Quotations about:
    endurance


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Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity, and stumble from defeat to defeat.

Ryszard Kapuściński (1932-2007) Polish journalist, photographer, poet, author
“A Warsaw Diary,” Granta Magazine, No. 15 (1985 Spring)
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Added on 9-Feb-24 | Last updated 9-Feb-24
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Nothing — so it seems to me — is more beautiful than the love that has weathered the storms of life. The sweet, tender blossom that flowers in the heart of the young — in hearts such as yours — that, too, is beautiful. The love of the young for the young, that is the beginning of life. But the love of the old for the old, that is the beginning of — of things longer.

Jerome K. Jerome (1859-1927) English writer, humorist [Jerome Klapka Jerome]
“Passing of the Third Floor Back” [The Stranger] (1908)
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Added on 5-Feb-24 | Last updated 5-Feb-24
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In order to not find life unbearable, you must accept two things: the ravages of time, and the injustices of man.
 
[Il y a deux choses auxquelles il faut se faire, sous peine de trouver la vie insupportable. Ce sont les injures du tems et les injustices des hommes.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 2, ¶ 115 (1795) [tr. Parmée (2003), ¶ 95]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

There are two things to which we must become inured on pain of finding life intolerable: the outrages of time and man's injustice.
[tr. Mathers (1926)]

There are two things that one must get used to or one will find life unendurable: the damages of time and the injustices of men.
[tr. Merwin (1969)]

There are two things that a man must reconcile himself to, or he will find life unbearable: they are the injuries of time and the injuries of men.
[tr. Siniscalchi (1994)]

 
Added on 29-Jan-24 | Last updated 29-Jan-24
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The great calamity of the passions is not the torments they cause but the wrongs, the base actions that they lead one to commit, and which degrade men. Without these hindrances the advantages of the passions would far outweigh those of cold reason, which renders no one happy. The passions make a man live, wisdom merely makes him last.

[Le grand malheur des passions n’est pas dans les tourmens qu’elles causent, mais dans les fautes, dans les turpitudes qu’elles font commettre, et qui dégradent l’homme. Sans ces inconvéniens, elles auraient trop d’avantage sur la froide raison, qui ne rend point heureux. Les passions font vivre l’homme, la sagesse le fait seulement durer.]

Nicolas Chamfort
Nicolas Chamfort (1741-1794) French writer, epigrammist (b. Nicolas-Sébastien Roch)
Products of Perfected Civilization [Produits de la Civilisation Perfectionée], Part 1 “Maxims and Thoughts [Maximes et Pensées],” ch. 2, ¶ 118 (1795) [tr. Merwin (1969)]
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(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

The great evil of the passions does not lie in the torments which they bring upon men, but in the faults and shameful actions they cause him to commit. Were it not for this drawback they would have too great an advantage over cold reason, which can never be productive of happiness. His passions make man live, his wisdom only makes him last.
[tr. Mathers (1926)]

The unfortunate thing about passions is not the misery they make one commit, and which degrade man. Without these disadvantages, they would overpower cold reason, which does not in the least a source of happiness. Passions make men live, wisdom only makes the endure.
[tr. Pearson (1973)]

The great disaster of passions is not the torment they cause, but the debasing errors and depravity into which they lead men. Without these drawbacks, passion would enjoy many advantages over cold reason, which never produces happiness. Passions enable men to live, wisdom merely enables them to survive.
[tr. Dusinberre (1992)]

The great misfortune of passions does not come from the torments that they cause, but from the base things they make a person do, and which degrade him. Without these inconveniences, they would have too many advantages over cold reason, which never makes people happy. Passions make a man live, wisdom and facts only make him endure.
[tr. Siniscalchi (1994)]

 
Added on 15-Jan-24 | Last updated 15-Jan-24
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Titan! to thee the strife was given
Between the suffering and the will,
Which torture where they cannot kill;
And the inexorable Heaven,
And the deaf tyranny of Fate,
The ruling principle of Hate,
Which for its pleasure doth create
The things it may annihilate,
Refused thee even the boon to die:
The wretched gift Eternity
Was thine — and thou hast borne it well.

Lord Byron
George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824) English poet
“Prometheus,” st. 2 (1816)
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Added on 2-Nov-23 | Last updated 2-Nov-23
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If you look for rest in this life, how will you attain to everlasting rest? Dispose yourself, then, not for much rest but for great patience.
 
[Si quæris in hac vita requiem: quomodo tunc pervenies ad æternam requiem? Non ponas te ad multam requiem, sed a magnam patientiam.]

Thomas von Kempen
Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German-Dutch priest, author
The Imitation of Christ [De Imitatione Christi], Book 3, ch. 35, v. 3 (3.35.2) (c. 1418-27) [tr. Croft/Bolton (1940)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

If thou seek rest in this life, how then shalt thou come to the rest everlasting? Set not thyself to have rest here, but to have patience.
[tr. Whitford/Raynal (1530/1871)]

If you seek rest in this life, how will you, then, come to everlasting rest? Do not determine to have rest here, but to have patience.
[tr. Whitford/Gardiner (1530/1955)]

If thou seekest rest in this world, how wilt thou then attain to everlasting rest? Give not thy selfe to much ease, but to much patience.
[tr. Page (1639), 3.35.6]

If then these are the Conditions of thy Obedience and Reward, think how absurd it, for them who indulge their Ease here, to expect Peace and Happiness hereafter. In one of the two States Enduring must be thy Lot; and therefore tough Patience, and not soft Repose, is what thou should'st labour for at present.
[tr. Stanhope (1696; 1706 ed.), 3.40]

If thou seekest rest in this life, how wilt thou attain to the everlasting rest of the life to come? Thou must prepare thy heart for the exercise of many and great troubles, not for the enjoyment of continual rest.
[tr. Payne (1803), 3.27.8]

If thou seek rest in this life, how wilt thou then attain to the everlasting Rest? Dispose not thyself for much rest, but for great patience.
[ed. Parker (1841)]

