Thomas Carlyle


Scottish Essayist, Historian, Biographer and Philosopher

Author Quotes

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.

It can be said of him, when he departed he took a Man’s life with him. No sounder piece of British manhood was put together in that eighteenth century of Time.

It must have been a most blessed discovery, that of an old Latin Bible which he found in the Erfurt Library about this time. He had never seen the Book before. It taught him another lesson than that of fasts and vigils... Luther learned now that a man was saved not by singing masses, but by the infinite grace of God: a more credible hypothesis. He gradually got himself founded, as on the rock. No wonder he should venerate the Bible, which had brought this blessed help to him. He prized it as the Word of the Highest must be prized by such a man. He determined to hold by that, as through life and to death he firmly did.

Let me have my own way exactly in everything, and a sunnier and pleasanter creature does not exist.

Love is not altogether a delerium, yet it has many points in common therewith.

Midas longed for gold. He got gold, so that whatever he touched became gold; and he, with his long ears, was little the better for it.

No age seemed the age of romance to itself.

No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.

Of all God's creatures, Man alone is poor.

Only perhaps in the United States, which alone of countries can do without governing,every man being at least able to live, and move off into the wilderness, let Congress jargon as it will,can such a form of so-called Government continue for any length of time to torment men with the semblance, when the indispensable substance is not there.

Reform is not pleasant, but grievous; no person can reform themselves without suffering and hard work, how much less a nation.

Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of a man you are, for it shows me what your ideal of manhood is, and what kind of a man you long to be.

Superstition! that horrid incubus which dwelt in darkness, shunning the light, with all its racks, and poison chalices, and foul sleeping draughts, is passing away without return. Religion cannot pass away. The burning of a little straw may hide the stars of the sky; but the stars are there and will reappear.

The battle that never ends is the battle of belief against disbelief

The difference between Orthodoxy or Mydoxy and Heterodoxy or Thy-doxy.

The greatest of all heroes is One--whom we do not name here! Let sacred silence meditate that sacred matter; you will find it the ultimate perfection of a principle extant throughout man's whole history on earth.

The people may eat grass: hasty words, which fly abroad irrevocable—and will send back tidings.

The true eye for talent presupposes the true reverence for it.

There is a calm, viscous insensibility which will baffle even the gods, and calmly say, Try all your lightnings here, and see whether I cannot quench them.

Thought is the parent of the deed.

Truth, I cried, though the heavens crush me for following her; no falsehood, though a whole celestial Lubberland were the price of apostasy!

We have chosen Mahomet not as the most eminent Prophet; but as the one we are freest to speak of. He is by no means the truest of Prophets; but I do esteem him a true one. Farther, as there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans, I mean to say all the good of him I justly can. It is the way to get at his secret: let us try to understand what he meant with the world; what the world meant and means with him, will then be a more answerable question. Our current hypothesis about Mahomet, that he was a scheming Impostor, a Falsehood incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass of quackery and fatuity, begins really to be now untenable to any one. The lies, which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man, are disgraceful to ourselves only.

What greater calamity can fall upon a nation than the loss of worship.

Whose school-hours are all the days and nights of our existence.

You may prove anything by figures.

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Scottish Essayist, Historian, Biographer and Philosopher