It is a mystery of numbers that in loss & gain, whether of finances or of political majorities, the transfer of one counts not one but two. Well in magnanimities is not otherwise. I have generous purposes & go on benefiting somebody, wellpleased with myself. Presently I listen to the prudences, & say this person is heedless & ungrateful—I withhold my hand. Instantly the new coldness awakens resentment in the other party & all the feelings that naturally respond to selfishness. I who pleased myself with my generosity & am still the same person find no sort of complacency toward myself in the supposed beneficiary but only hard thoughts. And the difference of cost betwixt munificence & meanness may amount to one dollar fifty three cents.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Journals and Miscellaneous Notebooks 5:460