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[ Also see Beggary Benefit Borrowing Charity Favors Generosity Giving Goodness Ingratitude Kindness Liberality Philanthropy Present Reward Taxes Thankfulness Well-doing ]

I make presents to the mother, but think of the daughter.
  [Ger., Der Mutter schenk' ich,
    Die Tochter denk' ich.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Spruche in Reimen (III)

Give an inch, he'll take an ell.
      - Thomas Hobbes, Liberty and Necessity
         (no. 111)

Rare gift! but oh, what gift to fools avails!
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. 10, l. 29), (Pope's translation)

Everything that is superfluous overflows from the full bosom.
  [Lat., Omne supervacuum pleno de pectore manat.]
      - Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus),
        Ars Poetica (337)

Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
  [Lat., Noli equi dentes inspicere donati.]
      - Saint Jerome (Eusebius Hieronymus Sophronius, called Hieronymus),
        On the Epistle to the Ephesians

When you give, give with joy and smiling.
      - Joseph Joubert

He who loves with purity considers not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver.
      - Thomas a Kempis

It is a proof of boorishness to confer a favor with a bad grace; it is the act of giving that is hard and painful. How little does a smile cost?
      - Jean de la Bruyere

"Presents," I often say, endear Absents."
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia),
        A Dissertation upon Roast Pig

I never cast a flower away,
  A gift of one who car'd for me;
    A flower--a faded flower,
      But it was done reluctantly.
      - Letitia Elizabeth Landon (Mrs. George MacLean)

A gift--its kind, its value and appearance; the silence or the pomp that attends it; the style in which it reaches you--may decide the dignity or vulgarity of the giver.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

The manner of giving shows the character of the giver more than the gift itself.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

Who gives a trifle meanly is meaner than the trifle.
      - Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)

For the will and not the gift makes the giver.
  [Ger., Denn der Wille
    Und nicht die Gabe macht den Geber.]
      - Ephraim Gotthold Lessing, Nathan der Wiese
         (I, 5)

To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own.
      - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

A woman's mind is affected by the meanest gifts.
  [Lat., Parvis mobilis rebus animus muliebris.]
      - Titus Livy, Annales (VI, 34)

The greatest grace of a gift, perhaps, is that it anticipates and admits of no return.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Not what we give, but what we share,--
  For the gift without the giver is bare.
      - James Russell Lowell,
        Vision of Sir Launfal (pt. II, st. 8)

God's love gives in such a way that it flows from a Father's heart, the well-spring of all good. The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious; as among ourselves we say of even a trifling gift, "It comes from a hand we love," and look not so much at the gift as at the heart.
      - Martin Luther

Riches, understanding, beauty, are fair gifts of God.
      - Martin Luther

The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious.
      - Martin Luther

In giving, a man receives more than he gives, and the more is in proportion to the worth of the thing given.
      - George MacDonald, Mary Marston (ch. V)

People do not care to give alms without some security for their money; and a wooden leg or a withered arm is a sort of draft upon heaven for those who choose to have their money placed to account there.
      - Henry Mackenzie ("Man of Feeling" or "Addison of the North")

Gifts are like fish-hooks; for who is not aware that the greedy char is deceived by the fly which he swallows?
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis)

Whoever makes great presents, expects great presents in return.
  [Lat., Quisquis magna dedit, voluit sibi magna remitti.]
      - Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis),
        Epigrams (V, 59, 3)

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