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milk of human kindness

Fig. natural kindness and sympathy shown to others. (From Shakespeare's play Macbeth, I. v.) Mary is completely hard and selfish—she doesn't have the milk of human kindness in her. Roger is too full of the milk of human kindness and people take advantage of him.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

To err is human(, to forgive divine).

Prov. You should not be too harsh with someone who makes a mistake, because all human beings make mistakes. (Often used as a roundabout way to ask someone to forgive you for making a mistake.) Jill: How could you let my dog get out when I told you a hundred times that he should stay in the house! Ellen: To err is human, to forgive divine.
See also: err, human

To err is human, (to forgive, divine).

  (formal)
something that you say which means it is natural to make mistakes and it is important to forgive people when they do You'd think he could find it in his heart to forgive her. To err is human and all that.
See also: err, human

the milk of human kindness

  (literary)
being good and kind to other people
Usage notes: This phrase comes from Shakespeare's play 'Macbeth'.
She's one of those amazing people who's just overflowing with the milk of human kindness.
See also: human, kindness, milk, of

milk of human kindness, the

Compassion, sympathy, as in There's no milk of human kindness in that girl-she's totally selfish. This expression was invented by Shakespeare in Macbeth (1:5), where Lady Macbeth complains that her husband "is too full of the milk of human kindness" to kill his rivals.
See also: human, milk, of

milk of human kindness

Compassion or benevolence. Shakespeare again, but this time Macbeth. Lady Macbeth regrets that her husband doesn't have the overwhelming ambition that she has by saying, “Yet do I fear thy nature, It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness. To catch the nearest way.” Macbeth heeds his wife, schemes and murders his way to the throne, and is then deposed and killed. The milk must have curdled. A compliment to a sweetheart of a person is to say that he or she is “full of the milk of human kindness.”
See also: human, kindness, milk, of
References in classic literature ?
Firm and undaunted in the confidence of that sacred bond; conscious of the purity, and convinced of the importance of your motives, you put your trust in the protecting shield of Providence, and smiled defiance at the combining terrors of human malice and of elemental strife.
A hundred diseases, all the fevers and con- tagions of human life, consumption, cancers, tumours and such morbidities, never enter the scheme of their life.
Some have wandered about the earth with pictures of bliss in their imagination, and with hearts that shrank sensitively from the idea of pain and woe, yet have studied all varieties of misery that human nature can endure.
Thus, during the first six thousand years of the world, from the most immemorial pagoda of Hindustan, to the cathedral of Cologne, architecture was the great handwriting of the human race.
Peter's heart was so glad that he felt he must sing all day long, just as the birds sing for joy, but, being partly human, he needed an instrument, so he made a pipe of reeds, and he used to sit by the shore of the island of an evening, practising the sough of the wind and the ripple of the water, and catching handfuls of the shine of the moon, and he put them all in his pipe and played them so beautifully that even the birds were deceived, and they would say to each other, "Was that a fish leaping in the water or was it Peter playing leaping fish on his pipe?
Why should they object to eating human flesh," I asked, "if it is true that they look upon us as lower animals?
It was at about this time that I sighted a number of the half-naked warriors of the human race of Pellucidar.
If I am not now a human being," replied Bulan, "I intend to be one, and so I shall act as a human being should act.
For Jerry really did know more about crocodiles than the average human.
First, let all humans inform themselves of the inevitable and eternal cruelty by the means of which only can animals be compelled to perform before revenue-paying audiences.
Past experience suggested that the great wings were a part of some ingenious mechanical device, for the limitations of the human mind, which is always loath to accept aught beyond its own little experience, would not permit him to entertain the idea that the creatures might be naturally winged and at the same time of human origin.
There they see the divine forms of justice, temperance, and the like, in their unchangeable beauty, but not without an effort more than human.
There are some human owls who reason as they did, and who are, in this respect--as also in respect of snatching smaller birds off their roosts--wonderfully like them.
First and always in considering any piece of literature a student should ask himself the question already implied: Does it present a true portrayal of life--of the permanent elements in all life and in human nature, of the life or thought of its own particular period, and (in most sorts of books) of the persons, real or imaginary, with whom it deals?
When "the wheel has come full circle" we do not begin again with a new period of human life; but we have passed from the best to the worst, and there we end.