Matthew Arnold

English poet and literary critic (1822-1888)

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...what thwarts us and demands of us the greatest effort is also what can teach us most.
Because thou must not dream, thou need not despair.
But each day brings its petty dust Our soon-chok'd souls to fill, And we forget because we must, And not because we will.
Culture, then, is a study of perfection, and perfection which insists on becoming something rather than in having something, in an inward condition of the mind and spirit, not in an outward set of circumstances.
I do not believe today everything I believed yesterday I wonder will I believe tomorrow everything I believe today.
If experience has established any one thing in this world, it has established this: that it is well for any great class and description of men in society to be able to say for itself what it wants, and not to have other classes, the so-called educated and intelligent classes, acting for it as its proctors, and supposed to understand its wants and to provide for them. A class of men may often itself not either fully understand its wants, or adequately express them; but it has a nearer interest and a more sure diligence in the matter than any of its proctors, and therefore a better chance of success.
It is almost impossible to exaggerate the proneness of the human mind to take miracles as evidence, and to seek for miracles as evidence.
It is not always by plugging away at a difficulty and sticking at it that one overcomes it but, rather, often by working on the one next to it. Certain people and certain things require to be approached on an angle.
Journalism is literature in a hurry.
Resolve to be thyself and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.
Resolve to be thyself: and know, that he who finds himself, loses his misery.
Resolve to be thyself; and know, that he Who finds himself, loses his misery.
Still bent to make some port he knows not where, still standing for some false impossible shore.
The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.
The true meaning of religion is thus not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.
The working-class is now issuing from its hiding-place to assert an Englishman's heaven-born privilege of doing as he likes, and is beginning to perplex us by marching where it likes, meeting where it likes, bawling what it likes, breaking what it likes.
This strange disease of modern life, with its sick hurry, its divided aims.
Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.
Unquiet souls. In the dark fermentation of earth, in the never idle workshop of nature, in the eternal movement, yea shall find yourselves again.
Whoever sets himself to see things as they are will find himself one of a very small circle but it is only by this small circle resolutely doing its own work that adequate ideas will ever get current at all.
With close-lipped Patience for our only friend, Sad Patience, too near neighbor to Despair.

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