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Self-government by the whole people is the teleologic idea. The republican form of government is the noblest and the best, as it is the latest.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

The history of governments through the ages is a history red, nay, lurid. Law represents the effort of men to organize society; governments, the efforts of selfishness to overthrow liberty.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

The worst thing in the world, next to anarchy, is government.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

There is no part of government which cannot better suffer derangement than the ballot. If you strike the ballot with disease, it is heart disease.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

Yet if thou didst but know how little wit governs this mighty universe.
      - Mrs. Aphra (Afra or Aphara or Ayfara) Johnson Behn,
        Comedy of the Rounded Heads
         (act I, sc. 2)

"Whatever is, is not," is the maxim of the anarchist, as often as anything comes across him in the shape of a law which he happens not to like.
      - Richard Bentley, Declaration of Rights

Governments last only as long as the undertaxed can defend themselves against the overtaxed.
      - Bernard Berenson

Monarch, thou wishest to cover thyself with glory; be the first to submit to the laws of thy empire.
      - Bias of Priene

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.
      - Bible, Revelation (ch. II, v. 26-27)

The people of the United States very deliberately framed their government with the view of remaining the masters of it, and not of being mastered by it; and they are not yet willing to abdicate in favor of any, even the most audacious conspirator against their sovereignty.
      - John Bigelow

Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
      - Louis D. Brandeis,
        part of his dissent in the case of Olmstead v. United States, 277 U.S. 438, 485 (1928)

England is the mother of parliaments.
      - John Bright,
        in a speech at Birmingham, England

I am for Peace, for Retrenchment, and for Reform,--thirty years ago the great watchwords of the great Liberal Party.
      - John Bright,
        in a speech at Birmingham, England

Well, will anybody deny now that the Government at Washington, as regards its own people, is the strongest government in the world at this hour? And for this simple reason, that it is based on the will, and the good will, of an instructed people.
      - John Bright,
        in a speech at Rochdale, England

Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants.
      - Edmund Burke

If any ask me what a free government is, I answer that, for any particular purpose, it is what the people think so.
      - Edmund Burke

In all forms of government the people is the true legislator.
      - Edmund Burke

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.
      - Edmund Burke

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.
      - Edmund Burke

The moment you abate anything from the full rights of men each to govern himself, and suffer any artificial positive limitation upon those rights, from that moment the whole organization of government becomes a consideration of convenience.
      - Edmund Burke

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.
      - Edmund Burke

So then because some towns in England are not represented, America is to have no representative at all. They are "our children"; but when children ask for bread we are not to give a stone.
      - Edmund Burke vol. II, p. 74,
        in a speech on American taxation

All government--indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act--is founded on compromise and barter.
      - Edmund Burke,
        Second Speech on Conciliation with America

And having looked to Government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them.
      - Edmund Burke,
        Thoughts and Details on Scarcity
         (vol. V, p. 156)

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
      - Edmund Burke,
        Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontent

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