Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Luxury

"It is dangerous to abandon one’s self to the luxury of grief; it deprives one of courage, and even of the wish for recovery." -

"It is dangerous to abandon one's self to the luxury of grief; it deprives one of courage, and even the wish for recovery." -

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony." - William Ellery Channing

"What sort of philosophy one chooses depends, therefore, on what sort of man one is; for a philosophical system is not a dead piece of furniture that we can reject or accept as we wish; it is rather a thing animated by the soul of the person who holds it. A person indolent by nature or dulled and distorted by mental servitude, learned luxury, and vanity will never raise himself to the level of idealism." - J. G. Fichte, fully Johann Gottlieb Fichte

"All ills spring from some vice, either in ourselves or others; and even many of our diseases proceed from the same origin. Remove the vices, and the ills follow. You must only take care to remove all the vices. If you remove part, you may render the matter worse. By banishing vicious luxury, without curing sloth and an indifference to others, you only diminish industry in the state, and add nothing to men’s charity or their generosity." - David Hume

"Luxury, so far as it reaches the people, will do good to the race of people; it will strengthen and multiply them. Sir, no nation was ever hurt by luxury for, as I said before, it can reach but a very few." -

"Wealth is nothing in itself, it is not useful but when it departs from us; its value is found only in that which it can purchase, which, if we suppose it put to its best use by those that posses it, seems not much to deserve the desire or envy of a wise man. It is certain that, with regard to corporal enjoyment, money can neither open new avenues to pleasure, nor block up the passages to anguish. Disease and infirmity still continue to torture and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, it has rarely been observed, that wealth contributes much to quicken the discernment, enlarge the capacity, or elevate the imagination; but may, by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, confirm error, and harden stupidity." -

"Avarice and luxury, those pests which have ever been the ruin of every great state." -

"Luxury makes a man so soft that it is hard to please him, and easy to trouble him; so that his pleasures at last become his burden. Luxury is a nice master, hard to be pleased." - George Mackenzie, fully Sir George Mackenzie. 2nd Baronet, 1st Earl of Cromartie

"Other passions have objects to flatter the, and seem to content and satisfy them for a while; there is power in ambition, pleasure in luxury, and pelf in covetousness; but envy can gain nothing but vexation." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Luxury, which cannot be prevented among men who are tenacious of their own convenience and of the respect paid them by others, soon completes the evil society had begun, and, under the pretense of giving bread to the poor, whom it should never have made such, impoverishes all the rest, and sooner or later depopulates the State." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Luxury is a remedy much worse than the disease it sets up to cure; or rather it is in itself the greatness of all evils; for every State, great or small: for, in order to maintain all the servants and vagabonds it creates, it brings oppression and ruin on the citizen and the laborer; it is like those scorching winds, which, covering the trees and plants with their devouring insects, deprive useful animals of their subsistence and spread famine and death wherever they blow." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The purpose of food is to relieve hunger and thirst, not to minister to caprice and luxury." - Sallust, full name Carus Valerius Sailustius Crispus NULL

"It is a world of mischief that may be done by a single example of avarice or luxury. One voluptuous palate makes many more." -

"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." -

"Pride is a luxury a poor man can't afford." - Richard Shattuck

"Sedition is bred in the lap of luxury and its chosen emissaries are the beggared spendthrift and the impoverished libertine." - George Bancroft

"Think’st thou there is no tyranny but that of blood and chains? The despotism of vice, the weakness and the wickedness of luxury, the negligence, the apathy, the evils of sensual sloth - produce then thousand tyrants, whose delegated cruelty surpasses the worst acts of one energetic master, however harsh and hard in his own bearing." -

"War destroys man, but luxury destroys mankind; at once corrupts the body and the mind." - John Crowne

"Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury - to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for everyone, best for both the body and the mind." - Albert Einstein

"It makes small difference to the dead if they are buried as tokens of luxury. All this is an empty glorification left for those who live." - Euripedes NULL

"How much that the world calls selfishness is only generosity with narrow walls, a too exclusive solicitude to maintain a wife in luxury, or make one’s children rich." - Thomas Wentworth Higginson

"Many have no happier moments than those that they pass in solitude, abandoned to their imagination, which sometimes puts scepters in their hands or miters on their heads, shifts the scene of pleasure with endless variety, bids all the forms of beauty sparkle before them, and gluts them with every change of visionary luxury." -

