S. Austin Allibone, comp. Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay. 1880.
I know it is common for men to say that such and such things are perfectly right, very desirable, but that, unfortunately, they are not practicable. Oh, no, Sir! no! Those things which are not practicable are not desirable. There is nothing in the world really beneficial that does not lie within the reach of an informed understanding and a well-directed pursuit. There is nothing that God has judged good for us that He has not given us the means to accomplish, both in the natural and the moral world. If we cry, like children, for the moon, like children we must cry on.
Edmund Burke: Speech on the Plan for Economical Reform, Feb. 11, 1780.
The spirit of enterprise gives to this description the full use of all their native energies. If I have reason to conceive that my enemy, who, as such, must have an interest in my destruction, is also a person of discernment and sagacity, then I must be quite sure that, in a contest, the object he violently pursues is the very thing by which my ruin is likely to be the most perfectly accomplished.
He who would do some great thing in this short life must apply himself to the work with such a concentration of his forces as to idle spectators, who live only to amuse themselves, looks like insanity.
It is idleness that creates impossibilities; and where men care not to do a thing, they shelter themselves under a persuasion that it cannot be done. The shortest and the surest way to prove a work possible, is strenuously to set about it; and no wonder if that proves it possible that for the most part makes it so.