Many other sayings, of equal or greater note, are scattered through our former selections from the works of their authors, and therefore are not reprinted here. A few of those which follow are of transatlantic origin, but have gained a new vogue through their American application.
Upon Leaving England, in 1629.
Farewell, dear England! farewell, the Church of God in England, and all the Christian friends there!We go to practise the positive part of church reformation, and propagate the gospel in America.
My Fathers and Brethren, this is never to be forgotten, that New-England is originally a plantation of Religion, not a plantation of Trade. Let Merchants and such as are increasing Cent per Cent remember this. Let others that have come over since at several times understand this, that worldly gain was not the end and design of the people of New-England, but Religion. And if any amongst us make Religion as twelve, and the world as thirteen, let such an one know he hath neither the spirit of a true New-England man, nor yet of a sincere Christian.From an Election Sermon, The Cause of God and his People in New-England. Cambridge, Mass., 27 May, 1663.
Equal and exact justice to all men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.First Inaugural Address, 4 March, 1801.
But I am in hopes of the Eastern people; that they will find their interest in acquiescing in the liberty and science of their country, and that the Christian religion, when divested of the rags in which they have enveloped it, and brought to the original purity and simplicity of its benevolent institutor, is a religion of all others most friendly to liberty, science, and the freest expansion of the human mind.Written in 1801.
Such are the fragments remaining to us to show a master-workman, and that his system of morality was the most benevolent and sublime probably that has ever been taught, and consequently more perfect than those of any of the ancient philosophy.Written in 1804.
In the wars of the European Powers, in matters relating to themselves, we have never taken any part, nor does it comport with our policy so to do. It is only when our rights are invaded or seriously menaced that we resent injuries or make preparations for our defence. With the movements in this hemisphere we are, of necessity, more immediately connected, and by causes which must be obvious to all enlightened and impartial observers. The political system of the Allied Powers is essentially different in this respect from that of America. This difference proceeds from that which exists in their respective Governments; and to the defence of our own, which has been achieved by the loss of so much blood and treasure, and matured by the wisdom of their most enlightened citizens, and under which we have enjoyed unexampled felicity, this whole nation is devoted.
We owe it, therefore, to candor, and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers, to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere, as dangerous to our peace and safety.
With the existing Colonies or dependencies of any European power we have not interfered, and shall not interfere. But with the governments who have declared their independence and maintained it, and whose independence we have, on great consideration and on just principles, acknowledged, we could not view any interposition for the purpose of oppressing them, or controlling, in any other manner their destiny, by any European power, in any other light than as the manifestation of an unfriendly disposition toward the United States.From the Presidents Message, 2 December, 1823.
If we fail, let us fail like men, lash ourselves to our gallant tars, and expire together in one common struggle, fighting for Free Trade and Seamans Rights.Speech in the U. S. H. of R., 19 January, 1813.
I tread in the footsteps of illustrious men . In receiving from the people the sacred trust twice confided to my illustrious predecessor, and which he has discharged so faithfully and well, I know that I cannot expect to perform the arduous task with equal ability and success.Inaugural Address, 4 March, 1837.
A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various and powerful interests, combined in one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in the banks.Speech in the U. S. Senate, 27 May, 1836.
Byrons European fame is the best earnest of his immortality, for a foreign nation is a kind of contemporaneous posterity.From the Novel Stanley; or, The Recollections of a Man of the World. Phila., 1838.
This new page opened in the book of our public expenditures, and this new departure taken, which leads into the bottomless gulf of civil pensions and family gratuities.In the U. S. Senate, against the grant of $25,000 to President Harrisons widow, April, 1841.
RESOLVED: That the compact which exists between the North and the South is a Covenant with death and an agreement with hell, involving both parties in atrocious criminality, and should be immediately annulled.Adopted by the Mass. Anti-Slavery Society, Faneuil Hall, 27 January, 1843.
I never use the word Nation in speaking of the United States; I always use the word Union, or Confederacy. We are not a nation, but a Union, a confederacy of equal and sovereign States. England is a nation, Austria is a nation, Russia is a nation, but the United States are not a nation.Remark to Oliver Dyer, 1 January. 1849.
I shall defer my visit to Faneuil Hall, the cradle of American Liberty, until its doors shall fly open on golden hinges to lovers of Union as well as of Liberty.Upon being refused the use of Faneuil Hall, March, 1850.
We Sell Our Goods, and Not Our Principles. A Card, when attacked for refusing to sign the call for a Union Saving Meeting held in Castle Garden, October, 1850.
A CARD.The public, including the New York Journal of Commerce, are informed that we are silk merchants, and keep an extensive and well assorted stock of goods, which we offer to responsible buyers on reasonable terms. As individuals we entertain our own views on the various religious, moral and political questions of the day, which we are neither afraid nor ashamed to declare on all proper occasions. But we wish it distinctly understood that our goods, and not our principles are on the market. The attempt to punish us as merchants for the exercise of our liberty as citizens we leave to the judgment of the community.Bowen & McNamee.[From the Journal of Commerce, 28 October, 1850.]
