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POVERTY
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[ Also see Adversity Beggary Dependence Depression Desolation Economy Frugality Hardship Hunger Loss Luxury Money Necessity Obscurity Possession Property Prosperity Riches Superfluity Want Wealth ]

Poverty makes you sad as well as wise.
      - Bertolt Brecht

Poverty makes you wise but it's a curse.
      - Bertolt Brecht

Oh, the little more, and how much it is!
  And the little less, and what worlds away.
      - Robert Browning, By the Fireside (st. 39)

Poverty is relative, and, therefor not ignoble.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

And mark the wretch, whose wanderings never knew
  The world's regard, that soothes, though half untrue;
    Whose erring heart the lash of sorrow bore,
      But found not pity when it err'd no more.
        Yon friendless man, at whose dejected eye
          Th' unfeeling proud one looks, and passes
            Condemn'd on penury's barren path to roam,
              Scorn'd by the world, and left without a home.
      - Thomas Campbell

Needy knife-grinder! whither are ye going?
  Rough is the road, your wheel is out of order;
    Bleak blows the blast--your hat has got a hole in it.
      So have your breeches.
      - George Canning,
        The Friend of Humanity and the Knife-Grinder

Thank God for poverty
  That makes and keeps us free,
    And lets us go our unobtrusive way,
      Glad of the sun and rain,
        Upright, serene, humane,
          Contented with the fortune of a day.
      - William Bliss Carman,
        The Word at Saint Kavin's

Patiently bear the burden of poverty.
  [Lat., Paupertatis onus patienter ferre memento.]
      - Dionysius Cato, Disticha (lib. I, 21)

That some of the indigent among us die of scanty food is undoubtedly true; but vastly more in this community die from eating too much than from eating too little.
      - William Ellery Channing

The real wants of nature are the measure of enjoyments, as the foot is the measure of the shoe. We can call only the want of what is necessary poverty.
      - Pope Clement I (Clemens Romanus) (Saint Clement of Alexandria)

Poverty is, except where there is an actual want of food and raiment, a thing much more imaginary than real. The shame of poverty--the shame of being thought poor--it is a great and fatal weakness, though arising in this country, from the fashion of the times themselves.
      - William Cobbett

But poverty, with most who whimper forth
  Their long complaints, is self-inflicted woe;
    The effect of laziness, or sottish write.
      - William Cowper

Where penury is felt the thought is chain'd,
  And sweet colloquial pleasures are but few.
      - William Cowper

The beggarly last doit.
      - William Cowper, Task
         (bk. V, The Winter Morning Walk, l. 126)

It rewires a great deal of poetry to gild the pill of poverty, and then it will pass current only in theory; the reality is a dead failure.
      - Dorothee DeLuzy

There's so little money in my bank account, my scenic checks show a ghetto.
      - Phyllis Diller

For a generous and noble spirit cannot be expected to dwell in the breast of men who are struggling for their daily bread.
      - Dionysius of Halicarnassus

If we from wealth to poverty descend,
  Want gives to know the flatterer from the friend.
      - John Dryden

Want is a bitter and a hateful good,
  Because its virtues are not understood;
    Yet many things, impossible to thought,
      Have been by need to full perfection brought.
        The daring of the soul proceeds from thence,
          Sharpness of wit, and active diligence;
            Prudence at once, and fortitude it gives;
              And, if in patience taken, mends our lives.
      - John Dryden

And plenty makes us poor.
      - John Dryden, The Medal (l. 126)

Content with poverty, my soul I arm;
  And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
      - John Dryden, Third Book of Horace (ode 29)

Living from hand to mouth.
      - Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas,
        Divine Weekes and Workes
         (second Week, first day, pt. IV)

One must be poor to know the luxury of living.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

Burns o'er the plough sung sweet his wood-notes wild;
  And richest Shakespeare was a poor man's child.
      - Ebenezer Elliott ("The Corn Law Rhymer")

Wealth and poverty are seen for what they are. It begins to be seen that the poor are only they who feel poor, and poverty consists in feeling poor. The rich, as we reckon them, and among them the very rich, in a true scale would be found very indigent and ragged.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson


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