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


Resolve, and thou art free.


A good resolve will make any port.


Never tell your resolution beforehand.

John Selden.

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


Every tub must stand upon its own bottom.


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


  • And hearts resolved and hands prepared
  • The blessings they enjoy to guard.
  • Smollett.

    Resolves perish into vacancy, that, if executed, might have been noble works.

    Henry Giles.

    I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice.

    William Lloyd Garrison.

  • When resolution hath prepar’d the will;
  • It wants no helps to further any ill.
  • Mirror for Magistrates.

    Experience teacheth us that resolution is a sole help in need.


  • Put on
  • The dauntless spirit of resolution.
  • Shakespeare.

  • For ebbing resolution ne’er returns,
  • But falls still further from its former shore.
  • Home.

  • Attempt the end, and never stand to doubt,
  • Nothing’s so hard but search will find it out.
  • Herrick.

    Tell your master that if there were as many devils at Worms as tiles on its roofs, I would enter.

    Martin Luther.

    Sudden resolutions, like the sudden rise of the mercury in the barometer, indicate little else than the changeableness of the weather.


    I am in earnest—I will not equivocate—I will not excuse—I will not retreat a single inch; and I will be heard.

    William Lloyd Garrison.

  • Do not, for one repulse, forego the purpose
  • That you resolv’d to effect.
  • Shakespeare.

  • My resolution’s plac’d, and I have nothing
  • Of woman in me: Now from head to foot
  • I am marble-constant.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Hast thou attempted greatness?
  • Then go on;
  • Back-turning slackens resolution.
  • Herrick.

    In truth there is no such thing in man’s nature as a settled and full resolve either for good or evil, except at the very moment of execution.

    Nath. Hawthorne.

  • The native hue of resolution
  • Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought;
  • And enterprises of great pith and moment,
  • With this regard, their currents turn awry,
  • And lose the name of action.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Let come what will, I mean to bear it out,
  • And either live with glorious victory,
  • Or die with fame, renown’d for chivalry:
  • He is not worthy of the honey-comb,
  • That shuns the hive because the bees have stings.
  • Shakespeare.

    A good inclination is but the first rude draught of virtue, but the finishing strokes are from the will; which, if well disposed, will by degrees perfect,—if ill disposed, will by the superinduction of ill habits quickly deface it.


    If we have need of a strong will in order to do good, it is more necessary still for us in order not to do evil; from which it often results that the most modest life is that where the force of will is most exercised.

    Count Molé.

    Be not too slow in the breaking of a sinful custom; a quick, courageous resolution is better than a gradual deliberation; in such a combat he is the bravest soldier that lays about him without fear or wit. Wit pleads, fear disheartens; he that would kill Hydra had better strike off one neck than five heads: fell the tree, and the branches are soon cut off.


  • In life’s small things be resolute and great
  • To keep thy muscle trained: know’st thou when Fate
  • Thy measure takes, or when she’ll say to thee,
  • “I find thee worthy; do this deed for me?”
  • Lowell.

  • For when two
  • Join in the same adventure, one perceives
  • Before the other how they ought to act;
  • While one alone, however prompt, resolves
  • More tardily and with a weaker will.
  • Homer.

  • All the soul
  • Of man is resolution; which expires
  • Never from valiant men, till their last breath;
  • And then with it, like a flame extinguish’d
  • For want of matter; it does not die, but
  • Rather ceases to live.
  • Chapman.

  • Experience teacheth us
  • That resolution ’s a sole help at need:
  • And this, my lord, our honour teacheth us,
  • That we be bold in every enterprise:
  • Then since there is no way, but fight or die,
  • Be resolute, my lord, for victory.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
  • Threaten the threat’ner and outface the brow
  • Of bragging horror: so shall inferior eyes,
  • That borrow their behaviours from the great,
  • Grow great by your example and put on
  • The dauntless spirit of resolution.
  • Shakespeare.

    I was acquainted once with a gallant soldier who assured me that his only measure of courage was this: upon the first fire, in an engagement, he immediately looked upon himself as a dead man. He then bravely fought out the remainder of the day, perfectly regardless of all manner of danger, as becomes a dead man to be. So that all the life or limbs he carried back again to his tent he reckoned as clear gains, or, as he himself expressed it, so much out of the fire.