Areopagitica - John Milton - Страница 1 из 68


AREOPAGITICA
A SPEECH FOR THE LIBERTY OF UNLICENSED PRINTING TO THE PARLIAMENT OF
ENGLAND
This is true liberty, when free-born men,
Having to advise the public, may speak free,
Which he who can, and will, deserves high praise;
Who neither can, nor will, may hold his peace:
What can be juster in a state than this?
Euripid. Hicetid.
They, who to states and governors of the Commonwealth direct their
speech, High Court of Parliament, or, wanting such access in a private
condition, write that which they foresee may advance the public good;
I suppose them, as at the beginning of no mean endeavour, not a little
altered and moved inwardly in their minds: some with doubt of what will
be the success, others with fear of what will be the censure; some with
hope, others with confidence of what they have to speak. And me perhaps
each of these dispositions, as the subject was whereon I entered,
may have at other times variously affected; and likely might in these
foremost expressions now also disclose which of them swayed most, but
that the very attempt of this address thus made, and the thought of whom
it hath recourse to, hath got the power within me to a passion, far more
welcome than incidental to a preface.
Which though I stay not to confess ere any ask, I shall be blameless, if
it be no other than the joy and gratulation which it brings to all who
wish and promote their country's liberty; whereof this whole discourse
proposed will be a certain testimony, if not a trophy. For this is not


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