gulliver’s mirror

November 8, 2010

“in the course of many ages, they have been troubled with the same diseases, to which the whole race of mankind is subject; the nobility often contending for power, the people for liberty, and the king for absolute dominion. All of which, however happily tempered by the laws of the kingdom, have sometimes violated by each of the three parties; and ave occasioned civil wars”

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“a first of chief minister of state, whom I intended to describe, was a creature wholly exempt from joy and grief, love and hatred, pity and anger; at least makes use of no other passion but violent desire of wealth, power, titles: that he applies his word to all uses, excpet to the indication of his mind: that he never tells the truth, but with an intent that you should take it for a lye; nor a lye, but with a design that you should take it for a truth; that those he speaks worst of behind their backs, are the surest way to preferment; and whenever he begins to praise you to others or to yourself, you are from that day forlorn. The worst mark you can receive is a promise, especially when it is confirmed with an oath; after which every wise man retires, and gives over all hopes.

There are three methods by which a man may rise to be chief minister: the first is, by knowing how with prudence to dispose of a wife, a daughter, or a sister: The second, by betraying or undermining his predecessor: And the third is, by a furious zeal in publick assemblies against the corruption of the court. But a wise prince would rather chuse to employ those who practice the last of these methods; because such zealots prove always the most obsequious and subservient to the will and passions of their master (they don’t have their own agenda, they cash in and cash out at everyone’s expense except their superior).

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