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Indeed, among the many translators of ancient Greek authors who flourished in the beginning of the sixteenth century, Erasmus seems in all respects to have been the most eminent. The example which he set in studying that language was quickly followed, and he soon had the pleasure of seeing Grecian literature successfully cultivated throughout the whole of Europe. His versions also of some of the plays of Terence and Plautus are far above mediocrity. As a literary and moral character,

Erasmus is justly entitled to the gratitude and admiration of posterity, for his constant promotion of the interests of learning and science; and for his persevering exertions in the cause of virtue and true religion. The biographical sketch of this great and estimable man, drawn by the hand of Knight, is peculiarly frigid and uninteresting; but his life has since been most ably and impartially written by the learned Dr. Jortin. (To be continued.)

No. XI.

If that olde bokes were awaie,

Ylorne were of remembrance the key;

Wel ought us then honouren and beleve
These bokes.-


D. F.

The Visions of Don Francisco de Quevedo Villegas, Knight of the Order of St. James. Made English by Sir Roger L'Estrange. London: 1696.

FEW books were more popular than this when it was first published in England. It had several translators, and many editions were printed in an incredibly short space of time. We have taken that of Sir Roger L'Estrange for our present purpose; because, though he was not so well qualified for the task by his knowledge of the Spanish tongue as Captain Stevens and some others, yet his translation is executed with a racy humour and a caustic wit which comes nearest to the spirit of Quevedo. In point of literary correctness it is frequently defective; this, however, is a fault which we can easily forgive, on account of the translator's other excellencies. Quevedo enjoyed a great reputation in his own time; he was a nobleman and soldier, but found time to mingle the delights of literary employment with the more rude business of his life. Besides the book before us, he was the author of some poetry which stands very high among that of his nation, and some other satirical and humourous works, to which perhaps at another opportunity we shall call the attention of our readers. He was a man of extensive accomplishments, profound learning, and great experience. His writings are distinguished for a severe tone of powerful satire upon the prevailing follies of mankind, and the

fashion of the times in which he lived. His wit is of the most genuine sort, though it is sometimes tinged with that coarseness of expression which was the fault of the earlier days. This objection applies however only to the terms of his writing, for their object is to advocate the cause of virtue, and support pure morality, by exposing the hideousness of vice; and to encourage mankind in honourable and worthy pursuits, by shewing them the absurdity as well as the wickedness of opposite courses. There is no weapon so much dreaded by those vices which are above or below the law, those conventional offences which spring from a corrupt and profligate state of society, as ridicule; the keenness adds to the severity of the blow, and where it falls it makes a mark which all the world join in laughing at. It has been the opinion of some of the most pious and enlightened Churchmen of this as well as of other countries, that the interests of true religion are more effectually served, and her enemies more absolutely suppressed, by means of well-directed satire, than by any more serious exertions. To have succeeded eminently in this is Quevedo's greatest praise. His wit and his morality are equally remarkable, and he always makes the former subservient to the latter. In the first vision, he

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pretends to have seen a priest exorcising a possessed Alguazil; the devil, compelled to obey the exorcisms of the holy man, answers the reproaches which have been made to him, by showing that the sins of men are greater than those of the devils. The author by means of this vehicle has some powerful hits at the vice and folly of the world, which in spite of all modern improvements seems to have been much the same then as it continues in the present day:

"But tell me now," said the priest, "what makes thee torment him thus ? Nothing in the World, quoth the Devil, but a Contest betwixt him and me, which was the greater Devil of the Two.

"The Conjurer did not at all relish these wild and malicious Replies; but to me the Dialogue was extream pleasant, especially being by this time a little familiariz'd with the Devil. Upon which Confidence, my good Father said I, here are none but Friends; and I may speak to you as my Confessor, and the Confident of all the secrets of my soul; I have a great mind with your leave, to ask the Devil a few Questions, and who knows but a Man may be the better for his Answers, though perchance contrary to his intention! keep him only in the interim from tormenting this poor Creature. The Conjurer granted my request, and the Spirit went on with his babble. Well, says he smiling, the Devil shall never want a Friend at Court, so long as there's a Poet within the Walls. And indeed the Poets do us many a good turn, both by Pimping and otherwise; but if you, said he, should not be kind to us (looking upon me) you'l be thought very ungrateful, considering the Honour of your Entertainment now in Hell. I ask't him then what store of Poets they had? whole swarms, says the Devil; so many, that we have been fore'd to make room for them: Nor is there any thing in Nature so pleasant as a Poet in the first Year of his probation; he comes ye laden forsooth, with Letters of Recommendation to our Superiours, and enquires very gravely for Charon, Cerberus, Rhadamanthus, Bacus, Minos.

