Matthew Arnold

Matthew Arnold
Matthew Arnold
  • Born: December 24, 1822
  • Died: April 16, 1888
  • Nationality: English
  • Profession: Poet









Matthew Arnold was an English poet and cultural critic who worked as an inspector of schools. He was the son of Thomas Arnold, the famed headmaster of Rugby School, and brother to both Tom Arnold, literary professor, and William Delafield Arnold, novelist and colonial administrator. Matthew Arnold has been characterised as a sage writer, a type of writer who chastises and instructs the reader on contemporary social issues.

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… 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. Science, Mathematics, Engineering & Technology
But each day brings its petty dust Our soon-chok'd souls to fill, And we forget because we must, And not because we will. History
Choose equality …. Inequality has the natural and necessary effect … of materializing our upper class, vulgarizing our middle class, and brutalizing our lower class. Equality & Equal Opportunity
Culture is to know the best that has been said and thought in the world Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle
Freedom is a great horse to ride, but you have to know your destination Freedom & Liberty
I do not wish to see men of culture asking to be entrusted with power Power
It is a very great thing to be able to think as you like; but, after all, an important question remains: what you think. Freedom & Liberty
Miracles are doomed; they will drop out like fairies and witchcraft, from among the matter which serious people believe. Religion & God
Nations are not truly great solely because the individuals composing them are numerous, free, and active; but they are great when these numbers, this freedom, and this activity are employed in the service of an ideal higher than that of an ordinary man, taken by himself. States. Nations & Nationhood
Peace, peace is what I seek and public calm, Endless extinction of unhappy hates. War & Peace
That which in England we call the middle class is in America virtually the nation. Economics, The Economy & Fiscal Affairs
The freethinking of one age is the common sense of the next. Reform, Change, Transformation & Reformers
And we forget because we must and not because we will.
Bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness full of grandeur. Nature
Because thou must not dream, thou need not despair.
Conduct is three-fourths of our life and its largest concern. Life
Culture is properly described as the love of perfection; it is a study of perfection. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Culture is to know the best that has been said and thought in the world.
For the creation of a masterwork of literature two powers must concur, the power of the man and the power of the moment, and the man is not enough without the moment. Power
France, famed in all great arts, in none supreme.
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
Home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names, and impossible loyalties!
It is almost impossible to exaggerate the proneness of the human mind to take miracles as evidence, and to seek for miracles as evidence.
It is so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, to have thought, to have done.
Journalism is literature in a hurry. Communication & Communications
Nature, with equal mind, Sees all her sons at play, Sees man control the wind, The wind sweep man away. Nature
Not a having and a resting, but a growing and becoming, is the character of perfection as culture conceives it.
Our society distributes itself into Barbarians, Philistines and Populace; and America is just ourselves with the Barbarians quite left out, and the Populace nearly. Society
Poetry is simply the most beautiful, impressive, and widely effective mode of saying things. Communication & Communications ;Literature, Writers & Writing
Poetry; a criticism of life under the conditions fixed for such a criticism by the laws of poetic truth and poetic beauty. Truth ;Life
Resolve to be thyself: and know that he who finds himself, loses his misery.
Sad Patience, too near neighbour to despair. Patience
Spare me the whispering, crowded room, the friends who come and gape and go, the ceremonious air of gloom - all, which makes death a hideous show. Death
Still bent to make some port he knows not where, still standing for some false impossible shore.
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. Love, Romance, Marriage & Sex
The pursuit of perfection, then, is the pursuit of sweetness and light.
The true meaning of religion is thus, not simply morality, but morality touched by emotion. Religion & God
To have the sense of creative activity is the great happiness and the great proof of being alive. Happiness & Unhappiness
Truth sits upon the lips of dying men. Truth
Use your gifts faithfully, and they shall be enlarged; practice what you know, and you shall attain to higher knowledge. Education, Learning, Knowledge & Training
Waiting for the spark from heaven to fall.

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