Quotations about:
    troubles


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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)
    (Source)
 
Added on 8-Mar-23 | Last updated 8-Mar-23
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Each day, futurity our bosom fills
With constant terror, for to think of woes
That are to come, is worse than to endure them.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Andromeda [Ἀνδρομέδα], Fragment (412 BC) [tr. Wodhall (1809)]
    (Source)

Barnes frag. 40, Musgrave frag. 18.
 
Added on 6-Sep-22 | Last updated 6-Sep-22
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I ne’er insulted the calamities
Of those who were unfortunate, because
I fear’d that I myself might also suffer.

[μή μοι προτείνων ἐλπίδ᾽ ἐξάγου δάκρυ. γένοιτο τἂν πόλλ’ ὧν δόκησις οὐκ ἔνι.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Andromeda [Ἀνδρομέδα], Frag. 130 (TGF) (412 BC) [tr. Wodhull (1809)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translation:

I never treated the troubles of the unfortunate insultingly,
through fear of suffering them myself.
[tr. Gibert (2004)]

 
Added on 23-Aug-22 | Last updated 23-Aug-22
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Sweet is the remembrance of troubles when you are in safety.

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Andromeda [Ἀνδρομέδα], Frag. 131 (TGF) (412 BC)
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(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

'Tis sweet to recollect past toils in safety.
[tr. Wodhull (1809)]

Sweet is the memory of toils that are past.
[tr. Reid (1883), in Cicero, De Finibus, 2.105]

Sweet is the memory of sorrows past.
[tr. Rackham (1914), in Cicero, De Finibus, 2.105]

 
Added on 9-Aug-22 | Last updated 9-Aug-22
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Lift up your hearts!
No more complaint and fear! It well may be
some happier hour will find this memory fair.

[Revocate animos, maestumque timorem
mittite: forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.]

Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Aeneid [Ænē̆is], Book 1, l. 202ff (1.202-203) (29-19 BC) [tr. Williams (1910)]
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(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Resume your courage and dismiss your care.
An hour will come, with pleasure to relate
Your sorrows past, as benefits of Fate.
[tr. Dryden (1697)]

Resume then your courage, and dismiss your desponding fears; perhaps hereafter it may delight you to remember these sufferings.
[tr. Davidson/Buckley (1854)]

Come, cheer your souls, your fears forget;
This suffering will yield us yet
⁠A pleasant tale to tell.
[tr. Conington (1866)]

Recall your courage ; banish gloomy fears.
Some day perhaps the memory even of these
Shall yield delight.
[tr. Cranch (1872)]

Recall your courage, put dull fear away. This too sometime we shall haply remember with delight.
[tr. Mackail (1885)]

Come, call aback your ancient hearts and put your fears away!
This too shall be for joy to you remembered on a day.
[tr. Morris (1900)]

Fear not; take heart; hereafter, it may be
These too will yield a pleasant tale to tell.
[tr. Taylor (1907)]

Recall your courage and put away sad fear. Perchance even this distress it will some day be a joy to recall.
[tr. Fairclough (1916)]

Call the nerve back; dismiss the fear, the sadness.
Some day, perhaps, remembering even this
Will be a pleasure.
[tr. Humphries (1951)]

Take heart again, oh, put your dismal fears away!
One day -- who knows? -- even these will be grand things to look back on.
[tr. Day Lewis (1952)]

Call back
your courage, send away your grieving fear.
Perhaps one day you will remember even
these our adversities with pleasure.
[tr. Mandelbaum (1971), l. 281ff]

Now call back
Your courage, and have done with fear and sorrow.
Some day, perhaps, remembering even this
Will be a pleasure.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1981), l. 275ff]

So summon up your courage once again. This is no time for gloom or fear. The day will come, perhaps, when it will give you pleasure to remember even this.
[tr. West (1990)]

Recall your courage
And put aside your fear and grief. Someday, perhaps,
It will help to remember these troubles as well.
[tr. Lombardo (2005), l. 238ff]

Call up your courage again. Dismiss your grief and fear.
A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this.
[tr. Fagles (2006)]

Perhaps one day it will be a joy to remember also these things.
[tr. @sentantiq (2011)]

Summon your spirits back, and abandon your sad fear:
perhaps one day even these things will be a pleasing memory.
[tr. @sentantiq/Robinson (2015)]

Perhaps one day it will be a joy to remember even these things
[tr. @sentantiq (2016)]

One day we’re going to look back on even this and laugh (maybe).
[tr. Tortorelli (2017)]

Perhaps someday it will bring pleasure to recall these things.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]

Be brave, let go your fear and despair.
Perhaps someday even memory of this will bring you pleasure.
[tr. Bartsch (2021)]

Commentary on this passage: A Hope for Better Days to Come – SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE.
 
Added on 29-Dec-21 | Last updated 30-Dec-21
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More quotes by Virgil

We two will keep to the shelter here, eat and drink
and take some joy in each other’s heartbreaking sorrows,
sharing each other’s memories. Over the years, you know,
a man finds solace even in old sorrows, true, a man
who’s weathered many blows and wandered many miles.

