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Thomas Carlyle

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

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

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Citations Thomas Carlyle

„L'on a beaucoup écrit sur la façon dont Mahomet propagea sa religion par l'épée. Il y a, sans doute, beaucoup d'honnêteté de la part des chrétiens à se vanter d'avoir, eux, propagé leur religion pacifiquement.“

—  Thomas Carlyle, livre Les héros, le culte des héros et l'héroique dans l'histoire
On Heroes, Hero-worship, and the Heroic in History, 1841, Much has been said of Mahomet's propagating his Religion by the sword. It is no doubt far nobler what we have to boast of the Christian Religion, that it propagated itself peaceably. en

„In the lowest stratum of social thraldom, nowhere was the noble soul doomed quite to choke, and die ignobly.“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1850s, Latter-Day Pamphlets (1850), The New Downing Street (April 15, 1850), Context: The pious soul,—which, if you reflect, will mean the ingenuous and ingenious, the gifted, intelligent and nobly-aspiring soul,—such a soul, in whatever rank of life it were born, had one path inviting it; a generous career, whereon, by human worth and valor, all earthly heights and Heaven itself were attainable. In the lowest stratum of social thraldom, nowhere was the noble soul doomed quite to choke, and die ignobly.

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„But when this same way was a rough one, of battle, confusion and danger, the spiritual Captain, who led through that, becomes, especially to us who live under the fruit of his leading, more notable than any other.“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1840s, Heroes and Hero-Worship (1840), The Hero as Priest, Context: There have been other Priests perhaps equally notable, in calmer times, for doing faithfully the office of a Leader of Worship; bringing down, by faithful heroism in that kind, a light from Heaven into the daily life of their people; leading them forward, as under God's guidance, in the way wherein they were to go. But when this same way was a rough one, of battle, confusion and danger, the spiritual Captain, who led through that, becomes, especially to us who live under the fruit of his leading, more notable than any other.

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

—  Thomas Carlyle
1840s, Past and Present (1843), Context: Democracy, which means despair of finding any Heroes to govern you, and contented putting up with the want of them,—alas, thou too, mein Lieber, seest well how close it is of kin to Atheism, and other sad Isms: he who discovers no God whatever, how shall he discover Heroes, the visible Temples of God?

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

—  Thomas Carlyle
1840s, Past and Present (1843), Context: In all cases, therefore, we will agree with the judicious Mrs. Glass: 'First catch your hare!' First get your man; all is got: he can learn to do all things, from making boots, to decreeing judgments, governing communities; and will do them like a man.

„If the young aspirant is not rich enough for Parliament, and is deterred by the basilisks or otherwise from entering on Law or Church, and cannot altogether reduce his human intellect to the beaverish condition, or satisfy himself with the prospect of making money,—what becomes of him in such case, which is naturally the case of very many, and ever of more? In such case there remains but one outlet for him, and notably enough that too is a talking one: the outlet of Literature, of trying to write Books.“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1850s, Latter-Day Pamphlets (1850), Stump Orator (May 1, 1850), Context: If the young aspirant is not rich enough for Parliament, and is deterred by the basilisks or otherwise from entering on Law or Church, and cannot altogether reduce his human intellect to the beaverish condition, or satisfy himself with the prospect of making money,—what becomes of him in such case, which is naturally the case of very many, and ever of more? In such case there remains but one outlet for him, and notably enough that too is a talking one: the outlet of Literature, of trying to write Books. Since, owing to preliminary basilisks, want of cash, or superiority to cash, he cannot mount aloft by eloquent talking, let him try it by dexterous eloquent writing. Here happily, having three fingers, and capital to buy a quire of paper, he can try it to all lengths and in spite of all mortals: in this career there is happily no public impediment that can turn him back; nothing but private starvation—which is itself a finis or kind of goal—can pretend to hinder a British man from prosecuting Literature to the very utmost, and wringing the final secret from her: "A talent is in thee; No talent is in thee." To the British subject who fancies genius may be lodged in him, this liberty remains; and truly it is, if well computed, almost the only one he has.

„Oh, if in this man, whose eyes can flash Heaven's lightning, and make all Calibans into a cramp, there dwelt not, as the essence of his very being, a God's justice, human Nobleness, Veracity and Mercy,—I should tremble for the world. But his strength, let us rejoice to understand, is even this: The quantity of Justice, of Valour and Pity that is in him. To hypocrites and tailored quacks in high places, his eyes are lightning; but they melt in dewy pity softer than a mother's to the downpressed, maltreated; in his heart, in his great thought, is a sanctuary for all the wretched.“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1840s, Past and Present (1843), Context: Thou, O World, how wilt thou secure thyself against this man? Thou canst not hire him by thy guineas; nor by thy gibbets and law-penalties restrain him. He eludes thee like a Spirit. Thou canst not forward him, thou canst not hinder him. Thy penalties, thy poverties, neglects, contumelies: behold, all these are good for him. Come to him as an enemy; turn from him as an unfriend; only do not this one thing,—infect him not with thy own delusion: the benign Genius, were it by very death, shall guard him against this!—What wilt thou do with him? He is above thee, like a god. Thou, in thy stupendous three-inch pattens, art under him. He is thy born king, thy conqueror and supreme lawgiver: not all the guineas and cannons, and leather and prunella, under the sky can save thee from him. Hardest thickskinned Mammon-world, ruggedest Caliban shall obey him, or become not Caliban but a cramp. Oh, if in this man, whose eyes can flash Heaven's lightning, and make all Calibans into a cramp, there dwelt not, as the essence of his very being, a God's justice, human Nobleness, Veracity and Mercy,—I should tremble for the world. But his strength, let us rejoice to understand, is even this: The quantity of Justice, of Valour and Pity that is in him. To hypocrites and tailored quacks in high places, his eyes are lightning; but they melt in dewy pity softer than a mother's to the downpressed, maltreated; in his heart, in his great thought, is a sanctuary for all the wretched.

