„Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.“

—  Horace

Edited by Martin Svoboda. Last update June 13, 2021. History
Horace photo
Roman lyric poet -65 - -8 BC

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Pliny the Younger photo

„Prosperity proves men to be fortunate, while it is adversity which makes them great.“

—  Pliny the Younger Roman writer 61 - 113

Original: (la) Secunda felices, adversa magnos probent.

Anne Bradstreet photo

„If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.“

—  Anne Bradstreet Anglo-American poet 1612 - 1672

Meditations Divine and Moral (1664)
Source: The Works of Anne Bradstreet

Horace photo

„What the discordant harmony of circumstances would and could effect.“

—  Horace, book Epistles

Book I, epistle xii, line 19
Epistles (c. 20 BC and 14 BC)
Original: (la) Quid velit et possit rerum concordia discors

Diogenes Laërtius photo

„It was a saying of his that education was an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity.“

—  Diogenes Laërtius biographer of ancient Greek philosophers 180 - 240

Aristotle, 9.
The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (c. 200 A.D.), Book 5: The Peripatetics

Francis Bacon photo
Ambrose Bierce photo

„When prosperous the fool trembles for the evil that is to come; in adversity the philosopher smiles for the good that he has had.“

—  Ambrose Bierce American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist 1842 - 1914

Source: Epigrams, p. 371

Francis Bacon photo

„The virtue of prosperity, is temperance; the virtue of adversity, is fortitude; which in morals is the more heroical virtue.“

—  Francis Bacon, book Essays

Of Adversity
Essays (1625)
Context: The virtue of prosperity, is temperance; the virtue of adversity, is fortitude; which in morals is the more heroical virtue. Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New; which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God's favor. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as carols; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath labored more in describing the afflictions of Job, than the felicities of Solomon. Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.

Thomas Carlyle photo

„Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.“

—  Thomas Carlyle Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher 1795 - 1881

(Often shortened to "can't stand prosperity" as an unknown quote).
1840s, Heroes and Hero-Worship (1840), The Hero as Man of Letters

Horatius Bonar photo

„In the day of prosperity we have many refuges to resort to; in the day of adversity, only one.“

—  Horatius Bonar British minister and poet 1808 - 1889

Source: Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), P. 7.

John Churton Collins photo
Jean Jacques Rousseau photo

„Remorse sleeps during a prosperous period but wakes up in adversity.“

—  Jean Jacques Rousseau Genevan philosopher 1712 - 1778

Le remords s'endort durant un destin prospère et s'aigrit dans l'adversité.
Variant translations: Remorse sleeps during prosperity but awakes bitter consciousness during adversity.
Remorse goes to sleep during a prosperous period and wakes up in adversity.
Source: Books II-VI, II

Marcus Tullius Cicero photo

„For friendship makes prosperity more shining and lessens adversity by dividing and sharing it.“

—  Marcus Tullius Cicero Roman philosopher and statesman -106 - -43 BC

Section 22
Laelius De Amicitia – Laelius On Friendship (44 BC)
Original: (la) Nam et secundas res splendidiores facit amicitia et adversas partiens communicansque leviores.

Francis Bacon photo
Aristotle photo

„Learning is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, and a provision in old age.“

—  Aristotle Classical Greek philosopher, student of Plato and founder of Western philosophy -384 - -321 BC

David Hare photo

„A weak mind sinks under prosperity, as well as under adversity. A strong and deep mind has two highest tides – when the moon is at the full, and when there is no moon.“

—  David Hare British writer 1947

Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare Guesses at Truth (London: Macmillan, ([1827-48] 1867) pp. 209-10.

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