Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Misery
 
  It is a celebrated thought of Socrates, that if all the misfortunes of mankind were cast into a public stock, in order to be equally distributed among the whole species, those who now think themselves the most unhappy would prefer the share they are already possessed of, before that which would fall to them by such a division. Horace [1 Sat. i. 1.] has carried this thought a great deal farther in the motto of my paper, which implies that the hardships or misfortunes we lie under are more easy to us than those of any other person would be, in case we could change conditions with him.
Joseph Addison: Spectator, No. 558.    
  1
 
  The misery of human life is made up of large masses, each separated from the other by certain intervals. One year the death of a child; years after, a failure in trade; after another longer or shorter interval, a daughter may have married unhappily;—in all but the singularly unfortunate the integral parts that comprise the sum total of the unhappiness of a man’s life are easily counted and distinctly remembered. The happiness of life, on the contrary, is made up of minute fractions: the little soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heart-felt compliment in the disguise of playful raillery, and the countless other infinitesimals of pleasurable thought and genial feeling.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.    
  2
 
  Most of our misfortunes are more supportable than the comments of our friends upon them.
Charles Caleb Colton: Lacon.    
  3
 
  Misfortune is never mournful to the soul that accepts it; for such do always see that every cloud is an angel’s face.
Saint Jerome.    
  4
 
  Misery is caused for the most part not by a heavy crush of disaster, but by the corrosion of less visible evils, which canker enjoyment and undermine security. The visit of an invader is necessarily rare, but domestic animosities allow no cessation.
Dr. Samuel Johnson.    
  5
 
  Perhaps it may he found more easy to forget the language than to part entirely with those tempers which we learnt in misery.
William Law.    
  6
 
  The chief part of the misery of wicked men and those accursed spirits the devils is this: that they are of a disposition contrary to God.
John Tillotson.    
  7
 
 
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