, yet since as Solomon says, sometimes Answer a Fool according to his Folly, so we will give some reply to a Knave or Knaves, accord­ing to his or their malice: And for this end we will consider this Libel, with it adjuncts of time and persons, who wrote it, the substance of the Libel it self, and for what end it was spread a­broad.

As for the first, it is observable, that now more than ever, the Jesuitical and popish party, are again very busie and very malicious, having renewed their hopes, by reason of our sad De­stractions; a time very convenient to put forth their Venomn, and which they seldome miss to do upon very opportunity; a time wherein they believe their boldness for their cause may be shewed, and in which they may (after their u­sual manner) Libel any body with impunity: a time of Trouble and Destraction to the whole Nation, and of seeming Disgrace and displea­sure to that most noble person they endeavour to abuse: And lastly, a time most fit for their purpose, to turn all things, whether real or feigned into Ridicule, and to set up Folly and Lyes so like to Truth, that the Vulgar can scarce see the one from the other.

As to the persons in particular who Wrote this Libel, it were well they were known, that they might be branded, or left to the Indigna­tion of the people; but as they are shelter'd in the Croud, under the Vizard of Obscurity, they may pass unpunished for the present, till some private Judgement, usually the Reward of ma­lice, overtakes them: But as to the general, we may very confidently aver, that it is one of the Popish Faction, some Jesuit, or hot spur Dukist, for they are hardly to be seperate; for you that have read the Libel, may perceive, that tho Li­beller tells you, with some Regret, That Ma­dam Fanshaw is not a Papist, but Converted by her Husband to the Protestant Religion, which shews the Libeller or Libellers malice to her, for that reason, raising their malicious and Ri­diculous wonderful Narration, upon her name, tackt on with all the scoffs and jears imaginable.

As to the substance of the Libel it self, it is a most ridiculous story, with little Wit, and much Malice, invented of an Apple-Womans Son, Cured of the Kings Evil, by the stroak of Madam Fanshaws Hand, in opposition of that, not long since published, of his Grace the Duke of Monmouth, her Brother, doing something of that Nature. But as the story, by the penning, and the Ridicule and Buffoonery that Attends it, shews it self a meer Fable; so there is no need to say any thing further of it, but to pass on to the last and main point to be considered, the end of this Story which is most plain.

And as to this we may consider it Twofold: First, as to the Advancement of the Common Cause, the securing the Succession to the D. and the bring in of Popery into England, the main end, the other the means to that end. Se­condly, As to the abuse in particular, of His Grace the D. of Monmouth, because a Protestant, and an obstacle to the designs of the Libellers.

As to the first, it is most evident, That this Libel, with many others lately spread abroad, is for no other end than the Advancement of the Papistical Interest, and the promoting of the Horrid Plot, which seems by these their wicked indeavours, not as yet to have an end, or [Page]else they would not still go about with these Effronteries, to abuse a person so innocent, and so considerable in the Eyes of all good Men, and loyal Subjects, as the Duke of Monmouth. This is the Common Cause, the Ruine of the Nati­on, by the overthrow of our Religion, and set­ting up Popery in its Room, and as the onely means to do this, their Hopes now chiefly relye on the D. of Y. being a Papist, and his suceed­ing to the Crown; therefore, they make use of all ways imaginable, no matter how unlawful, how scandalous to good manners, nor how con­trary to Morality or Civility, nay, to all Law and Government, so it may advance this Interest, which they so sedulously endeavour to pro­mote, and by removing all Obstacles, and De­faming all persons, from the highest to the low­est, that stand in their way.

In the last place, as to the particular abuse to the Duke of Monmouth, the end is like wise plain enough, only because they judge him to be an Obstacle, and that no small one, to the D. succeeding to the Crown; For otherwise ma­lice it self could not object any thing to this Noble person, that might give the least occasion of a Libel against him. But as Thales said, being asked what was the most hurtful thing in the World, he answered Malice; for it hurts even the best things if it touches them: So I say, this Malicious and Invenomus Libel­ing, may do hurt to the clearest Innocency in the world, for there are many so Evil-natur'd and affected, that they greedily suck the poyson from such Venomous Weeds.

