George Washington - Government is not reason, it is not eloquence —...
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence — it is force. Like fire it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master; never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.
From Fred Shapiro, editor of the Yale Book of Quotations:
This is undoubtedly apocryphal, like many other quotations attributed to Lincoln or Washington. No one has ever found any evidence that Washington said it. In the next edition of the Yale Book of Quotations, barring any further discoveries, I will list it as a pseudo-Washingtonism, with the earliest known citation being [in 1902].