Aphorisms by Edward Bulwer–Lytton

I said in my previous post that Edward Bulwer–Lytton was a pretty respectable aphorist but failed to give any examples of his aphoristic respectability. I do so here. Surprisingly, perhaps, in addition to composing what has come to be universally regarded as the most awful opening line of any novel ever written, Bulwer–Lytton is also credited with composing some of the best phrases in the English language, including “the pen is mightier than the sword,” “the great unwashed” and the “pursuit of the almighty dollar.” For more aphorisms, see pp. 184-186 of Geary’s Guide.

One of the surest evidences of friendship that one individual can display to another is telling him gently of a fault. If any other can excel it, it is listening to such a disclosure with gratitude, and amending the error.

You believe that easily which you hope for earnestly.

The easiest person to deceive is one’s self.

Talent does what it can; genius does what it must.