The laws ought to be so framed as to secure the safety of every citizen as much as possible. ... Political liberty does not consist in the notion that a man may do whatever he pleases; liberty is the right to do whatsoever the laws allow. ... The equality of the citizens consists in that they should all be subject to the same laws.— Catherine the Great
The most tempting Catherine the Great quotes to discover and learn by heart
You philosophers are lucky men. You write on paper and paper is patient. Unfortunate Empress that I am, I write on the susceptible skins of living beings.
The more a man knows, the more he forgives.
I sincerely want peace, not because I lack resources for war, but because I hate bloodshed.
One does not always do the best there is. One does the best one can.
it is better to inspire a reform than to enforce it.
Power without a nation's confidence is nothing.
Any man who doesn't partake in cigar smoking is nothing more than a weak-willed, meandering oaf, and I would never put my lips to those of any creature, man or beast, whose lips were not fresh awash in the currents of cigar smoke.'
I cannot live one day without love.
If I may venture to be frank I would say about myself that I was every inch a gentleman.
[On Peter III:] He did not have a bad heart; but a weak man usually has not.
bad news travels faster than good.
Tell a thousand people to draft a letter, let them debate every phrase, and see how long it takes and what you get.
You should know our mania for building is stronger than ever.
It is a diabolical thing. It consumes money and the more you build, the more you want to build. It's a sickness like being addicted to alcohol.
to tempt and be tempted are closely allied;
and in spite of all the finest moral maxims buried in the mind, when emotion interferes, when feeling makes its appearance, one is already much further involved that one realizes, and I have still not learnt how to prevent its appearance.
I praise loudly. I blame softly.
self-interest usually brings injustice with it.
All punishments by which the human body might be maimed are barbarbarism.
The trouble is that my heart is loath to be without love even for a single hour.
... If you want to keep me forever, then show as much friendship as love, and more than anything else, love me and tell me the truth.
The use of torture is contrary to sound judgment and common sense.
Humanity itself cries out against it, and demands it to be utterly abolished.
I like to praise and reward in a loud voice and to scold in a whisper.
Don't worry about things you cannot alter
Experience shows that the frequent use of severe punishment has never rendered a people better. The death of a criminal is a less effective means of restraining crimes than the permanent example of a man deprived of his liberty during the whole of his life to make amends for the injury he has done to the public.
I will live to make myself not feared.
Your wits make others witty.
For to tempt and to be tempted are things very nearly allied.
.. whenever feeling has anything to do in the matter, no sooner is it excited than we have already gone vastly farther than we are aware of.
What right can give anyone authority to inflict torture upon a citizen when it is still unknown whether he is innocent or guilty?
Nothing is more difficult, in my opinion, than to avoid something that fundamentally attracts you.
Assuredly men of merit are never lacking at any time, for those are the men who manage affairs, and it is affairs that produce the men. I have never searched, and I have always found under my hand the men who have served me, and for the most part I have been well served.
I like to praise and reward loudly, to blame quietly.
Praise is the only gift for which people are really grateful.
Marguerite, Countess of Blessington I praise loudly; I blame softly.
Your wit makes others witty.
I do not love strife, because I have always found that in the end each remains of the same opinion.
Happiness and unhappiness are in the heart and spirit of each one of us: If you feel unhappy, then place yourself above that and act so that your happiness does not get to be dependent on anything.
I am one of the people who love the why of things.
You were in a mood to quarrel. Please inform me once the inclination passes.
the title of Queen rang sweet to my ears, child though I was.
... This idea of a crown began running in my head then like a tune, and has been running a lot in it ever since.
God, grant us our desires, and grant them quickly.
I shall be an autocrat, that's my trade; and the good Lord will forgive me, that's his.
you must be gay; only thus can life be endured. I speak from experience for I have had to endure much, and have only been able to endure it because I have always laughed whenever I had the chance.
In my position you have to read when you want to write and to talk when you would like to read.
The most sure, but at the same time the most difficult expedient to mend the morals of the people, is a perfect system of education.