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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 ]

Worth, courage, honor, these indeed
  Your sustenance and birthright are.
      - Edmund Clarence Stedman,
        Beyond the Portals (pt. 10)

Yet though her mien carries much more invitation than command, to behold her is an immediate check to loose behavior; and to love her is a liberal education.
      - Sir Richard Steele, Tatler (no. 49),
        referring to Lady Elizabeth Hastings

It's the bad that's in the best of us
  Leaves the saint so like the rest of us!
    It's the good in the darkest-curst of us
      Redeems and saves the worst of us!
        It's the muddle of hope and madness;
          It's the tangle of good and badness;
            It's the lunacy linked with sanity
              Makes up, and mocks, humanity!
      - Arthur John Arbuthnott Stringer, Humanity

High characters (cries one), and he would see
  Things that ne'er were, nor are, nor e'er will be.
      - Sir John Suckling, The Goblin's Epilogue

The true greatness of nations is in those qualities which constitute the greatness of the individual.
      - Charles Sumner,
        Oration on the True Grandeur of Nations

We do not judge men by what they are in themselves, but by what they are relatively to us.
      - Madame Anne Sophie Swetchine (Soimonoff)

It is in men as in soils where sometimes there is a vein of gold which the owner knows not of.
      - Jonathan Swift

His own character is the arbiter of every one's fortune.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims (286)

He possessed simplicity and liberality, qualities which beyond a certain limit lead to ruin.
  [Lat., Inerat tamen simplicitas ac liberalitas, quae, nisi adsit modus in exitium veruntur.]
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus), Annales
         (III, 86)

In seasons of tumult and discord bad men have most power; mental and moral excellence require peace and quietness.
  [Lat., In turbas et discordias pessimo cuique plurima vis: pax et quies bonis artibus indigent.]
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus), Annales
         (IV, 1)

A man should endeavor to be as pliant as a reed, yet as hard as cedar-wood.
      - The Talmud, Babylonian Talmud, Taanith
         (20)

He, full of bashfulness and truth, loved much, hoped little, and desired naught.
  [Lat., Brama assai, poco speca e nulla chiede.]
      - Torquato Tasso, Gerusalemme (II, 16)

Fame is what you have taken,
  Character's what you give;
    When to this truth you waken,
      Then you begin to live.
      - Bayard Taylor, Improvisations (st. XI)

The hearts that dare are quick to feel;
  The hands that wound are soft to heal.
      - Bayard Taylor, Soldiers of Peace

Such souls,
  Whose sudden visitations daze the world,
    Vanish like lighting, but they leave behind
      A voice that in the distance far away
        Wakens the slumbering ages.
      - Sir Henry Taylor (2), Philip Van Artevelde
         (pt. I, act I, sc. 7)

He whose life seems fair, if all his errors and follies were articled against him, would seem vicious and miserable.
      - Jeremy Taylor

Modern engineers, after having erected a viaduct, insist upon subjecting it to a severe strain by a formal trial trip before allowing it to be opened for public traffic, and it would almost seem that God, in employing moral agents for the carrying out of His purposes, secures that they shall be tested by some dreadful ordeal before He fully commits to them the work which He wishes them to perform.
      - William Mackergo Taylor

The best rules to form a young man are to talk little, to hear much, to reflect alone upon what has passed in company, to distrust one's own opinions, and value others that deserve it.
      - Sir William Temple

He makes no friend who never made a foe.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson,
        Idylls of the King--Launcelot and Elaine
         (l. 1109)

Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, Oenone

As nature made every man with a nose and eyes of his own, she gave him a character of his own, too; and yet we, O foolish race! must try our very best to ape some one or two of our neighbors, whose ideas fit us no more than their breeches!
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

If a man's character is to be abused there's nobody like a relative to do the business.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

And one man is as good as another--and a great dale betther, as the Irish philosopher said.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray,
        Roundabout Papers--On Ribbons

Whoe'er amidst the sons
  Of reason, valor, liberty and virtue,
    Displays distinguished merit, is a noble
      Of Nature's own creating.
      - James Thomson (1), Coriolanus
         (act III, sc. 3)

Any nobleness begins at once to refine a man's features, any meanness or sensuality to imbrute them.
      - Henry David Thoreau


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