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I dare for once prescribe for your disease,
And save long bills, and a damn'd doctor's fees.

"Two sovereign herbs, which I by practice know,
And both at hand (for in our yard they grow);
On peril of my soul shall rid you wholly
Of yellow choler, and of melancholy :
You must both purge and vomit; but obey,
And for the love of Heaven make no delay.
Since hot and dry in your complexion join,
Beware the Sun when in a vernal sign;
For when he mounts exalted in the Ram,
If then he finds your body in a flame,
Replete with choler, I dare lay a groat,
A tertian ague is at least your lot.
Perhaps a fever (which the gods forefend)
May bring your youth to some untimely end :
And therefore, sir, as you desire to live,
A day or two before your laxative,

Take just three worms, nor under nor above,
Because the gods unequal numbers love.
These digestives prepare you for your purge;
Of fumetery, centaury, and spurge,
And of ground-ivy add a leaf or two,
All which within our yard or garden grow.
Eat these, and be, my lord, of better cheer;
Your father's son was never born to fear."

"Madam," quoth he, "grammercy for your care, But Cato, whom you quoted, you may spare: 'Tis true, a wise and worthy man he seems, And (as you say) gave no belief to dreams: But other men of more authority, And, by th' immortal powers, as wise as he,

Maintain, with sounder sense, that dreams forebode;
For Homer plainly says they come from God.
Nor Cato said it but some modern fool


Impos'd in Cato's name on boys at school.

"Believe me, madam, morning dreams foreshow Th' event of things, and future weal or woe: Some truths are not by reason to be try'd, But we have sure experience for our guide. An ancient author, equal with the best, Relates this tale of dreams among the rest.

"Two friends or brothers, with devout intent,
On some far pilgrimage together went.
It happen'd so, that, when the Sun was down,
They just arriv'd by twilight at a town:
That day had been the baiting of a bull,
'Twas at a feast, and every inn so full,
That no void room in chamber, or on ground,
And but one sorry bed was to be found:
And that so little it would hold but one,
Though till this hour they never lay alone.

"So were they forc'd to part; one stay'd behind, His fellow sought what lodging he could find: At last he found a stall where oxen stood, And that he rather chose than lie abroad. 'Twas in a farther yard without a door; But, for his ease, well litter'd was the floor.

"His fellow, who the narrow bed had kept, Was weary, and without a rocker slept : Supine he snor'd; but in the dead of night, He dreamt his friend appear'd before his sight, Who, with a ghastly look and doleful cry,

Said, Help me, brother, or this night I die:


Arise, and help, before all help be vain,
Or in an ox's stall I shall be slain.'

"Rous'd from his rest, he waken'd in a start, Shivering with horrour, and with aching heart, At length to cure himself by reason tries; 'Tis but a dream, and what are dreams but lies? So thinking, chang'd his side, and clos'd his eyes. His dream returns; his friend appears again : • The murderers come, now help, or I am slain : 'Twas but a vision still, and visions are but vain. He dreamt the third: but now his friend appear'd Pale, naked, pierc'd with wounds, with blood besmear'd:

Thrice warn'd, Awake,' said he; 'relief is late,
The deed done; but thou revenge my fate:
Tardy of aid, unseal thy heavy eyes,
Awake, and with the dawning day arise:
Take to the western gate thy ready way,
For by that passage they my corpse convey:
My corpse is in a tumbril laid, among
The filth and ordure, and enclos'd with dung:
That cart arrest, and raise a common cry;
For sacred hunger of my gold, I die :'
Then show'd his grisly wound: and last he drew
A piteous sigh, and took a long adieu.

"The frighted friend arose by break of day, And found the stall where late his fellow lay. Then of his impious host inquiring more, Was answer'd that his guest was gone before: • Muttering, he went,' said he,' by morning light, And much complain'd of his ill rest by night.'

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This rais'd suspi-ion in the pilgrim's mind; Because all hosts are of an evil kind, And oft to share the spoils with robbers join'd. "His dream confirm'd his thought: with troubled look

Straight to the western gate his way he took;
There, as his dream foretold, a cart he found,
That carry'd compost forth to dung the ground.
This when the pilgrim saw, he stretch'd his throat,
And cry'd out murder with a yelling note.
'My murder'd fellow in this cart lies dead,
Vengeance and justice on the villain's head.
Ye magistrates, who sacred laws dispense,
On you I call, to punish this offence.'

"The word thus given, within a little space, The mob came roaring out, and throng'd the place. All in a trice they cast the cart to the ground, And in the dung the murder'd body found; Though breathless, warm, and reeking from the wound.

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Good Heaven, whose darling attribute we find
Is boundless grace, and mercy to mankind,
Abhors the cruel; and the deeds of night
By wondrous ways reveals in open light :
Murder may pass unpunish'd for a time,
But tardy Justice will o'ertake the crime.
And oft a speedier pain the guilty feels:
The hue and cry of Heaven pursues him at the heels:
Fresh from the fact, as in the present case,

The criminals are seiz'd upon the place:
Carter and host confronted face to face.

Stiff in denial, as the law appoints,

On engines they distend their tortur'd joints:
So was confession forc'd, th' offence was known,
And public justice on th' offenders done.

"Here may you see that visions are to dread; And in the page that follows this, I read Of two young merchants, whom the hope of gain Induc'd in partnership to cross the main. Waiting till willing winds their sails supply'd, Within a trading town they long abide, Full fairly situate on a haven's side; One evening it befell, that looking out, The wind they long had wish'd was come about: Well pleas'd they went to rest; and if the gale Till morn continued, both resolv'd to sail. But as together in a bed they lay, The younger had a dream at break of day. A man he thought stood frowning at his side: Who warn'd him for his safety to provide, Nor put to sea, but safe on shore abide. 'I come, thy genius, to command thy stay; Trust not the winds, for fatal is the day, And Death unhop'd attends the watery way.'

"The vision said: and vanish'd from his sight: The dreamer waken'd in a mortal fright: Then pull'd his drowsy neighbour, and declar'd What in his slumber he had seen and heard. His friend smil'd scornful, and with proud contempt Rejects as idle what his fellow dreamt.

'Stay, who will stay: for me no fears restrain, Who follow Mercury the god of gain;

Let each man do as to his fancy seems,
I wait not, I, till you have better dreams.

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