The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649
by David Masson
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It had been Hartlib's chance, he himself tells us, to be "familiarly acquainted with the best of Archbishops, Bishops, Earls, Viscounts, Barons, Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, ministers, Professors of both Universities, Merchants, and all sorts of learned or in any kind useful men." This he wrote at a considerably later date in his life; [Footnote: In Aug. 1660, See Letter in Dircks's Memoir, p. 4.] but, from what we have already seen, we may vote it substantially true even in 1644. In that year, we know for certain, the circle of Hartlib's friends included Milton.

The acquaintanceship may have begun some years before that. It may have begun in 1639 when Milton, on his return from abroad, took lodgings in St. Bride's Churchyard, or in 1640, when he first set up house in Aldersgate Street. At all events, when Milton's Anti-Episcopal pamphlets of the next two years made him a public man, he is not likely to have escaped the cognisance of Hartlib. I should not wonder if Milton were one of those "more forward spirits" whom Hartlib wanted to enlist in the great scheme of a Pansophic University of London to be organized by Comenius, and whom he tried to bring round Comenius personally during the stay of that theorist in London in 1641-2, when the experiment of some such University was really in contemplation by friends in Parliament, and Chelsea had been almost fixed on as the site. But, if so, I rather guess, for reasons which will appear, that Milton gave the whole scheme the cold shoulder, and did not take to the great Comenius. Quite possibly, however, it was not till Comenius was gone, and was fixed down at Elbing in Prussia, that there was any intimacy between Milton and Hartlib. It may have come about after Milton had been deserted by his wife in July 1643, and when a few pupils, besides the two nephews he had till then had charge of, were received into his wifeless household. Would not this in itself be an attraction to Hartlib? Was not Milton pursuing a new method with his pupils, between which and the method of Comenius there were points in common? Might not Comenius himself, in his retirement at Elbing, be interested in hearing of an eminent English scholar and poet who had views about a Reform of Education akin to his own?

This is very much fancy, but it is the exact kind of fancy that fits the certainty. That certainty is that, before the middle of 1644, Milton and Hartlib were well acquainted with each other, had met pretty frequently at Milton's house in Aldersgate Street, or at Hartlib's in Duke's Place, and had conversed freely on many subjects, and especially on that of Education. Nay more, Hartlib, trying to indoctrinate Milton with the Comenian views on this subject, had found that Milton had already certain most positive views of his own upon it, in some things agreeing with the Comenian, but in others vigorously differing. Hence, after various colloquies, he had made a request to Milton. Would he put a sketch of his views upon paper—no elaborate treatise, but merely a sketch, such as one could read in half-an-hour or so, and, if permitted, show to a friend, or print for more general use? Urged more and more pressingly, Milton complied; and the result was the appearance, on June 5, 1644, on some booksellers' counters, of a thin little quarto tract, of eight pages in rather small type, with no author's name, and no title-page at all, but simply this heading atop of the text on the first page, "OF EDUCATION: TO MASTER SAMUEL HARTLIB." The publication had been duly registered, and the publisher was the same Thomas Underhill, of Wood Street, who had published Milton's first three Anti-Episcopal pamphlets. The inference is that the thing was printed by Milton himself, and not by Hartlib. It would be handier for Hartlib to have it in print than in manuscript. [Footnote: "June 4, 1644: Tho. Underhill entered for his copy under the hands of Mr. Cranford [the licenser] and Mr. Man, warden, a little tract touching Education of Youth," is the entry in the Stationers' books; without which we should not have known the publisher's name. The date of the publication is fixed, and the fact that the authorship was known at the time is proved, by this MS. note of Thomason on the copy among the King's Pamphlets in the British Museum (Press mark 12. F. e. 12./160) "By Mr. John Milton: 5 June, 1644."—Milton reprinted the tract in 1673, at the end of the second edition of his Minor Poems, with the words "Written above twenty years since" added to the original title.]

Hartlib must have been pleased, and yet not altogether pleased, with the opening of the Tract. Here it is:—


"I am long since persuaded that to say or do aught worth memory and imitation no purpose or respect should sooner move us than simply the love of God and of Mankind. Nevertheless, to write now the Reforming of Education, though it be one of the greatest and noblest designs that can be thought on, and for the want whereof this Nation perishes, I had not yet at this time been induced, but by your earnest entreaties and serious conjurements; as having my mind for the present half diverted in the pursuance of some other assertions, the knowledge and the use of which cannot but be a great furtherance both to the enlargement of Truth and honest living with much more peace. [Footnote: This passage, the wording of which clearly implies that Milton was prosecuting his Divorce speculation, with whatever else in addition, sets aside a hypothesis (which may have occurred to the reader as well as to myself) that the Tract on Education, though not published till June 1644, may have been written, and in Hartlib's hands, as early as 1641-2, when Comenius was in London. The hypothesis, which might have been otherwise plausible, will not accord with the particular words of the tract now presented; and the conclusion is that, whether Milton knew Hartlib or not as early as 1641- 2, when Comenius was with him, the tract was not written till shortly before its publication in June 1644, when Comenius had been two years in Elbing.] Nor should the laws of any private friendship have prevailed with me to divide thus, or to transpose, my former thoughts, but that I see those aims, those actions, which have won you with me the esteem of a person sent hither by some good providence from a far country to be the occasion and the incitement of great good to this Island. And, as I hear, you have obtained the same repute with men of most approved wisdom, and some of highest authority among us; not to mention the learned correspondence which you hold in foreign parts, and the extraordinary pains and diligence which you have used in this matter both here and beyond the seas, either by the definite will of God so ruling, or the peculiar sway of nature, which also is God's working, Neither can I think that, so reputed and so valued as you are, you would, to the forfeit of your own discerning ability, impose upon me an unfit and over-ponderous argument, but that the satisfaction which you profess to have received from those incidental discourses which we have wandered into hath pressed, and almost constrained, you into a persuasion that what you require from me in this point I neither ought nor can in conscience defer beyond this time, both of so much need at once and of so much opportunity to try what God hath determined. I will not resist, therefore, whatever it is either of divine or human obligement that you lay upon me; but will forthwith set down in writing, as you request me, that voluntary Idea which hath long in silence presented itself to me of a better Education, in extent and comprehension far more large, and yet of time far shorter and of attainment far more certain, than hath been yet in practice. Brief I shall endeavour to be; for that which I have to say assuredly this Nation hath extreme need should be done sooner than spoken. To tell you, therefore, what I have benefited herein among old renowned authors, I shall spare; and to search what many modern JANUAS and DIDACTICS, more than ever I shall read, have projected, my inclination leads me not. But, if you can accept of these few observations, which have flowered off, and are as it were the burnishing of, many studious and contemplative years altogether spent in the search of religious and civil knowledge, and such as pleased you so well in the relating, I here give you them to dispose of."

What must have pleased Hartlib in this was the tone of respectful compliment to himself; what may have pleased him less was the slighting way in which Comenius is passed over. "To search what many modern JANUAS and DIDACTICS, more than ever I shall read, have projected, my inclination leads me not," says Milton, quoting in brief the titles of the two best-known works of Comenius. It is as if he had said, "I know your enthusiasm for your Pansophic friend; but I have not read his books on Education, and do not mean to do so." This was barely polite; [Footnote: The manner of the allusion to Comenius rather forbids the idea that Milton had met him during his London visit. Like most high-natured men, Milton had a kindly side to the merits of those whom he personally knew.] but Hartlib was a man of sense: and he would be glad, in reading on, to find that, with whatever independence Milton had formed his views, not even Comenius had outgone him in denunciations of the existing system of Education. Thus:—

"Seeing every nation affords not experience and tradition enough for all kind of learning, therefore we are taught chiefly the languages of those people who have at any time been most industrious after wisdom; so that Language is but the instrument conveying to us Things worthy to be known. And, though a linguist should pride himself to have all the tongues that Babel cleft the world into, yet, if he have not studied the solid things in them as well as the words and Lexicons, he were nothing so much to be esteemed a learned man as any yeoman or tradesman competently wise in his mother-dialect only. Hence appear the many mistakes which have made Learning generally so unpleasing and so unsuccessful. First, we do amiss to spend seven or eight years merely in scraping together so much miserable Latin and Greek as might be learnt otherwise easily and delightfully in one year. And that which casts our proficiency therein so much behind is our time lost, partly in too oft idle vacancies given both to Schools and Universities, partly in a preposterous exaction, forcing the empty wits of children to compose themes, verses, and orations, which are the acts of ripest judgment, and the final work of a head filled, by long reading and observing, with elegant maxims and copious invention. These are not matters to be wrung from poor striplings, like blood out of the nose, or the plucking of untimely fruit: besides the ill habit which they get of wretched barbarizing against the Latin and Greek idiom with their untutored Anglicisms, odious to read, yet not to be avoided without a well-continued and judicious conversing among pure authors digested, which they scarce taste; whereas, if, after some preparatory grounds of speech by their certain forms got into memory, they were led to the praxis thereof in some chosen short book lessoned thoroughly to them, they might then forthwith proceed to learn the substance of good Things and Arts in due order, which would bring the whole language quickly into their power. This I take to be the most rational and most profitable way of learning Languages, and whereby we may best hope to give account to God of our youth spent herein. And, for the usual method of teaching Arts, I deem it to be an old error of Universities, not yet well recovered from the scholastic grossness of barbarous ages, that, instead of beginning with Arts most easy (and these be such as are most obvious to the sense), they present their young unmatriculated novices at first coming with the most intellective abstractions of Logic and Metaphysics; so that they, having but newly left those grammatic flats and shallows where they stuck unreasonably to learn a few words with lamentable construction, and now on the sudden transported under another climate to be tossed and turmoiled with their unballasted wits in fathomless and unquiet deeps of controversy, do for the most part grow into hatred and contempt of Learning, mocked and deluded ail the while with ragged notions and babblements, while they expected worthy and delightful knowledge; till poverty or youthful years call them importunately their several ways, and hasten them, with the sway of friends, either to an ambitious and mercenary or ignorantly zealous Divinity: some allured to the trade of Law, grounding their purposes not on the prudent and heavenly contemplation of justice and equity, which was never taught them, but on promising and pleasing thoughts of litigious terms, fat contentions and flowing fees. Others betake themselves to State affairs, with souls so unprincipled in virtue and true generous breeding that flattery and court-shifts and tyrannous aphorisms appear to them the highest points of wisdom; instilling their barren hearts with a conscientious slavery, if (as I rather think) it be not feigned. Others, lastly, of a more delicious and airy spirit, retire themselves, knowing no better, to the enjoyments of ease and luxury, living out their days in feasts and jollity; which indeed is the wisest and the safest course of all these, unless they were with more integrity undertaken. And these are the errors, and these are the fruits of mis- spending our prime youth at the Schools and Universities as we do, either in learning mere Words, or such Things chiefly as were better unlearnt."

