Quotations : Thomas Carlyle

1

       Can there be a more horrible object in existence than an eloquent man not speaking the truth?

2

      He who would write heroic poems should make his whole life a heroic poem.

3

      Literary men are … a perpetual priesthood.

4

      I came hither [Craigenputtoch] solely with the design to simplify my way of life and to secure the independence through which I could be enabled to remain true to myself.

5

      Clever men are good, but they are not the best.

6

      We are firm believers in the maxim that for all right judgment of any man or thing it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.

7

      How does the poet speak to men with power, but by being still more a man than they?

8

      A poet without love were a physical and metaphysical impossibility.

9

       My whinstone house my castle is;
    I have my own four walls.

10

     The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.

11

      There is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man; also it may be said, there is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed.

12

      Silence is deep as Eternity, speech is shallow as Time.

13

      To the very last, he [Napoleon] had a kind of idea; that, namely, of la carrière ouverte aux talents,—the tools to him that can handle them.

14

      Blessed is the healthy nature; it is the coherent, sweetly co-operative, not incoherent, self-distracting, self-destructive one!

15

      The uttered part of a man’s life, let us always repeat, bears to the unuttered, unconscious part a small unknown proportion. He himself never knows it, much less do others.

16

      Literature is the Thought of thinking Souls.

17

       Lord Bacon could as easily have created the planets as he could have written Hamlet.

18

      The eye of the intellect "sees in all objects what it brought with it the means of seeing."

19

      Love is ever the beginning of Knowledge as fire is of light.

20

      Music is well said to be the speech of angels.

21

      A mystic bond of brotherhood makes all men one.

22

      Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness on the confines of two everlasting hostile empires,—Necessity and Free Will.

23

      He that works and does some Poem, not he that merely says one, is worthy of the name of Poet.

24

      The Public is an old woman. Let her maunder and mumble.

25

      It is now almost my sole rule of life to clear myself of cants and formulas, as of poisonous Nessus shirts.

26

      There is endless merit in a man’s knowing when to have done.

27

      History is the essence of innumerable biographies.

28

      The barrenest of all mortals is the sentimentalist.

29

      A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.

30

      Even in the meanest sorts of Labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony the instant he sets himself to work.

31

      Every noble crown is, and on earth will forever be, a crown of thorns.

32

      Respectable Professors of the Dismal Science.

33

      A healthy hatred of scoundrels.

34

      Nature admits no lie.

35

      A Parliament speaking through reporters to Buncombe and the twenty-seven millions, mostly fools.

36

      The fine arts once divorcing themselves from truth are quite certain to fall mad, if they do not die.

37

      Genius … means the transcendent capacity of taking trouble.

38

      Happy the people whose annals are blank in history-books.

39

       The Press is the Fourth Estate of the realm.

40

      What you see, yet can not see over, is as good as infinite.

41

      Alas the fearful Unbelief is unbelief in yourself.

42

      As the Swiss inscription says: Sprechen ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden,—"Speech is silvern, Silence is golden;" or, as I might rather express it, Speech is of Time, Silence is of Eternity.

43

      In books lies the soul of the whole Past Time: the articulate audible voice of the Past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream.

44

      The true University of these days is a Collection of Books.

45

      One life,—a little gleam of time between two Eternities.

46

      Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity there are a hundred that will stand adversity.



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