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ARE O PAG ITICA; A SPEECH of Mr. John Milton,

TO

For the Liberty of unlicenc'd Printing.

THEY who to States and Gover

nours of the Commonwealth direct their Speech, High Court of Parlament, or wanting such accesse in a private condition, write that which they foresee may advance the publick good; I suppose them as at the beginning of no meane endeavour, not a little alter'd and mov'd inwardly in their mindes : Some with doubt of what will be the successe, others with feare of what will be the censure ; some with hope, others

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with confidence of what they have to speake. And me perhaps each of these difpofitions, as the subject was whereon I enter'd, may have at other times variously affected; and likely might in these formoft expreffions now also dif

elose which of them sway'd most, but : that the very attempt of this addresse

thus made, and the thought of whom it hath recourse to, hath got the power within me to a passion, farre more welcome then incidentall to a. Preface. Which though I stay not to confesse ere · any aske, I shall be blamelesse, if it be no other, then the joy and gratulation which it brings to all who wish and pro·mote their Countries liberty ; whereof this whole discourse propos'd will be a

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certaine testimony, if not a Trophey. For this is not the liberty which wee can hope, that no grievance ever should arise in the Commonwealth, that let no man in this World expect; but when complaints are freely heard, deeply confider'd, and speedily reform’d, then is the utmost bound of civill liberty attain’d, that wise men looke for. To which if I now manifest by the very found of this which I shall utter, that wee are already in good part arriv’d, and yet from such a steepe disadvantage of tyranny and superstition grounded into our principles as was beyond the manhood of a Roman tecovery, it will bee attributed first, as is most due, to the strong assistance of God our deliverer, next to your faithfull guidance and undaunted Wisdome, Lords and Commons of England. Neither is it in God's esteeme the diminution of his glory, when honourable things are fpoken of good men and worthy Magistrates ; which if I now first should begin to doe, after so fair a progresse of your laudable deeds, and such a long obligement upon the whole Realme to your indefatigable vertues, I might be justly reckn’d among the tardiest, and unwillingest of them that praise yee. Nevertheleffe there being three principall things, without which all praising is but courtship and flattery, First, when that only is prais’d which is solidly worth praise : next when greatest likelihoods are brought that such things are truly

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and really in those persons to whom they are ascrib'd, the other, when he who praises, by shewing that such his actuall perswafion is of whom he writes, can demonstrate that he flatters not; the former two of these I have heretofore endeavour'd, rescuing the employment from him who went about to impaire your merits with a triviall and malignant Encomium; the latter as belonging chiefly to mine owne acquittall, that whom I so extolld I did not flatter, hath been reserv’d opportunely to this occasion. For he who freely magnifies what hath been nobly done, and fears not to declare as freely what might be done better, gives ye the best cov’nant of his fidelity; and that his loyaleft affection and his hope Q2

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