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kind of massacre, whereof the execution ends not in the slayitg of an elemental life, but strikes at that ethereal and soft essence, the breath of reason itself; slays an immortality rather than a life.

“ Wholesome meats to a vitiated stomach differ little or nothing from unwholesome; and best books to a naughty mind are not un. applicable to occasions of evil. Bad meats will scarce breed good nourishment in the healthiest concoction; but herein the difference is of bad books, that they to a discreet and judicious reader serve in many respects to discover, to confute, to forewarn, and to illustrate. . . . . Good and evil, we know, in the field of this world, grow up together almost inseparably; and the knowledge of good is so involved and interwoven with the knowledge of evil, and in so many cunning resenıblances hardly to be discerned, that those confused seeds which were imposed upon Psyche as an incessant labour to cull out and sort asunder, were not more intermixed. It was from out the rind of one apple tasted, that the knowledge of good and evil, as two twins cleaving together, leaped forth into the world. And perhaps this is that doom which Adam fell into of knowing good and evil, that is to say, of knowing good by evil. As therefore the state of man now is, what wisdom can there be to choose, what continence to forbear, without the knowledge of evil ? He that can apprehend and consider Vice, with all her baits and seeming pleasures, and yet abstain, and yet distinguish, and yet prefer that which is truly better, he is the trne war-faring Christian. I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies us is trial, and trial is by what is contrary. That virtue, therefore, which is but a youngling in the contemplation of evil, and knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank virtue, not a pure; bar whitene38 is but an excremental whiteness : which was the reason why our sage and serious poet, Spenser (whom I dare be known to think a better teacher than Scotus or Aquinas), describing true temperance under the person of Guion, brings him in with his Palmer through the cave of Mammoa and the bower of earthly bliss, that he might see and know, and yet abstain. Since, therefore, the knowledge and survey of vice is

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In this world so necessary to the constituting of human virtue, and the scanning of error to the confirmation of truth, how can we more safely, and with less danger, scout into the regions of sin and falsity, than by reading all manner of tractates, and hearing all manner of reason !

I lastly proceed, from the no good it can do, to the manifest hurt it causes, in being first the greatest discouragement and affront that can be offered to learning and to learned men. It was a complaint and lamentation of prelates, upon every least breath of a motion to remove pluralities, and distribute more equally church revenues, that then all learning would be for ever dashed and discouraged. But as for that opinion, I never found cause to think that the tenth part of learning stood or fell with the clergy; nor could I ever but hold it for a sordid and unworthy speech of any churchman who had a competency left him. . If, therefore, ye be loth to dishearten utterly and discontent, not the mercenary crew and false pretenders to learning, but the free and ingenuous sort of such as evidently were born to study and love learning for itself, not for lucre, or any other end, but the service of God and of truth, and perhaps that lasting fame and perpetuity of praise which God and good men have consented shall be the reward of those whose published labours advance the good of mankind; then know, that so far to distrust the judgment and honesty of one who hath but a common repute in learning, and never yet offended, as not to count him fit to print his mind without a tutor and examiner, lest he should drop a schism, or something of corruption, is the greatest displeasure and indignity, to a free and knowing spirit, that can be put upon him. What advantage is it to be a man, over it is to be a boy at school, if we have only escaped the ferula to come under the fescue of an imprimatur P-if serious and elaborate writings, as if they were no more than the theme of a grammar lad under his pedagogue, must not be attered without the cursory eyes of a temporizing and extemporizing licenser? He who is not trusted with his own actions, his drift not being known to be evil, and standing to the hazard of law and penalty, has no great argument to think himself reputed in the commonwealth wherein he was born for other than a fool or a foreigner. When a man writes to the world, he summons up all his reason and deliberation to assist him; he searches, meditates, is industrious, and likely consults and confers with his judicious friends; after all which is done, he takes himself to be informed in what he writes, as well as any that writ before him; if in this, the most consummate act of his fidelity and ripeness, no years, no industry, no former proof of his abilities can bring him to that state of maturity, as not to be still mistrusted and suspected, unless he carry all his considerate diligence, all his midnight watchings, and expense of Palladian oil, to the hasty view of an unleisured licenser, perhaps much his younger, perhaps far his inferior in judgment, perhaps one who never knew the labour of book-writing; and if he be not repulsed, or slighted, must appear in print like a puny with his guardian, and his tensor's hand on the back of his title, to be his bail and surety that he is no idiot or seducer; it cannot be but a dishonour and derogation to the author, to the book, to the privilege and dignity of learning. And how can a man teach with authority, which is life of teaching; how can he be a doctor in his book, as he ought to be, or else had better be silent, whenas all he teaches, all he delivers, is but under the tuition, under the correction of his patriarchal licenser, to blot or alter what precisely accords not with the hide-bound humour which he call jis judgment? When every acute reader, upon the first sight of a pedantic license, will be ready with these like words to ding the book a quoit's distance from him, I hate a pupil teacher, I endure not an instructor that comes to me under the worship of an overseeing fist. ....

