And, to speak of human affairs, I believe that the pre-eminence
of Sparta was due not to the goodness of each of its laws in particular, for many of these were very strange, and even opposed to good morals, but to the circumstance that, originated by a single individual, they all tended to a single end.
Of this description are the love of power or the desire of pre-eminence
and dominion -- the jealousy of power, or the desire of equality and safety.
A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence
and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.
Indeed, I may say--without vanity, I hope--that I held something like pre-eminence
While the struggle between day and night lasted, Dantes still doubted; but as soon as the daylight gained the pre-eminence
, he saw that he was alone with a corpse.
Therefore, he who considers the actions and the genius of this man will see nothing, or little, which can be attributed to fortune, inasmuch as he attained pre-eminence
, as is shown above, not by the favour of any one, but step by step in the military profession, which steps were gained with a thousand troubles and perils, and were afterwards boldly held by him with many hazardous dangers.
His striking costume, no less than his naturally commanding figure, seemed indeed to give him pre-eminence
over the rest.
Elizabeth turned and observed her cousin in his night cap, with his head out of his bedroom window, where his zeal for pre-eminence
, in defiance of the weather, had impelled him to thrust it.
And being always with her, and always talking confidentially, and his feelings exactly in that favourable state which a recent disappointment gives, those soft light eyes could not be very long in obtaining the pre-eminence
But for the moral part, perhaps youth will have the pre-eminence
, as age hath for the politic.
It is evident, then, that in corrupt governments it is partly just and useful to the individual, though probably it is as clear that it is not entirely just: for in a well-governed state there may be great doubts about the use of it, not on account of the pre-eminence
which one may have in strength, riches, or connection: but when the pre-eminence
is virtue, what then is to be done?
He went over his vices in his mind, not knowing to which of them to give the pre-eminence