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spleen, and without any thought of earthly reward, whenas this very course they take stops their hopes of ascending above a lowly and unenviable pitch in this life. And although in the serious uncasing of a grand imposture (for to deal plainly with you readers, prelaty is no better) there be mixed here and there such a grim laughter, as may appear at the fame time in an austere vifage, it cannot be taxed of levity or insolence: for even this vein of laughing (as I could produce out of grave authors) hath ofttimes a strong and sinewy force in teaching and confuting; nor can there be a more proper object of indignation and scorn together, than a false prophet taken in the greatest, dearest, and most dangerous cheat, the cheat of fouls: in the disclosing whereof, if it be harmful to be angry, and withal to cast a lowering smile, when the properefl object calls for both, it will be long enough ere any be able to fay, why those two molt rational faculties of human intellect, anger and laughter, were first seated in the breast of man. Thus much, readers, in favour of the softer spirited christian, for other exceptioners there was no thought taken. Only if it be asked, why this close and succinct manner of coping with the adverfary was rather chosen, this was the reason chiefly, that the ingenuous reader, without further amusing himself in the labyrinth of controverfal antiquity, rnay come to the speediest way to see the truth vindicated, and sophistry taken short at the first false bound. Next, that the Remonstrant himself, as oft as he pleases to be frolic, and brave it with others, may find no gain of money, and may learn not to insult in so bad a cause. Put now he begins..
Remonstrant. My single remonstrance is encountered with a plural adversary.
Answer. Did not your single remonstrance bring along with it a hot scent of your more than singular affection to spiritual pluralities, your singleness would be let's suspected with all good christians than it is.
Remonst. Their names, persons, qualities, numbers, I care not to know.
Answ. Their names are known to the all-knowing Power above; and in the mean while, doubtless, they reck not whether you or your nomenclator know them or not.
Remonst. But could they fay 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 that conceit of Legion with a by-wipe? Was it because you would have men take notice how you esteem them, whom through all your book so bountifully you call your brethren? We had not thought that Legion could have furnished the Remonstrant with so many brethren.
Remonst. 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? Show 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 falvation of souls.
Remonst. My cause, ye gods, would bid me meet them undismayed, and to fay with holy David, l< though a host, &c."
Answ. Do not think to persuade us of your undaunted courage, by mifapplying to yourself the words of holy Pavid; 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 arc not dieted, nor your loins girt for spiritual valour, and christian warfare, the luggage gage 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 fee you so subject to carnal desires?
Remonst. I do gladly fly to the bar.
Answ. To the bar with him then. Gladly you fay. We believe you as gladly as your whole faction wished and longed for the assembling of this parliament, as gladly as your benesiciaries 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 fage 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 makr ing 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 seprn ps 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.
Anfw. Mince the matter while you will, it showed but green practice in the laws of discreet rhetoric to blurt upon the ears of a judicious parliament with such a presumptuous sumptuous 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 expulfed brethren of New England, the prelates rather applauding than showing any dislike: and this hath been ever so, insomuch that sir Francis Bacon in one of his discourses complains of the bishops uneven hand over these pamphlets, consining 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 unvifarded, 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-fouled, and illiterate chaplain; when liberty of speaking, than which nothing is more sweet to man, was girded and strait-laced almost to a broken-winded 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 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 every where 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 particular 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 falt lotion. Who could be angry, therefore, but those that are guilty, with these freespoken and plain-hearted men that are the eyes of their country, and the prospective-glasses of their prince? But these are the nettlers, thete are the blabbing books that tell, though not half your fellows feats. You love toothless fatires; let me. inform you, a toothless fatire is as improper as a toothed sleek-stone, and as bullish.
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 wince and fling never so peevishly.