In a word, let no man be ashamed to return to his honest vocation ; if God have hitherto used them as his rod, let them not be high-minded but fear, that the angry Father may, by the tears, and prayers, and humiliations, and returnings of children to duty in expression of his reciprocal love to his children, return also in affection, and, in sign of the same, cast his rod into the fire, 66 where shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, because you had not compassion on your brethren, truly penitent for their and your sins.

Repent, dear countrymen, and take a heathen poets, Propertius, advice, as most properly becoming cach man.


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In this sheet of paper is contained, first, a short account of Printing in general,

as its usefulness, where and by whom invented; and then a declaration of its esteem and promotion in England, by the several kings and queens, since its first arrival in this nation; together with the methods taken by the Crown for its better regulation and government, till the year 16:0; when, says the Author, this trade, art, and mystery, was prostituted to every vile purpose, both in church and state; where he bitterly inveighs against Christopher Barker, John Bill, Thomas Newcomb, John Field, and Henry Hills, as interlopers, and, under the king's patent, were the only instruments of inflaming the people against the king and his friends, &c. As more fully appeareth in the fol. lowing paper.

LTOW venerable and worthily honoured, in all kingdoms and

commonwealths, the wonderful and mysterious invention, utility, and dignity of printing have always been, cannot be rationally contradicted; comparing it especially with the miserable condition and barbarousness of the ancients, as well in the eastern as the western parts of the world (as Strabo de Situ Orbis writeth) who, as he saith, for the better conveying to posterity the memorable acts and monuments of their present times, conceived and contrived at first no better medium, than the impression thereof with their fingers, or little știeks, in ashes or sand, thinly dispersed and spread abroad in vaults and cells: But, experience being the

mistress of art, some better wits at length invented knives, and other instruments, for the incision of letters in barks of trees; others, for the graving or carving of them in stone; others, with pincers in leaves of laurel, fig-trees, and other crassy leaves (as in China, and other parts of the Indies and eastern countries) im. pressed their memorials in uncouth characters : Since that, the use of lead was brought in estimation, for the insculption of words in a more convenient method. But (as the adage is true, facile est inventis addere, and use tends every day more and more to per. fection) the happy experiment first of parchment, and then of pa. per, was ingeniously found out, with the use of canes, pencils, quills, and ink of several sorts: Yet, all this while, the benefit, accruing by that invention, tended no further, than to the composing of one single manuscript at one time, by the labour and inscription of one single person : The rarity and paucity whereof hath caused such honour, reverence, and authority to be put upon the antiquities of our ancestors, as they worthily merit.

But, at length, this vast expence of time and pains forced men's wits, by a cogent necessity, to enquire into, and search out the more occult and secret mysteries of art, for the better convenience and communication of their writings: And thereupon, by the bles sing of Almighty God, upon the study and industry of John Got. tenburg, the rare and incomparable mystery and science of print. ing of books was invented and practised at Mentz in Germany, above two-hundred years ago; and, soon after, that art was brought over into England by one William Caxton, a worshipful mercer of the famous city of London, and there put in use, with merito. rious approbation of the religious and virtuous king Henry the Sixth, and all the estates of this kingdom. Since which time, be. ing about two hundred and twenty years elapsed, that ingenious mystery, splendor of art, and propagatrix of knowledge hath been duly countenanced and encouraged, with so much favour and respect of all our English princes, that it is, by laudable succession of time, arrived at that exquisite perfection, as we now see it in itself. For true is the character of a printer, to wit:

Imprimit ille die, quantum non scribitur anno.

In English thus:
In one day's time a printer will print more,
Than one man write could in a year before.

To pretermit the honour and esteem placed upon it, in parti. cular, by Henry the Eighth, and Edward the Sixth, and the in. corporation of the Stationers Company by Qucen Mary, merely and only for her favour and respect to the printers, and not to the booksellers (albeit they were both in their several faculties then constituted in one body and society, under one generical and iudividual term of Stationers *): Let us come to the reign of the

• As may more particularly be seen in the Charter of this Company, lately published by The mas Osborne of Gray's-Inn, VOL. VII.


