Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government.
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- That government is best which governs least.
- The government of the world I live in was not framed, like that of Britain, in after-dinner conversations over the wine.
- Visit the Navy-Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts — a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniments.
- Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
- I have found it to be the most serious objection to coarse labors long continued, that they compelled me to eat and drink coarsely also.
- It is easier to sail many thousand miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred men and boys to assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one’s being alone. It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar.