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


Pity is akin to love.


Be pitiful, be courteous.


Pity is love in undress.

Marie Ebner-Eschenbach.

Pity is love when grown into excess.

Sir R. Howard.

Pity melts the mind to love.


Pity, the tenderest part of love.


Man may dismiss compassion from his heart, but God will never.


Pity enlarges the heart.


Pity best taught by fellowship of woe.


The unfortunate do not pity the unfortunate.

H. W. Shaw.

No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.


Fire drives out fire; so pity, pity.


Pity and friendship seek different habitations.

Helen Hunt.

Almost all women have hearts full of pity.


Pity is woman’s sweetest charm.


He best can pity who has felt the woe.


Pity’s tears are spontaneous.

Anna Cora Mowatt.

A woman’s pity sometimes makes her mad.

Mrs. Browning.

It is easy to condemn; it is better to pity.


He scorned his own, who felt another’s woe.


Pity is not natural to man. Children are always cruel; savages are always cruel.

Dr. Johnson.

Of all the paths that lead to a woman’s heart, pity is the straightest.


We pity in others only those evils which we have ourselves experienced.


O, brother man! fold to thy heart thy brother, where pity dwells, the peace of God is there.


He hath a tear for pity, and a hand open as day for melting charity!


More helpful than all wisdom is one draught of simple human pity, that will not forsake us.

George Eliot.

Pity swells the tide of love.


Pity makes the world soft to the weak, and noble for the strong.

Edwin Arnold.

Alas! poor human nature, pity, if hard pressed, degenerates into contempt.

J. G. Saxe.

To him that is afflicted, pity should be shewed from his friends.


Pity is not enough better than indifference to benefit materially either agent or recipient.

Charles H. Parkhurst.

How different is the ready hand, tearful eye, and soothing voice, from the ostentatious appearance which is called pity!

Jane Porter.

Pity is sworn servant unto love; and of this be sure, wherever it begins to make the way, it lets the master in.


There are two sorts of pity: one is a balm and the other a poison; the first is realized by our friends, the last by our enemies.

Charles Sumner.

The world is full of love and pity. Had there been less suffering, there would have been less kindness.


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

Theodore Parker.

Friends should be very delicate and careful in administering pity as medicine, when enemies use the same article as poison.

J. F. Boyes.

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 Isabella Thackeray.

Pity, though it may often relieve, is but, at best, a short-lived passion, and seldom affords distress more than transitory assistance; with some it scarce lasts from the first impulse till the hand can be put into the pocket.


  • I shall despair. There is no creature loves me;
  • And if I die, no soul shall pity me:
  • Nay, wherefore should they, since that I myself
  • Find in myself no pity to myself?
  • Shakespeare.

    Let us pity the wicked man; for it is very sad to seek happiness where it does not exist. Let our compassion express itself in efforts to bring him gently back to sacred principle, and if he persist, let us pity him the more for a blindness so fatal to himself.

    De Charnage.

    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.


  • No radiant pearl which crested fortune wears,
  • No gem that, twinkling, hangs from beauty’s ears,
  • Not the bright stars which night’s blue arch adorn,
  • Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn,
  • Shine with such lustre as the tear that breaks
  • For other’s woe, down virtue’s manly cheeks.
  • Darwin.

    Pity and forbearance, and long-sufferance and fair interpretation, and excusing our brother, and taking in the best sense, and passing the gentlest sentence, are as certainly our duty, and owing to every person that does offend and can repent, as calling to account can be owing to the law, and are first to be paid; and he that does not so is an unjust person.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    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.

    La Rochefoucauld.