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


Prosperity lets go the bridle.

George Herbert.

Prosperity often presages adversity.

Hosea Ballou.

Prosperity’s the very bond of love.


Watch lest prosperity destroy generosity.


Arrogance is the outgrowth of prosperity.


Prosperity makes few friends.


Prosperity makes some friends and many enemies.


Prosperity is a feeble reed.

Daniel D’Anchères.

Prosperity, alas! is often but another name for pride.

Mrs. Sigourney.

Prosperity seems to be scarcely safe, unless it be mixed with a little adversity.

Hosea Ballou.

To rejoice in the prosperity of another is to partake of it.

William Austin.

There is a glare about worldly success which is very apt to dazzle men’s eyes.


They who lie soft and warm in a rich estate seldom come to heat themselves at the altar.


He that swells in prosperity will be sure to shrink in adversity.


It shows a weak mind not to bear prosperity as well as adversity with moderation.


It is the bright day that brings forth the adder, and that craves wary walking.


Everything in the world may be endured, except only a succession of prosperous days.


  • O how portentous is prosperity!
  • How, comet-like, it threatens, while it shines!
  • Young.

    More in prosperity is reason tost than ships in storms, their helms and anchors lost.

    Sir J. Denham.

    Prosperity demands of us more prudence and moderation than adversity.


    Knaves will thrive when honest plainness knows not how to live.


  • Prosperity doth bewitch men, seeming clear;
  • As seas do laugh, show white, when rocks are near.
  • Webster.

    In a State, pecuniary gain is not to be considered to be prosperity, but its prosperity will be found in righteousness.


    Prosperities can only be enjoyed by those who fear not at all to lose them.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    Prosperity not seldom begets its opposite, and produces a niggardly spirit.

    Henry Giles.

    Remorse goes to sleep during a prosperous period and wakes up in adversity.


    The mind that is much elevated and insolent with prosperity, and cast down with adversity, is generally abject and base.


    Take care to be an economist in prosperity; there is no fear of your being one in adversity.


    It requires a strong constitution to withstand repeated attacks of prosperity.

    J. L. Basford.

    Prosperity is often an equivocal word denoting merely affluence of possession.


    In prosperity let us most carefully avoid pride, disdain, and arrogance.


    Whilst you are prosperous you can number many friends; but when the storm comes you are left alone.


    We must distinguish between felicity and prosperity; for prosperity leads often to ambition, and ambition to disappointment.


    Prosperity is the touchstone of virtue; for it is less difficult to bear misfortunes than to remain uncorrupted by pleasure.


    The increase of a great number of citizens in prosperity is a necessary element to the security, and even to the existence, of a civilized people.


    Greatness stands upon a precipice, and if prosperity carries a man never so little beyond his poise, it overbears and dashes him to pieces.


    As riches and favor forsake a man, we discover him to be a fool; but nobody could find it out in his prosperity.

    La Bruyère.

    The mind of man is ignorant of fate and future destiny, and of keeping within due bounds when elated by prosperity.


    Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes; and adversity is not without comforts and hopes.


    When God has once begun to throw down the prosperous. He overthrows them altogether: such is the end of the mighty.


    Happy it were for us all if we bore prosperity as well and as wisely as we endure adverse fortune.


    If you count the sunny and the cloudy days of the whole year, you will find that the sunshine predominates.


    Prosperity is very liable to bring pride among the other goods with which it endows an individual; it is then that prosperity costs too dear.

    Hosea Ballou.

    Prosperity, in regard of our corrupt inclination to abuse the blessings of Almighty God, doth prove a thing dangerous to the soul of man.


    It is one of the worst effects of prosperity to make a man a vortex, instead of a fountain; so that, instead of throwing out, he learns only to draw in.


    Many are not able to suffer and endure prosperity; it is like the light of the sun to a weak eye,—glorious indeed in itself, but not proportioned to such an instrument.

    Jeremy Taylor.

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


    To speak in a mean, the virtue of prosperity is temperance, the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the more heroic virtue.


    It is in the relaxation of security, it is in the expansion of prosperity, it is in the hour of dilation of the heart, and of its softening into festivity and pleasure that the real character of men is discerned.


    There is ever a certain languor attending the fulness of prosperity. When the heart has no more to wish, it yawns over its possessions, and the energy of the soul goes out, like a flame that has no more to devour.


    So use prosperity, that adversity may not abuse thee: if in the one, security admits no fears, in the other, despair will afford no hopes; be that in prosperity can foretell a danger can in adversity foresee deliverance.


    The temptations of prosperity insinuate themselves after a gentle, but very powerful manner; so that we are but little aware of them and less able to withstand them.


    To bring the best human qualities to anything like perfection, to fill them with the sweet juices of courtesy and charity, prosperity, or, at all events, a moderate amount of it, is required,—just as sunshine is needed for the ripening of peaches and apricots.

    Alexander Smith.

    Prosperity too often has the same effect on a Christian that a calm at sea has on a Dutch mariner; who frequently, it is said, in those circumstances, ties up the rudder, gets drunk, and goes to sleep.

    Bishop Horne.

    The fortitude which has encountered no dangers, that prudence which has surmounted no difficulties, that integrity which has been attacked by no temptation, can at best be considered but as gold not yet brought to the test, of which therefore the true value cannot be assigned.

    Dr. Johnson.

    What Anacharsis said of the vine may aptly enough be said of prosperity. She beats the three grapes of drunkenness, pleasure, and sorrow; and happy is it if the last can cure the mischief which the former work. When afflictions fail to have their due effect, the case is desperate.