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Why build these cities glorious
If man unbuilded goes?
In vain we build the world, unless
The builder also grows. ~ Edwin Markham

A man is an adult human male. Man is also used to refer to humanity as a whole.


See the sun set in the hand of the man. ~ Kate Bush
Manhood begins when we have in any way made truce with Necessity; begins even when we have surrendered to Necessity, as the most part only do; but begins joyfully and hopefully only when we have reconciled ourselves to Necessity; and thus, in reality, triumphed over it, and felt that in Necessity we are free. ~ Thomas Carlyle
No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men. ~ Thomas Carlyle
The older I grow — and I now stand upon the brink of eternity — the more comes back to me that sentence in the Catechism which I learned when a child, and the fuller and deeper its meaning becomes, "What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever." ~ Thomas Carlyle
Lords of humankind. ~ Oliver Goldsmith
Does man think that he will be left aimless (in this life)? Was he not a small life-germ in sperm emitted? ~ Quran
Man is man, and master of his fate. ~ Alfred Tennyson
I am made all things to all men. ~ Paul of Tarsus, in I Corinthians, 9:22
An honest man's the noblest work of God. ~ Alexander Pope
Man is the measure of all things. ~ Protagoras
Sorted alphabetically by author or source

A - H

  • La prima volta che vado a letto con un uomo succede quasi sempre che non si fa niente. Si preoccupano, si agitano, credono di dover fare i fenomeni. Pensano "Oddio, lo sto facendo con l'Arcuri", e non si conclude. Ormai lo so, sono rassegnata. Per questo concedo sempre una seconda chance.
    • The first time I go to bed with a man, most of the time nothing happens. They worry, they get agitated, they think they have to excel. They think, "Oh my God, I'm doing it with Arcuri", and then it's a total flop. Now that I know, I've resigned myself to the fact. This is why I always grant them a second chance.
    • Manuela Arcuri Interview with Italian Vanity Fair, quoted in "L'Arcuri confessa: con me i maschi fanno flop", (16 January 2008).
  • Non è un si bello in tante altre persone,
    Natura il fece, e poi roppa la stampa.
    • There never was such beauty in another man.
      Nature made him, and then broke the mould.
    • Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (1516), Canto X, Stanza 84. L'on peut dire sans hyperbole, que la nature, que la après l'avoir fait en cassa la moule, Angelo Constantini , La Vie de Scaramouche, line 107. (Ed. 1690)
  • 1. Man is in essence divine. This has ever been enunciated throughout the ages, but remains as yet a beautiful theory or belief, and not a proven scientific fact, nor is it universally held. 2. Man is in fact a fragment of the Universal Mind, or world soul, and as a fragment is thus partaker of the instincts and quality of that soul, as it manifests through the human family . . . It must lead to the education of the public as to the nature of man, and the development of the powers latent within him - powers which will set him free from his present limitations, and which will produce in the human family a collective repudiation of the present conditions. When men everywhere recognize themselves and each other, as divine self-conscious units, functioning primarily in the causal body but utilizing the three lower vehicles only as a means of contact with the three lower planes, we will have government, politics, economics and the social order readjusted upon sound, sane and divine lines. 3. Man in his lower nature, and in his three vehicles, is an aggregate of lesser lives, dependent on him for their group nature, for their type of activity, and collective response, and who through the energy of activity of the solar Lord - will themselves later be raised, and developed to the human stage.
    When these facts are understood, then and only then will we have a right and just comprehension of the nature of man. p. 809/11.
  • Le fer cède à certains degrés de battage ou de pression réitérée ; ses impénétrables molécules, purifiées par l'homme et rendues homogènes, se désagrègent ; et, sans être en fusion, le métal n'a plus la même vertu de résistance. Les maréchaux, les serruriers, les taillandiers, tous les ouvriers qui travaillent constamment ce métal en expriment alors l'état par un mot de leur techonologie : "Le fer est roui !" disent-ils en s'appropriant cette expression exclusivement consacrée au chanvre, dont la désorganisation s'obtient par le rouissage. Eh bien, l'âme humaine, ou, si vous voulez la triple énergie du corps, du cœur et de l'esprit se trouve dans une situation analogue à celle du fer, par suite de certains chocs répétés. Il en est alors des hommes comme du chanvre et du fer : ils sont rouis.
    • Iron yields to certain degrees of beatings or repeated pressure; its impenetrable molecules, purified by man and made homogeneous, disintegrate; and, without being in fusion, the metal no longer has the same virtue of resistance. Marshals, locksmiths, tool makers, all the workers who constantly work this metal then express the state of it by a word of their technology: "The iron is retty!" they say, appropriating this expression exclusively devoted to hemp, the disorganization of which is obtained by retting. Well, the human soul, or if you will the threefold energy of body, heart, and spirit, is in an iron-like situation, as a result of certain repeated shocks. It is thus with men like hemp and iron — they are retty.
