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But in the days that are now passing over us, even fools are arrested to ask the meaning of them; few of the generations of men have seen more impressive days. Days of endless calamity, disruption, dislocation, confusion worse confounded: if they are not days of endless hope too, then they are days of utter despair. For it is not a small hope that will suffice, the ruin being clearly, either in action or in prospect, universal. There must be a new world, if there is to be any world at all!

Thomas Carlyle
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish essayist and historian
Latter-Day Pamphlets, # 1 “The Present Time” (1850-02-01)
    (Source)
 
Added on 16-May-24 | Last updated 13-May-24
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A thing I am not anxious to preserve
Is this frail life; for soon as one woe ends,
Others commence, and our weak eyes discern not
What evil fortunes yet remain behind.

[αἰεὶ τὸ µὲν ζῇ, τὸ δὲ µεθίσταται κακόν,
τὸ δ’ αὖ πέφηνεν αὖθις ἐξ ἀρχῆς νέον.]

Euripides (485?-406? BC) Greek tragic dramatist
Æolus [Αἴολος], frag. 35 (TGF) [tr. Wodhull (1809)]
    (Source)

Nauck frag. 35, Barnes frag. 51, Musgrave frag. 15, 16. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

One ill is ever clinging;
One treads upon its heels;
A third, in distance springing,
Its fearful front reveals.
[tr. Peacock (1897)]

One trouble alive and well, another gone,
as all afresh a new one comes our way.
[Source]

 
Added on 5-Mar-24 | Last updated 5-Mar-24
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O the times! O the manners!

[O tempora, o mores!]

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) Roman orator, statesman, philosopher
Orationes in Catilinam [Catilinarian Orations], No. 1, § 1, cl. 2 (1.1.2) (63-11-08 BC) [tr. Mongan (1879)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Oh what times! what a world do we live in!
[tr. Wase (1671)]

But O degenerate times!
[tr. Sydney (1795)]

Shame on the age and on its principles!
[tr. Yonge (1856)]

O the times! O the manners.
[tr. Underwood (1885)]

O times! O manners!
[tr. Dewey (1916)]

What a scandalous commentary on our age and its standards!
[tr. Grant (1960)]

O what times (we live in)! O what customs (we pursue)!
[IB Notes]

What times! What morals!
[Source]

 
Added on 15-Feb-24 | Last updated 15-Feb-24
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I think that if there go on being great wars and great oppressions and many people leading very unhappy lives, probably religion will go on, because I’ve observed that the belief in the goodness of God is inversely proportional to the evidence. When there’s no evidence for it at all, people believe it, and, when things are going well and you might believe it, they don’t.

Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
Interview by Woodrow Wyatt, BBC TV (1959)
    (Source)

Collected in Bertrand Russell's BBC Interviews (1959) [UK] and Bertrand Russell Speaks His Mind (1960) [US]. Reprinted (abridged) in The Humanist (1982-11/12), and in Russell Society News, #37 (1983-02).
 
Added on 18-Oct-23 | Last updated 18-Oct-23
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For love of God, cheerfully endure everything — labour, sorrow, temptation, provocation, anxiety, necessity, weakness, injury and insult; censure, humiliation, disgrace, contradiction and contempt. All these things foster your growth in virtue, for they test the unproved servant of Christ, and form the jewels of his heavenly crown.

[Pro amore Dei debes omnia libenter subire , labores scilicet et dolores, tentationes et vexationes, anxietates et necessitates , infirmitates , injurias, oblocutiones , reprehensiones, humiliationes, confusiones, correctiones et despectiones. Haec juvant ad virtutem , haec probant Christi tironem, haec fabricant coelestem coronam.]

Thomas von Kempen
Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German-Dutch priest, author
The Imitation of Christ [De Imitatione Christi], Book 3, ch. 5, v. 2 (3.5.2) (c. 1418-27) [tr. Sherley-Price (1952)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

For the love of God thou oughtest to suffer gladly all things, that is to say, all labours, sorrows, temptations, vexations, anguishes, neediness, sickness, injuries, evil sayings, reprovings, oppressions, confusions, corrections, and despisings. These help a man greatly to virtue, these prove the true knight of Christ, and make ready for him the heavenly crown.
[tr. Whitford/Raynal (1530/1871)]

You ought gladly to suffer all things for the love of God: all labors, sorrows, temptations, vexations; all anguish, need, sickness, injuries, evil sayings, reproaches; all oppressions, confusions, corrections, and despisings. These greatly help a man to virtue; these prove the true knight of Christ and prepare for him a heavenly crown.
[tr. Whitford/Gardiner (1530/1955)]

Thou oughtest for the love of God willingly to undergoe whatsoever labours, to endure whatsoever griefes, temptations, vexations, anxieties, necessities, infirmities, onjuries, detractions, reprehensions, humiliations, confusions, corrections, and contempts. These helpe to the attaining of vertue: these try a Novice of Christ, these make up an heavenly Crowne.
[tr. Page (1639), 3.35.8-9]

In obedience to his Will, you should contentedly undergo Labour and Toil, Tryals and Troubles, Distress and Anguish of Heart, Poverty and Want, Infirmities and Diseases, Injuries and Affronts, Scandal and Reproach, Disparagement and Disgrace, Punishment and Torture. These whet and brighten a Christian's Virtue, exercise and distinguish him. These Thorns are woven into Wreaths of Glory.
[tr. Stanhope (1696; 1706 ed.), 3.40]

For the love of God, therefore, thou must cheerfully and patiently endure labor and sorrow, persecution, temptation, and anxiety, poverty, and want, pain and sickness, detraction, reproof, humiliation, confusion, correction and contempt. By these the virtues of the new man Christ Jesus are exercised and strengthened; these form the ornaments of his celestial crown.
[tr. Payne (1803), 3.27.8]

For the love of God thou oughtest cheerfully to undergo all things, that is to say, all labour and pain, temptation, vexation, anxiety, necessity, infirmity, injury, obloquy, reproof, humiliation, confusion, correction, and scorn [of every kind and degree.] These help to virtue; these are the trial of a novice in Christ; these frame the heavenly Crown.
[ed. Parker (1841)]

For the love of GOD, therefore, thou must cheerfully and patiently endure all things: labour and sorrow, temptation, vexation and anxiety, poverty and want, pain and sickness, detraction, reproof, humiliation, confusion, correction, and contempt. These help to virtue; these prove "the new man in Christ Jesus; these obtain for him the celestial crown.
[tr. Dibdin (1851), 3.31.2]

Thou must be willing, for the love of God, to suffer all things, viz., labours and sorrows, temptations and vexations, anxieties, necessities, sicknesses, injuries, obloquy, reproof, humiliation, shame, correction, and contempt. These things help to obtain virtue; these prove the young soldier of Christ; these weave a heavenly crown.
[ed. Bagster (1860)]

For the love of God thou must willingly undergo all things, whether labours or sorrows, temptations, vexations, anxieties, necessities, infirmities, injuries, gainsayings, rebukes, humiliations, confusions, corrections, despisings; these things help unto virtue, these things prove the scholar of Christ; these things fashion the heavenly crown.
[tr. Benham (1874)]

For the love of God thou oughtest cheerfully to undergo all labour, grief, temptation, vexation, anxiety, necessity, infirmity, injury, detraction, reproof, humiliation, shame, correction, and scorn. These help to virtue; these are the trial of a babe in Christ; of these consist the heavenly crown.
[tr. Anon. (1901)]

For love of God you should undergo all things cheerfully, all labors and sorrows, temptations and trials, anxieties, weaknesses, necessities, injuries, slanders, rebukes, humiliations, confusions, corrections, and contempt. For these are helps to virtue. These are the trials of Christ's recruit. These form the heavenly crown.
[tr. Croft/Bolton (1940)]

For love of God you should undergo everything cheerfully: for example, toils and pains, trials, vexations, anxieties, wants, sickness, wrongs, contradictions, reproofs, humiliations, distresses, corrections, and contempt. These are aids to character: these test the soldier of Christ: these shape the heavenly crown.
[tr. Daplyn (1952)]

For the love of God you ought to endure with gladness all that befalls you: toil and sorrow, temptations, afflictions, anxiety, want, weakness, injury and slander, rebuke, humiliation, shame, correction and scorn. All these things are aids to holiness; they test the man who has newly entered the service of Christ, and go to the making of his heavenly crown.
[tr. Knox-Oakley (1959)]

