Grocott & Ward, comps. Grocott’s Familiar Quotations, 6th ed. 189-?.


Ambition this shall tempt to rise,
Then whirl the wretch from high,
To bitter Scorn a sacrifice,
And grinning infamy.
Gray.—Prospect of Eton College, Stanza 8.

They that stand high, have many blasts to shake them;
And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.
Shakespeare.—King Richard III., Act I. Scene 3. (Queen Margaret to Gloster.)

The highest and most lofty trees have the most reason to dread the thunder.
Rollin.—Ancient History, Book VI. Chap. II.

I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.
Shakespeare.—Macbeth, Act I. Scene 7.

Wild ambition loves to slide, not stand,
And fortune’s ice prefers to virtue’s land.
Dryden.—Absalom and Achitophel, Part I. Line 196.

When that the poor have cried, Cæsar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff.
Shakespeare.—Julius Cæsar, Act III. Scene 2. (Antony to the Citizens.)

Fling away ambition;
By that sin fell the angels.
Shakespeare.—King Henry VIII., Act III. Scene 2. (Wolsey to Cromwell.)

A hop and skip shall raise the son of a cobbler, well underlaid with pieces, to the government of a prince, till overmuch ambitious cutting wears him to his last.
Nabbes.—Microcosmus, Act II.

From servants hasting to be gods.
Pollok.—The Course of Time, Book II.

All my ambition is, I own,
To profit and to please unknown;
Like streams supplied from springs below,
Which scatter blessings as they go.
Cotton.—To the Reader.

Then should misery’s sons and daughters
In their lowly dwellings sing;
Bounteous as the Nile’s dark waters,
Undiscover’d as its spring,
I would scatter o’er the land
Blessings with a secret hand.
James Montgomery.—The Lyre, Ver. 7.