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95 Or find by Necromantick Art,
How far the Dest'nies take my Part;
I'd go no farther in this Courtship,
For though an Oath obliges not,
And finful, when Men swear in vain. 105 Quoth Ralph, Not far from hence doth dwell
A cunning Man, hight Sidrophel, Svearing, than Curfing : For when Teague was punish'd Twelvepence for an Oath, he ask'd what he should pay for a Curse? They said Six-pence. He then threw down Six-pence, and cursed the Committee.
Ý. 106. A cunning Man, hight Sidrophel.] William Lilly, the famous Astrologer of those Times, who in his yearly Almanacks foretold Victories for the Parliament with as much Certainty, as the Preachers did in their Sermons; and all, or moft Part of what
: is ascribed to him either by Ralpho or the Poet, the Reader will find verify'd in his Letter (if we may believe it) wrote by himfelf to Elias Ashmore, Efq; and printed a few Years ago for £. Curl, 7. Pemberton, and W. Taylor, Booksellers in London. In this Letter or History of his own Life, we find an Account of several of his Predictions, (such as happened to hit right, not such as fail'd) and what Encouragement he had from the Parliament, and others. But when he found that the Authority of Parliament began to fink, and the Power of the Army to increase, he was as ready to predict against the Parliament, as before he was for it; tho' he began to do fo almost too soon for his own Security: For he tells us (p. 69.) that in the Year 1650, he wrote, “ That the Parliament (mean“ ing the Rump) itood upon a tottering Foundation, and that " the Commonalty and Soldiery would join against them.” For this he was taken up by a Messenger, carried before a Committee of Parliament, and shew'd the Words of his Almanack: But having Notice before-hand of what was intended against him, he had got that Leaf new printed, and those obnoxious Words left put. So he denied the Almanack to be his, and pull'd half a Dozen
That deals in Destiny's dark Counsels,
To whom all People, far and near, 110 On deep Importances repair ;
When Brass and Pewter hap to stray,
And Sows of sucking Pigs are chows'd; 115 When Cattle feel Indisposition, out of his Pocket, which were without that Passage, and said, this was a spurious Impression, in which some Enemies had put in those Words, in order to ruin him : (Life, p. 70.) In which he was seconded by a Friend in the Committee, who enlarged upon the great Services he had done the Parliament: (Life, P. 71.) Notwithstanding which he was kept a Prisoner in the Messenger's Hand near a Fortnight, and then releas'd. What he had said of the Rump was at the Initance of some of Cromovell's Party : He lived: to the Year 1681, being then near eighty Years of Age, and publith'd predicting Almanacks to his Death. He was succeeded by Henry Coley (a Taylor by Trade) his Amanuenfis, (fee Life, p. 109.) And after him came John Partridge, who, something more than thirty years ago, was so expos’d
and ridicul'd, for his Predictions, by Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq; (see Tatler, No 1, 39, 118, 124, 216.) I know of no one fince, that has publish'd prophetic Almanacks, (Dr. B.) See a remarkable Account of Lilly in Mr. Hearne's Life of Mr. Anthony Wood, p. 505, 506, 507.
3,111,112.When Brass and Pewter hap toftray,-- And Linnen slinks out of the Way.) Sir John Birkenhead banters Lilly upon this Head ; [Paul's Church-yard, cent. 1. clafl
. 1. f. 12.) “ Pancirolla Medela, a Way to find Things loft by W. Lilly'; with a Clavis to his ço Book, or the Art of his Art by Mrs. Mary Frith."
This was an old Pretence, made mention of by Wierus, (De Præftigiis Dæmonum, lib. 6. cap. 2.) Plcrique insuper magi Pythonis fpiritu inflati, artem divinandi profitentur, & res perditas quis fuffuratus fuerit, aut ubi eæ reconditæ fint, & alia abdita, vel etiam ancipitia se manifestare posse jactant. And Mr. Scot mentions some of the Charms made Use of to find out a Thief. (Dif covery of Witchcraft, book 12. chap. 17. p. 260, 261, 262.)
But the moit whimsical is the Charm of Sir John, or the Priest, to discover the Persons who stole the Miller's Eels; in which the Priest was a Party concern'd.
And need th’ Opinion of Physician ;
When Yeast and outward Means do fail, 120 And have no Pow'r to work on Ale ;
When Butter does refuse to come,
They for Discov'ry flock, or Curing.
All you that have stolen the Miller's Eels,
And all they [We] that have consented thereto, :
Benedicamus Domino. ♡. 121. When Butter does refuse to come.]
6 When a Country Wench (fays Mr. Selden, Table-Talk, p. 120.) cannot get her " Butter to còme, she says, the Witch is in the Churn.' This is banter'd by Mr. Cotton (Virgile Travestie, book 4. p. 117.)
