Erasmus Redivivus.

WHEREIN Divers of the most Remarkable Occurrences OF THE Present Age, ARE Compendiously Represented In several Select Colloques.

Hic murus ahaeneus esto,
Nil Conscire sibi, nullâ pallescere culpa.
Horat. Epist. I.

London, Printed in the Year 1699. Price 6 d.

THE PREFACE TO THE READER.

IT has been so long a Custom a­mong the Knights Scriblers to im­ [...]ose their Trumpery upon the world [...]nder the shadow of a Preface, that [...] Erasmus should not be conforma­ [...]e, some of our Squeamish Cox­ [...]mbs would perhaps look a-wry up­on [Page]him, and repute him at least to be grown an old unmannerly surly fellow.

Well Sir, because he shan't incur your displeasure, you shall see he can be as Prefaceish as the best o [...] you; Indeed he wants a Person of Rank for a Patron, but barring tha [...] I suppose he'll appear to be as wel [...] fitted out as er'e an Aesop, Trip, Spy [...] or Tom Thumb of 'em all.

'Tis true his want of a Patron is a very great deficiency; I must needs say it appears very Noble and Magnifi­cent to see a swinging Piece of Qua­lity fixt in the front of some of ou [...] Modern Pamphlets. A Noble Man conveniently plac't with a Label in his Mouth, in such a Post, looks full a [...] great and Majestick as the Picture o [...] the Gallant London Prentice, in th [...] head of a ballade, and indeed seem to stand much in the same posture [Page]with his Arms extended ready to run 'em down the Throats, and tear out the heart of any Brute, that shall dare to growl at the block­head, that has so solemnly own'd himself his Eternally devoted, &c.

'Tis very hard truly that Erasmus should be so ill provided in his ex­tremity; however he's resolv'd to take a short turn among you, and considering his former Merit and Character, he cannot much suspect your Civility, In proportion to which you may expect to hear more of him in two or three days.

THE CONTENTS.

  • COL. I. Between Aesop and Erasmus; the main of their Conference Relates to the present State of England and Holland: Ae­sop rehearses two or three Fables to shew the Nature and Consequence of a standing ar­my; gives Erasmus some general hints of his late business and Conversation in England; and then takes his leave,
  • [...]OL. II. Mimick a Player, Scribler a Mer­cenary Poet, and Cant a Puritanical Cit, bandy about the present condition of the Stage, with Respect to the Conference be­tween Mr. I. C. and Mr. Con—and Mr. Van—&c. And then propose Articles for a general Peace and agreement.
  • [...]l. III. Motion an Antiquated Serjeant at Law, Snap an Amphibious Attorney, and Catchpole a Bayliff complain grievously for want of Practice, &c. Motion and Snap agree to turn Projectors, and make a short discovery of the D—'s Bank and Ma­ [...]agements.
  • [...]l. IIII. Scrible an Indigent Pamphle­ [...]eer, wrangles with Pyracy a Knavish Prin­ter, and Hawkwell a Rascally Publisher, for [...]landestinely Printing his Copy's; they [Page]discover one anothers tricks, Pyracy charges Scrible with Filtching and Transposeing, Scrible charges him with Insolent Robbery and Villany, &c.
  • Col. V. Industry and her Sister Art walk together towards St. James's Park; they make melancholy Reflections upon their want of Business; they encounter M. Cringe, a French Man, in their passage, who plainly discovers to 'em that his own Countrymen and the Dutch, are the grand occasion of the decay of the English Trade.
  • Col. VI. Sneak the Quaker, and Infallibility the Priest, debate the business about the Norfolk Conference; Turbulent the Pres­byterian Preacher, joins 'em; they declare separately their hatred against the Church of England, and agree upon an Expedient for her Subversion.
  • Col. VII. Orthodox and Moderation debate seriously the present State of the Church. Orthodox makes sharp Reflections upon the Author of Milton's Life, and the Quakers Conference: He urges several things as dan­gerous to the Church, and passionately presses a strict Observance of her Rites, &c.

Erasmus Redivivus.

COL. I. Between Aesop and Erasmus.

E.

HOW now, Aesop, why, where have you been, I wonder, these six or seven Months?

AE.

I have been in a Beggarly, Factious, Dis­solute, Stubborn, Thoughtless, Vngrateful World.

E.

Pray what part of the World is it you have been in, that deserves all these hard words?

AE.

In short, I have been in England, and particularly at London; and if you had been u­sed as scurvily as I have been, for all your high Morals and Pretences, I believe you'd have as many hard words as my self.

E.

Prethee how have they us'd thee? In­deed I think you do look something disorder­ed.

AE.

Why, they have rais'd the Mob upon me, and thrown me into most of the Houses of Office about Town.

E.

What, I warrant you have been writing some foolish Morals, or Satyrs against the Go­vernment.

AE

No, I writ nothing my self, but was forc't to set my Name to a few Fables from Tun­bridge and Amsterdam: But then indeed there was some other Indigent Scriblers, that Father'd so much of their dull ridiculous Stuff upon me, that at last I became obnoxious to every Fool.

E.

I confess that's a hard case, that a Man must stand like a Dial-Post in a Countrey Church Yard, for every little Cur to piss at, that trots by. But pray Aesop, what are the people a do­ing in England?

AE.

A doing! why, they'r undermining, be­traying, cheating, swearing, forswearing, damn­ing and confounding one another.

E.

Oh! forget the Mob, and the Houses of Office now, and don't be partial: England us'd to be reputed the Mistress of Christendom, both for Riches and Plenty, and the Garden of Reli­gion beside.

AE.

'Tis well if you find it so, for my part, I met with nothing there but deep Poverty and Hunger. Indeed for Religion I can't say, but 'tis multiply'd prodigiously; every one has almost got one of his own, or at least he has got a tole­ration to Invent one, or to choose which he [Page 3]best thinks will Square with his Designs.

E.

I'm sorry to hear you give this odd Ac­count of so brave a Countrey, Old England did not use to bear such a Character in my time: But you say you have been at Amsterdam; how stand matters there I wonder?

AE.

Never better, take my word for't; they have almost got all the Trade, Commodities and wealth of Europe! truely I think they have as much sence now; I'm sure, they have more cun­ning than some of their Neighbours.

E.

Well I'm rejoyc'd to hear my Countrey­men thrive so well; I knew 'em when they were Low enough, I'm sure; but you say, they're mighty Rich now.

AE.

Rich! they're doubless the Richest Peo­ple in Christendom; 'twou'd do a man's heart good to see how Brawny and Jocular they look; they have all they want or wish, but two small things more, and then they'd be satisfy'd.

E.

What are these two small things? Me­thinks a People that are so very Rich, should not long want two small things.

AE.

Only Flanders and the Sovereignty of the Narrow Seas; and as you say, considering they'r so very Rich, I can't see any great difficulty there is, why they should not have them too.

E.

