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GREATNESS
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[ Also see Dignity Distinction Excellence Fame Glory Honor Littleness Mediocrity Nobility Power Reputation Size Sublimity Success Talent ]

Great men lose somewhat of their greatness by being near us; ordinary men gain much.
      - Walter Savage Landor

Greatness, as we daily see it, is unsociable.
      - Walter Savage Landor

It appears to be among the laws of nature, that the mighty of intellect should be pursued and carped by the little, as the solitary flight of one great bird is followed by the twittering petulance of many smaller.
      - Walter Savage Landor

The tomb is the pedestal of greatness. I make a distinction between God's great and the king's great.
      - Walter Savage Landor

Great men should not have great faults.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Great souls are not those who have fewer passions and more virtues than the common, but those only who have greater designs.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

It is the prerogative of great men only to have great defects.
  [Fr., Il n'appartient qu'aux grands hommes d'avoir de grands defauts.]
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld, Maximes

Copiousness and simplicity, variety and unity, constitute real greatness of character.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

He only is great who has the habits of greatness; who, after performing what none in ten thousand could accomplish, passes on like Samson, and "tells neither father nor mother of it."
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

He who can conceal his joys, is greater than he who can hide his griefs.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

He who, in questions of right, virtue, or duty, sets himself above all ridicule, is truly great, and shall laugh in the end with truer mirth than ever he was laughed at.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

The great man is the man who can get himself made and who will get himself made out of anything he finds at hand.
      - Gerald Stanley Lee, Crowds
         (bk. II, ch. XV)

It is not by his faults, but by his excellences, that we must measure a great man.
      - George Henry Lewes

Great men stand like solitary towers in the city of God.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh
         (ch. I)

Great truths are portions of the soul of man;
  Great souls are the portions of eternity.
      - James Russell Lowell

A great man is made up of qualities that meet or make great occasions.
      - James Russell Lowell,
        My Study Windows--Garfield

Great people and champions are special gifts of God, whom He gives and preserves; they do their work, and achieve great actions, not with vain imaginations, or cold and sleepy cogitations, but by motion of God.
      - Martin Luther

That man is great, and he alone,
  Who serves a greatness not his own,
    For neither praise nor pelf:
      Content to know and be unknown:
        Whole in himself.
      - Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
        A Great Man

Are not great
  Men the models of nations?
      - Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
        Lucile (pt. II, canto VI, st. 29)

Great minds do indeed react on the society which has made them what they are; but they only pay with interest what they have received.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

It is the age that forms the man, not the man that forms the age.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

Those who have read history with discrimination know the fallacy of those panegyrics and invectives which represent individuals as effecting great moral and intellectual revolutions, subverting established systems, and imprinting a new character on their age. The difference between one man and another is by no means so great as the superstitious crowd suppose.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay

Philosophy may raise us above grandeur, but nothing can elevate us above the ennui which accompanies it.
      - Mme. Francoise d'Aubigne de Maintenon

Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.
  Of course the task will not be easy. But not to do this would be a crime against humanity, against which I ask all humanity now to rise up.
      - Nelson Mandela,
        in a speech at Trafalgar Square

If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.
      - Horace Mann


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