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[ Also see Clemency Compassion Consolation Cruelty Humanity Kindness Mercy Philanthropy Self-pity Sympathy Tears Understanding ]

O God, show compassion on the wicked.
  The virtuous have already been blessed by Thee in being virtuous.
      - Unattributed Author,
        Prayer of a Persian Dervish

It is easy to condemn; it is better to pity.
      - Lyman Abbott

Pity makes the world soft to the weak, and noble for the strong.
      - Sir Edwin Arnold

Of all emotions, pity is the hardest to endure, especially when it is deserved. Hatred is a tonic, it quickens the spirit, it inspires vengeance; but pity kills the spirit, it intensifies our weaknesses, it cripples us.
      - Honore de Balzac

Pity is woman's sweetest charm.
      - Honore de Balzac

There are as many mediocrities exalted through pity as masters decried through envy.
      - Honore de Balzac

Of all the paths that lead to a woman's love
  Pity's the straightest.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Knight of Malta (act I, sc. 1, l. 73)

Pity, some say, is the parent of future love.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher,
        Spanish Curate (act V, sc. 1)

Finally, be ye of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.
      - Bible, I Peter (ch. III, v. 8-9)

To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friends; but he forsaketh the fear of the Almighty.
      - Bible, Job (ch. VI, v. 14)

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

A woman's pity sometimes makes her mad.
      - Elizabeth Barrett Browning

He scorned his own, who felt another's woe.
      - Thomas Campbell

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.
      - Francois Ignace Dunod de Charnage

Pity best taught by fellowship of woe.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Pity is best taught by fellowship in woe.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Pity speaks to grief
  More sweetly than a band of instruments.
      - Barry Cornwall (pseudonym of Bryan Waller Procter),
        Florentine Party

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

Pity melts the mind to love.
      - John Dryden

For pity melts the mind to love.
  Softly sweet, in Lydian measures,
    Soon he sooth'd his soul to pleasures.
      War, he sung, is toll and trouble;
        Honour but an empty bubble.
      - John Dryden, Alexander's Feast (l. 96)

Pity is love in undress.
      - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach

More helpful than all wisdom is one draught of simple human pity that will not forsake us.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross),
        The Mill on the Floss (bk. VII, ch. I)

Pity enlarges the heart.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

He best can pity who has felt the woe.
      - John Gay

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.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

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