- Alexander the Great conquered Persia, but broke down and wept because his troops were too exhausted to push on to India.
- Hugo Grotius, the father of modern international law, said at the last, “I have accomplished nothing worthwhile in my life.”
- John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the U.S.not a Lincoln, perhaps, but a decent leaderwrote in his diary: “My life has been spent in vain and idle aspirations, and in ceaseless rejected prayers that something would be the result of my existence beneficial to my species.”
- Robert Louis Stevenson wrote words that continue to delight and enrich our lives, and yet what did he write for his epitaph? “Here lies one who meant well, who tried a little, and failed much.”
- Cecil Rhodes opened up Africa and established an empire, but what were his dying words? “So little done, so much to do.”