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The APOTHEOSIS of CAPNIO.

The ARGUMENT

Canonizing, or entring the incomparable Man, John Reuclin, into the Number of the Saints, teaches how much Honour is due to famous Men, who have by their Industry improv'd the liberal Sciences.

None that has liv'd Well, dies Ill.

POMPILIUS, BRASSICANUS.

Po. Where have you been, with your Spatter-Lashes?

Br. At Tubinga.

Po. Is there no News there?

Br. I can't but admire, that the World should run so strangely a gadding after News. I heard a Camel preach at Lovain, that we should have nothing to do with any Thing that is new.

Po. Indeed, it is a Conceit fit for a Camel. That Man, (if he be a Man,) ought never to change his old Shoes, or his Shirt, and always to feed upon stale Eggs, and drink nothing but sour Wine.

Br. But for all this, you must know, the good Man does not love old Things so well, but that he had rather have his Porridge fresh than stale.

Po. No more of the Camel; but prithee tell me, what News have you?

Br. Nay, I have News in my Budget too; but News which he says is naught.

Po. But that which is new, will be old in Time. Now if all old Things be good, and all new Things be bad, then it follows of Consequence, that that which is good at present, has been bad heretofore, and that which is now bad, will in Time come to be good.

Br. According to the Doctrine of the Camel, it must be so; and therefore, hence it follows, that he that was a young wicked Fool in Time past, because he was new, will come to be a good One, because he is grown old.

Po. But prithee, let's have the News, be it what it will.

Br. The famous triple-tongu'd Phoenix of Learning, John Reuclin, is departed this Life.

Po. For certain?

Br. Nay, it is too certain.

Po. Why, pray, what Harm is that, for a Man to leave an immortal Memory of a good Name and Reputation behind him, and to pass out of this miserable World, into the Society of the Blessed?

Br. How do you know that to be the Case?

Po. It is plain, for he can't die otherwise, who has liv'd as he did.

Br. You would say so, indeed, if you knew what I know.

Po. What's that, I pray?

Br. No, no, I must not tell you.

Po. Why so?

Br. Because he that entrusted me with the Secret, made me promise Silence.

Po. Do you entrust me with it upon the same Condition, and, upon my honest Word, I'll keep Counsel.

Br. That honest Word has often deceived me; but however, I'll venture; especially, it being a Matter of that Kind, that it is fit all honest Men should know it. There is at Tubinge, a certain Franciscan, a Man accounted of singular Holiness in every Bodies Opinion but his own.

Po. That you mention, is the greatest Argument in the World of true Piety.

Br. If I should tell you his Name, you'd say as much, for you know the Man.

Po. What if I shall guess at him?

Br. Do, if you will.

Po. Hold your Ear then.

Br. What needs that, when here's no Body within Hearing?

Po. But however, for Fashion Sake.

Br. 'Tis the very same.

Po. He is a Man of undoubted Credit. If he says a Thing, it is to me, as true as the Gospel.

Br. Mind me then, and I'll give you the naked Truth of the Story. My Friend Reuclin was sick, indeed very dangerously; but yet, there was some Hopes of his Recovery; he was a Man worthy never to grow old, be sick, or die. One Morning I went to visit my Franciscan, that he might ease my Mind of my Trouble by his Discourse. For when my Friend was sick, I was sick too, for I lov'd him as my own Father.

Po. Phoo! There's no Body but lov'd him, except he were a very bad Man indeed.

Br. My Franciscan says to me, Brassicanus, leave off grieving, our Reuclin is well. What, said I, Is he well all on a sudden then? For but two Days ago, the Doctors gave but little Hopes of him. Then, says he, he is so well recover'd, that he will never be sick again. Don't weep, says he, (for he saw the Tears standing in my Eyes) before you have heard the Matter out. I have not indeed seen the Man this six Days, but I pray for him constantly every Day that goes over my Head. This Morning after Mattins, I laid myself upon my Couch, and fell into a gentle pleasant Slumber.

Po. My Mind presages some joyful Thing.

