SOME OBSERVATIONS ON THE FABLES OF AESOP: As commented upon by Sir Roger L'Estrange, Kt.

Yet not on all, for some need not any Addition or Review, and there be many of them which are coincident as to the Individual Scope, I mean the same Moral Instruction, which is couched in them.

Illustrated with severall pertinent Stories of Antient and Modern History.

By a Divine of the Church of Scotland.


EDINBURGH, Printed for Mr. Andrew Symson, and are to be sold by Him at the Foot of the Horse-Wynd in the Cowgate; And by Mr. Henry Knox in the Lucken-Booths. M. DCC.


HE [...] be very injurious to Truth, (besides the great Reflection upon his own Iudgement) who doeth not acknowledge that the Morals and Reflections [...]f the said Author, are penned with a great deal of [...], yet they might have appeared the more pleasant and profitable to the [...] Reader, If they had been [...] with pertinent little Stories, which would have abun [...]antly Compensed for [...] the Bulk of the Book: Thus the Essays of Sir [...]rancis [...] would be found full of [...], and strong [...], suppose not any parcell of History were sound there, but his exemp [...] [...] these [...] with such notable Hints of Storie, adds an Ornament to his Book, [...] is bot [...] [...] and [...]. The same may be said of some other Essays and Resolves. Therefore its [...] to Point [...]ery briefly ( [...]or verbum [...]api­enti sat est) at [...] Historicall Illustrations of these [...], which I be [...]eve the Author would have done both more [...] and elegantly, if either his Lea­sure or [...] ha [...] [...] him.

For that Effect, I shall [...] the [...] with the numericall Figure of the [...] ­logue; yet first a word or two concerning the [...] of [...], as it's delivered by the Commentator.

Page 5. It's said there is a [...] on the Chronologie of the Storie, [...] [...] alledged a Passage out of [...], which famous Greek Poet was not born when Aesop was murdered; but in my weak [...], [...] may be easily answered, by saying that it was a common Proverb among the Greeks in Aesop's time [...] tho' afterwards adopted by Euripides in his Poems.

Pag. 6. He passeth over (and not without reason) seaverall [...] and Gests which were fathered upon Aesop: But I wonder he forgot that storie concern­ing the eating of his masters Figs by his fellow slaves, and then charging the fact upon Aesop alone, who begged this favour of his new Master, that all of them might be ordered to drink a large draught of hot water as himself should do before them, which brought up the new eaten green Figs from all their stomachs, except Aes [...]p alone, who indeed had eaten none of them, by which wittie conceit he manifested himself some what versed in the art of Medicine over and above his naturall and Moral Philosophy; Lukewarm Water vvith Oyl, being one of the gentle vomitors prescribed by Physicians, But the recent Figs being naturally oleaginous did serve instead of Oyl.

Likewise the Author hath [...] to narrate that Circumstance, concerning the Murder of Aesop, which Plu [...]arch declares at length viz. That those vile Assa­sin [...]s were ordered by the Oracle, to seek for some living Relative of the Desunct, that his Remission, in the name of Aesop, might consummat that Expi [...]tion; and having enquired long in vain, at last they found a poor Tradesman in Athens, who made it appear that he was a Cusine of wittie Aesop, tho very remote; him they addressed with humble [...], and caressed with many Gifts, whereby he was perswaded to pron [...]nce an Absolution for that most treacherous [...]; and thus we have an end of that [...] Tragedie.

Let us now come to the brief [...] upon his Fables.


THe Occasion of the [...] Scot­land) his writing these [...], [...] [...] sent him [...]he fir [...]t [...] Roger [...] [...] ­ly after [...] in England, upon [...] some Hi [...]orical Observations thereon, [...] that they should become publi [...]i Juris; for then [...] [...] [...] English Garb, and made them much fa [...]er, [...]; [...] the Reader is to look upon them only as the Result of some few [...], and that for the particular Satisfaction of his Friend.

I receaved a writen copy of them from an acquaintance of the Reverend [...], who procured the same [...]om him, with a Design to [...] them: which accord­ingly I have done. The Author dwells above [...]. [...] [...], and did not see one line of the Print till the whole impresion was wro [...] [...], which was done before [...] could hardly imagine that [...] begun; and [...] tho▪ the critical reader [...] pretend to es [...]y any material saults, Yet [...]e oug [...] not to impute them to the Author, who no doubt ( [...]f any such [...]ad been) would have esp [...]ed and amended them himself if [...]e had [...]ad the Oportunity to have attended the Press and perused his Observations when printed sheet by sheet.

I doubt not but the ca [...]did Reader may reap both Pleasure and Profit by them; But, upon both these Accounts, the Advantage will be the greater, if together with them He peruse also the Fables on which they are [...]ounded, as they are set down by the truly learned Sir Roger L'Estrange. in the first Edition of his [...]ook, to which they only relate. As for the Typographical Errata, the judicious [...]eader is desired to pardon the same, and to correct the more material ones thus,


Page 13. Line 30. for left read lost. p. 23. l 28. for Calbinus r. Albin [...]. p. 27. l. 34. for inconsiderable r. inconsiderat. l. 36. for thereof r. whereof. p. 30. l. 29. r. which so overmatched. p. 34. l. 32. for Figellinus r. [...]gil­linus. l. 43. for Thais r. Lais. p. 40. l. 27. for Creum [...]ius r. Cremutius. p. 43. l. 10. for triffled r. trysted.


Page 5. Line 7. after Materials; add The same being done by the [...]pitoma­tor of Trogus Pompe [...]us, as many suppose. p. 8. l. 16. add afterwards Knights of the Rhodes, and now of Malta. p. 9. l. 22. after besides the Scots, add S [...]ro sapi [...] Phryges, being a true Satyr long before our Nation had a Bee­ing, tho' the old [...]st in Europe; To the last line of this page, add St. Paul ha­ving observed the same of those who are unequally yoaked in maters of Re­ligion, the many Inconveniences of such fatal Conjugations (especially a­mong Soveraign Princes) being so obvious that VVe need not insist upon. them. p. 15. l. 27. add Whereas Nicias, by a superstitious Dread of the E­clypse of the Moon, ruined both the Athenian Army and Navy in the Haven of Syracuse. p. 24. l. 17. add Not considering that there, they need 100 00 Gondalo's to [...]erry them from one Isle to another. p. 27. l. 43. after Paregoric. add for in lieu of six Grains (which is the mos [...] should be given at once, even to a frantick person of her Sex) he had given her no less than thirty six. p. 41. l. 3 [...]. after hang'd thereon, ad Thus Diogenes the Cynick [...] a Gra [...] of that Tree, on which an ill natured wi [...]e had hanged herself, in Hopes (as he alledged) that it would bear Fruit of that same Kind.


FABLE I. Page 1.

AESOP's Cock, in preferring a Barley Grain to a Diamond, is an Em­blem of such Fools as Mid [...]s; who valued the Pipe o [...] Pan, a­bove the Harp o [...] Apollo; and of these much greater Idiots, who prefer the Profits, Ple [...]ures, and Glory of this World, to that Pearle of in­estimable Value: I mean all the Blessings of the blessed Gospel. The same may be said of the Dog and the Shadow, in the 8th Fable.

There being a better Demonstration, than that of a Circle in a Triangle (for as Mathematical as it is) that there is nothing hereaway which can throughly satisfy the Soul of Man, and consequently cannot make him per­fectly happy; and that is Carentia entitatis debitae, or the want of the due Ingredient; for there must be a proportion betwixt the Ingredient and the Recipient; the stuffing and the Capacity, otherwise a thing cannot pro­perly be said to be filled: Thus a Well is termed empty, though it be full of Air, because there is no water in it; as also the heads of some Men are said to be empty, though they be filled with vapours, because they have very lit­tle or no wit in them: Even so, though the World were set into the heart of Man, (as Solomon phraseth it) it could not fill the heart, because there is carentia entitatis debit [...]; For we may as rationally attempt to fill a Glass­bottle with vertue, as the heart of Man with wealth; it being GOD alone who made it, who can fill it, because He is infinite, for nothing less can sa­tisfie it's infinite Desires.

But let us for once make [...]n impossible Supposition, viz: That the blessings of this Life could fully satisfie the Soul of M [...]n; yet they could not possibly make him eternally happy; it being most obvious to the Eye of Reason, that whatsoever pretends to make another thing happy, it must be commensu­rable in its Duration, to the Existence of that Object. But who knows not, that all the imaginary Felicities of this World, are vain and frail like to the Mortal Body? Whereas the Soul is an Immortal Substance, whose [...]ate must be either everlasting Happiness, or endless Misery in another World▪

FAB. IX. Page 8.

The Ingratitude of the Snake, teacheth us, That it's very dangerous to trust one of an ill Nature, or that is come of an ill kind. Iugurtha the Son o [...] a Concu [...]ine, is a sufficient instance for both, he being so ingrate to [...]is Uncle the King of Numidia, who had adopted him, that he never rested till he had murthered both his Sons, to get the Kingdom entirely to himself, as is expressed at great length by Salust. de Bello Iugurthino. But the most [...]inable Monster of Ingratitude, and who directly resembles the Snake, was [...] Cera [...]s, he being chased away by his Father Ptolemens Lagus for his [...]ll Nature, and his younger Brother Ptolomens Philadelp [...]us prefer­red to the Kingdom of [...]; This abdicated Prince was not only shel­te [...]d by [...] (the last of Alexander's Captains, who made any [...] in the World) but also assisted by him to seize upon the King­dom of [...]: Yet this Prodigie of Ingratitude, murthered his Bene­ [...]or, that he might forsooth become his Haeres ex asse. But the Judgement of GOD did shortly overtake him: Neither could this wretched Criminal possibly d [...]e a worse death than he deserved, suppose he had not been guilty of any other Villany, than the C [...]eatry of [...], and Murder of his Nephews, I mean his Sisters Children, who should have been Heirs of the [...] Kingdom.

FAB. X. Page 9.

Illustrated by Non [...]ignus Caesari [...]ira. For such was the As [...] in the eyes of the [...], Thus Ca [...]o the Cen [...]or having receiv'd a Blow (even in Publick) [...], would not honour him so [...]ar, as to let him know that he needed a Pardon.

FAB. XI. Page 10.

The Epi [...]urean Sect had been tolerable, if their Master had taught the Wor'd no worse Doctrine, than Qui clam vixit ben [...] vi [...]it, which is the sole Import of this Fable, and of many other of these Apologues. For we may find that the solidest and wittiest of all the Roman Poets, vi [...]: Vir­g [...] [...], Horace, Iuvenal & Martial, do frequently ex [...]oll a privat Coun­trey Life, far above the Contentment of Cities and Courts. Who then can doubt of Seneca's Applause of it [...] since he so often approves that Maxime of Epi [...]urus, though himself had not the good luck to retire in time from the Inhumanity of a most ingrate Pupil; he also magnifyes that freedom of Diogenes; Aristotle dines when Alexander pleases, but Diogenes dines when Diogenes pleaseth.

There is also to this purpose a celebrated Expression of the Emperor Tra­jan, That if a Man saw the Cares and fears, wherewith the Crowns of this World are lined within, suppose one of them were lying at his foot, for all the outward Splendour of it, he would not be at the pains to stoop down and take it up; And that this is not a meer politick Fetch of great Men, to shun the envy of the World (as some imagine) may be easily confuted by Experience; For during the Saxon Heptarchy, many Princes in Britain abandoned their Thrones, that they might enjoy GOD and themselves the more in a private Life, and in a Monastick Cell. This Charity is due also to Christian Emperors, such as Charles the Vth. But I am sure it was not our holy Religion which was Dioclesian's Prompter, and yet to enjoy himself in his Gardens at Salonae in Dalma [...]ia, he willingly resigned the Ro­man Scepter. Not to speak of that cruel Sylla, who by a voluntary Resig­nation of his perpetual Dictatorship did no less, long before him.

FAB. XIII. Page 13.

It was a wise saying of one of the seven wise Men of Greece (besides Di­ogenes the the Cynick) That the worst of [...]ame beasts is [...] Flatterer; because, a persidious Friend is the worst of Enemies. And such is a base Parasite who like a Pro [...]us or Vertumnus, transforms himself into a [...]l shapes, th [...] he may betray his mishapen Confident to all his Lusts; yet sometimes it may do well with a well natur'd Prince, who hath some Principles of Goodness in him, for [...]audanda praecipimus. But whosoever hath the Curiosity to know a F [...]atterer from a true Friend, let him read that excellent Treatise of Plu­ [...]arch, so entitled in his Morals.

FAB. XIV. Page 14.

This might have been illustrated by Dionysius the Younger, Sejanus once the great Favourite o [...] Tiber [...]us, and by the miserable sate o [...] Andronieus the Elder, Emperour of the East; and by many other Princes whose Exits were no le [...]s Tragical. But when our Author mentions the grateful Sacrifice to the Rage and Scorn of the Common People, which is made of those who have raised themselves on the spoils of the Publick, I wonder that an English Man should have forgot E [...]pson and Dudley, who were the great Instruments of the Extortion and Avarice of Henry the Seventh in his old Age, whom there­fore his Son in the very beginning of his Reign put to death, not only to gra­tifie his People (whom they had so cruelly oppressed under the pretence of Law) but also to squeeze these Spunges for his own Interest by their Forfeit­ures, as if they had been Turkish-Bassa's, for they were very rich.

FAB. XVI. Pag. 16.

Here he had Occasion by the Foretop, to have illustrated that fable by that gratefull Lyon to Androgeus the Roman Slave, who was termed by the people of Rome, The Lyons Physitian, but this Storie is so well known, that We need not insist upon it.

FAB. XVIII. Pag. 18.

The true Moral is this Distich,

Principtis ob [...]a, sero Medicina paratur,
Cum mala per long [...]s invaluere mor [...]s.

Or that other single verse,

Fronte capilla [...]a, post est Occasio calva.

FAB. XX. Pag. 21.

Here He had a fair Opportunity to have shown the great Danger of call­ing in, too powerfull Auxiliarys to the Aid of a prince either against his own Subjects, or Strangers; which may be exemplified from the Disaster of the old Brittons, who being opprest by the Scots, and Picts, invited the Saxons, to the Ruin of themselves; So it fared with the Irish, when the K. of Lein­ster implored the succour of Henry Il. of England, against the K. of Meath; Naples experimented this Folly (in the End) by employing the Normans: but the implored succour of Ferdinand the Catholick, against the French, was more fatal to the Neapolitans; for that [...]ly Fox (who had allways a catholick Appetite for his Neighbours dominions) under Pretence of aiding an oppressed Cadee of the House of Aragon, basely betrayed his Cusin under Trust, and at last took all to himself: Likewise some kings of Indostan, or [Page 4] Hither-India, by calling in the Mongull against their Neighbours, made the whole Country a Prey to the Tortarian Race: And in this same Age, the Chineses by inviting the Tartars to assist them, against their own masterfull Robbers, paved the way to their own Ruine, for now the Tartar is their Lord and Master.

FAB. XXIV. XXV. Page 24.

Here He might have taxed (as many Historians do) Cato the Censor, who (for all his great pretences to Morality) did most ingenerously turn off his old Servants and labouring Beasts to shift for themselves, if He could get no money for them, and that meerely because they were old, and could not work as formerly [...] that needed such a superiour as [...] Prince of Calabria, who ordered (under the pain of his highest Displeasure) one of his Captains who had turned off his old horse to shift for himself in Frost and Snow, to afford him sufficient Provender so long as he lived, for said the Prince to the Captain, You are prodigiously ingrate even to that dumb beast, for I was Witness to his saving of your Life, (under GOD) when you was hotly pursu'd by a multitude of Enemys.

FAB. XXX. Page 29.

Here he had Occasion to admire (but not to approve) the too great Confidence of the famous Marishal Les Dig [...]erres, who having a Valet de Chambre for many years whom he used as a friend, and trusted alone in his Chamber all Night, yet having certainly found that he had been hyred by the Papists to murder his Master, when he was sleeping (for the Maris­chal was then Protestant) he not only pardoned him, but trusted him again, just as he had done formerly: He may be said to have acted the part o [...] a good Christian, in giving him a Remission, but not of a prudent Man in remanding him to his former Charge; for he who was once guilty of so much baseness, ought not to have been trusted with any life which was much more valuable than his own.

FAB. XXXI. Page 30

Non patitur ludum, Fama, Fides, Oculus; It's nothing to the advant­age of the English, what some strangers have observed of them; that they will loose their Friend before they will loose their Jest; which accords not well with one of their own Maxims: play with me, but hurt me not; Iest with Me, but shame me not.

FAB. XXXIII. Page 32.

He might have added that there be some Plagiarys who steal so unhand­son lie that they have not the Sense to alter the Dress. i. e. They retain both the Mater and Words of a borrowed Author, and vent all for their own. These are little better then they who father other mens Books, as if they had been the intire Work of their own braines, prefixing their Names to them (like a mans putting his Mark upon anothers Horse) Thus a pious Minister in Wales, having composed that Treatise so well known under the Name of The practise of Piety, and having given it in to his own Bishop; named Lewis Ba [...]ly, to be revised, the said Bishop (who was far from practical Pi­etie) set it furth in his own Name, whereupon the true Author dyed of Melancholy; as his Wife complained to the long long Parliament, if we believe R [...]shworths Collections.

[Page 5]But as for these who only cut large thongs of other mens Leather, and a­dopt them for their own; Me thinks (for Reputations [...]ake) they should be very sure that none in the World (save themselves) have ever seen these Founds of their The t, yea and that it were in their Power to destroy them all, that they might not be traced in them (as is alledged of Polydore Vergil, that after he had compyled his English History, he burnt all those Books which had furnish­ed him Materials;) as for the Destruction of 2000. volumes of Law made by Tribon [...]anus, Dorotheus, and Theophilus, after they had compyled the Corpus Iur's Civilis out of them, it was done by Order of the great Iustinian, that young Students might not be deterred from the Study of the Civil Law, by such a vast number of bulksome Books; otherwise it were more ingenously and generously done to [...]mply with that o [...] the [...], [...] P [...]cloris est fa [...]eri per q [...]em proseceris: But of all the Plagiarian Work that ever I saw (and I have met with eneugh in my time) that of Thomas Aquinas raised the great­est Admiration, who was certainly a great Soul, of a most solid judgement & copious Invention, who may be said to have gathered all the scatered limbs of Absyrtus together, I mean he reduced that monstruous bulk of Popery, into one body, yet his Secunda Secundae (which is unquestionably the best Parcel of al his [...]umms) is found to be transcrived Verbatim out of Vincentius Bello­vacensis his Speculem Morale; Bellarmine makes a vain attempt for his vindi­cation (L [...]b. de Script. Ecclesia [...].) but it's certain that Vine [...]ntius was out of the World before the Angelical Do [...]tor had passed the first Age of human Na­ture, and he must needs be a Call who can imagine that he should have pen­ned that excellent piece of Morality in his Infancie, who was nick-named Bos by his Condisciples, he appearing to them (tho' not to his Master) so stupid when he was a School-boy. But to shut up this Point; certainly the most in­nocent Plagium (of this nature) is when a Man borrows something of a for­mer Treatise to illustrat a latter, for they both being his own, it cannot properly be termed Theft. For a Merchant may air his Goods whensoever he pleases; and this hath hapned to many renowned copious Writers, such as Plutarch and Seneca, Aquinas, and the great To [...]tatus, Ioseph Hall, Ioseph Mede, Iere [...]y Taylor, and many others, without any Dread of having an Action of Injuries commenced against them for doing with their own what they pleased.

FAB: XXXVIII. Page 36.

To this largest of his Comments (wherein He traceth human Envy & Pride from its Infancy) He might have added for illustration, that Observation of St. Augustine in his Confessions, that he hath seen a sucking Child look as fierce­ly upon another Infant that was brought to the others Teat, as if it had been a young Gladiator: Among his Huffing Sparks tumlbed from the Ruff of all their glorie, under the Wheel of the Victors Chariot, he might have instanced [...]ajazet the great Turk, and 1st of that Name, couped in an Iron Cage, on which Tamerlane mounted his Horse; as the Emperor Valerian was served long before in that same manner by Sapores K. of Persia; Such a sudden Degradation be­ing patheticaly described by Seneca the Tragoedian, in the person of Sejanus;

Quem Dies vidit veniens superbum;
Hunc Dies vidit fugiens jacentem.

