Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Adversity

"Rejoice in adversity even more than in prosperity, for suffering brings forgiveness of sin." - Rabbi Akiva, fully Rebbe Akiva ben Yosef NULL

"Adversity is the first path to truth." -

"The lessons of adversity are often the most benignant when they seem the most severe. The depression of vanity sometimes ennobles the feeling. The mind which does not wholly sink under misfortune rises above it more lofty than before, and is strengthened by affliction." - Richard Chenevix, fully Richard Chenevix Trench, Archbishop of Dublin

"It is wise even in adversity to listen to reason." - Euripedes NULL

"Hopeful in adversity, anxious in prosperity, is the heart prepared for weal and woe." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"In adversity remember to keep an even mind." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"Patience is the guardian of faith, the preserver of peace, the cherisher of love, the teacher of humility; patience, governs the flesh, strengthens the spirit, sweetens the temper, stifles anger, extinguishes envy, subdues the hand, tramples upon temptation, endures persecutions, consummates martyrdom; patience produces unity in the church, loyalty in the state, harmony in families and societies; she comforts the poor and moderates the rich; she makes us humble in prosperity, cheerful in adversity, unmoved by calumny and reproach; she teaches us to forgive those who have injured us, and to be the first in asking forgiveness of those whom we have injured; she delights the faithful, and invites the unbelieving; she adorns the woman, and approves the man; is loved in a child, praised in a young man, admired in an old man; she is beautiful in either sex and every age." - George Horne

"Adversity borrows its sharpest sting from our impatience." - George Horne

"[Adversity is] the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free from admirers then." -

"There is a sort of natural instinct of human dignity in the heart of man which steels his very nerves not to bend beneath the heavy blows of a great adversity." - Louis Kossuth, also Lajos Kossuth, fully Lajos Kossuth de Udvard et Kossuthfalva

"Adversity and prosperity have no fixed road; they are evoked by men themselves." -

"The educated man is a man with certain subtle spiritual qualities which make him calm in adversity, happy when alone, just in his dealings, rational and sane in the fullest meaning of that word in all affairs of life." - James Ramsay MacDonald

"It is a true observation of ancient writers, that as men are apt to be cast down by adversity, so they are easily satiated with prosperity, and that joy and grief produce the same effects. For whenever men are not obliged by necessity to fight they fight from ambition, which is so powerful a passion in the human breast that however high we reach we are never satisfied." - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"Learning, if rightly applied, makes a young man thinking, attentive, industrious, confident and wary; and an old man cheerful and useful. It is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, an entertainment at all times; it cheers in solitude, and gives moderation and wisdom in all circumstances." - Thomas W. Palmer

"I would never have amounted to anything were it not for adversity. I was forced to come up the hard way." - J. C. Penney, formally James Cash Penney

"Be moderate in prosperity, prudent in adversity." - Periander, aka Periander The Great NULL

"In this thing one man is superior to another, that he is better able to bear adversity and prosperity." - Philemon NULL

"Prosperity begets friends; adversity proves them." - Publius Syrus

"To bear adversity with an equal mind is both the sign and glory of a brave spirit." - Francis Quarles

"If adversity purifies men, why not nations?" -

"A man is insensible to the relish of prosperity till he has tasted adversity." -

"In prosperity do not rejoice too much and in adversity be not downcast." -

"The good things of prosperity are to be wished; but the good things that belong to adversity are to be admired." -

"We become wiser by adversity; prosperity destroys our appreciation of the right." -

"We become wiser in the midst of adversity; it is prosperity that takes away righteousness." -

"Courage is adversity’s lamp." -

"One of the best ways to properly evaluate and adapt to the many environmental stresses of life is to simply view them as normal. The adversity and failures in our lives, if adapted to and viewed as normal corrective feedback to use to get back on target, serve to develop in us an immunity against anxiety, depression, and the adverse responses to stress. Instead of tackling the most important priorities that would make us successful and effective in life, we prefer the path of least resistance and do things simply that will relieve our tension, such as shuffling papers and majoring in minors." -

"Every virtue gives a man a degree of felicity in some kind: honesty gives a man a good report; justice, estimation; prudence, respect; courtesy and liberality, affection; temperance gives health; fortitude, a quiet mind, not to be moved by any adversity." - Francis Walsingham, fully Sir Francis Walsingham

"Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records." -

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." - Anne Dudley Bradstreet

"In prosperity prepare for a change; in adversity hope for one." - James Burgh

"If adversity hath killed his thousands, prosperity hath killed his ten thousands; therefore adversity is to be preferred. The one deceives, the other instructs; the one is miserably happy, the other happily miserable; and therefore many philosophers have voluntarily sought adversity and commend it in their precepts." - Richard Francis Burton, fully Sir Richard Francis Burton

"All that happens in the world of nature and man - every war, every peace, every horn of prosperity, every horn of adversity, every election, every death, every life, every success and every failure, all change, all permanence, the perished leer, the unutterable glory of stars - all things speak truth in the thoughtful spirit." - Rufus Choate

"When enthusiasm is inspired by reason; controlled by caution; sound in theory; practical in application; reflects confidence; spreads good cheer; raises morale; inspires associates; arouses loyalty, and laughs at adversity, it is beyond price." - Coleman Cox

"By adversity are wrought the greatest works of admiration, and all the fair examples of renown, out of distress and misery are grown." - John W. Daniel, fully John Warwick Daniel

"He that can heroically endure adversity will bear prosperity with equal greatest of the soul; for the mind that cannot be dejected by the former is not likely to be transported without the latter." - Henry Fielding

"Pleasures, riches, honor, and joy are sure to have care, disgrace, adversity, and affliction in their train. There is no pleasure without pain, no joy without sorrow. Oh, the folly of expecting lasting felicity in a vale of tears, or a paradise in a ruined world!" -

"A weak mind sinks under prosperity as well as under adversity. A strong and deep one has two highest tides, when the moon is at full, and when there is no moon." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"Adversity is wont to reveal genius, prosperity to hide it." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"Nothing can be more touching than to behold a soft and tender female, who had been all weakness and dependence, and alive to every trivial roughness while treading the prosperous paths of life, suddenly rising by mental force to be the comforter and supporter of her husband under misfortune, and abiding with unshrinking firmness the bitterest blast of adversity." - Washington Irving

"To bear adversity with meek submission to the will of God; to endure chastisement with all long-suffering and joyfulness; to appear cheerful and amid surrounding gloom, hopeful amidst desponding circumstances, happy in God when there is nothing else to make us happy; he who does this has indeed made great advances in the divine life." - John Angell James

"Memory tempers prosperity, mitigates adversity, controls youth, and delights old age." - Lactantius, fully Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius NULL

"Watch a man in times of ... adversity to discover what kind of man he is; for then at last words of truth are drawn from the depths of his heart, and the mask is torn off." - Lucretius, fully Titus Lucretius Carus NULL

"He died full of years and of honors, equally illustrious by those he refused as by those he accepted." - Pliny the Younger, full name Casus Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo NULL

"Remorse sleeps during prosperity but awakes to bitter consciousness during adversity." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"It is not every calamity that is a curse, and early adversity is often a blessing. Surmounted difficulties not only teach, but hearten us in our future struggles." - Hasdai Ibn Shaprut

"Adversity is the first path to truth. " -

"Adversity is the first path to truth." -