The Life of John Milton Vol. 3 1643-1649
by David Masson
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The effects of this new Ordinance of Parliament were immediately visible. Whether because Parliament itself now seemed in earnest for the control of the Press, or because the new staff of licensers were determined to exercise their powers and earn their perquisites, or because the Master and Wardens of the Stationers' Company then in. office felt their hands strengthened and worked hard (Mr. Samuel Bourne was Master, and Mr. Samuel Man and Mr. Richard Whittaker were Wardens), certain it is that authors, printers, and publishers were brought at once into greater obedience. Ten times as many books, pamphlets and papers, we have shown, were duly licensed and registered in the second half of the year 1643, or from the date of the new Ordinance onwards, as had been licensed and registered in the preceding half-year.[Footnote: I ought to note, however, that the swelling out is caused chiefly by the shoals of Mercuries, Diurnals, Scouts, Intelligencers,&c. that were now registered. These news-sheets of the Civil War, the infant forms of our newspapers, had previously appeared at will; and there seems to have been particular activity in bringing them under the operation of the Ordinance, so as to deprive Royalism of the aid of the Press.]

Now, it so chanced that the first edition of Milton's Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce had been ready for the press exactly after the new Ordinance had come into operation. What had been his behaviour? He had paid no attention to the Ordinance whatever. He had been one of those "contemners" of it whom the Ordinance itself had taken the precaution of rendering inexcusable by the clause ordering its own publication! The treatise had appeared on or about the 3rd of August, unlicensed and unregistered, just as its predecessors, the Anti-Episcopal pamphlets, had been. Nay, there was this difference, that there was no printer's full name on the title-page of the Divorce treatise, but only the semi- anonymous, declaration "Printed by T. P. and M. S. in Goldsmiths' Alley" [Footnote: See full title-page, ante, p. 44. ] That Milton had acted deliberately in all this there can be no doubt. Not that we need suppose him to have made it a point of honour to outbrave the new law in general by continuing to publish without a licence; but because, in this particular case, he had no choice but to do so, and did not mind doing so. He wanted to publish his new Doctrine of Divorce: was he to go the round of the twelve Reverend Gentlemen who had just been appointed licensers of all books of Theology and Ethics, and wait till he found one of them sufficiently obtuse, or sufficiently asleep, to give his imprimatur to a doctrine so shocking? Clearly, nothing remained but to get any printer to undertake the treatise that would print it in its unlicensed state, the printer trusting the author and both running the risk. Whatever hesitations the printer may have had, Milton had none. He had taken no pains to conceal the authorship; and, when he found the doctrine of the treatise in disrepute, he had disdained even the pretence of the anonymous. The second edition, published in February 1643-4, appeared, as the first had done, without licence or registration, and indeed with no more distinct imprint at the foot of the title-page than "London, Imprinted in the yeare 1664"; but, to make up for this informality, it contained Milton's dedication to the Parliament and the Assembly signed with his name. It was as if he said, "I do break your Ordinance for Printing, but I let you know who I am that do so." Since then Milton had published two more pamphlets—his Tract on Education, addressed to Hartlib (June 1644), and his Bucer Tract, continuing the Divorce subject (July 1644). In both of these he had conformed to the Ordinance. Both are duly registered in the Stationers' Books, the former as having been licensed by Mr. Cranford (ante, p. 233), the latter by Mr. Downham (ante, p. 255). In licensing the new Divorce Tract, even though it did consist mainly of extracts from Bucer, Mr. Downham must have been either off his guard or very good-natured.

Milton's carelessness or contempt of the Ordinance for Printing had now found him out. The charge of heresy, or of monstrous and dangerous opinion, preferred against him by Palmer and the clergy, was one about which there might be much argument pro and con, and with which most Parliamentary men might not be anxious to meddle. But here, in aid of that charge, another charge, much more definite, had been brought forward. The officials of the Stationers' Company were chosen from year to year; and the Master for the year beginning in the middle of 1644 was Mr. Robert Mead, with Mr. John Parker and Mr. Richard Whittaker for Wardens. It was these persons, if I mistake not, who thought themselves bound, either by sympathy with the horror caused by Milton's doctrine, or by sheer official duty, to oblige Mr. Palmer and his brethren of the Assembly by pointing out that both the editions of Milton's obnoxious pamphlet had been published in evasion of the law. There can be little doubt that the Assembly divines and the London clergy generally were at the back of the affair; but it was convenient for them to put forward others as the nominal accusers. "The Stationers' Company," these accusers virtually said, "knows nothing of these two publications, and has none of the discredit of them; they are not registered in the Company's books, and do not appear to have been ever licensed; and, if Mr. Milton, who has avowed himself the author, is to be questioned for the doctrine advanced in them, perhaps it would be well that he should at the same time have the imprints on his two title-pages put before him—'Printed by T. P. and M. S. in Goldsmiths' Alley,' and 'London, Imprinted in the yeare 1644'—and asked how he dared defy the law in that way, and who the printers are that abetted him." Such, studying all the particulars, is the most exact interpretation I can put on the Petition of the Stationers' Company to the Commons, Aug. 24, as it affected Milton. There was a trade-feeling behind it. There was a resentment against certain printers and booksellers (probably quite well known to the Master and Wardens) for their contempt of trade-discipline, as well as against Milton for his part in the matter. It was really rather hard on Milton. For, doubtless, the new Ordinance for Printing had been passed by Parliament not with a view to any application of it to sound Parliamentarians like him, but as a check upon writers of the other side; and, doubtless, he was not singular in having neglected the Ordinance. Probably scores of Parliamentarian writers had taken the same liberty. Still, as he had offended against the letter of the law, and as those whom his doctrine had shocked now chose to avail themselves of this offence of his against the letter of the law, he found himself in an awkward position. All depended on the discretion of that "Committee of Printing," reinforced by four additional members, to which the Commons (Aug. 26) had entrusted the delicate task of dealing with him, and the farther task of revising the Ordinance of the previous year and seeing whether it could be improved or extended. They might trouble him much, or they might let him alone.

They let him alone. The Committee, I find, did indeed proceed so far in the general business assigned to them. They must have even drafted some new or supplementary Ordinance for the regulation of Printing, and obtained the agreement of the House to the draft; for, though I am unable to find any record of such proceeding in the Commons' Journals, there is this distinct entry in the Lords' Journals under date Sept. 18, 1644: "A message was brought from the House of Commons by Mr. Rous and others, to desire concurrence in two Ordinances—(1) Concerning Ordination of Ministers, (2) Concerning Printing. The answer returned was, That this House will send an answer to this message by messengers of their own." The Lords, it appears in the sequel, did apply themselves to the Ordination Ordinance, so that the Commons received it back amended, and it passed, Oct. 1. But I find no farther mention of the new Printing Ordinance. Cromwell's great Accommodation or Toleration motion, passed in the Commons, in Solicitor St. John's modified form, on the 13th of September, had, it may be remembered, caused a sudden pause among the Presbyterian zealots. It may have helped indirectly to strangle many things; and I should not wonder if among them was the prosecution of the business prescribed to the Committee of Printing by the Order of Aug. 26. The Accommodation Order was a demand generally for clearer air and breathing-room for everybody, more of English freedom, and less of Scottish inquisitorship. If there had been ever any real intention among the Parliamentary people to proceed against Milton, it had now to be dropped.


One good effect the incident had produced. It had prescribed for Milton a new piece of work. This Parliamentary Ordinance for Printing with which it had been proposed to crush him; this whole system of Censorship and licensing of books that had prevailed so long in England and almost everywhere else; this delegation of the entire control of a nation's Literature to a state-agency consisting of a few prejudiced parsons and schoolmasters seated atop, to decide what should go into the funnel, and a Company of Stationers seated below, to see that nothing else came out of the funnel:-was not this a subject on which something might be said? Would it not be more than a revenge if Milton were to express his thoughts on this subject? Would it not be a service of moment to England? What might not be hoped for from the Parliament if they were fitly addressed on such a theme? It was the great question of Liberty in all its forms that England was then engaged in. Civil Liberty, Liberty of Worship, Liberty of Conscience, were the phrases ringing in the English air. But in the midst of this general clamour for Liberty no one yet had moved for one form of Liberty, which would be a very substantial instalment of the whole, and yet was practicable and perhaps within sight—the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing. Let this then be Milton's new undertaking! In the fact that it had been so clearly assigned to him, nay, forced upon him by circumstances, he began to discern a certain regulation, not quite dependent on his own forethought, of the recent course of his life. "When the Bishops at length had fallen prostrate, aimed at by the shafts of all, and there was no more trouble from them," he afterwards wrote, reviewing this portion of his life, "then I turned my thoughts to other matters—if I might in anything promote the cause of true and solid liberty; which is chiefliest to be sought for not without, but within, and to be gained not by fighting, but by the right basing and the right administration of life. When, therefore, I perceived that there are in all three sorts of liberty, without the presence of which life can hardly anyhow be suitably gone through—Ecclesiastical, Domestic or Private, and Civil—then, as I had already written on the first, and as I saw that the Magistrate was sedulously occupied with the third, I took to myself that which was left second, viz. Domestic Liberty. That also appearing to consist of three parts—whether Marriage were rightly arranged, whether the Education of Children were properly conducted, and whether, finally, there were the power of free Philosophising—I explained what I thought, not only concerning the due contracting of Marriage, but also, if it were necessary, the due dissolution of the same.... On that subject I put forth some books, exactly at that time when husband and wife were often the bitterest enemies, he at home with his children, and she, the mother of the family, busy in the camp of the enemy, threatening death and destruction to her husband.... Then I treated the Education Question more briefly in one little book.... Finally, on the subject of the liberation of the Press, so that the judgment of the true and the false, what should be published and what suppressed, should not be in the hands of a few men, and these mostly unlearned and of common capacity, erected into a censorship over books—an agency through which no one almost either can or will send into the light anything that is above the vulgar taste—on this subject, in the form of an express oration, I wrote my Areopagitica." [Footnote: The Latin of the passage will be found in the Defensio Secunda pro Popalo Anglicano.] In this passage, written in 1654, there is a slight anachronism. All Milton's Marriage and Divorce tracts had not yet been published: two of them were still to come. At the moment at which we have arrived, however, that mapping out of his labours on the Domestic or Private form of the general question of Liberty which the passage explains must have already been in his mind. He had written largely on a Reform in Marriage and Divorce, and more briefly on a Reform in Education. In the Marriage and Divorce subject he had found himself met with an opposition which did not permit him yet to lay it aside; but meanwhile, in consequence of that opposition, nay, of the very form it had taken, there had dawned on him, by way of interlude and yet of strictly continuous industry, a great third enterprise. In any lull of war with the Titans what is Jove doing? Fingering his next thunderbolt. Released from all trouble by the Committee of the Commons, and left at leisure in Aldersgate Street, through September, October, and November, 1644, what was Milton doing? Preparing his Areopagitica.

