Never, no, never did nature say one thing and wisdom another.
I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people.
It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.
Our patience will achieve more than our force.
Nothing in progress can rest on its original plan. We might as well think of rocking a grown man in the cradle of an infant.
Nothing is so rash as fear; its counsels very rarely put off, whilst they are always sure to aggravate the evils from which it would fly.
Death is natural to a man, but slavery unnatural; and the moment you strip a man of his liberty you strip him of all his virtues: you convert his heart into a dark hole, in which all the vices conspire against you.
The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing as they must if they believe they can do nothing. There is nothing worse because the council of despair is declaration of irresponsibility; it is Pilate washing his hands.
Crimes lead one into another; they who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.
Magnificence is likewise a source of the sublime. A great profusion of things which are splendid or valuable in themselves is magnificent. The starry heaven, though it occurs so very frequently to our view, never fails to excite an idea of grandeur.
Guilt was never a rational thing; it distorts all the faculties of the human mind, it perverts them, it leaves a man no longer in the free use of his reason, it puts him into confusion.
Sallust is indisputably one of the best historians among the Romans, both for the purity of his language and the elegance of his style.
What is it we all seek for in an election? To answer its real purposes, you must first possess the means of knowing the fitness of your man; and then you must retain some hold upon him by personal obligation or dependence.
Our manners, our civilization, and all the good things connected with manners and civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles: I mean the spirit of a gentleman, and the spirit of religion.
The earth, the kind and equal mother of all ought not to be monopolised to foster the pride and luxury of any men.
Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver, and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings.
When a great man has some one object in view to be achieved in a given time, it may be absolutely necessary for him to walk out of all the common roads.
Refined policy ever has been the parent of confusion, and ever will be so as long as the world endures. Plain good intention, which is as easily discovered at the first view as fraud is surely detected at last, is of no mean force in the government of mankind.
But whoever is a genuine follower of Truth, keeps his eye steady upon his guide, indifferent whither he is led, provided that she is the leader.
It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more effectually, but more pleasantly.
I am convinced that we have a degree of delight, and that no small one, in the real misfortunes and pain of others.
That great chain of causes, which, linking one to another, even to the throne of God Himself, can never be unraveled by any industry of ours.
Poetry, with all its obscurity, has a more general as well as a more powerful dominion over the passions than the art of painting.
Religion, to have any force upon men's understandings, -- indeed, to exist at all, -- must be supposed paramount to law, and independent for its substance upon any human institution, else it would be the absurdest thing in the world, -- an acknowledged cheat.
Art is a partnership not only between those who are living but between those who are dead and those who are yet to be born.
A great deal of the furniture of ancient tyranny is torn to rags; the rest is entirely out of fashion.
If we owned the property, we will be free and prosperous. If so they regain control, we will become poor.
There is nothing in the world really beneficial that does not lie within the reach of an informed understanding and a well-protected pursuit.
Freedom without virtue is not freedom but license to pursue whatever passions prevail in the intemperate mind; man's right to freedom being in exact proportion to his willingness to put chains upon his own appetites; the less restraint from within, the more must be imposed from without.
I consider how little man is, yet, in his own mind, how great. He is lord and master of all things, yet scarce can command anything.
The great must submit to the dominion of prudence and of virtue, or none will long submit to the dominion of the great.
The very name of a politician, a statesman, is sure to cause terror and hatred; it has always connected with it the ideas of treachery, cruelty, fraud, and tyranny.
The superfluities of a rich nation furnish a better object of trade than the necessities of a poor one. It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere.
I take toleration to be a part of religion. I do not know which I would sacrifice; I would keep them both: it is not necessary that I should sacrifice either.
Though ugliness be the opposite of beauty, it is not the opposite to proportion and fitness; for it is possible that a thing may be very ugly with any proportions, and with a perfect fitness for any use.
No men can act with effect who do not act in concert; no men can act in concert who do not act with confidence; no men can act with confidence who are not bound together with common opinions, common affections, and common interests.
It ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention.
It is known that the taste -- whatever it is -- is improved exactly as we improve our judgment, by extending our knowledge, by a steady attention to our object, and by frequent exercise.
