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. 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.
I was a stricken deer that left the herd
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.
Misfortunes cannot suffice to make a fool into an intelligent man.
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.
None think the great unhappy, but the great.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations Edit
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.
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.
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!
One more unfortunate
Weary of breath,
Gone to her death.
Let us be of good cheer, however, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them.
Virgil, (29-19 BC), VI. 95. Æneid So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
Which once he wore;
The glory from his gray hairs gone
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