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Thomas Carlyle Quotes


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Time is the silent, never-resting thing ... rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing oceantide, on which we and all the universe swim.
[One Day]
 

To reform a world, to reform a nation, no wise man will undertake; and all but foolish men know, that the only solid, though a far slower reformation, is what each begins and perfects on himself.
 

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.
 

Today is not yesterday.-We ourselves change.-How then, can our works and thoughts, if they are always to be the fittest, continue always the same.-Change, indeed, is painful, yet ever needful; and if memory have its force and worth, so also has hope.
[Change]
 

True humor springs not more from the head than from the heart. It is not contempt; its essence is love. It issues not in laughter, but in still smiles, which lie far deeper.
[Humor]
 

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.
 

War is a quarrel between two thieves too cowardly to fight their own battle.
 

We arc the miracle of miracles, the great inscrutable mystery of God.
[Man]
 

We are firm believers in the maxim that for all right judgment of any man or thing it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.
 

Weak eyes are fondest of glittering objects.
 

What an enormous magnifier is tradition! How a thing grows in the human memory and in the human imagination, when love, worship, and all that lies in the human heart, is there to encourage it.
[Tradition]
 

What greater calamity can fall upon a nation than the loss of worship.
[Worship]
 

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.
 

What you see, but can't see over is as good as infinite.
 

When I gaze into the stars, they look down upon me with pity from their serene and silent spaces, like eyes glistening with tears over the little lot of man. Thousands of generations, all as noisy as our own, have been swallowed up by time, and there remains no record of them any more. Yet Arcturus and Orion, Sirius and Pleiades, are still shining in their courses, clear and young, as when the shepherd first noted them in the plain of Shinar!
 

When new turns of behavior cease to appear in the life of the individual, its behavior ceases to be intelligent.
 

When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with it fall, but a hundred acorns are sown in silence by an unnoticed breeze.
[Nature]
 

When words leave off, music begins.
 

Who is there that, in logical words, can express the effect music has on us? A kind of inarticulate, unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of the Infinite and lets us for moments gaze into that!
[Music]
 

With stupidity and sound digestion man may fret much; but what in these dull unimaginative days are the terrors of conscience to the diseases of the liver.
[Health]
 


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