Black Dwarf,  1 (1817), 427–30.

Law of Libel.—Letter V.  [5/6]



Letter, Serial


Publishing, Religion, Politics, Scientific Practitioners, History of Science, Astronomy, Popularization

    Observes: 'Prosecutions for constructive libels, and prohibitions against the publication of speculative opinions, have been the characteristics of a barbarous age, or the resort of jealous tyrants; and such measures and their authors have been generally loaded with the execrations of succeeding ages [...]. The inquisitors who imprisoned Galileo for making public his astronomical discoveries, were wise enough to perceive that the universal diffusion of knowledge must be fatal to them; and that the same reasoning which led to the discovery of errors in the prevailing system of astronomy, would lead to the discovery of errors in the prevailing systems of Government, and consequently to the overthrow of their dominion. The event has proved that they were right in their conjectures.' (428)

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