46 Most Famous Edmund Burke Quotes

46 Most Famous Edmund Burke Quotes

by / Comments Off / 117 View / Dec 23, 2014

Edmund Burke was an Irish author, philosopher, and statesman from Dublin. He is most known for his support of the American Revolution which led him to become the leader of the Whig Party. He died on July 9, 1729.

“A people who are still, as it were, but in the gristle, and not yet hardened into the bone of manhood.”

“A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.”

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

“All who have ever written on government are unanimous, that among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.”

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

“Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions, than ruined by too confident a security.”

“But if we think this necessity rather imaginary than real, we should renounce their dreams of society, together with their visions of religion, and vindicate ourselves into perfect liberty.”

“By the disposition of a stupendous wisdom, moulding together the great mysterious incorporation of the human race, the whole, at one time, is never old, or middle-aged, or young; but, in a
condition of unchangeable constancy, moves on through the varied tenor of perpetual decay, fall, renovation, and progression.”

“Early and provident fear is the mother of safety.”

“Evils we have had continually calling for reformation, and reformations more grievous than any evils.”

“Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.”

“Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.”

“Free trade is not based on utility but on justice.”

“Gentlemen, the melancholy event of yesterday reads to us an awful lesson against being too much troubled about any of the objects of ordinary ambition. The worthy gentleman, who has been
snatched from us at the moment of the election, and in the middle of contest, whilst his desires were as warm, and his hopes as eager as ours, has feelingly told us, what shadows we are, and
what shadows we pursue.”

“I am convinced that we have a degree of delight, and that no small one, in the real misfortunes and pains of others.”

“I cannot conceive how any man can have brought himself to that pitch of presumption, to consider his country as nothing but carte blanche, upon which he may scribble whatever he pleases.”

“I take toleration to be a part of religion. I do not know which I would sacrifice; I would keep them both: it is not necessary that I should sacrifice either.”

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

“It is the function of a judge not to make but to declare the law, according to the golden mete-wand of the law and not by the crooked cord of discretion.”

“It looks to me to be narrow and pedantic to apply the ordinary ideas of criminal justice to this great public contest. I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole

“It shews the anxiety of the great men who influenced the conduct of affairs at that great event, to make the Revolution a parent of settlement, and not a nursery of future revolutions.”

“Jacobinism is the revolt of the enterprising talents of a country against its property.”

“Laws, like houses, lean on one another.”

“Learning will be cast into the mire and trodden down under the hoofs of a swinish multitude.”

“Manners are of more importance than laws. The law can touch us here and there, now and then. Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine us, by a
constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation like that of the air we breathe in.”

“No passion so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.”

“Of this stamp is the cant of, Not men, but measures.”

“One that confounds good and evil is an enemy to the good.”

“People crushed by law, have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws; and those who have much to hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous.”

“People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.”

“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”

“The body of all true religion consists, to be sure, in obedience to the will of the Sovereign of the world, in a confidence in His declarations, and in imitation of His perfections.”

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

“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

“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 sort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them proof against the most fatiguing delays, the most mortifying disappointments, the
most shocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgement of the ignorant upon their designs.”

“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.”

“There is nothing that God has judged good for us that He has not given us the means to accomplish, both in the natural and the moral world.”

“There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.”

“There never was a bad man that had ability for good service.”

“To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men.”

“Tyrants seldom want pretexts.”

“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.”

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

“You can never plan the future by the past.”