Home  »  Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men  »  John Pym

S.A. Bent, comp. Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men. 1887.

John Pym

  • [An English statesman; born in Somersetshire, 1584; educated at Oxford; entered Parliament, 1614; opposed the court during the reign of James I. and Charles I.; accuser for Parliament at the trial of Strafford; presented to the House the Grand Remonstrance, 1641; lieutenant-general of the ordnance, 1643; died in December of that year.]
  • A word spoken in season is like an apple of silver, and actions are more precious than words.

  • In a debate on a message from Charles I., asking for supplies, 1628. Compare Prov. xxv. 11: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”
  • When Sir Thomas Wentworth was raised to the peerage as Earl of Strafford, Pym remarked to him, “You are going to leave us, but I will never leave you while your head is upon your shoulders.” They had been friends before Wentworth deserted the popular party; but when Pym attacked him at the opening of the Long Parliament in 1640, the House immediately impeached the author of “Thorough,” and Pym conducted the trial, which resulted in Strafford’s conviction and execution.
  • Lord Bristol said of Strafford, “The malignity of his practices was hugely aggravated by his vast talents, whereof God hath given the use, but the Devil the application.”
  • When the House of Commons was asked, in 1628, if they would rely on the king’s word, Pym replied, “We have his Majesty’s coronation oath to maintain the laws of England: what need we, then, take his word?”