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FAME
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[ Also see Admiration Ambition Applause Celebrity Character Distinction Glory Greatness Heroes Honor Immortality Memory Monuments Names Oblivion Obscurity Popularity Posterity Praise Renown Reputation Rumor Soldiers Success War ]

Fame lulls the fever of the soul, and makes
  Us feel that we have grasp'd an immortality.
      - Joaquin Miller (pseudonym of Cincinnatus Hiner Miller),
        Ina (sc. 4, l. 273)

Among the writers of all ages, some deserve fame, and have it; others neither have nor deserve it; some have it, not deserving it; others, though deserving it, yet totally miss it, or have it not equal to their deserts.
      - John Milton

Fame is the spur that the clear spirit doth raise,
  (That last infirmity of noble mind)
    To scorn delights, and live laborious days;
      But the fair guerdon when we hope to find,
        And think to burst out into sudden blaze,
          Comes the blind Fury with th' abhorred shears,
            And slits the thin-spun life.
      - John Milton, Lycidas (l. 70)

Fame is no plant that grows on mortal soil.
      - John Milton, Lycidas (l. 78)

Fame, if not double fac'd, is double mouth'd,
  And with contrary blast proclaims most deeds;
    On both his wings, one black, the other white,
      Bears greatest names in his wild aery flight.
      - John Milton, Samson Agonistes (l. 971)

"Of the unreasoning humours of mankind it seems that (fame) is the one of which the philosophers themselves have disengaged themselves from last and with the most reluctance: it is the most intractable and obstinate; for [as St. Augustine says] it persists in tempting even minds nobly inclined."
  [Fr., "Des humeurs desraisonnables des hommes, il semble que les philosophes mesmes se desfacent plus tard et plus envy de cette cy que de nulle autre; c'est la plus revesche et opiniastre; quia etiam bene proficientes animos tentare non cessat."]
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays
         (bk. I, ch. XLI)

I'll make thee glorious by my pen
  And famous by my sword.
      - James Graham, 1st Marquis and 5th Earl of Montrose (The Great Marquis),
        My Dear and Only Love

Fame,--a flower upon a dead man's heart.
      - William Motherwell

I believe my arrival was most welcome, not only to the
  Commander of the Fleet but almost to every individual in it.
      - Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson,
        Life of Nelson,
        in a letter to Land Hamilton

Before this time to-morrow I shall have gained a peerage, or Westminister Abbey.
      - Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson,
        Life of Nelson (ch. 5),
        before the Battle of the Nile

When I came to explain to them the 'Nelson touch', it was like an electric shock. Some shed tears, all approved--'It was new--it was singular--it was simple!'
      - Lord Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson,
        Life of Nelson (ch. 9),
        in a letter to Lady Hamilton

Fame! it is the flower of a day, that dies when the next sun rises.
      - Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)

When Fame stands by us all alone, she is an angel clad in light and strength; but when Love touches her she drops her sword, and fades away, ghostlike and ashamed.
      - Ouida (pseudonym of Marie Louise de la Ramee)

The love of fame gives an immense stimulus.
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)

The love of fame usually spurs on the mind.
  [Lat., Ingenio stimulos subdere fama solet.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Tristium
         (V, 1, 76)

She is best who is least spoken of among men, whether for good or evil.
      - Pericles

It is pleasing to be pointed at with the finger and to have it said, "There goes the man."
  [Lat., At pulchrum est digito monstrari et dicier his est.]
      - Persius (Aulus Persius Flaccus), Satires
         (I, 28)

None despise fame more heartily than those who have no possible claim to it.
      - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn

My advice to a young man seeking deathless fame would be to espouse an unpopular cause and devote his life to it.
      - Wendell Phillips

To the quick brow Fame grudges her best wreath
  While the quick heart to enjoy it throbs beneath:
    On the dead forehead's sculptured marble shown,
      Lo, her choice of crown--its flowers are also stone.
      - John James Piatt, The Guerdon

Of all the phantoms fleeting in the mist
  Of time, though meagre all and ghostly thin;
    Most unsubstantial, unessential shade
      Was earthly fame.
      - Robert Pollok

Who grasp'd at earthly fame,
  Grasped wind: nay, worse, a serpent grasped that through
    His hand slid smoothly, and was gone; but left
      A sting behind which wrought him endless pain.
      - Robert Pollok, Course of Time
         (bk. III, l. 533)

Fame can never make us lie down contentedly on a death-bed.
      - Alexander Pope

Grant me honest fame or grant me none.
      - Alexander Pope

She comes unlooked for if she comes at all.
      - Alexander Pope


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