To delight in war is a merit in the soldier, a dangerous quality in the captain, and a positive crime in the statesman.
When it shall be known that, at the time which I was accused of wishing to sunder this island from France – my benefactress – I repeated the oath of fidelity to her, I take pleasure in believing that the government I own, and my fellow-citizens, will render me the justice I merit, and that the enemies of my brethren will be reduced to silence.
I was induced to establish several orders of merit, from conviction that emulation, well directed, becomes a useful servant; and, that the latent genius of some youth is more easily brought into action this way, than by the more sordid gratification of self-interest.
It is the merit of a general to impart good news, and to conceal the truth.
It is more honorable to be raised to a throne than to be born to one. Fortune bestows the one, merit obtains the other.
Reputation is only a candle, of wavering and uncertain flame, and easily blown out, but it is the light by which the world looks for and finds merit.
Fondly we think we honor merit then, When we but praise ourselves in other men.
Arrogance on the part of the meritorious is even more offensive to us than the arrogance of those without merit: for merit itself is offensive.
The sufficiency of merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.
Neither soldiers nor money can defend a king but only friends won by good deeds, merit, and honesty.