Edmund Burke Quotes

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

 

“Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Woman is not made to be the admiration of all, but the happiness of one.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

 

“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

 

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Ambition can creep as well as soar.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“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. Those who know what virtuous liberty is, cannot bear to see it disgraced by incapable heads, on account of their having high-sounding words in their mouths.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Our patience will achieve more than our force.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Never apologise for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologise for the truth.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

[Preface to Brissot’s Address to His Constituents (1794)]”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Liberty does not exist in the absence of morality.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

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

 

 

“No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“It is a general popular error to imagine the loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for its welfare.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“People will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity,—in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption,—in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“It is not, what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice, tell me I ought to do.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Kings will be tyrants by policy when subjects are rebels from principle.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“I have not yet lost a feeling of wonder, and of delight, that the delicate motion should reside in all the things around us, revealing itself only to him who looks for it.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“There is a boundary to men’s passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“The greatest gift is a passion for reading.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“The human mind is often, and I think it is for the most part, in a state neither of pain nor pleasure, which I call a state of indifference.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“As the rose-tree is composed of the sweetest flowers and the sharpest thorns, as the heavens are sometimes overcast—alternately tempestuous and serene—so is the life of man intermingled with hopes and fears, with joys and sorrows, with pleasure and pain.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“It is our ignorance of things that causes all our admiration and chiefly excites our passions.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Society is a partnership of the dead, the living and the unborn.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“A state without the means of some change, is without the means of its own conservation.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“The use of force alone is but temporary. It may subdue for a moment; but it does not remove the necessity of subduing again; and a nation is not governed, which is perpetually to be conquered.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

 

“You will smile here at the consistency of those democratists who, when they are not on their guard, treat the humbler part of the community with the greatest contempt, whilst, at the same time they pretend to make them the depositories of all power.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“A kind Providence has placed in our breasts a hatred of the unjust and cruel, in order that we may preserve ourselves from cruelty and injustice. They who bear cruelty, are accomplices in it. The pretended gentleness which excludes that charitable rancour, produces an indifference which is half an approbation. They never will love where they ought to love, who do not hate where they ought to hate.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shadow of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the sublime; that is, it is productive of the strongest emotion which the mind is capable of feeling …. When danger or pain press too nearly, they are incapable of giving any delight, and [yet] with certain modifications, they may be, and they are delightful, as we every day experience.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“Wise men will apply their remedies to vices, not to names; to the causes of evil which are permanent, not to occasional organs by which they act, and the transitory modes in which they appear.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“It is now sixteen or seventeen years since I saw the queen of France, then the dauphiness, at Versailles; and surely never lighted on this orb, which she hardly seemed to touch, a more delightful vision. I saw her just above the horizon, decorating and cheering the elevated sphere she just began to move in,—glittering like the morning-star, full of life, and splendor, and joy. Oh! what a revolution! and what a heart must I have, to contemplate without emotion that elevation and that fall! Little did I dream that, when she added titles of veneration to those of enthusiastic, distant, respectful love, that she should ever be obliged to carry the sharp antidote against disgrace concealed in that bosom; little did I dream that I should have lived to see such disasters fallen upon her in a nation of gallant men, in a nation of men of honour and of cavaliers. 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.—That of sophisters, economists, and calculators, has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone! It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“For there is in mankind an unfortunate propensity to make themselves, their views and their works, the measure of excellence in every thing whatsoever”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“No man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

“The only thing necessary for the continuance of evil is for a good man to do nothing.”
― Edmond Burke

 

 

“Rage and frenzy will pull down more in half an hour than prudence, deliberation, and foresight can build up in a hundred years.”
― Edmund Burke

 

 

 

“Difficulty is a severe instructor, set over us by the supreme ordinance of a parental guardian and legislator, who knows us better than we know ourselves, as he loves us better too. He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.”
― Edmund Burke

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