Quotes by Thomas Carlyle

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Thomas Carlyle (December 4, 1795 - February 5, 1881) was a Scottish essayist, satirist, and historian, whose work was hugely influential during the Victorian era. Coming from a strictly Calvinist family, Carlyle was expected by ... more

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Not on morality, but on cookery, let us build our stronghold: there brandishing our frying-pan, as censer, let us offer sweet incense to the Devil, and live at ease on the fat things he has provided for his elect!

The dust of controversy is merely the falsehood flying off.
The archenemy is the arch stupid!
Our life is not really a mutual helpfulness; but rather, it's fair competition cloaked under due laws of war; it's a mutual hostility.
A person with half volition goes backwards and forwards, but makes no progress on even the smoothest of roads.
Clever men are good, but they are not the best.
The old cathedrals are good, but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better.
Oh, give us the man who sings at his work.
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.
No sooner does a great man depart, and leave his character as public property, than a crowd of little men rushes towards it. There they are gathered together, blinking up to it with such vision as they have, scanning it from afar, hovering round it this way and that, each cunningly endeavoring, by all arts, to catch some reflex of it in the little mirror of himself.
If those gentlemen would let me alone I should be much obliged to them. I would say, as Shakespeare would say... Sweet Friend, for Jesus sake forbear.
A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
History is the essence of innumerable biographies.
Conviction never so excellent, is worthless until it coverts itself into conduct.
A man lives by believing something: not by debating and arguing about many things.
Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offence.
Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
Narrative is linear, but action has breadth and depth as well as height and is solid.
The end of man is action, and not thought, though it be of the noblest.
Action hangs, as it were, dissolved in speech, in thoughts whereof speech is the shadow; and precipitates itself therefrom. The kind of speech in a man betokens the kind of action you will get from him.
What you see, but can't see over is as good as infinite.
The greatest event for the world is the arrival of a new and wise person.
Great men are the commissioned guides of mankind, who rule their fellows because they are wiser.
No man sees far, most see no farther than their noses.
I have seen gleams in the face and eyes of the man that have let you look into a higher country.
It is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe.
A fair day's wages for a fair day's work.
Wonder is the basis of worship.
A man perfects himself by working. Foul jungles are cleared away, fair seed-fields rise instead, and stately cities; and with the man himself first ceases to be a jungle, and foul unwholesome desert thereby. The man is now a man.
Our works are the mirror wherein the spirit first sees its natural lineaments, Hence, too, the folly of that impossible precept, Know thyself; till it be translated into this partially possible one, know what thou canst work at.
Worship is transcendent wonder.
Parliament will train you to talk; and above all things to hear, with patience, unlimited quantities of foolish talk.
That a Parliament, especially a Parliament with Newspaper Reporters firmly established in it, is an entity which by its very nature cannot do work, but can do talk only.
Manhood begins when we have in any way made truce with Necessity; begins even when we have surrendered to Necessity, as the most part only do; but begins joyfully and hopefully only when we have reconciled ourselves to Necessity; and thus, in reality, triumphed over it, and felt that in Necessity we are free.
Democracy will prevail when men believe the vote of Judas as good as that of Jesus Christ.
Of America it would ill beseem any Englishman, and me perhaps as little as another, to speak unkindly, to speak unpatriotically, if any of us even felt so. Sure enough, America is a great, and in many respects a blessed and hopeful phenomenon. Sure enough, these hardy millions of Anglosaxon men prove themselves worthy of their genealogy. But as to a Model Republic, or a model anything, the wise among themselves know too well that there is nothing to be said. Their Constitution, such as it may be, was made here, not there. Cease to brag to me of America, and its model institutions and constitutions.
Twenty-seven millions, mostly fools.
Only perhaps in the United States, which alone of countries can do without governing,every man being at least able to live, and move off into the wilderness, let Congress jargon as it will,can such a form of so-called Government continue for any length of time to torment men with the semblance, when the indispensable substance is not there.
The Mystic Bond of Brotherhood makes all men one.