Patience (or forbearance) is the ability to endure difficult circumstances. Patience may involve perseverance in the face of delay; tolerance of provocation without responding in disrespect/anger; or forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties, or being able to wait for a long amount of time without getting irritated.
- 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.
- Joseph Addison The Guardian no. 117 25 July 1713.
- 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.
- C.A. Bartol, Radical Problems (1872).
- Patience, n. A minor form of despair, disguised as a virtue.
- Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary.
- The bearing of a child takes nine months, no matter how many women are assigned.
- Fred Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month, Ch. 2 (1975, 1995).
- 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.
- Jean de 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.
- Christian Calhoun, The Story of My Life.
Sometimes when we have been overcome by pride or impatience, and we want to improve our rough and bearish manners, we complain that we require solitude, as if we should find the virtue of patience there where nobody provokes us: and we apologize for our carelessness, and say that the reason of our disturbance does not spring from our own impatience, but from the fault of our brethren. And while we lay the blame of our fault on others, we shall never be able to reach the goal of patience and perfection. The chief part then of our improvement and peace of mind must not be made to depend on another's will, which cannot possibly be subject to our authority, but it lies rather in our own control. And so the fact that we are not angry ought not to result from another's perfection, but from our own virtue, which is acquired, not by somebody else's patience, but by our own long-suffering.
- John Cassian, Institutes of the Coenobia (c. 420 AD), Book VIII, Chater XVI
- Patience and shuffle the cards.
- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote (1605-15), Part II, Book I, Chapter VI.
- 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.
- William Ellery Channing, letter 2 September 1826.
- Those who are prone, by temperament and character, to seek sharp and clear-cut solutions of difficult and obscure problems, who are ready to fight whenever some challenge comes from a foreign power, have not always been right. On the other hand, those whose inclination is to bow their heads, to seek patiently and faithfully for peaceful compromise, are not always wrong. On the contrary, in the majority of instances they may be right, not only morally, but from a practical standpoint. How many wars have been averted by patience and persisting good will! Religion and virtue alike lend their sanctions to meekness and humility, not only between men but between nations. How many wars have been precipitated by firebrands! How many misunderstandings which led to wars could have been removed by temporizing! How often have countries fought cruel wars and then after a few years found themselves not only friends but allies!
- Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Volume I : The Gathering Storm (1948) Chapter 17 (The Tragedy of Munich), p .287
- Patience is sorrow's salve.
- Charles Churchill, The Prophecy of Famine.
- His patient soul endures what Heay'n ordains,
But neither feels nor fears ideal pains.
- George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter XVII.
- 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.
- Thomas Dekker and Thomas Middleton The Honest Whore (1604), Part One, act V scene II.
- Beware the fury of a patient man.
- John Dryden Absalom and Achitophel (1681).
- Patience can't be acquired overnight. It's just like building up a muscle. Every day you need to work on it.
- Eknath Easwaran, Your life is your message (1992).
- He that can have patience can have what he will.
- Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard's Almanack June 1736.
- If the wicked flourish and thou suffer, be not discouraged. They are fatted for destruction; thou art dieted for health.
- Thomas Fuller Introductio Ad Prudentiam no. 844.
- Let him that hath no power of patience retire within himself, though even there he will have to put up with himself.
- Baltasar Gracián, The Art of Worldly Wisdom, (1647).
- Patience, that blending of moral courage with physical timidity.
- Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles.
- Who waite for dead men shall goe long barefoote.
- John Heywood, Proverbs (1546) Part I, ch 9.
- 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.
- Ezekiel Hopkins, Death disarmed of it Sting "Of Patience under Afflictions".
- Patience makes lighter / What sorrow may not heal. ("sed levius fit patientia quidquid corrigere est nefas")
- Horace, Hor. Carm. 1.24.
- 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.
- Now, in the thermonuclear age, any misjudgment on either side about the intentions of the other could rain more devastation in several hours than has been wrought in all the wars of human history. Therefore I, as President and Commander-in-Chief, and all of us as Americans, are moving through serious days. I shall bear this responsibility under our Constitution for the next three and one-half years, but I am sure that we all, regardless of our occupations, will do our very best for our country, and for our cause. For all of us want to see our children grow up in a country at peace, and in a world where freedom endures. I know that sometimes we get impatient, we wish for some immediate action that would end our perils. But I must tell you that there is no quick and easy solution. [...] We must look to long days ahead, which if we are courageous and persevering can bring us what we all desire.
