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

Sir Robert Peel

  • [A distinguished English statesman; born in Lancashire, Feb. 5, 1788; educated at Oxford; entered Parliament, 1809; secretary for Ireland, 1812; for the home department, 1822; first lord of the treasury, 1834–35, 1841–46; supported the repeal of the Corn-Laws; died by a fall from his horse, June 29, 1850.]
  • I will not stand at the helm during the tempestuous night, if that helm is not allowed freely to traverse.

  • During the agitation for the repeal of the Corn-Laws.
  • Of the different departments of government he said in 1846, “It is no easy task to insure the harmonious and united action of an ancient monarchy, a proud aristocracy, and a reformed House of Commons.”
  • When Shiel had learned by heart, but forgotten, the exordium of a speech beginning with the word “Necessity,” which he repeated three times, Peel added, “is not always the mother of invention.”—JENNINGS: Anecdotal History of Parl., 248.
  • Feargus O’Connor denied the charge of being a republican, and said he did not care whether the Queen or the Devil was on the throne. Peel observed, “When the honorable gentleman sees the sovereign of his choice on the throne of these realms, I hope he’ll enjoy, and I’m sure he’ll deserve, the confidence of the crown.”