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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 ]

All that hath been majestical
  In life or death, since time began,
    Is native in the simple heart of all,
      The angel heat of man.
      - James Russell Lowell,
        An Incident in a Railroad Car (st. 10)

Endurance is the crowning quality,
  And patience all the passion of great hearts.
      - James Russell Lowell, Columbus (l. 237)

His Nature's a glass of champagne with the foam on 't,
  As tender as Fletcher, as witty as Beaumont;
    So his best things are done in the flash of the moment.
      - James Russell Lowell, Fable for Critics
         (l. 834)

It is by presence of mind in untried emergencies that the native metal of a man is tested.
      - James Russell Lowell,
        My Study Windows--Abraham Lincoln

A nature wise
  With finding in itself the types of all,--
    With watching from the dim verge of the time
      What things to be are visible in the gleams
        Thrown forward on them from the luminous past,--
          Wise with the history of its own frail heart,
            With reverence and sorrow, and with love,
              Broad as the world, for freedom and for man.
      - James Russell Lowell, Prometheus (l. 216)

Our Pilgrim stock wuz pethed with hardihood.
      - James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers
         (second series, no. 6, l. 38)

Soft-heartedness, in times like these,
  Shows sof'ness in the upper story.
      - James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers
         (second series, no. 7, l. 119)

For she was jes' the quiet kind
  Whose naturs never vary,
    Like streams that keep a summer mind
      Snowhip in Jenooary.
      - James Russell Lowell, The Courtin'

The mask is torn off, while the reality remains.
  [Lat., Eripitur persona, manet res.]
      - Lucretius (Titus Lucretius Carus),
        De Rerum Natura (III, 58)

There thou beholdest the walls of Sparta, and every man a brick.
      - Lycurgus, according to Plutarch

Who knows nothing base,
  Fears nothing known.
      - Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
        A Great Man (st. 8)

We hardly know of any instance of the strength and weakness of human nature so striking and so grotesque as the character of this haughty, vigilant, resolute, sagacious blue-stocking, half Mithridates and half Trissotin, bearing up against a world in arms, with an ounce of poison in one pocket and a quire of bad verses in the other.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay,
        Frederick the Great

And the chief-justice was rich, quiet, and infamous.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay, Warren Hastings

Character is the product of daily, hourly actions, and words and thoughts; daily forgivenesses, unselfishness, kindnesses, sympathies, charities, sacrifices for the good of others, struggles against temptation, submissiveness under trial. Oh, it is these, like the blending colors in a picture or the blending notes of music which constitute the man.
      - John MacDuff

Should any man tell you that a mountain had changed its place, you are at liberty to doubt it if you think fit; but if any one tells you that a man has changed his character, do not believe it.
      - Mahomet II, the Great

Men look to the East for the dawning things, for the light of a raising sun
  But they look to the West, to the crimson West, for the things that are done, are done.
      - Douglas Malloch, East and West

Our character is our will; for what we will we are.
      - Henry Edward Manning

Your disposition will be suitable to that which you most frequently think on; for the soul is, as it were, tinged with the color and complexion of its own thoughts.
      - Marcus Aurelius (Marcus Aurelius Antoninus)

Now will I show myself to have more of the serpent than the dove; that is--more knave than fool.
      - Christopher Marlowe, The Jew of Malta
         (act II, sc. 3)

In other respects the best fellow in the world.
  [Fr., Au demeurant, le meilleur fils du monde.]
      - Clement Marot, Letter to Francis I

In all thy humours, whether grave or mellow,
  Thou'rt such a touchy, testy, pleasant fellow;
    Hast so much wit, and mirth, and spleen about thee,
      That there's no living with thee, or without thee.
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (bk. XII, ep. 47),
        (translation by Addison, "Spectator" No. 68)

And, but herself, admits no parallel.
      - Philip Massinger, Duke of Milan
         (act IV, sc. 3)

Hereafter he will make me know,
  And I shall surely find.
    He was too wise to err, and O,
      Too good to be unkind.
      - Samuel Medley, Hymn

He who attends to his greater self becomes a great man, and he who attends to his smaller self becomes a small man.
      - Mencius

Ordinary people regard a man of a certain force and inflexibility of character as they do a lion. They look at him with a sort of wonder--perhaps they admire; but they will, on no account, house with him. The lap dog, who wags his tail and licks the hand and cringes at the nod of every stranger, is a much more acceptable companion to them.
      - Merkel


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