Home  »  Familiar Short Sayings of Great Men  »  Lord Lytton

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

Lord Lytton

  • [Edward George Earle Lytton-Bulwer, first Lord Lytton, the English novelist; born in Norfolkshire, 1805; educated at Cambridge; published “Falkland,” 1827, and many popular romances until 1861; entered Parliament, 1831; colonial secretary, 1858; raised to the peerage, 1866; died Jan. 18, 1872.]
  • A reform is a correction of abuses: a revolution is a transfer of power.

  • In the House of Commons, on the Reform Bill of 1866. He said of Lord Palmerston’s Reform Bill, in 1860, “Democracy is like the grave: it never gives back what it receives.” Democratic institutions, in his opinion, were only fitted to the youth of nations, like colonies; and when any gentleman recommended the example of a colony to the ancient monarchy of England, “I can only say that he has not studied the horn-book of legislation.” He referred to Athens, which was well aware that democracy could not long co-exist with great inequalities of wealth and power; “they therefore began by ostracising the powerful, to end by persecuting the wealthy.”