"Well, said I, but what's their punishment (for I began now to make the Poets case my own)? their Punishments, quoth the Devil, are many,

and suited to the Trade they drive. Some are condemn'd to hear other Mens works: (and this is the Plague of the Fidlers too) We have others that are in for a Thousand Years, and yet still poring upon some old Stanza's they have made of Jealousie."

He puts some other questions to the Devil relative to the state of the infernal regions, and the manner in which mortals are treated there. The demon is extremely complaisant in answering all his enquiries, and having done so, he says,

"So much for your Curiosity, a word now for your Instruction. If you would make an Interest in Hell, you must give over that Roguish way ye have got of abusing the Devils in your Shows, Pictures and Emblems: One while forsooth we are painted with Claws, or Talons, like Eagles or Griffons. Another while we are drest up with Tails, Ilke so many HackneyJades with their Fly-flaps: And now and then ye shall see a Devil with a Coxcomb. Now I will not deny, but some of us may indeed be very well taken for Hermites and Philosophers. If you can help us in this point, do; and we shall be ready to do ye one good Turn for another. I was asking Michael Angelo here a while ago, why he drew the Devils in his great Piece of the Last Judgment, with so many Monkey Faces, and Jack-Pudding Postures. His answer was, That he followed his Fancy, without any Malice in the World, for as then, he had never seen any Devils; nor (indeed) did he believe that there were any; but he has now learned the contrary to his cost. There's another thing too we take extreamly ill, which is, that in your ordinary Discourses, ye are out with your Purse presently to every Rascal, and calling of him Devil. As for Example. Do you see how this Devil of a Taylor has spoil'd my suit? how the Devil has made me wait? how that Devil has Couzen'd me, &c. which is very ill done, and no small disparagement to our Quality, to be rank'd with Taylors."

The author then pursues his enquiries:

"I hope, (said 1) there are no Judges in Hell. You may as well imagine (cry'd the Spirit) that there are no Devils there; for what are those Millions of Catchpoles, Proctors, Atturneys, Clerks, Barristers, that come

sailing to us every day in Shoals, but the Fry of corrupt Judges! Nay, sometimes, in a lucky year, for Cheating, Forging, and Forswearing, we can hardly find Cask to put them in. "From hence now, (quoth I) would you infer, that there's no Justice upon the face of the earth. Very right (quoth the Devil) for Astræa (which is the same thing) is fled long since to Heaven. Do not ye know the story? no (said I) then (quoth the Devil) mind me and I'll tell ye it.

"Once upon a time Truth and Justice came together to take up their Quarters upon the Earth; but the one being naked, and the other very severe and plain dealing, they could not meet with any body that would receive them. At last, when they had wander'd a long time like Vagabonds in the open Air, Truth was glad to take up her Lodging with a Mute; and Justice, perceiving that though her name was much used for a Cloak to Knavery, yet that she her self was in no Esteem, took up a resolution of returning to Heaven: And in order to her Journey, she bad adieu in the first place to all Courts, Palaces, and great Cities, and went into the Country,, where she met with some few poor simple Cottagers, that gave her Entertainment; but Malice and Persecution found her out in the end, and she was banished thence too. She presented her self in many places, and People askt her what she was! She answered them, Justice, for she would not lye for the matter. Justice? (cry'd they) she is a Stranger to us; tell her here's nothing for her, and shut the door. Upon these repulses, she took wing, and away she went to Heaven, hardly leaving so much as the bare print of her footsteps behind her. Her name however is not yet forgotten, and she's Pictured with a Scepter in her Hand, and is still called Justice; but call her what ye will, she makes as good a Fire in Hell as a Taylor; and for slight of Hand, puts down all the Jilts, Cheats, Picklocks and Trepanners in the World: to say the truth, Avarice is grown to that height, that Men employ all the faculties of Soul and Body to Rob, and Deceive. The Atturney picks your Pockets, and shew you a Law for't; The Comedian gets your Money and your time, with reciting other Mens Labours; the Lover cozens you with his Eyes; the Eloquent

with his Tongue; the Valiant with his Arm: The Musician with his Voice and Fingers; the Astrologer, with his Calculations; The Apothecarg, with Sickness and Health; the Surgeon, with Blood; and the Physician, with Death it self; And in some sort or other, they are all Cheats; but the Catchpole (in the name of Justice) abuses you W with his whole Man; He watches you with his Eges; Follows you with his Feet; Seizes with his Hands; accuses with his Tongue; And in tine, put it in your Litany. From Catchpoles, as well as Devils, Libera nos, Domine."

