Thomas Carlyle


Scottish Essayist, Historian, Biographer and Philosopher

Author Quotes

If you do not wish a man to do a thing, you had better get him to talk about it; for the more men talk, the more likely they are to do nothing else.

Insurrection, never so necessary, is a most sad necessity; and governors who wait for that to instruct them are surely getting into the fatalest course.

It is the unseen and the spiritual in people that determines the outward and the actual.

Laughter means sympathy.

Look around you. Your world-hosts are all in mutiny, in confusion, destitution; on the eve of fiery wreck and madness! They will not march farther for you, on the sixpence a day and supply-demand principle; they will not; nor ought they, nor can they. Ye shall reduce them to order, begin reducing them. to order, to just subordination; noble loyalty in return for noble guidance. Their souls are driven nigh mad; let yours be sane and ever saner.

May blessings be upon the head of Cadmus, the Phoenicians, or whoever it was that invented books.

Nature is the time-vesture of God that reveals him to the wise, and hides him from the foolish.

No man sees far, the most see no farther than their noses.

Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It's a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.

Once again awakened the thought not to doze.

Providence has given to the French the empire of the land, to the English that of the sea, to the Germans that of--the air!

Science must have originated in the feeling that something was wrong.

Speech is silvern, silence is golden.

The All of Things is an infinite conjugation of the verb To do.

The deadliest sin were the consciousness of no sin.

The Great Man's sincerity is of the kind he cannot speak of, is not conscious of: nay, I suppose, he is conscious rather of insincerity; for what man can walk accurately by the law of truth for one day? No, the Great Man does not boast himself sincere, far from that; perhaps does not ask himself if he is so: I would say rather, his sincerity does not depend on himself; he cannot help being sincere!

The only happiness a brave person ever troubles themselves in asking about, is happiness enough to get their work done.

The stupendous Fourth Estate, whose wide world-embracing influences what eye can take in?

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.

This is such a serious world that we should never speak at all unless we have something to say.

To the very last, he had a kind of idea; that, namely, of la carrière ouverte aux talents,—the tools to him that can handle them.

We are to take no counsel with flesh and blood; give ear to no vain cavils, vain sorrows and wishes; to know that we know nothing, that the worst and cruelest to our eyes is not what it seems, that we have to receive whatsoever befalls us as sent from God above, and say, It is good and wise,--God is great! Though He slay me, yet I trust in Him. Islam means, in its way, denial of self. This is yet the highest wisdom that heaven has revealed to our earth.

Well might the ancients make silence a god; for it is the element of all godhood, infinitude, or transcendental greatness,--at once the source and the ocean wherein all such begins and ends.

When words leave off, music begins.

Wondrous indeed is the virtue of a true Book.

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Scottish Essayist, Historian, Biographer and Philosopher