Areopagitica (Google eBook)

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Clarendon Press, 1894 - Freedom of the press - 159 pages
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Page xxxviii - Looks through the horizontal misty air Shorn of his beams, or from behind the moon, In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds On half the nations, and with fear of change Perplexes monarchs.
Page 5 - ... books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragons' teeth ; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men.
Page xxxiii - I trust hereby to make it manifest with what small willingness I endure to interrupt the pursuit of no less hopes than these, and leave a calm and pleasing solitariness, fed with cheerful and confident thoughts, to embark in a troubled sea of noises and hoarse disputes, put from beholding the bright countenance of truth in the quiet and still air of delightful studies...
Page 101 - What recks it them? What need they? They are sped; And when they list, their lean and flashy songs Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw ; The hungry sheep look up and are not fed, But swoln with wind and the rank mist they draw, Rot inwardly and foul contagion spread; Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw Daily devours apace, and nothing said. But that two-handed engine at the door Stands ready to smite once and smite no more.
Page 18 - I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race, where that immortal garland is to be run for not without dust and heat.
Page ix - Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, But to be young was very heaven ! Oh ! times, In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways Of custom, law, and statute, took at once The attraction of a country in Romance ! When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights When most intent on making of herself A prime enchantress to assist the work, Which then was going forward in her name...
Page 6 - And yet, on the other hand, unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book. Who kills a man, kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives, a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
Page x - 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...
Page 132 - The angelic orders, and inferior creatures mute, Irrational and brute ? Nor do I name of men the common rout, That, wandering loose about, Grow up and perish, as the summer fly, Heads without name, no more remembered...
Page xxxvii - CROMWELL, our chief of men, who, through a cloud Not of war only, but detractions rude, Guided by faith and matchless fortitude, To peace and truth thy glorious way hast plough'd...

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