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and would be at home at such a time; and, said she, he did come accordingly.
“I owned the taking of half a crown for my judgement of the theft; but said, I gave no other judgement, but that the goods would not be recovered, being that was all which was required of me: the party, before that, having been with several astrologers, some affirming she should have her goods again, others gave contrary judgement, which made her come unto me for a final resolution.
“At last my enemy began her before-made speech, and, without the least stumbling, pronounced it before the court; which ended, she had some queries put unto her, and then I spoke for myself, and produced my own Introduction into court, saying, that I had some years before emitted that book for the benefit of this and other nations; that it was allowed by authority, and had found good acceptance in both universities; that the study of astrology was lawful, and not contradicted by any scripture; that I neither had or ever did use any charms, sorceries, or inchantments, related in the bill of indictment, &c.
• She then related, that she had been several times with me, and that afterwards she could not rest a-nights, but was troubled with bears, lions, and tygers, &c. My counsel was the Recorder Green, who after he had answered all objections, concluded, astrology was a lawful art.
“« Mistress,' said he, 'what colour was those beasts that you were so terrified with ?'
*«• I never saw any,' said she.
then know they were lions, tygers, or bears ? replied he. This is an idle person, only fit for Bedlam.' The jury, who went not from the bar, brought in, No true bill.”
His second wife dying, to his great joy, he the same year ventured on a third, who, he says, " is signified in my nativity by Jupiter in Libra ; and she is so totally in her conditions, to my great comfort.”
After the Restoration, being taken into custody and examined by a committee of the House of Commons, touching the execution of Charles I.; he declared that Robert Spavin, then secretary to Cromwell, dining with him soon after that event, assured him that it was done by Cornet Joyce. Having sued out his pardon under the broad seal of England, he continued to labour in his vocation, unmolested by the ruling powers, until the fire of London took place, when he was brought before a committee to depose what he knew respecting the cause of that calamity.
“ Sir Robert Brooke spoke to this purpose :
6. Mr. Lilly, This committee thought fit to summon you to appear before them this day, to know, if you can say any thing as to the cause of the late fire, or whether there might be any design therein. You are called the rather hither, because in a book of yours long since printed, you hinted some such thing by one of your hieroglyphicks.' Unto which I replied,
“May it please your honours,
“ • After the beheading of the late King, considering that in the three subsequent years the Parliament acted nothing which concerned the settlement of the nation in peace; and seeing the generality of people dissatisfied, the citizens of London discontented, the soldiery prone to mutiny, I was desirous, according to the best knowledge God had given me, to make enquiry by the art I studied, what might from that time happen unto the Parliament and nation in general. At last, having satisfied myself as well as I could, and perfected my judgement therein, I thought it most convenient to signify my intentions and conceptions thereof, in forms, shapes, types, hieroglyphicks, &c. without any commentary, that so my judgement might be concealed from the vulgar, and made manifest only unto the wise. I herein imitating the examples of many wise philosophers who had done the like.'
Sir Robert,' saith one, Lilly is yet sub vestibulo.'
“ I proceeded further. Said I, having found, sir, that the city of London should be sadly afflicted with a great plague, and not long after with an exorbitant fire,* I framed these two hieroglyphics as represented in the book, which in effect have proved very true.'
foresee the year?' said one. “I did not,' said I, or was desirous: of that I made no scrutiny.' I proceeded
«« Now, sir, whether there was any design of burning the city, or any employed to that purpose, I must deal ingenuously with you, that since the fire, I have taken much pains in the search thereof, but cannot or could not give myself any the least satisfaction therein. I conclude, that it was the only finger of God; but what instruments he used thereunto, I am ignorant.'
“ The committee seemed well pleased with what I spoke, and dismissed me with great civility.”
