William Pitt & Necessity

“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” (1)
– William Pitt –

Today, 28 May, is the anniversary of the birth of William Pitt the Younger, Britain’s youngest ever prime minister, who was born on 28 May 1759.

The quotation from his speech in the House of Commons (1783) recalls some lines from John Milton’s “Paradise Lost”:

“So spake the Fiend , and with necessity ,
The tyrant’s plea , excus’d his devilish deeds.(2)

 

(1) La necessità è il pretesto per ogni violazione della libertà umana.
È l’argomento dei tiranni; il credo degli schiavi. (Pitt)

(2) Così parlò il Demonio, e con la necessità,
il pretesto del tiranno, giustificò le sue azioni diaboliche. (Milton)

blake_paradiselost_butts3
William Blake (1808)  – Milton’s Paradise Lost

22 thoughts on “William Pitt & Necessity

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