To complain of the age we live in, to murmur at the present possessors of power, to lament the past, to conceive extravagant hopes of the future, are the common dispositions of the greatest part of mankind.
In a free country every man thinks he has a concern in all public matters, -- that he has a right to form and a right to deliver an opinion on them. This it is that fills countries with men of ability in all stations.
Their resistance was made to concession; their revolt was from protection; their blow was aimed at a hand holding out graces, favours, and immunities.
The wise determine from the gravity of the case; the irritable, from sensibility to oppression; the high minded, from disdain and indignation at abusive power in unworthy hands.
The love of lucre, though sometimes carried to a ridiculous excess, a vicious excess, is the grand cause of prosperity to all States.
It is better to cherish virtue and humanity, by leaving much to free will, even with some loss of the object , than to attempt to make men mere machines and instruments of political benevolence. The world on the whole will gain by a liberty, without which virtue cannot exist.
There ought to be system of manners in every nation which a well-formed mind would be disposed to relish. To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.
Good company, lively conversation, and the endearments of friendship fill the mind with great pleasure.
There is no safety for honest men, but by believing all possible evil of evil men, and by acting with promptitude, decision, and steadiness on that belief.
I cannot help concurring with the opinion that an absolute democracy, no more than absolute monarchy, is to be reckoned among the legitimate forms of government.
I own that there is a haughtiness and fierceness in human nature which will cause innumerable broils, place men in what situation you please.
The poorest being that crawls on earth, contending to save itself from injustice and oppression, is an object respectable in the eyes of God and man.
You had that action and counteraction which, in the natural and in the political world, from the reciprocal struggle of discordant powers draws out the harmony of the universe.
Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation.You choose a Member indeed; but when you have chosen him, heisnotthe Member for Bristol, but heisa Member of Parliament.
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites…in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
If any ask me what a free government is, I answer, that, for any practical purpose, it is what the people think so,and that they, and not I, are the natural, lawful, and competent judges of this matter.
In their nomination to office they will not appoint to the exercise of authority as to a pitiful job, but as to a holy function.
People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous.
I have been told by an eminent bookseller, that in no branch of his business , after tracts of popular devotion, were so many books as those on the law exported to the Plantations .
Turbulent, discontented men of quality, in proportion as they are puffed up with personal pride and arrogance, generally despise their own order.
When ancient opinions and rules of life are taken away, the loss cannot possibly be estimated. From that moment, we have no compass to govern us, nor can we know distinctly to what port to steer.
The marketplace obliges men, whether they will or not, in pursuing their own selfish interests, to connect the general good with their own individual success.
I cannot conceive how any man can have brought himself to that pitch of presumption, to consider his country as nothing but carte blanche, upon which he may scribble whatever he pleases.
Laws are commanded to hold their tongues among arms; and tribunals fall to the ground with the peace they are no longer able to uphold.
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.
The conduct of a losing party never appears right: at least it never can possess the only infallible criterion of wisdom to vulgar judgements-success.
We must soften into a credulity below the milkiness of infancy to think all men virtuous. We must be tainted with a malignity truly diabolical, to believe all the world to be equally wicked and corrupt.
Water and oil, simply considered, are capable of giving some pleasure to the taste. Water, when simple, is insipid, inodorous, colorless, and smooth; it is found, when not cold, to be a great resolver of spasms, and lubricator of the fibres; this power it probably owes to its smoothness.
A definition may be very exact, and yet go but a very little way towards informing us of the nature of the thing defined.
My hold of the colonies is in the close affection which grows from common names, from kindred blood, from similar privileges, and equal protection. These are ties which, though light as air, are as strong as links of iron.
There was an ancient Roman lawyer, of great fame in the history of Roman jurisprudence, whom they called Cui Bono, from his having first introduced into judicial proceedings the argument, What end or object could the party have had in the act with which he is accused.
The greatest crimes do not arise from a want of feeling for others but from an over-sensibilit y for ourselves and an over-indulgence to our own desires.
