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The Thoughts of a Tory Author, Concerning the Press

The Thoughts of a Tory Author, Concerning the Press

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Excerpt from The Thoughts of a Tory Author, Concerning the Press: With the Opinion of the Ancients and Moderns, About Freedom of Speech and Writing and an Historical Account of the Usage It Has Met With From Both Parties in England

And surely there may be a Restraint put upon such Things without striking at the Press itself, and ruining a Trade which has been so serviceable to Liberty and the Reformation. What need there is of the Author's being oblig'd to put his Name, when you have a good Printers and Bookseller's, I do not see; for neither of them will make themselves accountable without being sure of his Author. And there may be a Thousand Things both Lawful, and indeed Useful to be Printed, which the Writer may not be willing to own. As for Instance: The Specator is doubtless a very Lawful and Useful Paper; yet I question Whether the worthy Author wou'd think it convenient to put his Name to every one of them. I might say the same of the Works of some of our own Friends; as, The Tale of a Tub, and Law a Bottomless-Pit. Yet I am sure we had never seen one of them, if the Reverend Author must have march'd in the Front. This is not all; there are a great many Writers who have Obligations to particular Persons, and who cannot speak certain Truths without offending them, which they wou'd rather might be lost than venture; and that not on Account of the Mischief it might do such Persons, but the Offence it might give their Pride or Humour; for which their Interest might oblige 'em to have a Complacency.

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