Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/93

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77
Charles the First's Book-Fires.

with his cap, and holding up his hands gave thanks to God who had given him the victory over his enemies."

Shortly after his release, Leighton was made keeper of Lambeth Palace, and then he died, " rather insane of mind for the hardships he had suffered "; but, such is the irony of fate, the man who had paid so heavily for his antipathy to bishops became himself the father of an archbishop!

By an unexplained law of our nature the very severity of punishment seems to invite men to incur it; and Leighton's fate, like most penal warnings, rather incited to its imitation than deterred from it. The next to feel the grip of the Star Chamber was the famous William Prynne, barrister of Lincoln's Inn, and one of the most erudite as well as most voluminous writers our country has ever produced.

He was only thirty-three when in 1633 he published his Histriomastix; or, the Player's Scourge, His labour had taken him seven years, nor was it the first work of his that had attracted the notice of authority. In a thousand closely printed pages, he argued, by an appeal to fifty-five councils, seventy-one fathers and Christian writers, one hundred and fifty Protestant and Catholic authors, and