For love of God you should be prepared to endure anything -- toil, pain, temptation, vexation, anxiety, need, weakness, injustice, slander, blame, humiliation, shame, censure and contempt. Such things strengthen virtue; they test the soldier of Christ and make up his heavenly crown.
[tr. Knott (1962)]

The love of God should make you put up with everything: toil and sorrow, trials, annoyance, anxiety, restriction, weakness, injury, detraction, criticism, humiliation, shame, correction and contempt. These are aids to virtue. They are tests for one newly committed to Christ. They are the things that make up the heavenly crown.
[tr. Rooney (1979)]

Certainly you should willingly endure labor and sorrows, temptations, vexations, anxieties, necessities, illnesses, injuries, contradictions, rebukes, humiliations, doubts, chastisements and contempt. These things are all aids to virtue; these test one who has begun to follow Christ; these mold a heavenly crown.
[tr. Creasy (1989)]

 
Added on 4-Oct-23 | Last updated 4-Oct-23
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More quotes by Thomas a Kempis

More ease than masters, servants lives afford:
Think on that, Tom; nor wish to be your lord.
On a coarse rug you most securely snore:
Deep sunk in down he counts each sleepless hour.
Anxious betimes to every statesman low
He bows; much lower than to him you bow.
Behold him with a dun at either ear,
“Pray, pay,” the word; a word you never hear.
Fear you a cudgel? view his gouty state;
Which he would change for many a broken pate.
You know no morning qualm; no costly whore:
Think then, though not a lord, that you are more.

[Quae mala sint domini, quae servi commoda, nescis,
Condyle, qui servum te gemis esse diu.
Dat tibi securos vilis tegeticula somnos,
Pervigil in pluma Gaius, ecce, iacet.
Gaius a prima tremebundus luce salutat
Tot dominos, at tu, Condyle, nec dominum.
‘Quod debes, Gai, redde’ inquit Phoebus et illinc
Cinnamus: hoc dicit, Condyle, nemo tibi.
Tortorem metuis? podagra cheragraque secatur
Gaius et mallet verbera mille pati.
Quod nec mane vomis nec cunnum, Condyle, lingis,
Non mavis, quam ter Gaius esse tuus?]

Marcus Valerius Martial
Martial (AD c.39-c.103) Spanish Roman poet, satirist, epigrammatist [Marcus Valerius Martialis]
Epigrams [Epigrammata], Book 9, epigram 92 (9.92) (AD 94) [tr. Hay (1755)]
    (Source)

Masters often think themselves more put-upon than their lazy, "carefree" servants/slaves, as do the rich versus the poor. "To Condylus" (Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

The weal of a servant, and woe of his lord,
Thou know'st not, who so long hast service abhorr'd.
Securest of slumbers thy coverlet crown:
Thy master, my Condyl, lies watching in down.
Lords many hails he, the chill morn just begun:
Thou own'st no such duty, saluting scarce one.
To him this and that wight: Pray, pay what you ow.
To thee not a mortal pretends to say so.
Thou feat'st but a flogging: he's rackt with the gout.
A thousand sound lashes he'd rather stand out.
Nor sick thou at morning, nor pale with disease:
Who's moire, prithee, thou or thy master at ease?
[tr. Elphinston (1782), Book 4, Part 2, ep. 35]

Of the troubles of a master, and the pleasures of a slave, Condylus, you are ignorant, when you lament that you have been a slave so long. A common rug gives you sleep free from all anxiety; Caius lies awake all night on his bed of down. Caius, from the first dawn of day, salutes with trembling a number of patrons; you, Condylus, salute not even your master. "Caius, pay what you owe me," cries Phoebus on the one side, and Cinnamus on the other; no one makes such a demand on you, Condylus. Do you fear the torturer? Caius is a martyr to the gout in his hands and feet, and would rather suffer a thousand floggings than endure its pains. You indulge neither gluttonous nor licentious propensities. Is not this preferable to being three times a Caius?
[tr. Bohn's Classical (1859)]

The lowliest cot will give thee powerful sleep,
While Caius tosses on his bed of down.
[ed. Harbottle (1897), 9.93.3]

