English Statesman, Four-time British Prime Minister
William Ewart Gladstone
English Statesman, Four-time British Prime Minister
With a sigh for what we have not, we must be thankful for what we have, and leave to One wiser than ourselves the deeper problems of the human soul and of its discipline.
You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side.
You should avoid needless and entangling engagements. You may boast about them, you may brag about them, you may say you are procuring consideration of the country. You may say that an Englishman may now hold up his head among the nations. But what does all this come to, gentlemen? It comes to this, that you are increasing your engagements without increasing your strength; and if you increase your engagements without increasing strength, you diminish strength, you abolish strength; you really reduce the empire and do not increase it. You render it less capable of performing its duties; you render it an inheritance less precious to hand on to future generations.
At last, my friends, I am come amongst you. And I am come...'unmuzzled'.
Here is my first principle of foreign policy: good government at home.
It is difficult to see anything but infatuation in the destructive temperament which leads to the action ... that each of us is to rejoice that our several units are to be distinguished at death into countless millions of organisms; for such, it seems, is the latest revelation delivered from the fragile tripod of a modern Delphi.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer should boldly uphold economy in detail; and it is the mark of a chicken-hearted Chancellor when he shrinks from upholding economy in detail, when because it is a question of only two or three thousand pounds, he says it is no matter. He is ridiculed, no doubt, for what is called candle-ends and cheese-parings, but he is not worth his salt if he is not ready to save what are meant by candle-ends and cheese-parings in the cause of the country. No Chancellor of the Exchequer is worth his salt who makes his own popularity either his consideration, or any consideration at all, in administering the public purse. In my opinion, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is the trusted and confidential steward of the public. He is under a sacred obligation with regard to all that he consents to spend.
This is the negation of God erected into a system of government.
Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won't have to hunt for happiness.
I always admired Mrs. Grote's saying that politics and theology were the only two really great subjects.
It is not a life at all. It is a reticence, in three volumes.
The disease of an evil conscience is beyond the practice of all the physicians of all the countries in the world.
This, if I understand it, is one of those golden moments of our history, one of those opportunities which may come and may go, but which rarely return.
Be thorough in all you do; and remember that although ignorance often may be innocent, pretension is always despicable.
I am certain, from experience, of the immense advantage of strict account-keeping in early life. It is just like learning the grammar then, which when once learned need not be referred to afterwards.
Letter to the committee in charge of the celebration of the centennial of the American Constitution. I have always regarded that Constitution as the most remarkable work known to me in modern times to have been produced by the human intellect, at a single stroke (so to speak), in its application to political affairs.
The hopelessness of the Turkish Government should make me witness with delight its being swept out of the countries which it tortures. Next to the Ottoman Government nothing can be more deplorable and blameworthy than jealousies between Greek and Slav and plans by the States already existing for appropriating other territory. Why not Macedonia for the Macedonians as well as Bulgaria for the Bulgarians and Serbia for the Serbians?
To be engaged in opposing wrong affords, under the conditions of our mental constitution, but a slender guarantee for being right.
Believe me when I tell you that thrift of time will repay you in after life, with a usury of profit beyond your most sanguine dreams; and that waste of it will make you dwindle, alike in intellectual and moral stature, beyond your darkest reckoning.
I am delighted to see how many young boys and girls have come forward to obtain honorable marks of recognition on this occasion, ? if any effectual good is to be done to them, it must be done by teaching and encouraging them and helping them to help themselves. All the people who pretend to take your own concerns out of your own hands and to do everything for you, I won't say they are imposters; I won't even say they are quacks; but I do say they are mistaken people. The only sound, healthy description of countenancing and assisting these institutions is that which teaches independence and self-exertion... When I say you should help yourselves ? and I would encourage every man in every rank of life to rely upon self-help more than on assistance to be got from his neigbours ? there is One who helps us all, and without whose help every effort of ours is in vain; and there is nothing that should tend more, and there is nothing that should tend more to make us see the beneficence of God Almighty than to see the beauty as well as the usefulness of these flowers, these plants, and these fruits which He causes the earth to bring forth for our comfort and advantage.
Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear.
The idea of abolishing Income Tax is to me highly attractive, both on other grounds and because it tends to public economy.
Turks one and all, bag and baggage, shall I hope clear out from the province they have desolated and profaned.
Books are a delightful society. If you go into a room filled with books, even without taking them down from their shelves, they seem to speak to you, to welcome you.
I am inclined to say that the personal attendance and intervention of women in election proceedings, even apart from any suspicion of the wider objects of many of the promoters of the present movement, would be a practical evil not only of the gravest, but even of an intolerable character.