It appeared November 24, a month after the Second Battle of Newbury, and the very day before that outbreak by Cromwell, against the Earl of Manchester for slackness in the battle, which led to the Self-Denying Ordinance and the New-Modelling of the Army. It was a small quarto of 40 pages with this title:—


A Speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicens'd Printing, to the Parlament of England.

[Greek: Touleutheron d'ekeino, ei tis thelei polei Chraeston ti bouleum eis meson pherein, echon. Kai tauth o chraezon, lampros esth, o mae thelon, Siga ti touton estin isaiteron polei;] Euripid. Hicetid.

This is true Liberty, when free-born men Having to advise the public may speak free, Which he who can, and will, deserv's high praise, Who neither can nor will, may hold his peace; What can be juster in a State than this? Euripid. Hicetid. London, Printed in the yeare 1644.

There was no printer's or bookseller's name to the pamphlet; and it came forth unlicensed and unregistered. It would have been indeed absurd to ask one of the Censors to license a pamphlet cutting up the whole system of Censorship. Still here was another deliberate breach of the law by Milton. It was probably to soften and veil the offence that the pamphlet was cast into the form of a continuous Speech or Pleading by Milton to Parliament directly, without recognition of the public in preface or epilogue. [Footnote: That Nov. 24, 1644, was the day of the publication of the Areopagitica I learn from Thomason's MS. note "Novemb. 24" in the copy among the King's Pamphlets in the British Museum; Press Mark 12. G. e.9./182.]

The Areopagitica is now by far the best-known of Milton's pamphlets, and indeed the only one of his prose-works generally read. Knowing his other prose-writings, I have sometimes been angry at this choice of one of his pamphlets by which to recollect him as an English prose-writer. I have ascribed it to our cowardly habit of taking delight only in what we already agree with, of liking to read only what we already think, or have been schooled into considering glorious, axiomatic, and British. As there are parts of Milton's prose-writings that would be even now as discomposing and irritating to an orthodox Briton as to an orthodox Spaniard or Russian, a genuine British reader might be expected perhaps to tend to those parts by preference. Hence there is something not wholly pleasing in the exclusive rush in our country now-a-days upon the Areopagitica as representative of Milton's prose. And yet the reasons for the fact are perhaps sufficient. Though the doctrine of the Treatise is now axiomatic, one remembers, as one reads, that the battle for it had then to be fought, that Milton was the first and greatest to fight it, and that this very book did more than any other to make the doctrine an axiom in Britain. But, besides this historical interest, the book possesses an interest of peculiar literary attractiveness. It is perhaps the most skilful of all Milton's prose- writings, the most equable and sustained, the easiest to be read straight through at once, and the fittest to leave one glowing sensation of the power of the author's genius. It is a pleading of the highest eloquence and courage, with interspersed passages of curious information, keen wit, and even a rich humour, such as we do not commonly look for in Milton. He must have taken great pains to make the performance popular.

After an exordium of respectful compliment to the Parliament, the rhetorical skill of which is as masterly as the sincerity is obvious, Milton announces his purpose. He thinks so highly of the Parliament that he will pay them the supreme compliment of questioning the wisdom of one of their ordinances and asking them to repeal it. He then quotes the leading clause of the Printing Ordinance of June 14, 1643, enacting that no Book, Pamphlet, or Paper should thenceforth be printed unless it had previously been approved and licensed by the official censors or one of them. He is to challenge, he says, only that part of the Ordinance. He is not to challenge the part for preventing piracy of copyright; which he thinks quite just, though he can see that it may be abused so as to annoy honest men and booksellers. From a passage farther on we learn also that Milton did not object to a prohibition of anonymous publication; for he refers with entire approbation to a previous Parliamentary Ordinance, enacting that no book should be printed unless the names of the author and printer, or at least that of the printer, were registered. If Parliament had stopped at that Order, they would have been well advised; it is the licensing Enactment of the subsequent Order of June 1643 that he is to reason against. Books, indeed, were things of which a Commonwealth ought to take no less vigilant charge than of their living subjects, "For Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul whose progeny they are." All the more reason to beware of violence against books. "As good almost kill a man as kill a good book. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself, kills the image of God as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life." And how had this slaying of books, and even the prevention of their birth, by a Censorship, grown up? After a historical sketch of the state of the law and practice respecting books among the Greeks, the Romans, and the early and mediaeval Christians, Milton arrives at the conclusion that the system of Censorship and Licensing was an invention of the worst age of the Papacy, perfected by the Spanish Inquisition. He gives one or two specimens of the elaborate imprimaturs prefixed to old Italian books, and makes much fun of them. The Papal invention, he continues, had passed on into Prelatic England. "These are the pretty responsories, these are the dear antiphonies that so bewitched our late prelates and their chaplains with the goodly echo they made, and besotted us to the gay imitation of a lordly imprimatur, one from the Lambeth House [the Archbishop of Canterbury's Palace, where MSS. had to be left by their authors for revision by his chaplains], another from the west end of Paul's [the site of Stationers' Hall]."

Yes! but, whoever were the inventors, might not the invention itself be good? To this question Milton next proceeds, and it leads him into the vitals of the subject.

He contends, in the first place, for the scholar's liberty of universal reading at his own peril, his right of unlimited intellectual inquisitiveness. What though there are bad and mischievous books? "Books are as meats and viands are, some of good, some of evil substance, and yet God in that unapocryphal vision said, without exception, 'Rise, Peter, kill and eat.'" Good and evil are inextricably mixed up together in everything in this world; and the very discipline to virtue and strength consists in full walking amid both, distinguishing, avoiding, and choosing. "I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out to see her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for notwithstanding dust and heat. Assuredly we bring not innocence into the world, we bring impurity much rather; that which purifies is trial, and trial is by what is contrary." There is much more in the same strain, a favourite one with Milton, with instances of readings in evil books turned to good account. Plato's Censorship of Books, or general regulation of literature by the magistrate, is handled gently, as only Plato's whimsy for his own airy Republic. What if the principle of State- licensing were carried out? "Whatever thing we hear or see, sitting, walking, travelling, or conversing, may be fitly called our book." Well, shall the State regulate singing, dancing, street-music, concerts in the house, looking out at windows, standing on balconies, eating, drinking, dressing, love-making? "It would be better done to learn that the law must needs be frivolous which goes to restrain things uncertainly, and yet equally, working to good and to evil. And, were I the chooser, a dram of well-doing should be preferred before many times as much the forcible hindrance of evil-doing." Besides, suppression even of such tangible things as books by a Censorship was really impracticable, and everybody knew it. In spite of the existing Censorship, were not Royalist libels against the Parliament in everybody's hands in London every week, wet from the press? The system was a monstrous injustice and annoyance, and it did not answer its own end.

If the end were honestly the suppression of false and bad books, and if that end were in itself proper, and also practicable with sufficient means, all would still depend on the qualifications of the Licensers. And here Milton frankly lets the existing English licensers of Books, and especially the twelve parish-ministers among them, know his opinion of their office:—

"It cannot be denied but that he who is made judge to sit upon the birth or death of Books, whether they may be wafted into this world or not, had need to be a man above the common measure, both studious, learned, and judicious: there may be else no mean mistakes in the censure of what is passable or not; which is also no mean injury. If he be of such worth as behoves him, there cannot be a more tedious and unpleasing journey-work, a greater loss of time levied upon his head, than to be made the perpetual reader of unchosen books and pamphlets, ofttimes huge volumes. There is no book that is acceptable unless at certain seasons; but to be enjoined the reading of that at all times, and in a hand scarce legible, whereof three pages would not down at any time in the fairest print, is an imposition which I cannot believe how he that values time and his own studies, or is but of a sensible nostril, should be able to endure. In this one thing I crave leave of the present Licensers to be pardoned for so thinking: who doubtless took this office up, looking on it through their obedience to the Parliament, whose command perhaps made all things seem easy and unlaborious to them. But that this short trial hath wearied them out already, their own expressions and excuses to them who make so many journeys to solicit their license (!) are testimony enough. Seeing therefore those who now possess the employment by all evident signs wish themselves well rid of it, and that no man of worth, none that is not a plain unthrift of his own hours, is ever likely to succeed them, except he mean to put himself to the salary of a press-corrector, we may easily foresee what kind of Licensers we are to expect hereafter—either ignorant, imperious, and remiss, or basely pecuniary.... How much it hurts and hinders the Licensers themselves in the calling of their ministry, more than any secular employment, if they will discharge that office as they ought, so that they must neglect either the one duty or the other, I insist not, because it is a particular, but leave it to their own conscience how they will decide it there."

