Febr. 8th. 1681.

I Do appoint Richard Baldwin, and no other Person to Print these Depo­sitions, and Animadversions upon Ro­ger L' Estrange. Esq

MILES PRANCE.

L'Estrange A PAPIST, Proved by the DEPOSITIONS UPON OATH OF MILES PRANCE,

  • Mr. LAWR. MOWBRAY,
  • Mrs. JANE CURTIS,
  • Mr. RICHARD FLETCHER,
  • Mr. JOSEPH BENNET.

Taken by the Right Honourable the Earl of Essex, Earl of Clarendon, and Earl of Craven.

With several Animadversions upon the said Depositions, in Answer to Mr. L' Estrange's late Pamphlets.

Published for the satisfaction of all true Protestants, and to Vindicate the Kings Evidence in General, from his Aspersi­ons, as well as the Author in Perticular,

By MILES PRANCE.

LONDON, Printed for Richard Baldwin, in Ball-Court in the Old-Baily, MDCLXXXI.

DEPOSITIONS AGAINST Roger L' Strange ESQƲIRE.

Middlesex. ss. The Information of Miles Prance taken upon Oath the 25th. of October, 1680. Before the Right Honourable the Earl of Claren­don, and the Earl of Craven, two of His Majesties Justices of the Peace, for the said County.

THIS Deponent saith, that about three years since he saw Mr. Roger L' Strange three or four times Kneeling at Mass in the Queens Chappel.

MILES PRANCE.

[Page 2] This may be thought to be one cause of Mr. L' STRANGE'S blessing the world with so many Dialogues, perticularly that lately come forth between PHILO L' STRANGE, and PRAGMATICƲS; wherein he endeavours to clear himself from being either Papist or Jesuit, by reflecting against the King's Evidence, and by pick­ing out the most convenient Opportunities, and Oc­casions, that he can to render them contemptible. A way so improbable to gain beleif, that they who before never thought him such, would now adjudge him rather so to be, than acquit him, for the Stir he keeps in his Defence. 'Tis not my business or Profession, to be Mr. L' STRANGE's Confessor; neither do I think it to be a thing of so much moment to the Kingdom, whether Mr. L' STTRANGE be a Papist or no. Nor do I believe every one that comes into a Popish Chappel, and kneels in complaisance to satisfie his Curiosity at a Mass, to be a Papist; However I cannot but deem my self obliged, having been so sharply handled by ZECHIEL and EPHRA­IM, in vindication of my self, to shew the world that I am no such dealer in Affidavits, as he would make it beleive I am. For the Extent of my Affi­davit is easie to be discerned. I only made Oath of his being at such a place, at such times. For which my Affidavit is not alone; here is one more.

Middles. ss. The Information of Lawrence Mow­bray, taken upon Oath the 25th. of October, 1680. Before the Right Honourable the Earl of Clarendon, and the Earl of Cra­ven, two of his Majesties Justices of the Peace for the said County.

THis Deponent saith, that about the first or second Sunday in June 77. An ac­quaintance of one Anderson (which Anderson was Servant to Mr. Allabon in Greys-Inn) being with him in the Queens Chappel, sa­luted immediately, after Mass, a Person, whom he told this Deponent was Mr. L' Strange, who Licenc'd Bookes. This Deponent saith, that he hath once since seen the said Mr. L' Strange at Mass in the Queens Chappel, and saw him to be the same man he formerly saw there.

Hitherto, there is nothing Sworn, but that he was seen at Mass, concerning which I have gi­ven my sence already, that all that went to the Queens Chappel out of Curiosity were not pre­sently to be accompted Papists. There must be something else then to make men Judges what o­ther Inducements carry'd him thither; or whether any other Inducements or no? To which purpose I have inserted these Informations that follow.

Middles. ss. The Examination of Jane Curtiss, taken Before the Right Honour­able the Earl of Clarendon, the Earl of Essex, and the Earl of Craven his Majesties Justices of the Peace for the said County of Middlesex, October, 27. 1680.

THis Examinant saith that about the middle, or toward the Latter end of the Month of June Last, Mr. L' Strange came to her house (her Husband being out of Town) and there accus'd her and her Husband for Printing and Publishing divers bookes, which he said were very dangerous against the Go­vernment, naming several Pamphlets which she knew nothing of; and though she truely did deny her self concern'd in any such thing, yet he persisted that he would prove it, and pro­ceeded to threaten that it lay in his power to ruin her and her Husband, and then told her of his great Interest at Court, and that if she would tell him, who set her on to publish such books, he would take her off from all trouble, and promised to do great things for her Husband. But she denying that she was ever concerned in such practices, or had ever been urg'd or instigated thereunto by any, he said that was false, and that she had been in­fluenc'd [Page 5]and staid up by ill men, and that he be­leived it was Oates and his Gang, and, said he, you know what some of them (speaking of Oates and those he call'd his Gang) are come to al­ready, and I do not question but I shall see them all hanged ere long. And he refused to Licence several books wherein there was any thing a­gainst the Papists, more particularly those two bookes she shewed your Lordships, which he Swore by his Maker, he would not Licence for five hundred pounds; which books upon the first sight were Licens'd by the Lord Bi­shop of London.

Westmin. & Libert. ss. The Information of Joseph Bennet of St. Giles's in the fields Sta­tioner, taken upon Oath before the Lords Committees, for exam­ination of matters relating to the late horrid Plot Sworn before the Right Honourable the Earl of Clarendon, one of his Majesties Justices of the Peace for the said City this 30th. of Octob. 1680.

