Introduction and chapters 1-3 of
Lantern and Candle-Light
To my own Nation
After it was proclaimed abroad that (under the conduct of the Bel-man of London) new forces were once more to be levied against certain Wild and Barbarous Rebels, that were up in open arms against the Tranquility of the Weal public. It cannot be told what numbers of voluntaries offered themselves daily to fight against so Common, so Bold, so Strange and so Dangerous an enemy. Light horsemen came in hourly, with discovery where These Mutineers lay entrenched, delivering, in brief notes of Intelligence, who were their Leaders, how they went Armed, and that they served both on Horse and Foot. Only their Strengths could not be descried, because their Numbers were held infinite. Yet instructions were written and sent (every minute) by those that were Favorers of Goodness, shewing what Military Discipline the foe used in his Battles, and what Forts, if he were put at any time to Flight, he would Retire to, what strategems he would practice, and where he did determine to lie in Ambuscado. They that could not serve in person in This Noble quarrel sent their Auxiliary Forces, well armed with Counsel. So that the Bel-man, contrary to his own Hopes, seeing himself so strongly and strangely seconded by Friends, doth now bravely advance forward in main Battalion. The day of Encounter is appointed to be in This Michaelmas Term.3 The place, Paul's Churchyard, Fleet Street, and other parts of the City. But before they join, let me give you note of one thing, and that is this.
There is an Usurper that of late hath taken upon him the name of the Bel-man, but being not able to maintain that Title, he doth now call himself the Bel-man's brother. His ambition is (rather out of vainglory than the true courage of an Experienced soldier) to have the leading of the Van, but it shall be honor good enough for him, if not too good, to come up with the Rear. You shall know him by his Habilments, for, by the furniture he wears, he will be taken for a Beadle of Bridewell. It is thought he is rather a Neuter than a Friend to the cause, and therefore the Bel-man doth here openly protest that he comes into the Field as no fellow in arms with Him.
Howsoever it be struck, or whosoever gives the first blow, the victory depends upon the valor of you that are the Wings. to the Bel-man's army; for which conquest he is in hope you will valiantly fight, sithence the Quarrel is against the head of Monstrous Abuses, and the blows which you must give are in defence of Law, justice, Order, Ceremony, Religion, Peace, and that Honorable Title of Goodness.
Saint George! I see the two Armies move forward. And behold, the Bel-man himselffirst chargeth upon the face of the Enemy. Thus.
Lantern and Candle-light, Or The Bel-man's Second Night walk.
Chapter!. Of Canting: How long it hath been a language; how it comes to be a language; how it is derived, and by whom it is spoken.
When all the World was but one Kingdom, all the People in that Kingdom spake but one language. A man couldel trav in those days neither by Sea nor land, but he met his Countrymen and none others. Two could not then stand gabbing with strange tongues, and conspire together (to his own face) how to cut a third man's throat, but he might understand them. There was no Spaniard (in that Age) to Brave his enemy in the Rich and Lofty Castilian, no Roman Orator to plead in the Rhetorical and Fluent Latin, no Italian to court his Mistress in the sweet and Amorous Tuscan, no Frenchman to parle in the full and stately phrase of Orleans, no German to thunder out the high and rattling Dutch, the unfruitful crabbed Irish and the Voluble significant Welch, were not then so much as spoken of. The quick Scottish Dialect, sister to the English, had not then a tongue. Neither were the strings of the English speech, in those times, untied. When the first learned to speak, it was but a broken language: the singlest and the simplest Words flowed from her utterance, for she dealt in nothing but in Monosyllables, as if to have spoken words of greater length would have cracked her Voice, by which means her Eloquence was poorest, yet hardest to learn, and so, but for necessity, not regarded amongst Strangers. Yet afterwards those Noblest Languages lent her Words and phrases, and turning those Borrowings into Good husbandry, she is now as rich in Elocution and as Abundant as her proudest and Best-stored Neighbors.
