Thomas Hughes

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Thomas Hughes

Thomas Hughes (October 20, 1822March 22, 1896) was an English novelist, biographer and social reformer, best known as the author of Tom Brown's School Days and as the creator of Flashman.


See also: Tom Brown's School Days

Tom Brown at Oxford (1861)[edit]

  • Blessed are they who have the gift of making friends, for it is one of God's best gifts. It involves many things, but, above all, the power of going out of one's self and appreciating whatever is noble and loving in another.
    • Ch. 7
  • [T]he least of the muscular Christians has hold of the old chivalrous and Christian belief, that a man's body is given him to be trained and brought into subjection, and then used for the protection of the weak, the advancement of all righteous causes, and the subduing of the earth which God has given to the children of men. He does not hold that mere strength or activity are in themselves worthy of any respect or worship, or that one man is a bit better than another because he can knock him down or carry a bigger sack of potatoes than he.
    • Ch. 11
  • Heaven, they say, protects children, sailors, and drunken men; and whatever answers to Heaven in the academical system protects freshmen.
    • Ch. 12
  • [W]hat will not a delicately nurtured British lady go through when her mind is bent either on pleasure or duty?
    • Ch. 25
  • Women, to be very attractive to all sorts of different people, must have great readiness of sympathy. Many have it naturally, and many work hard in acquiring a good imitation of it. In the first case it is against the nature of such persons to be monopolized for more than a very short time; in the second all their trouble would be thrown away if they allowed themselves to be monopolized. Once in their lives, indeed, they will be, and ought to be, and that monopoly lasts, or should last for ever; but instead of destroying in them that which was their great charm, it only deepens and widens it, and the sympathy which was before fitful, and, perhaps, wayward, flows on in a calm and healthy stream, blessing and cheering all who come within reach of its exhilarating and life-giving waters.
    • Ch. 27
  • For the credit of muscular Christianity, one must say that it was not her weight, but the tumult in his own inner man, which made her bearer totter. Nevertheless, if one is wholly unused to the exercise, the carrying a healthy young English girl weighing a good eight stone, is as much as most men can conveniently manage.
    • Ch. 34
    • Tom Brown is carrying his future wife, Mary Porter, who has sprained her ankle walking in the woods.
  • Young men are pretty much like a drove of sheep; any one who takes a decided line on certain matters, is sure to lead all the rest.
    • Ch. 38
  • There's always a voice saying the right thing to you somewhere, if you'll only listen for it.
    • Ch. 48
  • It was because you were out of sorts with the world, smarting with the wrongs you saw on every side, struggling after something better and higher and sympathizing with the poor and weak, that I loved you. We should never have been here, dear, if you had been a young gentleman satisfied with himself and the world, and likely to get on well in society.
    • Ch. 50
    • Mary to Tom on their honeymoon
  • "The consciousness of the darkness in one and around one brings the longing for light. And then the light dawns; through mist and fog, perhaps, but enough to pick one's way by." He stopped a moment and then added, "and shines ever brighter unto the perfect day."
    • Ch. 50
  • Yes, that new world, through the golden gates of which they had passed together, which is the old, old world after all, and nothing else. The same old and new world it was to our fathers and mothers as it is to us, and shall be to our children — a world clear and bright, and ever becoming clearer and brighter to the humble, and true, and pure of heart, to every man and woman who shall live in it as the children of the Maker and Lord of it, their Father. To them, and to them alone, is that world, old and new, given, and all that is in it, fully and freely to enjoy. All others but these are occupying where they have no title; "they are sowing much, but bringing in little; they eat, but have not enough; they drink, but are not filled with drink; they clothe themselves, but there is none warm; and he of them who earneth wages earneth wages to put them into a bag with holes." But these have the world and all things for a rightful and rich inheritance; for they hold them as dear children of Him in whose hands it and they are lying, and no power in earth or hell shall pluck them out of their Father's hand.
    • Ch. 50, the concluding lines of the novel
    • The verses quoted are from the Bible: Haggai 1:6

The Manliness of Christ (1879)[edit]

  • [I]n this life-long fight, to be waged by everyone of us as single-handed against a host of foes, the last requisite for a good fight, the last proof and test of our courage and manfulness, must be loyalty to truth — the most rare and difficult of all human qualities. For such loyalty, as it grows in perfection, asks ever more and more of us, and sets before us a standard of manliness always rising higher and higher.
    • Part II
  • Christ's whole life on earth was the assertion and example of true manliness — the setting forth in living act and word what man is meant to be, and how he should carry himself in this world of God — one long campaign in which the "temptation" stands out as the first great battle and victory.
    • Part IV
  • From behind the shadow of the still small voice — more awful than tempest or earthquake — more sure and persistent than day and night — is always sounding full of hope and strength to the weariest of us all, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
    • Part VIII

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