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quotations about misfortune

Misfortune quote

When the soul suffers too much, it develops a taste for misfortune.


There is no accident so exquisitely unfortunate, but wise men will make some advantage of it.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

Misfortune begets misfortune: life is a misfortune, for it may be the means of enduring misfortune; and death is a misfortune, as it abridges the enjoyments of life.


One must not try to trick misfortune, but resign oneself to it with good grace.

ARISTOPHANES, The Thesmophoriazusae

When two laugh it is certain a misfortune has happened--to a third.


The danger from lightning is gone when the thunder is heard, and the worst is over when misfortune has arrived.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

The most fortunate of us, in our journey through life, frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which may greatly afflict us; and, to fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes should be one of the principal studies and endeavors of our lives. The only method of doing this is to assume a perfect resignation to the Divine will, to consider that whatever does happen, must happen; and that, by our uneasiness, we cannot prevent the blow before it does fall, but we may add to its force after it has fallen. These considerations, and others such as these, may enable us in some measure to surmount the difficulties thrown in our way; to bear up with a tolerable degree of patience under the burden of life; and to proceed with a pious and unshaken resignation, till we arrive at our journey's end, when we may deliver up our trust into the hands of Him who gave it, and receive such reward as to him shall seem proportioned to our merit.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, Jul. 15, 1763

As the worm crawleth up to the surface only when it rains, so doth a man's best self emerge only in misfortune.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

Disappointment or misfortune don't last long among us, the poor; we can't live if we brood on them the whole time.

VIRAMMA RACINE, Viramma: Life of an Untouchable

During misfortunes, nothing aggravates our condition more, than to be esteemed deserving of them.

NORMAN MACDONALD, Maxims and Moral Reflections

Only he has a right to complain of undeserved misfortune, that is unwilling to accept undeserved good fortune.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

It is time enough to bear a misfortune when it comes, without anticipating it; for why should we torment ourselves with what may fall out, perhaps, twenty years hence, or never.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

The longer you dwell on your misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm you.

CROFT M. PENTZ, The Complete Book of Zingers

In the greatest misfortune oft lies the greatest hope.


Cease to anticipate misfortune--there are still many chances of escape.

MARTIN FARQUHAR TUPPER, Proverbial Philosophy

One advantage gained by calamities, is to know how to sympathize with others in the like troubles.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

As the dog runneth after him that flees, but flees him that standeth still; so misfortune pursueth those that flee from her, but flees those that face her.

IVAN PANIN, Thoughts

Those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but that it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength and that they must make their way back into the common enterprise of man for without they do so it cannot go forward and they themselves will whither in bitterness.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, All the Pretty Horses

A man is the sum of his misfortunes.

WILLIAM FAULKNER, The Sound and the Fury

We have all been beaten! Each one has to bear his misfortune! Resign yourself!


Man is extraordinarily clever in preventing himself from being happy; it would seem that the less able he is to endure misfortune the more apt he is to attach himself to it.

ANDRE GIDE, Journals

Little minds are tamed and subdued by misfortune; but great minds rise above them.

WASHINGTON IRVING, attributed, Business Philosopher, 1913

It is often said that in prosperity we have many friends, but that we are usually neglected when things go badly. I disagree. Not only do malicious people flock about us in order to witness our ruin, but other unfortunates as well, who have been kept away by our happiness, and now feel close to us on account of our troubles.

ANDRÉ MAUROIS, An Art of Living

Yes, there was an element of abstraction and unreality in misfortune. But when an abstraction starts to kill you, you have to get to work on it.


It seems the misfortune of one can plow a deeper furrow in the heart than the misfortune of millions.

KIRBY LARSON, Hattie Big Sky

Since misfortunes cannot be avoided, let them be generously borne; it is not for any sort of men to expect an exemption from the common lot of mankind; and no person is truly great, but he that keeps up the same dignity of mind in all conditions.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

Those who are happy and successful themselves are too apt to make light of the misfortunes of others


Misfortune is, like the honest man, as good as her word.

MADAME SWETCHINE, "Airelles," The Writings of Madame Swetchine

The very remembrance of my former misfortune proves a new one to me.


Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.

CHARLES DICKENS, "Characters," Sketches by Boz


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