Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > 4656. Sir William Jones
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
 
NUMBER:4656
AUTHOR:Sir William Jones (1746–1794)
QUOTATION:What constitutes a state?
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
Men who their duties know,
But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain.
    .    .    .    .    .    .    .
And sovereign law, that state’s collected will,
    O’er thrones and globes elate,
Sits empress, crowning good, repressing ill. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Ode in Imitation of Alcæus.
 
Note 1.
Neither walls, theatres, porches, nor senseless equipage, make states, but men who are able to rely upon themselves.—Aristides: Orations (Jebb’s edition), vol. i. (trans. by A. W. Austin).

By Themistocles alone, or with very few others, does this saying appear to be approved, which, though Alcæus formerly had produced, many afterwards claimed: “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.”—Ibid. vol. ii. [back]
 

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