PHILASTROGUS KNAVERY EPITOMIZED, WITH A VINDICATION OF Mr. Culpeper, Mr. Lilly, and the rest of the Students in that noble Art, from all the false aspersions (of the malicious Antagonists) cast upon them, about the great Eclipse of the SUNNE.

Whereunto is annexed an Epistle to all moderate spirited men, shewing the peoples great mistakes, and misunder­standing of the honest and ingenious Artists, who spake truly, as is averred by this ensuing Tractate.

Written by J. G. a lover of all irgenious Arts and Artists — Aprill the 5. 1652.

London, Printed in the year, 1652.

Courteous Reader.

I Present thee here with a strange Tractate, yet it flowes with truth, Artists being condemned undeservedly; as I am a lover of Artists for Arts sake, so (to my poor power) have I endeavoured a vindication of them, but I could have wished one more abler would have taken it in hand.

Now if thou be a lover of Art, look in here if thou hast a minde, and if any thing in it be worthy of honour, give honour to whom honour is due.



HAving perused many scurrilous Pam­phlets full of opprobrious language, filling the itching ears of the vulgar with strange words, and not only hurtfull to the ears, but destructive to the sense of seeing likewise: Most people being purblinde by looking into such a foolish speculum; these two senses, being but the forerunner of the evill that is behinde, and that takes hold [Page 4] of the Intellectuals, of all sorts (the wise excepted) even to the involving them, into the epidemicall diseases of the times, making them seem to the wise, obvious to sense, and reason, — The foolishnesse of this age (said one of Wis­domes children) exceeds all the preceding follies:

But to return, had he who stil'd himself Philastrogus been wise, he would have scorned to have absconded his name from the world, but he knowing he hath done evill, lets his bastard-brat flie about for a father and, and dares not own it himself;

But by (or without) your leave sirs, I will run over your malitious Pamphlet (but shall not use prolixity) counting my time more precious then to expend it, to the answering of such a piece of folly, but shall take notice of what you prove your self to be:

  • 1. No Christian, and that by severall arguments, of which more anon.
  • 2. You prove your self to be a singular knave.
  • 3. You prove your self to be a fool and a dunce.
  • 4. A mad-man.
  • 5. A cheater of the Common-wealth.

Of these in their order, and so to my Journeys end.

First, That you are no Christian, I prove thus.

ALL envous and malicious men (be they Priests or Physitians) deviate from Christianity, and by the rule of Christ are no Christians — (Mat. 5.)

But you are, (and have proved your self) both envious and malicious, therefore you are no Christian —

The first Pamphlet you sent abroad (entituled Lillies [Page 5] Ape whipt) by your own confessions was scurrilous, and in my judgement, was simple enough in all reason —

The second as an extract of your former vented conju­ry, hath proved you, to be more simple, and inhumane then your former, you thinking, that your base calumni­ating tearms (would not prove you fool sufficient) against Mr. Culpeper —, but like a foolish Fidler that plaies your old lessons over again (when you play your most) and so your unchristian-like spirit comes forth in the same foolish dialect, to speak against Mr. Lilly too (though your ground you speak on be ten thousand times more non-sensicall then any Almanacks you accept against —

But why talk I thus to one of such excelling parts? what did I say excelling parts! excell do you indeed in one sense; but tis in the most beggarly things you do excell, dirt being too good an element for you to wallow in — Toreturn —

The humble spirit of a Christian (for that's the work I have to doe) envies no man nor thing: but you envie the men you know not (if you know their persons, their Inte­lects you are ignorant of) and carp at the things that are too high for you, like the Fox in the Fable.

The Fox comes to the vine when the grapes were ripe, and looks upward and sees them too high, quite out of his reach, he presently slights the grapes, going his way fains they are sowre, the reason is because he could not come at them, otherwise they had been sweet enough for him —

So you carp against the knowledge of these men and envie them, and the reason is, because their Knowledge, their Art, is too high for you, it is out of your reach.

If you had any knowledge in what you envie you would not be to seek of the difference between Astrologers and Astronomers, the one being to calculate, the other to pre­dict from their calculations.

[Page 6] But I shall leave you to that prediction, in the Revela­tions, which implies Ignorance, to the ignorant —.

And now I think you see in what you excell others (i. e.) in ignorance, for all men in one sense or other may be said to excell, but your retentive faculty is a receptacle for no­thing but ignorance, therefore you can be said to excell in nothing properly but ignorance —.

Secondly, That you are no Christian, I prove thus.

