James Fenimore Cooper Quotes


 
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Best 33 Other Quotes by James Fenimore Cooper – Page 1 of 2

“A monarchy is the most expensive of all forms of government, the regal state requiring a costly parade, and he who depends on his own power to rule, must strengthen that power by bribing the active and enterprising whom he cannot intimidate.”

“All greatness of character is dependent on individuality. The man who has no other existence than that which he partakes in common with all around him, will never have any other than an existence of mediocrity.”

“All sacrifices of common sense, and all recourse to plausible political combinations, whether of individuals or of men, are uniformly made at the expense of the majority.”

“All that a good government aims at is to add no unnecessary and artificial aid to the force of its own unavoidable consequences, and to abstain from fortifying and accumulating social inequality as a means of increasing political inequalities.”

“America owes most of its social prejudices to the exaggerated religious opinions of the different sects which were so instrumental in establishing the colonies.”

“An interesting fiction – however paradoxical the assertion may appear – addresses our love of truth – not the mere love of facts expressed by true names and dates, but the love of that higher truth, the truth of nature and principals, which is a primitive law of the human mind.”

“Battles, unlike bargains, are rarely discussed in society.”

“Candor is a proof of both a just frame of mind, and of a good tone of breeding. It is a quality that belongs equally to the honest man and to the gentleman.”

“I can never tire of speaking of the bridges of Paris. By day and by night have I paused on them to gaze at their views; the word not being too comprehensive for the crowds and groupings of objects that are visible from their arches.”

“I sometimes wish I had been educated a Catholic, in order to unite the poetry of religion with its higher principles. Are they necessarily inseparable?

Is man really so much of a philosopher, that he can conceive of truth in its abstract purity, and divest life and the affections of all the aids of the imagination?”

“Ignorance and superstition ever bear a close and mathematical relation to each other.”

“Individuality is the aim of political liberty. By leaving the citizen as much freedom of action and of being as comports with order and the rights of others, the institutions render him truly a freeman. He is left to pursue his means of happiness in his own manner.”

“It is a besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which masses of men exhibit their tyranny.”

“It is a governing principle of nature, that the agency which can produce most good, when perverted from its proper aim, is most productive of evil.”

“It is a misfortune that necessity has induced men to accord greater license to this formidable engine, in order to obtain liberty, than can be borne with less important objects in view; for the press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master.”

“It is not a very difficult task to make what is commonly called an amusing book of travels. Any one who will tell, with a reasonable degree of graphic effect, what he has seen, will not fail to carry the reader with him; for the interest we all feel in personal adventure is, of itself, success.”

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“It is the besetting vice of democracies to substitute public opinion for law. This is the usual form in which the masses of men exhibit their tyranny.”

“Knowledge is the parent of knowledge. He who possesses most of the information of his age will not quietly submit to neglect its current acquisitions, but will go on improving as long as means and opportunities offer; while he who finds himself ignorant of most things, is only too apt to shrink from a labour which becomes Herculean.”

“No civilized society can long exist, with an active power in its bosom that is stronger than the law.”

“Paris enjoys a high reputation for the style of its public edifices, and, while there is a very great deal to condemn, compared with other capitals, I think it is entitled to a distinguished place in this particular.”

“Party leads to vicious, corrupt and unprofitable legislation, for the sole purpose of defeating party.”

“Slavery is no more sinful, by the Christian code, than it is sinful to wear a whole coat, while another is in tatters, to eat a better meal than a neighbor, or otherwise to enjoy ease and plenty, while our fellow creatures are suffering and in want.”

“Systems are to be appreciated by their general effects, and not by particular exceptions.”

“The affairs of life embrace a multitude of interests, and he who reasons in any one of them, without consulting the rest, is a visionary unsuited to control the business of the world.”

“The common faults of American language are an ambition of effect, a want of simplicity, and a turgid abuse of terms.”

“The disposition of all power is to abuses, nor does it at all mend the matter that its possessors are a majority.”

“The European who comes to America plunges into the virgin forest with wonder and delight; while the American who goes to Europe finds his greatest pleasure, at first, in hunting up the memorials of the past. Each is in quest of novelty, and is burning with the desire to gaze at objects of which he has often read.”

“The friendship that flows from the heart cannot be frozen by adversity.”

“The tendency of democracies is, in all things, to mediocrity.”

“The very existence of government at all, infers inequality. The citizen who is preferred to office becomes the superior to those who are not, so long as he is the repository of power, and the child inherits the wealth of the parent as a controlling law of society.”

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