How charming is divine Philosophy! Not harsh, and crabbed as dull fools suppose, But musical as is Apollo's lute, And a perpetual feast of nectar'd sweets, Where no crude surfet raigns.
He who thinks we are to pitch our tent here, and have attained the utmost prospect of reformation that the mortal glass wherein we contemplate can show us, till we come to beatific vision, that man by this very opinion declares that he is yet far short of truth.
The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the highest perfection.
Be strong, live happy and love, but first of allHim whom to love is to obey, and keepHis great command!
And of the sixth day yet remainedThere wanted yet the master work, the endOf all yet done: a creature who not prone And brute as other creatures but enduedWith sanctity of reason might erect His stature and, upright with front serene,Govern the rest, self-knowing, and from thenceMagnanimous to correspond with Heaven, But grateful to acknowledge whence his good Descends, thither with heart and voice and eyesDirected in devotion to adore And worship God supreme who made him chiefOf all His works.
I will not deny but that the best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.
Immortal amarant, a flower which onceIn paradise, fast by the tree of life,Began to bloom; but soon for man's offenceTo heaven removed, where first it grew, there grows,And flowers aloft, shading the fount of life,And where the river of bliss through midst of heavenRolls o'er elysian flowers her amber stream:With these that never fade the spirits electBind their resplendent locks.
Henceforth an individual solace dear; Part of my Soul I seek thee, and thee claim My other half: with that thy gentle hand Seisd mine, I yielded, and from that time see How beauty is excelld by manly grace.
Only add Deeds to thy knowledge answerable; add faith; Add virtue, patience, temperance; add love, By name to come called charity, the soul Of all the rest: then wilt thou not be loath To leave this Paradise; but shalt possess A paradise within thee, happier far.
Is it true, O Christ in heaven, that the highest suffer the most?That the strongest wander furthest and most hopelessly are lost?That the mark of rank in nature is capacity for pain?That the anguish of the singer makes the sweetness of the strain?
Shall that be shut to man, which to the beast Is open? or will God incense his ire For such a petty trespass? and not praise Rather your dauntless virtue, whom the pain Of death denounced, whatever thing death be, Deterred not from achieving what might lead To happier life, knowledge of good and evil; Of good, how just? of evil, if what is evil Be real, why not known, since easier shunned? God therefore cannot hurt ye, and be just; Not just, not God: not feared then, nor obeyed: Your fear itself of death removes the fear. Why then was this forbid? Why, but to awe; Why, but to keep ye low and ignorant, His worshippers? He knows that in the day Ye eat thereof, your eyes, that seem so clear, Yet are but dim, shall perfectly be then Opened and cleared, and ye shall be as gods, Knowing both good and evil, as they know.
I call therefore a complete and generous education that which fits a man to perform justly, skilfully and magnanimously all the offices both private and public, of peace and war.
For 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.
A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
Many a man lives a burden to the Earth, but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
For books are not absolutely dead things, but... 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 Dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men. And yet on the other hand unless warriors be used, as good almost kill a Man 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.John MiltonAreopagitica
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
Father, I do acknowledge and confessThat I this honor, I this pomp have broughtTo Dagon, and advanc’d his praises highamong the Heathen round; to God have broughtDishonor, obloquy, and op’d the mouthsOf Idolists, and Atheists[…]The anguish of my Soul, that suffers notMine eye to harbor sleep, or thoughts to rest.This only hope relieves me, that the strifeWith mee hath end.
Whose but his own? ingrate, he had of meeAll he could have; I made him just and right,Sufficient to have stood, though free to fall.Such I created all th’ Ethereal PowersAnd Spirits, both them who stood and them who fail’d;Freely they stood who stood, and fell who fell.Not free, what proof could they have giv’n sincereOf true allegiance, constant Faith or Love,Where only what they needs must do, appear’d,Not what they would? what praise could they receive?What pleasure I from such obedience paid,When Will and Reason (Reason also is choice)Useless and vain, of freedom both despoil’d,Made passive both, had served necessity,Not mee. They therefore as to right belong’d,So were created, nor can justly accuseThir maker, or thir making, or thir Fate;As if Predestination over-rul’dThir will, dispos’d by absolute DecreeOr high foreknowledge; they themselves decreedThir own revolt, not I; if I foreknewForeknowledge had no influence on their fault,Which had no less prov’d certain unforeknown.So without least impulse or shadow of Fate,Or aught by me immutable foreseen,They trespass, Authors to themselves in allBoth what they judge and what they choose; for soI form’d them free, and free they must remain,Till they enthrall themselves: I else must changeThir nature, and revoke the high DecreeUnchangeable, Eternal, which ordain’dThir freedom: they themselves ordain’d thir fall.
But now at last the sacred influenceOf light appears, and rom the walls of Heav'nShoots far into the bosom of dim NightA glimmering dawn; here Nature first begins her farthest verge, and Chaos to retireAs from her outmost works a broken foeWith tumult less and with less hostile din
Of four infernal rivers that disgorge/ Into the burning Lake their baleful streams;/Abhorred Styx the flood of deadly hate,/Sad Acheron of sorrow, black and deep;/Cocytus, nam'd of lamentation loud/ Heard on the rueful stream; fierce Phlegethon/ Whose waves of torrent fire inflame with rage./ Far off from these a slow and silent stream,/ Lethe the River of Oblivion rolls/ Her wat'ry Labyrinth whereof who drinks,/ Forthwith his former state and being forgets,/ Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.
Chaos and ancient Night, I come no spy,With purpose to explore or to disturbThe secrets of your realm, but by constraint Wand'Ring this darksome desert, as my wayLies through your spacious empire up to light,Alone, and without guide, half lost, I seekWhat readiest path leads where your gloomy bounds Confine with Heav'n; or if som other place From your Dominion won, th' Ethereal King Possesses lately, thither to arriveI travel this profound, direct my course; Directed no mean recompence it brings To your behoof, if I that Region lost, All usurpation then expelled, reduce To her original darkness and your sway (Which is my present journey) and once moreErect the Standard there of ancient Night; Yours be th' advantage all, mine the revenge.970-987