Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other's habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets. The rich and the poor.
A man may speak very well in the House of Commons, and fail very completely in the House of Lords. There are two distinct styles requisite: I intend, in the course of my career, if I have time, to give a specimen of both.
Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress; having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future.
The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments' plans.
A great city, whose image dwells in the memory of man, is the type of some great idea. Rome represents conquest; Faith hovers over the towers of Jerusalem; and Athens embodies the pre-eminent quality of the antique world, Art.
The poor are very well off, at least the agricultural poor, very well off indeed. Their incomes are certain, that is a great point, and they have no cares, no anxieties; they always have a resource, they always have the House. People without cares do not require as much food as those whose life entails anxieties. See how long they live!
It is a great mistake to suppose that bribery and corruption, although they may be very convenient for gratifying the ambition or the vanity of individuals, have any great effect upon the fortunes or the power of parties. And it is a great mistake to suppose that bribery and corruption are means by which power can either be ob-tained or retained.
Coquettes are, but too rare. It is a career that requires great abilities, infinite pains, a gay and airy spirit. 'T is the coquette who provides all the amusements,--suggests the riding-party, plans the picnic, gives and guesses charades, acts them. She is the stirring element amid the heavy congeries of social atoms,--the soul of the house, the salt of the banquet.
The first favourite was never heard of, the second favourite was never seen after the distance post, all the ten-to-oners were in the rear, and a dark horse which had never been thought of, and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grand stand in sweeping triumph.
Popular privileges are consistent with a state of society in which there is great inequality of position. Democratic rights, on the contrary, demand that there should be equality of condition as the fundamental basis of the society they regulate.
Sir, very few people reach posterity. Who amongst us may arrive at that destination I presume not to vaticinate. Posterity is a most limited assembly. Those gentlemen who reach posterity are not much more numerous than the planets.
Posterity will do justice to that unprincipled maniac Gladstone - extraordinary mixture of envy, vindictiveness, hypocrisy and superstition; and with one commanding characteristic - whether Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition, whether preaching, praying, speechifying or scribbling - never a gentleman.
A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity, and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself.
I have brought myself, by long meditation, to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.
The right honourable gentleman caught the Whigs bathing, and walked away with their clothes. He has left them in the full enjoyment of their liberal positions, and he is himself a strict conservative of their garments.
We live in an age when to be young and to be indifferent can be no longer synonymous. We must prepare for the coming hour. The claims of the Future are represented by suffering millions; and the Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity.
What Art was to the ancient world, Science is to the modern: the distinctive faculty. In the minds of men the useful has succeeded to the beautiful. Instead of the city of the Violet Crown, a Lancashire village has expanded into a mighty region of factories and warehouses. Yet, rightly understood, Manchester is as great a human exploit; as Athens.
Had it not been for you, I should have remained what I was when we first met, a prejudiced, narrow-minded being, with contracted sympathies and false knowledge, wasting my life on obsolete trifles, and utterly insensible to the privilege of living in this wondrous age of change and progress.
Rothschild is the Lord and Master of the money markets of the world, and of course virtually Lord and Master of everything else. He literally held the revenues of Southern Italy in pawn, and Monarchs and Ministers of all countries courted his advice and were guided by his suggestions.
Under this roof are the heads of the family of Rothschild - a name famous in every capital of Europe and every division of the globe. If you like, we shall divide the United States into two parts, one for you, James [Rothschild], and one for you, Lionel [Rothschild]. Napoleon will do exactly and all that I shall advise him.
Books are fatal they are the curse of the human race. Nine-tenths of existing books are nonsense, and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense. The greatest misfortune that ever befell man was the invention of printing
It is useless to deny, and impossible to conceal, that a great part of Europe, the whole of Italy and France, and a great portion of Germany, to say nothing of other countries - is covered with a network of these secret societies, just as the superfices of the Earth are being covered with railroads.
Generally speaking, among sensible persons, it would seem that a rich man deems that friend a sincere one who does not want to borrow his money; while, among the less favored with fortune's gifts, the sincere friend is generally esteemed to be the individual who is ready to lend it.
Taste, when once obtained, may be said to be no acquiring faculty, and must remain stationary; but knowledge is of perpetual growth and has infinite demands. Taste, like an artificial canal, winds through a beautiful country, but its borders are confined and its term is limited. Knowledge navigates the ocean, and is perpetually on voyages of discovery.
