"Thou cam'st out of thy mother's belly without government, thou hast liv'd hitherto without government, and thou may'st be carried to thy long home without government, when it shall please the Lord. How many people in this world live without government, yet do well enough, and are well look'd upon?"
"He who doesn't know how to be a servant should never be allowed to be a master; the interests of public life are alien to anyone who is unable to enjoy others' successes, and such a person should never be entrusted with public affairs."
"In my opinion it is harmful to place important things in the hands of philanthropy, which in Russia is marked by a chance character. Nor should important matters depend on leftovers, which are never there. I would prefer that the government treasury take care of it."
"A foreign minister, I will maintain it, can never be a good man of business if he is not an agreeable man of pleasure too. Half his business is done by the help of his pleasures: his views are carried on, and perhaps best, and most unsuspectedly, at balls, suppers, assemblies, and parties of pleasure; by intrigues with women, and connections insensibly formed with men, at those unguarded hours of amusement."
"Good government is known from bad government by this infallible test: that under the former the labouring people are well fed and well clothed, and under the latter, they are badly fed and badly clothed."
"A State, in idea, is the opposite of a Church. A State regards classes, and not individuals; and it estimates classes, not by internal merit, but external accidents, as property, birth, etc. But a church does the reverse of this, and disregards all external accidents, and looks at men as individual persons, allowing no gradations of ranks, but such as greater or less wisdom, learning, and holiness ought to confer. A Church is, therefore, in idea, the only pure democracy."
"There are always those who are willing to surrender local self-government and turn over their affairs to some national authority in exchange for a payment of money out of the Federal Treasury. Whenever they find some abuse needs correction in their neighborhood, instead of applying the remedy themselves they seek to have a tribunal sent on from Washington to discharge their duties for them, regardless of the fact that in accepting such supervision they are bartering away their freedom."
"At first I intended to become a student of the Senate rules and I did learn much about them, but I soon found that the Senate had but one fixed rule, subject to exceptions of course, which was to the effect that the Senate would do anything it wanted to do whenever it wanted to do it."
"Good government cannot be found on the bargain-counter. We have seen samples of bargain-counter government in the past when low tax rates were secured by increasing the bonded debt for current expenses or refusing to keep our institutions up to the standard in repairs, extensions, equipment, and accommodations. I refuse, and the Republican Party refuses, to endorse that method of sham and shoddy economy."
"Do the day's work. If it be to protect the rights of the weak, whoever objects, do it. If it be to help a powerful corporation better to serve the people, whatever the opposition, do that. Expect to be called a stand-patter, but don't be a stand-patter. Expect to be called a demagogue, but don't be a demagogue. Don't hesitate to be as revolutionary as science. Don't hesitate to be as reactionary as the multiplication table.... Give administration a chance to catch up with legislation."
"This is as good a time as any to comment on what I think has grown into an abuse. Congress makes holidays and every time there is a holiday it is the practice for one department to telephone over to another department and say we are going to have an extra holiday in this department and what is your department going to do about it.... If it comes on Saturday, they want a holiday on Friday, and of course they couldn't come back and travel on Sunday and so they want another holiday on Monday to get back on."
"I say to myself that I mustn't let myself be cut off in there, and yet the moment I enter my bag is taken out of my hand, I'm pushed in, shepherded, nursed and above all cut off, alone. Whitehall envelops me."
"No Government can be long secure without a formidable Opposition. It reduces their supporters to that tractable number which can be managed by the joint influences of fruition and hope. It offers vengeance to the discontented, and distinction to the ambitious; and employs the energies of aspiring spirits, who otherwise may prove traitors in a division or assassins in a debate."