The Good Book: Proverbs, chapter 2: Adversity

1 – Adversity is the first path to truth.
Agreed
2 – There is no education like adversity.
It sounds very nice when you put it like that, but it’s not an unalloyed good. There is such a thing, after all, as learned helplessness.
3 – Though it makes no one rich, it makes many wise.
It makes some wise, somewhat more cunning, and the rest merely sore.
4 – It has few friends, but it proves those it has.
I’m not sure what Grayling is trying to say here. If he means ‘prove’ in the older sense of ‘test’, then yes, it does; if he means ‘prove’ in the sense of ‘affirm’, then he’s basically wasted a proverb telling us that this world has masochists in it.
5 – Adversity flatters no one, it tries virtue and tests courage.
Agreed.
6 – Gold is tested by fire, brave men by adversity.
Which is the preceding proverb restated with added sexism. Not merely unecessary but actually detracting from the work.