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Page 176 - Where, then, would you look for hope ?" " In what is more powerful than laws and institutions, and without which the best laws and the most skilful institutions may be a dead letter, or the very means of tyranny in the national character. It is not in the increased feebleness of its institutions that I see the peril of England ; it is in the decline of its character as a community.
Page 42 - My father has often told me that in his early days, the displeasure of a peer of England was like a sentence of death to a man. Why it was esteemed a great concession to public opinion, so late as the reign of George II, that Lord Ferrers should be executed for murder.
Page 180 - ... it can be removed by any new disposition of political power. It would only aggravate the evil. That would be recurring to the old error of supposing you can necessarily find national content in political institutions. A political institution is a machine; the motive power is the national character. With that it rests, whether the machine will benefit society, or destroy it.
Page 174 - You will observe one curious trait," said Sidonia to Coningsby, "in the history of this country. The depository of power is always unpopular. All combine against it. It always falls. Power was deposited in the great Barons. The Church, using the King for its instrument, crushed the great Barons. Power was deposited in the Church. The King, bribing the Parliament, plundered the Church. Power was deposited in the King. The Parliament, using the People, beheaded the King, expelled the King, changed...
Page 208 - Almost every great composer, skilled musician, almost every voice that ravishes you with its transporting strains, spring from our tribes. The catalogue is too vast to enumerate; too illustrious to dwell for a moment on secondary names, however eminent. Enough for us that the three great creative minds to whose exquisite inventions all nations at this moment yield; Rossini, Meyerbeer, Mendelssohn, are of Hebrew race; and little do your men of fashion, your
Page 103 - ... day that there were two educations, one which his position required, and another which was demanded by the world. " French, my dear Harry," he continued, " is the key to this second education. In a couple of years or so you will enter the world ; it's a different thing to what you read about.
Page 132 - Sidonia had exhausted all the sources of human knowledge ; he was master of the learning of every nation, of all tongues dead or living, of every literature, Western and Oriental.
Page 231 - III. tried not to be a Doge, but it was impossible materially to resist the deeply-laid combination. He might get rid of the Whig magnificoes, but he could not rid himself of the Venetian constitution. And a Venetian constitution did govern England from the accession of the House of Hanover until 1832. Now I do not ask you, Vere, to relinquish the political tenets which in ordinary times would have been your inheritance. All I say is, the constitution introduced by your ancestors having been subverted...
Page 221 - It was that noble ambition, the highest and the best, that must be born in the heart and organized in the brain, which will not let a man be content unless his intellectual power is recognised by his race, and desires that it should contribute to their welfare.