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James Wood, comp. Dictionary of Quotations. 1899.


A fact is a great thing: a sentence printed, if not by God, then at least by the Devil.

“A fair day’s wages for a fair day’s work,” is as just a demand as governed men ever made of governing; yet in what corner of this planet was that ever realised?

A lie should be trampled on and extinguished wherever found.

A man cannot be in the seventeenth century and the nineteenth at one and the same moment.His experience while editing Cromwell’s Letters.

A man is not born the second time, any more than the first, without travail.

A man is not strong who takes convulsion fits, though six men cannot hold him; only he that can walk under the heaviest weight without staggering.

A man lives by believing something; not by debating and arguing about many things.

A man must verify or expel his doubts, and convert them into certainty of Yes or No.

A man protesting against error is on the way towards uniting himself with all men that believe in truth.

A man who cannot gird himself into harness will take no weight along these highways.

A man who does not know rigour cannot pity either.

A man with half a volition goes backwards and forwards, and makes no way on the smoothest road.

A man, be the heavens praised, is sufficient for himself; yet were ten men, united in love, capable of being and doing what ten thousand singly would fail in.

A thinking man is the worst enemy the Prince of Darkness can have.

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

A word spoken in season, at the right moment, is the mother of ages.

A world all sincere, a believing world; the like has been; the like will again be—cannot help being.

All balloons give up their gas in the pressure of things, and collapse in a sufficiently wretched manner erelong.

All deep joy has something of awful in it.

All destruction, by violent revolution or howsoever it be, is but new creation on a wider scale.

All evil is as a nightmare; the instant you begin to stir under it, the evil is gone.

All great peoples are conservative.

All history is an inarticulate Bible.

All inmost things are melodious, naturally utter themselves in song.

All living objects do by necessity form to themselves a skin.

All men, if they work not as in the great taskmaster’s eye, will work wrong.

All objects are as windows through which the philosophic eye looks into infinitude.

All speech, even the commonest, has something of song in it.

All talent, all intellect, is in the first place moral.

All that mankind has done, thought, gained, or been, it is all lying in magic preservation in the pages of books.

All true men are soldiers in the same army, to do battle against the same enemy—the empire of darkness and wrong.

All, were it only a withered leaf, works together with all.

Always there is a black spot in our sunshine, the shadow of ourselves.

“Am I to be saved? or am I to be lost?” Certain to be lost, so long as you put that question.

An irreverent knowledge is no knowledge; it may be a development of the logical or other handicraft faculty, but is no culture of the soul of a man.

As a priest, or interpreter of the holy, is the noblest and highest of all men; so is a sham priest the falsest and basest.

Authors are martyrs, witnesses to the truth, or else nothing.

Bad is by its very nature negative, and can do nothing; whatsoever enables us to do anything, is by its very nature good.

Be thankful for your ennui; it is your last mark of manhood.

Beautiful it is to understand and know that a thought did never yet die; that as thou, the originator thereof, hast gathered it and created it from the whole past, so thou wilt transmit to the whole future.

Bees will not work except in darkness; thought will not work except in silence; neither will virtue work except in secrecy.

Big destinies of nations or of persons are not founded gratis in this world.

Biography is the most universally pleasant, the most universally profitable, of all reading.

Biography is the only true history.

Blessed is he that continueth where he is; here let us rest and lay out seed-fields; here let us learn to dwell.

Blessed is the voice that, amid dispiritment, stupidity, and contradiction, proclaims to us, Euge! (i.e., Excellent! Bravo!).

Books still accomplish miracles; they persuade men.

By any ballot-box, Jesus Christ goes just as far as Judas Iscariot.

By nature man hates change; seldom will he quit his old home till it has actually fallen about his ears.

By pious heroic climbing of our own, not by arguing with our poor neighbours, wandering to right and left, do we at length reach the sanctuary—the victorious summit, and see with our own eyes.

“Can” and “shall,” well understood, mean the same thing under this sun of ours.

Can I choose my king? I can choose my King Popinjay, and play what farce or tragedy I may with him; but he who is to be my ruler, whose will is higher than my will, was chosen for me in heaven.

Cant is properly a double-distilled lie, the second power of a lie.

Cast forth thy act, thy word, into the ever-living, ever-working universe. It is a seed-grain that cannot die; unnoticed to-day, it will be found flourishing as a banyan-grove, perhaps, alas! as a hemlock forest, after a thousand years.

Celebrity is but the candle-light which will show what man, not in the least make him a better or other man.

Clothes have made men of us; they are threatening to make clothes-screens of us.

Complaining profits little; stating of the truth may profit.

Condemnable idolatry is insincere idolatry—a human soul clinging spasmodically to an Ark of the Covenant, which it half feels is now a phantasm.

Contempt is a dangerous element to sport in; a deadly one, if we habitually live in it.

Conversion is the awakening of a soul to see into the awful truth of things; to see that Time and its shows all rest on Eternity, and this poor earth of ours is the threshold either of heaven or hell.

Conversion—a grand epoch for a man; properly the one epoch; the turning-point which guides upwards, or guides downwards, him and his activities for evermore.

Conviction, never so excellent, is worthless till it convert itself into conduct.

Creation is great, and cannot be understood.

Culture (is the process by which a man) becomes all that he was created capable of being, resisting all impediments, casting off all foreign, especially all noxious, adhesions, and showing himself at length in his own shape and stature, be these what they may.

Curious to think how, for every man, any the truest fact is modelled by the nature of the man.

Custom doth make dotards of us all.

Death is but another phasis of life, which also is awful, fearful, and wonderful, reaching to heaven and hell.

Democracy is, by the nature of it, a self-cancelling business, and gives in the long-run a net result of zero.

Despotism is essential in most enterprises; I am told they do not tolerate “freedom of debate” on board a seventy-four.

Difficult to sweep the intricate foul chimneys of law.

Difficulty, abnegation, martyrdom, death, are the allurements that act on the heart of man. Kindle the inner genial life of him, you have a flame that burns up all lower considerations.

Dilettantism, hypothesis, speculation, a kind of amateur-search for truth, toying and coquetting with truth; this is the sorest sin, the root of all imaginable sins.

Diligent, that includes all virtues in it a student can have.To the Students of Edinburgh University.

Disorder is dissolution, death.

Divine right, take it on the great scale, is found to mean divine might withal.

Divine moment, when over the tempest-tossed soul, as over the wild-weltering chaos, it was spoken: Let there be Light. Even to the greatest that has felt such a moment, is it not miraculous and God-announcing; even as, under simpler figures, to the humblest and least?

Do the duty which lies nearest to thee. Thy second duty will already have become clearer.

Do we not all submit to death? The highest sentence of the law, sentence of death, is passed on all of us by the fact of birth; yet we live patiently under it, patiently undergo it when the hour comes.

Does Homer interest us now, because he wrote of what passed beyond his native Greece, and two centuries before he was born; or because he wrote what passed in God’s world, which is the same after thirty centuries?

Don’t hate; only pity and avoid those that follow lies.

Double, double toil and trouble; that is the life of all governors that really govern; not the spoil of victory, only the glorious toil of battle can be theirs.

Dupes indeed are many; but of all dupes there is none so fatally situated as he who lives in undue terror of being duped.

Each human heart can properly exhibit but one love, if even one; the “first love, which is infinite,” can be followed by no second like unto it.

Each one of us here, let the world go how it will, and be victorious or not victorious, has he not a life of his own to lead?

Efforts, to be permanently useful, must be uniformly joyous,—a spirit all sunshine,—graceful from very gladness,—beautiful because bright.

Egoism is the source and summary of all faults and miseries whatsoever.

Endeavouring, by logical argument, to prove the existence of God, were like taking out a candle to look for the sun.After Kant.

Enjoying things which are pleasant, that is not the evil; it is the reducing of our moral self to slavery by them that is.

Ere we censure a man for seeming what he is not, we should be sure that we know what he is.

Eternity looks grander and kinder if Time grow meaner and more hostile.

Ever must pain urge us to labour, and only in free effort can any blessedness be imagined for us.

Ever must the sovereign of mankind be fitly entitled king, i.e., the man who kens and can.

Ever, as of old, the thing a man will do is the thing he feels commanded to do.

Every conceivable society may well be figured as properly and wholly a Church, in one or other of these three predicaments: an audibly preaching and prophesying Church, which is the best; a Church that struggles to preach and prophesy, but cannot as yet till its Pentecost come; a Church gone dumb with old age, or which only mumbles delirium prior to dissolution.

Every man carries within him a potential madman.

Every man, within that inconsiderable figure of his, contains a whole spirit-kingdom and reflex of the All; and, though to the eye but some six standard feet in size, reaches downwards and upwards, unsurveyable, fading into the regions of immensity and eternity.

Every mortal longs for his parade-place; would still wish, at banquets, to be master of some seat or other wherein to overtop this or that plucked goose of the neighbourhood.

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

Every noble crown is, and on earth will ever be, a crown of thorns.

Every noble work is at first impossible.

Every poet, be his outward lot what it may, finds himself born in the midst of prose; he has to struggle from the littleness and obstruction of an actual world into the freedom and infinitude of an ideal.

Everywhere in life the true question is, not what we gain, but what we do; so also in intellectual matters it is not what we receive, but what we are made to give, that chiefly contents and profits us.

Everywhere the formed world is the only habitable one.

Everywhere the human soul stands between a hemisphere of light and another of darkness; on the confines of two everlasting, hostile empires, Necessity and Free Will.

Evil and good are everywhere, like shadow and substance; (for men) inseparable, yet not hostile, only opposed.

Evil, what we call evil, must ever exist while man exists; evil, in the widest sense we can give it, is precisely the dark, disordered material out of which man’s freewill has to create an edifice of order and good. Ever must pain urge us to labour; and only in free effort can any blessedness be imagined for us.

Except by mastership and servantship, there is no conceivable deliverance from tyranny and slavery.

Except in obedience to the heaven-chosen is freedom not so much as conceivable.

Experience is the grand spiritual doctor.

Experience takes dreadfully high school-wages, but teaches as no other.

Eyes bright, with many tears behind them.On his Wife.

Facts—historical facts, still more biographical—are sacred hierograms, for which the fewest have the key.

Faith has given man an inward willingness, a world of strength wherewith to front a world of difficulty.

Faith is loyalty to some inspired teacher, some spiritual hero.

Falsehood is our one enemy in this world.

Falsehood is the essence of all sin.

Fame, we may understand, is no sure test of merit, but only a probability of such: it is an accident, not a property, of a man; like light, it can give little or nothing, but at most may show what is given; often it is but a false glare, dazzling the eyes of the vulgar, lending, by casual extrinsic splendour, the brightness and manifold glance of the diamond to pebbles of no value.

Fantasy is the true heaven-gate and hell-gate of man.

Fiction, while the feigner of it knows that he is feigning, partakes, more than we suspect, of the nature of lying; and has ever an, in some degree, unsatisfactory character.

Fidelity, diligence, decency, are good and indispensable; yet, without faculty, without light, they will not do the work.

Fight on, thou brave true heart, and falter not, through dark fortune and through bright, the cause thou lightest for, so far as it is true, is very sure of victory.

Find mankind where thou wilt, thou findest it in living movement, in progress faster or slower; the phœnix soars aloft, hovers with outstretched wings, filling earth with her music; or, as now, she sinks, and with spheral swan-song immolates herself in flame, that she may soar the higher and sing the clearer.

Finding your able man, and getting him invested with the symbols of ability, is the business, well or ill accomplished, of all social procedure whatsoever in this world.

Fire is the best of servants; but what a master!

First must the dead letter of religion own itself dead, and drop piecemeal into dust, if the living spirit of religion, freed from its charnel-house, is to arise in us, new-born of heaven, and with new healing under its wings.

Follow the devil faithfully, you are sure to go to the devil.

For a genuine man it is no evil to be poor.

For all right judgment of any man or thing it is useful, nay, essential, to see his good qualities before pronouncing on his bad.

For ever is not a category that can establish itself in this world of time.

For man’s well-being faith is properly the one thing needful; with it, martyrs, otherwise weak, can cheerfully endure the shame and the cross; and without it, worldlings puke up their sick existence by suicide in the midst of luxury.

For one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.

For suffering and enduring there is no remedy but striving and doing.

For the son of man there is no noble crown, well-worn or even ill-worn, but is a crown of thorns.

For thee the family of man has no use; it rejects thee; thou art wholly as a dissevered limb: so be it; perhaps it is better so.Carlyle, or Teufelsdröckh rather, arrived at the “Centre of Indifference, through which whoso travels from the Negative Pole to the Positive must necessarily pass.”

Forms which grow round a substance will be true, good; forms which are consciously put round a substance, bad.

Formulas are the very skin and muscular tissue of a man’s life; and a most blessed indispensable thing, so long as they have vitality withal, and are a living skin and tissue to him.

Friend, hast thou considered the “rugged, all-nourishing earth,” as Sophocles well names her; now she feeds the sparrow on the housetop, much more her darling, man?

Friendship, in the old heroic sense of that term, no longer exists; except in the cases of kindred or other legal affinity, it is in reality no longer expected or recognised as a virtue among men.

From every moral death there is a new birth; / in this wondrous course of his, man may indeed linger, but cannot retrograde or stand still.

From the lowest depth there is a path to the loftiest height.

General suffering is the fruit of general misbehaviour, general dishonesty.

Generations are as the days of toilsome mankind; death and birth are the vesper and the matin bells that summon mankind to sleep, and to rise refreshed for new advancement.

Genius has privileges of its own; it selects an orbit for itself; and be this never so eccentric, if it is indeed a celestial orbit, we mere star-gazers must at last compose ourselves, must cease to cavil at it, and begin to observe it and calculate its laws.

Genius is ever a secret to itself.

Genius is the transcendent capacity of taking trouble first of all.

Genius will reconcile men to much.

Ghosts! There are nigh a thousand million walking the earth openly at noontide; some half-hundred have vanished from it, some half-hundred have arisen in it, ere thy watch ticks once.

Gift of prophecy has been wisely denied to man. Did a man foresee his life, and not merely hope it and grope it, and so by necessity and free-will make and fabricate it into a reality, he were no man, but some other kind of creature, superhuman or subterhuman.

Give us the man who sings at his work! Be his occupation what it may, he will be equal to any of those who follow the same pursuit in silent sullenness. He will do more in the same time; he will do it better; he will persevere longer.

Given a living man, there will be found clothes for him; he will find himself clothes; but the suit of clothes pretending that it is both clothes and man.

Given a world of knaves, to educe an Honesty from their united action, is a problem that is becoming to all men a palpably hopeless one.

Given the men a people choose, the people itself, in its exact worth and worthlessness, is given.

Go deep enough, there is music everywhere.

God is, nay, alone is; for with like emphasis we cannot say that anything else is.

“Godlike men love lightning;” godless men love it not; shriek murder when they see it, shutting their eyes, and hastily putting on smoked spectacles.

Goethe’s devil is a cultivated personage and acquainted with the modern sciences; sneers at witchcraft and the black art even while employing them, and doubts most things, nay, half disbelieves even his own existence.

Good-breeding differs, if at all, from high-breeding, only as it gracefully remembers the rights of others, rather than gracefully insists on its own.

Granted the ship comes into harbour with shrouds and tackle damaged; the pilot is blameworthy; he has not been all-wise and all-powerful; but to know how blameworthy, tell us first whether his voyage has been round the globe or only to Ramsgate and the Isle of Dogs.

Great is self-denial! Life goes all to ravels and tatters where that enters not.

Great is wisdom; infinite is the value of wisdom. It cannot be exaggerated; it is the highest achievement of man.

Great men are the fire-pillars in this dark pilgrimage of mankind; they stand as heavenly signs, ever-living witnesses of what has been, prophetic tokens of what may still be, the revealed, embodied possibilities of human nature.

Great Men are the inspired (speaking and acting) Texts of that Divine Book of Revelations, whereof a Chapter is completed from epoch to epoch, and by some named History.

Great men are the modellers, patterns, and in a wide sense creators, of whatsoever the general mass of men contrived to do and attain.

Great souls are always royally submissive, reverent to what is over them; only small, mean souls are otherwise.

Great, ever fruitful; profitable for reproof, for encouragement, for building up in manful purposes and works, are the words of those that in their day were men.

Gunpowder makes all men alike tall…. Hereby at last is the Goliath powerless and the David resistless; savage animalism is nothing, inventive spiritualism is all.

