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


I’ll not budge an inch.


Here I stand; I can do no otherwise. God help me. Amen.

Martin Luther.

I am here; I shall remain here.

Marshal MacMahon.

All may do what has by man been done.


For what I will, I will, and there an end.


  • Joking decides great things,
  • Stronger and better oft than earnest can.
  • Milton.

    He only is a well-made man who has a good determination.


  • And her yes, once said to you,
  • Shall be Yes for evermore.
  • E. B. Browning.

    The souls of men of feeble purpose are the graveyards of good intentions.


    Heaven never helps the man who will not act.


    I take one decisive and immediate step, and resign my all to the sufficiency of my Saviour.

    Thomas Chalmers.

    I hate to see things done by halves. If it be right, do it boldly; if it be wrong, leave it undone.


    When desperate ills demand a speedy cure, distrust is cowardice and prudence folly.


    There is no mistake; there has been no mistake; and there shall be no mistake.

    Duke of Wellington.

    Advise well before you begin; and when you have decided, act promptly.


    Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.

    Andrew Jackson.

    The power of uncontrollable decision is of the most delicate and dangerous nature.

    James A. Bayard.

  • Choose a firm cloud before it fall, and in it
  • Catch, ere she change, the Cynthia of this minute.
  • Pope.

    Men must decide on what they will not do, and then they are able to act with vigor in what they ought to do.


  • Sighs, groans, and tears proclaim his inward pains,
  • But the firm purpose of his heart remains.
  • Dryden.

    The woman who is resolved to be respected can make herself to be so even amidst an army of soldiers.


  • Once to every man and nation come the moment to decide,
  • In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side.
  • Lowell.

  • The keen spirit
  • Seizes the prompt occasion—makes the thought
  • Start into instant action, and at once
  • Plans and performs, resolves and executes!
  • Hannah More.

    Firmness, both in sufferance and exertion, is a character which I would wish to possess. I have always despised the whining yelp of complaint and the cowardly, feeble resolve.

    Robert Burns.

    Decision is a vastly important thing with a convicted sinner. He must choose, or he must be lost. If he will not do it, he may expect the Divine Spirit to depart from him, and leave him to his own way.

    Ichabod Spencer.

    A man who has not learned to say “no”—who is not resolved that he will take God’s way in spite of every dog that can bark at him, in spite of every silvery voice that can woo him aside—will be a weak and wretched man till he dies.

    Alexander Maclaren.

    I reverence the individual who understands distinctly what he wishes; who unweariedly advances, who knows the means conducive to his object, and can seize and use them.


    There is nothing more to be esteemed than a manly firmness and decision of character. I like a person who knows his own mind and sticks to it; who sees at once what is to be done in given circumstances and does it.


  • Decide not rashly. The decision made
  • Can never be recalled. The Gods implore not,
  • Plead not, solicit not; they only offer
  • Choice and occasion, which once being passed
  • Return no more. Dost thou accept the gift?
  • Longfellow.

    In such a world as this, with such hearts as ours, weakness is wickedness in the long run. Whoever lets himself be shaped and guided by any thing lower than an inflexible will, fixed in obedience to God, will in the end be shaped into a deformity, and guided to wreck and ruin.

    Alexander Maclaren.

    For a few brief days the orchards are white with blossoms. They soon turn to fruit, or else float away, useless and wasted, upon the idle breeze. So will it be with present feelings. They must be deepened into decision, or be entirely dissipated by delay.

    T. L. Cuyler.

  • There is a tide in the affairs of men,
  • Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
  • Omitted, all the voyage of their life
  • Is bound in shallows and in miseries;
  • And we must take the current when it serves,
  • Or lose our ventures.
  • Shakespeare.

    To be energetic and firm where principle demands it, and tolerant in all else, is not easy. It is not easy to abhor wickedness, and oppose it with every energy, and at the same time to have the meekness and gentleness of Christ, becoming all things to all men for the truth’s sake. The energy of patience, the most godlike of all, is not easy.

    Mark Hopkins.

    Whatever we think out, whatever we take in hand to do, should be perfectly and finally finished, that the world, if it must alter, will only have to spoil it; we have then nothing to do but unite the severed, to recollect and restore the dismembered.


  • Then to side with Truth is noble when we share her wretched crust,
  • Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ’tis prosperous to be just;
  • Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
  • Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.
  • James Russell Lowell.

  • Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
  • In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;
  • Some great cause, God’s new Messiah offering each the bloom or blight,
  • Parts the goats upon the left hand, and the sheep upon the right;
  • And the choice goes by forever ’twixt that darkness and that light.
  • James Russell Lowell.

    Men first make up their minds (and the smaller the mind the sooner made up), and then seek for the reasons; and if they chance to stumble upon a good reason, of course they do not reject it. But though they are right, they are only right by chance.