|Why is the goddess far better-looking than you imagined?
"And what shall we say of government by a majority of voices? To a person who in the last century would have called himself an impartial observer, a numerical preponderance seems on the whole as clumsy a way of arriving at truth as could well be devised, but experience has apparently shown it to be a convenient arrangement for determining what may be expedient or advisable or practicable at any given moment. Truth, after all, wears a different face to everybody, and it would be too tedious to wait till all were agreed.
She is said to lie at the bottom of a well, for the very reason, perhaps, that whoever looks down in search of her sees his own image at the bottom, and is pursuaded not only that he has seen the goddess but that she is far better-looking than he had imagined."
From Democracy, a speech by James Russell Lowell, the U.S. minister to England, 1884.
Source: The Eclectic>>