Habit and imitation are the source of all working and all apprenticeship, of all practice and all learning, in this world.

Habit is the deepest law of human nature.

Had not God made this world, and death too, it were an insupportable place.

Happy he for whom a kind heavenly sun brightens the ring of necessity into a ring of duty.

Happy men are full of the present, for its bounty suffices them; and wise men also, for its duties engage them. Our grand business undoubtedly is not to see what lies dimly at a distance, but to do what lies clearly at hand.

Happy season of virtuous youth, when shame is still an impassable celestial barrier, and the sacred air-castles of hope have not shrunk into the mean clay hamlets of reality, and man by his nature is yet infinite and free.

Has any man, or any society of men, a truth to speak, a piece of spiritual work to do; they can nowise proceed at once and with the mere natural organs, but must first call a public meeting, appoint committees, issue prospectuses, eat a public dinner; in a word, construct or borrow machinery, wherewith to speak it and do it. Without machinery they were hopeless, helpless; a colony of Hindoo weavers squatting in the heart of Lancashire.

Hatred is but an inverse love.

Have any deepest scientific individuals yet dived down to the foundations of the universe and gauged everything there? Did the Maker take them into His counsel, that they read His ground-plan of the incomprehensible All, and can say, This stands marked therein, and no more than this? Alas! not in any wise.

Have not all nations conceived their God as omnipresent and eternal, as existing in a universal Here, an everlasting Now?

He has verily touched our hearts as with a live coal from the altar who in any way brings home to our heart the noble doings, feelings, darings, and endurances of a brother man.

He is wise who can instruct us and assist us in the business of daily virtuous living; he who trains us to see old truth under academic formularies may be wise or not, as it chances, but we love to see wisdom in unpretending forms, to recognise her royal features under a week-day vesture.

He that can write a true book to persuade England, is not he the bishop and archbishop, the primate of England and of all England?

He that cannot be the servant of many will never be master, true guide, and deliverer of many.

He that cannot keep his mind to himself cannot practise any considerable thing whatever.

He that is the inferior of nothing can be the superior of nothing, the equal of nothing.

He who dwells in temporary semblances and does not penetrate into the eternal substance, will not answer the sphinx-riddle of to-day or of any day.

He who feels he is right is stronger than king’s hosts; he who doubts he is not right has no strength whatever.

“He who has been born has been a first man,” has had lying before his young eyes, and as yet unhardened into scientific shapes, a world as plastic, infinite, divine, as lay before the eyes of Adam himself.

He who has no vision of Eternity will never get a true hold of Time.

He who has not known poverty, sorrow, contradiction, and the rest, and learned from them the priceless lessons they have to teach, has missed a good opportunity of schooling.

He who in any way shows us better than we knew before that a lily of the fields is beautiful, does he not show it us as an effluence of the fountain of all beauty—as the handwriting, made visible there, of the great Maker of the universe?

He who traces nothing of God in his own soul will never find God in the world of matter—mere circlings of force there of iron regulation, of universal death and merciless indifferency.

He who wants everything must know many things, do many things to procure even a few; different from him whose indispensable knowledge is this only, that a finger will pull the bell!

He who will do faithfully needs to believe firmly.

Heat and darkness, and what these two may breed.

Here, on earth we are as soldiers fighting in a foreign land, that understand not the plan of the campaign, and have no need to understand it, seeing well what is at our hand to be done.

Hero-worship exists, has existed, and will for ever exist, universally among mankind.

Heroism, the Divine relation which, in all times, unites a great man to other men.

High air-castles are cunningly built of words, the words well-bedded in good logic mortar; wherein, however, no knowledge will come to lodge.

Histories are as perfect as the historian is wise, and is gifted with an eye and a soul.

History is an imprisoned epic, nay, an imprisoned psalm and prophecy.

History is the true poetry.

History, as it lies at the root of all science, is also the first distinct product of man’s spiritual nature, his earliest expression of what may be called thought.

Hitherto all miracles have been wrought by thought, and henceforth innumerable will be wrought; whereof we, even in these days, witness some.

Homer’s Epos has not ceased to be true; yet is no longer our Epos, but shines in the distance, if clearer and clearer, yet also smaller and smaller, like a receding star. It needs a scientific telescope, it needs to be reinterpreted and artificially brought near us, before we can so much as know that ’twas a sun…. For all things, even celestial luminaries, much more atmospheric meteors, have their rise, their culmination, their decline.

How beautiful to die of a broken heart on paper! Quite another thing in practice! Every window of your feeling, even of your intellect, as it were begrimmed and mud-bespattered, so that no pure ray can enter; a whole drug-shop in your inwards; the fore-done soul drowning slowly in a quagmire of disgust.

How blessed might poor mortals be in the straitest circumstances, if only their wisdom and fidelity to Heaven and one another were adequately great.Apropos to his life at Craigenputtock.

How creatures of the human kind shut their eyes to the plainest facts, and by the mere inertia of oblivion and stupidity live at ease in the midst of wonders and terrors.

How hard it is (for the Byron, for the Burns), whose ear is quick for celestial messages, to “take no counsel with flesh and blood,” and instead of living and writing for the day that passes over them, live and write for the eternity that rests and abides over them!

How indestructibly the good grows, and propagates itself, even among the weedy entanglements of evil!

How many causes that can plead for themselves in the courts of Westminster, and yet in the general court of the universe and free soul of man, have no word to utter!

How much lies in laughter, the cipher-key wherewith we decipher the whole man.

How noble is heroic insight without words in comparison to the adroitest flow of words without heroic insight!

How noiseless is thought! No rolling of drums, no tramp of squadrons, or immeasurable tumult of baggage-waggons, attends its movements; in what obscure and sequestered places may the head be meditating which is one day to be crowned with more than imperial authority; for kings and emperors will be among its ministering servants; it will rule not over, but in all heads, and bend the world to its will.

How paint to the sensual eye what passes in the holy-of-holies of man’s soul; in what words, known to these profane times, speak even afar-off of the unspeakable?

How shall he give kindling in whose inward man there is no live coal, but all is burnt out to a dead grammatical cinder?

How they gleam like spirits through the shadows of innumerable eyes from their thrones in the boundless depths of heaven!On the stars.

How we clutch at shadows (in this dream-world) as if they were substances, and sleep deepest while fancying ourselves most awake!

How were friendship possible? In mutual devotedness to the good and true, otherwise impossible; except as armed neutrality or hollow commercial league.

Human creatures will not go quite accurately together, any more than clocks will.

Human intellect, if you consider it well, is the exact summary of human worth.

Humour has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius. He who wants it, be his other gifts what they may, has only half a mind; an eye for what is above him, not for what is about him or below him.

Humour is a sort of inverse sublimity, exalting, as it were, into our affections what is below us, while sublimity draws down into our affections what is above us.

Humour is properly the exponent of low things; that which first renders them poetical to the mind.

I have no notion of a truly great man that could not be all sorts of men.

I never heard tell of any clever man that came of entirely stupid people.

Ideals can never be completely embodied in practice; and yet ideals exist, and if they be not approximated to at all, the whole matter goes to wreck.

If “wise memory” is ever to prevail, there is need of much “wise oblivion” first.

If a book come from the heart, it will contrive to reach other hearts.

If a noble soul is rendered tenfold beautifuller by victory and prosperity, an ignoble one is rendered tenfold and a hundredfold uglier, pitifuller.

If cut (in the costume) betoken intellect and talent, so does the colour betoken temper and heart.

If in youth the universe is majestically unveiling, and everywhere heaven revealing itself on earth, nowhere to the young man does this heaven on earth so immediately reveal itself as in the young maiden.

If it is disgraceful to be beaten, it is only a shade less disgraceful to have so much as fought.

If Nature is one and a living indivisible whole, much more is mankind, the image that reflects and creates Nature, without which Nature were not.

If new-got gold is said to burn the pockets till it be cast forth into circulation, much more may new truth.

If one sees one’s fellow-creature following damnable error, by continuing in which the devil is sure to get him at last, are you to let him go towards such consummation, or are you not rather to use all means to save him?

If our era is an era of unbelief, why murmur at it? Is there not a better coming—nay, come?(See Matt. v. 4.)

If the hungry lion (invited to a feast of chickenweed) is to feast at all, it cannot be on the chickenweed, but only on the chickens.

If the paternal cottage still shuts us in, its roof still screens us; and with a father we have as yet a prophet, priest, and king, and an obedience that makes us free.

If there be not a religious element in the relations of men, such relations are miserable and doomed to ruin.

If we do not now reckon a great man literally divine, it is that our notions of the divine are ever rising higher; not altogether that our reverence for the divine, as manifested in our like, is getting lower.

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.

Imagination is but a poor matter when it has to part company with understanding.

Imperfections cling to a man, which, if he wait till he have brushed off entirely, he will spin for ever on his axis, advancing nowhither.

Impossible is the precept “Know thyself,” till it be translated into this partially possible one, “Know what thou canst work at.”

“Impossible,” when Truth and Mercy and the everlasting voice of Nature order, has no place in the brave man’s dictionary.

In a symbol there is concealment and yet revelation, silence and speech acting together, some embodiment and revelation of the infinite, made to blend itself with the finite, to stand visible, and, as it were, attainable there.

In a valiant suffering for others, not in a slothful making others suffer for us, did nobleness ever lie.

In all battles, if you await the issue, each fighter has prospered according to his right. His right and his might, at the close of the account, were the same.

In all human narrative, it is the battle only, and not the victory, that can be dwelt on with advantage.

In all provinces there are artists and artisans; men who labour mechanically in a department, without eye for the whole, not feeling that there is a whole; and men who inform and ennoble the humblest department with an idea of the whole, and habitually know that only in the whole is the partial to be truly discerned.

In all situations (out of Tophet) there is a duty, and our highest blessedness lies in doing it.

In all true work, were it but true hand-labour, there is something of divineness.

In all vital action the manifest purpose and effort of Nature is, that we should be unconscious of it…. Nature so meant it with us; it is so we are made.

In books lies the soul of the whole past time; the articulate audible voice of the past, when the body and material substance of it has altogether vanished like a dream.

In every epoch of the world, the great event, parent of all others, is it not the arrival of a thinker in the world?

In every phenomenon the beginning remains always the most notable moment.

In every ship there must be a seeing pilot, not a mere hearing one.

In every the wisest soul lies a whole world of internal madness, an authentic demon-empire; out of which, indeed, his world of wisdom has been creatively built together, and now rests there, as on its dark foundation does a habitable flowery earth-rind.

In idleness alone is there perpetual despair.

In long-drawn systole and long-drawn diastole must the period of faith alternate with the period of denial; must the vernal growth, the summer luxuriance of all opinions, spiritual representations and creations, be followed by and again follow the autumnal decay, the winter dissolution.

In no time or epoch can the Highest be spoken of in words—not in many words, I think, ever.

In our age of down-pulling and disbelief, the very devil has been pulled down; you cannot so much as believe in a devil.

In radiant, all-irradiating insight, a burning interest, and the glorious, melodious, perennial veracity that results from these two, lies the soul of all worth in all speaking men.

In that fire-whirlwind (of the burning of the world-Phœnix), creation and destruction proceed together; ever as the ashes of the old are blown out, do organic filaments of the new mysteriously spin themselves; and amid the rushing and waving of the whirlwind element come tones of a melodious death-song, which end not but in tones of a more melodious birth-song.

In the denial of self is the beginning of all that is truly generous and noble.

In the destitution of the wild desert does our young Ishmael acquire for himself the highest of all possessions, that of self-help.

In the divine commandment, “Thou shalt not steal,” if well understood, is comprised the whole Hebrew decalogue, with Solon’s and Lycurgus’s constitutions, Justinian’s pandects, the Code Napoleon, and all codes, catechisms, divinities, moralities whatsoever that man has devised (and enforced with altar-fire and gallows-ropes) for his social guidance.

In the dullest existence there is a sheen of inspiration or of madness (thou partly hast it in thy choice which of the two) that gleams in from the circumambient eternity, and colours with its own hues our little islet of time.

In the fact that hero-worship exists, has existed, and will for ever exist universally among mankind, mayest thou discern the cornerstone of living rock, whereon all politics for the remotest time may stand secure.

In the godlike only has man strength and freedom.

In the great duel (of opinion), Nature herself is umpire, and does no wrong.

In the grimmest rocky wildernesses of existence there are blessed well-springs, there is an everlasting guiding star.

In the spiritual world, as in the astronomical, it is the earth that turns and produces the phenomena of the heavens.

In these sick days, when the born of heaven first descries himself in a world such as ours, richer than usual in two things, in truths grown obsolete, and trades grown obsolete—what can the fool think but that it is all a den of lies, wherein whoso will not speak lies and act lies must stand idle and despair?

In this wild element of a life, man has to struggle onwards; now fallen, deep-abased; and ever, with tears, repentance, with bleeding heart, he has to rise again, struggle again, still onwards. That his struggle be a faithful, unconquerable one—that is the question of questions.

In this world there is one godlike thing, the essence from first to last of all of godlike in it—the veneration done to human worth by the hearts of men.

Incessant scribbling is death to thought.

Independence, in all kinds, is rebellion; if unjust rebellion, why parade it and everywhere prescribe it.

Independence, in all kinds, is rebellion. Were your superiors worthy to govern, and you worthy to obey, reverence for them were even your only possible freedom.

Infinite is the help man can yield to man.

Infinite pity, yet also infinite rigour of law: it is so Nature is made.

Inmost things are all melodious, naturally utter themselves in song. The meaning of song goes deep.

Intellect is not speaking and logicising; it is seeing and ascertaining.

Is not cant the prima materia of the devil, from which all falsehoods, imbecilities, abominations body themselves, from which no true thing can come?

Is not light greater than fire? It is the same element in a state of purity.

Is not shame the soil of all virtue, of all good manners and good morals?

Is that a wonder which happens in two hours; and does it cease to be wonderful if happening in two millions?

Is the God present, felt in my own heart, a thing which Herr von Voltaire will dispute out of me or dispute into me? To the “worship of sorrow” (Christianity) ascribe what origin and genesis thou pleasest, has not that worship originated and been generated; is it not here? Feel it in thy heart and then say whether it is of God!

Is there no God, then? but at best an absentee God, sitting idle, ever since the first Sabbath, at the outside of His universe, and seeing it go?

Isolation is the sum-total of wretchedness to a man.

It is a man’s sincerity and depth of vision that makes him a poet.

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

It is better to have one’s evil days when one is young than when one is old.

It is character which builds an existence out of circumstance. Our strength is measured by our plastic power.

It is delightful, after wandering in the thick darkness of metaphysics, to behold again the fair face of Truth.

It is easy to screw one’s self up into high and ever higher altitudes of Transcendentalism, and see nothing under one but the everlasting snows of Himalaya, the earth shrinking into a planet, and the indigo firmament sowing itself with daylight stars; but whither does it lead? One dreads always to inanity and mere injuring of the lungs.To Emerson.

It is good for a man to be driven, were it by never such harsh methods, into looking at this great universe with his own eyes, for himself and not for another, and trying to adjust himself truly there.

It is in the soul of man, when reverence, love, intelligence, magnanimity have been developed there, that the Highest can disclose itself face to face in sun-splendour, independent of all cavils and jargonings;—there, of a surety, and nowhere else.

It is in the world that a man, devout or other, has his life to lead, his work waiting to be done.

It is incalculable what by arranging, commanding, and regimenting you can make of men.

It is not because of his toils that I lament for the poor; we must all toil, or steal, which is worse; no faithful workman finds his task a pastime…. But what I do mourn over is that the lamp of his soul should go out; that no ray of heavenly, or even earthly, knowledge should visit him; but only in the haggard darkness, like two spectres, Fear and Indignation bear him company.

It is not possible to buy obedience with money.

It is not thy works, which are all mortal, infinitely little,… but only the spirit thou workest in, that can have worth or continuance.

It is not to taste sweet things, but to do noble and true things, and vindicate himself under God’s heaven as a God-made man, that the poorest son of Adam dimly longs.

It is not want of good fortune, want of happiness, but want of wisdom that man has to dread.

It is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe.

It is the greatest invention man has ever made, this of marking down the unseen thought that is in him by written characters.

It is the property of every hero to come back to reality; to stand upon things, not shows of things.

It is the unseen and spiritual in man that determines the outward and actual.

It is very good to be left alone with the truth sometimes, to hear with all its sternness what it will say to one.