Whilst thus (as I said before) there was but one Alphabet of Letters for all the world to Read by, all the people that then lived might have wrought upon one piece of work in countries far distant asunder without mistaking one another, and not needing an Interpreter to run between them. Which thing Nimrod, the first Idolater, perceiving, and not knowing better how to employ so many thousand Millions of Subjects as bowed before him, a fire of Ambition burned within him to climb up so high that he might see what was done in heaven. And for that purpose, workmen were summoned from all the corners of the Earth, who presently were set to Build the Tower of Babel. But the Master-workman of this Great Universe, to check the Insolence of such a Saucy builder that durst raise up Pinnacles equal to his own above, commanded the selfsame Spirit that was both bred in the Chaos and had maintained it in disorder, to be both Surveyor of tho'se works, and Comptroller of the Laborers. This Messenger was called Confusion. It was a Spirit swift offlight and faithful of service: her looks wild, terrible, and inconstant, her attire, carelessly loose and of a thousand several colors. In one hand she gripped a heap of storms with which, at her pleasure, she could trouble the waters. In the other she held a whip, to make three Spirits that drew her to gallop faster before her. The Spirits' names were Treason, Sedition, and War, who at every time when they went abroad were ready to set Kingdoms in an uproar. She rode upon a Chariot of Clouds which was always furnished with Thunder, Lightning, Winds, Rain, Hailstones, Snow, and all the other Artillery belonging to the service of Divine Vengeance. And when she spake, her Voice sounded like the roaring of many Torrents, boistrously struggling together, for between her Jaws did she carry a hundred thousand Tongues.
This strange Linguist, stepping to every Artificer that was there at work, whispered in his ear, whose looks were thereupon (presently) filled with a strange distraction. And on a sudden, whilst every man was speaking to his fellow, his language altered, and no man could understand what his fellow spake. They all stared one upon another, yet none of them could tell wherefore so they stared. Their Tongues went, and their hands gave action to their Tongues, yet neither words nor action were understood. It was a Noise of a thousand sounds, and yet the sound of the noise was nothing. He that spake knew he spake well, and he that heard was mad that the other could speak no better. In the end, they grew angry, one with another, as thinking they had mocked one another of purpose. So that the Mason was ready to strike the Bricklayer, the Bricklayer to beat out the brains of his Laborer, the Carpenter took up his Axe to throw at the Carver, whilst the Carver was stabbing at the Smith because he brought him a Hammer when he should have made him a Chisel. He that called for Timber had Stones laid before him, and when one was sent for Nails, he fetched a Tray of Mortar.
Thus Babel should have been razed, and by this means Babel fell. The Frame could not go forward, the stuff was thrown by, the workmen made holiday. Everyone packed up his tools to be gone, yet not to go the same way that he came. But glad was he that could meet another whose speech he understood, for to what place soever he went, others (that ran madding up and down) hearing a man speak like themselves, followed only him, so that they who when the work began were all countrymen, before a quarter of it was finished, fled from one another as from enemies and strangers. And in this manner did Men at the first make up nations. Thus were words coined into Languages, and out of those Languages have others been molded since, only by the mixture of nations, after kingdoms have been subdued. But I am now to speak of a People and of a Language, of both which (many thousands of years since that Wonder wrought at Babel) the world till now never' made mention. Yet confusion never dwelt more amongst any Creatures. The Bel-man in his first Voyage which he made for Discoveries found them to be Savages, yet living in an Island6 very temperate, fruitful, full of a Noble Nation, and rarely governed. The Laws, Manners and habits of these Wild-men are plainly set down, as it were, in a former painted Table. Yet lest happily a Stranger may look upon this second Picture of them, who never beheld The first, it shall not be amiss in this place to repeat over again the Names of all the Tribes into which they Divide themselves, both when they Serve abroad in the open fields, and when they lie in garrison within Towns and walled Cities.
And these are their Ranks as they stand in order, viz.
Hookers, alias Anglers.
Priggers of Prancers.
Mad Tom of Bedlam.
Counterfeit Cranks. Dummerers.
Into thus many Regiments are they now divided, but in former times (above four hundred years now past) they did consist of five Squadrons only.
1. Cursetors, alias Vagabonds.
viz. 3. Robardsmen.
5. Sturdy Beggars
And as these people are strange both in names and in their conditions, so do they speak a Language, proper only to themselves, called Canting, which is more strange. By none but the soldier of These Tattered bands is it familiarity or usually spoken, yet within less than fourscore years now past, not a word of this Language was known. The first Inventor of it was hanged, yet left he apt scholars behind him who have reduced that into Method which he on his deathbed (which was a pair of gallows) could not so absolutely perfect as he desired.
