All my time not devoted to my master’s service was spent either in prayer, or in making experiments in casting different things in moulds made of earth, in attempting to make paper, gunpowder, and many other experiments, that, although I could not perfect, yet convinced me of its practicability if I had the means.
Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.
None of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbours.
That is the best government which desires to make the people happy, and knows how to make them happy.
Perhaps no person can be a poet, or even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind.
Conscience is the mirror of our souls, which represents the errors of our lives in their full shape.
We hold that the most wonderful and splendid proof of genius is a great poem produced in a civilized age.
The effect of violent dislike between groups has always created an indifference to the welfare and honor of the state.
The prejudices of ignorance are more easily removed than the prejudices of interest; the first are all blindly adopted, the second willfully preferred.
A good constitution is infinitely better than the best despot.