C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


God holds with the strong.


The best hearts are ever the bravest.


Courage is adversity’s lamp.


To bear is to conquer our fate.


Courage leads to heaven; fear, to death.


Much danger makes great hearts most resolute.


A courage to endure and to obey.


Courage never to submit or yield.


Courage mounteth with occasion.


A man of courage is also full of faith.


A stout heart may be ruined in fortune but not in spirit.

Victor Hugo.

Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.


The first mark of valor is defence.

Sir P. Sidney.

Whatever enlarges hope will exalt courage.


Treason seldom dwells with courage.

Sir Walter Scott.

A spirit superior to every weapon.


Hold the Fort! I am coming.

Gen. W. T. Sherman.

Courage in danger is half the battle.


Fortune and Love befriend the bold.


Courage of the soldier awakes the courage of woman.


Courage is temperamental, scientific, ideal.


Half a man’s wisdom goes with his courage.


It is courage that vanquishes in war, and not good weapons.


Courage makes a man more than himself; for he is then himself plus his valor.

W. B. Alger.

True courage scorns to vent her prowess in a storm of words.


  • True valor, friends, on virtue founded strong,
  • Meets all events alike.
  • Mallet.

  • I dare do all that may become a man:
  • Who dares do more is none.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Come one, come all! this rock shall fly
  • From its firm base as soon as I.
  • Scott.

    Courage consists not in blindly overlooking danger, but in seeing it and conquering it.


    Few persons have courage enough to appear as good as they really are.

    J. C. and A. W. Hare.

    God is the brave man’s hope and not the coward’s excuse.


    There is no courage but in innocence; no constancy but in an honest cause.


    Courage is, on all hands, considered as an essential of high character.


    It is in great dangers that we see great courage.


    Fortune can take away riches, but not courage.


    True courage is like a kite: a contrary wind raises it higher.

    J. Petit-Senn.

    Courage without discipline is nearer beastliness than manhood.

    Sir P. Sidney.

  • But screw your courage to the sticking place,
  • And we’ll not fail.
  • Shakespeare.

    Most men have more courage than even they themselves think they have.


  • The mind I sway by, and the heart I bear,
  • Shall never sagg with doubt, nor shake with fear.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Whate’er betides, by destiny ’t is done,
  • And better bear like men, than vainly seek to shun.
  • Dryden.

  • I rather tell thee what is to be fear’d,
  • Than what I fear; for always I am Cæsar.
  • Shakespeare.

    The man who has never been in danger cannot answer for his courage.

    La Rochefoucauld.

  • Why, courage, then! what cannot be avoided
  • ’Twere childish weakness to lament or fear.
  • Shakespeare.

    Courage conquers all things: it even gives strength to the body.


    Hail, Cæsar, those who are about to die salute thee.


  • Cowards may fear to die; but courage stout,
  • Rather than live in snuff, will be put out.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh.

    He has not learned the lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.


    The charm of the best courages is that they are inventions, inspirations, flashes of genius.


    Courage is generosity of the highest order, for the brave are prodigal of the most precious things.


    If we survive danger, it steels our courage more than anything else.


  • The soul, secure in her existence, smiles
  • At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
  • Addison.

    Small in number, but their valor tried in war, and glowing.


    Courage is a virtue of no doubtful seeming; there can be no contradiction, no diversity of opinion, about it.


    Courage, when it is not heroic self-sacrifice, is sometimes a modification and sometimes a result of faith.

    J. C. and A. W. Hare.

    To bear other people’s afflictions, every one has courage enough and to spare.

    Benjamin Franklin.

    Courage, like cowardice, is undoubtedly contagious, but some persons are not liable to catch it.

    George D. Prentice.

    When moral courage feels that it is in the right, there is no personal daring of which it is incapable.

    Leigh Hunt.

    Without courage there cannot be truth, and without truth there can be no other virtue.

    Sir Walter Scott.

    Who hath not courage to revenge will never find generosity to forgive.

    Henry Home.

    Be courageous. Be independent. Only remember where the true courage and independence come from.

    Phillips Brooks.

    Go on and increase in valor, O boy! this is the path to immortality.


  • Stand fast***
  • And all temptation to transgress repel.
  • Milton.