Oh Aesop, if these are the two [...] things, I'm afraid my Countreymen must loose their longing; England, I can tell you that, won't so easily quit her pretensions to the Narrow Seas; she has these still bolonging to [Page 4]her, what ever Notion you may have of 'em; 'twould soon Lower their Topsails, if they were in the least sensible they had any such Inclination; and then for Flanders, Lewis Le grand is a Scurvy Neighbour; if he should once find 'em shouldering, he'd be very angry with 'em too; I can Remember the time since they were as affraid of a great Frost, as some other Countreys are of an Earthquake, or an Inundation.

AE.

Then you think that the King of France, has bounded 'em upon the Continent, and England upon the Maine, and so they are doom'd to Rot in their Native Quagmire.

E.

We'll e'n leave 'em, if you please, to be manag'd according to their Merits, with this short Character, that they'r a Restife Creature, if they get too much head; Burthensome and Im­pertinent, when they'r poor and distress't; and Haughty, Insolent and Dangerous when they are high and mighty. But you say, you have been at Tunbridge; what place is that I beseech you? I think I never heard of the Name.

AE.

Why then I find you're a perfect stran­ger to this side of the Water. Tunbridge is an Eminent Place, where Dukes, Lords, Knights, Squires, Citts, Ladys, Whores, Sharpers, &c. meet to drink the Waters.

E.

What kind of Waters are they, that can occasion such a Concourse as you speak of? Sure there must be some mighty Vertue in 'em.

AE.

They are Medicinal Waters, that Purge and Evacuate; but there are several other [Page 5]businesses done at the Wells beside purely drin­king the Waters.

E.

What other business can they do there?

AE.

There they Intreague and Whore, Dance, Game and Cabal, and forty other ways they have to squander away their time and their Estates.

E.

But Drinking the Waters is the Grand pretence, it seems; What are the Waters, Natu­ralor Artificial?

AE.

Most People allow 'em to be Natural, some almost miraculous, and truly if they be, England has been blest with the discovery of abundance of 'em here a late.

E.

I find then, you have more of these Mi­raculous Wells beside Tunbridge.

AE

Great Numbers, i. e. at Epsom, Barnet, Dullidge, Lambeth, Islington, and almost at every convenient place, both in the Town and Countrey.

E.

Well, but what are their Effects and Ver­tues after all?

AE.

In troth, in my Judgment, no more than what's common to all Water; drink great quantities of 'em, and they'll press their Passage through you, and make you S — or piss, and so will the Water out of any Spring, Brook, or Pump; They seem to me but to have the same effect, all Excressences and Great weights of wa­ter have, first to force, and then to wash and cleanse their Passage, as 'tis ordinarily in Gut­ters and Sinks; you shall see one of them that are so near damm'd up by Filth and Nastiness that there's hardly any passage, by an extraordinary [Page 6]supply of Water, at least sweet and clean; 'tis the same in the other respect, they powre down two or three Gallons of Water, and that runs swiftly through 'em, which washes their Nauseous Fulsome Channels, and makes 'em a little more wholesome and passable, which is all the Vertues I know in 'em.

E.

This is but a kind of a blunt Comparison Aesop, and yet perhaps it may be apt enough too, but supposing they had no other property beside wrencing the Channel as you express it; tho' I rather, in the general, believe they may derive their Vertues from some Minerals, &c. That's a considerable benefit; but what say the Doctors of 'em?

AE.

The Doctors, most of 'em magnify 'em to the Skyes, and attend at 'em constantly, nay, some will tell you, that they're of greater ad­vantage to them than any body else, for besides the extraordinary fees and gratuities they En­title 'em to, they are a very proper means to deliver 'em out of the reach of the Clamour of their Wives, and give 'em a full opportunity to feel the Pulses and Examine the secret distem­pers, &c. Of their Female Patients.

E.

I find you're very Sceptical and Censori­ous, but then I beseech you after all this Railing, What wind was it that drove you to these Wells, which you seem now so much to ridi­cule and dispise? I never heard that you was any Water-Drinker, except it was in the Stra­tagem you made use of some Hundred Years ago, in the discovery of the Figs.

AE.

Truly, I was Conjur'd from the other World, to meet a Friend there to Patronise a few Fables and Morals, with which he propos'd to Correct and Discipline a Degenerate Vitious Age.

E.

But then, what business had you at Am­sterdam, there's few of the Society of Water-Drinking Poets, they commonly drink Ele­ment of another Nature?

AE.

I must own indeed that was pure Curiosi­ty, I was so hourly grated with the Poverty and Calamities of the English, and the Wealth and Splendour of the Dutch, that at last, I re­solved to go see how Cases stood my self, that I might have some Intelligence to carry back with me to Elisium.

E.

Well, but it seems you Patroniz'd some Fables and Morals from thence too, what kind of Fables were all these I wonder, methinks this looks like ambo-dextering?

AE.

The Fables, &c. In the main were only the old ones new Vam't and Liquor'd; indeed, there was a little difference in their Contexture and Design, but that's no great fault in a scri­bler, especially at this time a-day.

E.

What was their difference? I always thought it Inconsistent with the Dignity and Character of an honest Man and a good Moralist, [...]nstedfastly to shuffle about and change sides; I hope, Aesop, you did not sink your self so low, to take up with the base and scandalous pro­fession of a Trimmer or a Time-server?

AE.

I don't know what you call trimming and changing of sides; I did that which most of the World at present do; took the Me­thod which I thought would best Propagate my Interest and design.

E.

But what then's become of Vertue, Ho­nour, and Conscience? What, are they quite dwindl'd away, and worn out in these Lat­ter Ages?

AE.

As to Vertue, Honour, and Conscience, I have been among the Doggrel-Mongers and Scriblers, and then you know that ei­ther of these Principles are as Inconsistent with the Poets, as they are with some States­men, and they have as Mischievous an In­fluence too; if they once suffer themselves to be Infected with a little down right Honesty, the Natural Consequence is Starving or Hang­ing.

E.

Pray, Aesop, to make short of the mat­ter, what was the design of your Fables from Tunbridge?

Ae.

As for Designs, I'll engage for my Tunbridge Friend, he had no Sinister ends in his Satyrs; there were some of 'em indeed spic'd with an antiquated Principle call'd Loy­alty, which if the Publishers Observations sig­nifies any thing made 'em go down a little the more gratefully with some sort of Peo­ple.

E.

Why then I find your Fables from Tunbridge were Loyal Fables, but then what must those be at Amsterdam.

Ae.

Those were Fables that were leaven' with the good old cause, common-wealth Fa­bles, and truly sold, and pleas'd the World full as well as the former.

E.

Indeed Aesop, I cannot be reconciled to your ambe-dextering as I told you, but now you have nam'd the good old cause, how does it thrive in England?

Ae.

'Tis the only cause that thrives among 'em, those that profess it are Sedulous and Vigilant, and Slip no Opportunity, that can by any manner of means Propagate or ad­vance it, and truly as the World beleives have made a considerable Progress.

E.

But then what are the Opposite Parties a doing, what are there no Eyes upon 'em in such a Conjuncture.

