Imagens das páginas

And as for regulating the Presse, let no man think to have the honour of advising ye better then your selves have done in that Order publisht next before this, that no Book be printed, unlesse the Printers and the Authors name, or at least the Printers be register'd'. Those which otherwise

That Order publisht next before this, that no Book be printed, unlesse the Printers and the Authors name,- be register’d.] The original Edition of this Speech carries manifest marks of typographical inaccuracy, through haste or negligence. There seems to be just ground for believing, that it passed thro' the Press to the Public without having been submitted to the inspection of a Licenser. No Imprimatur is prefixed to any of the various copies that have fallen under my observation ; neither the Printer's, nor the Publisher's Name is given. Yet the first Edition of his smaller Poems, which appeared about the same time, has the Printer's name, and it is stated in the title-page, as in the earliest genuine Edition of Waller's Poems of the same year, to have been “ printed and published according to Order." If the AREOPAGITica came out clandestinely, it no doubt issued from some obscure printing House, which circumstance would account for incorrectness in the letter-press. The same omission of an Imprimatur is observable in the different Tracts our Authour wrote on the Liberty of Divorce. A doctrine against which the Men who now took the lead in public affairs were very vociferous in their hostility. Here was "fruit for those “ holy Parrots to peck at.” They made it their business to impede even discussion upon this topic, and his having professed and diffused opinions on it adverse to theirs, exposed him to detraction. Of this detraction Clement Walker affords a pertinent specimen : “ There is lately come forth a “ Booke of John Melton's (a Libertine that thinketh his “Wife a Manacle, and his very Garters to be Shackles " and Fetters to him: one that (after the Independent fashon) will be tied by no obligation to God or Man, « wherein he undertaketh to prove," &c. Anarchia An

come forth, if they be found mischievous and libellous, the fire and the executioner will be the timeliest and the most effectuall remedy, that mans prevention can use.

For this authentic Spanish policy of licencing Books, if I have said ought, will

glicana: or the History of Independency. By Theodorus Verar. p. 196. 460. 1649. These malevolent aspersions were to usher in some pungent strictures upon Milton's treatise on “ the " Tenure of Kings and Magistrates." Walker and his Associates had not very long before undergone the mortification of having the reins of Power snatched from their grasp by the Independents, the Sect whom Milton favoured.

This and the bitterness of these remarks corroborate the suspicion that this Writer was eager to stigmatize his publications on the subject of Divorce, in invidiam; not from having formed any well considered opinions on the question itself. A question perhaps the most problematical of any in the science of Legislation. The object we may conclude to have been rather to raise public scandal, against Milton, because, after their dereliction of principle, he would no longer hold converse with the Ministers of the Presbyterian Connection. His just and open réclamations against their political ambition, their inconsistency in respect to Pluralities, and their intolerant temper, in course exposed him to much of their ill-will, and to many calumnies.

* Authentic Spanish policy.] Authentic-proper to, peculiarly belonging to: as in Par. Lost. IV. 719.

-" him who had stole Jove's authentick fire."

Again, by Danyel,

“Let others sing of Knights and Palladines,
“ In aged accents, and vntimely words:
" Paint shadowes in imaginary lines,
“ Which well the reach of their high wits records ;
« But I must sing of thee and those faire eyes,

Autentique shall my verse in time to come,

prove the most unlicenc't Book it self within a short
while; and was the immediat image of a Star-
chamber Decree to that purpose made in those very
times when that Court did the rest of those her
pious works, for which she is now fall’n from the
Starres with Lucifers. Whereby ye may guesse

" When yet th' vnborn shall say, loe where she lyes,
Whose beaulie made him speake that els was dombe.

