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hands, and he forced to fly to his father-in-law, the King of Navarre, in whose service he was murthered.
He was an observer of ambitious practices of princes; of the domestical impiety of the pope, who was corrival with his two sons, in the love of his own daughter, the Lady Lucretia, whom they all three enjoyed; which bred such a hatred between the brothers, that Cæsar, being jealous, that the other had a greater share in her affection, killed him one night, and threw him into the Tyber.
He observed that men in soft raiment might be found at court, but their consciences seared and hard.
He saw how princes never kept their promises so exactly, as not to fail, when they see a greater profit falling out, another time, by breaking them.
Is not falsehood and deceit their true dialect, nay cozenage, reduced into so necessary an art amongst them, so that he, that knows not how to deceive, knows not how to live? Let any one judge, that reads their stories.
Breach of faith in private men is accounted dishonourable and damnable, but kings claim a larger character, by reason of their universal commerce; and, as ambassadors ought to be excused, if they lie abroad for the good of their country, because they represent their masters persons, with far greater reason, then, may they do it, that employ them.
Many governments are like natural bodies; outwardly they shew a comely structure, but search into the intrails, from whence the original and true nourishment proceed, and there will be found nothing but blood, filth, and stench.
His fortune is to be commiserated, that he in particular should bear the infamous marks, which belong to the vilest statesmen in general.
It was his profession, to imitate the behaviour of princes, were it never fo unseemly; nay, religion itself cannot condemn the speculation of ill, in ministers of state, without laying herself and professors open to all injury:
What are chronicles, but registers of blood, and projects to procure the spilling of it? The princes, there named, put in red letters, yet none blames them that write them.
Who could advise better than this Florentine, a member of the Roman church? And he is in that regard to be less blamed, for discovering the wicked practices of ambitious men, because he had as much converse with the pope, then in being, as any man, and with whom all impieties were as familiar as the air he breathed in.
If any can pretend a just quarrel with Machiavel, they are kings; for as it is the ordinary course of light women, to find fault with the broad discourse of that they maintain their power by: so statesmen may best blame the publication of those maxims, that they put in practice, with more profit and security.
If the unjust steward was commended for his worldly wisdom, what doth he say more of Cæsar Borgia, than that he was a politick tyrant ? And if, without leave of the text, he proposes him, for an
example, yet it is of ill; and who is more fit to be a pattern of, or to villainy, than one of the same coat?
If the lives of Lewis the Eleventh, or the Fourteenth, were examined, it will be found they acted more ill than Machiavel wrote, or, for ought is known, ever thought; yet the first has wisdom in. scribed on his tomb, and the last cried up for a great statesman. And did not they always kiss their crucifix, after the doing of a dishonest thing, pronouncing a sentence or two, that discovered the complexion of their hearts, they might have passed for as honest men, as their wise ancestors, or any princes in their times, who now lie quiet in their graves; a favour this man is denied, by ignorant and ungrateful posterity.
He being to make a grammar for the understanding of tyranni. cal government, is he to be blamed, for setting down the gene al rules in it?
He instructs wise princes to dispatch their ungrateful actions by deputies, and those that are popular with their own hands.
Upon how great disadvantage should a good prince treat with a bad, if he were not only familiar with the paths of wickedness, but knew other ways to shun them, and how to undermine the treacherous practices?
He hath raked the truth too far, in many things, which makes him smell as he doth in the nostrils of ignorant people; whereas the better experienced know it is the wholsome savour of the court, especially where the king is of the first head.
He would have men prepared to encounter the worst of men; and therefore he resembles bim to a man driving a flock of sheep, into a corner, and did there take out their teeth, and instead, gave each of them a set of wolves teeth; so that, whereas one shepherd was able to drive a whole flock, now each sheep had need of a particular shepherd, and all little enough.
He was of an honourable family born at Florence, and the writer hereof, being about the year 1642, at Florence, made what inquiry he could after his reputation, and found that he left a good name behind him, as of a pious, charitable, sincere, good man, as any in By James Boevey, Esq; at Cheam in Surrey.
Anno Salutis 1692,
Ætatis 71. * Cheam, in Surry. On the North Wall, on a fair Marble Monument, is this Inscription :
In Memory of
James Bovey, Esq;
And also of Margaretta, his Wife,
buried August the 3d, 1714.
• Vide' Anb. Ant. Surrey, Vol. II. p. 115.
N. B. The copy of this discourse, which was in the Harleian Library, being imperfect, we have been obliged with that which is here printed, being the author's original MS. by Peter Thompson, Esq; the present worthy High Sheriff of Surrey.
LATE TERRIBLE EARTHQUAKE IN SICILY,
WITH MOST OF ITS PARTICULARS.
Done from the Italian Copy, printed at Romé. London: Printed for Richard Baldwin, near the Oxford-Arms, in Warwick-lane,
1693. Quarto, containing thirty-six Pages.
THE TRANSLATOR TO THE READER. THIS account of the late terrible earthquake in Sicily, I thought, deserved to be put in English. The author, who is a priest, has wrote it in a very plain style; and I have ventured to leave out several things that are in the original, especially that relate to mira-, cles, and other fopperies his profession leads him to believe. to the rest, I have translated it as near the Italian as I can, and with the same simplicity of expression, which is more to be valued in accounts of this nature, than flourishes of rhetorick. T NHE late earthquake, that fell out in Sicily, is of so astonishing
a nature, as can be easilier imagined than expressed ; and such a one as can hardly, if at all, be paralleled in any preceding age. It is true, that island has been often the scene of such kind of tragedies, and the irruptions of mount Ætna have been no news in the world for near two thousand years past; but whether, as an effect of the anger of heaven, or of the craziness of this globe of the earth, which seems to begin to yield to the injuries of time, as all other things do; certain it is, that this last earthquake, for the suddenness of it, and the mighty desolations it has produced, is the most astonishing one that ever was.
