Walt Whitman Quote

“The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise see in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws.”

~ Walt Whitman

Notes Left Over, 1881

Ratings and Comments

beth, vay
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beth, vay    3/30/05


Dick Trice, Fort Worth

Whitman has it right as he usually did.

J Carlton, Calgary

The only constraints on Liberty are natural in that we all enjoy it equally. And we all defend it.

warren, olathe

Another way of saying that with liberty comes responsibility.

Mike, Norwalk

I don't know that I would have used the word shallow. I think I may have used the word 'ignorant' (remembering that most of man's codes, edicts, rules, and statutes have nothing to do with "potent Law of Laws")

E Archer, NYC

The shallow often call Liberty 'anarchy.'

Charles, Ludlow

Discernment makes the defining difference.

Right differentiation between liberty and licentiousness requires the presence of discernment, an attribute that does not characteristically inhere, in great measure, in those who have become licentious.


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