He was adored in the morning as a God (saith the Philosopher of that same Name, (if not the Author of both) but e're the evening, was so torn by the enraged Multitude that there was not a Mammock of flesh left upon his Bones for the Hang-man to fix his Hook in; and thus the Greek Historians descrive the Tragoedy of Andronicus the elder, who was Emperour of the Bast.


FAB. XL. Page 42.

Mentioning the Neutrality of the Batt, (whom he calls a time-serving Trimmer) he might have added Solon's severe Law against all Neuters dureing the great combustions of a State; that they ought to be condignly punished as self seeking People, who make themselves alone the center, and circumference of all their Desires and Endeavours.


To so pitifull Bussiness and so small a thing (which may prove at last so much as a mans Life, Honour, or Estate are worth) he might have added the Ob­servation of the great Lord Verulam; that there be manie Men, who think it nothing to give Letters of Recommendation to any who im [...]ortune them for that Effect: not considering that if they recommend unworthy persons, to the [...]avour of great Ones, they loose so much of their true Honour by the Mi [...] ­demeanures of a naughty Favourite; as Plutarch instanceth in the Recom­mendation of a young Philosopher to his Friend Polysperchon, by the famous Zenocrales, that old Captain of Alexander reproved the old Philosopher [...]or his Indiscretion, tho' he gave all the Money that the young [...]ool sought, at the very first sight of [...], and it amounted to no less than a Talent, but whether it was of Gold or Silver, is not ex-pressed.

FAB. LII. LIII. Page 52,

In his Comment he might have added these two English Proverbs▪ The Masters Eye makes the Horse fat, and the Farmers foot ye [...]lds the best Com­po [...] or Dunging to the Land. As also that of the Proverbs of Solomon; An ignorant or a Simple Prince void of all Under landing, is also a great Oppres­sour. For many Tyrants (under the [...] of his Authority) lift up their heads, and miserably oppress the People when in the mean time these petty Tyrants have barricado'd his Ears from hearing their Clamours, so that they are apt to say, much better be oppressed by one Tyrant than many. Thus Demetrius (Son to the great Antigonus (was cast out of the Kingdom of Macedon, by that People whose Petitions he would not hear. And it cost another of their Kings his Life, because he would not do Justice to one of his Subjects; I mean Philip, the Father of the Great Alexander, was openly murdered by [...]ausanias, in regard that the King would not punish his Mini­on At [...]alus, who had most unnaturally abused the Body of the said Complai­ner. But on the contrary, there was nothing that so effectually recommend­ed the Great Augustus to the favour of the People, as his Readiness to hear their Grieveances, even when he was tyed to his Bed. And I dare say, his descend­ing to the Bar to plead the Cause of an Old Souldier (who bad received ma­ny wounds for Augustus) without a Deputy, endeared him more to the 40 Roman Legions, than a Donative of fourty Million of Crowns would have done.

FAB. LIV. Page 54.

He might have subjoined that excellent Poem of Horace, to the same pur­pose.

Olim quod vulpes aegroto (cauta) Leoni
Respondit, referam; quia me vestigia terrent,
Omnia te adversum spectantia, nulla retrorsum.

which Verse was the usual Answer that Rodolph of Habsburg (the first Found­er of the Austrian Greatness) gave to all those who demanded of him (af­ter [Page 7] he was elected Emperour) wherefore he went not to R [...]me, (in Imitati­on of his Predecessors) to receive the Golden Crown from the hands of the Pope: His meaning was, that many of his Predecessours, especially the Fredericks of Swa [...]en, and Henries of Franconia, had been so ill treated in Ita­ly, that it was much safer for him to sit at home, and let the Popes domineer in Italy as they pleased.

FAB. LV. Page 55.

He might have added that old physical Aphorism, Vinum moderate sumptum acuit Ingenium: but when it is taken excessively; it may be granted that the grand Impostor Ma [...]omet once spoke Truth in his Alcoran, when He said, that there is a Devil in every Grape, for that hellish Ingredient either stupifies or distracts the foolish Recipient.

Likewise wholsome Meats (if temperatly used) beget subtile Spirits, which dispose a thinking Man either to Contemplation, or Action, as oportunity servs; whereas a gross Belly makes a gross Understanding, and a crass Devotion. Thus that luxurious Emperour Vitellius having embogued his Witt in the Super­fluitys of Ceres and Bacchus, He became a most easie Prey to his mortal E­nemies. And that prodigious Drinker Bonosus having hanged Himself in De­spair, because his usurped Empire was not like to thrive with Him, his own Souldiours justly derided Him, when they said, that it was not a Man, but a Tanker that was hanged up there.

FAB. LVIII. Page 58.

It was one of the worst Laws which Lycurgus gave to the Spartans, whereby young men were allowed to steal from their Neighbours, providing they did it neatly and subtily, but if they were deprehended in the fact, they were se­verely corrected; it was certainly a most unjust Ordinance, because it inured Youth to lying, and fraudulent Habites, neither could the immorality of it be counterpoysed by their pretended learning the Stratagems of War by such childish Circumventions; it being indeed the grand Design of that Legislator to make all his Laws subservient to Mars and Bellona.

But the main Scope of this Fable is to shew us that the cunning Imposturs of men put a Necessity upon the injured, to appeal to the Justice of an omni­scient GOD who sees the Thoughts of the Heart afar off, even long before they are thought; no doubt Atheists (both in Judgement & Practice) are apt to deride that Appellation, as to a very long Day; and questionless that general Judgement must needs be very far off in the Eys of these faithless souls, who do not believe that ever such a Day will come; neither do they consider how nigh they are by such Provocations to a particular Judgement, of which I shall subjoine one or two Instances in Lieu of many.

When the grand Master of the Knights Templars was tyed to the Stake in France to be burnt alive, with diverse of his Order, He first crav'd Pardon of God & of the Brethren of his Order for the wrong He had done them in con­fessing those Crimes to be true which were charged upon the Order in general, and that thro' the Vehemency of Torment: for being shortly to appear before the righteous Judge of the World, He not only appealed to Him for their Innocency, but also cited Pope Clement V. and Philip the Fair, then K. of France (for it was mainly by the Authority of those two great men with their Influence on other Princes, that this horrid Massacre was carryed on, thro all Europe:) He summoned them I say to appear within a Year, before the im­partial Tribunal of GOD, there to answer for the great Injustice done to his [Page 8] Order. And it's most certain that both these summoned Pannels dyed within the prefixed Time, which induced many to believe that the Templars were not guiltie of these execrable Crimes which were laid to their Charge. The Iews have a Proverb Cum Elias venerit solvet nodos; and Me fears this is one of the Mysterys which the Day of Judgement shall fully unriddle. There was in­deed some little discovery made of that Intrigue, even in the Age wherein it was acted; For some Historians report, that Philip of France would have all the Templars destroyed, per fas aut nefas, that his German Brother might enjoy the Forfeitry of the whole Order, and no doubt he had become one of the greatest Princes of the Western World (as to Revenue) if that Design had taken effect. For the Templars had great possessions almost in every King­dom of Europe. But tho' King Philip thought he had the Pope upon his Finger ends (for he was indeed his Creature) yet his Ghostly Father with his Council at Vienna disappointed him, by making a Gift of all the Temple Lands to the Knights Hospitallers, called otherwise, The Order of St. Iohn at Hierusalem.

I hope the Reader will pardon this small Digression, (if any so account it) to give my Sentiments concerning that cruel Method practised in some parts of the World, in order to the finding out of an obscure Truth, as is pretend­ed, the same being usually termed Torture: And that either by the formida­ble Rack, Boots, Thumbikins, Water, Oyl, or any other manner of way whereby human Nature is tormented. I joyn issue with the great St. Augu­stine, That it is the greatest Injustice to inflict the greatest bodily Torment i­maginable upon an innocent Person, for such are all in the Construction of Law, till they be proven guilty; It being an approved Maxime both of the Ci­vil and Canon Law, and of Divinity also, praesumitur esse bonus qui non pro­batur esse malus. And I must needs say it, they who iudge such an Extort­ed Confession a sufficient probation, have never sufficiently considered the Frailty of human Nature. So that I think Torture should never be ad­mitted in any Case, except the Confession can instantly verifie it self .e. g. Suppose there were great Presumptions against a Man, that He were guilty of Crimen Peculatus, by robbing the publick Treasury of a vast sum of mo­ney, I would lay no stress on his tortured Confession, till he had brought the Judge to the place where he had laid that stollen Treasure: then the O­cular Inspection justifies the Confession. This had been the case of that bold Caudiot, who alone pilfer'd one of the richest Treasures in the World, I mean that of Venice, laid up in the Church of St. Mark; if his new Con­fident had not made the Indication for him: Therefore such a Case should be reduced to that Maxime of Law, concerning the Examination of Witnes­ses, who are suble [...]lae fidei. That if it be done at all, it should be done ad eruendam Veritatem, sed non ad faciendam fidem.

There remains yet a more admirable instance of these Appeals to Heaven from unjust Sentences on Earth, which may be found in the Spanish History penn'd by Mariana. There was a Nobleman of Spain found privatly mur­thered, neither was it known who had done that villanous Act, the King was the more diligent in making Inquisition for that Blood, because the mur­dered Person had been his principal Minion. At last it was suggested that there were two Castilian Bretheren, who were picked at this Nobleman, so that it was very probable they were the Malefactors, and meerly upon this presumption, they were sentenced to be thrown down from the top of an high Rock, that by their Death they might expiate their Crime. The Bre­thren indeed confessed, that they were sensible of a great wrong done them [Page 9] by that Nobleman, but withal appealed to the Omniscient GOD, that they had no hand in his death, neither directly nor indirectly. They further decla­red, that as Christians they would never have been so wicked, and as Persons of Honour (for they were Gentlemen well descended) they could not have been so base, to murther any Man of what Quality soever. But when all their Prote [...]cations were made in vain, one of them (upon the top of that Fatallock) in the Audience of many thousands of People, cited the King to appear before the Tribunal of the King of kings, and Lord of lords, there to abide the just Sentence of that unerring Judge, for the great Injustice he had done both to him and his Brother, and that within the space of thirty days. No doubt ma­ny of the Spectators deem'd him no less than mad, to prefix so short a time to the King, who was but a Young Man, and in good Health at the time nei­ther was there at that time any fear of Intestine Commotion, or Forraign Invasions. Yet it is a most certain Truth that the King dyed of a Fever with­in the 30 dayes; which Providential Dispensation was judged by many, a more weighty presumption of the young Mens Innocencie, than that whereon the King had founded their Guilt.

FAB. LIX. Page 59.

To his Adages, he might have added that other Diverb, That few are wise before the hand like Prometheus, but too many resemble his Brother Epimetheus, in being wise behind the hand, (for so fareth it with some other Nations besid [...]s the Scots) which in plain English imports, That Experience is the School-Master of Fools, Insipient [...]s [...] d [...]cere non putavi. Yet better late wise than never.

FAB. LXI. Page 60.

It might have been farther illustrated with that of the Poet;

Quisquis ama [...] Ranam, Ranam put at esse Dianam.
As also, Difficile est exuere naturam. Yea,
Naturam expellas furca tamen ipsa recurrit.

FAB. LXII. Page 62.

The [...]able is grounded on a true Story, viz. the Practice of [...] a Tur­tarian Prince, who had LXXX. Sons of diverse Venters, who tryed every one of them with a great Bundle of Arrows, &c.

FAB. LXIV. LXV. Page 64.

To this might have been added that of the Poet,

Si qua voles apte nubere, nube pari;

And that mystical Counsel of the Philosopher to the young man at Athens who demanded his Advice whether he should mary a very rich Woman, but very old: or one of his own Age, but of a mean Fortune. The Philosopher bid him go and over-hear the School-Boys at their Play and tell Him what was the most usual Expression among them, and then he should resolve his Doubt. At his Return he told the Philosopher that the words He most fre­quently hear'd among them, were, I will not play with. You, for you are not my equal, These School-Boys, said the Philosopher, have taught you how to resolve your own Case.

FAB. LXVI. Page 65.

Gods withholding Sleep from K. Ahasuerus (such a Night) was a wonderfull preventing Providence for a poor Mordecai: and such was the preservation of innocent David, for being almost wholly surrounded by a more powerfull Enemy, a Letter (in that very Nick of time) recalled his implacable Father-in-Lavv to oppose the Philistins that had invaded the Land. No doubt there was an extraordinary Providence in the Curiosity of the people at Constanti­nople, in running out of the Church to see their young Emperour Arcadius passing by, for they were scarce well all gone out, when the Church fell, and without a miracle would have smothered them all if they had not thus seasonably removed.

Such wonderfull Providences have attended some Pagans; was not the Life of K. Croesus preserv'd by the Vehemencie of his Sons affection, which loosed that tongue which had been Dumb from his Infancie, in that very Instant when one of Cyrus his Souldiers was lifting up his Hand to kill the King, whom he no more knew to be the King in that Crowd of Fugitives, than the Turks did (long afterwards) know Constantine Paleolo [...]us to be the unfortunate Emperour, when He was flying with many others towards the Gate of Constantinople.

But Examples of this nature are allmost infinite, especially among obser­vant Christians: so that the Poet Claudian, tho' a Pagan, did admire the sin­gular Providences that attended Theodosius the Great in his Wars against the Tyrant Maximus, & the Usurper Eugenius, which excited Him to celebrat them in excellent heroick Verse, The Poem thus begins,

O nimium dilecte Deo! Cui fundit ab antris
Aeolus armatas Hyemes; cui militat Aether;
Et conjurati veniunt ad Classica Venti.

FAB. LXVIII. Page 66.

That Distich contains the Moral of this Fable,

Dico tibi verum Libertas optima rerum,
Nunquam servili sub Nexu vivito Fili.

To which may be added that of another Poet,

Quod sis esse velis, ne te quaesiveris extra.
And, Alterius non sit, qui suus esse potest.

FAB. LXXII. Page 71.

Here he had Occasion by the Foretop, to have instanced diverse, who by snatching a Collo [...] from GOD's Altar, had their Nests, and all burnt up at last; It's the Opinion of some very judicious Divines, that Sacrilege was the pri­mary Guilt of human Nature, our first Parents having too liquorish an Ap­petite after that forbidden Fruit which GOD had reserved to Himself; And that God did severely punish Sacrilege, the Examples of Achan in the Old Testa­ment; and of Ananias and Sapphira in the New; are sufficient Evidences there­of: And if We consult the Books of Maccabees, and the Roman History, we will find strange Judgments that befell some of the Syrian Kings, and Mar­cus Crassus the Roman Consul, for presumeing to robb the Temple of the true and living GOD which was at Hierusalem.

[Page 11]Yea it's very observeable that GOD permitted the Devil to punish signally those [...]agans who made bold to rob their Heathen Gods; (for it was Sacri [...]ge as to them.) Thus Cambyses lost 50000. of his Army in the Sands of Lybia, for his Design to [...] the Temple of Iupiter Hammon; and the almost mira­culous [...]unishments which were inflicted upon Xerxes with his Pers [...]ans, & on [...] with his Gauls, for attempting to rob the famous Temple of Apollo at Delphos, are so well known that we need not insist upon them. But the most extensive Judgement that ever I read or, did befall the Consul Caepio with his Romans, for robbing the Temple of Tholouse in Languedoe, it being obser­ved by the Romans that there was not one of that Army, that had the least hand in that Sacrilege, but dyed a violent Death; so that it became pro­verbial at Rome, when they saw any man in extreme Misery, Aurum habet Tholousanum, He hath the Gold of Tholou [...]e.

But I shall shut up this desolating Point with such a strange Contrivance of Revenge (upon the Acceunt of Sacrilege) that there was never a more subtile vindictive design hatched in hel itself which being a sufficient Indica­tion of the sentiments of the generality of Christians (in that Age wherin it was acted, which was the XIII. Century) that it hath induced me to narrate it at a very considerable length: Frederick the second of that Name (Emperour of Germany, &c. K. of Naples) had (for many Years) entertain'd in his Service a Noble Neapolitan named Petrus de Vineis, as his principal Consi­dent and Councellour, and in regard of his great Knowledge and Prudence He was generally deemed worthy of that great Trust; for it was he who defen­ded the Cause of his great Master (before the Councel of Lyons,) to the Ad­miration of all the hearers: But I believe the Eloquence of Cicero and Demo­st [...]enes (blended together) would not have broke thro' the implacable malice of Pope Innocent IV. Therfore de Vineis (after the Excommunication of the Emperour in that Council, with Bell, Book and Candle) wrote an Apology for Him: which was entituled, The Complaint of Frederick II. against the Pope; wherein He gave aboundant Demonstration, both from the Civil and Canon Law; from the Law of GOD and Nature, that his pretended Holy­ness had acted contrary both to Reason and Religion; so that We need not doubt of the Pope's Carefulness to suppress that unanswerable Book; [...]ut after all this, an unhappy jealousie possessed the Heart of this unfortunat Em­perour, as if his chief Minion had secretly conspir'd with the Pope against him; whereupon in a Rage he commanded to pull out the Eyes or de Vineis, but that B [...]rbarity was scarce wel acted, when the Emperour repented and being fore put to it by the Pope (who had caused Germany fall off from Him) begg'd the Advice of his [...]inded old Favourite, how He should come by Money to levy an Army sufficient to oppose his Enemies; this blind Devil inwardly glad of the Occasion of Reveng [...], answered that a Tree is best cloven with a Wedge of its own Timber, and since, said he, it's a Church-Man that hath so straitned You, and impoverished You with a long lasting War: It's my o­pinion that You may lawfully seize upon all the Utensils of all the Churches of Naples, meaning the golden and si [...]ver Chalices, Ewers, &c. and make rea­dy money of them; but how soon as He was certainly inform'd that this hel­lish Counsell was put in Practice, then He solemnly declared, that now He was sufficiently avenged for his two eyes because he was sure GOD would not fail to inflict some extraordinary Judgement on Him that had robbed his God so frequently. Thus this wicked Councelour directly acted the part of the Devil, by first tempting, & then accusing, yet he did not live to hear the [Page 12] Event of his Prediction, for He had no sooner uttered his insernal Io Paea [...], but he dashed his Head against the Wall to prevent a more tormenting Dea [...]h; But what He foretold, shortly came to pass, for the Emperour became very despicable and was at last most unnaturaly poysoned by a Bastard of his own. His sad Destiny was much to be pitied, for He was a Prince of extraordinary Knowledge, and a great Justiciary: and like another Iu [...]nian, He made ma­ny excellent Laws, which are subjoined to the Corpus Iuris Civilis; as for any exorbitances he committed during his most troublesom time, I bel [...]eve i [...] Solo­mon had been his Contemporary and seen how He had been vexed and perple­xed with diverse very ill natured Popes▪ He would thus have apologized for Him, that, Oppression makes a wise Man mad.

FAB. LXXIV. Page 7 [...].

Here He might have told that Vitellius the Roman Emperour was a great­er Fool in the other extreme for He prohibited▪ (and that u [...]der the Pain of Death) any at [...]me to say that V [...]an was advancing toward the City with a formidable Army; so that His u [...]e Negligence and most foolish Security (even when the Enemy was at the G [...]s) brought that sensual E [...]re to an unpitied, tho' a most ignominious Death.

FAB. LXXV. Page 74.

