Quote about suffering many things only a few of whcih happened
February 6, 2010 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Quotefilter: I'm looking for a quote about having suffered many things only some of which happened. CS Lewis?

I remember reading a quote that went something like this: "I've suffered many things in life some of which have actually occurred." The implication was that the author worried many tragedies while only a few befell him. What is the exact quote and from whom? CS Lewis?
posted by ticketmaster10 to Religion & Philosophy (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
Was it this from Mark Twain?

"I've lived a long life and seen a lot of hard times...most of which never happened."
posted by quietalittlewild at 7:07 PM on February 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've suffered a great many catastrophies in my life. Most of them never happened. - Mark Twain (1835-1910)
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:08 PM on February 6, 2010


yeah, quiet, your quote seems to have come from a better site
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:09 PM on February 6, 2010


I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.
-- Mark Twain

If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.
-- Don Herold

Let us be of good cheer, remembering that the misfortunes hardest to bear are those which will never happen.
-- James Russel Lowell

People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross.
-- Unknown

Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From the evil which never arrived.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties which do not exist.
-- Edgar Watson Howe

How much pain they have cost us, the evils which have never happened.
-- Thomas Jefferson

There are people who are always anticipating trouble, and in this way they manage to enjoy many sorrows that never really happen to them.
-- Josh Billings

There are more things, Lucilius, that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.
-- Seneca

My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.
-- Michel de Montaigne

Pick one.
posted by bryon at 7:31 PM on February 6, 2010 [23 favorites]


Twain definitely just moved around a few words from the classic quote from Montaigne (one of my favorites):

My life has been full of terrible misfortunes most of which never happened.
Michel de Montaigne

posted by Gerard Sorme at 8:34 PM on February 6, 2010


Thanks bryon! That's awesome.
posted by ticketmaster10 at 9:24 PM on February 6, 2010


For what it's worth, the better part of chapter 6 of C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters is devoted to this subject, though not much by way of the pithy quotations comes out of it. I wouldn't be surprised if Lewis produced some similar maxim on the subject elsewhere but nothing springs to mind.
posted by nanojath at 9:39 PM on February 6, 2010


"Full soon in deepest hearts care finds a nest,
And builds her bed of pain, in secret still,
There rocks herself, disturbing joy and rest,
And ever takes new shapes to work her will,
With fluttering fears for home or wife or child,
A thought of poison, flood, or perils wild;
For man must quail at bridges never crossed,
Lamenting even things he never lost."

-- Goethe, Faust
posted by hermitosis at 10:29 PM on February 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Twain definitely just moved around a few words from the classic quote from Montaigne (one of my favorites)

The Internet is full of classic quotes from Montaigne, most of which he never uttered. Can anyone find the source for this one anywhere in Montaigne's Essays? Its modern popularity seems to originate with Dale Carnegie's How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (1948), where it's attributed to Montaigne, but I can't trace it any further back.
posted by verstegan at 5:42 AM on February 7, 2010


...where it's attributed to Montaigne, but I can't trace it any further back.

I can help a little. I can take it back to 1935 with the publication of Marvin Lowenthal's The Autobiography Of Michel De Montaigne. Lowenthal used the Essays, The Diary of Montaigne's Journey to Italy, notes he wrote in a copy of Ephemeris of Beuther (a sort of family journal), inscriptions written on the wall of his study (but otherwise uncollected) and misc. governmental and business documents, to construct an "autobiography" in a chronological narrative. The quotation, as posted here, is in this book.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 1:07 PM on February 7, 2010


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