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With such interest, in those days used without scruple, it is not surprising that he should become Counsel as well to the City of London1 as to the Stationers' Company ;2 and also a licenser of books,3 by the appointment of the Bishop of London. There is a like fee entered in the next year; and entries of payments to him of 20*. appear constantly, until the account ending July, 1583, inclusive, frequently describing him as " Our Counsellor." In the Warden's accounts of the year ending July, 1584, are the following payments; viz.:—" Item, paid to Mr. whose several writings the silver file of the workman recommendeth to the plausible entertainment of the daintiest censure." A man may live thrice Nestor's life, Thrice wander out Ulysses' race, Yet never find Ulysses' wife; Such change hath chaunced in this case; Less time will serve than Paris had, Small pain (if none be small inonghe) To find great' store of Helen's trade; Norton for a time turned his thoughts from the law, anu entered himself, in 1565, at Pembroke Hall, Oxford, where he was resident when the first edition of his play was published, and where he took his degree of M. Whilst at college, and in the year 1567, his excess of zeal displayed itself in three pamphlets, published by his printer, John Daye, but without the author's name." A bull graunted by the pope to Doctor Harding and other, by reconcilement and assoyling of English papistes, to undermyne faith and allegeance to the Quene; with a true declaration of the intention and frutes thereof, &c."" A disclosing of the sreat bull, and certain calves that he hath gotten, and specially the monster bull that roared at my lord by shops gate." Reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany, vol. 535, where the name of the writer is misprinted J/orton; and The close of the year in which he left the University was marked by the great northern insurrection, which broke out in Yorkshire in the beginning of November, and was quelled by Sussex at the end of December, 1569. The opportunity was too tempting, and Norton1 addressed an eloquent letter, published by Henry Bynneman " To the Queene's Maiestes poore decey ved subiectes of the north countrey, drawen into rebellion by the Earles of Northumberland and Westmerland."2 They had " purified Durham Cathedral" by burning the versions of the Bible and the books of public devotion, and for this they are soundly rated: " Christians I cannot term you, that have defaced the communion of Christians, and, in destroying thebooke of Christes most holie testament, renounced your partes by his testament bequethed vnto you." This tirade did not suffice; and in 1570 Norton published, at John Daye's,1 his " Warning against the dangerous practices of the Papists, and specially the Partners of the late rebellion;" and in it he gave a curious but evidently exaggerated account of the diligence of the disaffected in spreading rumours and news. Another politico-religious work of the same period was " A discourse touching the pretended match betwene the duke of Norfolcke and the Quene of Scottes," published anonymously ; and a more valuable and more popular work was also published by him in 1570, " A translation of Dean Nowcl Fs Catechism," which went through four editions in seven years.
But when he saw the scribbling humour of the other side, that they would not be quiet, then he told Whitgift plainly, that this keeping up the quarrel was on their part, and their fault, not his.
When that prelate contemplated an answer to " An admonition to the parliament," Norton took it upon himself to address to him a long letter, dated 20th October, 1572,2 to dissuade him from the work—doubting whether it were not " best policy to let the matter die quietly ;" declaring that it was " good to contain controversies within schools, and not to carry them to Paul's Cross and elsewhere abroad ;" referring to the hurt which the division of the Lutherans and Zuinglians had done; and recommending the " Good Mr.
Doctor, before he went any further with the book, to confer with some grave, wise men, and especially such as have been rather beholders than actors in this tragedy." Whitgift combated his views, and the other side continuing to write, Norton changed his opinion.
David Whitehead (whom I name with honorable remembrance), did among other compare with the Latine, examining every sentence thorowout the whole booke." * * " Since which time I have not beene advertised by any man of any thing which they would require to be altered.
Neither had I myselfe, by reason of my profession, being otherwise occupied, leisure to peruse it; and that is the cause why not only at the second and third time, but also at this impression, you have Do change at all in the worke, but altogether as it was before." And he concludes by saying, " I confesse indeed it is not finely and pleasantly written, nor carrieth with it such delightfull grace of speech as some great, wise men have bestowed upon some foolisher things, yet it containeth sound truth, set forth with faithfull plainneness, without wrong done to the author's meaning."This book was by no means a light labour, yet it was not Norton's only literary effort at this time.