"What is meant by the liberty of the press is, that there should be no antecedent restraint upon it; but that every author is responsible when he attacks the security or welfare of the government, or the safety, character, and property of the individual."
"Inference is founded upon obvious reasons. Regard to reputation has a less active influence, when the infamy of a bad action is to be divided upon a number, than when it is to fall singly upon one. A spirit of faction . . . will often hurry the persons of whom they were composed into improprieties and excesses for which they would blush in a private capacity."
"There is in the nature of sovereign power an impatience of controul, that disposes those who are invested with the exercise of it, to look with an evil eye upon all external attempts to restrain or direct its operations."
"The constitution of human nature? teaches us not to expect ?that the persons, entrusted with the administration of the affairs of the particular members of a confederacy, will at all times be ready, with perfect good humor, and an unbiased regard to the public weal, to execute the resolutions of decrees of the general authority.? ?This tendency is not difficult to be accounted for,? Publius argues, ?It has its origin in the love of power."
"The experience of treaties being broken with impunity provide an ?afflicting lesson to mankind how little dependence is to be placed on treaties which have no other sanction than the obligations of good faith; and which oppose general considerations of peace and justice to the impulse of any immediate interest and passion."
"It is a singular capriciousness of the human mind, that after all the admonitions we have had from experience on this head, there should still be found men, who object to the new constitution for deviating from a principle which has been found the bane of the old."
"There is nothing absurd or impracticable in the idea of a league or alliance between independent nations for certain defined purposes precisely stated in a treaty regulating all the details of time, place, circumstance, and quantity; leaving nothing to future discretion; and depending for its execution on the good faith of the parties."
"There was a time when we were told . . . that a sense of common interest would preside over the conduct of the respective members?This language at the present day would appear as wild as that great part of what we now hear from the same quarter will be thought, when we shall have received further lessons from that best oracle of wisdom, experience."
"Experience having long taught me the reasonableness of mutual sacrifices of opinion among those who are to act together for any common object, and the expediency of doing what good we can; when we cannot do all we would wish."
"If there could ever be a time for mere catch arguments, that time is surely not now. In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not be personally responsible through time and eternity."
" The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the latest generation. … In giving freedom to the slave we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give and what we preserve. We shall nobly save or meanly lose the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just—a way which if followed the world will forever applaud and God must forever bless"