Wednesday, May 20, 2009



You have greatly ventured, but all must do so who would greatly win.—Byron.

To be ambitious of true honor, of the true glory and perfection of our natures, is the very principle and incentive of virtue; but to be ambitious of titles, of place, of ceremonial respects and civil pageantry, is as vain and little as the things are which we court.—Sir P. Sidney

Who soars too near the sun, with golden wings, melts them.—Shakes/icare.

It is a true observation of ancient writers, that as men are apt to be cast down by adversity, so they are easily satiated with prosperity, and that joy and grief.produce the same effects. For whenever men are not obliged by necessity to fight they fight from ambition, which is so powerful a passion in the human breast that however high we reach we arc never satisfied.—


Ambition becomes displeasing when it is once satiated ; there is a reaction ; and as our spirit, till our last sigh, is always aiming toward some object, it falls back on itself, having nothing else on which to rest; and having reached the summit, it longs to descend.—C'orneitie.

Nothing is too high for the daring of mortals: we storm heaven itself in our folly.—Horace.

If not for that of conscience, yet at least for ambition's sake, let us reject ambition, let us disdain that thirst of honor and renown, so low and mendicant, that it makes us beg it of all sorts of people.—-Montaigne.

The towering hope of eagle-eyed ambition.


I have always looked upon alchemy in nat- The modesty of certain ambitious persons

nral philosophy to be like enthusiasm in di- consists in becoming great without making too

vinity, and to nave troubled the world much to much noise; it m.iy be snid that they advance

the same purpose.—Sir W. Temple. in the world on tiptoe.— Voltaire.

ALLEGORY. When ambitious men find an open passage,

Allegories, when well chosen, are like so j they are rather busy than dangerous; and if

many tracks of light in a discourse, that make well watched in their proceedings, they will

everything about them clear and beautiful.— catch themselves in their own snare, and pre-

Addison. pare a way for their own destruction.—Quarla.

Allegory dwells in a transparent palace.— He who surpasses or subdues mankind must

Le Mierre. look down on the hate of those below.—Byron,

Fling away ambition; by that sin fell the angels: how can man then, the image of his Maker, hope to win by it ?—Shakespeare.

Ambition often puts men upon doing; the meanest offices; so climbing is performed m the same posture with creeping.—Sivift,

It is the nature of ambition to make men liars and cheats, and hide the truth in their breasts, and show, like jugglers, another thing in their months ; to cut all friendships and enmities to the measure of their interest, and to make a good countenance without tbe help of a good will.—Sallust.

It is by attempting to reach the top at a single leap that so much misery is produced in the world.—Cobbett.

Ambition is a lust that is never quenched, grows more inflamed and madder by enjoyment.—Otway.

Even' one has before his eyes an end which he pursues till death ; but for many that end is a feather which they blow before them in the air.—Nicoll.

Vaulting ambition, which overleaps itself.—

Say what we will, you may be sure that ambition "is an error; its wear and tear of heart are never recompensed, — it steals away the freshness of life, — it deadens its vivid and social enjoyments, — it shuts our souls to our own youth, — and we are old ere we remember that we have made a fever and a labor of our raciest years.—Bultcer Lyttrm.

Ambition thinks no face so beautiful as that which looks from under a crown.—

Sir P. Sidney.

Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage, or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb and climb, with great labor, and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top.—Burton.

Ambition hath but two steps: the lowest, blood ; the highest, envy.—Lilly.

There is a native baseness in the ambition which seeks beyond its desert, that never shows more conspicuously than when, no matter how, it temporarily gains its object.—Slmms.

Ambition is the mind's immodesty.—

Sir W. Davenant.

A slave has but one master ; the ambitious man hnx as many masters as there are persons whose aid may contribute to the advancement of his fortune.—Bruyere.

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.—T. D. Englith.

How dost then wear, and weary out thy day, restless ambition, never at an end !—Daniel.

Ambition is frequently the only refuge which life has left to the denied or mortified affections. We chide at the grasping eye, the daring wing, the soul that seems to thirst for sovereignty only, and know not that the flight of this ambitious bird has been from a bosom or a home that is tilled with ashes.—Simms.

The path of glory leads but to the grave.— Gray

Wisdom is corrupted by ambition, even when the quality of the ambition is intellectual. For ambition, even of this quality, is but a form of self-love.—Henry Taylor.

What is ambition ' It is a glorious cheat! Angels of light walk not so dazzlingly the sapphire walls of heaven.— Willis.

Remarkable places arc like the summits of

rocks ; eagles and reptile* only can get there.—

Madame Nedctr.

Hard, withering toil only can achieve a name; and long days and months and years must be parsed in the chase of that bubble, reputation, which, when once grasped, breaks in your eager clutch into a hundred lesser bubbles, that sour above vou still.—Mitchell.

We frequently pass from love to ambition, but one seldom returns from ambition to love.—


Ambition makes the same mistake concerning power that avarice makes concerning wealth. She begins by accumulating power as a mean to happiness, and she finishes by continuing to accumulate it as an end.—Cotton.

Ambition, like a torrent, never looks back.—

Ben Jonson.

Ambition, that high and glorious passion, which makes such havoc among the sons of men, arises from a proud desire of honor and distinction; and when the splendid trappings in which it is usually caparisoned are removed, will be found to consist of the mean materials of envy, pride, and covetousness.—Burton.

Ambition is an idol, on whose wings great minds are carried only to extreme, — to lie sublimely great, or to be nothing.—Southern.

Moderation cannot have the credit of combating and subduing ambition, — tliey are never found together. Moderation is the languor and indolence of the soul, as ambition is its activity and ardor —Rochefoucauld.

