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

Men are prostrated by misfortune; women bend, but do not break, and martyr-like live on.
      - Anna C. Mowatt

When I was happy I thought I knew men, but it was fated that I should know them in misfortune only.
      - Napoleon Bonaparte (Napoleon I)

Misfortunes are, in morals, what bitters are in medicine: each is at first disagreeable; but as the bitters act as corroborants to the stomach, so adversity chastens and ameliorates the disposition.
      - Old French Saying

Misfortune, and recited misfortune especially, may be prolonged to the point where it ceases to excite pity and arouses only irritation.
      - Dorothy Rothchild Parker (Mrs. Alan Campbell)

Whoever has fallen from his former high estate is in his calamity the scorn even of the base.
  [Lat., Quicumque amisit dignitatem pristinam
    Ignavis etiam jocus est in casu gravi.]
      - Phaedrus (Thrace of Macedonia), Fables
         (I, 21, 1)

Rashness brings success to few, misfortune to many.
  [Lat., Paucis temeritas est bono, multis malo.]
      - Phaedrus (Thrace of Macedonia), Fables
         (V, 4, 12)

Socrates thought that if all our misfortunes were laid in one common heap, whence every one must take an equal portion, most persons would be contented to take their own and depart.
      - Plutarch, Consolation to Apollonius

I never knew any many in my life, who could not bear another's misfortunes perfectly like a Christian.
      - Alexander Pope

Many men, seemingly impelled by fortune, hasten forward to meet misfortune half way.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Our greatest misfortunes come to us from ourselves.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

As if Misfortune made the Throne her Seat,
  And none could be unhappy but the Great.
      - Nicholas Rowe, The Fair Penitent--Prologue
         (l. 3)

The good man, even though overwhelmed by misfortune, loses never his inborn greatness of soul. Camphor-wood burnt in the fire becomes all the more fragrant.
      - Sataka

Calamity is virtue's opportunity.
  [Lat., Calamitas virtutis occasio est.]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca),
        De Procidentia (IV)

There in no one more unfortunate than the man who has never been unfortunate. for it has never been in his power to try himself.
  [Lat., Nihil infelicius eo, cui nihil unquam evenit adversi, non licuit enim illi se experiri.]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca),
        De Providentia (III)

There is nothing so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness it is in your expecting evil before it arrives!
  [Lat., Nil est nec miserius nec stultius quam praetimere. Quae ista dementia est, malum suum antecedere!]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca),
        Epistoloe Ad Lucilium (XCVIII)

When you see a man in distress, recognize him as a fellow man.
  [Lat., Quemcumque miserum videris, hominem scias.]
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca),
        Hercules Furens (463)

My May of life is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf; and that which should accompany old age, as honor, love, obedience, troops of friends, I must not look to have; but in their stead, curses, not loud but deep, mouth-honor, breath which the poor heart would fain deny and dare not.
      - William Shakespeare

Oh, give me thy hand, one writ with me in sour misfortune's book.
      - William Shakespeare

Then was I as a tree whose boughs did bend with fruit; but in one night, a storm or robbery, call it what you will, shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves, and left me bare to weather.
      - William Shakespeare

The worst is not
  So long as we can say 'This is the worst.'
      - William Shakespeare, King Lear
         (Edgar at IV, i)

O, give me thy hand,
  One writ with me in sour misfortnue's book!
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Romeo at V, iii)

Such a house broke?
  So noble a master fall'n; all gone, and not
    One friend to take his fortune by the arm
      And go along with him?
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of Timon of Athens
         (First Servant at IV, ii)

Whatever we shall meet, for Timon's sake
  Let's yet be fellows; let's shake our heads and say,
    As 'twere a knell unto our master's fortunes,
      'We have seen better days.'
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of Timon of Athens
         (Steward at IV, ii)

When misfortunes happen to such as dissent from us in matters of religion, we call them judgments; when to those of our own sect, we call them trials; when to persons neither way distinguished, we are content to attribute them to the settled course of things.
      - William Shenstone

Misery and misfortune is all one; and of misfortune fortune hath only the gift.
      - Sir Philip Sidney (Sydney)

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