Page:History of England (Macaulay) Vol 4.djvu/423

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sanction it for its weight in gold. A charge delivered by Lord Warrington to the grand jury of Cheshire was not permitted to appear, because His Lordship had spoken contemptuously of divine right and passive obedience. Julian Johnson found that, if he wished to promulgate his notions of government, he must again have recourse, as in the evil times of King James, to a secret press.[382] Such restraint as this, coming after several years of unbounded freedom, naturally produced violent exasperation. Some Whigs began to think that the censorship itself was a grievance; all Whigs agreed in pronouncing the new censor unfit for his post, and were prepared to join in an effort to get rid of him.

Of the transactions which terminated in Bohun's dismission, and which produced the first parliamentary struggle for the liberty of unlicensed printing, we have accounts written by Bohun himself and by others; but there are strong reasons for believing that in none of those accounts is the whole truth to be found. It may perhaps not be impossible, even at this distance of time, to put together dispersed fragments of evidence in such a manner as to produce an authentic narrative which would have astonished the unfortunate licenser himself.

There was then about town a man of good family, of some reading, and of some small literary talent, named Charles Blount.[383] In politics he belonged to the extreme section of the Whig party. In the days of the Exclusion Bill he had been one of Shaftesbury's brisk boys, and had, under the signature of Junius Brutus, magnified the virtues and public services of Titus Oates, and exhorted the Protestants to take signal vengeance on the Papists for the fire of London and for the murder of Godfrey.[384] As to the theological questions which were in issue between Protestants and Papists, Blount was perfectly impartial. He was an infidel, and the head of a small school of infidels