Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Tyranny
 
  A king ruleth as he ought, a tyrant as he lists; a king to the profit of all, a tyrant only to please a few.
Aristotle.    
  1
 
  My Lords, it is certain that even tyranny itself may find some specious colour, and appear as a more severe and rigid execution of justice. Religious persecution may shield itself under the guise of a mistaken and over-zealous piety. Conquest may cover its baldness with its own laurels, and the ambition of the conqueror may be hid in the secrets of his own heart under a veil of benevolence, and make him imagine he is bringing temporary desolation upon a country only to promote its ultimate advantage and his own glory. But in the principles of that governor who makes nothing but money his object there can be nothing of this. There are here none of those specious delusions that look like virtues, to veil either the governor or the governed.
Edmund Burke: Impeachment of Warren Hastings.    
  2
 
  It is the nature of tyranny and rapacity never to learn moderation from the ill-success of first oppressions; on the contrary, all oppressors, all men thinking highly of the methods dictated by their nature, attribute the frustration of their desires to the want of sufficient rigour. Then they redouble the efforts of their impotent cruelty, which producing, as they must ever produce, new disappointments, they grow irritated against the objects of their rapacity; and then rage, fury, and malice, implacable because unprovoked, recruiting and reinforcing their avarice, their vices are no longer human. From cruel men they are transformed into savage beasts, with no other vestiges of reason left but what serves to furnish the inventions and refinements of ferocious subtlety, for purposes of which beasts are incapable and at which fiends would blush.
Edmund Burke: Impeachment of Warren Hastings.    
  3
 
  The most insupportable of tyrants exclaim against the exercise of arbitrary power.
Roger L’Estrange.    
  4
 
  It is not the rigour, but the inexpediency, of laws and acts of authority, which makes them tyrannical.
William Paley.    
  5
 
  [Greek] [tyrant] by the ancient Greeks was applied to all kings, as well the just and merciful as the cruel and whom we now call tyrannical.
Archbishop J. Potter.    
  6
 
  Xenophon tells us that the city contained about ten thousand houses; and allowing one man to every house, who could have any share in the government, (the rest consisting of women, children, and servants,) and making other obvious abatements, these tyrants, if they had been careful to adhere together, might have been a majority even of the people collectively.
Jonathan Swift: On the Contests of Athens and Rome.    
  7
 
  He that by harshness of nature and arbitrariness of commands uses his children like servants is what they mean by a tyrant.
Sir William Temple.    
  8
 
 
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