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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing) 2 2 Browse Search
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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), entry 1598 (search)
w scarcely realize the atmosphere of such thoughts. We are no longer wont to refer to the ancients or to the French for sanction of what we do. We have had abundant experience of our own by which to reckon. Hardly any fact in history, says Mr. Bagehot, writing about the middle of the century, is so incredible as that forty and a few years ago England was ruled by Mr. Perceval. It seems almost the same as being ruled by the Record newspaper. (Mr. Bagehot would now probably say the StandardMr. Bagehot would now probably say the Standard newspaper.) He had the same poorness of thought, the same petty conservatism, the same dark and narrow superstition. The mere fact of such a premier being endured shows how deeply the whole national spirit and interest was absorbed in the contest with Napoleon, how little we understood the sort of man who should regulate its conduct— in the crisis of Europe, as Sydney Smith said, he safely brought the curates' salaries improvement bill to a hearing ; and it still more shows the horror of all