The tolls for the maintenance of a high road, cannot with any safety be made the property of private persons.
Upstart greatness is everywhere less respected than ancient greatness.
I have no great faith in political arithmetic, and I mean not to warrant the exactness of either of these computations.
Every tax ought to be so contrived as both to take out and to keep out of the pockets of the people as little as possible, over and above what it brings into the public treasury of the State.
Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog.
What is prudence in the conduct of every private family can scarce be folly in that of a great kingdom.
The natural price, therefore, is, as it were, the central price, to which the prices of all commodities are continually gravitating.
The difference between the most dissimilar characters, between a philosopher and a common street porter, for example, seems to arise not so much from nature, as from habit, custom, and education.
Nobody but a beggar chooses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens.
Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.
China is a much richer country than any part of Europe.
It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities.
All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
Whatever work he does, beyond what is sufficient to purchase his own maintenance, can be squeezed out of him by violence only, and not by any interest of his own.
It appears, accordingly, from the experience of all ages and nations, I believe, that the work done by freemen comes cheaper in the end than that performed by slaves.
The first thing you have to know is yourself. A man who knows himself can step outside himself and watch his own reactions like an observer.
But what all the violence of the feudal institutions could never have effected, the silent and insensible operation of foreign commerce and manufactures gradually brought about.
Great nations are never impoverished by private, though they sometimes are by public prodigality and misconduct.
Men desire to have some share in the management of public affairs chiefly on account of the importance which it gives them.
Consumption is the sole end and purpose of all production.
Sugar, rum and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, which are become objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.
Men, like animals, naturally multiply in proportion to the means of their subsistence.
The real price of everything, what everything really costs to the man who wants to acquire it, is the toil and trouble of acquiring it.
Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labor.
He is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.
In the long-run the workman may be as necessary to his master as his master is to him, but the necessity is not so immediate.
There is no art which government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.
In a militia, the character of the laborer, artificer, or tradesman, predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character.
Adventure upon all the tickets in the lottery, and you lose for certain; and the greater the number of your tickets the nearer your approach to this certainty.
The propensity to truck, barter and exchange one thing for another is common to all men, and to be found in no other race of animals.
Great ambition, the desire of real superiority, of leading and directing, seems to be altogether peculiar to man, and speech is the great instrument of ambition.
With the greater part of rich people, the chief enjoyment of riches consists in the parade of riches.
Labor was the first price, the original purchase -- money that was paid for all things.
Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.
Defense is superior to opulence.
Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this -- no dog exchanges bones with another.
To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.
This is one of those cases in which the imagination is baffled by the facts.
Labour was the first price, the original purchase -- money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.
The theory that can absorb the greatest number of facts, and persist in doing so, generation after generation, through all changes of opinion and detail, is the one that must rule all observation.
As soon as the land of any country has all become private property, the landlords, like all other men, love to reap where they never sowed, and demand a rent even for its natural produce.
Virtue is more to be feared than vice, because its excesses are not subject to the regulation of conscience.
The real tragedy of the poor is the poverty of their aspirations.
No society can surely be flourishing and happy, of which the far greater part of the members are poor and miserable.
The real and effectual discipline which is exercised over a workman is that of his customers. It is the fear of losing their employment which restrains his frauds and corrects his negligence.
Humanity is the virtue of a woman, generosity that of a man.
It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.
I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good.
On the road from the City of Skepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.