Having thus denounced the existing system of Schools and Universities, Milton goes on to explain what he would substitute. As he poetically expresses it, he will detain his readers no longer in the wretched survey of things as they are, but will conduct them to a hill-side where he will point out to them "the right path of a virtuous and noble education, laborious indeed at the first ascent, but else so smooth, so green, so full of goodly prospect and melodious sounds on every side, that the Harp of Orpheus was not more charming." The rest of the tract is a redemption of this promise. To represent it by mere continued quotation would be of small use, and is perhaps unnecessary. We will, therefore, try a stricter method.

Milton does not formally concern himself in this tract with the complete problem of National Education. In this respect the passion and the projects of Comenius were a world wider than Milton's. Comenius aimed at, and passionately dreamt of, a system of Education that should, in every country where it was established, comprehend all born in that country, of both sexes, and of every rank or class, and take charge of them from their merest infancy on as far as they could go, from the first or Mother's School through the subsequent routine of the Public Vernacular School, the Latin School or Ludus Literarius, and the University. This last stage of the complete routine might extend to the twenty-fourth or twenty-fifth year of life; and, though few could proceed to that stage, and the majority must, from sheer social necessity, drop off in the earlier stages, yet all were to be carried through the stage of the Vernacular Public School, and progress beyond that, where possible, was not to be denied to girls any more than to boys. Compared with this, what Milton contemplates, or at least discusses, is but an important fragment struck off from the total mass. True, he gives a tolerably broad definition of Education at the outset. "I call therefore a complete and generous Education," he says, "that which fits a man to perform, justly, skilfully, and magnanimously, all the offices, both private and public, of Peace and War." This definition, if meant as verbally perfect, would not have been satisfactory to Comenius, whose express notion of Education, as we know, was that it included preparation for the life to come as well as for that which now is. But, if he had known Milton, he might have let the omission pass as certainly and most solemnly implied, and might even have liked, for the sake of effect, the practical and straightforward utilitarianism of the definition. But then, when Milton's precise phrasing of the definition was examined, one could not but guess limits in his mind. "That which fits a man to perform" are the words of the definition; and to perform what? "All the offices, both private and public, of Peace and War," are the words that follow. And, as one reads on, the conjecture suggested by this phrasing is confirmed. By man Milton did not mean Homo, but Vir. When he framed his definition of Education, only one of the sexes was present to his mind; and throughout the whole tract, from first to last, there is not a single recognition of girl, woman, or anything in female shape, as coming within the scheme proposed. But more than that. Not only is it the education of one sex only that Is discussed in the tract, but it is the education only of a portion of that sex, and of that portion only at a particular period of life. There is nothing about the Infant Education, or what we should now call the Primary Education, of male children; and there is nothing about ways and means for the secondary or higher education of any others than those whose parents could pay for such education out of their own resources. In short, the tract is a proposal of a new method for the education of English gentlemen's sons between the ages of twelve and twenty-one. It is this, and nothing more, except in so far as hints in the general philosophy of education may be implied in the particular exposition. Milton himself was careful, ere the close of the tract, to avow that he had so restricted himself. It was a "general view," he said, such as Mr. Hartlib had desired, and meant also "for light and direction" to "such as have the worth in them to make trial," but "not beginning as some have done [e.g. Comenius] at the cradle, which might yet be worth many considerations," and omitting also "many other circumstances" that might have been mentioned had not brevity been the scope. All this it is necessary to remember in justice to the tract. It is a tract on the education of gentlemen's sons, or of such boys and youths as had hitherto been accustomed to go to the English Public Schools and Universities.

Within his avowed limits, Milton is very like himself, i.e. very grand and very bold. At the first start, for example, he tells us that he would abolish Universities altogether, or roll Public Schools and Universities into one. Here is his recipe: "First to find out a spacious house and ground about it fit for an ACADEMY, and big enough to lodge 150 persons (whereof 20 or thereabout maybe attendants), all under the government of one who shall be thought of desert sufficient, and ability either to do all or wisely to direct and oversee it done. This place should be at once both School and University, not needing a remove to any other house of Scholarship, except it be some peculiar College of Law or Physic, where they mean to be practitioners; but, as for those general studies which take up all our time from Lilly to the commencing (as they term it) Master of Art, it should be absolute. After this pattern, as many edifices may be converted to this use as shall be needful in every city throughout this land; which would tend much to the increase of learning and civility everywhere." Milton clearly did not like the deputation of all the higher education of England to two seats of learning, like Oxford and Cambridge, but wanted his Academies to be distributed all over England, in numbers proportionate to the population, and chiefly in cities.

He takes one of these imagined Academies as a model, and shows how it might be conducted. He divides the subject into the three heads of STUDIES, EXERCISES AND AMUSEMENTS, and DIET. On this last, however, he is extremely brief. "For their Diet there cannot be much to say, save only that it would be best in the same house; for much time else would be lost abroad, and many ill habits got; and that it should be plain, healthful, and moderate, I suppose is out of controversy:" i.e. Milton would prefer that all the pupils should be boarded in the Academy, and have their meals there at a common table. It is to the Studies and the Exercises and Amusements that most space is devoted.

I. THE STUDIES:—Here Milton appears decidedly as an innovator, but yet with a curious mixture of what would now be called rank Conservatism. The innovation consists in a total departure from the use and wont of his time, in respect of the nature of the studies to be pursued and the order in which they should be taken. There was to be an end of that wretched torture of Latin and Greek theme-making and versifying, and that dreary toiling amid obsolete subtleties of scholastic Logic and Metaphysics, which he had denounced in a previous passage, and which had made University Education, he says, nothing better than "an asinine feast of sow-thistles and brambles." Instead of these he would have studies useful in themselves and delightful to ingenuous young minds. Things rather than Words; the Facts of Nature and of Life; Real Science of every possible kind: this, together with a persistent training in virtuous and noble sentiment, and a final finish of the highest literary culture, was to compose the new Education. Here Milton and Comenius are very much at one; here Milton and the modern advocates of the Real or Physical Sciences in Education are very much at one. Given a lofty and varied idea of utility, no man has ever been more strenuously utilitarian than Milton was in this tract. The very novelty of the scheme it proposed consisted in the proclamation of utility as the test of the studies to be pursued and as ruling the order in which they should come.—What, then, was that "rank conservatism," as some might call it now, which accompanied the novelty? It was that the medium of liberal education should still be mainly Latin and Greek. A sentence in one of the passages of the tract already quoted has prepared us for this. Language, Milton had there admitted, is valuable in education only as an instrument of real knowledge, a vehicle of "things worthy to be known." But then all languages were not equally fitted for this function, inasmuch as every people could put into its language only what it had in its head or heart, and so different languages had come down freighted with very different weights and worths of matter. Now, what were the languages pointed out by this principle as apt for the purposes of education? They were Greek, Latin, and Italian, with (on religious grounds) Hebrew and one or two of its cognates. These were the tongues to be taught, and to be taught in, and mainly, of these, Latin and Greek. Of English there is not one word. This may partly be accounted for. The acquisition of useful information in all kinds of subjects was to be a great part of the education in each of the proposed Miltonic Academies; and at that time information on all kinds of subjects was locked up chiefly in Latin and Greek books. All modern or mediaeval books of information, all the standard text-books in the Sciences and Arts, that had been written by Englishmen themselves or by Continentals, were in the common Latin; the library of such books, original or translated, in the vernacular was yet but scanty. One could not be learned by means of English alone. Well, but Milton recognised a culture of the feelings, the imagination, the sense of art and nobleness, as also something needed in education, and to be helped by books; and in this respect, if not in the other, were there not available materials and means in the native English Literature? That Literature contained, at all events, the poetry of Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, and not a few others, rated more or less highly by Milton himself. That Milton did not, on this account, include some teaching and reading of the vernacular in the curriculum of his Academy, may have arisen from the fact that the best in English Literature was then all recent, and of such small bulk collectively that acquaintance with it might be expected as a matter of mere chance and delicious odd hours in window-corners. Here he but followed the custom. All Public or Grammar Schools were Latin and Greek Schools: English at that stage was, by common consent, to shift for itself. And yet there were dissentients from the custom, and advocates of the claims of the vernacular. Comenius, as we have seen, had blown a blast on the subject for all lands; and in Milton's own school of St. Paul's there had been a rather remarkable tradition of English. Not only had the elder Gill, the Head-master of the school in Milton's time, been a purist in English, and an inventor of new methods for teaching in and through English (see Vol. I. pp. 60-64), but Gill's predecessor in the school, Mulcaster, had pleaded for English. "Is it not a marvellous bondage," he had written as early as 1582, "to become servants to one tongue, for learning's sake, the most part of our time, whereas we may have the very same treasure in our own tongue with the gain of most time: our own bearing the joyful title of our liberty and freedom; the Latin tongue remembering us of our thraldom and bondage? I love Rome, but London better; I favour Italy, but England more; I honour the Latin, but I worship the English." [Footnote: Richard Mulcaster's "First Part of the Elementarie; which entreateth chiefelie of the Right Writing of our English Ton.," (1582). My quotation, however, is not directly from the book itself, but from an extract in the Appendix to Mr. Quick's "Essays on Educational Reformers" (1868), pp. 301-2.] After this and the tradition of English in St. Paul's, Milton's total omission of English from the curriculum of his Academy is rather remarkable. There are proofs that, when he wrote his Tract on Education, he had settled in a lower estimate of the worth of all the previous English Literature than is common now, and that he thought the greatness of English still to come. This may have had something to do with the omission. Possibly, however, he reserved a large daily use of English in his Academy which does not appear in the programme.

