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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

10452 Appendix John Bartlett

QUOTATION:Public trusts.
ATTRIBUTION:It is not fit the public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any till they are first proved, and found fit for the business they are to be intrusted with.—Mathew Henry: Commentaries, Timothy iii.

To execute laws is a royal office; to execute orders is not to be a king. However, a political executive magistracy though merely such, is a great trust.—Edmund Burke: On the French Revolution.

When a man assumes a public trust, he should consider himself as public property.—Thomas Jefferson (“Winter in Washington, 1807”), in a conversation with Baron Humboldt. See Rayner’s “Life of Jefferson,” p. 356 (Boston, 1834).

The very essence of a free government consists in considering offices as public trusts, bestowed for the good of the country, and not for the benefit of an individual or a party.—John C. Calhoun: Speech, July 13, 1835.

The phrase, “public office is a public trust,” has of late become common property.—Charles Sumner (May 31, 1872).

The appointing power of the pope is treated as a public trust.—W. W. Crapo (1881).

The public offices are a public trust.—Dorman B. Eaton (1881).

Public office is a public trust.—Abram S. Hewitt (1883).

He who regards office as a public trust.—Daniel S. Lamont (1884).