Benjamin Disraeli Quotes

Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.

A Conservative Government is an organized hypocrisy.

A consistent soul believes in destiny, a capricious one in chance.

A great city, whose image dwells in the memory of man, is the type of some great idea. Rome represents conquest; Faith hovers over the towers of Jerusalem; and Athens embodies the pre-eminent quality of the antique world, Art.

A majority is always better than the best repartee.

A man may speak very well in the House of Commons, and fail very completely in the House of Lords. There are two distinct styles requisite: I intend, in the course of my career, if I have time, to give a specimen of both.

A precedent embalms a principle.

A University should be a place of light, of liberty, and of learning.

Adventures are to the adventurous.

Almost everything that is great has been done by youth.

An author who speaks about their own books is almost as bad as a mother who speaks about her own children.

As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.

As for our majority… one is enough.

Assassination has never changed the history of the world.

Be amusing: never tell unkind stories; above all, never tell long ones.

Beware of endeavoring to become a great man in a hurry. One such attempt in ten thousand may succeed. These are fearful odds.

Change is inevitable. Change is constant.

Characters do not change. Opinions alter, but characters are only developed.

Circumstances are beyond human control, but our conduct is in our own power.

Colonies do not cease to be colonies because they are independent.

Conservatism discards Prescription, shrinks from Principle, disavows Progress; having rejected all respect for antiquity, it offers no redress for the present, and makes no preparation for the future.

Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.

Damn your principles! Stick to your party.

Despair is the conclusion of fools.

Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.

Diligence is the mother of good fortune.

Duty cannot exist without faith.

Every man has a right to be conceited until he is successful.

Every production of genius must be the production of enthusiasm.

Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel.

Experience is the child of thought, and thought is the child of action.

Fame and power are the objects of all men. Even their partial fruition is gained by very few; and that, too, at the expense of social pleasure, health, conscience, life.

Fear makes us feel our humanity.

Finality is not the language of politics.

Frank and explicit – that is the right line to take when you wish to conceal your own mind and confuse the minds of others.

Genius, when young, is divine.

Great countries are those that produce great people.

Grief is the agony of an instant. The indulgence of grief the blunder of a life.

He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong.

How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.

I am prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.

I have been ever of opinion that revolutions are not to be evaded.

I have brought myself, by long meditation, to the conviction that a human being with a settled purpose must accomplish it, and that nothing can resist a will which will stake even existence upon its fulfillment.

I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?

I never deny. I never contradict. I sometimes forget.

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.

I say that justice is truth in action.

If a man be gloomy let him keep to himself. No one has the right to go croaking about society, or what is worse, looking as if he stifled grief.

If you’re not very clever you should be conciliatory.

In a progressive country change is constant; change is inevitable.

In politics nothing is contemptible.

Increased means and increased leisure are the two civilizers of man.

It destroys one’s nerves to be amiable every day to the same human being.

It is easier to be critical than correct.

It is much easier to be critical than to be correct.

Justice is truth in action.

King Louis Philippe once said to me that he attributed the great success of the British nation in political life to their talking politics after dinner.

Let the fear of a danger be a spur to prevent it; he that fears not, gives advantage to the danger.

Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.

Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.

Little things affect little minds.

London is a modern Babylon.

London is a roost for every bird.

Man is made to adore and to obey: but if you will not command him, if you give him nothing to worship, he will fashion his own divinities, and find a chieftain in his own passions.

Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men. We are free agents, and man is more powerful than matter.

Man is only great when he acts from passion.

Mediocrity can talk, but it is for genius to observe.

Moderation has been called a virtue to limit the ambition of great men, and to console undistinguished people for their want of fortune and their lack of merit.

Moderation is the center wherein all philosophies, both human and divine, meet.

My idea of an agreeable person is a person who agrees with me.

My objection to Liberalism is this that it is the introduction into the practical business of life of the highest kind namely, politics of philosophical ideas instead of political principles.

Nationality is the miracle of political independence; race is the principle of physical analogy.

Nature, like man, sometimes weeps from gladness.

Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth.

Never complain and never explain.

Never take anything for granted.

Next to knowing when to seize an opportunity, the most important thing in life is to know when to forego an advantage.

Nine-tenths of the existing books are nonsense and the clever books are the refutation of that nonsense.

No Government can be long secure without a formidable Opposition.

No man is regular in his attendance at the House of Commons until he is married.

