Quotations about:
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Study has always been for me the sovereign remedy against life’s unpleasantness, since I have never experienced any sorrow that an hour’s reading did not eliminate.

[L’étude a été pour moi le souverain remède contre les dégoûts de la vie, n’ayant jamais eu de chagrin qu’une heure de lecture n’ait dissipé.]

Charles-Lewis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu (1689-1755) French political philosopher
Pensées [Thoughts], # 213 (1720-1755) [tr. Clark (2012)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Study has been my sovereign remedy against the worries of life. I have never had a care that an hour's reading could not dispel.
[Source (1826)]

Study is a sovereign remedy against the troubles of life; there is no vexation which an hour's reading cannot mitigate.
[E.g. (1877)]

Study has been to me a sovereign remedy against the vexations of life, having never had an annoyance that one hour's reading did not dissipate.
[E.g. (1905)]

Study has been my sovereign remedy against life's disappointment; I have never known any distress that an hour's reading did not relieve.
[ed. Guterman (1963)]

 
Added on 1-Jul-24 | Last updated 1-Jul-24
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Do not let us speak of darker days: let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days — the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
Speech, Harrow School, England (1941-10-29)
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Added on 12-Feb-24 | Last updated 12-Feb-24
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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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From a cross Neighbour, and a sullen Wife,
A pointless Needle, and a broken Knife;
From Suretyship, and from an empty Purse,
A Smoaky Chimney and a jolting Horse;
From a dull Razor, and an aking Head,
From a bad Conscience and a buggy Bed;
A Blow upon the Elbow and the Knee,
From each of these, Good L—d deliver me.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher, aphorist
Poor Richard (1734 ed.)
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Added on 30-Jan-24 | Last updated 30-Jan-24
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Better is a little with contentment than great Treasure; and trouble therewith.

Abigail Adams (1744-1818) American correspondent, First Lady (1797-1801)
Letter to Mary Smith Cranch (1790-02-20)
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Added on 14-Nov-23 | Last updated 14-Nov-23
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Let not these things thy least concern engage;
For though thou fret, they will not mind thy rage.
Him only good and happy we may call
Who rightly useth what doth him befall.
 
[τοῖς πράγμασιν γὰρ οὐχὶ θυμοῦσθαι χρεών:
μέλει γὰρ αὐτοῖς οὐδέν: ἀλλ᾽ οὑντυγχάνων
τὰ πράγματ᾽ ὀρθῶς ἂν τιθῇ, πράσσει καλῶς]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Bellerophon [Βελλεροφῶν], frag. 287 (TGF) (c. 430 BC) [Morgan (1718)]
    (Source)

Quoted in Plutarch, "De Tranquilitate Animi [On the Contentedness of the Mind]," sec. 4. (467a). Nauck frag. 287, Barnes frag. 132, Musgrave frag. 24.

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Nor ought we to be angry at Events;
For they our anger heed not: but the man
Who best to each emergency adapts
His conduct, will assuredly act right.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]

Events will take their course, it is no good
Our being angry at them; he is happiest
Who wisely turns them to the best account.
[tr. Shilleto (1888), frag. 298]

It does no good to rage at circumstance;
Events will take their course with no regard
For us. but he who makes the best of those
Events he lights upon will not fare ill.
[tr. Helmbold (1939)]

There is no point in getting angry at circumstances. They are uncaring, utterly unconcerned.
But a man who responds to them in the right way, he fares well.
[tr. Stevens (2012)]

One should not get angry with affairs, for they show no concern; but if a man handles affairs correctly as he encounters them, he fares well.
[tr. Collard, Hargreaves, Cropp (1995)]

 
Added on 22-Aug-23 | Last updated 19-Sep-23
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Trouble, like the hill ahead, straightens out when you advance upon it.

No picture available
Marcelene Cox (1900-1998) American writer, columnist, aphorist
“Ask Any Woman” column, Ladies’ Home Journal (1953-05)
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Added on 21-Aug-23 | Last updated 21-Aug-23
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Nobody knows the trouble we’ve seen — but we keep trying to tell them.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 4 (1966)
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Added on 3-Aug-23 | Last updated 3-Aug-23
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If you make money your god, it will plague you like the devil.

(Other Authors and Sources)
English proverb

Sometimes "'twill plague you".