It is wisdom alone that can recognise wisdom.

It were good for a man to have some anchorage deeper than the quicksands of this world; for these drift to and fro so as to baffle all conjecture.

Jesting Pilate, asking, “What is truth?” had not the smallest chance to ascertain it. He could not have known it had a god shown it to him.

Jesus of Nazareth, and the life He lived and the death He died;—through this, as through a miraculous window, the heaven of Martyr Heroism, the “divine depths of sorrow,” of noble labour, and the unspeakable silent expanses of eternity, first in man’s history disclose themselves.

Johnsons are rare; yet, Boswells are perhaps still rarer.

Judgment for an evil thing is many times delayed some day or two, some century or two, but it is sure as life, it is sure as death.

Just hatred of scoundrels, fixed, irreconcilable, inexorable enmity to the enemies of God; this, and not love of them, is the backbone of any religion whatsoever, let alone the Christian.

Justice always is, whether we define or not. Everything done, suffered, or proposed in Parliament, or out of it, is either just or unjust; either is accepted by the gods and eternal facts, or is rejected by them.

Justice and reverence are the everlasting central law of this universe.

Justice and truth alone are capable of being “conserved” and preserved.

Justice is conformity to what the Maker has seen good to make.

Justice must and will be done.

Keep your idea while you can; let it still circulate in your blood, and there fructify; inarticulately inciting you to good activities; giving to your whole spiritual life a ruddier health. And when the time comes for speaking it you will speak it all the more concisely and the more expressively; and if such a time should never come, have you not already acted it and uttered it as no words can?

Know of a truth that only the time-shadows have perished or are perishable; that the real being of whatever was, and whatever is, and whatever will be, is even now and for ever.

Know that the loudest roar of the million is not fame; that the wind bag, are ye mad enough to mount it, will burst, or be shot through with arrows, and your bones too shall act as scarecrows.

Know thy thought—believe it—front heaven and earth with it, in whatsoever words nature and art have made readiest for thee.

Know whom to honour, and emulate, and follow; know whom to dishonour and avoid, and coerce under hatches, as a foul rebellious thing—this is all the Law and all the Prophets.

Know’st thou yesterday, its aim and reason; / Work’st thou well to-day for worthy things; / Calmly wait the morrow’s hidden season; / Need’st not fear what hap soe’er it brings.After Goethe.

Knowledge comes from experience alone.

Labour is life. From the inmost heart of the worker rises his God-given force—the sacred celestial life-essence breathed into him by Almighty God.

Labour, wide as the earth, has its summit in heaven.

Land is the right basis of an aristocracy. No true aristocracy but must possess the land.

Lapidary inscriptions should be historical rather than lyrical.

Large masses of mankind, in every society of our Europe, are no longer capable of living at all by the things which have been.

Laughter is the cipher-key wherewith we decipher the whole man.

Laws are not our life, only the house wherein our life is led; nay, they are but the bare walls of the house; all whose essential furniture, the inventions and traditions and daily habits that regulate and support our existence, are the work not of Dracos and Hampdens, but of Phœnician mariners, of Italian masons, and Saxon metallurgists, of philosophers, alchymists, prophets, and the long-forgotten train of artists and artisans, who from the first have been jointly teaching us how to think and how to act, how to rule over spiritual and physical nature.

Laws, written, if not on stone tables, yet on the azure of infinitude, in the inner heart of God’s creation, certain as life, certain as death, are there, and thou shalt not disobey them.

Learn to be good readers, which is perhaps a more difficult thing than you imagine. Learn to be discriminative in your reading; to read faithfully, and with your best attention, all kinds of things which you have a real interest in—a real, not an imaginary—and which you find to be really fit for what you are engaged in.To students.

Less in rising into lofty abstractions lies the difficulty, than in seeing well and lovingly the complexities of what is at hand.

Let a man do his work; the fruit of it is the care of Another than he.

Let but the mirror be clear, this is the great point; the picture must and will be genuine.

Let him who gropes painfully in darkness or uncertain light, and prays vehemently that the dawn may ripen into day, lay this precept well to heart: “Do the duty which lies nearest thee,” which thou knowest to be a duty! Thy second duty will already have become clearer.

Let him who would move and convince others be first moved and convinced himself. Let a man but speak forth with genuine earnestness the thought, the emotion, the actual condition of his own heart, and other men, so strangely are we all knit together by the tie of sympathy, must and will give heed to him.

Let men know that they are men, created by God, responsible to God, who work in any meanest moment of time what will last through eternity.His version of John Knox’s gospel to the Scotch.

Let no man doubt the omnipotence of nature, doubt the majesty of man’s soul; let no lonely unfriended son of genius despair. If he have the will, the right will, then the power also has not been denied him.

Let the reader have seen before he attempts to oversee.

Let us have the crisis; we shall either have death or the cure.

Let us know what to love, and we shall know also what to reject; what to affirm, and we shall know also what to deny; but it is dangerous to begin with denial and fatal to end with it.

Life everywhere will swallow a man, unless he rise and try vigorously to swallow it.

Life is a little gleam of time between two eternities.

Life is sacred; but there is something more sacred still: woe to him who does not know that withal.

Life is so healthful that it even finds nourishment in death.

Life was never a May-game for men; not play at all, but hard work, that makes the sinews sore and the heart sore.

Light is coming into the world; men love not darkness; they do love light.

Light visits the hearts, as it does the eyes, of all living.

Light, or, failing that, lightning—the world can take its choice.

Like other plants, virtue will not grow unless its root be hidden, buried from the eye of the sun.

Literary men are … a perpetual priesthood.

Literature has other aims than that of harmlessly amusing indolent, languid men.

Literature is fast becoming all in all to us—our church, our senate, our whole social constitution.

Literature is the thought of thinking souls.

Literature positively has other aims than this of amusing from hour to hour; nay, perhaps this, glorious as it may be, is not its highest or true aim.

Literature, when noble, is not easy; only when ignoble. It too is a quarrel and internecine duel with the whole world of darkness that lies without one and within one;—rather a hard fight at times.

Little dew-drops of celestial melody.Of Burns’ songs.

Looking round on the noisy inanity of the world, words with little meaning, actions with little worth, one loves to reflect on the great empire of silence. The noble silent men, scattered here and there each in his department, silently thinking, silently working; whom no morning newspaper makes mention of.

Loud clamour is always more or less insane.

Love is ever the beginning of knowledge, as fire is of light; and works also more in the manner of fire.

Love is not altogether a delirium, yet has it many points in common therewith … I call it rather a discerning of the Infinite in the Finite, of the Idea made Real; which discerning again may be either true or false, either seraphic or demonic, Inspiration or Insanity.

Love not pleasure; love God. This is the everlasting Yea, wherein all contradiction is solved: wherein whoso walks and works, it is well with him.

Love of men cannot be bought by cash payment; and without love men cannot endure to be together.

Love of power, merely to make flunkeys come and go for you, is a love, I should think, which enters only into the minds of persons in a very infantine state.

Love silence rather than speech in these tragic days, when for very speaking the voice of man has fallen inarticulate to man.

Love to make others happy; yes, surely at all times, so far as you can. But at bottom that is not the aim of any life. Do not think that your life means a mere searching in gutters for fallen creatures to wipe and set up…. In our life there is no meaning at all except the work we have done.

Make thy claim of wages for this world, and all worlds, at zero—at nothing; thus, and thus only, hast thou the world at thy feet.

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

Man always worships something; always he sees the infinite shadowed forth in something finite; and indeed can and must so see it in any finite thing, once tempt him well to fix his eyes thereon.

Man carries under his hat a private theatre, wherein a greater drama is acted than ever on the mimic stage, beginning and ending in eternity.

Man ever tends to reckon his own insight as final, and goes upon it as such.

Man everywhere is the born enemy of lies.

Man had not a hammer to begin, not a syllabled articulation; they had it all to make—and they have made it.

Man has a soul as certainly as he has a body; nay, much more certainly; properly it is the course of his unseen spiritual life, which informs and rules his external visible life, rather than receives rule from it, in which spiritual life the true secret of his history lies.

Man has ever been a striving, struggling, and, in spite of wide-spread calumnies to the contrary, a veracious creature.

Man has in his own soul an Eternal; can read something of the Eternal there, if he will look.

Man is a born owl.

Man is a spirit, and bound by invisible bonds to all men.

Man is a tool-using animal;… without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.

Man is actually here, not to ask questions but to do work; in this time, as in all times, it must be the heaviest evil for him if his faculty of action lie dormant, and only that of sceptical inquiry exert itself.

Man is created to fight; he is perhaps best of all definable as a born soldier; his life “a battle and a march” under the right generals.

Man is emphatically a proselytising creature.

Man is first a spirit, bound by invisible bonds to all men; and secondly, he wears clothes, which are the visible emblems of that fact.The two main ideas emphasised in “Sartor.”

Man is for ever the born thrall of certain men, born master of certain other men, born equal of certain others, let him acknowledge the fact or not.

Man is for ever the brother of man.

Man is man everywhere.

Man is of the earth, but his thoughts are with the stars. A pigmy standing on the outward crest of this small planet, his far-reaching spirit stretches outward to the infinite, and there alone finds rest.

Man is properly an incarnated word; the word that he speaks is the man himself.

Man is properly speaking, based upon Hope, he has no other possession but Hope; this world of his is emphatically the Place of Hope.

Man is the Missionary of Order; he is the servant not of the devil and chaos, but of God and the universe.

Man is, and always was, a blockhead and dullard; much readier to feel and digest than to think and consider.

Man lives in Time, has his whole earthly being, endeavour, and destiny shaped for him by Time; only in the transitory Time-symbol is the ever-motionless eternity we stand on made manifest.

Man thereby (by his fantasy as the organ of the godlike), though based to all seeming on the small visible, does nevertheless extend down into the infinite deeps of the Invisible, of which Invisible, indeed, his life is properly the bodying forth.

Man was created to work—not to speculate, or feel, or dream.

Man, though, as Swift has it, “a forked straddling animal with bandy legs,” yet is also a spirit, and unutterable mystery of mysteries.

Man’s gullability is not his worst blessing.

Man’s life and nature is as it was, and as it will ever be.

Man’s life never was a sport to him; it was a stern reality—altogether a serious matter to be alive.

Man’s life now, as of old, is the genuine work of God; wherever there is a man, a God also is revealed, and all that is godlike; a whole epitome of the Infinite, with its meanings, lies enfolded in the life of every man.

Man’s philosophies are usually the “supplement of his practice;” some ornamental logic-varnish, some outer skin of articulate intelligence, with which he strives to render his dumb instinctive doings presentable when they are done.

Man’s spiritual nature is essentially one and indivisible.

Man’s unhappiness, as I construe, comes of his greatness; it is because there is an Infinite in him, which, with all his cunning, he cannot quite bury under the finite.

Man’s walk, like all walking, is a series of falls.

Manhood begins joyfully and hopefully, not when we have made a truce with necessity, or even surrendered to it, but only when we have reconciled ourselves to it, and learned to feel that in necessity we are free.

“Mankind follow their several bell-wethers; and if you hold a stick before the wether, so that he is forced to vault in his passage, the whole flock will do the like when the stick is withdrawn; and the thousandth sheep will be seen vaulting impetuously over air, as the first did over an otherwise impassable barrier.”Quoting Jean Paul.

Manufacture is intelligible but trivial; creation is great and cannot be understood.

Many causes that can plead well for themselves in the courts of Westminster, have yet in the general court of the universe and free soul of man no word to utter.

Many kinds of books are permissible, but there is one kind that is not permissible, the kind that has nothing in it—le genre ennuyeux (the kind that bore you).

Many men, in all ages, have triumphed over death, and led it captive; converting its physical victory into a moral victory for themselves, into a seal and immortal consecration for all that their past life had achieved.

Many so spend their whole term, and in ever-new expectation, ever-new disappointment, shift from enterprise to enterprise, and from side to side, till at length, as exasperated striplings of threescore and ten, they shift into their last enterprise, that of getting buried.

Matter exists only spiritually, and to represent some idea and body it forth.

Matter, were it never so despicable, is spirit, the manifestation of spirit: were it never so honourable, can it be more?

Meditation has taught all men in all ages that this world is after all but a show—a phenomenon or appearance, no real thing.

Meine Herrn, did you never hear of the man that vilified the sun because it would not light his cigar?His challenge to certain canting pietistic depreciators of Goethe.

Men are solitary among each other; no one will help his neighbour; each has even to assume a defensive attitude lest his neighbour should hinder him.

Men are unwiser than children; they do not know the hand that feeds them.

Men cannot live isolated; we are all bound together, for mutual good or else for mutual misery, as living nerves in the same body. No highest man can disunite himself from any lowest.

Men seem to be led by their noses, but in reality it is by their ears.

Men understand not what is among their hands; as calmness is the characteristic of strength, so the weightiest causes may be the most silent.

Men’s hearts ought not to be set against one another, but set with one another, and all against the evil thing only.

Might and right do differ frightfully from hour to hour; but give them centuries to try it in, they are found to be identical.

Mighty events turn on a straw; the crossing of a brook decides the conquest of the world.

Mind is stronger than matter; mind is the creator and shaper of matter; not brute force, but only persuasion and faith is the king of this world.

Mock me not with the name of free, when you have but knit up my chains into ornamental festoons.

Montesquieu, with his cause-and-effect philosophy, is but a clever infant spelling letters from a hieroglyphical prophetic Book, the lexicon of which lies in eternity, in Heaven.

Most potent, effectual for all work whatsoever, is wise planning, firm combining and commanding among men.

Much exists under our very noses which has no name, and can get none.

Much lies among us convulsively, nay, desperately, struggling to be born.

Music is a kind of inarticulate unfathomable speech, which leads us to the edge of the infinite, and lets us for moments gaze into that.

My first and last secret of Art is to get a thorough intelligence of the fact to be painted, represented, or, in whatever way, set forth—the fact deep as Hades, high as heaven, and written so, as to the visual face of it on this poor earth.

Mystic, deep as the world’s centre, are the roots a man has struck into his native soil; no tree that grows is rooted so.

Narrative is linear, but Action, having breadth and depth as well as length, is solid.

National suffering is, if thou wilt understand the words, verily a judgment of God; it has ever been preceded by national crime.

Nature admits no lie.

Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom.

Nature does not make all great men, more than all other men, in the self-same mould.

Nature fashions no creature without implanting in it the strength needful for its action and duration.

Nature is good, but she is not the best.

Nature is not an Aggregate but a Whole.

Nature is rich; those two eggs you ate to breakfast this morning might, if hatched, have peopled the world with poultry.

Nature is still the grand agent in making poets.

Nature owns no man who is not a martyr withal.

Nature, which is the Time-vesture of God, and reveals Him to the wise, hides Him from the foolish.

Near and far do not belong to the eternal world, which is not of space and time.

Neither woman nor man, nor any kind of creature in the universe, was born for the exclusive, or even the chief, purpose of falling in love or being fallen in love with…. Except the zoophytes and coral insects of the Pacific Ocean, I am acquainted with no creature with whom it is the one or grand object.

Never since Aaron’s rod went out of practice, or even before it, was there such a wonder-working tool as a pen; greater than all recorded miracles have been performed by pens.

Never that I could in searching find out, has man been, by time which devours much, deprived of any faculty whatsoever that he in any era was possessed of.

Never till now did young men, and almost children, take such a command in human affairs.

Never yet has it been our fortune to fall in with any man of genius whose conclusions did not correspond better with his premises, and not worse, than those of other men; whose genius, once understood, did not manifest itself in a deeper, fuller, truer view of all things human and divine, than the clearest of your so-called laudable “practical men” had claim to.

New religion! We already, in our dim heads, know truths (of religion) by the thousand; and, yet in our dead hearts, we will not perform them by the ten, by the unit.

Nine-tenths of our critics have told us little more of Shakespeare than what honest Franz Horn says his neighbours used to tell of him, “he was a great spirit, and stept majestically along.”

No age ever seemed the age of Romance to itself.

No atheist denies a divinity, but only some name of a divinity; the God is still present there, working in that benighted heart, were it only as a god of darkness.

No book that will not improve by repeated readings deserves to be read at all.

No chaos can continue chaotic with a soul in it.

No character was ever rightly understood until it had been first regarded with a certain feeling, not of tolerance only, but of sympathy.

No conquest can ever become permanent which does not withal show itself beneficial to the conquered as well as to the conquerors.