Henry Chandler Bowen. 181396. Theodore McNamee. 180371.
With you I hate, deplore, and denounce the Barbarism of Slavery . But I do not agree that the National Government has power under the Constitution to touch Slavery in the States, any more than it has power to touch the twin Barbarism of Polygamy in the States, while fully endowed to arrest and suppress both in all the Territories.Letter to A. P. Brooks, 9 September, 1860.See also his speech on the Barbarism of Slavery, U. S. Senate, 4 June, 1860.
Whether right or wrong in its domestic or its foreign policy, judged by whatever standard, whether of expediency or of principle, the American citizen can recognize no social duty intervening between himself and his country. He may urge reform; but he has no right to destroy. Intrusted with the precious inheritance of Liberty, endowed with the gift of participation in a Popular Government, the Constitution makes him at once the beneficiary and the defender of interests and institutions he cannot innocently endanger; and when he becomes a traitor to his country, he commits equal treason against mankind.Address to the Mass. Legislature, 3 January, 1862.
Title of a Broadside issued by Jay Cooke, June, 1865, to promote the sale of Government Bonds. It was qualified, at the suggestion of Harris Charles Fahnestock (upon the cover of a pamphlet containing the bankers argument), in this wise: How our National Debt may be a National Blessing. The originator of the title was
Let no guilty man escape, if it can be avoided. No personal consideration should stand in the way of performing a public duty.Indorsement of a Letter Relating to the Prosecution of the Western Whiskey Ring, 29 July, 1875.
Listen! John A. Logan is the Head Centre, the Hub, the King Pin, the Main Spring, Mogul, and Mugwump of the final plot by which partisanship was installed in the Commission.Editorial entitled Impeach Logan, in the N. Y. Tribune, 16 February, 1877.
From The Presidents Inaugural Speech, 4 March, 1881.
It has been said that unsettled questions have no pity for the repose of nations. It should be said that this question of the suffrage will never give repose to the States or to the Nation until each, within its own jurisdiction, makes and keeps the ballot free and pure by the strong sanction of the law.
Whatever question there may be of his talent, there can be none, I think, of his genius. It was a slim and crooked one, but it was eminently personal. He was imperfect, unfinished, inartistic; he was worse than provincialhe was parochial; it is only at his best that he is readable.Of Thoreau, in a Critical Life of Hawthorne. 1879.
The art of fiction has, in fact, become a finer art in our day than it was with Dickens and Thackeray. We could not suffer the confidential attitude of the latter now, nor the mannerism of the former, any more than we could endure the prolixity of Richardson or the coarseness of Fielding.Sketch of Henry James, Jr., in the Century Magazine, November, 1882.
Reason is the triumph of the intellect, faith of the heart; and whether the one or the other shall best illumine the dark mysteries of our being, they only are to be despaired of who care not to explore.History of the United States under the Constitution, Vol. II. 1882.
From the Opening Address of the President of the Mass. Republican State Convention, 1881.
The public offices are a public trust, to be held and administered with the same exact justice and the same conscientious regard for the responsibilities involved as are required in the execution of private trusts.
From the Address upon the Opening of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, 24 May, 1883.
But what man is fit to hold office? Only he who regards political office as a public trust, and not as a private perquisite to be used for the pecuniary advantage of himself or his family, or even his party.
Offices are public trusts. Although the incumbent of a public office has a property right in it, yet the office itself is a public trust and is conferred, not for his benefit, but the for benefit of the political society.
I cannot believe that the vast peaceful army of Union soldiers who, having contentedly resumed their places in the ordinary avocations of life, cherish as sacred the memory of patriotic service, or who, having been disabled by the casualties of war, justly regard the present pension roll, on which appear their names as a roll of honor, desire at this time and in the present exigency to be confounded with those who, through such a bill as this, are willing to be objects of charity and to gain a place upon the pension roll through alleged dependence.Veto of Dependent Pension Bill, 11 February, 1887.
Communism is a hateful thing and a menace to peace and organized government. But the communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity and selfishness which assiduously undermines the justice and integrity of free institutions, is not less dangerous than the communism of oppressed poverty and toil, which, exasperated by injustice and discontent, attacks with wild disorder the citadel of misrule.Annual Message, 1888.
They love him, gentlemen, and they respect him, not only for himself, for his character, for his integrity and judgment and iron will, but they love him most for the enemies he has made.Of Mr. Cleveland, by the Chairman of the National Convention, Chicago, 1884.
Practical Politics. From the Bishops Address at the Washington Centennial Service in St. Pauls Chapel, New York City, 30 April, 1889.
