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

They that stand high have many blasts to shake them,
  And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (Queen Margaret at I, iii)

'If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above thee, but be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.'
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Malvolio at II, v)

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon 'em.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Twelfth Night, or, What You Will
         (Malvalio at II, v)

For as much as to understand and to be mighty are great qualities, the higher that they be, they are so much the less to be esteemed if goodness also abound not in the possessor.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Great is not great to the greater.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Like the air-invested heron, great persons should conduct themselves; and the higher they be, the less they should show.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

Distinction is an eminence that is attained but too frequently at the expense of a fireside.
      - William Gilmore Simms

Great men are always exceptional men; and greatness itself is but comparative. Indeed, the range of most men in life is so limited that very few have the opportunity of being great.
      - Samuel Smiles

The great man is the man who does a thing for the first time.
      - Alexander Smith

The truly great rest in the knowledge of their own deserts, nor seek the conformation of the world.
      - Alexander Smith

There is but one method, and that is hard labor.
      - Sydney Smith

If it is a pleasure to be envied and shot at, to be maligned standing and to be despised falling, then it is a pleasure to be great.
      - Bishop Robert South

Reproach is a concomitant of greatness.
      - Bishop Robert South

If the title of a great man ought to be reserved for him who cannot be charged with an indiscretion or a vice, who spent his life in establishing the independence, the glory and durable prosperity of his country; who succeeded in all that he undertook, and whose successes were never won at the expense of justice, integrity, or by the sacrifice of a single principle--this title will not be denied to Washington.
      - Jared Sparks

The gifts of Nature and accomplishments of art are valuable but as they are exerted in the interests of virtue or governed by the rules of honor.
      - Sir Richard Steele

No great thought, no great object, satisfies the mind at first view, nor at the last.
      - Abel Stevens

Not that the heavens the little can make great,
  But many a man has lived an age too late.
      - Richard Henry Stoddard,
        To Edmund Clarence Stedman

Great abilities, when employed as God directs, do but make the owners of them greater and more painful servants to their neighbors.
      - Jonathan Swift

Censure is the tax a man pays to the public for being eminent.
      - Jonathan Swift,
        Thoughts on Various Subjects

The world knows nothing of its greatest men.
      - Sir Henry Taylor (2), Philip Van Artevelde
         (act I, sc. 5)

He fought a thousand glorious wars,
  And more than half the world was his,
    And somewhere, now, in yonder stars,
      Can tell, mayhap, what greatness is.
      - William Makepeace Thackeray,
        The Chronicle of the Drum (last verse)

Since, by your greatness, you
  Are nearer heaven in place; be nearer it
    In goodness: rich men should transcend the poor,
      As clouds the earth; rais'd by the comfort of
        The sun, to water dry and barren grounds.
      - Cyril Tourneur (Turnour or Turner)

In order to do great things, it is necessary to live as if one was never to die.
      - Luc de Clapier de Vauvanargues

Such is the destiny of great men that their superior genius always exposes them to be the butt of the envenomed darts of calumny and envy.
      - Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet Voltaire)

It is to be lamented that great characters are seldom without a blot.
      - George Washington

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