No earnest man, in any time, ever spoke what was wholly meaningless.

No ghost was ever seen by two pair of eyes.

No good book or good thing of any sort shows its best face at first; nay, the commonest quality in a true work of art, if its excellence have any depth and compass, is that at first sight it occasions a certain disappointment.

No grand doer in this world can be a copious speaker about his doings.

No great man was ever other than a genuine man.

No honestly exerted force can be utterly lost.

No iron chain, or outward force of any kind, can ever compel the soul of a man to believe or to disbelieve.

No lie you can speak or act, but it will come, after longer or shorter circulation, like a bill drawn on Nature’s reality, and be presented there for payment, with the answer: “No effects.”

No man at bottom means injustice; it is always for some obscure distorted image of a right that he contends.

No man can, for a length of time, be wholly wretched, if there is not a disharmony (a folly and wickedness) within himself; neither can the richest Crœsus, and never so eupeptic, be other than discontented, perplexed, unhappy, if he be a fool.

No man has a right to say to his own generation, turning quite away from it, “Be damned.”To Emerson.

No man has worked, or can work, except religiously.

No man is ever paid for his real work, or should ever expect or demand angrily to be paid; all work properly so called is an appeal from the seen to the unseen—a devout calling upon higher powers; and unless they stand by us, it will not be a work, but a quackery.

No man is justified in resisting by word or deed the authority he lives under for a light cause, be such authority what it may.

No man sees far; the most see no farther than their noses.

No man whatever believes, or can believe, exactly what his grandfather believed.

No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.

No mortal can both work and do good talking in Parliament or out of it; the feat is impossible as that of serving two hostile masters.

No mortal has a right to wag his tongue, much less to wag his pen, without saying something.

No mortal’s endeavour or attainment will, in the smallest, content the as unendeavouring, unattaining young gentleman; but he could make it all infinitely better, were it worthy of him.

No nation can reform itself, as the English are now trying to do, by what their newspapers call “tremendous cheers.” Reform is not joyous, but grievous; no single man can reform himself without stern suffering and stern working; how much less can a nation of men…. Medea, when she made men young again, was wont to hew them in pieces with meat-axes; cast them into caldrons, and boil them for a length of time. How much handier could they have but done it by “tremendous cheers” alone!

No noble task was ever easy.

No nobler feeling than this of admiration for one higher than himself, dwells in the breast of man.

No one shall look for effectual help to another; but each shall rest content with what help he can afford himself.

No pin’s point can you mark within the wide circle of the All where God’s laws are not.

No prayer, no religion, or at least only a dumb and lame one.

No property is eternal but God the Maker’s: Whom Heaven permits to take possession, his is the right; Heaven’s sanction is such permission—while it lasts.

No sadder proof can be given by man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.

No slave’s vote is other than a nuisance, whensoever, or wheresoever, or in what manner soever, it is given.

No smoke, in any sense, but can become flame and radiance.

No truly great man ever founded, wilfully intended founding, a sect.

No violent extreme endures.

No working world, any more than a fighting world, can be led on without a noble chivalry of work, and laws and fixed rules which follow out of that—far nobler than any chivalry of fighting war.

No worth, known or unknown, can die even on this earth.

No: creation, one would think, cannot be easy; your Jove has severe pains and fire-flames in the head out of which an armed Pallas is struggling!

Nobody can find work easy if much work do lie in him.

None but a Goethe, at the sun of earthly happiness, can keep his Phœnix wings unsinged.

Not a Red Indian, hunting by Lake Winnipeg, can quarrel with his squaw, but the whole world must smart for it. Will not the price of beaver rise?

Not brute force, but only persuasion and faith is the king of this world.

Not by levity of floating, but by stubborn force of swimming, shalt thou make thy way. A grand “vis inertiæ” in thee, Mr. Bull.

Not in a man’s having no business with men, but in having no unjust business with them, and in having all manner of true and just business, can either his or their blessedness be found possible, and this waste world become, for both parties, a home and peopled garden.

Not misgovernment, nor yet no government; only government will now serve.

Not one false man but does unaccountable mischief; how much, in a generation or two, will twenty-seven millions, mostly false, manage to accumulate?

Not only all common speech, but science, poetry itself, is no other, if thou consider it, than right naming.

Not only has the unseen world a reality, but the only reality; the rest being, not metaphorically, but literally and in scientific strictness, “a show.”

Not our logical, mensurative faculty, but our imaginative one is king over us; I might say, priest and prophet to lead us heavenward, or magician and wizard to lead us hellward.

Not this man and that man, but all men make up mankind, and their united tasks the task of mankind.

Not to speak your opinion well, but to have a good and just opinion worth speaking; for every Parliament, as for every man, this latter is the point.

Not to talk of thy doing, and become the envy of surrounding flunkeys, but to taste of the fruit of thy doings themselves, is thine.

Not towards the impossibility, self-government of a multitude by a multitude; but towards some possibility, government by the wisest, does bewildered Europe now struggle.

Not what I Have, but what I Do is my Kingdom.

Nothing but ourselves can finally beat us.

Nothing can ferment itself to clearness in a colander.

Nothing dies, nothing can die. No idlest word thou speakest but is a seed cast into time, and grows through all eternity.

Nothing hitherto was ever stranded, cast aside; but all, were it only a withered leaf, works together with all; is borne forward on the bottomless, shoreless flood of action, and lives through perpetual metamorphoses.

Nothing noble or godlike in the world but has in it something of “infinite sadness.”

Nothing not a reality ever yet got men to pay bed and board to it for long.

Nothing so endures as a truly spoken word.

Nothing so lifts a man from all his mean imprisonments, were it but for moments, as true admiration.

Nothing which is unjust can hope to continue in this world.

Nothing, or almost nothing, is certain to me, except the Divine Infernal character of this universe I live in, worthy of horror, worthy of worship.

Novels are tales of adventures which did not occur in God’s creation, but only in the waste chambers (to be let unfurnished) of certain human heads, and which are part and parcel only of the sum of nothings; which, nevertheless, obtain some temporary remembrance, and lodge extensively at this epoch of the world in similar, still more unfurnished, chambers.

O foulest Circæan draught! thou poison of popular applause; madness is in thee, and death; thy end is bedlam and the grave.

O Nature! Ha! why do I not name thee God? Art thou not the “living garment of God?” O Heavens! is it, in very deed, He then that ever speaks through thee; that lives and loves in thee, that lives and loves in me?

O ye loved ones, that already sleep in the noiseless Bed of Rest, whom in life I could only weep for and never help; and ye who, wide-scattered, still toil lonely in the monster-bearing desert, dyeing the flinty ground with your blood,—yet a little while, and we shall all meet There, and our Mother’s bosom will screen us all; and Oppression’s harness, and Sorrow’s fire-whip, and all the Gehenna bailiffs that patrol and inhabit ever-vexed Time, cannot thenceforth harm us any more.

Obedience is our universal duty and destiny; wherein whoso will not bend must break.

Oblivion is the dark page whereon memory writes her light-beam characters and makes them legible; were it all light, nothing could be read there, any more than if it were all darkness.

Of all rights of man the right of the ignorant man to be guided by the wiser, to be gently or forcibly held in the true course by him, is the indisputablest.

Of God’s light I was not utterly bereft, if my as yet sealed eyes, with their unspeakable longing, could nowhere see Him; nevertheless in my heart He was present, and His heaven-written law still stood legible and sacred there.

Of its own unity, the soul gives unity to whatso it looks on with love.

Of the eyes that men do glare withal, so few can see.

Of unwise admiration much may be hoped, for much good is really in it; but unwise contempt is itself a negation; nothing comes of it, for it is nothing.

Old age is not in itself matter for sorrow. It is matter for thanks if we have left our work done behind us.To his mother.

Old long-vexed questions, not yet solved in logical words or parliamentary laws, are fast solving themselves in facts, somewhat unblessed to behold.

Oliver Cromwell, dead two hundred years ago, does yet speak; nay, perhaps, now first begins to speak.

On the beaten road there is tolerable travelling; but it is sore work, and many have to perish, fashioning a way through the impassable.

Once sufficiently enforce the eighth commandment, the whole “rights of man” are well cared for; I know no better definition of the rights of man: “Thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not be stolen from.” What a society were that! Plato’s Republic, More’s Utopia mere emblems of it.

One Bible I know, of whose plenary inspiration doubt is not so much as possible; nay, with my own eyes I saw the God’s hand writing it; whereof all other Bibles are but leaves, say, in picture-writing, to assist the weaker faculty.

One does not love the heaven’s lightning (seen in a great man) in the way of caresses altogether.

One is scarcely sensible of fatigue whilst he marches to music.

One life—a little gleam of time between two eternities.

One man that has a higher wisdom in him is not stronger than ten men, or than ten thousand, but than all men that have it not.

One monster there is in this world: the idle man.

“One thing above all others,” says Goethe, “I have never thought about thinking.” What a thrift of thinking-faculty there; thrift almost of itself equal to a fortune in these days.

One who has nothing to admire, nothing to love, except his own poor self, may be reckoned a completed character; (but) he is in the minimum state of moral perfection—no more can be made of him.

Only in looking heavenward, take it in what sense you may, not in looking earthward, does what we call union, mutual love, society, begin to be possible.

Only the man of worth can recognise worth in men.

Only what of the past was true will come back to us; that is the one asbestos that survives all fire.

Opinion rules the world.

Order is truth, each thing standing on the basis that belongs to it.

Originality is a thing we constantly clamour for and constantly quarrel with, as if any, observes Jean Paul, but our own could be expected to content us.

Our age is really up to nothing better than sweeping out the gutters—a scavenger age. Might it but do that well! It is the indispensable beginning of all.

Our clock strikes when there is a change from hour to hour; but no hammer in the Horologe of Time peals through the universe when there is a change from era to era.

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

Our greatest, being also by nature our quietest, are perhaps those that remain unknown.

Our life is compassed round with necessity; yet is the meaning of life itself no other than freedom, than voluntary force.

Our life is not a mutual helpfulness; but rather, cloaked under due laws of war, named “fair competition,” and so forth, it is a mutual hostility.

Our peasant (Burns) showed himself among us, “a soul like an Æolian harp, in whose strings the vulgar wind, as it passed through them, changed itself into articulate melody.”

Our spiritual maladies are but of opinion; we are but fettered by chains of our own forging, and which ourselves also can rend asunder.

Our whole terrestrial being is based on Time and built of Time; it is wholly a movement, a Time-impulse; Time is the author of it, the material of it.

Out of Evil comes Good; and no Good that is possible but shall one day be real.

Outward religion originates by society; society becomes possible by religion.

Over the Time thou hast no power; solely over one man therein hast thou a quite absolute, uncontrollable power; him redeem, him make honest.

Painful for man is rebellious independence when it has become inevitable; only in loving companionship with his fellows does he feel safe; only in reverently bowing down before the Higher does he feel himself exalted.

Patronage, that is, pecuniary or other economic furtherance, has been pronounced to be twice cursed, cursing him that gives and him that takes.

Pauperism is our social sin grown manifest.

Pauperism is the general leakage through every joint of the ship that is rotten.

People that will crowd about bonfires may, sometimes very fairly, get their beards singed; it is the price they pay for such illumination; natural twilight is safe and free to all.

Permanence is what I advocate in all human relations; nomadism, continual change, is prohibitory of any good whatsoever.

Permanence, perseverance, persistence in spite of hindrances, discouragements, and “impossibilities:” it is this that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak; the civilised burgher from the nomadic savage—the species Man from the genus Ape.

Permanence, persistence, is the first condition of all fruitfulness in the ways of men.

Phaeton was his father’s heir; born to attain the highest fortune without earning it; he had built no sun-chariot (could not build the simplest wheel-barrow), but could and would insist on driving one; and so broke his own stiff neck, sent gig and horses spinning through infinite space, and set the universe on fire.

Philosophy and theology are become theorem, brain-web and shadow, wherein no earnest soul can find solidity for itself. Shadow, I say; yet shadow projected from an everlasting reality within ourselves. Quit the shadow, seek the reality.To John Sterling.

Philosophy dwells aloft in the Temple of Science, the divinity of its inmost shrine; her dictates descend among men, but she herself descends not; whoso would behold her must climb with long and laborious effort, nay, still linger in the forecourt, till manifold trial have proved him worthy of admission into the interior solemnities.

Philosophy is but a continual battle against custom; an ever-renewed effort to transcend the sphere of blind custom, and so become transcendental.

Pin thy faith to no man’s sleeve; hast thou not two eyes of thy own?

Poems that are great, books that are great, all of them, if you search the first foundation of their greatness, have been veridical, the truest they could get to be.

Poetry is an attempt man makes to render his existence harmonious.

Poetry is inspiration; has in it a certain spirituality and divinity which no dissecting knife will discover; arises in the most secret and most sacred region of man’s soul, as it were in our Holy of Holies; and as for external things, depends only on such as can operate in that region; among which it will be found that Acts of Parliament and the state of Smithfield Markets nowise play the chief parts.

Poetry is musical thought, thought of a mind that has penetrated into the inmost heart of a thing, detected the melody that lies hidden in it,… the heart of Nature being everywhere music, if you can only reach it.

Poetry, were it the rudest, so it be sincere, is the attempt which man makes to render his existence harmonious, the utmost he can do for that end; it springs therefore from his whole feelings, opinions, activity, and takes its character from these. It may be called the music of the whole inner being.

Poets of old date, being privileged with senses, had also enjoyed external Nature; but chiefly as we enjoy the crystal cup which holds good or bad liquor for us; that is to say, in silence, or with slight incidental commentary; never, as I compute, till after the “Sorrows of Werter” was there man found who would say: Come, let us make a description: Having drunk the liquor, Come, let us eat the glass.

Poor, wandering, wayward man! Art thou not tired, and beaten with stripes, even as I am? Ever, whether thou bear the royal mantle or the beggar’s gaberdine, art thou so weary, so heavy-laden; and thy bed of rest is but a grave.

Popular opinion is the greatest lie in the world.

Popularity is a blaze of illumination, or alas! of conflagration, kindled round a man; showing what is in him; not putting the smallest item more into him; often abstracting much from him; conflagrating the poor man himself into ashes and “caput mortuum.”

Poverty, incessant drudgery, and much worse evils, it has often been the lot of poets and wise men to strive with, and their glory to conquer.

Practically men have come to imagine that the laws of this universe, like the laws of constitutional countries, are decided by voting; that it is all a study of division-lists, and for the universe too depends a little on the activity of the whippers-in.

Prayer is a turning of one’s soul, in heroic reverence, in infinite desire and endeavour, towards the Highest, the All-excellent, Supreme.In a letter to a young friend.

Prayer is the aspiration of our poor, struggling, heavy-laden soul towards its Eternal Father, and, with or without words, ought not to become impossible, nor need it ever. Loyal sons and subjects can approach the King’s throne who have no “request” to make there except that they may continue loyal.In a letter to a young friend.

Prejudice, which he pretends to hate, is man’s absolute lawgiver; mere use-and-wont everywhere leads him by the nose: thus let but a rising of the sun, let but a creation of the world happen twice, and it ceases to be marvellous, to be noteworthy or noticeable.

Priesthoods that do not teach, aristocracies that do not govern; the misery of that, and the misery of altering that, are written in Belshazzar fire-letters on the history of France.

Probably imposture is of a sanative, anodyne nature, and man’s gullibility not his worst blessing.

Probably men were never born demigods in any century, but precisely god-devils as we see; certain of whom do become a kind of demigods.

Proof of a God? A probable God! The smallest of finites struggling to prove to itself … and include within itself, the Highest Infinite, in which, by hypothesis, it lives and moves and has its being! Man, reduced to wander about, in stooping posture, with painfully-constructed sulphur-match, and farthing rushlight, or smoky tar-link, searching for the sun.

Properly speaking, the land belongs to these two: to the Almighty God and to all His children of men that have ever worked well on it, or shall ever work well on it.

Properly thou hast no other knowledge but what thou hast got by working.

Property there is among us valuable to the auctioneer; but the accumulated manufacturing, commercial, economic skill which lies impalpably warehoused in English hands and heads, what auctioneer can estimate?

Property, O brother? Of my body I have but a life-rent…. But my soul, breathed into me by God, my Me, and what capability is there, I call that mine and not thine. I will keep that, and do what work I can with it; God has given it me; the devil shall not take it away.

