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...to discern with tolerable exactness the true nature of the object held up to our imitation. If the prudence of reserve and decorum dictates silence in some circumstances, in others prudence of a higher order may justify us in speaking our thoughts. The beginnings of confusion with us in England are at present feeble enough; but with you we have seen an infancy still more feeble growing by moments into a strength to heap mountains upon mountains, and to wage war with Heaven itself.Whenever our neighbor's house is on fire, it cannot be amiss for the engines to play a little on our own.Better to be despised for too anxious apprehensions than ruined by too confident a security.
Solicitous chiefly for the peace of my own country, but by no means unconcerned for yours, I wish to communicate more largely what was at first intended only for your private satisfaction. I shall still keep your affairs in my eye, and continue to address myself to you. Indulging myself in the freedom of epistolary intercourse, I beg leave to throw out my thoughts and express my feelings just... Burke, Edmund
Excerpt from The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. 03 (of 12) · This quote is about caution · Search on Google Books to find all references and sources for this quotation.
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