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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1788
AUTHOR: Jean Baptiste Colbert (1619–83)
QUOTATION: The art of taxation consists in so plucking the goose as to obtain the largest possible amount of feathers with the smallest possible amount of hissing.
ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to JEAN BAPTISTE COLBERT, minister of finance to Louis XIV of France. It has also been attributed to Cardinal Mazarin, under whom Colbert served.—The Home Book of Quotations, ed. Burton Stevenson, 10th ed., p. 2300f, no. 5 (1967).
SUBJECTS: Taxation