Ingratitude is the lack of gratidute, thanklessness for the things for which one should be thankful.
- Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed;
On the bare earth exposed he lies,
With not a friend to close his eyes.
- John Dryden, Alexander's Feast (1697), Stanza 4.
- People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.
- Eric Hoffer, "Thoughts of Eric Hoffer, Including: 'Absolute Faith Corrupts Absolutely,'" The New York Times Magazine (April 25, 1971), p. 52.
- A man is very apt to complain of the ingratitude of those who have risen far above him.
- Samuel Johnson, reported in James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson (1776).
- [...] But to tell the truth, I'm still of two minds as to whether I should publish the book or not. For men's tastes are so various, the tempers of some are so severe, their minds so ungrateful, their judgments so foolish, that there seems no point in publishing something, even if it's intended for their advantage, that they will receive only with contempt and ingratitude. Better simply to follow one's own natural inclinations, lead a merry, peaceful life, and ignore the vexing problems of publication. Most people know nothing of learning; many despise it. The clod rejects as too difficult what isn't cloddish. The pedant dismisses as mere trifling anything that isn't stuffed with obsolete words. Some readers approve only of ancient authors; most men like their own writing best of all. Here's a man so solemn he won't allow a shadow of levity; and there's one so insipid of taste that he can't endure the salt of a little wit. Some dullards dread satire as a man bitten by a hydrophobic dog dreads water; some are so changeable that they like one thing when they're seated and another when they're standing.
Those people lounge around the taverns, and as they swill their ale pass judgment on the intelligence of writers. With complete assurance they condemn every author by his writings, just as they think best, plucking each one, as it were, by the beard. But they themselves remain safely under cover and, as the proverb has it, out of harm's way. No use trying to lay hold of them; they're shaved so close, there's not so much as a hair of an honest man to catch them by.
Finally, some people are so ungrateful that even though they're delighted with a work, they don't like the author any better because of it. They are like rude, ungrateful guests who, after they have stuffed themselves with a splendid dinner, go off, carrying their full bellies homeward without a word of thanks to the host who invited them. A fine task, providing at your own expense a banquet for men of such finicky palates, such various tastes, and such rude, ungracious tempers!
- Thomas More, letter to Peter Giles, prefacing 'Utopia'
- Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude:
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
- William Shakespeare, As You Like It (c.1599-1600), Act II, scene 7, line 174.
- Ingratitude is monstrous; and for the multitude to be ingrateful, were to make a monster of the multitude.
- William Shakespeare, Coriolanus (c. 1607-08), Act II, scene 3, line 8.
- This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms,
Quite vanquish'd him; then burst his mighty heart;
And, in his mantle muffling, up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell.
- William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar (1599), Act III, scene 2, line 187.
- Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child,
Than the sea-monster!
- William Shakespeare, King Lear (1608), Act I, scene 4, line 28.
- All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall
On her ungrateful top.
- William Shakespeare, King Lear (1608), Act II, scene 4, line 164.
- What, would'st thou have a serpent sting thee twice?
- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice (late 1590s), Act IV, scene 1, line 69.
- I hate ingratitude more in a man,
Than lying, vainness, babbling, drunkenness,
Or any taint of vice.
- William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (c. 1601-02), Act III, scene 4, line 388.
- We learn the most from fools ... yet we pay them back with the worst ingratitude.
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (2010) Being a Philosopher and Managing to Remain One, p. 85.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 393-94.
- Nil homine terra pejus ingrato creat.
- Earth produces nothing worse than an ungrateful man.
- Ausonius, Epigrams, CXL. 1.
- Ingratitude's a weed of every clime,
It thrives too fast at first, but fades in time.
- Samuel Garth, Epistle to the Earl of Godolphin, line 27.
- That man may last, but never lives,
Who much receives, but nothing gives;
Whom none can love, whom none can thank,
Creation's blot, creation's blank.
- Thomas Gibbons, When Jesus Dwelt.
- Nihil amas, cum ingratum amas.
- You love a nothing when you love an ingrate.
- Plautus, Persa, II. 2. 46.
- Ingratus est, qui beneficium accepisse se negat, quod accepit: ingratus est, qui dissimulat; ingratus, qui non reddit; ingratissimus omnium, qui oblitus est.
- He is ungrateful who denies that he has received a kindness which has been bestowed upon him; he is ungrateful who conceals it; he is ungrateful who makes no return for it; most ungrateful of all is he who forgets it.
- Seneca the Younger, De Beneficiis, III. 1.
- Ingratus unus miseris omnibus nocet.
- One ungrateful man does an injury to all who are in suffering.
- Syrus, Maxims.
- He that's ungrateful, has no guilt but one;
All other crimes may pass for virtues in him.
- Edward Young, Busiris.
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