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[ Also see Bravery Courage Daring Fame Fortitude Glory Hero Worship Heroism Martyrdom Patriotism Soldiers Valor War Wounds Youth Zeal ]

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.
      - Umberto Eco

We can all be heroes in our virtues, in our homes, in our lives.
      - James Ellis

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody, and to that person whatever he says has an enhanced value.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Every hero becomes a bore at last.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The heroic soul does not sell its justice and its nobleness. It does not ask to dine nicely and to sleep warm. The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough. Poverty is its ornament. It does not need plenty, and can very well abide its loss.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Self-trust is the essence of heroism.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essay--Heroism

The hero is not fed on sweets,
  Daily his own heart he eats;
    Chambers of the great are jails,
      And head-winds right for royal sails.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,

Heroes, notwithstanding the high ideas which, by the means of flatterers, they may entertain of themselves, or the world may conceive of them, have certainly more of mortal than divine about them.
      - Henry Fielding

Nobody, they say, is a hero to his valet. Of course; for a man must be a hero to understand a hero. The valet, I dare say, has great respect for some person of his own stamp.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

To a valet no man is a hero.
  [Ger., Es gibt fur den Kammerdiener keiner Helden.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
         (II, 5, Aus Ottilien's Tagebuche)

In analyzing the character of heroes it is hardly possible to separate altogether the share of fortune from their own.
      - Henry Hallam,
        History of Europe During the Middle Ages
         (book I)

But to the hero, when his sword
  Has won the battle for the free,
    Thy voice sounds like a prophet's word,
      And in its hollow tones are heard
        The thanks of millions yet to be.
      - Fitz-Greene Halleck, Marco Bozzaris

It hath been an antient custom among them [Hungarians] that none should wear a fether but he who had killed a Turk, to whom onlie yt was lawful to shew the number of his slaine enemys by the number of fethers in his cappe.
      - Richard Hansard,
        Description of Hungary, Anno 1599,
        Lansdowne Manuscript 775, vol. 149, British Museum

A hero cannot be a hero unless in an heroic world.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Great men need to be lifted upon the shoulders of the whole world, in order to conceive their great ideas or perform their great deeds. That is, there must be an atmosphere of greatness round about them. A hero cannot be a hero unless in an heroic world.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne

The greatest obstacle to being heroic is the doubt whether one may going to prove one's self a fool.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne

The boy stood on the burning deck
  Whence all but he had fled;
    The flame that lit the battle's wreck,
      Shone round him o'er the dead.
        . . . .
          The flames roll'd on--he would not go
            Without his Father's word;
              That father, faint in death below,
                His voice no longer heard.
      - Mrs. Felicia D. Hemans, Casabianca

As you get older, it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
      - Ernest Hemingway

Up rose the hero,--on his piercing eye
  Sat observation; on each glance of thought
    Decision follow'd, as the thunderbolt
      Pursues the flash.
      - Alexander Frederick Douglas-Home, Lord Home

Heroes as great have died, and yet shall fall.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. XV, l. 157), (Pope's translation)

Hail, Columbia! happy land!
  Hail, ye heroes! heaven-born band!
    Who fought and bled in Freedom's cause.
      - Joseph Hopkinson, Hail, Columbia!

Many heroes lived before Agamemnon, but they are all unmourned, and consigned to oblivion, because they had no bard to sing their praises.
  [Lat., Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona
    Multi: sed omnes illacrimabiles
      Urgentur, ignotique longa
        Nocte, carent quia vate sacro.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Carmina
         (IV, 9, 25)

A boy doesn't have to go to war to be a hero; he can say he doesn't like pie when he sees there isn't enough to go around.
      - Edgar Watson Howe

The idol of to-day pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection, and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of to-morrow.
      - Washington Irving,
        The Sketch Book--Westminster Abbey

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