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1651, however, he published a treatise entitled, “ Several Observations upon the Life and Death of Charles, late King of England;" in which he treats the king's father and minis, ters with great acrimony, and discovers himself a zealous partizan of the republican government. This tract was reprinted in 1715, with the arrogant title of “ Mr. William Lilly's True History of King James I. and King Charles I., with sundry Observations, remarkable Passages, and many secret Transactions, not till now divulged," &c.
I shall select for a brief extract, a few passages from the beginning of his tract, entitled, Annus Tenebrosus, or, The Dark Year, 1652. an Astrological Discourse, concerning the effects of two Lunar Eclipses, and one formidable one of the Sun in that year. He begins :
It was as wisely as truly observed by the learned historian Thucydides, that some years before those three-and-twenty years Peleponnesian wars of the miserable Greeks among themselves, wherein every city or commonwealth of Greece was in one kind or other engaged, "that those things which in former times there went only a fame of, though rarely in fact confirmed, were then made credible by the en
suing bloody wars of the Grecians one with another. The forerunners of which quarrels he saith were these; earthquakes general to the greatest part of the world, and most violent withal; eclipses of the sun oftener than is reported of any former time; great droughts,” &c.
If we in Europe, or many kingdoms, people, and nations herein, are hastening unto such disastrous times and accidents as our author delivers unto posterity then to have happened, let God be glorified, who hath not been wanting in these worst of days and times, by many signal prodigies, so opportunely seen and felt by many men in several countries, to admonish and forewarn even us English, as well as many other kingdoms and nations, what he intends suddenly to do. Very many and admirable have been the prodigies, which of late years have appeared in the dominions of the king of Spain; as first, that never to be paralleled uproar and tumult of the people in Naples in July 1647, at what time they made Masaniello, a poor fisherman, their captain general, who for some days, had the clearest and absolutest command over the people, that ever any history mentions, as it is excellently set forth in two little treatises by the delicate pen of James Howel, esq. [Then, after mentioning a great inundation in Spain, in the year 1651, he remarks :)
These prodigious tumults, and more than ordinary
swellings of the sea-banks, and furious inundations of waters, are most assured messengers of God's wrath and anger unto mankind; we all know the universal deluge, and almost whole drowning of all mankind, did immediately succeed after the cataracts of heaven were let loose ; you shall only hear the opinion of two or three learned authors, what is the natural signification of such extraordinary effluxions of waters, or other excursion of any one of the elements. ['l'hen quoting Cardanus and Peucerus for authorities, he proceeds.] Nor have the waters or seas at any time to no purpose thus swelled or overflowed their banks, or the winds so impetuously or boisterously roared. Very few are the people or nations where such horrible and unusual eruptions have appeared, but they have learned by woful experience, that not many years after these outrageouş swellings, the people of that nation where these were have miserably smarted with immediate succeeding mischiefs, viz. either the incursions of strangers' forces, armies, or the like, into their countries, or else a great decay, consumption, or wasting of their men, together with bloodshed and other woeful calamities concomitant. Of which prodigious irruption then happening, and some aërial sights or prodigies lately seen in the State's dominions, I mean in the Hollan, ders', that prudential people will, I hope, take special potice, (it concerneth both Holland and Zealand so, to do) and in a greater measure, the rulers or governors of those provinces, towns, or cities therein seated : for, inundatio res est sinistra, malique ominis.
If therefore the chain of nature be unloosed, and the enclosures of waters plucked up, so that they get forth of their own proper channels or bounds, or overflow the earth or ground with a lawless mastery of violence; this is not done by fortune or chance ; but it comes to pass by divine command. That people may be as well sensible of some fearful slaughters at hand for punishing the wretchedness of men, as of factions, intestine divisions, armies of enemies, or plague and famine to be approaching, &c.
Our prophet seems to be surpassed by none -of his predecessors in the commendable virtue of caution. His cautionary advice to the Hol, landers and Zealanders is very judiciously given. This writer perhaps would not have deserved a place in the present list, had it not been to show the folly of his age.
BulsTRODE WHITELOCKE, the famous lawyer, politician, and writer of memoirs, was the son of sir James Whitelocke, knight, and born 1605, in Fleet-street, London. He was initiated in grammatical learning at Merchant Taylors' school; whence he removed, in 1620, to St. John's College, Oxford, of which Laud, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, was then president..
He left college without a degree, and became a student of the Middle Temple. In the beginning of the long parliament, he was chosen a burgess for Marlow, in Buckinghamshire, and was chairman of the committee for drawing up the charge against the earl of Strafford, and one of the managers at his trial. In 1642-3, he was nominated one of the commissioners to treat of peace with the king, at Oxford; and had a similar commission in 1644.