I will be satisfied if my epitaph shall be written thus: "Here lies one who never rose to any eminence, who only courted the low ambition to have it said that he striven to ameliorate the condition of the poor, the lowly, the downtrodden of every race and language and color."
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of Ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.james madison
To endure is greater than to dare; to tire out hostile fortune ; to be daunted by no difficulty ; to keep heart when all have lost it; to go through intrigue spotless; to forego even Ambition when the end is gained - who can say this is not greatness?William Makepeace Thackeray, in Nancy Williams Conquer the Fear of Death, Epitome Books, 01 January 2009, p.58
Besides the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation, the existence of subordinate Governments, to which the people are attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms a barrier against the enterprises of Ambition, more insurmountable than any which a simple Government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the Governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.James Madison, Federalist No. 46 (1788).
When he says that in that day all his thoughts perish, or flow away, perhaps under this expression he censures the madness of princes in setting no bounds to their hopes and desires, and scaling the very heavens in their Ambition, like the insane Alexander of Macedon, who, upon hearing that there were other worlds, wept that he had not yet conquered one, although soon after the funeral urn sufficed him.John Calvin, in his interpretation of Psalm 146 in On The Book Of Psalms (1557) as translated by Rev. James Anderson (1849)
Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us.Benjamin Franklin, "On True Happiness", Pennsylvania Gazette, 20 November 1735.
Many a man acquires a fortune by doing his business thoroughly, while his neighbour remains poor for life , because he only half does it. Ambition, energy, industry, perseverance, are indispensable requisites for success in business.P. T. Barnum. 'Whatever You Do, Do With All Your Might', The Art of Money-Getting.
Amid the wreck and the misery of nations it is our just exaltation that we have continued superior to all that Ambition or despotism could effect; and our still higher exaltation ought to be that we provide not only for our own safety but hold out a prospect for nations now bending under the yoke of tyranny of what the exertions of a free people can effect.1804 Speech to the House of Commons, 25 Apr.
Gentlemen, the melancholy event of yesterday reads to us an awful lesson against being too much troubled about any of the objects of ordinary Ambition. The worthy gentleman, who has been snatched from us at the moment of the election, and in the middle of contest, whilst his desires were as warm, and his hopes as eager as ours, has feelingly told us, what shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue.Edmund Burke
Man is in pursuit of two goals: he is looking for happinesse and, being by essence empty ("étant vide par essence", Fr.), he is trying to fill (or take up, - "remplir", Fr.) his life; the latter reason play a more considerable role than we ordinarily think. What we take for vainglory, Ambition, love of power and riches (or wealth), is often, indeed, a need to mask this emptiness, a need to let one's hair down (or to live it up), to put oneself on a false scent or trail. (de se donner le change", Fr.)african spir
Full of hopes beyond their power though not beyond their Ambition.Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War (5th century BC), Book III, 39.
I'm hopeful. I know there is a lot of Ambition in Washington, obviously. But I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to succeed with success as opposed to failure.George W. Bush —Interview with the Associated Press, January 18, 2001
I have no scruple in expressing my convictions that you are destined to do something important in science, and under this conviction I am confident that there is no object of Ambition worthy of your pursuit, but that of original discovery.Sir David Brewster, in a letter to Forbes, as found in Life and letters of James David Forbes p. 39.
Advertisements are of great use to the vulgar. First of all, as they are instruments of Ambition. A man that is by no means big enough for the Gazette, may easily creep into the advertisements; by which means we often see an apothecary in the same paper of news with a plenipotentiary, or a running footman with an ambassador.joseph addison
It is of no consequence what the principles of any party, or what their pretensions, are; the spirit which actuates all parties is the same; the spirit of Ambition, of self-interest, of oppression, and treachery. This spirit entirely reverses all the principles which a benevolent nature has erected within us; all honesty, all equal justice, and even the ties of natural society, the natural affections.Edmund Burke, in A Vindication of Natural Society: or, a View of the Miseries and Evils arising to Mankind from every Species of Artifical Society (1756)