Here he might have mentioned the pertinent Answer of the School-Master who would not dispute his best with Him who commanded [...]: for it was the Emperour Adrian who was [...]o vain as to fancie an Excellency in all the liberal Arts, and in Grammar among the rest; neither (in my Judge­ment) was that in [...]irect reproof which a Musician gave to Philip of Mace­don (for contending with him in his own Art) void of Prudence, when He thus spoke to the Father of the great Alexander; The Gods [...]orbid that your Ma [...]esty should ever be brought so low, as to know these triffleing maters bet­ter than I do. Sure I am that the Master Carv [...]r of K. I [...]mes the [...] of great Bri­tan, was more pedantick than they both, for haveing enquired of his Majesty if He would have the Wing of a Rabbet? The K. merrily answered, Did you ever see a [...]abbet flee? To which the Carv [...]r most foolishly replyed, that the Wing o [...] a Rabbet was as proper language in England, as the [...]arther Legg of a Capon in Scotland; for which sawcie Competition the King never re­sted till He turned him out of his Office; Here the [...]esentment was greater, tho' the Crime less, than that of a School-Master at Alexandria in Aegypt▪ who being demand [...]d by Ptolomens Lagus, who was Socrates's Father▪ The imper­tinent Pedant enquired of the King who was Lagus's Father (which embosom­ed a tacit Reflection on the meanness of his Decent) for which Insolencie the Courtiers advised to hang him, But the mild Prince answered, that he who will jest, must resolve to be jested withall. As for that Secre [...]ary to Em­manuel K. of Portugal, I think his Royal Master was very injurious to him, for the King having receaved a Letter from the Pope concerning a weighty Affair, He called for His Secretary and ordained him to frame an answer so well as He could, against the next morning, and I will (said the King) draw up an An­swer too, and what We both judge to be fittest, shall be sent; the Secretary obey'd: but when the King read his Draught, He threw His own into the Fire, because it was so far exceeded by the other, and me [...]rly for this threw His Secretary out of his Place, which without all peradventure was male judica­tum, for the King ought to have considered that His Secretary was bound to be [Page 13] faithful to his Prince, as one of His Subjects; and that it was no part of the Regal Office, but only of a Clerk, to be a good Formalist: and if he had consulted the Prince of the Latin Poets, he would have taught Him more Prudence in these excellent Verses,

Exeudent alij spirantia mollius Aera, &c.
Tu regere Imperio Populos Romane memento
Hae Tibi erunt Artes &c.

FAB. LXXVI. Page 75.

This Fable minds Me of the Perverseness of the Tartars, who being con­tiguous to diverse Parcels of good Land, which also border either on Pol [...] or Muscovy▪ they (like the Dog in the Manger) will not suffer their Nighbours to cultivat that interjacent earth, nor will they be at the pains to labour it them­selves.


Here he had Occasion to mention that blasphemous expression of Alphon­sus the Xth of that Name, K. of Castile, He vvas accounted a great Astro­nomer, at least it was by his Authority, and on his expence that the [...]amous Tabulae ALPHONSINAE were framed and published to the World; his parasitical Subjects gave him the Epithete of ALPHONSUS the WISE, but Mariana was more just to Him in writing that He was more Knowing than Wise, neither judge I it an Act of Injustice to aver that he was a most insolent FOOL, in presumeing to say, that if He had been at God's Elbow when He made the World, He would (forsooth) have suggested a much wiser Contri­vance; But in his blasphemous Folly, & disastrous Fate, We may see how dangerous it is to be handling edged Tools, for after that most impious Ex­pression He never prospered more in this World, but became despicable both abroad and at Home, for going to take Possession of the German-Empire, (to which diverse of the Electors had cal'd Him) He found another placed upon the Throne, before He came the length▪ Yea (like the Dog snatching at the Shaddow o [...] Flesh in his Teeth) in seeking a Crown abroad, He left his own Diadem at home, for his unnatural Son had taken possession of the Throne of Castile before his Father return'd to Spain, tho he had gone no further than to Avinion in France.

FAB. LXXXIV. Page 81.

Here He might have mentioned that witty reproof which Demoratus of Corinth gave Philip of Macedon for his domestical Janglings, for he had turn­ed off his Wife Olympias, and his Son Alexander a little before Demoratus came to his Court, whom having receaved very kindly, and at last enquire­ing how the States of Greece were agreeing amongst themselves, and regrat­ing there should be such Animosities among these who were all of one Nation, it being much better for them to a [...]ee together against the common Enemy (meaning the Persians) and at last the King protested that he would use all the means that lay in his Power, to cement their Divisions: It becomes you very well to talk of uniting states abroad (said Demoratus) when you cannot so rule your own Family at home as to keep Divisions out of it; which plain expostulation proved the way to the Return of the Mother with her Son.

FAB. LXXXVII. Page 84.

Here We have a spiritual Disease which is an Emblem of that bodily Di­stemper called a Dropsie, for as an hydroped Person the more he drinks, he thirsts the more, so it fares with a covetuous Wordling, the more he gets, the Appetite of his Soul is the more enlarged; Crescit habe ndi Cupido, and so he is still the farther removed from true Contentment, which cannot possibly be attain'd unto in this life, till our Hearts be brought down to our Conditions; according to that of the Heathen Poet, Quod sis esse velis; Iuvenal in very few words having (tho' a Pagan) truly told us the nature of Contentment both in Heaven and Earth (if they be taken in a right sense) viz. Mens sana in Corpore sano.

FAB. LXXXIX. Page 85.

This Apologue of the Beaver minds me of the Expression of that Roman Knight, who being one of the Proscripti, dureing the bloody Triumvirat at Rome, said that he was not personally criminal, but only domestically guilty; meaning that their coveting that stately house which he had lately built in Rome would be the sole Cause of His Death.

FAB. XC. XCI, Page 86.

I do not find in any History a more tragical Dissipation of a Family by that hellish Passion of Revenge, than that which fell out in Spain in the pre­ceeding Age, as is testified by Mariana: There was a Spanish Cavaleer who had a Moor to his slave, he having offended the Lady, she caused scourge him for his fault; now as his nation is generally treacherous & vindictive, so most cruel in their Revenge: therefore this resenting slave did beat his Braines Night and Day how to be avenged on the Lady; reflecting at last (as the Devill would have it) upon the too great Kindness betwixt himself and the Chamber-Maid, he engag'd her in that Diabolical Plot to accuse her Lady to her Lord, viz. that she was guilty of Incontinencie, and so base therein, that it was with her own Gardener; and all this he told his Master under the pretence of great good-will, and that he could not endure to see so kind a Master so dishonoured, and then appealed to the testimony of the Chamber-Maid, and was so confident of the truth of the Indictment, that he assured his Lord he should cause him deprehend the violator of his Honour in the very Clos [...]t with his Lady; to which (as the Villain said) he came but too frequently: so that the very next morning he caused that unhappy wench call for the Gard'rer to come and speak vvith her Lady; then that black Moor of Hell ran to his Lord and told him that if he made hast he would find that Rascal presentlie with his Lady; the enraged husband believing the whole treacherous Series to be true, finding the Gard'ner comeing out of the cham­ber door (for no doubt the lady had told as [...] that She had not called for him) he instantly stabbed him to the heart, and with the same bloodie Poynard (breath aud sury) dispatched his innocent Wife (for Jealousie is cruel as the Grave) but while his hands were thus smoaking with innocent Blood, God Almighty, who will not fail, sooner or later, to vindicat the guiltless, awak­ned the Conscience of one of these great Criminals, and that was the cham­ber-Maid, for she fell down at her Masters feet, and with many tears declar­ed the Innocencie of her Mistress, and confessed all their hellish contrivance against her, whereupon the unhappy Husband being mad with the Rage of a [Page 15] guilty Conscience, instantly dispatched that wicked Woman, and the more wicked Moor; and Himself at last, as the greatest Criminal.

I know not any Narrative so para [...]lel to this most lamentable Story, as that of Othello the Moor of Venice, which we find at great length in Shake­spear's Trag [...]dies, for He was trepaned allmost the same way, and from the same principle, to murder an innocent wife, even the fair Desdemona, but since it's not to be found in any Venetian History, neither do I think any of them would have been guilty of such a palpable Omission, if it had been true; for it makes that unfortunat Moor General of that famous Republick in Cyprus, therefore I shall give it a Dimission, with the Title of a most tragical Romance; but both of them afford Us that same moral Instruction, even to try well be­fore we trust in any weightie mater, especially in maters of Revenge; yea sup­pose privat Revenge were lawfull (as there is nothing more contrary to the blessed Gospel) yet for any man to be precipitant therein, he may do such an ill turn in a minut of time, which will give him an Occasion of Repentance so long as he lives, tho' he should outlive the Age of Methusalem.


He might have told that Story mentioned by Iosephus the Iewish Historian, concerning a Roman General who marching with his Army in some part of Syria, an Augur instantly advised him to halt, because, said he, there is a little Bird which by the Motion of its Wings progonsticats ill luck to the Ro­man Army, if we go any further that way; the General desired to see the o­minous Bird, and being a dextrous Archer, he shot it dead with a Dart; then turning towards the Soath-sayer, he said, we are very great fools to i­magin that the sillie Bird should have known our Fate, since it understood no­thing of its own Destiny; therefore he immediatly advanceth with his army and found not the lest misfortune in that way.

There is also another notable Story to this Purpose (which abundantly de­ciphers the Vanity of such Impostures) After the shamefull Defeat of the Ro­man Army under Marcus Crassus, and the most ignominious Death of their General for all his Wealth. Cassius (even the same who afterwards with Bru­tus assasinated the great Caesar) aving brought off a considerable part of the Cavalry, now tho' their safty consisted in their flight; yet a foolish Astrologue had the confidence to say to him that it was mighy dangerous for them all to proceed one-foot further, till the Moon had gone out of the Sign Capricorn, O [...] said Gassins, (for He was a great Scholar) I fear that of Sagittarius much more; alluding (by the Name of that other Sign of the Zodiac) unto the Par­thian Arrows; so that by making no stay in the Vieu of the Enemy, He brought off that Remainder of a miserable Army, without any further pre­judice from their more powerfull Pursuers.

I shall shut up this point with a wittie Reflection of Cato the elder upon all such Impostures at Rome, for he many times admired that when the Aru­spices, the Augurs and Star-Gazers (all which passed under the general name of Sooth-Sayers) did meet one another, that they did not laugh heartily for their deluding and cheating the World so long with their manifold Fopperies, Lyes and Deceits.

FAB. XCV. Page 89.

Nero was fed with such false Intelligence to his ruine; for they made him beleeve that his Army in Spain were bringing Galba a bound prisoner; and [Page 16] thus the Parasits of Vitellius talked of the Army under Vespasian; neither an a thinking Man want Instances of such dreadfull and destructive amusings in this very Age wherin we live; Our Author's putting these words in the Mouth of an empirick States-Man, viz. That's as Wee'd have it; puts me in mind of O­livares the great Favourite of Philip IV. of Spain, who being first inform­ed of the revolt of Portugall, Anno 1040. (which had continued under a for­raign Yoke the space of 60 Years, according to the prophecie of S. Bernard) He instantly resorted to the King, and demanded Albricias (which word a­mong the Spaniards imports a great Reward given to those who bring great and good Tidings) O! said he, Portugal is revolted, and now You may make a province of them, yea justly make them all Slaves for their base Ingratitude, and most odious Rebellion: but if the Albricias be delayed till that be done, I suppose that Reward will never rescue the Receaver from pinching Poverty.

FAB. XCVII. Page 91.

This minds me of the Spaniard who being at Sea in the time of a great tem­pest, vowed to the Virgin Mary (if She would bring him safe to Land) a wax candle to burn in her Chappel of Loretto as big as the Mast of the Ship; a neighbour of his, standing beside, said, take heed what you vow, for you are not able to perform it, for their Vessel was of considerable bulk, then he whi­spered his comerad in the Ear, If I were once at Land, I will make her rest con­tent with a Candle much less than my Arm: But the true and living God will not be mocked.

FAB. XCVIII. Page 92.

Here the Iewish Proverb may find place, that A Father who puts not his Son to an honest Trade; when he is young: teacheth him to steal when he is Old. As also that smart Answer which the Pyrat gave Alexander the great, that himself was but a petty Thief who pilfered for mere Necessity, but such as He, robbed whole Provinces and Kingdoms thro' meer Ambition, and finaly that of the Poet.

Ille Cruoem, pretium seeleri [...] tulit; Hic Diadema.

FAB. C. Page 94.

The eldest Son of K. Cr [...]fus was lost with such a Dream, Vision, or Re­sponse of an Oracle to his Father; and who knows not the [...] of the Poet [...]? who having got a Response that He should dy by the [...]all of an House, he still lived in Ten [...]s; but the Oraculat House was the shell of a Tor­ro [...]se, which an Eagle threw down upon His bald Pate (takeing it for a Stone) and so killed Him: for that shell is called the House of a To [...]toise.

There is nothing more admirable in the Providence of GOD, than the most wonderfull Disappointment of the most [...] of Men and De­vi [...]s to [...] at the Determinations of Heaven, by makeing their countera­cting Designs and Endeavors, the principal means (if not the role secundary Causes) of effectuating the Divine Decrees; many instances could be given to this purpose; but for [...] sake I shall only [...] one Example, but a very observable one, both forthe rarity of the mater, and its attestation by so many Greek and Latine Historians. There lived a young Nobleman in the days of the Emperour Constanti [...]s, who dream'd that a Child wrapped in Pur­ [...] [...] out of his Side; the next Day the simple [...] told if as a Sport to the [...] who [...] naturally a very jealous Prince, and being con­ [...] in his suspicion by some Sooth- [...] about him that the Night-Vision [Page 17] did prognosticat one of that Dreamer's Posterity to be destined for the Impe­rial Throne, upon some srivolous Pretence He put the innocent Noble-man to Death (for Tyrants have allways vain Pretensions in store) Neither did his Injustice rest there, but did also consiscat his great Fortune to the Crown, yea his malice would have been further extended even to the birth of a Posthu­mous Child, which his Wife afterwards brought forth, if it had been a Male, but finding it of the other sex, He did not regard the Dream any more. The distressed Lady died shortly after that production, full of Penurie and Me­lancholie, yet before Her Death she recommended the poor Orphan to the Care of a relative of her own, who was Wife to one Valentinian, one of the Captains of Constantius's Army. Little was He then dreaming of the Empire, and much less when He was cashiered and relegated to a Castle in Cappodocia, by Iulian the Apostate, for giveing a Priest a box on the Ear, for sprinkleing some of his Aqua lusiralis on His Face, when He ushered his Master into one of the Pagan Temples; bur Iovian having succeeded that impious Apostate, He retrieved Va­lentinian with great Honour, and advanced Him in the Army; and living not many moneths, Valentinian for his Gallantry was chosen Emperour, by the souldierie; whose Election was approved by the Generality of the Chri­stian People, because He had been a Noble Consessor; Then having setled his Brother Valens Emperour in the East, He fixed at Rome, the old Imperial Seat; and after 2 or 3 Years of His Residence there; the noble Orphan com­mitted to the Care of his Wife, was then become a Woman, and being one Day in the Bath with the Empress, the too simple Wife told her Husband at Night that the poor Child whom she had entertained so long, out of Chari­ty, was the greatest Beauty, in Her Judgement, upon the Face of the Earth; for Her self had seen Her naked in the Bath that very day; This awakned the cu­riositie of the Emperour to see with His own eyes that Paragon of Nature that so affected his Heart, that at any Rate He would mary the young Iustina, for so she was named at the Font: (By such a vain Aspect the Kingdom of the Goths in Spain was ruined by the Moors, under that licentious Prince Roderigo) yet the amorous Valentinian had so much kindness for his first Wife, that He would not repudiat Her, but did not bogle at Polygamy, tho' He was other­wise a much more Orthodox Christian than His Brother; On this young Pa­ramour He begat a Son who succeeded the elder brother Gratian (by ano­ther Venter) His Name being Valentinian II. Thus We find at last the Myste­rie of the purple Dream unriddled; and to conclude, if Constantius had con­sidered and believed that Maxime of an old Philosopher, That it's simply im­possible for any Man to Kill his Successor, He would not in all probability have endeavoured by such inhumane Means to interrupt the current of that stream, which may easily over-flow the greatest, but cannot be stopped by any.

FAB. CX. Page 103.

Here He might have taken occasion to narrate that story of the Golden Tripos, which some fishermen haled to land in their Net, instead of a fish, in the Time of the seven wise men of Greece, which being successively refused by them all, it was at last dedicated to the Priestess of Apollo at Delphi, to be set upon that Chasma of the earth from whence they had their Oracular Evaporations.

FAB. CXIII. Page 106.

It was an usual expression of Aristotle, [...]; & the Truth thereof is verified by the far greatest part of the World who are mightily afraid of Death; especially voluptuous Persons, (who make their [Page 18] Bellies their Gods) are most unwilling to have that sensual Idol torn from them, when they are in full possession of all its endearing Circumstances; O Death! (saith Syracides) How bitter is thy Remembrance to him who is sit­ting at Ease in his own house, and enjoyes the World at Will? But it's much more admirable to find a Man that's surrounded with Misery to be unwilling to go to that Place where the weary be at Rest; Yet I my self knew one who was as miserable as any man in this World can be supposed to be, for he was in the further side of LXXX. and besides the usual Infirmities of a decrepit Age, He was most pitifully tormented with Nephritical pains, yea with such frequent and violent Fits of the Gravel, that He hath been heard crying at a great Di­stance; & as for his external Condition in the World, He was a most indi­gent Beggar, who would undoubtedly have starved many a Time, if charitable Neighbours had not succoured Him; I did visit Him on his Death-Bed, and well knowing all his deplorable Circumstances, I doubted not in the least but that He was very glad of the Approach of Death to rescue Him out of the Jaws of extreme misery, and having demanded the same of him, I heard Him with great Admiration say, That if it were the Will of God, he could be content to live yet a while longer, for all his misery; which I could not possibly impute to any other Principle, than the Natural Horror of Death, and that more Spiritual one of a bad Conscience.

Yet I judge the Conclusion of the Commentator too general, as to all those who improve the lawfull means in order to their Recovery, as if they were most unwilling to die, who call for Physicians, Apothecaries and Surgeons; He fancies them to resemble (for all the World) Lewis XI. of France, who had such an infinit Dread of Death, that (if We believe Philip de Comines) there was nothing that sounded so terribly to his evil Conscience, as the ve­ry mention of that Fatal word. But he should have considered that they Sin a­gainst Nature who spurn at the Means, when they are in a Capacity to use them, it being a true Maxime of the Casuists, That the means are ours, but the event is Gods; for I have known some good Christians that were so weary of the Fable of this World (as Epiphanius usually said) and had so little Kind­ness for this natural Life, yea were so desirous To be dissolved, and to be with Christ, that if their Consciences had not commanded them to use the Means, they would have rather chosen to have dyed more than once (if it had been possible) than to have endured the Fatigue of medicinal Applications; which minds Me of the famous Consul Marius, who being both pained and deform­ed in his legs with that Distemper that Physicians term Varices, He having (to all outward Appearance) suffered most patiently the Lanceing and Cutting of one of them, when the Surgeon addressed to the other, He told Him that these Incisions and Amputations were not worth the while, and since Death was the worst of it, He would choose rather to die, than undergo so much Trouble again.

Yea more than so, if all true Christians were not convinced that the Lord of Life, hath fixed Us here away as a Sentinel, at a post, who must not re­move without his Captains Order, I am fully persuaded that some of them (for any Dread they have of Death, would not be shy to imitate that Roman Se­nator who being informed that the monster of Nature named Nero, had de­termined to put Him to a tormenting death; He resolved to anticipat the Ty­rant's Malice, by starving Himself to death, and having intirely abstained from all Kind of Food, the space of five or six Days, one of his Friends came and told Him that he was misinformed, For the Emperour had no bad Design upon Him, therefore, subjoined he, all your Friends are resolved to come and [Page 19] sup with you this Night, and we will make a merry Night of it for your e­scapeing so great a Misfortune: He answered that his Friends should be all­ways welcome to him; but when they were assembled, all their Oratory could not persuade Him to take one Morsel of Bread, nor one Dram of Wine, tho' some of them urged him with that Aphorism of Hippocrates, Famem Vini Potus solvit, and for His Pertinacy he gave them this Reason, That He was now within the Confines of Death, and had already a full Vieu of that King of Terrors, and since He knew infallibly that He behooved once to pay that last Debt to Nature, He would not be at the pains again to begin his passage thro' that dark Trance of Death, but hoped within 2 or 3 Days to grapple with his Adversary, tho' He knew before hand what the Event would be, even to be laid flat upon the Ground by his invincible Enemy.

FAB. CXV. Page 103.

They who are curious, may find many other pertinent little Stories to this purpose in Plutarch his Treatise of Brutes having some Use of Reason, whose general Topic is very plausible; it may appear (says He) to be the general Sen­timent of Mankind in calling Dogs, Horse, &c. mad, which undoubtedly in Man imports the Privation of the Use of Reason.

FAB. CXVI. Page 108.