What does appear in the programme is that the curriculum of eight years or so was to be arranged, not rigidly but in a general way, in four classes or stages, thus:—

(1) First Class or Stage (aetat. l2-l3?):—The business here was to be Latin, Arithmetic, and Elementary Geometry. The Latin rudiments and rules were to be learnt from "some good Grammar, either that now used [Lilly's], or any better," and the Italian or Continental mode of pronouncing Latin, instead of the customary English, was to be carefully taught from the first; but as to the first reading-books to be used along with the Grammar, or any method for simplifying and accelerating entrance into Latin, whether that of Comenius or any other, there is no hint as yet. Neither is there any hint as to the manner of learning Arithmetic and the Elements of Geometry, save that the latter might be picked up "even playing, as the old manner was." On another part of the training of this First Class, however, Milton is more specific. Most especially at this stage, the boys were to be inured to noble and hardy sentiments and a sense of the importance of the education they were beginning; they were to be "inflamed with the study of Learning and the admiration of Virtue"; nay, they were to be "stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men and worthy patriots, dear to God, and famous to all ages." This might be done by reading to them aloud, from Greek or Latin, "some easy and delightful Book of Education" not yet accessible to themselves. "CEBES, [Footnote: The Pinax (Table) of CEBES of Thebes, a disciple of Socrates. "This Pinax is a philosophical explanation of a table on which the whole of human life, with its dangers and temptations, was symbolically represented, and which is said to have been dedicated by some one to the temple of Cronos at Athens or Thebes. The author introduces some youths contemplating the table, and an old man who steps among them undertakes to explain its meaning. The whole drift of the book is to show that only the proper development of the mind and possession of real virtues can make us truly happy" (Dr. L. Schmitz in Smith's Dict. of Greek and Roman Biog.: Art. Cebes.) There were in Milton's time Latin translations of Cebes, and at least one in English.] PLUTARCH, [Footnote: This must be some such portion of PLUTARCH'S "Moral Works" as that relating to Pedagogy. An English translation of the "Morals," by Philemon Holland, had been published in 1603.] and other Socratic Discourses," are mentioned as fit for the purpose in Greek; and, in Latin, "the two or three first Books of QUINTILIAN." [Footnote: I do not find in Lowndes any early English translation of QUINTILIAN'S "Institutes." The first two or three Books of this work are an excellent dissertation on the importance of Education and survey of what it ought to include; and it gives us an idea of Milton's purpose that he wanted them to be read to pupils at the outset. He wanted to fire them with high notions of that business of education on which they were entering.] Most, however, would depend on the explanations and precepts of the master himself at every opportunity, and on the influence of his own example, "infusing into their young breasts such an ingenuous and noble ardour as would not fail to make many of them renowned and matchless men." Always, too, at evening, there was to be Religious teaching and reading of the Bible.

(2) Second Class or Stage (aetat. 13-16?):—This stage, it must be presumed, was to be considerably longer than the first; for its business was to consist in Latin continued, with Greek added, and in the acquisition through these tongues, and otherwise, of a knowledge of all the useful Sciences and Arts. Here, indeed, Milton's utilitarian bent, his determination to substitute a pabulum of real knowledge for the studies then customary in schools, asserts itself most conspicuously. Here it is that he approaches most to Comenius in the substance, though with a difference in the manner. For what were the books he would exercise his pupils on at this stage, i.e. as soon as they had got through the Latin Grammar, and could make out a bit of Latin? First, CATO, VARRO, and COLUMELLA, the three Latin writers on Agriculture. [Footnote: CATO is the famous "Cato the Censor" of Roman history, or M. Porcius Cato (B.C. 231-141), among whose preserved writing, is an agricultural treatise, De Re Rustica; VARRO is M. Terentius Varro (B.C. 116-28), reputed the most learned of all the Romans, and among whose various works is also one De Re Rustica; COLUMELLA, the author of a systematic work on Agriculture, in twelve Books, lived in the first century of the Christian era. I do not know that there were any English translations of these Latin works on Agriculture in Milton's time.] If the language of these unusual authors was difficult for the pupils, "so much the better; it is not a difficulty beyond their years." They would, at all events, find the matter useful and interesting, and might, by these readings, and due modern comments, be "incited and enabled" for the great work of "improving the tillage of their country" when they should grow to be men. Hartlib, we may be sure, would like this on its own account; but Milton had an additional reason for it. The pupils, after having read these writers, would have a good grasp of the Latin vocabulary, and would be masters of any ordinary Latin prose. They might then, therefore, learn Geography, with "the use of the Globes and all the Maps," through any good modern (Latin) treatise on that subject, and also the elements of "Natural Philosophy" in the same way. Milton does not specify any manual on either subject. But, about this time, he says, the pupils would be learning Greek. This they would do "after the same manner as was before prescribed in the Latin; whereby, the difficulties of Grammar being soon overcome, all the historical Physiology of ARISTOTLE and THEOPHRASTUS are open before them, and, as I may say, under contribution." In other words, the first Greek readings of the pupils would be in such works of Aristotle as his "History of Animals," his "Meteorology," and parts of his general "Physics," and in the "History of Plants" of Aristotle's disciple, Theophrastus; [Footnote: Lowndes mentions no English translations of ARISTOTLE or THEOPHRASTUS as early as Milton's time.] and the purpose of such readings would be to enlarge their knowledge of the Physical Sciences at the same time that they were breaking themselves into Greek. But now, Latin being thoroughly in their possession, they might be ranging at large, in quest of the same and analogous kinds of information, in VITRUVIUS (Architecture), SENECA's "Natural Questions," MELA (Geography), CELSUS (Medicine), PLINY (Natural History), and SOLINUS (Natural History and Geography). [Footnote: VITRUVIUS and CELSUS do not seem to have been translated into English so early as Milton's time; but there were translations of all the others. The works of SENECA, both Moral and Natural, had been "done into English" by Thomas Lodge (1614); PLINY'S "Natural Historie of the World," translated by Philemon Holland, Doctor of Physic (1601), was a well-known book; and MELA and SOLINUS had been made accessible together in "The rare and singular work of Pomponius Mela, that excellent and worthy Cosmographer of the Situation of the World, most orderly prepared, and divided every parte by it selfe; with the Longitude and Latitude of everie kingdome, &c.; whereunto is added that learned worke of Julius Solinus Polyhistor, with a necessarie table for this Booke, right pleasant and profitable for Gentlemen, Merchants, Mariners, and Travellers, Translated into Englyshe by Arthur Golding, gent." (1585-7.)] What next? Why, "having thus passed the principles of Arithmetic, Geometry, Astronomy, and Geography, with a general compact of Physics, they may descend, in Mathematics, to the instrumental science of Trigonometry, and from thence to Fortification, Architecture, Enginry, or Navigation; and, in Natural Philosophy, they may proceed leisurely from the History of Meteors, Minerals, Plants, and Living Creatures, as far as Anatomy. Then also in course might be read to them out of some not tedious writer the Institution of Physic; that they may know the tempers, the humours, the seasons, and how to manage a crudity." Text-books are not mentioned here; and, though some must have been in view for such subjects as Trigonometry, Fortification, Engineering, and Navigation, yet it is clear, from Milton's language, that he meant a good deal of the miscellaneous instruction to be by lectures and digests of books by the teacher. Nay, there were to be more than lectures. "To set forward all these proceedings in Nature and Mathematics, what hinders but that they may procure, as oft as shall be needful, the helpful experiences of Hunters, Fowlers, Fishermen, Shepherds, Gardeners, Apothecaries, and, in the other sciences, Architects, Engineers, Mariners, Anatomists; who, doubtless, would be ready, some for reward, and some to favour such a hopeful Seminary." Hartlib must here have rejoiced again. But there comes in a Miltonic touch at the end. Hitherto he has debarred the pupils of his Academy, it will have been noticed, from all the ordinary classics read in schools. But, just about the end of this, the second stage of their studies, devoted to the Real or Physical Sciences and their applications, he would admit them to such classic readings as would impart a poetic colouring to the knowledge so acquired. In Greek, they might take now to ORPHEUS, HESIOD, THEOCRITUS, ARATUS, NICANDER, OPPIAN, and DIONYSIUS, and in Latin to LUCRETIUS, MANILIUS, and the Georgics of VIRGIL. [Footnote: Of the ORPHIC POEMS Milton must here have intended those relating to Nature and her phenomena. Of the "Works and Days" or "Georgics" of HESIOD, there had been an English translation by George Chapman (1618); and at least some of the Idylls of THEOCRITUS had been in English since 1588. The Phnomena and Diosemeia of Aratus (circ. B.C. 270) were, as we know, a favourite book with Milton, and he had had a copy of the Paris edition of 1559 in his possession since 1631 (see Vol. I. p. 234, Note), with MS. notes of his own in the margin. In looking at the specimens of these MS. notes facsimiled by the late Mr. Leigh Sotheby in his Milton Ramblings from the original book, now in the British Museum, I can see, by my test of the shaping of the letter e (Vol. II. p. 121, Note), that, while some of the notes were written before the journey to Italy, or between 1631 and 1638, others were written after the return from Italy, i. e. after 1639. This proves that Milton kept using the book in his manhood. There was, I think, then no English translation of it. Neither was there a translation of the Theriaca and Alexipharmaka (Poems on Venomous Animals and Poisons) of the Greek NICANDER (circ. B.C. 150); nor of the Halieutics and Kynegetics (Poems on Fishing and Hunting) of OPPIAN (circ. A.D. 210). There was, however, as early as 1572, an English translation "by Thomas Irvine, gentl." of the Periegetes or Geographical Poem of DIONYSIUS AFER (third century after Christ). Of the Latin Poems mentioned— LUCRETIUS De Rerum Natura, the Astronomica of MANILIUS, and the Georgics of VIRGIL—only the last had been Englished as yet. They had been Englished in 1589 by an Abraham Fleming, and in 1628 by Thomas May.]

