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- Calamity is man's true touch-stone.
- Beaumont and Fletcher, Four Plays in One, The Triumph of Honour (c. 1608–13; published 1647), scene 1, line 67.
- MISFORTUNE, n. The kind of fortune that never misses.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
- He went like one that hath been stunn'd,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798; 1817), Part VII. Last Stanza.
- I was a stricken deer that left the herd
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book III, line 108.
- Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,
Fallen from his high estate,
And welt'ring in his blood;
Deserted at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth expos'd he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.
- John Dryden, Alexander's Feast (1697), line 77.
- A man may be reputed an able man this year, and yet be a beggar the next; it is a misfortune that happens to many men, and his former reputation will signify nothing.
- Sir John Holt, Reg. v. Swendsen (1702), 14 How. St. Tr. 596.
- There is something very amusing in the misfortunes of others.
- When bad fortune occurs, the unresourceful, unimaginative man looks about him to attach the blame to someone else; the resolute accepts misfortune and endeavors to survive, mature, and improve because of it.
- Misfortunes cannot suffice to make a fool into an intelligent man.
- Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living, 1938-11-02
- The worst is not
So long as we can say "This is the worst."
- O, give me thy hand,
One writ with me in sour misfortune's book.
- Such a house broke!
So noble a master fallen! All gone! and not
One friend to take his fortune by the arm,
And go along with him.
- We have seen better days.
- Misfortune had conquered her, how true it is, that sooner or later the most rebellious must bow beneath the same yoke.
- Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, Corinne (1807), Book XVII, Chapter II.
- None think the great unhappy, but the great.
- Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 518-19.
- It is the nature of mortals to kick a fallen man.
- Æschylus, Agamemnon, 884 (adapted).
- Conscientia rectæ voluntatis maxima consolatio est rerum incommodarum.
- The consciousness of good intention is the greatest solace of misfortunes.
- Cicero, Epistles, V. 4.
- Most of our misfortunes are more supportable than the comments of our friends upon them.
- Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, p. 238.
- A raconter ses maux souvent on les soulage.
- By speaking of our misfortunes we often relieve them.
- Pierre Corneille, Polyeucte, I. 3.
- Quando la mala ventura se duerme, nadie la despierte.
- When Misfortune is asleep, let no one wake her.
- Quoted by Fuller, Gnomologia. (French proverb has "sorrow" for "Misfortune.").
- But strong of limb
And swift of foot misfortune is, and, far
Outstripping all, comes first to every land,
And there wreaks evil on mankind, which prayers
Do afterwards redress.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book IX, line 625. Bryant's translation.
- Take her up tenderly,
Lift her with care;
Fashioned so slenderly,
Young and so fair!
- Thomas Hood, Bridge of Sighs.
- One more unfortunate
Weary of breath,
Gone to her death.
- Thomas Hood, Bridge of Sighs.
- Let us be of good cheer, however, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come.
- James Russell Lowell, Democracy and Addresses, Democracy.
- Suave mari magno, turbantibus æquora ventis
E terra magnum alterius spectare laborum.
- It is pleasant, when the sea runs high, to view from land the great distress of another.
- Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, II. 1.
- Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd.
- Quicumque amisit dignitatem pristinam
Ignavis etiam jocus est in casu gravi.
- Whoever has fallen from his former high estate is in his calamity the scorn even of the base.
- Phaedrus, Fables, I. 21. 1.
- Paucis temeritas est bono, multis malo.
- Rashness brings success to few, misfortune to many.
- Phaedrus, Fables, V. 4. 12.
- I never knew any man in my life, who could not bear another's misfortunes perfectly like a Christian.
- As if Misfortune made the Throne her Seat,
And none could be unhappy but the Great.
- Nicholas Rowe, The Fair Penitent (1703), Prologue, line 3.
- Nihil infelicius eo, cui nihil unquam evenit adversi, non licuit enim illi se experiri.
- There is no one more unfortunate than the man who has never been unfortunate, for it has never been in his power to try himself.
- Seneca the Younger, De Providentia, III.
- Calamitas virtutis occasio est.
- Calamity is virtue's opportunity.
- Seneca the Younger, De Providentia, IV.
- Nil est nec miserius nec stultius quam prætimere. Quæ ista dementia est, malum suum antecedere!
- There is nothing so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness it is in your expecting evil before it arrives!
- Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XCVIII.
- Quemcumque miserum videris, hominem scias.
- When you see a man in distress, recognize him as a fellow man.
- Seneca the Younger, Hercules Furens, 463.
- From good to bad, and from bad to worse,
From worse unto that is worst of all,
And then return to his former fall.
- Edmund Spenser, The Shepherd's Calendar, Feb, line 12.
- Bonum est fugienda adspicere in alieno malo.
- It is good to see in the misfortunes of others what we should avoid.
- Syrus, Maxims.
- I shall not let a sorrow die
Until I find the heart of it,
Nor let a wordless joy go by
Until it talks to me a bit;
And the ache my body knows
Shall teach me more than to another,
I shall look deep at mire and rose
Until each one becomes my brother.
- Sara Teasdale, Servitors.
- Hoccin est credibile, aut memorabile,
Tanta vecordia innata cuiquam ut siet,
Ut malis gaudeant alienis, atque ex incommodis
Alterius, sua ut comparent commoda?
- It is to be believed or told that there is such malice in men as to rejoice in misfortunes, and from another's woes to draw delight.
- Terence, Andria, IV. 1. 1.
- Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
- So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
Which once he wore;
The glory from his gray hairs gone
- John Greenleaf Whittier, Ichabod.