Careful Words

liberty (n.)

  We wish that this column, rising towards heaven among the pointed spires of so many temples dedicated to God, may contribute also to produce in all minds a pious feeling of dependence and gratitude. We wish, finally, that the last object to the sight of him who leaves his native shore, and the first to gladden his who revisits it, may be something which shall remind him of the liberty and the glory of his country. Let it rise! let it rise, till it meet the sun in his coming; let the earliest light of the morning gild it, and parting day linger and play on its summit!

Daniel Webster (1782-1852): Address on laying the Corner-Stone of the Bunker Hill Monument, 1825. P. 62.

  Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852): Second Speech on Foot's Resolution, Jan. 26, 1830. Vol. iii. p. 342.

Stone walls do not a prison make,

Nor iron bars a cage;

Minds innocent and quiet take

That for an hermitage;

If I have freedom in my love,

And in my soul am free,

Angels alone that soar above

Enjoy such liberty.

Richard Lovelace (1618-1658): To Althea from Prison, iv.

  I shall defer my visit to Faneuil Hall, the cradle of American liberty, until its doors shall fly open on golden hinges to lovers of Union as well as lovers of liberty.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852): Letter, April, 1851.

  O Liberty! Liberty! how many crimes are committed in thy name!

Madame Roland (1754-1793):

Give me again my hollow tree,

A crust of bread, and liberty.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744): Satires, Epistles, and Odes of Horace. Satire vi. Book ii. Line 220.

What more felicitie can fall to creature

Than to enjoy delight with libertie,

And to be lord of all the workes of Nature,

To raine in th' aire from earth to highest skie,

To feed on flowres and weeds of glorious feature.

Edmund Spenser (1553-1599): Muiopotmos: or, The Fate of the Butterflie. Line 209.

  They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790): Historical Review of Pennsylvania.

Φθείρουσιν ἤθη χρήσθ' ὁμιλίαι κακαί.—Menander (341 b. c.). (Dubner's edition of his "Fragments," appended to Aristophanes in Didot's Bibliotheca Graeca, p. 102, line 101.)

  Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852): Speech at the Charleston Bar Dinner, May 10, 1847. Vol. ii. p. 393.

  Knowledge is the only fountain both of the love and the principles of human liberty.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852): Completion of Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843. P. 93.

  The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826): Summary View of the Rights of British America.

A day, an hour, of virtuous liberty

Is worth a whole eternity in bondage.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719): Cato. Act ii. Sc. 1.

I must have liberty

Withal, as large a charter as the wind,

To blow on whom I please.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616): As You Like It. Act ii. Sc. 7.

Liberty's in every blow!

Let us do or die.

Robert Burns (1759-1796): Bannockburn.

The mountain nymph, sweet Liberty.

John Milton (1608-1674): L'Allegro. Line 36.

Yes, while I stood and gazed, my temples bare,

And shot my being through earth, sea, and air,

Possessing all things with intensest love,

O Liberty! my spirit felt thee there.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834): France. An Ode. v.

  Liberty . . . is one of the most valuable blessings that Heaven has bestowed upon mankind.

Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616): Don Quixote. Part ii. Chap. lviii.

  Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

Patrick Henry (1736-1799): Speech in the Virginia Convention. March, 1775.

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

  Knowledge is the only fountain both of the love and the principles of human liberty.

Daniel Webster (1782-1852): Completion of Bunker Hill Monument, June 17, 1843. P. 93.

  My vigour relents,—I pardon something to the spirit of liberty.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797): Speech on the Conciliation of America. Vol. ii. p. 118.

My country, 't is of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing:

Land where my fathers died,

Land of the pilgrims' pride,

From every mountain-side

Let freedom ring.

Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895): National Hymn.

A liberty to that only which is good, just, and honest.

John Winthrop (1588-1649): Life and Letters. Vol. ii. p. 341.

  The tree of liberty only grows when watered by the blood of tyrants.

Bertrand BarèRe (1755-1841): Speech in the Convention Nationale, 1792.

License they mean when they cry, Liberty!

For who loves that must first be wise and good.

John Milton (1608-1674): On the Detraction which followed upon my writing certain Treatises.