It was necessary that people so fast increasing and so daily practicing new and strange Villainies should borrow to themselves a speech, which so near as they could, none but themselves should understand. And for that cause was this Language, which some call Peddler's French, Invented, to th[e] intent that, albeit any Spies should. secretly seal into their companies to .discover them, they might freely utter their minds one to another yet avoid that danger. The Language therefore of Canting they study even from their Infancy; that is to say, from the very first hour that they take upon them the names of Kinchin Cos, till they are grown Rufflers, or Upright-men, which are the highest in degree amongst them.
This word Canting seems to be derived from the Latin verb Canto which signifies in English "to sing" or "to make a sound with words" - that is to say, "to speak." .And very aptly may Canting take his derivation a Cantando from "singing," because amongst these Beggarly consorts that can play upon no better instruments, the Language of Canting is a kind of music, and he that in such assemblies can Cant best is counted the best Musician.
Now, as touching the Dialect, or phrase itself, I see not that it is grounded upon any certain rules. And no marvel if it have none, for sithence both the Father of this new kind of Learning and the Children that study to speak it after him have been from the beginning, and still are, the Breeders and Nourishers of all base disorder in their living and in their Manners, how is it possible they should observe any Method in their speech, and especially in such a Language, as serves but only to utter discourses of villainies?
And yet, even out of all that Irregularity, unhandsomeness, and Fountain of Barbarism, do they draw a kind ofform: and in some words, as well simple as compounds, retain a certain salt, tasting of some wit, and some Learning. As, for example, they call a Cloak, in the Canting tongue, a Togeman, and in Latin Toga signifies a gown or an upper garment. Pannam is bread, and Panis in Latin is likewise bread. Cassan is Cheese, and is a word barbarously coined out of the substantive Caseus which also signifies Cheese. And so of others.
Then by joining of two simples do they make almost all their compounds. As, for example, Nab in the Canting tongue is a head, and Nab-cheat is a hat or a cap - which word Cheat, being coupled to other words, stands in very good stead and does excellent service. For a Smelling Cheat signifies a Nose, a Pratling Cheat is a tongue, Crashing Cheats are Teeth, Hearing cheats are Ears, Fambles are hands, and thereupon a Ring is called Fambling cheat. A Muffling cheat signifies a Napkin; a Belly cheat an Apron; a Grunting cheat, a Pig; a Cackling cheat, a Cock or a Capon; a Quacking cheat, a Duck; a Lowing cheat a Cow; a Bleating cheat, a Calf, or a Sheep; and so may that word be married to many others besides.
The word Cove, or Cofe, or Cuffin signifies a Man, a Fellow, etc., but differs something in his property, according as it meets with other words: for a Gentleman is called a Gentry Cove or Cofe; A good fellow is a Bene Cofe; a Churl is called a Queer cuffin, Queer signifies naught and Cuffin, as I said before, a Man. And in Canting they term a Justice of Peace, because he punisheth them belike, by no other name than by Queer Cuffin - that is to say, a Churl or a Naughty man. And so Ken signifying a House, they call a Prison a Queer ken - that is to say, an ill house.
Many pieces of this strange coin could I shew you, but by these small stamps you may judge of the greater.
Now because a Language is nothing else than heaps of words orderly Woven and Composed together, and that, within so narrow a circle as I have drawn to myself, it is impossible to imprint a Dictionary of all the Canting phrases, I will at this time not make you surfeit on too much, but as if you were walking in a Garden you shall only pluck here a flower and there another, which, as I take it, will be more delightful than if you gathered them by Handfuls.
But before I lead you into it that walk, stay and hear a Canter in his own Language, making Rhythms, albeit, I think, those charmes of Poesy which (at the first) made the Barbarous tame, and brought them to Civility, can upon those savage Monsters work no such wonder. Yet thus he sings, upon demand whether any of his own crew did come that way; to which he answers, "Yes,"quoth he.
Enough-with bowsy Cove maund Nace,
Tour the Patring Cove in the Darkman Case,
Docked the Dell, for a Copper meek,
His wach shall seng a Prounce's Nab-cheat,
Cyarum, by Salmon, and thou shalt peek my Jere
In thy Gan, for my wetch it is nace gere,
For the bene bouse see my watch hath a win, etc.
This short Lesson I leave to be construed by Him that is desirous to try his skill in the Language, which he may do by help of the following Dictionary, into which way that he may more readily come, I will translate into English this broken French that follows in Prose. Two Canters having wrangled awhile about some idle quarrel, at length growing friends, thus one of them speaks to the other, viz.,
A Canter in prose.
