William Pitt, Lord Chatham or Lord William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, aka The Elder Pitt and The Great Commander

William
Pitt, Lord Chatham or Lord William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, aka The Elder Pitt and The Great Commander
1708
1778

English Whig Statesman, Prime Minister of Great Britain who led Britain during the Seven Years' War

Author Quotes

If you are not right toward God, you can never be so toward man; and this is forever true, whether wits and rakes allow it or not.

The sum and substance of the preparation needed for a coming eternity is that you believe what the Bible tells you, and do what the Bible bids you.

In these matters the only certainty is that there is nothing certain.

Theoretical principals must sometimes give way for the sake of practical advantages.

It is injustice to permit slavery to remain for a single hour.

There are many things a parliament cannot do. It cannot make itself executive, nor dispose of offices which belong to the crown. It cannot take any man's property, even that of the meanest cottager, as in the case of enclosures, without his being heard.

A long train of these practices has at length unwillingly convinced me that there is something behind the throne greater than the King himself.

It must cut up Liberty by the root and poison the Fountain of Publick Security; and who that has an English heart can ever be weary of asserting Liberty?

There is something behind the throne greater than the King himself.

Bowing, ceremonious, formal compliments, stiff civilities, will never be politeness; that must be easy, natural, unstudied; and what will give this but a mind benevolent and attentive to exert that amiable disposition in trifles to all you converse and live with?

Let honor be to us as strong an obligation as necessity is to others.

Trade increases the wealth and glory of a country; but its real strength and stamina are to be looked for among the cultivators of the land.

Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom youth is the season of credulity.

My Lord, I'm sure I am able to save this country, and no one else can.

Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it; and this I know, my lords: that where laws end, tyranny begins.

Confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged heart.

Necessity is the argument of tyrants, it is the creed of slaves.

We have a Calvinistic creed, a Popish liturgy, and an Arminian clergy.

Don't talk to me about a man's being able to talk sense; everyone can talk sense. Can he talk nonsense?

Our seamen have always been famous for a matchless alacrity and intrepidity in time of danger; this has saved many a British ship, when other seamen would have run below deck, and left the ship to the mercy of the waves, or, perhaps, of a more cruel enemy, a pirate.

We retain nothing, although we have conquered everything...France is chiefly, if not solely, to be dreaded by us in the light of a maritime and commercial power; and therefore by restoring to her all the valuable West India islands, and by our concessions in the Newfoundland fishery, we have given her the means of recovering her prodigious losses and of becoming once more formidable to us at sea...all the Spanish treasures and riches in America, lay at our mercy.

Eloquence is in the assembly, not merely in the speaker.

Reparation for our rights at home, and security against the like future violations.

When then, my Lords, are all the generous efforts of our ancestors, are all those glorious contentions, by which they meant to secure themselves, and to transmit to their posterity, a known law, a certain rule of living, reduced to this conclusion, that instead of the arbitrary power of a King, we must submit to the arbitrary power of a House of Commons? If this be true, what benefit do we derive from the exchange? Tyranny, my Lords, is detestable in every shape; but in none is it so formidable as where it is assumed and exercised by a number of tyrants. But, my Lords, this is not the fact, this is not the constitution; we have a law of Parliament, we have a code in which every honest man may find it. We have Magna Charta, we have the Statute-book, and we have the Bill of Rights...It is to your ancestors, my Lords, it is to the English barons that we are indebted for the laws and constitution we possess. Their virtues were rude and uncultivated, but they were great and sincere...I think that history has not done justice to their conduct, when they obtained from their Sovereign that great acknowledgment of national rights contained in Magna Charta: they did not confine it to themselves alone, but delivered it as a common blessing to the whole people...A breach has been made in the constitution—the battlements are dismantled—the citadel is open to the first invader—the walls totter—the place is no longer tenable.—What then remains for us but to stand foremost in the breach, to repair it, or to perish in it?...let us consider which we ought to respect most—the representative or the collective body of the people. My Lords, five hundred gentlemen are not ten millions; and, if we must have a contention, let us take care to have the English nation on our side. If this question be given up, the freeholders of England are reduced to a condition baser than the peasantry of Poland...Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it; and this I know, my Lords, that where law ends, there tyranny begins.

I cannot give them my confidence; pardon me, gentlemen, confidence is a plant of slow growth in an aged bosom: youth is the season of credulity.

Author Picture
First Name
William
Last Name
Pitt, Lord Chatham or Lord William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, aka The Elder Pitt and The Great Commander
Birth Date
1708
Death Date
1778
Bio

English Whig Statesman, Prime Minister of Great Britain who led Britain during the Seven Years' War