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...Nations touch at their summits. It is always the highest class which travels most, knows most of foreign nations, has the least of the territorial sectarianism which calls itself patriotism, and is often thought to be so. Even here, indeed, in England the new trade-class is in real merit equal to the aristocracy. Their knowledge of foreign things is as great, and their contact with them often more. But, notwithstanding, the new race is not as serviceable for diplomacy as the old race.An ambassador is not simply an agent; he is also a spectacle.He is sent abroad for show as well as for substance; he is to represent the Queen among foreign courts and foreign sovereigns. An aristocracy is in its nature better suited to such work; it is trained to the theatrical part of life; it is fit for that if it is fit for anything. But, with this exception, an aristocracy is necessarily inferior in business to the classes nearer business; and it is not, therefore, a suitable class, if we had our choice of classes, out of which to frame a... Bagehot, Walter
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