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


The best things are placed between extremes.


For my part, I adhere to the maxim of antiquity: The throne is a glorious sepulchre.


Royalty is but a feather in a man’s cap; let children enjoy their rattle.


Would that I could live without care in the middle rank of life.


They that stand high have many blasts to shake them.


Eminent station makes great men more great, and little ones less.

La Bruyère.

I shall show that the place does not honor the man, but the man the place.


True dignity is never gained by place, and never lost when honors are withdrawn.


He who thinks his place below him will certainly be below his place.


Accept the place the Divine Providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events.


The French have a saying that whatever excellence a man may exhibit in a public station he is very apt to be ridiculous in a private one.


Finding that the middle condition of life is by far the happiest, I look with little favor upon that of princes.


It is not the mere station of life that stamps the value on us, but the manner in which we act our part.


The crowns of kings do not prevent those who wear them from being tormented sometimes by violent headaches.


Whatever high station you may be placed in by fortune, remember this, that God will not estimate you by the office, but by the manner in which you fill it.


Whatever our place, allotted to us by Providence, that for us is the post of honor and duty. God estimates us not by the position we are in, but by the way in which we fill it.

T. Edwards.

The man who loves the golden mean is safe from the misery of a wretched hovel, and moderate in his desires, cares not for a luxurious palace, the subject of envy.


How happy the station which every minute furnishes opportunities of doing good to thousands! how dangerous that which every moment exposes to the injuring of millions!

La Bruyère.

A true man never frets about his place in the world, but just slides into it by the gravitation of his nature, and swings there as easily as a star.


Every man whom chance alone has, by some accident, made a public character, hardly ever fails of becoming, in a short time, a ridiculous private one.

Cardinal de Retz.

Whom the grandeur of his office elevates over other men will soon find that the first hour of his new dignity is the last of his independence.

Chancellor D’Aguesseau.

  • What is station high?
  • ’Tis a proud mendicant; it boasts, and begs;
  • It begs an alms of homage from the throng,
  • And oft the throng denies its charity.
  • Young.

    No more restless uncertainties, no more anxious desires, no more impatience at the place we are in; for it is God who has placed us there, and who holds us in his arms. Can we be unsafe where he has placed us?


    Men and statues that are admired in an elevated situation have a very different effect upon us when we approach them; the first appear less than we imagined them, the last bigger.

    Lord Greville.

    Men in great places are thrice servants; servants of the sovereign or state, servants of fame, and servants of business; so as they have no freedom, neither in their persons nor in their actions nor in their times.


    The station that has not its duty, its ideal, was never yet occupied by man. Yes, here in this poor, miserable, hampered, despicable actual, wherein thou even now standest,—here or nowhere is thy ideal; work it out therefrom; and working, believe, live, be free.


    Whatever poets may write, or fools believe, of rural innocence and truth, and of the perfidy of courts, this is most undoubtedly true,—that shepherds and ministers are both men; their natures and passions the same, the modes of them only different.


    If any man is rich and powerful, he comes under the law of God by which the higher branches must take the burnings of the sun, and shade those that are lower; by which the tall trees must protect the weak plants beneath them.


    God is a kind Father. He sets us all in the places where he wishes us to be employed. He chooses work for every creature which will be delightful to them if they do it simply and humbly. He gives us always strength enough and sense enough for what he wants us to do.


    Lord Bacon has compared those who move in higher spheres to those heavenly bodies in the firmament, which have much admiration, but little rest; and it is not necessary to invest a wise man with power, to convince him that it is a garment bedizened with gold, which dazzles the beholder by its splendor, but oppresses the wearer by its weight.


    There is a kind of elevation which does not depend on fortune. It is a certain air which distinguishes us, and seems to destine us for great things; it is a price which we imperceptibly set on ourselves. By this quality we usurp the deference of other men; and it puts us, in general, more above them than birth, dignity, or even merit itself.

    La Rochefoucauld.