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


Troops of heroes undistinguished die.


No man is a hero to his valet.

Mme. de Cornuel.

Heroes are a mischievous race.

Jeremy Collier.

Yes, Honor decks the turf that wraps their clay.


There are heroes in evil as well as in good.

La Rochefoucauld.

Heroes as great have died, and yet shall fall.


  • Whoe’er excels in what we prize,
  • Appears a hero in our eyes.
  • Swift.

    Worship your heroes from afar; contact withers them.

    Mme. Necker.

    If hero means sincere man, why may not every one of us be a hero.


    Of two heroes, he who esteems his rivals the most is the greatest.


    We can all be heroes in our virtues, in our homes, in our lives.

    James Ellis.

  • Prodigious actions may as well be done
  • By weaver’s issue, as by prince’s son.
  • Dryden.

    The real heroes of this war are the “great, brave, patient, nameless people.”

    Whitelaw Reid.

    Heroes, it would seem, exist always and a certain worship of them.


    The legacy of heroes—the memory of a great name, and the inheritance of a great example.


    Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody, and to that person whatever he says has an enhanced value.


    Our heroes of the former days deserved and gained their never-fading bays.


  • I want a hero: an uncommon want,
  • When every year and month sends forth a new one.
  • Byron.

  • Hail, Columbia! happy land!
  • Hail, ye heroes! heaven-born band!
  • Who fought and bled in Freedom’s cause.
  • Joseph Hopkinson.

    In analyzing the character of heroes, it is hardly possible to separate altogether the share of fortune from their own.


    The gentle breath of peace would leave him on the surface neglected and unmoved. It is only the tempest that lifts him from his place.


    The idol of to-day pushes the hero of yesterday out of our recollection; and will, in turn, be supplanted by his successor of to-morrow.

    Washington Irving.

    The heroes of literary history have been no less remarkable for what they have suffered than for what they have achieved.


    Heroes are not known by the loftiness of their carriage, as the greatest braggarts are generally the merest cowards.


    Nobody, they say, is a hero to his valet. Of course; for a man must be a hero to understand a hero. The valet, I dare say, has great respect for some person of his own stamp.


    The prudent sees only the difficulties, the bold only the advantages, of a great enterprise; the hero sees both, diminishes those, makes these preponderate, and conquers.


    Heroes in history seem to us poetic because they are there. But if we should tell the simple truth of some of our neighbors, it would sound like poetry.

    G. W. Curtis.

  • Up rose the hero,—on his piercing eye
  • Sat observation; on each glance of thought
  • Decision follow’d, as the thunderbolt
  • Pursues the flash.
  • Home.

    Place moral heroes in the field, and heroines follow them as brides, but the opposite does not hold true; no heroine can create a hero through love of her, but she may give birth to one.


    Heroes, notwithstanding the high ideas which, by the means of flatterers, they may entertain of themselves, or the world may conceive of them, have certainly more of mortal than divine about them.


    There needs not a great soul to make a hero; there needs a God-created soul which will be true to its origin; that will be a great soul.


  • But to the hero, when his sword
  • Has won the battle for the free,
  • Thy voice sounds like a prophet’s word,
  • And in its hollow tones are heard
  • The thanks of millions yet to be.
  • Fitz-Greene Halleck.

    The greatest of all heroes is One—whom we do not name here! Let sacred silence meditate that sacred matter; you will find it the ultimate perfection of a principle extant throughout man’s whole history on earth.


    A hero is—as though one should say—a man of high achievement, who performs famous exploits—who does things that are heroical, and in all his actions and demeanor is a hero indeed.

    H. Brooke.

    The heroic soul does not sell its justice and its nobleness. It does not ask to dine nicely and to sleep warm. The essence of greatness is the perception that virtue is enough. Poverty is its ornament. It does not need plenty, and can very well abide its loss.


    He who, with strong passions, remains chaste—he who, keenly sensitive, with manly power of indignation in him, can yet restrain himself and forgive—these are strong men, spiritual heroes.


    Great men need to be lifted upon the shoulders of the whole world, in order to conceive their great ideas or perform their great deeds; that is, there must be an atmosphere of greatness round about them. A hero cannot be a hero unless in an heroic world.


    It hath been an ancient custom among them (Hungarians) that none should wear a fether but he who had killed a Turk, to whom onlie yt was lawful to shew the number of his slaine enemys by the number of fethers in his cappe.

    Richard Hansard.

    It were well if there were fewer heroes; for I scarcely ever heard of any, excepting Hercules, but did more mischief than good. These overgrown mortals commonly use their will with their right hand, and their reason with their left.

    Jeremy Collier.

  • Whoever, with an earnest soul,
  • Strives for some end from this low world afar,
  • Still upward travels though he miss the goal,
  • And strays—but towards a star.
  • Bulwer.

  • Yet reason frowns in war’s unequal game,
  • Where wasted nations raise a single name;
  • And mortgag’d states their grandsire’s wreaths regret,
  • From age to age in everlasting debt;
  • Wreaths which at last the dear-bought right convey
  • To rust on medals, or on stones decay.
  • Dr. Johnson.