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A tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side.
So today is St. Patrick’s Day. It seems to some of us that there’s been a long, slow degeneration of the nature of Irish heroes. 😉