An anonymous proverb, recorded in Thomas Fielding, ed., Select Proverbs of All Nations (1824). Thomas Fielding was the pseudonym of John Wade (1788-1875), a British journalist and author.

Though Fielding was only a compiler of proverbs and aphorisms, the quotation then shows up in a variety of collections later in the 19th Century actually cited to "Fielding," e.g., H. Southgate, ed., Many Thoughts of Many Minds (1862); John Camden Hotten, ed. The Golden Treasury of Thought (1873); Edward Parsons Day, ed., Day's Collacon: an Encyclopaedia of Prose Quotations (1884).

In relatively short order, this "Fielding" then became conflated with the more famous English writer Henry Fielding (1707-1754), to whom this quotation is often credited.
 
Added on 26-Jul-23 | Last updated 26-Jul-23
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It’s no use crying over spilt evils. It’s better to mop them up laughing.

Eleanor Farjeon
Eleanor Farjeon (1881-1965) English author
Gypsy and Ginger, “Gypsy and Ginger Take Things Seriously” [Gypsy] (1920)
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Added on 1-Jun-23 | Last updated 1-Jun-23
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Sometimes it is good for us to have troubles and hardships, for they often call us back to our own hearts. Once there, we know ourselves to be strangers in this world, and we know that we may not believe in anything that it has to offer.

[Bonum nobis est, quod aliquando habeamus aliquas gravitates et contrarietates, quia sæpe hominem ad cor revocant, quatenus se in exilio esse cognoscat, nec spem suam in aliqua mundi re ponat.]

Thomas von Kempen
Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German-Dutch priest, author
The Imitation of Christ [De Imitatione Christi], Book 1, ch. 12, v. 1 (1.12.1) (c. 1418-27) [tr. Creasy (1989)]
    (Source)

See Psalm 119:71.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

It is good that we have sometime griefs and adversities, for they drive a man to behold himself, and to see that he is here but as in an exile, and be learned thereby to know that he ought not to put his trust in any worldly thing.
[tr. Whitford/Raynal (1530/1871)]

It is good that we sometimes have griefs and adversities, for they drive a man to behold himself and to see that he is but here as in exile, and to learn thereby that he ought not put his trust in any worldly thing.
[tr. Whitford/Gardiner (1530/1955)]

It is good for us sometimes to suffer affliction and contradiction, because they oftentimes call a man home unto himselfe. They make a man to know that he liveth here but in banishment, and that he must not trust to any thing in this world.
[tr. Page (1639), x.12.1-2]

It is good for me that I have been in Trouble, says David. Nor is it David's Case alone, for many Men have reason to bless that Providence which sends Crosses and Calamities upon them. These bring Man's Thoughts home, put him upon Reflection, and help him to understand himself and his Condition. They shew him, that he is in a State of Exile and Pilgrimage, and forbid him to set up his Hope and Rest, in a strange Country, where he is no better than a Sojourner.
[tr. Stanhope (1696; 1706 ed.)]

It is good for man to suffer the adversity of this earthly life; for it brings him back to the sacred retirement of the heart, where only he finds, that he is an exile from his native home, and ought not to place his trust in any worldly enjoyment.
[tr. Payne (1803)]

It is good that we have sometimes some troubles and crosses; for they often make a man enter into himself, and consider that he is here in banishment, and ought not to place his trust in any worldly thing.
[ed. Parker (1841)]

It is good for us that we sometimes suffer contrarieties and vexations; for they call a man back to the retirement of his heart, where only he finds, that, as he is an exile from his native home, he ought not to place his trust in any worldly enjoyment.
[tr. Dibdin (1851)]

It is good for us to have sometimes troubles and adversities, for they make a man enter into himself, that he may know that he is in exile, and may not place his hopes in anything of the world.
[ed. Bagster (1860)]

It is good for us that we sometimes have sorrows and adversities, for they often make a man lay to heart that he is only a stranger and sojourner, and may not put his trust in any worldly thing.
[tr. Benham (1874)]

It is good that we have sometimes troubles and crosses; for they often make a man enter into himself, and consider that he is here in banishment, and ought not to place his trust in any worldly thing.
[tr. Anon. (1901)]

It is good for us to have trials and troubles at times, for they often remind us that we are on probation and ought not to hope in any worldly thing.
[tr. Croft/Bolton (1940)]

