Posted by Phillip R. McDonald on October 17, 2003
The Phrase Finder says this phrase "make a virtue of necessity" comes from Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona, but it can be found in line 3042 of the Knight's Tale from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales:
Thanne is it wysdom, as it thynketh me,
To maken vertu of necessitee,
And take it weel that we may nat eschue,
And namely that to us alle is due.