A good constitution is infinitely better than the best despot.
As civilization advances, poetry almost necessarily declines.
I shall cheerfully bear the reproach of having descended below the dignity of history if I can succeed in placing before the English of the nineteenth century a true picture of the life of their ancestors.
And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?
The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.
Such night in England ne'er had been, nor ne'er again shall be.
We hold that the most wonderful and splendid proof of genius is a great poem produced in a civilized age.
We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.
Temple was a man of the world amongst men of letters, a man of letters amongst men of the world.
Turn where we may, within, around, the voice of great events is proclaiming to us, Reform, that you may preserve!
The interests of large classes had been unfavourably affected by the establishment of the new diligences; and, as usual, many persons were, from mere stupidity and obstinacy, disposed to clamour against the innovation, simply because it was an innovation.
American democracy must be a failure because it places the supreme authority in the hands of the poorest and most ignorant part of the society.
Perhaps no person can be a poet, or even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind.
There is only one cure for the evils which newly acquired freedom produces, and that cure is freedom.
Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.
There is surely no contradiction in saying that a certain section of the community may be quite competent to protect the persons and property of the rest, yet quite unfit to direct our opinions, or to superintend our private habits.
Persecution produced its natural effect on them. It found them a sect; it made them a faction.
The best portraits are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature.
That is the best government which desires to make the people happy, and knows how to make them happy.
An acre in Middlesex is better than a principality in Utopia.
She thoroughly understands what no other Church has ever understood, how to deal with enthusiasts.
Many politicians are in the habit of laying it down as a self-evident proposition that no people ought to be free till they are fit to use their freedom. The maxim is worthy of the fool in the old story who resolved not to go into the water till he had learned to swim.
The gallery in which the reporters sit has become a fourth estate of the realm.
The Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.
I shall not be satisfied unless I produce something which shall for a few days supersede the last fashionable novel on the tables of young ladies.
He had a wonderful talent for packing thought close, and rendering it portable.
The knowledge of the theory of logic has no tendency whatever to make men good reasoners.
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.
A single breaker may recede; but the tide is evidently coming in.
There were gentlemen and there were seamen in the navy of Charles the Second. But the seamen were not gentlemen; and the gentlemen were not seamen.
To that class we may leave it to refine the vernacular dialects of the country, to enrich those dialects with terms of science borrowed from the Western nomenclature, and to render them by degrees fit vehicles for conveying knowledge to the great mass of the population.
The maxim, that governments ought to train the people in the way in which they should go, sounds well. But is there any reason for believing that a government is more likely to lead the people in the right way than the people to fall into the right way of themselves?
What a blessing it is to love books as I love them;- to be able to converse with the dead, and to live amidst the unreal!
None of the modes by which a magistrate is appointed, popular election, the accident of the lot, or the accident of birth, affords, as far as we can perceive, much security for his being wiser than any of his neighbours.
People crushed by law have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws.
And to say that society ought to be governed by the opinion of the wisest and best, though true, is useless. Whose opinion is to decide who are the wisest and best?
I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading.
Few of the many wise apothegms which have been uttered have prevented a single foolish action.
To sum up the whole, we should say that the aim of the Platonic philosophy was to exalt man into a god.
The effect of violent dislike between groups has always created an indifference to the welfare and honor of the state.
The more carefully we examine the history of the past, the more reason shall we find to dissent from those who imagine that our age has been fruitful of new social evils. The truth is that the evils are, with scarcely an exception, old. That which is new is the intelligence which discerns and the humanity which remedies them.