I have need of Rigaud. He is violent. I want him for carrying on war; and that war is necessary to me.
The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. In the part which merely concerns himself, his independence is, of right, absolute. Over himself, over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.
I am not aware that any community has a right to force another to be civilized.
I know how to move the people, but I know also where to stop in my own actions so that, when I strike, I shall be felt and not seen.
I shall not remind you, Citizen-Directors, of all I have done for the triumph of liberty, the prosperity of St. Domingo, the glory of the French Republic; nor will I protest to you my attachment to our mother country, to my duties; my respect to the constitution, to the laws of the Republic, and my submission to the government.
They have in me struck down but the trunk of the tree; the roots are many and deep – they will shoot up again!
It is not a liberty of circumstance, conceded to us alone, that we wish; it is the adoption absolute of the principle that no man, born red, black or white, can be the property of his fellow man.
We have a right, also, in various ways, to act upon our unfavorable opinion of anyone, not to the oppression of his individuality, but in the exercise of ours.
I have taken my flight in the region of eagles; when I alight, it must be on a rock, and that rock must be a constitutional government, of which I shall be the head so long as I shall be among men.
As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other.