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Now there is one signification of this word policy (πολιτεία) which imports as much as burgess-ship, that is, a participation in the rights and privileges belonging to a town, city, or borough; as when we say that the Megarians, by an edict of their city, presented Alexander the Great with their policy, that is, their burgess-ship, and that, Alexander laughing at the offer they made him of it, they answered him, that they had never decreed that honor to any but Hercules and now to himself. This he wondering to hear accepted their present, thinking it honorable inasmuch as it was rare. The life also of a political person, who is concerned in the government of the commonweal, is called policy, as when we praise the policy of Pericles or Bias, that is, the manner of their government, and on the contrary, blame that of Hyperbolus and Cleon. Some moreover there are, who call a great and memorable action performed in the administration of a commonweal a policy, such as is the distribution of money, the suppressing of a war, the introduction of some notable decree worthy to be kept in perpetual memory. In which signification it is a common manner of speaking to say, This man to-day has done a policy, if he has peradventure effected some remarkable matter in the government of the state.

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load focus English (Harold North Fowler, 1936)
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