Greatness quotes

I look upon those pitiful concretions of lime and clay which spring up, in mildewed forwardness, out of the kneaded fields about our capital... not merely with the careless disgust of an offended eye, not merely with sorrow for a desecrated landscape, but with a painful foreboding that the roots of our national greatness must be deeply cankered when they are thus loosely struck in their native ground. The crowded tenements of a struggling and restless population differ only from the tents of the Arab or the Gipsy by their less healthy openness to the air of heaven, and less happy choice of their spot of earth; by their sacrifice of liberty without the gain of rest, and of stability without the luxury of change.

- Ruskin, John

Great men are true men, the men in whom nature has succeeded. They are not extraordinary -- they are in the true order. It is the other species of men who are not what they ought to be.

- Amiel, Henri Frederic

Because you are a great lord, you believe yourself to be a great genius. You took the trouble to be born, but no more.

- Beaumarchais, Pierre De

Whoever renders service to many puts himself in line for greatness -- great wealth, great return, great satisfaction, great reputation, and great joy.

- Rohn, Jim

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the myth of the atomic age -- as in being able to remake ourselves.

- Gandhi, Mahatma

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ’em.

- William Shakespeare

It is folly for an eminent person to think of escaping censure, and a weakness to be affected by it. All the illustrious persons of antiquity, and indeed of every age, have passed through this fiery persecution. There is no defense against reproach but obscurity; it is a kind of concomitant to greatness, as satires and invectives were an essential part of a Roman triumph.

- Joseph Addison

Great men are like eagles, and build their nest on some lofty solitude.

- Schopenhauer, Arthur

The greatest men of a nation are those it puts to death.

- Renan, Ernest

A human action becomes genuinely important when it springs from the soil of a clear-sighted awareness of the temporality and the ephemerally of everything human. It is only this awareness that can breathe any greatness into an action.

- Havel, Vaclav

He fought till he could fight no more, and then died like a hero, with all his wounds in front; and may God have mercy on his soul.
"That last was a Popish prayer, Master Frank," said old Mr. Carey.
"Most worshipful sir, you surely would not wish God not to have mercy on his soul?"
"No--Eh? Of course not, for that's all settled by now, for he is dead, poor fellow!"
"And you can't help being a little fond of him still?"
"Eh? Why, I should be a brute if I were not. Fond of him? why, I would sooner have given my forefinger than that he should have gone to the dogs."
"Then, my dear sir, if you feel for him still, in spite of all his faults, how do you know that God may not feel for him in spite of all his faults? For my part," said Frank, in his fanciful way, "without believing in that Popish purgatory, I cannot help holding with Plato that such heroical souls, who have wanted but little of true greatness here, are hereafter, by strait discipline, brought to a better mind."

- Westward Ho! chap. v. 1854.

The price of greatness is responsibility.

- Sir Winston Churchill

He's the greatest man who ever came out of Plymouth, Vermont. [On Calvin Coolidge]

- Darrow, Clarence

There are big men, men of intellect, intellectual men, men of talent and men of action; but the great man is difficult to find, and it needs --apart from discernment --a certain greatness to find him.

- Asquith, Margot

That is not faith, to see God only in what is strange and rare; but this is faith, to see God in what is most common and simple, to know God's greatness not so much from disorder as from order, not so much from those strange sights in which God seems (but only seems) to break His laws, as from those common ones in which He fulfils His laws.

- Town and Country Sermons.

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.

- Hazlitt, William

Mediocrity in politics is not to be despised. Greatness is not needed.

- Enzensberger, Hans Magnus

Man's greatness consists in his ability to do and the proper application of his powers to things needed to be done.

- Douglass, Frederick

The superiority of some men is merely local. They are great because their associates are little.

- Johnson, Samuel

Being too good is apt to be uninteresting.

- Truman, Harry S

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