Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
  • Born: January 12, 1729
  • Died: July 9, 1797
  • Nationality: Irish
  • Profession: Statesman

220

Quotes

146

Citations

434

Concepts

0

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Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
[A party is] ... a body of men united, for promoting by their joint endeavors the national interest, upon some particular principle on which they are all agreed. Political Parties & Machines
[Discussing the American colonies] In no country perhaps in the world is the law so general a study. The profession itself is numerous and powerful; and in most provinces it takes the lead. The greater number of the deputies sent to the congress were lawyers. But all who read, and most do read, endeavour to obtain some smattering in that science . . . Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
[He was] Resolved to die in the last dyke of prevarication. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
‘The laboring poor’ is a detestable, canting phrase. Policy & Policy Making
… all governments must frequently infringe the rules of justice to support themselves; that truth must give way to dissimulation, honesty to convenience, and humanity itself to the reigning interest. The whole of this mystery of iniquity is called the reason of state. It is a reason which I own I cannot penetrate. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
… all men have equal rights; but not to equal things. Equality & Equal Opportunity
A disposition to preserve and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Miscellaneous
A machine as well fitted for the oppression, impoverishment and degradation of the people, and the debasement of human nature itself as ever proceeded from the ingenuity of man. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
A man's virtue is best secured by shame, and best improved by emulation in the society of virtuous men. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
A more mischievous idea cannot exist, than that any degree of wickedness, violence, and oppression may prevail in a country, that the most abominable, murderous, and exterminating rebellions may rage in it, or the most atrocious and bloody tyranny may domineer, and that no neighboring power can take cognizance of either, or afford succor to the miserable sufferers. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
A point concerning property, which ought, for the reasons I have just mentioned, to be most speedily decided, frequently exercises the wit of successions of lawyers, for many generations .… But the question concerning a man’s life, that great question in which no delay ought to be counted tedious, is commonly determined in twenty-four hours at the utmost. It is not to be wondered at that injustice and absurdity should be inseparable companions. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
A state without some means of change is without the means of its conservation. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
A think may look specious in theory, and yet be ruinous in practice; a thing may look evil in theory, and yet be in practice excellent. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
A wise and salutary neglect Foreign Policy, World & International Affairs
A woman is but an animal, and an animal not of the highest order. Minorities & Women
Abroad they learned an aversion to the episcopal order, and to religious ceremonies of every sort; they were impregnated with a high spirit of liberty, and had a strong tendency to the republican form of government. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found. Freedom & Liberty
All ancient history is dark and uncertain. History
All government—indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act,—is founded on compromise and barter. Negotiating & Negotiations
All power will infallibly draw wealth to itself by some means or other. Power
Ambition can creep as well as soar. Human Nature
Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot last long. Corruption
Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist. Corruption
And having looked to government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them. Welfare
Ask of politicians the end for which laws were originally designed, and they will answer that the laws were designed as a protection for the poor and weak against the oppression of the rich and powerful. But surely no pretense can be so ridiculous Legislating & Legislative Process
Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Believe me, Sir, those who attempt to level never equalize. In all societies consisting of various descriptions of citizens, some description must be uppermost. The levelers, therefore, only change and pervert the natural order of things. Equality & Equal Opportunity
By a revolution in the state, the fawning sycophant of yesterday is converted into the austere critic of the present hour. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Circumstances ... give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing colour and discriminating effect. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Connivance is the relaxation of slavery, not the definition of liberty. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Early and provident fear is the mother of safety. Negotiating & Negotiations
Education is the cheap defense of nations. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Examine history; consult present experience; and you will find that far the greater part of the quarrels between several nations had scarce any other occasion than that these nations were different combinations of people, and called by different names: to an Englishman, the name of a Frenchman, a Spaniard, an Italian, much more a Turk, or a Tartar, raises of course ideas of hatred and contempt. War & Peace
Falsehood and delusion are allowed in no case whatsoever. But, as in the exercise of all the virtues, there is an economy of truth. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Fiction lags after truth. Miscellaneous
