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Contents > Author > Ralph Waldo Emerson > Laws and Citizens 1803- 1882
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Ralph Waldo Emerson
Laws and Citizens
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Republics abound in young civilians who believe that the laws
make the city, that grave modifications of the policy and modes
of living and employments of the population, that commerce,
education and religion may be voted in or out; and that any
measure, though it were absurd, may be imposed on a people
if only you can get sufficient voices to make it a law. But the wise
know that foolish legislation is a rope of sand which perishes in
the twisting; that the State must follow and not lead the character
and progress of the citizen; that the form of government which
prevails is the expression of what cultivation exists in the
population which permits it. The law is only a memorandum.

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Read by: Clara Villanueva

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