Misfortune is bad luck, often in the form of an undesirable event such as an accident.
== Quotes ==
Calamity is man's true touch-stone.
Beaumont and Fletcher, Four Plays in One, The Triumph of Honour (c. 1608–13; published 1647), scene 1, line 67.MISFORTUNE, n. The kind of fortune that never misses.
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1911).He went like one that hath been stunn'd, And is of sense forlorn:A sadder and a wiser man, He rose the morrow morn.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798; 1817), Part VII. Last Stanza.I was a stricken deer that left the herdLong since.
William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book III, line 108.Fallen, fallen, fallen, fallen,Fallen from his high estate, And welt'ring in his blood;Deserted at his utmost need,By those his former bounty fed;On the bare earth expos'd he lies,With not a friend to close his eyes.
John Dryden, Alexander's Feast (1697), line 77.A man may be reputed an able man this year, and yet be a beggar the next; it is a misfortune that happens to many men, and his former reputation will signify nothing.
Sir John Holt, Reg. v. Swendsen (1702), 14 How. St. Tr. 596.There is something very amusing in the misfortunes of others.
Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Romance and Reality (1831), Vol. I, Chapter 3When bad fortune occurs, the unresourceful, unimaginative man looks about him to attach the blame to someone else; the resolute accepts misfortune and endeavors to survive, mature, and improve because of it.
Anne McCaffrey, Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern (1983)Misfortunes cannot suffice to make a fool into an intelligent man.
Cesare Pavese, This Business of Living, 1938-11-02The worst is notSo long as we can say "This is the worst."
William Shakespeare, King Lear (1608), Act IV, scene 1, line 29.O, give me thy hand,One writ with me in sour misfortune's book.
William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597), Act V, scene 3, line 81.Such a house broke!So noble a master fallen! All gone! and notOne friend to take his fortune by the arm,And go along with him.
William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens (date uncertain, published 1623), Act IV, scene 2, line 5.We have seen better days.
William Shakespeare, Timon of Athens (date uncertain, published 1623), Act IV, scene 2, line 27.Misfortune had conquered her, how true it is, that sooner or later the most rebellious must bow beneath the same yoke.
Anne Louise Germaine de Staël, Corinne (1807), Book XVII, Chapter II.None think the great unhappy, but the great.
Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire.
=== Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations ===
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 518-19.It is the nature of mortals to kick a fallen man.
Æschylus, Agamemnon, 884 (adapted).Conscientia rectæ voluntatis maxima consolatio est rerum incommodarum.
The consciousness of good intention is the greatest solace of misfortunes.
Cicero, Epistles, V. 4.Most of our misfortunes are more supportable than the comments of our friends upon them.
Charles Caleb Colton, Lacon, p. 238.A raconter ses maux souvent on les soulage.
By speaking of our misfortunes we often relieve them.
Pierre Corneille, Polyeucte, I. 3.Quando la mala ventura se duerme, nadie la despierte.
When Misfortune is asleep, let no one wake her.
Quoted by Fuller, Gnomologia. (French proverb has "sorrow" for "Misfortune.").But strong of limbAnd swift of foot misfortune is, and, farOutstripping all, comes first to every land,And there wreaks evil on mankind, which prayersDo afterwards redress.
Homer, The Iliad, Book IX, line 625. Bryant's translation.Take her up tenderly, Lift her with care;Fashioned so slenderly, Young and so fair!
Thomas Hood, Bridge of Sighs.One more unfortunate Weary of breath,Rashly importunate, Gone to her death.
Thomas Hood, Bridge of Sighs.Let us be of good cheer, however, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which never come.
James Russell Lowell, Democracy and Addresses, Democracy.Suave mari magno, turbantibus æquora ventisE terra magnum alterius spectare laborum.
It is pleasant, when the sea runs high, to view from land the great distress of another.
Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, II. 1.Rocks whereon greatest men have oftest wreck'd.
John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671), Book II, line 228.Quicumque amisit dignitatem pristinamIgnavis etiam jocus est in casu gravi.
Whoever has fallen from his former high estate is in his calamity the scorn even of the base.
Phaedrus, Fables, I. 21. 1.Paucis temeritas est bono, multis malo.
Rashness brings success to few, misfortune to many.
Phaedrus, Fables, V. 4. 12.I never knew any man in my life, who could not bear another's misfortunes perfectly like a Christian.
Alexander Pope. See Jonathan Swift's Thoughts on Various Subjects.As if Misfortune made the Throne her Seat,And none could be unhappy but the Great.
Nicholas Rowe, The Fair Penitent (1703), Prologue, line 3.Nihil infelicius eo, cui nihil unquam evenit adversi, non licuit enim illi se experiri.
There is no one more unfortunate than the man who has never been unfortunate, for it has never been in his power to try himself.
Seneca the Younger, De Providentia, III.Calamitas virtutis occasio est.
Calamity is virtue's opportunity.
Seneca the Younger, De Providentia, IV.Nil est nec miserius nec stultius quam prætimere. Quæ ista dementia est, malum suum antecedere!
There is nothing so wretched or foolish as to anticipate misfortunes. What madness it is in your expecting evil before it arrives!
Seneca the Younger, Epistolæ Ad Lucilium, XCVIII.Quemcumque miserum videris, hominem scias.
When you see a man in distress, recognize him as a fellow man.
Seneca the Younger, Hercules Furens, 463.From good to bad, and from bad to worse,From worse unto that is worst of all,And then return to his former fall.
Edmund Spenser, The Shepherd's Calendar, Feb, line 12.Bonum est fugienda adspicere in alieno malo.
It is good to see in the misfortunes of others what we should avoid.
Syrus, Maxims.I shall not let a sorrow die Until I find the heart of it,Nor let a wordless joy go by Until it talks to me a bit;And the ache my body knows Shall teach me more than to another,I shall look deep at mire and rose Until each one becomes my brother.
Sara Teasdale, Servitors.Hoccin est credibile, aut memorabile,Tanta vecordia innata cuiquam ut siet,Ut malis gaudeant alienis, atque ex incommodisAlterius, sua ut comparent commoda?
It is to be believed or told that there is such malice in men as to rejoice in misfortunes, and from another's woes to draw delight.
Terence, Andria, IV. 1. 1.Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them.
Virgil, Æneid (29-19 BC), VI. 95.So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn Which once he wore;The glory from his gray hairs gone For evermore!
John Greenleaf Whittier, Ichabod.
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