Men write, commonly more formally, then they practize: and they conversing onely among bookes, are put into affectation, and pedantisme. Hee that is built of the Presse, and the Pen, shall be sure to make himself ridiculous. Company and Conversation are the best Instructors for a Noble behaviour. O. Feltham, Resolves or excogitations (London, 1628), 2nd Century, 129–31. Some time in mid-1642, one of King Charles I’s lesser subjects stumbled, bedraggled and unnoticed, onto the streets of London. He was a Scottish minister. Once a royal chaplain, for almost a decade he had rested his modest fortunes on the patronage of Charles’s hated Archbishop of Canterbury, William Laud. Now he had been driven from his small and semi-derelict church on the outskirts of Southampton by a congregation determined to eradicate with one blow both the crypto-papist paraphernalia of Laudianism and its local lieutenant, root and branch. Overwhelmed, he had fled from these “swaggering thieves ” and headed blindly for the capital. By the time he arrived, Laud’s power had been broken. The Archbishop was in the Tower, and the King himself had left London for the last time. A disastrous civil war wa
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