Frasi di Algernon Sydney

Algernon Sydney foto
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Algernon Sydney

Data di nascita: 15. Gennaio 1623
Data di morte: 7. Dicembre 1683

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Algernon Sidney è stato un politico e nobile inglese.

Teorico repubblicano, si oppose a Carlo II d'Inghilterra e rimase coinvolto in un complotto contro il re finendo giustiziato per tradimento.

Frasi Algernon Sydney

„Let the danger be never so great, there is a possibility of safety, whilst men have life, hands, arms, and courage to use them; but that people must certainly perish, who tamely suffer themselves to be oppressed, either by the injustice, cruelty, and malice of an ill magistrate, or by those who prevail upon the vices and infirmities of weak princes.“

— Algernon Sidney
Context: If these rules have not been well observed in the first constitution, or from the changes of times, corruption of manners, insensible encroachments, or violent usurpations of princes, have been rendered ineffectual, and the people exposed to all the calamities that may be brought upon them by the weakness, vices, and malice of the prince, or those who govern him, I confess the remedies are more difficult and dangerous; but even in those cases they must be tried. Nothing can be feared that is worse than what is suffered, or must in a short time fall upon those who are in this condition. They who are already fallen into all that is odious, shameful, and miserable, cannot justly fear. When things are brought to such a pass, the boldest counsels are the most safe; and if they must perish who lie still, and they can but perish who are most active, the choice is easily made. Let the danger be never so great, there is a possibility of safety, whilst men have life, hands, arms, and courage to use them; but that people must certainly perish, who tamely suffer themselves to be oppressed, either by the injustice, cruelty, and malice of an ill magistrate, or by those who prevail upon the vices and infirmities of weak princes. It is in vain to say, that this may give occasion to men of raising tumults, or civil war; for tho' these are evils, yet they are not the greatest of evils. Civil war, in Macchiavel's account, is a disease; but tyranny is the death of a state. Gentle ways are first to be used, and it is best if the work can be done by them; but it must not be left undone, if they fail. It is good to use supplications, advices, and remonstrances; but those who have no regard to justice, and will not hearken to counsel, must be constrained. It is folly to deal otherwise with a man who will not be guided by reason, and a magistrate who despises the law; or rather, to think him a man, who rejects the essential principle of a man; or to account him a magistrate, who overthrows the law by which he is a magistrate. This is the last result; but those nations must come to it, which cannot otherwise be preserved. Ch. 3, Sect. 3.

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„I doe now willingly lay down my life for the same; and having a sure witness within me, that God doth absolve me, and uphold me, in the utmost extremityes, am very littell sollicitous, though man doth condemne me.“

— Algernon Sidney
Context: I thought fit to leave this testimony to the world, that, as I had from my youth endeavored to uphold the Common rights of mankind, the lawes of this land, and the true Protestant religion, against corrupt principles, arbitrary power and Popery, I doe now willingly lay down my life for the same; and having a sure witness within me, that God doth absolve me, and uphold me, in the utmost extremityes, am very littell sollicitous, though man doth condemne me. The Apology of Algernon Sydney, in the Day of his Death (1683), as quoted in Algernon Sidney and the Restoration Crisis, 1677-1683 (2002) by Jonathan Scott, p. 337.

„Civil war, in Macchiavel's account, is a disease; but tyranny is the death of a state. Gentle ways are first to be used, and it is best if the work can be done by them; but it must not be left undone, if they fail.“

— Algernon Sidney
Context: If these rules have not been well observed in the first constitution, or from the changes of times, corruption of manners, insensible encroachments, or violent usurpations of princes, have been rendered ineffectual, and the people exposed to all the calamities that may be brought upon them by the weakness, vices, and malice of the prince, or those who govern him, I confess the remedies are more difficult and dangerous; but even in those cases they must be tried. Nothing can be feared that is worse than what is suffered, or must in a short time fall upon those who are in this condition. They who are already fallen into all that is odious, shameful, and miserable, cannot justly fear. When things are brought to such a pass, the boldest counsels are the most safe; and if they must perish who lie still, and they can but perish who are most active, the choice is easily made. Let the danger be never so great, there is a possibility of safety, whilst men have life, hands, arms, and courage to use them; but that people must certainly perish, who tamely suffer themselves to be oppressed, either by the injustice, cruelty, and malice of an ill magistrate, or by those who prevail upon the vices and infirmities of weak princes. It is in vain to say, that this may give occasion to men of raising tumults, or civil war; for tho' these are evils, yet they are not the greatest of evils. Civil war, in Macchiavel's account, is a disease; but tyranny is the death of a state. Gentle ways are first to be used, and it is best if the work can be done by them; but it must not be left undone, if they fail. It is good to use supplications, advices, and remonstrances; but those who have no regard to justice, and will not hearken to counsel, must be constrained. It is folly to deal otherwise with a man who will not be guided by reason, and a magistrate who despises the law; or rather, to think him a man, who rejects the essential principle of a man; or to account him a magistrate, who overthrows the law by which he is a magistrate. This is the last result; but those nations must come to it, which cannot otherwise be preserved. Ch. 3, Sect. 3.

