French policians and French writers

From "The Habit of Democracy" by Adam Gopnik in the 15 October 2001 issue of The New Yorker, a review of two books about Alexis de Tocqueville:

[Tocqueville] decided to devote himself to politics in France, and, like all French literary men, made a mess of it. (French writers are emporers of conceits; French politicians must be umpires of the conceited.)