Past and present (Google eBook)

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William H. Colyer, 1843 - Great Britain - 148 pages
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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - keylawk - LibraryThing

In "Past and Present", Carlyle takes the propaedeutic steps toward his later passionate histories and criticisms of English society, religion, and politics. He does indignation well. He was sickened ... Read full review

Review: Past and Present

User Review  - Brenna - Goodreads

Carlyle makes some interesting points (that I think carry over to society today from the 19th Century) however at times his thoughts seems scattered. Parts of his writing are beautiful and read as ... Read full review

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Page 76 - There is but one temple in the Universe,' says the devout Novalis, ' and that is the Body of Man. Nothing is holier than that high form. Bending before men is a reverence done to this Revelation in the Flesh. We touch Heaven when we lay our hand on a human body!
Page 112 - Consider how, even in the meanest sorts of Labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony, the instant he sets himself to work! Doubt, Desire, Sorrow, Remorse, Indignation, Despair itself, all these like helldogs lie beleaguering the soul of the poor dayworker, as of every man: but he bends himself with free valor against his task, and all these are stilled, all these shrink murmuring far off into their caves. The man is now a man. The blessed glow of Labor in him, is it not...
Page 113 - Blessed is he who has found his work ; . let him ask no other blessedness. He has a work, a life-purpose ; he has found it, and will follow it ! How, as a free-flowing channel, dug and torn by noble force through the sour mud-swamp of one's existence, like an ever-deepening river, there it runs and flows ! draining off the sour festering water, gradually, from the root of the remotest grass-blade ; making, instead of pestilential swamp, a green fruitful meadow with its clear flowing stream. How blessed...
Page 113 - Almighty God ; from his inmost heart awakens him to all nobleness, to all knowledge, ' selfknowledge' and much else, so soon as Work fitly begins. Knowledge ? The knowledge that will hold good in working, cleave thou to that ; for Nature herself accredits that, says Yea to that. Properly thou hast no other knowledge but what thou hast got by working : the rest is yet all a hypothesis of knowledge ; a thing to be argued of in schools, a thing floating in the clouds, in endless logic-vortices,...
Page 13 - ... England is full of wealth, of multifarious produce, supply for human want in every kind; yet England is dying of inanition. With unabated bounty the land of England blooms and grows; waving with yellow harvests; thick-studded with workshops, industrial implements, with fifteen millions of workers, understood to be the strongest, the cunningest and the willingest our Earth ever had; these men are here; the work they have done; the fruit they have...
Page 14 - So many hundred thousands sit in workhouses: and other hundred thousands have not yet got even workhouses; and in thrifty Scotland itself, in Glasgow or Edinburgh City, in their dark lanes, hidden from all but the eye of God, and of rare Benevolence the minister of God, there are scenes of woe and destitution and desolation, such as, one may hope, the Sun never saw before in the most barbarous regions where men dwelt.
Page 13 - Of these successful skilful workers some two millions, it is now counted, sit in Workhouses, Poor-law Prisons; or have 'out-door relief flung over the wall to them, the workhouse Bastille being filled to bursting, and the strong Poor-law broken asunder by a stronger. They sit there, these many months now; their hope of deliverance as yet small. In workhouses, pleasantly so-named, because work cannot be done in them.
Page 121 - Liberty? The true liberty of a man, you would say, consisted in his finding out, or being forced to find out the right path, and to walk thereon. To learn, or to be taught, what work he actually was able for ; and then by permission, persuasion, and even compulsion, to set about doing of the same ! That is his true blessedness, honour, 'liberty' and maximum of wellbeing : if liberty be not that, I for one have small care about liberty.
Page 29 - To him that hath shall be given ; and from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Page 87 - Idleness is worst, Idleness alone is without hope: work earnestly at anything, you will by degrees learn to work at almost all things. There is endless hope in work, were it even work at making money.

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