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


The more we give to others, the more we are increased.


He gives twice who gives quickly.


When you give, give with joy and smiling.


Riches, understanding, beauty, are fair gifts of God.


For the will and not the gift makes the giver.


We like the gift when we the giver prize.


For to give is the business of the rich.


Giving requires good sense.


God hands gifts to some, whispers them to others.

W. R. Alger.

Who gives a trifle meanly is meaner than the trifle.


Of gifts, there seems none more becoming to offer a friend than a beautiful book.

Amos Bronson Alcott.

That which is given with pride and ostentation is rather an ambition than a bounty.


Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind.


Gifts are as gold that adorns the temple; grace is like the temple that sanctifies the gold.


There is no grace in a benefit that sticks to the fingers.


Gifts come from above in their own peculiar forms.


For whatever man has, is in reality only a gift.


The gift derives its value from the rank of the giver.


Those gifts are ever the most acceptable which the giver makes precious.


Give freely to him that deserveth well, and asketh nothing: and that is a way of giving to thyself.


The manner of giving shows the character of the giver more than the gift itself.


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

Thomas à Kempis.

While you look at what is given, look also at the giver.


  • Wear this for me,—one out of suits with fortune,
  • That could give more, but that her hand lacks means.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Saints themselves will sometimes be,
  • Of gifts that cost them nothing, free.
  • Butler.

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


    One must be poor to know the luxury of giving.

    George Eliot.

    The heart of the giver makes the gift dear and precious.


    Take gifts with a sigh; most men give to be paid.

    Boyle O’Reilly.

    How can that gift leave a trace which has left no void?

    Mme. Swetchine.

    You gave with them words of so sweet breath composed, as made the things more rich.


    That alone belongs to you which you have bestowed.


    Whoever makes great presents, expects great presents in return.


    Every gift which is given, even though it be small, is in reality great, if it be given with affection.


    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?

    La Bruyère.

    Gifts, they weigh like mountains on a sensitive heart. To me they are oftener punishments than pleasures.

    Mme. Fee.

    The making presents to a lady one addresses is like throwing armor into an enemy’s camp, with a resolution to recover it.


    He was one of those men, moreover, who possess almost every gift except the gift of the power to use them.

    Charles Kingsley.

    Posthumous charities are the very essence of selfishness, when bequeathed by those who, when alive, would part with nothing.


    Gifts are like fish-hooks; for who is not aware that the greedy char is deceived by the fly which he swallows?


    It is a cold, lifeless business, when you go to the shops to buy something, which does not represent your life and talent, but a goldsmith’s.


  • Your gift is princely, but it comes too late,
  • And falls like sunbeams on a blasted blossom.
  • Suckling.

    The gift, to be true, must be the flowing of the giver unto me, correspondent to my flowing unto him.


  • Win her with gifts, if she respect not words:
  • Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
  • More than quick words, do move a woman’s mind.
  • Shakespeare.

  • She gave the eyes, she gave me ears;
  • And humble cares, and delicate fears;
  • A heart, the fountain of sweet tears;
  • And love, and thought, and joy.
  • Wordsworth.

    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.


    Liberty is of more value than any gifts; and to receive gifts is to lose it. Be assured that men most commonly seek to oblige thee only that they may engage thee to serve them.


    Gifts are the greatest usury, because a two-fold retribution is an urged effect that a noble mind prompts us to; and it is said we pay the most for what is given us.

    J. Beaumont.

    If we will take the good we find, asking no questions, we shall have heaping measures. The great gifts are not got by analysis. Everything good is on the highway.


    When thou makest presents, let them be of such things as will last long; to the end they may be in some sort immortal, and may frequently refresh the memory of the receiver.


    Nature makes us buy her presents at the price of so many sufferings that it is doubtful whether she deserves most the name of parent or stepmother.

    Pliny the Elder.

  • She prizes not such trifles as these are:
  • The gifts she looks from me are pack’d and lock’d
  • Up in my heart, which I have given already,
  • But not deliver’d.
  • Shakespeare.

  • He ne’er consider’d it as loath
  • To look a gift-horse in the mouth,
  • And very wisely would lay forth
  • No more upon it than ’twas worth.
  • Butler.

  • Policy counselleth a gift, given wisely and in season;
  • And policy afterwards approveth it, for great is the influence of gifts.
  • Tupper.

  • 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.
  • L. E. Landon.

    Favors, and especially pecuniary ones, are generally fatal to friendship; for our pride will ever prompt us to lower the value of the gift by diminishing that of the donor.


    The only gift is a portion of thyself.***Therefore the poet brings his poem; the shepherd, his lamb; the farmer, corn; the miner, a gem; the sailor, coral and shells; the painter, his picture; the girl, a handkerchief of her own sewing.


    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.


    In giving, a man receives more than he gives; and the more is in proportion to the worth of the thing given.

    George MacDonald.

    We are as answerable for what we give as for what we receive; nay, the misplacing of a benefit is worse than the not receiving of it; for the one is another person’s fault, but the other is mine.


    No man esteems anything that comes to him by chance; but when it is governed by reason, it brings credit both to the giver and receiver; whereas those favors are in some sort scandalous that make a man ashamed of his patron.


    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.


    He gives not best that gives most; but he gives most who gives best. If then I cannot give bountifully, yet I will give freely; and what I want in my hand, supply by my heart. He gives well that gives willingly.

    Arthur Warwick.

    Those Spaniards in Mexico who were chased of the Indians tell us what to do with our goods in our extremity. They being to pass over a river in their flight, as many as cast away their gold swam over safe; but some, more covetous, keeping their gold, were either drowned with it, or overtaken and slain by the savages; you have received, now learn to give.


    It passes in the world for greatness of mind, to be perpetually giving and loading people with bounties; but it is one thing to know how to give and another thing not to know how to keep. Give me a heart that is easy and open, but I will have no holes in it; let it be bountiful with judgment, but I will have nothing run out of it I know not how.


    The secret of giving affectionately is great and rare; it requires address to do it well; otherwise we lose instead of deriving benefit from it. This man gives lavishly in a way that obliges no one; the manner of giving is worth more than the gift. Another loses intentionally at a game, thus disguising his present; another forgets a jewel, which would have been refused as a gift. A generous booby seems to be giving alms to his mistress when he is making a present.


    Some men give so that you are angry every time you ask them to contribute. They give so that their gold and silver shoot you like a bullet. Other persons give with such beauty that you remember it as long as you live; and you say, “It is a pleasure to go to such men.” There are some men that give as springs do; whether you go to them or not, they are always full; and your part is merely to put your dish under the ever-flowing stream. Others give just as a pump does where the well is dry, and the pump leaks.