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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

AUTHOR: Alben William Barkley (1877–1956)
QUOTATION: For I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty.
ATTRIBUTION: Senator ALBEN W. BARKLEY, address to a mock Democratic convention, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia, April 30, 1956.—Memorial Services Held in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, Together with Remarks Presented in Eulogy of Alben William Barkley, Late a Senator from Kentucky, p. 106 (1956).

After speaking these words, Senator Barkley collapsed and died. In her book, I Married the Veep (1958), Jane R. Barkley says (p. 312), “I am not sure, even now, how these words came into being, where they came from. I believe they were original with him but were based on the Old Testament, 84th Psalm: 10, ‘I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.’”