Memoir, Letters, and Remains, Volume 1 (Google eBook)

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Ticknor and Fields, 1862
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Page 311 - Macbiavelli in his History often praises great and noble actions ; but with him this is obviously an affair of the imagination. The foundation of his ideas is, that all actions are morally indifferent in themselves, and must be judged according to the skill they display and the success they secure. For him the world is a great arena, from which God is absent, in which conscience has nothing to do, and where every one must manage as well as he can. Machiavelli is the grandfather of M. ....
Page 156 - ... the bark, which by stopping the circulation of the sap, soon kills the tree. We were informed that this is commonly the first thing a pioneer does; as he cannot in the first year cut down all the trees which cover his new parcel of land, he sows Indian corn under their branches, and puts the trees to death in order to prevent them from injuring his crop. Beyond this field...
Page 160 - ... not a pleasure. This unknown man is the representative of a race to which belongs the future of the new world: a restless, reasoning, adventurous race which does coldly what only the ardour of passion can explain; race cold and passionate, which traffics in everything, not excepting morality and religion; nation of conquerors who submit themselves to the savage life without ever allowing themselves to be seduced by it...
Page 383 - I have tried to show that under a democratic government the fortunes and the rights of society may be respected, liberty preserved, and religion honored: that though a republic may develop less than other governments some of the noblest powers of the human mind, it yet has a nobility of its own; and that after all it may be God's will to spread a moderate amount of happiness over all men, instead of heaping a large sum upon a few by allowing only a small minority to approach perfection.
Page 202 - In a few years these impenetrable forests will have fallen ; the sons of civilization and industry will break the silence of the Saginaw ; its echoes will cease ; the banks will be imprisoned by quays ; its current, which now flows on unnoticed and tranquil through a nameless waste, will be stemmed by the prows of vessels. More than...
Page 315 - I cannot describe to you the happiness yielded in the long run by the habitual society of a woman in whose soul all that is good in your own is reflected naturally, and even improved. When I say or do a thing which seems to me to be perfectly right, I read immediately in Marie's countenance an expression of proud satisfaction which elevates me. And so, when my conscience reproaches me, her face instantly clouds over. Although I have great power over her mind, I see with pleasure that she awes me...
Page 383 - ... a democracy without poetry or elevation indeed, but with order and morality ; and an undisciplined and depraved democracy, subject to sudden frenzies, or to a yoke heavier than any that has galled mankind since the fall of the Roman Empire.
Page 152 - I. 10 not surprise you and force you to sleep under a tree, you may reach a village where you will find everything ; even French fashions, and caricatures from Paris. The shops of Buffalo or Detroit are as well supplied with all these things as those of New York. The looms of Lyons work for both alike. You leave the high road, you plunge into paths scarcely marked out ; you come at length upon a ploughed field, a hut built of rough logs, lighted by a single narrow window ; you think that you have...
Page 45 - I think myself bound voluntarily to share his lot, and to abandon with him a career in which neither active service nor upright conduct is a security against unmerited disgrace.
Page 253 - ... himself, and to regulate at his own will his own destiny. From the moment when this notion of liberty has penetrated deeply into the minds of a people, and has solidly established itself there, absolute and arbitrary power is thenceforth but a usurpation, or an accident; for, if no one is under any moral obligation to submit to another, it follows that the sovereign will can rightfully emanate only from the union of the wills of the whole. From that time passive obedience loses its character...

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