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EDMUND BURKE
Irish orator and statesman
(1729 - 1797)
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Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants.
      - [Government]

Great men are never sufficiently shown but in struggles.
      - [Greatness]

Greater mischief happens often from folly, meanness, and vanity than from the greater sins of avarice and ambition.
      - [Vanity]

Guilt was never a rational thing; it distorts all the faculties of the human mind, it perverts them, it leaves a man no longer in the free use of his reason, it puts him into confusion.
      - [Guilt]

He that accuses all mankind of corruption ought to remember that he is sure to convict only one.
      - [Accusation]

He that borrows the aid of an equal understanding doubles his own; he that uses that of a superior elevates his own to the stature of that he contemplates.
      - [Quotations]

He who calls in the aid of an equal understanding doubles his own; and he who profits by a superior understanding raises his powers to a level with the height of the superior standing he unites with.
      - [Advice]

His enthusiasm kindles as he advances; and when he arrives at his peroration it is in full blaze.
      - [Oratory]

Humanity cannot be degraded by humiliation.
      - [Humility]

Hypocrisy can afford to be magnificent in its promises, for never intending to go beyond promise, it costs nothing.
      - [Hypocrisy]

Hypocrisy is no cheap vice; nor can our natural temper be masked for many years together.
      - [Hypocrisy]

I cannot help concurring with the opinion that an absolute democracy, no more than absolute monarchy, is to be reckoned among the legitimate forms of government.
      - [Democracy]

I consider how little man is, yet, in his own mind, how great. He is lord and master of all things, yet scarce can command anything.
      - [Man]

I despair of ever receiving the same degree of pleasure from the most exalted performances of genius which I felt in childhood from pieces which my present judgment regards as trifling and contemptible.
      - [Romance]

I do not hesitate to say that the road to eminence and power, from an obscure condition, ought not to be made too easy, nor a thing too much of course. If rare merit be the rarest of all things, it ought to pass through some sort of probation. The temple of honor ought to be seated on an eminence. If it be open through virtue, let it be remembered, too, that virtue is never tried but by some difficulty and some struggle.
      - [Greatness]

I do ride contend against the advantages of distrust. In the world we live in, it is but too necessary. Some of old called it the very sinews of discretion.
      - [Discretion]

I know of nothing sublime which is not some modification of power.
      - [Sublimity]

I own that there is a haughtiness and fierceness in human nature which will cause innumerable broils, place men in what situation you please.
      - [Humanity]

I venture to say no war can be long carried on against the will of the people.
      - [War]

If an idiot were to tell you the same story every day for a year, you would end by believing him.
      - [Habit]

If any ask me what a free government is, I answer that, for any particular purpose, it is what the people think so.
      - [Government]

If anything in my conversation has merited your regard, I think it must be the openness and freedom with which I commonly express my sentiments. You are too wise a man not to know that such freedom is not without its use.
      - [Candor]

If I might venture to appeal to what is so much out of fashion at Paris, I mean to experience, I should tell you that in my course I have known and, according to my measure, have cooperated with great men; and I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business.
      - [Experience]

If the prudence of reserve and decorum dictates silence in some circumstances, in others prudence of a higher order may justify us in speaking our thoughts.
      - [Prudence]

If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed. We are bought by the enemy with the treasure in our own coffers.
      - [Wealth]


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