Ambition


Quotes About Ambition

Ambition

What is my loftiest ambition? I have always wanted to throw an egg into an electric fan. -- Oliver Herford quote about ambition.



Ambition.—Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambitions.—Longfellow.

When you are aspiring to the highest place, it is honourable to reach the second or even the third rank. -- Cicero

He who ascends to mountain tops, shall find
The loftiest peaks most wrapt in clouds and snow;
He who surpasses or subdues mankind,
Must look down on the hate of those below.
—Southey.
They that stand high, have many blasts to shake them;
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
—Shakespeare.

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

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 success.—Rochester.

[Pg 14]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.—Lytton.

I charge thee, fling away ambition:
By that sin fell the angels.
—Shakespeare.
Ambition.

Fling away ambition;
By that sin fell the angels: how can man then,
The image of his Maker, hope to win by it?
74
SHAKS.: Henry VIII., Act iii, Sc. 2.

I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.
75
SHAKS.: Macbeth, Act i, Sc. 7.

Ambition has but one reward for all:
A little power, a little transient fame,
A grave to rest in, and a fading name.
76
WILLIAM WINTER: Queen's Domain.

To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
77
MILTON: Par. Lost, Bk. i., Line 262.

Such joy ambition finds.
78
MILTON: Par. Lost, Bk. iv., Line 92.


America.

America! half brother of the world!
With something good and bad of every land;
Greater than thee have lost their seat—
Greater scarce none can stand.
79
BAILEY: Festus, Sc. The Surface.


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.

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

Ambition has but one reward for all:
A little power, a little transient fame,
A grave to rest in, and a fading name!
—William Winter.
All my ambition is, I own,
To profit and to please unknown;
Like streams supplied from springs below,
Which scatter blessings as they go.
—Dr. Cotton.
AMBITION.

Ambition is our idol, on whose wings
Great minds are carried only to extreme;
To be sublimely great, or to be nothing.
_The Loyal Brother, Act i. Sc. 1_. T. SOUTHERNE.

To reign is worth ambition, though in hell:
Better to reign in hell, than serve in heaven.
_Paradise Lost, Bk. I_. MILTON.

Rather than be less
Cared not to be at all.
_Paradise Lost, Bk. II_. MILTON.

Lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend.
_Julius Csar, Act ii. Sc. 1_. SHAKESPEARE.

I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent; but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.
_Macbeth, Act i. Sc. 7_. SHAKESPEARE.

But wild ambition loves to slide, not stand,
And Fortune's ice prefers to Virtue's land.
_Absalom and Achitophel, Pt. I_. J. DRYDEN.

Ambition's monstrous stomach does increase
By eating, and it fears to starve unless
It still may feed, and all it sees devour.
_Playhouse to Let_. SIR W. DAVENANT.

But see how oft ambition's aims are crossed,
And chiefs contend 'til all the prize is lost!
_Rape of the Lock, Canto V_. A. POPE.

O, sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise,
By mountains piled on mountains to the skies?
Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
_Essay on Man, Epistle IV_. A. POPE.

The very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow
of a dream.
_Hamlet, Act ii. Sc. 2_. SHAKESPEARE.

Why then doth flesh, a bubble-glass of breath,
Hunt after honour and advancement vain,
And rear a trophy for devouring death?
_Ruins of Time_. E. SPENSER.

Oh, sons of earth! attempt ye still to rise
By mountains piled on mountains to the skies?
Heaven still with laughter the vain toil surveys,
And buries madmen in the heaps they raise.
_Essay on Man_. A. POPE.




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Ambition