It is good for us at times to have some burdens and adversities, for they often call a man back to his heart, that he may recognise himself to be in exile, and not fix his hope on anything earthly.
[tr. Daplyn (1952)]

It is good for us to encounter troubles and adversities from time to time, for trouble often compels a man to search his own heart. It reminds him that he is an exile here, and that he can put his trust in nothing in this world.
[tr. Sherley-Price (1952)]

It's good for you to go through difficult times now and again, and to have your will thwarted; the effect is often to make a man think -- make him realize that he is living in exile, and it is no use relying upon any earthly support.
[tr. Knox-Oakley (1959)]

It is a good thing that we have to face difficulties and opposition from time to time, because this brings us back to ourselves; it makes us realize that we are exiles and cannot pin our hopes on anything in this world.
[tr. Knott (1962)]

It is good for us now and then to experience difficulties and adversity; for they make man realize again that he is an exile and should not put his hopes on any worldly thing.
[tr. Rooney (1979)]

 
Added on 31-May-23 | Last updated 28-Sep-23
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All we hear is “What’s the matter with the country?” “What’s the matter with the world?” There ain’t but one thing wrong with every one of us in the world, and that’s selfishness.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
Column (1935-03-10), “Daily Telegrams”
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Added on 1-Dec-22 | Last updated 21-Jun-24
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New lives, what do they mean in the end? A fresh set of little troubles, more solid perhaps than the old. People who talk of new lives believe there will be no new troubles.

Phyllis Bottome
Phyllis Bottome (1884-1963) British novelist and short story writer [mar. Phyllis Forbes Dennis]
Old Wine, ch. 18 (1925)
 
Added on 19-Aug-22 | Last updated 19-Aug-22
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Do not get lost in a sea of despair. You must not become bitter or hostile; be hopeful and optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year. It is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way.

John Lewis
John Lewis (1940-2020) American politician and civil rights leader
Stump speech

Lewis used variations of these phrases regularly through his career. Several abridged combinations showed up in social media:

Ours is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year--it is the struggle of lifetime. We must build a world at peace with itself.
[Twitter (14 Jul 2016)]

Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.
[Twitter (27 Jun 2018)]

Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Do not become bitter or hostile. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. We will find a way to make a way out of no way.
[Twitter (16 Jul 2019)]

 
Added on 27-Jul-22 | Last updated 27-Jul-22
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If a man takes no thought about what is distant, he will find sorrow near at hand.

[人無遠慮、必有近憂。]

Confucius (c. 551- c. 479 BC) Chinese philosopher, sage, politician [孔夫子 (Kǒng Fūzǐ, K'ung Fu-tzu, K'ung Fu Tse), 孔子 (Kǒngzǐ, Chungni), 孔丘 (Kǒng Qiū, K'ung Ch'iu)]
The Analects [論語, 论语, Lúnyǔ], Book 15, verse 12 (15.12) (6th C. BC – 3rd C. AD) [tr. Legge (1861), 15.11]
    (Source)

In modern arrangements, this is 15.12; older ones use Legge's verse numberings (15.11). (Source (Chinese)). Alternate translations:

They who care not for the morrow will the sooner have their sorrow.
[tr. Jennings (1895), 15.11]

If a man takes no thought for the morrow, he will be sorry before today is out.
[tr. Ku Hung-Ming (1898), 15.11]

Who heeds not the future will find sorrow at hand.
[tr. Soothill (1910), 15.11]

Men who don't think of the far, will have trouble near.
[tr. Pound (1933), 15.11]

He who will not worry about what is far off will soon find something worse than worry close at hand.
[tr. Waley (1938), 15.11]

If a man does not give thought to problems which are still distant, he will be worried by them when they get nearer
[tr. Ware (1950), 15.12]

He who gives no thought to difficulties in the future is sure to be best by worries much closer at hand.
[tr. Lau (1979), 15.12]

If a man avoids thinking about distant matters he will certainly have worries close at hand.
[tr. Dawson (1993), 15.12]

A man with no concern for the future is bound to worry about the present.
[tr. Leys (1997), 15.12]

If a man does not have long-range considerations, he will surely incur imminent afflictions.
[tr. Huang (1997), 15.12]

If one has no any consideration for the future, might have some anxiety in near.
[tr. Cai/Yu (1998), 15.12]

