To be sure, elections are universally "matter and impertinency
mixed, reason in madness," with as little emphasis as possible on "matter" and "reason".
As Francis Bacon observed in 1620, "[a]cts which are in their natures revocable cannot by strength of words be fixed or perpetuated...." (218) An attempt to make an unrepealable law would be "void ab initio & ipso facto without repeale," simply "by the impertinency
of it." (219) Bacon, one of the great epistemologists in history, (220) understood that this restriction was not imposed by any specific determination of the legislature itself, let alone by any explicit constitutional requirement, (221) but by the logic of lawfulness itself.
(284) Lear's late speech on "the great image of authority"--"matter and impertinency
mix'd," says Edgar, "Reason in madness!" (IV.vi.g158-73)--is a classic of literary madness, conferring "vision" on one who has been "blind." Goriot's last ravings, in turn, are subject to Bianchon's reductive diagnosis ("la pression du serum," etc.), marker of the materialism that always keeps company with Balzac's "spiritual" flights, Swedenborgian or other.