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JOHN ADAMS
American 2nd president of U.S. and statesman
(1735 - 1826)

A government of laws, and not of men.
      - [Government]

Among the sentiments of most powerful operation upon the human heart, and most highly honorable to the human character, are those of veneration for our forefathers, and of love for our posterity.
      - [Forefathers Day]

In days of yore, the poet's pen
  From wing of bird was plunder'd,
    Perhaps of goose, but now and then,
      From Jove's own eagle sunder'd.
        But now, metallic pens disclose
          Alone the poet's numbers;
            In iron inspiration glows,
              Or with the poet slumbers.
      - [Pen]

It was reserved for the first settlers of New England to perform achievements equally arduous, to trample down obstructions equally formidable, to dispel dangers equally terrific, under the single inspiration of conscience.
      - [Forefathers Day]

Life is probation: mortal man was made
  To solve the solemn problem--right or wrong.
      - [Life]

The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.
      - [Government]

The revolutions of time furnish no previous example of a nation shooting up to maturity and expanding into greatness with the rapidity which has characterized the growth of the American people. In the luxuriance of youth, and in the vigor of manhood, it is pleasing and instructive to look backwards upon the helpless days of infancy; but in the continual and essential changes of a growing subject the transactions of that early period would soon be obliterated from the memory but for some periodical call of attention to aid the silent records of the historian. Such celebrations arouse and gratify the kindliest emotions of the bosom. They are faithful pledges of the respect we bear to the memory of our ancestors and of the tenderness with which we cherish the rising generation. They introduce the sages and heroes of ages past to the notice and emulation of succeeding times; they are at once testimonials of our gratitude, and schools of virtue to our children.
      - [Forefathers Day]

Train them to virtue; habituate them to industry, activity, and spirit. Make them consider every vice as shameful and unmanly. Fire them I with ambition to be useful. Make them disdain to be destitute of any useful knowledge. Fix their ambition upon great and solid objects, and their contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones.
      - [Children]

Fear is the foundation of most governments.
      - Thoughts on Government [Government]


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