Page images
PDF
EPUB

made all things seem easie and unlaborious to them; but that this short triali hath wearied them out already, their own expreffions and excufes to them who make so many journeys to follicit their licence, are testimony anough. Seeing therefore those who now pofsefse the inployment, by all evident figns with themselves well ridd of it, and that no man of worth, none that is not a plain unthrift of his own hours is ever likely to succeed thein, except he mean to put himself to the salary of a Presse-corrector, we may easily foresee what kind of licencers we are to expect hereafter, either ignorant, imperious, and remiffe, or basely pecuniary. This is what I had to few wherein this order cannot conduce

to

to that end, whereof it bears the intention.

I lastly proceed from the no good it can do, to the manifest hurt it causes, in being first the greatest discouragement and affront, that can be offered to learning and to learned men. It was the complaint and lamentation of Prelats, upon every least breath of a motion to remove pluralities, and distribute more equally Church revenu's, that then all learning would be for ever dasht and discourag'd. But as for that opinion, I never found cause to think that the tenth part of learning stood or fell with the Clergy: nor could I ever but hold it for a sordid and unworthy speech of any Churchman who had a competency left

U 4

him.

[ocr errors]

him. If therefore ye be loath to dishearten utterly and discontent, not the mercenary crew of false pretenders to learning, but the free and ingenuous sort of such as evidently were born to study, and love lerning for itself, not for lucre, or any other end, but the service of God and of truth, and perhaps that lasting fame and perpetuity of praise which God and good men have confented shall be the reward of those whose publisht labours advance the good of mankind, then know, that so far to distrust the judgement & the honesty of øne who hath but a common repute in learning, and never yet offended, as not to count him fit to print his mind without a tutor and examiner, left he flould drop

a scilin,

a feilin, or something of corruption, is the greatest displeasure and indignity to a free and knowing spirit that can be put upon him. What advantage is it to be a man over it is to be a boy at school, if we have only scapt the ferular, to come under the fescu of an Imprimatur ? if serious and elaborat writings, as if they were no more then the theam of a Grammar lad under his Pedagogue must not be utter'd without the cursory eyes of a' temporizing and extemporizing li

He who is not trusted with his own actions, his drift not being known to be evill, and standing to the hazard of law and penalty, has no great argument to think himself reputed in the Commonwealth wherein he was born,

for

cencer.

[ocr errors]

for other then a fool or a foreiner. When a man writes to the world, he summons up all his reason and deliberation to affift him; he searches, meditats, is industrious, and likely consults and conferrs with his judicious friends ; after all which done he takes himself to be inform'd in what he writes, as well as any that writ before him; if in this the most consummat act of his fidelity and ripenesse, no years, no induftry, no former proof of his abilities can bring him to that state of maturity, as not to be still inistrusted and suspected, unleffe he carry ali his considerat diligence, all his midnight watchings, and expence of Palladian oyl, to the hasty view of an unleasur'd licencer, perhaps much his

younger,

« PreviousContinue »