fortune favours the brave

Cf. ENNIUS Annals 257 (Vahlen) fortibus est fortuna viris data, fortune is given to brave men; VIRGIL Aeneid x. 284 audentes fortuna iuvat, fortune aids the bold.

c 1385 CHAUCER Troilus & Criseyde IV. 600 Thenk ek Fortune, as wel thiselves woost, Helpeth hardy man to his enprise.

c 1390 GOWER Confessio Amantis VII. 4902 And seith, ‘Fortune unto the bolde Is favorable forto helpe’.

a 1625 BEAUMONT & FLETCHER Prophetess IV. vi. He is the scorn of Fortune: but you’ll say, That she forsook him for his want of courage, But never leaves the bold.

1724 A. RAMSAY Works (1953) II. 288 Fortune aye favours the active and bauld.

1752 in W. Johnson Papers (1939) IX. 86 Make no doubt but Fortune will favour the brave.

1885 TROLLOPE Dr. Thorne II. vii. Fortune, who ever favours the brave, specially favoured Frank Gresham.

2001 Spectator 17 Nov. 25 The luck element has aroused doubts in some quarters, but Lord Guthrie has a standard retort: ‘Fortune favours the brave.’ He has been proved right, so far.


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