Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Excess

"The best principles, if pushed to excess, degenerate into fatal vices. Generosity is nearly allied to extravagance; charity itself may lead to ruin; and the sternness of justice is but one step removed from the severity of oppression." - Archibald Alison

"There is no unmixed good in human affairs; the best principles, if pushed to excess, degenerate into fatal vices. Generosity is nearly allied to extravagance; charity itself may lead to ruin; the sternness of justice is but one step removed from the severity of oppression. It is the same in the political world; the tranquillity of despotism resembles the stagnation of the Dead Sea; the fever of innovation the tempests of the ocean It would seem as if, at particular periods, from causes inscrutable to human wisdom, a universal frenzy seizes mankind; reason, experience, prudence, are alike blinded; and the very classes who are to perish in the storm are the first to raise its fury." - Archibald Alison

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough." - William Blake

"Prudence is the necessary ingredient in all the virtues, without which they degenerate into folly and excess." - Jeremy Collier

"Exaggerated respect for athletics, an excess of coarse impressions brought about by the technical discoveries of recent years, the increased severity of the struggle for existence due to the economic crisis, the brutalization of political life: all these factors are hostile to the ripening of the character and the desire for real culture, and stamp our age as barbarous, materialistic and superficial." - Albert Einstein

"Resentment is, in every stage of the passion, painful, but it is not disagreeable, unless in excess; pity is always painful, yet always agreeable; vanity, on the contrary, is always pleasant, yet always disagreeable." - Henry Home, Lord Kames

"I have great admiration for power, a great terror of weakness, especially in my own sex, yet feel that my love is for those who overcome the mental and moral suffering and temptation through excess of tenderness rather than through excess of strength." - Anna Jameson

"Cultivate fine taste and discrimination in your choice of things. Get a right idea of values. Material possessions that you do not need and cannot use may be only an encumbrance. Let your guiding rule be not how much but how good. A thing you do not want is dear at any price. Avoid surplusage. Choose things that express your own individuality. You must possess your things or they will possess you. Look for quality rather than quantity. Unnecessary possessions bring unnecessary care and responsibility. Excess is waste. Have an occasional stocktaking and eliminate unsparingly." -

"Be yourself. Cultivate desirable qualities. Be alert. Look for opportunities to express yourself. Be positive. Determine your goal and the route to it. Be systematic. Take one step at a time. Be persistent. Hold to your course. Be a worker. Work your brain more than your body. Be a student. Know your job. Be fair. Treat the other man as you would be treated. Be temperate. Avoid excess in anything. Be confident. Have faith that cannot be weakened." - Frederick Loomis, fully Sir Frederick Oscar Warren Loomis

"Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of habit." -

"All is wholesome in the absence of excess." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Men in excess of happiness or misery are equally inclined to severity. Witness conquerors and monks! It is mediocrity alone, and a mixture of prosperous and adverse fortune that inspire us with lenity and pity." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"Some virtue is needed, but not too much. Excess in anything is a defect." - Monvel, pseudonymn for Jacques Marie Boutet NULL

"No discipline is immune to excess or lack of wisdom. All programs for human betterment can be undermined by ignorance, imcompetence, or moral perversity." - Michael Murphy

"In everything the middle course is best: all things in excess bring trouble to men." - Plautus, full name Titus Maccius Plautus NULL

"Temperance and labor are the two best physicians; the one sharpens the appetite - the other prevents indulgence to excess." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"It is only luxury and avarice that makes poverty grievous to us; for it is a very small matter that does our business; and when we have provided against cold, hunger, and thirst, all the rest if but vanity and excess." -

"As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of demand." -

"By far the most useful rule in life is nothing to excess." -

"Nothing in excess; moderation is best in all things." - Theognis, aka Theognis of Megara NULL

"The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one's obsessions, is what distinguishes artists from entertainers, and what makes some artists adventurers on behalf of us all." -

"Superstition is not, as has been defined, an excess of religious feeling, but a misdirection of it, an exhausting of it on vanities of man’s devising." - Richard Whately

"In overeating nests sickness, and excess leads to loathing." - Apocrypha NULL

"Excess of sorrow laughs. Excess of joy weeps." - William Blake

"The passions are like fire, useful in a thousand ways and dangerous only in one, through their excess." - Christian Nestell Bovee

