Philanthropy is the conduct of private initiatives for the public good. The term literally means "the love of humanity" — love in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing, or enhancing; humanity in the sense of "what it is to be human," or "human potential".
- O proud philanthropist, your hope is vain
To get by giving what you lost by gain.
- Ambrose Bierce, "Epigrams" in The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce, Vol. 8 (1911), p. 349.
- 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 (1770), line 149.
- Steal the hog, and give the feet for alms.
- George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651).
- For his bounty
There was no winter in't; an autumn 'twas
That grew the more by reaping: his delights
- For this relief, much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
And I am sick at heart.
- Speak with me, pity me, open the door:
A beggar begs that never begg'd before.
- 'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,
But to support him after.
- You find people ready enough to do the Samaritan, without the oil and twopence.
- Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir (1855), Volume I, p. 261.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 595-96.
- 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.
- Acts, IX. 36.
- Gifts and alms are the expressions, not the essence, of this virtue.
- Joseph Addison, The Guardian, No. 166.
- He scorn'd his own, who felt another's woe.
- Thomas Campbell, Gertrude of Wyoming, Part I, Stanza 24.
- Our sympathy is cold to the relation of distant misery.
- Edward Gibbon, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 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.
- 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.
- Scatter plenty o'er a smiling land.
- Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 16.
- By Jove the stranger and the poor are sent,
And what to those we give, to Jove is lent.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book VI, line 247. Pope's translation.
- It never was our guise
To slight the poor, or aught humane despise.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XIV, line 65. Pope's translation.
- In every sorrowing soul I pour'd delight,
And poverty stood smiling in my sight.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book XVII, line 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 Jerrold, Douglas Jerrold's Wit.
- I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
- Job, XXIX. 15.
- 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, On the Death of Mr. Robert Levet, Stanza 5. In Boswell's Life of Johnson (1782). ("Useful care" reads "ready help" in first ed.).
- Shut not thy purse-strings always against painted distress.
- Charles Lamb, 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, line 61.
- Who gives himself with his alms feeds three,
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.
- James Russell Lowell, The Vision of Sir Launfal, Part II, VIII.
- Nec sibi sed toti genitum se credere mundo.
- He believed that he was born, not for himself, but for the whole world.
- Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, II. 383.
- To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is Godlike.
- Horace Mann, Lectures on Education, Lecture VI.
- Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them.
- Matthew, VI. 1.
- When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.
- Matthew, VI. 3.
- Pity the sorrows of a poor old man,
Whose trembling limbs have brought him to your door.
- Thomas Moss, The Beggar's Petition.
- The organized charity, scrimped and iced,
In the name of a cautious, statistical Christ.
- John Boyle O'Reilly, In Bohemia.
- Misero datur quodcunque, fortunæ datur.
- Whatever we give to the wretched, we lend to fortune.
- Seneca the Younger, Troades, 697.
- 'Tis a little thing
To give a cup of water; yet its draught
Of cool refreshment, drain'd by fever'd lips,
May give a shock of pleasure to the frame
More exquisite than when nectarean juice
Renews the life of joy in happiest hours.
- Thomas Noon Talfourd, Ion, Act I, scene 2.
- Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.
- The poor must be wisely visited and liberally cared for, so that mendicity shall not be tempted into mendacity, nor want exasperated into crime.
- Robert C. Winthrop, Yorktown Oration (1881).