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Quotations by Subject
- Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.
- Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865), Lincoln's Own Stories
- Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
- Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)
- Everyone has the obligation to ponder well his own specific traits of character. He must also regulate them adequately and not wonder whether someone else's traits might suit him better. The more definitely his own a man's character is, the better it fits him.
- Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)
- Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established.
- Confucius (551 BC - 479 BC), The Confucian Analects
- Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.
- Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)
- People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.
- Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 - 1962), My Day
- Forming characters! Whose? Our own or others? Both. And in that momentous fact lies the peril and responsibility of our existence.
- Elihu Burritt
- Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open.
- Elmer G. Letterman
- I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to flexible at all times.
- Everett Mckinley Dirkson
- In attempts to improve your character, know what is in your power and what is beyond it.
- Francis Thompson (1859 - 1907)
- A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.
- Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742 - 1799)
- Our character...is an omen of our destiny, and the more integrity we have and keep, the simpler and nobler that destiny is likely to be.
- George Santayana (1863 - 1952), "The German Mind: A Philosophical Diagnosis"
- Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.
- Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)
- Of all the properties which belong to honorable men, not one is so highly prized as that of character.
- Henry Clay (1777 - 1852)
- A man's character is his fate.
- Heraclitus (540 BC - 480 BC), On the Universe
- People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.
- Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962)
- The farther behind I leave the past, the closer I am to forging my own character.
- Isabelle Eberhardt
- You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself one.
- James A. Froude (1818 - 1894)
- 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
- Character consists of what you do on the third and forth tries.
- James Mechener
- When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.
- Japanese Proverb
- Character - the willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life - is the source from which self respect springs.
- Joan Didion (1934 - ), "Slouching Towards Bethlehem"
- Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)
- I take it as a man's duty to restrain himself.
- Lois McMaster Bujold, Ethan of Athos, 1986
- One can acquire everything in solitude - except character.
- Marie Henri Beyle (1783 - 1842)
- To succeed is nothing, it's an accident. but to feel no doubts about oneself is something very different: it is character.
- Marie Leneru, Oprah Magazine, May 2004
- The character of a man is known from his conversations.
- Menander (342 BC - 292 BC)
- I could never think well of a man's intellectual or moral character, if he was habitually unfaithful to his appointments.
- Nathaniel Emmons
- The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done.
- Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841 - 1935)