Besides, the bad administration of a magistrate in a democracy is an insulated fact, which has influence only during his brief continuance in office. Corruption and incapacity are not common interests, capable of producing a permanent alliance among men. A corrupt or incapable functionary will not unite his efforts with another functionary, for no reason but because he too is incapable and corrupt, and for the purpose of making corruption and incapacity flourish in future generations. On the contrary, the ambition and the manœuvres of the one will serve to unmask the other. The vices of the magistrate in democracies are in general wholly personal to himself.
In the war that Ferdinand made upon the widow of King John of Hungary, about Buda, a man-at-arms was particularly taken notice of by every one for his singular gallant behavior in a certain encounter; and, unknown, highly commended, and lamented, being left dead upon the place: but by none so much as by Raisciac, a German lord, who was infinitely enamored of so rare a valor. The body being brought off, and the count, with the common curiosity coming to view it, the armor was no sooner taken off but he immediately knew him to be his own son, a thing that added a second blow to the compassion of all the beholders; only he, without uttering a word, or turning away his eyes from the woeful object, stood fixedly contemplating the body of his son, till the vehemency of sorrow having overcome his vital spirits, made him sink down stone-dead to the ground.—
Kahane, trans.Foreword by Friedrich A.
Another objection is, that no examination can test more than a part of the qualities required in a Public Servant; that it is a test of book knowledge, but neither of moral qualities, nor of those which form the foundation of ability in the practical conduct of life. And it is added, that the proposed examination would have excluded Wellington, Nelson, and many more of those who have most distinguished themselves in public functions.
United World College of SE Asia
Cleomenes was wont to say, “that what mischief soever a man could do his enemy in time of war was above justice, and nothing accountable to it in the sight of gods and men.” And so, having concluded a truce with those of Argos for seven days, the third night after he fell upon them when they were all buried in sleep, and put them to the sword, alleging that there had no nights been mentioned in the truce; but the gods punished this subtle perfidy.
American International School, Vienna
In the seven years before appeared, Mill produced some papers that foreshadowed the arguments in his major essay. First in time was the submission, requested by Sir Charles Trevelyan, then Assistant Secretary to the Treasury, which strongly commended the Northcote-Trevelyan Report for advocating the recruitment of civil servants, not by the casual methods of political patronage, but by open competitive examinations. For Mill this genuine reform harmonized with his long-held conviction that representative government could be efficient only if conducted by the country’s best-educated and orderly minds. On reading the report he quickly dispatched a characteristic comment to Harriet: “it is as direct, uncompromising, & to the point, without reservation, as if we had written it.” Apart from placing administration under the control of competent and professional officials, he hoped that the new mode of recruitment would strengthen existing political institutions by opening public positions to the competition of all classes and persons, thus diminishing the traditional sway of the aristocracy and privileged classes. This in turn, he thought, would extend intellectual cultivation and encourage talented individuals.