November 29, 2003

anguish and despair

...At every stage of the growth of the debt the nation has set up the same cry of anguish and despair....[After the Napoleonic Wars] the funded debt of England...was in truth a fabulous debt; and we can hardly wonder that the cry of despair should have been louder than ever. Yet like Addison's valetudinarian, who continued to whimper that he was dying of consumption till he became so fat that he was shamed into silence, [England] went on complaining that she was sunk in poverty till her wealth showed itself by tokens which made her complaints ridiculous....The beggared, the bankrupt society not only proved able to meet all its obligations, but while meeting these obligations, grew richer and richer so fast that the growth could almost be discerned by the eye....
Macaulay, History of England
(Borrowed from Brothers Judd Blog)

Posted by John Weidner at November 29, 2003 8:34 AM
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