That doctrine of peace at any price has done more mischief than any I can well recall that have been afloat in this country. It has occasioned more wars than any of the most ruthless conquerors. It has disturbed and nearly destroyed that political equilibrium so necessary to the liberties and the welfare of the world.
I am a Conservative to preserve all that is good in our constitution, a Radical to remove all that is bad. I seek to preserve property and to respect order, and I equally decry the appeal to the passions of the many or the prejudices of the few.
For nearly five years the present Ministers have harassed every trade, worried every profession, and assailed or menaced every class, institution, and species of property in the country. Occasionally they have varied this state of civil warfare by perpetrating some job which outraged public opinion, or by stumbling into mistakes which have been always discreditable, and sometimes ruinous. All this they call a policy, and seem quite proud of it; but the country has, I think, made up its mind to close this career of plundering and blundering.
How very seldom do you encounter in the world a man of great abilities, acquirements, experience, who will unmask his mind, unbutton his brains, and pour forth in careless and picturesque phrase all the results of his studies and observation; his knowledge of men, books, and nature. On the contrary, if a man has by any chance an original idea, he hoards it as if it were old gold; and rather avoids the subject with which he is most conversant, from fear that you may appropriate his best thoughts.
All of us encounter, at least once in our life, some individual who utters words that make us think forever. There are men whose phrases are oracles; who condense in one sentence the secrets of life; who blurt out an aphorism that forms a character or illustrates an existence.
Some will read only old books, as if there were no valuable truths to be discovered in modern publications: others will only read new books, as if some valuable truths are not among the old. Some will not read a book because they know the author: others . . . would also read the man.
England is a domestic country. Here the home is revered and the hearth sacred. The nation is represented by a family,--the Royal family,--and if that family is educated with a sense of responsibility and a sentiment of public duty, it is difficult to exaggerate the salutary influence it may exercise over a nation.
I see before me the statue of a celebrated minister, who said that confidence was a plant of slow growth. But I believe, however gradual may be the growth of confidence, that of credit requires still more time to arrive at maturity.
This is the third time that, in the course of six years, during which I have had the lead of the Opposition in the House of Commons, I have stormed the Treasury Benches: twice, fruitlessly, the third time with a tin kettle to my tail which rendered the race hopeless. You cannot, therefore, be surprised, that I am a little wearied of these barren victories, which like Alma , Inkerman, and Balaclava , may be glorious but are certainly nothing more.
You have despoiled churches. You have threatened every corporation and endowment in the country. You have examined into everybodys affairs. You have criticised every profession and vexed every trade. No one is certain of his property, and nobody knows what duties he may have to perform to-morrow. This is the policy of confiscation as compared with that of concurrent endowment.
You cannot choose between party government and Parliamentary government. I say you can have no Parliamentary government if you have no party government; and therefore when gentlemen denounce party government, they strike at the scheme of government which, in my opinion, has made this country great, and which, I hope, will keep it great.
I was told, continued Egremont, that an impassable gulf divided the Rich from the Poor; I was told that the Privileged and the People formed Two Nations, governed by different laws, influenced by different manners, with no thoughts or sympathies in common; with an innate inability of mutual comprehension.
The constitution of England is not a paper constitution. It is an aggregate of institutions, many of them founded merely upon prescription, some of them fortified by muniments, but all of them the fruit and experience of an ancient and illustrious people.
I look upon parliamentary government as the noblest government in the world, and certainly one most suited to England. But without the discipline of political connection, animated by the principle of private honor, I feel certain that a popular assembly would sink before the power or the corruption of a minister.
And it is a singular truth that, though a man may shake off national habits, accent, manner of thinking, style of dress,--though he may become perfectly identified with another nation, and speak its language well, perhaps better than his own,--yet never can he succeed in changing his handwriting to a foreign style.
No conjunction can possibly occur, however fearful, however tremendous it may appear, from which a man by his own energy may not extricate himself, as a mariner by the rattling of his cannon can dissipate the impending waterspout.
In great cities men are brought together by the desire of gain. They are not in a state of co-operation, but of isolation, as to the making of fortunes; and for all the rest they are careless of neighbors.
It is knowledge that influences and equalizes the social condition of man; that gives to all, however different their political position, passions which are in common, and enjoyments which are universal.
