« PreviousContinue »
Such as are lawful, and judge by
Conclusions of astrology ;
But for the devil, know nothing by him, 585
But only this, that I defy him.
Quoth he, whatever others deem
I understand your metonymy;
Your words of second-hand intention,
When things by wrongful names you mention ;
The mystic sense of all your terms,
That are indeed but magic charms
To raise the devil, and mean one thing,
And that is downright conjuring;
And in itself more warrantable
Than cheat or canting to a rabble,
Or putting tricks upon the moon,
Which by confed’racy are done.
Your ancient conjurers were wont
To make her from her sphere dismount,
And to their incantation stoop;
They scorn’d to pore thro' telescope,
Or idly play at bo-peep with her,
To find out cloudy or fair weather,
Which ev'ry almanack can tell,
Perhaps as learnedly and well
As you yourself—Then, friend, I doubt
You go the farthest way about :
Your modern Indian magician
Makes but a hole in th' earth to piss in,
And straight resolves all questions by ’t,
And feldom fails to be i'th' right.
The rosy-crusian way's more sure
To bring the devil to the lure ;
Each of 'em has a fev'ral gin,
To catch intelligences in.
Some by the nose, with fumes, trepan 'em,
As Dunstan did the devil's grannam.
Others with characters and words
Catch 'em as men in nets do birds ;
And some with fymbols, signs, and tricks,
Engrav’d in planetary nicks,
With their own influences will fetch 'em
Down from their orbs, arrest and catch 'em ;
Make 'em depose, and answer to
All questions, ere they let them go.
Bumbastus kept a devil's bird
Shut in the pummel of his sword,
That taught him all the cunning pranks
Of past and future mountebanks.
630 Kelly did all his feats upon The devil's looking-glass, a stone, Where, playing with him at bo-peep, He solv'd all problems ne'er so deep. Agrippa kept a Stygian pug, l' th’ garb and habit of a dog,
That was his tutor, and the cur
Read to th' occult philosopher,
And taught him fubt’ly to maintain
All other sciences are vain.
To this, quoth Sidrophello, Sir,
Agrippa was no conjurer,
Nor Paracelsus, no, nor Behmen;
Nor was the dog a caco-dæmon,
But a true dog that would shew tricks
For th’emp’ror, and leap o'er sticks;
Would fetch and carry, was more civil
Than other dogs, but yet no devil;
And whatsoe'er he's said to do,
He went the self-fame way we go.
For as the rosy-cross philosophers,
Whom you will have to be but sorcerers,
What they pretend to is no more
Than Trismegistus did before,
Pythagoras, old Zoroaster,
And Apollonius their master,
To whom they do confess they owe
All that they do, and all they know.
Quoth Hudibras, alas ! what is 't t’us
Whether 'twas said by Trismegistus, 660
If it be nonsense, false, or mystic
Or not intelligible, or sophistic ?
'Tis not antiquity, nor author,
That makes truth truth, altho' time's daughter;
'Twas he that put her in the pit,
Before he pulld her out of it ;
And as he eats his sons, just so
He feeds upon his daughters too.
Nor does it follow, 'cause a herald
Can make a gentleman, scarce a year old, 670
To be descended of a race
Of ancient kings in a small space,