Nobody is forgotten when it is convenient to remember him.

Nowadays, manners are easy and life is hard.

Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.

One secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.

Plagiarists, at least, have the merit of preservation.

Power has only one duty – to secure the social welfare of the People.

Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.

Real politics are the possession and distribution of power.

Seeing much, suffering much, and studying much, are the three pillars of learning.

Silence is the mother of truth.

Something unpleasant is coming when men are anxious to tell the truth.

Success is the child of audacity.

Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.

Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours.

Teach us that wealth is not elegance, that profusion is not magnificence, that splendor is not beauty.

That fatal drollery called a representative government.

The best security for civilization is the dwelling, and upon properly appointed and becoming dwellings depends, more than anything else, the improvement of mankind.

The choicest pleasures of life lie within the ring of moderation.

The difference between a misfortune and a calamity is this: If Gladstone fell into the Thames, it would be a misfortune. But if someone dragged him out again, that would be a calamity.

The first magic of love is our ignorance that it can ever end.

The fool wonders, the wise man asks.

The governments of the present day have to deal not merely with other governments, with emperors, kings and ministers, but also with the secret societies which have everywhere their unscrupulous agents, and can at the last moment upset all the governments’ plans.

The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.

The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend.

The more extensive a man’s knowledge of what has been done, the greater will be his power of knowing what to do.

The more you are talked about the less powerful you are.

The palace is not safe when the cottage is not happy.

The people of England are the most enthusiastic in the world.

The practice of politics in the East may be defined by one word: dissimulation.

The pursuit of science leads only to the insoluble.

The right honourable gentleman caught the Whigs bathing, and walked away with their clothes. He has left them in the full enjoyment of their liberal positions, and he is himself a strict conservative of their garments.

The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes.

The secret of success is constancy to purpose.

The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.

The services in wartime are fit only for desperadoes, but in peace are only fit for fools.

The very phrase ‘foreign affairs’ makes an Englishman convinced that I am about to treat of subjects with which he has no concern.

The view of Jerusalem is the history of the world; it is more, it is the history of earth and of heaven.

The wisdom of the wise and the experience of the ages are perpetuated by quotations.

The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.

The world is weary of statesmen whom democracy has degraded into politicians.

The Youth of a Nation are the trustees of posterity.

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.

There can be economy only where there is efficiency.

There is moderation even in excess.

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour.

There is no education like adversity.

There is no gambling like politics.

There is no greater index of character so sure as the voice.

There is no index of character so sure as the voice.

There is no waste of time in life like that of making explanations.

Things must be done by parties, not by persons using parties as tools.

Through perseverance many people win success out of what seemed destined to be certain failure.

Time is precious, but truth is more precious than time.

To be conscious that you are ignorant of the facts is a great step to knowledge.

To supervise people, you must either surpass them in their accomplishments or despise them.

To tax the community for the advantage of a class is not protection: it is plunder.

Travel teaches toleration.

Two nations between whom there is no intercourse and no sympathy; who are as ignorant of each other’s habits, thoughts, and feelings, as if they were dwellers in different zones, or inhabitants of different planets. The rich and the poor.

Upon the education of the people of this country the fate of this country depends.

War is never a solution; it is an aggravation.

We are all born for love. It is the principle of existence, and its only end.

We cannot learn men from books.

We live in an age when to be young and to be indifferent can be no longer synonymous. We must prepare for the coming hour. The claims of the Future are represented by suffering millions; and the Youth of a Nation are the trustees of Posterity.

We moralize among ruins.

We should never lose an occasion. Opportunity is more powerful even than conquerors and prophets.

What is earnest is not always true; on the contrary, error is often more earnest than truth.

What we anticipate seldom occurs: but what we least expect generally happens.

When a man fell into his anecdotage it was a sign for him to retire from the world.

Where knowledge ends, religion begins.

William Gladstone has not a single redeeming defect.

Without publicity there can be no public support, and without public support every nation must decay.

Without tact you can learn nothing.

Worry – a God, invisible but omnipotent. It steals the bloom from the cheek and lightness from the pulse; it takes away the appetite, and turns the hair gray.

You can tell the strength of a nation by the women behind its men.

You will find as you grow older that courage is the rarest of all qualities to be found in public life.

Youth is a blunder; Manhood a struggle, Old Age a regret.

Youth is the trustee of prosperity.

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