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A noble man compares and estimates himself by an idea which is higher than himself; and a mean man, by one lower than himself. The one produces aspiration; the other ambition, which is the way in which a vulgar man aspires.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) British novelist.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since.

Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Spanish surrealist painter.

It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.

George Eliot (1819-1880) British writer.

Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us. Its appetite grows keener by indulgence and all we can gratify it with at present serves but the more to inflame its insatiable desires.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist and philosopher.

The ambitious are forever followed by adulation for they receive the most pleasure from flattery.

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) Irish writer, poet, and physician.

Man is the only creature that strives to surpass himself, and yearns for the impossible.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American philosopher and author.

I shall strike the stars with my unlifted head.

Horace (BC 65-8) Latin lyric poet.

Nothing is too high for the daring of mortals: we storm heaven itself in our folly.

Horace (BC 65-8) Latin lyric poet.

Where ambition can cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of passions.

David Hume (1711-1776) Scottish philosopher, economist and historian.

He that fails in his endeavors after wealth or power will not long retain either honesty or courage.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) British author.