Though the name of liberty delights the ear

“Though the name of liberty delights the ear, and tickles the fond pride of man, it is a jewel much oftener the play-thing of his imagination than a possession of real stability; it may be acquired to-day in all the triumph of independent feelings, but perhaps to-morrow the world may be convinced, that mankind knows not how to make a proper use of this prize, generally bartered away in a short time as nothing but a useless bauble [trinket] to the first officious master who will take the burden from the mind, by laying another on the shoulders of ten-fold weight.”
β€” Mercy Otis Warren, 1805; from “History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution”

I first came across this quote in a lecture called The Meaning of Liberty During the American Founding given by Brad Birzer in 2011. I have provided an audio copy of that lecture here on the site, along with some accompanying notes.

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