Edmund Burke Quotes

Most popular Edmund Burke Quotes

The grand Instructor, Time.
— Edmund Burke
Custom reconciles us to everything.
— Edmund Burke
The march of the human mind is slow.
— Edmund Burke

mind

Public calamity is a mighty leveler.
— Edmund Burke

calamity

Bad laws are the worst sort of tyranny.
— Edmund Burke

regulations tyranny law

Laws, like houses, lean on one another.

law

Manners are of more importance than laws.
— Edmund Burke
You can never plan the future by the past.
— Edmund Burke

time the past future planning

Good order is the foundation of all things.
— Edmund Burke
War never leaves a nation where it found it.
— Edmund Burke

war

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.
— Edmund Burke

religion

Our patience will achieve more than our force.

patience

Man is by his constitution a religious animal.

man the animal mankind

Old religious factions are volcanoes burnt out.
— Edmund Burke

religion

Facts are to the mind what food is to the body.
— Edmund Burke

facts

We set ourselves to bite the hand that feeds us.

ingratitude

Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver.

flattery

It is the nature of all greatness not to be exact.
— Edmund Burke

greatness

The greater the power, the more dangerous the abuse.
— Edmund Burke
The arrogance of age must submit to be taught by youth.
— Edmund Burke

youth & age

By gnawing through a dike, even a rat may drown a nation.
— Edmund Burke
Well it is known that ambition can creep as well as soar.

ambition

Philosophy is queen of the arts and the daughter of heaven.
— Edmund Burke
There is a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
— Edmund Burke

virtue action tolerance patience

Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting.
— Edmund Burke

thinking reading

To read without reflecting, is like eating without digesting.
— Edmund Burke
Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society.
— Edmund Burke
Example is the school of mankind; they will learn at no other.
— Edmund Burke
In all forms of government the people are the true legislators.
— Edmund Burke
The only infallible criterion of wisdom to vulgar minds—success.
— Edmund Burke

success

The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion.
— Edmund Burke

freedom

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

example

If you can be well without health, you may be happy without virtue.
— Edmund Burke

health

History is a pact between the dead, the living, and the yet unborn.
— Edmund Burke
Abstract liberty, like other mere abstractions, is not to be found.
— Edmund Burke
They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance.
— Edmund Burke

obstinacy

Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants.
— Edmund Burke
Nothing turns out to be so oppressive and unjust as a feeble government.

government

I do not know the method of drawing up an indictment against a whole people.
— Edmund Burke

the public

Whilst shame keeps its watch, virtue is not wholly extinguished in the heart.

virtue

To tax and to please, no more than to love and to be wise, is not given to men.
— Edmund Burke

taxes

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
— Edmund Burke

action good and evil

Those who have been once intoxicated with power can never willingly abandon it.
— Edmund Burke

power

The first and simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind, is curiosity.
— Edmund Burke
There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men.

evil

Somebody has said that a king may make a nobleman but he cannot make a gentleman.
— Edmund Burke

gentleman

Men will not look forward to posterity who never look backward to their ancestors.
— Edmund Burke
A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.

change

The first and the simplest emotion which we discover in the human mind is Curiosity.

curiosity

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil was that good men should do nothing.
— Edmund Burke

inaction good and evil

People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.
— Edmund Burke

ancestors

Manners are of more importance than laws.  Upon them, in a great measure, the laws depend.

manners

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

fear

Whenever a separation is made between liberty and justice, neither, in my opinion, is safe.
— Edmund Burke

justice freedom

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

wealth

If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.
— Edmund Burke

wealth

He that wrestles with us strengthens our nerves, and sharpens our skill.  Our antagonist is our helper.

enemies opposition skill

It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do.
— Edmund Burke

law justice

Men who undertake considerable things, even in a regular way, ought to give us ground to presume ability.

ability

The method of teaching which approaches most nearly to the method of investigation, is incomparably the best.
— Edmund Burke
People crushed by law have no hopes but from power.  If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws.
— Edmund Burke

law

All human laws are, properly speaking, only declaratory; they have no power over the substance of original justice.
— Edmund Burke

law justice

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

pain misfortune

There is a boundary to men's passions when they act from feelings; but none when they are under the influence of imagination.
— Edmund Burke

imagination

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

good and evil cooperation

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

good and evil

But the age of chivalry is gone. That of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded; and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever.
Tell me what are the prevailing sentiments that occupy the minds of your young men, and I will tell you what is to be the character of the next generation.
— Edmund Burke
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.
— Edmund Burke
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.
— Edmund Burke
Of all things, wisdom is the most terrified of epidemical fanaticism, because of all enemies it is that against which she is the least able to furnish any kind of resource.

fanaticism

Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any eminent departure from it, under any circumstances, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.
— Edmund Burke

justice

People crushed by laws, have no hope but to evade power. If the laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to the law; and those who have most to hope and nothing to lose will always be dangerous.
— Edmund Burke

injustice revolution

All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.  We balance inconveniences; we give and take; we remit some rights, that we may enjoy others.
— Edmund Burke

compromise

As to great and commanding talents, they are the gift of Providence in some way unknown to us, they rise where they are least expected; they fail when everything seems disposed to produce them, or at least to call them forth.
— Edmund Burke

talent