Some of these books which were "counted most hard" would be, in the circumstances, facile and pleasant.

(3) Third Class or Stage (aetat. 16-19?):—The work of this stage was also to be very composite. It was to embrace Ethics, Economics, Politics, Jurisprudence, Theology, Church History and General History, together with Italian, Hebrew, and possibly Chaldee and Syriac, varied throughout by such carefully-arranged readings in Latin and Greek classics as would harmonize with those studies while they relieved them. For by this stage the reason of the pupils would have been so far matured that they might pass from the Physical to the Moral Sciences. For Ethics, they might be led "through all the Moral Works of PLATO, XENOPHON, CICERO, PLUTARCH, LAERTIUS, and those LOCRIAN REMNANTS; [Footnote: There was then no complete English translation of PLATO, but individual Dialogues had been translated, and he had been accessible complete in Latin since 1484. The Cyropaedia of XENOPHON had been twice translated into English, the second translation (1632) being by Philemon Holland; but Lowndes mentions no translation yet of the Memorabilia. The De Officiis of CICERO had been translated again and again, and others of his writings. The Morals of PLUTARCH, as we have already seen, were accessible in English. The book on the History of Philosophy by the Greek DIOGENES LAERTIUS was not yet in English, but a Latin translation was extant. By the LOCRIAN REMNANTS seem to be meant reputed remains of those LOCRIAN philosophers from whom PLATO had derived instruction.] but still to be reduced, in their nightward studies wherewith they close the day's work, under the determinate sentence of DAVID or SOLOMON, or the EVANGELS and APOSTOLIC SCRIPTURES." For Economics and Politics, to follow the Ethics, no books are named; but the Greek and Latin books in view may be guessed. In Jurisprudence, which was to come next, they would find the substance "delivered first, and with best warrant, by MOSES"; and then, "as far as human prudence can be trusted, in those extolled remains of Grecian Lawgivers, LYCURGUS, SOLON, ZALEUCUS, CHARONDAS, and thence to all the Roman Edicts and Tables, with their JUSTINIAN, and so down to the SAXON AND COMMON LAWS OF ENGLAND and the STATUTES." [Footnote: To put this in other words, Milton, to ground his English students in the Science of Law, would have begun first with the MOSAIC LAWS in the Pentateuch, and would then have led them through a course of: I. The Greek Legislation, so far as it could be recovered, of LYCURGUS the Spartan (B.C. 884, according to Aristotle), SOLON the Athenian (circ. B.C. 600), ZALEUCUS, the Lawgiver of the Locrians (circ. B.C. 660), and CHARONDAS, the Lawgiver of Catana and other Greek cities in Sicily and Italy (circ. B.C. 500); II. The Roman Law, in all its ancient fragments, and especially in its great compilation and completion by the Emperor JUSTINIAN (A.D. 527-534); III. Native English Law, as represented in the preserved codes of the old Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Kent, Wessex, &c., and in the traditional and written Laws of England since the Conquest.] For History, General or Ecclesiastical, no manuals are spoken of; and, as respects Theology, it is only indicated that this might be the employment of Sundays, though not exclusively so.—The Italian language was to be acquired "at any odd hour" in an early part of this stage, and the Hebrew, with Chaldee and Syriac, farther on; but there is no specification of means, or of the Grammars to be used.—The poetical and oratorical readings interspersed with these various and progressive studies were to be, in the earlier part of the stage, "some choice Comedies, Greek, Latin, and Italian," selected "with wariness and good antidote," and a Tragedy or two of the domestic kind, such as the Trachiniae of SOPHOCLES, and the Alcestis of EURIPIDES; and so gradually to the chief Historians (HERODOTUS, THUCYDIDES, &c.), the Heroic Poets (HOMER, VIRGIL, &c.), the "Attic Tragedies of stateliest and most regal ornament" (more of SOPHOCLES and EURIPIDES), and "the most famous Political Orations" (DEMOSTHENES and CICERO). [Footnote: Chapman's translation of HOMER into English had been complete in 1616. Nothing of AESCHYLUS, SOPHOCLES, or EURIPIDES, appears to have been translated into English. Two Books of HERODOTUS had been translated into English as early as 1584; and Hobbes' translation of THUCYDIDES had appeared in 1628. There were English translations of some Orations of DEMOSTHENES and CICERO; and of the AEneid of VIRGIL, or separate portions of it, there had been many translations, including Caxton's (1480), Gawin Douglas's in Scotch (1553), the Earl of Surrey's (1557), Phaer and Irvine's (1573), and Sandys's (1627).] Milton recommends that passages of the Orators and Tragedians should be got by heart and solemnly recited aloud. He does not name AEschylus among his Tragedians. Euripides, we know, was his favourite.

(4) Fourth Class or Stage (aetat. 19-21?):—This was to be the finishing stage, and was to be devoted to Logic, Rhetoric, and Poetics, with practice in Composition. Such training in form and literary theory, Milton argued, would come best after the pupils had acquired a sufficiency of matter, or somewhat of "an universal insight into things." As to the masters for Logic he says nothing in the tract; but we know otherwise that he had a fancy for Ramus, as qualifying Aristotle. For Rhetoric the masters were to be "PLATO, ARISTOTLE, PHALEREUS, CICERO, HERMOGENES, LONGINUS." [Footnote: PLATO comes in here, I suppose, for his style generally, and for disquisitions on Rhetoric in one or two of his Dialogues; ARISTOTLE, of course, for his Rhetoric (not then translated, I think). PHALEREUS is Demetrius Phalereus, the Athenian orator (B.C. 345—283), and reputed author of a work "On Elocution" (not translated in Milton's time, I think); CICERO is brought in, of course, for his De Oratore, &c. (translated into English, I should think, before Milton's time, but I am not sure); HERMOGENES (second century after Christ) is the Greek author of a system of Rhetoric in several Books, all written in his youth (not in English in Milton's time, if yet); and LONGINUS was Longinus' "On the Sublime" (waiting to be put into English).] By Poetics Milton did not mean mere Prosody, which he assumed the pupils to have learnt long ago under the head of Grammar, but "that sublime Art which, in ARISTOTLE'S Poetics, in HORACE, and the Italian Commentaries of CASTELVETRO, TASSO, MAZZONI, and others, teaches what the laws are of a true Epic Poem, what of a Dramatic, what of a Lyric, what decorum is, which is the great masterpiece to observe. [Footnote: Lowndes does not mention any very early translation of the Poetics of ARISTOTLE. Of the De Arte Poetica of HORACE there had been at least two translations—one by "Tho. Drant" in 1567, and one by Ben Jonson (published 1640). One work of TASSO referred to in the text is, I suppose, his La Cavaletta; overo della Poesia Toscana; CASTELVETRO (1505—1571) and MAZZONI (circa 1590) were two Italian scholars who had written on Poetry. The omission by Milton here of such English books as Sir Philip Sidney's Apologie for Poetrie (1595) and Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie (1589) is a striking instance of his resolute non-regard of everything English.] This would make them soon perceive what despicable creatures our common Rhymers and Play-writers be, and show them what religious, what glorious and magnificent use, might be made of Poetry both in divine and human things." Observe the contempt which Milton here expresses of the English Literature of his age. It had by this time become one of his habitual feelings. He goes on, however, to express the same contempt of the contemporary English Pulpit. By that practice in speaking and writing which he proposed as the final and crowning discipline in his Academy, he hoped to turn out young men fitted to teach the English Pulpit a new style of preaching, as well as to excel in public and Parliamentary life.

II. EXERCISES AND AMUSEMENTS:—These were to be of three kinds: (1) Gymnastics and Regular Military Drill. Milton is most emphatic on this subject. He would have the course of Education in his Academy to be as good for war as for peace; and therefore he would blend the Spartan discipline with the Athenian culture. The pupils were to be taught Fencing, so that they might be excellent swordsmen, with "exact use of their weapon, to guard, and to strike safely with edge or point." They were also to be "practised in all the locks and gripes of Wrestling, wherein Englishmen were wont to excel, as need may often be in fight to tug or grapple, and to close." So much for their gymnastics individually. But the main thing was to be their military drill collectively. There was to be no mistake about this; it was to be no mere school-play. The 120 or 130 youths in each Academy, under its head-master, with his twenty attendants, were to be treated sometimes as a single company of Foot, and at other times as two troops of Horse; and they were to be regularly and continually drilled in all the art both of Infantry and Cavalry. As we have already quoted the substance of the passage where this is insisted on (Vol. II. p. 480), we need here note only that portion of the passage in which Milton points out how, by such a system of training, the pupils of his Academy might be expected, "as it were out of a long war," to "come forth renowned and perfect commanders in the service of their country." "Commanders" observe; i.e., as we said before, the contemplated Academy was one for gentlemen's sons only. (2) Music. There was to be abundance of this in the Academy, both for recreation and for the noble effects of music on the mind. The music was to be both vocal and instrumental; and of the various instruments the organ is named in chief. (3) Excursions. "In those vernal seasons of the year when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with Heaven and Earth. I should not therefore be a persuader to them of studying much then, after two or three years that they have well laid their grounds, but to ride out in companies, with prudent and staid guides to all the quarters of the land, learning and observing all places of strength, all commodities of building, and of soil for towns and tillage, harbours and ports for trade; sometimes taking sea as far as to our navy, to learn there also what they can in the practical knowledge of sailing and of sea-fight."

