At present, in the most civilized countries, freedom of speech is taken as a matter of course and seems a perfectly simple thing. We are so accustomed to it that we look on it as a natural right. But this right has been acquired only in quite recent times, and the way to its attainment has lain through lakes of blood. It has taken centuries to persuade the most enlightened peoples that liberty to publish one’s opinions and to discuss all questions is a good and not a bad thing.
①(At present), (in the most civilized countries), [freedom of speech] is [taken] / (as a matter of course) / and seems [a (perfectly) simple thing]. ②We are [(so) accustomed] / (to it) / that we look on it / (as a natural right). ③But / [this right] has been [acquired] ((only) in (quite) recent times), and [the way to its attainment] has lain / (through lakes of blood). ④It has taken [centuries] / (to persuade [the most enlightened peoples] [that [liberty] (to publish one’s opinions) and (to discuss all questions) is a good and not a bad thing].