Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Indulgence

"Graceful, particularly in youth, is the tear of sympathy, and the heart that melts at the tale of woe; we should not permit ease and indulgence to contract our affections, and wrap us up in selfish enjoyment. But we should accustom ourselves to think of the distresses of human life, of the solitary cottage, the dying parent, and the weeping orphan. Nor ought we ever to sport with pain and distress in any of our amusements, or treat even the meanest insect with wanton cruelty." - Hugh Blair

"Nothing leads more directly to the breach of charity, and to the injury and molestation of our fellow-creatures than the indulgence of an ill temper." - Hugh Blair

"Though a taste of pleasure may quicken the relish of life, an unrestrained indulgence leads to inevitable destruction." - Robert Dodsley

"There are limits to self-indulgence, non to self-restraint." -

"The greater part of mankind are naturally apt to be affirmative and dogmatical in their opinions; and while they see objects only on one side, and have no idea of any counterpoising argument, they throw themselves precipitately into the principles, to which they are inclined; nor have they any indulgence for those who entertain opposite sentiments. To hesitate or balance perplexes their understanding, checks their passion, and suspends their action." - David Hume

"Rare indulgence produces greater pleasure." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"Each age has its own characteristic depravity. Ours is perhaps not pleasure or indulgence or sensuality, but rather a dissolute pantheistic contempt for the individual man." - Søren Kierkegaard, fully Søren Aabye Kierkegaard

"What indulgence does the world extend to those evil-speakers who, under the mask of friendship, stab indiscriminately with the keen, though rusty blade of slander!" - Madame Roland, Jeanne Manon Philon, born Marie-Jeanne Phlipon

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

"No man becomes fully evil at once; but suggestion bringeth on indulgence; indulgence, delight; delight, consent; consent, endeavor; endeavor, practice; practice, custom; custom, excuse; excuse, defense; defense, obstinacy; obstinacy, boasting; boasting, a seared conscience and a reprobate mind." - Thomas De Witt Talmage

"The most fearful characteristic of vice is its irresistible fascination - the ease with which it sweeps away resolution, and wins a man to forget his momentary outlook, and his throb of penitence, in the embrace of indulgence." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"The passions and capacities of our nature are foundations of power, happiness and glory; but if we turn them into occasions and sources of self-indulgence, the structure itself falls, and buries everything in its overwhelming desolation." - George Barrell Cheever

"Ambition has its disappointments to sour us, but never the good fortune to satisfy us. Its appetite grows keener by indulgence and all we can gratify it with at present serves but the more to inflame its insatiable desires." - Benjamin Franklin

"An uncontrolled imagination may become as surely intoxicated by over-indulgence as a toper may do bodily with strong drink." - Thomas Haliburton, fully Thomas Chandler Haliburton, pseudonym "Sam Slick"

"Love never dies of starvation, but often of indulgence." -

"Study is the bane of boyhood, the oil of youth, the indulgence of manhood, and restorative of old age." - Edwin Herbert Land

"No man’s spirits were ever hurt by doing his duty; on the contrary, one good action, one temptation resisted and overcome, one sacrifice of desire or interest, purely for conscience’ sake, will prove a cordial for weak and low spirits, far beyond what either indulgence or diversion or company can do for them." - William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

"All true prayer is worship – the ascription of worth to the Eternal. Without adoration, thanksgiving may become a miserliness, petition a selfish clamor, intercession a currying of special favors for our friends, and even contemplation may turn into a refined indulgence." - George Arthur Buttrick

"No passion or affection, with which we are born, can be in itself sinful; it becomes so, only by willful or careless indulgence." - Jonathan Mayhew

"Grief is the agony of an instant; the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life." -

"If unlimited private indulgence means that there are not enough resources left for national defense or for education or medical care or decent housing or intelligent community planning, then in a sane society private indulgence can no longer be unlimited." - Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr., born Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger

"Grief is the agony of an instant: the indulgence of grief the blunder of a life." - Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield

"The point of practicing an art is less to discover who you are than to become your truth, to be able to shed all sham, imposture and bluff in relation to yourself and others. True art is not an indulgence of the little self, but a manifestation of the Self." - Frederick Franck

"No indulgence of passion destroys the spiritual nature so much as respectable selfishness." - George MacDonald

"Thus it is - that, by the comparative blindness of man in each preceding period, the like blindness in each succeeding period is secured: without the trouble or need of reflection, men, by opulence rendered indolent, and by indolence and self-indulgence doomed to ignorance, follow their leaders - as sheep follow sheep, and geese geese." - Jeremy Bentham

"Good-breeding is the result of much good sense, some good-nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others, and with a view to obtain the same indulgence from them." - Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

"There is no living in the world without a complaisant indulgence for people's weaknesses, and innocent, though ridiculous, vanities." - Lord Chesterfield, Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

"Property is a divine trust. Things are tools, not prizes. Life is not for self-indulgence, but for self-devotion. When instead of saying, “The world owes me a living,” men shall say, “I owe the world a life,” then the kingdom will come in power. We owe everything to God but our sins... So live, that when thy summons comes to give an account of thy stewardship, it may be done with joy, and not with grief!" - Maltbie Babcock, fully Maltbie Davenport Babcock

"The feeling that "I am enough" does not mean that I have nothing to learn, nothing further to achieve, and nowhere to grow to. It means I accept myself. It means I am not on trial in my own eyes. It means I value and respect myself. This is not an act of indulgence but of courage." - Nathaniel Branden

