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Selfishness is the making a man's self his own centre, the beginning and end of all he doeth.
- John Owen (2)
All the good maxims which are in the world fail when applied to one's self.
- Blaise Pascal
I learned that no man in God's wide earth is either willing or able to help any other man.
- Johann Pestalozzi
Hence we cannot see our own faults; when others transgress we become censors.
- Phaedrus (Thrace of Macedonia)
As for the largest-hearted of us, what is the word we write most often in our cheque-books?
- Eden Phillpotts, A Shadow Passes
There are some people who think that all the world should share their misfortune, although they do not share in the sufferings of anybody else.
- Achille Poincelot
It is very natural for a young friend and a young lover to think the persons they love have nothing to do but to please them.
- Alexander Pope
We are too much haunted by ourselves; we project the central shadow of ourselves on everything around us. And then comes in the gospel to rescue us from this selfishness. Redemption is this--to forget self in God.
- Frederick William Robertson
Selfishness, not love, is the actuating motive of the gallant.
- Madame Jeanne Marie Phlipon de La Platiere Roland
In the North the first words are, Help me; in the South, Love me.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Offended self-love never forgives.
- Giovanni Ruffini
Selfishness, if but reasonably tempered with wisdom, is not such an evil trait.
- Giovanni Ruffini
Be not in the desire of thine own ease.
- Moslih Eddin (Muslih-un-Din) Saadi (Sadi)
Formerly thy soul was great, ardent, vast; the entire circle of the universe found place in thy heart. O Charles, that thou hast become small, that thou hast become miserable, since thou lovest no one but thyself!
- Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
Sordid selfishness doth contract and narrow our benevolence, and cause us, like serpents, to infold ourselves within ourselves, and to turn out our stings to all the world besides.
- Sir Walter Scott
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour'd and unsung.
- Sir Walter Scott,
The Lay of the Last Minstrel
(canto VI, st. 1)
It is self-love and its offspring self-deception, which shut the gates of heaven, and lead men, as if in a delicious dream, to hell.
- Christian Scriver (used pseudonym Gotthold)
But if these
(As I am sure they do) bear fire enough
To kindle cowards and to steel with valor
The melting spirits of women, then, countrymen,
What need we any spur but our own cause
To prick us to redress?
- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
(Brutus at II, i)
Take the selfishness out of this world and there would be more happiness than we should know what to do with.
- Henry Wheeler Shaw (used pseudonyms Josh Billings and Uncle Esek)
Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon
There are some tempers--how shall I describe them--formed either of such impenetrable matter, or wrought up by habitual selfishness to such an utter insensibility of what becomes of the fortunes of their fellow-creatures, as if they were not partakers of the same nature, or had no lot or connection at all with the species.
- Laurence Sterne
Lo! now, what hearts have men! they never mount as high as woman in her selfless mood.
- Lord Alfred Tennyson
Each one wishes for his own advantage, rather than that of others.
- Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)
Next to the very young, the very old are the most selfish.
- William Makepeace Thackeray
As frost to the bud, and blight to the blossom, even such is self-interest to friendship; for confidence cannot dwell where selfishness is porter at the gate.
- Martin Farquhar Tupper
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