For my part, I am convinced that the method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation is incomparably the best; since, not content with serving up a few barren and lifeless truths, it leads to the stock on which they grew.
There is nothing that God has judged good for us that He has not given us the means to acomplish, both in the natural and moral world.
There is a courageous wisdom; there is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution but of fear.
I am not one of those who think that the people are never in the wrong. They have been so, frequently and outrageously, both in other countries and in this. But I do say that in all disputes between them and their rulers, the presumption is at least upon a par in favour of the people.
When you find me attempting to break into your house to take your plate, under any pretence whatsoever, but most of all under pretence of purity of religion and Christian charity shoot me for a robber and a hypocrite, as in that case I shall certainly be.
General rebellions and revolts of a whole people never were encouraged now or at any time. They are always provoked.
The great difference between the real leader and the pretender is that the one sees into the future, while the other regards only the present; the one lives by the day, and acts upon expediency; the other acts on enduring principles and for the immortality.
Among precautions against ambition, it may not be amiss to take precautions against our own. I must fairly say, I dread our own power and our own ambition: I dread our being too much dreaded.
Whatever each man can separately do, without trespassing upon others, he has a right to do for himself; and he has a right to a fair portion of all which society, with all it combinations of skill and force, can do in his favor. In this partnership all men have equal rights; but not to equal things.
It may be observed, that very polished languages, and such as are praised for their superior clearness and perspicuity, are generally deficient in strength.
The public interest requires doing today those things that men of intelligence and good will would wish, five or ten years hence, had been done.
Evils we have had continually calling for reformation, and reformations more grievous than any evils.
For there is in mankind an unfortunate propensity to make themselves, their views and their works, the measure of excellence in every thing whatsoever.
It is an advantage to all narrow wisdom and narrow morals that their maxims have a plausible air; and, on a cursory view, appear equal to first principles. They are light and portable. They are as current as copper coin; and about as valuable.
All those instances to be found in history, whether real or fabulous, of a doubtful public spirit, at which morality is perplexed, reason is staggered, and from which affrighted Nature recoils, are their chosen and almost sole examples for the instruction of their youth.
Economy is a distributive virtue, and consists not in saving but in selection.
Economy is a distributive virtue, and consists not in saving but selection. Parsimony requires no providence, no sagacity, no powers of combination, no comparison, no judgment.
I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone.
Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not the occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear.
The people of England well know that the idea of inheritance furnishes a sure principle of conservation and a sure principle of transmission, without at all excluding a principle of improvement.
You will not think it unnatural that those who have an object depending, which strongly engages their hopes and fears, should be somewhat inclining to superstition.
I despair of ever receiving the same degree of pleasure from the most exalted performances of genius which I felt in childhood from pieces which my present judgment regards as trifling and contemptible.
My good friends, while I do most earnestly recommend you to take care of your health and safety, as things most precious to us, I would not have that care degenerate into an effeminate and over-curious attention, which is always disgraceful to a man's self, and often troublesome to others.
Freedom and not servitude is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy of superstition.
Corrupt influence is itself the perennial spring of all prodigality, and of all disorder; it loads us more than millions of debt; takes away vigor from our arms, wisdom from our councils, and every shadow of authority and credit from the most venerable parts of our constitution.
The body of all true religion consists, to be sure, in obedience to the will of the Sovereign of the world, in a confidence in His declarations, and in imitation of His perfections.
It is hard to say whether doctors of law or divinity have made the greater advances in the lucrative business of mystery.
Not men but measures a sort of charm by which many people get loose from every honorable engagement.
I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that the delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it.
Curiosity is the most superficial of all the affections; it changes its object perpetually; it has an appetite which is very sharp, but very easily satisfied, and it has always an appearance of giddiness, restlessness and anxiety.
As to great and commanding talents, they are the gift of Providence in some way unknown to us, they rise where they are least expected; they fail when everything seems disposed to produce them, or at least to call them forth.
History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the train of disorderly appetite.
True humility-the basis of the Christian system-is the low but deep and firm foundation of all virtues.
Restraint and discipline and examples of virtue and justice. These are the things that form the education of the world.
There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.