Prophecy, not poetry, is the thing wanted in these days. How can we sing and paint when we do not yet believe and see?

Protestantism is a revolt against false sovereigns; the painful but indispensable first preparation for true sovereigns getting place among us.

Pshaw! what is this little dog-cage of an earth? what art thou that sittest whining there? Thou art still nothing, nobody; true, but who then is something, somebody?

Putting out the natural eye of one’s mind to see better with a telescope.

Rare benevolence, the minister of God.

Reality, if rightly interpreted, is grander than fiction; nay, it is in the right interpretation of reality and history that poetry consists.

Reform is not joyous but grievous; no single man can reform himself without stern suffering and stern working; how much less can a nation of men.

Reform, like charity, must begin at home. Once well at home, how will it radiate outwards, irrepressible, into all that we touch and handle, speak and work; kindling ever new light by incalculable contagion; spreading, in geometric ratio, far and wide; doing good only, wherever it spreads, and not evil.

Religion is again here, for whoever will piously struggle upward, and sacredly, sorrowfully refuse to speak lies, which indeed will mostly mean refuse to speak at all on that topic.

Religion is an everlasting lodestar, that beams the brighter in the heavens the darker here on earth grows the night.

Religion is not a doubt, but a certainty,—or else a mockery and horror.

Religion, poetry, is not dead; it will never die. Its dwelling and birthplace is in the soul of man, and it is eternal as the being of man. In any point of space, in any section of time, let there be a living man; and there is an infinitude above him and beneath him, and an eternity encompasses him on this hand and on that; and tones of sphere-music and tidings from loftier worlds will flit round him, if he can but listen, and visit him with holy influences, even in the thickest press of trivialities or the din of busiest life.

Rest is for the dead.

Reverence for human worth, earnest devout search for it, and encouragement of it, loyal furtherance and obedience to it, is the outcome and essence of all true religions, and was and ever will be.

Rhyme that had no inward necessity to be rhymed; it ought to have told us plainly, without any jingle, what it was aiming at.

Ridicule intrinsically is a small faculty; we may say, the smallest of all faculties that other men are at the pains to repay with any esteem. It is directly opposed to thought, to knowledge, properly so called; its nourishment and essence is denial, which hovers on the surface, while knowledge dwells far below.

Roads are many; authentic finger-posts are few.

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

Scarcely anything is perfectly plain but what is also perfectly common.

Scepticism is not an end but a beginning, is as the decay of old ways of believing, the preparation afar off for new, wider, and better.

Scepticism means not intellectual doubt alone, but moral doubt; all sorts of infidelity, insincerity, and spiritual paralysis.

Scepticism writing about belief may have great gifts; but it is really ultra vires there. It is blindness laying down the laws of optics.

Science has done much for us; but it is a poor science that would hide from us the great deep sacred infinitude of Nescience, on which all science swims as a mere superficial film.

Science must have originated in the feeling of something being wrong.

Secrecy is the element of all goodness; even virtue, even beauty is mysterious.

See deep enough, and you see musically; the heart of Nature being everywhere music, if you can only reach it.

Seeking for a God there, and not here; everywhere outwardly in physical nature, and not inwardly in our own soul, where He alone is to be found by us, begins to get wearisome.

Seldom is a life wholly wrecked but the cause lies in some internal mal-arrangement, some want less of good fortune than of good guidance.

Sense can support herself handsomely, in most countries, for some eighteenpence a day; but for fantasy planets and solar systems will not suffice.

Shakespeare does not look at a thing merely, but into it, through it, so that he constructively comprehends it, can take it asunder and put it together again; the thing melts, as it were, into light under his eye, and anew creates itself before him.

Shakespeare is no sectarian; to all he deals with equity and mercy; because he knows all, and his heart is wide enough for all. In his mind the world is a whole; he figures it as Providence governs it; and to him it is not strange that the sun should be caused to shine on the evil and the good, and the rain to fall on the just and the unjust.

Shakespeare is the greatest intellect who, in our recorded world, has left record of himself in the way of literature. I know not such power of vision, such faculty of thought in any other man, such calmness of depth; placid joyous strength; all things imaged in that great soul of his so true and clear, as in a tranquil unfathomable sea. A perfectly level mirror, that is to say withal, a man justly related to all things and men, a good man.

Shakespeare says we are creatures that look before and after; the more surprising that we do not look round a little and see what is passing under our very eyes.

Shakespeare, the finest human figure, as I apprehend, that Nature has hitherto seen fit to make out of our widely-diffused Teutonic clay. I find no human soul so beautiful, these fifteen hundred known years—our supreme modern European man.

Show me the man you honour; I know by that symptom, better than by any other, what kind of man you yourself are. For you show me there what your ideal of manhood is; what kind of man you long inexpressibly to be, and would thank the gods, with your whole soul, for being if you could.

Show the dullest clodpole, show the haughtiest featherhead, that a soul higher than himself is actually here; were his knees stiffened into brass, he must down and worship.

Shrouded in baleful vapours, the genius of Burns was never seen in clear, azure splendour, enlightening the world; but some beams from it did, by fits, pierce through; and tinted those clouds with rainbow and orient colours into a glory and stern grandeur which men silently gazed on with wonder and tears.

Silence is deep as eternity; speech is shallow as time.

Silence is more eloquent than words.

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of life, which they are thenceforth to rule.

Silence is the eternal duty of man. He won’t get to any real understanding of what is complex, and what is more than any other pertinent to his interests, without maintaining silence.

Silence, silence; and be distant, ye profane, with your jargonings and superficial babblements, when a man has anything to do.

Sincere wise speech (even) is but an imperfect corollary, and insignificant outer manifestation of sincere wise thought.

Sincerity, a deep, great, genuine sincerity, is the first characteristic of all men in any way heroic.

Slave or free is settled in heaven for a man.

Small is it that thou canst trample the earth with its injuries under thy foot, as old Greek Zeno trained thee: thou canst love the earth while it injures thee, and even because it injures thee; for this a Greater than Zeno was needed, and he too was sent.

Small thanks to the man for keeping his hands clean who would not touch the work but with gloves on.

Smallest of mortals, when mounted aloft by circumstances, come to seem great, smallest of phenomena connected with them are treated as important, and must be sedulously scanned, and commented on with loud emphasis.

So long as any Ideal (any soul of truth) does, in never so confused a manner, exist and work within the Actual, it is a tolerable business. Not so when the Ideal has wholly departed, and the Actual owns to no soul of truth any longer.

So magnificent a thing is Will incarnated in a creature of like fashion with ourselves, that we run to witness all manifestations thereof.

So spiritual (gristig) is our whole daily life; all that we do springs out of mystery, spirit, invisible force; only like a little cloud-image, or Armida’s palace, air-built, does the actual body itself forth from the great mystic deep.

So, here hath been dawning / Another blue day; / Think wilt thou let it / Slip useless away. / Out of Eternity / This new day is born; / Into Eternity / At night doth return. / Behold it aforetime / No eye ever did: / So soon it for ever / From all eyes is hid. / Here hath been dawning, &c.On To-day.

Society does not in any age prevent a man from being what he can be.

Society has always under one or the other figure two authentic revelations, of a God and of a devil.

Society is founded upon cloth.

Society is the standing wonder of pur existence; a true region of the supernatural; as it were, a second all-embracing life, wherein our first individual life becomes doubly and trebly alive, and whatever of infinitude was in us bodies itself forth, and becomes visible and active.

Song is the heroic of speech.

Sorrow has not been given us for sorrow’s sake, but always as a lesson from which we are to learn somewhat, which once learned, it ceases to be sorrow.

Sorrow is an enemy, but it carries a friend’s message within it too. All life is as death; and the tree Igdrasil, which reaches up to heaven, goes down to the kingdom of hell; and God, the Everlasting Good and Just, is in it all.

Speak not at all till you have somewhat to speak; and care simply and with undivided mind for the truth of your speaking.

Speak your sincerest, think your wisest; there is still a great gulf between you and the fact.

Speculation should have free course and look fearlessly towards all the thirty-two points of the compass, whithersoever and howsoever it listeth.

Speech is too often, not the art of concealing thought, but of quite stifling or suspending thought, so that there is none to conceal.

Speech that leads not to action, still more that hinders it, is a nuisance on the earth.

Speech, even the commonest, has something of song in it.

Spiritual music can only spring from discords set in unison; but for evil there were no good, as victory is only possible by battle.

Stars look down upon me with pity from their serene and silent places, like eyes glistening with tears over the little lot of man. 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!

States are to be called happy and noble in so far as they settle rightly who is slave and who free.

Stern accuracy in inquiring, bold imagination in expounding and filling up, these are the two pinions on which history soars—or flutters and wabbles.

Strange trade that of advocacy. Your intellect, your highest heavenly gift, hung up in the shop window like a loaded pistol for sale; will either blow out a pestilent scoundrel’s brains, or the scoundrel’s salutary sheriff’s officer’s (in a sense), as you please to choose, for your guinea.

Sublimer in this world know I nothing than a peasant saint, one that must toil outwardly for the lowest of man’s wants, also toiling inwardly for the highest. Such a one will carry thee back to Nazareth itself.

Success? If the thing is unjust, thou hast not succeeded.

Sudden tumultuous popularity comes more from partial delirium on both sides than from clear insight, and is of evil omen to all concerned with it.

Sunrise is often lovelier than noon.

Superstition is in its death-lair; the last agonies may endure for decades or for centuries; but it carries the iron in its heart, and will not vex the earth any more.

Superstition is passing away without return. Religion cannot pass away. The burning of a little straw may hide the stars in the sky; but the stars are there, and will re-appear.

Superstition! that horrid incubus which dwelt in darkness, shunning the light, with all its racks, and poison chalices, and foul sleeping draughts, is passing away without return.

Talent for literature, thou hast such a talent? Believe it not, be slow to believe it! To speak or to write, Nature did not peremptorily order thee; but to work she did.

Talk that does not end in action is better suppressed altogether.

Talk, except as the preparation for work, is worth almost nothing; sometimes it is worth infinitely less than nothing; and becomes, little conscious of playing such a fatal part, the general summary of pretentious nothingnesses, and the chief of all the curses the posterity of Adam are liable to in this sublunary world.

Taste, if it mean anything but a paltry connoisseurship, must mean a general susceptibility to truth and nobleness; a sense to discern and a heart to love and reverence all beauty, order, goodness, wheresoever found and in whatsoever form and accompaniment.

That cutting up, and parcelling, and labelling, of the indivisible human soul into what are called “faculties,” I have from of old eschewed, and even hated.

That great mystery of time, were there no other; the illimitable, silent, never-resting thing called “time,” rolling, rushing on, swift, silent, like an all-embracing ocean-tide, on which we and all the universe swim like exhalations, like apparitions which are and then are not—this is for ever very literally a miracle, a thing to strike us dumb; for we have no word to speak about it.

That one man should die ignorant who had capacity for knowledge, this I call tragedy.

That warrior on his strong war-horse, fire flashes through his eyes; force dwells in his arm and heart; but warrior and war-horse are a vision; a revealed force, nothing more. Stately they tread the earth, as if it were firm substance. Fool! the earth is but a film; it cracks in twain, and warrior and war-horse sink beyond plummet’s sounding.

That we should find our national existence depend on selling manufactured cotton at a farthing an ell cheaper than any other people, is a most narrow stand for a great nation to base itself on.

That wretchedness which fate has rendered voiceless and tuneless is not the least wretched, but the most.

The “Iliad” of Homer is no fiction, but a ballad history, the heart of it burning with enthusiastic, ill-informed belief.

The “rights” of men in any form are not worth discussing; the grand point is the “mights” of men—what portion of their “rights” they have a chance of getting sorted out and realised in this confused world.

The “seventeenth” century is worthless to us except precisely in so far as it can be made the “nineteenth.”

The “State in danger” is a condition of things which we have witnessed a hundred times; and as for the Church, it has seldom been out of “danger” since we can remember it.

The abiding city and post at which we can live and die is still ahead of us, it would appear.

The actual well seen is the ideal.

The age of curiosity, like that of chivalry, is ended, properly speaking, gone. Yet perhaps only gone to sleep.

The age of miracles past! The age of miracles is for ever here.

The arch-enemy is the arch-stupid.

The astonishing intellect that occupies itself in splitting hairs, and not in twisting some kind of cordage and effectual draught tackle to take the road with, is not to me the most astonishing of intellects. I want twisted cordage, steady pulling, and a peaceable base tone of voice; not split hairs, hysterical spasmodics, and treble.

The attainment of a truer and truer aristocracy, or government again by the Best,—all that democracy ever meant lies there.

The barrenest of mortals is the sentimentalist.

The battle of belief against unbelief is the never-ending battle.

The beginning of creation (in man’s soul as in Nature) is light. Till the eye have vision, the whole members are in bonds.

The beginning of inquiry is disease.

The beginning of wisdom is to look fixedly on clothes (i.e., symbols), till they become transparent.

The benevolent person is always by preference busy on the essentially bad.

The best effect of any book is that it excites the reader to self-activity.

The Bible of a nation, the practically credited God’s message to a nation, is, beyond all else, the authentic biography of its heroic souls. This is the real record of the appearances of God in the history of a nation; this, which all men to the marrow of their bones can believe, and which teaches all men what the nature of this universe, when you go to work in it, really is.

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 bough that is dead shall be cut away for the sake of the tree itself. Let the Conservatism that would preserve the tree, cut it away.

The British nation—and I include in it the Scottish nation—has produced a finer set of men than you will find it possible to get anywhere else in this world.

The burning of a little straw may hide the stars of the sky; but the stars are there, and will reappear.

The centuries are all lineal children of one another; and often, in the portrait of early grandfathers, this and the other enigmatic feature of the newest grandson will disclose itself, to mutual elucidation.

The Christian doctrine, that doctrine of Humility, in all senses godlike, and the parent of all godlike virtue, is not superior, or inferior, or equal to any doctrine of Socrates or Thales, being of a totally different nature; differing from these as a perfect ideal poem does from a correct computation in arithmetic.

The Christian religion, once here, cannot again pass away; in one or the other form, it will endure through all time. As in Scripture, so also in the heart of man, it is written, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

The Christianity that cannot get on without a minimum of four thousand five hundred, will give place to something better that can.

The Church is the working recognised union of those who by wise teaching guide the souls of men.

The Church! Touching the earth with one small point (the event, viz., at Bethlehem of the year one); springing out of one small seed-grain, rising out therefrom, ever higher, ever broader, high as the heaven itself, broad till it overshadow the whole visible heaven and earth, and no star can be seen but through it. From such a seed-grain so has it grown; planted in the reverences and sacred opulences of the soul of mankind; fed continually by all the noblenesses of forty generations of man. The world-tree of the nations for so long!

The civilised man lives not in wheeled houses. He builds stone castles, plants lands, makes life-long marriage contracts; has long-dated, hundred-fold possessions, not to be valued in the money-market; has pedigrees, libraries, law-codes; has memories and hopes, even for this earth, that reach over thousands of years.

The condition of the great body of the people in a country is the condition of the country itself.

The country where the entire people is, or even once has been, laid hold of, filled to the heart with an infinite religious idea, has “made a step from which it cannot retrograde.”

The courage that dares only die is on the whole no sublime affair…. The courage we desire and prize is not the courage to die decently, but to live manfully.

The course of Nature’s phases, on this our little fraction of a planet, is partially known to us; but who knows what deeper courses these depend on; what infinitely larger cycle (of causes) our little epicycle revolves on?

The course of scoundrelism, any more than that of true love, never did run smooth.

The curtains of yesterday drop down, the curtains of to-morrow roll up; but yesterday and to-morrow both are. Pierce into the Time-element, glance into the Eternal.

The cut (of the vesture) betokens intellect and talent, so does the colour betoken temper and heart.

The dead letter of religion must own itself dead, and drop piecemeal into dust, if the living spirit of religion, freed from its charnel-house, is to arise on us, new born of Heaven, and with new healing under its wings.

The delight of the destroyer and denier is no pure delight, and must soon pass away.

The depth of our despair measures what capability and height of claim we have to hope.

The devil has his elect.

The difference between Socrates and Jesus? The great Conscious; the immeasurably great Unconscious.

The dome of St. Peter’s is great, yet is it but a foolish chip of an egg-shell compared with that star-fretted dome where Arcturus and Orion glance for ever, which latter, notwithstanding, no one looks at—because the architect was not a man.

