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The dark lantern containing a dim discoverie, in riddles, parables, and semi-riddles, intermixt with cautions, remembrances and predictions, as they were promiscuously and immethodically represented to their author, in his solitary musings, the third of November 1652. about midnight. Whereunto is annexed, a poem, concerning a perpetuall parliament. By Geo. Wither Esquire.
Wither, George, 1588-1667.
Wing W3152; Thomason E1432_3; ESTC R204097
The dark Lantern Containing A dim Discoverie in Riddles Parables and Semi-Riddles intermixt with Cautions Remembrances and Predictions as they were promiscuously and immethodically represented to their Author in his Solitary Musings the third of November 1652. about Midnight Whereunto is annexed A POEM Concerning A Perpetuall Parliament By Geo. Wither Esquire LONDON Printed by R. Austin and are to be sold by Richard Lowndes at the white Lion in PAUL'S Church-yard neer the little North Door 1653. To the Reader THese Poems were delivered forth to be published about three moneths past with an expectation that they should have been imprinted forthwith and had either an accidentall or a negligent delay preventing their publication the last Term and perhaps I being absent they were afterward purposely delayed that they might come forth at the beginning of this Easter Term by their design who more considered the Booksellers advantage then how much the hastning of them might concern the publike by which means it was not finished untill that very day whereupon the Parliament had an unlooked for period and yet peradventure in regard of the many timely Cautions and Remembrances which have been heretofore despised or neglected Providence hath permitted these to be delayed untill their publication came too late for effecting that which was intended Howsoever it will be usefull to some other ends at least to testifie to the world that what is now come to passe was foreseen and endeavours used for prevention thereof which might probably have had good successe if contempt of many forewarnings had not hindred the same it may be to make way for the accomplishment of somewhat fore-declared in my Britains Genius in which Poem I laboured as much in vain to reduce the late King to make use of that means which would have effected his restoration as I have hereby done to preserve the Parliament and I heartily beseech Almighty God that I may not have occasion to be as fatall a Remembrancer to them who are now in Throne lest worse things happen to them then to their Predecessors which I am assured will follow if their proceedings which I yet suspect not be not really design'd and made answerable to their fair pretendings There are many faults escaped in the printing by reason of my absence and a Copy hastily and not very plainly written some of which are here corrected the rest I leave to be amended as you find them PAge 5. line 25. for corall read carnall p. 32. l. 9 r. Then such as Innocencies cause c. p. 49. l. 29. r. Aegypts thrall p. 72. l. 13. for foot r. fork TO THE PARLIAMENT AND PEOPLE OF THE Commonwealth of England SO let me speed in all that I pursue As in what followes I mean well to you And as I bear a loving faithfull heart To all of you united and apart Although I peradventure may appear On some occasions bitterly severe To those in whom I private-failings see Which to the Publike may obnoxious be To make them judge themselves and scape the doom Which from another judgement els may come For at no single person have I strook By any line or passage in this book If here I further seem to have presum'd Or more upon my self to have assum'd Then may be warrantable thought at first Examine it before you judge the worst And try by circumstances as ye may What Spirit hath directed me this way Or for what likely ends or for whose sake I could or dared this attempt to make Except it were for GODS for your and mine As they with one another do intwine Yea search if my Religion studies wayes Or manners which have beene throughout my dayes Before your eyes may any sign afford That I have hitherto in deed or word Been an Impostor or presented you With ought that hath been uselesse or untrue And as that justly may incline your mind Let these expressions acceptation find If madnesse they appear consider well That such miscensurings have often fell On sober men when those deluding crimes Were prevalent which raign in these our times If foolish they be thought remember this That truest wisdome seemeth foolishnesse To worldly prudent men when God forth brings To fool their wisdome despicable things Men hear fools gladly when themselves are wise And meekly pity rather then despise Their folly learning thereby sometimes too More then by their own wisdome they could do But wise mad foolish or what ev'r I am To do this work into the world I came To these times was reserv'd to this end taught And to the sight of many things am brought Which els I had not known nor would have seen But that I ty'd as by the leg have been Ten years together ten dayes work to do To know them whether I so would or no. And when I knew them I would fain have done My own work first or els like Jonas run To Tarsis or Lundee or any whither Adventuring through Seas and Tempests thither Much rather then to have proceeded on In doing that which I at last have done For I am like the world in many things And oft so tempted by her promisings Of ease and safety in another course That I with much strife did my heart inforce To prosecute her duty as ye may Perceive if you the following tract survay But my own thoughts would neither let me sleep Nor suffer me a waking-peace to keep Or follow my affairs though they were brought Neer to a point of coming quite to nought Till I my musings had in words array'd To be by you and other men survay'd All those affairs aside I therefore threw To cloth my meditations for your view Which being finish'd I can now lye down And sleep as well as any man in Town The times are dangerous and I am told By that which is my Guide I should not bold Beyond discretion be which makes me talk In riddles and with this Dark Lantern walk That I may see my way and not be seen By ev'ry one whom I may meet between My goings out and in and that it may Give light to some who are beside their way As I occasion find and where I see The light that 's offer'd may accepted be But what my visions are as in relation Unto this Parliaments perpetuation I plainly shall unfold because it may Concern you all with good advise to weigh Yea fearlesly my free thoughts I will shew What liking or dislike soe're ensue For though to all intents by me design'd They may not reach it much contents my mind That I have freed my soul by thus imploying My Talent to an inward rests injoying And rais'd a Witnesse up that may declare To future times what GOD'S proceedings are If this find acceptation it will be A sign of future peace to you and me If you reject it I will fit my mind To bear the troubles which are yet behind Bewail our manifold procrastinations Of GOD'S intended blessings to these Nations