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[ Also see Accident Adversity Affliction Calamities Despair Disaster Evil Fortune Mischief Misery Reverses Ruin Suffering Trials Trouble Unhappiness Vicissitudes ]

A soul exasperated in ills, falls out
  With everything, its friend, itself.
      - Joseph Addison

It is a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy would prefer the share they are already possessed of, before that which would fall to them by such a division.
      - Joseph Addison

It is the nature of mortals to kick a fallen man.
      - Aeschylus, Agamemnon (884), (adapted)

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.
      - Aesop

Our bravest lessons are not learned through success, but misadventure.
      - Amos Bronson Alcott

Look at misfortune the same way you look at success: Don't panic. Do your best and forget the consequences.
      - Walter Alston

Men cling to life even at the cost of enduring great misfortune.
      - Aristotle

After all, our worst misfortunes never happen, and most miseries lie in anticipation.
      - Honore de Balzac

All men can bear a familiar, definite misfortune better than the cruel alternations of a fate which, from one moment to another, brings excessive joy or sorrow.
      - Honore de Balzac

For certain people, misfortune is a beacon that lights up the dark and baser sides of social life.
      - Honore de Balzac

In family life people almost always adjust themselves to misfortune. They make a bed of it and hope makes them accept that bed, however hard it is.
      - Honore de Balzac

Lofty souls are always inclined to make a virtue of misfortune.
      - Honore de Balzac

Misfortune makes of certain souls a vast desert through which rings the voice of God.
      - Honore de Balzac

Nothing is as heady as the wine of misfortune.
      - Honore de Balzac

We exaggerate misfortune and happiness alike. We are never either so wretched or so happy as we say we are.
      - Honore de Balzac

Calamity is man's true touch-stone.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Four Plays in One--The Triumph of Honour
         (sc. 1, l. 67)

The greatest misfortune of all is not to be able to bear misfortune.
      - Bias of Priene

Heaven sends us misfortunes as a moral tonic.
      - Lady Marguerite Blessington, Countess of Blessington

Some souls are ennobled and elevated by seeming misfortunes, which then become blessings in disguise.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

The consciousness of good intention is the greatest solace of misfortunes.
  [Lat., Conscientia rectae voluntatis maxima consolatio est rerum incommodarum.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        Epistles (V, 4)

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.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
        The Ancient Mariner
         (pt. VII, last stanza)

Most of our misfortune are more supportable than the comments of our friends upon them.
      - Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon (p. 238)

By speaking of our misfortunes we often relieve them.
  [Fr., A raconter ses maux souvent on les soulage.]
      - Pierre Corneille, Polyeucte (I, 3)

I was a stricken deer that left the herd
  Long since.
      - William Cowper, Task (bk. III, l. 108)

The less we parade our misfortunes the more sympathy we command.
      - Orville Dewey

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