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.
 
Success
 
  Those who believe a future state of rewards and punishments act very absurdly if they form their opinions of a man’s merit from his successes. But certainly, if I thought the whole circle of our being was included between our births and deaths, I should think a man’s good fortune the measure and standard of his real merit, since Providence would have no opportunity of rewarding his virtue and perfections, but in the present life. A virtuous unbeliever, who lies under the pressure of misfortunes, has reason to cry out, as they say Brutus did, a little before his death, “O virtue, I have worshipped thee as a substantial good, but I find thou art an empty name.”
Joseph Addison: Spectator, No. 293.    
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  If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counsellor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.
Joseph Addison.    
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  From mere success nothing can be concluded in favour of any nation upon whom it is bestowed.
Francis Atterbury.    
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  He that would relish success to purpose should keep his passion cool, and his expectation low.
Jeremy Collier.    
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  To judge by the event is an error all abuse, and all commit; for, in every instance, courage, if crowned with success, is heroism; if clouded by defeat, temerity. When Nelson fought his battle in the Sound, it was the result alone that decided whether he was to kiss a hand at a court, or a rod at a court-martial.
Charles Caleb Colton: Lacon.    
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  Those who are prosperously unjust are intitled to panegyric, but afflicted virtue is stabbed with reproaches.
John Dryden.    
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  Security is the bane of good success; it is no contemning of a foiled enemy: the shame of a former disgrace and miscarriage whets his valour and sharpens it to revenge: no power is so dreadful as that which is recollected from an overthrow.
Bishop Joseph Hall: Contemp.    
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  All things religiously taken in hand are prosperously ended; because whether men in the end have that which religion did allow to desire, or that which it teacheth them contentedly to suffer, they are in neither event unfortunate.
Richard Hooker.    
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  The talent of success is nothing more than doing what you can do well, and doing well whatever you do, without a thought of fame.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.    
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  Whosoever will live altogether out of himself, and study other men’s humours, shall never be unfortunate.  10
 
  If a man succeeds in any attempt, though undertook with never so much rashness, his success shall vouch him a politician, and good luck shall pass for deep contrivance: for give any one fortune, and he shall be thought a wise man.
Robert South.    
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  Fortune is said to favour fools, because they trust all to fortune. When a fool escapes any danger, or succeeds in any undertaking, it is said that fortune favours him; while a wise man is considered to prosper by his own prudence and foresight. For instance, if a fool who does not bar his door escapes being robbed, it is ascribed to his luck; but the prudent man, having taken precautions, is not called fortunate. But a wise man is, in fact, more likely to meet with good fortune than a foolish one, because he puts himself in the way of it. If he is sending off a ship, he has a better chance of obtaining a favourable wind, because he chooses the place and season in which such winds prevail as will be favourable to him. If the fool’s ship arrives safely, it is by good luck alone; while both must be in some degree indebted to fortune for success.  12
  One way in which fools succeed where wise men fail is, that through ignorance of the danger they sometimes go coolly about some hazardous business. Hence the proverb that “The fairies take care of children, drunken men, and idiots.”
Richard Whately: Annot. on Bacon’s Essay, Of Fortune.    
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