“ These are the Arkes, the Tropheis I erect,
“ That fortifie thy name against old age,
“ And these thy sacred ver es must protect,
Against the Darke and times consuming rage.
“ Though th' error of my youth they shall discouer,
“ Suffice they shew I liu'd and was thy louer.”
Delia: Contayninge certayne Sonnets: with the complaint

of Rosamond; Signat. G. 3. sm. 4to. 1592.
The poetical Reader will thank me for inserting the whole.
How superior on the comparison with Shakspeare's are the
Sonnets of this Poet.

very times when that Court did the rest of those her pious works, for which she is now fall’n from the starres with Lucifer.] Lord Somers, speaking of the Star-Chamber, said that “it was set “ up in the third of Henry VII in very soft words. To punish great Riots, to restrain offenders too big for ordinary Justice, “ or, in the modern phrase to preserve the public Peace; but " in a little time it made this Nation tremble, England would never agree

with those Courts, that are mixed of State and “ Justice; Policy soon gets the better of Justice."- Minutes of Lord Somers's Speech in the House of Lords on the Bill for abolishing the Privy Council of Scotland.-Hardwicke State Papers ; as quoted in Hardy's Life of Lord Charlemont; p. 404. 4to.

The opprobrious Sentences of the Star-Chamber in the cases of Prynne, Leighton, and Bastwick, are notorious. But after there had been strong manifestations of popular indignation the records of its judgements were purposely destroyed: it is not therefore so generally known that the punishments on other oc



what kinde of State Prudence', what love of the People, what care of Religion, or good Manners there was at the contriving; although with singular

casions were equally merciless. The terror they had struck through the country is shown in an anecdote of himself related by Ben Jonson during his visit to Drummond of Hawthornden. “He was accused by Sir James Murray to the King, for writing “ something against the Scots in a Play called Eastward Hoe, " and voluntarily imprisoned himself with Chapman and Marston, who had written it among them : it was reported, that

they should have their Ears and Noses cut. After their Deli.

very he entertained all his Friends, there were present Camden, Selden, and others. In the middle of the Feast his old “ Mother drank to him, and shewed him a Paper, which she “ designed (if the Sentence had past) to have mixed among his “ drink, and it was strong and lusty Poison, and, that she was

no Churl, she told she designed first to have drunk it herself.” -Works of Drummond; p. 224. fol. 1711.

This tribunal was in 1641 suppressed by the Parliament in a single day. But its beinous barbarities, especially after Laud gained the ascendancy, had sown the seeds of bitterness; and ul. timately turned Cathedrals into Stables. If we overcharge we ought to expect a recoil. However, it redounds highly to the credit of the national character that the reaction for such flagitious cruelties did not extend further than to Laud and Strafford.

Milton in the latter part of this passage is an echo to Isaiah; ch. 14. 0. 12. “ How art thou fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, " son of the Morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, “ which didst weaken the Nations !”

6 State Prudence-] means as before (p. 75.) policy or political science; after the Latin. Harrington bas a Chapter on “ antient and modern Prudence,” in which be apprizes the Reader, that " by antient Prudence he understands the po“ licy of a Commonwealth, and by modern Prudence that of “ King, Lords and Commons.”—p. 237. fol. Toland's edit. And Waller, complimenting Charles II. on his improvements in

hypocrisie it pretended to bind Books to their good behaviour. And how it got the upper hand of your precedent Order so well constituted before, if we may beleeve those men whose profession gives them cause to enquire most, it may be doubted there was in it the fraud of some old Patentees and Monopolizers in the trade of book-selling; who under pretence of the Poor in their Company not to be defrauded, and the just retaining of each man his severall copy, (which God forbid should be gainsaid), brought divers glosing colours to the

St. James's Park, with a courtly allusion, as I suppose, to the
States of Holland :

« Of antient Prudence here be ruminates,
Of rising Kingdoms, and of falling States."

Works ; p. 212. 4to.
Compare too in the Dialogue in Marvell between Britannia and
" With her the Prudence of the Antients read.”

Works; III. 320. Thompson's edit. Glosing-] Thomson and Baron misunderstood this word, and printed "glossing;” but “glosing,” or “glozing" is, with an exuberance of authority, proved to have signified deceitful, in T. Warton's Note on—" words of glozing courtesy”Comus ; 0. 161.

Some of Homer's Commentators have complained, that his sense bas suffered by a vitiated Orthography. We in like manner have to state, that the accentual combinations of our own Epic Bard have been injured by the modernized Spelling. To comprehend fully the rhythmus of his blank Verse, the Reader should have it restored to its primitive integrity. Beside, the original Orthography is at times a guide to the correct acceptation of his meaning. A reprint therefore of Milton's revised

« AnteriorContinuar »