WHO saith, that he did become bayl, and enter'd into Bond be­fore one of the Clerks of the Council for one Captain Eli, that he should appear the first day [Page 6]of this Term at the Kings Bench barr, which said Captain Eli was then a stranger to him; but Roger L' Strange Esq one of His Majest­ies Justices of the Peace, being at Mr. Hintons the Apothecaries, near this Informants House, sent for this Informant, and then told him, Cap­tain Eli was a friend of his, and an honest man, and therefore he the said. Justice did request this Informant to become Bail for the said Captain Eli, and the said L' Strange did then promise this Informant to give him security to save him harmeless, and pretended he would then have done it, had he not been in great hast. And the said Mr. L' Strange did tell this Informant he had sent for another person to bail the said Captain Eli, but he not being to be found, he therefore sent for this Informant, and said he would take it as a great kindness from this Informant.

The Information of Richard Fletcher, of St. Vedast alias Foster, London, Phisician, taken as before.

WHO saith, that about three years agoe he met Roger L' Strange Esq at the Half-Moon Tavern in Cheap-side about Li­censing a book entitl'd, The workes of Geber an Arabian Prince and Philosopher, and gave Mr. L' Strange a Guiny for his License, and a dis­course happening about Religion, Mr. L' Strange asked of what Religion this Informant was? who [Page 7]answered, a Catholick. L' Strange replyed are you a Roman Catholick? This Informant answered that was Nonsence. Catholick being universal, and not to be circumscrib'd. Then L' Strange bid this Informant explain himself. I answered, that Faith that wrought the fear of God and to do righteously, doth declare those that are of the Catholick Church, which I take to be the Church of England. Mr. L' Strange then declar'd himself to be a Catholick of Rome, and to beleive the Faith of that Church, and told this Informant that his difinition was too large. This Informant then ask'd the said L' Strange, whether the Pope were the head of that Church, of which he acknowledged himself a Member? who an­swered he was, and hoped ere long, many o­thers would return to that Church, or to that effect, and further saith not.

As to my own Affidavit, which is the first here produced, I do find Mr. L'STRANGE triumph­ing in the 35. Page of his Appeal, that I had seen him no more than three or four times at Mass, at Somerset House. Whereupon, (says he,) I did with the most horrid Solemnity of Imprecation Imaginable, declare my self to be of the Religion of the Church of England, and that I had never entred into any Popish Chappel, or been present at any Mass since his Majestie's Re­turn. Which Protestation I do here again resume, in­tending by these words, His Majesties Return, the Kings blessed Restauration in the year 1660. And then, as if he thought this Protestation not suffici­ent; [Page 8]he makes a note upon the great abatement of my reckning? as being assured by report, that I had sworn in the company of Care, Curtiss and others, that I had seen him at Mass, at least, or about a hundred times.

As for what he was assur'd of by report, I va­lue it not: neither is it material to the Poynt; as being of little or no force against him. The dif­ference is between his Protestation, and my Oath. Which I have here confirmed by the Oath of an­other Person, Mr. Mowbray by name, who likewise swears he saw him twice in the year 1677. at a Popish Chappel, that is to say at Somerset-House: To the great disparagement of that part of his Pro­testation, never since the Kings Restauration, which was in the year, 1660. Now I would never have tak­en notice of Mr. L' Strange's solemn Declaration, had it been upon any other account but this, that either he has some particular reserves to himself, or I must be perjur'd, and that should he now go un­answered (which is a thing he boasts of) the sharp Twits which he has given the Kings Evidence would pass for Currant, and he would come to be a quot­ed Author against Us. And therefore I do as pub­lickly and as solemnly declare as he has done, that I am as tender of Swearing to the detriment of my Neighbour as any other person that aimes at the Enjoyment of a future Happiness. For my part I know not to what very great purpose the latter part of his Declaration was made. For having so solemnly declared himself of the Church of England, what if he had been seen twenty times at a Popish Chappel? But that part of his Potestation was per­ticularly level'd at my Oath, which I am oblig'd to uphold so farr as honestly I may. And that too [Page 9]without any reflection upon Mr. L'Estrange's Honesty or his Loyalty, fully believing neither to be inconsi­stent with the Profession of the Popish Religion.

In his Case, where he talks to himself in his own Cause, under the Persons of Zekiel and Ephraim, like one that playes at Tables with his right Hand against his left; Ephraim tells Zekiel, that he was rounded in the Ear, that Prance had Ten Witnesses in readi­ness to prove that L'Estrange had been Forty times at Mass here, and solemnly Worshipping according to the Profession of the Romish Communion.

