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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


A death-bed repentance seldom reaches to restitution.

Compassion to the offender who has grossly violated the laws is, in effect, a cruelty to the peaceable subject who has observed them.

Deliberate treachery entails punishment upon the traitor.

Distinguished talents are not necessarily connected with discretion.

Facts are apt to alarm us more than the most dangerous principles.

Friendship is too pure a pleasure for a mind cankered with ambition or the lust of power and grandeur.

How much easier it is to be generous than just!

In some men there is a malignant passion to destroy the works of genius, literature, and freedom.

Laws are intended to guard against what men may do, not to trust what they will do.

No man regards an eruption upon the surface when the noble parts are invaded, and he feels a mortification approaching to his heart.

No outward tyranny can reach the mind.

One precedent creates another. They soon accumulate and constitute law. What yesterday was fact to-day is doctrine. Examples are supposed to justify the most dangerous measures; and where they do not suit exactly, the defect is supplied by analogy.

Oppression is more easily borne than insult.

Private credit is wealth; public honour is security. The feather that adorns the royal bird supports its flight; strip him of his plumage, and you fix him to the earth.

Superstition is certainly not the characteristic of this age. Yet some men are bigoted in politics who are infidels in religion.

The government of England is a government of law.

The injustice done to an individual is sometimes of service to the public.

The king’s honour is that of his people. Their real honour and real interest are the same.

The legal and proper mercy of a king of England may remit the punishment, but ought not to stop the trial.

The lives of the best of us are spent in choosing between evils.

The morality of a king is not to be measured by vulgar rules. There are faults which do him honour, and virtues that disgrace him.

There are proselytes from atheism, but none from superstition.

There is no extremity of distress which of itself ought to reduce a great nation to despair. It is not the disorder, but the physician … which alone can make a whole people desperate.

To attack vices in the abstract without touching persons, may be safe fighting indeed, but it is fighting with shadows.

To be acquainted with the merit of a Ministry, we need only observe the condition of the people.

We owe it to our ancestors to preserve entire those rights which they have delivered to our care; we owe it to our posterity not to suffer their dearest inheritance to be destroyed.

When once a man is determined to believe, the very absurdity of the doctrine confirms him in his faith.

When you leave the unimpaired hereditary freehold to your children, you do but half your duty. Both liberty and property are precarious, unless the possessors have sense and spirit enough to defend them.