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

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.

What is Man? A foolish baby,
Vainly strives, and fights, and frets;
Demanding all, deserving nothing;—
One small grave is what he gets.

Read the full of Cui Bono

Today

So here hath been dawning
Another blue Day:
Think wilt thou let it
Slip useless away.

Out of Eternity
This new Day is born;
Into Eternity,
At night, will return.

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