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- Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom.
- Edmund Burke, "Reflections on the Revolution in France," 1790, The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1899), vol. 3, p. 310.
- If any ask me what a free government is, I answer, that, for any practical purpose, it is what the people think so,—and that they, and not I, are the natural, lawful, and competent judges of this matter.
- Edmund Burke, letter to the sheriffs of Bristol, April 3, 1777. The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1899), vol. 2, p. 227.