Br. You have no bad Guess with you. Methought, says he, I was standing by a little Bridge, that leads into a wonderful pleasant Meadow; the emerald Verdure of the Grass and Leaves affording such a charming Prospect; the infinite Beauty, and Variety of the Flowers, like little Stars, were so delightful, and every Thing so fragrant, that all the Fields on this Side the River, by which that blessed Field was divided from the rest, seem'd neither to grow, nor to be green; but look'd dead, blasted, and withered. And in the Interim, while I was wholly taken up with the Prospect, Reuclin, as good Luck would have it, came by; and as he past by, gave me his Blessing in Hebrew. He was gotten half Way over the Bridge before I perceived him, and as I was about to run to him, he look'd back, and bid me keep off. You must not come yet, says he, but five Years hence, you shall follow me. In the mean Time, do you stand by a Spectator, and a Witness of what is done. Here I put in a Word, says I, was Reuclin naked, or had he Cloaths on; was he alone, or had he Company? He had, says he, but one Garment, and that was a very white one; you would have said, it had been a Damask, of a wonderful shining White, and a very pretty Boy with Wings followed him, which I took to be his good Genius.

Po. But had he no evil Genius with him?

Br. Yes, the Franciscan told me he thought he had. For there followed him a great Way off, some Birds, that were all over Black, except, that when they spread their Wings, they seem'd to have Feathers, of a Mixture of White and Carnation. He said, that by their Colour and Cry, one might have taken them for Magpies, but that they were sixteen Times as big; about the size of Vultures, having Combs upon their Heads, with crooked Beaks and Gorbellies. If there had been but three of them, one would have taken them for Harpyes.

Po. And what did these Devils attempt to do?

Br. They kept at a Distance, chattering and squalling at the Hero Reuclin, and were ready to set upon him, if they durst.

Po. What hindred them?

Br. Turning upon them, and making the Sign of the Cross with his Hand at them, he said, Be gone, ye cursed Fiends to a Place that's fitter for you. You have Work enough to do among Mortals, your Madness has no Power over me, that am now lifted in the Roll of Immortality. The Words were no sooner out of his Mouth, says the Franciscan, but these filthy Birds took their Flight, but left such a Stink behind them, that a House of Office would have seem'd Oyl of sweet Marjoram, or Ointment of Spikenard to it. He swore, he had rather go to Hell, than snuff up such a Perfume again.

Po. A Curse upon these Pests.

Br. But, hear what the Franciscan told me besides: While I was intent upon these Things, says he, St. Jerome was come close to the Bridge, and saluted Reuclin in these Words, God save thee, my most holy Companion, I am ordered to conduct thee to the Mansions of the blessed Souls above, which the divine Bounty has appointed thee as a Reward for thy most pious Labours. With that he took out a Garment, and put it upon Reuclin. Then, said I, tell me in what Habit or Form St. Jerome appear'd, was he so old as they paint him? Did he wear a Cowl or a Hat, or the Garb of a Cardinal? Or had he a Lion by his Side? Nothing of all these, said he; but his Person was comely, which made his Age appear such as carried in it much Comeliness, but no Deformity. What Need had he to have a Lion by his Side, as he is commonly painted? His Gown came down to his Heels, as transparent as Crystal, and of the same Fashion of that he gave to Reuclin. It was all over painted with Tongues of three several Colours; some imitated Rubies, some Emeralds, and others Sapphires; and beside the Clearness of it, the Order set it off very much.

Po. An Intimation, I suppose, of the three Tongues that he profess'd.

Br. Without doubt: For he said, that upon the very Borders of the Garments were the Characters of these three Languages inscrib'd in their different Colours.

Po. Had Jerome no Company with him?

Br. No Company, do you say? The whole Field swarm'd with Myriads of Angels, that fill'd the Air as thick, as those little Corpuscles they call Atoms, fly in the Sun Beams; pardon the Meanness of the Comparison. If they had not been as transparent as Glass, there would have been no Heaven nor Earth to have been seen.

Po. O brave, I am glad with all my Heart, for Reuclin's, Sake; but what follow'd?

Br. Jerome, (says he) for Honour's Sake, giving Reuclin the Right-Hand, and embracing him, conducts him into the Meadow, and up a Hill that was in the middle of it, where they kiss'd and embrac'd one another again: In the mean Time, the Heavens open'd over their Heads to a prodigious Wideness, and there appear'd a Glory so unutterable, as made every Thing else, that pass'd for wonderful before, to look mean and sordid.

Po. Can't you give us some Representation of it?

Br. No, how should I, that did not see it? He who did see it, says, that he was not able to express the very Dream of it. He said, he would die a thousand Deaths to see it over again, if it were but for one Moment.

Po. How then?