[νῶϊ δ᾽ ἐνὶ κλισίῃ πίνοντέ τε δαινυμένω τε
κήδεσιν ἀλλήλων τερπώμεθα λευγαλέοισι,
400μνωομένω: μετὰ γάρ τε καὶ ἄλγεσι τέρπεται ἀνήρ,
ὅς τις δὴ μάλα πολλὰ πάθῃ καὶ πόλλ᾽ ἐπαληθῇ.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 15, l. 397ff (15.397) [Eumæus] (c. 700 BC) [tr. Fagles (1996)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

We two, still in our tabernacle here
Drinking and eating, will our bosoms cheer
With memories and tales of our annoys.
Betwixt his sorrows ev’ry human joys,
He most, who most hath felt and furthest err’d.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

Meanwhile let us sit here, and drink and chat,
And stories of our sad adventures tell;
For much contentment there is ev’n in that,
To them that suffer’d have and come off well.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 357ff]

Here let us feast, and to the feast be joined
Discourse, the sweeter banquet of the mind;
Review the series of our lives, and taste
The melancholy joy of evils passed:
For he who much has suffered, much will know,
And pleased remembrance builds delight on woe.
[tr. Pope (1725)]

But we with wine and a well-furnish’d board
Supplied, will solace mutually derive
From recollection of our sufferings past;
For who hath much endured, and wander’d far,
Finds the recital ev’n of sorrow sweet.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 483ff]

But we two, drinking wine and eating bread,
Will charm our dear hearts each with other's pain.
Past sorrow, and the tears a man hath shed,
Who far hath wandered over earth and main,
Yield comfort.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 55]

Let us, meanwhile,
Within this hut potations free enjoy,
And to our full contentment eat, while each
The mem'ry wakens of his own past griefs;
For, let but time enough elapse, the man
Who has sharp trials brook'd, and through the world
A wand'rer rov'd, will on his by-gone woe
Exulting dwell.
[tr. Musgrave (1869), l. 651ff]

We two in the hut a' drinking and a' feasting,
We'll soothe each other with our doleful cares
Recounting them! for even sorrows bring
An after pleasure to the wight, I ween, --
His many woes and many wandrings past.
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

But let us twain drink and feast within the steading, and each in his neighbour’s sorrows take delight, recalling them, for even the memory of griefs is a joy to a man who hath been sore tried and wandered far.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

But here in the booth we twain at the drink and the banqueting
Shall be merry with the memory of each other's weary woe.
For very grief shall gladden the man that to and fro
Hath wandered wide the world, and suffered sorrow sore.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

But let us drink and feast within the lodge, and please ourselves with telling one another tales of piteous ill; for afterwards a man finds pleasure in his pains, when he has suffered logn and wandered long.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

We too will sit here eating and drinking in the hut, and telling one another stories about our misfortunes; for when a man has suffered much, and been buffeted about in the world, he takes pleasure in recalling the memory of sorrows that have long gone by.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

But we two will drink and feast in the hut, and will take delight each in the other's grievous woes, as we recall them to mind. For in after time a man finds joy even in woes, whosoever has suffered much, and wandered much.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

But we two snugly indoors here may drink and eat and revel in an interchange of sorrows-- sorrows that are memories, I mean; for when a man has endured deeply and strayed far from home he can cull solace from the rehearsal of old griefs.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

Meanwhile let us two, here in the hut, over our food and wine, regale ourselves with the unhappy memories that each can recall. For a man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far can enjoy even his sufferings after a time.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

Here's a tight roof; we'll drink on, you and I, and ease our hearts of hardships we remember, sharing old times. In later days a man can find a charm in old adversity, exile and pain.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

But we two, sitting here in the shelter, eating and drinking,
shall entertain each other remembering and retelling
our sad sorrows. For afterwards a man who has suffered
much and wandered much has pleasure out of his sorrows.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Meanwhile let us two have the satisfaction of sharing our unhappy memories over our food and wine here in the hut. For a man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time.
[tr. DCH Rieu (2002)]

We two will have our food and drink here in the hut and find pleasure in each other's sad troubles, as we call them to mind; for it is man's way to get enjoyment even from affliction, after the event, if he is a man who has suffered much and roamed far.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

Now let us dine and drink in my home
And take pleasure while we recall to one another
Our grievous pains. For a man may take pleasure even in pain,
Later, when he has suffered and come through so many things.
[tr. @sentantiq (2016)]

But let us, you and I, sit in my cottage over food and wine, and take some joy in hearing how much pain we each have suffered. After many years of agony and absence from one's home, a person can begin enjoying grief.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

But we two will drink and feast in the hut, and enjoy hearing about each other's wretched misfortunes as we recall them. A man looking back can find pleasure even in grief, one who's suffered and wandered much.
[tr. Green (2018)]

But we two will drink and enjoy each other's sad stories.
[tr. Green (2018), summary version]

