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A Short History of English Liberalism

No rational man ever did govern himself by abstractions and universals.... A statesman differs from a professor in an university; the latter has only the general view of society.... A statesman, never losing sight of principles, is to be guided by circumstances; and, judging contrary to the exigencies of the moment, he may ruin his country for ever.
Burke, "On the Petition of the Unitarians."