But our wishes are like tinder: the flint and steel of circumstances are continually striking out sparks, which vanish immediately, unless they chance to fall upon the tinder of our wishes; then, they instantly ignite, and the flame of hope is kindled in a moment.
~ Agnes Grey
by Anne Bronte
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
by William Ernest Henley
Many an act that man does is right or wrong according to the time and place which form, so to speak, its context; strip it of its surrounding circumstances, and you tear away its meaning. Gentlemen reformers, beware of this common practice of yours! beware of calling an act evil on Tuesday because that same act was evil on Monday!
~ The Virginian
by Owen Wister
"Can you suppose there's any harm in looking as cheerful and being as cheerful as our poor circumstances will permit?"
~ The Old Curiosity Shop
by Charles Dickens
"People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."
~ Mrs. Warren's Profession
by George Bernard Shaw
The knowledge of your helplessness in any circumstances is so perfect that it begets a sense of irresponsibility, almost of security; and as you drowse upon the pallet of the sleeping car, and feel yourself hurled forward through the obscurity, you are almost thankful that you can do nothing, for it is upon this condition only that you can endure it; and some such condition as this, I suppose, accounts for many heroic facts in the world.
~ Their Wedding Journey
by William Dean Howells
"Every man should have laws of his own, I should think; commandments of his own, for every man has a different set of circumstances wherein to work--or worry."
~ The Translation of a Savage
by Gilbert Parker
"You tell him I got kind of a notion he was pushed into this thing by circumstances, and tell him I've lived long enough to know that circumstances can beat the best of us."
~ Alice Adams
by Booth Tarkington
"Circumstances may accumulate so strongly even against an innocent man, that directed, sharpened, and pointed, they may slay him."
~ The Mystery of Edwin Drood
by Charles Dickens
"Man is not the creature of circumstances. Circumstances are the creatures of men."
~ Vivian Grey
by Benjamin Disraeli