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William Cobbett (1763 – 1835)


English politician, agriculturist, journalist and pamphleteer, writing first in the Tory and then in the Radical cause.
William Cobbett
Women are a sisterhood. They make common cause in behalf of the sex; and, indeed, this is natural enough, when we consider the vast power that the law gives us over them.
Cobbett quotes
Sit down to write what you have thought, and not to think what you shall write.
Cobbett
Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Canada are the horns, the head, the neck, the shins, and the hoof of the ox, and the United States are the ribs, the sirloin, the kidneys, and the rest of the body.




Cobbett William quotes
The pattern John Bull of his century, strong as the rhinoceros, and with singular humanities and genialities shining through his thick skin.
Cobbett William
Perhaps there are none more lazy, or more truly ignorant, than your everlasting readers.
William Cobbett quotes
To suppose such a thing possible as a society, in which men, who are able and willing to work, cannot support their families, and ought, with a great part of the women, to be compelled to lead a life of celibacy, for fear of having children to be starved; to suppose such a thing possible is monstrous.
William Cobbett
Another great evil arising from this desire to be thought rich; or rather, from the desire not to be thought poor, is the destructive thing which has been honoured by the name of “speculation”; but which ought to be called Gambling.
Cobbett William quotes
Nothing is so well calculated to produce a death-like torpor in the country as an extended system of taxation and a great national debt.
Cobbett
It is no small mischief to a boy, that many of the best years of his life should be devoted to the learning of what can never be of any real use to any human being. His mind is necessarily rendered frivolous and superficial by the long habit of attaching importance to words instead of things; to sound instead of sense.
Cobbett William
Grammar, perfectly understood, enables us, not only to express our meaning fully and clearly, but so to express it as to enable us to defy the ingenuity of man to give to our words any other meaning than that which we ourselves intend them to express.
William Cobbett
Good government is known from bad government by this infallible test: that under the former the labouring people are well fed and well clothed, and under the latter, they are badly fed and badly clothed.




William Cobbett quotes
As to politics, we were like the rest of the country people in England; that is to say, we neither knew nor thought any thing about the matter.
William Cobbett
Men of integrity are generally pretty obstinate, in adhering to an opinion once adopted.
Cobbett quotes
But what is to be the fate of the great wen of all? The monster, called, by the silly coxcombs of the press, "the metropolis of the empire"?
Cobbett William
I began my editorial career with the presidency of Mr. Adams, and my principal object was to render his administration all the assistance in my power. I flattered myself with the hope of accompanying him through [his] voyage, and of partaking in a trifling degree, of the glory of the enterprise; but he suddenly tacked about, and I could follow him no longer. I therefore waited for the first opportunity to haul down my sails.
Cobbett William quotes
I was a countryman and a father before I was a writer on political subjects.... Born and bred up in the sweet air myself, I was resolved that [my children] should be bred up in it too.
William Cobbett
Nouns of number, or multitude, such as Mob, Parliament, Rabble, House of Commons, Regiment, Court of King's Bench, Den of Thieves, and the like.
William Cobbett quotes
But I do not remember ever having seen a newspaper in the house; and, most certainly, that privation did not render us less industrious, happy, or free.
William Cobbett
The very hirelings of the press, whose trade it is to buoy up the spirits of the people ... have uttered falsehoods so long, they have played off so many tricks, that their budget seems, at last, to be quite empty.
Cobbett William
It is especially his bad language that is always good. It is precisely the passages that have always been recognized as good style that would now be regarded as bad form. And it is precisely these violent passages that especially bring out not only the best capacities of Cobbett but also the best capacities of English.


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