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And while they live, we see their glorious actions
Oft wrested to the worst; and all their life
Is but a stage of endless toil and strife,
Of torments, uproars, mutinies, and factions;
They rise with fear, and lie with danger down;
Huge are the cares that wait upon the crown.
- William Alexander, Earl of Stirling
The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever.
- Bible, Proverbs (ch. XXIX, v. 14)
Whoever is king, is also the father of his country.
- William Congreve
He on whom heaven confers a sceptre knows not the weight till he bears it.
- Pierre Corneille
He is ours,
T' administer, to guard, t' adorn the state,
But not to warp or change it. We are his,
To serve him nobly in the common cause,
True to the death, but not to be his slaves.
- William Cowper
His hands would plait the priest's guts, if he had no rope, to strangle kings.
- Denis Diderot
Empire! thou poor and despicable thing; when such as these make or unmake a king!
- John Dryden
Luxurious kings are to their people lost,
They live like drones, upon the public cost.
- John Dryden
A man's a man,
But when you see a king, you see the work
Of many thousand men.
- George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
The Spanish Gypsy (bk. I)
Every chair should be a throne and hold a king.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Oh, happy kings,
Whose thrones are raised in their subjects' hearts.
- John Ford
Kings govern by means of popular assemblies only when they cannot do without them.
- Charles James Fox
A king is the first servant and first magistrate of the state.
- Frederick, the Great (Frederick II)
A king should be a king in all things.
- Hadrian (Adrian), Aelius Publius Hadrianus Aelius
Implements of war and subjugation are the last arguments to which kings resort.
- Patrick Henry
Kings are for nations in their swaddling-clothes: France has attained her majority.
- Victor Hugo
A good king is a public servant.
- Ben Jonson
He's a king,
A right true king, that dares do aught save wrong;
Fears nothing mortal, but to be unjust;
Who is not blown up with the flatt'ring puffs
Of spongy sycophants; who stands unmov'd
Despite the jostling of opinion.
- John Marston
When a king sets himself to bandy against the highest court and residence of all regal powers, he then, in the single person of a man, fights against his own majesty and kingship.
- John Milton
O, unhappy state of kings! it is well the robe of majesty is gay, or who would put it on?
- Hannah More
A crown! what is it?
It is to bear the miseries of a people!
To hear their murmurs, feel their discontents,
And sink beneath a load of splendid care!
- Hannah More, Daniel (pt. VI)
One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings is, that Nature disapproves it; otherwise she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass in place of a lion.
- Thomas Paine
A king may be a tool, a thing of straw; but if he serves to frighten our enemies, and secure our property, it is well enough; a scarecrow is a thing of straw, but it protects the corn.
- Alexander Pope
Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm from an anointed king:
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord.
- William Shakespeare
The king is but a man, as I am; the violet smells to him as it doth to me; the element shows to him as it doth to me; all his senses have but human conditions; his ceremonies laid by, in his nakedness he appears but a man; and though his affections are higher mounted than ours, yet, when they stoop, they stoop with the like wing.
- William Shakespeare
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