Edmund Burke

British statesman famous for his oratory; pleaded the cause of the American colonists in British Parliament and defended the parliamentary system (1729-1797)

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All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.
No one could make a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.
A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman.
All government -- indeed, every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act -- is founded on compromise and barter.
All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.
Ambition can creep as well as soar.
An event has happened, upon which it is difficult to speak, and impossible to be silent.
Applaud us when we run, Console us when we fall, Cheer us when we recover.
Bad law is the worst sort of tyranny.
Better be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident security.
But a good patriot, and a true politician, always considers how he shall make the most of the existing materials of his country. A disposition, to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman. Everything else is vulgar in the conception, perilous in the execution.
By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation.
Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
Fraud is the ready minister of injustice.
Good order is the foundation of all things.
Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have right that these wants should be provided for, including the want of a sufficient restraint upon their passions.
He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist in our helper.
History is a pact between the dead, the living, and the yet unborn.
Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises; for never intending to go beyond promises; it costs nothing.
I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their scabbards to avenge even a look that threatened her with insult. But the age of chivalry is gone.
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.
It is by imitation, far more than by precept, that we learn everything; and what we learn thus, we acquire not only more efficiently, but more pleasantly. This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives.
It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.
Men have no right to put the well-being of the present generation wholly out of the question. Perhaps the only moral trust with any certainty in our hands is the care of our own time.
Never despair but if you do, work on in despair.
Never despair; but if you do, work on in despair.
Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order. It is the Corinthian capital of polished society.
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.
Our patience will achieve more than our force.
Passion for fame: A passion which is the instinct of all great souls.
The distinguishing part of our Constitution is its liberty. To preserve that liberty inviolate seems the particular duty and proper trust of a member of the House of Commons. But the liberty, the only liberty, I mean is a liberty connected with order: that not only exists along with order and virtue, but which cannot exist at all without them. It inheres in good and steady government, as in its substance and vital principle.
The true danger is when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.
The tyranny of a multitude is a multiplied tyranny.
The wise determine from the gravity of the case the irritable, from sensibility to oppression the high minded, from disdain and indignation at abusive power in unworthy hands.
The wise determine from the gravity of the case; the irritable, from sensibility to oppression; the high minded, from disdain and indignation at abusive power in unworthy hands.
There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
There is a courageous wisdom; there is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution but of fear.
Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.
We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.
We must not always judge of the generality of the opinion by the noise of the acclamation.
When bad men combine, the good must associate else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.
Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
You can never plan the future by the past.

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