Ae.

No truly, I don't see any body very much affected, some People talk of a Compre­hension and Union between the Presbyterians [...]nd the Church of England, and that after that the toleration will be supprest, but whether there be any thing in't or not I can't tell, in the main (in my Opinion) they seem strangely in­sensible of any danger.

E.

Well, come, we won't Launch too far into Politicks neither, but can you let me have a short sight of your Fables?

Ae.

In troth, I have none of 'em by me at present, only two that were accidentally left out of the sheets from Amsterdam, and if you think those worth your reading, here they are [...]t your service.

The Fable of Jupiter and the Statue.

GReat Jove in his Gown
One Evening came down
To divert himself with a Walk,
And finding a-lone
A body of stone,
He thus urg'd the Statue to Talk.
Mr. Statue says he,
I'm a God you see,
Then let me know why 'tis you stand,
So shatter'd and torn,
And look so forlorn,
With but one poor lame Leg and no Hand.
Quoth the Statue, great Sir,
I'm so fixt I can't stir,
Tho' you Thunder Lighten and Rain;
I'm confin'd 'gainst my will,
Like a Fool to stand still,
And must neither look back nor complain.
I perceive ev'ry day,
How I moulder away,
My glory and strength are quite gone;
And what's worst of all,
I'm affraid I shall fall,
Lamented or Pittied by none.
This so netl'd the God
That say's he, thou dull Clod,
And lugg's out of his Pocket a Bolt:
For shame thou base Dumb-thing,
Rouse up and do something,
Then gives him a terrible Polt.
Take that for your Pains,
'Twill teach you more Brains,
And Remember that if you don't mend on't;
You'll find there's some odds,
Between Statues and Gods,
You'll find it, Mr. Statue, depend on't.

The Moral was this:

When warnings from Heaven
To a People are given,
And they still dispise and Reject 'em,
Sometimes the kind God
First uses his Rod,
And doth genttly Reprove and Correct 'em.
But when he finds still
They oppose his great will,
And will neither be warn'd nor advis'd,
Then he takes down his Thunder,
And soon brings them under,
To shew be will not be desp [...]s'd
E.

I don't see much of a Common-Wealth Principle in your first Fable; it appears to me to be quite otherwise; I suppose by the Sta­tue your Author Intends England, and seems to Intimate that She has done something heretofore that she's under Correction for now, and with-all advises her to repent, least worse Evils fall upon her; and if these are your Com­man-Wealth Principles, they are doubtless very honest good Principles; but let me tell you too, if they are, they are strangely alter'd for the better here a-late; but pray let me see your other Fable.

The Fable of the Helmet and the Wasps.

A Swarm of rude Wasps that subsist by thei [...] Plunder,
By chance were disturb'd from the Bank they l [...] under,
And being at a loss for another retreat,
In a Helmet thrown by, they fix a new Seat.
Quoth the Heads of the swarm, we have made good change,
By the Safe-Guard of this, we may happily range
We're safe here I'm sure, for who can foresee,
That a Helmet should harbour such Vermi [...] as we.
This Fable's too plain to want exposition,
And England I hope, so well knows her condition,
That she ne'r will be wheedl'd, or threatn'd to suffer
An Army of Infects to Bridle, or huff her.
E.

This last Fable I must confess I do not so well apprehend, do me the favour therefore to let me a little into the mystery of it.

AE.

I don't perceive any mystery at all in't, the Author it seems has no kindness for a stand­ing Army. I suppose his meaning is, that they are both Dangerous and Chargeable, and Incon­sistent with the Scituation and Interest of Eng­land.

E.

If that be his meaning, I'm of his mind too, but then Aesop, I think with Submission to your Author, 'tis something hard to turn off so many brave Men without any manner of Provi­sion or Reward; I hope, he would not have Good Old Hospitable England, at last, a Presi­dent of Ingratitude and Inhumanity.

AE.

I told you before, he was a Common-Wealth-Man, and so you must not expect much Gratitude and Humanity from him, but now I think on't, I have another Old Fable, which if you please, I'll tell you, and by that time I have done, my time will be expir'd.

The Fable of the Old Woman and the Cats.

THere was a certain Old Woman that had her House Infested with vast Multitudes of Rats, insomuch that she was forced to raise a strong Party of Cats, to guard and defend her against 'em; the Cats, as 'tis their Nature, soon freed her from her danger, and either kill'd or drove all the Vermine out of her Cottage; but then the Plunder of the Field ceasing, and the Woman being unable to support the Cats in their former plenty, they grew Ravenous and Mischeivous, gnaw'd her Bacon, her But­ter and her Cheese, and in the main, were more Troublesome and Vexatious to her than the Rats themselves, upon which she concludes, notwithstanding they had done her this signal kindness, to get quit of 'em as soon as she could, and so got a Neigh­bour to take 'em in a sack and carry 'em as soon as she could, and so got a Neigh­bour to take 'em in a sack and carry 'em into a Field, and turn 'em out to shift for themselves; the Cats, as ill luck would have it, made their way to a Barn Contiguous to their Old Mistress's, where the Farmer per­ceiving 'em vigilant to catch his Mice, and useful to defend his Corn from Vermine, &c. Gave 'em food and us'd 'em very kindly and tenderly; however, they soon discover their [Page 15]former Quarters, and in a few Nights af­terwards in a full Body march th ither, and being very well acquainted with all the passes and Avenues into the House, at a sink-hole got in, and devour'd every thing almost the Poor Woman had.

E.

This was very hard upon the Woman, I confess; but what followed, and what be­came of the Cats afterwards?

AE.

The Cats retir'd back again; and the Woman perceiving that it must Necessaryly be them that had done her all this Injury, sends immediately to the Farmer to request him to banish them his Barn, and punish 'em for their Unnatural Depredations, which it seems he positively refus'd with this short answer, that they were Serviceable and Useful to him; besides, they were come to him for re­fuge, and he was oblidg'd in Point of Ho­nour to Protect and use 'em kindly,

E.

To save you the Trouble of a Moral, by this Fable I suppose you'd Insinuate how Dangerous it is for England to raise a great Army; if she keeps 'em on foot, in a little time they grow burthen some and perhaps Mutinous, especially in a time of Peace; if she disbands 'em they consequently straggle from her and take up with some other Nati­on, and then doubtless they are the worst Enemies she has. 'Tis exactly the Poor Old Womans Case, and withal I think her Pre­sident is the best, e'n to turn 'em out however to shift for themselves; for though that be but a bad Remedy, yet considering every thing, [Page 16]in my Judgement 'tis much the better of the two.

AE.

I have nothing to do with any of your Political Matters, I have given you a shor Fable or two, which if you think worth your trouble 'tis well enough; yonder I per­ceive my Governour's a coming, and so I must leave you, you're for England it seems, where if you should happen to meet my Tunbridge acquaintance commend me heartily to him, and let him know I'll be sure to meet him there next Season.

E.

Before you go, Aesop, tell me what sort of Company you have in England, where a man may pass away a Month or two, with the most Satisfaction.