In his latter years, Lilly applied himself to the study of physic, and continued to practise that art, as well as astrology, at Hersham (where he had purchased an estate) till his death, which was occasioned by a paralytic attack, in 1681. He was
* Our astrologer well knew how to “ lie like truth.” His Monarchy or no Monarchy, has an appendix of sixteen pages of wood-cuts, “representing in Enigmatical Types, Formes, Figures, Shapes, the future condition of the English Nation and Commonwealth for muny hundred of yeares to come ; of which, had the curtesie of the times deserved it, the reader had seen an explanation.” The graves and winding sheets are represented on the eighth page, and the burning city on the thirteenth ; whereas, Lilly would have us believe, that the one was on the next side to the other, that they might tally with the Plague and the Fire, which occurred in 1665 and the following year.
interred in the chancel of the church at Walton, and his friend and dupe, the learned Elias Ashmole, placed over his remains “a fair black marble stone, which cost him six pounds, four shillings, and sixpence."
The number and extent of our extracts preclude our dwelling at any length on the merits or demerits of the departed Philomath. The simplicity and apparent candour of his narrative might induce a hasty reader of these Memoirs to believe him a well-meaning but somewhat silly personage, the dupe of his own speculations—the deceiver of himself as well as of others. But an attentive examination of the events of his life, even as recorded by himself, will not warrant so favourable an interpretation. His systematic and successful attention to his own interest-his dexterity in keeping on the windy side of the law”—his perfect political pliability—and his presence of mind and fertility of resources when entangled in difficulties-indicate an accomplished impostor, not a crazy enthusiast. It is very possible and probable, that, at the outset of his career, he was a real believer in the truth and lawfulness of his art, and that he afterwards felt no inclination to part with so pleasant and so profitable a delusion : like his patron, Cromwell, whose early fanaticism subsided into hypocrisy, he carefully retained his folly as a cloak for his knavery. Of his success in deception, the preceding narrative exhibits abundant proofs. The number of his dupes was not confined to the vulgar and illiterate, but included individuals of real worth and learning, of hostile parties and sects, who courted his acquaintance and respected his predictions. His proceedings were deemed of sufficient importance to be twice made the subject of a parliamentary inquiry; and even after the Restoration—when a little more scepticism, if not more wisdom, might have been expected—we find him examined by a Committee of the House of Commons, respecting his fore-knowledge of the great fire of London. We know not whether it “should more move our anger or our mirth," to see an assemblage of British Senators—the cotemporaries of Hampden and Falkland-of Milton and Clarendon—in an age which roused into action so many and such mighty energies-gravely engaged in ascertaining the causes of a great national calamity, from the prescience of a knavish fortune-teller, and puzzling their wisdoms to interpret the symbolical flames, which blazed in the mis-shapen wood-cuts of his oracular publications.
As a set-off against these honours may be mentioned, the virulent and unceasing attacks of almost all the party scribblers of the day; but their abuse he shared in common with men, whose talents and virtues have outlived the malice of their cotemporaries, and
“ Whose honours with increase of ages grow,
As streams roll down, enlarging as they flow.” Butler, whose satire was “as broad and general as the casing air,” could not overlook so conspicuous an object of ridicule, as Erra Pater Lilly; and, in his Hudibras, has cursed him with an immortality of derision and contempt. We cannot conclude this article better than with his witty account of the cunning man, hight SIDROPhel,
“ That deals in destiny's dark counsels,
He had been long t’wards mathematics,
Do not our great Reformers use
Art. IV.-Hawkins's Origin of the English Drama, 3 vols. 8vo.
Oxford, 1773. Dodsley's Select Collection of Old Plays, 12 vols. 12mo. 1744. The Honorable Historie of Frier Bacon, and Frier Bongay, as it
was plaid by her Majesties servants. Made by Robert Greene, Maister of Arts. London, Printed for Edward White, and are to be sold at his shop, at the little North dore of Poules, at
the signe of the Gun: 1594. A Looking Glasse for London and England. Made by Thomas
Lodge, Gentleman, and Robert Greene, in artibus magister. London, imprinted by Bernard Alsop, 1617.
In undertaking to give a series of articles on the English Drama, as stated in our last number, it never entered into our contemplation to mention every name, or give an account of every production which appeared in our dramatic horizon, but merely to give so much as we conceived necessary, in a short space, to enable the reader to command a view of the gradual progress of this species of literature. They must not, there