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It is more difficult, and it calls for higher energies of soul, to live a martyr than to die one.

Horace Mann (1796-1859) U.S. educator.

What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) Third president of the United States.

The martyr cannot be dishonored. Every lash inflicted is a tongue of fame; every prison a more illustrious abode.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.

It is the cause, not the death that makes the martyr.

Napoleon I (1769-1821) Napoleon Bonaparte. French general.

Martyrs, my friend, have to choose between being forgotten, mocked or used. As for being understood: never.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) French novelist, essayist and dramatist.


No human beings more dangerous than those who have suffered for a belief: the great persecutors are recruited from the martyrs not quite beheaded. Far from diminishing the appetite for power, suffering exasperates it.

Emil Cioran (1911-1995) Romanian philosopher and essayist.

Great persecutors are recruited among martyrs whose heads haven't been cut off.

Emil Cioran (1911-1995) Romanian philosopher and essayist.

Opposition may become sweet to a man when he has christened it persecution.

George Eliot (1819-1880) British writer.

We are not here to triumph by fighting, by strata gem, or by resistance, not to fight with beasts as men. We have fought the beast and have conquered. We have only to conquer now, by suffering. This is the easier victory.

T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) American-English poet and playwright.

The torments of martyrdom are probably most keenly felt by the bystanders.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.