Closely following this glance at the Licensers and their business is a description of the true Author and his business, and of the indignities and discomforts put upon him by the Licensing system:—

"When a man writes to the world, he summons up all his reason and deliberation to assist him; he searches, meditates, is industrious, and likely consults and confers with his judicious friends: after all which done he takes himself to be informed in what he writes, as well as any that writ before him. If in this, the most consummate act of his fidelity and ripeness, no years, no industry, no former proof of his abilities, can bring him to that state of maturity as not to be still mistrusted and suspected unless he carry all his considerate diligence, all his midnight watchings and expense of Palladian oil, to the hasty view of an unleisured Licenser—perhaps much his younger, perhaps far his inferior in judgment, perhaps one who never knew the labour of book-writing; and, if he be not repulsed or slighted, must appear in print like a punie [child] with his guardian, and his censor's hand on the back of his title, to be his bail and surety that he is no idiot or seducer;—it cannot be but a dishonour and derogation to the Author, to the Book, to the privilege and dignity of Learning. And what if the Author shall be one so copious of fancy as to have many things well worth the adding come into his mind, after licensing, while the book is yet under the press— which not seldom happens to the best and diligentest writers, and that perhaps a dozen times in one book? The Printer dares not go beyond his licensed copy: so often then must the Author trudge to his leave-giver, that those his new insertions may be viewed; and many a jaunt will be made ere that Licenser (for it must be the same man) can either be found, or found at leisure. Meanwhile either the press must stand still (which is no small damage) or the Author lose his accuratest thoughts, and send the book forth worse than he had made it; which is the greatest melancholy and vexation that can befall. And how can a man teach with authority, which is the life of teaching, how can he be a doctor in his book, as he ought to be or else had better be silent, whenas all he teaches, all he delivers, is but under the tuition, under the correction, of his patriarchal Licenser, to blot or alter what precisely accords not with the hide-bound humour which he calls his judgment?"

The last half of the pamphlet is perhaps more knotty and powerful than the first. Milton's well-known retrospect of what he had seen in Italy, with his reminiscence of Galileo, occurs here. But his drift has now been made sufficiently apparent; and we shall best discharge what remains of our duty by presenting certain pieces of autobiographical information which the pamphlet supplies:—

We learn, for one thing, that Milton did not stand alone in his detestation of the Censorship, but represented a considerable constituency in the matter, and had even been solicited to be their spokesman and write this pamphlet. Those very words of complaint, he says, which he had heard, six years before, uttered by learned men in Italy against the Inquisition, it had been his fortune to hear uttered of late by "as learned men" in England against the Licensing Ordinance of the Parliament. "And that so generally," he adds, "that, when I had disclosed myself a companion of their discontent, I might say, if without envy, that he whom an honest quaestorship had endeared to the Sicilians [Cicero] was not more by them importuned against Verres than the favourable opinion which I had among many who honour ye, and are known and respected by ye, loaded me with entreaties and persuasions that I would not despair to lay together that which just reason should bring into my mind toward the removal of an undeserved thraldom upon Learning. That this is not therefore the disburdening of a particular fancy, but the common grievance of all those who had prepared their minds and studies above the vulgar pitch to advance truth in others, thus much may satisfy."

Again, in a pamphlet the subject of which is Books and Authors, we have naturally some incidental indications of Milton's literary tastes and preferences. The most interesting of these are perhaps the following:—He was as fond as ever of Spenser, "our sage and serious poet" as he calls him, "whom I dare be known to think a better teacher than Scotus or Aquinas." He thought Arminius "acute and distinct," though perverted. He would be no slave even to Plato, but would take the liberty of quizzing any of the oddities even of that gorgeous intellect. On moral grounds, he could not bear Aristophanes, and wondered how Plato could have recommended "such trash" as the comedies of that writer to the tyrant Dionysius. His great liking for Euripides is shown by his taking four lines from that poet's Hiketides as the motto for the pamphlet. Lord Bacon is again mentioned reverently, once as "Sir Francis Bacon" and again as "Viscount St. Albans." There is a tribute of high admiration to the Parliamentarian peer, Lord Brooke, so recently lost to England, and to the tract on the Nature of Episcopacy he had left behind him: those last words of his dying charge which "I know will ever be of dear and honoured regard with ye, so full of meekness and breathing charity that, next to His last testament who bequeathed love and peace to his disciples, I cannot call to mind where I have read or heard words more mild and peaceful." Selden is again referred to and complimented: "one of your own now sitting in Parliament, the chief of learned men reputed in this land." Acquaintance, on the other hand, is implied or avowed, on Milton's part, with some of the most notoriously ribald writers that the world had produced: with Petronius Arbiter, and him of Arozzo "dreaded and yet dear to the Italian Courtiers," and an Englishman whom he will not name, "for posterity's sake," but "whom Harry the Eighth named in merriment his Vicar of Hell." We may add, that Wycliffe and Knox are both honourably mentioned in the Areopagitica: Knox as the "Reformer of a Kingdom," and Wycliffe as an Englishman who had perhaps had potentially in him all that had since come from the Bohemian Huss, the German Luther, or the French Calvin.

A more special piece of information supplied, or rather only confirmed, by the Areopagitica, is that Milton, when he wrote it, had broken off utterly from the Presbyterians, and regarded the domination of that party in the Westminster Assembly with complete disgust. "If it come to inquisitioning again, and licensing," he says, "and that we are so timorous of ourselves, and so suspicious of all men, as to fear each book, and the shaking of every leaf, before we know what the contents are,—if some, who but of late were little better than silenced from preaching, shall come now to silence us from reading, except what they please,—it cannot be guessed what is intended by some but a second tyranny over Learning; and will soon put it out of controversy that Bishops and Presbyters are the same to us, both name and thing." Again, a little farther on, "This is not, ye Covenants and Protestations that we have made, this is not to put down Prelaty: this is but to chop an Episcopacy; this is but to translate the Palace Metropolitan from one kind of dominion into another." Again, "A man may be a heretic in the Truth; and, if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the Assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy." Again, "He who hears what praying there is for light and clearer knowledge to be sent down among us would think of other matters to be constituted, beyond the discipline of Geneva, framed and fabricked already to our hands." Again, of Ecclesiastical Assemblies in general, and the Westminster Assembly in particular, "Neither is God appointed and confined where and out of what place these his chosen shall be first heard to speak; for He sees not as man sees, chooses not as man chooses, lest we should devote ourselves again to set places, and Assemblies, and outward callings of men, planting our faith one while in the old Convocation House, and another while in the Chapel at Westminster; when all the faith that shall be there canonized is not sufficient, without plain convincement and the charity of patient instruction, to supple the least bruise of conscience, to edify the meanest Christian who desires to walk in the spirit and not in the letter of human trust, for all the number of voices that can there be made—no, though Harry the Seventh himself there, with all his liege tombs about him, should lend them voices from the dead to swell their number," [Footnote: The original meeting-place of the Westminster Assembly, and their meeting-place in the summer months, was Henry the Seventh's Chapel. In winter it was the Jerusalem Chamber—which had been the Convocation House of the English clergy before the Long Parliament.] Again, he says that, if the Presbyterians, themselves so recently released from Episcopal tyranny, should not have been taught by their own suffering, but should continue active in suppressing others, "it would be no unequal distribution in the first place to suppress the suppressors themselves."

Milton, however, the Areopagitica proves, had not passed away from Presbyterianism only to become an ordinary Congregationalist or Independent. In the fight between the Presbyterians and the Independents of the Assembly he would now, undoubtedly, have taken part with the Independents; but Messrs. Goodwin, Nye, and the rest of them, had they interrogated him why, would have found him a strange adherent. For he had passed on into an Independency, if it could be called "Independency," more extreme than theirs, and resembling rather the vague Independency that Cromwell represented, and that was rife in the Army. The very notion of an official "minister of Religion," anyhow appointed, had become comical to him. It had come to seem to him supremely ridiculous that there should be anything like a caste of Brahmins or officers of Religion in England, by whatever means that caste should be formed or recruited. To curtail proof under this head, let me give but one extract. It is the richest bit of sheer humour that I have yet found in Milton, and is better and deeper, in that kind, than anything in Sydney Smith:—


"There is not any burden that some would gladlier post off to another than the charge and care of their Religion. There be—who knows not that there be?—of Protestants and professors who live and die in as arrant and implicit faith as any lay Papist of Loretto. A wealthy man, addicted to his pleasure and profits, finds Religion to be a traffic so entangled, and of so many piddling accounts, that of all mysteries he cannot skill to keep a stock going on that trade. What should he do? Fain he would have the name to be religious; fain he would bear up with his neighbours in that. What does he therefore but resolves to give over toiling, and to find himself out some factor, to whose care and credit he may commit the whole managing of his religious affairs: some Divine of note and estimation that must be. To him he adheres; resigns the whole warehouse of his Religion, with all the locks and keys, into his custody; and indeed makes the very person of that man his Religion—esteems his associating with him a sufficient evidence and commendatory of his own piety. So that a man may say his Religion is now no more within himself, but is become a dividual movable, and goes and comes near him according as that good man frequents the house. He entertains him, gives him gifts, feasts him, lodges him; his Religion comes home at night, prays, is liberally supt and sumptuously laid to sleep, rises, is saluted; and, after the malmsey or some well-spiced brewage, and better breakfasted than He whose morning appetite would have gladly fed on green figs between Bethany and Jerusalem, his Religion walks abroad at eight, and leaves his kind entertainer in the shop, trading all day without his Religion."

