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In all th' affairs of church and state,
'Tis both the balance and the weight :
Then much less can it be without
Divine astrology made out,
That puts the other down in worth,
As far as heaven's above earth.
These reasons, quoth the knight, I grant
Are something more significant
860 Than any that the learned use Upon this subject to produce ; And yet they're far from satisfactory, T'establish and keep up your factory. Th’Egyptians say, the sun has twice Shifted his setting and his rise ; Twice has he risen in the west, As many times set in the east; But whether that be true or no, The devil any of you know.
Some hold, the heavens, like a top,
Are kept by circulation up,
And were't not for their wheeling round,
They'd instantly fall to the ground :
As fage Empedocles of old,
And from him modern authors hold.
Plato believ'd the fun and moon
Below all other planets run.
Some Mercury, some Venus seat
Above the fun himself in height.
The learned Scaliger complain'd
'Gainst what Copernicus maintain'd,
That in twelve hundred years, and odd,
The fun had left his ancient road,
And nearer to the earth is come,
’Bove fifty thousand miles from home :
Swore 'twas a most notorious flam,
And he that had so little shame
To vent such fopperies abroad,
Deserv'd to have his rump well claw'd ; 890
Which Monsieur Bodin hearing, swore
That he deserv'd the rod much more,
That durst upon a truth give doom,
He knew less than the
of Rome. Cardan believ'd great states depend Upon the tip oʻth' bear's tail's end; That as she whisk'd it t'wards the sun, Strow'd mighty empires up and down ; Which others say must need be false, Because your true bears have no tails.
900 Some say, the Zodiac constellations Have long since chang'd their antic stations Above a sign, and prove the same In Taurus now, once in the Ram ; Affirm’d the Trigons chop'd and chang’d, 905 The wat'ry with the fiery rang'd;
Then how can their effects still hold
To be the same they were of old ?
This, tho' the art were true, would make
Our modern foothsayers mistake,
And is one cause they tell more lies,
In figures and nativities,
Than th' old Chaldean conjurers,
in so many hundred thousand
Beside their nonsense in translating,
For want of accidence and Latin ;
Like Idus and Calendæ englisht
The quarter days, by skilful linguist;
And yet with canting, sleight, and cheat,
'Twill serve their turn to do the feat;
Make fools believe in their foreseeing
Of things before they are in being ;
To swallow gudgeons ere they ’re catch’d,
And count their chickens ere they ’re hatch’d;
Make them the constellations prompt,
And give 'em back their own accompt ;
But still the best to him that gives
The best price for 't, or believes.
Some towns, some cities, some for brevity,
Have cast the 'versal world's nativity,
And made the infant stars confess,
Like fools or children, what they please.
Some calculate the hidden fates.
Of monkeys, puppy-dogs, and cats ;
Some running nags, and fighting cocks;
Some love, trade, lawsuits, and the pox :
Some take a measure of the lives
Of fathers, mothers, husbands, wives,
Make opposition, trine, and quartile,
Tell who is barren, and who fertile ;
As if the planet's first aspect
The tender infant did infect