Matthew Arnold


English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic

Author Quotes

Nor bring to see me cease to live, some doctor full of phrase and fame, to shake his sapient head, and give the ill he cannot cure a name.

One has often wondered whether upon the whole earth there is anything so unintelligent, so unapt to perceive how the world is really going, as an ordinary young Englishman of our upper class.

Poetry is at bottom a criticism of life.

Sin is not a monster to be mused on, but an impotence to be got rid of.

The bent of our time is towards science, towards knowing things as they are?

The great apostle of the Philistines, Lord Macaulay.

The people who believe most that our greatness and welfare are proved by our being very rich, and who most give their lives and thoughts to becoming rich, are just the very people whom we call the Philistines. Culture says: ?Consider these people, then, their way of life, their habits, their manners, the very tones of their voice; look at them attentively; observe the literature they read, the things which give them pleasure, the words which come forth out of their mouths, the thoughts which make the furniture of their minds; would any amount of wealth be worth having with the condition that one was to become just like these people by having it??

The way, truth, and life have been found in Christianity, and will not now be found outside of it.

This strange disease of modern life, with its sick hurry, its divided aims.

To thee only God granted a heart ever new: to all always open; to all always true.

All this I bear, for, what I seek, I know: Peace, peace is what I seek, and public calm: Endless extinction of unhappy hates.

Bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness full of grandeur.

Charge once more, then, and be dumb! Let the victors, when they come, when the forts of folly fall, find thy body by the wall.

Culture is "to know the best that has been said and thought in the world."

Fate gave, what Chance shall not control, his sad lucidity of soul.

Go, for they call you, shepherd, from the hill.

Hear it, O Thyrsis, still our tree is there!?Ah, vain! These English fields, this upland dim, these brambles pale with mist engarlanded, that lone, sky-pointing tree, are not for him; to a boon southern country he is fled, and now in happier air, wandering with the great Mother?s train divine (And purer or more subtle soul than thee,

I knew the mass of men conceal'd their thoughts, for fear that if reveal'd they would by other men be met with blank indifference.

It is ? last stage of all ? when we are frozen up within, and quite the phantom of ourselves, to hear the world applaud the hollow ghost which blamed the living man.

Like driftwood spares which meet and pass Upon the boundless ocean-plain, So on the sea of life, alas! Man nears man, meets, and leaves again.

Nor does the being hungry prove that we have bread.

One must, I think, be struck more and more the longer one lives, to find how much in our present society a man's life of each day depends for its solidity and value upon whether he reads during that day, and far more still on what he reads during it.

Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive and wisely effective mode of saying things, and hence its importance.

Singing, "Here came a mortal, but faithless was she: and alone dwell forever the kings of the sea."

The best poetry will be found to have a power of forming, sustaining, and delighting us, as nothing else can.

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English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic