Who combats bravely is not therefore brave:
He dreads a death-bed like the meanest slave. [ Pope ]
If parts allure thee, think how Bacon shined,
The wisest, brightest, meanest of mankind;
Or, ravished with the whistling of a name,
See Cromwell, damned to everlasting fame! [ Pope ]
A would-be satirist, a hired buffoon,
A monthly scribbler of some low lampoon,
Condemned to drudge, the meanest of the mean,
And furbish falsehoods for a magazine. [ Byron ]
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. [ Wordsworth ]
Trade hardly deems the busy day begun,
Till his keen eye along the sheet has run;
The blooming daughter throws her needle by.
And reads her schoolmate's marriage with a sigh;
While the grave mother puts her glasses on.
And gives a tear to some old crony gone.
The preacher, too, his Sunday theme lays down,
To know what last new folly fills the town;
Lively or sad, life's meanest, mightiest things.
The fate of fighting cocks, or fighting kings. [ Sprague ]
Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor:
For 'tis the mind that makes the body rich;
And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds,
So honor peereth in the meanest habit. [ William Shakespeare ]
Can that which is not shape, shape the things that are?
Is chance omnipotent - resolve me why
The meanest shellfish, and the noblest brute,
Transmit their likeness to the years that come? [ Dilnot Sladden ]
As the sun breaks through the darkest clouds, so honor peereth in the meanest habit. [ William Shakespeare ]
In all you write be neither low nor vile: The meanest theme may have a proper style. [ Dryden ]
To me the meanest flower that blows, can give thoughts that often lie too deep for tears. [ Wordsworth ]
To forget, or pretend to do so, to return a borrowed article, is the meanest sort of petty theft. [ Dr. Johnson ]
Sleep is a god too proud to wait in palaces, and yet so humble too as not to scorn the meanest country cottages. [ Cowley ]
Genius is only as rich as it is generous. If it hoards, it impoverishes itself. What the banker sighs for, the meanest clown may have leisure and a quiet mind. [ Henry D. Thoreau ]
Gold is a wonderful clearer of the understanding; it dissipates every doubt and scruple in an instant, accommodates itself to the meanest capacities, silences the loud and clamorous, and brings over the most obstinate and inflexible. [ Addison ]
It is a great mortification to the vanity of man that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of Nature's productions, either for beauty or value. Art is only the underworkman, and is employed to give a few strokes of embellishment to those pieces which come from the hand of the master. [ Hume ]
Mutability is the badge of infirmity; it is seldom that a man continues to wish and design the same thing two days alike; now he is for marrying, and now a mistress is preferred to a wife; now he is ambitious and aspiring, presently the meanest servant is not more humble than he; this hour he squanders his money away, the next he turns miser; sometimes he is frugal and serious, at other times profuse, airy, and gay. [ Charron ]