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Trollope on the Conservative Mind

By Matthew Yglesias on May 5, 2010 at 10:44 am

"Trollope on the Conservative Mind"

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Maria Farrell quotes Trollope on the views, circa 1873, of “a fine old Tory of the ancient school, who thought that things were going from bad to worse, but was able to live happily in spite of his anticipations.” As she observes, the Tea Party could learn a thing or two:

“It was bad to interfere with Charles, bad to endure Cromwell, bad to punish James, bad to put up with William. The House of Hanover was bad. All interference with prerogative has been bad. The Reform Bill was very bad. Encroachment on the estates of the bishops was bad. Emancipation of Roman Catholics was the worst of all. Abolition of corn-laws, church-rates, and oaths and tests were all bad.The meddling with Universities has been grievous. The treatment of the Irish Church has been Satanic. The overhauling of schools is most injurious to English education. Education bills and Irish land bills were all bad. Every step taken has been bad. And yet to them old England is of all countries in the world the best place to live in, and is not at all the less comfortable because of the changes that have been made. … To have been always in the right, and yet always on the losing side; always being ruined, always under persecution from a wild spirit of republican-demagogism – and yet never to lose anything, not even position, or public esteem, is pleasant enough.”

That’s from The Eustace Diamonds.

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