Hughes notes at Paradise Lost : IV : 389: “public reason: reason of state, a perversion of the Ciceronian principle . . . that the good of the people is the supreme law . . . Henry Parker approved its use by Parliament and condemned the Royalists for too frequent appeals to it.”
And should I at your harmless innocence
Melt, as I do, yet public reason just,
Honor and Empire with revenge enlarg’d,
By conquering this new World, compels me now
To do what else though damn’d I should abhor.
Reminds me of 9/11, executive power, and the invasion of Iraq.