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And as it is a particular disesteem of every knowing person alive, and most injurious to the writt'n labours and monuments of the dead, so to me it seems an undervaluing and vilifying of the whole Nation. I cannot set so light by all the invention, the art, the wit, the grave and solid judgement which is in England, as that it can be comprehended in any twenty capacities how good soever; much lesse that it should not passe except their superintendence be over it, except it be sifted and strain'd with their strainers, that it should be uncurrant without their manuall stamp. Truth and Understanding are not such wares as to be monopoliz'd and traded in by Tickets, and Statutes, and Standards'. We must not think to make a staple
9 Truth and Understanding are not such wares as to be monopoliz'd and traded in by Tickets, Statutes, and Standards.] This allusion to the grants of Monopolies by the Crown to favoured individuals under colour of Prerogative is not unlike Cowley's contemporary mention of the same heavy Grievance, in his verses to the Lord Falkland :
• How could be answer'l, should the State think fit,
“ To question a Monopoly of Wit?" Whoever will look in the Tract intitled Leycester's Commonwealth (p. 65. ed. 1641.) at the enumeration of Patents of this nature granted by Elizabeth to that Favourite will be at no loss to conceive the public odium they must have brought on this arbitrary assumption of the Crown.
Acknowlegements for goods obtained on credit were then called Tickets. “The Law (says Waterhous in his Commentary upon “ Fortescue) provides that Inns shall have present pay, and men " not run in arrears or take from them on Ticket.” p. 453. fol. 1663. See too Memoirs of Ludlow; p. 325. fol. 1751.
commodity of all the knowledge in the land, to mark and licence it like our broad cloath, and our wooll packs. What is it but a servitude like that impos'd by the Philistins, not to be allow'd the sharpning of our own axes and coulters, but we must repair from all quarters to twenty licencing forges? Had any one writt'n and divulg'd' erroneous things and scandalous to honest life, misusing and forfeiting the esteem had of his reason among men, if after conviction this only censure were adjudg'd him, that he should never henceforth write, but what were first examin'd by an .appointed officer, whose hand should be annext to
Heylin, speaking of the preparations made in 1638, by the Scottish Nation to claim their Rights at the point of the sword, relates that, they took“ up arms and ammunition from the States “ United, with whom they went on ticket, and long days of “ payment, for want of ready money.”-Hist. of the Presbyterians; p. 429. fol. 1672.
This explanation clears away an obscurity in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady: “ I am but new come over, direct me " with your ticket to your Taylor, and then I shall be fine.". p. 70. Works; fol. 1679. These passages, indeed, throw reciprocal light on each other; and confirm Johnson's conjectural etymology of Tick.
Statutes are Securities given for debts contracted by the purchase of Merchandize. “ The reason of which name is (as “ Blount explains the word) because those Bonds are made ac
cording to the forms of certain Statutes.”—Glossographia ; p. 605. 8vo. 4th edit,
writt'n and divulg'd-] i. e. published, in the technical sense: “ This was printed and carefully divulged over the kingdom." Clarendon ; Hist. of the Rebellion; I. 1022. 8vo. 1807.
passe his credit for him, that now he might be safely read, it could not be apprehended lesse then a disgracefull punishment. Whence to include the whole Nation, and those that never yet thus offended, under such a diffident and suspectfull prohibition, may plainly be understood what a disparagement it is. So much the more, when as dettors and delinquents inay walk abroad without a keeper, but unoffensive Books must not stirre forth without a visible jaylor in thir title. Nor is it to the common people lesse then a reproach ; for if we be so jealous over them, as that we dare not trust them with an English Pamphlet, what doe we but censure them for a giddy, vitious, and ungrounded People; in such a sick and weak estate of Faith and discretion, as to be able to take nothing down but through the pipe of a Licencer. That this is care or love of them, we cannot pretend, whenas in those Popish places where the Laity are most hated and dispis’d the same strictnes is us'd over them. Wisdom we cannot call it, because it stops but one breach of licence, nor that neither; whenas those corruptions which it seeks
• Nor that neither-] There are sufficient authorities for this Anglicism, though not strictly correct.