Dr. Johnson's criticism of Milton's new Method of Education is well known, and is perhaps the criticism most operative to the present day. The scheme is a mere air-hung fancy, the utinam of a sanguine spirit, put forth as a possible institution! But the real question in every such case is, Does the proposal contain some important improvement which is practicable? Does it move in the right direction? This is the question to be asked respecting Milton's plan for a Reformed Education, How does Dr. Johnson answer it? "The truth is that the knowledge of external nature, and the sciences which that knowledge requires or includes, are not the great or the frequent business of the human mind. Whether we provide for action or conversation, whether we wish to be useful or pleasing, the first object is the religious and moral knowledge of right and wrong; the next is an acquaintance with the history of mankind, and with those examples which may be said to embody truth, and prove by events the reasonableness of opinions. Prudence and justice are virtues and excellences of all times and all places; we are perpetually moralists, but are geometricians only by chance. Our intercourse with Intellectual Nature is necessary; our speculations upon Matter are voluntary, and at leisure. Physiological learning is of such rare emergence that one man may know another half his life without being able to estimate his skill in hydrostatics or astronomy; but his moral and prudential character immediately appears. Those authors, therefore, are to be read at schools that supply most axioms of prudence, most principles of moral truth, and most materials for conversation; and these purposes are best served by poets, orators, and historians."[Footnote: Johnson's Life of Milton, in his Lives of the Poets (Cunningham's edit. I.91-93)] What an egregious misrepresentation this is of Milton's project the reader, who already knows the project itself in its completeness, will see at once. Milton included all that Johnson wanted to have included, and more largely and systematically than Johnson would have dared to dream of, and for the same reasons. The introduction of Natural and Physical Science into schools was but a portion, though an emphatic portion, of Milton's project. And, with respect to this portion of his project—a novelty at the time, though Milton had Comenius and Hartlib and all the Verulamians with him—subsequent opinion has more and more pronounced, and is more and more and more pronouncing, for Milton and against Johnson. The fairer criticism now would be as to the mode in which Milton proposed to teach Natural and Physical Science, and knowledge generally. Milton, who himself possessed in really encyclopaedic extent all the scientific knowledge of his time, must have been right in supposing that the knowledge could then be taught through Latin and Greek books. Even then, however, he perhaps overrated the necessity of Latin and Greek for this particular business of education, and underrated what could be done in sheer English. And, now that Science has burst all bounds of Latin and Greek, and it would be ludicrous to go merely to the Greek and Latin authors named by Milton for our Geography, or Astronomy, or Natural History, or Physics, or Chemistry, or Anatomy and Physiology, it is clear that the claims of Latin and Greek in education must not rest on their instrumental value in giving access to the stores of science, but on quite another basis. In short, that in Milton's scheme which is now obsolete is its determinate intertwining of the whole business of the acquisition of knowledge with the process of reading in other languages than the vernacular. This taken out of the Scheme, all the rest lasts, and is as good now, and perhaps as needful, as it was in Milton's time. Above all, the noble moral glow that pervades the Tract on Education, the mood of magnanimity in which it is conceived and written, and the faith it inculcates in the powers of the young human spirit, if rightly nurtured and directed, are merits everlasting.

The plan of the tract was not speculative only. Since 1639, when he lived in the St. Bride's Churchyard lodging, Milton had been teaching his two nephews, and had had the younger nephew, Johnny Phillips, boarding with him entirely; when he removed in 1640 to the house in Aldersgate Street, the elder nephew, Edward Phillips, also came under his roof; and in 1643, after his wife had deserted him, and his father had come to live with him, he had received into his house, as boarders or day-boarders, a few additional pupils. How many there were we do not know: probably, with the two nephews, not more than eight or a dozen at most. Part of his daily work, therefore, at the very time when he wrote the tract to Hartlib, was the teaching of these few boys. Accordingly, it is at this point that we may best quote Edward Phillips's account of his uncle's method with his pupils. He had himself had four or five years' experience of the method, and was now (1644) fourteen years of age. In his account, however, though he inserts it as early as the year 1639 in his Memoir, he inweaves recollections that must span from 1639 to 1646, so as to describe in one passage his uncle's training of boys from the age of ten to that of fifteen or sixteen:—

"And here, by the way, I judge it not impertinent to mention the many authors both of the Latin and Greek which, through his excellent judgment and way of teaching, far above the pedantry of common Public Schools (where such authors are scarce ever heard of), were run over within no greater compass of time than from ten to fifteen or sixteen years of age:—Of the Latin, the four grand authors De Re Rustica, CATO, VARRO, COLUMELLA, and PALLADIUS; a great part of PLINY'S 'Natural History'; VITRUVIUS his 'Architecture'; FRONTINUS his 'Stratagems'; with the two egregious Poets, LUCRETIUS and MANILIUS: Of the Greek, HESIOD, a poet equal to Homer; ARATUS his Phaenomena and Diosemeia; DIONYSIUS AFER 'De Situ Orbis'; OPPIAN'S 'Cynegetics' and 'Halieutics'; QUINTUS CALABER his Poem of the Trojan War continued from Homer; APOLLONIUS RHODIUS his 'Argonautics'; and, in prose, PLUTARCH'S 'Placita Philosophorum' and [Greek: Peri Paidon Agogias]; GEMINUS'S Astronomy, XENOPHON'S Cyri Institutio and Anabasis, AELIAN'S 'Tactics,' and POLYAENUS his 'Warlike Stratagems.' Thus, by teaching, he in some measure increased his own knowledge, having the reading of all these authors as it were by proxy.... Nor did the time thus studiously employed in conquering the Greek and Latin tongues hinder the attaining to the chief Oriental languages, viz. the Hebrew, Chaldee, and Syriac, so far as to go through the Pentateuch, or Five Books of Moses, in Hebrew, to make a good entrance into the Targum, or Chaldee Paraphrase, and to understand several chapters of St. Matthew in the Syriac Testament: besides an introduction into several Arts and Sciences, by reading URSTISIUS his Arithmetic, RIFF'S Geometry, PITISCUS his Trigonometry, JOANNES DE SACRO BOSCO De Sphaera; and into the Italian and French tongues, by reading, in Italian, GIOVAN VILLANI'S History of the Transactions between several petty States of Italy, and, in French, a great part of PIEREE DAVITY, the famous geographer of France in his time.——The Sunday's work was for the most part the reading each day a chapter of the Greek Testament and hearing his learned exposition upon the same (and how far this savoured of Atheism in him I leave to the courteous backbiter to judge); the next work after this was the writing from his own dictation some part, from time to time, of a Tractate which he thought fit to collect from the ablest of Divines who had written of that subject (AMESIUS, WOLLEBIUS, &c.)—viz. A Perfect System of Divinity; of which more hereafter." [Footnote: The books named in this extract from Phillips, but not in Milton's tract, may be noted:—The PALLADIUS, who is here added to the three Latin writers on Agriculture mentioned in the tract, lived probably in the fourth century, and left a treatise De Re Rustica, very popular through the Middle Ages. It had not been translated into English. FRONTINUS (who had preceded Agricola as Roman Governor of Britain, and died circ. A.D. 106) was the author of Stratagematicon Libri IV., a kind of anecdotic treatise on the Art of War; AELIANUS (time of the Emperor Hadrian) and POLYAENUS the Macedonian (second century) were Greek writers on the Military Art. Though Milton does not name them in his tract, he doubtless had them in view among Military Books to be read. Two of them had been translated into English—Frontinus, by "Richarde Morysine" (1539), and AElianus by "John Bingham" (1616-31). QUINTUS CALABER, the nature of whose Poem in 14 Books is sufficiently described in the text (really a native of Smyrna, but called "Calaber" because the best known copy of his Poem was found in Calabria), lived late in the fourth century; APOLLONIUS RHODIUS, so called because he lived long in Rhodes, though born in Alexandria, is a much earlier and much better known Greek poet (circ. B. C. 200). Neither of these Greek poets seems to have been translated in Milton's time. GEMINUS was a Greek mathematician of the first century, who seems to have lived in Rome, and who left an [Greek: Pisagogae kis ta phainomena], or treatise on the Sphere. Lowndes mentions no English version of it. URSTISIUS, who is mentioned for his Arithmetic, is CHRISTIAN WURZTICIUS, an Italian mathematician (1544-1588); RIFF I have not farther identified; PITISCUS is Bartholomew Pitiscus (1561-1613); and JOANNES DE SACRO BOSCO is the famous Englishman John Holywood (died 1256), whose treatise De Sphaera, often re-edited and re-published, was the most popular manual of Astronomy in the Middle Ages. VILLANI, the Florentine historian, died 1348; DAVITY, the French geographer, is unknown to me; AMESIUS, author of the Medella Theo logia and other theological works, is the William Ames (1576-1633), already known to us (Vol. II. p 579); and WOLLIBIUS (1536- 1626) was a Divine of Basle and author of Compendium Theologiae.]