- John F. Kennedy, "Radio and Television Report to the American People on the Berlin Crisis" (25 July 1961); addressing the impending possibility of war between the United States and the Soviet Union (USSR) over the crisis in Berlin, Germany.
- There is no easy solution. There is no step we can take which can immediately bring an end to our burdens and struggle. But over the time, and those of you who served in the first War and the Second War know that what really counts is not the immediate act of courage or of valor, but those who bear the struggle day in and day out--not the sunshine patriots but those who are willing to stand for a long period of time.
- John F. Kennedy, Remarks at the White House to Members of the American Legion (March 01, 1962). Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. Archived from the original on June 27, 2022.
- If men understood the plan of evolution, instead of working each for his own personal ends they would all join together as a community and work harmoniously for the good of all with mutual tolerance and forbearance. It is obvious that if this were done all of these evils would almost immediately cease or at any rate could very shortly be removed. p. 326
- Charles Webster Leadbeater, Some Glimpses of Occultism: Ancient and Modern (1903)
- My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and well upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to hurry any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take deliberately, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it.
- We shall sooner have the fowl by hatching the egg than by smashing it.
- Abraham Lincoln, White House speech 11 April 1865.
- But patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.
- When I Consider How My Light is Spent (Also known asOn His Blindness) (1652)
- Compare "Patience is also a form of action." Attributed to Auguste Rodin in: Leonard William Doob (1990). Hesitation: Impulsivity and Reflection. p. 124
- Or arm th' obdured breast
With stubborn patience as with triple steel.
- John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book II, line 568.
- Good investing requires a weird combination of patience and aggression.
- Charles T. Munger, (December 17, 2020)"A Conversation with Distinguished Alumnus Charles T. Munger (CERT '44, CAVU)". Caltech, YouTube. (quote at 44:21 of 58:41)
- 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.
- Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living, 1946-09-15.
- Patience and diligence, like faith, remove mountains.
- William Penn Some Fruits of Solitude In Reflections And Maxims (1682) no. 234.
- In my experience, communication is a matter of patience, imagination. I would like to believe these are qualities we have in sufficient measure.
- Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Darmok" (30 September 1991) by Joe Menosky and Phillip LaZebnik. See also: Beginning of Youtube Video "Beginning Scene From the Episode Darmok" (04.10.2021) by user "April 5, 2063".
- Patience. Diplomacy is a very exacting occupation. We will wait.
- Jean-Luc Picard, Star Trek: Nemesis (2002) story by John Logan, Rick Berman and Brent Spiner; On Equality and Peace
- Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.
- Plutarch, Parallel Lives, Sertorius, sec. 16
- Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.
- Book of Proverbs 14:29, (New International Version).
- A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.
- Book of 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.
- Helena Roerich, Letters of Helena Roerich I, (21 October 1931)
- I should prefer to be free from torture; but if the time comes when it must be endured, I shall desire that I may conduct myself therein with bravery, honour, and courage. Of course I prefer that war should not occur; but if war does occur, I shall desire that I may nobly endure the wounds, the starvation, and all that the exigency of war brings. Nor am I so mad as to crave illness; but if I must suffer illness, I shall desire that I may do nothing which shows lack of restraint, and nothing that is unmanly. The conclusion is, not that hardships are desirable, but that virtue is desirable, which enables us patiently to endure hardships.
- Seneca the Younger, Epistulae Morales ad Lucilium (Moral Letters to Lucilius), Letter LXVII: On Ill-Health and Endurance of Suffering as translated by Richard Mott Gummere.
- And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
- William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600-02), Act III, scene 1, line 81.
- Though patience be a tired mare, yet she will plod.
- William Shakespeare, Henry V Act II, scene i.
- 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.
- William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar (1599), Act I, scene 2, line 169.
- A high hope for a low heaven: God grant us patience!
- William Shakespeare, Love's Labour's Lost (c. 1595-6), Act I, scene 1, line 195.
- Sufferance is the badge of all our tribe.
- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (late 1590s), Act I, scene 3, line 111.
- I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am arm'd
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.
- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (late 1590s), Act IV, scene 1, line 10.
- '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.
- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing (1598-99), Act V, scene 1, line 27.
- How poor are they that have not patience!
What wound did ever heal but by degrees?
- William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603), Act II, scene 3, line 376.
- Had it pleas'd heaven
To try me with affliction * * *
I should have found in some place of my soul
A drop of patience.