The Foundation on which this Libel is built, is the known printed Paper of the Dukes Cu­ring the King's-Evil, and lest that in the Vul­gars eyes should seem to give him any Title of claim to Legitimacy, and so to Succession to the Crown of his Father (whom God preserve to defeat all their hopes by a long Reign) they raised in opposition to that, this Story of his Sister, Curing the Evil in a Man, as well as he in a Maid; upon which, the Libeller makes ma­ny Joking Discants, scoffing at the Protestant Religion, and the Dukes Legitimacy. And also concludes his Story, That the Duke also shortly intended to shut himself up with the Lyons in the Tower, to prove himself of Royal Race; with such like abusive and Scurrilous Wit and Drollery. All which, as it might be justly answered with Laughter and Scorn, so I shall make but a short Reply.

Improbi Consilium in extremum incidit Malum.

They think by this means to do the Noble Duke a prejudice, but it may in the end fall up­on their own heads. It is very well known, that the curing of the Struma, or filthy running sores, called by us, the King's-Evil, from long custom derived to our King, from Edw. the Confessor, in curing this Evil Disease by stroaking; is no ways a mark of a Right and Legitimate Succes­sor, as the Libeller most sillily would intimate, thereby intimating that the Duke of Monmouth was so ambitious, as to look and endeavour for the Crown (a thing they fear because a Protest­ant) and this way to raise Jealousies in his Roy­al fathers breast, and awaken his anger and dis­pleasure against him, as presuming too much: This no doubt, the malice of the Libeller points at, and would thereby let the people see, that the Story of the D. of Monmouth's Curing the Evil, was made by the Protestant party, or by some of his Creatures, only to make him look'd on as a lawful Successor, and Legitimate, by rea­son of the curing the Evil, and this they would overthrow by this Rediculous story of their Li­bel. I am apt to believe, whoever he was that writ the Libel, had also some singer in the Black Box, which he cannot forbear to mention. But as I have said, 'twas a weak and most Redicu­lous thing in the Duke of Monmouth's Creatures to raise such a story of the Dukes Curing the Evil, to prove his Legitimacy lawful, and so heir to the Crown, for it is not Intail'd to the Heir, but to the Crown it self, and tho' those who were no right Heirs to the Crown, once in pos­session of the Crown, possessed the same Gift.

But what if this story of the Duke of Mon­mouth's Curing the Evil be true, is it so strange a thing, when we see it done by every Seventh Son, who at least pretend to it, and therefore if he did Cure it, or should again Cure it, that might better prove he was a Seventh Son, then Legitimate or Heir to the Crown. But we know that Physitians who give Natural causes to things that seem Supernatural to the Vulgar, do attribute the Cause more to the parties Ima­gination, than to the Virtue of the Touch, and how far the power of Imagination has wrought upon a person, hath been seen in far greater mi­racles than curing a running Sore; so that there is no marvel or wonder, if a Maid so strongly possest by the power of her Imagination, should grow well by the Touch of the Dukes hand, and might very well pass without this Libellers ma­licious and Defamitory story, in rediculing the Action, and scoffing at the person of this most Noble Peer.

But as the Libeller Concludes with a Wish, That he Lyon will Crown the Duke of Mon­mouth with his Imperial Paw, that way declaring the lawful Successor, by removing the worst King's-Evil out of the way; so I shall conclude, That I wish this braying Ass, Inveloped in a Lyon Skin, may according to the Fable in AE­sop, be found out and well beaten, for endea­vouring to affright and disturb others under his Lyonish Masquerade.

Asinus Asino pulcherriuius.

London, Printed for T. B. 1681.

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