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Thomas Babington Macaulay quotes Showing 1-30 of 51

“What a blessing it is to love books as I love them;- to be able to converse with the dead, and to live amidst the unreal!”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, The Selected Letters Of Thomas Babington Macaulay
“Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome
“I would rather be poor in a cottage full of books than a king without the desire to read”
Thomas Babington Macaulay
“The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.”
Thomas Macaulay
“And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers
And the temples of his Gods?”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome
“In every age everybody knows that up to his own time, progressive improvement has been taking place; nobody seems to reckon on any improvement in the next generation. We cannot absolutely prove that those are in error who say society has reached a turning point – that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us and with just as much apparent reason. ... On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?”
Thomas Babington Macaulay
“Books are becoming everything to me. If I had at this moment any choice in life, I would bury myself in one of those immense libraries...and never pass a waking hour without a book before me.”
Thomas B. Macaulay
“XXVII Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the Gate: "To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his gods, XXVIII "And for the tender mother Who dandled him to rest, And for the wife who nurses His baby at her breast, And for the holy maidens Who feed the eternal flame, To save them from false Sextus That wrought the deed of shame? XXIX "Haul down the bridge, Sir Consul, With all the speed ye may; I, with two more to help me, Will hold the foe in play. In yon strait path a thousand May well be stopped by three. Now who will stand on either hand, And keep the bridge with me?" XXX Then out spake Spurius Lartius; A Ramnian proud was he: "Lo, I will stand at thy right hand, And keep the bridge with thee." And out spake strong Herminius; Of Titian blood was he: "I will abide on thy left side, And keep the bridge with thee." XXXI "Horatius," quoth the Consul, "As thou sayest, so let it be." And straight against that great array Forth went the dauntless Three. For Romans in Rome's quarrel Spared neither land nor gold, Nor son nor wife, nor limb nor life, In the brave days of old. XXXII Then none was for a party; Then all were for the state; Then the great man helped the poor, And the poor man loved the great: Then lands were fairly portioned; Then spoils were fairly sold: The Romans were like brothers In the brave days of old. XXXIII Now Roman is to Roman More hateful than a foe, And the Tribunes beard the high, And the Fathers grind the low. As we wax hot in faction, In battle we wax cold: Wherefore men fight not as they fought In the brave days of old.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome
“The Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.”
Thomas Macaulay
“Nothing is so useless as a general maxim.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Machiavelli
“Then out spake brave Horatius, The Captain of the Gate: "To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his gods,”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome
“I would rather be a poor man in a garret with plenty of books than a king who did not love reading.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay
“Pour, varlet, pour the water
The water steaming hot!
A spoonful for each man of us
Another for the pot!”
Thomas Babington Macaulay
tags: tea, water
“Then none was for a party;
Then all were for the state;
Then the great man helped the poor,
And the poor man loved the great;
Then lands were fairly proportioned;
Then spoils were fairly sold;
The Romans were like brothers
In the brave days of old.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay
“And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his gods,”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome
“I would rather Be PoOr in a Cottage FULL of BooKS than a kiNg wiThOut the DeSire tO ReAd..!!!!”
Thomas B. Macaulay
“The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it.”
Lord Macaulay Thomas Babington Macaulay
“A great writer is the friend and benefactor of his readers.”
Macaulay
“Then none was for a party;
Then all were for the state;
Then the great man helped the poor,
And the poor man loved the great:
Then lands were fairly portioned;
Then spoils were fairly sold:
The Romans were like brothers
In the brave days of old.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay
“LARS Porsena of Clusium
By the Nine Gods he swore
That the great house of Tarquin
Should suffer wrong no more.
By the Nine Gods he swore it,
And named a trysting day,
And bade his messengers ride forth,
East and west and south and north,
To summon his array.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome
“...And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?
Read more at”
Thomas B. Macaulay
“The object of oratory alone is not truth, but persuasion.”
Lord Macaulay
“[W]e are under a deception similar to that which misleads the traveler in the Arabian desert. Beneath the caravan all is dry and bare; but far in advance, and far in the rear, is the semblance of refreshing waters... A similar illusion seems to haunt nations through every stage of the long progress from poverty and barbarism to the highest degrees of opulence and civilization. But if we resolutely chase the mirage backward, we shall find it recede before us into the regions of fabulous antiquity. It is now the fashion to place the golden age of England in times when noblemen were destitute of comforts the want of which would be intolerable to a modern footman, when farmers and shopkeepers breakfasted on loaves the very sight of which would raise a riot in a modern workhouse, when to have a clean shirt once a week was a privilege reserved for the higher class of gentry, when men died faster in the purest country air than they now die in the most pestilential lanes of our towns, and when men died faster in the lanes of our towns than they now die on the coast of Guiana.

...

We too shall in our turn be outstripped, and in our turn be envied. It may well be, in the twentieth century, that the peasant of Dorsetshire may think himself miserably paid with twenty shillings a week; that the carpenter at Greenwich may receive ten shillings a day; that laboring men may be as little used to dine without meat as they are now to eat rye bread; that sanitary police and medical discoveries may have added several more years to the average length of human life; that numerous comforts and luxuries which are now unknown, or confined to a few, may be within the reach of every diligent and thrifty workingman. And yet it may then be the mode to assert that the increase of wealth and the progress of science have benefited the few at the expense of the many, and to talk of the reign of Queen Victoria as the time when England was truly merry England, when all classes were bound together by brotherly sympathy, when the rich did not grind the faces of the poor, and when the poor did not envy the splendor of the rich.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England
“Everywhere there is a class of men who cling with fondness to whatever is ancient, and who, even when convinced by overpowering reasons that innovation would be beneficial, consent to it with many misgivings and forebodings. We find also everywhere another class of men, sanguine in hope, bold in speculation, always pressing forward, quick to discern the imperfections of whatever exists, disposed to think lightly of the risks and inconveniences which attend improvements and disposed to give every change credit for being an improvement.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England, from the Accession of James II - Volume 1
“First, a man of sense would have known that a single experiment is not sufficient to establish a general rule even in sciences much less complicated than the science of government; that, since the beginning of the world, no two political experiments were ever made of which all the conditions were exactly alike; and that the only way to learn civil prudence from history is to examine and compare an immense number of cases.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England, from the Accession of James II - Volume 2
“The Captain of the Gate: "To every man upon this earth Death cometh soon or late. And how can man die better Than facing fearful odds, For the ashes of his fathers, And the temples of his gods, XXVIII”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Lays of Ancient Rome
“The interests of large classes had been unfavourably affected by the establishment of the new diligences; and, as usual, many persons were, from mere stupidity and obstinacy, disposed to clamour against the innovation, simply because it was an innovation. It”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England, from the Accession of James II.
“And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, Horatius
“There are two opposite errors into which those who study the annals of our country are in constant danger of falling, the error of judging the present by the past, and the error of judging the past by the present. The former is the error of minds prone to reverence whatever is old, the latter of minds readily attracted by whatever is new. The former error may perpetually be observed in the reasonings of conservative politicians on the questions of their own day. The latter error perpetually infects the speculations of writers of the liberal school when they discuss the transactions of an earlier age. The former error is the more pernicious in a statesman, and the latter in a historian.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England, from the Accession of James II - Volume 2
“with that very large part of mankind who have religion enough to make them uneasy when they do wrong, and not religion enough to keep them from doing wrong, he followed a very different system.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England, from the Accession of James II - Volume 2

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The History of England The History of England
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Lays of Ancient Rome Lays of Ancient Rome
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