Quotation added by staff
...a rare disease--it is to him an "interesting case". There may still be instruction here, though we have worked out the lessons of common cases. I cannot, therefore, join in the full cry against anomalies; in my judgment it may quickly overrun the scent, and so miss what we should be glad to find.
Subject to this saving remark, however, I not only admit, but maintain, that our Constitution is full of curious oddities, which are impeding and mischievous, and ought to be struck out.Our law very often reminds one of those outskirts of cities where you cannot for a long time tell how the streets come to wind about in so capricious and serpent-like a manner. At last it strikes you that they grew up, house by house, on the devious tracks of the old green lanes; and if you follow on to the existing fields, you may often find the change half complete.Just so the lines of our Constitution were framed in old eras of sparse population, few wants, and simple habits; and we adhere in seeming to their shape, though civilisation has come with its dangers, complications, and enjoyments. These anomalies, in a hundred instances, mark the old boundaries of a constitutional struggle. The casual line was traced according to the strength of deceased combatants; succeeding generations fought elsewhere; and the hesitating line of a half-drawn battle... Bagehot, Walter
More on the author
This quote around the web
Search Quotations Book