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QI has not yet located this expression in the writings of Burke, and it is possible that Burke’s changing political behavior inspired the saying and not his words.

In the 1960s student protests were rocking the universities in the U.In conclusion, the earliest citation located by QI points to Anselme Batbie as the creator of this saying.Yet, the context indicated that Edmund Burke provided the inspiration for Batbie’s words. A section about a prominent jurist and academic named Anselme Polycarpe Batbie included the following passage. Batbie, dans une lettre trop célèbre, citait un jour, pour expliquer ses variations personnelles et bizarres, ce paradoxe de Burke: « Celui qui n’est pas républicain à vingt ans fait douter de la générosité de son âme; mais celui qui, après trente ans, persévère, fait douter de la rectitude de son esprit. Batbie, in a much-celebrated letter, once quoted the Burke paradox in order to account for his bizarre political shifts: “He who is not a républicain at twenty compels one to doubt the generosity of his heart; but he who, after thirty, persists, compels one to doubt the soundness of his mind.” Batbie was probably referring to the statesman Edmund Burke who was noted for his support of the American Revolution and later condemnation of the French Revolution. Within the context of these sayings the terms “républicain”, “socialist”, and “liberal” were all on the left of the political spectrum. Quote Investigator: The earliest evidence located by QI appeared in an 1875 French book of contemporary biographical portraits by Jules Claretie.

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