William Cobbett


English Journalist, Political Writer, Agriculturalist and Author

Author Quotes

Good government is known from bad government by this infallible test: that under the former the laboring people are well fed and well clothed, and under the latter, they are badly fed and badly clothed.

Nouns of number, or multitude, such as Mob, Parliament, Rabble, House of Commons, Regiment, Court of King's Bench, Den of Thieves and the like.

Grammar, perfectly understood, enables us not only to express our meaning fully and clearly, but so to express it as to enable us to defy the ingenuity of man to give to our words any other meaning than that which we ourselves intend them to express.

Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada are the horns, the head, the neck, the shins, and the hoof of the ox, and the United States are the ribs, the sirloin, the kidneys, and the rest of the body.

Happiness, or misery, is in the mind. It is the mind that lives.

Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than your everlasting readers.

However roguish a man may be, he always loves to deal with an honest man.

Please your eye and plague your heart.

A full belly to the laborer was, in my opinion, the foundation of public morals and the only source of real public peace.

I began my editorial career with the presidency of Mr. Adams, and my principal object was to render his administration all the assistance in my power. I flattered myself with the hope of accompanying him through [his] voyage, and of partaking in a trifling degree, of the glory of the enterprise; but he suddenly tacked about, and I could follow him no longer. I therefore waited for the first opportunity to haul down my sails.

Sit down to write what you have thought, and not to think about what you shall write.

All is vulgar, all clumsy, all dull, all torpid inanity.

I defy you to agitate any fellow with a full stomach.

The Christian religion, then, is not an affair of preaching, or prating, or ranting, but of taking care of the bodies as well as the souls of people; not an affair of belief and of faith and of professions, but an affair of doing good, and especially to those who are in want; not an affair of fire and brimstone, but an affair of bacon and bread, beer and a bed.

Another great evil arising from this desire to be thought rich or rather, from the desire not to be thought poor, is the destructive thing which has been honored by the name of speculation but which ought to be called Gambling.

I set out as a sort of self-dependent politician. My opinions were my own. I dashed at all prejudices. I scorned to follow anybody in matter of opinion... All were, therefore, offended at my presumption, as they deemed it.

The power which money gives is that of brute force; it is the power of the bludgeon and the bayonet.

As to politics, we were like the rest of the country people in England; that is to say, we neither knew nor thought anything about the matter.

I view the tea-drinking as a destroyer of health, an enfeebler of the frame, an engender of effeminacy and laziness, a debaucher of youth, and maker of misery for old age.

The smallness of our desires may contribute reasonably to our wealth.

As to the power which money gives, it is that of brute force, it is the power of the bludgeon and the bayonet, and of the bribed press, tongue and pen.

I was a countryman and a father before I was a writer on political subjects... Born and bred up in the sweet air myself, I was re solved that [my children] should be bred up in it too.

The tendency of taxation is to create a class of persons who do not labor, to take from those who do labor the produce of that labor, and to give it to those who do not labor.

Be you in what line of life you may, it will be amongst your misfortunes if you have not time properly to attend to pecuniary (monetary) matters. Want of attention to these matters has impeded the progress of science and of genius itself.

I would have these good people to recollect, that the laws of this country hold out to foreigners an offer of all that liberty of the press which Americans enjoy, and that, if this liberty be abridged, by whatever means it may be done, the laws and the constitution, and all together, is a mere cheat; a snare to catch the credulous and enthusiastic of every other nation; a downright imposition on the world.

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English Journalist, Political Writer, Agriculturalist and Author