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Public Opinion

Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to drink other men's thoughts, to speak other men's words, to follow other men's habits.

Walter Bagehot (1826-1877) British economist.

If forty million people say a foolish thing it does not become a wise one, but the wise man is foolish to give them the lie.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) British novelist and playwright.

Public opinion is the thermometer a monarch should constantly consult.

Napoleon I (1769-1821) Napoleon Bonaparte. French general.

The world will only, in the end, follow those who have despised as well as served it.

Samuel Butler (1612-1680) British poet and satirist.

Public Opinion... an attempt to organize the ignorance of the community, and to elevate it to the dignity of physical force.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish poet and dramatist.


Wonderful ''Force of Public Opinion!'' We must act and walk in all points as it prescribes; follow the traffic it bids us, realize the sum of money, the degree of ''influence'' it expects of us, or we shall be lightly esteemed; certain mouthfuls of articulate wind will be blown at us, and this what mortal courage can front?

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian and essayist.

There are certain times when public opinion is the worst of all opinions.

Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer.

What we call public opinion is generally public sentiment.

Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881) British politician and author.

Ah! Sir, a boy's being flogged is not so severe as a man's having the hiss of the world against him.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) British author.

It is the folly of too many to mistake the echo of a London coffee-house for the voice of the kingdom.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Irish-born English satirist.