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TO THE READER.
CERTAINLY that man were greedy of life who should desire to live when all the world were at an end, and he must needs be very impatient who would repine at death in the society of all things that suffer under it. Had not almost every man suffered by the press, or were not the tyranny thereof become universal, I had not wanted reason for complaint ; but in times wherein I have lived to behold the highest perversion of that excellent invention; the name of his Majesty defamed, the honour of parliament depraved, the writings of both depravedly, anticipatively, counterfeitly imprinted; complaints may seem ridiculous in private persons, and men of my condition may be as incapable of affronts as hopeless of their reparations. And truly had not the duty I owe unto the importunity of friends, and the allegiance I must ever acknowledge unto truth, prevailed with me, the inactivity of my disposition might have made these sufferings continual; and time, that brings other things to light, should have satisfied me in the remedy of its oblivion. But because things evidently false are not only printed, but many things of truth most falsely set forth, in this latter I could not but think myself engaged. For though we have no power to redress the former, yet in the other the reparation being within ourselves, I have at present