WASHINGTON, George Quotes
(1732-1799), 1st President of the United States of America
To persevere in one's duty and be silent, is the best answer to calumny.
Lenity will operate with greater force, in some instances, than rigor.—It is, therefore, my first wish, to have my whole conduct distinguished by it.
Labor to keep alive in your heart that little spark of celestial fire called conscience.
The consideration that human happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected, will always continue to prompt me to promote the former by inculcating the practice of the latter.
Friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity before it is entitled to the appelation.
Gambling is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.
It is impossible to govern the world without God. He must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligation.
While just government protects all in their religious rites, true religion affords government its surest support.
It is among the evils, and perhaps not the smallest, of democratic governments, that the people must feel before they will see.—When this happens, they are roused to action.—Hence it is that those kinds of government are too slow.
Government is not mere advice; it is authority, with power to enforce its laws.
The aggregate happiness of society, which is best promoted by the practise of a virtuous policy, is, or ought to be, the end of all government.
The very idea of the power and right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.
It is to be lamented that great characters are seldom without a blot.
I hope I shall always possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.
Lenity will operate with greater force in some instances than rigor.—It is, therefore, my first wish to have all my conduct distinguished by it.
Interwoven is the love of liberty with every ligament of the heart.
Lenity will operate with greater force in some instances, than rigor.—It is, therefore, my great wish, to have my whole conduct distinguished by it.
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
If we mean to support the liberty and independence which have cost us so much blood and treasure to establish, we must drive far away the demon of party spirit and local reproach.
There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government, and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This, within certain limits, is probably true. But in governments of a popular character, and purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be, by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent it bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.
Such is the turbulence of human passions in party disputes, when victory more than truth is contended for, that the post of honor is a private station.
We ought not to look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dear bought experience.
To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low, that every person of sense and character detests and despises it.
In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude. Every man will speak as he thinks, or, more properly, without thinking, and consequently will judge of effects without attending to their causes.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.
Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supporters.—A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.
Religion is as necessary to reason as reason is to religion: The one cannot exist without the other. A reasoning being would lose his reason, in attempting to account for the great phenomena of nature, had he not a Supreme Being to refer to; and well has it been said, that if there had been no God, mankind would have been obliged to imagine one.
Republicanism is not the phantom of a deluded imagination.—On the contrary, under no form of government are laws better supported, liberty and property better secured, or happiness more effectually dispensed to mankind.
Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation; it is better to be alone than in bad company.
A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.
Providence has done, and I am persuaded is disposed to do, a great deal for us; but we are not to forget the fable of Jupiter and the countryman.
I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do to see a plan adopted for the abolition of slavery.
Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.
There is a natural and necessary progression, from the extreme of anarchy to the extreme of tyranny; and arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of liberty abused to licentiousness.
There is no restraining men's tongues or pens when charged with a little vanity.
To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual ways of preserving peace.