It thou seekest rest in this life, how wilt thou attain to the everlasting rest of the life to come? Thou must not merely rest, but prepare thy heart for far greater patience and resignation.
[tr. Dibdin (1851), 3.31.2]

If thou seekest rest in this life, how then wilt thou come to the rest everlasting? Dispose not thyself for much rest, but for much patience.
[ed. Bagster (1860)]

If thou seek rest in this life, how then wilt thou attain unto the rest which is eternal? Set not thyself to attain much rest, but much patience.
[tr. Benham (1874)]

If thou seek rest in this life, how wilt thou then attain to the everlasting rest? Dispose not thyself for much rest, but for great patience.
[tr. Anon. (1901)]

If you search after rest in this life, how then will you come through to an everlasting rest? Do not set out for much in the way of rest, but for suffering that costs.
[tr. Daplyn (1952)]

If you look for rest in this life, how can you attain eternal rest? Dispose yourself not to rest, but to patient endurance.
[tr. Sherley-Price (1952)]

If you try to find rest in this world, how will you ever reach that rest which is life everlasting? It is not long hours of rest you must be prepared for here, but for long hours of patient endurance.
[tr. Knox-Oakley (1959)]

If you are looking for rest in this life, how will you ever reach the everlasting rest at the end? It is not rest you must expect, but suffering.
[tr. Knott (1962)]

You may seek rest in this life. How then will you gain rest in everlasting life? Do not expect great rest. Expect much suffering instead.
[tr. Rooney (1979)]

If you seek rest in this life, how do you expect to come to eternal rest? Do not make frequent rest your goal but great patience.
[tr. Creasy (1989)]

 
Added on 27-Sep-23 | Last updated 28-Sep-23
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Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 3 (1963)
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Added on 11-May-23 | Last updated 11-May-23
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In life, as in restaurants, we swallow a lot of indigestible stuff just because it comes with the dinner.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 5 (1963)
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Added on 30-Mar-23 | Last updated 30-Mar-23
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I praise Thee while my days go on;
I love Thee while my days go on!
Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,
With emptied arms and treasure lost,
I thank Thee while my days go on.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) English poet
“De Profundis,” # 23 (1840)
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Added on 8-Mar-23 | Last updated 8-Mar-23
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          Goddess-born, wherever
Fate pulls or hauls us, there we have to follow;
Whatever happens, fortune can be beaten
By nothing but endurance.

[Nate dea, quo fata trahunt retrahuntque, sequamur;
Quidquid erit, superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 5, l. 709ff (5.709-710) [Nautes] (29-19 BC) [tr. Humphries (1951)]
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Nautes encouraging Achilles after fire destroys some of the ships. Sometimes paraphrased in two separate phrases:

  • Quocunque trahunt fata sequamur. -- Wherever the Fates direct us, let us follow.
  • Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est. -- Every misfortune is to be subdued by patience.
(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

What ere the mighty ire
Of gods portend, or what the fates require,
We must endure. Comforting, he begun
Thus to Aeneas: O thou Goddesse son,
Let us obey the fates; whatever chance,
All fortunes vanquish'd are by sufferance.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

O goddess-born, resign'd in ev'ry state,
With patience bear, with prudence push your fate.
By suff'ring well, our Fortune we subdue;
Fly when she frowns, and, when she calls, pursue.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Goddess-born, let us follow the Fates, whether they invite us backward or forward: come what will, every fortune is to be surmounted by patience.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

My chief, let Fate cry on or back,
'Tis ours to follow, nothing slack:
Whate'er betide, he only cures
The stroke of fortune who endures.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Wherever Fate may lead us, whether on
Or backward, let us follow. Whatsoe'er
Betides, all fortune must be overcome
By endurance.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 840ff]

Goddess-born, follow we fate's ebb and flow, whatsoever it shall be; fortune must be borne to be overcome.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

O Goddess-born, Fate's ebb and flow still let us follow on,
Whate'er shall be, by bearing all must Fortune's fight be won.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

O Goddess-born, where Fate directs the way,
'Tis ours to follow. Who the best can bear,
Best conquers Fortune, be the doom what may.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 97, l. 865ff]

O goddess-born, we follow here or there,
as Fate compels or stays. But come what may,
he triumphs over Fortune, who can bear
whate'er she brings.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Goddess-born, whither the Fates, in their ebb and flow, draw us, let us follow ; whatever befall, all fortune is to be o'ercome by bearing.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Goddess-born, let us follow our destiny, ebb or flow.
Whatever may happen, we master fortune by fully accepting it.
[tr. Day-Lewis (1952)]

O goddess-born, there where the fates would have us
go forward or withdraw, there let us follow;
whatever comes, all fortune must be won
by our endurance.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 934ff]

Sir, born of an immortal, let us follow
Where our fates may lead, or lead us back.
Whatever comes,
All Fortune can be mastered by endurance.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981)]

Son of the goddess, let us follow the Fates, whether they lead us on or lead us back. Whatever fortune may be ours, we must at all times rise above it by enduring it.
[tr. West (1990)]

Son of the Goddess, let us follow wherever fate ebbs or flows,
whatever comes, every fortune may be conquered by endurance.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Son of Venus, whether the Fates will draw us on
or draw us back, let’s follow where they lead.
Whatever Fortune sends, we master it all
by bearing it all, we must!
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Goddess-born, let's follow where fate draws us, even if we backtrack. Come what may, we'll win out by endurance.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 22-Sep-22 | Last updated 21-Jun-23
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Every man is bound to bear his own misfortunes rather than to get quit of them by wronging his neighbour.

