William Macaulay, in a review (1839) about the recently-published book by William Gladstone, The State in its Relations with the Church, wrote:
Mr Gladstone conceives that the duties of government are paternal; a doctrine which we shall not believe till he can show us some government which loves its subjects as a father loves his children, and which is as superior to its subjects in intelligence as a father to his child.
He tells us in lofty though somewhat indistinct language that ‘Government occupies in moral the place of to pan [“the everything”, if my Greek is correct] in physical science’. If government be indeed to pan in moral science, we do not understand why rulers should not assume all the functions which Plato assigned to them.
Why should they not take away the child from the mother, select the nurse, regulate the school, overlook the playground, fix the hours of labour and of recreation, prescribe what ballads shall be sung, what tunes shall be played, what books shall be read, what physic shall be swallowed? Why should they not choose our wives, limit our expenses, and stint us to a certain number of dishes of meat, of glasses of wine, and cups of tea?
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