A Man that puts forth himself in the nature of a Cro­kodile or Serpent, venting his venome against men that are lovers of God, and good-men, cannot be said to be a Christian. But you have put forth your self in the nature of a Crokodile or Serpent, venting your venome, against the servants of Christ, viz. Mr. Lilly, Mr. Culpeper, and the rest of that noble and Christian-like Art —

Therefore you are no Christian —.

When these Honest men by their painfull undertakings, and their daily study (as they have waited upon God, and served the world in) have imparted to the world the sweet­nesse of that talent God hath given them: in their Annuall Judgements and Revolutions, and many other wayes as they had occasion, as the learned writings of many of them testifie, viz.

Mr. Lillyes Introduction, his Chaos of the world, his Starry Messenger, and many more, which if considered with reason, would stop the mouth of the envious Antago­nist. Mr. Culpeper his learned Translation of the London Dispensatory, his Semeiotica Vranica, his Directory for Midwives, and his English Physitian, and last of all, and not least to be considered his Magnatum Catastrophe: or a [Page 7] Treatise of the Eclipse of the Sun: I had forgot (almost) Mr, Lillyes Annus Tenebrosus. To sum up Mr. Ramseys works, and Sir Christopher Heydons, and many other ex­cellent Artists, the time would fail me who have imparted their knowledge to the world, as men and Christians, wil­ling to do good, each to other; I wish our lazy Presbyte­rian priests would thus labour to edifie their flocks, and not trouble their simple brains to petition against Astro­logers, who observe the stars and planets in the courses, lest God who binds up the influences of the heavens, let them loose to the utter destruction of such lazie shepherds —.

I wish likewise, our Colledge of Physitians, would thus labour to finde out cures, sutable to the cause of their pati­ents disease, (But why speak I thus? if Diana fals, Demetrius is undone) and minde their patients good more then their own interest.

Now it most evidently appears, that these men have en­devoured to take away the blankets of Ignorance from poor people, and are willing that they should come to true knowledge, (viz.) 1. To know God. 2. To knowthemselves, their freedomes and priviledges, and would not monopo­lize what's their right. But you like unchristian-like Priests and Physitians have a long time absconded the truth from the vulgar, covering it with a black gown, and like so many great owles have frighted away the vulgar, as so many little birds, not suffering them to partake of what was their right, and if any honest hearted man discover your knavery to the vulgar, to shew them how they are cheated, Then your master the Devil sets you on work (and will one day truly pay you your wages) to vent your malice and bitternesse against them; and if this be Christianity — the Lord blesse me from it.

Thirdly, That you are no Christion, I prove thus.

A Lyar (saith the Scripture) is an abomination of the Lord; whatsoever is abominable to the Lord, fals short of Christianity

But you are an abomination to the Lord, in your lying, therefore no Christian — but one that fals short of Chri­stianity.

1. The ground-work of your lying, is at the beginning in calling their Almanacks non-sensicall, knew you sense from non-sense you would not have so egregiously mis­took; I was about to say, I'de satisfie you in that, but re­membring the Wise-mans words, I shall forbear, viz. Bray a fool (saith he) in a mortar, and his folly will not depart: I shall give the world notice, that his works have been praised by learned men, (besides Priests and Physitians) and they will not call them non-senficall, because they have knowledge in the things he writes —

2. Your next of consequence is your grosse mistake of him in his discerning faculty, for matter of Astrologie: Durst you shew your face, to him, or any other Artist, I suppose you'd quickly prove your self, as blinde as a mole; for in such things, I see by your writing you have but lit­tle sight; therefore if you intend to vindicate your lyes you must either flie to Westmisterian Schoole-boyes or send to some of your brethren in envie, in Oxford or Cambridge for help: and yet it may be, not serve your turn neither.

3. Your lyes now begin to multiply, I am come to a a third, and there you say ♃ (Jupiter) is in his detriment, but as false as theformer (and that's false enough) for ♃ Jupiter is in his fall in ♑: and that makes you fall from wisdome, into the gulfe of folly.

[Page 9] Now I perceive of a truth, you are no Artist at all though you stile your self Philostragus, for you have lyed with out measure, or wit either —

And this fully evidences, that you are troubled with the vertigo in your brain, or rather your brains crackt, which makes you write in such a vain of madnesse, and not of reason.

