Edmund Burke Quotes


Edmund Burke (1729-1797) was an Irish-born statesman, philosopher, and orator who played a significant role in British politics during the late 18th century. He is regarded as the founder of modern conservatism and was an influential figure in the development of classical liberal thought.

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Burke was born in Dublin, Ireland and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin. He later moved to London and became a member of parliament, where he served as a member of the Whig party. He was a strong advocate for the rights of the American colonists and opposed the French Revolution, which he believed would lead to the destruction of traditional institutions and values.

Burke was also a prolific writer, with his most famous work being “Reflections on the Revolution in France” (1790). In this book, he criticized the radicalism of the French Revolution and defended the value of tradition and stability. Burke’s ideas have had a lasting impact on conservative thought and continue to influence political discourse to this day.

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Prepare to immerse yourself in the profound musings of Edmund Burke, as he eloquently explores the essence of social order and the intricate tapestry of civil society. Here are some Quotes.

Famous Edmund Burke Quotes

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

2. “Our patience will achieve more than our force.”

3. “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”

4. “Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”

Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength. - Edmund Burke

5. “Evil succeeds when good men do nothing.”

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

7. “Liberty does not exist in the absence of morality.”

8. “When you fear something, learn as much about it as you can. Knowledge conquers fear.”

9. “To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”

10. “Good company, lively conversation, and the endearments of friendship fill the mind with great pleasure.”

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11. “The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.”

12. “A coward’s courage is in his tongue.”

13. “Good order is the foundation of all things.”

14. “Genuine simplicity of heart is a healing and cementing principle.”

15. “Silence is golden but when it threatens your freedom it’s yellow.”

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

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

18. “All that needs to be done for evil to prevail is good men doing nothing.”

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

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

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21. “Never despair, but if you do, work on in despair.”

22. “The traveller has reached the end of the journey!”

23. “Applaud us when we run, Console us when we fall, Cheer us when we recover.”

Applaud us when we run, Console us when we fall, Cheer us when we recover. - Edmund Burke

24. “The essence of tyranny is the enforcement of stupid laws.”

25. “The true way to mourn the dead is to take care of the living who belong to them.”

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

27. “Turn over a new leaf.”

28. “Never, no never, did Nature say one thing, and wisdom another.”

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

30. “Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.”

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31. “The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity.”

32. “If we owned the property, we will be free and prosperous. If so they regain control, we will become poor.”

33. “The truly sublime is always easy, and always natural.”

34. “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.”

35. “Beauty in distress is much the most affecting beauty.”

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

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

38. “An event has happened, upon which it is difficult to speak, and impossible to be silent.”

39. “Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.”

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

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41. “To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely.”

42. “Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.”

43. “What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!”

What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue! - Edmund Burke

44. “Art is a partnership not only between those who are living but between those who are dead and those who are yet to be born.”

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

46. “The arrogance of age must submit to be taught by youth.”

47. “He that struggles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill. Our antagonist is our helper.”

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

49. “History is a pact between the dead, the living, and the yet unborn.”

50. “The wisdom of our ancestors.”

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51. “Gambling is a principle inherent in human nature.”

52. “Religion is the basis of civil society, and the source of all good and of all comfort.”

53. “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing as they must if they believe they can do nothing. There is nothing worse because the council of despair is declaration of irresponsibility; it is Pilate washing his hands.”

54. “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 hope and nothing to lose, will always be dangerous.”

55. “Beauty is the promise of happiness.”

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

57. “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.”

58. “Between craft and credulity, the voice of reason is stifled.”

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

60. “Toleration is good for all, or it is good for none.”

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61. “The tribunal of conscience exists independent of edicts and decrees.”

62. “Responsibility prevents crimes.”

63. “A perfect democracy is therefore the most shameless thing in the world.”

A perfect democracy is therefore the most shameless thing in the world. - Edmund Burke

64. “A great empire and little minds go ill together.”

65. “The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in times of moral crisis.”

66. “All men have equal rights, but not to equal things.”

67. “The individual is foolish; the multitude, for the moment is foolish, when they act without deliberation; but the species is wise, and, when time is given to it, as a species it always acts right.”

68. “One source of the sublime is infinity.”

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

70. “Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.”

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71. “That cardinal virtue, temperance.”

72. “Next to love, Sympathy is the divinest passion of the human heart.”

73. “Man is by his constitution a religious animal.”

74. “Over-taxation cost England her colonies of North America.”

75. “What ever disunites man from God, also disunites man from man.”

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

77. “The method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation is incomparably the best.”

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

79. “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.”

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

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81. “History consists, for the greater part, of the miseries brought upon the world by pride, ambition, avarice, revenge, lust, sedition, hypocrisy, ungoverned zeal, and all the train of disorderly appetite.”

82. “Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.”

83. “An appearance of delicacy, and even fragility, is almost essential to beauty.”

84. “Ambition can creep as well as soar.”

85. “I know of nothing sublime which is not some modification of power.”

I know of nothing sublime which is not some modification of power. - Edmund Burke

86. “Education is the cheap defense of nations.”

87. “The great Error of our Nature is, not to know where to stop, not to be satisfied with any reasonable Acquirement; not to compound with our Condition; but to lose all we have gained by an insatiable Pursuit after more.”

88. “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.”

89. “To speak of atrocious crimes in mild language is treason to virtue.”

90. “Water is insipid, inodorous, colorless and smooth.”

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91. “All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.”

92. “The blood of man should never be shed but to redeem the blood of man. It is well shed for our family, for our friends, for our God, for our country, for our kind. The rest is vanity; the rest is crime.”

93. “The grand instructor, time.”

94. “Liberty, without wisdom, is license.”

95. “Mere parsimony is not economy. Expense, and great expense, may be an essential part in true economy.”

96. “The only infallible criterion of wisdom to vulgar minds – success.”

97. “Equity money is dynamic and debt money is static.”

98. “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.”

99. “Circumspection and caution are part of wisdom.”

100. “Nothing so effectually deadens the taste of the sublime as that which is light and radiant.”

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