What light does the Areopagitica throw on Milton's notion of Toleration, or Liberty of Conscience, and on his feelings towards the Sects and Sectaries generally among whom he was now ranked? It is not uncommon to regard the Areopagitica as one of the first and greatest English pleas for Liberty of Conscience; and, broadly viewed, it is. But strictly it is not a plea for Liberty of Conscience or for Toleration, but only for the liberty of unlicensed Printing. Milton's views of Liberty of Conscience appear only by implication in the course of this one argument. So far as they do appear, it cannot be said that Milton advocated a Liberty of Conscience so complete and absolute as Roger Williams's or John Goodwin's. He even saves himself from the imputation of doing so. "If all cannot be of one mind," he says, "this doubtless is more wholesome, more prudent, and more Christian, that many be tolerated, rather than all compelled. I mean not tolerated Popery and open superstition; which, as it extirpates all religious and civil supremacies, so itself should be extirpate—provided first that all charitable and a compassionate means be used to win and regain the weak and the misled. That also which is impious or evil absolutely, either against faith or manners, no law can possibly permit that intends not to unlaw itself." There are hints also to the effect that, while Milton wanted liberty of unlicensed publication for all kinds of books, he did not deny the right of the magistrate to call writers to account, in certain cases, for the opinions they had published. On the whole, therefore, in his theory of Toleration, Milton was decidedly behind some of his contemporaries. One can see, however, that he was uneasy in his exceptions, and had little care for them in comparison with the principle he meant them to limit. Practically he stands forth in the Areopagitica as the advocate of a Toleration that would have satisfied all the necessities of the juncture, by giving full liberty not only to orthodox Congregationalists, but also to Baptists, so-called Antinomians, and Seekers, and perhaps all other Protestant sects that had any real rooting at that time in English society. His whole oration breathes the full principle rather than the exceptions. "Give me," he says, "the liberty to know, to utter and to argue freely according to my conscience, above all liberties." And he makes a brave defence of the existing Sects, without putting a mark of exclusion on any. Those Sects and Schisms, Sects and Schisms, which weak men were bewailing, and the Presbyterians were calling on Parliament to crush, appeared to Milton not only something that must be permitted because it could not be prevented, but positively the finest English phenomenon of the time, and the richest in promise:—

"The light which we have gained was given us not to be ever staring on, but by it to discover onward things more remote from our knowledge. It is not the unfrocking of a Priest, the unmitring of a Bishop, and the removing him from off the Presbyterian shoulders, that will make us a happy nation. No, if other things as great in the Church, and in the rule of life both economical and political, be not looked into and reformed, we have looked so long upon the blaze that Zuinglius and Calvin hath beaconed up to us that we are stark blind. There be who perpetually complain of Schisms and Sects, and make it such a calamity that any man dissents from their maxims.... Lords and Commons of England, consider what Nation it is whereof ye are, and whereof ye are the governors: a Nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to.... Now once again, by all concurrence of signs, and by the general instinct of holy and devout men, as they daily and solemnly express their thoughts, God is decreeing to begin some new and great period in his Church, even to the reforming of Reformation itself. What does He then but reveal himself to his servants, and, as his manner is, first to his Englishmen—I say, as his manner is, first to us, though we mark not the method of his counsels and are unworthy? Behold now this vast City, a city of refuge, the mansion-house of Liberty, encompassed and surrounded with His protection. The shop of war hath not there more anvils and hammers working, to fashion out the plates and instruments of armed Justice in defence of beleaguered Truth, than there be pens and heads there, sitting by their studious lamps, musing, searching, revolving new notions and ideas, wherewith to present, as with their homage and their fealty, the approaching Reformation: others as fast reading, trying all things, assenting to the force of reason and convincement. What could a man require more from a Nation so pliant and so prone to seek after knowledge? What wants there to such a towardly and pregnant soil, but wise and faithful labourers, to make a knowing people, a Nation of prophets, of sages, and of worthies?... Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for Opinion in good men is but Knowledge in the making. Under these fantastic terrors of Sect and Schism we wrong the earnest and zealous thirst after knowledge and understanding which God hath stirred up in this city. What some lament of we rather should rejoice at, should praise rather this pious forwardness among men to reassume the ill- deputed care of their Religion into their own hands again.... As in a body, when the blood is fresh, the spirits pure and vigorous, not only to vital, but to rational faculties, and those in the acutest and the pertest operations of art and subtlety, it argues in what good plight and constitution the body is, so, when the cheerfulness of the people is so sprightly up as that it has not only wherewith to guard well its own freedom and safety, but to spare, and to bestow upon the solidest and sublimest points of controversy and new invention, it betokens us not degenerated, nor drooping to a fatal decay, but casting off the old and wrinkled skin of corruption to outlive these pangs and wax young again, entering the glorious ways of Truth and prosperous virtue destined to become great and honourable in these latter ages. Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant Nation rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; methinks I see her as an eagle mewing her mighty youth, and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full midday beam; purging and unsealing her long-abused sight at the fountain itself of heavenly radiance, while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means, and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of Sects and Schisms."

After this it is bathos to speak of the Stationers' Company; but we must do so. For, at the end of the Areopagitica there is a distinct insinuation by Milton that the Ordinance he was asking the Parliament to repeal was less the invention of Parliament itself than of some cunning Stationers. "If we may believe those men," he says, "whose profession gives them cause to inquire most [i.e. some worthy booksellers of Milton's acquaintance] it may be doubted there was in it the fraud of some old patentees and monopolisers in the trade of bookselling; who, under pretence of the poor in their Company not to be defrauded, and the just retaining of each man his several copy—which God forbid should be gainsaid—brought divers glozing colours to the House, which were indeed but colours, and serving to no end except it be to exercise a superiority over their neighbours." Milton makes a farther and worse insinuation. "Another end," he says, "is thought was aimed at by some of them in procuring by petition this order—that, having power in their hands, malignant books might easier scape abroad [i.e. get about the country], as the event shows." Here was a hit for some of the good people about Paternoster Row.


It might have been safer for Milton to let the Stationers alone. For, within five weeks after the publication of the Areopagitica, I find him again in trouble, and all by the doing of the Stationers' Company, in revenge for his past offences and this new insult. The story, as I have dug it out of the Lords' Journals, with some help from old pamphlets, is as follows:—

Monday the 9th of December, 1644, there being twenty-one Peers present, and Lord Grey of Wark in the chair, "a scandalous printed libel against the Peerage of this realm was brought into the House and read; and this House ordered, that the Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers shall attend this House at four of the clock this afternoon, to know of them whether they do know of the print and can discover the author of it." That same afternoon, accordingly, there being now but fifteen peers present, the three gentlemen who had been sent for—Messrs. Mead, Parker, and Whittaker—appeared, and with this result: "The Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers desired some longer time, and they will do their best endeavours to find out the printer that printed the scandalous libel brought into this House this day; and this House gave two or three days longer." On Friday the 13th of December they have not yet found either the author or the printer; but they have caught a poor fellow, George Jeffrey, apprentice to a hosier in Cornhill, who had been dispersing copies of the libel in London. Examined by the Earls of Salisbury and Kent, aided by the Judges, this George Jeffrey confesses all about it. On Monday morning last (the very day on which the Lords first discussed the subject) he had found two-and-twenty copies of the thing between the stall-boards of his master's stall, put there by he knew not whom. He had taken them into the shop, read one of them, and been so greatly amused by it that he had told his neighbours of the prize. Some of the more unruly of the neighbours had snatched at copies and carried them off, so that he had only two left. When he found that there was a hue and cry on the matter, and that he had got himself into trouble, he had done what he could. He had sent his own two remaining copies to the Lord Mayor, and had recovered six of the other copies and sent them to the Mayor too, naming the persons from whom he got them back. One was an exciseman, one an oilman; and one or two were apprentices like himself; but there was also one Thomas Heath, who was actually the Lord Mayor's kinsman. This was positively all he knew of the matter; and he could not tell where the papers came from, nor where any more were to be found. Apparently the Peers believed him, for he was discharged on his own promise to attend again if he should be called for.

