Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Sloth

"Sloth never arrived at the attainment of a good wish." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"The men of sense, the idols of the shallow, are very inferior to the men of passions. It is the strong passions which, rescuing us from sloth, impart to us that continuous and earnest attention necessary to great attention." - Claude-Adrien Helvétius

"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

"Prosperity engenders sloth." -

"They set the slave free, striking off his chains. Then he was as much of a slave as ever. He was still chained to servility. He was still manacled to indolence and sloth, he was still bound by fear and superstition, by ignorance suspicion and savagery. His slavery was not in the chains, but in himself. They can only set free men free. And there is no need of that. Free men set themselves free." - José Joaquín de Olmedo, fully José Joaquín de Olmedo y Maruri

"Sloth is the torpidity of the mental faculties; the sluggard is a living insensible." - Johann Georg Ritter von Zimmermann

"Certain sins manifests themselves as their mirror opposites which the sinner is able to persuade himself are virtues. Thus Gluttony can manifest itself as Daintiness, Lust as Prudery, Sloth and Senseless Industry, Envy as Hero Worship." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"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." -

"Sloth makes all things difficult, but industry, all things easy. He that rises late must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night, while laziness travels so slowly that poverty soon overtakes him." - Benjamin Franklin

"Diligence overcomes Difficulties: Sloth makes them." - Benjamin Franklin

"Sloth (like Rust) consumes faster than Labor wears: the used Key is always bright." - Benjamin Franklin

"All the seven deadly sins are self destroying, morbid appetites, but in their early stages at least, lust and gluttony, avarice and sloth know some gratification, while anger and pride have power, even though that power eventually destroys itself. Envy is impotent, numbed with fear, never ceasing in its appetite, and it knows no gratification, but endless self torment. It has the ugliness of a trapped rat, which gnaws its own foot in an effort to escape." - Angus Wilson, fully Sir Angus Frank Johnstone Wilson

"Moderation must not claim the merit of combating and conquering ambition; for they can never exist in the same subject. Moderation is the languor and sloth of the soul; ambition its activity and ardor." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Sloth is the parent of poverty." - English Proverbs

"There is a holy love and a holy rage, and our best virtues never glow so brightly as when our passions are excited in the cause. Sloth, if it has prevented many crimes, has also smothered many virtues; and the best of us are better when roused." - James Bryant Conant

"Excess is not the only thing which breaks men in their health, and in the comfortab’e enjoyment of themselves; but many are brought into a very ill and languishing habit of body by mere sloth; and sloth is in itself both a great sin, and the cause of many more." -

"Excess is not the only thing that breaks up both health and enjoyment; many are brought into a very ill and languishing habit of body by mere sloth, which is both a great sin, and the cause of many more." -

"The wise and active conquer difficulties by daring to attempt them: sloth and folly shiver and shrink at sight of toil and hazard, and make the impossibility they fear." - Nicolas Rowe

"The modern man is . . . certain about his essential virtue . . . [and since] he does not see that he has a freedom of spirit which transcends both nature and reason . . . [he] is unable to understand the real pathos of his defiance of nature's and reason's laws. He always imagines himself betrayed into this defiance either by some accidental corruption in his past history or by some sloth of reason. Hence he hopes for redemption, either through a program of social reorganization or by some scheme of education." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"Life is like a snowball, all you need is wet snow, and a really long hill." - Warren Buffett, fully Warren Edward Buffett, aka Oracle of Omaha

"The river of human life meanders along, through many a valley, leaps over many a cliff, loses itself in many a marsh and seeks to empty itself in the ocean of Divine Grace; though, what happens is that it falls into the undrinkable expanse of salt." - Atharva Veda, or Atharvaveda

"There is one kind of prison where the man is behind bars, and everything that he desires is outside; and there is another kind where the things are behind the bars, and the man is outside." - Upton Sinclair, fully Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr.

"Moderation resembles temperance. We are not so unwilling to eat more, as afraid of doing ourselves harm by it." - François de La Rochefoucauld, François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, Francois A. F. Rochefoucauld-Liancourt

"Many a man is praised for his reserve and so-called shyness when he is simply too proud to risk making a fool of himself." - J. B. Priestly, fully John Boynton Priestly