"Stow you bene cofe, and cut benar whids, and bing we to Rome-vill to nip a bung. So shall we have lour for the bousing Ken, and when we bing back to the Dews-a-vill, we will filch some Duds off the Ruffmans, or mill the Ken for a lag of Duds"
Thus in English.
Stow you, bene cofe.
Hold your peace, good fellow.And cut benar whids. And speak better words.
And bing we to Rome-vill. And go we to London.
To nip a bung. To cut a purse.
So shall we have lour. So shall we have money.
For the bousing Ken. For the Alehouse.
And when we bing back. And when we come back.
To the Dews-a-vill. Into the country.
We will filch some Duds. We will filch some clothes.
Off the Ruffmans. From the hedges.
Or mill the Ken. Or rob the house.
For a lag of Duds. For a buck of clothes.
Now turn to your Dictionary.
And because you shall not have one dish twice set before you, none of those Canting words that are englished before shall here be found, for our intent is to feast you with variety.
The Canter's Dictionary
Autem, a Church.
Autem-mort, a married woman.
Bung, a purse.
Bord, a shilling.
Haifa Bord, sixpence.
Bousing Ken, an Alehouse.
Beneship, very good.
Buft, a Dog.
Bing a waste, get you hence.
Caster, a Cloak.
A Commission, a Shirt.
Chats, the Gallows.
To cly the Jerk, to be whipped.
To cut, to speak.
To cut bene, to speak gently.
To cut bene whids, to speak good words.
To cut queer whids, to give evil language.
To Cant, to speak.
To Couch a Hogshead, to lie down asleep.
Libbege, a bed.
Lap, Butter, Milk, or Whey.
Libken, a house to lie in.
Lightmans, the day.
A Make, a half-penny.
Margery prater, a Hen.
To Mill, to steal.
Mill a Ken, rob a house.
Nosegent, a Nun.
Niggling, companying with a woman.
Pratt, a Buttock.
Prancer, a Horse.
Patrico, a Priest.
Pad, a way.Quaroms, a body.
Darkmans, the night.
Dews-a-vill, the Country.
Dup the Gigger, open the door.
Fambling cheat, a Ring.
Flag, a Groat.
Gan, a mouth.
Gage, a Quart pot.
Jibe, a writing.
Gigger, a door.
Gentry Mort, a Gentlewoman.
Gentry cofes Ken, a Nobleman's house.
Harman beck, a Constable.
Harmans, the Stocks.
Heave a bough, rob a Booth.
Jark, a Seal.
Ken, a house.
Lag of Duds, a buck of clothes.
Roger, or Tib of the Buttery, a Goose.
Rome-mort, a Queen.
ruffmans,the woods or bushes.
Ruffian, the Devil.
slate, a sheet.
skew, a cup.
Solomon, the mass.
St[a]lling ken, a house to receive stolen goods.
Skipper, a barn.
Smelling cheat, an Orchard or Garden.
To scour the Cramp-ring, to wear bolts.
Stalling, making or ordaining.
Trining, hanging.vTo tower, to see.
Win, a penny.
And thus have I builded up a little Mint, where you may coin words for your pleasure. The payment of this was a debt for the Bel-man at his farewell in his first Round which he walked, promised so much. If he keep not touch, by tendering the due Sum, he desires forbearance, and if any that is more rich in this Canting commodity will lend him any more, or any better, he will pay his love double. In the meantime, receive this, and to give it a little more weight, you shall have a Canting song, wherein you may learn how This cursed Generation pray or, to speak truth, curse such Officers as punish them.
A Canting Song.
The Ruffin cly the nab of the Harman beck,
If we mauned Pannam, lap, or Ruff-peck,
Or poplars of yarum. He cuts, "Bing to the Ruffmans!"
Or else he swears by the lightmans
To put our stamps in the harmans.
The Ruffian cly the ghost of the harman beck!
If we heave a booth we cly the jerk!
If we Niggle, or mill a bousing Ken,
Or nip a bung that has but a win,
Or dup the gigger of a Country cofe's Ken,
To the queer cuffin we bing
And then to the queer Ken to scour the Cramp-ring,
And then to be Trin'd on the Chats, in the lightmans,
The Bube and Ruffian cly the Harman beck and Harmans.
