STRANGE NEVVES FROM CAMPANIA A Province in ITALY: BEING A true Relation of one who slept at noon­time of day, how his spirit was transported into the Pro­vince of Campania in Italy, by chance, near unto the Lake Avernus, also his discourse with an old man of that Pro­vince, concerning the present distempers in those parts, not unlike these in England, who after his recovery out of an extasie (by reason of the Cruelties, and bloud-sucking oppressions in that Province) writ these ensuing Lines:

Psal. 1.1.
Faelix ille animum qu [...]m non de Tramite recte,
Impia sacrilega flexit contagio turba.

Imprinted at ATTALIA, in the Yeare MDCXLVII.

Plutoes dark Dungeon, Dedalus Labyrinth,
Great Lucifers night-star, and the Berecinth,
Which these three-headed Hydraes worship more
Then Christ their Saviour; and that Devill adore,
Because of Profit it on them bestowes,
Greater then horne mad Votes, and forsworne Vowes.
It is bewitching to their eares that itch
For Reformation, it goes thorow stitch:
The devills Plot, for sure in hell 'twas hatch't,
And some Scotch Calvin thence this Monster fetcht;
Whereby the Devills agents worke their feat,
And cast Campania in a bloudy sweat.
Cerberus strong Coller for't doth tye men fast,
If once they tak't, they never more can gaspe
One blast of Loyall breath; it suffocates
The widest Winde-pipe, and consumes their pates.
Its Charons Moat indeed, no bottom's found
Of its illegall, impious, wicked ground.
Its Plutoes Dungeon; for who enters there,
Before his eyes hath never set Gods feare.
'Tis Dedalus Labyrinth guided by a Threed,
(And fitter 'tis to barne then for to read)
Who enters into't, he perhaps may prov't
Worse then that Labyrinth; e're he can remov't
He must lye with the Minotaure, and beget
A monstrous birth withall, and worship it.
Its Lucifers night-star, that great Devills guide,
Which doth a theeving through the Kingdome ride,
And both the King and People hath undone,
Clad with false coloured Reformation.
Its Sybills Image; they so much adore't,
Becaus't hath better'd downe the Royall Fort.
Excise, Sequestration, Plunder, Loanes,
It gain'd, to gnaw our flesh, and bruise our bones.
So all old things are growne to a new fashion,
By Covenant-ingaging Reformation.
And yet this Hell-Hound hunting up and downe,
Pursues each loyall heart from Towne to Towne,
With yelping, yelling, and a hideous roare,
Till it have left them never a Mite in store.
Whilst yet he spoke, behold another sight
(With great amazement) did my ghost afright:
[Page] Whole multitudes were gathered on a knot,
And close unto a stately Pallace got,
Neare to the Luke Avernus situated,
Where (he told me) their businesse was stated:
If you be pleas'd (quoth he) wee'll goe along,
And heare what's to be done in yonder throng:
Agreed (queth I) and thence we went away,
To see what would betide the State that day.
When to the Pallace we approached neare,
The groanes and cries of widowes we did heare,
Lamenting for their husbands who were slaine
The Causes of the wicked to maintaine.
Sighing sayes one, let us goe to the State,
And know if they our sorrowes will abate;
Agreed, said all, and straight they thither went,
And how they sped, to you Ile represent.
What is the matter here (quoth L.) with these
Perverse ungodly women? seek to please
A womans minde? let's rather seek to sell
Or halfe sequester all the devills in hell.
Quoth H. that suits well with a new translation,
And ballances our blessed Reformation:
If we should give the Publick coyne away,
Our Souldiers (as they doe) would want their pay.
Its well (quoth S.) O 'tis a curious Plot,
If we should do't, how should we pay the Scot,
For if he be not paid, an alteration
May hinder our unheard of Reformation;
And on a suddaine sinke that in a streame,
Which for this six yeares space hath swom ith' Maine.
Be cautious then (quoth V) what you doe spare,
Our Grand-Committees must be paid their share;
And let our Sub-Committees have their due,
Because they faithfull were to us, and true;
And added to each private Pocket more
Then ever our great Grandsires had in store.
What must th' Excise men doe, said P. must they
(For all the paines th' have taken) want their pay?
They have themselves like honest men demean'd,
And much oth' Kingdomes Treasure they have gain'd
For thee and me: The hungry they Excis'd,
And like the Devill himselfe have tyranniz'd.
[Page] A Member must not be forgotten saies M:
For if we Members want, we are not men,
Our Sequestrators must rewarded be,
And every Petty-fogger have his fee:
Then when to thee, and me all's paid that's due,
We will againe begin our Trades anew.
Like Tytius Vulture we will knaw the hearts
O'th' Common-people; we will act our parts
In highest nature, and in every thing
That may our profit, and our pleasure bring.
Wee'l heape up Treasure, wee'l enrich our store,
Wee'l serve the devill for wealth (that) if not more.