And thus I who made a Confession so re­marakble, and thereby discover'd that bloody deed of darkness, which enlighten'd the whole Nation, am here rendred as one that kept Witnesses in readiness, or rather, pickl'd Witnesses for present use. By this means, in a short time, the Murther of Sr. Edmun­bury Godfrey, will be as little believ'd as the silly Sto­ry of Mr. Powel. To which purpose Mr. L'Estrange's Narrative of the Plot seems to have but odly Cou­pl'd that foul Fact, with the ridicule of Mr. Powel's escape, which renders the Frame work very suspici­ous. For though it be true, that the disparagement of a juggle, no way weakens the Truth; Yet there may be that manner of speaking, and that Art made use of in the contexture of Words, that may overturn that Maxime. With submission to Mr. L'Estrange, there is in that place (Nar. P. 19.) such a mixture of the meanest fourberies of Report, which the most in­considerable Circumstance of the Discovery, that my slender Opinion is, that a more prudent Progression in Logick ought to have supported the violent Death of Sir Edmunbury Godfrey. For if the Story of Mon­sieur [Page 10] Choqueuz Fire-works, were never prov'd the sus­pition of Tukesbury Mustard-Balls, was never yet ac­counted the greatest Argument of the Plot. And if the business of Sir Henry Titchbourns Armes were not made out, the Surmise of the Black-Bills lies as much at the Mercy of any mans Belief, without any preju­dice to the Belief of the Plot; and thus Posterity shall Argue from Circumstances not much material, whether they are believed or no, the falshood of the greatest Discoveries of the Grand Plot that ever was made in the World. Especially when Mr. L'Estrange shall go about to convince the World of the falshood and Perjury of the chief Evidence of his Murther. For my part, I much wonder why Mr. L'Estrange should so much trouble himself with his Schismatical-Plot. They who discovered the Popish-Plot, produced the Conspirators, nam'd their Names, brought their Evi­dence against them, and were the occasion of Sentence and Execution. If Mr. L'strange knew of any Schis­matical or Phanatick Plot, He ought to have done the same. Otherwise upon no other Grounds but the wandring Notions of unlicens'd Books, to cry out a Phanatick-Plot, is but just, as when they cry out Thieves at one end of the House, and at the same time to cry out Thieves at the other end, and thereby to distract, and discompose the Defence of the whole.

In the next place I observe, that when, in your Ap­peal, you have dignified Mr. Care with the meanest of Characters (though in some Sheets of Mr. Cares there are those things produc'd, that will take up Mr. L'Estrange a full year to Answer by way of Dialogue.

You tell the World he wrote my Narrative. That is to say, my Narrative was a pittiful contemptible thing, and consequently little to be credited. Never­theless. in such a Narrative as that, neither the Lan­guage [Page 11]as I humbly conceive, nor the person that wrote it were so much to be regarded, as the Verity of the matter of Fact. And many people perhaps see with Mr. L'Estranges Eyes, and out of a Respect to his In­genuity, Judg with his Judgment. In which Respect I am a little induced to question Mr. L'Estranges so of­ten by himself asserted difference and kindness to the Kings Evidence, for giving such a publick Advertise­ment of my Narrative, after he had made the Writer so miserably Ridiculous, he might have prosecuted his Revenge, without such an unseasonable Reflection. But whoever assisted as to the Form, the matter was mine, and publick Justice is satisfied.

I come now to the Information of Jane Curtis, the substance of which is, That Mr. L'Estrange speaking of Oates and his Gang, said, He did not question but to see them all hang'd ere long, and that he refus'd to Li­cense 2 Books, Swearing he would not do it for 500 l. which afterwards the Lord Bishop of London Licensed at first sight.

In the first place I must certainly conclude my self to be comprehended in Mr. L'Estranges kind wishes, as confessing my self to be one of those which he called of the Gang. As for the woman that swore the Oath the World has not been heard as yet to give her any other Character than of a Painful and Industrious Wo­man, very much intrusted, and a fair Dealer: Whe­ther she have sworn true or false, I will not undertake to determine, that is to her own Conscience. But if she have sworn true, as there is little reason to mis­doubt, where there is so little reason to surmise to the contrary. Then it is not his twilting her Husband with a Foolish trick he hath taken up of winding up his Nose and sheiting his Teeth, will free him from the heavy censures that will follow; But twas no wonder he fell so foul upon the Husband, when the Wise lay so heavy upon him.

What will be thought of him, who in an Appeal to the Kings most excellent Majesty, and the three Estates assembled in Parliament, had produced so many Quo­tations from his own Writings to testifie the Esteem and Honour he had for the Kings Evidence? What will be thought of those Quotations themselves? and that particular Ejaculation to the Doctor, They are won­derful things, Doctor, which you have done, and I am persuaded that you are reserved for more wonderful things to come, but that they were only the Compli­ments of Scorn and Derision? For Derision is many times as Complimental as Friendship it self. And this is most certain, that he that wishes another man hang'd, can never have an esteem for his Person. For my part until this Difference be decided, I must be convinced he has no kindness for me. And then the World must conclude him partial as to my concerns. And I will go a little farther to put it to the Vote among all those of the true Church of England, how well it became the Charity of a declared Church of England-Man, to wish Outs and all his Gang in the Hangman's Nooze? And it may be question'd, whether such a one be what he affirms himself to be, let him protest never so deep­ly.

As for the latter part of this Information, I will not undertake to be a Compitent Judg of Mr. L'Estrange's Learning, or whether it be superiour to that of any one of the Lord Bishop of London's Chap­lains; but me thinks it seems a little od to my weak Judgment, that there should be such a vast difference in the Opinions of two such Eminent men of the Church of England, as Mr. L'Estrange and the Bishops Chaplain, that the one should refuse, and swear by his Maker, he would not Licence a couple of Sheets, no, not for five hundred pounds (a good smiling Temp­tation) which the other did Gratis, at the first sight. [Page 13]And yet we have as little Reason to question the Loy­alty and Integrity of my Lord Bishop of Londons Chaplains, as we have to question Mr. L'Estranges. So that it follows, that it must be either a very great weak­ness or oversight, either in the one or the other. Now you'l say, what were the Titles, or what the Subjects of those two Sheets. The one was, The Character of a Turbulent Pragmatical Jesuite, and Fastious Romish Priest. Epitomizing their Continual Disturbancies of Church and State, and particularly giving an Ac­count of the Death of the Emperor Henry the 7th, who was Murdered by one Bernardine, a predicant Fryer, that gave him Poyson in the Holy Eucharist. Li­censed, Oct. 15. 1678. The other, A Letter from a Catholick Gentleman to his Popish Friends, then to be exil'd from London. Ironically advising them to obey their Ghostly Fathers, and not the King; and thereby taking an occasion to shew how little the Papists re­garded Tests or Oaths, to whom a Dispensation from the Pope was always an Infallible help at Maw, against Perjurie. Licensed, 1678.

These were the two scare-Crowes that so terrisied Mr. L'Estrange, and which were of such dangerous con­sequence to the Government, and the Church of En­gland, that he would not License them for 500 l. And yet it is apparent, they were Licensed, and by those who were as Chary of offending the Government, or the Church of England as he could be. It were almost madness to think that those Reverend Gentlemen who were entrusted with the Licensing of Books, at Lam­beth or London-House, should be so inconsiderate, or so unfaithful to let go or connive at any thing preju­dicial to the Church and State. Unless there be any that think the Art and Judgment of Licensing such a Mistery, that only Mr. L'Estrange has obtained it by long Practice. But there may be something in the Case [Page 14]indeed. For these wonderful Gentlemen, Dick and Tom, Citt and Bumpkin, Zekiel and Ephraim, Philo-L'Estrange and Pragmaticus, may be the wisest men in the World, and of Mr. L'Estranges Privy-Council for ought I know, and he himself may have the Spirit of Licensing, and a discerning Faculty above all the World beside, for any thing I can contradict him. All that I have to say is, that I stand still in my own De­fence, and have only brought these Circumstances to make it out that if I did see a Man at Mass, there might be probably some other Reason for it then Cu­riosity.

The next is the Information of Joseph Bennet, that Mr. L'strange importun'd him to Bayl Captain Eli at the Council-Board. What harm in all this? None at all that I know. 'Twas the part of a Gentleman and a Friend to take care of his Friend in Adversity. But we are still to consider the circumstances. Captain Eli it seems was in the same accusation with himself, but this argues that Mr. L'strange knew the person well and was acquainted with his Crime. However you'l say, Mr. L'Estrange was happily acquitted, and I am exceedingly glad of it. Nevertheless I say again, Mr. L'Estrange did know the person, & was acquainted with his Offence, and perhaps he judged it slight and trivial, or else he did ill to engage his Friend. But this Captain Eli was a Conspirator with himself, deeply engaged; a person that he know to be concerned with him, a per­son that had paid Tongue several sums of money to­ward the carrying on the Design, and therefore it became him as a Gentleman to procure Bail for his follow Conjurator: Let him make a Dialogue to clear himself of this, and then for Papist or no Papist, when he pleases he shall have more of it; in the mean time, the World is to consider upon what account this Affi­davit is produced.

There is yet behind the Examination of Mr. Richard Fletcher, who swears, that after some discourse, Mr. L'Estrange declar'd himself to him, to be a Catholick of Rome, and to believe the Faith of that Church, and that being ask'd whether the Pope were the head of that Church He answered he was; and he hoped ere long, many others would turn to that Church, or to that effect.

As for the person that swears, he is well known both in City and Country, a person that lives handsomely & gentielely, and a great lover of that noble Science to which Mr. L'Estrange cannot be thought to bear any Spleen, though for his excellency in performance he has been too unkindly reproach'd; so that the world does hardly believe that Mr. Fletcher, a person by his Indu­stry so well guarded from Necessity, would make such a Discord in Human Society, as to swear though it were for 500 l. to the prejudice of the least Hair of Mr. L'Estrang's head. Now then the Question is, which the unbyassed are to believe? Dick or Tom Zekiel or Ephraim, Citt or Bumkin, Philo-L'Estrange, or Pragma­ticus, or Mr. L'Estrange himself, with his own Lips de­claring himself to be a Catholick of Rome, and to believe the Faith of that Church? If Mr. L'Estrange has chang'd his mind since he made this Declaration, there's no more to be said, I'le yield my Affidavit lost; if not, 'tis a Riddle to me, unless he mean such a Church of En­gland Man, as in the Reign of Henry the 7th or Queen Mary. He declares one thing, and protests another. How to judg is a hard Case, and yet me thinks there is but little Reason, that he who will not believe himself, should be believ'd by others. What is it to me, whe-Mr. L'Estrange be a Papist or no? And yet I cannot conceive it to be such an irrefragable Argument, that a man is no Papist because he rattles the Phanaticks, and exclaims with so much bitterness against the out­ragious Liberty of the Press. He is the most impro­per [Page 16]person in the World to combat the freedom of Scribling, or at least to pursue that Subject with so much virulence and bitterness of Spirit. For all the world will judg that to be Self-Interest in him, which would be thought real Sentiment in another. On the other side nothing more prevails with me to believe the Gentleman is no Papist, because I cannot con­ceive that any person of true Learning and Ingenuity would be of such a Mock show, Gewgaw, Joynted-Baby Religion, that puts Divine worship to hold de la quenoville, and would inforce us to deifie the Di­staff, with as many Titles of Honour in her Liturgie, as ever the Queen of Spain had. But if self-Interest happen to dazle the Sight, or the Prospect of prefer­ment better improve a mans judgment, I have nothing more to say.

