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A man improves more by reading the story of a person eminent for prudence and virtue, than by the finest rules and precepts of morality.
- Joseph Addison
First find the man in yourself if you will inspire manliness in others.
- Amos Bronson Alcott
Whatever parent gives his children good instruction and sets them at the same time a bad example, may be considered as bringing them food in one hand and poison in the other.
- John Balguy
No reproof or denunciation is so potent as the silent influence of a good example.
- Hosea Ballou
Preaching is of much avail, but practice is far more effective. A godly life is the strongest argument that you can offer to the skeptic.
- Hosea Ballou
So admirably hath God disposed of the ways of men, that even the sight of vice in others is like a warning arrow shot for us to take heed. We should correct our own faults by seeing how uncomely they appear in others; who will not abhor a choleric passion, and a saucy pride in himself, that sees how ridiculous and contemptible they render those who are infested with them?
- J. Beaumont
Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and insensibly approximate to the characters we most admire. In this way, a generous habit of thought and of action carries with it an incalculable influence.
- Christian Nestell Bovee
No man or woman of the humblest sort can really be strong, gentle, pure, and good, without the world being the better for it, without somebody being helped and comforted by the very existence of that goodness.
- Phillips Brooks
Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
- Edmund Burke,
Letter I--On a Regicide Peace
(vol. V, p. 331)
- Edmund Burke,
Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents
Why doth one man's yawning make another yawn?
- Robert Burton, Anatomy of Melancholy
(pt. I, sec. II, memb. 3, subsect. 2)
Example is more forcible than precept. People look at my six days in the week to see what I mean on the seventh.
- Richard Cecil
Precept is instruction written in the sand, the tide flows over it and the record is gone. Example is graven on the rock, and the lesson is not soon lost.
- William Ellery Channing
For as the light
Not only serves to show, but render us
Mutually profitable; so our lives,
In acts exemplary, not only win
Ourselves good names, but do to others give
Matter for virtuous deeds, by which we live.
- George Chapman
This noble ensample to his sheepe he gaf,--
That firste he wroughte and after he taughte.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
(prologue, l. 496)
Men think they may justly do that for which they have a precedent.
[Lat., Quod exemplo fit, id etiam jure fieri putant.]
- Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
Epistles (IV, 3)
No man is so insignificant as to be sure his example can do no hurt.
- Lord Clarendon, Edward Hyde
The people are fashioned according to the example of their kings; and edicts are of less power than the life of their ruler.
[Lat., Componitur orbis
Regis ad exemplum; nec sic inflectere sensus
Humanos edicta valent, quam vita regentis.]
- Claudian (Claudianus),
De Quarto Consulatu Honorii Augusti Panegyris
I question if Epicurus and Hume have done mankind a greater service by the looseness of their doctrines than by the purity of their lives. Of such men we may more justly exclaim, than of Caesar, "Confound their virtues, they've undone the world!"
- Charles Caleb Colton
When we see men of worth, we should think of becoming like them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inward and examine ourselves.
The corruption of the positively wicked is often less sad and fatal to society than the irregularities of a virtuous man who yields and falls.
- Joseph Francis Eduard Desmahis
Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others; it is the only means.
- Albert Einstein
Other men are lenses through which we read our own minds.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Henry Fielding,
in the "Covent Garden Journal"
The best teachers of humanity are the lives of great men.
- Charles Henry Fowler
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