We two will drink and feast here in the hut
and enjoy each other’s wretched troubles,
as we recall them. For once they’re over,
a man who’s done a lot of wandering
and suffered much gets pleasure from his woes.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 509ff]

As we two drink and dine in this shelter
Let us take pleasure as we recall one another’s terrible pains.
For a man finds pleasure even in pains later on
After he has suffered so very many and survived many too.
[tr. @sentantiq [Joel] (2019)]

Let us take pleasure in calling to mind each other’s terrible pains
while we drink and dine in my home.
For someone may even find pleasure among pains
when they have suffered many and gone through much.
[tr. @sentantiq (2020)]

 
Added on 11-Aug-21 | Last updated 12-Jan-22
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After any disturbance (such as two world wars coinciding with a period of growing economic and monetary incomprehensibility) we find our old concepts inadequate and look for new ones. But it unfortunately happens that the troubled times which produce an appetite for new ideas are the least propitious for clear thinking.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
In The Sunday Telegraph, London (1981)
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Added on 8-Mar-21 | Last updated 8-Mar-21
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I have no faith in the sense of comforting beliefs which persuade me that all my troubles are blessings in disguise.

Rebecca West (1892-1983) British author, journalist, literary critic, travel writer [pseud. for Cicily Isabel Fairfield]
“Pleasure Be Your Guide,” The Nation, “Living Philosophies” series #10 (25 Feb 1939)
    (Source)

Adapted into Clifton Fadiman, I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time (1952)
 
Added on 27-Oct-20 | Last updated 27-Oct-20
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Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Tempest, Act 3, sc. 2, l. 40 [Trinculo] (1611)
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Added on 28-Sep-20 | Last updated 30-Jun-22
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The worst days of darkness through which I have ever passed have been greatly alleviated by throwing myself with all my energy into some work relating to others.

James A. Garfield (1831-1881) US President (1881), lawyer, lay preacher, educator
Letter to B. A. Hinsdale (30 Apr 1874)
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Added on 10-Jul-20 | Last updated 10-Jul-20
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A talent forms itself in solitude,
A character amid the stream of life.

[Es bildet ein Talent sich in der Stille,
Sich ein Charakter in dem Strom der Welt.]

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, statesman, scientist
Torquato Tasso, Act 1, sc. 2, ll. 304-305 [Leonora] (1790) [tr. Ryder (1993)]
    (Source)

(Source (German)). Alternate translations:

  • "A talent doth in stillness form itself -- / A character on life's unquiet stream." [tr. Des Voeux (1827)]
  • "Talents are nurtured best in solitude, -- / A character on life's tempestuous sea." [tr. Swanwick (1843)]
  • "Man's talent ripens in tranquility, / His character in battling with the world." [tr. Cartwright (1861)]
  • "A talent in tranquility is formed, / A character in the turbulence of affairs." [tr. Hamburger (20th C)]
  • "Talent develops in quiet places, / Character in the full current of human life."
  • Talents are best nurtured in solitude; / Character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.
  • "Genius is formed in quiet, / Character in the stream of human life."
 
Added on 14-Feb-17 | Last updated 15-Oct-21
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While there is a chance of the world getting through its troubles I hold that a reasonable man has to behave as though he was sure of it. If at the end your cheerfulness is not justified, at any rate you will have been cheerful.

wells-you-will-have-been-cheerful-wist-info-quote

H.G. Wells (1866-1946) British writer [Herbert George Wells]
Apropos of Dolores (1938)
 
Added on 16-Sep-16 | Last updated 16-Sep-16
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None knows the weight of another’s burthen.

Herbert - anothers burden - wist_info quote

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Outlandish Proverbs, #880 (1640)
 
Added on 10-Dec-15 | Last updated 10-Dec-15
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For prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best discover virtue.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Adversity,” Essays, No. 5 (1625)
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Added on 11-Feb-13 | Last updated 25-Mar-22
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The virtue of Prosperity is temperance; the virtue of Adversity is fortitude.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
“Of Adversity,” Essays, No. 5 (1625)
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Added on 4-Feb-13 | Last updated 25-Mar-22
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Times of trouble best discover the true worth of a man.

Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German monk, author
The Imitation of Christ, Book 1, ch. 16 (c. 1418) [tr. L. Sherley-Price (1952)]
    (Source)

Alt trans.: "The measure of every man's virtue is best revealed in time of adversity -- adversity that does not weaken a man but rather shows what he is."
 
Added on 5-Jun-09 | Last updated 14-Sep-16
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In every age “the good old days” were a myth. No one ever thought they were good at the time. For every age has consisted of crises that seemed intolerable to the people who lived through them.

Brooks Atkinson (1894-1984) American drama critic and journalist
Once Around the Sun, “February 8” (1951)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 21-Dec-22
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“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) English writer, fabulist, philologist, academic [John Ronald Reuel Tolkien]
The Lord of the Rings, Vol. 1: The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 1, ch. 2 “The Shadow of the Past” (1954)
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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Sep-22
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