    Whenever you do what is holy, be of good cheer, knowing that God Himself takes part with rightful courage.


    Conscience in the soul is the root of all true courage. If a man would be brave, let him learn to obey his conscience.

    James F. Clarke.

  • A real spirit
  • Should neither court neglect, nor dread to bear it.
  • Byron.

    He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses a friend loses more; but he that loses his courage loses all.


  • Brave spirits are a balsam to themselves,
  • There is a nobleness of mind that heals
  • Wounds beyond salves.
  • Cartwright.

  • True fortitude is seen in great exploits
  • That justice warrants, and that wisdom guides;
  • All else is tow’ring phrenzy and distraction.
  • Addison.

    It does not matter a feather whether a man be supported by patron or client, if he himself wants courage.


  • My heart is firm:
  • There’s nought within the compass of humanity
  • But I would dare and do.
  • Sir A. Hunt.

    Before putting yourself in peril, it is necessary to foresee and fear it; but when one is there, nothing remains but to despise it.


    It is not our criminal actions that require courage to confess, but those which are ridiculous and foolish.


    Not only does the bull attack its foe with its crooked horns, but the injured sheep will fight its assailant.


    He hath borne himself beyond the promise of his age, doing, in the figure of a lamb, the feats of a lion.


  • True valor
  • Lies in the mind, the never-yielding purpose,
  • Nor owns the blind award of giddy fortune.
  • Thomson.

    The wounded gladiator forswears all fighting, but soon forgetting his former wound resumes his arms.


    There is no impossibility to him who stands prepared to conquer every hazard; the fearful are the failing.

    Mrs. S. J. Hale.

    The conscience of every man recognizes courage as the foundation of manliness, and manliness as the perfection of human character.

    Thomas Hughes.

    Courage is a quality so necessary for maintaining virtue, that it is always respected even when it is associated with vice.

    Dr. Johnson.

    Troops would never be deficient in courage, if they could only know how deficient in it their enemies were.


    Fear to do base, unworthy things is valor; if they be done to us, to suffer them is valor too.

    Ben Jonson.

  • The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
  • And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
  • Shakespeare.

    Courage consists not in hazarding without fear, but being resolutely minded in a just cause.


    Consult the honor of religion more, and your personal safety less. Is it for the honor of religion (think you) that Christians should be as timorous as hares to start at every sound?

    John Flavel.

    Remember, now, when you meet your antagonist, do everything in a mild, agreeable manner. Let your courage be as keen, but, at the same time, as polished as your sword.


  • A valiant man
  • Ought not to undergo or tempt a danger,
  • But worthily, and by selected ways;
  • He undertakes by reason, not by chance.
  • Ben Jonson.

  • To struggle when hope is banished!
  • To live when life’s salt is gone!
  • To dwell in a dream’s that vanished!
  • To endure, and go calmly on!
  • Author Unknown.

    I wonder is it because men are cowards in heart that they admire bravery so much, and place military valor so far beyond every other quality for reward and worship.


    The most sublime courage I have ever witnessed has been among that class too poor to know they possessed it, and too humble for the world to discover it.

    H. W. Shaw.

  • The brave man seeks not popular applause,
  • Nor, overpower’d with arms, deserts his cause;
  • Unsham’d, though foil’d, he does the best he can,
  • Force is of brutes, but honor is of man.
  • Dryden.

    The moral courage that will face obloquy in a good cause is a much rarer gift than the bodily valor that will confront death in a bad one.


  • I argue not
  • Against heaven’s hand or will, nor bate a jot
  • Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
  • Right onward.
  • Milton.

    This is the way to cultivate courage: First, by standing firm on some conscientious principle, some law of duty. Next, by being faithful to truth and right on small occasions and common events. Third, by trusting in God for help and power.

    James F. Clarke.

  • Tender handed stroke a nettle,
  • And it stings you for your pains;
  • Grasp it like a man of mettle,
  • And it soft as silk remains.
  • Aaron Hill.

    To do an evil action is base; to do a good action without incurring danger is common enough; but it is the part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risks every thing.


  • Let us, then, be up and doing,
  • With a heart for any fate;
  • Still achieving, still pursuing,
  • Learn to labor and to wait.
  • Longfellow.

