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waits on your proceedings. His highest praising is not flattery, and his plainest advice is a kinde of praising; for though I should affirme and hold by argument, that it would fare better with truth, with learning, and the Commonwealth, if one of your publisht Orders which I should name, were call'd in, yet at the same time it could not but much redound to the luftre of your milde and equall Governinent, when as private persons are hereby animated to thinke-ye better pleas?d with publick advice, then other státists have been delighted heretofore with publicke flattery, And men will then see what difference there is between the magnanimity of a trienniall Parlament, and that jealous hautinesle of Pre
lates and cabin Counsellours that usurpt of late, when as they shall observe yee in the midd'st of your Victories and fuccesses. more gently brooking writt'n exceptions against a voted Order, then other Courts, which had produc't nothing worth memory but the weake ostentation of wealth, would have endur'd the least fignifi'd dislike at any sudden Proclama. tion. If I should thus farre presume upon the meek demeanour of your civill and gentle greatnesse, Lords and Commons, as what your publisht Order hath directly faid, that to gainsay, I might defend my selfe with ease, if any fhould accuse me of being new or infolent, did they but know how much better I find: ye efteem it to imitate the old and ele.
gant humanity of Greece, then the barbarick pride of a Hunnish and Norwegian Natelines. And out of those ages, to whose polite wisdom and letters we ow that we are not yet Gothes and Jutlanders, I could name him who from his private house wrote that discourse to the Parlament of Athens, that perswades them to change the forme of Democraty which was then establisht. Such honour was done in those dayes to men who profest the study of wisdome and eloquence, not only in their own Country, but in other Lands, that Cities and Siniories heard them gladly, and with great respect, if they had ought in publick to admonish the State. Thus did Dion Prusaus a stranger and a privat Ora
tor counsell the Rhodians against a foriner edict : and I abound with other like examples, which to set heer would be superfluous. But if from the industry of a life wholly dedicated to studious labours, and those naturall endowments haply not the worst for two and fifty degrees of northern latitude, so much must be derogated, as to count me not equall to any of those who had this priviledge, I would obtain to be thought nat so inferior, as your felves are superior to the most of them who receiv'd their counsell: and how farre you excell them, be affur’d, Lords and Commons, there can 10 greater testimony appear, then when your prudent spirit acknowledges and obeyes the voice of reason
from what quarter soever it be heard speaking ; and renders ye as willing to repeal any A&t of your own setting forth, as any set forth by your Predecessors.
If ye be thus resolv'd, as it were injury to thinke ye were not, I know not what should withhold me from presenting ye with a fit instance wherein to shew. both that love of truth which ye eminently professe, and that uprightneffe of your judgement which is not wont to be partiall to your felves; by judging over again that Order which ye have ordain’d to regulate Printing. That no Book, pamphlet, or paper shall be henceforth Printed, unlesse the same be first approu'd and licenc't by such, or at least one of such as shall be thereto appointed. For