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THOMAS BABINGTON MACAULAY
English author, historian, statesman and poet
(1800 - 1859)
  Displaying page 1 of 7    Next Page >> 

A Grecian history, perfectly written should be a complete record of the rise and progress of poetry, philosophy, and the arts.
      - [History]

A perfect historian must possess an imagination sufficiently powerful to make his narrative affecting and picturesque; yet he must control it so absolutely as to content himself with the materials which he finds, and to refrain from supplying deficiencies by additions of his own. He must be a profound and ingenious reasoner; yet he must possess sufficient self-command to abstain from casting his facts in the mould of his hypothesis.
      - [Historians]

A politician must often talk and act before he has thought and read. He may be very ill informed respecting a question: all his notions about it may be vague and inaccurate; but speak he must. And if he is a man of ability, of tact, and of intrepidity, he soon finds that, even under such circumstances, it is possible to speak successfully.
      - [Politics]

A single breaker may recede; but the tide is coming in.
      - [Future]

A tact which surpassed the tact of her sex as much as the tact of her sex surpasses the tact of ours.
      - [Women]

A vice sanctioned by the general opinion is merely a vice. The evil terminates in itself. A vice condemned by the general opinion produces a pernicious effect on the whole character. The former is a local malady; the latter, constitutional taint. When the reputation of the offender is lost, he too often flings the remainder of his virtue after it in despair.
      - [Virtue]

Admirable as he was in all parts of his art, we most admire him for this, that while he has left us a greater number of striking portraits than all other dramatists put together, he has scarcely left us a single caricature.
      - [Shakespeare]

Alas, for human nature that the wounds of vanity should smart and bleed so much longer than the wounds of affection!
      - [Vanity]

All the walks of literature are infested with mendicants for fame, who attempt to excite our interest by exhibiting all the distortions of their intellects and stripping the covering from all the putrid sores of their feelings.
      - [Egotism]

And she (the Roman Catholic Church) may still exist in undiminished vigor, when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.
      - [Churches]

As freedom is the only safeguard of governments, so are order and moderation generally necessary to preserve freedom.
      - [Freedom]

At present, the novels which we owe to English ladies form no small part of the literary glory of our country. No class of works is more honorably distinguished for fine observation, by grace, by delicate wit, by pure moral feeling.
      - [Novels]

At the time when that odious style which deforms the writings of Hall and of Lord Bacon was almost universal, had appeared that stupendous ivory, the English Bible,--a book which, if everything else in our language should perish, would alone suffice to show the whole extent of its beauty and power.
      - [Bible]

Beards in olden times, were the emblems of wisdom and piety.
      - [Beard]

Boswell is the first of biographers.
      - [Biography]

Both in individuals and in masses violent excitement is always followed by remission, and often by reaction. We are all inclined to depreciate whatever we have overpraised, and, on the other hand, to show undue indulgence where we have shown undue rigor.
      - [Extremes]

Byron owed the vast influence which he exercised over his contemporaries at least as much to his gloomy egotism as to the real power of his poetry.
      - [Egotism]

Complete self-devotion is woman's part.
      - [Devotion]

Even Holland and Spain have been positively, though not relatively, advancing.
      - [Progress]

Every age and every nation has certain characteristic vices, which prevail almost universally, which scarcely any person scruples to avow, and which even rigid moralists but faintly censure. Succeeding generations change the fashion of their morals with the fashion of their hats and their coaches; take some other kind of wickedness under their patronage, and wonder at the depravity of their ancestors.
      - [Morality]

Every generation enjoys the use of a vast hoard bequeathed to it by antiquity, and transmits that hoard, augmented by fresh acquisitions, to future ages.
      - [Knowledge]

Every political sect has its esoteric and its exoteric school--its abstract doctrines for the initiated; its visible symbols, its imposing forms, its mythological fables, for the vulgar.
      - [Politics]

Every sect clamors for toleration when it is down.
      - [Bigotry]

Facts are the mere dross of history. It is from the abstract truth which interpenetrates them, and lies latent among them, like gold in the ore, that the mass derives its whole value; and the precious particles are generally combined with the baser in such a manner that the separation is a task of the utmost difficulty.
      - [History]

fearful odds,
  For the ashes of his fathers
    And the temple of his gods?
      - [Patriotism]


Displaying page 1 of 7 for this author:   Next >>  [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7

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