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The variation of excellence among men is rather in degree than in kind.
      - George Bancroft

To excel is to live.
      - Pierre Jean de Beranger

The desire of excellence is the necessary attribute of those who excel. We work little for a thing unless we wish for it. But we cannot of ourselves estimate the degree of our success in what we strive for; that task is left to others. With the desire for excellence comes, therefore, the desire for approbation. And this distinguishes intellectual excellence from moral excellence; for the latter has no necessity of human tribunal; it is more inclined to shrink from the public than to invite the public to be its judge.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

The more we sympathize with excellence, the more we go out of self, the more we love, the broader and deeper is our personality.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

If you want enemies, excel others; if you want friends, let others excel you.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Born to excel, and to command!
  As by transcendent beauty to attract
    All eyes, so by pre-eminence of soul
      To rule all hearts.
      - William Congreve

What is excellent,
  As God lives, is permanent;
    Hearts are dust, hearts' loves remain,
      Heart's love will meet thee again.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

A man that is desirous to excel should endeavor it in those things that are in themselves most excellent.
      - Epictetus

One that desires to excel should endeavor in those things that are in themselves most excellent.
      - Epictetus

Being brilliant is no great feat if you respect nothing.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Men of genius do not excel in any profession because they labor in it, but they labor in it because they excel.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

Merely to have survived is not an index of excellence.
      - Anthony Hecht

Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning.
      - Hesiod

The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.
      - Eric Hoffer

Those who attain any excellence commonly spend life in one common pursuit; for excellence is not often gained upon easier terms.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

He who excels in his art so as to carry it to the utmost height of perfection of which it is capable may be said in some measure to go beyond it: his transcendent productions admit of no appellations.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

Consider first, that great or bright infers not excellence.
      - John Milton

There is no excellence uncoupled with difficulties.
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)

Excellence, is never granted to man, but as the reward of labor. It argues, indeed, no small strength of mind to persevere in the habits of industry, without the pleasure of perceiving those advantages which, like the hands of a clock, whilst they make hourly approaches to their point, yet proceed so slowly as to escape observation.
      - Sir Joshua Reynolds

When a man appreciates only eating and sleeping, what excellence has he over the reptiles?
      - Moslih Eddin (Muslih-un-Din) Saadi (Sadi)

We measure the excellency of other men by some excellency we conceive to be in ourselves.
      - John Selden

Human excellence, parted from God, is like a fable flower, which, according to Rabbis, Eve plucked when passing out of paradise--severed from its native root, it is only the touching memorial of a lost Eden; sad, while charming--beautiful, but dead.
      - Charles Stanford

It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Next to excellence is the appreciation of it.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray

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