[Suum cuique incommodum ferendum est potius quam de alterius commodis detrahendum.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
De Officiis [On Duties; On Moral Duty; The Offices], Book 3, ch. 5 (3.5) / sec. 30 (44 BC) [tr. Cockman (1699)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translation:

Every man ought to bear his own evils, rather than wrong another, by stripping him of his comforts.
[tr. McCartney (1798)]

It is rather the duty of each to bear his own misfortune, than wrongfully to take from the comforts of others.
[tr. Edmonds (1865)]

Each man must bear his own privations rather than take what belongs to another.
[tr. Peabody (1883)]

A man should bear his own misfortune rather than trench upon the good fortune of another.
[tr. Gardiner (1899)]

It is the duty of each man to bear his own discomforts, rather than diminish the comforts of his neighbor.
[ed. Harbottle (1906)]

Each one must bear his own burden of distress rather than rob a neighbour of his rights.
[tr. Miller (1913)]

Each man should endure his own suffering rather than reduce the benefits of another person.
[tr. Edinger (1974)]

 
Added on 22-Mar-22 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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Your task is to endure and save yourselves for better days.

[Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 207 (1.207) [Aeneas] (29-19 BC) [tr. West (1990)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Live, and preserve yourselves for better chance.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

Endure the hardships of your present state;
Live, and reserve yourselves for better fate.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Bear up, and live for happier days.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Be firm,
And keep your hearts in hope of brighter days.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 263ff]

Keep heart, and endure till prosperous fortune come.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Abide, endure, and keep yourselves for coming days of joy.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Bear up; reserve you for a happier day.
[tr. Taylor (1907), l. 238]

Have patience all!
And bide expectantly that golden day.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

Endure, and keep yourselves for days of happiness.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Endure, and keep yourself for better days.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Hold on, and find salvation in the hope of better things!
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Hold out, and save yourselves for kinder days.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971)]

Be patient:
Save yourselves for more auspicious days.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), ll. 282-83]

Endure,
and preserve yourselves for happier days.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Endure, and save yourselves for happier times.
[tr. Lombardo (2005)]

Bear up.
Save your strength for better times to come.
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Hold on.
Save your strength for better days to come.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 5-Jan-22 | Last updated 21-Jun-23
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Comrades, we’re well acquainted with evils, then and now.
Worse than this you have suffered. God will end all this too.

[O socii — neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum —
O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
The Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 198ff (1.198-199) [Aeneas] (29-19 BC) [tr. Day Lewis (1952)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Deare friends (for we have many sorrows past)
You worse have felt, God these will end at last.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

Endure, and conquer! Jove will soon dispose
To future good our past and present woes.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

O companions, who have sustained severer ills than these, (for we are not strangers to former days of adversity,) to these, too, God will grant a termination.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Comrades and friends! for ours is strength
⁠Has brooked the test of woes;
O worse-scarred hearts! these wounds at length
⁠The Gods will heal, like those.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

O friends, who greater sufferings still have borne,
(for not unknown to us are former griefs,)
And end also to these the deity
Will give.
[tr. Cranch (1872), l. 251ff]

O comrades, for not now nor aforetime are we ignorant of ill, O tried by heavier fortunes, unto this last likewise will God appoint an end.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

O fellows, we are used ere now by evil ways to wend;
O ye who erst bore heavier loads, this too the Gods shall end.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Comrades! of ills not ignorant; far more
Than these ye suffered, and to these as well
Will Jove give ending, as he gave before.
[tr. Taylor (1907), st. 27 / l. 235ff]

Companions mine, we have not failed to feel
calamity till now. O, ye have borne
far heavier sorrow: Jove will make an end
also of this.
[tr. Williams (1910)]

O comrades -- for ere this we have not been ignorant of evils -- O ye who have borne a heavier lot, to this, too, God will grant an end!
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

O comrades, we have been through evil
Together before this; we have been through worse
[...] This, too, the god will end.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

O comrades -- surely we're not ignorant
of earlier disasters, we who have suffered
things heaver than this -- our god will give
an end to this as well.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 276ff]

Friends and companions,
Have we not known hard hours before this?
My men, who have endured still greater dangers,
God will grant us an end to these as well.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 270ff]

My friends, this is not the first trouble we have known. We have suffered worse before, and this too will pass. God will see to it.
[tr. West (1990)]

O friends (well, we were not unknown to trouble before)
O you who’ve endured worse, the god will grant an end to this too.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

Trojans! This is not our first taste of trouble.
You have suffered worse than this, my friends,
And God will grant an end to this also.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), l. 234ff]

My comrades, hardly strangers to pain before now,
we all have weathered worse. Some god will grant us
an end to this as well.
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

My friends: we're no strangers to misfortune. You've suffered worse; some god will end this too.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

 
Added on 22-Dec-21 | Last updated 21-Jun-23
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sometimes you climb out of bed in the morning and you think,
I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside
remembering all the times you’ve felt that way

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
“Gamblers All” (1990)
    (Source)

Originally titled "8 Count and Up".
 
Added on 10-Nov-21 | Last updated 10-Nov-21
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All things are tolerable which others have borne and are bearing.

[Sed significat tolerabilia esse, quae et tulerint et ferant ceteri.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 3, ch. 23 (3.23) / sec. 57 (45 BC) [tr. Yonge (1853)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

  • "Those things are in themselves tolerable, which others have born, and do bear." [tr. Wase (1643)]
  • "All things are tolerable which others have borne and can bear." [tr. Main (1824)]
  • "What others have endured and endure must be tolerable." [tr. Otis (1839)]
  • "Things are tolerable which others have borne and are bearing." [tr. Peabody (1886)]
  • "The circumstances at hand are indeed tolerable, since others have tolerated them and continue to do so." [tr. Graver (2002)]
 
Added on 13-Sep-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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it s cheerio
my deario
that pulls a lady through

Don Marquis (1878-1937) American journalist and humorist
archy and mehitabel, “cheerio, my deario” (1927)
    (Source)
 
Added on 11-Aug-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-21
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Does anything in nature despair except man? An animal with a foot caught in a trap does not seem to despair. It is too busy trying to survive. It is all closed in, to a kind of still, intense waiting. Is this a key? Keep busy with survival. Imitate the trees. Learn to lose in order to recover, and remember that nothing stays the same for long, not even pain, psychic pain. Sit it out. Let it all pass. Let it go.

May Sarton
May Sarton (1912-1995) Belgian-American poet, novelist, memoirist [pen name of Eleanore Marie Sarton]
Journal of a Solitude, “October 6th” (1973)
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Added on 10-Aug-21 | Last updated 10-Aug-21
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We can’t start over again, and it wouldn’t “be perfect” if we could. We can only continue.