AE.

In troth that's a thing I cannot direct you in; if you fall in with the W—mites, they are so Restless Turbulent and Jealous, and withal so Intent upon their Interest and Advancement, that ther's little felicity to be expected amongst them; If you happen a­among the J—bites, there you'll be enter­tain'd with little but Ridiculous Notions, Forgeries, Romances, Chimerical hopes, and absurd Projects and Impossibilities; If you herd your self with the Common-Wealth Party you must endure to have your Ears gra­ted with the Serpentine Hissings of Treason, Faction and Rebellion. In short, as Cases stand, England's a very difficult place for a Person to form a good Conversation in; their Poets are Poor, Mercenary and Scandalous, their Priests and Teachers most of 'em Proud and [Page 17]Inhospitable, and the generality of the Rest either pursueing Vice, Folly or Interest.

E.

You give me an account enough to fright a stranger from coming near the Climate; I don't think 'tis possible the Country can be so much alter'd as you speak of.

AE,

Well, I can't stay to convince you further; I wish old England as well as you do, and all that love her, well, I heartily wish she may long enjoy her present Peace, that she may recover her Pristine Glory, Ri­ches and Plenty, and be as she once was, the Terrour and Ballance of Europe, Farewell.

Colloque the Second, between Scrible, Cant and Mimick.

M.

Scribble, I am glad to meet you, I have been with most of your Fraternity to Sum­mons 'em to a Randesvouze to Night, there's a Scurvy non Jurat has declar'd War against the play Jobber's, and is already sate down before the stage, and what's worse (In the Judgment of those that best understand the Nature of such Attacks,) carries on his Works with so much Judgment and Regularity, that it will be Impossible for 'em to hold out, if he should give 'em a general Assault.

S.

I always thought it would come to a War at last. and truly we have none to thank but our selves. There's hardly a Play writ, but if there be ever a Grand Piece of Villa­ny or Knavery to be represented, but a Priest forsooth, must be made the Rogue, or the [Page 18]Cheat that is to act it. Besides, the generality, of our Characters are so Prophane or Obscene or else so fulsome absurd and Inconsistent, that indeed I wonder the War did not Com­mence long ago.

M.

Why then Scrible, I find you revolt, what I suppose you are a going to be functionify'd, a cast Poet makes an admirable Country Parson.

Scr.

I think Mr. Mimick, you might have sav'd your Jest till a fitter opportunity, but pray, how is the place provided, and what kind of defence does it make, has their been no Sallies nor Ren­counters?

M.

Truly, the place is but very ill garrison'd; there have been several small Skirmishes, and two grand Sally's carry'd on by the Dutch and Irish; but they were both repuls'd with considerable loss, especially the Irish, whom most people believe will hardly ever be able to repai [...] [...]t

S.

But pray, with submission, how came the I­rish and Dutch in particular to be entrusted with the Command of those grand Sally's? I never heard of many of either of those Countrys that were very great Commanders, especially in a War of this Nature.

M.

How it hap'n'd I know not, but it seems, they had a mind to Signalize their Valour and Parts, and have been sufficiently swing'd for their Fool-hardiness, but here comes Cant with a Couple of Books in his hand, let's accost him and see how he relishes the matter. Mr. Cant, your Servant, you look very brisk, what two Books are those you hug so comfortably?

C.

Do you observe me to look so brisk then, Indeed Gentlemen, I was never better pleas'd in my life, these two Books are Mr. J.Cs, against that sink of Iniquity, that Mother of Whoredom, [Page 19]Fornication and Adultery, that abomination to the Godly, that aversion to all Sober and Reli­gious minded Protestants, the Stage; two Books, that in my Opinion will for ever deserve the Cha­racter, and esteem of all Pious and well dispos'd People.

Scr.

Not to Interrupt you, sure, you don't con­sider who this J. C. is, you magnify so much, why he's a Non-Jurat, and as some of your Party re­port a Rank Papist in his heart, and as I can as­sure you, an Inveterate hater of all Common-Wealth Principles and Designs.

C.

Why, truly, Mr. Scrible, that's a great thing which you Instance, and indeed I'm heartily sor­ry such worthy Books should have so sinful an Author, but Notwithstanding, the Books are ad­mirable Books, and yet when I consider they were writ by a Non-Jurat whom I abhor, next to the Whore of Babylon, I loose a great deal of my regard for 'em.

M.

Pox of your Whines and Cants: if you have nothing to object against them but that, they were writ by a Non-Jurat, I would not give a farthing for your Judgment nor Objection nei­ther; the Books are damnably writ with a great deal of Sence, Learning and Wit; and have so confounded and baffi'd the whole Stage, that 'tis become Obnoxious or Ridiculous to all the so­ber part of the Kingdom.

Cant.

With your leave Mr. Mimick that's no such Inconsiderable Objection; for let me tell you that if the Book's had been writ by any o­ther, but by one of these Contemptible non-Ju­ral's; you'd find they'd have had another sort of Effect.

M.

Scrible, what do we stay hearing this Old Sanctify'd Hypocrite, venting his dull Malice. [Page 20] Sir, can you propose any expedient to do the Stage Service in its extremity, and be reveng'd of this Paultry non-Jurat.

C.

I propose an expedient to do the Stage Service! I abhor the Notion: if t'were all in a Flame, and all the Actors in the middle on't, and one pail of Water from my hand would quench the Flames, preserve their lives and their Souls Eternally; I would not stir a foot to help 'em: do you Remember the Committee, Sir, the Committee?

M.

Do you Remember the Murther of the King; the Rye House Plot, your Counsel of Six, the Rebellion in the West, and a hundred other Factious and Traitorous Practices you have been Contriving and Fomenting ever since the Resto­ration.

S.

Well, come Mr. Mimick, we'll leave Mr. Cant to meditate these matters over by himself Mr. Cant good morrow, pray all due respects to your Wife and Daughter.

M.

Ay, there's the business on't then, you're ac­quainted with his Wife and Daughter, it seems, I was wondering how you and he came so familiar.

Scr.

I have had 'em at the Play-house, &c. But this is all Forreign to the matter, what must be done for the assistance of our Poor Languishing Stage?

M.

Nothing that I can imagine, unless it be to hang out a white Flag and submit to Dishon­ourable Terms, rather than suffer our selves to be taken by assault.

Scr.

Indeed, I believe that must be the way af­ter all, the longer we hold out, the more we are still expos'd to Danger and Reproach, but then the difficulty will be in drawing up the Articles.

M.

I have thought of some Heads, which if you approve of, we'll send 'em to the besieg'd to be drawn into a form against their surrender.

Scr.

Prethee, let's hear 'em, and if my assistance will be of any use, I shall be very ready.

Imp. I think, 'twill be necessary for the Stage to own and recant all its former Obscenity, Profaneness and Immorality, and to give security according to the best of their Judgment, never to be medling with the like for the future.

2dly, That upon no Account they presume, to In­termeddle with the Affairs of the Church of England, or Introduce any of her Priests, as the Representa­tives of Knaves, Fools, or Cheats.

