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A collection of notable quotations from a variety of Early Modern Era individuals. See the Guide for more details.
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Gain may be temporary and uncertain; but ever while you live, expense is constant and certain: and it is easier to build two chimneys than to keep one in fuel.— Benjamin Franklin
Games lubricate the body and the mind.— Benjamin Franklin
Generally speaking, a howling wilderness does not howl: it is the imagination of the traveler that does the howling.— Henry David Thoreau
Genius is sorrow's child.— John Adams
Genius without education is like silver in the mine.— Benjamin Franklin
Gentlemen have talked a great deal of patriotism. A venerable word, when duly practiced. — Robert Walpole
Gentlemen, you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for, I have grown not only gray, but almost blind in the service of my country.
— Upon fumbling for his glasses before delivering the Newburgh Address, March 15, 1783
— George Washington
Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights.— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Give fools their gold, and knaves their power; let fortune's bubbles rise and fall; who sows a field, or trains a flower, or plants a tree, is more than all. — John Greenleaf Whittier
Give immediate instruction to all your posts in said territory, under your direction, at no time and on no pretence to hoist, or suffer be hoisted, the English flag.— Zebulon Pike
Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth itself and all it contains rather than do an immoral act. And never suppose that in any possible situation, or under any circumstances, it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly so it may appear to you... From the practice of the purest virtue, you may be assured you will derive the most sublime comforts in every moment of life, and in the moment of death.
— Letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785
— Thomas Jefferson
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.— Henry David Thoreau
Go where you will, if a shilling can there be procured, you may expect to meet with individuals in search of it. — John James Audubon
God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed, it is the purest of human pleasures. — Francis Bacon
God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it.— Daniel Webster
God hangs the greatest weights upon the smallest wires. — Francis Bacon
God has placed no limits to the exercise of the intellect he has given us, on this side of the grave. — Francis Bacon
God helps them that help themselves
— Poor Richard's Almanack
— Benjamin Franklin
God knows I detest slavery but it is an existing evil, and we must endure it and give it such protection as is guaranteed by the Constitution. — Millard Fillmore
God made me and broke the mold. — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
God reigns when we take a liberal view, when a liberal view is presented to us.— Henry David Thoreau
God works wonders now and then; Behold a lawyer, an honest man.— Benjamin Franklin
God's finger touched him, and he slept. — Alfred, Lord Tennyson
God's first creature, which was light. — Francis Bacon
Good constitutions are formed upon a comparison of the liberty of the individual with the strength of government: If the tone of either be too high, the other will be weakened too much. It is the happiest possible mode of conciliating these objects, to institute one branch peculiarly endowed with sensibility, another with knowledge and firmness. Through the opposition and mutual control of these bodies, the government will reach, in its regular operations, the perfect balance between liberty and power.
— Speech to the New York Ratifying Convention, June 25, 1788
— Alexander Hamilton
Good fame is like fire; when you have kindled you may easily preserve it; but if you extinguish it, you will not easily kindle it again. — Francis Bacon
Good servants frequently make good masters. — Jupiter Hammon
Goodness is the only investment that never fails.— Henry David Thoreau
Government implies the power of making laws. It is essential to the idea of a law, that it be attended with a sanction; or, in other words, a penalty or punishment for disobedience.
— Federalist No. 15, 1787
— Alexander Hamilton
Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees. And both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.— Henry Clay
Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.
— Thoughts on Government, 1776
— John Adams
Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own.
— Essay on Property, March 29, 1792
— James Madison
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.— George Washington
Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.— Thomas Paine
Government, in my humble opinion, should be formed to secure and to enlarge the exercise of the natural rights of its members; and every government, which has not this in view, as its principal object, is not a government of the legitimate kind.
— Lectures on Law, 1791
— James Wilson
Governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deducted from it.— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them, and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. — William Penn
Gratitude is a duty which ought to be paid, but which none have a right to expect. — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Great books, like large skulls, have often the least brains.— William Benton Clulow
Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.— John Adams
Great men show politeness in a particular way; a smile suffices to assure you that you are welcome, and keep about their avocations as if you were a member of the family. — John James Audubon
Great men, unknown to their generation, have their fame among the great who have preceded them, and all true worldly fame subsides from their high estimate beyond the stars.— Henry David Thoreau
Great minds are to make others great. Their superiority is to be used, not to break the multitude to intellectual vassalage, not to establish over them a spiritual tyranny, but to rouse them from lethargy, and to aidthem to judge for themselves.— William Ellery
Grievances cannot be redressed unless they are known; and they cannot be known but through complaints and petitions. if these are deemed affronts, and the messengers punished as offenders, who will henceforth send petitions? And who will deliver them?
— Letter to Thomas Cushing (15 Feb. 1774)
— Benjamin Franklin
Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.
— Farewell Address, September 19, 1796
— George Washington
Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel.Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.
— speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778
— Patrick Henry
Guard your roving thoughts with a jealous care, for speech is but the dealer of thoughts, and every fool can plainly read in your words what is the hour of your thoughts. — Alfred, Lord Tennyson

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