The person who does not consider what is still far off will not escape being alarmed at what is near at hand.
[tr. Ames/Rosemont (1998), 15.12]

If a man has no worries about what is far off, he will assuredly have troubles that are near at hand.
[tr. Brooks/Brooks (1998), 15.12]

If things far away don't concern you, you'll soon mourn things close at hand.
[tr. Hinton (1998), 15.12]

The person who fails to take far-reaching precautions is sure to encounter near-at-hand woes.
[tr. Watson (2007) 15.12]

The person who does not think ahead about the distant future is sure to be troubled by worries close at hand.
[tr. Annping Chin (2014)]

If a person does not plan and prepare for the future, he must be beset by worries and troubles very soon.
[tr. Li (2020), 15.12]

 
Added on 12-Jul-22 | Last updated 8-May-23
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There is always something pleasurable in the struggle and the victory. And if a man has no opportunity to excite himself, he will do what he can to create one, and according to his individual bent, he will hunt or play Cup and Ball: or led on by this unsuspected element in his nature, he will pick a quarrel with someone, or hatch a plot or intrigue, or take to swindling and rascally courses generally — all to put an end to a state of repose which is intolerable.

[Der Kampf mit ihnen und der Sieg beglückt. Fehlt ihm die Gelegenheit dazu, so macht er sie sich, wie er kann: je nachdem seine Individualität es mit sich bringt, wird er jagen, oder Bilboquet spielen, oder, vom unbewußten Zuge seiner Natur geleitet, Händel suchen, oder Intriguen anspinnen, oder sich auf Betrügereien und allerlei Schlechtigkeiten einlassen, um nur dem ihm unerträglichen Zustande der Ruhe ein Ende zu machen.]

Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol. 1, “Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life [Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit],” ch. 5 “Counsels and Maxims [Paränesen und Maximen],” § 2.17 (1851) [tr. Saunders (1890)]
    (Source)

(Source (German)). Alternate translation:

The struggle with [obstacles] and the triumph make him happy. If he lacks the opportunity for this, he creates it as best he can; according to the nature of his individuality, he will hunt or play cup and ball; or, guided by the unconscious urge of his nature, he will pick a quarrel, hatch a plot, or be involved in fraud and all kinds of wickedness, merely in order to put an end to an intolerable state of repose.
[tr. Payne (1974)]

 
Added on 29-Jun-22 | Last updated 22-Feb-23
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Few bothersome things are important enough to bother with. It is folly to take to heart what you should turn your back on. Many things that were something are nothing if left alone, and others that were nothing turn into much because we pay attention to them.
 
[Pocas cosas de enfado se han de tomar de propósito, que sería empeñarse sin él. Es trocar los puntos tomar a pechos lo que se ha de echar a las espaldas. Muchas cosas que eran algo, dejándolas, fueron nada; y otras que eran nada, por haber hecho caso de ellas, fueron mucho.]

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 121 (1647) [tr. Maurer (1992)]
    (Source)

(Source (Spanish)). Alternate translations:

Few of those things that occasion trouble, are to be minded: else we shall torment our selves much in vain. It's to act the clean contrary way, to lay that to heart, which we should throw behind our backs. Many things that were of some consequence, have signified nothing at all, because men troubled not themselves about them; and others which signified nothing, have become matters of importance, because of the value that was put upon them.
[Flesher ed. (1685)]

Troublesome things must not be taken too seriously if they can be avoided. It is preposterous to take to heart that which you should throw over your shoulders. Much that would be something has become nothing by being left alone and what was nothing has become of consequence by being made much of.
[tr. Jacobs (1892)]

To convert petty annoyances into matters of importance, is to become seriously involved in nothing. It is to miss the point, to carry on the chest what has been cast from the shoulders. Many things which were something, by being left alone became nothing; and others which were nothing, became much because messed into.
[tr. Fischer (1937)]

 
Added on 4-Apr-22 | Last updated 9-Oct-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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If one were to write a book called “The Best Remedy against Self-Torment,” it would be very brief: “Let each day have trouble enough of its own.”

Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) Danish philosopher, theologian
Christian Discourses (Christelige Taler), Part 1 “The Cares of the Pagans,” ch. 6 (1848) [tr. Hong (1997)]
    (Source)
 
Added on 27-Oct-21 | Last updated 27-Oct-21
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Things get bad for all of us, almost continually, and what we do under the constant stress reveals who/what we are.

