Fisher Ames - Works of Fisher Ames
17 Sourced Quotes
The people as a body cannot deliberate. Nevertheless, they will feel an irresistible impulse to act, and their resolutions will be dictated to them by their demagogues... and the violent men, who are the most forward to gratify those passions, will be their favorites. What is called the government of the people is in fact too often the arbitrary power of such men. Here, then, we have the faithful portrait of democracy.
The House is composed of very good men, not shining, but honest and reasonably well-informed, and in time they will be found to improve, and not to be much inferior in eloquence, science, and dignity, to the British Commons. They are patriotic enough, and I believe there are more stupid (as well as more shining) people in the latter, in proportion.
Why then, if these books for children must be retained, as they will be, should not the bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the sacred book, that is thus early impressed, lasts long ; and, probably, if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.
I am commonly opposed to those who modestly assume the rank of champions of liberty, and make a very patriotic noise about the people. It is the stale artifice which has duped the world a thousand times, and yet, though detected, it is still successful. I love liberty as well as anybody. I am proud of it, as the true title of our people to distinction above others; but... I would guard it by making the laws strong enough to protect it.