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


Patience and gentleness is power.

Leigh Hunt.

I feel a host in this single arm.


Power, safely defied, touches its downfall.


They that govern most make least noise.

John Selden.

Pretension is nothing; power is everything.


He hath no power who hath not power to use.


The balance of power.

Sir Robt. Walpole.

The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall.


The highest power may be lost by misrule.


It is godlike to have power, but not to kill.

Beaumont and Fletcher.

We love and live in power.


Power, carried to extremes, is always liable to reaction.

Rufus Choate.

The less power a man has, the more he likes to use it.

J. Petit-Senn.

I know of nothing sublime which is not some modification of power.


Even in war, moral power is to physical as three parts out of four.

Napoleon I.

All violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power, but the absence of power.


Great men are they who see that spiritual is stronger than any material force, that thoughts rule the world.


It is not possible to found a lasting power upon injustice, perjury, and treachery.


The man who fears nothing is as powerful as he who is feared by everybody.


Power is seldom innocent, and envy is the yokefellow of eminence.


  • The awful shadow of some unseen Power
  • Floats, tho’ unseen, amongst us.
  • Shelley.

  • What can power give more than food and drink,
  • To live at ease and not be bound to think?
  • Dryden.

    The wild boar is often held by a small dog.


    Next to the assumption of power was the responsibility of relinquishing it.

    Earl of Beaconsfield.

    Power***is a fretful thing, and hath its wings always spread for flight.

    Lew Wallace.

    Power is ever stealing from the many to the few.

    Wendell Phillips.

    A fair woman shall not only command without authority, but persuade without speaking.

    Sir P. Sidney.

    Power is always right, weakness always wrong. Power is always insolent and despotic.

    Noah Webster.

    Power acquired by guilt was never used for a good purpose.


    Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short, in all management of human affairs.


    Where power is absent we may find the robe of genius, but we miss the throne.


    We love and live in power; it is the spirit’s end. Mind must subdue; to conquer is its life.


    Power, in whatever hands, is rarely guilty of too strict limitations on itself.


    To have what we want is riches; but to be able to do without it is power.

    George MacDonald.

    Power is the queen of the world, not opinion; but opinion makes use of power.


    The hammer and the anvil are the two hemispheres of every true reformer’s character.

    J. G. Holland.

    Power obeys reality, and not appearances; power is according to quality, and not quantity.


    Men are never very wise and select in the exercise of a new power.

    Wm. Ellery Channing.

    The lust of dominion burns with a flame so fierce as to overpower all other affections of the human breast.


    All the elements, whose aid man calls in, will sometimes become his masters.


    The height of power in women, so far as manners are concerned, rests in tranquillity.

    Mme. de Maintenon.

    Want of principle is power. Truth and honesty set a limit to our efforts, which impudence and hypocrisy easily overleap.


  • Calm and serene he drives the furious blast,
  • And, pleas’d th’ Almighty’s orders to perform,
  • Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.
  • Addison.

  • She knows her man, and when you rant and swear,
  • Can draw you to her with a single hair.
  • Dryden.

  • Give me a lever long enough
  • And a prop strong enough,
  • I can single handed move the world.
  • Archimedes.

    As thou directest the power, harm or advantage will follow, and the torrent that swept the valley may be led to turn a mill.


    Nothing, indeed, but the possession of some power can with any certainty discover what at the bottom is the true character of any man.


    The worst thing that can be said of the most powerful is that they can take your life; but the same thing can be said of the most weak.


    We have more power than will; and it is often by way of excuse to ourselves that we fancy things are impossible.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness; it magnifies littleness; to what is contemptible, it gives authority; to what is low, exaltation.


    The power of association is stronger than the power of beauty; therefore, the power of association is the power of beauty.


    Woman’s power is over the affections. A beautiful dominion is hers; but she risks its forfeiture when she seeks to extend it.


    To know the pains of power, we must go to those who have it; to know its pleasure, we must go to those who are seeking it; the pains of power are real, its pleasures imaginary.


  • In his livery
  • Walk’d crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
  • As plates dropp’d from his pocket.
  • Shakespeare.

    Power and courtly influence form an intoxicating draught even when raised to the lips of an ascetic and a saint.

    Sir J. Stephen.

    We endow those whom we love, in our fond, passionate blindness, with power upon our souls too absolute to be a mortal’s trust.

    Mrs. Hemans.

    She who has beauty might ensnare a conqueror’s soul, and make him leave his crown at random, to be scuffled for by slaves.


  • The good old rule
  • Sufficeth them, the single plan,
  • That they should take who have the power,
  • And they should keep who can.
  • Wordsworth.

