To sit at the stern; At the stern of public affairs. Having the
management of public affairs. The stern is the steer-ern- i.e. steer-place; and to sit at the stern is “to sit at the helm.”
“Sit at chiefest stern of public weal.”
Shakespeare: 1 Henry VI., 1. i.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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