"How decipher, with best fidelity, the eternal regulation of the Universe? All the world answers me, ‘Count heads; ask Universal Suffrage, by the ballot-boxes, and that will tell.’
"…all that a University, or final highest School can do for us, is still but what the first School began doing,—teach us to read. We learn to read, in various languages, in various sciences; we learn the alphabet and letters of all manner of Books. But the place where we are to get knowledge … is the Books themselves! It depends on what we read, after all manner of Professors have done their best for us. The true University of these days is a Collection of Books."
"What we become depends on what we read after all of the professors have finished with us. The greatest university of all is a collection of books."
Carlyle, on the Malthusian hope that people would through continence keep the population level in line with resources:Smart Sally in our alley proves all-too fascinating to brisk Tom in yours: can Tom be called on to make pause, and calculate the demand for labour in the British Empire first? … O wonderful Mathusian prophets! Millenniums are undoubtedly coming, must come one way or the other: but will it be, think you, by twenty millions of working people simultaneously striking work in that department … ?
from Richard D. Altick, Victorian People and Ideas, p. 121