  • The brave man is not he who feels no fear,
  • For that were stupid and irrational;
  • But he, whose noble soul its fear subdues,
  • And bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from.
  • Joanna Baillie.

    To hope for safety in flight, when you have turned away from the enemy the arms by which the body is defended, is indeed madness, In battle those who are most afraid are always in most danger; but courage is equivalent to rampart.


    The truest courage is always mixed with circumspection; this being the quality which distinguishes the courage of the wise from the hardiness of the rash and foolish.

    Jones of Nayland.

  • Ah, never shall the land forget
  • How gush’d the life-blood of the brave,
  • Gush’d warm with hope and courage yet,
  • Upon the soil they fought to save!
  • Bryant.

  • The human race are sons of sorrow born;
  • And each must have his portion. Vulgar minds
  • Refuse or cranch beneath their load: the brave
  • Bears theirs without repining.
  • Mallet and Thomson.

    A brave man thinks no one his superior who does him an injury; for he has it then in his power to make himself superior to the other by forgiving it.


    Courage is poorly housed that dwells in numbers; the lion never counts the herd that are about him, nor weighs how many flocks he has to scatter.

    Aaron Hill.

  • He holds no parley with unmanly fears,
  • Where duty bids he confident steers,
  • Faces a thousand dangers at her call,
  • And, trusting to his God, surmounts them all.
  • Cowper.

  • True courage but from opposition grows;
  • And what are fifty, what a thousand slaves,
  • Match’d to the sinew of a single arm
  • That strikes for liberty?
  • Brooke.

    Courage is like the diamond,—very brilliant; not changed by fire, capable of high polish, but except for the purpose of cutting hard bodies, useless.


  • The intent and not the deed
  • Is in our power; and, therefore, who dares greatly
  • Does greatly.
  • Brown.

    Women and men of retiring timidity are cowardly only in dangers which affect themselves, but the first to rescue when others are endangered.


  • The wise and active conquer difficulties
  • By daring to attempt them: sloth and folly
  • Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard,
  • And make the impossibility they fear.
  • Rowe.

  • Oh fear not in a world like this,
  • And thou shalt know ere long,
  • Know how sublime a thing it is
  • To suffer and be strong.
  • Longfellow.

  • All desp’rate hazards courage do create,
  • As he plays frankly, who has least estate;
  • Presence of mind, and courage in distress,
  • Are more than armies, to procure success.
  • Dryden.

    Courage, considered in itself or without reference to its causes, is no virtue, and deserves no esteem. It is found in the best and the worst, and is to be judged according to the qualities from which it springs and with which it is conjoined.


    Courage is generosity of the highest order, for the brave are prodigal of the most precious things. Our blood is nearer and dearer to us than our money, and our life than our estate.


    Courage and modesty are the most unequivocal of virtues, for they are of a kind that hypocrisy cannot imitate; they too have this quality in common, that they are expressed by the same color.


    Courage ought to be guided by skill, and skill armed by courage. Neither should hardiness darken wit, nor wit cool hardiness. Be valiant as men despising death, but confident as unwonted to be overcome.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    Courage is incompatible with the fear of the death; but every villain fears death: therefore no villain can be brave. He may, indeed, possess the courage of a rat, and fight with desperation, when driven into a corner.


  • A thousand hearts are great within my bosom:
  • Advance our standards, set upon our foes;
  • Our ancient word of courage, fair St. George,
  • Inspire us with the spleen of fiery dragons!
  • Upon them! Victory sits upon our helms.
  • Shakespeare.

  • What though the field be lost!
  • All is not lost; the ungovernable will,
  • And study of revenge, immortal hate,
  • And courage never to submit or yield;
  • And what is else not to be overcome.
  • Milton.

  • No thought of flight,
  • None of retreat, no unbecoming deed
  • That argued fear; each on himself relied,
  • As only in his arm the moment lay
  • Of victory.
  • Milton.

    I like to read about Moses best, in th’ Old Testament. He carried a hard business well through, and died when other folks were going to reap the fruits; a man must have courage to look after his life so, and think what’ll come of it after he’s dead and gone.

    George Eliot.