What are a master's ills, what a slave's blessings you do not know, Condylus, who groan that you are so long a slave. Your common rush-mat affords you sleep untoubled; wakeful all night on down, see, Gaius lies! Gaius from early morn salutes trembling many masters; but you, Condylus, not even your master. "What you owe, Gaius, pay," says Phoebus, and after him Cinnamus: this no one Condylus says to you. Do you dread the torturer? By gout in food and hand Gaius is stabbed, and would choose instead to endure a thousand blows. You do not vomit in the morning, nor are you given to filthy vice, Condylus: do you not prefer this to being your Gaius three times over?
[tr. Ker (1919)]

"How easy live the free," you say, and brood
Upon your long but easy servitude.
See Gaius tossing on his downy bed;
Your sleep’s unbroken tho’ the couch be rude;
He pays his call ere chilly dawn be red,
You need not call on him, you sleep instead;
He’s deep in debt, hears many a summons grim
From creditors that you need never dread,
You might be tortured at your master’s whim;
Far worse the gout that racks his every limb;
Think of the morning qualms, his vicious moods.
Would you for thrice his freedom change with him?
[tr. Pott & Wright (1921), "True Servitude"]

Condylus, you lament that you have been so long a slave; you don't know a master's afflictions and a slave's advantages. A cheap little mat gives you carefree slumbers: there's Gaius lying awake all night on feathers. From daybreak on Gaius in fear and trembling salutes so many masters: but you, Condylus, do not salute even your own. "Gaius, pay me back what you owe," says Phoebus, and from yonder so says Cinnamus: nobody says that to you, Condylus. You fear the torturer? Gaius is cut by gout in foot and hand and would rather take a thousand lashes. You don't vomit of a morning or lick a cunt, Condylus; isn't that better than being your Gaius three times over?
[tr. Shackleton Bailey (1993)]

Never the pros & cons of "slave," or "master,"
can you, mourning long servitude, discern.
The cheapest matting yields you dreamless sleep;
Gaius's feather-bed keeps him awake.
From crack of down Gaius respectfully
greets many masters; yours goes ungreeted.
"Pay day, Gaius, pay!" says Phoebus. "Pay! Pay!"
chimes Cinnamus. What man speaks thus to you?
Screw & rack, you dread? Gaius' gout stabs so
he'ld far prefer the thumbscrew or the rack.
You've no hangover habit, oral sex:
is not one life of yours worth three of his?
[tr. Whigham (2001)]

 
Added on 15-Sep-23 | Last updated 27-Nov-23
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GLOUCESTER: These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us. Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects. Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide; in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked ’twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the prediction: there’s son against father. The King falls from bias of nature: there’s father against child. We have seen the best of our time. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
King Lear, Act 1, sc. 2, l. 109ff (1.2.109-121) (1606)
    (Source)
 
Added on 31-Jul-23 | Last updated 29-Jan-24
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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)
    (Source)

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

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Courage recall, banish sad feare; delight
It may hereafter these things to recite,
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

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)]

Remember your courage and chase away gloomy fears:
perhaps one day you’ll even delight in remembering this.
[tr. Kline (2002)]

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 21-Jun-23
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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)]

 
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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)
    (Source)
 
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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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TRINCULO: Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.

Shakespeare
William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Tempest, Act 3, sc. 2, l. 40 (3.2.40) (1611)
    (Source)
 
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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)
    (Source)
 
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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."
 
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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)
 
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History is crowded with the persons who have exchanged a life of dismay for death. Lucius Aruntius killed himself, he said, to escape from both the future and the past.

[L’Histoire est toute pleine de ceux qui en mille façons ont changé à la mort une vie peneuse. Lucius Aruntius se tua, pour, disoit-il, fuir et l’advenir et le passé.]

Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) French essayist
Essays, Book 2, ch. 3 “A Custom of the Island of Cea [Coustume de l’Isle de Cea]” (c. 1573) (2.3) (1595) [tr. Ives (1925)]
    (Source)

The reference to Lucius Aruntius, who killed himself during the waning days of Tiberius' reign before he could, like other enemies of Tiberius, be imprisoned and executed, was added in the 1588 edition. The event is described in Tacitus, Annals, Book 6, sec. 48.

