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Generosity lies less in giving much than in giving at the right moment.

Jean de la Bruyère (1645-1696) French satiric moralist.

Many people are capable of doing a wise thing, more a cunning thing, but very few a generous thing.

Alexander Pope (1688-1744) English poet and satirist.

What is called generosity is usually only the vanity of giving; we enjoy the vanity more than the thing given.

François de La Rochefoucauld (1613-1680) French writer.

If you're a generous person you'll have no trouble admitting that somebody else is good. If you're a better person you'll find it's total impossibility.

Unknown Source

Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore of nicely-calculated less or more.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) English Romantic poet.


Generosity during life is a very different thing from generosity in the hour of death; one proceeds from genuine liberality and benevolence, the other from pride or fear.

Horace Mann (1796-1859) U.S. educator.

Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away. To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives.

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) French writer and philosopher.

The poor don't know that their function in life is to exercise our generosity.

Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980) French writer and philosopher.

Is it not odd that the only generous person I ever knew, who had money to be generous with, should be a stockbroker.

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English poet.

It is always so pleasant to be generous, though very vexatious to pay debts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer.