Quote of the Day

This is not the republic of my imagination.

–Charles Dickens, letter to William Macready, from Baltimore (1842)

4 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. Le voile est déchiré, Madame, sur lequel était peinte l'illusion de mon bonheur.

    Choderlos de Laclos, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Letter CXLIII – la Présidente de Tourvel (Valmont's seduced and abandoned victim) to Madame de Rosemonde (her close friend).

  2. In the Committee of the Whole on Mr. RANDOLPH’S Resolutions, …

    The fourth Resolution, first clause, “that the members of the first branch of the National Legislature ought to be elected by the people of the several states,” being taken up:

    Mr. SHERMAN opposed the election by the people, insisting that it ought to be by the State Legislatures. The people, he said, immediately, should have as little to do as may be about the government. They want information, and are constantly liable to be misled.

    Mr. GERRY. The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy. The people do not want virtue, but are the dupes of pretended patriots. In Massachusetts it had been fully confirmed by experience, that they are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions, by the false reports circulated by designing men, and which no one on the spot can refute. One principal evil arises from the want of due provision for those employed in the administration of government. It would seem to be a maxim of democracy to starve the public servants. He mentioned the popular clamor in Massachusetts for the reduction of salaries, and the attack made on that of the Governor, though secured by the spirit of the Constitution itself. He had, he said, been too republican heretofore: he was still, however, republican; but had been taught by experience the danger of the levelling spirit.

    1. What I am getting at is the need to diagnose condition this as accurately as we can. Did the people elect this man because they lack virtue, or because they have been misled into baneful measures and opinions by false reports circulated by designing men?

      I have been hearing and reading a great deal of commentary from people I respect which says that they lack virtue. If this is correct, we must separate from them and do what we can to deprive them of what they seek. which is something sinister and evil. If the more accurate diagnosis is that they were the dupes of pretended patriots, we must consider carefully what it is that they seek and ask ourselves why this designing man convinced them that he could lead them to it and why we could not match him.

      How we decide this point, I submit, will determine everything else we do for the next several years. Sherman and Gerry had their opinions. That the people will have much to do about the government was decided while they were still living. It is settled and done. They lost the debate. But their underlying question remains to be debated anew.

  3. It is not necessary to hope in order to struggle.

    William the Silent (1533-1584), Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland, father of Dutch independence. The wars to achieve this lasted eighty years.

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