Magnanimity in politics is not seldom the truest wisdom; and a great empire and little minds go ill together.—Conciliation (II. 236).
They have their system of politics; our ancestors grew great by another. In this manner these virtuous men concluded the peace [of Paris, 1763]; and their practice is only consonant to their theory.—State of the Nation (I. 254).
In truth, the tribe of vulgar politicians are the lowest of our species. There is no trade so vile and mechanical as government in their hands. Virtue is not their habit. They are out of themselves in any course of conduct recommended only by conscience and glory. A large, liberal, and prospective view of the interests of states passes with them for romance; and the principles that recommend it for the wanderings of a disordered imagination. The calculators compute them out of their senses. The jesters and buffoons shame them out of everything grand and elevated. Littleness in object and in means, to them appears soundness and sobriety. They think there is nothing worth pursuit, but that which they can handle; which they can measure with a two-foot rule; which they can tell upon ten fingers.— Regicide Peace (VI. 180).
Every politician ought to sacrifice to the graces, and to join compliance with reason— Reflections (IV. 272).
It has indeed, from the beginning to this hour, been the uniform policy of this set of men [The Grenville Ministry], in order at any hazard to obtain a present credit, to propose whatever might be pleasing as attended with no difficulty; and afterwards to throw all the disappointment of the wild expectations they had raised, upon those who have the hard task of freeing the public from the consequences of their pernicious projects.— State of the Nation (I. 326).
Refined policy ever has been the parent of confusion; and ever will be so, as long as the world endures. Plain good intention, which is as easily discovered at the first view as fraud is surely detected at last, is, let me say, of no mean force in the government of mankind. Genuine simplicity of heart is an healing and cementing principle.— Conciliation (II. 173).