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[ Also see Dignity Distinction Excellence Fame Glory Honor Littleness Mediocrity Nobility Power Reputation Size Sublimity Success Talent ]

Those people who are always improving never become great. Greatness is an eminence, the ascent to which is steep and lofty, and which a man must seize on at once by natural boldness and vigor, and not by patient, wary steps.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

He who comes up to his own idea of greatness, must always have had a very low standard of it in his mind.
      - William Hazlitt (1),
        Table Talk--Whether Genius is Conscious of its own Power

No really great man ever thought himself so.
      - William Hazlitt (1),
        Table Talk--Whether Genius is Conscious of its own Power

As the stars are the glory of the sky, so great men are the glory of their country, yea, of the whole earth. The hearts of great men are the stars of earth; and doubtless when one looks down from above upon our planet, these hearts are seen to send forth, a silvery light just like the stars of heaven.
      - Heinrich Heine

Nothing can make a man truly great but being truly good and partaking of God's holiness.
      - Matthew (Mathew) Henry

Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.
      - Herodotus ("Father of History")

Great men are rarely isolated mountain peaks; they are the summits of ranges.
      - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

A great man is a gift, in some measure a revelation of God. A great man, living for high ends, is the divinest thing that can be seen on earth. The value and interest of history are derived chiefly from the lives and services of the eminent men whom it commemorates. Indeed, without these, there would be no such thing as history, and the progress of a nation would be little worth recording, as the march of a trading caravan across a desert.
      - George Stillman Hillard

Great men are among the best gifts which God bestows upon a people.
      - George Stillman Hillard

He only is great at heart who floods the world with a great affection. He only is great of mind who stirs the world with great thoughts. He only is great of will who does something to shape the world to a great career. And he is greatest who does the most of all these things and does them best.
      - Roswell Dwight Hitchcock

True greatness, first of all, is a thing of the heart. It is all alive with robust and generous sympathies. It is neither behind its age, nor too far before it. It is up with its age, and ahead of it only just so far as to be able to lead its march. It cannot slumber, for activity is a necessity of its existence. It is no reservoir, but a fountain.
      - Roswell Dwight Hitchcock

The union of theorizer, organizer, and leader in one man is the rarest phenomenon on earth; therein lies greatness.
      - Adolph Hitler

Ajax the great . . .
  Himself a host.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Iliad
         (bk. III, l. 293), (Pope's translation)

That man scorches with his brightness, who overpowers inferior capacities, yet he shall be revered when dead.
  [Lat., Urit enim fulgore suo qui praegravat artes
    Intra se positas; extinctus amabitur idem.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Epistles (II, 1, 13)

A king or a prince becomes by accident a part of history. A poet or an artist becomes by nature and necessity a part of universal humanity.
      - Mrs. Anna Brownell Jameson

This nation, this generation, in this hour has man's first chance to build a great society, a place where the meaning of man's life matches the marvels of man's labor.
      - Lyndon Baines Johnson

No man ever yet became great by imitation.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The civilities of the great are never thrown away.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The first step to greatness is to be honest.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

The truly strong and sound mind is the mind that can embrace equally great things and small. I would have a man great in great things, and elegant in little things.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

For he that once is good, is ever great.
      - Ben Jonson, The Forest--To Lady Aubigny

He who does the most good is the greatest man. Power, authority, dignity, honors, wealth and station--these are so far valuable as they put it into the hands of men to be more exemplary and more useful than they could be in an obscure and private life. But then these are means conducting to an end, and that end is goodness.
      - John Jortin

Greatnesse on goodnesse loves to slide, not stand,
  And leaves, for fortune's ice, vertue's firme land.
      - Richard Knolles, Turkish History (l. 13),
        under a portrait of Mustapha I

True greatness is sovereign wisdom. We are never deceived by our virtues.
      - Alphonse de Lamartine

A great man knows the value of greatness; he dares not hazard it, he will not squander it.
      - Walter Savage Landor

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