5 Quotes On Battle From “The Book Of Man”

I really enjoyed reading The Book Of Man by William J. Bennett (you can read my book review here). The topics were very broad, so I’ll be sharing some of my favorite quotes on the different sections in this book over the next few days.

Here are five quotes about battle…

“War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.” —John Stuart Mill 

“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” —Calvin Coolidge

Whom neither shape of danger can dismay, 

Nor thought of tender happiness betray; 

Who, not content that former worth stand fast, 

Looks forward, persevering to the last, 

From well to better, daily self-surpast: 

Who, whether praise of him must walk the earth 

For ever, and to noble deeds give birth, 

Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame, 

And leave a dead unprofitable name— 

Finds comfort in himself and in his cause; 

And, while the mortal mist is gathering, draws 

His breath in confidence of Heaven’s applause: 

This is the happy Warrior; this is He 

That every Man in arms should wish to be. —William Wordsworth

“Thus choosing to die resisting, rather than to live submitting, they fled only from dishonor, but met danger face to face, and after one brief moment, while at the summit of their fortune, escaped, not from their fear, but from their glory.” —Pericles

“So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second, for safety; and the third, for reputation. The first use violence, to make themselves masters of other men’s persons, wives, children, and cattle; the second, to defend them; the third, for trifles, as a word, a smile, a different opinion, and any other sign of undervalue, either direct in their persons or by reflection in their kindred, their friends, their nation, their profession, or their name.” —Thomas Hobbes

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