Home  »  Familiar Quotations  »  Page 1051

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

Page 1051

Appendix. (continued)
    Public trusts.
          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).
    Rather your room as your company.
          Marriage of Wit and Wisdom (circa 1570).
    Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.
          From an inscription on the cannon near which the ashes of President John Bradshaw were lodged, on the top of a high hill near Martha Bay in Jamaica.—Stiles: History of the Three Judges of King Charles I.

This supposititious epitaph was found among the papers of Mr. Jefferson, and in his handwriting. It was supposed to be one of Dr. Franklin’s spirit-stirring inspirations.—Randall: Life of Jefferson, vol. iii. p. 585.
    Rest and be thankful.
          An inscription on a stone seat on the top of one of the Highlands in Scotland. It is also the title of one of Wordsworth’s poems.
    Rowland for an Oliver.
          These were two of the most famous in the list of Charlemagne’s twelve peers; and their exploits are rendered so ridiculously and equally extravagant by the old romancers, that from thence arose that saying amongst our plain and sensible ancestors of giving one a “Rowland for his Oliver,” to signify the matching one incredible lie with another.—Thomas Warburton.