Thomas Carlyle Quotations

Thomas Carlyle

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

France was long a despotism tempered by epigrams.

If Jesus Christ were to come today, people wouldn't even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.

If you do not wish a man to do a thing, you had better get him to talk about it; for the more men talk, the more likely they are to do nothing else.

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.

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

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

Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the devil.

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.

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

The crash of the whole solar and stellar systems could only kill you once.

The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.

The man is most original who can adapt from the greatest number of sources.

The merit of originality is not novelty, it is sincerity. The believing man is the original man; he believes for himself, not for another.

There is no heroic poem in the world but is at bottom a biography, the life of a man; also, it may be said, there is no life of a man, faithfully recorded, but is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or unrhymed.

The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss.

When the oak is felled the forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are sown silently by an unnoticed breeze.