The Grand Scots

On Speech and Silence …

Posted on June 30, 2017. Filed under: Quotes, The Grand Scots |

On Speech, Silence; – Thomas Carlyle ….

Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves. Silence is more eloquent than words. It is as deep as eternity. Secrecy is the element of all goodness; even virtue, even beauty is mysterious.

Speech is as shallow as time. Speech is human, Silence is divine – yet also brutish and dead. Therefore we must learn both arts.

Humor has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius.
Music is well said to be the speech of angels. In fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man, is felt to be so divine – it brings us near to the Infinite.

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The Great Scot – Robert Luis Stevenson …

Posted on November 25, 2010. Filed under: Guide Posts, Mars & Venus, The Grand Scots |

Robert Louis Stevenson was a Scottish novelist greatly admired by, among others, Hemingway, Kipling, Nabokov and Chesterton. Here are some of his gems.

An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding. To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life. Our buisness is not to succeed but to continue to fail in good spirits. 

There is no duty we so much under rate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world. The habit of being happy enables one to be freed, or largely freed, from the domination of outward conditions.

 Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened, but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock in a thunderstorm. Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well. Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.

Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life. So long as we love, we serve. Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.

Every heart that has beat strongly and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind. There is an idea among moral people that they should make their neighbors good; but one person I have to make good is myself. My duty to my neighbor is better expressed by saying that I have to make him happy.

Every one lives by selling something. Compromise is the best and cheapest lawyer.

Absences are a good influence in love and keep it bright and delicate. But marriage is like life – it is a field of battle, not a bed of roses.   Marriage, makes a man slack and selfish; he undergoes a fatty degeneration of his moral being.  ……   You can forgive people who do not follow your philosophical discussion; but to find your wife laughing when you have tears in your eyes or staring when you were full of laughter, should suffice to dissolve the marriage.

 

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Adam Smith …

Posted on May 23, 2007. Filed under: Books, Business, Personalities, The Grand Scots |

Adam Smith was a pioneering  economist, famous for his ‘Wealth of Nations’. This book contains his explanation for rational self-interest and competition leading to common well-being. He helped create the discipline of economics and provided the best-known rationale for free trade and capitalism. Here are some of his maxims.

Man is an animal that makes bargains – he trucks, barters, exchanges one thing for another. No other animal does this – no dog exchanges bones with another.

Labour was the first price, the original purchase money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour that all wealth of the world was originally purchased.

It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner. It is from their regard to their own interest.

What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience? Happiness never lays its finger on its pulse.

Humanity is the virtue of a woman, generosity that of a man.

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This is – Thomas Carlyle …

Posted on March 20, 2007. Filed under: Books, Great Writing, Guide Posts, The Grand Scots |

Thomas Carlyle was a historian, whose completed manuscript of his first volume of ‘The French Revolution’, was accidentally burned by John Stuart Mill’s maid. Carlyle wrote the second and third volumes before rewriting the first from scratch. His work is filled with  passionate intensity unknown in historical writing. For Carlyle, chaotic events demanded what he called ‘heroes’ to take control over competing forces.

Here are some of his observations.

Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It’s a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment. No pressure, No diamonds. Narrative is linear, action has breadth and depth as well as height and is solid.

In books lies the soul of the whole past. All that mankind has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.

Everywhere in life, the true question is not what we gain, but what we do. He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything.

No person is important enough to make me angry. Make yourself an honest man, and then you may be sure there is one less rascal in the world.

Talk that does not end in any kind of action is better suppressed altogether. Silence is more eloquent than words; it is as deep as eternity. Speech is as shallow as time.

Speech is human. Silence is divine, yet also brutish and dead; therefore we must learn both arts. Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together. Secrecy is the element of all goodness; even virtue, even beauty is mysterious.

Humor has justly been regarded as the finest perfection of poetic genius. Music is well said to be the speech of angels; in fact, nothing among the utterances allowed to man is felt to be so divine. It brings us near to the Infinite.

Sarcasm I now seem to believe, in general, the language of the devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it.

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