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[ Also see Beggary Benefit Benevolence Charity Disinterestedness Generosity Gifts Goodness Help Humanity Kindness Liberality Mercy Misanthropy Pity Service Sympathy Well-doing ]

Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence, of this virtue.
      - Joseph Addison, in the "Guardian", no. 166

In this world it is not what we take up, but what we give up, that makes us rich.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.
      - Bible, Acts (ch. IX, v. 36)

I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
      - Bible, Job (ch. XXIX, v. 15)

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.
      - Bible, Matthew (ch. VI, v. 1)

But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
  That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
      - Bible, Matthew (ch. VI, v. 3-4)

He scorn'd his own, who felt another's woe.
      - Thomas Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming
         (pt. I, st. 24)

I never knew a trader in philanthropy who was not wrong in his head or heart somewhere or other.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

When we see a special reformer we feel like asking him, What right have you, sir, to your own virtue? Is virtue piecemeal?
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
      - Edward Gibbon,
        Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
         (ch. XLIX)

A kind and gentle heart he had,
  To comfort friends and foes;
    The naked every day he clad
      When he put on his clothes.
      - Oliver Goldsmith,
        Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog

His house was known to all the vagrant train,
  He chid their wanderings but reliev'd their pain;
    The long remembered beggar was his guest,
      Whose beard descending swept his aged breast.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
         (l. 149)

Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
  His pity gave ere charity began.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
         (l. 161)

Scatter plenty o'er a smiling land.
      - Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard
         (st. 16)

Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere,
  Heaven did a recompense as largely send;
    He gave to misery (all he had) a tear,
      He gain'd from Heaven ('twas all he wish'd) a friend.
      - Thomas Gray, Elegy--The Epitaph

To steale the Hog, and give the feet for almes.
  [To steal the hog, and give the feet to alms.]
      - George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum

By Jove the stranger and the poor are sent,
  And what to those we give, to Jove is lent.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. VI, l. 247), (Pope's translation)

It never was our guise
  To slight the poor, or aught humane despise.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. XIV, l. 65), (Pope's translation)

In every sorrowing soul I pour'd delight,
  And poverty stood smiling in my sight.
      - Homer ("Smyrns of Chios"), The Odyssey
         (bk. XVII, l. 505), (Pope's translation)

Alas! for the rarity
  Of Christian charity
    Under the sun.
      Oh! it was pitiful!
        Near a whole city full,
          Home had she none.
      - Thomas Hood, The Bridge of Sighs

He is one of those wise philanthropists who, in a time of famine, would vote for nothing but a supply of toothpicks.
      - Douglas William Jerrold,
        Douglas Jerrold's Wit

In misery's darkest caverns known,
  His useful care was ever nigh,
    Where hopeless Anguish pour'd his groan,
      And lonely want retir'd to die.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature"),
        Verses on the On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet
         (st. 5),
        in Boswell's "Life of Johnson" (1782)

Shut not thy purse-strings always against painted distress.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia),
        Complaint of the Decay of Beggars in the Metropolis

Help thi kynne, Crist bit (biddeth), for ther bygynneth charitie.
      - William Langland, Piers Plowman--Passus
         (18, l. 61)

We often excuse our own want of philanthropy by giving the name of fanaticism to the more ardent zeal of others.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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