A school course in vectors by R.I. Porter

By R.I. Porter

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Milton defines himself by contrast with those who are subject to passions of doubt, envy, fear, and hope ‘al popol use’, and the people in turn are implicitly defined as lacking Miltonic noble worth. His choice of the Italian language as his medium is itself a gesture which distances him from the vulgar and places him rather in a European context, in the company of poets such as Dante. Dante’s treatise De Vulgari Eloquentia had argued that poets should use the vulgar tongue—that is, the vernacular— rather than Latin, but Milton’s choice of Italian instead of his own vernacular places him in an elite company in which the vulgar tongue which he uses is not that of the English crowd but that of Italian humanist scholars and poets.

8 [William Walwyn], The Compassionate Samaritane, second edition (London, ), pp. ff. 9 Robert Greville, Lord Brooke, A Discourse opening the Nature of that Episcopacie, which is exercised in England (London, ), p. ; cp. pp. – on the idea of the church in the New Testament. 10 See pp. – below. 11 So even among the anti-prelatical writers there is an awareness that some of the people who would be entrusted with choosing their ministers might prefer to spend their Sundays dancing and drinking.

Aston’s book was published the following May. 20 Like Brooke, although to different ends, Aston deploys the qualifier ‘true’ in order to define and consolidate his position. True liberty is provided and protected by the kingdom’s ancient laws; it is not generated by a religiously motivated disobedience to authority. 21 The title of one pamphlet articulates the fears of many readers: Aston, sigs. Kv–Kr. The quotation is from Livy, Ab urbe condita, XIV xxv: ‘This is the nature of the multitude: either to serve humbly, or to rule arrogantly’.

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