Man is more disposed to domination than freedom; and a structure of dominion not only gladdens the eye of the master who rears and protects it, but even its servants are uplifted by the thought that they are members of a whole, which rises high above the life and strength of single generations.
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- Freedom is but the possibility of a various and indefinite activity; while government, or the exercise of dominion, is a single, yet real activity. The longing for freedom, therefore, is at first only too frequently suggested by the deep-felt consciousness of its absence.
- How a person masters his fate is more important than what his fate is.
- Coercion may prevent many transgressions; but it robs even actions which are legal of a part of their beauty. Freedom may lead to many transgressions, but it lends even to vices a less ignoble form.
- The sensual and spiritual are linked together by a mysterious bond, sensed by our emotions, though hidden from our eyes. To this double nature of the visible and invisible world — to the profound longing for the latter, coupled with the feeling of the sweet necessity for the former, we owe all sound and logical systems of philosophy, truly based on the immutable principles of our nature, just as from the same source arise the most senseless enthusiasms.
- I am more and more convinced that our happiness or our unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life than on the nature of those events themselves.
- Wherever the citizen becomes indifferent to his fellows, so will the husband be to his wife, and the father of a family toward the members of his household.