What are the best Thomas Babington Macaulay quotes?

Accurate and famous quotes by Thomas Babington Macaulay. Religion, persecution, society, birth, constitution are the favorite topics of this British poet. Read the best of all time and enjoy Top 10 lists, which can be shared with your friends and family.

  1. The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

  2. Perhaps no person can be a poet, or even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind.

  3. We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.

  4. He was a rake among scholars, and a scholar among rakes.

  5. He had a wonderful talent for packing thought close, and rendering it portable.

  6. And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?

  7. Turn where we may, within, around, the voice of great events is proclaiming to us, Reform, that you may preserve!

  8. She thoroughly understands what no other Church has ever understood, how to deal with enthusiasts.

  9. A good constitution is infinitely better than the best despot.

  10. We must judge a government by its general tendencies and not by its happy accidents.

  11. In Plato's opinion, man was made for philosophy; in Bacon's opinion, philosophy was made for man.

  12. Your Constitution is all sail and no anchor.

    • constitution

  13. Nothing is so galling to a people not broken in from birth as a paternal, or, in other words, a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read, and say, and eat, and drink and wear.

  14. A church is disaffected when it is persecuted, quiet when it is tolerated, and actively loyal when it is favored and cherished.

    • religion

  15. Language, the machine of the poet, is best fitted for his purpose in its rudest state. Nations, like individuals, first perceive, and then abstract. They advance from particular images to general terms. Hence the vocabulary of an enlightened society is philosophical, that of a half-civilized people is poetical.

  16. Our rulers will best promote the improvement of the nation by strictly confining themselves to their own legitimate duties, by leaving capital to find its most lucrative course, commodities their fair price, industry and intelligence their natural reward, idleness and folly their natural punishment, by maintaining peace, by defending property, by diminishing the price of law, and by observing strict economy in every department of the state. Let the Government do this: the People will assuredly do the rest.

    • government

  17. Persecution produced its natural effect on them. It found them a sect; it made them a faction.

  18. To punish a man because we infer from the nature of some doctrine which he holds, or from the conduct of other persons who hold the same doctrines with him, that he will commit a crime, is persecution, and is, in every case, foolish and wicked.

  19. 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.

    • religion

  20. 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.

  21. Generalization is necessary to the advancement of knowledge; but particularly is indispensable to the creations of the imagination. In proportion as men know more and think more they look less at individuals and more at classes. They therefore make better theories and worse poems.

  22. History, is made up of the bad actions of extraordinary men and woman. All the most noted destroyers and deceivers of our species, all the founders of arbitrary governments and false religions have been extraordinary people; and nine tenths of the calamities that have befallen the human race had no other origin than the union of high intelligence with low desires.

  23. 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.

  24. The object of oratory alone in not truth, but persuasion.

  25. Charles V. said that a man who knew four languages was worth four men; and Alexander the Great so valued learning, that he used to say he was more indebted to Aristotle for giving him knowledge that, than his father Philip for giving him life.

  26. The best portraits are those in which there is a slight mixture of caricature.

  27. Then out spake brave Horatius,The Captain of the Gate:To every man upon this earthDeath cometh soon or late.And how can man die betterThan facing fearful odds,For the ashes of his fathers,And the temples of his Gods.

  28. From the poetry of Lord Byron they drew a system of ethics compounded of misanthropy and voluptuousness--a system in which the two great commandments were to hate your neighbor and to love your neighbor's wife.

  29. Nothing is so galling to a people not broken in from the birth as a paternal, or in other words a meddling government, a government which tells them what to read and say and eat and drink and wear.

    • government

  30. To punish a man because he has committed a crime, or because he is believed, though unjustly, to have committed a crime, is not persecution. To punish a man, because we infer from the nature of some doctrine which he holds, or from the conduct of other persons who hold the same doctrines with him, that he will commit a crime, is persecution, and is, in every case, foolish and wicked.

  31. The effect of violent dislike between groups has always created an indifference to the welfare and honor of the state.

  32. Many politicians lay 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.

  33. The real security of Christianity is to be found in its benevolent morality, in its exquisite adaptation to the human heart, in the facility with which its scheme accommodates itself to the capacity of every human intellect, in the consolation which it bears to the house of mourning, in the light with which it brightens the great mystery of the grave.

  34. Those who compare the age in which their lot has fallen with a golden age which exists only in imagination, may talk of degeneracy and decay; but no man who is correctly informed as to the past, will be disposed to take a morose or desponding view of the present.

    • history

  35. 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.

  36. The reluctant obedience of distant provinces generally costs more than it The Territory is worth. Empires which branch out widely are often more flourishing for a little timely pruning.

  37. Logicians may reason about abstractions. But the great mass of men must have images. The strong tendency of the multitude in all ages and nations to idolatry can be explained on no other principle.

  38. Men are never so likely to settle a question rightly as when they discuss it freely.

  39. 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?

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. A few more days, and this essay will follow the Defensio Populi to the dust and silence of the upper shelf... For a month or two it will occupy a few minutes of chat in every drawing-room, and a few columns in every magazine; and it will then be withdrawn, to make room for the forthcoming novelties.

  43. It is impossible for us, with our limited means, to attempt to educate the body of the people. We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect. 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.

  44. If any person had told the Parliament which met in terror and perplexity after the crash of 1720 that in 1830 the wealth of England would surpass all their wildest dreams, that the annual revenue would equal the principal of that debt which they considered an intolerable burden, that for one man of

  45. The puritan hated bear baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

    • religion

  46. 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?

  47. The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it.

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About Thomas Babington Macaulay

Name Thomas Babington Macaulay
About Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay PC (25 October 1800 – 28 December 1859) was a British poet, historian and Whig politician. He wrote ex
Quotes 47 quotes
Nationality British
Profession Poet
Birthday October 16
Top topics religion, persecution, society, birth, constitution

Where is Thomas Babington Macaulay from? Thomas Babington Macaulay is British who said awesome wise words. Well-known and respected in British society for wise sayings. The following quotations and images represent the British nature embed in Thomas Babington Macaulay's character.

What Thomas Babington Macaulay was famous for? Thomas Babington Macaulay is famous poet with many good quotes. Influential and well recognized poet all over the world. Browse a lot of Thomas Babington Macaulay books and reference books with quotes from Thomas Babington Macaulay on Amazon.

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Thomas Babington Macaulay favorite topics

Thomas Babington Macaulay is famous for his passion about religion, persecution, society, birth, constitution. Check out great quotations and affirmations on these topics.


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Who is Thomas Babington Macaulay? Some facts about Thomas Babington Macaulay from biography. tensively as an essayist and reviewer, and on British history. He also held political office as Secretary at War between 1839 and 1841 and Paymaster-General between 1846 and 1848.As a young man he composed the ballads Ivry and The Armada, which he later included as part of Lays of Ancient Rome, a series of very popular ballads about heroic episodes in Roman history which he composed in India and published in 1842. During the 1840s he began work o... Read more about Thomas Babington Macaulay on Wikipedia or watch videos with quotes from Thomas Babington Macaulay on YouTube. Browse a lot of books about Thomas Babington Macaulay on Amazon to get more reference.


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