Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke (12 January 1729 – 9 July 1797) was an Irish statesman born in Dublin, as well as an author, orator, political theorist, and philosopher who, after moving to London, served as a member of parliament (MP) for many years in the House of Commons with the Whig Party.

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Our patience will achieve more than our force.

Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows and of lending existence to nothing.

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.

The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is curiosity.

The greater the power the more dangerous the abuse.

Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.

Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise it costs nothing.

If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do, but what humanity reason and justice tell me I ought to do.

The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away for expedience and by parts.

Education is the cheap defense of nations.

All government indeed every human benefit and enjoyment every virtue and every prudent act is founded on compromise and barter.

Beauty is the promise of happiness.

You can never plan the future by the past.

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.

People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.

No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.

To tax and to please no more than to love and to be wise is not given to men.

Sin has many tools but a lie is the handle which fits them all.

Beauty in distress is much the most affecting beauty.

It is the interest of the commercial world that wealth should be found everywhere.

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.

Whenever our neighbour's house is on fire it cannot be amiss for the engines to play a little on our own.

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.

If the people are happy united wealthy and powerful we presume the rest. We conclude that to be good from whence good is derived.

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.

To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.

I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people.

Tyrants seldom want pretexts.

Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation.

Good order is the foundation of all things.

Kings will be tyrants from policy when subjects are rebels from principle.

To make us love our country our country ought to be lovely.

It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.

We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.

By gnawing through a dike even a rat may drown a nation.

Whilst shame keeps its watch virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart, nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.

If we command our wealth we shall be rich and free, if our wealth commands us we are poor indeed.

The most important of all revolutions a revolution in sentiments manners and moral opinions.

When bad men combine the good must associate, else they will fall one by one an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

Free trade is not based on utility but on justice.

Example is the school of mankind and they will learn at no other.

What ever disunites man from God also disunites man from man.

He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

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.

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.

A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together would be my standard of a statesman.

Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.

Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.

The march of the human mind is slow.

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 tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.

To innovate is not to reform.

It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters economists and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.

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.

Passion for fame: A passion which is the instinct of all great souls.

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.

Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom, and a great empire and little minds go ill together.

Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.

Society can overlook murder adultery or swindling, it never forgives preaching of a new gospel.

It is generally in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper principles and designs.

Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement.

Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.

The arrogance of age must submit to be taught by youth.

Religious persecution may shield itself under the guise of a mistaken and over-zealous piety.

Facts are to the mind what food is to the body.

Custom reconciles us to everything.

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.

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice neither in my opinion is safe.

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.

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.

Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society.

The traveller has reached the end of the journey!

One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to good.

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.

Falsehood is a perennial spring.

Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense and great expense may be an essential part in true economy.

Ambition can creep as well as soar.

Liberty must be limited in order to be possessed.

Applause is the spur of noble minds the end and aim of weak ones.

Toleration is good for all or it is good for none.

In a democracy the majority of the citizens is capable of exercising the most cruel oppressions upon the minority.

All human laws are properly speaking only declaratory, they have no power over the substance of original justice.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.

There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings, but none when they are under the influence of imagination.

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.

A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.

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.

Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.

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.

Frugality is founded on the principal that all riches have limits.

Laws like houses lean on one another.