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When bad men combine, the good must associate else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
But a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition, to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution.
The distinguishing part of our Constitution is its liberty. To preserve that liberty inviolate seems the particular duty and proper trust of a member of the House of Commons. But the liberty, the only liberty, I mean is a liberty connected with order: that not only exists along with order and virtue, but which cannot exist at all without them. It inheres in good and steady government, as in its substance and vital principle.
In doing good, we are generally cold, and languid, and sluggish; and of all things afraid of being too much in the right. But the works of malice and injustice are quite in another style. They are finished with a bold, masterly hand; touched as they are with the spirit of those vehement passions that call forth all our energies, whenever we oppress and persecute.
A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman.
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
All government -- indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act -- is founded on compromise and barter.
Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have right that these wants should be provided for, including the want of a sufficient restraint upon their passions.
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist in our helper.
Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises; for never intending to go beyond promises; it costs nothing.
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.
It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more efficiently, but more pleasantly. This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives.
Men have no right to put the well-being of the present generation wholly out of the question. Perhaps the only moral trust with any certainty in our hands is the care of our own time.
Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society.
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.
There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
There is a courageous wisdom; there is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution but of fear.
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
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