Those who stand for nothing fall for everything.
I never expect a perfect work from an imperfect man.
The constitution shall never be construed...to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.
A well adjusted person is one who makes the same mistake twice without getting nervous.
Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.
The art of reading is to skip judiciously.
There are seasons in every country when noise and impudence pass current for worth; and in popular commotions especially, the clamors of interested and factious men are often mistaken for patriotism.
A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one.
A strong body makes the mind strong... I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind.
Men are reasoning rather than reasonable animals.
Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others.
A powerful, victorious ally is yet another name for master.
Why has government been instituted at all? Because the passions of man will not conform to the dictates of reason and justice without constraint.
Hard words are very rarely useful. Real firmness is good for every thing. Strut is good for nothing.
Vigor of government is essential to the security of liberty.
The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed.
If we must have an enemy at the head of government, let it be one whom we can oppose, and for whom we are not responsible.
To all general purposes we have uniformly been one people each individual citizen everywhere enjoying the same national rights, privileges, and protection.
The inquiry constantly is what will please, not what will benefit the people. In such a government there can be nothing but temporary expedient, fickleness, and folly.
Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.
I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be.
It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood;
All communities divide themselves into the few and the many. the first are the rich and well-born, the other the mass of the people
For in politics, as in religion, it is equally absurd to aim at making proselytes by fire and sword. Heresies in either can rarely be cured by persecution.
Divide et impera must be the motto of every nation that either hates or fears us.
Of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics the greatest number have begun their career, by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing Demagogues, and ending Tyrants.
Dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people than under the forbidden appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of government.
Experience is the oracle of truth; and where its responses are unequivocal, they ought to be conclusive and sacred.
A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.
But this is a thing more ardently to be wished than seriously to be expected.
Nature of war to increase the executive at the expense of the legislative authority.
A dangerous ambition more often lurks behind the specious mask of zeal for the rights of the people, than under the forbidding appearance of zeal for the firmness and efficiency of Government.
An enlightened zeal for the energy and efficiency of government will be stigmatized, as the offspring of a temper fond of despotic power, and hostile to the principles of liberty.