In the same city in which the administrative functions of the body politic are centralized there stifi exists the court of the spiritual potentate which in 1879 consisted of 1821 persons.
In April 1906 an eruption of Mount Etna caused the destruction of several villages and much loss of life and damage to property; in appointinga committee to distribute the relief funds the premier refused to include any of the deputies of the devastated districts among its members, and when asked by them for the reason of this omission, he replied, with a frankness more characteristic of the man than politic, that he knew they would prove more solicitous in the distribution of relief for their own electors than for the real sufferers.
Accordingly, in the session of 1562-1563, Cecil forced upon an unwilling parliament "a politic ordinance on fish eating," by which the eating of flesh on fast days was made punishable by a fine of three pounds or three months' imprisonment, one meat dish being allowed on Wednesdays on condition that three fish dishes were present on the table.
Thomas Howard, a politic mind, loyal to the powers that be, was released from the Tower of London in 1489, his earldom of Surrey and his Garter restored.
Stolypin indeed defended the coup d'etat in the Duma on the ground that the autocrat had merely altered what the autocrat had originally granted; but, while laying stress on the necessity for restoring order in the body politic, he announced a long programme of reforms, including agrarian measures, reform of local government and its extension in the frontier provinces, and state insurance of workmen.