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[ Also see Agitation Change Character Churches Confession Conscience Corruption Improvement Opposition Progress Reformation Reformers Religion Remorse Repentance Self-improvement ]

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputation and social standing, never can bring about a reform. Those who are really in earnest must be willing to be anything or nothing in the world's estimation.
      - Susan B. Anthony,
        on the campaign for divorce law reform

Grant that the old Adam in these persons may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up in them.
      - Book of Common Prayer,
        Baptism of those of Riper Years

The oyster-women lock'd their fish up,
  And trudged away to cry, No Bishop.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. I, canto II, l. 537)

Reform, like charity, must begin at home.
      - Thomas Carlyle

He who reforms, God assists.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

Reform often seems only the dislike of the blase for the people with animal spirits.
      - Frank Moore Colby

Every reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess, that itself will need reforming.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

All zeal for a reform, that gives offence
  To peace and charity, is mere pretence.
      - William Cowper, Charity (l. 533)

Each year one vicious habit rooted out, in time might make the worst man good.
      - Benjamin Franklin

Those who are fond of setting things to rights, have no great objection to seeing them wrong.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

The hole and the patch should be commensurate.
      - Thomas Jefferson

He who reforms himself has done more toward reforming the public than a crowd of noisy, impotent patriots.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

The Bolshevists would blow up the fabric with high explosive, with horror. Others would pull down with the crowbars and with cranks--especially with cranks. . . . Sweating, slums, the sense of semi-slavery in labour, must go. We must cultivate a sense of manhood by treating men as men.
      - David Lloyd George,
        in a speech, Dec. 6, 1919

All reformers are bachelors.
      - George (Augustus) Moore,
        The Bending of the Bough (act I)

Time yet serves, wherein you may redeem your tarnished honors, and restore yourselves into the good thoughts of the world again.
      - William Shakespeare

My desolation does begin to make
  A better life.
      - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
         (Cleopatra at V, ii)

The best reformers the world has ever seen are those who commence on themselves.
      - George Bernard Shaw

All reformers, however strict their social conscience, live in houses just as big as they can pay for.
      - Logan Pearsall Smith

I do not mean to be disrespectful, but the attempt of the Lords to stop the progress of reform, reminds me very forcibly of the great storm of Sidmouth, and of the conduct of the excellent Mrs. Partington on that occasion. In the winter of 1824, there set in a great flood upon that town--the tide rose to an incredible height: the waves rushed in upon the houses, and everything was threatened with destruction. In the midst of this sublime and terrible storm, Dame Partington, who lived upon the beach, was seen at the door of her house with mop and pattens, trundling her mop, squeezing out the sea water, and vigorously pushing away the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic was roused. Mrs. Partington's spirit was up; but I need not tell you that the contest was unequal. The Atlantic Ocean beat Mrs. Partington. She was excellent at a slop or a puddle, but she should not have meddled with a tempest.
      - Sydney Smith,
        in a speech at Tuunton, Oct. 1831

Whatever you dislike in another person take care to correct in yourself.
      - Thomas Sprat

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