Matthew Arnold quotes

  • The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Inspirational #Wisdom #Common Sense

  • Use your gifts faithfully, and they shall be enlarged; practice what you know, and you shall attain to higher knowledge.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Practice #Use #Higher

  • Our inequality materializes our upper class, vulgarizes our middle class, brutalizes our lower class.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Class #Wealth #Middle

  • Resolve to be thyself: and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Inspirational #Inspiring #Sadness

  • Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can. That is the only secret.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Writing #Secret

  • If there ever comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will be a force such as the world has never known.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Time #Together #World

  • Bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness full of grandeur.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Hiking #Mountain #Baldness

  • Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Beautiful #Impressive #Poetry Is

  • Yes! in the sea of life enisled, With echoing straits between us thrown, Dotting the shoreless watery wild, We mortal millions live alone.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Sea #Solitude #Thrown

  • The need of expansion is as genuine an instinct in man as the need in a plant for the light, or the need in man himself for going upright. The love of liberty is simply the instinct in man for expansion.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Men #Light #Intuition

  • Miracles are doomed; they will drop out like fairies and witchcraft, from...
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Miracle #Fairy #Witchcraft

  • Now the great winds shoreward blow Now the salt tides seaward flow Now the wild white horses play Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Horse #Blow #Play

  • Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Dance #Culture #World

  • The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Light #Perfection #Pursuit

  • This strange disease of modern life, With its sick hurry, its divided aims.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Life #Sick #Disease

  • The true meaning of religion is thus not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Emotion #Ethics #Morality

  • Culture is to know the best that has been said and thought in the world
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Culture #World #Said

  • Genius is mainly an affair of energy.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Energy #Genius #Affair

  • Journalism is literature in a hurry.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Inspirational #Reality #Literature

  • Art still has truth. Take refuge there.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Art #Refuge #Stills

  • Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Death #Men #Dying

  • That which in England we call the middle class is in America virtually the nation.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Class #America #England

  • Come to me in my dreams, and then By day I shall be well again. For then the night will more than pay The hopeless longing of the day.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Dream #Night #Pay

  • The sea is calm tonight. The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits;- on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Lying #Moon #Sea

  • Sanity -- that is the great virtue of the ancient literature; the want of that is the great defect of the modern, in spite of its variety and power.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Literature #Want #Ancient

  • The word "God" is used in most cases as by no means a term of science or exact knowledge, but a term of poetry and eloquence, a term thrown out, so to speak, as a not fully grasped object of the speaker's consciousness -- a literary term, in short; and mankind mean different things by it as their consciousness differs.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Mean #Different #Consciousness

  • Business could not make dull, nor passion wild; Who saw life steadily, and saw it whole.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Passion #Saws #Dull

  • Coleridge: poet and philosopher wrecked in a mist of opium.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Philosopher #Poet #Mist

  • And long we try in vain to speak and act Our hidden self, and what we say and do Is eloquent, is well -- but 'tis not true!
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Self #Long #Trying

  • However, if I shall live to be eighty I shall probably be the only person left in England who reads anything but newspapers and scientific publications.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #England #Newspapers #Publication

  • I am a Liberal, yet I am a Liberal tempered by experience, reflexion, and renouncement, and I am, above all, a believer in culture.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Culture #Believer

  • One must, I think, be struck more and more the longer one lives, to find how much in our present society a man's life of each day depends for its solidity and value upon whether he reads during that day, and far more still on what he reads during it.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Thinking #Men #Each Day

  • Creep into thy narrow bed, Creep, and let no more be said!
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Bed #Said #Creeps

  • For poetry the idea is everything; the rest is a world of illusion, of divine illusion. Poetry attaches its emotion to the idea; the idea is the fact. The strongest part of our religion today is its unconscious poetry.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Ideas #World #Today

  • What shelter to grow ripe is ours? What leisure to grow wise?
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Wise #Leisure #Shelter

  • And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know, Self-school'd, self-scann'd, self-honour'd, self-secure, Didst tread on earth unguess'd at. Better so! All pains the immortal spirit must endure, All weakness which impairs, all griefs which bow, Find their sole speech in that victorious brow.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Stars #Pain #Grief

  • Too quick despairer, wherefore wilt thou go? Soon will the high Midsummer pomps come on, Soon will the musk carnations break and swell.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Break #Carnations #Midsummer

  • Weep bitterly over the dead, for he is worthy, and then comfort thyself; drive heaviness away: thou shall not do him good, but hurt thyself.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Hurt #Comfort #Worthy

  • Goethe in Weimar sleeps, and Greece, Long since, saw Byron 's struggle cease.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Struggle #Sleep #Long

  • English civilization the humanizing, the bringing into one harmonious and truly humane life, of the whole body of English society that is what interests me.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Civilization #Body #Interest

  • Eutrapelia . "A happy and gracious flexibility," Pericles calls this quality of the Athenians...lucidity of thought, clearness and propriety of language, freedom from prejudice and freedom from stiffness, openness of mind, amiability of manners.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Mind #Quality #Prejudice

  • Ah! two desires toss about The poet's feverish blood; One drives him to the world without, And one to solitude.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Two #Blood #Solitude

  • Physician of the Iron Age, Goethe has done his pilgrimage. He took the suffering human race, He read each wound, each weakness clear -- And struck his finger on the place, And said -- Thou ailest here, and here.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Race #Iron #Suffering

  • On the breast of that huge Mississippi of falsehood called History, a foam-bell more or less is no consequence.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #History #Bells #Foam

  • Let the long contention cease! / Geese are swans, and swans are geese.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Swans #Long #Geese

  • If Paris that brief flight allow, My humble tomb explore! It bears: Eternity, be thou My refuge! and no more.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Humble #Paris #Bears

  • The eloquent voice of our century uttered, shortly before leaving the world, a warning cry against the "Anglo- Saxon contagion.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Voice #Leaving #Warning

  • One thing only has been lent to youth and age in common--discontent.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Age #Common #Youth

  • And thou, who didst the stars and sunbeams know, / Self-schooled, self-scanned, self-honoured, self-secure / Didst tread on earth unguessed at. Better so!.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Stars #Self #Earth

  • What is it to grow old? Is it to lose the glory of the form, The lustre of the eye? Is it for Beauty to forego her wreath? Yes; but not this alone.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Eye #Age #Wreaths

  • The love of science, and the energy and honesty in the pursuit of science, in the best of the Aryan races do seem to correspond in a remarkable way to the love of conduct, and the energy and honesty in the pursuit of conduct, in the best of the Semitic.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Honesty #Science #Men

  • The highest reach of science is, one may say, an inventive power, a faculty of divination, akin to the highest power exercised in poetry; therefore, a nation whose spirit is characterised by energy may well be eminent in science; and we have Newton. Shakspeare [sic] and Newton: in the intellectual sphere there can be no higher names. And what that energy, which is the life of genius, above everything demands and insists upon, is freedom; entire independence of all authority, prescription and routine, the fullest room to expand as it will.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Science #Men #Names

  • All this I bear, for, what I seek, I know: Peace, peace is what I seek, and public calm: Endless extinction of unhappy hates.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Peace #Hate #Unhappy

  • The study of letters is the study of the operation of human force, of human freedom and activity; the study of nature is the study of the operation of non-human forces, of human limitation and passivity. The contemplation of human force and activity tends naturally to heighten our own force and activity; the contemplation of human limits and passivity tends rather to check it. Therefore the men who have had the humanistic training have played, and yet play, so prominent a part in human affairs, in spite of their prodigious ignorance of the universe.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Education #Ignorance #Science

  • But the idea of science and systematic knowledge is wanting to our whole instruction alike, and not only to that of our business class ... In nothing do England and the Continent at the present moment more strikingly differ than in the prominence which is now given to the idea of science there, and the neglect in which this idea still lies here; a neglect so great that we hardly even know the use of the word science in its strict sense, and only employ it in a secondary and incorrect sense.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Education #Lying #Science

  • Calm soul of all things! make it mine To feel, amid the city's jar, That there abides a peace of thine, Man did not make, and cannot mar! The will to neither strive nor cry, The power to feel what others give! Calm, calm me more! nor let me die Before I have begun to live.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Peace #Men #Cities

  • God's Wisdom and God's Goodness!--Ah, but fools Mis-define thee, till God knows them no more. Wisdom and goodness they are God!--what schools Have yet so much as heard this simpler lore. This no Saint preaches, and this no Church rules: 'Tis in the desert, now and heretofore.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #God #School #Church

  • No, no! The energy of life may be Kept on after the grave, but not begun; And he who flagg'd not in the earthly strife, From strength to strength advancing--only he His soul well-knit, and all his battles won, Mounts, and that hardly, to eternal life.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Soul #Battle #May

  • The sea of faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Faith #Night #Wind

  • Change doth unknit the tranquil strength of men.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Change #Men #Tranquil

  • Years hence, perhaps, may dawn an age, More fortunate, alas! than we, Which without hardness will be sage, And gay without frivolity.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Gay #Years #Age

  • Philistinism! - We have not the expression in English. Perhaps we have not the word because we have so much of the thing.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Expression

  • It is a very great thing to be able to think as you like; but, after all, an important question remains: what you think.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Thinking #Important #Able

  • The grand stye arises in poetry, when a noble nature, poetically gifted, treats with simplicity or with severity a serious subject.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Poetry #Simplicity #Noble

  • All the live murmur of a summer's day.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Summer

  • Youth dreams a bliss on this side of death. It dreams a rest, if not more deep, More grateful than this marble sleep; It hears a voice within it tell: Calm's not life's crown, though calm is well. 'Tis all perhaps which man acquires, But 'tis not what our youth desires.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Dream #Grateful #Sleep

  • The Greek word euphuia, a finely tempered nature, gives exactly the notion of perfection as culture brings us to perceive it; a harmonious perfection, a perfection in which the characters of beauty and intelligence are both present, which unites "the two noblest of things"--as Swift . . . most happily calls them in his Battle of the Books, "the two noblest of things, sweetness and light.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Book #Character #Two

  • Children of men! the unseen Power, whose eye Forever doth accompany mankind, Hath look'd on no religion scornfully That men did ever find.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Children #Eye #Men

  • It is - last stage of all When we are frozen up within, and quite The phantom of ourselves To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost Which blamed the living man
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Men #Frozen #World

  • Like driftwood spares which meet and pass Upon the boundless ocean-plain, So on the sea of life, alas! Man nears man, meets, and leaves again.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Ocean #Men #Sea

  • France, famed in all great arts, in none supreme.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Art #France #Great Art

  • Come, dear children, let us away; Down and away below!
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Children #Down And #Dear

  • Cutlure looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion, - the passion for sweetness and light.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Hate #Passion #Light

  • How many minds--almost all the great ones--were formed in secrecy and solitude!
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Solitude #Mind #Secrecy

  • Ah, love, let us be true To one another!
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Love #Being True

  • Religion--that voice of the deepest human experience.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Voice #Religion #Human Experience

  • Poetry interprets in two ways: it interprets by expressing, with magical felicity, the physiognomy and movements of the outward world; and it interprets by expressing, with inspired conviction, the ideas and laws of the inward world of man's moral and spiritual nature. In other words, poetry is interpretative both by having natural magic in it, and by having moral profundity.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Spiritual #Men #Law

  • It does not try to reach down to the level of inferior classes; it does not try to win them for this or that sect of its own, with ready-made judgments and watchwords of its own. It seeks to away with classes, to make the best that has been taught and known in the world current everywhere, to make all men live in an atmosphere of sweetness and light, where they may use ideas, as it uses them itself, freely--nourished, and not bound by them.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Winning #Men #Light

  • Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion--the passion for sweetness and light. It has one even yet greater, the passion for making them all prevail. It is not satisfied till we all come to a perfect man; it knows that the sweetness and light of the few must be imperfect until the raw and unkindly masses of humanity are touched with sweetness and light.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Hate #Passion #Men

  • Now, the whole world hears Or shall hear,--surely shall hear, at the last, Though men delay, and doubt, and faint, and fail,-- That promise faithful:--"Fear not, little flock! It is your Father's will and joy, to give To you, the Kingdom"!
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Father #Men #Giving

  • Joy comes and goes, hope ebbs and flows Like the wave; Change doth unknit the tranquil strength of men. Love tends life a little grace, A few sad smiles; and then, Both are laid in one cold place, In the grave.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Change #Men #Ebb And Flow

  • Who hesitate and falter life away, and lose tomorrow the ground won today.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Today #Tomorrow

  • The nice sense of measure is certainly not one of Nature's gifts to her English children ... we have all of us yielded to infatuation at some moment of our lives.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Children #Nice #Infatuation

  • Truth illuminates and gives joy; and it is by the bond of joy, not of pleasure, that men's spirits are indissolubly held.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Truth #Men #Giving

  • Whoever sets himself to see things as they are will find himself one of a very small circle but it is only by this small circle resolutely doing its own work that adequate ideas will ever get current at all.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Circles #Ideas #Adequate

  • Religion is ethics heightened, enkindled, lit up by feeling
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Feelings #Ethics #Lit

  • Culture being a pursuit of our total perfection by means of getting to know, on all the matters which most concern us, the best which has been thought and said in the world.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Mean #Perfection #World

  • The interpretations of science do not give us this intimate sense of objects as the interpretations of poetry give it; they appeal to a limited faculty, and not to the whole man. It is not Linnaeus or Cavendish or Cuvier who gives us the true sense of animals, or water, or plants, who seizes their secret for us, who makes us participate in their life; it is Shakspeare [sic] … Wordsworth … Keats … Chateaubriand … Senancour.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Animal #Men #Giving

  • The uppermost idea with Hellenism is to see things as they really are; the uppermost ideas with Hebraism is conduct and obedience.Nothing can do away with this ineffaceable difference. The Greek quarrel with the body and its desires is, that they hinder right thinking; the Hebrew quarrel with them is, that they hinder right acting.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Thinking #Ideas #Differences

  • The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.... He who works for sweetness and light united, works to make reason and the will of God prevail.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Light #Perfection #Reason

  • All pains the immortal spirit must endure, All weakness that impairs, all griefs that bow, Find their sole voice in that victorious brow.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Success #Pain #Grief

  • Morality represents for everybody a thoroughly definite and ascertained idea: the idea of human conduct regulated in a certain manner.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Ideas #Morality #Certain

  • We must hold fast to the austere but true doctrine as to what really governs politics and saves or destroys states. Having in mind things true, things elevated, things just, things pure, things amiable, things of good report; having these in mind, studying and loving these, is what saves states.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Truth #Mind #Doctrine

  • Good poetry does undoubtedly tend to form the soul and character; it tends to beget a love of beauty and of truth in alliance together, it suggests, however indirectly, high and noble principles of action, and it inspires the emotion so helpful in making principles operative.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Character #Poetry #Inspire

  • The future of poetry is immense, because in poetry, where it is worthy of its high destinies, our race, as time goes on, will find an ever surer and surer stay ... More and more mankind will discover that we have to turn to poetry to interpret life for us, to console us, to sustain us.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Art #Destiny #Race

  • The heart less bounding at emotion new, The hope, once crushed, less quick to spring again.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Spring #Heart #Emotion

  • The best poetry will be found to have a power of forming, sustaining, and delighting us, as nothing else can.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Found #Best Poetry

  • The governing idea of Hellenism is spontaneity of consciousness ; that of Hebraism, strictness of conscience .
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Ideas #Consciousness #Spontaneity

  • O born in days when wits were fresh and clear, And life ran gaily as the sparkling Thames; Before this strange disease of modern life, With its sick hurry, its divided aims, Its heads o'ertax'd, its palsied hearts, was rife.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Heart #Sick #Modern Life

  • Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep, Where the winds are all asleep; Where the spent lights quiver and gleam; Where the salt weed sways in the stream.
    -- Matthew Arnold

    #Weed #Wind #Light