A thorough miser must possess considerable strength of character to bear the self-denial imposed by his penuriousness. Equal sacrifices, endured voluntarily, in a better cause, would make a saint or a martyr.
When a miser contents himself with giving nothing, and saving what he has got, and is in others respects guilty of no injustice, he is, perhaps, of all bad men the least injurious to society; the evil he does is properly nothing more than the omission of the good he might do. If, of all the vices, avarice is the most generally detested, it is the effect of an avidity common to all men; it is because men hate those from whom they can expect nothing. The greedy misers rail at sordid misers.
The miser robs himself.
A miser grows rich by seeming poor; an extravagant man grows poor by seeming rich.
To the eyes of a miser a guinea is far more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes. The tree which moves some to tears of joy in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way. As a man is, so he sees.
The miser is the man who starves himself, and everybody else, in order to worship wealth in its dead form, as distinct from its living form.
A miser is sometimes a grand personification of fear. He has a fine horror of poverty; and he is not content to keep want from the door, or at arm’s length, but he places it by heaping wealth upon wealth, at a sublime distance!
A man may be a miser of his wealth; he may tie up his talent in a napkin; he may hug himself in his reputation; but he is always generous in his love. Love cannot keep it to himself. Like light is constantly traveling. A man must spend it, must give it away.
The money of the miser is coming out of the earth when he is himself going into it.
The happiest miser on earth is the man who saves up every friend he can make.
If the prodigal quits life in debt to others, the miser quiets is still deeper in debt to himself.
The miser lives a beggar's life.
The coward regards himself as cautious, the miser as thrifty.
The miser is as much in want of that which he has, as of that which he has not.
A miser is as wicked as an idolater.
If we are suffering illness, poverty, or misfortune, we think we shall be satisfied on the day it ceases. But there too, we know it is false; so soon as one has got used to not suffering one wants something else.
The most important part of teaching = to teach what it is to know.
But, as we consider the totality of similarly broad and fundamental aspects of life, we cannot defend division by two as a natural principle of objective order. Indeed, the stuff of the universe often strikes our senses as complex and shaded continua, admittedly with faster and slower moments, and bigger and smaller steps, along the way. Nature does not dictate dualities, trinities, quarterings, or any objective basis for human taxonomies; most of our chosen schemes, and our designated numbers of categories, record human choices from a cornucopia of possibilities offered by natural variation from place to place, and permitted by the flexibility of our mental capacities. How many seasons (if we wish to divide by seasons at all) does a year contain? How many stages shall we recognize in a human life?
His whole life is an epigram smart, smooth and neatly penn’d,
Plaited quite neat to catch applause, with a hang-noose at the end.
I see the fourfold man; the humanity in deadly sleep, and its fallen emanation, the spectre and its cruel shadow. I see the past, present, and future existing all at once before me.