    Courage multiplies the chances of success by sometimes making opportunities, and always availing itself of them; and in this sense Fortune may be said to favor fools by those who, however prudent in their opinion, are deficient in valor and enterprise.


    Courage is always greatest when blended with meekness; intellectual ability is most admirable when it sparkles in the setting of a modest self-distrust; and never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.


    True courage is the result of reasoning. A brave mind is always impregnable. Resolution lies more in the head than in the veins, and a just sense of honor and of infamy, of duty and of religion, will carry us farther than all the force of mechanism.

    Jeremy Collier.

    Let us not despair too soon, my friend. Men’s words are ever bolder than their deeds, and many a one who now appears resolute to meet every extremity with eager zeal, will on a sudden find in their breast a heart which he wot not of.


  • Not to the ensanguin’d field of death alone
  • Is valor limited: she sits serene
  • In the deliberate council, sagely scans
  • The source of action: weighs, prevents, provides,
  • And scorns to count her glories, from the feats
  • Of brutal force alone.
  • Smollett.

  • A valiant man
  • Ought not to undergo, or tempt a danger,
  • But worthily, and by selected ways.
  • He undertakes with reason, not by chance.
  • His valor is the salt t’ his other virtues,
  • They’re all unseason’d without it.
  • Ben Jonson.

    What we want is men with a little courage to stand up for Christ. When Christianity wakes up, and every child that belongs to the Lord is willing to speak for Him, is willing to work for Him, and, if need be, willing to die for Him, then Christianity will advance, and we shall see the work of the Lord prosper.

    D. L. Moody.

    There is a contemptibly quiet path for all those who are afraid of the blows and clamor of opposing forces. There is no honorable fighting for a man who is not ready to forget that he has a head to be battered and a name to be bespattered. Truth wants no champion who is not as ready to be struck as to strike for her.

    J. G. Holland.

  • Yet it may be more lofty courage dwells
  • In one weak heart which braves an adverse fate,
  • Than his whose ardent soul indignant swells,
  • Warm’d by the fight, or cheer’d through high debate.
  • Mrs. Norton.

    True courage has so little to do with anger, that there lies always the strongest suspicion against it where this passion is highest. The true courage is the cool and calm. The bravest of men have the least of brutal bullying insolence, and in the very time of danger are found the most serene, pleasant, and free.


    Physical courage, which despises all danger, will make a man brave in one way; and moral courage, which despises all opinion, will make a man brave in another. The former would seem most necessary for the camp, the latter for council; but to constitute a great man, both are necessary.


    Courage, so far as it is a sign of race, is peculiarly the mark of a gentleman or a lady; but it becomes vulgar if rude or insensitive, while timidity is not vulgar, if it be a characteristic of race or fineness of make. A fawn is not vulgar in being timid, nor a crocodile “gentle” because courageous.


    True courage is cool and calm. The bravest of men have the least of a brutal bullying insolence, and in the very time of danger are found the most serene and free. Rage, we know, can make a coward forget himself and fight. But what is done in fury or anger can never be placed to the account of courage.


  • When by and by the din of war ’gan pierce
  • His ready sense; then straight his doubled spirit
  • Re-quicken’d what in flesh was fatigate,
  • And to the battle came he; where he did
  • Run reeking o’er the lives of men, as if
  • ’Twere a perpetual spoil; and till we call’d
  • Both field and city ours he never stood
  • To ease his breath with panting.
  • Shakespeare.

    An intrepid courage is at best but a holiday kind of virtue, to be seldom exercised, and never but in cases of necessity; affability, mildness, tenderness, and a word which I would fain bring back to its original signification of virtue, I mean good-nature, are of daily use; they are the bread of mankind and staff of life.


  • True courage is not the brutal force
  • Of vulgar heroes, but the firm resolve
  • Of virtue and of reason. He who thinks
  • Without their aid to shine in deeds of arms
  • Builds on a sandy basis his renown;
  • A dream, a vapor, or an ague-fit,
  • May make a coward of him.
  • Whitehead.

    Courage enlarges, cowardice diminishes resources. In desperate straits the fears of the timid aggravate the dangers that imperil the brave. For cowards the road of desertion should be left open. They will carry over to the enemy nothing but their fears. The poltroon, like the scabbard, is an encumbrance when once the sword is drawn.


