S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.


Crimes lead into one another. They who are capable of being forgers are capable of being incendiaries.

Edmund Burke: To Sir A. I. Elton, Jan. 30, 1777.

Crimes are the actions of physical beings with an evil intention abusing their physical powers against justice and to the detriment of society.

Edmund Burke: Imp. of W. Hastings; Report on the Lords’ Journal, 1794.

Thank God, my Lords, men that are greatly guilty are never wise. I repeat it—men that are greatly guilty are never wise. In their defence of one crime they are sure to meet the ghost of some former defence, which, like the spectre in Virgil, drives them back.

Edmund Burke: Imp. of W. Hastings.

Great crimes are commonly produced either out of a cold intensity of selfishness, or out of a hot intensity of passion. It is not difficult for any one to say which will lead to the more detestable results. The visible ferocity, the glare of envy or wild hatred in the criminal who slays his enemy—foul and detestable as it must ever be—is not so loathsome as the tranquil good humour of the wretch utterly lost in self-content, ready without a particle of malice or compunction to pluck neighbours’ lives, as fruit, for his material refreshment.

Household Words.