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


Revolution is the larva of civilization.

Victor Hugo.

The worst of revolutions is a restoration.

C. J. Fox.

At last I perceive that in revolutions the supreme power finally rests with the most abandoned.


General rebellions and revolts of a whole people never were encouraged, now or at any time. They are always provoked.


In seasons of tumult and discord bad men have most power; mental and moral excellence require peace and quietness.


Nothing has ever remained of any revolution but what was ripe in the conscience of the masses.

Ledru Rollin.

When Marmontel was regretting the excesses of the period, Chamfort asked: “Do you think that revolutions are made with rose-water?”

Wendell Phillips.

It is only by instigation of the wrongs of men that what we call the rights of men become turbulent and dangerous.


It is a rule in games of chance that “the cards beat all the players;” and revolutions disconcert and outwit all the insurgents.


Revolutions are like the most noxious dungheaps, which bring into life the noblest vegetables.


Stimulants do not give strength, comets do not give heat, and revolutions do not give liberty.

Philarete Chasles.

Great revolutions are the work rather of principles than of bayonets, and are achieved first in the moral, and afterwards in the material sphere.


All experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.


The iron harrow of revolution crushes men like the clods of the field, but in the blood-stained furrows germinates a new generation, and the soul aggrieved believes again.


As men are affected in all ages by the same passions, the occasions which bring about great changes are different, but the causes are always the same.


The best security against revolution is in constant correction of abuses and introduction of needed improvements. It is the neglect of timely repair that makes rebuilding necessary.


Insurrection, never so necessary, is a most sad necessity; and governors who wait for that to instruct them are surely getting into the fatalest course.


Revolutions are not made, they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.

Wendell Phillips.

We deplore the outrages which accompany revolutions. But the more violent the outrages, the more assured we feel that a revolution was necessary.


The working of revolutions misleads me no more; it is as necessary to our race as its waves to the stream, that it may not be a stagnant marsh. Ever renewed in its forms, the genius of humanity blossoms.


It is far more easy to pull down than to build up, and to destroy than to preserve. Revolutions have on this account been falsely supposed to be fertile of great talent; as the dregs rise to the top during a fermentation, and the lightest things are carried highest by the whirlwind.


Those who give the first shock to a state are naturally the first to be overwhelmed in its ruin. The fruits of public commotion are seldom enjoyed by the man who was the first to set it a going; he only troubles the water for another’s net.