C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


He who begs timidly courts a refusal.


Aspiring beggary is wretchedness itself.


Sturdy beggars can bear stout denials.


The real beggar is indeed the true and only king.


Better a living beggar than a buried emperor.

La Fontaine.

  • To get thine ends, lay bashfulnesse aside;
  • Who feares to aske, doth teach to be deny’d.
  • Herrick.

  • A beggar that is dumb, you know,
  • May challenge double pity.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh.

  • The adage must be verified—
  • That beggars mounted, run their horse to death.
  • Shakespeare.

    Though our donations are made to please ourselves, we insist upon those who receive our alms being pleased with them.


  • Well, whiles I am a beggar I will rail
  • And say, there is no sin but to be rich;
  • And being rich, my virtue then shall be
  • To say, there is no vice but beggary.
  • King John.

  • A beggar through the world am I,
  • From place to place I wander by.
  • Fill up my pilgrim’s scrip for me,
  • For Christ’s sweet sake and charity.
  • Lowell.

  • He makes a beggar first that first relieves him;
  • Not us’rers make more beggars where they live
  • Than charitable men that use to give.
  • Heywood.

  • 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.
  • Goldsmith.

    He is never out of the fashion, or limpeth awkwardly behind it. He is not required to put on court mourning. He weareth all colors, fearing none. His costume hath undergone less change than the Quaker’s. He is the only man in the universe who is not obliged to study appearances.


  • Beggar!—the only free men of our commonwealth,
  • Free above scot-free, that observe no laws,
  • Obey no governor, use no religion,
  • But what they draw from their own ancient custom,
  • Or constitute themselves, yet are no rebels.
  • Broome.

  • Art thou a man, and shams’t thou not to beg,
  • To practice such a servile kind of life?
  • Why, were thy education ne’er so mean,
  • Having thy limbs, a thousand fairer courses
  • Offer themselves to thy election.
  • Either the wars might still supply thy wants,
  • Or service of some virtuous gentleman,
  • Or honest labour; nay, what can I name
  • But would become thee better than to beg?
  • But men of thy condition feed on sloth,
  • As doth the beetle on the dung she breeds in;
  • Not caring how the metal of your minds
  • Is eaten with the rust of idleness.
  • Now, after me, what e’er he be, that should
  • Believe a person of thy quality,
  • While thou insist in this loose desp’rate course,
  • I would esteem the sin not thine, but his.
  • Ben Jonson.

    In every civilized society there is found a race of men who retain the instincts of the aboriginal cannibal and live upon their fellow-men as a natural food.