Page images
PDF
EPUB

atlantyne Press BALLANTYNE, HANSON AND CO.

EDINBURGH AND LONDON

[blocks in formation]

LONDON
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS

BROADWAY, LUDGATE HILL
NEW YORK: 9 LAFAYETTE PLACE

1886

F2

MORLEY'S UNIVERSAL LIBRARY.

1. Sheridan's Plays.

23. Ideai Commonwealths. 2. Plnys from Molière. By 24. Cavendish's Life of Wolsey. English Dramatists.

25 & 26. Don Quixote. 3. Marlowe's Faustus and

27. Burlesque Plays and Poems. Goethe's Faust. 4. Chronicle of the Cid.

28. Dante's Divine. Comedy.

LONGFellow's Translation. 5. Rabelais' Gargantua and the

29. Goldsmith's Vicar of WakeHeroic Deeas of Pantagruel.

field, Plays, and Poems. 6. Machiavelli's Prince.

30. Fables and Proverbs from 7. Bacon's Essays.

the Sanskrit. (Hitopadesa.) 8. Defoe's Journal of the 31. Lamb's Essays of Elia. Plague Year,

32. The History of Thomas 9. Locke on Civil Government

Ellwood. and Filmer's "Patriarcha."

33. Emerson's Essays, &c. 10. Butley's Analogy of Religion. 11. Dryden's Virgil.

34. Southey's Life of Nelson.

35. De Quincey's Confessions 12. Scott's Demonology and

of an Opium-Eater, &c. Witchcraft.

36. Stories of Ireland. By Miss 13. Herrick's Hesperides.

EDGEWORTH. 14. Coleridge's Table-Talk.

37. Frere's Aristophanes: 15. Boccaccio's Decameron.

Acharnians, Knights, Birds. 16. Sterne's Tristram Shandy. 38. Speeches and Letters by

Edmund Burke. 17. Chapman's Homer's Iliad. 18. Mediæval Tales.

39. Thomas à Kempis. 19. Voltaire's Candide, and 40. Popular Songs of Ireland. Johnson's Rasselas.

41. The Plays of Æschylus. 20. Jonson's Plays and Poems. Potter's Translation. 21. Hobbes's Leviathan.

42. Goethe's Faust: Part II. 22. Samuel Butler's Hudibras.

ANSTER's Translation.

43. Famous Pamphlets.
“Marvels of clear type and general neatness."-Daily Telegraph.

Recat. I tifolia

INTRODUCTION.

The man who has something to say, and says it in as many words as are necessary to the clear, full and emphatic expression of his thought, must often be unable, without help of tedious impertinences, to spread it in ink over one or two pounds' weight of paper. The weightiest intellectual contribution to the study of some living question may possibly require for its true utterance not more than a dozen or two of printed leaves. Waste words are for some idle brain. Our modern Reviews and. Magazines are, in one sense, a device for the collection of short pamphlets worth diffusion into volumes that have such currency as to assure their being widely read, and kept on record. Before there were Reviews established for such periodical collection each pamphlet came alone into the world, and in the days of the first famous pamphlet in this volume, Milton's Areopagitica, burning questions of the day that would now be argued out in leading articles and in reviews, were discussed by pamphlets in which every man fought for himself his battle of opinion, to be answered in pamphlets of opponents, and to be replied to in new pamphlets, until each question of truth and error had lain long enough in the sieve to be thoroughly sifted by the to and fro of opposite opinions. Sometimes, as in the old Church controversy between Whitgift and Cartwright, strong feeling and the wide stretch of the question caused these pamphlets of attack, reply, rejoinder to the reply, &c., to extend to the form of massive folios, heavy enough to knock down an antagonist is thrown as solid paper at his head. But though there was quick sencing with these folios, and they were produced as promptly as if they had been pamphlets in bulk as they were pamphlets in essence, they were technically volumes.

Why a work produced only upon a few leaves was called a pamphlet, it is hard to say with any certainty. Some say it was so called from the French paume and feuillet, as a leaf held in the hand. Others say that it was from a woman named Pamphila, who lived about eighteen hundred years ago and wrote many epitomes; others go for the source of the word to Spanish.

The most famous pamphlet in our language, and, considering its

whole aim and the grandeur of some passages, the noblest piece of English prose, is that which stands first in this collection, John Milton's “ Areopagitica : A Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing, to the Parliament of England.” Henry VIII., when he destroyed the Pope's authority in England, took it to himself. He continued the cen. sorship of books, which had been established for the suppression of opinions hostile to the established faith, and extended censorship over political writings which had not been checked by Rome. Queen Elizabeth allowed printing only to a few known presses in London, Oxford and Cambridge, and that was not the liberty of printing, for there was strict endeavour to suppress utterance of opinion that might disturb the order of the State. A decree of the Star Chamber, in 1637, limited the number of printers in the whole country to twenty and of type-founders to four, with provision for strict censorship of all they uttered to the world. In 1640 the Star Chamber was abolished, but in 1643, on the 14th of June, the Parliament adopted the same policy of suppression, hy an Ordinance for the regulating of printing. Milton at once set himself to reason with the chiefs of his own party, and used all the force of his genius to make them understand that truth can be established only by the freest interchange of thought. The principle for which he contended is that upon which all healthy growth and national prosperity, in its true sense, must depend. He took for his model an oration written to be read, which was addressed by Isocrates to the Areopagus, the Great Council of Athens, and is known as the Areopagitic Discourse. Isocrates called on the Parliament of Athens to undo acts of its own; Milton was making a like call on the Areopagus of England. He gave to his work the exact form of a Greek oration, with exordium, statement, proof and peroration ; and he put into it the very soul of England, claiming freedom in the search for truth. It was published in November 1644.

The next pamphlet in this collection, “Killing No Murder," was published in 1657, and is, perhaps, in cur political literature, the most famous example of free utterance of free opinion, for it was a direct incitement to the assassination of Oliver Cromwell. It professed upon its title-page to be by William Allen, but its real author seems to have been the Colonel Sexby, a leveller, who had gone over to the Royalists, and in 1656, having come from Flanders to shoot Cromwell, joined the Protector's escort in Hyde Park and almost secured his opportunity. But he went back to Flanders, leaving sixteen undred pounds of the money entrusted to him for such purposes with a cashiered quarter. master, Miles Sindercombe, who was to do the deed. Sindercombe took a house at Hammersmith in the narrow part of a road through which Cromwell often passed, and began by the shaping of a battery of

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »