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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 ]

Gentle of speech, beneficent of mind.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. IV, l. 917), (Pope's translation)

But he whose inborn worth his acts commend,
  Of gentle soul, to human race a friend.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. XIX, l. 383), (Pope's translation)

Man can have strength of character only as he is capable of controlling his faculties; of choosing a rational end; and, in its pursuit, of holding fast to his integrity against all the might of external nature.
      - Mark Hopkins

Whatever capacities there may be for enjoyment or for suffering in this strange being of ours, and God only knows what they are, they will be drawn out wholly in accordance with character.
      - Mark Hopkins

Let the character as it began be preserved to the last; and let it be consistent with itself.
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)

If whole in life, and free from sin,
  Man needs no Moorish bow, nor dart
    Nor quiver, carrying death within
      By poison's art.
        [Lat., Integer vitae scelerisque purus
          Non eget Mauris incidis neque arcu
            Nec venernatis gravida sagittus
              Fusce pharetra.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Carmina
         (I, 22, 1), (Gladstone's translation)

Excellence when concealed, differs but little from buried worthlessness.
  [Lat., Paullum sepultae distat inertiae
    Celata virtus.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Carmina
         (IV, 9, 29)

Thou canst mould him into any shape like soft clay.
  [Lat., Argilla quidvis imitaberis uda.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Epistles (II, 2, 8)

Only what we have wrought into our character during life can we take away with us.
      - Alexander Humboldt

A Soul of power, a well of lofty Thought
  A chastened Hope that ever points to Heaven.
      - John Hunter (1),
        Sonnet--A Replication of Rhymes

He was worse than provincial--he was parochial.
      - Henry James, Jr.,
        Of Thoreau--A Critical Life of Hawthorne

Conflict, which rouses up the best and highest powers in some characters, in others not only jars the whole being, but paralyzes the faculties.
      - Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson

In our relations with the people around us, we forgive them more readily for what they do, which they can help, than for what they are, which they cannot help.
      - Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson

Where the vivacity of the intellect and the strength of the passions exceed the development of the moral faculties the character is likely to be embittered or corrupted by extremes, either of adversity or prosperity.
      - Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson

Scarce any man becomes eminently disagreeable but by a departure from his real character, and an attempt at something for which nature or education has left him unqualified.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

If he does really think that there is no distinction between virtue and vice, why, Sir, when he leaves our house let us count our spoons.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Boswell's Life of Johnson

A very unclubable man.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Boswell's Life of Johnson (note)

Officious, innocent, sincere,
  Of every friendless name the friend.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Verses on the Death of Mr. Robert Levet
         (st. 2)

A man who shows no defect is a fool or a hypocrite, whom we should mistrust. There are defects so bound to fine qualities that they announce them,--defects which it is well not to correct.
      - Joseph Joubert

The most accomplished persons have usually some defect, some weakness in their characters, which diminishes the lustre of their brighter qualifications.
      - Junius (pseudonym, possibly of Sir Philip Francis)

The heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, or the hand to execute.
      - Junius (pseudonym, possibly of Sir Philip Francis),
        City Address and the King's Answer
         (letter XXXVII)

No one ever became thoroughly bad all at once.
  [Lat., Nemo repente venit turpissimus.]
      - Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenal), Satires
         (II, 33)

Every man has three characters--that which he exhibits, that which he has, and that which he thinks he has.
      - Alphonse Karr (Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr)

He is truly great that is little in himself, and that maketh no account of any height of honors.
      - Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ
         (bk. I, ch. III)

E'en as he trod that day to God,
  So walked he from his birth,
    In simpleness, and gentleness and honor
      And clean mirth.
      - Rudyard Kipling, Barrack-Room Ballads
         (dedication to Wolcott Balestier)


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