Edmund Burke Quotes & Wallpapers

Edmund Burke
Total Quotes: 645


Where two motives, neither of them perfectly justifiable, may be assigned, the worst has the chance of being preferred. Edmund Burke
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A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood. Edmund Burke
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There ought to be system of manners in every nation which a well-formed mind would be disposed to relish. To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely. Edmund Burke
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Restraint and discipline and examples of virtue and justice. These are the things that form the education of the world. Edmund Burke
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It is from this absolute indifference and tranquillity of the mind, that mathematical speculations derive some of the most considerable advantages; because there is nothing to interest the imagination; because the judgment sits free and unbiased to examine the point. All proportions, every arrangement of quantity, is alike to the understanding, because the same truths result to it from all; from greater from lesser, from equality and inequality. Edmund Burke
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The objects of a financier are, then, to secure an ample revenue; to impose it with judgment and equality; to employ it economically; and, when necessity obliges him to make use of credit, to secure its foundations in that instance, and for ever, by the clearness and candor of his proceedings, the exactness of his calculations, and the solidity of his funds. Edmund Burke
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Sallust is indisputably one of the best historians among the Romans, both for the purity of his language and the elegance of his style. Edmund Burke
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The introduction of Christianity, which, under whatever form, always confers such inestimable benefits on mankind, soon made a sensible change in these rude and fierce manners. Edmund Burke
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A speculative despair is unpardonable where it our duty to act. Edmund Burke
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Pleasure of every kind quickly satisfies. Edmund Burke
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Instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages. Edmund Burke
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It is in the relaxation of security; it is in the expansion of prosperity; it is in the hour of dilatation of the heart, and of its softening into festivity and pleasure, that the real character of men is discerned. Edmund Burke
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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. Edmund Burke
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Nothing, indeed, but the possession of some power can with any certainty discover what at the bottom is the true character of any man. Edmund Burke
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An entire life of solitude contradicts the purpose of our being, since death itself is scarcely an idea of more terror. Edmund Burke
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It is known that the taste-whatever it is-is improved exactly as we improve our judgment, by extending our knowledge, by a steady attention to our object, and by frequent exercise. Edmund Burke
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A great deal of the furniture of ancient tyranny is torn to rags; the rest is entirely out of fashion. Edmund Burke
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Laws are commanded to hold their tongues among arms; and tribunals fall to the ground with the peace they are no longer able to uphold. Edmund Burke
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War is the matter which fills all history; and consequently the only, or almost the only, view in which we can see the external of political society is in a hostile shape: and the only actions to which we have always seen, and still see, all of them intent, are such as tend to the destruction of one another. Edmund Burke
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Thank God, men that art greatly guilty are never wise. Edmund Burke
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Learning will be cast into the mire and trodden down under the hoofs of a swinish multitude. Edmund Burke
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Adversity is a severe instructor, set over us by one who knows us better than we do ourselves, as he loves us better too. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. This conflict with difficulty makes us acquainted with our object, and compels us to consider it in all its relations. It will not suffer us to be superficial. Edmund Burke
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To prove that the Americans ought not to be free, we are obliged to deprecate the value of freedom itself. Edmund Burke
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In general the languages of most unpolished people have a great force and energy of expression; and this is but natural. Uncultivated people are but ordinary observers of things, and not critical in distinguishing them; but, for that reason, they admire more, and are more affected with what they see, and therefore express themselves in a warmer and more passionate manner. Edmund Burke
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Jacobinism is the revolt of the enterprising talents of a country against its property. Edmund Burke
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Somebody has said, that a king may make a nobleman but he cannot make a gentleman. Edmund Burke
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It ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. Edmund Burke
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Freedom without virtue is not freedom but license to pursue whatever passions prevail in the intemperate mind; man's right to freedom being in exact proportion to his willingness to put chains upon his own appetites; the less restraint from within, the more must be imposed from without. Edmund Burke
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To govern according to the sense, and agreeably to the interests of the people is a great and glorious object of government. This object cannot be obtained but through the medium of popular election, and popular election is a mighty evil. Edmund Burke
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An event had happened, upon which it is difficult to speak, and impossible to be silent. Edmund Burke
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I thought ten thousand swords must have leapt from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her [Queen Marie Antoinette] with insult. Edmund Burke
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So far as it has gone, it probably is the most pure and defecated publick good which ever has been conferred on mankind. Edmund Burke
