Edmund Burke Quotes
1. Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
2. It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.
3. 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.
4. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.
5. Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
6. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
7. There is a boundary to men’s passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
8. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
9. Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.
10. Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
11. Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.
12. The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
13. 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.
14. Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation.
15. Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
16. Society can overlook murder, adultery or swindling; it never forgives preaching of a new gospel.
17. Falsehood is a perennial spring.
18. Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.
19. Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
20. A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.
21. It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.
22. Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement.
23. If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.
24. Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
25. 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.
26. No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
27. Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.
28. We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.
29. Passion for fame: A passion which is the instinct of all great souls.
30. 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.
31. 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.
32. Laws, like houses, lean on one another.
33. 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.
34. 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.
35. Liberty must be limited in order to be possessed.
36. The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.
37. If the people are happy, united, wealthy, and powerful, we presume the rest. We conclude that to be good from whence good is derived.
38. By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation.
39. 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.
40. A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman.
41. 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.
42. Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.
43. Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle.
44. To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men.
45. Tyrants seldom want pretexts.
46. If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue.
47. What ever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man.
48. He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.
49. Custom reconciles us to everything.
50. All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.
51. It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.
52. 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.
53. Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart; nor will moderation be utterly exiled from the minds of tyrants.
54. 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.
55. The most important of all revolutions, a revolution in sentiments, manners and moral opinions.
56. I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people.
57. Facts are to the mind what food is to the body.
58. Free trade is not based on utility but on justice.
59. The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.
60. The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity.