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AMBITION
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[ Also see Achievement Applause Aspiration Desire Endeavor Enterprise Enthusiasm Expectation Fame Glory Hope Indolence Motive Progress Purpose Reputation Restlessness Success Wishes Youth Zeal ]

In the, world there are only two ways of raising one's self, either by one's own industry or by the weakness of others.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

Ambition is but avarice on stilts, and masked. God sometimes sends a famine, sometimes a pestilence, and sometimes a hero, for the chastisement of mankind; none of them surely for our admiration.
      - Walter Savage Landor

We must distinguish between felicity and prosperity; for prosperity leads often to ambition, and ambition to disappointment; the course is then over, the wheel turns round but once, while the reaction of goodness and happiness is perpetual.
      - Walter Savage Landor

Moderation cannot have the credit of combatiug and subduing ambition, they are never found together. Moderation is the languor and indolence of the soul, as ambition is its activity and ardor.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

The ambitious deceive themselves when they propose an end to their ambition; for that end, when attained, becomes a means.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

We frequently pass from love to ambition, but one seldom returns from ambition to love.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Unruly ambition is deaf, not only to the advice of friends, but to the counsels and monitions of reason itself.
      - Sir Roger L'Estrange

Ambition's cradle oftenest is its grave.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Don Quixote thought he could have made beautiful bird-cages and toothpicks if his brain had not been so full of ideas of chivalry. Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I see, but cannot reach, the height
  That lies forever in the light.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Christus--The Golden Legend
         (p. II, A Village Church)

Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
        Drift-Wood--Table-Talk

The shades of night were falling fast,
  As through an Alpine village passed
    A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice
      A banner with the strange device,
        Excelsior!
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Excelsior

The man who seeks one thing in life, and but one,
  May hope to achieve it before life be done;
    But he who seeks all things, wherever he goes,
      Only reaps from the hopes which around him he sows
        A harvest of barren regrets.
      - Lord Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton ("Owen Meredith"),
        Lucile (pt. I, canto II, st. 8)

He was utterly without ambition [Chas. II.]. He detested business, and would sooner have abdicated his crown than have undergone the trouble of really directing the administration.
      - Thomas Babington Macaulay,
        History of England (Character of Charles II)
         (vol. I, ch. II)

Ambition is so powerful a passion in the human breast, that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
      - Niccolo Machiavelli (Macchiavelli)

It is a true observation of ancient writers, that as men are apt to be cast down by adversity, so they, are easily satiated with prosperity, and that joy and grief produce the same effects. For whenever men are not obliged by necessity to fight they fight from ambition, which is so powerful a passion in the human breast that however high we reach we are never satisfied.
      - Niccolo Machiavelli (Macchiavelli)

Ambition! deadly tyrant! inexorable master! what alarms, what anxious hours, what agonies of heart, are the sure portion of thy gaudy slaves?
      - David Mallet (originally Malloch)

The wondrous architecture of the world,
  And measure every wandering planet's course,
    Still climbing after knowledge infinite,
      And always moving as the restless spheres,
        Will us to wear ourselves, and never rest
          Until we reach the ripest fruit of all,
            That perfect bliss and sole felicity,
              The sweet fruition of a heavenly crown.
      - Christopher Marlowe

Uncursed ambition, unresisting sloth,
  And base dependence, are the fiends accurst.
      - John Mason

Man was mark'd
  A friend in his creation to himself,
    And may, with fit ambition, conceive
      The greatest blessings, and the highest honors
        Appointed for him, if he can achieve them
          The right and noble way.
      - Philip Massinger

The man who seeks one thing in life, and but one,
  May hope to achieve it before life be done;
    But he who seeks all, wherever he goes,
      Only reaps from the hopes which around him he sows
        A harvest of barren regrets.
      - Owen Meredith (pseudonym of Edward Robert Bulwer Lytton, Lord Lytton)

Beware ambition; heaven is not reached with pride; but with submission.
      - Thomas Middleton

Here may we reign secure, and in my choice
  To reign is worth ambition, though in Hell.
    Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost (bk. I, l. 263)

Such joy ambition finds.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost (bk. IV, l. 92)

But what will not ambition and revenge
  Descend to? who aspires must down as low
    As high he soar'd, obnoxious first and last
      To basest things.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. IX, l. 168)


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