„If the remonstrance had been rejected I would have sold all I had the next morning and never have seen England more, and I know there are many other modest men of the same resolution.“

On the passing of the revolutionary Grand Remonstrance of November 1641 listing Parliament's grievances against King Charles I, as quoted in A History of the Rebellion (first published 1702 – 1704) by Edward Hyde, Earl of Clarendon (1609 - 1674)

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Oliver Cromwell2
1599 - 1658

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„How many seemingly impossible things have been accomplished by resolute men because they had to do, or die.“

—  Napoleon I of France French general, First Consul and later Emperor of the French 1769 - 1821

Napoleon : In His Own Words (1916)

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„Governor, if I had foreseen the use those people designed to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox Courthouse; no sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in my right hand.“

—  Robert E. Lee Confederate general in the Civil War 1807 - 1870

Supposedly made to Governor Fletcher S. Stockdale (September 1870), as quoted in The Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, pp. 497-500; however, most major researchers including Douglas Southall Freeman, Shelby Dade Foote, Jr., and Bruce Catton consider the quote a myth and refuse to recognize it. “T. C. Johnson: Life and Letters of Robert Lewis Dabney, 498 ff. Doctor Dabney was not present and received his account of the meeting from Governor Stockdale. The latter told Dabney that he was the last to leave the room, and that as he was saying good-bye, Lee closed the door, thanked him for what he had said and added: "Governor, if I had foreseen the use these people desired to make of their victory, there would have been no surrender at Appomattox, no, sir, not by me. Had I foreseen these results of subjugation, I would have preferred to die at Appomattox with my brave men, my sword in this right hand." This, of course, is second-hand testimony. There is nothing in Lee's own writings and nothing in direct quotation by first-hand witness that accords with such an expression on his part. The nearest approach to it is the claim by H. Gerald Smythe that "Major Talcott" — presumably Colonel T. M. R. Talcott — told him Lee stated he would never have surrendered the army if he had known how the South would have been treated. Mr. Smythe stated that Colonel Talcott replied, "Well, General, you have only to blow the bugle," whereupon Lee is alleged to have answered, "It is too late now" (29 Confederate Veteran, 7). Here again the evidence is not direct. The writer of this biography, talking often with Colonel Talcott, never heard him narrate this incident or suggest in any way that Lee accepted the results of the radical policy otherwise than with indignation, yet in the belief that the extremists would not always remain in office”.
Misattributed

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„In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard.“

—  Wilhelm Bittrich German general 1894 - 1979

Commenting on the British Paratroopers at Arnhem (September 1944). Quoted in "Hitler's Generals" - Page 327 - by Correlli Barnett - History - 2003

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„I have killed, robbed, and injured too many white men to believe in a good peace. They are medicine, and I would eventually die a lingering death. I had rather die on the field of battle.“

—  Sitting Bull Hunkpapa Lakota medicine man and holy man 1831 - 1890

Recorded by Charles Larpenteur at Fort Union in 1867. Published in Utley, Robert M. The Lance and the Shield. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 1993. p. 73.

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„For you a hundred years is a very long time; for us it does not amount to much. I knew men who had seen Napoleon with their own eyes. We have our conception of history and it cannot be the same as yours.“

—  Georges Clemenceau French politician 1841 - 1929

Remarks to Woodrow Wilson (28 March 1919), quoted in Anthony Adamthwaite, Grandeur and Misery: France's Bid for Power in Europe 1914-1940 (London: Arnold, 1995), p. 49.
Prime Minister

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„I have had a larger responsibility of human lives than ever man or woman had before. And I attribute my success to this — I never gave or took an excuse. Yes, I do see the difference now between me and other men. When a disaster happens, I act and they make excuses.“

—  Florence Nightingale English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing 1820 - 1910

Letter to Miss H. Bonham Carter, 1861. As quoted in The Gigantic Book of Teachers' Wisdom (2007) by Frank McCourt and Erin Gruwell, p. 410

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