What a busy domicile the wifeless house in Aldersgate Street must have been through the year 1644! Pupils and their lessons through the solid part of the day; only a margin, morning and evening, for Milton's own readings and meditations; the father sometimes with him for an hour or so of music, but oftener in his own room, "retired to his rest and devotion, without the least trouble imaginable;" every hour of the day crammed with work; even on the Sundays those expositions of the Greek Testament to his pupils, and those dictations to them in Latin of portions of a System of Divinity which he had resolved to compile from the Scriptures and the works of the best Protestant theologians! And yet it was out of this quiet and industrious household that there had burst upon the English public that thunderbolt of the Divorce heresy!


The Divorce idea still occupied Milton. On the 15th of July, 1644 (five weeks after the publication of the Tract on Education addressed to Hartlib, and five months and a half after the publication of the Second Edition of the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce), there was entered at Stationers' Hall another tract, which appeared on that day, or immediately afterwards, with this title: "The Judgement of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce. Writt'n to Edward the Sixt, in his Second Book of the Kingdom of Christ. And now Englisht. Wherein a late Book restoring the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, is heer confirm'd and justify'd by the authoritie of Martin Bucer. To the Parlament of England. John 3, 10: Art thou a teacher in Israel, and know'st not these things? Publisht by Authoritie. London, Printed by Matthew Simmons, 1644." Martin Bucer [Footnote: The entry in the Stationers' Hall Registeris as follows:—"July 15, 1614: Matt. Symmons cut. for his copie, under which, of Mr. Downham, and Mr. Parker, warden, the Judgment of Martin Bucer concerning Divorce, written to King Edw. ye 6th in the 2nd Book of the Kingdom of Xt.: Englished by Mr. Milton."] The tract consists of 40 small quarto pages in all; of which, however, only 24 are numbered. These numbered pages, forming the body of the tract, are abridged translations by Milton of the passages from Martin Bucer which he wished to introduce to the English public. They are preceded by six pages of "Testimonies of the high approbation which learned men have given of Martin Bucer" (viz. quotations by Milton from Calvin, Beza, Sturmius, and others, to show what a man Bucer was), and then by eight pages of closer type, addressed by Milton to the Parliament and signed with his name in full. At the end, after the numbered pages, there is a postscript of two pages, in which Milton again speaks directly, and winds up the tract.

The title-page of the tract indicates Milton's purpose in it, His original Divorce treatise had been put forth as the result of his own reasonings and meditations, without the knowledge that any had preceded him in the same track to anything like the same extent. While preparing the second edition he had become aware that strong support from learned authorities might be adduced for his doctrine; in especial, he had become aware that he had had a forerunner in the famous Reformer Paul Fagius. Much of the added matter in the second edition consisted, accordingly, in the citation of Fagius and other witnesses to strengthen his argument. Strangely enough, however, he was still unaware that he might have the benefit of a witness more renowned even than Paul Fagius. Not till May 1644 did he chance to learn this fact. "When the book," he says, "had been now the second time set forth well-nigh three months, as I best remember, I then first came to hear that Martin Bucer had written much concerning Divorce: whom earnestly turning over, I soon perceived, but not without amazement, in the same opinion, confirmed with the same reasons, which in that published book, without the help or imitation of any precedent writer, I had laboured out and laid together." The particular writing of Bucer's in which Milton found this extraordinary coincidence with his own views was the De Regno Christi ad Edw. VI., written by Bucer about 1550, but first published at Basle in 1557. There was reason, Milton is careful to impress on his readers, why Bucer, and Fagius along with Bucer, should be remembered with unusual reverence by the Protestants of England. Coming over to England in 1549, each with his great continental fame already won, they had been placed in Cambridge by the young Edward VI., then desirous of completing and perfecting the Reformation of his kingdom—Bucer as Professor of Divinity, and Fagius of Hebrew. Fagius had died in Cambridge in the same year, when he had barely begun to teach; Bucer, after he had taught for about eighteen months, died in the same place, Feb. 28, 1550-51. Both had thus breathed the last strength of their spirits into the Protestantism of England. Nay, they might be reckoned among the martyrs of English Protestantism; for, when Mary had succeeded Edward, had not their bodies been dug up, as the bodies of heretics, and publicly burnt to ashes in the Cambridge market-place? Let all this be remembered, and especially let it be remembered that Bucer had addressed his De Regno Christi to Edward VI., and intended its admonitions and instructions for the use of that monarch and his people. In that writing Bucer, though he had been dead a hundred years, was still speaking to the people of England, and telling them what remained to be done before their national reformation could be called thorough. Well, in that treatise there was a great deal about Divorce. Bucer had evidently made a study of the topic, and attached great importance to it. A large portion of the Second Book of the treatise consisted of nothing else; and it was this portion of the treatise only that Milton, partly in delight and partly in amazement at its accordance with his own doctrine, proposed to recover out of the neglected Latin, and present in plain English. Not that such drudgery of translation was to his taste. "Whether it be natural disposition or education in me, or that my mother bore me a speaker of what God made mine own, and not a translator," is his proud phrase of explanation why he could "never delight in long citations, much less in whole traductions." Even in this case he would only digest and epitomize. Beginning at Chap. XV. of the Second Book of Bucer's treatise, he would go on to Chap. XLVII. inclusively, indicating the contents of the successive chapters by headings, omitting what was irrelevant to his own purpose, and translating the passages that were most relevant. This is what is done in the 24 numbered pages which form the body of Milton's tract. They are a concatenation of dryish morsels from Bucer, duly labelled and introduced; but they make it clear that Bucer's notion of marriage was substantially the same as Milton's.

As respects Milton himself, the portion of his new Tract which is of greatest interest is the prefixed Address to the Parliament. It is noteworthy that, whereas the Second Edition of his original Divorce treatise is dedicated to "the Parliament of England with the Assembly," the new tract is dedicated to the Parliament only. The Address makes the reason of this plain. It is here, in fact, that we first hear from Milton himself of the obloquy to which his Divorce Doctrine had subjected him. It had begun, he now tells us (and we have already used the information), almost immediately after the publication of the first, and anonymous, edition of his original treatise—his style then betraying him to be the author, and some of the clergy opening loud cry against him in consequence. This had induced him to bring out the second edition, not anonymous, but openly acknowledged. Though aware of the declared hostility among the clergy, he had not then deemed it proper to descant on that subject, but had, in courtesy, dedicated the Second Edition to the Assembly in conjunction with the Parliament. Even then he had no doubt from which of the two bodies he would receive the fairer treatment. "I was confident," he says in his present address of the Bucer tract to the Parliament, "if anything generous, anything noble and above the multitude, were yet left in the spirit of England, it could be nowhere sooner found, and nowhere sooner understood, than in that House of Justice and true Liberty where ye sit in Council." Here the Assembly is ignored, and the insinuation is that, though he had included them in the dedication, it was rather by way of form than in real trust. This had been in Feb. 1643-4, and now, in July 1644, he knew his position so precisely that there was no need for farther reticence. He had not been disappointed in the Parliament. He had had hope in them; "nor doth the event hitherto, for some reasons which I shall not here deliver, fail me of what I conceived so highly." The words I have put in italics can bear no other construction than that Milton had reason to know, from private assurances, which he regarded as confidential, that some leading men in Parliament thought him perfectly entitled to broach his doctrine, and would take care that he should not be troubled for it. He was not uninformed either, he adds, that "divers learned and judicious men," both in and out of Parliament, had "testified their daily approbation" of his treatise. With the Assembly, however, he knew it to be all over. Though from them above all, by reason of "their profession and supposed knowledge," his treatise had deserved a fair hearing, all that he had received was to be "esteemed the deviser of a new and pernicious paradox." He does not, indeed, name the Assembly while intimating this, but only refers to the clergy generally and dispersedly. That he had the Assembly distinctly in view, however, appears not only from the tenor of the whole, but also from a passage in the Postscript, where he hints that such action was at work against him that he might be stopped any day by the official censorship and prevented from printing. If, therefore, this new tract should be permitted to appear, only to the Parliament would he dedicate it. But, while dedicated to the Parliament, it was intended for the Assembly. It was a challenge to them. The Reverend gentlemen had refused to consider the Doctrine of Divorce when propounded by their contemporary, a private layman and reasoner. They had thought it worthy only of denunciation as an impious paradox, destructive of morality and social order. What would they now say to the same Doctrine exhibited to them, chapter and verse, as the doctrine of one of the great European Reformers and Divines, whose name was often in their mouths, though they knew so little about him?

