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[ Also see Clemency Compassion Consolation Cruelty Humanity Kindness Mercy Philanthropy Self-pity Sympathy Tears Understanding ]

Taught by that Power that pities me,
  I learn to pity them.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Hermit (st. 6)

Pity is love when grown into excess.
      - Sir Robert Howard

Pity and friendship seek different habitations.
      - Helen Hunt (Helen Hunt Jackson)

Pity is not natural to man. Children are always cruel; savages are always cruel.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Pity is a sense of our own misfortunes in those of another man; it is a sort of foresight of the disasters which may befall ourselves. We assist others,, in order that they may assist us on like occasions; so that the services we offer to the unfortunate are in reality so many anticipated kindnesses to ourselves.
      - Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

Pity and commiseration are mixed with some regard for the thing which one pities.
  [Fr., La plaincte et la commiseration sont meslees a quelque estimation de la chose qu'on plaind.]
      - Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays
         (bk. I, ch. I)

Pity's tears are spontaneous.
      - Anna C. Mowatt

The great basis of the Christian faith is compassion; do not dismiss that from your hearts, neither will your Maker.
      - Theodore Parker

Pity is not enough better than indifference to benefit materially either agent or recipient.
      - Charles Henry Parkhurst

At length some pity warm'd the master's breast
  ('Twas then, his threshold first receiv'd a guest),
    Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care,
      And half he welcomes in the shivering pair.
      - Thomas Parnell, The Hermit (l. 97)

How different is the ready hand, tearful eye, and soothing voice, from the ostentatious appearance which is called pity.
      - Jane Porter

People seem to think themselves in some ways superior to heaven itself, when they complain of the sorrow and want round about them. And yet it is not the devil for certain who puts pity into their hearts.
      - Anne Isabelle (Thackeray) Ritchie

She knows as well as anyone that pity, having played, soon tires.
      - Edwin Arlington Robinson

We pity in others only those evils which we have ourselves experienced.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Alas! poor human nature, pity, if hard pressed, degenerates into contempt.
      - John Godfrey Saxe

Fire drives out fire; so pity, pity.
      - William Shakespeare

If ever you have looked on better days, if ever been where bells have knolled to church, if ever sat at any good man's feast, if ever from your eyelids wiped a tear and know what 'tis to pity and be pitied, let gentleness my strong enforcement sue.
      - William Shakespeare

No beast as fierce but knows some touch of pity.
      - William Shakespeare

No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.
      - William Shakespeare

My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds,
  My mildness hath allayed their swelling griefs,
    My mercy dried their water-flowing tears.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Sixth, Part III
         (King Henry at IV, viii)

Is there no pity sitting in the clouds
  That sees into the bottom of my grief?
      - William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
         (Juliet at III, v)

But I perceive
  Men must learn now with pity to dispense;
    For policy sits above conscience.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of Timon of Athens
         (First Stranger at III, ii)

I am an humble suitor to your virtues;
  For pity is the virtue of the law,
    And none but tyrants use it cruelly.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of Timon of Athens
         (Alcibiades at III, v)

My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks.
  O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
    Come thou on my side, and entreat for me
      As you would beg, were you in my distress.
        A begging prince what beggar pities not?
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (Clarence at I, iv)

Tear-falling pity dwells not in this eye.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Tragedy of King Richard the Third
         (King Richard at IV, ii)

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