The principle of speaking nothing but good of the departed is all right when applied to private individuals, but when it comes to public personalities it has no claim to acceptance whatever. Not in a country with any pretense to democracy at any rate, for in such a society when a man takes public office he enters into a sort of tacit contract with the people he is supposed to serve. And two of the main clauses of the contract are that they have a right to criticize him while he is in office and to judge his record after he retires. The more seriously democracy is taken, the more this right becomes a duty.
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