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nor can right the innocent, in what is cheifly fought, the obtainment of love or quietnes. His inftances out of the Common Law, are all so quite befide the matter which hee would prove, as may bee a warning to all clients how they venture thir bufines with fuch a cock-braind Solliciter. For beeing to fhew fom Law of England, attaining to no good end, and yet through no default of the party, who is therby debarr'd all remedy, hee fhews us only how fom doe loos the benefit of good Laws through their own default. His first example faith, It is a just Law that every one shall peaceably enjoy his eftate in Lands or otherwife. Does this Law attain to no good end? the Barr will blush at this most incogitant woodcock. But fee if a draft of Littleton will recover him to his fenfes. If this man having Fee fimple in his Lands, yet will take a Leas of his own Lands, from another, this fhall bee an Estoppel to him in an Affife from the recovering of his own Land. Mark now, and register him. How many are there of ten thoufand who have fuch a Fee fimple in their sconse, as to take a Leas of their own Lands from another? So that this inconvenience lights upon scars one in an age, and by his own default; and the Law of enjoying each man his own, is good to all others. But on the contrary, this prohibition of divorce is good to none, and brings inconvenience to numbers, who lie under intolerable greevances, without thir own default, through the wickednes or folly of another; and all this iniquity the Law remedies not, but in a manner maintains? His other cafes are directly to the fame purpos, and might have bin fpar'd, but that hee is a tradsman of the Law, and must be born with at his first setting up, to lay forth his best ware, which is only gibbrish.
I have now don that, which for many caufes I might have thought, could not likely have bin my
fortune, to bee put to this under-work of scowring and unrubbishing the low and fordid ignorance of such a prefumptuous lozel. Yet Hercules had the labour once impos'd upon him to carry dung out of the Augean ftable. At any hand I would bee ridd of him: for I had rather, fince the life of man is likn'd to a Scene, that all my entrances and exits might mixe with fuch perfons only, whose worth erects them and their actions to a grave and tragic deportment, and not to have to doe with Clowns and Vices. But if a man cannot peaceably walk into the world, but must bee infested, fomtimes at his face, with dorrs and horsflies, fomtimes beneath, with bauling whippets, and fhin-barkers, and these to bee fet on by plot and confultation with a Junto of Clergy men and Licencers, commended alfo and rejoyc't in by those whofe partiality cannot yet forgoe old papisticall principles, have I not caufe to bee in fuch a manner defenfive, as may procure mee freedom to pass more unmolested heerafter by these incumbrances, not fo much regarded for themselvs, as for those who incite them. And what defence can properly bee us'd in such a despicable encounter as this, but either the flap or the fpurn? If they can afford mee none but a ridiculous adversary, the blame belongs not to mee, though the whole Difpute bee ftrew'd and scatter'd with ridiculous. And if hee have such an ambition to know no better who are his mates, but among those needy thoughts, which though his two faculties of Serving-man and Solliciter, fhould compound into one mongrel, would bee but thin and meager, if in this penury of Soul hee can bee poffible to have the luftiness to think of fame, let him but send mee how hee calls himself, and I may chance not fail to endorse him on the back-side of pofterity, not a golden, but a brazen Affe. Since my fate extorts from mee a
talent of sport, which I had thought to hide in a napkin, hee shall bee my Batrachomuomachia, my Bavius, my Calandrino, the common adagy of ignorance and over-weening. Nay perhaps, as the provocation may bee, I may bee driv'n to curle up this gliding profe into a rough Sotadic, that shall rime him into fuch a condition, as instead of judging good Books to bee burnt by the executioner, hee shall be readier to be his own hangman. Thus much to this Nuisance.
But as for the Subject it self which I have writt, and now defend, according as the oppofition beares, if any man equal to the matter fhall think it appertains him to take in hand this controverfy, either excepting against ought writt'n, or perswaded hee can fhew better how this question of such moment to bee throughly known may receav a true determination, not leaning on the old and rott'n suggestions wheron it yet leanes, if his intents bee fincere to the public, and fhall carry him on without bitternes to the opinion, or to the perfon diffenting, let him not, I entreate him, guess by the handling, which meritoriously hath bin beftowd on this object of contempt and laughter, that I account it any displeasure don mee to bee contradicted in Print: but as it leads to the attainment of any thing more true, shall esteem it a benefit; and shall know how to return his civility and faire Argument in such a fort, as hee fhall confefs that to doe fo is my choise, and to have don thus was my chance.
To Mafter Samuel Hartlib.
AM long fince perfwaded, that to say, or do ought worth memory and imitation, no purpose or refpect fhould fooner move us, then fimply the love of God, and of mankind. Nevertheless to write now the reforming of Education, though it be one of the greatest and nobleft defigns that can be thought on, and for the want whereof this Nation perishes, I had not yet at this time been induc't, but by your earnest entreaties, and ferious conjurements; as having my mind for the prefent half diverted in the pursuance of fome other affertions, the knowledge and the use of which, cannot but be a great furtherance both to the enlargement of truth, and honest living, with much more peace. Nor fhould the laws of any private friendship have prevail'd with me to divide thus, or tranfpofe my former thoughts, but that I fee thofe aims, thofe actions which have won you with me the esteem of a perfon fent hither by fome good providence from a far country to be the occafion and the incitement of great good to this Island. And, as I hear, you have obtain'd the fame
repute with men of most approved wisdom, and fome of highest authority among us. Not to mention the learned correfpondence which you hold in forreign parts, and the extraordinary pains and diligence which you have us'd in this matter both here, and beyond the Seas; either by the definite will of God fo ruling, or the peculiar fway of nature, which also is Gods working. Neither can I think that so reputed, and so valu'd as you are, you would to the forfeit of your own difcerning ability, impose upon me an unfit and over-ponderous argument, but that the fatisfaction which you profess to have receiv'd from thofe incidental Difcourfes which we have wander'd into, hath prest and almost constrain'd you into a perswasion, that what you require from me in this point, I neither ought, nor can in conscience deferre beyond this time both of so much need at once, and so much opportunity to try what God hath determin'd. I will not refift therefore, whatever it is either of divine, or humane obligement that you lay upon me; but will forthwith fet down in writing, as you request me, that voluntary Idea, which hath long in filence presented it self to me, of a better Education, in extent and comprehenfion far more large, and yet of time far fhorter, and of attainment far more certain, then hath been yet in practice. Brief I shall endeavour to be; for that which I have to say, affuredly this Nation hath extream need should be done fooner then spoken. To tell you therefore what I have benefited herein among old renowned Authors, I fhall fpare; and to search what many modern Janua's and Didactics more than ever I shall read, have projected, my inclination leads me not. But if you can accept of these few obfervations which have flowr'd off, and are, as it were, the burnishing of many ftudious and contemplative years altogether spent in the fearch of religious and