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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 ]

Opportunity has hair on her forehead, but is bald behind. If you meet her seize her, for once let slip, Jove himself cannot catch her again.
  [Lat., Occasio prima sui parte comosa, posteriore calva
    Quam si occupasis, teneas elapsum
      Non isse possit Jupiter reprehendre.]
      - Phaedrus (Thrace of Macedonia) bk. V, fable 8

Why hast thou hair upon thy brow?
  To seize me by, when met.
    Why is thy head then bald behind?
      Because men wish in vain,
        When I have run past on winged feet
          To catch me e'er again.
      - Posidippus (Poseidippos), Epigram (13),
        in Brunck's edition of "Anthologia", vol. II, p. 49

That touchstone Opportunity.
      - Charles Reade

Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good actions; try to use ordinary situations.
      - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (Johann Paul Richter) (used ps. Jean Paul)

Presence of mind, penetration, fine observation, are the sciences of women; ability to avail themselves of these is their talent.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Improve time in the present; for opportunity is precious, and time is a sword.
      - Moslih Eddin (Muslih-un-Din) Saadi (Sadi)

Strike while the iron is hot.
      - Sir Walter Scott

Opportunity has hair in front; behind she is bald. If you seize her by the forelock, you may hold her; but if suffered to escape, not Jupiter himself can catch her again.
      - Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)

The means that heaven yields must be embraced, and not neglected; else, if heaven would, and we will not heaven's offer, we refuse the proffered means of succor and redress.
      - William Shakespeare

We must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.
      - William Shakespeare

There's place and means for every man alive.
      - William Shakespeare,
        All's Well That Ends Well
         (Parolles at IV, iii)

Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offered,
  Shall never find it more.
      - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
         (Menas at II, vii)

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
  Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
      Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
      - William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
         (Brutus at IV, iii)

A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part II
         (Gloucester at III, i)

Urge them while their souls
  Are capable of this ambition,
    Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath
      Of soft petitions, pity, and remorse,
        Cool and congeal again to what it was.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life and Death of King John
         (Elinor at II, i)

'O Opportunity, thy guilt is great!
  'Tis thou that execut'st the traitor's treason;
    Thou sets the wolf where he the lamb may get;
      Whoever plots the sin, thou point'st the season.
        'Tis thou that spurn'st at right, at law, at reason;
          And in thy shady cell, where none may spy him,
            Sits Sin, to seize the souls that wander by him.
      - William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
         (l. 876)

Occasions are rare; and those, who know how to seize upon them are rarer.
      - Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)

Opportunity, sooner or later, comes to all who work and wish.
      - Lord Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley ("Rupert of Debate")

Opportunity, to statesmen, is as the just degree of heat to chemists; it perfects all the work.
      - Sir John Suckling

A good opportunity is seldom presented, and is easily lost.
  [Lat., Occasio aegre offertur, facile amittitur.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

The opportunity is often lost by deliberating.
  [Lat., Deliberando saepe perit occasio.]
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

While we stop to think, we often miss our opportunity.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

You should hammer your iron when it is glowing hot.
      - Syrus (Publilius Syrus), Maxims

When a thief has no opportunity for stealing, he considers himself an honest man.
      - The Talmud

His hair is golden and curly
  And in that way exactly
    That Fortune painted him
      He has long and thick curls on his forehead,
        But his head is bare
          At the opposite limit.
            [It., Crespe ha le chiome e d'oro,
              E 'n quella guisa appunto
                Che Fortuna si pinge,
                  Ha lunghi e folti in su la fronte i crini,
                    Ma nuda ha poi la testa
                      A gli opposti confini.]
      - Torquato Tasso, Amore Fuggitivo


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