Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Areopagitica -- in defence of beleaguered truth

"Behold now this vast city: a city of refuge, the mansion house of liberty, encompassed and surrounded with his protection; the shop of war hath not there more anvils and hammers waking, to fashion out the plates and instruments of armed justice in defence of beleaguered truth, than there be pens and heads there, sitting by their studious lamps, musing,  searching, revolving new notions and ideas wherewith to present, as with their homage and their fealty, the approaching Reformation: others as fast reading, trying all things, assenting to the force of reason and convincement.  What could a man require more from a nation so pliant and so prone to seek after knowledge?  What wants there to such a towardly and pregnant soil, but wise and faithful labourers, to make a knowing people, a nation of prophets, of sages, and of worthies?  We reckon more than five months yet to harvest;  there need not be five weeks;  had we but eyes to lift up, the fields are white already."

Areopagitica: a speech of Mr John Milton for the liberty of the unlicenc'd printing, to the Parliament of England 
John Milton, 1644

No comments:

Post a Comment