18th-century Military Leader Quotes
It is paltry philosophy if in the old-fashioned way one lays down rules and principles in total disregard of moral values. As soon as these appear one regards them as exceptions, which gives them a certain scientific status, and thus makes them into rules. Or again one may appeal to genius, which is above all rules; which amounts to admitting that rules are not only made for idiots, but are idiotic in themselves.
And the fellow died as well as he lived, but it is part of a sailor's life to die well. He had no talk, but he inspired all about him with ardor; he always saw the best thing to be done; he knew the best way to do it; and he had no more dodge in him than the mainmast.
Of Captain James Lawrence, who died in the action between U.S.S. Chesapeake and H.M.S. Shannon
Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.
Oh, no! It is impossible. War is a kind of game, and has its fixed rules, whereby, when we are well acquainted with them, we can pretty correctly tell how the trial will go. Tomorrow it seems, the die is to be cast, and, in my judgement, without the least chance on our side. The militia will, I suppose as usual, play the back game. That is, get out of battle as fast as their legs will carry them. But that, you know, won't do for me. I am an old soldier, and cannot run, and I believe I have some brave fellows that will stand by me to the last. So, when you hear of our battle, you will probably hear that your old friend, De Kalb, is at rest.
Learning is not virtue but the means to bring us an acquaintance with it. Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful. Let these be your motives to action through life, the relief of the distressed, the detection of frauds, the defeat of oppression, and diffusion of happiness.