Literary Quotations
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QUOTES ON FORTUNE


Fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,
Showed like a rebel's whore.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Macbeth

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

WALT WHITMAN, Leaves of Grass

Fortune favours the brave.

VIRGIL, The Aeneid

For God's love, take things patiently, have sense,
Think! We are prisoners and shall always be.
Fortune has given us this adversity,
Some wicked planetary dispensation,
Some Saturn's trick or evil constellation
Has given us this, and Heaven, though we had sworn
The contrary, so stood when we were born.
We must endure it, that's the long and short.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales

I am the child of Fortune, the giver of good, and I shall not be shamed. She is my mother; my sisters are the Seasons; my rising and my falling match with theirs. Born thus, I ask to be no other man than that I am.

SOPHOCLES, Oedipus Rex

Fortune, good-night: smile once more; turn thy wheel!

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear

I see men’s judgments are
A parcel of their fortunes, and things outward
Do draw the inward quality after them,
To suffer all alike.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra

'Tis paltry to be Caesar;
Not being Fortune, he's but Fortune's knave,
A minister of her will: and it is great
To do that thing that ends all other deeds;
Which shackles accidents and bolts up change;
Which sleeps, and never palates more the dug,
The beggar's nurse and Caesar's.

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Antony and Cleopatra

Fortune, we are told, is a blind and fickle foster-mother, who showers her gifts at random upon her nurslings. But we do her a grave injustice if we believe such an accusation. Trace a man's career from his cradle to his grave and mark how Fortune has treated him. You will find that when he is once dead she can for the most part be vindicated from the charge of any but very superficial fickleness. Her blindness is the merest fable; she can espy her favourites long before they are born. We are as days and have had our parents for our yesterdays, but through all the fair weather of a clear parental sky the eye of Fortune can discern the coming storm, and she laughs as she places her favourites it may be in a London alley or those whom she is resolved to ruin in kings' palaces. Seldom does she relent towards those whom she has suckled unkindly and seldom does she completely fail a favoured nursling.

SAMUEL BUTLER, The Way of All Flesh

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