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Character quotes

To be fond of learning is near to wisdom; to practice with vigor is near to benevolence; and to be conscious of shame is near to fortitude. He who knows these three things

- Confucius

Change is an easy panacea. It takes character to stay in one place and be happy there.

- Dunn, Elizabeth C.

When any one of our relations was found to be a person of a very bad character, a troublesome guest, or one we desired to get rid of, upon his leaving my house I ever took care to lend him a riding-coat, or a pair of boots, or sometimes a horse of small value, and I always had the satisfaction of finding he never came back to return them.

- Goldsmith, Oliver

A man's reputation is what other people think of him; his character is what he really is.

- Jack Miner

Character is the impulse reined down into steady continuance.

- Parkhurst, Charles H.

The empty vessel makes the loudest sound.

- Shakespeare, William

Firmness of purpose is one of the most necessary sinews of character, and one of the best instruments of success. Without it genius wastes its efforts in a maze of inconsistencies.

- Philip Dormer Chesterfield

It is only persons of firmness that can have real gentleness. Those who appear gentle are, in general, only a weak character, which easily changes into asperity.

- La Rochefoucauld, Francois De

It is a characteristic of all movements and crusades that the psychopathic element rises to the top.

- Lindner, Robert

No one should form an acquaintance with one who has an evil character. A piece of coal, if it is hot burns, and if it's cold, blackens the hands.

- Hitopadesa

Every man has three characters—that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.

- Alphonse Karr

I am not much an advocate for traveling, and I observe that men run away to other countries because they are not good in their own, and run back to their own because they pass for nothing in the new places. For the most part, only the light characters travel. Who are you that have no task to keep you at home?

- Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic.

- Emerson, Ralph Waldo

The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back.

- Abigail van Buren

No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one's sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one's character may retain entirely unaffected for the better. With mere good intentions, hell is proverbially paved.

- William James

Civilizations in decline are consistently characterised by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity.

- Arnold Toynbee

It is a very serious duty, perhaps of all duties the most serious, to look into one's own character and conduct, and accurately read one's own heart. It is virtually looking into eternity, and all its vast and solemn realities, which must appear delightful or awful, according as the heart appears to be conformed or not conform to God.

- Emmons

Surmounting difficulty is the crucible that forms character.

- Robbins, Anthony

If I had to select one quality, one personal characteristic that I regard as being most highly correlated with success, whatever the field, I would pick the trait of persistence. Determination. The will to endure to the end, to get knocked down seventy times and get up off the floor saying, Here comes number seventy-one!

- DeVos, Richard M.

Success is no exclusive club. It is open to each individual who has the courage to choose his own goal and go after it. It is from this forward motion that human growth springs, and out of it comes the human essence known as character.

- Whitman, Howard

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