Charles Bukowski (1920-1994) German-American author, poet
What Matters Most is How Well You Walk Through the Fire (1999)
 
Added on 22-Sep-21 | Last updated 22-Sep-21
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For he says that evils are neither diminished by time nor lightened by being premeditated; that meditation on evil to come, or, it may be, on that which will never come, is foolish; that every evil is sufficiently annoying when it comes; that to him who has always thought that something adverse may happen to him that very thought is a perpetual evil; that if the expected evil should not happen, he would have incurred voluntary misery in vain; that thus one would be always in distress, either in suffering evil or in thinking of it.

[Nam neque vetustate minui mala nec fieri praemeditata leviora, stultamque etiam esse meditationem futuri mali aut fortasse ne futuri quidem: satis esse odiosum malum omne, cum venisset; qui autem semper cogitavisset accidere posse aliquid adversi, ei fieri illud sempiternum malum; si vero ne futurum quidem sit, frustra suscipi miseriam voluntariam; ita semper angi aut accipiendo aut cogitando malo.]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Tusculan Disputations [Tusculanae Disputationes], Book 3, ch. 15 (3.15) / sec. 32 (45 BC) [tr. Peabody (1886)]
    (Source)

Discussing the teachings of Epicurus (fr. U444). Source (Latin). Alternate translations:

For that neither are Evils abated by long time, nor yet alleviated by foresight of them; and that the poring on Evils not yet come, and perhaps that never will come, is foolish. For that all Evil is Vexation enough, when it is come; but he that is always thinking that some Adversity may possibly befall him, to him it becometh an everlasting Evil; but if it shall never actually come upon him, a voluntary Disquiet is taken up on false grounds; so the mind is always vex'd, either with enduring, or expecting Evil.
[tr. Wase (1643)]

Evils are not the less by reason of their continuance, nor the oighter for having been foreseen; and it is folly to ruminate on evils to come, or that, perhaps, may never come; every evil is disagreeable enough when it doth come: but he who is constantly considering that some evil may befall him, charges himself with a perpetual evil, for should such eve never light on him, he voluntarily takes to himself unnecessary misery, so that he is under constant uneasiness, whether he meets any evil or only thinks of it.
[tr. Main (1824)]

For evil ls not diminished by time, nor alleviated by premeditation: that it is folly itself to brood upon evil that is future, or indeed, perhaps, is not to be at all: that evil is hateful enough when it comes: that, to the man, who is always musing upon that which is to come, his meditation itself becomes an eternal evil; and, should it prove that his apprehensions have been groundless, he burdens himself with a voluntary misery; and thus, between the encounter and contemplation of evil, he is always in trouble.
[tr. Otis (1839)]

Evils are not the less by reason of their continuance, nor the lighter for having been foreseen; and it is folly to ruminate on evils to come, or such as, perhaps, never may come; every evil is disagreeable enough when it does come; but he who is constantly considering that some evil may befall him, is loading himself with a perpetual evil, and even should such evil never light on him, he voluntarily takes upon himself unnecessary misery, so that he is under constant uneasiness, whether he actually suffers any evil, or only thinks of it.
[tr. Yonge (1853)]

Evils are not diminished by the passage of time, nor made easier by pre-rehearsal. In fact it is foolish to rehearse misfortunes which have not yet happened and which may not happen at all. Each of our misfortunes is distasteful enough, he says, when it is already here: those who have constantly been thinking about what disagreeable things are on the way simply make their evils perpetual. And those things may not happen at all, in which case all their voluntary misery goes for nothing. The result is that they are always in anxiety, either from the evils they undergo or from those they anticipate.
[tr. Graver (2002)]

 
Added on 23-Aug-21 | Last updated 11-Aug-22
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A man can’t help his feelings sometime. He don’t even understand his damn self half the time and there the trouble starts.

Paule Marshall
Paule Marshall (1929-2019) American writer
The Chosen Place, The Timeless People (1969)
    (Source)
 
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“So, Jeeves!”

“Yes, sir.”

“What do you mean. Yes, sir?”

“I was endeavouring to convey my appreciation of the fact that your position is in many respects somewhat difficult, sir. But I wonder if I might call your attention to an observation of the Emperor Marcus Aurelius. He said: ‘Does aught befall you? It is good. It is part of the destiny of the Universe ordained for you from the beginning. All that befalls you is part of the great web.'”

