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of promoting them are taken away? For what are the means of promoting them, but the liberty of writing and publishing, without running any rifque but that of being refuted or ridiculed, where any thing advanced chances to labour under the just imputation of falfhood or abfurdity?
ASPEECH of Mr. JOHN MILTON,
For the Liberty of unlicenc'd Printing.
HEY who to States and Governours of the Commonwealth direct their Speech, High Court of Parlament, or wanting fuch acceffe in a private condition, write that which they foresee may advance the publick good; I fuppose 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 fucceffe, others with feare of what will be the cenfure; fome with hope, others with
with confidence of what they have to fpeake. And me perhaps each of thefe difpofitions, as the fubject was whereon I enter'd, may have at other times variously affected; and likely might in these formoft expreffions now alfo difeclofe which of them fway'd most, but that the very attempt of this addreffe thus made, and the thought of whom it hath recourse to, hath got the power within me to a paffion, farre more welcome then incidentalk to a Preface.. Which though I ftay not to confeffe ere any afke, I fhall be blameleffe, if it be no other, then the joy and gratulation which it brings to all who wish and promote their Countries liberty; whereof this whole difcourfe propos'd will be a
certaine teftimony, if not a Trophey. For this is not the liberty which wee can hope, that no grievance ever fhould arife 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 civil liberty attain'd, that wife men looke for. To which if I now manifeft by the very found of this which I fhall utter, that wee are already. in good part arriv'd, and yet from fuch a steepe disadvantage of tyranny and fuperftition grounded into our principles as was beyond the manhood of a Roman recovery, it will bee attributed firft, as is most due, to the ftrong affiftance of GOD our deliverer, next to your faithfull guidance