"Wealth is nothing in itself; it is not useful but when it departs from us; its value is found only in that which it can purchase. As to corporeal enjoyment, money can neither open new avenues of pleasure, nor block up the passages of anguish. Disease and infirmity still continue to torture and enfeeble, perhaps exasperated by luxury, or promoted by softness. With respect to the mind, it has rarely been observed that wealth contributes much to quicken the discernment or elevate the imagination, but may, by hiring flattery, or laying diligence asleep, confirm error and harden stupidity." -

"You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending it in luxury than by giving; you make them exert industry, whereas, by giving it, you keep them idle." -

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about." - Charles Kingsley

"The uprooting of human beings from the land, the concentration in cities, the breakdown of the authority of family, of tradition, and of moral conventions, the complexity and the novelty of modern life, and finally the economic insecurity of our industrial system have called into being the modern social worker. They perform a function in modern society which is not a luxury but an absolute necessity." - Walter Lippmann

"Luxury is... absolutely necessary in monarchies; as it is also in despotic states. In the former, it is the use of liberty; in the latter, it is the abuse of servitude. A slave appointed by his master to tyrannize over other wretches of the same condition, uncertain of enjoying tomorrow the blessings of today, has no other felicity that that of glutting the pride, the passions, and the voluptuousness of the present moment." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"Luxury is the first, second and third cause of the ruin of republics. It is the vampire which soothes us into a fatal slumber while it sucks the life-blood out of our veins." - Edward Payson

"What pleasure can those over-happy persons know, who, from their affluence and luxury, always eat before they are hungry and drink before they are thirsty?" - Samuel Richardson

"Luxury... corrupts at once rich and poor, the rich by possession and the poor by covetousness." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"They must know but little of mankind who imagine that, having once been seduced by luxury, they can ever renounce it." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"The purpose of food is to relieve hunger and thirst, not to minister to caprice and luxury." -

"On the soft bed of luxury most kingdoms have expired." -

"The man whom neither riches nor luxury nor grandeur can render happy may, with a book in his hand, forget all his troubles under the friendly shade of every tree, and may experience pleasures as infinite as they are varied, as pure as they are lasting, as lively as they are unfading, and as compatible with every public duty as they are contributory to private happiness." - Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

"Pessimism about man serves to maintain the status quo. It is a luxury for the affluent, a sop to the guilt of the politically inactive, a comfort to those who continue to enjoy the amenities of privilege." - Leon Eisenberg

"Is not hope of being one day able to purchase and enjoy luxuries a great spur to labor and industry? May not luxury, therefore, produce more than it consumes, if without such a spur people would be, as they are naturally enough inclined to be, lazy and indolent?" - Benjamin Franklin

"So long as all the increased wealth which modern progress brings goes but to build up great fortunes, to increase luxury and make sharper the contrast between the House of Have and the House of Want, progress is not real and cannot be permanent. The reaction must come. The tower leans from its foundation, and every new story but hastens the final catastrophe." - Henry George

"When princes think more of luxury than of arms, they lose their state." - Niccolò Machiavelli, formally Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli

"Luxury either comes of riches or makes them necessary; it corrupts at once rich and poor, the rich by possession and the poor by covetousness; it sells the country to softness and vanity, and takes away from the state all its citizens, to make them slaves one to another, and one and all to public opinion." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Material civilization, nay, even luxury, is necessary to create work for the poor." - Vivekananda, fully Sri or Swami Vivekananda, born Narendra Nath Datta NULL

"Meaning is not a luxury for us… It is a kind of spiritual oxygen, we might say, that enables our souls to live." - Dallas Willard

"To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. This is to be my symphony." - William Henry Channing

"The trite objects of human efforts--possessions, outward success, luxury--have always seemed to me contemptible." - Albert Einstein

"Poverty wants some things, luxury many, avarice all things." -

"Poverty wants some things, luxury many, avarice all things." - Abraham Cowley

"Vacation used to be a luxury, however, in today's world, it has become a necessity." - Author Unknown NULL

"Every luxury must be paid for, and everything is a luxury, starting with being in the world." - Cesare Pavese

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about." -

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about." -