Theodore Isaac Rubin (1923-2019) American psychiatrist and author
Compassion and Self Hate: An Alternative to Despair, Part 2 (1975)
    (Source)
 
Added on 14-Jun-21 | Last updated 14-Jun-21
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Old women will often bear the lack of food for two or three days. But take food from an athlete for a single day, he will implore the very Olympian Jupiter for whose honor he is in training, and will cry that he cannot bear it. Great is the power of habit.

[Aniculae saepe inediam biduum aut triduum ferunt; subduc cibum unum diem athletae: Iovem, Iovem Olympium, eum ipsum, cui se exercebit, implorabit, ferre non posse clamabit.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 2, ch. 17 (2.17) / sec. 40 (45 BC) [tr. Peabody (1886)]
    (Source)

Original Latin. Alternate translations:

Weak old Women oftentimes go without eating two or three days together; do but with-hold Meat one day from a Wrestler, he will cry out upon Olympian Jupiter; the same to whose Honor he shall exercise himself. He will cry he cannot bear it. Great is the Power of Custom.
[tr. Wase (1643)]

You may often hear of diminutive old women living without victuals three or four days; but take away a wrestler's provision for but one day, he will implore Jupiter Olympus, the very god for whom he exercises himself: he will cry out, It is intolerable. Great is the force of custom!
[tr. Main (1824)]

Tender old women often support a fast of two or three days. Withdraw his rations for one day from a wrestler; he will appeal to that Olympic Jove himself, for whom he exercises; he will cry out it impossible to bear it. Great is the force of habit.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

You may often hear of old women living without victuals for three or four days: but take away a wrestler's provisions but for one day, and he will implore the aid of Jupiter Olympius, the very God for whom he exercises himself: he will cry out that he cannot endure it. Great is the force of custom!
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Feeble old women often endure hunger for two or three days. Take food away from an athlete for just one day. He will appeal to Jupiter, that Olympian Jupiter, the very one for whom he will be doing this training -- he will cry out that he can't bear it. Practice has great power.
[tr. Douglas (1990)]

Little old ladies often bear a two or three day period of fasting; but take away an athlete’s food for a day, and he will beg for relief from Jove! Olympian Jove, the one for whom he exercises! And he’ll tell you that he simply cannot bear it.
[tr. @sentantiq (2015)]

Old women regularly endure a lack of food for a period of three or four days; take from an athlete his food for a single day and he will appeal to olympian Jupiter, the very god in whose honor he trains, he will cry out that he can't bear it. The force of habit is considerable.
[tr. Davie (2017)]

 
Added on 7-Jun-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.

Elizabeth II (b. 1926) Queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth realms
Address to the Nation (5 Apr 2020)
    (Source)

On the COVID-19 Pandemic. The last line is an allusion to the famous WWII song.
 
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To lose a friend, a brother, or a son,
Heaven dooms each mortal, and its will is done:
Awhile they sorrow, then dismiss their care;
Fate gives the wound, and man is born to bear.

[μέλλει μέν πού τις καὶ φίλτερον ἄλλον ὀλέσσαι
ἠὲ κασίγνητον ὁμογάστριον ἠὲ καὶ υἱόν:
ἀλλ᾽ ἤτοι κλαύσας καὶ ὀδυράμενος μεθέηκε:
τλητὸν γὰρ Μοῖραι θυμὸν θέσαν ἀνθρώποισιν.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 24, l. 46ff (24.46) [Apollo] (c. 750 BC) [tr. Pope (1715-20)]
    (Source)

Complaining of Achilles excessive grief over Patroclus. Original Greek. Alternate translations:

Other men a greater loss than he
Have undergone, a son, suppose, or brother of one womb;
Yet, after dues of woes and tears, they bury in his tomb
All their deplorings. Fates have giv’n to all that are true men
True manly patience.
[tr. Chapman (1611), l. 50ff]

For whosoever hath a loss sustain’d
Still dearer, whether of his brother born
From the same womb, or even of his son,
When he hath once bewail’d him, weeps no more,
For fate itself gives man a patient mind.
[tr. Cowper (1791), l. 59ff]

For perhaps some one will lose another more dear, either a brother, or a son; yet does he cease weeping and lamenting, for the Destinies have placed in men an enduring mind.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

A man may lose his best-lov’d friend, a son,
Or his own mother’s son, a brother dear:
He mourns and weeps, but time his grief allays,
For fate to man a patient mind hath giv’n.
[tr. Derby (1864)]

It must be that many a man lose even some dearer one than was this, a brother of the same womb born or perchance a son; yet bringeth he his wailing and lamentation to an end, for an enduring soul have the Fates given unto men.
[tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]

A man may lose one far dearer than Achilles has lost -- a son, it may be, or a brother born from his own mother's womb; yet when he has mourned him and wept over him he will let him bide, for it takes much sorrow to kill a man.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Lo, it may be that a man hath lost one dearer even than was this -- a brother, that the selfsame mother bare, or haply a son; yet verily when he hath wept and wailed for him he maketh an end; for an enduring soul have the Fates given unto men.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

For a man must some day lose one who was even closer than this; a brother from the same womb, or a son. And yet he weeps for him, and sorrows for him, and then it is over, for the Destinies put in mortal men the heart of endurance.
[tr. Lattimore (1951)]

A sane one may endure an even dearer loss: a blood-brother, a son; and yet, by heaven, having grieved and passed through mourning, he will let it go. The Fates have given patient hearts to men.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

No doubt some mortal has suffered a dearer loss than this,
a brother born in the same womb, or even a son ...
he grieves, he weeps, but then his tears are through.
The Fates have given mortals hearts that can endure.
[tr. Fagles (1990), l. 54ff]

There is no doubt that a man may have lost someone even dearer,
either a brother by one same mother or even his own son,
yet once he has lamented and wept, he ceases to mourn him,
since mankind is endowed by the Fates with a heart of endurance.
[tr. Merrill (2007), l. 46ff]
 
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One of the first things that a young person must internalize, deep down in the blood and bones, is the understanding that he may encounter many defeats, but he must not be defeated. If life teaches us anything, it may be that it’s even necessary to suffer some defeats. When we look at a diamond, a diamond is the result of extreme pressure. Less pressure, it is crystal; less than that, it is coal; and less than that, it is fossilized leaves or just plain dirt. It is necessary, therefore, to be tough enough to bite the bullet as it is in fact shot into one’s mouth, to bite it and stop it before it tears a hole in one’s throat.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
“Maya Angelou Raps,” interview by Jeffrey M. Elliot, Sepia (Oct 1977)
    (Source)
 
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Life never tires of testing the proposition that life must go on.

