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weekly that continu'd Court-libell against the Parlament and City, Printed, as the wet sheets can witnes, and dispers’t among us, for all that licencing can doe? yet this is the prime service a man would think, wherein this order should give proof of it self. If it were executed, you'l say. But certain, if execution be remiffe or blindfold now, and in this particular, what will it be hereafter, and in other books. If then the order shall not be vain and frustrat, behold a new labour, Lords and Commons, ye must repeal and proscribe all scandalous and unlicenc't books already printed and divulg’d; after ye have drawn them up

; into a lift, that all may know which are condemn'd, and which not; and ordain U


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that no forrein books be deliver'd out of

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custody, till they have bin read over. This office will require the whole time of not a few overseers, and those no vul

There be also books which are parily usefull and excellent, partly culpable and pernicious; this work will ask as many more officials, to make expurgations and expunctions, that the Commonwealth of learning be not damnify'd. In fine, when the multitude of books encrease upon their hands, ye must be fain to catalogue all those Printers who are found frequently offending, and forbidd the importation of their whole suspected typography. In a word,

that this your order may be exact, and not deficient, ye must reform it perfect


ly according to the model of Trent and Sevil," which I know ye abhorre to doe. Yet though ye should condiscend to this, which God forbid, the order still would be but fruitlesse and defective to that end whereto ye meant it. If to prevent fects and schisms, who is so unread or so uncatechis'd in story, that hath not heard of many fects refufing books as a hindrance, and preserving their doctrine unmixt for many ages, only by unwritten traditions. The Christian faith, for that was once a schisın, is not unknown to have spread all over Afa, ere any Gofpel or Epistle was seen in writing. If the amendment of. manners be aym'd at, look into Italy and Spain, whether those places be one scruple the better, the



honefter, the wiser, the chafter, since all the inquisitionall rigor that hath bin executed upon

books. Another reason, whereby to make it plain that this order will misse the end it seeks, consider by the quality which ought to be in every licencer. It cannot be deny'd but that he who is made judge to sit upon the birth, or death of books whether they may be wafted into this world, or not, had need to be a man above the common measure, both studious, learned, and judicious; there may be else no mean mistakes in the censure of what is paffable or not; which is also no mean injury. If he be of such worth as behoovs him, there cannot be a more tedious and unpleasing Journeywork, a greater losse of time levied

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upon his head, then to be made the perpetuall reader of unchosen books and pamphlets, oftimes huge volumes. There is no book that is acceptable unlesse at certain seasons ; but to be enjoyn’d the reading of that at all times, and in a hand scars legible, whereof three pages would not down at any time in the fairest Print, is an imposition which I cannot beleeve how he that values time, and his own studies, or is but of a fenfible noftrill should be able to endure. In this one thing I crave leave of the present licencers to be pardon’d for fo thinking : who doubtlesse took this office up, looking on it through their obedience to the Parlament, whose command perhaps

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