      • Honoré de Balzac, Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes (The Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans), part IV. La dernière Incarnation de Vautrin (The Last Incarnation of Vautrin), Les Adieux (Farewells) (title of chapter).
  • Thou wilt scarce be a man before thy mother.
  • MALE, n. A member of the unconsidered, or negligible sex. The male of the human race is commonly known (to the female) as Mere Man. The genus has two varieties: good providers and bad providers.
  • MAN, n. An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be. His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada.
  • Perhaps man is the creature who, once struck down, defines himself by his ability to rise.
  • Make no more giants, God!
    But elevate the race at once!
  • No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.
  • Manhood begins when we have in any way made truce with Necessity; begins even when we have surrendered to Necessity, as the most part only do; but begins joyfully and hopefully only when we have reconciled ourselves to Necessity; and thus, in reality, triumphed over it, and felt that in Necessity we are free.
    • Thomas Carlyle, "Burns," Critical and Miscellaneous Essays (1899, reprinted 1969), vol. 1 (vol. 29 of The Works of Thomas Carlyle, ed. H. D. Traill), p. 295. Book review in the Edinburgh Review, no. 96, 1828
  • The male standard for hot dog excellence is color and difficulty, not gracefulness, smoothness, continuity. The way hot dog contests are judged now, The women are competing in a Mr. America contests with male judges.
    • Suzy Chaffee, Male chauvinism on the hot dog circuit? "Give the chicks a break!" says Suzy Ski, October, 1973
  • Men do not stumble over mountains, but over molehills
    • Attributed to Confucius in: United States. Congress. House. Committee on Agriculture (1973) Hearings Before the Committee on Agriculture, House of Representatives, Ninety-second Congress. p. 21
  • A man is not really a true man until he owns his own home, and they that own their homes are made more honorable and honest and pure, true and economical and careful, by owning the home.
  • So man, the moth, is not afraid, it seems,
    To span Omnipotence, and measure might
    That knows no measure, by the scanty rule
    And standard of his own, that is to-day,
    And is not ere to-morrow's sun go down.
  • Some men sleep
    with loose hands that by day are fists
    holding fear

I - Z

  • Plato had defined Man as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, "Behold Plato's man!"
  • No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
    • John Donne (1572–1631) Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, Meditation XVII (1624)
  • Man is about to be an automaton; he is identifiable only in the computer. As a person of worth and creativity, as a being with an infinite potential, he retreats and battles the forces that make him inhuman.

    The dissent we witness is a reaffirmation of faith in man; it is protest against living under rules and prejudices and attitudes that produce the extremes of wealth and poverty and that make us dedicated to the destruction of people through arms, bombs, and gases, and that prepare us to think alike and be submissive objects for the regime of the computer.
  • His tribe were God Almighty's gentlemen.
    • John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 645
  • I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.
    • William Faulkner, address upon receiving the Nobel Prize for literature, Stockholm, Sweden (December 10, 1950); reprinted in Faulkner's Essays, Speeches & Public Letters (1951), p. 120
  • At all times man approached his surroundings with wide open senses and a fertile intelligence, at all times he made incredible discoveries, at all times we can learn from his ideas.
  • A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.
    • Mahatma Gandhi In Ethical Religion, (Madras: S. Ganesan, 1922), Chapter 6, p. 61
  • We are coming we, the young men,
    Strong of heart and millions strong;
    We shall work where you have trifled,
    Cleanse the temple, right the wrong,
    Till the land our fathers visioned
    Shall be spread before our ken,
    We are through with politicians;
    Give us Men! Give us Men!
  • Man is a make believe animal—he is never so truly himself as when he is acting a part.
    • William Hazlitt (1778-1830). Notes of a Journey through France and Italy (1826)
  • What tho' the spicy breezes
    Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
    Though every prospect pleases,
    And only man is vile?
    • Reginald Heber, "From Greenland's Icy Mountains" (hymn), From Greenland's Icy Mountains (1884), p. 23
  • But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.
  • Men may rule the world, but women rule the men who rule the world.
  • It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step.
    • Jeremiah 10:23
  • Where soil is, men grow,
    Whether to weeds or flowers.
  • Man has come by his great gifts not by any effort of his own, but... has fallen heir to a fortune for which he has never laboured.
