Quotations by Pitt, William the Elder


An eagerness and zeal for dispute on every subject, and with every one, shows great self-sufficiency, that never-failing sign of great self-ignorance.

William Pitt the Elder (1708-1778) British statesman, orator [1st Earl of Chatham]
Correspondence of William Pitt, vol 4 (1840) [ed. Taylor and Pringle]
Added on 22-Aug-14 | Last updated 22-Aug-14
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The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail — its roof may shake — the wind may blow through it — the storm may enter — the rain may enter — but the King of England cannot enter! — all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!

William Pitt the Elder (1708-1778) British statesman, orator [1st Earl of Chatham]
Speech on the Excise Bill, House of Commons (Mar 1763)
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Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.

William Pitt the Elder (1708-1778) British statesman, orator [1st Earl of Chatham]
Speech, House of Lords (9 Jan 1770)

Regarding the case of John Wilkes. More famously stated by Lord Acton in 1887.
Added on 20-Aug-12 | Last updated 22-Aug-14
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