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and scurrilous," and as the Remonstrant's fashion is, for frivolous, tedious, and false, not staying till the reader can hear him proved so in the following discourse? Which is one cause of a suspicion that in setting forth this pamphlet the Remonstrant was not unconsulted with: thus his first address was "an humble remonstrance by a dutiful son of the church," almost as if he had said, her white-boy. His next was, "a defence" (a wonder how it escaped some praising adjunct) "against the frivolous and false exceptions against Smectymnuus," sitting in the chair of his title-page upon his poor cast adversaries both as a judge and party, and that before the jury of readers can be impannelled. His last was "a short answer to a tedious vindication;" so little can he suffer a man to measure either with his eye or judgment, what is short or what tedious, without his preoccupying direction and from hence is begotten this "modest confutation against a slanderous and scurrilous libel." I conceive, readers, much may be guessed at the man and his book, what depth there is, by the framing of his title; which being in this Remonstrant so rash and unadvised as ye see, I conceit him to be near akin to him who set forth a passion sermon with a formal dedicatory in great letters to our Saviour. Although I know that all we do ought to begin and end in his praise and glory, yet to inscribe him in a void place with flourishes, as a man in compliment uses to trick up the name of some esquire, gentleman, or lord paramount at common law, to be his bookpatron, with the appendant form of a ceremonious presentment, will ever appear among the judicious to be but an insulse and frigid affectation. As no less was that before his book against the Brownists, to write a letter to a Prosopopœia, a certain rhetorized woman whom he calls mother, and complains of some that laid whoredom to her charge; and certainly had he folded his epistle with a superscription to be delivered to that female figure by any post or carrier, who were not a ubiquitary, it had been a most miraculous greeting. We find the primitive doctors, as oft as they writ to churches, speaking to them as to a number of faithful brethren and sons, and not to make a cloudy transmigration of sexes in such a familiar way of writing as an epistle ought to be, leaving the tract of common address, to run up, and tread the air in metaphorical compellations, and many fond utterances better let alone. But I step again to this emblazoner of his titlepage, (whether it be the same man or no, I leave it in the midst,) and here I find him pronouncing without reprieve, those animadversions to be a slanderous and scurrilous libel. To which I, readers, that they are neither slanderous, nor scurrilous, will answer in what place of his book he shall be found with reason, and not ink only, in his mouth. Nor can it be a libel more than his own, which is both nameless and full of slanders; and if in this that it freely speaks of things amiss in religion, but established by act of state, I see not how Wickliff and Luther, with all the first martyrs and reformers, could avoid the imputation of libelling. I never thought the human frailty of erring in cases of religion, infamy to a state, no more than to a council: it had therefore been neither civil nor Christianly, to derogate the honour of the state for that cause, especially when I saw the parliament itself piously and magnanimously bent to supply and reform the defects and oversights of their forefathers, which to the godly and repentant ages of the Jews were often matter of humble confessing and bewailing, not of confident asserting and maintaining. Of the state therefore, I found good reason to speak all honourable things, and to join in petition with good men that petitioned: but against the prelates, who were the only seducers and misleaders of the state to constitute the government of the church not rightly, methought I had not vehemence enough. And thus, readers, by
the example which he hath set me, I have given ye two or three notes of him out of his title-page; by which his firstlings fear not to guess boldly at his whole lump, for that guess will not fail ye; and although I tell him keen truth, yet he may bear with me, since I am like to chase him into some good knowledge, and others, I trust, shall not misspend their leisure. For this my aim is, if I an forced to be unpleasing to him whose fault it is, i shall not forget at the same time to be useful in something to the stander-by.