3dly, That they rectify and examine their Cha­racters, and not suffer their Hero's to Bully and In­sult their Princes, to Rebel, Murder, Rape, or to commit any Base or Mercenary Action, Inconsistent with the strictest Rules of Vertue and Justice, and the Character of a brave Man and a true Hero.

4thly, That they examine their Plots in general, and where they find them Deficient, Superfluous, or Impertinent, either to raze 'em quite out or Correct 'em, and not impose an ungrateful din of confus'd stuff upon their auditors, or pretend to divert 'em with a few dull Joaks, or Merry Andrew Tricks, so much below the Dignity of the Theater Royal.

Lastly, That they refrain all Factions, Time-serv­ing and Mob-pleasing, and that they keep up intirely to their Grand Design, to Propagate and Commend Vertue, and to discover and discourage Vice.

Scr.

All these Articles are highly advantageous to the Enemy, and without doubt, such as he'll readily agree to, but then what must he Covenant for his part?

M.

He shall Immediately draw off his Forces, without committing any further Hostilities, and shall be oblig'd upon the performance of the Articles a­foresaid, to enter into a League offensive and defen­sive, to do the Stage Justice against all Whiggish In­novations and Antimonarchical Interruptions.

Scr.

Why, then, I'll go instantly and propose a Cessation of Arms, till we can get these Articles a­greed to, and Interchangeably seal'd and deliver'd.

Colloque the Third, between Motion, Snap and Catch-pole.

Sn.

MR. Motion, your humble Servant, what have you had a good Term? I vow to God, our People have nothing to do, unless it be now and then the filling up a Bail Bond, or Engrossing a Mort­gage Deed!

M.

A good Term! I Protest, I have had but two Motions, and one of 'em was but a Crown one nei­ther, these three Terms; if it was not for the help of Procuration and Continuation, and the advantages I make from some Orphans Money, I have in my ma­nagement, I could not live.

Sn.

Faith, 'tis a hard World, the People are ge­nerally grown so poor, and the Law is made so chargeable too, that I find there's no good to be done at it; I think, I must be forc't after all, to turn Stock-Jobber, and try what that will do.

M.

Stock-Jobbing's but a Scurvy, Scandalous Pro­fession neither, and yet if it were not for one cause that I have upon the Anvil, I'd joyn with you, or else turn Projector.

Sn.

Now you talk of a Projector, there's a great deal of good to be got that way, let's e'en joyn our forces and have a touch at it, we may manage that and our other business too.

M.

Ay, but then where's the Project, for my Part, I am the worst in the World at Inventions?

Sn.

If you'll Embark, let me alone for the Pro­ject, I know a way to make Money plentiful, and yet to advance the Interest, to improve Trade, restore [Page 23]Credit, and double the price of Land, and all this in [...] very inconsiderable time.

M.

That's a rare Project indeed, and if thou couldst do that, thou would'st be a brave Fellow, but art thou confident, thou canst make thy Propo­sition Answer?

Sn.

I have the same Moral assurance which all Pro­ [...]ectors have, but that is not the business, [...]f it does not Answer the Grand End 'tis not so much, provided we can draw Money by't into our own Pockets.

M.

But then the World will look upon us for Knaves and Cheats, and we should render our selves obnoxious to all Honest Men, but Prethee, how dost propose to raise the Money and Great, &c. Thou speaks of,

Sn.

If you start Niceties, or boggle at the Re­putation of a Knave or a Cheat, you're very unfit for a Projector; as for the Project I intend, 'tis this; to propose a Mysterious Prank, first get a Patent for't, then have it enrol'd, Cajolle some great Persons into an opinion of it, and get leave to use their Names, pre­tend Mountainous Advantages, take a great House for the Office, and hang a Label at the door, &c.

M.

But all this can't be done without a vast charge, what must be done in that Respect?

S.

Never trouble your self about that, In the first place we must sell shares and Abundance of Places; for which we must have the Money down, &c.

M.

But then supposeing our Project should Miscarry, how must we do then? The Persons that have given us Money for Shares and Places, will bring their Actions.

S.

To prevent that we must make our Agreements, that their Salleries and Advantages shall arise out of the Profits of the Office, so that if the Office should fail, there would be no cause of Action. I know those that have got ten thousand pound by such a Project, within these two or three Years, and yet 'tis like to fail too.

M.

That's hard tho', to draw in Poor Men and trick 'em out of their Money, and what's worse engage 'em to a needless attendance, and after all to shuffle [Page 24] [...]em off without any manner of Compensation.

S.

If you're for Compensation and Cases of Con­science, I have done with you: Yonder I see Catchpole, I'll go see what he says to the World; how now Catchpole, who are you in Mourning for?

C.

For an honest Brother, that fell a Sacrifice to the cause two or three days ago.

S.

How dost mean a Sacrifice, what, I warrant he ron himself upon some foolish attempt, and so was knock't o'the head for his pains.

C.

Truly he dy'd hard and fair in the Execution of his Office, and his Wife like a good Woman, buryed him as decently, laid him in the vault in St. Andrews Church, among the Burgers of the Pa­rish, and had a good Sermon for him beside.

S.

That was great to lay him in the vault, but who Preacht the Sermon?

C.

Truly I did not know the man, but every Body said he talkt very well.

S.

Preacht well; how did he Preach?

C.

Why, sometimes he talkt very loud, and then very gently and soft again, and sometimes very Familiarly, the chief heads were about Sin and Mortality, and then when he came to the business about the man, he said as he was stout, he was merciful, and truly talkt over the Duty of a Baily, as if he had understood it as well as the best of us.

S.

Loud, soft and Familiar; that's but a sort of antiquated way of Preaching.

C.

I don't trouble my head about forms of Preaching, my thinks he did as 'tis common in o­ther cases, talk well for his Fee, and indeed I believe said as much, as the Nature of the case would bear.

S.

What was our deceast Brother, a man of Repu­tion?

C.

In short he was my Friend, and a Dead Bai­ly, and therefore I'll neither say good nor ill of him, and so farewell.

COL. IV. Between Scrible, Piracy, and Hawkwell.

Piracy.

FRiend Scrible, good morrow! but why so sower and thoughtful this morning?

Scrible.

Sowr and thoughtful! t'would make you sowr and thoughtful to be in my condition.

Pir.

Why, pray Mr. Scrible, what's the mat­ter, what evil Planet governs now?

Scr.

Ten thousand evil Planets Sir, there's none but evil Planets rule here, and in all the rest of the Regions I believe.

Pir.

I find you'r very angry and disorder'd, but come I'll give you a whet this morning, per­haps that may soften you a little.

Scr.

Don't tell me of your whets, my Stomack's sharp enough already, if you will give me any thing let it be something for Breakfast; if you'll treat me with a peice of hot Tripe and a Pot or two of Ale, I'm for you.

Pir.