„The Lord sanctify these my sufferings unto me, and though I fall as a sacrifice unto the — Idols, suffer not idolatry to be established in this land. Bless thy people and save them. Defend thy own cause and those that defend it. Stir up such as are faint. Direct those that are willing. Confirm those that waver. Give wisdom and integrity unto all. Order all things so as they may most redound unto thine own glory.“

— Algernon Sidney
Context: The Lord sanctify these my sufferings unto me, and though I fall as a sacrifice unto the — Idols, suffer not idolatry to be established in this land. Bless thy people and save them. Defend thy own cause and those that defend it. Stir up such as are faint. Direct those that are willing. Confirm those that waver. Give wisdom and integrity unto all. Order all things so as they may most redound unto thine own glory. Grant that I may die glorifying thee for all thy mercies and that (as the last) thou hast permitted me to be singled out as witness of thy truth, and even by the confession of my oppressors, for that Old Cause in which I was from my youth engaged and for which thou hast often and wonderfully declared thyself.

„They who are already fallen into all that is odious, shameful, and miserable, cannot justly fear. When things are brought to such a pass, the boldest counsels are the most safe“

— Algernon Sidney
Context: If these rules have not been well observed in the first constitution, or from the changes of times, corruption of manners, insensible encroachments, or violent usurpations of princes, have been rendered ineffectual, and the people exposed to all the calamities that may be brought upon them by the weakness, vices, and malice of the prince, or those who govern him, I confess the remedies are more difficult and dangerous; but even in those cases they must be tried. Nothing can be feared that is worse than what is suffered, or must in a short time fall upon those who are in this condition. They who are already fallen into all that is odious, shameful, and miserable, cannot justly fear. When things are brought to such a pass, the boldest counsels are the most safe; and if they must perish who lie still, and they can but perish who are most active, the choice is easily made. Let the danger be never so great, there is a possibility of safety, whilst men have life, hands, arms, and courage to use them; but that people must certainly perish, who tamely suffer themselves to be oppressed, either by the injustice, cruelty, and malice of an ill magistrate, or by those who prevail upon the vices and infirmities of weak princes. It is in vain to say, that this may give occasion to men of raising tumults, or civil war; for tho' these are evils, yet they are not the greatest of evils. Civil war, in Macchiavel's account, is a disease; but tyranny is the death of a state. Gentle ways are first to be used, and it is best if the work can be done by them; but it must not be left undone, if they fail. It is good to use supplications, advices, and remonstrances; but those who have no regard to justice, and will not hearken to counsel, must be constrained. It is folly to deal otherwise with a man who will not be guided by reason, and a magistrate who despises the law; or rather, to think him a man, who rejects the essential principle of a man; or to account him a magistrate, who overthrows the law by which he is a magistrate. This is the last result; but those nations must come to it, which cannot otherwise be preserved. Ch. 3, Sect. 3.

„I am persuaded to believe that God had left nations to the liberty of setting up such governments as best pleased themselves, and that magistrates were set up for the good of nations, not nations for the honor and glory of magistrates.“

— Algernon Sidney
Context: I am persuaded to believe that God had left nations to the liberty of setting up such governments as best pleased themselves, and that magistrates were set up for the good of nations, not nations for the honor and glory of magistrates. That the right and power of magistrates in every country was that which the laws of that country made it to be. That these laws are to be observed and the oaths taken by rulers to be kept. And that having the force of contracts between magistrates and people, they cannot be violated without danger of dissolving the whole fabric.

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„If his Majesty is resolved to have my head, he may make a whistle of my arse if he pleases.“

— Algernon Sidney
On being told that part of his sentence had been remitted — that he would merely be executed, but his estate would remain intact, quoted in [http://books.google.com/books?id=_CbolkOxjEEC&pg=PA6&vq=algernoon+sidney Joe Miller's Jests (1739)], p. 6.

„Liars ought to have good memories.“

— Algernon Sidney
Ch. 2, Sect. 15; comparable to: "He who has not a good memory should never take upon him the trade of lying", Michel de Montaigne, Book i. chap. ix. "Of Liars".

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„It is not necessary to light a candle to the sun.“

— Algernon Sidney
Ch. 2, Sect. 18; comparable to: "Like his that lights a candle to the sun", John Fletcher, Letter to Sir Walter Aston; "And hold their farthing candle to the sun", Edward Young, Satire vii. line 56.

„God helps those who help themselves.“

— Algernon Sidney
Ch. 2, Sect. 23; comparable to: "Help thyself, and God will help thee", George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum; "Heaven ne’er helps the men who will not act", Sophocles, Fragment 288 (Plumptre’s Translation); "Help thyself, Heaven will help thee", Jean de La Fontaine, Book vi. fable 18.

„This hand, the rule of tyrants to oppose
Seeks with the sword fair freedom's soft repose.“

— Algernon Sidney
As quoted in Life and Memoirs of Algernon Sidney; his father (Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester) wrote to him (30 August 1660) [https://books.google.com/books?id=zUENAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA94&dq=]: "It is said that the University of Copenhagen brought their album unto you, desiring you to write something; and that you did scribere in albo these words".

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