As therefore he began in the title, so in the next leaf he makes it his first business to tamper with his reader by sycophanting and misnaming the work of his adversary. He calls it "a mime thrust forth upon the stage, to make up the breaches of those solemn scenes between the prelates and the Smectymnuans." Wherein while he is so over-greedy to fix a name of ill sound upon another, note how stupid he is to expose himself or his own friends to the same ignominy; likening those grave controversies to a piece of stagery, or scenework, where his own Remonstrant, whether in buskin or sock, must of all right be counted the chief player, be it boasting Thraso, or Davus that troubles all things, or one who can shift into any shape, I meddle not; let him explicate who hath resembled the whole argument to a comedy, for "tragical," he says, 66 were too ominous.” Nor yet doth he tell us what a mime is, whereof we have no pattern from ancient writers, except some fragments, which contain many acute and wise sentences. And this we know in Laertius, that the mimes of Sophron were of such reckoning with Plato, as to take them nightly to read on, and after make them his pillow. Scaliger describes a mime to be a poem intimating any action to stir up laughter. But this being neither poem, nor yet ridiculous, how is it but abusively taxed to be a mime? For if every book, which may by chance excite to laugh here and there, must be termed thus, then may the dialogues of Plato, who for those his writings, hath obtained the surname of divine, be esteemed as they are by that detractor in Athenæus, no better than mimes. Because there is scarce one of them, especially wherein some notable sophister lies sweating and turmoiling under the inevitable and merciless dilemmas of Socrates, but that he who reads, were it Saturn himself, would be often robbed of more than a smile. And whereas he tells us, that "scurrilous Mime was a personated grim lowering fool," his foolish language unwittingly writes fool upon his own friend, for he who was there personated was only the Remonstrant; the author is ever distinguished from the person he introduces. But in an ill hour hath this unfortunate rashness stumbled upon the mention of miming, that he might at length cease, which he hath not yet since he stepped in, to gall and hurt him whom he would aid. Could he not beware, could he not bethink him, was he so uncircumspect as not to foresee, that no sooner would that word mime be set eye on in the paper, but it would bring to mind that wretched pilgrimage over Minshew's dictionary called "Mundus alter et idem," the idlest and paltriest mime that ever mounted upon bank? Let him ask "the author of those toothless satires," who was the maker, or rather the anticreator of that universal foolery, who he was, who like that other principal of the Manichees the arch evil one, when he had looked upon all that he had made and mapped out, could say no other but contrary to the divine mouth, that it was all very foolish. That grave and noble invention, which the greatest and sublimest wits in sundry ages, Plato in Critias, and our two famous countrymen, the one in his "Utopia," the other in his "New Atlantis,' chose, I may not say as a field, but as a mighty continent, wherein to display the largeness of their spirits, by teaching this our world better and exacter things than were yet known or used: this petty previcator of America,
the zany of Columbus, (for so he must be till his world's end,) having rambled over the huge topography of his own vain thoughts, no marvel if he brought us home nothing but a mere tankard drollery, a venereous parjetory for stews. Certainly, he that could endure with a sober pen, to sit and devise laws for drunkards to carouse by, I doubt me whether the very soberness of such a one, like an unliquored Silenus, were not stark drunk. Let him go now and brand another man injuriously with the name of Mime, being himself the loosest and most extravagant Mime that hath been heard of, whom no less than almost half the world could serve for stage-room to play the Mime in. And let him advise again with Sir Francis Bacon, whom he cites to confute others, what it is "to turn the sins of Christendom into a mimical mockery, to rip up the saddest vices with a laughing countenance," especially where neither reproof nor better teaching is adjoined. Nor is my meaning, readers, to shift off a blame from myself, by charging the like upon my accuser, but shall only desire, that sentence may be respited, till I can come to some instance whereto I may give answer.