They all agreed with acclamation, vow'd
What M. had spoke they every one allow'd.
so every one shat'd of the Publique Coyne,
And sent their servants out more to purloyne:
But all this while the harmelesse women gain'd
No restitution for their slaine or main'd.
Forth with I ask't my guide what all this meant;
It is (quoth he) our blessed Parliament,
Which hath slaine guiltlesse bloud, and murthered many,
And never pittied the complaints of any:
The Widdowes teares, and eke the Fatherlesse
Could never find of them a just redresse.
Let him declare (if there be any one)
To whom one act of justice they have done;
Survey the Land (who will) from East to West,
From North to South, and let him do his best,
For all his travell he shall never find
A graine of mercy in their perverse mind:
One drop of Balsom will not be apply'd
By our grave Senate to the putrifi'd.
O God (quoth I) what wretched men are ye,
Ty'd with a boundlesse chaine of slavery!
Have you no way your selves for to redresse?
Have you no meanes th'oppressors to suppresse?
Seeke all the world throughout; never be ty'd
To a perpetuall bondage, by their pride;
Whose thoughts are never fixt on that is good,
Whose feet are swift to shed the guiltlesse bloud;
Their tongues speake lies, their lips are full of guile,
Their Councels Treason hatch, by ever wile.
[Page] Let all your Conscript Fathers be transform'd,
And let them be by every Peasant scorn'd▪
Let all your Deeij Christian Persecutors
Be rendered to the Sessions Executors.
Then shall your ancient Liberties be showne,
And every honest man enjoy his owne.
The good old Man deep sighing thus replied,
I'm fraid (quoth he) this will not soone betide,
My heart could wish to morrow was the day
They were all hid, or else would run away;
If it should happen so (even for their sake)
I'le drinke their health of strong Avernus Lake;
I would (in memory of them) keepe that day
A joyfull feast; and will for ever pray
That all those Traytors who their King withstood,
May dye (like Pilate) voyding guts, and bloud;
And after that, they Ixions paines may feele,
By turning a perpetuall burning wheele;
Or keepe a Senat with their Grandsire Nick,
And in his Kingdome play him such a tricke
(As they have lately in Campania done)
And become heires of his eternall throne;
There's worke enough for them, and all their rable,
Their Clearks may be made Knights of his round table.
His Kingdom's large, employments they may have,
And every thing he gives, if they can crave.
Whilest yet he spake, behold within our view
Came trooping o're the banke another crew
Of warlike Souldiers; but their cloathes were thin,
The State turn'd Shearemen, and had pincht their [...]kin.
What meane these men (quoth I) that they repaire
Unto this place? what businesse have they here?
These are the States old beaten Souldiers, who
Want their Arrears, dew many months ago:
They come to aske them; I am full perswaded,
With States high looks, they scarce will be out-Jaded.
They are stout men, they have a resolution
To bring to try all each States mans transgression,
And in a weeke redresse our grievance more
Than our brave State hath done sixty before.
Well then (quoth I) let's heare their full discourse,
And see which of them's Master of the Purse.
Out comes the Speaker with his hat in hand,
And briefly thus begins; What's your demands?
What service have you done for what you crave?
Or how can you account for what you have?
Your service must unto the world be knowne,
And what you've had must unto us be showne,
Before we can dispence upon Areares,
Or any thing be done, but what appeares
For th' publique good, and not for private ends:
I am in hast, adieu my honest friends.
Well said brave Speaker, thou hast uttered more
Then all thy fellow Senators before
Have ever done; when thou dost us confound,
Thy Pay shall be one hundred thousand Pound.
First we demand all our Arreares that's due,
For what we crave our service is in view
To all the world: we ventured have our selves
T' enrich a crew of all devouring Elves.
We have been Traytors. Tyrants to maintaine;
And still we Traytored are if we do claime
That is our due from you; O blessed State!
Yet to your Country most inveterate.
Forty Millions you have already had
O'th' Publique stocke: must not account be made?
You have dispos'd of it amongst your friends,
Not for the Publique, but to private ends.
Thousands of harmlesse men for you have dy'd.
Maintain'd your Treason, Tyranny, and Pride.
But now your cheating is found out and crost,
And if you looke not to't all will be lost.
As we are Souldiers, wee'l be very faire,
You shall not what's our due amongst you share.
Be wise in time, consider what you doe,
Beware your after-wits prove not your woe.
So we departed and the State adjourn'd
Untill the morning, and my Spirit return'd
Unto its former Pristine habitation
When it had view'd Campanias desolation.
‘Quis talia fando temperat a Lacrymis▪’

