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Page 9 - Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the ages and generations which preceded it. The vanity and presumption of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies. Man has no property in man; neither has any generation a property in the generations which are to follow.
Page 157 - ... contrivance it has been usurped into an inheritance, the usurpation cannot alter the right of things. Sovereignty as a matter of right appertains to the nation only, and not to any individual; and a nation has at all times...
Page 45 - The fact is, that portions of antiquity, by proving everything, establish nothing. It is authority against authority all the way, till we come to the divine origin of the rights of man, at the creation.
Page 44 - The error of those who reason by precedents drawn from antiquity, respecting the rights of man, is that they do not go far enough into antiquity. They do not go the whole way.
Page 53 - The constitution of a country is not the act of its government, but of the people constituting a government. It is the body of elements to which you can refer and quote article by article...
Page 112 - VIII. The law ought to impose no other penalties but such as are absolutely and evidently necessary ; and no one ought to be punished, but in virtue of a law promulgated before the offence, and legally applied.
Page 85 - It looks to me as if I were in a great crisis, not of the affairs of France alone, but of all Europe, perhaps of more than Europe. All circumstances taken together, the French revolution is the most astonishing that has hitherto happened in the world.
Page 10 - I am contending for the rights of the living, and against their being willed away and controlled and contracted for by the manuscript assumed authority of the dead, and Mr. Burke is contending for the authority of the dead over the rights and freedom of the living.
Page 48 - Man did not enter into society to become worse than he was before, nor to have fewer rights than he had before, but to have those rights better secured. His natural rights are the foundation of all his civil rights. But in order to pursue this distinction with more precision, it will be necessary to mark the different qualities of natural and civil rights.