"Gluttony is the source of all our infirmities and the fountain of all our diseases. As a lamp is choked by a superabundance of oil, and a fire extinguished by excess of fuel, so is the natural health of the body destroyed by intemperate diet." - Marion LeRoy Burton

"The body oppressed by excess bears down the mind, and depresses to the earth any portion of the divine spirit we had been endowed with." - Horace, full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus NULL

"Man's chief difference from the brutes lies in the exuberant excess of his subjective propensities. Prune his extravagance, sober him, and you undo him." - William James

"Things become old through excess of vigour." -

"For every one pupil who needs to be guarded from a weak excess of sensibility there are three who need to be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts." -

"Kill not your hearts with excess of eating and drinking." -

"Excess of severity is not the path to order. On the contrary, it is the path to the bomb." - John Morley, 1st Viscount Morely of Blackburn, Lord Morley

"Excess of grief for the dead is madness; for it is an injury to the living, and the dead know it not." - Xenophon, aka Xenophon of Athens NULL

"Always in everything let there be reverence; with the deportment grave as when one is thinking (deeply), and with speech composed and definite. This will make the people tranquil. Pride should not be allowed to grow; the desires should not be indulged; the will should not be gratified to the full; pleasure should not be carried to excess." - Book of Li, aka Book of Rites or Record of Rites or Classic Rites NULL

"Every reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess which will itself need reforming." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Our society has progressed largely because of our creativity and inquisitiveness – and because we’re competitive. We’re driven by the desire to develop products and services which are more ingenious than what others have put forth. Competition is inherently good, but when it is tainted with excess greed or negative motives, there can be harmful results. How we compete is very important to our Souls." - Tom Gregory

"Financial markets are driven by human nature and have a propensity to go to excess. This means that periodic financial crises of one sort or another are virtually inevitable." - Robert Edward Rubin, aka Eddy Rubin

"Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibition, instabilities and it always balances them." -

"One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few… My life… lacks this quality of significance and therefore beauty, because there is so little empty space. The space is scribbled on; the time has been filled. There are so few empty pages in my engagement pad, or empty hours in the day, or empty rooms in my life in which to stand alone and find myself. Too many activities, and people, and things. Too many worthy activities, valuable things, and interesting people. For it is not merely the trivial which clutters our lives but the important as well. We can have a surfeit of treasures – an excess of shells, where one or two would be significant." - Anne Morrow Lindbergh, born Anne Spencer Morrow

"Happiness... must be some form of contemplation. But, being a man, one will also need external prosperity; for our nature is not self-sufficient for the purpose of contemplation, but our body also must be healthy and must have food and other attention. Still, we must not think that the man who is to be happy will need many things or great things... for self-sufficiency and action do not involve excess, and we do noble acts without ruling earth and sea." - Aristotle NULL

"The greatest injustices proceed from those who pursue excess, not by those who are driven by necessity." - Aristotle NULL

"The greatest crimes are caused by excess and not by necessity." - Aristotle NULL

"Minds, like bodies will often fall into a pimpled, ill-conditioned state from mere excess of comfort." - Charles Dickens, fully Charles John Huffam Dickens

"There are crimes which become innocent and even glorious through their splendor, number and excess." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Obstinacy, sir, is certainly a great vice; and in the changeful state of political affairs it is frequently the cause of great mischief. It happens, however, very unfortunately, that almost the whole line of the great and masculine virtues - constancy, gravity, magnanimity, fortitude, fidelity, and firmness - are closely allied to this disagreeable quality, of which you have so jut an abhorrence; and in their excess all these virtues very easily fall into it." - Edmund Burke

"Gluttony is the source of all our infirmities, and the fountain of all our diseases. As a lamp is choked by a superabundance of oil, a fire extinguished by excess of fuel, so is the natural health of the body destroyed by intemperate diet." - Edmund Burke

"Goodness answers to the theological virtue charity, and admits no excess but error. The desire of power in excess caused the angels to fall; the desire of knowledge in excess caused man to fall. But in charity there is no excess; neither can angel or man come in danger by it." - Francis Bacon