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they that story of them out of blind zeal or malice, may write many things of them untruly.” If this be so, as ye hear his own confession, with what safety can the Remonstrant rely upon the martyrs as “patrons of his cause," whenas any of those who are alleged for the approvers of our liturgy or prelacy, might have been, though not in a wrong cause, martyrs ? Yet whether not vainly ambitious of that honour, or whether not misreported or misunderstood in those their opinions, God only knows. The testimony of what we believe in religion must be such as the conscience may rest on to be infallible and incorruptible, which is only the word of God.
49. His fifth section finds itself aggrieved that the Remonstrant should be taxed with the illegal proceeding of the high commission, and oath ex officio: and first,“ whether they were illegal or no, it is more than he knows." See this malevolent fox! that tyranny which the whole kingdom cried out against as stung with adders and scorpions, that tyranny which the parliament, in compassion of the church and commonwealth, hath dissolved and fetched up by the roots, for which it hath received the public thanks and blessings of thousands, this obscure thorn-eater of malice and detraction as well as of quodlibets and sophisms, knows not whether it were illegal or not. Evil, evil would be your reward, ye worthies of the parliament, if this sophister and his accomplices had the censuring or the sounding forth of your labours. And that the Remonstrant cannot wash his hands of all the
cruelties exercised by the prelates, is past doubting. They scourged the confessors of the gospel, and he held the scourgers' garments. They executed their rage; and he, if he did nothing else, defended the government with the oath that did it, and the ceremonies which were the cause of it :does he think to be counted guiltless ?
50. In the following section I must foretel ye, readers, the doings will be rough and dangerous, the baiting of a satire. And if the work seem more trivial or boisterous than for this discourse, let the Remonstrant thank the folly of this confuter, who could not let a private word pass, but he must make all this blaze of it. I had said, that because the Remonstrant was so much offended with those who were tart against the prelates, sure he loved toothless satires, which I took were as improper as a toothed sleekstone. This champion from behind the arras (“') cries out, that those toothless satires were of the Remonstrant's making ; and arms himself here tooth and nail, and horn to boot, to supply the want of teeth, or rather of gums in the satires. And for an onset tells me, that the simile of a sleekstone “ shows I can be as bold with a prelate as familiar with a laundress.” But does it not argue rather the lascivious prompt
mention of a sleekstone, could neigh out the remembrance of his old conversation among the
(41) Alluding to the scene in Hamlet, where Polonius en.. sconces himself behind the arras, to watch the conduct of the prince during the interview with his mother.
viragian trollops? For me, if he move me, I shall claim his own oath, the oath ex officio against any priest or prelate in the kingdom, to have ever as much hated such pranks as the best and chastest of them all. That exception which I made against toothless satires, the confuter hopes I had from the satirist, but is far deceived: neither have I ever read the hobbling distich which he means.
51. For this good hap I had from a careful education, to be inured and seasoned betimes with the best and elegantest authors of the learned tongues, and thereto brought an ear that could measure a just cadence, and scan without articulating: rather nice and humourous in what was tolerable, than patient to read every drawling versifier. Whence lighting upon this title of “ toothless satires,” I will not conceal ye what I thought, readers, that sure this must be some sucking satyr, who might have done better to have used his coral, and made an end of teething, ere he took upon him to wield a satire's whip. But when I heard him talk of “ scouring the rusty swords of elvish knights,” do not blame me, if I changed my thought, and concluded him some desperate cutler. But why “his scornful muse could never abide with tragic shoes her ancles for to hide,” the pace of the verse told me that her mawkin knuckles were never shapen to that royal buskin. And turning by chance to the sixth satire of his second book, I was confirmed ; where having begun loftily “in Heaven's universal alphabet,” he falls down to that wretched poorness and frigidity, as to talk of “ Bridge-street in Heaven, and the Ostler of Heaven," and there wanting other matter to catch him a heat, (for certain he was in the frozen zone miserably benumbed,) with thoughts lower than any beadle betakes him to whip the signposts of Cambridge alehouses, the ordinary subject of freshmen's tales, and in a strain as pitiful. Which for him who would be counted the first English satire, to abase himself to, who might have learned better among the Latin and Italian satirists, and in our own tongue from the “ Vision and Creed of Pierce Plowman,” besides others before him, manifested a presumptuous undertaking with weak and unexamined shoulders. For a satire as it was born out of a tragedy,(42) so ought to resemble his parentage, to strike high, and adventure dangerously at the most eminent vices among the greatest persons, and not to creep into every blind tap-house, that fears a constable more than a satire. But that such a poem should be toothless, I still affirm it to be a bull, (43) taking away the essence of that which it calls itself. For if it bite neither the persons sons nor vices, how is it a satire ? And if it bite either, how is it tooth
(42) He here adopts the idea, advanced by Aristotle, (Poet. i. 8. 7.) that satire sprung out of the old form of tragedy. But the Greek satyres were a species of farce, as we may judge from the Cyclops of Euripides, and had little in common with what was denominated satire among the Romans. « Satyra - Fuit ejusmodi, ut in ea, quamvis duro et agresti joco, tamen vitia hominum, sine ullo proprii nominis titulo, carperentur, atque per scirpos, et ænigmata, magnæ res describerentur."-De Theatro, Tract. Var. Lat.—Conf. Rigalt. Dissert. de Satyr. Juvenal.
(43) Milton is the oldest author in whom we have discovered the jocular substitution of bull for blunder.
less ? So that toothless satires are as much as if he had said toothless teeth. What we should do therefore with this learned comment upon teeth and horns, which hath brought this confutant into his pedantic kingdom of Cornucopia, to reward him for glossing upon horns even to the Hebrew root, I know not; unless we should commend him to be lecturer in Eastcheap upon St. Luke's day, when they send their tribute to that famous haven by Deptford. But we are not like to escape him so. For now the worm of criticism works in him, he will us the derivation of “ German rutters, of meat, and of ink,” which doubtless, rightly applied with some gall in it, may prove good to heal this tetter of pedagogism that bespreads him, with such a tenesmus of originating, that if he be an Arminian, and deny original sin, all the etymologies of his book shall witness, that his brain is not meanly tainted with that infection.
52. His seventh section labours to cavil out the flaws which were found in the Remonstrant's logic; who having laid down for a general proposition, that “ civil polity is variable and arbitrary," from whence was inferred logically upon him, that he had concluded the polity of England to be arbitrary, for general includes particular; here his defendant is not ashamed to confess, that the Remonstrant's proposition was sophistical by a fal. lacy called ad plures interrogationes : which sounds to me somewhat strange, that a Remonstrant of that pretended sincerity should bring deceitful and double-dealing propositions to the parliament.