Edmund Burke Quotes & Wallpapers

Edmund Burke
Total Quotes: 645


When any work seems to have required immense force and labor to effect it, the idea is grand. Edmund Burke

The question is not whether you have a right to render people miserable, but whether it is not in your best interest to make them happy. Edmund Burke

The method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation is incomparably the best. Edmund Burke

He was bred to the law, which is, in my opinion, one of the first and noblest of human sciences; a science which does more to quicken and invigorate the understanding, than all the other kinds of learning put together; but it is not apt, except in persons very happily born, to open and liberalize the mind exactly in the same proportion. Edmund Burke

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

It is said that twenty-four millions ought to prevail over two hundred thousand. True, if the constitution of a kingdom be a problem of arithmetic. Edmund Burke

Nothing less will content me, than whole America. Edmund Burke

Corrupt influence, which is itself the perennial spring of all prodigality, and of all disorder; which loads us, more than millions of debt; which takes away vigor from our arms, wisdom from our councils, and every shadow of authority and credit from the most venerable parts of our constitution. Edmund Burke

Taxing is an easy business. Any projector can contrive new impositions, any bungler can add to the old. Edmund Burke

Circumstances (which with some gentlemen pass for nothing) give in reality to every political principle its distinguishing colour, and discriminating effect. The circumstances are what render every civil and political scheme beneficial or noxious to mankind. Edmund Burke

Economy is a distributive virtue, and consists not in saving but selection. Parsimony requires no providence, no sagacity, no powers of combination, no comparison, no judgment. Edmund Burke

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse. Edmund Burke

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

There was an ancient Roman lawyer, of great fame in the history of Roman jurisprudence, whom they called Cui Bono, from his having first introduced into judicial proceedings the argument, "What end or object could the party have had in the act with which he is accused. Edmund Burke

Beauty is the promise of happiness. Edmund Burke

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

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

Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference. Edmund Burke

By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation. Edmund Burke

What ever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man. Edmund Burke

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

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

The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny. Edmund Burke

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

Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement. Edmund Burke

Tyrants seldom want pretexts. Edmund Burke

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

To govern according to the sense and agreement of the interests of the people is a great and glorious object of governance. This object cannot be obtained but through the medium of popular election, and popular election is a mighty evil. Edmund Burke

I decline the election. It has ever been my rule through life, to observe a proportion between my efforts and my objects. I have never been remarkable for a bold, active, and sanguine pursuit of advantages that are personal to myself. Edmund Burke

The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis. Edmund Burke

Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it. They may be distressed in the midst of all their power; but they will never look to anything but power for their relief. Edmund Burke

History is a pact between the dead, the living, and the yet unborn. Edmund Burke

Manners are of more importance than laws. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe. Edmund Burke

Make the Revolution a parent of settlement, and not a nursery of future revolutions. Edmund Burke

Liberty, without wisdom, is license. Edmund Burke

When ancient opinions and rules of life are taken away, the loss cannot possibly be estimated. From that moment, we have no compass to govern us, nor can we know distinctly to what port to steer. Edmund Burke

The liberty I mean is social freedom. It is that state of things in which liberty is secured by the equality of restraint. A constitution of things in which the liberty of no one man, and no body of men, and no number of men, can find means to trespass on the liberty of any person, or any description of persons, in the society. This kind of liberty is, indeed, but another name for justice. Edmund Burke

Facts are to the mind what food is to the body. On the due digestion of the former depend the strength and wisdom of the one, just as vigor and health depend on the other. The wisest in council, the ablest in debate, and the most agreeable companion in the commerce of human life, is that man who has assimilated to his understanding the greatest number of facts. Edmund Burke

In doing good, we are generally cold, and languid, and sluggish; and of all things afraid of being too much in the right. But theworks of malice and injustice are quite in another style. They are finished with a bold, masterly hand; touched as they are with the spirit of those vehement passions that call forth all our energies, whenever we oppress and persecute.. Edmund Burke

Society is indeed a contract. ... It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection. Edmund Burke

A coward's courage is in his tongue. Edmund Burke

People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous. Edmund Burke

I set out with a perfect distrust of my own abilities, a total renunciation of every speculation of my own, and with a profound reverence for the wisdom of our ancestors, who have left us the inheritance of so happy a Constitution and so flourishing an empire, and, what is a thousand times more valuable, the treasury of the maxims and principles which formed the one and obtained the other. Edmund Burke

Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray, to not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that, of course, they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little, shriveled, meagre, hopping, though loud and troublesome insects of the hour. Edmund Burke

Education is the cheap defence of nations. Edmund Burke

Now, as a law directed against the mass of the nation has not the nature of a reasonable institution, so neither has it the authority: for in all forms of government the people is the true legislator; and whether the immediate and instrumental cause of the law be a single person or many, the remote and efficient cause is the consent of the people, either actual or implied ; and such consent is absolutely essential to its validity. Edmund Burke

It is from this absolute indifference and tranquility 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

And having looked to government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them. To avoid that evil, government will redouble the causes of it; and then it will become inveterate and incurable. Edmund Burke

In such a strait the wisest may well be perplexed, and the boldest staggered. Edmund Burke

Silence is golden but when it threatens your freedom it's yellow. Edmund Burke

Prudence is not only the first in rank of the virtues political and moral, but she is the director and regulator, the standard of them all. Edmund Burke

Contempt is not a thing to be despised. Edmund Burke

All those instances to be found in history, whether real or fabulous, of a doubtful public spirit, at which morality is perplexed, reason is staggered, and from which affrighted Nature recoils, are their chosen and almost sole examples for the instruction of their youth. Edmund Burke

The worthy gentleman who has been snatched from us at the moment of the election, and in the middle of the contest, whilst his desires were as warm and his hopes as eager as ours, has feelingly told us what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue. Edmund Burke

By hating vices too much, they come to love men too little. Edmund Burke

Education is a nation's cheapest defence Edmund Burke

War never leaves where it found a nation. Edmund Burke

There is a wide difference between admiration and love. The sublime, which is the cause of the former, always dwells on great objects and terrible; the latter on small ones and pleasing; we submit to what we admire, but we love what submits to us: in one case we are forced, in the other, we are flattered, into compliance. Edmund Burke

Is it in destroying and pulling down that skill is displayed? The shallowest understanding, the rudest hand, is more than equal to that task. Edmund Burke

Curiosity is the most superficial of all the affections; it changes its object perpetually; it has an appetite which is very sharp, but very easily satisfied, and it has always an appearance of giddiness, restlessness and anxiety. Edmund Burke

Despots govern by terror. They know that he who fears God fears nothing else; and therefore they eradicate from the mind, through their Voltaire, their Helvetius, and the rest of that infamous gang, that only sort of fear which generates true courage. Edmund Burke

Taste and elegance, though they are reckoned only among the smaller and secondary morals, yet are of no mean importance in the regulations of life. A moral taste is not of force to turn vice into virtue; but it recommends virtue with something like the blandishments of pleasure, and it infinitely abates the evils of vice. Edmund Burke

An extreme rigor is sure to arm everything against it. Edmund Burke

The poorest being that crawls on earth, contending to save itself from injustice and oppression, is an object respectable in the eyes of God and man. Edmund Burke

Poetry, with all its obscurity, has a more general as well as a more powerful dominion over the passions than the art of painting. Edmund Burke

Power, in whatever hands, is rarely guilty of too strict limitations on itself. Edmund Burke

The marketplace obliges men, whether they will or not, in pursuing their own selfish interests, to connect the general good with their own individual success. Edmund Burke

He was not merely a chip off the old block, but the old block itself. Edmund Burke

We are in a war of a peculiar nature. It is not with an ordinary community, which is hostile or friendly as passion or as interest may veer about: not with a state which makes war through wantonness, and abandons it through lassitude. We are at war with a system, which by its essence, is inimical to all other governments, and which makes peace or war, as peace and war may best contribute to their subversion. It is with an armed doctrine that we are at war. It has, by its essence, a faction of opinion, and of interest, and of enthusiasm, in every country. Edmund Burke

To be attached to the subdivision, to love the little platoon we belong to in society, is the first principle (the germ as it were) of public affections. It is the first link in the series by which we proceed toward a love to our country and to mankind. The interest of that portion of social arrangement is a trust in the hands of all those who compose it; and as none but bad men would justify it in abuse, none but traitors would barter it away for their own personal advantage. Edmund Burke



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