"How prone all human institutions have been to decay; how subject the best-formed and most wisely organized governments have been to lose their check and totally dissolve; how difficult it has been for mankind, in all ages and countries, to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges, impelled as it were by an irresistible fate of despotism."

--James Monroe, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788


 
 
_"How much more do they deserve our reverence and praise, whose lives are devoted to the formation of institutions, which, when they and their  children are mingled in the common dust, may continue to cherish the principles and the practice of liberty in perpetual freshness and vigour."

-- Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833