While the Address to Parliament thus makes clear Milton's consciousness that the Assembly were watching him and might at any time denounce him, there is yet another curious strain in it, interesting as an illustration of the writer's character. Milton was evidently divided between delight in having found Bucer his predecessor in the doctrine and a proud feeling of his own self-earned property in the same. Not even to Bucer would he yield the palm of this discovery; nay, generally, he did not care though it should be known that, while he reverenced Bucer and such men of the past, he did not think that God's power to create and endow exceptional human spirits had so exhausted itself in that time and that group of men but that work higher than aught of mere discipleship to any of them might be reserved for himself. Here Milton is in one of his constitutional moods; and it is interesting to observe with what constancy to it he treats the small fact of a discovered coincidence in opinion between himself and Bucer. The following passage will suffice in this respect, and also as a specimen of the whole tract:—

"I may justly gratulate mine own mind with due acknowledgment of assistance from above, which led me, not as a learner, but as a collateral teacher, to a sympathy of judgment with no less a man than Martin Bucer. And he, if our things here below arrive him where he is, does not repent him to see that point of knowledge which he first, and with an unchecked freedom, preached to those more knowing times of England, now found so necessary, though what he admonished were lost out of our memory, yet that God doth now again create the same doctrine in another unwritten table [the tabula rasa of Milton's mind], and raises it up immediately out of his pure oracle to the convincement of a perverse age, eager in the reformation of names and ceremonies, but in realities as traditional and as ignorant as their forefathers. I would ask now the foremost of my profound accusers whether they dare affirm that to be licentious, new and dangerous, which Martin Bucer so often and so urgently avouched to be moot lawful, most necessary, and most Christian, without the least blemish. to his good name among all the worthy men of that age and since who testify so highly of him. If they dare, they must then set up an arrogance of their own against all those churches and saints who honoured him without this exception. If they dare not, how can they now make that licentious doctrine in another which was never blamed or confuted in Bucer or in Fagius? The truth is, there will be due to them, for this their unadvised rashness, the best donative that can be given them—I mean a round reproof [a hint to Parliament about the Assembly?]; now that, where they thought to be most magisterial, they have displayed their own want both of reading and of judgment: first, to be so unacquainted in the writings of Bucer, which are so obvious and so useful in their own faculty; next, to be so caught in a prejudicating weakness as to condemn that for lewd which, whether they knew or not, these elect servants of Christ commended for lawful, and for new that which was taught by these, almost the first and greatest authors of Reformation, who were never taxed for so teaching, and dedicated without scruple to a royal pair of the first Reforming kings in Christendom [Edward VI., for whom Bucer's De Regno Christi was written, and Christian III. of Denmark, to whom it was dedicated when published at Basle in 1557], and confessed in the public Confession of a most orthodoxal Church and State in Germany [the church and community of Strasburg, in whose Confession, according to Milton, Bucer's Divorce Doctrine had been adopted]. This is also another fault which I must tell them—that they have stood now almost this whole year clamouring afar off, while the Book [Milton's Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce] hath been twice printed, twice bought up, and never once vouchsafed a friendly conference with the author, who would be glad and thankful to be shown an error, either by private dispute or public answer, and could retract as well as wise men before him: might also be worth the gaining, as one who heretofore hath done good service to the Church, by their own confession. ... However, if we know at all when to ascribe the occurrences of this life to the work of a special Providence, as nothing is more usual in the talk of good men, what can be more like to a special providence of God than in the first Reformation of England that this question of Divorce, as a main thing to be restored to just freedom, was written, and seriously commended to Edward the Sixth, by a man called from another country to be an instructor of our nation, and now, in this present renewing of the Church and Commonwealth, which we pray may be more lasting, that same question should be again treated and presented to this Parliament by one enabled to use the same reasons without the least sight or knowledge of what was done before. It were no trespass, Lords and Commons, though something of less note were attributed to the ordering of a Heavenly Power. This question, therefore, of such prime concernment to Christian and Civil welfare, in such an extraordinary manner not recovered, but plainly twice-born to these latter ages, as from a divine hand, I tender to your acceptance and most considerate thoughts."


Whether up to this time (July 1644) there had been any open mention of Milton and his Doctrine in the Westminster Assembly, anything more than muttered thunder among the Divines in their private colloquies, can be but guessed. It is quite possible that he was publicly named, and not by mere implication, among the Sects and Sectaries generally. There may even be record of the fact somewhere, though I have found none in Lightfoot's Notes of the Assembly, nor in Gillespie's, nor in Baillie's Letters. But the peal was coming, and this daring challenge to the Assembly in his Bucer tract may have helped to provoke it.

When the tract was published, the Assembly was about to break up for that fortnight's vacation (July 23-Aug. 7) which we have represented as so important a notch in its proceedings. Or, indeed, the Assembly may have been in its vacation when the tract appeared; for, though registered at the Stationers' Hall July 15, it may not have been in circulation till a week later. At all events, when the Assembly met again, and when, as we have seen, it fell, as if by concert, on the subject of the multiplication of the Sectaries and their insolences, then Milton was among the first attacked. He was one of a batch of eleven persons, including also Roger Williams, John Goodwin, Clement Wrighter, and some Anabaptists and Antinomians, whom the Assembly denounced to Parliament as prime offenders. This fact, already noticed in its place in our general history, has now again to be presented more in detail.

The first publicly to blow the trumpet against Milton, the reader already knows, was Mr. Herbert Palmer. He did so in his Sermon before the two Houses of Parliament in St. Margaret's, Westminster, on the Extraordinary Day of Humiliation, Tuesday, Aug. 13, six days after the Assembly had resumed its sittings. Here is the particular passage in the Sermon:—

"But against a Toleration in general even the COVENANT itself, in that very Article [Article II.], hath a reason suitable to the Text [Psalm xcix, 8]. 'Lest we partake of other men's sins, and be in danger to receive of their plagues.' saith the Covenant; which in the language of the Text is 'Lest God take vengeance on their inventions' and ours together. It is true that the name of Conscience hath an awful sound unto a conscientious ear. But, I pray, judge but in a few instances whether all pretence of Conscience ought to be a sufficient plea for Toleration and Liberty:—1. There be those that say their conscience is against all taking of an oath before a magistrate. Will you allow an universal liberty of this? What then will become of all our legal and judicial proceedings? which are confined to this way of proof: and so it was by God appointed, and hath been by all nations practised. 2. There be some that pretend Liberty of Conscience to equivocate in an oath even before a magistrate, and to elude all examinations by mental reservations. Will you grant them this liberty; or can you, without destroying all bonds of civil converse, and wholly overthrowing of all human judicature? 3. If any plead Conscience for the lawfulness of Polygamy; or for Divorce for other causes than Christ and His Apostles mention (of which a wicked look is abroad and uncensured, though deserving to be burnt, whose Author hath been so impudent as to set his name to it and dedicate it to yourselves); or for liberty to many incestuously—will you grant a toleration for all this?"

Palmer goes on to instance four other opinions which might ask for toleration, but which are in their nature so subversive of all authority and all civil order that the bare imagination of their being tolerated is, he thinks, a reductio ad absurdum of the idea of a Universal Toleration. What has been quoted, however, will show whereabouts among the Sectaries he placed Milton. He cited him as the advocate of an opinion so monstrous that no sane person could think of tolerating it. And it is to be noted that, though he gives other instances of such monstrous opinions tending to practical anarchy, Milton is the only person openly referred to in this extreme category, and his book the only book. On the same day, Mr. Hill, Palmer's fellow-preacher before Parliament, referred by implication to Roger Williams's Bloody Tenent, which had been burnt by the hangman a day or two before; and here was Palmer mentioning with less reserve, Milton's Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce as richly deserving the same fate. Williams, we know, was happily on his way back to America at the time; but Milton was at hand, in his house in Aldersgate Street, whenever he should be wanted.

To be preached at before the two Houses of Parliament, on a solemn Fast Day, by an eminent Divine of the Westminster Assembly, was, I should say, a ten times greater trial of a man's equanimity in those days than it would be in these to waken one morning and find oneself the subject of a scathing onslaught in the columns of the leading newspaper. It was positively the worst blast from the black trumpet of the wind-god AEolus then possible for any inhabitant of England; and not even that poor company of suitors to whom, in Chaucer's poem, fickle Queen Fame awarded this black blast from the wind-god, instead of the blast of praise from his golden trumpet which they were expecting, can have been more discomfited than most persons would have been had they been in Milton's place a day or two after Palmer's sermon. [Footnote: Cromwell was away with the Arms, but Vane may have heard Palmer's sermon. Baillie was certainly present, with the other Scottish Commissioners; and he was delighted with Palmer's outspokenness. See ante, p 162]

What did this AEolus, but he Took out his black trumpe of brass, That fouler than the Devil was, And gan this trumpe for to blow As all the world should overthrow. Throughout every regioun Went this foule trumpe's soun, As swift as pellet out of gun When tire is in the powder run; And such a smoke gan outwend Out of the foule trumpe's end, Black, blue, greenish, swartish, red, As dote where that men melt lead, Lo! all on high from the tewelle. And thereto one thing saw I well— That, the farther that it ran, The greater waxen it began, As doth the river from a well; And it stank as the pit of Hell. [Footnote: Chaucer's "House of Fame" III. 516-564. Teaelle is the trumpet's mouth (French tuyau, pipe or nozzle).]


Among the haunts and corners of London into which the smoke of Mr. Palmer's pulpit-blast against Milton had penetrated, and where it had whirled and eddied most persistently, was the Hall of the Stationers' Company, the centre of the London book-trade. Actually, as the reader has been informed Palmer's sermon, and the general frenzy of the Assembly on the subject of the increase of heresy and schism, had so perturbed the whole society of booksellers that, on Saturday the 24th of August, the eleventh day after the sermon, they presented a petition to the Commons, exonerating themselves from all responsibility in the growing evil, and pointing out that the blasphemous and pernicious opinions complained of were ventilated in unlicensed and unregistered pamphlets, grievous to the soul of the regular book-trade, injurious to its pockets, and contrary to the express ordinance of Parliament. That such was the tenor of the Petition of the Stationers, and that they gave instances of illegal pamphlets of the kind described, and laid stress on Milton's Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce as one most flagrant instance, appears from the action of the House of Commons in consequence. Without a day's delay (Aug. 26), the Commons referred the Petition to "the Committee for Printing," with instructions to hear parties, consider the whole business, consult the existing Parliamentary Ordinance for the regulation of Printing, and bring in a new or supplementary Ordinance with all convenient speed. They were likewise "diligently to inquire out" the authors, printers, and publishers of the Divorce Pamphlet, and of another, then in circulation, against the Immortality of the Soul. That the Committee might have fresh energy in it for the purpose, four new members were added, viz. Sir Philip Stapleton, Sir Thomas Widdrington, Mr. Stephens, and Mr. Baynton. [Footnote: See the text of the order, ante, pp. 1645, I now add the names of the new members of Committee from the Commons Journal, Aug. 26, 1641.]

