Change Quotes

A state without the means of some change is without the means of its conservation.

Edmund Burke ‘Reflections on the Revolution in France’ (1790) p. 29

All conservatism is based upon the idea that if you leave things alone you leave them as they are. But you do not. If you leave a thing alone you leave it to a torrent of change.

G. K. Chesterton 1874-1936 ‘Orthodoxy’ (1908) ch. 7

The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.

Karl Marx 1818-83 “Theses on Feuerbach” (written 1845, published 1888) no. 11

Speech is the small change of silence.

Johnny Mercer 1909-76 ‘The Ordeal of Richard Feverel’ (1859) ch. 34

Ask yourself whether you are happy, and you cease to be so.

John Stuart Mill 1806-73 ‘Autobiography’ (1873) ch. 7

No great improvements in the lot of mankind are possible, until a great change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.

John Stuart Mill 1806-73 ‘Autobiography’ (1873) ch. 7

Fear not, though love and beauty fail,
My reason shall my heart direct:
Your kindness now will then prevail,
And passion turns into respect:
Chloris, at worst, you’ll in the end
But change your Lover for a friend.

Sir George Etherege (or Etheredge)

When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change.

Lucius Cary (second Viscount Falkland) 1610-43

Most of the change we think we see in life
Is due to truths being in and out of favour.

Robert Frost 1874-1963 ‘The Black Cottage’ (1914)

There is a certain relief in change, even though it be from bad to worse…it is often a comfort to shift one’s position and be bruised in a new place.

Washington Irving 1783-1859 ‘Tales of a Traveller’ (1824) ‘To the Reader’

Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better.

Samuel Johnson 1709-84 ‘A Dictionary of the English Language’ (1755) preface.

…Each change of many-coloured life he drew,
Exhausted worlds, and then imagined new.

Samuel Johnson 1709-84 ‘Prologue spoken at the Opening of the Theatre in Drury Lane’ (1747)

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
The more things change, the more they are the same.

Alphonse Karr 1808-90 ‘Les Guêpes’ January 1849