Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Fortune
 
  If a man look sharply and attentively, he shall see Fortune; for though he is blind, yet she is not invisible.
Francis Bacon: Essay XLI., Of Fortune.    
  1
 
  Fortune is to be honoured and respected, and it be but for her daughters, Confidence and Reputation; for those two felicity breedeth; the first within a man’s self, the latter in others towards him. All wise men, to decline the envy of their own virtues, use to ascribe them to Providence and Fortune; for so they may the better assume them: and, besides, it is greatness in a man to be the care of the higher powers.
Francis Bacon: Essay XLI., Of Fortune.    
  2
 
  Whereas they have sacrificed to themselves, they become sacrifices to the inconstancy of fortune, whose wings they thought by their self-wisdom to have pinioned.
Francis Bacon.    
  3
 
  Fortune turneth the handle of the bottle, which is easy to be taken hold of; and after the belly, which is hard to grasp.
Francis Bacon.    
  4
 
  Fortune is but a synonymous word for nature and necessity.
Richard Bentley.    
  5
 
  It is, I confess, the common fate of men of singular gifts of mind, to be destitute of those of fortune, which doth not any way deject the spirit of wiser judgments, who thoroughly understand the justice of this proceeding; and, being enriched with higher donatives, cast a more careless eye on these vulgar parts of felicity. It is a most unjust ambition to desire to engross the mercies of the Almighty, not to be content with the goods of mind, without a possession of those of body or fortune; and it is an error worse than heresy, to adore these complemental and circumstantial pieces of felicity, and undervalue those perfections and essential points of happiness wherein we resemble our Maker.
Sir Thomas Browne: Religio Medici, Part I., xviii.    
  6
 
  Fortune has been considered the guardian divinity of fools; and, on this score, she has been accused of blindness; but it should rather be adduced as a proof of her sagacity, when she helps those who certainly cannot help themselves.
Charles Caleb Colton: Lacon.    
  7
 
  There is some help for all the defects of fortune, for if a man cannot attain to the length of his wishes, he may have his remedy by cutting of them shorter.
Abraham Cowley.    
  8
 
  It is a madness to make Fortune the mistress of events, because in herself she is nothing, but is ruled by prudence.
John Dryden.    
  9
 
  Why should a reasonable man put it into the power of Fortune to make him miserable, when his ancestors have taken care to release him from her?
John Dryden.    
  10
 
  Every man is the maker of his own fortune, and must be, in some measure, the trumpet of his fame.
John Dryden.    
  11
 
  To be thrown upon one’s own resources is to be cast in the very lap of fortune; for our faculties then undergo a development, and display an energy, of which they were previously unsusceptible.  12
 
  The Europeans are themselves blind who describe Fortune without sight. No first-rate beauty ever had finer eyes, or saw more clearly: they who have no other trade but seeking their fortune need never hope to find her; coquet like, she flies from her close pursuers, and at last fixes on the plodding mechanic, who stays at home and minds his business. I am amazed how men can call her blind, when by the company she keeps she seems so very discerning. Wherever you see a gaming-table, be very sure Fortune is not there; when you see a man whose pocket-holes are laced with gold, be satisfied Fortune is not there; wherever you see a beautiful woman good-natured and obliging, be convinced Fortune is never there. In short, she is ever seen accompanying industry, and as often trundling a wheelbarrow as lolling in a coach-and-six.
Oliver Goldsmith: Citizen of the World, Letter LXX.    
  13
 
  Ill fortune never crushed that man whom good fortune deceived not.
Ben Jonson.    
  14
 
  Fortune gives too much to many, but to none enough.
Martial.    
  15
 
 
 
  Fortune, to show us her power in all things, and to abate our presumption, seeing she could not make fools wise, she has made them fortunate.
Michel de Montaigne.    
  16
 
  Let Fortune do her worst, whatever she makes us lose, as long as she never makes us lose our honesty and our independency.
Alexander Pope.    
  17
 
  Fortune is nothing else but a power imaginary, to which the successes of human actions and endeavours were for their variety ascribed.  18
 
  We are sure to get the better of Fortune if we do but grapple with her.
Seneca.    
  19
 
  The worst inconvenience of a small fortune is that it will not admit of inadvertency.
William Shenstone.    
  20
 
  It is a lamentable thing that every man is full of complaints and constantly uttering sentences against the fickleness of Fortune, when people generally bring upon themselves all the calamities they fall into, and are constantly heaping up matter for their own sorrow and disappointment. That which produces the greatest part of the delusions of mankind is a false hope which people indulge with so sanguine a flattery to themselves, that their hearts are bent upon fantastical advantages which they have no reason to believe should ever have arrived to them. By this unjust measure of calculating their happiness, they often mourn with real affliction for imaginary losses.
Sir Richard Steele: Spectator, No. 282.    
  21
 
  The power of fortune is confessed only by the miserable; the happy impute all their success to prudence or merit.
Jonathan Swift.    
  22
 
  We ourselves make our fortunes good or bad; and when God lets loose a tyrant upon us, or a sickness, if we fear to die, or know not to be patient, the calamity sits heavy upon us.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  23
 
  Many have been ruined by their fortunes; many have escaped ruin by the want of fortune. To obtain it, the great have become little, and the little, great.
Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann.    
  24
 
 
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