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


No evil is without its compensation.


One golden day redeems a weary year.

Celia Thaxter.

’Tis always morning somewhere in the world.

Richard Hengest Horne.

It is some compensation for great evils that they enforce great lessons.


Whoever makes great presents expects great presents in return.


When the first is plucked, a second will not be wanting.


Since we are exposed to inevitable sorrows, wisdom is the art of finding compensation.


The equity of Providence has balanced peculiar sufferings with peculiar enjoyments.

Dr. Johnson.

If the poor man cannot always get meat, the rich man cannot always digest it.

Henry Giles.

  • ’Tis toil’s reward, that sweetens industry,
  • As love inspires with strength the enraptur’d thrush.
  • Ebenezer Elliott.

  • What we gave, we have:
  • What we spent, we had:
  • What we left, we lost.
  • Epitaph of Edward, Earl of Devon.

    If poverty makes man groan, he yawns in opulence. When fortune exempts us from labor, nature overwhelms us with time.


  • The fiercest agonies have shortest reign;
  • And after dreams of horror, comes again
  • The welcome morning with its rays of peace.
  • William Cullen Bryant.

    The rose does not bloom without thorns. True; but would that the thorns did not outlive the rose!


    We read on the forehead of those who are surrounded by a foolish luxury that Fortune sells what she is thought to give.

    La Fontaine.

  • There is a day of sunny rest
  • For every dark and troubled night;
  • And grief may hide an evening guest,
  • But Joy shall come with early light.
  • William C. Bryant.

    When fate has allowed to any man more than one great gift, accident or necessity seems usually to contrive that one shall encumber and impede the other.


    The poor eat always more relishable food than the rich; hunger makes the dishes sweet, and this occurs almost never with rich people.


    Curses always recoil on the head of him who imprecates them. If you put a chain around the neck of a slave, the other end fastens itself around your own.


    Nothing is pure and entire of a piece. All advantages are attended with disadvantages. A universal compensation prevails in all conditions of being and existence.


    Whatever difference may appear in the fortunes of mankind, there is, nevertheless, a certain compensation of good and evil which makes them equal.

    La Rochefoucauld.

  • O weary hearts! O slumbering eyes!
  • O drooping souls, whose destinies
  • Are fraught with fear and pain,
  • Ye shall be loved again.
  • Longfellow.

    If the gatherer gathers too much, Nature takes out of the man what she puts into his chest; swells the estate, but kills the owner. Nature hates monopolies and exceptions.


  • And light is mingled with the gloom,
  • And joy with grief;
  • Divinest compensations come,
  • Through thorns of judgment mercies bloom
  • In sweet relief.
  • Whittier.

    We devote the activity of our youth to revelry and the decrepitude of our old age to repentance: and we finish the farce by bequeathing our dead bodies to the chancel, which when living, we interdicted from the church.


    There is a third silent party to all our bargains. The nature and soul of things takes on itself the guaranty of the fulfilment of every contract, so that honest service cannot come to loss.


    If I have lost anything it was incidental; and the less money, the less trouble; the less favor, the less envy,—nay, even in those cases which put us out of our wits, it is not the loss itself, but the estimate of the loss that troubles us.


    Universally, the better gold the worse man. The political economist defies us to show any gold mine country that is traversed by good roads, or a shore where pearls are found on which good schools are erected.


  • Under the storm and the cloud to-day,
  • And to-day the hard peril and pain—
  • To-morrow the stone shall be rolled away,
  • For the sunshine shall follow the rain.
  • Merciful Father, I will not complain,
  • I know that the sunshine shall follow the rain.
  • Joaquin Miller.

    Where there is much general deformity nature has often, perhaps generally, accorded some one bodily grace even in over-measure. So, no doubt, with the intellect and disposition, only it is frequently less apparent, and we give ourselves but little trouble to discover it.

    J. F. Boyes.

  • As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
  • Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
  • Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
  • Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
  • Goldsmith.

  • Earth gets its price for what Earth gives us,
  • The beggar is taxed for a corner to die in;
  • The priest has his fee who comes and shrives us,
  • We bargain for the graves we lie in;
  • At the devil’s booth are all things sold,
  • Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of gold;
  • For a cap and bells our lives we pay,
  • Bubbles we buy with a whole soul’s tasking,
  • ’Tis heaven alone that is given away,
  • ’Tis only God may be had for the asking,
  • No price is set on the lavish summer;
  • June may be had by the poorest comer.
  • Lowell.

    As there is no worldly gain without some loss, so there is no worldly loss without some gain. If thou hast lost thy wealth, thou hast lost some trouble with it; if thou art degraded from thy honor, thou art likewise freed from the stroke of envy; if sickness hath blurred thy beauty, it hath delivered thee from pride. Set the allowance against the loss, and thou shalt find no loss great; he loses little or nothing that reserves himself.