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Life of Gladstone by  M. B. Synge


 

 

SOME OF GLADSTONE'S SAYINGS

[81] "BE slow to stir inquiries which you do not mean particularly to pursue to their proper end."

"Be not afraid to suspend your judgment, or feel and admit to yourselves how narrow are the bounds of knowledge."

"How are we to make ourselves believe, and how are we to bring the country to believe, that in the sight of God and man labour is honourable and idleness is contemptible?"

"It is written in the eternal laws of the universe of God that sin shall be followed by suffering."

"An unjust war is a tremendous sin."

"The day will arrive—come it soon or conic it late—when the people of England will discover that national injustice is the surest road to national downfall."

"Let us still remember that there is a voice which is not heard in the crackling of the fire, or in the roaring of the whirlwind or the storm, but which will and must be heard when they have passed away—the still, small voice of justice."

"Even as the night following the day lulls the weary limbs of all animated nature into sleep."

"It is no pleasure to us standing on the shore to see others labouring in the storm."

"Taste is nothing in the world except the faculty which devises according to lines of beauty, executes according to lines of beauty, judges according to lines of beauty."

The English poetry of the nineteenth century has [82] been at the head of the poetry of the world in this nineteenth century.

"Whatever the Greek produced in ancient days he made as useful as he could, and at the same time, according as it lay with him, he made it as beautiful as he could"

"British art is in close affinity with the national character, founding itself in the individuality of the individual man, and seeking in its strength the surest foundations of national greatness."

"My duty is to bring out the truth."

"We are all mortal: somebody or other will succeed to what we leave behind us."

"Be assured that every one of you, without exception, has his place and vocation on this earth, and that it rests with himself to find it."

"Do not believe those who too lightly say that nothing succeeds like success. Extort—honest, manful, humble effort—succeeds by its reflected action upon character, especially in youth, better than success."

"It is written in legible characters, and with a pen of iron, on the rock of human destiny, that, within the domain of practical politics, the people must in the main be passive."

"It is the office of law and of institutions to reflect the wants and wishes of the country. Then, as the nation passes from a stationary into a progressive period, it will justly require that the changes in its own condition and views should be represented in the professions and actions of its leading men: for they exist for its sake not it for theirs."

"It remains, indeed, their business, now and ever, to take honour and duty for their guide, and not the mere demand or purpose of the passing hour. But honour [83] and duty themselves require their loyal servant to take account of the state of facts in which he is to work and, while ever labouring to elevate the standard of opinion and action around him, to remember that his business is not to construct, with self-chosen materials, an Utopia or a republic of Plato, but to conduct the affairs of a living and working community of men, who have self-government recognized as in the last resort the moving spring of their political life and of the institutions which are its outward vesture."

There is no precedent in human history for a formation like the British Empire. A small island, at one extremity of the globe, peoples the whole earth with its colonies. Not satisfied with that, it goes among the ancient races of Asia, and subjects two hundred and forty millions of men to its rule. Along with all this it disseminates over the world a commerce such as no imagination ever conceived in former times, and such as no poet ever painted. And all this it has to do with the strength that lies within the narrow limits of these shores."


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