  • Racial and national contentions are not restricted to any particular people or land; we find them in every country.The politician is too near to these... to see them in their proper light; even the historian is not far enough away from them to see them in their right perspective. ...For the anthropologist there are only two well-marked phases in human history. The first phase is that of Natural subsistence—an infinitely long and monotonous chapter, stretching over a million of years or more. The second is the phase of Artificial subsistence—a short chapter covering a period of 10,000 or 12,000 years at the utmost... In the first or long phase mankind was broken into small and scattered groups which gained as best they could a sparse, uncertain, and coarse sustenance from the natural produce of shore and stream, moorland and woodland. In the second or short phase man conquered nature; by means of cultivation and domestication he forced from the soil a sure and abundant supply of food, thus rendering possible the existence of our modern massed populations. ...In that immense first phase of our history an elaborate mental machinery had been evolved for binding small groups of mankind into social units. ...The mental adaptations which modern man has inherited from the immensity of his past we may briefly describe as part of Nature's tribal machinery. our modern racial strifes and national agitations we see man's inherited tribal instincts at war with his present-day conditions of life. We have broken up, or are attempting to break up, Nature's ancient tribal machinery and at the present time are striving to replace her designs by others evolved in the minds of modern statesmen and politicians. ...We cannot understand the nature of our modern racial and national problems until we perceive that in these days we are endeavouring to build a new world out of the wreckage of an old.
    • Sir Arthur Keith, Nationality and Race from an Anthropologist's Point of View Robert Boyle Lecture (Nov 17, 1919)
  • There is a great deal of human nature in man.
    • Charles Kingsley, At Last (1880–1885, reprinted 1969), chapter 2 (The Works of Charles Kingsley, vol. 14), p. 49. Kingsley attributes this to "the wise Yankee". This may refer to Artemus Ward , "Thrilling Scenes from Dixie", Artemus Ward: His Book (1862, reprinted 1964), p. 202: "There's considerable human nater in a man".
  • No one has any right to be angry with me, if I think fit to enumerate man among the quadrapeds. Man is neither a stone nor a plant, but an animal, for such is his way of living and moving; nor is he a worm, for then he would have only one foot; nor an insect, for then he would have antennae; nor a fish, for he has no fins; nor a bird, for he has no wings. Therefore, he is a quadraped, had a mouth like that of other quadrapeds, and finally four feet, on two of which he goes, and uses the other two for prehensive purposes.
  • As a natural historian according to the principles of science, up to the present time I have been not been able to discover any character by which man can be distinguished from the ape; for there are somewhere apes which are less hairy than man, erect in position, going just like him on two feet, and recalling the human species by the use they make of their hands and feet, to such an extent, that the less educated travellers have given them out as a kind of man.
    • Carl Linnaeus, Fauna Suecica (1746) as quoted by Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Sudden Origins: Fossils, Genes, and the Emergence of Species (1999)
  • I demand of you, and of the whole world, that you show me a generic character—one that is according to generally accepted principles of classification, by which to distinguish between Man and Ape. I myself most assuredly know of none. ...But, if I had called man an ape, or vice versa, I should have fallen under the ban of all the ecclesiastics. It may be that as a naturalist I ought to have done so.
  • A man of mark.
  • No particular man is necessary to the state. We may depend on it that, if we provide the country with popular institutions, those institutions will provide it with great men.
    • Thomas Babington Macaulay, speech on parliamentary reform (March 2, 1831); in The Complete Writings of Lord Macaulay (1900), vol. 17, p. 14
  • In a museum in London there is an exhibit called "The Value of Man": a long coffinlike box with lots of compartments where they've put starch—phosphorus—flour—bottles of water and alcohol—and big pieces of gelatin. I am a man like that.
  • We all are blind until we see
    That in the human plan
    Nothing is worth the making if
    It does not make the man.
    Why build these cities glorious
    If man unbuilded goes?
    In vain we build the world, unless
    The builder also grows.
  • Most men – not just the men in Brentwood – are scared of powerful women with brains. There’s something in a man that makes him want to have power over a woman – whether it’s in the bedroom or because they earn more money. It boosts their egos.
  • But in our Sanazarro 'tis not so,
    He being pure and tried gold; and any stamp
    Of grace, to make him current to the world,
    The duke is pleased to give him, will add honour
    To the great bestower; for he, though allow'd
    Companion to his master, still preserves
    His majesty in full lustre.
  • Boys are impulsive. They become mad and they yell. When they are frightened they lash out and they run. When they are sad or their feelings are hurt, they run to a corner and sulk. Grown men don't (or shouldn't) do these things. A man is fully mature when he is able to acknowledge a multitude of intense emotions and then make a decision about how to react to them (if he needs to react to them at all). Sometimes a man will desperately want to yell back, but he doesn't. He has learned self-control, to separate his feelings from his actions.
    • Meg Meeker, Boys Should Be Boys (2008), 2009 Ballentine Books paperback edition. New York: Ballentine Books, p. 166
  • T'is but a Tent where takes his one day's rest
    A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest.
  • Man is no thing, but a drama... Man, in a word, has no nature; what he has is... history.
  • I have to say that war is man-made. It's made by men. It's their thing, it's their world, and they're terribly injured in it. They suffer terribly in it, but it's made by men. How do they come to live this way?
