Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/90

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

discord between Puritan and Prelatist came from a prominent member of the Laudian or Romanising faction.

The rising temper of the people, and its justification, is shown even in these literary disputes. But the popular temper was destined to be more seriously roused by those atrocious sentences against the authors of certain books which were passed within a few years by the Star Chamber and High Commission. The heavy fines and cruel mutilations imposed by these courts were not new in the reign of Charles, but they became far more frequent, and were directed less against wrong conduct than disagreeable opinions. They are intimately connected with the memory of Laud, first as Bishop of London, and then as Archbishop of Canterbury, whose letters show that the severities in question were to him and Strafford (to use Hallam's expression) "the feebleness of excessive lenity." To the last Charles was not despotic enough to please Laud, who complains petulantly in his Diary of a prince "who knew not how to be, or be made great."

As the first illustration of Laud's method for attaining this end must be mentioned the case of a book which enjoys the distinction of having brought its author to a