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clare what Books were not commenda
ble, passing no furder, but leaving it to each ones conscience to read or to lay by, till after the yeare 800, is obsery'd already by Padre Paolo the great unmasker of the Trentine Councel. After which time the Popes of Rome engrossing what they pleas'd of Politicall rule into their owne hands, extended their dominion over mens eyes, as they had before over their judgements, burning and pro. hibiting to be read, what they fanfied not; yet sparing in their censures, and the Books not many which they so dealt with : till Martin the 5. by his Bull not only prohibited, but was the first that excommunicated the reading of hereticall Books; for about that time Wicklef
and Husse growing terrible, were they who first drove the Papall Court to a ftricter policy of prohibiting. Which cours Leo the. 10, and his successors follow'd, untill the Councell of Trent, and the Spanish Inquisition engendring together brought forth, or perfeted those Catalogues, and expurging Indexes that rake through the entralls of many an old good Author, with a violation wors then any could be offer'd to his tomb. Nor did they stay in matters Hereticall, but any subject that was not to their palat, they either condemn’d in a prohibition, or had it strait into the new Purgatory of an Index. To fill ap the measure of encroachment, their last invention was to ordain that no Book, pamphlet, or R4
paper should be Printed (as if S. Peter had bequeath'd them the keys of the Presse also out of Paradise) unleffe it were approv'd and licenc't under the hands of 2 or 3 glutton Friers. For example: Let the Chancellor Cini be pleas'd to
see if in this present work be contain'd ought that may withstand the Printing,
Vincent Rabatta Vicar of Florence.
I have seen this present work, and
find nothing athwart the Catholick faith and good manners : In witnesse whereof I have given, &c. Nicolò Cini Chancellor of Florence.
Attending the precedent relation, it is
allow'd that this present work of.
Vincent Rabatta, &c.
cellor of the holy office in Flo
Sure they have a conceit, if he of the bottomlefse pit had not long since broke prison, that this quadruple exorcism would barre him down. I feare their next designe will be to get into their custody the licencing of that which they say * Claudius intended, but went not
* Quo veniam daret flatum crepitumque ventris in convivio emittendi. Sueton. in Claudio.
through with. Voutsafe to see another of their forms the Roman stamp Imprimatur, If it seem good to the reverend Master of the holy Palace,
Belcastro Vicegerent. • Imprimatur,
Friar Nicolò Rodolphi Master
of the holy Palace. Sometimes 5 Imprimaturs are seen together dialogue-wise in the Piatza of one Title
page, complementing and ducking each to other with their shav'n reverences, whether the Author, who stands by in perplexity at the foot of his Epiftle, shall to the Presse or to the spunge. These are the pretty responsòries, these are the deare Antiphonies that so bewicht of late our Prelats, and their Chap