Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.
Marcy William Learned (17861857)
It may be, sir, that the politicians of the United States are not so fastidious as some gentlemen are, as to disclosing the principles on which they act. They boldly preach what they practise. When they are contending for victory, they avow their intention of enjoying the fruits of it. If they are defeated, they expect to retire from office. If they are successful, they claim, as a matter of right, the advantages of success. They see nothing wrong in the rule, that to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.
Senator WILLIAM LEARNED MARCY, remarks in the Senate, January 25, 1832, Register of Debates in Congress, vol. 8, col. 1325.
Marcy was defending Martin Van Buren, nominated as minister to England, against the attacks of Senator Henry Clay.