It is our relation to circumstances that determines their influence over us. —The same wind that carries one vessel into port may blow another off shore.
Men are the sport of circumstances, when the circumstances seem the sport of men.
One must follow circumstances, use the forces about us, do in a word what we find to do.
Most men and women have to take the way in life which happens to be open to them. They have neither the leisure nor the inclination to mark and digest the experiences which come their way. Only a few are free to select their paths and choose those which yield the richest harvests of experience.
Occasions do not make a man either strong or weak, but they show what he is.
Circumstances form the character; but like petrifying waters they harden while they form.
Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; they are but the instruments of the wise.
Circumstances!—I make circumstances!
Men are not altered by their circumstances, but as they give them opportunities of exerting what they are in themselves; and a powerful clown is a tyrant in the most ugly form in which he can possibly appear.
A man is what the winds and tides have made him.