Reference > Quotations > John Bartlett, comp. > Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. > Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield Disraeli
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John Bartlett (1820–1905).  Familiar Quotations, 10th ed.  1919.
 
Benjamin, Earl of Beaconsfield Disraeli. (1804–1881)
 
 
1
      I will sit down now, but the time will come when you will hear me. 1 
          Maiden Speech in the House of Commons. 1837.
2
      Free trade is not a principle, it is an expedient.  2 
          On Import Duties, April 25, 1843.
3
      The noble lord 3 is the Rupert of debate.  4 
          Speech, April, 1844.
4
      The Right Honorable gentleman 5 caught the Whigs bathing and walked away with their clothes.
          Speech, House of Commons, Feb. 28, 1845.
5
      A conservative government is an organized hypocrisy.
          Speech on agricultural Interests, March 17, 1845.
6
      A precedent embalms a principle.
          Speech on the Expenditures of the Country, Feb. 22, 1848.
7
      Justice is truth in action.
          Speech, Feb. 11, 1851.
8
      It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.
          Speech, Jan. 24, 1860.
9
      Posterity is a most limited assembly. Those gentlemen who reach posterity are not much more numerous than the planets.
          Speech, June 3, 1862.
10
      The characteristic of the present age is craving credulity.
          Speech at Oxford Diocesan Conference, Nov. 25, 1864.
  
  
  
11
      What is the question now placed before society with the glib assurance which to me is most astonishing? That question is this: Is man an ape or an angel? I, my lord, I am on the side of the angels. I repudiate with indignation and abhorrence those new fangled theories.
          Speech at Oxford Diocesan Conference, Nov. 25, 1864.
12
      Ignorance never settles a question.
          Speech, House of Commons, May 14, 1866.
13
      Individualities may form communities, but it is institutions alone that can create a nation.
          Speech at Manchester, 1866.
14
      However gradual may be the growth of confidence, that of credit requires still more time to arrive at maturity.
          Speech, Nov. 9, 1867.
15
      The secret of success is constancy to purpose.
          Speech, June 24, 1870.
16
      The author who speaks about his own books is almost as bad as a mother who talks about her own children.
          Speech, Nov. 19, 1870.
17
      Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of man.
          Speech to the Conservatives of Manchester, April 3, 1872.
18
      A university should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning.
          Speech, House of Commons, March 8, 1873.
19
      A sophisticated rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity and gifted with an egotistical imagination that can at all times command an interminable and inconsistent series of arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself.
          Speech at Riding School, London, July 27, 1878.
20
      A series of congratulatory regrets.
          Lord Hartington’s Resolutions on the Berlin Treaty, July 30, 1878.
21
      The hare-brained chatter of irresponsible frivolity.
          Speech, Guildhall, London, Nov. 9, 1878.
22
      The microcosm of a public school.
          Vivian Grey, Book i. Chap. ii.
23
      I hate definitions.
          Vivian Grey, Book ii. Chap. vi.
24
      Experience is the child of Thought, and Thought is the child of Action. We can not learn men from books.
          Vivian Grey, Book v. Chap. i.
25
      Variety is the mother of Enjoyment.
          Vivian Grey, Book v. Chap. iv.
26
      There is moderation even in excess.
          Vivian Grey, Book vi. Chap. i.
27
      I repeat … that all power is a trust; that we are accountable for its exercise; that from the people and for the people all springs, and all must exist. 6 
          Vivian Grey, Book vi. Chap. vii.
28
      Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men.
          Vivian Grey, Book vi. Chap. vii.
29
      The disappointment of manhood succeeds to the delusion of youth: let us hope that the heritage of old age is not despair.
          Vivian Grey, Book viii. Chap. iv.
30
      A dark horse 7 which had never been thought of, and which the careless St. James had never even observed in the list, rushed past the grand stand in sweeping triumph.
          The young Duke. Book i. Chap. v.
31
      Nature is more powerful than education; time will develop everything. 8 
          Contarini Fleming, Part i. Chap. xiii.
32
      With words we govern men.
          Contarini Fleming, Part i. Chap. xxi.
33
      Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
          Contarini Fleming, Part iv. Chap. v.
34
      Though lions to their enemies they were lambs to their friends.
          The infernal Marriage. Part ii. Chap. iv.
35
      But what minutes! Count them by sensation, and not by calendars, and each moment is a day, and the race a life.
          Sybil. Book i. Chap. ii.
36
      The Duke of Wellington brought to the post of first minister immortal fame,—a quality of success which would almost seem to include all others.
          Sybil. Book i. Chap. iii.
37
      The Egremonts had never said anything that was remembered, or done anything that could be recalled.
          Sybil. Book i. Chap. iii.
38
      To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.
          Sybil. Book i. Chap. v.
39
      Principle is ever my motto, not expediency.
          Sybil. Book ii. Chap. ii.
40
      Property has its duties as well as its rights. 9 
          Sybil. Book ii. Chap. xi.
41
      Little things affect little minds.
          Sybil. Book iii. Chap. ii.
42
      We all of us live too much in a circle.
          Sybil. Book iii. Chap. vii.
43
      Mr. Kremlin was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong. 10 
          Sybil. Book iv. Chap. v.
44
      I was told that the Privileged and the People formed Two Nations.
          Sybil. Book iv. Chap. viii.
45
      There is no wisdom like frankness.
          Sybil. Book iv. Chap. ix.
46
      A public man of light and leading.
          Sybil. Book v. Chap. i.
47
      The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity.
          Sybil. Book vi. Chap. xiii.
48
      Debt is the prolific mother of folly and of crime.
          Henrietta Temple. Book ii. Chap. i.
49
      What we anticipate seldom occurs; 11 what we least expected generally happens.
          Henrietta Temple. Book ii. Chap. iv.
50
      Time is the great physician.
          Henrietta Temple. Book vi. Chap. ix.
51
      Nature has given us two ears but only one mouth.
          Henrietta Temple. Book vi. Chap. xxiv.
52
      Youth is a blunder; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.
          Coningsby. Book iii. Chap. i.
53
      Almost everything that is great has been done by youth.
          Coningsby. Book iii. Chap. i.
54
      Nurture your mind with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.
          Coningsby. Book iii. Chap. i.
55
      The frigid theories of a generalizing age.
          Coningsby. Book ix. Chap. vii.
56
      He was fresh and full of faith that “something would turn up.”
          Tancred. Book iii. Chap. vi.
57
      Everything comes if a man will only wait. 12 
          Tancred. Book iv. Chap. viii. (1847).
58
      The world is wearied of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians.
          Lothair. Chap. xvii.
59
      That when a man fell into his anecdotage, it was a sign for him to retire.
          Lothair. Chap. xxviii.
60
      Every woman should marry—and no man.
          Lothair. Chap. xxx.
61
      You know who critics are?—the men who have failed in literature and art. 13 
          Lothair. Chap. xxxv.
62
      “My idea of an agreeable person,” said Hugo Bohun, “is a person who agrees with me.”
          Lothair. Chap. xxxv.
63
      His Christianity was muscular.
          Endymion. Chap. xiv.
64
      The Athanasian Creed is the most splendid ecclesiastical lyric ever poured forth by the genius of man.
          Endymion. Chap. lii.
65
      The world is a wheel, and it will all come round right.
          Endymion. Chap. lxx.
66
      “As for that,” said Waldenshare, “sensible men are all of the same religion.” “Pray, what is that?” inquired the Prince. “Sensible men never tell.” 14 
          Endymion. Chap. lxxxi.
67
      The sweet simplicity of the three per cents. 15 
          Endymion. Chap. xcvi.
 
