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[ Also see Beggary Benefit Borrowing Charity Favors Generosity Giving Goodness Ingratitude Kindness Liberality Philanthropy Present Reward Taxes Thankfulness Well-doing ]

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

God hands gifts to some, whispers them to others.
      - William R. Alger

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.
      - Francis Bacon

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

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.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
      - Bible, Acts (ch. XX, v. 35)

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
      - Bible, Matthew (ch. VII, v. 9)

The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea four things say not, It is enough:
  The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.
      - Bible, Proverbs (ch. XXX, v. 15-16)

Like giving a pair of laced ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back.
      - Tom Brown, Laconics

Gifts are as gold that adorns the temple; grace is like the temple that sanctifies the gold.
      - William Burkitt (Burkit)

Saints themselves will sometimes be,
  Of gifts that cost them nothing, free.
      - Samuel Butler (1)

He ne'er consider'd it as loth
  To look a gift-horse in the mouth,
    And very wisely would lay forth
      No more upon it than 'twas worth;
        But as he got it freely, so
          He spent it frank and freely too:
            For saints themselves will sometimes be,
              Of gifts that cost them nothing, free.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. I, canto I, l. 489)

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.
      - Paul Chatfield (a/k/a Horace Smith)

It is not the weight of jewel or plate,
  Or the fondle of silk or fur;
    "Tis the spirit in which the gift is rich,
      As the gifts of the Wise Ones were,
        And we are not told whose gift was gold,
          Or whose was the gift of myrrh.
      - Edmund Vance Cooke, The Spirit of the Gift

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.
      - Pierre Corneille

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.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The gift, to be true, must be the flowing of the giver unto me, correspondent to my flowing unto him.
      - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays--Of Gifts

It is said that gifts persuade even the gods.
      - Euripides, Medea (964)

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

Give freely to him that deserveth well, and asketh nothing: and that is a way of giving to thyself.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

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.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Presents at once? That's good. He is sure to succeed.
  [Ger., Gleich schenken? das ist brav. Da wird er reussieren.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
         (I, 7, 73)

Gifts come from above in their own peculiar forms.
  [Ger., Die Gaben
    Kommen von oben herab, in ihren eignen Gestalten.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Hermann und Dorothea (canto V, l. 69)

For to give is the business of the rich.
  [Lat., Denn Geben ist Sache des Reichen.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
        Hermann und Dorothea (I, 15)

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