Thomas Carlyle citations

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Thomas Carlyle

Date de naissance: 4. décembre 1795
Date de décès: 5. février 1881
Autres noms:Томас Карлайл

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Thomas Carlyle, né à Ecclefechan , dans le comté de Dumfries et Galloway le 4 décembre 1795, mort à Chelsea à Londres le 5 février 1881, est un écrivain, satiriste et historien britannique, dont le travail eut une très forte influence durant l'époque victorienne.

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Citations Thomas Carlyle

„Thou too art a Conqueror and Victor; but of the true sort, namely over the Devil: thou too hast built what will outlast all marble and metal, and be a wonder-bringing City of the Mind, a Temple and Seminary and Prophetic Mount, whereto all kindreds of the Earth will pilgrim.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: O thou who art able to write a Book, which once in the two centuries or oftener there is a man gifted to do, envy not him whom they name City-builder, and inexpressibly pity him whom they name Conqueror or City-burner! Thou too art a Conqueror and Victor; but of the true sort, namely over the Devil: thou too hast built what will outlast all marble and metal, and be a wonder-bringing City of the Mind, a Temple and Seminary and Prophetic Mount, whereto all kindreds of the Earth will pilgrim. Bk. II, ch. 8.

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„First get your man; all is got: he can learn to do all things, from making boots, to decreeing judgments, governing communities; and will do them like a man.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: In all cases, therefore, we will agree with the judicious Mrs. Glass: 'First catch your hare!' First get your man; all is got: he can learn to do all things, from making boots, to decreeing judgments, governing communities; and will do them like a man.

„Your born genius, therefore, will first have to ask himself, Whether he can hold his tongue or cannot? True, all human talent, especially all deep talent, is a talent to do, and is intrinsically of silent nature; inaudible, like the Sphere Harmonies and Eternal Melodies, of which it is an incarnated fraction.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: Our English careers to born genius are twofold. There is the silent or unlearned career of the Industrialisms, which are very many among us; and there is the articulate or learned career of the three professions, Medicine, Law (under which we may include Politics), and the Church. Your born genius, therefore, will first have to ask himself, Whether he can hold his tongue or cannot? True, all human talent, especially all deep talent, is a talent to do, and is intrinsically of silent nature; inaudible, like the Sphere Harmonies and Eternal Melodies, of which it is an incarnated fraction.

„Democracy, which means despair of finding any Heroes to govern you, and contented putting up with the want of them,“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: Democracy, which means despair of finding any Heroes to govern you, and contented putting up with the want of them,—alas, thou too, mein Lieber, seest well how close it is of kin to Atheism, and other sad Isms: he who discovers no God whatever, how shall he discover Heroes, the visible Temples of God?

„In several respects, I consider my father as one of the most interesting men I have known. He was a man of perhaps the very largest natural endowment of any it has been my lot to converse with. None of us will ever forget that bold glowing style of his, flowing free from his untutored soul, full of metaphors (though he knew not what a metaphor was) with, all manner of potent words which he appropriated and applied with a surprising accuracy you often would not guess whence; brief, energetic, and which I should say conveyed the most perfect picture — definite, clear, not in ambitious colors, but in full white sunliglit — of all the dialects I have ever listened to.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: In several respects, I consider my father as one of the most interesting men I have known. He was a man of perhaps the very largest natural endowment of any it has been my lot to converse with. None of us will ever forget that bold glowing style of his, flowing free from his untutored soul, full of metaphors (though he knew not what a metaphor was) with, all manner of potent words which he appropriated and applied with a surprising accuracy you often would not guess whence; brief, energetic, and which I should say conveyed the most perfect picture — definite, clear, not in ambitious colors, but in full white sunliglit — of all the dialects I have ever listened to. Nothing did I ever hear him undertake to render visible which, did not become almost ocularly so. Never shall we again hear such speech as that was. The whole district knew of it and laughed joyfully over it, not knowing how other-wise to express the feeling it gave them; emphatic I have heard him beyond all men. In anger he had no need of oaths, his words were like sharp arrows that smote into the very heart. The fault was that he exaggerated (which tendency I also inherit), yet only in description and for the sake chiefly of humorous effect.

„In anger he had no need of oaths, his words were like sharp arrows that smote into the very heart. The fault was that he exaggerated (which tendency I also inherit), yet only in description and for the sake chiefly of humorous effect.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: In several respects, I consider my father as one of the most interesting men I have known. He was a man of perhaps the very largest natural endowment of any it has been my lot to converse with. None of us will ever forget that bold glowing style of his, flowing free from his untutored soul, full of metaphors (though he knew not what a metaphor was) with, all manner of potent words which he appropriated and applied with a surprising accuracy you often would not guess whence; brief, energetic, and which I should say conveyed the most perfect picture — definite, clear, not in ambitious colors, but in full white sunliglit — of all the dialects I have ever listened to. Nothing did I ever hear him undertake to render visible which, did not become almost ocularly so. Never shall we again hear such speech as that was. The whole district knew of it and laughed joyfully over it, not knowing how other-wise to express the feeling it gave them; emphatic I have heard him beyond all men. In anger he had no need of oaths, his words were like sharp arrows that smote into the very heart. The fault was that he exaggerated (which tendency I also inherit), yet only in description and for the sake chiefly of humorous effect.

„For myself, I feel that there is actually a kind of sacredness in the fact of such a man being sent into this Earth.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: is it not a right glorious thing, and set of things, this that Shakspeare has brought us? For myself, I feel that there is actually a kind of sacredness in the fact of such a man being sent into this Earth.

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„Man is a tool-using animal...Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: Man is a tool-using animal... Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all. Bk. I, ch. 5.

