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the divinity-chair in that city. Befides this, More promises himself other fweets in his clandeftine amour with Portia ; for, under pretext of confulting Salmafius in the profecution of this work, he had free admiffion to the house at all hours of the night or day. And, as formerly Pyramus was changed into a mulberry tree, fo More feems fuddenly transformed into Pyramus; but in proportion as he was more criminal, fo he was more fortunate than that youth. He had no occafion to feek for a chink in the wall; he had every facility of carrying on his intrigue with his Thisbe under the fame roof. He promises her marriage; and, under the lure of this promife, violates her chastity. O fhame! a minister of the gofpel abuses the confidence of friendship to commit this atrocious crime. From this amour no common prodigy accrued; for both man and woman fuffered the pains of parturition: Portia conceived a morillt, which long afforded employment to the natural difquifitions of Salmafius; More, the barren and windy egg; from which iffued that flatulent cry of the royal blood. The fight of this egg indeed, at first, caused our monarchy-men, who were famifhing in Belgium, to lick their chops; but the fhell was no fooner broken, than they loathed the addle and putrid contents; for More, not a little elated with his conception, and thinking that he had obliged the whole Orange faction, had begun to anticipate a new acceffion of profefforships and chairs, when he deferted his poor pregnant Portia, as beneath his notice, to indigence and misfortune. She complained to the fynod and the magiftrates, of the injuries and the treachery which she had experienced. Thus the matter was brought to light, and afforded subject for merriment and obfervation in almost all places and companies. Hence fome Hence fome ingenious perfon wrote this diftich,
Galli ex concubitu gravidam te, Portia, Mori,
* Morus, the Latin name for mulberry.
+ A little More, or mulberry.
It is impoffible to give a literally exact rendering of this; I have played upon the name as well as I could in English.-R. F.
O Portia, teeming with More's Gallic feed,
Portia alone was not feen to fmile; but fhe gained nothing by complaint; for the cry of the royal blood foon overwhelmed the clamour about the rape, and the cries of the ruined fair. Salmafius deeply refented the injury and infult which were thus offered to himself and his family; and the derifion to which he was expofed by his courteous and admiring friend; and perhaps this miffortune, added to his other mifhaps in the royal cause, might have contributed to accelerate his end. But on this hereafter. In the mean time, Salmafius, with the fate of Salmafia, (for the fable is as appropriate as the name,) little thinking that in More he had got an hermaphrodite affociate, as incapable of parturition as of procreation, without knowing what he had begot for him in the house, fondles the fruit of his travail, the book in which he was ftyled Great; juftly perhaps in his own opinion, but very unfitly and ridiculoufly in that of other people. He haftens to the printer; and, in vain endeavouring to keep poffeffion of the fame, which was vanifhing from his grafp, he anxiously tends as a midwife the public delivery of those praises, or rather vile flatteries, which he had fo rapaciously fought this fellow and others to bestow. For this purpose Flaccus feemed the most proper person that could be found; him he readily perfuades, not only to print the book, which nobody would have blamed, but alfo publickly to profefs himself the author of a letter to Charles, filled with the most calumnious afperfions against me, whom he had never known. But when I fhew, as I can from good authority, how he has acted towards others, it will be the less astonishing why he should fo readily be prevailed on to commence fuch a wanton and unprovoked attack upon me; and with fo little confideration, to father another's extravagance of flander and invective. Flaccus, whofe country is unknown, was an itinerant bookfeller, a notorious prodigal and cheat; for a long time he carried on a clandeftine trade in London; from which city, after practising innumerable frauds, he ran away in debt. He afterwards Bb 3 lived
lived at Paris, during the whole reign of James, an object of distrust and a monster of extortion. From this place he made his escape; and now does not dare to approach within many miles; at prefent he makes his appearance as a regenerated bookfeller at the Hague, ready to perform any nefarious and dirty work to which he may be invited. And as a proof how little he cares what he fays or what he does, there is nothing fo facred which a trifling bribe would not tempt him to betray; and I shall bring forward his own confeffion to fhew that his virulence against me was not prompted, as might be fuppofed, by any zeal for the public good. When he found that what I had written against Salmafius had a confiderable fale, he writes to fome of my friends to perfuade me to let any future publication of mine iffue from his prefs; and promises a great degree of elegance in the typographical execution. I replied, that I had, at that time, no work by me ready for the prefs. But lo! he, who had lately made me fuch an officious proffer of his fervices, foon appears, not only as the printer, but the (fuborned) author of a moft fcandalous libel upon my character. My