The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #8779 Message #1007253
Posted By: GUEST
24-Aug-03 - 04:34 AM
Thread Name: the swinish multitude
Subject: RE: the swinish multitude
Big Tim has the quote almost exactly the same as my source does but without the context. Excuse the length, please, but note the political value and "proper place" of learning, according to Edmund Burke (as quoted in The Age of Revolution in the Irish Song Tradition, Terry Moylan, Ed.)
"Nothing is more certain than that our manners, our civilization, and all the good things which are connected with manners and with civilization have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles and were, indeed, the result of both combined: I mean the spirit of a gentleman and the spirit of religion. The nobility and the clergy, the one by profession, the other by patronage, kept learning in existence, even in the midst of arms and confusions, and whilst governments were rather in their causes, than formed. Learning paid back what it received to nobility and to priesthood; and paid it with usury, by enlarging their ideas, and by furnishing their minds. Happy if they had all continued to know their indissoluble union and their proper place! Happy if learning, not debauched by ambition, had been satisfied to continue the instructor, and not aspired to be the master! Along with its natural protectors and guardians, learning will be cast into the mire, and trodden down under the hoofs of a swinish multitude."
from Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
It's fine for learning to enlarge your ideas--just so long as you don't go against the nobility as a result. Then you become swinish!