Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/103

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87
Charles the First's Book-Fires.

clergy of that time to the actual cases that came before the High Commission.

Lord Clarendon speaks of Bastwick as "a half-witted, crack-brained fellow," unknown to either University or the College of Physicians; perhaps it was because he was unknown to either University that he acquired that splendid Latin style to which even Lord Clarendon does justice. The Latin preface to the second edition of the Flagellum, in which Bastwick returns thanks to the Long Parliament for his release from prison, is unsurpassed by the Latin writing of the best English scholars, and bespeaks anything but a half-witted brain. Cicero himself could hardly have done it better.

Burton's book, however, was considered worse than Prynne's or Bastwick's, for Heylin calls it " the great masterpiece of mischief." It consists of two sermons, republished with an appeal to the King, under the title of For God and King, Like Bastwick, he writes in the interest of the King against the encroachments of the bishops; and complains bitterly of the ecclesiastical innovations then in vogue. His accusation is no less forcible, though less well known, than Laud's Defence in his Star Chamber speech; and if he did call the bishops "limbs of the. Beast,"