Matthew Arnold Quotes

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

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

It is important, therefore, to hold fast to this: that poetry is at bottom a criticism of life; that the greatness of a poet lies in his powerful and beautiful application of ideas to life to the question: How to live.

Matthew Arnold

A beautiful and ineffectual angel, beating in the void his luminous wings in vain.

Matthew Arnold

Coleridge, poet and philosopher wrecked in a mist of opium.

Matthew Arnold

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

Matthew Arnold

Everything in our political life tends to hide from us that there is anything wiser than our ordinary selves.

Matthew Arnold

The men of culture are the true apostles of equality.

Matthew Arnold

The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light. He who works for sweetness and light, works to make reason and the will of God prevail. He who works for machinery, he who works for hatred, works only for confusion. Culture looks beyond machinery, culture hates hatred; culture has one great passion, the passion for sweetness and light.

Matthew Arnold

Greatness is a spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration; and the outward proof of possessing greatness is that we excite love, interest, and admiration.

Matthew Arnold

Culture is then properly described not as having its origin in curiosity, but as having its origin in the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection.

Matthew Arnold

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

The whole scope of the essay is to recommend culture as the great help out of our present difficulties; 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; and through this knowledge, turning a stream of fresh and free thought upon our stock notions and habits, which we now follow staunchly but mechanically, vainly imagining that there is a virtue in following them staunchly which makes up for the mischief of following them mechanically.

Matthew Arnold

Radiant with ardour divine! Beacons of Hope ye appear! Languor is not in your heart, Weakness is not in your word, Weariness not on your brow.

Matthew Arnold

Therefore to thee it was given Many to save with thyself; And, at the end of thy day, O faithful shepherd! to come, Bringing thy sheep in thy hand.

Matthew Arnold

What is the course of the life Of mortal men on the earth? Most men eddy about Here and thereeat and drink, Chatter and love and hate, Gather and squander, are raised Aloft, are hurld in the dust, Striving blindly, achieving Nothing; and, then they die Perish; and no one asks Who or what they have been, More than he asks what waves In the moonlit solitudes mild Of the midmost Ocean, have swelld, Foamd for a moment, and gone.

Matthew Arnold
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