William Gladstone

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William Gladstone

William Ewart Gladstone (December 29, 1809 – May 19, 1898) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to Queen Victoria four times during the 19th century. He was a Liberal, and served from from 1868–1874; 1880–1885; 1886; and 1892–1894. He was a famous rival of Benjamin Disraeli, the Conservative Prime Minister.

Sourced quotes

  • "Ireland, Ireland! that cloud in the west, that coming storm."[1]
About the quote: Letter to his wife, Catherine Gladstone, 12 October 1845.
  • "This is the negation of God erected into a system of Government."[2]
Simple: This is the denial of God built into a system of Government.
About the quote: A Letter to the Earl of Aberdeen on the State Prosecutions of the Neapolitan Government, 1851.
  • "Finance is, as it were, the stomach of the country, from which all the other organs take their tone."[3]
Simple: Money is, as it were, the centre of the country, from which all other organs take their tone.
About the quote: In an article on Finance, 1858.
  • "At last, my friends, I am come among you ‘unmuzzled’."[4]
Simple: At last my friends, I have come to you 'unmuzzled'
About the quote: In a speech to support his bid to Parliament, in the seat of South Lancashire, 18 July 1865.
  • "You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side."[1] Cscr-featured.svg   
What it means: You cannot fight against what is going to happen. Time is with us.
About the quote: Speech, to the House of Commons, on the Reform Bill, 27 April 1866.
  • "My mission is to pacify Ireland."[2]
Simple: My aim is to make Ireland peaceful.
About the quote: Hearing the news that he was now Prime Minister, 1 December 1868.
  • "Swimming for his life, a man does not see much of the country through which the river winds."[1]
Simple: Swimming to stay alive, a man does not see much of the country through which the river flows.
About the quote: Written in his diary, 31 December 1868.
  • "[An] established Clergy will always be a Tory Corps d'Armée."[1]
Simple: An stable group of churchmen will always be a Tory army.
About the quote: Letter, 8 September 1881.
  • "It is perfectly true that these gentlemen wish to march through rapine to disintegration and dismemberment of the Empire, and, I am sorry to say, even to the placing of different parts of the Empire in direct hostility one with the other."[1]
Simple: It is really true that these men wish to march through plunder to breakdown and dismemberment of the [British] Empire, and, I am sorry to say, even to the placing of different parts of the Empire in direct aggression with one another.
About the quote: On the Irish Land League.
  • "There never was a Churchill from John of Marlborough down that had either morals or principles."[1]
What it means: There was never a member of the Churchill family, from John of Marlborough down, who had morals or principles.
About the quote: Spoken in conversation, 1882; probably about Lord Randolph Churchill, father of Winston Churchill.
  • "This, if I understand it, is one of those golden moments of our history, one of those opportunities which may come and may go, but which rarely returns."[5]
Simple: This, if I understand it, is one of those golden moments in our history, one of those occasions which may come and may go, but which does not often return.
About the quote: Speech to the House of Commons after the Second Reading of the Home Rule Bill, 7 June 1886.
  • "One prayer absorbs all others: Ireland, Ireland, Ireland."[1]
Simple: One prayer soaks all others: Ireland, Ireland, Ireland.
About the quote: Written in his diary, 10 April 1887.
  • "The blubbering Cabinet."[2]
Simple: The crying Cabinet.
About the quote: Written his diary, 1 March 1894. Gladstone chaired the last of his 554 Cabinet meetings on this day, and the Cabinet wept at his resignation.
  • "What that Sicilian mule was to me, I have been to the Queen."[1]
Simple: What that Sicilian mule was to me, I have been to the Queen.
About the quote: Written about a mule on which Gladstone rode, which he "could neither love nor like", although it had rendered him "much valuable service". Queen Victoria was not fond of Gladstone.[2]
  • "The God-fearing and God-sustaining University of Oxford. I served her, perhaps mistakenly, but to the best of my ability."[1]
Simple: The God-fearing and God-keeping University of Oxford. I served her, perhaps with mistakes, but to the best of my skill.
About the quote: Farewell message, shortly before his death, May 1898.
  • "I absorb the vapour and return it as a flood."[1]
Simple: I take in the vapour and return it as a flood.
About the quote: Speaking about public speaking.

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Gladstone, W. E." The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Ed. Elizabeth Knowles. Oxford University Press, 2004. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed on 11 December 2008
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Matthew, H. C. G., ‘Gladstone, William Ewart (1809–1898)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2008 accessed 11 Dec 2008
  3. Matthew, Gladstone, 1991, p. 113
  4. Morley, p. 146
  5. Gladston/Clayden, p. 165

References

  • "Gladstone, W. E." The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Ed. Elizabeth Knowles. Oxford University Press, 2004. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. Accessed on 11 December 2008
  • Gladstone, W. E. [ed. P. W. Clayden], Speeches on the Irish question in 1886. Andrew Elliot, 1886.
  • Matthew, H. C. G., Gladstone. Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press, 1991. ISBN 0198229097
  • Matthew, H. C. G., ‘Gladstone, William Ewart (1809–1898)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2008 accessed 11 Dec 2008
  • Morley, John, The Life of William Ewart Gladstone (Volume 2). London: MacMollan Company, 1903.

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