„We have chosen Mahomet not as the most eminent Prophet; but as the one we are freest to speak of. He is by no means the truest of Prophets; but I do esteem him a true one.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: We have chosen Mahomet not as the most eminent Prophet; but as the one we are freest to speak of. He is by no means the truest of Prophets; but I do esteem him a true one. Farther, as there is no danger of our becoming, any of us, Mahometans, I mean to say all the good of him I justly can. It is the way to get at his secret: let us try to understand what he meant with the world; what the world meant and means with him, will then be a more answerable question. Our current hypothesis about Mahomet, that he was a scheming Impostor, a Falsehood incarnate, that his religion is a mere mass of quackery and fatuity, begins really to be now untenable to any one. The lies, which well-meaning zeal has heaped round this man, are disgraceful to ourselves only.

„They are very noble men, these; step along in their stately way, with their measured euphemisms, philosophies, parliamentary eloquences, Ship-moneys, Monarchies of Man; a most constitutional, unblamable, dignified set of men. But the heart remains cold before them.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: far be it from me to say or insinuate a word of disparagement against such characters as Hampden, Elliot, Pym; whom I believe to have been right worthy and useful men. I have read diligently what books and documents about them I could come at;—with the honestest wish to admire, to love and worship them like Heroes; but I am sorry to say, if the real truth must be told, with very indifferent success! At bottom, I found that it would not do. They are very noble men, these; step along in their stately way, with their measured euphemisms, philosophies, parliamentary eloquences, Ship-moneys, Monarchies of Man; a most constitutional, unblamable, dignified set of men. But the heart remains cold before them.

„On this ground, if not on all manner of other grounds, it may be truly said, the "Organization of Labor" (not organizable by the mad methods tried hitherto) is the universal vital Problem of the world.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: In all European countries, especially in England, one class of Captains and commanders of men, recognizable as the beginning of a new real and not imaginary "Aristocracy," has already in some measure developed itself: the Captains of Industry;—happily the class who above all, or at least first of all, are wanted in this time. In the doing of material work, we have already men among us that can command bodies of men. And surely, on the other hand, there is no lack of men needing to be commanded: the sad class of brother-men whom we had to describe as "Hodge's emancipated horses," reduced to roving famine,—this too has in all countries developed itself; and, in fatal geometrical progression, is ever more developing itself, with a rapidity which alarms every one. On this ground, if not on all manner of other grounds, it may be truly said, the "Organization of Labor" (not organizable by the mad methods tried hitherto) is the universal vital Problem of the world.

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„Such "indifference" was the fruit of his greatness withal: his whole heart was in his own grand sphere of worship (we may call it such); these other controversies, vitally important to other men, were not vital to him.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: I cannot call this Shakspeare a "Sceptic," as some do; his indifference to the creeds and theological quarrels of his time misleading them. No: neither unpatriotic, though he says little about his Patriotism; nor sceptic, though he says little about his Faith. Such "indifference" was the fruit of his greatness withal: his whole heart was in his own grand sphere of worship (we may call it such); these other controversies, vitally important to other men, were not vital to him.

„To the British subject who fancies genius may be lodged in him, this liberty remains; and truly it is, if well computed, almost the only one he has.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: If the young aspirant is not rich enough for Parliament, and is deterred by the basilisks or otherwise from entering on Law or Church, and cannot altogether reduce his human intellect to the beaverish condition, or satisfy himself with the prospect of making money,—what becomes of him in such case, which is naturally the case of very many, and ever of more? In such case there remains but one outlet for him, and notably enough that too is a talking one: the outlet of Literature, of trying to write Books. Since, owing to preliminary basilisks, want of cash, or superiority to cash, he cannot mount aloft by eloquent talking, let him try it by dexterous eloquent writing. Here happily, having three fingers, and capital to buy a quire of paper, he can try it to all lengths and in spite of all mortals: in this career there is happily no public impediment that can turn him back; nothing but private starvation—which is itself a finis or kind of goal—can pretend to hinder a British man from prosecuting Literature to the very utmost, and wringing the final secret from her: "A talent is in thee; No talent is in thee." To the British subject who fancies genius may be lodged in him, this liberty remains; and truly it is, if well computed, almost the only one he has.

„For what imaginable purpose was man made, if not to be "happy"?“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: For what imaginable purpose was man made, if not to be "happy"? By victorious Analysis, and Progress of the Species, happiness enough now awaits him. Kings can become philosophers; or else philosophers Kings. Let but Society be once rightly constituted,—by victorious Analysis. The stomach that is empty shall be filled; the throat that is dry shall be wetted with wine. Labour itself shall be all one as rest; not grievous, but joyous Wheat-fields, one would think, cannot come to grow untilled; no man made clayey, or made weary thereby;—unless indeed machinery will do it? Gratuitous Tailors and Restaurateurs may start up, at fit intervals, one as yet sees not how. But if each will, according to rule of Benevolence, have a care for all, then surely—no one will be uncared for. Nay, who knows but by sufficiently victorious Analysis, "human life may be indefinitely lengthened," and men get rid of Death, as they have already done of the Devil? We shall then be happy in spite of Death and the Devil. Pt. I, Bk. II, ch. 1.

„Obstructions are never wanting: the very things that were once indispensable furtherances become obstructions; and need to be shaken off, and left behind us,—a business often of enormous difficulty.“

— Thomas Carlyle
Context: the battling Reformer too is, from time to time, a needful and inevitable phenomenon. Obstructions are never wanting: the very things that were once indispensable furtherances become obstructions; and need to be shaken off, and left behind us,—a business often of enormous difficulty.

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