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- Sports do not build character. They reveal it.
- Heywood Broun (1888 - 1939)
- Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
- Kahlil Gibran (1883 - 1931)
- The peculiar striations that define someone's personality are too numerous to know, no matter how close the observer. A person we think we know can suddenly become someone else when previously hidden strands of his character are called to the fore by circumstance.
- Elliot Perlman, Seven Types of Ambiguity
- People do tell a writer things that they don't tell others. I don't know why, unless it is that having read one or two of his books they feel on peculiarly intimate terms with him; or it may be that they dramatize themselves and, seeing themselves as it were as characters in a novel, are ready to be as open with him as they imagine the characters of his invention are.
- W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), The Razor's Edge, 1943
- What self-control doesn't mean is mindless self-sacrifice or knee-jerk self-denial. On the contrary, it represents an affirmation of self, for it requires not the negation of instinct but its integration into a more complete form of character-one that takes account of more than just immediate pleasures and pains. The self-control I'm talking about means acting in keeping with your highest level of reflection.
- Daniel Akst, We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an Age of Excess, 2011
- Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.
- Henry Clay (1777 - 1852)
- For peace is not mere absence of war, but is a virtue that springs from the force of character.
- Baruch Spinoza (1632 - 1677), Tractatus Politicus
- Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heartone of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man.
- Edgar Allan Poe (1809 - 1849), The Black Cat, 1843
- Action is character.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 - 1940), The Last Tycoon, 1941
- How easy it is for generous sentiments, high courtesy, and chivalrous courage to lose their influence beneath the chilling blight of selfishness, and to exhibit to the world a man who was great in all the minor attributes of character, but who was found wanting when it became necessary to prove how much principle is superior to policy.
- James Fenimore Cooper, The Last of the Mohicans, 1826
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