Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 – 5 February 1881) was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher. Considered one of the most important social commentators of his time, he presented many lectures during his lifetime with certain acclaim in the Victorian era. 

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In books lies the soul of the whole past time.

A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.

Music is well said to be the speech of angels.

This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle, wonderful, inscrutable, magical and more to whosoever will think of it.

I don't pretend to understand the Universe - it's a great deal bigger than I am.

A person who is gifted sees the essential point and leaves the rest as surplus.

It is a strange trade that of advocacy. Your intellect, your highest heavenly gift, is hung up in the shop window like a loaded pistol for sale.

Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment.

All that mankind has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.

Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness, on the confines of the two everlasting empires necessity and free will.

The true university of these days is a collection of books.

Imagination is a poor matter when it has to part company with understanding.

A strong mind always hopes and has always cause to hope.

Adversity is the diamond dust heaven polishes its jewels with.

If there be no enemy, there's no fight. If no fight, no victory, and if no victory there is no crown.

Endurance is patience concentrated.

No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness, than disbelief in great men.

For all right judgment of any man or things it is useful, nay, essential to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.

Love is the only game that is not called on account of darkness.

History a distillation of rumour.

He who has health has hope, and he who has hope has everything.

War is a quarrel between two thieves too cowardly to fight their own battle.

If you are ever in doubt as to whether to kiss a pretty girl, always give her the benefit of the doubt.

The fearful unbelief is unbelief in yourself.

The end of man is action and not thought though it be of the noblest.

To us also through every star through every blade of grass is not God made visible if we will open our minds and our eyes.

No man lives without jostling and being jostled, in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world giving and receiving offence.

Science must have originated in the feeling that something was wrong.

Men seldom or rather never for a length of time and deliberately rebel against anything that does not deserve rebelling against.

Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness and its power of endurance - the cheerful man will do more in the same time will do it, better will preserve it longer than the sad or sullen.

One must verify or expel his doubts and convert them into the certainty of Yes or NO.

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.

The difference between Socrates and Jesus? The great conscious and the immeasurably great unconscious.

History shows that the majority of people that have done anything great have passed their youth in seclusion.

The world is a republic of mediocrities and always was.

Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains.

Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight.

If you do not wish a man to do a thing you had better get him to talk about it, for the more men talk the more likely they are to do nothing else.

Writing is a dreadful labor yet not so dreadful as Idleness.

Everywhere in life the true question is not what we gain but what we do.

Secrecy is the element of all goodness, even virtue even beauty is mysterious.

There is a great discovery still to be made in literature that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write.

When new turns of behavior cease to appear in the life of the individual its behavior ceases to be intelligent.

Thought once awakened does not again slumber, unfolds itself into a System of Thought, grows in man after man generation after generation - till its full stature is reached and such System of Thought can grow no farther but must give place to another.

Every new opinion at its starting is precisely in a minority of one.

The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground secretly making the ground green.

Long stormy spring-time wet contentious April winter chilling the lap of very May, but at length the season of summer does come.

If an eloquent speaker speak not the truth is there a more horrid kind of object in creation?

For if a good speaker never so eloquent does not see into the fact and is not speaking the truth of that - is there a more horrid kind of object in creation?

Not brute force but only persuasion and faith are the kings of this world.

Love is not altogether a delirium yet it has many points in common therewith.

Blessed is he who has found his work, let him ask no other blessedness.

Of all acts of man repentance is the most divine. The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.

Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether.

Men do less than they ought unless they do all that they can.

Every noble work is at first impossible.

No ghost was every seen by two pair of eyes.

I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

The only happiness a brave person ever troubles themselves in asking about, is happiness enough to get their work done.

Show me the man you honor and I will know what kind of man you are.

Weak eyes are fondest of glittering objects.

Do the duty which lies nearest to you the second duty will then become clearer.

The cut of a garment speaks of intellect and talent and the color of temperament and heart.

Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.

Worship is transcendent wonder.

Man is properly speaking based upon hope he has no other possession but hope, this world of his is emphatically the place of hope.

Clever men are good but they are not the best.

What you see but can't see over is as good as infinite.

All great peoples are conservative.

Egotism is the source and summary of all faults and miseries.

It were a real increase of human happiness could all young men from the age of nineteen be covered under barrels or rendered otherwise invisible, and there left to follow their lawful studies and callings till they emerged sadder and wiser at the age of twenty-five.

Sarcasm I now see to be in general the language of the devil, for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it.

The courage we desire and prize is not the courage to die decently but to live manfully.

Silence is more eloquent than words.

Humor has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius.

