"The great funeral oration of Pericles, delivered over those fallen in the war, stands out as unlike all other commemoration speeches ever spoken. There is not a trace of exaltation in it, not a word of heroic declamation. It is a piece of clear thinking and straight talking. The orator tells his audience to pray that they may never have to die in battle as these did. He does not suggest or imply to the mourning parents before him that they are to be accounted happy because their sons died for Athens. He knows they are not and it does not occur to him to say anything but the truth. His words to them are: Some of you are of an age at which they may hope to have other children, and they ought to bear their sorrow better. To those of you who have passed their prime, I say: Congratulate yourselves that you have been happy during the greater part of your days; remember that your life of sorrow will not last long, and take comfort in the glory of those who are gone. Cold comfort, we say. Yes, but people so stricken cannot be comforted, and Pericles knew his audience. They had faced the facts as well as he had."

— “The Greek Way” - Edith Hamilton

"We are lovers of beauty with economy, said Pericles. Words were to be used sparingly like everything else. Thucydides gives in a single sentence the fate of those brilliant youths who, pledging the sea in wine from golden goblets, sailed away to conquer Sicily and slowly died in the quarries of Syracuse: “Having done what men could, they suffered what men must.” One sentence only for their glory and their anguish."

— “The Greek Way” - Edith Hamilton

"Even James Reston of The New York Times had been so profoundly moved by the press conference and the sight of the seven brave men (of the Mercury program) that his heart, he confessed, now beat a little faster. “What made them so exciting,” he wrote, “was not that they said anything new but that they said all the old things with such fierce convictions… They spoke of ‘duty’ and ‘faith’ and ‘country’ like Walt Whitman’s pioneers… This is a pretty cynical town, but nobody went away from these young men scoffing at their courage and idealism.”"

— “The Right Stuff” - Tom Wolfe

"But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated."

— “The Old Man and the Sea” - Ernest Hemingway

Tags: Men honour

"“I’ll kill him though,” he said. “In all his greatness and his glory.” Although it is unjust, he thought. But I will show him what a man can do and what a man endures."

— “The Old Man and the Sea” - Ernest Hemingway

"Hornblower waited until the reply came; he could have wished that Purvis had not been so literal-minded and had been able to think up an answer which should combine the almost incompatible qualities of deference and wit, instead of merely sending the bald reply ‘Five’. Then he turned to business."

— “Hornblower: The Commodore” - C.S. Forester

"Hornblower felt he had achieved something, even though Whitehall might not be fully convinced, and he found himself smiling with pleasure. He suppressed the smile as soon as he was aware of it, for his dignity demanded that triumph should leave him as unmoved as uncertainty."

— “Hornblower: The Commodore” - C.S. Forester

Tags: empire honour

"Calling up in his mind’s eye the chart that he had so anxiously studied, he calculated that it would be an hour before they were in range of the shore again, where the fairway lay close in to the Swedish island of Hven — however that was pronounced in these barbarous northern tongues."

— “Hornblower: The Commodore” - C.S. Forester

"It was always startling to detect in himself qualities which he admired in other men."

— “Hornblower: Flying Colours” - C.S. Forester

Tags: empire honour

""I’m sorry, Bush," was all he could say; it was hard for the captain to speak at length to the lieutenant on such personal matters as his regret and unhappiness."

— “Hornblower: Flying Colours” - C.S. Forester

""Horrible!" said Hornblower, but he did not encourage the conversation. He fancied that if any Spaniard began to talk about the woes of Spain he would never stop."

“Hornblower:  A Ship of the Line” - C.S. Forester

The casual biogtry of the Hornblower series is amusing with the passage of time…

"It was a Godfearing Admiralty who ordered church service every Sunday morning, otherwise Hornblower would have dispensed with it, as befitted a profound student of Gibbon."

— “Hornblower:  A Ship of the Line” - C.S. Forester

"But he knew now of other qualities equally necessary: a bold and yet thoughtful initiative, moral as well as physical courage, tactful handling both of superiors and of subordinates, ingenuity and quickness of thought. A fighting navy needed to fight, and needed fighting men to lead it."

“Lieutenant Hornblower” - C.S. Forester

Upon this, an Empire was built - Rah Rah!

Tags: honour empire

"

"What’d you do?" Bush was curious about this junior lieutenant who had shown himself ready of resources and so guarded in speech.

"I’d read those orders," said Hornblower instantly. "I’d rather be in trouble for having done something than for not having done anything."

"

“Lieutenant Hornblower” - C.S. Forester

Tags: honour empire

"A rush of men came to help — not only his own boat’s crew but every man of initiative and spirit."

“Lieutenant Hornblower” - C.S. Forester

Tags: honour empire