When You Give Power, You Know Not What You Give

The wicked will be continually watching: consequently you will be undone. Where are your checks? You have no hereditary nobility — an order of men to whom human eyes can be cast up for relief; for, says the Constitution, there is no title of nobility to be granted — which, by the by, would not have been so dangerous as the perilous cession of powers contained in this paper; because, as Montesquieu says, when you give titles of nobility, you know what you give; but when you give power, you know not what you give. If you say that, out of this depraved mass, you can collect luminous characters, it will not avail, unless this luminous breed will be propagated from generation to generation; and even then, if the number of vicious characters will preponderate, you are undone.

— Patrick Henry, Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 9, 1778.

As Long as Lead and Powder Last, What Could Worry Us?

Sèist (Chorus)

Illean chridheil, bitheamaid sunndach
Seasaibh onoir ur duthcha
Fhad’ s a mhaireas luaidh is fudar
De rud chuireadh curam oirnn?

— Capercaillie, Bonaparte.

Knavery Seems to Be So Much the Striking Feature of Its Inhabitants

I cannot conclude without mentioning how sensibly I feel the dismemberment of America from this empire, and that I should be miserable indeed if I did not feel that no blame on that account can be laid at my door, and I did not also know that knavery seems to be so much the striking feature of its inhabitants that it may not in the end be an evil that they will become aliens to this kingdom.

— King George III, Letter to Shelburne, 1782.

May 10, 1863

Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees.

— The Final Words of General Thomas Jonathan Jackson.

Quia Non Erit Inpossibile apud Deum Omne Verbum

A l’impossible nul n’est tenu.  (No one is bound to do what is impossible.)

— 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 601.

A Kenotic, Self-Emptying Way

“We are Western Christians, Catholics of the Latin Rite separated from the Holy See. We are invited together in a kenotic, self-emptying way, without denying who we are, and what we have been, to re-enter the fullness of unity severed by act of state five hundred years ago.”

— The Erstwhile Bishop of Ebbsfleet, Msgr. Andrew Burnham.

Jeremiah 50:6

My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

Oh how does this well encapsulate the state of Holy Church since the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council!

You Have Chosen to Inaugurate Civil War

Executive Department, Richmond, Va., April 15, 1861. Hon. Simon Cameron, Secretary of War: Sir: I have received your telegram of the 15th, the genuineness of which I doubted. Since that time I have received your communications mailed the same day, in which I am requested to detach from the militia of the State of Virginia “the quota assigned in a table,” which you append, “to serve as infantry or rifleman for the period of three months, unless sooner discharged.” In reply to this communication, I have only to say that the militia of Virginia will not be furnished to the powers at Washington for any such use or purpose as they have in view. Your object is to subjugate the Southern States, and a requisition made upon me for such an object – an object, in my judgment, not within the purview of the Constitution or the act of 1795 – will not be complied with. You have chosen to inaugurate civil war, and, having done so, we will meet it in a spirit as determined as the administration has exhibited toward the South.

— Respectfully, John Letcher

As Safe in Battle As in Bed

Captain, my religious belief teaches me to feel as safe in battle as in bed. God has fixed the time for my death. I do not concern myself about that, but to be always ready, no matter when it may overtake me. Captain, that is the way all men should live, and then all would be equally brave. General Thomas Jonathan Jackson.

Unto the Consummation of the World

Dixit Jesus discipulis suis: Data est mihi omnis potestas in cælo, et in terra: Euntes ergo docete omnes gentes, baptizantes eos in nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti: docentes eos servare omnia quæcumque mandavi vobis. Et ecce ego vobiscum sum omnibus diebus, usque ad consummationem sæculi.

What Men Create Schisms and Heresies?

What men create schisms and heresies? They are the intelligent men who are curious, critical, full of their own talents, motivated by a fierce and pharisaic zeal for reform, disdainful, unruly, and overbearing: they may possess right habits, a stern and haughty courage, a bitter zeal against abuses, a relentless dedication to study and discipline; but you will not find in them neither gentleness, nor understanding for neighbor, nor patience, nor humility, nor true prayer.

— Archbishop François Fénelon, 1708

Definition of a Gentleman

Robert E. Lee

The forbearing use of power does not only form a touchstone, but the manner in which an individual enjoys certain advantages over others is a test of a true gentleman.

The power which the strong have over the weak, the employer over the employed, the educated over the unlettered, the experienced over the confiding, even the clever over the silly — the forbearing or inoffensive use of all this power or authority, or a total abstinence from it when the case admits it, will show the gentleman in a plain light.

The gentleman does not needlessly and unnecessarily remind an offender of a wrong he may have committed against him. He cannot only forgive, he can forget; and he strives for that nobleness of self and mildness of character which impart sufficient strength to let the past be but the past. A true man of honor feels humbled himself when he cannot help humbling others.

— Definition of a Gentleman, Robert Edward Lee.