Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


There are, while human miseries abound,
A thousand ways to waste superfluous wealth,
Without one fool or flatterer at your board,
Without one hour of sickness or disgust.
Armstrong—Art of Preserving Health. Bk. II. L. 195.

I have mental joys and mental health,
Mental friends and mental wealth,
I’ve a wife that I love and that loves me;
I’ve all but riches bodily.
Wm. Blake—Mammon.

Since all the riches of this world
May be gifts from the devil and earthly kings,
I should suspect that I worshipped the devil
If I thanked my God for worldly things.
Wm. Blake—Riches.

But I have learned a thing or two; I know as sure as fate,
When we lock up our lives for wealth, the gold key comes too late.
Will Carleton—The Ancient Miner’s Story.

Midas-eared Mammonism, double-barrelled Dilettantism, and their thousand adjuncts and corollaries, are not the Law by which God Almighty has appointed this His universe to go.
Carlyle—Past and Present. Ch. VI.

Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community.
Andrew Carnegie—Gospel of Wealth.

Las necedades del rico por sentencias pasan en el mundo.
The foolish sayings of the rich pass for wise saws in society.
Cervantes—Don Quixote. II. 43.

Non esse cupidum, pecunia est; non esse emacem, vectigal est; contentum vero suis rebus esse, maximæ sunt, certissimæque divitiæ.
Not to be avaricious is money; not to be fond of buying is a revenue; but to be content with our own is the greatest and most certain wealth of all.
Cicero—Paradoxa. 6. 3.

Give no bounties: make equal laws: secure life and prosperity and you need not give alms.

Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover.

If your Riches are yours, why don’t you take them with you to t’other world?
Benj. Franklin—Poor Richard. (1751).

Who hath not heard the rich complain
Of surfeits, and corporeal pain?
He barr’d from every use of wealth,
Envies the ploughman’s strength and health.
Gay—Fables. The Cookmaid, Turnspit, and Ox.

The ideal social state is not that in which each gets an equal amount of wealth, but in which each gets in proportion to his contribution to the general stock.
Henry George—Social Problems. Ch. VI.

And to hie him home, at evening’s close,
To sweet repast, and calm repose.
From toil he wins his spirits light,
From busy day the peaceful night;
Rich, from the very want of wealth,
In heaven’s best treasures, peace and health.
Gray—Ode on the Pleasure Arising from Vissisitude. L. 87. Last two lines said to have been added by the Rev. William Mason, Gray’s biographer.

A little house well fill’d, a little land well till’d, and a little wife well will’d, are great riches.
Written in a copy of the Grete Herbal. (1516). “A little farm well tilled, / A little barn well filled, / A little wife well willed— / Give me, give me.” As adapted by James Hook in The Soldier’s Return.

Dame Nature gave him comeliness and health,
And Fortune (for a passport) gave him wealth.
W. Harte—Eulogius. 411.

For wealth, without contentment, climbs a hill,
To feel those tempests which fly over ditches.
Herbert—The Church Porch. St. 19.

It cannot be repeated too often that the safety of great wealth with us lies in obedience to the new version of the Old World axiom—Richesse oblige.
Holmes—A Mortal Antipathy. Introduction.

Base wealth preferring to eternal praise.
Homer—Iliad. Bk. XXIII. L. 368. Pope’s trans.

These riches are possess’d, but not enjoy’d!
Homer—Odyssey. Bk. IV. L. 118. Pope’s trans.

Know from the bounteous heavens all riches flow;
And what man gives, the gods by man bestow.
Homer—Odyssey. Bk. XVIII. L. 26. Pope’s trans.

Imperat aut servit collecta pecunia cuique.
Riches either serve or govern the possessor.
Horace—Epistles. I. 10. 47.

Omnis enim res,
Virtus, fama, decus, divina, humanaque pulchris
Divitiis parent.
For everything divine and human, virtue, fame, and honor, now obey the alluring influence of riches.
Horace—Satires. II. 3. 94.

Et genus et virtus, nisi cum re, vilior alga est.
Noble descent and worth, unless united with wealth, are esteemed no more than seaweed.
Horace—Satires. II. 5. 8.

And you prate of the wealth of nations, as if it were bought and sold,
The wealth of nations is men, not silk and cotton and gold.
Richard Hovey—Peace.

We are not here to sell a parcel of boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
Samuel Johnson. Remark on the sale of Thrale’s Brewery, 1781.

Poor worms, they hiss at me, whilst I at home
Can be contented to applaud myself,***with joy
To see how plump my bags are and my barns.
Ben Jonson—Every Man Out of His Humour. Act I. Sc. 1.

Private credit is wealth, public honour is security. The feather that adorns the royal bird supports his flight; strip him of his plumage, and you fix him to the earth.
Junius—Letter 42. Jan. 30, 1771.

Rarus enim ferme sensus communis in illa
Common sense among men of fortune is rare.
Juvenal—Satires. VIII. 73.

Dives fieri qui vult
Et cito vult fieri.
He who wishes to become rich wishes to become so immediately.
Juvenal—Satires. XIV. 176.

