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AR E O PAG IT ICA;

А

S P E E CH

OF M. JOHN MILTON For the Liberty of VNLICENC'D

PRINTING, To the PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND.

Τουλεύθερον δ' εκείνο ε' τις θέλει πόλει
Χρησόν τι βούλευμ' είς μέσον φέρειν, έχων.
Kai taūl' ó xeń wr, acumpos čo8', ó rein Jewe,
Σιγα, τί τούτων έσιν ίσαίτερον πόλει ;

Euripid. Hicetid.

This is true Liberty when free born men
Having to advise the public may speak free,
Which he who can, and will, deseru's bigh praise,
Who neither can nor will, may hold bis peace;
What can be juster in a state than this?

Euripid. Hicetid.

LONDON,
Printed in the Yeare, 1644.

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THERE is no need of a Preface to

recommend this admirable defence of the best of human rights, to any one Who has ever heard of the DIVINE MILTON: and it is impoffible to produce better arguments, or to set them in a more-convincing, awakening light,

Is it possible that any Free-born Briton, who is capable of thinking, can ever lose all sense of religion and virtue, and of the dignity of human nature to fuch a degree, as to wish for that universal Ignorance, Darkness, and Barbarity,

against against which the absolute Freedom of the Press is the only Preservative? For what else spreads light, or diffuses knowledge through the world? But it seems, as a sense of the value of health is sometimes lost in the midst of its full enjoy. ment; so men, through a habit of liberty, may become insensible of its inestimable worth: otherwise would not every one awake, rouse himself, and say, when the most dear and valuable of all the privileges, that government is designed to protect, is menaced, “ That he will “ sooner part with life itself than with “s that liberty without which life is not so worth the having : that he will sooner “ suffer his eyes to be put out, than his “ understanding to be extinguished.”

We We are told in history of a * people that, after they had been inured to filavery, were in a panick fear, when their. liberty was offered to them. And this terrible effect of slavery ought to make every lover of mankind tremble at the thoughts of any steps or approaches towards the diminution of liberty. “For “ without it, as Homer has told us, “ men foon cease to be men : they soon “ cease to be rational creatures.”

Now without the absolute unbounded freedom of writing and publishing, there is no liberty ; no shadow of it: it is an empty found. For what can Liberty mean, if it does not mean, the Liberty of exercising, improving, and informing The Cappadocians,

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