Robert Brault (b. c. 1945) American aphorist, programmer
(Attributed)
 
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Always Sir Arthur lost so much blood that it was a marvel he stood on his feet, but he was so full of knighthood that knightly he endured the pain.

No picture available
Thomas Malory (c. 1415-1471) English writer
Le Morte d’Arthur, Book 4, ch. 9 (1485)
    (Source)
 
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If everyone were clothed with integrity,
If every heart were just, frank, kindly,
The other virtues would be well-nigh useless,
Since their chief purpose is to make us bear with patience
The injustice of our fellows.

Si de probité tout était revêtu,
Si tous les cœurs était francs, justes et dociles,
La plupart des vertus nous seraient inutiles,
Puisqu’on en met l’usage à pouvoir sans ennui
Supporter dans nos droits l’injustice d’autrui.

Molière (1622-1673) French playwright, actor [stage name for Jean-Baptiste Poquelin]
Le Misanthrope, Act 5, sc. 1, l. 1564 (1666) [tr. Wormeley (1894)]
    (Source)

Original French.

Alt. trans. [Page (1913)]
If everything were clothed in probity,
If all men's hearts were open, just, gentle,
Most of our virtues would be wholly useless,
Since we employ them now, in cheerfully
Enduring wrong, with right on our side.
 
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Tolerance is a very dull virtue. It is boring. Unlike love, it has always had a bad press. It is negative. It merely means putting up with people, being able to stand things. No one has ever written an ode to tolerance, or raised a statue to her. Yet this is the quality which will be most needed after the war. This is the sound state of mind which we are looking for. This is the only force which will enable different races and classes and interests to settle down together to the work of reconstruction.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
“The Unsung Virtue of Tolerance,” radio broadcast (Jul 1941)
    (Source)

Published as "Tolerance," Two Cheers for Democracy (1951)
 
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For we hold that the man who is truly good and wise will bear with dignity whatever fortune sends, and will always make the best of his circumstances, as a good general will turn the forces at his command to the best account, and a good shoemaker will make the best shoe that can be made out of a given piece of leather, and so on with all other crafts.

[τὸν γὰρ ὡς ἀληθῶς ἀγαθὸν καὶ ἔμφρονα πάσας οἰόμεθα τὰς τύχας εὐσχημόνως φέρειν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ὑπαρχόντων ἀεὶ τὰ κάλλιστα πράττειν, καθάπερ καὶ στρατηγὸν ἀγαθὸν τῷ παρόντι στρατοπέδῳ χρῆσθαι πολεμικώτατα καὶ σκυτοτόμον ἐκ τῶν δοθέντων σκυτῶν κάλλιστον ὑπόδημα ποιεῖν: τὸν αὐτὸν δὲ τρόπον καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους τεχνίτας ἅπαντας.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 1, ch. 10, sec. 13 (1.10.13) / 1101a.1-6 (c. 325 BC) [tr. Peters (1893)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

For the man who is truly good and sensible bears all fortunes, we presume, becomingly, and always does what is noblest under the circumstances, just as a good general employs to the best advantage the force he has with him; or a good shoemaker makes the handsomest shoe he can out of the leather which has been given him; and all other good artisans likewise.
[tr. Chase (1847), ch. 8]

For we hold that the really good and prudent man will bear all changes of fortune with good grace, and will always, as the case may allow, act most nobly; exactly as a good general will use such forces as are at his disposal most skilfully, and even as a good cobbler will, out of such leather as he may have, make the most perfect show; and of all those who practice any other art the same rule will hold good.
[tr. Williams (1869), sec. 17]

For our conception of the truly good and sensible man is that he bears all the chances of life with decorum and always does what is noblest in the circumstances, as a good general uses the forces at his command to the best advantage in war, a good cobbler makes the best shoe with the leather that is given him, and so on through the whole series of the arts.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

For the man who is truly good and wise, we think, bears all the chances life becomingly and always makes the best of circumstances, as a good general makes the best military use of the army at his command and a good shoemaker makes the best shoes out of the hides that are given him; and so with all other craftsmen.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

We hold that the truly good and wise man will bear all kinds of fortune in a seemly way, and will always act in the noblest manner that the circumstances allow; even as a good general makes the most effective use of the forces at his disposal, and a good shoemaker makes the finest shoe possible out of the leather supplied him, and so on with all the other crafts and professions.
[tr. Rackham (1934)]

For a truly good and practically-wise person, we think, will bear what luck brings graciously, and, making use of the resources at hand, will always do the noblest actions, just as a good general makes the best uses in warfare of the army he has and a good shoemaker makes the best shoes out of the hides he has been given, and the same with all other craftsmen.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

For we hold that a truly good and sensible man will bear all fortunes of life with propriety and will always act most nobly under whatever the given circumstances may be, like a good general, who uses a given army most effectively, or a good shoemaker, who makes the best shoes out of a given leather, and likewise with any artist.
[tr. Apostle (1975)]

For we believe that the truly good and wise man bears all his fortunes with dignity, and always takes the most honorable course that circumstances permit, just as a good general uses his available forces in the most militarily effective way, and a good shoemaker makes the neatest shoe out of the leather supplied to him, and the same with all the other kinds of craftsmen.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

For a truly good and intelligent person, we suppose, will bear strokes of fortune suitably, and from his resources at any time will do the finest action, just as a good general will make best use of his forces in war, and a good shoemaker will produce the finest shoe from the hides given him, and similarly for all other craftsmen.
[tr. Irwin/Fine (1995)]

For the truly good and wise person, we believe, bears all the fortunes of life with dignity and always does the noblest thing in the circumstances, as a good general does the most strategically appropriate thing with the army at his disposal, and a shoemaker makes the noblest shoe out of the leather he is given, and so on with other practitioners of skills.
[tr. Crisp (2000)]

For we suppose that someone who is truly good and sensible bears up under all fortunes in a becoming way and always does what is noblest given the circumstances, just as a good general makes use, with the greatest military skill, of the army he has and a shoemaker makes the most beautiful shoe out of the leather given him. It holds in the same manner with all the other experts as well.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

 
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We must learn to suffer whatever we cannot avoid. Our life is composed, like the harmony of the world, of discords as well as of different tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, soft and loud. If a musician liked only some of them, what could he sing? He has got to know how to use all of them and blend them together. So too must we with good and ill, which are of one substance with our life. Without such blending our being cannot be: one category is no less necessary than the other.

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
Essays, Book 3, Essay 13 “On Experience” (1587-88) [tr. Screech (1987)]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.
  • [Frame (1943)] "We must learn to endure what we cannot avoid. Our life is composed, like the harmony of the world, of contrary things, also of different tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, soft and loud. If a musician liked only one kind, what would he have to say? He must know how to use them together and blend them. And so must we do with good and evil, which are consubstantial with our life. Our existence is impossible without this mixture, and one element is no less necessary for it than the other."
  • [Source] "We must learn to suffer what we cannot evade; our life, like the harmony of the world, is composed of contrary things -- of diverse tones, sweet and harsh, sharp and flat, sprightly and solemn: the musician who should only affect some of these, what would he be able to do? He must know how to make use of them all, and to mix them; and so we should mingle the goods and evils which are consubstantial with our life; our being cannot subsist without this mixture, and the one part is no less necessary to it than the other."
  • [Florio (1603)] A man must learne to endure that patiently which he cannot avoyde conveniently. Our life is composed, as is the harmony of the world, of contrary things: so of divers tunes, some pleasant, some harsh, some sharpe, some flat, some low, and some high. What would that musitian say that should love but some one of them? He ought to know how to use them severally and how to entermingle them. So should we both of goods and evils which art consubstnatiall to our life; our being cannot subsist without this commixture, whereto one side is no lesse necessary than the other."
 
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Nevertheless even here, when a man bears patiently a number of heavy disasters, not because he does not feel them but because he has a high and generous nature, his nobility shines through. And if, as we said, the quality of a life is determined by its activities, no man who is truly happy can become miserable; because he will never do things that are hateful and mean.

[ὅμως δὲ καὶ ἐν τούτοις διαλάμπει τὸ καλόν, ἐπειδὰν φέρῃ τις εὐκόλως πολλὰς καὶ μεγάλας ἀτυχίας, μὴ δι᾽ ἀναλγησίαν, ἀλλὰ γεννάδας ὢν καὶ μεγαλόψυχος. εἰ δ᾽ εἰσὶν αἱ ἐνέργειαι κύριαι τῆς ζωῆς, καθάπερ εἴπομεν, οὐδεὶς ἂν γένοιτο τῶν μακαρίων ἄθλιος: οὐδέποτε γὰρ πράξει τὰ μισητὰ καὶ τὰ φαῦλα.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 1, ch. 11 (1.11) / 1100b.30-35 (c. 325 BC) [tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek))

Often highly paraphrased: "Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind."

Alternate translations:

But nevertheless, even in these, nobility of the soul is conspicuous, when a man bears and digests many and great misfortunes, not from insensibility, but because he is high spirited and magnanimous. But if the energies are the things that constitute the bliss or the misery of life, as we said, no happy man can ever become miserable, for he will never do hateful and worthless actions.
[tr. Vincent (1835)]

But still, even in these, nobleness shines through when a man bears contentedly many and great mischances not from insensibility to pain but because he is noble and high-spirited. And if, as we have said, the acts of working are what determine the character of the life, no one of the blessed can ever become wretched, because he will never do those things which are hateful and mean.
[tr. Chase (1847)]

But nevertheless even here true nobility sines out, when a man bears calmly man and great mishaps, not through dullness of feeling, but from true high-breeding, and greatness of spirit. And since, as we have said, it is our own acts that determine our life, no one of the really blessed can ever become wretched, for he will never do hateful and disgraceful deeds.
[tr. Williams (1869), sec. 17]

Still even in these circumstances nobility shines out, when a person bears the weight of accumulated misfortunes with calmness, not from insensibility but from innate dignity and magnanimity. But if it is the activities which determine the life, as we said, nobody who is fortunate can become miserable; for he will never do what is hateful and mean.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

But nevertheless true worth shines out even here, in the calm endurance of many great misfortunes, not through insensibility, but through nobility and greatness of soul. And if it is what a man does that determines the character of his life, as we said, then no happy man will become miserable; for he will never do what is hateful and base. [tr. Peters (1893), 1.10.13]

Nevertheless even under these the force of nobility shines out, when a man bears calmly many great disasters, not from insensibility, but because he is generous and of a great soul. Setting happiness then, as we do, not in the outward surroundings of man, but in his inward state, we may fairly say that no one who has attained to the bliss of virtue will ever justly become an object of pity or contempt: for he will never do things that are hateful and vile.
[tr. Stock (1897)]

Yet even in these nobility shines through, when a man bears with resignation many great misfortunes, not through insensibility to pain but through nobility and greatness of soul. If activities are, as we said, what gives life its character, no happy man can become miserable; for he will never do the acts that are hateful and mean.
[tr. Ross (1908), 1.10]

Yet nevertheless even in adversity nobility shines through, when a man endures repeated and severe misfortune with patience, not owing to insensibility but from generosity and greatness of soul. And if, as we said, a man's life is determined by his activities, no supremely happy man can ever become miserable. For he will never do hateful or base actions.
[tr. Rackham (1934), 1.10.12-13]

All the same, even in these cases nobility shines through when someone calmly bears repeated strokes of great bad luck -- not because he is insensitive to suffering but because of being well bred and great-souled. And if it is activities that control living, as we said, no blessed person will ever become wretched, since he will never do hateful or base actions.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

The beauty of the soul shines out when a man bears with composure one heavy mischance after another, not because he does not feel them, but because he is a man of high and heroic temper. Besides, if it be true, as I affirmed, that the quality of life is determined by its activities, it is impossible for the entirely happy man to become miserable. For he will never be guilty of base or detestable actions.
[tr. Thomson (1953)]

Yet nobility shines out even there, when a man bears many and great misfortunes with calm and ease, not through insensibility to pain, but through nobility of character and highmindedness. Thus if it is the activities that play a dominant role in life, as we have said, no blessed man can become wretched; for he will never do what is hateful or bad.
[tr. Apostle (1975)]

And yet, even here, what is fine shines through, whenever someone bears many severe misfortunes with good temper, not because he feels no distress, but because he is noble and magnanimous. And since it is activities that control life, as we said, no blessed person could ever become miserable, since he will never do hateful and base actions.
[tr. Irwin/Fine (1995)]

What is noble shines through, when a person calmly bears many great misfortunes, not through insensibility, but by being well bred and great-souled. If activities are, as we have said, what really matter in life, no one blessed could become wretched, since he will never do hateful and petty actions.
[tr. Crisp (2000)]

Nevertheless, even in the midst of these, nobility shines through, whenever someone bears up calmly under many great misfortunes, not because of any insensitivity to pain but because he is wellbore and great souled. And if the activities have authoritative control over life, just as we said, then no one who is blessed would become wretched, since he will never do things that are hateful and base.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

Still, nobility shines bright even in tough times, when someone bears even many severe misfortunes patiently, not because they cannot sense them, but because of their unselfishness and greatness of spirit. If the actions one takes rules their life -- as we just said -- then none of the happy people can ever be miserable.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]

But all the same, even in these instances, nobility shines through whenever someone good-naturedly bears a multitude of great misfortunes, and does so not because he's numb to pain, but because he's noble and great-souled.
[tr. Benn (2021)]

 
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I believe in aristocracy, though — if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret understanding between them when they meet. They represent the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and they can take a joke.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
“What I Believe,” The Nation (16 Jul 1938)
    (Source)
 
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what matters most is
how well you
walk through the
fire.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
“How Is Your Heart?” (1986)
    (Source)
 
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A champion is someone who gets up when he can’t.

William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey (1895-1983) American professional boxer ("Kid Blackie," "The Manassa Mauler")
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Comment after his fight with Luis Ángel Firpo (14 Sep 1923).
 
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Life is not living, but living in health.

[Vita non est vivere, sed valere vita est.]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 6, epigram 70 (6.70.15) (AD 91) [tr. Ker (1919)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

It is not life to live, but to be well.
[tr. Burton (1621)]

Not all who live long, but happily, are old.
[tr. Killigrew (1695)]

For sense and reason tell,
That life is only life, when we are well.
[tr. Hay (1755)]

For life is not to live, but to be well.
[tr. Johnson, in The Rambler, #48, cited to Elphinston (1 Sep 1750)]

To brethe can just not dying give:
But, to be well, must be to live.
[tr. Elphinston (1782), 2.115]

For life is not simply living, but living in health.
[tr. Amos (1858)]

Life consists not in living, but in enjoying health.
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

It is not life to live, but to be well.
[ed. Harbottle (1897)]

The blunderer who deems them so,
Misreckons life and much mistakes it,
He thinks 'tis drawing breath -- we know
'Tis health alone that mars or makes it.
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921)]

Life is not life, but health is life indeed.
[tr. Francis & Tatum (1924), #310]

To live is not just life, but health.
[tr. Shepherd (1987)]

Life is not being alive, but being well.
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

 
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We will match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will, and we will still love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. And so put us in jail, and we will go in with humble smiles on our faces, still loving you. Bomb our homes and threaten our children, and we will still love you. Send your propaganda agents around the country and make it appear that we are not fit morally, culturally, and otherwise for integration. And we will still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight hours, and drag us out on some wayside road and beat us and leave us half dead, and we will still love you. But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer.

And one day we will win our freedom, but not only will we win freedom for ourselves, we will so appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process. And our victory will be a double victory.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, social activist, preacher
“Loving Your Enemies,” sermon, Detroit Council of Churches Noon Lenten Services (1961-03-07)
    (Source)

Reprinted in edited form in King, Strength to Love, ch. 5 "Loving Your Enemies," sec. 2 (1963). In the preface he notes this sermon was originally written while in jail in Georgia.

See Gandhi.
 
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Leave well — even “pretty well” — alone: that is what I learn as I get old.

Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883) English writer, poet, translator
Letter to W. F. Pollock (7 Dec 1869)
    (Source)
 
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Children’s talent to endure stems from their ignorance of alternatives.

Maya Angelou (1928-2014) American poet, memoirist, activist [b. Marguerite Ann Johnson]
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, ch. 17 (1969)
    (Source)
 
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We fought a military war; our opponents fought a political one. We sought physical attrition; our opponents aimed for our psychological exhaustion. In the process we lost sight of one of the cardinal maxims of guerrilla war: the guerrilla wins if he does not lose. The conventional army loses if it does not win.

Henry Kissinger (b. 1923) German-American diplomat
“The Viet Nam Negotiations,” Foreign Affairs (Jan 1969)
    (Source)

Sometimes paraphrased as "A conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla army wins if he does not lose."
 
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Heroism, the Caucasian mountaineers say, is endurance for one moment more.

George Kennan (1845-1924) American explorer, journalist, activist, lecturer
Letter to Henry Munroe Rogers (25 Jul 1921)
 
Added on 28-Dec-16 | Last updated 28-Dec-16
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Experience iz a grindstun, and it iz lucky for us if we kan git brightened by it, not ground.