Thus having spent his first onset, not in confuting, but in a reasonless defaming of the book, the method of his malice hurries him to attempt the like against the author; not by proofs and testimonies, but "having no certain notice of me," as he professes, "further than what he gathers from the animadversions," blunders at me for the rest, and flings out stray crimes at a venture, which he could never, though he be a serpent, suck from any thing that I have written, but from his own stuffed magazine, and hoard of slanderous inventions, over and above that which he converted to venom in the drawing. To me, readers, it happens as a singular contentment; and let it be to good men no light satisfaction, that the slanderer here confesses, he has "no further notice of me than his own conjecture." Although it had been honest to have inquired, before he uttered such infamous words, and I am credibly informed he did inquire; but finding small comfort from the intelligence which he received, whereon to ground the falsities which he had provided, thought it his likeliest course under a pretended ignorance to let drive at random, lest he should lose his odd ends, which from some penurious book of characters he had been culling out and would fain apply. Not caring to burden me with those vices, whereof, among whom my conversation hath been, I have been ever least suspected; perhaps not without some subtlety to cast me into envy, by bringing on me a necessity to enter into mine own praises. In which argument I know every wise man is more unwillingly drawn to speak, than the most repining ear can be averse to hear. Nevertheless, since I dare not wish to pass this life unpersecuted of slanderous tongues, for God hath told us that to be generally praised is woeful, I shall rely on his promise to free the innocent from causeless aspersions: whereof nothing sooner can assure me, than if I shall feel him now assisting me in the just vindication of myself, which yet I could defer, it being more meet, that to those other matters of public debatement in this book I should give attendance first, but that I fear it would but harm the truth for me to reason in her behalf, so long as I should suffer my honest estimation to lie unpurged from these insolent suspicions. And if I shall be large, or unwonted in justifying myself to those who know me not, for else it would be needless, let them consider that a short slander will ofttimes reach further than a long apology; and that he who will do justly to all men, must begin from knowing how, if it so happen, to be not unjust to himself. I must be thought, if this libeller (for now he shows himself to be so) can find belief, after an inordinate and riotous youth spent at the university, to have been at length "vomited out thence." For which
commodious lie, that he may be encouraged in the trade another time, I thank him; for it hath given me an apt occasion to acknowledge publicly with all grateful mind, that more than ordinary favour and respect, which I found above any of my equals at the hands of those courteous and learned men, the fellows of that college wherein I spent some years who at my · parting, after I had taken two degrees, as the manner is, signified many ways, how much better it would content them that I would stay; as by many letters full of kindness and loving respect, both before that time, and long after, I was assured of their singular good affection towards me. Which being likewise propense to all such as were for their studious and civil life worthy of esteem, I could not wrong their judgments, and upright intentions, so much as to think I had that regard from them for other cause, than that I might be still encouraged to proceed in the honest and laudable courses, of which they apprehended I had given good proof. And to those ingenuous and friendly men, who were ever the countenances of virtuous and hopeful wits, I wish the best and happiest things, that friends in absence wish one to another. As for the common approbation or dislike of that place, as now it is, that I should esteem or disesteem myself, or any other the more for that; too simple and too credulous is the confuter, if he think to obtain with me, or any right discerner. Of small practice were that physician, who could not judge by what both she or her sister hath of long time vomited, that the worser stuff she strongly keeps in her stomach, but the better she is ever kecking at, and is queasy. She vomits now out of sickness: but ere it will be well with her, she must vomit by strong physic. In the mean time that suburb sink, as this rude scavenger calls it, and more than scurrilously taunts it with the plague, having a worse plague in his middle entrail, that suburb wherein I dwell shall be in my account a more honourable place than his university. Which as in the time of her better health, and mine own younger judgment, I never greatly admired, so now much less. But he follows me to the city, still usurping and forging beyond his book notice, which only he affirms to have had; "and where my morning haunts are, he wisses not." It is wonder, that being so rare an alchymist of slander, he could not extract that, as well as the university vomit, and the suburb sink which his art could distill so cunningly; but because his limbec fails him, to give him and envy the more