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Quotation by Henry David Thoreau
If private men are obliged to perform the offices of government, to protect the weak and dispense justice, then the government becomes only a hired man, or clerk, to perform menial or indifferent services.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (1859), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 431, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
Thoreau contrasts the response to slavery by the abolitionists with that of the government.
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