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

The historie is very full of such, who a thousand wayes have changed a lingering-toylsome life with death. Lucius Aruntius killed himselfe (as he saide) to avoyde what was past, and eschew what was to come.
[tr. Florio (1603)]

History abounds with instances of persons that have in a thousand forms, exchanged a melancholy life for death. Lucius Aruntius killed himself for the sake, as he said, of flying from deeds past and to come.
[tr. Cotton (1686), Vol. 1, ch. 60]

History is everywhere full of those who by a thousand ways have exchanged a painful and irksome life for death. Lucius Aruntius killed himself, to fly, he said, both the future and the past.
[tr. Cotton/Hazlitt (1877)]

History is chock full of those who in a thousand ways have changed a painful life for death. Lucius Arruntius killed himself, he said, to escape both the future and the past.
[tr. Frame (1943)]

History is full of people who have, in thousands of ways, exchanged a pain-filled life for death. Lucius Aruntius killed himself, "to escape," he said, "from the future and the past."
[tr. Screech (1987)]

 
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Times of general calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.

Colton - brightest thunderbolt - wist_info quote

Charles Caleb "C. C." Colton (1780-1832) English cleric, writer, aphorist
Lacon: Or, Many Things in Few Words, Vol. 1, § 28 (1820)
    (Source)
 
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None knowes the weight of anothers burthen.

Herbert - anothers burden - wist_info quote

George Herbert (1593-1633) Welsh priest, orator, poet.
Jacula Prudentum, or Outlandish Proverbs, Sentences, &c. (compiler), # 880 (1651 ed.)
    (Source)
 
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Richard was not dead. He was sitting in the dark, on a ledge, on the side of a storm drain, wondering what to do, wondering how much further out of his league he could possibly get. His life so far, he decided, had prepared him perfectly for a job in Securities, for shopping at the supermarket, for watching soccer on the television on the weekends, for turning up the thermostat if he got cold. It had magnificently failed to prepare him for a life as an un-person on the roofs and in the sewers of London, for a life in the cold and the wet and the dark.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British author, screenwriter, fabulist
Neverwhere, ch. 4 (1996)
    (Source)

The above is the original US edition language. The 2006 "Author's Preferred Text" edition restores (even in the US) a few British turns of phrase that were in the original British edition (which I am fortunate enough to own).

Richard was not dead. He was sitting in the dark, on a ledge, on the side of a storm drain, wondering what to do, wondering how much further out of his depth he could possibly get. His life so far, he decided, had prepared him perfectly for a job in Securities, for shopping at the supermarket, for watching football on the telly on the weekends, for turning on a heater if he got cold. It had magnificently failed to prepare him for a life as an un-person on the roofs and in the sewers of London, for a life in the cold and the wet and the dark.
 
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Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
Make. good. art.
I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make. good. art.
Make it on the good days too.

Neil Gaiman (b. 1960) British author, screenwriter, fabulist
Speech (2012-05-17), Commencement, University of the Arts, Philadelphia [10:08]
    (Source)

(Source (Video)). In the video, he starts it as "Sometimes life is hard." In the middle, he says it as, "Somebody on the Internet thinks what you're doing ..." He also adds "Make it on the bad days" before the final sentence.
 
Added on 16-Apr-14 | Last updated 11-Jul-24
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People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) Swiss-American psychiatrist, author
(Attributed)
    (Source)

Attributed to her by the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation.

The quotation is often cited to Jim Clemmer, The Leader's Digest (2003), but Clemmer simply attributes it to Kübler-Ross. I have been unable to find an primary source.
 
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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)
    (Source)
 
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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)
    (Source)
 
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For the Father of agriculture
Gave us a hard calling: he first decreed it an art
To work the fields, sent worries to sharpen our mortal wits
And would not allow his realm to grow listless from lethargy […]
So thought and experiment might forge man’s various crafts
Little by little, asking the furrow to yield the corn-blade,
Striking the hidden fire that lies in the veins of flint.

[Pater ipse colendi
haud facilem esse viam voluit, primusque per artem
movit agros curis acuens mortalia corda
nec torpere gravi passus sua regna veterno […]
ut varias usus meditando extunderet artis
paulatim et sulcis frumenti quaereret herbam.
Ut silicis venis abstrusum excuderet ignem.]

Virgil the Poet
Virgil (70-19 BC) Roman poet [b. Publius Vergilius Maro; also Vergil]
Georgics [Georgica], Book 1, l. 121ff (1.121-124, 133-135) (29 BC) [tr. Day-Lewis (1940)]
    (Source)

Telling how Jupiter made life on earth miserable for farmers so as to encourage the development of useful arts and crafts.

