Nothing destroys authority so much as the unequal and untimely interchange of power, pressed too far and relaxed too much.
All human power is a compound of time and patience.
Power is so characteristically calm, that calmness in itself has the aspect of power, and forbearance implies strength.
I know of nothing sublime which is not some modification of power.
Nothing, indeed, but the possession of some power can with any certainty discover what at the bottom is the true character of any man.
By moral power we mean the power of a life and a character, the power of good and great purposes, the power which comes at length to reside in a man distinguished in some course of estimable or great conduct.—No other power of man compares with this, and there is no individual who may not be measurably invested with it.
Power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads. No man is wise enough, nor good enough, to be trusted with unlimited power.
Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness; it magnifies littleness; to what is contemptible, it gives authority; to what is low, exaltation.
To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasures, we must go to those who are seeking it.—The pains of power are real; its pleasures imaginary.
It is not possible to found a lasting power upon injustice, perjury, and treachery.
There is always room for a man of force, and he makes room for many. Society is a troop of thinkers, and the best heads among them take the best places.
Power, to its last particle, is duty.
Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but it is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.
Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them; power flows to the man who knows how.
Even in war moral power is to physical as three parts out of four.
Justice without power is inefficient; power without justice is tyranny. Justice without power is opposed, because there are always wicked men. Power without justice is soon questioned. Justice and power must therefore be brought together, so that whatever is just may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.
Power is ever stealing from the many to the few. The manna of popular liberty must be gathered each day, or it is rotten.
It is patent in our days that not alone is wealth accumulated, but immense power and despotic economic domination are concentrated in the hands of a few, and that those few are frequently not the owners but only the trustees and directors of invested funds which they administer at their good pleasure.
It is an observation no less just than common, that there is no stronger test of a man's real character than power and authority, exciting as they do every passion, and discovering every latent vice.
We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible.
The basis of international anarchy is men's proneness to fear and hatred. This is also the basis of economic disputes; for the love of power, which is at their root, is generally an embodiment of fear. Men desire to be in control because they are afraid that the control of others will be used unjustly to their detriment.
Power and liberty are like heat and moisture; where they are well mixt, everything prospers; where they are single, they are destructive.
Arbitrary power is the natural object of temptation to a prince; as wine of women to a young fellow, or a bribe to a judge, or avarice to old age, or vanity to a woman.
Power acquired by guilt has seldom been directed to any good end or useful purpose.
Since nothing is settled until it is settled right, no matter how unlimited power a man may have, unless he exercises it fairly and justly his actions will return to plague him.