You know, all is development. The principle is perpetually going on. First, there was nothing, then there was something; then-I forget the next-I think there were shells, then fishes; then we came-let me see-did we come next? Never mind that; we came at last. And at the next change there will be something very superior to us-something with wings. Ah! That's it: we were fishes, and I believe we shall be crows.
If the history of England be ever written by one who has the knowledge and the courage,-and both qualities are equally requisite for the undertaking, - the world will be more astonished than when reading the Roman annals by Niebuhr.
In all church discussions we are apt to forget the second Testament is avowedly only a supplement. Jesus came to complete the law and the prophets. Christianity is completed Judaism, or it is nothing. Christianity is incomprehensible without Judaism, as Judaism is incomplete without Christianity.
If you establish a democracy, you must in due time reap the fruits of a democracy. You will in due season have great impatience of public burdens, combined in due season with great increase of public expenditure. You will in due season have wars entered into from passion and not from reason; and you will in due season submit to peace ignominiously sought and ignominiously obtained, which will diminish your authority and perhaps endanger your independence. You will in due season find your property is less valuable, and your freedom less complete.
What is wanted in architecture, as in so many things, is a man. ... One suggestion might be made-no profession in England has done its duty until it has furnished a victim. ... Even our boasted navy never achieved a great victory until we shot an admiral. Suppose an architect were hanged? Terror has its inspiration, as well as competition.
No man will treat with indifference the principle of race. It is the key to history, and why history is often so confused is that it has been written by men who are ignorant of this principle and all the knowledge it involves. . . Language and religion do not make a race--there is only one thing which makes a race, and that is blood.
It has been said that the people of this country are deeply interested in the humanitarian and philanthropic considerations involved in [the Eastern Question]. All must appreciate such feelings. But I am mistaken if there be not a yet deeper sentiment on the part of the people of this country, one with which I cannot doubt your lordships will ever sympathise, and that isâthe determination to maintain the Empire of England.
The press is not only free, it is powerful. That power is ours. It is the proudest that man can enjoy. It was not granted by monarchs, it was not gained for us by aristocracies ; but it sprang from the people, and, with an immortal instinct, it has always worked for the people.
It was not reason that besieged Troy; it was not reason that sent forth the Saracen from the desert to conquer the world; that inspired the crusades; that instituted the monastic orders; it was not reason that produced the Jesuits; above all, it was not reason that created the French Revolution. Man is only great when he acts from the passions; never irresistible but when he appeals to the imagination.
No government can be long secure without a formidable opposition. It reduces their supporters to that tractable number which can be managed by the joint influences of fruition and hope. It offers vengeance to the discontented, and distinction to the ambitious; and employs the energies of aspiring spirits, who otherwise may prove traitors in a division or assassins in a debate.
The divine right of kings may have been a plea for feeble tyrants, but the divine right of government is the keystone of human progress, and without it governments sink into police, and a nation is degraded into a mob.
This is to be observed of the Bishop of London, that, though apparently of a spirit somewhat austere, there is in his idiosyncrasy a strange fund of enthusiasm, a quality which ought never to be possessed by an Archbishop of Canterbury, or a Prime Minister of England. The Bishop of London sympathies with everything that is earnest; but what is earnest is not always true; on the contrary error is often more earnest than truth.
Why, I say, that to tax the community for the advantage of a class is not protection; it is plunder, and I entirely disclaim it; but I ask you to protect the rights and interests of labour generally in the first place, by allowing no free imports from countries which meet you with countervailing duties; and, in the second place, with respect to agricultural produce, to compensate the soil for the burdens from which other classes are free by an equivalent duty. This is my view of what is called "protection.
The difference between talent and genius is this: while the former usually develops some special branch of our faculties, the latter commands them all. When the former is combined with tact, it is often more than a match for the latter.
A man's fate is his own temper; and according to that will be his opinion as to the particular manner in which the course of events is regulated. A consistent man believes in destiny, a capricious man in chance.
Gentl, I am a party man. I believe that, without party, Parliamentary government is impossible. I look upon Parliamentary government as the noblest government in the world, and certainly the one most suited to England.
The Greeks adored their gods by the simple compliment of kissing their hands; and the Romans were treated as atheists if they would not perform the same act when they entered a temple. This custom, however, as a religious ceremony declined with paganism,but was continued as a salutation by inferiors to their superiors, or as a token of esteem among friends.