From the earliest dawnings of policy to this day, the invention of men has been sharpening and improving the mystery of murder, from the first rude essays of clubs and stones, to the present perfection of gunnery, cannoneering, bombarding, mining, and all those species of artificial, learned, and refined cruelty, in which we are now so expert, and which make a principal part of what politicians have taught us to believe is our principal glory. War & Peace
Good order is the foundation of all good things. Miscellaneous
Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
Great men are the guideposts and landmarks in the state. Leaders & Leadership
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. Oratory, Discussion & Debate ;Legislating & Legislative Process
I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
I do not like to see anything destroyed; any void produced in society; any ruin on the face of the land. Environment & Environmentalism
I know no human being exempt from the law. The law is the security of the people of England; it is the security of every person that is governed, and of every person that governs. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
If any ask me what a free government is, I answer, that for any practical purpose, it is what the people think so, and that they, and not I, are the natural, lawful, and competent judges of the matter. Freedom & Liberty
If to preserve political independence and civil freedom to nations was a just ground of war, a war to preserve national independence, property, liberty, life, and honor from certain universal havoc is a war just, necessary, manly, pious; and we are bound to persevere in it by every principle, divine and human, as long as the system which menaces them all, and all equally, has an existence in the world. War & Peace
In all forms of government the people is the true legislator. Legislating & Legislative Process
In effect we suffer as much at home as abroad; for, in order to prove that the Americans have no right to their liberties, we are every day endeavoring to subvert the maxims of our own. We never gain a paltry advantage over them in debate, without attacking some of those principles, or deriding some of those feelings, for which our ancestors have shed their blood Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
In effect, to follow, not to force, the public inclination,—to give a direction, a form, a technical dress, and a specific sanction, to the general sense of the community, is the true end of legislation. Legislating & Legislative Process
In reality there are two, and only two, foundations of law; and they are both of them conditions without which nothing can give it any force: I mean equity and utility. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
In this character of the Americans, a love of freedom is the predominating feature, which marks and distinguishes the whole … Your colonies become suspicious, restive and intractable whenever they see the least attempt to wrest from them by force of shuffle from them by chicane what they think is the only advantage worth living for. This fierce spirit of liberty is stronger in the English colonies probably than in any other people of the earth … Freedom & Liberty
in Virginia and the Carolinas they have a vast multitude of slaves. Where this is the case in any part of the world, those who are free, are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom. Freedom is to them not only an enjoyment, but a kind of rank and privilege. Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
It is a general error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare. Miscellaneous
It is impossible for me, with any agreement to my sense of propriety, to accept any sort of compensation for services which I may endeavor to do upon a public account. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. Freedom & Liberty
It is undoubtedly the business of ministers very much to consult the inclinations of the people, but they ought to take great care that they do not receive that inclination from the few persons who may happen to approach them. Public Opinion & Polling
Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all. Society ;Justice & Injustice ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Law and arbitrary power are in eternal enmity. Power
Laws, like houses, lean on one another. Legislating & Legislative Process ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Learning will be cast into the mire, and trodden down under the hoofs of a swinish multitude. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Leave America, if she has taxable matter in her, to tax herself. Taxes
Liberty, too, must be limited in order to be possessed. Freedom & Liberty
lt is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together. Leaders & Leadership ;Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Make the revolution a parent of settlement, and not a nursery of future revolutions. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Man has set man against man, Washed against unwashed. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Manners are more important than laws. Upon them, in great measure, the laws depend. Human Nature
Men are not tied to one another by papers and seals. They are led to associate by resemblances, by conformities, by sympathies. It is with nations as with individuals. Nothing is so strong a tie of amity between nation and nation as correspondence in laws, customs, manners, and habits of life. They have more than the force of treaties in themselves. They are obligations written in the heart. They approximate men to men without their knowledge, and sometimes against their intentions. The secret, unseen, but irrefragable bond of habitual intercourse holds them together, even when their perverse and litigious nature sets them to equivocate, scuffle, and fight about the terms of their written obligations. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Men are not tied together by papers and seals. They are led to associate by resemblances, by conformities, by sympathies. States. Nations & Nationhood
My idea, therefore, without considering whether we yield as matter of right or grant as matter of favor, is to admit the people of our colonies into an interest in the constitution; and, by recording that admission in the journals of Parliament, to give them as strong an assurance as the nature of the thing will admit that we mean forever to adhere to that solemn declaration of systematic indulgence. Expansionism, Colonialism & Imperialism
