You who are so wise must know that different nations have different conceptions of things. You will not therefore take it amiss if our ideas of the white man’s kind of education happens not to be the same as yours. We have had some experience with it. Several of our young people were brought up in your colleges. They were instructed in all your sciences; but, when they came back to us, they were bad runners, ignorant of every means of living in the woods, unable to bear either cold or hunger. They didn’t know how to build a cabin, take a deer, or kill an enemy. They spoke our language imperfectly. They were therefore unfit to be hunters, warriors, or counselors; they were good for nothing. We are, however, not less obliged for your kind offer, though we decline accepting it. To show our gratefulness, if the gentlemen of Virginia shall send us a dozen of their sons, we will take great care with their education, instruct them in all we know, and make men of them.

Nirvana is interpreted by Western nations as the actual annihilation of human desire or passion; but this is a mistake. Nirvana is nothing else than universal reason.

It is universally acknowledged that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same, in its principles and operations. The same motives always produce the same actions: the same events follow the same causes. Ambition, avarice, self-love, vanity, friendship, generosity, public spirit: these passions, mixed in various degrees, and distributed through society, have been from the beginning of the world, and still are, the source of all the actions and enterprises, which have ever been observed among mankind.

They shall beat their swords into plough shares and their spears into pruning hooks; nations shall not lift up a sword against nations, neither shall they learn war any more.

Do not grieve. Misfortunes will happen to the wisest and best of men. Death will come, always out of season. It is the command of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey. What is past and what cannot be prevented should not be grieved for... Misfortunes do not flourish particularly in our lives - they grow everywhere.

History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.

As long as there are sovereign nations possessing great power, war is inevitable.

Wars can never cease so long as nations live under such widely differing conditions, so long as the value of individual life is in each nation so variously computed, and so long as the animosities which divide them represent such powerful instinctual forces in the mind.

History is constantly repeating itself, making only such changes of programme as the growth of nations and centuries requires.

Nothing can stand against success and yet keep fresh. Nations as well as individuals feel its vulgarizing power.

Men may be linked by friendship. Nations are linked only by interests.

The nations which have put mankind most in their debt have been small states - Israel, Athens, Florence, Elizabethan England.

Based on some estimates, guns are statistically like rats. They outnumber our population. Not surprisingly, our output of ammunition for civilian firearms almost staggers the imagination. American industry outdoes all other nations in the production of bullets. Nearly 5 billion rounds of ammunition flow through the marketplace each year. that is enough, laid end to end, to stretch a bandoleer of ammunition three times around the equator. All of those bullets could not only wipe out the world’s entire human population, but they could decimate practically most of the world’s species of wildlife.

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death.

The nation was founded by men of many nations and backgrounds. It was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and that the rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man are threatened.

The great nations have always acted like gangsters, and the small nations like prostitutes.

Peace is the natural effect of trade. Two nations who traffic with each other become reciprocally dependent; for if one has an interest in buying, the other has an interest in selling; and thus their union is founded on their mutual necessities. But if the spirit of commerce unites nations, it does not in the same manner unite individuals. We see that in countries where the people move only by the spirit of commerce, they make a traffic of all the humane, all the moral virtues; the most trifling things, those which humanity would demand, are there done, or there given, only for money.

The wisdom of nations lies in their proverbs, which are brief and pithy. Collect and learn them; they are notable measures of directions for human life; you have much in little they save time in speaking; and upon occasion may be the fullest and safest answers.

Men and nations can only be reformed in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow old.

The security of nations is like happiness in love; a happy miracle which it is necessary to create anew every day.