[Experience is a grindstone, and it is lucky for us if we can get brightened by it, not ground.

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist, aphorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, ch. 130 “Affurisms: Puddin & Milk” (1874)
    (" target="_blank">Source)

This aphorism was transformed / paraphrased in the early 1920s into something a bit more inspirational, first (it appears) in Forbes (1922-10-14), then in similar form in other periodicals such as The Beaver (1924-03) and Wood Construction (1924-09-15). The new form:

Life is a grindstone, and whether it grinds a man down or polishes him up, depen's on the stuff he's made of.

In an earlier pass of Billings quotations, I did up a meme, unknowingly based on that later phrasing:

Billings - life is a grindstone  - wist_info quote (paraphrase)
 
Added on 23-Aug-16 | Last updated 22-Dec-23
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Hasten slowly, and without losing heart,
Put your work twenty times upon the anvil.

[Hâtez-vous lentement ; et, sans perdre courage,
Vingt fois sur le métier remettez votre ouvrage.]

Boileau - twenty times upon the anvil - wist_info quote

Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux (1636-1711) French poet and critic
The Art of Poetry [L’Art Poétique], Canto 1, l. 171 (1674)
 
Added on 11-May-16 | Last updated 11-May-16
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Pain makes man think. Thought makes man wise. Wisdom makes life endurable.

Patrick - pain makes man think - wist_info quote

John Patrick (1905-1995) American playwright and screenwriter
The Teahouse of the August Moon, Act 1, sc. 1 (1957)
 
Added on 9-Mar-16 | Last updated 10-Mar-16
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The monuments of wit and learning are more durable than the monuments of power, or of the hands. For have not the verses of Homer continued twenty-five hundred years or more, without the loss of a syllable or letter; during which time infinite palaces, temples, castles, cities have been decayed and demolished?

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Essex’s Device (1595)
 
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When I was younger, I thought I could change this world. Now I no longer think so but for emotional reasons I must keep on fighting a holding action.

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Friday [Dr. Baldwin] (1982)
 
Added on 24-Nov-15 | Last updated 24-Nov-15
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It’s so wrong to think that spectacular courage is the best bravery. The noblest bravery is battling against these dreadful daily assaults, often very minor, on one’s spirit.

Trollope - noblest bravery - wist_info

Joanna Trollope (b. 1943) British writer [pseud. Caroline Harvey]
The Rector’s Wife (1991)
 
Added on 13-Nov-15 | Last updated 13-Nov-15
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Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will.

St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) Basque noble, priest, theologian [Ignazio Loiolakoa]
Prayer of St Ignatius Loyola
 
Added on 8-Oct-15 | Last updated 8-Oct-15
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As in law so in war, the longest purse finally wins.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian philosopher and nationalist [Mahatma Gandhi]
Bombay Provincial Cooperative Conference (17 Sep 1917)

See also Taft, DeFoe.
 
Added on 13-Aug-15 | Last updated 13-Aug-15
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Delay works always for the man with the longest purse.

William Howard Taft (1857-1930) US President (1909-13) and Chief Justice (1921-1930)
“Adequate Machinery for Judicial Business,” Journal of the American Bar Association (Sep 1921)
 
Added on 3-Aug-15 | Last updated 3-Aug-15
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‘Tis Perseverance that prevails.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #5110 (1732)
    (Source)
 
Added on 1-Jul-15 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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We are in difficulties on all sides, but never cornered; we see no answer to our problems, but never despair; we have been persecuted, but never deserted; knocked down, but never killed.

The Bible (The New Testament) (AD 1st - 2nd C) Christian sacred scripture
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 [JB (1966)]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.
[KJV (1611)]

We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.
[GNT (1976)]

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.
[NRSV (1989 ed.)]

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.
[NIV (2011 ed.)]

We are experiencing all kinds of trouble, but we aren’t crushed. We are confused, but we aren’t depressed. We are harassed, but we aren’t abandoned. We are knocked down, but we aren’t knocked out.
[CEB (2011)]

 
Added on 7-Apr-15 | Last updated 5-Sep-23
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I’ll not willingly offend,
Nor be easily offended;
What’s amiss I’ll strive to mend,
And endure what can’t be mended.

Isaac Watts (1674-1748) English theologian and hymnodist
Poems, “Moral Songs: #6 Good Resolutions”
    (Source)

In Samuel Johnson, Works of English Poets, vol. 46 (1779)
 
Added on 17-Mar-15 | Last updated 17-Mar-15
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Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
You Learn By Living (1960)

An earlier version of this (the first sentence, at least) was included in a letter to Joseph Lash (13 Feb 1946).
 
Added on 7-Jan-15 | Last updated 2-Apr-15
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When the limit of suffering is overpassed, the most imperturbable virtue is disconcerted.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) French writer
Les Misérables, “Saint Denis” (15.1) [tr. Wilbour (1862)]
 
Added on 16-Dec-14 | Last updated 16-Dec-14
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With Stupidity and sound Digestion man may front much.

Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish essayist and historian
Sartor Resartus, Book 2, ch. 7 (1831)
    (Source)
 
Added on 4-Dec-14 | Last updated 21-Apr-23
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Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
“Declaration of Independence” (4 Jul 1776)
    (Source)

As modified and approved by the Continental Congress. Jefferson's "original rough draft" is very similar:

Prudence indeed will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light & transient causes: and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. but when a long train of abuses & usurpations, begun at a distinguished period, & pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to subject them to arbitrary power, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government & to provide new guards for their future security.
 
Added on 13-Aug-13 | Last updated 4-Jul-22
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I once told Nixon that the Presidency is like being a jackass caught in a hail storm. You’ve got to just stand there and take it.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American politician, educator, US President (1963-69)
Quoted in Leo Janos, “The Last Days of the President: LBJ in Retirement,” Atlantic Monthly (1973-07)
    (Source)
 
Added on 6-Nov-12 | Last updated 8-Sep-23
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