In my weak Judgement this Fable militats as much (if not more) against the unhappiness of Successive, as of Elective Kingdoms; it being very rare to find Electors so infatuated as to make choise of an Infant, of a Female, of a de­formed Creature, of a mere Simpleton, who is deform'd both in body and mind, or of a notorious Coward, or finaly of one that is odicus in the Eyes of the World for brutish Sensuality and Excess; Germany once stumbled upon such a disastrous Election, When Wenceslaus K. of Bohemia was chosen their Em­perour, to the mighty Prejudice of the Empire, both in the Election, and by his male Administration; For His Father Charles IV. counteracted to his own Golden BULL, in bribeing the Electors so palpably, to make choise of such a Calf to be their Caesar; but such monstrous Births are very seldom seen at Francfort in Germany, or Cracow in Poland; as for hereditary Kingdoms, Peo­ple must be content to receave what the Hand of Nature reacheth to them, whether it be bountifull or hydebound, and that without Remedy, unless they serve a Breve of Idiotrie against their Prince, when he becomes another Nebuchad [...]ezar, so that they are constrain'd to give Him an Administrator or Protector, as it fared with Charles VI. of France; or if He be an incorrigible Fool, to turn Him off, as was done in this present Age, to one of the Kings of Portugal.

FAB. CXVIII. Page 110.

They have infallibly the more generous Spirits who glory in being The Sons of their own right Arm (as the Spaniards phrase it) for that sober Acknow­ledgement of their own base Original, embosomes this Insinuation allways in it, that they owe their Rise either in Church or State, rather to their own Ver­tue, then to the Gifts of Fortune; Thus Sixtus V. (as smart a Pope as ever had the Honour to sit in that Chair of S. Peter) usually vaunted that he was Oriundus Domo illustri, alluding to his Fathers house, which was so poor a Cottage, that the Roof of it was not totalie covered; Likewise one [Page 20] Willegese who was Arch-Bishop of Mentz, and one of the Prince Electors, cau­sed paint Cart Wheels on all the walls of his Palace, to mind Him that his father had been but a poor Cart-Wright: and who hath not heard of Agathocles K. of Sicily, tho' otherwise a most cruel Tyrant, but in one thing he was generous, for whereas he might have been served in Go'd and Silver Vessels, he would use none himself but earthen ones, to mind him (said he) of his original, because his Father had been but a poor Potter, and in his younger Days he had pra­ctised that Trade himself; but there was another Potter's Son of far greater Ver­tue than Aga [...]ocles, and that was the gallant Eumenes, who was not ashamed to own his original, even then when He was opposeing (with great Courage and Conduct) that great K. of Asia, Antigonus: who was another of the Captains of Alexander the Great.

FAB. CXXI. Page 113.

Why may not a Beast lust after a Woman, as well as a Woman after a Beast? For not to speak of the Golden Ass of Apuleius, the common Story of Pasipha [...] (wife to King Minos) with her beloved Bull, is sufficient evidence that wee may beleeve the same was literaly practicable; Martial (that obscene latine poet, and of a kin it seems to the greek Anacreon) hath an Epigram to this same purpose; Iun [...]am Pasiphae, &c. (for I will not honour it with a repetition) yet there he plainly tells us, that he saw this brutish pageantrie reacted before the beastly Emperour Domitian in the Amphi [...]eatre at Rome.

And that Love serves to mollify most cruel natures, may appear from Po­lyphemus his wooing of Galataea, (if wee may beleeve the amorous poet Ovid) or Knoles his turkish historie, who tels us that Mahomet the great was softned by the fair Irene almost to the degree of Eff [...]minacie, but after a 1 [...] month his fiercenes returned, and that butcherlie Tyger with his own hand cut off her Head: In fine the most admirable Influence I read of this passion was the trans­forming (as it were) of a Brute into a Man, I mean the eldest son of a Ro­man Senatour, who was so stupid from his Infancie, that he was accounted by all that knew him but a two legged beast, so that His father being ashamed to have him seen in the City, confined him to a country house and the fields there­about; it being his good fortune to espy a verie beautifull young Lady, who, with some of her attenders, was lying sleeping in a Wood, this beautiful ob­ject which he still gazed upon till she awaked, was so far from Inhauncing his stupidity lyke a Gorgons head, that it may be said this sight put instantly a new Spirit into that most simple youth, for from that day forward he so speedily increased in knowledge & virtue that within a short time he was ac­counted one of the greatest Wits & Gallants, yea the greatest Virtuoso in all Rome, so that all who knew him judged Him most worthy of the greatest Beauty in the world, and the reader needs not doubt but that she who had wrought such a Wonderful happy alteration upon him, with all Her friends, were very glad of the honour of such an alliance.

FAB. CXXIV. Page 116.

He might here have instanced that of Medaea in the Tragoedy: who when she was about to murder her own Children, because her husband Iason was ready to marrie Creusa daughter to the King of Corinth, the poet intro­duceth her speaking thus against that most unnatural design,

—Video meliora, proboque
Deteriora sequor.—

FAB. CXXVIII. Page 119.

A parallel Deportment to this honest Carpenter did happen at Rome not long agoe, which is most worthy of the recording and noticeing. A good Car­dinall lived there, who was verie famous for his Charitable deeds; in the time of a great dearth, a poor Widow resorted to him and made her moan, that for diverse years by gone she and her daughter had lived honestly upon their dome­stical Vertue, without being burthensome to any; but now (said she) there is such scarcity of all things necessarie for Humane life, that wee have enough adoe to hold in our lives by our handie work so that the Chamber-Rent is un­payed, and the Lands-Lord is threatning to cast me out; but, subjoyned she, that which anguisheth my spirit most of all, Me feares meer penury shall make my daughter run into a brothel-House: the Cardinal demanded what the Chamber mail amounted to, she answered 5. Crowns, he gave her a precept to his Chamberlain (who lived in the City) to give her the Mony, for upon the production of the Cardinal's precepts he sitted his accounts at the years end, the Chamberlain told down 50. Crowns to the poor widow, she told him he was mistaken for she sought but 5. O! said the Chamberlain, here is the express Order of my Master which I dare not disobey; neither, said she, dare I disobey my Conscience, for I sought no more from his Eminence, and I know he ap­pointed me to get no more, therefore I will have no more; well, subjoyned the Chamberlain, I find few supplicants of your Kidney but since everie Man is the best Interpreter of his own orders, let Us go both to the Cardinal that we may hear himself: when the mater was thus represented to him, the good Cardi­nall declared that he designed no more when he signed that order; but only the litle summ the Widow had sought; but when he saw the cypher added to the fifth figure, either (said he) some extraordinarie providence hath condu­cted my hand, without my knowledge, or a much better hand hath added that Fair cypher, whereupon he call'd again for pen and ink, and added a new cypher, which made the same 500 Crowns; Now said he to the poor Widow, go and receive all this money, and pay your Chamber Rent in the first place, and see if yow can provide some honest Match to your daughter by giving her the Residue, that she may not become a whore.

FAB. CXXXI. Page 121.

It may also afford this Morality, That some times favor is s [...]owen where no good is exspected, for who would have looked for any good at the hands of a serpent: thus a barbarous Prince restored King Lysimachus after he had yeeld­ed himselfe and Kingdome for want of Water, and a turkish Prince long after­wards did no less to a Greek Emperour.

FAB. CXXXIII. Page 123.

Here he might have mentioned that poeticall storie of Hippomenes & A­talanta, for the cunning Man did out witt the swist-running Maid, by throw­ing three golden Apples out of the way at several times which she stepping a side to take up, & thinking for all that to overtake him, (and as it were flee before him) yet his policy at last obtaineth the prize: For Tardus in via, pr [...]venit Cursoreni extra viam.

FAB. CXXXVIII. Page 126.

Here it might have been told that a man gave admirable good Counsel one [Page 22] day in the Senat of Sparta in a very weighty mater, which concerned the ho­nour of the state, but in regard he was a verie profligat person, it was ad­vi [...]ed that one of the gravest of the Senatours should the next day propose the same expedient in other words, that it might not reflect any dishonour o [...] the state, that such a vile person (as the first suggester) had been so much regarded.

FAB. XLII. Page 12 [...].

Here he might have mentioned the exclamation of Lysimachus that great King of Thrace, and one of the Captaines of Alexander the great. O! what an excellent Kingdom have I lost for a litle fleshly pleasure! this he spoke when being straitned by a barbarous Prince, he was forced to yeeld himself with His whole Armie, because they were like to pyne with thrist where they were couped in; no doubt the intrinsick value of a Cup of water is farr be­low that of a Kingdome; yet as Necessity hath no Law, so the Belly hath no Ears.

FAB. CLVI. Page 141.

The Trag [...]dy of Zeno Emperour of the East may be termed a parallel to this fable, but with disadvantage to the Imperiall husband, whose wife cau­sed burie him alive in on of his fitts of the Epilepsie, which befel him frequent­ly by his excessive drinking, so that his Unnaturall spouse suffered him to starve to death in His sepulcher for want both of meat and drink and though he cryed most ruthfully to be releived from that dark prison, when he came to a sense of himselfe; yet the Inhumane Hagg would not permit it; that a younger and much handsomer Man might succeed him, both in his bed and Throne, and that was Anastasius the principall Secretarie of State.

FAB. CLVIII. Page 142.

This Fable is grounded on a Fable, viz. That Swans sing, especially before their Death; But who soever desires to see the Nullity of this common Tra­dition, let them consult Dr. Brown, in his Vulgar Errors.

FAB. CLXIII. Page I follow the Mistake of the Printer. 137.

A generous Man is so far from insulting over the miserable, suppose he be a dead Enemy; that He is rather prone to water the Adversaries Horse with his Tears: Therefore I am apt to believe that Lucan in His Poems was both uncharitable and Injurious to the great Caesar, by insinuating, it was for joy he weeped over Pompey the great's head, when it was presented unto him; I [...] Caesar being one of the most clement Princes that ever reigned in this world▪ givs us reason to conclude, that the serious consideration of the sudden fall of Pompey from so great glorie, into the power of some base slaves, did draw a­bundance of Tears of real grief from the eyes of his Father-in-Law: and I find it one of the greatest Reflections upon the honour of his grand Nephew Augustus Caesar, that he should have caused cutt off the head of Brutus to be sent to Rome, and laid at the feet of his uncles Statua, even after Marc Antony had covered his dead Body with his own Purple Garment; yet the same Au­gustus weept amain for the Death of Marc Antony (if we believe Plutarch) tho' He had been more injurious to his Family, than ever Pompey had been to that of Iulius.

But Antigonus of Macedon (the Son of K. Demetrius) was much more ge­nerous than Augustus; for when that restless spirit Pyrrhus the Epirot, came [Page 23] to his [...] and at [...], tho' he had once dispossessed [...] of his King­dome, and even at the time of his death was in war against him, yet when the head of the famous [...] was presented to him, he was so farr from in­sulting over a dead enemie, that he sharply rebuked some of his nearest rela­tions for their insolencie, and ordered both the h [...]nd and body of his enemie to be given to his son, that he might give his father honourable buriall: Thus when Marcus A [...]relius (surnamed the Philosopher) heard that his army had defeated the enemy, and killed his rival; and tho' he was apparently, his competitor for the empire, yet this meek and most clement Prince regrated unfeignedly, that they had not brought him alive unto him, that he might have tasted of his mercie: The best parallel I find to this benign disposition, was that of the royall Martyr, K. Charles I. of great Britain, who had the same mercifull sentiments in reference to The fate of the Hothames, as we may perceive from a section of his incomparable Book, so entituled.

But all the Roman Emperours were not so generous, as this Antoni [...] or Aurelius the Philosopher, for long before his time Vitellins manifested a great deal of baseness in his deportment in reference to the dead souldiers of the de­feated Armie of the Emperour Otho, whose unburied and naked bodies he would needs fee, and when it was told him that he would never be able to endure the noysome stench of them, (for they had been kill'd in the plains of Lombardy be­fore Vetellius himselfe had crossed the Alpes) that vile beast most ingenerously answered▪ That there [...] nothing so savoury to him, as the smell of a dead ene­my, but especially of a Citizen; notwithstanding his rivall Otho had cast hi [...] a much fairer copy; for tho' he might easily have recruited again, yet he did voluntarily dispatch himselfe, that he might ob [...] the Effusion of any more Roman Blood, suppose it were wholy of his enemy▪ But [...] Severus neither learned this generosity from Otho, nor Marens' Aurelius, tho' they were both before him, for having politicaly given the Title of [...], to Calhinus in the North, that he might not interrupt his Progress against Pescenius Niger, in the East, how soon he had discussed that Syrian Competitor, he immediatly turned his Forces against his other Rival Albinus, who being killed in Battle. Septimius gave an apparent Demonstration to his whole Army that He was a Native of Africa (they being generally Vindictive and most cruel in their Re­venge) for he did tread again and again, with his Horse Feet, upon the dead Body of his new slain Competitor.

Many other Instances of this Nature might be given; but I shall shut up the Point with an Observation of the great Historian Thuan in reference to the famous Duke of Guise (who was the great Promoter of that pretended Holy League of France) He was reputed (saith the Historian) a very generous Prince, especially in his Behaviour towards the Captivated Prince of Conde, but his Deportment in reference to the no less famous Admiral Coligni, sul­lied his Memory exceedingly, for that Admiral being trepanned by that perfi­dious Prince Charles IX. He was basely and barbarously murdered by His sup­posts in his own Lodging, notwithstanding of the safe Conduct the King had given Him, and of all His pretended great Resentments for the shooting of Him thro' the Arm, his dead Body being thrown out of the Window: the Duke of Guise walking in the Court, having viewed it with Torch-Light, that He might not be mistaken in His Insulting, He most basely struck the dead man, in the Face, with his Foot, which had been too insolent, saith Thuan, suppose He had been upon the Plot of killing the Duke's Father, at Orleance, by Poltrot, from which Fact He had frequently vindicated himself by Oath, and to his Son in particular; But little was the Duke then dreaming [Page 24] how His own murdered Body would afterwards be abused at Blois, notwith­standing t [...]e [...]afe Conduct He had from K. Henry III. and that the infinite Wisedom and Justice would make Him read his Sin in his Iudgement, in that same Place where Himself had first contriv'd that execrable Massacre at Paris; so that they are the wisest and best of Men, be they never so great, who in their Prosperity mind frequently and seriously that of the chief of the Roman Orators, Homo qui in Homine calamitoso misericors est, meminit S [...]i; And that notable Di [...]h of the Prince of the Latine Poets,

N [...]scia Mers Hominum Fati Sortis (que) futur [...],
Et servare Modum Rebus sublata secundis.

FAB. CLXIX. Page 141.

Here he might have told the ridiculous answer of that vaunting Traveller, who pretended to have been in all the cities of Italy, & in Venice among the rest, and being desired by one to give a Description of the famous Church of S. Mark: The return He made, was, That he had not stayed at Venice no not one Night, but galloped thro' the City at Night, so that e're the Morning Light, He had rode thro' all the streets, and was gone a good way from it.

FAB. CLXX. Page 142.

The vain curiosity of Mercury minds me of Cicero the famous Orator, whose Vanity may be said to have gone pari passu with his Oratory, and consequently it was great enough; especially after the Disappointment of the Con [...]piracie of Cataline against the State, because He had been Consul then, and had ma­naged that Affair pretty dextrously; I dare say He imagined there was never so wi [...]e nor so good a Patriot of Rome before, nor would any such arise after Him, for allmost in all the Orations that He made to the People, after that Ex­ploit, He fail'd not to harp upon that string, Usque ad Nauseam; Yea before he was Consul, being sent Quaestor to Sicily, where He abode above a twelve Month, in his return thro' Italy, before he reached the City, he rancountred an old cquaintance, and almost the first Quaerie He proposed to Him, was, what Talk had been at Rome concerning his Government in Sicilie? never doubtiog but that He should instantly hear, that all the Senatours, all the Knights, aud Body of the People, were frequently magnifying his wise Con­duct, and great Atchievements in that Gran [...]rie of Rome; But I believe there could not an Answer imaginable be more mortifying to a man of so vain a Temper, than the return which was made in these words; Sir, (said his ac­quaintance) You have prevented my Apology for not paying a visit to you, this twelve months bygone, at your own house, at Rome; for this is the first time that I did hear of your removall from our City.


The Metamorphoses mentioned so frequently both by the Greek and La­tine poets, whereby the Witch Circe transformed Men into Beasts, by the Touch of her inchan [...]ing Rod, ought to be expounded in that same sense as judicious Commentators interpret the dissaster of Nebuchadnezzar; for as that great King lost not his shape, (when he became obnoxious to that piti­full disease physicians term Lycanthropia) but only his Understanding, in i­m [...]gining himselfe to be a Wolf; so all these men, on whom their brutish affe­ctions have a mighty predominancy, are justly said to be transformed into [Page 25] Beasts, tho' thy are still two Leg [...]ed beasts, and only symbolize too much with the noted predominant bad qualities of diverse wild creatures; and by the Mo­ly which Mercurie gave to Ulysses as an Antidote or countercharm to all the [...]rceries of Circe, wee may understand the strength of Reason and divine Grace, which have sufficient power (if sufficiently improved) to subjug [...]t a [...]l our extrav agant Passions and exorbitant Affections.

FAB. CXCIV. Page 164.

Here he might have pertinently celebrated the due praise of the Roman Con­sul Fabricius▪ who was so generous as to hate the Treason no less than the Trai­tor; for when the persidious Physician of King Pyrrhus sent a missive le [...]ter to the Consul, proffering to poyson his master for a certain summ of money, notwithstanding Pyrrhus had alreadie prevailed much over the Romans (they being unacquanted with Elephants at that time) yet the noble Fabricius sent the letter to Pyrrhus, and in the cover of it upbraided him that He knew nei­ther his friends nor his enemies, for you may perceive (said He) from the inclosed, that you are sostering snakes in your bosom and know it not, where­as you have declared enmity against those who never did you any wrong: but as for Us Romans we judge it just enough to kill a malicious Enemie in the open field, if he will not hearken unto reason, but wee deem it the height of baseness to take away the life of any man by Treacherie: Would to God all Princes (whither In [...]ideles or Christians) were indued with such true gene­rosity; But we must know that this was the Age, wherein the true Roman Gal­lantrie (I mean their excellency in all the four Cardinall Virtues) was in its [...] or Zenith.

FAB. CXCV. Page 165.

It would be tedious to the reader to enumerat all the Examples of those un­fortunate Princes, who have in a maner hatch'd snakes to sting themselves to death: thus the gigantick Tyrant Maximinus de [...]lt with Alexander Severus and Philip with the Emperour young Gordianus; and that villanous Father­in-law Arrius Aper with that excellently learned prince Numerianus, so that the mnrderer was most deservedly stabbed to death by Diocles [...], for He was the Boar meant by one of the Dr [...]des in France▪ and that, two or three Ages agoe, Charles the warlick (that restless Duke of Burgundy) nourished su [...]h a snake in his bosom, when he entertained in his service that persidious Italian Count named [...] Basso; and who hath not heard that the Ma [...]or Do­ [...]o in France overturned his Masters house, that the M [...]rovingian Race might give place to the Carolovingian, which within two or three Ages became a pre­parative to the Capaetian familie: But who [...]o desires variety of Instances to this purpose, let them cross the Mediterranean S [...] to Africa▪ and there they will find many deleterious snakes fostered in their masters bosome to their ut­ter ruine at last▪ Neither need wee goe so f [...]rr back to the bastard Iugur­t [...]a, who ruined the two sons of his U [...]kle and adoptive [...]ather Hiempsall the King of Numidia; no [...] to retrograd so f [...]rr as to th [...] Caliphs of Aegypt; for the Kings of Fez and Moro [...]co (without speaking one word of the Mamalues of Aegypt, who came after the Caliphs) afford us abundant instances to this purpose, even of these that have ruined their Foster▪ Fathers, (with the whole Royall Family▪ under the pretence of Religion; I mean that damnable Super­stition of Ma [...]omet; to which that of [...] Poet Lucretius may both truly and pertinently be applyed, Ta [...]um Re [...]gio potuit [...] malorum.

FAB. CXCVII. Page 168.

