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Stern

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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