Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


Paupertas omnium artium repertrix.
Poverty is the discoverer of all the arts.
Apollonius—De Magia. P. 285. 35.

Leave the poor
Some time for self-improvement. Let them not
Be forced to grind the bones out of their arms
For bread, but have some space to think and feel
Like moral and immortal creatures.
Bailey—Festus. Sc. A Country Town.

L’or même à la laideur donne un teint de beauté:
Mais tout devient affreux avec la pauvreté.
Gold gives an appearance of beauty even to ugliness: but with poverty everything becomes frightful.
Boileau—Satires. VIII. 209.

Oh, the little more, and how much it is!
And the little less, and what worlds away.
Robert Browning—By the Fireside. St. 39.

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.
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.
Bliss Carman—The Word at Saint Kavin’s.

Paupertatis onus patienter ferre memento.
Patiently bear the burden of poverty.
Dionysius Cato—Disticha. Lib. I. 21.

He is now fast rising from affluence to poverty.
S. L. Clemens (Mark Twain)—Henry Ward Beecher’s Farm.

The beggarly last doit.
Cowper—The Task. Bk. V. The Winter Morning Walk. L. 316.

And plenty makes us poor.
Dryden—The Medal. L. 126.

Content with poverty, my soul I arm;
And virtue, though in rags, will keep me warm.
Dryden—Third Book of Horace. Ode 29.

Living from hand to mouth.
Du Bartas—Divine Weekes and Workes. Second Week. First Day. Pt. IV.

The greatest man in history was the poorest.
Emerson—Domestic Life.

Thou source of all my bliss and all my woe,
That found’st me poor at first, and keep’st me so.
Goldsmith—Deserted Village. L. 413.

The nakedness of the indigent world may be clothed from the trimmings of the vain.
Goldsmith—Vicar of Wakefield. Ch. IV.

Chill penury repress’d their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Gray—Elegy in a Country Churchyard. St. 13.

Poverty is no sin.
Herbert—Jacula Prudentum.

Yes, child of suffering, thou may’st well be sure
He who ordained the Sabbath loves the poor!
O. W. Holmes—Urania; or, A Rhymed Lesson. L. 325.

O God! that bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!
Hood—The Song of the Shirt.

Stitch! stitch! stitch!
In poverty, hunger, and dirt,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch,
Would that its tone could reach the Rich,
She sang this “Song of the Shirt!”
Hood—Song of the Shirt. St. 11.

Magnas inter opes inops.
Penniless amid great plenty.
Horace—Carmina. Bk. III. 16. 28.

Pauper enim non est cui rerum suppetet usus.
He is not poor who has the use of necessary things.
Horace—Epistles. I. 12. 4.

Ibit eo quo vis qui zonam perdidit.
The man who has lost his purse will go wherever you wish.
Horace—Epistles. II. 2. 40.

Grind the faces of the poor.
Isaiah. III. 15.

The poor always ye have with you.
John. XII. 8.

All this [wealth] excludes but one evil,—poverty.
Samuel Johnson—Boswell’s Life of Johnson. (1777).

Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se
Quam quod ridiculos homines facit.
Cheerless poverty has no harder trial than this, that it makes men the subject of ridicule.
Juvenal—Satires. III. V. 152.

Haud facile emergunt quorum virtutibus obstat
Res angusta domi.
They do not easily rise whose abilities are repressed by poverty at home.
Juvenal—Satires. III. 164.

Hic vivimus ambitiosa
Paupertate omnes.
Here we all live in ambitious poverty.
Juvenal—Satires. III. 182.

O Poverty, thy thousand ills combined
Sink not so deep into the generous mind,
As the contempt and laughter of mankind.
Juvenal—Satires. III. L. 226. Gifford’s trans.

Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator.
The traveler without money will sing before the robber.
Juvenal—Satires. X. 22.

Paupertas fugitur, totoque arcessitur orbe.
Poverty is shunned and persecuted all over the globe.
Lucan—Pharsalia. I. 166.

If you are poor now, Æmilianus, you will always be poor. Riches are now given to none but the rich.
Martial—Epigrams. Bk. V. Ep. 8.

Non est paupertas, Nestor, habere nihil.
To have nothing is not poverty.
Martial—Epigrams. XI. 32. 8.

La pauvreté des biens est aysee à guerir; la pauvreté de l’âme, impossible.
The lack of wealth is easily repaired; but the poverty of the soul is irreparable.
Montaigne—Essays. III. 10.

Rattle his bones over the stones!
He’s only a pauper whom nobody owns!
Thomas Noel—The Pauper’s Drive.

Horrea formicæ tendunt ad inania nunquam
Nullus ad amissas ibit amicus opes.
Ants do not bend their ways to empty barns, so no friend will visit the place of departed wealth.
Ovid—Tristium. I. 9. 9.

Inops, potentem dum vult imitari, perit.
The poor, trying to imitate the powerful, perish.
Phædrus—Fables. I. 24. 1.

Paupertas … omnes artes perdocet.
Poverty is a thorough instructress in all the arts.
Plautus—Stichus. Act II. 1.

But to the world no bugbear is so great,
As want of figure and a small estate.
Pope—First Book of Horace. Ep. I. L. 67.

Where are those troops of poor, that throng’d of yore
The good old landlord’s hospitable door?
Pope—Satires of Dr. Donne. Satire II. L. 113.

So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.
Proverbs. VI. 11.

The destruction of the poor is their poverty.
Proverbs. X. 15.

He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.
Proverbs. XIX. 17.

Blessed is he that considereth the poor.
Psalms. XLI. 1.

Whene’er I walk the public ways,
How many poor that lack ablution
Do probe my heart with pensive gaze,
And beg a trivial contribution.
Owen Seaman—Bitter Cry of the Great Unpaid.

Non qui parum habet, sed qui plus cupit, pauper est.
Not he who has little, but he who wishes for more, is poor.
Seneca—Epistolæ Ad Lucilium. II.

Nemo tam pauper vivit quam natus est.
No one lives so poor as he is born.
Seneca—Quare bonis viris.

No, madam, ’tis not so well that I am poor, though many of the rich are damned.
All’s Well That Ends Well. Act I. Sc. 3. L. 17.

I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient.
Henry IV. Pt. II. Act I. Sc. 2. L. 144.

It is still her use
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow
An age of poverty.
Merchant of Venice. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 268.

Poor and content is rich and rich enough,
But riches fineless is as poor as winter
To him that ever fears he shall be poor.
Othello. Act III. Sc. 3. L. 172.

Stepp’d me in poverty to the very lips.
Othello. Act IV. Sc. 2. L. 50.

The world affords no law to make thee rich;
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
My poverty, but not my will, consents.
I pay thy poverty, and not thy will.
Romeo and Juliet. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 73.

Whose plenty made him pore.
Spenser—Faerie Queene. Bk. I. Canto IV. St. 29.

His rawbone cheekes, through penurie and pine,
Were shronke into his jawes, as he did never dyne.
Spenser—Faerie Queene. Bk. I. Canto IX. St. 35.

Paupertas sanitatis mater.
Poverty is the mother of health.
Vincent of Beauvais—Speculum Historiale. Bk. X. Ch. LXXI. Herbert—Jacula Prudentum.

Whene’er I take my walks abroad,
How many poor I see!
Watts—Praise for Mercies.