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George Bancroft Quotes


An American historian and statesman who was prominent in promoting secondary education both in his home state and at the national level.
(1800 - 1891)

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Ambition itself is not so reckless of human life as ennui. - Clemency is a favorite attribute of the former, but ennui has the taste of a cannibal.
[Ambition]
 

At the foot of every page in the annals of nations may be written, "God reigns." Events as they pass away proclaim their original; and if you will but listen reverently, you may hear the receding centuries, as they roll into the dim distances of departed time, perpetually chanting "Te Deum Laudamus," with all the choral voices of the countless congregations of the age.
[God]
 

Atheism is the folly of the metaphysician, not the folly of human nature.
[Atheism]
 

Avarice is the vice of declining years.
 

Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite. Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
[Beauty]
 

By common consent gray hairs are a crown of glory; the only object of respect that can never excite envy.
 

Commerce defies every wind, outrides every tempest and invades every zone.
[Commerce]
 

Conscience is the mirror of our souls, which represents the errors of our lives in their full shape.
 

Dishonesty is so grasping it would deceive God himself, were it possible.
 

Each generation gathers together the imperishable children of the past, and increases them by new sons of light, alike radiant with immortality.
[History]
 

Ennui is a word which the French invented, though of all nations in Europe they know the least of it.
 

Ennui is the desire of activity without the fit means of gratifying the desire.
 

He that will not honor the memory, and respect the influence of Calvin, knows but little of the origin of American independence.
 

If hours did not hang heavy what would become of scandal?
 

If reason is a universal faculty, the decision of the common mind is the nearest criterion of truth.
 

In nine times out of ten, the slanderous tongue belongs to a disappointed person.
 

It is when the hour of conflict is over, that history comes to a right understanding of the strife, and is ready to exclaim, "Lo, God is here, and we knew it not!"
[History]
 

Our land is not more the recipient of the men of all countries than of their ideas.
[Ideas]
 

Sedition is bred in the lap of luxury, and its chosen emissaries are the beggared spendthrift and the impoverished libertine.
 

So grasping is dishonesty, that it is no respecter of persons; it will cheat friends as well as foes; and were it possible, would cheat even God himself.
[Dishonesty]
 


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