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EDMUND BURKE
Irish orator and statesman
(1729 - 1797)
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Manners are of more importance than laws. Upon them, in a great measure, the laws depend. The law touches us but here and there, and 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. They give their whole form and color to our lives. According to their quality, they aid morals; they supply them or they totally destroy them.
      - [Manners]

Manners are what vex or soothe, corrupt or purify, exalt or debase, barbarize or refine, by a constant, steady, uniform, insensible operation, like that of the air we breathe in. They give their whole form and colors to our lives. According to their quality they aid morals, they supply them, or they totally destroy them.
      - [Manners]

Many of the greatest tyrants on the records of history have begun their reigns in the fairest manner. But the truth is, this unnatural power corrupts both the heart and the understanding.
      - [Despotism]

Men are as much blinded by the extremes of misery as by the extremes of prosperity.
      - [Extremes]

Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites.
      - [Freedom]

Men love to hear of their power, but have an extreme disrelish to be told their duty.
      - [Duty]

Men want to be reminded, who do not want to be taught; because those original ideas of rectitude to which the mind is compelled to assent when they are proposed, are not always as present to us as they ought to be.
      - [Teaching]

Never despair. But if you do, work on in despair.
      - [Despair]

Next to love, sympathy is the divinest passion of the human heart.
      - [Sympathy]

Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little.
      - [Mistake]

Nothing is so rash as fear; and the counsels of pusillanimity very rarely put off, whilst they are always sure to aggravate, the evils from which they would fly.
      - [Fear]

Nothing ought to be more weighed than the nature of books recommended by public authority. So recommended, they soon form the character of the age.
      - [Books]

Nothing so effectually deadens the taste of the sublime as that which is light and radiant.
      - [Sublimity]

Nothing tends so much to the corruption of science as to suffer it to stagnate.
      - [Science]

Nothing, indeed, but the possession of some power can with any certainty discover what at the bottom is the true character of any man.
      - [Power]

Obstinacy, sir, is certainly a great vice; and in the changeful state of political affairs it is frequently the cause of great mischief. It happens, however, very unfortunately, that almost the whole line of the great and masculine virtues--constancy, gravity, magnanimity, fortitude, fidelity, and firmness--are closely allied to this disagreeable quality, of which you have so just an abhorrence; and in their excess all these virtues very easily fall into it.
      - [Obstinacy]

Of all things, wisdom is the most terrified with epidemical fanaticism, because, of all enemies, it is that against which she is the least able to furnish any kind of resource.
      - [Fanaticism]

Old religious factions are volcanoes burned out; on the lava and ashes and squalid scoriae of old eruptions grow the peaceful olive, the cheering vine and the sustaining corn.
      - [Denominationalism]

One source of the sublime is infinity.
      - [Sublimity]

Oppression makes wise men mad; but the distemper is still the madness of the wise, which is better than the sobriety of fools.
      - [Insanity]

Our manners, our civilization, and all the good things connected with manners and civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles: I mean the spirit of a gentleman, and the spirit of religion.
      - [Gentlemen]

Our patience will achieve more than our force.
      - [Patience]

Over-taxation cost England her colonies of North America.
      - [Taxes]

Pleasure of every kind quickly satisfies.
      - [Pleasure]

Poetry is the art of substituting shadows, and of lending existence to nothing.
      - [Poetry]


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