37 Best Charles Mackay Quotes from Scottish Poet

Charles Mackay was a Scottish poet, journalist, songwriter and author, best known for “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”

Born in Perth, Mackay lost his mother shortly after birth. Educated in London and Brussels, he later worked as a private secretary in Liège and began writing for local newspapers.

By 1832, he returned to London, teaching Italian to Benjamin Lumley. Mackay married twice and had four children from his first marriage.

The novelist Marie Corelli was his illegitimate daughter. As a journalist, Mackay contributed to several newspapers, including The Morning Chronicle and The Illustrated London News, eventually becoming an editor.

Charles Mackay

He visited North America, documenting his travels and served as a correspondent during the American Civil War.

A prolific writer, Mackay authored various works, including a book about the Founding Fathers of the US.

He gained significant popularity for his songs, with some set to music by Henry Russell.

Despite his achievements, Mackay faced criticism, especially for his etymological works. He died in London.

Here are some of the famous quotes by Charles Mackay.

Best Charles Mackay Quotes

Some love to roam o’er the dark sea’s foam, Where the shrill winds whistle free. ~ Charles Mackay.

Men of thought and men of action, clear the Way! ~ Charles Mackay.

Aid the dawning, tongue and pen; Aid it, hopes of honest men! ~ Charles Mackay.


Posterity is grateful if our contemporaries are not. ~ Charles Mackay.

There’s a good time coming, boys! A good time coming. ~ Charles Mackay.

Credulity is always greatest in times of calamity. ~ Charles Mackay.

Water is the mother of the vine, the nurse and fountain of fecundity, the adorner and refresher of the world. ~ Charles Mackay.

Many persons grow insensibly attached to that which gives them a great deal of trouble, as a mother often loves her sick and ever-ailing child better than her more healthy offspring. ~ Charles MacKay.

Famous Charles Mackay Quotes

A company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is. ~ Charles Mackay.

Of all the offspring of Time, Error is the most ancient, and is so old and familiar an acquaintance, that Truth, when discovered, comes upon most of us like an intruder, and meets the intruder’s welcome. ~ Charles Mackay.

In the meantime, innumerable joint-stock companies started up everywhere. They soon received the name of Bubbles, the most appropriate that imagination could devise. ~ Charles Mackay,

There is no such thing as death. In nature nothing dies. From each sad remnant of decay, some forms of life arise so shall his life be taken away before he knoweth that he hath it. ~ Charles Mackay.

Nations, like individuals, cannot become desperate gamblers with impunity. Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later. ~ Charles Mackay.

War in men’s eyes shall be A monster of iniquity In the good time coming. Nations shall not quarrel then, To prove which is the stronger; Nor slaughter men for glory’s sake; – Wait a little longer. ~ Charles Mackay.

Every age has its peculiar folly: Some scheme, project, or fantasy into which it plunges, spurred on by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the force of imitation. ~ Charles Mackay.

Ultimate Charles Mackay Quotes

An enthusiastic philosopher, of whose name we are not informed, had constructed a very satisfactory theory on some subject or other, and was not a little proud of it. “But the facts, my dear fellow,” said his friend, “the facts do not agree with your theory.” – “Don’t they?” replied the philosopher, shrugging his shoulders, “then, tant pis pour les faits;” – so much the worse for the facts! ~ Charles Mackay.

An arrow may fly through the air and leave no trace; but an ill thought leaves a trail like a serpent. ~ Charles Mackay.

The weeping philosopher too often impairs his eyesight by his woe, and becomes unable from his tears to see the remedies for the evils which he deplores. Thus it will often be found that the man of no tears is the truest philanthropist, as he is the best physician who wears a cheerful face, even in the worst of cases. ~ Charles Mackay.

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, and one by one. ~ Charles Mackay.

If happy I and wretched he, Perhaps the king would change with me. ~ 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. ~ Charles Mackay.

Some men, by dint of excessive egotism, manage to persuade their contemporaries that they are very great men indeed: they publish their acquirements so loudly in people’s ears, and keep up their own praises so incessantly, that the world’s applause is actually taken by storm. ~ Charles Mackay.

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… ~ Charles Mackay.

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. ~ Charles Mackay.

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. ~ Charles Mackay.

Every fool aspired to be a knave. ~ Charles Mackay.

Old Tubal Cain was a man of might In the days when earth was young. ~ Charles Mackay.

There’s a fount about to stream, There’s a light about to beam, There’s a warmth about to glow, There’s a flower about to blow; There’s a midnight blackness changing Into gray; Men of thought and men of action, Clear the way. ~ Charles Mackay.

During seasons of great pestilence men have often believed the prophecies of crazed fanatics, that the end of the world was come. Credulity is always greatest in times of calamity. Prophecies of all sorts are rife on such occasions, and are readily believed, whether for good or evil. During the great plague, which ravaged all Europe, between the years 1345 and 1350, it was generally considered that the end of the world was at hand. ~ Charles Mackay.

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. ~ Charles Mackay.

Top Charles Mackay Quotes

We all pay an involuntary homage to antiquity – a blind homage, as Bacon calls it in his “Novum Organum,” which tends greatly to the obstruction of truth. To the great majority of mortal eyes, Time sanctifies everything that he does not destroy. The mere fact of anything being spared by the great foe makes it a favorite with us, who are sure to fall his victims. ~ Charles Mackay.


Injury was aggravated by insult, and insult was embittered by pleasantry. ~ Charles Mackay.

Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of the multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper. ~ Charles Mackay.

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. ~ Charles Mackay.

Much as the sage may affect to despise the opinion of the world, there are few who would not rather expose their lives a hundred times than be condemned to live on, in society, but not of it – a by-word of reproach to all who know their history, and a mark for scorn to point his finger at. ~ Charles Mackay.

But the sunshine aye shall light the sky, As round and round we run; And the truth shall ever come uppermost, And justice shall be done. ~ Charles Mackay.

So these were the 37 top Charles Mackay quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on James Madison quotes and Groucho Marx quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar