A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman.
The person who grieves suffers his passion to grow upon him; he indulges it, he loves it; but this never happens in the case of actual pain, which no man ever willingly endured for any considerable time.
All human laws are, properly speaking, only declaratory; they have no power over the substance of original justice.
Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society.
There is but one law for all, namely that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity -- the law of nature and of nations.
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.
But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint.
Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.
But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people.
He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
Circumstances give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind.
Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations -- wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.
Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.
It is, generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles, and designs.