Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD REFERENCE ( (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2013. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single entry from a reference work in OR for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 July 2020


  1. That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
    landing on the moon
    Neil Armstrong 1930–2012 American astronaut: in New York Times 21 July 1969; interference in the transmission obliterated ‘a’
  2. We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill.
    Richard Bach 1936–  American novelist: Jonathan Livingston Seagull (1970)
  3. The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.
    The Bible (Authorized Version, 1611): Proverbs ch. 13, v. 19
  4. That low man seeks a little thing to do,
    Sees it and does it:
    This high man, with a great thing to pursue,
    Dies ere he knows it.
    That low man goes on adding one to one,
    His hundred's soon hit:
    This high man, aiming at a million,
    Misses an unit.
    Robert Browning 1812–89 English poet: ‘A Grammarian's Funeral’ (1855) l. 113
  5. To those of you who received honours, awards and distinctions, I say well done. And to the C students, I say you, too, can be president of the United States.
    George W. Bush 1946–  American Republican statesman, 43rd President 2001–9: in Sunday Times 27 May 2001
  6. Here is the answer which I will give to President Roosevelt…Give us the tools and we will finish the job.
    Winston Churchill 1874–1965 British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister 1940–5, 1951–5: radio broadcast, 9 February 1941
  7. None climbs so high as he who knows not whither he is going.
    Oliver Cromwell 1599–1658 English soldier and statesman; Lord Protector from 1653: attributed
  8. One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.
    Marie Curie 1867–1934 Polish-born French physicist: letter to her brother, 18 March 1894
  9. The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that is difficult.
    commenting on the legend that St Denis, carrying his head in his hands, walked two leagues
    Mme Du Deffand 1697–1780 French literary hostess: letter to Jean Le Rond d'Alembert, 7 July 1763
  10. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803–82 American philosopher and poet: Essays (1841) ‘Circles’
  11. The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson 1803–82 American philosopher and poet: Essays: Second Series (1844) ‘New England Reformers’
  12. Seriously, though, he's doing a grand job!
    David Frost 1939–2013 English broadcaster and writer: catch-phrase in ‘That Was The Week That Was’, on BBC Television, 1962–3
  13. Those who believe that they are exclusively in the right are generally those who achieve something.
    Aldous Huxley 1894–1963 English novelist: Proper Studies (1927) ‘Note on Dogma’
  14. Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me…Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful…that's what matters to me.
    Steve Jobs 1955–2011 American computer executive: in Wall Street Journal 25 May 1993
  15. He has, indeed, done it very well; but it is a foolish thing well done.
    on Goldsmith's apology in the London Chronicle for assaulting Thomas Evans
    Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: James Boswell Life of Johnson (1791) 3 April 1773
  16. It is sobering to consider that when Mozart was my age he had already been dead for a year.
    Tom Lehrer 1928–  American humorist: N. Shapiro (ed.) An Encyclopedia of Quotations about Music (1978)
  17. He who does something at the head of one regiment, will eclipse him who does nothing at the head of a hundred.
    Abraham Lincoln 1809–65 American statesman, 16th President 1861–5: letter to Major-General David Hunter, 31 December 1861, in R. P. Basler (ed.) Collected Works… (1953) vol. 5
  18. Something attempted, something done,
    Has earned a night's repose.
    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807–82 American poet: ‘The Village Blacksmith’ (1839)
  19. Fame is an accident; merit a thing absolute.
    Herman Melville 1819–91 American novelist and poet: Mardi (1849)
  20. Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.
    Arthur Miller 1915–2005 American dramatist: The Ride Down Mount Morgan (1991) act 1
  21. When I was a child, my mother said to me ‘If you become a soldier, you'll be a general. If you become a monk, you'll end up as the Pope.’ Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.
    Pablo Picasso 1881–1973 Spanish painter: F. Gilot and C. Lake Life with Picasso (1964) pt. 2
  22. Think nothing done while aught remains to do.
    Samuel Rogers 1763–1855 English poet: ‘Human Life’ (1819) l. 49; see Lucan
  23. If you are not criticized, you may not be doing much.
    Donald Rumsfeld 1932–  American Republican politician and businessman: ‘Rumsfeld's Rules’; interview in Wall Street Journal 29 January 2001
  24. There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.
    George Bernard Shaw 1856–1950 Irish dramatist: Man and Superman (1903) act 4
  25. We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But if that drop was not in the ocean, I think the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. I do not agree with the big way of doing things.
    Mother Teresa 1910–97 Roman Catholic nun and missionary, born in what is now Macedonia of Albanian parentage: A Gift for God (1975)
  26. Anyway, Ma, I made it…Top of the world!
    White Heat 1949 film: last lines, spoken by James Cagney; written by Ivan Goff (1910–99) and Ben Roberts (1916–84)