They who are destitute of Children (I mean who had never any) if they want the Comfort of them, so do they the Cross; and its a most certain Truth, that children are uncertain Comforts, but certain Troubles; it being verie rare to find a numerous Issue without some Viper (either among the Males or Fe­males) who is ready to tear out the bowells of the parents Contentment; and they who have many, and find no more but one such, have great reason to bless Heaven for it; for the greatest of Saints recorded in H. Scripture, were not priviledged from that Cross, and some of them had their patience exer­ciz'd by more than one Viper, whom they had fostered in their bosomes, as is evident from the respective stories of Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Iacob; old Eli the High-Priest, Samuel the Prophet, and David the King; the generali­ty of the last three being undutifull both to their Heavenly and Earthly GODS; for Grace goes nor by Generation, but by Re-Generation; otherwise it may be supposed that so Gracious Kings, Priests and Prophets, would have entailed some drams of goodness upon their posterity.

And that domesticall Crosses are justly accounted amongst the most an­guishing Afflictions of this World, We may perceave from the Concern of one of the greatest that ever reigned in it, and that was Augustus Caesar, who enjoyed all the Comforts of this Life in great Aboundance, yet He was so affe­cted with the shameless Prostitution of his daughter Iulia, and her no less l [...] ­bidinous Brats, that the great Emperour o [...]en wished, either he had never Mar­ryed, or never Begotten Children, yea He would not [...]erm them his legitimat Issue, but the Impostumes of his Body; or [...]res Vomi [...]as, and tria Car [...]inomata: Marcus Aurelius was as morall a Prince as ever sa [...]e upon the Roman Throne, and having but one Son (who was that Incommodio [...]s & naughty Commodus) the Father declared on his death bed that He would have dyed a happy Man, if he had not begotten such a Phaeton to the [...] Empire. Lewis the Godly, the first of that name, who was King of France, and Emperour of German [...]e, had verie u [...]godly Children, who often rebelled against their Lord and Fa­ther; so had Henry the Il. of England, undoubtedly a gallant man, tho' ne­ver honoured with the Epither of Pious▪ for he dyed Cursing all his male Children; and there was a visible Curse followed them even in this life, which is the usuall fate of a stubborne and perverse progeny, whether their parents Curse them or not; for either they dye young, (as is insiuuated in the fifth Precept of the Decalogue) or if they enjoy a longer life, they live in great miserie, and die at las [...] of a loathsome disease.

FAB. CC. Page 170.

Some good men have sometimes found reason to bless God as cordially for their disappointments, as for their enjoyments, because he hears them in mercy, when he seeme [...] not to hear them; as he heares the wicked in wrath when their desires are granted; for there have been many in the world who have been necessitated to unwish a thing more fervently than they formerly desired it; that Covetous King of Phrygia, is a notable Emblem of this, tho' it is but a Poeticall or Romantick Storie▪ for i [...] the foolish Wish of Midas had not been seasonably [...]etrived, he would shortly have dyed of mere hunger, for all his meat and drink became Gold; and for all the talking of Aurum Potabile▪ I take it to be a much better Cordiall in the Purse than in the Stomach: But its the fate of some unhappy creatures to r [...]semble Se [...]ele, the mother of Bacc [...], [...]ven to be consumed in the first instant of the fruition of their rash and inconsi­derate desires.

FAB. CCIII. Page 174.

The author tells us he hath seen a tame S [...]ider but I beleeve he never saw (nor any m [...]n [...]or him) a tame [...], tho' the same is given as the Symbol of Impudence.

FAB. CCV. Page 176.

This impertin [...]nt Doctor minds me of the English Proverb; When I am dead, mak [...] Me a Caddell; But it's a more rational Apology (as many Doctors have Reason to complain) that the Patient was not obedient enough, nor the at­tenders so circumspect as they ought to have been, in observing his orders, which were neither excentrick, Unnecessary, nor Tyrannicall, but throughly consonant to the most approved rules of Art; and for this they have the au­thority of the great Hippocrates, in the latter part of his first Aphonis [...], Nequ [...] enim Medicus ita se comparare debet, ut faciat quod factu Opus est; s [...]d & Aeger & astantes, & quae foras incid [...]nt. But the most relevant of all these Excuses is the unseasonable Call of the Doctor; for the best Physician under Heaven, is but the Minister of Nature, so that when the natural strength is quite gone, all attempts to restore it are in vain, without a miarculous power: so that the Doctor (who consul [...]s his own reputation) ought not in such a case to medle, let the patient be never so wealthy, unless it be to aleviat the great pain of the dying person: and to preserve a man from a tomenting death, is undoubtedly a verie good office, and worthy of a great Honorarium. Now let us suppose a Physitian to have sufficient ground to undertake the cure, yet if He would not have it said, that the patient dyed of the Doctor rather than of the Disease; let him in all dangerous distempers, trust his own eye [...] above all others, both in the composition and application of his Druggs; for as an Ig­norant or Cheating Apothecarie may commit a great [...]rrour in the first Con­coction, so the attenders may be guilty of great mistakes in the application, es­pecialy in the matter of Catharties and Phlebotomy; for I have known some weak Patients purged to Death, by a double or tripl [...] Dose above that which should have been given: as also some rash [...] to send their patients out of the world by drawing too much of their bl [...]od in it: for example, in the beginning of an Hectick Feaver, when the vigou [...] of nature is no wayes de­cayed, its fit to evacuat so much Blood, as may sensibly abate their preter-na­tural Heat and Drought, but if ane inconsiderable Surgeon draw no less than is usually due in a Pleurisy; He will hurrie the Patient the more speedily to his Grave; In fine, since there be some specificks, the due proportion thereof is confined to some few Graines, let the Doctor trust no other hand with the Scales than his own, for I knew an ignorant [...] who gave such a prodi­gious quantity of La [...] to a poor frantick Woman, as might have killed an Horse; and would undoubtedly have caused [...]he Patient (in lieu of 4 dayes) to sleep to the sounding of the last Tru [...]pet, unless that drugg had been found to be verie old and corrupt in the Apothecaries pot▪ whereby it had lost much of the natural Vertue of a Paregoric.

FAB. CCXI. Page 182.

This Vultur is a lively Emblem of a Ly [...], [...] [...], a [...]olyphemus, and of the old inhabitants of Tauriea Chersones [...]s; all which were [...]o inhuman as to murder their guests▪ a good man who is naturally apt to beleeve protesta­tions & semblable practices of kindness (cred [...]lity b [...]ing the great unperfecti­on of honest hearts) is no doubt brought into a great [...] (as our Author hath well observed) when suspicions of the dishonesty of his friend are sug­gested [Page 28] to him. Yet great soules have judged it inconsistent with true generosity to distrust their old friends, and it framed well with some of them; Thus A­lexander the great (as Quintus Curtius informes at large) being advertised by his eldest captain Parmenio, that His principall Physician had been bribed by Darius Codomannus with a verie great sum of money, to poyson his royall Master, the first time he gave him any Physicke, yet Alexander took the me­dicinall potion with the one hand, and gave his Physitian the said line with the other to read, and in the mean time drunk the Potion to the bottom; such was the confidence of this royall patient, neither did his trustee disapoint him; a parallel to this great confidence wee find long afterwards in the Emperour Trajan, who being informed by some that his old friend, a Roman senatour, had a designe upon his life, he went the next day to the senatours house pri­vately, without any of his Guards, and told him that he was come to supp with him: but before supper (said the Emperour to his friend) I must make use of your bath and of your barber; and having come home verie late, He called for those informers; now (said he) you may perceive that you are all guilty of a caluminous accusation, for if my old friend had any design up­on my li [...]e, he had never a better opportunity than was afforded him this day, for by his Slaves He might have smothered mee in the bath, by his barber He might have cut my throat, or by his Cook he might have poysoned me; so that, I having returned safe and sound, ye may perceive the falshood of your in­formation. But the famous Dion (who was the principall actor in dr [...]ving D [...]onysins the younger, from his Tyrannical nest at Syracuse) ruined him­self with his too great confidence in Calippus the Athenian, whom he trusted above all the world; and being informed by his nearest relations (and that again and again) that Calippus had a design upon his li [...]e, yet he still answer­ed them that he would rather choose to dye a thousand deaths, than to distrust his old friends; he was I confess the more inveigled by the manie tears and oaths of Calippus to persevere in his former trust and good opinion of his friend; yet notwithstanding of these reiterated protestations, that old treacherous vil­lain (when he found oportunity) dispatched that brave and good man, in hopes to obtain the Principality of Syracuse to himself, but i [...] this He was not only disappointed, but shortly afterwards justly killed with that same dagger where with Dion had received his mortal wound; as is reported by Plutarch in the Historie of His life.


The Crow thinks Her own Issue fairest, is an old proverb; which the Com­mentator doth well extend not only to the Fruit of the Body, but also to the productions of the Brain; it being verie observable that all the pretenders to those faculties which depend mostly on the imagination, such as Po [...]sy, Mu­sick, and the Art of Limning or painting, be they never so great Bunglers at them, they imagine themselves to be excellent; so did Dionysi [...]s the old Ty­rant of Syracuse, as to Poesy, tho' he was the worst at it that ever did it, for who knowes not the bantering of that rigid Philosopher, Carrie me back again to the Quarries, how soon He heard Him read but a line or two of a new Poem he had made, and beleeved it to be much better than the former which the Philosopher had derided; and, I dare say, that pitifull Scots Rymer Mr. Zachary Boyd, thought Himself as good at the Poetical Trade, as ever his Countryman Buchanan was deemed to be, tho' the one was as good as could be found in any nation (if wee beleeve the famous Ios. Scaliger) and with­out breach either of Truth or Charity, it may be said that a worse could not be found any where than was the other.

[Page 29]For all Nero's divine voice (as his parasites termed it) with his incompara­ble dexterity in handling the Lute (as his Sycophants also soothed Him) and His Quantus Artifex pere [...] (which were the last words He spoke in this world) yet if he Had been as poor as some Fidlers are, I dare say He would have earn­ed less dayly wages than some of them have done; and its verie possible that Ves [...]asian (afterwards Emperour) would have heard them, more placidly than He did His Lord and Master in the Amphit [...]eatre at Rome, for it had allmost cost Him His Life, because that Divine Voice, forsooth, had not preserved Him from sleeping; A S [...]ythian Prince was justly deemed a beastly Dun [...]: for preferring the Neig [...]ing of his own Horse, to the ravishing Music of the famous Musician, [...]smenius: but if Nero had been the Competitor its verie probable He should neither have been termed a brute nor a blockhead.

Paulus Iovius tells us that it was one of the great Divertisements of Leo X [...] to call for the worst of Poets, of Musicians, and Painters, that were to be found in all Italy, and to make them believe that they excelled all the World in their respe [...]ive Professions; which did so effectually send their Witts a Wooll­gathering, that some of them became perfectly mad: neither needed the Pope pretend the Infallible Chair, to perswade them to those wild Fancies, for their own vain Imaginations, with that large natural Dose of Self-Love, did ea­sily unhinge all the litle Witt that ever they were Masters of.

FAB. CCXVIII. Page 191.

This fable minds me of the gallant Sertorius who was marching to Spain in great hast, to make good the remainders of Marius's party against Syll [...] that cruel Dictator, being stopped in his way by some barbarous Nations that in­habited the straits and fastnesses of the Pyrenean mountains, who sent Him word that he behooved either to fight for his passage or pay them a consider­able sum of money, He did choose rather for speeds sake, to let them have the money; whereat some of his Captaines being highly offended, as if it were a great disparagement to the noble Romans to buy their peace of Barbarians, and to become as it were Tributarie to them; hold your peace (said Sertorius) for I have only bought Time.

FAB. CCXXIII. Page 195.

The best Morall (as I suppose) of the Fable of the Sun and Winds strive­ing for a travellers Cloak, is briefly this: That prosperity is a much greater temptation than adversity; This moralists make appear, by comparing the pro­per vertues of both states together; but on this wee have not time to insist.

FAB. CCXXVII. Page 198.

Alexander the great his holding his Head a litle awry, and Pompey the great his scratching his Head with his litle finger, became Patterns of imitation to their p [...]rasiticall followers; but if they had been mean men: I beleeve they should have been derided for their e [...]eminate affectation.

FAB. CCXXVII. Page 199.

This fable, with some amplisication, was narrated by the Emperour Fre­deric III. (as Philip de Comines tells Us) to the Embassadours of Lewis XI. of France, when, in their Masters name, they promised (that the Emper [...] and He joyning their forces against Charles the Hardy that great D. of Burgun­dy) They might divide all his Dominions betwixt them; for He makes the [Page 30] fellow say, that the Bear whispered in his Ear, beware of dividing or selling the Bear's Skin so long as He is alive and hath it on his Back: yet I beleeve, if the Emperour had been perswaded to engage, He should have had His recourse at last to his old Motto, Rerum irrecuperabilium optimum remedium esi Oblivio.

FAB. CCXXVII. Page 200.

A Satyrical Poet (being pickt at the wise and vertuous Philosopher, Socrates) acted a Comedy before the people of Athens wherein He so palpably derided So­crates that all who were present knew that the Invectives were levelled against Him, but He was no whit abashed, and laughing as heartily as the rest, said, he was verie glad to have given occasion to the People of Athens, to become so joviall tand merrie as he perceived them to be.

FAB. 230. 231. 232. 233. Page 201.

Plutarch reports of Timotheus the Athenian Generall, that being sent abroad by the State, upon some Expedition, He having prospered well in his attempts he arrogated the praise of all to his own good Conduct, or to use the scripture phrase He sacrificed to his own Net, and burnt Incense to his own Dragg, mean­ing of those who give not the praise to GOD, but impute all theri good suc­cess to their own wit and vertue, yea to their own merit; for Timotheus, in his giving the people an account (at his returne) of his prosperous attempts against the enemy, still subjoyned to everie period, In this, Fortune had no part; but as that wise Historian well observes, He never prospered one Hour after that most insolent Oration, but decayed palpably both in his reputation and action; and tho' S [...]ylla the Roman Dictator was a proud and bloody man, yet Plutarch commends Him for assuming the Epi [...]et of Faelix Scylla, rather than any other, whereby he ascribed his Happiness (saith the Historian) ra­ther to the Gods, than to his own merit.

FAB. CCXXXV. Page 204.

Milo (another Sampson among the Pagans) met with his match betwixt the branches of a sturdy Oak, which overmatched him that he was starved to death in the place; but the storie being so well known, I shall not insist upon it.

FAB. CCXLI. Page 209.

My Lord Montaigny in his Essayes hath another storie of a young gentle­woman in Gascony that was so much enclined to this infamous Vice, that the [...]ather turned out of doors that naughty Girle as a disgrace to his family, so that she was constrained to betake herselfe to service, but the father and only brother dying at last, she became the Inheretrix of a great estate and got a com­petent match on that account, without stealing of Her; but even then she could not forbear her old trade, to which she was so strongly inclined by Na­ture, and a vitious Habit, so that she would intreat her own servants, to lock up out of her sight any thing that did belong to them, telling them plainly that she could not forbear from putting their effects into her Co [...]ers, not for the va­lue of the thing, but for the Love of Theeving.

FAB. CCXLVII. Page 214

Pythias that rich Lydian Prince (even he who entertained that numerous army of Xerxes for the space of three dayes upon free cost, for which he was [Page 31] verie ill rewarded by that Tyrant in the end) was documented into some so­briety in his great Thirst after Gold, by the wisdom of his Wife; for having found our a gold mine in his own Territories, He so constantly employed all the Inhabitants of his dominion in digging thereof, that the Land remained uncultivated, and a great Famine produced among them; at last having gone from home, his wife caused a skilfull Artist make the Effigies of the most ex­cellent Dishes of Meat in pure Gold, which being presented to Him at his re­turne, the sight at first pleased Him very well, but having called for some meat, his wittie wife, caused present another course of Golden Viands; what, s [...]id the hungrie Husband, do you mind to starve me with a Necroman [...]ers feast? ay, said the Wife, You must content your self with what your Land produceth, for you and your tennants, tho' sore against their Wills, have laboured for nothing else these diverse Years bygon, but for this golden product, and now see if you can fill your hungry Belly therewith.

FAB. CCXLVIII. Page 216.

This minds me of the s [...]art Reflection of that famous Sir Thomas More upon his Lady (as is narrated by Sir Francis Bacon in his Apothegms) who having prayed frequently for a Male Child, at last she got one; but, whether thro' natural Infirmity, or too great maternal Indulgence, I know not, when He came to the Stature of a Man, He was a Dwarf in his Understanding; There­fore Her Husband used to say to Her, You prayed long for a Boy, and You will find Him a Boy so long as He liveth.

FAB. CCXLIX. Page 216.

This minds me of the Canniballs in the Caribee Islands, who sed their cap­tivated enemies deliciously, and most plentifully, but it was only to fatten them for the shambles; and thus prosperous villanie is but a fa [...]ing of them like a fedd Ox for the slaughter; or if we transferr the Morall to some Court favourites, the poet hath given us their destiny in few words,

—Tolluntur in altum,
Ut Lapsu graviore ruant.—

FAB. CCLIII. Page 219.

There is a storie to the same purpose, and uttered (upon such an occasion) by that Prince of Greek Orators, Demosthenes, for when the people were not attentive to a very serious matter which he was insisting upon, one day in his oration, he told them the storie of the contest betwixt a Man who had hir­ed an Ass to ride a journey, and the Owner thereof, who would also be payed for the Benefit of the Asse's Shddow which the Rider made use of, when he was scorch'd with the heat of the Meridian Sun, and all this hot debate, said the Oratour, was about the shaddow of an Ass: and with that silly parable He brought the inadvertent Mob to due attention.

FAB. CCLIV. Page 220.

The storie of Pacuvius his policy in rescuing the Senatours of Capua from the fury of a discontented People, falls in here very pertinently, but its so well known that we need not insist upon it.

FAB. CCLV. Page 220.

The Laplander who preferred his own countrey to France (tho' there can [Page 32] hardly be a worse, found in the whole Terraqueal Globe) may be said to have outvyed this Mouse in contentment, even in the change of places, yet it still remaines a true Maxime, Omne solum Fortiest patria.

FAB. CCLXII. Page 228.

Its well observed by P. Heylen in his Cosmography, that the Mesopotamians were always adjunctives, but never substantives, save once when GOD raised them up to be a plague (and the first forrain scourge too) unto his own in­grate people in the Land of Canaan; The Metaphor is patt enough to the pur­pose; Tho' somewhat pedantick, for they were frequently overrun & overcome by the Persians, the Romans, the Saracens, the Turks and Tartars; by all these and from all these they have been Conquered and reconquered; the Natives as it were sitting still like Spectators beholding the Gladiators in the Amphitheatre, and litle concerned what side had the better, because they were sure to become slaves in the end, who ever were Masters; and that the Ass could not bear a greater burden than had been formerly laid upon him: such was the case of their Neighbours the Syrians, frequently & easily subdued by other Nations, but especially by the Seleucidae in Asia, and the Ptolomees in Egypt; for no sooner did any of those respective Princes advance towards them with an Armie, but up slew all the Gates of their Cities, to wellcome the new Comer rather than the new Conquerour; or if it may be in propriety of speech called a new con­quest, sure it had not age to become old; For it may be within a Moneth or less, the other party totally prevailed, without any opposition made by the inhabitants, who sett their mind at rest to be Asses and Slaves still, who ever prevailed. As for Aegypt, since the days of their Pharaohs, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Saracens, the Turks, the Mamalues and Turks again, made an easy prey of those tame slaves, who from the time of Ham and Mizraim have been inured to bear Burdens: and for the same reason the fertile isle of Sicily, (not to speak of their many intestine Tyrants, or of Pyrrhus the Epirot) was frequently overrun by the Greeks, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the French, and the Spaniard: And how easily (upon the same account) was the Kingdom of Naples with the Dutchie of Millan, taken and retaken by the French and Spaniard, is well knowen to those who are not strangers to the hi­stories of the two preceeding ages.

FAB. CCLXX. Page 236.

