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Thomas Carlyle (Philosopher)

History is the essence of innumerable biographies.
Thomas Carlyle story
No Lie can live for ever. The very Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born again. But all Lies have sentence of death written down against them, and Heaven's Chancery itself; and, slowly or fast, advance incessantly towards their hour.
Thomas Carlyle death
Not all his men may sever this,  It yields to friends', not monarchs', calls;My whinstone house my castle is—  I have my own four walls.
Thomas Carlyle men
"The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish something. The strongest, by dispensing his over many, may fail to accomplish anything. The drop, by continually falling, bores its passage through the hardest rock. The hasty torrent rushes over it with hideous uproar, and leaves no trace behind."
Thomas Carlyle power
Speech is human, silence is divine, yet also brutish and dead: therefore we must learn both arts.
Thomas Carlyle art
It is now almost my sole rule of life to clear myself of cants and formulas, as of poisonous Nessus shirts.
Thomas Carlyle life
The Public is an old woman. Let her maunder and mumble.
Thomas Carlyle man
A witty statesman said, you might prove anything by figures.
Thomas Carlyle man
Democracy is, by the nature of it, a self-canceling business; and it gives in the long run a net result of zero.
Thomas Carlyle nature
So here hath been dawning Another blue Day: Think wilt thou let it Slip useless away.
Thomas Carlyle think
He that works and does some Poem, not he that merely says one, is worthy of the name of Poet.
Thomas Carlyle work
Here numerous persons, with big wigs many of them, and austere aspect, whom I take to be Professors of the Dismal Science, start up in an agitated vehement manner: but the Premier resolutely beckons them down again
Thomas Carlyle art
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.
Thomas Carlyle hope
A Parliament speaking through reporters to Buncombe and the twenty-seven millions, mostly fools.
Thomas Carlyle men
A healthy hatred of scoundrels.
Thomas Carlyle health
"" (which means transcendent capacity of taking trouble, first of all).
Thomas Carlyle city
Happy the people whose annals are blank in history books!
Thomas Carlyle books
The unspeakable Turk
Thomas Carlyle
This great maxim of Philosophy he had gathered by the teaching of nature alone: That man was created to work, not to speculate, or feel, or dream.
Thomas Carlyle nature
There are depths in man that go to the lowest hell, and heights that reach the highest heaven, for are not both heaven and hell made out of him, everlasting miracle and mystery that he is.
Thomas Carlyle mystery
A word spoken in season, at the right moment, is the mother of ages.
Thomas Carlyle men
For love is ever the beginning of , as fire is of light.
Thomas Carlyle love
What is alltoo but recorded Experience, and a product of History; of which, therefore, Reasoning and Belief, no less than Action and Passion, are essential materials?
Thomas Carlyle story
A well-written Life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
Thomas Carlyle life
Except by name,is little known out of Germany. The only thing connected with him, we think, that has reached this country is his saying,—imported by Madame de Sta
Thomas Carlyle man
The great law of culture is: Let each become all that he was created capable of being.
Thomas Carlyle culture
Originality is a thing we constantly clamour for, and constantly quarrel with; as if, observes our author himself, any originality but our own could be expected to content us! In fact all strange thing are apt, without fault of theirs, to estrange us at first view, and unhappily scarcely anything is perfectly plain, but what is also perfectly common.
Thomas Carlyle self
He who would write heroic poems should make his whole life a heroic poem.
Thomas Carlyle life
The three great elements of modern civilization, gunpowder, printing, and the Protestant religion.
Thomas Carlyle religion
Literary men are...a perpetual priesthood.
Thomas Carlyle men
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.
Thomas Carlyle life
In every man's writings, the character of the writer must lie recorded.
Thomas Carlyle writing
Clever men are good, but they are not the best.
Thomas Carlyle men
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.
Thomas Carlyle men
A poet without love were a physical and metaphysical impossibility.
Thomas Carlyle love
How does the poet speak to men with power, but by being still more a man than they?
Thomas Carlyle power
His religion at best is an anxious wish, — like that of , a great Perhaps.
Thomas Carlyle religion
Our grand business undoubtedly is, not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
Thomas Carlyle business
We have oftener than once endeavoured to attach some meaning to that aphorism, vulgarly imputed to Shaftesbury, which however we can find nowhere in his works, that "ridicule is the test of truth."
Thomas Carlyle truth
With what scientific stoicism he walks through the land of wonders, unwondering …
Thomas Carlyle wonder
There is endless merit in a man's knowing when to have done.
Thomas Carlyle man
The eye of the intellect "sees in all objects what it brought with it the means of seeing."
Thomas Carlyle wit
Love is ever the beginning of Knowledge as fire is of light.
Thomas Carlyle light
Music is well said to be the speech of angels.
Thomas Carlyle angels
A mystic bond of brotherhood makes all men one.
Thomas Carlyle men
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.
Thomas Carlyle soul
The barrenest of all mortals is the sentimentalist.
Thomas Carlyle time
A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.
Thomas Carlyle knowledge
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.
Thomas Carlyle soul
Nature admits no lie.
Thomas Carlyle lie
The fine arts once divorcing themselves from truth are quite certain to fall mad, if they do not die.
Thomas Carlyle truth
's Fly, sitting on the axle of the chariot, has been much laughed at for exclaiming: What a dust I do raise!
Thomas Carlyle laugh
Whoso belongs only to his own age, and reverences only its gilt Popinjays or smoot-smeared Mumbojumbos, must needs die with it.
Thomas Carlyle age
The stupendous Fourth Estate, whose wide world-embracing influences what eye can take in?
Thomas Carlyle world
All work is as seed sown; it grows and spreads, and sows itself anew.
Thomas Carlyle work
The work we desire and prize is not the courage to die decently, but to live manfully.
