Page images
PDF
EPUB

Remonst. But could they say my name is Legion, for we are many ?

Answ. Wherefore should ye begin with the devil's name, descanting upon the number of your opponents ? Wherefore hat conceit of Legion with a by-wipe? Was it because you vould have men take notice how you esteem them, whom ihrough all your book so bountifully you

call
your

brethren? We had not thought that Legion could have furnished the Remonstrant with so many brethren.

Remunst. My cause, ye gods, would bid me meet them undismayed, &c.

Answ. Ere a foot further we must be content to hear a preambling boast of your valour, what a St. Dunstan you are to encounter Legions, either infernal or human.

Remonst. My cause, ye gods.

Answ. What gods? Unless your belly, or the god of this world be he? Shew us any one point of your Remonstrance that does not more concern superiority, pride, ease, and the belly, than the truth and glory of God, or the salvation of souls ?

Remonst. My cause, ye gods, would bid me meet them undismayed, and to say with holy David,“ Though a host, &c.”

Answ. Do not think to persuade us of your undaunted courage, by misapplying to yourself the words of holy David; we know you fear, and are in an agony at this present, lest you should lose that superfluity of riches and honour, which your party usurp.

And whosoever covets, and so earnestly labours to keep such an incumbering surcharge of earthly things, cannot but have an earthquake still in his bones. You are not armed, Remonstrant, nor any of your band, you are not dieted, nor your loins girt, for spiritual valour, and Christian warfare, the luggage is too great that follows your camp; your hearts are there, you march heavily ; how shall we think you have not carnal fear, while we see you so subject to carnal desires ?

Remonst. I do gladly fly to the bar.

Answ. To the bar with him then. Glailly, you say. We believe

you as gladly as your whole faction wished and longed for the assembling of this parliament; as gladly as your beneficiaries the priests came up to answer the complaints and outcries of all the shires.

Remonst. The Areopagi! who were those? Truly, my masters, I had thought this had been the name of the place, not of the men.

Answ. A soar-eagle would not stoop at a fly; but sure some pedagogue stood at your elbow, and made it itch with this parlous criticism; they urged you with a decree of the sage and severe judges of Athens, and you cite them to appear for certain paragogical contempts, before a capacious pedanty of hot-livered grammarians. Mistake not the matter, courteous Remonstrant, they were not making Latin : if in dealing with an outlandish name, they thought it best not to screw the English mouth to a harsh foreign termination, so they kept the radical word, they did no more than the elegantest authors among the Greeks, Romans, and at this day the Italians, in scorn of such a servility use to do. Remember how they mangle our British names abroad: what trespass were it, if we in requital should as much neglect theirs ? And our learned Chaucer did not stick to do so, writing Semyramis for Semiramis, Amphiorax for Amphiaraus, K. Sejes for K. Ceyx, the husband of Alcyone, with many other names strangely metamorphosed from the true orthography, if he had made any account of that in these kind of words.

Remonst. Lest the world should think the press had of late forgot to speak any language other than libellous, this honest paper hath broken through the throng.

Answ. Mince the matter while you will, it shewed but green practice in the laws of discreet rhetoric to blurt upon the ears of a judicious parliament with such a presumptuous and overweening proem: but you do well to be the fewer of your own mess.

Remonst. That which you miscall the preface, was a too just complaint of the shameful number of libels.

Answ. How long is it that you and the prelatical troop have been in such distaste with libels ? Ask your Lysimachus Nicanor what defaming invectives have lately flown abroad against the subjects of Scotland, and our poor expulsed brethren of New England, the prelates rather applauding than shewing any dislike: and this hath been ever so, insomuch that Sir Francis Bacon in one of his discourses como plains of the bishops' uneven hand over these pamphlets, confining those against bishops to darkness, but licensing those

against puritans to be uttered openly, though with the greater mischief of leading into contempt the exercise of religion in the persons of sundry preachers, and disgracing the higher matter in the meaner person.

Remonst. A point no less essential to that proposed remonstrance.

Answ. We know where the shoe wrings you, you fret and are galled at the quick; and O what a death it is to the

