Notable Quotes
Browse quotes by subject | Browse quotes by author


[Would] a sensible man spit out the juicy morsel that good fortune put in his mouth?

CHINUA ACHEBE, A Man of the People

It is more easy to get a favor from Fortune than to keep it.


A Change of Fortune hurts a wise Man no more than a Change of the Moon.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1756

A fool having enjoyed good fortune like intoxication to a great amount becomes more foolish.

EPICTETUS, Fragments

It can't be a good sign when your fortune cookie starts out with "Are you sitting down?"

TOM WILSON, Ziggy, Apr. 14, 1998

What is Fortune, what is Fame?
Futile gold and phantom name--
Riches buried in a cave,
Glory written on a grave.

HENRY VAN DYKE, "The Talisman"

I am the child of Fortune, the giver of good, and I shall not be shamed. She is my mother; my sisters are the Seasons; my rising and my falling match with theirs.

SOPHOCLES, Oedipus Rex

Fantastic fortune thou deceitful light,
That cheats the weary traveler by night,
Though on a precipice each step you tread,
I am resolved to follow where you lead.


Fortune has often been blamed for her blindness; but fortune is not so blind as men are. Those who look into practical life will find that fortune is usually on the side of the industrious, as the winds and waves are on the side of the best navigators.


Fortune, in the distribution of her gifts, resembles a good fellow throwing pennies into the air for children to scramble after. She does not cast to this and to that one according to their respective merits, but leaves chance and their own activity to determine who shall get the most of her bounty.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

All good fortune is a gift of the gods, and you don't win the favor of the ancient gods by being good, but by being bold.

ANITA BROOKNER, The Paris Review, fall 1987

The life which is implicated with fortune (depends on fortune) is like a winter torrent: for it is turbulent, and full of mud, and difficult to cross, and tyrannical, and noisy, and of short duration.

EPICTETUS, Fragments

Fortune's a fickle jade. If she does not say yes the first five times you ask her, ask her twenty-five times. After a while she will favor you, for she loves importunity.

FRANK CRANE, "Ten Success Hunches," Four Minute Essays

When Fortune frowns upon her worthy wooer, it is still permitted him to think how pleasant it will be erewhile to bask in her smiles.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

He that waits upon Fortune, is never sure of a Dinner.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1734

Fortune makes a fool of him whom she favors too much.

PUBLILIUS SYRUS, The Moral Sayings of Publilius Syrus

Fortune, like a coy mistress, loves to yield her favors, though she makes us wrest them from her.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

Fortune is like the market, where many times, if you can stay a little, the price will fall.

FRANCIS BACON, "Of Delays," Essays

He that hath no ill Fortune will be troubled with good.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, Poor Richard's Almanack, 1754

Let Fortune empty her whole quiver on me,
I have a soul that, like an ample shield,
Can take in all, and verge enough for more....
Fate was not mine, nor am I Fate's....
Souls know no conquerors.

JOHN DRYDEN, Don Sebastian

If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though she is blind, she is not invisible.

FRANCIS BACON, "Of Fortune," Essays

Whatever difference may appear in men's fortunes, there is nevertheless a certain compensation of good and ill that makes all equal.


On Fortune's cap we are not the very button.


For God's love, take things patiently, have sense,
Think! We are prisoners and shall always be.
Fortune has given us this adversity,
Some wicked planetary dispensation,
Some Saturn's trick or evil constellation
Has given us this, and Heaven, though we had sworn
The contrary, so stood when we were born.
We must endure it, that's the long and short.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales

O Fortune, cruellest of heavenly powers,
Why make such game of this poor life of ours?

HORACE, Satires

The brave man carves out his fortune, and every man is the son of his own works.


Every man is the architect of his own fortunes, but the neighbors superintend the construction.

GEORGE ADE, "The Fable of What They Hankered For and What Was Delivered to Them", Hand-Made Fables

Forbear harping on what was of yore, for it is the common lot of mortals to sustain the ups and downs of fortune.

AESOP, "The Charger and the Miller", Aesop's Fables

Fortune, until now kind to me, begins to wear a frowning face.


A lot of my life happened in great, wonderful bursts of good fortune, and then I would race to be worthy of it.

JULIE ANDREWS, "Thoroughly Modern Julie", The Guardian, Oct. 13, 2004

In the temple, high in place
Stood Dame Fortune, fair of face,
Holding Plutus, god of riches,
In her fond and fickle arms.
Horns of plenty at her feet
Emptied half their contents sweet,
And winged Cupid stood before her,
Fascinated by her charms.

HENRY ABBEY, "The City of Success"

To be a great man one should know how to profit by every phase of fortune.

FRANÇOIS DE LA ROCHEFOUCAULD, Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims

Back to Fortune Quotes

Free Tarot Reading


Life Quotes

Love Quotes

Death Quotes

God Quotes

Wisdom Quotes

Hope Quotes

Success Quotes

Women Quotes

Happiness Quotes

Shakespeare Quotes