Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke

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Author: Edmund Burke

Sentiment and Policy.

Never was there a jar or discord between genuine sentiment and sound policy. Never, no never, did Nature say one thing and Wisdom say another. Nor are sentiments of elevation in themselves turgid and unnatural. Nature is never more truly herself than in her grandest form. The Apollo of Belvedere (if the universal robber has yet left him at Belvedere) is as much in nature as any figure from the pencil of Rembrandt, or any clown in the rustic revels of Teniers. Indeed, it is when a great nation is in great difficulties that minds must exalt themselves to the occasion, or all is lost. Strong passion, under the direction of a feeble reason, feeds a low fever, which serves only to destroy the body that entertains it. But vehement passion does not always indicate an infirm judgment. It often accompanies, and actuates, and is even auxiliary to a powerful understanding; and when they both conspire and act harmoniously, their force is great to destroy disorder within, and to repel injury from abroad. If ever there was a time that calls on us for no vulgar conception of things, and for exertions in no vulgar strain, it is the awful hour that Providence has now appointed to this nation. Every little measure is a great error; and every great error will bring on no small ruin. Nothing can be directed above the mark that we must aim at: everything below it is absolutely thrown away.

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Chicago: Edmund Burke, "Sentiment and Policy.," Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke in Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke Original Sources, accessed February 25, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9FQRPGILGPAJTUI.

MLA: Burke, Edmund. "Sentiment and Policy." Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke, in Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke, Original Sources. 25 Feb. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9FQRPGILGPAJTUI.

Harvard: Burke, E, 'Sentiment and Policy.' in Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. cited in , Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. Original Sources, retrieved 25 February 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9FQRPGILGPAJTUI.