Accusation.—Again, men of Athens, I conceive abuse to differ from accusation in this, that accusation has to do with offenses for which the laws provide penalties, abuse with the scandal which enemies speak against each other according to their humor.—Demosthenes, On the Crown, Kennedy, Tr.
Action.—Every man has experienced how feelings which end in themselves and do not express themselves in action, leave the heart debilitated. We get feeble and sickly in character when we feel keenly, and cannot do the thing we feel.—Robertson. The flighty purpose never is o'ertook, Unless the deed go with it: from the moment The very firstlings of my heart shall be The firstlings of my hands.
.No boasting like a fool;
This deed I'll do before the purpose cool.
Adversity.—Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head, And this our life, exempt from public haunt, . Finds tongues in trees, books in the running
brooks, Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
—Shakespeare, As You Like It, In the adversity of our best friends we often find something which does not displease us.—Rochefoucauld.
I am convinced that we have a degree of delight, and that no small one, in the real misfortunes and pains of others.—Burke. For of fortune's sharpe adversite,
The worst kind of infortune is this:
A man that hath been in prosperite
And it remember when it passed is.
—Chaucer—Tr. and Or. imbition.—0 fading honors of the dead!
0 high ambition lowly laid! —Scott. Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition: By that sin fell the angels; how can man, then, The image of his Maker, hope to win by't ? Love thyself last: cherish those hearts that hate thee:
Corruption wins not more than honesty.
Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace,
To silence envious tongues: be just and fear not.
Let all the ends thou aim'st at be thy country's,
Thy God's and truth's; then if thou fall'st, O
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr.
—Shakespeare, Henry VIII.
But 'tis a common proof
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder
Whereto the climber upward turns his face;
But when he once attains the utmost round
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend.
—Shakespeare, Julius Caesar. Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile The short and simple annals of the poor.
Here we may reign secure, and in my choice
To reign is worth ambition, though in hell;
Better to reign in hell than serve in heaven.
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.