Verse > Anthologies > Robert Bridges, ed. > The Spirit of Man: An Anthology
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Robert Bridges, ed. (1844–1930).  The Spirit of Man: An Anthology.  1916.
 
From Areopagitica

John Milton (1608–1674)
 
Milton is speaking, 1643.

.. AND 1 lest som should perswade ye, Lords and Commons, that these arguments of lerned men … are meer flourishes, and not reall, I could recount what I have seen and heard in other Countries, where this kind of inquisition tyrannizes; when I have sat among their lerned men,—for that honor I had,—and bin counted happy to be born in such a place of Philosophic freedom, as they suppos’d England was, while themselvs did nothing but bemoan the servil condition into which lerning amongst them was brought; that this was it which had dampt the glory of Italian wits; that nothing had bin there writt’n now these many years but flattery and fustian. There it was that I found and visited the famous Galileo grown old, a pris’ner to the Inquisition, for thinking in Astronomy otherwise than the Franciscan and Dominican licencers thought. And though I knew that England then was groaning loudest under the Prelatical yoak, neverthelesse I tooke it as a pledge of future happines, that other Nations were so perswaded of her liberty. Yet was it beyond my hope that those Worthies were then breathing in her air, who should be her leaders to such a deliverance, as shall never be forgott’n by any revolution of time that this world hath to finish …
  1
 
Note 1. Milton. ‘Areopagitica’. [back]
 
 
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