Quotes by Charles Mackay

"You have no enemies, you say? Alas, my friend, the boast is poor. He who has mingled in the fray of duty that the brave endure, must have made foes. If you have none, small is the work that you have done. You’ve hit no traitor on the hip. You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip. You’ve never turned the wrong to right. You’ve been a coward in the fight."
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"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one."
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"In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first."
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"Let us not, in the pride of our superior knowledge, turn with contempt from the follies of our predecessors. The study of the errors into which great minds have fallen in the pursuit of truth can never be uninstructive. As the man looks back to the days of his childhood and his youth, and recalls to his mind the strange notions and false opinions that swayed his actions at the time, that he may wonder at them; so should society, for its edification, look back to the opinions which governed ages that fled."
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"Three causes especially have excited the discontent of mankind; and, by impelling us to seek remedies for the irremediable, have bewildered us in a maze of madness and error. These are death, toil, and the ignorance of the future.."
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Charles Mackay
  • Charles Mackay

  • Date of birth: March 27, 1814
  • Died: December 24, 1889
  • Born: in Perth, Scotland.

  • Description: Charles Mackay was a Scottish poet, journalist, author, anthologist, novelist, and songwriter, remembered mainly for his book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

    Mackay became a journalist in London: in 1834 he was an occasional contributor to The Sun. From the spring of 1835 till 1844 he was assistant sub-editor of the Morning Chronicle. In the autumn of 1839 he spent a month's holiday in Scotland, witnessing the Eglintoun Tournament, which he described in the Chronicle, and making acquaintances in Edinburgh. In the autumn of 1844, he moved to Scotland, and became editor of the Glasgow Argus, resigning in 1847. He worked for the Illustrated London News in 1848, becoming editor in 1852.

    Mackay published Songs and Poems (1834), a History of London, The Thames and its Tributaries or, Rambles Among the Rivers (1840), Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1841), and a romance entitled Longbeard. He is also remembered for his Gaelic Etymology of the Languages of Western Europe and the later Dictionary of Lowland Scotch.

    His daughter was English novelist and mystic Marie Corelli.

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