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OPPORTUNITY
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[ Also see Accident Adventure Chance Choice Circumstance Decision Destiny Environment Expediency Fate Fortune Impossibility Life Luck Temptation Time ]

It takes a certain level of aspiration before one can take advantage of opportunities that are clearly offered.
      - Michael Harrington

I beseech you not to blame me if I be desirous to strike while the iron is hot.
      - Sir Edward Hoby, To Cecil

Let us seize, friends, our opportunity from the day as it passes.
  [Lat., Rapiamus, amici,
    Occasionem de die.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus), Epodon
         (XIII, 3)

The actual fact is that in this day Opportunity not only knocks at your door but is playing an anvil chorus on every man's door, and then lays for the owner around the corner with a club. The world is in sore need of men who can do things. Indeed, cases can easily be recalled by every one where Opportunity actually smashed in the door and collared her candidate and dragged him forth to success. These cases are exceptional, usually you have to meet Opportunity half-way. But the only place where you can get away from Opportunity is to lie down and die. Opportunity does not trouble dead men, or dead ones who flatter themselves that they are alive.
      - Elbert Hubbard, in "The Philistine"

Heaven, on occasion, half opens its arms to us; and that is the great moment.
      - Victor Hugo

There is no man whom fortune does not visit once in his life; but when she does not find him ready to receive her, she walks in at the door and flies out at the window.
      - Cardinal Giuseppe Renato Imperiali

I knock unbidden once at every gate--
  If sleeping, wake--if feasting, rise before
    I turn away--it is the hour of fate,
      And they who follow me reach every state
        Mortals desire, and conquer every foe
          Save death, but those who doubt of hesitate,
            Condemned to failure, penury and woe,
              Seek me in vain and uselessly implore,
                I answer not, and I return no more.
      - John James Ingalls, Opportunity

To improve the golden moment of opportunity, and catch the good that is within our reach, is the great art of life.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Many do with opportunities as children do at the seashore; they fill their little hands with sand, and then let the grains fall through, one by one, till all are gone.
      - Rev. Thomas Jones

Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.
      - Jonathan Kozol

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.
      - Ann Landers (pseudonym of Esther Pauline Friedman)

To be a great man it is necessary to turn to account all opportunities.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Alas, for the treachery of opportunity!
      - Ninon de L'Enclos (real name Anne L'Enclos)

Nothing is too late till the tired heart shad cease to palpitate.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

They do me wrong who say I come no more,
  When once I know and fail to find you in;
    For every day I stand outside your door
      And bid you wait, and rise to fight and win.
      - Judge Walter Malone, Opportunity

The greatest thing a man can do in this world is to make the most possible out of the stuff that has been given him. This is success, and there is no other.
      - Orison Swett Marden (1)

Not by appointment do we meet delight
  Or joy; they heed not our expectancy;
    But round some corner of the streets of life
      They of a sudden greet us with a smile.
      - Gerald Massey, Bridegroom of Beauty

Danger will wink on opportunity.
      - John Milton, Comus (l. 401)

Zeal and duty are not slow
  But on occasion's forelock watchful wait.
      - John Milton, Paradise Regained
         (bk. III, l. 172)

A philosopher being asked what was the first thing necessary to win the love of a woman, answered, Opportunity!
      - Thomas Moore

Ever let your hook be hanging; where you least believe it, there will be a fish in the stream.
  [Lat., Semper tibi pendeat hamus:
    Quo minime credas gurgite, piscis erit.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Ars Amatoria
         (bk. III, 425)

Opportunity is ever worth expecting; let your hood be ever hanging ready. The fish will be in the pool where you least imagine it to be.
  [Lat., Casus ubique valet; semper tibi pendeat hamus.
    Quo minime credas gurgite, piscis erit.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Ars Amatoria
         (bk. III, 425)

Our advantages fly away without aid. Pluck the flower.
  [Lat., Nostra sine auxilio fugiunt bona. Carpite florem.]
      - Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso), Ars Amatoria
         (III, 79)

Oh! Who art thou so fast proceeding,
  Ne'er glancing back thine eyes of flame?
    Mark'd but by few, through earth I'm speeding,
      And Opportunity's my name.
        What form is that which scowls beside thee?
          Repentance is the form you see:
            Learn then, the fate may yet betide thee.
              She seizes them who seize not me.
      - Thomas Love Peacock, Love and Opportunity,
        in "Headlong Hall"

He that wold not when he might,
  He shall not when he wold-a.
      - Thomas Percy, Reliques--The Baffled Knight
         (st. 14)


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