Thc Devil take the Constable's head,
If we beg Bacon, Buttermilk or Bread,
Or Pottage, "To the hedge!" he bids us hie,
Or swears (by this light) [in] the Stocks we shall lie.
The Devil haunt the Constable's ghost,
If we rob but a Booth, we are whipped at a post
If an Alehouse we rob, or be [taken] with a whore,
Or cut a purse that has just a penny and no more,
Or come but stealing in at a gentleman's door,
To the Justice straight we go,
And then to the Jail to be shackled. And so
To be hang'd on the gallows [in] th' daytime: the pox
And the Devil take the Constable and his Stock
We have Canted, I fear, too much. Let us now give ear to hear what he speaks in English.
Chapter 2. The Bel-man's Second Night's walk.
It was Term-time in hell (for you must understand, a Lawyer lives there as well as here) by which means Don Lucifer, being the Justice for that County where the Brimstone mines are, had better doings and more rapping at his gates than all the Doctors and Empirical Quack-salvers of ten cities have at theirs in a great Plague-time. The Hall where the Termers were to try their causes was very large and strongly built, but it had one fault: it was so hot that people could not endure to walk there. Yet to walk there they were compelled (by reason they were drawn thither upon occasions) and such jostling there was of one another that it would have grieved any man to be in the throngs amongst them. Nothing could be heard but noise, and nothing of that noise be un it was a sound of men in a kingdom when on a sudden it is in an uproar. Everyone brabbled with him that he walked with, or if he did but tell his tale to his Counsel, he was so eager in the very delivery of that tale that you would have sworn he did brabble. And such gnashing of teeth there was when adversaries met together, that the filing of ten thousand Saws cannot yield a sound more horrible. The Judge of the Court had a devilish countenance, and as cruel he was in punishing those that were condemned by law as he was crabbed in his looks, whilst he sat to hear their trials. But albeit there was no pity to be expected at his hands, yet was he so upright in Justice that none could ever fasten bribe upon him, for he was ready and willing to hear the cries of all comers. Neither durst any Pleader at the Infernal Bar or any officer of the court exact any Fee of Plaintiffs and such as complained of wrongs and were oppressed, but only they paid that were the wrong-doers, those would they see damned ere they should get out of their fingers. Such fellows they were appointed to vex at the very soul.
The matters that here were put in suit were more than could be bred in twenty Vacations, yet should a man be dispatched out of hand. In one Term he had his Judgment, for here they never stand upon Returns, but presently come to Trial. The causes decided here are many; the Clients that complained, many; the Counsellors that plead till they be hoarse, many; the Attorneys that run up and down, infinite; the Clerks of the Court, not to be numbered. All these have their hands full; day and night are they so plagued with the bawling of Clients that they never can rest.
The Ink wherewith they write is the blood of Conjurers. They have no Paper, but all things are engrossed in Parchment and that Parchment is made of Scriveners' Skins flayed off after they have been punished for Forgery. Their Standishes are the Skulls of Usurers; their Pens, the bones of unconscionable Brokers and hard-hearted Creditors that have made Dice of other men's bones, or else of perjured Executors and blind Overseers that have eaten up widows and Orphans to the bare bones. And those Pens are made of purpose without Nibs, because they may cast Ink but slowly, in mockery of those who in their lifetime were slow in yielding drops of pity.
Would you know what actions are tried here? I will but turn over the Records and read them unto you as they hang upon the File:
The Courtier is sued here and condemned for Riots. The Soldier is sued here and condemned for Murders.The Scholar is sued here and condemned for Heresies.The Citizen is sued here and condemned for the City-sins.The Farmer is sued here upon Penal Statutes, and condemned for spoilingthe Markets. Actions of Battery are brought against the Swaggerers, and here they are bound to the Peace. Actions of waste are brought against Drunkards and Epicures, and here they are condemned to beg at the Grate for one drop of cold water to cool their tongues, or one crumb of bread to stay their hunger, yet are they denied it. Harlots have process sued upon them here, and are condemned to Howling, to Rottenness and to Stench.
No acts of Parliament that have passed the Upper house can be broken, but here the breach is punished, and that severely and that suddenly. For here they stand upon no Demurs;no Audita-Queraela can here be gotten; no writs of Error to Reverse Judgment. Here is no flying to a Court of Chancery for relief, yet everyone that comes hither is served with a Subpoena. No, they deal altogether in this Court upon the Habeas Corpus, upon the Capias,upon the Ne exeat Regnum, upon writs of Rebellion, upon heavy Fines but no Recoveries, upon writs of Outlawry to attach the body forever, and last of all upon Executions after Judgment, which being served upon a man is his everlasting undoing.
