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Patience, engraving by Hans Sebald Beham, 1540

Patience is the ability to endure waiting, delay, or provocation without becoming annoyed or upset, or to persevere calmly when faced with difficulties.


  • Blessings may appear under the shape of pains, losses, and disappointments; but let him have patience, and he will see them in their proper figures.
  • With strength and patience all his grievous loads are borne,
    And from the world's rose-bed he only asks a thorn.
    • William R. Alger, "Mussud's Praise of the Camel", Poetry of the Orient (1893), p. 257.
  • Patience is a nobler motion than any deed.
  • Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
  • Il n'y a point de chemin trop long à qui marche lentement et sans se presser: il n'y a point d'avantages trop éloignés à qui s'y prépare par la patience.
    • Translation: There is no road too long to the man who advances deliberately and without undue haste; there are no honours too distant to the man who prepares himself for them with patience.
    • La Bruyère, Les Caractères (1688) Des jugements, aphorism 108.
  • There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
    • Edmund Burke, Observations on a Late Publication, Intituled, "The Present State of the Nation".
  • Our patience will achieve more than our force.
  • Patience is not only a virtue, but an acquired trait.
  • Patience and shuffle the cards.
  • We have only to be patient, to pray, and to do His will, according to our present light and strength, and the growth of the soul will go on. The plant grows in the mist and under clouds as truly as under sunshine; so does the heavenly principle within.
  • His patient soul endures what Heay'n ordains,
    But neither feels nor fears ideal pains.
  • Patience, my lord. Why, 'tis the soul of peace.
    Of all the virtues 'tis near'st kin to heaven.
    It makes men look like gods; the best of men
    That e'er wore earth about him was a sufferer,
    A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
    The first true gentleman that ever breath'd.
  • Beware the fury of a patient man.
  • [P]atience can't be acquired overnight. It's just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it.
  • He that can have patience can have what he will.
  • If the wicked flourish and thou suffer, be not discouraged. They are fatted for destruction; thou art dieted for health.
  • Let him that hath no power of patience retire within himself, though even there he will have to put up with himself.
  • Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
  • Who waite for dead men shall goe long barefoote.
  • Patience is the ballast of the soul, that will keep it from rolling and tumbling in the greatest storms: and he, that will venture out without this to make him sail even and steady will certainly make shipwreck, and drown himself; first, in the cares and sorrows of this world; and, then, in perdition.
  • Patience makes lighter / What sorrow may not heal. ("sed levius fit patientia quidquid corrigere est nefas")
  • Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; Patience governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues pride; she bridles the tongue, refrains the hand, tramples upon temptations, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; Patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the State, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age.
    • Bishop Horne, Discourses on Several Subjects and Occasions Patience Portrayed.
  • We shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it.
  • Or arm th' obdured breast
    With stubborn patience as with triple steel.
  • Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim.
    • Have patience and endure; this unhappiness will one day be beneficial.
    • Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), III. 11. 7.
  • Waiting is still an occupation. It is having nothing to wait for that is terrible.
  • Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.
    • William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude In Reflections And Maxims (1682) no. 234.
  • A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
    • Proverbs 19:11, (New International Version).
  • Patience will benefit you in every hour, every time and every opportunity. It helps you to overcome your opponent, howsoever strong he may be. It will help you in times of distress and hardships, in battles and in war and peace.
    • Abd al-Karim Qasim (1959) The historical extempore speech at the Reserve Officers' College.
  • Let us apply patience as well, for without patience nothing can be achieved. Verily, very often people give up a brilliant beginning only because of lack of patience. They forget that all great tasks are accompanied by difficulties, but by shunning those difficulties they condemn themselves to a fatiguing and endlessly reiterative course.
  • And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of?
  • Though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod.
  • I will with patience hear, and find a time
    Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
    Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this.
  • 'Tis all men's office to speak patience
    To those that wring under the load of sorrow,
    But no man's virtue nor sufficiency
    To be so moral when he shall endure
    The like himself.
  • How poor are they that have not patience!
    What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
  • Had it pleas'd heaven
    To try me with affliction * * *
    I should have found in some place of my soul
    A drop of patience.
  • Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.
    • Persevere and preserve yourselves for better circumstances.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), I. 207.
  • Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.
    • Every misfortune is to be subdued by patience.
    • Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), V. 710.
  • I think that wherever your journey takes you, there are new gods waiting there, with divine patience — and laughter.
    • Susan M. Watkins quoted in: Shawn Brennan, ‎Julie Winklepleck, ‎Gina Renée Misiroglu (1994) Resourceful Woman, p. 532.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 583-84.
  • But there are times when patience proves at fault.
  • There is however a limit, at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
    • Edmund Burke, Observations on a Late Publication on the Present State of the Nation.
  • Thus with hir fader for a certeyn space
    Dwelleth this flour of wyfly pacience,
    That neither by hir wordes ne hir face
    Biforn the folk, ne eek in her absence,
    Ne shewed she that hir was doon offence.
  • Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
  • But the waiting time, my brothers,
    Is the hardest time of all.
  • The worst speak something good; if all want sense,
    God takes a text, and preacheth patience.
  • Durum! sed levius fit patientia
    Quicquid corrigere est nefas.
    • It is hard! But what can not be removed, becomes lighter through patience.
    • Horace, Carmina, I. 24. 19.
  • For patience, sov'reign o'er transmuted ill.
  • Patience et longueur de temps.
    Font plus que force ni que rage.
    • By time and toil we sever
      What strength and rage could never.
    • Jean de La Fontaine, Fables, II. 11.
  • Endurance is the crowning quality,
    And patience all the passion of great hearts.
  • Sua quisque exempla debet æquo animo pati.
    • Every one ought to bear patiently the results of his own conduct.
    • Phaedrus, Fables, I. 26. 12.
  • La patience est amère, mais son fruit est doux.
    • Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
    • Hoyt attributes it to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, but it appears in Voyages en Perse et autres lieux de l'Orient (John Chardin, 1711, page 175 ), written a year before Rousseau was born.
  • Nihil tam acerbum est in quo non æquus animus solatium inveniat.
    • There is nothing so disagreeable, that a patient mind can not find some solace for it.
    • Seneca the Younger, De Animi Tranquilitate, X.
  • Furor fit læsa sæpius patientia.
    • Patience, when too often outraged, is converted into madness.
    • Syrus, Maxims. 289.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on! hold fast! hold out! Patience is genius.
  • A true Christian man is distinguished from other men, not so much by his beneficent works, as by his patience.
  • Christ commands you to take up His cross and follow Him, not that He may humble you, or lay some penance upon you, but that you may surrender the low self-will and the feeble pride of your sin, and ascend into the sublime patience of heavenly charity.
  • It is not necessary for all men to be great in action. The greatest and sublimest power is often simple patience.
  • Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
    Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear;
    To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
    Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.
  • Patience! why, it is the soul of peace; of all the virtues it is nearest kin to heaven; it makes men look like gods. The best of men that ever wore earth about Him was a Sufferer,— a soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit; the first true gentleman that ever breathed.
  • Patience is enduring love; experience is perfecting love; and hope is exulting love.
  • It is easy finding reasons why other folks should be patient.
  • Patience is the ballast of the soul that will keep it from rolling and tumbling in the greatest storms.
  • Dispose thyself to patience rather than to comfort, and to the bearing of the cross rather than to gladness.
  • The holier one is, the more forbearing and loving he is; the more tender and patient and anxious to help others in every way. Think how forbearing and loving Christ is when we do wrong; and there we are to be like Him.
  • Therefore, let us be patient, patient; and let God our Father teach His own lesson, His own way. Let us try to learn it well and quickly; but do not let us fancy that He will ring the school-bell, and send us to play before our lesson is learnt.
  • Be patient, my friends; time rolls rapidly away; our longing has its end. The hour will strike, who knows how soon?— when the maternal lap of everlasting Love shall be opened to us, and the full peace of God breathe around us from the palmy summits of Eden.
  • When I am about my work, sometimes called unexpectedly and suddenly from one thing to another, I whisper in my heart, " Lord, help me to be patient, help me to remember, and help me to be faithful. Lord, enable me to do all for Christ's sake, and to go forward, leaning on the bosom of His infinite grace."
  • We are waiting, Master, waiting,
    Wayworn, pressed with toils and strife;
    Waiting, hoping, watching, praying,
    Till we reach the gates of life.
  • Not without design does God write the music of our lives. Be it ours to learn the time, and not be discouraged at the rests. If we say sadly to ourselves, "There is no music in a rest," let us not forget " there is the making of music in it." The making of music is often a slow and painful process in this life. How patiently God works to teach us! How long He waits for us to learn the lesson!
  • Show yourself a Christian by suffering without murmuring. In patience possess your soul — they lose nothing who gain Christ.
  • The disciples of a patient Saviour should be patient themselves.
  • The reward of patience is patience.

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