The cheat ambition, eager to espouse dominion, courts it with a lying show, and shines in borrowed pomp to serve a turn.—Jeffrey.

Dreams, indeed, are ambition ; for the very tnbstancc of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream. And I hold ambition of so airy and light a quality, that it is but a shadow a shadow.—Shakespeare.

Ambition is not a

vice of little people.


Ambition is a gilded misery, a secret poison, a hidden plague, the engineer of deceit, the mother of hypocrisy, the parent of envy, the original of vices, the moth of holiness, the blinder of hearts,'turning medicines into maladies, and remedies into diseases. High scats are never but uneasy, and crowns are always stuffed with thorns.—Rev. T. Brook*.

Take away ambition and vanity, and where will be your heroes and patriots *—Seneca.

I begin where most people end, with a full conviction of the emptiness of all sorts of ambition, and the unsatisfactory nature of all human pleasures.—Pope.

Ambition is to the mind what the cap is to the falcon; it blinds us first, and then compels us to tower, by reason of our blindness. But alas! when we are at the summit of a vain ambition, we are also at the depth of misery.— Cotton.

It is the constant fault and inseparable ill quality of ambition never to look behind it.— „ Seneca.

The shadow, wheresoever it passes, leaves no track behind it; and of the greatest personages of the world, when they are once dead, then there remains no more than if they had never lived. How many preceding emperors of the Assyrian monarchy were lords of the world as well as Alexander! and now we remain not only ignorant of their monuments, but know not so much as their names. And of the same great Alexander, what have we at this day except the vain noise of his fame *—

Jeremy Taylor.

We should be careful to deserve a good reputation by doing well; and when that care is once taken, not to be over anxious about the iuccess.—Rochester.

Ambition sufficiently plagnes her proselytes, by keeping themselves alwavs in show, like the itatne of a public place.—Montaigne.

Blood only serves to wash Ambition's hands.—Byron.

Ambition is torment enough for an enemy; for it affords as much discontentment in enjoying as in want, making men like poisoned rats, which, when they have tasted of their bane, cannot rest till they drink, and then can much less rest till they die.—Bishop HaU.

Neither love nor ambition, as it has often been shown, can brook a division of its empire in the heart.—Bovee.

Ambition is a rebel both to the soul and reason, and enforces all laws, all conscience; treads upon religion, and offers violence to na tare's self.—Ben Jonson.

Alas! ambition makes my little less.— Young.

Ambition is but avarice on stilts, and masked. God sometimes sends a famine, sometimes a pestilence, and sometimes a hero, for the chastisement of mankind ; none of them surely for our admiration.—Landor.

The ambitious deceive themselves when they propose an end to their ambition; for that end, when attained, becomes a means.—


There is a kind of grandeur and respect which the meanest and most insignificant part of mankind endeavor to procure in the little circle of their friends and acquaintance. The poorest mechanic, nay, the man who lives upon common alms, gets him his set of admirers, and delights in that superiority which he enjoys over those who are in some respects beneath him. This ambition, which is natural to the soul of man, might, methinks, receive a very happy turn ; and, if it were rightly directed, contribute as much to a person's advantage, as it generally does to his uneasiness and disquiet.—Additon.

Ambition is like choler, which is a humor that Itu I. .; h men active, earnest, full of alncrity, and stirring, if it t>e not stopped; but if it be stopped, and cannot have its way, it becometh fiery, and thereby malign and venomous.—


Ambition, like love, can abide no lingering; and ever urgeth on his own successes, hating nothing but what may stop them.—

_ Sir P. Sidney.

We must distinguish between felicity and prosperity; for prosperity leads often to ambition, and ambition to disappointment; the course is then over, the wheel turns round but once, while the reaction of goodness and happiness is perpetual.—Landor.

One may easily enough guard against ambition till fivc-and-twcnty. It is not ambition'! day.—Shenstone,

We should reflect that w.iatever tempts the pride and vanity of ambitions persons is not so nig as the smallest star which we see scattered in disorder and unregarded on the pavement of heaven.—-Jeremy Taylor.

The tallest trees arc most in the power of the winds, and ambitious men of the blasts of fortune.— William Perm.

A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself, and a mean man by one which is lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other, ambition, Ambition is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.—Beecher.

Ambition! deadly tyrant! inexorable master! what alarms, what anxious hours, what agonies of heart, are th; sure portion of thy gaudy slaves (—Mallet

Don Quixote thought he could have made beautiful bird-cages and tooth-picks if his brain had uot been so full of ideas of chivalry. Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.—


Ambition is like love, impatient both of delays and rivals.—Denham.

Ambition is, of all other, the most contrary humor to solitude ; and glory and repose arc so inconsistent that thcv cannot possibly inhabit one and the same place; and for so much as I understand, those have only their arms and legs disengaged from the crowd, their mind and intention remain engaged behind more than ever.—-Munta iyne.

Nothing can be more destructive to ambition, and the passion for conquest, than the true system of astronomy. What a poor thing is even the whole globe in comparison of the infinite extent of nature!—f'ontenelle.

If love and ambition should be in equal balance, and come to jostle with equal force, I make no doubt but that the last would win the prize.—Montaiyne.

Most natures nre insolvent; cannot satisfy their own wants, have an ambition out of all proportion to their practical force, and so do lean and beg day and night continually.—


It is not for man to rest in absolute contentment. He is born to hopes and aspirations, ns the sparks fly upwards, unless he has brntificd his nature, and quenched the spirit of immortality, which is his portion.—Southey.

Where ambition can be so happy as to cover its enterprises even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of all human passions.—


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