Faith a good motion Mr. Hawkwell, what say you? I think to be near the Fountain-head we must e'en adjourn to Field-lane, and there we may have it piping hot out of the Kettle.

Hawkwell.

With all my Heart, I shall be al­ways ready to oblige Mr. Scrible in any thing I'm able.

Scr.

You're two very honest Gentlemen, and [Page 26]indeed I must needs say you have both done me singular favours in a great many particulars; but lets first have the Tripe, and then you shall know a little more of my mind.

Pir.

Well, Mr. Scrible, if you and Mr. Hawkwell will step before to the Bricklayers-Arms, and or­der the Woman to get Six penny-worth of the best, I'll be with you immediately.

Hawk.

We are all spoil'd; there's no Tripe to be had till the Afternoon, but Mr. Scrible has or­dered the Landlady to get a couple of Cow-heels, and fry 'em with a good quantity of Onions, which I believe will do as well.

Scr.

'Tis the best Victuals in the Universe, but only this plaguy Woman is so long in getting 'em ready.

Pir.

She's just coming, but pray in the intrim, let's know Mr. Scrible what it is that has disor­der'd you? truly I am much affected to find you so much out of sorts.

Scr.

Gentlemen, I am fit for nothing till I have fill'd my Belly, and when that's done, if you'll be a little patient, I have something of mo­ment to communicate to you, besides, here comes the Breakfast. —

Hawk.

Well Mr. Scrible now we have break­fasted, pray oblige us with the reason of your un­easiness.

Scr.

I find you will have it, and I believe 'tis your guilt that urges you to press me so hard; in short you are the 2 Rascals, or some of your gang, that have been the occasion of my disturbance.

Hawk.

Rascals! a scurvy term Mr. Scrible, but how have we been the cause of your disturbance?

Scr.

Why, you for your part Mr. Hawkwell, like a Dog as you are, make it your business to hunt and listen about Town, and to observe every little Paper that comes out, and if you find it pleases the Mob and is like to sell, then you carry it to your Friend Piracy, and he crowds four or five Sheets into one and Prints it, and sends it abroad at a Penny, or rather then fail at a Half-penny a­piece, though before 'twas sold at Six pence, or a Groat at least, and so you Cheat, or rather Rob, both the Author and the Bookseller, and will at last occasion an embargo upon the Press, and then you and your whole Fraternity may first starve, and then be damn'd together.

Pir.

Mr. Scrible, You're so passionate that there's no speaking to you: supposing all this, I can't see how the Author can be a sufferer; he sells his Copy to the Bookseller, so that if the Book be privately Printed, the damage falls upon him.

Scr.

A very hansome come off indeed, why then you think 'tis neither Sin nor Knavery to cheat the Bookseller, you think I suppose that he makes up his Markets upon the Author, and so you may Rob him by way of Reprizal.

Pir.

Truly, with respect to the Booksellers, I cannot say but there may be some small Injustice, but for your part Mr. Scribble, you have no Injury done you at all.

Scr.

With your leave, Mr. Compendious, I can demonstrate that the Author's the only Person that's injur'd.

Pir.

How can that be Mr. Filch? for since you're so good at hard Names and Demonstrati­ons, I believe it will be easy to prove that most [Page 28]of your Tribe are as compendious Thieves and Robbers, as any Printers or Hawkers about Town.

Scr.

Sir, my Guts are at Peace, and so would I too; and therefore give good Words and avoid Comparisons, or 'tis not your Cow-heel Treat, &c. shall save your Bacon.

Hawk.

Gentlemen, here shall be no quarrelling, if you will debate the matter with Moderation well and good, if not, Mr. Piracy, you and I'll be gone, and leave him to rave by himself.

Scr.

Mr. Hawkwell, I'm not so much for fight­ing as you imagine, only Mr. Piracy is pleas'd to throw his Reflections upon Authors, and withal would have me believe 'tis no Injury to us to have our Books printed upon us.

Pir.

I tell you again, that if you sell your Co­pies to the Booksellers, you can have no Injury, and then for your thieving 'tis too plain for con­tradiction: pray what do you think of that wor­thy Brother that compos'd the Trip to Holland? do ye think he did not make a very large Trip into Felton's Resolves? And for the Spark that writ the first Trip, with his leave, he made seve­ral Trips into places where he had no Business. The best of you all do but steal and pilfer from one another, tho some of you have a little better Faculty in transprosing than the rest, and so per­haps may pass undiscover'd.

Scr.

Piracy, I tell thee thou art a Scoundrel; I cannot bear to hear the Dignity of Authors tra­duc'd at this rate: what, you won't allow us the privilege of a little modest Quotations?

Pir.

Very modest Quotations indeed, to steal whole Pages, nay sometimes whole Books, and [Page 29]crowd in a few of your new Words, and some of your own Nonsence, and then impudently sell it to the Bookseller as if 'twas a Brat of your own begetting.

Scr.

And to make 'em amends you rob 'em a­gain. What if we do make bold with a Page or two now and then, I hope that's no Argument for you to steal whole Volumns: In short, you're a Company of Mercenary Varlets, and so I'll trouble my Head no further with you.

Hawk.

Come then Mr. Scrible, we'll call a new Cause; Have you any thing new? if you have, Mr. Piracy and I'll deal with you for it, for ready Money.

Pir.

Faith, as Hawkwell says, let's be Friends, we're all of a-piece, and if you have any new thing we'll give you as much for't as the best Bookseller of 'em all.

Scr.

Supposing you would; I don't see where's the necessity for your buying Copies, you have them all for nothing I think. Pray where did you buy the Copies of your Aesops, the Dragon and Grashopper, the History of the Standing Army, Elegy on the Death of Trade, Oliver's and Stephen's Ser­mons, and twenty other little things you have printed? If you had common Humanity you'd be asham'd, nay be starv'd before you'd be guilty of such insolent Villanny; robbing upon the High­way, House-breaking and picking of Pockets are but modest Theevries in comparison to your im­pudent Piracy. Sell you my Copies! I'll use 'em first as Merry Andrew said of his Tallys and Che­quer-Bills, light Fires and single Pigs with 'em.

Pir.

I wish I had known your mind an hour or two sooner, the Devil should have stufl'd you with Ale and Cow-heel for me.

Hawk.

This is but the Copy of Mr. Scrible's Countenance; but if he'll be rul'd and take ad­vice, we can put him in a way how he shall live better than any of his Brotherhood.

Scr.

I defy your Advice and Assistance, I'm confident there's nothing but deep and deliberate Knavery can proceed from such intolerable Wretches; but you are not worth more of my Trouble, and so I'll leave you (if the Law has not provided a Punishment sutable to you) to the correction of the Mob, and the guilt of your own Consciences.

COL. V. Between Art, Industry and Cringe.

Industry.

SIster Art, Whither are you so so­lemnly bound this Evening, and why so thoughtful and contemplative?

Art.

Why truly Sister, I was going to take a solitary walk in St. James's Park, I have nothing to do, and so was thinking to take a melancholy turn or two upon the Mall.

In.

