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VOX BOREALIS :
THE NORTHERN DISCOVERIE:
BY WAY OF DIALOGUE,
BETWEEN IAMIE AND WILLIE.
AMIDST THE BABYLONIANS.
Printed by Margery Mar-Prelat, in Thwackcoat-Lane, at the signe of the Crab
tree Cudgell, without any priviledge of the Cater-Caps, the yeare coming on, 1641. Quarto, containing twenty-eight pages.
This is one of the earliest, and, I think, the most humorous and odd of all the Pamphlets written against King Charles the First, and his party; and, though it is a severe invective against prelacy, carries with it so much merry conceit, that it cannot be read without affording a pretty deal of mirth and entertainment; especially in the poetical will of a dying soldier, which may be accounted one of the best pieces of its kiud, that ever was published.
MOST kind and courteous countrey-men: Being at Berwicke, it was my chance to meet with two of my countrey-men there, the one of them being lately come from London, and the other had been in the camp; where, after salutations past amongst us, they desired me to write down their severall collections of passages, which, I confesse, are not such as they would have been, if mischances had not happened": For, it seems, the one was forced to burn his noates at London, and the others were spoyled with water at Berwicke; and, therefore, they are but fragments, not whole relations: yet, such as they are, accept of them, in regard of the good will of the giver, who may one day make amends for what is here omitted: Which (as he is truely bound) so he will duely indeavour to performe; and will not cease to informe you of any thing which
tend to the advancement of the cause, and good of the countrey, whose peace and prosperity is dayly wished of
Yonr truely affected Friend.
THE PRINTER TO THE READER,
MARTIN Mar-Prelat was a bonny lad,
But now, alas, what will the prelats doe?
Which is so pleasant, that you cannot chuse
B Rother Epsdame, welcome to Berwicke : What hath drove you
O Billie Willie, thee does little kenn the cause, but ile tell ye: When our brother Scouter came to Scotland, he left me to supply his place; but I have had a hard task of it; for the search at London was hotter then the presse at Paris, and the new invented oathes exceeded the Spanish inquisition; For all Scots men should have been sworn to fight against the cause of God, his conscience, and his countrey. And I will tell thee truly, they were three such enemies, as I durst not venture against them, and therefore took my heels and ranne away:
Willie. Now well away fall them was the cause of that; on't! there's London news, indeed; have you no better?
Jamie. I had once good store of news in my pocket-book, but wae betyde them made me burn it.
İVillie. Burn it, brother, how came that to passes
Iamie. Marie, I was forced to doe it, or els the hangman had done it for me, and, perhaps, burnt me with it; for all Scots men are counted Heretiques by the popes publication; and there's some of Bishop Bonners * brood alive at London, that faine would make mariebonefiers of us.
Willie, Oh, this moves me much, and the more, because my noates had almost as bad luck as yours; for one day, being riding to water my horse, he stumbled, and I fell over head and luggs in the river, where I was like to be drowned ; and all my papers (being in my pocket) were quite spoyled, insomuch as I cannot read them. But now, seeing our brother is here, let us rubbe up our memories, and recollect our collections, and he shall put it down in the best order we can deliver it; and you shall begin first, quoth Willie. Content, quóth lamie; and thereupon he began as followeth :
My Fellow Scouters, I mean not to trouble you with any forraigne news, as of the conveening of the conclave of cardinalls at Rome, and of their consultations about the Scots businesse ; nor how they have had a solemne procession, with prayers, for the good successe of the cartholique cause; nor how they have agreed to give a cardinalls cappe to † such as shall have the fortune to bring home the lost sheep againe to the Rumish pitfold.
Nor will I trouble you with the mighty Spanish fleet now preparing (that in eighty-eight being but like a few fisherboats unto it) which, for a while, meanes only to hover up and down the seas; or, perhaps, to dance the Canaries a turn or two, and, when they see who is like to carry away the most knocks, then they mean to shuffle in for a share.
Nor how Banier is gone to Bohemia, plundred Pragge; and, if Generall Leslye were once come to him with 10000 Scots, he then would give the emperour a visit at: Vienna.
Nor how the French embassadour hath importuned the hyring of some Venetian gallics for Marcellus, which is conceived had been imployed for the recoverie of the ilands of Gernsey and Gersey, to which his master layes a little, and is out of hope ever to have them, unlesse when the King was busie in this expedition for Scotland.
• Who, with Queen Mary's commission, burnt, and otherwise persecuted, all that opposed Popery,
+ Archbishop Laud.
Nor of the King of Denmarks dealing at the Sound, and els where, in detayning all Scots commanders and provision from them that came there.
Neither will I insist how little the Hollanders observe either confederacie or conspiracie in these troubles, they selling powder and shot to the one, to kill the other; and armour to the English, for defence against the Scots, shewing themselves right juglers, that can play with both the hands, so they may have protit. But I leave all these things to the news-mongers at London, and onely tell you what I heard concerning our own troubles.
