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Edmund Burke (Politician)

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves.
Edmund Burke love
There is a sort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them proof against the most fatiguing delays, the most mortifying disappointments, the most shocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgement of the ignorant upon their designs.
Edmund Burke men
Laws, like houses, lean on one another.
Edmund Burke law
There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
Edmund Burke virtue
It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare.
Edmund Burke
The wisdom of our ancestors.
Edmund Burke wisdom
Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
Edmund Burke good
I take toleration to be a part of religion. I do not know which I would sacrifice; I would keep them both: it is not necessary that I should sacrifice either.
Edmund Burke religion
Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.
Edmund Burke purpose
A conscientious man would be cautious how he dealt in blood.
Edmund Burke man
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 hope
Applaud us when we run, console us when we fall, cheer us when we recover.
Edmund Burke fall
Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
Edmund Burke law
In doing good, we are generally cold, and languid, and sluggish; and of all things afraid of being too much in the right. But the works 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 passion
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 life
Gentlemen, the melancholy event of yesterday reads to us an awful lesson against being too much troubled about any of the objects of ordinary ambition. The worthy gentleman, who has been snatched from us at the moment of the election, and in the middle of 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 hope
He was not merely a chip of the old Block, but the old Block itself.
Edmund Burke self
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.
Edmund Burke time
The arrogance of age must submit to be taught by youth.
Edmund Burke youth
The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
Edmund Burke people
Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
Edmund Burke justice
They made and recorded a sort of institute and digest of anarchy, called the Rights of Man.
Edmund Burke anarchy
You can never plan the future by the past.
Edmund Burke future
Tyrants seldom want pretexts.
Edmund Burke want
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 any thing but power for their relief.
Edmund Burke power
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
Edmund Burke love
Neither the few nor the many have a right to act merely by their will, in any matter connected with duty, trust, engagement, or obligation.
Edmund Burke men
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 man
There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feeling; none when they are under the influence of imagination.
Edmund Burke passion
We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature, and the means perhaps of its conservation.
Edmund Burke change
Old religious factions are volcanoes burnt out.
Edmund Burke action
Early and provident fear is the mother of safety.
Edmund Burke fear
It is the function of a judge not to make but to declare the law, according to the golden mete-wand of the law and not by the crooked cord of discretion.
Edmund Burke law
The cold neutrality of an impartial judge.
Edmund Burke art
Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.
Edmund Burke religion
And having looked to Government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them.
Edmund Burke men
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.
Edmund Burke time
I would rather sleep in the southern corner of a little country churchyard, than in the tombs of the Capulets.
Edmund Burke ya
The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
Edmund Burke lie
A very great part of the mischiefs that vex the world arises from words.
Edmund Burke art
When Croft's "Life of Dr. Young" was spoken of as a good imitation of Dr. Johnson's style, "No, no," said he, "it is not a good imitation of Johnson; it has all his pomp without his force; it has all the nodosities of the oak, without its strength; it has all the contortions of the sibyl, without the inspiration."
Edmund Burke inspiration
The art of substantiating shadows, and of lending existence to nothing.
Edmund Burke art
There is nothing that God has judged good for us that He has not given us the means to accomplish, both in the natural and the moral world.
Edmund Burke world
The writers against religion, whilst they oppose every system, are wisely careful never to set up any of their own.
Edmund Burke religion
"War," says , "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." A meditation on the conduct of political societies made old Hobbes imagine that war was the state of nature.
Edmund Burke war
A good parson once said that where mystery begins religion ends. Cannot I say, as truly at least, of human laws, that where mystery begins, justice ends?
Edmund Burke religion
Power gradually extirpates from the mind every humane and gentle virtue. Pity, benevolence, friendship, are things almost unknown in high stations.
Edmund Burke friendship
The first and the simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is Curiosity.
Edmund Burke mind
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 love
I am convinced that we have a degree of delight, and that no small one, in the real misfortunes and pains of others.
Edmund Burke pain
No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
Edmund Burke fear
When any work seems to have required immense force and labor to affect it, the idea is grand. , neither for disposition nor ornament, has anything admirable; but those huge rude masses of stone, set on end, and piled each on other, turn the mind on the immense force necessary for such a work. Nay, the rudeness of the work increases this cause of grandeur, as it excludes the idea of art and contrivance; for dexterity produces another sort of effect, which is different enough from this.
Edmund Burke art
A great profusion of things, which are splendid or valuable in themselves, is magnificent. The starry heaven, though it occurs so very frequently to our view, never fails to excite an idea of grandeur. This cannot be owing to the stars themselves, separately considered. The number is certainly the cause. The apparent disorder augments the grandeur, for the appearance of care is highly contrary to our idea of magnificence. Besides, the stars lie in such apparent confusion, as makes it impossible on ordinary occasions to reckon them. This gives them the advantage of a sort of infinity.
