C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Calamity was ordained for man.

Sir W. Davenant.

Calamity is man’s true touchstone.

Beaumont and Fletcher.

Calamity is the test of integrity.


Bear calamities with meekness.


Of some calamity we can have no relief but from God alone; and what would men do, in such a case, if it were not for God?


  • How wisely fate ordain’d for human kind
  • Calamity! which is the perfect glass,
  • Wherein we truly see and know ourselves.
  • Davenant.

    When any calamity has been suffered the first thing to be remembered is, how much has been escaped.


    Know, he that foretells his own calamity, and makes events before they come, twice over doth endure the pains of evil destiny.

    Sir W. Davenant.

    It is from the level of calamities, not that of every-day life, that we learn impressive and useful lessons.


  • Do not insult calamity:
  • It is a barb’rous grossness to lay on
  • The weight of scorn, where heavy misery
  • Too much already weighs men’s fortunes down.
  • Daniel.

    ’Tis only from the belief of the goodness and wisdom of a Supreme Being that our calamities can be borne in that manner which becomes a man.


    Differences, we know, are never so effectually laid asleep as by some common calamity; an enemy unites all to whom he threatens danger.

    Dr. Johnson.

    A vulgar man, in any ill that happens to him, blames others; a novice in philosophy blames himself; and a philosopher blames neither the one nor the other.


    If you tell your troubles to God, you put them into the grave; they will never rise again when you have committed them to Him. If you roll your burden anywhere else, it will roll back again like the stone of Sisyphus.


    Times of general calamity and confusion have ever been productive of the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm.


    The willow which bends to the tempest, often escapes better than the oak which resists it; and so in great calamities, it sometimes happens that light and frivolous spirits recover their elasticity and presence of mind sooner than those of a loftier character.

    Sir Walter Scott.