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Field Marshal Count Moltke

I divide my officers into four groups. There are clever, diligent, stupid, and lazy officers. Usually two characteristics are combined. Some are clever and diligent -- their place is the General Staff. The next lot are stupid and lazy -- they make up 90 percent of every army and are suited to routine duties. Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the intellectual clarity and the composure necessary for difficult decisions. One must beware of anyone who is stupid and diligent -- he must not be entrusted with any responsibility because he will always cause only mischief.

Marcus Aurelius

From my brother Severus.... I learnt to know Thrasea, Helvidius, Cato, Dion, Brutus and from him I received the idea of a polity in which there is the same law for all, a polity administered with regard to equal rights and equal freedom of speech, and the idea of a kingly government which respects most of all the freedom of the governed"

This, though written at a time when gladiatorial combats took place, is the true spirit of Western civilisation.


An obituary of Sir Raymond Carr who has died said the 
'chief impulse behind his desire to “get away from this working-class or lower middle-class thing” was the food'. 
How unlucky he was  - some working class or lower middle class women are fabulous cooks, like my mother and grandmother. But he was lucky if the food is what led him to be a great don. Perhaps I was too spoilt by good cooking. I remember as a child dreading going to prison, not because of losing my freedom, or the other inmates, who could not have been worse than the boys at school, but because of the food.

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