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above his own genuine baseness; and gives sentence that bis confuting hath been employed about a frothy, immeritous, and undeferving discourse.. Who could have believed so much infolence durft vent itself from out the hide of a varlet, as thus to censure that which men of mature judgment have applauded to be writ from good reafon? But this contents him not, he falls now to rave in his barbarous abusiveness; and why? a reason befitting such an antificer, because he faith the book is contrary to all human learning; whenas the world knows, that alt both human and divine learning, till the canon law, allowed divorce by consent, and for many causes without consent. Next, hedooms itas contrary to truth ; whenas it hath been disputable among learned men, ever since it was prohibited: and is by Peter Martyr thought an opinion not impious, but hard to be refuted ; and by Erafmus deemed a doctrine fo charitable and pious, as, if it cannot be used, were to be withed it could; but is by Martin Bucer; a man of dearest and most religious memory in the church, taught and maintained to be either molt lawfully used, or moft lawfully permitted. And for this, for I affirm no more than Bucer, what censure do you think, readers, he hath condemned the book to ? T. a death no less impious than to be burnt by the hang. man. Mr. Licenfer, (for I deal not now with this caitiff, never worth my earnest, and now not feasonable for my jest,) you are reputed a man discreet enough, religious enough, honest enough, that is, to an ordinary competence in all these. But now your turn is, to hear what your own hand hath earned ye ; that when you suffered this nameless hangman to cast into public such a despite ful contumely upon a name and person deserving of the church and state equally to yourself; and one who hath done more to the present advancement of your own tribe, than you or many of them have done for themfelves; you forgot to be either honest, religious, or difcreet. Whatever the siate might do concerning it, fupi posed a matter to expect evil from, I should not doubt to meet among them with wife, and honourable, and knowi ing, men : but as to this brute libel, so much the more
impudent impudent and lawless for the abused authority which it bears; I say again, that I abominate the censure of rascals and their licensers.
With difficulty I return to what remains of this ignoble task, for the disdain I have to change a period more with the filth and venom of this gourmand, fwelled into a confuter; yet for the fatisfaction of others I endure all this.
Against the seventh argument, that if the canon law and divines allow divorce for conspiracy of death, they may as well allow it to avoid the same consequence from the likelihood of natural causes.
First, he denies that the canon so decrees.
I answer, that it decrees for danger of life, as much as for adultery, Decret. Gregor. l. 4, tit. 19, and in other places; and the best civilians, who cite the canon law, fo collect, as Schneidewin in Inftit. tit. 10, p.4, de Divort. And indeed, who would have denied it, but one of a reprobate ignorance in all he meddles with?
Secondly, he faith the cafe alters; for there the offender, “who seeks the life, doth implicitly at least act a divorce."
And I answer, that here nature, though no offender, doth the fame. But if an offender, by acting a divorce, fhall release the offended, this is an ample grant against himself. He faith, nature teaches to save life from one who seeks it. And I say, the teaches no less to save it from any other cause that endangers it. He faith, that here they are both actors. Admit they were, it would not be uncharitable to part them; yet sometimes they are not both actors, but the one of them most lamentedly passive. So he concludes, we must not take advantage of our own faults and corruptions to release us from our duties. But shall we take no advantage to save ourselves from the faults of another, who hath annulled his right to our duty? No, says he, “let them die of the sullens, and try who will pity them.” Barbarian, the shame of all honest attorneys! why do they not hoise him over the bar and blanket him? Against the eighth argument, that they who are desti: tute of all marriageable gifts, except a body not plainly unfit, have not the calling to marry, and consequently married and so found, may be divorced : this, he faith, is nothing to the purpose, and not fit to be answered. I leave it therefore to the judgment of his masters.
Against the ninth argument, that marriage is a human fociety, and fo chiefly seated in agreement and unity of mind: if therefore the mind cannot have that due society by marriage, that it may reasonably and humanly desire, it can be no huinan society, and so not without reason divorcible: here he falsifies, and turns what the position required of a reasonable agreement in the main matters of society into an agreement in all things, which makes the opinion not mine, and so he leaves it.
At last, and in good hour, we are come to his farewell, which is to be a concluding taste of his jabberment in law, the flashiest and the fuftieft that ever corrupted in such an unswilled hogshead.
