''No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men.''
''The greatest of faults, I should say, is to be conscious of none.''
''No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offence.''
''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 rights.''
''We call it a Society; and go about professing openly the totalest separation, isolation. 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.''
''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.''
''A terrible, beetle-browed, mastiff-mouthed, yellow-skinned, broad-bottomed, grim-taciturn individual; with a pair of dull-cruel-looking black eyes, and as much Parliamentary intellect and silent-rage in him ... as I have ever seen in any man.''
''I don't pretend to understand the Universe—it's a great deal bigger than I am.''
''One seems to believe almost all that they believe; and when they stop short and call it a Religion, and you pass on, and call it only a reminiscence of one, should you not part with the kiss of peace?''
''Thought once awakened does not again slumber; unfolds itself into a System of Thought; grows, in man after man, generation after generation,—till its full stature is reached, and such System of Thought can grow no farther, but must give place to another.''
''A man perfects himself by working. Foul jungles are cleared away, fair seed-fields rise instead, and stately cities; and withal the man himself first ceases to be a jungle, and foul unwholesome desert thereby.... The man is now a man.''
''Writing is a dreadful Labour, yet not so dreadful as Idleness.''
''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.''
''The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was.''
''Lives the man that can figure a naked Duke of Windlestraw addressing a naked House of Lords?''
''Little other than a redtape Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence.''
''Cash-payment never was, or could except for a few years be, the union-bond of man to man. Cash never yet paid one man fully his deserts to another; nor could it, nor can it, now or henceforth to the end of the world.''
''They raise their minds by brooding over and embellishing their sufferings, from one degree of fervid exaltation and dreary greatness to another, till at length they run amuck entirely, and whoever meets them would do well to run them thro' the body.''
''Genius (which means transcendent capacity of taking trouble, first of all).''
''What I loved in the man was his health, his unity with himself; all people and all things seemed to find their quite peaceable adjustment with him, not a proud domineering one, as after doubtful contest, but a spontaneous-looking peaceable, even humble one.''
''History, a distillation of rumour.''
''A frightful dialect for the stupid, the pedant and dullard sort.''
''Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the Devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it.''
''The Persians are called the French of the East; we will call the Arabs Oriental Italians. A gifted noble people; a people of wild strong feelings, and of iron restraint over these: the characteristic of noblemindedness, of genius.''
''A man cannot make a pair of shoes rightly unless he do it in a devout manner.''
''Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as Eternity; speech is shallow as Time.''
''For man is not the creature and product of Mechanism; but, in a far truer sense, its creator and producer.''
''That monstrous tuberosity of civilised life, the capital of England.''
''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.''
''Worship is transcendent wonder.''
''Happy the people whose annals are vacant.''
''A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune's inequality exhibits under this sun.''
''There is a great discovery still to be made in literature, that of paying literary men by the quantity they do not write.''
''The true university of these days is a collection of books.''
''France was long a despotism tempered by epigrams.''
''No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.''
''Fancy that thou deservest to be hanged ... thou wilt feel it happiness to be only shot: fancy that thou deservest to be hanged in a hair halter, it will be a luxury to die in hemp.''
''For, if a "good speaker," never so eloquent, does not see into the fact, and is not speaking the truth of that ... is there a more horrid kind of object in creation?''
''What are your historical Facts; still more your biographical? Wilt thou know a Man ... by stringing-together beadrolls of what thou namest Facts?''
''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 begins and perfects on himself.''
''Man is a tool-using animal.... Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.''
''In the long-run every Government is the exact symbol of its People, with their wisdom and unwisdom; we have to say, Like People like Government.''
''No man who has once heartily and wholly laughed can be altogether irreclaimably bad.''
''Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether.''