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

—  Thomas Carlyle
1840s, Heroes and Hero-Worship (1840), The Hero As King, Context: "Detect quacks"? Yes do, for Heaven's sake; but know withal the men that are to be trusted! Till we know that, what is all our knowledge; how shall we even so much as "detect"? For the vulpine sharpness, which considers itself to be knowledge, and "detects" in that fashion, is far mistaken. Dupes indeed are many: but, of all dupes, there is none so fatally situated as he who lives in undue terror of being duped.

„The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish something.“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1820s, Context: The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish something. The strongest, by dispensing his over many, may fail to accomplish anything. The drop, by continually falling, bores its passage through the hardest rock. The hasty torrent rushes over it with hideous uproar, and leaves no trace behind. The life of Friedrich Schiller: Comprehending an examination of his works (1825).

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

—  Thomas Carlyle
1840s, Heroes and Hero-Worship (1840), The Hero as Divinity, Context: No nobler feeling than this of admiration for one higher than himself dwells in the breast of man. It is to this hour, and at all hours, the vivifying influence in man's life.

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„The end of man is an Action, and not a Thought, though it were the noblest.“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1830s, Sartor Resartus (1833–1834), Context: Hadst thou not Greek enough to understand thus much: The end of man is an Action, and not a Thought, though it were the noblest. Bk. II, ch. 5 The words Carlyle put in italics are a quotation from Book 1 of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

„Such grinning inanity is very sad to the soul of man. Human faces should not grin on one like masks; they should look on one like faces! I love honest laughter, as I do sunlight; but not dishonest“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1840s, Past and Present (1843), Context: "No man in this fashionable London of yours," friend Sauerteig would say, "speaks a plain word to me. Every man feels bound to be something more than plain; to be pungent withal, witty, ornamental. His poor fraction of sense has to be perked into some epigrammatic shape, that it may prick into me;—perhaps (this is the commonest) to be topsyturvied, left standing on its head, that I may remember it the better! Such grinning inanity is very sad to the soul of man. Human faces should not grin on one like masks; they should look on one like faces! I love honest laughter, as I do sunlight; but not dishonest: most kinds of dancing too; but the St.-Vitus kind not at all! A fashionable wit, ach Himmel, if you ask, Which, he or a Death's- head, will be the cheerier company for me? pray send not him!"

„My whinstone house my castle is“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1820s, Context: Not all his men may sever this,  It yields to friends', not monarchs', calls; My whinstone house my castle is—  I have my own four walls. “My Own Four Walls” (c. 1825)

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

—  Thomas Carlyle
1830s, Sartor Resartus (1833–1834), Context: O thou who art able to write a Book, which once in the two centuries or oftener there is a man gifted to do, envy not him whom they name City-builder, and inexpressibly pity him whom they name Conqueror or City-burner! Thou too art a Conqueror and Victor; but of the true sort, namely over the Devil: thou too hast built what will outlast all marble and metal, and be a wonder-bringing City of the Mind, a Temple and Seminary and Prophetic Mount, whereto all kindreds of the Earth will pilgrim. Bk. II, ch. 8.

„Originality is a thing we constantly clamour for, and constantly quarrel with“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1820s, Critical and Miscellaneous Essays (1827–1855), Context: Originality is a thing we constantly clamour for, and constantly quarrel with; as if, observes our author himself, any originality but our own could be expected to content us! In fact all strange thing are apt, without fault of theirs, to estrange us at first view, and unhappily scarcely anything is perfectly plain, but what is also perfectly common. Richter.

„Human Intellect, if you consider it well, is the exact summary of Human Worth; and the essence of all worth-ships and worships is reverence for that same.“

—  Thomas Carlyle
1850s, Latter-Day Pamphlets (1850), Downing Street (April 1, 1850), Context: a man of Intellect, of real and not sham Intellect, is by the nature of him likewise inevitably a man of nobleness, a man of courage, rectitude, pious strength; who, even because he is and has been loyal to the Laws of this Universe, is initiated into discernment of the same; to this hour a Missioned of Heaven; whom if men follow, it will be well with them; whom if men do not follow, it will not be well. Human Intellect, if you consider it well, is the exact summary of Human Worth; and the essence of all worth-ships and worships is reverence for that same.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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