Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/144

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

amongst the great churchmen." The bishops and clergy, by their outcry, had caused Charles's Declaration of Indulgence (March 17th, 1671) to be cancelled, and the great seal broken off it they had "tricked away the rights and liberties of the people, in this and all other countries, wherever they had had opportunity . . . that priest and prince may, like Castor and Pollux, be worshipped together as divine, in the same temple, by us poor lay-subjects; and that sense and reason, law, properties, rights, and liberties shall be understood as the oracles of those deities shall interpret"

There seems no doubt that the extinction of liberty. was as vigorously aimed at as it was nearly achieved at the period Locke describes, under the administration of Lord Danby. But the Bill, though carried in the Lords, was strongly contested. Locke says that it occupied sixteen or seventeen whole days of debate, the House sitting often till 8 or 9 p.m., or even to midnight. His account of the speakers and their arguments is one of the most graphic pages of historical painting in our language; but it is said to have been drawn up at the desire» and almost at the dictation, of Locke's friend. Lord Shaftesbury, who himself took a prominent part against the Bill. Fortunately,