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LUXURY
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[ Also see Eating Elegance Extravagance Fashion Festivities Indulgence Intemperance Money Ornament Ostentation Pleasure Possession Poverty Prosperity Riches Satiety Sensuality Superfluity Vanity Voluptuousness Wealth ]

We see the pernicious effects of luxury in the ancient Romans, who immediately found themselves poor as soon as this vice got footing among them.
      - Joseph Addison

Blesses his stars, and thinks it luxury.
      - Joseph Addison, Cato (act I, sc. 4)

Truly, one gets easier accustomed to a silken bed than to a sack of leaves.
      - Berthold Auerbach

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

Garrick showed Dr. Johnson his fine house, gardens, statues, pictures, etc., at Hampton Court. "Ah! David, David," said the doctor, "these are the things which make a deathbed terrible."
      - John Bate

I know it is more agreeable to walk upon carpets than to lie upon dungeon floors, I know it is pleasant to have all the comforts and luxuries of civilization; but he who cares only for these things is worth no more than a butterfly, contented and thoughtless, upon a morning flower; and who ever thought of rearing a tombstone to a last summer's butterfly?
      - Henry Ward Beecher

To treat a poor wretch with a bottle of Burgundy, and fill his snuff-box, is like giving a pair of laced ruffles to a man that has never a shirt on his back.
      - Tom Brown, Laconics

Sofas 'twas half a sin to sit upon,
  So costly were they; carpets, every stitch
    Of workmanship so rare, they make you wish
      You could glide o'er them like a golden fish.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto V, st. 65)

Luxury, that alluring pest with fair forehead, which, yielding always to the will of the body, throws a deadening influence over the senses, and weakens the limbs more than the drugs of Circe's cup.
      - Claudian (Claudianus)

Blest hour! It was a luxury--to be!
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
        Reflections on having left a Place of Retirement
         (l. 43)

The more various our artificial necessities, the wider is our circle of pleasure; for all pleasure consists in obviating necessities as they rise; luxury, therefore, as it increases our wants, increases our capacity for happiness.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt:
  It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Haunch of Venison

O Luxury! thou curst by Heaven's decree.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
         (l. 385)

Then there is that glorious Epicurean paradox, uttered by my friend, the Historian in one of his flashing moments: "Give us the luxuries of life, and we will dispense with its necessaries."
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.,
        Autocrat of the Breakfast Table (VI)

Luxury possibly may contribute to give bread to the poor; but if there were no luxury there would be no poor.
      - Henry Home, Lord Kames

Luxury is a word of uncertain signification, and may be taken in a good as in a bad sense.
      - David Hume

Let us consider what we call vicious luxury. No gratification, however sensual, can of itself be esteemed vicious. A gratification is only vicious when it engrosses all a man's expense, and leaves no ability for such acts of duty and generosity as are required by his situation and fortune. The same care and toil that raise a dish of peas at Christmas would give bread to a whole family during six months.
      - David Hume,
        Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary
         (pt. II, Essay II)

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.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

You cannot spend money in luxury without doing good to the poor. Nay, you do more good to them by spending it in luxury--you make them exert industry, whereas by giving it, you keep them idle.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

All luxury corrupts either the morals or the taste.
      - Joseph Joubert

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

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.
      - Sir George Mackenzie

There, in her den, lay pompous luxury,
  Stretch'd out at length; no vice could boast such high
    And genial victories as she had won;
      Of which proud trophies there at large were shown,
        Besides small states and kingdoms ruined
          Those mighty monarchies that had o'erspread
            The spacious earth, and stretch'd their conquering arms
              From pole to pole, by her ensnaring charms
                Were quite consum'd; there lay imperial Rome,
                  That vanquish'd all the world, by her o'ercome;
                    Fetter'd was th' old Assyrian lion there;
                      The Grecian leopard, and the Persian bear;
                        With others numberless, lamenting by,
                          Examples of the power of luxury.
      - Thomas May

Fell luxury! more perilous to youth
  Than storms or quicksands, poverty of chains.
      - Hannah More, Belshazzar

Luxury and dissipation, soft and gentle as their approaches are, and silently as they throw their silken chains about the heart, enslave it more than the most active and turbulent vices.
      - Hannah More, Essays--Dissipation


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