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Abraham LincolnNearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.

—  Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, American President

G. K. ChestertonWhen some English moralists write about the importance of having character, they appear to mean only the importance of having a dull character.

—  G. K. Chesterton, 1874-1936, English writer & critic

HeraclitusCharacter is destiny.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

Alan GreenspanRules cannot substitute for character.

—  Alan Greenspan, 1926-, American economist

Wolfgang GoetheNothing shows a man's character more than what he laughs at.

—  Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

Martin Luther KingThe ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

—  Martin Luther King, 1929-1968, American leader in the Civil Rights Movement

John WoodenAbility can take you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.

—  John Wooden, 1910-2010, American basketball coach

John WoodenBe more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

—  John Wooden, 1910-2010, American basketball coach

NapoleonTo have a right estimate of a man's character, we must see him in misfortune.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

NapoleonIn war, character and opinion make more than half of the reality.

—  Napoleon, 1769-1821, French Emperor

George Bernard ShawThe test of a man or woman's breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.

—  George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, Irish writer, Nobel 1925

Wolfgang GoetheA talent is formed in stillness, a character in the world's torrent.

—  Wolfgang Goethe, 1749-1832, German poet & philosopher

Baruch SpinozaWhat Paul says about Peter tells us more about Paul than about Peter.

—  Baruch Spinoza, 1632-1677, Dutch philosopher

Arthur SchopenhauerIt is with trifles and when he is off guard that a man best reveals his character.

—  Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788-1860, German philosopher

Mark TwainA man's character may be learned from the adjectives which he habitually uses in conversation.

—  Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American writer

Abraham LincolnPerhaps a man's character was like a tree, and his reputation like its shadow; the shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

—  Abraham Lincoln, 1809-1865, American President

Somerset MaughamIt is not true that suffering ennobles the character; happiness does that sometimes, but suffering, for the most part, makes men petty and vindictive.

—  Somerset Maugham, 1874-1965, British writer

Ralph Waldo EmersonPeople do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character.

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

Ralph Waldo EmersonCharacter is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.

—  Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1884, American philosopher

Ronald ReaganYou can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans.

—  Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004, American President [1981-1989]

Charles de GaulleCharacter is the virtue of hard times.

—  Charles de Gaulle, 1890-1970, French President

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.

—  H. Jackson Brown, Jr., 1940-, American self-help writer

Carl SandburgThere is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud.

—  Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967, American poet

André GideOften the best in us springs from the worst in us.

—  André Gide, 1869-1951, French writer, Nobel 1947

Elbert HubbardGood people are only half as good, and bad people only half as bad, as other people regard them.

—  Elbert Hubbard, 1856-1915, American writer

Georg Christoph LichtenbergA person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.

—  Georg Christoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799, German author of maxims

David Lloyd GeorgeThere is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks.

—  David Lloyd George, 1863-1945, British Prime Minister [1916-1922]

David Lloyd GeorgeYou get to know more of the character of a man in a round of golf than in six months of political experience.

—  David Lloyd George, 1863-1945, British Prime Minister [1916-1922]

John WoodenThe true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.

—  John Wooden, 1910-2010, American basketball coach

Ancient Greek

HeraclitusCharacter is destiny.

Ήθος ανθρώπω δαίμων.

—  Heraclitus, 544-484 BC, Ancient Greek philosopher

True to his own spirit.

Κατά τον δαίμονα εαυτού.

—  Inscription, in Greek, on Jim Morrison’s tombstone in Paris



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