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Maybe the principle of understanding is eternal …


“Tolerance is the virtue of man without convictions”. –G.K. Chesterton

These are the fruits of the policy of statesmen who have risen from beggary to opulence, from obscurity to distinction, whose private mansions are more splendid than our public buildings, and whose fortunes are exalted in exact proportion to the decline of the interests of the state. What is the cause of this change? The simple fact, gentlemen, that formerly the people, having the courage to act, and to see service in person, controlled our statesmen and was master of all our emoluments; and any of the citizens in general was content to receive from the people his own share of honor or office or advantage; whereas now, it is the statesmen that dispose of our emoluments; it is through their agency that everything is done; while you, the people, gentlemen, reft of all your strength, stripped of your treasure and allies, have become mere underlings and appendages, and are satisfied if your statesmen present you with a dole from the festival fund, and the manliest part of all! you are even grateful for receiving from them what is your own all the while. They coop you up in the city, and entice you to your pleasures, and make you tame and submissive to their hands. But it is impossible as I hold to have a high and noble spirit, while engaging in petty and mean pursuits: men’s pursuits must necessarily have an influence on their character. I should not be surprised if, for merely mentioning these matters, I were to suffer more than those who are themselves responsible for the state of things. It is not every subject on which you permit your boasted liberty of speech: I wonder that you have permitted it to-day.

But if, gentlemen, you would only renounce these practices and be ready to take to the field…you might, you might perhaps, secure some solid and important advantage.

The Greek Statesman Demosthenes (384–322 BC), in the Third Olynthiac

“If one expects to enjoy the blessings of liberty, one must first undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” —Thomas Paine

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