The surest way to prevent seditions is to take away the matter of them; for if there be fuel prepared, it is hard to tell whence the spark shall come that shall set it on fire.
Times and occasions and provocations will teach their own lessons. But with or without right, a revolution will be the very last resource of the thinking and the good.
It is far more easy to pull down than to build up, and to destroy than to preserve. Revolutions have on this account been falsely supposed to be fertile of great talent; as the dregs rise to the top during a fermentation, and the lightest things are carried highest by the whirlwind.
Too long denial of guaranteed right is sure to lead to revolution—bloody revolution, where suffering must fall upon the innocent as well as the guilty.
The working of revolutions misleads me no more; it is as necessary to our race as its waves to the stream, that it may not be a stagnant marsh. Ever renewed in its forms, the genius of humanity blossoms.
Revolution is the larva of civilization.
All experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Let them call it mischief; when it's past and prospered, it will be virtue.
Nothing has ever remained of any revolution but what was ripe in the conscience of the masses.
We deplore the outrages which accompany revolutions. But the more violent the outrages, the more assured we feel that a revolution was necessary! The violence of these outrages will always be proportioned to the ferocity and ignorance of the people: and the ferocity and ignorance of the people will be proportioned to the oppression and degradation under which they have been accustomed to live.
Great revolutions are the work rather of principles than of bayonets, and are achieved first in the moral, and afterwards in the material sphere.
Revolutions begin in the best heads, and run steadily down to the populace.
Those who give the first shock to a state are naturally the first to be overwhelmed in its ruin. The fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed by the man who was the first to set it a-going; he only troubles the water for another's net.
Who does more earnestly long for a change than he who is uneasy in his present circumstances? And who run to create confusions with so desperate a boldness, as those who having nothing to lose, hope to gain by them?
Revolutions are like the most noxious dung-heaps, which bring into life the noblest vegetables.
Political convulsions, like geological upheavings, usher in new epochs of the world's progress.
Revolutions are not made, they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.
The whirlpool of the hour engulfs the growth of centuries!—Pause ere ye rive with strength of fever, things embedded long in social being.—You will uproot no form, with which the thoughts and habits of weak mortals have long been twined, without the bleeding rent of thousand ties which to the common heart of nature link it.—Wrenched, perchance you'll mock a clumsy relic of forgotten days, while you have scattered in the dust, unseen, a thousand living crystals.
The best security against revolution is in constant correction of abuses and the introduction of needed improvements. It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.