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glorious queen Elisabeth, of ever blessed memory; and then we shall plainly and perspicuously discover her majesty's great love and royal affection to printing and printers; who, for the sake of them and it, so far descended from her royal throne, as that her highness not only made several gracious grants unto them, for better maintaining their poor, but also graciously recommended (for the special encouragement, and better subsistence of the master printers) the regulation of that mystery, and the professors thereof, to the right honourable and judicious, the Lords of her Majesty's most honourable Privy Council; who, 23 Junii, 28 Elis. made a memorable and noble decree in the Star-Chamber, confining the number of master printers in England to the number of twenty, to have the use and exercise of printing-houses for the time being (besides her majesty's printers, and the printers allowed for the Universities) limiting and confining them within such an excellent method and strict regulation, as tended very much to the peace and security of the church and state. But, as the world waxeth old as doth a garment, and the corruptions and evil man. ners of times and men grow daily to a greater maturity and ripe. ness in sin and wickedness; and that all human kind are boldly inclined to rush through any forbilden mischief (like the old race of the giants, and the builders of Babel) so in tract and process of time, and especially in these later days (notwithstanding the severity and authority of that good decree of the queen's time) printing and printers, about the year 1637, were grown to such a monstrous excess and exorbitant disorder, that the prudent limits and rules of that laudable decree were as much transgressed and infringed at that time, as the King's-Bench rules in Southwark have been extended and eloined in later days, for want of due execution of justice.

Wherefore, by the special command of our late royal and most illustrious king Charles, of blessed memory, the rigit honourable Thomas Lord Coventry, lord keeper of the great seal of England; the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, his Grace the Lord Bishop of London, lord high treasurer of England, the Lords Chief Justices, and the Lord Chief Baroit, being sat together in council in the Star-Chamber, 11 July, 13 Car, and reviewing and maturely considering the said decrec and ordinances of the queen's time; in very great wisdom, prudence, and policy of state, thought fit and adjudged not only to confirm the same, but also to make and subjoin thereto several useful and convenient additions and supplements, as the reason of state and the necessity of the times did then require. Which last decree (with Jue' renown to the memory of the makers thereof) was the best and most exquisite form and constitution for the good government and regulation of the press, that ever was pronounced, or can reasonably be contrived, to keep it in due order and regular exercise.

But now may we well with sorrow cry out at this day, with the comedian, O tempora! 0 mores! or, in another sense, with the spouse in the Canticles, ch. ii. v. 15. “ Take us the foxes, the

little foxes, that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”. Never was there such an honourable, ingenious, and profitable mystery and science in the world so basely intruded upon, and dis. esteemed, so carelesly regarded, so unworthily subjected to infamy and disgrace, by being made so common, as printing hath been since 1640, in the days of our miserable confusions and calamities : Neither can it be repaired, or restored to its native worth and regular constitution, so long as such horrid monstrosities and gib. bous excrescences are suffered to remain and tumour in that disorderly and confused body, as now it existeth in itself.

The excessive number of printing-houses and master-printers, or such at least as use and exercise the faculty of printing (though some be bouksellers only by trade and education, and others are of other tradis, not relative to printing) is at present multiplied and increased to above triple the number of twenty, constituted by that decree of the Star-Chamber; so that, by means of that exor. bitant and excessive number of above sixty printing-houses in and about London, and the necessitous conditions of many of the prin: ters themselves, and the imposition of others upon them (who, if they will not adventure to print for them what is unlawful and of. fensive to the state and government, being treasonable and sediti. ous, and most profitable for sale, shall not be employed upon things lawful and expedient) all the irregularities, inconveniences, and mischiefs, that can be imagined to be committed and done by the too much liberty and licentiousness of the press, have been and are occasioned at this day, and daily will (without some speedy remedy and restriction, for the better encouragement of the honest and ingenious artists) be continued amongst us.

