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Pagina 163 - One of the greatest pains to human nature is the pain of a new idea : it is, as common people say, so "upsetting"; it makes you think that after all your favorite notions may be wrong, your firmest beliefs ill-founded ; it is certain that till now there was no place allotted in your mind to the new and startling inhabitant, and now that it has conquered an entrance you do not at once see which of your old ideas it will or will not turn out, with which...
Pagina 23 - The history of political ideas begins, in fact, with the assumption that kinship in blood is the sole possible ground of community in political functions ; nor is there any of those subversions of feeling, which we term emphatically revolutions, so startling and so complete as the change which is accomplished when some other principle — such as that, for instance, of local contiguity — establishes itself for the first time as the basis of common political action.
Pagina 22 - Rome there long remained the vestiges of an ascending series of groups out of which the State was at first constituted. The Family, House, and Tribe of the Romans may be taken as the type of them, and they are so described to us that we can scarcely help conceiving them as a system of concentric circles which have gradually expanded from the same point.
Pagina 210 - In every experimental science there is a tendency towards perfection. In every human being there is a wish to ameliorate his own condition. These two principles have often sufficed, even when counteracted by great public calamities and by bad institutions, to carry civilisation rapidly forward.
Pagina 53 - The great difficulty which history records is not that of the first step, but that of the second step. What is most evident is not the difficulty of getting a fixed law, but getting out of a fixed law ; not of cementing (as upon a former occasion I phrased it) a cake of custom, but of breaking the cake of custom ; not of making the first preservative habit, but of breaking through it, and reaching something better.
Pagina 1 - ONE peculiarity of this age is the sudden acquisition of much physical knowledge. There is scarcely a department of science or art which is the same, or at all the same, as it was fifty years ago. A new world of inventions — of railways and of telegraphs — has grown up around us which we cannot help seeing; a new world of ideas is in the air and affects us, though we do not see it.