friends exprefs their indignation; he replies with unabashed effrontery, that he is quite aftonished at their fimplicity and ignonorance of the world in fuppofing that he should suffer any notions of right or wrong to difturb his calculations of profit and his fpeculations of gain: that he had received that letter from Salmafius together with the book; that he begged him to publish it on his own count, in the way he had done; and that, if Milton or any other person thought fit to write an answer, he fhould have no hefitation in printing it, if they would employ him in the bufinefs. This was nothing else than to fay that he would readily publish an invective against Salmafius, or King Charles; for the reply could relate to no other perfons. It is needless to say more. I have unmasked the man; I proceed to others; for he is not the only one who has served to embellish this tragic cry of the royal blood. Here then are the actors in the drama. The brawling prolocutor, the profligate Flaccus, or, if you had rather, Salmafius, habited in the mask and cloak of Flaccus, two poetafters drunk with stale
beer, and More famed for adultery and rape. vellous company of tragedians! and an honeft fet for me to engage! But as fuch a caufe was not likely to procure adverfaries of a different stamp; let us now proceed to the attack of the individuals, fuch as they are; only first premising that, if any one think my refutation wanting in gravity, he fhould recollect, that I have not to contend with a weighty foe, but only a merry-andrew hoft; and that in fuch a work, inftead of labouring to to give it throughout the highest polish of elegance, it was right to confider what diction might be most appropriate to fuch a crew.
The Royal Blood crying to heaven for vengeance on the English parricides.
Your narrative, O More, would have had a greater ap pearance of truth, if you had firft fhewn that his blood was not justly fhed. But as in the first dawn of the reformation, the monks, from their dearth of argument, had recourse to spectres and other impofitions, fo you, when nothing else will stand you in any ftead, call in the aid of voices which were never heard, and fuperftitious tricks that have long been out of date. You would not readily give any of us credit for having heard a voice from heaven; but I could with little difficulty believe that you did actually hear a voice from hell. Yet, I befeech you, who heard this cry of the royal blood? Yourself? Mere trash; for first you never hear any thing good *. But that cry which mounts to heaven, if any but God hear, it can only be the upright and the pure; who, themselves, unstained with crimes, may well denounce the divine vengeance against the guilty. But how could you poffibly hear it? or, as a catamite, would you write a fatire against luft? For you feem, at the fame time, to have fabricated this miraculous cry to heaven and to have confummated your amour with Portia. There are not only many impediments in your fenfe, but many evil incruftations about your heart, which would for ever prevent fuch cries from
• Latin, male undis.
There is a play upon the words.
reaching your ears; and if nothing else did, the many cries which are continually afcending to heaven against your own enormities would be fufficient for the purpose. The voice of that harlot, whom you debauched in the garden, and who complains that you, her religious teacher, was the author of her feduction, demands vengeance against you. Vengeance is demanded against you by the husband, whofe nuptial bed you defiled; it is demanded by Portia, to whom you perjured your nuptial vow; it is demanded by that little innocent whom you caufed to be born in fhame, and then left to perish without fupport.-All these different cries for vengeance on your guilty head are continually afcending to the throne of God; which if you do not hear, it is certain that the cry of the royal blood you could never have heard. Thus your book, instead of the royal blood crying to heaven, might more fitly be enti tled "More's lafcivious neighing for his Portia." Of that tirefome and addle epiftle, which follows, part is devoted to Charles, part to Milton, to exalt the one, and to vilify the other. Take a fpecimen from the beginning: "The dominions of Charles," he fays, "were thrown into the facrilegious hands of parricides and Deicides." I fhall not stay to confider whether this rant be the product of Salmafius, of More, or of Flaccus. But this, which makes others laugh, may well make Charles rave; for a little after he fays that" no one was more devoted to the interests of Charles." What truly! was there no one more devoted to his interefts than you, who offered to publish and to circulate the invectives of his enemies? How wretched and forlorn muft be the fituation of Charles, if a fcoundrel of a printer dare to rank himself among his moft confidential friends? Wretched indeed muft he be, if the perfidious Flaccus equal his dearest friends in fidelity and affection! But could the fellow have fpoken any thing either more arrogantly of himself, or more contemptuoufly of the king and the king's friends? Nor is it lefs ridiculous that a low-lived mechanic fhould be brought upon the stage to philofophife on the principles of government, and the virtues of kings; and to speak in a tone as lofty as even Salmafius or More. But indeed on this, as well as other occafions, I have discovered evident indications