Thomas Carlyle courage
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.
Thomas Carlyle life
Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as ; speech is shallow as .
Thomas Carlyle silence
No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offense.
Thomas Carlyle world
Literature is the Thought of thinking Souls.
Thomas Carlyle thinking
All greatness is unconscious, or it is little and naught.
Thomas Carlyle greatness
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.
Thomas Carlyle life
It can be said of him [Scott], when he departed he took a man's life along with him. No sounder piece of British manhood was put together in that eighteenth century of time.
Thomas Carlyle life
Nothing that was worthy in the past departs; no truth or goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die.
Thomas Carlyle truth
To the very last, he had a kind of idea; that, namely, of la carri
Thomas Carlyle idea
Blessed is the healthy nature; it is the coherent, sweetly co-operative, not incoherent, self-distracting, self-destructive one!
Thomas Carlyle nature
Everywhere in life, the true question is not what we gain, but what we do.
Thomas Carlyle life
The Book had in a high degree excited us to self-activity, which is the best effect of any book.
Thomas Carlyle self
No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.
Thomas Carlyle art
He who first shortened the labor of copyists by device of movable types was disbanding hired armies, and cashiering most kings and senates, and creating a whole new democratic world: he had invented the art of printing.
Thomas Carlyle art
Man is a tool-using animal...Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
Thomas Carlyle sin
Be not the slave of Words.
Thomas Carlyle words
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.
Thomas Carlyle happiness
Close thy ; open thy .
Thomas Carlyle
Wonder is the basis of worship.
Thomas Carlyle worship
What you see, yet can not see over, is as good as infinite.
Thomas Carlyle good
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.
Thomas Carlyle language
With stupidity and sound digestion man may front much.
Thomas Carlyle man
Hadst thou not Greek enough to understand thus much: The end of man is an Action, and not a Thought, though it were the noblest.
Thomas Carlyle man
Alas! the fearful Unbelief is unbelief in yourself.
Thomas Carlyle fear
O thou who art able to write a Book, which once in the two centuries or oftener there is a man gifted to do, envy not him whom they name City-builder, and inexpressibly pity him whom they name Conqueror or City-burner! Thou too art a Conqueror and Victor; but of the true sort, namely over the Devil: thou too hast built what will outlast all marble and metal, and be a wonder-bringing City of the Mind, a Temple and Seminary and Prophetic Mount, whereto all kindreds of the Earth will pilgrim.
Thomas Carlyle art
Great men are the inspired (speaking and acting) texts of that divine Book of Revelations, wherof a chapter is completed from epoch to epoch, and by some named History.
Thomas Carlyle men
Love not Pleasure; love God.
Thomas Carlyle love
"Do the Duty which lies nearest thee," which thou knowest to be a Duty! Thy second Duty will already have become clearer.
Thomas Carlyle lies
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.
Thomas Carlyle time
For is not a Symbol ever, to him who has eyes for it, some dimmer or clearer revelation of the God-like?
Thomas Carlyle eyes
The highest ensign that men ever met and embraced under, the Cross itself, had no meaning save an accidental extrinsic one.
Thomas Carlyle men
That there should one Man die ignorant who had capacity for Knowledge, this I call a tragedy.
Thomas Carlyle age
Philosophy complains that Custom has hoodwinked us, from the first; that we do everything by Custom, even Believe by it; that our very Axioms, let us boast of Free-thinking as we may, are oftenest simply such Beliefs as we have never heard questioned. Nay, what is Philosophy throughout but a continual battle against Custom; an ever-renewed effort to transcend the sphere of blind Custom, and so become Transcendental?
Thomas Carlyle thinking
Innumerable are the illusions and legerdemain-tricks of Custom: but of all these, perhaps the cleverest is her knack of persuading us that the Miraculous, by simple repetition, ceases to be Miraculous.
Thomas Carlyle illusion
Ever, as before, does Madness remain a mysterious-terrific, altogether infernal boiling-up of the Nether Chaotic Deep, through this fair-painted Vision of Creation, which swims thereon, which we name the Real.
Thomas Carlyle pain
But deepest of all illusory Appearances, for hiding Wonder, as for many other ends, are your two grand fundamental world-enveloping Appearances, SPACE and TIME. These, as spun and woven for us from before Birth itself, to clothe our celestial ME for dwelling here, and yet to blind it, — lie all-embracing, as the universal canvas, or warp and woof, whereby all minor Illusions, in this Phantasm Existence, weave and paint themselves. In vain, while here on Earth, shall you endeavor to strip them off; you can, at best, but rend them asunder for moments, and look through.
Thomas Carlyle war
Not only was Thebes built by the music of an Orpheus; but without the music of some inspired Orpheus was no city ever built, no work that man glories in ever done.
Thomas Carlyle music
France was long a despotism tempered by epigrams.
Thomas Carlyle
No lie you can speak or act but it will come, after longer or shorter circulation, like a Bill drawn on Nature's Reality, and be presented there for payment, — with the answer, No effects.
Thomas Carlyle men
To a shower of gold most things are penetrable.
Thomas Carlyle
"The people may eat grass": hasty words, which fly abroad irrevocable—and will send back tidings.
Thomas Carlyle people
A whiff of grapeshot.
Thomas Carlyle rape
O poor mortals, how ye make this earth bitter for each other.
Thomas Carlyle art
Where this will end? In the Abyss, one may prophecy; whither all Delusions are, at all moments, travelling; where this Delusion has now arrived. For if there be a Faith, from of old, it is this, as we often repeat, that no Lie can live for ever. The very Truth has to change its vesture, from time to time; and be born again. But all Lies have sentence of death written down against them, and Heaven's Chancery itself; and, slowly or fast, advance incessantly towards their hour.
Thomas Carlyle death

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