  • that's one of the things that's most encouraging to me: to think that some of these young guys have been listening, and imagining the lives of their daughters in a new way, and thinking about it, and wanting something different for them. That is what some of imagining is about.
  • So man, who here seems principal alone,
    Perhaps acts second to some sphere unknown
    Touches some wheel, or verges to some goal;
    'Tis but a part we see, and not a whole.
  • Know then thyself, presume not God to scan;
    The proper study of mankind is man.
    • Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 1. In Pope's first ed. of Moral Essays it read "The only science of mankind is man." For the last phrase see Grote, History of Greece, Volume IX, p. 573. Ascribed to Socrates; also to Xenophon, Memor., I, 1
  • Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
    Still by himself abused and disabused;
    Created half to rise, and half to fall;
    Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
    Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled;
    The glory, jest and riddle of the world!
  • Virtuous and vicious every man must be,
    Few in the extreme, but all in the degree.
  • An honest man's the noblest work of God.
  • (God): I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.
  • Does man think that he will be left aimless (in this life)? Was he not a small life-germ in sperm emitted? Then he was a clot; so He created (him), then made (him) perfect. Then He made of him two kinds, the male and the female. Is not He Powerful to give life to the dead?
  • Surely there came over man a time when he was nothing that could be mentioned. Surely We have created man from sperm mixed (with ovum), to try him, so We have made him hearing, seeing. We have truly shown him the way; he may be thankful or unthankful. Surely we have prepared for the disbelievers chains and shackles and a burning Fire. The righteous truly drink of a cup tempered with camphor
  • No notion of primitive man's concept of the external world, his analysis of himself, of the nature of the godhead, etc., is possible unless it be recognized that, as among us, there exist, roughly speaking, two general types of temperament: the man of action and the thinker. ...the man of action predominates overwhelmingly. But this predomination carries with it a far greater significance among primitive people than among us for the very simple reason that the population in any specific group is so small. ...neither the man of action nor the thinker has much understanding of and still less sympathy for the other... The man of action, broadly characterized, is oriented toward the object, interested primarily in practical results, and indifferent to the claims and stirrings of his inner self. ...The thinker ...although he, too, is definitely desirous of practical results nevertheless impelled by his whole nature to spend considerable time in analyzing his subjective states and attaches great importance both to their influence upon his actions and to the explanations ...The former is satisfied that the world exists and that things happen. Explanations are of secondary importance. ...He prefers an explanation in which the purely mechanical relation specifically stressed. His mental rhythm characterized by a demand for endless repetition ...or, at best, of events all of which are of the same general level. Change for him means essentially some abrupt transformation. Monotony holds no terrors for him. ...his mentality is written over the vast majority of myths and magical incantations. ...Now the rhythm of the thinker is quite different. ...He insists on a description couched either in terms of a gradual progress and evolution from one to many and from simple to complex, or on the postulation of a cause and effect relation.
  • Every actual animal is somewhat dull and somewhat mad. He will at times miss his signals and stare vacantly when he might well act, while at other times he will run off into convulsions and raise a dust in his own brain to no purpose. These imperfections are so human that we should hardly recognise ourselves if we could shake them off altogether. Not to retain any dulness would mean to possess untiring attention and universal interests, thus realising the boast about deeming nothing human alien to us; while to be absolutely without folly would involve perfect self-knowledge and self-control. The intelligent man known to history flourishes within a dullard and holds a lunatic in leash. He is encased in a protective shell of ignorance and insensibility which keeps him from being exhausted and confused by this too complicated world; but that integument blinds him at the same time to many of his nearest and highest interests. He is amused by the antics of the brute dreaming within his breast; he gloats on his passionate reveries, an amusement which sometimes costs him very dear. Thus the best human intelligence is still decidedly barbarous; it fights in heavy armour and keeps a fool at court.
  • He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again.
  • What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And, yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me: no, nor woman neither, though by your smiling, you seem to say so.
  • I have thought some of Nature's journeymen had made men and not made them well, they imitated humanity so abominably.
  • Give me that man
    That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
    In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart
    As I do thee.
  • What is a man,
    If his chief good and market of his time
    Be but to sleep and feed?
  • This is the state of man: to-day he puts forth
    The tender leaves of hope; to-morrow blossoms,
    And bears his blushing honours thick upon him:
    The third day comes a frost, a killing frost,
    And, when he thinks, good easy man, full surely
    His greatness is a-ripening, nips his root,
    And then he falls, as I do.
  • Men at some time are masters of their fates:
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
  • This was the noblest Roman of them all.
    All the conspirators, save only he,
    Did that they did in envy of Caesar;
    He only, in a general honest thought
    And common good to all, made one of them.
    His life was gentle, and the elements
    So mix'd in him that Nature might stand up
    And say to all the world, "This was a man!"
