Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/133

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CHAPTER V.

Book-Fires of the Restoration.

WITH the Restoration, the burning of certain obnoxious books formed one of the first episodes of that Royalist war of revenge of which theimost disgraceful expression was the exhumation and hanging at Tyburn of the bones of Cromwell and Ireton. And had Croodwin and Milton not absconded, it is probable that the revenge which had to content itself with their books would have extended to their persons.

John Goodwin, distinguished as a minister and a prolific writer on the people's side, had dedicated in 1649 to the House of Commons his Obstructours of Justice in which he defended the execution of Charles I. He based his case, indeed, after the fashion of those days, too completely on Biblical texts to suit our modern taste; but his book is far from being the "very weak and inconclusive performance"