I've seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling, I've felt all its favours and found its decay; Sweet was its blessing, kind its caressing, But now it is fled, fled far, far away.
1765 'The Flowers of the Forest'.
O fickle Fortune, why this cruel sporting? Why thus torment us poor sons of day? Nae mair your smiles can cheer me, nae mair your frowns can fear me, For the flowers of the forest are a' wade away.Richard Cobden
Are we to be the Don Quixotes of Europeto go about fighting foreverycausewhere we find that someonehas been wronged?Richard Cobden
...the twelve or fifteen millions in the British Empire, who, while they possess no electoral rights, are yet persuaded they are freemen, and who are mystified into the notion that they are not political bondmen, by that great juggle of the ‘ English Constitution ’ a thing of monopolies, and Church-craft, and sinecures, armorial hocus-pocus, primogeniture, and pageantry!Richard Cobden
Depend upon it, nothing can be got by fraternizing with trades unions. They are founded upon principles of brutal tyranny and monopoly. I would rather live under a Dey of Algiers than a Trades Committee.Richard Cobden
The idea of defending, as integral parts of our Empire, countries 10,000 miles off, like Australia, which neither pay a shilling to our revenue...nor afford us any exclusive trade...is about as quixotic a specimen of national folly as was ever exhibited.Richard Cobden
Has he not accurately anticipated both the fact and the motive of the present attitude of the State of New York? Is it not commercial gain and mercantile ascendancy which prompt their warlike zeal for the Federal Government? At all events, it is a little unreasonable in the New York politicians to require us to treat the South as rebels, in the fact of the opinion of our highest European authority as to the right of secession.Richard Cobden
I think we have been the most Conservative. I think that myself, and my friend Mr. Bright, and many I see about me, who have voted for twenty years for what have been considered revolutionary measures, have been the great Conservatives of our own age.Richard Cobden
...the principles of political economy have elevated the working class above the place they ever filled before.Richard Cobden
I believe that the harm which Mill has done to the world by the passage in his book on Political Economy in which he favours the principle of Protection in young communities, has outweighed all the good which may have been caused by his other writings.Richard Cobden
The unquestionably greatest Englishman whom the present century has produced.Richard Cobden
Cobden was the greatest statesman and prophet of the century. His speeches are an inspiration. A man whose disciple I am willing to confess I am.Richard Cobden