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The art of substantiating shadows, and of lending existence to nothing. Edmund Burke
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By adverting to the dignity of this high calling our ancestors have turned a savage wilderness into a glorious empire: and have made the most extensive, and the only honorable conquests, not by destroying, but by promoting the wealth, the number, the happiness of the human race. Edmund Burke
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History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the train of disorderly appetite. Edmund Burke
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In history, a great volume is unrolled for our instruction, drawing the materials of future wisdom from the past errors and infirmities of mankind. Edmund Burke
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The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts. Edmund Burke
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Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones. Edmund Burke
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Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants. Edmund Burke
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But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Edmund Burke
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To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely. Edmund Burke
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He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. Edmund Burke
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Ambition can creep as well as soar. Edmund Burke
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Custom reconciles us to everything. Edmund Burke
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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. Edmund Burke
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The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! Edmund Burke
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I know of nothing sublime which is not some modification of power. Edmund Burke
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Next to love, Sympathy is the divinest passion of the human heart. Edmund Burke
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In the weakness of one kind of authority, and in the fluctuation of all, the officers of an army will remain for some time mutinous and full of faction, until some popular general, who understands the art of conciliating the soldiery, and who possesses the true spirit of command, shall draw the eyes of all men upon himself. Armies will obey him on his personal account. There is no other way of securing military obedience in this state of things. Edmund Burke
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The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear. Edmund Burke
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There is nothing in the world really beneficial that does not lie within the reach of an informed understanding and a well-protected pursuit. Edmund Burke
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Evils we have had continually calling for reformation, and reformations more grievous than any evils. Edmund Burke
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The wisdom of our ancestors. Edmund Burke
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Some degree of novelty must be one of the materials in almost every instrument which works upon the mind; and curiosity blends itself, more or less, with all our pleasures. Edmund Burke
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Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling .... When danger or pain press too nearly, they are incapable of giving any delight, and [yet] with certain modifications, they may be, and they are delightful, as we every day experience. Edmund Burke
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All virtue which is impracticable is spurious. Edmund Burke
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All writers on the science of policy are agreed, and they agree with experience, that 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 of interest. The whole of this mystery of iniquity is called the reason of state. Edmund Burke
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But whoever is a genuine follower of Truth, keeps his eye steady upon his guide, indifferent whither he is led, provided that she is the leader. Edmund Burke
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Tell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of your young men, and I will tell you what is to be the character of the next generation. Edmund Burke
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What shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart. Edmund Burke
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In a free country every man thinks he has a concern in all public matters, - that he has a right to form and a right to deliver an opinion on them. This it is that fills countries with men of ability in all stations. Edmund Burke
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War, says Machiavel, ought to be the only study of a prince; and by a prince he means every sort of state, however constituted. He ought, says this great political doctor, to consider peace only as a breathing-time, which gives him leisure to contrive, and furnishes ability to execute military plans. Edmund Burke
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Poetry is the art of substituting shadows, and of lending existence to nothing. Edmund Burke
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Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. Edmund Burke
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To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting. Edmund Burke
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Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing. Edmund Burke
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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. Edmund Burke
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Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver. Edmund Burke
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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. Edmund Burke
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The power of perpetuating our property in our families is one of the most valuable and interesting circumstances belonging to it, and that which tends most to the perpetuation of society itself. It makes our weakness subservient to our virtue; it grafts benevolence even upon avarice. The possession of family wealth and of the distinction which attends hereditary possessions (as most concerned in it,) are the natural securities for this transmission. Edmund Burke
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