Ambition often puts men upon doing the meanest offices; so climbing is performed in the same posture with creeping. Dean Swift.
A slave has but one master; the ambitious man has as many masters as there are persons whose aid may contribute to the advancement of his fortune.
J. De la Bruyere.
To be ambitious of true honor, of the true glory and perfection of our natures, is the very principle and incentive of virtue; but to be ambitious of titles, of place, of ceremonial respects, and civil pageantry, is as vain and little as the things are which we court.
Sir Philip Sidney.
It is by attempting to reach the top at a single leap that so much misery is produced in the world.
Like dogs in a wheel, birds in a cage, or squirrels in a chain, ambitious men still climb, and climb, with great labor, and incessant anxiety, but never reach the top.
.... I charge thee fling away ambition; By that sin fell the angels; how can man then, The image of his Maker, hope to win by't.
But what will not ambition and revenge
Descend to ? Who aspires must down as low
As high he soared ; obnoxious, first or last,
To basest things. Milton.
Ambition, when the pinnacle is gained
With many a toilsome step, the power it sought
Wants to support itself, and sighs to find
The envied height but aggravates the fall.
.... The vain wish
To float upon the memory of men
After his term of being, oft becomes
A master-passion, and for that one aim
He barters all his Creator gave
Of joy or solace in the vale of life,
And that inheritance of perfect bliss
Which might be his for ever.