individual liberty, parliamentary institutions, the sovereign rights of the people, are ideas of British origin, and have been propagated from this island over the whole of Europe.
But as the prophet and his words are very often not honoured in his own country, those ideas have been embraced with much more fervour by other nations than by that in which they originated.
The Continent of Europe has taken the desire for liberty and equality much more seriously than their levelling but also level-headed inventors, and the fervent imagination of France has tried to put into practice all that was quite hidden to the more sober English eye. Every one nowadays knows the good and the evil consequences of the French Revolution, which swept over the whole of Europe, throwing it into a state of unrest, shattering thrones and empires, and everywhere undermining authority and traditional institutions.
While this was going on in Europe, the originator of the merry game was quietly sitting upon his island smiling broadly at the excitable foreigners across the Channel, fishing as much as he could out of the water he himself had so cleverly disturbed, and thus in every way reaping the benefit from the mighty fight for the apple of Eros which he himself had thrown amongst them.
- just a little copy 'n paste that seems to fit the moment...