Quotations by Thomas Carlyle


It is a mathematical fact that the casting of this pebble from my hand alters the centre of gravity of the universe.
Sartor Resartus

Man is a tool-using animal. . . Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.
Sartor Resartus

The end of a man is action and not a thought, though it were the noblest.
Sartor Resartus

What is all knowledge too but recorded experience, and a product of history; of which, therefore, reasoning and belief, no less than action and passion, are essential materials?
Critical and Miscellaneous Essays: 'On History'

'Genius' (which means transcendent capacity of taking trouble, first of all).
History of Frederick the Great

A judicious man uses statistics, not to get knowledge, but to save himself from having ignorance foisted upon him.

Teaching school is but another word for sure and not very slow destruction.
Quoted in H Eves In Mathematical Circles (Boston 1969).

A witty statesman said, you might prove anything by figures.
Chartism.

He that has a secret should not only hide it, but hide that he has it to hide.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).

Our main business is not to see what lies dimly in the distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).

The block of granite which is an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, becomes a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).

There is precious instruction to be got by finding we were wrong.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).

When the oak is felled the whole forest echoes with its fall, but a hundred acorns are downed in silence by an unnoticed breeze.
Quoted in Des MacHale, Wisdom (London, 2002).


JOC/EFR February 2006

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