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which preserves justly every man's reason itself, kills the image of God, copy to him, or provides for the as it were in the eye. Many a man poor, I touch not; only wish they lives a burden to the earth; but a be not made pretences to abuse and good book is the precious lifeblood of persecute honest and painful men, a master spirit, imbutmed and treawho offend not in either of these par- sured up on purpose to a life beyond ticulars. But that other clause of life. It is true, no age cau restore licensing books, which we thought a life, whereof perhaps there is no had died with his brother quadrage- great loss; and revolutions of ages simal and matrimonial when the do not at recover the loss of a reprelates expired, I shall now attend jected truth, for the want of which with such a homily, as shall lay whole nations fare the worse.
We before ye, first the inventors of it, should be wary therefore what perto be those whom ye will be loth to secution we raise against the living own; next, what is to be thought in Jabours of public men, how we spill general of reading, whatever sort the that seasoned life of man, preserved books be; and that this order avails and stored up in books ; since we nothing to the suppression of scan- see a kind of homicide may be thus dalous, seditious, and libellous books, committed, sometimes a martyrdom; which were mainly intended to be and if it extend to the whole impressuppressed. Last, that it will be sion, a kind of massacre, whereof primely to the discouragement of all the execution ends not in the slaying learning, and the stop of truth, not of an elemental life, but strikes at only by disexercising and blunting the æthereal and fifth essence, the our abilities, in what we know al- breath of reason itself; slays an imready, but by hindering and crop- mortality rather than a life. But ping the discovery that might be yet lest I should be condemned of introfurther made, both in religious and ducing licence, while I oppose licencivil wisdom.
sing, I refuse not the pains to be so I deny not, but that it is of greatest much historical, as will serve to concernment in the church and com- show what hath been done by aninonwealth, to have a vigilant eye cient and famous commonwealths, how books demean themselves as against this disorder, till the very well as mem; and thereafter to con- time that this project of licensing fine, imprison, and do sharpest jus- crept out of the inquisition, was tice on them as malefactors ; for catched up by our prelates, and books are not absolutely dead things, hath caught some of our presbyters. but do contain a progeny of life in In Athens, where books and wits them to be as active as that soul were ever busicr than in any other was whese progeny they are; nay, part of Greece, I find but only two they do preserve as in a vial the sorts of writings which the magispurest efficacy and extraction of that trate cared to take notice of; those living intellect that bred them. I either blasphemous and atheistical, know they are as lively, and as vi- or libellous. Thus the books of Progorously productive, as those fabu- tagoras were by the judges of AreoJous dragons teeth ; and being sown pagus commanded to be burnt, and up and down, may chance to spring himself banished the territory for a up armed men. And yet on the discourse, begun with his confessing other hand, unless wariness be used, not to know, whether there were as good almost kill a man as kill a gods, or whether not.” And against good book : who kills a man kills a defaming, it was agreed that none reasonable creature, God's image: should be traduced by name, as was but he who destroys a good book, kills the manner of Vetus Comedia, whereby we may guess how they unchaste. Thus much may give us censured libelling; and this course light after what sort of books were was quick enough, as Cicero writes, prohibited among the Greeks. The to quell both the desperate wits of Romans also for many ages trained other atheists, and the open way of up only to a military roughness, re defaming, as the event showed. Of sembling most the Lacedæmonian other sects and opinions, though guise, knew of learning little but tending to voluptuousness, and the what their twelve tables and the denying of divine providence, they pontific college with their augurs took no heed. Therefore we do not and flamins taught them in religion read that either Epicurus, or that and law; so unacquainted with other libertine schoul of Cyrene, or what learning, that when Carneades and the Cynic impudence uttered, was Critolaus, with the stoic Diogenes, ever questioned by the laws. Nei. coming embassadors to Rome, took ther is it recorded, that the writings thereby occasion to give the city a of those old comedians were sup- taste of their philosophy, they were pressed, though the acting of them suspected for seducers by no less a were forbid, and that Plato com- man than Cato the censor, who mended the reading of Aristophanes, moved it in the senate to dismiss the loosest of them all, to his royal them speedily, and to banish all scholar Dionysius, is commonly such Attic babblers out of Italy. known, and may be excused, if holy But Scipio and others of the noblest Chrysostom, as is reported, 'nightly senators withstood him and his old studied so much the same author, Sabine austerity; honoured and adand had the art to cleanse a scurri- mired the men, and the censor himlous vehemence into the style of a self at last, in his old age, fell to the rousing sermon! That other leading study of that whereof before he was city of Greece, Lacedæmon, consi- so scrupulous. And yet at the same dering that Lycurgus their lawgiver time, Nævius and