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Thomas Carlyle
1795 - 1881

Scottish-born English writer and historian, acquaintance of John Stuart Mill but a critic of his utilitarianism, author of The French Revolution (1837) and others

He that has done nothing has known nothing.

1832 - from Corn-Law Rhymes
I grow daily to honor facts more and more, and theory less and less.

All great peoples are conservative; slow to believe in novelties; patient of much error in actualities; deeply and forever certain of the greatness that is in law, in custom once solemnly established, and now long recognized as just and final.

1843 - from Past and Present
Democracy means despair of ever finding any heroes to govern you, and contentedly putting up with the want of them.

from Past and Present
Tell a man he is brave, and you help him to become so.

I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

No lie can live forever.

quoted by Martin Luther King in his commencement address at Oberlin College, June, 1965
Nothing that was worthy in the past departs; no truth or goodness realized by man ever dies, or can die.

The tragedy of life is not so much what men suffer, but rather what they miss.

In the long run every government is the exact symbol of its people, with their wisdom and unwisdom.

1843 - from Past and Present