98 Famous Quotes By Thomas Carlyle, The Author Of Sartor Resartus
Ecclefechan, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland1
Thomas Carlyle was a historian, philosopher, mathematician and writer from Scotland who went on to become one of the most influential thinkers and intellectuals of the 19th century. Carlyle was a noted histo-rian who wrote an authoritative account of the French Revolution in the form of his seminal work ‘The French Revolution: A History’. Some of his other famous works include the novel ‘Sartor Resartus’ and his book of collected lectures titled ‘On Heroes, Hero Worship and The Heroic in History’. Additionally, he wrote plenty of essays, books on philosophy and satirical texts that remain popular to this day. On the other hand, he was also an accomplished mathematician, who is credited with the concept of Carlyle Circle, which is employed in algebra and geometry. Thomas Carlye was also responsible for the setting up of the world famous London Library after he grew unhappy with the facilities at the British National Library. Carlyle was also well-known for his profound thoughts, wit and dry humour; which also gave rise to an enviably large collection of quotes and wisecracks. Here are some of the selected quotes from the man who is credited with terming Economics as ‘the dismal science’.
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. If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it. I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom. All that mankind has done, thought, gained, or been; it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books. A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge. Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you'll be able to see further. My books are friends that never fail me."
(Letter to his mother, Margaret A. Carlyle; 17 March 1817) Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct. Tell a man he is brave, and you help him to become so. A good book is the purest essence of a human soul. Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near to the infinite. The tragedy of life is not so much what
men suffer, but rather what they miss. Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one less scoundrel in the world. A man lives by believing something; not by debating and arguing about many things. The lies (Western slander) which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man (Muhammad) are disgraceful to ourselves only. Silence is deep as Eternity, speech is shallow as Time. The word of Mohammad is a voice direct from nature's own heart - all else is wind in comparison. The best effect of any book is that it excites the reader to self activity. Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world. The greatest of faults is to be conscious of none. Of all your troubles, great and small, the greatest are the ones that don't happen at all. Every man is my superior in that I may learn from him. Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of man you are Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand. The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong. The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity. 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. Have a purpose in life, and having it, throw into your work such strength of mind and muscle as God has given you. It is the heart always that sees, before the head can see. Silence is more eloquent than words. In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves. One life - a little gleam of Time between two Eternities. In books lies the soul fo the whole past time. When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze. The true University of these days is a Collection of Books. A person usually has two reasons for doing something, a good reason and the real reason. Wonder is the basis of worship. Every noble work is at first impossible. May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books. Love is ever the beginning of knowledge as fire is of light. No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offense. Let me have my own way in exactly everything and a sunnier and pleasanter creature does not exist. The greatest university of all is a collection of books. A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men. The history of the world is but a biography of great men. If time is precious, no book that will not improve by repeated readings deserves to be read at all. Fame is no sure test of merit. There needs not a great soul to make a hero; there needs a god-created soul which will be true to its origin; that will be a great soul! Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with Bright, heroic, tender, true and noble was that lost treasure of my heart, who faithfully accompanied me in all the rocky ways and climbings; and I am forever poor without her. History is the essence of innumerable biographies. Literature is the thought of thinking souls. If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music. Of our thinking it is but the upper surface that we shape into articulate thought; underneath the region of argument and conscious discourse lies the region of meditation. The merit of originality is not novelty, it is sincerity. The believing man is the original man. 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. The crash of the whole solar and stellar systems could only kill you once. In every object there is inexhaustible meaning. Idleness is worst, Idleness alone is without hope: work earnestly at anything, you will by degrees learn to work at almost all things. There is endless hope in work, were it even work at making money. The battle that never ends is the battle of belief against disbelief Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether. If you are ever in doubt as to whether or not you should kiss a pretty girl, always give her the benefit of the doubt. Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Thirty million, mostly fools.
[When asked the population of England] Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. 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. (Quoted by Thomas Carlyle) The rude man requires only to see something going on. The man of more refinement must be made to feel. The man of complete refinement must be made to reflect. In every object there is inexhaustible meaning; the eye sees in it what the eye brings means of seeing. Literature, so far as it is Literature, is an ‘apocalypse of Nature,’ a revealing of the ‘open secret. For a hundred that can bear adversity, there is hardly one that can bear prosperity. Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness; on the confines of two everlasting empires, necessity and free will. 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. Every poet... finds himself born in the midst of prose. He has to struggle from the littleness and obstruction of an actual world into the freedom and infinitude of an ideal. Not our logical faculty, but our imaginative one is king over us. I might say, priest and prophet to lead us to heaven-ward, or magician and wizard to lead us hellward. Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom. I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. History of the world is the biography of the great man. And I said: The great man always act like a thunder. He storms the skies, while others are waiting to be stormed. It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe. The greatest university is a collection of books. Music is well said to be the speech of angels. Any the smallest alteration of my silent daily habits produces anarchy in me OH, Heaven,it is mysterious,it is awful to consider
that we not only carry a future Ghost within us. but
are,in very deed, GHOSTS ! This world, after all our science and sciences, is still a miracle; wonderful, magical and more, to whosoever will think of it. A stammering man is never a worthless one. Physiology can tell you why. It is an excess of delicacy, excess of sensibility to the presence of his fellow creature, that makes him stammer. Surely of all ‘rights of man’, this right of the ignorant man to be guided by the wiser, to be, gently or forcibly, held in the true course by him, is the indisputablest. When new turns of behavior cease to appear in the life of the individual, its behavior ceases to be intelligent. Men do less than they ought, unless they do all they can. . . . everywhere a good and a bad book The whole universe is but a huge Symbol of god".
Of all the acts of man, repentance is the most divine. The greatest of all faults . . . is to be conscious of none." (Thomas Carlyle)
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.
Wondrous indeed is the virtue of a true Book.
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.
Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together.
Happy the people whose annals are blank in history books. The barrenest of all mortals is the sentimentalist