The doom of the old has long been pronounced and irrevocable; the old has passed away; but, alas! the new appears not in its stead; the time is still in pangs of travail with the new. Man has walked by the light of conflagrations, and amid the sound of falling cities; and now there is darkness, and long watching till it be morning.(In 1831.)

The dust of controversy is but the falsehood flying off.

The dwarf behind his steam-engine may remove mountains, but no dwarf will hew them down with the pickaxe; and he must be a Titan that hurls them abroad with his arms.

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

The errors of a wise man are literally more instructive than the truths of a fool. For the wise man travels in lofty, far-seeing regions; the fool in low-lying, high-fenced lanes; retracing the footsteps of the former, to discover where he deviated, whole provinces of the universe are laid open to us; in the path of the latter, granting even that he have not deviated at all, little is laid open to us but two wheel-ruts and two hedges.

The essence of affectation is that it be assumed; the character is, as it were, forcibly crushed into some foreign mould, in the hope of being thereby re-shaped and beautified; and the unhappy man persuades himself he has become a new creature of wonderful symmetry, though every movement betrays not symmetry, but dislocation.

The essence of all religion that was, and that will be, is to make men free.

The essence of humour is sensibility, warm, tender, fellow-feeling with all forms of existence; and unless seasoned and purified by humour, sensibility is apt to run wild, will readily corrupt into disease, falsehood, or, in one word, sentimentality.

The Eternal is no simulacrum; God is not only there, but here or nowhere,—in that life-breath of thine, in that act and thought of thine,—and thou wert wise to look to it.

The eternal stars shine out again, as soon as it is dark enough.

The express schoolmaster is not equal to much at present, while the unexpress, for good or for evil, is so busy with a poor little fellow.

The faith in an Invisible, Unnameable, Godlike, present everywhere in all we see and work and suffer, is the essence of all faith whatsoever; and that once denied, or, still worse, asserted with lips only, and out of bound prayer-books only, what other thing remains credible?

The fatal man, is he not always the unthinking, the man who cannot think and see?

The fearful unbelief is unbelief in yourself.

The finding of your able man, and getting him invested with the symbols of ability, is the business, well or ill accomplished, of all social procedure whatsoever in the world.

The finest nations in the world—the English and the American—are going all away into wind and tongue.

The first duty of a man is that of subduing fear; he must get rid of fear; he cannot act at all till then; his acts are slavish, not true.

“The first love, which is infinite,” can be followed by no second like it.

The first problem (in life) is to unite yourself with some one and with somewhat.

The first sin in our universe was Lucifer’s, that of self-conceit.

The first spiritual want of a barbarous man is decoration, as indeed we still see among the barbarous classes in civilised countries.

The fraction of life can be increased in value not so much by increasing your numerator as by lessening your denominator. Nay, unless my algebra deceives me, unity itself divided by zero will give infinity.

The free man is he who is loyal to the laws of this universe; who in his heart sees and knows that injustice cannot befall him here; that, except by sloth and cowardly falsity, evil is not possible here.

The future epic of the world rests not with those near dead, but with those that are alive, and those that are coming into life.

The genuine use of gunpowder I hold to be that it makes all men alike tall.

The gifted man is he who sees the essential point and leaves aside all the rest as surplusage.

The gods are long-suffering; but the law from the beginning was, He that will not work shall perish from the earth; and the patience of the gods has limits.

The governing class, who should be working at an ark of deliverance for themselves and us while the hours still are, do nothing but complain, “We cannot get our hands kept rightly warm,” and sit obstinately burning the planks.

The graceful minuet-dance of fancy must give place to the toilsome, thorny pilgrimage of understanding.On the transition from the age of romance to that of science.

The grand encourager of Delphic and other noises is the echo.

The great event for the world is, now as always, the arrival in it of a new wise man.

The great man does, in good truth, belong to his own age; nay, more so than any other man; being properly the synopsis and epitome of such age with its interests and influences; but belongs likewise to all ages, otherwise he is not great.

The great portion of labour is not skilled; the millions are and must be skilless, where strength alone is wanted.

The great school for learning is the brain itself of the learner.

The great soul of the world is just. There is justice here below; at bottom there is nothing else but justice.

The great spirits that have gone before us can survive only as disembodied voices.

The great world-revolutions send in their disturbing billows to the remotest creek, and the overthrow of thrones more slowly overturns also the households of the lowly.

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

The healthy know not of their health, but only the sick.

The healthy understanding is not the logical argumentative, but the intuitive; for the end of understanding is not to prove and find reasons, but to know and believe.

The heart always sees before the head can see.

The heavens and the earth are but the time-vesture of the Eternal.

The Hebrew Bible, is it not, before all things, true, as no other book ever was or will be?

The hell of these days is the infinite terror of Not getting on, especially of Not making money.

The heroic heart, the seeing eye, of the first times, still feels and sees in us of the latest.

The higher enthusiasm of man’s nature is for the while without exponent; yet does it continue indestructible, unweariedly active, and work blindly in the great chaotic deep. Thus sect after sect, and church after church, bodies itself forth, and melts again into new metamorphosis.

The higher the wisdom, the closer its neighbourhood and kinship with mere insanity.

The highest exercise of invention has nothing to do with fiction; but is an invention of new truth, what we can call a revelation.

The highest man of us is born brother to his contemporaries; struggle as he may, there is no escaping the family likeness.

The highest melody dwells only in silence—the sphere melody, the melody of health.

The history of the Church is a history of the invisible as well as of the visible Church; which latter, if disjoined from the former, is but a vacant edifice; gilded, it may be, and overhung with old votive gifts, yet useless, nay, pestilentially unclean; to write whose history is less important than to forward its downfall.

The hour of all windbags does arrive; every windbag is at length ripped and collapses.

The human creature needs first of all to be educated, not that he may speak, but that he may have something weighty and valuable to say.

The idea you have once spoken, if even it were an idea, is no longer yours; it is gone from you, so much life and virtue is gone, and the vital circulations of yourself and your destiny and activity are henceforth deprived of it.

The Ideal always has to grow in the Real, and to seek out its bed and board there in a very sorry way.

The indignation which makes verses is, properly speaking, an inverted love; the love of some right, some worth, some goodness, belonging to ourselves or others, which has been injured, and which this tempestuous feeling issues forth to defend and revenge.

The infinite is more sure than any other fact. The infinite of terror, of hope, of pity; did it not at any moment disclose itself to thee, indubitable, unnameable? Came it never, like the gleam of preternatural eternal oceans, like the voice of old eternities, far-sounding through thy heart of hearts?

The inventor of a spinning-jenny is pretty sure of his reward in his own day; but the writer of a true poem, like the apostle of a true religion, is nearly as sure of the contrary.

The invisible world is near us; or rather it is here, in us and about us; were the fleshly coil removed from our soul, the glories of the unseen were even now around us; as the ancients fabled of the spheral music.

The kind of speech in a man betokens the kind of action you will get from him.

The land is mother of us all; nourishes, shelters, gladdens, lovingly enriches us all; in how many ways, from our first wakening to our last sleep on her blessed mother-bosom, does she, as with blessed mother’s arms, enfold us all!

The land, properly speaking, belongs to these two: to the Almighty God; and to all his children of men that have ever worked well on it, or that shall ever work well on it.

The last pale rim or sickle of the moon, which had once been full, now sinking in the dark seas.By the bedside of his dying mother.

The last stage of human perversion is when sympathy corrupts itself into envy; and the indestructible interest we take in men’s doings has become a joy over their faults and misfortunes.

The law of perseverance is among the deepest in man; by nature he hates change; seldom will he quit his old house till it has actually fallen about his ears.

The leafy blossoming present time springs from the whole past, remembered and unrememberable.

The life of all gods figures itself to us as a sublime sadness,—earnestness of infinite battle against infinite labour.

The life of every man is as the well-spring of a stream, whose small beginnings are indeed plain to all, but whose ulterior course and destination, as it winds through the expanses of infinite years, only the omniscient can discern.

The light (which you refuse to take in) returns on you, condensed into lightning, which there is not any skin whatever too thick for taking in.

The longest life is scarcely longer than the shortest, if we think of the eternity that encircles both.

The man (Napoleon) was a divine missionary, though unconscious of it; and preached, through the cannon’s throat, that great doctrine, “La carrière ouverte aux talens,” “The tools to him that can handle them,” which is our ultimate political evangel, wherein alone can liberty lie.

The man makes the circumstances, and is spiritually as well as economically the artificer of his own fortune, but the man’s circumstances are the element he is appointed to live and work in; so that in a no less genuine sense it can be said circumstances make the man.

The man of intellect at the top of affairs; this is the aim of all institutions and revolutions, if they have any.

The man who cannot laugh is not only fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; but his own whole life is already a treason and a stratagem.

The man who cannot wonder, who does not habitually wonder (and worship), were he president of innumerable royal societies, and carried the whole “Méchanique Céleste” and Hegel’s Philosophy, and the epitome of all laboratories and observatories with their results, in his single head, is but a pair of spectacles behind which there is no eye.

The mass of men consulted at hustings, upon any high matter whatsoever, is as ugly an exhibition of human study as the world sees.

The mere existence and necessity of a philosophy is an evil.

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

The most enthusiastic Evangelicals do not preach a gospel, but keep describing how it should and might be preached; to awaken the sacred fire of faith, as by a sacred contagion, is not their endeavour, but, at most, to describe how faith shows and acts, and scientifically distinguish true faith from false.(In 1831.)

The most significant feature in the history of an epoch is the manner it has of welcoming a great man.

The mystery of a person is ever divine to him that has a sense for the godlike.

The nation is governed by all that has tongue in the nation: democracy is virtually there.

The new man is always in a new time, under new conditions; his course is the fac-simile of no prior one, but is by its nature original.

The oak first announces itself when, with far-sounding crash, it falls.

The object of the poet is, and must be, to “instruct by pleasing,” yet not by pleasing this man and that man; only by pleasing man, by speaking to the pure nature of man, can any real “instruction,” in this sense, be conveyed.

The old gloomy cathedrals were good, but the great blue dome that hangs over all is better than any Cologne one.

The old never dies till this happen, till all the soul of good that was in it get itself transfused into the practical new.

The oldest, and indeed only true, order of nobility known under the stars, is that of just men and sons of God, in opposition to unjust men and sons of Belial, which latter indeed are second oldest, and yet a very unvenerable order.

The one enemy we have in this universe is stupidity, darkness of mind; of which darkness there are many sources, every sin a source, and probably self-conceit the chief source.

The one intolerable sort of slavery, over which the very gods weep, is the slavery of the strong to the weak; of the great and noble-minded to the small and mean; the slavery of wisdom to folly.

The one unhappiness of a man is that he cannot work, that he cannot get his destiny as a man fulfilled.

The only genuine Romance for grown persons is Reality.

The only happiness a brave man ever troubled himself with asking much about was, happiness enough to get his work done.

The only poetry is history, could we tell it aright.

The outer passes away; the inmost is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.

The passions, by grace of the supernal and also of the infernal powers (for both have a hand in it), can never fail us.

The past is all holy to us; the dead are all holy; even they that were base and wicked when alive.

The period of faith must alternate with the period of denial; the vernal growth, the summer luxuriance of all opinions, spiritual representations and creations must be followed by, and again follow, the autumnal decay, the winter dissolution.

The philosopher is he to whom the highest has descended, and the lowest has mounted up; who is the equal and kindly brother of all.

The pleasure of despising, at all times and in itself a dangerous luxury, is much safer after the toil of examining than before it.

The poet can never have far to seek for a subject; for him the ideal world is not remote from the actual, but under it and within it; and he is a poet precisely because he can discern it there.

The poorer life or the rich one are but the larger or smaller (very little smaller) letters in which we write the apophthegms and golden sayings of life.

The poorest day that passes over us is the conflux of two eternities; it is made-up of currents that issue from the remotest part, and flow onwards into the remotest future.

The poorest human soul is infinite in wishes, and the infinite universe was not made for one, but for all.

The popular man stands on our own level, or a hairsbreadth higher; and shows us a truth we can see without shifting our present intellectual position. The original man stands above us, and wishes to wrench us from our old fixtures, and elevate us to a higher and clearer level.

The post of honour is the post of difficulty, the post of danger,—of death, if difficulty be not overcome.

The present holds in it both the whole past and the whole future.

The present time, youngest born of eternity, child and heir of all the past times with their good and evil, and parent of all the future, is ever a new era to the thinking man.

The proper Epic of this world is no longer “Arms and the man,” much less “Shirt frills and the man;” no, it is now “Tools and the man;” that, henceforth to all time is now our Epic.

The proper task of literature lies in the domain of belief.

The prophet is the revealer of what we are to do; the poet, of what we are to love. The former too has an eye on what we are to love; how else shall he know what we are to do?

The public highways ought not to be occupied by people demonstrating that motion is impossible.

The purse is the master-organ, soul’s seat, and true pineal gland of the body social.

The quantity of sorrow a man has, does it not mean withal the quantity of sympathy he has, the quantity of faculty and victory he shall have? Our sorrow is the inverted image of our nobleness.

The real Nimrod of this era, who alone does any good to the era, is the rat-catcher.

The recording angel, consider it well, is no fable, but the truest of truths; the paper tablets thou canst burn; of the “iron leaf” there is no burning.

The relation of the taught to their teacher, of the loyal subject to his guiding king, is, under one shape or another, the vital element in human society.

The saddest external condition of affairs among men, is but evidence of a still sadder internal one.

The secret of man’s being is still like the Sphinx’s secret; a riddle that he cannot rede; and for ignorance of which he suffers death, the worst death—a spiritual.

The sense of the infinite nature of Duty is the central part of all with us; a ray as of Eternity and Immortality, immured in dusky many-coloured Time, and its births and deaths.

The sentimental by and by will have to give place to the practical.

The sign of health is unconsciousness.

The significance of life is doing something.

The soul of a man can by no agency, of men or of devils, be lost and ruined but by his own only.

The sphere-harmony of a Shakespeare, of a Goethe, the cathedral music of a Milton, the humble, genuine lark-notes of a Burns.

The spiritual artist too is born blind, and does not, like certain other creatures, receive sight in nine days, but far later—perhaps never.

The spiritual is the parent and first cause of the practical.

The spiritual will always body itself forth in the temporal history of men; the spiritual is the beginning of the temporal, always determines the material.

The stroke that comes transmitted through a whole galaxy of elastic balls, is it less a stroke than if the last ball only had been struck and sent flying?

The strong man is the wise man; the man with the gift of method, of faithfulness, of valour; who has insight into what is what, into what will follow out of what, the eye to see and the hand to do.

The strong mind is nowise the mind acquainted with its strength.

The strong thing is the just thing: this thou wilt find throughout in our world;—as indeed was God and Truth the maker of it, or was Satan and Falsehood?

The suffering man ought really “to consume his own smoke;” there is no good in emitting smoke till you have made it into fire.

The sun flings out impurities, gets balefully incrusted with spots; but it does not quench itself, and become no sun at all, but a mass of darkness.

The thing a lie wants, and solicits from all men, is not a correct natural history of it, but the swiftest possible extinction of it, followed by entire silence about it.

The thing men get to believe is the thing they will infallibly do.

The thing that is, what can be so wonderful? what, especially to us that are, can have such significance?

The thing visible, nay, the thing imagined, the thing in any way conceived of as visible, what is it but a garment, a clothing of the higher, celestial invisible, “unimaginable, formless, dark with excess of bright”?

The thing which is deepest rooted in Nature, what we call truest, that, and not the other, will be found growing at last.

The thinking minds of all nations call for change. There is a deep-lying struggle in the whole fabric of society; a boundless, grinding collision of the new with the old.

The thought is parent of the deed.

The tree Igdrasil, which reaches up to heaven, goes down to the kingdom of hell; and God, the Everlasting Good and Just, is in it all.

The true beginning is oftenest unnoticed and unnoticeable.

The true epic of our times is, not arms and the man, but tools and the man—an infinitely wider kind of epic.

The true eye for talent presupposes the true reverence for it.

The true function of intellect is not that of talking, but of understanding and discerning with a view to performing.

The true God’s voice, voice of the Eternal, is in the heart of every man.

The true liberty of a man consists in his finding out, or being forced to find out, the right path, and to walk therein.

The true literary man is the light of the world; the world’s priest guiding it, like a sacred pillar of fire, in its dark pilgrimage through the waste of time.

