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[ Also see Accident Anticipation Chance Change Choice Circumstance Fate Fortune Future Futurity God Gods Inevitable Life Luck Necessity Opportunity Providence Self-determination Success ]

Truly some men there be
  That live always in great horrour,
    And say it goeth by destiny
      To hang or wed: both hath one hour;
        And whether it be, I am well sure,
          Hanging is better of the twain;
            Sooner done, and shorter pain.
      - Unattributed Author, The School-house,
        published about 1542

My death and life,
  My bane and antidote, are both before me.
      - Joseph Addison, Cato (act V, sc. 1)

For rarely man escapes his destiny.
  [It., Che l'uomo il suo destin fugge di raro.]
      - Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso
         (XVIII, 58)

'Tis man himself makes his own god and his own hell.
      - Philip James Bailey

The scapegoat which we make responsible for all our crimes and follies; a necessity which we set down for invincible, when we have no wish to strive against it.
      - Mrs. Clara Lucas Balfour

Life treads on life, and heart on heart;
  We press too close in church and mart
    To keep a dream or grave apart.
      - Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
        A Vision of Poets (conclusion)

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
      - William Jennings Bryan

No man of woman born, coward or brave, can shun his destiny.
      - William Cullen Bryant

"It is destiny"--phrase of the weak human heart; dark apology for every error. The strong and the virtuous admit no destiny. On earth, guides conscience; in heaven, watches God. And destiny is but the phantom we invoke to silence the one, to dethrone the other.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

There are certain events which to each man's life are as comets to the earth, seemingly strange and erratic portents; distinct from the ordinary lights which guide our course and mark our seasons, yet true to their own laws, potent in their own influences.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton,
        What Will He Do With It?
         (bk. II, ch. XIV)

For I am a weed,
  Flung from the rock, on Ocean's foam, to sail,
    Where'er the surge may sweep, the tempest's breath prevail.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Childe Harold (canto III, st. 2)

Marriage is ever made by destiny.
      - George Chapman

Our minds are as different as our faces; we are all traveling to one destination--happiness; but, few are going by the same road.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Destiny bears us to our lot, and destiny is perhaps our own will.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Destiny is our will, and our will is nature.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

If we cannot shape our destiny there as no such thing as witchcraft.
      - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

Alas! what stay is there in human state,
  Or who can shun inevitable fate?
    The doom was written, the decree was past,
      Ere the foundations of the world were cast.
      - John Dryden

Seek not to know what must not be reveal'd;
  Joys only flow where Fate is most conceal'd;
    Too busie man wou'd find his Sorrows more,
      If future Fortunes he shou'd know before;
        For by that knowledge of his Destiny
          He would not live at all, but always die.
      - John Dryden

Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads on to actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny.
      - Tryon Edwards

Can man or woman choose duties? No more than they can choose their birthplace, or their father and mother.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Men are what their mothers made them. You may as well ask a loom which weaves huckabuck why it does not make cashmere as to expect poetry from this engineer or a chemical discovery from that jobber.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

They who talk much of destiny, their birth-star, etc., are in a lower dangerous plane, and invite the evil they fear.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Art and power will go on as they have done,--will make day out of night, time out of space, and space out of time.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson,
        Society and Solitude--Works and Days

Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.
      - Epictetus

Woman is born for love, and it is impossible to turn her from seeking it.
      - Margaret Fuller (Sarah Margaret Fuller Ossoli)

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