Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/32

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

often persecuted or obliged to fly from France, we must admit that seldom or never had any writer so eventful a literary career.

II. Turning now to the books that were burnt for their real or supposed immoral tendency, I may refer briefly in chronological order to the following as the principal offenders, though of course there is not always a clear distinction between what was punished as immoral and punished as irreligious. This applies to the four volumes of the works of the Carmelite Mantuanus, published at Antwerp in 1576, of which nearly all the copies were burnt. This facile poet, who is said to have composed 59,000 verses, was especially severe against women and against the ecclesiastical profession. In 1664, the Journal de Louis Gorin de Saint Amour, a satirical work, was condemned, chiefly apparently because it contained the five propositions of Jansenius. In 1623, the Parlement of Paris condemned Thdophile to be burnt with his book, Le Farnasse des Poètes Satyriques, but the author escaped with his burning in effigy, and with imprisonment in a dungeon. I am tempted to quote Théophile's impromptu reply to a man who asserted that all poets were fools:—