while there’s life there’s hope

Cf. THEOCRITUS Idyll iv. 42 ἐλπίδες ἐν ζωοῖσιν, there’s hope among the living; CICERO Ad Atticum ix. x. dum anima est, spes esse dicitur, as the saying is, while there’s life there’s hope; also ECCLESIASTES ix. 4 (see a live dog is better than a dead lion). A more succinct L. version dum spiro, spero, while I breathe I hope, is part of the motto of South Carolina.

1539 R. TAVERNER tr. Erasmus’ Adages 36v The sycke person whyle he hath lyfe, hath hope.

1670 J. RAY English Proverbs 113 While there’s life, there’s hope, he cry’d; Then why such haste? so groan’d and dy’d.

1868 READE & BOUCICAULT Foul Play I. xi. They lost, for a few moments, all idea of escaping. But..‘while there’s life there’s hope.’

1939 C. H. B. KITCHIN Death of his Uncle v. But so far it’s only the poor gentleman’s clothes that have been found, isn’t it? I mean, while there’s life there’s hope.

1996 Washington Times 29 Jan. C14 I will be pleasantly surprised if corporate America acts on your ‘wake-up call’—but where there’s life there’s hope.

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