I breathed a bit stertorously.

“He said that, did he?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Well, you can tell him from me he’s an ass.”

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
The Mating Season, ch. 4 (1949)
    (Source)

Adapted from Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 4, #26 [tr. Rendall (1901)].

Wodehouse uses in "Ordeal by Golf" (1919) a similar sentiment from Meditations, Book 10, #5, to suggest Marcus Aurelius was a golfer.

Imitate the spirit of Marcus Aurelius. "Whatever may befall thee," says that great man in his "Meditations," "it was preordained for thee from everlasting. Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear." I like to think that this noble thought came to him after he had sliced a couple of new balls into the woods, and that he jotted it down on the back of his score-card.
 
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Life has this in common with prizefighting: if you’ve received a belly blow, it’s likely to be followed by a right to the jaw.

Carolyn Gold Heilbrun (1926-2003) American academic, feminist author, novelist [as Amanda Cross]
The James Joyce Murder, ch. 1 (1967) [as Amanda Cross]
    (Source)
 
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What makes people hard-hearted is this, that each man has, or thinks he has, as much as he can bear in his own troubles.

[Was die Menschen hartherzig macht, is Dieses, daß jeder an seinen eigenen Plagen genug zu tragen hat, oder doch es meint.]

Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) German philosopher
Parerga and Paralipomena, Vol. 2, ch. 26 “Psychological Observations [Psychologische Bemerkungen],” § 325 (1851) [tr. Saunders (1890)]
    (Source)

(Source (German)). Alternate translation:

What makes a man hard-hearted is this, that each man has, or fancies he has, sufficient in his own troubles to bear.
[tr. Dircks]

 
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Here’s to the crazy ones — the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes, the ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them, because they change things, they push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) American computer inventor, entrepreneur
“To the Crazy Ones,” TV advertisement (1997)
    (Source)

Often cited as a quotation from Steve Jobs, this was an Apple advertisement developed by Chiat/Day under the direction of Jobs after his return to the company in 1997, under the campaign "Think Different." The ad and its text was created by Chiat/Day talent like Craig Tanimoto, Rob Siltanen, and Ken Segall. (For more information on the ad's development, see Siltanen's article.)

Jobs did narrate the text at least once, but the original 1997 ad was voiced by Richard Dreyfuss.

Note: nearly all transcripts say, "But the only thing you can't do ..." while the word voiced is "About the only thing you can't do ...."
 
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If pleasures are greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of trouble.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard (1916)
    (Source)
 
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Things are never so bad that they can’t get worse. But they’re sometimes so bad they can’t get better.

Mignon McLaughlin (1913-1983) American journalist and author
The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, ch. 5 (1966)
    (Source)
 
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For when the water is up to your neck you must be truly stubborn not to cry for help.

[Che chi ne l’acqua sta fin’alla gola
Ben’e ostinato se merce non grida.]

Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) Italian poet
Orlando Furioso, Canto 1, st. 50, l. 353 (1532) [tr. Waldman]

Alt. trans.:
  • "For who, when circling waters round him spread / And menace present death, impores not aid?" [tr. Hoole (1807)]
  • "For the poor drowning caitiff, who, chin-deep, / Implores not help, is obstinate indeed." [tr. Rose (1831)]
  • "The drowning man who waits to be exhorted / To cry for help must be a man of pride!" [tr. Reynolds (2006)]
 
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Oh, high is the price of parenthood,
And daughters may cost you double.
You dare not forget, as you thought you could,
That youth is a plague and a trouble.

Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978) American author, poet
“Homework for Annabelle,” New Yorker (15 Mar 1952)
    (Source)

Reprinted in Love Letters (1954). Full poem.
 
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The man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.

Henry Miller (1891-1980) American novelist
Sexus, ch. 14 (1949)
    (Source)
 
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God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose. Take which you please — you can never have both.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Intellect,” Essays: First Series (1841)
    (Source)
 
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In the crisis of this hour — as in all others that we have faced since our Nation began — there are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them in the last analysis really come down to this: Deny your responsibilities.

Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) American politician, educator, US President (1963-69)
Speech (1967-10-07), Democratic Party Dinner, Washington, D.C.
    (Source)

Sometimes paraphrased "There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them come down to this: Deny your responsibility."
 
