Matthew Arnold


English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic

Author Quotes

The discipline of the Old Testament may be summed up as a discipline teaching us to abhor and flee from sin; the discipline of the New Testament, as a discipline teaching us to die to it.

The love of science, and the energy and honesty in the pursuit of science, in the best of the Aryan races do seem to correspond in a remarkable way to the love of conduct, and the energy and honesty in the pursuit of conduct, in the best of the Semitic.

The sterner self of the Populace likes bawling, hustling, and smashing; the lighter self, beer.

There is no better motto which it [culture] can have than these words of Bishop Wilson, "To make reason and the will of God prevail."

Tis Apollo comes leading his choir, the nine. the leader is fairest, but all are divine.

Ah love, let us be true to one another, which seems to lie before us like a land of dreams; so various, so beautiful, so new, hath really neither joy nor love nor life.

And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know, self-school'd, self-scann'd, self-honor'd, self-secure, didst tread on earth unguess'd at. ? Better so! All pains the immortal spirit must endure, all weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow, find their sole speech in that victorious brow.

But so many books thou readest, But so many schemes thou breedest, But so many wishes feedest, That thy poor head almost turns.

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?

Dreams dawn and fly: friends smile and die, like spring flowers. Our vaunted life is one long funeral. Men dig graves, with bitter tears, for their dead hopes; and all, mazed with doubts, and sick with fears, count the hours.

For what wears out the life of mortal men? 'Tis that from change to change their being rolls; Tis that repeated shocks, again, again, Exhaust the energy of strongest souls And numb the elastic powers.

He [Chaucer] lacks the high seriousness of the great classics, and therewith an important part of their virtue.

However, if I shall live to be eighty I shall probably be the only person left in England who reads anything but newspapers and scientific publications.

If what distinguishes the greatest poets is their powerful and profound application of ideas to life, which surely no good critic will deny, then to prefix to the word ideas here the term moral makes hardly any difference, because human life itself is in so preponderating a degree moral.

Laid pausefully upon life?s headlong train; ? the foot less prompt to meet the morning dew, the heart less bounding at emotion new, and hope, once crush?d, less quick to spring again.

Nature herself seems, I say, to take the pen out of his hand, and to write for him with her own bare, sheer, penetrating power.

Of the wide world dreaming on things to come.

Philistine gives the notion of something particularly stiff-necked and perverse in the resistance to light and its children; and therein it specially suits our middle-class.

Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep, where the winds are all asleep.

Such a price the Gods exact for song; to become what we sing.

The East bow'd low before the blast, In patient, deep disdain. She let the legions thunder past, And plunged in thought again.

The magnificent roaring of the young lions of the Daily Telegraph.

The stream of tendency in which all things seek to fulfill the law of their being.

There is the world of ideas and there is the world of practice; the French are often for suppressing the one and the English the other; but neither is to be suppressed.

Tis not to see the world As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes, and heart profoundly stirred; and weep, and feel the fullness of the past, the years that are not more.

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English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic