Quotations about   divine favor

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You might just as well take the sun out of the sky as friendship from life; for the immortal gods have given us nothing better or more delightful.

[Solem enim e mundo tollere videntur ei, qui amicitiam e vita tollunt, qua nihil a dis immortalibus melius habemus, nihil iucundius.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
“Laelius De Amicitia [Laelius on Friendship],” ch. 13 / sec. 47 (44 BC) [tr. Shuckburgh (1909)]
    (Source)

Original Latin. Alternate translations:

For they seem to take away the sun from the world who withdraw friendship from life; for we receive nothing better from the immortal gods, nothing more delightful.
[tr. Edmonds (1871)]

It is like taking the sun out of the world, to bereave human life of friendship, than which the immortal gods have given man nothing better, nothing more gladdening.
[tr. Peabody (1887)]

Why, they seem to take the sun out of the universe when they deprive life of friendship, than which we have from the immortal gods no better, no more delightful boon.
[tr. Falconer (1923)]

For they seem to remove the sun from the Earth, these people who remove friendship from life, when we have received no better thing, no sweeter thing, from the immortal gods.
[Source]

Added on 10-May-21 | Last updated 10-May-21
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More quotes by Cicero, Marcus Tullius

Some of the words you’ll find within yourself,
the rest some power will inspire you to say.
You least of all — I know —
were born and reared without the gods’ good will.

[τὸν δ᾽ αὖτε προσέειπε θεά, γλαυκῶπις Ἀθήνη:
‘Τηλέμαχ᾽, ἄλλα μὲν αὐτὸς ἐνὶ φρεσὶ σῇσι νοήσεις,
ἄλλα δὲ καὶ δαίμων ὑποθήσεται: οὐ γὰρ ὀίω
οὔ σε θεῶν ἀέκητι γενέσθαι τε τραφέμεν τε.’]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 3, l. 25ff [Athena to Telemachus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Fagles (1996)]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Thy mind will some conceit impress,
And something God will prompt thy towardness;
For, I suppose, thy birth, and breeding too,
Were not in spite of what the Gods could do.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

Telemachus, said Pallas, do not fear,
You’ll somewhat prompted be by your own breast
(You never by the Gods neglected were),
The God that loves you will supply the rest.
[tr. Hobbes (1675)]

To whom the martial goddess thus rejoin'd:
"Search, for some thoughts, thy own suggesting mind;
And others, dictated by heavenly power,
Shall rise spontaneous in the needful hour.
For nought unprosperous shall thy ways attend,
Born with good omens, and with heaven thy friend."
[tr. Pope (1725)]

Thou wilt, in part, thyself
Fit speech devise, and heav’n will give the rest;
For thou wast neither born, nor hast been train’d
To manhood, under unpropitious Pow’rs.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 33ff]

Thou shalt bethink thee of somewhat in thine own breast, and somewhat the god will give thee to say. For thou, methinks, of all men wert not born and bred without the will of the gods.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

Some words surely the thought in thine heart shall make,
And some the Gods shall give thee: for this of thee I wot,
That against the will of the Godfolk thy birth and thy life were not.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

Some promptings you will find in your own breast, and Heaven will send still more; for, certainly, not unbefriended of the gods have you been born and bred.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Some things, will be suggested to you by your own instinct, and heaven will prompt you further; for I am assured that the gods have been with you from the time of your birth until now.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

"Some things, Telemachus," answered owl-vision Athena, “will be suggested to you by your own instinct, and some superhuman force will prompt you further; for I am assured that the gods have been with you from the time of your birth until now."
[tr. Butler (1898), rev. Kim/McCray/Nagy/Power (2018)]

Somewhat thou wilt of thyself devise in thy breast, and somewhat heaven too will prompt thee. For, methinks, not without the favour of the gods hast thou been born and reared.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

Your heart will prompt you in part: and other things the spirit will teach you to say. I think if ever anyone was conceived and grew to manhood with the fostering care of the gods, it was yourself.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

Reason and heart will give you words, Telémakhos;
and a spirit will counsel others. I should say
the gods were never indifferent to your life.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

You'll come up with some things yourself, Telemachus,
And a god will suggest others. I do not think
You were born and bred without the gods' good will.
[tr. Lombardo (2000)]

You will work out what to do,
through your own wits and with divine assistance.
The gods have blessed you in your life so far.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

Added on 21-Apr-21 | Last updated 21-Apr-21
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More quotes by Homer

O stranger, cease thy care;
Wise is the soul, but man is born to bear;
Jove weighs affairs of earth in dubious scales,
And the good suffers, while the bad prevails.
Bear, with a soul resign’d, the will of Jove;
Who breathes, must mourn: thy woes are from above.

[‘ξεῖν᾽, ἐπεὶ οὔτε κακῷ οὔτ᾽ ἄφρονι φωτὶ ἔοικας:
Ζεὺς δ᾽ αὐτὸς νέμει ὄλβον Ὀλύμπιος ἀνθρώποισιν,
ἐσθλοῖς ἠδὲ κακοῖσιν, ὅπως ἐθέλῃσιν, ἑκάστῳ:
καί που σοὶ τάδ᾽ ἔδωκε, σὲ δὲ χρὴ τετλάμεν ἔμπης.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 6, l. 187ff (c. 700 BC) [tr. Pope (1725), l. 227ff]
    (Source)

Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Stranger! I discern in thee
Nor sloth, nor folly, reigns; and yet I see
Th’ art poor and wretched. In which I conclude,
That industry nor wisdom make endued
Men with those gifts that make them best to th’ eye;
Jove only orders man’s felicity.
To good and bad his pleasure fashions still
The whole proportion of their good and ill.
And he, perhaps, hath form’d this plight in thee,
Of which thou must be patient, as he free.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

You seem to be a good man and discreet,
But Jove on good and bad such fortune lays,v Happy or otherwise, as he thinks meet;
And since distress is fallen to your share,
You must contented be to suffer it.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 178ff]

Since, stranger! neither base by birth thou seem’st,
Nor unintelligent, (but Jove, the King
Olympian, gives to good and bad alike
Prosperity according to his will,
And grief to thee, which thou must patient bear,)
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 233ff]

Stranger, who seemest neither vile nor vain, Zeus both to good and evil doth divide Wealth as he listeth. He perchance this pain Appointed; thou thy sorrow must stain. [tr. Worsley (1861), st. 25]
Sir guest! since thou no sorry wight dost seem;
And Zeus himself from Olympus deals out weal
To the good and band: -- to each as it pleaseth him:
And somehow he hath sent these things to thee;
So it becomes thee to endure them wholly.
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

Stranger, forasmuch as thou seemest no evil man nor foolish -- and it is Olympian Zeus himself that giveth weal to men, to the good and to the evil, to each one as he will, and this thy lot doubtless is of him, and so thou must in anywise endure it.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

O guest, forsooth thou seemest no fool, and no man of ill.
But Zeus the Olympian giveth to menfolk after his will,
To each, be he good, be he evil, his share of the happy day;
And these things shall be of his giving; so bear it as ye may.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

Stranger, because you do not seem a common, senseless person, -- and Olympian Zeus himself distributes fortune to mankind and gives to high and low even as he wills to each; and this he gave to you, and you must bear it therefore.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Stranger, you appear to be a sensible, well-disposed person. There is no accounting for luck; Zeus gives prosperity to rich and poor just as he chooses, so you must take what he has seen fit to send you, and make the best of it.
[tr. Butler (1898), rev. Power/Nagy]

Stranger, since thou seemest to be neither an evil man nor a witless, and it is Zeus himself, the Olympian, that gives happy fortune to men, both to the good and the evil, to each man as he will; so to thee, I ween, he has given this lot, and thou must in any case endure it.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

Stranger -- for to me you seem no bad or thoughtless man -- it is Zeus himself who assigns bliss to men, to the good adn to the evil as he wills, to each his lot. Wherefore surely he gave you this unhappiness, and you must bear it.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

"Sir," said the white-armed Nausicaa, "your manners prove that you are no rascal and no fool; and as for these ordeals of yours, they must have been sent you by Olympian Zeus, who follows his own will in dispensing happiness to people whatever their merits. You have no choice but to endure."
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

Stranger, there is no quirk or evil in you
that I can see. You know Zeus metes out fortune
to good and bad men as it pleases him.
Hardship he sent to you, and you must bear it.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

You, stranger, since you do not seem to be
mad or malicious, know that only he --
Olympian Zeus -- allots felicity
to men, to both the noble and the base,
just as he wills. To you he gave this fate
and you must suffer it -- in any case.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1990)]

"Stranger," the white-armed princess answered staunchly,
"friend, you're hardly a wicked man, and no fool, I'd say --
it's Olympian Zeus himself who hands our fortunes out,
to each of us in turn, to the good and bad,
however Zeus prefers ...
He gave you pain, it seems. You simply have to bear it.
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

"Stranger, you do not seem to be a bad man
Or a fool. Zeus himself, the Olympian god,
Sends happiness to good men and bad men both,
To each as he wills. To you he has given these troubles,
Which you have no choice but to bear.
[tr. Lombardo (2000), l. 191ff]

Stranger, you do not strike me as either a rogue or a fool. It is Olympian Zeus himself who dispenses prosperity to men, to both good and bad, to each as he wishes; he must surely have sent you these troubles, and you must bear them as you may.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

Well, stranger, you seem a brave and clever man; you know that Zeus apportions happiness to people, to good and bad, each one as he decides. your troubles come from him, and you must bear them.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

Added on 30-Jun-10 | Last updated 5-May-21
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Not clamour, but love,
Not rumour but dedication,
Not violence but intelligence
Sings in the ear of God.

[Non clamor, sed amor,
non vox, sed votum,
non cordula, sed cor
cantat in aure Dei]

Thomas of Celano (c.1200 - c.1265) Italian friar, poet, hagiographer [Tommaso da Celano]
(Attributed)

A similar phrase -- "Not the voice but the deed, not the music of the heart but the heart, not noise but love sings in the ear of God" -- is attributed to Jordanus de Saxonia, an Augustinian hermit born in Quedlinburg in 1299.
Added on 8-Apr-10 | Last updated 2-Nov-17
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