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


By steps we may ascend to God.


Fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.


O sacred hunger of ambitious minds!


Too low they build who build beneath the stars.


The movement of the species is upward, irresistibly upward.


Man can only learn to rise from the consideration of that which he cannot surmount.


The little done vanishes from the sight of man, who looks forward to what is still to do.


Whilst we converse with what is above us, we do not grow old, but grow young.


Lifted up so high I disdained subjection, and thought one step higher would set me highest.


It is but a base, ignoble mind that mounts no higher than a bird can soar.


Lift thyself up, look around, and see something higher and brighter than earth, earthworms, and earthly darkness.


Our natures are like oil; compound us with anything, yet still we strive to swim upon the top.

Beaumont and Fletcher.

What we truly and earnestly aspire to be, that in some sense we are. The mere aspiration, by changing the frame of the mind, for the moment realizes itself.

Mrs. Jameson.

Who shoots at the midday sun, though he be sure he shall never hit the mark, yet as sure he is that he shall shoot higher than he who aims but at a bush.

Sir P. Sidney.

Besides the pleasure derived from acquired knowledge, there lurks in the mind of man, and tinged with a shade of sadness, an unsatisfactory longing for something beyond the present, a striving towards regions yet unknown and unopened.

Wilhelm von Humboldt.

Darwin remarks that we are less dazzled by the light at waking, if we have been dreaming of visible objects. Happy are those who have here dreamt of a higher vision! They will the sooner be able to endure the glories of the world to come.


Bright and illustrious illusions! Who can blame, who laugh at the boy, who not admire and commend him, for that desire of a fame outlasting the Pyramids by which he insensibly learns to live in a life beyond the present, and nourish dreams of a good unattainable, by the senses?


It is not to taste sweet things, but to do noble and true things, and vindicate himself under God’s heaven as a God-mad man, that the poorest son of Adam dimly longs. Show him the way of doing that, the dullest day-drudge kindles into a hero. They wrong man greatly who say he is to be seduced by ease. Difficulty, abnegation, martyrdom, death, are the allurements that act on the heart of man. Kindle the inner genial life of him, you have a flame that burns up all lower considerations.