36 Splendid Thomas Carlyle Quotes

Thomas Carlyle was a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, historian, and teacher. He is considered to be one of the most important social commentators of his time. As a respected historian, here is a look at some of the most notable Thomas Carlyle quotes ever recorded.

“A laugh, to be joyous, must flow from a joyous heart, for without kindness, there can be no true joy.”

“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.”

“A man lives by believing something: not by debating and arguing about many things.”

“A man without a goal is like a ship without a rudder.”

“A person who is gifted sees the essential point and leaves the rest as surplus.”

“A well-written life is almost as rare as a well-spent one.”


“Do not be embarrassed by your mistakes. Nothing can teach us better than our understanding of them. This is one of the best ways of self-education.”

“Do the duty which lies nearest to you, the second duty will then become clearer.”

“Egotism is the source and summary of all faults and miseries.”

“Endurance is patience concentrated.”

“Every day that is born into the world comes like a burst of music and rings the whole day through, and you make of it a dance, a dirge, or a life march, as you will.”

“Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one.”

“Every noble work is at first impossible.”

“Everywhere in life, the true question is not what we gain, but what we do.”

“Experience is the best of school masters, only the school fees are heavy.”

“He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope, has everything.”

“He who has no vision of eternity has no hold on time.”

“If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music.”

“In books lies the soul for the whole past time.”

“It is the heart always that sees, before the head can see.”

“I’ve got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom.”

“Laughter is one of the very privileges of reason, being confined to the human species.”

“Let each become all that he was created capable of being.”

“Music is well said to be the speech of angels.”

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

“Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of man you are.”

“Silence is as deep as eternity, speech a shallow as time.”

“Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether.”

“The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.”

“The first duty of man is to conquer fear; he must get rid of it, he cannot act till then.”

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

“The wise man is but a clever infant, spelling letters from a hieroglyphical prophetic book, the lexicon of which lies in eternity.”

“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.”

“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.”

“Work is the grand cure of all the maladies and miseries that ever beset mankind.”

The work and writings of Thomas Carlyle are looked at in this conference as they reassess his contributions to the philosophy of history.

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