Victory

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Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. ~ Horace Mann

Victory is a term, originally in applied to warfare, given to success achieved in personal combat, after military operations in general or, by extension, in any competition. Success in a military campaign is considered a strategic victory, while the success in a military engagement is a tactical victory. Archetypical victories of good over evil, or of light over dark etc. are a recurring theme in mythology and fairy tales. In terms of human emotion, victory is accompanied with strong feelings of elation; in mythology, victory is often deified, as with the Greek Nike or Roman Victoria.

Quotes[edit]

The most dangerous moment comes with victory. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness. ~ Josh Billings
The god of Victory is said to be one-handed, but Peace gives victory to both sides. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death where is thy sting, O Grave where is thy victory. ~ Paul of Tarsus
There are two kinds of defeat. Whether in chains or in laurels, Liberty knows nothing but victories. ~ Wendell Phillips
Minds are conquered not by arms, but by love and magnanimity. ~ Baruch Spinoza
  • One of the greatest victories you can gain over someone is to beat him at politeness.
    • Josh Billings, as quoted in Lifetime Speaker's Encyclopedia (1962) by Jacob Morton Braude, p. 601.
  • Victory belongs to the most persevering.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte, as quoted in Excellent Quotations for Home and School (1888) by Julia B. Hoitt, p. 51.
  • The most dangerous moment comes with victory.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte, as quoted in Your Mind Power Unleashed (2001) by Thomas W. Foster, p. 123.
  • There is good, in one view, in feeling that we have crossed the Rubicon and are in for it; then we shall hold stoutly on; otherwise, we may be advancing with only half a heart. And there are important cases in which the difference between half a heart and a whole one makes just the difference between signal defeat and splendid victory.
  • Kings may be blest, but Tam was glorious,
    O'er a' the ills o' life victorious.
  • As always, victory will have a hundred fathers, but defeat will never be acknowledged by anyone at all.
  • You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
    • Winston Churchill, speech in the House of Commons, after taking office as Prime Minister (13 May 1940).
  • The problems of victory are more agreeable than the problems of defeat, but they are no less difficult.
  • The god of Victory is said to be one-handed, but Peace gives victory to both sides.
  • Victory is sweetest when you've known defeat.
    • Malcolm S. Forbes, as quoted in Wisdom Through the Ages (2003) by Helen Granat, p. 69.
  • Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.
  • We improve ourselves by victories over ourself. There must be contests, and you must win.
    • Edward Gibbon as quoted in Sophia's Fire (2005) by Sango Mbella, p. 100.
  • All victories breed hate, and that over your superior is foolish or fatal.
    • Baltasar Gracián, in The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647), Maxim 7 : Avoid victories over your superiors; as translated by Joseph Jacobs (1892).
  • If you think you can win, you can win. Faith is necessary to victory.
    • William Hazlitt, Table Talk : Essays On Men And Manners, "On Great and Little Things" (1821-1822).
  • Beware of rashness, but with energy, and sleepless vigilance, go forward and give us victories.
  • Force is all-conquering, but its victories are short-lived.
    • Abraham Lincoln as quoted in Excellent Quotations for Home and School (1888) by Julia B. Hoitt, p. 97.
  • Not in the clamour of the crowded street,
    Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng,
    But in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.
  • Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.
  • In war there is no substitute for victory.
  • Who overcomes By force, hath overcome but half his foe.
  • There are some defeats more triumphant than victories.
  • Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death where is thy sting, O Grave where is thy victory?
  • There are two kinds of defeat. Whether in chains or in laurels, Liberty knows nothing but victories.
    • Wendell Phillips in "The Lesson of the Hour" (1 November 1859); published in Echoes of Harper's Ferry (1860) edited by James Redpath; also called "John Brown and the Spirit of Fifty-nine".
  • Those who know how to win are much more numerous than those who know how to make proper use of their victories.
  • Et primo ferri motu prosternite mundum;
    sitque palam, quas tot duxit Pompeius in urbem
    curribus, unius gentes non esse triumphi.
    • One stroke of sword and all the world is yours.
      Make plain to all men that the crowds who decked
      Pompeius' hundred pageants scarce were fit
      For one poor triumph —
    • Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, Book VII, line 278, as translated by Sir Edward Ridley
  • I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life. ... Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.
  • It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.
    • Theodore Roosevelt, in "Citizenship in a Republic " a speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, France (23 Apirl 1910).
  • An attitude of moderation is apt to be misunderstood when passions are greatly excited and when victory is apt to rest with the extremists on one side or the other; yet I think it is in the long run the only wise attitude.
  • I will appoint captains to rule my cities, for it is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.
  • You win the victory when you yield to friends.
    • Sophocles, in Ajax as translated by John Moore.
  • The best victory is when the opponent surrenders of its own accord before there are any actual hostilities... It is best to win without fighting.
  • Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)[edit]

  • The people who remained victorious were less like conquerors than conquered.
    • Augustine, De Civitate Dei (c. 413–426), book 3, chapter 19, trans. as The City of God in Marcus Dods, ed., The Works of Aurelius Augustine vol. 1 (1871), p. 119–20.
  • I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this Government: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat".… You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
    • Winston Churchill, speech, House of Commons (May 13, 1940), Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James, vol. 6 (1974), p. 6220.
  • No retreat. No retreat. They must conquer or die who've no retreat.
    • John Gay, "We've Cheated the Parson" (song), Polly: an Opera, air 46, act II, scene x, The Poetical Works of John Gay, ed. John Underhill, vol. 2 (1893), p. 336.
  • There's an old saying that victory has 100 fathers and defeat is an orphan.
    • John F. Kennedy, referring to the Bay of Pigs disaster, press conference, April 21, 1961. The Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1961, p. 312.
  • Beware of rashness, but with energy, and sleepless vigilance, go forward and give us victories.
    • Abraham Lincoln, letter to General Joseph Hooker, January 26, 1863; in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953), vol. 6, p. 79.
  • Upon the fields of friendly strife
    Are sown the seeds
    That, upon other fields, on other days
    Will bear the fruits of victory.
    • Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences (1964), p. 82. MacArthur wrote these lines while superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, 1919–1922, and had them engraved over the entrance to the gymnasium.
  • Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.
    • Horace Mann, baccalaureate address, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio (1859); Life and Works of Horace Mann, ed. Mrs. Mary Mann, vol. 1 (1868), p. 575. "The motivating principle of Mann's life was nowhere better or more clearly expressed than in the oft-quoted words with which he closed his last Commencement address at Antioch College". Dictionary of American Biography, vol. 6, p. 243. Mann died a few weeks later. He had served in Congress 1848–1853.

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