There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.
We meet this quote in “Julius Caesar” by Shakespeare, Act 4, Scene 3. It is said by Brutus in his argument with Cassius about their military strategy in the civil war. Cassius urges him to wait and gather strength, regrouping and preparing for the next strike. They have a secret location where the troops can take rest and be replenished. But Brutus replies that the enemy’s forces are growing day by day and concludes his point with this brilliant metaphor. He compares good luck and the chance with the tide. One should go with the current if they see the tide, let it take them and rise them with its waters. Missing this “tide”, this opportunity, may mean that there will be no another one and the future “is bound in shallows and in miseries” will be the proper punishment from fate for such cowardice.