November 5, 2008

Odious but intelligible

Do not you think that the tone of England -- of that great compound of folly, weakness, prejudice, wrong feeling, right feeling, obstinacy, and newspaper paragraphs, which is called public opinion -- is more liberal -- to use an odious but intelligible phrase -- than the policy of the Government? Do you not think that there is a feeling in favour of some undefined change in the mode of governing the country?

-- Robert Peel, in a letter, 1820; in Boyd Hilton, A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People? England 1783-1846.