There be many restless and impudent Souls (like this Fly in the fable) who are bussie bodies in other mens maters, but supinely negligent in their own, yet have the vanitie to arrogate that to themselves, wherein they had neither head nor hand (I mean Deliberation and Execution) such an Imaginarie pra­gmaticall Fly, was at Florence in the time of the famous Cosmo the D. thereof, who coming one day after Dinner to the Palace of this Prince of the House of Medicis, upon some pretended hastie business, He found this renowned Po­tentate lying upon the top of a Bed: O! said this pragmatical Animal, Who would think that the great Witt of Italy would be found in Bed this Time of Day, when other Men are walking in the Streets about their Business; Away, said the D. You feiking Fool, I can do more here in half an Hour, than You can do in half an Year: for all Your traversing the Streets of the City both Day and Night; for the Character of the Echo doth fitly belongto suchas You,—Vox est, praetereaque nihil; There be also many such Court-Flys even, vain and empty Minions (Ministers rather of Pleasure than of State) that im­pute all the prosperous State Politicks to their own wise Suggestions, and [Page 33] what outward Respect they meet with from People (for their Place Sake, and Master's Cau [...]e) they instantly ascribe it to their own great Merits, not con­sidering that no Man will regard a Dyal, how soon the Sun ceaseth to shine upon it.

FAB, CCLXXI. Page 237.

Veterem ferendo Injuriam, invitas novam, is mostly verified as to those Briars and Thorns, which prick and scratch because they cannot do other­wise, till the Law pair their Nails; but to a generous Soul, there is no great­er Pacifick, than a patient Sufferer; The God of Peace having also promised to all those that truly fear Him, that He will make their Enemies to be at Peace with them▪

FAB. CCLXXII. Page 237.

The Commentator writes strong Sense in few Words, whereby He suffici­ently discovers the Folly of that unwarrantable practice which trencheth too nigh upon Idolatry, I mean the Adoration of Saints and Images, which is a mighty Stumbling-Block to the Iews, Mahumetans and Pagans; but whoso desires a much larger Discovery of that Scandalous Impiety, let them consult the Profoundly Learned IOSEPH MEDE, in His Apostacy of the latter Times, founded on that Doctrine of Daemons (foretold by S. Paul, 1 Tim. 4 at the beginning) where He makes [...]uch a copious and judicious Detection of those damnable practical Errors, that Defiance may be given to all the Idolaters in the World, to answer Him in Reason.

FAB. CCLXXIII. Page 238.

Out of the Frying-Pan, into the Fire, is most fitly applyed to those most miserable desperat Wretches who dispatch themselves that they may be ridd of the sting of an evil Conscience, not considering that (in all probability) they hurrie their Souls into that most deplorable Region where the Worm dyes not, and the Fire shal never be quenched; That eminent Pattern of Divine Iu­sti [...], Francis Spira, who for seven Years space was griveously afflicted in Con­science, attempted many times to become Felo de Se, notwithstanding He firm­ly believed that Hell would be his everlasting Portion, neither was it in a Fitt of madness that he was restrained from becoming his own Butcher, for never Man pleaded more rationaly for Himself, than He appeared to doe against Himselfe; But whither these Desperado [...]s apprehend that they cannot possibly be worse in another World than they are in this, or that its possible they may be some better, I cannot determine.

FAB. CCLXXIV. Page 239.

Monach [...]s in Oppido, ut Pis [...]is in arido, was an usual saying of that Aegyp­tian Antony, the father of the Monks; and I beleeve if he had seen the four Orders of the Mendicant Friers, so frequently begging in the Capitall Cities, it would have turned his stomach no less, than Alexander Severus was affe­cted when he perceived an unjust Iudge.

FAB. CCLXXVI. Page 240.

Magistratus indicat Virum, is an old Maxime, and verified apparently in the Emperour Galba, whom all men thought worthy to reign, before He did reign; as also of Henry III. of France and some others since his time: but as for alterations to the better there cannot be a better instance given, than that of Titus Vespasian, for during his Fathers life, the people of Rome so dreaded [Page 34] him that it was more than whispered amongst them that he would be as Libi­di [...]ous an Emperour as Caligula, and no less cruell than Nero; but he was scarce warm upon the Roman Throne, when He was generaly celebrated to the out­most Bounds of that vast Empire, with that glorious Epithet, D [...]ciae humani generis: Neither need we cross the seas for another example of this nature, since Britain affords a notable one in the person of Henry V. of England▪ It's well known that during the life of his Father he was the ignominious associat of that prostigat Knight, Sir Iohn Falstaff and such Debauchees as he; but he was no sooner elevated to the Throne, than he became a most stayed, temperate and just Prince, so that there was not a wiser and gallanter King in Europe than he was (only King Iames I. of Scotland his contemporary, had the advantage of him in point of Knowledge) but if this Henry had out lived his madd father in Law for some yeares, it's highly probable that he would have secured the English interest in France most rationaly, so that they should not only have had Ius ad Rem but also Ius in Re to this very day.

FAB. CCLXXVII. Page 242.

Here He had a fair Occasion to have mentioned that most laudable Law of Lycurgus, which ordained all Young Men to reverence and give Place to Old Men of whatsoever Nation or Quality they were of, of whose Obedience We find an excellent Instance in Plutarch, of a de [...]ripit Old Man (with a long gray Beard) who neither liv'd nor was born in the Lacedemonian Territories, yet having the curiosity to see the Olympic Games (which were celebrated every fifth Year in Greece) comeing behind Time, when He approached the stations of the Athenians, the Boeotians, the Corinthians, the Argives, the Arcadians, and many other Greek Nations, no man took Notice of him, but when He came to the apartment of the Spartans, all the Young Men arose to Him; where­upon He cried out, I perceive that Old-Age is no where reverenced but in Spar­ta; which was indeed an implicit Reflection on the Athenians, who pretend­ed to be the great Masters of Morality, but it's evident from their Practice, that They were better acquainted with the Muses, than with the Graces.

FAB. CCLXXIX. Page 244.

Sejanus to Tiberius, Pallas to Claudius, and Figellinus to Nero, were in­deed such Magpies, Ministers to those vitious Emperours, both for their Plea­sures and Cruelties, and for a Reward of their Villanies advanced to be the greatest Ministers of State.

FAB. CCLXXXI. Page 246.

Here He might have mentioned the ingenuous Confession of S. Hierom, that in his solitary Retirement to the Deserts of Syria, He was frequently mo­lested with vain Thoughts concerning the vain Dances at Rome; and if any desire to know the strange story of the Apparition of the Devil in the shape of a most beautifull Woman to Iohn the Holy Eremite, let them consult Ioh. Ma­jor for it.

Our Author from the List of that indictment which the Corinthian Thais gave in against the greek Philosohers of her knowledge, should have excepted Xenocrates who was as free of Lust, as of Avarice; For as He rejected the 50 Talents which Alexander the Great sent Him, (a very great Sum in those Days, every Talent being 700 French Crowns) so He contemned that celebrated Co­rinthian Beauty, without any Temptation from Demosthenes's grudging at the Price of the Enjoyment, when He said, Non [...]mam tanti poenitere; or re­gard [Page 35] to that proverbial Verse,

Non [...]uivis Homini contingit adire Corinthum.

For which we have the testimony of one who may be verie well credited in such a mater and that was the infamous Courtesan her self (all of that sex be­ing much more apt to give an account rather of those who admire than who despise their beauty) for being hyred by some of his scholars to ly with him all night, that they might learn how he would behave, she declared the next morning that he no more turned his face towards her, than if she had been a cold Statua of Marble laid down beside him.

FAB. CCLXXXII. Page 246.

The author should have given a more particular designation of that Sco­tus who gave such a bold Repartee to an Emperour, lest he be taken for the Subtile▪ Doctor, who is usually termed Scotus [...], and more particu­larly Ioannes Duns (but whether he was a Scot, an English, or an Irish man is controverted to this Day) But its certain that it was Iohannes Scotus, [...]ri­gena, (or born at Air in Scotland) who so smartly accoasted that King of France and Emperour of Germany; He being about 400 Years previous in time to the other.

FAB. CCXCVII. Page 259

Here might have been mentioned the strange interrogatour of Pope Iulius III. to a Cardinal; this Pope how soon he was elected by the Conclave, gave (in conformity to an inveterate custom) his own Red Hat to a Minion of his own, who was so far from having the least tincture of any Liberal Art, that he was a disgrace to human nature; if it be true what is recorded of him; a Car­dinal who had been intimat with this Pope before his advancement to the Tri­ple Crown, had the confidence to ask his Holyness in private, what he had seen in such a man to make him a Cardinall? and I pray said the other, what did you that are Cardinals see in me to make me Pope▪ The great Thuan narrates it as the wittiest Reflection that ever was made by their Henry III. when some Bishops heard that he was about to prefer one to that eminent station in the Church who was most unworthy, they told their King that he would be ex­cluded by the Canons of the Church; and so would all of You, replyed He, i [...] the election had run in the old Channel; for the King had nominated them all.

FAB. CCXCVIII. Page 260.

Here he might have hinted at the ridiculous luxurie of the Emperour Helio­gabalus, who (as Lampridius reports in the historie of His infamous Life) when he was nigh to the sea, or any river, or Lake of fresh waters, he would eat no fith at all, but would have his Table served with variety of the most delicate fleshes that could be found in the world; but when he was farr from the sea, then nothing could please him but the most delicious fishes of all sorts; so that it is most just with providence to reduce such foolish voluptuous Brutes into such a starving condition as to be glad of the Mus [...]y Crumbs which did sometimes fal from their own superfluous Tables.

FAB CCXCIX Page 260.

There be too manie selfish Creatures in the world who resemble the Hedge-Hogg, which roules it self in it's own soft Downe and turns out it's Bristles [Page 36] to all the world beside: like to that fatt Abbot in the dayes of Henry VIII. of England, who hearing his Monks lamenting that they were about to be robbed both of their subsistence and religion by that Tyrannicall Prince; The selfish Abbot stroaked down his own fatt belly and over-grown paunch, then sub­joyned Modo hic sit bene; i. e. provyding it fared well with his own sensuall appetite, he cared not whether religion did sink or swim: for the reader must know that he had received assurance of a large pension dureing his own life therefore he was the less concerned with the livelyhoods of others.

FAB. CCCI. Page 262

Fox in his volum [...]nous Martyrology, tells of a Black-smith in England who in the days of Edward VI. was verie zealous in promoting the Reformation according to his pith; and having been instrumentall in proselyting a young man to the reformed religion; the said youth being ha [...]ed to prison in the dayes of Queen Marie, he wondered when He heard that His Ghostly father was still working at liberty in his Forge; Therefore he sent and expostulated with him; why he was not become a Confessour in expectation of that glo­rious Crown of Martyrdome; to whom he returned this unchristian answer that himselfe was as sincere a Protestant as ever, but that he could not burn; yet he, who would not willingly suffer for the Truth, was shortly after brunt alive against his will, and that in his own house, none knowing how that fire was kindled.

FAB. CCCX. Page 272.

Here we have an expression of the judicious Commentator; That, It's im­pious for any man to call for death in earnest: which indefinit proposition as equi­valent to an universall; I cannot approve, unless I should condemn S. Paul of impiety, when he said, I desire to be dissolved and to [...]e with Christ, which is best of all: neither find I anie man blaming Epiphanius (a zealous Primitive Father) for saying frequently that He was long agoe wearie of the fable of this world, and no doubt whosoever is wearie of a heavie burden, he desires to be ridd of it; farr less do we find any reprehending, S. Augustine, who when he heard that Genseri [...]k, with his Vandalls, was designing to lay siege to Hippo (his Episcopall See) prayed earnestly to the LORD of Hosts that either he would not suffer that Arrian Senacherib to raise a bank against his Citie; or secondly, that the Enemy should not prevail over it; or thirdly, that GOD would be pleased to close His Fyes that he might no [...] see the the great cala­mities that were coming upon his people. Now the Almighty having graciously granted the last petition we have good reason to conclude, that his prayer was not in any part of it displeasing: neither find I any taxing that excellent chri­stian Philosopher and Poet, nam'd Boethius Sever [...]n [...]s, for wishing frequently (in imitation of Iob) to be ridd of an evill world, declaring that [...]e had death in desire, and life but in patience: Yea in that notable litle treatise De Consola­tione Philosophiae, He verie plainly insinuats, that Death was distastfull unto him when he enjoyed his liberty and honour in the court of Rome; but re­grates that it fled from Him in his prison at Pavi [...], tho' he had called for it more than once, as we may perceive from the first Stanza of his excellent ver­ses,

M [...]rs hominum foelix quae nec se dulcibus an [...]is
Inserit, & n [...]oestis saepe vocata venit.
Dum levibus male [...]da bonis Fortuna faveret
Paene caput tristis mors erat [...]ora meum;
Nun [...] quia fallacem mutavit nubila vultum,
Protrahit ingratas impia vi [...]a moras.

[Page 37]I never found any judicious Casuist condemning of Impiety, any sincere Chri­stian for praying frequently and seriously for Death (yet always with a due submission to the Will of GOD) that he might be totaly and finaly put with­out the reach of sin and temptation to sin; especially those Foedae Tentationes (as Divines call them) which for many yeares have been forced in upon them by the Divell like to flashes of lightning violently and suddenly: for such a prayer is equivalent to that Lamentation of S. Paul, Ah wretched creature that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death! This notable expression implying a vehement desire after a present communion with Christ, which He knew would not be enjoyed so long as there was any remainder of sin or cor­ruption in the Soul. Yea when a true Christian from long and sad experience hath ground to compare his own leprous soul to some leprous houses under the Law, which could never be throughly cleansed till they were pulled down; and to conclude, that till the clay tabernacle of the body be dissolved, that he feares he shall never be throughly cleansed from that spirituall leprosy o [...] sin and corruption; I am so far from apprehending that a prayer (meerly on such an account) is displeasing to GOD, that on the contrary, its very acceptable to Heaven, because its motives directly aim at the Glorie of GOD.

But finally, I readily grant, that to pray for death seriously, allanarly to be ridd of miserie, is not acceptable to GOD, because it proceeds usually from those, who would keep Heaven only as a reserve, that they may injoy its Felici­ties, when all worldly happiness is gone; this is in effect nothing else but an efflux of a discontented mind with the providence of GOD, because the Sun of prosperity hath ceased to shine upon their Earthly Tabernacle. Yet when a good Man (in conjunction with the former spirituall motives) is prompted by vehement Arthriticall or Nephriticall pains to wish for death, I cannot con­demn such a prayer, since the almighty hath commanded us to call upon him in the day of trouble, which (in my weak Judgement) imports not only to pray for the divine assistance to support and comfort us, and for a proportion­able measure of patience; but also that it would please GOD (in his own good time) either to take the burthen away from us, or to take us away from the burthen: There was a good and a learned man, one of our own Country, who being pitifully tormented with the torturing sits of the Gravell, (whereof he at last died) it was His ordinary Petition in every Paroxism of that for­midable Distemper, LORD, take out this silly Life of mine, that the better Life of GOD may enter in! Whereat all good Christians were so farr from tak­ing Scandal, that they firmly beleeved He dyed in the Fear and Favour of GOD.

FAB. CCCXVII. Page 277.

That bad Event of the discontented wish of the foolish Ass, was justly ap­plyed by Cyneas (that wise and faithfull counselour of Pyrrhus K. of the Epi­rots) to the restles Spirit of his master; for Cyneas being against his attempt up­on the Romans, when he saw the King would not be disswaded, because he thought it a work of charity to assist the oppressed Tarentines: Then said the servant, if the Gods prosper you, I hope you will then be at rest; no, replyed the master, if it be my good fortune to overcome the valiant Romans, I will easily become master of all Italy, and cannot fail to subdue the adjacent Isle, I mean Sicily, which hath been always famous for its fertility, but never for pro­duceing men of courage: well, said Cyneas, what next▪ Then, said he, I will make an attempt on the rich Carthaginians, who already command much more of Africa, than doth exceed by manie Millions the dimension of their old Ox Hyde: and from thence I will turn towards the East, & take possession of that [Page 38] plentifull countrey of Aegypt, which had never yet anie great plenty of marti­all Spirits; Then I will turn my conquering Armes against the luxurious [...], and I hope also to make all the Nations of the Greeks have as great deference for me and dependence upon me, as ever they had on Philip of Ma­ [...]don, or hi [...] son Alexander the great. The sage Councellour heard this vain Braggadocio with great patience, then he said to him, You will have extraor­dinarie good luck i [...] all those great designes of yours take effect, as you have projected, for I perceive you grasp no less in your imagination, than the slave­rie of all the civilized and barbarous nations in the world, yet the Gods a­lone know whither your projections shall be prosperous or disastrous; But let Us suppose You such a Favourite of Heaven, as that good Fortune shall still accompany You till You have obtained a speedy Accomplishment of all your Desires and Designs: What will You do then? Then (said Pyrrhus) We'll eat and drink, and make merry with our Friends; Alace (good Sir) rejoined Cyneas, why may You not do that just now, without troubling Your [...]elf and the World so much as You purpose to do? for your ancient Kingdom of Epi­rus may furnish you aboundantly with all delicacies for your Table, and I will assure You of Friends enough to share with You in that Aboundance, and to bear You constant Company in all your jovial Humors. But little was this vain ambitious Soul dreaming that not long afterwards He should see (even before He had fully conquered any of these Nations) a Bull and a Wolf fight­ing together (which was given as a prognostick of his approaching death by the Oracle) for when [...]e saw the Effigie [...] of those Animalls (I mean their Sta­ [...]es in Brass) in a fighting posture upon the market place of Arg [...]s, this great soul utterly disponded, yea the prediction was so nigh the fulfilling, that thi [...] Masculi [...] spirit was killed that verie day by the feeble hand [...] of a Woman.

FAB. CCCXXI. Page 281.

There is an old Maxime, Hell is full of the Ingrate; and, no doubt, [...]o is this sublunary World, but all such (whether in Hell, or upon Earth) are judged Devils cl [...]athed with Flesh; it being the part of a God, to render Good for Evil; Of a Man, to render Good for Good; Of a Beast, to ren­der Evil for Evil; But of a Devil, to render Evil for Good. I have known some Men very charitably disposed both by Nature and Gr [...]ce, who have been tempted to forbear the doing of good Works, not only by the unchari­table Construction which hide-bound Souls put upon it (as if it had flowed meerly from a Principle of Pharisaical Ostentation) but mostly in regard of the prodigious Ingratitude of his Beneficiaries, who were so basely unthank­full as to render their benefactor evill for good; yet there were two conside­rations which persuaded him to persevere 1. the most wise GOD permits it to [...]e so, that m [...]n may learn to expect the reward of wel doing from Heaven and not from Earth, for if but once the Holy spirit intimate that word of comfort to the conscience of a benefactor, Gratia mea sufficit, he hath but litle Faith who doeth not firmly hope for a superabundant reward from that inexhaust­able treasure.

The other Consideration is briefly this; Let Us suppose a Man to have 20. Beneficiaries, and that nineteen prove ingrate, yet GOD can easily put the twentieth person in a willing Capacity to compense aboundantly (yea even to Excess) for the defects of all the rest, so that the Benefactor shall at last have aboundant reason to say with the famous Themistocles, Periissem nis [...] Periissem.

FAB. CCCXXVII. Page 285.

If a good moral Pagan, viz. S [...]ipio Africanus, had reason to say, Nunqua [...] [...] solus, quam cum solus; sure a devout Christian Student may with much more reason speak so, for his solitariness cannot [...]e better imployed than in making frequent oblations of spirituall Sacrifices to the Lord para [...]ount of heaven and earth, and in perusing the extant works of manie Spirits of just men made perfect; so that I am fully perswaded that the conversation of naughty companie, for the space of a Naturall Day is more tedious to a truly contem­plative Soul, than to converse with the dead (I mean to be immured in His study among his books) for a twelve month upon end; so that when there is an indispensable obligation lying upon such students to triffle away so much precious time, as a whole day upon such an unedifying companie; in their evening reflection, they are not only [...]eady to say, M [...]ltum in [...]ola fuit Anim [...] [...] h [...]die; but also (with Cato the Censor, and Titus Vespasian) Hèu perdidi [...]! and to mind that of the excellent Senea, Non panum temporis habemus sed [...] p [...]rdinius, aut nihil agenda, aut aliud agendo, aut mal [...] agendo, & [...] H [...] [...] [...]ollocando. It's s [...]ill iudged a wittie repartee and a deserved [...] which S. Augustine gave to the blasphemous enquirie of a too cu­ [...]ious person, who urged him to tell (if it be true that the world had a begin­ning) what could GOD be doing so many millions of ages before the creati­on of the world▪ That great soule instantly answered him, He was making Hell for such curious h [...]ads as yours: but the proper resolution of the Case is, that Sapiens nunquam est [...]; now GOD being infinitly wise, He can­not possibly be idle for one minute of Time.