Such are the Customs and Courses of proceedings in the Offices belonging to the Prince of Darkness. These hot doings hath he in his Term-times. But upon a day when a great matter was to be tried between an Englishman and a Dutchman, which of the two were the foulest Drinkers, and the Case being a long time in arguing by reason that strong evidence came in reeling on both sides, yet it was thought that the Englishman would carry it away, and cast the Dutchman. On a sudden, all was stayed by the sound of a Horn that was heard at the lower end of the Hall. And everyone looking back as wondering at the strangeness, "Room! Room!" was cried, and made through the thickest of the crowd for a certain spirit in the likeness of a post who made away on a little lean Nag up to the Bench where Judge Radamanth with his two grim brothers, Minos and Aeacus, sat. This Spirit was an Intelligencer sent by Beelzebub of Barathrum into some Countries of Christendom to lie there as a Spy, and had brought with him a packet of letters from several Lieges that lay in those Countries in Hell, were publicly read. The letter which stung most and put them all out of their Lawcases, were to this purpose:
That whereas the Lord of the Fiery Lakes had his Ministers in all kingdoms above the Earth, whose offices were not only to win Subjects of other Princes to his obedience but also to give notie own sworn Household or any other that held league with him should revolt or fly from their duty and allegiance, as also discover from time to time all plots, conspiracies, machinations, or underminings that should be laid (albeit they that durst lay them should dig deep enough) to blow up his Great Infernal City. So that if his Horned Regiment were not suddenly mustered together, and did not lustily bestir their cloven stumps, his Territories would be shaken, his Dominions left in time unpeopled, his forces looked into, and his Authority which he held in the world contemned and laughed to scorn. The reason was that a certain fellow, The Child of Darkness, a common Nightwalker, a man that had no man to wait upon him but only a Dog, one that was a disordered Person, and at midnight would beat at men's doors, bidding them in mere mockery to look to their Candles when they themselves were in their dead sleeps, and albeit he was an Officer yet he was but of Light carriage, being known by the name of the Bel-man of London, had oflate not only drawn a number of the Devil's own Kindred into question for their lives, but had also (only by the help of the lantern and candle) looked into the secrets of the Best trades that are taught in Hell, laying them open to the broad eye of the world, making them infamous, odious and ridiculous. Yea, and not satisfied with doing this wrong to his Devilship, very spitefully hath he set them out in print, drawing their pictures so to the life that now a Horsestealer shall not shew his head but a halter with the Hangman's noose is ready to be fastened about it; a Foist nor a Nip shall not walk into a Fair or a Playhouse but every crack will cry, "Look to your Purses"; nor a poor common Rogue come to a man's door but he shall be examined if he can Cant. If this Bawling Fellow therefore have not his mouth stopped, the light Angels that are Coined below will never be able to pass as they have done, but be nailed up for Counterfeits. Hell will have no doings and the Devil be Nobody.
This was the lining of the letter, and this letter drove them all to a Non-plus, because they knew not how to answer it. But at last advice was taken, the Court broke up, the Term was adjourned (by reason that the Hellhounds were thus Plagued) and a Common Council in Hell was presently called how to Redress these Abuses.
The Satanical Synagogue being set, up starts the father of Hell and Damnation,and looking very terribly with a pair of eyes that stared as wide as the mouthgapes at Bishopsgate, fetching four or five deep Sighs (which were nothing else but the Smoke of fire and brimstone boiling in his stomach, and shewed as if he were taking Tobacco, which he oftentimes does) told his children and servants and the rest of the Citizens that dwelt within the freedom of Hell and sat there before him upon narrow low forms, that they never had more cause to lay their heads together and to grow politicians. He and they all knew that from all the corners of the earth some did every hour in a. day creep forth to come and serve him; yea, that many thousands were so bewitched with hisfavors and his rare parts that they would come running quick to him. His dominions, he said, were great, and full of people. Emperors and Kings (in infinite numbers) were his slaves; his court was full of princes. If the world weredivided, as some report, but into three parts, two of those three were his, or if, as others affirm, into four parts, in almost three of that four had he firm footing.
