Matthew Arnold


English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic

Author Quotes

Come to me in my dreams, and then by day I shall be well again. For then the night will more than pay the hopeless longing of the day.

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

For this is the true strength of guilty kings, When they corrupt the souls of those they rule.

Had Shakespeare and Milton lived in the atmosphere of modern feeling, had they had the multitude of new thoughts and feelings to deal with a modern has, I think it likely the style of each would have been far less curious and exquisite. For in a man style is the saying in the best way what you have to say. The what you have to say depends on your age. In the 17th century it was a smaller harvest than now, and sooner to be reaped; and therefore to its reaper was left time to stow it more finely and curiously. Still more was this the case in the ancient world. The poet's matter being the hitherto experience of the world, and his own, increases with every century.

How fair a lot to fill is left to each man still.

If one were searching for the best means to efface and kill in a whole nation the discipline of self-respect, the feeling for what is elevated, he could do no better than take the American newspapers.

Journalism is literature in a hurry.

Most men eddy about here and there ? eat and drink, chatter and love and hate, gather and squander, are raised aloft, are hurled in the dust, striving blindly, achieving nothing; and then they die ? perish; ? and no one asks who or what they have been.

O born in days when wits were fresh and clear, and life ran gaily as the sparkling Thames; before this strange disease of modern life, with its sick hurry, its divided aims, its heads o'ertax'd, its palsied hearts, was rife.

Oxford whispering from her towers the last enchantments of the Middle Age . . . Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!

Resolve to be thyself and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery.

Still nursing the unconquerable hope, still clutching the inviolable shade, with a free, onward impulse brushing through, by night, the silver'd branches of the glade.

The day in his hotness, the strife with the palm; the night in her silence, the stars in their calm.

The interpretations of science do not give us this intimate sense of objects as the interpretations of poetry give it; they appeal to a limited faculty, and not to the whole man. It is not Linnaeus or Cavendish or Cuvier who gives us the true sense of animals, or water, or plants, who seizes their secret for us, who makes us participate in their life; it is Shakespeare [sic] ? Wordsworth ? Keats ? Chateaubriand ? Senancour.

The seeds of god-like power are in us still; Gods are we, bards, saints, heroes, if we will!

Thee at the ferry Oxford riders blithe, returning home on summer-nights, have met crossing the stripling Thames at Bab-lock-hithe, trailing in the cool stream thy fingers wet, as the punt's rope chops round.

Time, so complain'd of, who to no one man shows partiality, brings round to all men some undimm'd hours.

A wanderer is man from his birth. He was born in a ship on the breast of the river of Time.

And that sweet city with her dreaming spires, she needs not June for beauty?s heightening.

But now I only hear its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, retreating, to the breath of the night wind, down the vast edges drear and naked shingles of the world.

Come, dear children, let us away; down and away below. Now my brothers call from the bay; now the great winds shoreward blow; now the salt tides seaward flow; now the wild white horses play, champ and chafe and toss in the spray. Children dear, let us away. This way, this way!

Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.

For Time, not Corydon, hath conquered thee.

Hark! ah, the nightingale ? The tawny-throated! Hark from that moonlit cedar what a burst! What triumph! hark! ? what pain!... Again ? thou hearest? Eternal passion! Eternal pain!

How many minds ? almost all the great ones ? were formed in secrecy and solitude!

Author Picture
First Name
Last Name
Birth Date
Death Date

English Poet, Essayist and Cultural Critic