The Areopagitica is a pamphlet on freedom of speech published at a time where that right was being crushed in its infancy. Very interesting and still relevant to a lot of thought on free speech. Speaking of which, here's a free (that's free-as-in-beer, not free-as-in-speech) audiobook version from Librivox. You can hear the whole thing in two hours, free fucking gratis.For this is not the liberty which wee can hope, that no grievance ever should arise in the Commonwealth, that let no man in this World expect; but when complaints are freely heard, deeply consider'd and speedily reform'd, then is the utmost bound of civill liberty attain'd, that wise men looke for.
[I]f any should accuse me of being new or insolent, did they but know how much better I find ye esteem it to imitate the old and elegant humanity of Greece, then the barbarick pride of a Hunnish and Norwegian statelines. And out of those ages, to whose polite wisdom and letters we ow that we are not yet Gothes and Jutlanders.
— John Milton, Areopagitica, a speech of mr. John Milton for the liberty of unlisenc'd printing. (London, 1644)
I'll try to find some of Quentin Skinner's thoughts on this pamphlet and post at some point. They're really interesting.