How can it, in reason, be conceived to stand with the royalty and dignity of his most excellent majesty (whom God Almighty prosper and preserve) or, with the safety and security of his kingdoms, to permit and suffer either the fore-mentioned inconveniences for the future, or such notorious impieties and abominable indigoities and inso. lences, done and offered to his majesty's most sacred person and estate, to go unpunished in the actors thereof; who are neverthe. Jess in truth and reality his majesty's printers ; against whom there is just cause of complaint at this present. As for example, Mr. Christopher Barker and Mr. John Bill, by their education and quality, have little or no skill or experience in the faculty and art of printing, as to the manual operation thereof, being never brought up in that mystery : And the old proverb is and will be true, to wit, Senex Psittacus non cupit ferulam. And albeit they are said and intitle themselves (by a very questionable and doubtful autho. rity both in law and equity) to be his majesty's printers; yet in. deed are they but nominal and titular; for that the manual work and impression itself, as well of the late acts of parliament, as also of his majesty's proclamations, and other royal acts of state, hath heen actually performed by Thomas Newcomb, John Field, and Henry Hills, printers : Which three persons, to give them their proper characters, have been the only insruinents and incendiaries

against, and enemies to his most sacred majesty, and his friends, in their stations and qualities, before and ever since the detestable and unparalleled murder of our blessed sovereign his royal father, as far as the extent of the press could make them capable or extant.

Who printed the pretended act of the commons of England for the setting up an high court of justice, for the tryal of his mar. tyred majesty, in 1648? Or, the acts for abolishing kingship, and renouncing the royal line and title of the Stuarts? Or, for the de. claring what offences should be adjudged treason? For taking the engagement? For sale of dean and chapters lands? For sale of the king's, queen's, and prince's goods and lands, and the rents ? For sale of delinquents lands? Or, the proclamation of the 13th of September, 1652, after the fight at Worcester, offering one-thousand pounds to any person, to bring in his majesty's person?

But only John Field, printer to the parliament of England (and since, by Cromwell, was and is continued printer to the Uni. versity of Cambridge) omitting many other treasonable offences, and egregious indignities done by him and H. Hills to the royal family, and good old cause of the king and kingdom, in all the late tyrannical usurpations. Who printed the Weekly Intelligencer, and Mercurius Politicus, with the Cases of the Commonwealth stated, and that Interest will not lye, for Marchamont Nedham, Gent. from 1650, till the blessed and assured hopes of his majesty's re. storation of late, but Thomas Newcomb, printer, dwelling over. against Baynard's-Castle in Thames-street? And with what fami. liar titles of honour did they salute his majesty therein, we pray, but of young Tarquin, the son of the late tyrant, the titular king of Scots, the young Pretender, with an infinite more of the like treasonable extraction? Which, for brevity's sake, and for that they are of Milton's strain, and so publickly known, and were the weekly trash and trumpery of every hawker, pedlar, and petty carrier, we omit.

But we cannot as yet pass over his majesty's good friends, Hills and Field (take them conjunctim and divişim :) What zealots, and factors, or blood-hounds or tarriers rather, they have been for that abstract of traitors, tyrants, and usurpers, Oliver Cromwell, his son Richard, and the pretended Committee of Safety, in search. ing for, seizing, and suppressing, as far as they could, all books, treatises, and papers, asserting the king's right and title to the crown, or tending to the promotion of his interest, and vindication of his authority, the worst of his majesty's enemies must necessarily, with shame and detestation, confess! And is this all that hath been done by Hills and Field to his majesty only, and his royal relations and interests ? No! Their impieties and insolences have mounted as high, as to become actual and professed traitors against the glorious crown and dignity of the King of Kings, blessed for ever: Have they not invaded, and still do intrude upon his majesty's royal privilege, prerogative, and pre-eminence; and, by the pusillanimous cowardice, and insignificant compact of Mr.

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