But what is it to me, whether Mr. L'Estrange be a Papist or no? My design is only to maintain the Truth of my Information. I have sworn that I did see Mr. L'Estrange at Mass in the Queens Chappel since his Majesties happy Restauration, 1660 And that I will justify, though he resume a Protestation as long as from Charing-Cross to Milend-Green. For if he will not believe his own Lips, I must and will believe my own Eyes. He says indeed, I could not say I saw him Receive. 'Tis very right; for I saw no such thing; and therefore because I swore no more then I saw, 'tis the fairer Argument that what I swore was the Truth. But what says Ephraim my Beloved? Why Ephraim says, that I should say, that I would swear I had seen him forty times at Mass. But you see, my Beloved, that Ephraim was unkind in his Report, He was a false Brother, and strayed from the Truth.

But what if Ephraim had heard it? 'twas onely a re­port, and no more than what Mr. L'Estrange himself tells the world in his Appeal, onely that the Number differs; viz. That I should say in company, That I would swear I had seen Him at Mass above a hundred times. By which, the world may see, that Mr. L'Estrange was more Afraid than Hurt. But I would fain know what 'tis to the pur­pose, what Ephraim reports, or what he by his Eeves-droppers is assured of, when the Oath it self appears, and puts all Reports and Hear-says out of doors. Why then to unfold the Mystery, they were only Attaques of Dispa­ragement; one of the most prudent waies in the world to undermine and blow up a Testimony. To which purpose Ephraim the Cunning layes another Train, and tells Zekiel the Suttle, that he was rounded in the Ear, that I had Ten Witnesses in a readiness, to make good my proof. A Reproach, which wherever it takes fast hold, spreads it self, and eats into the Reputation of a Testimony, like Oil of Spike spilt upon Deal Boards. This Ephraim I per­ceive, was like all the rest of the world; nothing refin'd by his Baptism; easie to believe any thing that made for his Advantage. But now who can blame Harris or Gay for writing and publishing ridiculous Fables, when the per­son that finds fault, shall publish, upon Ephraim's being barely Rounded in the Ear, such trivial stuff as this, which onely denotes the want of better Defence. For I would know, if Mr. L'Estrange were to be try'd upon the single Issue, seen at Mass, or not seen at Mass, and I should come and swear, as I do, that I had seen him at Mass so many times, whether Reports and Hear-sayes, and Round­ings in the Ear, that I would swear this or that which I did not hear, would acquit him? For if I thinks, and as I remembers, and as I believes, will not be admitted into an Oath, which must be absolute, as mine is, certainly Hear-sayes, and Reports, and Roundings in the Ear, will be as little admitted in the Defence. So that in my Opinion [Page 18] Ephraim's Intelligence was not at that time worth the Coffee he gave for it, though it were but one Dish.

But now Ephraim comes to the particulars of the Re­port, and sayes, Ten in number; pray Gentlemen give me leave to consider a little. Well, I have done it, and I must faithfully declare to the world, that I do not know of any Store Ponds that I have for any such sort of Fish. If Ephraim know of any, he should do well to make the discovery. For I know it would be no small satisfaction to him to see me incur the penalty of such a breach of the Law. Truly there is no great probability of the Truth of the Report, because the Story it self does not hold wa­ter. For, for me to have so many Witnesses in a rea­diness, and not to make use of one, was a strange piece of remisness, to be so careless of a certain Victory. Upon the whole, whether Mr. L'Estrange be a Papist or no, I will not determine; but these are excellent Hints for the Papists to lay hold on; and then to quote a Church-man of England for their Author. But 'tis well, all is not Go­spel that Zekiel and Ephraim say. I do find they suffer un­der the frailty of Fallibility, as well as others. For, as for Mr. Mowbray, he came in voluntarily, and gave in his In­formation without my knowledge, and consequently could be none of my number; and there was no more that ap­pear'd in the business, especially wherein I was concern'd. So that the Ten being hitherto invisible, unless Mr. Ephraim can bring them to light, the Report and the Use made of it must be both equally insignificant.

But there are other Observations to be made; For if a Writer do positively aver that for Truth, which carries another face, 'tis shrewdly suspicious he may make the same forfeiture in more circumstances than one.

Thus Mr. L'Estrange in his Discovery upon Discovery, p. 13. [Page 19] Now, Doctor, saith He, I do positively aver, that there was not one Church of England-man in the Parliament Army, as they call'd it. When it is a thing yet fresh in memory, that the Archbishop of York, that very Metropolitan, upon whom Cleveland begins his Satyrical Elegy,

Here York's great Metropolitan is laid,
Who God's Anointed, and his Church betray'd.

Serv'd in the Parliament Army, as it was then call'd, with a Command of Horse. Now whether an Archbishop of York, and one of the Metropolitans of the Kingdom, would have been advanced at that Time, to that Dignity, unless he had been a Church of England-man; that's the scruple. However, we may say thus much, that he ceas'd no more to be Archbishop of York, by siding with the Parliament, than Julius the Second ceas'd Pope by Joyn­ing with the Turks. And therefore Cleveland allows him his Dignity after his Death, though he embalm it indeed with Assafaetida instead of Olibanum.

Now for any man to be so positive in the assertion of a thing, so notorionsly subject to contradiction, will give a shrewd shog to the former value that was put upon the Writings of the same Person.

Thus Mr. L'Estrange was pleas'd to disown at the Council-Board that ever he knew me: And yet before that, at a certain Coffee-House in Ludgate-street, he pre­sently vanish'd up stairs with great disdain, upon my first appearance in the lower Room, murmuring out these words, The Devil sets his Imps at work.

