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Thomas Carlyle Quotes

About Thomas Carlyle

Thomas Carlyle

Life: 1795 - 1881

Country: scotland flag Scotland

Profession: Writer;

Thomas Carlyle (4 December 1795 - 5 February 1881) was a Scottish essayist, satirist, and historian, whose work was hugely influential during the Victorian era. Coming from a strict Calvinist family, Carlyle was expected by his parents to become a preacher, but while at the University of Edinburgh, he lost his Christian faith. Calvinist values, however, remained with him throughout his life. This combination of a religious temperament with loss of faith in traditional Christianity made Carlyle's work appealing to many Victorians who were grappling with scientific and political changes that threatened the traditional social order.

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Quotations

Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Our grand business is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

~ Thomas Carlyle

There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talent.

~ Thomas Carlyle

What is aristocracy? A corporation of the best, of the bravest.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance. It is character which builds an existence out of circumstance. From the same materials one man builds palaces, another hovels; one warehouses, another villas; bricks and mortar are mortar and bricks until the architect can make them something else.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, and its power of endurance - the cheerful man will do more in the same time, will do it better, will preserve it longer, than the sad or sullen.

~ Thomas Carlyle

The three great elements of modern civilization, Gunpowder, Printing, and the Protestant Religion.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Clever men are good, but they are not the best.

~ Thomas Carlyle

The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity.

~ Thomas Carlyle

We do everything by custom, even believe by it; our very axioms, let us boast of free-thinking as we may, are oftenest simply such beliefs as we have never heard questioned.

~ Thomas Carlyle

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Every noble work is at first impossible.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Ill-health, of body or of mind, is defeat. Health alone is victory. Let all men, if they can manage it, contrive to be healthy!

~ Thomas Carlyle

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

History is the essence of innumerable biographies.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Nine-tenths of the miseries and vices of mankind proceed from idleness.

~ Thomas Carlyle

Man is a Tool-using Animal.... Nowhere do you find him without Tools; without Tools he is nothing, with Tools he is all.

~ Thomas Carlyle
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