One of the most attractive features of Anglo-American liberalism is its instinct to sympathize with the underdog. This is not a universal human norm. Across much of the modern world, human beings still follow the ancient Roman rule, vae victis—woe to the loser. But the liberal tradition appealingly sees its core task as standing up for the weak against the powerful.
"Hold off, Cuff; don't bully that child any more; or I'll—"
"Or you'll what?" Cuff asked in amazement at this interruption. "Hold out your hand, you little beast."
"I'll give you the worst thrashing you ever had in your life," Dobbin said, in reply to the first part of Cuff's sentence; and little Osborne, gasping and in tears, looked up with wonder and incredulity at seeing this amazing champion put up suddenly to defend him: while Cuff's astonishment was scarcely less. Fancy our late monarch George III when he heard of the revolt of the North American colonies: fancy brazen Goliath when little David stepped forward and claimed a meeting; and you have the feelings of Mr. Reginald Cuff ...