Note 1.
See W. L. Garrison, page 633: I will be heard. [back]
Note 2.
It is a condition which confronts us, not a theory.—Grover Cleveland: Annual Message, 1887. Reference to the Tariff. [back]
Note 3.
Lord Stanley. [back]
Note 4.
See Bulwer, page 631. [back]
Note 5.
Sir Robert Peel. [back]
Note 6.
See Webster, page 532. Also Theodore Parker, page 694 and Lincoln, page 661. [back]
Note 7.
A political phrase common in the United States. [back]
Note 8.
La Nature a été en eux forte que l’éducation.—Voltaire: Vie de Molière. [back]
Note 9.
See Drummond, page 589. [back]
Note 10.
See Johnson, page 371. [back]
Note 11.
See S. W. Foss, page 839. [back]
Note 12.
See Emerson, page 617.

All things come round to him who will but wait.—Longfellow: Tales of a Wayside Inn. The Student’s Tale. (1862). [back]
Note 13.
See Coleridge, page 505, and Shelley, in note, ibid. [back]
Note 14.
See Johnson, page 370.

An anecdote is related of Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper (1621–1683), who, in speaking of religion, said, “People differ in their discourse and profession about these matters, but men of sense are really but of one religion.” To the inquiry of “What religion?” the Earl said, “Men of sense never tell it.”—Burnet: History of my own Times, vol. i. p. 175, note (edition 1833). [back]
Note 15.
See Stowell, page 437. [back]
 

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