C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Honor is unknown in despotic states.


A despot has always some good moments.


Fear must rule in a despotism.


Despotism and freedom of the press cannot exist together.


Arbitrary power is but the first natural step from anarchy, or the savage life.


Despotism is often the effort of nature to cure herself from a worse disease.

Robert Lord Lytton.

Despotism can no more exist in a nation until the liberty of the press be destroyed than the night can happen before the sun is set.


Despotism sits nowhere so secure as under the effigy and ensigns of freedom.


Despotism is the only form of government which may, with safety to itself, neglect the education of its infant poor.

Bishop Horsley.

In times of anarchy one may seem a despot in order to be a saviour.


It is odd to consider the connection between despotism and barbarity, and how the making one person more than man makes the rest less.


When men have become heartily wearied of licentious anarchy, their eagerness has been proportionately great to embrace the opposite extreme of rigorous despotism.


When the savages of Louisiana wish to have fruit, they cut the tree at the bottom and gather the fruit. That is exactly a despotic government.


As virtue is necessary in a republic, and honor in a monarchy, fear is what is required in a despotism. As for virtue, it is not at all necessary, and honor would be dangerous there.


Travelers describe a tree in the island of Java whose pestiferous exhalations blight every tiny blade of grass within the compass of its shade. So it is with despotism.


Many of the greatest tyrants on the records of history have begun their reigns in the fairest manner. But the truth is, this unnatural power corrupts both the heart and the understanding.


I will believe in the right of one man to govern a nation despotically when I find a man born into the world with boots and spurs, and a nation born with saddles on their backs.

Algernon Sidney.

There is something among men more capable of shaking despotic power than lightning, whirlwind, or earthquake; that is, the threatened indignation of the whole civilized world.

Daniel Webster.

Despots govern by terror. They know that he who fears God fears nothing else; and therefore they eradicate from the mind, through their Voltaire, their Helvetius, and the rest of that infamous gang, that only sort of fear which generates true courage.


  • Then shall they seek to avail themselves of names,
  • Places and titles, and with these to join
  • Secular pow’r though feigning still to act
  • By spiritual, to themselves appropriating
  • The spirit of God, promis’d alike and given
  • To all believers; and from that pretence,
  • Spiritual laws by carnal pow’r shall force
  • On every conscience; laws which none shall find
  • Left them enroll’d, or what the spirit within
  • Shall on the heart engrave.
  • Milton.

    It is difficult for power to avoid despotism. The possessors of rude health; the individualities cut out by a few strokes, solid for the very reason that they are all of a piece; the complete characters whose fibers have never been strained by a doubt; the minds that no questions disturb and no aspirations put out of breath—these, the strong, are also the tyrants.

    Mme. de Gasparin.