We do not know any satirist who has a more forcible or a more witty vein than flows through the above extract. He goes on to say something of the ladies; though having not only the fear of their anger before our eyes, but believing also that some of his severities would not apply to the fair sex of the present day, and therefore we shall pass this sub silentio.

The second Vision is of "Death and her Empire." He supposes, that having fallen asleep over his Lucretins, after reading the beautiful eulogium on the Epicurean system, he dreamed, his fancy supplying both the stage and the company.

In the first Scene enter'd a Troop of Physicians, upon their Mules, with deep Foot-cloths; marching in no very good Order, sometime fast, sometime slow, and to say the truth, most commonly in a huddle. They were all wrinkled and wither'd about the eyes; bearded like Goats; and their Faces so over-grown with Hair, that their Fingers could hardly find the way to their Mouths. In the left Hand they held the Reins, and their Gloves roul'd up together; and in the right a Staff à la Mode, which they carried rather for Countenance than Correction; (for they understood no other Menage than the Heel) and all along Head and Body went too, like a Baker upon his Panniers. them I observed, had huge Gold Rings upon their Fingers, and set with Stones of so large a size, that they could hardly feel a Patients Pulse, without minding him of his Monument. There were more than a good many of them, and a world of Puny Practicers at their heels, that came out Graduates, by conversing rather with the Mules than the Doc

Divers of

tors: Well! said I to my self, if there goes no more than this to the making a Physician, it is no marvel we Pay so dear for their Experience.

"After these, follow'd a long Train of Mountebank - Apothecaries, laden with Pestles and Mortars, Suppositories, Spatulas, Glister-Pipes, and Syringes, ready charg'd, and as mortal as Gun-shot, and several Titled Boxes, with Remedies without, and Poysons within. Ye may observe, that when a Patient comes to die. The Apothecaries Mortar rings the Passing-Bell, as the Priest's Requiem finishes the business. An Apothecaries Shop is (in effect) no other than the Physicians Armory, that supplies him with Weapous; and (to say the truth,) the Instruments of the Apothecary and the Soldier, are much of a Quality? What are their Boxes but Petards? Their Syringes, Pistols, and their Pills, but Bullets! And after all, considering their Purgative Medicines, we may properly enough call their Shops Purgatory; and why not their Persons Hell? Their Patients the Damn'd? And their Masters the Devils?

In the tail of these, came the Surgeons, laden with Pincers, Cranebills, Catheters, Desquamatories, Dilaters, Scissers, Saus; and with them so horrid an Outery of Cut, Tear, Open, Saw, Flay, Burn, that my Bones were ready to creep one into another, for fear of an Operation."

Then follow a troop of tooth-drawers, who are succeeded by a company of barbers; then the loud and tedious talkers; then the liars; then the medlers; all of whom are admirably characterised.

His description of Death has a rough sublimity, which is happily mingled with his humorous tone. The subject is trite enough; painters as well as poets have tasked their inventions to express the attributes of the edax rerum; but of the moderns none have succeeded more happily than our Spaniard.

I began then to take into thought, what might be the meaning of this Oglio of People of several Conditions and Humours met together; but I was quickly diverted from that Consideration, by the Apparition of a Creature which lookt as if 'twere of the Feminine Gender. It was a Person, of a thin and slender make, laden with Crowns, Garlands, Scepters, Scythes,

Sheephooks, Pattins, Hob-nail'd-Shoes, Tiares, Straw-Hats, Mitres, MonmouthCaps, Embroideries, Skins, Silk, Wool, Gold, Lead, Diamonds, Shells, Pearl, and Pebles: She was drest up in all the Colours of the Rainbow; she had one Eye shut, the other open, young on the one side, and old o' the other. I thought at first, she had been a great way off, when indeed she was very near me, and when I took her to be at my Chamber-Door, she was at my Beds head. How to unriddle this Mystery I knew not; nor was it possible for me to make out the meaning of an Equipage so Extravagant, and so Fantastically put together. It gave me no affright however, but on the contrary I could not forbear laughing, for it came just then into my mind, that I had formerly seen in Italy a Farce, where the Mimick, pretending to come from the other World, was just thus Accoutred, and never was any thing more Nonsensically pleasant. I held as long as I could, and at last, I askt what she was? She answer'd me, I am Death. Death! (the very word brought my Heart into my Mouth) and I beseech you madam, quoth I (with great Humility and Respect) whither is your Honour a going? No further (said she) for now I have found you, I am at my Journey's End. Alas, Alas! and must I die then, (said I) No, no, (quoth Death) but I'll take thee Quick along with me: For since so many of the Dead have been to visit the Living, it is but equal for once, that one of the Living should return a Visit to the Dead. Get up then and come along: For what you will not do willingly, you shall do in spight of your Teeth. This put me in a Cold Fit; but without more delay, up I started, and desired leave only to put on my Breeches. No, no, (said she) no matter for Cloths, no body wears them upon this road; wherefore come away, naked as you are, and you'll Travel the better. up I got, without a word more and follow'd her; in such a Terrour and Amazement, that I was but in an ill Condition to take a strict account of my Passage; yet I remember, that upon the way, I told her: Madam, under Correction you are no more like the Deaths that I have seen, than an Apple's like an Oyster. Our Death is Pictur'd with a Scyth in her Hand, and a Carcass of Bones, as clean, as