That's my condition too, and if I thought I should not be burthensome I'd bear you company.

Art.

A Sister and a Friend can never be un­grateful conversation nor burthensome, and in­deed [Page 31]I'm rejoyc'd we are met so luckily that we may have an opportunity to condole and advise with each other; pray Sister direct me if you [...]an what we must do for a subsistance in this hard [...]ncharitable Age?

In.

I was just going to put the same Question to you, but yonder comes Cringe, let's call him to us, and see what he says to the Case. Mr. Cringe, if your occasions are not urgent, a word with you.

Cr.

Madam me have no occations at all, Begar me have noting to do, no Money, no Credit, my Wife bawl, my Shildren cry for Bread, my Land­ [...]ord dun for Rent, my Goods all pawn'd; and Begar me go make hang upon my self.

Art.

This Wretch Sister is in a worse conditi­on than either of us: Mr. Cringe how came all these misfortunes to fall upon you together?

Cr.

All des misfortune bin but one misfortune, me have no Money, Begar, dat bin all my misfor­tune.

In.

But why should you be so turbulent and outragious? you see the English bear their wants with the utmost calmness and moderation.

Cr.

For what you tell me of de English, Begar, de English have no Head, no Thought, no Soul, no Brains; England been ou very good Nation, full of ou very foolish, ou very poor, and, Begar, ou very cheating People.

Art.

But why should you give old England all [...]hese hard Names? she has been very kind to your Countrey-men the French Protestants.

Cr.

De French Protestant! very good, but me be no French Protestant, me bin ou French Pa­pish, Naturalize in de Reign of King Jaque, and [Page 32]Begar, me have no good luck never since: for what you call de French Protestant, dey be de French Scoundrell, dey be in de general de French Vagabond, de Rubbidg, and de Excrement of de whole Kingdom.

In.

Come don't be so severe upon your Coun­try-men Mr. Cringe, they're a very sedulous In­dustrious People, and live very well.

Cr.

For what you call live very well? Dey live in de Garret, in de Cellar, dey eat de Sheeps Head, and the Root, dey starve all de Week to live well, and wear de fine Clothes upon de Sonday.

Art.

Well, they are to be commended for that however: but Multitudes of 'em are got into great Shops, have large Stocks, good Trades, get Money, and live much better than the English.

Cr.

Begar Madam, you make me laugh, who bin de Fool den? But Madam, me will tell you, dat bin de Folly of de English, dey must have de French Taylour, de French Cooke, and de French Master; dey must have the French Glove, and de French Shoe: Begar, must have de French all but the French Policy.

In.

Truly what Mr. Cringe says in that Parti­cular is a great Truth, the English are strangely bigotted to 'em, and tho we infinitely exceed 'em in every Vocation, and our Commodities are much preferrable to theirs, yet unless they have a French Stamp upon 'em, they'll hardly pass Muster with a great many of our English Gentry.

Art.

I must confess I have often thought upon what you say with a great deal of just Concern [Page 33]and Astonishment; and withal I am very confi­dent that that was one of the fatal Causes that brought the grey Hairs of our good old Mother Trade with Sorrow to her Grave, and is the [...]hief Instrument of our present Misfortunes.

Cr.

Dat bin very true Madam, dey live hard, dey under-sell de English, dey wheedle, fawn, [...]atter, and begar dey lie, dey spoile de Trade, [...]nd will at last be de Destruction of de glorious English Nation.

In.

But Mr. Cringe, you han't told us the cause of your misfortunes yet.

Cr.

Me told you me bin one French Papish, me [...]rust, trust, trust de English Jacobite, dey pay me with noting but News and Romance, dey make me break and now I may be starve.

Art.

Now you talk of King James, what do [...]our Friends the Jacobites say of the matter since [...]he Peace?

Cr.

For what you ask me dat, me know no­ [...]ing, me believe noting, me meddle with noting, [...]nd begar me have noting.

In.

What have you got in your Bag Mr. Cringe?

Cr.

Dis bin Mourning for Minheer Van Beltch­ [...]nd-Fart, for de Death of de English Trade.

In.

What then, does Minheer love the English Trade so well, to go into Mourning for her Death?

Cr.

Begar he love her very well over de left [...]houlder, but me say more of dat another time.

Art.

I think Sister it will be too late to Night [...]or the Park, and so if you please we'll defer our [...]alk till another time, our Kinswoman Credit I [...]ear is in a very languishing condition, and there­fore [Page 34]we'll make her a Visit, where we may spe [...]d the remainder of the Evening in the mutual Co [...] ­dolement of each other.

COL. VI. Between Sneak, Turbulent and Infallibility.

Sneak.

FRiend Infallibility, I am heartily re­joyc'd to see thee, and I bring thee the Thanks of our whole Party for thy late Friendship and Assistance in our Norfolk Ren­counter.

Infallibility.

Mr. Sneak, I thank you and your Party for all Favours, but pray what says the World of that Matter?

Sn.

Thou know'st friend, the World is a common Lyar, there's no great matter of dependance up­on any thing the World says; but I can tell thee what, the Quakers have got more Reputation by thy Letters, and Advice in the management of that Conference, than in any thing they ever undertook in that nature before.

In.

I am glad to hear it, and if they would but observe two things, they'd find their Num­ber and their Interest increase daily. First, to be sure to keep their Friends behind the Curtain. And secondly, to evade all manner of Methods and Scholastick Rules in their Conferences, if they [Page 35]do the first, they betray both their Cause and their Friends; if the latter, they'll most certainly be baffled and confounded.

Sn.

Friend, I think these are two needless Cautions; the first is inconsistent with their Credit and Policy, and the last with their very Nature.

In.

If you have any thing of Moment further, be brief; for here will be Turbulent the Presbyte­rian presently, and then we must call a new Cause.

Sn.

All that I have further at present, is to ask your advice, whether it will be convenient to send a new Challenge for another Conference; some of our Brethren seem very urgent for it.

In.

By all means, if you can urge your Adversa­ries to accept it; if you get no advantage, you can lose none at worst, it will entitle you to a considerable deal of Reputation, to be thought opposites for so potent an Enemy as the Church of England; you have Rules before you, i.e. to de­port your selves with Calmness and Moderation, to cajole the People, wrangle when you'r pinch't, and to evade close Arguings; and for answers to their Letters, &c. you may depend upon your Friends.

Sn.

Our Party must needs own and esteem your Friendship, and upon occasion you may be confident you'll find 'em grateful.

In.

Gratitude's a God-like principle, but here's Mr. Turbulent. Mr. Turbulent, your humble Servant.

Tur.

Gentlemen both, your Servant, Mr. Sneak I'm glad to find you in such good Company.

Sn.

Why, truly Friend I have a great value for the Conversation of Mr. Infallibility.

In.

And Gentlemen, I think my self very hap­py in the Society of two such worthy Friends; but pray Mr. Turbulent how grow the Seeds of Discord, is there like to be a good Crop this Season?

Tur.

