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Quotations From THOMAS CARLYLE

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  • 1.
    Writing is a dreadful Labour, yet not so dreadful as Idleness.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Two Notebooks of Thomas Carlyle, p. 136 (1898).
  • 2.
    Little other than a redtape Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. "The Present Time," no. 1, Latter-Day Pamphlets (1850).
  • 3.
    Genius (which means transcendent capacity of taking trouble, first of all).
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. The History of Frederick II of Prussia, bk. 4, ch. 3 (1858-1865). The words are often misquoted as "Genius is an infinite capacity for taking pains."
  • 4.
    The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. "The Hero as Prophet," Heroes and Hero-Worship (1928).
  • 5.
    The Persians are called the French of the East; we will call the Arabs Oriental Italians. A gifted noble people; a people of wild strong feelings, and of iron restraint over these: the characteristic of noblemindedness, of genius.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. "The Hero as Prophet," On Heroes and Hero-Worship (1841).

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  • 6.
    Thought once awakened does not again slumber; unfolds itself into a System of Thought; grows, in man after man, generation after generation,—till its full stature is reached, and such System of Thought can grow no farther, but must give place to another.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. "The Hero as Divinity," lecture 1, On Heroes and Hero-Worship (1841).
  • 7.
    That monstrous tuberosity of civilised life, the capital of England.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Teufelsdröckh, in Sartor Resartus, bk. 3, ch. 6 (1833-1834).

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  • 8.
    Fancy that thou deservest to be hanged ... thou wilt feel it happiness to be only shot: fancy that thou deservest to be hanged in a hair halter, it will be a luxury to die in hemp.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Teufelsdröckh, in Sartor Resartus, bk. 2, ch. 9 (1833-1834).

    Read more quotations about / on: hair, happiness
  • 9.
    Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Inaugural Address, April 2, 1866. Critical and Miscellaneous Essays, vol. 7 (1839). On being installed as Rector of the University at Edinburgh.
  • 10.
    A frightful dialect for the stupid, the pedant and dullard sort.
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. History of Frederick II, vol. 1 (1858-1865). on the German language. Carlyle's attitude to German was no doubt influenced by his difficulty in mastering it; he qualified his dislike by adding, "in the hands of the gifted does it become supremely good." He later became adept in the language, and greatly influenced by it.
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