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


Nothing succeeds so well as success.


Success is the child of audacity.


Success covers a multitude of blunders.

H. W. Shaw.

Success consecrates the foulest crimes.


A successful career has been full of blunders.

Charles Buxton.

In success be moderate.


Life lives only in success.

Bayard Taylor.

Success often costs more than it is worth.

E. Wigglesworth.

He will succeed; for he believes all he says.


Success is a fruit of slow growth.


A strenuous soul hates cheap success.


Human success is a quotation from overhead.

Charles H. Parkhurst.

Success makes success, as money makes money.


The race by vigor, not by vaunts, is won.


The gods are on the side of the stronger.


Now, by St. Paul, the work goes bravely on.

Colley Cibber.

The greater part performed achieves the less.


Success causes us to be more praised than known.

Joseph Roux.

The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.


To know how to wait is the great secret of success.

De Maistre.

There is a glare about worldly success, which is very apt to dazzle men’s eyes.


What succeeds we keep, and it becomes the habit of mankind.

Theodore Parker.

Who shall tax successful villany, or call the rising traitor to account?


It is success that colors all in life; success makes fools admired, makes villains honest.


The man who is always fortunate cannot easily have a great reverence for virtue.


That which turns out well is better than any law.


In everything the ends well defined are the secret of durable success.


Let them call it mischief; when it is past and prospered, it will be virtue.

Ben Jonson.

Success! to thee, as to a God, men bend the knee.


  • Didst thou never hear
  • That things ill got had ever bad success?
  • Shakespeare.

  • One thing is forever good;
  • That one thing is Success.
  • Emerson.

    The earliest desire of succeeding is almost always a prognostic of success.


    Fortune is always on the side of the largest battalions.

    Mme. de Sévigné.

    Providence is always on the side of the last reserve.

    Attributed to Napoleon I.

    Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil deeds of men.


    Successful minds work like a gimlet,—to a single point.


  • Success is counted sweetest
  • By those who ne’er succeed.
  • Emily Dickinson.

  • When the shore is won at last,
  • Who will count the billows past?
  • Keble.

  • Th’ aspirer, once attain’d unto the top,
  • Cuts off those means by which himself got up.
  • Sam’l Daniel.

    I came up-stairs into the world; for I was born in a cellar.


    From mere success nothing can be concluded in favor of any nation upon whom it is bestowed.


    The surest way not to fail is to determine to succeed.


    Singing and dancing alone will not advance one in the world.


  • ’Tis not in mortals to command success,
  • But we’ll do more, Sempronius; we’ll deserve it.
  • Addison.

  • They never fail who die
  • In a great cause.
  • Byron.

  • To climb steep hills
  • Requires slow pace at first.
  • Shakespeare.

    The mind is hopeful; success is in God’s hands. (Man proposes, God disposes).


    The success of most things depends upon knowing how long it will take to succeed.


    The success of the wicked entices many more.


    With the losers let it sympathize; for nothing can seem foul to those that win.


    Almost everywhere men have become the particular things which their particular work has made them.

    J. G. Holland.

    Success serves men as a pedestal. It makes them seem greater when not measured by reflection.


    The worst use that can be made of success is to boast of it.

    Arthur Helps.

    The greatest success is confidence, or perfect understanding between sincere people.


    Give any one fortune, and he shall be thought a wise man.


    What does it avail you, if of many thorns only one be removed.


    He has carried every point, who has mingled the useful with the agreeable.


    The stronger always succeeds. (The weakest goes to the wall.)


    Be commonplace and creeping, and you attain all things.


    Success at first doth many times undo men at last.


    Had I succeeded well, I had been reckoned amongst the wise; our minds are so disposed to judge from the event.


    We tell our triumphs to the crowd, but our own hearts are the sole confidants of our sorrows.


    Not that which men do worthily, but that which they do successfully, is what history makes haste to record.


    Success is full of promise till men get it; and then it is a last year’s nest, from which the bird has flown.


    Few things are impracticable in themselves; and it is for want of application rather than of means, that men fail of success.

    La Rochefoucauld.

    Success produces confidence, confidence relaxes industry, and negligence ruins that reputation which accuracy had raised.


    Success surely comes with conscience in the long run, other things being equal. Capacity and fidelity are commercially profitable qualities.

    Henry Ward Beecher.

    The rude reproaches of the rascal herd, who for the self-same actions, if successful, would be as grossly lavish in their praise.


    Success soon palls. The joyous time is when the breeze first strikes your sails, and the waters rustle under your bows.

    Charles Buxton.

  • Born for success, he seemed
  • With grace to win, with heart to hold,
  • With shining gifts that took all eyes.
  • Emerson.

  • Better have failed in the high aim, as I,
  • Than vulgarly in the low aim succeed
  • As, God be thanked! I do not.
  • Robert Browning.

    Experience has always shown, and reason also, that affairs which depend on many seldom succeed.


    I have always observed that to succeed in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise.


    There are but two ways of rising in the world: either by one’s own industry or profiting by the foolishness of others.

    La Bruyère.

    It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failure.

    Samuel Smiles.

    Those who are prosperously unjust are entitled to panegyric, but afflicted virtue is stabbed with reproaches.


    Success does not consist in never making blunders, but in never making the same one the second time.

    H. W. Shaw.

    There are none so low but that they have their triumphs. Small successes suffice for small souls.


    He that would relish success to purpose should keep his passion cool and his expectation low.

    Jeremy Collier.

    Such a nature, tickled with good success, disdains the shadow which he treads on at noon.


    If fortune wishes to make a man estimable, she gives him virtues; if she wishes to make him esteemed, she gives him success.


    Nothing is impossible to the man that can will. Is that necessary? That shall be. This is the only law of success.


    Whenever you see a man who is successful in society, try to discover what makes him pleasing, and if possibly adopt his system.


    If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.


    Had I miscarried, I had been a villain; for men judge actions always by events; but when we manage by a just foresight, success is prudence, and possession right.


    To know a man, observe how he wins his object, rather than how he loses it; for when we fail, our pride supports us,—when we succeed, it betrays us.


    One line, a line fraught with instruction, includes the secret of Lord Kenyon’s final success,—he was prudent, he was patient, and he persevered.

    G. Townsend.

  • He that climbs the tall tree has won right to the fruit,
  • He that leaps the wide gulf should prevail in his suit.
  • Scott.

    One of the greatest of a great man’s qualities is success: ’t is the result of all the others; ’t is a latent power in him which compels the favor of the gods, and subjugates fortune.


    It is success that colors all in life: success makes fools admired, makes villains honest; all the proud virtue of this vaunting world fawns on success and power, however acquired.


    One way in which fools succeed where wise men fail is that through ignorance of the danger they sometimes go coolly about a hazardous business.


    It is a great presumption to ascribe our successes to our own management, and not to esteem ourselves upon any blessing, rather as it is the bounty of heaven, than the acquisition of our own prudence.


    Virtue without success is fair picture shown by an ill light; but lucky men are favorites of heaven: all own the chief when fortune owns the cause.


  • Now the winter of our discontent
  • Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
  • And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
  • In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
  • Shakespeare.

    The great highroad of human welfare lies along the old highway of steadfast well-doing; and they who are the most persistent, and the work in the truest spirit, will invariably be he most successful; success treads on the heels of every right effort.

    Samuel Smiles.

    The thinking part of mankind do not form their judgment from events; and their equity will ever attach equal glory to those actions which deserve success, and those which have been crowned with it.


    Constant success shows us but one side of the world; for, as it surrounds us with friends, who will tell us only our merits, so it silences those enemies from whom alone we can learn our defects.


  • There may come a day
  • Which crowns Desire with gift, and Art with truth,
  • And Lore with bliss, and Life with wiser youth!
  • Bayard Taylor.

    Julius Cæsar owed two millions when he risked the experiment of being general in Gaul. If Julius Cæsar had not lived to cross the Rubicon, and pay off his debts, what would his creditors have called Julius Cæsar?


    It is possible to indulge too great contempt for mere success, which is frequently attended with all the practical advantages of merit itself, and with several advantages that merit alone can never command.

    W. B. Clulow.

  • Hast thou not learn’d what thou art often told,
  • A truth still sacred, and believed of old,
  • That no success attends on spears and swords
  • Unblest, and that the battle is the Lord’s?
  • Cowper.