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Nor was Jove pleas'd tillage should easie be:
And first commands with art to plough the soyle,
On mortall hearts imposing care, and toyle;
Nor lets dull sloth benumb men where he reigns [...]
That severall arts by labour might be found,
And men in furrows seek the grain that fell,
And hidden fire from veins of flint compell.
[tr. Ogilby (1649)]

The Sire of Gods and Men, with hard Decrees,
Forbids our Plenty to be bought with Ease:
And wills that Mortal Men, inur'd to toil,⁠
Shou'd exercise, with pains, the grudging Soil.
Himself invented first the shining Share,
And whetted Humane Industry by Care:
Himself did Handy-Crafts and Arts ordain;
Nor suffer'd Sloath to rust his active Reign⁠[...]
That studious Need might useful Arts explore;
From furrow'd Fields to reap the foodful Store:
And force the Veins of clashing Flints t' expire
The lurking Seeds of their Cœlestial Fire.
[tr. Dryden (1709), l. 183-190, 203-206]

Nor thou repine: great Jove, with tasks untry'd
To rouse man's pow'rs, an easier way deny'd;
And first bade mortals stir with art the plain,
Lest sloth should dim the splendors of his reign [...]
That gradual use might hew out arts from man,
That corn's green blade in furrows might be fought,
And from struck flints the fiery sparkle caught.
[tr. Nevile (1767), l. 147-150, 160-162]

Not to dull Indolence and transient Toil
Great Jove resign'd the conquest of the soil:
He sent forth Care to rouse the human heart,
And sharpen genius by inventive art:
Nor tamely suffer'd earth beneath his sway
In unproductive sloth to waste away. [...]
Jove will'd that use, by long experience taught,
Should force out various arts by gradual thought,
Strike from the flint's cold womb the latent flame,
And from the answering furrow nurture claim.
[tr. Sotheby (1800)]

The Sire himself willed the ways of tillage not to be easy, and first aroused the fields by art, whetting the skill of mortals with care; nor suffered he his reign to lie inactive in heavy sloth [...] that experience, by dint of thought, might gradually hammer out the various arts, in furrows seek the blade of corn, and form the veins of flint strike out the hidden fire.
[tr. Davidson (1854)]

Our heavenly Father hath not judged it right
To leave the road of agriculture light:
'Twas he who first made husbandry a plan.
And care a whetstone for the wit of man;
Nor suffer'd he his own domains to lie
Asleep in cumbrous old-world lethargy [...]
That practice might the various arts create,
On study's anvil, by laborious dint,
The plant of corn by furrows propagate,
And strike the fire that lurks in veins of flint.
[tr. Blackmore (1871), ll. 140-145, 154-157]

The wise Father of all willed not that the path of husbandry should be easy; he was the first to break up the earth by human skill, sharpening man's wit by the cares of life, nor suffering his own domains to lie asleep in cumbrous lethargy [...] in order that practice might by slow degrees hammer out art after art on the anvil of thought, might find the corn-blade by delving the furrow, and strike from veins of flint the fire that Jove had hid.
[tr. Wilkins (1873)]

The great Sire himself
No easy road to husbandry assigned,
And first was he by human skill to rouse
The slumbering glebe, whetting the minds of men
With care on care, nor suffering realm of his
In drowsy sloth to stagnate [...]
that use by gradual dint of thought on thought
Might forge the various arts, with furrow's help
The corn-blade win, and strike out hidden fire
From the flint's heart.
[tr. Rhoades (1881)]

For so great Jove, the sire of all, decreed,
No works save those that took us should succeed,
Nor wills his gifts should unimproved remain.
While man inactive slumbers on the plain. [...]
Man seeks for fire concealed within the veins
Of flints, and labour groans upon the plains;
Till, one by one, worked out by frequent thought,
Are crude inventions to perfection brought.
[tr. King (1882), ll. 123-126, 135-138ff]

Father Jove himself willed that the modes of tillage should not be easy, and first stirred the earth by artificial means, whetting the minds of men by anxieties; nor suffered he his subjects to become inactive through oppressive lethargy [...] in order that man’s needs, by dint of thought, might gradually hammer out the various arts, might seek the blade of corn by ploughing, and might strike forth the fire thrust away in the veins of the flint.
[tr. Bryce (1897)]

