Though I have said above. . . . That all men by Nature are equal, I cannot be supposed to understand all sorts of Equality: Age or Virtue may give Men a just Precedency: Excellency of Parts and Merit may place others above the common level: Birth may subject some, and Alliance or Benefits others, to pay an Observance to those to whom Nature, Gratitude or other Respects may have made it due; and yet all this consists with the Equality which all men are in, in respect of Jurisdiction or Dominion one over another, which was the Equality I there spoke of . . . being that equal Right that every Man hath, to his natural Freedom, without being subjected to the Will or Authority of any other Man.
Source: Second Treatise of Government, 1690
Contributed by: Zaady