Areopagitica and Tractate of Education
by John Milton
Included in Volume III of the Harvard Classics, John Milton's prose includes Areopagitica and the tractate Of Education, both originally published in 1644.
The first work was a prose polemic - titled in full Areopagitica; A speech of Mr. John Milton for the Liberty of Unlicenc'd Printing, to the Parlament of England. The work defended the principles of freedom of speech and expression. English law at the time required publishers to obtain a license to print - the content of which had to be approved to receive a license. Milton himself had been a victim of censorship, and Areopagitica blatantly challenged Parliament to change the law.
Milton died in 1674, but Areopagitica is credited as one of the early influences that eventually led to unlicensed printing in 1695.
His tractate Of Education, meanwhile, outlined his views regarding the true purpose of education - that is, to prepare men to justly and skilfully fulfill their public and private responsibilities while drawing closer to God.