The conception of the National Government as a huge machine, existing mainly for the purpose of rewarding partisan servicethis was a conception so alien to the character and conduct of Washington and his associates that it seems grotesque even to speak of it. It would be interesting to imagine the first President of the United States confronted with some one who had ventured to approach him upon the basis of what is now commonly called practical politics.
If there be no nobility of descent, all the more indispensable is it that there should be nobility of ascenta character in them that bear rule, so fine and high and pure, that as men come within the circle of its influence they involuntarily pay homage to that which is the one preëminent distinction, the Royalty of Virtue.From the Same.
From a Speech at the Washington Centennial Celebration: Sub-Treasury, Wall St., New York City, 30 April, 1889.
Self-seeking has no public observance or anniversary. The captain who gives to the sea his cargo of rags, that he may give safety and deliverance to his imperilled fellow-men, has fame; he who lands the cargo has only wages.
Measures, Not Men, Have Always Been My Mark.Goldsmith.
It used to be an applauded political maxim, which was expressed in the words, Measures, not men. I venture to deny the soundness of this maxim, and to propose in its place its converse, Men, not measures. I think the first need of good government, like the first need of a large business corporation, is the right men to administer it. Right in character, in ability, in patriotism, in disinterestedness . Better a hundred times an honest and capable administration of an erroneous policy than a corrupt and incapable administration of a good one.At the Dinner of the N. Y. Chamber of Commerce, 19 November, 1889.
Adams, JohnColossus of Independence. Adams, John QuincyOld Man Eloquent. Adams, SamuelAmerican Cato. Arnold, BenedictThe Traitor. Benton, ThomasOld Bullion. Blaine, James GillespiePlumed Knight. Bradstreet, AnneThe Tenth Muse. Brown, JohnOsawatomie Brown. Buchanan, JamesBachelor President, Old Public Functionary, Sage of Wheatland. Burritt, ElihuThe Learned Blacksmith. Clay, HenryHarry of the West, Mill-Boy of the Slashes. Corwin, ThomasWagoner-Boy. Cox, Samuel SullivanSunset Cox. Dana, Charles AndersonNestor of the Press. Douglas, Stephen ArnoldLittle Giant. Early, JubalBad Old Man. Eliot, JohnApostle of the Indians. Ewing, ThomasThe Salt-Boiler. Frémont, John CharlesPathfinder. Garfield, James AbramCanal-Boy. Grant, Ulysses S.The Tanner, Uncle Sam, Unconditional Surrender. Halleck, Henry WagerOld Brains. Halstead, MuratField-Marshal. Hancock, Winfield ScottThe Superb. Harrison, BenjaminLittle Ben. Harrison, William HenryCincinnatus of the West, Tippecanoe. Holmes, Oliver WendellThe Autocrat. Hooker, JosephFighting Joe. Jackson, AndrewOld Hickory. Jackson, Thomas JonathanStonewall. Jefferson, ThomasSage of Monticello. Kelley, William DarrahFather of the House, Pig-Iron Kelley. Lee, Henry (1756)Light-Horse Harry. Lincoln, AbrahamFather Abraham, Honest Old Abe, The Railsplitter, The Martyr President. Logan, John AlexanderBlack Eagle, Blackjack. Loring, William WingOld Blizzard. Marion, FrancisSwamp-Fox. Marshall, JohnExpounder of the Constitution. McClellan, George BrintonLittle Mac. Medary, SamuelWar-Horse of Democracy. Mitchel, Ormsby MacKnightOld Stars. Polk, James KnoxYoung Hickory. Phillips, WendellSilver-tongued. Putnam, IsraelOld Put. Riley, James WhitcombHoosier Poet. Scott, WinfieldHero of Chapultepec, Old Fuss and Feathers. Seward, William HenrySage of Auburn. Sheridan, PhilipLittle Phil. Sherman, William TecumsehOld Tecumseh. Smith, William FarrarBaldy Smith. Spinner, Francis EliasWatch-Dog of the Treasury. Steedman, James BarrettOld Chickamauga. Stevens, ThaddeusGreat Commoner. Taylor, ZacharyOld Rough and Ready, Old Zach. Thomas, CharlesOld Reliable, Pop Thomas. Thoreau, Henry DavidPoet Naturalist. Thurman, Allen GranberyOld Bandanna, Old Roman. Tilden, Samuel JonesSage of Greystone. Van Buren, MartinLittle Magician, Little Van, Northern Man with Southern Principles. Washington, GeorgeAmerican Fabius, Father of his Country. Wayne, AnthonyMad Anthony. Webster, DanielBlack Dan, Expounder of the Constitution. Webster, NoahSchoolmaster of the Republic. Whitman, WaltThe Good Grey Poet. Whittier, John GreenleafBard of Amesbury, Quaker Poet. Wilson, HenryNatick Cobbler.