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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
George Washington
 
  A freeman contending for liberty on his own ground is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.  1
  A great and lasting war can never be supported on this principle (patriotism) alone. It must be aided by a prospect of interest, or some reward.  2
  A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends; and that the most liberal professions of good-will are very far from being the surest marks of it.  3
  A variety in punishment is of utility, as well as a proportion.  4
  Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake.  5
  All see, and most admire, the glare which hovers round the external happiness of elevated office.  6
  Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.  7
  As to pay, sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to accept this arduous employment at the expense of my domestic ease and happiness, I do not wish to make any profit from it.  8
  Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.  9
  Every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest should be indignantly frowned upon.  10
  Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.  11
  Happiness is more effectually dispensed to mankind under a republican form of government than any other.  12
  Heaven itself has ordained the right.  13
  I heard the bullets whistle; and believe me, there is something charming in the sound.  14
  I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an “honest man.”  15
  I make it my constant prayer that would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion; without a humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.  16
  I never mean, unless some particular circumstances should compel me to do it, to possess another slave by purchase, it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country may be abolished by law.  17
  I never say anything of a man that I have the smallest scruple of saying to him.  18
  If there was the same propensity in mankind for investigating the motives, as there is for censuring the conduct, of public characters, it would be found that the censure so freely bestowed is oftentimes unmerited and uncharitable.  19
  If we mean to support the liberty and independence which has cost us so much blood and treasure to establish, we must drive far away the demon of party spirit and local reproach.  20
 
 
  In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude. Every man will speak as he thinks, or, more properly, without thinking, and consequently will judge of effects without attending to their causes.  21
  Influence is not government.  22
  Interwoven is the love of liberty with every ligament of the heart.  23
  It is among the evils, and perhaps not the smallest, of democratical governments, that the people must feel before they will see. When this happens they are roused to action. Hence it is that those kinds of government are so slow.  24
  It is incumbent upon every person of every description to contribute to his country’s welfare.  25
  It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world.  26
  It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.  27
  It is to be lamented that great characters are seldom without a blot.  28
  It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence.  29
  It would be repugnant to the vital principles of our government virtually to exclude from public trusts, talents and virtue, unless accompanied by wealth.  30
  Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called Conscience.  31
  Lenity will operate with greater force, in some instances, than rigor. It is therefore my first wish to have my whole conduct distinguished by it.  32
  Let us impart all the blessings we possess, or ask for ourselves, to the whole family of mankind.  33
  Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.  34
  Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.  35
  Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert those pillars of human happiness, those firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.  36
  Promote as an object of primary importance institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it should be enlightened.  37
  Providence has done, and I am persuaded is disposed to do, a great deal for us; but we are not to forget the fable of Jupiter and the countryman.  38
  Religion is as necessary to reason as reason is to religion. The one cannot exist without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason, in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to; and well has it been said, that if there had been no God, mankind would have been obliged to imagine one.  39
  Republicanism is not the phantom of a deluded imagination. On the contrary, laws, under no form of government, are better supported, liberty and property better secured, or happiness more effectually dispensed to mankind.  40
  Submit your sentiments with diffidence. A dictatorial style, though it may carry conviction, is always accompanied with disgust.  41
  Such, for wise purposes it is presumed, is the turbulence of human passions in party disputes, when victory, more than truth, is the palm contended for, that “the post of honor is a private station.”  42
  The aggregate happiness of society, which is best promoted by the practice of a virtuous policy, is or ought to be the end of all government.  43
  The company in which you will improve most will be least expensive to you.  44
  The consideration that human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected will always continue to prompt me to promote the progress of the former by inculcating the practice of the latter.  45
  The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice of mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.  46
  The friendship I have conceived will not be impaired by absence; but it may be no unpleasing circumstance to brighten the chain by a renewal of the covenant.  47
  The General is sorry to be informed that the foolish and wicked practise of profane cursing and swearing, a vice hitherto little known in an American army, is growing into fashion. He hopes the officers will, by example as well as influence, endeavor to check it, and that both they and the men will reflect that we can have little hope of the blessing of heaven on our arms, if we insult it by our impiety and folly. Added to this, it is a vice so mean and low, without any temptation, that every man of sense and character detests and despises it.  48
  The name American must always exalt the just pride of patriotism.  49
  The propitious smiles of heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which heaven itself has ordained.  50
  The pure and benign light of revelation has had a meliorating influence on mankind.  51
  The thinking part of mankind do not form their judgment from events; and their equity will ever attach equal glory to those actions which deserve success, and those which have been crowned with it.  52
  The very idea of the power and right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.  53
  There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation.  54
  There is an indissoluble union between a magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity.  55
  There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This, within certain limits, is probably true, and, in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged.  56
  There is no restraining men’s tongues or pens when charged with a little vanity.  57
  There is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.  58
  This is a vice which is productive of every possible evil, equally injurious to the morals and health of its votaries. It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief. It has been the ruin of many worthy families, the loss of many a man’s honor, and the cause of suicide. To all those who enter the lists, it is equally fascinating. The successful gamester pushes his good fortune, till it is overtaken by a reverse. The losing gamester, in hopes of retrieving past misfortunes, goes on from bad to worse, till, grown desperate, he pushes at everything and loses his all. In a word, few gain by this abominable practice, while thousands are injured.  59
  ’Tis substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of popular government.  60
  To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.  61
  To persevere in one’s duty and to be silent is the best answer to calumny.  62
  To the efficacy and permanency of your union a government for the whole is indispensable.  63
  We should amuse our evening hours of life in cultivating the tender plants, and bringing them to perfection, before they are transplanted to a happier clime.  64
  Where is the man to be found who wishes to remain indebted for the defense of his own person and property to the exertions, the bravery, and the blood of others, without making one generous effort to repay the debt of honor and gratitude?  65
  Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?  66
  Without a humble imitation of the divine Author of our blessed religion we can never hope to be a happy nation.  67
 
 
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