The emperor is blind when his eyes are closed

How often is it the interest of four or five ministers to combine together to deceive their sovereign! Secluded from mankind by his exalted dignity, the truth is concealed from his knowledge; he can see only with their eyes, he hears nothing but their misrepresentations. He confers the most important offices upon vice and weakness, and disgraces the most virtuous and deserving among his subjects.

— attributed to the Roman Emperor Diocletian by Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter XIII.

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