The libel, however, seems to have been unusually flagrant. The Peers sent a copy of George Jeffrey's examination to the Lord Mayor, with instructions that he should both give an account of what he had already done in the business and also prosecute it farther. It is not till Dec. 26 that we hear more. On that day, two-and-twenty Peers being present, and nothing having been farther reported either by the Lord Mayor or the Stationers, it was ordered "that the Lord Mayor of London and the Printers be sent to, to give an account of the scandalous paper printed and dispersed, what they have done in discovering the Author, Printer, and Publisher." The Mayor and the Stationers still not responding, the order was repeated more peremptorily on Saturday, Dec. 28, one-and-twenty Peers being present. The gentleman-usher of the House went there and then for the two Wardens of the Stationers' Company, who forthwith appeared and gave this account: "They have used their best endeavours to find out the printer and author of the scandalous libel, but they cannot yet make any discovery thereof, the letter [type] being so common a letter; and further complained of the frequent printing of scandalous Books by divers, as Hezekiah Woodward and Jo. Milton."—Here was an extremely clever trick of Messrs. Parker and Whittaker! They were themselves in trouble for not being good detectives: what if they diverted the attention of the Peers, while they were in this angry mood, upon other objects? It is as if they said to the Peers, "It is a very hard matter sometimes to find out the authors and printers of scandalous tracts; but really the abuse has attained to frightful dimensions, and perhaps the leniency of your Lordships in cases where the authors of scandalous tracts are well enough known encourages others. Last August, for example, we took the liberty of calling the attention of the House of Commons to a Tract on Divorce by Mr. John Milton, which the Assembly unanimously condemns as containing horrid doctrine, and which Mr. Palmer denounced on that ground in the hearing of your Lordships. It was our duty to do so, because the Tractate, in any case, was unlicensed and unregistered, and therefore a violation of the Printing Ordinance. The Commons referred the subject to their Committee for Printing, but nothing appears to have been done. And now, as your Lordships have sent for us on this other matter, in which we are sorry not to have succeeded as we could have wished, allow us to mention that the same Mr. Milton has since then—in fact, only last month-put forth another pamphlet, called Areopagitica, with his name to it certainly and addressed to your Lordships and the other House, but with no printer's name, and unlicensed and unregistered, like most of its predecessors. The pamphlet contains some very injurious personal reflections on us; but we should not think of mentioning it merely on that ground. It is very bold and strange altogether, very disrespectful to the Assembly, and is an attack on the whole Ordinance for Printing which it wilfully breaks. Besides Mr. Milton there are others as bad: for instance, Mr. Hezekiah Woodward."

Who Mr. Hezekiah Woodward was the reader already, in some degree, knows. He was that old friend of Samuel Hartlib's to whom Hartlib, in Aug. 1644, had addressed a letter requesting his opinion of Edwards's Antapologia, and who had furnished that opinion, which was published, with Hartlib's letter, in the following month (ante). He must have been fond of using his pen; for I find him to have been the author of at least seven other pamphlets, published before our present date, viz. The Kings Chronicle (1643); Three Kingdoms made One (1643); The Cause, Use, and Cure of Fear (1643); A Good Soldier maintaining his Militia (1644); The Sentence from Reason and Scripture against Archbishops and Bishops, with their Curates (1644); As you were (1644); Inquiries into the Causes of our Miseries (1644). The last-named but one of these pamphlets gives at least one additional particular about Woodward. Its full title is "As you were: or a Reducing (if possibly any) seduc't ones to facing-about, turning head-front against God, by the Recrimination (so intended) upon Mr. J. G. (Pastor of the Church in Coleman Street) in point of fighting against God. By an unworthy auditor of the said (Juditious pious Divine) Master John Goodwin." This may have been the very pamphlet, or one of the pamphlets, of Woodward which the Stationers had in view when they complained of him; for it was published Nov. 13, 1644, or exactly eleven days before the Areopagitica, and it appeared anonymously and without a licence. Out of the confused wording of the title we gather that Woodward was a hearer and admirer of John Goodwin, and that the tract was intended as in some sort a vindication of that Sectary against attacks that had been made upon him in connexion more especially with a pamphlet of his entitled Theomachia. All this, though slight, is not uninteresting. It presents to us Woodward as a London citizen of what maybe called the Hartlib-Goodwin connexion, and possibly therefore known to Milton personally. He lived in Aldermanbury, and was addicted to writing pamphlets. From what I have read of them I judge him to have been a mild, hazy-headed person, with a liking for indefiniteness and elbow-room rather than Presbyterian strictness, and therefore ranking among the Sectaries, but of such small mark individually that, but for his incidental association with Milton in the business under notice, we should not now have had any particular interest in inquiring about him. For some reason or other, however, the Stationers thought him worth their hostility. Had they any trade dislike to Hartlib? It is somewhat curious that the two persons they selected to be complained against were two of Hartlib's friends. [Footnote: For particulars here about Woodward, in addition to those already given (ante pp. 230-1), my authorities are (1) The British Museum Library Catalogue: Woodward, Hezekiah; (2) The two publications named as consulted by myself, viz., Woodward's As You Were, and his joint-tract with Hartlib, A Short Letter, &c., with a large but modest answer, which last is not given in the Museum Catalogue among Woodward's publications, but came in my way in my researches for Hartlib; (3) MS. notes of Thomason in Museum copies of these two publications: viz., in the first the words "suposed to be Ezech. Woodward's," and the date "Novemb. 13, London;" in the second the date "Sept 14."]

To resume our story from the Lords' Journals:—The device of the two Wardens for diverting the attention of the Peers was for the moment successful. The Peers on the same day (Sat. Dec. 28), as soon as the Wardens had withdrawn, passed this order: "Hereupon it is ordered, that it be referred to Mr. Justice Reeves and Mr. Justice Bacon to examine the said Woodward and Milton, and such others as the Master and Wardens of the Stationers' Company shall give information of, concerning the printing and publishing their Books and Pamphlets, and to examine also what they know concerning the Libel [the Libel against the Peers of which George Jeffrey had dispersed copies], who was the author, printer, and contriver of it; and the Gentleman-Usher shall attach the parties, and bring them before the Judges; and the Stationers are to be present at their examinations, and give evidence against them."

This was clearly a tighter action against Milton than the former one by the Commons. What came of it?—Woodward's business came up on the next Tuesday, Dec. 31, when Mr. Justice Bacon informed this House of some papers which Ezechiell Woodward [it was "Hezekiah" before] confessed he made: "Hereupon it is ordered, that Mr. Serjeant Whitfield shall peruse them over, and report them to this House; and, because the said Woodward is now in custody of the Gentleman-Usher, it is ordered, He shall be released, giving his own bond to appear before this House when he shall be summoned." Woodward's offence, it would therefore seem, was considered venial. He had nothing to do with the Libel that was the special subject of inquiry; and, though he had confessed to the authorship of some anonymous papers recently published, there seemed to be nothing formidable in them. He might go back to his house in Aldermanbury on his own recognisances. [Footnote: "Soft Answers unto Hard Censures, London 1645," is the title of a tract of Woodward's subsequent to the incident of the text, and possibly referring to it; after which I find him, so far as there is evidence, totally silent till 1656. In that year he published four new religious or politico religious pamphlets; which is the last I know of him at present.] But what of Milton? Not a word about him in the Journals of the same day. He was not in the custody of the Gentleman-Usher then at all events; and so far he had been more fortunate than Woodward. Possibly, he had had a call from the Usher in his house in Aldersgate Street on the Saturday or Monday, had accompanied him to the chambers of Mr. Justice Reeve or Mr. Justice Bacon, had confronted the Master and Wardens of the Stationers' Company there, and had there given such a satisfactory and straightforward account of his questioned pamphlets that there was no need for detaining him, or troubling him farther. Some report may have been made to the Peers by the Justices; but if so, it was of such a kind, and the Peers themselves had such information about Milton, that they thought it best to let the matter drop without the least farther mention of it. If even two or three of them had read the Areopagitica (and probably even more had), that alone would have honourably acquitted him. It appears, however, from a subsequent allusion by Milton himself, as if the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce was still the real stumbling-block. On that subject too the Peers may have been a little liberal by this time. Was not the great Mr. Selden understood to hold opinions on Marriage and Divorce very much the same as those Mr. Milton had published? So the Peers may have reasoned for themselves; and it is not at all improbable that Selden, Vane, and others of the Lower House may have given them a hint what to do. And so the Booksellers were baulked again. Baillie and Gillespie, who did not leave London for their Scottish holiday till Jan. 6, 1644-5, may have been a little disappointed, and the Presbyterians generally. [Footnote: Authorities for this curious story are the entries in the Lords' Journals of the dates named—Vol. VII. pp. 91, 92, 97, 115, 116, and 118. The one-and-twenty Peers who were present on Saturday, Dec. 28, when the order for Milton's examination was issued were—Lord Grey of Wark, as Speaker; the Lord General the Earl of Essex; the Lord High Admiral the Earl of Warwick; Earls Rutland, Kent, Pembroke, Salisbury, Bolingbroke, Manchester, Nottingham, Northumberland, Denbigh, and Stamford; Viscount Saye and Sele; and Lords North, Montague, Howard of Escrick, Berkeley, Bruce, Willoughby of Parham, and Wharton. The same Peers, with the omission of the Earl of Northumberland and Lord Wharton, and the addition of the Earl of Suffolk (i.e. twenty Peers in all), were present on Dec. 31, when a report was made on Woodward's case, but none on Milton's.—Selden's Uxor Ebraica was published in 1646, and was then much welcomed by Milton.—That the Divines of the Westminster Assembly were at the back of this second prosecution of Milton, though the authorities of the Stationers' Company were the nominal accusers, is not only probable in itself, but is distinctly implied by Anthony Wood's reference to the affair (Fasti I. 483). "Upon the publication of the said three books of marriage and divorce," says Wood, with a slight error as to the number of the books on that subject then published, "the Assembly of Divines then sitting at Westminster took special notice of them; and thereupon, though the author had obliged them by his pen in his defence of Smectymnuus, and other their controversies had with the Bishops, they, impatient of having the clergy's jurisdiction (as they reckoned it) invaded, did, instead of answering or disproving what those books had asserted, cause him to be summoned before the House of Lords: but that House, whether approving the doctrine, or not favouring the accusers, did soon dismiss him."]


