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Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

NUMBER: 1337
AUTHOR: Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)
QUOTATION: The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
ATTRIBUTION: THOMAS JEFFERSON, Notes on Virginia, query 19, reprinted in The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Andrew A. Lipscomb, vol. 2, p. 230 (1903).