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Despotism tempered by assassination, that is our Magna Carta.
  [Fr., Le despotisme tempere par l'assassinat, c'est notre magna charta.]
      - Unattributed Author,
        said by a Russian noble to Count Munster on the assassination of Paul I, emperor of Russia

Oh, we are weary pilgrims; to this wilderness we bring
  A Church without a bishop, a State without a King.
      - Unattributed Author, Puritan's Mistake

A government of laws, and not of men.
      - John Adams

The essence of a free government consists in an effectual control of rivalries.
      - John Adams

Fear is the foundation of most governments.
      - John Adams, Thoughts on Government

The declaration that our People are hostile to a government made by themselves, for themselves, and conducted by themselves, is an insult.
      - John Quincy Adams,
        in an address to the citizens of Westmoreland County, Virginia

Yesterday the greatest question was decided which was ever debated in America; and a greater perhaps never was, nor will be, decided among men. A resolution was passed without one dissenting colony, that those United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.
      - John Quincy Adams,
        in a letter to Mrs. Adams

. . . The manners of women are the surest criterion by which to determine whether a republican government is practicable in a nation or not.
      - John Quincy Adams, Diary

Government mitigates the inequality of power, and makes an innocent man, though of the lowest rank, a match for the mightiest of his fellow-subjects.
      - Joseph Addison

If friends to a government forbear their assistance, they put it in the power of a few desperate men to ruin the welfare of those who are superior to them in strength and interest.
      - Joseph Addison

One of the most important, but one of the most difficult things to a powerful mind is to be its own master; a pond may lay quiet in a plain, but a lake wants mountains to compass and hold it in.
      - Joseph Addison

Not stones, nor wood, nor the art of artisans make a state; but where men are who know how to take care of themselves, these are cities and walls.
      - attributed to Alcaeus,
        by Aristides, "Orations", vol. II (Jebb's edition, Austin's translation)

A government for protecting the coarser interests of the body, business and bread only, is but a carcass, and soon falls, by its own corruption, to decay.
      - Amos Bronson Alcott

Right is the royal ruler alone; and he who rules with least restraint comes nearest to empire.
      - Amos Bronson Alcott

It is better for a city to be governed by a good man than by good laws.
      - Aristotle

Few consider how much we are indebted to government, because few can represent how wretched mankind would be without it.
      - Francis Atterbury

The surest way to prevent seditious (if the times do bear it) is to take away the matter of them; for if there be fuel prepared it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on fire.
      - Francis Bacon

When any of the four pillars of government are mainly shaken or weakened--which are religion, justice, counsel and treasure--men need to pray for fair weather.
      - Francis Bacon

States are great engines moving slowly.
      - Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning
         (bk. II)

So that every wand or staff of empire is forsooth curved at top.
  [Lat., Adeo ut omnes imperii virga sive bacillum vere superius inflexum sit.]
      - Francis Bacon, De Sapientia Veterum
         (6, Pan, sive Natura)

Institutions may crumble and governments fall, but it is only that they may renew a better youth.
      - George Bancroft

It [Calvinism] established a religion without a prelate, a government without a king.
      - George Bancroft,
        History of the United States
         (vol. III, ch. VI)

A republican government in a hundred points is weaker than an autocratic government; but in this one point it is the strongest that ever existed--it has educated a race of men that are men.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

In the early ages men ruled by strength; now they rule by brain, and so long as there is only one man in the world who can think and plan, he will stand head and shoulders above him who cannot.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

Our government is built upon the vote. But votes that are purchasable are quicksands, and a government built on them stands upon corruption and revolution.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

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