Plautus, the first was so addicted to elegant learning, latin comedians, had filled the city as to have been the first that brought with all the borrowed scenes of Meout of lonia the scattered works of nander and Philemon. Then began Homer, and sent the poet Thales to be considered there also what was from Crete to prepare and mollify the to be done to libellous books and Spartan surliness with his smooth authors; for Nævias was quickly songs and odes, the better to plant cast into prison for his unbridled among them law and civility; it is pen, and released by the tribunes to be wondered how museless and upon his recantation; we read also unbookish they were, minding nought that libels were burnt, and the mabut the feats of war. There needed kers punished by Augustus. The no licensing of books among them, like severity, no doubt, was used, if for they disliked all but their own aught were impiously written against laconic apophthegms, and took a their esteemed gods. Except in these slight occasion to chase Archilocus two points, how the world went in out of their city, perhaps for compo, books, the magistrate kept no reckonsing in a higher strain than their ing. And therefore Lucretius, withown soldiery, hallads, and roundels, out impeachment, versifies his Epicould reach to; or if it were for his curism to Memmius, and had the broad verses, they were not therein honour to be set forth the second so cautious, but they were as disso time by Cicero, so great a father of lute in their promiscuous conversing; the commonwealth ; although himwhence Euripides affirms in Andro- self disputes against that opinion in mache, that their women were all his own writings. Nor was the satirical sharpness or naked plainness cil. After which time the popes of of Lucilius, or Catullus, or Flaccus, Rome, engrossing what they pleased by any order prohibited. And for of political rule into their own hands, matters of state, the story of Titus extended their dominion over men's Livius, though it extolled that part eyes, as they had before over their which Pompey held, was not there. judgments, burning and prohibiting fore suppressed by Octavius Cæsar, to be read what they fancied not ; of the other faction. But that Naso yet sparing in their censures, and was by him banished in his old age, the books not many which they so for the wanton poems of his youth, dealt with ; till Martin the fifth, by was but a mere çovert of state over his bull not only prohibited, but some secret cause; and besides, the was the first that excommunicated books were neither banished nor the reading of beretical books; for called in. From hence we shall about that time Wickliffe and Husse meet with little else but tyranny in growing terrible, were they who first the Roman empire, that we may not drove the papal court to a stricter marvel, if not so often bad as good policy of probibiting. Which course books were silenced. I shall there. Leo the tenth and his successors fore deein to have been large enough, followed, until the council of Trent, in producing what among the an- and the Spanish inquisition engencients was punishable to write, save dering together, brought forth or only which, all other arguments perfected those catalogues and exwere free to treat on.
purging indexes, that rake through By this time the Emperors were the entrails of many an old good become christians, whose discipline author, with a violation worse than in this point I do not find to have any could be offered to his tomb. been more severe than what was for Nor did they stay in matters heremerly in practice. The books of tical, but any subject, that was not those whom they took to be grand to their palate, they either conheretics were examined, refuted, and demned in a prohibition, or had it condemned in the general councils; straighı into the new purgatory of an and not till then were prohibited, or indes. To fill up the measure of burnt by authority of the Eruperor. encroachment, their last invention As for the writings of heathen au- was to ordain that no book, pamphthors, unless they were plain invec- let, or paper, should be printed (as tives against christianity, as those if St. Peter bad bequeathed them the of Porphyrius and Proclus, they met keys of the press also as well as of with no interdict that can be cited, Paradise) unless it were approved till about the year 400, in a Cartha- and licensed under the hands of two ginian council, wherein bishops them- or three gluttonous friars, For exselves were forbid to read the books ample: of gentiles, but heresies they might “ Let the Chancellor Cini be pleased read; while others long before them to see it in this present work be on the contrary scrupled more the contained aught that may with , books of heretics, than of gentiles. stand the printing; And that the primitive councils and
Vincent Rabbata, vicar of bishops were wont only to declare
Florence. what books were not commenılable, I have seen this present work, and passing no further, but leaving it tú find nothing athwart the catholic each one's conscience to read or to faith and good manners; in witlay by, till after the year 800, is ness whereof I have given, &c. observed already by Padre Paolo the
Nicolo Cini, Chancellor of great unmasker of the Trentine coun
" Attending the preceding relation, foremost in the achievments of li
it is allowed that this present work berty, will not easily find servile of Davanzati may be printed," letters enow to spell such a dictatory
Vincent Rabatta, sc. presumption englished. And thus "It may be printed, July 15." ye have the inventors, and the ori.
Friar Simon Mompei d'Amelia, ginal of book licensing ripped up and
Chancellor of the holy office in drawn as lineally as any pedigree.