And lest some should persuade ye, Lords and Commons, that these arguments of learned men's discouragement at this your

order are mere flourishes, and not real, I conld recoupt what I have seen and heard in other countries, where this kind of inquisition tyrannizes; when I have sat among their learned men (for that honour I had), and been counted happy to be born in such a place of philosophic freedom, as they supposed England was, while themselves did nothing but bemoan the servile condition into which learning amongst them was brought; that this was it which had damped the glory of Italian wits; that nothing had been there written now these many years but flattery and fustian. There it was that I ofound and visited the famous Galileo, grown old, a prisoner to the inquisition, for thinking in astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licensers thought. And though I knew that England then was groaning loudest under the prelatical yoke, nevertheless I took it as a pledge of future happiness that other nations were so persuaded of her liberty. Yet it was beyond my hope that those worthies were then breathing in her air, who should never be forgotten by any revolution of time that this world hath to finish.

“Lords and Commons of England I consider what nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors; a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit; acute to invent, subtile and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point that human capacity can soar to. ...

“Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam; purging and unscaling her long-abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance; while the whole poise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means.

“ Thongh all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing. He who hears what praying there is for light and clear knowledge to be sent down among us, would think of other matters to be constituted beyond the discipline of Geneva, framed and fabricked already to our hands. Yet when the new light which we beg for shines in upon us, there be who envy and oppose, if it comes not first in at their casements. What a collusion is this, when as we are exhorted by the wise man to use diligence, 'to seek for wisdom as for hidden treasures,' early and late, that another order shall enjoin us to know nothing but by statute! When a man hath been labouring the hardest laboor in the deep mines of knowledge, hath furnished out his findings in all their equipage, drawn forth his reasons, 28 it were a battle ranged, scattered and defeated all objections in his way, calls out his adversary into the plain, offers him the advantage of wind and sun, if he please, only that he may try the matter by dint of argument; for his opponents then to skulk, to lay ambushments, to keep a narrow bridge' ot uceusing where the challenger should pass, though it be valour enough in Boldiership, is but weakness and cowardice in the wars of Truth. For who knows not that Trath is strong, next to the Almighty? She needs no policies, nor stratagems, nor licensings, to make her victorious; those are the shifts and the defences that error usec against her power; give her but room, and do not bind her wher she sleeps."

This appeal of Milton was unsuccessful, and it was not till 1694 that England was set free from the censors of the press.

Milton received from Dryden an eulogium, so well known that we forbear to repeat it. Other poets have re-echoed the strain; and now, at the close of two hundred and sixty-four years, he occupies his niche of fame beside Shakespeare and the great poets of antiquity; his faults, his mistakes, and his controversial writings buried in a merciful oblivion, while the good he did

" Lives After him,"

rejoicing, for all times, the nation which holds as ane of its titles to honour the name of John MILTON.

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