« 이전계속 »
supposed to be out of gun-shot. Our physicians have observed, that in process of time some diseases have abated of their virulence and have in a manner worn out their malignity,
so as to be no longer mortal: and why may not I suppose 5 the same concerning some of those who have formerly been
enemies to kingly government as well as Catholic religion ? I hope they have now another notion of both, as having found by comfortable experience that the doctrine of persecution is
far from being an article of our faith. 10 'Tis not for any private man to censure the proceedings of
a foreign Prince; but without suspicion of flattery I may praise our own, who has taken contrary measures, and those more suitable to the spirit of Christianity. Some of the
Dissenters, in their addresses to his Majesty, have said 'that 15 he has restored God to his empire over conscience.' I confess
I dare not stretch the figure to so great a boldness; but I may safely say, that conscience is the royalty and prerogative of every private man. He is absolute in his own breast, and
accountable to no earthly power for that which passes only 20 betwixt God and him. Those who are driven into the fold are, generally speaking, rather made hypocrites than converts.
This indulgence being granted to all the sects, it ought in reason to be expected that they should both receive it and
receive it thankfully. For at this time of day to refuse the 25 benefit and adhere to those whom they have esteemed their
persecutors, what is it else but publicly to own that they suffered not before for conscience sake, but only out of pride and obstinacy to separate from a Church for those impositions
which they now judge may be lawfully obeyed ? After they 30 have so long contended for their classical ordination (not to
speak of rites and ceremonies), will they at length submit to an episcopal ? If they can go so far out of complaisance to their old enemies, methinks a little reason should persuade 'em
to take another step, and see whither that would lead 'em. 35 Of the receiving this toleration thankfully I shall say no
more than that they ought, and I doubt not they will, consider from what hands they received it. 'Tis not from a Cyrus, a heathen prince and a foreigner, but from a Christian king, their native sovereign, who expects a return in specie from them, that the kindness which he has graciously shown them may be retaliated on those of his own persuasion.
As for the Poem in general, I will only thus far satisfy the reader, that it was neither imposed on me nor so much as the 5 subject given me by any man. It was written during the last winter and the beginning of this spring; though with long interruptions of ill health and other hindrances. About a fortnight before I had finished it, his Majesty's Declaration for Liberty of Conscience came abroad: which if I had so lo soon expected, I might have spared myself the labour of writing many things which are contained in the Third Part of it. But I was always in some hope that the Church of England might have been persuaded to have taken off the ) Penal Laws and the Test, which was one design of the Poem 15 when I proposed to myself the writing of it.
It is evident that some part of it was only occasional, and not first intended : I mean that defence of myself, to which every honest man is bound, when he is injuriously attacked in print: and I refer myself to the judgment of those who have 20 read the Answer to the Defence of the late King's Papers, and that of the Duchess (in which last I was concerned), how charitably I have been represented there. I am now informed both of the author and supervisers of his pamphlet, and will reply, when I think he can affront me: for I am of Socrates's 25 opinion, that all creatures cannot. In the mean time let him consider whether he deserved not a more severe reprehension than I gave him formerly, for using so little respect to the memory of those whom he pretended to answer; and at his leisure look out for some original Treatise of Humility, 30 written by any Protestant in English, I believe I may say in any other tongue : for the magnified piece of Duncomb on that subject, which either he must mean or none, and with which another of his fellows has upbraided me, was translated from the Spanish of Rodriguez; though with the omission of 35 the seventeenth, the twenty-fourth, the twenty-fifth, and the last chapter, which will be found in comparing of the books.
He would have insinuated to the world, that her late
Highness died not a Roman Catholic; he declares himself to be now satisfied to the contrary, in which he has given up the cause, for matter of fact was the principal debate betwixt us.
In the mean time, he would dispute the motives of her change; 5 how preposterously, let all men judge, when he seemed to deny the subject of the controversy, the change itself. And because I would not take up this ridiculous challenge, he tells the world I cannot argue: but he may as well infer that a
Catholic cannot fast because he will not take up the cudgels 10 against Mrs. James to confute the Protestant religion.
I have but one word more to say concerning the Poem as such, and abstracting from the matters, either religious or civil, which are handled in it. The First Part, consisting most in
general characters and narration, I have endeavoured to raise, 15 and give it the majestic turn of heroic poesy. The second
being matter of dispute, and chiefly concerning Church authority, I was cbliged to make as plain and perspicuous as possibly I could; yet not wholly neglecting the numbers,
though I had not frequent occasions for the magnificence of 20 verse. The third, which has more of the nature of domestic
conversation, is or ought to be more free and familiar than the two former.
There are in it two Episodes or Fables, which are interwoven with the main design; so that they are properly parts 25 of it, though they are also distinct stories of themselves. In
both of these I have made use of the commonplaces of satire, whether true or false, which are urged by the members of the one Church against the other; at which I hope no reader
of either party will be scandalized, because they are not of 30 my invention, but as old, to my knowledge, as the times of
Boccace and Chaucer on the one side and as those of the Reformation on the other.
THE HIND AND THE PANTHER.
1. R.C. Church
Not so her young; for their unequal line
Panting and pensive now she ranged alone,
'Tis true she bounded by and tripped so light,
The bloody Bear, an independent beast,
What weight of ancient witness can prevail,