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


Happy the man who can endure with equanimity the highest and the lowest fortune.


  • Thus run the wheels of state, now up, now down,
  • And none that lives finds safety in a crown.
  • Markham and Sampson.

  • But yesterday the word of Cæsar might
  • Have stood against the world; now lies he there,
  • And none so poor to do him reverence.
  • Shakespeare.

    The most affluent may be stripped of all, and find his worldly comforts like so many withered leaves dropping from him.


    Sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud: and, after summer evermore succeeds barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold: so cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.


  • Roses bloom, and then they wither;
  • Cheeks are bright, then fade and die;
  • Shapes of light are wafted hither,
  • Then, like visions, hurry by.
  • Percival.

  • Thus doth the ever-changing course of things
  • Run a perpetual circle, ever turning;
  • And that same day, that highest glory brings,
  • Brings us unto the point of back-returning.
  • Daniel.

    We do not marvel at the sunrise of a joy, only at its sunset! Then, on the other hand, we are amazed at the commencement of a sorrow-storm; but that it should go off in gentle showers, we think quite natural.


  • A blossom full of promise is life’s joy,
  • That never comes to fruit. Hope, for a time,
  • Suns the young floweret in its gladsome light,
  • And it looks flourishing—a little while—
  • ’T is pass’d, we know not whither, but ’t is gone.
  • Miss Landon.

    Though the Indian ocean abounds in rich and rare gems, it does not boast a clearer sky nor more unruffled sea. If there be a shore that dreads not the fury of the faithless billows, it is some poor and narrow inlet unknown to the winds.


  • Oh sad vicissitude
  • Of earthly things! to what untimely end
  • Are all the fading glories that attend
  • Upon the state of greatest monarchs, brought!
  • What safety can by policy be wrought,
  • Or rest be found on fortune’s restless wheel!
  • May.

  • Is there no constancy in earthly things?
  • No happiness in us, but what must alter?
  • No life, without the heavy load of fortune?
  • What miseries we are, and to ourselves?
  • Ev’n then when full content seems to sit by us,
  • What daily sores and sorrows.
  • Beaumont and Fletcher.

    Such are the vicissitudes of the world, through all its parts, that day and night, labor and rest, hurry and retirement, endear each other. Such are the changes that keep the mind in action; we desire, we pursue, we obtain, we are satiated; we desire something else, and begin a new pursuit.


  • Then grieve not that nought mortal
  • Endures through passing years—
  • Did life one changeless tenor keep,
  • ’T were cause indeed for tears.
  • And fill we, ere our parting,
  • A mantling pledge to sorrow;
  • The pang that wrings the heart to-day,
  • Time’s touch will heal to-morrow.
  • Mrs. Ellet.