These things I should have been far from taking notice of, had it not been to support my own justification, verily believing that the world would blame me much, and that [Page 20]the publick Enemy would get no small advantage thereby, should I have suffered my self to be so passively negligent, as to see my self run down with the quips and taunts of a quaint and fluent Pen, without a just vindication. In a word, I have only Sworn that I saw him at Mass; here are other Informations, by which you must judge upon what account. I have no more to say to that particular.

Now after all this, and a long silence, he is risen again, and as suppose, forgetting what he declared at the Half-Moon, renews the Old-Lurrey of no Papist, nor Jesuit in a Dialogue between Philo-L'Estrange & Pragmetcus. And Heaven, I say, prolong his Life, and may L'Estrange no Pa­pist nor Jesuit be the perpetual Theam, that he may satisfy his Humour, and write as many Dialogues as ever Lucian did. But I am very much afraid that a volume of Dia­logues as big as the Book of Martyrs will do him but little good. For he goes about to bury the Subject itself under the heaps of his own Quires, it being most certain that men at length will grow tir'd with reading his needless Apolo­gies. For they that think him a Church-man of England, will believe him still so to be, notwithstanding all the Ru­mours of Accusation. And as for those that believe him a Papist, he may perhaps in time wash a Blackamore white, but will never by that sort of Rhetorick which he uses be perswaded to change their opinions. He has so be-plotted the Generality of dissenters under the odious Name of Fa­naticks, that he must not expect any mercy of belief from them. They not being a sort of people to be gained by Similes and bare Flourishes of Elocution, it being then to be presumed, as he may easily perceive it himself, if he pleases, that they believe not one tittle of what he says, it follows that he only writes to them that believe him already, which is a labour altogether needless. And then again, whatever belief he may pretend to have of the Plot, yet in all his discourses he speaks so ambiguously of it, gives such [Page 21]complemental Lashes to the Discoverers, and under the pre­tence of respect and honour, so jumbles the Kings Evidence among the Rogues, Rascals and Buftoons, upon which he spends his Wild-fire upon, that she must be a perfect Psyche that separates them again by the aid of her beloved. Cupid. Now there is either some ground to believe him a Papist or there is none. If there had been really none the business would have dyed of it self. If there be, not all the Milk in Cheshire will be able to master the Oil which he continu­ally throws upon the Fire, but here's a clutter and a bustle, as if it were to be a National Concern whether Mr. L'Estrange be a Papist or not, and that the Satyrical Sword were never to be sheath'd till the Controversie be decided in his favour. Heavens bless us! cannot he be quiet, go to some Cathe­dral Church, hear the Organs and the Church Musick, and openly shew the world what he is, but that he must be thus continually ratling the Drums of his indignation in the ears of the people, as if he intended to dye with a Dialogue in his mouth. Certainly there be men in England that have gone to School, and read Latine and Greek as well as he, and may perhaps be able to match him at one time or other. And the question maybe put, Why Men of Learning have so little hitherto troubled themselves with his Writings, whether it be not because they see him so meanly condescending to combat the very Pigmies of the Time, with whom they dis­dain to engage. But how if this should be a Plot among his friends; to set the Libellers on to teize and vex him, on purpose to keep him chafing and chiding for the prolonga­tion of his Life? That's all one; there must be another Plot among his Enemies, to countermine that Plot. For if there be not two Plots going at one time, all's not worth a straw.

But now to draw a short Sketch of his last pithy Dialogue between Philo-L'Estrange and Pragmaticus; this very Dialogue begins with a Plot; a Plot between Pragma­ticus and Philo-L'Estrange, or between Himself and Himself. [Page 22]While the one pretends to scorn and deride him, that so the other should take an occasion to extol his Fame; a meer Combination. For otherwise it could not have been so smoothly done, without a more than Ciceronian Osten­tation.

The first Confederate calls him Goliah and Diana; singu­larly well coupled in truth. The other Gogmagog and Pen­thesilea; another excellent conjunction. And thus that he may be the more fit, they make him Male and Female. As if they intended that like Tiresias, he should have the pleasure of both Sexes in his old Age. What a happiness a young Batchelor would have to be thus married within himself, to save the Expences of a Wife? Nay, the first of the two calls him the Idoliz'd Diana: as if Mr. L'Estrange in his Female capacity, had ever been so much ador'd as Prag­maticus would insinuate. Now as for Goliah, he was slain by Little David; Diana is as well taken for the Moon; Gog­magog, who seems to be two Gyants twisted together, is destin'd to destruction by Napier, in his Comment upon the Revelation; and for Penthesilea, she was knockt o'the head by that Effeminate Spinster Achilles. So that the choice of such ominous Names seems not to be well taken at the beginning of a Dialogue. To say truth, 'tis a very sorry Rhodomontado, the meer Fly upon the Coach-wheel. So that there is something wanting in the Title, L'Estrange no Papist nor Jesuit; Or, The solemn publick Entry of Goliah and Diana, and Gogmagog and Penthesilea.

