Charles Kingsley


English Clergyman, Novelist, Poet, Priest of the Church of England, University Professor and Historian

Author Quotes

Nothing is so infectious as example.

Make it a rule… never, if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say, “I have made one human being at least a little wiser, a little happier or a little better this day.”

Let us ask ourselves seriously and honestly, “What do I believe after all? What sort of manner of man am I after all? What sort of show should I make after all, if the people round me knew my heart and all my secret thoughts? What sort of show, then, do I already make in the sight of Almighty God, who sees every man exactly as he is?”

Did it ever strike you that goodness is not merely a beautiful thing, but by far the most beautiful thing in the whole world? So that nothing is to be compared for value with goodness; that riches, honor, power, pleasure, learning, the whole world and all in it, are not worth having in comparison with being good; and the utterly best thing for a person is to be good, even though they were never to be rewarded for it.

When two friends understand each other totally, the words are soft and strong like an orchid's perfume

Wherever is love and loyalty, great purposes and lofty souls, even though in a hovel or a mine, there is fairyland.

Young blood must have its course, lad, and every dog its day.

We shall be made truly wise if we be made content; content, too, not only with what we can understand, but content with what we do not understand,--the habit of mind which theologians call, and rightly, faith its God.

What right has any free, reasonable soul on earth to sell himself for a shilling a day to murder any man, right or wrong, even his own brother or his own father, just because such a whiskered, profligate jackanapes as that officer, without learning, without any good except his own looking-glass and his opera-dancer,--a fellow who, just because he was born a gentleman, is set to command gray-headed men before he can command his own meanest passions. Good heavens! that the lives of free men should be entrusted to such a stuffed cockatoo; and that free men should be such traitors to their own flesh and blood as to sell themselves, for a shilling a day and the smirks of the nursery-maids, to do that fellow's bidding.

We ought to reverence books; to look on them as useful and mighty things. If they are good and true, whether they are about religion, politics, farming, trade, law, or medicine, they are the message of Christ, the maker of all things -- the teacher of all truth.

We have used the Bible as if it was a mere special constable's handbook, an opium dose for keeping beasts of burden patient while they are being overloaded.

To be discontented with the divine discontent, and to be ashamed with the noble shame, is the very germ of the first upgrowth of all virtue.

There's no use doing a kindness if you do it a day too late.

This is eternal life; a life of everlasting love, showing itself in everlasting good works; and whosoever lives that life, he lives the life of God, and hath eternal life

Therefore, let us be patient, patient; and let God our Father teach His own lesson, His own way. Let us try to learn it well and quickly; but do not let us fancy that He will ring the school-bell, and send us to play before our lesson is learnt.

There is something very wonderful about music. Words are wonderful enough; but music is even more wonderful. It speaks not to our thoughts as words do; it speaks through our hearts and spirits, to the very core and root of our souls. Music soothes us, stirs us up, it puts noble feelings in us, it can make us cringe; and it can melt us to tears; and yet we have no idea how. It is a language by itself, just as perfect in its ways as speech, as words, just as divine, just as blessed.

There is a great deal of human nature in man.

There is nothing more wonderful than a book. It may be a message to us from the dead, from human souls we never saw who lived perhaps thousands of miles away, and yet these little sheets of paper speak to us, arouse us, teach us, open our hearts and in turn open their hearts to us like brothers. Without books, God is silent, justice dormant, philosophy lame.

The western tide crept up along the sand, And o'er and o'er the sand, And round and round the sand, As far as eye could see The rolling mist came down and hid the land: And never home came she.

The world goes up and the world goes down, and the sunshine follows the rain; and yesterday's sneer and yesterday's frown can never come over again, sweet wife. No, never come over again.

There are two freedoms - the false, where a man is free to do what he likes; the true, where he is free to do what he ought.

The most wonderful and the strongest things in the world, you know, are just the things which no one can see.

The men whom I have seen succeed best in life always have been cheerful and hopeful men; who went about their business with a smile on their faces; and took the changes and chances of this mortal life like men; facing rough and smooth alike as it came.

The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth, or a man or woman left to say, I will redress that wrong, or spend my life in the attempt.

Take comfort, and recollect however little you and I may know, God knows; He knows Himself and you and me and all things; and His mercy is over all His works.

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English Clergyman, Novelist, Poet, Priest of the Church of England, University Professor and Historian