Thomas Carlyle

Scottish historian who wrote about the French Revolution (1795-1881)

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One life - a little gleam of Time between two Eternities.
A man with a half volition goes backwards and forwards, and makes no way on the smoothest road a man with a whole volition advances on the roughest, and will reach his purpose, if there be even a little worthiness in it. The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder - a waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life and having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.
Our main business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance but to do what lies clearly at hand.
A man cannot make a pair of shoes rightly unless he do it in a devout manner.
A person usually has two reasons for doing something: a good reason and the real reason.
A vein of poetry exists in the hearts of all men.
A well written life is almost as rare as a well spent one.
A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.
Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
Blessed is he who has found his work let him ask no other blessedness.
Culture is the process by which a person becomes all that they were created capable of being.
Do the duty which lieth nearest to thee! Thy second duty will already have become clearer.
Enjoy things which are pleasant that is not the evil it is the reducing of our moral self to slavery by them that is.
Enjoy things which are pleasant; that is not the evil: it is the reducing of our moral self to slavery by them that is.
Foolish men imagine that because judgment for an evil thing is delayed, there is no justice; but only accident here below. Judgment for an evil thing is many times delayed some day or two, some century or two, but it is sure as life, it is sure as death.
France was a long despotism tempered by epigrams.
Happy are the people whose annals are blank in history books
Happy the people whose annals are blank in the history books
I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
I don't pretend to understand the Universe -- it's a great deal bigger than I am.
If Jesus Christ were to come today people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.
If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.
If those gentlemen would let me alone I should be much obliged to them. I would say, as Shakespeare would say... Sweet Friend, for Jesus sake forbear.
If what you have done is unjust, you have not succeeded.
If you are ever in doubt as to whether or not you should kiss a pretty girl, give her the benefit of the doubt.
If you are ever in doubt as to whether to kiss a pretty girl, always give her the benefit of the doubt.
In idleness there is a perpetual despair.
It is not a lucky word, this name "impossible"; no good comes of those who have it so often in their mouths.
It is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe.
Long stormy spring-time, wet contentious April, winter chilling the lap of very May but at length the season of summer does come.
Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure that there is one rascal less in the world.
Man is a tool-using Animal. Nowhere do you find him without tools; without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
Men do less than they ought, unless they do all that they can.
Music is well said to be the speech of angels.
No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.
Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight.
Nothing that was worthy in the past departs no truth or goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die.
Oh, give us the man who sings at his work.
Originality is a thing we constantly clamour for, and constantly quarrel with.
Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world.
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.
Silence is deep as Eternity speech is shallow as Time.
Skepticism means, not intellectual doubt alone, but moral doubt.
Speech is human, silence is divine, yet also brutish and dead therefore we must learn both arts.
Speech is human, silence is divine, yet also brutish and dead: therefore we must learn both arts.
Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether.
That there should one Man die ignorant who had capacity for Knowledge, this I call a tragedy.
The best effect of any book is that it excites the reader to self-activity.
The greatest of all faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.
The man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder - waif, a nothing, a no man. Have a purpose in life, and, having it, throw such strength of mind and muscle into your work as God has given you.
The past is all holy to us; the dead are all holy; even they that were wicked when alive.
The true university of these days is a collection of books.
The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was.
To us also, through every star, through every blade of grass, is not God made visible if we will open our minds and our eyes.
True humor springs not more from the head than from the heart. It is not contempt; its essence is love. It issues not in laugther, but in still smiles, which lie far deeper.
Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity speech is shallow as Time.
Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.
What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books.
When words leave off, music begins.

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