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EDWARD GEORGE EARLE LYTTON BULWER-LYTTON, 1ST BARON LYTTON
English novelist and politician
(1803 - 1873)
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Art is the effort of man to express the ideas which nature suggests to him of a power above nature, whether that power be within the recesses of his own being, or in the Great First Cause of which nature, like himself, is but the effect.
      - [Art]

Art itself is essentially ethical; because every true work of art must have a beauty or grandeur of some kind, and beauty and grandeur cannot be comprehended by the beholder except through the moral sentiment. The eye is only a witness; it is not a judge. The mind judges what the eye reports to it; therefore, whatever elevates the moral sentiment to the contemplation of beauty and grandeur is in itself ethical.
      - [Ethics]

As a general rule, people who flagrantly pretend to anything are the reverse of that which they pretend to. A man who sets up for a saint is sure to be a sinner; and a man who boasts that he is a sinner is sure to have some feeble, maudlin, snivelling bit of saintship about him which is enough to make him a humbug.
      - [Pretension]

As it has been finely expressed, "Principle is a passion for truth." And as an earlier and homelier writer hath it, "The truths we believe in are the pillars of our world."
      - [Truth]

As the excitement of the game increases, prudence is sure to diminish.
      - [Flirting]

As the films of clay are removed from our eyes, Death loses the false aspect of the spectre, and we fall at last into its arms as a wearied child upon the bosom of its mother.
      - [Death]

Ask any school-boy up to the age of fifteen where he would spend his holidays. Not one in five hundred will say, "In the streets of London," if you give him the option of green fields and running waters. It is, then, a fair presumption that there must be something of the child still in the character of the men or the women whom the country charms in maturer as in dawning life.
      - [Country]

At court one becomes a sort of human ant eater, and learns to catch one's prey by one's tongue.
      - [Policy]

Beautiful eyes in the face of a handsome woman are like eloquence to speech.
      - [Eyes]

Beside one deed of guilt, how blest is guiltless woe!
      - [Guilt]

Better than fame is still the wish for fame, the constant training for a glorious strife.
      - [Fame]

Better that the light cloud should fade away into heaven with the morning breath, than travail through the weary day to gather in darkness, and in storm.
      - [Death of Children]

Beware of parting! The true sadness is not in the pain of the parting; it is in the when and the how you are to meet again with the face about to vanish from your view.
      - [Parting]

Birds sing in vain to the ear, flowers bloom in vain to the eye, of mortified vanity and galled ambition. He who would know repose in retirement must carry into retirement his destiny, integral and serene, as the Caesars transported the statue of Fortune into the chamber they chose for their sleep.
      - [Solitude]

Bright and illustrious illusions! Who can blame, who laugh at the boy, who not admire and commend him, for that desire of a fame outlasting the Pyramids by which he insensibly learns to live in a life beyond the present, and nourish dreams of a good unattainable by the senses?
      - [Excelsior]

Certain I am that every author who has written a book with earnest forethought and fondly cherished designs will bear testimony to the fact that much which he meant to convey has never been guessed at in any review of his work; and many a delicate beauty of thought, on which he principally valued himself, remains, like the statue of Isis, an image of truth from which no hand lifts the veil.
      - [Authorship]

Chance happens to all, but to turn chance to account is the gift of few.
      - [Chance]

Character is money; and according as the man earns or spends the money, money in turn becomes character. As money is the most evident power in the world's uses, so the use that he makes of money is often all that the world knows about a man.
      - [Money]

Common sense is only a modification of talent. Genius is an exaltation of it; the difference is, therefore, in the degree, not nature.
      - [Common Sense]

Could we know by what strange circumstances a man's genius became prepared for practical success, we should discover that the most serviceable items in his education were never entered in the bills which his father paid for.
      - [Education]

Dandies, when first-rate, are generally very agreeable men.
      - [Dandy]

Days are like years in the love of the young, when no bar, no obstacle, is between their hearts,--when the sun shines, and the course runs smooth--when their love is prosperous and confessed.
      - [Love]

Death is the only monastery; the tomb is the only cell, and the grave that adjoins the convent is the bitterest mock of its futility.
      - [Death]

Debt is to man what the serpent is to the bird; its eye fascinates, its breath poisons, its coil crushes sinew and bone, its jaw is the pitiless grave.
      - [Debt]

Despair is free.
      - [Despair]


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