Let not ambition take possession of you; love the friends of the people, but reserve blind submission for the law and enthusiasm for liberty.
The affairs of America I shall ever look upon as my first business whilst I am in Europe. Any confidence from the king and ministers, any popularity I may have among my own countrymen, any means in my power, shall be, to the best of my skill, and till the end of my life, exerted in behalf of an interest I have so much at heart.
If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine.
Paris is in a tranquil state; the infernal cabal that besieges me appears guided by foreigners. This idea consoles me, for nothing is so painful as being persecuted by one’s own fellow-citizens.
You can kill ten of our men for every one we kill of yours. But even at those odds, you will lose and we will win.
When I was 10 or 11, my grandmother had a scarf. It was black, but a long one. I used to wrap it around my head and say to them that ‘I’m a cleric, you need to pray behind me.’
If we had more time for discussion we should probably have made a great many more mistakes.
We still are pestered by two parties: the aristocratic, which is panting for a counter revolution, and the factious, which aims at the division of the empire and destruction of the authority – and perhaps of the lives – of the reigning branch, both of which parties are fomenting troubles.
Passion is needed for any great work, and for the revolution, passion and audacity are required in big doses.
But I recognize no infallible authority, even in special questions; consequently, whatever respect I may have for the honesty and the sincerity of such or such an individual, I have no absolute faith in any person.