You are young, and rich, and have friends, and at such an age I know it is hard to die!
Your young white, who gathers his learning from books and can measure what he knows by the page, may conceit that his knowledge, like his legs, outruns that of his fathers’, but, where experience is the master, the scholar is made to know the value of years, and respects them accordingly.
All that a good government aims at... is to add no unnecessary and artificial aid to the force of its own unavoidable consequences, and to abstain from fortifying and accumulating social inequality as a means of increasing political inequalities.
Knowledge is the parent of knowledge. He who possesses most of the information of his age will not quietly submit to neglect its current acquisitions, but will go on improving as long as means and opportunities offer; while he who finds himself ignorant of most things, is only too apt to shrink from a labour which becomes Herculean.
No civilized society can long exist, with an active power in its bosom that is stronger than the law.
Candor is a proof of both a just frame of mind, and of a good tone of breeding. It is a quality that belongs equally to the honest man and to the gentleman.
America owes most of its social prejudices to the exaggerated religious opinions of the different sects which were so instrumental in establishing the colonies.
All sacrifices of common sense, and all recourse to plausible political combinations, whether of individuals or of men, are uniformly made at the expense of the majority.
The affairs of life embrace a multitude of interests, and he who reasons in any one of them, without consulting the rest, is a visionary unsuited to control the business of the world.
Party leads to vicious, corrupt and unprofitable legislation, for the sole purpose of defeating party.
It is not a very difficult task to make what is commonly called an amusing book of travels. Any one who will tell, with a reasonable degree of graphic effect, what he has seen, will not fail to carry the reader with him; for the interest we all feel in personal adventure is, of itself, success.
I sometimes wish I had been educated a Catholic, in order to unite the poetry of religion with its higher principles. Are they necessarily inseparable? Is man really so much of a philosopher, that he can conceive of truth in its abstract purity, and divest life and the affections of all the aids of the imagination?
They who have reasoned ignorantly, or who have aimed at effecting their personal ends by flattering the popular feeling, have boldly affirmed that 'one man is as good as another;' a maxim that is true in neither nature, revealed morals, nor political theory.
A monarchy is the most expensive of all forms of government, the regal state requiring a costly parade, and he who depends on his own power to rule, must strengthen that power by bribing the active and enterprising whom he cannot intimidate.
Slavery is no more sinful, by the Christian code, than it is sinful to wear a whole coat, while another is in tatters, to eat a better meal than a neighbor, or otherwise to enjoy ease and plenty, while our fellow creatures are suffering and in want.
Individuality is the aim of political liberty. By leaving the citizen as much freedom of action and of being as comports with order and the rights of others, the institutions render him truly a freeman. He is left to pursue his means of happiness in his own manner.
The European who comes to America plunges into the virgin forest with wonder and delight; while the American who goes to Europe finds his greatest pleasure, at first, in hunting up the memorials of the past. Each is in quest of novelty, and is burning with the desire to gaze at objects of which he has often read.
It is a misfortune that necessity has induced men to accord greater license to this formidable engine, in order to obtain liberty, than can be borne with less important objects in view; for the press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.
The disposition of all power is to abuses, nor does it at all mend the matter that its possessors are a majority.
The very existence of government at all, infers inequality. The citizen who is preferred to office becomes the superior to those who are not, so long as he is the repository of power, and the child inherits the wealth of the parent as a controlling law of society.