    The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do without a thought of fame. If it comes at all it will come because it is deserved, not because it is sought after.


    Yet the success of plans and the advantage to be derived from them do not at all times agree, seeing the gods claim to themselves the right to decide as to the final result.

    Ammianus Marcellinus.

    He that would relish success to a good purpose should keep his passions cool, and his expectations low; and then it is possible that his fortune might exceed his fancy; for an advantage always rises by surprise, and is almost always doubled by being unlooked for.

    Jeremy Collier.

    Popularity disarms envy in well-disposed minds. Those are ever the most ready to do justice to others who feel that the world has done them justice. When success has not this effect in opening the mind it is a sign that it has been ill-deserved.


    The surest hindrance to success is to have too high a standard of refinement in our own minds, or too high an opinion of the judgment of the public. He who is determined not to be satisfied with anything short of perfection will never do anything at all either to please himself or others.


    The secret of pleasure in life, as distinct from its great triumphs of transcendent joy, is to live in a series of small, legitimate successes. By legitimate I mean such as are not accompanied by self-condemnation.

    Sydney Dobell.

    “I confess,” says a thoughtful writer, “that increasing years bring with them an increasing respect for men who do not succeed in life, as those words are commonly used.” Ill success sometimes arises from a conscience too sensitive, a taste too fastidious, a self-forgetfulness too romantic, a modesty too retiring.

    G. A. Sala.

    To judge by the event is an error all commit: for in every instance courage, if crowned with success, is heroism; if clouded by defeat, temerity. When Nelson fought his battle in the Sound, it was the result alone that decided whether he was to kiss a hand at court or a rod at a court-martial.


    Mankind worships success, but thinks too little of the means by which it is attained,—what days and nights of watching and weariness; how year after year has dragged on, and seen the end still far off: all that counts for little, if the long struggle do not close in victory.

    H. M. Field.

    Success seems to be that which forms the distinction between confidence and conceit. Nelson, when young, was piqued at not being noticed in a certain paragraph of the newspapers, which detailed an action wherein he had assisted. “But never mind,” said he; “I will one day have a Gazette of my own.”


    The path of success in business is invariably the path of common-sense. Notwithstanding all that is said about “lucky hits,” the best kind of success in every man’s life is not that which comes by accident. The only “good time coming” we are justified in hoping for is that which we are capable of making for ourselves.

    Samuel Smiles.

    Both as to high and low indifferently, men are prepossessed, charmed, fascinated by success; successful crimes are praised very much like virtue itself, and good fortune is not far from occupying the place of the whole cycle of virtues. It must be an atrocious act, a base and hateful deed, which success would not be able to justify.

    La Bruyère.

    There is nothing so sure of succeeding as not to be over brilliant, as to be entirely wrapped up in one’s self, and endowed with a perseverance which, in spite of all the rebuffs it may meet with, never relaxes in the pursuit of its object. It is incredible what may be done by dint of importunity alone; and where shall we find the man of real talents who knows how to be importunate enough!

    Baron de Grimm.

    Salvation is the only real success. Men are called successful who succeed in a section or two. What if three air-tight compartments keep dry, when the bulkheads break and the ship sinks? What if a man wins a boat race, a horse race, a lottery prize, and cannot speak grammatically, and does not know one good book nor one star nor tune nor flower from another, nor ever had a real friend? Is that success? Salvation is soundness. To have a splendid digestion, but a feeble mind; to have muscles standing out like whip-cords, but lungs that are affected; to have perfect sight and hearing, but a weak heart, is this success? Is this soundness? Salvation is health, wholeness, holiness. It is to be right all round. I may miss perfect success in the world of business and in the world of health. I need not in the real world—the moral,—in the real life—the spiritual. God’s holiness is expressed in His love. Therefore love is wholeness, and to love is to fulfil—to fill full—God’s law, and be right all round. Learn then to love God and your brother and all things great and small. Life is our “chance of learning love.” To make money, to win academic degrees, to lead political armies, and not to love up and down, right and left, is to have missed success. Men suspect it now. They will know it by and by.

    Maltbie Babcock.