in the Nation ought to preserve the Nation as much as in him lyes; It is a universall principle, non nobis solum nati sumus, &c. We are not born for our selves alone; but the Country in which we live challenges an inte­rest in us, this principle made many rejoyce in dying, esteeming it, dulce & decorum pro patria mori.

3. The Law of this Kingdome (by which we may expect to stand or fall) secures us in this Kingdome, we have this Maxime, that solus populi is suprema lex, The safety of the people is the supremest law; this was the hinge we moved upon, the Kingdomes safe­ty was endangered, and withent a speedy application of a timely preservative was likely to be consumed: the best preserva­tive we could see, was the security of his Ma­jesties person, which our act hath effected. Whose enemies are so dull, and whose un­derstanding is so stupified & sottishly blind, but may remember and know what a sad disaster hath befallen the Kingdome, in the expence of so much blood and treasure, by the surprising of his Majesties Person in the [Page] late warres▪ who can but know, had they not had his person for their designes had proved abortive: We well know there was a designe to seize on his Majesty, to raise a new Army, and unnaturally to involve this Kingdome in its own blood, and so to ren­der our latter end miserably worse then our beginning, but this we thought our selves bound to prevent if possible, which we still judge and doubt not to prove it, and is yet lawfull for us to doe. As the King is by the law of this Kindome bound to govern and secure us according to the Law, so are wee engaged to secure his Person against the vio­laters of the Law, which we have, through the blessing of God accomplished, Our end was not his enthrallment, bondage and ru­ine, as by our actions may appear, but his safety, and the Kingdoms preservation, which otherwi [...]e we justly fear, had both been en­dange [...]ed; suppose the King through igno­rance of traitors intention to destroy His Person or His Kingdome should expose him­self to the mercy of him that sought his life, do you imagine it would be treasonable for [Page] any one to remove his Majestie though without hi [...] consent from the place the traytor sought his life in, and to preserve him? but the case is yet more faire for us, His judgement being satisfied, his will w [...] likewise concurring to his remove, we hope this our action will be recented in good part by all the Nati­on for whose good it was effected. Had the King been surprised, another army been under his name raised, the Nation once more wallowed in its owne blood; then surely but too late, would the people have cryed out, oh that some had been stirred up to have stood in this breach.

IIII. The Commission from the Parliament (whom some say though with more boldnesse then judge­ment, more malice then wisdome, and more envy then prudence or honesty, wee have rebelled against and acted contrary to in this action) acquits us, for by our Commission we are bound to seek the preserva­tion of the Kings person, whether we have not so done let all the Kingdome judge: what hurt to his person have we done? what hurt to the Kingdome have we done? we are not conscions to our selves that we have in this done amisse, who hath cause to complain, surely none can nor will, except those who had thought to have made all men dance after their pipes, kisse their hands, and resigne up their birth­rights, liberties and lives to their arbitrary and tyran­nicall, lawlesse, boundlesse wills, these H [...]man-like are mad to think a poore Mordecai will not stand cap in hand, bow his knee, and bend unto them.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.