4. A fourth lye is like unto it (it makes me smile to see how like the father, the children look) a lyar bringeth forth nothing but lyes, as appears by your unlimited way of ly­ing, you say, he wears a periwig, and that's as base a lye, as ever you writ, or spoke in your life; I was about to say, I wondred that you could frame your self so orderly to the way of lying, but that I need not, if I consider that ☿ Mer­cury is ill dignified in you, which will if you have not a spe­ciall care, make you a reproach to the world; I need not I think give the world satisfaction in this so well a known lye — for I think, it is not unknown, to more men of qua­lity, in London, that he hath as firm a head of hair as any man in England: and this will be proved true (as it is true) when you like a Baals priest shall have no covering on your head for your knavery.

Say I am honest in dealing so candidly with you, I really beleeve I do not wrong you; well, as I have discovered your unchristian-like malice, so I come next to your knavery.

But I leave the courteous Reader, to make the Morall or application himself, because I have somewhat else to do, then to dilate or open every piece of knavery you have vented —

First, That you are a Knave I prove thus.

1. HE is a Knave that exclaims on men for good. But you have exclaimed upon Mr. Lilly, Mr. Culpeper, and the rest of that noble Art, for good —

Therefore you are a Knave —

2. He is a Knave in grain (and fool too) that speaks a thing and cannot prove it —

But you have spoken many things against Mr. Culpeper, Mr. Lilly, and the rest of that noble Art, Ergo

He is a fool and a dunce that speaks or writes meerly up­on imagination, and fancy, and not on sure ground: but you have both writ and spoke meerly upon imagination and fancy, and not on sure ground, Ergo

He is a mad-man (and besides himself) that speaks divi­dually by the fancy of a foolish hear-say, and not by a grounded knowledge or reall sight: But you like a mad­man, or a man besides your self, have spoken dividually by the fancy of a foolish hear-say, and not by a grounded knowledge or reall sight, Ergo

He is a perfect cheater that publishes a messe of lies twice — But you have published a messe of lies twice, and upon too severall men chiefly, for want of wit; to take a joynt view of the Calculation of your lies, (your malice and madnesse being not sufficiently vented) Mr. Lilly whom you praise in one of your pamphlets, you dispraise in your other, therefore you appear to be a cheater and a mad-man, again — to conclude, (for tis high time to leave off talking to a fool) your significator being in a house where he doth not delight, viz. ♈ Aries, and ill dignified in you, as appears by your wit and manners, for they are both alike;

[Page 11] And now let me tell you 'tis most easie (for you) and most requisite, that you should be acquainted with that horn-book, and this I really beleeve, you are as likely to be acquainted with it, as any I know, if you are not already, I think (nay I am sure) the rules of Art will not lye.

And now I would give you a little insight in the busi­nesse, to do you good, though you your self delight in en­vie, and to do evill to others — and that I may acquaint you with something to purpose, take notice that ☉ the sun is very near unto Mercury, and ☿ Mercury is your signifi­cator, and they make more conjunctions in tracing the Zo­diack, then any the other planets doe, the moon excep­ted — and when they make their conjunctions, beware your forehead —

One word more to you, and I have done; and that shall be a caution,

Take heed how you asperse any of the servants of God; but you according to your apprehension, may judge them, to be none of that number, but that they are so I shall prove thus, All those that in the spirit of love, are willing to communicate to the world, of what God has made them to partake, are reall servants of God —

But Mr. Culpeper, and Mr. Lilly (and many before in­serted) in the spirit of love, have communicated to the world of what God has made them to partake.

Therefore the Astrologers are really the servants of God, take heed therefore (I say) that you do not abuse the ser­vants of God, lest the judgements of God take hold on them, as on the mock-priests of old, causing you to be your own executioner and there be none to deliver you.

To all those that are moderate.

DEar hearts, the cloud of ignorance that lies upon you, begins to be drawn aside, by the power of a divine presence speaking in honest minded men, that so you may have a purer sight manifested to you, to see clearly that truth that belongs to your peace, which hitherto hath been absconded & hidden from you, 'tis the wil of God that you should be as Mary, alwaies choosing that good part, there is a time I confesse when God doth hide himself, under the most oblique and Aenigmaticall clouds, and so he hath now from the generality of the world, which makes the truth so evilly spoken of: Behold my friends, I shew you a miste­ry —

The Lord hides himself certain times from his people, and yet all things, at all times, both above us and below us, speaks him forth to us, in a most sweet and harmonious manner.

The Lord sometimes shakes the truth by changes here below, (and a reverend Divine once said, that worldly changes was one of the clouds in which Christ came) as he hath done of late years, with a witnesse.

He sometimes speaks from heaven, as he did by that most direfull Eclipse of the Sun on the 29. of March, ad­monishing us to beware of high aspirings, lest our glory be eclipsed: Many malicious Antagonists, have thrown dirt in the face of all those to whom God revealed that won­derfull sign of heaven, and not for want of ignorance have vented many base aspersions to the throwing down of Art, and the dishonour of God that gives the Art.