FAB. CCCXXXII. Page 289.

There be some who judge it a point of policy to divert people from prying into their serious affairs, by giving them occasion to talk of them for some acts of Levity; as did Alcibiad [...]s by cutting off (close to the rump) the Tail [...] of his well known D [...] at At [...]ns; but its a most certain truth that they who lay up their contentment on other m [...]ns Tongues, build their Happiness upon a verie slipperie foundation; What other men say of us (said that [...] Greek Father, Gregorie Nazia [...]en) is nothing else but what other M [...]n dream of us; if (said a philosopher) I had all mens [...]ongues in my possession, they should say no more than I pleased, but since God and nature have give [...] every man a tongue to talk at random; let them say what they will, I will do what I think just and fit: it being simply unpossible to please all m [...]n (ye [...] the almightie himself cannot doe it, till first he make all men good) and usu­aly he who endeavours to please the most, displeaseth the best, even GOD an [...] his own conscience; but if a man have these two great witnesses for him he may easily commence a Process of Exsculpation against all the world; for which we have the sage councel of two heathen Poets,—Ne Te quaesiveris extra, (said one of Them, and the Other)

Hic [...] [...]eneus est [...],
Nil cons [...]ire tibi, nulla palles [...] Culp [...].

Its as evident a matter of fact as Sacred and human Historie can make it, that the best of Patriarchs and Kings, the most [...] Prophets and Apo­stles, and the greatest Luminaries of the Primitve Church, have had their good Names sullied with the rank Breaths of the wicked; yet never anie of them broke their hearts for calumnie and reproach, and good reason for their gene­rous Patience, for the servant is not greater than his Lord; and I desire any to [Page 40] find in church Historie, that such vile Aspersions were thrown upon Narcis­sus, Eustathius, Athanasius, S. Basil, Gregorie Nazianz. S. Cyprian, S. Hierom, or S. Augustine, (tho' all of them were most basely traduced) as were [...]ast upon Innocencie it selfe; so that the good Christian who is too much concerned for being tossed so frequently upon the raging billowes of slander, hath this to solace him, that he is embarqued on that tempestuous sea with verie good companie.

Yea it's verie observable that the most stayed Pagan Princes judge it only fit for Plebeian Heads to notice the rumours of the Vulgar; Thus Philip of Ma­cedon being informed that the Lacedemonians spoke everie where ill of him, notwithstanding he had done them manie good offices, which rendered them the more criminal and inexcusable: if, said he (to those who advised to pu­nish them) they speak ill of me when I do well, what will they do, when I do otherwise: It was from the wise Augustus that his adopted Son Tiberius had that sentence frequently in his mouth; In libera c [...]vitate linguam men­temque liberam esse debere: And learned in the beginning of his Reign to in­hibit the Roman Senat from searching after the authors of calumnies and Sa­tyrs, for said he, if once you plunge your selfe into that Abyss, you will hard­ly find leasure for any thing else▪ The best confutation of calumnie being well doing, and the most effectual suppression of it is to look down upon it with contempt: The Cynick Philosopher haveing given a notable Advice to a man that is most unjustly traduced; labour, said he, to be most eminent in the vertue which is most opposit to that vice wherewith you are taxed, and this will make your calumnious Accuser be accounted a notorious Lyar by all the World: But this crafts master in dissimulation, spoke all this strong sense to the Senate in great hypocrisie▪ which Tacitus (that grave historian) as also Suet onius, make appear from manie instances besides that of Creumtius Cordus; at least he was farr from the practice of it diverse years before he dyed: but Titus Vespasian was more sincere, when he said Bona agere et mala pati, Regium est; For he had his own ill willers who spoke evil of him, tho' He was ge­nerally accounted the Darling of man-kind; but the vileness of his unbro­therly successour heightned his Excellencie in the Judgements of all Men, long after He was dead; as the Poet said of a good man who was ill spoken of by some so long as he lived; Extinctus amabitur Idem.

It's worth the while to know (before We put a Period to this Particular) that some Greek Pholosophers fell upon a strange Expedient, as a most effectual Amulet and Antidote against the Poyson of Columnie; and that is to lay it down for an inviolable conclusion, that to a truly vertuous man, it ought to be more mortifying, to be well spoken of by the vulgar than ill reported, because that beast with many heads, the Mobile, is much more enclyned to ly than to speak Truth; and more apt to magnify vice than vertue, and that they are but at the least Species Virtutibus similes which merit their esteem: as for true heroicall vertues, as they are infinitly above the knowledge of the Mob, so above their due valuation of them: It was upon this account that Phovion (the last of the Grecian worthies at Athens) having one day made a solemn Oration that highly pleased the Athenian people (which was far from being ordinary with him) when he perceived this by their shouting applause, he turned to some of his freinds and said, what evil have I spoken that this foolish and igno­rant people doeth seem to approve it.

FAB. CCCXXXV. Page 293.

I doe not think that the impious advice which Iob's wife gave her husban [Page 41] imported a desyance of GOD, but that the meaning is, if he was so desirous of death, and unwilling to become Felo de Se; Let him only utter some bla­sphemous expression and the law of the land would put him to death; but this fable minds me of a wonderfull act of divine Justice recorded by a late English traveller, named Mr. Gage, of a Spanish Lady in America who hearing that her Husband (Governour of a province of that new found World) with their only son were kill'd in a certain expedition they had made against the [...] ­multuating Natives, she presumed to utter that blasphemous expression, What worse can GOD do to Me than He hath done? Whereupon there gushed instant­ly such a Torrent of Waters from the Side of an adjacent Hill, that it not only overturned the House where that wicked Lady lived, but also a great Village beside it where many Thousands were overflowed, so that the accurs­ed Place (like another Sodom) is become a Lake of stinking waters to this day.


This may bring to our Remembrance the storie of Timon of Athens, gene­raly termed Misanthropos, or the Man-Hater, who was indeed much more unhappie than the man mentioned in the Fable; for this prodigal Nobleman had really wasted a great Estate upon Hospitality; apprehending that His Trencher-Friends would help him at a Dead-Lift, But when He came to a great Decay of his fortune, all these precarious Flies were gone, because there was no more Fire nor Meat handled in His Kitchen, so that He hated all Mankind, and for manie Years shunned the Companie of all the world; there­fore it's no wonder that the People flocked about Him, when He came one day from the Country (whether He had retired) to the Market Place in A­thens, where He made this strange Proclamation; ‘That having an old Tree in his Orchard which He was about to cut down, Therefore He thought▪ fit to warn them seasonably, that if there were any of them who had a design to hang themselves, let them come for that effect to his Orchard, and He should spare that tree two or three days longer upon that acount since many had been formerly hang'd thereon.’

FAB. CCCXLVI. Page 302.

It seems the Grand Seigniours (or Great Turks) have consulted this fable by employing the most despicable of their Infantry to to blunt their Enemies Weapons.

FAB. CCCLIV. Page 324.

To this Taylor's Wife, the Queen of Corinth (espoused to Periander one of the seven Wise-Men of Greece) and that infamous Xantippe, married to Socrates, may be said to have been Cousin-germans, for their Husbands had as often served Inhibition against them, not to overturn their Tables, Meat and all, especiallie when Strangers were their Guests, as the Taylor had pro­hibited his Wife to call Him Prick-Louse; Yet all in vain, Hinc Inde, But we need not travel the length of Greece for such exotick Plants, since our own Countrey affords Us but too manie noisome Weeds of that Nature; Yet I can­not but approve the judicious Observation of the Commentator, That there be as many shrewd Husbands, as there be female shrews in the World; and that the Man is more to blame, because he ought to have more Knowlege and Wit than the Wife; and if we beleeve the H. Scripture, It's the Glory of a Man to pass by Infirmities, and to cover the Imperfections of a Wife, if possibly they can be palliated.

FAB. CCCLXIV, Page 335.

Here is Occasion enough for Raillerie upon the Ignorance of Priests before the Reformation, for tho' I suppose the Romanists had never the Civility to thank Protestants for it, yet it's a most certain truth, that by their frequent preaching they awakned them out of their Lethargic Stupidity of Ignorance; it being most ridiculous to hear a Priest expound that Article of his Creed, Passus sub Pontio Pilato, He passed under the bridg Pilate; and the other who would prove from the Scripture, that GOD made at first ten worlds by these words of our Saviour, Nonne decem fact [...] sunt Mund [...]? which was easilie con­futed by the subsequent question, sed ubi sunt novem▪ I might also instance Dimissus est per portam, The Priest not having latin for a basket: and the undertaking of another to prove by divine Testimonie, that the People of his Parish were bound to pave the Church; but not himself; by citing the words of the Prophet, Paveant illi, non ego; but examples of this nature are almost in­finite; which gave occasion to those who had some stock of latine to say, Lo­quere latine, ne intelligant Sacerd [...]tes.

But as its lamentable so also edifying to read the pitifull account of an ig­norant Priest in Bavaria, which Bontface (called the Apostle of Germanie) gave to Pope Zacharie; that the said Priest for manie years in the destitution of better latine had thus baptized; In nomina pa [...]rua filia & spiritua Sancta; For this instance alone holds furth sufficiently the great Inconveniencies of pub­lick Liturgies in an unknown Tongue.

But there is far greater danger to the Church of GOD in absurd reason­ings (either from scripture or anie other Topic) than in the frequent wounding of Priscian's head, be the Solaecisms never so gross in any language; and whose desires a large Catalogue of such ridiculous P [...]ralogisms; let him read a full account of the Acts and Canons of the second Councill of Nice (as it is termed) and he will find a shoall of them Us (que) ad nauseam, and all forsooth to buoy up that idolatrous and most scandalous practice in their Adoration of Images; but we have not spare time to insist any longer on such Trumperies.

FAB. CCCLXVII. Page 338.

Ludere in re seria, seldom misseth of being an indication of a fool in earnest; and among things serious, I account not only sacred matters, but also the approach of death as a most serious adventure; for if a man mistell a stepp then, he may resolve upon it to step in upon an Eternitie of remediless Mi­serie; where bantering and lampooning, Jibing and al kinds of Jesting are quite out of fashion; so that they who give themselves to this kind of levity (when death is looking them in the face) it seemes they have never seriouslie and sea­sonably considered that of the wise man; There is a time for all things; and though some through excesse of Charitie are apt to impute it to greatness of spirit, yet it savours either of Atheism (as if they did not believe the immorta­lity of the Soul) or at least of too great unconcernedness with the present state both of Soul and body; Sir Thomas More (Chancellour of England) was un­doubtedly a great Soul, but I beleeve there is no sober person, who will ap­prove his jesting humour, when He was ascending that fatal Theatre, farr less the continuation of it when he layed down his head upon the block.


Plutarch in his descrintion of the ban [...]t of the seven Sa [...]s tells this storie [Page 43] at greater length▪ tho' there be many who question the Truth of Arion's escape by such means, because that Fish which is usually termed a Dolphin, appeares so litle and feeble, as that (without a miracle) it could not possiblie have su­stained a man upon its back, so long a way at sea; but whither it be fabulous or not, one thing is certain that divers men have been most wonderfully rescued out of the jawes of death; and even some infideles as well as Christians (for the divine providence reacheth over all) We had occasion to give some exam­ples of this nature already, but what I am now to ad, imports that their pre­servation was but a reservation to a greater misfortune, or let it be call'd a great­er judgment on some wicked persons, who triffled notwithstanding at first with such an extraordinarie Providence.

How admirable was the preservation of Theramenes, one of the 30 Tyrants at Athens, for being call'd but for one word to be spoken to a Friend at the Gate, in the midst of a great feast, he was scarce wel over the threshold, when the house fell, and smothred all the rest of the Guests; But when his Friends flocked about him to congratulate with Him as a Darling of Heaven; he answered verie modestly, Nescitis O Amici, ad quae Fata Dij me reservarunt; Neither was he disappointed of his feares, for within few dayes he was tortur­ed to death by his cruell Associats, whose tyrannie he thought to have dissolved by restoring the antient liberty to his People; but his good designe was thus disappointed, providence having reserved that Glorious work for another patriot named Thrasybulus.

The next instance is more wonderfull, both as to the preservation and de­struction of the person concerned, who could not be taxed with any Immo­rality, because he was not come to the years of discretion; and that was the grandchild of that famous Saracen Prince named Almansor, whom not one that ever reigned in this world, exceded for morality, if we believe S. Walter Raleigh in the Historie of his life, which that judicious Historian says that He com­pyled out of two verie antient Arabian Manuscripts: This renowned grand­father, recommended the infant successour to the Tuition of one that he judged a verie trusty friend and servant; but the old villain, having a designe upon that great Empire for himself, thought to have dispatched His Pupill most subtily by a most gorgeous coat that he had tinctured inwardly with Poyson; which had certainly taken effect, had it not been for a dream of the mother of this young Prince, who was so fond of that splendid Vesture, that He was just ready to put it on, when she made a shift to put it upon another by whose death the Treason was discovered; but tho' the Prince was wonderfully preserved at this time; Yet within few dayes the infant lying in his bed in good Health, there descendeda Spider, one morning, from the Top of it, and did bite his Lipp, which so inflamed, that it produced a Feaver, and a speedy Death; and with Him ended the Glorie of the Saracen Empire, which was then at the Height: By an exact Geographical Computation it will be found that there was never anie Monarchy in the World preferable to it for Vastness of Do­minion, no not the Roman in the days of Augustus; For they had a consi­derable Interest in Europe (beside the Continent of Spain) a farr greater Por­tion of Africa than ever the Romans had, and the whole Kingdom of Persia, which the Romans never subdued.

The former Instance verifies that of the H. Scripture, that GOD's Judge­ments are a very great Depth, tho' always just; but there is no man who hath the Use of Reason, but will be ready to justifie the Judgement of God in the succeeding story, which concerns a wicked Robber and Murderer in France; This villanous [...] having bereaved many Innocents of their Lives, did fall [Page 44] asleep one Summers Night, at the Foot of an old Wall, when He dreamed, that a reverend Old Man came to Him, and bid Him instantly remove from the Place, otherways the ruinous old wall would fall on Him, which He had no sooner done, than the wal did fall; but the impious wretch was so far from mak­ing a good use of that wonderfull mercie, that He did blasphemously imagine that the infinite Justice did approve his wicked Courses, so that He went a­bout His old Trade, and the very next Night murdered a Man; then falling asleep, tho' not under a wall, He dreamed again that his old Monitor came to him, and said to him, Ah you ingrate wicked Wretch, is this the thank You give GOD Almighty for your late wonderful Deliverance, to return again to that inhumane trade of murdering of men made after rhe Image of GOD! But now know for your terrour, that it was out of no kindness to You, that I warned You of Your danger, but that your preservation might be a reserva­tion to a greater Judgment, even an ignominious Death before the World, which within few Hours wil be inflicted upon You; This profligat Villain was scarce well awakned from this terrible Night-Vision, when the Officers of Iu­stice seized upon Him, so that the very next Day he was publickly broken up­on the Row, as he well deserved.

FAB. CCCCI. Page 375.

The exactest Parallel I know to this Cobling Doctor with the discoverie of the cheat, is that remarkable storie which fell out in this same age, concerning a Iew named Sabbatai Sevi, who became such a grand Impostor, that I believe the like of him did not arise since the days of Mahomet that Prodigy of Impo­stors, for He had so deluded that long obdured Nation with a pretence of Mira­cles and divine Revelation, that they verily believed He was their promised MESSIAH, whom they had so long expected, so that the generality of the Iews became perfectly mad, for they sold all their effects here and there at very easy rates, and were all upon wing for Ierusalem in expectation of that universall monarchy; but when the Grand Seignior (Mahomet IV.) was informed that Sabbatai gave out he would lead the great Turk in Chaines to Ierusa­lem, and upon his ruins begin the erection of his new Empire, he caused bring him chained to Adrianople, and then told Him that He behooved to stand naked within a very smal distance from six of his guard who were to discharge their Harquebuzes upon him; and if (said the Grand Seignior) You catch no harm, I will then believe that you can work mirrcles, otherwise you must in­stantly be circumcised and turned Mussleman, for there is no other safety for you, The poor fellowes faith failed so that he made as ingenious a confession as the Cobler did to the Governour, and instantly became Turk, and here is an end of that noysie pageantrie, of which I have given but a verie brief extract; but whoso desires to see it at large, he will find it in a particular treatise made by Paul Ricaut for that effect; or in the addition to Mr. Knall's Turks Hi­storie, composed by that same Authour.

FAB. CCCCVIII. Page 384.

In the life of Thales Milesius one of the seven sages of Greece, there is a true storie almost to the same purpose; This Philosopher had an Ass, which from a certain place used to carrie a load of Salt for the Masters behove; now there being a river in the way, she once stumbled and fell therein, so that a large quantity of the salt was dissolved by the water, she finding her burden to be thereby considerably lightned, had so much of a bru [...]ish sagacity as to com­mence a spontaneous falling more than once for her own ease but to her Masters [Page 45] disadvantage; which being observed by that wise Philosopher, He caused load her with a great pack of wool, so that finding her burden once and again augmented by her plunging, she was afterwards very carefull to keep her feet straight when she entered into the water: And that there be some old resty Jades (call it policy or what you will) who counterfit the Spavin or Halting (that the ryder may spare his spurs a litle) is well known by the experience of the world.

FAB. CCCCXIII. Page 388.

Here might have been minded the witty answer which Apollonius Tyanaeus gave the Emperour Vespasian concerning the government of that Monster of nature Nero; Nero (said the Philosopher) could tune the Harp well; but as for his politicall government, he sometimes wynd up the strings thereof too high, and at other times suffered them to fall too low, so that Themistocles was much more to be commended, who tho' He could not fidle at all, yet he had the proper art of making a litle burnt City, a great State; and of preserving the interest and honour of Athens in wooden walls.

FAB. CCCCXIV. Page 390.

Ne sutor ultra crepidam, is the true morall of this fable in verie few Words; and as such ignorants ought not to be found tampering with heterogeneall matters, which are far above their Sphaere; so they are not better than fools who consult or imploy them in any excentrick business: tho' that Apocryphall book called Ecclesiasticus is no part of canonicall scripture (for which some pregnant intrinsick Reason might be given beside the Testimonie of the Iews) yet Syracides hath set down many excellent moral Instructions therein; a­mong which is found a large and notable advice to this purpose, which thus begins: Consult not a coward in maters of War, &c. the curious will find the rest in the author himself.

FAB. CCCCXVI. Page 392.

This Apologue minds me of that unkingly answer which the Emperour of Iapan made to some Iesuites not long agoe; for that polypragmatick Sect having, by the presents of many curious Clocks and Watches, obtained a li­cence from that Prince to preach the Gospell within his dominions, how soon he had drained them of all their gifts, he then revoked that licence he had granted them: and when the Iesuits had the confidence to insinuate, that it was no better than perfidious dealing, which was unsuitable in any man, but abominable in a King, whose Word ought to be equivalent to another Man's Oath; He most impudently replyed, that his tongue was not made of bone: now whither there be a greater repugnancie in this short (but vi [...]e) answer to moralitie or the regall dignity, it can hardly be determined; for a King's word ought to be no less sacred than his person, and when He is found to make no bones to violat his word of honour, there is no more intrinsick ho­nour due unto him, and he will have a better luck then he deserves if the ex­ternall ceremonies thereof be long continued with him.