  • … man, proud man, Dress'd in a little brief authority,…
    • William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, act II, scene ii, lines 117–18. Isabella is speaking
  • Nietzsche … he was a confirmed Life Force worshipper. It was he who raked up the Superman, who is as old as Prometheus; and the 20th century will run after this newest of the old crazes when it gets tired of the world, the flesh, and your humble servant.
  • Man is of soul and body, formed for deeds
    Of high resolve; on fancy's boldest wing.
  • If the dichotomy between life-producing and preserving and commodity-producing activities is abolished, if men acquire caring and nurturing qualities which have so far been considered women’s domain, and if, in an economy based on self-reliance, mutuality, self-provisioning, not women alone but men too are involved in subsistence production they will have neither time nor the inclination to pursue their destructive war games. A subsistence perspective will be the most significant contribution to the de-militarization of men and society. Only a society based on a subsistence perspective can afford to live in peace with nature, and uphold peace between nations, generations and men and women, because it does not base its concept of a good life on the exploitation and domination of nature and other people.
  • But man is above all a social and political animal; his relations with his fellow human beings form his most absorbing and important interest.
  • Man's wretched state,
    That floures so fresh at morne, and fades at evening late.
    • Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book III, Canto IX, Stanza 39
  • A man's body and his mind, with the utmost reverence to both I speak it, are exactly like a jerkin and a jerkin's lining;—rumple the one,—you rumple the other.
    • Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1760-1767), Book III, Chapter IV
  • For, indeed, while we were still weak, Christ died for ungodly men at the appointed time. For hardly would anyone die for a righteous man; though perhaps for a good man someone may dare to die. But God recommends his own love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
  • I am a part of all that I have met.
  • Ah God, for a man with heart, head, hand,
    Like some of the simple great gone
    Forever and ever by,
    One still strong man in a blatant land,
    Whatever they call him, what care I,
    Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat—one
    Who can rule and dare not lie.
  • A man is made by the quality of his enemies.
  • If a young man gets married, starts a family, and spends the rest of his life working at a soul-destroying job, he is held up as an example of virtue and responsibility. The other type of man, living only for himself, working only for himself, doing first one thing and then another simply because he enjoys it and because he has to keep only himself, sleeping where and when he wants, and facing woman when he meets her, on equal terms and not as one of a million slaves, is rejected by society. The free, unshackled man has no place in its midst.
  • Mankind which began in a cave and behind a windbreak will end in the disease-soaked ruins of a slum.
    • H. G. Wells, The Fate of Man (1939, reprinted 1970), chapter 26, p. 247
  • It must have required enormous effort for man to overcome his natural tendency to live like the animals in a continual present. Moreover, the development of rational thought actually seems to have impeded man's appreciation for the significance of time. ...Belief that the ultimate reality is timeless is deeply rooted in human thinking, and the origin of rational investigation of the world was the search for permanent factors that lie behind the ever-changing pattern of events.
  • How poor, how rich, how abject, how august,
    How complicate, how wonderful, is man!
    How passing wonder He, who made him such!
  • Ah! how unjust to nature, and himself,
    Is thoughtless, thankless, inconsistent man.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night II, line 112
  • Because both man and woman have roles indispensable for life, without them the world cannot endure even a day. Their capabilities are about the same, but men are generally stronger than women. If a strong man fights a woman he will always win.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 487-93.
  • The man forget not, though in rags he lies,
    And know the mortal through a crown's disguise.
  • Man only,—rash, refined, presumptuous Man—
    Starts from his rank, and mars Creation's plan!
    Born the free heir of nature's wide domain,
    To art's strict limits bounds his narrow'd reign;
    Resigns his native rights for meaner things,
    For Faith and Fetters, Laws and Priests and Kings.
    • Poetry of the Anti-Jacobin, The Progress of Man, line 55
  • Ye children of man! whose life is a span
    Protracted with sorrow from day to day,
    Naked and featherless, feeble and querulous,
    Sickly, calamitous creatures of clay.
  • Man is the nobler growth our realms supply
    And souls are ripened in our northern sky.
  • All sorts and conditions of men.
    • Book of Common Prayer. Prayer for all Conditions of Men
  • Man is a noble animal, splendid in ashes and pompous in the grave.
  • A man's a man for a' that!
  • A prince can mak a belted knight,
    A marquis, duke, and a' that;
    But an honest man's aboon his might:
    Guid faith, he maunna fa' that.
  • The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
    The man's the gowd for a' that.
  • Man,—whose heaven-erected face
    The smiles of love adorn,—
    Man's inhumanity to man
    Makes countless thousands mourn!
  • Where the virgins are soft as the roses they twine,
    And all, save the spirit of man, is divine?
    • Lord Byron, Bride of Abydos (1813), Canto I, Stanza 1
  • Lord of himself;—that heritage of woe!
