Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, PC (25 May 1803 – 18 January 1873) was an English writer and politician. He served as a Whig MP from 1831 to 1841 and a Conservative MP from 1851 to 1866. He was Secretary of State for the Colonies from June 1858 to June 1859, choosing Richard Clement Moody as founder of British Columbia. He declined the Crown of Greece in 1862 after King Otto abdicated. He was created Baron Lytton of Knebworth in 1866. Bulwer-Lytton's works were popular and paid him well. He coined the phrases "the great unwashed", "pursuit of the almighty dollar", "the pen is mightier than the sword", and "dweller on the threshold". Then came a sharp fall in his reputation, so that he is little read today. The sardonic 1982 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest claimed to seek the "opening sentence of the worst of all possible novels".
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What a mistake to suppose that the passions are strongest in youth! The passions are not stronger, but the control over them is weaker! They are more easily excited, they are more violent and apparent; but they have less energy, less durability, less intense and concentrated power than in the maturer life.
Destiny is but a phrase of the weak human heart - the dark apology for every error. The strong and virtuous admit no destiny. On earth conscience guides; in heaven God watches. And destiny is but the phantom we invoke to silence the one and dethrone the other.
The paths by which people journey toward happiness lie in part through the world about them and in part through the experience of their souls. On the one hand, there is the happiness which comes from wealth, honor, the enjoyment of life, from health, culture, science, or art; and, on the other hand, there is the happiness which is to be found in a good conscience, in virtue, work, philanthropy, religion, devotion to great ideas and great deeds.