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Adversity is a school in which

many valuable lessons are learned, which can scarcely be gained in any other. Here we become acquainted with ourselves, with the frailties of our natures, with the fallacies of the world, with the worth and necessity of religion. Here the powers of the soul are called forth, and trained in a discipline, which, however severe, is found to be salutary. Some virtues are only seen in affliction, and some in prosperity; if the latter are more showy and attractive, the former are more solid and enduring. Humility, patience, fortitude, prudence, and pious resignation are best promoted by events and circumstances of a dark and disastrous kind. At such a time we wake from inglorious slumber, and the vain illusions and dreams, which before amused us are scattered and dispersed. -RUSTICUS.

Adversity willingly undergone is the highest virtue.
Adversity successfully overcome is the highest glory.

Oh, cease to weep, this storm will yet decay,
And the sad clouds of sorrow melt away:
While through the rugged path of life we go,
All mortals taste the bitter draught of woe:
The famed and great, decreed to equal pain,
Full oft in splendid wretchedness complain.

In every human heart the hope of happiness prevails,
None ever wishes that he may meet with distress;

But human existence is in its nature beset with happiness and misery,

And grief therefore every one is destined to suffer. Were there no dying of the dear and the near,

Of loss in business were there no fear,

If the human system were proof against all diseases and pain,

All would have been full of conceit and vain.

Prosperity is the time when men neglect their duties,
Many a vice is contracted by them at this time;
Adversity is the time of instruction and learning,
It gives men an opportunity of cultivating virtues.
Whom to befriend and what it is to befriend

Is learnt at the time of adversity,

As then only the love of friends is tested,
And friend from foe distinguished.

When experience of adversity is obtained by men, They understand many an error in life committed by them;

In adversity they learn to compassionate others and mercifully give charitable gifts to the poor.

In adversity those inflamed with arrogance give up their egotism,

The boasters forget the habit of boasting;

And the foolish persons cease ridiculing and offending humbled merit.

Unhappy Narmad! Do not be vexed

The Lord of the Universe will soon allay your difficulties;

Have ample patience, oh friend !

And stick fast to morality.

• A Gujaráti poet.


Dark clouds roll up and obscure the sun, but we know there is light above the clouds.

Bear and blame not what you cannot change.

Heaven has to all allotted, soon or late,

Some lucky revolution of their fate.


Adversity has ever been considered as the state in which a man most easily becomes acquainted with himself -particularly being free from flatterers.

It is not but the tempest that doth show
The seaman's cunning; but the field that tries
The captain's courage; and we come to know
Best what men are, in their worst jeopardies.
For lo! how many have we seen to grow
To high renown from lowest miseries,
Out of the hands of Death? And many a one
To have been undone, had they not been undone?

Adversity, sage useful guest,
Severe instructor, but the best,
It is from thee alone we know
Justly to value things below.


Affliction is the good man's shining scene;
Prosperity conceals his brightest ray;
As night to stars, woe lustre gives to man.


Make the best use of thy prosperity,

And then of thy reverses when they happen.
For good and evil fortune come and go,
Revolving like a wheel in sure rotation.


Three men are never distressed by adversity, or exposed to solitude and grief: the brave man, of whose prowess all men stand in need; the accomplished man, whose knowledge all men require; the pleasant speaker, of whose eloquence all men are enamoured.


He that has never known adversity, is but half acquainted with others, or with himself. Constant success. shews us but one side of the world. For, as it surrounds us with friends, who will tell us only our merits, so it silences those enemies from whom alone our defects.

we can learn


Not to be unhappy is unhappiness,

And mis'ry not to have known misery:

For the best way unto discretion is

The way that leads us by adversity.

And men are better show'd what is amiss,

By th' expert finger of calamity,

Than they can be with all that fortune brings,
Who never shows them the true face of things.


* From Ancient Iranian and Zoroastrian Morals, by D. J. Medhora.

Men shut their doors against a setting sun.

Fortune does not change men; it only brings out in clear light what's in them.

Prosperity is no just scale; adversity is the only balance to weigh friends in.

It is generally in the season of prosperity that men discover their real temper, principles, and designs.


One should neither rejoice at obtaining what is pleasant, nor sorrow in obtaining what is unpleasant. -"BHAGAVAD-GÎTÂ.”

If rich, be not elated; if poor, be not dejected.

Whomsoever riches do not exalt, poverty will not abase, and calamity cannot cast down.


Prosperity is no test of character; it is adversity that surely finds us out. Adversity is a great educator and teaches more truly than all the schools.

In prosperity we need moderation, in adversity patience.

The virtue of prosperity is temperance; the virtue of adversity is fortitude, which in morals is the more heroical virtue.


* From Ancient Iranian and Zoroastrian Morals, by D. J. Medhora.

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