- William Shakespeare, Othello (c. 1603), Act IV, scene 2, line 47.
- Like Patience gazing on kings' graves, and smiling
Extremity out of act.
- William Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of Tyre (c. 1607-08), Act V, scene 1, line 139.
- She sat like patience on a monument
Smiling at grief.
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02), Act II, scene 4, line 117.
- He that will have a cake out of the wheat must tarry the grinding.
- William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida Act I, scene i.
- Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.
- Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869), Book X, Chapter 16
- The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.
- Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869), Book X, Chapter 16
- “They must understand that we can only lose by taking the offensive. Patience and time are my warriors, my champions,” thought Kutúzov. He knew that an apple should not be plucked while it is green. It will fall of itself when ripe, but if picked unripe the apple is spoiled, the tree is harmed, and your teeth are set on edge.
- Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace (1865–1867; 1869), Book XIII, Chapter 17
- Patience is the art of hoping.
- Marquis De Vauvenargues Reflections and Maxims (1746) no. 251.
- Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.
- Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.
- 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.
- I worked with patience which means almost power.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh (1856), Book III, line 205.
- And I must bear
What is ordained with patience, being aware
Necessity doth front the universe
With an invincible gesture.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Prometheus Bound.
- But there are times when patience proves at fault.
- Robert Browning, Paracelsus, scene 3.
- 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.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, The Clerkes Tale, V, line 13,254.
- Patience is sorrow's salve.
- Charles Churchill, Prophecy of Famine, line 363.
- Patience is a necessary ingredient of genius.
- Benjamin Disraeli, Contarini Fleming, Part IV, Chapter V.
- But the waiting time, my brothers,
Is the hardest time of all.
- Sarah Doudney, Psalms of Life, The Hardest Time of All.
- The worst speak something good; if all want sense,
God takes a text, and preacheth patience.
- George Herbert, The Church Porch, Stanza 72.
- 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.
- Samuel Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes, line 352.
- 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.
- By time and toil we sever
- Rule by patience, Laughing Water!
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Song of Hiawatha (1855), Part X. Hiawatha's Wooing.
- Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, A Psalm of Life, Stanza 9.
- All things come round to him who will but wait.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Tales of a Wayside Inn, The Student's Tale, Part I.
- Endurance is the crowning quality,
And patience all the passion of great hearts.
- James Russell Lowell, Columbus, line 241.
- 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.
- La patience est l'art d'espérer.
- Patience is the art of hoping.
- Luc de Clapiers, Marquis de Vauvenargues, Réflexions, CCLI.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- In your patience ye are strong.
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning, p. 444.
- Never think that God's delays are God's denials. Hold on! hold fast! hold out! Patience is genius.
- Count De Buffon, p. 444.
- A true Christian man is distinguished from other men, not so much by his beneficent works, as by his patience.
- Horace Bushnell, p. 442.
- 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.
- Horace Bushnell, p. 443.
- It is not necessary for all men to be great in action. The greatest and sublimest power is often simple patience.
- Horace Bushnell, p. 443.
- 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.
- George Croly, p. 444.
- 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.
- Thomas Decker, p. 443.
- Patience is enduring love; experience is perfecting love; and hope is exulting love.
- Alexander Dickson, p. 442.
- It is easy finding reasons why other folks should be patient.
- George Eliot, p. 443.
- Patience is the ballast of the soul that will keep it from rolling and tumbling in the greatest storms.
- Bishop Hopkins, p. 442.
- Dispose thyself to patience rather than to comfort, and to the bearing of the cross rather than to gladness.
- Thomas à Kempis, p. 442.
- 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.
- Arthur Henry Kenney, p. 444.
- 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.
- Charles Kingsley, p. 443.
- 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.
- Friedrich Wilhelm Krummacher, p. 613.
- 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."
- Mary Lyon, p. 444.
- We are waiting, Master, waiting,
Wayworn, pressed with toils and strife;
Waiting, hoping, watching, praying,
Till we reach the gates of life.
- Ray Palmer, p. 613.
- 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!
- John Ruskin, p. 443.
- Show yourself a Christian by suffering without murmuring. In patience possess your soul — they lose nothing who gain Christ.
- Samuel Rutherford, p. 444.
- The disciples of a patient Saviour should be patient themselves.
- Charles Spurgeon, p. 442.
- The reward of patience is patience.
- Anonymous, but commonly attributed to Augustine of Hippo.
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