Against my tenth argument, as he calls it, but as I intended it, my other position, “ That divorce is not a thing determinable by a compulsive law, for that all law is for some good that may be frequently attained without the aclmixture of a worse inconvenience: but the law forbidding divorce never attains to any good end of such prohibition, but rather multiplies evil; therefore the prohibition of divorce is no good law,” Now for his attorney's prize: but first, like a right cunning and sturdy logician, he denies my argument, not mattering whether in the major or minor: and faith, “there are many laws made for good, and yet that good is not attained through the defaults of the party, but a greater inconvenience follows."
But I reply, that this answer builds upon a shallow foundation, and most unjustly supposes every one in default, who seeks divorce from the most injurious wedlock. The default therefore will be found in the law itself; which is neither able to punish the offender, but the innocent muft withal suffer; nor can right the innocent in what is chiefly sought, the obtainment of love or quietness. His instances out of the common law are all
fo quite beside the matter which he would prove, as may be a warning to all clients how they venture their business with such a cockbrained folicitor. For being to show fome law of England, attaining to no good end, and yet through no default of the party, who is thereby debarred all remedy, he shows us only how some do lose the benefit of good laws through their own default. His first example faith, “it is a juft law that everyone shall peaceably enjoy his estate in lands or otherwise.” Does this law attain to no good end? The bar will blush at this moft incogitant woodcock. But see if a draught of Littleton will recover him to his senses. “If this man, having fee fimple in his lands, yet will take a lease of his own lands from another, this shall be an estopple to him in an assize from the recovering of his own land.” • Mark now and register him! How many are there of ten thoufand who have fuch a fee simple in their sconce, as to take a lease of their own lands from another? So that this inconvenience lights upon scarce one in an age, and by his own default; and the law of enjoying each man his own is good to all others. But on the contrary, this prohibition of divorce is good to none, and brings inconvenience to numbers, who lie under intolerable grievances without their own default, through the wickedness or folly of another; and all this iniquity the law remedies not, but in a manner maintains. His other cases are directly to the fame purpose, and might have been fpared, but that he is a tradesman of the law, and must be borne with at his first setting up, to lay forth his beft ware, which is only gibberish.
I have now done that, which for many causes I might have thought could not likely have been my fortune, to be put to this underwork of scouring and unrubbishing the low and fordid ignorance of fuch a presumptuous lozel. Yet Hercules had the labour once imposed upon him to carry dung out of the Augean stable. At any hand I would be rid of him: for I had rather, since the life of man is likened to å scene, that all my entrances and exits might mix with such persons only, whose worth erects them and their actions to a grave and tragic
deportment, and not to have to do with clowns and vices. But if a man cannot peaceably walk into the world, but must be infested ; sometimes at his face with dorrs and horseflies, fometimes beneath with bawling whippets and fhin barkers, and these to be set on by plot and consultation with a junto of clergymen and licenfers, commended also and rejoiced in by those whose partiality cannot yet forgo old papistical principles; have I not cause to be in such a manner defensive, as may procure me freedom to pass more unmolested hereafter by those encumbrances, not fo much regarded for themselves, as for those who incite them ? And what defence can properly be used in such a despicable encounter as this, but either the slap or the fpurn? If they can afford me none but a ridiculous adversary, the blame belongs not to me, though the whole dispute be strewed and scattered with ridiculous. And if he have such an ambition to know no better who , are his mates, but among those needy thoughts, which, though his two faculties of serving-man and folicitor should compound into one mongrel, would be but thin and meagre, if in this penury of foul he can be possible to have the lustiness to think of fame, let him but send me how he calls himself, and I may chance not fail to indorse him on the backside of posterity, not a golden, but a brazen ass. Since my fate extorts from me a talent of sport, which I had thought to hide in a napkin, he shall be my Batrachomuomachia, my Bavius, my Calandrino, the common adagy of ignorance and overweening: nay, perhaps, as the provocation may be, I may be driven to curl up this gliding profe into a rough fotadic, that shall rhyme him into such a condition, as instead of judging good books to be burnt by the executioner, he thall be readier to be his own hangman. Thus much to this nuisance.
But as for the subject itself, which I have writ and now defend, according as the opposition bears; if any man equal to the matter shall think it appertains him to take in hand this controversy, either excepting against aught written, or persuaded he can show better how this queftion, of such moment to be throughly known, may receive a true determination, not leaning on the old and