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Thomas B. Macaulay quotes

Nothing is so useless as a general maxim.

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

I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without the desire to read.

Many politicians are in the habit of laying 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.

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

A good constitution is infinitely better than the best despot.

Nothing except the mint can make money without advertising.

People crushed by law have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws.

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

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.

A single breaker may recede; but the tide is evidently coming in.

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

Reform, that we may preserve.

That is the best government which desires to make the people happy, and knows how to make them happy.

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

An acre in Middlesex is better than a principality in Utopia.

As civilization advances, poetry almost necessarily declines.

Few of the many wise apothegms which have been uttered have prevented a single foolish action.

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

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