True statesmanship is the art of changing a nation from what it is into what it ought to be.
The great difference between the real statesman and the pretender is, that the one sees into the future, while the other regards only the present; the one lives by the day, and acts on expediency; the other acts on enduring principles and for immortality.
What morality requires, true statesmanship should accept.
The three great ends for a statesman are, security to possessors, facility to acquirers, and liberty and hope to the people.
It is curious that we pay statesmen for what they say, not for what they do, and judge them from what they do, not from what they say.—Hence they have one code of maxims for professions, and another for practice, and make up their consciences as the Neapolitans do their beds, with one set of furniture for show, and another for use.
The true genius that conducts a state is he, who doing nothing himself, causes everything to be done; he contrives, he invents, he foresees the future; he reflects on what is past; he distributes and proportions things; he makes early preparations; he incessantly arms himself to struggle against fortune, as a swimmer against a rapid stream of water; he is attentive night and day, that he may leave nothing to chance.
If I had wished to raise up a race of statesmen higher than politicians, animated not by greed or selfishness, by policy or narty, I would familiarize the boys of the land with the characters of the Bible.
A statesman, we are told, should follow public opinion; doubtless—as a coachman follows his horses, having firm hold on the reins, and guiding them.
Honest statesmanship is the wise employment of individual meannesses for the public good.
The worth of a state, in the long run, is the worth of the individuals composing it.
Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere, in action faithful, and in honor clear, who broke no promise, served no private end, who gain'd no title, and who lost no friend; ennobled by himself, by all approved, praised, wept, and honored.