Our Lord himself willed the way of tillage to be hard, and long ago set art to stir the fields, sharpening the wits of man with care, nor suffered his realm to slumber in heavy torpor [...] that so practice and pondering might slowly forge out many an art, might seek the corn-blade in the furrow and strike hidden fire from the veins of flint.
[tr. Mackail (1899)]

The great Sire himself
No easy road to husbandry assigned,
And first was he by human skill to rouse
The slumbering glebe, whetting the minds of men
With care on care, nor suffering realm of his
In drowsy sloth to stagnate [...]
that use by gradual dint of thought on thought
Might forge the various arts, with furrow's help
The corn-blade win, and strike out hidden fire
From the flint's heart.
[tr. Greenough (1900)]

Allfather himself hath willed
That the pathway of tillage be thorny. He first by man's art broke
Earth's crust, and by care for the morrow made keen the wits of her folk,
Nor suffered his kingdom to drowse 'neath lethargy's crushing chain [...]
That Thought on experience' anvil might shape arts manifold,
And might seek in the furrow the blade that is pledge of the harvest's gold,
And smite from the veins of flint the fire-soul hidden there.
[tr. Way (1912)]

Great Jove himself ordained for husbandry
No easy road, when first he bade earth's fields
Produce by art, and gave unto man's mind
Its whetting by hard care; where Jove is king
He suffers not encumbering sloth to bide. [...]
He purposed that experience and thought
By slow degrees should fashion and forge out
Arts manifold, should seek green blades of corn
By ploughing, and from veins of flinty shard
Hammer the fire.
[tr. Williams (1915)]

The great Father himself has willed that the path of husbandry should not run smooth, who first made art awake the fields, sharpening men’s wits by care, nor letting his kingdom slumber in heavy lethargy [...] so that experience, from taking thought, might little by little forge all manner of skills, seeking in ploughed furrows the blade of corn, striking forth the spark hidden in the veins of flint.
[tr. Fairclough (Loeb) (1916)]

The Father willed it so: He made the path
Of agriculture rough, established arts
Of husbandry to sharpen wits,
Forbidding sloth to settle on his soil
[...] So that mankind
By taking thought might learn to forge its arts
From practice: seek to bring the grain from furrows,
Strike out the fire locked up in veins of flint.
[tr. Bovie (1956)]

Jupiter, father of the gods, decided himself
that the way of the farmer should not be an easy way.
He demanded craft; he tuned our nerves with worries;
he weeded lethargy from his human fields [...]
Thus men are supposed to have found the fire that hides
in the veins of flint. By clever meditation
experience elaborates to skill ...
One can see a triumph in it: the first furrow
sprouting a row of corn ....
[tr. Slavitt (1971)]

The father of cultivation himself did not want its way to be easy and wa first to change the fields by design, sharpening mortal wits with cares, not allowing his kingdoms to become sluggish with heavy old age [...] in order that experience and reflection should beat out skills little by little and seek grain stalks in the furrows, that they should strike out fire hidden in the veins of flint.
[tr. Miles (1980)]

The Father himself
Willed that the path of tillage be not smooth,
And first ordained that skill should cultivate
The land, by care sharpening the wits of mortals,
Nor let his kingdom laze in torpid sloth [...]
That step by step practice and taking thought
Should hammer out the crafts, should seek from furrows
The blade of corn, should strike from veins of flint
The hidden fire.
[tr. Wilkinson (1982)]

The great Father himself willed it,
that the ways of farming should not be easy, and first
stirred the fields with skill, rousing men’s minds to care,
not letting his regions drowse in heavy lethargy [...]
so that thoughtful practice might develop various skills,
little by little, and search out shoots of grain in the furrows,
and strike hidden fire from veins of flint.
[tr. Kline (2001)]

The Father himself hardly
willed that agriculture would be easy when he called forth
the field with his art, whetting human minds with worries,
not letting his kingdom slip into full-blown laziness. [...]
so that, using their brains, men might gradually hammer out
many skills, like searching for stalks of wheat by plowing,
and so that they might strike the spark held in veins of flint.
[tr. Lembke (2004)]