    • Lord Byron, Lara, A Tale (1814), Canto I, Stanza 2
  • But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
    Half dust, half deity, alike unfit
    To sink or soar.
  • Sighing that Nature formed but one such man,
    And broke the die—in moulding Sheridan.
    • Lord Byron, Monody on the Death of the Rt. Hon. R. B. Sheridan, line 117
  • And say without our hopes, without our fears,
    Without the home that plighted love endears,
    Without the smile from partial beauty won,
    Oh! what were man?—a world without a sun.
  • To lead, or brass, or some such bad
    Metal, a prince's stamp may add
    That value, which it never had.
    But to the pure refined ore,
    The stamp of kings imparts no more
    Worth, than the metal held before.
  • Charms and a man I sing, to wit—a most superior person,
    Myself, who bear the fitting name of George Nathaniel Curzon.
    • Charma Virumque Cano. Pub. in Poetry of the Crabbet Club, 1892, p. 36
  • La vraie science et le vrai étude de l'homme c'est l'homme.
    • The proper Science and Subject for Man's Contemplation is Man himself.
    • Pierre Charron, Of Wisdom, Book I, Chapter I. Stanhope's translation
  • Men the most infamous are fond of fame:
    And those who fear not guilt, yet start at shame.
  • I am made all things to all men.
    • I Corinthians, IX. 22
  • The first man is of the earth, earthy.
    • I Corinthians, XV. 47
  • An honest man, close-buttoned to the chin,
    Broadcloth without, and a warm heart within.
  • But strive still to be a man before your mother.
  • A sacred spark created by his breath,
    The immortal mind of man his image bears;
    A spirit living 'midst the forms of death,
    Oppressed, but not subdued, by mortal cares.
    • Sir H. Davy, Written After Recovery from a Dangerous Illness
  • Men are but children of a larger growth,
    Our appetites as apt to change as theirs,
    And full of cravings too, and full as vain.
  • This is the porcelain clay of humankind.
  • How dull, and how insensible a beast
    Is man, who yet would lord it o'er the rest.
    • John Dryden, Essay on Satire, line 1. Written by Dryden and the Earl of Mulgrave
  • There is no Theam more plentiful to scan,
    Then is the glorious goodly Frame of Man.
  • Men's men: gentle or simple, they're much of a muchness.
  • A man is the whole encyclopedia of facts. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn, and Egypt, Greece, Rome, Gaul, Britain, America, lie folded already in the first man.
  • Man is his own star, and the soul that can
    Render an honest and a perfect man,
    Commands all light.
  • Aye, think! since time and life began,
    Your mind has only feared and slept;
    Of all the beasts they called you man
    Only because you toiled and wept.
  • Die Menschen fürchtet nur, wer sie nicht kennt
    Und wer sie meidet, wird sie bald verkennen.
    • He only fears men who does not know them, and he who avoids them will soon misjudge them.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Torquato Tasso. I. 2. 72
  • Lass uns, geliebter Bruder, nicht vergessen,
    Dass von sich selbst der Mensch nicht scheiden kann.
  • A king may spille, a king may save;
    A king may make of lorde a knave;
    And of a knave a lorde also.
  • What though the spicy breezes
    Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
    Though every prospect pleases,
    And only man is vile.
  • Man is all symmetrie,
    Full of proportions, one limbe to another,
    And all to all the world besides:
    Each part may call the farthest, brother:
    For head with foot hath privite amitie,
    And both with moons and tides.
  • Man is one world, and hath
    Another to attend him.
  • God give us men. A time like this demands
    Strong minds, great hearts, true faith and ready hands!
    Men whom the lust of office does not kill,
    Men whom the spoils of office cannot buy,
    Men who possess opinions and a will,
    Men who love honor, men who cannot lie.
  • Like leaves on trees the race of man is found,—
    Now green in youth, now withering on the ground;
    Another race the following spring supplies;
    They fall successive; and successive rise.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book VI, line 181. Pope's translation
  • Forget the brother and resume the man.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book IV, line 732. Pope's translation
  • The fool of fate, thy manufacture, man.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book XX, line 254. Pope's translation
  • Pulvis et umbra sumus.
    • We are dust and shadow.
    • Horace, Carmina, Book IV. 7, line 16
  • Metiri se quemque suo modulo ac pede verum est.
    • Every man should measure himself by his own standard.
    • Horace, Epistles, I. 7. 98
  • Ad unguem factus homo.
    • A man polished to the nail.
    • Horace, Satires, I. 5. 32
  • Man dwells apart, though not alone,
    He walks among his peers unread;
    The best of thoughts which he hath known
    For lack of listeners are not said.
  • Man passes away; his name perishes from record and recollection; his history is as a tale that is told, and his very monument becomes a ruin.
  • Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils.
    • Isaiah, II. 22
  • The only competition worthy a wise man is with himself.
  • Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
    • Job, XIV. 1
  • Though I've belted you and flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.
  • If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    * * * * * *
    Yours is the Earth and every thing that's in it,
    And—which is more—you'll be a man, my son!
  • Limited in his nature, infinite in his desires, man is a fallen god who remembers the heavens.
  • Il est plus aisé de connaître l'homme en général que de connaître un homme en particulier.
  • As man; false man, smiling destructive man.
  • Before man made us citizens, great Nature made us men.
  • A man! A man! My kingdom for a man!
  • Hominem pagina nostra sapit.
    • Our page (i.e. our book) has reference to man.
    • Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book X. 4. 10
  • Ah! pour être devot, je n'en suis pas moins homme.
    • Ah! to be devout, I am none the less human.
    • Molière, Tartuffe (1664), III. 3
  • I teach you beyond Man [Uebermensch; overman-superman]. Man is something that shall be surpassed. What have you done to surpass him?
  • Os homini sublime dedit cœlumque tueri
    Jussit; et erectos ad sidera tollere vultus.
    • God gave man an upright countenance to survey the heavens, and to look upward to the stars.
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, I. 85
  • What a chimera, then, is man! what a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a subject of contradiction, what a prodigy! A judge of all things, feeble worm of the earth, depositary of the truth, cloaca of uncertainty and error, the glory and the shame of the universe!
  • Nos non pluris sumus quam bullæ.
  • Piper, non homo.
  • Hominem quæro.
    • I am in search of a man.
    • Phaedrus, Fables, Book III. 19. 9
  • Man is the plumeless genus of bipeds, birds are the plumed.
    • Plato, Politicus, 266. Diogenes produced a plucked cock, saying, "Here is Plato's man." Diogenes Laertius, Book VI. 2
  • Homo homini lupus.
    • Man is a wolf to man.
    • Plautus, Asinaria, II. 4. 88
  • No more was seen the human form divine.
  • So, if unprejudiced you scan
    The going of this clock-work, man,
    You find a hundred movements made
    By fine devices in his head;
    But 'tis the stomach's solid stroke
    That tells his being what's o'clock.
  • Man is the measure of all things.
  • Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.
    • Psalms, VIII. 5
  • Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright.
    • Psalms, XXXVII. 37
  • Man is man's A, B, C. There's none that can
    Read God aright, unless he first spell man.
  • It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Shame on the man of cultivated taste who permits refinement to develop into fastidiousness that unfits him for doing the rough work of a workaday world. Among the free peoples who govern themselves there is but a small field of usefulness open for the men of cloistered life who shrink from contact with their fellows. Still less room is there for those who deride or slight what is done by those who actually bear the brunt of the day; nor yet for those others who always profess that they would like to take action, if only the conditions of life were not exactly what they actually are.
  • Quit yourselves like men.
    • I Samuel, IV. 9
  • A man after his own heart.
    • I Samuel, XIII. 14
  • Thou art the man.
    • II Samuel, XII. 7
  • Der Mensch ist, der lebendig fühlende,
    Der leichte Raub des mächt'gen Augenblicks.
    • Man, living, feeling man is the easy prey of the powerful present.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Die Jungfrau von Orleans, III. 4. 54
  • "How poor a thing is man!" alas 'tis true,
    I'd half forgot it when I chanced on you.
  • Of the king's creation you may be; but he who makes a count, ne'er made a man.
  • Give us a man of God's own mould
    Born to marshall his fellow-men;
    One whose fame is not bought and sold
    At the stroke of a politician's pen.
    Give us the man of thousands ten,
    Fit to do as well as to plan;
    Give us a rallying-cry, and then
    Abraham Lincoln, give us a Man.
  • Titles of honour are like the impressions on coin—which add no value to gold and silver, but only render brass current.
  • When I beheld this I sighed, and said within myself, Surely man is a Broomstick!
  • Homo vitæ commodatus, non donatus est.
    • Man has been lent, not given, to life.
    • Syrus, Maxims
  • Man is man, and master of his fate.
  • Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto.
    • I am a man, nothing that is human do I think unbecoming in me.
    • Terence, Heauton timoroumenos, Act I, scene 1. F. W. Ricord's translation
  • Der edle Mensch ist nur ein Bild von Gott.
  • Quod, ut dictur, si est homo bulla, eo magis senex.
    • What, if as said, man is a bubble.
    • Marcus Terentius Varro, preface to De Re Rustica. Found also in Seneca—Apocolocyntosis. Lucan—Charron. 19. Cardinal Armellini's Epitaph in Revue des Deux Mondes, April 15, 1892. Erasmus—Adagia
  • Silver is the king's stamp; man God's stamp, and a woman is man's stamp; we are not current till we pass from one man to another.
  • I am an acme of things accomplished, and I am encloser of things to be.
