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Page 163 - We must have continually present to our minds the difference between independence and liberty. Liberty is a right of doing whatever the laws permit, and if a citizen could do what they forbid he would be no longer possessed of liberty, because all his fellow-citizens would have the same power.
Page 138 - It is very probable," says he,* " that mankind would have been obliged, at length, to live constantly under the Government of a single person, had they not contrived a kind of Constitution, that has all the internal advantages of a Republican, together with the external force of a Monarchical Government.
Page 91 - That if we inquire into the cause of all human corruptions, we shall find that they proceed from the impunity of crimes, and not from the moderation of punishments.
Page 175 - Neither do I pretend by this to undervalue other governments, nor to say that this extreme political liberty ought to give uneasiness to those who have only a moderate share of it. How should I have any such design, I who think that even the...
Page 10 - As most citizens have sufficient ability to choose, though unqualified to be chosen, so the people, though capable of calling others to an account for their administration, are incapable of conducting the administration themselves. The public business must be carried on with a certain motion, neither too quick nor too slow. But the motion of the people is always either too remiss or too violent. Sometimes with a hundred thousand arms they overturn all before them; and sometimes with a hundred thousand...
Page 168 - Holland, they ought to be accountable to their constituents; but it is a different thing in England, where they are deputed by boroughs. All the inhabitants of the...
Page 329 - We have said that the laws were the particular and precise institutions of a legislator, and manners and customs the institutions of a nation in general. Hence it follows that when these manners and customs are to be changed, it ought not to be done by laws; this would have too much the air of tyranny: it would be better to change them by introducing other manners and other customs.
Page 163 - In governments, that is, in societies directed by laws, liberty can consist only in the power of doing what we ought to will, and in not being constrained to do what we ought not to will.
Page 175 - It is natural for mankind to set a higher value upon courage than timidity, on activity than prudence, on strength than counsel. Hence the army will ever despise a senate, and respect their own officers. They will naturally slight the orders sent them by a body of men whom they look upon as cowards, and therefore unworthy to command them.