Liberty quotes

Social order at the expense of liberty is hardly a bargain.

- Marquis de Sade

To him that you tell your secret you resign your liberty.


Not observation of a duty but liberty itself is the pledge that assures fidelity.

- Key, Ellen

God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.

- Daniel Webster

It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.

- David Hume

The conscience is the sacred haven of the liberty of man.

- Bonaparte, Napoleon

Liberty is to faction, what air is to fire, an ailment without which it instantly expires. But it could not be a less folly to abolish liberty, which is essential to political life, because it nourishes faction, than it would be to wish the annihilation of air, which is essential to animal life, because it imparts to fire its destructive agency.

- James Madison

Liberty is the possibility of doubting, the possibility of making a mistake, the possibility of searching and experimenting, the possibility of saying No to any authority--literary, artistic, philosophic, religious, social and even political.

- Ignazio Silone

Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have ... The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.

- Thomas Jefferson

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.

- Jefferson, Thomas

Give me liberty, or give me death.

- Patrick Henry

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.

- Herbert, Frank

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

- Thomas Jefferson

Too much liberty corrupts us all.

- Terence

As long as I am an American citizen and American blood runs in these veins, I shall hold myself at liberty to speak, to write, and to publish whatever I please on any subject.

- Elija Lovejoy

Most people want security in this world, not liberty.

- Mencken, H. L.

Abuse is the very hallmark of liberty.

- Hailsham, Lord Quintin Hogg

A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty.

- Seneca

LOOKING-GLASS, n. A vitreous plane upon which to display a fleeting show for man's disillusion given. The King of Manchuria had a magic looking-glass, whereon whoso looked saw, not his own image, but only that of the king. A certain courtier who had long enjoyed the king's favor and was thereby enriched beyond any other subject of the realm, said to the king: "Give me, I pray, thy wonderful mirror, so that when absent out of thine august presence I may yet do homage before thy visible shadow, prostrating myself night and morning in the glory of thy benign countenance, as which nothing has so divine splendor, O Noonday Sun of the Universe!" Please with the speech, the king commanded that the mirror be conveyed to the courtier's palace; but after, having gone thither without apprisal, he found it in an apartment where was naught but idle lumber. And the mirror was dimmed with dust and overlaced with cobwebs. This so angered him that he fisted it hard, shattering the glass, and was sorely hurt. Enraged all the more by this mischance, he commanded that the ungrateful courtier be thrown into prison, and that the glass be repaired and taken back to his own palace; and this was done. But when the king looked again on the mirror he saw not his image as before, but only the figure of a crowned ass, having a bloody bandage on one of its hinder hooves -- as the artificers and all who had looked upon it had before discerned but feared to report. Taught wisdom and charity, the king restored his courtier to liberty, had the mirror set into the back of the throne and reigned many years with justice and humility; and one day when he fell asleep in death while on the throne, the whole court saw in the mirror the luminous figure of an angel, which remains to this day.

- Ambrose Bierce

To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties. For he who renounces everything no indemnity is possible. Such a renunciation is incompatible with man's nature; to remove all liberty from his will is to remove all morality from his acts.

- Jean Jacques Rousseau

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