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which otherwise come forth, if they be found mischievous and libellous, the fire and the executioner will be the timeliest and the most effectuall remedy, that mans prevention can use. For this authentic Spanish policy of licencing books, if I have said ought, will prove the most unlicenc't book it self within a fhort' while ; and was the immediat image of a Star-chamber decree to that purpose made in those very times when that court did the rest of thofe her pious works, for which she is now fall’n from the Starres with Lucifer. Whereby ye may guesse what kinde of State prudence, what love of the people, what care of Religion, or good manners there was at the contriving, although with
hand of your pre
fingular hypocrisie it pretended to bind books to their good behaviour. And. how it
upper cedent Order so well constituted before, if we inay beleeve those men whose profession gives them cause to enquire most, it may be doubted there was in it the fraud of some old patentees and monopolizers in the trade of book-felling; who under pretence of the poor in their Company not to be defrauded, and the just retaining of each man his severall copy, which God forbid fhould be gainsaid, brought divers glofing colours to the House, which were indeed but colours, and serving to no end except it be to exercise a superiority over their neighbours, men who doe not therefore labour in an honest profession to which learning is inderted, that they should be made other mens vaffalls. Another end is thought was aym'd at by some of them in procuring by petition this Order, that having power in their hands, malignant books might the easier fcape abroad, as the event shews. But of these Sophisms and Elenchs of marchandize I skill not : This I know, that errors in a good government and in a bad are equally almost incident; for what Magistrate may not be mis-inform's, and much the sooner, if liberty of printing be reduc’t into the power of a few; but to redresse willingly and
speedily what hath bin err'd, and in highest autority to esteem a plain ad
vertisement more than others have done · a sumptuous bribe, is a virtue (honour'd Lords and Commons) answerable to Your highest actions, and wherof none can participat but greatest and wisest men.