Malone took exception to a similar use of neither; see his Edition of Dryden's Prose Works, III. 260. But the above intensive sense of this word is a relic of the Anglo-Saxon idiom ; in which two Negatives do not make an Affirmative. Fortescue-Aland, in his Notes to Sir John Fortescue's curious Treatise on “ the Differ
ence between an absolute and limited Monarchy; as it more "particularly regards the English Constitution,” remarks that,
to prevent, break in faster at other dores which cannot be shut.
And in conclusion, it reflects to the disrepute of our Ministers also, of whose labours we should hope better, and of the proficiencie which thir flock reaps by them, then that after all this light of the Gospel which is, and is to be, and all this continuall preaching, they should be still frequented with such an unprincipld, unedify'd, and laick rabble?, as that the whiffe of every new Pamphlet it was a “ mode of the Saxons, as among the Greeks, to have “ two Negatives in their negative proposition as, Ne eom ic na Crist, I am not the Christ.--Maresc. Evang. Joh. 1. 20.
“ In imitation of which Chaucer, bas I ne said none i ll. Some. “ times you will find the Saxons deny by three Negatives, as, “ among the Laws of King Æthelstan, nan scýlo pýphta na lecze
nan sceapes felle on scýlo; Let no maker of Shields, lay any “Sheep Skin on my Shield.-Inter Leg. Æthelstan. 15.
Nay, sometimes they have used four Negatives to deny more strongly, as, Ne nan ne dojist of þam dæge hyne nan
þing mare axigean; Neither durst any Man from that day “ ask him any more questions, speaking of our Saviour.-Maresc.
Evang. Matth. 32.46. Hickes. Thes. 58.”—p. 15. 3d edit, 1724.
3 Laick rabble-] is precisely the profunum dulgus of Horace; the illiterate or « swainish multitude;" our Authour's phrase in another work. In the Latinity of the lower ages, “ Laica Lingua” signified the vulgar tongue. (Du Fresne; Gloss. med. & infim. Lat. in v. Laica.) “ We have learnt (says Mil
in another Tract) tbe scornfull terme of Laick, the con. “ secrating of Temples, carpets, and table-clothes, the railing " in of a repugnant and contradictive Mount Sinai in the Gose
pell, as if the touch of a lay Christian who is never the lesse “ Gods living Temple, could profane dead Judaisms.” Reason of Church Government ; p. 54. 4to. 1641.
The " ·lay gents” is the term with the old Reporters of adjudged Cases, for the uninitiated in the mysteries of our Law.
should stagger them out of thir catechism, and Christian walking. This may have much reason to discourage the Ministers when such a low conceit is had of all their exhortations, and the benefiting of their hearers, as that they are not thought fit to be turn'd loose to three sheets of paper without a Licencer, that all the Sermons, all the Lectures preacht, printed, vented in such numbers, and such volumes, as have now well-nigh made all other Books unsalable, should not be armor anough against one single enchiridion, without the Castle St. Angelo of an Imprimatur 4.
* Not be armor anough against one single enchiridion, without the Castle St. Angelo of an Imprimatur.] Milton must from local knowlege have been well acquainted with the situation of the Castle St. Angelo; and no doubt he surveyed the Pope's State Prison with emotions that left no momentary impression on his mind. But it is extraordinary, that he should not have bestowed a thought on how few of his Readers would know that this Citadel, whose site was the mole of Hadrian, (sce Plates 51 and 52 in the Roma Æterna of Schenkius) commanded the main access to Rome. The Historian tells us in his concluding Chapter, that“ could the Romans have wrested from the Popes the “ Custle of St. Angelo, they had resolved by a public decree to « annihilate that monument of servitude." Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Yet without some such knowlege this far-fetched metaphor presents no determinate idea : to preserve the integrity of which we must moreover carry in mind that there is a double power couched under Enchiridion. Milton delighted in enigmatical meanings. We are to understand it to signify both a Manual and a Dagger; which latter sense it appears by E. Philipps's English Dictionary, (The New World of Words, fol. 1706.) to have