if the Crows had pick'd it: Yes, yes, (said she,) turning short upon me, I know that very well; but in the mean time your Designers, and Painters, are but a company of Buzzards. The Bones you talk of, are the dead, or otherwise the miserable remainders of the Living; but let me tell you, that you yourselves are, your own Death, and that which you call Death, is but the Period of your Life, as the first moment of your birth, is the beginning of your Death: And effectually, ye Die Living, and your Bones are no more than what Death has left, and committed to the Grave. If this were rightly understood, every Man would find a Memento Mori, or a Death's Head in his own Looking-glass; and consider every House with a Family in't, but as a Sepulchre fill'd with dead Bodies; a Truth which you little dream of, though within your dayly View and Experience. Can you imagine a Death elsewhere, and not in your selves? Belicv't y'are in a shameful Mistake, for you your selves are Skeletons before ye are aware."

Under the auspices of Death, he journeys through the shadowy paths, in which he sees three armed figures of human shape, and opposite them a hideous monster, with whom they were engaged in a fierce combat. Death explains to him that the three first were the World, the Flesh, and the Devil.

"But what's He here said I, that appears in so many several shapes, and fights against the other three? That (quoth Death) is the Devil of Money, who maintains, that He himself Alone, is Equivalent to them Three, and that wherever He comes, there's no need of Them. Against the World He argues from their own Confession, and Experience: For it passes for an Oracle, that There's no World but Money; he that's out of Money, is out of the World. Take away a Man's Money, and take away his Life. Money answers all things. Against the Second Enemy, he pleads that Money is the Flesh too. And against the Third, He urges, that there's nothing to be done without this Devil of Money. Love does much, but Money does all: And Money will make the Pot boyl, though the Devil put out the Fire. So that for ought I see (quoth I) the Devil of Money has the better end of the Staff."

Going on further, he sees Judgment and Hell; and stopping to look at the latter, upon Death's asking him the cause of his curiosity, "I told her," says he, "that I had seen it in the Corruption and Avarice of Wicked Magistrates; in the Pride and Haughtiness of Grandees; in the Appetites of the Voluptuous; in the Lewd Designs of Ruine and Revenge; in the Souls of Oppressors; and in the Vanity of divers Princes. But he that would see it whole, and entire, in one Subject, must go to the Hypocrite, who is a kind of a Religious Broker, and puts out at Five and Forty per Cent. the very Sacraments, and Ten Commandments."

They then proceed to a spacious plain, where Death holds her judgment seat, which is thus described:

"I rais'd my Eyes, and saw Death seated in her Chair of State, with abundance of little Deaths crowding about her; as the Death of Love, of Cold, Hunger, Fear, and Laughter; all, with their several Ensigns and Devices. The Death of Love, I perceived, had very little Brain, and to keep her self in Countenance, she kept Company with Pyramus and Thisbe; Hero and Leander, and some Amadis's, and Palmerins d'Oliva; all Embalm'd, steep'd in good Vinegar, and well dry'd. I saw a great many other sorts of Lovers too, that were brought, in all Appearance, to their last Agonies, but by the singular Miracle of self-Interest recover'd to the Tune of

Will, if looking well won't move her,

Looking ill prevail?

"The Death of Cold, was attended by a many Prelates, Bishops, Abbots, and other Ecclesiasticks; who had neither Wives, nor Children, nor indeed any body else that cared for them, further than for their fortunes. These, when they come to a Fit of Sickness, are Pillag'd, even to their Sheets and Bedding, before ye can say a PaterNoster, Nay, many times they are stript, e'er they are laid, and destroy'd for want of Cloaths to keep them


The Death of Hunger was encompassed with a Multitude of Avaritious Misers, that were Cording up of Trunks; Bolting of Doors and Windows; Locking up of Cellars and Garrets; and Nailing down of Trap-Dovrs;

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