And now we are in the winter of 1644-5, when Parliament and all London, and all England, were astir with the two great businesses of the New- Modelling of the Parliamentary Army and the Self-Denying Ordinance. It was with public talk about these matters, and about such contemporary matters as the execution of Laud, the death of Century White, and the abortive Treaty of Uxbridge, that any immediate influence from Milton's Areopagitica must have mingled. In the midst of it all he had other labours on hand. They were still on the woful subject of Divorce.

Not only had the subject fastened on Milton with all the force of a propagandist passion, urging him to repeated expositions of it; there were, moreover, fresh external occasions calling on him not to desist. Of four such external occasions, amid others now unknown to us, we may here take note:—[Footnote: Palmer's Dedication of the Sermon.] Herbert Palmer's sermon, with the attack on Milton still remaining in it, had now been published. "Some bodily indispositions" had prevented Palmer from at once complying with the request of the two Houses that he would print the sermon; but at length, in September or October 1644, it had appeared. [Footnote: "By William Prynne, of Lincoln's Inn, Esquier: London, Printed for Michael Sparke, Sem., and are to be sold at the Blew Bible in Green Arbour, 1644." The Exact date of publication I ascertain from Thomason's note, "Sept. 16," in a copy in the British Museum.] About the same time (more precisely the 16th of September, 1644) there appeared one of Prynne's interminable publications, entitled "Twelve considerable serious Questions touching Church government: sadly propounded (out of a Reel Desire of Unitie and Tranquillity in Church and State) to all sober- minded Christians, cordially affecting a speedy settled Reformation and Brotherly Christian Union in all our Churches and Dominions, now miserably wasted with Civill Unnaturall Wars, and deplorably lacerated with Ecclesiastical Dissensions." Though with so long a title, the thing consists but of eight largish quarto pages, with a bristle of marginal references. "Having neither leisure nor opportunity," says Prynne, "to debate the late unhappy differences sprung up amongst us touching Church-government (disputed at large by Master Herle, Doctor Steward, Master Rutherford, Master Edwards, Master Durey, Master Goodwin, Master Nye, Master Sympson, and others), ... I have (at the importunity of some Reverend friends) digested my subitane apprehensions of these distracting controversies into the ensuing considerable Questions." Accordingly, the Tract consists of 12 Queries propounded for consideration, each numbered and beginning with the word "Whether." We are concerned mainly with Query 11. It runs as follows:—"Whether that Independent Government which some contend for ... be not of its own nature a very seminary of schisms and dangerous divisions in the Church and State? a floodgate to let in an inundation of all manner of heresies, errors, sects, religions, destructive opinions, libertinism and lawlessness, among us, without any sufficient means of preventing or suppressing them when introduced? Whether the final result of it (as Master Williams, in his late dangerous licentious work, A Bloudy Tenent, determines) will not really resolve itself into this detestable conclusion, that every man, whether he be Jew, Turk, Pagan, Papist, Arminian, Anabaptist, &c., ought to be left to his own free liberty of conscience, without any coercion or restraint, to embrace or publicly to profess what Religion, Opinion, Church government, he pleaseth and conceiveth to be truest, though never so erroneous, false, seditious, detestable in itself? And whether such a government as this ought to be embraced, much less established among us (the sad effects whereof we have already experimentally felt by the late dangerous increase of many Anabaptistical, Antinomian, Heretical, Atheistical opinions, as of The Soul's Mortality, Divorce at Pleasure, &c., lately broached, preached, printed in this famous city; which I hope our Grand Council will speedily and carefully suppress), &c." Here, and by no less a man than Prynne, Milton's Divorce Doctrine is publicly referred to as one of the enormities of the time, and coupled, as of coequal infamy, with the contemporary doctrine of the Mortality of the Soul vented in an anonymous tract. (3) Farther, in the month of November, or while the Areopagitica was in the press, there had appeared the first distinct Reply to Milton's original Divorce Treatise. It was a pamphlet, in 44 pages of small quarto, with this title:—"An Answer to a Book, Intituled, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, or A Plea for Ladies and Gentlewomen, and all other Married Women, against Divorce. Wherein Both Sexes are vindicated from all bondage of Canon Law, and other mistakes whatsoever: And the Unsound Principles of the Author are examined and fully confuted by Authority of Holy Scripture, the Laws of this Land, and Sound Reason. London, Printed by G. M. for William Lee at the Turk's-Head in Fleet Street, next to the Miter Taverne. 1644." [Footnote: Entered at Stationers' Hall, Oct. 31, 1644 (my notes from the Registers); Licensed Nov. 14 (the pamphlet itself); out in London, Nov. 19 (Thomason's note in copy in British Museum, Press Mark 12 G. o. 12/181)] Milton had now his wish: one of his adversaries had written a book, and could be wrestled with. Nay more, though the writer had not given his name, the licenser, Mr. Joseph Caryl, had, in his prefixed "Imprimatur," applauded the sentiments of the tract, and spoken slightingly of Milton. Mr. Caryl, therefore, on his own account, might deserve a word. (4) Finally, in January 1644-5, Dr. Daniel Featley, from his prison in "the Lord Peter's house in Aldersgate Street," close to Milton's own dwelling, had sent forth his "Dippers Dipt, or the Anabaptists Duck'd and Plung'd over Head and Eares" [Footnote: See ante, p. 138.] dedicating it publicly to the Parliament and privately to his "Reverend and much-esteemed friend, Mr. John Downam,"— the very person, by the bye, who had good-naturedly licensed Milton's Bucer pamphlet. Now, Featley, in this book, had been at Milton among others. Denouncing the Anabaptists on all sorts of grounds in his Epistle Dedicatory to the Parliament, he charges them especially with originating odious heresies beyond their own. "For they print," he says, "not only Anabaptism, from whence they take their name, but many other most damnable doctrines, tending to carnal liberty, Familism, and a medley and hodge-podge of all Religions. Witness the Book, printed 1644, called The Bloudy Tenent, which the author affirmeth he wrote in milk; and, if he did so, he hath put some ratsbane in it [Footnote: Featley blunders here. Roger Williams did not say he had written his book in milk, but that the Baptist Tract of 1620 which he reprints in his book was said to have been written in milk in prison on pieces of paper sent to the writer as stoppers to his milk-bottle—his friends outside deciphering the writing by heating the papers.]—as, namely, 'that it is the will and command of God that, since the coming of his son the Lord Jesus, a permission of the most Paganish, Jewish, Turkish, or Anti- Christian consciences and worships, be granted to all men in all nations and countries,' ... Witness a Tractate on Divorce, in which the bonds of marriage are let loose to inordinate lust and putting away wives for many other causes besides that which our Saviour only approveth, viz. in case of Adultery. Witness a Pamphlet newly come forth, entitled Man's Mortality, in which the soul is cast into an Endymion sleep from the hour of death to the day of Judgment. Witness," &c. One other dreadful pamphlet is mentioned; but it is worthy of note that the persons with whom Milton now, as before, is most pertinaciously associated are Roger Williams and the author of Man's Mortality.

These external occasions and provocations co-operating with his unabated interest in the Divorce doctrine on personal and general grounds, Milton was busy, through the winter of 1644-5, on two new Divorce Treatises. They both appeared on the same day—March 4, 1644-5. The one was his TETRACHORDON; the other was his COLASTERION. Neither was licensed, and neither was registered. [Footnote: The date of publication is ascertained from copies of both among the King's Pamphlets in the British Museum— both with the Press Mark 19. G. e. 11/195. In both the printed year of publication on the title-page is 1645; but in both Thomason, the Collector, has put his pen through the 5, and has annexed in manuscript the date "March 4, 1644." Books published near the 25th of March were generally dated in the year then to begin.] Some account of these two Treatises must conclude our present section of Milton's Biography.


We shall take the TETRACHORDON first. It is a bulky treatise, consisting, in the original edition, of 104 small quarto pages; of which 6, not numbered, are occupied with a Dedication to Parliament, and the remaining 98 are numbered and form the body of the work. The following is the complete title:—


Expositions upon the foure chief places in Scripture, which treat of Marriage, or nullities in Marriage.

On: Gen. i. 27-28, compar'd and explain'd by Gen. ii. 18, 23, 24 Dent. xxiv. 1-2. Matth. v. 31-32, with Matth. xix., from the 3 v. to the 11th. 1 Cor vii., from the 10th to the 16th.

Wherein the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, as was lately publish'd, is confirm'd by explanation of Scripture, by testimony of ancient Fathers, of civill lawes in the Primitive Church, of famousest Reformed Divines, and lastly, by an intended Act of the Parlament and Church of England in the last yeare of Edward the Sixth. By the former Author J. M.—

[Greek: skaioisi kaina prospheron sopha doxeis achreios k oy sophos pephykenai ton d ay dokounton eidenai ti poikilon kreisson nomistheis en polei lupros phanae.] Euripid. Medea London: Printed in the yeare 1645.

