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Edmund Burke Quotes


Irish political philosopher, Whig politician, and statesman; he is regarded by many as the "father" of modern conservatism.
(1729 - 1797)

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A disposition to preserve, and an ability to improve, taken together, would be my standard of a statesman.
[Politicians]
 

A great object is always answered, whenever any property is transferred from hands that are not fit for that property to those  that are.
[Property]
 

A man who works beyond the surface of things, though he may be wrong himself, yet he clears the way for others and may make even his errors subservient to the cause of truth.
 

A nation without the means of reform is without the means of survival.
 

A spirit of innovation is generally the result of a selfish temper and confined views. People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.
[Innovation]
 

A State without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.
[Change]
 

A very great part of the mischiefs that vex this world arises from words.
 

A vigorous mind is as necessarily accompanied with violent passions as a great fire with great heat.
[Passion]
 

A wise and salutary neglect.
 

Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found.
 

Adversity is a severe instructor, set over us by one who knows us better than we do ourselves, as he loves us better too. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper. This conflict with difficulty makes us acquainted with our object, and compels us to consider it in all its relations. It will not suffer us to be superficial.
[Adversity]
 

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.
[Compromise]
 

All human laws are, properly speaking, only declaratory; they have no power over the substance of original justice.
 

All men that are ruined are ruined on the side of their natural propensities.
[Ruin]
 

Ambition can creep as well as soar.
[Ambition]
 

Among a people generally corrupt liberty cannot long exist.
 

An appearance of delicacy, and even of fragility, is almost essential to beauty.
[Beauty]
 

An entire life of solitude contradicts the purpose of our being, since death itself is scarcely an idea of more terror.
[Solitude]
 

An extreme rigor is sure to arm everything against it.
 

Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.
 


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