Test: GRE Subject Test: Literature in English

"What is the People?"

And who are you that ask the question? One of the people. And yet you would be something! Then you would not have the People nothing. For what is the People? Millions of men, like you, with hearts beating in their bosoms, with thoughts stirring in their minds, with blood circulating in their veins, with wants and appetites, with  passions and anxious cares, with busy purposes and affections for others and a respect for themselves, and a desire of happiness, and a right to freedom, and a will to be free. And yet you would tear out this mighty heart of a nation, and lay it bare and bleeding at the foot of despotism: you would slay the mind of a country to fill up the dreary aching void with the old, obscene, drivelling prejudices of superstition  and tyranny: you would tread out the eye of Liberty (the light of nations) like 'a vile jelly', that mankind may be led about darkling to its endless drudgery, like the Hebrew ---------- (shorn of his strength and blind), by his insulting taskmasters: you would make the throne every thing. and the people nothing, to be yourself less than nothing, a very slave, a reptile, a creeping, cringing sycophant, a court favorite, a pander to Legitimacy - that detestable fiction, which would make you and me and all mankind its slaves or victims.


Who is the character referred to in the underlined simile?





1/12 questions


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