In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People with their wisdom and unwisdom, we have to say Like People like Government.

None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone.

Permanence perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacle s discouragement s and impossibilities: It is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.

There are good and bad times but our mood changes more often than our fortune.

Every day that is born into the world comes like a burst of music and rings the whole day through and you make of it a dance a dirge or a life march as you will.

Speech is human silence is divine yet also brutish and dead: therefore we must learn both arts.

Doubt of whatever kind can be ended by action alone.

A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.

Originality is a thing we constantly clamour for and constantly quarrel with.

A laugh to be joyous must flow from a joyous heart, for without kindness there can be no true joy.

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together.

True humor springs not more from the head than from the heart. It is not contempt, its essence is love. It issues not in laughter but in still smiles which lie far deeper.

A man's felicity consists not in the outward and visible blessing of fortune but in the inward and unseen perfections and riches of the mind.

No iron chain or outward force of any kind can ever compel the soul of a person to believe or to disbelieve.

No violent extreme endures.

Wonder is the basis of worship.

Nothing that was worthy in the past departs, no truth or goodness realized by man ever dies or can die.

Not what I have but what I do is my kingdom.

Work alone is noble.

Culture is the process by which a person becomes all that they were created capable of being.

In every phenomenon the beginning remains always the most notable moment.

Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It's a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.

The outer passes away, the innermost is the same yesterday today and forever.

Show me the person you honor for I know better by that the kind of person you are. For you show me what your idea of humanity is.

Narrative is linear but action has breadth and depth as well as height and is solid.

Laughter is one of the very privileges of reason being confined to the human species.

When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with it fall but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.

Old age is not a matter for sorrow. It is matter for thanks if we have left our work done behind us.

To reform a world to reform a nation no wise man will undertake, and all but foolish men know that the only solid though a far slower reformation is what each begins and perfects on himself.

The real use of gunpowder is to make all men tall.

No person is important enough to make me angry.

The old cathedrals are good but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better.

A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.

No pressure no diamonds.

Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing with tools he is all.

Reform is not pleasant but grievous, no person can reform themselves without suffering and hard work how much less a nation.

Happy the people whose annals are vacant.

Silence is as deep as eternity speech a shallow as time.

Let each become all that he was created capable of being.

The eye sees what it brings the power to see.

Foolish men imagine that, because judgment for an evil thing is delayed, there is no justice, but only accident here below. Judgment for an evil thing is many times delayed some day or two, some century or two, but it is sure as life, it is sure as death.

Woe to him that claims obedience when it is not due, woe to him that refuses it when it is.

No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.

Conviction never so excellent is worthless until it coverts itself into conduct.

Thought is the parent of the deed.

What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.

Man's unhappiness as I construe comes of his greatness, it is because there is an Infinite in him which with all his cunning he cannot quite bury under the Finite.

Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.

Make yourself an honest man and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.

The first duty of man is to conquer fear, he must get rid of it he cannot act till then.

It is the heart always that sees before the head can see.

A man lives by believing something: not by debating and arguing about many things.

The spiritual is the parent of the practical.

It is a vain hope to make people happy by politics.

A man willing to work and unable to find work is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune's inequality exhibits under this sun.

The merit of originality is not novelty, it is sincerity.

The three great elements of modern civilization Gun powder Printing and the Protestant religion.

Be not a slave of words.

Good breeding differs if at all from high breeding only as it gracefully remembers the rights of others rather than gracefully insists on its own rights.

If what you have done is unjust you have not succeeded.

I don't like to talk much with people who always agree with me. It is amusing to coquette with an echo for a little while but one soon tires of it.

Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better Silence is deep as Eternity, speech is shallow as Time.

Necessity dispenseth with decorum.

I grow daily to honour facts more and more and theory less and less. A fact it seems to me is a great thing, a sentence printed if not by God then at least by the Devil.

I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.

No amount of ability is of the slightest avail without honor.

Go as far as you can see, when you get there you'll be able to see farther.

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

If you look deep enough you will see music, the heart of nature being everywhere music.

He who could foresee affairs three days in advance would be rich for thousands of years.

Oh give us the man who sings at his work.

Teach a parrot the terms 'supply and demand' and you've got an economist.

Imperfection clings to a person and if they wait till they are brushed off entirely they would spin for ever on their axis advancing nowhere.

Youth is to all the glad season of life, but often only by what it hopes not by what it attains or what it escapes.

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.

A man cannot make a pair of shoes rightly unless he do it in a devout manner.

No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.

The man of life upright has a guiltless heart free from all dishonest deeds or thought of vanity.