Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
  It is a double misfortune to a nation given to change when they have a sovereign that is prone to fall in with all the turns and veerings of the people.
Joseph Addison.    
  Were our legislature vested in the prince, he might turn and wind our constitution at his pleasure, and shape our government to his fancy.
Joseph Addison.    
  Many princes made very ill figures upon the throne who before were the favourites of the people.
Joseph Addison.    
  That king shall best govern his realm that reigneth over his people as a father doth over his children.
  He [a king] must have a special care of five things, if he would not have his crown to be but to him “unhappy felicity:” First, that “pretended holiness” be not in the church; for that is “twofold iniquity:” secondly, that “useless equity” sit not in the chancery; for that is “foolish pity:” third, that “useless iniquity” keep not the exchequer; for that is a “cruel robbery:” fourthly, that “faithful rashness” be not his general; for that will bring, but too late, repentance: fifthly, that “faithless prudence” be not his secretary; for that is “a snake beneath the green grass.”  5
  To conclude: as he is of the greatest power, so he is subject to the greatest cares, made the servant of his people, or else he were without a calling at all. He then that honoureth him not is next an atheist, wanting the fear of God in his heart.
Francis Bacon: Essay XIV., Of a King.    
  All precepts concerning kings are comprehended in these: Remember thou art a man; remember thou art God’s vicegerent.
Francis Bacon.    
  Kings must be answerable to God, but the ministers to kings, whose eyes, ears, and hands they are, must be answerable to God and man.
Francis Bacon.    
  Trajan would say of the vain jealousy of princes that seek to make away those that aspire to their succession, that there was never king that did put to death his successor.
Francis Bacon.    
  It has been remarked that there is no prince so bad whose favourites and ministers are not worse.
Edmund Burke.    
  If ministers thus persevere in misadvising the king, I will not say that they can alienate the affections of his subjects from the crown, but I affirm they will make the crown not worth his wearing.
Lord Chatham.    
  The people are fashioned according to the example of their king; and edicts are of less power than the model which his life exhibits.
  A severe reflection Montaigne has made on princes, that we ought not in reason to have any expectations of favour from them.
John Dryden.    
  It is the misfortune of kings that they scarcely ever do that good that they have a mind to; and, through surprise, and the insinuations of flatterers, they often do that mischief they never intended.
François Fénelon: Telemachus.    
  If princely power had never been raised to a level with the attributes of the Divinity by Filmer, it had probably never been sunk as low as popular acquiescence by Locke.
Robert Hall: Apology for the Freedom of the Press, sect. iv.    
  The sovereign of this country is not amenable to any form of trial known to the laws.
  Kingship is a profession which has produced both the most illustrious and the most contemptible of the human race.
Walter Savage Landor.    
  When a prince fails in honour and justice, ’tis enough to stagger his people in their allegiance.
Roger L’Estrange.    
  If God, by his revealed declaration, first gave rule to any man, he that will claim by that title must have the same positive grant of God for his succession; for, if it has not directed the course of its descent and conveyance, no body can succeed to this title of the first ruler.
John Locke.    
  James [I. and VI.] was always boasting of his skill in what he called kingcraft; and yet it is hardly possible even to imagine a course more directly opposed to all the rules of kingcraft than that which he followed. The policy of wise rulers has always been to disguise strong acts under popular forms. It was thus that Augustus and Napoleon established absolute monarchies, while the public regarded them merely as eminent citizens invested with temporary magistracies. The policy of James was the direct reverse of theirs. He enraged and alarmed his parliament by constantly telling them that they held their privileges merely during his pleasure, and that they had no more business to inquire what he might lawfully do than what the Deity might lawfully do. Yet he quailed before them, abandoned minister after minister to their vengeance, and suffered them to tease him into acts directly opposed to his strongest inclinations. Thus the indignation excited by his claims and the scorn excited by his concessions went on growing together.
Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay: History of England, ch. i.    
  But when a king sets himself to bandy against the highest court and residence of all his regal powers, he then, in the single person of a man, fights against his own majesty and kingship.
John Milton.    
  A prince who loves and fears religion is a lion who stoops to the hand that strokes, or to the voice that appeases him. He who fears and hates religion is like the savage beast that growls and bites the chain which prevents his flying on the passenger. He who has no religion at all is that terrible animal who perceives his liberty only when he tears to pieces and when he devours.
  Princes are never without flatterers to seduce them, ambition to deprave them, and desires to corrupt them.
  Kings and princes, in the earlier ages of the world, laboured in arts and occupations, and were above nothing that tended to promote the conveniences of life.
Alexander Pope: Odyssey, Notes.    
  A king is a thing men have made for their own sakes, for quietness’ sake; just as if in a family one man is appointed to buy the meat: if every man should buy, or if there were many buyers, they would never agree: one would buy what the other liked not, or what the other bought before; so there would be a confusion. But that charge being committed to one, he, according to his discretion, pleases all. If they have not what they would have one day, they shall have it the next, or something as good.
John Selden: Table-Talk.    
  Princes have it in their power to keep a majority on their side by any tolerable administration, till provoked by continual oppressions.
Jonathan Swift.    
  The example alone of a vicious prince will corrupt an age; but that of a good one will not reform it.
Jonathan Swift.    

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