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ADVERSITY
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[ Also see Affliction Calamities Clouds Depression Desolation Difficulties Disappointment Disgrace Evil Failure Grief Hardship Ills Loss Misery Misfortune Poverty Prosperity Sickness Sorrow Stress Suffering Tragedy Trials Trouble Vicissitudes Woe ]

And these vicissitudes come best in youth;
  For when they happen at a riper age,
    People are apt to blame the Fates, forsooth,
      And wonder Providence is not more sage.
        Adversity is the first path to truth:
          He who hath proved war, storm, or woman's rage,
            Whether his winters be eighteen or eighty,
              Has won experience which is deem'd so weighty.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto XII, st. 50)

Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
      - Thomas Carlyle, Heroes and Hero Worship
         (lecture 5)

The brightest crowns that are worn in heaven have been tried and smelted and polished and glorified through the furnace of tribulation.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

The lessons of adversity are often the most benignant when they seem the most severe. The depression of vanity sometimes ennobles the feeling. The mind which does not wholly sink under misfortune rises above it more lofty than before, and is strengthened by affliction.
      - Richard Chenevix

Constant success shows us but one side of the world; adversity brings out the reverse of the picture.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

He that has never known adversity is but half acquainted with others, or with himself.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Times of great calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Half the ills we heard within our hearts are ills because we hoard them.
      - Barry Cornwall (pseudonym of Bryan Waller Procter)

In this wild world the fondest and the best
  Are the most tried, most troubled and distress'd.
      - George Crabbe

By adversity are wrought the greatest works of admiration, and all the fair examples of renown, out of distress and misery are grown.
      - Samuel Daniel

We'd never know how high we are, till we are called to rise; and then, if we are true to plan, our statures touch the sky.
      - Emily Dickinson

There is no education like adversity.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Without a struggle, there can be no progress.
      - Frederick Douglass

Adversity is the trial of principle. Without it a man hardly knows whether he is honest or not.
      - Henry Fielding

He that can heroically endure adversity will bear, prosperity with equal greatness of soul; for the mind that cannot be dejected by the former is not likely to be transported with the latter.
      - Henry Fielding

God kills thy comforts from no other design but to kill thy corruptions; wants are ordained to kill wantonness, poverty is appointed to kill pride, reproaches are permitted to destroy ambition.
      - Rev. John Flavel (2)

One month in the school of affliction will teach thee more than the great precepts of Aristotle in seven years; for thou canst never judge rightly of human affairs, unless thou hast first felt the blows, and found out the deceits of fortune.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Aromatic plants bestow
  No spicy fragrance while they grow;
    But crush'd or trodden to the ground,
      Diffuse their balmy sweets around.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Captivity (act I)

Thou tamer of the human breast,
  Whose iron scourge and tort'ring hour
    The bad affright, afflict the best!
      - Thomas Gray, Hymn to Adversity (st. 1)

It is often better to have a great deal of harm happen to one than a little; a great deal may rouse you to remove what a little will only accustom you to endure.
      - Sir Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke, Lord Brooke

Prosperity is a great teacher; adversity is a greater. Possession pampers the mind; privation trains and strengthens it.
      - William Hazlitt (1)

There is strength deep-bedded in our hearts, of which we reck but little till the shafts of heaven have pierced its fragile dwelling. Must not earth be rent before her gems are found?
      - Mrs. Felicia D. Hemans

Love is maintain'd by wealth: when all is spent,
  Adversity then breeds the discontent.
      - Robert Herrick

There are minerals called hydrophanous, which are not transparent till they are immersed in water, when they become so; as the hydrophane, a variety of opal. So it is with many a Christian. Till the floods of adversity been poured over him, his character appears marred and clouded by selfishness and worldly influences. But trials clear away the obscurity, and give distinctness and beauty to his piety.
      - Roswell Dwight Hitchcock

Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant.
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)


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