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[ Also see Accident Cards Chance Circumstance Destiny Fate Gods Inheritance Luck Misfortune Opportunity Prosperity Providence Success Vicissitudes Wagers Wealth ]

All other doubts, by time let them be cleared;
  Fortune brings in some boats that are not steered.
      - William Shakespeare, Cymbeline
         (Pisanio at IV, iii)

Since my dear soul was mistress of her choice
  And could of men distinguish her election,
    S' hath sealed thee for herself, for thou hast been
      As one in suff'ring all that suffers nothing,
        A man that Fortune's buffets and rewards
          Hast ta'en with equal thanks; and blest are those
            Whose blood and judgment are so well commeddled
              That they are not a pipe for Fortune's finger
                To sound what stop she please.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, ii)

The great man down, you mark his favorite flies,
  The poor advanced makes friends of enemies;
    And hitherto doth love on fortune tend,
      For who not needs shall never lack a friend,
        And who in want a hollow friend doth try,
          Directly seasons him his enemy.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (King at III, ii)

Fortune is merry,
  And in this mood will give us anything.
      - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
         (Antony at III, ii)

Will fortune never come with both hands full,
  But write her fair words still in foulest letters?
    She either gives a stomach and no food--
      Such are the poor, in health--or else a feast
        And takes away the stomach--such are the rich,
          That have abundance, and enjoy it not.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part II
         (King Henry at IV, iv)

A good man's fortune may grow out at heels.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Kent at II, ii)

Fortune, that arrant whore,
  Ne'er turns the key to th' poor.
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Fool at II, iv)

O Fortune, Fortune! all men call thee fickle.
  If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him
    That is renowned for faith? Be fickle, Fortune,
      For then I hope thou wilt not keep him long
        But send him back.
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Juliet at III, v)

How some men creep in skittish Fortune's hall,
  Whiles others play the idiots in her eyes!
      - William Shakespeare,
        The History of Troilus and Cressida
         (Ulysses at III, iii)

If you had won it, certainly you had.
  No, no; when fortune means to men most good,
    She looks upon them with a threat'ning eye.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life and Death of King John
         (Pandulph at III, iv)

By accident most strange, bountiful Fortune
  (Now, my dear lady) hath mine enemies
    Brought to this shore; and by my prescience
      I find my zenith doth depend upon
        A most auspicious star, whose influence
          If now I court not, but omit, my fortunes
            Will ever after droop.
      - William Shakespeare, The Tempest
         (Prospero at I, ii)

Fortune is like a coquette; if you don't run after her, she will run after you.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

So is Hope
  Changed for Despair--one laid upon the shelf,
    We take the other. Under heaven's high cope
      Fortune is god--all you endure and do
        Depends on circumstance as much as you.
      - Percy Bysshe Shelley,
        Epigrams--From the Greek

Fortune, my friend, I've often thought,
  Is weak, if Art assist her not:
    So equally all Arts are vain,
      If Fortune help them not again.
      - Richard Brinsley Sheridan,
        Love Epistles of Aristoenetus (ep. XIII)

The heavens do not send good haps in handfuls; but let us pick out our good by little, and with care, from out much bad, that still our little world may know its king.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

In losing fortune, many a lucky elf
  Has found himself.
      - Horace (Horatio) Smith (a/k/a Paul Chatfield),
        Moral Alchemy (st. 12)

Fortune is like a widow won,
  And truckles to the bold alone.
      - William C. Somerville, The Fortune-Hunter
         (canto II)

Men have made of fortune an all-powerful goddess, in order that she may be made responsible for all their blunder's.
      - Madame de Stael (Baronne Anne Louise Germaine de Stael-Holstein)

We rise to fortune by successive steps; we descend by only one.
      - Leszczynski Stanislaus ("Stanislaus I")

A just fortune awaits the deserving.
  [Lat., Fors aequa merentes
      - Statius (Publius Papanius Statius),
        Thebais (I, 661)

Fortune is like glass,--the brighter the glitter, the more easily broken.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

Fortune is not satisfied with inflicting one calamity.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

It is more easy to get a favour from fortune than to keep it.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

That is a very wretched fortune which has no enemy.
  [Lat., Miserrima est fortuna quae inimico caret.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

When fortune favors a man too much, she makes him a fool.
  [Lat., Fortuna nimium quem favet, stultum facit.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

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