Edmund Burke men
Custom reconciles us to every thing.
Edmund Burke
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Edmund Burke men
It is an advantage to all narrow wisdom and narrow morals that their maxims have a plausible air; and, on a cursory view, appear equal to first principles. They are light and portable. They are as current as copper coin; and about as valuable. They serve equally the first capacities and the lowest; and they are, at least, as useful to the worst men as to the best. Of this stamp is the cant of not man, but measures; a sort of charm by which many people get loose from every honourable engagement.
Edmund Burke wisdom
Illustrious predecessor.
Edmund Burke lust
The power of discretionary disqualification by one law of Parliament, and the necessity of paying every debt of the Civil List by another law of Parliament, if suffered to pass unnoticed, must establish such a fund of rewards and terrors as will make Parliament the best appendage and support of arbitrary power that ever was invented by the wit of man. This is felt. The quarrel is begun between the Representatives and the People. The Court Faction have at length committed them. In such a strait the wisest may well be perplexed, and the boldest staggered. The circumstances are in a great measure new. We have hardly any land-marks from the wisdom of our ancestors, to guide us. At best we can only follow the spirit of their proceeding in other cases.
Edmund Burke wisdom
Of this stamp is the cant of, Not men, but measures.
Edmund Burke men
So to be patriots as not to forget we are gentlemen.
Edmund Burke men
Public life is a situation of power and energy; he trespasses against his duty who sleeps upon his watch, as well as he that goes over to the enemy.
Edmund Burke life
First Speech on the Conciliation with America, American Taxation (1774-04-19)
Edmund Burke wit
Reflect how you are to govern a people who think they ought to be free, and think they are not. Your scheme yields no revenue; it yields nothing but discontent, disorder, disobedience; and such is the state of America, that after wading up to your eyes in blood, you could only end just where you begun; that is, to tax where no revenue is to be found, to — my voice fails me; my inclination indeed carries me no farther — all is confusion beyond it.
Edmund Burke art
Falsehood has a perennial spring.
Edmund Burke
To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men.
Edmund Burke love
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.
Edmund Burke soul
It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.
Edmund Burke nature
(1775)
Edmund Burke
I have in general no very exalted opinion of the virtue of paper government.
Edmund Burke men
The concessions of the weak are the concessions of fear.
Edmund Burke fear
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.
Edmund Burke death
When we speak of the commerce with our [American] colonies, fiction lags after truth, invention is unfruitful, and imagination cold and barren.
Edmund Burke truth
A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.
Edmund Burke people
Through a wise and salutary neglect [of the colonies], a generous nature has been suffered to take her own way to perfection; when I reflect upon these effects, when I see how profitable they have been to us, I feel all the pride of power sink and all presumption in the wisdom of human contrivances melt and die away within me. My vigour relents. I pardon something to the spirit of liberty.
Edmund Burke wisdom
The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again: and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.
Edmund Burke men
Nothing less will content me, than whole America.
Edmund Burke will
Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found.
Edmund Burke action
All protestantism, even the most cold and passive, is a sort of dissent. But the religion most prevalent in our northern colonies is a refinement on the principles of resistance: it is the dissidence of dissent, and the protestantism of the Protestant religion.
Edmund Burke religion
It looks to me to be narrow and pedantic to apply the ordinary ideas of criminal justice to this great public contest. I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people.
Edmund Burke people
It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do.
Edmund Burke humanity
The march of the human mind is slow.
Edmund Burke mind
Freedom and not servitude is the cure of anarchy; as religion, and not atheism, is the true remedy for superstition.
Edmund Burke religion
All government — indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act — is founded on compromise and barter.
Edmund Burke art
Slavery they can have anywhere. It is a weed that grows in every soil.
Edmund Burke slavery
Deny them [the colonies] this participation of freedom, and you break that sole bond, which originally made, and must still preserve the unity of the empire.
Edmund Burke freedom
It is the love of the [British] people; it is their attachment to their government, from the sense of the deep stake they have in such a glorious institution, which gives you both your army and your navy, and infuses into both that liberal obedience, without which your army would be a base rabble, and your navy nothing but rotten timber.
Edmund Burke love
Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.
Edmund Burke wisdom
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 happiness
Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol (1777-04-03)
Edmund Burke
All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.
Edmund Burke people
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.
Edmund Burke art
Liberty, too, must be limited in order to be possessed.
Edmund Burke liberty
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 this matter.
Edmund Burke people
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.
Edmund Burke true
Speech on the Independence of Parliament and Economical Reformation (1780-02-11)
Edmund Burke men
Frugality is founded on the principle that all riches have limits.
Edmund Burke rich
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 wisdom
Taxing is an easy business. Any projector can contrive new impositions, any bungler can add to the old.
Edmund Burke business
They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance.
Edmund Burke end
Articles of Charge of High Crimes and Misdemeanors, against Warren Hastings
Edmund Burke war

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