Famous Quotes By Edmund Burke


  1. A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.
  2. All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.
  3. All human laws are, properly speaking, only declaratory they have no power over the substance of original justice.
  4. All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
  5. Beauty in distress is much the most affecting beauty.
  6. Beauty is the promise of happiness.
  7. But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
  8. 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.
  9. Education is the cheap defense of nations.
  10. Facts are to the mind what food is to the body.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people.
  14. If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue.
  15. It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.
  16. It is, generally, in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles, and designs.
  17. 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.
  18. Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom and a great empire and little minds go ill together.
  19. Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.
  20. Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.
  21. No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
  22. Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society.
  23. Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference.
  24. Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.
  25. Our patience will achieve more than our force.
  26. Passion for fame: A passion which is the instinct of all great souls.
  27. 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.
  28. Poetry is the art of substantiating shadows, and of lending existence to nothing.
  29. Politics and the pulpit are terms that have little agreement.
  30. Religion is essentially the art and the theory of the remaking of man. Man is not a finished creation.
  31. Society can overlook murder, adultery or swindling it never forgives preaching of a new gospel.
  32. Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.
  33. The arrogance of age must submit to be taught by youth.
  34. The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.
  35. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
  36. 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.
  37. There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
  38. 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.
  39. Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.
  40. To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men.
  41. Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
  42. 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.
  43. We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.
  44. What ever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man.
  45. When bad men combine, the good must associate else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
  46. You can never plan the future by the past.

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