We have it not, that can be heard Sure they have a conceit, if he of cf, from any ancient state, or polity, the bottomless pit had not long since or church, nor by any statute left broke prison, that this quadruple us by our ancestors elder or later; exorcism would bar him down. I nor from the modern custom of any fear their next design will be to get reformed city or church abroad; into their custody the licensing of but from the most antichristian counthat which they say Claudius in- cil, and the most tyrannous inquisto tended* but went not through with. tion, that ever inquired. Till then Vouchsafe to see another of their books were ever as freely admitted forms, the Roman stamp;
into the world as any other birth; Imprimatur, If it seem good to the the issue of the brain was no more
reverend master of the holy pa- stifled than the issue of the womb; lace, Belcastro, Vicegerent. no envious Juno sat crosslegged over Imprimatur.”
the nativity of any man's intellectual Friar Nicholo Rodolphi, master offspring; but if it prowed a monof the holy palace.
ster, who denies but that ii was Sometimes five imprimaturs are justly burnt, or sunk into the sea? seen together dialogue wise in the But that a book, in worse condition piatza of one titlepage, compliment- than a peccant soul, should be to ing and ducking each to other with stand before a jury ere it be born to their shaven reverences, whether the the world, and undergo yet in darkauthor, who stands by in perplexity ness the judgment of Radamanth at the foot of his epistle, shall to the and his colleagues, ere it can pass press or to the spunge. These are the ferry backward into light, was the pretty responsories, these are never heard before, till that mystethe dear antiphonies, that so be- rious iniquity, provoked and trouwitched of laté our prelates and bled at the first entrance of reformatheir chaplains, with the goodly echo tion, sought out new limboes and they made; and besotted us to the new hells wherein they mightinclude gay imitation of a lorilly imprima- our books also within the number of tur, one from Lambeth-house, ano- their damned. And this was the ther from the west end of Paul's; so rare morsel so officiously snatched apishly romanizing, that the word up, and so illfavouredly imitated by of command still was set down in our inquisiturient bishops, and the Latin; as if the learned grammatical attendant minorities, their chaplains. pen that wrote it would cast no ink That ye like not now these most without Latin ;'or perhaps, as they certain authors of this licensing thought, because no vulgar tongue order, and that all sinister intention was worthy to express the pure con- was far distant from your thoughts, ceit of an imprimatur; but rather, when ye were importuned the as I hope, for that our English, the sing it, all men who know the intelanguage of men ever famous and grity of your actions, and how
* Quo veniam daret flatum crepitum- honour truth, will clear ye readily. que ventris in convivio emitiéndi.
But some will say, what though Sueton, in Claudio. the inventors were bad, the thing for
all that may be good. It may so; man may say, to coin all the seven yet if that thing be no such deep in- liberal sciences out of the Bible, revention, but obvious and easy for ducing it into diverse forms of oraany man to light on, and yet best tions, poems, dialogues, even to the and wisest commonwealths through calculating of a new christian gramall ages and occasions have forborn mar. But saith the historian Soto use it, and falsest seducers and crates, the providence of God prooppressors of men were the first who vided better than the industry of took it up, and 10 no other purpose Appollinarius and his son, by taking but to obstruct and hinder the first away that illiterate law with the life approach of reformation; I am of of him who devised it. So great an those who believe, it will be a harder injury they then held it to be deprived alchymy than Lullius ever knew, to of Hellenic learning; and thought it sublimate any good use out of such a persecution more undermining, and an invention. Yet this only is what secretly decaying the church, than I request to gain from this reason, the open cruelty of Decius or Dioclethat it may be held a dangerous and sian. And perhaps it was the same suspicious fruit, as certainly it de- politic drift that the devil whipped serves, for the tree that bore it, un- St. Jerom in a lenten dream, for til I can dissect one by one the pro- reading Cicero ; or else it was a perties it has. But I have first to phantasm, bred by the fever which finish, as was propounded, what is had then seized him. For had an to be thought in general of reading angel been his discipliner, unless it books, whatever sort they be, and were for dwelling too much on Ciwhether be more the benefit or the ceronianisms, and had chastised the harm that thence proceeds.
reading, pot the vanity, it bad been Not co insist upon the examples plainly partial; first to correct bim of Moses, Daniel, and Paul, who for grave Cicero, and not for scurril were skilful in all the learning of the Plautus, whom he confesses to have Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Greeks, been reading not long before; next which could not probably be with- to correct him only, and let so many out reading their books of all sorts, more ancient fathers wax old in those in Paul especially, who thought it pleasant and florid studies without no defilement to insert into holy the lash of such a tutoring appariscripture the sentences of three Greek tion ; insomuch that Basil teaches poets, and one of them a tragedian; how some good use may be made of the question was notwithstanding Margites a sportful poem, not now sometimes controverted among the extant, writ by Homer; and why primitive doctors, but with great not then of Morgante an Italian roodds on that side which affirmed it mance much to the same purpose ? both lawful and profitable, as was But if it be agreed we shall be tried then evidently perceived, when Ju- by visions, there is a vision recorded lian the Apostate, and subtlest enemy by Eusebius, far ancienter than this to our faith, made a decree forbid- tale of Jerom, to the nun Eustochium, ding christians the study of heathen and besides, bas nothing of a fever learning; for said he, they wound in it. Dionysius Alexandrius was us with our own weapons, and with about the year 240, a person of our own arts and sciences they over- great name in the church, for piety
And indeed the christians and learning, who had wont to avail were put so to their shifts by this himself much against heretics, by crafty means, and so much in danger being conversant in their books; unto decline into all ignorance, that til a certain presbyter laid it scrupu. the two Apollinarii were fajn, as a lously to his conscience, how be