  • I weigh the man, not his title: 'tis not the king's inscription can make the metal better or heavier.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • The older I grow — and I now stand upon the brink of eternity — the more comes back to me that sentence in the Catechism which I learned when a child, and the fuller and deeper its meaning becomes, "What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever."
  • In that vast march, the van forgets the rear; the individual is lost; and yet the multitude is many individuals. He faints and falls and dies; man is forgotten; but still mankind move on, still worlds revolve, and the will of God is done in earth and heaven.
  • Man is the crowning of history and the realization of poetry, the free and living bond which unites all nature to that God who created it for Himself.
  • Let us not undervalue the dignity of human nature. Man. although fallen, still retains some traces of his primeval glory and excellence — broken columns of a celestial temple, magnificent, even in its ruins.
  • Man has wants deeper than can be supplied by wealth or nature or domestic affections. His great relations are to his God and to eternity.
  • But if, indeed, there be a nobler life in us than in these strangely moving atoms; if, indeed, there is an eternal difference between the fire which inhabits them, and that which animates us,— it must be shown, by each of us in his appointed place, not merely in the patience, but in the activity of our hope, not merely by our desire, but our labor, for the time when the dust of the generations of men shall be confirmed for foun: dations of the gates of the city of God.
  • The Divine government of the world is like a stream that rolls under us; men are only as bubbles that rise on its surface; some are brighter and larger, and sparkle longer in the sun than others; but all must break; whilst the mighty current rolls on in its wonted majesty!

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)

  • Who is wise? He that learns from every One. Who is powerful? He that governs his Passions. Who is rich? He that is content. Who is that? Nobody.
    • Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanack" (July 1755), The Complete Poor Richard Almanacks (1970), facsimile ed., vol. 2, p. 270
  • Men are men before they are lawyers, or physicians, or merchants, or manufacturers; and if you make them capable and sensible men, they will make themselves capable and sensible lawyers or physicians.
    • John Stuart Mill, inaugural address to the University of St. Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland, February 1, 1867. Dissertations and Discussions, vol. 4, p. 335 (1868)
  • Man, created to God's image and likeness (Gen. 1:26–27), is not just flesh and blood. The sexual instinct is not all that he has. Man is also, and pre-eminently, intelligent and free; and thanks to these powers he is, and must remain, superior to the rest of creation; they give him mastery over his physical, psychological and affective appetites.
    • Pope Paul VI, encyclical on priestly celibacy (Sacerdotalis Caelibatus), paragraph 53, June 24, 1967. Catholic Mind (October 1967), p. 56–57.
  • A great man left a watchword that we can well repeat: "There is no indispensable man".
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, governor of New York, campaign address before the Republican-for-Roosevelt League, New York City, November 3, 1932. The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1928–1932, p. 860 (1938). The man whom Roosevelt quotes is probably Macaulay
  • It is said that Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo because he forgot his infantry—he staked too much upon the more spectacular but less substantial cavalry. The present administration in Washington provides a close parallel. It has either forgotten or it does not want to remember the infantry of our economic army. These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.
    • Franklin D. Roosevelt, governor of New York, radio address, Albany, New York, April 7, 1932. The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1928–1932, p. 624–25 (1938)
  • When I die, my epitaph or whatever you call those signs on gravestones is going to read: "I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I dident like". I am so proud of that I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved. And when you come to my grave you will find me sitting there, proudly reading it.
    • Will Rogers, reported in Paula McSpadden Love, The Will Rogers Book (1972), p. 166–67. "One of his most famous and most quoted remarks. First printed in the Boston Globe, June 16, 1930, after he had attended Tremont Temple Baptist Church, where Dr. James W. Brougher was minister. He asked Will to say a few words after the sermon. The papers were quick to pick up the remark, and it stayed with him the rest of his life. He also said it on various other occasions" (p. 167). The author was a niece of Will Rogers's and curator of the Will Rogers Memorial in Claremore, Oklahoma
  • The awareness that we are all human beings together has become lost in war and through politics.
    • Albert Schweitzer, radio appeal for peace, Oslo, Norway, April 30, 1958. Schweitzer, Peace or Atomic War?, p. 44 (1972). This was the third of three appeals broadcast April 28, 29, and 30, 1958
  • Every man will be a poet if he can; otherwise a philosopher or man of science. This proves the superiority of the poet.
    • Henry David Thoreau, journal entry, April 11, 1852. The Heart of Thoreau's Journals, ed. Odell Shepard, p. 126 (1927)


  • Keep five yards from a carriage, ten yards from a horse, and a hundred yards from an elephant; but the distance one should keep from a wicked man cannot be measured.
    • Indian proverb, The Little Red Book of Horse Wisdom, p. 71

See also

  • Encyclopedic article on Man on Wikipedia
  • The dictionary definition of man on Wiktionary
  • Media related to Men on Wikimedia Commons