Quotations From WILLIAM LAMB MELBOURNE, 2ND VISCOUNT


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  • It is not much matter which we say, but mind, we must all say the same.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Remark, March 1841, at a Cabinet meeting. Quoted in Walter Bagehot, The English Constitution, ch. 1 (1867).
  • Wealth is so much the greatest good that Fortune has to bestow that in the Latin and English languages it has usurped her name.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Quoted in David Cecil, The Young Melbourne, ch. 9 (1939). Notebook entry.
  • It is not much matter which we say, but mind, we must all say the same.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Remark, March 1841, at a Cabinet meeting. Quoted in The English Constitution, ch. 1, Walter Bagehot (1867).
  • That is no use at all. What I want is men who will support me when I am in the wrong.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Quoted in Lord M, ch. 4, David Cecil (1954). Reply to a politician's pledge: "I will support you as long as you are in the right."
  • A doctrinaire is a fool but an honest man.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Quoted in David Cecil, The Young Melbourne, ch. 9 (1939).
  • Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Quoted in David Cecil, The Young Melbourne, ch. 9 (1939).
  • I wish I was as cocksure of anything as Tom Macaulay is of everything.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Comment reported by Melbourne's nephew Earl Cowper. Quoted in Lord Melbourne's Papers, preface (1889).
  • The whole duty of government is to prevent crime and to preserve contracts.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Quoted in David Cecil, Lord M, ch. 3 (1954).
  • If it was not absolutely necessary, it was the foolishest thing ever done.
    William Lamb Melbourne, 2nd Viscount (1779-1848), British statesman, prime minister. Quoted in David Cecil, Lord M, ch. 4 (1954). Comment on the Reform Bill of 1832.
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