No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear. Human Nature
No war can be long carried on against the will of the people. War & Peace
Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Nobody made a greater mistake as he who did nothing because he could not do everything Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Not men but measures"—a sort of charm by which many people get loose from every honorable engagement. Management & Managing Government
Nothing is so fatal to a nation as an extreme of self-partiality. States. Nations & Nationhood
Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government. Government ;Miscellaneous
Our object is wholly new in the world. It is singular: it is grown up to this magnitude and importance within the memory of man; nothing in history is parallel to it… In this new system, a principle of commerce, of artificial commerce, must prevail. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs ;Capitalism
Our patience will achieve more than our force. Patience ;Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests.... Parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole—where not local purpose, not local prejudices, ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Parties must ever exist in a free country. Political Parties & Machines
Party divisions, whether on the whole operating for good or evil, are things inseparable from free government. Political Parties & Machines
People crushed by law have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
People will not look forward to posterity who are not anxious to look backward to their ancestry History
Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement … The cause of civil liberty and civil government gains as little as that of religion by this confusion of duties. Religion & God
Property with peace and order; with civil and social manners ... are good things too; and, without them, liberty is not a benefit ... not likely to continue long. Freedom & Liberty
Public life is a situation of power and energy; he trespasses against his duty who sleeps upon his watch as he that goes over to the enemy. Energy ;Management & Managing Government
Radical revolutionaries are so taken up with their theories about the rights of man, that they have totally forgotten his nature. Rebellion, Revolution, Insurgency & Resistance
Religion, always a principle of energy, in this new people is in no way worn out or impaired… The people are Protestants, and of that kind which is more adverse to all implicit of mind or opinion. Worship in our Northern colonies is a refinement on the principle of resistance. Religion & God
Religious persecution may shield itself under the guise of a mistaken and overzealous piety. Religion & God
Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more of it there must be without. Management & Managing Government
Society is a partnership not only by those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born. Miscellaneous
That versatility, those sudden evolutions, which have sometimes derogated from the credit of all public professions, are things not so easy in large bodies, as when men act alone, or in light squadrons. Secrecy & Transparency
The [political] parties are the gamesters; but government keeps the table, and is sure to be the winner in the end.
The age of chivalry is gone. That of sophists, economists and calculators has succeeded and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Management & Managing Government
The Americans will have no interest contrary to the grandeur and glory of England, when they are not oppressed by the weight of it … Freedom & Liberty
The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear. Negotiating & Negotiations
The effect of liberty is to let individuals ... do what they please: we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations, which may be soon turned into complaints. Freedom & Liberty
The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints Freedom & Liberty
The first accounts we have of mankind are but so many accounts of their butcheries. All empires have been cemented in blood; and, in those early periods, when the race of mankind began first to form themselves into parties and combinations, the first effect of the combination, and indeed the end for which it seems purposely formed, and best calculated, was their mutual destruction. History
The first Christians, avoiding the Pagan tribunals, tried most even of their civil causes before the bishop, who, though he had no direct coercive power, yet, wielding the sword of excommunication, had wherewithal to enforce the execution of his judgments. Thus the bishop had a considerable sway in temporal affairs, even before he was owned by the temporal power. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The first duty of a state is to provide for its own conservation. Until that point is secured, it can preserve and protect nothing else. But, if possible, it has greater interest in acting according to strict law than even the subject himself. For if the people see that the law is violated to crush them, they will certainly despise the law. They, or their party, will be easily led to violate it, whenever they can, by all the means in their power. Except in cases of direct war, whenever government abandons law, it proclaims anarchy. Defense & National Security
The great must submit to the dominion of prudence and of virtue, or none will long submit to the dominion of the great. Leaders & Leadership
The great unwashed Poverty
The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse. Power
The greater the powers, the more dangerous the abuse. Power
The individual is foolish; the multitude, for the moment is foolish, when they act without deliberation; but the species is wise, and when time is given to it, as a species it always acts right. Public Opinion & Polling
The march of the human mind is slow. Human Nature
The nature of man is intricate; the objects of society are of the greatest complexity and therefore no simple disposition or direction of power can be suitable either to man's nature or to the quality of his affairs Human Nature
The only infallible criterion of wisdom to vulgar minds -- success. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
