Thomas Carlyle quote about adversity from On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History - Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
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Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity.
 Thomas Carlyle, On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and The Heroic in History (1841). copy citation

Context

“This month he is a ruined peasant, his wages seven pounds a year, and these gone from him: next month he is in the blaze of rank and beauty, handing down jewelled Duchesses to dinner; the cynosure of all eyes! Adversity is sometimes hard upon a man; but for one man who can stand prosperity, there are a hundred that will stand adversity. I admire much the way in which Burns met all this. Perhaps no man one could point out, was ever so sorely tried, and so little forgot himself. Tranquil, unastonished; not abashed, not inflated, neither awkwardness nor affectation: he feels that he there is the man Robert Burns; that the "rank is but the guinea-stamp;" that the celebrity is but the candle-light, which will show what man, not in the least make him a better or other man!” source

Meaning and analysis

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