vexation, I will tell him. Those morning haunts are where they should be, at home; not sleeping, or concocting the surfeits of an irregular feast, but up and stirring, in winter often ere the sound of any bell awake men to labour, or to devotion; in summer as oft with the bird that first rouses, or not much tardier, to read good authors, or cause them to be read, till the attention be weary, or memory have its full fraught: then with useful and generous labours preserving the body's health and hardiness to render lightsome, clear, and not lumpish obedience to the mind, to the cause of religion, and our country's liberty, when it shall require firm hearts in sound bodies to stand and cover their stations, rather than to see the ruin of our protestation, and the inforcement of a slavish life. These are the morning practices; proceed now to the afternoon; "in playhouses," he says, "and the bordelloes." Your intelligence, unfaithful spy of Canaan? He gives in his evidence, that "there he hath traced me." Take him at his word, readers, but let him bring good sureties ere ye dismiss him, that while he pretended to dog others, he did not turn in for his own pleasure: for so much in effect he concludes against himself, not contented to be caught in every other gin, but he must be such a novice, as to be still hampered in his own hemp. In the animadversions, saith he, I find the mention of old cloaks, false beards,
nightwalkers, and salt lotion; therefore the animadverter haunts playhouses and bordelloes; for if he did not, how could he speak of such gear? Now that he may know what it is to be a child, and yet to meddle with edged tools, I turn his antistrophon upon his own head; the confuter knows that these things are the furniture of playhouses and bordelloes; therefore by the same reason "the confuter himself hath been traced in those places." Was it such a dissolute speech, telling of some politicians who were wont to evesdrop in disguises, to say they were often liable to a nightwalking cudgeller, or the emptying of a urinal? What if I had writ as your friend the author of the aforesaid mime, " Mundus alter et idem," to have been ravished like some young Cephalus or Hylas, by a troop of camping housewives in Viraginea, and that he was there forced to swear himself an uxorious varlet; then after a long servitude to have come into Aphrodisia that pleasant country, that gave such a sweet smell to his nostrils among the shameless courtezans of Desvergonia? Surely he would have then concluded me as constant at the bordello, as the galley-slave at his oar. But since there is such necessity to the hearsay of a tire, a periwig, or a vizard, that plays must have been seen, what difficulty was there in that? when in the colleges so many of the young divines, and those in next aptitude to divinity, have been seen so often upon the stage, writhing and unboning their clergy limbs to all the antic and dishonest gestures of Trinculoes, buffoons, and bawds; prostituting the shame of that ministry, which either they had, or were nigh having, to the eyes of courtiers and court ladies, with their grooms and mademoiselles. There while they acted and overacted, among other young scholars, I was a spectator; they thought themselves gallant men, and I thought them fools; they made sport, and I laughed; they mispronounced, and I misliked; and to make up the atticism, they were out, and I hissed. Judge now whether so many good text-men were not sufficient to instruct me of false beards and vizards, without more expositors; and how can this confuter take the face to object to me the seeing of that, which his reverend prelates allow, and incite their young disciples to act? For if it be unlawful to sit and behold a mercenary comedian personating that which is least unseemly for a hireling to do, how much more blameful is it to endure the sight of as vile things acted by persons either entered or presently to enter into the ministry; and how much more foul and ignominious for them to be the actors!
But because as well by this upbraiding to me the bordelloes, as by other suspicious glancings in his book, he would seem privily to point me out to his readers, as one whose custom of life were not honest, but licentious; I shall intreat to be borne with, though I digress; and in a way not often trod, acquaint ye with the sum of my thoughts in this matter, through the course of my years and studies. Although I am not ignorant how hazardous it will be to do this under the nose of the envious, as it were in skirmish to change the compact order, and instead of outward actions, to bring inmost thoughts into front. And I must tell ye, readers, that by this sort of men I have been already bitten at; yet shall they not for me know how slightly they are esteemed, unless they have so much learning as to read what in Greek azugoxaxía is, which, together with envy, is the common disease of those who censure books that are not for their reading. With me it fares now, as with him whose outward garment hath been injured and illbedighted; for having no other shift, what help but to turn the inside outwards, especially if the lining be of the same, or, as it is sometimes, much better? So if my name and outward demeanour be not evident enough to defend me, I must make trial, if the discovery of my inmost thoughts can: wherein of Vol. I.