Facile est momento quo quis velit, cedere possessione magnæ fortunæ; facere et parare eam, difficile atque arduum est.
It is easy at any moment to resign the possession of a great fortune; to acquire it is difficult and arduous.
Livy—Annales. XXIV. 22.

The rich man’s son inherits cares;
The bank may break, the factory burn,
A breath may burst his bubble shares,
And soft, white hands could hardly earn
A living that would serve his turn.
Lowell—The Heritage.

Our Lord commonly giveth Riches to such gross asses, to whom he affordeth nothing else that is good.
Luther—Colloquies. P. 90. (Ed. 1652).

Infinite riches in a little room.
Marlowe—The Jew of Malta. Act I. Sc. 1.

You often ask me, Priscus, what sort of person I should be, if I were to become suddenly rich and powerful. Who can determine what would be his future conduct? Tell me, if you were to become a lion, what sort of a lion would you be?
Martial—Epigrams. Bk. XII. Ep. 92.

Those whom we strive to benefit
Dear to our hearts soon grow to be;
I love my Rich, and I admit
That they are very good to me.
Succor the poor, my sisters,—I
While heaven shall still vouchsafe me health
Will strive to share and mollify
The trials of abounding wealth.
Edward Sandford Martin—A Little Brother of the Rich.

The little sister of the Poor
The Poor, and their concerns, she has
Monopolized, because of which
It falls to me to labor as
A Little Brother of the Rich.
Edward Sandford Martin—A Little Brother of the Rich.

But wealth is a great means of refinement; and it is a security for gentleness, since it removes disturbing anxieties.
Ik Marvel—Reveries of a Bachelor. Over his Cigar. III.

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Matthew. XIX. 24.

Let none admire
That riches grow in hell; that soil may best
Deserve the precious bane.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. I. L. 690.

I am rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
Edward Moore—The Gamester. Act II. Sc. 2.

Opum furiata cupido.
The ungovernable passion for wealth.
Ovid—Fasti. I. 211.

Effodiuntur opes irritamenta malorum.
Riches, the incentives to evil, are dug out of the earth.
Ovid—Metamorphoses. I. 140.

Embarras des richesse.
Embarrassment of riches.
Title of a French Comedy played at the Haymarket, London, Oct. 9, 1738. Trans. by Ozell.

Opes invisæ merito sunt forti viro,
Quia dives arca veram laudem intercipit.
Riches are deservedly despised by a man of honor, because a well-stored chest intercepts the truth.
Phædrus—Fables. IV. 12. 1.

Nemini credo, qui large blandus est dives pauperi.
I trust no rich man who is officiously kind to a poor man.
Plautus—Aulularia. II. 2. 30.

Get place and wealth, if possible, with grace;
If not, by any means get wealth and place.
Pope—Epistles of Horace. Ep. I. Bk. I. L. 103.

What riches give us let us then inquire:
Meat, fire, and clothes. What more? Meat, clothes, and fire.
Is this too little?
Pope—Moral Essays. Ep. III. L. 79.

Riches certainly make themselves wings.
Proverbs. XXIII. 5.

He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
Proverbs. XXVIII. 20.

He heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.
Psalms. XXXIX. 6.

All gold and silver rather turn to dirt!
As ’tis no better reckon’d, but of those
Who worship dirty gods.
Cymbeline. Act III. Sc. 6. L. 54.

If thou art rich, thou art poor;
For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear’st thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee.
Measure for Measure. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 25.

O what a world of vile ill-favour’d faults
Looks handsome in three hundred pounds a year!
Merry Wives of Windsor. Act III. Sc. 4. L. 32.

Through life’s dark road his sordid way he wends,
An incarnation of fat dividends.
Sprague—Curiosity. St. 25.

No, he was no such charlatan—
Count de Hoboken Flash-in-the-Pan—
Full of gasconade and bravado,
But a regular, rich Don Rataplane,
Santa Claus de la Muscavado,
Senor Grandissimo Bastinado!
His was the rental of half Havana
And all Matanzas; and Santa Ana,
Rich as he was, could hardly hold
A candle to light the mines of gold
Our Cuban owned.
E. C. Stedman—The Diamond Wedding. St. 7.

The man is mechanically turned, and made for getting…. It was very prettily said that we may learn the little value of fortune by the persons on whom Heaven is pleased to bestow it
Steele—Tatler, No. 203.

If Heaven had looked upon riches to be a valuable thing, it would not have given them to such a scoundrel.
Swift—Letter to Miss Vanhomrigh. Aug. 12, 1720.

Repente dives nemo factus est bonus.
No good man ever became suddenly rich.

He that is proud of riches is a fool. For if he be exalted above his neighbors because he hath more gold, how much inferior is he to a gold mine!
Jeremy Taylor—Holy Living. Of Humility. Ch. II. Sc. 4.

Rich in good works.
I Timothy. VI. 18.

Can wealth give happiness? look round and see
What gay distress! what splendid misery!
Whatever fortunes lavishly can pour,
The mind annihilates, and calls for more.
Young—Love of Fame. Satire V. L. 394.

Much learning shows how little mortals know;
Much wealth, how little worldlings can enjoy.
Young—Night Thoughts. Night VI. L. 519.