Philosophers will be inclinable to search for the natural causes of such a phænomenon, in the quality and temper of the summer that went before: and I am willing so far to humour them, as to suppose, that the many great rains and intense heats, succeeding so often one another this last summer in all the southern parts of Sicily, might contribute to this affrightful irruption: for the imperceptible chasms, thereby made into the bowels of the earth, might probably give room for the vapours of the atmosphere, to insinuate
themselves into those subterraneous cavities, which afterwards die lating themselves, and requiring greater room, must needs force their way through all obstacles that penned them in.
But, leaving this disquisition to others, it would seem this earthquake carried along with it some more than ordinary marks of an imi liate stroke of heaven. And as seldom the ine vengeance exerts its power upon us mortals in any national calamity, without giving us some previous warnings; so this late stroke was ushered in with unwonted presages, of which it were hard, if not impossible, to give any natural cause, though perhaps, I be as little a votary to superstition, as any man can be, notwithstanding the world is pleased to tax our order with it; yet the strangeness of one or two omens, that preceded this earthquake, may justly prevail with me, to give here a short account of them.
Passing over that mighty loud warning from mount Ætna, that happened for three days together in June last, which is always remarked as a forerunner of some irruption, either of the mount itself, or of some part thereabouts; this following strange phænomenon fell out at Syracusa, on the fifteenth of May before.
About two hours before sun setting, the atmosphere being very clear, the heavens appeared, on a sudden, all on fire, without any flashes of lightning, or the least noise of thunder, which lasted about a quarter of an hour. About which time were seen in the air, as it were perpendicularly above the city, two rainbows, after the usual manner, with points towards the earth, and a third transversed; the colours of all three being extremely bright. This was by all spectators thought the more supernatural, that during the whole time these rainbows appeared, there was not one single cloud to be seen in any part of the horizon.
In July thereafter, at Catanea, the nearest town to mount Ætna, there fell out another as surprising presage. In the church of the Minims there, one father Baletti lies buried; a man who was believed by the people of that country to have, by his prayers, stop, ped the progress of that fearful irruption of Ætna, which happened about a hundred and twenty years ago. The story goes, that a flood of bituminous matter, like burning oil, being thrown out of the mountain, was carried down with a mighty rapidity, to the very gates of Catanea, bearing every thing before it in its way. Every body expected to be immediately devoured by this sulphureous inundation, when this holy man, by his exorcisms and prayers, in presence of all the people, put a stop to its career.
Now this tomb being ever since held in greatest veneration by the people of Catanea, and notwithstanding his name was never in the calendar, yet daily prayers and offerings ceased not to be offered at his shrine. It fell out, as I have said, in July last, that one morning when the doors of the church came to be opened, the statue of the saint, that was placed upon his monument, was fallen down, and lay flat on the ground. This was at first thought to be but an ordinary accident; but the statue, every time it was set up upon its basis again, for seven or eight nights together, was constantly found fallen down
to the ground in the morning, and at last was forced to be laid flat upon
the tomb, in which posture it lay till this late destruction both of it, and the town itself.
A third presage, that seemed to foretel this earthquake, happened in a little village, within three miles from Catanea, named Alari, where used to grow as good 'wine as any in Sicily. In February last, about sun-setting, all the people of the country about saw, as they thought, this village all in flames. The fire, they imagined, began from less to more, increasing for about a quarter of an hour together, and then all the houses of the village appeared as in one flame, which lasted for about six minutes, till it seemed to decay, for want of more fewel, 'A great many people, that lived near the village, when they saw the fire first begin, came running to it, to do the friendly office of helping to extinguish the fire; and, all along the road, till they were alniost within the
very village itself, they imagined they saw the fire extend itself more and more; but, being entered, they found all was a deception of the sight, if not a presage of that calamity that, some months after, befel the place.
But I come to the dreadful earthquake itself, a greater than which we read not of, in either ancient, or modern history. It is here indeed, that I can neither give myself, nor others, the satisfaction' I could wish, there being so many little places, and even some considerable towns destroyed, where there are no inhabitants left to give us an account of the manner how these places were swallowed up; so that, of these, we can have no other narrative, but what people at a distance, and in a hurry themselves, for fear of sinking into the same ruin, have been able to give us.
This earthquake diffused itself into all these three districts, or divisions, into which the island of Sicily is ordinarily divided; which are, 1. Valli di Noto, comprehending principally the eastern parts of the island; 2. Mazaro, containing the western and southern parts; and, 3. Mono, which confines itself to the north and north-east parts of the island. The greatest shaking reached, from mount Ætna, all along to Cape Passaro, the Pachynus of the ancients. In all this vast tract of land, nothing stood the shock, but all fell under the weight of a general ruin.
It was on the seventh of January, 1693, about ten at night, that mount Ætna began to utter those hideous roarings, which commonly usher in some tragedy of the nature of what followed. Those loud bellowings continued till the ninth, when, about twelve of the clock, they began to cease, or rather fall lower. Within an hour after, the inhabitants of Catanea, which was the next town to the mountain, began to perceive a shaking under them, about three minutes together. This did little other hurt, than affright the people, and give them fears of some further hurt. It was remarkable, that, during the three minutes this shake continued, and an hour before, there was not the least noise' heard from mount Ætna, but, within less than a minute after the shake was over, not only did the noise redouble, infinitely more terrible than it had been before, but the