    Power will intoxicate the best hearts, as wine the strongest heads. No man is wise enough, nor good enough to be trusted with unlimited power.


    The greater a man is in power above others, the more he ought to excel them in virtue. None ought to govern who is not better than the governed.

    Publius Syrus.

    Beware of dissipating your powers; strive constantly to concentrate them. Genius thinks it can do whatever it sees others doing, but it is sure to repent of every ill-judged outlay.


    All persons possessing any portion of power ought to be strongly and awfully impressed with an idea that they trust, and that they are to account for their conduct in that trust to the one great Master, Author, and founder of society.


    Life is a search after power; and this is an element with which the world is so saturated—there is no chink or crevice in which it is not lodged—that no honest seeker goes unrewarded.


  • Power, like a desolating pestilence,
  • Pollutes whate’er it touches; and obedience,
  • Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth,
  • Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame,
  • A mechanized automaton.
  • Shelley.

    That magnetism, an unseen agent, is the instrumentality with which women are made more potent than the strongest men, cannot be questioned. It is more than an equivalent for large bones and elephantine muscles.

    Dr. J. V. C. Smith.

    There are three kinds of power,—wealth, strength, and talent; but as old age always weakens, often destroys, the two latter, the aged are induced to cling with the greater avidity to the former.


    Experience constantly proves that every man who has power is impelled to abuse it; he goes on till he is pulled up by some limits. Who would say it! virtue even has need of limits.


    Power is so characteristically calm that calmness in itself has the aspect of power, and forbearance implies strength. The orator who is known to have at his command all the weapons of invective is most formidable when most courteous.


    All who become men of power reach their estate by the same self-mastery, the same self-adjustment to circumstances, the same voluntary exercise and discipline of their faculties, and the same working of their life up to and into their high ideals of life.

    J. G. Holland.

    It is an observation no less just than common, that there is no stronger test of a man’s real character than power and authority, exciting, as they do, every passion, and discovering every latent vice.


    Real power has fullness and variety. It is not narrow like lightning, but broad like light. The man who truly and worthily excels in any one line of endeavor, might also under a change of circumstances, have excelled in some other line. Power is a thing of solidity and wholeness.

    Roswell D. Hitchcock.

    Power exhibits itself under two distinct forms,—strength and force,—each possessing peculiar qualities, and each perfect in its own sphere. Strength is typified by the oak, the rock, the mountain. Force embodies itself in the cataract, the tempest, and the thunder-bolt.


    Nothing really succeeds which is not based on reality; sham, in a large sense, is never successful; in the life of the individual, as in the more comprehensive life of the state, pretention is nothing and power is everything.


    Unlimited power is helpless, as arbitrary power is capricious. Our energy is in proportion to the resistance it meets. We can attempt nothing great but from a sense of the difficulties we have to encounter; we can persevere in nothing great but from a pride in overcoming them.


    It is in the faculty of noble, disinterested, unselfish love that lies the true gift and power of womanhood,—a power which makes us, not the equal of men (I never care to claim such equality), but their equivalents; more than their equivalents in a moral sense.

    Frances Power Cobbe.

    The weakest living creature, by concentrating his powers on a single object, can accomplish something; the strongest, by dispensing his over many, may fail to accomplish anything. The drop, by continually falling, bores its passage through the hardest rock. The hasty torrent rushes over it with hideous uproar, and leaves no trace behind.


    There is always room for a man of force, and he makes room for many. Society is a troop of thinkers, and the best heads among them take the best places. A feeble man can see the farms that are fenced and tilled, the houses that are built. The strong man sees the possible houses and farms. His eye makes estates as fast as the sun breeds clouds.


    I will tell you where there is power: where the dew lies upon the hills, and the rain has moistened the roots of the various plants; where the sunshine pours steadily; where the brook runs babbling along, there is a beneficent power.


    It is not the weariness of mortality, but the strength of divinity, which we have to recognize in all mighty things; and that is just what we now never recognize, but think that we are to do great things by help of iron bars and perspiration. Alas! we shall do nothing that way but lose some pounds of our own weight.


    There is no surer mark of a low and unregenerate nature than this tendency of power to loudness and wantonness instead of quietness and reverence. To souls baptized in Christian nobleness the largest sphere of command is but a wider empire of obedience, calling them, not to escape from holy rule, but to its full impersonation.

    James Martineau.

  • Odin, thou whirlwind, what a threat is this
  • Thou threatenest what transcends thy might, even thine,
  • For of all powers the mightiest far art thou,
  • Lord over men on earth, and Gods in Heaven;
  • Yet even from thee thyself hath been withheld
  • One thing—to undo what thou thyself hast ruled.
  • Matthew Arnold.