The first element of greatness is fundamental humbleness (this should not be confused with servility); the second is freedom from self; the third is intrepid courage, which, taken in its widest interpretation, generally goes with truth; and the fourth --the power to love --although I have put it last, is the rarest.
False greatness is unsociable and remote: conscious of its own frailty, it hides, or at least averts its face, and reveals itself only enough to create an illusion and not be recognized as the meanness that it really is. True greatness is free, kind, familiar and popular; it lets itself be touched and handled, it loses nothing by being seen at close quarters; the better one knows it, the more one admires it.
Great merit, or great failings, will make you respected or despised; but trifles, little attentions, mere nothings, either done or neglected, will make you either liked or disliked in the general run of the world.
At most, the greatest persons are but great wens, and excrescences; men of wit and delightful conversation, but as morals for ornament, except they be so incorporated into the body of the world that they contribute something to the sustentation of the whole.
Despite everybody who has been born and has died, the world has just gone on. I mean, look at Napoleon --but we went right on. Look at Harpo Marx --the world went around, it didn't stop for a second. It's sad but true. John Kennedy, right?