Now one would think that these wonderful Conjuncti­ons of Goliah with Diana, and Gogmagog with Penthesilea, being assisted by the Influences of the new Comet should produce some miraculous effects. But nothing appears, only a lit­tle Plot of his own head to make himself equal with the Duke of York. Whence you must understand, that Philo-L'Estrange, is no more in English then a Lover, and conse­quently [Page 23]an Admirer of a mans own self. Now to bring a­bout his ends he pretends as if it were as equally criminal to speak well of L'Estrange, as to drink the Duke of Yorks Health. And thus he would insinuate (for a man may easily see the pride of his heart) that he is equally the discourse of the Nation with the Duke. And this Doctrine he would estab­lish, before he has prov'd either to be criminal. For my part I believe it positive that 'tis no crime either to drink the Dukes Health: nor to speak well of Mr. Lestrange. But on the other side I as absolutely believe that thousands and ten thousands in the Nation drink the Dukes Health, without thinking it a crime, that never heard, or ever car'd to hear of Mr. L'Estrange. The comparison was too extensive and general, Sic parvis componere magna—does not alwaies hold, especially between ordinary Subjects, and great Prin­ces; more especially where the high and eminent Dignity of the latter is concern'd in the distinction. Besides, 'tis the strangest Inference that ever I met with to conclude an In­dividuum Vagum from a Hyperbole. Sayes the Confederate Pragmaticus, to the Conspirator, Philo-L'Estrange—You deserve to be call'd in question if you take Mr. L'Estranges part, or main­tain he is no Papist. This is a palpable and fain'd Hyperbole, For no man dares question another for taking Mr. L'Estranges part, without offensive words or blows. There­upon Philo-L'Estrange replies, Then I perceive it is become now as criminal to speak well of L'Estrange, as to Drink the Duke of York's Health. Which is as much as if he had said nothing at all; in regard it is no crime to do either the one or the other. This way of inferring may be allowed in Drollery, not in Argument, as being against the Rules of Conse­quence, which must be syllogistically true. That which follows is scarce worth notice, looking more like the Tattle of Goliah the Dwarf, than a Dispute of Goliah the Gyant; more like the Discourse of Diana the Midwise, than Diana the Goddess.

At length you come to his Eighth Page, where he takes a very fine occasion to call the King's Evidence a Company of Rascals, as they call it, by craft.

First he raises a false Proposition by way of Discourse. Sayes Prag. to Philo. I say, If they swear he is a Papist, I am bound to believe it.

Now do I wonder to whom Mr. L'Estrange writes, whether to Fools, or Men of sense? if to Fools, 'tis time very ill spent; if to Wise men, worse; for Mr. L. Estrange can never imagine that any Wise man can think him a Pa­pist, let a hundred Theyes swear against him, unless they can make it out by overt Acts sufficient to prove the Alle­gation. However, sayes Philo. in Answer to Pragg's false Proposition, May not any impartial person conclude, notwith­standing such Swearing, that L'Estrange is all this while an honest man, and a true Son of the Church of England? Not at all, says Prag. But I say, yes without all question. Then says Philo. to Prag. again but what if two or three malicious fellows should swear that you were in the plot, would you be such a fool to believe it? No, sayes Prag. the case is alter'd. I would say they were a Company of Rascals that should swear I was in the Plot, when I knew no more of it than the Child unborn. Upon which Philo. very smartly resorts upon Prag: Then the Kings Evi­dence it seems maybe a Company of Rascals, if they should depose anything against you but not against another; and then procee­ding, may not another mans conscience, says he, give these bold Swea­rers, the lie, as well as yours can do? Now I appeal to Reason itself, whether such an impertinent Question as this, might not have been discussed more calmly without reflecting so sharply upon the Kings Evidence? For Mr. L'Estrange cannot imagine men so senseless, as not to dis­cern the mark at which he directs his aim. There is no man but may palpably perceive how he frames his Story pur­posely [Page 25]to take his opportunity to be­smear their Coats with his daubing brush. With which he gives them no less than three filthy touches one after another. Malicious fellows, a company of Rascals and bold Swearers. For doing of which, though perhaps he may have gratifyed his revenge, most certainly his prudence can never applaud him; for that in doing a great deal a Mischief he does himself no good; I mean; unless it spring from those who have the only reason to encou­rage his proceedings. Otherwise to blemish the reputation of those upon whose Testimony like so many hinges of Truth, the Justice of the Kingdom has hitherto mov'd, in Affairs of such vast Importance, is a violation of all his protestations to the highest strain; besides that he puts the weapons of his own passion into the hands of the Enemy.

'Twill be in vain to answer with Shifts, and Similes and Flourishes, or to cry, who can say I meant the Kings Evidence; or, why should any man think I intended them? For the Kings Evidence [Page 26]were the persons chiefly concern'd in his grievances, and therefore men will take the liberty of their thoughts, though he write Dialogues till dooms day. So that if the stream of opini­on run so violent against him, he may thank himself for pulling up the Slu­ces.

However least men should misdoubt the business, he gives his Dear Philo-L'Estrange a Commission to bray it out to the whole world, for upon his complaint, that he should not have the same Liberty as others, Pragmaticus asks him how that should be, when his own conscience tells him he is a Papist? So that if he would but have dealt ingenuously, he should have gone to the Council, and inform'd against himself. How! says Philo-L'Estrange, have a care what you say, for if Dr. Oats and the rest should come to know that you should offer to advise any man, Papist or not Papist, to do any such thing, take my word for it, they would certainly fall foul on you for going about to take away their lively-hood.

Now this is not to fall foul upon the [Page 27]Persons, but upon substantial part of the Evidence itself; as if the Discovery of the Plot had been fram'd, and so ma­ny Persons had been executed, to accom­modate the Necessities of them that gave the Evidence; and that they made a Trade of Informing against people, right or wrong; Than which, he could not have invented a greater Reproach, to make the Pope and all his Cardinals mer­ry.