prelates to be thus unvisarded, thus uncased, to have the periwigs plucked off that cover your baldness, your inside nakedness thrown open to public view! The Romans had a time once every year, when their slaves might freely speak their minds; it were hard if the freeborn people of England, with whom the voice of truth for these many years, even against the proverb, hath not been heard but in corners, after all your monkish prohibitions, and expurgatorious indexes, your gags and snaffles, your proud Imprimaturs not to be obtained without the shallow surview, but not shallow hand of some mercenary, narrow-souled, and illiterate chaplain ; when liberty of speaking, than which nothing is more sweet to man, was girded and straitlaced almost to a brokenwinded phthisic, if now at a good time, our time of parliament, the very jubilee and resurrection of the state, if now the concealed, the aggrieved, and long-persecuted truth, could not be suffered to speak; and though she burst out with some efficacy of words, could not be excused after such an injurious strangle of silence, nor avoid the censure of libelling, it were hard, it were something pinching in a kingdom of free spirits. Some princes, and great statists, have thought it a prime piece of necessary policy to thrust themselves under disguise into a popular throng, to stand the night long under eaves of houses, and low windows, that they might hear everywhere the utterances of private breasts, and amongst them find out the precious gem of truth, as amongst the numberless pebbles of the shore; whereby they might be the abler to discover, and avoid, that deceitful and close-couched evil of flattery that ever attends them, and misleads them, and might skilfully know how to apply the several redresses to each malady of state, without trusting the disloyal information of parasites and sycophants : whereas now this permission of free writing, were there no good else in it, yet at some times thus licensed, is such an

unripping, such an anatomy of the shyest and tenderest par ticular truths, as makes not only the whole nation in many points the wiser, but also presents and carries home to princes men most remote from vulgar concourse, such a full insight of every lurking evil

, or restrained good among the commons, as that they shall not need hereafter, in old cloaks and false beards, to stand to the courtesy of a night-walking cudgeller for eaves-dropping, nor to accept quietly as a perfume, the overhead emptying of some salt lotion. Who could be angry, there fore, but those that are guilty, with these free-spoken and plain-hearted men, that are the eyes of their country, and the prospective glasses of their prince? But these are the nettlers, these are the blabbing-books that tell, though not balf, your fellows' feats. You love toothless satires; let me inform you, a toothless satire is as improper as a toothed sleek-stone, and as bul ish.

Remonst. I beseech, you, brethren, spend your logic upon your own works.

Answ. The peremptory analysis that you call it, I believe will be so hardy as once more to unpin your spruce fastidious oratory, to rumple her laces, her frizzles, and her bobbins, though she winge and fling never so peevishly.

Remonst. Those verbal exceptions are but light froth, and will sink alone.

Answ. O rare subtlety, beyond all that Cardan ever dreamed of! when, I beseech you, will light things sink? when will light froth sink alone? Here in your phrase, the same day that heavy plummets will swim alone. Trust this

man, readers, if you please, whose divinity would reconcile England with Rome, and his philosophy make friends nature with the chaos, sine pondere habentia pondus.

Remonst. That scum may be worth taking off which follows.

Answ. Spare your ladle, sir, it will be as the bishop's foot in the broth; the scum will be found upon your own Remon strance.

Remonst. I shall desire all indifferent eyes to judge, whe ther these men do not endeavour to cast unjust envy upon me.

Answ. Agrecd.

Remoust. I had said that the civil polity, as in general notion, hath sometimes varied, and that the civil came from

arbitrary imposers; these gracious interpreters would needs draw my words to the present and particular government of our monarchy.

Answ. And deservedly have they done so; take up your logic else and see: civil polity, say you, hath sometimes varied, and came from arbitrary imposers; what proposition is this? Bishop Downam, in his Dialectics, will tell you it is a general axiom, though the universal particle be not expressed, and

you yourself in your Defence so explain in these words as in general notion. Hence is justly inferred, he that says civil polity is arbitrary, says that the civil polity of England is arbitrary. The inference is undeniable, a thesi ad hypothesin, or from the general to the particular, an evincing argument in logic.

Remonst. Brethren, whiles ye desire to seem godly, learn to be less malicious. Answ. Remonstrant, till you

have better learnt your principles of logic, take not upon you to be a doctor to others.

Remonst. God bless all good men from such charity.

Answ. I never found that logical maxims were uncharitable before ; yet, should a jury of logicians pass upon you, you would never be saved by the book.

Remonst. And our sacred monarchy from such friends. Answ. Add, as the prelates.

Remonst. If episcopacy have yoked monarchy, it is the insolence of the persons, not the fault of the calling.

Answ. It was the fault of the persons, and of no calling : we do not count prelaty a calling.

Remonst. The testimony of a pope (whom these men honour highly).

Answ. That slanderous insertion was doubtless a pang of your incredible charity, the want whereof you lay so often to iheir charge; a kind token of your favour lapped up in a parenthesis, a piece of the clergy benevolence laid by to maintain the episcopal broil, whether the 1000 horse or no, time will discover: for certainly had those cavaliers come on to play their parts, such a ticket as this of highly honouring the pope, from the hand of a prelate, might have been of special use and safety to them that had cared for such a ransom.

Remonst. And what savs Antichrist ?
Answ. Ask your brethren the prelates, that hold intelli-

VOL. III.

E

« PreviousContinue »