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GOVERNMENT
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[ Also see Administration Anarchy Aristocracy Authority Capitalism Civil Disobedience Communism Corruption Democracy Dictatorship Diplomacy Fascism History Independence Kings Law Legislatures Liberty Lincoln, Abraham Majority Masters Minority Monarchy Nation Office Order Party Patriotism Policy Politicians Politics Power Public Trust Republic Revolution Right Rights Royalty Socialism Statesmanship Suffrage Taxation Taxes Totalitarianism Treachery Treason Unity War Washington, George World Peace ]

The Pope sends for him . . . and (says he) "We will be merry as we were before, for thou little thinkest what a little foolery governs the whole world."
      - John Selden, Table Talk--Pope

Power exercised with violence has seldom been of long duration, but temper and moderation generally produce permanence in all things.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

A hated government does not last long.
  [Lat., Invisa numquam imperia retinentur diu.]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca), Phoenissoe
         (VI, 60)

For government, through high and low and lower,
  Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,
    Congreeing in a full and natural close,
      Like music.
      - William Shakespeare

Let men say, we be men of good government; being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.
      - William Shakespeare

'Tis government that makes them seem divine.
      - William Shakespeare

Let them obey that knows not how to rule.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part II
         (Plantagenet, Duke of York at V, i)

How in one house
  Should many people, under two commands,
    Hold amity? 'Tis hard, almost impossible.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Regan at II, iv)

Therefore doth heaven divide
  The state of man in divers functions,
    Setting endeavor in continual motion;
      To which is fixed as an aim or butt
        Obedience; for so work the honeybees,
          Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
            The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
              They have a king, and officers of sorts,
                Where some like magistrates correct at home,
                  Others like merchants venture trade abroad,
                    Others like soldiers armed in their stings
                      Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds,
                        Which pillage they with merry march bring home
                          To the tent-royal of their emperor,
                            Who, busied in his majesties, surveys
                              The singing masons building roofs of gold,
                                The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
                                  The poor mechanic porters crowding in
                                    Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
                                      The sad-eyed justice with his surly hum
                                        Delivering o'er to executors pale
                                          The lazy yawning drone.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (Canterbury at I, ii)

While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
  Th' advised head defends itself at home;
    For government, through high, and low, and lower,
      Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,
        Congreeing in a full and natural close,
          Like music.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (Exeter at I, ii)

Why this it is, when men are ruled by women:
  'Tis not the kind that sends you to the Tower;
    My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 'tis she
      That tempers him to this extremity.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (King Richard at I, i)

The art of government is the organization of idolatry.
      - George Bernard Shaw

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
      - George Bernard Shaw,
        Everybody's Political What's What

The wonder is not that the world is so easily governed, but that so small a number of persons will suffice for the purpose. There are dead weights in political and legislative bodies as in clocks, and hundreds answer as pulleys who would never do for politicians.
      - William Gilmore Simms

The government of a nation itself is usually found to be but the reflex of the individuals composing it. The government that is head of the people will be inevitably dragged down to their level, as the government that is behind them will in the long run be dragged up.
      - Samuel Smiles

What a man that would be had be a particle of gall or the least knowledge of the value of red tape. As Curran said of Gratten, "he would have governed the world."
      - Sydney Smith, Of Sir John Mackintosh,
        Lady Holland's "Memoir", p. 245 (ed. 4)

Men who prefer any load of infamy, however great, to any pressure of taxation, however light.
      - Sydney Smith, On American Debts

The schoolboy whips his taxed top, the beardless youth manages his taxed horse, with a taxed bridle, on a taxed road; and the dying Englishman, pouring his medicine, which has paid seven per cent, flings himself back on his chintz bed, which has paid twenty-two per cent, and expires in the arms of an apothecary who has paid a license of a hundred pounds for the privilege of putting him to death.
      - Sydney Smith,
        Review of Seybert's Annals--United States

No man undertakes a trade he has not learned, even the meanest; yet every one thinks himself sufficiently qualified for the hardest of all trades,--that of government.
      - Socrates

Government is an art above the attainment of an ordinary genius.
      - Bishop Robert South

What makes a governor justly despised is viciousness and ill morals. Virtue must tip the preacher's tongue and the ruler's sceptre with authority.
      - Bishop Robert South

Ill can he rule the great that cannot reach the small.
      - Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene
         (bk. V, canto II, st. 51)

No government can be free that does not allow all its citizens to participate in the formation and execution of her laws. There are degrees of tyranny; but every other government is a despotism.
      - Thaddeus Stevens

The freedom of a government does not depend upon the quality of its laws, but upon the power that has the right to create them.
      - Thaddeus Stevens

For in reason, all government without the consent of the governed is slavery.
      - Jonathan Swift


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