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nor can right the innocent, in what is cheifly fought, the obtainment of love or quietnes. His instances out of the Common Law, are all so quite beside the matter which hee would prove, as may bee a warning to all clients how they venture thir busines with such a cock-braind Solliciter. For beeing to thew som Law of England, attaining to no good end, and yet through no default of the party, who is therby debarr'd all remedy, hee Thews us only how som 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 estate in Lands or otherwise. Does this Law attain to no good end? the Barr will blush at this most incogitant woodcock. But see if a draft of Littleton will recover him to his senses. If this man having Fee fimple in his Lands, yet will take a Leas of his own Lands, from another, this shall bee an Estoppel to him in an Afise from the recovering of his own Land. Mark now, and register him. How many are there of ten thousand who have such a Fee simple 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 cases are directly to the same purpos, and might have bin spar’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 gibbrilh.
I have now don that, which for many causes 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 sordid ignorance of such a presumptuous lozel. Yet Hercules had the labour once impos'd upon him to carry dung out of the Augean stable. At any hand I would bee ridd of him : for I had rather, since the life of man is likn’d to a Scene, that all my entrances and exits might mixe with such persons 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, somtimes at his face, with dorrs and horsflies, somtimes beneath, with bauling whippets, and shin-barkers, and these to bee set on by plot and consultation with a Junto of Clergy men and Licencers, commended also and rejoyc't in by those whose partiality cannot yet forgoe old papisticall principles, have I not cause to bee in such a manner defensive, as may procure mee freedom to pass more unmolested heerafter by these incumbrances, not so 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 spurn? If they can afford mee none but a ridiculous adversary, the blame belongs not to mee, though the whole Difpute bee strew'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, should compound into one mongrel, would bee but thin and meager, if in this penury
of Soul hee can bee possible to have the lustiness 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 posterity, 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 prose into a rough Sotadic, that shall rime him into such 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 opposition beares, if any man equal to the matter shall think it appertains him to take in hand this controversy, either excepting against ought writt'n, or perswaded hee can shew better how this question of such moment to bee throughly known may receаv a true determination, not leaning on the old and rott'n suggestions wheron it
leanes, if his intents bee sincere to the public, and shall carry him on without bitternes to the opinion, or to the person dissenting, let him not, I entreate him, guess by the handling, which meritoriously hath bin bestowd 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 shall confess that to doe so is my choise, and to have don thus was my chance.
To Master Samuel Hartlib. Written above
Twenty Years since.
AM long since perswaded, that to say, or do ought worth memory and imitation, no purpose or respect should sooner
move us, then simply the love of God, and of mankind. Nevertheless to write now the reforming of Education, though it be one of the greatest and noblest designs 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 serious conjurements; as having my mind for the present half diverted in the pursuance of some other assertions, 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 should the laws of any private friendship have prevaild with me to divide thus, or transpose my former thoughts, but that I see those aims, those actions which have won you with me the esteem of a person sent hither by some good providence from a far country to be the occasion and the incitement of great good to this Iland. And, as I hear, you have obtain'd the same repute with men of most approved wisdom, and some of highest authority among us.
Not to mention the learned correspondence 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 so ruling, or the peculiar sway 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 discerning ability, impose upon me an unfit and over-ponderous argument, but that the satisfaction which you profess to have receiv'd from those incidental Discourses 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 resist therefore, whatever it is either of divine, or humane obligement that you lay upon me; but will forthwith set down in writing, as you request me, that voluntary Idea, which hath long in silence presented it self to me, of a better Education, in extent and comprehension far more large, and yet of time far shorter, and of attainment far more certain, then hath been
practice. Brief I shall endeavour to be; for that which I have to say, assuredly this Nation hath extream need should be done sooner then spoken. To tell you therefore what I have benefited herein among old renowned Authors, I shall spare ; 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 observations which have flowr'd off, and are, as it were, the burnishing of many studious and contemplative years altogether spent in the search of religious and