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


Laws are the sovereigns of sovereigns.

Louis the Fourteenth.

Laws are the silent assessors of God.

W. R. Alger.

All things obey fixed laws.


The people’s safety is the law of God.

James Otis.

Laws can discover sin, but not remove.


Who loves law, dies either mad or poor.


Petty laws breed great crimes.


Old father antic the law.


The law, it has honored us, may we honor it.

Daniel Webster.

The laws sometimes sleep, but never die.

Law Maxim.

Alas, the incertitude of the law!


Laws are silent in the midst of arms.

John Bate.

There is a higher law than the constitution.

W. H. Seward.

It is only rogues who feel the restraints of law.

J. G. Holland.

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the law.


Christianity is part of the law of England.

Lord Eldon.

The law discovers the disease. The gospel gives the remedy.

Martin Luther.

Possession is eleven points in the law.

Colley Cibber.

Where law ends, there tyranny begins.

Earl of Chatham.

The law often allows what honor forbids.


The strictest laws sometimes become the severest injustice.


Law is a bottomless pit; it is a cormorant,—a harpy that devours everything.


When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.


The good need fear no law; it is his safety, and the bad man’s awe.

Ben Jonson.

When the state is most corrupt, then the laws are most multiplied.


Reason is the life of the law; nay, the common law itself is nothing else but reason.


Of what use are laws inoperative through public immorality?


Law should be like death, which spares no one.


The English laws punish vice; the Chinese laws do more, they reward virtue.


The law sends us to Christ to be justified, and Christ sends us to the law to be regulated.

John Flavel.

Law that shocks equity is reason’s murderer.

Aaron Hill.

A mouse-trap; easy to enter, but not easy to get out of.

Mrs. Balfour.

Law is not law, if it violates the principles of eternal justice.

Lydia Maria Child.

Let us consider the reason of the case. For nothing is law that is not reason.

Sir John Powell.

Laws are not masters but servants, and he rules them who obeys them.

Henry Ward Beecher.

Law and equity are two things which God hath joined, but which man hath put asunder.


The law is a pretty bird, and has charming wings. It would be quite a bird of paradise if it did not carry such a terrible bill.

Douglas Jerrold.

To make an empire durable, the magistrates must obey the laws, and the people the magistrates.


Equity judgeth with lenity, laws with extremity. In all moral cases, the reason of the law is the law.

Walter Scott.

To seek the redress of grievances by going to law, is like sheep running for shelter to a bramble bush.


Avoid law suits beyond all things; they influence your conscience, impair your health, and dissipate your property.

La Bruyère.

Laws are the very bulwarks of liberty. They define every man’s rights, and stand between and defend the individual liberties of all men.

J. G. Holland.

Coercion is the basis of every law in the universe,—human or divine. A law is not law without coercion behind it.

James A. Garfield.

Our human laws are but the copies, more or less imperfect, of the eternal laws so far as we can read them.


There is but one law for all; namely, that law which governs all law,—the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity; the law of nature and of nations.


Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because it is an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.


The greatest of all injustice is that which goes under the name of law; and of all sorts of tyranny, the forcing the letter of the law against the equity is the most insupportable.


The moment that law is destroyed, liberty is lost, and men, left free to enter upon the domains of each other, destroy each other’s rights, and invade the field of each other’s liberty.

J. G. Holland.

All beings have their laws; the Deity has His laws, the material world has its laws, superior intelligences have their laws, the beasts have their laws, and man his laws.


Use law and physic only for necessity; they that use them otherwise abuse themselves into weak bodies, and light purses; they are good remedies, bad businesses, and worse recreations.


Laws are not made like lime-twigs or nets, to catch everything that toucheth them; but rather like sea-marks, to guide from shipwreck the ignorant passenger.

Sir P. Sidney.

Laws are generally found to be nets of such a texture, as the little creep through, the great break through, and the middle size are alone entangled in.


The law is a gun, which if it misses a pigeon always kills a crow; if it does not strike the guilty, it hits some one else. As every crime creates a law, so in turn every law creates a crime.


If there be any one principle more widely than another confessed by every utterance, or more sternly than another imprinted on every atom of the visible creation, that principle is not liberty, but law.


The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail,—its roof may shake, the winds may blow through it, the storm may enter, the rain may enter; but the king of England cannot enter.


It is a very easy thing to devise good laws; the difficulty is to make them effective. The great mistake is that of looking upon men as virtuous, or thinking that they can be made so by laws; and consequently the greatest art of a politician is to render vices serviceable to the cause of virtue.

Lord Bolingbroke.

  • Laws do not put the least restraint
  • Upon our freedom, but maintain ’t;
  • Or, if it does, ’tis for our good,
  • To give us freer latitude;
  • For wholesome laws preserve us free,
  • By stinting of our liberty.
  • Butler.

    To go to law, is for two persons to kindle a fire at their own cost, to warm others, and singe themselves to cinders; and because they cannot agree, to what is truth and equity, they will both agree to unplume themselves, that others may be decorated with their feathers.


    What a cage is to the wild beast, law is to the selfish man. Restraint is for the savage, the rapacious, the violent; not for the just, the gentle, the benevolent. All necessity for external force implies a morbid state. Dungeons for the felon, a straightjacket for the maniac, crutches for the lame, stays for the weak-backed; for the infirm of purpose, a master; for the foolish, a guide; but for the sound mind in a sound body, none of these.

    Herbert Spencer.

    Of law there can be no less acknowledged than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world; all things do her homage, the very least as feeling her care; and the greatest as not exempted from her power; both angels and men, and creatures of what condition soever, though each in different sort and manner, yet all with uniform consent admiring her as the mother of their peace and joy.