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Charles James Fox (1749 – 1806)


British Whig politician most noted for his support of the American and French Revolutions.
Charles James Fox
How much the greatest event it is that ever happened in the world! and how much the best!
Fox quotes
What acquaintance have the people at large with the arena of political rectitude, with the connections of kingdoms, the resources of national strength, the abilities of ministers, or even with their own dispositions?...I pay no regard whatever to the voice of the people: it is their duty to do what is proper, without considering what may be agreeable.
Fox
He would never forgo inquiry into the causes of the war, and measures to prevent similar calamities in future. This was due to the people, least, in the enjoyment of peace, they should forget their former sufferings from war, and again yield themselves up to delusion. Both the present and the American war were owing to a court party in this country, that hated the very name of liberty; and to an indifference, amounting to barbarity, in the minister, to the distresses of the people. It was some consolation to him that he had done his utmost to prevent the war, and to know that those who provoked it could not but feel, even while they were endeavouring to persuade others of the contrary, that they must, in no very long space of time, adopt the very course which he was recommending as fit to be adopted now.




Fox Charles James quotes
There is not a power in Europe, no not even Bonaparte's that is so unlimited [as the British monarchy].
Fox Charles James
[Napoleon has now] surpassed...Alexander & Caesar, not to mention the great advantage he has over them in the Cause he fights in.
Charles James Fox quotes
However it may have happened, it is an excellent thing, and I do not like it the worse for its being so very triumphant a peace for France...The sense of humiliation in the Government here will be certainly lost in the extreme popularity of the measure...this rascally people are quite overjoyed at receiving from Ministers what, if they had dared to ask it, could not have been refused them at almost any period of the war. Will the Ministers have the impudence to say that there was any time (much less that when Bonaparte's offer was refused) when we might not have had terms as good? Bonaparte's triumph is now complete indeed, and, since there is to be no political liberty in the world, I really believe he is the fittest person to be the master.
Charles James Fox
All political power is a trust.
Fox Charles James quotes
Bonaparte's wish is Peace, nay that he is afraid of war to the last degree.
Fox
It is intolerable that it should be in the power of one blockhead to do so much mischief.
Fox Charles James
I asked him [Samuel Johnson] if it was true as reported, that he had said lately, ‘I am for the King against Fox; but I am for Fox against Pitt.’ JOHNSON: ‘Yes, Sir; the King is my master; but I do not know Pitt; and Fox is my friend.’ ‘Fox, (added he,) is a most extraordinary man; here is a man (describing him in strong terms of objection in some respects according as he apprehended, but which exalted his abilities the more) who has divided the Kingdom with Caesar; so that it was a doubt whether the nation should be ruled by the sceptre of George the Third, or the tongue of Fox.’
Charles James Fox
Any thing that proves that it is not in the power of Kings and Princes by their great armies to have every thing their own way is of such good example that without any good will to the French one can not help being delighted by it, and you know I have a natural partiality to what some people call rebels.




Charles James Fox quotes
Toleration in religion was one of the great rights of man, and a man ought never to be deprived of what was his natural right.
Charles James Fox
...against which we should direct all our force, the navy of France: in the destruction of her marine we might see some hope of recovering America; but while our army remained in that country, we were to expect nothing from its operations. On the continent of Europe, it might be employed; there we might contend with France, in a manner that would make her feel that her own consequence was at stake. But the old Whig system of alliances on the continent had been given up, and we were left to fight all our battles by ourselves. If these alliances were renewed, France might then be taught, that rashness, not prudence, had made her enter into the American confederacy...America...might be won in Europe, while England might be ruined in America.
Fox quotes
The true simple question of the present dispute is, whether the House of Lords and Court Influence shall predominate over the House of Commons, and annihilate its existence, or whether the House of Commons...shall have power to....regulate the prerogative of the Crown, which was ever ready to seize upon the freedom of the Electors of this country.
Fox Charles James
There appears to me to be no device at present but between an absolute surrender of the liberties of the People and a vigorous exertion...My view of things is I own very gloomy, and I am convinced that in a few years this Government will become completely absolute, or that confusion will arise of a nature almost as much to be deprecated as despotism itself...This is a great Crisis.
Fox Charles James quotes
...for the truth is, I am gone something further in hate to the English Government than perhaps you and the rest of my friends are, and certainly further than can with prudence be avowed. The triumph of the French Government over the English does in fact afford me a degree of pleasure which it is very difficult to disguise.
Charles James Fox
Kings govern by means of popular assemblies only when they cannot do without them.
Charles James Fox quotes
On speaking to Mr. Fox (who had just received the seals as Secretary of State) on the important event of the day, he said certainly things look very well, but he, meaning the K[ing], will dye soon, and that will be best of all.
Charles James Fox
There is no man who hates the power of the crown more, or who has a worse opinion of the Person to whom it belongs than I.
Fox Charles James
...he was indebted to his right honourable friend [Edmund Burke] for the greatest share of the political knowledge he possessed,—his political education had been formed under him,—his instructions had invariably governed his principles.


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