Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke

From Quotes
We were two and had but one heart between us.
François de Montcorbier Villon
Jump to: navigation, search
It is the modest, not the presumptuous, inquirer who makes a real and safe progress in the discovery of divine truths.

Henry St John, 1st Viscount Bolingbroke (September 16, 1678December 12, 1751) was an English statesman and philosopher.

Sourced

Truth lies within a little and certain compass, but error is immense.
  • Truth lies within a little and certain compass, but error is immense.
    • Reflections upon Exile (1716)
  • I have read somewhere or other, — in Dionysius of Halicarnassus, I think, — that history is philosophy teaching by examples.
    • On the Study and Use of History, letter 2. See Dionysius of Halicarnassus (quoting Thucydides), Ars Rhet. xi. 2, says: "The contact with manners then is education; and this Thucydides appears to assert when he says history is philosophy learned from examples."
  • Nations, like men, have their infancy.
    • On the Study and Use of History, letter 4 (1752).
  • The landed men are the true owners of our political vessel, the moneyed men are no more than passengers in it.
    • Some Reflections on the Present State of the Nation (1753)
  • It is the modest, not the presumptuous, inquirer who makes a real and safe progress in the discovery of divine truths. One follows Nature and Nature's God; that is, he follows God in his works and in his word.
    • Letter to Alexander Pope. Compare: "Slave to no sect, who takes no private road, But looks through Nature up to Nature’s God", Alexander Pope, Essay on Man, epistle iv. line 331.
  • The shortest and surest way of arriving at real knowledge is to unlearn the lessons we have been taught, to mount the first principles, and take nobody's word about them.
    • As quoted in Treasury of Wisdom, Wit and Humor, Odd Comparisons and Proverbs (1891) by Adam Woolever

Unsourced

  • Patriotism must be founded on great principals and supported by great virtue.
  • Pride defeats its own end, by bringing the man who seeks esteem and reverence into contempt.
  • The greatest art of a politician is to render vice serviceable to the cause of virtue.

External links