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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 ]

A trip-hammer, with Aeolian attachment.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,
        of Carlyle, after meeting him

Nature magically suits a man to his fortunes, by making them the fruit of his character.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The craft with which the world is made runs also into the mind and character of men. No man is quite sane; each has a vein of folly in his composition, a slight determination of blood to the head, to make sure of holding him hard to some one point which Nature has taken to heart.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is that which we call character,--a reserved force which acts directly by presence, and without means.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Character is higher than intellect. . . . A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Scholar

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essay--On Character

Wealth stays with us a little moment if at all; only our characters are steadfast, not our gold.
      - Euripides

A great character, founded on the living rock of principle is, in fact, not a solitary phenomenon, to be at once perceived, limited, and described. It is a dispensation of Providence, designed to have not merely an immediate, but a continuous, progressive, and never-ending agency. It survives the man who possessed it; survives his age,--and perhaps, his country, his language.
      - Edward Everett,
        Speech--The Youth of Washington

It is an error common to many to take the character of mankind from the worst and basest amongst them; whereas, as an excellent writer has observed, nothing should be esteemed as characteristical, of a species but what is to be found amongst the best and the most perfect individuals of that species.
      - Henry Fielding

We should not be too hasty in bestowing either our praise or censure on mankind, since we shall often find such a mixture of good and evil in the same character, that it may require a very accurate judgment and a very elaborate inquiry to determine on which side the balance turns.
      - Henry Fielding

The final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
      - Anne Frank

Parents can only give good advice or put them [children] on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
      - Anne Frank,
        Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl,
        entry of July 15, 1944

A man's character is like his shadow which sometimes follows, and sometimes precedes him, and which is occasionally longer, occasionally shorter than he is.
      - French Quotations

Human improvement is from within outwards.
      - James Anthony Froude,
        Short Studies on Great Subjects--Divus Caesar

Our thoughts and our conduct are our own.
      - James Anthony Froude,
        Short Studies on Great Subjects--Education

Every one of us, whatever our speculative opinions, knows better than he practices, and recognizes a better law than he obeys.
      - James Anthony Froude,
        Short Studies on Great Subjects--On Progress
         (pt. II)

Men and brethren, a simple trust in God is the most essential ingredient in moral sublimity of character.
      - Richard Fuller (1)

Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choice of good or evil we have made through life.
      - John Cunningham Geikie

In every deed of mischief, he [Andronicus Comnenus] had a heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute.
      - Edward Gibbon,
        Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
         (vol. IX, p. 94)

That man may last, but never lives,
  Who much receives, but nothing gives;
    Whom none can love, whom none can thank,--
      Creation's blot, creation's blank.
      - Thomas Gibbons, When Jesus Dwelt

A man not perfect, but of heart
  So high, of such heroic rage,
    That even his hopes became a part
      Of earth's eternal heritage.
      - Richard Watson Gilder,
        At the President's Grave,
        an epitaph for President Cleveland

To be engaged in opposing wrong affords, under the conditions of our mental constitution, but a slender guarantee for being right.
      - Rt. Hon. William Ewart Gladstone,
        Time and Place of Homer (introduction)

In society every man is taken for what he gives himself out to be; but he must give himself out to be something. Better to be slightly disagreeable than altogether insignificant.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What is the true test of character, unless it be its progressive development in the bustle and turmoil, in the action and reaction of daily life?
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I can promise to be upright, but not to be without bias.
  [Ger., Aufrichtig zu sein kann ich versprechen; unparteiisch zu sein aber nicht.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Spruche in Prosa (III)


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