As the title indicates, the body of the Treatise consists mainly of an elaborate examination and comparison of the four chief passages of Scripture relating to Marriage and Divorce, viz. Genesis i. 27-28, with ii. 18, 23, 24; Deuteronomy xxiv. 1-2; Matthew v. 31-32, with xix. 3-11; and 1 Corinth, vii. 10-16. This labour of Biblical exegesis Milton had undertaken, he tells us, in consequence of the representations of some judicious friends, who thought that, while there was "reason to a sufficiency" in his first Divorce Treatise, a fuller discussion of the texts of Scripture there alleged might be desirable. How he performed the labour—how he plods through the four passages in succession, explaining, commenting, answering objections, and in the end construing each and all together into a ratification of his own Doctrine of Divorce, or at least into consistency with it—must be learnt, if it is learnt at all, from the Tetrachordon itself. Very few now-a-days will care to read it. For it is decidedly, according to our modern ideas, a heavy pamphlet. The Areopagitica bites into modern interests and the constitution of the modern intellect; the Tetrachordon, though it must have occupied the author longer, has, I should say, quite lost its bite, except for students of Milton, and for reasoners who would debate his Divorce Doctrine over again by the same method of the interpretation of Biblical texts. For Milton is most submissive to the Bible throughout. Clearly it was his opinion that whatever the Bible could be found to have ruled on any point must be accepted as the decision. There is no sign of any dissent by him from the most orthodox idea of the verbal inspiration of Scripture. Not the less he contrives that the Bible shall support his own free conclusions. It is evident that the method of his exegesis was not so much to extract positive injunctions from particular texts as to let the doctrine of the Bible as a whole invade and pervade his mind, uniting there with whatever of clear sense or high views of affairs it could find, and so forming a kind of organ of large and enlightened Christian reason, by which the Bible itself could then, in all mere particulars, be safely interpreted. Once and again, in the course of his Tetrachordon, he expresses his contempt for the grubbing literalists, who, in their microscopic infatuation over one text at a time, miss the view of the whole waving field of all the texts together. Yet he shows much ingenuity in parts of the verbal proof, and produces also commentators of repute who agreed with him.

There is, and doubtless purposely, in order to give weight to the new book, a large display of learning in its pages. Besides the motto from Euripides to begin with, there are references, in the course of the commentary, to Plato, Philo, Josephus, Cicero, Horace, Cellius, Justin Martyr, Eusebius, Tertullian, St. Augustine, Beza, Paraeus, Rivetus, Vatablus, Dr. Ames, Spanheim, Diodati, Marinaro, Cameron, and many more. At the end of the commentary on the Texts, also, there is an express synopsis of testimonies, for the benefit, as Milton is careful to explain, of the weaker sort who are led by authorities, and not because he sets much store on that style of proof himself. Here we have Justin Martyr again, Tertullian again, Origen, Lactantius, several early Councils, Basil, Epiphanius, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine again, the Laws of Theodosius and Valentinian, Leo, Wycliffe, Luther, Melanchthon, Erasmus, Bucer of course, Fagius of course, the Confession of the Church of Strasburg, Peter Martyr, Musculus, Gualter of Zurich, Hemingius, Hunnius, Bidenbachius, Harbardus, Wigandus, Beza again, Aretius of Berne, Alciat of Milan, Corasius, Wesembechius, and Grotius. When he quotes one of the Fathers, I may observe in passing, Milton is true to the Puritan instinct, and never prefixes to the name the title of Saint; it is always "Austin," for example, and not "St. Austin." Also it may be noted that he is punctual in making it clear whether he quotes from his own knowledge or at second hand. Thus, referring to Wycliffe's view of Marriage as put forth in one of his writings, he says, "This book, indeed, through the poverty of our Libraries, I am forced to cite from Arnisaeus of Halberstadt on the Right of Marriage, who cites it from Corasius of Toulouse, c. 4., Cent. Set., and he from Wicklef l. 4. Dial c. 2l."—Appended to the collation of Testimonies, and winding up the whole treatise, is a historical statement to which Milton attached great importance, and which is really interesting. It was only by chance, he says, that a notion of Divorce not far short of his own was not then actually part and parcel of the Law of England. For, when young Edward VI. had abolished the Canon Law out of his dominions, a Committee of two- and-thirty select persons, Divines and Lawyers, had been appointed by Parliament—Cranmer, Peter Martyr, Walter Haddon, and Sir John Cheke, the King's tutor, being members of this Committee—to frame a new set of ecclesiastical laws. The draft was actually finished, and it included a law of Divorce substantially such as Bucer had then recommended to the English. It allowed complete Divorce not only for the causes usually esteemed grave and capital, but for such causes as desertion, cruel usage, or even continued contentiousness and wrangling. The untimely death of the young King alone had prevented this Law from coming into effect. This fact in English history, it is evident, together with the knowledge of such an amount of scattered opinion in his favour lying in the works of other authors besides his formerly quoted Bucer, Fagius, Erasmus and Grotius, had been acquired by Milton by fresh research since he had published his Bucer Tract. And here again there is the curious struggle between Milton's delight in finding auxiliaries and his feeling of property in his own idea. "God, I solemnly attest him," he says, "withheld from my knowledge the consenting judgment of these men so late until they could not be my instructors, but only my unexpected witnesses to partial men that in this work I had not given the worst experiment of an industry joined with integrity, and the free utterance though of an unpopular truth." Again, in a passage where he points out that a truth is never thoroughly sifted out in one age, and that some of those who had preceded him in the Divorce notion had only hinted it in vague terms, and others who had been more explicit in the assertion of it had still left it to be fully argued, he concludes with a gentle remark that perhaps, after all, it will be his fortune "to meet the praise or dispraise of being something first."

There is no abatement in the Tetrachordon of the bitterness of Milton's feeling on the subject of an unsuitable marriage. Rather the bitterness is more concentrated and intense. It is as if eighteen months of rumination over his own unhappy condition had made him savage. There is careful abstinence still from all direct allusion to his own case; but there are again the repeated phrases of loathing with which he contemplates, chiefly from the man's side, the forced union of two irreconcileable or ill-matched minds:—"a creature inflicted on him to the vexation of his righteousness"; "a carnal acrimony without either love or peace"; "a ransomless captivity"; "the dungeon-gate as irrecoverable as the grave"; "the mere carcase of a marriage"; "the disaster of a no-marriage"; "counter-plotting and secret wishing one another's dissolution"; "a habit of wrath and perturbation"; "heavenly with hellish, fitness with unfitness," &c. "God commands not impossibilities," he bursts out, "and all the ecclesiastical glue that Liturgy or Laymen can compound is not able to sodder up two such incongruous natures into the one flesh of a true beseeming marriage." Or take this remarkable passage, repeating an opinion we have already had from him, "No wise man but would sooner pardon the act of adultery once and again committed by a person worth pity and forgiveness than to lead a wearisome life of unloving and unquiet conversation with one who neither affects nor is affected, much less with one who exercises all bitterness, and would commit adultery too, but for envy lest the persecuted condition should thereby get the benefit of his freedom." This assertion that adultery is more venial than mental unfitness is reiterated in another place, with a bold addition: "Adultery does not exclude her other fitness, her other pleasingness; she may be otherwise loving and prevalent." Occasionally, it may be added, in a less startling way than this, Milton leaves the man's point of view and tries to be considerate about the woman. Not that he recants his doctrine of the inferiority of her sex to man's. On the contrary he repeats it, extracting out of Genesis the absolute certainty that it was Man that was made primarily and immediately in the image of God, and that the image of God is in Woman only by derivation from Man. But he qualifies the doctrine at once gallantly and shrewdly. "Nevertheless," he says, "man is not to hold woman as a servant, but receives her into a part of that empire which God proclaims him to,—though not equally, yet largely, as his own image and glory; for it is no small glory to him that a creature so like him should be made subject to him. Not but that particular exceptions may have place, if she exceed her husband in prudence and dexterity, and he contentedly yield; for then a superior and more natural law comes in, that the wiser should govern the less wise, whether male or female."