The people are the masters. Democracies & Republics
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion. Freedom & Liberty
The power of the crown, almost dead and rotten as prerogative, has grown up anew, with much more strength and far less odium, under the name of influence. Lobbying & Special Interests
The quantity of spirits which they distill in Boston from the molasses which they import is as surprising as the cheapness at which they sell it, which is under two shillings a gallon; but they are more famous for the quantity and cheapness than for the excellency of their rum Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
The question with me is, not whether you have a right to render your people miserable, but whether it is not your interest to make them happy. It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do. Is a politic act the worse for being a generous one? Is no concession proper but that which is made from your want of right to keep what you grant? Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
The revenue of the state is the state. States. Nations & Nationhood
The Saxon laws … decided almost all matters of any doubt amongst them by methods which, however inadequate, were extremely simple. They judged every controversy either by the conscience of the parties, or by the country’s opinion of it, or what they judged an appeal to Providence. They were unwilling to submit to the trouble of weighing contradictory testimonies; and they were destitute of those critical rules by which evidence is sifted, the true distinguished from the false, the certain from the uncertain. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
The stock of materials by which any nation is rendered flourishing and prosperous are its industry, its knowledge or skill, its morals, its execution of justice, its courage, and the national union in directing these powers to one point and making them all center in the public benefit. Development & Growth
The superior power may offer peace with honor and with safety. Negotiating & Negotiations
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away for expedients. Freedom & Liberty
The tyranny of a multitude [mob] is a multiplied tranny. Civil Disorder, Riots, Protests & Demonstrations
The very name of a politician, a statesman, is sure to cause terror and hatred; it has always connected with it the ideas of treachery, cruelty, fraud, and tyranny… Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
The virtue, spirit, and essence of a House of Commons consists in its being the express image of the feelings of the nation. It was not instituted to be a control upon the people, as of late it has been taught Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
There is but one law for all … the law of nature. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men. Human Nature
There is nothing certain in the principles of jurisprudence. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
This people [the Puritans], who in England could not bear being chastised with rods, had no sooner got free from their fetters than they scourged their fellow refugees [Quakers] with scorpions; though the absurdity, as well as the injustice of such a proceeding in them might stare them in the face! Religion & God
Those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous. Human Nature
To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Nationalism & Treason ;Citizenship & Patriotism
To tax and to please, no more than to love and be wise, is not given to men. Taxes
To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex ;Taxes
Truth is stranger than fiction. Miscellaneous
We balance inconveniences; we give and take; we remit some rights, that we may enjoy others; and we choose rather to be happy citizens than subtle disputants. As we must give away some natural liberty, to enjoy civil advantages, so we must sacrifice some civil liberties, for the advantages to be derived from the communion and fellowship of a great empire. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
We cannot, if we would, delude ourselves about the true state of this dreadful contest. It is a religious war. War & Peace
We found, or we thought we found, an inconvenience in having every man the judge of his own cause. Therefore judges were set up, at first, with discretionary powers. But it was soon found a miserable slavery to have our lives and properties precarious, and hanging upon the arbitrary determination of any one man, or set of men. We fled to laws as a remedy for this evil. By these we persuaded ourselves we might know with some certainty upon what ground we stood. But lo! differences arose upon the sense and interpretation of these laws. Thus we were brought back to our old incertitude. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
We shall not abuse this astonishing and hitherto unheard of power, but every other nation will think we shall abuse it. Power
We should exclude murderous atheists, who would pull down Church and state; religion and God; morality and happiness .... When they smile, I see blood trickling down their faces; I see their insidious purposes; I see that the object of all their cajoling is—blood! I now warn my countrymen to beware of these execrable philosophers, whose only object it is to destroy every thing that is good here, and to establish immorality and murder by precept and example. Religion & God ;Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;Immigration & Emigration
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
Where there is a vast multitude of slaves as in Virginia, those who are free, are by far the most proud and jealous of their freedom Freedom & Liberty ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
You can never plan the future by the past. Future ;Management & Managing Government
Young man, there is America -- which at this day serves for little more than to amuse you with stories of savage men, and uncouth manners; yet shall, before you taste of death, show itself equal to the whole of that commerce which now attracts the envy of the world. Development & Growth
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion. Voters, Voting & Elections
A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.
