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Financial Quotes

Character Quotes

  • "Be 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 (19102010), US basketball player and coach
    Source: They Call Me Coach (2003)
  • "My trouble is I lack what the English call character. By which they mean the power to refrain."
    Alan Bennett (1934–), British playwright
    Source: “An Englishman Abroad,” Single Spies (1989)
  • "There are people whose external reality is generous because it is transparent, because you can read everything, accept everything, understand everything about them: people who carry their own sun with them."
    Carlos Fuentes (1928–), Mexican writer
    Source: The Old Gringo (1985)
  • "A woman is like a tea bag—only in hot water do you realize how strong she is."
    Nancy Reagan (1921–), US former actress and first lady
    Source: Observer (London) (March 1981)
  • "The analysis of character is the highest human entertainment."
    Isaac Bashevis Singer (19041991), US novelist and short-story writer
    Source: New York Times (November 26, 1978)
  • "To keep your character you cannot stoop to filthy acts. It makes it easier to stoop the next time."
    Katharine Hepburn (19072003), US actress
    Source: Quoted in the Los Angeles Times (November 1974)
  • "The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back."
    Abigail Van Buren (1956–), US pen name of advice consultant Pauline Phillips and now her daughter Jeanne Phillips
    Source: “Dear Abby,” syndicated newspaper column (May 16, 1974)
  • "The perfection preached in the Gospels never yet built an empire. Every man of action has a strong dose of egotism, pride, hardness, and cunning."
    Charles de Gaulle (18901970), French president and brigadier general
    Source: Quoted in New York Times Magazine (May 12, 1968)
  • "Though intelligence is powerless to modify character, it is a dab hand at finding euphemisms for its weaknesses."
    Quentin Crisp (19081999), British writer
    Source: The Naked Civil Servant (1968)
  • "We don't love qualities, we love persons; sometimes by reason of their defects as well as of their qualities."
    Jacques Maritain (18821973), French philosopher
    Source: Reflections on America (1958), ch. 3
  • "You know what charm is: a way of getting the answer yes without having asked any clear question."
    Albert Camus (19131960), French novelist and essayist
    Source: The Fall (1956)
  • "He looked like the kind of a guy that wouldn't talk to you much unless he wanted something off you. He had a lousy personality."
    J. D. Salinger (1919–), US novelist
    Source: The Catcher in the Rye (1951), ch. 11
  • "If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig."
    Woodrow Wilson (18561924), US president
    Source: Speech, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (October 24, 1914)
  • "Between ourselves and our real natures we interpose that wax figure of idealizations and selections which we call our character."
    Walter Lippmann (18891974), US political commentator, editor, and writer
    Source: A Preface to Politics (1914), ch. 6
  • "A man with so-called character is often a simple piece of mechanism; he has often only one point of view for the extremely complicated relationships of life."
    J. August Strindberg (18491912), Swedish playwright and novelist
    Source: The Son of a Servant (Claud Field, tr., 1913)
  • "Character is the basis of happiness and happiness the sanction of character."
    George Santayana (18631952), US philosopher, novelist, and poet
    Source: “Reason in Common Sense,” The Life of Reason (1906), ch. 9
  • "One of the best strengtheners of character and developers of stamina … is to assume the part you wish to play; to assert stoutly the possession of whatever you lack."
    Orison Swett Marden (18481924), US author
    Source: The Young Man Entering Business (1903)
  • "What is character but the determination of incident? What is incident but the illustration of character?"
    Henry James (18431916), US novelist
    Source: “The Art of Fiction,” Partial Portraits (1888)
  • "I think that, as life is action and passion, it is required of a man that he should share the passion and action of his time at peril of being judged not to have lived."
    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr (18411935), US jurist
    Source: Memorial Day address (1884)
  • "Talent is formed in quiet, character in the stream of human life."
    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (17491832), German poet, playwright, novelist, and scientist
    Source: Torquato Tasso (1790), Act 1, Scene 2
  • "It is with narrow-souled people as with narrow-necked bottles: the less they have in them, the more noise they make in pouring it out."
    Alexander Pope (16881744), English poet
    Source: Thoughts on Various Subjects (1741)
  • "If I cannot get men who steer a middle course to associate with, I would far rather have the impetuous and hasty. For the impetuous at any rate assert themselves."
    Confucius (551479 bc), Chinese philosopher, administrator, and writer
    Source: Analects (500? bc)
  • "Be polite. Write diplomatically. Even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness."
    Otto Edward Leopold von Bismarck (18151898), Prussian chancellor
    Source: Attributed

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