They say at London, that the cause of this combustion proceedeth from a quarrell for superiority, between black-capps and blew-capps; the one affirming that cater-caps keep square dealing; and the other tells them that cater-capps are like cater-pillars, which devoure all where they may be suffered ; and the round cappe tells the other, that their cappe is never out of order, turn it which way you will; and they stand stiffly to it, that blewcapps are true capps, and better then black ones.
That they are, quoth Willie, and, if it comes once to the hurling of capps, we shall have ten to their one, let all the cater-capps in Christendome take their partş.
Others tell us, quoth lamie, that there arose such a heat of hierarchie at Lambeth, as melted all the monopoly money * in the Exchequor: And it is thought, if the river had not been betweell, it would have quite consumed the power of the parliaments. But, however, it hath cast such myst among the courtiers, as they cannot discerne what the quarrell is, but are led on hoodwincked, like so many blind buzzards, they not knowing whether, nor for what, nor to what
When a warre was concluded upon, then they began to differ about the generall, some alledging that it required one that had been in service; and others conceived, greatnesse of persons might asmuch availe, as goodnesse of commanders: But the papists, fearing that their patron should be jusled out by another, hung their lippe, and vowed they would not contribute, unlesse a papist were preferred; which was yielded unto, for fear the expedition should have miscarryed.
We heard from Scotland, haw the covenantters hoped that the King would get none but Papists and Atheists to fight agaist them, unlesse the King of Moroco sent him some of his Barbarians; and that they have chosen, for their chief ensigne, the silver bible, and flaming sword, which they will never put up, untill they have whipt the whore of Babylon out of their kingdome; and then, if they fight for any thing after, it will be to cast all their casheered mytres in a crown.
But the English tell us another tale, how the Kings army cares neither for their ensigne, nor them, but will teach them such cannonicall doctrine, ere they have done with them, as they never heard in Scotland before.
That the citizens of London refused to lend money, untill all monopolies were put down; whereupon, to please the people, thịrty
Money raised by patents granted for the establibment of monopolies,
three patents were called in at a clappe : But, indeed, they were onely such as the proctors could make no benefit by. But such as yeelded any profit (though with the greatest grievance) were never medled withall. So as the proctors are grown now worse than before, whose cankered conditions can never be cured, untill a parliament cause their necks to be noynted with the oyle of a hempseed halter.
That the papists and prelats, and all deanes and doctors, gave very liberally towards those warres ; and, to say the truth, good reasons had they to bear the greatest burthen, who were the chiefest causers of it, and are the greatest burthen to the land, and will
greatest benefit by it, if their designe did not deceive them.
That the prelats bad a project to make all the lawyers likewise to contribute to it, which caused great contention between them : whereupon, the bishops would have turned the common-law in cannon-law, and courts of equity, into simplicity: But a great lawyer opposed it, and told them plainly, that albeit it was spoken abroad, that the judges had overthrown the common-law, and the bishops the gospell, so as we may be said to be of no religion, that live neither under law nor gospell, yet he hoped to see a parliament, and then it would appear, who were parliament proofe, and who not.
Now Gods blessiug be upon his heart, quoth Willie, and, if a parliament come, I hope to see some of those bigg-bellied bishops, like so many false fellows, for all their knacks and knaveries, to shake their shanks upon a gallowes: For, if Gregory once get them under his hands, all their tricks and trumperies will not serve their turne, but he will make them and their corner-capps, look awry on their businesse.
Oh, quoth lamie, they are too much maintained into it to come to that, for they suffer no other doctrine to be taught, either in court or countrey, but for the maintaining of ecclesiasticall authority; and they have so prevailed, as every man stands in doubt which side to turn to. Let us fight for episcopacie, says one: Let's stand for the truth, says another: but then comes the Kings proclamation, and that stoppes the mouth of all questions. In the mean time, the clergy cannot but laugh heartily at the peoples simplicity, who are so forward to fight for them that are their enemies.
This businesse hath been carryed with such power and potencie, as there are many men which find armes to this expedition, that would be loath their sword should be drawn in the quarrell ; and
many ministers purses appeared to this contribution, whose prayers went the clean contrary way: Yet, to please the prelats, and for feare of suspension, they were content to allow to this collection.
That all the doctors, about London, have long laboured for eight groats in the pound, of house-rent, for parsons duties, which, in some parishes, amounts to eight thousand pound per annum,
and in some to five thousand pound, in others to three thousand pound, and the least about five hundred pound per annum; which was like to have been effected the sooner, because they would have given the first two yeares increase towards the Scots Expedition.
Oh, quoth Willie, there had been brave places for our Scots Bishops.