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This Colloquy treats chiefly of three Things, 1. Of the superstitious Pilgrimages of some Persons to Jerusalem, and other holy Places, under Pretence of Devotion. 2. That Vows are not to be made rashly over a Pot of Ale: but that Time, Expence and Pains ought to be employ d otherwise, in such Matters as have a real Tendency to promote trite Piety. 3. Of the Insignificancy and Absurdity of Popish Indulgencies.


ARNOLDUS. O! Cornelius, well met heartily, you have been lost this hundred Years.

Co. What my old Companion Arnoldus, the Man I long'd to see most of any Man in the World! God save you.

Ar. We all gave thee over for lost. But prithee where hast been rambling all this While?

Co. In t'other World.

Ar. Why truly a Body would think so by thy slovenly Dress, lean Carcase, and ghastly Phyz.

Co. Well, but I am just come from Jerusalem, not from the Stygian Shades.

Ar. What Wind blew thee thither?

Co. What Wind blows a great many other Folks thither?

Ar. Why Folly, or else I am mistaken.

Co. However, I am not the only Fool in the World.

Ar. What did you hunt after there?

Co. Why Misery.

Ar. You might have found that nearer Home. But did you meet with any Thing worth seeing there?

Co. Why truly, to speak ingenuously, little or nothing. They shew us some certain Monuments of Antiquity, which I look upon to be most of 'em Counterfeits, and meer Contrivances to bubble the Simple and Credulous. I don't think they know precisely the Place that Jerusalem anciently stood in.

Ar. What did you see then?

Co. A great deal of Barbarity every where.

Ar. But I hope you are come back more holy than you went.

Co. No indeed, rather ten Times worse.

Ar. Well, but then you are richer?

Co. Nay, rather poorer than Job.

Ar. But don't you repent you have taken so long a Journey to so little Purpose?

Co. No, nor I am not asham'd neither, I have so many Companions of my Folly to keep me in Countenance; and as for Repentance, it's too late now.

Ar. What! do you get no Good then by so dangerous a Voyage?

Co. Yes, a great Deal.

Ar. What is it?

Co. Why, I shall live more pleasantly for it for Time to come.

Ar. What, because you'll have the Pleasure of telling old Stories when the Danger is over?

Co. That is something indeed, but that is not all.

Ar. Is there any other Advantage in it besides that?

Co. Yes, there is.

Ar. What is it? Pray tell me.

Co. Why, I can divert myself and Company, as oft as I have a Mind to it, in romancing upon my Adventures over a Pot of Ale, or a good Dinner.

Ar. Why, truly that is something, as you say.

Co. And besides, I shall take as much Pleasure myself when I hear others romancing about Things they never heard nor saw; nay, and that they do with that Assurance, that when they are telling the most ridiculous and impossible Things in Nature, they persuade themselves they are speaking Truth all the While.

Ar. This is a wonderful Pleasure. Well then, you have not lost all your Cost and Labour, as the Saying is.

Co. Nay, I think this is something better still than what they do, who, for the sake of little Advance-money, list themselves for Soldiers in the Army, which is the Nursery of all Impiety.

Ar. But it is an ungentleman-like Thing to take Delight in telling Lies.

Co. But it is a little more like a Gentleman than either to delight others, or be delighted in slandering other Persons, or lavishing away a Man's Time or Substance in Gaming.

Ar. Indeed I must be of your Mind in that.

Co. But then there is another Advantage.

Ar. What is that?

Co. If there shall be any Friend that I love very well, who shall happen to be tainted with this Phrensy, I will advise him to stay at Home; as your Mariners that have been cast away, advise them that are going to Sea, to steer clear of the Place where they miscarried.

Ar. I wish you had been my Moniter in Time.

Co. What Man! Have you been infected with this Disease too?

Ar. Yes, I have been at Rome and Compostella.

Co. Good God! how I am pleas'd that you have been as great a Fool as I! What Pallas put that into your Head?

Ar. No Pallas, but Moria rather, especially when I left at Home a handsome young Wife, several Children, and a Family, who had nothing in the World to depend upon for a Maintenance but my daily Labour.

Co. Sure it must be some important Reason that drew you away from all these engaging Relations. Prithee tell me what it was.

Ar. I am asham'd to tell it.

Co. You need not be asham'd to tell me, who, you know, have been sick of the same Distemper.

Ar. There was a Knot of Neighbours of us drinking together, and when the Wine began to work in our Noddles, one said he had a Mind to make a Visit to St. James, and another to St. Peter; presently there was one or two that promis'd to go with them, till at last it was concluded upon to go all together; and I, that I might not seem a disagreeable Companion, rather than break good Company, promised to go too. The next Question was, whether we should go to Rome or Compostella? Upon the Debate it was determin'd that we should all, God willing, set out the next Day for both Places.

Co. A grave Decree, fitter to be writ in Wine than engrav'd in Brass.

Ar. Presently a Bumper was put about to our good Journey, which when every Man had taken off in his Turn, the Vote passed into an Act, and became inviolable.

Co. A new Religion! But did you all come safe back?

Ar. All but three, one dy'd by the Way, and gave us in Charge to give his humble Service to Peter and James; another dy'd at Rome, who bad us remember him to his Wife and Children; and the third we left at Florence dangerously ill, and I believe he is in Heaven before now.

Co. Was he so good a Man then?

Ar. The veriest Droll in Nature.

Co. Why do you think he is in Heaven then?

Ar. Because he had a whole Satchel full of large Indulgencies.

Co. I understand you, but it is a long Way to Heaven, and a very dangerous one too, as I am told, by reason of the little Thieves that infest the middle Region of the Air.

Ar. That's true, but he was well fortify'd with Bulls.

Co. What Language were they written in?

Ar. In Latin.

Co. And will they secure him?

Ar. Yes, unless he should happen upon some Spirit that does not understand Latin, in that Case he must go back to Rome, and get a new Passport.

Co. Do they sell Bulls there to dead Men too?

Ar. Yes.

Co. But by the Way, let me advise you to have a Care what you say, for now there are a great many Spies abroad.

Ar. I don't speak slightingly of Indulgencies themselves, but I laugh at the Folly of my fuddling Companion, who tho' he was the greatest Trifler that ever was born, yet chose rather to venture the whole Stress of his Salvation upon a Skin of Parchment than upon the Amendment of his Life. But when shall we have that merry Bout you spoke of just now?

Co. When Opportunity offers we'll set a Time for a small Collation, and invite some of our Comrades, there we will tell Lies, who can lye fastest, and divert one another with Lies till we have our Bellies full.

Ar. Come on, a Match.

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