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CHARACTER
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[ Also see Ability Ancestry Attitude Audacity Bravery Capacity Circumstance Class Cleverness Conscience Consistency Daring Decision Dignity Disposition Distinction Duty Eloquence Enthusiasm Environment Ethics Example Fame Faults Genius Goodness Honor Individuality Innocence Integrity Kindness Man Men Merit Modesty Morality Names Nature Nobility Obedience Perfection Personality Principles Quality Rashness Recklessness Reform Reformation Reputation Resolution Responsibility Sportsmanship Talent Temper Temperament Virtue Women Worth ]

Talent is nurtured in solitude; character is formed in the stormy billows of the world.
  [Ger., Es bildet ein talent sich in der Stille,
    Sich ein Charakter in dem Strom der Welt.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Torquato Tasso
         (I, 2, 66)

What a mighty spirit in a narrow bosom.
  [Ger., Welch' hoher Geist in einer engen Brust.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Torquato Tasso
         (II, 3, 199)

Our Garrick;s a salad; for in him we see
  Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Retaliation (l. 11)

Though equal to all things, for all things unfit;
  Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Retaliation (l. 37)

A man is what he is, not what men say he is. His character no man can touch. His character is what he is before his God and his Judge; and only himself can damage that. His reputation is what men say he is. That can be damaged; but reputation is for time, character is for eternity.
      - John Bartholomew Gough

Hands, that the rod of empire might have swayed,
  Or waked to ecstasy the living lyre.
      - Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard
         (st. 12)

Some characters are like some bodies in chemistry; very good, perhaps, in themselves, yet fly off and refuse the least conjunction with each other.
      - Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, Lord Brooke

Rugged strength and radiant beauty--
  These were one in Nature's plan;
    Humble toil and heavenward duty--
      These will form the perfect man.
      - Mrs. Sarah Josepha (Buell) Hale

In all our reasonings concerning men we must lay it down as a maxim that the greater part are moulded by circumstances.
      - Robert Hall

A good character is, in all cases, the fruit of personal exertion. It is not inherited from parents, it is not created by external advantages, it is no necessary appendage of birth, wealth, talents or station; but it is the result of one's own endeavors.
      - Joel Hawes

Those with whom we can apparently become well acquainted in a few moments are generally the most difficult to rightly know and to understand.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne

He were n't no saint--but at jedgment
  I'd run my chance with Jim.
    'Longside of some pious gentlemen
      That wouldn't shook hands with him.
        He seen his duty, a dead-sure thing--
          And went for it thar and then;
            And Christ ain't a-going to be too hard
              On a man that died for men.
      - John Hay, Jim Bludso

Anyone must be mainly ignorant or thoughtless, who is surprised at everything he sees; or wonderfully conceited who expects everything to conform to his standard of propriety.
      - William Hazlitt (1),
        Lectures on the English Comic Writers--On Wit and Humour

I will not say that women have no character; rather, they have a new one every day.
      - Heinrich Heine

No talent, but yet a character.
  [Ger., Kein talent, doch ein Charakter.]
      - Heinrich Heine, Atta Troll (caput 24)

Character is destiny.
      - Heraclitus of Ephesus

A man's character is his fate.
      - Heraclitus of Ephesus, On the Universe
         (fragment 121),
        (W.H.S. Jones translation)

Character shows itself apart from genius as a special thing. The first point of measurement of any man is that of quality.
      - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

I have learned by experience that no man's character can be eventually injured but by his own acts.
      - Rowland Hill

Character lives in a man, reputation outside of him.
      - Josiah Gilbert Holland (used pseudonym Timothy Titcomb)

O Dowglas, O Dowglas!
  Tendir and trewe.
      - Sir Richard Holland,
        The Buke of the Howlat (st. XXXI)

We must have a weak spot or two in a character before we can love it much. People that do not laugh or cry, or take more of anything than is good for them, or use anything but dictionary- words, are admirable subjects for biographies. But we don't care most for those flat pattern flowers that press best in the herbarium.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
        Professor at the Breakfast Table
         (ch. III, Iris)

Whatever comes from the brain carries the hue of the place it came from, and whatever comes from the heart carries the heat and color of its birthplace.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
        Professor at the Breakfast Table
         (ch. VI)

In death a hero, as in life a friend!
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. XVII, l. 758), (Pope's translation)

Wise to resolve, and patient to perform.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. IV, l. 372), (Pope's translation)


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