The true poet, who is but the inspired thinker, is still an Orpheus whose lyre tames the savage beasts, and evokes the dead rocks to fashion themselves into palaces and stately inhabited cities.

The true poetic soul needs but to be struck, and the sounds it yields will be music.

The true university of these days is a collection of books.

The true value of a man’s book is determined by what he does not write.

The truly strong mind, view it as intellect or morality, or under any other aspect, is nowise the mind acquainted with its strength.

The two sources of all quack-talent are cunning and impudence.

The ultimate rule (in writing) is: Learn so far as possible to be intelligible and transparent—no notice taken of your style, but solely of what you express by it.

The Understanding is indeed thy window, too clear thou canst not make it; but Fantasy is thy eye, with its colour-giving retina, healthy or diseased.

The universe is but one vast symbol of God; nay, if thou wilt have it, what is man himself but a symbol of God; is not all that he does symbolical; a revelation to sense of the mystic god-given force that is in him; a “gospel of freedom,” which he, the “Messias of Nature,” preaches, as he can, by act and word?

The universe is full of love, but also of inexorable sternness and severity.

The universe is not dead and demoniacal, a charnel-house with spectres, but godlike, and my Father’s.

The universe is the realised thought of God.

The unworn spirit is strong; life is so healthful that it even finds nourishment in death.

The uttered part of a man’s life bears to the unuttered, unconscious part of it a small unknown proportion; he himself never knows it, much less do others.

The very joy of a true man’s heart is to admire, when he can; nothing so lifts him from all his mean imprisonments, were it but for moments, as true admiration.

The vitality of man is great.

The wealth of a man is the number of things which he loves and blesses, which he is loved and blessed by.

The wearisome is in permanence here.At Linlathen, in Forfarshire.

The wedge will rend rocks; but its edge must be sharp and single; if it is double, the wedge is bruised in pieces, and will rend nothing.

The whole past is the possession of the present.

The wisest of us must, for by far the most part, judge like the simplest; estimate importance by mere magnitude, and expect that which strongly affects our own generation, will strongly affect those that are to follow.

The wisest truly is, in these times, the greatest.

The wisest, most melodious voice cannot in these days pass for a divine one; the word “inspiration” still lingers, but only in the shape of a poetic figure, from which the once earnest, awful, and soul-subduing sense has vanished without return.

The womankind will not drill.Father Andreas in “Sartor.”

The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden under ground, secretly making the ground green; it flows and flows, it joins itself with other veins and veinlets; one day it will start forth as a visible perennial well.

The world has no business with my life; the world will never know my life, if it should write and read a hundred biographies of me.

The world has to obey him who thinks and sees in the world.

The world is a thing that man must learn to despise, and even to neglect, before he can learn to reverence it, and work in it and for it.

The world is an old woman, that mistakes any gilt farthing for a gold coin; whereby, being often cheated, she will henceforth trust nothing but the common copper.

The world is wider than any of us think.

The world of Nature for every man is the fantasy of himself; this world is the multiplex “image of his own dream.”

The world’s wealth is its original men; by these and their works it is a world and not a waste; the memory and record of what Men it loves—this is the sum of its strength, its sacred “property for ever,” whereby it upholds itself and steers forward, better or worse, through the yet undiscovered deep of Time.

The wretchedness which fate has rendered voiceless and tuneless is not the least wretched, but the most.

The writer of a book, is not he a preacher preaching not to this parish or that, on this day or that, but to all men in all times and places?

There are but two ways of paying debt—increase of industry in raising income; increase of thrift in laying it out.

There are in this day, as in all days, around and in every man, voices from the gods, imperative to all, if obeyed by even none, which say audibly: Arise, thou son of Adam, son of Time, make this thing more divine, and that thing, and thyself of all things, and work, and sleep not; for the Night cometh wherein no man can work.

There are no English lives worth reading except those of players, who by the nature of the case have bidden Respectability good-day.

There are things in this world to be laughed at, as well as things to be admired; and his is no complete mind that cannot give to each sort his due.

There are things that should be done, not spoken; that, till the doing of them is begun, cannot be spoken.

There are unhappy times in the world’s history, when he that is the least educated will chiefly have to say that he is the least perverted; and with the multitude of false eye-glasses, convex, concave, green, even yellow, has not lost the natural use of his eyes.

There can be no true aristocracy but must possess the land.

There is a black speck, say the Arabs, were it no bigger than a bean’s eye, in every soul; which, once set a-working, will overcloud the whole man into darkness and quasi-madness, and hurry him balefully into night.

There is a devil dwells in man as well as a divinity.

There is a great discovery still to be made in literature, that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write.

There is a living, literal communion of saints, wide as the world itself, and as the history of the world.

There is a nobler ambition than the getting of all California, or the getting of all the suffrages that are on the planet just now.

There is a perennial nobleness, and even sacredness, in work. Were he ever so benighted, forgetful of his high calling, there is always hope in a man that actually and earnestly works.

There is but one class of men to be trembled at, and that is the stupid class, the class that cannot see; who, alas! are mainly they that will not see.

There is but one thing without honour, smitten with eternal barrenness, inability to do or to be—insincerity, unbelief. He who believes nothing, who believes only the shows of things, is not in relation with nature and fact at all.

There is in man a Higher than love of happiness; he can do without happiness, and instead thereof find blessedness!

There is no communion possible among men who believe only in hearsays.

There is no end of settlements; there will never be an end; the best settlement is but a temporary partial one.

There is no foolishest man but knows one and the other thing more clearly than any the wisest man does.

There is no good in emitting smoke till you have made it into fire, which all smoke is capable of becoming.

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

There is no mortal extant, out of the depths of Bedlam, but lives all skinned, thatched, covered over with formulas; and is, as it were, held in from delirium and the inane by his formulas. These are the most beneficent and indispensable of human equipments; blessed he who has a skin and tissues, so it be a living one, and the heart-pulse everywhere discernible through it.

There is not a Red Indian hunting by Lake Winnipeg can quarrel with his squaw but the whole world must smart for it; will not the price of beaver rise?

There is nothing born but has to die.

There is nothing good or godlike in this world but has in it something of “infinite sadness.”

There is nothing in this world that will keep the devil out of one but hard labour.

There is nothing more perennial in us than habit and imitation. They are the source of all working and all apprenticeship, of all practice and all learning.

There is often more true spiritual force in a proverb than in a philosophical system.

There is one preacher who does preach with effect, and gradually persuade all persons; his name is Destiny, Divine Providence, and his sermon the inflexible course of things.

There is precious instruction to be got by finding that we are wrong.

There is properly but one slavery in the world—the slavery of wisdom to folly.

There is still a real magic in the action and reaction of minds on one another. The casual deliration of a few becomes, by this mysterious reverberation, the frenzy of many; men lose the use, not only of their understandings, but of their bodily senses; while the most obdurate unbelieving hearts melt like the rest in the furnace where all are cast as victims and as fuel.

There is very great necessity indeed of getting a little more silent than we are.

There is work on God’s wide earth for all men that he has made with hands and hearts.

There is, at any given moment, a best path for every man; the thing which, here and now, it were wisest for him to do; whatsoever forwards him in that, were it even in the shape of blows and spurnings, is liberty; whatsoever hinders him, were it tremendous cheers and rivers of heavy wet, is slavery.

There needs not a great soul to make a hero; there needs a god-created soul which will be true to its origin; that will be a great soul.

There never was a talent, even for real literature, but was primarily a talent for something infinitely better of the silent kind.

These limbs, whence had we them; this stormy force; this life-blood with its burning passion? They are dust and shadow; a shadow-system gathered round our Me; wherein through some moments or years, the divine essence is to be revealed in flesh.

They had the divine right of kings to settle, these unfortunate ancestors of ours;… and they did, on hest of necessity, manage to settle it.Of the Puritans.

They only are wise who know that they know nothing.

They that will crowd about bonfires may, sometimes very fairly, get their beards singed; it is the price they pay for such illumination; natural twilight is safe and free to all.

Things are long-lived, and God above appoints their term; yet when the brains of a thing have been out for three centuries and odd, one does wish it would be kind enough and die.

Things are not so false always as they seem.

Things refuse to be mismanaged long.

Think of “living!” Thy life, wert thou the “pitifullest of all the sons of earth,” is no idle dream, but a solemn reality. It is thy own; it is all thou hast to front eternity with.

Think of the hosts of worlds, and of the plagues in this world-mote—death puts an end to the whole.

This is not a time for purism of style; and style has little to do with the worth or unworth of a book.

This present is a ruinous and ruining world.

This so solid-seeming world is, after all, but an air-image, our Me the only reality; and Nature, with its thousand-fold production and destruction, but the reflex of our own inward force, the “Phantasy of our Dream,” or, what the earth-spirit in “Faust” names it, “the living visible garment of God.”

Thou art not alone if thou have faith. There is a communion of saints, unseen, yet not unreal, accompanying and brotherlike embracing thee, so thou be worthy.

“Thou shalt” is written upon life in characters as legible as “Thou shalt not.”

Thou shalt look outward, not inward.

Thou wilt never sell thy life, or any part of thy life, in a satisfactory manner. Give it like a royal heart; let the price of it be nothing; then hast thou in a certain sense got all for it.

Thought once awakened does not again slumber.

Thought without reverence is barren, perhaps poisonous; at best dies, like cookery, with the day that called it forth.

Thought works in silence, so does virtue.

Thought, true labour of any kind, highest virtue itself, is it not the daughter of pain? Born as out of the black whirlwind; true effort in fact, as of a captive struggling to free itself—that is thought.

Through “the ruins of a falling era,” not once missing his footing.Of his father.

Through every star, through every grass blade, and most through every living soul, the glory of a present God still beams.

Thy true beginning and Father is in heaven, whom with the bodily eye thou shalt never behold, but only with the spiritual.

Time and space are not God, but creations of God; with God, as it is a universal Here, so is it an everlasting Now.

Time has a strange contracting influence on many a wide-spread fame.

Time has only a relative existence.

Time reposes on eternity; the truly great and transcendental has its basis and substance in eternity; stands revealed to us as eternity in a vesture of time.

To be guided in the right path by those who know better than they is the first “right of man,” compared with which all other rights are as nothing.

To be without a servant in this world is not good; but to be without a master, it appears, is a still fataller predicament for some.

To breed a fresh soul, is it not like brooding a fresh (celestial) egg, wherein as yet all is formless, powerless? Yet by degrees organic elements and fibres shoot through the watery albumen; out of vague sensation grows thought, grows fantasy and force, and we have philosophies, dynasties, nay, poetries and religions.

To consume your own choler, as some chimneys consume their own smoke; to keep a whole Satanic school spouting, if it must spout, inaudibly, is a negative yet no slight virtue, nor one of the commonest in these times.

To deny is easy; nothing is sooner learned or more generally practised. As matters go, we need no man of polish to teach it; but rather, if possible, a hundred men of wisdom to show us its limits and teach us its reverse.

To each nation its believed history is its Bible.

To fight with its neighbours never was, and is now less than ever, the real trade of England.

To great evils one must oppose great virtues; and also to small, which is the harder task of the two.

To guide scoundrels by love is a method that will not hold together; hardly for the flower of men will love do; and for the sediment and scoundrelism of them it has not even a chance to do.

To have neither superior, nor inferior, nor equal, united manlike to you; without father, without child, without brother,—man knows no sadder destiny.

To know the divine laws and inner harmonies of this universe must always be the highest glory for a man; and not to know them always the highest disgrace for a man, however common it be.

To know; to get into the truth of anything, is ever a mystic act, of which the best logics can only babble on the surface.

To learn obeying is the fundamental art of governing.

To make some nook of God’s creation a little fruitfuller, better, more worthy of God; to make some human hearts a little wiser, manfuller, happier, more blessed, less accursed! It is work for a God.

To no man does Fortune throw open all the kingdoms of this world, and say: It is thine; choose where thou wilt dwell! To the most she opens hardly the smallest cranny or dog-hutch, and says, not without asperity: There, that is thine while thou canst keep it; nestle thyself there, and bless Heaven!

To reconcile despotism with freedom is to make your despotism just.

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 man begins and perfects on himself.

To remember one worthy thing, how many thousand unworthy must a man be able to forget!

To say that we have a clear conscience is to utter a solecism; had we never sinned, we would have had no conscience.

To seize a character, even that of one man, in its life and secret mechanism, requires a philosopher; to delineate it with truth and impressiveness, is work for a poet.

To shape the whole future is not our problem but only to shape faithfully a small part of it, according to rules laid down.

To the “Worship of sorrow” (Goethe’s definition of Christianity) ascribe what origin and genesis thou pleasest, has not that worship originated and been generated? Is it not here? Feel it in thy heart, and then say whether it is of God!

To the minnow every cranny and pebble, and quality and accident, of its little native creek may have become familiar; but does the minnow understand the ocean tides and periodic currents, the trade-winds, and monsoons, and moon’s eclipses; by all of which the condition of its little creek is regulated, and may (from time to time, unmiraculously enough) be quite overset and reversed? Such a minnow is man; his creek, this planet earth; his ocean, the immeasurable All; his monsoons and periodic currents, the mysterious course of Providence through æons of æons.

To the understanding of anything, two conditions are equally required—intelligibility in the thing itself being no whit more indispensable than intelligence in the examiner of it.

To the unregenerate Prometheus Vinctus of a man, it is ever the bitterest aggravation of his wretchedness that he is conscious of virtue, that he feels himself the victim not of suffering only, but of injustice.

To the vulgar eye few things are wonderful that are not distant. It is difficult for men to believe that the man, the mere man whom they see, may perhaps painfully feel, toiling at their side through the poor jostlings of existence, can be made of finer clay than themselves.

To the wisest man, wide as is his vision, Nature remains of quite infinite depth, of quite infinite expansion; and all experience thereof limits itself to some few computed centuries and measured square miles.

To unpractised eyes, a Peak of Teneriffe, nay, a Strasburg Minster, when we stand on it, may seem higher than a Chimborazo; because the former rise abruptly, without abutement or environment; the latter rises gradually, carrying half a world along with it; and only the deeper azure of the heavens, the widened horizon, the “eternal sunshine,” disclose to the geographer that the “region of change” lies far below.

Too early and too thoroughly we cannot be trained to know that Would, in this world of ours, is as mere zero to Should, and, for most part, the smallest of fractions to Shall.

Too much painstaking speaks disease in one’s mind, as much as too little.

Transitory is all human work, small in itself, contemptible; only the worker thereof and the spirit that dwelt in him is significant.

True humour is sensibility in the most catholic and deepest sense; but it is the sport of sensibility; wholesome and perfect therefore; as it were, the playful teasing fondness of a mother to her child.

True humour 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. It is a sort of inverse sublimity, exalting, as it were, into our affections what is below us, while sublimity draws down into our affections what is above us.

True singing is of the nature of worship; as indeed all true working may be said to be; whereof such singing is but the record, and fit melodious representation, to us.

Trust not the heart of that man for whom old clothes are not venerable.

“Truth,” I cried, “though the heavens crush me for following her; no falsehood, though a whole celestial Lubberland were the price of apostasy!”

Truth is to be loved purely and solely because it is true.

Truth, says Home Tooke, means simply the thing trowed, the thing believed; and now, from this to the thing itself, what a new fatal deduction have we to suffer.

Two grand tasks have been assigned to the English people—the grand Industrial task of conquering some half, or more, of the terraqueous planet for the use of man; then, secondly, the grand Constitutional task of sharing, in some pacific endurable manner, the fruit of said conquest, and showing all people how it might be done.

Two men I honour, and no third. First, the toilworn craftsman that with earth-made implement laboriously conquers the earth, and makes her man’s…. A second man I honour, and still more highly—him who is seen toiling for the spiritually indispensable; not daily bread, but the bread of life…. These two in all their degrees I honour; all else is chaff and dust, which let the wind blow whither it listeth.

Unconsciousness belongs to pure unmixed life; consciousness, to a diseased mixture and conflict of life and death; unconsciousness is the sign of creation; consciousness, at best, that of manufacture. So deep, in this existence of ours, is the significance of mystery.

Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better.

Under the sky is no uglier spectacle than two men with clenched teeth and hell-fire eyes hacking one another’s flesh, converting precious living bodies and priceless living souls into nameless masses of putrescence, useful only for turnip-manure.

Unity, agreement, is always silent or soft-voiced; it is only discord that loudly proclaims itself.

Universal suffrage I will consult about the quality of New Orleans pork or the coarser kinds of Irish butter; but as to the character of men, I will if possible ask it no question.

Unless we see our object, how shall we know how to place or prize it in our understanding, our imagination, our affections?

Unwise work, if it but persist, is everywhere struggling towards correction and restoration to health; for it is still in contact with Nature, and all Nature incessantly contradicts it, and will heal it or annihilate it; not so with unwise talk, which addresses itself, regardless of veridical Nature, to the universal suffrages; and can, if it be dexterous, find harbour there, till all the suffrages are bankrupt and gone to Houndsditch.

Vain hope to make people happy by politics!

Vain to send the purblind or blind to the shore of a Pactolus never so golden: these find only gravel; the seer and finder alone picks up golden grains there.

Valour is the fountain of Pity too;—of Truth, and all that is great and good in man.

Vanity is of a divisive, not a uniting nature.

Venerable to me is the hard hand—crooked, coarse—wherein, notwithstanding, lies a cunning virtue, indefeasibly royal, as of the sceptre of this planet. Venerable, too, is the rugged face, all weather-tanned, besoiled, with its rude intelligence; for it is the face of a man living manlike.

Very fine pagoda if ye could get any sort of god to put in it.To Bunsen of Cologne Cathedral.

Violence does ever justice unjustly.

Virtue is free-will to choose the good, not tool-usefulness to forge at the expedient.

Virtue, like a plant, will not grow unless its root be hidden, buried from the eye of the sun. Let the sun shine on it, nay, do but look at it privily thyself, the root withers, and no flower will glad thee.

Virtue, like health, is the harmony of the whole man.

Visible ploughmen and hammermen there have been, ever from Cain and Tubal Cain downwards; but where does your accumulated agricultural, metallurgic, and other manufacturing skill lie warehoused?

Vox is the God of this universe.

Wages are no index of well-being to the working man; without proper wages there can be no well-being; but with them also there may be none.

Walk not with the world where it is walking wrong.

Walk this world with no friend in it but God and St. Edmund, and you will either fall into the ditch or learn a good many things.

Want of humility or self-denial is simply the want of all religion, of all moral worth.

Was there ever, since the beginning of the world, a universal vote given in favour of the worthiest man or thing?

Was there, is there, or will there be a great intellect ever heard tell of without being first a true and great heart to begin with? Never…. Think it not, suspect it not. Worse blasphemy I could not readily utter.To John Sterling.

Waste not time by trampling upon thistles because they have yielded us no figs. Here are books, and we have brains to read them; here is a whole Earth and a whole Heaven, and we have eyes to look on them.

Watch thy tongue; out of it are the issues of life.

“We are creatures that look before and after,” the more surprising that we do not look round a little, and see what is passing under our eyes.

We are the miracle of miracles—the great inscrutable mystery of God. We cannot understand it, we know not how to speak of it; but we may feel and know, if we like, that it is verily so.

We cannot make our exodus from Houndsditch (i.e., the now dead religion of the past) till we have got our own (lit. out of it) along with us.

We do everything by custom, even believe by it; our very axioms, let us boast of our Free-thinking as we may, are oftenest simply such beliefs as we have never heard questioned.

We have all of us our ferries (to cross over) in this world, and must know the river and its ways, or get drowned some day.

We have more mathematics than ever, but less mathesis. Archimedes and Plato could not have read the “Méchanique Céleste;” but neither would the whole French Institute see aught in that saying, “God geometrises,” but sentimental rhodomontade.

We have not read an author till we have seen his object, whatever it may be, as he saw it.

We have not the love of greatness, but the love of the love of greatness.

We inherit, not life only, but all the garniture and form of life; and work, and speak, and even think and feel, as our fathers, and primeval grandfathers, from the beginning, have given it us.

We love to see wisdom in unpretending forms, to recognise her royal features under a week-day vesture.

We must all toil—or steal; no faithful workman finds his life a pastime.

We will not estimate the sun by the quantity of gaslight it saves us.

Weak eyes are precisely the fondest of glittering objects.

Wealth richer than both the Indies lies for every man, if he will endure. Not his oaks only and his fruit-trees, his very heart roots itself wherever he may abide—roots itself, draws nourishment from the deep fountains of universal being.

Well at ease are the sleepers for whom existence is a shallow dream.

Were defeat unknown, neither would victory be celebrated with songs of triumph.

Were I a steam-engine, wouldst thou take the trouble to tell lies of me?

Were it not miraculous, could I stretch forth my hand and clutch the sun? Dost thou not see that the true inexplicable God-revealing miracle lies in this, that I can stretch forth my hand at all, that I have free force to clutch aught therewith?

Were man not a poor hungry dastard, and even much of a blockhead withal, he would cease criticising his victuals to such extent, and criticise himself rather, what he does with his victuals.

Were one to preach a sermon on Health, as really were worth doing, Scott ought to be the text.

Were there but one man in the world, he would be a terror to himself; and the highest man not less so than the lowest.

What a dismal, debasing, and confusing element is that of a sick body on the human soul or thinking part!

What a man can do is his greatest ornament, and he always consults his dignity by doing it.

What a man does not believe can never at bottom be of any true interest to him.

What a thin film it is that divides the living from the dead!

What a view a man must have of this universe who thinks he can swallow it all, who is not doubly and trebly happy that he can keep it from swallowing him!

What a wretched thing is all fame! A renown of the highest sort endures, say for two thousand years. And then? Why then a fathomless eternity swallows it.

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

What are the outward details of a life, if the inner secret of it, the remorse, temptations, true, often-baffled, never-ended struggle of it, be forgotten? Details by themselves will never teach us what it is.

What are your axioms, and categories, and systems, and aphorisms? Words, words. High air-castles are cunningly built of words, the words well bedded in good logic-mortar; wherein, however, no knowledge will come to lodge.

What Art had Homer? what Art had Shakespeare? Patient, docile, valiant intelligence, conscious and unconscious, gathered from all winds, of these two things—their own faculty of utterance, and the audience they had to utter to; add only to which, as the soul of the whole, a blazing, radiant insight into the fact, blazing, burning interest about it, and we have the whole Art of Shakespeare and Homer.

What avails the dram of brandy while it swims chemically united with its barrel of wort? Let the distiller pass it and repass it through his limbecs; for it is the drops of pure alcohol we want, not the gallons of water, which may be had in every ditch.

What built St. Paul’s Cathedral? Look at the heart of the matter, it was that divine Hebrew Book, the word partly of the man Moses, an outlaw tending his Midianitish herds four thousand years ago in the wildernesses of Sinai!

What divine, what truly great thing has ever been effected by force of public opinion?

What great thing ever happened in this world, a world understood always to be made and governed by wisdom, without meaning somewhat?

What is all working, what is all knowing, but a faint interpreting, and a faint showing forth of the mystery, which ever remains infinite?

What is done is done; has already blended itself with the boundless, ever-living, ever-working universe, and will also work there, for good or evil, openly or secretly, through all time.

What is it (thy protest against the devil) properly but an altercation with him before you begin honestly fighting with him?

What is justice but another form of the reality we love—a truth acted out?

What is life except the knitting up of incoherences into coherence?

What is man but a symbol of God, and all that he does, if not symbolical, a revelation to sense of the mystic God-given force that is in him?

What is not sung is properly no poem, but a piece of prose cramped into jingling lines,—to the great injury of the grammar, to the great grief of the reader, for the most part!

What is the good of fear? The whole solar system were it to fall together about our ears could kill us only once.

What is the use of health or of life, if not to do some work therewith?

What is this life of ours? Gone in a moment, burnt up like a scroll, into the blank eternity.(Interpreting young Luther’s reflexion on the sudden death by his side of his friend Alexis.)

What man wants is always that the highest in his nature be set at the top and actively reign there.

What matters it whether the alphabet (by which you are to spell out the meaning of life) be in large gilt letters or in small ungilt ones, so you have an eye to read it?

What of books? Hast thou not already a Bible to write and publish in print that is eternal, namely, a Life to lead?

What quite infinite worth lies in Truth! how all-pervading, omnipotent, in man’s mind is the thing we name Belief!

What the light of your mind pronounces incredible, that, in God’s name, leave uncredited.

What the universe was thought to be in Judea and other places, this may be very interesting to know; what it is in England here where we live and have our work to do, that is the interesting point.

What thou seest is not there on its own account, strictly taken, is not there at all.

What unknown seas of feeling lie in man, and will from time to time break through!

What, indeed, is man’s life generally but a kind of beast-godhood; the god in us triumphing more and more over the beast; striving more and more to subdue it under his feet?

Whatever is not made of asbestos will have to be burnt in this world.

Whatever outward thing offers itself to the eye, is merely the garment or body of a thing which already existed invisibly within.

Whatso we have done is done, and for us annihilated, and ever must we go and do anew.

Whatsoever a man ought to obey, he cannot but obey.

Whatsoever sensibly exists, whatsoever represents spirit to spirit, is properly a suit of raiment put on for a season and to be laid off.

When I have told the truth, my part with it is done; and if the world will not listen, the world will just do the other way.

When the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch; wherefore, in such circumstances, may it not sometimes be safer if both leader and led simply sit still?

When the oak-tree is felled, the whole forest echoes with it; but a hundred acorns are planted silently by some unnoticed breeze.

When the Phœnix is fanning her funeral pyre, will there not be sparks flying?

When was a god found agreeable to everybody?

Whence? O Heavens, whither? Sense knows not; faith knows not; only that it is through mystery to mystery, from God to God.On the drama of life.

Where else is the God’s presence manifested, not to our eyes only, but to our hearts, as in our fellow-men?

Whereas Johnson only bowed to every clergyman, I would bow to every man, were it not there is a devil dwells in man as well as a divinity, and too often the bow is but pocketed by the former.

Wheresoever two or three living men are gathered together, there is society; or there it will be, with its mechanisms and structures, over-spreading this little globe, and reaching upwards to Heaven and downwards to Gehenna.

Wherever the health of the citizens is concerned, much more where their souls’ health, and as it were their salvation, is concerned, all governments that are not chimerical make haste to interfere.

Wherever there is a sky above him and a world around him, the poet is in his place; for here too is man’s existence, with its infinite longings and small acquirings; its ever-thwarted, ever-renewed endeavours; its unspeakable aspirations, its fears and hopes that wander through eternity; and all the mystery of brightness and of gloom that it was ever made of, in any age or climate, since man first began to live.

Which highest mortal, in this inane existence, had I not found a shadow-hunter or shadow-hunted; and, when I looked through his brave garnitures, miserable enough?

Which of your philosophical systems is other than a dream-theorem; a net quotient, confidently given out, where divisor and dividend are both unknown?

While digestion lasts, life cannot, in philosophical language, be said to be extinct.

While mistakes are increasing, like population, at the rate of twelve hundred a-day, the benefit of seizing one and throttling it would be perfectly inconsiderable.

While the serpent sheds its old skin, the new is already formed beneath.

Who is there that can clutch into the wheel-spokes of destiny, and say to the spirit of the time: Turn back, I command thee? Wiser were it that we yielded to the inevitable and inexorable, and accounted even this the best.

Whoever has sixpence is sovereign over all men—to the extent of the sixpence; commands cooks to feed him, philosophers to teach him, kings to mount guard over him—to the extent of sixpence.

Wholly a man of action, with speech subservient thereto.Of his father.

Whom Heaven has made a slave, no parliament of men, nor power that exists on earth, can render free.

Whoso believes, let him begin to fulfil.

Whoso cannot obey cannot be free, still less bear rule; he that is the inferior of nothing, can be the superior of nothing, the equal of nothing.

Whoso should combine the intrepid candour and decisive scientific clearness of Hume with the reverence, the love, and devout humility of Johnson, were the whole man of a new time.

Whosoever and whatsoever introduces itself and appears, in the firm earth of human business, or, as we well say, comes into existence, must proceed from the world of the supernatural; whatsoever of a material sort deceases and disappears might be expected to go thither.

Whosoever has not seized the whole cannot yet speak truly (much less musically, concordantly) of any part.

Why complain of wanting light? It is courage, energy, perseverance that I want.

Why do we pray to Heaven without setting our own shoulder to the wheel?

Why does that hyssop grow there in the chink of the wall? Because the whole universe, sufficiently occupied otherwise, could not hitherto prevent its growing. It has the might and the right.

Why tell me that a man is a fine speaker if it is not the truth that he is speaking? If an eloquent speaker is not speaking the truth, is there a more horrid kind of object in creation?

Will a courser of the sun work softly in the harness of a dray-horse? His hoofs are of fire, and his path is through the heavens, bringing light to all lands; will he lumber on mud highways, dragging ale for earthly appetites from door to door?On the career and sorrowful fate of Burns.

Wilt thou know a man, above all a mankind, by stringing together beadrolls of what thou namest facts? The man is the spirit he worked in; not what he did, but what he became.

Wisdom is intrinsically of a silent nature; it cannot at once, or completely at all, be read off in words, and is only legible in whole when its work is done.

Wise, well-calculated breeding of a young soul lies fatally over the horizon in these epochs.

Witchcraft has been put a stop to by Act of Parliament, but the mysterious relations which it emblemed still continue.

With faith, martyrs, otherwise weak, can cheerfully endure the shame and the cross; and without it wordlings puke up their sick existence, by suicide, in the midst of luxury.

With moral, political, religious considerations, high and dear as they may otherwise be, the philosopher, as such, has no concern.

With stupidity and sound digestion man may front much; but what in these dull, unimaginative days are the terrors of conscience to the diseases of the liver!

Within the most starched cravat there passes a windpipe and weasand, and under the thickliest embroidered waistcoat beats a heart.

Without real masters you cannot have servants.

Witty, above all, O be not witty; none of us is bound to be witty, under penalties; to be wise and true we all are, under the terriblest penalties.

Women are born worshippers.

Wondrous indeed is the virtue of a true book. Not like a dead city of stones, yearly crumbling, yearly needing repair; more like a tilled field, but then a spiritual field; like a spiritual tree, let me rather say, it stands from year to year, and from age to age (we have books that already number some one hundred and fifty human ages); and yearly comes its new produce of leaves (commentaries, deductions, philosophical, political systems, or were it only sermons, pamphlets, journalistic essays), every one of which, is talismanic and thaumaturgic, for it can persuade men.

Wondrous is the strength of cheerfulness, altogether past calculation its powers of endurance.

Work alone is noble.

Work earnestly at anything, you will by degrees learn to work at almost all things.

Work for eternity: not the meagre rhetorical eternity of the periodical critics, but for the real eternity, wherein dwelleth the Divine.

Work is for the living.

Work is of a religious nature,—work is of a brave nature, which it is the aim of all religion to be. “All work of man is as the swimmer’s.” A waste ocean threatens to devour him; if he front it not bravely, it will keep its word. By incessant wise defiance of it, lusty rebuke and buffet of it, behold how it loyally supports him,—bears him as its conqueror along! “It is so,” says Goethe, “with all things that man undertakes in this world.”

Work is the cure for all the maladies and miseries of man—honest work, which you intend getting done.

Work is the mission of man on this planet.

Work, properly so called, is an appeal from the Seen to the Unseen—a devout calling upon Higher Powers; and unless they stand by us, it will not be a work, but a quackery.

Worship is transcendent wonder; wonder for which there is no limit or measure.

Wouldst thou plant for eternity? then plant into the deep infinite faculties of man, his fantasy and heart. Wouldst thou plant for year and day? then plant into his shallow superficial faculties, his self-love and arithmetical understanding, what will grow there.

Wrong is not only different from right, but it is in strict scientific terms infinitely different.

Yet a little while, and we shall all meet there, and our Mother’s bosom will screen us all; and Oppression’s harness, and Sorrow’s fire-whip, and all the Gehenna bailiffs that patrol and inhabit ever-vexed Time, cannot harm us any more.

You cannot abolish slavery by Act of Parliament, but can only abolish the name of it, which is very little.

You cannot have your work well done if the work be not of a right kind.

You cannot lead a fighting world without having it regimented, chivalried; nor can you any more continue to lead a working world unregimented, anarchic.

You feel yourself an exile in the East; but in the West too it is exile; I know not where under the sun it is not exile.To a young friend.

You may paint with a very big brush, and yet not be a great painter.

Your rusty kettle will continue to boil your water for you if you don’t try to mend it. Begin tinkering and there is an end of your kettle.