But if such a fellow as a treble-voiced Bel-man should be suffered to pry into the infernal Mysteries and into those Black Acts which command the spirits of the Deep, and, having sucked what knowledge he can from them to turn it all into poison, and to spit it in the very faces of the professors with a malicious intent to make them appear ugly and so to grow hateful and out of favor with the world; if such a conjurer at midnight should dance in their circles and not be driven out of them, Hell in a few vears would not be worth the dwelling in. The great Lord of Limbo did therefore command all his Black guard that stood about him to bestir them in their places, and to defend the court wherein they lived, threatening, besides, that his curse and all the plagues of stinking hell should fall upon his officers, servants, and subjects unless they either advised him how, or to[o]k some speedy order themselves to punish that saucy intelligencer, the Bel-man of London. Thus he spake and then sat.
At fast, a foolish Devil rose up and shot the bolt of his advice, which flew thus far: that the Black dog of Newgate should again be let loose, and afar off follow the Bawling Bel-man, to watch into what places he went, and what deeds of darkness (every night) he did. Hinc risus: the whole Synodical assembly fell a-laughing at the Wiseacre, so that neither he nor his Black-dog durst bark any more. Another, thinking to cleave the very pin with his arrow, drew it home to the head of wisdom, as he imagined, and yet that lighted wide, too. But thus shot, his Council, that the Ghosts of all those Thieves, Cheaters, and others of the damned crew who by the Bel-man's discovery had been betrayed, were taken and sent Westward, should be fetched from those Fields of Horror where every night they walk, disputing with Doctor Story who keeps them company there in his corner cap; and that those wry-necked spirits should have charge given them to haunt the Bel-man in his walks and so fright him out of his wits. This devil, for all his roaring, went away neither with a plaudit nor with a hiss. Others stepped up, some pronouncing one verdict, some another. But at the last, it being put into their Devilish heads that they had no power over him farther than what should be given unto them, it was thus concluced and set down as a rule in Court that some one strange spirit who could transform himself into all shapes should be sent up to London and, scorning to take revenge upon so mean a person as a Bellringer, should thrust himself into such companies, as in awarrant to be signed for that purpose, should be nominated. And being once grown familiar with them, he was to work and win them by all possible means to fight under the dismal and black Colors of Grand Sophy, his Lord and master. The fruit that was to grow upon this Tree of Evil would be great, for it should be fit to be served to Don Lucifer's table as a new banqueting dish, sithence all his other meats, though they fatted him well, were grown stale.
Hereupon, Pamersiel the Messenger was called; a passport was drawn, signed and delivered to him, with certain instructions how to carry himself in this travel. And thus much was openly spoken to him by word of mouth:
"Fly, Pamersiel, with speed to the great and populous City in the West Wind thyself into all shapes. Be a Dog, to fawn; a Dragon, to confound; be a Dove (seem innocent); be a Devil, as thou art; and shew that thou art a Journeyman to Hell. Build rather thy nest amongst willows that bend every way, than on tops of oaks, whose hearts are hard to be broken. Fly with the Swallow, close to the earth, when storms are at hand, but keep company with birds of greater talons when the weather is clear, and never leave them till they look like Ravens. Creep into bosoms that are buttoned up in satin, and there spread the wings of thine infection. Make every head thy pillow to lean upon, or use it like a Mill, only to grind mischief. If thou meetest a Dutchman, drink with him; if a Frenchman, stab; if a Spaniard, betray; if an Italian, poison; if an Englishman, do all this.
"Haunt Taverns. There shalt thou find prodigals. Pay thy twopence to a Player; in his gallery mayst thou sit by a harlot. At Ordinaries mayst thou dine with silken fools. When the day steals out of the world, thou shalt meet rich drunkards tinder welted gowns. Search for threescore in the hundred; hug those golden villains: they shine bright, and will make a good shew in hell. Shriek with a Cricket in the brewhouse, and watch how they conjure there. Ride up and down Smithfield, and play the Jade there. Visit prisons, and teach Jailors how to make nets of iron there. Bind thyself prentice to the best trades, but if thou canst grow extreme rich in a very short t:ime (honestly), I banish thee my kingdom, come no more into hell. I have read thee a lecture. Follow it Farewell."
No sooner was "Farewell" spoken, but the spirit to whom all these matters were given in charge vanished. The Cloven-footed Orator arose, and the whole assembly went about their damnable business.