"Indulgence in constant thoughts of fear, anger, melancholy, remorse, envy, sorrow, hatred, discontent, or worry; and lack of the necessities for normal and happy living, such as right food, proper exercise, fresh air, sunshine, agreeable work and a purpose in life, all are causes of nervous disease." - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"The soul’s hunger can never be appeased by indulgence of the senses." - Paramahansa Yogananda, born Mukunda Lal Ghosh

"We should be inclined to pay more attention to the wisdom of the old, if they showed greater indulgence to the follies of the young." - William Hazlitt

"The policy of excessive protectionism is like a habit-forming drug. Nations once indulging in it go on from excess to excess; and the appetite increases. But the end of unrestrained indulgence is disaster. Economic nationalism and protectionism spell disaster for the world as well as for the nation...Men will fight before they starve. Uneconomic trade barriers forge the thunderbolts of war." - Francis Bowes Sayre

"I wish to use my last hours of ease and strength in telling the strange story of my experience. I have never fully unbosomed myself to any human being; I have never been encouraged to trust much in the sympathy of my fellow-men. But we have all a chance of meeting with some pity, some tenderness, some charity, when we are dead: it is the living only who cannot be forgiven — the living only from whom men's indulgence and reverence are held off, like the rain by the hard east wind. While the heart beats, bruise it — it is your only opportunity; while the eye can still turn towards you with moist, timid entreaty, freeze it with an icy unanswering gaze; while the ear, that delicate messenger to the inmost sanctuary of the soul, can still take in the tones of kindness, put it off with hard civility, or sneering compliment, or envious affectation of indifference; while the creative brain can still throb with the sense of injustice, with the yearning for brotherly recognition — make haste — oppress it with your ill-considered judgements, your trivial comparisons, your careless misrepresentations." - George Eliot, pen name of Mary Ann or Marian Evans

"The Citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for giving to Mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy: a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support." - George Washington

"The indulgence of revenge tends to make men more savage and cruel." -

"Before man can be free, and equal, and truly wise, he must cast aside the chains of habit and superstition; he must strip sensuality of its pomp, and selfishness of its excuses, and contemplate actions and objects as they really are. He will discover the wisdom of universal love; he will feel the meanness and the injustice of sacrificing the reason and the liberty of his fellow-men to the indulgence of his physical appetites, and becoming a party to their degradation by the consummation of his own." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Negative thinking is always expensive -- dragging us down mentally, emotionally, and physically -- hence I refer to any indulgence in it as a luxury... You can't afford the luxury of a negative thought." - Peter McWilliams, fully Peter Alexander McWilliams

"For we soon reap the fruits of literature in life, and prolonged indulgence in any form of literature in life leaves its mark on the moral nature of man, affecting not only the mind but physical poise and intonation. " - Plato NULL

"Remember that every guilty compliance with the humors of the world, every sinful indulgence of our own passions, is laying up cares and fears for the hour of darkness; and that the remembrance of ill-spent time will strew our sick-bed with thorns, and rack our sinking spirits with despair." - Reginald Heber

"The soul of one who serves God always swims in joy, always keeps a holiday, is always in her palace of jubilation, ever singing with fresh ardor and fresh pleasure a new song of joy and love." - Saint John of the Cross, born Juan de Yepes Álvarez NULL

"If every man had a beginning, every man then was once nothing; he could not then make himself, because nothing cannot be the cause of something; “The Lord he is God; he hath made us, and not we ourselves” (Ps. c. iii.) Whatsoever begun in time was not; and when it was nothing, it had nothing, and could do nothing; and therefore could never give to itself, nor to any other, to be—or to be able to do: for then it gave what it had not, and did what it could not. Since reason must acknowledge a first of every kind, a first man, etc., it must acknowledge him created and made, not by himself: why have not other men since risen up by themselves, not by chance? why hath not chance produced the like in that long time the world hath stood? If we never knew anything give being to itself, how can we imagine anything ever could?" - Stephen Charnock

"We must remember not to judge any public servant by any one act, and especially should we beware of attacking the men who are merely the occasions and not the causes of disaster." - Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt

"That even among the most hackneyed and most hardened of malefactors there is still about them a softer part which will give way to the demonstrations of tenderness; that this one ingredient of a better character is still found to survive the dissipation of all the others, that, fallen as a brother may be from the moralities which at one time adorned him, the manifested good will of his fellow-man still carries a charm and an influence along with it; and that, therefore, there lies in this an operation which, as no poverty can vitiate, so no depravity can extinguish." - Thomas Chalmers

"There is a set of people whom I cannot bear—the pinks of fashionable propriety,—whose every word is precise, and whose every movement is unexceptionable, but who, though versed in all the categories of polite behaviour, have not a particle of soul or cordiality about them. We allow that their manners may be abundantly correct. There may be eloquence in every gesture, and gracefulness in every position; not a smile out of place, and not a step that would not bear the measurement of the severest scrutiny. This is all very fine: but what I want is the heart and gaiety of social intercourse; the frankness that spreads ease and animation around it; the eye that speaks affability to all, that chases timidity from every bosom, and tells every man in the company to be confident and happy. This is what I conceive to be the virtue of the text, and not the sickening formality of those who walk by rule, and would reduce the whole of human life to a wire-bound system of misery and constraint." - Thomas Chalmers

"A government is republican in proportion as every member composing it has his equal voice in the direction of its concerns, not indeed in person, which would be impracticable beyond the limits of a city or small township, but by representatives chosen by himself and responsible to him at short periods." - Thomas Jefferson

"I sincerely believe . . . that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale." - Thomas Jefferson

"It is necessary to give as well as take in a government like ours." - Thomas Jefferson