This may be taken as the summary of Milton's doctrine about Woman's Rights. Incidentally also the Treatise furnishes us with his opinion on Teetotalism and the Permissive Bill. It comes in thus:—The Mosaic Law (Deut. xxiv. 1-2) allowing a man to give his wife a writing of divorcement and send her away, if he did not like her, had been interpreted by some, in consequence of Christ's comment upon it (Matt. xix. 8), as only a Permissive Bill on this subject to the hard-hearted Jews. To continue it in modern times would be to open the door to license: it would be abused; everybody would be putting away his wife; there must therefore be no longer any such Permissive Bill, but a strict Law of indissoluble marriage. Well then, by the same reasoning, Milton argues, there ought to be a great many more strict laws, that nobody had ever thought of. "What more foul and common sin among us than drunkenness; and who can be ignorant that, if the importation of wine, and the use of all strong drink, were forbid, it would both clean rid the possibility of committing that odious vice, and men might afterwards live happily and healthfully without the use of those intoxicating liquors? Yet who is there, the severest of them all, that ever propounded to lose his sack, his ale, toward the certain abolishing of so great a sin; who is there of them, the holiest, that less loves his rich canary at meals, though it be fetched from places that hazard the religion of them who fetch it, and though it make his neighbour drunk out of the same tun? While they forbid not, therefore, the use of that liquid marchandise, which forbidden would utterly remove a most loathsome sin, and not impair either the health or the refreshment of mankind, supplied many other ways, why do they forbid a Law of God, the forbidding whereof brings into an excessive bondage oft-times the best of men, and betters not the worse? He, to remove a national vice, will not pardon his cups, nor think it concerns him to forbear the quaffing of that outlandish grape in his unnecessary fulness, though other men abuse it never so much; nor is he so abstemious as to intercede with the magistrate that all manner of drunkenness be banished the Commonwealth: and yet, for the fear of a less inconvenience, unpardonably requires of his brethren in their extreme necessity to debar themselves the use of God's Permissive Law, though it might be their saving, and no man's endangering the more! Thus, this peremptory strictness, we may discern of what sort it is, how unequal and how unjust." Lest the meaning of this passage should be mistaken, we may point out that the Permissive Bill in the matter of drinking which it defends by implication is a Permissive Bill to drink and not a Permissive Bill to prevent drinking. The passage, therefore, cannot be quoted as Milton's testimony in favour of the so-called modern Permissive Bill. It is dead the reverse. And yet there is a lurking kindness in the passage towards a Permissive Bill of that sort, contemplated as possible, though yet unheard of; and, though Milton's principle of Liberty would have bound him to oppose it, he would perhaps have done so reluctantly. The idea of a country cleared of all its apparatus of Bacchus, and in which wine, or ale, or any other form of intoxicating fluid, ruby, amber, or crystal at its purest, should be unattainable by any mortal breathing on its surface, had, so far as his personal tastes and habits were concerned, no terrors for Milton. Had it been a matter of personal preference, instead of principle, he would gladly, I doubt not, have consented to a Permissive Bill in England to prevent absolutely the drinking of intoxicating liquors, if it had been accompanied by a ratification of Moses's Permissive Bill in quite the contrary sense, by which the sobered nation should have the right of divorcing.

Nothing has been said yet about the few pages prefixed to the Tetrachordon, in which Milton dedicates the treatise, as he had done three already (the Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce, the Buear Tract, and the Areopagitica), to the Parliament of England. These pages, though put first, were doubtless written last. They are signed with the writer's name in full. In respect of biographical information, of the external kind at least, they are more interesting than the treatise itself. Most of the information, however, will now be sufficiently intelligible, if given in the form of mere extracts, without more of explanation than may be supplied by Italic headings:—

Thanks to Parliament for Past Favour and Protection:—"Although it be generally known how and by whom ye have been instigated to a hard censure of that former Book entitled The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce—an opinion held by some of the best among Reformed writers without scandal or confinement, though now thought new and dangerous by some of our severe Gnostics, whose little reading and less meditating holds ever with hardest obstinacy that which it took up with easiest credulity—I do not find yet that aught, for the furious incitements that have been used, hath issued by your appointment that might give the least interruption or disrepute either to the Author or the Book. Which he who will be better advised than to call your neglect, or connivance at a thing imagined so perilous, can attribute it to nothing more justly than to the deep and quiet stream of your direct and calm deliberations, that gave not way either to the fervent rashness or the immaterial gravity of those who ceased not to exasperate without cause. For which uprightness, and incorrupt refusal of what ye were incensed to, Lords and Commons— though it were done to justice, not to me, and was a peculiar demonstration how far your ways are different from the rash vulgar— besides those allegiance of oath and duty which are my public debt to your public labours, I have yet a store of gratitude laid up which cannot be exhausted; and such thanks perhaps they may live to be as shall more than whisper them to the next ages."

Punishment for Mr. Herbert Palmer:—"I shall here briefly single one of them [his detractors], because he hath obliged me to it—who, I persuade me, having scarce read the book, nor knowing him who writ it, or at least feigning the latter [!], hath not forborne to scandalize him, unconferred with, unadmonished, undealt with by any pastorly or brotherly convincement, in the most open and invective manner, and at the most bitter opportunity that drift or set design could have invented. And this, whenas the Canon Law, though commonly most favouring the boldness of their priests, punishes the naming or traducing of any person in the Pulpit, was by him made no scruple. If I shall therefore take licence by the right of nature, and that liberty wherein I was born, to defend myself publicly against a printed calumny, and do willingly appeal to those Judges to whom I am accused, it can be no immoderate or unallowable course of seeking so just and needful reparations. Which I had done long since, had not these employments which are now visible deferred me.—It was preached before ye, Lords and Commons, in August last, upon a special Day of Humiliation, that 'there was a wicked book abroad;' and ye were taxed of sin. that it was yet 'uncensured, the book deserving to be burnt;' and 'impudence' also was charged upon the Author, who durst 'set his name to it, and dedicate it to yourselves.' First, Lords and Commons, I pray to that God before whom ye then were prostrate so to forgive ye those omissions and trespasses which ye desire most should find forgiveness, as I shall soon show to the world how easily ye absolve yourselves of that which this man calls your sin, and is indeed your wisdom and your nobleness, whereof to this day ye have done well not to repent. He terms it 'a wicked book,' and why but 'for allowing other causes of Divorce than Christ and his Apostles mention;' and with the same censure condemns of wickedness not only Martin Bucer, that elect instrument of Reformation, highly honoured and had in reverence by Edward the Sixth and his whole Parliament—whom also I had published in English, by a good providence, about a week before this calumnious digression was preached, so that, if he knew not Bucer then, as he ought to have known, he might at least have known him some months after, ere the Sermon came in print; wherein, notwithstanding, he persists in his former sentence, and condemns again of wickedness, either ignorantly or wilfully, not only Martin Bucer, and all the choicest and holiest of our Reformers, but the whole Parliament and Church of England in those best and purest times of Edward the Sixth. All which I shall prove with good evidence at the end of these Explanations. And then let it be judged and seriously considered with what hope the affairs of our Religion are committed to one among others [the Westminster Assembly] who hath now only left him which of the twain he will choose—whether this shall be his palpable ignorance, or the same 'wickedness' of his own Book which he so lavishly imputes to the writings of other men; and whether this of his, that thus peremptorily defames and attaints of wickedness unspotted Churches, unblemished Parliaments, and the most eminent Restorers of Christian Doctrine, deserve not to be 'burnt' first. And, if his heat had burst out only against the opinion, his wonted passion had no doubt been silently borne with wonted patience. Eut, since, against the charity of that solemn place and meeting, it served him further to inveigh opprobriously against the person, traducing him with no less than 'impudence,' only for setting his name to what he had written, I must be excused not to be so wanting to the defence of an honest name, or to the reputation of those good men who afford me their society, but to be sensible of such a foul endeavoured disgrace—not knowing aught, either in mine own deserts or the laws of this land, why I should be subject, in such a notorious and illegal manner, to the intemperancies of this man's preaching choler. ... But, if only to have writ my name must be accounted 'impudence' how doth this but justify another, who might affirm, with as good warrant, that the late Discourse of Scripture and Reason, which is certain to be chiefly his [Palmer's] own draft, was published without a name out of base fear, and the sly avoidance of what might follow if the party at Court should hap to reach him! And I, to have set my name where he accuses me to have set it, am so far from recanting that I offer my hand also, if need be, to make good the same opinion which I there maintain by inevitable consequences drawn parallel from his own principal arguments in that of Scripture and Reason; which I shall pardon him if he can deny without shaking his own composition to pieces. The 'impudence,' therefore, since he weighed so little what a gross revile that was to give his equal, I send him back again for a phylactery to stitch upon his arrogance, that censures not only before conviction so bitterly without so much as one reason given, but censures the Congregation of his Governors to their faces, for not being so hasty as himself to censure." [Footnote: The discourse Scripture and Reason, which Milton here ascribes to Palmer, charging him with cowardice in having published it anonymously, was a quarto pamphlet of 80 pages, published in April 1643, and purporting to be "by divers Reverend and Learned Divines." More fully its title was Scripture and Reason Pleaded for Defensive Armes: or the whole Controversie about Subjects taking up Armes. It was, in fact, an elaborate proof, from Scripture and Reason, of the right of the English Parliament and People to make war upon the King. Doubtless Milton had ascertained that Palmer was its chief author: hence, rather unnecessarily, his taunt. Palmer had also published more recently (Dec. 1644), but with his name, the First Part of a Book called Memorials of Godliness and Christianity. It was afterwards completed by two additional Parts, also with his name, Part II. containing, among other things, a set of aphorisms entitled "The character of a Christian in Paradoxes and seeming Contradictions." It had so chanced, however, that, before he had published this Part II. of his Memorials, a surreptitious edition of the aforesaid Aphorisms had found its way into print, with no author's name attached (July 1645). Hence a strange result. Palmer died in 1647, aetat . 46; and in the following year—though his Memorials, containing the "Christian Paradoxes," were in circulation with his name—the "Christian Paradoxes" by themselves, as they had been published anonymously in the surreptitious edition of July 1645, were published as Lord Bacon's in a quarto volume of Bacon's "Remaines." The blunder was probably then detected; but it was again committed in 1730, when the "Paradoxes" were included in Blackburn's Edition of Bacon's works. From that date till 1864 the "Paradoxes" were printed as Bacon's, and, though suspected by some, yet often written about as Bacon's; but in the last-mentioned year the mistake was rectified, and Herbert Palmer reinstated in the authorship of the "Paradoxes," by the Rev. Alexander B. Grosart (See his little volume Lord Bacon not the Author of "The Christian Paradoxes:" see also Spedding's Bacon, VII. 289 et seq.).]

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