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If someone knows of a problem and conceals it from me, I get more upset from that than from the problem itself. I tell our people time and time again: Bad news first.

Donald Regan (1918-2003) American financier, government executive
In Bernard Weintraub, “How Donald Regan Runs the White House,” New York Times Magazine (5 Jan 1986)
 
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There are two insults which no human being will endure: The assertion that he hasn’t a sense of humor, and the doubly impertinent assertion that he has never known trouble.

Sinclair Lewis (1885-1951) American novelist, playwright
Main Street, ch. 31, sec. 2 (1920)
    (Source)
 
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Ya got trouble, folks!
Right here in River City.
Trouble with a capital “T”
And that rhymes with “P”
And that stands for pool!

Meredith Willson (1902-1984) American composer, songwriter, flutist, conductor, playwright
“(Ya Got) Trouble,” The Music Man (1957)
 
Added on 23-Sep-15 | Last updated 23-Sep-15
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Philosophy easily triumphs over past ills and ills to come, but present ills triumph over philosophy.

[La philosophie triomphe aisément des maux passés et des maux à venir; mais les maux présents triomphent d’elle.]

François VI, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French epigrammatist, memoirist, noble
Réflexions ou sentences et maximes morales [Reflections; or Sentences and Moral Maxims], ¶22 (1665-1678) [tr Tancock (1959)]
    (Source)

(Source (French)). French variants:

La philosophie triomphe aisément des maux passés et de ceux qu’un ne sont pas prêts d’arriver; mais les maux présents triomphent d'elle.
(1665)]

La philosophie ne fait des merveilles que contre les maux passés ou contre ceux qui ne sont pas prêts d’arriver, mais elle n’a pas grande vertu contre les maux présents.
[Manuscript]

Alternate English translations:

Philosophy may easily triumph over Evils past, as also over those not yet ready to assault a man; but the present triumph over it.
[tr. Davies (1669), ¶87]

Philosophy finds it an easie matter to vanquish past and future Evils, but the present are commonly too hard for it.
[tr. Stanhope (1694), ¶23]

Philosophy easily triumphs over past and future ills; but present ills triumph over philosophy.
[pub. Donaldson (1783), "Ills" ¶242]

Philosophy easily triumphs over ills both past and future; but present ills triumph over philosophy.
[ed. Carville (1835), "Ills" ¶211]

Philosophy easily triumphs over past and future ills: but religion only triumphs over the present ones.
[ed. Carville (1835), "Philosophers" ¶303]

Philosophy triumphs easily over past, and over future evils, but present evils triumph over philosophy.
[ed. Gowens (1851), ¶23]

Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils; but present evils triumph over it.
[tr. Bund/Friswell (1871)]

Philosophy easily masters past and future ills, but the sorrow of the moment is the master of philosophy.
[tr. Heard (1917)]

Philosophy easily conquers both past and future misfortunes, but is conquered by the misfortunes of the moment.
[tr. Stevens (1939)]

Philosophy can easily triumph over past misfortunes and over those that lie ahead: but the misfortunes of the present will triumph over our philosophy.
[tr. FitzGibbon (1957)]

Philosophy triumphs with ease over misfortunes past and to come, but present misfortunes triumph over it.
[tr. Kronenberger (1959)]

Philosophy triumphs easily over past and future evils; but present evils triumph over it.
[tr. Whichello (2016)]

 
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They taught me that the truth would make me free but failed to warn me of the kind of trouble I’d get into by trying to tell it — I remain duly grateful.

Margaret Atwood (b. 1939) Canadian writer, literary critic, environmental activist
“Attitude,” Commencement Address, University Of Toronto (14 Jun 1983)
    (Source)
 
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If Afflictions refine some, they consume others.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English physician, preacher, aphorist, writer
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #2666 (1732)
    (Source)
 
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When we are strong, we are always much greater than the things that happen to us.

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) French-American religious and writer [a.k.a. Fr. M. Louis]
No Man Is an Island, 7.7 (1955)
 
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He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.

Ben Jonson (1572-1637) English playwright and poet
Timber: Or, Discoveries, “Explorata” (1640)
 
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What’s wan man’s news is another man’s throubles.

[What’s one man’s news is another man’s troubles.]

Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1936) American humorist and journalist
“The News of a Week,” Observations by Mr. Dooley (1902)
 
Added on 26-Oct-11 | Last updated 4-Mar-16
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Friendship may well deserve the sacrifice of pleasure, though not of conscience.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
The Rambler, #64 (27 Oct 1750)
    (Source)
 
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When I look back on all these worries I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.

Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British statesman and author
The Second World War, Vol. 2: Their Finest Hour, ch. 23 “September Tensions” (1949)
    (Source)
 
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Sandman 72 p13

DESTRUCTION: It’s astonishing how much trouble one can get oneself into, if one works at it. And astonishing how much trouble one can get oneself out of, if one simply assumes that everything will, somehow or other, work out for the best.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British author, screenwriter, fabulist
Sandman, Book 10. The Wake, # 72 “Chapter 3, In Which We Wake” (1995-11)
    (Source)
 
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Divine Providence sends the chiefest benefits under the mask of calamities.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“The Fortune of the Republic,” lecture, Boston (1878-03-30)

Final version of a lecture first given in 1863, and his last public speech.
 
Added on 24-Mar-09 | Last updated 27-Mar-23
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Now everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody Else, but when it happens to you, why it seems to lose some of its Humor, and if it keeps on happening, why the entire laughter kinder Fades out of it.

Will Rogers (1879-1935) American humorist
The Illiterate Digest, “Warning to Jokers: Lay off the Prince” (1924)
    (Source)
 
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Richard had noticed that events were cowards: they didn’t occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British author, screenwriter, fabulist
Neverwhere, ch. 1 (1996; 2015 ed.)
    (Source)
 
Added on 25-Oct-07 | Last updated 8-Sep-22
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Friendship, of itself a holy tie,
Is made more sacred by adversity.

John Dryden (1631-1700) English poet, dramatist, critic
The Hind and the Panther, Part 3, l. 47 (1687)
    (Source)

The actual lines read:

For friendship of it self, an holy tye,
Is made more sacred by adversity.

 
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When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves at court or in war, whence arise so many quarrels, passions, bold and often bad ventures, etc., I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) French scientist and philosopher
Pensées #139 “Diversion” (1670)
    (Source)

Alt. trans.: "I have often said that man's unhappiness springs from one thing alone, his incapacity to stay quietly in one room."

Alt. trans.: "All the trouble in the world is due to the fact that a man cannot sit still in a room."
 
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If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
“The American Crisis” #1 (19 Dec 1776)

Source essay
 
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History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.

Bertie Charles (B. C.) Forbes (1880-1954) American publisher
Forbes, Issue No. 1 (Sep 1917)
    (Source)
 
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If you are pained by external things, it is not they that disturb you, but your own judgment of them. And it is in your power to wipe out that judgment now.

Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) Roman emperor (161-180), Stoic philosopher
Meditations, Book 8, #47 [tr. Long (1862)]
    (Source)

Modernized version (see below for original). Alternate translations:

  • "If therefore it be a thing external that causes thy grief, know, that it is not that properly that doth cause it, but thine own conceit and opinion concerning the thing: which thou mayest rid thyself of, when thou wilt." [tr. Casaubon (1634), #45]
  • "If externals put you into the spleen, take notice 'tis not the thing which disturbs you, but your notion about it: which notion you may dismiss if you please." [tr. Collier (1701)]
  • "If thou art pained by any external thing, it is not this thing that disturbs thee, but thy own judgment about it. And it is in thy power to wipe out this judgment now." [tr. Long (1862), original]
  • "If anything external vexes you, take notice that it is not the thing which disturbs you, but your notion about it, which notion you may dismiss at once if you please." [tr. Zimmern (1887)]
  • "If you suffer pain because of some external cause, what troubles you is not the thing but your decision about it, and this it is in your power to wipe out at once." [tr. Farquharson (1944)]
  • "If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing yourself but to your estaimte of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment." [tr. Staniforth (1964)]
 
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The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) American abolitionist, orator, writer
Speech on West India Emancipation (4 Aug 1857)

Also cited (in part) as a letter to a colleague in 1849. More background here.
 
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Evils in the journey of life are like the hills which alarm travelers on their road. Both appear great at a distance, but when we approach them we find they are far less insurmountable than we had conceived.

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 2, § 241 (1822)
    (Source)
 
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