In troth I think pretty well, the Anabaptist, Independent your People. Mr. Sneak, Ours and yours two Mr. Infallibility, are industriously pecking at the English Church.

In.

And what I like best of all, they're peck­ing one at another, the Jurat against the Non-Jurat, and the high-flown against the low-flown. Indeed I must needs b [...] of the Opinion of one of their own scurvy Writers, i. e. the Author of the Decay of Christian Piety, that their Church is a vivacious Animal, and can never die with­out killing her self.

Tur.

If she dies any how 'tis no matter which way: but what are the chief matters in dispute between the Jurats and the Non-Jurats?

In.

Why, several very great things, but the two chief are the Legality of their Deprivations, and the manner and cause of their separation from each other.

Tur.

What then, have they broke their Unity and made a Separation? Why then one of the Parties must be guilty of a Schism, for 'tis im­possible they should be both in the right?

In.

Truely that's St. Cyprian's Notion of it, Schism says he, consists in the breaking or tearing the Unity, and dividing that which should be kept together, Cyp. de unit. Eccl. p. 105. and [Page 37]119. id. Ep. 44. p. 86. and St. Chrysostome is of the same Opinion in H. 3. ad Cor.

Sn.

I hope Mr. Infallibility, your People won't fail to make the most of this advantage.

In.

No, no, we have it set down in the Book of Remembrance, and shall be sure to make use of it upon occasion.

Tur.

Then I find Mr. Sneak's one of us, I'm glad to see our Party grow so fast, sure we shall have our ends at last upon this paultry Church of England.

In.

Yes, yes, he's effectually one of us, and since we're so happily met, lets think what each of us can do in his respective Station to carry on the business: Mr. Sneak, what can you do in the first place?

Sn.

First, I can advise the People against paying their Tithes, and give 'em pretended reasons for't, and that will be a means to set the Mini­sters and their Parishioners together by the ears. I can traduce and vilify 'em between jest and ear­nest, and fix my Scandals upon 'em, with so much seeming Friendship and Charity, that the World must at last be inclin'd to believe 'em true. I can collect a Catalogue of all the worst Men in their Church, and have 'em ready at my Fingers ends, to trump up upon every occasion to their disad­vantage, and for a need I can make some Ad­ditions too. I can cunningly insinuate their Pride and Self-Interest: I can reproach their Bishops, revile their Constitution, and defame their whole Order, and do 'em all with such singular Hypocrisy, that few shall suspect, ei­ther my Hatred or Treachery. Upon occasion I [Page 38]can give the Spirit utterance and declaim aloud, and publickly against 'em: in a word, I can be ei­ther a Fiend or a Saint, as it best serves for the Destruction, Scandal or Disadvantage of the Church of England.

In.

Mr. Sneak, truly I see you can do very well, pray Mr. Turbulent what can you do?

Tur.

Why, I can do all that Mr. Sneak has men­tion'd with some Additions of my own. I can perswade the People that the Ceremonies of the Church of England tend directly to Popery; that their bowing to the Altar is a sort of Idolatry; that the sign of the Cross is the true Budg of An­tichrist; that their Articles are inconsistent and impracticable; that their Canons are neither per­tinent nor obligatory; that there Reforma­tion was an innovation and unwarrantable; that their Rubrick, and Common-prayer are an im­position and unaccountable; and that the whole Church with all its Appendages ought to be new modell'd, rectifi'd or abolish'd.

In.

This is very well too, now I'll tell you what I can do, I can do all what you both have instanc'd, with several Amendments, i. e. I can herd my self with every Party, whine with the Quaker, cant with the Presbyterians, and prate and yelp with the Annabaptist or Independent; I can ca­jole and incense the Jurat, and aggravate and imbitter the Non-Jurat, and set 'em to haggling one another with poynted Satyrs, and sharp and bitter Reflections: I can put on any shape or disguise, commit any manner of Wickedness, even Murder or Massacre, for the destruction of this intolerable Church of England.

COL. VII. Between Orthodox and Moderation.

Moderation.

MR. Orthodox, I am sorry to see you loolt with so much concern and discomposure in your Face; pray what ungrateful accident have you been encounter'd with to day?

Orth.

I have been encounter'd with that which should concern you and all honest Men: a Scurvy-Book lately pub­lish'd, i. e. Milton's Life, wherein the impudent Author hath made sawcy Reflections upon the Common-Prayer, and what's more, insolently blasphem'd the Memory of our Roy­al Martyr.

Mod.

That's a bold stroke indeed; but sure the Gover­nours of the Church will take care to have the Book supprest, and the Author punish'd.

Orth.

I hope they will; for if such high Offences should be pass'd over without a severe Reprehension, the whole Chris­tian World would be apt to condemn and censure England for being the Patroness of such a notorious Imposture.

Mod.

I must own the thing is of dangerous consequence; and yet as Cases stand now we must not run Matters to Ex­tremity. Well! but have you seen the substance of the Norfolk Conference?

Orth.

I! there's another thing too; yes, I have seen i [...], and an astonish'd that so many learned Men should sink them­selves so low to engage themselves in a Conference, with a few stubborn, surly, illiterate Quakers; and what's worse, suffer one of their Churches to be the place of Rendezvouz.

Mod.

You hear that the Quakers sent 'em a Challenge, and that they had leave to dispute with 'em, and for conveniency-sake to make use of one of their Churches.

Orth.

As for their Challenge, in my Judgment they ought to have rejected it with the same Scorn and Contempt as a No­bleman should do one from his Groom or his Foor-man; [Page 40]and then for making use of the Church (which it seems was an Arcifice of theirs too) all the considering part of the Kingdom seem to be surprized at it. The Church, if I mis­take, not is a place consecrated to divine Worship, and set a­part for the solemn Duties of Religion, and nothing else; but then to open the Doors to a Mob, and let in a Herd of viprous Creatures to defend and justify their blasphemous Tenets, seems to me in the literal Sense, the changing the House of God into a Den of Thieves.

Mod.

I will not for my part pretend to justify the thing, tho without question our Brethren proceeded with the greatest Caution and Regularity; I declare I'm for conde­scension, we have too many sad Instances of the danger of Extreams, and indeed we have [...]eason enough to suspect that if we should push things on with the same Rigour as we did formerly, we should soon spoil all.

Orth.

I don't apprehend what you call Rigour and Ex­treams; I hope the strict performance of our Duties in the execution of our Office, and the defence of the Rights and Privileges of our Church can never deserve the Title of Rigour or Extremity. No, my Friend, you're strangely mistaken! 'tis the neglect of our Duty and our easiness and condescen­sion together, have reduc'd us so low, and will at last ruin us inevitably. If we had been faithful to our selves and liv'd up to our own Rules and Constitution, we might have been long happy; but yonder I see a Friend I have business with, and so I'll conclude with this short wish.

Oh may I live to hail that glorious Day,
When England's Church shall her own Rites obey.
True to her self may she at length become,
Admir'd abroad, lov'd and carest at home,
The Spight, the Terrour, and the Fall of Rome.
FINIS.

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