Thomas Carlyle

(1795-1881 / Ecclefechan)

Thomas Carlyle Quotes

  • ''Worship is transcendent wonder.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. On Heroes and Hero-Worship, lecture 1, "The Hero as Divinity," (1841).
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  • ''Cash-payment never was, or could except for a few years be, the union-bond of man to man. Cash never yet paid one man fully his deserts to another; nor could it, nor can it, now or henceforth to the end of the world.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Past and Present, bk. 3, ch. 10 (1843).
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  • ''A man perfects himself by working. Foul jungles are cleared away, fair seed-fields rise instead, and stately cities; and withal the man himself first ceases to be a jungle, and foul unwholesome desert thereby.... The man is now a man.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Past and Present, bk. 3, ch. 11 (1843).
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  • ''In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to say, Like People like Government.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Past and Present, bk. 4, ch. 4 (1843).
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  • ''We call it a Society; and go about professing openly the totalest separation, isolation. Our life is not a mutual helpfulness; but rather, cloaked under due laws-of-war, named "fair competition" and so forth, it is a mutual hostility.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Past and Present, bk. 3, ch. 2 (1843).
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  • ''I don't pretend to understand the Universe—it's a great deal bigger than I am.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. quoted by poet and diarist William Allingham in A Diary, ch. 10, Dec. 28, 1868, eds. H. Allingham and D. Radford (1907).
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  • ''No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Sartor Resartus, bk. 1, ch. 4 (1833-1834).
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  • ''Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the Devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Sartor Resartus, bk. 2, ch. 4 (1833-1834).
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  • ''Lives the man that can figure a naked Duke of Windlestraw addressing a naked House of Lords?''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Sartor Resartus, bk. 1, ch. 9 (1833-1834).
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  • ''Man is a tool-using animal.... Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.''
    Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), Scottish essayist, historian. Sartor Resartus, bk. 1, ch. 5 (1833-1834). Benjamin Franklin is also cited as defining man as a tool-making animal, in Boswell's Life of Johnson, entry, April 7, 1778.
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Best Poem of Thomas Carlyle

Fortuna

The wind blows east, the wind blows west,
And the frost falls and the rain:
A weary heart went thankful to rest,
And must rise to toil again, 'gain,
And must rise to toil again.

The wind blows east, the wind blows west,
And there comes good luck and bad;
The thriftiest man is the cheerfulest;
'Tis a thriftless thing to be sad, sad,
'Tis a thriftless thing to be sad.

The wind blows east, the wind blows west;
Ye shall know a tree by its fruit:
This world, they say, is worst to the best; --
But a dastard has evil to boot, boot,
But a dastard has ...

Read the full of Fortuna

Cui Bono

What is Hope? A smiling rainbow
Children follow through the wet;
’Tis not here, still yonder, yonder:
Never urchin found it yet.

What is Life? A thawing iceboard
On a sea with sunny shore;—
Gay we sail; it melts beneath us;
We are sunk, and seen no more.