  • What! shall one monk, scarcely known beyond his cell,
  • Front Rome’s far-reaching bolts, and scorn her frown?
  • Brave Luther answered “Yes”; that thunder’s swell
  • Rocked Europe, and discharmed the triple crown.
  • Lowell.

    Courage that grows from constitution very often forsakes a man when he has occasion for it, and, when it is only a kind of instinct in the soul, breaks out on all occasions, without judgment or discretion. That courage which proceeds from the sense of our duty, and from the fear of offending Him that made us, acts always in a uniform manner, and according to the dictates of right reason.


  • Like a mountain lone and bleak,
  • With its sky-encompass’d peak,
  • Thunder riven,
  • Lifting its forehead bare,
  • Through the cold and blighting air,
  • Up to heaven,
  • Is the soul that feels its woe,
  • And is nerv’d to bear the blow.
  • Mrs. Hale.

    “Be bold!” first gate; “Be bold, be bold, and evermore be bold,” second gate; “Be not too bold!” third gate.

    Inscription on the Gates of Busyrane.

  • Write on your doors the saying wise and old,
  • “Be bold! be bold!” and everywhere—“Be bold;
  • Be not too bold!” Yet better the excess
  • Than the defect; better the more than less;
  • Better like Hector in the field to die,
  • Than like a perfumed Paris turn and fly.
  • Longfellow.

  • O friends, be men, and let your hearts be strong,
  • And let no warrior in the heat of fight
  • Do what may bring him shame in others’ eyes;
  • For more of those who shrink from shame are safe
  • Than fall in battle, while with those who flee
  • Is neither glory nor reprieve from death.
  • Homer.

  • None of the prophets old,
  • So lofty or so bold!
  • No form of danger shakes his dauntless breast;
  • In loneliness sublime
  • He dares confront the time,
  • And speak the truth, and give the world no rest:
  • No kingly threat can cowardize his breath,
  • He with majestic step goes forth to meet his death.
  • Abraham Coles.

    Religion gives a man courage.***I mean the higher moral courage which can look danger in the face unawed and undismayed; the courage that can encounter loss of ease, of wealth, of friends, of your own good name; the courage that can face a world full of howling and of scorn—ay, of loathing and of hate; can see all this with a smile, and, suffering it all, can still toil on, conscious of the result, yet fearless still.

    Theodore Parker.

    In the whole range of earthly experience, no quality is more attractive and ennobling than moral courage. Like that mountain of rock which towers aloft in the Irish Sea, the man possessed of this principle is unmoved by the swelling surges which fret and fume at his feet. And yet, unlike that same Ailsa Craig, he is sensitive beyond measure to every adverse influence—battling against it, and triumphing over it by a power which proceeds from God’s throne, and pervades his entire being.

    J. McC. Holmes.

  • Courage, the highest gift, that scorns to bend
  • To mean devices for a sordid end.
  • Courage—an independent spark from heaven’s bright throne,
  • By which the soul stands raised, triumphant, high, alone.
  • Great in itself, not praises of the crowd,
  • Above all vice, it stoops not to be proud.
  • Courage, the mighty attribute of powers above,
  • By which those great in war are great in love.
  • The spring of all brave acts is seated here,
  • As falsehoods draw their sordid birth from fear.
  • Farquhar.

    Courage, by keeping the senses quiet and the understanding clear, puts us in a condition to receive true intelligence, to make computations upon danger, and pronounce rightly upon that which threatens us. Innocence of life, consciousness of worth, and great expectations, are the best foundations of courage. These ingredients make a richer cordial than youth can prepare; they warm the heart at eighty, and seldom fail in operation.


    Let him not imagine who aims at greatness that all is lost by a single adverse cast of fortune; for if fortune has at one time the better of courage, courage may afterwards recover the advantage. He who is prepossessed with the assurance of overcoming, at least overcomes the fear of failure; whereas he who is apprehensive of losing, loses in reality all hopes of subduing. Boldness and power are such inseparable companions that they appear to be born together; and when once divided, they both decay and die at the same time.

    Archbishop Venn.