For it was Jupiter himself who willed the ways of husbandry be ones not spared of trouble and it was he who first, through human skill, broke open land, at pains to sharpen wits of men and so prevent his own domain being buried in bone idleness [...] so that by careful thought and deed you'd hone them bit by bit, those skills, to coax from furrows blades of corn and spark shy flame from veins of flint.
[tr. Fallon (2006)]

The Father himself willed the way of husbandry to be severe, first stirred by ingenuity the fields, honing mortal skill with tribulation, and suffered not his realm to laze in lumpish sloth [...] so that need with contemplation might forge sundry arts in time, might seek in furrows the blade of wheat and strike from flinty veins the hidden spark.
[tr. Johnson (2009)]

For Father Jupiter himself ordained
That the way should not be easy. It was he
Who first established the art of cultivation,
Sharpening with their cares the skills of men,
forbidding the world he rules to slumber in ease
[...] all this so want should be
The cause of human ingenuity,
And ingenuity the cause of arts,
Finding little by little the way to plant
New crops by means of plowing, and strike the spark
To ignite the hidden fire in veins of flint.
[tr. Ferry (2015)]

 
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More quotes by Virgil

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)
 
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Times of trouble best discover the true worth of a man; they do not weaken him, but show his true nature.

[Quantas autem virtutes quisque fecerit, melius patet occasione adversitatis. Occasiones namque hominem fragilem non faciunt, sed qualis sit, ostendunt.]

Thomas von Kempen
Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380-1471) German-Dutch priest, author
The Imitation of Christ [De Imitatione Christi], Book 1, ch. 16, v. 4 (1.16.4) (c. 1418-27) [tr. Sherley-Price (1952)]
    (Source)

(Source (Latin)). Alternate translations:

Who is of most virtue appeareth best in time of adversity. Occasions make not a man frail, but they shew openly what he is.
[tr. Whitford/Raynal (1530/1871)]

The time of adversity shows who is of most virtue. Occasions do not make a man frail, but they do show openly what he is.
[tr. Whitford/Gardiner (1530/1955)]

By occasion of adversity every man knoweth what great vertue is in himselfe, for such occasions make thee not frail, but shew thee what thou art.
[tr. Page (1639), 1.16.14]

Besides we shall do well to reflect, that Afflictions and uneasy Accidents are the clearest Indication of a Man's Goodness, and the Degrees of his Improvement. For we mistake extremely in imagining that any thing which happens to us from without, is the real Cause of our doing well or ill; Adversity does not make Virtue or Vice, but exert and draw them into Practice; it does not change the Man from what he was, but only discover what he really is.
[tr. Stanhope (1696; 1706 ed.)]

Besides, by outward occasions of suffering from the conduct of others, the nature and degree of every man's inward strength is more plainly discovered; for outward occasions do not make him frail, but only shew him what he is in himself.
[tr. Payne (1803)]

Occasions of adversity best discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man frail, but they shew what he is.
[ed. Parker (1841)]

Besides, adversity better displays the fortitude and virtues that we possess: for these attacks to not contribute to make us frail, but rather shew us to be what we are.
[tr. Dibdin (1851)]

The amount of a man's virtue is best seen in presence of adversity, for its occurrence does not make a man weak, but shows what he is.
[ed. Bagster (1860)]

How much strength each man hath is best proved by occasions of adversity: for such occasions do not make a man frail, but show of what temper he is.
[tr. Benham (1874)]

Occasions of adversity soonest discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man frail, but they shew what he is.
[tr. Anon. (1901)]

For 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.
[tr. Croft/Bolton (1940)]

For the strength that each has will best be seen in the hour of adversity. Because such hours do not make a man weak, but show what kind of man he is.
[tr. Daplyn (1952)]

Meanwhile, there is no better test of a man's quality than when he cannot have things his own way. The occasions of sin do not overpower us, they only prove our worth.
[tr. Knox-Oakley (1959)]

A man’s true quality is revealed when things are difficult. Events do not make a man weak -- they only show what stuff he is made of.
[tr. Knott (1962)]

The strength of one’s virtue is seen more easily when opposition comes. For such opposition does not weaken a man, but shows his mettle.
[tr. Rooney (1979)]

For the strength that each person has will best be seen in times of trouble. Such times do not make us weak; they show what we are.
[tr. Creasy (1989)]

 
Added on 5-Jun-09 | Last updated 28-Sep-23
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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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“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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