Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux

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Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern but impossible to enslave.

The Right Honourable Henry Brougham, 1st Baron Brougham and Vaux, PC (September 19, 1778May 7, 1868) was Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain during the administration of Lord Grey and the first of Lord Melbourne.

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  • What is valuable is not new, and what is new is not valuable.
    • From The Edinburgh Review, The Work of Thomas Young (c. 1802).
  • There have been periods when the country heard with dismay that "the soldier was abroad." That is not the case now. Let the soldier be abroad; in the present age he can do nothing. Let the soldier be abroad if he will, he can do nothing in this age. There is another personage,—a personage less imposing in the eyes of some, perhaps insignificant. The schoolmaster is abroad, and I trust to him, armed with his primer, against the soldier in full military array, for upholding and extending the liberties of his country.
    • Speech, Opening of Parliament (January 29, 1828).
  • Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern but impossible to enslave.
    • Speech to the House of Commons (January 29, 1828).
  • In my mind, he was guilty of no error he — was chargeable with no exaggeration — he was betrayed by his fancy into no metaphor, who once said that all we see about us, Kings, Lords, and Commons, the whole machinery of the State, all the apparatus of the system, and its varied workings, end in simply bringing twelve men into a box.
    • Present State of the Law (February 7, 1828).
  • Pursuit of Knowledge Under Difficulties
    • Title of book (published 1830).
  • Death was now armed with a new terror.
    • Reported in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. (1919). Brougham delivered a very warm panegyric upon the ex-Chancellor, and expressed a hope that he would make a good end, although to an expiring Chancellor death was now armed with a new terror. Thomas Campbell, Lives of the Chancellors, vol. vii. p. 163. Lord St. Leonards attributes this phrase to Sir Charles Wetherell, who used it on the occasion referred to by Lord Campbell. It likely originates with the practice of Edmund Curll, who issued miserable catch-penny lives of every eminent person immediately after that person's decease. John Arbuthnot wittily styled him "one of the new terrors of death", Carruthers, Life of Pope (second edition), p. 149.
  • The same Being that fashioned the insect, whose existence is only discerned by a microscope, and gave that invisible speck a system of ducts and other organs to perform its vital functions, created the enormous mass of the planet thirteen hundred times larger than our earth, and launched it in its course round the sun, and the comet, wheeling with a velocity that would carry it round our globe in less than two minutes of time, and yet revolving through so prodigious a space that it takes near six centuries to encircle the sun!
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 274.
  • Real knowledge never promoted either turbulence or unbelief; but its progress is the forerunner of liberality and enlightened toleration.
    • Quote reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) p. 366.
  • Not a step can we take in any direction without perceiving the most extraordinary traces of design; and the skill everywhere conspicuous is calculated in so vast a proportion of instances to promote the happiness of living creatures, and especially of ourselves, that we feel no hesitation in concluding that, if we knew the whole scheme of Providence, every part would appear to be in harmony with a plan of absolute benevolence.
    • Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 261.

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