Would I were free from this restraint, Or else had hopes to win her; Would she could make of me a saint, Or I of her a sinner.william congreve: 'Pious Selinda Goes to Prayers'.
Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man. We must not conclude merely upon a man's haranguing upon liberty, and using the charming sound, that he is fit to be trusted with the liberties of his country. It is not unfrequent to hear men declaim loudly upon liberty, who, if we may judge by the whole tenor of their actions, mean nothing else by it but their own liberty, — to oppress without control or the restraint of laws all who are poorer or weaker than themselves. It is not, I say, unfrequent to see such instances, though at the same time I esteem it a justice due to my country to say that it is not without shining examples of the contrary kind; — examples of men of a distinguished attachment to this same liberty I have been describing; whom no hopes could draw, no terrors could drive, from steadily pursuing, in their sphere, the true interests of their country; whose fidelity has been tried in the nicest and tenderest manner, and has been ever firm and unshaken.The sum of all is, if we would most truly enjoy this gift of Heaven, let us become a virtuous people.Samuel Adams: Essay published in The Advertiser (1748) and later reprinted in The Life and Public Service of Samuel Adams, Volume 1, by William Vincent Wells; Little, Brown, and Company; Boston, 1865
"I have heard that, with some persons, temperance – that is, moderation – is almost impossible; and if abstinence be an evil (which some have doubted), no one will deny that excess is a greater. Some parents have entirely prohibited their children from tasting intoxicating liquors; but a parent’s authority cannot last for ever; children are naturally prone to hanker after forbidden things; and a child, in such a case, would be likely to have a strong curiosity to taste, and try the effect of what has been so lauded and enjoyed by others, so strictly forbidden to himself – which curiosity would generally be gratified on the first convenient opportunity; and the restraint once broken, serious consequences might ensue."anne brontë: Frederick to Reverend Millward (Ch. IV : The Party)
You praise the firm restraint with which they write –I'm with you there, of course:They use the snaffle and the curb all right,But where's the bloody horse?roy campbell: "On Some South African Novelists," lines 1-4
The final end of government is not to exert restraint but to do good.rufus choate: Speech in the Senate (2 July 1841).
The hardest thing to do is to swing quietly, with control and restraint. Lots of bands swing loudly. I refuse to let my band play loudly in order to try to swing when it isn’t swinging softly. I think that the best jazz in the long run is the jazz that is controlled and will swing on its own terms.john dankworth: Times obituary, 8 Feb 2010
I wish to write such rhymes as shall not suggest a restraint, but contrariwise the wildest freedom.ralph waldo emerson: 27 June 1839
Settle it therefore in your minds, as a maxim never to be effaced or forgotten, that atheism is an inhuman, bloody, ferocious system, equally hostile to every useful restraint and to every virtuous affection; that, leaving nothing above us to excite awe, nor round us to awaken tenderness, it wages war with heaven and with earth: its first object is to dethrone God, its next to destroy man.robert hall: Rev. Robert Hall, sermon to Baptist meeting, Cambridge, quoted in Charles George Sommers, William R. Williams, Levi L. Hill, ed (1843). The Baptist Library: a republication of standard Baptist works. 2. p. 108.
The chaste severity of the fathers in whatever related to the commerce of the two sexes flowed from the same principle their abhorrence of every enjoyment which might gratify the sensual and degrade the spiritual nature of man. It was their favourite opinion, that if Adam had preserved his obedience to the Creator, he would have lived for ever in a state of virgin purity, and that some harmless mode of vegetation might have peopled paradise with a race of innocent and immortal beings. The use of marriage was permitted only to his fallen posterity, as a necessary expedient to continue the human species, and as a restraint, however imperfect, on the natural licentiousness of desire. The enumeration of the very whimsical laws which they most circumstantially imposed on the marriage-bed would force a smile from the young and a blush from the fair. It was their unanimous sentiment that a first marriage was adequate to all the purposes of nature and of society. The sensual connection was refined into a resemblance of the mystic union of Christ with his church, and was pronounced to be indissoluble either by divorce or by death. The practice of second nuptials was branded with the name of a legal adultery; and the persons who were guilty of so scandalous an offence against Christian purity were soon excluded from the honours, and even from the arms, of the church. Since desire was imputed as a crime, and marriage was tolerated as a defect, it was consistent with the same principles to consider a state of celibacy as the nearest approach to the Divine perfection.Edward Gibbon (1788), The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 1, Chap. 15, on the progress of the Christian religion, and the sentiments, manners, numbers, and condition of the primitive Christians 
There is no governor anywhere; you are all absolutely free. There is no restraint that cannot be escaped. We are all absolutely free. If everybody could go into dhyana at will, nobody could be controlled by fear of prison, by fear of whips or electroshock, by fear of death, even. All existing society is based on keeping those fears alive, to control the masses. Ten people who know would be more dangerous than a million armed anarchists.Robert Anton Wilson, in Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy : The Trick Top Hat (1979)