This I am sure, that who so has try'd how very little Sense is to be met with, or can be infus'd into Nurses, and Nurse-Maids; and with what difficulty even the best of them by those who make it their business to watch over them, are restrain'd from what they are perswaded has no hurt in it, will soon be satisfy'd how little fit it is to trust Children any more than is necessary, in such Hands.
The Actors, we may safely conclude, are not restrain'd by such rigorous Precepts of Vertue, but that they will always be inclin'd to present those Performances which will best fill the House and promote their Interest; and therefore they will readily humour the vitiated Taste of the Audience, by acting the most immoral Plays, while they find their account in doing so: And that which confirms this Observation is, that they never, as far as I have heard, rejected any Comedy merely for its Looseness, tho I believe they have refus'd many for want of that entertaining Quality.
"But now, restrain'd from sea, from camp, from court, And by a tempest blown into a port, I raise my thoughts to muse of higher things, And echo arms and loves of queens and kings. Sir Richard, to whom Mr. That translation is highly complimented by Denham, who observes, "Such is our pride, or folly, or our fate, That few but such as cannot write translate;"
But tho Men who love their Country, born down with a Torrent of profane Libertines, Persons without Taste and Distinction of Vertue and Vice, have almost despair'd of seeing the Comick Poets reform'd, and the exorbitant Liberties of the Stage restrain'd within the Limits of modest Language and decent Behaviour; yet now their Hopes revive, and they promise to themselves a sudden and effectual Reformation of these Abuses, since the Government has plac'd so worthy a Person at the Head of the Actors, and given him ample Authority to rectify their Errors: What a happy Revolution, what a regular and clean Stage may justly be now expected?
IX. Upon his first succeeding to power, he felt such an abhorrence for the shedding of blood, that, before his father's arrival in Rome, calling to mind the verse of Virgil, Impia quam caesis gens est epulata juvencis, Ere impious man, restrain'd from blood in vain, Began to feast on flesh of bullocks slain, he designed to have published a proclamation, "to forbid the sacrifice of oxen."
There is nothing makes him so odious, as I said, as his extortion of his subjects goods, and abuse of their women, from which he ought to forbear; and so long as he wrongs not his whole people, neither in their goods, nor honors, they live content, and he hath only to strive with the Ambition of some few: which many waies and easily too, is restrain'd.
Zeokinizul was soon perfectly recovered, and then his Generals whose Ardour had been restrain'd by Fear and Grief, soon made their Enemies feel, that their King was restored to them, for they forced them to repass the Nhir with considerable Loss; and the most Skilful in Military Affairs do not scruple to affirm, than if the Kofirans had not been headed by a General prudent even to a Fault, not so much as a single Soldier would have been left to have given the Queen of Ghinoer an Account of their Expedition.
Besides the Advantages of Sacred Writings in the Cause of Religion; 'tis chiefly owing to Writing, that we have our most valuable Liberties preserv'd; and 'tis observable, that the Liberty of the Press is no where restrain'd but in Roman Catholick Countries, or Kingdoms, or States Exercising an Absolute Power.
And as the Solemnity of these Matters requir'd peculiar Hands to Execute them; and Devotion exacted that such should be liberally rewarded, and highly respected for their Pious performances; from hence the profit which some reap'd by these things, as well as the satisfaction that others found therein, who were unwilling to be rigorously restrain'd by the Rule of their Actions, yet were uneasie under the reproaches of their Consciences when they transgressed against it, made these Inventions, and the value set upon them, to be daily improv'd; till Men at last have sought to be, and have effectually been perswaded that they might render themselves acceptable to God without indeavouring sincerely to obey the Rule by which they profess'd to believe they were oblig'd to live; and that even when they did think that this was a Law giv'n them by God himself.
We generally indeed exclaim against the Cruelties of the Roman Church exercis'd over Men, on account or pretence of Religion: And it is true, that they have excell'd herein; yet all Parties among us, proportionally to the extent of their Power, have practis'd the same thing; and the Best, when restrain'd from it by the Civil Magistrate, make it evidently appear, that they bear that restraint uneasily.