And yet after all this, you shall hear him protesting himself, to be a true Pro­testant and a Church of England man. Be­lieve it that will, for my part I never shall; neither shall I advise any Body so to do, but rather the Contrary: Neither is it a farthing matter what he is, whether Protestant or Papist, considering how he writes. And 'tis well the King's Evidence care not a straw for his Respect and Re­verence, since he has so irreverently for­feited it all, to the Dissatisfaction, he may be sure, of the Generality of the Nation.

For if what he saies be true, all the Monthly daies of Humiliation, as the long [Page 28]Parliament enjoyned, and as many more would not serve to expiate the Injustice already committed. If it were in the pow­er of man, these injured people ought to be recall'd from their Graves, and re­stored to Life, to behold the worse ends of them, that made a Trade of Informing against them; and all the Homage ima­ginable done them to obtain their For­giveness. What could all the Colledges of Jesuites, or all the Cells of Monkish Superstition, have uttered more virulent, or more venomous to the Protestant Re­ligion? He boasts his Loyalty, and there is no question to be made, but he has been very Loyal. But if he hath former­ly given down such good Milk, he now does very ill thus to spurn down the Pail. So dearly might the Protestant cause pay for this flashy Conceipt of his, if his Cre­dit were currant Coin. Tell the King's Evidence, that they make a Trade of informing, and protest himself a Prote­stant! 'Tis Impossible: For I must tell Mr. L'Estrange, 'tis the very Language, and the topping Aspersion cast upon them, by the Vindication of the English Catholicks, Printed at St. Omers.

But to proceed a little farther, here Mr. L'Estrange keeps a racket, whether Protestant or Papist, a Dispute of no va­lue, as not concerning the Nation three pence; but in my opinion, he begins at the wrong end.

He is supected to be a Papist, because he is suspected to be in the latter part, at least, of the Plot, and not for any other Reason.

'Tis true, he was acquitted from be­ing in the Plot, at the Council-Board; and so he was from being a Papist: And yet the same Suspitions and Surmises remain in the Sentiments of the People, as well as to the one as the other.

Why could not that Acquittal serve his turn, as well for the business of Papist or no Papist, as for the Accusation of his being in the Plot? For as to the latter, he is con­tented to free himself only with a silly Story of Monsieur Choqueus, and by way of Protestation, as little to be credited, as he handles the matter, as his Protesta­tions of being a Church of England man.

But about the Concern of Papist or no Papist, here is such a clutter, as if his Life lay upon't, and that one of Queen Ma­ries Bonfires were flaming to receive his Carkass, if he did not quibble out the Contrary. Dialogues upon Dialogues, as if he blew them out of his Nose. He should have begun his Dialogues, to have cleared himself from the main Ac­cusation, and that in a more serious manner too, than he writes; and then the Dispute of Papist or no Papist, would have fallen of Course. The People of England do believe, they have reapt such a Benefit by the Discovery of the Plot, that they will never thank Mr. L'Estrange for drolling upon it. And therefore I am very sorry, that he is so much mista­ken in his Dialogue-Oeconomy.

His next Flirt at the Kings Evidence is, That the Notorious Ill Manners of his Accusers is a Theam for Discourse. To which I say, that he ought to explain his Meaning; for if by Manners he intends Customs, and Conversation, he is required to make it out.

And now as if he got a clever victory, [Page 31]he claps his Wings, and Crows, and Me­naces all the World, with a Woe be to you Scribes and Pharisees. Nay he threatens to return with a Whip and a Bell, to lash all those barking Curs, that durst hardly snarle or grin while he shewed his Face. But for my part, if I might be thought worthy of giving it, I would advise Mr. L'Estrange to take my Counsel; which is indeed no more than what he himself has resolved, and already faithfully promised to do. And the Reason is plain, for it would be much more proper and comely for a Gentle­man to keep his Word, than to run a Cur-hunting up and down the Streets, with a Whip and Bell in his hand.

Observe then, that he has fairly pro­mised, at the end of his Appeal, to betake himself to the quietest way of making his Es­cape, out of an Impious and Trapanning World, into a better. No he must expect, that these bawling Curs will never leave him off, but with their yelping and yowling will be continually worrying his Brains, and tormenting his Eares in this World. And therefore I would not have him recede from his first Resolution. Besides that it will be of ill Consequence; for when [Page 32]people find, that a man has been untrue to his Word in one thing, especially in a matter of such Importance, as going to Heaven, they'l presently believe he may have failed, or forgot himself, in all his other Protestations.

Thus the Reader is to consider the In­formations themselves, the Nature of them, their Purport and Extent, and what may probably and rationally be concluded from them; and Mr. L'Estrange is to consider the rest.

POSTSCRIPT.

THAT the World may be certain, that a Church­man of England did command in the Parliament Ar­my; Observe what has been written on this Occasion by a Famous Author, in a Book Entituled, The Profession of Several, whom these times have made and called Nonconformists. Printed 1676. Pag. 115. He puts this Question.

If the War had been raised only by Nonconformists, yet why should a 1000, or 1400 Ministers now, that were never proved guilty of any Wars, be silenced and ruined for other mens Actions; any more than the Con­formists for the Arch-Bishop of York's, who was a Com­mander for the Parliament?

And then what becomes of Mr. L'Estrange's Positive Aver?

FINIS.

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