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(Refered to in p. 7.)
The magnanimity of a trienniall Parlament.] Triennial - not in the modern appropriation to a Parliament's duration ; but with a reference to the Act passed in 1641, to enforce the sitting of a Parliament at the least once in every three years. The declaratory Statutes of Edward III. for holding Parliaments annually, or oftener, if need were, had fallen into desuetude, or rather had by CourtLawyers been explained away in early times from the palpable enactment, in order to leave their meeting wholly in the breast of the King. By these means, Charles did not for twelve years together suffer a Parliament to assemble, and when, through his illegal exactions, his arbitrary impressments and commitments by the Council, with other tyrannical practices, the general voice rose high against the Dissolution of the Parliament which met in the fourth year of his reign, he issued a Proclamation, denouncing it as criminal for any person so much as to speak of calling another, No empty threat, while the enormous censures of the Star-Chamber subsisted in full activity.
Such extravagant stretches of the regal Prerogative of course incited the Parliamentary Leaders of the People's Party in England to insist on a legislative provision that their meetings in future might not be precarious, nor so unfrequent. In 1640 a young nobleman, the Lord Digby, introduced and carried a Bill that a Parliament should never again be intermitted above three years at furthest, after the example of the Scottish Patriots, who according to Mr. Luing (see his valuable Hist of Scotland ; I, 173, 8vo. 1800.) had recently wrung from Charles his assent to a Law to prevent the discontinuance of their Parliaments for a longer term. Yet Clarendon is express to the contrary. His words are: “ the King at his last “ being in Scotland had, according to the precedent “ he had made here, granted an Act for triennial “ Parliaments in that kingdom.” Hist. of the Rebellion. (I omitted to note down the Volume and Page.)
Public business did not yet require a regular Session annually.-As one measure to reconcile the country to his usurpation, Cromwell promised a convocation of Parliament once every three years.
(Referred to in p. 49.)
Paul—thought it no defilement to insert into holy Scripture the sentences of three Greek Poets, and one of them a Tragedian.] The Apostle cited the
Cretan Epimenides, in his Epistle to Titus, 1, 12: an hemistic from Aratus in Acts, 17, 28: and in 1 Cor. 15, 33, an apophthegm to be found in the fragments of Euripides; the passage referred to more particularly in the text: from which Writer, by the word “ Tragedian” it is to be inferred that our Authour believed it to have been taken. But surely evil communications corrupt good manners is a proverbial sentiment likely to float in popular conversation. Grotius, and the best Commentators, however, think that Saint Paul borrowed it from Menander, as Newton has observed in a Note on Milton's prelusive strictures to apologize to his contemporaries for having thrown the story of Samson into a dramatic form. There, after pleading nearly in the words above of my text, the example of this Saint's quoting from a dramatic Poet, he presently proceeds, “ This is mentioned “ to vindicate Tragedy from the small esteem, or “ rather infamy, which in the account of many
it undergoes at this day, with other cominon Inter« ludes." So indiscriminate was the horrour of the Puritans at the sinfulness of Stage-Plays, however moralized! they were not (we see) to be tolerated in any shape. Our poetical Antiquaries in addition accuse them of having, through their fanatic contempt for profane Learning, destroyed whatever fell into their hands of the early Poetry of their native tongue. It is not unlikely. Zealots of every persuasion are much the same at all times, and in all places. Laud was guilty of similar spoliation. This keen Curator of the Press is known to have consigned to the flames, whole impressions of English Poems. The M.S.S. of the Poets of ancient Greece found as little favour with the Greek Priests at Constantinople. Possessed with the same preposterous detestation of polite Letters, these
holy Vandals” were eager to burn all they could procure. We have to thank this bigotry for the destruction of the inestimable remains of Philemon, Sappho, Bion, Alcæus, with others, and above all of Menander.
This I learn from the succeeding extract - et Petri Alcyonii libro priore de Exilio ; which I give as Barter exhibits it among the Prolegomena to his Edition of Anacreon. 66 Audiebam etiam puer “ ex Demetrio Chalcocondylâ, Græcarum rerum pe“ritissimo, sacerdotes Græcos tantâ floruisse aucto. “ ritate apud Cæsares Byzantanos (ut integrâ “ eorum gratiâ) complura de veteribus Græcis “ Poëmata combusserint, imprimisq; ea ubi “ Amores, turpes Lusus et Nequitiæ Amantum “ continebantur; atque ita Menandri, Diphili, “ Apollodori, Philemonis, Alexis fabellas, et Sap
phûs, Erinnæ, Anacreontis, Mimnermi, Bionis, “ Alcmanis, Alcæi carmina intercidisse : tum pro « his substituta Nazianzeni nostri Poemata, quæ “ etsi excitant animos nostrorum hominum ad
flagrantiorem Religionis cultum, non tamen “ verborum Atticorum Proprietatem et Græcæ