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Edmund Burke Quotes

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Vice incapacitates a man from all public duty; it withers the powers of his understanding, and makes his mind paralytic.

Vice loses half its evil by losing all its grossness.

Virtue will catch as well as vice by contact; and the public stock of honest, manly principle will daily accumulate. We are not too nicely to scrutinize motives as long as action is irreproachable. It is enough to deal out its infamy to convicted guilt and declared apostasy.

War never leaves, where it found a nation.

We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages.

We know, and, what is better, we feel inwardly, that religion is the basis of civil society, and the source of all good and of all comfort.

We must all obey the great law of change. It is the most powerful law of nature.

We set ourselves to bite the hand that feeds us.

Well is it known that ambition can creep as well as soar.

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.

What morality requires, true statesmanship should accept.

What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!

Whatever disunites man from God disunites man from man.

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.

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

When I see the spirit of liberty in action, I see a strong principle at work and this, for a while, is all I can possibly know of it. The wild gas, the fixed air, is plainly broke loose: but we ought to suspend our judgment until the first effervescence is a little subsided, till the liquor is cleared, and until we see something deeper than the agitation of a troubled and frothy surface. I must be tolerably sure, before I venture publicly to congratulate men upon a blessing, that they have really received one.

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.

When will young and inexperienced men learn caution and distrust of themselves.

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.

Whenever our neighbor's house is on fire, it cannot be amiss for the engines to play a little on our own. Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident security.

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