Br. Out of this Overture of the Heavens, there was let down a great Pillar of Fire that was transparent, and of a very pleasant Form: By this the two holy Souls were carried into Heaven, in one anothers Embraces; a Choir of Angels all the While accompanying them, with so charming a Melody, that the Franciscan says, he is never able to think of the Delight of it without weeping. And after this there follow'd a wonderful fragrant Smell. When he waked out of his Dream, if you will call it a Dream, he was just like a mad Man. He would not believe he was in his Cell; he called for his Bridge and his Meadow; he could not speak or think of any Thing else but them. The Seniors of the Convent, when they found the Story to be no Fable, for it is certain that Reuclin dy'd at the very Instant that the holy Man had this Vision, they unanimously gave Thanks to God, that abundantly rewards good Men for their good Deeds.

Po. What have we to do, but to set down this holy Man's Name in the Calendar of Saints?

Br. I should have done that if the Franciscan had seen nothing at all of this, and in Gold Letters too, I'll assure you, next to St. Jerome himself.

Po. And let me die if I don't put him down in my Book so too.

Br. And besides that, I'll set him in Gold in my little Chapel, among the choicest of my Saints.

Po. And if I had a Fortune to my Mind, I'd have him in Diamonds.

Br. He shall stand in my Library, the very next to St. Jerome.

Po. And I'll have him in mine too.

Br. If they were grateful, every one who loves Learning and Languages, especially, the holy Tongues, would do so too.

Po. Truly it is no more than he deserves. But han't you some Scruple upon your Mind, in as much as he is not yet canoniz'd by the Authority of the Bishop of Rome?

Br. Why, pray, who canoniz'd (for that's the Word) St. Jerome? Who canoniz'd St. Paul, or the Virgin Mary? Pray tell me whose Memory is most sacred among all good Men? Those that by their eminent Piety, and the Monuments of their Learning and good Life, have entitled themselves to the Veneration of all Men; or Catherine of Sien, that was sainted by Pius the Second, in favour of the Order and the City?

Po. You say true: That's the right Worship, that by the Will of Heaven, is paid to the Merits of the Dead, whose Benefits are always sensibly felt.

Br. And can you then deplore the Death of this Man? If long Life be a Blessing, he enjoyed it. He has left behind him immortal Monuments of his Vertue, and by his good Works, consecrated his Name to Immortality. He is now in Heaven, out of the Reach of Misfortunes, conversing with St. Jerome himself.

Po. But he suffer'd a great Deal tho' in his Life.

Br. But yet St. Jerome suffered more. It is a Blessing to be persecuted by wicked Men for being good.

Po. I confess so, and St. Jerome suffer'd many unworthy Things from the worst of Men, for the best of Deeds.

Br. That which Satan did formerly by the Scribes and Pharisees against the Lord Jesus, he continues still to do by Pharisaical Men, against good Men, who have deserved well from the World by their Studies. He now reaps the blessed Harvest of the Seed he has been sowing. In the mean Time, it will be our Duty, to preserve his Memory sacred; to honour his Name, and to address him often in some such Manner as follows. O holy Soul, be thou propitious to Languages, and to those that cultivate them: Favour the holy Tongues, and destroy evil Tongues that are infected with the Poison of Hell.

Po. I'll do't myself, and earnestly persuade all my Friends to do it. I make no Question but there will be those that will desire to have some little Form of Prayer, according to Custom, to celebrate the Memory of this most holy Hero.

Br. Do you mean that which they call a Collect?

Po. Yes.

Br. I have one ready, that I provided before his Death.

Po. I pray let's hear it.

Br. O God, that art the Lover of Mankind, that hast by thy chosen Servant John Reuclin, renew'd to Mankind the Gift of Tongues, by which thy holy Spirit from above, did formerly furnish thy Apostles for their Preaching the Gospel; grant that all thy People may every where, in all Languages, preach the Glory of thy Son Jesus Christ, to the confounding of the Tongues of false Apostles; who being in a Confederacy to uphold the impious Tower of Babel, endeavour to obscure thy Glory, and to advance their own, when to thee alone, together with thy only Son Jesus Christ our Lord, and the holy Spirit, is due all Glory to eternal Ages. Amen.

Po. A most elegant and holy Prayer. As I live, it shall be mine daily. And I account this a happy Opportunity, that has brought me to the Knowledge of so joyful a Story.

Br. Mayst thou long enjoy that Comfort, and so farewell.

Po. Fare you well too.

Br. I will fare well, but not be a Cook.

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