Universal empire is the prerogative of a writer. His concerns are with all mankind, and though he cannot command their obedience,he can assign them their duty. The Republic of Letters is more ancient than monarchy, and of far higher character in the world than the vassal court of Britain.
Here's a toast to the roast that good fellowship lends, with the sparkle of beer and wine; May its sentiment always be deeper, my friends, than the foam at the top of the stein. Then here's to the heartening wassail, wherever good fellows are found; Be its master instead of its vassal, and order the glasses around.
Greece is a sort of American vassal; the Netherlands is the country of American bases that grow like tulip bulbs; Cuba is the main sugar plantation of the American monopolies; Turkey is prepared to kowtow before any United States proconsul and Canada is the boring second fiddle in the American symphony.
You, methinks you think you love me well; For me, I love you somewhat; rest: and Love Should have some rest and pleasure in himself, Not ever be too curious for a boon, Too prurient for a proof against the grain Of him ye say ye love: but Fame with men, Being but ampler means to serve mankind, Should have small rest or pleasure in herself, But work as vassal to the larger love, That dwarfs the petty love of one to one.
Alfred Lord Tennyson
What kind of expression is this - "punishing Israel"? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic? Are we youths of fourteen who, if they don't behave properly, are slapped across the fingers? Let me tell you who this government is composed of. It is composed of people whose lives were spent in resistance, in fighting and in suffering. You will not frighten us with "punishments." He who threatens us will find us deaf to his threats. We are only prepared to listen to rational arguments. You have no right to "punish" Israel - and I protest at the very use of this term.
A man who has cured himself of all ridiculous prepossessions, and is fully, sincerely, and steadily convinced, from experience as well as philosophy, that the difference of fortune makes less difference in happiness than is vulgarly imagined; such a one does not measure out degrees of esteem according to the rent-rolls of his acquaintance. He may, indeed, externally pay a superior deference to the great lord above the vassal; because riches are the most convenient, being the most fixed and determinate, source of distinction. But his internal sentiments are more regulated by the personal characters of men, than by the accidental and capricious favours of fortune.
In running over the pages of our history for seven hundred years, we shall scarcely find a single great event which has not promoted equality of condition. The Crusades and the English wars decimated the nobles and divided their possessions: the municipal corporations introduced democratic liberty into the bosom of feudal monarchy; the invention of fire-arms equalized the vassal and the noble on the field of battle; the art of printing opened the same resources to the minds of all classes; the post-office brought knowledge alike to the door of the cottage and to the gate of the palace; and Protestantism proclaimed that all men are alike able to find the road to heaven. The discovery of America opened a thousand new paths to fortune, and led obscure adventurers to wealth and power.
Alexis de Tocqueville