How difficult the task to quench the fire and the pride of private ambition, and to sacrifice ourselves and all our hopes and expectations to the public weal! How few have souls capable of so noble an undertaking! How often are the laurels worn by those who have had no share in earning them! But there is a future recompense of reward, to which the upright man looks, and which he will most assuredly obtain, provided he perseveres unto the end.
Abigail Adams (1744–1818), U.S. matriarch; wife and mother of United States President. Familiar Letters of John Adams and His Wife Abigail Adams, During the Revolution, letter dated July 10, 1775 (1875).
In a letter written from Braintree, Massachusetts, to her husband John Adams, who was away fighting in the American colonies' revolution against Britain.