When the Emperour Sigismond had promised to give a considerable Sum of money to an old souldier at a certain day; before the time of performance came he repented of it, and told the Promittee that he could not spare so much, Sir (said the bold son of Mars) you ought to have considered that before you made the promise, but now Promissum cadit in Debitum, and without a palpable vio­lation of your honour, you cannot [...]esile from it: Is it so (said the good Em­perour) [Page 46] I will chose rather to part with my monie than to lose mine honour any more: by the last words he alluded to the violation of the safe conduct granted ro Iohn Huss when he went to the councill of Constance, which gave occasion to many to reflect on Him as a Prince regardless of his Honour; there­fore he was become more sensible of that tender point; which reflection had its own influence on his successour Charles V. for about an hundred years after the burning of that Goose (for Huss signifies no less in the Bohemian language) there rose a Swan out of its ashes (as I. Huss had truly prophecied) I mean Martine Luther (for his name imports the same in that Language) he being called by Charles V. to the city of Wormes with a promise of free e [...] trie & issue, when some bigotts about him (who had a Zeal but neither according to Know­ledge, Iustice, Charitie nor Truth) urged Him to put in execution that odious Canon of the councell of Constance, that no faith should be kept to Here [...]icks; the noble Emperour answered, tho' Faith and Truth were lost, they should be found among Kings and Emperours; The generous Prince hating (Cane & An­gue pejus) that most detestable Canon as a mighty scandal and disgrace, both to Christianity and Morality.

FAB. CCCCXVII. Page 394.

Wittie Lucian in that Dialogue betwixt a poor Cobler and his Cock (which at last, forsooth, He found to be a new Metamorphosis of the Philosopher Py­thagoras, who had made a transmigration from Euphorbus to Chanticleer) He exemplifies the anxious Cares and Fears of a covetous rich man in most lively colours, which the curious may see at large in the said Author; but a rich Miser needs no more but look into his own Breast, and there He will find (next to a poor desparing sinner) as absolute an image of Hell, as can be found in this World.

The Author might have illustrated what He says at the end of his Reflection on this Fable, by that storie of the Poor Widows two Mites, which were more acceptable to Him that sees the Heart, and will reward according to the sincere intention therof, than all the great Gifts of the rich Men which were that day cast into the Iewish Corban, for She threw in all She had, and the greatest King upon Earth could do no more; Yea all generous Souls in this World do regard the Heart of the Giver (so far as they can guess by their Frankness) allmost infinitly above the Gift it self; as We may perceave from the great Re­ward Artaxerxes Longimanus bestowed upon a poor man for a Cup of cold Water: and the no less Guerdon which a countrey man receaved from Theo­dosius the youngr, for an extraordinarie big Apple; not to speak of that extra­ordinarie Favour shown by Artaxerxes Mnenion to him who brought him a Dose of puddle Water, which was the best that could be found to supply the present necessity of that Persian Prince.


That storie of the unruly Horse of the Prince of Orange that killed the Ly­on with a back blow of his hinder foot upon the Lyons Front, is so well known through all Europe, that We need not insist upon it; Only I shall ad that the Ass in the fable had a better fortune than the Horse in theh istorie, for the Ass became no whit less than himselfe by his victorie over the Boar; But the dreadfull pursuit made by this lyon (tho' he lost his life in the cause) did so stun the spirits of the Horse, that he who was so sprightly before as that he would suffer none to back him, became such a tame jade, that a Child [Page 74] might mount him, and he was judged fit for no other imployment, than the drawing of a Cart.

FAB. CCCCXXVII. Page 40 [...].

Titus Livius would allmost cause an Heraclitus to laugh at the event of Fae minine Futility, when there was no ground in Nature for it: Papyrius Cur­ser (famous enough in the Roman historie) when he was but a young stripling, was importuned by his too curious mother to tell her what had kept the Se­natours sitting so long beyond their ordinary time; at last under great Se­crecie He told Her that there had been great contest among them concerning Polygamie, and that the finall Determination was referred to the morrows diet, but in his weak Judgement they who were for Plurality of wives, would carrie it by plurality of voices; she was so far from keeping this supposed se­cret to herself, that the very next morning she assembled a great Brigade of all the Roman matrons at the senat house door, who told the admiring senatours, that they were come to protest against that unjust act, till they were heard for their interest: Ex malis moribus bonae oriuntur Leges; for whereas the senatours sons (tho' very young) were formerly permitted to be present at all their se­rious debates; this was inhibited for the future till they should ascend to a competent Age; having reason to judge that all Women were of the same mold with the mother of Papyrius, yet in regard he had manifested extraor­dinary discretion by his fiction he alone was priviledged to sitt tho' far with­in the competent age, and therefore surnam'd Praetextatus. But A. Gellius makes it more ludicrous on the Female Side, for he says that Papyrius represented it as if the Senatours were in doubt whither every man might have two wives, or everie woman two Husbands, and makes the Roman matrons protest ra­ther for the latter than former alternative.

The a. instance is Roman too, and no less comical than the former, by the pleasant Jest put upon a futile wife, by the husband, who was a Roman Sena­tour, and having stayed one day long from dinner, the wife was very curious to know what weigty matter they had been about; The Husband appeared verie shy, because (said he) it's a matter that may cost me my Life if it be known that I have revealed the mysteries of the state, and on the other hand, I know that it's as easy to grasp the Air in our fist, or to take hold of a vanishing shadow, as to fix a woman to secrecie, yet upon so many protestations he was at last persuaded to trust her for once, Then out comes the mysterie, that there had been a strange prodigy seen of late, which by the Angures was judged to be a portentous Omen to the City, and that was a Lark flying above it with an Head-Piece and a Javeline at it's side, so that the Senatours have been de­vising long what expiation to make for the City to divert the wrath of the Gods which is apparently threatned by that wonderfull prodigy: The wife was the more apt to beleeve him, not only because she knew her husband to be a serious man and that he had told his tale with a great deal of seeming Gra­vity, but also in regard that Rome, whither Pagan or Christian, hath been alwayes too superstitious; but for all her protestations for Secrecie, all her Gos­sips heard it long before Sun-sett; for the Husband walking towards the Forum in the Cool of the day, was accoasted with many of his acquaintance, all say­ing, we pray you Sir, what think you of that prodigious Lark, with a Cask and Javeline? He returning to his house appeared to His Wife to be in a mighty Passion, to whom He said, If I had not been a Fool, I would never have put it in your Power to undo me by your Madness in divulging that great secret committed to You, for now the Town is full of it; It's well known [Page 48] that women have very ready Wits, so that Her Apology was not ridiculous, fit had not had its Rise from a Fable; Husband (said she) are there not 300 Se­nators of You, and the generality of them have Wives no less curious than I, & as bad Secretars, why then should I be challenged more than the rest? You speak strong Sense, said the Husband, if any of the rest had known it as well as You, but I will assure you that there was not any Senatour but my self alone who knew it; so that none of them could tell their Wives; and to be short, He unridled the mystical sport to Her, and then concluded▪ since I perceave (by thus feeling of your Pulse) that You have an incureable Lienteria in your tongue; tho' You would take a Razor in your Hand, and do no less with it than the Wife of Brutus did in the absence of her Husband, yet I will assure you that I will never any more trust you with an important secret, for eve [...]ie wife is not the daughter of Cato.

The last storie was also acted upon the scene of Rome, but most Tragicall in the event, for it ended in the violent death both of Husband and Wife, and thus it was ushered in: The Emperour Augustus after the death of Agrippa, made choice of one Fulvius a Roman Senatour to be his intimat friend and councellour, supposing him more close than Macenas (whom he had some­times taxed for not keeping councell) but a Scylla in Charybdem, for having re­vealed under great Secrecie to Fulvius his design of retryving young Agrippa from that Isle to which he was relegated; tho▪ he be but a profligate Youth (said the Emperour) Yet being the Son of the most worthy and gallant A­grippa, and mine own grand child, it's more natural that my own blood succeed me than a stranger, tho' my adopted Son (meaning Tiberius) The futile friend no sooner went home, but he acquainted his wise with the Emperour's design, and she could not rest one minute at home, till she had disgorged that Seccret in the bosome of Livia, who came in like Thunder and Lightning upon the poor Husband upbraiding him to have no less design in that releas­ment than to cutt her Son's throat and her own: the next morning, Fulvius having made his ceremonious salutation to the Emperour; All that Augustus answered, was, GOD send you more wit Fulvius, he instantly apprehending the meaning of that satyr, came home and called for his wise, to whom he said, since by your folly I have lost the Emperour's savour I am resolved to live no longer, therefore pulled out his dagger to dispatch himself; hold said the wife till I speak some thing for my own vindication: You are more to blame for this discoverie than my self, for knowing me these twentie years bygone that I could not keep councell, you ought not to have entrusted me with any weigh­ty matter, which you would have concealed, but since I am the principall of­fender, it's reason I be the first sufferer; then she instantly pulled the dagger out of the Husbands hand, and sheathed the same in her own bowels.


The French Libertines conceat, reported by the author, is an allusion, or to say better, the reall account of a Dialogue betwixt a Libertine, and the fa­mous Duke Ioyess, whereof I shall give a more ample narrative for the Honour of that great man: when he was but younger Brother He had turned Capu­chin, but the elder being killed in the civil Warrs▪ by the Martiall Conduct of Henry King of Navarr; The younger brother was constrayned by the Pope, for the good of the Catholick Cause (which in their opinion justifies a dispen­sation for any thing) not only to succeed his brother in his estate but also in his office of Generall under Henrie III. Thus we find the honest Capuchine transformed into a Duke and Peer of France, and into a man of war; But [Page 49] how soon it pleased the LORD of Hosts to restore Peace to France by the settle­ment of Henry IV. in the capital city, the new Duke instantly abandoned all the pleasures of the court with all his great Estate and Ti [...]les of Honour and returned to his old order of Capuchine; and it was on the streets of Par [...]s▪ in a cold winter day, that a lice [...]tious droll (a modern Dei [...], or to say better, a reall Atheist) rancountred this religious father bare legged and bare footed, save only that he had sandalls under his soles: But the duply of that truly religious noble Soul ought not to be forgot: As I beleeve those regions of Bless and mar [...]sions of eternall Glorie, to which I hope GOD of his infinite Mercie▪ and for the infinit merits of holy Iesus, will bring me, when it's his good pleasure that I be delivered from a vain, a sinfull and miserable life; so if there be a [...]ell where incorrigible sinners shall be eternally tormented (where­of I am fully perswaded, because the Justice of GOD requires it) then, Sir, you will be found to be the greatest fool of the two.

FAB. CCCCLII. Page 428.

Rondelitius a French Physitian hath a story somewhat to this Purpose, of a cheating Rogue in France who gained no little money by countersitting that strange Disease named the Catalepsy (whose real stupefaction do [...]h so re­semble the Insensibility of a dead Body, that the People of Cullen buried the Subtile Doctor alive) but Rondelitius having good ground to suspect the coun­terfit Cataleptic as an Impostor, He said that He had cured many o [...] that Di­sease by a very easie remedie, yet so effectual, that they never relapsed into it again, and that was only to bastinado them soundly from head to foot; [...] how soon the Eck statick Cheat heard this, he gat up and away, and [...]o the Di­sease was cured.


Plutarch, in his Moralls, reports a Parallel storie to this Miser with his rotten Apples; Of a Merchant in Chios who had many sorts of Greek Wines to traffick with; Yea the Isle of Chios is famous for produceing naturally very generous wines; this merchant was a great miser, and having bought a slave in the morning he ordered him to tast his serveral sorts of wine, and to [...] by themselves any bottles which contained sour or vappid wine; but when the Slave perceived His Mister to make Use of those (and of [...]one [...]) at his Meat, he shewed Him a fair Pair of Heels after Dinner; but being brought back a­gain, and told that it was death by the Law for a slave to become Fugitive; I know no less, replied he, for I would rather choose death than serve a Fool; a Fool, said his overtakers, He is accounted a very wise man who is your ma­ster; he must either be a fool or a madman, said the slave, who having many good Wines in his Possession, and the Propriety of them also, that will still take the worst to his own Use.

FAB. CCCCLXIV. Page [...].

The most lamentable Story that ever I read of an Outrage of this Nature commited in cold blood (not on a beast, but on a man; not on a stranger, but the mans own Son, and the eldest too) was perpetrated by Sha Ab [...]as K. of Persia, who lived not long agoe; he was a Prince of great parts. but very Tyrannicall, as generally the Asiatick monarchs are, and when their people come to a general grudging and a murmuring against the Goverment, it's an infallible evidence that it's highly Tyrannical, for it's well known to Histo­rians, that the Asiaticks have been generally slaves since the dayes of Nimrod; [Page 50] tho' some of their Princes are less severe than others: We need no other Evi­dence of their being so inured to slaverie (that they affected these chaines) than the proffer which the Romans made to the Cappadocians, even to set them at liberty, that they might become a Common-Wealth, since their Kings had so tyrannized over them: but their Answer was surprising to the Romans, who expected great Thanks for tendering that to them which is acounted the great­est Blessing upon earth next to bodily Health: We have been so accust [...]med to Kingly Government, said the Cappadocians, that We will choose rather to have a King (let him be never so great a Tyrant) than to have none at all.

But let Us return to Sha Abbas, who had a Son (and his first born too) that was a Prince of great Vertue, and greatly beloved by all Ranks of People, and never a Son honoured his Parents more than He did His Royall Father; He was also arrived at such an Age, as to have Wife and Children; This un­fortunate Prince found one day a little Schedule of Paper lying in his cham­ber unsealed and unsubscribed, with very odd contents, the sum thereof was this, that if he were willing, he should be put in present possession of the administration of the government, since neither the nobility nor body of the people could any longer endure the intolerable Tyrannie of his Father.

We may easily imagine how surprising this paper was to an innocent Soul who had never harboured such unnatural thoughts▪ Yea abhorred them as he did the Devil and Hell it self; so that in a true filial rage he was once re­solved to throw that treasonable paper into the fire as most worthy of Hell fire; till he began to reflect on two things, 1. that it might be a politick Fetch of his Father to try how he would behave, for he knew Him to be of as Jealous a temper as any man living; Or supposeing it to be a reall effect of the conspiracie of the nobles against his father, yet he judged it probable that some pick thank among them, or a timerous Soul might reveale the com­bination to the King, with the circumstance of that dropped paper, so that the Maxime of Law might be applyed to himself, Qui tacet, consentire videtur, Therefore he finaly determined to acquaint the King with that unhappy emer­gencie, and withall to make infinite protestatons of his own ignorance of the matter, and His fitter Abhorrence of so vile a Designe: The father was well pleased with the prudent Conduct of his Son, and throughly convinced of his innocencie, Yet that fatal paper had raised such suspicions of the Nobles in his head, and such sinistrous suppositions concerning His own Son, that it was possible he might yet be prevailed upon to comply with that treasonable designe (since a great Crown is a great temptation) or that it would satis­fy the conspiratours that his Son were only passive in the matter, and in fine this unhappy Father, no less jealous than the Roman Emperour Tiberius (and too like him in his dissimulation) began to entertain that same suspicion of his Son, that Tiberius had done of Germani [...]us, who thought Him not inno­cent for all his moderation in refusing the Empyre because He was judged capable of what had been offered to him; so that He could get no rest day nor night till he had assasinated his innocent Son; yet within few hours he repented of that unnatural villanie, and had abundant occasion to repent so long as he lived, but in the resentment of his irreparable loss, he most justly wrecked his wrath on that too officious Nobleman who made too great hast to put in Execution that inhumane and most wicked order: Thus We have an end of this most wofull Tragedy, where both innocencie and extraordi­narie merit suffered.


There is a parallel storie to this of Si [...]nides in the deportment of the Philo sopher Stilpo after the taking of Megara by the armie of King Demetrius, the said King meeting the Philosopher, and knowing that his dwelling house had been in Maegara, demanded of him if he had lost many of his goods, at the sacking of that City, insinuating that he was heartily sorry that he knew it not sooner, that he might have given a protection to his house and all that be­longed to him: Stilpo answered him that he had lost none of his goods in Ma­gara, for I never esteemed the triffling gifts of fortune as my goods, for these are Knowledge and Virtue, of which Intellectual and Moral goods I cannot be bereaved by all the Tyrants under Heaven, Yea suppose they take this frail life away, these immortal goods will not fail to accompanie me to a much better world.


It was an usuall expression of the famous Aristotle, O my friends, how rare is it to find a true friend in the world! There were not many pairs of friends celebrated by the ancients; We read of Daman and Pythias; Theseus and P [...] ­rithous; Achilles and Patroclus; Pylades and Orestes; Alexander and Ephe­stion; Scipio and Lelius; Augustus and Agrippa; Vespasian and Mutianus; Severus and Plautianus; with some few others: and yet among those few we have mentioned▪ an intire reciprocall Amity will not be found, there being some flawes observed in some of the four last mentioned pairs: And it's no wonder to find such deficiencies among Infidels, when one of the most celebrated couple of friends that are recorded in Holy Scripture are taxed with a palpable defect; for that amity ought to be accounted but a dead friend­ship, which dies with the immediat Object▪ and descends not to his posterity, and so may David's be said to have done in reference to his dear and most generous friend Ionathan, when he proved so injust to his Son Mephibosheth as after due information of the cheat put upon himselfe and his friend's Son, to say, you and Ziba divide the land; for a just judge (not to speak of a faithfull friend) in lieu of any other dividend, would have ordered the head of that lying and Treacherous slave to have been divided from his body, for abusing his master and the son of such a ather; but hence we may justly in [...]er that here away Nihil est ab omni parte beatum.


In the life of the profoundly learned Ioseph Mede, we have an instance of such an Hypocrite: This good man having lent to a neighbour in the city of Oxford a considerable sum of money to be payed at such a day, without any interest; Before the day came the debitor was turned Anabaptist, and when the Creditor required his money, as having use for it himself, he did meet with this strange kind of payment; there is no money due to You; what said the Doctor, did I not lend you money to be payed at this time? That's no­thing said the new proselyte, for now I know that you have no right to that money, because You are not a Ba [...]e of Grace▪ for Dominion is only founded therein, the promise of inheriting the Earth being made to none [...] but the me [...]k, of which number you make not one.

Mr. Herle, a judicious english Divine, encountred with such a Bigo [...]as to his own frantick notions; this poor creature was become one of the mad Sect of those who are called Fa [...]ilists; and being of Mr. Herle's congregation, [Page 52] he one day endeavouring to reclaim him from his errours, and to reduce that strayed sheep to the church, did meet with nothing from the de [...]uded soul but perfect, nonsence, still in [...]erlarded with two blasphemous terms Godded and Christed: at last the Minister entreated him to explain those terms, for he did not understand them; O said the poor soul, tho' thy darknes cannot, yet my light doeth sufficiently comprehend them. But instances of this nature are almost infinite.


We find as ridiculous scruples of conscience told of some others: as of that Neapolit [...]n Gentleman, who making his confession to a Priest, said that the Sin which ever troubled his conscience most was the taking of a drink of whey upon Good Friday. The Priest knowing that he had been one of the Bandit▪ (and that he had not yet abandoned that cruel crew of outlawes) pray Sir said he did you never robb nor murder any upon the mountaines betwixt Naples and Rome; Yes, Yes, (said the Schriving Penitent) I have done that very often; then the Priest said, I suppose murder or robberie is a far greater Sin than what you have mentioned, because the [...]e are direct violations o [...] the Lawes of GOD; and the other at most but of the canons of the Church: Sir said the Gentleman, you do not considder that to be our trade, and everie man may lawfully live upon his own [...]ade. I shall also subjoyn a storie of my own certain knowledge to this same purpose; There descended from the Hills a pack of barbarous inhabitants with a formed design to rob a ministers house in the country where I once lived, and tho' the minister was himself at home & all the time preached to them about justice and equity yet it was, Canere surdis, for they were so diligent in carrying away his g [...]ods, that they left nothing portable before day light: The Captain of those Highlanders having at last e­spyed a Box in the ministers chamber (with two locks upon it) demanded what was in it? The minister ingenously declared that it was the Kirk-Box, which keeped the poor's money not doubting in the least but that it would become a prey with the rest: GOD forbid (said the conscientious Captain) That we should become guilty of Sacriledge, we will not for all the World wrong the Church; how comes it then, said the minister, that you have no scrup [...]e to ro [...] a Church-man, yea suppose I were none, how is it that you make no consci­ence to violat the V▪ II. precept of the Decalogue which so expresly forbids Theft and Roberie? (the minister prest the point more home upon▪ [...]m because he found him much more intelligent than his associats, and a considerable ma­ster of the Latine Tongue) O Sir! replyed the Captain, you mistake yourself, for that is our Trade, and everie man must live by his proper occupation▪ and thu [...] ended; (but never mended) Oportet vivere & Unde.


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