But to you that are rationall and moderate I shall aver that there hath not been one so great this two hundred [Page 13] years, I mean not so much of the body of the Sun obscu­red, yet I confesse it hath been much darker, but then it hath been a more cloudier day, and a day of gloominesse, and the reason why it was no darker with us, was by reason of the moons distance from the Dragons head, otherwise we might have been forced to have made use of candles as well as those in the North, & Northwest parts of this land.

The envious Antagonists cry out against the Astrolo­gers for not declaring what weather would be, but if you please to peruse but Mr. Bookers Ephemeris, you will quick­ly finde them out of their text: for Mr. Booker speaks plain­ly and tels them about the 18. day of March, it breaks and clears up, and is very fair for many daies together, with fresh temperate and wholesome windes, not mentioning any bad weather to intervene at all.

And yet saith the malicious Antagonist, they know not where it should be fair or foul, if this was not vented by a spirit of malice judge you —

Others are so ignorant, that they will not stick to say, that had not this day been written of, it would not have been taken notice of, but had they had the perfect sight of their eyes and but looked toward the north and north­west part of the heavens they might have seen it no lighter then in a moonshiney-night —

There are some others (and they none of the smallest fools neither) who expected the earth to be covered with an Egyptian darknesse at nine a clock, when none of our English Astrologers writ any such thing at all, but this they writ, that the Sun should begin to loose his light some min. before nine: which accordingly he did, if I do not wonder never trust me, how men could frame such an irrationall opinion as this, as sure as the Suns in the firmament their Senses suffered as great an eclipse as the Sun, when they [Page 14] vented it, certainly they never read Scripture nor heard reason, for if they had they must have received the Sun, to be the greatest Luminary, and that full body of light, that gives life to all creatures by its sweet arraies, and comfor­table beams; and how in reason then could any expect it to be dark quite when the Astrologers writ that it should begin but then to be dark.

On this account do all ignorant people asperse the A­strologers, and say, that they predicted this Egyptian darknesse: but my dear friends take notice the Astrologers writ no such thing, for they knew to the contrary.

True it is indeed, Mr. Booker speaking of the black Sa­turday about 54. years agone) saies that this may be cal­led black Munday, this being a more direfull Eclipse then that, and that by reason of the Suns being Eclipsed in the very degree of his exaltation, and from Mr. Bookers words Black-munday had its rise:

But would you know the truth of the aspersion, if you would, then thus,

A company of knavish Italian Mountebanks, spreads their bils abroad, telling poor people what might pre­serve them from the terrible Eclipse of the Sun, when as they begin not to operate or shew themselves till Michael­mas next, and yet poor people (not for want of Ignorance) thought they should have been strucken dead in the streets. Being affrighted with those knavish Mountebanks, who told them of (and scared them with) an Egyptian darkness, when the English Astrologers never writ any such thing.

Therefore you now knowing the originall of this busi­nesse if your moderation be not eclipsed, you may mode­rate the passion of the ignorant, who have been set at work by these self-seeking fellowes, viz. the Mountebanks, to rail and speak evill of the things they know not.

[Page 15] I could wish that our governours would a little take no­tice of these flying and false aspersions, that are about this Eclipse, for let them assure themselves, the prodigious ef­fects of it, doth relate to them more then to the commo­nalty, they being in superior places, the Sun being a supe­rior planet, and signifies men of power, and therefore it most concerns them to take notice of it, and cause these aspersions to cease, or give some trusty men power to pro­hibit them, lest the vengeance of God take hold of this na­tion. 'Tis impartiall justice in this and all other things we ought to have from men in power, 'tis our due, men in power ought to have submissive obedience, and reverence from us 'tis their due, that this alone may be perfected, and our Governours of this nation may sing a quietus est, with their governed to the stopping of all malicious mouthes shall be my earnest prayer and desire, and I think this is no bad prayer nor desire neither.



Post-script to the Reader.


THere are many other Pamphlets ex­tant that are bespattered with lyes and forgeries, that had the Pamphle­ter been known, his folly would have been laughed at, or he laughed at for his folly, Mercurius Phreneticus with his Gallimofry of non-sense, is one of the chiefest, I had thought to have made some animadversions upon him and the rest, but upon perusall I have found them so full of simplicity, that I will not trou­ble thee with it at all, apprehending thou mayst hear enough of such kinde of stuffe, and it may be more then thou art willing.


J. C.

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