All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter. Government
All human laws are, properly speaking, only declaratory; they have no power over the substance of original justice. Power
All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.
Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
Beauty in distress is much the most affecting beauty.
Beauty is the promise of happiness. Happiness & Unhappiness
But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint. Freedom & Liberty
By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation.
Circumstances give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing color and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind.
Custom reconciles us to everything.
Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
Facts are to the mind what food is to the body. Nutrition, Food, Starvation, Farming & Agriculture
Falsehood is a perennial spring.
Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.
Free trade is not based on utility but on justice.
Frugality is founded on the principal that all riches have limits.
Good order is the foundation of all things.
He had no failings which were not owing to a noble cause; to an ardent, generous, perhaps an immoderate passion for fame; a passion which is the instinct of all great souls.
He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.
I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business. Business, Commerce & Finance
I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people. War & Peace
If the people are happy, united, wealthy, and powerful, we presume the rest. We conclude that to be good from whence good is derived.
If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed. Money, Coins & Minting
If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue. Health, Healthcare & Medicine
In effect, to follow, not to force the public inclination; to give a direction, a form, a technical dress, and a specific sanction, to the general sense of the community, is the true end of legislature.
It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.
It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do. Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere.
It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact. Nature
It is, generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles, and designs.
Liberty must be limited in order to be possessed. Freedom & Liberty
Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.
Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society. Society
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. Life
Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference. Religion & God
One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to good.
Passion for fame: A passion which is the instinct of all great souls. Fame
People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous. Power ;Hope ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.
Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows, and of lending existence to nothing. Literature, Writers & Writing ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation. Religion & God ;Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Religious persecution may shield itself under the guise of a mistaken and over-zealous piety.
Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all.
Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.
Society can overlook murder, adultery or swindling; it never forgives preaching of a new gospel. Society
Superstition is the religion of feeble minds. Religion & God
The arrogance of age must submit to be taught by youth.
The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please: we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations.
The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity.
The most important of all revolutions, a revolution in sentiments, manners and moral opinions.
The person who grieves suffers his passion to grow upon him; he indulges it, he loves it; but this never happens in the case of actual pain, which no man ever willingly endured for any considerable time. Time
The traveller has reached the end of the journey! Travel
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.
The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
There is but one law for all, namely that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity - the law of nature and of nations. Nature ;Law, Courts, Jails, Crime & Law Enforcement
Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it. History
To innovate is not to reform.
To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
Tyrants seldom want pretexts.
Under the pressure of the cares and sorrows of our mortal condition, men have at all times, and in all countries, called in some physical aid to their moral consolations - wine, beer, opium, brandy, or tobacco.
We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature. Nature
What ever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man. Religion & God
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
When the leaders choose to make themselves bidders at an auction of popularity, their talents, in the construction of the state, will be of no service. They will become flatterers instead of legislators; the instruments, not the guides, of the people.
Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
Whenever our neighbour's house is on fire, it cannot be amiss for the engines to play a little on our own.
Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.