When a man is laboring under the pain of any distemper, it is then that he recollects there is a God, and that he himself is but a man. No mortal is then the object of his envy, his admiration, or his contempt; and, having no malice to gratify, the tales of slander excite him not.
—Pliny the Elder (23–79CE) Roman Statesman, Scholar
The most important thing when ill, is to never lose heart.
—Vladimir Lenin (1870–1924) Russian Revolutionary Leader
Few spirits are made better by the pain and languor of sickness; as few great pilgrims become eminent saints.
—Thomas a Kempis (1379–1471) German Religious Priest, Writer
To be sick is to enjoy monarchical prerogatives.
—Charles Lamb (1775–1834) British Essayist, Poet
I reckon being ill as one of the great pleasures of life, provided one is not too ill and is not obliged to work till one is better.
In sickness let me not so much say, am I getting better of my pain? as am I getting better for it?
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
When an elderly woman was asked why she was standing in line to buy stamps from a teller when she could have used a stamp machine she replied: The machine won’t ask me about my arthritis!
Sickness is a sort of early old age; it teaches us a diffidence in our earthly state.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
It is in sickness that we most feel the need of that sympathy which shows how much we are dependent upon one another for our comfort, and even necessities. Thus disease, opening our eyes to the realities of life, is an indirect blessing.
—Hosea Ballou (1771–1852) American Theologian
The modern sympathy with invalids is morbid. Illness of any kind is hardly a thing to be encouraged in others.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
To be too conscious is an illness – a real thoroughgoing illness.
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821–81) Russian Novelist, Essayist, Writer
Of all the know-nothing persons in this world, commend us to the man who has “never known a day’s illness.” He is a moral dunce, one who has lost the greatest lesson of life; who has skipped the finest lecture in that great school of humanity, the sick-chamber.
—Edwin Paxton Hood (1820–85) English Nonconformist Divine, Author
There are two kinds of people; those who are always well and those who are always sick. Most of the evils of the world come from the first sort and most of the achievement from the second.
—Louis Dudek (1918–2001) Canadian Poet, Publisher
In sickness the soul begins to dress herself for immortality. And first she unties the strings of vanity that made her upper garments cleave to the world and sit uneasy.
As in the body, so in the soul; they are oft most desperately sick who are least sensible of their disease, while he that fears each wound as mortal, seeks a timely cure, and is healed.
Illness is the doctor to whom we pay most heed; to kindness, to knowledge, we make promise only; pain we obey.
—Marcel Proust (1871–1922) French Novelist
If you be sick, your own thoughts make you sick
—Ben Jonson (1572–1637) English Dramatist, Poet, Actor