Fame

Our religious art is advertising. Our sainthood is fame.

Fame has no necessary conjunction with praise; it may exist without the breath of a word: it is a recognition of excellence which must be felt, but need not be spoken. Even the envious must feel it, and hate in silence.

Of human life the time is a point, and the substance is in a flux, and the perception dull, and the composition of the whole body subject to putrefaction, and the soul a whirl, and fortune hard to divine, and fame a thing devoid of judgment. And, to say all in a word, everything which belongs to the body is a stream, and what belongs to the soul is a dream and a vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger’s sojourn, and after-fame is oblivion.

Young people imagine there is great value in fame. Those with life experience know that in truth publicity is extremely short-lived. The nature of the world is that every piece of news makes an impression for only a very short time. After those few minutes the impression is erased and quickly forgotten. It is as if it never was.

The child’s grief throbs against the round of its little heart as heavily as the man’s sorrow; and the one finds as much delight in his kite or drum as the other in striking the springs of enterprise or soaring on the wings of fame.

Those who despise fame seldom deserve it. We are apt to undervalue the purchase we cannot reach, to conceal our poverty the better. It is a spark which kindles upon the best fuel, and burns brightest in the bravest breast.

Good sense, good health, good conscience, and good fame - all these belong to virtue, and all prove that virtue has a title to your love.

Though a hundred crooked paths may conduct to a temporary success, the one plain and straight path of public and private virtue can alone lead to a pure and lasting fame and the blessings of posterity.

Honesty is a warrant of far more safety than fame.

There is no man but for his own interest hath an obligation to be honest. There may; be sometimes temptations to be otherwise; but, all cares cast up, he shall find it the greatest ease, the highest profit, the best pleasure, the most safety, and the noblest fame, to hold the horns of this altar, which in all assays, can in himself protect him.

Vanity is so closely allied to virtue and to love the fame of laudable actions approaches so near the love of laudable actions for their own sake, that these passions are more capable of mixture than any other kinds of affection; and it is almost impossible to have the latter without some degree of the former.

The greatest human virtue bears no proportion to human vanity. We always think ourselves better than we are, and are generally desirous that others should think us still better than we think ourselves. To praise us for actions or dispositions which deserve praise is not to confer a benefit, but to pay a tribute. We have always pretensions to fame which, in our own hearts, we know to be disputable, and which we are desirous to strengthen by a new suffrage; we have always hopes which we suspect to be fallacious, and of which we eagerly snatch at every confirmation.

The thirst for fame is much greater than that for virtue; for who would embrace virtue itself if you take away its rewards.

Who despises fame will soon renounce the virtues that deserve it.

What is good” I asked in a musing mood. Order, said the law court; Knowledge said the school; Truth, said the wise man; Pleasure, said the fool; Love, said the maiden; Beauty, said the sage. Fame, said the soldier; Equity, said the seer. Spoke my heart sadly: “The answer is not here.” then within my bosom softly this I heard: “Each heart holds the secret: Kindness is the word.”

Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.

I make little account of genealogical trees. Mere family never made a man great. Thought and deed, not pedigree, are the passports to enduring fame.

Mere family never made a man great. Thought and deed, not pedigree, are the passports to enduring fame.

The crown and glory of life is character. It is the noblest possession of a man, constituting a rank in itself, and estate in the general good will; dignifying every station, and exacting every position in society. It exercises a greater power than wealth and secures all the honor without the jealousies of fame. It carries with it an influence which always tells; for it is the result of proved honor, rectitude and consistency - qualities which, perhaps more than any others, command the general confidence and respect of mankind.

No true and permanent fame can be founded, except in labors which promote the happiness of mankind.