She called to wash, and do you think
Tell her own Sister of the Omens. See Spe&tator No 117. Mr. Scot (see Discovery of Witchcraft, book 12.) observes farther, * That when the Country People fee that Butter cometh not, “ then get they out of the suspected Witches House a little Butter, " whereof must be inade three Balls in the Name of the Holy " Trinity; and so if they be put into the Churn, the Butter will • presently come, and the Witchcraft will cease—but if you put “ a little Sugar and Soap into the Cherme among the Cream, the « Butter will never come.
Mr. Webster (see Display of Witchcraft, book 12. chap. 21. p. 281.) assigns natural Causes for it's not coming, with the Methods to make it come,
¥. 122, 123. And Love proves cross and humoursome,- To him with Questions, and with Urine.] This is hinted at by Sir Robert Howard, (Committee-Man, A& 1. p. 19.) Ruth tells Arabella the Heiress,
125 Quoth Hudibras, This Sidrophel
I've heard of, and shou'd like it well;
Says Ralpho, there's no Doubt of that ; 530 Those Principles I quoted late,
Prove that the Godly may alledge
If they have Motives thereunto.' (whom Mr. Day the Committe-Man had got into his Cuftody) “ That “ Mr. and Mrs. Day had sent to Lilly, and his Learning being “ built upon what People would have him to say, he has told for “ certain, that Abel their Son must have a rich Heiress, and that “ must be you."
And Lilly confeffes, (History of his Life and Times, p. 95.) “ That many People of the poorer Sort frequented his Lodging,
many whereof were so civil, that when they brought Waters, “ viz. Urines from infected People, (in 1665) they would stand
at a Distance.
¥.127, 128. If thou cans prove the Saints have Freedom,—To go to Sore'rers, when they need 'em.] See Don Quixote's Scruple in this Respect, vol. 3. chap. 25. This Question is argued in a Book, intitled, De Veneficis. per Lambertum Danæum, Anno 1574. cap. 6. Utrum liceat homini Christiano sortiariorum operâ & auxilio, in morbo aliisque rebus uti ! Who determines, p. 120, in the Negative. Quamobrem hoc fit tandem conclusum & effectum ex supe. rioribus, neque debere, neque opportere sortiariorum operâ uti, nisi & ipfi in eorum numero efle velimus.
Constantine the Great seems to be more favourable in his Opinion in the following Law:
Nullis vero criminationibus implicanda sunt remedia humanis quæfita corporibus, aut in agreitibus locis innocenter adhibita suffragia, ne maturis vindemiis metuerentur imbres, aut ventis, grandinisque lepidatione quaterentur : Quibus non cujusquam falus & æftimatio læderetur : Sed quorum proficerent actus, ne Divina munera, & libores hominum fternerentur. Cod. Justinian,
Tit. 18. S. 4. Sir John Birkenhead (Paul's Church-yard, cent. 2. class. 9. fect. 179.) puts this Query,
" Whether the Reformers of this
135 For as there is a War between
Has not this present Parliament, 140 A Ledger to the Devil sent,
Fully impower'd to treat about
". Time may safely trade in Magic ? Because Luther and Dr. Fau,
ftus taught both in the same Town."
And Lilly, when he and Booker had an Audience of Sir Thomas Fairfax, observed, “ That he hoped the Art was lawful, and s agreeable to God's Word.” (Life, p. 57. and General Historical Dictionary, vol. 7. p. 83. See Spectator, No 46.)
¥.139, 140. Has not this present Parliament- A Ledger to the Devil Sent?] Ledger Ambasadors were not more ancient than the Year 1500, as Mr. Anstis observes from Grotius, (Register of the Garter, part 1. p. 394.)
¥. 143, 144. And has not be within a Year-Hang'd threescore of 'em in one Shire ?] Hopkins, the noted Witch-finder for the associated Counties, hang'd threescore fufpected Witches in one Year in the County of Suffolk. See Dr. Hutchinson's Historical Elay on Witchcraft, p. 37, 38.
Dr. Meric Casaubon, in his Preface to Dr. Dee's Book of Spirits, observes; That nine hundred Men and Women suffer'd in Lorain for Witchcraft in the Compass of a few Years : And Ludovicus Paramo, that the Inquisition, within the Space of one hundred and fifty Years, has burnt thirty thousand Witches. Baker's History of the Inquisition, p. 186.
But our Enthusiasts much exceeded both. Mr. Ady says, that in Scotland some thoufands were burnt in those Times. (Dr. Hutcbinfon, p. 38.) I have somewhere seen an Account of betwixt three and four thousand that suffer'd in the King's Dominions, from the Year 1640, to the King's Restoration. See a remarkable Incident of this kind, in Bretagne, a Province of France. Turkish Spy, vol. 4. book 4. Jetter 9,