Here then, in the end of August 1644, Milton was not only within the smoke of infamy blown upon him by Palmer's sermon, but also within the clutches of a Parliamentary Committee. They might call him to account not only for publishing dangerous and unusual opinions, but also for having broken the Parliamentary Ordinance for the regulation of Printing. We must now explain distinctly what that Ordinance was.

From the beginning of the Long Parliament, as we know sufficiently by this time, there had been a relaxation, or rather a total breakdown, of the former laws for the regulation of the Press. In the newly-found liberty of the nation to think and to speak, all bonds of censorship were burst, and books of all kinds, but especially pamphlets on the current questions, were sent forth by their authors very much at their own discretion. The proportion of those that went through the legal ceremonial of being authorized by an appointed licenser, and registered in the Stationers' books by the Company's clerk under farther order from one of the Company's wardens, must, I should say, have been quite inconsiderable in comparison with the number that flew about printed anywhere and anyhow. Milton had been conspicuously careless or bold in this respect. Not one of his five Anti-Episcopal pamphlets, published in 1641 and 1642, had been licensed or registered; nor did any one of them bear his name, though he made no real concealment of that, and though each of them bore the printer's or publisher's name, or the address of the shop where it was on sale. Milton's friends, the Smectymnuans, had attended to the legal punctualities in some of their publications; but Milton's practice seems to have been the more general one among authors and pamphleteers. Nor did they need to resort any longer to clandestine presses, or to printers and booksellers who, not being members of the Stationers' Company, had no title to engage in such book- commerce at all, and were liable to prosecution for doing so. Even regular booksellers and printers who were freemen of the Stationers' Company had been infected by the general lawlessness, and had fallen into the habit of publishing books and pamphlets without caring whether they were licensed, and without taking the trouble of registering their copyright; which, indeed, they could hardly do if the books were unlicensed. All Milton's Anti-Episcopal pamphlets, I think, were published by such regular printers or booksellers. But worse and worse. Some of the less scrupulous members of the Stationers' Company had found an undue advantage in this lax conduct of the book-business, and had begun to reprint and vend books the copyright in which belonged to their brethren in the trade. This last being the sorest evil, it was perhaps as much in consequence of repeated representations of its prevalence by the authorities of the Stationers' Company as on any grounds of public damage by the circulation of political libels and false opinions, that the Parliament still kept up the fiction of a law, and made attempt after attempt to regain the control of the Press. That they did so is the fact. Entries on the subject—sometimes in the form of notices of petitions from the Stationers' Company, sometimes in that of injunctions by Parliament to the Stationers' Company to be more vigilant—are found at intervals in the Journals of both Houses through 1641 and 1642. Particular books were condemned, and their authors inquired after or called to account, and offending printers and publishers were also brought to trouble. The Parliament had even tried to institute a new agency of censorship in the form of Committees for Printing, and licensers appointed by these Committees. Such licensers were either members of Parliament selected for the duty, or Parliamentary officials, or persons out-of-doors in whom Parliament could trust. Through 1641 and 1642 I find the following persons, among others. licensing books—John Pym, Sir Edward Deering, the elder Sir Henry Vane, Mr. (Century) White, and a Dr. Wykes, but I find evidence that the Parliament and its Committees for Printing had really, in a great measure, to leave the licensing of books to the Wardens of the Stationers' Company. [Footnote: My MS notes from the Stationers' Register for the years named] In short, the Press had escaped all effective supervision whatsoever. This is most strikingly proved by the Stationers' Registers for 1642. While for the previous year, ending Dec. 31, 1641, the total number of entries on the Register had been 240, the total number in this year, ending Dec. 31, 1642, was only 76; of which 76 less than half fell in the second half of the year, when the Civil War had just commenced. Actually, of all the publications which came out this year in England, not more than at the rate of three a fortnight regularly registered throughout the whole year, and hardly more than one a week during the second half of the year! Clearly, censorship and registration had then become an absolute farce.

The same state of things continued into the first half of the year 1643. Between Jan. 1 of that year (Jan. 1, 1642-3, as we now mark it) and July 4, I find the number of entries to have been not more than 35—still a preposterously small number in proportion to the crowd of publications which these six months must have produced. But exactly at the middle of this year the Registers exhibit a remarkable phenomenon. Although in the first half of the year only 35 new publications had been registered, the entries in the second half of the year swell suddenly to 333, or ten times as many as in the first half. In the month of July alone there were 63 entries, or nearly twice as many as in the preceding six months together; in August there were 57; in September 58; in October 48; in November 56; and in December 51. Little wonder that, on going over the Registers long ago, I made this note in connexion with the year 1643: "Curious year: the swelling out in the latter half, so that only 35 in first half and 333 in second: inquire into causes." I ought to have known the chief cause at the time I made the note. It was the parsing, in June 1643, of a new, strict, and minutely framed Ordinance for Printing.

Forced by the public necessities of the case, including the necessity of preventing the diffusion of Royalist tracts and sheets of intelligence, or by the trade complaints of the Stationers' Company, or by both combined, the Commons at last addressed themselves to the subject resolutely. On June 10 an "Ordinance to prevent and suppress the Licence of Printing" was read in their House, agreed to, and sent to the Lords; on June 14 the Lords concurred, and signified their concurrence to the Commons; and, certain farther arrangement of detail having been made by the Commons on the 16th, the 20th, and the 21st of the same month, the Ordinance forthwith came into operation. The Ordinance (with the omission of clauses relative to printing of Parliamentary papers and to mere piracy of copyrights) is as follows:—

"Whereas divers good orders have been lately made by both Houses of Parliament for suppressing the late great abuses and frequent disorders in printing many forged, scandalous, seditious, libellous and unlicensed Papers, Pamphlets and Books, to the great defamation of Religion and Government—which orders (notwithstanding the diligence of the Company of Stationers to put them in full execution) have taken little or no effect, by reason the Bill in preparation for the redress of the said disorders hath hitherto been retarded through the present distractions, and very many, as well Stationers and Printers, as others of sundry other professions not free of the Stationers' Company, have taken upon them to set up sundry private printing-presses in corners, and to print, vend, publish and disperse Books, Pamphlets and Papers, in such multitudes that no industry could be sufficient to discover or bring to punishment all the several abounding delinquents.... It is therefore ordered that no ... Book, Pamphlet, Paper, nor part of any such Book, Pamphlet or Paper, shall from henceforth be printed, bound, stitched, or put to sale by any person or persons whatsoever, unless the same be first approved of and licensed under the hands of such person or persons as both or either of the said Houses shall appoint for the licensing of the same, and entered in the Register Book of the Company of Stationers according to ancient custom, and the Printer thereof to put his name thereto.... And the Master and Wardens of the said Company, the Gentleman-Usher of the House of Peers, the Sergeant of the Commons House, and their Deputies ... are hereby authorized and required from time to time to make diligent search in all places where they shall think meet for all unlicensed printing presses ... and to seize and carry away such printing-presses ... and likewise to make diligent search in all suspected printing-houses, warehouses, shops and other places ... and likewise to apprehend all Authors, Printers, and other persons whatsoever employed in compiling, printing, stitching, binding, publishing and dispersion of the said scandalous, unlicensed and unwarrantable Papers, Books and Pamphlets ... and to bring them, afore either of the Houses, or the Committee of Examinations, that so they may receive such farther punishments as their offences shall demerit.... And all Justices of the Peace, Captains, Constables and other officers, are hereby ordered and required to be aiding and assisting to the foresaid persons in the due execution of all and singular the premises, and in the apprehension of offenders against the same, and, in case of opposition, to break open doors and locks.—And it is further ordered that this Order be forthwith printed and published, to the end that notice may be taken thereof, and all contemners of it left inexcusable."

Such was the famous Ordinance for Printing of the Long Parliament, dated June 14, 1643. Within a week afterwards it was brought into working trim by the nomination of the persons to whom the business of licensing was to be entrusted. For Books of Divinity a staff of twelve Divines was appointed, the imprimatur of any one of whom should be sufficient—to wit: Mr. THOMAS GATAKER, Mr. CALIBUTE DOWNING, Dr. THOMAS TEMPLE, Mr. JOSEPH CARYL, Mr. EDMUND CALAMY, Mr. CHARLES HEKLE, Mr. OBADIAH SEDGWICK, Mr. CARTER of Yorkshire, Mr. JOHN DOWNHAM, Mr. JAMES CRANFORD, Mr. BACHELER, and Mr. JOHN ELLLS, junior. The first seven of these, it will be noted (if not also the eighth), were members of the Westminster Assembly; the others were, I think, all parish-ministers in or near London. For what we should call Miscellaneous Literature, including Poetry, History, and Philosophy, the licensers appointed were Sir NATHANIEL BRENT (Judge of the Prerogative Court), Mr. JOHN LANGLEY (successor of Gill the younger in the Head-mastership of St. Paul's School), and Mr. FARNABIE. The licensing of Law-Books was to belong to certain designated Judges and Serjeants-at-law; of Books of Heraldry, to the three Herald Kings at Arms; of Mathematical Books, Almanacks, and Prognostications, to the Reader in Mathematics at Gresham College for the time being, or a certain Mr. Booker instead; and for things of no consequence—viz. "small pamphlets, portraitures, pictures and the like" —the Clerk of the Stationers' Company for the time being was to be authority enough.[Footnote: The Ordinance is printed in the Lords Journals under date June 14, 1644. Rushworth prints it under the same date (V. 335-6), and adds the names of the licensers, as appointed by the Commons June 20 and 21.]

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