Never apologize for showing feeling, my friend.

Benjamin Disraeli

Benjamin Disraeli was a towering figure of British politics during the second half of the 19th century. He served twice as prime minister of the United Kingdom, formed a close working relationship with Queen Victoria, and became a powerful voice on the global political scene in a time when the British Empire was still expanding. He also found time to write novels, even when serving as prime minister. His most autobiographical novel, “Contarini Fleming,” was published anonymously in 1832. One of its central themes is the author’s choice between following a literary or a political career — as it turned out, Disraeli did both. In the book, Disraeli offers this pearl of wisdom: “Never apologize for showing feeling, my friend. Remember that when you do so, you apologize for truth.”